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Video: Ethanol Debate on Food Prices  

With ethanol production increasing, the price of corn – the fuel’s primary ingredient – has also risen. As a result, more people are now blaming ethanol for a rise in food prices. However, General Motors (GM) reports that studies indicate the price of gasoline has twice the impact on the cost of food than the price of grain, due to the energy it takes to process, package and deliver corn for sale to consumers. In addition, the National Corn Growers Association indicates U.S. farmers have prepared for the growing ethanol demand by planting an estimated 93 million acres of corn this past spring. Due to this increase, GM officials report there is an abundance of corn to supply both food and fuel needs. Currently, standard vehicles can operate on fuel mixtures with up to 10 percent ethanol, while Flex Fuel vehicles use up to 85 percent ethanol.

Gasoline production in the U.S. reached an all-time high during the first half of 2007, according to an American Petroleum Institute (API) report. API’s “Monthly Statistical Report,” released on July 18, indicates production of 8.9 million barrels a day and strongly recovering gasoline imports during the second quarter helped the industry produce record highs between January and June 2007. Gasoline deliveries during that period totaled more than 9.2 million barrels a day. API officials say these record gasoline supplies can also be attributed to the long-term expansion of existing refineries.

PCM announces local partner for the San Jose GP  Pacific Coast Motorsports is pleased to announce their associate partnership with the South Bay Plastering Contractors Association (SBPCA) for this weekend’s San Jose Grand Prix.

In its 45th year of representing Union contractors, the SBPCA contractors are committed to preserving the integrity of the plastering industry. The SBPCA’s website is the portal to the plastering industry in the San Jose area, and the PCM entries of Alex Figge (#29) and Mario Dominguez (#28) will promote the SBPCA and its website by carrying the address, www.plasterconnect.com on their Champ Car’s throughout the San Jose Grand Prix.

“We are honored to represent the SBPCA and the hundreds of South Bay Union contractors at their home race, the San Jose Grand Prix,” said team director, Tyler Tadevic. “We intend to maximize their website exposure, by running www.plasterconnect.com on our cars this weekend and we are excited to give them a home team to root for.” More ...

Dominguez replaces injured Dalziel  Champ Car race winner, Mario Dominguez, 32, of Mexico City, Mexico will drive the #28 PCM/DP01 for injured rookie, Ryan Dalziel beginning this weekend at the San Jose Grand Prix.

“Mario brings a wealth of experience to our rookie program and we are pleased that he is able to step-in for us at the last minute to drive the #28 car.  Mario is a proven race winner and a very knowledgeable driver, we think he will be a great fit within our organization,” commented team director Tyler Tadevic.  He continued, “We’ve been making a lot of progress as a team with Ryan (Dalziel) and are sorry we are not going to be able to continue that momentum this weekend but we wish him a speedy recovery.” More ...

Karting standout eyes Indy Pro Series  Already looking ahead to 2008 and beyond, second-year Indy Pro Series team Michael Crawford Motorsports has signed 18-year-old karting standout Cole Mathewson to a development and testing program.

The program will begin in September and will continue through 2008 with an initial focus on road course racing. The team plans to enter Mathewson in a select number of Indy Pro Series races in 2008 with the aim of expanding to a full-time program in 2009. Mathewson, a recent graduate of Westfield (Ind.) High School, will have sponsorship from two Indianapolis companies, The Estridge Companies and Mainscape Inc.

"I have had the pleasure of watching Cole dominate races and win championships over the past three seasons in Great Lakes Superkarts! USA," said team owner Michael Crawford, whose team boasts seven top-10 finishes this season. "He works very hard at racing yet makes it look very easy. I believe that he has the qualities necessary to become a successful professional racer. The team is looking forward to our first test with Cole to begin the process of taking him to the Indy Pro Series, the official developmental series of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500." More ...

NASCAR weekly cheating report  NASCAR officials announced today that two crew chiefs have been fined for violations found during the Busch Series race weekend at Gateway International Raceway.  Doug Chouinard, crew chief of the No. 03 Toyota driven by Todd Bodine, and Chuck Meyers, crew chief of the No. 1 Chevrolet driven by J.J. Yeley, were each penalized for violations found during opening-day inspection. Chouinard was fined $5,000 for a violation involving the thickness of the throttle shaft and throttle plate being less than 0.197 inch. Meyers was fined $500 for a violation involving fuel-cell foam not used as provided by the manufacturer and open areas cut out of foam.
Industry News
Mercedes profits double  The Mercedes Car Group of DaimlerChrysler AG saw its pretax profit nearly double in the second quarter, the German-American automaker said today.  The company said the Mercedes unit earned $1.65 billion in pretax profit in the second quarter. Second-quarter sales rose slightly to $17.26 billion.
Speed completes first test since team spat  For the second day of our test sharing Mugello with Ferrari, Scott Speed took over driving duties from Tonio Liuzzi. Progress was interrupted by an electrical problem in the morning and a coolant leak in the afternoon. Despite this, the team managed to complete some useful set-up work for Hungary as well as work on the braking system with Budapest's hot weather in mind. Some aero work was also on the agenda. Scott stays in the cockpit for tomorrow's final day of the test, which is also the last day before the summer testing ban comes into force.

Fast Lap for Speed: 1:24.097 in 42 laps (Today)
Fast Lap Badoer 1.21.847 in 82 laps (Today in Ferrari) 
Fast Lap Liuzzi: 1:24.203 (Tuesday)

DEI and Ginn merger official  Dale Earnhardt Inc., already one of the world's premier racing organizations, has become even stronger through a merger with Ginn Racing.

Effective immediately, the team will feature the Chevrolets of Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin and Aric Almirola.  Martin and Almirola will combine to drive the No. 01 Army Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2007 season as well as the entire 2008 season.  Menard drives the Menards Chevrolet, Truex drives the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and Earnhardt handles driving duties of the Budweiser Chevrolet.  All four entries are inside the coveted top 35 in Nextel Cup points heading into this weekend's Brickyard 400.

Regan Smith, who was originally slated to drive the Ginn Clubs and Resorts Chevrolet in the Brickyard 400, will instead compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park Friday night in the Ginn Resorts Chevy Silverado.  Specific schedules for Martin, Smith and Almirola will be announced later. More ...

Hamilton tops Day 2 at Jerez  
Pos  Driver        Team                Time       Laps
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes    1:19.670    96
 2.  R.Schumacher  Toyota              1:20.540    73
 3.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota     1:20.588    86
 4.  Kubica        BMW-Sauber          1:20.709   104
 5.  Kovalainen    Renault             1:20.881   104
 6.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault    1:21.071    77
 7.  Rossiter      Super Aguri-Honda   1:21.315    96
 8.  Barrichello   Honda               1:21.444    80
tv news
SPEED Signs Pemberton for Multiple NASCAR Shows  SPEED has added veteran NASCAR reporter Randy Pemberton to its stable of experts supporting multiple SPEED programs for the remainder of the season. Pemberton, who already has appeared on the popular Tradin’ Paint, will take an expanded role beginning in mid-August in Michigan, working on NASCAR Live!, Go or Go Home and occasional SPEED qualifying and practice sessions.

“We are so excited to have Randy on the team for the rest of the season,” said Frank Wilson, SPEED VP of Production and Executive Producer. “He has been a terrific guest on our issue-oriented show, Tradin’ Paint, and has done outstanding work for DirecTV Hot Pass. Of course Randy has been around the sport for many years and his insight and expertise will be a welcome addition.”

In addition to adding Pemberton, SPEED also will elevate the role of NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler, who has driven the SPEED 1 demonstration car for the popular SPEED pre-race show NASCAR RaceDay. Sadler also will report for NASCAR Live! and Go or Go Home.

Video: NASCAR's golden age  Jim Hunter, Vice-President of Corporate Communication, commenting on NASCAR's golden age of competition and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. He talks about:
  • how much tougher competition is today in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and how hard it is for a team to win a race.
  • how much deeper the fields are for today's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
  • how the number of different winners per season has increased dramatically over the years.
  • how using the rules to level the playing field for drivers and teams has helped foster excellent competition.
  • how unlikely it would be for a driver to win upwards of 20 races like Richard Petty did in 1971 when he won 21 races in a single season.
  • how big of an event the first Allstate 400 at the Brickyard was and how big the event continues to be. 

See video on Home Page

racing news
SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking  
Updated 7-25-07
Pos.  (LW) Driver (Series)                     Pts
1. (8) Fernando Alonso (F1)                    8.063
2. (3) Scott Dixon (IRL)                       7.986
3. (1) Dario Franchitti (IRL)                  7.905
4. (17) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS)              7.741
5. (4) Carl Edwards (NASCAR)                   7.670
6. (5) Tony Stewart (NASCAR)                   7.663
7. (6) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR)                    7.295
8. (9) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR)                  7.136
9. (10) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR)                  7.059
10. (24) Felipe Massa (F1)                     6.814
11. (12) Jeff Burton (NASCAR)                  6.805
12. (20) Justin Wilson (CCWS)                  6.700
13. (13) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR)                 6.661
14. (14) Kyle Busch (NASCAR)                   6.632
15. (15) Clint Bowyer (NASCAR)                 6.579
16. (16) Casey Mears (NASCAR)                  6.541
17. (18) Ryan Newman (NASCAR)                  6.353
18. (19) Kurt Busch (NASCAR)                   6.319
19. (21) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR)           6.012
20. (23) Greg Biffle (NASCAR)                  5.771

Dropped out: Lewis Hamilton (F1), Kimi Raikkonen (F1) and Will Power (CCWS)

Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.

tv news
Mid-Ohio IPS race to be shown on ESPN2  The Indy Pro Series race run at Mid-Ohio on July 22 will be shown on Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm ET on ESPN2.
Hulkenberg says no to Spyker seat  (GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg's manager Willi Weber has ruled out using the opportunity of the vacant Spyker race seat to give his young charge a formula one debut.

Weber, who also guided Michael Schumacher's long and successful grand prix career, said he is not in a rush to introduce the pinnacle of motor sport to A1GP's reigning 19-year-old series champion.

"Nico does not need a fast formula one debut," Weber, who has placed Hulkenberg in the F3 Euroseries for the balance of the year, is quoted as saying by Motorsport Aktuell.

"And I would never put one of my drivers in a Spyker."

Spyker principal Colin Kolles responded: "I would never cooperate with Mr. Weber."

Indeed, it is reported on Wednesday that former Super Aguri racer and current GP2 driver Sakon Yamamoto has come up with the money to finish the 2007 season with the Dutch team.

The Japanese's Wikipedia entry said: "This is apparently thanks to his significant financial clout."

Industry News
Investors balk at Chrysler deal  Chrysler Group was busy on Tuesday planning a massive celebration to mark the automaker's imminent return to American-controlled hands, but the Wall Street banks put in charge of raising a $62 billion turnaround package faced increased scrutiny from debt-shy investors.

Cerberus Capital Management will in the coming days close its $7.4 billion acquisition of the automaker from DaimlerChrysler AG, ending nine years of ownership by the German company. And, at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, the Daimler name is already being removed from buildings and wiped from corporate stationery.

But, what is still far from certain is investor appetite for the massive funding package used to refinance Chrysler debt and recapitalize the company. Investors have balked at the upcoming pricing of $12 billion of debt for the Chrysler deal, according to people familiar with the transaction who were not authorized to speak on the record.

That hesitance to buy into the sale, according to one of the world's most closely-watched debt investors, may be a signal that the woes in the home mortgage market have spread farther and wider than anyone believed.

"Those that assert that this is merely an isolated subprime crisis should observe very closely the price and terms that lenders are willing to accept with Chrysler finance this week," said Bill Gross, a bond fund manager for Pimco, in a note to clients Tuesday. "That more than anything may wake them, shake them, and tell them that their world has suddenly changed."

That doesn't mean Cerberus will not be able to raise the money or complete the deal. Depending on how the agreement is structured, the firm might end up having to pay higher interest rates than originally envisioned.  Detroit News

track news
Racing roars back to Belle Isle  Helio Castroneves was here to find fault, but the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner gave the race circuit at Belle Isle a whole-hearted thumbs-up.

Castroneves took several laps (Photo) around the 14-turn, 2.1-mile course early Tuesday morning to offer feedback to team engineers, and Indy Racing League and Detroit Grand Prix officials. Castroneves drives for Bloomfield Hills businessman Roger Penske, who is the force behind returning the Detroit Grand Prix to the city for the first time since 2001.

Castroneves drove his Marlboro Team Penske Indy car to gauge where the track can be improved for the Labor Day weekend event that kicks off Aug. 31. The weekend includes an American LeMans Series endurance event on Sept. 1 and the IndyCar race on Sept. 2.

"I'm very impressed," said Castroneves, winner of the Detroit Grand Prix in 2000 and 2001. "The back side (of the track), the straightaway, everything seems to be not as bad as it looks. You see the cracks in the ground, you think, 'Oh, this is going to be tough,' and actually it's not. It's pretty nice. Some few areas there were bumps with the new concrete, which I believe is normal with something new. You have to smooth it out."  More at Detroit News

tv news
ESPN to introduce draft-track technology  For years, NASCAR fans have heard about the effects of drafting on high-speed racetracks and how certain drivers, such as the late Dale Earnhardt, were so good in the draft it was said they could “see the air.”

Now, as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing returns to ESPN with Sunday’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, a technical innovation developed by ESPN and SportVision will allow NASCAR fans to see the air when they watch ESPN’s coverage of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series.

Beginning with Sunday’s telecast of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ESPN, which has televised more NASCAR Cup Series races than any other network, will enhance its NASCAR coverage with Draft Track, a special effects package that will provide to viewers a never-before-seen effect that shows airflow created by NASCAR race cars.

When ESPN’s producers activate Draft Track, viewers will see air flowing over and behind race cars as they speed around the track, whether there is one car or a multi-car pack on the television screen.  The Draft Track airflow visualization will change as the cars, in relation each other, change position in real time on the racetrack, including passing, racing side by side or when cars are lined up nose to tail.  The new effect will initially be used on replays. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Briatore delays 2008 driver decision
  • Dark cloud hangs over Speed's F1 future
  • Piquet - I turned down Albers' Spyker drive
  • Stepney, Ferrari, step up legal attacks
  • Kubica slams teammate after Heidfeld clashes
  • Lauda sides with Alonso over Massa scrap

Briatore delays 2008 driver decision
(GMM) Flavio Briatore has told Renault's current driver lineup that they will have to wait a few more weeks to discover if they are a part of the team's plans for 2008.

The Italian team principal originally promised Giancarlo Fisichella, Heikki Kovalainen and test driver Nelson Piquet Jr that they can expect clarity at the end of July.

But Briatore is now quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport: "I am giving myself a few more weeks (to decide).

"I want to give my drivers a better car so that I can judge their achievements better."

It is rumored, however, that the real reason for the delay is that Briatore senses an opportunity to rehire his former charge Fernando Alonso, who is reportedly unhappy at McLaren.

Moreover, it is believed that the Spanish double world champion's multiple year McLaren contract might actually be voided if Ron Dennis' team is punished at Thursday's World Council hearing.

Alonso aside, Piquet Jr looks a favorite to step up to a racing seat with the French team. He is scheduled to drive for two of the three days at Jerez this week, while Fisichella has been used at tests on just three occasions this season.

Auto Motor und Sport claims that veteran Fisichella's manager Enrico Zanarini has taken up negotiations with Sir Frank Williams about 2008.

Dark cloud hangs over Speed's F1 future
(GMM) A dark cloud hangs over Scott Speed's formula one future after he claims he was assaulted by team boss Franz Tost.

Despite reports that the American driver will be immediately replaced by Sebastian Vettel, however, a spokesperson for the team insists that 23-year-old Speed is scheduled to test the STR2 car at Mugello both on Wednesday and Thursday.

Indeed, it has emerged that he has in fact traveled to the Italian circuit near Florence.

But prior to taking to the Ferrari-powered single seater, he has revealed further details about his altercation with Tost in the Nurburgring pits after spinning last Sunday.

Speed told Speed TV that after a verbal argument with Tost, "he hit me in the middle of the back with a closed fist. Everyone in the team saw it".

The Californian says Tost then followed him behind the garage partitions and "grabbed me from the front of my shirt, jerked me around and pushed me against the wall".

Speed said he then told other team officials, including co-owner Gerhard Berger, that "if my team chief ever touches me again, I'm going to knock him out".

He admits that his formula one future is essentially now over, but hoped his relationship with STR's co-owner Red Bull is not permanently damaged.

But referring to Tost and Berger, Speed asserted: "You couldn't pay me enough money to race for those two people again." More ...

industry news
Nissan reports 16 percent drop in quarterly profit  Japanese automaker Nissan said Tuesday its April-June quarter profit fell 16 percent because of higher material costs and taxes and a lack of new models.  Nissan said its group net profit for the fiscal first quarter slid to 92.3 billion yen ($765 million) despite an on-year sales jump.

After marking a dramatic turnaround in recent years from near-bankruptcy under a 1999 alliance with Renault SA of France, Nissan Motor Co. has seen sliding sales amid a dearth of new models. Higher raw material costs and incentives, or discounts to woo buyers, have also hurt Japan's No. 3 automaker.  Quarterly sales climbed 10.7 percent to 2.45 trillion yen ($20 billion), it said in a statement.

Big crowd expected for Road America  Looks like they are going to have a good crowd for the Champ Car ALMS weekend in August.  The camping areas are SOLD OUT. They are setting up an overflow area to fit more people in we are told.
Helio tests Belle Isle circuit  He earned his first major open-wheel racing victory at the Belle Isle circuit, he’s the last auto racer to taste victory in the Motor City and on Tuesday, Helio Castroneves became the first driver to test out the new and improved picturesque island road course on the Detroit River.

Castroneves, driver of the #3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the IndyCar Series, fought through some early raindrops and tested the layout of the 2.125-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park in the first on-track activity in six years on the island. The 32-year-old Brazilian racer was joined at Belle Isle by representatives from the Indy Racing League and the American Le Mans Series as officials received valuable feedback from the two-time Detroit race winner in preparation for the upcoming Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, August 31-September 2, 2007. More ...

New Communications Director for Star Mazda  The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear today announced that Motorsports public relations veteran Peter Frey will assume the duties of Communications Director beginning immediately. 

Frey, who began his career as a journalist/racing driver, has been both Associate Editor of Motor Trend magazine and West Coast auto editor of the Robb Report.  His racing resume includes such events as the 24 Hours of Daytona and the first 24-hour showroom stock race at Nelson Ledges. More ...

Dalziel injured, will miss the San Jose Grand Prix  Ryan Dalziel, driver of the #28 DP01 for Pacific Coast Motorsports suffered a broken collarbone while training on his bicycle Tuesday morning.  As a result of the injury, Dalziel will miss the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway.  Dalziel will consult with Dr. Terry Trammell in the next few days to determine his eligibility for round ten of the Champ Car World Series at Road America.  The Scottish rookie will be back in the car for his “home” races in Europe in September.

Currently 11th in the Champ Car World Series, Dalziel has made an impressive rookie debut. He’s recorded five top-ten finishes, including his near podium finish two-weeks ago in Toronto.  Last weekend, while competing at the notoriously challenging Edmonton Grand Prix, Dalziel recorded his best Champ Car start, when he took the green flag from eighth position.  Dalziel posted a best start eighth and best finish of seventh this season, which are also Champ Car records for his rookie team, Pacific Coast Motorsports.

Pacific Coast Motorsports will announce the replacement driver for the #28 entry as soon as possible.

Drivers give new BMS surface a big thumbs up  Todd Bodine was itching to get his NASCAR Craftsman Truck on the track at Bristol Motor Speedway so as soon as Monday’s’ test session began, he made certain he was the first on the new concrete surface.

At exactly 11 a.m., the time the test officially began, Bodine took to the track and turned six laps before returning to pit road. His reaction to the new surface was enthusiastic, to say the least.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “This is the way a track should be built. I will not be surprised at all to see three-wide racing here.”

Bodine, a former winner in the NASCAR Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway, says there’s absolutely no comparison to the old surface. More ...

industry news
VW to sell China built cars in NA  Volkswagen AG and its Chinese partner plan to assemble a car in China and sell it in North America and China.

The car, a reworked version of the next-generation Passat, will be assembled by Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., which revealed the plan here last week.

Details of the plan, such as timing and sales goals, have not been decided, said spokesmen at Shanghai Volkswagen and Volkswagen.

Shanghai Volkswagen is owned 50-50 by Volkswagen and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. AutoWeek

NASCAR plane in fatal crash had broken cables  Control cables were broken in the NASCAR plane that crashed into two suburban homes, killing five people earlier this month, federal investigators said Tuesday.
Inspectors found several breaks in the cables running through the right wing and forward fuselage of the twin-engine Cessna 310 that crashed July 10 in Sanford, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

However, the report did not speculate on whether the cables broke before or during the crash, and did not specify what parts of the aircraft those cables would have controlled.

The cause of the crash will not be determined for several months, officials said.

"They're just verifying what they can in the wreckage," NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz said.

A longer factual report won't be issued until late 2007 or early 2008, Lopatkiewicz said.

Witnesses had reported seeing smoke trailing from the plane as it sped low over the neighborhood and seeing its wings "rocking" before it sharply banked and slammed into the homes, the report said.

The crash killed both people aboard the plane, NASCAR Aviation pilot Michael Klemm and Dr. Bruce Kennedy, the husband of International Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy.  More at AP article

Andretti to lend voice to IMS Radio Network  NASCAR and IRL driver John Andretti will join the IMS Radio Network as a broadcaster this Sunday for the Allstate 400 at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway [NOTE: he will NOT run in the new #08 Dodge as the team announced]. The Andretti name is synonymous with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Andretti, born in Pennsylvania, moved to Indianapolis and went to high school only miles from the speedway. In 1994, he made history by becoming the first driver to complete the Memorial Day "double" competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Andretti made his return to the Indianapolis 500 this year. Andretti, who recently completed a four race stretch in the #45 Dodge for Petty Enterprises, competed in this year's Indianapolis 500 after a 13 year hiatus for Panther Racing and sponsor Camping World. He is, again, looking forward to coming back to Indy this season. IMS Radio coverage of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard begins at 1:00pm/et. Petty Racing PR
De la Rosa tops Jerez F1 test.  
Pos  Driver        Team                 Time      Laps
 1.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes     1:20.111   69
 2.  Montagny      Toyota               1:21.136   73
 3.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota      1:21.424  103
 4.  Rossiter      Super Aguri-Honda    1:21.683   92
 5.  Klien         Honda                1:22.035   70
 6.  Piquet        Renault              1:22.537   68
 7.  Buemi         Red Bull-Renault     1:22.565   78
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • FIA declares Hamilton crane ride 'legal'
  • Hamilton has 'big bruise' after crash
  • F1 body fails in bid to trademark 'F1'
  • Winning Alonso still unhappy at McLaren
  • Tost denies assaulting STR's Speed
  • BMW to discuss teammate clash with drivers
  • Nurburgring boss wants name solution by 2009 New
  • Bernie agrees to bring F1 back to Magny Cours New
  • Buemi tests Red Bull New
  • Speed's father denies son fired New

FIA declares Hamilton crane ride 'legal'
(GMM) F1's governing body has given Lewis Hamilton's controversial crane-lift out of the Nurburgring gravel trap a clean bill of health.

Some observers had wondered if McLaren's championship leader and rookie sensation had received preferential treatment, after the similarly stricken cars of his rivals were hauled away from the track rather than back to it.

But the Times says the FIA "confirmed that the incident ... was legal".

Toro Rosso, however, clearly objected to the marshals' response to Hamilton, after refusing to issue a post-race statement when both Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed remained beached at turn 1.

A subsequent report on the Faenza based team's website said the Hamilton scenario was "something never before seen in F1".

"Sadly, our boys were unable to do the same (as Hamilton), even though the race was actually stopped and re-started behind the Safety Car," the team said.

Hamilton has 'big bruise' after crash
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton has revealed the pain of careering into a tire barrier at almost unabated speed.

F1's rookie championship leader was attached to a drip and oxygen on Saturday at the Nurburgring, after a wheel failure sent him off the track in the flat-out 'Schumacher S' section.

"You just hold on for dear life," the McLaren driver told reporters after his disastrous European grand prix weekend, which ended his run of nine straight podium finishes.

He said: "When you hit the wall you hope it's not so painful. But it was very, very painful in my chest and legs."

Hamilton, 22, immediately wiggled his legs to deal with the pain of the impact, before stumbling out of the car and laying down in the gravel trap.

He explained: "I had problems with my legs. I think with the shock I couldn't stand up. I was conscious. I was just in pain in my chest, and now I've got this big bruise."

He finished Sunday's race ninth and said of his dented championship hopes: "There is a long way to go and it is definitely not all over." More ...

Minardi Team USA picks up sponsor for SJ  Minardi Team USA and Armstrong Limited have aligned once again for the 2007 San Jose Grand Prix. Armstrong’s dynamic new product, the Astro Express, will be launched in conjunction with the team at this year’s San Jose race. ‘Stronger, Faster, Better,’ is the slogan for the Astro Express hot water delivery system, and this is a very appropriate association with a team that is fighting for the Champ Car World Series Championship lead.

Armstrong Limited is a leading supplier of quality HVAC and fluid flow equipment for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Established in 1934, the company maintains seven manufacturing facilities on three continents.

The Astro Express is a hot-water delivery system that effectively cuts down on water usage by providing instant hot water every time you turn on the faucet. The Armstrong Astro Express system delivers hot water to the tap, re-circulating cooled water back to the water heater via existing cold water piping. In addition to providing the homeowner instant hot water access, the system also helps to conserve municipal drinking water resources and save metered water charges. It’s easy to install, and does not require special return piping to the water heater. This makes the Astro Express system the ideal retrofit solution for existing residential buildings, and a cost-effective solution, when offered as an option in new home construction. More ...

Computer company partners with Jensen MotorSport  Champ Car will again take over the streets of downtown San Jose California this July 27th-29th for some action packed high-speed racing, and one of the most exciting stories will be the debut of the new team INTERVISION TEAM JENSEN

INTERVISION TEAM JENSEN will enter car #22 in the Champ Car Atlantic race driven by veteran American driver Steve Ott who hails from Denver Colorado. This ride is a homecoming since Ott enjoyed considerable success during his four races driving for the Jensen MotorSport team in 2006. Ott shocked the Atlantic community by clocking the pole time in qualifying for round #5 at Cleveland in just his 3rd race in the series, and followed this result with other strong performances in the Jensen MotorSport car including a 3rd place at the Cleveland Grand Prix. More ...

Flooding in UK  The UK has had quite a bit of flooding in the last few days.  We thought you might like to see this photo taken of the reception area at Vodafone HQ.
Dyson facing polemic penalty at Mid-Ohio  Dyson Racing left Mid-Ohio tied for second in the P2 team championship after last weekend's American Le Mans race. The team finished sixth and seventh after two hours and forty five minutes of animated racing on the thirteen-turn, 2.25-mile course. The #16 Porsche RS Spyder of Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace finished ahead of their sister #20 Thetford/Norcold entry driven by Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. This is a track where the driver has input and is not a slave to the setup," observed Leitzinger. "You can hustle the car around here. I had a great battle with (Luis) Diaz and (Sascha) Maassen during the first stint. I was able to get by Diaz in the Acura for fourth and I tried the same maneuver on Maassen in the Penske Porsche for third and did not quite make it and after that he was on guard." (See our photo page from event)

Andy Wallace got in the #16 machine on lap 50 of the 134 lap race. "We were able to stay with the Penskes, but when you went around a slower car on the outside, you got pick-up on your tires. You would do a do-or-die pass on someone and you think that is great and then the car is bad for a lap as you work off the pick-up. Then you catch another car and go through it all over again." More ...

NASCAR TV ratings continue their freefall  TV ratings from last Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway were down 8 percent from one year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. Last weekend's USG Sheetrock 400 received a 4.8 national rating, down from a 5.2 in 2006 and both were televised on TNT. The Cup race was the top rated sporting event of the weekend.  Last Saturday's Busch race received a 1.9 rating on ABC. The 2006 race received a 1.8 and was broadcast on TNT. The Busch race was the third most viewed sporting event of the weekend behind the Cup race and Major League Baseball on Fox.
Industry News
Video: Reduced insurance for drivers who drive less  

Drivers who use OnStar vehicle communication technology can calculate their miles and receive special discounts on their car insurance, General Motors reports. Most insurance companies base coverage rates on the average miles a driver travels each year. In the U.S., the average vehicle treks between 15,000 and 20,000 miles a year. This means drivers who travel less generally have to pay more per mile for insurance. However, GM reports a new partnership between GMAC Auto Insurance and OnStar will offer a low mileage discount for drivers using the vehicle communication technology. By determining the exact number of miles traveled via OnStar reports, GMAC Insurance will offer reduced rates to eligible drivers.

Video: Bourdais looks to widen point lead  After regaining his lead in Edmonton, driver Sebastien Bourdais looks to further increase the gap between him and his competitors during the upcoming San Jose Grand Prix. Bourdais says focusing on the car’s ability rather than on making mistakes during the circuit is what helped him win the past two years in San Jose. However, Bourdais admits the course is bumpy and one can easily make a mistake. The San Jose Grand Prix will be held at the Redback Raceway from July 27 – 29. See video on Home Page
Team First Centreville joins Speedcar Series  Team First Centreville is the latest squad to be added to the growing ranks of the new Asia and Middle-East based Speedcar Series.

Fabien Giroix, driver and team manager, was attracted to the competition by his friend Jean Alesi, whom he competed with in championships like Coupe Renault 5 and Formula 3000 in the past. Alesi, together with a number of former-F1 drivers, have announced they will take part in the championship.

Team First Centreville will run cars 17 and 71 in the championship, which will begin later this year.

Fabien Giroix said: "I have always wanted to join this kind of Nascar-style championship, where the enjoyment of the spectator is more important than the technology of the cars. Motorsport is growing in the Middle East and Asia, and it's fantastic to be part of this championship." More ...

Anderlecht joins Superleague Formula  Superleague Formula has been joined by royalty – Belgian royalty to be precise – with Royal Sport Club Anderlecht the latest team to join the motorsport championship that features the colors of the world's leading football clubs.

RSC Anderlecht joins 2007 Champion's League winners AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, FC Porto, Olympiacos and the recently announced German club Borussia Dortmund in the new championship which will kick off in August next year.

Like many of their Superleague Formula rivals, RSC Anderlecht enjoyed another successful season in 2006/07, winning its 29th Belgian first division championship.

The club is now targeting success in motorsport to continue its rich trophy winning history that also includes eight Belgian Cups, one Belgian League Cup, seven Belgian Supercups, two European Cup Winner's Cups, a UEFA Cup and two European Super Cups. More ...

Dutch team to run Porsche RS Spyder in Le Mans 24 Hours  Dutch team "VM Motorsport by Equipe Verschuur" will be entering a Porsche RS Spyder for the 1000-kilometre races of the Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours next year. This means that the already legendary Porsche RS Spyder, that has already scored numerous race wins in the American Le Mans Series, will be racing in Europe for the first time in 2008. "I am looking forward to this new challenge", says team principal Frans Verschuur. His business partner Peter van Merksteijn is even speaking about "a dream coming true". Porsche's motorsport director Hartmut Kristen is wishing the team all the best. "We will be supporting the team as well as we can, just like we are doing with our customer teams in the American Le Mans Series", says Kristen.

The Porsche RS Spyder, that made its race debut at the end of 2005 after extensive testing, is the first Porsche especially made for racing purposes since the 911 GT1 that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1998 for the manufacturer from Stuttgart. The RS Spyder is an open-top sports prototype according to the LM-P2 regulations set by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, organizers of the Le Mans 24 Hours. With a carbon fibre monocoque, clearly defined crash-structures and an integrated safety-fuel-cell, the car meets the latest safety standards. The suspension includes adjustable double triangles front and rear. Springs, shock absorbers and stabilizers are also adjustable. The RS Spyder is powered by a 90 degrees V8 competition engine with a displacement of 3.4 liters and an output of 478 hp, linked to a six-speed sequential gearbox. A mechanical differential and traction control ensure the best possible traction while adjustable wings and a rear diffuser provide the necessary downforce. More ...

Date and new time announced for 2008 Aussie Grand Prix  Australia’s most prestigious motorsport, social and corporate event, the FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix, will be staged at Melbourne’s Albert Park from 13 to 16 March next year, subject to final confirmation by the FIA.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation announced on Monday that the March date would allow the return of V8 Supercars to the track schedule.

The AGPC also announced that it would move the Formula One race to later on the Sunday afternoon but ruled out the idea of staging the race at night under existing circumstances.

“The current Formula One season is one of the best ever,” Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman, Mr. Ronald J Walker AC CBE said. “There are a number of teams and drivers in contention for the championship and we’ve witnessed the emergence of a new superstar in Lewis Hamilton. More ...

Champ Car must deal with visibility issue  So, you've heard of Sebastien Bourdais, the polite Frenchman who wears those red glasses and is the only driver to win the San Jose Grand Prix.

You also probably know Paul Tracy, the risk-taking Canadian who treats races like his own personal bumper-car ride. When last spotted one year ago on Almaden Boulevard, he was brawling with another driver after causing a wreck.

But name some more Champ Car competitors? Well, there's this guy from some other country. Then there's that woman driver. Or how about, uh . . .

Truth is, most drivers who will be roaring through the streets of downtown San Jose this weekend aren't exactly household names - maybe even in their own houses. Will Power, Robert Doornbos and Neel Jani may be top-flight racers, but they also are unlikely to make spectators' heartbeats race with anticipation. More ...

tv news
ESPN to debut innovative DISH Tech Center  ESPN, which is presenting the most technologically-advanced coverage of NASCAR in motorsports television history, will take that technology to another level with the debut of the innovative ESPN DISH Tech Center mobile television studio in the network's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup coverage beginning this weekend at Indianapolis.

The ESPN' DISH Tech Center, a collaboration with EchoStar Communications Corporation’s DISH Network™ (NASDAQ: DISH), will travel to all of ESPN's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race venues and will be utilized by ESPN's producers and announcers for content segments to air during race telecasts. In addition to ESPN and ESPN on ABC's coverage of the final 17 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, segments from the DISH Tech Center will also air during coverage of NASCAR Busch Series races that are held at the same tracks. The unit also will be used throughout a broad range of ESPN's leading non-television media platforms.

"The ESPN DISH Tech Center is a unique and significant element of our NASCAR coverage," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, studio and remote production. "We will now present segments within the telecasts that originate from a specially-designed environment with no exterior interference, allowing us to add to the viewing experience and give NASCAR fans even more information." More ...

tv news
8.1 million viewers in Germany alone  UPDATE A reader writes, 8.1 million viewers for the F1 Grand Prix in Germany is the result of not less than six drivers from Germany (Schumacher, Sutil, Heidfeld, Winkelhock, Rosberg and Vettel). Can you imagine the boost for Champ Car if we had just one German driver over there? I still remember the hype here in Germany when Arnd Meier drove for a backmarker team (Davis Racing) in the late '90s. With Andreas Wirth in a competitive car Eurosport could easily double their ratings. Tino Hermann, Germany

Dear Tino, Agree, and imagine what the USA TV ratings could be if Champ Car had more popular American drivers. Mark C.

07/23/07 8.1 million viewers/45.3 share tuned in Sunday in Germany to watch the European GP from Nurburgring.   Italy had 7.9 million viewers and a 57% share.  And that is just Germany and Italy, two countries much smaller than the USA.  If you add up the rest of the world, the viewership numbered well over 100 million.
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  UPDATE #2 The V8 Supercars are back on the slate for next year's Australian GP. Race organizers, desperate to secure the V8s after their absence last year, will forfeit the season-opener, most probably to Bahrain. Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker said holding the opening race was no longer a big deal.

"It's not the greatest thing to have the first race any more," Walker said yesterday. "Taking all factors into account, this is the best option for our event and the people who support it."

After two years of falling attendances, the Grand Prix Corporation was eager to get the V8 Supercars back on the program.V8 Supercars Australia chairman Tony Cochrane said in addition to the date change, he had also won several concessions from the Grand Prix. From next year V8 teams will be allowed to sell merchandise at Albert Park, get a better sanction fee and have a new race program.

"We've got all the concessions we've asked for," Cochrane said. "They've been a pleasure to work with."

07/23/07 Updates shown in red below.

  • Australia loses season open slot for 2008
  • Ferrari denies leaking Coughlan quotes
  • Tost angry with Toro Rosso racers
  • Newspaper slams unfair treatment for Hamilton
  • Italy scolds Massa for foul-mouthed attack New
  • Spy scandal damaging F1 - Montezemolo New

Australia loses season open slot for 2008
(GMM) Melbourne will no longer host the opening round of the formula one season after refusing to run the Australian grand prix at night in future.

Instead, Bahrain will kick off the 2008 calendar, with the Albert Park event following it in mid-March, Australian organizers revealed on Monday.

"Bahrain will stage the first race," a spokesman for the Australian Grand Prix Corporation said, confirming that the Melbourne event will however be started later than usual at 3.30pm.

The later time is a compromise after AGPC chairman Ron Walker refused to meet Bernie Ecclestone's demand for a race under floodlights to help bolster the early-morning TV audience in Europe.

Walker said of the rejected night race option: "Our investigations have convinced us that as things currently stand, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages."

Ferrari denies leaking Coughlan quotes
(GMM) Jean Todt has denied that Ferrari were responsible for leaking to the Italian press excerpts of espionage suspect Mike Coughlan's sworn affidavit.

The Ferrari principal's counterpart at McLaren, Ron Dennis, said at the Nurburgring that the source of the leak probably fails to understand the "implications" of disclosing his chief designer's confidential court statement, which suggests that other team members also knew about the 780-page spy dossier.

"The three recipients of (the) affidavit were told in no uncertain terms that they would be committing a legal breach in the event of any of it being shared with third parties," he explained.

But Todt on Sunday insisted that Ferrari is not the guilty party.

"It's out of our control," the Frenchman told reporters after the European grand prix.

"The more people who are aware, the more opportunity you have to have leaks. We just have to follow the procedures which are in process.

"Honestly, I think other people should be more worried than us on this particular matter." More ...

Wallace considers selling majority of race team  Rusty Wallace announced last week he will expand his NASCAR Busch Series operation to two teams in 2008. But what about Sprint Cup? Wallace said Monday he would like to field Sprint Cup Series teams. However, his contract with ESPN/ABC forbids that, given the conflict of interest involved in commenting races in which teams he owns compete.

So he is contemplating the future sale of a majority stake in Rusty Wallace, Inc., he told ESPN.com Monday. Selling off a majority stake of the race team would allow me to focus more on my television career, and still ensure the race team’s still in proper hands,” Wallace said. “I’d like to be minority owner.

“I’ve established a great organization and want make sure it stays that way. A majority sale is something I’ll look at in the future.” ESPN.com

Carl Edwards in dirt track wreck  Carl Edwards, involved in a crash in a dirt late model race Sunday night at I-80 Speedway in Nebraska, is not testing today at the Milwaukee Mile and will not test a Busch Series car Tuesday at Bristol Motor Speedway but likely will race this weekend in the Busch and Nextel Cup events in Indianapolis.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver was having his right hand examined today by a specialist in Columbia, Mo., to determine if there were any injuries, according to the team.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Edwards hit the back of a car that had spun out and then hit the wall. He went to the hospital with an ice pack on his right hand.   Word is he broke his thumb.

First-time winner Antinucci eyes IndyCar Series  Indy Pro Series road course races are seasoning for first-year driver Richard Antinucci. Ovals might be added to the mix soon, with the goal of competing full time in the IndyCar Series.
Antinucci, who started fourth in the inaugural Mid-Ohio 100 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, accepted the winner's trophy for the first time in his brief Indy Pro Series career. The 26-year-old nephew of 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. led 2005 series champion Wade Cunningham across the finish line by 0.9588 of a second.
The native of Rome did not have experience on the American circuits, but he's well-acquainted with stiff competition on European courses.

"With our limited resources, we decided to maximize what we knew and try to make an impact as quickly as possible," he said. "Coming from a European background on road courses, we thought that we could have a better impact sooner with the road course races.

"But we need to get on ovals because our goal is (the IndyCar Series). It's what I want to do. I feel more comfortable living back in the States, too. I'm working with my uncle. I want to be an (IndyCar Series) driver who can fight for wins, not just fill in the numbers." More ...

Hamilton to become new face of Vodafone  Lewis Hamilton is to take over David Beckham’s old role as the face of mobile phone giant Vodafone.  It signals that the 22-year-old racing driver will be the new “Goldenballs” of British sport.

Hamilton’s role as the firm’s “global brand ambassador” could see him fronting a multi-million pound advertising and promotion campaign.  His earnings on and off the track could hit £500million over the next ten years, ranking him second only to golf’s Tiger Woods as the world’s highest paid sportsman.

Now rising star Hamilton is seen as appealing to a younger audience than Becks, who has just moved to US club LA Galaxy. 
A Vodafone marketing spokesman said: “He will definitely become a bigger part of our activity.”  The SUN

Ginn hires marketing firm to find sponsors  Ginn Company announced today, they have brought in Champion Motorsports Marketing, LLC (CMM) to aid in finding sponsorship for their NASCAR race teams and their Golf Tournaments. Bobby Ginn, President and Chief Executive of Ginn Company is focusing on bringing in sponsorship. We are excited to announce our relationship with Bobby Ginn and the entire staff at the Ginn Company, said Ryan Johnston, President and Chief Executive of Champion Motorports Marketing, LLC. Bobby Ginn has built an empire in real estate with Ginn Resorts and is a new team owner in NASCAR.  We are currently working on many opportunities with potential sponsors for Ginn Racing and the Golf Tournaments held at Ginn Resorts. This will prove to be a great relationship. This is the best opportunity for any Company currently looking to get into NASCAR or the PGA or LPGA. The Business to Business opportunity is unbelievable with Ginn Resorts. CMM will handle sponsorship acquisition for the Ginn Company’s NASCAR, PGA, and LPGA packages. Currently the Ginn Company has sponsorship opportunities available for its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, PGA Fall Series event, two PGA Senior Tour events, and two LPGA events all held at various locations throughout Ginn Resorts.
City able to throw ’pretty good party’  With a budget of "well over $10 million," the Grand Prix of Edmonton hasn't turned a profit yet, but with 167,152 fans turning out over three days this year organizers are both pleased and optimistic.

"We're very, very happy," president Jim Haskins said after 60,508 fans turned out Sunday for the Champ Car and Atlantic races at the City Centre Airport. "Edmonton showed the world we're able to throw a pretty good three-day party ... it couldn't be better."

After attendance dropped dramatically, from more than 200,000 in 2005 to 171,391 in 2006, organizers were glad to see a much smaller decline this year, an indication they may be finding the level it will ultimately settle at in the future.
"This is only our third year, so it's tough to get a handle on what your fan base is going to be," he said. "We were confident people were going to be here and we were right."

He was particularly pleased with the turnout because of the busy summer in Edmonton, with events like the FIFA Under-20 World Cup of soccer, the Eskimos, the Street Performers Festival and Taste of Edmonton.

"There's only so much disposable income -- no matter how much people talk about us being the most robust province in the country."

Haskins said he couldn't provide an attendance figure that would create a break-even point financially because of all the variables involved in revenue, from suite sales to merchandising and beer sales, to percentages from the different vendors on site.

"It's too early to tell because we won't know those numbers for a couple of weeks. But we have a real good business plan for 2008, where we're confident we're going to be at a break-even or a cash-positive position."  More at Edmonton Journal

racing news
Quotes of the Week  UPDATE The angry comments Felipe Massa made to Fernando Alonso after the European Grand Prix have been added to the end of Massa's quotes below. 

MIKE COUGHLAN, Chief Designer, McLaren Mercedes F1 team
"It's true," Coughlan reportedly wrote in his sworn statement. "I had all the designs. It was my responsibility. I showed those designs to McLaren and not just to (managing director) Jonathan Neale but to others as well. Everyone reacted the same way and told me to get rid of them."

ROGER CURTIS, President, Michigan International Speedway
"If this is burning a bridge, they burnt it," Curtis said. "They put us in this position. We physically cannot do the IRL event justice two weeks before our NASCAR race. It's like Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl and then being told that two weeks before they need to do a whiz-bang job of promoting the East-West Shrine Game. What do you think the Hoosier Dome folks would say? That's the same thing they did to us. That's their [IRL] standard operating procedure: Put the promoter in a position where they can't be successful and then make the track and the promoter be the bad guys," Curtis said. "I'm done with it."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, IRL driver, Rahal Letterman Racing
"It felt great. The first time out in these cars with no testing and to finish in the top seven feels like a win for me. We had a couple of flukey things happen in practice and the Ethanol team showed amazing tenacity, we kept after it, we didn't do anything cute, we had good pace and ran well. It was a satisfying day for us." (Hunter-Reay finished in 7th place at his first IRL race at The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio.) More ...

Skip Barber
Champ Car hopeful to be awarded Skip Barber Scholarship  Sometimes you need a little help to make it to the next level in racing. Moving up from go-karts to open-wheel type cars is not always easy, but for the second year in a row the Champ Car World Series, along with the Skip Barber Racing School, will be making it a little bit easier for one ROTAX Kart Challenge driver as the Series will be awarding a Skip Barber Regional Series scholarship to one ROTAX Kart competitor in the Sr. Max Class.

A panel of judges will determine the winner, who will be chosen from the 16 to 18 age bracket, during the Rotax Grand National that takes place in Centennial, Colorado from August 14 – 18. The scholarship includes six double race weekends including Friday practice at one of four different regional championships -- East, Midwest, South and West.

“We are committed to driver development,” said Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson. “We have been partners with the ROTAX Kart Challenge for a couple of years and are excited to expand our partnership with this scholarship and hopefully create a future Champ Car star.” More ...

Honda ticket giveaway a huge success  UPDATE #2 Track officials did not announce crowd figures, but estimates were in excess of 60,000 (for 3 days), similar to the size that Champ Car drew before leaving in 2003.  Indy Star

07/23/07 A reader adds, Why are you only mentioning IRL in conjunction with the Acura/Honda ticket "giveaway"? The Saturday event with the ALMS was the Acura Sports Car Challenge and was the largest crowd seen there since the CART "glory days" per track regulars.  Honda/Acura was promoting both days/events. Also, the true number of "bought" by Honda tickets was 21,000, not 34,000.  Name withheld by request

07/22/07 The ticket giveaway that Honda offered all of its Marysville, Ohio employees (rumored to be 34,000 free tickets) was a huge success at Mid-Ohio this weekend where the biggest crowd in 15 years turned out to see the Indy Car race this weekend at Mid-Ohio. 

A reader adds, Dear AutoRacing1.com, The IRL is the new CART.

  1. Foreign-born ex-CART drivers take 4 of top 4 positions on a former CART road course.
  2. Foreign-born ex-CART drivers take 5 of top 6 positions on a former CART road course.
  3. Ex-CART drivers take 6 of top 7 positions on a former CART road course.
  4. A woman is the top finisher of the IRL drivers who didn't defect from CART.
  5. The attendance looked like an old CART race there.

What happened to your vision Tony?  Mark McCauley

Triple crown to Team Australia  It was a bitter sweet day for Team Australia. On one hand, their top driver, Will Power, fell 25 points behind in the drivers' standings after placing 15th at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton yesterday. Yet the team still took home the Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown title as rookie driver Simon Pagenaud finished fourth.

"Honestly Canada is a great country. I love coming here," Pagenaud said. "They have great tracks here, especially in Edmonton, although it's a torture. It’s fun to come here, we had a very good attendance and it's very enjoyable for the drivers."

The Triple Crown combines the team results from the three Canadian events. After the final event held here yesterday at the Rexall Speedway, Power and Pagenaud had combined to average the lowest finish at 5.2.

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing finished second with a combined 5.5. More ...

San Jose revs up for Grand Prix Festival  UPDATE Here is a link to a special section put together by the San Jose Mercury News on the upcoming race. In this section one article by Mark Purdy questions the long-term viability of the event [Is there a venue Champ Car goes to that does not put out negative articles in the local media?] because from the outside Champ Car appears to be running on a shoestring budget and they still don't understand that ultimately the athletes must drive the sport not the notion of a 3-day festival. Champ Car must ask itself whether it is running a circus or a sport? If it's drivers are popular the fans will turn out and the 3-day festivals will be a success, regardless if it is a street race or a remote race such as Road America.

07/23/07 SAN JOSE, Calif. -- For the third year in a row San Jose is holding a world-class racing event, starting next Friday. This year the Grand Prix festival features a new racetrack that Team Australia car racer champ Will Power said he’s looking forward to testing out.
"One unique thing about San Jose is they have a very long straight leading to a super tight hairpin and that does allow for passing. It's a good circuit. It's got character and it's small so spectators can see a lot of the race and can get close to the drivers. As an event I think they're doing the right thing," said Power.

Race organizers are striving to create a better event each year, according to Grand Prix Spokesman Dave Roddin. "The first year we went through our growing pains. Last year in 2006 it certainly almost did a 180 as far as the drivers and fans were concerned. Everybody loved it, so we've pretty much kept the same blueprint from last year and just tweaking on those things that we think we can improve the event."

Roddin said ticket sales are up and he expects the event to draw huge numbers. Traffic will be heavily affected and a number of street closures are slated for the weekend. Residents and fans are being encouraged to use public transit. KCBSTV

Healthy attendance in Edmonton  UPDATE The final tally on attendance in Edmonton this weekend:

Friday = 46,512
Saturday = 60,132
Sunday = 60,508
Total for 3 days= 167,152

This is down 3% from 171,391 in 2006 and down 17% from 2005 when all the grandstands were full, not the gaps we saw this weekend. 167K is still far more than the IRL and ALMS drew at Mid-Ohio and we are not aware of 21,000 tickets being given away for the Champ Car event like Honda did to entertain its guests at Mid-Ohio. Of course the IRL has a good sponsor in Honda that would buy all the tickets for their employees, something Champ Car can only dream of having after being unable to land an engine manufacturer up to this point.

07/22/07 Attendance so far this weekend in Edmonton for the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton Champ Car race has been 46,000 on Friday and 60,000 on Saturday. An even larger crowd is expected today for the race. While not as many as the inaugural year when over 200,000 showed up for the weekend, Edmonton will still draw close to that for the weekend and it will be paid attendance, not free Honda giveaways.

tv news
Edmonton Champ Car Atlantic races to be shown on ESPN2  The doubleheader Champ Car Atlantic Championship races run in Edmonton, Canada will be shown on ESPN2 on Monday, July 23.  Race 1, run on Saturday, July 21, will be aired at 5:00pm-5:30 pm ET.  Race 2, run on Sunday, July 22, will be aired at 5:30pm-6:00pm ET.
Gurney and Fogarty win again  In a spectacular show of endurance at Barber Motorsports Park, Alex Gurney drove 88 of the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant’s 99 laps, holding off a valiant charge from Colin Braun to secure the fifth win of the season for himself and polesitting teammate Jon Fogarty’s No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac-powered Riley. The victory moved GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing into second place in the team championship fight, and put Fogarty and Gurney back into contention for the driver’s title, with just four races remaining in the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season. The win was made even sweeter by the fact that two dozen GAINSCO Auto Insurance agents, guests and executives were on hand to cheer their team to victory.
Fogarty led from the pole when the green flag dropped, until a caution period just 11 laps into the race brought the 99 car to the pits for tires and fuel. Engineer Kyle Brannan made the call to put Gurney in the car after only 15 minutes of racing. Alex would have to battle for more than two hours around the tough and technical 2.3-mile road course in scorching summer heat and humidity, but Gurney was confident he could go the distance. He dogged the 75 car, driven by Nic Jonsson for a dozen laps, before superb pit work from the GAINSCO team at Lap 46 sent him back out in the lead. From Lap 50 to the checkers, Alex was challenged all the way by Braun, but Gurney was never outwitted and he managed to parry every thrust from the green machine. The 18-year-old pilot ran out of fuel on the final lap, allowing Gurney to drive to victory by 6.033 seconds. More ...
Stoner makes it look easy at Laguna Seca  Ducati’s Casey Stoner dominated the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix race at Laguna Seca from start to finish on Sunday to take his sixth win of the year - and extend his World Championship lead to 44 points ahead of the summer break.

In the Californian sunshine the Australian produced the goods yet again, eventually crossing the line just under ten seconds ahead of his compatriot Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) to break the MotoGP pole jinx. Meanwhile the brave Marco Melandri (Honda Gresini) rode brilliantly from tenth on the grid to take third despite his injuries sustained in qualifying. More ...

Melandri and Stoner to ride for Ducati thru ’09  Immediately after Casey Stoner’s victory at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Ducati have announced that fellow Laguna Seca podium finisher Marco Melandri (right) will join the team for the next two seasons, and that he will accompany Stoner as the Australian has put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

“World Championship leader Casey Stoner (left) has renewed his agreement with the Borgo Panigale-based factory for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, with an option for the 2010 championship,” stated an official press release.

Melandri had been scheduled to ride for Ducati this season, until his Honda satellite team manager Fausto Gresini exercised the clause in his contract to match any offer within 14 days. More ...

Vermeulen signs new deal with Suzuki  Having taken his best ever dry MotoGP result at Laguna Seca, Chris Vermeulen has been confirmed as a Suzuki rider for next season –with an option for 2009- as the team’s lineup for 2008 begins to take shape.

The Australian took his maiden win for the team at Le Mans earlier this year, and has consistently impressed onboard the GSV-R800 this season. With his contract up at the end of 2007, Vermeulen was listening to offers from other parties but was clear that Suzuki was the team for him. More ...

Matos doubles up in Edmonton  As the car of race-leader Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Continental Cartage Inc. sputtered on the final lap, Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) pounced on the opportunity and went on to claim his sixth victory in a thrilling conclusion to the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton doubleheader (ESPN2, 7/23, 5:30 p.m. ET).

Matos started the race from the pole position and led into Turn 1 on the opening lap, but race officials determined that Matos blocked Perera going into the turn and ordered Matos to surrender the position to Perera. Once he assumed the lead, Perera set sail and led every lap in the race, but fuel problems on the Condor Motorsports machine began rearing their ugly head with three laps remaining. Perera did his best to hang onto the position, but with just four turns remaining on the final lap, his car slowed on course and Matos sped by to take the victory.

Matos became the first Atlantic driver to win six races in a season since Jon Fogarty also won six on his way to the 2004 Atlantic title. The Brazilian has now finished on the podium in eight of 10 starts this season and has finished inside the top six in all 10 races. It was the fourth time in five races where Matos started from the pole position that he went on to win the race, and moved him 40 points ahead of Perera, 291-251, with two races remaining in the championship. Matos could clinch the Atlantic title if his lead is 34 points or greater following next weekend’s penultimate round of the 12-race Champ Car Atlantic Championship at San Jose. Matos and Perera are the only two drivers still in mathematical contention for the title. More ...

Andretti back in F1 car  UPDATE Added photo of Paul Newman talking to Mario Andretti before his ride.

07/22/07 It appears the 67-year-old Mario Andretti still has some driving ability, too.

The 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner was asked if he'd like to take some turns driving the Minardi F1x2 this weekend, and he jumped at the chance to pilot the two-seater.

"I said, 'Man, sign me up.' I'm still a kid," Andretti said.

On Friday, in his first time in the powerful F1-style car, Andretti spun harmlessly several times on the airport circuit.

"I did test the traction control and it doesn't work," he joked.

By the end of the session, Andretti had the car figured out and he spent more time on the track Saturday, giving rides in exchange for charitable contributions.

Referring to 82-year-old Paul Newman, a Champ Car team owner who also continues to race, Andretti added, "Paul finished fourth in class last weekend at Lime Rock (Conn.), so I guess I've got another 15 years.

"I guess I'll be driving something until they put me in the ground," Andretti added. USA Today

Massa admits ’angry’ with nemesis Alonso  (GMM) Felipe Massa said tire vibrations cost him victory at the Nurburgring on Sunday.

Ferrari's Brazilian driver also revealed that he returned the favor to his race rival and new nemesis after Fernando Alonso lost his temper after the European grand prix.

McLaren driver Alonso in parc ferme accused Massa of driving into his left-sidepod on purpose as they diced for position in the closing laps.

"I was surprised (with that) so I got angry with him," Massa, also 25, told reporters in Germany.

"If he is not happy then it's not my problem."

The incident followed another on-track skirmish between the pair this weekend, where on Friday Alonso deliberately baulked Massa after being held up on a fast lap.

Antinucci wins his first Indy Pro race  Results Sunday of the Mid-Ohio 100 Indy Pro Series event July 22 at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed, reason out (if any) and money earned: 
1. (4) Richard Antinucci, 40, Running $32,500
2. (6) Wade Cunningham, 40, Running $25,000
3. (2) Stephen Simpson, 40, Running $20,000
4. (3) Andrew Prendeville, 40, Running $16,400
5. (9) Hideki Mutoh, 40, Running $15,900
6. (5) Bobby Wilson, 40, Running $15,400
7. (8) Robbie Pecorari, 40, Running $14,900
8. (10) Jaime Camara, 40, Running $14,400
9. (13) Mike Potekhen, 40, Running $13,900
10. (11) Logan Gomez, 40, Running $13,400
11. (7) Ryan Justice, 40, Running $12,400
12. (14) Sean Guthrie, 40, Running $11,400
13. (19) Chris Festa, 40, Running $10,400
14. (16) Brad Jaeger, 40, Running $10,000
15. (12) CR Crews, 40, Running $9,500
16. (20) Doug Boyer, 40, Running $9,000
17. (17) Ken Losch, 40, Running $8,500
18. (18) Joey Scarallo, 40, Running $8,000
19. (15) Jonathan Klein, 39, Running $5,000
20. (23) Daniel Herrington, 36, Running $4,000
21. (22) Jon Brownson, 25, Handling $3,000
22. (1) Alex Lloyd, 24, Mechanical $2,000
23. (21) Tom Wieringa, 12, Mechanical $0

       Race Statistics
       Winner's average speed: 104.863 mph
       Time of race: 51:40.7399
        Margin of victory: 0.9588 of a second
       Cautions: 1 caution flag for 2 laps
        Lead changes: 1 among 2 drivers
        Lap leaders: Lloyd 1-15, Antinucci 16-40.
        Point standings: Lloyd 508, Mutoh 397, Cunningham 342, Wilson 320, Camara 290, Pecorari 265, Potekhen 264, Festa 242, Gomez 241, Simpson 241.


RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 51 Cheever Racing, winner Mid-Ohio 100): "We were very progressive, getting faster and faster. I was worried after the restart. We struggled a bit compared to (Wade) Cunningham. I think he had higher tire pressures, which allowed him to be set up quicker. But we were there all weekend, and we finally won one."

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, finished second): "It was tough. We opted to go for a light downforce setup, and it was great for passing. But the car definitely was difficult to drive over the long run. Richard (Antinucci) was running more downforce than us. We were much quicker down the straight. We had to take that gamble starting sixth, and it got us a second so I'm pleased with that."

STEPHEN SIMPSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished third): "We were probably two- or three-tenths off Wade (Cunningham) and Richard (Antinucci), so there's a little more work to do. But all in all it was a strong weekend for the Kenn Hardley Racing crew."

ANDREW PRENDEVILLE (No. 5 RLR/Andersen Racing, finished fourth): "It was a great weekend. Our best yet. I don't think I had any contact with anyone. It was close with [Bobby] Wilson. I'll have to ask him if we touched, but I don't think so. We raced hard, but we've done that so many times before. They were gaining 10 car lengths on the straights, and I could pull nine to 11 car lengths on them in the twisty stuff to keep in front of them. The only way that was possible was because we had a really good-handling car. The start was not the greatest.  (Wade) Cunningham blew right by me. That was just a case of better straight-line speed. But I was able to make up a lot of the distance, and I almost got the position back a little later. We finished all 40 laps for the Best Friends Animal Society. We had our best qualifying result yet, and we duplicated our best race result. It was a great weekend."

Dates Set for 2008 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca officials today announced July 18-20, 2008 are the dates for the fourth annual Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, featuring round 11 of 18 in the 2008 MotoGP World Championship.  The date for the event is tentative, subject to the release of the full FIM calendar in September.

The 2008 race marks the fourth consecutive visit for MotoGP teams and riders to the historic Monterey circuit, where they will be joined by the AMA Superbike Championship (AMA classes to be determined).

Tickets for the event go on sale this November.  Reserved camping and hospitality tickets go on sale November 1, while all other tickets – general admission, grandstand, paddock, parade lap and parking – go on sale November 5.

Tickets and information for the remaining events in the 50th Anniversary season at  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are available by calling (800) 327-SECA or on-line at www.laguna-seca.com.

Alonso loses temper with Massa after duel  (GMM) Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa's stormy relationship continued to deepen on Sunday afternoon after their wheel-banging duel for victory at the Nurburgring.

McLaren's Alonso climbed out of his car after winning the European grand prix and pointed to a black tire mark on his left sidepod.

The Spaniard, who earlier this weekend also had an on-track altercation with his Brazilian rival, then confronted Ferrari's Massa and told him that he objected to his racing style.

Massa was stony-faced on the podium, as the trophies were handed out by his former teammate Michael Schumacher.

Alonso, 25, then told reporters that the pair had actually touched twice during the 60-lap race but apologized to Massa for losing his temper.

"Now I try to enjoy the victory and forget everything else," he said.

Petersen/White Lightning fire Tomas Enge  Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has announced the immediate dismissal of driver Tomas Enge (a native of the Czech Republic now living in Monaco) following today's Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

In accordance with the two-time American Le Mans Series GT2 Driver Championship-winning team's written policy on driver expectations and conduct, Enge was released approximately 45-minutes into the two hour and 45- minute event. Enge was assessed a penalty by IMSA Stewards/Officials for causing damage to a car while on probation. In accordance with a written agreement regarding the driver's probation, Team Manager/Entrant Dale White (Bozeman, MT) followed team policy and protocol and released Enge immediately.

The Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team soldiered home with a top-five GT2 class finish today despite a damaged race car. Dirk Müller (a German now living in Monaco) will continue with the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winners. The second driver for the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT is under consideration and will be announced prior to the August 11th round at Road America. Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing is the defending GT2 class race winners at Road America and has won three of the last four seasons at the Elkhart Lake, Wisc. facility.

Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "We are following our team's policy and have released Tomas from his contract with Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing effective immediately. While this is extremely regrettable to Mike Petersen, myself and the team, Tomas has been on probation with the team, as well as with IMSA, since Lime Rock Park and our policy and understanding with Tomas is clear. It was understood that we would not and could not tolerate any further penalties and that any additional penalty would be dealt with in this manner. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the actual incidents, it is our practice to follow the determination of the stewards." Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing

tv news
IRL Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio moved from ABC to ESPN  UPDATE The conclusion of The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio will be moved back to ABC beginning at 3:00 pm ET.  The Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton Champ Car race will be shown live on schedule on ESPN starting at 3:00 pm ET.

07/22/07 The IRL Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio scheduled to be shown live on ABC starting at 1:30 pm ET has been moved to ESPN because the Final Round of the British Open is still being telecast on ABC.  The IRL race will start at 2:00 pm ET on ESPN.  At the conclusion of the British Open, the race will be moved back to ABC.
Edmonton: Doornbos leads morning warm-up  After a disappointing qualifying run for Champ Car point leader Robert Doornbos was hoping that Sunday would bring him better fortune and if the warm-up session is any omen, it looks like his weekend will get back on track just in time for today's main event. The Minardi Team USA driver recorded the fastest lap of the session with a revolution of 58.675 (121.053 mph) around City Center Airport.

Provisional pole sitter Sebastien Bourdais was second to the Dutchman recording a lap of 58.808 (120.779 mph) in his McDonald's entry. Alex Tagliani posted the third best time of the session while Simon Pagenaud and Justin Wilson rounded out the top five. While polesitter Will Power turned in the ninth quick lap in the session in his Aussie Vineyards racing machine.

The session was brought to a premature end as Katherine Legge made contact in her Dale Coyne car with the wall in Turn 8 with less than three minutes left in the session.

Alonso carves into Hamilton's title lead  (GMM) World champion Fernando Alonso slashed teammate Lewis Hamilton's lead of the drivers' world title to a mere two points on Sunday by winning the chaotic European grand prix.

Hamilton, in the sister McLaren, finished a lap down and just out of the points at the end of a miserable weekend for the British rookie.

Having emerged on the podium at every grand prix of his career until now, here Hamilton spent time in a local hospital, got involved in a first lap scrape, dangled from a crane, and then ran around as a backmarker after pitting too early for dry tires and spinning on a still wet track.

But pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen arguably fared even worse as he retired with a mechanical problem aboard his Ferrari.

In total contrast, Mark Webber finished on the podium for the first time since switching from Williams to Red Bull.

25-year-old Alonso's Nurburgring win, meanwhile, was stirring, featuring a fightback to leader Felipe Massa and an inspired wheel-banging overtaking move with a few laps to go.

PKV names Dominguez to replace Gommendy  Champ Car veteran Mario Dominguez will replace the injured Tristan Gommendy in the #22 Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car for today’s Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, July 20-22, on the temporary airport circuit at City Centre Airport, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dominguez, 31, takes over for Gommendy, who crashed during Friday’s provisional qualifying and sustained an edema of two thoracic vertebras. The injury, which was diagnosed yesterday afternoon, was deemed serious enough to keep Gommendy from driving today. He will be re-evaluated by Dr. Terry Trammel next week in Indianapolis according to Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs, Dr. Chris Pinderski.

“I know Tristan is very disappointed, but when yesterday’s MRI revealed the edema of two thoracic vertebras, the doctors determined that he could not race today,” said PKV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser. “Tristan has done an outstanding job for PKV Racing so far this year and we expect that he will continue do an outstanding job for us as soon as he is cleared to race again.” More ...

Euro GP stopped after rain carnage  (GMM) The 2007 European grand prix was red flagged after just five laps on Sunday following a hellish downpour of rain.

On cue with the start of the 60-lap race at the Nurburgring, the German heavens opened and led to a bizarre sequence of events that left five runners out of the running and - amazingly - Spyker's Markus Winkelhock in the lead.

The German rookie, sensing the onslaught of water, had pitted at the end of the formation lap for wet tires while every other competitor had to scramble in under racing conditions.

Championship Lewis Hamilton was caught in the carnage and farcically spent some time up in the air attached to a crane before rejoining the action a lap down.

Others also found the river to aquaplane in at turn one -- Vitantonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso hit a tractor that had entered the gravel to pull out Nico Rosberg, Scott Speed, Adrian Sutil and Jenson Button.

"The car just lifted on the water and there was no coming back," said Williams' Rosberg.

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso will follow Winkelhock behind the Safety Car for the rolling restart.

Pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen has dropped to seventh after sliding past the pitlane entrance and needing to do another lap on dry tires.

Tarantino at ’Ring  (GMM)  Spotted in the Nurburgring paddock on Sunday -- inimitable American filmmaker and actor Quentin Tarantino (pictured left in photo right).

Among his most famous movies are Pulp Fiction (1994) and the Kill Bill series (2003-4).

Coyne’s crew pulls off yeoman’s work  The car looked like a write-off, what was left of it, anyway, dangling from the end of a hoist after Katherine Legge's high-speed crash in yesterday morning's practice session.

"When we saw it on TV on the hook, we thought our weekend was probably over," said team owner Dale Coyne.

"It was a really, really big hit, probably the biggest that we've gone through yet."

The damage was extensive.

"All the rear suspension, both sides. The driveline, both sides. The gear box and the rear wing. The undertray. And from the engine back, all the body work was gone, top, bottom and sides.

It was just before noon. The afternoon qualifying session was from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. With no backup car, the only option was rolling up the sleeves and fixing the thing. In two hours.

"We got into it and said if we kill ourselves maybe we'll get this thing ready for qualifying," said Coyne. "They were fired up, it was the challenge of getting it out when nobody expected them to." More ...

Dalziel: The most difficult and intimidating track  Ryan Dalziel will start 8th in today's Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton. For him and his rookie PCM team, it was like winning the pole. What makes the effort even more rewarding is the fact Dalziel has local sponsorship this weekend from the Edmonton Sun newspaper.

“I am really happy. It’s been a good weekend and I am really proud of my team. I am getting used to the track. This is by far the most difficult and intimidating track I’ve been to. With the limited amount of practice time and of course no test time being it is an active airport, it is tough to learn as quick as we need to but that is our job. At the same time, once you get it, it is a blast and now probably one of my favorites!”

Turkey dropped, Indy added to MotoGP calendar  The 2008 provisional calendar of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, announced today by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme,  sees the Turkish Grand Prix dropped from the next year's MotoGP calendar, as widely expected and a 2nd USA race at Indy has been added in its place.

Dates         Grand Prix       Circuit
March 9       Qatar            Doha/Losail
March 30      Spain            Jerez de la Frontera
April 20      Portugal         Estoril
May 4         China            Shanghai
May 18        France           Le Mans
June 1        Italy            Mugello
June 8        Catalunya        Montmelo
June 22       Great Britain    Donington Park
June 28 **    Netherlands      Assen
July 13       Germany          Sachsenring
July 20       United States *  Laguna Seca
August 17     Czech Republic   Brno
August 31     San Marino       Misano
September 14  Indianapolis     Indianapolis
September 28  Australia        Phillip Island
October 5     Japan            Motegi
October 19    Malaysia         Sepang
November 2    Valencia         Ricardo Tormo-Valencia

*: Only MotoGP class
**: Saturday

Paint on runway a concern for standing start  UPDATE Will Power has the pole and doesn't know what to do with it.  Due to the number '2' being painted on the runway right where the inside car on the front row of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton will sit for the standing start, the Australian now has a problem.

It's the same problem forecast by Sebastien Bourdais when he won the provisional pole Friday and a guaranteed spot on the front row for today's race.

"I have to go and have a look. There's paint there. If it is where we start, that means less grip," Power said.

Power has the option of taking the inside or outside position on the front row. Normally a driver would take the inside spot which would usually provide the lead going into the first turn.

Touring the track in 59:403 in yesterday's final qualifying session, Power broke Bourdais' track record of 58:628 set last year.

A.J. Allmendinger won the first pole here in 2005.  Edmonton Sun

07/21/07 The problem is runway No. 2.  Not the runway. The "2." Edmonton will witness a standing start for the first time with this edition of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton.  Photo courtesy of Champ Car

And the driver who won the provisional pole yesterday says the "2" painted on the runway is going to be a problem.

Sebastien Bourdais guaranteed himself a spot on the front row for tomorrow's race in yesterday's first qualifying session. If he stays in first after today's session, he'd normally have to drive over the painted 2.

"You'd be starting on the paint on the inside," he said.  There's a big No. 2 you have to drive over. It's a big-ass No. 2. It takes a lot of paint to put that No. 2 on an airport runway. And paint doesn't give you any grip," he said of where it's located.

"On a rolling start, it was irrelevant."

If Bourdais ends up with the actual pole after today's qualifying, he says he might decide to take the outside spot on the grid instead of the inside.

He did that earlier this year when he won the pole in Cleveland.

"You have a choice of which side to take on the front row if you win the pole. In Cleveland there was a big-ass stripe painted on the runway at about the same place on the inside of the grid. So I took the outside," said the Newman-Haas-Lanigan driver who will be on the front row for the fifth time this season.

Cleveland and Edmonton are the two races in the 15-event series which are held on airport tracks.  More at Edmonton Sun

Drivers upset with Bobby D, Tracy  But what happened to series leader Robert Doornbos? He starts 11th. And where is Canada's Paul Tracy? He'll start 14th.

Both had other drivers upset at them yesterday and are quite happy the two will start back in the pack.

"I got blocked on the last lap by Mr. Doornbos," said Simon Pagenaud of France who qualified seventh.

"I guess he still doesn't get the rules of Champ Car," he added of the driver who was accused of blocking his way to a win in Mont-Tremblant by Bourdais.


This day, Bourdais went back to complaining about his old nemesis Paul Tracy. To right, Tracy leads Ryan Dalziel, photo courtesy Champ Car

"It was really going well in the qualifying session and, like Justin Wilson said, P.T. was just playing a little bit again in the last two laps and, well, pretty much the whole run. But it was the last two laps that mattered," Bourdais said. "He backed up Bruno Junqueira and Bruno did me and that was that. It was the last corner, so it ruined the last two laps. It was a little frustrating because the car was great."

Two of the biggest smiles of the day belonged to American Rahal and Scot Ryan Dalziel.

"The whole weekend has been solid," said Rahal. "We're just happy to be a 10th of a second off the pole."

Dalziel stepped out of his car after qualifying eighth, saying it was an experience.

"This is by far the most difficult and intimidating track I've ever been to," he said. "At the same time, it's a blast and now probably one of my favorites." Edmonton Sun

Drivers love airport circuit  If Champ Car could lift up this site and take it with them to every place they race, they would.  The City Centre Airport has been sitting in the middle of Edmonton for decades.

It was only in the '90s that someone recognized that the downgraded airport - no longer featuring international flights - was the perfect-storm scenario for a car race.

Tom Hinderks, an employee at the airport, loved race cars as much as aviation. He organized a little stock car race on a triangular track tucked up in the north end of the airfield.

To the surprise - and ignorance - of many, the town Wayne Gretzky made famous is an isolated motorhead mecca up here on the fringes of the Arctic.

Starved of any major racing event since the old International Speedway was run over by suburbia, three times the expected number showed up.

After Hinderks left, the airport event lasted three more years before fading away.

Flash forward a few years, and the unlikely determination of Greg MacDonald and Tom Doerksen convinced Champ Car - driven out of Vancouver by condo developers and Olympic gratuities - that they could maintain their Canadian hat-trick with Toronto and Montreal by coming to the Great White North.

That, and the potential on-track excitement the airport race in Cleveland had always been known for.

Not only was the reconstructing series blown away by the 200,000 that showed up for the inaugural Grand Prix in 2005, they - and the drivers - left impressed.

The series that became Champ Car was admired for its variety - from one race to the next they could be on a road course, a street race, then an oval.

Edmonton's airport offers aspects of all three. It's a street race in that it's a great place to hold a big party in the middle of a city. Its two-mile, 14-turn layout is classic road course. Like an oval, the sightlines from every grandstand give fans the entire picture.

"I prefer road courses. I like the street courses. I love the airport circuits," said Justin Wilson, the tall Englishman who won the 2006 Edmonton Grand Prix.

"Trying to adapt to different circumstances is what I think this championship is all about. I like the fact that if you can master this, you can pretty much master anything."

Added Aussie Will Power, last season's rookie of the year: "You are doing so many driving styles and disciplines, I have to say that last year I learned more than I ever learned in my whole career about driving. And I'm a better driver for it." More at Edmonton Sun

McLaren won't copy Ferrari this time  After one of McLaren's top designers had access to all the 2007 Ferrari design secrets via the Stepney-gate affair, Mercedes' Norbert Haug on Saturday said McLaren were not considering copying Ferrari's controversial wheel cover innovation.

For the first time at Silverstone two weeks ago, Ferrari used the carbon fiber 'fairings' on both rear and front wheel rims. They are controversial because some believe they come close to what could be described as an outlawed 'moveable aerodynamic device'.

Toyota and Renault use a similar solution at the rear of their cars, but McLaren do not.

But "that is not the secret for why Ferrari are a tenth or two faster than us here," Haug insisted to the German broadcaster Premiere on Saturday.

"I believe it is part of an entire design philosophy. So if we simply put them on, I think nothing would happen."

Javier Villa wins GP2 sprint race  Javier Villa easily overpowered the rest of the field to set up his second win of the season in race two at the Nurburgring, leading from start to finish in a show of speed that gave his rivals no hope of challenging for the win.

The victory was set up by a commanding start from pole position, after which he just pulled away lap after lap before slowing in the closing stages to protect his car, eventually crossing the line 3.5 seconds ahead of the fierce battle for second between Kohei Hirate and Kazuki Nakajima.

With Villa making such a storming start, fellow front row starter Adrian Zaugg had no choice but to pull in behind him on the front straight and concentrate on keeping his rivals behind into turn one. Giorgio Pantano made his customary demon start but left his braking too late, dropping back behind Hirate, Pastor Maldonado, Nakajima and Lucas di Grassi as they entered the complex.

The Italian was determined to make up for his mistake and was soon on the attack: he took a lunge at di Grassi at the back of the circuit but the pair came together, with both men sliding wide and giving Timo Glock the simple task of picking up the final points paying position. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief   
  • Dennis slams affidavit leaks
  • Two racers back Hamilton to fight back
  • FIA clears Hamilton to race
  • Montezemolo urges calm in Hamilton hype

Dennis slams affidavit leaks
(GMM)  Ron Dennis at the Nurburgring slammed the leaks into the media of suspended McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan's sworn affidavit.

Ahead of Thursday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council to assess his team's involvement in the espionage saga, McLaren chairman Dennis accused some of the privileged few of improperly giving selected and inaccurate quotes attributed to Coughlan to the Italian press.

He did name Ferrari specifically, but hinted that there will be "legal implications" for the source of the leaks.

"There is a way to go through life, and that is to follow the correct procedures," he told reporters in Germany after qualifying for the European grand prix.

Two racers back Hamilton to fight back
(GMM)  Two fellow formula one drivers have backed Lewis Hamilton to bounce back from his horror qualifying crash with a shining European grand prix on Sunday.

The championship leader may use his undamaged race engine in the spare McLaren and take tenth on the grid at the Nurburgring, after he was cleared to race during a medical check with the FIA's Gary Hartstein at 9.30am.

A CT scan at a Koblenz hospital also gave him the all-clear on Saturday, before team boss Ron Dennis amusingly cleared a path for him as he returned to the paddock in the afternoon.

Martin Brundle, the veteran of 150 grands prix and now a commentator for British television, told the Times: "He is so young and determined that I think it will be water off a duck's back."

22-year-old Hamilton's best friend on the grid, meanwhile, also backed the Briton to quickly shrug off the high-speed crash that initially left him attached to an oxygen mask and drip.

"Lewis is a fighter," said fellow rookie Adrian Sutil, who races for Spyker.

"It was a brutal Crash," the German told Bild, "but he is tough.  So as he didn't break any bones or anything, he will be pushing like mad to race."

FIA clears Hamilton to race
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton may start the European grand prix today following a medical examination at the Nurburgring by the FIA's Gary Hartstein at 9.30am local time, McLaren confirmed in a statement.

Montezemolo urges calm in Hamilton hype
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has urged caution in assessing the early formula one career of rookie and current championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

The Ferrari president said he has been impressed with the 22-year-old's near record-breaking run of nine podiums so far in 2007, but insisted that it is still too early to compare him with sporting greats like Michael Schumacher or Maradona.

"I would like to see a moment of calm," Montezemolo told La Gazzetta dello Sport when he was asked about the media's reaction to the McLaren driver.

"Everyone is searching now for the new Schumacher.  And before that they wanted a new Senna, and the same is true for Maradona and Pele with football.

"For sure, Hamilton is a lad who has had a brilliant beginning, but above all he has demonstrated the ability to never make errors.

"He is consistent, fast and talented, but saying this I would prefer a moment of calm.

"Certainly I have never seen a rookie so able to drive on a fast and consistent level, so he is displaying all the characteristics of a great driver.

"But time will be the final judge."

Spyker picks up small sponsor  The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team is delighted to today announce the start of a partnership with Twins Investments. The partnership, which starts with immediate effect, will see the Twins Investments logo on the sleeve of the drivers' race overalls, team wear and the Spyker Formula One cars.

Twins Investments develops small scaled units for residential or business use. Already an active company in the European real estate markets, the partnership with Spyker will help to enhance brand awareness and allow Twins Investments to extend its international ambitions.

Michiel Mol, director of Spyker Formula 1, added: 'Another growing brand has been added to our steadily increasing number of partners. Twins Investments has great plans for expansion and I am delighted that we can offer them the opportunity to take awareness to a much wider audience through the partnership with Spyker.'

The sponsorship between Twins Investments and the Spyker F1 Team was facilitated by Gr8industries.com, brand and marketing agency in the Benelux and China regions.

Gommendy to sit out Edmonton race  UPDATE Mario Dominguez or Andrew Ranger are two possible replacements for Gommendy on Sunday. Gommendy has an edema of the bone, swelling of the bone, in the lower thorasic vertebrae between T11 and T12, due to his head-on impact with the wall at 40 MPH.

Jimmy Vasser, Kevin Kalkhoven and Mark Johnson talk to Tristan Gommendy, telling him that Champ Car's Dr. Chris Pinderski is advising him to leave the car until further tests can be performed after his Friday accident. Photo courtesy of Champ Car.

07/21/07 After making contact with the wall during Friday's qualifying, Tristan Gommendy (#22 Pay by Touch-Megaspiera Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) complained of back pain and was sent to the hospital for precautionary x-rays and was released.  Because of ongoing pain, he received a MRI this afternoon which shows edema of two thoracic vertebra which implies subtle bone injury.  He will be unable to compete this weekend and will be reevaluated by Dr. Trammel this week in Indianapolis.

This means the Edmonton starting grid is down to a pathetic 16 cars.

Sorenson breaks major drought with Gateway win  In a war of attrition Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway, Reed Sorenson broke a 60-race NASCAR Busch Series winless drought in beating Scott Wimmer to checkered flag in the NASCAR Busch Series 250.

Sorenson, who won his last race in the series at Gateway in 2005, passed David Reutimann for the lead after a restart on Lap 159 and kept his No. 41 Dodge out front the rest of the way, despite a caution that fell on Lap 178 when points leader Carl Edwards backed into the outside wall.

Sorenson finished 2.064 seconds in front of Wimmer, who got by Reutimann for second place in the closing laps. Reutimann held on to third, followed by Jason Leffler and David Ragan. Edwards (who drove like a madman after his wreck), Kevin Hamlin, Ron Hornaday Jr., J.J. Yeley and Todd Bodine completed the top 10. More ...

Edmonton: Matos on pole for race 2  Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) again added to his championship lead by taking the pole position for Sunday's second race of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton doubleheader.

On his final qualifying lap Saturday morning, Matos posted a time of 1:05.750 (108.027 mph) to knock Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Continental Cartage Inc.) off the top of the time charts and secure another bonus point toward the championship. He now leads Perera by 31 points, 229-198. Matos will also start second alongside Sierra Sierra Enterprises teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) in this afternoon's first race of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton doubleheader.

"It was unbelievable," Matos said. "I knew that we had a strong car and when it was red flag, we made some modifications in the car. The car responded pretty well to the changes we made. I was able to put a really good lap in the end. I'm just so happy that we've been improving a lot through the weekend. I think we finally found a good balance for the car. I can't thank Sierra Sierra enough. I think we're going the right way towards the championship. You've just got to keep focused and see what happens." More ...

Canadian Triple Crown Set For Showdown In Edmonton  The table is now set for the final Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown Showdown at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton. With Will Power on pole position, Sebastien Bourdais starting second and Justin Wilson third on the grid, the top three teams in the Triple Crown standings are in good position to take home the honors of Triple Crown Champion. However, with Graham Rahal starting fourth, Bourdais and his Newman/Haas/Lanigan racing teammate seem to have a slight advantage on putting their hands on the Inuksuk trophies created by renowned Inuit Artist Ohito Ashoona.

Currently sitting atop the standings heading into tomorrow’s race are the Team Australia duo of Will Power and Simon Pagenaud with a finishing average of three. Trailing the pair, in second place, is the driver combination of Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson from RSPORTS with an average of six. Close behind in positions three to five and only separated by an average of 1.5 positions are Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing in third (7.25), Minardi Team USA’s drivers Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos in fourth (8.25) and Tristan Gommendy and Neel Jani of PKV Racing in fifth (8.75). More ...

Tracy’s woes continue  Champ Car veteran Paul Tracy continues to have a miserable 2007 season and Edmonton has been so far a disastrous weekend for Tracy.

“It’s extremely frustrating, we just can’t get the car right, we have no grip and we have no balance. We thought we had made some improvements in practice but then during qualifying I went out and the car was extremely loose, I spun on my first lap and had a pretty hard shunt. It knocked the wind out of me for a few seconds, I really just had no confidence on the car after that. My crew fixed the car and after the red flag we tried to improve our time but the car was just all over the place and we couldn’t go any quicker. We really just have to put everything behind and us and go out and pick up a bunch of positions tomorrow.”

Hamilton cleared to drive  Lewis Hamilton has been provisionally cleared to take part in the European Grand Prix after precautionary scans confirmed that he escaped his horrific qualifying crash without injury.

He will be given a final medical check in the morning before being getting the green light to race.

"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are very happy to confirm that Lewis Hamilton is completely uninjured following his accident during today’s qualifying at the Nurburgring," said a team statement.

"Following a thorough examination at the on-track medical centre, he was flown to the Koblenz Bundeswehr Hospital where he underwent a full precautionary CT scan which proved to be entirely normal.

"Lewis has no bruises and is highly motivated to race tomorrow.

"As is normal, a final sign-off by the FIA Medical Delegate Gary Hartstein will take place tomorrow morning – which the team believes will be positive."

Glock powers to Race One victory  Timo Glock brought delight to his home fans at the Nurburgring today by putting on a crushing display in race one, easily winning from Lucas di Grassi and Kazuki Nakajima after putting his nose in front at his pitstop and then romping away before slowing in the closing laps, winning the race by 2.2 seconds and reigniting his recently stuttering championship challenge.

But Glock didn't have everything his own way: a slow getaway at the start by the poleman allowed fellow front row starter di Grassi to take an early lead at the first corner, with the German just holding onto second ahead of a charging Giorgio Pantano, Pastor Maldonado and Nakajima.

Behind them chaos reigned as new returnee Sebastien Buemi seemingly forgot to brake for turn one, his car a battering ram in the side of Luca Filippi before the Swiss driver became briefly airborne as he rolled over the Italian's right rear: the rest of the field had to find the best line they could around the stricken pair, who were both out of the race almost immediately. More ...

Mutoh to make Indy Car debut in Chicago  At a press conference today, Super Aguri Panther Racing announced it will field a third IndyCar Series entry for its Indy Pro Series standout Hideki Mutoh for the season-ending race at Chicagoland Speedway.

The 24-year-old Mutoh currently leads the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year standings in the Indy Pro Series. He claimed his first career victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in June and has posted eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes in 11 starts.

Mutoh's red and white No. 60 car will be sponsored by the Honda Formula Dream Project, a long-range program aimed at developing the talented drivers who compete in world-class racing events. Blair Perschbacher, the race engineer on Mutoh's No. 55 car in the Indy Pro Series, will also be making the move to the IndyCar Series. Mutoh will test his car at Kentucky Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Infineon Raceway to prepare for his debut. More ...

Edmonton: Matos beats Perera in race 1  Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) got sweet revenge in Saturday’s first race of a Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton and extended his lead in the championship standings with his fifth victory of the season.

As an Atlantic rookie a year ago, Matos started from the pole position in Edmonton and appeared to be on his way to his first victory in the series when disaster struck and he crashed with eight laps remaining in the race. A year later, Matos returned with five career Atlantic victories in his pocket and added another one on Saturday after claiming the lead from his Sierra Sierra Enterprises teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) with 20 laps remaining and leading the rest of the way to beat Frenchman Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Continental Cartage Inc.) by 2.247 seconds.

It was Matos’ fifth victory of the season and he now leads Perera in the championship standings by 33 points, 259-226, with three races remaining on the schedule. Matos has now finished on the podium in four consecutive Atlantic races and in seven of nine races overall, and has finished inside the top-six positions in all nine starts this season.

Perera wound up second, breaking his Canadian victory streak after back-to-back wins at Mont-Tremblant and Toronto, but it was his fifth consecutive podium result dating to a third-place run in the second race of a doubleheader at Portland in June. The Condor Motorsports rookie is also the only driver in the series to have finished inside the top five in every race this season, and he extended his lead in the Rookie of the Year standings to 25 points over Canadian Robert Wickens (#3 Red Bull/INDECK). More ...

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