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Jeff Burton to Push Teen Driver Safety Jeff Burton to Push Teen Driver SafetyNASCAR Nextel Cup veteran Jeff Burton announced today he has joined the Board of Directors of Advanced Car Control Techniques as part of a new campaign to improve teenage driver training.

Advanced Car Control Techniques is the parent company of the New Driver Car Control Clinic, a six-hour program for teen drivers and their parents where students perform a series of exercises designed to help them learn how to use their eyes, hands and feet to identify obstructions and steer the vehicle away from them under heavy breaking. The clinic consists of a 90-minute classroom session followed by one four-hour behind-the-wheel session using the family's own car.

"The New Driver Car Control Clinic is the missing link in driver's education," says Burton, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet "The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that over 80% of the cause of teen crashes is 'driver error' - not speed, not alcohol - and further, that over 50% of those crashes are single-car crashes. We simply are not teaching our teenagers what to do when their car enters the emergency zone. That's what the New Driver Car Control Clinic does."

The training has proven results. In a study conducted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, graduates of the New Driver Car Control Clinic had 77% fewer crashes than their peers.

"I have Advanced Car Control Techniques to help lead a national movement to change the way teenagers are taught to drive in America," said Burton. "It is our goal to expand this life-saving training to over 50,000 teenagers and their parents each year."
NASCAR licenses PC product line NASCAR licenses PC product lineThe National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has partnered with ZT Group International, Inc., and for the first time in the history of the sport, an officially-licensed NASCAR PC product line will be available to fans next month.

The new NASCAR-licensed computer products will incorporate a desktop PC model, a notebook PC model and two LCD monitors. Unique to the line will be several "NASCAR PC Experience" features that complement the PC, including a NASCAR-themed desktop, NASCAR- themed icons, a NASCAR-themed Windows Media Player and free trial offers to a variety of NASCAR partner services.

"We are extremely excited to be working with NASCAR to bring this unique PC experience to the many NASCAR fans," said Bob Anderson, vice president of strategic account sales at ZT Group. "As a quality manufacturer who has been in the industry for more than a decade, we believe we have partnered with NASCAR to establish a product line that incorporates the quality and excitement that NASCAR fans have come to expect. We believe we have priced the product competitively and are confident that with all of the "NASCAR PC Experience" features that are included, we are providing a very comprehensive product for the NASCAR fan."

The officially-licensed NASCAR PC products will be on display as a "Sneak Preview" at the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series races at the California Speedway, Sept. 3-4, and will be available online for preorder in September. They will be sold at select retailers beginning in October.

"ZT Group has developed a terrific line of officially-licensed NASCAR PC products, which is the first product line of its kind for NASCAR, that should prove to be extremely popular and serviceable for our fans," said Blake Davidson, managing director of NASCAR licensed products. "ZT Group has an excellent reputation in the computer industry and their NASCAR PC products will provide unique opportunities for our fans to engage in the latest interactive technology both at home and at the office."

Kicking up the dust at Infineon Kicking up the dust at InfineonThe Infineon track has almost no grass and that means when you go off-course you kick up dirt and pebbles all over the track as Tomas Scheckter finds out trying to avoid the spinning Vitor Meira.(Photo by Ron McQueeney/IRL).

Unfortunately there were not many fans in attendance on Friday, but they say they expect a good turnout on Sunday.  Real fans, like Champ Car has, show up in droves on Friday and Saturday, yet the IRL fans stay away until Sunday only.  One would think a "real" fan wants to see their heroes as much as possible.  Even NASCAR draws a decent amount of people on Friday and Saturday.  Why is the IRL a Sunday-only crowd?  The only explanation we could think of is that most on Sunday are there on a free ticket so are not true fans, hence could care less about Friday and Saturday.

Shawn Payne/IRL

Graf wins 5th pole in Montreal Graf wins 5th pole in MontrealKlaus Graf took yet another step closer to history by earning his fifth pole of the season Friday for Saturday’s 2005 Trans-Am season finale, part of the Molson Indy Montreal. Graf, who has already clinched the Rookie of the Year title, now needs only to finish sixth or better in the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR in tomorrow’s race to clinch the Drivers’ Championship.

Randy Ruhlman, who sits second in points, qualified second in the No. 49 Preformed Line Products Canada Chevrolet Corvette. Greg Pickett, who is currently third in points in the No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR timed third, but his car failed post-qualifying inspection and he will start last on the grid. Due to the disqualification, Paul Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) moves to third, ahead of John Baucom (No. 86 SoftwareToolbox.com/EZe.com Ford Mustang) and Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Transporter 2 – The Movie Jaguar XKR). Drissi will start first tomorrow due to Trans-Am’s Fast Five invert, while Graf will start fifth. Paul Fix won the GT-1 pole in the No. 77 Stop Flex/Computer Systems Centre/Pennzoil Ford Mustang).  zzzz

Graf turned in an inaugural record 1:39.729-minute time (97.789 miles per hour) and earned three bonus points for winning the Jaguar Pole Award. Graf now has a 14-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Ruhlman and he has the chance tomorrow to become the first German Drivers’ Champion in Trans-Am’s 40-year history, as well as becoming the first rookie to win the title since Dorsey Schroeder in 1989. Interestingly, Graf’s points lead is just one marker short of the bonus points he earned for his pole efforts this year.

“We just tried to get the car better and better every time we went out,” said Graf. “Sometimes it’s easy to get confused and chase the race track, which we didn’t do. I like qualifying. You have to go out and give it two or three really fast laps. Going into the race, though, you have to take a different approach. In qualifying, you have to be really aggressive, whereas in the race, you have to be patient and take care of the equipment. It’s going to be a whole different story tomorrow.

“It feels good to get five pole positions for Rocketsports,” added Graf. “I don’t think I ever had that many poles in a season. It also feels nice to gain the three bonus points.”

Ruhlman, who will start fourth tomorrow, suffered a mechanical failure during second-round practice and just made the start of the qualifying session. He led for a good portion of the session before being eclipsed by Graf’s time.

“The lack of grip in the first session left us a little bit behind in the second session and then we broke a clutch,” said Ruhlman. “We lost a bunch of the second session, and we were happy we were able to get the car back together for qualifying. The track really gripped up and the direction we went was good. The team asked if I had anything more in the middle of the session and I said: ‘I have something.’ So, I put together another flier and we got it done for a while. Then I came in and they said ‘Well, he got you again.’ I looked at the timing screen then I looked at (team owner) Jim (Derhaag), and I said: ‘I had some, but I didn’t have that.’ The car feels good and it should be a good race tomorrow.

“Unfortunately, for us, it’s going to take a little bit more than a fast car and a fast drive,” added Ruhlman. “We’re going to need a little help from (above). But we’ll try to make as interesting as we can.”

Tracy gunning for Bourdais Tracy gunning for BourdaisEven though he hurt himself by crashing out of the race by leading in Denver two weeks ago, Paul Tracy still has an outside shot at catching Sebastien Bourdais, and he isn't going to do that by running second. 

"We have to beat Bourdais," Tracy said. "We're not going to win the championship by losing two or three points every race.  We have to treat every race like it's our last and at the end of the year, if it's enough, it's enough. If not, at least we'll know we put everything into it.

"If we're leading and he's second, I don't think he'll try anything crazy to win, but if he becomes too conservative and other guys are pushing hard, anything can happen," Tracy added.  "We need to be in front of him to capitalize on it. It seems that every time either myself or someone from another team seem to give it to him. We can't afford to do that any more."

Bourdais said there is a difference between driving smart and being over-cautious.

"If we both have a fair chance - no reliability issues or incidents - all we have to do is concentrate on finishing races because we have the speed to average fourth place," he said. "It's not being conservative, it's just not being crazy in our strategy decisions.  If we can win a race, we'll go for it. We won seven races last year and I'd like to match that. But if you can't win, then take the points and move on."

IPS Series
IPS Series practice quotes IPS Series practice quotes
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, quickest in practice): "Things went pretty well. The balance is far from perfect. We still have a lot to work on. The track is a little different than the last time I was here (for a Star Mazda event). The track is very busy, and you don't have a lot of time to rest. We were thrashing getting the car ready, and getting some laps. This track is demanding, but I'm sure it's not even close to what those guys (IndyCar Series) are feeling. They're pulling a lot more G's. Qualifying is going to be critical for sure. You need to be able to run up front all day."

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, second quickest in practice): "We weren't able to get the car back to how it was before this morning's session when we had the accident. We need to make a decision tonight about what kind of setup we should have for tomorrow. The setup in that last session wasn't the same as earlier today. We worked very hard to get the car ready, and it ran very smooth in this last session, so we definitely have some decisions to make. It's our first time here, and I was hoping to get some more laps this morning. There is a lot to learn out there with this track." (About past racing experience): "I have quite a bit of road racing experience in the past. In the past five years, I've only done about five races or so. A lot of my success in the past has been on road courses. It's something I take pride in and try and improve every time I'm out there."

BOBBY WILSON (No. 3 Multimatic/Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, fourth fastest in practice and making his series debut): "To be honest with you, I didn't really have an opinion one way or another. If I came out and did decent, I'd be happy, but there again, I didn't have enough test time if I did bad. I'm just happy with the way things are turning out. I'm very grateful for this opportunity. Out on the track, the car felt pretty good, pretty nimble. The guys have a pretty good handle on the setup. I wasn't really uncomfortable, I just had to get used to how to shift it and brake. Once I adapted to that, I felt pretty comfortable." (About teaming with championship leader Wade Cunningham, who was also his teammate last season in Formula Ford 2000): "We worked very well together, and I think we work very well on the track. We're kind of able to build a good setup and bounce things off of each other in our debriefing, so I think that's going to help out the team !
 quite a bit."

SCOTT MANSELL (No. 22 Dave McMillan Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, fifth fastest in practice and making his series debut): "It is great to be here. Today, we started off with the car, and it wasn't spot on straight away, and we're still making some changes. I'm still learning the track. I'm still learning the car. I'm still learning the setup. I've got a lot to learn this weekend, but we're getting there. We are going to go over the data and analyze it, and tomorrow, we will hopefully be able to do better."

Infineon IndyCar practice quotes Infineon IndyCar practice quotes
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, fastest in practice): "It was actually a pretty good session. We didn't get any yellows like in the first session, so we were able to get a pretty good rhythm out there. The car on new tires was handling well. There were a couple of points we need to improve still, but it's definitely exciting to be back on the road course. These Target Chip Ganassi cars are certainly top cars for these road courses, so I'm looking forward to the race." (About determining the qualifying order): "It has to be an advantage. We'll look at the conditions tomorrow, who drives before us and what the weather is doing. We'll have up until an hour before the start of qualifying to decide the order, so hopefully I'll have the ideal track conditions as well to go out and post a fast time. Actually what today was about was getting a good car setup and putting us in a good position to qualify at the front."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, third fastest): "We're just working towards qualifying and trying to find the best setup for the Team 7-Eleven car. We had a couple of issues; I spun twice, so I'm not very happy with the setup I have right now. We finished third fastest on the day, so it doesn't look that bad."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, second fastest): "The car was fast right off the bat. In the second session, we had a radio problem. They were calling me in, and I kept going because I was having so much fun. We put on tires too late, and the car was experiencing oversteer and balance problems, so I kind of struggled. We want to be first, but we want to be first tomorrow. The group is tight and we want to make sure that every hundredth of the second counts." zzzz

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, fourth fastest): "I think we knew we'd be pretty strong here after the test in April. I'm pretty happy. The second session wasn't as good for us because we made some changes on the car. But the changes obviously didn't work. For this team, it's great. It's really lifted everybody's thoughts, and it makes it a lot easier to work. I think we'll have a good race car on Sunday."

GIORGIO PANTANO (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/ Firestone, fifth fastest): "I think the day went quite well. I'm very excited about the car, and I'm really pleased with the team and the hard work they did. They made me comfortable in the car. I'm here, and we'll see what happens. From what I've seen, we have a good chance of being competitive this weekend. We will do our best."

Gurney takes 2nd Grand-Am pole Gurney takes 2nd Grand-Am poleOn what may prove to be a pivotal day in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, No. 99 GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing Pontiac Riley driver Alex Gurney picked up his second pole position in three races in qualifying for Saturday’s EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (SPEED Channel, Sunday, 12:00 Noon ET).

Gurney’s lap came just before the checkered flag was displayed to end the qualifying session, which was halted eight minutes early as the right side of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley co-driven by Daytona Prototype points leaders Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli burst into flames heading down the back straightaway of the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road circuit. Taylor was driving at the time of the incident and avoided injury, but the car’s bodywork—particularly the engine cover and the roof—sustained heavy damage. zzzz

As the qualifying session was already underway, the SunTrust team must repair the car if Angelelli and Taylor are to defend their points lead. Taylor qualified 11th prior to the fire, but will start from the rear of the grid as the team will need to change engines among its other repairs.

“The only thing I could think about was the car and the bloody championship,” Taylor said. “It was a wake-up call, you know. You never think about these kinds of things. I haven’t seen the car but if anybody can get it back together, these guys can. One consolation is that the race isn’t until 5:30 tomorrow night. I think we’ll be okay for the race.”

Back at the front of the grid, Gurney will start from the pole for the second time in his five career Rolex Series races. The son of racing legend Dan Gurney also started from the inside of Row 1 for the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park last month. He will share the No. 99 machine with car owner and co-driver Bob Stallings.

"I'm very happy to put the GAINSCO Pontiac Riley on the pole once again,” Gurney said. “We knew coming into qualifying, because of all the practice black flags, that I would need to go quick early on. It's great to be starting up front, and the whole team has really been working hard to get us here. "

Gurney will be joined on the front row by Luis Diaz in the No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley for Chip Ganassi Racing. The Mexican turned a best lap of 1:20.474 (101.012 mph) to take the team’s best starting position since co-driver Scott Pruett put the car on the outside of the front row for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in June. Diaz and Pruett will be looking to drive the No. 01 machine to victory lane at Mid-Ohio for the second-consecutive year, as Pruett and then-co-driver Max Papis claimed the victory on their way to the Daytona Prototype championship.

“We actually had a bit of traffic and I had to make a couple of passes just after the start-finish line heading into Turn 1,” Diaz said. “The car performed very well even though I was experiencing a loose-to-neutral feeling in it. That lent itself to a fast qualifying setup, but we have some changes that we know will tighten it back up for the race tomorrow.”

Michael McDowell qualified third in the No. 19 Make A Wish/Air Force Reserve/Commercial Defeasance BMW Riley with a lap at 1:20.878 (100.507 mph) for Finlay Motorsports. The run matched the team’s best qualifying performance of the season, and McDowell and co-driver Memo Gidley head into the EMCO Gears Classic looking for their first Rolex Series victory after finishing a career-best second at Barber Motorsports Park two races ago.

Jörg Bergmeister placed the No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac Riley fourth on the grid courtesy of a best lap at 1:21.345 (99.930 mph). Although Bergmeister and co-driver Max Papis have won in Rolex Series competition previously, the co-drivers are still looking for their first victory this season.

Matteo Bobbi made it four different engine manufacturers in the top five starting positions by placing the No. 77 Crown Royal Special Reserve Ford Doran fifth on the grid with a lap at 1:22.013 (99.116 mph) for the Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran Racing. Bobbi and co-driver Fabrizio Gollin look for their first career Rolex Series victories in Saturday’s race as well.

Mexican David Martinez takes provisional pole in Montreal Mexican David Martinez takes provisional pole in MontrealIt may have taken awhile, but David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) and his US RaceTronics seem to have figured this road course thing out.

The promising, young Mexican racer has run well on street circuits this season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, but consistent speed on road courses has somehow eluded the rookie and his first-year team. After apparently solving the puzzle with a solid third-place finish last week at the long and challenging Road America road course, Martinez continued to show his skills Friday, leading the opening-round of qualifying for the Molson Indy Montreal Atlantic race (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel – Saturday, September 3 at 9 p.m. ET). Martinez put up a top lap of 1:35.084 (102.566 mph) on his 16th turn around the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve road circuit to lead qualifying for the 12th and final round of the 2005 Atlantic series.

The effort marked the first time that Martinez has led a qualifying session this season and he’ll try to back up that effort as he strives for his first series pole position in the final round of qualifying on Saturday. For winning the provisional pole, Martinez locked up a front-row starting spot for Sunday’s 25-lap season finale and he also earned a championship point to boost his total to 211 on the season as he remains sixth in the standings. zzzz

Trying to do everything possible this weekend to improve his standing on the championship leader board, Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil) fell short of the top of the charts, but he managed to record the second-fastest time of the day at 1:35.277 (102.358 mph). Kasemets entered the weekend trailing series leader Charles Zwolsman (#11 Continental Cartage/Condor Motorsports) by 26 points in the race for the ’05 Atlantic crown. Kasemets desperately needs to earn every possible point available this weekend in order to threaten Zwolsman for the title, and even if he could earn all 35 points out there for the taking, he’d still need the talented Dutchman to struggle on race day. By not earning the point for the top spot in Friday qualifying, Kasemets’ task grows even tougher this weekend.

Local Atlantic favorite Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design/Gouin Leblanc C.A./Services de Courtage Lessard) had a strong opening-day of action at Montreal. The native of St. Bruno, Quebec, carded the third-fastest qualifying lap of 1:35.904 (101.689 mph). The result was a credit to the entire Polestar Racing Group team as the squad worked hard all week to repair damage to Bessette’s car from a late-race accident last weekend at Road America.

Polestar’s other top racing rookie, Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing), ran well in her first racing experience at Montreal. Legge, a three-time winner in the Atlantic series this season, wound up fourth in qualifying with a time of 1:35.970 (101.619 mph).

Zwolsman, on the cusp of the series championship behind three wins and eight podiums this season, finished fifth in the qualifying order as he was clocked at 1:36.438 (101.126 mph). Al Unser III (#10 BOSPoker.net/PKV Racing) started the weekend strong with a solid performance in morning practice, followed by a good qualifying result. Unser’s top time of 1:36.514 (101.046 mph) was good enough for sixth in the opening round of qualifying.

Rookie Kyle Kelley (#24 UP Racing.com) was seventh with a lap of 1:36.876 (100.669 mph), while Canadian owner/driver Eric Jensen (#2 Konica Minolta/Gehl Company) clocked in at 1:38.482 (99.027 mph). Dan Selznick (#49 The Room Store) owned a fast lap of 1:38.840 (98.669 mph) and Chris Souliotis (#56 Speedway Motors) completed the top-10 qualifying times at 1:40.646 (96.898 mph).

After returning to the track on Saturday morning for a 30-minute practice session at 9:15 a.m. ET, the final grid for Sunday’s race will be set during the final round of qualifying tomorrow afternoon with the session beginning at 1:15 p.m. Follow all of this weekend’s action from Montreal at www.toyotaatlantic.com through the live Timing link.

Results from Friday’s first-round qualifying session at the Molson Indy Montreal, with car number in parentheses, driver, type of car, top time and speed:

1. (7) David Martinez, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:35.084, 102.566 mph.
2. (6) Tonis Kasemets, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:35.277, 102.358 mph.
3. (3) Antoine Bessette, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:35.904, 101.689 mph.
4. (12) Katherine Legge, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:35.970, 101.619 mph.
5. (11) Charles Zwolsman, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:36.438, 101.126 mph.
6. (10) Al Unser III, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:36.514, 101.046 mph.
7. (24) Kyle Kelley, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:36.876, 100.669 mph.
8. (2) Eric Jensen, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:38.482, 99.027 mph.
9. (49) Dan Selznick, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:38.840, 98.669 mph.
10. (56) Chris Souliotis, Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:40.646, 96.898 mph.
11. (63) Daryl Leiski, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:41.089, 96.473 mph.
12. (48) Lee Atkins, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:42.085, 95.532 mph.
13. (18) Bob Siska, (C2)Toyota/Swift/Yokohama, 1:44.349, 93.459 mph.

Briscoe tops 2nd practice at Infineon Briscoe tops 2nd practice at InfineonTarget Chip Ganassi Racing drivers dominated the speed charts as rookie Ryan Briscoe led the opening day of practice for the Aug. 28 Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway.

Briscoe posted a lap of 1 minute, 16.5744 seconds, 108.130 mph, in the No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota-powered Panoz. The Australian's time was slightly faster than two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who recorded a lap of 1:16.6157, 108.072 mph, in his No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Toyota-powered Dallara. Briscoe earned the right to determine the order for Marlboro Pole Qualifying on Aug. 27.

2004 IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan was third-quickest at 1:16.6585, 108.012 mph in his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Honda-powered Dallara with Briscoe's teammates, Scott Dixon and IndyCar Series newcomer Giorgio Pantano were fourth and fifth, respectively in their Toyota-powered Panozes.

Also on Aug. 26 at Infineon Raceway, Marco Andretti led preparations for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Sonoma 100 with a lap of 1:24.7618, 97.686 mph in his No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone..

It should be noted that the IRL's most popular driver, and for which the IRL is basing the majority of their PR on, Danica Patrick, was again way down in 17th place a whopping 3 seconds off the top time set by Briscoe. This isn't a 100% throttle track and now the talent rises to the top. All the drivers we knew all along that could drive a race car are up at the front.

Pos No Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 33 Ryan Briscoe 1:16.5744 108.130 11 17
2 3 Helio Castroneves 1:16.6157 108.072 7 16
3 11 Tony Kanaan 1:16.6585 108.012 9 11
4 9 Scott Dixon 1:16.9016 107.670 11 16
5 27 Dario Franchitti 1:17.0178 107.508 11 13
6 10 Giorgio Pantano 1:17.0255 107.497 10 12
7 7 Bryan Herta 1:17.3131 107.097 3 16
8 26 Dan Wheldon 1:17.3463 107.051 11 11
9 6 Sam Hornish Jr. 1:17.3712 107.017 13 15
10 17 Vitor Meira 1:17.8171 106.403 8 11
11 2 Tomas Enge 1:17.9294 106.250 6 9
12 51 Alex Barron 1:18.1291 105.978 7 14
13 15 Buddy Rice 1:18.1640 105.931 14 14
14 4 Tomas Scheckter 1:18.8082 105.065 6 13
15 83 Patrick Carpentier 1:18.8210 105.048 9 12
16 55 Kosuke Matsuura 1:18.8891 104.957 9 12
17 16 Danica Patrick 1:19.4242 104.250 6 11
18 8 Scott Sharp 1:19.7299 103.851 10 11
19 14 Jeff Bucknum 1:19.8161 103.738 4 9
20 24 Roger Yasukawa 1:20.3921 102.995 6 11
21 20 Ed Carpenter 1:20.9658 102.265 7 12

IPS Series
Simmons slams IPS and IRL Series Simmons slams IPS and IRL SeriesWe have long said that the 100% throttle IPS Series was pretty much a waste of time with regard to training a driver how to really drive and revealing whether they have driving skill or not.  It appears some of the drivers feel the same way.  "It doesn't seem like [IndyCar Series] owners are looking at this division for drivers," Jeff Simmons said. "You don't see guys here getting any opportunities. The IRL worries about why they don't have many drivers in the Pro Series, well, you don't have to look too far to find a reason. Nobody is getting the chance to move up, so why stay here?

"I don't think I would spend another year [in the Pro Series]. I would spend another year trying to make it in open-wheel cars but there's virtually zero chance that I would do that in the Pro Series," Simmons said.

For Simmons, the thought of abandoning his open-wheel aspirations to look in the direction of stock cars isn't pleasant, but it's something he realizes could be the only way to continue progressing.

"I've always liked open-wheel cars," Simmons said. "I like the technology and the feel of the cars and the look of the cars. It certainly hurts to even think about leaving this. It hurts to not see it growing and going in the right direction. The only interest in the IRL this year is because of Danica Patrick. That hurts when something you think is great, and a great product, can only get attention for that reason. To see it go in this direction is what hurts."

Gentilozzi tops 2nd Trans-Am practice Gentilozzi tops 2nd Trans-Am practicePaul Gentilozzi set the fastest time thus far this weekend during second-round practice Friday for tomorrow’s Trans-Am race, part of the Molson Indy Montreal, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) was nearly two seconds faster than the fastest time set in round one this morning, setting a one minute, 40.832 seconds (96.719 miles per hour).   Points leader Klaus Graf (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) timed second in the 30-minute session, ahead of Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR). Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Transporter 2 – The Movie Jaguar XKR) and Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette) rounded out the top five.  Qualifying for tomorrow’s race, which is the Round 9 and the season finale for 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled for this evening at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s race, which is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, will air on a tape-delayed basis, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.
Scott shows speed for Team USA Scott shows speed for Team USAAmerican Scott Speed continued to enhance his status as one of the top future talents for Formula One by leading both days of testing for the new A1 Grand Prix series.

Speed, from Manteca, Calif., paced testing Aug. 24-25 at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, leading Aug. 24 with a lap of 1 minute, 24.559 seconds and going faster Aug. 25 at 1:24.177. It was Speed's first drive ever in an A1 Grand Prix car.

A1 Grand Prix, described as the "World Cup of motorsport," will open its inaugural 12-race season Sept. 25 at Brands Hatch in England. Up to 25 national teams, most with two cars, will compete around the world in the season, which ends April 3 in Beijing. The series is designed to fill the winter gap in the motorsports schedule, allowing top drivers to compete without interfering with their regular rides in spring- and summer-based series.

Drivers will compete on road circuits in open-wheel Lola chassis with a 520-horsepower Zytek engine. There are no electronic driver aids.

The strong performance by GP2 Series title contender Speed in the Team USA car enabled him to top such notable drivers as GP2 rivals Alex Premat (France), Nelson Piquet Jr. (Brazil) and Nicolas Lapierre (France), former F1 drivers Ralph Firman (Ireland), Alex Yoong (Malaysia) and Jos Verstappen (Netherlands), German DTM touring car star Timo Schneider (Germany) and IndyCar Series standout Tomas Scheckter (South Africa).

"Any time you finish a test, especially at Paul Ricard, and you're P1, you have to be happy," said Team USA franchise holder Rick Weidinger. "Scott Speed has a rich heritage of racing results, and today is another indication of his talent."

Red Bull Driver Search winner Speed is third in the point standings for the GP2 Series, considered to be the final stepping-stone to Formula One. He said he will unveil his 2006 driving plans during the GP2 event Sept. 2-4 at Monza, Italy.

While Speed has not been officially named as a driver for Team USA in A1 Grand Prix, he is expected to be one of the team's two drivers after his strong performance in testing. Officials from Red Bull Racing, the F1 team for which Speed served as third driver during the United States Grand Prix in June at Indianapolis, have indicated that Speed could race in A1 Grand Prix without interfering with any Red Bull F1 off-season testing commitments.

Stewart crashes primary car Stewart crashes primary carNextel Cup Series points leader Tony Stewart will qualify his backup car Friday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway after crashing the primary machine in the weekend's only practice session.  Stewart lost the car exiting Turn 2 and hit the outside wall with left-rear quarter panel. With just one practice for the entire weekend, the team chose to pull out the back-up car and get as many practice laps as possible rather than make an attempt to fix the primary car.
Craven and Roush to part ways Craven and Roush to part waysRoush Racing and Ricky Craven announced today that they will part ways at the end of the 2005 season.  Craven currently drives Roush’s No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150 entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.    “I want to thank Jack Roush for the opportunity he has given me to drive for him in the Craftsman Truck Series this year,” Craven said.  “Roush Racing is an incredible organization and I have the utmost respect for everyone there.  I have also truly enjoyed racing in the truck series.  The competition is outstanding and I’ve had a lot of fun this season.  My goal right now is still to get the No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150 in victory lane before the season ends.” 

“Ricky’s experience, talent and professionalism have benefited our entire truck operation this year,” said Jack Roush.  “He has helped our crew chiefs, managers and engineers as well as serving as a mentor to rookie Todd Kluever.  We wish Ricky the best of luck in his pursuit of other professional racing opportunities for 2006.”

Alonso tops Friday test times at Monza Alonso tops Friday test times at Monza
Monza - Friday

1 . F. Alonso - Renault R25 - 1:20.432 (+ 0.000 ) - 92 laps
2 . G. Fisichella - Renault R25 - 1:21.183 (+ 0.751 ) - 68 laps
3 . A. Davidson - BAR Honda 007 - 1:21.284 (+ 0.852 ) - 103 laps
4 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF105 - 1:21.355 (+ 0.923 ) - 114 laps
5 . T. Sato - BAR Honda 007 - 1:21.415 (+ 0.983 ) - 92 laps
6 . M. Schumacher - Ferrari F2005 - 1:21.418 (+ 0.986 ) - 79 laps
7 . D. Coulthard - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:21.608 (+ 1.176 ) - 131 laps
8 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:21.644 (+ 1.212 ) - 54 laps
9 . C. Klien - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:21.669 (+ 1.237 ) - 73 laps
10 . A. Carroll - BAR Honda 007 - 1:21.748 (+ 1.316 ) - 87 laps
11 . F. Massa - Sauber Petronas C24 - 1:22.094 (+ 1.662 ) - 88 laps
12 . L. Badoer - Ferrari F2005 - 1:22.189 (+ 1.757 ) - 81 laps
13 . N. Rosberg - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:22.327 (+ 1.895 ) - 48 laps
14 . N. Karthikeyan - Jordan Toyota EJ15 - 1:22.662 (+ 2.230 ) - 76 laps
15 . C. Albers - Minardi Cosworth PS05 - 1:24.011 (+ 3.579 ) - 96 laps.
Minor changes for Williams at Monza Minor changes for Williams at MonzaThe forthcoming Italian Grand Prix at Monza marks a distinct shift in the complexion of racing for the five end of season Grand Prix, all of which are characteristically power tracks. Monza itself is possibly the most demanding in this regard, with the lowest levels of downforce all year combined with engines run at their limits.

The team has concluded its enquiry into the tire incidents in Turkey, determining as far as possible that a set of conditions spanning mechanical set-up, bodywork configuration and tire deflections caused the problems experienced at the last race. Although the car specification in this area had raced without incident in previous Grand Prix, a number of precautionary changes have been made to the car and engineers are confident the team will not experience a repeat of the problems.

Nick Heidfeld
"Monza is definitely one of the most unusual circuits on the calendar. It’s a traditional track with a great heritage and has a unique design. We reach very high speeds at Monza, in fact they’re the highest that we see all season at over 360km/h! You need a special set-up for Monza as well as a particular aerodynamic configuration. For this race, the teams develop specially designed aerodynamic packages. These need to work under low downforce conditions but also allow the car to handle properly in the high speed sections. You therefore need a car that has a good top speed for the high speed straights, one that has aerodynamic efficiency for the slow chicanes and, finally, a car that works well on the high curbs. Just like Imola, Monza is always special because the Italian fans bring such a great atmosphere to the race."

Mark Webber
"Monza is a circuit that stands alone in terms of set-up. It’s a very, very high speed circuit where we are looking for a maximum speed all the time. I’ve finished in the points on this track in the last couple of years and I hope that we can do that again this time. We might not quite have the pace of McLaren and Renault, but I think we can get a reasonable result. If we can get some good, solid points it will be not a bad race for us."

"Ever since my first year in Formula One, when I drove for Minardi, I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, not far from Imola, and I can say it’s definitely among my favorite few countries. I love coming to Italy. The Italians love cycling and the food’s excellent, it’s just a fantastic country."

Sam Michael, Technical Director Director
"Monza stands out from other circuits due to the fact that it is dominated by long straights, a couple of chicanes and four important corners, top speeds will also be the highest that we’ve seen all year. Set-up demands very low drag, in order to achieve this, we use specific front and rear wings unique to Monza. It is important to have a good balance through the medium speed corners and for the car to handle well over the curbs. To address the tire incidents that we experienced in Istanbul, we have worked through all the possible variables, such as pressure and camber, with Michelin."

"In the Williams R&D labs at Grove we also performed some loaded tire tests to check what type of deflections the tires would have seen during the lap. Finally, at the test in Monza last week, we went through various trims of the bodywork to ensure that there is no possibility for the tire to touch anything on the car. We also worked through cooling levels, brake set-ups and tire evaluations to select the optimum configuration for the FW27 in preparation for the race."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director
"Monza is an outstanding circuit for engines and, as such, is always a very special Grand Prix for BMW. The cars are flat out for 69 percent of the lap, the highest full-throttle ratio of any Formula One circuit. Monza ranks among the top few circuits where engines have to operate on a sustained full throttle over various parts of the track. On the current F1 calendar, there are three similar full- throttle sections which demand everything of the engines. Topping the league is Spa (1,821 meters, if Eau Rouge is taken flat out). Almost on a par is Indianapolis (1,820 meters), followed by Monza (1,268 meters). When it comes to speed, Monza outstrips all other race tracks. In 2004, Juan Pablo Montoya set an F1 record in pre- qualifying when he recorded an average speed of 262.242 km/h. Antonio Pizzonia also claimed a Formula One record with a top speed of 369.9 km/h during the race."

"For the Italian Grand Prix, we will have new BMW P84/5 engines, as scheduled. In Turkey, we had a good chance of scoring points before we suffered a disappointing setback. Our goal, however, remains unchanged; we want to end the 2005 season with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team with some good results." BMW Williams

Hunter-Reay debuts new sponsor, but day to forget Hunter-Reay debuts new sponsor, but day to forgetUPDATE Hunter-Reay's Lola Ford was sporting the new sponsor logos today in Montreal.  Hunter-Reay crashed in practice and he never set a time in provisional qualifying as the team worked to make repairs. (Photo courtesy of Champ Car)  

After running 11 practice laps this morning on the 2.709-mile permanent road course, surprisingly Hunter-Reay found himself in the wall.  Damage was done to the #31 Red Paw Systems, Inc./Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone that was not repairable, so the crew had to pull out the backup car and prepare it for the next on-track run.  Working hard in the few hours they had before the afternoon session, the crew was still no where to be found at the start of provisional qualifying.  With about 15-minutes left in the session, the yellow and red backup Lola made its appearance with driver Hunter-Reay ready to jump in for a run.

Just as the crew was set to fire up the car, the red flag came out.  Andrew Ranger took a hard hit into the wall with ten minutes left in the first round of qualifying, ending the session early, leaving Hunter-Reay sidelined and unable to post a provisional qualifying time.  He was one of two cars that did not run this afternoon, as a similar incident late in the morning session involving Ricardo Sperafico resulted in a missed opportunity to post a time in today’s qualifying session.

 “This morning during the practice session I touched the curb, but I thought it was at a normal angle.  However, it launched the rear into the air and it just never came back.  The guys did an amazing job preparing the backup car for me to qualifying in this afternoon.  They worked so hard and got the #31 Red Paw Systems, Inc. car out there in time to give us a run or two, but it was unfortunate that the red flag came out, preventing us from getting back out there this afternoon.”  08/22/05 Just as every Champ Car team has a backup car in case of an emergency while racing in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, Rocketsports Racing introduces a new partner to demonstrate the importance of having a back up system for businesses as Red Paw Systems, Inc. joins the team to showcase their product on the #31 Rocketsports Lola driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay in Montreal.

The Rocketsports team always has a backup plan should an incident occur during a race weekend to prepare the car to continue in competition, and Red Paw Systems, Inc. has developed a similar backup plan for businesses as they introduce their BackupBox product line to the International racing community.  PC systems fail, hard disks crash, and viruses pose a growing problem for many companies.  Those companies can now be prepared for such disasters with the BackupBox, ensuring their business to continue running smoothly as they race towards the finish line of customer satisfaction in a demanding world.

Red Paw Systems is a privately held corporation, located about sixty miles north of Denver in Fort Collins, Colorado. Red Paw Systems is dedicated to the belief that small business owners have more important things to think about – backups shouldn't be one of them. The BackupBox provides effortless, continuous, and complete PC backup without the hassle of tapes or CDs.  Prices start at US$399. For information, visit www.redpawsystems.com, or call 866-RED-PAWZ.

Ranger not injured Ranger not injuredAndrew Ranger escaped uninjured from a crash in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal.  His crash caused a red flag and the session was cut short.  Ranger was cleared to drive but will lose his fast lap for causing a red flag.

"I was on a good lap and very comfortable in the car, I entered turn 6 and I accelerated a little more than usual. The car snapped and went to the left. There is a cement patch at that place and it is probably because of that the car snapped. Physically I am okay."

Rookie Pantano takes IRL regulars to school Rookie Pantano takes IRL regulars to schoolItalian rookie Giorgio Pantano, his first time ever in an IRL car, was fastest in Friday morning practice for this weekend's first ever IRL race at Infineon Raceway. After a disastrous year, and rumors of a possible switch to Champ Car, out of nowhere the Ganassi team claimed three of the top four spots with Scott Dixon 2nd and Ryan Briscoe 4th.  Danica Patrick was a notable 19th quick.  This isn't a 100% throttle race track.

Pos Driver Diff B Time B Speed C/E/T
1 Giorgio Pantano (10) ... 1:16.9374 107.620 P/T/F
2 Scott Dixon (9) 0.0562 1:16.9936 107.541 P/T/F
3 Helio Castroneves (3) 0.1529 1:17.0903 107.407 D/T/F
4 Ryan Briscoe (33) 0.1541 1:17.0915 107.405 P/T/F
5 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.1715 1:17.1089 107.381 D/H/F
6 Bryan Herta (7) 0.3774 1:17.3148 107.095 D/H/F
7 Alex Barron (51) 0.5910 1:17.5284 106.800 D/T/F
8 Buddy Rice (15) 0.6637 1:17.6011 106.700 P/H/F
9 Sam Hornish Jr. (6) 0.7648 1:17.7022 106.561 D/T/F
10 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.8101 1:17.7475 106.499 D/H/F
11 Dan Wheldon (26) 0.8202 1:17.7576 106.485 D/H/F
12 Vitor Meira (17) 0.9478 1:17.8852 106.310 P/H/F
13 Patrick Carpentier (83) 0.9956 1:17.9330 106.245 D/T/F
14 Tomas Enge (2) 1.0108 1:17.9482 106.224 D/C/F
15 Scott Sharp (8) 1.6222 1:18.5596 105.398 P/H/F
16 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 1.9898 1:18.9272 104.907 P/H/F
17 Jeff Bucknum (14) 2.0010 1:18.9384 104.892 D/C/F
18 Tomas Scheckter (4) 2.2962 1:19.2336 104.501 D/C/F
19 Danica Patrick (16) 2.5246 1:19.4620 104.201 P/H/F
20 Roger Yasukawa (24) 3.4032 1:20.3406 103.061 D/H/F
21 Ed Carpenter (20) 3.9521 1:20.8895 102.362 D/T/F

IRL Pikes Peak TV rating IRL Pikes Peak TV ratingUPDATE The final rating for the IRL race at Pikes Peak held at a 0.8/2 share from the overnight ratings. 08/22/05 The overnight IRL TV rating on ABC for the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak was a lackluster (for network TV) 0.8/2 share.  The trend has been down the past several races.  Danicamania is wearing off.
Montreal track slower Montreal track slowerThe Montreal track will be slower this year as the promoter has installed huge curbs in the final chicane meaning the drivers can no longer ride the curbs. Taking the long way through has slowed the cars by at least a second or more per lap.  On top of that the track has concrete patches in some turns now and the concrete does not give the same level of traction as asphalt.

“They coated the concrete with an epoxy,” said Bourdais, “and it’s like driving on painted concrete. I think they were supposed to sandblast it, but they didn’t. There’s no grip. You just slide across it and, once you get the grip back on the asphalt you go.

“It’s a shame, because they did a great job repairing the rest of the circuit. There’s no bumps at all on the straightaways. It’s unfortunate they had to put the concrete in the turns because the straightaways have no bumps.”

Kasemets leads opening Atlantic practice Kasemets leads opening Atlantic practiceOnce again, Tonis Kasemets finds himself in new territory, on a new course.  This is his first time at Montreal, the track with one of the richest histories for Atlantics, 25 years strong.  Perhaps pressure is what “drives” Kasemets, as he quickly adapted to the 13-turn, 2.709-mile permanent road course at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, during this mornings first practice session.  By lap 2, he was running 3rd.  Lap 3, Tonis was 2nd quick.  Lap 4, to the top of the speed charts and Kasemets stayed on top of the time charts for the remainder of the thirty minute session.  His best lap was 13 of 14 (when a Red Flag flew for #56 Souliotis, stopped on course.)  Tonis best time is 1:37.470 = 100.055 mph.  His top speed kept him ahead of David Martinez by only 0.154 seconds however.  The Green Flag came back out with only two minutes to go and Tonis chose to just park the #6 Flexovit Abrasives Products/TMI/MK/Red Line Oil – Dan Cobb Racing/Team Tonis entry in his pit to contemplate and prepare for first qualifying coming up at 3:15pm ET today.
Klaus Graf leads opening Trans-Am practice in Montreal Klaus Graf leads opening Trans-Am practice in MontrealTrans-Am points leader Klaus Graf met the learning curve quickly Friday, setting the fastest time in first-round practice as the Trans-Am Series turned its first laps at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the Molson Indy Montreal. Graf (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) turned the 2.747-mile permanent road course in one minute, 42.517 seconds at an average speed of 95.130 miles per hour.

Graf’s Rocketsports Racing teammate Paul Gentilozzi was second quick in the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR. Joey Scarallo (No. 06 Cytomax/Toyo Tires Chevrolet Corvette), Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR) and Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Canada Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top five.

Second-round practice is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. EDT today, ahead of qualifying at 5:30 p.m. Round 9 and the season finale for the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s race will air on a tape-delayed basis, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.

Swift to deliver 40 new cars by early March Swift to deliver 40 new cars by early MarchKeeping swift pace with the flurry of interest in the new formula for the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship, designer and car constructor Swift Engineering has assured teams that up to 40 of the new Atlantic machines will be delivered by early March of next year.

On July 30, Champ Car and Atlantic officials proudly unveiled the designs for the new breed of Atlantic race cars. As it begins its 33rd season as North America's top open-wheel development series in 2006, the Champ Car Atlantic Championship will feature a new 016.a Swift chassis design with a Cosworth 2.3-liter racing engine that will generate 300 horsepower. Since the announcement, teams have rushed to place orders for the new Atlantics with over 30 cars already purchased for next season.

"We have been fielding inquiries and requests from interested teams, literally from all over the world," said Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director of the Atlantic Championship. "The response to the future competition package has just been tremendous and teams can't wait to take delivery of the new Atlantic cars." zzzz 

With the overwhelming response from interested competitors, Swift Engineering has vowed to increase its production force and the manufacturer will deliver up to 40 of the new cars by March 8, 2006 to the teams that have placed orders by the deadline of September 7. Swift will continue to take orders past the deadline, but can only ensure delivery in early March to the teams that purchase cars by the cutoff date. The 2006 Champ Car Atlantic schedule will be released in the coming days, but the season is expected to get underway April 7-9 at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

"The interest that we've seen from teams in the new Swift/Cosworth Atlantic car is very impressive," said Swift President Chuck Sprague. "We want to make sure that all of the competitors for the 2006 Atlantic season get the opportunity to test the new car and put it through its paces. Everyone at Swift is going to roll up their sleeves and work even harder in the next several months to make sure the teams have the cars in their shops in early March so they can begin their hard work and preparation for next season."

In addition to charting the future of Atlantic competition with the new three-year agreements with Swift, Cosworth and Pi Research, which will provide all of the electronics, wiring and sensors for the new cars, series officials have also been happy with the response to the Champ Car Atlantic incentive program. The unique initiative will provide a $2 million bonus to the '06 Atlantic champion to help secure a ride in the 2007 Champ Car World Series.

"Both the allure of the new car design and the Champ Car incentive program have helped to create renewed interest among competitors in the Atlantic series," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. "We're all very excited about the future of Atlantics and the next generation of Champ Car drivers and teams that the series will help cultivate. We also want to thank Swift in advance for their hard work and dedication over the coming months as they create the new cars we're all looking forward to seeing on the track next season."

Due to the overwhelming interest in the new chassis design, Champ Car and Swift officials have determined not to offer a special conversion kit for the current Atlantic Swift 014.a chassis for next season. This will ensure that all competing cars in 2006 will be the new design of Atlantic machines.
After 3 day, USA stays first, China last After 3 day, USA stays first, China lastOverall A1GP test times after three days of testing at Paul Ricard are listed below.  Ralph Firman was fastest on day 3 but all the same drivers tested the last day. As we have written elsewhere, and as underscored by this three day test, Chinese drivers from mainland China are not ready for the big leagues of motorsports and if China wants to have a driver in F1 or Champ Car anytime soon, the driver will likely have to come from Hong Kong.
Overall Times
1 USA 1.24.177 - SCOTT SPEED
15 PAKISTAN 1.25.374 - ADAM KHAN
20 CHINA 1.27.113 - TENG YI JIANG

Today's times:
 1. Ireland 1:24.561 - Ralph Firman
 2. Switzerland 1:24.617 - Neel Jani
 3. Netherlands 1:24.646 - Jos Verstappen
 4. New Zealand 1:24.800 - Matt Halliday
 5. France 1:25.012 - Nicolas Lapierre
 6. Portugal 1:25.067 - Alvaro Parente
 7. Australia 1:25 312 - Will Power
 8. Brazil 1:25.378 - Nelson Piquet Jr
 9. Pakistan 1:25.472 - Adam Khan
10. South Africa 1:25.509 - Stephen Simpson
11. Malaysia 1:25.620 - Fairuz Fauzy
12. Mexico 1:25.626 - Salvador Duran
13. Great Britain 1:26.268. - Alex Lloyd
14. Indonesia 1:26.291 - Ananda Mikola
15. Usa 1:26.424 - Colin Fleming
16. Lebanon 1:26.496 - Basil Shaaban
17. India 1:26.579 - Karun Chandhok
18. Russia 1:26.805 - Roman Rusinov
19. China 1:27.113 - Teng Yi Jiang

Sadler to be inducted into California Walk of Fame Sadler to be inducted into California Walk of FameWhen Elliott Sadler bolted past the finish line first at California Speedway on Labor Day Weekend last year, he was thinking about making the "Chase of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." The win allowed Sadler to gain his third career victory, first California win and a spot in the speedway's "Walk of Fame."

"We're California dreamin' tonight. This is an awesome, awesome win for this team tonight. We had a great day here in California," Sadler said following his win. "I drove my heart out. When the sun went down, man, we just took off like a rocket. The lighting system was perfect, just perfect. California Speedway did a great job. They did a perfect job, I think California Speedway can make their own tradition. California definitely has a great speedway."

To commemorate his win, the first win of an event out west that is already starting a new tradition, Sadler will be inducted into the speedway's "Walk of Fame" during the anniversary of his win on Labor Day Weekend.

Looking back on his California Speedway win, Sadler said, "It's probably the happiest I've ever been because it solidified our place in the chase for the championship. It put an exclamation point on, 'hey, we're in the Chase.' By winning a race at a place that we had never run that well at before or never had good luck at before, so to win here was a great, great feeling for my team. It kind of showed that we can win at different styles of racetracks. When we left here, we knew we were in the chase and did it with a win - not doing it with everybody else falling out. It was just great for my team. It was cool."
Yeley in the No. 11 at Fontana Yeley in the No. 11 at FontanaJoe Gibbs Racing will turn to Busch Series driver J.J. Yeley to drive the No. 11 Fed Ex Chevy for the Auto Club 500 at California Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 4. JGR PR
Why NASCAR delays qualifying on TV Why NASCAR delays qualifying on TVIn this week's "Ask the Producer" question, we deal with a popular inquiry. Several users want to know why TNT has been showing Bud Pole Qualifying on a tape-delayed basis. "The change by NASCAR this year to its on-track weekend schedule of events precipitated us to cluster Nextel Cup qualifying and Busch Series racing for select races to better accommodate the television viewing audience, which has resulted in increased ratings for both properties," said TNT spokesman Jeff Pomeroy. "For those select instances where our schedule is clustered and diehard fans need instantaneous qualifying results they can go to NASCAR.COM for up-to-minute results." Each week, NASCAR.com chooses a fan's question to ask about NASCAR on NBC/TNT producer. NASCAR.com
Formula Ford
New feeder open wheel series for Middle East New feeder open wheel series for Middle EastA new feeder Open-Wheel class will be introduced to the national racing calendar this year following an agreement between Zip Formula Ford a leading UK company in Motorsport and Thunder Arabia the leading Bahraini company specializing in motorsport & driver development.
The new series will introduce for the first time in the Middle East, a series that is closely related to perhaps the most influential of any motorsport category over the last 40 years - Formula Ford. The category has been responsible for the career launch of over 90% of Formula 1 drivers since 1967. Some of the greatest names in the sport graduated through Formula Ford and went all the way to clinch F1 titles including Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher. While others such as Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso cut their teeth in the Ford powered category.

Thunder Arabia is unique. Each car has an identical chassis and engine placing the focus on driver ability to control the car, as no wings or slicks are added for extra help. Results come from individual driving talents.

“The aim of introducing this class is to provide good, even competition while at the same time helping talented young drivers to gain experience in open-wheel racing, without them having to go overseas prematurely or needing a big budget ” said Mr. Wardany Thunder Arabia CEO. “The series will also appeal to more experienced drivers because of the even nature of the competition” he said.
“Bahrain is at the forefront of providing Middle East competition where talented youngsters can learn and improve their driving skills depending only on mechanical grip and natural talent. This way they can understand the techniques of driving and developing race craft and skills in a car where their ability and natural talent is a key ingredients”, said Mr. Whitaker, BIC General Manager.

‘I have been lucky enough to witness the careers of many young drivers who have gone on to be great Formula One drivers – even Champions. They have all benefited from the skills and lessons learned from closely fought single-seat competition and Ford’s power plant gave them that opportunity. I firmly believe that a series of this nature based in the Middle East will produce a wealth of talent for the future and I am delighted that the “Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” will have a small part to play in the development of their careers,” he said.

‘Motorsport is currently enjoying strong growth and there is a lot of talent coming through. We need to provide domestic options for those competitors who are looking to further their international careers in motorsport” said Sh. Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa – BIC PR & Government affair Director.
The Thunder Arabia’s Series has already attracted considerable interest and, with the impressive number of competitors in the class, will provide a premier open-wheel class to run at our major events. This series represents the outcome of a mutual cooperation between BIC and Thunder Arabia and the start of what we are sure will be a long term successful relationship,” he added.
The new Thunder Arabia Ford Racing Series will lift the profile of single-seater racing in the Middle East, and will provide an opportunity to international competition for current and future driving talents, according to Sherif Al Mahdy, Thunder Arabia Marketing Director.

The equality of this series comes from the fact that all engines and chassis are built by a single manufacturer, and are maintained by Thunder Arabia. Safety is also a big issue of concern, this is why Thunder Arabia has ensured that all cars have passed the stringent FIA F3 Safety crash tests. The cars were the only tubular chassis racing cars ever to pass these exacting tests in 2002.
“Starting in mid September, the grid of the 2005 Thunder Arabia Championship will feature over 16 Drivers from different countries, competing for the first ever Formula Championship to be held in the Middle East.” He added - “We would like to extend our special thanks to H.E.Sh. Fawaz Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa President of GOYS for his patronage and for his support to develop motorsport in the Kingdom” said Mr. Hassan Al Wardany Thunder Arabia CEO.

EJ's heavy golf induction EJ's heavy golf inductionHow did former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan's first day as a golf caddy go?

Irish compatriot Paul McGinley, at the BMW Championships in Munich, got off to a flyer by hitting four birdies in the first five holes. It all went a bit wrong in the final nine, though.

''We started as though we were on a qualifying lap,'' Jordan told Scotland's Daily Record newspaper, ''but we got a puncture near the end and just managed to get it round.''

EJ also got a harsh induction into the caddying ranks. Golfer Andrew Coltart is reported to have stuffed McGinley's bag, hauled around by Jordan, with a dozen cans of - wait for it - fizzy Red Bull. Eddie is believed to have struggled through the first two holes before realizing the bag was a tad heavy.

Coltart, who ironically later suffered from a bad back, earlier joked: ''We couldn't have Eddie caddying for a first time without some sort of little initiation ceremony.''

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Monza's mega Montoya
Weber is A1 team boss
Rubens exit shocked Schu
Who'll deny Kimi-Schu gossip?
Renault's Spa advantage
Monteiro to debut 'b' Jordan
Banker confirms Minardi talks
Haug denies Kimi switch
Champ Car gaining precious momentum Champ Car gaining precious momentumAs the Champ Cars return to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve tomorrow to begin the fourth Molson Indy Montreal weekend, the financially challenged series continues to show that it's also solidly back on track in 2005.

Last year, series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven continually insisted that Champ Car's first season under new ownership would simply prove the open-wheel series still had some life.

Once the survival-mode year was completed and the business plan began to deliver results in Year two, Kalkhoven insisted that the fans and sponsors would find reasons to come back.

So far, Champ Car has executed on most of its promises and continues to gain precious momentum as both fans and sponsors respond to the positive developments on and off the track.

Kalkhoven and partners Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi rescued the old Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) from bankruptcy in January, 2004.

The release of the 2006 schedule two weeks ago offers plenty of cushion to plan and promote while allowing added time to attract sponsors. Word in the paddock is that a 2006 television package may be announced as early as this weekend in Montreal, which will only add to the buzz.

One big name sniffing around Champ Car sponsorship is energy drink company Red Bull, which upped its involvement in the series this year through a connection to RuSPORT’s A.J. Allmendinger, who won the Red Bull Driver Search in 2002.

Red Bull already sponsors an IRL outfit and it owns a team in Formula One. "We like the atmosphere and the direction the series is heading. It's a much more exciting and attractive environment for us than some other racing series, including F1," Red Bull director of motorsport Helmut Marko said two weeks ago at the race in Denver.

"The ambience around the series and the way the fans are treated and embraced is what we like to see. You can be sure you will see us doing some very good things in this series." More at Globe and Mail

Danicamania hits Northern California Danicamania hits Northern CaliforniaAs expected Danicamania has arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area with a frenzy that swamped both television and print medias. On Thursday Danica was featured on a number of radio talk-shows before making her appearance at San Francisco Ghirardelli Square where Buddy Rice and herself powered there IRL machines around a makeshift course around Fisherman's Wharf which was not missed by any of the bay area television news departments.

It didn't stop there as San Jose Mercury News featured a front page story along with color photos on the "Season Newest Sports Celebrity", while not to be outdone the sports page of the SF Chronicle plastered Danica's Argent Panoz photo with a three quarter page spread!

Frankly, the clamor through out Northern California was real enough, but will this media blitz bring these same crowds up to Sonoma's Infineon Raceway this weekend? Only time will tell.

San Jose Mercury: www.mercurynews.com then look for the "Ann Killion" story in the Sports.

San Francisco Chronicle: www.sfgate.com Go to left where you'll see "Today's Chronicle" scroll to Sports and you'll see Scott Ostlers story.

Even Weds. Mercury News had a front page story in their sports section titled "Fans embrace Bay Area Races", which again tells the same old story of Champ Car "The lesser Know of the two open-wheel series.... even though they admit that 153,767 attended the event....But the basic theme was "Danica". Funny because on the front page of the entire paper featured a photo of Bourdais in his McDonald's car!

Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix Featured on NBC Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix Featured on NBCTwo-wheel road racing superstar Nicky Hayden and his dramatic MotoGP World Championship race victory at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is among the features on NBC’s next “World of Adventure Sports” television program. The hour and a half show, hosted by Pat Parnell, will air this Saturday, August 27 at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PST).

The segment on the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix features four American riders, including Hayden, on their home turf at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca battling 4-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi and the rest of the MotoGP grid in front of a sell-out crowd of over 57,000 spectators. The 2005 event marked the stateside return of MotoGP for the first time since the United States Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 1994.

The “World of Adventure Sports” Show is a new television program featuring an array of adrenaline-inspired feats, athlete profiles and sports events from around the world. Other features on this week’s show include the Red Bull Recon, a mountain bike expedition trip to Baja, Mexico; the Gobi March, a six-stage, 250-kilometer trek across the Gobi Desert of China; and a profile of free climber Michael Reardon and his free soloing ascent up Tahquitz Rock, near Idyllwild, California.

More information on the “World of Adventure Sports” program is available at www.worldofadventuresports.com. Tickets to the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, July 21-23, will go on sale to the public on September 1st. Tickets and more information is available by calling (800) 327-SECA, or logging on to www.ticketmaster.com or www.laguna-seca.com. More information on the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is also available at www.RedBullUSGrandPrix.com.

Industry News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Bristol, TN
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Infineon Raceway - Race 2   
Sonoma, CA  (07/17/05)
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Road America  (08/21/05)
Elkhart Lake, WI 
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Monza  (07/10/05)                                    
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
NASCAR This Morning
Bristol, TN
5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Sharpie 500
Bristol, TN
7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
Monaco and Nurburgring
Rounds 3 & 4  (05/21/05 & 05/28/05)
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Busch North Series
Fisher Snowplows 150
Oxford, ME
8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET (Live) HDNet
NASCAR Victory Lane
Bristol, TN
11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET, SPEED
For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.
ALMS sponsor seeing good return ALMS sponsor seeing good returnThe numbers are in, and the American Le Mans Series continues to be one of the most prolific and valuable advertising vehicles for its sponsors and partners in all of motorsports. Through five rounds of the 2005 American Le Mans Series, its 13 sponsors received a combined $34.8 million in mentions during ALMS broadcasts.

The data, based on results from Joyce Julius & Associates’ Sponsors Report, shows that an American Le Mans Series broadcast generates nearly $7 million in sponsorship mentions on average for ALMS partners. That contrasts to an average of $4.48 million in series sponsor mentions through five races in 2004.

“We believe the American Le Mans Series has always represented the best value in motorsports, as evidenced by reports from Joyce Julius and Associates,” said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the ALMS. “Based on Joyce Julius’ brand exposure analysis, sponsors of the ALMS received nearly $35 million in television logo recognition and verbal mentions in our first five events, which nearly meets the ROI figures for all of 2004! That’s a very powerful statement of the American Le Mans Series’ ability as an advertising mechanism for our marketing partners – one that delivers tangible, measurable results.”

The mid-year total for 2005 represents a 42 percent in ALMS sponsor exposure from 2004. Using the ’05 mid-year totals for 2005, the American Le Mans Series is on pace to provide its 13 sponsors with an unprecedented level of exposure during its 10 broadcasts.

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Grand Prix of Mosport, set for 3 p.m. EDT Sept. 4 at Mosport International Raceway, with live coverage on SPEED Channel. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 3. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

Panoz announces European-based factory effort Panoz announces European-based factory effortElan Motorsport Technologies (EMT), part of the Panoz Motor Sports Group of companies, announced today a European-based factory effort involving its Esperante GTLM race car with Team LNT. The agreement calls for Team LNT to establish a European agency for the sale of Panoz Esperante GTLM race cars.

This exciting new partnership will see Team LNT run two Esperante GTLM race cars in Europe throughout 2006, working with EMT’s factory in Braselton, Ga. Team LNT also will support EMT’s expansion plans into Europe by actively participating in the sale of GTLM race cars, spare parts, service and trackside support.

All the major European sports car championships are under consideration for 2006, plus selected races in North America. In particular are the LMES Championship, the FIA GT Championship and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team LNT and Panoz also have ambitions to enter cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006.

Panoz Motor Sports Group includes a world-class and highly respected road and race car design and manufacturing division, with a long and successful history in sports cars. Panoz Motor Sports Group President Scott Atherton commented, “This partnership with LNT supports our strategy to expand in Europe. LNT fits all the criteria as a team and is a top-flight, professional organization that can assist us in fulfilling our European growth plans.”

David Bowes, EMT CEO, commented, “We have undertaken a considerable search to find the right partner who can work with us on the race track and also on the commercial side of our business. Lawrence Tomlinson and his team of highly qualified people are the ideal choice for us to work with. All future Panoz Esperante race teams will receive equal support and access to the same factory development programs and parts.

“Don Panoz has mandated that all teams racing Panoz Esperantes will be treated equally with everyone receiving the same developmental parts and assistance, and that is exactly what we are going to do,” Bowes added. “Team LNT will be provider of these services to all European Panoz teams.”

LNT Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson commented at the announcement, “Having proved our development skills and race-winning ability as a team, we are thrilled to be able to mount a serious challenge in 2006 with our hugely respected partner, Panoz. This is a long-term deal, and we aim to provide our European customers with the back up and service to enable them to compete at the highest level.”

Montoya breaks Monza record again Montoya breaks Monza record againJuan Pablo Montoya again finished at the top of the time sheets during testing at Monza Thursday.  His teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished the day with the second fastest time, followed by Giancarlo Fisichella.

Monza - 25/08/05 (Timing results courtesy of McLaren)
1. J.P. Montoya - McLaren Mercedes - 1'19"814 (+0"000) - 120 laps
2. K. Raikkonen - McLaren Mercedes - 1'20"074 (+0"260) - 72 laps
3. G. Fisichella - Renault - 1'20"762 (+0"948) - 147 laps
4. M. Webber - BMW Williams - 1'20"947 (+1"133) - 120 laps
5. M. Schumacher - Ferrari - 1'21"070 (+1"256) - 96 laps
6. F. Alonso - Renault - 1'21"095 (+1"281) - 131 laps
7. J. Button - BAR Honda - 1'21"235 (+1"421) - 119 laps
8. T. Sato - BAR Honda - 1'21"440 (+1"626) - 96 laps
9. L. Badoer - Ferrari - 1'21"501 (+1"687) - 78 laps
10. D. Coulthard - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'21"714 (+1"900) - 88 laps
11. N. Heidfeld - BMW Williams - 1'21"821 (+2"007) - 61 laps
12. C. Klien - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'21"901 (+2"087) - 91 laps
13. J. Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas - 1'21"915 (+2"101) - 120 laps
14. R. Schumacher - Toyota - 1'22"148 (+2"334) - 108 laps
15. R. Doornbos - Minardi Cosworth - 1'22"258 (+2"444) - 80 laps
16. T. Monteiro - Jordan Toyota - 1'23"385 (+3"571) - 51 laps
17. N. Kiesa - Jordan Toyota - 1'24"802 (+4"988) - 58 laps
18. A. Carroll - BAR Honda - 1'25"084 (+5"270) - 37 laps
19. O. Panis - Toyota V8 - 1'30"079 (+10"265) - 30 laps

A1 Grand Prix
Team USA again fastest, Team China again slowest Team USA again fastest, Team China again slowestA1 Team Germany chose the second day of the A1 Grand Prix test at the famous Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track to officially announce their seat holder as Willy Webber manager to the current F1 champion Michael Schumacher. 

Today's announcement followed the extraordinary sound of A1 Grand Prix's first- ever rolling start. Sixteen A1 cars in full race livery jostled for position over the start line simulating the spectacle that will be witnessed at the start of every A1 Grand Prix race.  The day was a huge success for all involved as lap times continued to fall and all the drivers continued to push for the top slot. 

'The car has been great today. This kind of test session is invaluable; we are concentrating on doing our own thing and improving the set up of the car. The Team is coming together nicely and I think it's going to be a strong partnership. The car is great to drive. Even round a circuit I don't know I have complete confidence in it, I'm loving being involved in A1 Grand Prix,' said Stephen Simpson, test driver for A1 Team South Africa. 

Max Welti, Team Principal for A1 Team Switzerland commented on his team's performance and the reliability of the A1GP car, saying: 'It's been a successful day, we have been testing Romain Grosjean, a young Swiss driver who has developed extremely well in today's test alone, having done a very professional job adapting to a more powerful car. However, the most positive surprise so far has been reliability. It is not often in my 30 years of experience in motorsport that I have come across a piece of technology as reliable as the A1 Grand Prix Car. Compared to all other series that have been launched in recent years, we haven't had any significant problems.' 

Speaking at today's press conference, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum said: 'It is fantastic that Germany is involved in the World Cup of Motorsport particularly as it has such a great motorsport heritage from the Silver Arrows to Michael Schumacher. I'm delighted to have Willy Webber on-board representing Germany and I'm sure his country will be behind him, especially when we reach our second race at EuroSpeedway.' 

He continued: 'It was sensational seeing all the cars have their first rolling start today with the French car and the USA 'We the People' duelling for the top position diving into the first hairpin bend. Exactly one month ahead of our opening race at Brands Hatch, A1 Grand Prix is all set to find out which country really is the best on track.' 

Willy Webber spoke of his involvement with the Series saying: 'At the beginning, when I heard about A1 grand Prix I have to admit I was skeptical. But now, after what we have seen today, and what I have seen in the past, I can see A1 Grand Prix is a fantastic series. I believe in the idea and it makes me very proud and happy to have the chance to be the team boss of A1 Team Germany.' 

A1 Grand Prix CEO, Tony Teixeira concluded saying: 'It is great having Germany involved and we're looking forward to announcing more teams in the coming days giving us a full grid at Brands Hatch. We are over subscribed and the global support we have received is a pleasant surprise.'

Fastest lap times - Thursday 25 August 2005
1 USA 1.24.177 - SCOTT SPEED
13 PAKISTAN 1.25.374 - ADAM KHAN
20 CHINA 1.28.202 - TENG YI JIANG

Bell Replaces Barrett in Busch Ride Bell Replaces Barrett in Busch RideT.J. Bell will drive the #36 DCT Motorsports Chevrolet beginning with the NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway and finishing out the season. Bell, who turns 25 years old this week, joins the team from a highly-successful two-year stint in the ARCA series. "T.J. has a tremendous amount of talent and has shown his capabilities on all kinds of speedways," said John McGill, the Cleveland, Ohio, native who owns DCT Motorsports with his wife, Nancy. Bell, a native of Spark, Nev., has 32 ARCA starts with 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. The 2004 Rookie of the Year, he finished third in the standings. He also has 13 career starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "He brings a lot of enthusiasm and, even with his youth, has a solid resume. We believe he can continue the progress that Stanton Barrett has started," McGill said. "Stanton has done a great job for us and we really appreciate his efforts. He has really helped improve our whole racing program. There's a great possibility we will work together again in the future. Nancy and I think the world of him personally, and we leave the door open for him at DCT. However, in such a competitive industry that is driven by sponsors, T.J. is bringing sponsorship to the team that is necessary for our continuance."
Brian Vickers is on a Roll Brian Vickers is on a RollGMAC Racing finished ninth at Brooklyn, Mich., on Sunday, recording its third consecutive top-10 result. In the past six races, only Tony Stewart has outscored Vickers in total points earned. During the stretch dating back to Chicagoland Speedway, Vickers has accumulated 866 points to Stewart's 1,026. Jeremy Mayfield ranks third with 840. The No. 25 GMAC Racing team has maintained an average starting position of 8.0 dating back to the NEXTEL Cup event at Chicagoland Speedway. The average includes a 22nd-place start Aug. 14 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., where the field was set by owner points. Only Ryan Newman has a better average starting position (4.66) during that stretch. And the team isn't satisfied with the status quo. In the past two weeks, GMAC Racing has participated in NEXTEL Cup testing at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in preparation for upcoming events. Asked if he has a shot at making the race for the championship, Vickers responded: "I've tried to keep my focus on the next race and not look ahead. I think we've got a good thing going and I don't want to do anything that will take away from how well we've been running. All we can do as a team is worry about what we can control, not about this scenario or that scenario. We're trying to keep the momentum going. It feels good to see everyone's hard work rewarded with good finishes. Last season was a learning experience that I value and have tried to learn from. With the changes made in the off-season, I knew we could get the job done. And I know that we still have room to improve and that it'll take more time to come together. I'm just proud of everyone for their hard work and devotion."
Industry News
Ford and GM downgraded to 'junk' status Ford and GM downgraded to 'junk' statusMoody's Investors Service Wednesday cut General Motors Corp.'s (GM) and Ford Motor Co.'s (F) debt ratings to junk status, citing continued operating losses, global competition and challenges to restructuring for long-term viability. Moody's also cut GM's finance arm, General Motors Acceptance Corp., to junk status. The cuts affect about $170 billion of outstanding debt, Moody's said.

Moody's was the last of the three major rating services to cut the auto giant to junk status. Moody's cut GM's senior unsecured debt rating to "Ba2" from "Baa3," and GMAC's senior unsecured rating to "Ba1" from "Baa2." The outlook is negative on the new ratings.

Moody's also cut Ford's debt ratings, the second cut to junk for the No. 2 automaker. Moody's cut its ratings on Ford's finance arm but left them at investment-grade status. Most of Ford's debt is held at its finance arm, Ford Motor Credit Co.

Moody's cut Ford's long-term credit ratings by one notch to "Ba1," the highest junk rating, from "Baa3." It cut the long-term ratings on Ford Motor Credit by one notch to "Baa3," the lowest investment-grade rating, from "Baa2." The rating outlook for both companies is negative, meaning another rating cut is likely over the next 12 to 18 months.

In May, rating agency Standard & Poor's cut Ford and Ford Credit to junk status, citing declining sales of sports utility vehicles and trucks. Fox News

Industry News
GM extends employee discount program GM extends employee discount programGeneral Motors Corp. will extend its employee-pricing discount plan on select 2005 models until Sept. 30, a spokeswoman said Thursday.  The world's biggest automaker also plans to apply the discount to select 2006 full-size trucks and sport utility vehicles, said spokeswoman Brenda Rios. The program lets customers buy vehicles at the employee rate.

GM was the first of the Big Three to offer employee prices for all consumers in June. GM's sales shot up 41 percent that month. Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group followed with their own employee-pricing plans in July.

GM and Ford had extended discount plans in August, and Chrysler had extended the deal indefinitely. GM's incentives had been scheduled to run through Sept. 6; Ford's also are set to expire that day.

Champ Car lands on Denmark’s biggest station Champ Car lands on Denmark’s biggest stationRonnie Bremer's strong rookie  performance in Champ Car continues to generate excitement in Denmark.  DR1, the biggest channel in the country announced today that they would be broadcasting the last 5 races of the season in addition to the Eurosport coverage. The races will be commentated by former F3000 standout Jason Watt. This is great news for Ronnie and for Champ Car. Dennis Johansen in Copenhagen
Ford’s new Fusion to pace season finale Ford’s new Fusion to pace season finaleThe all-new 2006 Ford Fusion - set to make its NASCAR racing debut at Daytona in Feb. 2006 - will serve as the official pace car for Ford Championship Weekend, November 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which includes the season finales of both the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the Ford 300 and Ford 400, respectively.

The Ford Fusion, which will be available in dealer showrooms this fall, breathes a fresh attitude into the mid-size car market.  It distinguishes itself with its standout exterior design and engaging driving dynamics, and brings to the segment good fuel economy, advanced safety, clean emissions and roomy interior space - all at an attractive value.

Today's announcement was highlighted by a special unveiling of the 2006 Ford Fusion pace car in South Florida involving Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors, and Curtis Gray, President of Homestead Miami Speedway.

"The all-new Fusion is all about Ford flexing its muscles in the car market and on the race track.  It's Ford's most important product launch since the new F-150,"," said Mr. Ford, who has been chosen to be the Grand Marshall of the Ford 400.  "It will be quite a thrill for me to see Fusion, in front of a sold-out grandstand and millions of television viewers, leading the field to the green flag in the race that will determine this year's NEXTEL Cup champion."

The design of the Fusion was inspired by the Ford 427 concept, a runaway hit with recent auto show crowds.  Fusion takes several design cues from the 427, especially its bold three-bar grille and multi-element projector-beam headlamps.

The 2006 Fusion will become Ford's first all-new nameplate car for NASCAR racing in 38 years, since the 1968 Ford Torino made its debut in both the showroom and on the race track.  It will make its competition debut during Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway next February.

"Fusion's personality is great fit with NASCAR racing and race fans," said Robert Parker, Car Marketing Manager, Ford Division.  "Fusion has a bold new look and an energetic driving personality that our loyal Ford Racing fans across the country will identify with and appreciate."

Ford Championship Weekend, November 18-20, is Ford's keystone racing event, comprising the final races in NASCAR's top national series, the NEXTEL Cup Series (Ford 400), the Busch Series (Ford 300), and the Craftsman Truck series (Ford 200) on the same weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway.

NASCAR chooses Madison Road NASCAR chooses Madison RoadNASCAR has chosen Madison Road Entertainment to provide “sponsored brand integration” in NASCAR TV programming and to find opportunities “to integrate the NASCAR brand” into cable and network TV shows not produced by NASCAR. According to NASCAR, the agreement makes it the first professional league “with a dedicated brand-integration partner” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Montreal history Montreal historyThroughout its colorful history, Montréal has been a French settlement and a British stronghold. Today it is officially bilingual and proud of its status as the largest French-speaking city in North America and second-largest French-speaking city in the world. In 1977 the French-Canadians, inspired by the success of rising star Gilles Villeneuve (father of Champ Car champion Jacques Villeneuve), decided that they needed a new circuit in Quebec. Building a completely new facility was out of the question. It was too expensive and would take too long, so it was suggested that the problem could be solved quickly by linking up the roads on the Ile Notre Dame to form a race track. The island had been built between the free-flowing St. Lawrence River and the St. Lawrence Seaway and was designed to be the home of the World Fair in 1967 - known as Expo 67. The new island, which was situated just a few minutes from downtown Montreal, was also the site of the rowing basin for the 1976 Olympic Games, after the Ile Notre Dame reverted to being a public park. The first Canadian Grand Prix was run on the new Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on October 8, 1978.  Champ Car made its first appearance on the island in 2002 and over the last few years it has quickly become one of the top events on the schedule.
Q and A with ALMS president Scott Atherton Q and A with ALMS president Scott Atherton
LVMS unveils Earnhardt wax figure LVMS unveils Earnhardt wax figureLas Vegas Motor Speedway General Manager Chris Powell joined Adrian Jones, general manager of Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, in an unveiling of a first-of-its-kind wax likeness of seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Wednesday. A meticulously recreated $200,000 life-size wax figure of Earnhardt, dressed in an official driving uniform, complete with cap, jacket and sunglasses, was unveiled during ceremonies that opened the attraction to the public. The figure of Earnhardt is standing in a Victory Lane setting with arms raised in triumph just as he had done 76 times in his NASCAR career. Earnhardt is the first auto racing legend to have a wax figure in the SPEED attraction. Visitors to Madame Tussauds can stand next to the Earnhardt figure and be photographed with it while experiencing the sights and sounds of one of the most thrilling moments in NASCAR history. "Dale Earnhardt introduced the sport of auto racing to millions and his presence best represents the country's fastest-growing spectator sport," Jones said. "Madame Tussauds is dedicating this attraction to auto racing on a long-term basis and we will update this experience with additional $200,000 wax figures of famous auto racing legends on a regular basis. But, when we asked our customers and auto racing fans who should be first, a great majority said Earnhardt." Madame Tussauds Las Vegas is open seven days a week. For attraction hours and pricing, call 702-862-7800, or visit online at www.mtvegas.com. LVMS PR
Hooter Pro Cup
More oval track fans injured More oval track fans injuredHot on the heels of two race fans being killed and others being injured in a short track race in the Midwest when the car flew and hit the top rows (that's right top rows) of the grandstand, two fans were hospitalized when debris flew into the Bristol Motor Speedway grandstands Wednesday night during a USAR Hooters Pro Cup race at the 0.533-mile oval. Track officials, citing the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), said they could not disclose information about the condition of the injured fans, but eyewitnesses said debris from a spinning car flew high into the grandstands, striking a man and a woman. The fans received extensive medical attention from emergency personnel arriving on the scene, according to the eyewitness accounts. Both were removed from the stands on stretchers and taken for treatment to Bristol Regional Medical Center.  Mooresville’s Clay Rogers, driving a Ford, won the Food City 150, passing Jeff Agnew’s Chevrolet on the 137th lap. The race kicked off the week’s activities leading up to Saturday night’s Sharpie 500, a Nextel Cup event. Steven Wallace, an ARCA winner last week in Michigan and the son of Cup star Rusty Wallace, twice touched off multi-car crashes, the latter occurring on lap 147 and leading to a “green-white-checkered” finish that extended the race to 155 laps. Trying to pick up positions, he took his Dodge to the track’s apron in turn one, slamming into the Chevrolet driven by Randy Gentry. The 18-year-old Wallace also crashed on the 19th lap, though he managed to finish 16th. The night also began inauspiciously for the race winner. Rogers, who started second, took the lead at the start but was involved with a crash on lap five while racing for the lead with pole winner Shane Wallace. Gaston Gazette
NASCAR can't interfere with driver contracts NASCAR can't interfere with driver contractsHelton Says NASCAR Can't Interfere In Driver Contracts: Last Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR's president Mike Helton, said that it's not NASCAR's place to get in the middle of driver-owner contract disputes and also has no power to institute a "No Contact" policy, such as the stick and ball sports have to prevent another team contacting a player under contract for purposes of luring that player away. "The way NASCAR is structured, with the independentness of the sanctioning body and the car owner -- there's not a way for us to do that now, even if we desired to," said Helton, "I'm not sure that the drivers and the car owners in particular, historically, and even today with what's in the headlines, they still don't necessarily want NASCAR in the middle of that relationship right now. There's not a way of doing it and we're really not pursuing a way to figure out how to do it. The difference between NASCAR and Football, Baseball and Basketball is that the NASCAR structure is all independent contractors. They're not cohesive like the other stick and ball sports are." Insider Racing News
Darlington gets race for 2006 Darlington gets race for 2006Darlington Raceway’s spot on the 2006 NASCAR schedule is signed, sealed and delivered.  Track president Chris Browning said Wednesday that he has signed the sanctioning agreement to hold the Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 on May 13 and sent it on to NASCAR.  Like this year, the race will be run the Saturday night before Mother’s Day. Also like 2005, the weekend will feature a Busch series race Friday night.
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Weber sues F1 magazine
Montoya off to Monza flier
New technology for F1
Toyota chase McLaren
F1 'seniors' tour proposed
Jordan has 'no regrets'
Dutch group eyes Minardi
Shnaider 'serious' about F1
Donnelly to drive Senna car
Schu better on hot lap - RB
Tifosi have eye on Massa
Michelin, curbs, not to blame
Montreal musings Montreal musingsThis weekend’s Toyota Atlantic event is the 25th Atlantic race held in Montreal, representing the richest history of any current venue on the series calendar. The Atlantics first competed in the popular Canadian city in the series’ first season of 1978. Price Cobb won the pole position for that first event, but it was Jeff Wood who captured the checkered flag for the victory. Since then, the Atlantic winners at Montreal have featured some of the top names in auto racing. Past champions include both Jacques Villeneuves (brother of Gilles Villeneuve, who won in 1980; and son of Gilles Villeneuve who won in 1993), Howdy Holmes (1979), Kevin Cogan (1981), Jimmy Vasser (1991), Patrick Carpentier (1996), Alex Tagliani (1999) and AJ Allmendinger (2003).

Although he hasn’t won a race since Round 6 in Cleveland at the end of July, rookie Atlantic standout Charles Zwolsman (#11 Continental Cartage/Condor Motorsports) continues to lead the Atlantic standings and remains the favorite to win the series title this weekend. After capturing a maximum 35 points with a wire-to-wire win last weekend in Road America, Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Red Line Oil) has reappeared in the championship chase and is the only driver that could catch Zwolsman for the crown this weekend. Zwolsman will carry a 26-point lead (287-261) into Montreal and he knows the title is his for the taking as long as he has a solid finish on Sunday. Zwolsman, who leads the series with five poles and eight podium finishes, is tied with both Kasemets and Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing) for the most victories this season (three).

Champ Car
This weekend Sebastien Bourdais will be gunning for his fourth consecutive win in Champ Car competition this season. The last Champ Car driver to win four consecutive races was Cristiano da Matta, who took four straight on his way to the 2002 series title. 

In the previous events in Montreal there no single driver has been able to dominate a race weekend, in that there have been three different pole winners (Cristiano da Matta, Alex Tagliani, and Sebastien Bourdais), three different race winners (Dario Franchitti, Michel Jourdain Jr., and Bruno Junqueira) and 11 different drivers have led laps.

Due to the length of the straightaways in Montreal, the Power-to-Pass allotment for each driver is increased to 75 seconds for this event.

After Bourdais’ win in Denver France took the top spot in the Nations Cup Standings. Currently France has a five point lead over Canada.

Pantano passes IndyCar Series rookie test Pantano passes IndyCar Series rookie testItalian road racing specialist Giorgio Pantano passed his Indy Racing League Rookie Test on Aug. 24 at Infineon Raceway, clearing the way for him to compete in this weekend's Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old native of Padua, Italy drove the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota-powered Panoz that he will race at both Infineon Raceway this weekend and the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix Presented by Argent Mortgage on Sept. 25. He was evaluated by IndyCar® Series technical manager Kevin Blanch.

Pantano, who stands seventh in the FIA GP2 Championship standings following a pair of points-scoring finishes during the Turkish Grand Prix weekend in Istanbul, will race in the U.S. for the first time since he competed in the 2004 U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Unser, Rutherford remember last time at Infineon Unser, Rutherford remember last time at InfineonWhen Al Unser and Johnny Rutherford start talking racing - especially about their competitive heyday - the banter is quick, often comical and always educational. You'd expect as much from legendary drivers who have seven Indianapolis 500 victories between them and now serve as Indy Racing League consultants.

Broach the subject of the USAC Indy 150 (also called the Golden State 150 and the USAC Sears Point 150) - the first and only major open-wheel racing event at Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point) on April 4, 1970 - and memories flow through the conversation like a storm-swollen river. And the barbs are ever-present.

Both were part of a stellar field that included 1969 Indianapolis 500 champion Mario Andretti, who started alongside pole winner Mark Donohue; Dick Simon, who started 13th and finished sixth; Gordon Johncock, who qualified eighth and finished fourth; Bobby Unser (finished 18th); Bill Vukovich (20th); Gary Bettenhausen (21st); and Jerry Grant (22nd). Donohue didn't make it through the race and finished dead last (25th).

Everyone was left in the road dust of Dan Gurney, who started third on the grid in his final open-wheel race. Andretti was runner-up. The next month, the track closed for a year and USAC did not return when it reopened. zzzz

"The car I drove was a '67 Gurney Eagle that we put a wedge-type body on," said Rutherford, who started ninth and finished fifth in the race. "Mike Devin was my crew chief and Pat Patrick was the owner of the team in 1970. Al and I ran for the pole position at the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway. We were a sleeper because we had this old car and Al had this state-of-the-art car, which was the Johnny Lightning car. We came very close - one-1,000ths mile of an hour. They said if we started our runs together at the start-finish line and gone the four laps and ended at the start-finish line, Al would have been 2½ feet ahead of me. It was the closest run for the pole position in the history of the Speedway.

"That's the same car I drove at Sears Point, and Al was in the Johnny Lightning car. Al was the consummate road racer and I was the old sprint car hard head who charged the corners too hard. We had a good time. The area is beautiful, and I understand that with all the improvements that (Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman) Bruton Smith has done the facility is really something."

Unser, who qualified fourth and finished third in the race, visited the natural terrain track in April when IndyCar Series teams conducted an Open Test in preparation for this weekend's Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix - the first road course event in series history and the first major open-wheel race at the facility in Sonoma, Calif., since 1970. He will be the grand marshal of the event.

"It's a very competitive racetrack," said Unser, who the next month won the first of his four Indianapolis 500s and also won the 1970 USAC national championship. "It's like any; you have to get your car working. We made some changes we shouldn't have made for race day, and all it takes is just a little bit and you get off. We couldn't outrun Gurney or Mario.

"It was one of those days; I should have but I didn't and Gurney says he should have and he did. That's a course that is very demanding on you and your car. You have to make it handle well. All the ups and downs and the different types of corners; it's a demanding place."

Rutherford, who didn't attend the Open Test, concurred.

"The intensity is the same anywhere you go," he said. "You have to really concentrate and get into learning the course. There are many different ways around a racetrack like that, and you have to find the one that fits you and your car."

Gurney's victory came in a car of his own design, the Eagle-Gurney, with Ford power. Andretti also had Ford power in his McNamara and neither was turbo-charged like the power plants run by most of the other road-course winners in the 1970 season. He also won the Belgian Grand Prix that year in a car that his All American Racers produced. Gurney retired from open-wheel racing in 1970, but his All American Eagle was the most successful Indy-style car of the '70s.

"In the end, I had the respect of my peers and I think that is most important," he said.

Montoya and McLaren fastest at Monza Montoya and McLaren fastest at MonzaJuan Pablo Montoya set the fastest lap of the day during testing at Monza. The Colombian was nearly a second faster than the rest of the field, finishing in front of the two Renault drivers, Fernando Alonso (second) and Giancarlo Fisichella (third).

Team McLaren Mercedes began the two day session at the Autodromo Nationale Di Monza in Italy today, with Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa all at the wheel of two MP4-20s during the course of the day.

With the program for the week focused on race distances, the team ran Alex and Pedro in the morning, before Kimi and Juan Pablo took over driving duties for the afternoon session.

In addition to the race distances, the schedule for all four drivers today included set-up and Michelin tire selection work for the Italian Grand Prix, which will take place on the same circuit in ten days time.

The MP4-20's are running with the Monza-specific aero package for the test. As the fastest track on the calendar, this sees the lowest downforce configuration of the season.

The day's running suffered from a number of general red light stoppages; however Alex, Pedro and Juan Pablo completed their programs positively. On his in-lap at the end of the morning session, Pedro span into a gravel trap. As the team were removing gravel from the car, an issue with the gearbox was identified, which had to be rectified before Kimi could take over driving duties in the afternoon session. Once the car had been readied, red lights prevented Kimi from completing many laps.
1. J.P. Montoya - McLaren Mercedes - 1'19"880 (+0"000) - 49 laps
2. F. Alonso - Renault - 1'20"860 (+0"980) - 101 laps
3. G. Fisichella - Renault - 1'21"318 (+1"438) - 93 laps
4. A. Wurz - McLaren Mercedes - 1'21"701 (+1"821) - 49 laps
5. P. de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'21"917 (+2"037) - 54 laps
6. K. Raikkonen - McLaren Mercedes - 1'21"966 (+2"086) - 4 laps
7. D. Coulthard - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'21"999 (+2"119) - 54 laps
8. R. Zonta - Toyota - 1'22"001 (+2"121) - 103 laps
9. L. Badoer - Ferrari - 1'22"300 (+2"420) - 128 laps
10. F. Massa - Ferrari - 1'22"408 (+2"528) - 88 laps
11. M. Webber - BMW Williams - 1'22"486 (+2"606) - 44 laps
12. J. Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas - 1'22"906 (+3"026) - 96 laps
13. N. Rosberg - BMW Williams - 1'22"946 (+3"066) - 48 laps
14. V. Liuzzi - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'23"181 (+3"301) - 35 laps
15. T. Monteiro - Jordan Toyota - 1'24"665 (+4"785) - 58 laps
16. O. Panis - Toyota V8 - 1'27"989 (+8"109) - 75 laps
17. R. Schumacher - Toyota - no lap times

LV Sun supports Champ Car race LV Sun supports Champ Car raceThe Las Vegas mayor's Quixote-like quest to turn downtown into a tourist destination and not just a place to purchase mass quantities of ice cold Budweiser in giant plastic footballs is all the more reason he should check out one of the Champ Car series street parties -- er, races -- and consider a partnership with the auto racing sanctioning body to hold one here.

Champ Car, according to multiple sources within the sport, would like to move its September race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, for which it pays a track rental fee, to a temporary downtown circuit, in which case it would probably ask for a sanctioning fee, or at least for help in building a temporary racing circuit.

But even if it does put its hand out, the number of spectators a Champ Car street race would bring downtown for a three-day weekend -- and the synergy those spectators would generate for concerts and parties and other race-related events and activities -- would probably offset the financial commitment. Not to mention all those TV cameras that would be focused on Neonopolis and all things Golden, such as the Nugget and the Gate hotel-casinos.

While a downtown street race sounds like a good idea, it probably won't happen, if for no other reason than City Hall does not want to step on any toes out at LVMS.

So I guess downtown will have to settle for Paul Revere and the Raiders when it could have Paul Tracy and the Champ Car World Series.  Of course, there's always those giant plastic footballs filled with mass quantities of ice cold Budweiser. Las Vegas Sun

Ameriquest to sponsor NBS race in Fontana Ameriquest to sponsor NBS race in FontanaAmeriquest Mortgage Company, one of the nation's largest mortgage lenders and "Proud Sponsor of the American Dream," announced today a multi-year sponsorship agreement with the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) making Ameriquest the title sponsor of the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway.

The Ameriquest 300 will take place on Saturday, September 3 in Fontana, Calif. and feature Busch Series stars, along with the NASCAR oval-track debut of Mexican superstar Adrian Fernandez and several NEXTEL Cup drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth competing on the 2-mile, D-shaped oval.  The sponsorship of the 300-mile shootout represents Ameriquest's first venture into NASCAR.

NBC to televise Montreal event live NBC to televise Montreal event liveThe battle for the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford championship is reaching the critical stage and NBC will carry all of the action Sunday afternoon from the Molson Indy Montreal.

NBC will carry every lap of Sunday’s Molson Indy Montreal from picturesque Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, bringing the action to your living rooms beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This will be the fourth running of the Molson Indy Montreal as 18 of the world’s best open-wheel drivers negotiate the tricky 2.709-mile layout, which is also home to the Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 race.

Rick Benjamin and Derek Daly will call the action of Sunday’s 79-lap event, which is the 10th round of this year’s Champ Car World Series 14-race title bout. Series points leader Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) takes a 53-point lead into this weekend’s race, but is being pursued relentlessly by 2003 champ Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and teammate Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) in the quest for the Vanderbilt Cup.

NBC also carried the 2005 season-opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this year, marking the second consecutive year that the network had broadcast the Champ Car lidlifter. This will be the sixth event on terrestrial network television this year as four of the early-summer events were carried live on CBS. The television audience numbers steadily increased with each subsequent network broadcast, with the Molson Indy Toronto drawing over 1,000,000 households in the United States.

The three-day event kicks off on Friday with practice and qualifying taking place on both Friday and Saturday. Fans can follow all of the weekend’s action via Champ Car’s new Race Director feature, which is available on the official website of the series – www.champcar.ws.

SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking
Updated 8-24-05
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (1) Kimi Raikkonen (F1) 9.660
2. (10) Fernando Alonso (F1) 9.658
3. (5) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 8.379
4. (2) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 8.295
5. (4) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 8.171
6. (15) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL) 7.507
7. (12) Jeremy Mayfield (NASCAR) 7.476
8. (NR) Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 7.008
9. (21) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 6.966
10. (14) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 6.939
11. (6) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR) 6.897
12. (13) Oriol Servia (CCWS) 6.800
13. (8) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.702
14. (NR) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 6.673
15. (9) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 6.663
16. (11) Brian Vickers (NASCAR) 6.601
17. (16) Joe Nemechek (NASCAR) 6.390
18. (30) Tony Kanaan (IRL) 6.151
19. (NR) Ryan Newman (NASCAR) 6.141
20. (28) Dario Franchitti (IRL) 6.013
Last week’s ranking in parenthesis
Provided by STATS Inc.
A1 Grand Prix
Team USA leads first test at Paul Ricard Team USA leads first test at Paul RicardA1 Team USA recorded the fastest lap time at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track today during A1 Grand Prix's second team test session. Making its debut appearance following its official unveiling this morning, the USA car emblazoned with the American flag and the slogan 'We the People' crept above A1 Team Brazil mid-way through the afternoon session.

Commenting on his team's success, seat holder, Rick Weidinger said: 'A1 Team USA is very pleased with the today's results. Anytime you finish a test, especially at Paul Ricard, and you're P1 you have to be happy. Our test driver, Scott Speed has a rich heritage of racing results and today is another indication of his talent. The team did a wonderful job, they all pulled together, and that's a goal of ours, to be a team in the garage and on the track. We made a huge step forward today.'

Emphasizing the team involvement in A1 Grand Prix, A1 Team Ireland driver Ralph Firman said: 'It was a very encouraging start for the team, they have only had one week to get the car ready and they've done a fantastic job to get the car up and running. It's an exciting series which I have wanted to be involved in it for a long time.'

'Today's A1 Team test session showed just how exciting the A1 Grand Prix races are set to be' said A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum. 'Each team became increasingly competitive as the day progressed with the countries in the top few positions changing constantly. We saw 20 identical cars each driven by a mixture of established drivers and young up and coming talent, each racing for the pride of their nation. A1 Grand Prix is a diverse Series and from today's results we can see that it is also highly competitive. I'm looking forward to tomorrow where the Teams will experience the first rolling start of A1 Grand Prix where you will see 20 nations in a league of their own starting to compete for the first World Cup of Motorsport.'

Fastest lap times - Wednesday 24 August 2005
 1 USA 1.24.559 - SCOTT SPEED
12 PAKISTAN 1.26.139 - ADAM KHAN
19 CHINA 1.29.377 - TENG JIANG

Rookie driver has Legge (Leg) up in Open Wheel Rookie driver has Legge (Leg) up in Open WheelUPDATE A reader writes, It looks like the US motorsports press is finally looking past IRL PR barrage and trying to find the real capabilities of the female drivers in open wheel racing.  It is apparent that Katherine is a driver worthy of competing in the male dominated open wheel racing sport.  The USA Today writer did an objective interview and perspective.  The Champ Car fans look forward to the addition of her skills and motivation to those Sunday afternoon races.  Good luck Katherine. Greg Waugh, Renton, WA 08/24/05 This USA Today article in today's newspaper is a good read on Champ Car Toyota Atlantic driver Katherine Legge (pronounced Leg).  It's a rather large spread on page 3 of the Sport's section. 
Montreal is one track Wirdheim and Glock know Montreal is one track Wirdheim and Glock knowUPDATE We forgot to mention that Rocketsports driver Timo Glock, another European, also will be coming to Montreal with some prior knowledge of the Montreal track from his F1 days. 08/24/05 Bjorn Returns to Montreal: Bjorn will compete this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as Rookie in the Champ Car World Series, but, for the first time this season, it will be on a circuit he is familiar with. While driving for Jaguar Formula One Team in the 2004 FIA World Championship, Bjorn competed at the famed circuit.

Bjorn on Montreal: Montreal is the only track that we visit this year that I have raced on before. I was there last year with Jaguar for the Formula One race and I did the Friday practice. It is a track that I quite like and I have been really looking forward to this event for two reasons. The first, obviously because I already know the circuit and will not have to learn on Friday like I have had to at all of the other events this year. Second, because the HVM team had a very good car in Montreal last year and nearly won the race. From what I understand we will use pretty much the same setup as we used in Denver where we had a really good car. I am confident that if we get everything right in Montreal, we will get the result that we were capable of in Denver. The Montreal circuit has some really long straights and heavy braking zones. Last year, most of the work I did was on brakes, we were working to get them to last the whole race. I don't expect to have the same problem in Champ Car because the car is quite different but it is something we will have to look after. Montreal is more like a normal racing circuit although it still has a street circuit feel to it because in most places there is not a lot of run off area and the walls are very close to the track so you still have to be very careful when driving on the limit. That being said, I like the layout and I really enjoy the challenge of the margin with the wall, it should be a good weekend for us."

Save Camp Anokijig in Elkhart Lake Save Camp Anokijig in Elkhart Lake[Editor's Note: It has come to our attention one of Elkhart Lake's biggest treasures is in trouble! YMCA Camp Anokijig is for sale, that is the Racine YMCA owned summer camp across from Road America. For years many went there as a kid and heard the motors roar and dreamed of being a driver, or become involved with racing in some capacity. Please check out the website www.savecamp.com, and help if you can.]

It is 6:00am on August 17, of the 79th year that Camp Anokijig has served children and families on the shores of Little Elkhart Lake. I have the great fortune to be sitting on the porch of Western Lodge watching the sun come up over the lake and taking in the sounds of Anokijig. The beauty and serenity is almost overwhelming. When I think of all the people who have enjoyed this place and all the memories that have been made here, it is like this place has a life of its own. In a very short time, the bugle will sound out across the lake to wake 350 campers and staff to let them know it will be another great day.

Your camp is recognized across the country for its achievements and its ability to enrich and change lives, for making new lifelong friends, for developing new skills, and, of course, for having outrageous fun. We are all blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of this and to know the magic of Anokijig.

Today, it greatly saddens me to say that this may be my last letter to you. The Racine YMCA has had many years of financial problems and sees the need to build a new building as the solution to perpetuating the organization. To accomplish this they have decided to sell Anokijig in a bidding process that has already begun. The sale has been turned over to a broker who has begun to show Anokijig to land developers and other potential buyers. The current plan calls for the broker to accept bid documents until September 30, 2005. Once the bid process is over, the Racine YMCA will make their selection and the fate of this wonderful place will be sealed forever. The sailboats, piers, horses, tents, canoes, and program equipment could be sold off when the property changes hands at the first of the year. The 2006 season for Anokijig could be highlighted by bulldozers and builders.

I am truly sorry to be the bearer of such terrible news. We have so little time to respond, but we only recently found out about the YMCA’s plans. We have been very busy setting up an organization to save Anokijig. Several alumni hired a corporate attorney and have created a 501(c) 3 not for profit corporation, Friends of Camp Anokijig, for the sole purpose of saving Anokijig and all that it stands for. Our goal is to make Anokijig an independent YMCA Camp that will never have to face this issue again. The Racine YMCA has told us it will accept eight million dollars to stop the bidding process and turn Anokijig over to us to become an independent camp.

I am writing to inform you of this pending disaster and to assure you that the Friends of Camp Anokijig are a legitimate group who themselves have made substantial donations to help save Camp Anokijig. They need your help and support in several ways: Send a cash donation, send a pledge to donate funds every year for the next three to five years, guarantee a portion of a loan we are to get with a bank, contact your friends with this message, or contact us with the name of anyone you know who may be able to help save Anokijig. See www.savecamp.com

Dale Jr. to field Busch team Dale Jr. to field Busch teamNASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will field a team in the NASCAR Busch Series next season.  Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports will run Mark McFarland in the No. 88 Chevrolet, sponsored by the U.S. Navy.  The new team will be run independently of Chance 2 Motorsports, the Busch Series team Earnhardt co-owns with his stepmother, Teresa.  Earnhardt said he wants DEI involvement in the new team, but that he “currently has no firm agreement”  In the same interview Dale Jr. hints at being reunited with the Eurys in 2006. AP Story
Danica Patrick TV appearances Danica Patrick TV appearancesUPDATE #2 In case you missed the original broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman show televised on May 23, 2005, a replay will be shown Wednesday night (tonight) with guests Paul Newman and Danica Patrick.  Don't miss it.  The program is on CBS at 11:30 p.m. ET. 05/23/05 Reminder - Paul Newman will also be on the David Letterman show tonight with Danica Patrick. 05/23/05 Danica Patrick will a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman Monday night.  But in addition to her guest appearance on David Letterman's show, she will also be on Cold Pizza, the Jim Rome Show, and a segment of Newsnight with Aaron Brown....all organized while the IRL flies everyone to NY City for the Times Square photo shoot.
Industry News
Ford may shut some plants Ford may shut some plantsFord Motor Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford said Tuesday evening that the automaker is planning another round of cost cutting, which may include plant closures.  Now, blue-collar jobs could also be in the crosshairs.

Ford said a plan likely will be announced after the Frankfurt auto show in mid-September and "before fall gets too far away from us."

"We are going to have more to say," Ford told journalists after accepting the chairmanship of the Detroit Economic Club from Chrysler Group CEO Dieter Zetsche at Cobo Center.

Ford has been unhappy with its financial results, losing $907 million in the April-June period this year in North America. Earlier this year, the automaker said it had planned to cut about 2,700 white-collar workers, but since has said it might cut more.

While Ford said he didn't want to "make it sound like there are a lot of loose ends" beyond the cost cutting the company already had announced, he would not dismiss questions that plant closings may be in the offing.

"We do have an overcapacity issue, and it's something we will address," Ford said. Ford also said the company's crisis is "something we can and will emerge from." Detroit Free Press

A1 Grand Prix
Germany, Russia and Indonesia join A1 Grand Prix Germany, Russia and Indonesia join A1 Grand PrixGermany, Indonesia and Russia will join A1 Grand Prix today as the Series' embarks on its second team test session at the world-famous Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in Le Castellet, France. 

The seat holder behind A1 Team Germany will be announced at an on-site press conference tomorrow (Thursday 25 August), while details of the seat holders for A1 Teams Indonesia and Russia will follow shortly. 

The addition of the three new teams means that 20 A1 race cars representing Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA will be seen on track for the first time. 

Keeping a close eye on the second official team test session, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum said: 'The first shakedown held at Silverstone at the beginning of August saw the competitive spirit of the Teams emerge as the top 10 drivers all recorded fastest lap times within one second of each other. The Teams have had the opportunity to fine tune their cars and with the addition of another five Teams excitement and anticipation is building for a successful test session and a competitive Series.' 

A1 Grand Prix will release official timing results at the end of each day's testing (Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August 2005).

NASCAR slams more from its plethora of cheaters NASCAR slams more from its plethora of cheatersNASCAR announced today that three penalties have been issued to the #49 Dodge team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series as a result of rules infractions last weekend at Michigan. The penalties were issued because of a roof height that was too low, a violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing), and Section 12-4-Q (car, parts, components and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. This infraction was discovered during post-race inspection. Ken Schrader, driver of the #49, was penalized with the loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver championship points. Car owner Beth Ann Morgenthau was penalized with the loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owner championship points. Crew chief David Hyder was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. NASCAR
Champ Car presidents through the years Champ Car presidents through the years
Jim Melvin: 1978-80
John Frasco: President and later chairman, 1980-89
John Caponigro: President under Frasco, left Champ Car in 1989
*John Capels: Executive vice president and chief operating officer, 1990
Bill Stokkan: 1990-93
*Dale Coyne: 1993
Andrew Craig: 1994-2000
*Bobby Rahal: 2000
Joe Heitzler: 2001
Chris Pook: 2002-2003
Dick Eidswick: 2004-2005
Steve Johnson: 2005
* -- Interim leader NSSN Staff
CORR Off-Road
Bob Jenkins Added To Broadcast Team Bob Jenkins Added To Broadcast TeamBob Jenkins, who has broadcast the Indy Racing League, NASCAR, Formula One and drag racing event, will add Championship Off Road Racing to his resume as he takes over the play-by-play duties for the series.  CORR races can be seen on the Speed Channel. For more information, log on to www.speedtv.com or www.corracing.com.
Industry News
Fittipaldi to kick off SEMA show Fittipaldi to kick off SEMA showEmerson Fittipaldi, the only driver in history to win two Formula One World Championships, two Indianapolis 500s and an IndyCar World Championship, will help kick off the 2005 SEMA show at the New Products Breakfast, where the 10 winners of the show's New Product Awards will be announced.  Fittipaldi will speak about the specialty equipment industry.  The event is set for Nov. 1 at 7:30 a.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The show will open at 9 a.m.  For more information, visit www.semashow.com.
Kudos to Champ Car's new management Kudos to Champ Car's new managementDriver Bruno Junqueira is very encouraged with all the positive signs surrounding the series this year.

"I have a really good impression," he says. "I joined Champ Car in 2001 and every year from there on was getting worse and worse. I have to say this is the first year that it's getting better. This year has been better than 2004 so I think maybe this is the turnaround for Champ Car. It was going down and down and now it's time to go up.

"It's getting better and stronger. The races are really well-run and we have great crowds. The TV is getting better, although they still have to improve the show and the ratings too. It looks like we're having some new sponsors coming onboard so I'm quite optimistic about the championship for the following years.

"I'm disappointed that Dick Eidswick is going to leave," Bruno adds. "It's kind of a shame that the series can't have a CEO for five years. Dick was the perfect guy. He didn't know anything about racing but he's learned a lot and he's a really good businessman and at the end of the day that's what's needed. I think we have to thank Dick because he's done a very good job in a year and a half."
Junqueira makes the point that everyone involved in the Champ Car World Series deserves a round of thanks.

"Paul Newman is doing a great job trying to help the series," Bruno comments.  "Paul for sure has been one of the most important people helping the series. We have to thank him, Kevin Kalkhoven, Dick Eidswick, Jerry Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi, as well as Ford and Bridgestone because they're doing a great job as well.

"But I have to say that everybody is really working fantastic. Everybody who is there really loves the series and is doing everything they can to help the series. That's been the nicest thing to see. You look at some of the crew guys who are maybe making twenty percent less working for a Champ Car team than working for an IRL team but they want to stay in Champ Car. The same thing with some of the drivers. Everyone in their own way has tried to help make things happen in helping the series."

Junqueira is also impressed with the performance of Champ Car's vice-president of operations Tony Cotman and his team.

"I'm not driving but I've never heard a complaint about them," Bruno says. "I'm not driving or going to the driver's meetings so I don't know for sure, but there used to be ten complaints every weekend. Now I don't hear any complaints and it looks like the races are running much more smooth and the drivers are happier." ChampCar.ws

Junqueira tabs Bourdais for title Junqueira tabs Bourdais for titleJunqueira thinks it's extremely unlikely that teammate Bourdais will not win championship for a second successive year.

"I think the championship battle is over," Bruno declares. "Tracy is showing a lot of speed, like every year. To be honest, the last three years have been between Tracy and Sebastien. They've got most of the poles and most of the wins.

"Tracy was looking really strong this year but unfortunately for him he had two really bad races. I thought he was going to win Toronto, but he ran out of fuel and then he crashed in Denver. That's pretty much sixty points in those two races and that's the difference in the championship between him and Sebastien right now. He just gave Sebastien the difference in those two races.

"I think Sebastien is driving really well this year, really consistent, and I don't think anybody can catch him," Bruno continues. "I think early in the year Sebastien wasn't as good as last year. He wasn't as dominant as he was last year. There were some races where he won like Edmonton where you could see that Sebastien was a little bit behind, as he was in Denver until Tracy crashed, but in the last two races he drove really well.

"I think there's a big chance Sebastien could win the championship in the next three races. The only way Tracy can win the championship is he needs to win races. He needs to be up front every race and Sebastien needs to have at least two bad races. Two bad races out of five can happen but Sebastien is doing very good. Even the two times that he crashed with Tracy he still got lucky and was able to finish in the top five." ChampCar.ws

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Massa tests Ferrari at Monza
Baby to blame
V10 gets further restriction
'Monza should suit Ferrari'
From F1 boss to golf caddie
Massa 'hungrier than Schu'
Ferrari focus on 2006
'Williams likely to beat BMW'
Honda Performance Development Jobs on Yahoo! Hot Jobs Honda Performance Development Jobs on Yahoo! Hot JobsHonda Performance Development (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is the technical operations center for Honda's IndyCar engine program. HPD also coordinates American Honda's participation in the IRL IndyCar Series. HPD currently operates out of a 123,000-square-foot building in Santa Clarita. The two-story structure houses comprehensive engine Research & Development operations including design, development engineering, prototype and production parts manufacturing, engine preparation, rebuilding, material analysis, quality control inspection, dyno/test cells, machining, parts distribution and administrative offices.
Job Title Location Salary Date
Machinist Los Angeles, CA -- Aug 23
Machinist Valencia, CA -- Aug 23
Document Control Clerk Los Angeles, CA -- Aug 09
Buyer/Planner Valencia, CA -- Aug 09
Development Engineer Valencia, CA -- Aug 09
Document Control Clerk Valencia, CA -- Aug 09
Buyer/Planner Los Angeles, CA -- Aug 09
Development Engineer Los Angeles, CA -- Aug 09
Process Engineer Valencia, CA -- Aug 09
Process Engineer Los Angeles, CA -- Aug 09
For Ranger and Philippe, Montreal feels like home For Ranger and Philippe, Montreal feels like homeMi-Jack Conquest Racing has high hopes for a sort of homecoming this weekend, as the team prepares to race North of the border in the Molson Indy Montreal for round ten of the 2005 Champ Car World Series. Quebec native Andrew Ranger grew up close by, and his French teammate Nelson Philippe is also a big fan of the Montreal race weekend.
Racing in front of his home crowd isn’t the only reason Ranger is looking forward to the weekend, as he has a strong record on the track, scoring a victory the first time he raced there and backing that up last year with a strong top-five result in his Rookie of the Year-winning Toyota Atlantic Championship season.
“As you can imagine, I’ve had this race circled on my calendar from the moment I joined Mi-Jack Conquest Racing,” said Ranger. “Coming back to race in Montreal as a driver in the Champ Car World Series is an incredible feeling. Winning here in 2003 certainly counts among the most memorable moments of my open-wheel career.   There is always a little bit more pressure competing in your hometown, in front of your family, friends and sponsors, but I believe I can channel all that positive energy and use it to my advantage.” zzzz
The rookie, who carries the famous number 27 on his Tide/Mi-Jack Conquest Racing machine, wants his run on the famed Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve to launch him towards a strong finish to the season.
 “With five events left, we are focused on the task at hand, which is to collect as many points as possible in the hopes of winning the Rookie-of-the-Year title and finishing in the top-10 in the overall standings,” said Ranger.
Second-year Champ Car pilot Philippe has been on a hot streak of late, although his results haven’t fully reflected the speed that the young Frenchman has shown this summer, and he is hoping to post a strong result this weekend. The race is the third visit to the famed circuit for Philippe, who scored a fourth place finish in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2003 before making the move up to Champ Car in 2004.
"Montreal is a great place to race for many reasons--the fans  are great, and of course it’s an amazing track layout,” said Philippe. “Racing in Andrew's hometown where everybody speaks French is the closest thing to a home race for me. I am very motivated to do well in this race because after chasing two top 5 results in the past two races, I am very hungry to actually finish there. The team continues to be motivated and we will get there."
Team co-owner Eric Bachelart  has guided his two young charges through the season, and despite the strong Denver result, he is looking for even more out of Ranger and Philippe this weekend in what should be another highly-successful Canadian Champ Car event.
“It was good that we had both cars finish in the top ten in Denver, but we were looking for more,” said Mi-Jack Conquest Racing co-owner Eric Bachelart. “Nelson has continued to step things up during the race weekend, and of course it will be a pleasure to be racing in Andrew’s home town. We are looking for him to get back on track with some strong finishes in order to get back into the rookie battle, and he has a good record here, so hopefully we can produce two good results this weekend.”
F1 Turkish GP TV ratings F1 Turkish GP TV ratingsLast Sunday's Turkish GP garnered a 7.4 million viewers/52.8 share TV rating in Italy and in Spain the race pulled in a 4.7 million viewers/49 share.  In those two small countries alone F1 dwarfs NASCAR in the USA in terms of total viewers and we didn't even begin to count the rest of the world.  Worldwide F1 is still probably 100 times more popular than NASCAR.  We wonder if NASCAR is a blip on Bernie's radar screen yet.
Bucknum replaces A.J. Foyt IV Bucknum replaces A.J. Foyt IVJeff Bucknum will replace A.J. Foyt IV in a one-off drive at Infineon Raceway this weekend. Team owner A.J. Foyt said, “We didn’t test with Anthony at Infineon at the IRL Open Test in April and I decided it wouldn’t be fair to run him since everyone else has tested there. It’s a tricky course, especially running the long course [vs. NASCAR’s shortened venue]. I think it’d be even harder for him than St. Pete where we struggled. Jeff Bucknum called last week offering to help Anthony out there. But I decided it would make more sense to put Jeff in the car. Jeff’s familiar with the course, he’s run there quite a bit in smaller cars and was an instructor there for a couple years. Also, he did a half-day in a Dreyer-Reinbold Indy car at the IRL test there in April and impressed them. I’m looking forward to having him drive for me this weekend. I knew his daddy [the late Ronnie Bucknum] way back when and I never thought his son would be driving for me. It’s a small world.”

Jeff Bucknum on driving the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet: “I’m pretty excited to be driving the 14 car for A.J. It feels like things have come full circle for my family because my dad and A.J. raced together in the ‘60s. When I told my Mom that I was driving for A.J. I think it brought back so many memories of my dad that it brought a tear to her eye and became really special for her too. As far as driving at Infineon, my first ever racing experience was the Skip Barber School there. I’ve driven quite a few races at Infineon so I’m real familiar with the track. I tested the Dreyer-Reinbold Dallara there in April, so I feel pretty comfortable driving an Indy car there. With my knowledge of the track and A.J.’s experience in setting up Indy cars, I think we’ll be able to get a good balance on the car and ultimately have a good weekend. I’m thrilled to be driving for him and I’m looking forward to working with his ABC Supply team.” 
IPS Series
Mansell and McMillan unite for two races Mansell and McMillan unite for two racesScott Mansell (Nigel Mansell's 19-year old son), a talented young British driver who was a finalist for the prestigious BRDC Autosport McLaren Young Driver of the Year Award in 2004, will compete in the final two IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series road-course races this season.

The 19-year old from Birmingham, United Kingdom, will drive the No. 22 Dave McMillan Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Dave McMillan also leads the Andretti Green Racing Menards Infiniti Pro Series team, which will field Marco Andretti in those two events.

"I am really happy to have been given this opportunity, and I am really looking forward to racing in the USA with Marco," said Mansell. "I was really impressed with the Dave McMillan racing team at the recent shakedown test, and I am relishing the prospect of racing against competitors in equal machinery."

Mansell won the 2004 EuroBOSS championship on the strength of four victories and seven pole positions in eight races. He established five outright circuit lap records and was the youngest driver to ever win a race and a championship in an F1 car.

The championship earned Mansell the BBC Midlands Young Sportsperson of the Year award and nomination for the Autosport Club Driver of the Year Award.

"I think Scott will be very, very tough," said McMillan, who will be fielding a car in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series under the Dave McMillan Racing banner for the first time. "Scott went to Michigan (July 31) to watch the IndyCar Series and got a taste for it."

McMillan has been a team manager and engineer for Keith Duesenberg Racing in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in the past and is running the equipment formerly fielded by that team.

As a driver, McMillan won several open-wheel championships in New Zealand in the early 1980s, and in 1982 became the first driver from overseas to win a Toyota Atlantic championship.

Graf poised to make history Graf poised to make historyIt all comes down to this weekend for German rookie Klaus Graf as the Trans-Am Series makes its first visit to picturesque Montreal and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Graf is leading one of the tightest points battles in Trans-Am history, as the Series prepares to put a fitting end to its 40th consecutive year of competition at the 2.747-mile permanent road course. This weekend’s Trans-Am event, Round 9 and the season finale of the 2005 title chase, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday Aug. 26-27, and is part of the Molson Indy Montreal weekend.

With his victory last weekend at Road America, Graf (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) took a 12-point lead in the championship. In the process, he helped Jaguar clinch its fifth manufacturers’ title and he won the Rookie of the Year championship, becoming the first German driver to do so. He needs only to finish third or better here this weekend to clinch his first Trans-Am Drivers’ Championship. If that were to happen, Graf would become the first German Drivers’ Champion in Trans-Am history and the first rookie to win the title since Dorsey Schroeder in 1989.

Champ Car Proves To Be A Leader In The Online Community Champ Car Proves To Be A Leader In The Online CommunityAs one of the most technologically advanced racing series in the world, the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is also pioneering technology off the track to deliver ubiquitous access to its online content by independent of device, platform and connection speed to the Internet.

Champ Car has made its “Audio Roundtable” feature available in the form of a Podcast,  Allowing Champ Car fans to download one of the most popular features of www.champcar.ws.  The “Audio Roundtable” features www.champcar.ws staff writers Gordon Kirby, Robin Miller, John Oreovicz and David Phillips pontificating on all aspects of Champ Car.  These audio shows give fans an inside look at the Champ Car paddock and keep them up to date on all of the breaking news in the series.

These new features have led to amazing growth in the usage of www.champcar.ws as we saw an 29 percent increase in page views in June 2005 compared to June 2004 and a 64 percent increase in page views in July compared to last year.  These increases in traffic have led to increased sponsorship of the website by technology leader Intel Corporation.  Intel has sponsored Champ Car’s online video on-demand service “Race Director” For both the San Jose and Denver event.  Intel also has been the presenting sponsor of the post race online chat with the race winner of each of those events.

An independent site analysis of www.champcar.ws commissioned by Sport Business International claims “Overall this is a good site and it will appeal to its audience in look and feel and content.” The analysis went on to say “Multimedia is used throughout the site and there is a lot there for enthusiasts.”

Champ Car Mobile content is now available in nine countries including limited availability in the United States and Puerto Rico.  Champ Car themed wallpapers and ring tones can be accessed over a wide variety of mobile carriers including Telefonica Movistar, nTelos and IUSACELL.

NASCAR Michigan TV ratings NASCAR Michigan TV ratingsNASCAR ratings on Turner Network Television (TNT) continue to climb as the network yielded a 15 percent increase for Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Racing from Michigan presented by Transporter 2 from the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, August 21. 

The NEXTEL Cup Series race earned a 5.5 cable rating (4.5 US) and 4,889,000 households, up from 4.8 (3.9 US, 4,223,000 households) in 2004.  The Busch Series race increased 27 percent, earning a 1.9 cable rating (1.5 US), up from 1.5 cable (1.2 US) over last year. 

The ratings increase marks the third consecutive ratings rise for TNT NEXTEL Cup races this season and ranks as the third most-watched NEXTEL Cup race in cable television history, behind TNT's coverage this year of the Pennsylvania 500 on July 24 (#1), and New England 300 on July 17 (#2).

IRL drivers must get stronger for road courses IRL drivers must get stronger for road coursesThe Marlboro Team Penske engineers aren’t the only ones who have been preparing themselves for the Series’ first permanent road course event. Both two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and two-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr have augmented their training regimens to insure they are in peak physical condition for the grueling road course race

Castroneves has been focusing on weight training by lifting heavier weights at lower reps to make sure his muscles can withstand the strain that they will experience in Sonoma. In addition, he’s also working on increasing his stamina by swimming in the open ocean followed-up with a run, which he does at least twice a week

“I think it will be important to make sure I’m in the best condition possible for this weekend,” said Castroneves. “At the beginning of the season, I began preparing for the road courses by lifting more weights and trying to improve my conditioning. I’ve found that the combination of swimming and then running really adds a new dimension to my overall performance as I have built my stamina significantly over the past several months.” Sam Hornish Jr. has added a new component to his regimen by building triathlon training into his workout schedule. At least once a week, the Defiance, OH native swims a ½ mile, bikes 16 miles and runs 3 ½ miles. On the other days that he isn’t triathlon training, he weight trains and either swims, cycles, runs, or works out on his rowing machine

“I’ve been in good shape the past few seasons, but I wanted to make sure I was in even better shape this year,” said Hornish Jr. “With the addition of road course racing this season, physical conditioning has become even more important so I wanted to make sure I was prepared to perform at my best.” Marlboro Team Penske 

Molson files lawsuit in Vancouver Molson files lawsuit in Vancouver'Molson Sports & Entertainment is suing Concord Pacific Group for seizing a $400,000 performance bond that Molson posted last year to use Concord's property to stage the Molson Indy car race. According to a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Molson had a licensing agreement with Concord that covered a staging of the car race - the last Indy race to be held in Vancouver - that allowed Molson to occupy a portion of Concord's property to install a roadway. A performance bond was posted to guarantee compliance.

The statement said the bond could only be withdrawn after written notice was provided to Molson Sport that it was in default of the agreement.

Molson " faithfully and diligently discharged it's obligations to CPGI (concord)," said the claim, but on Aug. 16 concord caused the $400,000 to be transferred to its bank account. Molson claims that this was a "wrongful draw" on the funds.' Vancouver Sun

Formula BMW
Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain Formula BMW World Final in BahrainDrivers from all four Formula BMW series compete for a Formula One test drive.

Manama/Munich. The championships of the four Formula BMW series have not yet been decided, but preparations for the season's highlight are already running at full throttle. From 13th to 16th December, the first Formula BMW World Final is to be held on the Bahrain International Circuit.

Racing in a tournament format, the young drivers of the four series will be competing not only for a US-Dollar 60 000 purse but also for the winner's prize: a Formula One test drive. Below is a summary of the key features of the event.

Date: 13th to 16th December 2005.

Circuit: The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) was built between 2003 and 2004. 4th April 2004 saw the first Formula One Grand Prix of the Middle East held there. The BIC is both host and promoter of the event.

Eligible drivers: The Formula BMW series are now held in 14 countries across three continents. This year sees 87 drivers from 31 nations competing against each other.

In principle, all drivers involved in any of this year's four Formula BMW series are eligible to compete in the World Final, i.e. drivers in the Formula BMW ADAC Championship, the Formula BMW Asia Series, the Formula BMW UK Championship and the Formula BMW USA Championship. Each driver must have previously taken part in at least three Formula BMW race events.

Format: The event takes the form of a tournament which will give drivers numerous opportunities for competitive racing. 180 minutes of Free Practice will enable them to familiarize themselves with the circuit in detail.

For each Qualifying Session, entrants will be divided into four groups within which drivers compete against each other. A points system calculates an intermediate score for each driver. The highest scorers qualify directly for the Pre-Final.

Another group competes in the Second Chance Race, in which the best finishers can still secure a place in the Pre-Final. The results of the Pre-Final determine the grid line-up for the Final, which takes place on the Friday and sees only the best of the drivers competing against each other.

Prize money: US-Dollar 60,000.

Winner's prize: Formula One test drive with BMW managed Formula One team.

Testing opportunity: From the publication date of the World Final Regulations (27th July 2005) through to 12th December 2005, a test ban is in effect on the circuit.

After the World Final, teams can make the most of the mild climate in Bahrain (between 16 and 22 degrees Celsius in December) for up to four days of Formula BMW test drives.

Support: BMW will provide support for the teams in the areas of freight logistics (shipping of Formula BMW cars), finding hotel accommodation, visa applications, organizing hire cars and other travel formalities.

Venue: Bahrain is an island state east of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. The country consists of 33 islands, covers an area of 712 km² and has a population of 680,000. The capital city Manama has around 200,000 inhabitants and is the island state's largest city.

Richmond to host NASCAR today Richmond to host NASCAR todayNASCAR reps today will visit Richmond’s proposed HOF site and will hear the city’s funding plan, which “will rely heavily on state contributions.” Richmond is projecting $188M in annual economic impact from the HOF, almost twice the impact projected for Atlanta and three times the projections of Charlotte, K.C. and Daytona Beach. The city’s higher projection is based on plans to build the museum “in conjunction with a theme hotel, retail shops and restaurants.” Richmond estimates 700,000 in annual attendance, twice the draw of baseball’s HOF. RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH
A1 Grand Prix
Intense 3-day test at Paul Ricard Intense 3-day test at Paul RicardAfter Formula 1, GP2 Series and other Prototype testing, it is now time for the brand new A1 Grand Prix Series, created by President and Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, to discover the Paul Ricard HTTT for the very first time.

The first official test session of the new series took place in Silverstone at the beginning of August with 15 teams. Before the start of the series, the A1 Grand Prix organization decided to supply the teams with the discovery of the one and only test circuit in the world: the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track.

Twenty teams, representing each one country (Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Mexico, Switzerland, France, South Africa, USA, China, India, Brazil, New Zealand, Germany, Pakistan, Portugal, Ireland, Lebanon, UK, Australia, Holland) validated their entries to this session which will use the 2Dsc track solution (4,157km) on August 24th, 25th and 26th.

The Paul Ricard HTTT, supplying now some 180 different track solutions is definitely the ideal place to be for the launch of a new discipline, which will start officially on the English track in Brands Hatch, next September 25th.

Philippe Gurdjian, Paul Ricard HTTT President & CEO is truly happy about this choice: “I am very pleased to welcome the A1 Grand Prix series at the prestigious and highly secured Paul Ricard HTTT. Once again, the organization of a new series has chosen our Test Track to validate their cars before the launch of the series. It is a true success for the Paul Ricard HTTT and I really wish the best to all the participants of this new and original motor sport discipline, be it the drivers, the team managers and the organizations.”

Akins releases Walker, hire Wallace Akins releases Walker, hire WallaceAkins Motorsports announced Monday it had released driver Busch Series driver Tyler Walker, who had been sharing the driving duties of the No. 38 Dodge in the NASCAR Busch Series this season with Nextel Cup driver Kasey Kahne.  "For the remainder of the year, we will be turning to veterans to fill the driver's seat with vast experience to communicate with crew chief Jon Wolfe and the entire team," he said.   This weekend, veteran Mike Wallace will drive the No. 38 at Bristol, Tenn.
Businesses hope fans have the fever for IRL Businesses hope fans have the fever for IRLDowntown officials are trying to rev up enthusiasm for next month's IndyCar Series Fan Experience Day.  The Gaffer District and Corning Area Chamber of Commerce are looking for local businesses to participate in the new event, slated for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 17.

Organizers are expecting about 5,000 people to attend the inaugural IndyCar festival, which is geared to generate interest in the Sept. 25 Indy Racing League event at Watkins Glen International.

"We're inviting any business that wants to participate to definitely do so," Maria Young, a coordinator with the chamber, said Monday. "We still have space for food and merchandise vendors."

Parts of Market and Wall streets will be closed off for the festival, but most of the action will be on Tioga Avenue between Centerway and Chemung Street. The free event will feature live entertainment, IRL memorabilia and plenty of food.

Visitors will be able to take a spin on a high-tech, high-performance IndyCar racing simulator. Aspiring pit crew mechanics can also test their elbow grease in a pit stop challenge, racing against each other to see who is the first to change two tires or refuel a genuine IndyCar. 

Don Coon, owner of Stonebridge Motor Cars at 363 E. Market St. Ext., has high hopes for the new IndyCar Series Fan Experience Day as well as the upcoming IndyCar race at WGI.

"I think what it's going to do is bring a lot of people back to the track who haven't been there in years," he said Monday. "Everybody wants nostalgia. I think it's going to be bigger for the area than NASCAR." [Editor's Note: What is this guy smoking?] More at The Corning NY Leader

Turkish GP postscript Turkish GP postscriptWith five races to go, the battle for the Formula One World Drivers and Constructors Championship are still far from settled.

Mild Seven Renault's Fernando Alonso, with six wins, leads the Drivers Championship with 95 points. McLaren-Mercedes' Kimi Raikkonen, whose victory in the Turkish Grand Prix was his fifth this season, has 71 points.

Raikkonen's strategy is to keep on winning, but he admitted if Alonso keeps on finishing on the podium it is going to be difficult to close the gap. But there are still a maximum of 50 points available with 10 awarded for a victory in each of the last five races.

"If Alonso keeps finishing second, we just need to do the best we can, and you never know what happens in the races," Raikkonen said.

The Constructors Championship remains wide open with Renault having 130 points, with McLaren-Mercedes second at 121.

"I think that McLaren and Renault will be competitive," Alonso said, "and probably BAR and Toyota will be competitive again in some races. So we need to make sure we beat McLaren for both the Constructors and Drivers Championships.

"And if somebody else is fighting with us, like (Jenson) Button this weekend (in Turkey), make sure that they are not between McLaren and us." zzzz

Speed leads both GP2 races: Scott Speed led and earned points in both GP2 races held in conjunction with the Turkish Grand Prix.
Speed, from Manteca, Calif., qualified second for the race Aug. 20 and took the lead when Nico Rosberg suffered a mechanical problem.

Unfortunately for Speed and several other cars at the front, it was too late for them to head for the pits when the Safety Car came out after an accident. Out of sequence on the pit stops, Speed eventually finished fifth and set the fastest lap of the race. Alex Prémat beat Giorgio Pantano by just three-tenths of a second to win.

Rain fell at the beginning of the race two Aug. 21. Speed started fourth and took the lead in the first corner. He led at until the end of Lap 14, when he pitted for dry weather tires. Heikki Kovalainen and Adam Carroll, who had made their stops earlier, went by to finish first and second, respectively, while Speed ended up fourth.

Massa to race for Ferrari: Brazilian Felipe Massa has signed a one-year contract to race alongside four-time United States Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher at Ferrari in 2006. Ferrari has had an option on Massa since 2001, and he was a test driver for the team in 2003.

"When you have a competitive car, and when you have the opportunity to go to Ferrari it is fantastic for a young guy, so I feel ready," Massa said. "I have some good experience in F1 already, and now is the time to take the opportunity to show what I can do. Going to Ferrari is always an incredible opportunity."

Massa is looking forward to being Schumacher's teammate.

"I think this is the best comparison a driver can have," Massa said of Schumacher. "As seven times World Champion, he is still the example for every driver. If you can have this possibility to compare your speed with him, I think it's the best comparison you can have. I hope I can be quicker. I will do everything I can to be quicker."

Barrichello to BAR-Honda: Rubens Barrichello asked to be released from his Ferrari contract one year early so that he could sign a multi-year contract with BAR-Honda. 2002 United States Grand Prix winner Barrichello will work alongside his longtime friend Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner, who is now the sporting director at BAR-Honda.

"Every change brings a new motivation," Barrichello said. "There is a good motivation for the team to have someone who is still young and motivated to win and to transform everything in a good way. I am not going there to actually say, 'Change this, change that.' I am going there to learn how the team works, and I am bringing the 13 years of experience to make that a winning team."

BAR-Honda CEO Nick Fry said that Barrichello would help the team in its championship goals.

"This is a strong and successful team that is determined to achieve its World Championship ambitions," Fry said, "and we are confident that these will be realized soon. Rubens is not only an excellent driver, but he also has the experience of building a race- and championship-winning team, and these skills are very important as we work to take BAR-Honda to the next level.

"The fact that we have developed so quickly to become an attractive proposition to drivers of Rubens' standing is a fantastic credit to the team."

Cosworth to power Williams in 2006: Williams and Cosworth have formed a partnership for engines, transmissions, electronics and software for 2006.

Williams' relationship with BMW is ending after this season, as BMW is taking over Sauber in 2006.

Stars in Turkey: Film stars Ursula Andrews and Bo Derek attended the Turkish Grand Prix, as did boxer Mike Tyson.

"I'm very impressed with this," Tyson said. "I have never been to a F1 race before."

Kolles to the rescue: Colin Kolles, the managing director of Jordan, used to be a dentist. When Jordan driver Tiago Monteiro suffered a severe toothache in Turkey, Kolles performed a root canal surgery in a dentist's office at a local hospital.

Drivers praise circuit: The drivers found the hilly, 14-turn Istanbul Park track to be challenging and fun to drive.

"I think the impression I formed of this track after riding around it on a scooter Thursday was misleading," Michael Schumacher said. "I thought it did not seem that difficult, but now in the car, with a much lower seating position, it looks very different.

"It is not particularly difficult to learn which way it goes; however it has its own unique character. Some corners, such as Turn 1, have a blind exit, which makes it very interesting. Turn 8 is another challenging corner as it has several possible lines."

Speeding fines: Four drivers collected pit lane speeding fines Aug. 19 for exceeding the 60-kph (37 mph) speed limit. Officials fined David Coulthard $1,500, Takuma Sato $500, Felipe Massa $1,250 and Jacques Villeneuve $7,000. Sato earned another $1,000 fine on Saturday. The fines are based on $250 for each kilometer over the speed limit.

1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Villeneuve said he failed to press the speed limiter button on the steering wheel in time, and therefore he had to pay the fine rather than the team.

"If it is the button not working, the team pays," he said. "If it is the finger of the driver not working, then the driver pays!"

Sato penalized: Officials sent Takuma Sato to the back of the starting lineup after he impeded Mark Webber's qualifying lap. Sato was on his cool-down lap and did move out of Webber's way. Rubens Barrichello received a reprimand for doing the same thing to Giancarlo Fisichella.

Next event: The next race on the schedule is the Italian Grand Prix on Sept. 4 at Monza. USGP

Several share post-race rewards Several share post-race rewardsSeveral IndyCar Series drivers reaped benefits following the Honda Indy 225.

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

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

Dario Franchitti collected the Firestone Performance Award and its $10,000 prize for leading Lap 116 of the race. Franchitti also posted the fastest race lap, taking the lead in the season-long race for the Argent Mortgage Fastest Lap Award.

Argent will award $25,000 to the entrant of the driver who completes the fastest lap the most number of times in the 2005 IndyCar Series season. Franchitti has three fastest laps. IRL

Wheldon delivers big wins Wheldon delivers big winsDan Wheldon has delivered some of Honda's biggest victories in its three years in the IndyCar Series -- the first at its Twin Ring Motegi oval in 2004, a repeat performance this year, and the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in April to name a few.

The latest - in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway - came on the 10th anniversary of Honda's first Indy-style victory.

"It seems that I win a lot of the special races for Honda, and I'm certainly proud of that," said Wheldon, who took the lead for good on Lap 165 on the 1-mile tri-oval and coasted to the victory over Sam Hornish Jr. "I've been part of that family now for about three years."

Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti expects to have Wheldon, whose contract expires at the end of the season, remain part of the extended family for years to come.

"We hope that Dan will be a part of the team, and we're sure that it's going to happen," Andretti said after the race. "Dan has been a great part of AGR from day one, and hopefully he's going to spend many, many years with us."  zzzz

For now, the IndyCar Series points leader turns his attention to the 2.26-mile, 12-turn road course at Infineon Raceway with the intention of moving even closer to becoming the first Indianapolis 500 winner and series champion in the same year. Wheldon (505) holds a 97-point lead over Hornish, runner-up for the fourth time this season. Reigning IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan is third with 385 points, and Dario Franchitti is fourth (371).

"I look forward to the rest of the season," said Wheldon, who tied Hornish's record with his fifth victory of the season. "Until it's mathematically impossible for anybody to catch me, I'm going to keep trying to do the same. I would love to try and get six wins. That statistic of most race wins in a season is something pretty special to me."

Wheldon built his cushion on four victories in the initial five races, and has been steady and smart since. Starting 11th at Pikes Peak, he knifed his way to seventh on Lap 18 and moved to sixth on Lap 26. He patiently ran in fifth (give or take one position) from Laps 40-90, and was third to teammate Dario Franchitti and Hornish on Lap 110.

On Lap 121, Wheldon caught and passed Hornish for second and had Franchitti in his sights. He took the point on Lap 153 when Franchitti got bottled up in traffic in Turn 3, and regained the lead on Lap 165 after his final pit stop.

"If you can win a championship and win a lot of races on the way, that would be pretty special," he said. "Like I say, it's still mathematically possible for a lot of people to beat me. We'll see what happens."

Honda Indy 225 numbers of note

12.4763: Margin of victory for Dan Wheldon over Sam Hornish Jr. The Honda Indy 225 had the fifth-largest margin of victory in IndyCar Series history and was only the seventh race with a margin of victory of more than 10 seconds. The five IndyCar Series races with the greatest margin of victory are:

Margin of victory Date Track Winner Second
1 lap Oct. 1999 Texas Mark Dismore Davey Hamilton
20.4 seconds Aug. 1996 New Hampshire Scott Sharp Buzz Calkins
19.857 seconds April 2001 Atlanta Greg Ray Scott Sharp
12.5310 April 2000 Las Vegas Al Unser Jr. Mark Dismore
12.4763 seconds Aug. 2005 Pikes Peak Dan Wheldon Sam Hornish Jr.

1:27:46.9201: Time of the race. This is the ninth time in IndyCar Series history that a race has been completed in under 1 hour 30 minutes. Seven of those races have taken place at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

1: Number of caution periods. The Honda Indy 225 was only the third race in IndyCar Series history with one caution period. The last came at California Speedway in 2003. The first was at Kentucky Speedway in 2003.

13: Number of races it took for Dan Wheldon to record his fifth victory of the season, tying Sam Hornish Jr. for most wins in a season. In 2002, Hornish won his fifth race of the season in the 15th race.

50: Record number of races led by Sam Hornish Jr. in his IndyCar Series career. Hornish led a race-high 71 laps in the Honda Indy 225 to bring his IndyCar Series record of laps led to 2,514. IRL

Q and A with Bronte Tagliani Q and A with Bronte Tagliani[Editor's Note: Bronte Tagliani is the drop-dead gorgeous model and wife of Champ Car driver Alex Tagliani. Gary Pino of Chapparrel's Diecast Cars caught up with her recently and provides this interview. We call this section "Hot" News for a reason.]

Bronte, thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to talk with us today.

First off how are you, and are you having fun this year? Every time I see you, you have a bright smile on your face and you really seem to enjoy being around everyone in the paddock? Do the guys ever pass comments towards you in a joking kind of way?

No, not really. Most of the time I get a lot of good comments about the show, but occasionally there is a slightly alcohol affected fan that might slur off a smart remark. [Photo to right Courtesy of Russell Purcell, CanadianDriver.com] More....

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu manager denies switch
Todt hopes for tire switch
McLaren doubt Kimi triumph
BAR advise Davidson to split
Jordan set for giant step
F1's speedy four
Massa gets lukewarm welcome
Michelin not to blame
Turkey is F1's 'new Spa'
Schu asked to test at Monza
Renault guilty of team orders
Carmakers make V8 pledge
Ferrari man helped McLaren
Alonso's off to Russia
Post calls IRL the Barbie and Ken show Post calls IRL the Barbie and Ken showThis Denver Post article lambastes the IRL for making a mockery of the sport by turning Danica Patrick into the Barbie and Ken show. Some key excerpts:

Danica Patrick looks as good behind the wheel of a race car as she does in a bikini. This lady not only cuts an attractive figure, she knows how to negotiate the curves. Not that anybody in Colorado noticed. Has Danica mania stalled?

At a track somewhere between Colorado Springs and the middle of nowhere, the Indy Racing League ran loud and hard for 225 miles Sunday, forcing all responses in normal conversation to be a top-of-the-lungs, all-capital-letter shouting match.

Who won the race? NOT DANICA. So does anyone in America really care? NO WAY.

Around here, despite an unabashed media campaign that was a heady mix of front-page hype and political correctness, the following for Danica proved to be closer to cult than mania.

At an attractive racing facility with comfortable space for 42,000 spectators, large sections of bleachers were as bare as Patrick in a revealing photo layout for a national magazine. It appeared at least 15,000 seats were empty when 21 gentlemen and one lady started their engines.

We are a NASCAR nation, given to heated arguments over cold brews about the merits of bad boy Tony Stewart and pretty boy Jeff Gordon. But, quick, name the winner of this year's Indianapolis 500. Do it in the form of a question and you could earn a fortune on "Jeopardy!" Give me Ignored Sports for $1,000, Alex.

Desperate for any attention, the IRL has sold its soul as a fast chick being chased by a bunch of faceless guys. After qualifying fifth, Patrick led Sunday's main event only in autograph requests at the garage. She finished eighth on the track, behind seven men who shall remain nameless.

A dozen weeks after the IRL rookie became the first woman to lead a lap at the Indy 500, it has become increasingly popular for chauvinists with grease under their fingernails to dismiss Patrick as racing's version of tennis bimbo Anna Kournikova.

It is hardly the fault of Patrick that her chosen sport has embraced the world's oldest marketing gimmick: Sex sells.

This was a bad idea for the Indy Race Series, for two reasons as unmistakable as Patrick's sarcasm when responding to condescending questions about her ability.

No. 1: Patrick is miscast as a voluptuous, R-rated dream. In person, the image untouched by a glamour photographer's air brush would be more accurately depicted as girl next door from Roscoe, Ill.

No. 2: Any game that reduces itself to a Barbie vs. Ken competition will never be taken seriously as a real sport by the same general public that stayed away from the Pikes Peak racetrack.

Jean Todt points finger at Bridgestone Jean Todt points finger at BridgestoneFerrari's Team Principal Jean Todt, has commented on the fact that Bridgestone really let the team down in Turkey. Todt has also admitted that he has given up on winning the championships this season. Here is what Jean Todt had to say about tires and the championships:

"We are the only top team with Bridgestone, so if we would be with the same tires with another very top team it would be easier to answer, but at the moment we don’t know. We sometimes try to compare with Jordan and Minardi, but they don’t use the same tires.

Honestly, I want to finish in the best position in the table as possible. I’ve lost the dream to win both championships, but now at least we have to secure third position if possible."

32nd Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races 32nd Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile RacesUPDATE The results below were revised to reflect margin of victories and the fact that Bobby Rahal won his class and did not finish 2nd. 08/22/05 Following are the results of the 32nd Annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races that featured 403 cars competing in 14 races. 32nd Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races Presented by Chrysler
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
2.238-mile, 11-turn road course
All races: 10 laps


Saturday Races:
Group 1A – Pre-1935 Sports & Touring Cars
1. Jan Voboril, Topanga, 1924 Ford Barber Warnock
2. David Swig, Sausalito, 1931 Chrysler CD8 LM
3. George Holman, Wilbraham, Mass., 1929 Stutz Special
4. William Holman, East Longmeadow, Mass., 1928 Stutz Black
5. Brian Redman, Vero Beach, Fla., 1922 Sunbeam GP
Plus 22 others
Margin of Victory: 6.588 seconds

Group 2A – 1929-1946 Racing Cars & Indy Roadsters
1. Mark Gillies, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1934 ERA
2. Ned Spieker, Menlo Park, 1932 Alfa-Romeo P3
3. Joe Freeman, Boston, Mass., 1952 Kurtis K500-A
4. Carlo Vogele, Rapperswil, 1932 Alfa-Romeo 8C Monza
5. Bruce Trenery, Martizez, 1932 Alfa-Romeo 8C-2600
Plus 28 others
Margin of Victory: 19.849 seconds

Group 3A – 1947-1957 Sport Racing Cars over 2000cc
1. Rob Walton, Incline City, Nev., 1953 Jaguar C-Type
2. Joe Colascacco, Greenwich, Conn., Alfa-Romeo 6C
3. Charles Nearburg, Dallas, Tex., 1954 Lancia D24R
4. Terry Larson, Mesa, Ariz., 1952 Jaguar C-Type
5. James Lustman, Denver, Colo., 1952 Jaguar C-Type
Plus 29 others
Margin of Victory: 0.230 seconds

Group 4A – 1956-1962 Prod. Sports Cars
1. Bobby Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, 1961 Ferrari 250 GT
2. Noel Park, San Pedro, 1958 Corvette
3. Paul Reinhart, Twain Harte, 1957 Corvette
4. Ron Cressey, Sherman Oaks, 1959 Corvette
5. Tom Trabue, White Bluff, Tenn., 1960 Porsche Abarth Car
Plus 19 others
Margin of Victory: 10.211 seconds

Group 5A – 1955-1960 Sports Racing Cars over 2500cc
1. Don Knowles, Pittsboro, NC, 1958 Scarab Mk I
2. Brian Redman, Vero Beach, Fla., 1958 Scarab Mk III
3. John Mozart, Palo Alto, 1958 Lister-Chevy
4. Tom Hllfelder, Covina, 1959 Devin SS
5. John Harden, Oklahoma City, Okla., 1958 Lister-Chevy
Plus 22 others
Margin of Victory: 5.644 seconds zzzz

Group 6A – 1962-1966 Production Sports Cars
1. Lawrence Bowman, Redwood City, 1964 Cobra FIA
2. Don Lee, Portola Valley, 1964 Cobra
3. Terry Gough, Reno, Nev., 1965 Corvette
4. Fred Galloway, San Diego, 1963 Cobra
5. Bruce Leven, Renton, Wash., 1964 Corvette
Plus 27 others
Margin of Victory: 6.975 seconds

Group 7A – 1965-1971 Historic Can-Am Cars
1. Steve Cook, Santa Clara, 1968 McLaren M6B
2. Tom Malloy, Villa Park, 1971 McLaren M8E
3. James Freeman, New York, NY, 1967 Matich SR3
4. Scott Bader, Los Angeles, 1969 Lola T-163
5. Tom Armstrong, Issaquah, Wash., 1969 Lola T-162
Plus 21 others
Margin of Victory: 4.611 Seconds

Sunday Races:

Group 1B – 1947-1955 Sports Racing & Prod. Cars under 2000cc
1. Dennis Aker, Shoreline, Wash., 1954 Pete Lovely-Pooper
2. Bill Perrone, Huntington Beach, 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
3. Karim Marouf, La Jolla, 1951 MG TD Special
4. Don Martine, Pacific Grove, 1950 MG TD
5. Rodney Smith, Portola Valley, 1954 OSCA MT-4
Plus 22 others
Margin of Victory: 0.001 seconds

Group 2B – 1956-1960 Sports Racing Cars under 2500cc
1. Don Orosco, Monterey, 1958 Lotus 15
2. Herb Wetanson, New York, NY, 1959 Lola Mk1
3. Danny Baker, San Francisco, 1960 Porsche RS60
4. Michael Malone, Seattle, Wash., 1959 Lotus Mk 15
5. Pete Lovely, Tacoma, Wash., 1959 Lotus 11
Plus 25 others
Margin of Victory: 1.616 seconds

Group 3B – 1962-1965 Sports Racing Cars
1. Paul Brown, Covina, 1962 Chaparral 1
2. Rob Walton, Incline Village, Nev., 1961 Chaparral 1
3. John Harden, Oklahoma City, Okla., 1963 Huffaker Genie
4. Brian Redman, Vero Beach, 1961 Chaparral 1
5. Arthur Conner, Salt Spring Island, 1964 Platypus
Plus 24 others
Margin of Victory: 1.536 seconds

Group 4B – 1963-1970 FIA Mfg. Championship Cars
1. Jim Click, Tucson, Ariz., 1966 Ford GT-40
2. Bill Murray, Longmont, Colo., 1966 Ford GT-40
3. Mac Archer, Carmel Valley, 1965 Cobra 427
4. Tom Mabey, Bountiful, Utah, 1966 Ford GT-40
5. Jules Moritz, Corvallis, Ore., 1967 Lola T-70 GT
Plus 9 others
Margin of Victory: 0.404 seconds

Group 5B – Historic IMSA GT Cars
1. Bruce Canepa, Santa Cruz, 1979 Porsche 935
2. Ken Epsman, Saratoga, 1976 Dekon Monza
3. William Cotter, Seattle, Wash., 1977 Porsche 935
4. Christian Traber, Utzenstorf, Switzerland, 1979 BMW M1
5. Woody Perkins, Lakewood, Mass., 1978 Porsche 935 K-3
Plus 14 others
Margin of Victory: 0.001 seconds

Group 6B – 1968-1976 FIA Sports Racing Cars under 2000cc
1. Jamey Mazzotta, Newport Coast, 1973 Lola T-294
2. Randall Smith, Petaluma, 1971 Chevron B-19
3. Duncan Dayton, Danbury, Conn., 1972 Chevron B-23
4. Joel Finn, Roxbury, CT, 1972 Chevron B-23
5. Paul Flowers, Dothan, Ala., 1975 Chevron B-31
Plus 20 others
Margin of Victory: 5.021 seconds

Group 7B – 1966-1972 Historic Trans-Am Cars
1. Mark Mountanos, Ukiah, 1970 Camaro
2. Ken Epsman, Saratoga, 1970 Challenger
3. Jim Hague, Santa Clara, 1969 Camaro
4. Scott Rubin, Santa Clara, 1971 Javelin
5. Jamey Mazzotta, Newport Coast, 1970 Boss 302
Plus 21 others
Margin of Victory: 2.319 seconds

Cavin: ISC losing faith in IRL Cavin: ISC losing faith in IRL
Question: I am a big fan of the IRL but my attitude towards them is changing quickly. Champ Car has taken the lead and I think Tony is nuts not to offer 50 percent to unify the two series. An article today on Champ Car's Web site confirmed added numbers which are sure to come in 2007 (from IRL no doubt), with Cosworth lined up, direct quote from Red Bull head of sponsorship about their upcoming involvement in Champ Car, well attended events, schedule out already, etc.

They are kicking the IRL's butt on many levels. They have passion and personality and Tony George hasn't done this much in 10 years of the IRL. I know you are tight with the IRL people but come on, you have to see that the IRL more than Champ Car is in big trouble. Comments? (Mike from Fishers, Ind.)

Answer: Hey, remember this: I have said on many occasions that BOTH sides are struggling. As much as my newspaper position allows, I have fought for unification. There needs to be one series. Champ Car has done many good things over the past year, chief among them was taking their product to cities experiencing events for the first time (Edmonton and San Jose among them). But the TV audience is non-existent.

The IRL has major decisions to make, and I'm beginning to wonder how they're going to navigate their way through them. The loss of GM and Toyota is huge. Honda can't be happy long-term. Losing Phoenix is awful. Some at ISC seem to be losing their faith.

There aren't enough team owners and several of the current ones are on the financial bubble. The feeder series isn't doing its job. I could go on and on. Bottom line: Neither the IRL nor Champ Car has a right to be fat and sassy. There is much work to be done. Indy Star

NASCAR gets heavier into gambling NASCAR gets heavier into gamblingNASCAR drivers Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Jeremy Mayfield and the NASCAR logo are featured on $3 South Carolina scratch lottery tickets, marking the first time NASCAR “has sold licensing rights for lottery tickets,” according to Viv Bernstein of the N.Y. TIMES. Bernstein wrote if there “was still a perception of a wall existing between gambling and sports leagues, this is one more example of its being pushed aside.” MDI Entertainment, which licenses rights to leagues and athletes for use on lottery tickets, has licensed the rights to the NBA, NHL, and golfers Vijay Singh and Annika Sorenstam for use on lottery tickets. The leagues or athletes “receive a cut of the income from the tickets as well as merchandising money from league or team products that are awarded as part of the game.” The NFL “has so far turned down” MDI’s attempts to license its brand for lotteries. MDI President Steve Saferin said of the NFL, "The no fun league? Yeah, we’ve had some conversations. Just like [NFL Commissioner] Paul Tagliabue won’t let his plane fly over Nevada, we haven’t gotten real close.”

Bernstein adds that NASCAR is not concerned that involvement with the lottery will “send racing down some slippery slope toward gambling interests.” NASCAR Managing Dir of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston: “I don’t know what the slippery slope would be. We have allowed for legal gaming companies, including casinos, including state lotteries, to participate as team and track sponsors for a number of years now.” NASCAR team Owner Ray Evernham said that the deal is “about licensing, not gambling.” Evernham: “I don’t really see that any different than us doing our deal with a state for license plates. It’s basically a state-run program. It’s legitimate. I know that a lot of the funding from those things does go to schools and things like that. So I don’t really see that as gambling.” N.Y. TIMES As summarized by Sports Business Daily.

Quote of the week Quote of the week“I believe women are capable of winning, but I didn’t relish testing a wanker, and I wasn’t sure if I was getting one,” says Jim Griffith, co-owner of the Polestar Racing Atlantic team, who was asked by Kevin Kalkhoven to give Katherine Legge a test in the off-season.  “We brought her to Phoenix and clearly she had technical shortcomings, but within minutes it was also clear she was better than 99 percent of the drivers in this country. We had to get her to slow down.”

“To be honest, Katherine was kind of thrown under the bus coming here,” Griffith says. “All of those drivers were already much more developed when they got to Atlantic. If you look at it in those terms she is better than any of them. She just takes to it. She wants it.

“Until four races ago, I don’t think she recognized the concept of ‘the zone,’ or when she’s in it or how she might get herself there. It’s not remotely clear to her yet how deep or wide her zone can be. But she’s relentless in her desire to get ahead of whoever’s in front of her and then to drive away.  In a few years, when guys see Katherine in their mirrors, they’re going to be very nervous.” AutoWeek

Dodge petitions for new nose Dodge petitions for new noseDodge, which has only two victories with the new Charger, has petitioned for a new nose in 2006. Evernham Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske Racing collaborated on the new piece, which resembles the Ford front end but has the old Intrepid center. The nose will be ready this week. It must be submitted by September 1 to be approved for next season by NASCAR. Sporting News
NASCAR to brief teams on new car and rules NASCAR to brief teams on new car and rulesNASCAR will meet with teams at NASCAR's research and development center in Concord, N.C., to review new rules and procedures for 2006. Template changes, the tire leasing program and the car of the future will be the lead topics. Sporting News
NASCAR catches another cheater NASCAR catches another cheaterNASCAR officials announced after the race at Michigan that a post-race inspection revealed the roof on the #49 Schwans Home Service Dodge driven by Ken Schrader was too low. A penalty may be forthcoming this week. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
NASCAR and Expedia deal NASCAR and Expedia dealTurner Sports Interactive today announced that it has joined forces with Expedia.com®, one of the world's leading travel services companies, to bring travel booking services to both NASCAR.COM and PGA.COM users.  Under the agreement, Expedia will provide the travel search and booking tool for users on the two sites by providing travel storefronts and listings of special deals for inclusion on NASCAR.COM and PGA.COM web link pages.  Expedia will be the exclusive co-branded travel booking service for Turner Sports Interactive and each site will include the “Powered by Expedia” tag.

"Turner Sports Interactive continues to expand the value-added services we offer our users by working with industry leaders such as Expedia," said Drew Reifenberger, executive vice president of Turner Sports Interactive.  "Our alliance with Expedia creates a seamless online experience by enabling our users to plan their travel and purchase their tickets to sporting events in one convenient shopping experience.”

Trish Frohman, senior vice president of Turner Sports Ad Sales, added, “This is an exciting new joint venture and a great example of how we tailor a marketing partnership to help our clients reach their target consumer.  By integrating Expedia travel services into the PGA.com and NASCAR.com web sites, we are providing NASCAR and the PGA the platform to engage with two of the most loyal fan bases in sports.” 

“Car racing and golf are two of the largest spectator sports in the world, so bringing our technology and functionality to sites such as NASCAR.COM and PGA.COM is a natural evolution given those sites appeal to people who already are online and likely to travel,” noted Tony Gonchar, vice president of Expedia Distribution Marketing.  “NASCAR.COM and PGA.COM are highly trafficked sites and Expedia is pleased to showcase its deep hotel offerings and dynamic packaging technology to those visitors.  The ability to book travel is now available on NASCAR.COM and PGA.COM.  Other  promotional programs with Expedia and the Turner Sports Interactive sites will begin running in the future.

Renault's silver 'concern' Renault's silver 'concern'Renault might have an edge in the points standings, but the Enstone based team is more than a little worried about the vastly superior pace of McLaren's car.  Although Fernando Alonso limited the damage of title rival Kimi Raikkonen's Turkish dominance by finishing second, his fastest lap of the grand prix was a disquieting eight tenths of a second slower than Juan Pablo Montoya's.

Renault's Pat Symonds admitted that he is 'certainly concerned' about that.  ''We are not sure why,'' the director of engineering said in Istanbul, ''but our absolute performance was not too good.''

It's not all bad news, though, for the leading blue and yellows. With a mighty engine, Monza might be a good race, even if Spa is expected to suit McLaren.  After that, Renault's R25 contender will get a big aerodynamic update in Brazil.

More crash damage for Ganassi team More crash damage for Ganassi teamUPDATE Ganassi didn't run Jaques Lazier on Sunday because Lazier crashed a car in practice Saturday. When Ryan Briscoe crashed in the race, the team's wreck total grew to 24 for the year. Indy Star [Editor's Note: 24 wrecks.  Ouch. Panoz, who supplies the cars and replacement parts toasts the IRL every day.  Oval racing is great for their business.] 08/21/05 Target Chip Ganassi team owner Chip Ganassi is having another bad day in the IRL.  After losing a car Saturday when Jaques Lazier crashed in Turn 4 and wiped out yet another Ganassi car, rookie Ryan Briscoe crashed yet again (9th time this year) in the race Sunday in Turn 4 as Chip Ganassi looked on.  To make matters worse, both cars were again uncompetitive.
Turkish GP fastest laps Turkish GP fastest lapsTurkish Grand Prix Race laps -21/08/2005
1 . J. P. Montoya - McLaren Mercedes MP4- 20 - 1:24.770 (+ 0.000 ) - 39 laps
2 . K. Raikkonen - McLaren Mercedes MP4- 20 - 1:25.030 (+ 0.260 ) - 40 laps
3 . F. Alonso - Renault R25 - 1:25.524 (+ 0.754 ) - 58 laps
4 . G. Fisichella - Renault R25 - 1:25.604 (+ 0.834 ) - 34 laps
5 . J. Button - BAR Honda 007 - 1:25.790 (+ 1.020 ) - 58 laps
6 . T. Sato - BAR Honda 007 - 1:25.858 (+ 1.088 ) - 54 laps
7 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF105 - 1:26.178 (+ 1.408 ) - 52 laps
8 . C. Klien - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:26.374 (+ 1.604 ) - 58 laps
9 . D. Coulthard - Red Bull Racing RB1 - 1:26.417 (+ 1.647 ) - 58 laps
10 . F. Massa - Sauber Petronas C24 - 1:26.514 (+ 1.744 ) - 27 laps
11 . R. Barrichello - Ferrari F2005 - 1:26.635 (+ 1.865 ) - 45 laps
12 . M. Webber - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:26.791 (+ 2.021 ) - 12 laps
13 . J. Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas C24 - 1:26.967 (+ 2.197 ) - 44 laps
14 . M. Schumacher - Ferrari F2005 - 1:26.991 (+ 2.221 ) - 21 laps
15 . R. Schumacher - Toyota TF105 - 1:27.025 (+ 2.255 ) - 38 laps
16 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Williams FW27 - 1:27.353 (+ 2.583 ) - 25 laps
17 . T. Monteiro - Jordan Toyota EJ15 - 1:29.035 (+ 4.265 ) - 50 laps
18 . R. Doornbos - Minardi Cosworth PS05 - 1:29.229 (+ 4.459 ) - 53 laps
19 . N. Karthikeyan - Jordan Toyota EJ15 - 1:29.286 (+ 4.516 ) - 42 laps
20 . C. Albers - Minardi Cosworth PS05 - 1:29.392 (+ 4.622 ) - 13 laps
Q and A with Fernando Alonso Q and A with Fernando AlonsoFernando Alonso was pleased with his race and second position behind Kimi Raikkonen and thinks he got the best possible result from his afternoon’s work in Istanbul...

Fernando, how was your race?
"Pretty much what I expected to be honest. We knew that McLaren would be quick, because we saw that in practice. That meant we changed our strategy for the weekend a bit. I was running quite early in qualifying, so we needed to overcome that – and we decided to use quite a light fuel load. That put us in a good position on the grid, and to stay in touch with the McLarens through the first stint."

What happened next?
"Nothing unusual. After the pit-stops, Kimi was still ahead and we knew we wouldn’t be able to catch him in a normal race. Montoya was ahead as well, and just as fast. So we did not take too many risks, and I tried to just do a constant race. I tried not to lose concentration and to stay consistent."

Then you seized the opportunity when Montoya had some problems…
"Exactly. Two laps from the end, I saw yellow flags and a McLaren and Jordan off the track. I understood what had happened, but Montoya got back on track in front of me and it would have been hard for me to overtake if his car had not caught him out a bit later on. That was a nice surprise."

What are your conclusions from the weekend?
"I think we can be pleased with the job we did. This was a good weekend for Renault. I only lost two points to Kimi, which is positive. People will say I was lucky, and it’s partly true, but you need to seize your opportunities. But our competitors were very quick. In the constructors’ title, McLaren are getting closer and it will be a tight battle until the end of the year. We can’t let up the pressure and in that perspective, Fisico’s fourth place today was really useful." Source Renault
60th victory for the Audi R8 60th victory for the Audi R8The winning streak of the Audi R8 continues: One week after Allan McNish and Stéphane Ortelli won the 1000-kilometre race at Silverstone, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro secured the 60th victory for the most successful Le Mans Prototype at Road America (USA). With their third consecutive victory, Biela/Pirro extended their lead in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Their Team ADT Champion Racing team-mates JJ Lehto and Marco Werner were leading the race for a long time but eventually had to settle for third position following a stop-and-go penalty. Biela/Pirro took the lead in the last third of the race during the final sequence of pit-stops. They defended the lead despite a late safety car period reduced their margin from 20 seconds to a single second.

International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has decided to extend the eligibility of all current Le Mans Prototypes for another year. This means that the Audi R8 will be allowed to compete in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) also in the 2006 season. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, however, only cars built according to the new Technical Regulations will be eligible. Audi

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Williams' failures explained?
F1 summit in Istanbul
Weber to field A1 team
Tyson brings Kimi luck

One 'b' Jordan for Monza run
Traffic chaos in Turkey
Bernie wins website name
BAR offer to buy Button
Schu finds new 'guru'
Montoya move 'stupid'
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