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Despain and Vickers to Inside Nextel Cup show Despain and Vickers to Inside Nextel Cup showDave Despain, host of the popular SPEED Channel show Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET) takes over as host of Inside NEXTEL Cup, beginning Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. In addition, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Brian Vickers replaces Johnny Benson on the weekly Monday night panel show that dissects the weekend’s racing action from the drivers’ perspective.

“Inside NEXTEL Cup is the longest running NASCAR program on the network, so we have been very careful in considering any changes,” said Chris Long, SPEED Channel VP of Studio Production. “Allen, Michael, Johnny and Ken have been doing this show for nearly 10 years and there certainly is a comfort level and chemistry between all four of them and the television audience.

“However, we felt it was the appropriate time to update the panel and rededicate the show to delivering a true insider’s view of each race,” Long added. “We are going to use everything at our disposal technically and creatively to bring race fans the inside story on why real-time decisions were made during the heat of battle.” zzzz

Despain, who continues as host of Wind Tunnel, plans to approach his new role from a fan’s point of view.  “After every race, there are two basic questions I ask myself,” Despain said. “What really happened and why did it happen? We’ve certainly got the right guys to give us the answers -- it’s going to be up to me to ask the right questions.”

In adding Vickers, Long hopes to offer Inside NEXTEL Cup viewers fresh perspective from the next generation of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers.  “I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the new format for the program,” Vickers said. “I’ve enjoyed the show in the past and look forward to finding my own unique role with Dave and the cast to provide an additional perspective to the viewers.”

In addition to changes to the cast and minor tweaks to the set, Inside NEXTEL Cup also will look to use more in-car audio and graphic elements to break down all the key moments from the weekend’s race.

Ganassi team picks up Pantano for two races Ganassi team picks up Pantano for two racesTarget Chip Ganassi Racing announced today the addition of Italian driver Giorgio Pantano to take over the helm of the no.10 Target Toyota Panoz for both the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix on August 28 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, and the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix in New York on September 25, the final two road courses on the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series schedule. While the race in Sonoma will be Pantano’s first experience behind the wheel of an IndyCar, extensive road course background and was more than enough to get the nod from Target team owner Chip Ganassi, who has a reputation for recruiting young talent.

“We’re really excited to have such an experienced and talented road course racer added to our team for the Sonoma and Watkins Glen races,” said Target team owner Chip Ganassi of the 26-year-old driver from Padua, Italy. “He was the best driver available to us and we couldn’t be happier that his schedule allowed him to be able to participate in both races. Along with Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe, we expect the Target Team to be the team to beat out there for these two road course races.  We had a strong showing at the first street race in St. Petersburg. We’re hoping the addition of Giorgio will help us turn the corner in that department and get to victory lane.”

Last year, Pantano made his Formula 1 debut with the Jordan F1 Team running 14 Grand Prix races. zzzz 

He began his racing career at the age of nine and quickly became a teenage sensation in karting collecting two Junior World championship wins (1993-94), three European Championships (1993-95-96); and three Italian national titles (1993-94-96).

His first year of single-seater competition was with the Swiss KMS team with whom he won the competitive German F3 2000 Championship, clinching the title with three victories and seven podium finishes.

The young Italian driver won at Monza in his debut season in the FIA F3000 in 2001 with the Coloni team, finishing the season runner-up to Sebastien Bourdais (2003 Champ Car Champion) in the Championship with three race wins. Pantano began testing with McLaren and then joined Williams in 2001 as their test driver. Another team change and another great performance in 2003 in the FIA F3000 series saw the young Italian driver take third place overall in the series. Pantano currently competes in the GP2 series with the Super Nova team out of England.

“Giorgio Pantano represents enthusiasm, excitement and a passion for motor sports and that is what this team is all about so this is a great fit for us,” said Team Managing Director, Mike Hull of the addition of Pantano for the Sonoma road race. “While he is new to IndyCars, Pantano has the talent, background and experience to be successful right away and, as this is an IndyCar road course rather than an oval, the transition will be much easier as well. This team is looking forward to having all three of our Target drivers up front for these road course battles.”

“This is a very good opportunity and a good challenge that Chip Ganassi and the Target team have offered me and I am looking forward to living up to expectations,” said Pantano. ”This will be my first experience with IndyCars and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and get a feel for it. It is fantastic to be with a team that puts so much into winning.”

While IndyCars may be a novelty to Pantano, and this will be his first visit to either Infineon Raceway or Watkins Glen International, he will be familiar with some of his fellow competitors; he has previously competed against 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Weldon and Kosuke Matsuura in karting and knows Target teammate Briscoe from racing in Italy.

IPS Series
IRL slams cheaters IRL slams cheatersThe Indy Racing League penalized IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series team Vision Racing 16 entrant points and fined the team an undisclosed amount for a technical rules violation found on the No. 20 car during post-race inspection following the Bluegrass 100 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13.  Vision Racing was penalized for violating Rule 100 G. (1) from Appendix B of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Rule Book (Technical Specifications).  Vision Racing may contest the imposition of the penalty pursuant to the protest and appeal procedures in the Rule Book.  This may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.  Jay Drake was the driver, Larry Curry the Team Manager, known for trying to cheat in the past.  IRL
Philadelphia race meets local resistance Philadelphia race meets local resistanceHolding a high-speed motor race on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway could bring the city millions of dollars in hotel, restaurant and shopping revenue from tourists who would flock to the event, city officials say. But permanent road changes that actor and race-car aficionado Paul Newman and his colleagues from the Champ Car World Series are seeking would ruin the cultural ambience of the area and derail plans to make the Parkway more pedestrian-friendly, a growing chorus of critics counters.

The proposal, which Newman and his colleagues delivered to the city this month, calls for widening, by as much as 10 feet, sections of the Parkway and a portion of Race Street in front of the Moore College of Art and Design, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by The Inquirer. The city would be expected to foot the estimated $800,000 bill.

The proposal also calls for several streets to be reconfigured. On a temporary basis, grandstands would be erected, streets shut down, and a half-dozen pedestrian bridges built across the proposed race course. "They want to turn the Parkway into a 14-lane-wide highway," said Paul Levy, executive director of the Center City District.

With help from the city and private foundations, Levy's agency has led a multimillion-dollar effort to improve streetlights, traffic lights and pedestrian crosswalks on the Parkway. "We truly believe that the idea of widening roadways and reducing public space is completely contrary to the vision we all hold for the Parkway," states a letter the Parkway Council Foundation sent recently to several city officials and the Fairmount Park Commission's chairman.

The foundation includes high-ranking representatives from the Moore College of Art and Design, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, and a variety of other cultural and educational institutions and businesses, such as the Four Seasons Hotel, that are on or near the Parkway. City officials appear to be listening to the critics. In an interview, Managing Director Pedro Ramos said the city was planning to contact Champ Car soon and suggest it consider other options for the race. "Our next step is to communicate formally with Champ Car organizers and see if they want to jointly explore other venues," Ramos said. More at Philly.com [Editor's Note: Surely these individuals can be appeased by making some concessions to them, i.e. give them some improvements they may desire as a tradeoff for some of the impacts of the race course, improvements that result in an overall better Ben Franklin Parkway area.]

Champ Car sets attendance record in Denver Champ Car sets attendance record in DenverThe Champ Car World Series has many loyal fans in the Mile High City, and their support helped attendance numbers at this past weekend’s Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare reach new highs.   Champ Car set an attendance record for the Denver race last season when 112,000 fans walked through the gates, but this year that mark was eclipsed as 148,511 fans attended events at Champ Car’s three-day Festival of Speed.

“We have definitely made strides this year to becoming Denver’s best outdoor summer event,” said Jim Freudenberg, general manager of the Grand Prix.  “Based on our Friday attendance we were estimating a 40 percent increase over 2004, but Saturday’s weather impacted our overall event attendance and we were closer to a 30 percent increase.  This event has grown exponentially since 2002 and planning is already underway for the 2006 CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver, which has been scheduled for August 11, 12 and 13.”

The attendance numbers that Champ Car events have generated this season are among the best in all of motorsports. Champ Car reached the one-million mark in attendance after the first eight races in 2005, and have drawn more than 1,200,000 fans to this point in the season. After the Denver Grand Prix this year’s average crowd is over 130,000 fans per event this year. The series has drawn an average of nearly 170,000 fans for the last four events (Toronto, Edmonton, San Jose and Denver) – one of the highest-drawing stretches in recent series history. 

“We are delighted with the record fan support in Denver,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “It is very encouraging that we have seen increases at nearly every event this season. The continued success that we have seen in Denver illustrates how the Champ Car business model is paying dividends that will carry the series into an abundant future.”

The Molson Indy Montreal will look to keep the trend growing as the Champ Car World Series visits the picturesque Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve August 26-28. Tickets are moving quickly but are still available and can be obtained by visiting www.champcar.ws . The August 28 race will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Champ Car

Seen in Denver - II (Manning, Papis and Jourdain) Seen in Denver - II (Manning, Papis and Jourdain)UPDATE Further indications of the widening interest in Champ Car's resurgence were evident in the visits to Denver by former Champ Car drivers Max Papis and Darren Manning. Papis is very busy racing sports cars these days while Manning was following-up on his visit to San Jose with a trip to Denver. Papis drove a few Champ Car races for Kevin Kalkhoven's fledgling PKV team a few years ago and had a long talk with Kalkhoven in Denver about his hopes to return to the series.

"Max is a very good driver and a great personality," Kalkhoven commented. "We talked and I told him we'll see if there are any possibilities for him. I told him I'll let him know as soon as possible if there are any good chances for him."

Meanwhile, Manning spent a lot of time with Kalkhoven's partner Dan Pettit and was very impressed.  "I asked him plenty of questions about the series and the team," Manning said. "And the thing about it was he not only had answers for every question but he was very detailed in what he had to say. There's no doubt that Dan and Kevin have really thought about what they're doing and are taking a very serious business-minded approach to everything. It's really good to see." ChampCar.ws

08/13/05 Both Darren Manning and Michel Jourdain Jr. (pictured below) are in Denver this weekend and have spent a lot of time talking and joking about old times. Manning told us he's still looking to get back into either Champ Car or the IRL next year, while Jourdain says he is anxious to get back into his Busch ride as soon as possible. Jourdain had similar comments to Paul Tracy regarding driving a NASCAR car in that it's all about tire management and finding the window where the car and tires work at their optimum.

Toyota Atlantic news tidbits ahead of Road America Toyota Atlantic news tidbits ahead of Road AmericaRoad To the Championship:  After competing on four straight street circuits, the final two events of the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship will be run on permanent road courses, beginning with this weekend’s event at Road America. The 12-race Atlantic season wraps up next weekend, August 26-28, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

On The Road Again: This weekend marks the 21st Atlantic race held at Road America. The series first competed at the venue in its first season of 1974 when Tom Klausler won the race from the pole. This weekend’s event marks the only race on this season’s schedule where the Atlantics don’t compete with the cars of the Champ Car World Series. Champ Car is idle this weekend before returning to action next week with the Atlantics at Montreal.

Charles The Champ?: Although he hasn’t won a race since Round 6 in Cleveland at the end of July, rookie Atlantic standout Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) continues to lead the Atlantic standings and could clinch the ’05 title with a good performance this weekend. With a third-place finish last round in Denver, Zwolsman actually managed to extend his lead to 34 points in the standings over second-place driver Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors), who earned his first series victory in the Mile High city. Zwolsman’s chief championship rival this season, Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Red Line Oil), saw his race come to a frustrating end for the second week in a row when he spun on the final turn as he was attempting a pass for the win. Kasemets wound up eighth and fell to third in the standings, now 42 points behind. Zwolsman can secure the series crown if he has more than a 35-point lead in the standings at the end of Sunday’s race. The maximum amount of points a driver can score on a given weekend is 35.  zzzz

Proving His Wirth: After an impressive early season run that featured a stretch of six straight podium finishes, German series rookie Andreas Wirth proved his worth to his Brooks Associates Racing squad and the rest of the Atlantic field last Sunday in Denver. Starting second, Wirth zoomed past polesitter Alan Sciuto (#27 Deans RC Products/Sparco) at the green flag and led all 35 laps for his first Atlantic win. Wirth, the 2004 Formula BMW USA champ, withstood a late charge from Kasemets for the win, improving from fourth to second in the season standings, now just 34 points behind Zwolsman. Wirth’s win was also the first for the veteran Brooks team in Atlantic competition.

Whole Lotta Legge: Despite suffering her worst result of the season in Denver, finishing 17th after a first-lap, Turn 1 crash with Zwolsman, British rookie race ace Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) remains one of the stories of the year in racing. After becoming the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America at Long Beach in April, Legge has posted three more podium results, including back-to-back wins in Edmonton and San Jose. Legge, who’s fifth in the season standings, continues to attract a lot of attention for her accomplishments this year. USA Today is planning a feature story on Legge next week, while the next issue of ESPN the Magazine will also feature a profile on the Atlantic sensation.

Terrific Teen: He scored an impressive fourth-place finish in his series debut in San Jose, but 17-year-old rookie racer Alan Sciuto topped all expectations in just his second Atlantic start. The native of Orange, California and former national karting champion led both rounds of qualifying in Denver, becoming the youngest driver in the 32-year history of Atlantics to win a series pole position. After dropping back at the start, Sciuto held his ground and moved from fifth to second place in the final six laps of the street race to claim his first Atlantic podium. He’ll make his third series start this weekend.

Numbers Game: It’s no surprise that the top point producers in the series standings have been the most consistent runners this season. Zwolsman, the series leader, leads all Atlantic drivers with eight podium finishes in 10 races and he also has five poles to lead all competitors. He and Legge are tied for the series lead with three victories apiece. Zwolsman and Wirth have each qualified among the top five a series high nine times this year and each driver has also produced eight top five finishes, also tops in the series along with Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design). Wirth, by the way, became the fifth driver this season to win a race when he took the checkered flag in Denver.

Still Streaking: Series leader Charles Zwolsman still has a couple of impressive streaks working. He has qualified among the top three in nine consecutive races and he’s finished on the podium in each of the last three events. Also trying to keep a streak alive this weekend, Tonis Kasemets has qualified among the top five in nine consecutive events.

Generation Next: Since announcing the future Atlantic racing package and the $2 million Champ Car incentive program for next season’s series champion on July 30, interest has been overwhelming for the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship. Nearly 30 cars, featuring the new Swift 016.a chassis and the 300-horsepower Cosworth engine, have already been ordered by new and current Atlantic teams with that number expected to continue to grow in the coming weeks.

Sign of the Times: All Toyota Atlantic Championship drivers will be available to sign autographs for fans on Saturday afternoon, August 20. From 12:15-12:45 p.m. local time the Atlantic series will host a fan appreciation activity featuring an all-driver autograph session with drivers from the Trans-Am series at Road America.

Supercross to air on SPEED Supercross to air on SPEEDClear Channel Entertainment‘s Motor Sports division announced today they signed a five-year agreement with SPEED Channel to broadcast the THQ World Supercross GP/THQ AMA Supercross Series. As part of the agreement THQ World Supercross GP/THQ AMA Supercross Series will be positioned as the premier motorcycle property on SPEED Channel and supported by an aggressive national on and off-channel promotional campaign.

In 2005-2006, the 250cc races that air on SPEED Channel will receive next-day original airings. The 125cc race will be shown later in the same week. The relationship will utilize the substantial resources of Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports and SPEED Channel to generate synergy and maximize efforts for the most successful television package the sport has ever seen. The on-air promotions and joint marketing efforts will be significant.

Although SPEED Channel will be the exclusive carrier of THQ World Supercross GP/THQ AMA Supercross Series, there is an option for Clear Channel to air several of the 250cc shows on a major broadcast network. The 2005-2006 network and schedule will be announced later this month.

“SPEED Channel’s commitment to Supercross makes it the perfect home for the sport,” said Charlie Mancuso, president, Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports. “SPEED Channel’s accomplished production and professionalism capabilities as well as our already existing relationship with SPEED Channel, which hosts our other motorsports properties – IHRA®, the AMA National Arenacross Series and Monster Jam® – reinforces our decision to place supercross on a network that is completely dedicated to giving its audience the best in motorcycle and motor sports coverage.”

“With the addition of THQ World Supercross GP/ THQ AMA Supercross Series, SPEED Channel’s portfolio of premier motorcycle properties is now complete,” said Robert Ecker, SPEED Channel VP of Programming. “We are extremely excited by this expansion of our existing relationship with Clear Channel, and we look forward with great anticipation to launching the first season of our new multi-year agreement this winter.”

Honda to celebrate 10 years of victories Honda to celebrate 10 years of victoriesOn August 20, 1995, Andre Ribeiro flashed across the finish line at New Hampshire International Speedway for his - and Honda's - first victory in American open-wheel racing.  This weekend at the Honda Indy 225, Honda and its Honda Performance Development racing subsidiary will mark the 10th anniversary of that event while competing in the IndyCar Series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway.  A Honda victory also will clinch the company's second consecutive IRL IndyCar Manufacturers' Championship.

Ribeiro and his Tasman Motorsports team owners, Steve and Christine Horne, will be the special guests of Honda throughout the race weekend, and will be feted at a celebratory dinner at the circuit on Saturday, August 20, 10 years to the day from that historic first win.

Since then, Honda-powered teams and drivers have been a dominant force in American open- wheel racing, first in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) competition and more recently in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series (since 2003).

In CART, Honda scored a total of 65 race wins through the end of 2002, and an identical number of qualifying pole positions.  The company won four CART Manufacturers' Championships (1996, '98, '99 and 2001); six consecutive drivers' titles (Jimmy Vasser 1996, Alex Zanardi 1997-'98, Juan Montoya 1999, Gil de Ferran 2000-'01); and three Rookie of the Year awards (Zanardi 1996, Tony Kanaan 1998, Montoya 1999).

Since joining the IRL at the start of 2003, Honda drivers have racked up a total of 24 victories and 20 qualifying pole positions.  In 2004, Honda-powered Kanaan won the IndyCar Series Championship and Honda claimed its first IRL Manufacturers' title.  Dan Wheldon won IndyCar Rookie of the Year honors in 2003, followed by Kosuke Matsuura in 2004.

Following that first victory in New Hampshire, Ribeiro went on to win two more times for Honda in CART before retiring at the end of the 1998 season.  Today, he is a successful Honda dealer in his native Brazil.  The Hornes also retired following the '98 season and today divide their time between homes in New Zealand and Columbus, Ohio.

'If not for Schu' - Rubens 'If not for Schu' - RubensRubens Barrichello is looking forward to going wheel to wheel with Michael Schumacher next year -- and not worrying about post-race repercussions.  The 33-year-old, after six years as Ferrari world champion Schumacher's 'number two' teammate, wanted to switch to BAR for 2006 and beyond so badly that he asked Jean Todt to release him from his contract.  Rubens smiled to Brazilian TV publication 'SporTV': ''I'm sure that when Michael and I are battling next year, my radio won't be crackling.''

Even so, the affable Brazilian insists that he is leaving Maranello 'smiling.'  But he admitted: ''The focus there was ... on having a single car winning, and in most cases (it) was Michael's.''

Next year, he'll be Honda powered, just as countryman, friend and mentor Ayrton Senna was for so much of his success at McLaren.  ''The only reason I didn't leave Ferrari before (now) was because there wasn't anything better available,'' Rubens - who said 36-year-old Schumacher is still 'getting better as he ages' - continued to SporTV.  ''I probably would have been a world champion already if it weren't for (Schumacher) ... all these years.''

BAR boss Nick Fry, meanwhile, revealed to Autosport that there have been 'some discussions' with Nick Heidfeld about the seat alongside Barrichello.  But he insisted: ''There's nothing contractual in place, contrary to some speculation.''

Turkey's budget overblown Turkey's budget overblownTurkey's budget for the 'Otodrom' F1 circuit, to stage its inaugural grand prix on Sunday, blew out by a factor of four.  But the country's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has no apology for taxpayers, who have forked out around $230 million for the calendar's latest addition.  Erdogan told the Zaman Daily Newspaper that the Istanbul Park facility should not be measured in dollars -- or Turkish liras.  ''You know, there are some kinds of things that you can not calculate with money,'' he said. ''With this project, we aim to introduce Turkey (to the world).  ''This important introduction opportunity will make invaluable contributions to our economy.''
SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingUpdated 8-17-05
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (1) Kimi Raikkonen (F1) 9.022
2. (T2) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 8.953
3. (T2) Michael Schumacher (F1) 8.716
4. (4) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 8.172
5. (5) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 7.936
6. (13) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR) 7.501
7. (29) Scott Sharp (IRL) 7.419
8. (11) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 7.399
9. (NR) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 7.355
10. (6) Fernando Alonso (F1) 7.345
11. (12) Brian Vickers (NASCAR) 6.943
12. (7) Jeremy Mayfield (NASCAR) 6.850
13. (23) Oriol Servia (CCWS) 6.800
14. (10) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 6.395
15. (19) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL) 6.394
16. (NR) Joe Nemechek (NASCAR) 6.318
17. (33) Vitor Meira (IRL) 6.248
18. (NR) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR) 6.154
19. (26) Jamie McMurray (NASCAR) 6.152
20. (NR) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 6.071
Last week’s ranking in parenthesis
Provided by STATS Inc.
IRL foaming at mouth to capitalize on Patrick win IRL foaming at mouth to capitalize on Patrick winAll the pieces were in place for Danica Patrick to become the first woman ever to win a race in a major series before Sunday's Amber Alert Portal Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Indy Racing League officials had plans for a teleconference of major news outlets not covering the race, and ESPN's "SportsCenter" had the "50 Days in 50 States" stage set up at the track, hoping to capture the historic moment.

It could have been the biggest celebration of a Kentucky sporting event since the University of Kentucky basketball team won an NCAA title. But then they ran the race, Patrick's car dropped through the field like a boat anchor and she finished 16th, 16 laps down to winning driver Scott Sharp. "Danica Mania" is starting to reach the stage of "Just Do It" before the mainstream media starts to lose interest and search for the next sporting phenomenon. National Speed Sport News

[Editor's Note: She's making a habit of dropping through the field like a boat anchor. As we have said all along, the IRL has essentially put all their eggs in her basket as they focus their marketing effort around her while the male drivers who are winning races have essentially become chump change. It's not fair to place so much pressure on the rookie Patrick by surrounding her with too much media hype too soon, and it's not fair to the male drivers who are essentially eating her lunch in the race.  And the fans are starting to notice.  One fan wrote this letter to NSSN - Tired Of Danica  - Penske, Rahal, Andretti, Newman, etc., wrecked IndyCar racing. They came back with their tails between their legs. Now, they expect a 100-pound gal to fill the stands. Danica, Danica, Danica. I’m sick of hearing it. She can’t run with the big dogs. She has a top ride and can qualify well, but she just keeps falling back as the race goes on. She can’t handle the G’s in a long race, and I don’t see her in tight racing, wheel to wheel. It’s a shame that there are all of those empty seats. Joe Gagliano, Mariposa, Calif. ]

New NASCAR team for 2006 New NASCAR team for 2006Texas Instruments Inc. is revving up its advertising, sponsoring a NASCAR team to promote its TV technology. The company plans to announce today that it will sponsor the Hall of Fame Racing team, hoping to raise the profile of its Digital Light Processor chip among sports fans. The DLP chip produces crisp images for high-definition TV. TI hopes sports fans will start asking for TVs that contain DLP chips when they go to electronics stores.  

Dallas-based TI chose a NASCAR team with big sports cachet. Hall of Fame Racing was formed by Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and veteran racer Bill Saunders. "We have to connect to that audience that spends Saturday and Sunday with their TV on a football game or on a NASCAR race," said Doug Darrow, brand and marketing manager for DLP. "The audience for high-definition televisions tends to be people who are into sports, and the two biggest sports out there from a fan base standpoint are NASCAR and football."

With the TI sponsorship, the Hall of Fame Racing team will debut in February at the Daytona 500, the first race of NASCAR's 2006 Nextel Cup Series. TI is also planning an advertising campaign for next year, and some of it will probably incorporate the racing team, Mr. Darrow said. "NASCAR is a great way for them to promote this new technology," said Mr. Aikman, who, like Mr. Staubach, is a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback turned businessman. Dallas Morning News

IRL Series prepares for Pikes Peak altitude IRL Series prepares for Pikes Peak altitudeThe IRL IndyCar® Series continues its 10th season of competition with the Honda Indy 225 on Sunday, Aug. 21 at the Pikes Peak International Raceway.  The 1-mile oval presents drivers and teams with several challenges due to its location at nearly a mile above sea level, which reduces the amount of downforce on the car and horsepower produced by the engine.

The track's tri-oval layout and 10 degree banking puts premium on handling as described in the following first-person narratives.

THE DRIVER: - Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti thinks his style is ideally suited for Pikes Peak International Raceway. The Scotsman has finished in the top four in each of his starts on 1-mile ovals dating to his debut at PPIR in 2003.  At PPIR, Franchitti has posted two top-four finishes in as many starts, including his victory in the 2004 Honda Indy 225.

"Pikes Peak is an interesting track. It's very fast for a 1-mile oval, which I think is a product of the banking and the shape of the track. Really it's a quick track. The winters up there create plenty of bumps in the track that make it a bit more difficult to get the car balanced. It's a place I've enjoyed running both times that I've been there. I've had decent results, with the win last year being a highlight.

"Adjusting to the environment is a challenge. Being as high up as it is, the engine produce a little less power, and there is a little less downforce on the car. Everything plays a role in making the track a challenge. The bumps, the lack of power, downforce, the surface of the track is a bit abrasive. It all adds up to a difficult day on the racetrack. You have to get everything working right.

"I'm looking forward to running on a short oval because it's been good so far. We've had good cars over the last year on these tracks. There's a bit more driver input there, and maybe my style suits them better. I think it's just the combination of things, but I think any success is really a combination of many things." zzzz

THE ENGINEER: - Veteran race engineer Iain Watt is in his second season as race engineer at Red Bull Cheever Racing, but his first with driver Patrick Carpentier.   The native of Scotland gained extensive engineering knowledge with Andretti Green Racing and Mo Nunn Racing before joining Red Bull Cheever Racing to work with Alex Barron last season.

"Pikes Peak presents a number of unique challenges to race teams, drivers and engineers. The track itself seems to be a conventional 1-mile short oval. However, a reasonably big dip above the track entrance tunnel and the Colorado altitude give some unique challenges to this circuit.

"The altitude of approximately 5,000 feet reduces the aerodynamic downforce & drag of the car by between 15 to 20 percent, placing an emphasis on mechanical grip. The thin air also reduces the engine's power and decreases the cooling efficiency on the oil and water radiators that cool the engine.   "Add the ability of the weather to be unpredictable and you have all the ingredients for a very interesting race."

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD: - Firestone's race tire development team considers the configuration of each track as it chooses the tire compound to be used at each track.   According to Firestone engineers, Pikes Peak is a unique track that does not require as much grip as other 1-mile ovals.  To help improve the car's handling, the Firehawk tire brought to PPIR this weekend has the maximum amount of grip for the right-side compound and the second-highest level of grip for the left-side compound.


Honda Indy 225, 13th race in 17-race 2005 season

Pikes Peak International Raceway, 1-mile asphalt tri-oval

3:30 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, Aug. 21

225 laps/225 miles

2004 - Dario Franchitti; 2003 - Scott Dixon; 2002 - Gil de Ferran; 2001 - Buddy Lazier; 2000 - Eddie Cheever; 1999 - Greg Ray (both races); 1998 - Kenny Brack; 1997 - Tony Stewart.

ABC (live), 3:30 p.m. (EDT), Aug. 21.
Talent: Todd Harris (play-by-play), Scott Goodyear (analyst), Jack Arute, Jamie Little and Dr. Jerry Punch (pit reporters). IRL

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Alonso told to relax
Stewart says Brit GP safe
Ferrari back in action
Kiesa keeps 'Friday' role
Kimi still in fight
F1 drivers put feet up
Weber cleared
Mansell slams 'greedy' F1
Piquet turns 53
'Alonso on title cruise'
Industry News
GM teams with Robert Bosch GmbH GM teams with Robert Bosch GmbHGeneral Motors Corp. has turned to auto-parts manufacturer Robert Bosch GmbH and Stanford University for help in developing technology it says could make gasoline engines 20% more efficient and diesel engines run cleaner.  GM, which has already worked on the technology for 25 years, and a Robert Bosch unit will together spend $2.5 million to develop with Stanford the sensors and other parts needed to make the technology work outside the laboratory, Gary Smyth, a senior GM researcher, said Monday. GM is trying to use chemicals instead of sparks to ignite an engine's fuel.

GM wants to be able to demonstrate the technology's viability with the next few years, Smyth said. The automaker, which didn't disclose how much it has spent on the technology so far, said the Department of Energy will match $6.5 million in further GM spending to promote the company's research.  The new method should help lower emissions for diesel engines and allow gasoline engines to be more efficient, GM said. It can also be used on gasoline-electric hybrids

Denver GP attendance up 32% Denver GP attendance up 32%The 2005 CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare today announced that attendance for this year’s Grand Prix of Denver event totaled 148,511 surpassing 2004 attendee total of 112,000.   Sunday's race day attendance was estimated at 75,000.

“We want to thank the City of Denver and the community for their support in making 2005’s event a tremendous success,” said Robert E. Sutton, president and CEO of CENTRIX Financial. “The fans, teams, drivers, vendors and partners have expressed incredible satisfaction with what we achieved. We promised to deliver the fastest three days in Denver, world-class racing and unique activities, and this is exactly what we have done.”

Race winner Sebastien Bourdais echoed that sentiment in his post race interview, saying “I think it went great. Obviously the grandstands were full today. So I think CENTRIX Financial did an awesome job to promote this event. It is one of the best Champ Car venues right now.”

On top of record attendees, the Grand Prix of Denver attracted 51 partners, sold out 49 hospitality suites, sold out ten of eleven grandstands and offered 80 expo booths for race fans.

“We have definitely made strides this year to becoming Denver’s best outdoor summer event,” said Jim Freudenberg, general manager of the Grand Prix. “Based on our Friday attendance we were estimating a 40 percent increase over 2004, but Saturday’s weather impacted our overall event attendance and we were closer to a 30 percent increase. This event has grown exponentially since 2002 and planning is already underway for the 2006 CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver, which has been scheduled for August 11, 12 and 13.”

Proceeds from the Grand Prix of Denver are directed back to the community through the CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver Foundation. For more information on The Foundation, or on the Grand Prix of Denver visit www.gpdenver.com . More information on CENTRIX Financial is available at www.centrixfinancial.com

Orlando to host Grand-Am banquet Orlando to host Grand-Am banquetFor the second-straight year, the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series awards celebration will be in held in conjunction with one of the world’s largest motorsports trade shows.  The 2005 Rolex Series Champions Banquet will be take place Wednesday, November 30, in Orlando, Fla. and will help kick-off the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show held December 1-3. The Orlando World Center Marriott will play host to the Rolex Series as it recognizes its top drivers, teams and representatives from the 2005 season.

“We’re pleased to bring the banquet to Orlando and be part of one of the biggest motorsports trade shows again,” Grand American President Roger Edmondson said. “Last year’s celebration at Las Vegas around the SEMA Show was a huge success, and we expect this year’s banquet to be equally as successful.”

The evening begins with a champagne reception at 6 p.m., followed by a sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. in the Canary Room. Awards will be presented throughout the evening to the top-three drivers, teams and sponsors in the Daytona Prototype and GT classes.  All competitors are invited to attend, and ticket information will be announced at a later date. Business attire will be the appropriate mode of dress for the evening. The Orlando World Center Marriott offers more than 2,000 deluxe guestrooms, a number of restaurants and lounges, a golf club, spa and fitness center and a full recreation center.

Badoer kicks off Fiorano test Badoer kicks off Fiorano testToday was the first day of testing this week for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team who were busy working at the Fiorano circuit with official test driver Luca Badoer. Under sunny conditions and warm temperatures, the Italian took to the track at the wheel of an F2005 where he carried out a program centered on electronic work aimed at the rest of the season. Overall Luca completed a total of 136 laps, 23 of which were on the short version of the track, to set a best time of 57”187. The Scuderia will continue testing at the Fiorano track tomorrow, again with Luca Badoer at the wheel. Ferrari
Raines in at MIS; Lepage released Raines in at MIS; Lepage releasedR&J Racing released driver Kevin Lepage from his driving duties for the #37 BoSPOKER.net Dodge Charger effective immediately. Lepage has been the driver for the R&J Racing Team since late last year. Lepage will be replaced by veteran driver Tony Raines who has 49 career starts and one top-10 finish in his four year NASCAR Nextel Cup career. Raines will run the #37 BoSPOKER.net  Dodge Charger at this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. The decision to make a driver change was a hard one for owners John Cater and Roger Craven but one they felt the team needed to make.

"This was a very tough decision for John and I to make, but one we felt needed to be made for the team," said Craven. "We cannot thank Kevin enough for all he has done to get this team where it is today. Without him, there's no telling where we would be. We felt the chemistry just wasn't there. John and I decided that we needed to make a driver change and felt Tony Raines would be the right choice for us." Lepage who has been with the team since late last year was disappointed with the decision, but understands the owner's decision in trying to find the right driver/team combination. "I am not happy with the decision but I can understand where they are coming from," said Lepage. "No driver likes to lose their ride. I am going to miss the guys in the shop. I'd like to thank John Carter and Roger Craven for the opportunity they gave me. We started out with one car and no sponsorship and now the team has a handful of cars and has been able to find sponsorship for the rest of the year. To help build this team from nothing and to have helped bring them to this point has been a great feeling for me. I think Tony will do a good job behind the wheel. I have a couple irons in the fire and I look forward to getting back out on the track. I wish John and Roger all the best." Integrated Marketing Solutions PR

Tony Stewart fined, placed on probation Tony Stewart fined, placed on probationNASCAR announced today that two penalties have been issued to NASCAR Busch Series competitors as a result of rules infractions last weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet, was fined $5,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for hitting another competitor’s car after the completion of the race. That infraction is a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book.

Lance Deiters, crew chief of the No. 83 Chevrolet driven by Wally Dallenbach, was fined $2,500 for an unapproved third gear transmission ratio. That infraction, discovered during opening-day inspection, is a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-CC (unapproved gear ratio) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book.

Senator supports NYC track only if Watkins Glen stays Senator supports NYC track only if Watkins Glen staysSen. Charles Schumer may be looking for a little NASCAR quid pro quo. At a forum in upstate Montour Falls, the Democrat talked tough about a proposed NASCAR track on Staten Island, saying he would support a track here only if the racing league promises not to mess with the schedule at the Watkins Glen International Speedway in the Finger Lakes area. "They won't get it, unless they sign in blood that the Watkins Glen track stays open and stays in the Nextel circuit," Schumer said at the Friday forum, as reported by The Corning Leader newspaper.  But Schumer's staff tried to soften that impression yesterday, with his press secretary saying Schumer's comments remained "pretty consistent" with his wait-and-see approach to the Staten Island track. Meanwhile, track supporters here said the senator's Watkins Glen condition is somewhat perplexing. "I'm surprised he would make that statement, because it's unreasonable," said Guy Molinari, the former borough president and a paid lobbyist for track developer International Speedway Corp. "I don't think [NASCAR's] prepared to say which track or tracks would be adversely affected." Staten Island Advance
Kyle Busch fined and put on probation Kyle Busch fined and put on probationNASCAR announced today that Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for an infraction last week at Watkins Glen International. Busch was fined for hitting another competitor’s car after the completion of the race, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. NASCAR PR

"The punk crashed me on the cool down lap," Anthony Lazzaro said. "It just shows me this guy never built or worked on a car."

Q and A with Ricky Rudd ahead of Michigan Q and A with Ricky Rudd ahead of MichiganRicky Rudd's 775th consecutive NEXTEL Cup career start will come this Sunday, August 21st at Michigan International Speedway.   It also will mark Rudd's 862nd start in NASCAR's premiere series.  The racing veteran and his #21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain, both answer questions from the fans this week.

Where do you rate Michigan on your favorite track list?  Why?  Ricky Rudd: "It's pretty high up there.  I like Michigan, really, because it is a fun race track to drive.  It's very wide.  It has grip in three different lanes.  When you get racing you can race in three different lanes on the race track.  If you happen to have some kind of a problem and you've got to come back from it, it's not a follow-the-leader race track like some of them are.  It's got multi grooves, and I think that's another reason I like it.  Those kind of tracks tend to be the big aero-push type tracks, but Michigan is wide enough and has enough usable lanes that you can keep clean air to your race car.  That's the reason I like it." 

The last time you raced at Michigan you finished 33rd and started 34th.  Do you think that this week you will have more success since you have found out different things about the chassis and aerodynamics?  "For some reason we just weren't that good there.  It seemed like at the very last minute we had to change some settings in the car and we just weren't that good there.  I think Fatback and the guys have gotten a handle on it since that time, and they have learned some things.  When we went to Pocono the first time we had some problems and when we went back there we had a good, solid run.  And, when we went to Indy we had a good, solid run in testing.  I think there are some things that they learned that should apply to Michigan.  We're looking for a much better run this week because we are quite a bit ahead of where we were the first time we were there."

Do you think the team has turned a corner?  "I think we turned the corner a good long time ago.  I'll tell you, our cars have been competitive everywhere we've gone.  When I say competitive, I'd say fifth to 12th - somewhere in there.  Where we missed it was at New Hampshire.  Our short-track program, which had been sort of our strength, had gotten away from us.  We weren't competitive at New Hampshire.  I know we've got two short-track tests coming up in the real near future to try to figure out what is going on there.  But at the bigger, faster tracks I'm pretty comfortable right now.  I think we've got something pretty good going on there."

Does each team have a set amount of cars they are allowed to have at a time, or can you just keep making them?  "You could have a hundred cars if you wanted and just keep building." zzzz

What do you do to stay in shape throughout the off-season?  "I don't really do a whole lot in the off season.  I gain about 10 pounds because of that.  But, when we get going, I'm in race cars an average of three or four times a week with testing and stuff.  Unlike in years past, the testing now consists of a lot of miles.  When we go to a test we usually run over 500 miles in two days.  Even in a single-day test we run over 300 miles, so we are doing a lot more miles at our tests.  And that tends to condition you.  But I stay busy.  I'm always doing a lot outdoors during the winter.  I'm moving around.  The real test for conditioning is when you get into the hot races.  Those test your conditioning.  But, to answer the question - nothing in particular, other than I try to watch a little bit what I eat because I'm not as active."

Do you think drivers and crew chiefs should move teams as package deals?  Michael McSwain: "I don't think you would see that happen very much.  Sometimes they end up back together, but it doesn't happen very often.  If one party or the other is interested in leaving there is usually something wrong anyway.  So, I don't know if they should leave together, or just leave.  Obviously, by some of the moves that have been made over the past few weeks, our sport is changing.  I don't know whether it is necessarily good or bad, but it is definitely changing."

Does Ricky's input on the car ever decide which car will be brought to the track, or is that decided strictly by testing alone and what is built at the shop according to a certain track?   Michael McSwain: "Most of the time, I base the decision off the previous performance of a particular car at a track.  In some scenarios, we will change a car based on the performance at either that track or a similar track prior.  But, I would say it is more of a group decision by the engineering staff, myself and Ricky rather than any particular individual." 

Is there ever a time when Ricky's input overrides what you and the engineers have come up with on the aero package to use?  "I think his input is the sole reason for the development of a particular aero package.  The aero package is based not only on performance, but on driver feel which will increase the performance.  Nine times out of 10 it is developed solely for driver feel.  A lot of it is trial and error.  We can get it narrowed down to a small window off knowledge of past history.  But, then to fine tune that small window, it is usually done based on testing and race-track performance."

Dale Jarrett talks about his favorite track - Michigan Dale Jarrett talks about his favorite track - MichiganDale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, will once again return to his favorite track this weekend when the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway. He gained his first career Cup victory there in 1991, and has since scored three more wins at the 2.0-mile track. Jarrett goes into Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 tied for 11th place with Robert Yates Racing teammate Elliott Sadler in the standings - just three points out of 10th place and nine points out of ninth place - with just four more races until the Chase for the Championship.

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus - THIS IS THE SECOND YEAR FOR THE CHASE FORMAT. YOU WERE IN THE THICK OF IT LAST YEAR UNTIL THE VERY LAST RACE AND ARE IN IT AGAIN THIS YEAR. DID YOU CHANGE YOUR STRATEGICAL APPROACH AT ALL? "Not really. The one thing that we realized is that we can't beat ourselves. We've got to make sure that we don't make the mistakes. We're not a good enough team to overcome a lot of adversity, so we've had to make sure that we're making a lot of right decisions. And, even though we haven't been as competitive as what we wanted to be, we parlayed those days into where we were a little more patient and maybe a little bit smarter at times into some reasonable finishes that have kept us in this position. But, you still have to go out and do the job on the race track, regardless."

HAS THE ADDITION OF A BUSCH TEAM BY YATES RACING HELPED OUT THE CUP PROGRAM? "Yeah, there's no doubt there are some things that it's helped out. The cars are a little bit more different than what we would like for them to be, to really learn what we need to. But, it's given us opportunities. Just like [at Watkins Glen]. I'm not sure it's a matter of set-ups and stuff as much as it is a driver getting in a rhythm and seeing exactly what you can do, where the passing opportunities are, what the tires are going to do. So, we've seen benefits from the Busch deal. It works our guys extremely hard, but they're willing to do that if it's paying off on Sunday."

MICHIGAN IS A FAVORITE TRACK OF YOURS. KNOWING THE ENHANCED IMPORTANCE OF THE LAST FEW RACES BEFORE THE CHASE, AND YOUR POSITION IN THE STANDINGS, DO YOU GAIN A LITTLE EXTRA CONFIDENCE BY RACING AT MIS THIS WEEKEND? "Somewhat, other than we didn't run good there the first race - that's a little uncomfortable. We went there and tested for two days and even though we were trying to get over that edge onto some new technology, we really didn't learn enough there to get us into that window to where we felt comfortable in doing that, so we're back relying a little bit on what we've known in the past - which is probably not a scenario that's going to allow us to win the race, but it may be a scenario that would allow us to be in the top 10 all day and then make a good finish out of it at the end. So, I know what we're looking for there, and certainly Michigan is a good place for us to be going."

WITH SO MANY CHANGES IN THE SPORT, HAS THE RACING AT MIS CHANGED SINCE YOU RECORDED YOUR FIRST VICTORY THERE, OR HAS IT REMAINED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME? "It's pretty similar. It hasn't changed a lot. There's still three or four or five grooves, maybe, that you run on. The only thing that's changed is you're going faster now. But, you still approach it the same." Ford Racing

Hornish and wife to chair CARA event Hornish and wife to chair CARA eventTwo-time IRL IndyCar® Series champion Sam Hornish Jr., and his wife, Crystal, will join California Highway Patrol commissioner Mike Brown as the honorary chairpersons for this year’s CARA Charities “Raceway Rendezvous” on Friday, Oct. 14, at California Speedway, site of this year’s IndyCar Series finale, the Toyota Indy 400.

The third annual charity extravaganza, located in California Speedway’s turn four parking lot, will have a western theme this year.  The Toyota Hospitality Center will be transformed into “Miss Kitty’s Saloon” and gives racing fans the chance to donate money to needy causes as well as meeting the top IndyCar drivers, team owners, officials and sponsors in a night of fun.

Hornish, driver of the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Toyota Dallara Indy car, and Crystal have been constant supporters of CARA Charities and its many fundraising events including the annual CARA Indy 500 Fashion Show.  The Ohio-based couple’s participation in this year’s Raceway Rendezvous is a big boost for the season-end charity affair.   zzzz

“Both Crystal and I are honored to be the co-chairperson's of CARA's annual end-of-year fundraiser, Raceway Rendezvous," said Hornish Jr, a two-time winner on the 2005 IndyCar Series tour.  "CARA is a vital part of the racing community and they support many worthwhile causes and we're just glad that we can help them out. We've attended this event each year and we always have a great time and I'm sure this year will be no different."

Commissioner Brown, a major participant in California Speedway’s many racing activities in recent years, commands nearly 10,000 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel in one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies.  Brown has been a member of the California Highway Patrol for over 27 years and served a variety of assignments in both field and staff operations.

Brown has participated in numerous state and national task forces including police pursuits, technology and traffic safety services.  Brown also assisted with California Speedway’s partnership of CHP’s “Children Protection Seats” program and CARA’s “Bridgestone/Firestone Buckle Up Baby” charity campaign including a special event on the morning of the Toyota Indy 400 for inspection and delivery of children car seats.

“We would like to thank CARA Charities and California Speedway for this opportunity to be an honorary chairperson for this charity event,” said Brown.  “I have been a major supporter of the events at California Speedway and its assistance in working with the California Highway Patrol programs.  I am also excited to work the IndyCar drivers, teams and sponsors to raise funds for these charitable racing causes.  The charity event should be fun for everyone including the racing fans.”

The “Raceway Rendezvous” event will feature music, a grand food spread, a silent motorsports auction and a variety of western contests and games including a celebrity poker tournament.  A “one of a kind” Cobra scooter, with autographs from the entire IndyCar Series field of drivers, also will be auctioned during the night.

Tickets for this year’s “Raceway Rendezvous” can be purchased by calling the CARA Charities office at 317-299-2277, by e-mail at carachar@aol.com or on-line the CARA website at www.caracharities.org.  Individual tickets are $100 with special sponsorships and corporate tables are also available.   

Champ Car gets new President Champ Car gets new PresidentAs part of Champ Car’s senior management succession plan, Steve Johnson will become  the new President of Champ Car while Dick Eidswick will remain with the company as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.

Johnson (pictured right) will take over as Champ Car President effective September 19, after most recently serving as President and CEO of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).  Johnson was the first individual to serve as President and CEO of both the Club and Professional SCCA organizations.  He brings more than 15 years of experience in all facets of sales management, marketing and cross-functional officer's duties with several Fortune 500 companies and a major professional sports organization. Prior to his SCCA appointment in June, 2000, Johnson served as National Hot Rod Association Vice President of Sales.

“I am extremely excited to join the Champ Car team as President,” said Johnson. ”I have been amazed at the progress the series has made over the last twelve months and look forward to continuing the momentum and successes long into the future.  Champ Car has a great vision as well as committed teams, owners, sponsors and promoters.  Open wheel racing has work to do and Champ Car is getting it done.”

Current Champ Car President Dick Eidswick will take on the new role of CEO and Chairman beginning in September.  Eidswick will work together with Johnson during the transition period and will continue to contribute to the growth of Champ Car.

“I have been involved in the process of selecting Steve and I am excited he is joining Champ Car,” said Eidswick.  “Steve will be a strong addition to the company and we welcome him to the Champ Car family.  I am going to continue to be involved in Champ Car but in a more limited role.”

Eidswick has been a key to Champ Car’s resurgence after Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerry Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi acquired the company in bankruptcy court in January 28, 2003.  During his tenure as President Champ Car has shown tremendous growth in event attendance; the Champ Car World Series returned to network television and the growth of the Atlantic Championship following the announcement of the series 2006 car and engine specifications.

"I want to thank Dick for everything he has done for Champ Car," said Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven.  "He has been one of the most important factors in rebuilding Champ Car and I know he will continue to contribute to our success.  A planned succession such as this will enable Champ Car to continue to build upon the very significant momentum it has developed. I believe Steve will step right in and continue to grow Champ Car.  He has a proven track record and I'm very excited that he is coming on board."

Security tight in Turkey Security tight in TurkeySecurity will be tight at Turkey's inaugural grand prix in Istanbul this weekend.  Sniffer dogs, 2000 paramilitary police - who have built a police station overlooking the track - undercover officers and security guards will scour the Otodrom after a spate of terrorist attacks, 'Canadian Press' reported Tuesday.

''Terrorism is a problem for the rest of the world too, not just Turkey,'' said Turkish motor sport federation boss Mumtaz Tahincioglu.

Three weeks ago, a bomb in a rubbish bin near the grand prix track killed two people. They were just the latest of more than sixty five recent deaths in Turkey.  It is also reported that, as the F1 circus starts to trickle into the new Paddock, the Istanbul facility is not even finished. ''What you see here are the final touches,'' Tahincioglu - although admitting that all 'landscaping' would not be finished until 2006 - retorted.

Pedro back in spare McLaren Pedro back in spare McLarenPedro de la Rosa will return to the wheel of McLaren's third car in Turkey this Friday. After test colleague Alex Wurz's recent stint, the Woking based team confirmed on Tuesday that 34-year-old de la Rosa, from Barcelona in Spain, would get another go.

Pedro visited the new 'Otodrom' facility in Istanbul earlier this season. ''It looks like a great track,'' he said, ''but we have no data. The process of selecting the correct tire with Michelin on Friday will be particularly key.''

Indeed, given the importance of the job on a new track, de la Rosa's appointment should be seen as a pat on the back from his McLaren paymasters. 'CEO F1' Martin Whitmarsh said Friday practice would involve 'additional set-up' work. ''Pedro will be focusing solely on tire choice,'' he added.

Istanbul Otodrom track facts Istanbul Otodrom track factsThe site of the Istanbul Otodrom is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, 6km from the junction of Kurtkoy on the north side of TEM Motorway, linking Istanbul to Ankara. Close to the newly constructed Sabiha Gokcen Istanbul Airport, the Otodrom is located within a green belt surrounded by forest and cultivated green fields.

The total area of the Otodrom complex is 2,215,000m2. The circuit has been designed by Herman Tilke and runs in a counter-clockwise direction. It is 5.333km long with an average width of 14-21.5m, excluding runoff areas.

The track is composed of 13 curves, of which six are right turns and seven left turns. The sharpest corner has a radius of 15m. The start and finish section is 655.5m in length and the whole track runs over four level sections with undulating gradients. The maximum theoretical speed expected to be achieved will be 320.5km/h.

The main Grandstand is situated in an area covering 12,700m2 and has a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators. In addition, the temporary stands and natural ground stands will provide a total capacity of over 155,000 spectators. The hospitality floor of the Paddock buildings provides additional viewing for 5,000 VIPs and guests. There are two VIP towers at the ends of the paddock buildings, each consisting of seven floors providing a floor space of 7,392m2.

The main parking areas, with the total parking capacity of 20,000 are located along the outer peripheral ring road which is 5,482m in length and will facilitate the movement of traffic on the outer limits of the project area.

In addition, the project consists of 2.3km of inner service roads and emergency lanes. There are four under-passes and three pedestrian over-passes linking the natural ground stands and temporary moveable stands with the parking areas. The central area is reserved for the construction of a Kart Racing track. BAR Honda

Will NASCAR fans try IRL? Will NASCAR fans try IRL?This Star-Gazette article says, A few NASCAR Nextel Cup fans knew a driver name or two. Some had no clue. Virtually all had heard of Danica Patrick.  And many said they may be back here next month, when the Indy Racing League's inaugural Watkins Glen event gets the green flag Sept. 25.  One thing is certain: Watkins Glen International is ready.

"From a facility standpoint, we were ready Aug. 1. We were putting the finishing touches on the new grandstands, but we were set," said Craig Rust, WGI president.  Rust said if the IRL came to town this weekend, his crew would be ready.

While stock-car fans herded toward the pit and garage areas mid-Sunday morning, looking to catch a glimpse of their favorite Nextel Cup drivers, they were also willing to look ahead to the newest race on the hill.

"I've been coming here - this is my 10th NASCAR race, and I've been here for the super trucks and Formula One," said Diane Carpenter of Watkins Glen. She said she plans to be here for the open-wheel race. "To me, they're all the same. It's racing."

For her, it's not as big a draw as NASCAR. But it'll do once the Cup guys are gone.

"I watch (Indy) on TV when I get a chance," she said. "I'm glad there's a woman racing. I wish there were a few more."

IRL drops Phoenix IRL drops PhoenixUPDATE The local media in Phoenix has picked up on this story (finally) with this AZCentral article. 08/12/05 We can now report that Phoenix is definitely off the 2006 IRL schedule.  People who had ordered tickets got a refund letter from Phoenix International Raceway today.  The letter says the IRL has shrunk their season to run April to September, and with April being a Cup date at PIR and May the 500, no suitable date could be found.
Lazzaro not happy with Kyle Busch Lazzaro not happy with Kyle BuschAnthony Lazzaro, who like Johnny Miller was expected to do little at the Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen, completed the full 92 laps and finished 28th in the No. 37 Tequila Patron Dodge. But a post-race incident with Nextel Cup rookie Kyle Busch spoiled what had been a successful day. "The punk crashed me on the cool down lap. It just shows me this guy never built or worked on a car," Lazzaro said of Kurt Busch's younger brother. "We don't go out and try to wreck other people's equipment." Lazzaro said the trouble may have resulted when the two made contact late in the race. Lazzaro admitted he made some mistakes, the result of not having enough spotters. He said he got into Scott Pruett and drove underneath Ken Schrader at different points of the race. Star Gazette
Championship still a possibility for Raikkonen Championship still a possibility for RaikkonenTurkey will host its first Formula One Grand Prix this coming weekend, introducing a new country and circuit to the sport. The 5.340km / 3.318 mile Istanbul Speed Park is located 80kms / 50miles to the east of the city, on the Asian side of the Bosporus.

The track, the technical infrastructure of which was provided by Team McLaren Mercedes Technology Partner Siemens, is characterized by a number of gradient changes, having been built on four different levels. It is formed of six right handers and eight left turns. It is between 14 and 21.5 meters wide and races will be run anti- clockwise as with Imola and Interlagos.

The grandstands are capable of seating 75,000, with the natural banking providing space for 50,000 more. Over 124,000 tires have been used to build the tire barriers at the track.

Construction of the Hermann Tilke designed Speed Park began on 10th September 2003 on an area larger than 2.2 million square meters, and it is the second motor racing circuit to be built in Turkey. Izmir race track is the other, located at Pinabashi.

The inaugural Turkish Grand Prix will be the first 'sail-away' race, with a ship transporting all the team trucks from Trieste in Italy to Istanbul. zzzz

Team McLaren Mercedes arrives in Turkey in second position in the Constructors' Championship with 105 points, 12 points off current leaders Renault. Kimi remains second in the Drivers' World Championship with 61 points whilst Juan Pablo is fifth with 34 points.

Kimi Raikkonen
"It was a great result in Hungary for me and there are still six races with a maximum of 60 points to be won for a driver. As there is no testing at the Istanbul Speed Park, this is the first time I will have seen the track this weekend. I have seen graphics and it looks like a good layout with a mix of challenges, such as slow and fast corners, long straights, and elevation changes. I hope we can put on a good race at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix for the Turkish fans and everybody watching TV worldwide."

Juan Pablo Montoya
"I enjoy driving on newly designed circuits, such as Malaysia and Shanghai, so I am looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix. The car feels great and hopefully I will be able to make the most of it this weekend and finish on the podium. When we get there on Thursday I will go for a walk with my engineers, to take a close look at braking points, cambers, apexes and so on. It should be quite a quick track, the estimated top speeds are around 320km/h. The longest straight is just over 700 meters, it has a slight right kink in the middle and it will be interesting to see what affect this will have on overtaking along this section of the track."

Pedro de la Rosa
"I had the opportunity to visit the Istanbul Speed Park earlier this year, when the circuit was in the final stages of construction. It looks like a great track, with some interesting and unique corners. Because we have no track data, the process of selecting the correct tire with Michelin on Friday will be particularly key."

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren CEO
"Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, the pace of work within the team has been unrelenting. This has included final preparations for the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix, using CFD tools provided by BAE SYSTEMS running on Sun Microsystems Technical Computing Farms. As we don't have a previous bank of data, there will be some additional set-up work to conduct on the track on Friday, and Pedro will be focusing solely on tire choice with Michelin. There has been the chance for those who have been traveling to take a well deserved short break but everyone is now keen to get back to racing and the fight for the Championships."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes VP
"With the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix this coming weekend we enter the final and crucial stage of the 2005 World Championship with six races in eight weeks until the final at Shanghai on 16 October. The Istanbul Otodrom has an interesting circuit design. The track has been adjusted to the terrain as known from classical circuits such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife and Spa. The corners require a lot of downforce; however, the cars also need high speed on the straights. It will be a real challenge for drivers and engineers to evaluate the optimum set-up. It will be interesting to see who will find the best balance for this new track." McLaren Mercedes
Renault's goal: zero defect engines Renault's goal: zero defect enginesRenault’s engine Technical Director Rob White is preparing for an exciting end to the season – and talks about the challenge ahead in Turkey.

Rob, the Renault drivers had some difficulties with their engines in Budapest. What were they?
"Giancarlo had a small problem in the fuel cell that caused fuel pressure drops and an engine misfire towards the end of each run. The problem has been diagnosed and fixed for the next race. We do not anticipate any after effects in Turkey. As for Fernando, his problems came from the collision with Ralf Schumacher at the start of the race: the bodywork damage on the right side of the car was impairing oil cooling. Countermeasures were taken to get to the end of the race, and the engine is in good shape for Turkey. The accident damage was an unwelcome additional constraint to the normal procedures of managing the temperatures during the race, but we maintained the engine in good condition."

Will the coming race be demanding for the engines?
"Of course there is the frisson of uncertainty concerning the new circuit, but we are well prepared. There are no easy circuits for engines – all the circuits have their particularities. We hope to have correctly anticipated the particularities of the Turkey track and will seek to refine our preparations for the race during running in practice."

What will be the keys to winning the battle with McLaren?
"Since the start of the season, this team has had the objective to be amongst the title contenders at the end of the year. Over 13 races we have been better than our competitors, but that's not enough. We are taking nothing for granted because it is only the final result, after 19 races, which counts! Our aim will be to maximize the potential of our package, but we have considerable respect for our rivals and know they will try and spoil our plan… The conclusion to both championships will play out over six races, and for both teams, the key goal will be to get both cars to the checkered flag – aiming for the podium each time."

Renault seems to have privileged a philosophy of reliability over pure performance - is that an accurate impression?
"We believe zero defect reliability is the only reasonable goal for a championship campaign in Formula 1. Therefore we devote substantial efforts to assuring the reliability of the car and engine for both drivers and we seek to respond to every incident that is identified. Despite all this, the fundamental requirement to evolve the specification to improve the performance and the practical constraints of resource and time mean we are never 100% comfortable with reliability. In reality, there are difficult decisions to be taken in the factory and at the track in order to strike the correct balance. One of this team's strengths is its capacity to identify the difficult decisions and to choose the best solution."

Are there still developments to come on the RS25?
"The RS25 will be developed to the end of the season. We will continue the development path that has served well up to now. Subject to successful validation on the test bed at Viry and in track testing, we will introduce changes that improve base engine performance and that adapt the engine to the circuits on which we race at the end of the season. Each race engine supplied to the track is built to the best performance specification that has been validated as reliable – we aim to develop the performance without increasing the risk of a failure." Renault
BMW wishes Williams well BMW wishes Williams well"We would like to wish WilliamsF1 every success with its new partner," Reuters report BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen as saying. "But before that, a strong finale to the current season is our common goal. We are pleased that Frank Williams has found a good solution for his team."

Williams had an option to run V8 BMW power in 2006 but as the Guardian newspaper reports, this was never really an option for Frank Williams and Patrick Head. “There was theoretically a chance that the team could have continued using BMW engines as a customer next year, but after BMW ditched us Frank and Patrick would have pushed the bloody cars rather than use their engines,” the Guardian report a Williams ‘insider’ as saying. “That's why we're with Cosworth."

Several share post-race rewards Several share post-race rewardsSeveral IndyCar Series drivers reaped benefits following the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300.

Race winner Scott Sharp was presented with an engraved Formula One timepiece from TAG Heuer, the official timekeeper and watch of the Indy Racing League. TAG Heuer presents an engraved Formula One timepiece to the winner of each IndyCar Series event.

The design of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 has been upgraded and redesigned from its original version. It features a titanium-coated steel bezel, protective bumpers, and the six legendary features that define a TAG Heuer sportswatch - screw-in crown, unidirectional turning bezel, luminescent hands and hour markers, scratch resistant sapphire crystal, water resistance to 200m and a double safety clasp.

Runner-up Vitor Meira collected the Firestone Performance Award and its $10,000 prize for leading Lap 115 of the race, while Danica Patrick posted the fastest race lap, making her eligible for the season-long race for the Argent Mortgage Fastest Lap Award.

Tomas Enge and Dario Franchitti lead in the season-long standings award. Argent will award $25,000 to the entrant of the driver who completes the fastest lap the most number of times in the 2005 IndyCar Series season. Enge and Franchitti each have two fastest laps.

Wheldon, Sharp join exclusive list Wheldon, Sharp join exclusive listDan Wheldon and Scott Sharp surpassed the 1,000 laps led mark during the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Wheldon has now led 1,049 laps during his IndyCar Series career while Sharp has led 1,043 laps.

There are now 10 drivers who have led more than 1,000 laps during their IndyCar Series career:

Sam Hornish Jr. - 2,219       
Tony Stewart - 1,515
Helio Castroneves - 1,513
Tony Kanaan - 1,513
Tomas Scheckter - 1,213
Greg Ray - 1,193
Dan Wheldon - 1,049
Scott Sharp - 1,043 
Gil de Ferran - 1,036
Buddy Lazier - 1,027

Sprint car racer Dodge lands on "Fast Track To Indy:" Sprint car racer Dodge lands on "Fast Track To Indy:"As the son of a sprint car driver who dreamed about racing in the Indianapolis 500, Geoff Dodge grew up with his own aspirations of driving in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Thanks to a partnership between the Indy Racing League and the Knoxville Nationals, Dodge is one step closer to realizing the family's dream.

Dodge, winner of the "Fast Track to Indy Rookie of the Year" program at the 45th Knoxville Nationals, earned a test in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series race car in October. Upon passing that test, officials from the Indy Racing League and Knoxville Raceway will work together to secure sponsorship for Dodge to compete in a minimum of six Menards Infiniti Pro Series races in 2006, including the Futaba Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway just days before the Indianapolis 500. In just four seasons, five drivers have graduated from the Menards Infiniti Pro Series to compete in the Indianapolis 500.

"I'm absolutely tickled," said Dodge, who started racing go-karts when he was 14.

The 21-year-old Colorado Springs, Colo., native started competing in sprint cars in 2003. This year, he joined 118 competitors in 410 sprint cars at the Knoxville Nationals Aug. 10-14. The top rookie, 18 years or older, had the "Fast Track to Indy" program as an extra incentive.

"I was in North Platte ( Neb.) and had gotten back from the shop, working on race cars, and I was laying on the couch watching the re-run of (Speed TV's) 'Wind Tunnel' from earlier on Sunday and (Dave) Despain mentions that, 'Hey, there's an announcement from Knoxville Raceway and the IRL about this rookie program.' And I'm thinking, 'Holy cow. That's a heck of a deal for somebody.'

"I never really thought that we'd even be in contention for it, because there are a lot of good racers here, and I don't have a whole lot of seat time in a 410."

In preliminary action on Aug. 10, Dodge finished third in his heat and then 15th in the A feature. That qualified him for the C Feature on Aug. 14.  "We went and did our thing and raced as hard as we could, and (Sunday) afternoon we looked at where we lined up and we thought, 'Man, we've got a shot at this thing,' he said.

Dodge's 14th-place effort in the C Feature gave him the points necessary to clinch the "Fast Track to Indy" title.  "Indy was something that I dreamed about as a kid, but honestly never thought I'd ever have a chance to make an attempt at it," Dodge said.  Turning the dream into a reality has begun.

Renault to develop V10 Renault to develop V10Championship leader Renault will continue to develop its 2005 V10 engine until the season ending Chinese grand prix.  Technical director Rob White confirmed the news but insisted that reliability won't be compromised even in the scramble to match the pace of McLaren's quicker car.

''We will continue the development path that has served well up to now,'' he added.

White insisted that Enstone based Renault has 'considerable respect' for Ron Dennis' Mercedes powered camp, who are out to 'spoil' the blue and yellows' title charge.

Barrichello to BAR - official Barrichello to BAR - officialAnother of formula one's badly kept secrets is now a fact -- Rubens Barrichello will steer a BAR from 2006 on a 'multi year' deal. The highly experienced Brazilian, whose latest stint is six years alongside Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, says he felt a 'renewed motivation' was in order to target the drivers' title.

''I have been watching BAR Honda's progress for some time,'' the 33-year-old winner of nine grands prix said.

''I wish to thank everyone at Ferrari for six fantastic years.''

BAR CEO Nick Fry, meanwhile, also thanked Ferrari, for 'their cooperation' in allowing Barrichello to join BAR even though the Maranello team had him under 2006 contract.

It's, therefore, ironic that the Paulista is - effectively - replacing Jenson Button, whose 2006 employer, Williams, will not similarly let him go.

Rubens Barrichello, who debuted in 1993, is - after Schumacher - the second most experienced driver on the grid. zzzz

Rubens Barrichello - "I am very excited to confirm that I will be joining B*A*R Honda in 2006. I wish to thank everyone at Ferrari for six fantastic years. I have won many races with them and I am proud to have helped the team, to date, to win five Constructors' World Championships. However my target remains winning the Drivers' title and to achieve that I felt that I needed a renewed motivation. I have been watching B*A*R Honda's progress for some time and have been struck by the spirit and determination of a team that has all the right ingredients to win races and go on to win World Championships. I can't think of anything more exciting than working with the team and Honda to achieve our shared ambitions together. Obviously I have a job to do at Ferrari until the end of the season, but I am very happy about the fantastic times that I know still lie ahead."

Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer, B*A*R Honda - "Signing Rubens represents another exciting milestone in B*A*R Honda's development and in Rubens' own career. This is a strong and successful team that is determined to achieve its World Championship ambitions and we are confident that these will be realized soon. Rubens is not only an excellent driver, but he has the experience of building a race and Championship winning team and these skills are very important as we work to take B*A*R Honda to the next level. The fact that we have developed so quickly to become an attractive proposition to drivers of Rubens' standing is a fantastic credit to the team. We are delighted that Rubens recognizes our enormous potential and wishes to help us realize our dream in the not too distant future. I would also like to thank Ferrari for all of their cooperation in allowing Rubens to join us next year."

Yasuhiro Wada, President, Honda Racing Development - "B*A*R Honda are very much looking forward to working with a driver of the experience and talent of Rubens Barrichello. We are sure that the proven track record Rubens brings with him will be of great benefit toward achieving our goal of winning the F1 World Championship."

Champ Car helps the IRL succeed Champ Car helps the IRL succeedA reader writes, For the second time in as many months, I found myself in Canada on a Sunday. THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT! Why? Well, one reason only. I knew I was going to be able to watch the Champ Car race on public television. In fact, I was in Fredericton, New Brunswick, which is actually in the middle of nowhere in the Atlantic Time Zone, EAST of the Eastern Standard Time, and I was still able to see it on TSN Canada [Editor's Note: TSN is a cable channel]. A couple of notes, almost every commercial break had an advertisement for the Montreal race with great graphics highlighting Bourdais, Tracy, Tag, and Ranger. Furthermore, the commercial was partially in English and partially in French to appeal to all in Canada. Yet, I did notice one thing, as I did take three years of French. Not once did the ad mention that this was the Champ Car World Series. It was solely marketed as the Molson INDY with remarks such as "get your Indy tickets blah blah blah," or "don't miss the Indy." If I was a casual observer, I would absolutely associate the race with IRL Indy Cars and have no idea it was the Champ Car World Series. While they did a great job with highlighting the drivers and good clips from the series, this whole "Indy" concept in Champ Car overseas races has got to stop, especially if Champ Car wants to eventually make Champ Car a household name. Absolutely.

Also, one comment on the Champ Car coverage. It's getting better and better. I especially enjoyed the "pop up" fastest lap icon when Sebastian pulled it late in the race. What I would recommend is that the icon pop up every time during the race when someone sets the fastest lap of the race, regardless if it's early or late in the race. It was really cool to see that. Also, as the race lap times (and thank goodness they are not scrolling their laps in MPH, which is completely irrelevant and incomparable with other drivers on road/street circuits as actual lap times, as in minutes and seconds, are), are scrolled above, highlighting the fastest last lap and driver in yellow would be nice to see.

On another note, I finally, very reluctantly due to the lack of other interesting shows on TV in Canada, watched a portion of the IRL race. What I discovered was that they all look EXACTLY THE SAME! It is the exact same thing every time you turn on the race. The cars are in about the same position relative to each other and they are completely flat around the track. If you've seen one IRL event (can hardly call it a real "race") at one track, you've seen all of them. It wouldn't matter what track they are on, with the exception of Indy and Richmond, the TV view looks almost identical and you can pretty much predict exactly what is going to happen.....car hugging the inside and other car trying to go around the outside at the end every time. BORING! Derek. Hughes, Cincinnati, OH PS- Dammit TRACY!!!!!!!!!

Dear Derek, We hear that Champ Car wants to make Indy Car a household name in Canada for Tony George so that when the IRL goes to Canada to race, everyone will already be familiar with the Indy Cars. Hence while the Canadian (and Australian) Champ Car races don't call the event a Champ Car event and still use the word Indy everywhere. Of course Indy is a branded name worldwide, whereas 99.999% of the world's population has no idea what a Champ Car is. So selling the race as an 'Indy' race is a lot easier and may be one of the reasons those Champ Car races are so successful. We never liked the Champ Car name, and always felt it should be called Something Grand Prix Series. It must drive Tony George nuts to think that Champ Car can use the Indy name freely outside the USA, ride it for all it's worth with great success, and there isn't much he can do about it. From our standpoint the longer Champ Car doesn't distinguish itself from Indy Cars the longer the fan confusion continues and the Champ Car name remains an unknown. Mark C.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu's batteries recharged
Williams bag 'good' engine
F1 to 'promote Turkey' - PM
Firman to A1
'Fab Felipe for Ferrari' 
'I'd rather my McLaren'
Massa has won Turkish GP
Why Frank said 'no' to BMW 
Alonso describes a lap around new Turkey track Alonso describes a lap around new Turkey trackRenault's Fernando Alonso is one of the few drivers who has already experienced the new Turkish F1 circuit. Here he describes what it's like to cover a lap of it in a F1 car...

"As with any new circuit, the engineers have been working for several months now to simulate the track layout in Turkey. They have worked out predicted grip levels and the dimensions of the circuit in order to simulate a lap as closely as possible, which will allow us to calculate starting set-ups, cooling levels and already inform our tire choice."

"What we know already is that Istanbul will be a demanding circuit for the tires, as we expect some of the highest track temperatures of the season, and for the brakes, with at least six stops from near or over 300 kph to second gear. This is how the engineers expect a lap to be driven..."

"We will cross the start and finish line in sixth gear, at 300 kph on a flying lap -- and it is actually positioned quite close to the first corner. We will touch 320 kph before braking heavily for the T1/T2 sequence, which comprises a tight left hander followed by a progressively opening right. The left hander is taken in 3rd gear at around 160 kph, and we will then be back on the power as soon as possible as we take 2, lifting only briefly to apex at around 220 kph." zzzz

"The run to T3 curves gently right, and we will once again hit 320 kph before braking heavily for the next sequence of three corners. The first corner, the left-hander of T3, is actually the quickest of these, taken at 165 kph in 3rd gear, and we will have to compromise the exit slightly, sticking to the left of the circuit to get the correct line for T4. We downshift once for the right hander, taking it at 120 kph before a short burst of acceleration to 3rd gear, then braking again for the tight double-apex lefts of T5 and T6. These will be treated as one corner, with T5 taken at 120 kph before T6 under full acceleration."

"Like T2, the exit of this corner opens out, and we will have to be on the power as soon as possible, with a stable rear end, to maximize our speed on the run to T7. This type of corner also puts the rear tires under real strain, as they are subjected to high lateral loads as well as the acceleration forces."

"The track runs downhill slightly on the way to T7 -- and we will touch 300 kph before braking to 2nd gear for the right hand hairpin, which is taken at 115 kph. Once again, the corner opens out on exit, and leads us into the most interesting corner on the circuit -- T8. This long left hander will be particularly tough for the right front tire, as it comprises four different apices, taken at approximately 175 kph in third and fourth gears. Once again, a clean exit will be important as any mistakes could open the door for cars behind into T9."

"The sequence of T9/T10 will be treated like a chicane -- we brake from 320 kph in sixth gear to 115 kph for T9, the left-hander, before then accelerating through T10 without lifting at approximately 200 kph. A good exit from T9 and the correct line through T10 will be crucial as they lead onto the circuit's longest straight -- and its most obvious passing opportunity. The right-hand kink of T11 is taken flat out in sixth gear at 310 kph, and competitors will have a good opportunity to overtake on the brakes into T12."

"We will hit a maximum speed of around 330 kph before braking for the slowest corner on the circuit, T12, taken at just 95 kph in second gear. We may see some interesting maneuvers into the corner, because it is immediately followed by a slow right-hander at T13 -- meaning a driver on the outside through the hairpin will have the ideal line in T13. That could mean we see cars battling side by side through these corners."

"T13 will be taken at 110 kph, and we will then look to position the cars on the right-hand side of the circuit to get the best possible line through T14 -- and onto the start/finish straight The final corner will be taken in 2nd gear, at approximately 115 kph, before accelerating hard down the main straight and towards another lap. In total, we expect this to take us around 1:25.000."

A1 Grand Prix
Irish team announced by A1GP Irish team announced by A1GPA1 Team Ireland became the latest national team to join the A1 Grand Prix series today, taking the competitor list to 20 countries reaching every habitable continent on the planet.

The franchise for A1 Team Ireland has been secured by respected international sports manager Mark Gallagher who will also take on the role of Team Principal. Commenting on today’s announcement, Mark said: ‘This is a momentous day for Irish motorsport and the combination of many months of planning and negotiations. The A1 Grand Prix series promises to be innovative and exciting. I have no doubt that motorsport and sporting fans in Ireland and around the world will be fascinated by it. Having worked in Formula One™ for many years, I have been very impressed with the detailed planning and professionalism that has gone into the creation of A1 and have no doubt that this will be a prestigious world-wide event’.

A1 Team Ireland also took the opportunity to announce their main driver, former Jordan Formula One driver (2003), Formula Nippon (2002) and British Formula 3 Champion (1996), Ralph Firman.

Ralph commented, ‘I have always been very proud of my Irish heritage and am delighted to be selected by A1 Team Ireland™ to represent the country in this exciting new Series. Having been closely involved with the development of the first prototype, I know how good it is to drive and it really does provide a complementary alternative to Formula One. Since driving for Jordan in Formula One, I have been determined to get back into the top of international motor racing’.

A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum welcomed the Irish entry to the Series saying: ‘I am delighted that yet another A1 Grand Prix team has been secured by a renowned motorsport figure who will bring with him another world class driver. With the next team test session just around the corner, Irish fans have little over a week to wait until A1 Team Ireland demonstrates its mettle at the Paul Ricard circuit alongside 17 other A1 Teams. I welcome the four-leaf clover to the A1GP family.

‘The first shakedown held at Silverstone at the beginning of August saw the top 10 teams all record fastest lap times within one second of each other. I have no doubt that A1 Teams Ireland and India who are joining the next Team Test session for the first time will do their countries proud in their first official run.’

Ticket giveaways for IRL race Ticket giveaways for IRL raceApparently desperate to draw a crowd at Infineon Raceway for the upcoming IRL race, calls are being made to people offering free tickets.  One woman called to tell us her telephone rang at home asking for her 9-year old son and offering four free tickets to the race because he attended a go-kart class at Infineon Raceway. 
NASCAR drivers on Larry King Live Tonight NASCAR drivers on Larry King Live TonightNASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Kyle Petty and Kasey Kahne will appear on CNN’s “Larry King Live” at 9:00pm ET tonight.
Danica's making an impact Danica's making an impactThe Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin today discussed on ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza” IRL driver Danica Patrick’s impact on the IRL in her first season of racing in the series. Cavin: “Off the track, she gets an A. She’s handled everything exceptionally well. She’s elevated her sport; she’s done everything a rookie could be asked to in any sport. She’s going to make a difference long-term.”   Cavin added, “Every time I get on a teleconference with her -- and she has one now once every week -- there’s some new organization that’s participating. People magazine, Time magazine … she’s in Life magazine, she’s in TV Guide – these are … publications that never cared about Indy Car racing before [Patrick’s] Indy 500 success. Of course, the cover of [SI] is a perfect example” “Cold Pizza,” ESPN2 Sports Business Daily
Industry News
Milwaukee Mile finally gets a promoter Milwaukee Mile finally gets a promoterThe Milwaukee Mile finally has a new promoter.  See Press Release (PDF file)

Wisconsin State Fair Park Board Chairman Marty Greenberg shakes hands with Milwaukee Mile Marketing LLC Chairman and CEO Craig Stoehr following Fair Board approval of Stoehr’s group as the new promoter at The Milwaukee Mile.

Principals involved in the Monday (Aug 15) press briefing following Wisconsin State Fair Park Board’s approval of Milwaukee Mile Marketing LLC as the new promoter of The Milwaukee Mile, standing (L to R) are Board Chairman Marty Greenberg, Milwaukee Mile Marketing Chairman and CEO Craig Stoehr, Milwaukee Mile Marketing President Andy Randall, Wisconsin State Fair Park CFO Craig Barkelar, Milwaukee Mile General Manager Gary Girard, Milwaukee Mile Director of Operations Steve Jones, Milwaukee Mile Director of Sales & Marketing Oz Karlsvik.  Seated (L to R) are Wisconsin State Fair CEO Randy Prasse, Mayor of West Allis Jeannette Bell and Friends of Racing Chairman Eric Butlein.

New Crew Chief for Blaney New Crew Chief for BlaneyScott Miller will assume the crew chief duties for Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet and driver Dave Blaney effective immediately.

Miller moves over to the No. 07 camp after being team manager/engineer for RCR’s No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevy and driver Kevin Harvick. He boasts two career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins as a crew chief, most recently in April at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway where he led Harvick to Victory Lane in Todd Berrier’s absence. The Bardstown, Ky., native also won in March of 2003 at the famed Darlington (S.C.) Raceway while calling the shots for Ricky Craven.

"The performance of the Jack Daniel's team was not where we expected it to be so we decided to make this change and bring Scott Miller over from the Goodwrench team to be the crew chief for the (No.) 07 team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "Scott brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to the Jack Daniel's team. He called the GM Goodwrench team's victory this year at Bristol when Todd was out so he knows how to win races as a crew chief at the NEXTEL Cup level. We want to give Dave Blaney the best opportunity we can and I think moving Scott in as crew chief for him is a step in the right direction."

Former crew chief Philippe Lopez has been offered a position in RCR’s research and development department. Andy Street will fill Miller’s former role with the GM Goodwrench Team.

Sauber confident overheating issue is rectified Sauber confident overheating issue is rectifiedAfter the short summer break, Team Sauber Petronas heads for Istanbul for the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix, the 14th round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Last time out in Hungary, both Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve suffered with overheating issues with the C24 and heading to Turkey, which expected to be very hot, the team are confident they have solved the cooling issue that blighted them at Hungaroring.

Sauber are eighth in the championship standings with 14 points while Massa and Villeneuve have scored eight and six points respectively.

Jacques Villeneuve - "I can't really say much about the circuit in Turkey because I've never been there. However, it's always very exciting to go racing in a new country. Jenson, who visited the track earlier this year, told me that the layout of the track is absolutely fantastic so I am really looking forward to trying it out. The weather should be really hot but during the break I have been training for these conditions so I am not too worried about that. I think that we should be able to do well in this race, especially as nobody has run here before. "I also hope that I will be able to find a moment to visit the city because I keep hearing that the place is buzzing." zzzz

Felipe Massa - "I'm looking forward to racing in Turkey, because I have already won there in the C24. I did the race simulation on my Play Station, and I won! And I did on the difficult level, against all the other championship runners!"

"From what I have seen I think the track layout is not too bad and usually these computer games are very accurate in the way they depict the circuits. There are some quick corners, elevation changes and long straights - it's a bit like the latest Nurburgring with a long back straight with a quick corner in the middle. For sure it will be extremely hot there so it will be a difficult race for everyone, but we have improved the balance of our car in fast corners a lot lately and I am really looking forward to see how well the track suits the C24 in real life!"

Willy Rampf, Technical Director - "Turkey represents another new track for Formula One, but by the time we arrive there we will already be quite familiar with it. We use the official map of the circuit in conjunction with our simulation programs. This enables us to run a basic car model in order to evaluate different parameters such as downforce levels and mechanical grip."

"The optimum downforce level will depend on the track layout and the grip. I think Turkey will be high downforce. We also know it will be very hot, so we will be maximizing our cooling and have taken steps to rectify the problem of high temperatures beneath the engine covers that affected the spark coils in Hungary."

"Once the aerodynamic configuration of the car is defined, we use the simulation models to further optimize the mechanical set-up, define the gear ratios and evaluate the brake energy dissipation. This allows us to make the best choice of brake materials and the required brake cooling. We know from past experience that our simulation programs are accurate to within one per cent. The biggest unknown factor is the grip level of the track. Even though we liaise closely with Michelin, who have already visited the track to assess its surface, the one thing we cannot predict completely until we run the cars there is the actual level of grip of the surface." Source Sauber Petronas

A1 Grand Prix
Firman named as Ireland A1GP driver Firman named as Ireland A1GP driverRalph Firman has been announced as Ireland's driver for this year's A1GP championship. The former F1 driver, and 2002 Formula Nippon champion will be joined by a reserve driver who will be announced after the next A1GP official test at Paul Ricard next week.

"I have always been very proud of my Irish heritage," said Firman, "and am delighted to be selected by A1 Team Ireland to represent the country in this exciting new series."

"Having been closely involved in the development of the A1 Grand Prix Car, I know how good it is to drive and it really does provide a complementary alternative to Formula One."

"Since driving for Jordan in Formula One, I have been determined to get back into the top of international motor racing."

The Irish entry is to be run by the newly formed A1 Team Ireland, based in Dublin.

"This is a momentous day for Irish motorsport," said Team Ireland team principal Mark Gallagher. "It is the combination of many months of planning and negotiations. The A1 Grand Prix series promises to be innovative and exciting. I have no doubt that motorsport and sporting fans in Ireland and around the world will be fascinated by it."

"Having worked in Formula One for many years, I have been very impressed with the detailed planning and professionalism that has gone into the creation of A1 and have no doubt that this will be a prestigious world wide event."

Kyle Petty On CNN’s "Larry King Live" Monday Night Kyle Petty On CNN’s "Larry King Live" Monday NightUPDATE A reminder this show is tonight. 08/13/05 Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge will be a live guest on Larry King Live on CNN Monday night, August 15. Petty will be joined by Jeff Gordon and host Larry King on CNN’s most watched program at 9:00 p.m. (EDT), and will discuss NASCAR racing, as well as his work with the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride. Those were featured in Newsweek magazine a few weeks ago, as well as in national media across the country. Petty Enterprises is no stranger to national media such as Larry King Live and CNN. Kyle and his father, Richard Petty, have been interviewed numerous times by the national cable network, as well as on every national broadcast network. The Williams Co., Of America, Inc.
Evernham looking for 3rd driver Evernham looking for 3rd driverRay Evernham, who will start a third team next year with Valvoline sponsorship, says he still has not settled on a driver for the car. He indicated he would consider doing what he has done with his Busch team this year -- trying out different drivers in the seat. "We're still talking to several people, and we're not locked in yet," he said. "I can tell you I'm not talking to anybody got contracts two or three years out, for the record. Hopefully we're getting closer, but again, I won't say I've got to have a driver by this date. I've had fun running tons of drivers through the 6 car [Busch] this year, so who knows, The 10 car might end up like that." Speed Channel
Williams and Cosworth announce partnership Williams and Cosworth announce partnershipWilliamsF1 and Cosworth today announced a wide-ranging partnership agreement for the provision and development of V8 engines for WilliamsF1's entry in the Formula One World Championship.

The partnership is not based on a traditional engine supply agreement; both WilliamsF1 and Cosworth will invest in the program, underlining both parties' commitment to success. Moreover, the scope of the collaboration includes not just the engine as an isolated element of a race car, but extends to a complete program of design and development of the entire drivetrain package (spanning engine, transmission, associated electronics, software and installation architecture).

WilliamsF1 has conducted a thorough assessment of the various partnership options available for next season and has been delighted to conclude that the depth of Cosworth knowledge and expertise in V8 development clearly presents the most competitive opportunity for the team and its sponsors. Cosworth is well advanced in the development of its Formula One V8 engine, having routinely exceeded 20,000 rpm during dyno testing since April 2005 at its Northampton headquarters.

The two British companies which are separated by 36 miles, both have distinguished pedigrees in their respective spheres. Together they aim to put British excellence at the front of the Formula One grid next season.

On the announcement of the partnership agreement, Frank Williams, WilliamsF1's Team Principal said, "Cosworth is a leading global authority on V8 engine technology. Next year is a brand new start for all concerned given 16 years of V10 engines. Some teams and manufacturers have absolutely no experience of V8s while others enjoy only limited experience. Cosworth, however, have excelled both historically, as well as in contemporary V8-powered international motorsport. The evidence of Cosworth's V8 progress we have seen so far validates completely the expectation we have of enjoying a class-leading package given next season's engine rule changes."

Tim Routsis, Cosworth's CEO reflected, "Our experience and track record with V8 engines is unrivalled and we are naturally delighted to be alongside one of the most uncompromising and pure-spirited teams in Formula One. We have been working on the development of next year's V8 since April 2004 and right from the onset, our performance targets have been set very aggressively. We are confident that our blue-chip partnership with WilliamsF1 can augment the record of winning the championship every decade since the 1960s. We have developed the 2006 Cosworth V8-CA engine with nothing but front-running success in mind for both the near and long-term. The involvement of Cosworth's sister company, Pi, has been instrumental in achieving this outcome."

Patrick Head, WilliamsF1's Director of Engineering said, "Williams has made this partnership decision purely on technical merit. Among the range of options we considered, Cosworth are very well advanced with existing development and are committed to taking the potential of this collaboration further. Our engineers have already reflected on the very productive and highly motivated nature of the relationship between our two organizations. We speak the same racing language and both have something to prove next year and there can be no greater motivation to succeed."

Newman praises Sutton Newman praises SuttonActor and race-car driver Paul Newman, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing, said Centrix Financial CEO and Grand Prix promoter Bob Sutton is the best in the business. Centrix owns the Grand Prix and has made significant improvements since buying the race from Delaware-based Dover Motorsports Inc. before the 2004 event.   "Bob is as good of a promoter as we've ever run across," said Newman, who entered the series in 1983 with driver Mario Andretti. "We have some really wonderful ones out there, and we have some weak ones. And if the weak ones were as strong as he is, we'd be in gravy." Denver Post
Denver a near sellout Denver a near selloutUPDATE Despite the continuous threat of rain and unseasonably cooler weather, the three-day attendance was estimated at a record 150,000, Centrix executive Rick Bolton said.  Actual attendance will be released today or Tuesday. The previous unofficial record was 112,000, set last year. Denver Post 08/14/05 We ran into a smiling Jim Hancock of the Centrix Denver GP right after the start of the Champ Car race Sunday.  So why was Jim smiling?  "We're almost sold out," said Hancock and the people are still streaming in.  All the grandstands are full except one so far.  And the best part is this year almost all the tickets were paid for," i.e. few freebees.
Engineering to win at Istanbul Engineering to win at IstanbulPreparing for a new circuit at Istanbul with Pat Symonds, Renault Executive Director of Engineering. 'As a team, we relish the challenge presented by a new circuit. Our engineering preparations begin many months before the race with lap simulations. It takes just 40 seconds to simulate a lap on the computer, but programming the sophisticated models behind this is a lengthier task…

The earlier one can start the process of informing the lap simulation, then the better prepared one is; however, this is not always easy. The starting point for a lap-time simulation is to obtain an accurate circuit map from which the trajectory of the car along the racing line can be described mathematically in three dimensions. Once the circuit configuration has been finalized, detailed maps are issued by the FIA, and work can begin. The boundaries of the tarmac are digitized, and fed into the first stage of the simulation program, which uses mathematical determines the ideal racing line.

Once this has been established, a car model with an 'average' set-up is introduced. From this, a variety of wing settings and gear ratios can be evaluated to get the basis of the set-up. Once this has been done, refinements are made to weight distribution and suspension settings in order to minimize the virtual lap-time. Subsequently, the team can begin to look at energy requirements from the tires, to help choose the appropriate compound, and at this stage brake energy requirements, and to some extent brake cooling requirements, can be calculated.
However scientific this may sound, though – as indeed it is – a number of ‘imponderables' can lead to errors in the simulation, that often cannot be corrected until the circuit has been seen and, indeed, until the car has first run on it.

The first of these are the curbs: where the simulation is only able to assume a driver will use the limits of the tarmac, in reality, they use curbs wherever they can. If they are relatively smooth and low, they will be used to shortcut what had previously been the ‘ideal' racing line.

Much more problematic, though, is the variation in grip levels: these can differ by up to 15% between the different circuits we race on, according to factors such as the nature of the asphalt and how often the circuit is used. However, to put this into perspective, a 3% variation in grip level on an average circuit can bring a change in lap time of around 1 second and just to make things worse, this parameter varies continually, even during the same day…

Naturally, working 2500 km from the circuit, we can do nothing but assume an average level of grip and work from there until further information is available. How ever, in order to insure against being caught out by any differences in grip relative to our estimations, we conduct numerous simulations at different grip levels in order to have a bank of data at our disposal in the event of changes, so that the appropriate car set-up can be decided upon as quickly as possible.

Once that has pre-race simulation work has been completed, and the car is running, we then begin using a different simulation program to determine race strategy. In fact, before making our decision on Saturday, over 1,000,000 race scenarios will run through the team's computers!' Source Renault

Renault drivers look forward to turkey Renault drivers look forward to turkeyFernando Alonso enjoys a 26 point advantage in the championship as the Formula One circus reconvenes in Turkey for round 14 of the 2005 Championship. Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella is eighth in the standings but a good result this weekend could well vault the Italian up the Championship order.

Fernando, describe Istanbul in one word…
"Where do I start? I think I'd go for… fantastic!"

You enjoyed your first visit then?
"Definitely – I demonstrated the car in the middle of the city centre, and it was an amazing experience to run on the old streets in front of the public."

What was the city like?
"It was really varied – there were so many different things to see, and I'm looking forward to getting back there again. You can tell straight away that there is a mixture of cultures, between the European and the Asian, and it means there is lots to discover. I saw the Blue Mosque, and some of the other sights in the city, but the best thing was doing the demonstration run around the old hippodrome. That was where they raced hundreds of years ago, and we started the new era of Formula 1 in the same place. It was pretty cool."

Turkey is a new country for Formula 1 – how were the fans?
"Incredible. I think we had something like 30,000 people turn out to watch us, so they definitely know something about F1 already!"

Were they knowledgeable or discovering the sport for the first time?
"Both – some of the people knew a lot, others were there for the first time, but everybody was really enthusiastic and excited to see the car and the team. It was nice to go there beforehand because at the races, we have very little time to meet the fans – so it was great to meet them at the demo, and to have time to talk with them, because everybody was so open and friendly. I hope we will see a very passionate crowd at the race."

You arrive in Turkey as championship leader – does that change anything?
"No – for me, I am looking at the races one by one, not at anything else. It is nice to arrive in Turkey in this position though, because it means we are strong and have a good chance of being successful in the first ever race there."

What do you think the challenges will be to achieve that?
"I expect the temperatures to be very hot, so managing the tires will be the first priority for us – there are lots of slow corners, which make the rear tires work very hard on the exits. After that, I think the brakes will have quite a hard time, and it will tough for the drivers too in the cockpit: when temperatures are very high, we can lose up to 3 kilos through sweating in the car. So we need to be in top physical form as well as getting the car to perform to its best level."

Are you worried after the performance in Hungary?
"Honestly, no. It was a bit of a surprise for us that we had problems in Hungary, but in reality I think the car could have been pretty competitive with a trouble-free race. Of course, that doesn't matter because the fact is we didn't score points, and we need to do that in Turkey. But we still have a strong car, and the team is very motivated. I am refreshed after the break, and ready to attack the final races of the year. The team is leading both championships, and that is definitely the best position to be in right now."

Giancarlo, have you visited the Istanbul circuit yet?
"No, I haven't…"

That may seem surprising to some people – is it not an essential part of your preparations?
"Honestly, no. The first stage is just to learn the basics of the circuit, and you don't need to visit to do that. The team has given me a DVD of some laps in a road car so I can learn which way the corners go, and see the geography of the track. Some drivers use their Playstation to learn the track, but I think the video will be plenty for me."

So when will you see the track for the first time?
"Thursday morning when I go to the circuit."

And will you start learning it straight away?
"Yes. The first thing we do every race weekend is to walk the track with our engineers. It lets us inspect the track in detail – to look at the curbs and see which parts of them we can use, plus to get a feel for the layout and how we need to drive it."

It must be difficult to learn it on foot though?
"It is, so I will go round on a scooter as well, just so I can get a feel for the lines I will need to use in the R25. The track always looks very different when you are in a car or on a bike, compared to on foot."

So what will it be like on Friday morning when you drive for the first time?
"I think it will be quite exciting! It is always fun to discover a new circuit, and to have the challenge of learning it from the beginning. It is quite demanding for the driver, because we have to focus on the technical program as well while we are learning."

Will you need more laps than normal in practice?
"For sure, but the team took that into account in Hungary where we did less practice mileage than usual. That means we have more laps in Turkey to learn the track and fine-tune the set-up of the car."

How long until you feel that you know the circuit?
"To be honest, about ten laps. After that, you have a good idea of the braking points, you know the line, you can see which curbs to use and then we start working on the set-up and our tire comparisons."

And finally, how do you expect the car to perform?
"I expect us to be very strong. We were not good in Hungary, but we have not performed to our expectations this season on the slow circuits. Turkey is much more like the tracks where we have been successful, and the hot weather is good for our car. I think we will be in the hunt for podium finishes." Source Renault
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
JV to drive in 'Villeneuve'
No Renault caution - Symonds
Ralf's wife in hospital
'It's not over yet' - Kimi
F1 trickery
'Wake up, F1' - Stoddart
Not so hot in Turkey
Another V8 day for Ferrari
Schu has eye on tire wear
Drivers' quali doubted
Alonso 'not worried'
Jordan eye Davidson
Trans-Am trio 2-3-4 at The Glen Trans-Am trio 2-3-4 at The GlenRobby Gordon led a trio of Trans-Am alumni who finished in the top five in Sunday's Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Gordon finished second in the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet Monte Carlo, ahead of fellow Trans-Am graduates Boris Said and Scott Pruett. Tony Stewart won the race. Gordon, who won in his sole Trans-Am start in 1992 at Long Beach, driving a Roush Racing Ford Mustang.

'Tony is a great race car driver,' said Gordon. 'We had a good run. Unfortunately, we had come from the back twice. The car was very fast all day long, and I wish we could have gotten there earlier. We came here to win the race. Second for me is the first loser. We'll just have to work a little bit harder.'

2002 Trans-Am Drivers' Champion Said recorded his best career Nextel Cup effort, finishing third in the No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet Monte Carlo after starting 41st. Said most recently raced in Trans-Am competition two weeks ago at the San Jose Grand Prix where he recorded his 14th Series victory. zzzz

'I had good restarts all day in the CENTRIX Chevrolet, but on that last one, Tony got me,' said Said. 'I got bogged down and Robby got around me. We made a little contact, but that's just good racing. It sure was a nice finish, especially behind Tony Stewart. He's the best right now. I'm pretty happy with my first Nextel Cup top five.'

Three-time Trans-Am champion Pruett finished fourth, filling in for Sterling Marlin in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid. Pruett last raced in Trans-Am competition in 2003, winning eight of 11 races and earning his third Trans-Am title.

'It was a really great run,' said Pruett, who got the call to substitute for Marlin, who was home grieving the loss of his father and former NASCAR racer Coo Coo Marlin. 'My thoughts go out to Sterling and his whole family for their horrible loss. The Ganassi guys did a great job. It was weird. We were in a mad thrash to get the seat in the car until the green flag. We got in and the car was pretty good. We made the right calls on the pit stops, stretched our fuel and we came home fourth.'

Boris Said developing a following in NASCAR Boris Said developing a following in NASCARThe Saidheads' chant -- "Who Said, Boris Said" --resonated at Watkins Glen International after their favorite son finished third in Sunday's Nextel Cup road race. The Boris Said look-alikes, wearing bushy afro wigs and yellow Saidhead T-shirts, were in a celebratory mood after Said claimed his career best NASCAR Cup finish. Until a caution came out on Lap 73 of 90, Said was challenging for the lead. He was in second place and running comparable lap times to race leader Tony Stewart. But when the race was restarted on Lap 75, Said got bogged down and was passed by Robby Gordon, who went on to finish second.

"Tony did a good job on the restart -- he stabbed the brakes and I checked up -- he was gone and I was passed for second," explained Said. "If I were in Tony's position I would have done the same thing. It was a good move on his part."

After Said and Gordon rubbed fenders on the restart, Said's No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet suffered some damage. His last chance to overtake Gordon and Stewart was on the green-white-checkered restart due to a caution on Lap 89. "I had a vibration and didn't want to take any chances - my car was not at full strength after Robby and I got into each other," offered Said. "But overall, I am very happy and very proud of this entire CENTRIX Financial team. What an awesome job they did today. Frankie's (Stoddard, crew chief) pit stop strategy was perfect. A solid team effort."

Because qualifying was rained out, Said started 41st but picked his way through the field in a surgeon-like fashion. "I had a great car -- simple as that," noted Said. "I feel I got the monkey off my back today with this finish. I've had good runs going in the past, but something would always seem to happen to spoil a strong performance."

"MB/Sutton Motorsports --- Bob Sutton, Nelson Bowers and Jay Frye -- gave me a big break this year and I am ecstatic that we were able to deliver a result that they deserve," offered Said. "It's a great feeling and I couldn't be happier right now." After being interviewed live by NBC following the race Said jumped over the wall and went into the crowd to high-five the chanting Saidhead fan club. "They're a great bunch of guys -- I don't know how this got started -- but it sure is fun to have them around," noted Said. "Other drivers have different types of groupies, I got these tough guys. I love it and wouldn't want it any other way." Neither would the Saidheads, who were still chanting "Who Said, Boris Said" long after Said left the track for the airport.
Marlin's father dies Marlin's father diesClifton "Coo Coo" Marlin, one of NASCAR's early stars and father of current Nextel Cup driver Sterling Marlin, died Sunday after a battle with lung cancer. He was 73. Marlin died in his hometown of Columbia, Tenn., said officials from Chip Ganassi Racing, which fields cars for Sterling Marlin. Sterling Marlin had returned home from this week's race in Watkins Glen, N.Y., to be with his father. Scott Pruett was scheduled to replace him in Sunday's event. Although he never won a NASCAR points race, Marlin was one of the sport's earliest stars. A hard-nosed racer who made his name racing around the short tracks in Tennessee and Alabama. He became a regular at the Tennessee Fairgrounds, running against the likes of Bobby and Donny Allison and Red Farmer. Marlin won his first title at the Fairgrounds in 1959. He added titles in 1962, then again in 1966 and 1967 and his four titles are a record at the now-defunct race track. Marlin moved onto NASCAR, where he made 165 Cup starts from 1966 to 1980. He had no wins, but earned nine top-fives and 51 top-10 finishes. His series best points finish was 20th in the 1975 season. Recognized as a driver, Marlin also was well-known for a blue collar work ethic that kept him maintaining the land on his Tennessee farm until his death. He passed that work ethic on to his son, Sterling, who despite being a two-time Daytona 500 winner still spends his weekdays working on the farm. ESPN.com/AP
Wirdheim again frustrated in Denver Wirdheim again frustrated in DenverBjorn Wirdheim on the Denver Race: “Finally, I thought it was going to be our day when I came through the second corner in sixth position. I had a very good car and as soon as I managed to get past Ranger I was faster than the cars behind me. Our first stop was great, I was sixth and I was feeling very confident. Unfortunately, the team made a technical mistake and brought me in one lap early and that unfortunately, left me a lap down with everyone else on the lead lap. Of course that left me out of contention for a top-six finish. At least we are making consistent progress now each weekend. That gives me a lot of confidence as we go into the next race, which is Montreal and happens to be the only track that we compete on that I have driven on before. I like the Montreal circuit and I feel confident that that will be our weekend instead.”
Lavín gives HVM first top-5 in 2005 Lavín gives HVM first top-5 in 2005Rodolfo on the Race:  “I am very, very happy. The car was great, it responded very well. The car was especially good the first 10-15 laps on stickers. It was good at the corner entry and exits and under braking, it was great. Later in the stints, I tended to get a lot of understeer but I was still able to set competitive times all day. I am especially pleased with this result since it is only my second race this year and of course my second race with the HVM team. My pitstops were perfect, the team did a fantastic job all day, this result was certainly a group effort and I am excited to take this momentum to Montreal.”
Tracy throws race and championship away Tracy throws race and championship awayPaul Tracy clipped the inside wall of Turn 4 in Denver Sunday and that propelled him hard into the outside wall and out of the lead and the Denver GP race.  Tracy held a comfortable lead over points leader Sebastien Bourdais at the time.  "I just threw it away," said Tracy, who won the pole for the event in a track-record time of 59.432 seconds Friday. "I was getting frustrated having to sit behind (Timo) Glock. The blue flags were flying every lap and I was getting frustrated and they told me I had to get closer to him. I was pressing harder to get him closer, and I brushed the inside wall. I just barely touched it and it threw me across the track right into the wall.   I basically just handed the championship to Sebastien. It's devastating for the whole team. We'll just try to come back in Montreal (Aug. 28) and win that. It's all we can do."
Formula BMW
Philippe takes Formula BMW point lead Philippe takes Formula BMW point leadEdoardo Piscopo (EuroInternational) raced his way to the top of the Formula BMW USA podium for the second time, taking the Round 12 victory today at the Grand Prix of Denver. The 17-year old from Rome, Italy and Round 10 winner finished fourth yesterday in Round 11 and led 19 of 20 laps today in taking the checkered flag. He finished 3.305 seconds in front of Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica). Philippe, with his third runner-up finish, in addition to his three wins, now takes possession of the Overall and Rookie Championship lead for the first time this season.

Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished third. Johnson's first career Formula BMW USA podium was a well-deserved one having started from the 18th position on the grid and only securing the podium with a last-lap pass of, then Overall point leader Kevin Lacroix (AIM Autosport). zzzz

Round 12 provided Grand Prix of Denver fans with one of the most exciting Formula BMW USA races of the year. Piscopo moved up into second from his fourth-place starting spot with an excellent start. Polesitter Robert Wickens was called to the pits to serve a stop and go penalty for jumping the standing start. Piscopo inherited the lead and Philippe second. Wickens rejoined the race in the last position, moving to a fine fifth-place finish to retain third in Overall points and move to second in Rookie points.

The turning point of the race came on lap 12 when Adrien Herberts (Atlantic Racing Team) made contact with the wall and Matthew Lee (Twintooth Racing/BRM Motorsports) and Daniel Herrington (Jensen MotorSport) were unable to avoid his disabled car, putting all three out of the race. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA), having moved up from his 12th starting position to fifth, was also collected in the incident and retired. Stevens set the fastest lap of the race on lap 10 (1:15.607), to establish a new race record. Philippe, who had fallen to sixth, benefited from the crash and moved back to the second position. Lacroix moved to fourth and Johnson to fifth.

The Safety Car led the field for five laps and when the green flag waved on lap 17

Lacroix tried Philippe for second, but Michael Patrizi (Walker Racing) found the tire wall, bringing out a local yellow flag.  With Piscopo firmly in control of the lead, Philippe held second while Johnson got by Lacroix for third on the final lap.

Piscopo said, "I had an awesome car today and my team worked well. My aim was to pass as many people as possible at the beginning of the race and then to stay focused in order to increase and manage my gap like I did in Round 10 at Barber."

Philippe said, "Today was probably one of the hardest fights I have had. The race was really a big challenge to stay in the front. I went back to sixth, but I was able to benefit from the lap 12 crash and came back to second. To finish second under these circumstances is good for the team and for me."

Johnson said, "HBR gave me a great car today. I started 18th because the qualifying session was unlucky for me. I tried to move up one by one and thanks to the four car crash I moved to fourth. I passed Kevin on the last lap. We touched a little bit, but it was no big deal. I have been fast all weekend and being on the podium today is like a dream come true."

Philippe takes over the lead in Overall points; Lacroix falls to second - two points in arrears. Wickens is third, Maxime Soulet fourth and James Davison fifth.

The top finishing Rookies were Piscopo (P1), Philippe (P2), Johnson (P3), Lacroix (P4) and Wickens (P6).

Philippe leads the Rookie points by three over Wickens. Lacroix falls to third, Davison stands fourth and Stevens is fifth.
The 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship deciding Rounds 13 and 14 will be
held on September 28-30 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.

Round 12 - Results (20 laps)
1 Edoardo Piscopo EuroInternational 30:24.209
2 Richard Philippe Team Autotecnica 30:27.244
3 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:27.683
4 Kevin Lacroix AIM Autosport 30:27.783
5 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 30:27.886
6 Doug Boyer Jensen MotorSport 30:29.757
7 Tom Sutherland HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:29.822
8 Rob Bunker AIM Autosport 30:30.149
9 Justin Moon Gelles Racing 30:30.944
10 Maxime Soulet Gelles Racing 30:31.939
11 James Davison HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:32.401
12 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 30:37.591
13 Dan Abbale Atlantic Racing Team 30:41.453
14 Darin Marcus Gelles Racing 30:44.138
15 Michael Patrizi Walker Racing 17 laps
16 Jules Duc Jensen MotorSport 17 laps
17 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 11 laps
18 Adrien Herberts Atlantic Racing Team 11 laps
19 Daniel Herrington Jensen MotorSport 11 laps
20 Matthew Lee Twintooth/BRM Motorsport 11 laps

Championship points after 12 of 14 races:
1. Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica, 128)
 2. Kevin Lacroix (AIM Autosport, 126)
 3. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 117)
 4. Maxime Soulet (Gelles Racing, 96)
 5. James Davison (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 92)
 6. Edoardo Piscopo (EuroInternational, 76)
 7. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 75)
 8. Tom Sutherland (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 39)
 9. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 36)
 10. Rob Bunker (AIM Autosport, 31)
 11. Justin Moon (Gelles Racing, 25)
 12. John Zartarian (Jensen MotorSport, 23)
 13. Tobias Hegewald (Atlantic Racing Team, 22)
 14. Jonathan Summerton (Walker Racing, 22)
 15. Daniel Herrington (Jensen MotorSport, 20)
 16. Matthew Lee (Twintooth/BRM Motorsport, 10)
 17. Adrien Herberts (Atlantic Racing Team, 8)
 18. Doug Boyer (Jensen MotorSport, 8)
 19. Michael Patrizi (Walker Racing, 8)
 20. Darin Marcus (Gelles Racing, 7)
 21. Paul Rees (Walker Racing, 1)
 22. Derek Burseth (Burseth Racing, 0)
 23. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 0)
 24. Nathan DePagter (DRE Autosport, 0)
 25. Jules Duc (Jensen MotorSport, 0)
 26. Scott Harnell (SDH3 with Cinema Concepts, 0)
 27. Ryan Phinny (Gelles Racing, 0)
 28. Paul Rees (Walker Racing, 0)
 29. Robbie Pecorari (Walker Racing, 0)
 30. Dan Abbale (Atlantic Racing Team)

Alternate tires all year in 2006 Alternate tires all year in 2006Al Speyer, Executive Director of Bridgestone Motorsports announced that for the 2006 season Bridgestone would be bringing their "red" alternate tires to every road and street course event on the schedule.  Speyer stated that they would not be using the alternate tires on the oval track events.
Wirth wins in Denver as Kasemets spins Wirth wins in Denver as Kasemets spinsWhen Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors) looks back on his first victory in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, he likely won’t remember the dominant middle portion of Sunday’s flag-to-flag win on the streets of Denver, it will be the thrilling start and final laps that stand out in the rookie’s mind.

Wirth enjoyed a tremendous start to Sunday’s BOSPoker.com Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Denver (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel – Saturday, August 20 at 3 p.m. ET) and he led comfortably throughout most of the 35-lap contest on the 1.657-mile street circuit. In the final few turns around Denver’s Pepsi Center, however, the 20-year-old racer endured some tense moments, including a failed pass for the lead in the final turn of the final lap. Ultimately, Wirth captured his first Atlantic checkered flag, winning by 6.487 seconds over impressive 17-year-old American driver Alan Sciuto (#27 Dean’s R/C Products/Sparco).

After becoming the youngest driver to win a pole in the 32-year history of the Atlantic series on Saturday, Sciuto started from the point in just his second series race. The native of Orange, California had to watch as Wirth, starting second, got a great jump at the green flag start to today’s race to capture the lead in Turn 1. While Wirth, the 2004 Formula BMW USA champion, began to pull away after the strong start, there was plenty of action behind him on the opening lap.

First-year racing sensation Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing), who captured the last two series races and started fifth in Denver, became entangled with both Atlantic championship leader Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) and Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil) as the three were fighting for position at the start. Legge suffered the worst of the incident as she was forced to pit lane with suspension damage. She was eventually able to continue, but she wound up 17th overall as she watched her bid for three straight wins come to an abrupt ending.

Kasemets and Zwolsman, the two top competitors for the ’05 Atlantic crown entering the weekend, managed to continue after the opening-lap fracas. Zwolsman’s car did suffer some minor damage and Kasemets lost one position before both drivers began to settle in to a race rhythm. While Zwolsman never was able to get close enough to battle Wirth for the lead, Kasemets found more speed as the race wore on, passing Zwolsman for second place with 12 laps remaining. zzzz

With lapped traffic slowing Wirth in the final laps, Kasemets began to attack. He caught up with the Brooks Associates Racing rookie on the final lap and he saw an opportunity to try and take the lead heading into Turn 9. Kasemets was forced to go wide into the turn in his attempt to get by and his car’s back end kicked out, spinning Kasemets on the track as he watched his championship hopes take a major hit. He wound up finishing eighth in the final running order.

Sciuto, who fell back to fifth place after surrendering the lead to Wirth at the start, finished strong. He passed both Zwolsman and Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design) in the final five laps to rally for a second-place finish. The talented teen has now claimed a fourth- and second-place result in his first two Atlantic races.

Zwolsman held on to finish third for his eighth podium finish in 10 events. The speedy Dutchman was also able to extend his lead in pursuit of the series crown. With 268 points on the year, Zwolsman now carries a 34-point cushion over Wirth into the final two rounds of Atlantic competition. Kasemets dropped to third in the standings, now 42 points out of the lead.

Bessette improved from his sixth-place starting spot to finish fourth. The result represented his eighth top-five finish of his rookie season. Mexico’s David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) also improved, moving from seventh at the start to finish fifth for his fifth top-five result.

California rookie racer Kyle Kelley (#24 UP Racing.com) earned a bonus championship point for improving the most positions (three) during the race. Kelley came from ninth place to finish sixth. Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) kept alive his season-long streak of top-10 finishes as he crossed the stripe seventh. Dan Selznick (#49 The Room Store) and Justin Sofio (#15 RLM Investments) completed the top 10 rundown. Sofio clinched the Yokohama Tire C2 Cup title last round in San Jose, and he earned his seventh C2-class win with today’s effort.

The Atlantics are back in action next weekend for the penultimate round of the 2005 season. The series will race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin before closing out the year the following week in Montreal.


Wirth’s victory represents the first win in 11 Atlantic seasons by a Brooks Associates Racing driver.
Kasemets posted the fastest race lap. He carded a top time of 1:08.517 (87.060 mph) on the 33rd lap of the race.
Wirth’s winning race time of 40:29.856 is a new Atlantic record for a 35-lap event in Denver.

Results from Sunday’s race with starting position in parentheses, driver, type of car, laps completed and reason out, if any:

1. (2) Andreas Wirth, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
2. (1) Alan Sciuto, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
3. (3) Charles Zwolsman, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
4. (6) Antoine Bessette, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
5. (7) David Martinez, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
6. (9) Kyle Kelley, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
7. (8) Al Unser III, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
8. (4) Tonis Kasemets, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 35.
9. (12) Dan Selznick, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 34.
10. (11) Justin Sofio, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 34.
11. (15) Daryl Leiski, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 34.
12. (13) Lee Atkins, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 33.
13. (16) Chris Souliotis, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 33.
14. (17) Bob Siska, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 33.
15. (18) Brian McAtee, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 32.
16. (14) Dan Cobb, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 32.
17. (5) Katherine Legge, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 30.
18. (10) Ryan Spencer-Smith, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 29, contact.

Champ Car made key hire Champ Car made key hireChamp Car is moving from one strategic move to another. We had the chance to meet Mark Reilly, Champ Car's new VP Broadcast Sales and Distribution. Reilly appears to really have his stuff together. Reilly has a key position because the success of Champ Car's TV profitablity worldwide rests on him working his magic. He's a very confident man.
Industry News
Mo Nunn auctioning off all racing equipment Mo Nunn auctioning off all racing equipmentMo Nunn Racing is auctioning off all their racing equipment, including cars and transporters, so it looks like Mo and his wife Katherine are out of racing for good.  You can find details here.
Denver weather Denver weatherIt is overcast in Denver Sunday morning but the forecast is for clearing skies by noon local time and a high in the low 80's.
Foyt slams Toyota Foyt slams ToyotaA.J. Foyt looked more like his old self Saturday, which is a good thing. The 70-year-old was stung nearly 200 times last weekend by African killer bees on a ranch he owns in Texas. Other than itchy arms, he felt no worse for the horrifying experience.

Plus, his grandson's Indy Racing League car was running better at Kentucky Speedway thanks to an engine switch. A.J. Foyt IV has a Chevrolet rather than the Toyota he's had since the beginning of the 2003 season.

"It's all motor," the elder Foyt said of the power behind his big grin. "We've got that; I feel better. I was tired of fighting to be dead last like we were." [Editor's Note: Foyt dumping Toyota mid-season was a real slap in the face to the proud Japanese. Ditto if Penske drops them after this year. The management in Japan doesn't take embarrassment of their product lightly. We predict they will either come back next year with a vengeance or just pay to break their contract with the IRL after this year and leave early to avoid further embarrassment.]

Foyt IV will start today's Amber Alert Portal Indy 300 from a season-best 12th position (215.510 mph). Qualifying was rained out. The lineup was set by the two practice sessions.

But Foyt ran lap times only a few ticks of a second behind Panther Racing teammates Tomas Scheckter, Buddy Lazier and Tomas Enge. Lazier will start eighth at 216.922 mph. Scheckter and Enge will start in the final two positions after having their engines changed. The previous best starting position for a Foyt car this season was a pair of 17ths.

[Editor's Note: As we have long said, in no-talent required 100% throttle oval racing it's all about horsepower, and weight of the driver. AJ's remark, and his grandson's new found speed is the latest in a long list of data that supports that theory. In the same story Sam Schmidt said the IRL must have more road-course races to improve its development series. Road racing is the ultimate test of driver talent, hence why we have long said that the IPS Series is a complete waste. At that stage in their career a driver needs to be learning how to drive, not plant their foot to the floor boards and follow the white line around the bottom of the race track, one boring droning lap after another. Saturday's IPS race was a prime example with Gregg, the polesitter, leading every lap.

"To get 20 cars in the Pro Series, you've got to have six or eight (drivers) that are doing it just for fun, and those are guys who want to road race," he said. "A few mile ovals are fun to do, but we've got to have more than a couple of road races," said Schmidt. No Sam, as a development series with low-budget teams, they can't afford to be running on so many ovals, and then have to pay for all that expensive crash damage when they hit the wall. That drives costs through the roof. Star Mazda and the Champ Car Atlantic series have and will have big fields because they are 100% road racing, where young drivers can actually learn something and they don't write-off cars like they do in an oval racing series. Why do you think the Atlantic series dropped ovals last year?]

Kansas rejects IRL as standalone race Kansas rejects IRL as standalone raceChamp Car will again be in Milwaukee the first weekend of June, which means the IRL can't use that venue to fill its hole between the Indy 500 and the confirmed event at Texas (June 10). League officials had hoped to move the Fourth of July race in Kansas City, Kan., to June 4, but Kansas Speedway officials don't want to stage an IRL event without NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, which will be in Dover, Del., that weekend. [Editor's Note: All Kansas tickets are a season pass for all races, including Nextel Cup.  Buy a Cup ticket and you get a truck and IRL ticket thrown in.  Ticket sales are driven by NASCAR's popularity and insiders say few would show for a standalone IRL race, hence why the track does not want to run the IRL cars without NASCAR's support (trucks)]

President Brian Barnhart said the IRL's schedule probably won't be announced until the race weekend in Joliet, Ill., on Sept. 9-10. Indy Star

NASCAR mandates max. camber NASCAR mandates max. camberNASCAR has decided to do what many of its Nextel Cup series crew chiefs would not – alter race set-ups to reduce the chance of blown tires.  Beginning next weekend at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR will mandate a maximum front-wheel camber angle of eight degrees. Camber is the degree tires are tilted in order to maximize its performance through the turns.

NASCAR issued a technical bulletin to teams this weekend notifying them of the change. Aggressive chassis set-ups – including high degrees of camber and low air pressures – have been blamed for several tire problems this season, most notably at Pocono and Michigan.

"I think a lot of the problems are race track specific, but NASCAR felt it had to do something," said Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for series points leader Tony Stewart.

"At some of these big, flat race tracks you start with a lot of static camber in your car. You've seen cars with nine, 10, 11 degrees of camber in them. We're trying to use that left-front (tire) as much as we can." More at ThatsRacin.com

Ali G and Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie Ali G and Will Ferrell NASCAR MovieSacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a. Ali G, will play a gay French Formula One driver in the untitled NASCAR comedy starring Will Ferrell. Also on board the Columbia Pictures project are John C. Reilly, Michael Clarke Duncan and Gary Cole. Ferrell ("Bewitched") plays Ricky Bobby, a world-class race car driver and fan favorite. Cohen, hot off the success of his HBO comedy series "Da Ali G Show," will play Jean Girard, who comes to the U.S. to conquer NASCAR and defeat Ferrell. Reilly, who is filming Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion," will play Cal Naughton, Ferrell's boyhood friend who together with Ferrell forms "Thunder & Lightning," the most feared racing duo in NASCAR. Duncan will play Lucius Washington, a crew chief whose main job is to harness Ferrell's go-for-broke attitude and keep him from crashing. Cole will play Reese Bobby, Ferrell's estranged father who re-enters his life to help him return to the top of the racing world. Reuters
Marlin won’t race Sunday, Coo Coo Marlin battling lung cancer Marlin won’t race Sunday, Coo Coo Marlin battling lung cancerRetired racing great Coo Coo Marlin of Columbia is hospitalized in serious condition, continuing his battle with lung cancer. The 73-year-old Marlin's son, Nextel Cup driver Sterling Marlin, has decided to skip tomorrow's race in Watkins Glen, N.Y., to be at his father's side. Sterling Marlin and his wife Paula returned home from New York at 2 a.m. yesterday when informed that the elder Marlin's condition had worsened. Paula said her husband was with his father yesterday and unavailable for comment. The family has requested privacy during this period. Coo Coo Marlin was the first Middle Tennessee racer to rise to national prominence, spending 14 seasons on the Grand National (now Nextel Cup) circuit. He never won a points race, but was widely respected as a hard-nosed, determined racer. He was also a farmer and cattleman before retiring. The Tennessean  Scott Pruett will drive the #40 in Sunday's race.
Ganassi/Sabates Racing Announcement Ganassi/Sabates Racing Announcement
Wirdheim frustrated in Denver Wirdheim frustrated in Denver“We provisionally qualified seventh yesterday, so  I was really looking forward to Saturday," said Swedish rookie Bjorn Wirdheim.  "This morning we tried a few  setting adjustments that didn’t work. We changed the car back for  Saturday’s qualifying, back to where we had it Friday. It was a massive  improvement and we were fifth quick in the pre-qualifying warm-up. Then  just as I started my last laps in the first stint during qualifying, my  gear linkage broke. My crew fixed it and we went out for the final  stint of qualifying and we caught a lot of traffic. I knew there would  be a lot of cars coming out while I would be at the fastest part of my  final run, so I tried to rush it and get my best laps in early in the  final stint and I made a mistake. I don’t think I have ever been more  disappointed at an event as I was Saturday because we had a very good  opportunity for a top-six start and we threw it away.”
Hunter-Reay spin costly Hunter-Reay spin costlyRyan Hunter-Reay was looking to earn one of his better qualifying efforts this season, but ended the session in the tires and brought out the red and checkered flag.  Trying to avoid a troubled car on track, the American had to brake early, as a result, losing the rear and sliding into the tires.

Damage to the #31 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone was not the only disappointment of the afternoon for the third-year Champ Car driver and Rocketsports team.  Sitting in the twelfth spot just before the incident, he would lose his fastest time of qualifying as a penalty for bringing out a red flag during a qualifying session.  As a result, Hunter-Reay will start 17th on the grid with his second best time of 1:01.342 (97.245 mph).

Formula BMW
Wickens scores 2nd win in Denver Wickens scores 2nd win in Denver16-year old BMW Junior driver Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) scored his second Formula BMW USA victory of the season today, winning Round 11 at the Grand Prix of Denver. He completed 19 laps of the 1.657-mile Denver street course, finishing .505 seconds ahead of James Davison (HBR Motorsport Team USA) in the 30 minute contest. In a race in which two caution periods for accidents consumed a total of nine laps, Wickens took over the lead from Davison on the restart on lap 17. Davison, with a great start, took over the lead from polesitter Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica) on the first lap and led the first 16 laps. Wickens moves to third in Overall points and back to the top of the Rookie points as he continues his very consistent season. In addition to the two wins, the young Canadian has five top-three finishes and has always finished in the top-10.

BMW Junior Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) drove from his 11th starting position to round out the podium for his third top-three finish of the year. Stevens passed for the fifth position on lap nine and reached third on the next lap after contact between Wickens and Matthew Lee (Twintooth/BRM Motorsport), battling for second and third, put Lee out of the race.

Round 10 winner Eduardo Piscopo (EuroInternational) finished fourth, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 (1:15.674), as he chased Stevens for the final step of the podium. Michael Patrizi (Walker Racing) rounded out the top-five in his Formula BMW USA debut. zzzz

"It was a great race," said Wickens. "I managed to pass Richard on the ninth lap. James had built up a big lead and I tried to hunt him down. On the lap 17 restart I passed him in corner two and held the lead from there." The Round 12 polesitter, Wickens is positive about tomorrow's prospects, "Winning tomorrow is very possible because I was fast enough to win today. Hopefully, I will have a good start tomorrow and lead every lap."

Davison said, "I got a good start and came right to first. I built up a big gap, but I got unlucky with the safety car. Wickens was able to catch up to me and when the race started again I got a tiny bit wide and he passed me. I got really close to him on the final lap and in the last corner I tried to pass him. I got along side him, but I was on the wrong side of the track to enter the corner."

Stevens added, "It was tough to find the right setup with the changing weather. We made some big adjustments for the race and the car was very good. I made a very aggressive start with a couple of wishful moves, but they paid off. I was unfortunate at the restart. I was sitting third and I knew the car was very fast and I thought we would certainly have a chance to win. Unfortunately when the green flag dropped Piscopo was able to get around me. The car came back to me about half a lap later and I was able to set him up and pass him back for third just before the checkered flag."

Overall points leader Kevin Lacroix (AIM Autosport) finished sixth and polesitter Philippe finished seventh after a poor start and problems during the race dropped him back.

Lacroix increased his lead in Overall points to three over Philippe as Wickens continues to keep the pressure on both of them in third. Maxime Soulet (Gelles Racing) stands fourth and Davison fifth.

The top finishing Rookies were Wickens (P1), Davison (P2), Stevens (P3), Piscopo (P4) and Lacroix (P6).

Wickens leads the Rookie points by four points over Lacroix and Philippe. Davison and Stevens round out the top-five.

Sunday's Round 12 race is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. MT.

Round 11 - Results (19 laps)
1 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 31:09.531
2 James Davison HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:10.036
3 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:10.548
4 Edoardo Piscopo EuroInternational 31:10.802
5 Michael Patrizi Walker Racing 31:11.484
6 Kevin Lacroix AIM Autosport 31:12.538
7 Richard Philippe Team Autotecnica 31:14.811
8 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:15.326
9 Daniel Herrington Jensen MotorSport 31:15.830
10 Maxime Soulet Gelles Racing 31:15.915
11 Doug Boyer Jensen MotorSport 31:16.099
12 Tom Sutherland HBR Motorsport Team USA 31:16.640
13 Justin Moon Gelles Racing 31:17.062
14 Rob Bunker AIM Autosport 31:19.033
15 Jules Duc Jensen MotorSport 31:21.323
16 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 31:23.499
17 Dan Abbale Atlantic Racing Team 31:25.817
18 Adrien Herberts Atlantic Racing Team 11 laps
19 Matthew Lee Twintooth/BRM Motorsport 9 laps
20 Darin Marcus Gelles Racing 0 laps

Championship points after 11 of 14 races:
1. Kevin Lacroix (AIM Autosport, 116)
2. Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica, 113)
3. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 109)
4. Maxime Soulet (Gelles Racing, 95)
5. James Davison (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 92)
6. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 75)
7. Edoardo Piscopo (EuroInternational, 56)
8. Tom Sutherland (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 35)
9. Rob Bunker (AIM Autosport, 28)
10. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 24)
11. Justin Moon (Gelles Racing, 23)
12. John Zartarian (Jensen MotorSport, 23)
13. Tobias Hegewald (Atlantic Racing Team, 22)
14. Jonathan Summerton (Walker Racing, 22)
15. Daniel Herrington (Jensen MotorSport, 20)
16. Matthew Lee (Twintooth/BRM Motorsport, 10)
17. Adrien Herberts (Atlantic Racing Team, 8)
18. Michael Patrizi (Walker Racing, 8)
19. Darin Marcus (Gelles Racing, 7)
20. Doug Boyer (Jensen MotorSport, 2)
21. Paul Rees (Walker Racing, 1)
22. Derek Burseth (Burseth Racing, 0)
23. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 0)
24. Nathan DePagter (DRE Autosport, 0)
25. Jules Duc (Jensen MotorSport, 0)
26. Scott Harnell (SDH3 with Cinema Concepts, 0)
27. Ryan Phinny (Gelles Racing, 0)
28. Paul Rees (Walker Racing, 0)
29. Robbie Pecorari (Walker Racing, 0)
30. Dan Abbale (Atlantic Racing Team)

Denver tidbits Denver tidbitsPaul Tracy earned the 25th pole of his career Saturday, making him just the seventh driver in the history of the Champ Car World Series to win 25 or more pole positions.

Tracy won his third pole of the year with Saturday’s performance, marking the third consecutive season that he was won at least three pole positions. This is the first time in his long career that he has fashioned such a streak.

If Paul Tracy can lead the first lap of tomorrow’s race, or any lap in Sunday’s event, it will be the 4000th lap led in his long career. He would be the sixth driver in series history to lead 4000 laps.

Graf wins Denver Trans-Am race Graf wins Denver Trans-Am raceKlaus Graf drove a virtually flawless race Saturday to win the Cytomax Sport Drink 100 Trans-Am race at the CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare. The German rookie led all 61 laps of the event in his No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, and netted his second victory this season. In the process, Graf closed to within just one point of Drivers’ Championship leader Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette). Ruhlman finished sixth.

Tomy Drissi came out of a race-long battle with team owner Paul Gentilozzi to finish second, marking his third podium this year in the No. 5 Four Brothers – The Movie Jaguar XKR. Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar XKR) was third and earned his fourth consecutive podium this year. Gentilozzi had won the Jaguar Pole on Friday, set the fastest race lap, and finished fourth in the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR, ahead of John Baucom (No. 86 MAP Quality Engineering/SoftwareToolbox.com Ford Mustang).

“It’s easy to control a race, but it’s very easy to make a mistake, too,” said Graf. “Today was just perfect. I didn’t made one mistake. I tried to keep my lead and control the race. I had very little time on the track before today, so it took me a while to get my rhythm.

“The championship has really tightened up,” added Graf. “If this isn’t good racing, I don’t know what is. This is a great formula. The cars are so much fun to drive. I think we’ll have a great battle going into the next two races.” zzzz

Drissi battled back and forth with his team owner until Gentilozzi locked up his brakes late in the event and went into the runoff in turn four, allowing Drissi to take the runner-up slot.

“My car just kept getting faster,” said Drissi. “I just kept concentrating on doing something better each lap. We had a great battle. A couple of times we got pretty close, but I was just setting my pace with Klaus. All of the sudden here comes Paul and Pickett. I had to start pushing it again. Paul came in really hard under braking on the back straight. He had some trouble, but he came back and finished fourth.”

Pickett, who also sponsored the race through his Cytomax Sport Drink brand, said he hasn’t seen this kind of championship battle in many years. Pickett sits third in the title chase, 12 markers behind Ruhlman.

“This was a fun race,” said Pickett, who won the 1978 Trans-Am Drivers’ Championship and made his Trans-Am debut in 1975. “These guys are starting to make this Cytomax Sport Drink 100 package a real success. This is a real part of our brand; it’s growing because of our motorsports involvement. The TV package is great. These are some great auto races.

“You have a real championship chase here with the three of us within 12 points,” added Pickett, who also won the VP Fuels Hard Charger Award for making up the most positions in the race. “Wow! That hasn’t happened for a while. If you don’t like this kind or racing out there, you don’t like racing.”

Paul Fix (No. 77 Stop Flex/Buca di Beppo/Hotel Monaco Ford Mustang) won the GT-1 Class, earning his third such honor this year. Guy Dreier (No. 13 Team Snappy Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo) finished first in the GTA Class.

The race ran in one hour, 15 minutes and 32.247 seconds at an average speed of 80.286 miles per hour and was slowed once by the caution flag for one lap. The race will air on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. on SPEED Channel.

The next race for the Trans-Am Series, is scheduled for Aug. 19-21 at Road America. That race, Round 8 and the penultimate race of the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled to start at 10:20 a.m. CDT on Sunday, Aug. 21.

Seen in Denver - I (Ho-Pin Tung) Seen in Denver - I (Ho-Pin Tung)One of the best Chinese driver in the world right now, and probably only one of two capable of making it into Champ Car within a year, Ho-Pin Tung (pictured right), was in Denver taking in all the Champ Car action. It was his first visit to a Champ Car race and he was excited about what he saw. After seeing how bad the hand-picked Chinese drivers did in recent head-to-head A1GP testing against the other drivers, it's clear that China isn't anywhere near producing a Champ Car driver for the foreseeable future.

Born in Holland, Tung (right observing qualifying times in the HVM pit) currently holds a Dutch passport, but that doesn't mean he isn't Chinese. He is. Not only does he speak Chinese and English fluently, he looks Chinese and his name is Chinese. So although the folks in Beijing may want a Chinese driver from mainland China, Tung and Marchy Lee from Hong Kong are the best they are going to do for now. And because he won 10 of 14 Formula BMW Asia races and the championship in 2003, has tested F1 cars for Williams, and is doing F3 in Germany now, he's by far the most popular Chinese driver in China.

Are both your parents Chinese? Yes, both are Chinese and I am of course am Chinese even though I live in Holland.

Are you in Denver by accident? I'm here to see these cars for the first time, and I like what I see. Very nice ambience and everyone is very open and the track here in Denver is very nice.

Would you like to drive these cars someday? Absolutely, if you look at these cars and what they are all about every driver would like to drive these cars.

I know you have tested some F1 cars, are you ready to have a go at Champ Car or would you want to do Atlantics first? I don't know, it's the first time I am seeing these cars, perhaps we'll see in the future how it works out.

Champ Car is negotiating to do a race in China. Would it be special for you to race there? Well of course I raced in China in Formula BMW Asia (including Beijing) and since then the media (and especially television) has followed every step of my career, so to race there would be a big boost for me and Champ Car. It was very nice to race there before, a special moment in my career.

Kentucky pole rainout quotes Kentucky pole rainout quotesDAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/ Firestone, qualified second): "We will be on the front row tomorrow. I am pleased with that. Kentucky is a great facility, but there are some bumps out there. This year you seem to be able to feel the bumps a little bit more. I think the NASCAR testing here has made it bumpier than it has been. I think you'll see the side-by-side racing that everyone is used to, but not to the extent of a superspeedway." (Is starting position critical here?): "With the championship in mind, you like to start up front. I've seen Sam Hornish come from the back here. The key is to have a car that will handle for the race. If we can do that, we should be fine for tomorrow's race."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent/Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone, qualified first): "All of our races are on similar conditions. You turn left a couple of times, and they're all ovals, so they're all individual. Something as simple as this one having a couple of extra bumps in it really changes the characteristics of the car and the way you have to set it up. Every one is a battle in its own. I would have thought that we would have gone to Michigan and been strong, and that wasn't the case. It's very individual." (About the number of practice laps in qualifying setup vs. race setup): "I did 63 laps in the last practice, and I only did four in qualifying simulation at the beginning and then went into race mode, so I guess about half and half." (About not qualifying for the pole): "That's the true earned way for sure, but that doesn't make practice any less difficult. You're definitely putting yourself out to see what your car will do in qualifying, and that's what I was doing. My engineer, Ray (Leto), and I - he came up with a good plan, and I just went 'OK.' He planned it right. A pole is a pole. I really think we had a good shot at it." (Did you take rain into consideration during practice): "Not at all. I never even looked at a weather map at all. Today, it was a beautiful day. I literally came out of the garages, even walking from the truck through the garages, I didn't even see the sky. As I was walking down pit lane in the big open space, I went, 'Wow, there's a cloud up here.' I never expected to look for rain. I honestly didn't think it was going it to rain. I was sitting in the car - there were a few cars in front of me for qualifying - and I thought that it was just a blow-over cloud. The wind was shifting a lot, starting to get still and then gusting, so it was inevitable once it started."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, qualified fourth): "We had a pretty good day, and the No. 9 Target Toyota was quick from the start. We actually didn't work very much on qualifying setup, so it worked out quite well. It might have been fun to see where we might have ended up in qualifying, but a fifth-place starting position is respectable. We still need to do some full tank runs as we have too much understeer in traffic, but things look good for the race."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, qualified third): "I think we're starting higher up the grid (fourth) than we would have if qualifying had been completed, so the rain worked in our favor. The important thing is we've got a good race setup.  This track is tough because the car moves around a lot going over the bumps so we need to make sure it handles well. My Marlboro Team Penske crew has been giving me great pit stops, and we need to make sure that is the case tomorrow. We can run two wide here, and there are a lot of close calls, so I need to stay out of trouble and bring it home. Kentucky is a special track for me as I led my first IndyCar (Series) laps here (2000-38 laps), and if we lead tomorrow it will mark the 50th  IndyCar Series race I've led."

Living the Fast Life Living the Fast LifeAlex Barron will be featured on this week’s “The Fast Life” program on ESPN2. The 30-minute show takes an inside look at IndyCar Series driver lives away from the track. The show will air on tomorrow at noon ET. Check local listings for channel information.
Background info on 2006 Champ Car schedule Background info on 2006 Champ Car scheduleHere is the transcript from today's media conference announcing the 2006 Champ Car schedule.  As we told you, it is a work in progress.  We have highlighted the key points in bold which should answer most of your questions regarding what went into putting it together and what might materialize in the future.  Because of the date of the two races in May, it is now nearly impossible for any Champ Car team to try and qualify for the Indy 500.
Kentucky pole qualifying rained out, Patrick on pole Kentucky pole qualifying rained out, Patrick on poleDanica Patrick became the second woman in IndyCar Series history to start from the pole position at Kentucky Speedway after late-afternoon rain washed out Marlboro Pole Qualifying. The starting grid was set on combined practice session results minus the Nos. 2 and 4 Panther Racing cars that will start from the rear of the 23-car field because of engine changes.

Sarah Fisher in 2002 at this 1.5-mile oval was the pole pioneer.

Patrick recorded her fast lap of 217.516 mph (24.4947 seconds) in the second session (about 12:45 p.m. EDT), while Wheldon's fast lap of 217.500 (24.4965) topped the morning session. It was the second time this season (Nashville) that rain canceled qualifying.

"(Qualifying is) the true earned way for sure, but that doesn't make practice any less difficult," said Patrick, who recorded a field-high 107 laps. "You're definitely putting yourself out to see what your car will do in qualifying, and that's what I was doing. My engineer, Ray (Leto), and I - he came up with a good plan, and I just went 'OK.' He planned it right."

The starting position tied Wheldon's season best (Phoenix), though with four victories among eight top-5 finishes, he's obviously been able to make his way to the front. Wheldon holds a 78-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. with six races remaining.

Hornish (217.307 mph) -- who in 2003 won going away and in 2000 led his first IndyCar Series laps at this facility -- will share Row 2 with Scott Dixon (217.268). Reigning IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan (217.089) will be on Row 3 with Vitor Meira (217.036l). Buddy Rice, the pole sitter and race runner-up last year, will start 10th after a quick lap of 216.329 mph.

Qualifying Saturday for the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 IRL IndyCar Series event on the 1.50-mile Kentucky Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed: 
1. (16) Danica Patrick, Panoz-Honda, 217.516 (Pole based on practice speed)*
2. (26) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 217.500
3. (4) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 217.376
4. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Toyota, 217.307
5. (9) Scott Dixon, Panoz-Toyota, 217.268
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 217.089
7. (17) Vitor Meira, Panoz-Honda, 217.036
8. (8) Scott Sharp, Panoz-Honda, 216.993
9. (95) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevrolet, 216.922
10. (27) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 216.835
11. (15) Buddy Rice, Panoz-Honda, 216.329
12. (7) Bryan Herta, Dallara-Honda, 216.124
13. (14) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Chevrolet, 215.510
14. (33) Ryan Briscoe, Panoz-Toyota, 215.487
15. (55) Kosuke Matsuura, Panoz-Honda, 215.461
16. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Toyota, 215.443
17. (24) Roger Yasukawa, Dallara-Honda, 215.373
18. (10) Jaques Lazier, Panoz-Toyota, 215.057
19. (51) Alex Barron, Dallara-Toyota, 214.990
20. (83) Patrick Carpentier, Dallara-Toyota, 214.893
21. (91) Jimmy Kite, Dallara-Toyota, 214.820
22. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Toyota, 213.425
23. (2) Tomas Enge, Dallara-Chevrolet, no speed (engine change)

*Starting lineup determined by the practice speeds from the combined practices after qualifying was cancelled due to rain.

Sciuto retains Atlantics pole Sciuto retains Atlantics poleYouthful speed has been the theme of the weekend over the first two days of on-track competition at the BOSPoker.com Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Denver (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel – Saturday, August 20 at 3 p.m. ET).

After Saturday’s final round of qualifying for Round 10 of the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, the front row is comprised of two drivers who couldn’t legally drink the celebratory champagne on the podium should they finish where they start in Sunday’s race.

Alan Sciuto (#27 Dean’s R/C Products/Sparco), 17, of Orange, California completed a remarkable qualifying performance on the 1.657-mile Denver street circuit as he led the final round of qualifications to claim his first Atlantic pole position in just his second series race. Sciuto’s time of 1:08.740 (86.779 mph) topped all 18 drivers on a partially-wet surface Saturday morning. The effort backed up his first-round qualifying run from Friday when he turned the fastest lap overall this weekend at 1:08.692 (86.840 mph). The young rookie will be joined on the front row by 20-year-old German rookie Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors), who’s also had a good weekend and owned the second-fastest lap overall for his Brooks Associates Racing team. zzzz 
Sciuto’s Friday performance was the buzz of the Atlantic paddock as the former National Karting Champion who was named North America’s top shifter kart driver in 2004 continued to shine for PR1 Motorsports after finishing fourth in his first series start two weeks ago in San Jose.

Wet conditions greeted competitors this morning as a steady rainfall doused the challenging nine-turn course around the Pepsi Center. As the 30-minute final round of qualifying took the green flag, however, the track began to dry as the rain clouds began to dissipate. Sciuto was hoping that the track would remain damp and his impressive time from Friday would stand as the top lap for his first Atlantic pole. That would turn out to be the case, but the scenario didn’t play out the way the young racer would’ve hoped.

As Sciuto sat out the first 17 minutes of qualifying waiting to see if his time would be threatened, the rest of the talented Atlantic field began to lower their times on the rapidly-drying course. Finally, Sciuto attacked the course as competitors began to approach his Friday standard. It didn’t take him long to get up to speed and he proved just how good he is on this course as he posted the fastest lap of the session on just his 10th turn around the Pepsi Center.

Estonian racer Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil) looked as if he would provide the toughest test for Sciuto as he had the second-fastest Saturday time late in the session. With just one minute remaining in qualifying, however, Kasemets made hard contact with the tire wall in Turn 5, bringing out a red flag and forcing a premature end to qualifying. Kasemets also lost his fast lap as a penalty for stopping the session.

Wirth wound up with the third-fastest time on Saturday but his top lap of 1:08.809 (86.692 mph) from Friday held up as the second quickest time overall, as he secured his second front-row start of his rookie season.

Atlantic series point leader Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) also saw his quick lap from Friday qualifying hold up as the third fastest lap of the weekend. Zwolsman, who will carry a 33-point lead in the championship over Kasemets into tomorrow’s race, clocked in at 1:08.902 (86.575 mph) on Friday for his top time.

After seeing his fast lap, which would’ve placed him second overall in qualifying, disappear due to his late-session crash, Kasemets wound up fourth with a lap of 1:09.962 (86.500 mph). The second-year driver was one of only five Atlantic runners to top their times from Friday in today’s final round of qualifying.

Riding a two-race winning streak to improve to third in the season standings, British rookie racer Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) of Polestar Racing Group will start fifth on Sunday as she was unable to better her fast lap from Friday.

Legge’s teammate, Canadian Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design) earned a sixth-place start, while Mexican driver David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) finished seventh in the qualifying rundown. Albuquerque’s Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) was eighth in qualifying, while 20-year-old California rookie Kyle Kelley (#24 UP Racing.com) was able to top his Friday fast lap by carding a mark of 1:10.403 (84.729 mph) to qualify ninth. In his second series event, 18-year-old series rookie Ryan Spencer-Smith (#2 DUC Housing Partners) rounded out the top 10.

The Atlantics return to the track for a 15-minute warmup session at 8:30 a.m. MT on Sunday before taking the green flag at 11:30 a.m. in the BOSPoker.com Atlantic Grand Prix of Denver. Follow all of Sunday’s action through the official web site of Champ Car’s top development series at www.toyotaatlantic.com.


It is believed that Sciuto is the youngest driver in the history of the Atlantic series to win a pole position.

Sciuto claimed the $1,000 Toyota pole award for leading today’s final round of qualifying.

Zwolsman saw his streak of four consecutive pole positions snapped today, but he has now qualified among the top three drivers in nine consecutive events this season.

Justin Sofio (#15 RLM Investments), who clinched the 2005 Yokohama Tire C2 Cup title last round in San Jose, earned the C2 pole after carding a lap of 1:11.549 (83.372 mph). Sofio was 11th overall in qualifying.

Final qualifying results with car number in parentheses, driver, type of car, top time and speed:

1. (27) Alan Sciuto, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:08.692, 86.840 mph.
2. (8) Andreas Wirth, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:08.809, 86.692 mph.
3. (11) Charles Zwolsman, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:08.902, 86.575 mph.
4. (6) Tonis Kasemets, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:08.962, 86.500 mph.
5. (12) Katherine Legge, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:09.147, 86.268 mph.
6. (3) Antoine Bessette, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:09.188, 86.217 mph.
7. (7) David Martinez, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:09.219, 86.179 mph.
8. (10) Al Unser III, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:10.033, 85.177 mph.
9. (24) Kyle Kelley, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:10.403, 84.729 mph.
10. (2) Ryan Spencer-Smith, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:11.024, 83.989 mph.
11. (15) Justin Sofio, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:11.549, 83.372 mph.
12. (49) Dan Selznick, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:11.579, 83.337 mph.
13. (48) Lee Atkins, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:11.971, 82.883 mph.
14. (9) Dan Cobb, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.422, 82.367 mph.
15. (63) Daryl Leiski, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.578, 82.190 mph.
16. (56) Chris Souliotis, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.742, 82.005 mph.
17. (18) Bob Siska, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:12.766, 81.978 mph.
18. (19) Brian McAtee, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:16.845, 77.626 mph.

PacifiCare Donation to Hole in the Wall Camps PacifiCare Donation to Hole in the Wall CampsJust before the start on the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare Sunday, the PacifiCare Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: PHS), will announce its contribution of $250,000 to the Hole in the Wall Camps with a presentation featuring Hole in the Wall Camps founder and race team owner, Paul Newman, and a camper from Camp Boggy Creek, one of the 10 Hole in the Wall Camps.

The Hole in the Wall Camps is the world's largest family of camps for children with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions.

Joining PacifiCare Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Phanstiel in making the check presentation to the Hole in the Wall Camps were PacifiCare Health Plans President and CEO Brad Bowlus, PacifiCare Foundation Director Riva Gebel and Boggy Creek camper "Sal" and his mother, Marlene.

"Sal," 16, lives in Lakeland, Fla., and has a heart condition known as sub-aortic stenosis that has resulted in two heart surgeries.  He is personable and friendly with an unforgettable and contagious smile.  Sal has a passion for music and surfing the Internet and the waves.  He is currently a junior at Harrison School of Performing Arts in Lakeland. zzzz

Sal was active in little league baseball and soccer from age 4 through 10.  At that time he had to stop playing sports because of his heart condition resulting in his second heart surgery.  In junior high, he played baseball and swam for a couple of years with limitations.  He enjoyed being on the teams but was unable to continue doing the rigorous conditioning required.

Sal began taking piano lessons about 5 years ago at school.  He also joined the school band and learned to play the bass clarinet.  Since being accepted into the Harrison School of Performing Arts, Sal's main concentration is the piano.

His real love, however, is playing his bass guitar.  He plays for the youth and adult bands at church.  Sal loves listening to a variety of music - from classical to rock - and often picks out the guitar and piano parts and practices on his own by ear.  Music theory is very intriguing to Sal - it enables him to distinguish chords and identify the key of any song he hears.

Sal plans to attend a college that will help him get into studio work.  He loves to write music and hopes to fulfill his goal of writing and recording upon graduating from college.

For the last six years, Sal has attended Camp Boggy Creek near Orlando, Fla.  At Boggy Creek he met other kids with life-threatening illnesses.  Prior to Boggy Creek, Sal was shy and quiet.  After spending a week each summer at Boggy, Sal now is outgoing, talkative and a happy, self-confident young man.

A nonprofit organization supported only by contributions, the Hole in the Wall Camps is the world's largest family of camps for children with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions.  To date, more than 100,000 children from 34 states and 31 countries have attended free of charge.  Newman started the first Hole in the Wall Camps in 1988 as a place where seriously ill children could "kick back, relax, raise a little hell and just be kids," and he has been the driving force for them ever since.

The whole idea behind Hole in the Wall Camps is for children who have been cheated out of their childhood because of illness to regain a sense of self and a joy in life.  Activities are structured to allow campers to know success no matter what their disease or disability.  They learn what they can do, not what they can't.  They experience a supportive environment with other campers with whom they can relate.  Children leave camp with a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of control over their own lives.

Hole in the Wall Camps are a life-changing experience for everyone involved - campers, parents, staff, volunteers and donors.  Maybe that's why more than 7,200 individuals volunteer their time each year to help bring laughter into the lives of children who are dealing with life-threatening conditions.

Additional information on the Hole in the Wall Camps can be found on its Web site, www.holeinthewallcamps.org.  Information on the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp located in Connecticut can be found on its Web site, www.holeinthewallgang.org.

Danica Patrick tops practice 2 Danica Patrick tops practice 2
Pos No Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 16 Danica Patrick 24.4947 217.516 4 63
2 26 Dan Wheldon 24.5078 217.400 25 30
3 4 Tomas Scheckter 24.5105 217.376 26 34
4 6 Sam Hornish Jr. 24.5183 217.307 35 37
5 9 Scott Dixon 24.5227 217.268 32 53
6 8 Scott Sharp 24.5538 216.993 32 44
7 11 Tony Kanaan 24.5550 216.982 20 38
8 95 Buddy Lazier 24.5618 216.922 33 34
9 17 Vitor Meira 24.5621 216.920 6 55
10 27 Dario Franchitti 24.5831 216.734 7 38
11 15 Buddy Rice 24.6291 216.329 12 53
12 7 Bryan Herta 24.6525 216.124 40 49
13 14 A.J. Foyt IV 24.7227 215.510 25 47
14 33 Ryan Briscoe 24.7254 215.487 22 30
15 55 Kosuke Matsuura 24.7284 215.461 6 43
16 3 Helio Castroneves 24.7304 215.443 25 38
17 24 Roger Yasukawa 24.7385 215.373 39 42
18 2 Tomas Enge 24.7500 215.273 14 24
19 10 Jaques Lazier 24.7748 215.057 22 28
20 51 Alex Barron 24.7846 214.972 24 39
21 83 Patrick Carpentier 24.7937 214.893 4 42
22 91 Jimmy Kite 24.8063 214.784 44 49
23 20 Ed Carpenter 24.9643 213.425 24 29
IPS Series
Travis Gregg leads every lap in Kentucky Travis Gregg leads every lap in KentuckyResults Saturday of the Bluegrass 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event August 13 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed, reason out (if any):

1. (1) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
2. (8) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
3. (5) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
4. (3) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
5. (9) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
6. (4) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
7. (10) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
8. (2) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
9. (7) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 66
10. (11) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 66
11. (6) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 47, Mechanical

      Race Statistics
      Winner's average speed: 160.878 mph
      Time of race: 36:58.9262
      Margin of victory: 1.7500 seconds.
      Cautions: 1 for 8 laps.
      Lead changes: 0 among 1 drivers.
Lap leaders: 1-67 Gregg.
Point standings: Cunningham 341, Gregg 314, Camara 289, Bussell 263, Herb 250, Drake 249, Festa 246, Simmons 245, Roth 217, Luyendyk Jr. 180.

Wheldon tops opening practice in Kentucky Wheldon tops opening practice in KentuckyHonda teams dominated opening practice at Kentucky Speedway this morning as the IndyCars prepare to qualify later today. Chevy power appears to have helped AJ Foyt IV as he was 14th fastest his first time out with the new engine.:
Pos No Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 26 Dan Wheldon 24.4965 217.500 9 58
2 11 Tony Kanaan 24.5429 217.089 11 36
3 17 Vitor Meira 24.5489 217.036 30 35
4 16 Danica Patrick 24.5711 216.840 19 44
5 27 Dario Franchitti 24.5717 216.835 27 35
6 8 Scott Sharp 24.5766 216.792 10 50
7 6 Sam Hornish Jr. 24.6364 216.265 35 48
8 9 Scott Dixon 24.6582 216.074 36 43
9 15 Buddy Rice 24.6775 215.905 34 34
10 4 Tomas Scheckter 24.6868 215.824 23 47
11 95 Buddy Lazier 24.6945 215.757 24 46
12 7 Bryan Herta 24.7362 215.393 19 41
13 51 Alex Barron 24.7826 214.990 20 48
14 14 A.J. Foyt IV 24.7849 214.970 22 34
15 55 Kosuke Matsuura 24.8012 214.828 30 39
16 91 Jimmy Kite 24.8022 214.820 45 45
17 83 Patrick Carpentier 24.8655 214.273 41 48
18 24 Roger Yasukawa 24.8672 214.258 32 40
19 33 Ryan Briscoe 24.8692 214.241 18 34
20 2 Tomas Enge 24.8810 214.139 27 53
21 10 Jaques Lazier 24.8868 214.089 27 42
22 3 Helio Castroneves 24.8921 214.044 19 41
23 20 Ed Carpenter 25.0765 212.470 35 48
Rain falling in Denver Rain falling in DenverUPDATE Although it is still cool and damp, the misting has stopped and there is a dry line on the track as the Toyota Atlantic drivers take to the track for Saturday morning qualifying (2nd session).  The Formula BMW and Trans-Am cars practiced in the rain this morning. 08/13/05 Rain tires will be the order of the day today in Denver. At 7:45 AM in Denver the track is wet, it is misting and the forecast goes downhill from here through the day. Al Unser III is standing here outside in the rain giving a live interview to local Channel 7 news. The weather is a big disappointment to organizers because the rain and cool temperatures will adversely affect today’s walk up crowd.
Earnhardt, Jr. talks about driving for Gibbs Earnhardt, Jr. talks about driving for GibbsTalk about distracted driving: Dale Earnhardt Jr. loves the Washington Redskins so much that he has the scores relayed to him during his NASCAR races. Earnhardt got a chance to see his favorite team up close Thursday, watching training camp practice as a guest of owner Dan Snyder and coach Joe Gibbs. "During the race season, I'm under caution, I'm getting stats and numbers told to me over the radio during the race," Earnhardt said. "I've got to know. I can't concentrate on what I'm doing if I don't know what the Redskins are doing. My fans tell me if I lose, it ruins their week. But if the Redskins lose, it ruins my week." On the NASCAR circuit, Gibbs and Earnhardt are rivals - Joe Gibbs Racing vs. Dale Earnhardt Inc. - but Earnhardt's worship of the Redskins is such that he's always been shy around the coach who's won three Super Bowls. "As a kid, I remember seeing a glimpse of him walking through the garage, and it was like seeing Elvis," Earnhardt said. "I didn't even have the guts to go up and speak to him. Up until 15 minutes ago, I might have said 10 words to him my whole life, so this is really a treat." Earnhardt signed autographs after practice and was invited to eat dinner with the team. He said if he ever got a chance to drive for Gibbs, he'd have to "seriously consider it."  "That'd be awesome," he said. Gibbs, though, didn't see that happening. "If I had about $100 million, I could do that - that's what he left out," Gibbs said, laughing. "He makes about $50 million a year, so if I could pop that, he might have a chance. You know you're in the wrong sport when both your drivers have Lear jets and helicopters, and I don't." ABC 7
Johnson feeling OK Johnson feeling OKJimmie Johnson, who crashed hard last week at Indianapolis during the closing laps of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, was evaluated Thursday and ran 12 laps in practice Friday on the road course at Watkins Glen International. "The CT scan that they did on me looked great," said Johnson, who was hurt when his right front tire blew and he slammed the fourth-turn wall on lap 146. "I went to the gym and got my heart rate up and went through some different scenarios to make sure my brain is firing on all eight cylinders. I got the green light, and here I am." ESPN.com/AP Notes
Vasser again hints at retirement Vasser again hints at retirementThis Rocky Mountain News article talks about Jimmy Vasser's career, but he does hint once again that he might retire after 2005. "This quite possibly is going to be my last year driving, so I can concentrate more on my ownership role," said Vasser, who is a co-owner in PKV Racing with Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit.
Tracy had busy, but fun, week Tracy had busy, but fun, weekPaul Tracy has driven four or five different type of race cars in the span on a week.
Q.  You’ve gone from a stock car to a Champ Car in the last week, how has the change been?

PAUL TRACY:   I've done a lot more than that.  In the last week, I went from a half-mile short-track stock car, went back to Vegas on a flight, did a night test with Sebastien on a high-speed superspeedway in a Champ Car, and went back and ran NASCAR stock cars at Michigan for two days.  Then Thursday night we went out together and ran midgets and sprint cars, dirt-modified cars out at the Rocky Mountain Speedway, then today I'm in a Champ Car on a road course in Denver.  I've had a pretty good experience of driving different machinery in the last seven days.  It's been a lot of fun.

Industry News
Bob Sutton to build race track Bob Sutton to build race trackSutton International Motorsports, an affiliate of Centrix Financial, is tentatively planning to build an amateur racetrack on 320 acres south of Front Range Airport in Watkins.

Centennial-based Centrix is the owner of this weekend's Grand Prix of Denver race and a major NASCAR sponsor. The company's chief executive, Robert Sutton, is an amateur race-car driver who has twice won the Baja 1000.

"Bob Sutton is passionate about motor sports, but this is a business decision," said John Frew, the company's legal counsel. "He believes that if done right, this is a good long-term investment, both in the land and in the facilities."

The farm property is under contract with the Colorado Amateur Motorsports Association for an undisclosed amount. Sutton is in negotiations to take over the development rights.

Tom Ragonetti, a representative for the association, speculated it would cost up to $10 million to buy the property and build the track. More at Denver Post

Cody Unser to give start command Cody Unser to give start commandCody Unser was not going to let anything keep her from watching her brother drive in Sunday's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver Toyota Atlantic Championship race.

Unser, of Albuquerque, has been paralyzed from her chest down since she was 12 from a serious disease called Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord caused by an attack of the body's immune system. She said she was coming to the Grand Prix to motivate her brother, Al Unser III, to race harder.

Unser, called Just Al by his friends, is the son of former Champ Car and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.

But Cody, 18, almost missed her opportunity. On Aug. 5, she suffered a compound fracture of her left femur when a friend sat on her leg while they were just playing around. But she was not to be deterred, and she will announce "Drivers start your engines" to begin Sunday's race.

"I hope that I will motivate him," Unser said. "I want to make sure that he pushes himself every time. I also want to have a good time."  More at Rocky Mountain News

Corona is back Corona is backThe Corona logo is now on Rodolfo Lavín’s HVM car but the HVM team colors remain on the car until the Mexico City race where we hear the car will be painted in the full Corona paint scheme. Lavín is hopeful that he'll be back full-time in 2006 with Corona backing. To his credit he has been right on pace since his comeback, despite missing half a year.
Preparing for the longest road journey of the season Preparing for the longest road journey of the seasonHow do you set up a garage at a circuit you’ve never visited before? Derek Rogers, Renault F1 Team’s logistics coordinator, has been working on it since… August 2004!

Derek Rogers is the team’s Logistics Coordinator, and he’s been a busy man during the last few days. The team is bound for a brand new circuit – and his job, from garage set-up to accommodation, is to prepare minutely and ensure that as soon as the team arrives at the track, they can begin working immediately.

His work began nearly a year ago. “We made our first visit to Turkey in August 2004 to visit hotels and set up contracts for where the team will stay,” explains Derek. “Then we made a trip to the track to have a look at the facilities, the garages and the circuit itself. Although work was still underway, it was already very impressive. The most important thing was to get our bearings, to understand how to get from the airport to the hotel, the hotel to the circuit…” zzzz

During the Hungarian GP weekend, FOM (Formula One Management) provided the exact garage allocation for the race weekend. First impressions have been very positive: “The garages are enormous, and the facilities are some of the best of the year. We will have great conditions for working. And the communications systems are all top notch – broadband access and ISDN are all available. At the moment, everything seems to be in place for their first Grand Prix,” explains Derek.
However, moving the motorhomes and race trucks is not as simple as usual – the trucks are currently traveling on their longest journey of the season. “Turkey is not yet part of the EU, which means we must go through formal customs procedures,” continues Derek. “That means we had to prepare what we call an ATA Carnet – a complete list of each piece of equipment in each of our ten trucks. And there’s also the distance factor, because Turkey is the longest road journey of the season. The trucks have to make a four day ferry crossing from Trieste in Italy to Istanbul, but then it’s just a few miles to the track.”

From an operational point of view, this will be a race like Silverstone or Magny-Cours closer to home. The team will arrive on Wednesday, and the mechanics will begin working on the cars on Thursday morning. However, the engineers will be making their way out one day earlier than normal to inspect the circuit in detail and get a feel for the challenge ahead. Renault F1 Team

Villeneuve helping Sauber get faster Villeneuve helping Sauber get fasterJacques Villeneuve's Race engineer, Giampaolo Dall'Ara, won't deny that the Canadian has rather unusual ideas as to what constitutes a good setup, but when the engineers actually take his wishes on board, everything turns out well... 

Is it really so difficult to work with Jacques Villeneuve?
"Working with Jacques is no more difficult than working with any other driver I've encountered in the past. Of course he's a special kind of person but I like him very much. I haven't had a single problem with him at the personal level. He's very sincere and says exactly what he thinks. I'm like that myself."

But is it true that he has very clear and sometimes unusual ideas in terms of the setup?
"Of course he has his preferences, just like any driver. What was new for me was the fact that he doesn't like driving a different car in each race. As you know, each track poses quite specific demands on the car. That's why my philosophy – and that of the team – has always been to match the car to the features of the particular track. The driver is really a craftsman whose job it is to drive the car chosen as fast as possible."

And this didn't work with Villeneuve?
"No. With him there are a few fixed settings which you mustn't change, regardless of whether he's driving in Monaco or Monza. That was something totally new for me, but it seems to work: we're getting faster from race to race." zzzz

So the setup of Felipe's car is different from that of Jacques's.
"Yes, but that's the case with all drivers. However, the difference is perhaps somewhat greater this year. Felipe is an aggressive driver and he needs a special setup for his driving style."

There was a big discussion about the role of electronics in the Sauber team. At the beginning of the season Jacques criticized the fact that Sauber relies too heavily on electronics. Is there something to that?
"To some extent that fits in with what I said before. Our way of doing things was to add a new part which produced good results based on the simulation and our experience. No matter whether this was a wing – in other words, an aerodynamic part – or an electronic element, such as the traction control, the engine brake or the differential control. We always tried to get the driver to use all these tools we gave him to ultimately drive even faster."

But you had to rethink this with Jacques?
"Exactly. Generally speaking, this concept works well as long as the driver feels comfortable. But if the system becomes so complex or unpredictable for the driver that he no longer has confidence in the car, then it's time to rethink the concept. And that's precisely what happened to some extent with Jacques."

In other words, the team learned something from Jacques, too, and not just the other way round.
"Yes, and that's how it should be. If you have a driver like Villeneuve, who has been driving Formula One for ten years, and you try to teach him everything, you haven't understood your job."

You've worked together with Felipe Massa as well as with Jacques. What are the main differences in their driving styles?
"Felipe is much more aggressive than Jacques. Jacques is a gentler driver. Felipe tends to brake on the straight when approaching both fast and slow curves and only turns when he's finished braking. He then puts his foot right down on the accelerator to speed up out of the curve. Jacques, on the other hand, brakes more gently and begins turning while he's braking. So he enters the curve faster, but exits it more gently."

What effect do these driving styles have on the qualifying and on the actual race?
"In the qualifying, Felipe's style may give him a certain advantage. At least, that's how it was at the beginning of the season: he manages to heat up the tires much faster and, with this qualifying system where you can only drive one fast round, you have to bring the tires to the right temperature right from the start. But, just as he has this little advantage at the qualifying stage, his style works against him – if only slightly – in the actual race. Because he drives the car harder, the tires and brakes are subject to greater stress." A. Thomann / Credit Suisse
Industry News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
NASCAR This Morning
Watkins Glen, NY
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
IndyCar Series: The Fast Life
Featured Drivers:
    Alex Barron
    Tomas Scheckter
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Infineon Raceway  
Sonoma, CA - Race 1  (07/16/05)
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY
1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET (Live) NBC
Denver, CO  (08/13/05)
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver
    presented by PacifiCare  (08/13/05)
3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET, SPEED
Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver
    presented by PacifiCare
3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. (Live) SPEED
Amber Alert Portal Indy 300
Kentucky Speedway
3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) ABC
Colorado Springs, CO
Part 1  (06/25/05)
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane
Watkins Glen, NY
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (SDD) SPEED
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-host:  Ralph Sheheen
Featured Interview:  Tommy Archer
Featured Interview:  Reed Sorenson
9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.
Formula BMW
Philippe on pole in Denver Philippe on pole in Denver15-year old Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica) drove to his fifth pole of the season in today's Round 11 Formula BMW USA qualifying session. His lap of 1:16.219 minutes around the 1.657-mile Grand Prix of Denver street circuit bested the field of 20 competitors. James Davison (HBR Motorsport Team USA) was second (1:16.598) for his best qualifying effort of the season. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) rounded out the top-three qualifiers (1:16.639).

Qualifying for Round 12 is scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m. MT tomorrow followed by the Round 11 race starting at 1:00 p.m. MT Sunday's Round 12 race is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. MT.

Qualifying: Round 11
1 Richard Philippe Team Autotecnica 1:16.219 (78.264 mph)
2 James Davison HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:16.598
3 Robert Wickens Team Apex Racing USA 1:16.639
4 Michael Patrizi Walker Racing 1:16.728
5 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:16.755
6 Matthew Lee Twintooth/BRM Motorsport 1:16.795
7 Kevin Lacroix AIM Autosport 1:16.883
8 Doug Boyer Jensen MotorSport 1:16.888
9 Edoardo Piscopo EuroInternational 1:16.956
10 Tom Sutherland HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:16.966
11 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:17.004
12 Rob Bunker AIM Autosport 1:17.126
13 Justin Moon Gelles Racing 1:17.241
14 Adrien Herberts Atlantic Racing Team 1:17.391
15 Daniel Herrington Jensen MotorSport 1:17.528
16 Maxime Soulet Gelles Racing 1:18.318
17 Jules Duc Jensen MotorSport 1:18.731
18 Darin Marcus Gelles Racing 1:19.151
19 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 1:20.661
20 Dan Abbale Atlantic Racing Team 1:25.187

Race Director free for Denver courtesy Intel Race Director free for Denver courtesy IntelUPDATE #2 Race Director is now free for everyone, regardless whether you signed up in San Jose or not.. 08/12/05 Race director is only free for NEW subscribers.  Folks who took up the offer for the San Jose Event are excluded. 08/12/05 Based on the success of offering Race Director free for the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, Intel Corporation and Champ Car will once again offer its state-of-the-art subscription based online video service for the CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver Presented by PacifiCare. The Race Director free trial can be accessed at the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.

In Denver, Intel will also be the primary sponsor of the #9 Intel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone of Justin Wilson, who won the Bridgestone Pole Award for the Portland race while carrying the Intel colors on his RuSPORT car. Additionally, Intel is sponsoring the post-race chat with the Denver race winner that takes place on the series' website.

With the help of Intel, Champ Car will provide free access to the subscription-only service to fans throughout the entire weekend, giving race fans access to live streaming audio and video as well as live timing and scoring of all on-track Champ Car sessions. Race Director also provides live in-car audio coverage, bringing fans inside the cockpit as their favorite drivers and teams work their way through the Denver race weekend.

The CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver Presented by PacifiCare will take place August 12-14 with practice and qualifying on both Friday and Saturday, with the race beginning at 1:45 p.m. local time on Sunday.

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