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Overheard at Indy Overheard at Indy
- Today's Brickyard 400 was the first Cup race since November 1975 in which a Waltrip (either Darrell or Michael) was not a part of the starting lineup. Rumor in the garage was that Waltrip tried, and failed, to buy his way into this year's race. With Waltrip's failure to qualify, only Jeff Burton and Bill Elliott have been in every Brickyard 400.

- The Brickyard was obviously not a sellout, as empty seats and scalpers with handfuls of tickets were common sights. While the speedway doesn't release attendance figures, one can assume that the Indy 500 was a bigger draw this year.

- Indy fans have adopted the F1 air horn salute in a big way, being sounded during driver introductions, the military fly-over, and post-victory burn-outs.

- Speaking of F1 quirks, the IMS staff is still rolling their eyes at various Bernie demands. One demand was to remove the label from the soup served in the media center, since it said "French Onion." No word on if "Cheese-eating Surrender-Monkey Broth" is acceptable. Other demands including a disabling of the water fountains, since F1 has a water sponsorship deal, and a demand that water be available warm as well as ice cold. Bernie's requests that the press office elevator be disabled and fire exits padlocked, was turned down citing American laws. Tim Wohlford

Matt Varsha captures first career victory at Trois-Rivieres Matt Varsha captures first career victory at Trois-RivieresTrois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.  Matt Varsha, of Atlanta, Georgia, drove to the first victory of his Star Mazda career in Round Eight of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres. After jumping into the lead on the opening lap Varsha would go wire-to-wire in his #45 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda, finishing 0.196 seconds ahead of Michael Potekhen as the race finished under yellow. Championship points leader Adrian Carrio completed the podium for the thirty-six lap event.

"It's unfortunate that the race had to end under the yellow flag but it feels awesome to bring home my first victory for the team since they gave me a great car right from the start of the weekend," Varsha, the son of Speed Channel Formula One broadcaster Bob Varsha, explained. "After Jenson Button got his first F1 victory today my dad called and told me that the table was set and it was my turn to go out and get a victory! I was able to jump into the lead on the start when Ryan Justice slowed a little early entering the first corner and from that point on I was focused on driving quick laps to keep the rest of the field behind me and make that victory happen."

After struggling in qualifying to line up sixth on the grid, Potekhen, driving the #53 Avenue Communities Apex Racing Mazda, was able to charge into second place on the opening lap, a position he would hold throughout the 36-lap event. "I walked the track this morning as well as yesterday and looking in turn one I was certain there was no way that two cars could make it through side-by-side so I was planning on moving to the inside line on the start," the Tempe, Arizona resident revealed. "When the green flag flew it seemed like Logan Gomez missed a shift and the outside row launched forward so I had to go the outside which wound up playing right into my hand as I was able get by a couple of cars in turn one and was set up on the inside for turn two. Adrian left the door open a little going into the corner and I was able to squeeze through into second place." zzzz

Carrio, the current championship points leader, was pleased to bring his #14 Rockford Fosgate World Speed Motorsports Mazda home in the final podium spot after a difficult race in Portland which saw him go off on the opening lap. "With a track as challenging as this, where a single mistake can cost you, it feels good to finish on the podium and get those points for the championship," the seventeen-year old driver from Monument, Colorado, said. "I got a good start and was able to move to third and almost had second place before Michael got through. The World Speed Motorsports guys gave me a fast car but I couldn't find a way around Michael and wasn't going to make a low-percentage maneuver to try and gain the spot."

With four races remaining in the 2006 championship chase Carrio holds a thirteen point lead over Potekhen with 289 points to Potekhen's 276 points. Kevin Lacroix, from St. Eustache, Quebec, sits in third place in the championship with 252 points after bringing his #74 Uni-Select Auto Parts John Walko Racing Mazda home fourth in today's event, climbing up from eighth place on the grid after being penalized two qualifying positions for a checkered flag violation in the morning warm-up.

In the Expert Championship, for drivers aged 30-44, Dan Tomlin III, from Dallas, Texas, captured his first class victory of the season, finishing twelfth overall in his #56 Team Tomlin entry and moving him to third in the championship with 102 points. Gerardo Bonilla, from Orlando, Florida, continues to sit atop the class championship with 136 points in the #9 Skip Barber Andersen Racing Team Mazda while Brian Thienes holds second place in his #77 Thienes Engineering JDC Motorsports Mazda with 106 points.

In the Masters Championship, for drivers aged 45 and older, former Masters Champion Doug Peterson captured his second class victory of the year with an eighth place finish overall in his #87 3-Dimensional Services American Speed Factory Mazda and climbs from fourth to first in the championship. Ken Losch, who finished right behind Peterson on the track climbs into second place in the championship with 110 points, while John Faulkner, who came into the weekend in first place, drops to third after finishing fourth in the class this afternoon.

In the Team Championship World Speed Motorsports, which lost the points lead the previous weekend in Portland, returns to the top of the charts with 148 points. John Walko Racing drops one spot to second place with 142 points and Apex Racing climbs into third place with 134 points.

The series now heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, where it will join the American Le Mans Series for the Generac 500 at Road America on August 17-19. Round Eight of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to air on Speed Channel at 1:00 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, August 13th. For more information please visit www.starmazda.com

Statement From the Family of Cristiano da Matta Statement From the Family of Cristiano da MattaLOVELAND, Colo.,– As Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) continues to recover from a head injury he suffered on Thursday, his family is currently by his side at the Intensive Care Unit at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc.  Da Matta was injured after colliding with a deer that ran onto the track near Turn Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., on Thursday afternoon, and is under the direct care of Randall R. Johnson M.D., Ph.D. from the Neuroscience Group of Northeast Wisconsin.

Da Matta’s father, mother, two brothers and girlfriend arrived at the hospital late Friday night, and released the following statement today:  “We have been fully briefed about Cristiano’s condition, and the hospital staff has been providing us with frequent updates.  We are very happy with the care that Cristiano is receiving here at Theda Clark Medical Center, and we are confident that he is getting the best care possible.  We will continue to stay here with Cristiano for the foreseeable future, based on his recovery.  The entire family would like to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of support we have received since Cristiano’s accident, and continue to receive.  Cristiano would appreciate it, and we know it will help him get through his recovery process.”

The da Matta family is joined at Theda Clark Medical Center by Jeremy Dale, president of RuSPORT.  Updates concerning da Matta’s condition will be released by RuSPORT when they become available, and will be posted on RuSPORT’s website, www.RuSPORT.com, both in the News section and a Special Updates section devoted to da Matta.

Since da Matta’s accident on Thursday, RuSPORT and Champ Car have received many messages of support for da Matta.  In response, RuSPORT also announced on Friday that, in lieu of sending flowers and gifts, anyone wishing to express their support for da Matta during his recovery is asked to please make a donation in his name to Hole in the Wall Camps, an official charity of the Champ Car World Series.  Donation information can be found by visiting http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org, or by calling 203-562-1203.

Race 2: Prema reveals its power Race 2: Prema reveals its powerChristian Montanari gave Prema Power Team its first victory in World Series Formula Renault 3.5. The San Marino driver thus scored his first win since taking victory at Monaco in 2005. Satisfaction was equally felt by Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) and Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com), who now joins Parente at the top of the championship standings. Photos

The start was utterly unbelievable, as Mikhail Aleshin was the quickest away. The Russian hit the brakes too late, far too late, but not as late as Pastor Maldonado and Alvaro Parente, who both ran wide and into the gravel trap! Behind these three, there was general pandemonium as several cars struggled to negotiate the corner, including that of Davide Valsecchi. Mikhail Aleshin picked up a puncture from the debris and limped back to the pits with no rubber left on his rear wheel.

Andy Soucek completed the first lap in the lead, ahead of Marcos Martinez, who then ran into the gravel at the start of lap two! Robbie Kerr managed to get the better of Alx Danielsson, moving up into second position. These two were followed by Christian Montanari, Sean McIntosh, Ryo Fukuda, Adrian Zaugg, Borja Garcia, James Rossiter and Eric Salignon. zzzz

Garcia and Rossiter then clashed on lap 4. The British driver span whilst the Spaniard managed to hold onto his position. The safety car was then brought out so that the marshals could clear Marco Bonanomi’s (Tech 1) single-seater from the track.

Racing resumed at the end of lap 6. Three drivers decided to come into the pits immediately for their mandatory tire change: Kerr, Danielsson and Sabatino. Montanari, Garcia and Maldonado followed suit on the next lap, taking the gamble of an early pit stop. McIntosh and Jouanny did likewise on lap 8.

Andy Soucek thus found himself in front, trailed by Fukuda, Salignon, Shimoda and Franchi. With 10 laps gone, the Spaniard had already built up a 31’’ lead over Montanari, the leading driver among those who had already pitted. He came in one lap later, and came back out just behind Montanari! With cold tires, Andy was unable to hold off Alx Danielsson and dropped back another place.

After holding the lead for two laps, Ryo Fukuda was last favorite to stop. The probable outcome appeared to be sketched out, with Montanari as virtual race leader, ahead of Danielsson, Soucek, McIntosh, Fukuda and Garcia. The first four were nose-to-tail!

On lap 18, another clash, this time between James Rossiter and Milos Pavlovic (Eurointernational), resulted in a second appearance of the safety car. The race then resumed for the final three laps. Aleshin, who still had not come in for his pit stop, was still leading from Montanari, the virtual race winner. Behind these two, Andy Soucek attacked Alx Danielsson, but could not find a way past. Aleshin was handed a one-minute penalty at the end of the race, thus finishing 21st.

Christian Montanari: “Everyone at the team has been working very hard since the start of the weekend. Our tactics were excellent. I pushed very hard to make sure of winning. This is an important result for us after a difficult first half of the season.”

Alx Danielsson: “This result is just reward for the guys in the team, who have worked incredibly hard over the last week. We’ve had some difficult moments, but we have always been quick and we have finally got what we deserved.”

Andy Soucek: “We have had a tough weekend. We never quite found the right setup for the car. Qualifying wasn’t too bad and I tried to set a high pace in the race. But we lost a bit too much time during the tire change.”

Race 1: Parente retakes control Race 1: Parente retakes controlAlvaro Parente’s (Victory Engineering) second win of the season took him back to the top of the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 standings. The Portuguese driver finished ahead of Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) in today's race. Photos

The race start was delayed after a clash on the formation lap between the two cars on the last row of the grid, Carlos Iaconelli (Comtec Racing) and Marcos Martinez (Eurointernational). The race was thus shortened to 16 laps.

Mikhail Aleshin mistimed his start, allowing Alvaro Parente, Alx Danielsson and Borja Garcia to get past him as they went into the first corner. The first corner was particularly chaotic, with Andy Soucek and Eric Salignon, the two Interwetten.com drivers, ending up in a spin. Salignon lost his rear wing in the process, leaving his hopes of a good result equally in tatters. He offered himself some consolation by successfully hunting down the extra point for the fastest race lap. Steven Kane’s (Epsilon Euskadi) race prospects were also dashed at this stage.

Alvaro Parente completed the first lap in the lead, ahead of Borja Garcia, Mikhail Aleshin, Milos Pavlovic, Alx Danielsson, Pastor Maldonado, Sean McIntosh, Davide Valsecchi, Ben Hanley and Ryo Fukuda.

James Rossiter (Pons Racing), at that point lapping in 11th, ran wide and into the gravel pit whilst attempting to pass Ryo Fukuda at the end of lap 3. The Japanese driver dropped back to 21st position, enabling his team-mate Marco Bonanomi to move into the top 10.

The safety car was brought out after four laps to allow the marshals to clear away Rossiter and Barba’s race cars, both drivers having been hit by mechanical failure on the circuit. Parente perfectly controlled proceedings at the restart, at which point there were nine more laps to complete.

The Portuguese driver easily put clear water between himself and the chasing pack, in which Marco Bonanomi moved past Ben Hanley.

Pastor Maldonado, clearly struggling for pace, managed to hold on to 6th spot in the closing laps, with Sean McIntosh, Davide Valsecchi, Marco Bonanomi, Ben Hanley and Christian Montanari all bunched up behind him. A little further back, Celso Miguez came under pressure from Andy Soucek, who had made an impressive comeback after his first-lap incident.

Alvaro Parente: “I had an excellent start, which meant I led going into the first corner. After that, the car was extremely quick and I was able to control the race from the front.”

Borja Garcia: “Like Alvaro, I had an excellent start. But after the safety car period, I had a lot of understeer and I preferred to make sure of finishing second, which gives me important points for the championship.”

Mikhail Aleshin: “Apart from my start, it wasn’t such a bad race, really. I was lapping quickly and this podium finish earns me precious points for the championship.”

Two more for 'sensational' Pedro Two more for 'sensational' Pedro(GMM)  Mercedes' Norbert Haug had high praise for Pedro de la Rosa after the Spaniard, filling departed McLaren racer Juan Pablo Montoya's seat, finished a surprise second in Hungary.

''Pedro was sensational,'' the German carmaker's competition chief told 'Premiere'.

Spanish-speaking TV network 'Televan', meanwhile, reported in its grand prix coverage on Sunday that the 35-year-old team test driver has been guaranteed the ride at least until Monza next month.

It means that de la Rosa will definitely race after the three-week summer break in Turkey, and again in Italy.

Schu's title hopes dented - Brawn Schu's title hopes dented - Brawn(GMM) The points gap to Fernando Alonso might be unchanged, but Ross Brawn admitted that Michael Schumacher's championship hopes took a hit in the Budapest rain.

''Yes, because there are less races now,'' Ferrari's technical director said.

''On the other hand it could have been worse, because Fernando could have won, so we fight on.''

Schumacher's '248' ultimately exited the race with damaged front suspension, after a shunt with Nick Heidfeld, on a day on which rival tire supplier Michelin produced genuinely better pace than usual wet-weather specialists Bridgestone.

BMW-Sauber's Heidfeld confirmed: ''Michael ran into the back of me and destroyed his suspension.''

Reporters asked Schumacher if he thought he had taken too much risk in the dice with 'Quick Nick'.

''You're always smarter afterwards,'' the German remarked.

''Ok, it's not easier now, but we're still in it.''

Former NASCAR driver injured Former NASCAR driver injuredRetired NASCAR Busch Series driver Jeff Purvis was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Hospital Saturday night after sustaining injuries in a wreck, while en route to Talladega, Ala., to race in the StormPay.com dirt track series. Purvis, along with his wife, Margo, son Clay, crew chief Matt Angel, and another Clarksville resident were heading toward Talladega for the Saturday night race when the accident occurred. Margo, who was not injured, told The Leaf-Chronicle publisher Gene Washer, the hauler veered out of control after the blown tire, crossed the medium into traffic, hitting two cars, then hit some trees before coming to a stop. Margo told Washer everybody exited safely, only seconds before the hauler burst into flames. The hauler, dirt track cars and equipment were a total loss. Purvis had two fractures in his neck and back, and was airlifted to Vanderbilt at 7:50 p.m. Clay had sore ribs, and Angel was wearing a neck brace, Margo said. Margo told Washer that Jeff was talking when he was loaded onto the helicopter. Margo said Clay was sleeping in a bunk when the wreck occurred. Jeff jumped up to protect Clay, and was tossed around the living quarters inside the hauler. Purvis returned to dirt track racing last season, after a nearly 20-year career in the ARCA, Busch and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He was top-10 in the Crate Series points standings. Leaf-Chronicle
Button Snr praises son's first win Button Snr praises son's first win(GMM)  While Jenson Button attended his first post-race press conference as a grand prix winner, his father John jubilantly greeted a swarm of reporters in the Hungaroring pit lane.

Honda's Button said in the press conference that he was relieved that journalists can no longer condemn his record of more than 100 grands prix with no win.

''Like he has done many times, when he didn't win,'' John Button told 'RTL' television in Germany, ''Jenson drove beautifully.'

Button Snr admitted that the last ten laps were difficult to watch.

''We have had lots and lots of bad luck, but today everything ran perfectly.  He drove well.''

26-year-old Button was due to fly almost immediately to Shanghai for a PR date, but - with the champagne flowing - his father explained that there might now be a change of plan.

''If my voice sounds funny it's because I have been screaming so much,'' Jenson beamed.

Inferior Goodyears force NASCAR to throw yellow Inferior Goodyears force NASCAR to throw yellowNASCAR will throw the caution 15 laps into the Allstate 400 so teams can check tire wear at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a Goodyear spokesman said Sunday morning.

NASCAR also will require a mandatory minimum air pressure of 16 pounds in the left-front tires. For about a year, the sanctioning body has had mandatory right-front air pressures but not for those on the left-front. Goodyear came into the weekend recommending 18 pounds of pressure in the left-fronts but lowered that to 16 for the 160-lap race today on the famed oval.

"We were in a similar situation last year," said Hendrick Motorsports Vice President of Development Doug Duchardt on Saturday night. "You do have to be careful with your camber and your pressures. It might take a stop and a half before we get enough rubber [on the track] and we'll be able to go a full fuel run. You have to be careful for sure."

[Editor's Note: How many more years is NASCAR going to put up with the Goodyear tire problem before they scrap the inferior rubber? There is no tire war in NASCAR yet Goodyear still can't get it right, that's how bad they are. We still muse over the fact that the Corvette LeMans team went 7 seconds per lap faster at LeMans when they scrapped their Goodyear tires for Michelin. We suspect NASCAR sticks with Goodyear because they are "American" so they deserve everything they get with regard to tire problems and wrecked race cars.]

Earnhardt movie to debut in February Earnhardt movie to debut in FebruaryThe documentary-style movie, entitled Dale, will be released in theatres and includes original, never-before-seen footage of Earnhardt's racing career and personal life, as well as family photos and historical interviews with the seven-time champion that give the viewer an unprecedented look at the man Earnhardt truly was. A local premiere is planned for October in Charlotte for the Earnhardt family, NASCAR's drivers and industry insiders, and a national premiere is slated for February in conjunction with the Budweiser Shootout. More at NASCAR.com
Industry News
Upgraded outlook for DaimlerChrysler Upgraded outlook for DaimlerChryslerStandard & Poor's Ratings Services on Friday revised its outlook from stable to positive for Germany-based automaker DaimlerChrysler AG.

It also said DaimlerChrysler's long- and short-term corporate credit ratings could be raised during the next two years.

"The outlook revision acknowledges the structural improvements DaimlerChrysler has been making in its core activity, the Mercedes Car Group, which has successfully been tackling its quality problems and is in the process of balancing its loss-making Smart brand," Maria Bissinger, an S&P credit analyst, said in a release from the credit-rating service.

The Mercedes Car Group is on track to reach its 2007 operating-profit target of 7 percent return on sales, S&P said.

'GPMA' teams renew threat to quit F1 'GPMA' teams renew threat to quit F1(GMM)  War is threatening to once again break out in F1.

The 'Sunday Times' in England is reporting that 'GPMA' carmakers are so fed up with the FIA's engine freeze doggedness that they could renew their threat to quit the sport.

A meeting with Max Mosley is scheduled this coming week, where the FIA president could be told that Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota and Honda are prepared to walk away if they do not get what they demand.

GPMA chairman Burkhard Goeschel was quoted as saying: ''Why would any manufacturer want to invest in a sport where they can't showcase their technical expertise?''

Another GPMA manufacturer said Mosley's immovable stance was 'the final straw'.

Piquet reigns in the rain Piquet reigns in the rainNelson Piquet Jr makes history in soaking conditions in Hungary. Piquet Jr is the first driver in GP2 history to have a perfect point scoring weekend after dominating in miserable conditions to win race two at the Hungaroring, finishing well ahead of the ART pair of Lewis Hamilton and Alex Premat.

Piquet took pole position, both race wins and both fastest laps, and he made the drenched track in today's race look like perfect racing conditions as he took the checkered flag by almost thirteen seconds.

The heavy rain forced the race officials to start the race behind the safety car, but Giorgio Pantano was not with the grid as they moved off, having spun into the wall on his way around to the grid, forcing the Italian into the pits for some rapid repair.

The race went live on lap three, with a number of drivers unable to brake hard enough for turn one as everyone searched for their wet race pace. Adam Carroll was the first man to find it after pressuring poleman Jose Maria Lopez into a spin at turn two: the Argentine driver was into the wall and out of the race as the Ulsterman steamed off in the lead. zzzz

Behind him Xandi Negrao headed Premat and teammate Piquet, who had a strong start to move up four places from eighth but had title rival Hamilton right on his tail. Unfortunately for Negrao his race too was about to end when he spun under braking into the wall at turn one next time by.

Piquet was on a mission, and his pressure soon paid dividends when Premat ran wide, leaving a gap large enough for Piquet but not for his teammate, clearing the track for the Brazilian to allow him to create the first of a string of fastest laps.

Next time around and there was heartbreak for Carroll, who slid off the curbs and into the wall, tearing his front wing off in the process. Piquet snapped up the lead and was gone as the Ulsterman was slipping and sliding his way back to the pits for a new nose.

Further back and Timo Glock was on a mission to reclaim the positions he lost after running wide earlier in the race. On lap nine he easily dispatched Ferdinando Monfardini into turn two, and with Lucas di Grassi spinning by himself into the wall at turn three the German gained two places up to fifth in as many corners.

Further around the track Hamilton took his chance to muscle past his teammate, seeing his lead in the championship being eaten into as Piquet pulled further away at the front of the field and determined to do what he could to mitigate the damage.

Ernesto Viso was also reveling in the treacherous conditions, catching Premat hand over fist as he tried to break his string of fourth place finishes with a podium. Having his teammate catching up merely added to his incentive to push up, and the iSport pair were soon on the tail of the unhappy Frenchman.

The three were together at lap eighteen, and with Viso unable to find a way past Glock took his chance and slid up the inside of his teammate into turn two. Unfortunately for him it meant he also missed his braking point, and Viso was back through as Glock slid harmlessly wide.

With so many drivers spinning off in the soaking conditions there was no chance of the race running its full length, but at the front Piquet continued on imperiously, continuing to set fastest laps to which Hamilton had no reply.

And at the end of the 45 minutes Piquet was greeted by the checkered flag, much to the delight of his father in the pitlane, while Hamilton had to make do with second place, much to his chagrin.

Premat managed to hold the iSport pair behind him to finish, just, on the podium, with Viso and Glock crossing the line on his tail, while Monfardini did enough to hold on for the final point in sixth place in a race which saw only 14 drivers finish on track.

The Piquet Sports team were ecstatic in the pitlane as their driver rolled to a halt in front of them, jumping straight out to hug his father and salute his team. And they had every right to be pleased, having just seen Piquet cut the 26 point deficit to Hamilton at the start of the weekend to just 11.

Pos Driver Team Time
 1. Piquet Jr. Piquet Sports 45:59.804
 2. Hamilton ART Grand Prix + 12.921
 3. Premat ART Grand Prix + 26.202
 4. Viso iSport International + 26.872
 5. Glock iSport International + 27.231
 6. Monfardini DAMS + 41.114
 7. Valles Campos Racing + 47.508
 8. Bruni Trident Racing + 50.314
 9. Zuber Trident Racing + 55.918
10. Petrov DPR + 63.711
11. Ammermueller Arden International Ltd + 66.434
12. Porteiro Campos Racing + 95.075
13. Pantano FMS International + 110.317
14. Tahinci FMS International + 1 Lap
15. Villa Racing Engineering + 2 Laps


 Driver Team Laps
 Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 18
 Hernandez Durango 17
 Lapierre Arden International Ltd 12
 Carroll Racing Engineering 12
 Di Grassi Durango 10
 Perera DAMS 8
 Fauzy Super Nova International 7
 Piccione DPR 5
 Negrao Piquet Sports 4
 Filippi BCN Competicion 4
 Lopez Super Nova International 4

Fastest lap: Piquet Jr., 1:51.716 on lap 13

Rivals upset with Toro Rosso boost Rivals upset with Toro Rosso boost(GMM) Toro Rosso left the formula one press scratching their heads when the team alluded to an 'extra 300 rpm' that had been allowed for their performance-limited V10 engines on Saturday in Hungary.

''But 17th and 19th places shows it didn't make much of a difference, whatever some of the other teams expected,'' read a team review.

''You can relax, guys!''

In the hours following the revelation, it was discovered that rival teams were, indeed, annoyed that the FIA upped the Italian squad's Saturday rev allowance - to 17,000rpm - for the rest of the 2006 season.

''It's a big joke,'' Midland boss Colin Kolles was quoted as saying by 'Speed TV'.

''We will have a meeting and discuss it. We will try to fight against it, we will not accept it.''

The FIA is arguing that, because unrestricted 2.4 liter V8 engines have become quicker, it is fair that Toro Rosso is given a boost. The 'equivalency' saga is a long-running one, with STR's rivals initially riled that a part Red Bull-owned team be able to use a dispensation that had been designed for under-funded Minardi.

And while Toro Rosso is unlikely to be advantaged by the extra power at a tight circuit like Hungary, it could come in handy when top speed is of a premium, for example at Monza.

Frank Williams also commented: ''We are very unhappy about it.''

A wet race! A wet race!(GMM)  F1 teams are bracing for the first wet grand prix of the season after rain pounded the GP2 support-race at the Hungaroring on Sunday.

It actually feels warmer than on Friday or Saturday, but the muggy skies threw down buckets of rain throughout the morning; so much that the GP2 race had to be started behind the 'safety car'.

More showers are forecast for the afternoon, but even if it does not rain any more the circuit is likely to be still wet at two pm.

Penske to house three teams under one roof Penske to house three teams under one roofRoger Penske thinks differently than most people in motor sports, and he thinks his latest move will be beneficial on at least three fronts.
This fall, Penske's Indy-car program, the most successful team in the sport's history, will move from its longtime home in Reading, Pa., to a facility in Mooresville, N.C., already being used by Penske's NASCAR and American Le Mans Series teams.

The new 424,697-square-foot structure will be filled with staffers working on Dallaras, Dodge Chargers and Porsche RS Spyders, sometimes all in the same day.

Penske can't stop thinking about the potential benefits. A Nextel Cup crew chief can spend the afternoon studying the aerodynamics of an Indy Racing League machine. A sports car engineer can meet in a large conference room with his stock-car and Indy-car colleagues.  More at IndyStar

Aikman statement on hall induction Aikman statement on hall inductionHall of Fame Racing will truly become Hall of Fame Racing today when Troy Aikman is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Aikman co-owns the team with 1985 Hall of Fame inductee Roger Staubach and managing partner Bill Saunders. The team gets engines, cars and technical assistance from Joe Gibbs Racing, owned by 1996 inductee Joe Gibbs.

TROY AIKMAN (Co-Owner, No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevy; 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee): “Obviously this is a very exciting weekend for myself and the other Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. It’s a special honor and one that means a great deal to me. We’ll still have an eye on the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, though. Roger and I will be getting updates all afternoon on Sunday. It’s one of the biggest races of the season and if we weren’t in Canton, we would be in Indy cheering on Tony and the DLP team. Getting inducted into the Hall of Fame and having a good run for the DLP 96 car would make for a great weekend”

Forsythe withdrew early out of respect Forsythe withdrew early out of respectFollowing an accident involving Brazilian Cristiano da Matta at the end of the first day of Champ Car’s open test at Road America, the Forsythe Team decided not to participate in the second day of testing and headed back to its Indianapolis headquarters to concentrate on next week’s Denver Grand Prix.  Forsythe Championship Racing wishes Cristiano da Matta a full and speedy recovery.

The Forsythe Duo of A.J. Allmendinger and Paul Tracy were second and fifth quickest during the first day of the open test.

A.J. Allmendinger
“I agree with the decision not to continue with the test, I mean it’s a very tough situation when a member of the Champ Car family gets hurt.  I’ve never driven a Forsythe Champ Car here before and our laps yesterday really helped, but my thoughts are with Cristiano and his family and we are all pulling for him.  We want to see him back as soon as possible.  He’s one of the most likable guys you’ll ever meet and if anybody can come back strong it’s Cristiano.”

Paul Tracy
“Ultimately it was the right decision to end the test early; it’s a decision made out of respect for Cristiano.  It was obviously a freak accident but there are definitely some safety issues that should be addressed and we thought it would be in the best interest of the team not to run on the second day.  It’s going to be a tough recovery for Cristiano, nobody knows the exact nature of his injuries yet, but what we do know is that we want to see him back in the series as soon as possible.  But for now the most important thing is that he gets better and that he has a full recovery.”

Neil Micklewright Vice President of Team Operations
“We decided shortly after the accident that we weren’t going to run the next day.  Considering the situation we just didn’t feel that we would have the right focus and we weren’t going to learn anything of substance, we never want to put our drivers at risk.  It’s just a test, you get nothing for winning a test so we are not too worried about not being out there, we’ll be strong as always when we come back in September for the race.”

Justice Captures Pole Position Justice Captures Pole PositionTrois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada. Driving his #38 Northwest Autosport Mazda under sunny skies and perfect temperatures, Ryan Justice, of Portland, Oregon, clocked a time of 1:02.106 (86.948 MPH) in the final seconds of qualifying to capture the pole position for the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres and Round Eight of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Matt Varsha, driving the #45 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda, will line up second on the grid with a time of 1:02.216 (86.794 MPH), while Logan Gomez, in the #23 Velocity Motorsports Mazda will line up third on the grid with a time of 1:02.266 (86.725 MPH).

"For me qualifying has always been a bit more of a struggle than coming up with a quick race pace so to be under the pressure that you only have one lap left in the session and to go and hit every corner perfect and get the pole on the last lap is a fantastic feeling," Justice explained. "It took some time to come up to speed early in the session and I was sitting in second place when my engineer Peter came on the radio and told me I had one lap left and it was now or never so to deliver the team my third pole of the season is outstanding."

Justice's flying lap edged out Varsha, who had been sitting in the top spot for the waning moments of the session until contact with the wall at the exit of turn three damaged his rear wing and brought his session to an end. "I tapped the wall coming through the arch after heating up the rear tires a little too much during the session so I lost a couple of laps," the Atlanta, Georgia native explained. "We had the pole for a while and it would've been nice to hold onto it but sometimes these things happen and we'll go after the victory in the race." zzzz

Coming through with his best qualifying run of the season, Gomez, from Crown Point, Indiana, was pleased to be starting towards the front of the grid on the challenging 1.506-mile Trois-Rivieres circuit. "I have to start by thanking Velocity Motorsports and Stand-21 for all their help during the weekend, they gave me great car here today," he explained. "The session was green throughout so everybody was able to put up some fast laps which was really nice. It has been fun racing in front of all the fans out here this weekend, they're really passionate about their motorsports and it makes it even more fun to go out and run fast."

Championship points leader Adrian Carrio, driving the #14 Rockford Fosgate World Speed Motorsports Mazda, will line up outside of Gomez on the second row after qualifying fourth in the sole qualifying session of the weekend with a time of 1:02.388 (86.555 MPH).

The top ten qualifiers all posted times faster than the previous track record of 1:02.883 set in 2005 by former series champion Luis Schiavo during a demonstration race.

Round Eight of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled for thirty-eight laps with the field of thirty-one drivers rolling of the grid at 1:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Provisional Qualifying Results
Saturday, August 5, 2006

Pos No. Name Best Tm In Lap 2nd Best Best Spd
1 38 Ryan Justice 1:02.106 21 1:02.239 86.948
2 45 Matt Varsha 1:02.216 14 1:02.236 86.794
3 23 Logan Gomez 1:02.266 13 1:02.550 86.725
4 14 Adrian Carrio 1:02.388 18 1:02.404 86.555
5 69 Ron White 1:02.487 11 1:03.397 86.418
6 74 Kevin Lacroix 1:02.513 19 1:02.534 86.382
7 53 Mike Potekhen 1:02.636 10 1:02.727 86.212
8 9 Gerardo Bonilla 1:02.706 19 1:02.930 86.116
9 77 Brian Thienes 1:02.720 12 1:02.844 86.097
10 18 Rob Bunker 1:02.787 21 1:02.912 86.005
11 40 Tom Sutherland 1:02.864 14 1:03.135 85.900
12 3 Mark Wilkins 1:02.959 13 1:02.962 85.770
13 86 Charles Anti 1:03.030 15 1:03.098 85.673
14 52 Ken Losch 1:03.090 17 1:03.229 85.592
15 28 Russell Walker 1:03.244 17 1:03.406 85.384
16 93 John Faulkner 1:03.537 8 1:03.695 84.990
17 85 Jay Poscente 1:03.559 20 1:03.794 84.960
18 15 John Pew 1:03.599 8 1:03.938 84.907
19 87 Doug Peterson 1:03.786 13 1:04.394 84.658
20 22 Ramiro Scuncio 1:03.969 7 1:04.379 84.416
21 96 Browning Williams 1:04.300 7 1:04.940 83.981
22 35 Francois Belemare 1:04.358 12 1:04.456 83.906
23 36 Marc Arseneau 1:04.395 14 1:04.730 83.857
24 56 Dan Tomlin III 1:04.450 12 1:04.654 83.786
25 25 Thomas Wieringa 1:04.558 17 1:04.794 83.646
26 11 Andrew Prendaville 1:04.698 4 1:05.171 83.465
27 32 Jon Brownson 1:05.210 19 1:05.388 82.809
28 42 Nur Ali 1:05.783 13 1:06.402 82.088
29 60 Jep Thornton 1:06.234 6 1:06.286 81.529
30 46 Cristopher Guerreri 1:21.961 4 1:24.816 65.885
31 58 Dan Tomlin Jr. 1:22.881 11 1:07.009 65.154

Scott Speed penalized Scott Speed penalizedAmerican Scott Speed, who is getting smoked by his faster teammate on a regular basis and, therefore, may not be in F1 much longer (give the ride to a faster driver), lost a place on the Hungarian Grand Prix starting grid on Saturday for impeding another driver in qualifying.

Race stewards said in a statement that the Toro Rosso driver had been stripped of his three fastest qualifying lap times, dropping him from 19th to 20th on the provisional grid for Sunday's race.

Super Aguri's Japanese Takuma Sato moved up to 19th.

MF1 racer Tiago Monteiro, meanwhile, copped a $250 fine for breaking the 60kph speed limit in pit lane.

Plenty of tickets available for Allstate 400 Plenty of tickets available for Allstate 400A check of the Indy website shows groups of 6 can purchase tickets together in any grandstand for Sunday's Allstate 400.  10 together will but you in adjacent rows. 

Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.

Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time.

Reserved seats start at just $35.

Tagliani to the fore in Trois Rivières Tagliani to the fore in Trois RivièresWell, that didn’t take long!
Alex Tagliani has already made a fast impression in his Grand-Am Cup Series debut, qualifying the No. 4 Blackforest Motorsports Group USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools Mustang FR500C on the front row for Sunday’s Grand Prix du Trois Rivières.
Tagliani will take the green flag in the two-hour event before turning the car over to fellow Quebec native Valerie Limoges to take to the finish in the Ameublement Tanguay/Rythem FM Radio-supported entry.
“Of course I was hoping to be on the pole, but we had a little problem with a competitor brake-checking me late the session so I wasn’t able to improve,” said Tagliani. “The Mustang is really good, but I think we will have to be careful to make sure we conserve the brakes for later in the race. I’m excited to put a Ford on the front row, and I want to thank Blackforest for preparing such a great car.” zzzz

The Cup Series was once again closely matched on the 1.52-mile infield road course, with the first twelve cars in the thirty-one car field qualifying within one second of the pole-winning time.
“It’s great that everyone is this close and I think it’s going to make for a great race tomorrow,” said Limoges. “I have started all the races so far this season, and I am looking forward to getting to finish one this weekend. Alex did a great job in qualifying, and we’re both excited about racing here at Trois Rivières.”
With all three team Mustang FR500C entries qualifying in the top ten (2nd, 4th, 8th), the Trois Rivières event could prove to be a season highlight for Blackforest Motorsports Group.
Sunday’s two-hour race is slated for a 3:15 PM ET start.

Tire issues at Indy Tire issues at IndyAs reported on AutoRacing1.com after NASCAR tire tests, there have been issues with Goodyear's offerings for the Brickyard 400.  Teams that are normally loathe to say anything about tire issues are dropping hints that those concerns are still with the drivers and teams, while others are obviously struggling. 
Before qualifying this morning, I watched a Michael Waltrip crew member inspect tires.  During inspection we found what looked like a small (1/4") spot where the tread had been damaged.  The damaged spot looked like it had run over something very hot, as the rubber had been "charcoalized" in that area.  Waltrip had a miserable weekend, first hitting the wall then failing to qualify. 
During the first afternoon practice today, Kurt Busch hit the wall after an left-front failure.  The crash will require the use of Busch's backup car, resulting in his starting from the rear of the field for the race tomorrow.  "We were on a seven-lap run with scuffed tires and just blew a left-front tire," Busch said later.  "Well have a good backup and give it our best effort."
Jeff Gordon, after his qualifying run, said, "...we're still trying yet to find what this tire's going to do... This tire's been very temperamental, and we've had some issues with it, so we're going to find out a lot more this afternoon."
Martin Truex Jr. said, "We did some race trim stuff yesterday... we wore a right front tire out pretty quick but we were real tight."
Then again, perhaps the issue isn't with the tires, but rather with the handling packages that aren't quite right.  Jeff Green:  "The tires are so hard.  They just give up so much on the second lap.  So the race speed is going to slow down quite a bit each lap.  Handling is going to be at a premium.  If your car isn't handling, it's just going to wear your tires so much more."
Indeed, many of the slower cars featured a "Darlington stripe" on the right side as drivers tried to push their ill-handling cars to the limit.  Most of those cars are now on the haulers, already on their way home from the track, a day early. 
Then again, Kurt Busch's car didn't sport such a stripe before the wreck, and he only missed the pole by 7/1000 of a second and was second in practice before he crashed, indicating that he wasn't suffering from ill-handling. 
At any rate... it should be another interesting Brickyard 400. Tim Wohlford
Piquet makes it look easy Piquet makes it look easy
Da Matta continues to recover Da Matta continues to recoverUPDATE Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) remains in intensive care at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc., as he recovers from a head injury he suffered after colliding with a deer that had run onto the track near Turn Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. on Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car World Series director of Medical Affairs, released the following statement from the hospital:  "Cristiano da Matta remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Theda Clark Medical Center under the direct care of Randall R. Johnson M.D., Ph.D. from the Neuroscience Group of Northeast Wisconsin. Repeat CT scans show no further bleeding but Cristiano does have some cerebral adema, which is swelling of the brain itself. This is common with significant head injuries and was expected in this situation. His condition has stabilized but he will remain under heavy sedation as his recovery process continues."

Updates concerning da Matta’s condition will be released when they become available.

Yesterday, RuSPORT announced that it has withdrawn the No. 10 RuSPORT Champ Car from competition in the Grand Prix of Denver, which will take place on Sunday, Aug. 13.  Da Matta’s teammate, Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) will compete in the Grand Prix of Denver as scheduled.

Since da Matta’s accident on Thursday, RuSPORT and Champ Car have received many messages of support for da Matta.  In response, RuSPORT also announced yesterday that, in lieu of sending flowers and gifts, anyone wishing to express their support for da Matta during his recovery is asked to please make a donation in his name to Hole in the Wall Camps, an official charity of the Champ Car World Series.  Donation information can be found by visiting http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org, or by calling 203-562-1203.

Related article

08/04/06 LOVELAND, Colo. – Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) is continuing to recover at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc.  Da Matta collided with a deer that had run onto the track near Turn Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., yesterday afternoon.

Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car director of Medical Affairs, released the following statement from the hospital:  “Cristiano da Matta continues to recover from a serious head injury sustained yesterday during Champ Car Open Testing at Road America. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Theda Clark Memorial Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin and is under close observation by the attending neurosurgeons.”

Updates concerning da Matta’s condition will be released when they become available.

RuSPORT has also announced that it has withdrawn the No. 10 RuSPORT Champ Car from competition in the Grand Prix of Denver, which will take place on Sunday, Aug. 13.  Da Matta’s teammate, Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) will compete in the Grand Prix of Denver as scheduled.

In response to numerous inquiries made by da Matta’s friends and fans, RuSPORT has also announced that, in lieu of sending flowers and gifts, anyone wishing to express their support for da Matta during his recovery is asked to please make a donation in his name to Hole in the Wall Camps, an official charity of the Champ Car World Series.  Donation information can be found by visiting http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org, or by calling 203-562-1203.

Kimi pole not 'crazy' strategy - team Kimi pole not 'crazy' strategy - team(GMM) Top McLaren-Mercedes chiefs have ruled out suggestions that, like a week ago at Hockenheim, Kimi Raikkonen's pole was achieved with very low fuel.

Although the Finn's quickest qualifying pace was no doubt enhanced by the absence of penalized championship contenders from Ferrari and Renault, team boss Martin Whitmarsh told 'Setanta' that Raikkonen has 'a lot more fuel on board than last week'.

Speaking to 'Premiere' television, Mercedes' competition director Norbert Haug concurred that the silver team did not employ a 'crazy strategy' to get Raikkonen to the very front.

Elsewhere in the Hungaroring paddock, it was suggested on Saturday afternoon that a report in the Canadian 'Journal de Montreal' newspaper suggests that Jacques Villeneuve is in talks with several NASCAR teams regarding a drive for 2007.

Brawn hits out at ’unfair’ penalty Brawn hits out at ’unfair’ penalty(GMM) Ferrari's Ross Brawn has hit out at stewards' inconsistency after Michael Schumacher was handed a wounding two-second penalty for knockout qualifying in Hungary.

The Italian team's technical director said he was 'frustrated' that the FIA representatives slapped his German driver, who overtook two cars under red flags on Saturday morning, with the same penalty as was given to championship rival Fernando Alonso a day earlier.

''He made an unnecessary error,'' Brawn acknowledged, ''but I ask myself whether the penalty is really fair. I don't know if it is appropriate.

''Fernando committed several rule offences, Michael (committed) only one. I say no more.''

Schumacher, who basically ruled out even reaching the podium from eleventh on the grid, told 'RTL' television in Germany that he was 'incredibly angry' about the situation, but blamed himself for the mistake.

Brawn's disappointment no doubt also related to the fact that, despite operating the dominant package so far at the Hungaroring, Felipe Massa was pipped to pole by Kimi Raikkonen, in a McLaren.

He said: ''We have a very fast car. Felipe did not get an ideal lap with his last set of tires, so (the result) could have been better.''

Brawn predictably explained that the priority for Schumacher's race on Sunday is to 'beat Fernando'.
Now Schu cops penalty in Hungary Now Schu cops penalty in Hungary(GMM) A spanner was thrown in the works of conspiracy theorists at Budapest on Saturday following Fernando Alonso's qualifying penalties.

Putting their impartiality beyond doubt, FIA stewards also threw the book at the Spaniard's championship challenger Michael Schumacher, after the Ferrari driver overtook under red flag conditions in the Saturday practice session.

Coincidentally, it is understood that the man Schumacher overtook was none other than Alonso, who shares an identical two-second addition to each of the three sections of 'knockout' qualifying.

Both racers dropped out of qualifying after the second part, leaving them twelfth (Schumacher) and fifteenth (Alonso) on the grid.

After criticizing Alonso for his 'stupid' actions on Friday, Niki Lauda told German TV that he thought stewards were also justified to penalize Schumacher.

''If you get one second for (ignoring) the yellow flag,' the Austrian said, ''then it is right that he got double the penalty for red.''

Jenson Button's blown Honda V8, for the record, brought out the red flags, and he started qualifying in the T-Car and will cop a ten-place qualifying penalty.

''The chassis might have been damaged too,'' Honda chief Nick Fry also told German TV.

Renault aims to limit penalty damage Renault aims to limit penalty damageRenault racer Fernando Alonso will have a tricky job on his hands today. After demonstrating his displeasure with Robert Doornbos, who had held him up yesterday during second practice, the Spaniard was called to see the stewards.

Last night they deemed the maneuver to have been dangerous and decided to penalize Fernando by adding a second to his times in Qualifying 1, 2 and 3. The stewards also noted that Fernando had overtaken under yellow flags at the end of the session, and decided to penalize him an additional second for this offence.

The Renault F1 Team driver will therefore suffer a two-second penalty this afternoon. It will have a definite impact on Renault’s race, and the engineers are currently analyzing the best strategy to limit the damage of this low starting position. Renault

Las Vegas GP news Las Vegas GP newsThe 2007 Champ Car Las Vegas Grand Prix website is now live.  Though not complete, it provides some basic information.

AutoRacing1.com sources tell us that various casinos have bought thousands of tickets already as they aim to use the race to entertain their best clients.

Hungary: Friday press conference Hungary: Friday press conferenceTECHNICAL DIRECTORS: Ross BRAWN (FERRARI), Sam MICHAEL (WILLIAMS), Pat SYMONDS (RENAULT), Pascal VASSELON (TOYOTA) were part of the Friday press conference in Hungary. Transcript
Hungary: Schu sets fiery pace, Button on fire Hungary: Schu sets fiery pace, Button on fire(GMM)  Ferrari looked to extend its period of dominance in Hungary by sealing a authoritarian one-two in the final pre-qualifying practice runs.

Michael Schumacher's best time was a full second clear of the nearest non-Ferrari rival, which under the overcast skies was Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber), who appears to be enjoying a competitive start to his formula one race career.

It was a fairly uneventful session at the unseasonably cool and windy Hungaroring, apart from a little spin by Williams' Nico Rosberg and a fiery exit for Jenson Button (Honda).

Button's incident halted track activity for a full fifteen minutes, as stewards worked to cover a line of V8 engine oil spilled onto the circuit.

The Briton will almost certainly require a fresh Honda power plant and be shunted to the rear of the grid with a ten-place qualifying penalty.

1. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:20.795
2. FELIPE MASSA Ferrari B 1:21.472
3. ROBERT KUBICA Sauber-BMW M 1:21.806
4. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Honda M 1:21.833
5. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:22.119
6. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:22.340
7. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Ferrari M 1:22.362
8. PEDRO DE LA ROSA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:22.424
9. VITANTONIO LIUZZI Toro Rosso-Cosworth M 1:22.560
10. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:22.599
11. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Ferrari M 1:22.643
12. MARK WEBBER Williams-Cosworth B 1:22.839
13. TIAGO MONTEIRO MF1-Toyota B 1:23.819
14. SCOTT SPEED Toro Rosso-Cosworth M 1:23.858
15. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota B 1:23.963
16. NICO ROSBERG Williams-Cosworth B 1:24.381
17. JENSON BUTTON Honda M 1:24.731
18. TAKUMA SATO Super Aguri-Honda B 1:24.847
19. JARNO TRULLI Toyota B 1:25.373
20. NICK HEIDFELD Sauber-BMW M 1:25.597
21. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS MF1-Toyota B 1:26.047
22. SAKON YAMAMOTO Super Aguri-Honda B 1:26.260

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Briatore to decide future this month
Alonso penalty 'joke of year'
Siemens to pull out of F1 More to follow......
Baldwin: Move to Yates a mistake Baldwin: Move to Yates a mistakeIn hindsight, Tommy Baldwin admits to making a poor business decision by leaving Evernham Motorsports for Robert Yates Racing. He appreciated and admired Ray Evernham's leadership practice; loved his driver and crew.

But opportunity only knocks so many times in this life. And dream opportunities, well, they might only knock once. This seemed one such proposition for Baldwin.

RYR, Baldwin said Friday, lured him away from Evernham by offering part ownership of a third Nextel Cup Series team, one that obviously failed to materialize.

"I don't like to look back, but I probably made a real bad business decision leaving Evernham's," Baldwin said. "I had no problems with the way Ray ran his business, how he had the structure going.

"The real reason I left was I was offered to be part-owner of a third Cup team with the Yates organization. It just ended up being a poor business decision on my part, but you'll have that in big time business and auto racing.

"That's the main reason I left, but things just didn't work out. When I got there things changed."

So when the opportunity arose to oversee all competition-related decisions at Bill Davis Racing, Baldwin was intrigued.

He approached RYR co-owner Doug Yates to inquire whether such an opportunity might be available at RYR, but said Yates was unable to commit.

"With all the change and all the stuff they had going on, not knowing what direction they were going, (Doug Yates) basically said, 'Hey, don't miss that opportunity if you've still got it. I don't know what we've got going on here. I haven't made up my mind, but I don't want to see you in three or four months unhappy or not being able to do the position,'" Baldwin said. That's all it was. So I said, 'OK, that's all great.' We shook hands and I told him I appreciated his honesty and decided to take this. That's all it was."

Baldwin said his departure had nothing to do with the fact that drivers Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler were leaving after the season, and even said he expects the new driving corps -- which wasn't specified but is expected to be comprised of Stephen Leicht and David Gilliland -- to be impressive. More at NASCAR.com

TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
GP2 Championship Series Hungary
6:00am-7:30am (SDD) SPEED
Formula 1 Hungary
7:30am-10:00am (L) SPEED
Inside Drag Racing
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
11:30am-12:00pm ESPN2
The Fast Life - Andretti 3
12:00pm-12:30pm ESPN2
NASCAR RaceDay Indianapolis
12:00pm-2:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup  Indianapolis Brickyard 400
1:30pm-6:00pm (L) NBC
Formula 1 Replay Hungary
2:00pm-4:30pm (R) SPEED
X Games 12 -SuperMoto & Moto X Freestyle Finals Part 2
Part of Show Los Angeles 3:00pm-6:00pm (L) ABC *
* The actual events are scheduled to take place from
3pm-4:15pm & 4:45pm-6pm
AMA Superbike  Mid Ohio
5:00pm-6:00pm (from 8/5/06) -Day 1
6:00pm-7:00pm (SDD) -Day 2 SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Indianapolis
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) SPEED
The SPEED Report - Premiere
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Guest: Ron Capps (NHRA)  
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Indianapolis
10:00pm-11:00pm (R) SPEED
Superbike World Championship Brands Hatch
SPEED moved show to Tuesday, August 8
1:00pm-2:00pm -Race 1 SPEED
2:00pm-3:00pm -Race 2 SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

New NASCAR team announced New NASCAR team announcedToday marks the introduction of a new NASCAR motorsports organization combining the best of NASCAR experience with cutting-edge technology and engineering skills, Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports, LLC (RDM). Based out of Mooresville, North Carolina, RDM will be fully operational by the 2007 season, with an expected two teams in the NASCAR Busch Series, as well as a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team competing in as many as five Nextel Cup "Car of Tomorrow" events. "We're ideally going to start off with three teams - two Busch Series and one part-time Nextel Cup team in 2007," said Eddie D'Hondt, co-founder, co-owner and general manager, Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports. "Right now we don't know to what extent each of these teams will participate in the 2007 season - as sponsorship unfolds, we will revise our schedules. RDM's goal is to become a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series powerhouse within five years, with up to four teams in contention for the Nextel Cup championship." D'Hondt's RDM co-founder and co-owner is Bill Riley of Riley Technologies, a premier motorsports engineering and manufacturing organization, which is in the process of moving its operations from Speedway, Indiana to Mooresville. Among many other projects, Riley Technologies builds winning competition vehicles, including Daytona Prototypes for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Full sponsor, vehicle manufacturer and driver rosters are to be announced in the very near future. RDM is currently in negotiations with all parties. The racing model for RDM is to run at least one NASCAR Busch Series team in concert with one to four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams. The goal of the Busch Series effort will be to win races while creating a sustainable source of talent and engineering solutions to the Nextel Cup team(s). The Busch Series team(s) will focus on future driver development, as well as shock and suspension development. RDM is co-owned by four principals: D'Hondt, Bill Riley, Bob Riley and Jim Matthews. Bob Riley, Bill's father and founder/owner of Riley Technologies, will operate as RDM's engineering director, with Bill's assistance. Matthews, a sports car racing star, will assist the team with business matters and lend his road-racing experience to RDM's driver roster as needed. Based out of the motorsports industry-filled Talbert Point Business Park in "Race City U.S.A.," Mooresville, North Carolina, RDM is co-owned by Eddie D'Hondt and Bill Riley with additional ownership by Bob Riley and Jim Matthews. RDM is currently under development and will be ready for the 2007 NASCAR season. RDM will initially be housed in and adjacent to the 40,000 square foot Riley Technologies facility. Sponsorship and investment opportunities abound at Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports, and the team is actively searching for investors and marketing partners for the 2007 season and beyond. Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports/RDM/Autopasse Inc. PR
Bourdais again fastest at Road America Bourdais again fastest at Road AmericaFor the second day in a row, Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) topped the speed charts at the 4.048-mile Road America as the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford wrapped up testing today.
Bourdais lapped the scenic road course in 1:42.185 (142.612 mph) running an impressive 63 laps during the final afternoon session and an equally impressive 122 laps during the two-day test.
“It was a tough day, our thoughts were with Cristiano all day today,” said two-time Champ Car titlist Sebastien Bourdais.  “The McDonald’s team worked really hard and there were a lot of things we wanted to test.  We were able to get through our list but it was a really difficult day.”
Oriol Servia (#6 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was second fastest during the test with a lap at 1:42.685 and Nelson Philippe (#4 CTE Racing HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was third fastest with a lap at 1:43.273 (141.109 mph.) Bourdais’ Newman/Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira (#2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was fourth fastest and Dan Clarke (#14 CTE-HVM Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was fifth fastest.  zzzz
Enrico Toccacelo (#27 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) made his Champ Car debut today testing for the Mi-Jack/Conquest team.  Toccacelo previously raced in the F3000 as well as the A1Gp series and as a test driver for the Minardi Formula 1 team.
Toccacelo wasn’t the only driver making their first appearance in a Champ Car at Road America. Rookies Dan Clarke, Jan Heylen (#11 Muermans Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Tonis Kasemets (#18 Flex-o-vit Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Katherine Legge (#20 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) Nicky Pastorelli (#8 Bavaria City Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Charles Zwolsman (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) along with third-year driver Nelson Philippe along were able to see first-hand one of the best road courses in North America.
“I really like the track here at Road America,” said Legge. “This is my first time running here in a Champ Car and it is a lot different than the Atlantic car.  The straights seem a lot shorter now. We are finding our way and the car is running well.”
Road America hosted a fan appreciation day during the test with an afternoon autograph session in promotion for its Octoberfast Weekend, when the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford returns to Road America September 22-24.

Test Times

Pos Driver # Team Lap Time
1 S. Bourdais 1 Newman/Haas Racing 1:42.185
2 O. Servia 6 PKV Racing 1:42.681
3 N. Philippe 4 CTE Racing - HVM 1:43.273
4 B. Junqueira 2 Newman/Haas Racing 1:43.460
5 D. Clarke 14 CTE Racing - HVM 1:43.784
6 N. Pastorelli 8 Rocketsports Racing 1:44.049
7 C. Zwolsman 34 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 1:44.155
8 J. Heylen 11 Dale Coyne Racing 1:44.391
9 E. Toccacelo 27 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 1:45.869

California Speedway extends ticket hours California Speedway extends ticket hoursCalifornia Speedway today announced its on-site ticket office has expanded operating hours leading into the SONY HD 500 Labor Day NASCAR weekend (September 1-3).  Race fans can select their tickets over the phone, in person or online during expanded ticket office hours.

Guests who would like to purchase their tickets using the toll-free number, 800-944-RACE [7223], can do so Mondays through Saturdays 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.

California Speedway’s on-site ticket office, which is open year round on Monday through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT, has also expanded its operating hours.  Guests may visit the Speedway in person the next four Saturdays and the two Sundays prior to the Labor Day NASCAR weekend.  On Saturdays, August 5 and 12, the ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT.  On Saturdays and Sundays, August 19-20 and 26-27, the ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT.  The California Speedway ticket office is located at 9300 Cherry Avenue (zip 92335) inside the gates of the world-class motorsports facility, approximately 40 miles east of Los Angeles and just minutes from LA Ontario International Airport.

Race fans can also select their tickets online 24 hours a day with the convenience of a three-dimensional grandstand map and print at home ticket option.  To purchase tickets online, visit www.californiaspeedway.com and click on the buy tickets link.  Guest can also utilize California Speedway’s website for event news and schedule information.

Allstate 400: Busch leads Friday practice Allstate 400: Busch leads Friday practiceKurt Busch led the final Friday practice session for NASCAR Nextel Cup teams at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, posting a fast lap of 182.039 mph in the Penske Racing South No. 2 Dodge.

Kasey Kahne (181.995) and Robby Gordon (181.181) were second- and third-fastest on the speed chart in the hour-long session.

In the only real incident, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Reed Sorenson spun and the back of his No. 41 Dodge hit the of the wall. Sorenson wasn't injured, but the team will have to go to a backup car for Saturday's 10:10 a.m. qualifying round. More....

Fernandez Joins Chip Ganassi Racing Fernandez Joins Chip Ganassi RacingCONCORD, N.C. – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced Friday John Fernandez, former Director of Dodge Motorsports, has accepted a new position with the organization to serve as Managing Director of its Concord racing operation.

”John has been involved in racing for a long time as an engineer with Dodge and as head of its racing programs,” said Chip Ganassi.  “I am very excited to add someone to the team that has so much experience in a number of different areas.  He brings so much to the table.”

Fernandez will manage all aspects of the organization’s racing operation in North Carolina, including overseeing all four teams, as well as the engine, fabrication and paint shops. zzzz

Fernandez’ move to CGRFS follows a long career with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, where he served for 35 years.  He joined Chrysler as a co-op student in 1969, and then was hired as a full-time project engineer in 1972.  During his time with the automobile manufacturer, he helped manage and oversee the development of numerous Dodge production vehicles, including the Omni, Dakota Truck, Neon and the current generation Viper. He was also the inspiration behind the creation of the Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) group that designs and develops Dodge’s high performance SRT models. In 2002, he was given the lead to head up Dodge Motorsports and all its racing programs.

In addition to his mechanical engineering and management expertise, Fernandez is an experienced racer himself.  He competed in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and claimed four championship titles, including three consecutive Central Division championships from 2000 to 2002, in Showroom Stock C, and the 1988 Southern Pacific Division championship in a Shelby Charger in Showroom Stock A.

“Chip and Felix have created a first class environment to work in,” said Fernandez.  “The new facility, adjacent to the Concord Airport, is spectacular and located for maximum efficiency. They have assembled a talented crew of experienced racers, engineers and mechanics with a top notch management staff and some of the best young drivers in the sport. I see an organization that is poised to make the jump to the next level with all the elements needed for a championship run and I’m thrilled about being able to play a role.”

Fernandez earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and MBA in 1977 at the University of Detroit.  He is originally from Gloversville, N.Y.

Paperwork holding up Yates announcement Paperwork holding up Yates announcementRobert Yates Racing cancelled Friday's press conference to announce the signing of driver David Gilliland, but it's only a temporary setback.

Co-owner Doug Yates said it was a simple matter of paperwork and that Gilliland should be signed to replace Elliott Sadler in the No. 38 for the 2007 Nextel Cup season within a couple of weeks.

"He's a hot commodity," Yates said before practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "But we're locked in. It's good that there are three or four or five teams that sent him contracts. That is reinforcement that we got the right guy."

Yates has been busy the past month trying to find replacements for Sadler and Dale Jarrett, who announced earlier in the year he would move to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007.

Last week, Yates announced that crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin (No. 38) and Slugger Labbe (No. 88) had been released.

"We're trying to put so many things together so fast," said Yates, who still plans to put rookie Stephen Leicht in Jarrett's No. 88 car. "It takes time to put things together. We can't make more hours in a day right now."

Paul Menard to Red Bull NASCAR team, no! Paul Menard to Red Bull NASCAR team, no!UPDATE #2 Richie Gilmore, the director of motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., dispelled rumors that Busch Series regular Paul Menard may bolt to Toyota's Team Red Bull in 2007.

Gilmore said Menard has two years left on his contract and is committed to running the No. 15 car at DEI next season. Gilmore said the plan is to add a fourth team in 2008.

Menard, who is ranked sixth in the Busch standings, will attempt to qualify the No. 15 this weekend at Indianapolis. NASCAR.com

07/31/06 The Red Bull website has moved Menard's profile from Driver to Athlete so it looks like he will not drive for the team, but will perhaps have a personal sponsorship much like AJ Allmendinger does.

07/30/06 Paul Menard will soon be announced as a Red Bull Toyota NASCAR Nextel Cup driver.
Piquet powers to GP2 pole Piquet powers to GP2 poleNelson Piquet Jr has taken pole position for tomorrow's GP2 series race as his championship rival Lewis Hamilton spun out of the session. Nelson Piquet Jr's championship aspirations where handed a boost in qualifying today when the Brazilian took pole position for tomorrow's race one at the Hungaroring as rival Lewis Hamilton spun off track on his first lap without setting a time.

Piquet took the top spot with a time of 1:29.464 ahead of Jose Maria Lopez and Michael Ammermüller while Hamilton, who damaged his car with a heavy crash in free practice this morning, has a mountain to climb to get any points from the back of grid tomorrow.

Hamilton's first lap spin seemed fairly innocuous, with the Briton keeping the car tidily on track, but he stalled and immediately signaled to the nearby marshals to give him a push.

The marshals swarmed around his car but were unable to do anything, pushing Hamilton across the track and back onto the racing line as the rest of the grid came around for the first of their timed laps, but he was soon by the side of the track, out of both the car and the session.

With the first lap ruined Lopez was the first man to set a meaningful time on his next lap, with Pantano taking the top spot next time around, but Piquet was biding his time by coming straight into the pits to wait for a clear track. zzzz

It was a wise move: Hiroki Yoshimoto and Fairuz Fauzy spun shortly after at the final corner, and Luca Filippi put his car into the gravel at the back of the circuit two laps later. Ammermüller was now the top man on track, but Piquet came out twelve minutes into the session, throwing down a challenge that no one else could meet.

Lopez was the driver to push closest to the Brazilian, but his lap with three minutes remaining was six tenths off the pace, and he was forced to make do with another front row start.

Adam Carroll repeated his recent good form by claiming fourth on the grid, with Alex Premat the next man on the timesheets: the Frenchman will, however, move back ten places as a result of his penalty for his collision with Yoshimoto in race two at Hockenheim last week.

Lucas di Grassi's thirteenth position will also be removed, as he loses his fastest lap in qualifying as a result of inadvertently running one too many laps after the end of free practice this morning.

As usual the times were close during the surprisingly dry session, with the top nine drivers within a second of pole, and two seconds covering the top twenty. The teams will now be looking to the skies in hope that the rain holds off once again for tomorrow's race. GP2

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Piquet Jr. Piquet Sports 1:29.464 13
 2. Lopez Super Nova International 1:30.081 + 0.617 13
 3. Ammermueller Arden International Ltd 1:30.275 + 0.811 14
 4. Carroll Racing Engineering 1:30.290 + 0.826 13
 5. Premat ART Grand Prix 1:30.306 + 0.842 14
 6. Bruni Trident Racing 1:30.324 + 0.860 14
 7. Perera DAMS 1:30.338 + 0.874 14
 8. Negrao Piquet Sports 1:30.369 + 0.905 15
 9. Glock iSport International 1:30.467 + 1.003 15
10. Pantano FMS International 1:30.485 + 1.021 13
11. Viso iSport International 1:30.502 + 1.038 14
12. Monfardini DAMS 1:30.668 + 1.204 13
13. Piccione DPR 1:30.862 + 1.398 13
14. Valles Campos Racing 1:30.924 + 1.460 16
15. Lapierre Arden International Ltd 1:30.951 + 1.487 15
16. Di Grassi Durango 1:30.995 + 1.531 16
17. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 1:31.025 + 1.561 14
18. Hernandez Durango 1:31.091 + 1.627 15
19. Zuber Trident Racing 1:31.419 + 1.955 14
20. Villa Racing Engineering 1:31.537 + 2.073 15
21. Porteiro Campos Racing 1:31.630 + 2.166 16
22. Tahinci FMS International 1:31.800 + 2.336 16
23. Petrov DPR 1:31.915 + 2.451 15
24. Filippi BCN Competicion 1:32.293 + 2.829 6
25. Fauzy Super Nova International 1:32.563 + 3.099 16
26. Hamilton ART Grand Prix No time 1

Junqueira tops morning practice at Road America Junqueira tops morning practice at Road America
Pos Car Driver Nat Team Time Speed
1. 2 Bruno Junqueira BR Newman/Haas Racing 1:43.325 141.038
2. 6 Oriol Servia E PKV Racing 1:44.129 139.949
3. 14 Dan Clarke* GB CTE Racing-HVM 1:44.805 139.047
4. 34 Charles Zwolsman* NL Conquest Racing 1:44.872 138.958
5. 20 Katherine Legge* GB PKV Racing 1:44.907 138.912
6. 1 Sebastien Bourdais F Newman/Haas Racing 1:45.091 138.668
7. 4 Nelson Philippe F CTE Racing-HVM 1:45.811 137.725
8. 8 Nicky Pastorelli* NL Rocketsports Racing 1:46.759 136.502
9. 11 Jan Heylen* BEL Dale Coyne Racing 1:47.125 136.035
10. 27 Enrico Toccacelo* ITA Conquest Racing 1:48.38 4 134.44
Mi-Jack Conquest team tests Toccacelo Mi-Jack Conquest team tests ToccaceloMi-Jack Conquest Racing is testing Italian racer Enrico Toccacelo during the Champ Car Open Test in Elkhart Lake today. The 27 year-old Toccacelo joins the team’s regular driver, Dutchman Charles Zwolsman, for the second half of the two-day test which got underway yesterday.

“We thought it would be a great opportunity during the Open Test in Elkhart Lake this week to give Enrico the chance to drive one of our cars. It will give us the occasion to get to know him better,” says Eric Bachelart, co-owner of the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team.

Enrico Toccacelo, was runner up to Vitantonio Liuzzi in the 2004 FIA F3000 International Championship where he scored one win, three second-place finishes as well as one pole position. More recently, he participated in the majority of the A1GP races for Team Italy and was the Friday Test Driver for the Minardi Formula 1 Team in 2005.

“This is an excellent opportunity for me to show my skills. I would like to thank Eric Bachelart and the whole Conquest Team for giving me this chance,” expressed Toccacelo. “I am looking forward to my first experience in a Champ Car and I hope it will be a good one.”

The Italian race-car driver drove go-karts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, capturing 35 wins and a regional championship. Before going to F3000 where he competed from 2001 to 2004, he drove in the Formula Renault Campus Italian Championship, finishing fourth overall, the F3 Italian and German Championships and he also took on the challenge of the Super Touring Car European Championship. In 2005, before signing on as the third driver for the Minardi Formula 1 Team, Toccacelo participated in the World Series by Renault Championship and picked up one win and 2 pole positions. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing

Albers to drop 10 spots Albers to drop 10 spotsDutch driver Christijan Albers will go to the back of the Hungarian Grand Prix starting grid after an unscheduled engine change, his Midland team said on Friday.
Champ Car San Jose TV Rating Champ Car San Jose TV RatingUPDATE The final TV rating for Champ Car's San Jose race last Sunday on NBC was a 0.8/2 share.

07/31/06 The overnight TV rating for the San Jose Grand Prix on NBC Sunday was a 0.9/2 share.
Industry News
Toyota profits rise 39 percent Toyota profits rise 39 percentToyota Motor Corp. reported early Friday morning a 39% increase in net income for its fiscal first quarter, April through June, as the Japanese automaker continued to win customers at an impressive clip in North America.

Toyota posted a quarterly net income of 371.5 billion yen, or $3.2 billion, record results for the first quarter. It reported net revenues of 5.64 trillion yen, or $49 billion, a 13% increase from a year ago and also a record.

The Japanese automaker expects the strong performance to continue for the rest of the year, meeting or beating initial projections for annual profits and revenue. Toyota expects to make $1.3 trillion yen, or $11.9 billion, for the full year.

“We will try to maintain the positive momentum of the first quarter so that we may aim to exceed these projections,” said Takahiko Ijichi, Toyota’s managing officer for accounting.

Stewards penalize 'dangerous' Alonso Stewards penalize 'dangerous' Alonso(GMM)  F1 stewards at the Hungaroring have thrown the book at championship leader Fernando Alonso following incidents during practice on Friday.

The Spaniard will have two seconds added to his lap times in each of the three sections of 'knockout' qualifying on Saturday, which could leave his Renault car stranded down the grid on a circuit that is notoriously difficult to pass on.

Alonso, 25, was summoned to the stewards' room in Budapest after weaving and apparently brake-testing Red Bull test driver Robert Doornbos in the free afternoon session.

A statement said the reigning world champion's antics were 'unnecessary, unacceptable and dangerous', while Alonso also overtook under a yellow flag.

Fuming Alonso not losing his cool Fuming Alonso not losing his cool(GMM)  Renault's Pat Symonds has denied press headlines in Budapest on Friday that suggest Fernando Alonso is beginning to 'lose his cool' in the midst of the 2006 title fight.

''I think if he was ever going to feel the pressure and show the pressure,'' the team's director of engineering said at the Hungaroring, ''it would have been last year.''

Symonds had been asked about the 25-year-old Spaniard's trip to the race stewards, after a fist-waving and apparent brake-testing incident involving Friday driver Robert Doornbos.

Alonso emerged from the stewards' room to a swarm of journalists, microphones and television cameras saying he was 'totally surprised' by the events.

The outcome of the enquiry is not yet known.

Explaining his fury at Doornbos, he claimed that backmarkers 'take so long (to move over) and they don't look in the mirror too much'.  The angry hand gestures at Doornbos were similar to those directed against championship rival Michael Schumacher in the Hockenheim pit lane a week ago.

Alonso's comments also coincided with the claim of Renault boss Flavio Briatore that, referring to the 'mass damper' saga, the FIA is trying to manipulate the title fight.

''We will run without the mass dampers,'' the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport, ''because we do not want to be blackmailed by the federation.''

Briatore accuses FIA of tinkering with title Briatore accuses FIA of tinkering with title(GMM)  Flavio Briatore has lashed out at F1's governing body for trying to manipulate the title fight.

As the 'damper saga' grinds on in Hungary, the Renault boss pointed an angry finger at the FIA and questioned the federation's motives for deeming the technology illegal nearly a full year after it first debuted in F1.

''The FIA is playing against us,'' Briatore is quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport.  ''It is absurd that the rules are changed like this half-way through the season.''

Renault, whose championship lead to Ferrari and Michael Schumacher suffered a mighty blow at Hockenheim one week ago, is again racing without the innovation this weekend.

Briatore continued: ''The FIA should only be an arbitrator, instead they try to distort the world championship.''

He also adds more fuel to the conspiracy theorists' fire by reminding the world of 'pressure' that could have been placed on the FIA by a certain rival team.

Good initial reviews for Talladega Nights Good initial reviews for Talladega NightsThe NASCAR Talladega Nights movie is getting fairly good early reviews such as this one from the NY Times.

For those still clinging to the notion that the United States is divided into Red and Blue, NASCAR and Hollywood would seem to dwell on opposite sides of the cultural divide. “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” is hardly the first movie to challenge this simple-minded view of American popular culture — see also “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and of course “Cars” — but it does an admirably thorough job of debunking it.

As a cultural artifact, “Talladega Nights” is both completely phony and, therefore, utterly authentic. Or, to put it differently: this movie is the real thing. It’s finger lickin’ good. It’s eatin’ good in the neighborhood. It’s the King of Beers. It’s Wonder Bread.

Da Matta hits deer in major accident Da Matta hits deer in major accidentUPDATE #5 AutoRacing1.com has learned that the RuSPORT engineers for da Matta's #10 car examined the telemetry and it revealed that da Matta hit the brake before he hit the deer. He hit the deer at 90 mph and then was knocked out. His foot came off the brake after impact, but it did then hit the accelerator, so reports that he went full throttle into the barriers are incorrect.

Da Matta has no broken facial or skull bones, but the helmet was damaged from the impact and the deer was killed.

08/03/06 SPEEDTV.com has removed the part about the roll hoop being torn off, but now say that da Matta was critically injured and is undergoing emergency surgery.

A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Thanks for the current updates on Cristiano's condition. Our thoughts are with Cristiano and his family. Your site is without a doubt the best in all of motorsports. Thanks again, Scott Anderson

08/03/06 A RuSPORT team spokesperson told AutoRacing1.com that Robin Miller’s article about da Matta’s wreck on SPEEDTV.com is slightly inaccurate. The team has confirmed that the roll hoop on the #10 car was NOT torn off, and the car is relatively in tact. In fact, the team says that the car could run in tomorrow’s test session if they wanted it to.

They have also been unable to confirm that Cristiano’s foot was “still planted on the throttle” when he hit the tire wall in Turn Six. 

08/03/06 According to SPEEDTV.com an eyewitness said that da Matta was heading for Turn 6 at Road America (a short uphill straight from Turn 5) when the deer ran out in front of him and struck the right front of his RuSPORT Lola. The deer tore off the roll hoop as da Matta smashed into the tire barrier with his foot still planted on the throttle.

Doctor reports say his vital signs were good even though he was unconscious.

08/03/06 The team released the following press release on da Matta - Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) was involved in an on-track incident during today’s open test session at Road America. Da Matta collided with a deer that had wandered onto the track, at approximately 3:08 pm CDT today. 

Da Matta was quickly airlifted to Theda Clark Memorial Hospital in Neenah, Wisc. No further information on his condition is available at this time. Updates will be released by RuSPORT as they become available.

08/03/06 RuSPORT driver Cristiano da Matta ran into a deer testing at road America today. He was airlifted to the hospital. He was unconscious. We haven't heard anything else.

Newman/Haas teammates 1-2 at Road America Newman/Haas teammates 1-2 at Road AmericaUPDATE The familiar roar of the 750-horsepower Ford-Cosworth turbocharged engines returned to peaceful Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin as the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series concluded the first of two days of testing at the historic 4.048-mile road course located in the Kettle Moraine region of Wisconsin.

Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald¹s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) led the first day of testing with a lap of 1:43.669 (140.570 mph) as 12 cars took to the track under clear skies with temperatures hovering in the high seventies.

A.J. Allmendinger (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was second fastest with a lap of 1:44.499 (139.454 mph) while Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was third quickest before striking a deer between Turns 5 and 6. The remainder of the day¹s testing session was cancelled following the incident.

Champ Car testing continues today at Road America in preparation for the September 24 Grand Prix of Road America. Champ Car

08/03/06 Today was the first day of a 2-day open Champ Car test at Road America.  Newman/Haas teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira topped the charts, but their lap times were slow and way off (over 5 seconds) the Champ Car track record, which is in the 1m39s bracket.

Pos Driver # Team Lap Time Leader
1 S. Bourdais 1 Newman/Haas Racing 1:45.257 
2 B. Junqueira 2 Newman/Haas Racing 1:45.340 0.083
3 J. Wilson 9 RuSPORT 1:45.365 0.108
4 K. Legge 20 PKV Racing 1:46.249 0.992
5 O. Servia 6 PKV Racing 1:46.353 1.096
6 A. Allmendinger 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:46.673 1.416
7 P. Tracy 3 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:46.674 1.417
8 D. Clarke 14 CTE Racing - HVM 1:46.712 1.455
9 N. Philippe 4 CTE Racing - HVM 1:46.861 1.604
10 C. da Matta 10 RuSPORT 1:47.047 1.790
11 T. Kasemets 18 Rocketsports Racing 1:47.771 2.514
12 C. Zwolsman 34 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 1:48.709 3.452

Angry Alonso books date with stewards Angry Alonso books date with stewards(GMM)  Championship leader Fernando Alonso's fist-waving and erratic driving booked him a date with the Hungaroring stewards on Friday.

The Spaniard, who furiously waved his fist after being blocked by Red Bull 'Friday' driver Robert Doornbos in free practice, then appeared to drive erratically in front of the Dutchman and brake-test him into turn-one.

Both racers were summoned to the stewards.

It also emerged on Friday that, for the second race in succession, MF1's Christijan Albers will suffer a ten-place penalty after his Toyota V8 had to be changed.

Ross Brawn, meanwhile, refused to deny reports that he is planning to either retire at the end of the year or take a one-season 'sabbatical' from his duties at the Ferrari team.

''I'm afraid it's going to be a very short discussion,'' the Briton told reporters in Budapest.

''We will make the plans for the team known at the end of the season.''

Massa’s Ferrari flies, Alonso loses cool again Massa’s Ferrari flies, Alonso loses cool again(GMM) Ferrari's shining form looks set to continue in Hungary, with Felipe Massa more than a full second clear of Fernando Alonso (Renault) in afternoon practice on Friday.

With temperatures still unseasonably cool, title protagonist Michael Schumacher's young teammate - Massa - set his sterling time around the 20-minute mark.

Runners for both Bridgestone and Michelin, however, appeared to struggle with tire graining, although the situation is expected to improve as the weekend rolls on.

Massa's best lap, meanwhile, was set with a new set of boots, while Schumacher - two seconds behind - stuck with old ones.

Christijan Albers endured a tricky second session in Budapest after the Dutchman stopped his MF1 in the second sector with apparent mechanical gremlins.

Williams' 'Friday' driver Alex Wurz had an off-track excursion, as did Giancarlo Fisichella in a chicane, while Renault teammate Alonso returned to his fist-waving ways after getting blocked by the third Red Bull of Robert Doornbos, who was fourth. [Editor's Note:  It's clear that Schumacher's charge to the front is getting into the head of Alonso.]

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:21.778 12
 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:23.097 + 1.319 15
 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:23.189 + 1.411 14
 4. Doornbos Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:23.195 + 1.417 30
 5. Davidson Honda (M) 1:23.498 + 1.720 31
 6. R.Schumacher Toyota (B) 1:23.747 + 1.969 19
 7. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:23.771 + 1.993 18
 8. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:23.931 + 2.153 19
 9. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (M) 1:23.934 + 2.156 11
10. Kubica BMW-Sauber (M) 1:24.106 + 2.328 11
11. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:24.252 + 2.474 11
12. Winkelhock MF1-Toyota (B) 1:24.381 + 2.603 28
13. Barrichello Honda (M) 1:24.445 + 2.667 17
14. Button Honda (M) 1:24.465 + 2.687 15
15. Monteiro MF1-Toyota (B) 1:24.508 + 2.730 8
16. Wurz Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:24.609 + 2.831 31
17. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:24.623 + 2.845 23
18. Rosberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:24.793 + 3.015 12
19. Jani Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:24.854 + 3.076 33
20. Albers MF1-Toyota (B) 1:25.038 + 3.260 7
21. Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:25.152 + 3.374 16
22. Webber Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:25.393 + 3.615 8
23. Klien Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:25.647 + 3.869 14
24. Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:25.843 + 4.065 12
25. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:25.968 + 4.190 11
26. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth (M) 1:26.198 + 4.420 16
27. Yamamoto Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:26.877 + 5.099 20

On and off-track events on Friday morning On and off-track events on Friday morning(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen led an uneventful first practice at the Hungaroring on Friday morning.

The Finn (McLaren) did only five laps on the twisty and initially slightly damp layout, setting his fastest time in the last minute, as an uncharacteristic 18 degrees hung in the air.

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) was third, after doing a similar five-lap run at the end of the 60-minute session, but championship protagonist Fernando Alonso (Renault) failed to set a time by doing only an out-lap.

Runners for BMW-Sauber and Williams made no appearance at all, but it did emerge that Sir Frank Williams' Cosworth-powered squad will test their new works Toyota engine for 2007 as early as next month.

Indeed, the other real morning action in Budapest was news that Jenson Button (Honda), Jarno Trulli (Toyota) and Christijan Albers (MF1-Toyota) all escaped penalty after FIA-sanctioned repairs were done to their V8 engines prior to the session.

Alonso, meanwhile, spent time speaking to the Spanish press, and was reported as explaining that he signed a multi-year contract with McLaren for 2007 because the silver team 'wanted a fast answer'.

The 25-year-old also told 'AS': ''And they offered me a three year arrangement, but Renault was only talking about one (year).''

Parsons to get road named after him Parsons to get road named after himNC County asks NCDOT to name section of highway after Parsons: Wilkes County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution yesterday asking the N.C. Department of Transportation to name a 5-mile section of U.S. 421 in honor of racing legend Benny Parsons. Parsons is building a home in the Wilkes County community of Parsonville, where he grew up. He plans to live in the county and open a vineyard. Work on this request has been going on for several months, and the timing wasn't linked to Parsons' announcement last week that he is being treated for lung cancer. The 5-mile section would take in a stretch of highway between the Maple Springs community and the Watauga County line. Wilkes is putting the request on a fast track by faxing the resolution to the state in hopes that the N.C. Board of Transportation can consider it during Thursday's meeting. A section of U.S. 421 in eastern Wilkes was named in honor of racer and team-owner Junior Johnson in May 2004. If the latest request is approved, drivers would travel on the Junior Johnson Highway on one end of Wilkes County and the Benny Parsons Highway on the other. Winston Salem Journal
Hungary: Raikkonen tops opening practice Hungary: Raikkonen tops opening practiceThe first 60-minute practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix  saw Kimi Raikkonen set a best lap of 1:21.624s in his McLaren Mercedes, lapping seven-tenths faster than Honda test driver Anthony Davidson. Michael Schumacher was third fastest in his Ferrari ahead of Pedro de la Rosa in the second McLaren.

P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 3 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'21"624 193.223 Km/h
 2. 36 DAVIDSON Honda M 1'22"396 + 0'00"772
 3. 5 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'22"499 + 0'00"875
 4. 4 DE LA ROSA McLaren Mercedes M 1'22"730 + 0'01"106
 5. 35 WURZ Williams Cosworth B 1'22"941 + 0'01"317
 6. 11 BARRICHELLO Honda M 1'23"553 + 0'01"929
 7. 12 BUTTON Honda M 1'23"659 + 0'02"035
 8. 37 DOORNBOS RedBull Ferrari M 1'23"999 + 0'02"375
 9. 8 TRULLI Toyota B 1'24"620 + 0'02"996
10. 39 WINKELHOCK Midland Toyota B 1'25"194 + 0'03"570
11. 40 JANI Toro Rosso Cosw. M 1'25"424 + 0'03"800
12. 20 LIUZZI Toro Rosso Cosw. M 1'25"477 + 0'03"853
13. 21 SPEED Toro Rosso Cosw. M 1'26"678 + 0'05"054
14. 19 ALBERS Midland Toyota B 1'26"680 + 0'05"056
15. 18 MONTEIRO Midland Toyota B 1'27"321 + 0'05"697
16. 22 SATO S. Aguri F1 Honda B 1'29"765 + 0'08"141
17. 7 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota B 1'30"110 + 0'08"486
18. 23 YAMAMOTO S. Aguri F1 Honda B 1'30"353 + 0'08"729
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Prodrive's F1 HQ gets green light
Cool weather could undo Ferrari form
Pedro hopes to keep McLaren ride
Renault remove 'mass dampers' in Hungary
Villeneuve absence sets tongues wagging
Piquet leads opening practice Piquet leads opening practiceNelson Piquet Jr toped the times in a damp practice session in Hungary Friday morning.

The session began with all drivers on wet tires following overnight rain, but the track eventually dried up and times began to tumble.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.Piquet Jr.Piquet Sports 1:32.36915
 2.VisoiSport International1:33.371 +1.002 12
 3.VallesCampos Racing 1:33.816 +1.447 13
 4.Lopez Super Nova International1:33.939 +1.5709
 5.Pantano FMS International 1:33.953 +1.584 12
 6.Hernandez Durango 1:34.189 +1.820 15
 7.AmmermuellerArden International Ltd 1:34.334 +1.965 13
 8.NegraoPiquet Sports 1:34.353 +1.984 13
 9.Di Grassi Durango 1:34.527 +2.158 16
10.Fauzy Super Nova International1:34.698 +2.329 9
11.PiccioneDPR 1:35.019 +2.650 12
12.Carroll Racing Engineering1:35.064 +2.695 10
13.Glock iSport International1:35.226 +2.857 9
14.LapierreArden International Ltd 1:35.307 +2.938 9
15.MonfardiniDAMS1:36.112 +3.743 12
16.Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 1:36.178 +3.809 8
17.HamiltonART Grand Prix1:36.180 +3.811 8
18.PorteiroCampos Racing 1:36.698 +4.329 13
19.PetrovDPR 1:36.747 +4.378 12
20.PereraDAMS1:37.617 +5.248 12
21.PrematART Grand Prix1:38.167 +5.798 7
22.Tahinci FMS International 1:41.684 +9.315 14
23.Bruni Trident Racing1:46.406 +14.03715
24.Zuber Trident Racing1:46.823 +14.45415
25.Villa Racing EngineeringNo time 3
26.Filippi BCN Competicion No time 2

Industry News
Ford recalls 1.2 million vehicles Ford recalls 1.2 million vehiclesIn a move that will cost the company close to half a billion dollars, Ford recalled 1.2 million trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans on Thursday amid concerns of potential engine fires, expanding upon one of the largest vehicle recalls in history.

Ford Motor Co. said the recall was tied to the speed control deactivation switch system, which could corrode over time, overheat and catch fire.

The recall involves vehicles fueled by gasoline or natural gas and equipped with speed control, including the 1994-2002 F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 F-Super Duty trucks, 2000-2002 Excursion SUVs, 1994-1996 Econoline vans and 1996-2002 E-450 vans, and 1998 Explorers and Mountaineers. The recall does not involve similar vehicles fueled by diesel.

New sponsor for Petty New sponsor for PettyPetty Enterprises announced that Marathon Petroleum Co. LLC will sponsor the No. 45 NASCAR Nextel Cup team.

The sponsorship begins with this weekend's Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The company previously sponsored Competitive Edge Motorsports.

The car will carry Marathon as primary sponsor for four races: Michigan, Bristol, Richmond, and Atlanta. Marathon also will be an associate sponsor on the car for this season's remaining races.

"We're grateful that Competitive Edge Motorsports is allowing Marathon Oil to transfer their sponsorship," Kyle Petty said. "We are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with Marathon, starting this weekend at one of the biggest events of the season."

Webcast: Formula One's Team McLaren case study Webcast: Formula One's Team McLaren case studySpeed to market, quick order turn-around, and budget efficiency are the keys to success.  Just ask Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines (MB-HPE) Ltd., the engine supplier for Team McLaren Mercedes.

During this free webcast on August 16, hear Mark Mathieson of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines share how his team ensures reliable, real-time information on the life-cycle status of each engine's 5,000+ components.

**BONUS: 30 randomly-selected individuals who attend the entire webcast will receive an official replica McLaren Formula One model car.  See web site for complete details.

Register for this free webcast at:

By attending this free webcast, you'll learn how the team:

  • Implemented an end-to-end business solution that automatically integrates with pre-existing electronic data interchange (EDI) systems, allowing for streamlined operational planning and execution.
  • Ensured the entire track record of each component (production status, stock and shipment status) are assessable in near real time from anywhere in the world
  • Integrated SAP with CAD applications ensuring high availability of part lists, CAD drawings and technical documentation both internally within MB-HPE, and also with Team McLaren Mercedes and Mercedes-Benz
  • Improved communication between engineering and operations functions through visibility of information

"Formula One's Team McLaren: Answering the Need for Speed, On and Off the Track"

DATE: Wednesday, August 16, 2006
TIME: 2:00 p.m. EDT  (GMT -0400, New York)
DURATION: One hour
COST: None
Sponsored by SAP, in association with Intel and HP

Sign up for this free webcast here:

Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Lucas Oil Join Forces Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Lucas Oil Join ForcesMorgan-McClure President Larry McClure announced that the #4 Chevy that Scott Wimmer drives will be sporting the familiar red Lucas decal on the hood for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard this weekend. "We have a good relationship with all the folks at Lucas Oil and are proud to have the opportunity to represent them as a primary sponsor in this one-race deal for Indy. Lucas has been an associate sponsor this year and we continue to use and promote their products through our race team. We are proud to have them back on the car in Forrest Lucas's home state." Lucas Oil joins additional sponsors Aero Exhaust, Race Face, Kodak, Wide Open Performance Energy Drink, Coyote Ugly Saloons, Players Extreme Spirits and Tuff Country for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. Lucas Oil served as the primary sponsor for the Morgan-McClure # 4 Chevy in 2005 and has long been involved in the American racing industry through multiple vehicle sponsorships and racing event promotions, at all levels. For all levels of sponsorship opportunities on the Morgan-McClure #4 Chevy for the remainder of the 2006 season and beyond, contact Jerry Wallner at 678-584-8443. Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR
Frisselles join Michael Shank Racing Frisselles join Michael Shank RacingColumbus, OH  - Team owner Mike Shank announced today that Burt and Brian Frisselle will race the No. 6 Playboy Racing/Mears Motor Coach Lexus Riley in the final three rounds of Rolex Sports Car Series competition.
The young brother driving duo, who have who have been co-driving together in the Daytona Prototype class since 2005, will race alternate rounds with the team.
Burt will share the car with Mike Borkowski in the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen and in the season-ending Discount Tire Sunchaser event, as Brian will put his previous formula car experience at the track to use for the Rolex Series’ debut at Infineon co-driving with Borkowski. zzzz
The run will not be the first with MSR for Burt, who took a podium with the team in his very first Rolex Sports Car Series start at Homestead in March, 2004, co-driving with Oswaldo Negri in a Lexus-Doran combination.  Burt’s last Rolex podium came with Michael Shank Racing in August of 2004 at the Watkins Glen 200 event after making a late-race charge in the rain.
“Having had Burt run with us in 2004, we’ve obviously been keeping an eye on him and Brian ever since, and we are glad we get to have them back with us,” said Shank. “We have some good momentum going with both team cars, and there is no reason to think that we can’t keep that going to close out the season with Burt and Brian in the Playboy Racing car.”
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Formula 1 Qualifying  Hungary
8:00am-9:30am (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying Indianapolis
10:00am-1:00pm (L) TNT
Champ Car Atlantic San Jose 7/30/06
11:00am-12:00pm SPEED
Star Mazda Portland 7/22/06
12:00pm-1:00pm SPEED
NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series Sonoma, CA
1:00pm-2:00pm ESPN2
Driving Force - Drag racing's John Force & daughters
2:00pm-2:30pm (R) -Broken Home
2:30pm-3:00pm (R) -Family Business
3:00pm-3:30pm (R) -Journey Home
3:30pm-4:00pm (R) -Blowing a Gasket
Check local listings for other time zones A&E
NASCAR Live! Indianapolis
2:30pm-3:30pm (L) SPEED
X Games 12 - Rally Car Racing
Part of Show Los Angeles
3:00pm-6:00pm (L) *
* The actual event is scheduled to take place from 5pm-6pm  ABC
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice Indianapolis
3:30pm-4:30pm (L)  SPEED
NASCAR Busch Qualifying Indianapolis
6:00pm-7:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Performance
7:30pm-8:00pm SPEED
Tradin' Paint Indianapolis
8:00pm-8:30pm SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Indianapolis
O'Reilly Raceway Park
9:00pm-11:00pm (L) TNT
X Games 12 - Moto X Freestyle Finals Part 1 and Moto X Step Up
Los Angeles
9:00pm-11:00pm (L) ESPN

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

Da Matta surgery update Da Matta surgery updateUPDATE Cristiano has had second scan after the surgery and there are not currently any other damaged areas.
He will be kept in a coma for 24-36 hours for his own protection.
He will remain in the hospital there for 2 weeks approx.  We know a lot of people are concerned and need to know his progress.  The prognosis is good at this point.

(Right, da Matta on podium in San Jose last weekend celebrating his 2nd place finish)

08/03/06 Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) underwent emergency surgery after being involved in an on-track incident during today’s open test session at Road America.  Da Matta collided with a deer that had wandered onto the track, at approximately 3:08 pm CDT today.  

Statement From Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs:  

“After arriving at Theda Clark Medical Center, a head CT scan showed Cristiano had suffered a subdural hematoma.  He was urgently taken to the operating room for surgical removal of the hematoma and is now being observed in the intensive care unit.”  

Updates concerning da Matta’s condition will be released when they become available.  

RuSPORT has also announced that Justin Wilson and the No. 9 CDW / RuSPORT team will not participate in the final day of The Champ Car World Series Open Test at Road America on Friday, Aug. 3. RuSPORT

[Editor's Note: Typically they will keep a patient in a coma for a few days after this sort of trauma to the brain.]

AMD to sponsor Cup race AMD to sponsor Cup raceWatkins Glen International President Craig Rust announced today that AMD (NYSE: AMD), a leading global provider of innovative microprocessor solutions, will become title sponsor of the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Watkins Glen International. The race will be called “AMD at The Glen,” and is scheduled to take the green flag at 1:35 pm on Sunday, August 13. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.

"We are pleased to have a world-class technology leader like AMD as our NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series title sponsor for this year’s race,” stated Rust. “We look forward to working with them this year as we celebrate 20 years of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing in New York State.” zzzz

As the first Official Technology Partner of NASCAR, AMD helps NASCAR improve competition on the race track and enhance the safety of its participants. Earlier this season, AMD and NASCAR unveiled the new Mobile Technology Center (MTC), which houses NASCAR’s timing and scoring system and travels to each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. The AMD powered command center provides NASCAR with the technology to officiate races with greater speed and accuracy.  More information on AMD’s motorsports sponsorships can be found at www.amdmotorsports.com.

“As a new sponsor of NASCAR, we are privileged to align ourselves with this iconic racing institution,” said Bill LaRosa, corporate vice president, North America and Global Accounts, AMD. “The Glen is more than a raceway; it’s a community where generations of fans return year after year. It is known for its challenging turns, unforgettable finishes and AMD is proud to be included in such a rich racing heritage.”

AMD, based in Sunnyvale, California, and the State of New York recently announced a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) for AMD to have the option to build a multi-billion dollar fabrication facility located in Luther Forest, New York, an Upstate New York neighbor of Watkins Glen. More information on that announcement can be found at www.amd.com.

Bussell passes IndyCar Series rookie test Bussell passes IndyCar Series rookie testIndy Pro Series veteran Nick Bussell passed his IndyCar® Series rookie test at Kentucky Speedway on July 31. The 23-year-old from Ionia, Mich., shared a test day at the 1.5-mile oval with Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter. The test resulted from the Indy Racing League's bonus test program that rewards IndyCar Series teams that also field teams in the Indy Pro Series. Vision Racing, which fielded two Indy Pro Series entries under its own banner in 2005, partnered with Cheever Racing to field Bussell in the Indy Pro Series in 2006.

The test was Bussell's first opportunity to make the transition from the 420-horsepower Indy Pro Series car to the 670-horsepower IndyCar Series machine.

"It's a huge benefit for any of us Indy Pro Series drivers to go out and get that experience," Bussell said. "I grew up wanting to drive an IndyCar, and now I've had that opportunity. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet.

"Everything was really smooth. The car felt good. I think it shows how good a job Vision Racing has done. The car was really good, it was almost effortless."  zzzz

Bussell, who has 15 top-five finishes in 22 career Indy Pro Series starts, completed more than 100 laps with a top speed of 211.8 mph.

"He had a great day and passed with flying colors," IndyCar Series technical manager Kevin Blanch said. "There were no glitches. He tried the short line, the high line, moved the car around and understood the car well. He had no problems understanding what the car was telling him.

"He practiced a lot of things that he'll need to have experience with in the IndyCar Series including a couple pit stops and going out on cold tires and getting back up to speed. They had push built into the car and he picked up on that right away. They made a few changes to improve grip, and he noticed that."

Bussell split his 2005 rookie season between J.L. West Motorsports and Vision Racing, finishing fourth in the point standings. This year, he ranks fifth, 54 points behind leader Jay Howard with four races remaining.

"I can sleep a lot easier at night knowing what it's like," Bussell said. "I'm sure the next time will be another step harder."

The next Indy Pro Series event is the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13.

Fisher to return to IndyCar Series Fisher to return to IndyCar SeriesDreyer & Reinbold Racing announced Aug. 3 that IndyCar Series veteran Sarah Fisher will drive the No. 5 Honda-powered Dallara in the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Secret at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13.

"It's very exciting to have Sarah back in the car at Kentucky Speedway," said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "We believe that it is a very good track for her, and with the momentum our team has been building, a good result is what we are looking forward to. It's always a pleasure working with Sarah, and this time will be no different."

Fisher will be reuniting with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, for whom she drove in 2002 and 2003. She debuted with a fourth-place finish at Nazareth Speedway substituting for the injured Robbie Buhl in April 2002 and later that year, became the first female to start on the pole (at Kentucky Speedway).  zzzz

She will be the second woman in the field for the 200-lap race at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC. Danica Patrick, who started from the pole last year at Kentucky Speedway, drives the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

In 48 starts, Fisher has seven top-10 finishes and has been running at the finish in 27 races. Her highest finishes are second at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2001 with Walker Racing and third at Kentucky Speedway in 2000 - the highest for a female driver in the series.

The Commercial Point, Ohio, native fueled national headlines when she emerged in the IndyCar Series at 19 years old. The determined racer became a household name and was coined as the "girl next door" chasing her dream of winning the Indianapolis 500.

"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to get back into an IndyCar," said Fisher, who last competed in the IndyCar Series in 2004 in the Indianapolis 500 with a Kelley Racing-prepared car. "It has been some time and there is a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, it will be like riding a bike, but I am sure that there will be challenges we will have to figure out how to hurdle. This weekend is all about getting back on the bike. It's a personal goal of mine to at least run in the top 10. I want to be there at the end and racing as hard as I did before, and that in itself will achieve results."

In 2000, Fisher became the youngest female and third-youngest driver ever to compete in the Indianapolis 500. It was the first time two women had raced in the same event.

"I'm here to race against everyone," said Fisher, who was attending the Lyn St. James Women in Winner's Circle event in Indianapolis when the team made the announcement. "I'm here to do the best that I can and ultimately get back to the level of IndyCars that put me up front.
"Every driver out there has the same goal and drive that I have and that is to win. Danica and I are two individuals out there competing in a man's world, whether it is in stock cars or IndyCars. I don't look at her any differently than all the other drivers. We are different people who want to achieve the same result."

Fisher calls the Kentucky Speedway her home track. She still holds the track qualifying record (221.390 mph).

"Kentucky has amazing memories for me," Fisher said. "Not only the track record, the pole, the podium, but the people. There are some special people in that area of the country. Friends, family, they all enjoy being at Kentucky. From what I remember, Kentucky is a very bumpy track. But, the line there shouldn't have changed much from before. We'll just have to see and hopefully we get over those issues early."

Fisher, 25, attends Ellis College on a part-time basis pursuing a business undergraduate degree and is engaged. She is the fourth driver to take to the wheel for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing this season. Buddy Lazier drove in eight events, Al Unser Jr. drove a second entry for the team at the 90th Indianapolis 500 alongside Lazier, and Ryan Briscoe is competing in four events for the team, including the final road course of the season at Infineon Raceway on Aug. 27.

"I miss my fans so much -- you have no idea," Fisher said. "I think I appreciate them more than I ever did. Two years later and I still have people that remember more than I do about my past experiences. It is a life-changing experience to realize that you impact people and how much responsibility that is and what a good person you need to be for these people to look up to." IRL

Hungary: Thursday Press Conference Hungary: Thursday Press ConferenceParticipating: Fernando Alonso (Renault), Jenson Button (Honda), Christian Klien (Red Bull), Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber), Mark Webber (Williams). Transcript
Racing News
HANS Device Featured at 5th World Congress of Biomechanics HANS Device Featured at 5th World Congress of BiomechanicsHANS Performance Products, known for the internationally award winning head and neck restraint, the HANS Device, was featured today at the 5th World Congress of Biomechanics in Munich, Germany. Hubert Gramling, a Safety Consultant to the FIA Institute for Motorsports Safety, presented an update on HANS Device performance, that he co-authored with Bob Hubbard, to congress members from around the world. Hubbard a Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, along with well-known racer Jim Downing, developed the HANS Device. As an engineer for Mercedes, Hubert worked with Bob in the 1990's to help adapt the HANS Device for formula car cockpits. When asked to comment, Dr. Hubbard said: "We are pleased to have Hubert speak on behalf of HANS Performance Products. Hubert has assisted us with many ideas and knows the HANS Device extremely well." The 5th World Congress of Biomechanics is being hosted by The Institute of Biotechnik e.V., the Technical University of Munich and Munich University of Applied Sciences. It brings together biomechanical experts to review experimental and applied technologies in all areas of biomechanics. More than 2,000 participants from the top industrial nations such as Asia, India, Central and South America and countries in Eastern Europe are expected to attend. Details and information about the 5th World Congress of Biomechanics are available on their website wcb2006.org. Details and information about HANS Performance Products are available on the company's website hansdevice.com. PR
Racing News
New Head-Neck Restraint Certified New Head-Neck Restraint CertifiedSafety Solutions has just announced the New Hutchens Hybrid head and neck restraint. The Hybrid is already SFI 38.1 Certified. The testing was witnessed by NASCAR Head and Neck Restraint Committee member John Melvin who commented that he liked the device. The Hybrid was officially submitted to NASCAR for evaluation last week. The device has already been in use in NHRA Funny Cars and borrows a number of attributes from Safety Solutions and LFT Technologies R3 and Hutchens II. The device features a low back to help get into and out of the race car and a short back section with a wide chest strap and two front buckle attachments to make it the most secure head and neck restraint on the market. For more information on the device see www.hutchensdevice.com. Safety Solutions PR
'Mass damper' saga resumes in Hungary 'Mass damper' saga resumes in Hungary(GMM) The 'mass damper' saga resumed at the Hungaroring on Thursday, when Toro Rosso presented its three cars to scrutineering with the controversial device fitted.

But the Italian team, a sort of 'junior' outfit for Red Bull Racing which also ran the system in its nose-section prior to Hockenheim, elected to remove it after technical delegate Charlie Whiting said in a report on Thursday that he rejected the legality of the STR cars.

In the afternoon, it was, however, unclear whether or not championship challenger Renault would race with its own 'mass dampers', which reduce the effects of tire-bouncing over curbs but potentially fall foul of the regulation prohibiting moving parts that affect aerodynamics.

Later this month, the FIA's International Court of Appeal is set to rule on the disagreement about the legality of the system that arose in Germany a week ago.

Although Whiting has indicated that retrospective penalties are unlikely to apply if the appeal is upheld, there is no guarantee.

Renault said in its official preview this week that the dampers would therefore be re-fitted in Hungary, but - in light of the Toro Rosso situation - Fernando Alonso confirmed on Thursday that his engineers were 'still talking about it'.

Alonso says Renault to 'struggle' in Hungary Alonso says Renault to 'struggle' in Hungary(GMM) After finishing a distant fifth one week ago in Germany, championship leader Fernando Alonso told reporters in Hungary on Thursday that he expects Renault to 'struggle' once again.

The 25-year-old title leader sounded bullish in an earlier official team release, but in the Hungaroring paddock turned pessimistic as he predicted a 'difficult' run against Ferrari and Michael Schumacher at least for the next three grands prix.

''We have not had time to react,'' Spaniard Alonso said, ''we will be struggle here and also in Turkey because there are no tests.

''After that Monza is a good circuit for Ferrari at high speeds.''

His lead over Schumacher was reduced by a further six points at Hockenheim last Sunday, with tire supplier Michelin and an outlawed 'mass damper' system copping the blame.

But Alonso was more upbeat about the calendar's final swing, saying he would 'put the money' on him winning a second drivers' title on the trot after the last three races of the season.

He explained: ''If Michael wins the remaining races he will be the champion for sure -- he would deserve it.

''Let's wait and see. For sure our gap is not enough to be champion. We need to beat them on the track and I think we can do it.''

Dixon added to 9-hour lineup Dixon added to 9-hour lineupCompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has confirmed 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Dixon as part of its driver trio with regulars Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season finale September 2nd at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

The 2003 IRL IndyCar Series champion joined fellow Team Target driver Dan Wheldon and NASCAR CGRFS pilot Casey Mears earlier this year at Daytona in the no.02 Target Riley, delivering the team its first win in the prestigious 24 hour event. Dixon’s participation in the inaugural 9-hour enduro dubbed the “Discount Tire Sunchaser” will mark his fifth start in Grand American’s Daytona Prototype division.

“Anytime you have the opportunity to put a driver of Scott Dixon’s caliber into the lineup, it’s a done deal,” said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. “Scott is a proven road racing champion, and I know he looks forward to contributing to the Grand American program whenever possible. Hopefully we can repeat what we were able to accomplish in 2004 in Fontana.” zzzz

No stranger to joining the team’s Rolex Series lineup to close out the season, Dixon previously co-drove a third CGRFS-prepared car at California Speedway in 2004, gridding second and finishing third as the team started 1-2-3 before sending Pruett and co-driver Max Papis to Victory Lane to seal the championship.

“I’m obviously looking forward to getting back into the Daytona Prototype, especially after what we were able to accomplish for Target and the guys back in January,” said Dixon. “The 24 Hours was an example of one of the big races this team strives for every year, but I think the season finale will prove to be just as important as I expect Scott and Luis to be in contention for the championship.”

The Ganassi driver lineup will have one race weekend prior to the 9-hour Utah finale to get reacquainted, as the Rolex and IndyCar Series run together as part of a double-header at Infineon Raceway in late August.

Pruett and Diaz are currently third in the Rolex Series Driver point standings in the no.01 CompUSA car, while Dixon stands fourth in his no.9 Target machine. Both are looking to record their second championship for Ganassi this season.

Next up for Pruett and Diaz and the no.01 team is the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, Friday, August 11th on the 3.4-mile permanent road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Catch the team in action on SPEED Channel at 9:00 ET (TAPE-DELAY).

FIA to hear mass damper appeal FIA to hear mass damper appealThe FIA’s appeal against the decision of German Grand Prix stewards concerning the legality of mass dampers will be heard in Paris later this month, it was announced on Thursday. 
In scrutineering at Hockenheim, stewards passed Renault’s mass-damper device, despite earlier communications from the FIA to the teams effectively outlawing such systems. The FIA subsequently appealed that decision, prompting Renault to remove the device for fear of later punishment.

The hearing by the International Court of Appeal will take place on the morning of Tuesday, August 22 - the week prior to the Turkish Grand Prix - with a decision expected the following day.

Heidfeld would ’bet money’ on Schu triumph Heidfeld would ’bet money’ on Schu triumph(GMM) A couple more observers have outlined their belief that Michael Schumacher will bridge the 11-point gap to title rival Fernando Alonso before Brazil's season finale.

''I would bet money on it,'' BMW-Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld was quoted as saying in Budapest by 'Sport Information Dienst' agency.

Ferrari's Schumacher, vying for his eighth and possibly final championship, has beaten his Renault rival in the past three grands prix.

''Renault were very weak at Hockenheim,'' the German added, ''which I do not completely understand.''

Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, meanwhile, told 'Bietigheimer Zeitung' newspaper that Schumacher is in a 'class of his own' as a driver.

He explained: ''Secondly he has an outstanding Ferrari and a clear advantage with Bridgestone tires.

''But the most important thing is that we should have an exciting end to the championship.''

Industry News
GM sues Goodyear GM sues GoodyearGeneral Motors Corp. has sued Goodyear Tire & Rubber, claiming the tiremaker is improperly withholding some shipments in a dispute over prices, The Times said on Thursday.

The paper said Goodyear believed the complaint is unfounded.

General Motors and Goodyear could not be immediately reached for comment.

In a related note, the inferior Goodyear tires on the Corvette Z06 and Ford GT prevented America's supercars (Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper and Ford GT) from beating three European Supercars (Ferrari F430F1, Lamborghini Gallardo and Porsche 911 Turbo) in a Road & Track super car shootout. As the Corvette racing team found out, switching to Michelin saw their LeMans lap times drop 7 seconds per lap. It's safe to assume their street Corvette suffers from the same inferior rubber.

Tracy and Duval trade driving tips Tracy and Duval trade driving tipsDENVER – With driving styles that differ greatly, Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series driver Paul Tracy and PGA Tour professional David Duval traded driving tips today in Denver in preparation for each other’s events in the Mile High City.  Tracy taught Duval how to go left and right, something a professional golfer tries to avoid, while Duval worked with “PT” to help him keep his golf drives straight.

Paul Tracy took Duval around a portion of the track circling the Pepsi Center that will host the Grand Prix of Denver sponsored by Bridgestone on August 11-13 while Duval helped Tracy navigate the Castle Pines Golf Club, home of PGA Tour event The International.  After his hot laps around the modified circuit, Duval was enthused by his first hand experience in the pace car.

“It was a lot a fun but I don’t know how to explain it. There is no other sport where you can hop in and participate other than driving race cars,” said the 2001 British Open champion, Duval. “You can walk with a golfer or play with them or try to return a tennis serve but you only get to experience it and don’t actually get to hit the ball, and you sure don’t want to get on a football field with those guys and get killed. To ride along in a car with somebody who knows what they’re doing, especially because everyone drives. You are in the car thinking you’re going to drive right into a wall, and then you make the corner, it’s really cool.” zzzz

Tracy was very complimentary of Duval’s driving skills and even let the professional golfer experience his first donut while behind the wheel of the Champ Car Fast Lap programs Shelby Cobra 500 Mustang.

“He’s never been on a track before and by his second lap he was figuring it out,” said the 2003 Champ Car champion Tracy, “He was holding the line close to the cones like I told him and just getting it figured out.  I guarantee you I’m a worse golfer than he is a driver.”

Tracy’s prophecy turned out not to be as true as he would have you believe as he hit the driving range at Castle Pines before playing the 10th and 18th holes with the Denver resident Duval.  Tracy’s first ball on the range traveled well over 200 yards and led many to believe he was sandbagging his golfing skills.

“I haven’t played golf in more than three years and that was only at the driving range,” said Tracy.  “I’m glad I didn’t embarrass myself on the course and I guess I didn’t.  I even had a six-foot putt for par on the 18th hole but my golf game is a lot like my driving, I’m not good with the stuff that requires a soft touch, I like hitting off the tee because I can go full-throttle.”

While Duval easily played the two holes at even par, he did see some promise in Tracy’s game. 

“Both racing and golf require concentration for long periods of time and you can tell Paul has that ability.  After we finished he joked that maybe he should take up the game but I warned him against it because once someone as competitive as he is takes up golf it will consume him.”

Presenting Sponsors of The INTERNATIONAL are Great West Healthcare, Sun Microsystems, ADT Security Services, CIBER and First Data.  Coors is a Contributing Sponsor. 

The Grand Prix of Denver merges into the fast lane in 2006 by hosting a weekend-long, city-transforming experience, teeming with racecars, motorcycles, action sports, rock-n-roll and street parties. This fifth annual three-day event continues to be the largest gathering of car enthusiasts, sports fans and music lovers in Denver. The Grand Prix of Denver race, round 10 of the Champ Car World Series, is the marquee event of the weekend. For more information, visit www.gpdenver.com.

Busch marries Busch marriesNASCAR driver Kurt Busch wed Eva Bryan July 27th at a private estate in Eastville, Va.,  Busch, who turns 28 on Aug. 4, and Bryan, 29, have been together for exactly three years. They met on July 27, 2003, when Jeremy Brickhouse, a member of Busch's racing team (and high school friend of Bryan), fixed them up. The wedding was at Point Farm Mansion in Eastville, Virginia on the eastern shores of Virginia. PHOTO CREDIT: Echard Wheeler
Burney Lamar loses appeal Burney Lamar loses appealOn August 1, 2006, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Kevin Harvick, Inc. regarding the #77 Busch car.  The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-race inspection on June 30, 2006 for the NASCAR Busch Series event at Daytona International Speedway. 

The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules”; and Section 20A-12.3J – Unapproved shock absorber components; base valves not permitted.” zzzz

The penalties assessed were:

• Loss of 50 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Delana Harvick.

• Loss of 50 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Driver Points for driver Burney Lamar.

• $15,000.00 fine, suspension from the next six (6) NASCAR Busch Series Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 16, 2006, and probation continuing until December 31, 2006 for crew chief Gene Nead.  The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the suspension pending the Appeal hearing.

The Appellants did not contest the infraction, but appealed the severity of the penalties, arguing that the infraction was an inadvertent mistake and that the violation provided no performance advantage.

In deciding the Appeal, the Commission considered several factors.  The Appellants presented a plausible scenario to explain the base valve being in the shock absorber due to a series of miscommunications in their race shop. However, a base plate in the shock absorber is specifically prohibited by the rules in the NASCAR Busch Series.

The Commission notes the crew chief was already on probation, and the car owner and driver had each been penalized 25 championship points earlier in the season, for another rules violation (infraction in the area of the rear spoiler).

The Commission reaffirms that penalties are not predetermined, but are based on the nature, extent and circumstances of specific violations.  Similarly, if NASCAR determines that the general range or relative levels of penalties are no longer having the desired effect as a deterrent, infractions are proliferating, and/or a team has had multiple violations, then NASCAR can and should adjust penalty levels accordingly. 

The Commission finds that these penalties are consistent with a recent upward adjustment of penalty levels in the NASCAR Busch Series, as well as correct for the nature and circumstances of the infraction.

Therefore it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.  The Commission directs NASCAR to adjust the periods of the suspensions for the crew chief to commence from the date of the hearing.  The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.

David Hall
Cathy Rice
George Silbermann, Chairman

TV News
Earnhardt to appear Friday Earnhardt to appear FridayDale Earnhardt Jr. will be a guest on Live with Regis and Kelly on Friday, August 4, to discuss the new movie, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."  The show airs at 9:00 am - 10:00 am in most time zones, but the network varies.  Check your local listings.
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for FridayCourtesy of TVRacer.com

Inside Grand Prix Hungarian Grand Prix
7:30am-8:00am SPEED
Formula 1 Practice Hungary
8:00am-9:00am (L) SPEED
Live with Regis and Kelly - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Part of Show
9:00am-10:00am (L) Most likely all time zones
Check local listings for your location and time zone  Various Stations
NASCAR Nextel Cup Practice  Indianapolis
3:30pm-4:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! Indianapolis
4:30pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Qualifying  Indianapolis
5:30pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
Trackside Indianapolis
7:00pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Craftsman Truck  Indianapolis
O'Reilly Raceway Park
8:00pm-11:00pm (L) SPEED

All times listed are ET.  For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
Ban no threat to Bahrain's F1 race Ban no threat to Bahrain's F1 race(GMM) Organizers of the grand prix in Bahrain have played down local reports that a looming ban on tobacco advertising could threaten the future of the formula one race.

Countries like Bahrain are reportedly seen by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone as a haven away from Europe's tighter controls, but the Gulf nation is currently preparing to implement the World Health Organization’s 'Framework Convention for Tobacco Control'.

''It certainly does not have an effect on the race itself,'' the circuit's general manager Martin Whitaker was quoted as telling Gulf Daily News newspaper.

He added: ''It is fair to say that the consensus is away from tobacco in motor sport and this is something that is being promoted by the (FIA).''

Racing News
SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking
Updated 8-2-06
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (2) Michael Schumacher (F1) 9.031
2. (3) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 8.088
3. (5) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR) 7.694
4. (1) Fernando Alonso (F1) 7.439
5. (7) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 7.341
6. (8) Jeff Burton (NASCAR) 7.335
7. (9) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) 7.310
8. (4) Justin Wilson (CCWS) 7.287
9. (11) Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 7.133
10. (12) Kyle Busch (NASCAR) 7.104
11. (25) Helio Castroneves (IRL) 7.104
12. (13) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 7.103
13. (14) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 6.876
14. (6) A.J. Allmendinger (CCWS) 6.745
15. (29) Vitor Meira (IRL) 6.602
16. (16) Brian Vickers (NASCAR) 6.470
17. (20) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 6.371
18. (17) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 6.276
19. (18) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 6.189
20. (19) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.091

Dropped out: Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL), Tony Kanaan (IRL)

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.

Edwards in a dogfight Edwards in a dogfightMOJAVE, CALIF. - If driving around a race track at speeds of 200mph wasn't enough for NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards, flying high above the Mojave Desert at speeds of 500mph might be a bigger thrill.  Coming off a hometown win last weekend at Gateway International Raceway in the Busch Series, Edwards spent the day Tuesday dogfighting and barrel rolling in an I-39 jet.  Edwards, who is a pilot himself, looked forward to flying a different type of aircraft.

Edwards, who won his fourth Busch Series race this past weekend at Gateway International Raceway, joined Ford's contestant winner, Brian Wright for a day of flying in Southern California.  Wright, an employee of Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C. won Ford's "Carl's Thrill Ride" sweepstakes and was provided with round-trip tickets for him and a guest to join Carl for an afternoon of flying I-39 jets.  Ford launched the sweepstakes in conjunction with its season debut of the Ford Fusion which first took to the track in Daytona in February. 

Edwards and Wright began their day with a briefing by their flight instructors David "Hollywood" Riggs and Skip "Bandit" Holm.  Holm, who served three tours in the Vietnam War, has also recorded a record number of flight-combat hours.  After the briefing, Edwards and Wright were led to their respective aircrafts and buckled into what would be a 20-minute flight to Mojave Airport.  The flight to Mojave included a number of barrel rolls, flips, twists and high-speed rollover maneuvers.  zzzz

Back on the ground in Mojave, Edwards and Wright were briefed on their next sortie, a dogfight that would take them through canyons and over ridges, carrying speeds of more than 500mph.

Even while flying I-39 jets, Edwards couldn't take his mind off the race track.  While flying high over the desert, Edwards found a test track on the ground and with the help of "Bandit" took "laps" around the track.  Flying at little over 30 feet above the ground, Edwards provided Wright some pointers on how to get around the track quickly.  According to the pilots, Edwards recorded speeds of over 450mph.

Edwards and Wright recorded over 75 minutes of dogfighting.  At times, Edwards would be the aggressor, trying to capture Wright, then roles would be reversed and Wright would attempt to capture a win from Edwards.  In the end, each logged more than seven victories each, but both came out winners in the "Thrill Ride" of a lifetime.

"That was an awesome day of flying, very cool," said Edwards as he climbed out of the cockpit.  "To be a part of the fulfillment with Ford and the new Fusion seemed like a perfect fit.  Brian is a really smart guy, who wouldn't give up on hunting me down up there.  I really have to thank both Skip and David for the training and the chance to pilot one of these jets.  They were a blast."

"It was incredible out here today," said Wright on his day in the sky.  "To be the winner of 'Carl's Thrill Ride' and spend the day out here with Ford, Carl and my brother was awesome.  This is such an unbelievable experience; I don't know how to describe it.  It's surreal, almost like you are floating up there.  You have to keep your eyes open and watch out for Carl, he was fast up there.  The pilots out here are phenomenal, the jets are so powerful and agile - they move on a dime."

When asked about turning laps around the track with Edwards, Wright responded with, "Yeah, we did a couple laps around the track and then rolled out of one of the turns.  It was an awesome experience."

Edwards hopes the practice he received while flying the I-39 jets will help him pilot his Office Depot Ford Fusion into Victory Lane this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Before competing in the Cup Series race on Sunday, Edwards will first run both the USAC race and the Busch Series race at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

Champ Car passes 1 million mark Champ Car passes 1 million markINDIANAPOLIS – Continuing the pattern of growth shown by the Champ Car World Series since the acquisition of the series by Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi, last weekend’s Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow saw the year’s one millionth fan come through the gates after just nine races.

The San Jose event followed the success of last year’s inaugural race, making a number of enhancements to the overall event including track upgrades, grandstand changes and improved access for those attending the race. The fans responded in even larger numbers than last year with the race drawing 155,934 for the three-day festival of speed, a figure that was up more than 2,000 from last season.

Sunday’s event allowed the series to break the 1,000,000 mark after nine races, raising the total for the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford to 1,076,530. In addition, five of the eight events returning from 2005 have shown increases in attendance from last year while the inaugural Grand Prix of Houston drew more than 125,000 fans to Reliant Park.

“The attendance numbers are another indication that Champ Car is following the correct plan for long-term growth and stability,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. “Fans have experienced many improvements this year and we believe that the introduction of the new DP01 Champ Car for 2007 will spark even further growth in the coming years.”

The Champ Car World Series will get back in action next week with the fifth running of the Grand Prix of Denver, August 11-13. The event will be shown live on SPEED at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time with a 30-minute qualifying show airing Saturday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern. Fans can also follow the action from every on-track session via the Race Director feature on the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.

Dixon: Iowa is "easy flat" Dixon: Iowa is "easy flat"Indy Car driver Scott Dixon said after testing the new Iowa Speedway Wednesday, "It's a lot bigger than we thought it was going to be. We thought it was similar to Richmond. It's easy flat. It will be fast and provide good passing because it's so wide, and the transitions are smooth. It's a nice track."

[Editor's Note: Great, just what we need, another 100% throttle no talent required race track.]

SCCA resurrects Trans-Am SCCA resurrects Trans-AmSports Car Club of America, Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Heartland Park Topeka that will allow the track to conduct two Trans-Am® races in 2006, thus allowing the longest continuously-running road race series in the United States to continue on with that distinction.

Plans are already ongoing in order for Heartland Park Topeka to host the events in 2006, the 40th Anniversary of the Trans-Am series.  The first event, billed as “Trans-Am Thunder in the Heartland”, will be run Labor Day, Sept. 4, following the final SCCA National Event weekend of the year and will also include the Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata SCCA classes.  The second, and final, event of the series is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 8 and will be a Trans-Am only race leading into the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® week. zzzz

“Obviously, the Trans-Am series is currently in a state of flux,” SCCA President and CEO Jim Julow said.  “Trans-Am is a very important series not only in SCCA history, but motorsports history as well.  We are excited that Heartland Park’s Raymond Irwin has stepped in so that we may continue the tradition of the longest continuously-running road racing series in North America in 2006.”

Most recently operated in conjunction with the Champ Car World Series, Trans-Am ceased operations following the 2005 campaign.  The 2006 Trans-Am Series will be the first appearance at Heartland Park Topeka for Trans-Am since the inaugural season of the facility in 1989.  That first SCCA Trans-Am event at Heartland Park was claimed by former two-time IMSA champion and Kansas native Max Jones.

“Trans-Am has been the longest running road racing series in the United States and to see that legacy lost would be a great shame. By reaching out to grassroots racers, GT-1 racers and the professional drivers with those cars still in their garages, we believe that the Trans-Am legacy can be continued for the 2006 season,” Heartland Park Topeka owner Raymond Irwin said.

“The Trans Am Series has been through many transitions but each time the competitors, fans, and sponsors have shown their enjoyment and support for the series by carrying the brand forward again. Heartland Park Topeka is proud to add to that support by hosting two 2006 Trans Am series races.”

“With the current resurgence of the Ford Mustang and expectations of the new Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Charger rejoining this popular segment of the United States marketplace, the Trans-Am series is just a step away from being back on the track,” Irwin said.  “SCCA and Heartland Park Topeka are working together to carry the series forward through 2006 in order to keep the series name and recognition alive”

Created by SCCA in 1966 as the Trans-American Sedan Championship, the Trans-Am series originated with cars in SCCA’s “A” Production class, but eventually included purpose-built tube-frame race cars competing on road courses.  Trans-Am was known through the late 1960s and early 1970s as a series for muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger.  Another domestic muscle car, the Pontiac Trans Am, was named after the series.

The 2006 race series marks the 41st consecutive season of competition for the venerable road racing series.  Events will be promoted by Heartland Park Topeka and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing.  Additional information, including purse payout, vehicle and driver eligibility and event partners will be announced shortly. SCCA

Limoges ready to team with Tags at Trois Rivières Limoges ready to team with Tags at Trois RivièresTrois Rivières, Quebec — After putting in one of the best driving performances of her rookie Grand Am Cup Series season last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, Quebec native Valerie Limoges has high hopes for her home race this weekend as she teams with friend and Champ Car World Series driver Alex Tagliani for the 37th running of the Grand Prix de Trois Rivières.
The two will share driving duties in the No. 4 Blackforest Motorsports Group USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools Mustang FR500C, and the effort will be supported by Rythem FM Radio and Ameublement Tanguay, a Quebec-based furniture store.
The Grand Prix de Trois Rivières has a long and storied history, with some of the sports greatest names having raced on the quick 1.52-mile temporary street circuit, and Limoges is thrilled to be racing on a track that she has previous experience on, something that she hasn’t done all season. zzzz
“This is a race I have been looking forward to all season,” said the former karting stand-out. “There will be so many friends and family there, but I will be focused on doing as good a job as possible because this could be a good chance to move up in the championship after some of the tough luck we’ve had.”

Limoges, who has benefited from lessons learned from a variety of co-drivers thus far this season as she works to make the most of her rookie Cup Series season, is looking forward to adding another new chapter in her long friendship with Tagliani, which started back in her karting days when Alex’s father helped prepare Limoges’ kart engines.
“I have been lucky to work with some of the best road course racers out there this year, and it will be easy to work with Alex because we already have a good communication and that should translate into a good partnership in the car this weekend,” said Limoges.
Tagliani, who is coming off a strong driving performance on a street circuit of his own, having placed his Team Australia Champ Car in position to score a podium last weekend before being crashed out by Paul Tracy, is hoping he can have some better luck this weekend.
“The Trois Rivières fans are so unbelievable, and I have had a lot of success there, so hopefully we can be competitive this weekend,” said Tagliani. “This team is quite good and I hope I can help a little bit with the development of the Mustang because it’s a very good package, and I love racing Fords.”

The on-track action will get underway on Friday, with qualifying slated for Saturday, and the two-hour race set for a 3:15 PM green flag.

IRL adds Iowa to 2007 schedule IRL adds Iowa to 2007 scheduleNEWTON, Iowa -- A state steeped in oval racing history will welcome the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series in 2007.

Iowa Speedway, a state-of-the-art racetrack nearing completion, will host races in both series June 22-24, Indy Racing League and track officials announced. The IndyCar Series will run a 250- lap race on June 24 and the Indy Pro Series a 100-mile event on June 23.

The announcement was made in conjunction with an IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series compatibility test that included 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and 2005 Indy Pro Series champion Wade Cunningham of Brian Stewart Racing.

“The Midwest is home to the core IndyCar Series fan so we are thrilled to partner with Iowa Speedway to bring IndyCar Series racing to Iowa,” said Brian Barnhart, president & COO of the Indy Racing League. “The combination of the Iowa Speedway’s 7/8-mile size with the speed and side-by-side action of the IndyCar Series promises to keep race fans on the edge of their seats.” zzzz

The facility along I-80 is 32 miles from Des Moines, 85 from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and 28 miles from Knoxville, Iowa, site of the famed Knoxville Nationals. Eighteen drivers in the history of the Knoxville Nationals have competed in the Indianapolis 500, most recently P.J. Chesson. Iowa Speedway is the 56th racing oval in the state – second in the nation to Pennsylvania’s 59.

The track is being built by the U.S. Motorsport Corporation. The “Rusty Wallace Signature Series Track” will have a seating capacity of 40,000, including 25,000 permanent seats and 15,000 festival seats. Former NASCAR champion and current ABC Sports/ESPN IndyCar Series commentator Rusty Wallace is co-designing the track, which will be the industry’s first driver-designed speedway.

“It will be fan-friendly and driver-friendly, a premier racing facility – if not the premier racing facility in the United States,” Wallace said. “I’ve driven many racetracks as a veteran driver and past NASCAR champion – I’ve seen the good and the bad – and Iowa Speedway will be ‘the best of the best.’ ”

The tri-oval has a width of 60 feet with 12-14 degree compound banking in the turns. The front stretch features 10 degrees of banking and the backstretch has 4 degrees of banking. Iowa Speedway is the first track to have the SAFER Barrier installed around the entire perimeter of the race track and first to use the New-Age SAFER Barrier, which does not have a concrete wall behind the energy absorbing barrier.

Construction crews laid about 180,000 tons of rock around the entire facility. Paving of the racing surface was completed in late July, and the speedway will host its inaugural race event Sept. 15.

“We are extremely proud to showcase the Indy Racing League here at our fabulous facility designed by one of our partners, Rusty Wallace,” Iowa Speedway president Stan Clement said. “The Indy Racing League will allow spectators and race fans an opportunity to attend a first-class display of talent and speed. So, with great enthusiasm, we welcome these world-class drivers and the Indy Racing League to Newton and the state of Iowa”.

The Iowa Speedway event is the third announced date for the 2007 IndyCar Series season. Earlier this year, the IndyCar Series announced it would return to the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., for the third Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 1. The 91st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will be held on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The remainder of the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule will be announced at a later date. IndyCar.com

Champ Car hands down San Jose penalties Champ Car hands down San Jose penaltiesThe Champ Car World Series today announces penalties stemming from both on- and off-track events that took place during this past weekend’s Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow.

Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will be placed on probation for the next three races and will forfeit seven (7) championship points for violation of Champ Car Rule 6.29 concerning unjustifiable risk. Tracy will also be fined an undisclosed amount for violation of Champ Car Rule 2.6 regarding conduct, specifically ‘Participants engaged in any event….must refrain from intentional physical contact with any participant, inappropriate or profane language…and unsportsmanlike behavior.’

Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will be fined an undisclosed amount for violation of Champ Car Rule 2.6 regarding conduct, specifically ‘Participants engaged in any event….must refrain from intentional physical contact with any participant, inappropriate or profane language…and unsportsmanlike behavior.’

Katherine Legge (#20 Gulfstream/Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will be placed on probation for the next three races for on-track misconduct.

Williams announces 2007 lineup Williams announces 2007 lineupWilliamsF1 is pleased to confirm that it has concluded its driver line-up for the 2007 season and has appointed Alex Wurz and Nico Rosberg as the team’s race drivers.

The Wurz/Rosberg pairing is the perfect driver combination to spearhead the team’s shift to Toyota power in 2007, with both the technical challenges and the opportunities this transition presents.

Commenting on today’s contract confirmations, WilliamsF1’s Team Principal, Frank Williams said, “2006 has been a pretty tough season so far and all three of our drivers have proved to be enormously resilient and committed. However, we are seeing the beginnings of a performance upswing which we are determined to maintain. Together with our recent announcement regarding our Toyota engine partnership, we are starting to put in place some of the cornerstones of a competitive team for the rest of this season and into the future.” In relation to Alex’s appointment, Frank said, “Alex brings us important technical continuity and understanding of the car and as well as being an excellent communicator with our engineers, he is ultra-competitive during the Friday ‘full tank’ practice sessions. zzzz

Alex will be a great racing driver for us as he is one of the few men I have seen in a wheel banging confrontation with Michael Schumacher and come out on top!” Williams continued, “Retaining Nico for next year was not a tough decision. He has shown great promise so far in his debut season and I know he will build on this with every race. As much as taking great pleasure in confirming Alex and Nico for next season, I must also commend Mark Webber for his contribution to the team over the past two seasons as he has been a credit to himself and Williams and has never let up in his pursuit of competitive success. I know Mark will give his all until the end of the season and we wish him well in his future arrangements.”

Alex Wurz responded to his appointment with delight. “My natural habitat is racing, so I couldn’t be happier to have received Williams’ vote of confidence for this job next season. Of course I know the team well having been a part of the race program at every Grand Prix this season, but now my role takes on additional responsibility and I am really looking forward to this.” For his part, Nico Rosberg said, “Stability and continuity are very important for me in the early stages of my Formula One career, so I am really pleased that we are now set for next year and that I will continue to work with Alex. I have learnt a lot from the team and I hope I have contributed my fair share too, but now we have the basis to step it up for the remainder of this season and next.”

No more third car for BMW-Sauber No more third car for BMW-Sauber(GMM)  With 'Friday' driver Robert Kubica taking over the controls of regular racer Jacques Villeneuve, BMW-Sauber will not run a third car in Hungary, a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

With the event in Budapest being the second leg of a European double header, it is understood that there was not enough time after Hockenheim to appoint a new driver.

Teenage star Sebastian Vettel, who tested for the Hinwil-based team at Jerez last month, might have been a logical choice to fill Kubica's boots, but the German crashed heavily at Spa-Francorchamps in a junior single-seater last weekend and sustained an open fracture to his finger.

He will likely be out of the cockpit for weeks.

Asked about the vacant Friday drive in Hungary, BMW spokesman Joerg Kottmeir said: ''We will not run a third car.''

The Munich-based marque's head of communications did not say who would be designated as the official reserve driver.

Briatore reveals cancer scare Briatore reveals cancer scare(GMM) To the Italian press on Wednesday, Renault boss Flavio Briatore has revealed details of a recent brush with cancer. 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' reports that a tumor was discovered in the 56-year-old's left kidney during a routine inspection and removed in surgery at an Italian hospital last month.

''I thought I was immortal,'' Briatore - a regular star of gossip magazines and collector of supermodel girlfriends - was quoted as telling the weekly magazine 'A', ''but instead a medical procedure has saved me.

''I just want to say publicly -- don't forget to get yourself checked.''

Briatore claims that, while recuperating in Italy, he decided to make some changes about the way he approaches life.

''I came to realize that at least 15 per cent of my previous existence was superfluous. So I want to dedicate more time to myself and the people who need me.''

It was strongly rumored at Hockenheim that Briatore was due to confirm a new one-year contract to stay at Renault, but the announcement did not come.
Kubica replaces Villeneuve, Jacques future in doubt Kubica replaces Villeneuve, Jacques future in doubtUPDATE McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya took out his teammate in the opening lap of the USGP and was essentially told to find another job - he went to NASCAR seven days later.  Jacques made a similar mistake on the opening lap of the German race taking out his teammate Nick Heidfeld, who said afterwards that he had been hit in the rear by his teammate causing a puncture.  We suspect Villeneuve has been told to find another job and we will not see him in the BMW Sauber much longer, perhaps ever again.  His contract was up anyway and BMW has their eyes on a couple of other drivers, Kubica being one of them. (See related rumor)

08/01/06 The BMW Sauber F1 Team will take their place on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest this coming weekend with a different driver line-up. After his accident at the German Grand Prix last weekend Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve will not be racing. Test and reserve driver Robert Kubica will take his place. He will be the first Pole ever to contest a Formula One grand prix. 

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: "Jacques has informed us that he is not ready to race after his Hockenheim accident. Robert has made an outstanding impression with the team so far, both in testing and on the Friday of the race weekends. Now we will see how he performs in a Formula One race. However, we have not yet made a decision on who will drive the car either in the remaining races of the season or next year." 

21-year-old Kubica is looking forward to the new challenge: "I had prepared myself for a whole year without actually competing in any races, so I'm even happier to get this opportunity. And I'm proud that the BMW Sauber F1 Team has such confidence in me. I'm determined not to let them down."

[Editor's Note: No decision has been made on who will drive the car in the remaining five races after the Hungarian GP or next year, Theissen said, indicating that Villeneuve's career with BMW-Sauber may be ending.]

Karthikeyan helping aspiring Indian drivers Karthikeyan helping aspiring Indian driversWhen Narain Karthikeyan was chasing his dream of joining Formula One’s elite, many at home in India felt he was being over ambitious.

Having made history as India’s first Formula One driver last year, the Williams test driver is now backing plans to help fellow dreamers in his homeland by setting up a support structure that he lacked as an aspiring driver.

As a first step, Karthikeyan, 29, has launched two teams with young drivers hand-picked by him for this month’s national racing series, finding them sponsorship and lending the teams his name.

His eventual plans are to start an academy, providing talented Indian drivers with guidance and sponsorship backing, and saving them from having to go to expensive overseas training schools as he did.

"I wanted to give back something to the sport," Karthikeyan told Reuters. "The whole program was put together with the help of my Indian sponsors."

Karthikeyan drove for Jordan in his rookie year but his role has been limited this season as the second test driver for Williams.

"I’m the most experienced Indian driver," he said. "I’m happy I can give them some time this year." More at Gulf Times

100th GP start for Raikkonen 100th GP start for RaikkonenMcLaren Mercedes arrive in Eastern Europe this week looking to build on the podium secured by Kimi Raikkonen in Germany at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

The race marks Raikkonen’s 100th Grand Prix start and is also the one year anniversary of Team McLaren Mercedes’ Partnership with Johnnie Walker.

The race was introduced in 1986 at the modern facility which was built with Formula 1 in mind. Since the inaugural race, McLaren has won the event six times, the first of which was in 1988 with Ayrton Senna at the wheel. Recent years have seen success for the Team McLaren Mercedes team at the Hungaroring, with Mika Hakkinen securing two consecutive victories in 1999 and 2000 with David Coulthard also achieving podium finishes in both years. Last year, Kimi took a dominant victory for the team, having started the race from fourth position.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is the second slowest race on the Formula One calendar. In the first race in 1986, drivers were shown the checkered flag one lap earlier than planned because the two-hour limit had been reached, even though there hadn’t been a drop of rain.

Q and A with Midland's James Key Q and A with Midland's James Key
Q. Firstly, what can you tell us about the disqualifications in Germany?

James Key - Midland's technical director: "It was a disappointing end to the weekend, really. We had a pretty open discussion with the stewards, and they weren't too happy with the stiffness of the lower rear wings. We went through it and I made it clear they are non-structural components, so they are designed to be very lightweight.

"They asked a few questions and I put our case forward. They came back to us and made some points that we've taken on board, and we'll address those for the next race, so we won't face the same issue again. Some of the points made by the stewards weren't correct, but it's a simple fix that's not going to affect performance anyway. I think it's best just to let it rest and carry on." More....

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Plane beats Red Bull at Silv
Kubica to replace Villeneuve in Hungary
Webber 'not excited' about Toyota coup
Embattled Renault make changes for Hungary
30 years ago, Lauda crashed
Schu favorite to land title - rivals
BMW feel sting of FIA crackdown
8 million viewers in Germany 8 million viewers in Germany8.07 million people tuned in to watch last Sunday's F1 German GP race on German TV. In Italy 8.86 million viewers tuned in, a 61.19% share. Bernie Ecclestone is right, more people watch an F1 race in small countries like Italy and Germany, than watch NASCAR in a large country like the USA. A typical NASCAR race draws between 4 and 5 million viewers in the USA.
The race is on for the F1 World Championship The race is on for the F1 World ChampionshipWith six wins and three second places in the first nice races of the season, it seemed like Fernando Alonso and Renault would have an easy run to winning both the 2006 Driver and Constructors World Championships.

But then Michael Schumacher and Ferrari kicked off their winning streak with a victory in the United Stated Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by wins in France and Germany.

With six races to go, Alonso has 100 points to Schumacher's 89. And Renault has 149 points while Ferrari has 139.

"With the performance we have shown in the last three races against our competitor," Schumacher said, "it gives us great confidence that at least for some more races we can probably keep that. And hopefully we can reduce the gap in the championship pretty significantly.

"We might come back to a more normal situation in the last races, where it's going one (win) to us and one to the other, because we have to expect that Renault will come back at some stage.

"This period and motivation and the feeling within the team is really superb, and there's a lot of thanks to Felipe (Massa), who is doing a great job within the team, in testing and concentrating and just doing great. I'm happy to have him as my teammate." USGP PR

CARA Champ Car tailgate party CARA Champ Car tailgate partyELKHART LAKE, Wis. –There is nothing like a good tailgate party in Wisconsin.  Whether it’s in Green Bay before a Packers game or Madison before a Badger contest or Milwaukee before a Brewers game, it is well known that the “cheeseheads” can throw the best tailgate parties around.

Now racing fans will get an opportunity to do it as well and at one of the world’s most famous and picturesque racing facilities, Elkhart Lake’s Road America. 

On Friday, Sept. 22, as part of the exciting Champ Car World Series weekend, racing enthusiasts treat their taste buds and enjoy food, drink and entertainment as well as mingling with the drivers, team owners, crew members and sponsors after some spirited Friday racing action on the famed four-mile road circuit in middle Wisconsin.

Some of the finest food ever prepared at a racing facility will be displayed and the proceeds for the Champ Car Tailgate Party will go to three charities – CARA Charities, the Elkhart Lake First Responders and the Elkhart Lake Volunteer Fire Department. zzzz

For many years, CARA Charities’ festival of food was one of the most popular social events on the Champ Car tour and the new venue at Road America will continue the tradition with food lines and tables opening at 6 p.m. on Friday night, Sept. 22.

“The Champ Car Tailgate Party will be another great evening for the racing fans as well as the CCWS paddock community,” said Vicki Faivre, president of CARA Charities.  “And what is even better is that all of the proceeds go to charity.  What an outstanding way to raise money and have a wonderful night with hundreds of our racing friends.  Everyone knows that Wisconsin puts on some of the best tailgate parties in the USA.”

This year’s Tailgate menu will include Abler’s Meat Market Brats (grilled to perfection by the legendary Champ Car World Series Safety Team chefs), Abler’s Meat Market Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Pasta from Newman’s Own Say Cheese Sauce, assorted salads from with Newman’s Own salad dressings, Sargento Cheese Snacks (important in Wisconsin, the home of cheese) and special desserts.

Beverages also will be available including beer served by the Elkhart Lake First Responders and Volunteer Fire Department members.  In addition, selective wines will be served by the Champ Car Pace Girls and wives and girlfriends of the CCWS drivers.

Tickets for the Champ Car Tailgate Party are now on sale at $50 each and can be purchased in advance or the night of the event.  For further information, contact CARA Charities at (317) 299-2277 for reservations or go online at www.caracharities.org. Sponsor packages are also available for the Tailgate Party and please contact the CARA headquarters at 317-299-2277 or carachar@aol.com.

Racing News
Quotes of the week - "Without Danica, the IRL would be toast" Quotes of the week - "Without Danica, the IRL would be toast"
Industry News
Big 3 sales plunge Big 3 sales plungeCar and truck sales at Detroit?s automakers plunged in July, a given after record sales a year ago thanks to employee discounts, but a few executives found some reasons to cheer in the results.

General Motors Corp. said its sales fell 19.5%, while Ford Motor Co. said its sales fell 34% in July. DaimlerChrysler said its sales also were off 34% for the month, with Chrysler Group sales off 37% for the same period.
Industry News
Toyota Surpasses Ford as No. 2 Carmaker Toyota Surpasses Ford as No. 2 CarmakerThe Toyota Motor Company passed the Ford Motor Company in July for the first time to rank as the second-biggest carmaker in the United States, behind General Motors, auto sales reports out today showed.

Toyota surpassing Ford came only three months after Toyota passed DaimlerChrysler, including both Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz, to rank as the third-biggest company in terms of American sales.

Worldwide, Toyota is already the second-biggest carmaker behind G.M. and ahead of Ford.

Bahrain race an economic boom Bahrain race an economic boomThe economic impact of this year's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix was estimated at $394 million (BD150m), according to an independent study.

It assessed the event's direct economic impact through the sale of tickets and the money generated through support services, said Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) general manager Martin Whitaker.

The impact on hotels, airlines, transportation and other service industries was also studied, he told the GDN. Such studies were earlier conducted by a London-based organization.

"However, we found that for a proper assessment, you have to be on site," said Mr. Whitaker.

He said the figures did not include income generated through events at the circuit around the year. "It is important for people to realize that the BIC is not just a venue for a three-day Grand Prix," said Mr. Whitaker.

"There are scores of on-track and off-track events. Still, many people are unaware of the fact that the BIC is the largest active exhibition centre in the Middle East, offering what no other venue in the Gulf can. Be it a conference, a team building exercise, a client incentive activity or simply a day out with friends, BIC has the facilities for all these." Gulf Daily News

Tagliani and Tracy patch things up Tagliani and Tracy patch things upAlmost as quickly as they came to blows in the pit lane after a crash at the San Jose Grand Prix last Sunday, Canadian Champ Car drivers Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy have smoothed things over.

Tagliani said yesterday that all he had wanted from his fellow Canadian when he confronted him on Sunday was an apology and a bit of respect for his Team Australia's hard work.

But last night, everything was patched up between the two when Tracy apologized.

"It was really good to talk," Tagliani said. "Both of us were frustrated and we feel bad about what happened in the pits. Two guys having problems on the racetrack is one thing, but we're smart people. We can let it go and keep going."

Tracy, of Toronto, who drives for Forsythe Championship Racing, caused the crash, which possibly robbed Tagliani of a top-three finish in a season that's been difficult for the native of Lachenaie, Que.

While the incident at the California track continued a history of clashes between the two, Tagliani insisted the friendship they've built over the past year ensured that they would work out their differences.

"I consider him a friend, and no matter what happens on the racetrack, you should be able to talk to each other," Tagliani said.

"What he was five days ago for me, he should be tomorrow. If you can't do that, it means you don't value the friendship that much." More at Globe and Mail [Related Article - Tracy Had it Coming]

Rocketsports testing on two fronts Rocketsports testing on two frontsThe East Lansing-based Rocketsports Racing's race shop will be pretty empty this week, as the Grand American Rolex Series Rocketsports Daytona Prototype car will be out testing at the GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a two-day Champ Car test at Road American in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin at the end of the week.

Rocketsports Racing is known for its many years of racing in the Trans Am Series, which unfortunately came to an end last year.  This year, the team wanted to continue Sports Car racing and purchased a Ford-Crawford Daytona Prototype race car to compete in a handful of races in the Grand American Rolex Series.  In continuation of learning the new racecar, Rocketsports will take the #50 Rocketsports DP car on a test to prepare for upcoming events the team will be participating in. zzzz

In addition to the driver line up of Rocketsports team owner Paul Gentilozzi and former Trans Am teammate Tomy Drissi, Champ Car driver of the #18 Flexovit Abrasive/Rocketsports car Tonis Kasemets will join the team in Michigan to try out the team's other race car.  Kasemets will be a part of the team when they compete in the Discount Tire Sunchaser 9 hour race at Miller Motorsport Park in Utah, August 31- September 2.

Kasemets will then head to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to run in his #18 Champ Car in preparation for the late-September event at Road America.  The Estonian driver signed a six-race deal with the team to run in 2006.  He has made four Champ Car starts, and will return to the Champ Car field for Round 12 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford when the series returns to Road America after a one-year hiatus.

The Rocketsports team will test both the #18 and #8 Champ Cars on Thursday and Friday at Road America, running both Kasemets and Nicky Pastorelli.

The Champ Car team will return to the shop to prepare the cars and pack up for their next event in Denver, Colorado on August 11-13.  The Rocketsports Champ Car team has been quite busy and getting just a little homesick as they will be returning from back-to-back events in Edmonton and San Jose before testing and leaving again for Denver, Colorado. But that's racing, and they are geared up to continue during this really busy time on the racing schedule.

Gordon not keen on comparison to racing icons Gordon not keen on comparison to racing iconsIf Team DuPont kisses the bricks following this Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Jeff Gordon will tie achievements set by two racing icons from different sides of the Atlantic. Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and four-time winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, can match feats set by two seven-time champions this weekend. Michael Schumacher, a seven-time Formula 1 champion from Germany, won the U.S. Grand Prix at the famed speedway last month to become the first five-time winner in the speedway's 96-year history. "I've never felt like there's a real good comparison there," said Gordon. "As a kid growing up a fan of the Indianapolis 500 and realizing what Al Unser, Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt accomplished, I don't think you can compare that to what I've done or what Michael Schumacher has done. As much as I love this race and am glad that I've won here, I still don't compare those wins to what those guys have done in the Indy 500. "I look at the F1 race in the same manner. It's just a totally different event and totally different types of cars. I think that you have to take each series and compare everything to that series."Performance PR Plus
NASCAR slams its latest cheaters NASCAR slams its latest cheatersNASCAR announced today penalties and fines that have been issued among two NASCAR Busch Series teams as a result of rule violations at Gateway International Raceway.

Ricky Pearson, crew chief for the No. 36 Chevrolet driven by Tim Sauter, was fined $15,000 and suspended from NASCAR for the next two events beginning with the Aug. 5 race at O’Reilly Raceway Park for violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules: Section 20A-12.3-I (unapproved shock absorber piston bleed holes). The violations were discovered during post-race inspection on July 29.

Additionally, Sauter will lose 50 NASCAR Busch Series driver points and team owner John McGill will forfeit 50 NASCAR Busch Series owner points.

Also, Greg Tester, crew chief for the No. 71 Chevrolet driven by Ron Young, was fined $2,000 violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (Section 20A-12.1A(8) (jacking bolt must be made of solid magnetic steel). The violation was discovered during opening-day inspection on July 28.

Allmendinger joins PCM for season finale Allmendinger joins PCM for season finaleVentura, California – Pacific Coast Motorsports today announced that it will bolster its driver line-up for the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley with the addition of Champ Car World Series title-contender A.J. Allmendinger for the nine-hour, season-ending ‘Discount Tire Sunchaser’ event, hosted at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, 31st August – 2nd September.
Signed up to race alongside PCM regulars, fellow American Alex Figge and Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel, Allmendinger, a three-time Champ Car World Series race winner this season driving for Forsythe Racing, will make his second career Daytona Prototype start in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series following his debut at the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ back in January.
The 24-year-old Californian is no stranger to Pacific Coast Motorsports having competed against the Ventura-based outfit in the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship.  Allmendinger went on to capture the title in his rookie season, beating his team-mate for September’s event, Ryan Dalziel, to the championship before going on to become the Champ Car World Series’ ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2004. 
Gelles confident of Champ Car’s future Gelles confident of Champ Car’s future[Editor's Note: Almost overnight Bob Gelles becomes the biggest team owner in Champ Car with 6 cars in Formula BMW, 4 cars in Champ Car Atlantics, and 2 cars in the Champ Car World Series.  It must be somewhat shocking to the existing team owners that someone could emerge pretty much out of nowhere to put together a massive 12 car operation in a matter of three years.]

Gelles Racing caught a lot of attention this weekend on and off the track. Friday night, team owner Bob Gelles announced his team would join the Champ Car World Series championship in 2007 with a two-car effort. He also made it clear Gelles Racing would promote a full ladder team with cars in Formula BMW USA and Champ Car Atlantic. Meanwhile, on the track, Colin Fleming earned fourth fastest time and started the race on second row, had a great start moving to 3rd in the first lap. His race was ended on lap 6 when another car pushed him into the turn-six wall to end his day while he was third and looking for his first podium in only his second Atlantic race. Robbie Pecorari made a muscular comeback from 18th up to 8th before he brushed the turn-6 wall on lap 31 to end his day with a broken suspension. 

“Our drivers were very quick but they come away unrewarded with championship points, said Bob Gelles (pictured right). Colin was running third in the #14 eSoles/King Taco car and could have won the race but was sidelined by an avoidable contact from car #30. Robbie was just 0.5 second behind Colin in qualifying but that set him back 10 places. His #28 Western Union/USA Today machine was one of the fastest today but he admits he gambled a little bit on the exit of turn 6 and paid the price pushing hard to gain a top-5 finish. Finally, Phil Giebler in his maiden race in the #42 Jos. J. Albanese car survived a pit stop early for a front wing change and drove very well to finish 11th overall.”

“We’re very excited about our commitment to run two cars in the Champ Car World Series next year, he added. I have been trying to put together my own ladder system for four years and 2007 will see us with six drivers in BMW USA, four in Champ Car Atlantic and two in World Series, a perfect tier system. With the new Panoz DP-01 chassis together with the new competition regulations, even a rookie team can be competitive in CCWS. Kevin Kalkhoven convinced me the CCWS was heading in the right direction.”

Date set for 2007 San Jose GP Date set for 2007 San Jose GPThe dates are July 27, 28, 29 next year for the San Jose Grand Prix - head-to-head with the Allstate 400 NASCAR Cup race at Indy, which should assure low TV ratings, though we doubt it will affect race attendance one iota..
SJ race much smoother this time around SJ race much smoother this time aroundDude, this car race ruled. Want to fight about it?

Because this time, they got it right. Almost every single part of it.

Unlike last year, the people running the San Jose Grand Prix gave thousands of fans a chance to move around downtown and comfortably enjoy their bratwurst fumes along with their methanol fumes.

Also unlike last year, they gave those fans a way to cross over Almaden Boulevard without making them wait in a line lengthier than Paul Newman's acting career.

But mainly, the show was the thing. The racing show. It was wild, madcap and occasionally riveting. It turned San Jose's urban streets into a perfect stage for speed, collisions, drama, tire-kicking and extreme driver wrestling. And it yielded a popular repeat champion from France who gave his victory speech in an Inspector Clouseau accent.

In case you're wondering, that's how you make sure people will come back next year -- which was the primary goal after last year's inaugural grand prix caused so many problems for both the drivers and the customers.

``I thought all of the changes we made paid off,'' race president Dale Jantzen said Sunday afternoon.

``It's like we are in Saint Joseph, a whole new city, so much better,'' said driver Oriol Servia, who last year said that he screamed every time his car hit the light-rail tracks on San Carlos Street at 150 mph.

``There is no comparison with last year,'' agreed winning driver Sebastien Bourdais.  More at Mercury News

Extensive radio and TV coverage of Allstate 400 Extensive radio and TV coverage of Allstate 400The NBC, TNT and SPEED television networks and IMS Radio Network will provide more than 15 hours of live coverage of on-track activities during the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard weekend Aug. 4-6 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Television coverage of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard features extensive shows of practice sessions Aug. 4-5 and qualifications Aug. 5 as teams vie for a front-row starting spot at one of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' most prestigious events. A busy weekend of track activity and behind-the-scenes preparations will culminate with a scheduled 4 ½ hours of coverage Aug. 6 of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on NBC.

NBC's live broadcast of the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will begin with pre-race coverage at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Aug. 6, followed by flag-to-flag coverage of the race at 2:30 p.m. The broadcast television talent for the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Bill Weber, play-by-play announcer; Benny Parsons, analyst; Wally Dallenbach, commentator; and Allen Bestwick, Matt Yocum, Marty Snider and Dave Burns, pit reporters. zzzz

TNT will provide live coverage of NEXTEL Cup qualifying from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 5, while SPEED Channel will broadcast practice from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Aug. 4-5.

Coverage of the 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Race Day begins on the IMS Radio Network at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Aug. 6, and the network's experienced team of broadcast professionals will provide flag-to-flag coverage of the event and post-race analysis until 5:45 p.m.

IMS Radio Network coverage of the event kicks off with the race preview from 5-6 p.m. (ET) Friday, Aug. 4. The network will offer live coverage of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying from 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 5, followed by a live wrap-up of Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Qualifying Day events from 5-6 p.m. that evening.

In addition to coverage all across America, the IMS Radio Network's broadcast of the race will be available around the globe. The American Forces Radio Network will broadcast the race to more than 175 countries and territories, covering all United States military facilities worldwide. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is also on XM Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel and on the Internet at NASCAR.com.

The on-air IMS Radio Network talent for the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Bob Jenkins, host; Doug Rice, anchor; John Andretti, color commentary; Donald Davidson, historian; Jerry Baker, Turn 1 reporter; Chris Denari, Turn 2 reporter; Mark Jaynes, Turn 3 reporter; Chuck Carland, Turn 4 reporter; and Kevin Lee, Brett McMillan, Kevin Olson and Pat Patterson, pit reporters. IMS Radio Network anchor Mike King will serve as host for the preview and qualifying shows.

(All times ET - Schedule subject to change.)


Aug. 4
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Practice
3:30-4:30 p.m.
SPEED (live)

Aug. 5
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Qualifying
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
TNT (live)

Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Practice
3:30-4:30 p.m.
SPEED (live)

Aug. 6
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Pre-Race
1:30-2:30 p.m.
NBC (live)

13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
2:30 p.m.
NBC (live)

(All times ET - Schedule subject to change.)


Aug. 4
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Preview
5-6 p.m. (live)

Aug. 5
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Qualifying
10 a.m.-noon (live)

Qualifying Wrap-Up Show
5-6 p.m. (live)

Aug. 6
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Pre-Race
1:30-2:30 p.m. (live)

13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
2:30-5:45 p.m. (live)

TV news
SportsCenter’s Brickyard 400 coverage SportsCenter’s Brickyard 400 coverageBRISTOL, Conn. - SportsCenter’s NASCAR coverage will hit full throttle Thursday-Sunday, August 3-6, for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in Indianapolis including full-set presence anchored by Chris Fowler.

Fowler will be joined by NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace, whose 25-year career included 55 Cup wins, and ESPN’s veteran NASCAR reporter Mike Massaro. The same trio presented SportsCenter’s Daytona 500 coverage last January when Wallace made his ESPN debut.

While previewing Sunday’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, SportsCenter coverage will include a look at how Jeff Gordon (9th), Tony Stewart (10th) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (11th) are battling to make the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with six races to go, knowing that the ninth and 10th place drivers at this point, failed to qualify the past two years. zzzz 

SportsCenter will also focus on Columbia, Ind. native Tony Stewart’s return to his self-named “home track” to defend last year’s victory, a race he said he would give up his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship to win.

Along with analysis and interviews with key owners, crew chiefs and drivers, including on-set appearances by Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, SportsCenter will also show how The Brickyard’s “kissing the bricks” ritual has grown to where IRL Indianapolis 500 winners have done it the past two years.

Additionally, SportsCenter will profile legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway public address announcer Tom Carnegie, 85, who has been the voice of every Indianapolis 500 (61) and 12 Brickyard 400’s since 1946.

Schu: "We were phenomenal Sunday" Schu: "We were phenomenal Sunday"The traditional post-race party was cancelled as Michael and Corinna Schumacher opted to return home to their children as soon as they could. "The break to the next race is a short one and the stakes are so high that I preferred getting some immediate rest so that I can go into Budapest recharged" revealed Michael.

"As regards the team's morale, I have to say that a one-two at Hockenheim has helped us very much. Ferrari dominated as it did on its best days from the past. It is a result that, obviously, impressed the fans. Above all, it is a win that reopens a championship race that everyone had already given up as lost. "The Drivers' title is up for grabs", stated Michael after the race. "The great thing is that I now have the mathematical chance to win it without having to depend on the actions of anyone else".

One thing is certain: "yesterday's performance was phenomenal, especially given the position we were in last year". This result is the fruit of many months of work and many more to come. Now, it is clear that we all want the title back and a result like that at Hockenheim only increases this feeling. The win makes us not want to give up. The fact that the next race comes up so quickly is an advantage for us". zzzz

Despite the high morale, the squad knows that it will not be easy repeating the performance from Germany. "Sure it was great but it will not be easy doing it again right away. Saying this, a win is vital if we are to keep up the chase. We have to score more points rather than pushing things and trying to dominate the race. We will have to maintain a high tempo and be focused throughout. In modern day Formula 1, nothing is a certainty".

There also remains the fact that it is impossible to make major changes in just a week and this will not have escaped the attention of the seven time champion. "Clearly, there is no need to make big changes at this point", smiled Michael. Thanks to the pause in testing that will last until the race in Turkey, this advantage should last two races. This is why we think we could have some influence on the destination of the title. There are six races left and we will be going for it". 

Premat penalized Premat penalizedART driver Alexandre Premat has been given a 10-place grid penalty in Hungary for crashing into Hiroki Yoshimoto in the GP2 race at Hockenheim on Sunday.  Premat shoved Yoshimoto off the track but made such a mess of the move that he too spun and both men retired. The Frenchman has been overshadowed this year by his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Kudos to CDW, Champ Car Kudos to CDW, Champ CarUPDATE Another reader adds, I don't know why it has not been corrected or pointed out but.....When your driver is not capable of properly saying a sponsor name don't you think someone from his team would help him out?  Sebastian is good about getting the McDonald's name out and thanking the team but it is not mispronounced M Nonulds.  That could be another reason why McDonald's does not use Sebastien in their TV ads.  Champ Car or Newman/Haas should help him out. Joe Pichette

07/31/06 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, One of the concerns we all have had in recent years has been the lack of sponsor activation and promotion of the drivers in our favorite series. On that subject I would like to recognize and thank CDW for the full page ad in the front section of Friday's Wall Street Journal featuring Justin Wilson, Champ Car, Bridgestone, the RuSPORT’s associate sponsors and the San Jose Grand Prix. Thanks CDW for promoting the drivers and series we are so passionate about. Fortunately for CDW, I am about to upgrade servers and computer systems here at my business - CDW is going to get my business.
While I am at it - thanks to Bob Singleton, the San Jose staff and Champ Car for a very entertaining race this weekend. There was passing, drama, great camera angles and a good job by the TV crew to catch on track action with replays when something was missed. The guys (and gal) were going at it - it was a true street fight, no pun intended! The race was all over the sporting news last night. I can't wait to see the new "lighter" more nimble car in action there next year. Good job by all. John McHugh

Dear John, Clearly CDW gets it. Quite unlike McDonald's which has a dominating, clean-cut driver in Sebastien Bourdais yet they hardly take advantage of it. If they did it would not only help McDonald's, but it would also help Bourdais and Champ Car. Perhaps they don't want to make a big investment in Bourdais for fear he will one day bolt to F1 to fulfill his dream and they will have lost him as a symbol for McDonald's in the USA. If nothing happens for him in F1 soon, and he makes a long-term commitment to Champ Car, perhaps then McDonald's will finally do something. What about a McDonald's Champ Car in a Kids Meal bag? How about a plastic play toy of Bourdais? Maybe some TV or print ads. The possibilities are endless. Mark C.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
MF1 won't protest German GP exclusion
F1 world looks forward to rest - Theissen
FIA give Renault 'mass damper' reprieve
Bahrain, Malaysia, get 2007 dates
Haug glad title is open again
Klien saves career with timely point
Again, Weber tells 'best friend' to quit
Rosberg - 'I'm staying put'
De la Rosa on road to Budapest
Renault seat would have made me stay - Montoya
A1GP course on streets of Manchester A1GP course on streets of ManchesterThe A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will bring speed and excitement to the streets of Manchester, UK this summer as part of Sky Festival. In a UK-first, six elite A1GP cars and drivers will complete a 1.5km course, through the centre of Manchester from 2-3pm on Sunday 13 August – the third and final day of the three day free festival.

Members of the public will be able to take part in the A1GP action from special viewing areas as the cars roar through the city streets, reaching speeds of up to 70mph along sections of the course, which runs from Corporation Street, up to Albert Square, around Manchester’s Town Hall, along Deansgate, through St Mary’s Gate and back to the starting point in Corporation Street.

A dedicated interactive A1GP paddock, located in Exchange Square, will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 10am-8pm and on Sunday from 10am-12pm and 3.30pm-7pm, offering people the chance to get up close to the cars and drivers with a nine car display simulating a real-life race paddock. With interactive opportunities such as ‘wear the race suit’ and the tire change challenge – members of the public will get a first hand experience of life as an A1GP driver and mechanic.

A1 Teams Australia, China, Great Britain, Ireland, Lebanon, and Malaysia will all run the specially designed road course on Sunday 13 August.

Hylton Takes Over Crew Chief Duties on 88 Hylton Takes Over Crew Chief Duties on 88Robert Yates Racing announced today that veteran crew chief Butch Hylton will assume crew chief duties for the #88 UPS Racing Team in an interim capacity beginning with this weekend’s AllState 400 at the Brickyard. Hylton has been with Robert Yates Racing since the end of June and served as crew chief for development driver Stephen Leicht at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago.
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