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Kasemets outduels Legge for win at Road America Kasemets outduels Legge for win at Road America
Honda wins 2nd straight IRL title Honda wins 2nd straight IRL titleHonda clinched its second consecutive Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Manufacturers' Championship in three seasons of competition Sunday with an authoritative victory by Dan Wheldon in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Honda drivers and teams have posted nine race wins in 13 events in 2005, including the Indianapolis 500 and Honda's "home" event at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan, both events also won by Andretti Green Racing's Wheldon, the current championship points leader.

"It has been another great year for Honda in the IRL," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development.  "We've faced increased competition from both Toyota and Chevrolet this season, along with the challenges of opening of our new facility in Santa Clarita, California.  This achievement is a tribute to the tremendous hard work and dedication of all our associates at HPD, our teams and drivers, and our technical partners."

The 2005 IRL Manufacturers' Championship continues a tradition of Honda excellence in a wide variety of racing categories, from motorcycle motocross competition to Formula One Grand Prix. In addition to the Manufacturers' titles in 2004 and this year; Honda-powered Tony Kanaan won the 2004 IndyCar Drivers' Championship, while Wheldon was series Rookie of the Year in 2003, with Kosuke Matsuura claiming that honor in 2004.  Honda driver Danica Patrick currently leads the 2005 rookie standings.

Previous Honda racing titles in other major racing series have included four consecutive Formula One Constructors' Championships (1988-91), three consecutive World Motocross titles (1979-81), eight Motorcycle Grand Prix championships in the last nine years, three consecutive IMSA Camel Lights titles, and four CART Manufacturers' Championships and six drivers' championships in a six-year span from 1996-2001.

This season, Honda drivers and teams again have dominated the IRL IndyCar race statistics.  In addition to the nine victories this season - five of them 1-2-3 sweeps of the victory podium - Honda drivers also have claimed six pole positions and currently hold down six of the top eight positions in the championship, led by five-race winner Wheldon.

ALMS renews with Road America ALMS renews with Road AmericaThe American Le Mans Series and IMSA added to Road America's 50th anniversary celebration year by signing a three-year extension through 2008 to race at the historic track.   The ALMS, in its seventh season, first raced at Road America in 2002, establishing it as one of the marquee events at the 14-turn circuit. 

"Road America is without question one of the finest road courses in the world," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series.  "Our drivers, manufacturers, sponsors and teams love racing here. The fans are knowledgeable and really appreciate what the ALMS represents. And George Bruggenthies and his staff make it possible year-in and year-out to for all of us to enjoy an environment where we can showcase our series at its highest level." 

Bruggenthies focused on what the ALMS means to the track's race market, which includes the greater Chicago/Milwaukee markets. 

"The American Le Mans Series represents the highest level of sports car racing in North America," he said.  "This is the fastest growing series in the country, and we want to be part of its continued growth and play a role in that.  Our fans love the drivers, the sophisticated sports cars and technology that this series delivers." 

Although dates have not been announced for the 2006 season, Tim Mayer, COO of IMSA, indicated that Road America's slot on the ALMS schedule would not be altered significantly. 

"This is a great time of year to race here," said Mayer.  "Road America has a great tradition, and the fans have come to recognize the ALMS as one of the most exciting circuits that races here each season." 

"The fans are why we are here," added Atherton.  "One of the hallmarks of our series is all the fan-friendly elements we provide such as the Open Grid, Tech Talks, Driver Autograph Sessions, and Fan Forums.  Obviously, we have been well-received here since attendance has grown impressively at Road America every year." ALMS

Jaguar wraps up manufacturers title Jaguar wraps up manufacturers titleWith one race remaining in the 2005 Trans-Am season, Jaguar secured their fifth manufacturer’s Championship this afternoon when Klaus Graf won the Rumble at the Road Trans-Am event. This is Jaguars fifth overall title and third consecutive in North America’s longest running road racing series. Jaguar’s first championship came in 1978 before the manufacture pulled out of the series and later returned to take the honor in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
In 2005, the manufacturer flexed its muscle in nearly every event with five victories, six Fast Qualifier awards and seven Fastest Race Laps. The victories include three from Graf and from Paul Gentilozzi in the No. 7 and No. 1 Rocketsports Jaguar R Performance XKR’s and one from Greg Pickett in the No. 6 Cytomax Sport Drink Jaguar. The fast cats have led over 70% of competition laps and finished on the podium 17 times including four sweeps.
“Winning on the race track is an important part of Jaguar’s heritage", said Tom Scarpello, VP Marketing. "We are delighted to continue that tradition this year with our third consecutive Trans-Am Manufacturers’ Championship, our fourth in five years and our fifth overall. Our thanks go out to Paul Gentilozzi, Klaus Graf and Tomy Drissi, as well as the entire Rocketsports Racing crew for their contributions this season.”
Dedicated to the manufacturer, four-time Trans-Am champion Gentilozzi and the Rocketsports organization set out this year to win Jaguar their fifth title. “We have had a long relationship with Jaguar since bringing them back to Trans-Am in 2000 and are pleased to be able to hand them their fifth championship,” said Rocketsports owner, Gentilozzi. “We set out this year with this as one of our goals. With the help of Klaus’ ability to adapt to a new car and new tracks, Tomy’s (Drissi) determination, and my competitive spirit, Jaguar has another championship to promote their brand and sell more cars including the 2006 Victory Edition XK commemorating their Trans-Am championships.”
Klaus Graf wins third at Road America Klaus Graf wins third at Road AmericaKlaus Graf drove the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR to victory this morning in the Rumble at the Road Trans-Am event at Road America. Today’s victory is Graf’s second consecutive victory and third of the season. Taking the checkered flag first, Graf won the Rookie-of-the Year title and handed Jaguar their fifth Manufacturer’s Championship. Rocketsports owner Paul Gentilozzi brought the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR home second followed by friend and competitor Greg Pickett in the Cytomax Jaguar. Tomy Drissi charged through the field in the No. 5 Transporter2 the Movie Jaguar XKR to finish fifth.
Graf became the first German national to capture the Rookie-of-the-Year title since its inception in 1982. In his rookie season, Graf has three wins, five Fastest Qualifier and set Fastest Race Laps four times. The championship point’s leader heads to Montreal, Canada next weekend with a 12 points advantage over second place Randy Ruhlman. “A perfect weekend all around for me with the pole position yesterday and the win today,” said Graf. “It’s fantastic to clinch the manufacturer’s title for Jaguar. It was one of our main goals to win the title, we wrapped it up here which is really good heading into Montreal. Having the rookie title is another good thing obviously; my priority goal is to win the overall championship. We have one more race to go in Montreal, I can play a little bit there and be a bit more careful even though it’s not my style.” zzzz
After starting seventh, four-time champion, Paul Gentilozzi worked his way to second place on with five laps to go and followed Graf across the finish line in a photo opportunity for the 2005 Manufacturer’s Champion, Jaguar. “That was our first goal, we had three goals for the year,” said Gentilozzi. “One, to make Klaus Rookie-of-the-Year, two, to make a Jaguar driver the champion, we’re almost there and then win the manufacturer’s championship and we’ve done that.”
Charging from the 16th position to the top-five on lap seven, Drissi spun on lap 22 but recovered and maintain his fifth place spot and finish the race. The Rockin’ Moroccan had a podium finish in mind but was pleased with the results. “I had a great car today, maybe not good enough to catch Klaus, but it was good,” described Drissi. “I was trying to get around Randy for a while and when it was time to go I pushed it and spun. We had a large lead on sixth so I didn’t lose the spot. Fifth place keeps us in fourth in the points and with Greg not going to Montreal I should be able to move to third.”
Jaguar needed the win today to secure the 2005 Manufacturer title before the last race of the year, the five-time winner of the honor took the four of the top-five spots including sweeping the podium. This is Jaguars third consecutive manufacturers’ title, with the other two coming in 1978 and 2001.
IPS Series
Simmons wins IPS race at Pikes Peak Simmons wins IPS race at Pikes PeakIn yet another IPS snoozefest, Jeff Simmons took the lead on lap 2 and led the rest of the way to win the IPS race Pikes Peak Sunday by a comfortable margin.

Results Sunday of the Pikes Peak 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event at the 1-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any) and money earned:

1. (2) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 100
2. (9) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
3. (1) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
4. (7) Tom Wood, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
5. (4) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 99, Running
6. (6) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 99, Running
7. (8) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 80, Handling
8. (5) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 78, Handling
9. (3) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 66, Handling
10. (10) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 49, Electrical
11. (11) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 0, Handling

Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 142.884 mph
Time of race: 00:41:59.5213
Margin of victory: 4.8765 seconds
Cautions: 0 cautions for 0 laps
Lead changes: 1 among 2 drivers
Lap leaders: Gregg 1, Simmons 2-100.
Point standings: Cunningham 371, Gregg 350, Camara 311, Bussell
303, Simmons 297, Festa 274, Drake 273, Herb 269, Roth 243,
Luyendyk 200.

Tire failures ruin Williams result Tire failures ruin Williams resultIt was an unfortunate first Turkish Grand Prix for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team as neither of the team’s drivers saw the checkered flag. Both Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld retired from the race after they twice suffered right rear tire incidents.

The team and Michelin are now investigating to ascertain what the cause was.

Nick Heidfeld - "My start was average but I had a good look at Jarno on the inside going into turn one and nearly passed him there. I then nearly took him on the outside going into turn three but I was on the clean side of the track and he pushed me over a bit. It was ok though. It was good fun for the first half of the first lap! Afterwards, I think the pace was reasonable, but I couldn't keep up with the guys in front. I then had two tire incidents. At the moment, we are not sure what the cause was."

Mark Webber - "It was a difficult day for us. I had a pretty poor start and then I saw Felipe nearly take Nick out at the first corner so I had to make sure I wasn’t on the outside of him. The Red Bulls then got a good run on me up the hill but I soon managed to pass Christian Klien and David Coulthard. I was trying to get to the first stop as quickly as possible when I had an incident with my tire at turn 12. When I came out of the pits, I was a lap behind Michael Schumacher but I was much quicker than him. I thought it was strange that he was moving around the braking area as all the drivers agree to try not to do this. Michael seemed quite keen to do it though so I didn’t show much respect in the end when I went round the corner. We then made contact. After that, I had another tire incident which ended our race."

Sam Michael, Technical Director - "It is disappointing that we had to retire both cars from the race. However, after the two rear tire incidents on each car, we had no choice. It is too early to speculate what the cause is but we are looking into it now with our tire partner, Michelin.

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director - "After a good qualifying session, it is obviously disappointing both cars failed to finish the race. Both were retired and we will now investigate the reason why with Michelin. As disappointing as the retirements are for the team, I must say that the circuit is excellent so the Turkish Grand Prix deserves its place on the Formula One calendar. BMW Williams

A race to forget for Ferrari and Bridgestone A race to forget for Ferrari and BridgestoneIt really was a race weekend to forget for Ferrari at Istanbul as Rubens Barrichello finished out of the points in tenth position while Michael Schumacher failed to finish after contact with Mark Webber.

Schumacher lost a great deal of time in the pits following the incident with the Williams driver but did get back on track to be classified in 17th position which at least ensures he runs fourth in qualifying at Ferrari’s home Grand Prix at Monza in two weeks time.

There is however no escaping the fact that the squad were off the pace with their Bridgestone tires in Turkey and never remotely looked to be on the pace of the leading Michelin-shod runners.

Rubens Barrichello - “This was a very, very tough race. I drove flat out from the start, but it had been obvious that we lacked performance since we started on Friday. After Hungary, it is disappointing to see us back in a situation like this. We had no grip and I we clearly made the wrong choice in terms of the tires we brought to Turkey. Tenth place is not what we would have wanted in this inaugural Turkish race. We must keep on working and try and do better.”
Michael Schumacher - “We have not been quick enough all weekend. In fact, back on Friday it was clear we were in a very difficult situation. Even before the start, I did not expect to get any points and that is how it turned out. As regards the incident with Webber, I saw him closing on me and he moved to the right. As I began to brake, I could no longer see him and, when I was in mid-corner, I felt a bang at the back as he hit me with his nose. He was one lap down, so I don’t understand why he tried this move. After the collision, there was something wrong with the car, so I went into the pits where the mechanics changed the power steering incredibly quickly. I went back out on track so as not to have to be first out in qualifying in Monza. At least this worked out, as I made up three places.”

Ross Brawn - “This was an extremely disappointing race. Michael’s accident looked a bit unnecessary, given that Webber was one lap down. We repaired the car to get back on track to get the best possible qualifying position for Monza. Rubens had a fairly dull race with not much to say about it. His car was okay, apart from a bit too much understeer. He just lacked pace.”
Jean Todt -It was a race to forget. For the third time this season, we head for home having failed to score any points. Chronic lack of grip, which we have suffered from since the start of the season, prevented us from running competitively right from the start of this weekend. This afternoon, we saw how our competitors’ times improved step by step as the track got more rubber on it, while ours got worse. Rubens did what he could, while it was a shame to see Michael pitting with a damaged car having been run into by a lapped car."

"We worked on his car to send him back out on track to get him a better start position for qualifying in Monza. In the past years, we have developed the nice tradition of winning races on a new track, but today that run has come to an end. I am very disappointed, especially for the large number of Ferrari fans we could see in the grandstands at this great facility. We must get back to work immediately, along with our partner Bridgestone, to analyze the situation. Our aim is to be as well prepared as possible for the race in Monza and those that follow in what has turned out to be a particularly tough season.” Ferrari

USAC driver to run for Penske in Busch USAC driver to run for Penske in BuschUPDATE This SPEED TV article talks about the very topic we have said was happening - open wheel short track drivers are no longer wearing Road to Indy hats.  They have long since burned them and now wear Road to Daytona hats.  Another failed promise of the IRL.  Why was the IRL created?  We were told it was to save open wheel racing from the evils of CART.  Here we are 10 years after Tony George split the sport and we fail to see what has been accomplished besides near death to Indy Car Racing. 08/16/05 Penske Racing South plans to continue its NASCAR Busch Series program next season and will utilize Nextel Cup driver Ryan Newman and current USAC Midget driver Billy Wease, team president Don Miller said Sunday.  Newman is driving a 10-race Busch schedule in the No. 39 Dodge and earned his first win in three starts this season Saturday at Watkins Glen.  "We're going to see what the sponsorship package looks like before we decide whether they will split a season or what we'll do," Miller said. [Editor's Note: Just another example of a short track open wheel driver's "Road to Daytona."   If Tony George thinks he is going to stop NASCAR from taking over the short track open wheel market, think again.  There are so many opportunities for a ride in NASCAR between Trucks, Busch and Cup that any plans the IRL may have of resurrecting their "Road to Indy" theme will be squashed like a bug by NASCAR.  NASCAR is where the money is and where the majority of opportunities are.]
ALMS LMP rules extension ALMS LMP rules extensionThe International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) announced today that in cooperation with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), it has extended the eligibility of all LMP cars in the American Le Mans Series.

LMP cars that were homologated under the 2003 ACO LMP900 and P675 specs, including those based on the SR specifications, have been extended effective through the end of December 2006. Those machines will compete in today's Generac 500 at Road America.

Importantly the bulletin also extends the eligibility of hybrid cars that conform to the ACO's rules in the ALMS through the end of 2007. Those cars are currently eligible in ACO competition until the end of 2006. The hybrid regulations provide a mechanism for 2003 specification cars to convert their aerodynamic package to match the 2005 specifications.

This bulletin means that cars like the Audi R8, and the Lola EX257 and B2K/40, as well as cars like the factory Zytek and others running in European competition, will be allowed to run in the American Le Mans Series next year. IMSA, the sanctioning body of the ALMS, has mandated that the cars will run based on the ACO-specified configuration for 2005. Certain specific configurations are covered in various IMSA bulletins.

"The prototype field is going though an important transition between the older regulations and the new regulations," said IMSA Chief Operating Officer, Tim Mayer. "This bulletin opens the field up to a wide variety of cars while this transition is taking place, while providing teams with a clear path that they can follow all the way through 2008 and beyond."

According to the bulletin, cars extended in the ALMS will not be able to compete at Le Mans or any other ACO-sanctioned events. Any ALMS results or points accrued by such cars will not factor into the eligibility for Le Mans-related events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

As in similar cases, IMSA has the right to adjust its regulations to provide for better racing and competition for ALMS teams and fans. ALMS

Fisher bemoans Danica’s advantage Fisher bemoans Danica’s advantageLiterally on the other side of Patrick's fence was Sarah Fisher, who from 2000 to 2003 was the IRL's marquee attraction.  Fisher is at Pikes Peak this weekend to drive in today's NASCAR Grand National West Series race, which doesn't draw much attention outside the West Coast. Fisher no longer has T-shirts touting her racing endeavors, and she isn't sure where her stock car career is headed even though it is supported by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.

After seeing numerous "Danica Mania" billboards throughout the Colorado Springs area, Fisher said she doesn't like how the IRL is playing with its latest marketing toy.

"It's tough for them to hang everything on one person," said Fisher, who lives in Indianapolis when she's not at her temporary racing home in Sacramento, Calif. "She has offers (in other series), so if she leaves, what are they going to do?"

Fisher said she expected Patrick to win an IRL race "by now" given the strength of her team (Rahal Letterman Racing) and her engine (Honda). Truth be told, the infrastructure behind Patrick is what Fisher envies the most.  "I never had a team that was capable (of winning) and had the right motor at the right time," said Fisher, 25, whose best IRL finish was a second at Homestead, Fla., in 2001. Indy Star

F1 bosses discuss lawsuits F1 bosses discuss lawsuitsLawsuits from angry US GP spectators were the main topic of discussion when F1 team bosses - including Ferrari's Jean Todt - met with Bernie Ecclestone in Turkey on Saturday afternoon.

It is understood that there are around a dozen class actions - each featuring groups of people - currently pending. At the behest of an Indiana judge, an attempt is being made to consolidate them under the auspices of one legal firm.

Michelin has already made it clear that it will refund spectators and also buy tickets for next year. But it has not offered compensation for people's travel expenses, and that appears to be the direction taken by the American lawyers; a figure of $5m has been mentioned.  More at Sky Sports

Oval Track Racing
Car leaves track kills two, injures more Car leaves track kills two, injures moreTwo spectators were killed and six others were injured Saturday when a race car left the track at the Mount Vernon Raceway and crashed into the stands, officials said. 

It was not immediately clear why the car jumped the track during a qualification run around 6:50 p.m., according to Illinois State Police. It was the only vehicle on the oval at the time.

The dead were identified as Donald Roznowski, 51, and Jeff Conner, 18, both of DuQuoin.

The racecar driver, Kevin Beatiee, 38, also of DuQuoin, received minor injuries.

Jefferson County Sheriff Roger D. Mulch, released the names of the others injured early Sunday. Carl Hartung, 41, of Carbondale, received major injuries, as did Kevin Noble, 29, of Huntingberg, Ind. John Hartung, 32, of Carbondale, John Marks, 67, of El Dorado, and Jeffrey Stanley, 29, of West Frankfort, all received minor injuries, Mulch said.  More at AP Story

Lazier crashes at Pikes Peak Lazier crashes at Pikes PeakUPDATE Jaques Lazier crashed in practice and is expected to be held out of today's race due to the high number of crashes Ganassi Racing has had this season. Indy Star 08/20/05 No. 10 Jaques Lazier made heavy contact with the Turn 4 wall at Pikes Peak International Raceway in practice Saturday.  He appears to be OK, but the car had heavy rear end damage.
60 Minutes to feature France family 60 Minutes to feature France family60 Minutes, the CBS News magazine providing a blend of hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, used Daytona International Speedway as the site for an upcoming corporate profile piece featuring NASCAR's first-family. International Speedway Corporation (ISC) Chairman and longtime NASCAR President Bill France, ISC President Lesa France Kennedy and NASCAR Chairman Brian France will be the subject of the corporate profile according to a 60 Minutes producer. The segment is scheduled to air sometime in September or October. The trio sat down with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl to talk about the past, present and future of America's fastest growing spectator sport. The interviews took place earlier this week at DAYTONA USA, the "Official Attraction of NASCAR" and at the luxurious Daytona 500 Club located at the start/finish line of the historic Speedway overlooking Gatorade Victory Lane. According to Nielsen, an average of 14.2 million viewers tuned in to the broadcast each Sunday evening over the 2003-04 season -- 200,000 more than for the previous season. The broadcast posted an average household rating of 9.4 with a 16 share. DIS PR
Heikki Kovalainen wins Sunday sprint race in wet Heikki Kovalainen wins Sunday sprint race in wetHeikki Kovalainen has given his championship ambitions a boost by taking a win in mixed weather conditions in race two at the Istanbul Park circuit, ahead of Adam Carroll and championship rival Nico Rosberg. The win came courtesy of a smart call to change tires as the track was drying out after a burst of rain fell just prior to the start. Kovalainen was among the first to make the call, and the change proved decisive for his race.

Polesitter Hiroki Yoshimoto was left fuming after leading the race but being forced to stay out on wet tires; as a result he finished tenth, and his hopes for a first win had evaporated along with the rain.

On the warm up lap Carroll stalled on the grid as the rest of the field sailed past – after yesterday’s poor luck it was a bitter blow, and the Ulsterman was forced to take to the back of the field for the start.

Yoshimoto had a slow start as the lights went out, and third placed Jose Maria Lopez was into the lead at turn one by forcing the Japanese driver wide, but Lopez himself ran off track going up the hill, handing the lead to Scott Speed from fourth on the grid.

The wet track was proving difficult to handle – Xandi Negrao and Giorgio Pantano ran wide on the first lap, with Kovalainen also missing the corner and running off track on the second last bend after starting tenth on the grid. Speed led Yoshimoto and Alex Premat at the end of lap one, with the Frenchman pushing hard to move up to second. But he pushed too hard - he spun off at turn eight, and lost a number of places before finding his way back onto the track.

Yoshimoto was determined to get back what he felt was rightfully his, setting a string of fastest laps as he tried to get onto the tail of Speed, with teammate Ernesto Viso also fast and fighting his way through the grid. zzzz

With the weather affecting their concentration there was overtaking galore all through the field, but by lap ten the order had calmed down, with Speed leading Yoshimoto, Viso, Rosberg, Lopez and Kovalainen, with Carroll up to an impressive seventh from last place.

One lap later, with the track drying out, the first of the pitstops came – Pantano, Neel Jani and Ferdinando Monfardini were the first men in for dry tires, and Kovalainen came in one lap later as Viso set a new fastest lap from third.

Yoshimoto was all over the rear wing of Speed, and looked to have first position as he moved to make a pass while running up the hill before backing off. It was a smart move, as the waved yellow flags at the corner would have meant a certain penalty.

He got back onto Speed’s tail and was clearly going to take the American’s position until Speed dived into the pits on lap 14 – his team had seen the time advantage for the dry tire-shod drivers, and wanted a piece of the action.

Yoshimoto and Viso were the only men on track not to change tires by lap fifteen, and the pair had a 31.3 second lead over a clearly faster Kovalainen. The BCN team were hoping that the gap would be enough, but it was not to be.

The Finn took eight seconds out of their next lap, then another eight and eleven seconds in the following two tours, before the inevitable came on lap 18 – Kovalainen motored past Viso before the back straight, and into the lead just one lap later.

The BCN pair were dropping like stones – with wet weather tires on a now completely dry track they had nowhere to hide, and the field powered by them eagerly.

At the front of the pack Kovalainen was leading commandingly from Carroll, who was back up to his initial grid position of second from last at the start of the race. Rosberg was the next man through, followed by Speed, who was annoyed at being brought in so late.

With most of the front runners swapping fastest laps the order was to remain the same, with Kovalainen taking an ultimately simple win after 23 laps of the impressive Istanbul circuit.

Behind Carroll, Rosberg and Speed the final points positions were filled by Borja Garcia and Nelson Piquet, with Olivier Pla setting the fastest lap of the race on the last lap, before spinning off track after crossing the line, to claim his two points.

Position Driver Team Gap Laps
1 H. Kovalainen Arden - 23
2 A. Carroll Super Nova 00'07"900 23
3 N. Rosberg ART 00'08"556 23
4 S. Speed iSport 00'09"328 23
5 B. Garcia Racing Eng. 00'11"341 23
6 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 00'18"360 23
7 J. Lopez DAMS 00'21"618 23
8 G. Pantano Super Nova 00'24"032 23
9 G. Bruni Coloni 00'25"718 23
10 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 00'34"197 23
11 C. Piccione Durango 00'39"720 23
12 E. Viso BCN Comp. 00'39"750 23
13 N. Lapierre Arden 00'40"095 23
14 A. Premat ART 01'03"412 23
15 C. Artam iSport 01'03"799 23
16 O. Pla DPR 01'05"662 23
17 F. Fauzy DAMS 01'17"374 23
18 M. Lauda Coloni - 22
19 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet - 22
20 S. Hernandez Campos Racing - 19
21 F. Monfardini Durango - 18
22 N. Jani Racing Eng. - 14
23 J. Alvarez Campos Racing - 10
24 G. Mondini DPR - 2

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Rubens right to quit Ferrari
Alonso vows to beat Kimi
Turkey wants Olympics
Circuit 'getting bumpier'
JB 'needs to concentrate'
Webber 'positive' about '06
Schu 'guru' races out of F1
Midland 'talking to' Davidson
Fisi does not regret move
Massa gets Michelin 'ban'
Minardi to run in Adelaide
'What's next, Bernie?'
'Dentist' Kolles fixes rookie
GM informs IRL they won’t return GM informs IRL they won’t returnUPDATE This Indy Star article confirms this story broke by AutoRacing1.com yesterday and rumored by AutoRacing1.com for weeks now - GM will not stay in the IRL with any of its brands. Too bad for AJ Foyt who just dumped Toyota for Chevy before the last race.

League president Brian Barnhart said no other manufacturer has shown itself to be serious about participating.  "I don't think the manufacturer's list will change for 2007," he said.

Because Honda does not want to be the IRL's sole engine supplier, Barnhart is working on alternative plans. Among those is allowing engine building companies such as Ilmor, which is owned by Penske, and Cosworth to compete without manufacturer ties, a change from a policy established in 2003 when Honda and Toyota arrived from CART.

Cosworth currently builds the Chevy engines; Ilmor works with Honda.  Barnhart admitted that he had been working feverishly to retain GM. Now, Plan B goes into effect.

"It draws a line in the sand," he said of the decision. "We have good options; that hasn't changed, and that includes" removing the requirement to put the manufacturer's label on the engine.  We feel OK with the options we have," he said.

Some of the IRL's supporters are beginning to get nervous about the league's lack of information regarding those options. Neither an event schedule for 2006 nor an equipment package for 2007 has been released.

Team owner Chip Ganassi pleaded with the IRL to work with leaders of the Champ Car World Series to unify open-wheel racing before more supporters lose interest.

"These guys better start smelling the roses, quit this tit-for-tat stuff and get this thing together -- both sides," Ganassi said Saturday. "(My sponsor) isn't dissatisfied with the IRL, it's dissatisfied with the powers-to-be in open-wheel racing."

08/20/05 In an AutoRacing1.com exclusive, we have learned that GM has informed Cosworth and the IRL that they will not return in 2006 despite efforts by Roger Penske to convince them to change their mind. As we understand it, Pontiac will not be coming in either despite the rumor in AutoWeek.

That leaves just Honda to supply engines to the IRL in 2007, and Honda and Toyota in 2006, though one has to wonder what Penske will do now that he cannot switch to Chevy as he had hoped. If he sticks with Toyota, then Toyota might not leave a year early as some speculated.

Penske may run an Ilmor engine for his team in 2006 if Toyota departs but he is not selling it to anyone else at this point in time. With no American manufacturer in the IRL we understand that Honda has an out in their contract and can now decide to withdraw from the series if they so choose. Things should get interesting over the next several months.

Hinchcliffe triumphs at Road America Hinchcliffe triumphs at Road America
Pikes Peak qualifying quotes Pikes Peak qualifying quotes
Scott Dixon is quite the athlete Scott Dixon is quite the athleteWhile most of the IndyCar drivers had the weekend off prior to the Kentucky race, Target driver Scott Dixon had a race to run…a Triathlon to be exact. Keeping fit comes with the territory for Dixon in his quest for success behind the wheel of the no.9 Target Toyota, but he’s taking that goal a step further this year.

In just the past month, he’s competed in two triathlons in Shelbyville, Indiana featuring a 1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 3 mile run. Even Target teammate Ryan Briscoe got into the action when he joined Dixon for the event last month. Dixon won his age group (21-24) and finished 22nd overall while Briscoe was not far behind placing 29th overall. After celebrating his 25th birthday and moving into another category (25-29 age group) for the competition this past weekend, the New Zealand native won his age group once again and finished 8th overall.

"I've done some triathlons in the past and always really enjoyed the competition aspect of it," Dixon said.  "I started training for them again about a month or so ago and am doing several in Indiana and maybe a half Iron man later in the year."

Was it Manning or was it the car? Was it Manning or was it the car?Chip Ganassi fired Darren Manning because Manning said the car was undriveable, and on a number of occasions, downright spooky. The final straw was when he parked it during a qualifying run two races ago saying the car was quite bad. It's rather ironic that his replacement Jaques Lazier tried to brave it out in the same car and stuffed it in the wall at Pikes Peak. More crash damage for the Ganassi team.

Jaques Lazier made contact with the turn four wall while running qualifying simulations during the second practice of the day and sustained heavy damage to the rear of the no.10 Target Toyota. Efforts made to repair the damage were unsuccessful and the team did not qualify the car and will start from the 22nd spot on the grid.

“I’m very disappointed for all the hard work the Target guys put into this car. We were making some really good strides and had just made a big change but I’m not sure what happened exactly. The rear of the no.10 Target Toyota jumped out twice and I was able to catch it, but that last time it got me in the marbles and there wasn’t anything I could do.”

Kasemets dominates to win pole at Road America Kasemets dominates to win pole at Road AmericaNo one said it better than second-year Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama driver Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil) Saturday after he dominated the final round of qualifying at Road America. "The only one who can beat me this weekend is me," said Kasemets, who earned his third series pole position after blistering a lap of 2:01.747 (119.697 mph).

So how dominant has Kasemets been so far this weekend in the BOSPoker.com Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Road America (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel - Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m. ET)? So dominant that he has led every session through first two days on track at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course and none of the other 16 drivers in the Atlantic field this weekend were able to equal his best time from Friday's first round of qualifying, let alone today's session. On Saturday, no other drivers were within half-a-second of Kasemets' fast mark. zzzz

Last year, Kasemets established a new track record race lap for the Atlantic series at Road America, finishing fifth for his top result of the year. The driver that has either broke down or spun while fighting for the top position in each of the last two races will hold his own fate in his hands on Sunday as he tries to stay alive in the championship chase and bring home his third victory of the season when he starts from the point.

Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors) of Germany carded the second-fastest time in Friday qualifying and he once again valiantly pursued Kasemets only to finish as qualifying runner up on Saturday. Wirth's top lap of 2:02.330 (119.127 mph) will enable him to start second tomorrow as he earns his fourth front-row start of his rookie season. Wirth, currently raked second in the series standings, also started second last Sunday in Denver as he grabbed the lead at the green flag on his way to first series victory.

Saturday also brought an impressive result for rookie Daniel Di Leo (#54 Armsup Motorsports), making his Atlantic debut this weekend. Di Leo, who finished fourth in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series event at Road America and was third at the venue last year in the Star Mazda Series, qualified third with a quick time of 2:02.671 (118.796 mph).

Also driving well in his series debut, local boy Bobby Wilson (#5 Ocala Gran Prix/BW Race Schools) of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin qualified with the fourth-fastest time of the day. The 23-year-old Wilson, who is racing at Road America for the seventh time in his young career among various racing series, clocked in at 2:02.774 (118.696 mph).

Recovering from an on-track excursion that ended her Friday qualifying run early, rookie Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) earned a fifth-place starting spot today when she posted a top time of 2:02.871 (118.602 mph).

David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) was unable to duplicate his qualifying results from Friday when he wound up third in the provisional qualifying order. The talented Mexican racer posted a time of 2:03.131 (118.352 mph) as he finished sixth in final qualifying.

Series points leader Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports), who carried a 34-point lead in the championship and could wrap up the title if he leaves Road America with a 35-point cushion, continued his weekend-long struggles on Saturday. He was ninth in Friday qualifying and wound up seventh in the final order with a top lap of 2:03.183 (118.302 mph). The result breaks a string of 10 consecutive top-three qualifying efforts for the Dutch rookie. .cr..
Finishing eighth in Saturday's rundown with his worst qualifying result of the season was Polestar Racing Group driver Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design). Bessette turned in a time 2:03.604 (117.899 mph). Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) wound up ninth in qualifying at 2:03.606 (117.897 mph) while local racer Chris Prey (#2 Gehl Company) of Oshkosh, Wisconsin closed out the top 10 qualifiers with a lap of 2:03.830 (117.684 mph).
Penske team to start 1-2 at Pikes Peak Penske team to start 1-2 at Pikes PeakWith weather conditions changing dramatically between practice and qualifying, with sunny skies and warm temperatures at the start of the day giving way to overcast and blustery conditions as qualifying approached.  Always strong on the short ovals, Team Penske did best job of coping with the changing conditions, with teammates Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. qualifying 1-2.

Castroneves lapped the 1-mile oval in 20.5218 seconds, 175.423 mph to record his 10th career IRL IndyCar® Series pole position.

Castroneves’ teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., qualified second with a time of 20.5241 seconds, 175.404 mph to give Marlboro Team Penske its third front-row sweep of the season. The team also swept the front row at Richmond (0.75-mile oval) and Milwaukee (1-mile oval).

Andretti Green Racing teammates Bryan Herta and Dario Franchitti will start from the second row. Franchitti is the reigning race winner at Pikes Peak.

Danica Patrick, who leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings, will start fifth with reigning IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan starting sixth.

Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy 225 IRL IndyCar Series event on the 1-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:
1. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Toyota, 175.423
2. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Toyota, 175.404
3. (7) Bryan Herta, Dallara-Honda, 175.242
4. (27) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 174.747
5. (16) Danica Patrick, Panoz-Honda, 174.389
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 174.368
7. (2) Tomas Enge, Dallara-Chevrolet, 174.316
8. (4) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 173.937
9. (17) Vitor Meira, Panoz-Honda, 173.830
10. (8) Scott Sharp, Panoz-Honda, 173.697
11. (26) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 173.660
12. (15) Buddy Rice, Panoz-Honda, 173.546
13. (9) Scott Dixon, Panoz-Toyota, 173.540
14. (33) Ryan Briscoe, Panoz-Toyota, 173.410
15. (24) Roger Yasukawa, Dallara-Honda, 172.945
16. (55) Kosuke Matsuura, Panoz-Honda, 172.005
17. (83) Patrick Carpentier, Dallara-Toyota, 171.706
18. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Toyota, 170.631
19. (14) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Chevrolet, 169.912
20. (51) Alex Barron, Dallara-Toyota, 169.204
21. (91) Jimmy Kite, Dallara-Toyota, 168.144
22. (10) Jaques Lazier, Panoz-Toyota, no speed
Gregg wins IPS pole Gregg wins IPS poleQualifying Saturday for the Pikes Peak 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event on the 1-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:
1. (7) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 154.230
2. (24) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 153.830
3. (1) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 153.332
4. (33) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 152.181
5. (20) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 152.092
6. (19) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 151.677
7. (42) Tom Wood, Dallara-Infiniti, 150.774
8. (4) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 149.448
9. (9) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 146.147
10. (3) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 144.657
11. (6) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, No Speed
Weaver puts Dyson Lola on pole Weaver puts Dyson Lola on pole
Lack of grip from tires make Ferrari into losers Lack of grip from tires make Ferrari into losersHow can a team go from being so dominant one year to being backmarkers the next? Answer: Tires, which underscores the fallacy of F1's tire war. Tire wars have no business in racing. This is what the Ferrari team had to say on the matter:

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro has been through several difficult days this season, but that does not make them any easier to deal with, so there was a general air of disappointment in the camp, after Rubens Barrichello, the eleventh driver to make his run in qualifying, set the eleventh fastest time for the Turkish GP.

Michael Schumacher started off with the perceived advantage of being the penultimate man to come out of pit lane, thanks to his second place finish in Hungary three weeks ago. However, a spin in the second sector meant that he did not even post a time and was credited with 17th place on the grid. As has been the case at most races this year, lack of grip, particularly over the one flying lap required for qualifying, is the main weakness in the Scuderia’s armory.

Given that 17th place equates to the penultimate row of the grid, the team therefore decided to at least give Michael the slight advantage of starting with a new 053 engine in the back of his F2005, as the penalty of moving one row further back is hardly of any consequence. In fact, he will start ahead of Jordan’s Narain Karthikeyan as his car has required two changes of its Toyota power plant. Of course, the team might well decide prior to the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix, to start the reigning world champion from pit lane, if it is felt to be an advantage to add more fuel to his car to allow a longer first stint. zzzz

Jean Todt: “We were ready for a difficult qualifying session, but the result was worse than we had expected. Michael spun in the second sector and did not complete his timed lap, while Rubens could do no better than eleventh. The main problem we have had this weekend is the one we have been carrying around since the start of the season, namely a considerable lack of grip, which makes itself most felt in qualifying. Given the situation, we will now change the engine in Michael’s car. We can expect a tough race tomorrow and in many ways it will be a step into the unknown, from reliability to tire wear. Honestly, I think the most we can hope for is to get our cars home in the points.”

Rubens Barrichello: “Even though we adopted a conservative approach to qualifying, I was fighting with a lack of grip from the car. I am confident the tires will be good for the race, however, in qualifying we had some graining issues, which cost me time in the final sector where I had too much understeer. My lap was on the limit of what I could do and for tomorrow I think eleventh place means I can have a good race especially as the car seems to perform better when the tires are worn than when they are completely new. It’s a shame for Michael that he went off.”

Michael Schumacher: “We have been uncompetitive all weekend so far, therefore I had not expected to qualify very well: maybe around seventh place, which would not have been too bad for tomorrow’s race. Even though we should really be looking for race wins, we could at least have been fighting for points. But, I went off the track and this is the result. We had expected Turn 9 to be difficult as the wind had picked up and I thought I had taken this into account, but obviously not enough. In the race, all I can do is push hard and try and do my best. It is still important for us to do as well as possible here, to help our chances in qualifying at Monza. After our performance in Hockenheim and Budapest, this weekend is clearly a step backwards.”

Ross Brawn: “After our performance this morning, we adopted a more conservative strategy. Even so, Rubens was unable to lap as quickly as we had expected. I think Michael might just have scraped into a top six position if he had not gone off, which with the fuel load he was carrying and an expected consistent performance in the race, could have been a good place to be. The track conditions did not change very much from the morning, but there was a lot of dust on the track from people going off all over the place.”

Oscar Ortiz selected as MIS fan of the year Oscar Ortiz selected as MIS fan of the yearOscar Ortiz couldn't quite believe that he was named the 2005 MIS Fan of the Year.  "Are you serious. No I mean it! Are you serious," he exclaimed.

Ortiz, of Ypsilanti, Mich., was overwhelmed with excitement when he was selected as the MIS Fan of the Year for 2005, which was announced on Saturday, August 20, in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series GFS Marketplace 400 weekend at MIS on August 19-21.

"This is unbelievable. I am so stunned right now. I love racing so much and am such a loyal fan of MIS. I never thought I would ever win something like this," said an excited Ortiz.

As a part of the MIS Fan of the Year prize package in 2005, Oscar, and the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan, will get a visit from the MIS Mobile Ticket Office and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup showcar, which will be displayed outside of T.C's Speakeasy in downtown Ypsilanti.

Apart from the visit by the showcar, Ortiz will have a few other things to be excited about, as he will also be heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway in November for NASCAR's championship weekend to enjoy the finales of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series. Ortiz will receive two tickets to the Champions Club at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which features many great amenities for fans to enjoy during the NASCAR championship weekend. zzzz

"Four nights in Florida to see the finale of the NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series events! I can't believe it," said Ortiz about the trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We're going to have so much fun down there. I've seen the Champions Club at MIS and it looks like a great place to watch a race from. I'm sure Homestead-Miami Speedway's Champions Club will be just as cool."

The third part of his grand prize package as the 2005 MIS Fan of the Year are two tickets to the MIS event of his choice for the next 10 years. When some of his friends and co-workers at Heritage Appraisal in Ypsilanti found out about the trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway, many of them wanted to make the trip with him.

"It's amazing how many people want to make a four-day trip down to Florida in November," Ortiz joked.

To top it all off, Ortiz and a guest will be able to enjoy the August 21 GFS Marketplace 400 pre-race ceremonies from inside MIS' winners circle.

"This is such a great honor. It's all I can think about," said Ortiz. "My 36th birthday is on August 21. So what a way to celebrate my birthday than by having a great experience like this."

Ortiz, who has been attending races at MIS since he was a kid in the 1970's, has been watching events from the infield camping area with 6-8 of his close friends over the past five years. Every Thursday before the June and August race weekends at MIS, Ortiz and his friends make their way to the infield with their 1971 Ford school bus, painted black with yellow letters. They even have a deck on top of the bus with a putting green. Ortiz even has a friend who looks like NEXTEL Cup driver Boris Said.

"We all have a lot of fun on race weekend," he said. "We love watching races out in the infield and are there until Monday morning. I do have a friend that looks like Boris Said when he puts his wig on. It's pretty funny."

For fans who did not receive Fan of the Month honors in 2005, there will be plenty more chances in 2006 beginning in the month of August '05 by visiting www.MISpeedway.com. Each MIS Fan of the Month receives an MIS hat, shirt, and soft-sided cooler. Every monthly winner will be eligible to become MIS' ultimate fan-- the 2006 Michigan International Speedway Fan of the Year and be eligible to win a trip to NASCAR's Championship Weekend at the New Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2006, have the MIS showcar brought to their house and two-tickets to the race of their choosing for the next 10 years.

Since the start of the MIS Fan of the Month contest in December 2002, over 10,000 fans have registered for the contest at MIS' official website. To nominate yourself or someone else for the MIS Fan of the Month, log on to www.MISpeedway.com.

Fans will also be asked to submit a photo of the nominee as well as your most memorable moment photo taken at MIS. Please send photos to misfanofthemonth@MISpeedway.com, or mail them to:

MIS Fan of the Month
12626 U.S. Highway 12
Brooklyn, MI 49230

Danger lurks in the IRL Danger lurks in the IRLUPDATE #2 Another reader reminded us of Ryan Hunter-Reay's bruised lung at a Milwaukee oval test this year and a Tiago Monteiro concussion at Cleveland in 2003. As we strive to make this injury list 100% accurate it has been updated with these additions. 08/19/05 A reader reminded us that we left off Tomas Enge's broken back suffered at Nashville this year.  It has been added to the list, as the injury toll continues to mount. 08/19/05 Five Indy Racing League drivers have sustained serious back injuries this season, a statistic that doesn't surprise Champ Car series star Sebastien Bourdais.

Crash expert John Melvin and Bourdais, who won Sunday's Grand Prix of Denver, say the reclined angle drivers sit at in IRL cars leaves them vulnerable in high-speed oval racing accidents. But the league, which will race at Pikes Peak International Raceway this weekend, plans to sit tight with the current seating design for at least another season.

"The seat position is very bad," said Bourdais, the defending Champ Car champion who made his IRL debut at the May 29 Indianapolis 500. "Every time you crash on an oval in these cars a guy seems to break his back. That's a fact. It's way too lay-down in the car."

In this case, Bourdais said comfort comes at a cost. "It's very comfortable, actually, but when you have impact all the weight goes to the very, very lower back," he said, noting a Champ Car's more upright sitting position promotes better posture than the IRL cars. "It's just not right. There is something very wrong with those cars." More at the Denver Post

Note: In the article, even IRL driver Jaques Lazier agrees with Bourdais, but as can be expected, the IRL denies any wrongdoing. They must have their head buried in the sand. In fact running open wheel cars on high speed oval tracks is lunacy. The Denver Post article only lists IRL vs. Champ Car injuries since 2003. AutoRacing1.com has kept a detailed list of injuries between the two leagues since the IRL was formed. The latest injury list can be found here. Why any driver would want to put themselves at risk in the IRL after reading this is beyond us. On the positive side, the death rate is not what it was back in the 50's and 60's when drivers were real gladiators, always wondering who would die this weekend.

Kanaan fastest in first practice at Pikes Peak Kanaan fastest in first practice at Pikes PeakResults of practice 1 for the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak
Pos No Driver Name Best Time Best Speed
1 11 Tony Kanaan 20.5846 174.888
2 3 Helio Castroneves 20.6571 174.274
3 26 Dan Wheldon 20.6706 174.160
4 27 Dario Franchitti 20.7018 173.898
5 7 Bryan Herta 20.7135 173.800
6 15 Buddy Rice 20.9165 172.113
7 9 Scott Dixon 20.9332 171.976
8 16 Danica Patrick 20.9766 171.620
9 17 Vitor Meira 21.0300 171.184
10 8 Scott Sharp 21.0583 170.954
11 83 Patrick Carpentier 21.0746 170.822
12 55 Kosuke Matsuura 21.0908 170.691
13 6 Sam Hornish Jr. 21.1240 170.422
14 24 Roger Yasukawa 21.2191 169.658
15 14 A.J. Foyt IV 21.2454 169.448
16 4 Tomas Scheckter 21.2544 169.377
17 20 Ed Carpenter 21.3226 168.835
18 51 Alex Barron 21.3870 168.327
19 10 Jaques Lazier 21.3888 168.312
20 2 Tomas Enge 21.3914 168.292
21 33 Ryan Briscoe 21.3959 168.257
22 91 Jimmy Kite 21.7291 165.676
Graf wins pole at Road America Graf wins pole at Road AmericaKlaus Graf has proved over and over again this season that he has qualifying mastered in the Trans-Am Series. The German rookie made that point again Saturday as he won his fourth Trans-Am pole this season for tomorrow’s Rumble at the Road at Road America. In the process, Graf (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) earned three bonus points and took the championship lead from Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette).

Michael Lewis qualified second in the No. 12 Autocon Engineering Jaguar XKR and earned one bonus point, ahead of Max Lagod (No. 83 EzeCom.com/eCommerce Software Chevrolet Corvette). Ruhlman was fourth and will start on the outside pole, next to Greg Pickett, who was fifth in the No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR. Pickett will start first in tomorrow’s race due to Trans-Am’s Fast Five program, which inverts the top five in qualifying.

Graf turned in a 2:09.159-minute time (12.828 miles per hour) and was more than one second faster than Lewis. Graf now has a two-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship. He also edged closer to the Rookie of the Year title, and now needs only to take the green flag tomorrow and complete a lap to clinch the title.

“The lap was pretty good,” said Graf who earned his fourth Jaguar Pole Award this season. “I had one corner where I think I may have left something out there, but, other than that, the lap was really good. I was pleased. We have a good car. We started off with some problems with the setup, but Rocketsports is always really good at working its way into the weekend and this was no different.

“This is really a beautiful track,” added the Dornhan, Germany resident. “This is my first time visiting Road America. It is a really high-speed track and that is what I like. It reminds me of the old Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. I’m looking forward to the race.

“I need to be patient tomorrow,” concluded Graf. “There are a lot of gravel traps and a lot of places to get into trouble here. My eye is on the overall championship, but we’ll have to see how the race goes. It’s just a matter of being patient, making it to the end and have a good finish.”

Sato sent to back of grid Sato sent to back of gridTakuma Sato has had his qualifying time of 1:30.063 stripped from him and he will start the race at the back of the grid in Turkey. Sato made a mistake on his qualifying lap and then held up Australian Williams driver Mark Webber when he cruised round on his slowing- down lap in an effort to conserve fuel for the race. Sato defended himself by claiming there was ‘a radio interference problem’ between him and his team but Webber, who was furious and stormed through the paddock after his lap, said he had no excuses for poor driving.

"They said there were communications problems but even still if he can't talk to the team it's his job," said Webber. "On your in-lap the main priority is fuel and check where the other guy is.”
“He stuffed his qualifying lap up, he saved a lot of fuel and he stuffed up my lap. It's a very important corner to get right and it's even harder to get right when there's traffic. I came round there and I thought he's got a problem and he'll do his best to get out of the way. He didn't have a problem but he tried in the end to get out of the way. I had to go to the inside and lost a quarter of a second."

Webber finished the session with the seventh fastest time but was beaten by his sixth-placed team-mate Nick Heidfeld by just 0.015 seconds and may have even had a shot at fifth placed Jarno Trulli were it not for Sato's obstruction.

Both drivers were called in front of the stewards as part of the investigation into the incident and the governing body, the FIA, said Sato had ‘illegitimately impeded’ Webber during the qualifying session.

Sato admitted he felt sorry for the Williams driver and explained: "The team were unable to tell me his position on track. I really didn't see him. By the time I realized it was just down the straight." AFP

Alex Prémat nips Pantano in Turkey Alex Prémat nips Pantano in TurkeyAlex Prémat took the checkered flag from Giorgio Pantano by just 0.3 seconds. Borja Garcia collected his first podium of the season in third, with Nelson Piquet Jr fourth, Scott Speed fifth, Jose Maria Lopez sixth, Adam Carroll seventh and Hiroki Yoshimoto eighth. Scott also picked up two points for fastest lap, and Yoshi’s eighth place rewards him with his first GP2 series pole for tomorrow’s race.

Race Report. Nico Rosberg led the first lap from pole, with Scott, Jose Maria and Giorgio in pursuit. But when Neel Jani hit the pit-entrance wall at the end of lap one, the safety car was brought out and every driver bar four (Nico, Scott, Jose Maria and Mathias Lauda) pitted. When the safety car pulled in, the race really began. Nico and Scott started to pull out a small gap, trading fastest laps as they diced for position. But their battle was not to go the distance, as Nico slowed with a bent exhaust and damaged gearbox which he had picked up in his battle with the American. Nico would eventually finish out of the points and two laps adrift.

Scott then spun under his own steam and allowed Jose Maria back within spitting distance. Slightly further back, a determined Mathias was at the head of an exciting battle between a train of cars. At the final corner on lap 16, three of them - Clivio Picione, Nicolas Lapierre and Gimmi Bruni - all went for the same piece of tarmac, and only Clivio saw Turn 1 again. The safety car was deployed for a second time. This time Scott and Jose made their compulsory stops. They emerged in seventh and eighth places. zzzz

Alex had fared best from the early decision to pit as he now led the race from Giorgio and Nelson. The two leaders pushed each other all the way to the finish, but despite two lunges on the final lap, Giorgio couldn’t find a way past. Scott, having lost the lead at is pit stop, was in no mood to hang about and made short work of passing first Clivio, then Juan Cruz Alvarez, en route to claiming fastest lap. The American next set about Borja, who upped his pace and in the process passed Nelson. Both Durango drivers then spun off, leaving Olivier Pla in eighth once again for Sunday pole. Yoshi, however, had driven a great race since a spin earlier in the day, and passed the Frenchman around the outside of Turn 8 on the last lap for the final points-paying position.

What about the championship? With neither Heikki nor Nico scoring any points today, the championship gap stands at four points (79 to 75 in favor of the Finn.) Scott now has 56 points in third, with Alex just three behind him in fourth. ART Grand Prix moves on to 127 points in the teams’ battle, with Arden International second on 92 and SuperNova International third on 72.

1st Alex Prémat – ART Grand Prix: 1:01:27.680
“For sure it was a really good race! I did a great start and overtook some people so when I came around I was fifth, and it was just incredible. After the second safety car I was in front but it was really close [to Pantano], so the pressure was strong!”

2nd Giorgio Pantano – Super Nova International: +0.336
“I was quick, the car was working very well, and I think that everyone will have enjoyed this race. I was quite sure I was going to win, but unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to overtake Alex.”

3rd Borja Garcia – Racing Engineering: +9.486
“It was difficult and fast, but this track I think makes it easy to overtake, and everyone was overtaking everywhere! I’m really happy for me and for the team as it is their second podium.”

MIS announces 2006 schedule MIS announces 2006 scheduleBuilding on the success of a record 2005 season, Michigan International Speedway President Brett Shelton unveiled the track's 2006 schedule today, which will be identical to 2005.

MIS will once again host the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in June and August with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearing with NASCAR's top series in June and the NASCAR Busch Series in August. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will once again make two stops at MIS as a Friday attraction during the June and August weekends.

Additionally, the IRL IndyCar Series will return for the July 29-30 weekend [Editor's Note: As a standalone event again].

"Our new schedule in 2005 was a great hit with fans and very successful overall," said Shelton. "We gave fans more racing this season and we are excited to offer the same in 2006."

The summer race season kicks off on June 16-18 with the Friday, June 16 ARCA RE/MAX Series race. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race will take place on Saturday, June 17, and the MIS opener for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will take place on Sunday, June 18.

"It was a great way to kickoff the 2005 season by having the Craftsman Truck and ARCA RE/MAX Series partner with the NEXTEL Cup Series for our June weekend," said Shelton. "We want to have that same success for our June weekend in 2006. Fans seemed to really enjoy it."

The IRL IndyCar Series will make its fifth trip to MIS with the Mid-Summer Classic scheduled to run on July 30. Practice and qualifying for the event will take place on Saturday, July 29, making it another two-day weekend in 2006.

"We were pleased with the continued growth of the IRL IndyCar Series race in 2005," Shelton said. "It was great to see a local favorite like Bryan Herta win the IRL IndyCar Series event in 2005. Herta's victory gave MIS its 12th different winner in 12 open-wheel races. With the success of Danica Patrick and other stars in the series, maybe we'll have our 13th different winner in 2006."

The MIS 2006 summer race season will end much like it started, with three races in three days. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will make its second appearance at MIS on Friday, August 18, and the NASCAR Busch Series scheduled on Saturday, August 19. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will close out the season on Sunday, August 20.


June 16- ARCA RE/MAX Series
June 17- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
June 18- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

July 29- Practice and Qualifying for IRL IndyCar Series
July 30- IRL IndyCar Series

August 18- ARCA RE/MAX Series
August 19- NASCAR Busch Series
August 20- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

Jordan renew deal with Liqui Moly Jordan renew deal with Liqui MolyJordan Grand Prix have announced that Liqui Moly, are to renew their partnership with the Silverstone based team.  Jordan/Midland managing director, Colin Kolles was delighted with the news.  "We are really pleased to be working with Liqui Moly again, a car care product company with a proven performance," he stated.  "Their continued commitment to the team shows the unique value that an association with Formula One brings as a business and marketing tool. The partnership has worked well for the team and Liqui Moly in the past and I am sure that we can improve our mutual results even further."

"In the light of Midland Group's strong presence in new markets with high growth rates and excellent business to business opportunities for Liqui Moly, we have decided to intensify our co-operation with Alex Shnaider's Formula One Team and we are looking forward to that collaboration both on and off the track," added Liqui Moly owner, Ernst Prost.  Liqui Moly is a manufacturer of greases, fuel additives, oil additives and car care products.

Widow sues Daytona Speedway Widow sues Daytona SpeedwayThe widow of a racetrack worker who died cleaning up debris at Daytona International Speedway filed a suit against the speedway, the race-car driver who struck him and others, alleging improper procedures and communications caused his death.  Roy H. Weaver III was cleaning up the second turn on the IPOWERacing 150 race Feb. 8, 2004, when driver Raymond Paprota struck him, flipping his body over his car.

Weaver, 44, was hit at least once more when the procession of cars following the pace car, already under caution for an accident in the third turn, drove over and further mutilated his body, the suit claims.

"We believe Roy Weaver unnecessarily died that day," said attorney Angelo Patacca Jr., who filed the suit on behalf of Linda Weaver and her three teenage children.

"What really has aggravated the problem here . . . even after Roy was hit and lying on the track, they didn't stop the procession," Patacca said.

Patacca said race officials were "nearsighted" and concentrating only on the accident in the third turn, disregarding that they sent Weaver out with a car in the pit. He said Paprota left his crew at an "excessive" speed for the caution status.  "The procedures and communications were lacking that day," Patacca said.  More at Orlando Sentinel

Danicamania hits Colorado Danicamania hits ColoradoUPDATE This Rocky Mountain News article covers Danica's popularity and talks about the other drivers having almost zero.  After Patrick led the Indianapolis 500 for 19 laps in May, ticket sales for the race Sunday jumped 60 percent from the same time period last year. The pace has slowed a little since those frenzied days, but sales at PPIR remain 50 percent ahead of those from last year going into the race weekend.

"I attribute a lot of that to the fact that Danica ran well in Indianapolis," track president Rob Johnson said.

Originally, PPIR planned to market "the stars and cars of the Indy 500." But after Danicamania erupted, the focus shifted from all the drivers to two: Patrick and Dan Wheldon, who won the 500.

In Colorado Springs, banners with pictures of both drivers wave in the streets. And billboards showcase both, too, although along Interstate 25, it's hard to find Wheldon and impossible to miss Patrick's picture under the words "One hot ticket."

Billboards aren't the only ones saying it.

"My husband was like, 'She's hot,' " said Denise Uhlman, who came to the Fan Fest with her husband and two young daughters. "We were NASCAR fans, but then we started watching IRL to see how she was doing."   Soon, the whole family was hooked.

At the Fan Fest, the Uhlman girls wanted Patrick's autograph, but the parents took one look at the line - it left the table, went back up the lawn to the street, took a left turn and continued past the stage, over the bridge and all the way to the portable toilets - and had a better idea.  Patrick sat next to veteran driver Buddy Rice, who had no line.

And the IRL, which always rotated drivers through its weekly teleconferences, has made Patrick a standing presence. The other two drivers change week to week, but Patrick is always on the call.

08/20/05 Danica, Danica, Danica. Seems all anyone wants to talk about is Danica Patrick.  It's no different in Colorado.

From billboards to full-page adds, Patrick's image is everywhere as the rookie sensation prepares to make her first appearance in Colorado at this weekend's Honda Indy 225. But then it's no different from any of the previous 12 stops in the Indy Racing League series -- other than the rumors that she's been followed by paparazzi in Denver.

And, as usual, Patrick has handled it with her usual aplomb, smiling, posing for photos and answering the same questions for the 100th time.   "Sometimes I feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel weird when people are taking random pictures and stuff like that," Patrick said Friday. "But I understand that these kind of things are beneficial to a lot of people. Mostly the series and the sponsors, and obviously it helps me in some ways too."

It's easy to see Patrick's appeal.  Talented, attractive, charismatic and levelheaded, Patrick has become the darling of motor sports, appearing on talk shows and magazine covers, racking up endorsement deals along the way.   But all the attention hasn't been easy.   More from AP

McMurray resigned to staying with Ganassi McMurray resigned to staying with GanassiJamie McMurray seems resigned to remaining with Chip Ganassi Racing until his current contract is up at the conclusion of the 2006 season.  McMurray has already signed a contract to drive Roush Racing's No. 6 Fords beginning in 2007 and had hoped an arrangement could be worked out that would allow him to exit his No. 42 early.

Reigning Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch recently announced his own 2007 deal, leaving for Penske Racing South and also asked for an early release from his Roush contract.  "I'd like to see Chip (Ganassi), Jack (Roush) and Roger (Penske) get in a room and work everything out. That would be great, but I don't think that's going to happen," said McMurray, who was 33rd fastest in Friday's final practice at Michigan International Speedway.  More at ThatsRacin.com

Andretti in No. 4 for two races Andretti in No. 4 for two racesJohn Andretti was busy installing his personal seat into the #4 Morgan-McClure Racing Chevrolet on Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway in preparation for the day's two Nextel Cup practice sessions. Andretti will attempt to qualify the car on Saturday. The team is out of the "locked-in top-35" in owner's points, so it will be a difficult job to get the car in the field, the run will be based on speed alone. Andretti will also attempt to qualify in the same car -- for the Sony HD 500 at the California Speedway, to be held on September 4th. Insiderracing.com
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
BMW boss' day out
Williams needs 'fresh start'
Small crowd in Turkey
Button roasts Stewart
Nice touch, Schu!
JV cops huge speeding fine
Rubens disappoints Ferrari
Ferrari using 'old' tire
Sato to get the nudge
Ralf snaps at reporter
Portuguese in pain
Raikkonen tops final practice in Turkey Raikkonen tops final practice in Turkey
Kimi Raikkonen led the way in the final practice session ahead of the all-important qualifying session later today in Turkey. The McLaren Mercedes driver lapped the 5.340km circuit nearly half a second clear of his nearest rival. Jenson Button was again impressive for BAR Honda taking the second best time ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Renault. McLaren Mercedes dominated both practice sessions today. Juan Pablo Montoya was just fourth fastest in this session, but he and team- mate Raikkonen will be pushing hard for the Pole Position later today. For Montoya.
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'26"120 223.223 Km/h
 2. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'26"599 + 0'00"479
 3. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'26"627 + 0'00"507
 4. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'26"748 + 0'00"628
 5. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'27"240 + 0'01"120
 6. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'27"308 + 0'01"188
 7. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'27"335 + 0'01"215
 8. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'27"556 + 0'01"436
 9. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'27"796 + 0'01"676
10. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'27"829 + 0'01"709
11. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'27"919 + 0'01"799
12. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'27"921 + 0'01"801
13. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'27"951 + 0'01"831
14. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'28"155 + 0'02"035
15. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'28"534 + 0'02"414
16. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'28"615 + 0'02"495
17. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'28"830 + 0'02"710
18. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'30"155 + 0'04"035
19. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'30"999 + 0'04"879
Montoya tops practice 3 in Turkey Montoya tops practice 3 in Turkey
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'26"857 221.329 Km/h
 2. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'27"031 + 0'00"174
 3. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'27"119 + 0'00"262
 4. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'27"134 + 0'00"277
 5. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'27"159 + 0'00"302
 6. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'27"471 + 0'00"614
 7. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'27"633 + 0'00"776
 8. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'27"921 + 0'01"064
 9. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'27"953 + 0'01"096
10. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'28"018 + 0'01"161
11. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'28"049 + 0'01"192
12. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'28"063 + 0'01"206
13. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'28"468 + 0'01"611
14. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'28"487 + 0'01"630
15. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'28"740 + 0'01"883
16. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'28"854 + 0'01"997
17. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'30"216 + 0'03"359
18. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'30"837 + 0'03"980
19. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'30"851 + 0'03"994
Wood Brothers announce partnership Wood Brothers announce partnershipUPDATE Wood Brothers Racing and ST Motorsports announced a partnership at a press conference this morning at Michigan International Speedway. Eddie Wood and Tad Geschickter outlined the framework of how this new operation will work. Transcript 08/19/05 The owners of Wood Brothers Racing and ST Motorsports today announced the formation of a new partnership - Wood Brothers/TJG Racing - in a press conference today at Michigan International Speedway.  The new enterprise will bring together two of the most tenured teams in the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series' garage, combining the racing heritage of the Wood Brothers and the marketing savvy of ST Motorsports.

Glen Wood, his children Eddie, Len and Kim, along with Tad and Jodi Geschickter, will join forces to establish a racing enterprise that competes in NASCAR's Nextel Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series.  The structure will provide all employees, including drivers, the opportunity to develop his or her career path with a single, Ford factory-backed company.

The Wood Brothers have been running exclusively Ford Motor Company products in NASCAR racing for 55 years, and are the automaker's all-time winningest team.  ST Motorsports has been in existence for 11 years, the last two as a Ford-supported Busch Series program.

In 2006, Wood Brothers Racing will continue to campaign the #21 Ford Fusion in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series.  ST Motorsports will continue to field the #47 and #59 Busch Series Fusion entries.  The partnership intends to build an additional Nextel Cup team and two Craftsman Truck Series teams.

Wood Brothers/JTG Racing will include a centralized fabrication shop and an engineering department, with the assistance of Ford Racing Technology engineers.

According to Eddie Wood, "Tad found himself looking for help in some areas and we needed assistance in others.  The more we talked about our individual strengths, the more we realized that a partnership would allow us both to compete at a higher level.  The teams that we compete with daily continue to prove that there is 'strength in numbers.'"

Geschickter added, "Good business plans require an assessment of an organization's strengths, of industry trends, and of the competitive environment.  When we considered all of these factors, it was obvious that this partnership would enhance the success of our companies, our employees, and our sponsors."

Wood and Geschickter took their business plan to Ford Racing.  When they learned that executives there were equally enthused about the idea, the partnership was formed.

"We're very pleased about this partnership," said Greg Specht, performance operations manager, Ford Racing Technology.  "This is a great example of being able to leverage our technical and development resources throughout three different NASCAR series, but within the same operation, in hopes that development can trickle up or down the operation.

"This partnership will allow the Wood Brothers to be able to expand, which is the successful trend in Nextel Cup these days, and is a boost for our driver development program, because there is a clear path for drivers to move to Nextel Cup racing in their careers."

The group will begin work immediately by establishing a base of operation, and by developing its employee, driver, and sponsor base.  Partial season sponsorship in 2006 for the #21 Wood Brothers entry from Motorcraft is in place as well as full season sponsorship for the #47 and #59 Busch Series entries from Clorox Bleach and Kingsford Charcoal. 

Sponsorship inquiries may be directed to tad@stmotorsports.com <mailto:tad@stmotorsports.com> or 21team@woodbrothersracing.net or ST Motorsports - (704) 888-4499 or Wood Brothers Racing - (704) 799-2133

Fellows to Pilot TRG Pontiac GTO.R at Mid-Ohio Fellows to Pilot TRG Pontiac GTO.R at Mid-OhioRoad racing stalwart Ron Fellows will substitute for Jan Magnussen in the number 64/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R at Mid-Ohio next weekend.  Fellows will partner GTO.R regular Paul Edwards in the Grand American Rolex Series round ten of the EMCO Gears Classic to be run at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on August 27th.

The Canadian (right) has an off weekend and Magnussen has a prior commitment in the Danish Touring Series.  Fellows returns to the series where he last won the Daytona 24 Hours, overall, in a Chevrolet Corvette in 2001.

“I am driving a variety of GM cars this summer,” said Fellows.  “I ran the Chevy at Watkins in NASCAR last weekend, the Corvette this weekend and the GTO.R next Saturday.  After that I will have another shot at the CTS-V at Mosport.  I will have the opportunity to do some quality laps on the promoter test day on Thursday, which should be more than enough to get familiar with the car.  I have been told that the performance is somewhere between the CTS-V and the Corvette.  I have a lot to live up to as they got their first win at the NASCAR Watkins Glen weekend.  We had the seat fitting yesterday, I learned that Jan is a little short and Paul Edwards is skinny.  It is a tight fit, but we will make it work.”

“It will be nice to get another opinion on the performance and handling of the GTO.R,” said Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner.  “Ron has a lot of experience in a many different cars.  His professionalism and input can only help this team improve and keep winning.”

Industry News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
'Inside Grand Prix'
Turkish Grand Prix
12:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m. ET, SPEED
Istanbul, Turkey
6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
Turkish Grand Prix
7:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR This Morning
Michigan International Speedway
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
GFS Marketplace 400
Michigan International Speedway
2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
Generac 500
Road America
Elkhart Lake, WI
3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Honda Indy 225
Pikes Peak International Raceway
3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) ABC
Part 2  (6/25/05)
Colorado Springs, CO
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane
Michigan International Speedway
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-host: Dave Argabright
Featured Interview: Jim Baldwin
Featured Interview:  David Reutimann
Expert Analyst:  David Hobbs
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.
Race to the Chase continues Race to the Chase continuesOnly four races remain left in the “Race to the Chase” – the 10-race stretch that began July 2 at Daytona International Speedway and ends Sept. 10 at Richmond International Raceway. Following race No. 26 at Richmond, the top 10 and any driver within 400 points of the leader are eligible to complete for the series title during the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup” in the season’s final 10 events. 

•  Carl Edwards (No. 99 AAA Ford) is in 10th place in the series standings heading to Watkins Glen. He trails leader Tony Stewart by 520 points.

•  Only 67 points separate drivers in positions 11-14 in the standings. Elliott Sadler (No. 38 M &M’s Ford) is 11th, trailing Edwards by only three points. He trails Stewart by 523 points.

•  Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford), is 12th, also trailing Edwards by three points and Stewart by 523 points. Sadler, his Robert Yates Racing teammate.

•  Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) is 13th, trailing Edwards by 64 points and Stewart by 587 points.

•  Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) is 14th, trailing Edwards by 67 points and Stewart by 590 points.

•  Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) is 15th, trailing Edwards by 160 points and Stewart by 683 points.

Michigan is where Stewart's streak started Michigan is where Stewart's streak startedIt’s back to Michigan International Speedway for Tony Stewart, who finished second there on June 19, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ first visit this season. Stewart was the runner-up behind winner Greg Biffle.

•  Stewart may have something to prove at Michigan. Following the June event, he admitted frustration at not being able to challenge Biffle during the closing laps. Perhaps spurred by that, Stewart began his current winning streak the following week at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

•  It’s been a tale of two streaks for Biffle and Stewart since the first Michigan event. While Stewart has thrived, Biffle has juggled occasional mechanical issues and bad luck. His Michigan win capped a six-week stretch in which he won three races and ranked a solid second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He’s struggled a bit since, but remains in third place.

Stewart not slowing down Stewart not slowing downThe NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series’ hottest driver shows no signs of slowing down. Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) heads for Sunday’s GFS Marketplace 400 having won five of the last seven races, including last week’s event at Watkins Glen International. He also has posted top-10 finishes in his last eight races.

•  Stewart now has led the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings for two weeks. Last Sunday’s win bolstered his lead over second-place Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) to 105 points. He leads third-place Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford) by 252 points.

•  During his latest hot streak, Stewart has won at two road courses (Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway), a 2.5-mile, high-banked, superspeedway (Daytona International Speedway), a 2.5-mile oval (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and a flat, 1.058-mile oval (New Hampshire International Speedway).

Kinser's kid solid in stock car debut Kinser's kid solid in stock car debutKraig Kinser, MB2 Motorsports development driver, had an impressive stock car racing debut, finishing eighth in Friday's ARCA RE/MAX event at Michigan International Speedway.
Kinser drove the No. 10 U.S. Army/CENTRIX Financial/Rally's Chevrolet as part of a joint venture with MB2 Motorsports and Andy Hillenburg Racing.
The 20-year-old World of Outlaws star, who won the famed sprint car Knoxville Nationals last week in central Iowa, started the Hantz Group 200 ARCA race from the outside pole. He held his own throughout the 100 laps of regulation and in the overtime green-white-checkered restart. It was only Kinser's second career race on pavement.
"I came here to learn and not to change the world," said Kinser. "I am very happy that we got all of the laps in -- I learned plenty today and had a lot of fun. I definitely have to work on a few things -- my restarts, going through the gears and coming in and out of pit road. We now have 200 miles under our belt that we never had before. It was a good start and I am ready to do it again."
Doug Randolph, MB2's manager of driver development and acting crew chief for Kinser, was thrilled with the performance of the Bloomington, Ind. native.
"Kraig gave us a great effort -- we see a ton of potential," said Randolph. "He stayed pretty much in the top-five all day and passed a lot of cars. To see him pass cars and mow through the field was pretty exciting for all of us. He was passing cars three wide with no fear - that's the talent we're looking for. Had we had six to eight more green flag laps at the end of regulation, we would have probably finished as high as fourth. We just ran out of laps."
Kinser, son of sprint car guru Steve Kinser, left immediately after the race on a chartered airplane to Billings, Mont. to compete in Friday night's World of Outlaws main feature.
Nemechek and Jarrett fastest at MIS Friday Nemechek and Jarrett fastest at MIS FridayJoe Nemechek rolled off the truck fast on Friday at Michigan International Speedway as teams prepared for Saturday's Bud Pole Qualifying.  Nemechek, who finished sixth here in June, led the first practice (186.994 mph) and was third quickest in Happy Hour. Dale Jarrett (187.208) led Happy Hour.

Teams completed two practice sessions for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Bud Pole Qualifying is Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET, and NASCAR will impound the cars after their qualifying laps.

Jeff Gordon, a two-time Michigan winner who is looking to gain ground in his quest to make the Chase for the Nextel Cup, was painfully ordinary during Friday's practices.

Gordon was sixth-best in the opening session, but he slid to 28th in Happy Hour as the team focused on improving their race setup.

"We were decent there when we made our qualifying run but we definitely weren't there for our race runs like we wanted to be," Gordon said. "The track has definitely changed a bit since we tested, so we're chasing it a little bit right now." NASCAR.com

Ruhlman stays fastest in Road America Ruhlman stays fastest in Road AmericaRandy Ruhlman set his second fast time of the day Friday afternoon at Road America, during second-round practice for Sunday’s Rumble at the Road. The Trans-Am points leader, driving the No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette, turned in a 2:10.549-minute lap (111.412 miles per hour) around the 4.048-mile track.

Rookie of the Year points leader Klaus Graf (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) was second quickest, nearly a half of a second back, ahead of Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Transporter 2 – The Movie Jaguar XKR). Michael Lewis (No. 12 Autocon Engineering Jaguar XKR) and Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR) completed the top five.

Qualifying for the Rumble at the Road, Round 8 and the penultimate round of the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:55 a.m. CDT. Sunday’s race, which is scheduled to start at 10:20 a.m., will air on a tape-delayed basis, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.

Kasemets tops Friday qualifying at Road America Kasemets tops Friday qualifying at Road AmericaThere’s no place like home. Just ask Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama driver Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil).

The Estonian-born Kasemets now makes his home in Mundelein, Illinois – just two-and-a-half hours from the 4.048-mile Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Over the last few years the classic road course has served as a home track for Kasemets, racing and winning in numerous events in various series at the venue. Friday, Kasemets demonstrated just how happy he was to be back at the friendly confines of Road America as he led the opening-round of Friday qualifying after carding a top lap of 2:02.059 (119.391 mph).

Considering the dramatic and heartbreaking struggles that Kasemets has endured in his last several Atlantic events, this weekend’s homecoming might be just what the doctor ordered. In the last three series races, the 31-year-old racer has suffered either an accident or spin while running at the front of the pack, including last weekend in Denver when he spun and finished eighth after trying to make a pass for the lead in the final turn of the event.

With Friday’s effort, Kasemets secures a front-row starting spot for Sunday’s BOSPoker.com Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Road America (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel – Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m. ET) and he earned a championship point as he now trails series leader Charles Zwolsman (#11 Condor Motorsports) by 41 markers, 268-227 entering Saturday’s final round of qualifying. After falling to third in the standings after his recent foibles, Kasemets will take every point he can get and he’s hoping today’s will be the first of many this weekend as he tries to prevent his rival Zwolsman from wrapping up the title at his home course.  zzzz

Another driver looking to make sure that Zwolsman doesn’t capture the crown in this weekend’s penultimate round of competition is German rookie Andreas Wirth (#8 Wurges Windows and Doors). Last week, Wirth grabbed his first series victory on the streets of Denver, moving up to second place in the series standings. With his first Atlantic win fresh in his mind and a good history at Road America, where he won and finished third in two Formula BMW USA events last season, Wirth entered the weekend with a lot of confidence and it showed on Friday. He clocked the second-fastest qualifying lap at 2:02.803 (118.668 mph).

David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) of Mexico enjoyed his best road course qualifying performance since racing at his home track in Monterrey, Mexico earlier this season. Martinez owned a top time of 2:03.131 (118.352 mph) to finish third in the provisional qualifying order.

A couple of rookies seeing their first Atlantic action this weekend also had strong efforts on Friday. Former Barber Dodge Pro Series standout Daniel Di Leo (#54 Armsup Motorsports) wound up with the fourth-fastest lap with a time of 2:03.288 (118.201 mph). Oconomowoc, Wisconsin native Bobby Wilson (#5 Ocala Gran Prix/BW Race Schools) was second in the morning Atlantic practice session and the 23-year-old driver who clinched the 2004 Formula Ford Zetec title at Road America, was fifth in Friday qualifying with a fast lap of 2:03.556 (117.945 mph).

After posting a time of 2:03.604 (117.889 mph), Canadian racer Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design) slotted in sixth, while Chris Menninga (#55 Armsup Motorsports), also making his series debut this weekend, was seventh at 2:03.901 (117.616 mph). Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) owned a time of 2:04.195 (117.338 mph) in eighth place.

Perhaps the most shocking result of the day was that Zwolsman finished ninth in the running order. The talented Dutchman typically spends the first practice getting familiar with new course and not worrying about his results, but he never managed to find his speed in his qualifying this afternoon. He had a top time of 2:04.243 (117.293 mph) and if he were to finish in the same spot tomorrow, it would represent his worst starting position since Round 1, when he was forced to start from the back of the grid due to a penalty.

After becoming the youngest driver in series history to win an Atlantic pole last week in Denver, 17-year-old rookie Alan Sciuto (#27 Dean’s R/C Products/Sparco) rounded out the top 10 with a lap of 2:04.243 (117.293 mph).

Three-time series winner Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) had a tough go of it in qualifying. After finishing fourth in morning practice, Legge suffered damage to her car when she went off course in Turn 14 on just her second qualifying lap. She was able to make it back to pit lane but was unable to continue the qualifying session and wound up 12th in first-round qualifying.
Saturday will feature a 30-minute morning Atlantic practice session, beginning at 10:50 a.m. Central Time with the final round of qualifying slated for 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Follow all of this weekend’s action from Road America at www.toyotaatlantic.com through the live Timing link.

LA market TV analysis LA market TV analysisLA is the 2nd biggest TV market in the USA and it's interesting to see that NASCAR is nowhere near as popular on TV there as it is the rest of the country.  Also interesting to note that Champ Car's ratings on SPEED are similar to the IRL's on ESPN/ESPN2, i.e. dreadful.  The only races Champ Car should televise on SPEED in 2006 are the Asia races, which are broadcast in the wee hours of the morning in the USA.
LA TV ratings (Last Weekend)
SAT BGN Watkins Glen NBC 0.8 2/ share
SAT NCTS Speed 0.1 0/share
SUN NASCUP Glen NBC 1.4 4/share
SUN IRL/KY ABC 0.8 2/share
SUN CCWS/Denver Speed 0.3 1/Share
Ruhlman fastest in opening Trans-Am practice Ruhlman fastest in opening Trans-Am practiceTrans-Am points leader Randy Ruhlman set the fastest time in first-round practice Friday for Sunday’s Rumble at the Road at Road America. Ruhlman, driving the No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette, turned the 4.048-mile permanent circuit in two minutes, 11.660 seconds (110.685 miles per hour).

Michael Lewis was second fastest in the No. 12 Autocon Engineering Jaguar XKR, ahead of Paul Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR). Klaus Graf (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) and Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR) completed the top five.

Second-round practice is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. CDT today, while qualifying is set for tomorrow at 8:55 a.m. The Rumble at the Road, Round 8 and the penultimate round of the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled for Sunday at 10:20 a.m. CDT. Sunday’s race will air on a tape-delayed basis, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.

NASCAR Watkins Glen TV Rating NASCAR Watkins Glen TV RatingUPDATE The final TV rating for the Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen last Sunday was a 5.2/13 share on NBC. The final rating for the NASCAR Busch Series race at The Glen was a 1.9/5 share. 08/15/05 NBC’s Sunday coverage of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen earned a 4.3/10 overnight, down 14.0% from a 5.0/12 in ’03, the last time the race was aired on network television. The network’s coverage of the Zippo 200 Busch race posted a 1.8/4 overnight, up 20.0% from a 1.5/4 in ’04.
IRL Kentucky TV Rating IRL Kentucky TV RatingUPDATE The final rating for the IRL race in Kentucky last weekend dropped from an overnight of 1.1 to a 0.9/2 share.  The IRL "network" TV ratings are about on par with Champ Car's (0.8 to 1.0).  The telling sign of Champ Car's turnaround is the fact that their final ratings have been holding steady from their overnights, whereas the IRL's finals continue to drop from their overnights, indicating Champ Car is developing a grassroots following in the smaller markets.  Next weekend's Champ Car race in Montreal is their last race on network TV (NBC) for the year. 08/15/05 The overnight TV rating for the IRL race Sunday at Kentucky Speedway earned a 1.1/2 share rating on ABC, up 37.5% from a 0.8/2 in ’04.
Champ Car finds urban oasis Champ Car finds urban oasisUPDATE Key excerpts from the LA Times article - It was doom and gloom for a few years, but the energy has done a complete 180 in the paddock," said driver Jimmy Vasser, whose job was saved in January 2004 when Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi purchased Championship Auto Racing Teams' assets out of bankruptcy. "There are drivers who are really wanting to get into Champ Car. It's the new hot place to be."

With its formula of racing in urban environments, Champ Car's last four races averaged 165,000 fans. The series is likely to average 150,000 for the first time.

"They have a string of events now that could only be characterized as very successful," said Jim Michaelian, president of the Long Beach Grand Prix Assn., which announced this month that Toyota — which hasn't raced in Champ Car since 2002 and is getting out of open-wheel racing in America after 2006 — would be the title sponsor for the next five years.

The series is also on a hot streak in the boardroom. Champ Car ensured long-term stability with Kalkhoven's purchase of Cosworth, the engine maker, and Pi Research, which supplies race software and electronics.

Able to control engine costs, the potential exists for future manufacturers to enter the series without spending a fortune on development.  Vasser, aware that 15 of 22 cars in the IRL have owners who were previously in Champ Car, says change is afoot.

"There are some very significant owners looking at coming back in," he said. "I would bet everything I own that there will be a few more from that side come over, and we'll have 22 to 24 cars. It's only a matter of time."

08/19/05 A very positive article from the LA Times on Champ Car.  No one is hotter than NASCAR's Tony Stewart, although Sebastien Bourdais' three consecutive victories in the Champ Car World Series aren't bad. Also on a hot streak is the series itself.  More....  And a related Globe and Mail article expounding on the roll Champ Car is on.
Turkish GP: Friday Press Conference Turkish GP: Friday Press ConferenceWhat follows is today’s press conference from Istanbul with Patrick Faure of Renault, Christian Horner of Red Bull, Timothy Routsis of Cosworth, Yasuhiro Wada of Honda and Sir Frank Williams. Transcript
Lawsuit: Unseal Atlanta's NASCAR bid Lawsuit: Unseal Atlanta's NASCAR bidAttorney General Thurbert Baker sued two of metro Atlanta's leading business organizations Thursday over their refusal to publicly disclose bids for the 2009 Super Bowl and NASCAR hall of fame.  Baker filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court asking a judge to order the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Central Atlanta Progress to release both bids to public scrutiny under the state Open Records Act.

Each bid pledged millions of dollars in public money and involved key elected officials such as Gov. Sonny Perdue and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Doug Scribner, an attorney for both the metro chamber and Central Atlanta Progress, said the groups would file an answer to the lawsuit within 30 days, denying that they are subject to the Open Records Act.  Both groups have claimed they are private organizations and their actions, including producing the two high-profile bids, are beyond the public's right to know.  More at ThatsRacin.com

Yet another driver taken from under Roush’s nose Yet another driver taken from under Roush’s noseUPDATE For years, it seemed like a lock that teenage driving phenom Joey Logano would wind up at Roush Racing because of the interest that Mark Martin, Roush's veteran driver, has shown in the youngster, who sometimes competes against Martin's son Matt. But Logano, a 15-year-old, recent signed a driver development contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Tom Logano, who handled the negotiations for his son, said he had hoped to work a deal with Roush, but he and team officials couldn't work out a contract so he called Gibbs. Four business days later, he said, the paperwork was signed, and his son will race under Gibbs' banner. "It looks like I tried to shop Joey, but the chemistry at Roush just wasn't there," he said. Roush's team has been reluctant to hire drivers under legal age since Kyle Busch reneged on an agreement to race for the team and moved to Hendrick Motorsports after he turned 18. Atlanta Journal-Constitution 08/15/05 Upstart driver Joey Logano, who has been groomed by Roush Racing for a career in NASCAR, is set to join Joe Gibbs Racing, Gibbs officials confirmed Sunday. Logano, 15, recently became the youngest driver to win a race in the Hooters Pro Cup Series, with his June 11 win at Mansfield, Ohio.   "We've had a chance to meet with Joey and his dad, Tom, over the last few weeks, and we're pretty close to announcing something, but not quite yet," said team president J.D. Gibbs.

"He's done some remarkable stuff already, and he's only 15 years old. It's kind of amazing to watch him. We're still working some details out, but we're excited about putting something together with him."

The move comes as a shock since as recently as March Roush Racing had issued a news release touting Logano as one of four development drivers it had added to its stable.  Logano's departure from Roush also heels of Roush driver Kurt Busch's announcement this past week that he had signed to drive for Penske Racing South beginning in the 2007 season. ThatsRacin.com

Speed: Turkey is the coolest circuit ever Speed: Turkey is the coolest circuit ever
GP2 Series: Second place, congratulations. How have you been finding the track?
Scott Speed: Yeah it’s great. It’s definitely one of the coolest circuits I’ve ever driven.

GP2 Series: How different were the conditions this afternoon in comparison to this morning?
Scott: There was more grip, but we were surprised at how much less grip it had than we had thought it would. We gained about a second and a half, which is nowhere near what we expected to gain.

GP2 Series: You were quickest this morning, and you’re second this afternoon. That must bode pretty well for tomorrow.
Scott: Yeah, you know, we’re quite confident. I got held up pretty bad on my second set of tires and I had to abort a run because of the yellow flags otherwise I’m sure we would have been right there with Rosberg… which we actually are though, so yeah we’re quite confident for the race.

GP2 Series: You’ve been on it from the word go this weekend. Anything special about the track that suits it to your driving style?
Scott: I don’t know, I just learn tracks quick. It’s like I said earlier in the season, I don’t have a favorite type of circuit. Throw some corners together and I’ll drive them fast. That’s always been one of my strongest traits.

GP2 Series: And as for the race tomorrow, how much overtaking do you think…
Scott: (interrupting) I think there’s going to be more here than we’ve seen all year. The layout, the braking zones. This place was built for overtaking. Seriously. It's the coolest track.

GP2 Series: The track looks great, but on the subject of braking zones it looks very bumpy coming into that final slow sector, when you’re braking at the end of the back straight.
Scott: Ha ha, yeah it’s definitely got a couple of little bumps in it. And they’re getting worse. They were much more evident this afternoon than in practice. That’s going to be an issue for sure.

GP2 Series: Is that what spun you off in practice?
Scott: No I was just pushing.

GP2 Series: Finally, what are your tactics going into tomorrow?
Scott: We’ve got to get a good start, but we’re going to have a very strong race car so I’m going to try and stay in as much clean air as possible.

Ernie Elliott re-signs with Ganassi Ernie Elliott re-signs with GanassiErnie Elliott, the engine-building expert from Dawsonville, GA who provides the power for several NASCAR teams including the Chip Ganassi-owned operation, won't be retiring to his Montana ranch anytime soon. He recently signed a multiyear extension with Ganassi, his principal customer. Although Elliott, the older brother of Bill Elliott, has been building racing engines on the Cup circuit since the early 1970s, he said he still relishes the competitive nature of his job. "I wish we were running better, but Chip and his people will get that worked out," he said. "Our Busch cars are running good, but there have been too many Cup races since we've won." Ganassi's last Cup victory was in 2002 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but Reed Sorenson has driven a Ganassi car to two victories on the Busch Series this season. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Rosberg and Speed front row in Turkey Rosberg and Speed front row in TurkeyNico Rosberg has added Istanbul to his growing collection of pole positions after setting a time of 1:38.416, taking the top spot ahead of Scott Speed and Jose Maria Lopez.

Rosberg set his time just before a light sprinkling of rain dusted the track, which ensured that nobody would be able to better the time after a highly competitive qualifying session.

This morning’s fastest man Speed was the early pacesetter, and the first man to break the 1:39 barrier on his first full lap, but thereafter the lap times tumbled. zzzz

Nelson Piquet Jr, Giorgio Pantano and then Speed headed the lap times before Rosberg made the top spot his own. Pantano and Piquet rounded out the final top five places, with the Brazilian spinning in the dying minutes of the session while trying to reclaim the top spot. Hiroki Yoshimoto also looked set to challenge for the front row, until he was impeded by a slower car through the long quadruple-apex left hander.

With the track providing much more grip than this morning’s practice session courtesy of the Formula One runners, off-track incidents were kept to a minimum – only Lopez, Olivier Pla and Can Artam spun, with the latter pair doing so on a slightly damp track at the end of qualifying.

The twelve teams were able to markedly improve their lap times from this morning – Rosberg’s qualifying lap was almost two seconds faster than Speed’s fastest practice time, and the top seven drivers were split by just one second, with two seconds covering the first seventeen drivers.

Rosberg's pole moves him to within five points of championship leader Heikki Kovalainen, with the Finn starting back in 13th position for tomorrow's race.

Qualifying results for Saturday's GP2 race in Turkey.  One must note how much faster Scott Speed has been than his teammate Can Artam all year.  Is Speed that good or Artam that bad?
1. Nico Rosberg ART 1min 38.416secs
2 Scott Speed iSport 1min 38.531secs
3. Jose Maria Lopez DAMS 1min 38.561secs
4. Giorgio Pantano Super Nova 1min 38.690secs
5. Nelson Piquet Jr Hitech Piquet 1min 38.820secs
6. Alex Premat ART 1min 38.897secs
7. Adam Carroll Super Nova 1min 39.335secs
8. Gianmaria Bruni Coloni 1min 39.533secs
9. Borja Garcia Racing Engineering 1min 39.708secs
10. Hiroki Yoshimoto BCN 1min 39.737secs
11. Juan Cruz Alvarez Campos 1min 39.830secs
12. Neel Jani Racing Engineering 1min 39.982secs
13. Heikki Kovalainen Arden 1min 40.040secs
14. Sergio Hernandez Campos 1min 40.064secs
15. Fairuz Fauzy DAMS 1min 40.081secs
16. Ferdinando Monfardini Durango 1min 40.205secs
17. Alexandre Negrao Hitech Piquet 1min 40.295secs
18. Nicolas Lapierre Arden 1min 40.629secs
19. Giorgio Mondini DPR 1min 40.749secs
20. Clivio Piccione Durango 1min 40.770secs
21. Ernesto Viso BCN 1min 40.794secs
22. Can Artam iSport 1min 40.952secs
23. Olivier Pla DPR 1min 40.956secs
24. Mathias Lauda Coloni 1min 41.184secs

Practice notes - Turkey Practice notes - Turkey
Jordan 'Friday' driver Nicolas Kiesa continued to suffer from a lack of fitness at the new Turkish circuit. The Dane's neck was seen slumped to one side, particularly in the tricky 260km/h turn-8 sweeper -- which claimed spinners like Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien (without damage). ''I've only done 350km in an F1 car since Hockenheim,'' he explained, ''while the race drivers have done 20,000km.''

The brand new 'Otodrom' - which saw a drop or two of rain during inaugural Friday action - is quite bumpy in the high speed sections, a puzzled Nick Heidfeld observed. ''It's a bit unusual,'' said Williams' German, ''for a new circuit.'' In the afternoon, the 28-year-old only went quicker than Minardis and yellow Jordans. Faring only a little better were the Ferraris -- Michael Schumacher led the red charge for a lowly thirteenth.

Still on the matter of bumps, BAR's Jenson Button made particular note of the braking zone for turn-twelve. ''But (the circuit) feels quite exciting to drive,'' he said.

Not a lot surprises old head Peter Sauber, but he was amazed to hear the formula one field's glowing assessment of Hermann Tilke's latest circuit layout. ''I have never heard so many positive comments,'' said the Swiss, ''from the drivers. To me, this is the most important thing.'' Even Bernie Ecclestone called the Otodrom a 'proper' circuit. However, more than one or two drivers grumbled quietly about the last three corners. Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella said plainly that they're 'too slow'.

Toyota's 'Friday' driver Ricardo Zonta ended Friday quickest of all, ahead of a trio of ominous looking McLarens. ''We're a bit surprised at the lap time,'' said Toyota engineer Dieter Gass, ''because Ricardo was not on a brand new tire for that lap. It was very good.''

A trio of silver cars might look ominously quick in Turkey, but 'Friday' man Pedro de la Rosa's fuel pick up problem in the morning reminded McLaren that reliability is still a vice.

Minardi's new 'Friday' driver, young Roman Enrico Toccacelo, finished the day dead last, but a pretty impressive two or three seconds away from the Faenza based team's race stars. ''It's my first time in formula one, my first time in this car,'' he beamed. High on the tall driver's 'to do' list, though, is a trip to Faenza HQ to get a better seat made.

Is Alonso back on the pace? Is Alonso back on the pace?F1 title leader Fernando Alonso reckons his Renault might be back on the pace in Turkey.  After a miserable showing at the slow speed Hungaroring, the Spaniard reckons his Enstone built car should be good in the heat.  ''We were quick in Malaysia, in Bahrain, these new types of circuit,'' the 24-year-old said in Istanbul.

Alonso's biggest problem, given the Hungarian woe, is likely to be his poor qualifying slot (tenth). Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella will also be one of the first to run for the grid.  ''We need a good result. We have to be really concentrated,'' he continued.  ''It's hard to know at which circuits we will be good and where McLaren will, but we have to aim to win.''

$76,000 'champagne party' $76,000 'champagne party'Not only victorious grand prix drivers, it seems, spray massive magnums of champagne all over the place. According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, an unnamed banker drummed up a staggering $76,000 bill at the 'Mo*vida' club in London last week. Most of the cash went towards bottle after bottle of top-notch champagne -- and a whopping $27,000 for cleaning.

The 33-year-old investment banker sprayed - F1 podium style - 72 bottles of champagne around the VIP room, the newspaper reported.  ''Most people at this party were drinking vodka,'' a spokesman for the club laughed.

ALMS News Tidbits ALMS News Tidbits
DYSON RACING HOPES ROAD AMERICA HISTORY CONTINUES Eager to put the heartbreak of the Portland Grand Prix out of mind, Dyson Racing might not find a better place to regroup than Road America. The team has had a good measure of success at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course, which will play host to the Generac 500 at Road America this weekend for Round 7 of the 2005 American Le Mans Series.

The team has won two straight poles at the Wisconsin track. Butch Leitzinger set the fastest overall time last year at 1:51.893 (130.329 mph) in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola. The previous year, James Weaver took the LMP2 pole with a track record in the No. 16 car, giving Dyson two class qualifying records at Road America.

Teammates Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson went on to win class in the No. 20 entry in the 2003 event.

Dyson also holds the distinction of being one of only four ALMS teams to win poles in two different classes. The others are Panoz Motor Sports (P1 and GT2), Dick Barbour Racing (P2 and GT2) and BMW (P1 and GT2).

ON CLOUD NINE: Don’t blame Pacific Coast Motorsports if team members seem to be walking off the ground a little bit this weekend. They’re probably still soaking up their first ALMS podium finish at the Portland Grand Prix.

“To be honest, it was by far the best race we’ve had this year,” said Ryan Dalziel, who drives the No. 5 PCM Corvette C5-R with Alex Figge. “We’ve been knocking on the door for so long. The Yokohamas were getting better and better. Portland was one of those races where everything clicked. Hopefully that will continue.”

Road America is a venue both Figge and Dalziel know well. They both have competed there previously in open-wheel cars. Pacific Coast recently tested at Road America, and Dalziel said making the adjustment from open-wheel rides to the Corvette was tougher than he thought.

“It’s things we would take for granted in a single-seater, tight corners and kinks,” Dalziel said. “Road America is such a fast track. That’ll be the toughest challenge for us. Everyone has done a good job for us far. We’ve kept ourselves focused before going out there.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: At his home track this weekend, Jamie Bach could give himself one whale of a birthday present. Bach, one of the drivers of the No. 8 B-K Motorsports Mazda rotary-powered Courage, turns 22 on Sunday.

Bach’s mother is planning to have a large cake made in the shape of the Courage for all members of  the team. The team, which Bach’s father helped start, is based in Saukville, a little less than an hour from Road America. The family still calls Saukville home.

AROUND THE PADDOCK: Bach isn’t the only ALMS driver who considers Road America his home track. Tom Weickardt, owner and driver of the No. 71 Carsport America Viper, lives in Whitefish Bay. It’s a little more than an hour south of Elkhart Lake. … The Klein Tools Air Show, featuring stunt pilot Michael Mancuso, returns to the ALMS this weekend. Mancuso will perform three times this weekend: 11:15 a.m. Friday, 11:20 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. … Alex Job Racing has won in GT2 at each of the ALMS’ three appearances at Road America since 2002. An Audi has won overall each year, as well. … Surprisingly, Johnny O’Connell and Ron Fellows of Corvette Racing have never won in the ALMS at Road America.

The Generac 500 at Road America, Round 7 of the 2005 ALMS, is set for 3 p.m. EDT Sunday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:55 p.m. EDT Saturday. American Le Mans Radio, and Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

Gordon: Fire Busch and McMurray now Gordon: Fire Busch and McMurray nowFour-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon called the future team switches recently orchestrated by drivers Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray disrespectful, and suspects the controversy surrounding Busch's deal will prevent him from defending last year's championship.  Gordon said if he were the car owner for Busch or McMurray, "I would be finding a suitable replacement for them tomorrow. They would be gone."

Gordon called the deals "a bit disrespectful," saying, "It's sort of like asking for forgiveness after the fact."

Zonta on light load leads practice 2 Zonta on light load leads practice 2Brazilian Ricardo Zonta created a small piece of history by setting fastest time on the opening day of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix meeting at Istanbul Park. In warm but overcast conditions, the Toyota/Michelin tester lapped the new, 5.340-kilometre (3.318-mile) circuit in 1m 25.583s, 0.613s quicker than McLaren/Michelin counterpart Pedro de la Rosa. Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren/Michelin) was third overall and swiftest of the regular racers.

Drivers from six Michelin teams completed a clean sweep of the top 12 places, with Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes) fourth ahead of Jenson Button (B•A•R-Honda), Vitantonio Liuzzi (Red Bull Racing), world championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault), Jarno Trulli (Toyota), Takuma Sato (B•A•R-Honda), Mark Webber (BMW WilliamsF1 Team) and David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing).

Track conditions at Istanbul Park have been very slippery on the opening day and a number of drivers were caught out. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) was no exception - he ran off the road twice within the space of a lap.

Several key F1 deals have been finalized during the sport's two-week summer recess. Rubens Barrichello will race for B•A•R-Honda in 2006 after splitting from Ferrari, which has signed Sauber driver Felipe Massa in his place. Following the break-up of its relationship with BMW, Williams has secured an engine deal with British specialist Cosworth.
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gap
 1. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'27"188 220.489 Km/h
 2. 35 DE LA ROSA McLaren Mercedes M 1'27"922 + 0'00"734
 3. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'27"969 + 0'00"781
 4. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'27"987 + 0'00"799
 5. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'28"322 + 0'01"134
 6. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'28"359 + 0'01"171
 7. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'28"625 + 0'01"437
 8. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'28"671 + 0'01"483
 9. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'28"734 + 0'01"546
10. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'28"770 + 0'01"582
11. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'29"251 + 0'02"063
12. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'29"600 + 0'02"412
13. 15 KLIEN Red Bull Cosworth M 1'29"650 + 0'02"462
14. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'29"704 + 0'02"516
15. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'29"800 + 0'02"612
16. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'29"918 + 0'02"730
17. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'29"950 + 0'02"762
18. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'30"011 + 0'02"823
19. 37 LIUZZI Red Bull Cosworth M 1'30"969 + 0'03"781
20. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'32"300 + 0'05"112
21. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'32"570 + 0'05"382
22. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'33"094 + 0'05"906
23. 40 TOCCACELO Minardi Cosworth B 1'35"150 + 0'07"962

Champ Car at Ford Ride and Drive Champ Car at Ford Ride and DriveUPDATE Another reader writes, I read with interest a members comments about the Ford Ride & Drive program and all the warm and fuzzy stuff about the deep association with Champ Car, and I’m glad they were there.  However I see things a lot different.  To me this is a classic case of an American company that is not sure what to do, so they do a little of everything. The point is The Ford Motor Company has a tremendous opportunity to move product through the Champ Car sales channel – that’s right sales channel that means try to sell something!

I speak from experience.  I bought two Toyotas because I saw (walked by them) for three days @ the LBGP – my wife was there and she said that car is cute – SOLD!  No show room hassles – plenty of time to look, and no lot lizards pressuring you.

Take San Jose for example. I didn’t see any Ford products on display (cars) and no Ford Racing souvenirs for sale.  — Where were the New Innovative hybrids, Focus/Cosworth sport tuner cars, hats, t-shirts etc.?  Further, they had a big Ford transporter and hospitality tent set up in the Champ Car area, but the place was for the most part empty.  I checked it out on four different occasions and no one even acknowledged me; they had no hand outs or product displays. . .  And when the race was over—they were the FIRST ones out the gate!  They were still towing Champ Cars back to the paddock when the Ford transporter left.

A couple of thoughts to start some dialog and hopefully get the Ford guys in gear. Show New innovative cars that are relevant to the LOCAL markets – CA, Hybrids, Sport imports etc.  All Champ car teams and staff should use the Friendly Neighbor vehicles.

Turn the Ford hospitality area into marketing machine – for-and-to the fans – buyers of products.  Maybe even Title Sponsor an event!  Put some banners up!  Promote the series! Use Honda as a Benchmark. . . Jim Watson, Encinitas, CA. 

Dear Jim, At some races, particularly the Canadian events, Ford has a large display of the passenger cars in the Motorsports Expo and in Edmonton, they even had their own large tent. Mark C.

08/18/05 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, I just returned from the Ford Racing Innovation Drive at the Pontiac Silverdome and needless to say, I was impressed with the new products that were on display. I currently do not drive a Ford product, but after attending this ride and drive opportunity I will definitely consider putting a new Ford product in my garage in the future.

So how does this fit into news for Autoracing1? There were people from Champ Car at every ride and drive location. The Mustang course was my first stop, and as I got into the car for my drive, I noticed that my copilot was wearing an orange Champ Car shirt. When I asked her about the shirt, Linda, my copilot said that she has been with Champ Car for 9 years as one of the pace car drivers. Talk about being in good hands. These women who drive the pace cars are some of the best precision drivers that I know of. Linda said that because of the close association between Ford Motor Company and Champ Car she was there to lend her expertise to the event. As I drove through the road course shifting through the Mustang GT's 6 speed gearbox, Linda and I talked about Champ Car, Cosworth and the new Atlantics with 300 hp and their $2 Million prize. This is one fired up lady who lives and breathes Champ Car and extols its virtues.

At the other vehicle stations that I went to, there were others who had Champ Car attachments from a young lady who is working her way through the ladder system, to a young man who works with Champ Car on track design. I would say that the association between Ford and Champ Car goes far below the surface. Ford truly is a great partner with Champ Car. The only thing missing at this event was a static display of a physical Champ Car. This event was tied in with the NASCAR race this weekend at Michigan Speedway so the omission of a Champ Car or booth with information on the series is understandable.

I came away with a better outlook and opinion of Ford vehicles and after driving the new Fusion, I think that for Americans that are considering a family sedan, that they should seriously consider looking at the new Ford Fusion. Good looking car with an impressive interior. Dan Wilk, Grosse Pointe Park, MI

Barrichello: 'I want to thank Ferrari' Barrichello: 'I want to thank Ferrari'One of the biggest, if not the most unexpected, stories to surface during the three week break in the calendar, is that Rubens Barrichello will be leaving Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at the end of this season, to join the BAR-Honda team. It was inevitably the main topic facing the Brazilian driver when he attended the first ever FIA press conference to be held at the Istanbul circuit this afternoon.

“I want to thank Ferrari, because I had a contract in place for 2006, with no possibility of a buy-out,” began Barrichello, who arrived in Turkey after holidaying back home in Brazil. “So, it is thanks to Jean Todt, because I asked him if I could go and he told me he needed a decision within a week, as he was counting on me for next year. I had been talking to BAR for a long time and this year, things started to happen. If it were not for my time with Ferrari, I would not be in this situation for next year, when I will be trying to take BAR and Honda to victory.”

Apparently, a variety of factors influenced his decision. “A change always brings new motivation and I was impressed by BAR’s resources and people,” commented Barrichello. “I also remembered what Ayrton (Senna) had told me about the people at Honda. It will also be good for them to have someone who is still young but with thirteen years experience.”

When Barrichello leaves the Scuderia, he will have spent five years measuring himself every race weekend against a seven times world champion, Michael Schumacher, who has been the cornerstone of Ferrari’s driver line-up since 1996. Had that been a tough experience, had there been bad times? “I am proud to say that I have contributed to making Ferrari a different team to the one it was in 2000 when I joined,” commented the Brazilian. “I think it has a broader view now and can concentrate equally on both its drivers. Having been with the team since 2000, I have of course gone through bad times as well as the good ones. People expect me to say that Austria 2002 was the worst time, but in fact I think it was one of the best, because it changed things. I got more respect from within the team because they knew I could win races and in many ways, it was a turning point in my career with the team.”

Finally, Rubens categorically denied speculation that he might switch to BAR-Honda before the end of this season: “I think that would show a lack of respect for Ferrari, as if I did not care about the team. We still have a chance in the Constructors’ Championship and it would be a great achievement for me if I could leave the team saying I have contributed to winning six titles.” Ferrari

Industry News
Ferraris parade across the Golden Gate bridge Ferraris parade across the Golden Gate bridgeAfter the Empire State Building, USA pays tribute to Ferrari again
San Francisco, 18th August - After the Empire State Building in New York City lit in red for one night in 2004 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Prancing Horse arrival in North America, the United States is once more honoring Ferrari.

On Wednesday, August 17, while about 100 new and vintage Ferraris participating to Ferrari North America’s Challenge Rally cruised by San Francisco, the city’s Mayor, the Hon. Gavin Newsom, officially proclaimed this day “Ferrari Day”.

Coming from the Napa Valley wine region, at 12:15 p.m. almost one hundred of the most beautiful and exclusive Ferraris present in the United States reached San Francisco parading down the world-wide famous Golden Gate Bridge at the tip of the Bay of Angels on their way to the conclusion of the three-day Ferrari Challenge Rally – the event for owners and collectors that Ferrari North America organizes every year in the most beautiful areas of the United States and Canada.

“The tie between California and Ferrari is a special one, not only because this State is historically Ferrari’s largest market in the United States,” says Maurizio Parlato, President and CEO of Ferrari North America, “but also because of the presence, among California drivers, of some of the noblest names in the history of Scuderia Ferrari – from Dan Gurney to Richie Ginther to the 1961 Formula One World Champion Phil Hill, whom Ferrari will honor Saturday at a gala event in Pebble Beach”.

In the prestigious setting of the Pebble Beach golf course, this weekend Ferrari will present its newest FXX model to a selected audience of American collectors and clients. Ferrari

Industry News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
FORMULA ONE - Qualifying
Turkish Grand Prix
6:00 a.m.-7:30 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Domino's Pizza 250
Michigan International Speedway
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Michigan International Speedway
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
GFS Marketplace 400
Michigan International Speedway
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET,  TNT
Cytomax Sport Drink 100
Denver, CO  (8/13/05)
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
GT Championship
Denver, CO  (8/14/05)
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Denver, CO  (8/14/05)
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Domino's Pizza 250
Michigan International Speedway
3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
Rounds 1 & 2: San Marino and Spain
(4/23/05 and 5/7/05)
4:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET, SPEED
Michigan International Speedway
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED

For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.
Bessette: the moment of truth Bessette: the moment of truthAntoine Bessette and Polestar Racing Group will be among the hard chargers that will go racing when the green flag is waved Sunday afternoon on the famous Road America course, stage of the eleventh rounds of the Toyota Formula Atlantic. As a matter of fact, not only does the only Canadian driver want to among the pack leaders, he wants nothing less than a win before the season simmers down in his hometown one week from now. 

“Don’t get me wrong, claims the 23 year old, until I am not out of this championship title race, I want to do all I can to win events and get as close as possible to the top in the points standings. Ideally, I would still like to be in contention and fight for first place in the final round on the Gilles-Villeneuve race track in Montreal. I have nothing against Charles (Zwolsman): he has had a great season and would be a deserving champion, but I want to play my cards until the end. And Road America is a track I’ve always wanted to drive. Needless to say, Montreal is my favorite venue.”

AB has been very competitive this season, winning one event (Toronto), earning five podiums along the way. “Edmonton and San Jose were very costly in terms of points, he adds, because I was running for another podium. But that’s racing and I never get tired of taking the Unik Auto Design car to the track because I know it’s going to be exciting and I will be among the drivers vying for the victory. Fun we find in racing one another, like I did with Charles in Denver when we passed each other a few times on the same lap!”

Antoine Bessette is fourth in the season standings, two points from third place. Practice sessions will take place Friday at 11:05 and Saturday at 11:50 AM. Both qualifications are scheduled Friday at 4:15 and 4:00 PM. Sunday’s warm-up is set for 9:40 with the feature race starting at 1:00 PM.

AB is the only Canadian to enter the 12-race series of the 2005 Toyota Atlantic championship. He will drive the #3 Unik Auto Design car from Polestar Racing Group. You may visit Antoine Bessette's web site at www.bessetteracing.com and the series at www.toyotaatlantic.com

A1 Grand Prix
Four drivers to test for Australian team Four drivers to test for Australian teamTeam players rather than outright pace is what A1 Team Australia seat holder - Alan Jones - is looking for when Australia’s A1 Grand Prix team tests Will Power, Will Davison, Christian Jones and Peter Hackett at the Paul Ricard circuit in France next week.

Visiting Sydney today – the home of Australia’s leg of A1 Grand Prix at Eastern Creek International Raceway across November 4-6 – Jones was adamant that he would be looking very closely at how the drivers interact with the team to give Australia the best chance at winning The World Cup of Motorsport.

“We are only interested in drivers who want to represent their country and give Australia the best opportunity of winning The World Cup of Motorsport,” the 1980 World Formula One Champion said. “Personal glory has nothing to do with A1 Grand Prix – it’s nation versus nation.”

The four test drivers have tasted significant success in open-wheel racing: Power is currently third in the World Series by Renault, having taken two wins this year, Jones is the defending Asian Formula 3 Champion, Davison is a former race winner in the British Formula 3 Championship – one of the toughest racing series’ in the world – and Hackett is a former Australian F3 Champion and current leader of the Australian GT Sportscar Championship.

The team will begin to work on setups with the car a little further, according to Motorsport Manager, Mick Webb. “At Silverstone, we were the only team to go out on full tank runs,” says Webb. “We did nothing more than really work with tire pressures and aero at the previous test and again we will be working with the car on full tanks. Given this could be our final test before the A1 series kicks off at Brands Hatch, we will engineer the car to an extra degree at Paul Ricard.”

Jones also said that the Australian race livery will make its worldwide debut at Paul Ricard, and according to all reports, looks absolutely stunning. “It will evoke a great deal of national pride when Australians see the car. It will be a magnificent sight at the first event to see all 25 cars painted in their national colors, especially if A1 Team Australia is leading the way,” said Jones.

The 2.5 day test in the south of France, beginning Wednesday, will see 17 nations on hand testing drivers ahead of the first A1 Grand Prix event at Brands Hatch, September 23-25 – just 36 days time. Other drivers at the test will include ex-Formula One talents Jos Verstappen (NED), Ralph Firman (IRL) Pedro Lamy (POR) and Alex Yoong (MAS).

ALAN JONES – A1 Team Australia Seat Holder: “We’ll be at Paul Ricard and really evaluating who has the best synergy with the team and who will represent A1 Team Australia in the best possible way. A1 is all about the nation and the team of that nation – personal glory has nothing to do with it. It was fantastic to walk up and down pitlane at Silverstone and hear all the different accents of the teams, it really brought home that A1 Grand Prix is The World Cup of Motorsport. The way I like to refer to it is the America’s Cup on asphalt – I never had an interest in sailing, and still don’t, but when Australia started doing well in the America’s Cup and beating other nations – then I was hooked – I was getting up in the middle of the night watching it. I envisage a lot of people who are ambivalent towards motorsport will embrace A1 Grand Prix for the same reasons.”

WILL POWER – A1 Team Australia Test Driver: “From what I can gather, the car is not dissimilar to the car I’m currently driving in the World Series by Renault – control chassis, control engines and control tires – I like that, it’s a level playing field and it really comes down to skill rather than the budget you’ve got behind you. The A1 car has more power and a wider track than my World Series car, so it should be interesting. The concept that Sheikh Maktoum has come up with is something very appealing and I would love the opportunity to drive for A1 Team Australia.”

WILL DAVISON – A1 Team Australia Test Driver: “It will be great to re-acquaint myself with the A1 car again. I drove a few laps at Eastern Creek in March when A1 Team Australia was launched and the car was a lot of fun to drive. It will be good to be a part of a team that represents Australia – if you look at the Davis Cup and see what that has done for some of our tennis players, hopefully the same will happen for Australian racing drivers through A1 Grand Prix. The cars are great – loads of downforce, heaps of grip and plenty of horsepower – the whole concept is awesome.”

CHRISTIAN JONES – A1 Team Australia Test Driver: “We did the test at Silverstone and that went quite well. I was very happy with how the car performed – amazingly, there wasn’t one mechanical failure for all 15 cars on hand – that’s basically unheard of for something that’s straight out of the box like the A1 cars were. Going to Ricard is going to be a little different – there will be three other drivers there with A1 Team Australia and I have to be on my game if I want a race seat. A lot of people say I’m a given to get a race drive due to my father’s involvement, but that doesn’t hold water, he is focused on winning The World Cup of Motorsport and will choose the drivers who will give A1 Team Australia the best chance of doing just that.”

PETER HACKETT – A1 Team Australia Test Driver: “I’m very honored to be testing for A1 Team Australia. The concept is one that I have loved since it was first announced 18 months ago – to drive for your country is a big thing and something that hasn’t happened in motorsport before. For me, I am looking forward to benchmarking myself against guys like Will Power and Will Davison. Although I’ve raced them in the past, there have been a few years since I’ve driven against them and we’ve all gone in different directions.”

Giancarlo Fisichella impressed with Istanbul Giancarlo Fisichella impressed with IstanbulGiancarlo Fisichella has had his first look at the Istanbul Park circuit yesterday – and it has left him impressed...

Giancarlo, have you seen the circuit now?
"Yes, it looked pretty challenging – very wide , so we can use some different lines, and with some good quick corners as well. I did two laps on a scooter too, so I have a good feel for the quickest way through the turns."

Will it be a circuit the drivers enjoy?
"I think so, yes. It will be quite difficult to learn it well, because the width means you can take the corners in a number of different ways, so that will be another challenge for us. The ups and downs are unusual too, so it should be fun to drive."

And should we expect to see any overtaking?
"That is definitely possible – there are some good chances into turn 1, and then turn 12 as well, at the end of the back straight."

What about [Friday] morning – how will you learn the circuit?
"We will start with a few laps at fairly slow speed, not pushing to the limit just to learn the lines, and then after that I can start braking later and later to find the limit all the way round the lap."

Are you worried after the performance in Hungary?
"No, I think we made a wrong choice with the tires and that meant we were slow. But the car is still quick, and very competitive, so I am feeling confident."

Will Istanbul suit the R25?
"Yes, it should do. We have had some problems this year at circuits where the rear tires have been worked very hard, but here, the characteristics of the corners make it quite hard for the fronts – especially the long left-hander at turn 8. That may turn out to be a good thing for us..." Renault
Schumacher full of praise for Barrichello Schumacher full of praise for BarrichelloEven though this is a brand new venue, it has to be said that, with all the team trucks and motorhomes in place, the paddock seems much like any other on the F1 calendar and all the usual traditions applied, including Michael Schumacher’s Thursday meeting with the media at the Scuderia Ferrari media motorhome.

Having been around the circuit for the first time – but of course not in a car – the reigning champion was impressed. “It looks like a good track with a beautiful landscape, which means that, unlike China for example, it is easy to see where the corners go and where is the apex of a turn. It also seems that there are some overtaking opportunities and its looks like a very safe track, which is very important to us. I think they have done a very good job.”

It is a widely held view that Schumacher is particularly skilled at adapting to a new circuit, but Schumacher pointed out another possible explanation for this. “Yes, statistically, it is true that we have done well at new tracks, but it is also statistically true that we have won the most races over the past six years! So, we also have to take into account that I had a good car, although I do adapt easily to new situations.”
As for this weekend, the German would not be drawn on what could be expected of the F2005. “I want to maintain the skepticism about our performance level that I had in Hungary, because I did not expect to be as competitive as we were there. It is hard to know where we stand at the moment.”

“I wish him luck,” was Schumacher's opening remark about Barrichello leaving the team at the end of the season. “But it is not a problem, because in Felipe, we have a good replacement, whom I rate highly and who has a lot of potential. If we talk about the top young drivers, we talk about Alonso and Kimi but we should also talk about Felipe. So far, he has not really had the equipment to show his potential, but I believe he is very quick.”

Schumacher had no concerns about a driver change destabilizing the team. “It’s not a problem and sometimes new blood can give a team a boost,” he reckoned. “But in no way should that remark be taken as a lack of respect for Rubens,” he added. “We had some good fun times off the track and some good fights on the track. Yes, it does feel strange when a partner leaves a successful team, but I respect his decision. I would have to say he is probably the best team mate I have ever had.” Source Ferrari

Turkish GP: Thursday Press Conference Turkish GP: Thursday Press ConferenceThursday’s FIA press conference, with Fernando Alonso (Renault), Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari), Robert Doornbos (Minardi), Christian Klien (Red Bull), Felipe Massa (Sauber). Transcript
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Massa to test Ferrari
Kimi in 'marriage crisis'
Will Alonso 'let Kimi go'?
Doornbos wants 2006 seat
'I'm no number two' - Massa
'New blood' to boost Ferrari
'High threat' for Turkish GP
'06 to be 'interim' BMW year
Villeneuve has had 'no talks'
Indian eyes 'different' 2006
Button having Frank talks
Ralf's wife offered top ride

'Watch out for the dogs'
Klien eyes 2006 seat
RB won't quit Ferrari early
Pedro de la Rosa fastest in opening practice Pedro de la Rosa fastest in opening practiceMcLaren Mercedes third driver Pedro de la Rosa set the opening practice pace this morning at Istanbul as he lapped the new Turkey circuit in 1:27.882s, over half a second clear of McLaren teammate Kimi Raikkonen. 

Mark Webber was third fastest for Williams, probably running a smaller than usual fuel load as his teammate Nick Heidfeld was back in 14th, which is a about where the team has been. Ricardo Zonta was fourth quickest in his Toyota ahead of Jenson Button's BAR-Honda Juan Pablo Montoya's McLaren, Alonso's Renault and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. Takuma Sato was ninth for BAR and Giancarlo Fisichella 10th for Renault.

 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gap
 1. 35 DE LA ROSA McLaren Mercedes M 1'27"882 218.748 Km/h
 2. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'28"453 + 0'00"571
 3. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'28"765 + 0'00"883
 4. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'28"810 + 0'00"928
 5. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'28"968 + 0'01"086
 6. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'29"183 + 0'01"301
 7. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'29"283 + 0'01"401
 8. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'29"766 + 0'01"884
 9. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'30"050 + 0'02"168
10. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'30"106 + 0'02"224
11. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'30"368 + 0'02"486
12. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'30"563 + 0'02"681
13. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'30"785 + 0'02"903
14. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'30"847 + 0'02"965
15. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'30"847 + 0'02"965
16. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'31"008 + 0'03"126
17. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'31"294 + 0'03"412
18. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'31"306 + 0'03"424
19. 37 LIUZZI RedBull Cosworth M 1'31"353 + 0'03"471
20. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'32"147 + 0'04"265
21. 39 KIESA Jordan Toyota B 1'32"501 + 0'04"619
22. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'32"886 + 0'05"004
23. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'33"474 + 0'05"592
24. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'35"367 + 0'07"485
25. 40 TOCCACELO Minardi Cosworth B 1'36"411 + 0'08"529

Open Wheel Racing
Kevin Doty killed Kevin Doty killedOn Tuesday August 16, 2005 at 8:30 AM Kevin Doty passed away as a result of massive head injuries received from a racing accident on Sunday August 14, 2005.  The Family would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers. 

Funeral arrangements are pending at Runge's Funeral Home, Davenport IA.   In lieu of flowers a memorial fund will be established.
The Angell Park Speedway and the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Dept offer their deepest sympathy to the family of Kevin Doty

Kevin Doty

Monday, August 22, 2005  4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Runge Mortuary and Crematory
838 E. Kimberly Road
Davenport, Iowa 52807

Funeral Service
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 11:30 a.m.

Runge Mortuary and Crematory
838 E. Kimberly Road
Davenport, Iowa 52807Kevin Doty family Memorial Fund
Care of Cher Breunig
Bank of Sun Prairie
P.O. Box 29
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin 53590-0029

Cards can be sent to :
Bud Doty
917 E. 32nd Ave.
Milan, Ill 61264

August 14, 2005 Heat 4 Winner Kevin Doty

Dale Jarrett to host another NASCAR show Dale Jarrett to host another NASCAR showSPEED Channel will debut The Chase is On Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ET, offering a weekly preview of the 10 races making up NASCAR’s Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. Veteran motor sports broadcaster Ralph Sheheen will host the new show, with 1999 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett serving as the expert analyst.

“The Chase is On will be a concise, fast-paced look at the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup,” said Chris Long, SPEED Channel VP of Studio Production. “The show will provide in-depth analysis of each driver qualified for the Chase, breaking down their career performances at each of the last 10 tracks. The show will be about strategies, statistics and any late-breaking news developments – the excitement leading into each event of the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup will begin Thursday nights on SPEED Channel.”

Jarrett brings the experience of being in a title race, having finished among the top five in the series championship five times. Heading into this weekend’s race in Michigan, the former champ sits just outside the Top 10 with four events remaining before the Chase field is set.

 “I am really thrilled about being part of the new The Chase is On television series on SPEED Channel,” Jarrett said. “It will be fun keeping up with how the Chase participants fare each week at the different venues.  Hopefully, we will be one of those in contention for the championship.  The show will provide a great opportunity for me to get some additional TV experience and I think it will be very exciting for the fans as we critique each of the 10 events that will decide the 2005 NEXTEL Cup Champion.”  [Editor's Note:  There is so much NASCAR on TV these days it is beginning to reach a point of sheer lunacy.  There's a NASCAR show that analyzes every facet of the sport, and it's reaching the point of saturation as NASCAR solidifies its monopoly position in the USA.  There's so much NASCAR on TV viewers will think NASCAR is the only form of racing that exists.] 

Jaguar can lockup manufacturer championship this weekend Jaguar can lockup manufacturer championship this weekendA Jaguar XKR needs to win this weekend’s race at Road America to clinch its fifth Trans-Am Manufacturers’ Championship. If it were to win here, Jaguar will hold at least 16-point lead ahead of Chevrolet going into the 2005 season finale at Montreal. The Trans-Am Series awards a maximum of 15 points per race to the winning manufacturer.

If a Ford Mustang were to win this weekend’s race, Jaguar needs to finish 15 points ahead of Chevrolet going into Montreal. Though this could result in a tie in final manufacturers’ points, Jaguar will have more victories to its credit this year. Trans-Am rules state that in the event of a tie in points, the championship will be awarded based on number of wins.

Haywood to be inducted into Hall Haywood to be inducted into HallSports car racing legend Hurley  Haywood is still going strong in his fourth decade of competition, but the  five-time winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will slow down long enough to be  inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at tonight's 17th  Annual Induction Ceremony in Detroit.  Haywood will be among an elite group that will be added to the Motorsports  Hall of Fame's illustrious list of honorees in the annual ceremony this  evening at the State Theatre in downtown Detroit.  One of the most  accomplished American sports car drivers in history, Haywood's five wins in  North America's only 24-hour race are part of record that has seen him score  more wins than any other driver on Daytona's internationally famous road  course.  His five Rolex 24 wins are backed-up by three victories in the 24  Hours of Le Mans and a pair of triumphs in the 12 Hours of Sebring.  "Hurley Haywood is both a pioneer and a legend of our sport and in many ways  defined sports car racing in this country for decades," Grand American  President Roger Edmondson said.  "He is a one-of-a-kind driver who continues  to pave the way for sports car racing's growth in the United States, and he  has stood atop the podium in this country's premier endurance race, the  Rolex 24 At Daytona, an incredible five times.  We congratulate him on his  induction to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America."
30th straight sellout at MIS for NASCAR 30th straight sellout at MIS for NASCARMichigan International Speedway President Brett Shelton announced today that all reserved seats for the GFS Marketplace 400 on Sunday, August 21, have been sold. With the sellout, MIS has extended its remarkable streak of sold out NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races to 30 consecutive events dating back to June 1991.

“We owe it to our fans and thank them for making our 30th straight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup sellout possible,” said Shelton. “We are blessed to have the support of so many great fans here at MIS. We will continue to work hard and give our fans the greatest NASCAR racing experience for many years to come.”

For fans that are still looking for a way to see Sunday’s GFS Marketplace 400 in person, general Admission (infield) tickets for Sunday’s GFS Marketplace 400 race go on sale Sunday morning August 21 at 6 a.m. at the M-50 crossover, and at 8 a.m. at the tunnel off of Brooklyn Highway and the box office outside of Gate 24.

Great seats are still available for the NASCAR Busch Series Domino’s Pizza 250 on August 20, which will feature a post-race concert performed by the country sensations Josh Turner and Sugarland approximately one-hour after the completion of the Domino’s Pizza 250. The concert will be held in the Water Tower Lot across from the Speedway’s Administration building outside turn 1 of the track.

To purchase tickets for the Domino’s Pizza 250 or the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200 on August 19, log on to www.MISpeedway.com, or call the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010. The MIS ticket hotline is open from 9:00A.M. – 9:00 P.M., seven days a week throughout the upcoming race weekend.

Tony Stewart OK after crash Tony Stewart OK after crashTony Stewart was not hurt when he crashed while leading the Sprint Sizzler at Eldora Speedway Wednesday night in Rossburg, Ohio.  Stewart lost a right-front tire on the ninth lap and hit the wall creating a melee that also eliminated fellow NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, who was running second. Indy Star
Massa to test Ferrari Massa to test FerrariFelipe Massa will be reunited with the controls of a scarlet Ferrari next week when he tests at Monza. The 24-year-old Brazilian, set to replace Rubens Barrichello as Michael Schumacher's 2006 teammate, is seeing out the final third of his career at Sauber.

But, even so, the Paulista - to climb back into his Sauber on day three - is scheduled for two days at the high speed Italian track.

Massa, after an iffy F1 debut, was an official Ferrari test driver in 2003. His role next year, though, is rumored to be a short one, with the Prancing Horse said to be eyeing a different lineup for the period 2007 and beyond.

At any rate, countryman Barrichello - off to BAR despite the fact he had a year to run on his Ferrari contract - warned Massa about the 'tough time' ahead. He told Autosport: ''But if I was in his position, young and eager to win, I probably would have done the same.''

DEI signs Eury Jr. to long-term deal DEI signs Eury Jr. to long-term dealTeresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and crew chief, Tony Eury, Jr., a 14-year employee of DEI, have announced that Eury Jr. will remain part of the organization for many years to come via a long-term contract that was inked today.   “Having such a loyal employee and talented crew chief like Tony as part of DEI on a long-term basis was an important objective for the continuity of our program,” said Ms. Earnhardt.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Eury, Jr. said. “I’ve spent many years with DEI and always planned to be for a long time to come. With all the outside distractions now behind us, we can focus on winning races.”  For 2006 NASCAR competition, DEI plans to field the No. 1, No. 8, and No. 15 cars on the Nextel Cup Series circuit; and the No. 8 and No. 11 cars on the Busch Series circuit.

ESPN wants more emphasis on Danica ESPN wants more emphasis on DanicaUPDATE It's ironic that Mark Shapiro, the very guy who was saying the IRL must push Danica Patrick more, has left ESPN - Following months of rampant speculation in media circles over his imminent departure, ESPN late Wednesday announced that Mark Shapiro, ESPN's executive vp of programming and production, will be leaving the company on Oct. 1 to become CEO of Red Zone, LLC, a private investment company controlled by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. MediaWeek 08/16/05 We told you that the male drivers in the IRL must get a sex change, and soon, or risk losing what little marketability they now have. If you thought the IRL was putting a lot of emphasis on Danica Patrick now, wait until next year - the male drivers will be just a distant memory. It's all about the "show", and has nothing to do with the sport because the male drivers who are winning races will soon be rendered expendable. One can argue they already are.

This Indy Star article says, [Key excerpts] A top ESPN executive paid a rare visit to the Indy Racing League last weekend at Kentucky Speedway. He was armed with suggestions. For the 2006 season and beyond, Mark Shapiro, the cable sports network's executive vice president of programming and production, wants to see more of a marketing emphasis on rookie sensation Danica Patrick, additional night races and no event in Japan.

Shapiro, who also leads sports programming on ABC, would also prefer a more compact schedule. "Ratings are up 38 percent on ABC and money can't buy the attention the sport got at the Indianapolis 500," Shapiro said Sunday following a meeting with league officials. "We must capitalize on it."

Its ratings on cable this season are up 42 percent, although its average rating is 0.625, which equals about 660,000 homes. A ratings point represents 1 percent of the U.S. households that own televisions.

Shapiro said the IRL lost an opportunity to do that this year by not racing the weekend after Patrick's stirring fourth-place finish in the 500. He said having Indy-car races on consecutive weekends during the summer would give the television partner the opportunity to keep the attention on the sport, one of the benefits to NASCAR's growth.

"We'll be there with this (sport) when we start the season in April and end it on Labor Day," Shapiro said. "And we can't take weeks off, especially coming out of the Indy 500 with all its momentum.

"It's like in cycling or rowing: When the wind's at your back, that's not the time to rest. That's when you push harder."

Ungar said the IRL won't be so accommodating with Shapiro's request to drop the Japan race. Shapiro's beef is the time zone discrepancy, which necessitates a tape-delayed broadcast that most U.S. sports fans disdain. The IRL added the race in 2003 as a favor to its engine partner, Honda, which built and owns the track in Motegi. "It's part of a strategic issue with us," Ungar said. "It's an important market for us and our engine manufacturer."

Shapiro, who also attended the Indy 500, did not specify how the IRL could market Patrick more, but he was amused by last month's protest by Andretti Green Racing over the way league officials handle the 23-year-old series newcomer.

"I think that got overblown," Shapiro said. "We need to do more with Danica, not less. We all realize this is lightning in a bottle. If we don't capitalize on it now, we'll regret we missed this opportunity for decades to come."

Shapiro offered to give the league better TV time slots for its night races. The race at Nashville Superspeedway, for example, began at 6 p.m. local time.

Industry News
The march into China continues The march into China continuesRoyal Bank of Scotland is to lead a $3.1bn (£1.7bn) investment in Bank of China, giving it control of a 10% stake in China's second-biggest lender.   RBS said it would pump $1.6bn into the deal, which it will head on behalf of co-investors Merrill Lynch and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.   Foreign investors are increasingly keen to gain a foothold in China's vast banking sector.   The market alone is estimated to hold $1.5 trillion in personal savings.
After 5 years at helm, Johnson goes to lead Indy-style series After 5 years at helm, Johnson goes to lead Indy-style seriesJohnson has served as president and CEO of the SCCA since 2000. During his tenure, the SCCA moved its headquarters to Topeka and made the decision to move its biggest event, the National Championship Runoffs, to Topeka in 2006.

"I will always be loyal to the SCCA," Johnson said. "I love the organization, the people here, and I feel equally the same for the area. It is sad to leave a community that has really welcomed us and continued to make us feel at home and have made this a home for us.  "I can't say enough good about Topeka, Kansas, and all the friends and business associates and business acquaintances that I've met here."

The Champ Car series is a major Indy-style racing series. Its chief rival is the Indy Racing League.  "It's a very exciting time for me and for my family to join Champ Car, which is the worldwide leader in open-wheel racing," Johnson said.

Champ Car, formerly CART (Championship Automobile Racing Teams), has lost numerous battles to the IRL in recent years in terms of television ratings, car counts and fan interest, but Johnson said he is thrilled to get a chance to help guide the organization.  "It is going to be a challenge, and I welcome that," Johnson said. "That's what business is all about. The Champ Car owners have, I believe, put together a great business model that will put Champ Car No. 1 worldwide, without a doubt.

"The proof is there. We just raced in Denver last week, and we were in front of 150,000 people. They've turned it into more than just racing. It's entertainment, it's a festival that they put on. (The owners) are innovators, they are entrepreneurs, and I'm excited that they are giving me the opportunity to carry out their vision and to move the organization forward."

Heartland Park Topeka owner Raymond Irwin said that Johnson deserves a great amount of credit for what he has accomplished with the SCCA.  "He turned (the SCCA) from just being a club into a business," Irwin said. "I think that was what was absolutely necessary at the time he took over. He took on some very, very difficult projects and got them solidified.  "I think that those principles and standards that he brought to bear will stand the test of time and prove out his legacy, if you will." Topeka Capital Journal

Wallace and Martin to be honored at Michigan Wallace and Martin to be honored at MichiganWhen the green flag drops for the GFS Marketplace 400 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, two drivers who have accomplished so much on the 2-mile oval, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, will be saying their final good-byes and racing in their final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at MIS. Wallace and Martin are no strangers to success at MIS with a combined 15 victories between the two of them. Wallace has seven wins (5 Cup, 1 IROC, 1 ASA) and Martin eight (4 Cup, 2 Busch, 1 IROC, 1 ASA) at MIS, making them two of the most successful drivers in track history. Both drivers will be looking for one last victory at MIS in Wallace's 'Rusty's Last Call' and Martin's 'Salute To You' campaigns. Fans will want to be in their seats prior to driver introductions at approximately 2 p.m. as MIS will honor Wallace and Martin during pre-race ceremonies prior to the GFS Marketplace 400. Both drivers will be presented a framed photo collage of memorable wins at MIS by track President Brett Shelton and have a chance to address the MIS crowd and thank them for all of their support during their two annual stops in the Irish Hills. Both drivers will then ride separate trucks to give an opportunity for one last salute to the great MIS fans. "I've always enjoyed racing at MIS and would like to win here again," said Wallace. "This track has always treated me real well and the fans here have always been some of the best on the circuit. It's been a great run and I've enjoyed my last season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series." In addition, fans will also get a chance to see Wallace appear in MIS' all-inclusive Victory Lane Club prior to the GFS Marketplace 400 on August 21. Wallace will perform question and answer sessions for fans who have purchased the Fan Hospitality package. MIS PR
No summer break for BAR Honda No summer break for BAR HondaA week gap between races at the beginning of August provides a welcome breather for the F1 fraternity. This year, after all, there have been two non-race weekends and a testing ban for the entire period.

But for many members of the BAR Honda team those three weeks are vital for further development. The engineers, management and drivers have all used the time to its full before battle is resumed this weekend in Turkey as we approach the crucial final rounds of the season.

"From a team point of view we have completed a lot of computer simulation to enable the drivers to prepare as much as possible prior to the race and to do our best in determining the downforce, gear ratios and suspension set-up that we will need," explained Sporting Director Gil de Ferran. "Probably the most challenging task has been for Michelin in trying to predict the best tire compound without ever having run on the Istanbul circuit. Both Honda and Michelin have done a lot of homework for this race, so we look forward to hitting the track on Friday.”

"With no track testing since Hungary, engine development work has been concentrated on dyno work both in Japan and the UK," continues Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development. "We have made good progress through the season, which we need to continue for the last six races. Turkey will be another hot race, which is a challenge for us, but new countries, new tracks and new experiences are always welcome."

Driver Takuma Sato has found time for relaxation, but has also been preparing himself for the challenges of Istanbul. "I have had a good rest over the break and have been training hard. We are expecting the race to be very hot and physical, so it is important to stick to our fitness program between the races.” BAR Honda

Turkey all set for inaugural Grand Prix Turkey all set for inaugural Grand PrixTurkey expects to generate some $18 billion US from tourism this year, and it is expected that the Formula One Grand Prix will have its share on the way to even increase this sum. However, the financial benefits aren’t the first priority for Turkey’s Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan.

“This event will make a big contribution to this country and for the economy,” he said, “People talk about the financial value but you can't put a value on it in terms of the publicity which it brings to the country.”

The arrival of the Grand Prix circus is also being trumpeted as a major boost for the country's international sporting profile. In the past, Turkey has already proven to be a competitive host for other sporting events such as last year’s Champions League final in Istanbul or a Turkish World Rally Championship round. Hence, the organizers are convinced to also be well-prepared when it comes to organizing a Formula One Grand Prix. “We are ready for Formula One,” said Istanbul’s Governor Muammer Güler, “Every measure has been taken in terms of security, customs, health, power and telecommunications.” WilliamsF1

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ferrari drive on
F1 in 'mess' - A1 chief
Webber has Turkish link
Fisi's move was 'mistake'
BAR seat to be filled
'Otodrom' a pain in the neck?
Pantano to IRL
F1 hack tests Toyota car
Narain earning 'big bucks'?
New Champ Car President's goal is more cars New Champ Car President's goal is more carsNew Champ Car President Steve Johnson realizes that Champ Car's outlook isn't completely rosy and said one of his first priorities is to put additional cars on the grid in 2006.

"So many things are going right, but the main thing that needs to happen is we need to work with our teams to help them out financially in terms of finding sponsors," said Johnson. "We need to have the right number of cars out there. But when you're averaging 150,000 fans for a weekend, that adds to the return on investment for sponsors, teams and partners. So we need to work harder on the marketing and sponsorship side. We want to offer value and keep sponsors wanting to stay for the long term."

"Kevin [Kalkhoven] is so passionate about the product that I was sold from day one and I'm not an easy sell," Johnson remarked. "I've followed very closely what has happened in the series since he and his partners [Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi] took over after the CART bankruptcy. After they shared their vision, I realized it was an incredible opportunity for me. They aren't distracted by what NASCAR is doing or what the IRL is doing. They're totally focused on the Champ Car World Series and where it's going."

This summer, Champ Car has averaged more than 150,000 fans for its races in July and August, including popular new events in San Jose, Calif., and Edmonton.

"The results they are getting aren't by accident," Johnson said. "Champ Car's business model realizes that fans want entertainment, not just racing. The races at Edmonton and San Jose were great examples from that standpoint because those are events that people were talking about at the water cooler on Monday morning, telling their friends, 'You need to be there next year.'" ESPN.com

Q and A with Barron, Patrick, Foyt IV and Dodge Q and A with Barron, Patrick, Foyt IV and DodgeIndyCar Series drivers Alex Barron, A.J. Foyt IV and Danica Patrick and Geoff Dodge, the winner of the Fast Track to Indy Rookie-of-the-Year program from the 45th Annual Knoxville Nationals were the guests Wednesday on the Indy Racing League's teleconference. The drivers discussed the next two events on the schedule, including this weekend's Honda Indy 225 for the IndyCar Series. Transcript
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