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DATE News (chronologically)
9/5/2006
btcc
Matt Neal doubles lead as title draws near Matt Neal doubles lead as title draws nearMatt Neal has taken a big step towards defending his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title after almost doubling his lead over Team RAC driver Colin Turkington at Knockhill.

The Team Halfords driver started the weekend with a lead of 27 points over his nearest rival, but left the picturesque circuit overlooking the Firth of Forth with that advantage having grown to 53 with just Brands Hatch and Silverstone remaining.

Neal qualified on the third row of the grid with maximum ballast in his Honda Integra but was quickly up to third place in the race after passing Fabrizio Giovanardi's Vauxhall and team-mate Gordon Shedden, who was forced to pit with a puncture. An early Safety Car period closed the pack up, but on the restart, second placed Darren Turner slowed up the pack to allow leader Jason Plato to break away. Although Neal was unable to pass the SEAT during the race, he would take second afterwards when Turner was given a twenty second penalty for the infringement. zzzz

From the front row in race two, Neal was involved in a titanic battle at the front with as many as six cars dicing for first place as Knockhill lived up to its reputation fro providing exciting racing. However, entering the last lap in third place, Neal got caught up in a multi-car incident at Clark corner that saw Plato, Tom Chilton and Mike Jordan cars retire, although the champion somehow made it over the line in sixth place.

"I'd caught Jason early on and knocked him sideways which I put my hands up to, and Jason caught me up on the last lap as Fabrizio was slowing us up," Neal said afterwards. "Jason caught me on the rear corner and half spun me, but I held it and then he hit me again at we got to the exit curb. Tom Chilton then broadsided me and then so did Mike Jordan so I was like a ball in a pinball machine. I couldn't believe it was till driving in a straight line!"

For Neal, everything came good in the final race, as he made light work of pole-sitter Mark Proctor to take the lead. Although he dropped behind Colin Turkington at one point, the Halfords Integra soon reclaimed first place and he was then supported by team-mates Shedden and Gareth Howell as Team Halfords claimed its first ever 1-2-3 finish

"Coming out of Clark corner on the last lap of the second race I thought the car was going to be in a million pieces and I wouldn't even make it back to the pits," he said, "so to not only finish sixth in that race but then win the last one is great. I always say it is a team effort but you wouldn't believe how much that has been true this weekend. All the cars took a beating in race two and it wasn't pretty in our awning afterwards, so to fix them and finish 1-2-3 is fantastic.

"I came to Knockhill not wanting to lose too many points to Colin or Jason but accepted that it might happen a little bit. To come out with a few points more over them would have been good so to have almost doubled my lead is a fantastic bonus that I didn't expect."

09/05/06
nascar
Brewco fires David Green Brewco fires David GreenVeteran Busch Series driver David Green has been released from Brewco Motorsports and will be replaced in the interim by Casey Atwood, the team announced Tuesday.

The reason for making the change now, the team said, was to get ready for next season.  "At Brewco we continually try to stay ahead of the ever-changing competitive landscape in the Busch Series," Brewco Motorsports owner Clarence Brewer said in a news release. "We need to evaluate our program and potential drivers for next season so we can prepare our team for a successful 2007."

Atwood, who drove for Brewco in 1999-2000, will be in the No. 27 Kleenex Ford for this weekend's Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway. The team said Atwood would drive the car for "a few races."

"I ... have to thank Clarence and Tammy Brewer for their confidence in me both early in my career and now," Atwood said. "They have been dedicated to building a top-notch NASCAR program since the beginning, and I'm looking forward to bringing success to them and Kleenex Racing for the rest of 2006."

09/05/06
nascar
Labbe Named Interim Crew Chief Labbe Named Interim Crew ChiefMB2 Motorsports announced that Richard "Slugger" Labbe has taken over the crew chief duties on an interim basis for the #14 Chevy driven by Sterling Marlin. Labbe replaces Scott Eggelston, who has mutually parted ways with MB2. Labbe's first Nextel Cup race with the #14 entry will be this weekend at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 in Richmond. MB2 hired Labbe two weeks ago when the veteran crew chief became available to the organization. His specific role with MB2 will be announced at a later date. MB2 Motorsports PR
09/05/06
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’07 Champ Car returns to test program ’07 Champ Car returns to test programSEBRING, Fla.- After taking a some time off last week to go over the 2007 Panoz DP01, Champ Car’s test team returned to Central Florida to continue its marathon run of miles on the car that will carry the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford into 2007 and beyond.

Roberto Moreno once again piloted the DP01 around the 1.67-mile Sebring International Raceway, completing 275 trouble-free miles on hot Florida day that saw storm clouds threaten in the late afternoon. The two-time Champ Car race winner, Moreno ran repeated full-fuel stints pushing the car and all of its components.

The car returned to Champ Car headquarters in Indianapolis last week after running 600 miles and went through technical inspection before returning to Florida for this week’s three-day outing. Today marked the beginning of endurance testing on the car and all of it’s components and the crew will make some minor changes overnight. zzzz

“We are really putting the Panoz DP01 through the paces,” said Champ Car Technical Director Scot Elkins. “We had a successful first test with it and now we are starting to really push all of the components on the car. We want to ensure the reliability on the car so we are putting it through all of the extremes. After our first test we gave the car a thorough inspection and were happy we didn’t find any issues. We still have a lot of miles to go this week and we’re confident the car is up to the task.”

The drastic change in weather from hot and humid to cool and windy gave Moreno and the engineers a chance to see how the car performed in a variety of weather conditions. .

“The car continues to perform well,” said Moreno. ”Conditions were tough today and we did a lot of miles in a short time. We didn’t have any problems with the car and I know we are going to run even more miles tomorrow. I know I’m quite happy with the progress and I think everyone else is too.”

The testing will continue Wednesday and Thursday in Sebring in the second of three separate sessions to take place before the end of this month. Champ Car

09/05/06
Industry News
Ford names new CEO Ford names new CEOFord Motor Co. Tuesday surprised the auto industry by tapping senior Boeing executive Alan Mulally as its new chief executive officer, succeeding current CEO Bill Ford, who will stay on as chairman.  Mulally, 61, who heads Boeing's commercial airplane unit, will become president and CEO of Ford immediately as the struggling automaker gets set to unveil a huge overhaul of its North American auto operations.
 
Bill Ford will remain chairman at the troubled automaker as Alan Mulally takes over as CEO.  Mulally was most recently executive vice president at Boeing.
09/05/06
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irl
nascar
Mass exodus of Open Wheel stars to NASCAR Mass exodus of Open Wheel stars to NASCARFans of open-wheel racing in North America have been aiming their anger at either Tony George or Gerry Forsythe and his partners for the past 10 years, blaming one or the other for the death spiral their sport has endured since CART and the Indy Racing League went their separate ways in 1996.

Well, announcements this past weekend that the biggest American star in the Champ Car World Series -- A.J. Allmendinger -- and the IRL's 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner -- Sam Hornish Jr. -- will try their hands in NASCAR for at least a partial schedule in 2007 should shake the open-wheel world wide awake to the fact that the battle is over and both have lost.

Canada's Paul Tracy, still the most recognizable name in single seaters, put it bluntly during a Speed TV interview at California Speedway where he was running his final NASCAR Busch Series race of this season. Tracy announced he will join with Toyota to run an even more aggressive stock car schedule in 2007: It's about the money.

"It's not a secret that there's no more money in open wheel," Tracy said. "There are only three or four guys making good money. If you are a young driver, especially a young American driver, and you are looking to go racing with a lot of frequency and make a lot of money (NASCAR) is the place to be."

Remember that Allmendinger has been taking his cues from Tracy since his days as a karting phenom and now both are teammates at Forsythe Championship Racing.

Allmendinger is also without a contract for next season and hasn't been able to nail down a new deal that rewards his remarkable turn of fortunes -- four wins and counting -- since he joined the Forsythe gang in mid-season.

There are many among the Champ Car fanatics who believe Allmendinger's test last week at Richmond International Raceway in a Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra was nothing more than a negotiating ploy to get Forsythe to up the ante.

If that is true, then Champ Car is in a lot more trouble than anyone believes if its most saleable young star considers a deal in NASCAR's third tier series as good or better than any he can get in open wheel.

As for Hornish, he drives for Roger Penske -- the IRL's most successful owner -- and it looks certain that Penske will run him in both the ARCA and NBS in 2007 as a prelude to going NASCAR full time in 2008.

"Right now our focus for Sam is to finish off the IRL season next week (at Chicagoland)," Penske told the Toronto Sun at Mosport, where he was on the pit box of his team's LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder entries. "We've talked about the opportunity for him to run a few races which could be Busch or ARCA like we did with (Ryan) Newman."

Open-wheel racing at its best is as good as anything in motorsports but if it keeps forming its firing squads in a circle, there may not be enough talent left to mount any kind of challenge to NASCAR even in a unified series. Sun Media

09/05/06
f1
It's time for Schu to go says Berger It's time for Schu to go says Berger"It is time for Michael to step down. Should he win the title this season, it would even be perfect timing," Gerhard Berger told F1Racing.net.

"He has been in the circuit for a long time and is starting to age. All of us had to fight that phenomenon and one day it is simply time to quit."

"Michael would give his right arm to win the title and as long as there is a theoretical chance, he will keep on battling. Particularly, now that Bridgestone's quantum leap has made the title race wide open again."

09/05/06
nascar
tv news
The Race for the Chase Concludes on TNT The Race for the Chase Concludes on TNTTNT will televise complete NASCAR coverage from Richmond as the Race for the Chase concludes and the field is set for the final 10 races of the season.  On Fri., September 8 Bud Pole Qualifying from Richmond begins at 6 p.m. ET, followed at 7:45 p.m. ET by NASCAR Busch Series Racing. 

The Race for the Chase culminates on Sat., September 9 with the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.  TNT will begin its telecast at 7 p.m. ET with the Bank of America Countdown to Green which will include another edition of the Wally's World segment as TNT's Wally Dallenbach takes Barenaked Ladies lead singer Ed Robertson around the track. zzzz

The Bank of America Countdown to Green will be followed by the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at 7:30 p.m. ET with drama unfolding as the drivers take their last shot at making the Chase for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship.  Bill Weber, Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach will follow the action from the booth with Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum providing updates and reports from the pit.     

Immediately following the race, TNT will air a special Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship Preview Show with TNT announcers reviewing the field for the Chase to the NEXTEL Cup Championship and providing analysis and commentary on the drivers that made the Chase and those that did not.

09/05/06
Dakar
Robby Gordon to enter Dakar Rally again Robby Gordon to enter Dakar Rally againHUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- While the elite of NASCAR will take January to rest in preparation for the upcoming 2007 season, set to begin a month later, one of racing’s most versatile drivers, Robby Gordon, will be preparing to compete once again in the Dakar Rally, what some consider a mental and physical challenge above all others.

For close to 30 years, adventurers from every corner of the globe have been making the journey to Lisbon, Portugal to take on the challenge of the world’s most grueling race.    Beginning on the 6th of January 2007, competitors will spend the next 17 days battling environment and terrain to make the trek south from Lisbon towards the African continent and then to Dakar, Senegal where the 6,000-mile odyssey will end.

Gordon, well respected among his peers as an athlete that can and will take on any challenge set before him, will make his third appearance in the Dakar Rally in as many years.  A two-time Dakar stage winner and the only American to do so, Gordon has been competing in off-road endurance races since the early 1980’s.  A two-time winner of the esteemed Baja 1000 along with countless other victories within North American borders, Gordon will attempt to be the first American to get the overall win in the race’s history.

Gordon will once again pilot his own vehicle in the 16-stage event operating under the banner of Team Dakar USA.  During last year’s Dakar Rally, Gordon was forced to make an early exit from competition when an encounter with the devilish terrain during the seventh stage punctured the radiator and sidelined the team for the remainder of the Rally. zzzz

Dakar presents new challenges, far beyond those of just the driver and the car, but a test of man.  The race is run on everything from paved roads to sand to terrain covered in jagged rocks.  Competitors leave behind all the comforts of home and make the African wilderness their home during the 17-day event.  Each stage is a journey in itself.

“Dakar is something that I have always followed and wanted to try, and fortunately thanks to the folks at HUMMER, Toyo Tires and all the others that have come along to help get this endeavor under way, I can go out there and compete,” said the 37-year-old driver from Orange, Calif. who will celebrate his 38th birthday on Jan. 2, just days before departing from Lisbon.   

“I had a better idea last year of what the race would be like, but the logistical challenges were still enormous, not just for us but for all competitors.”

Each of the support vehicles, each with a specific purpose to help Gordon in his quest, will also participate and compete in the Dakar Rally.

“I drove for Volkswagen two years ago and they had been running the Dakar for so long that they had it down to a science.  Last year was our first attempt to make it on our own and we were competitive until the camel grass punctured our radiator and were not able to clear the stage in enough time to continue.

“We’ll come back this year with more test miles on the truck and all that knowledge gained from last year, and hopefully able to secure our goal of winning overall.”

Gordon’s participation in the last two Dakar events has brought the race to the forefront in the United States and Canada.

However, as its popularity grows in the United States, its mass appeal in Europe and Africa is already beyond compare.  For 2007, more than 580 hours of programming is expected in more than 180 countries.  The sanctioning body of the race, the ASO – which also promotes and organizes the famed Tour de France bicycle race – produces a daily 26-minute television show that is distributed via satellite.

While many will consider just finishing a victory, Gordon’s goals are clearly stated:  “I will be disappointed with anything other than a win.  Our people give so much and our sole focus is to become the first American’s to win Dakar.”

09/05/06
Racing News
Charles Edward "Mike" Magill (1920-2006) Charles Edward "Mike" Magill (1920-2006)UPDATE Charles Edward "Mike" Magill, a competitor in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Races in 1957, 1958 and 1959, died Aug. 31 in Haddonfield, N.J. He was 86.

The good-natured Magill, who lived his entire life in Haddonfield, was briefly a member of the Merchant Marines and later an Air Corps veteran who spent much of World War II stationed in the Pacific. The third-ranking driver in the 1956 USAC East Coast Sprint car point standings, Magill competed in 15 National Championship events, placing fourth in a 100-miler in 1955, at Langhorne, Pa., and fifth in the same event a year later.

Magill is somewhat of a footnote in "500" history in that when the great five-time Argentinean World Champion, Juan Manuel Fangio, had to forego making a qualifying attempt for the 1958 Indianapolis 500 due to a contractual conflict, Magill qualified the George Walther-owned Dayton Steel Foundry Special with which Fangio had been practicing. Magill was involved in a huge accident on the opening lap of that race and spent more than an hour in the pits while repairs were made, eventually to be flagged off in 17th position at the finish, the best result of his three starts. The following year, he suffered a back injury when he became involved in a four-car accident and landed upside down.

Services will take place at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Locustwood Memorial Park, Route 70 West and Cooper Landing Road, Cherry Hill, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Magill's memory may be made to Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317.

09/04/06 Self-described "juvenile delinquent" and son of a University of Pennsylvania veterinarian, Mike (whose father called him "Bill") acquired his nickname from promoter Sam Nunis, raced at Indianapolis in 1957-58-59, but enjoyed his best championship car finishes at Langhorne. Told me that when he returned stateside from Pacific service with the Air Corps in 1944, he married the first woman who did not have a bone through her nose. Photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Some of you may recall that Jean Magill appeared in Life magazine after a photographer recorded her horrified reaction to Mike's serious 1959 accident at the north end of the Speedway, after which he convalesced for some time at George Walther's Dayton, Ohio home where George occasionally discovered him wandering outdoors in the night. It was Jean, however, who managed family finances. When they left the races, Jean would ask, "How much did you make?" He would tell her. She'd reply, "Hand it over." Until recently when Mike entered some sort of assisted living circumstance, he lived most of his life in the same home on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Haddonfield, N.J. He was a wonderfully good, comical man and real racer. Rest in peace, Mike. Terry Reed (Cincinnati)

09/05/06
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nascar
PIR seeks gap between NASCAR, Champ races PIR seeks gap between NASCAR, Champ races[Editor's Note:  The Champ Car race should be mid to late March with Vegas being the season closer and this controversy goes away.]

The controversy over a proposed street race that would send Indy-style cars speeding through downtown Phoenix has shown no signs of slowing.

The latest flurry is that Phoenix International Raceway officials, who once wanted to shut out down the street race, are now asking for a 30-day buffer between the two races in November 2007.

And corporate leaders and the Scottsdale and Southwest Valley chambers of commerce are weighing in, urging the city to require a larger gap between the races because they fear there isn't enough fan interest to support them both if they were held only a week apart.

Since the street race was proposed in May, officials at PIR, which hosts two NASCAR races in Avondale, have been sparring with Arizona Grand Prix, the racing organization that wants to bring the Champ Car World Series to downtown Phoenix.

PIR is scheduled to host the Checker Auto Parts 500, a NASCAR championship race, on Nov. 11, 2007, while the proposed Champ Car street race is expected to run Nov. 16-18, 2007.  Champ Car drivers would race on a 2-mile track winding around Chase Field, in front of the Phoenix Convention Center and near the Maricopa County 911 Operation Center near First Avenue and Madison Street.

Those pushing for a greater gap between the races say they are doing it because they don't want to jeopardize the November NASCAR race that Arizona landed in 2004.

Much of the battle over the street race is being waged in the political arena as both camps search for allies among state lawmakers.

One lawmaker even proposed a law to prohibit cities from having racing events if they were not on closed racetracks, such as the one at PIR.

That plan fell flat, but PIR President Bryan Sperber said he would "be willing to exit the political discussion" if Champ race promoters agreed to reschedule their event.

Sperber said a larger gap between the races is needed because there is only "so much disposable motor-sports-related income." zzzz

"When you have two enterprises that are trying to appeal to the same audience, you're going to be asking fans to pick and choose," he said. "And we have concerns that the NASCAR attendance could be downgraded."

Dale Jensen, a Valley businessman who is promoting the Champ Car race, said there is no wiggle room because the league season ends in November. And pushing for an earlier date could conflict with baseball games if the Arizona Diamondbacks make it to the World Series.

Jensen said the dates make sense because they fill hotel rooms and get a crowd of visitors to downtown Phoenix during a down time.

He said that individuals urging Phoenix to require a 30-day separation are doing so at the behest of PIR.

"These guys are trying everything in the world to stop this," said Jensen, part owner of the Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns and Dodge Theatre. "Our job is going to be like running a campaign to show people how good this is." 

One of the race benefits is found in an economic-impact study by David Bamberger & Associates that estimates the 2007 race would bring $65.5 million in business to the city. The study, commissioned by race promoters, said about 147,000 people will attend the race festival, and the city will get live national television broadcasts worth about $836,000 of airtime. Out-of-town visitors would spend about $150 per day per person and use 61,000 hotel-room nights, according to the study.

There would be some drawbacks for motorists and pedestrians in downtown Phoenix in the weeks before the race.

City street officials report that streets need between $170,000 and $230,000 in improvements, but Jensen and promoters have said they would pick up the tab.

City staff research shows that street closures or restrictions would affect heavily traveled streets, including First and Central avenues and Jefferson and Seventh streets, parking structures and work on downtown projects.

One memo also notes that "pedestrian-access points along the perimeter and also within the race course appear to be directly affected and could cause ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) violations."

Jensen said the crew producing the local race has put together about 75 others across the country.

"We're working through these issues in every city," Jensen said. "It's not a big deal. There has never been an insurmountable situation." More at Arizona Republic

09/05/06
ips
Crews to Compete in Chicagoland Indy Pro Series Race Crews to Compete in Chicagoland Indy Pro Series RaceExperience really is the best teacher, and CR Crews will get more of it this weekend.  The 18-year-old Dallas resident has been named to drive for Dave McMillan Racing in the Indy Pro Series' season finale Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.  It will be Crews' fourth career start in the official support series of the Indy Racing League and his second on an oval. He's been in the top 10 in two of his previous three starts, and finished 11th in the other one.
09/05/06
irl
Foyt to replace Franchitti Foyt to replace FranchittiUPDATE Andretti Green Racing announced today that A.J. Foyt IV will drive the #27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone in the final race of the 2006 IndyCar Series season Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Foyt IV will replace Dario Franchitti, who sustained a concussion Friday during a qualifying session for the Goodwood Revival at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Goodwood, England.

Sunday's race will mark the 48th IndyCar start of Foyt's career and the first since last October at California Speedway.

Foyt will participate in a refresher test behind the wheel of the Klein Tools/Canadian Club car on Thursday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway under the supervision of IndyCar Series officials.

A.J. Foyt IV on the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300: "I'm very excited to have an opportunity like this to drive the Klein Tools/Canadian Club car for Andretti Green. It's obviously a great race team and should be a very competitive car on Sunday. We're going to be able to do this at a place where I've got a lot of laps and I expect to have a good, strong weekend."

Michael Andretti, Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Green Racing: "We're looking forward to having Anthony in the Klein Tools/Canadian Club car this weekend. It's unfortunate that Dario won't be able to drive, but we're confident that Anthony will do a great job for us. He's got a lot of natural talent and we're hoping to give him a fast car this weekend." AGR

09/05/06 Dario Franchitti will not drive in Sunday’s final Indy-car race of the season at Chicagoland Speedway, having suffered a concussion last week during a vintage car accident in England.

Franchitti will be replaced on the Andretti Green Racing team by A.J. Foyt IV, who has not driven an open-wheel car since the end of last season when he left his grandfather’s team.

Foyt, 22, recently moved to North Carolina to explore options in NASCAR. He has driven in seven Busch Series races this season, the last being at Texas Motor Speedway in April. He drove in four last year.

Franchitti crashed his Jaguar E-type lightweight car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Practice and qualifying for the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 is Saturday. Foyt is expected to receive extra track time prior to the event. AGR co-owner Kevin Savoree said he expects that to be Thursday. Indy Star

09/05/06
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nascar
Allmendinger signs NASCAR deal Allmendinger signs NASCAR dealHIGH POINT, N.C. - Bill Davis Racing (BDR) announced today that A.J. Allmendinger will be joining the team's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series line-up for two races. Allmendinger, who is currently fighting for the championship on the Champ Car World Series circuit, will drive the No. 24 Toyota Tundra for BDR at New Hampshire International Speedway (Sept. 16) and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 7). 

"When I had the opportunity a few months ago to explore my career options, I really wanted to try my hand at something in the stock car arena," said the 24 year-old Allmendinger. "We began making phone calls and this opportunity with Bill Davis Racing really came about from that. I'm grateful to Bill Davis and the entire BDR team for giving me the chance to take on a new challenge. I also want to thank my Champ Car team owner Gerry Forsythe and the Forsythe/Indeck team for supporting me as I try something new." 

"A.J. Allmendinger was interested in exploring his options and abilities in NASCAR and Bill Davis Racing has always had an interest in looking at new talent. We look forward to working with A.J. for a couple of races and I'm confident his open-wheel success will carry over into his NASCAR endeavors," added team owner Bill Davis. 

In preparation for his upcoming races, Allmendinger completed a brief testing session with the BDR NASCAR Craftsman Truck crew on Aug. 29 at Richmond International Raceway.

09/05/06
irl
IRL boosting mobile content IRL boosting mobile contentThe IRL has partnered with Digital Orchid Inc. to create and distribute IRL mobile device content. IRL fans will have access on their cell phones to screensavers, wallpaper and in-car video and audio between drivers and pit crews during a race. Digital Orchid also deals with NASCAR, Champ Car, MLB, NHL, NHRA and ESPN.

Screensavers and wallpaper will start at about $2 per month and premium content will be around $10 per month.

09/05/06
track news
British GP use Button to sell tickets British GP use Button to sell ticketsThe 2006 British Grand Prix was a fantastic weekend-long party at Silverstone and next year’s event is set to be even better. There has never been a better time to book your tickets and take advantage of Silverstone’s early season discount prices.

And what’s more, if you book your seats in September and Jenson Button wins the 2007 British Grand Prix driving for Honda, you will be £50 better off!

FOR 2007, THERE'S AN UNBEATABLE PACKAGE INCLUDING:

EARLY BOOKING PRICES to end of January 2007
PRICES FROZEN – £99 ‘Fan’ ticket
NEW Child tickets on Friday (£10) and Saturday (£20)
Grandstand seats from £179
FREE Grand Prix Party – headline act TBA
All tickets fully transferable
FREE BOOKING – No booking fee when you buy tickets online direct with Silverstone
SPECIAL SEPTEMBER PROMOTION
 
BOOK NOW AND IF JENSON WINS, WE’LL GIVE YOU £50!

Silverstone is giving you 50 great reasons to back Jenson Button on Sunday 8 July 2007. All you have to do is book adult grandstand seats during September and if Jenson claims victory for Honda at Silverstone, we’ll give you £50 back!*

There is no catch. It’s simply a great bet for F1 fans and guarantees that there will be even more people cheering on Jenson than ever before. Now he’s made that step up to the top of the podium, he’s sure to be gunning for home glory in July. It will all make for an electric atmosphere next summer. Don’t miss out – book now!

09/05/06
ga
2006 Rolex Series Champions honored in Vegas 2006 Rolex Series Champions honored in VegasIn an elaborate celebration with nearly 500 guests on Monday evening, 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Daytona Prototype champion Jörg Bergmeister and GT class co-champions Marc Bunting and Andy Lally headlined the list of honorees in the Rolex Champions Banquet at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. More....
09/05/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Webber wants safer Monza track
Cosworth bid to beat FIA 'freeze'
Massa lucky to escape team orders - Barrichello
Button defends lack of contract loyalty
Ferrari to decide Red Bull supplier - Mateschitz
09/05/06
cc
cca
TV reminder - Montreal TV reminder - MontrealThe rain delayed Grand Prix of Montreal Champ Car race will be shown on Wednesday, September 6, at 12:00 pm-2:00 pm ET on the SPEED Channel.  Immediately following the Champ Car race will be a replay of the Grand Prix of Montreal Atlantic race at 2:00 pm-3:00 pm ET also on the SPEED Channel.
09/05/06
Karting News
Conor Daly fastest in Ireland Conor Daly fastest in IrelandDriving a Kosmic T11 chassis for the first time at Mondello Park in Ireland, Cytomax driver, Conor Daly overcame a problematic qualifying session  (qualified 9th) to come within .2 of winning the 7th round of the Irish Karting Championship.

After a high speed slipstreaming battle, Conor’s consolation was a podium finish with 3rd place and the personal satisfaction of having set the fastest lap of the weekend.

Conor races exclusively on Bridgestone tires and is sponsored by Cytomax Sport Energy Drink. For the full story of Conor’s upcoming activities see: www.conordaly.net

09/04/06
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Another new Champ Car team announced Another new Champ Car team announcedUPDATE #2 A reader adds, I agree. The cars need to be dressed up in better paint. Especially given the association with Sherwin-Williams. This year's schemes have hit an all time low for the series. If the cars look ugly, where is the glamour?

I designed many of the official CART race posters, program covers and event clothing during the 90's and I am really glad that I had much prettier cars to work with than today’s bland bunch. (http://www.raymasters.com/)

Yes, you could hand the job over to the incredibly talented and hard working Troy Lee but it might result in a lot of variations on a theme......he, like all artists has his look.

Instead, how about Sherwin-Williams and Champ Car commissioning a variety of artists to submit concepts for each of the teams. Give the artists who have long supported the sport, Randy Owens, Bill Patterson, Troy Lee, et al, the chance to strut their stuff. They have a deep connection with the cars, the drivers and the soul of Champ Car!

The artist must do it on spec but if the team likes it, it buys it! Now you get variety of looks, a variety of great PR stories and the chance to sell the whole concept outside of the normal sports media. Plus just imagine the spin-offs in terms of uniforms, transporters, the whole look of the paddock. It would be awesome.

Champ Car is selling itself as exciting, colorful and glamorous. Here is another chance to reinforce the message in a very bold and unique way. The new car is beautiful and it deserves the finest clothing.

Where do I sign up? Ray Masters

09/04/06 A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, OK, so we hear of new teams coming into Champ Car next year, but are all the existing teams going to remain? Can they afford the new car? Mary Barberry

Dear Mary, Yes, from what we hear all the teams are likely to return in 2007 as overall their operating costs will be much lower and there is a financing plan in place when purchasing the news cars. As for what will be the size of the grid, we expect 22 to 24 cars, perhaps more. From our perspective, the ideal size is 26 to 28 - the more drivers the more fans will tune in and watch races because each driver has their fan base. The large 43 car NASCAR fields help drive its high ratings.

The only problem with 28 cars is the fact there is that much more chance for an accident. The new onboard starters will, however, help to reduce full course cautions. Champ Car has really hit a home run with their new car. Much to Bernie Ecclestone's chagrin we're sure, it looks very much like an F1 car sans the airbox on the engine. Now if they can just get their paint schemes to look as nice as F1 cars (Troy Lee should do the paint scheme for every team, with bright Sherwin-Williams paint - it should be mandatory), they will finally have a product that looks presentable for the global marketplace. Mark C.

09/02/06 Pacific Coast Motorsports confirmed plans today that 2007 will see the Ventura-based team field a two car operation in the Champ Car World Series and a two car line-up in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.
 
America’s Alex Figge (pictured below left) and Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel (pictured right), currently teamed together driving the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype, will form the team’s driver line-up in the Champ Car World Series.
 
Delighted to continue its association in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series next season, the team will be verifying at a later date the exact line-up of its sports car operation having competed in both the Daytona Prototype class and the GT division this season fielding the Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype and Pontiac GTO.R respectively.
 
Tyler Tadevic, PCM Team Director, commented on the team’s 2007 expansion plans:
 
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations for next season into the Champ Car World Series and of course continuing our relationship with the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.  It’s an exciting time for the team and our partners and we look forward to making further announcements regarding these programs in the near future.”
 
PCM thanks all its team partners – Playboy, Vonage, Palms, General Motors, Ironclad, Uniden and Hasselgren Engineering.
09/04/06
nascar
Cops nail drunken NASCAR fans Cops nail drunken NASCAR fans[Editor's Note: Anyone who has attended a NASCAR race knows that many fans drink themselves into a drunken stupor in the infield and in the grandstands.  It is not unlike a football game where alcohol is served.]

FONTANA - Some race fans were unpleasantly surprised Sunday evening as they were pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

California Highway Patrol officials decided to directly address collisions resulting from drunken driving on the freeways after NASCAR races at the California Speedway concluded in previous years. About 15 California Highway Patrol officers looked for motorists from 4 p.m. until midnight driving while intoxicated on alcohol or drugs on the 10, 15 and 210 freeways near the speedway.

CHP officers had nabbed three motorists by 9 p.m. for driving under the influence, CHP Officer Sean Cooper said.

Sunday's efforts were the first time CHP officers concentrated enforcement around the freeways, Cooper said. They were assisted by other agencies.

Officers previously conducted roving patrols inside the speedway, but they said the number of drunken-driving crashes outside the gates have been an ongoing problem.  zzzz

On Saturday, officers responded to several calls about fights inside the raceway during the events, he said. Cooper guessed those altercations were largely alcohol-related.

Many of those fans became frustrated as they attempted to navigate their way from the exits to surrounding streets and freeways.

"I've never been flipped off so many times before," Cooper said about his experiences directing traffic on Cherry Avenue near Arrow Boulevard.

"We prefer that, than them taking it out on each other," he said. More at the Daily Bulletin

09/04/06
f1
A lap of Monza with De la Rosa A lap of Monza with De la RosaMcLaren driver Pedro de la Rosa describes what it's like to put in a lap at the Monza circuit in a F1 car...

"Starting a lap of Monza, you power up through the gears along the wide Rettifilio Tribune straight reaching the top speed of all the circuits on the calendar, 360km/h in sixth gear. The right-left Rettifilio Chicane is located at the end of the straight and sees your speed drop as you brake dramatically to 124km/h in second.

"As you exit, you immediately reach the Curva Grande. This long, bumpy right-hander is taken flat out and your speed increases to some 280km/h in fourth before arriving to the Variante dello Roggia. You brake from some 345km/h in sixth to 100km/h to negotiate the left-right chicane, which has a tricky entry as it is very bumpy and slippery. Another short straight follows and takes you to the double apex right hander of Curva di Lesmos. You enter the first turn at 164km/h in third. zzzz

"A quick burst of acceleration sees your speed increase up to 266km/h before you then brake for the second apex, which is negotiated at 158km/h also in third. It is important to maintain a good speed through Lesmos, as it takes you onto a long straight, which has a slight left curve. You reach 342km/h in sixth as you blast towards the Curva del Vialone.

"Another hard braking zone takes your speed down to 148km/h in second to negotiate the left hander, the entry of the famous Ascari chicane, which is immediately followed by a right-hander leading into the next left hand corner. This is quite an exciting section of corners, which then flicks you onto the back straight, achieving speeds of 347km/h in sixth gear as you approach the famous Parabolica. The tight entrance to this long sweeping right hander is taken at some 162km/h and as the curve opens out your speed increases and you are swung back onto the start-finish straight to begin another lap."

09/04/06
Racing News
Newey and Franchitti crash heavily at Goodwood Newey and Franchitti crash heavily at GoodwoodUPDATE Red Bull technical guru Adrian Newey spent a night in hospital last weekend after he was knocked unconscious in an amateur sports car race.

The keen racer, 47, was lapping a backmarker in Goodwood, England, when his Jaguar E-Type slid onto the grass and into a wall.

Newey was taken to a local hospital and kept under observation, following a similarly high-speed shunt in a Ford GT40 at Le Mans in July, when he injured his finger.

Newey told Eurosport: ''I must have hit my head on the rollbar.

''I have no recollection of the event.  I felt a bit dazed in the ambulance and now I feel as though I have severe jet lag.''

09/02/06 Qualifying for the Revival’s flagship race, the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration, ended early after two of the competitors crashed heavily.

In separate incidents, F1 designer Adrian Newey and Scots IRL star Dario Franchitti left the track in their lightweight Jaguar E-Types. Both received medical attention at the track but neither was seriously hurt. Another lightweight E-Type, of Juan Barazi and Michael Vergers, posted the fastest time in the shortened official timed practice. There will be another practice session tomorrow before Sunday’s one-hour, two-driver race.

Newey also crashed heavily earlier this year at Le Mans in his Ford GT40. Other drivers include Red Bull Racing’s Christian Klien, sharing an AC Cobra with team boss Christian Horner.

09/04/06
a1gp
South African team signs Zaugg South African team signs ZauggA1 Team South Africa has signed 19-year-old Red Bull Junior Team driver Adrian Zaugg for the 2006/07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, which begins with the A1GP Zandvoort, the Netherlands on October 1.
 
Zaugg, who lives in Cape Town and is currently competing in Europe in the Italian Formula Renault Championship and the World Series by Renault, will join 21-year-old Stephen Simpson in Team South Africa.
 
Ms Dana Cooper, CEO of A1 Team South Africa, expressed her delight at acquiring the services of the exciting new prospect.
 
“Adrian Zaugg is a truly wonderful ‘find’ for South Africa. He is a very talented, committed young man who has already achieved a great deal in motor sport in a short space of time. We have had our eye on him for some time and are delighted he has agreed to join our team. zzzz
 
“We are also very appreciative to his sponsor Red Bull for allowing Adrian to compete for South Africa in at least three A1GP races, to fit in with his various Red Bull commitments.”
 
After two days of official A1GP testing at Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire in England this week, in which 20 of the national teams expected to contest this year’s A1GP series took part, Zaugg earned his place on the team with an impressive performance in his first official outing in the 3,5-litre V8-engined A1GP car.
 
“All of the drivers we tested did a good job and I can honestly say that any one of them would be an asset to our team,” said A1 Team South Africa technical and sporting manager Mike Carroll.
 
Zaugg is a previous winner of the Formula BMW scholarship. He earned a place in the Red Bull Junior Team driver program in 2005 and has been competing under the South African flag in the Italian Formula Renault championship, in which he is currently lying second. He also made his debut in round six of the World Series by Renault at the Nurburgring in Germany, finishing sixth.
09/04/06
Racing News
Quotes of the past week Quotes of the past week
WAYNE TAYLOR SunTrust Racing Grand American Rolex Series Team owner
"I don't know how to thank Ryan Hunter-Reay enough for what he did.  Such a limited amount of time we gave him in the car.  He'd never been here testing before and he was really outstanding and I'm very proud of him.  All I can say is that I don't understand how there can be such a talent out there who doesn't have a permanent ride somewhere.”  Taylor said this after Hunter-Reay’s first time in a Daytona Prototype where he led the most laps and opened up the biggest lead before a burnt spark plug wire necessitated a 10 minute pit stop in the 9 Hour Endurance Race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

FLAVIO BRIATORE,  Managing Director, Renault F1 team
''He (Michael Schumacher) is not the same as he was four or five seasons ago so for me it would be better if he stopped. That is what he will probably do at Monza.  Schumacher did not used to make these errors, and after many years of F1 he knows that his new, young and terrifying rivals push hard, they are hungry and have nothing to lose.''  (Commenting on rumors that Michael Schumacher may announce his retirement after the Italian Grand Prix)
 
JEAN TODT,  Team Principal, Ferrari F1 Team
"When the safety car is on the track you cannot overtake. You just cannot do it. Overtaking with the safety car is forbidden. That doesn't mean we would have done it, but we couldn't. I think there would be five times more people at this press conference if I had asked Felipe Massa to let Michael through. That would have been the event of the race weekend. So I am sorry for you that we did not change the order in the pits!" Todt joked.  (Referring to the finishing positions of Felipe Massa (1st)  and Michael Schumacher (3rd)  in the Turkish Grand Prix)
 
FELIPE MASSA, Ferrari F1 driver
''I do not want to win, I want to help Michael and the team to win the championship.  It is still possible that Michael can catch Alonso and I am ready to help him to do that.''  (Turkish Grand Prix winner Felipe Massa vowed this week to cast aside plans for more victory as the 2006 championship enters its final phase)
 
WILLIAM CLAY FORD, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company
"Company executives understand we're in trouble in North America and have a plan to fix the company.  We understand that it requires extraordinary action, and we are taking that.  It's important people understand that we get it.  The business model that sustained us for decades is no longer sufficient to sustain profitability."

Max Papis, driver of No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Riley:
“It was an honor to see Jörg win the championship. I’m happy to have contributed a little bit, since I drove with him at Miami. Hat’s off to Tracy Krohn for his vision of putting this team together. The team is like the ‘little train that could’. No one gave much credit to this team at the beginning of the year, but here they are with a championship. I’m really proud for them in their first year and the championship.”
09/04/06
cc
Dalziel set for 2007 Champ Car debut Dalziel set for 2007 Champ Car debutOrlando, Florida – Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel is preparing himself for a return to top-flight open-wheel racing in 2007 following Pacific Coast Motorsports decision to step-up to the Champ Car World Series next season with the Lanarkshire racer and America’s Alex Figge forming the team’s two-car driver line-up.

Dalziel (24) has spent the past two seasons with California-based Pacific Coast Motorsports competing in North American sports car racing, campaigning a Corvette C5-R in the 2005 American Le Mans Series and a Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in this season’s Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series which concluded at Miller Motorsports Park at the weekend – coinciding with the team’s announcement regarding their plans for 2007 and a move into the 'Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford'. Zzzz

Thrilled to be racing a 750bhp turbo-charged Champ Car in 2007 Dalziel remarked:

  "Firstly I have to thank Pacific Coast Motorsports for giving me such a great opportunity to get back into open-wheel racing and in particular the Champ Car World Series.  Champ Car was always my goal and my passion when I started racing in America so to be given the chance to compete there full-time is just fantastic. 

  "I'm delighted that we’re all moving up together as a team as I’ve loved racing for Pacific Coast Motorsports over the past couple of seasons.  The timing’s right for moving into Champ Car with the new Panoz chassis being introduced for 2007 and it’s always been a goal for the likes of Team Director Tyler Tadevic and Alex Figge to move there as well.  Alex and I are great friends off-track and we’ve worked well as team-mates co-driving in sports cars.  I’m looking forward to teaming up with him again next season in Champ Car and helping the team put a solid rookie effort together."

  Having landed a full-time ride in North America’s premier open-wheel racing category, where the likes of Nigel Mansell, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve and Dario Franchitti all savored success, Ryan’s confirmation to the ranks of Champ Car World Series driver follows a successful one-off ride in the series last season as well as a glittering record in its feeder category.

  Dalziel made his Champ Car debut in Toronto last season having received a last minute call to race courtesy of Dale Coyne Racing.  Heading into the Molson Indy Toronto armed with just one day of testing in the team’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola, the Orlando-based Scot conquered the demanding street course to score an impressive ninth place finish.

  Ryan’s first career Champ Car start followed three seasons in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Champ Car’s official feeder series.  With back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2004, Dalziel’s Toyota Atlantic record boasts 6 wins, 19 podiums, 8 pole positions and the Gilles Villeneuve Trophy in 2004.  His success led to Champ Car tests with Walker Racing and PKV Racing in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
09/04/06
ta
Gentilozzi wins Race 1 Gentilozzi wins Race 1
09/04/06
f1
F1 Demo Zandvoort a big success F1 Demo Zandvoort a big successRobert Doornbos was definitely not the only one at Circuit Park Zandvoort who enjoyed his spectacular Red Bull Racing F1 demo at Circuit Park Zandvoort (Netherlands) this weekend. Despite heavy rainfall in the beginning of the day, more than 78,000 spectators witnessed Robert’s race challenge against a DTM car and a F3 car. It proved to be the ideal warming-up for a mind-blowing DTM race that followed right after Robert’s F1 demo!

Both on Saturday and Sunday, Robert spent most of his time together with his fans. Next to his breathtaking F1 demo, Robert also made three podium appearances at the Radio Veronica Zomertruck and of course attended the Radio veronica / Robert Doornbos beach party at Beach Club Vroeger in Bloemendaal. Tired but 100% satisfied, Robert left Zandvoort late in the evening to start preparing himself for next weekend’s Italian GP at Monza.

Robert Doornbos “It was just awesome to see the public go crazy as Sebastian Vettel, Mattias Ekström and me raced each other for a couple of laps, before I put down all the rubber I could with some donuts for the grandstands. I would love to see the faces of the Michelin engineers once my rear tires are returned to them, haha! I want to thank everyone who made this possible, but even more important, the public for showing up despite the bad weather on Sunday morning. I really enjoyed myself big time and I hope you all did the same!”

09/04/06
cc
New Champ Car design frozen at end of month New Champ Car design frozen at end of monthThe green light for Panoz to begin producing cars and components for the new Champ Car should be given before the end of this month.

"We spelled it out very clearly early in the process," Scot Elkins reported. "Once we finish testing, Champ Car has ten days to approve the design. We'll use those ten days to evaluate everything from testing and once we approve that, production starts."

The goal is to deliver the first round of cars by the end of November.

"November 30th is the goal and the idea is that each team will receive one car on that day much like the Atlantic series, so that everyone gets everything at the same time and there are no advantages," Elkins commented.

"Whoever the teams are will each get one car on that date. There's nothing to prevent any team from ordering four cars at one time, but they're only going to get one car by the end of November. Any two-car team is only going to get one car on November 30th."

Champ Car plans to permit testing of the new car to occur only during a series of three, open tests to be scheduled in the first three months of next year.

"We're in the process of doing a schedule right now," Scot Elkins said. "There will be one, open test in each of January, February and March, so we'll do one test per month. And that will be the only testing that's allowed prior to the first event of '07. We don't know the venues yet. We're still working through that."

Teams will be allowed to run driver tests or other evaluation sessions with their existing Lola B/200 during the off-season.

"We're allowing teams to test the current Lola as much as they want as long as they have engine miles available to them," Elkins said. "If they want to go and do some evaluating of drivers, they're allowed to do however much testing they want during a one-month period as long as they have engine miles available in their engine contract with Cosworth." ChampCar.ws

09/04/06
f1
Cosworth to give Williams more HP for Monza Cosworth to give Williams more HP for MonzaWilliams drivers Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg are hoping to benefit from "maximized" Cosworth Series 6 engines in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza this weekend.

The engine supplier believes its latest 2.4-litre V8s, introduced with the up-coming homologation deadline for the engine freeze on October 1 in mind, could finally help Williams achieve its first points finish since the European GP in May.

“At last week’s test with WilliamsF1, we completed the final validation of a very aggressive duty cycle on the latest Series 6 engines and this will now be available for both Mark and Nico at the Italian GP,” said Cosworth’s Simon Corbyn

“Cosworth will therefore be able to run maximum engine performance, including the 20,000RPM rev limit, for all key laps in qualifying and for a significant fraction of the race.

“Cosworth has pushed hard to successfully approve and introduce the best possible engine specification for the forthcoming race and also in readiness for the impending FIA engine homologation deadline.”

Williams is also intending to bring a host of changes to its FW28 as it seeks to end a wretched season on a high.

Monza’s long straights require unique aerodynamic and engineering set-ups and the Grove-based team will run with completely new front and rear wing assemblies.

The FW28s will also feature new engine cover flip-ups, while the cars’ roll-hoop wings, cascade wings and winglets will all be removed.

“With top speeds reaching the highest we see all year, engine power is critical, while brake durability is also necessary at the second hardest wearing track after Montréal,” said Williams technical director Sam Michael.
 
“At the test in Monza last week, we worked on the aero package and tire selection to put us in the best possible position for the race.”

09/04/06
nascar
Petty says Toyota is already making waves Petty says Toyota is already making wavesToyota's entry into the NASCAR Cup world, Kyle Petty says, presents a major culture clash - between the old Southern-based way of doing racing business and Toyota's new race-business model.

"Traditionally in this sport, perhaps because of its Southern base, there has been a major resistance to change by teams and car manufacturers," Petty said. "But here comes Toyota making all these waves and promoting change in all these different directions.

"It's really funny, because Toyota presents a totally different (business) culture. They come in here with a different mindset and a different approach.

"Chevy, Ford and Dodge have been in the sport for so long, that they have a way of playing this game. But Toyota is coming in saying 'We're going to play this sport the way we want to play this sport. We're going to do things a little different.'

"The way they approach their teams and sign the players is just different.

"Now don't get me wrong, they still have to play here. But this is the first group that can really come in with a clean sheet of paper.

"What little I know about the Toyota engine stuff, they've done a tremendous job. NASCAR said 'Here are the head rules,' so Toyota built a head, and took it to NASCAR, and NASCAR said 'change this and this.' And Toyota just threw away the old head and built a whole new head. And NASCAR can only say 'Wow.'

"Toyota is questioning NASCAR: 'Why can't we do this or that?' 'So if we can't run that valve angle, if we do this valve angle then we can make our heads smaller so we can make our engines smaller.' And NASCAR can only say 'Hmmmm, we don't have an answer, because no one's ever done that.' Winston Salem Journal

09/04/06
Industry News
Bill Ford Jr. admits automaker is failing Bill Ford Jr. admits automaker is failingFord Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr. said company executives "understand we're in trouble in North America" and have a plan to fix the company.

"We understand that it requires extraordinary action, and we are taking that," Ford told Newsweek in an interview posted on the magazine's Web site Sunday and on newsstands today.

"It's important people understand that we get it."

Ford plans to announce its third restructuring in five years later this month. The second-biggest U.S. automaker announced in January it would cut 30,000 jobs and close 14 plants in North America by 2012.

Ford has said this month's announcement is an acceleration of the January plan.

The interview with Newsweek mirrored comments Bill Ford made in an e-mail to employees Friday, which were first reported by The Detroit News.

"The business model that sustained us for decades is no longer sufficient to sustain profitability," he said in the employee e-mail.  More at Detroit News

09/04/06
nascar
NASCAR TV ratings, attendance shrinking NASCAR TV ratings, attendance shrinkingThe yellow flag is out on NASCAR's drive to rule the American sports world. That compounding TV interest?

Stalled out. Moving in reverse, actually.

Those tailpipe-hot race-day tickets?

Gone cold in scalpers' hands.

The sport that enjoyed a decade-plus of uninterrupted, even explosive growth, and basked immodestly in it ... is sputtering in 2006.

Its Nielsen ratings are shrinking. So are its crowds.

NASCAR officials told the Miami Herald last month that TV ratings for Nextel Cup events are down 5 percent from 2005.

The Daytona 500 gained record viewership, back in February, but Nextel Cup races have generated smaller TV audiences than the year before almost every week since.

NASCAR will be lucky to manage sellouts for even 15 of its 38 Nextel Cup races this season. And California Speedway will not be among them. Twice. Unless some last-minute walk-up miracle occurs for the Sony HD 500 in Fontana today.

Empty seats in the grandstand have become almost as much a part of the NASCAR scenery as corporate logos.

Not even the cleverest TV director can manage every camera angle so deftly that patches of empty seats go unseen - such as the tens of thousands unsold at Indianapolis last month. The smallest there in Nextel Cup history. More at the Daily Bulletin

09/04/06
cc
Phoenix GP FAQs Phoenix GP FAQs
09/04/06
fiagt
Davies and Biagi win 100th FIA-GT race Davies and Biagi win 100th FIA-GT raceThe 100th race in the history of the FIA GT Championship, at the challenging and spectacular circuit of Dijon-Prenois, saw the Vitaphone Maserati of Thomas Biagi and Jamie Davies claim victory in GT1 ahead of the Race Alliance and Phoenix Aston Martin DBR9 cars, while AF Corse’s Matteo Bobbi and Jaime Melo were victorious in GT2, leading an all-Ferrari trio of Scuderia Ecosse’s Mullen and Niarchos and the second AF Corse car of Salo and Aguas.  This thrilling race, in front of 16,000 delighted spectators, was the crowning glory in a weekend packed full of action, from the 100-race exhibition, starring the BMW Motorsport McLaren F1 GTR, through the VIP race experience laps for the public, the pit-stop challenge, a busy pit-stop and excellent on-track action in two frantic rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship, excellent single-seater competition from the Formula Palmer Audi cars and a look into the past with the FIA Historic Racing Championships.  A fantastic weekend, much appreciated by everyone, and a fitting way to celebrate one hundred FIA GT races.
09/04/06
nascar
Bastardized Nextel Cup Cars Bastardized Nextel Cup CarsUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, You are correct in that the Nextel Cup stock cars look nothing like what's in the showroom, but haven't for decades, but some Dodge teams running Intrepids this year, preferring to run it even though Dodge wasn't selling that brand any more. Maybe they should now say Win on Sunday, Buy USED car on Monday....David Morganson

09/03/06 These are supposed to be stock cars right? Note the body to chassis offset on these overhead views. The left front fender is about 6 inches wider than the right. And note the nose on the Dodge of Casey Mears - ever see a Dodge like that on the street? NASCAR is making a mockery of its fans, assuming they are too stupid to realize Nextel Cup cars are so bastardized they are no longer stock, but for the decals that represent the front headlights and grill.

09/04/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ferrari play down Todt comments
Schu says future decision coming
McLaren fury at thief cleaners
Bernie's a 'workaholic' - wife
Bridgestone promise 'easy' tire for 2007
Renault doubt Ferrari wheels are legal
09/04/06
CASCAR
Carpentier finished 6th in CASCAR debut Carpentier finished 6th in CASCAR debutCanadian open-wheel star Patrick Carpentier had his first taste of stock car competition on Sunday finishing sixth in Round 9 of the CASCAR Super Series 2006 schedule held at Cayuga International Speedway, located east of Hamilton. Driving the Lou's BBQ / CP Flooring #88 Ford Taurus of team owner and active driver Dave Jacombs of Mount Hope, Ontario, Carpentier finished on the leader's lap in a very exciting finish of the Feature race that saw him take the checkered flag almost backward after an encounter with an opponent on the last corner of the race. Ontario drivers Dave Whitlock of Petrolia, Ron Beauchamp’s Jr. of Windsor and Mark Dilley of Barrie swept the podium at the conclusion of the 200-lap Hot Head Henry Feature Race, a night race run under the lights.
09/03/06
Euro F3
One American's misfortune is the other one’s luck One American's misfortune is the other one’s luckWhilst Jonathan Summerton is being pushed aside by Kamui Kobayashi at Zandvoort Sunday, Charlie Kimball passes on the inside of Tarzan corner on lap 1 and heads toward his maiden F3 Euroseries win.
 
Note: Photo courtesy of Willem J. Staat / PWS-Consultancy
09/03/06
formula bmw
Lee wins race, Wickens wins BMW title Lee wins race, Wickens wins BMW titleBowmanville, Ontario, Canada - Matt Lee (pictured right) took the Round 14 Formula BMW USA victory today at Mosport International Raceway, finishing 5.658 seconds ahead of Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) in the 16 lap race. Eliminated from a run at the championship following his third place finish in yesterday's Round 13 contest, Lee's second win of the season gave him a well-deserved second place in the final standings. Dicing with Stevens in the closing stages of the race, Lee recorded a new race lap record (1:24.408) on lap 15. Steven's eighth podium finish, that included a season-best four wins, finished third in championship. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing) finished third for his second podium of the year.

Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished fourth today. Robert Thorne (Team Autotechnica) finished a season's-best fifth, today's top-finishing Rookie.

With a sixth place finish today Canadian Robert Wickens (pictured left) won the 2006 Formula BMW USA championship. The 2005 Formula BMW USA Sportsman of the Year led the 2006 title chase from Round 3, amassing three poles, three wins and seven podium finishes on the way to his first major open wheel championship.

Wicken's EuroInternational teammate Simona de Silvestro did all she could to race Wickens for the championship. Second in points entering Round 14, the 18-year old was forced to start at the rear of the 25-car field following post-qualifying technical inspection. She finished a fine 10th, but dropped to fourth in the Overall standings. EuroInternational won the 2006 Formula BMW USA Team championship. zzzz

Round 14 - Results (16 laps)
1 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 26:52.931
2 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 26:58.589
3 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 27:02.068
4 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 27:02.716
5 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 27:04.449
6 Robert Wickens EuroInternational 27:05.233
7 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 27:05.440
8 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 27:05.642
9 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 27:06.421
10 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational 27:07.250
11 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 27:07.779
12 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 27:08.588
13 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 27:10.668
14 Marco Di Leo Hearn Motorsports 27:12.951
15 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 27:13.392
16 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 27:14.358
17 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing 27:15.295
18 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 27:17.627
19 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 27:19.929
20 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 27:20.324
21 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 27:22.864
22 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 27:28.212
23 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 27:47.925
24 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 15 laps
25 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 6 laps

Championship points after 14 of 14 races:
1. Robert Wickens (EuroInternational, 149), 2. Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica, 143), 3. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 142), 4. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational, 133), 5. Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational, 77), 6. Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport, 72), 7. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing, 69), 8. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 47), 9. David Garza (EuroInternational, 44), 10. Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports, 43), 11. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing, 40), 12. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing, 31), 13. Tom Sutherland (Jensen Motorsport, 23), 13. Tobias Hegewald (Atlantic Racing Team, 23), 14. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport, 21), 15. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing, 20), 16. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 15), 17. Robert Thorne (Team Autotecnica, 14), 18. Scott Schroeder (American Spirit Grand Prix, 12), 19. Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 8), 20. Philip Major (Atlantic Racing Team, 5), 20. Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA, 5), 21. Marco Di Leo (Hearn Motorsports, 4), 22. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 3), 23. Alex Navejar (Jensen Motorsport, 1), 24. Jules Duc (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 24. Marco Santos (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 24. David Rangel (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 24. David Farias (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 24. Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing, 0), 24. Frankie Muniz (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 24. Maryeve Dufault (Hearn Motorsports, 0)

09/03/06
nascar
NASCAR Michigan TV Rating down NASCAR Michigan TV Rating downUPDATE We apologize for not posting the final rating for the Michigan race last week.  The Michigan 400, on Turner cable, pulled only a 4.1 rating, down 9% from a 4.5 in 2005.  NASCAR is vulnerable right now and open wheel racing has an opportunity to erode some of NASCAR's lead if they could find a way to merge and work together. 

The regular NASCAR journalists are scratching their heads trying to figure out why NASCAR is dropping in popularity.  They are so close to NASCAR they are unable to see what is going on.  The younger generation has little interest in NASCAR's 1950's technology.  That combined with high ticket prices and gomer language from the announcers, like Waltrip's 'Boogity Boogity Boogity' is enough to make a viewer lose one's lunch.  With that said, this LA Times article doesn't share our view.

08/22/06 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Nextel Cup race in Michigan Sunday was a 3.6 (2.8 million households), down 5% from last year's overnight and continuing NASCAR consistent drop in ratings and race attendance from 2005.
09/03/06
nascar
NASCAR Bristol TV Rating down NASCAR Bristol TV Rating downUPDATE Correction, we apologize that we read the ratings from the wrong table for Bristol. In fact the final rating for Bristol was a 3.6, down 8% from last year's 3.9 final rating. This continues NASCAR's drop in TV ratings that we have seen all year, indicating NASCAR has peaked from over saturation. American fans are tired of being bombarded by NASCAR 24 x 7.

09/01/06 TNT's coverage of Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway was up 5% from last year. The race earned a 4.1 U.S. rating up from a 3.9 (a 4.9 national cable rating, up from 4.7). This year's race was seen in 4.46 million homes, up from 4.25 million homes last year.
09/03/06
TV News
Patrick to co-host show Monday Patrick to co-host show MondayOn Monday, September 4, Danica Patrick will be a guest co-host on The View.  The show airs at 11:00 am-12:00 pm ET on ABC.  Times will vary in EVERY time zone.  Check local listings for your time zone.
09/03/06
Euro F3
American Kimball beats Vettel in Zandvoort F3 thriller American Kimball beats Vettel in Zandvoort F3 thrillerAmerican Charlie Kimball won today's F3 Euroseries race at Zandvoort after a thrilling battle with Germany's new BMW F1 wonderboy Sebastian Vettel. Both drivers started in the position they finished their first race of the weekend yesterday, Kimball started 11th (after a miserable qualifying on Friday) and Vettel even in 24th position after encountering several problems in yesterday's race.

In the morning there was torrential rain until some 15 minutes before the start. A few drivers decided to try their luck and opted to start on 'slick' tires, amongst them Charlie Kimball and Sebastian Vettel ! This daring gamble resulted in a fantastic success for both drivers!

Although the first couple of laps were far from ideal for slick shod F3 racing cars, both Kimball and Vettel managed to climb up the rankings. By lap 7 Kimball was in 5th and Vettel in 8th position.

At the front Argentinean Esteban Guerrieri, who started from pole on 'wets', discovered the track was now drying very rapidly, helped by a stormy wind. In the meantime at the start, Jonathan Summerton, who finished yesterday's race in sixth and thus started the 2nd race on 3rd position, only got as far as Tarzan-corner (1st corner) after the start, being spun around by Japan's Kamui Kobayashi and then rejoining last. Jonathan immediately decided to pit after the first lap and change to slick-tires. After that he never got back to the front and finished a lonely 17th. Richard Antinucci started his race on 14th and finished in 16th. At first Richard climbed up to 8th (lap 2 - lap 5) but after that he gradually lost ground as his wet weather tires lost more and more grip....

By lap 10 both Kimball and Vettel had caught up with the leading trio of Guerrieri, Frenchman Guillaume Moreau and Dutchman Giedo van der Garde. Van der Garde had made a fantastic start from 7th to third in the first lap. By now all three leading drivers were suffering from fast wearing 'wet' tires on an almost dry track! It took both Charlie Kimball and Sebastian Vettel only 1 lap to overtake all three of them and prepare themselves for the ultimate battle between themselves.  zzzz 

For the next 7 laps Kimball used all the tricks in the book to defend his position and Vettel tried all the tricks in the book to get past Kimball. To no avail: Kimball stayed in control and crossed the finish line 0.6 sec. ahead of Vettel. (Photo right - note how wet the track was yet Vettel and Kimball were on slicks - two very talented drivers.) 

In the meantime they were also each setting fastest lap after fastest lap. In those 7 memorable laps the gap to Guerrieri grew to 41 seconds. Guerrieri 'only' managed fourth, closely followed by Van der Garde in fifth. Third place went to Japan's Kazuki Nakajima, son of former F1 star Saturo Nakajima (another son of....)

'This is awesome!' shouted Kimball, "We needed this result. The whole Signature team has been working 24/7 to get back to the results from a few years ago, when they were wining races on a regular basis. Also for me its very important to win again (last year Charlie won 5 races in the British F3 series and finished second that year in the championship). I want to continue wining in the next couple of rounds in Barcelona, Spain (September 24), Le Mans, France (October 15) and Hockenheim (October 29), to reward the team for the excellent work they did."

Sebastian Vettel set fastest lap chasing Kimball around the track! Pieter Slinger reporting from Holland

Results

Pos. No. Driver Nat. Entrant Make Laps Time Diff. Gap Fast Lap
1 20 Charlie Kimball USA Signature-Plus Dallara F306 Mercedes 18 30:33.295 1:36.288
2 1 Sebastian Vettel GER ASM Formule 3 Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 30:33.972 00.677 00.677 1:36.182
3 18 Kazuki Nakajima JPN Manor Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 30:59.546 25.574 26.251 1:37.137
4 4 Esteban Guerrieri ARG Manor Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:14.446 14.900 41.151 1:41.764
5 16 Giedo van der Garde NED ASM Formule 3 Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:15.213 00.767 41.918 1:42.342
6 21 Tim Sandtler (R) GER Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:15.998 00.785 42.703 1:38.373
7 9 Guillaume Moreau FRA Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:16.022 00.024 42.727 1:41.759
8 7 Sébastien Buemi SUI ASL Mücke Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:16.163 00.141 42.868 1:36.997
9 24 Peter Elkmann GER Jo Zeller Racing Dallara F306 Opel 18 31:25.488 09.325 52.193 1:36.733
10 14 Filip Salaquarda CEZ Team ISR Dallara F306 Opel 18 31:29.635 04.147 56.340 1:38.785
11 10 Romain Grosjean FRA Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:29.661 00.026 56.366 1:42.472
12 33 Recardo Bruins KOR Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F305 Opel 18 31:33.862 04.201 1:00.567 1:37.946
13 3 Kohei Hirate JPN Manor Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:41.737 07.875 1:08.442 1:43.116
14 2 Paul di Resta GBR ASM Formule 3 Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:42.342 00.605 1:09.047 1:42.929
15 43 Julian Theobald (T) GER SMS Seyffarth Dallara F304 Mercedes 18 31:42.362 00.020 1:09.067 1:39.802
16 11 Richard Antinucci USA HBR Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:43.457 01.095 1:10.162 1:42.915
17 8 Jonathan Summerton (R) USA ASL Mücke Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 31:45.969 02.512 1:12.674 1:36.397
18 44 Bruno Fechner (T) GER SMS Seyffarth Dallara F304 Mercedes 18 32:05.785 19.816 1:32.490 1:40.992
19 6 Ronayne O´Mahony IRL Prema Powerteam Dallara F305 Mercedes 18 32:11.423 05.638 1:38.128 1:44.436
20 32 Dominick Muermans NED Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F306 Opel 17 30:52.584 1 lap 1 lap 1:45.532
21 41 Cemil Cipa (T) TUR HBR Motorsport Dallara F304 Opel 17 30:53.289 00.705 1 lap 1:45.215
22 5 Alejandro Nunez ESP Prema Powerteam Dallara F306 Mercedes 17 31:25.344 32.055 1 lap 1:38.097
23 22 Michael Herck MCO Bas Leinders JRT Dallara F306 Mercedes 16 31:27.797 1 lap 2 laps 1:44.342

NOT CLASSIFIED
19 Paolo Nocera ITA Prema Powerteam Dallara F306 Mercedes 7 12:51.781 11 laps 1:42.625
17 Kamui Kobayashi (R) JPN ASM Formule 3 Dallara F305 Mercedes 1 3:42.819 17 laps 00.000
09/03/06
dtm
Kristensen wins DTM race Kristensen wins DTM race78,500 spectators at Zandvoort (the Netherlands) witnessed another captivating DTM weekend and a commanding victory by Tom Kristensen in the Siemens Audi A4 DTM. The Dane from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline performed a perfect start to take the lead, which he relinquished for merely one lap after his first tire change. Martin Tomczyk finished third to complete Audi’s exploit on the Dutch North Sea coast.
 
Clinching his second victory of the season, Tom Kristensen reduced his gap to the current DTM leader, Bernd Schneider, to ten points. Claiming his second consecutive podium finish, Martin Tomczyk advanced to position four of the standings. With Heinz-Harald Frentzen finishing in fifth place, and Timo Scheider (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) as the best driver of a car from last year in sixth, two further Audi drivers scored points at Zandvoort. zzzz
 
Although Tom Kristensen was leading the race over 37 of 38 laps, victory did not come easy to the Le Mans record winner. The Dane had to fight his way past several Mercedes cars with last year’s specs performing their mandatory pit stops later. During his first pit stop, the refueling can got stuck. In the final third of the race, Kristensen was driving with reduced braking power because debris on the track had clogged the front right-hand vents for the brake. That’s why Bernd Schneider was able to reduce his gap to the victorious Audi to 0.785 seconds.

Full results of the seventh round of the DTM at the Zandvoort, Holland.

1. Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 1hr 02mins 16.493secs 38 laps
2. Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG Mercedes C-Klasse +0.785s
3. Martin Tomczyk Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM +4.977s
4. Bruno Spengler Daimler-Chrysler-Bank AMG Mercedes C-Klasse +9.789s
5. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM +13.474s
6. Timo Scheider Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM +14.907s 7. Stefan Mücke TV-Spielfilm Mucke Mercedes C-Klasse +33.504s
8. Jamie Green Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Klasse +37.844s
9. Pierre Kaffer Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi A4 DTM +38.963s 10. Daniel la Rosa TrekStor Mucke Mercedes C-Klasse +39.420s
11. Mika Hakkinen AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Klasse +39.672s
12. Susie Stoddart Mucke Mercedes C-Klasse +54.103s
13. Mattias Ekström Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM +1min 11.684s
14. Frank Stippler Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM +1min 13.981s
15. Mathias Lauda AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Klasse +1 lap
16. Nicolas Kiesa Futurecom TME Audi A4 DTM +1 lap

Did not finish:
17. Alex Margaritis Truck Store AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Klasse 24 laps completed
18. Jean Alesi Stern AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Klasse 9 laps completed
19. Christian Abt Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 8 laps completed
20. Vanina Ickx Futurecom TME Audi A4 DTM 2 laps completed

09/03/06
nascar
Bobby Hamilton medical update Bobby Hamilton medical updateThere's more good news for Bobby Hamilton - he came out of Thursday's biopsy operation in Nashville with a clean bill of health - no trace of cancer in his lymph nodes. Hamilton has been fighting cancer with a rigorous regime of chemotherapy and radiation since the disease was diagnosed in February. Winston Salem Journal
09/03/06
V8 Supercars
Rules overhaul for V8 Supercars Rules overhaul for V8 SupercarsThe rules for V8 Supercar racing will be given a Formula One-style overhaul next season.

In an effort to encourage teams to make a concerted bid for front-running positions, points - currently given to all place-getters - will now be awarded only to the top 15.

The Top Ten Shootout qualifying session will also be scrapped for all rounds except the endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst.

Instead, in a similar format to F1, the field will take part in a 45-minute session with all cars taking part in the first 15 minutes.

The quickest 20 cars will progress to a second 15 minute period and the top 10 move to a final 15 minute session to decide pole position. zzzz

Every event next year will be worth a total of 477 points but the aggregate points available over the full season will drop from more than 70,000 this year to 6,200 in 2007.

There will also be a greater difference in the points spread between the first five cars, the next five and the remaining five in the top 15.

There will also be no provision for drivers in the championship to drop their worst round result.

Supercars Australia chief Wayne Cattach said the system was designed to pressure cars to move through the field to get into a points scoring position rather than accumulate 'lazy' points by finishing back in the pack.

"Over the course of a season making up a position in any race will make a big difference come the end of the year," Cattach said.

09/03/06
dtm
Bomb scare at Zandvoort Bomb scare at ZandvoortThe grandstand in front of the pit lane at the Circuit of Zandvoort has been cleared after a bomb alarm during the DTM weekend at the Dutch circuit. Everybody was evacuated, but later that afternoon it appeared that the bomb alarm was fake.  Today, Robert Doornbos will give a demo with his RB2 for his home crowd.
09/03/06
f1
V8s spending more time at full throttle V8s spending more time at full throttleThis season's V8 engines are spending some ten per cent more time at full throttle around the high-speed Monza circuit compared to their V10 predecessors, BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has revealed. With the V10 engines the full-throttle percentage was 67, with the less powerful V8 we recorded 77 percent during testing," Theissen explained. He went on to add that BMW is determined to boost its points tally in the final European race of the season.

"In the last European race of our debut season we are hoping to collect some more points," Theissen confirmed. "Our qualifying performance in Istanbul showed that we have made progress and that this is a realistic goal. Unfortunately we were unable to capitalize on our potential in the race, but we will be aiming to do so in Monza, where we'll be lining up with the same driver team as in Turkey."

"Nick put in a particularly strong performance during qualifying in Istanbul, Robert delivered superior races in his first two F1 events, and Sebastian made a very good debut in Turkey," he concluded. BMW

09/03/06
ga
Ford team wins Grand-Am title Ford team wins Grand-Am titleTooele, Utah…It was a Cinderella season for the Krohn Racing team. Jörg Bergmeister won the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Driver Championship and the No. 76 Krohn Racing team finished second in the Daytona Prototype Team Championship.

Bergmeister finished with 462 points, 16 ahead of the second place Scott Pruett/Luis Diaz duo in the championship chase to the finish. The Krohn Racing No. 76 team garnered 436 points, just ten shy of the top spot, won by the No. 01 Ganassi team.

In today’s inaugural Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series 9-Hour Race at the Miller Motorsports Park, the No. 76 Krohn Racing entry of Bergmeister, Colin Braun and Nic Jönsson finished in the sixth position. The No. 75 Krohn Racing car finished 12th with team owner/driver Tracy Krohn, Max Papis and Boris Said. zzzz

Jörg Bergmeister, driver of No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley:
“It’s great to win the championship. I can’t believe it. The whole team did such a great job, a great effort. The car always finished. Colin Braun did a great job. He should be champion with me.”

 “It was a crazy last stint. We lost first gear and traction control, so especially at nighttime with all of the dirt on the track, it was crazy. I was really happy when it was over. The whole team did an excellent job all year long. We always finished. That’s a great effort for the team, especially with all of the long races we’ve run. My teammates, all of them, did super, super well. Especially today – Colin (Braun) and Nic (Jönsson) did a great job with making no mistakes. I can’t thank them enough. I have had many teammates this year and they all well for the team. I’ve run with Boris (Said) and Max (Papis) and have been able to stay in the top nine of every race.”

With a nine-hour race, you’re really just out there trying to stay on the lead lap and towards the last almost two hours you really start pushing. You just have to have no mistakes and it came down tot staying out of trouble and just finishing the race. I was really happy when it was over.”

“It’s a brand new organization, the first year for the team. No one expected us and no one in the team expected the success that we’ve had this year. I just hope we can get even better for next year.”

Colin Braun, driver of No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley (finished 6th):
“Obviously I’m very excited for Jörg and the whole team. They did everything they could to help me be there with him (in the championship). Obviously I’m disappointed I couldn’t be co-champion, but I’m very happy for Jörg. It is excellent for Krohn Racing to finish second in the Team Championship, especially since we didn’t run that car at Daytona.”

Tracy Krohn, team owner/driver of No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Riley (finished 12th):
“It was a mixed blessing. I hate to be second. We came so close to winning. We had a couple of calls the last few races that hurt us. The cars and drivers performed well. We kicked on the door this year. Maybe next year we’ll kick the damn door in.”

Jeff Hazell (Krohn Racing Team Manager) did a great job. The mechanics, crew chiefs, everyone working on the car did a great job. It was a team effort. It wasn’t done solo. Unlike any other business, this is a business where good people and hard work can win it. That’s what we did!”

“We’ll be back next year. I don’t see any reason to change it. We had a great effort.”

Nic Jönsson, driver of No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley (finished 6th):
 “This is my third year driving with Tracy Krohn. In 2003-04, we drove the Lamborghini, then continued last season with Tracy, Jörg & I. This year this team has come alive. Half-way through the season we did a lot of testing that benefited us. Jeff Hazell organized a great team. Everyone really gels together. It’s the right effort and funding. Tracy’s given the resources the team needed. It’s all come together well. It’s fantastic to be a part of a great group, to be part of a champagne winning team.”

Max Papis, driver of No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Riley (finished 12th):
“It was an honor to see Jörg win the championship. I’m happy to have contributed a little bit, since I drove with him at Miami. Hat’s off to Tracy Krohn for his vision of putting this team together. The team is like the ‘little train that could’. No one gave much credit to this team at the beginning of the year, but here they are with a championship. I’m really proud for them in their first year and the championship.”

Boris Said, driver of No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Riley (finished 12th):
“The race was a lot of fun. We did the best we could. The focus was always on winning the championship for Jörg. I feel like I’m a small part of that with the win at Watkins Glen together. It’s a good team to be a part of.”

“The final stint was difficult with the headlights. We just decided to just pace ourselves and bring it home.”

Jeff Hazell, Team Manager of Krohn Racing:
“We did it!”

09/03/06
nascar
Kahne wins Ameriquest 300 Kahne wins Ameriquest 300Kasey Kahne used pit strategy at California Speedway on Saturday night to win the Ameriquest 300.

Kahne pitted on Lap 94 of the 150, then took over the lead as the remainder of the field pitted during green late in the race.

Kahne passed Paul Menard with two laps remaining, then pulled away as Menard ran out of fuel. Menard coasted to the finish line in fourth place.

Points leader Kevin Harvick finished second. Mark Martin was third. zzzz

Fin Car Driver Laps Status
1 #9  Kasey Kahne 150 Running
2 #21  Kevin Harvick 150 Running
3 #6  Mark Martin 150 Running
4 #11  Paul Menard 150 Running
5 #25  Ashton Lewis 150 Running
6 #33  Tony Stewart 150 Running
7 #17  Matt Kenseth 150 Running
8 #47  Jon Wood 150 Running
9 #88  Robby Gordon 150 Running
10 #01  Jay Sauter 150 Running
11 #5  Kyle Busch 150 Running
12 #60  Carl Edwards 150 Running
13 #2  Clint Bowyer 150 Running
14 #77  Burney Lamar* 150 Running
15 #20  Denny Hamlin 150 Running
16 #42  Casey Mears 150 Running
17 #64  Jamie McMurray 150 Running
18 #59  Stacy Compton 150 Running
19 #41  Reed Sorenson 150 Running
20 #99  David Reutimann 150 Running
21 #148  Jimmie Johnson 150 Running
22 #43  P.J. Jones 150 Running
23 #16  Greg Biffle 149 Running
24 #138  Jason Leffler 149 Running
25 #66  Scott Wimmer 149 Running
26 #27  David Green 149 Running
27 #06  Todd Kluever* 149 Running
28 #35  Regan Smith 149 Running
29 #10  John Andretti* 149 Running
30 #130  Mike Bliss 149 Running
31 #00  Johnny Sauter 149 Running
32 #36  Stanton Barrett 149 Running
33 #90  Stephen Leicht 149 Running
34 #1  Mike Wallace 148 Running
35 #0  Kertus Davis 148 Running
36 #22  Kenny Wallace 148 Running
37 #23  Brad Keselowski  147 Running
38 #112  Carlos Contreras 146 Running
39 #178  Jerry Robertson 145 Running
40 #18  J.J. Yeley 93 Out of Race
41 #50  David Ragan 92 Out of Race
42 #34  Paul Tracy 92 Out of Race
43 #4  Auggie Vidovich 6 Out of Race

09/03/06
f1
Todt wants to stay in charge Todt wants to stay in chargeJean-Todt, Ferrari’s Formula One mastermind, said yesterday he wants to stay in charge of the Italian team but wouldn’t be drawn on whether Michael Schumacher will be alongside him.

Todt also denied that Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen, currently at McLaren, had signed a pre-contract to replace seven-time world champion Schumacher who has been tipped to announce his retirement at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza next weekend.

“If I had to choose today, I’d stay at Ferrari,” Todt tells le Journal du Dimanche in an interview to be published on Sunday.

On Raikkonen, Todt said: “No-one has signed a pre-contract, it doesn’t exist.”

Todt wouldn’t comment on Schumacher’s future although the team is expected to announce its 2007 line-up at Monza next weekend.

09/03/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Labor Day Monday USA TV reminders for Labor Day Monday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
The View - Guest Co-Host Danica Patrick
11:00am-12:00pm Check local listings for other time zones ABC
NHRA Clermont, IN Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
12:00pm-2:30pm (L/SDD?)
Also: 4:00pm-7:00pm (SDD) ESPN2
Inside Nextel Cup Fontana, CA
8:00pm-9:00pm (SDD) SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
09/03/06
nascar
Tracy signs new contract for ’07 Busch Series Tracy signs new contract for ’07 Busch SeriesUPDATE Having announced the formation of Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports less than a month ago, co-owners Bill Riley and Eddie D’Hondt are proud to announce that Sport Clips has agreed to be the primary sponsor of one of their new teams in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series. Fielded out of their new shops located in Mooresville, NC, Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports will run a yet-to-be-determined limited schedule with champion open-wheel driver Paul Tracy in the driver’s seat. Story

09/02/06 Champ Car star Paul Tracy is set to drive at least six NASCAR Busch Series races for new Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports team in 2007, with the possibility of a race or two in the Cup Series in the new Car of Tomorrow.

"We don't know next year's schedule yet, but I would imagine we would start at Daytona and run the first part of the season, before Champ Car gets going," Tracy said. "It's a Toyota deal and I'm sure it's going to be better than the car I've been driving. Bill Riley is in it with Eddie D'Hondt and he has been in it a long time. I'm sure it will be a good chassis."

09/02/06
formula bmw
Stevens wins to Tighten Points Battle Stevens wins to Tighten Points BattleBowmanville, Ontario, Canada - Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) did not let today's rain dampen his spirits and so kept his championship hopes alive with a win in Round 13 of the 2006 Formula BMW USA series.  From the third starting position, the 21-year old Californian took the lead on the fourth lap of the 15-lap contest around the 2.46-mile Mosport International Raceway, finishing .166 seconds ahead of a charging Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational). Stevens third win of the season moves him to third overall, only five points behind De Silvestro in second.

Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica) finished third, two seconds ahead of point leader Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) in fourth. Lee set the fastest lap of the race on lap 15 (1:45.468) to establish the race record. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing) rounded out the top-five finishers.

Only a win by Wickens today would have given him the title so it will come down to tomorrow's Round 14 race to determine if Wickens, De Silvestro or Stevens will be the 2006 Formula BMW USA champion.

Round 13 - Results (15 laps)
1 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:15.644
2 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational 30:15.810
3 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 30:22.575
4 Robert Wickens EuroInternational 30:24.806
5 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 30:30.696
6 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 30:36.826
7 Marco Di Leo Hearn Motorsports 30:43.205
8 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:44.743
9 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 30:50.470
10 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 30:51.041
11 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:57.177
12 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 31:07.515
13 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 31:08.864
14 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 31:11.753
15 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 31:12.372
16 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 31:12.910
17 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 31:25.659
18 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 31:35.613
19 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 31:45.039*
20 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 14 laps
21 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 12 laps
22 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing 12 laps
23 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 7 laps
24 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 6 laps
25 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 2 laps

* Car #25 penalized 20 seconds for passing under yellow

09/02/06
track news
Mazda backs Petit LeMans Mazda backs Petit LeMansBraselton, Ga. - Road Atlanta, host site for Petit Le Mans, one of the crown jewels of sports car racing worldwide, has announced a partnership with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) that will begin with this year's race Sept. 27-30.

The partnership is reflected in the name of Round Nine of the 2006 American Le Mans Series, which will now become "Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7."

"Petit Le Mans is recognized as one of the premier sports car races in the world," said Robert Davis, Sr. Vice President of Product Quality & Research for Mazda North American Operations.  "Not only does it bear the name of the world's greatest and oldest auto race, but it has become an event that captures international attention from fans, television viewers, corporate executives and, of course, our customers.  It is the perfect partnership:  one of the world's premier endurance races and Mazda's new crossover sport utility vehicle, the 244-hp CX-7."  zzzz

"We are thrilled to have Mazda as the sponsor of Petit Le Mans," says Road Atlanta General Manager Brian Skuza. "Both Mazda and Road Atlanta have a passion for performance and a rich legacy in sports car racing. This partnership reflects the pairing of top brands in our respective industries.  We look forward to a successful promotion of the event, the introduction of the Mazda CX-7 and this growing partnership with Mazda."

Mazda has a long history in sports car racing and most recently has been involved through B-K Motorsports with an LMP2 effort that will re-premier at this year's Petit Le Mans.  The B-K Motorsports Courage C65 Mazda made its Series debut at last spring at Road Atlanta's Grand Prix of Atlanta.  Drivers Guy Cosmo and Jamie Bach were the American Le Mans Series' Rookies of the Year last year.

09/02/06
alms
Rain washes out ALMS qualifying Rain washes out ALMS qualifyingBowmanville, Ontario - Rain washed out qualifying for the Mobil 1 presents Labor Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport on Saturday, putting James Weaver and Dyson Racing's No. 16 Lola on pole position for Sunday's eighth round of the American Le Mans Series.

Weaver's fastest time in three earlier practice sessions was a 1:06.843, the field's best time by 0.245 seconds in the Lola B06/10-AER. With qualifying cancelled due to a rainy, slick circuit, the grid was set by taking the best individual times from Friday's test sessions and two Saturday sessions. That puts a Dyson Lola on the overall pole for the fourth straight year at Mosport. Last year, Weaver and Butch Leitzinger raced to a 3.625-second victory over one of the Audi R8s.

"I think we are successful here because we always have great gear," said Weaver, who sat on the overall pole in 2003 and 2004. "We have a great British kit car so by the time we get here, and have every thing out of the box, with all the fast corners, it has blinding speed." zzzz

The LMP1 championship-leading Audi R10 TDI of Allan McNish and Dindo Capello will start on the outside front row. Staying in front of the Audi will go a long way toward keeping Weaver and Leitzinger in the championship chase heading into Petit Le Mans at the end of the month. A lot of that, though, depends on how much - if any - rain falls Sunday.

"The biggest problem is standing water, the other is being very slippery, and as the cars build boost it is very difficult to judge how much throttle you can put out," Weaver said. "I caught that and I think Dindo found that too."

The first of the LMP2 cars, Penske Racing's No. 7 Porsche RS Spyder, will start third overall. Romain Dumas' best recorded time was 1:07.221, good enough for the class pole by 0.161 seconds over the sister car of Sascha Maassen and Timo Bernhard.

Dumas, driving this weekend with Lucas Luhr, also captured the GT2 pole last year at Mosport for Alex Job Racing in a Porsche 911.

"Mosport is not an easy track," Dumas said. "I thought (2005) was my best pole because this track is so demanding. Here you want to keep going quicker and quicker, and push the car to the limit. If you push too hard you end up in the wall. The trick is being at 99 percent and not at 101 percent. We saw that this year even if we are an LMP2 car, qualifying and track position are very important."

The Maassen/Bernhard entry will start fifth overall with Intersport Racing's AER-powered Lola of Clint Field and Liz Halliday starting third in class and seventh overall. The duo trails Maassen by 2 points in the class drivers championship with Luhr another 2 points back.

"As a Penske Porsche driver the strategy is to finish the race and get the maximum points," Dumas said. "We don't have the championship; the Field car is always right there and they could take the points. We have to run a safe race."

Stephane Sarrazin and the No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 will start from the GT1 pole and ninth overall. Sarrazin's time of 1:13.056 was a half-second ahead of the other Aston Martin Racing entry of Tomas Enge and Peter Kox. Sarrazin started the last round at Road America on the class pole.

The British marque has taken six poles in eight races this year. This one was made slightly more difficult by the fact that the car has not competed before at Mosport, much less in the rain. The first time the Aston Martins saw the track was Monday for a two-day test.

"The more laps you turn, the more comfortable you are and the faster you are," Sarrazin said. "It was important not to have any damage to the car. We had very good days of testing. I hope it will be dry here tomorrow, especially with the concrete because we would be extremely slippery."

Corvette Racing's two Corvette C6.Rs will start right behind the Astons. Local hero and Canadian ace Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell will be the lead Corvette in the No. 3 entry, although they were almost a full second behind the two DBR9s.

The Mobil 1 presents Labor Day Grand Prix of Mosport, Round 8 of the 2006 American Le Mans Series, is set for 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 3. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel.

Sunday's lineup
1. James Weaver, England; Butch Leitzinger, State College, PA; Lola B06/10 AER (P1), 1:06.843, 132.436
2. Allan McNish, Scotland; Rinaldo Capello, Italy; Audi R10 TDI Power (P1), 1:07.088, 131.952
3. Lucas Luhr, Germany; Romain Dumas, France; Porsche RS Spyder (P2), 1:07.221, 131.691
4. Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Guy Smith, England; Lola B06/10 AER (P1), 1:07.254, 131.626
5. Sascha Maassen, Germany; Timo Bernhard, Germany; Porsche RS Spyder (P2), 1:07.382, 131.376
6. Frank Biela, Germany; Emanuele Pirro, Italy; Audi R10 TDI Power (P1), 1:07.796, 130.574
7. Clint Field, Dublin, OH; Jon Field, Dublin, OH; Liz Halliday, Rancho Santa Fe, CA; Lola B05/40 AER (P2), 1:08.783, 128.700
8. Michael Lewis, San Diego, CA; Chris McMurry, Phoenix, AZ; John Graham, Canada; Lola EX257 AER (P1), 1:12.716, 121.739
9. Stephane Sarrazin, France; Pedro Lamy, Portugal; Aston Martin DBR9 (GT1), 1:13.056, 121.173
10. Peter Kox, The Netherlands; Tomas Enge, Czech Republic; Aston Martin DBR9 (GT1), 1:13.574, 120.320
11. Ron Fellows, Canada; Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, GA; Corvette C6.R (GT1), 1:14.385, 119.008
12. Oliver Gavin, England; Olivier Beretta, Monaco; Corvette C6.R (GT1), 1:14.547, 118.749
13. Stephane Ortelli, Monaco; Johnny Mowlem, England; Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta (GT2), 1:17.964, 113.545
14. Toni Vilander, Finland; Maurizio Mediani, Italy; Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta (GT2), 1:18.456, 112.833
15. Patrick Long, Oak Park, CA; Jorg Bergmeister, Germany; Tim Bergmeister, Germany; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 1:18.768, 112.386
16. Bill Auberlen, Hermosa Beach, CA; Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA; BMW E46 M3 (GT2), 1:18.879, 112.228
17. Marc Lieb, Germany; Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 1:19.049, 111.986
18. Tom Milner, Leesburg, VA; Gunnar Jeannette, Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 1:19.313, 111.613
19. David Brabham, Australia; Scott Maxwell, Canada; Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2), 1:19.580, 111.239
20. Mike Rockenfeller, Germany; Marcel Tiemann, Germany; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 1:19.589, 111.226
21. Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA; Lonnie Pechnik, Pacific Grove, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2), 1:20.468, 110.011
22. Justin Marks, Sacramento, CA; Bryan Sellers, Centerville, OH; BMW E46 M3 (GT2), 1:20.553, 109.895.

09/02/06
Euro F3
Lights-to-flag win for Paul di Resta at Zandvoort Lights-to-flag win for Paul di Resta at ZandvoortUPDATE How the Americans did: At the start of race 1 for the F3 Euroseries round at Circuit Park Zandvoort, 12th place qualifier, Rome based American driver Richard Antinucci (right) stalled his car. Fortunately everybody managed to miss him and he chased the pack into the first corner. There Sebastien Vettel, fourth on the grid and BMW F1's new star, was pushed into the gravel and joined Antinucci at the tail of the pack. 18-year old Jonathan Summerton from Kissimmee, FL. made a good start and kept 7th. position.
 
Charlie Kimball (right) had a very good start and managed to climb up to 13th on lap 1 from a low, 17th starting position. Scotland's Paul di Resta led the whole race and was clearly in control. Giedo van der Garde, di Resta's teammate, made up one place at the start from Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi and finished in second place, less then 2 sec. behind the winner.

Seven laps before the end of the race Buemi made a small error which cost him dearly: he ended up in the gravel trap. This promoted Summerton into sixth position which he held until the end of the race. Charlie Kimball moved up to 11th and Antinucci finished in 14 position.

For tomorrow's race Argentine driver Esteban Guerrieri will start from pole, as he finished 8th in race 1, which automatically promotes him into pole position for race 2. Jonathan Summerton (left) will start on the second row and therefore has a very good chance to visit the podium for the second time this year! Pieter Slinger reporting from Holland

09/02/06 Paul di Resta (ASM Formule 3) won the 13th season round of the Formula 3 Euro Series at Zandvoort in The Netherlands. At the 4.307 kilometres long track on the North Sea coast, he was 1.770 seconds faster than local hero Giedo van der Garde (ASM Formule 3). Kohei Hirate (Manor Motorsport) occupied third place. In the points’ standings of the Formula 3 Euro Series, di Resta now has a margin of 17 points over Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3), who retired with seven laps to go.

Starting from pole-position, Paul di Resta had the best getaway and turned into the first corner in the lead of the field. Giedo van der Garde slotted into second place ahead of Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport). As the 17-year old Swiss retired after a driving error on the 19th of 26 race laps, Kohei Hirate inherited third place. The Japanese immediately put van der Garde under pressure, the Dutchman having to defend his second position. This caused the McLaren Mercedes protégé to drop back compared to the leading Scotsman, but he managed to maintain his second place, finishing ahead of Hirate.

German Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3), currently second-placed in the points’ standings of the Formula 3 Euro Series, already landed in the gravel trap at the first corner after the start and dropped back to last. The BMW Sauber Formula 1 Friday test driver still recovered to 13th place but eventually retired on lap 20 following a driving error. zzzz

Bruno Rudolf Fechner (SMS Seyffarth Motorsport) claimed his second victory in the Formula 3 Euro Series Trophy for cars from 2002 till 2004. The driver from the German town of Bottrop beat Julian Theobald (SMS Seyffarth Motorsport), who came second. In the Trophy standings, Theobald has a margin of 29 points over Anthony Janiec (Janiec Racing Team) and could already win the title early in the race on Sunday.

Paul di Resta (ASM Formule 3): “Because of the difficult grip conditions, today’s race wasn’t easy, but I could stay in control. My victory is important to me as it allows me to get a step closer to winning the title in the Formula 3 Euro Series.”

Giedo van der Garde (ASM Formule 3): “I had a good start and overtook Sébastien Buemi on the first few meters already. In the closing stages of the race, my right rear tire was worn out so much that I had massive understeer. Keeping Kohei Hirate behind me wasn’t easy.”

Kohei Hirate (Manor Motorsport): Finally back on the podium after such a long time! I am very happy with that. I started fifth and I benefited from the retirements of Sebastian Vettel and Sébastien Buemi. Then, I closed up to Giedo van der Garde, but I couldn’t find a way past.”

Results

09/02/06
starmazda
White rolls to victory at Mosport White rolls to victory at MosportBowmanville, Ontario, Canada. With the remnants of tropical storm Ernesto sweeping across the track, Ron White, of Santa Clara, California, pulled off a last lap pass for the second consecutive race weekend to capture his second victory of the year in Round Ten of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Mosport International Raceway. Joining White on the podium after the soggy event were Gerardo Bonilla, who had led most of the race, and Michael Potekhen.

Making his second start of the season for the newly formed Ross Smith Racing, White slid his way from eighth on the grid in the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda to battle Bonilla wheel-to-wheel through the last lap of the race, edging out the victory by 0.540 seconds. "I didn't even see the white flag for the final lap but saw that I was just a little bit better than Gerardo through the turn five and six section," White explained. "I got a good run through the corner and got a good draft off of him and tried to use sixth gear as we came down to turn eight. I didn't lift until I had to at the last minute and I was ahead." zzzz

Despite narrowly missing out on his second victory of the season, Bonilla was still satisfied with the race results after leading most of the event, "Ron White was really fast in the turn five complex and that was my weakest point so on the final lap I saw him coming up on me there and we both went into the corner excited and slid around a bit," Bonilla, pilot of the #9 Andersen Racing Team Skip Barber Mazda revealed. "We exited the corner side-by-side and were side-by-side down the entire back straight and then we went into turn eight both thinking we were going to win. Ron was able to edge out just a bit and I backed out as I figured second place was better than a crash. after all the work Andersen Racing Team has done for me."

Potekhen, driving the #53 Apex Racing Avenue Communities Mazda, was in the thick of the action all race long moving into third place early and watched first Charles Anti then Logan Gomez take over the position and then hand it back by spinning off the track in the slick conditions. "It was nasty out there today as you couldn't see anything and the track was really slick. It was like sticking your head out the widow of a car in blizzard when you're trying to drive 120 miles per hour," the Tempe, Arizona resident said. "Ron was able to get by with a good run on me coming onto the back straight when my traction control kicked in but we had a good car today and it feels good to be up front today."

The series now heads to Braselton, Georgia, for the penultimate round of the championship at the world renowned Road Atlanta circuit alongside the American Le Mans Series at the Petit Le Mans weekend on September 27-29. Round Ten of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to air on Speed Channel at 1:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, September 9th. For more information please visit www.starmazda.com

Race Results

Pos No. Name Laps Diff
1 69 Ron White 21 -
2 9 Gerardo Bonilla 21 +0.540
3 53 Mike Potekhen 21 +3.519
4 74 Kevin Lacroix 21 +6.789
5 8 Dan DiLeo 21 +11.586
6 38 Ryan Justice 21 +13.347
7 14 Adrian Carrio 21 +16.281
8 99 Phil Saville 21 +17.120
9 28 Russell Walker 21 +17.399
10 23 Logan Gomez 21 +17.870
11 3 Mark Wilkins 21 +18.176
12 87 Doug Peterson 21 +21.958
13 86 Charles Anti 21 +27.419
14 22 Ramiro Scuncio 21 +27.714
15 46 Christopher Guerrieri 21 +34.990
16 77 Brian Thienes 21 +39.379
17 93 John Faulkner 21 +41.957
18 71 Steven Hickham Jr. 21 +44.635
19 24 Jon Brownson 21 +44.643
20 52 Ken Losch 21 +56.187
21 56 Dan Tomlin III 21 +1:00.072
22 29 Phil Fogg Jr. 21 +1:01.887
23 42 Nur Ali 21 +1:29.296
24 15 John Pew 20 1 Lap
25 85 Jay Poscente 19 2 Laps
26 45 Matt Varsha 14 7 Laps
27 18 Rob Bunker 11 10 Laps
28 92 Mark Pavan 6 15 Laps
29 58 Dan Tomlin Jr. 0 21 Laps

09/02/06
SWC
Fellows Tops Damp SPEED GT Qualifying Fellows Tops Damp SPEED GT Qualifying
Today's SPEED World Challenge GT race is schedule for 5:15 p.m. (EDT). The rain is expected to continue for the rest of the day and will certainly be a factor for the GT cars around the fast, rolling curves Mosport International Raceway.

To follow the action via Live Timing and Scoring Presented by SRT and live lap notes, visit the SCCA Pit Board through the event page at www.world-challenge.com

Saturday's Race will air on SPEED Sept. 10 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT).

CANADA - Starting lineup for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Round Eight race, part of the Mobil 1 Labor Day Grand Prix Weekend Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.
1, (16), Ron Fellows, Mississauga, Ontario, Cadillac CTS-V, 1:25.498, 103.539.
2, (1), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V, 1:25.522, 103.510.
3, (6), Leighton Reese, Minnetonka, Minn., Chevrolet Corvette C6, 1:25.976, 102.963.
4, (13), Bob Woodhouse, Blair, Neb., Dodge Viper, 1:26.034, 102.894.
5, (24), Michael Galati, Olmsted, Ohio, Volvo S60R, 1:26.233, 102.656.
6, (77), Brett Pearson(R), Orlando, Fla., Dodge Viper, 1:26.259, 102.625.
7, (64), Ricardo Imery(R), Caracas, VN, Porsche 911 GT3, 1:26.395, 102.464.
8, (5), Tommy Archer, Duluth, Minn., Dodge Viper, 1:26.397, 102.461.
9, (66), Lawson Aschenbach(R), Gaithersburg, Md., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:26.495, 102.345.
10, (17), Rob Foster(R), Phoenix, Ariz., Dodge Viper, 1:26.729, 102.069.
11, (83), Jim McCann Jr, Canton, Ohio, Dodge Viper, 1:26.886, 101.885.
12, (44), Johnny Mowlem, England, Aston Martin DB9, 1:27.007, 101.743.
13, (82), Mike McCann, N. Canton, Ohio, Dodge Viper, 1:27.007, 101.743.
14, (14), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:27.556, 101.105.
15, (43), Tom Papadopoulos, East Hills, N.Y., Aston Martin DB9, 1:27.595, 101.060.
16, (87), Doug Peterson, Bonita Sprints, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette C6, 1:27.621, 101.030.
17, (23), Bob Miller, Sykesville, Md., Porsche 911 Cup, 1:27.878, 100.735.
18, (28), Lou Gigliotti, Dallas, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette C6, 1:28.312, 100.240.
19, (51), Lenny Diller, Garden City, N.Y., Dodge Viper, 1:28.379, 100.164.
20, (34), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette C6, 1:28.559, 99.960.
21, (57), Stu Frederick, Del Mar, Calif., Dodge Viper GTS, 1:29.135, 99.314.
22, (26), Claudio Burtin, Atlanta, Ga., Chevrolet Corvette C6, 1:29.376, 99.046.
23, (76), John Bourassa, Jupiter Island, Fla., Porsche 911 Turbo, 1:29.654, 98.739.
24, (31), Sonny Whelen, Old Saybrook, Conn., Chevrolet Corvette C6, 1:30.461, 97.858.
25, (56), Ritch Marziale, Tempe, Ariz., Dodge Viper, 1:30.998, 97.281.

09/02/06
formula bmw
Wickens takes pole for Round 14 Wickens takes pole for Round 14Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada - Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) added one more valuable point to his championship point lead in taking the Round 14 pole for tomorrow's final race of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season. Wickens set a new qualifying record with a lap of 1:21.119 minutes around the 2.46-mile, 10-turn Mosport International Raceway for his third pole and eighth front row start of the season. The 17-year old Canadian will clinch the 2006 championship if he wins today's Round 13 race.

Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA), fourth in points and still with a chance at the championship, will start second (1:21.177). Steven's teammate and this afternoon's Round 13 polesitter Race Johnson qualified third (1:21.224). Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica), currently third in points will start fourth (1:21.406). Rounding out the top-five qualifiers for the final race is David Garza (EuroInternational). Garza, today's top-qualifying Rookie, stands only four points behind Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) in Rookie points. Morad qualified seventh. zzzz

Second in points after yesterday's reinstatement of her Round 4 victory, Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) qualified eighth today but will start at the rear of the grid as following post-qualifying inspection her car was found to be out of compliance.

Ensuring an exciting final race to the 2006 season the top-ten qualifiers for Round 14 are within one second of Wicken's pole time.

Long hours by the Gelles Racing mechanics turned around the weekend for Sebastian Saavedra. Third in Rookie points, only five points behind Morad, he was able to qualify today (1:30.180 - 25th). Damaged in yesterday's second practice session, Saavedra's FB02 was repaired and he will be able to challenge for the Rookie title.

09/02/06
cc
Future testing of new Champ Car Future testing of new Champ CarTesting of the new car will continue at Sebring into the fall. Teams will get their first cars at the end of November. "Everyone will test together," Champ Car's Scot Elkins said. "No one can test privately until after the first race in 2007," in Las Vegas. "We're going to set up three open tests where everybody is all there at the same time. The idea is that nobody gets an advantage and if we do have teething problems, like you do with a new car, we're all there, we all know exactly what's happening."
09/02/06
f1
BMW bringing Pit Lane Park to Monza BMW bringing Pit Lane Park to MonzaThe BMW Sauber F1 Team will be taking its Pit Lane Park along to the Italian Grand Prix, to be set up in the Arena Civica, Via Comizi di Lione 1, near the centre of Milan. The distance to the race track is 16 kilometres.

This high-tech theme park, with Formula One exhibits and interactive computer animations and features by Official Corporate Partner Intel, will be open on Friday from 12.00pm to 8.00pm, Saturday from 10.00am to 6.00pm and Sunday from 10.00am to 7.00pm.

Piloting the F1 racer through its many demonstration rides at the weekend will be BMW WTCC driver Jörg Müller, with Simona De Silvestro at the wheel of the Formula BMW race car. Aged 18 and of Swiss and Italian nationality, she is competing in the 2006 Formula BMW USA. Motorcycle stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer will wow the crowds with his acrobatic numbers performed on a BMW F 800 S.

Admission to the 5,400 sq. m. park with its 90-metre stretch of track is free of charge and open to anyone as far as capacity allows. BMW

09/02/06
nascar
Lester spins away hopes to make the field Lester spins away hopes to make the fieldFontana, California -  Bill Lester, who became the first black driver to compete in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race in 20 years when he qualified for the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, just missed making it a ‘3 for 3' batting average at this weekend's Sony HD 500 at California Speedway.  In June, Lester qualified for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan Int’l Speedway, where he went on to post a lead-lap finish, the only lead-lap result by an African-American driver since the late Wendell Scott in 1963.

Although Lester is expecting to make at least one more Nextel Cup start this season, his plans for 2007 are not settled, and the driver admits to anxiety over his racing outlook for next year.  “It would certainly be great to have a program for 2007 finalized at this point, but that is simply not the case,” said Lester.  “We have been very fortunate so far this year with Waste Management’s sponsorship and Bill Davis Racing’s support in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races, and in our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program with BDR and Toyota, but we are still actively pursuing the right combination that will allow me to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2007, and at the moment it is still up in the air.”

“Having a problem in qualifying at California Speedway was an enormous disappointment, particularly since all the guys at Bill Davis Racing have put so much effort into my program.  I may be on a limited schedule, but the BDR effort is absolutely full-time, and for that I am very appreciative.  One of the challenges of running a limited schedule is lack of track time and a steep learning curve every time I get into the car.  We knew we were making our best calculation on the qualifying setup, and it was a bit too loose to stick when I attempted to get on the throttle coming off of turn four.  As close as these Nextel Cup fields are, you cannot get conservative or you will not have the speed to qualify.  We are talking fractions of a second, and you have to run as hard as you can.  I knew I had to go for it … but the car came around and at that point I was just thinking that I better focus on not hitting anything!”  He spun in turn 4 on his first lap and then was not up to speed to get a good run to start his second lap.

09/02/06
Industry News
BMW sales up slightly in August BMW sales up slightly in AugustThe BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI brands combined) reported year-to-date sales of 206,530 vehicles, an increase of 3   percent over the 200,562 vehicles sold in the first eight months of 2005.  The BMW Group also reported a decrease of 11 percent in August for sales of 25,673 vehicles over the 28,879 vehicles reported in 2005.
09/02/06
starmazda
Pole position goes to Carrio at Mosport Pole position goes to Carrio at MosportBowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Adrian Carrio, of Monument, Colorado, shattered the track record this morning to capture the pole position for Round Ten of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Cloudy skies loomed over the 2.549-mile Mosport International Raceway but the anticipated rain never materialized as Carrio clocked a time of 1:14.169 (119.354 MPH) in the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda to capture his fifth pole position of the season.

"It felt really good to break the track record this morning as I spent a lot of time last night working with my engineer and driver coach to find that half-second on the track," the seventeen-year old Carrio explained. "The lap could've been a little bit better as I made a mistake in turn ten that was worth a tenth but the track was getting better and the tires were reaching their peak performance all at the same time. If the rain does come it will be nice to have the advantage of sight at the start of the race."

Starting alongside Carrio on the outside of row one will be local hero Mark Wilkins from Toronto, Canada. After setting the fastest time of the day on Friday Wilkins came back in qualifying to post a time of 1:14.608 (118.652 MPH) in the #3 AIM Autosport Bluetooth Mazda during this morning's forty-five minute qualifying session. Forced to miss this event in 2005 due to injury, Wilkins is motivated this year and should be strong for this afternoon's race. zzzz

Lining up third for the race will be Gerardo Bonilla, winner of the opening round of the season at Sebring International Raceway. Driving the #9 Andersen Racing Team Skip Barber Mazda, Bonilla, from Orlando, Florida, registered a time of 1:14.797 (118.352 MPH), edging out Logan Gomez and his #23 Velocity Motorsport INDYana Kid Mazda by eight-thousandths of a second.

Carrio's fast lap this morning broke the track record of 1:14.685 set in 2004 by Dan DiLeo. DiLeo, who finished second in the he 2004 championship and was named Rookie of the Year, will make his first start in the series since the 2004 campaign. Driving the #8 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda, the Markham, Canada resident will line up fifteenth this weekend.

Round Ten of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to get underway this afternoon at 1:05 PM Eastern Time.

Pos No. Name Best Tm
1 14 Adrian Carrio 1:14.169
2 3 Mark Wilkins 1:14.608
3 9 Gerardo Bonilla 1:14.797
4 23 Logan Gomez 1:14.805
5 53 Mike Potekhen 1:14.808
6 18 Rob Bunker 1:14.878
7 38 Ryan Justice 1:14.927
8 74 Kevin Lacroix 1:15.067
9 69 Ron White 1:15.085
10 86 Charles Anti 1:15.336
11 22 Ramiro Scuncio 1:15.383
12 28 Russell Walker 1:15.410
13 92 Mark Pavan 1:15.490
14 99 Phil Saville 1:15.502
15 8 Dan Dileo 1:15.630
16 93 John Faulkner 1:15.638
17 77 Brian Thienes 1:15.716
18 87 Doug Peterson 1:15.716
19 29 Phil Fogg Jr. 1:15.741
20 85 Jay Poscente 1:15.824
21 24 Jon Brownson 1:15.847
22 46 Christopher Guerrieri 1:15.869
23 52 Ken Losch 1:16.784
24 71 Steven Hickham Jr. 1:16.866
25 56 Dan Tomlin III 1:18.282
26 58 Dan Tomlin Jr. 1:18.816
27 42 Nur Ali 1:19.253
28 45 Matt Varsha -.---

09/02/06
f1
Ferrari 2007 lineup to be announced Sunday Ferrari 2007 lineup to be announced SundayFerrari will make an announcement concerning their drivers after the Italian Grand Prix on September 10.

"Ferrari will make an announcement on Sunday after the race," Schumacher's spokeswoman said.

"The fact that Maranello will announce their 2007 line-up only after the end of the race leads one to believe that Sunday's race will be Schumacher's last Monza," said Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

09/02/06
Euro F3
Summerton fastest American at Zandvoort Summerton fastest American at ZandvoortJonathan Summerton was the fastest American qualifier on 7th position for race one at the 7th round of the championship, held at the Dutch 'Circuit Park Zandvoort' racetrack near Amsterdam in his Dallara F305 Mercedes.

Rome based American Richard Antinucci 'only' managed a 12th position (due to handling problems) and Charlie Kimball had an even worse qualifying session finishing in a low 17th position.

Today's race 1 result will determine the start position for race 2. The first 8 drivers will then start in reverse order on Sunday. Pole position for race 1 went to Scotland's Paul di Resta, also the current leader in the championship, ahead of Swiss 'Red Bull' driver Sebastian Buemi and local driver Giedo van der Garde on third. All 3 drivers managed to stay within 1/10th of a second from each other!

Sebastian Vettel, who made an impressive F1 debut in Turkey last weekend with the BMW F1 Team and currently 2nd in the F3 Euroseries, qualified 4th. Full Results
 
Portrait photo of JS : PWS-Consultancy
Action photo JS : Marcel ten Caat/PWS-Consultancy

09/02/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Inside Drag Racing
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
NASCAR RaceDay Fontana, CA
11:00am-12:00pm (L) SPEED
NHRA 2Day
11:30am-12:00pm ESPN2
Superbike World Championship Netherlands
12:00pm-1:00pm (SDD) -Race 1
Tuesday, September 5, 2pm-3pm -Race 2 SPEED
NHRA Qualifying Clermont, IN
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
12:00pm-1:30pm ESPN2
Champ Car Atlantic Montreal
1:00pm-2:00pm (8/28/06) SPEED
AMA Superbike Braselton, GA Road Atlanta
2:00pm-3:00pm (9/2/06) -Day 1
Also: 7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) -Day 2 SPEED
American Le Mans Series Bowmanville, ON Mosport
3:00pm-6:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR RaceDay - Green Flag Edition Fontana, CA
6:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
AMA Superbike Braselton, GA Road Atlanta
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) -Day 2 SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Fontana, CA Sony HD 500
7:00pm-12:00am (L) NBC
The SPEED Report
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Rick Eckert (WoO Late Model)
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Fontana, CA
11:00pm-12:00am (L) SPEED
NHRA Qualifying Clermont, IN Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
11:00pm-1:00am ESPN2

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
09/01/06
Formula BMW
Race Johnson wins BMW pole Race Johnson wins BMW poleBowmanville, Ontario, Canada - Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA) scored his first career Formula BMW pole position in Round 13 qualifying of the 2006 Formula BMW USA championship today at Mosport International Raceway. The 17-year old from Portland, Oregon lapped the 2.46-mile, 10-turn circuit in 1:21.169 minutes, establishing a new qualifying record. This is the first visit by Formula BMW USA to the classic Canadian track. Rounds 13 and 14 of the championship this weekend will crown both the Overall and Rookie champions.  Points leader Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) will start second. His fast lap of 1:21.175 minutes was good for the 17-year old Canadian's seventh front row start of the season. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) will start third (1:21.188) in one of the closest qualifying sessions ever - the top-three are separated by a scant  .019 seconds. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) and Matt Lee (Team Autotecnia) round out the top-five starters.
09/01/06
nascar
Robby Gordon was going to buy 1/2 of Yates Robby Gordon was going to buy 1/2 of YatesRobby Gordon says he came close on two occasions to a 50-50 partnership with Robert Yates Racing. "I was going to buy Yates. Yes we were. We had funding and sponsorship in place for the 88 car. We have our car funded for the seven car. I wanted to buy half of his two cars. That was the deal that was proposed, so whatever you hear on the other side of the street, I wasn't going to do it unless I could own half of those two cars."

So is any deal with RYR dead in the water? "Before Indianapolis it was dead and then after Indianapolis it was alive and today it's dead so who knows where that is or what's going to happen. It's unfortunate that it's dead because I think I could have been a good coach for the two younger drivers they're going to have in their cars because to date I don't know what they're going to have for experience showing up at the Daytona 500."

What killed the deal? "I don't know. We agreed on everything and the day it was supposed to be done it just didn't happen. I got a call from Robert's attorney that we're (Robert Yates Racing) isn't going to do the deal tomorrow. So it was like, huh? Okay."

It's also unclear as to which manufacturer Gordon will partner with in 2007. "I have had a great relationship with Chevrolet...obviously I've had past relationships with Ford. Chevrolet has done a great job. They have the best teams in the sport. I can say from a business side right now that with a little bit of luck and to say if we improve as much in 2007 as much as we did in 2006. I could become the second Ford team pretty easy. For me to become the second Chevrolet team we have a lot of work to do. It's really going to come down to who is willing to give us the most amount of resources. We have enough money to race right now...we need more technical support." PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show

09/01/06
f1
Ralf should be OK for Monza Ralf should be OK for MonzaDespite Ralf Schumacher leaving the final day of testing at Monza after becoming ill during the third and final morning of running at Monza Friday and leaving test driver Ricardo Zonta to carry on, he should be OK for Monza next weekend.

"We can confirm that Ralf is in no serious condition, but has just been feeling unwell," a spokeswoman reported, "This should not last longer than a few days, during which, of course, he is being looked after. Therefore, it is not relevant at this stage to question his participation in the Italian GP next weekend."

09/01/06
ga
Krohn Racing Announces Plans for '07 Season Krohn Racing Announces Plans for '07 SeasonTooele, Utah…The Krohn Racing team, owned by Houston-based Tracy Krohn, announced the team will field a 2-car Daytona Prototype program in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series for the 2007 season.

“After one season, we have exceeded our expectation for the first year. Our drivers and crew have put in a maximum effort this year,” said owner/driver Tracy Krohn. “Although we are pleased with this year’s results, we are not yet the best team in pit road or at the standard we want to be and one way to achieve those standards is continuity of the program. Therefore we have committed to continue a 2-car Daytona Prototype program as the foundation for our motorsports activities.”

“The fans can expect to see us at Daytona for the 24 Hours with a 2-car team. In due course we will announce the driver line-up for Daytona and the season,” added Krohn. “We recognize the Grand American series is growing. We expect to stand hand-in-hand with the series for years to come in the continued hope that the tremendous potential the series demonstrates will be realized and benefit all involved.”

09/01/06
ga
Pruett wins Grand-Am pole in Utah Pruett wins Grand-Am pole in UtahTOOELE, Utah – Scott Pruett paced Rolex Series Daytona Prototype qualifying for a record ninth time today in preparation for Saturday’s nine-hour Grand American season finale at Miller Motorsports Park. Pruett and co-driver Luis Diaz lead the Team and Manufacturer championship races, but trail Jorg Bergmeister by 19 points for the Driver’s title.

The 2004 Series Champion locked himself on the inside of Row 1 with a fast time of 2:37.998 (102.214mph) around the 4.486-mile track in the 15-minute qualifying session, giving CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates its fifth pole position of the season. The team continues to lead the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series in both the pole position (5) and win (5) categories.

The pole marks the 20th in 40 career Rolex Series starts for the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley, and the first since co-driver Diaz won the pole for Daytona in Round 10.

Tomorrow’s Discount Tire Sunchaser, the final round of the Rolex Sports Car Series season, airs Saturday at 2:00 PM ET on SPEED Channel (LIVE, Part I), and at 8:30 PM ET (LIVE, Part II).

SCOTT PRUETT “I’m happy with the lap, but the car started to push a bit after we set the fast time, so we still have a little work to do in the warm-up session tomorrow. We’re continuing to do everything in our power to control our own destiny in the championship chase. I think the CompUSA car will be good for the race, and having Scott Dixon join us this weekend is an added bonus. Our goal remains to clinch the Team and Manufacturer titles for Chip Ganassi Racing and Lexus. We have a car that can do it, but anything can happen in a nine-hour race.”

Pos Num Class Drivers Team Time
1. 01 DP Pruett, Diaz, Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 2:37.998
2. 23 DP Rockenfeller, Kelleners, Borcheller AJR/Emory Motorsports 2:38.137
3. 99 DP Fogarty, Gurney, Vasser Blackhawk Racing 2:38.253
4. 60 DP Patterson, Negri Michael Shank Racing 2:38.521
5. 10 DP Angelelli, Taylor, Hunter-Reay SunTrust Racing 2:38.543
6. 76 DP Bergmeister, Braun, Jonsson Krohn Racing 2:39.196
7. 89 DP Figge, Dalziel, Empringham Pacific Coast Motorsports 2:39.216
8. 11 DP Duno, Goossens, Johansson CITGO Racing/SAMAX 2:39.532
9. 12 DP Fernandez, Haberfeld, Meira Fernandez Racing 2:39.632
10. 19 DP Cosmo, McDowell, Gidley Playboy Racing/Finlay 2:39.774  zzzz 
11. 4 DP Wallace, Leitzinger Howard-Boss Motorsports 2:39.849
12. 58 DP Donohue, Law, B.Rice Brumos Porsche 2:39.961
13. 3 DP Lewis, Stanton Southard Motorsports 2:40.130
14. 6 DP Borkowski, Frisselle, Frisselle Michael Shank Racing 2:40.294
15. 30 DP Alhadeff, Auberlen, Moran Jr Sigalsport BMW 2:40.400
16. 39 DP Fittipaldi, Cheever Jr, Orsi Cheever Racing 2:40.551
17. 40 DP Ruhlman, Bell, Dallenbach Derhaag Motorsports 2:41.244
18. 5 DP Finlay, Valiante, Cameron Essex/Finlay Motorsports 2:41.758
19. 77 DP Brix, Jourdain, Servia Doran Racing/FTN 2:41.956
20. 09 DP Goad, Camirand, Gregoire Spirit of Daytona Racing 2:42.038
21. 59 DP Haywood, France, Moreno Brumos Racing 2:43.145
22. 47 DP C.Morgan, R.Morgan, Zacharias TruSpeed Motorsports 2:43.736
23. 78 DP Kuttner, Ave, Gue Doran Racing 2:43.830
24. 75 DP Krohn, Said, Papis Krohn Racing 2:44.238
25. 7 DP Tuttle, Cochet, R.MacLeod Tuttle Team Racing 2:46.123
26. 72 GT Liddell, Henzler Tafel Racing 2:55.190
27. 65 GT Bunting, Lally, Pumpelly TRG 2:55.886
28. 64 GT Edwards, Collins TRG 2:56.315
29. 05 GT Sigal, P.MacLeod, Kendall Sigalsport BMW 2:56.657
30. 74 GT Lux, James Tafel Racing 2:56.767
31. 57 GT Riggins, V.Rice, Cicero II Stevenson Motorsports 2:57.431
32. 62 GT Pruitt, Wagner, Quaid Corsa GT Motorsports 2:58.421
33. 80 GT Murry, Keen Synergy Racing 2:59.002
34. 17 GT Bell, Lacey, Wilkins SAMAX Motorsport 3:00.090
35. 66 GT Pace, Lowe, Valentine TRG 3:00.532
36. 21 GT Connolly, Halpin Matt Connolly Motorsports 3:00.650
37. 56 GT Beachman, Fitzgerald, Salama Beachman Racing 3:01.733
38. 81 GT Johnson, Nearn Synergy Racing 3:03.044
39. 67 GT Solley, Bullock TRG 3:05.043
40. 8 DP Pumpelly, Huisman Synergy Racing No Time
41. 73 GT Tafel, Davis Tafel Racing No Time

09/01/06
alms
Luhr/Dumas Porsche lead Friday Mosport practice Luhr/Dumas Porsche lead Friday Mosport practice
Pos Car Class Drivers Team Car Time
1. 7 P2 L.Luhr, R.Dumas Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder 1:07.221
2. 20 P1 C.Dyson Dyson Racing Lola B06/10 AER 1:07.254
3. 16 P1 J.Weaver Dyson Racing Lola B06/10 AER 1:07.361
4. 6 P2 S.Maassen, T.Bernhard Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder 1:07.404
5. 2 P1 R.Capello, A.McNish Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI 1:07.560
6. 1 P1 F.Biela, E.Pirro Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI 1:07.796
7. 37 P2 C.Field, L.Halliday, J.Field Intersport Racing Lola B05/40 AER 1:10.579
8. 009 GT1 P.Lamy, S.Sarrazin Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DB9 1:13.974
9. 007 GT1 T.Enge, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DB9 1:14.523
10. 3 GT1 R.Fellows, J.O'Connell Corvette Racing Corvette C6-R 1:14.934
11. 4 GT1 O.Gavin, O.Beretta Corvette Racing Corvette C6-R 1:15.072
12. 12 P1 C.McMurry, M.Lewis Autocon Motorsports Lola EX257 AER 1:16.591
13. 62 GT2 M.Dominguez, S.Ortelli Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta 1:17.964
14. 61 GT2 T.Vilander, M.Gene Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta 1:18.792
15. 45 GT2 J.Van Overbeek Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 1:19.049
16. 21 GT2 J.Hand BMW Team PTG BMW E46 M3 1:19.600
17. 51 GT2 G.Jeannette, T.Milner Multimatic/Team Panoz Panoz Esperante GTLM 1:19.668
18. 50 GT2 S.Maxwell, D.Brabham Multimatic/Team Panoz Panoz Esperante GTLM 1:19.878
19. 23 GT2 M.Tiemann Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 1:19.905
20. 31 GT2 T.Bergmeister Petersen/White Lighting Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 1:20.418
21. 44 GT2 L.Pechnik, S.Neiman Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 1:20.468
22. 22 GT2 J.Marks, B.Sellers BMW Team PTG BMW E46 M3 1:20.553
09/01/06
f1
Honda prepared for fastest circuit Honda prepared for fastest circuitAfter a successful race in Turkey, where Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello both brought their RA106 race cars home in the points, the Honda Racing F1 Team is now looking forward to the final European race of the season, the Italian Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Held at one of the most historic venues used in Formula One, the unique Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is set in a leafy royal park, north of Milan. All eleven Formula One teams participated in the traditional Monza test this week following the five week summer testing break. The Honda Racing F1 Team conducted an intensive three-day program with all four of its drivers working on the car set-up and tire options for what will be the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar, where top speeds are likely to reach in excess of 340 kph.

Rubens Barrichello
“Monza has always been a very special event for me and I still have a lot of Italian fans who write to me with their support, so it’s a weekend that I always really enjoy. I have actually won twice at Monza in 2004 and 2002 which are some of my favorite memories in Formula One. It’s a unique circuit and easily the fastest in the F1 calendar in terms of speed. You have to get the braking right and obviously the traction and the power of the engine are important too. We had a good test this week in preparation for the race, focusing mainly on tire choice and car set-up for the lower levels of downforce that you need here, so we look forward to another good race next weekend.” zzzz

Jenson Button
"I’m really looking forward to the race at Monza. The atmosphere is always great over the race weekend and the circuit has traditionally seen lots of exciting racing, so hopefully it will be another good race for the fans. I had a podium finish here in 2004 and it is a track that I always enjoy. We did a lot of good work with Michelin at the Monza test this week in preparation as most of the track has been resurfaced, so we needed to focus carefully on the tire choice. We have a relatively good car around here so I think that we should be reasonably competitive in the race.”

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director
“For those who love Formula One, going to Monza is a special occasion. The history of the place is evident and the atmosphere is fantastic. The circuit itself is unique with very long straights and the highest top speeds that we will see all year, placing a premium on the aerodynamic efficiency and top-end horsepower. This year, most of the track has been resurfaced, which has slightly changed the requirements on the tires. Together with the other teams, we spent three days in Monza this week optimizing our tire choice and set-up for the track, including a unique aerodynamic configuration. Both Jenson and Rubens have had good races there in the past, particularly Rubens who has won twice, and our car performed well at the test, all of which bodes well for the weekend.”

Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Race Distance: 53 laps
Circuit Length: 3.600 miles (5.793 kms)

The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is bursting with motorsport tradition and remains one of the most challenging circuits in the world. Possessing a unique character and ambience, Monza is Formula One’s oldest road course and despite being altered from its original layout in the interests of safety, it is still the fastest circuit on the calendar.

Due to the pace of the circuit, cars must be set up with the lowest downforce levels possible without causing stability problems under braking. They must also be able to ride the Monza curbs effectively and remain well balanced without too much understeer at high speed. In addition, good traction is important for exiting the revised Rettifilo and Roggia chicanes effectively and braking must be optimized to cope with the very high temperatures generated when drivers slow from top speed to negotiate these low speed sections.

Overtaking is possible at the first and second chicanes but the fast corners before each passing place make it hard to follow another car closely because of the vagaries of modern aerodynamics and races can become quickly strung out. These days, the slipstreaming maneuvers of yore tend to take place only when cars on two-stop strategies have a significant performance advantage over heavier one-stoppers. Honda

09/01/06
cc
Track News
Sherwin-Williams Cleveland GP news Sherwin-Williams Cleveland GP newsCLEVELAND - Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes and the Grand Prix of Cleveland are giving fans a chance to own a one-of-a-kind piece of history from the 2006 Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank. As part of the "Grand Prix of Cleveland Helmet Painting Contest," fourteen custom-painted racing helmets, autographed by top Champ Car drivers and racing legend Bobby Rahal, will be sold in separate auctions to raise money for the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The helmets, individually designed and painted with Sherwin-Williams automotive paint by thirteen Cleveland-area automotive shops and artists, were on display at the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes (SWAF) booth at the 2006 Grand Prix of Cleveland. Each helmet was autographed by the top three finishers at the 2006 Grand Prix of Cleveland - A.J. Allmendinger, Bruno Junqueira, and Oriol Servia, as well as racing legend Bobby Rahal, winner of the inaugural Grand Prix of Cleveland in 1982.

"We are excited to present this unique auction to the fans in order to raise money for two great organizations," said Chuck Kosich, General Manager of the Grand Prix. "We celebrated the great history of the Grand Prix of Cleveland with our 25th anniversary festivities this year, and thanks to Sherwin-Williams and the participating artists, fans have the opportunity to own a piece of that history."  zzzz

The helmet designs are as unique as can be, with each participating automotive shop using Sherwin-Williams automotive paint to create their own masterpiece. The designs range from a patriotic themed helmet to a special commissioned 25th Anniversary- Cleveland Grand Prix helmet designed by SWAF and Mr. Nick Lundgreen, Lundgreen Motorsports, LLC out of Indianapolis, IN. 

"As the official automotive paint supplier to the Champ Car World Series, Sherwin-Williams takes great pride in the excellence of our products. These fourteen great artists have done a wonderful job using Sherwin-Williams paint to create unique works of art that any racing fan would be proud to own," said Tom Hablitzel, Vice President of Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Corp. "With our headquarters in Cleveland, and hundreds of employees who call this city home, Sherwin-Williams is proud to work with the Grand Prix to give back to our great community."

The helmets will be sold to lucky race fans in separate auctions, beginning with a helmet designed by Planet Color on September 1 on eBay at www.ebay.com/unitedwaycleveland. Of the remaining helmets, ten more will be auctioned off on eBay, two will be auction items at United Way of Greater Cleveland events, and one will be auctioned at the Greater Cleveland Sports Award Banquet.

A full list of the helmets and the auction schedule follows:

1. September 1, 2006 on eBay - painted by Planet Color
2. September 12, 2006 at United Way's Celebrity Golf Tournament - painted by JJ Chamura at Suburban Collision Centers
3. October 1, 2006 on eBay - painted by Mayfield Collision Center
4. November 1, 2006 on eBay - painted by MadLab Custom and Collision
5. November 2006 at the United Way Sports Auction on WTAM - painted by Paul Palmentera at Kamm's Corner Auto Body
6. December 1, 2006 on eBay - painted by Cleveland Auto Body
7. January 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Solon Auto Body
8. February 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Dunham Auto Body
9. March 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Highland Auto Body
10. April 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Ohio Technical College
11. May 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Tom Lusch at Kustom Color
12. June 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Jerame Cartee at Franklin Body Shop
13. July 1, 2007 on eBay - painted by Al Carrington at Suburban Collision Centers
14. At the Greater Cleveland Sports Award Banquet - 25th anniversary Grand Prix helmet

United Way serves 400,000 residents annually in Cuyahoga County. It is the community's largest funder of health and human service programs and is committed to improving the quality of life for all Greater Clevelanders.

The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is a non-profit economic development organization that strives to enhance the economy, image and quality of life in the Greater Cleveland  community by attracting and creating significant sporting events and activities. 

For more information on the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank contact the event's downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223) or visit www.grandprixofcleveland.com.

09/01/06
nascar
Martin will not drive No. 6 in '07 Martin will not drive No. 6 in '07Mark Martin on Friday said that he will not drive the #6 Roush Racing Ford in 2007. "I'm not worried about next year, but I will tell you this: there never has been -- ever -- a consideration for me to drive the 6 car in 2007," Martin said. "Everybody's in this frenzy about what I'm going to do in 2007 -- it's just not important right now," Martin said. "What's here in front of me is what's important to me. I've tried to help these guys and keep the ship on track, and if we don't produce then so be it. I've never once this year thought or considered driving it again in '07. I've driven it 19 years. That's enough for the 6 car and me." More at NASCAR.com
09/01/06
industry news
Ford getting out of Minivan business Ford getting out of Minivan businessFord Motor Co. is officially getting out of the traditional minivan business. Production of the Mercury Monterey ended this week, Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio confirmed Thursday. She would only say that its sister vehicle, the Ford Freestar, would continue through the 2007 model year. But another source said production of the Freestar will halt next spring.
09/01/06
ips
Pair of teams joins Indy Pro Series Pair of teams joins Indy Pro SeriesTeam KMA, a joint effort of Formula BMW teams Atlantic Racing and American Spirit Racing, and Andersen Racing, which competes in the Star Mazda Championship, will field cars in the Indy Pro Series™ in 2007, officials of the teams announced on Sept. 1.

"The addition of Team KMA and Andersen Racing marks a milestone in the six-year history of the Indy Pro Series," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Indy Pro Series. "These are the first teams to join the series from other current open-wheel series. This continues to demonstrate the growth the Indy Pro Series is experiencing as we look ahead to 2007."

Team KMA and Andersen Racing join IndyCar® Series team Panther Racing as new teams that have announced their participation in the Indy Pro Series in 2007. Panther Racing will return to the Indy Pro Series for the first time since winning the championship in 2003.

Team principals for Team KMA include racing veterans Ingo Stackerjan from Atlantic Racing and Jon Lewis from American Spirit Racing.

"Even though American Spirit has over 20 years of experience in several forms of top-level racing, this new operation with Atlantic Racing is without a doubt one of the most exciting of my career," Lewis said of the joint venture that will provide drivers in Formula BMW a stepping stone to the next level of open-wheel racing. Zzzz

"Both Atlantic Racing and American Spirit have a lot of strength and experience in particular aspects of the sport," Stackerjan said. "Bringing together these strengths into one operation will provide Team KMA with a powerful operation that will, in turn, enable us to provide our drivers with a strong program in which to excel their careers and to actively compete for the Indy Pro Series championship.”

Andersen Racing is headed by Dan Andersen, who co-founded the Formula Ford 2000 series in 1991 and guided it for 10 years.

"We are excited to be moving up the ladder as a team, and we believe we have the experience, the personnel and the work ethic to be successful," Anderson said.

Atlantic Racing Team started in Halifax, Nova Scotia as a local race team. Soon thereafter, endurance races on national and international levels became its main focus. After entering European and Canadian GT races, Atlantic shifted its operation towards Formula Ford, Formula 2000 and Formula Renault races. When Formula BMW USA was formed in 2003, Atlantic was one of the first teams operating multi-car entries. Since then, the team has continued to provide dedicated race and engineering services to drivers wanting to advance their racing career with the proper race knowledge.

American Spirit Racing has owned and operated teams and managed marketing programs in the Indy Racing League, American Le Mans Series, Trans-Am Series, IMSA Camel GT Series, Bridgestone Super Car Series and Exxon Supreme Series, including the entrant of the 2004 American Le Mans Series 12 hours of Sebring LMP2 class winner.

Andersen has a long history of preparing cars that win races and helping to develop drivers for careers as professional racers. The drivers who won the last three Indianapolis 500s - Sam Hornish Jr., Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice - all competed in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 series while Andersen was that series' administrator.

Last year, Andersen Racing fielded cars in the Star Mazda series for Graham Rahal and Jonathan Klein, among others. Klein is currently second in the 2006 Indy Pro Series point standings driving for Andretti Green Racing.
09/01/06
track news
TV and Film star named Honorary Starter TV and Film star named Honorary StarterTelevision and film actress Marcia Cross will serve as honorary starter for the SONY HD 500 on September 3rd at California Speedway.  As honorary starter, Cross will wave the green flag to start the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Labor Day weekend event.
09/01/06
ips
Wilson penalized for actions at Infineon Wilson penalized for actions at InfineonThe Indy Racing League penalized Indy Pro Series™ driver Bobby Wilson 5 driver points for improper advancement of his position during the Valley of the Moon 100 at Infineon Raceway on Aug. 27.

During the race, Wilson avoided a chicane in the course and drove through a tire barrier runoff area. In the process, Wilson, who was in second place, passed a lapped car and increased his lead over the third-place car.

Wilson remains in third place in the overall driver point standings, 24 points behind leader Jay Howard. He is one of four drivers eligible to win the championship in the season finale at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 9.

Wilson was penalized for violating Appendix C Rule 7.10.C (Method of Scoring) of the Indy Pro Series Rule Book. The penalty may not be appealed.
09/01/06
cc
Champ Car Montreal TV Rating Champ Car Montreal TV RatingUPDATE #2 The final TV rating for last weekend's Montreal Champ Car race on NBC that only ran 6 laps before being postponed a day due to rain, was a 0.9/2 share. One of Champ Car's best final TV ratings and there wasn't even a race, such is the fallacy of the Nielsen Rating system. We saw a similar anomaly with a recent IRL rainout.

A reader adds, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I wanted to chime in on the Champ Car TV ratings from Montreal. I've worked for television production companies in Los Angeles, and I have to say that the Nielsen Rating System is usually very accurate! My opinion is, with Paul Tracy on almost every major sports show and newspaper for two weeks straight, the rating was going to be higher no matter what. If there had been a race, we would have probably seen the best rated Champ Car race in two years!
 
We all know that Champ Car has been a mess lately, but for the first time in years they have some great PR rolling right now. Instead of looking for reasons why the Nielsen rating was inaccurate, let's just applaud Champ Car (well, at least Mr. Tracy) for their efforts! It's just too bad Tracy didn't take Sebastian out on the last lap in Montreal, imagine what the next race's ratings would have been, LOL. Charlie Frank, Westlake Village, CA

08/29/06 A reader comments, The recent news that Champ Car's best rating of the year came when there was no race on TV...is ridiculous. It just tells you how ridiculous the TV ratings really are. Some Champ Car races on TV have rated lower than an infomercial, and then for a rained out race, with no racing...the rating is one of the higher ones they get. If that doesn’t call into question the validity and credibility of the system, I am not sure what does. Maury Scott

08/28/06 Despite going up against another Tiger Woods drive to win his 4th straight golf tournament, and despite the race being rain delayed until Monday after just 6 laps, the overnight rating for Sunday's Champ Car race in Montreal was 1.0/2 share on NBC.....one of its better overnight ratings in awhile.
09/01/06
irl
track news
Marco, Sarah Fisher and Jeff test at Chicagoland Marco, Sarah Fisher and Jeff test at ChicagolandIndy Racing League IndyCar® Series drivers Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing), Sarah Fisher (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) and Jeff Simmons (Rahal Letterman Racing) participated in testing at Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday, August 31, in preparation for the Sept. 10th PEAK® Antifreeze Indy 300, Presented by Mr. Clean™ IRL® IndyCar® Series event. Local media had the opportunity to talk with the drivers between test sessions. Below is a sampling of what the drivers had to say:

Marco Andretti - Andretti Green Racing
At 19 years, 5 months, 14 days, Marco Andretti became the youngest winner of a major open-wheel race after claiming the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway on Sun., Aug. 27. Andretti (who currently ranks seventh in the IRL® IndyCar® Series point standings with 313) has also clinched the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award.

"Coming off the win at Infineon Raceway is definitely huge. It's more of a relief for me then anything just because one of my main goals of the season was to get a win before the end of the year, which I knew was possible. Even before my IndyCar® win, I've had a lot of success at that track, so I was definitely looking forward to having a go at it in an IndyCar. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I knew if we were going to have a shot at a win, it was going to be at a shorter oval or a road course." zzzz

"I'm definitely happy with the way things are going. The beauty of being a rookie is that you learn...you learn more this season then you do your whole career. I'm not saying I'm not going to be learning the last day of my career because that's what you do in this business, you are always learning."

Sarah Fisher - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
In 49 career IRL® IndyCar® Series starts, Sarah Fisher has posted three top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes and captured one pole. Her most recent race came during the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13 where she recorded a 12th-place finish.

"I do feel sort of like a rookie again. I've been out of these cars for two years. But it is like riding a bike. The cars are a little different and some of the tools you use are different, but you just have to work at the different tasks and try to perfect them on a daily basis."

On racing stock cars: "The stocks cars demand a lot of control and feedback. But I have always liked different opportunities, so that was fun for me. One guy even called and asked me about racing his boat. I want to be an experienced, well-rounded person and race driver."

Jeff Simmons - Rahal Letterman Racing
IRL® IndyCar® Series rookie Jeff Simmons (who ranks second in the 2006 Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings) has recorded five top-10 finishes in 11 starts this season. In three IRL® Indy Pro Series™ races at Chicagoland Speedway, Simmons has scored three top-five finishes, including last year's victory during the Chicagoland 100 on Sept. 11.

"There are some similarities between the IndyCar® Series and Indy Pro Series™...but obviously in IndyCar® there's more speed, there's more grip, these cars are more physical to drive. Your window for mistakes is a lot smaller. Obviously the race is a lot longer and when you add in pit stops and all of those things, there's a lot more to it."

"Everything was kind of done on the fly this year. We just didn't have the opportunity to test very much. I think this is my third test day all year. It's a lot harder to do things during the season, but that was our only option. I think you end up learning more during the races anyway then you do during a lot of the other things like testing."

09/01/06
Industry News
GM sales up, Ford down in August GM sales up, Ford down in AugustGeneral Motors' dealers in the United States sold 368,776 new cars and trucks in August. Retail sales were up 8 percent on a sales day adjusted basis, compared with August 2005.

Ford Motor Co. said Friday that its August U.S. vehicle sales dropped 11.6 percent from a year earlier as the market continued to shift away from trucks and sport utility vehicles.
09/01/06
ta
Rocketsports to run Gentilozzi and Drissi in Topeka Rocketsports to run Gentilozzi and Drissi in TopekaEAST LANSING, Michigan - After the announcement that North America's longest running road racing series, the Trans-Am series, will not take the green flag for its 41st season in 2006, Rocketsports Racing thought its end to an 18-year run in the series was red flagged for good.  However, that red flag was not intended to remain permanent on the flag stand as two of the Rocketsports Jaguar R Performance XKR's will take the green flag this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka.

Heartland Park Topeka is set to host two Trans-Am series events in 2006 to honor the 40th Anniversary of the Trans-Am series.  The first event, the "Trans-Am Thunder in the Heartland" will be run Labor Day, September 4 following the final SCCA National Event weekend of the year and will also include the Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata SCCA classes.  The second and final event of the series is scheduled for Sunday, October 8 and will be a Trans-Am only race leading into the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs week.  The 2006 race series marks the 41st consecutive season of competition for the venerable road racing series.  Events will be promoted by Heartland Park Topeka and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. zzzz

2005 Rocketsports Trans-Am drivers Paul Gentilozzi and Tomy Drissi will be competing in the first event this weekend in Topeka, Kansas.  Gentilozzi will be behind the wheel of his four-time championship winning #1 Jaguar XKR, while Drissi will be back in the cockpit of his #5 Jaguar XKR. 

"I am very excited to get back into my Jaguar XKR seat and take it for another drive," said Gentilozzi, Trans-Am's winningest driver.  "I believed then, and still do, that the Trans-Am series was the countries greatest sports car series.  I am excited about this opportunity that Heartland Park's Raymond Irwin has put together so that the Trans-Am legacy can continue.  This is an opportunity that could not be missed, so I will be working hard on Labor Day to earn my 31st Trans-Am victory!"

Started in 1966 as the Trans-American Sedan Championship, the series provided fans with side-by-side racing on historic road course nationwide.  Formed him 1985, Rocketsports Racing moved its road racing efforts to the Trans-Am series as owner, Gentilozzi, made his debut on the streets of Detroit in 1987.  Driving an Oldsmobile Toronado, he completed every lap and finished fourth.  Seven events later on the streets of Long Beach, Gentilozzi captured his first of what would be a series record of 30 victories.

From June 20, 1987 to August 27, 2005, Gentilozzi would rewrite the record book.  In 206 start, Gentilozzi won four championships, 30 wins, 66 podiums, 107 top-five's, 139 top-ten's plus led 1,765 laps, set the fastest race lap 38 times and finished on the lead lap 136 times, all records making him a Trans-Am legend.

For many of the 18 years that Rocketsports completed in Trans-Am, Gentilozzi was not the only driver.  The pages of the Rocketsports' history book hold the names of Darrin and Jerry Brassfield, Irv Hoerr, Johnny Miller, Brian Simo, Tommy Kendall, Drissi and celebrities Craig T. Nelson and Bruce Jenner to name only a few.  Two names that will hold a special place in its history are Scott Pruett, the 2003 Trans-Am champion, and Klaus Graf, 2005 champion.  They are the only drivers besides Gentilozzi to provide championship titles to the team. Rocketsports Racing

09/01/06
Karting
Conor Daly to race in Ireland Conor Daly to race in IrelandConor Daly, the 14 year old son of former Formula One driver Derek Daly, will race in the 7th round of the Irish Karting Championship at Mondello Park, Ireland, on Sept 2nd 2006.  Mondello Park is where Conor’s Dad started his road racing career in 1974.

Conor drives for the MRPbirelAmerica junior team in the Yamaha and Junior ICA championships. In 2006, Conor won three World Karting Association US National Championship events.

Conor is a two time Kart Racers of America Champion having won 14 races in 2005. Conor was also the 2005 KRA junior driver of the year.
09/01/06
starmazda
Wilkins laps under track record in Mosport practice Wilkins laps under track record in Mosport practiceBowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Mark Wilkins, from Toronto, Canada, kicked off official practice for Round Ten of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear by lapping under the track record set in 2004 by fellow Canadian driver Dan DiLeo. Driving the #3 AIM Autosport Bluetooth Mazda, Wilkins, who was forced to miss his hometown race in 2005 as he recovered from a boating mishap, lapped the 2.549-mile circuit in a time of 1:14.361 (119.046 MPH).

Joining Wilkins with times below DiLeo's track record of 1:14.685 was Ron White, winner of Round Nine at Road America two weeks earlier, who clocked a time of 1:14.588 (118.684 MPH) in the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda during this morning's forty-five minute session.

Championship points leader Adrian Carrio, who had set the fastest time of the day on Thursday during unofficial practice, was third fastest this morning with a time of 1:14.736 (118.449 MPH) in the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda.

Twenty-nine drivers posted times in the session which was run under clear skies and mild temperatures, with two brief red flag periods for incidents involving Logan Gomez, Steve Hickham Jr. and Jon Brownson breaking up the session.

Practice for Round Ten continues this afternoon with a final forty-five minute session scheduled to start at 4:35 PM Eastern Time.

09/01/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
  1. Massa 'assumes' Ferrari role in 2007
  2. Turkish officials deny FIA breach
  3. Monza resurfaced, says de la Rosa
  4. Trulli eyes Toyota title in 2007

Massa 'assumes' Ferrari role in 2007
(GMM) Turkish grand prix winner Felipe Massa vowed this week to cast aside plans for more victory as the 2006 championship enters its final phase.

The Brazilian lapped nearly a second quicker than Renault's title leader Fernando Alonso at the Monza test on Thursday, but he said he would be playing a supporting role for Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher when the circus reconvenes at the circuit next week.

''I do not want to win, I want to help Michael and the team to win the championship,'' Massa, 25, was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

''It is still possible that Michael can catch Alonso and I am ready to help him to do that.''

Mystery, meanwhile, surrounds the future not only of Massa for 2007, but also that of seven time world champion Schumacher and likely Ferrari racer Kimi Raikkonen.

But Massa told the newspaper that he 'assumes' he will still be a Ferrari employee beyond the end of the year.

He insisted: ''This year I have really grown as a driver.''

Turkish officials deny FIA breach
 (GMM) The Turkish national motoring authority has denied the FIA's charge that it broke several rules on the Istanbul post-race podium last Sunday.

In a statement, the body insisted that the controversial 'President of the Northern Turkish Republic of Cyprus' fits the bill as a 'known name of international status', as required by FIA rules. zzzz

However, race officials have been summoned to a special meeting of the World Motor Sport Council this month, with the ultimate sanction likely to include ejection from all annual FIA calendars.

The Turkish Motoring Federation said: ''The promoting organization had invited Mr. ... Talat, a known name of international status who fit the description outlined by the (formula one rules).''

Monza resurfaced, says de la Rosa
(GMM) Italian grand prix venue Monza has been resurfaced, according to formula one racer Pedro de la Rosa.

''It surprised us all,'' Spaniard de la Rosa, to complete the 2006 season for McLaren, said after testing at the high speed circuit this week.

He told newspaper 'Marca' that the new sections are slippery, but - for example around the Ascari chicane - there are now fewer and less severe bumps.

Meanwhile, 35-year-old de la Rosa explained that he thought Bridgestone-shod Ferrari was a step ahead of its rivals - including title leader Renault - this week at Monza.

''Their advantage is perhaps smaller than we had expected,'' he said, ''but they are consistently in front and could go even quicker if they wanted to.''

Trulli eyes Toyota title in 2007
(GMM) Jarno Trulli has vowed to be a championship challenger in 2007 as he insisted that he is still as good as his former Renault teammate, Fernando Alonso.

In an interview with newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian said Toyota is on the verge of joining formula one's regular winners.

''This year we have not been able to win,'' said the 32-year-old, ''but the only thing missing for Toyota is experience.

''In 2007 we will be really competitive. My final objective for my career is to win the title.

''I know I can do it.''

Trulli reminded readers that, in 2004, most observers agreed at mid-season that Trulli had the measure of teammate Alonso, who a year later was world champion.

''I had more points (in mid-2004), I had won in Monte Carlo and I was nearly always in front in the tests. You can't ignore these facts.''

Trulli added that he would like to return to the podium 'at Monza' next week, 'or at least before the end of the season'.

He did not, however, want to weigh into the current championship tussle between Alonso and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

''The gap between them is 12 points,'' Trulli acknowledged, ''but there are still 40 points to be won or lost.

''A lot depends on them not making mistakes and also on the competitiveness of their tires and machines.''

09/01/06
Miscellaneous
Swiss police nab multitasker Swiss police nab multitaskerGENEVA (AFP) - A 34-year-old saleswoman was caught driving down a Swiss motorway while she was using her laptop computer and chatting on a handheld mobile phone, police in northeastern Switzerland said.

The driver said she was unaware of any wrongdoing and responded that she was "driving like I always do", police in the canton of St Gallen said in a statement.

A police patrol pulled her over on Wednesday afternoon after they saw her car zig-zagging along the A3 motorway near the town of Murg.

The woman was remanded to magistrate's court because of her "unreasonable behavior", police said.

09/01/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Knoxville Nationals -Highlights Knoxville, IA
12:00pm-2:00pm SPEED
World of Outlaws
1:00pm-2:00pm (R) Outdoor Channel
Great Race 2006 Philadelphia, PA to San Rafael, CA
2:00pm-3:00pm Outdoor Channel
Rolex Sports Car Series Tooele, UT
2:00pm-5:00pm (L)
Also: 8:30pm-11:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Performance
6:00pm-6:30pm SPEED
NASCAR Busch Qualifying  Fontana, CA
6:30pm-8:30pm (L) SPEED
Rolex Sports Car Series Tooele, UT
8:30pm-11:00pm (L)  SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series  Fontana, CA
10:00pm-12:30am (L) TNT
NHRA Qualifying Clermont, IN Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
11:00pm-12:00am ESPN2

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

09/01/06
nascar
NASCAR to push more into Hispanic market NASCAR to push more into Hispanic marketAnother Labor Day weekend is rolling around, and Los Angeles is still not Darlington, and the Southern 500 is still dead.

Somehow the "Southern California 500" wouldn't have quite the same ring.

"I grew up going to Darlington on this weekend every year," Kyle Petty said. "It was like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter.

"Some things are just givens, and Darlington on Labor Day was one. But, hey, things change. We had to grow with the sport and head west. We've been coming to California Speedway for a while. Now we just come back on Labor Day.

"It's not the Southern 500, but it's still a race."

And this Southern California market is changing, rapidly. Accelerating immigration has turned Los Angeles into a market that is 50 percent Hispanic, making NASCAR's Hispanic initiatives ever more important. The U.S. Census Bureau shows that 42 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home, and most of that group speaks Spanish - nearly 30 percent of the population of this state.

Gillian Zucker, who just wrapped up her first full year running California Speedway, the West Coast anchor track for the France family, is pushing to go after the Hispanic market here. For one, the track just upgraded its web site to include a Spanish language section, and other NASCAR web sites are also adding specifically Hispanic pages.

"With Juan Pablo Montoya joining the NASCAR Cup series, it has become even more vital for us to engage the Spanish-speaking fan base," Zucker said. "This is yet another step in our aggressive Hispanic outreach plan." More at Winston-Salem Journal

09/01/06
Track News
Upgrades for Rockingham (UK) Upgrades for Rockingham (UK)The UK company Corby Developments Limited has invested £5 million in improving the facilities at the Rockingham Motor Speedway race circuit since it acquired a majority shareholding in the facility in late 2005.

The expansion of Rockingham’s facilities beyond the original 1.5-mile oval race track includes a multiple in-field race circuit configurations, new 4x4 off-road courses, a rally stage and a city driving course as well as conference and banqueting facilities.

Corby Developments chairman Len O’ Hagan said, “We have invested £5million in just 12 months, and a lot of hard work has gone into raising the breadth and quality of the facilities we have here. We’re very proud of Rockingham as it is today, and we’re committed to developing our venue further, in harmony with the local environment.” EEMS Online

09/01/06
Industry News
Why Ethanol won't be a popular seller Why Ethanol won't be a popular sellerWhen using E85, the Chevy Tahoe's highway mileage dropped from 21 miles per gallon to 15 mpg, while city mileage dropped from 9 mpg to 7 mpg, said Rik Paul, auto editor of Consumer Reports.

The magazine concluded that E85 is not a good choice for consumers hoping to save money unless it costs considerably less than regular gas.

A survey by the Oil Price Information Service found during August that the average price nationwide of E85 was $2.80 a gallon, while 87-octane was $2.94, said Dan Putziger, OPIS director of product services.

But a telephone survey Wednesday of a few Ohio stations selling E85 found the blend was often even more expensive than 87-octane gas. Prices included $3.51, $3.39 and $2.99 a gallon, although a couple of stations said they were selling E85 for 10 and 30 cents less than regular gas.

09/01/06
Racing News
EMCO Gears expands to NC EMCO Gears expands to NCThe EMCO Gears Company, which has been a family owned and operated gear and transmission company for the past 72 years—as well as a sponsor of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve contingency sponsor and race sponsor at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course—has announced that the operation has expanded into a second complex in Mooresville, N.C.

EMCO Gears will take possession of the Mooresville Lake Side Business Park property beginning Friday, September 1 which will be located at 170C Raceway Blvd., Mooresville, North Carolina 28117.

The company has been the title sponsor of the Rolex Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course since 2004, and has seen many exciting finishes at the track. EMCO Gears Chief Operating Officer Richard Wolfe believes the expansion into North Carolina is also an exciting time for the company. zzzz

“We feel that with the move by Riley Technologies to North Carolina, we needed to follow suit and keep up with a major customer,” said Wolfe. “There are more Grand American Road Racing teams in the southeast quadrant of this country than anywhere else, and with our established relationships in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series, this expansion was beneficial for all facets of the business.”

EMCO Gears currently employs 40 skilled craftsman, five engineers and seven at-track personnel. The company can be reached at the new office via telephone at (704) 662-8557. EMCO will keep and expand its Indianapolis technical center with more staff, as well as spearhead a two million dollar upgrade in its Chicago manufacturing base.

09/01/06
a1gp
A1GP to roll out new, more powerful car A1GP to roll out new, more powerful carUPDATE Rumor has it that the new A1GP will be the car that Lola bid for the new Champ Car, but lost the bid. It's clear that with this new car, A1GP will try to marginalize Champ Car. In fact, after trying natural terrain road courses and failing miserably, now they will try to copy Champ Car street race business model using a Champ Car, but with a non-turbo engine. We shall see if they lose another $200 million this year. Don't forget 'they' (A1GP management) are not planning the new car and engine package until their 4th season (Winter 2008 - Spring 2009), still two (A1GP) racing seasons away! They could be bankrupt by then.

08/30/06 [Editor's Note: The current A1GP car is as slow as a Champ Car Atlantic Car, despite having far more HP. It will be interesting to see if teams can afford a car as large and as powerful as a Champ Car and F1 car.]

Autosport.com reports that A1GP plans to introduce an all-new Lola car capable of delivering up to 750bhp from 2008 - 200bhp more than the current design.

"We are kept fully in touch with A1 GP's future plans and at this stage they look very exciting indeed," Lola managing director Rupert Mainwaring told autosport.com.

"The first A1 GP car has proved to be exciting, safe and reliable and we as a company delivered exactly what A1 GP initially wanted. That is our business.

"As regards to the future then I am sure that our engineers will be chomping at the bit to be involved in a car with more power.

"With all the world class facilities that we have here at Lola, we would look forward to producing something very special indeed.

"I am sure the A1 GP car will keep evolving in to a very spectacular prospect and that the series will continue to be successful."

09/01/06
ga
Angelelli Quickest on Practice Day Angelelli Quickest on Practice DayTOOELE, Utah – Defending Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli clocked a lap time of 2:38.561 (101.851 mph) around the 4.486-mile, 24-turn Miller Motorsports Park in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley during the first of three practice sessions Thursday to lead the opening practice day for Saturday's nine-hour Discount Tire Sunchaser, the final round of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve (SPEED, Live, Part 1 – 2:00 p.m. ET, Park 2 – 8:30 p.m. ET).

Angelelli is sharing the No. 10 machine this weekend with his 2005 championship-winning co-driver Wayne Taylor and rising star Ryan Hunter-Reay. Angelelli comes into the weekend still alive in the 2006 Daytona Prototype driver championship picture, currently 23 points behind leader No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley co-driver Jorg Bergmeister (437-414).

“I think it’s probably going to be the fastest tomorrow and that’s what I’m shooting for,” Angelelli said. “We’re looking good, but obviously the other guys are not standing by and I’m sure they will be fast.” zzzz

German Mike Rockenfeller was second-quickest in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford with a time of 2:38.707 (101.757 mph). Rockenfeller will have two new teammates sharing the driving duties with him this weekend as Ralf Kelleners and Terry Borcheller both make their debut in the No. 23 machine this weekend.

“We didn’t have the opportunity to test here, so we had to go through our complete setup routine and we are pretty close,” said Rockenfeller.  “We don’t have the torque to match our competitors so we need to be better under braking and through the corners.  We have only ever run the car in the dark at Daytona.  With the lighting there it is very near day light, this place gets dark!  With lights coming at you from different directions it is going to be important to maintain your concentration for the last hour.”

Third-fastest was Brazilian Oswaldo Negri Jr. in the No. 60 Flight Options/Net APP Lexus Riley for Michael Shank Racing with a lap at 2:39.027 (101.553 mph), also in the morning session. Negri and co-driver Mark Patterson—who comes into the weekend with a healthy lead in the Jim Trueman Award standings—have finished inside the top-10 in seven races this year.

"The car was great right off the truck and having tested here really prepared us for that," said Negri. "We've only been making little changes to the car so far, and Mark did a great job today even when he was running on old tires, so we are pretty optimistic about the race. The last few laps we ran tonight, though, I think it is too dangerous out there in the dark on this track. If someone drops a wheel and blows up a dust cloud, it's just impossible to see through it, very dangerous."

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