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2006 Nextel Cup Schedule 2006 Nextel Cup ScheduleThe 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule was announced today, a 36-race slate starting with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway and ending with the Ford 400 on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In addition to those 36 “points” events, there also will be two “non-points” events – the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona set for Feb. 11 and the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 20 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Also, the two 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500 – the Gatorade Duel at Daytona – will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16.

There are no schedule changes from 2005 in terms of sites. Two tracks, though, have “swapped” race weeks.

Next season, Richmond International Raceway’s spring race will be held on May 6, with Darlington Raceway’s event on May 13; this season, Darlington preceded Richmond.

Also, Kansas Speedway’s 2006 event will be held Oct. 1, followed by Talladega on Oct. 8; this year, Talladega precedes Kansas.

New Hampshire International Speedway again will host the initial event in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the 10-race stretch that ends the season – and determines the series champion. The third annual “Chase” will commence Sept. 17 at NHIS.

The 2006 schedule follows below. Starting times and television information will be available at a later date. (See our schedule page)
Date Event
Feb. 11, Budweiser Shootout
Feb. 19, Daytona 500
Feb. 26, California
March 12, Las Vegas
March 19, Atlanta
March 26, Bristol
April 2, Martinsville
April 9, Texas
April 22, Phoenix
April 30, Talladega
May 6, Richmond
May 13, Darlington
May 20, All-Star race
May 28, Charlotte
June 4, Dover
June 11, Pocono
June 18, Michigan
June 25, Sears Point
July 1, Daytona
July 9, Joliet
July 16, New Hampshire
July 23, Pocono
Aug. 6, Indianapolis
Aug. 13, Watkins Glen
Aug. 20, Michigan
Aug. 26, Bristol
Sept. 3, California
Sept. 9, Richmond
Sept. 17, New Hampshire
Sept. 24, Dover
Oct. 1, Kansas City
Oct. 8, Talladega
Oct. 14, Charlotte
Oct. 22, Martinsville
Oct. 29, Atlanta
Nov. 5, Texas
Nov. 12, Phoenix
Nov. 19, Homestead

IPS Series
Sarah McCune to get IPS start Sarah McCune to get IPS startMcCune to make Menards Infiniti Pro Series debut at Chicagoland: Sarah McCune lists winning the Indianapolis 500 as a childhood dream. It hasn't faded two decades later.

McCune, the 1991 national quarter midget champion who went on to compete in a number of series and earn two bachelor's degrees from Indiana University, will take a step toward realizing her goal by driving the No. 8 Trick My Truck Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Chicagoland 100 on Sept. 11.

She will have four Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates in the 67-lap race at Chicagoland Speedway, with Travis Gregg attempting to gain ground on series points leader Wade Cunningham with three events remaining. The Brian Stewart Racing driver has built his 33-point cushion on the strength of seven runner-up finishes, including the most recent event at Infineon Raceway in California. zzzz 

"I know that the team is so qualified, and I have a lot of confidence in them and they have confidence in me," McCune said. "That's important for any team-driver combination to be successful."

The Perrysburg, Ohio, native has known her share of success, but it's also been a long and winding road since attending her first motorsports event "when I probably was 5."

"After the races I immediately climbed into a car," said McCune, who turned 26 on Aug. 12. "We have a picture of me in the car with a big grin on my face like, 'I want to do this; this is fun.' When I saw that kids were racing quarter midgets, I begged my dad to let me start racing and he eventually gave in.

"We started racing in quarter midgets regionally, and then started traveling all around the country. The rest is sort of history."

She recorded more than 50 victories in three seasons of quarter midgets, was the first female to win an ARCA feature (1996 midget race), finished second in the 1997 North American Midget Auto Racing Series championship, finished 12th in the 1998 USAC National Midget series, and posted a victory and runner-up finish in two ARCA midget starts in 1999.

Limited schedules in USAC (six top 10s in 10 events in 1999; six top 10s in 15 events in 2000) and NAMARS (victories in both starts) followed. The impressive resume has developed a savvy competitor and well-grounded woman. IRL

Industry News
Altrimega set to acquire racing business Altrimega set to acquire racing businessAltrimega Health Corporation d/b/a Creative Holdings & Marketing (Pink Sheets:CRHM) announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent with American Racing Capital, Inc. to acquire a 100% interest in the motor sport development operation spearheaded by renowned open wheel and sports car driver, Davy Jones.   Terms of the agreement were not disclosed at this time and the acquisition is pending the signing of formal agreement and closing.   President John Gandy said today, "Creative's real estate operations are winding down in the Myrtle Beach area and the Company is searching for new opportunities. We are excited about the potential with American Racing Capital."
Funny Car crew members OK after scary incident Funny Car crew members OK after scary incidentRacing Nitro Funny Car crew chief Dickie Venables and crew member Cody Pendergrass were treated and released from the infield care center following a scary starting-line incident during qualifying for this weekend's U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.  Just prior to his second-round qualifying pass, driver Tony Pedregon was having trouble completing his burnout. Pendergrass, who services the engine, went to inspect the injector area when trouble arose.

"The threads under the injectors were sticking, so I wanted to take a look," Pendergrass said. "I tried to jockey it around to get the blades unhinged, but it accidentally lifted the body. It caught the throttle and the car lunged forward. All I remember is being hit and toppling over."

The car's frame and body were both damaged after impact with the inside retaining wall.  Pendergrass, from nearby Indianapolis, suffered a few bumps and bruises and lost a tooth in the incident. He quickly returned to the team after being released from infield care center. More at ESPN.com

Carbone to replace Mondini Carbone to replace MondiniBrazilian Fabio Carbone will replace Giorgio Mondini (who has graduated to GP2) in the #1 Eurointernational entry in the World Series by Renault event at Donington, England next weekend. In 2005 Carbone drove for the Signature Team in the Euro F3 Series. Up until last year he was a Renault Development Driver. After Donington, the team will decide who will be in the seat for the remaining events in Estoril, Portugal and Monza, Italy, while Italian Matteo Meneghello remains behind the wheels of the #2 Eurointernational entry.
SMI and ISC to buy another merchandiser SMI and ISC to buy another merchandiserLess than two weeks after announcing that they had joined forces to buy NASCAR merchandiser Action Performance, Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Int'l Speedway Corp., through their newly created company Motorsports Authentics, could announce as early as today that they have purchased rival merchandiser Team Caliber as well. In addition to the Action licenses, which include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, Motorsports Authentics will now add Roush Racing drivers Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards. The company also would get merchandise rights to Ryan Newman, Joe Nemechek and Brian Vickers, among others. SportsBusiness Journal
A1 Grand Prix
Using a healthy dose of BS to sell sport Using a healthy dose of BS to sell sportWhat is it about major sporting events subsidized by Governments that compel event boosters to feed us the most spurious claims when it comes to who'll be watching via an international TV audience? And Governments willingly swallow such “BS” because they're in on the con themselves!

So when the latest international motor sport out to race with other people's money – the A1 Grand Prix of Nations series – comes to Eastern Creek International Raceway (November 4-6), it has persuaded the NSW Government to pledge $1 million to upgrade the track to FIA Grade 2 specification as required. But what other money has the Government also handed over to help get this race off the ground so it can bask in the glow of the promised manifest economic benefits to befall the state – given it's been sold the race's huge international status?

One-time World Formula One Champion Alan Jones, as chairman of the Australian A1 team competing in this new poor man's out of season F1, couldn't help himself when congratulating the Government on its commitment, saying he had “absolutely no doubt this will become Sydney's biggest annual international sporting event, delivering huge economic benefit to the city and the state.”

But just in case anyone still feels the race might not be all it's cracked up to be – Jones obligingly went the extra mile: "Images from the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Eastern Creek will be beamed to a potential worldwide audience of over 4 billion people.”

Well Alan, not even the Olympics is watched by that many – and that's when all the major global TV networks combine. I'm fed up to the back teeth with people trying to legitimize their particular sporting event, by saying something as enormously stupid and erroneous as “a potential worldwide audience of over 4 billion people.”

No doubt this will come as a shock to Jones – but Formula One estimates its global TV audience at all of 300 million. Which makes rather a mockery of what many other sporting events claim to be their own numbers – but surely Jones and A1 have set a new gold standard in BS. Crikey.com.au

Encyclopedia definition of Champ Car Encyclopedia definition of Champ Car
Is too much of Danica a bad thing? Is too much of Danica a bad thing?UPDATE Indy Star: If Kelsey LaCosse happens to click her TV to an Indy-car race, she's going to be looking for the No. 16 car.  That’s a big if. James C. Allen, Virginia 09/06/05
Question: Is it possible that too much Danica can be bad for the IRL? I think those casual fans are tired of hearing about Danica. (Lou from Lawrence, Kan.)

Answer: Yes, too much Danica can be bad for the IRL, but I don't know if we're there yet. Certainly we are with race fans because most don't think she's earned the right to get top billing as she does each week. But the casual fans (and media) are still gravitating to her. Case in point: I was in San Francisco last week visiting with cousins on my mother's side. One of the 18-year-old daughters I met for the first time is a sophomore at the University of Oregon. She's been in Australia for the past month and isn't tuned in to my career. In the middle of dinner, her father asked her if she knew who Danica Patrick is. She looked up and said, "Of course, dad." If Kelsey LaCosse happens to click her TV to an Indy-car race, she's going to be looking for the No. 16 car. Indy Star

Jay Howard wins Star Mazda debut Jay Howard wins Star Mazda debut
V8 Supercars
Bahrain signs 5-year deal with V8 Supercars Bahrain signs 5-year deal with V8 SupercarsMotorsport fans in the Middle East will have yet another exciting and challenging race to look forward to as the Bahrain International Circuit announces the hosting of the phenomenal Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series in 2006 and for a further four years thereafter.

The Championship has a strong fan base all around the world and has created over the years a huge global impact. .Being the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East we are continually working to maintain an attractive portfolio of world-class racing,. said BIC.s Chairman, Talal Al Zain.

The Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series is a leading example of the type of event that the BIC is able to bring to the region and ideally compliments other activities including the Kingdom’s round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. .Bahrain is leading the world in motorsport events and is at the forefront of motorsport in the region. On behalf of the whole team at BIC, I am looking forward with immense pride to welcome the drivers, teams, sponsors and organizers involved in the series to the Kingdom of Bahrain,. added Al Zain.

A live media link at the Bahrain International Circuit with the Australian media in the presence of Australian V8 Supercar Championship Chairman Tony Cochraine and Australian Ambassador to the region Ian Biggs today (Sept 6) marked the official launch of the event. Girls dressed in the traditional embroidered thobe nishl, hunting Kestrels and Arabic coffee being served to guests reflected Bahrain’s rich culture and hospitality.

.The Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series epitomizes everything great about motor racing. No other racing series features such vibrant and dynamic qualities and the muscle car event with its no-holds-barred competition and thunderous noise is bound to be an enormous draw for every race enthusiast in the region,. said BIC.s General Manager, Martin Whitaker. zzzz

The series, he said, had generated a great attraction throughout the Gulf and it is anticipated that the first race at Bahrain International Circuit will witness a large turnout of enthusiasts from both the region and around the World.

He emphasized that the spectators would get the chance to witness at first hand the sights, raucous sound and color that characterizes the series. .On behalf of all of us at BIC I would like to underline how grateful we are for the unfailing personal support and efforts that were exerted by the President and Owner of HSV, Tom Walkinshaw in helping secure our round of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. said Whitaker. Appreciation he emphasized should also be extended to AVESCO Chairman, Tony Cochraine along with his team in having a belief in BIC.s abilities to make it all happen.

Ford conducts successful Women's Day in Montreal Ford conducts successful Women's Day in Montreal“Ladies start your engines!”  In racing we may not get to hear that every weekend, but it was heard in Montreal as Champ Car Women’s Day took to the track during the Molson Indy Montreal.

As a part of Ford’s Women’s Initiative, Ford of Canada worked collaboratively with the Bridgestone Presents Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford to present Champ Car Women’s Day on Friday before the Molson Indy Montreal. Women from all walks of life had the opportunity to take part in demonstrations and instructional classes on car-related issues at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

The 50 women taking part in this program held diverse backgrounds, from corporate executives to the university students looking to begin their careers. It gave them all an opportunity to interact and network while learning about the automotive industry.

“What we are doing here is really unique,” said Anne Stevens, Ford Group VP of Canada, Mexico and South America. “We are reaching out to young women and linking them to the excitement of the auto industry and car racing. One of the goals of this program is to show them that there are women in every aspect of the motor industry and they can do it too.”

The day began as the women chosen to participate in the program attended three separate training sessions. The first was titled “Under the Hood” where women were taught basic car care, such as how to check fluid levels. The second in the series was hosted by Bridgestone and taught the females about tire issues, such as why tire pressure is important to everyday driving. During the last session the females got to sit down with Champ Car’s all female pace car team, to learn driving tips and get an idea of different roles women play in the Champ Car garage area. After those sessions, a few lucky women had a chance to take a Champ Car Fast Lap ride around the Montreal race circuit in a Ford GT with Champ Car pace car driver Kelly Williams, a ride they will never forget.

Montreal’s event marked the third in a series of Champ Car Women’s Days hosted by Ford. The first was held in Toronto when 50 teachers and students from a local University took part in the day’s activities. The second, which included the opportunity to drive the brand new Ford Fusion and award winning Ford Mustang, was held when women from a mixture of backgrounds assembled in Edmonton.  The next program will be held in Mexico City in conjunction with Champ Car’s season finale event, the Gran Premio de Mexico November 4th, 5th and 6th. Champ Car

V8 Supercar
Tagliani to run in V8 Supercar race Tagliani to run in V8 Supercar raceWith regular drivers Craig Baird and David Besnard making up one half of the WPS operation, the second Ford Falcon will see Canadian Alex Tagliani make his greatly anticipated V8 Supercar debut, joining regular Team Australia Champ Car partner, Marcus Marshall in the Wright Patton Shakespeare supported entry.

"This has been a huge learning curve but one that I've really enjoyed," said Tagliani. "The more time I get out on the track the more confident I am behind the wheel."

"These cars are very different to Champ Car and there has been a lot of things that I've had to take in over the past month. But this is a great challenge and I can't wait to race in my first V8 Supercar event at Sandown."

Tagliani enjoyed the bulk of time behind the wheel during recent testing, managing 65 laps, compared to the 35 laps completed by Marcus Marshall, Australia's first full-time driver in the Champ Car series..

One of the leading ‘rookie' drivers in the championship, Marshall is delighted to be returning to Australia to drive in the country's premier endurance races, after finishing 11th last year.

"I've driven at Sandown twice in V8 Supercars and a couple of times in Formula Ford, so I know what to expect come race day," said Marshall. "We were running fifth last year before encountering problems trying to remove a wheel nut during a pit stop which relegated us back to 11th overall.

"If Alex and I can manage some really good exits on the front and back straight and attack hard on the sections in between I'm sure we'll go alright. We'll be setting some realistic goals and striving for those all weekend."

Milka Duno to Drive HVM Champ Car at Sebring Milka Duno to Drive HVM Champ Car at SebringHVM Racing, a competitor in the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, will give sports car Champion Milka Duno the opportunity to sample Champ Car driving in the #4 HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone today, September 6th and tomorrow, September 7th at Sebring International Raceway.

A native of Caracas, Venezuela and a resident of Miami, Duno became the first woman in history to win overall a major International sports car race in North America, with her victory at the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix in Miami.  In only her second year of racing Duno was named “Venezuelan Auto Racing Driver of the Year” and won her first series championship in the Panoz GT Series.  In 2001 she was crowned Vice-Champion Driver in the LMP 675 class of the American Le Mans Series.  A full-time competitor in the 2005 Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series, Milka drives the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype and earned her third Rolex Series overall win in July at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec.

A qualified Naval Engineer with four master’s degrees in Organizational Development, Naval Architecture, Marine Biology and Maritime Business, the last three earned simultaneously, Milka has proven her desire and dedication for achievement on and off the track.  Milka is the Hispanic spokesperson for CITGO Petroleum Corporation and the face of Pontiac’s National Hispanic advertising campaign.  While the test with HVM will be her first in a Champ Car, Duno is familiar with open wheel racing; with experience in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, as well as the World Series Light and World Series Pro Championships – becoming the first woman in history to score points in the European series.

Duno looks forward to the Champ Car experience; “I'm very excited and honored by the invitation from HVM Racing to test a Champ Car.  The opportunity to drive one of the world's fastest and most powerful race cars is a dream come true for me and I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel."

Earning three victories, and eight podium finishes in just five years; HVM has enjoyed early success in the Champ Car World Series. With more than 2.2 million people attending Champ Car races annually and a massive worldwide audience, HVM also offers a range of proven marketing and advertising platforms to enhance the business of its corporate partners. For more information on HVM and its partners, visit www.HVMRacing.com.

Formula 3
Kimball Struggles in Germany Kimball Struggles in GermanyThis weekend at the famous Nurburgring circuit, rookie Charlie Kimball scored solid championship points by finishing seventh and fifth in rounds 17 and 18 of the British International Formula 3 Championship.  The young American struggled all weekend with car set-up problems which meant he was only able to qualify eight and fifth for Races 1 and 2 respectively.  At a circuit where passing is difficult, Kimball faced a large challenge in both races.

Qualifying for Race 1 was a tough proposition since all of the drivers had such a short amount of time to learn the Grand Prix circuit.  Kimball, in addition to learning the new track, struggled with car handling problems and qualified 8th, his worst qualifying since the very first round of the Championship, back in April.  After some major changes to the car, Kimball was right back on the pace in second qualifying, improving on his first qualifying time by close to 1.5 seconds.

“We really struggled in first qualifying,” said Kimball.  “It just wasn’t working but we solved the problem and the car was infinitely better for second qualifying.  I am disappointed but I know I can go racing now!”

Race 1 presented Kimball with a new challenge, starting on the fourth row.  The young American was intent on making it through the first corner and was able to hold his position despite the chaos around him.  He then battled cleanly with Marco Asmer and teammate Christian Bakkerud, ultimately gaining one position.

“The start was chaos!  I got tagged from behind going into the first corner which pushed me wide and then there were four cars sliding towards me up the inside,” commented the rookie after Race 1.  “I held my position and made it through cleanly and focused on gaining more championship points.” zzzz

The grid for Race 2 presented additional challenges with two unlikely drivers on the front row.  Again the start was critical and Kimball was able to make a good start and over take championship veteran Asmer.  However Mike Conway passed the American in a bold move around the outside, meaning Kimball maintained his position in fifth.  As is typical at the Nurburgring, the remainder of the race continued as a procession.

“It was a tough race, my tires didn’t come in right away so I struggled at the start,” said a disappointed Kimball.  “It turned into follow the leader pretty much after the first couple of corners, although Marco did try to have a go once!”

By finishing fifth in race two, Kimball earned additional critical championship points although the title is now out of reach.

“I am pretty secure in second place and for Rookie of the Year but I need to maintain the momentum for the last two rounds,” said the young Californian.  “I am still learning each time I get in the car and that remains my goal: learn and develop as a driver.”

Kimball will continue his testing and fitness program in preparation for the penultimate Championship meeting to be held at Mondello Park in Ireland, September 16th and 17th.

BAR Honda release Davidson for Jordan test BAR Honda release Davidson for Jordan testB·A·R Honda is pleased to confirm that it has accepted a request made by Jordan Grand Prix to allow the team's third driver Anthony Davidson to take part in a one-day test at Silverstone on 13 September 2005. 

B·A·R Honda Sporting Director Gil De Ferran commented:  "Anthony has done a fantastic job for us during the five years that he has been part of our driver line-up and his contribution to the development of our team has been immeasurable.  B·A·R Honda's 2006 driver line-up is not yet concluded so we are unable to confirm whether or not we will be in a position to help Anthony to achieve his ultimate ambition of a race seat.  With that in mind, we decided to allow him to participate in this test and we wish him well for next week."

Anthony Davidson said: "I'm really looking forward to testing with the Jordan team at Silverstone next week and the EJ15 will certainly be an exciting new challenge. I haven't driven at Silverstone for almost a year so it will be good to be back driving on my home track again. This test shows how serious I am about finding a race drive for next year and I would like to thank B·A·R Honda for allowing me to stand down from the team's Barcelona test and take up this opportunity. I'm hoping it will be a very positive experience for myself and the Jordan team." BAR Honda

Dennis urges Kimi to stay Dennis urges Kimi to stayRon Dennis is well aware of rumors linking Raikkonen with Ferrari in 2007 and he is doing his best to convince his Finnish ace to stay with McLaren because he thinks his team is on the way up and Ferrari on the way down, which is nonsense if Ferrari had Michelin tires.

But Dennis is adamant that Raikkonen will be better off sticking at McLaren - and re-iterated the example of Chris Amon who never won a Grand Prix after constantly switching teams at the wrong moment.

"It's his decision," said Dennis. "At the end of the day any driver can choose where he goes when his contract expires. But I've seen racing drivers who move around and normally you can move around and suffer the consequences of some bad decisions.

"Chris Amon was the world's best at being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Every time he moved to a team, that team would lose competitiveness.

"If Kimi will stay with McLaren he will win races and championships. Do you think we like to be unreliable and have any failures? Of course we don't. But we push and at the moment we are in catch-up mode.

"If you want to know where it all started to go wrong, it started with the rain in Australia," said Dennis. "That screwed our season because it put us right in a position away from the front row.

"We had some fragility on the car, both drivers went off trying to pass cars that wouldn't have been there in normal circumstances and suffered the consequences.

"We were on the back foot from the first race. It could have been completely different without the rain in qualifying for the first race."

Schumacher wants to win another race Schumacher wants to win another raceWhen Michael Schumacher left Monza on Sunday night he was still, on paper, World Champion. However, it is clear that his title is now lost. He will not be able to defend his crown in the last four races.

This fact seems to disturb his rivals more that it does Michael himself. “This has been a topic of discussion for a while,” declared Michael after the race. “It is not a problem. It is not surprising that it has happened.

"What is more surprising is that so much time has gone by before it has come to pass. I would never have believed it would have been possible to win five straight titles but I knew from the beginning that the run would have ended sooner or later. At the moment, this is less important than the need to get back to our best. This, for me, was the decisive factor last weekend as our performance was very different from that which I would have liked to have put on for our fans.”

It has been ten years since Ferrari failed to score points at Monza. This caused the men in red, and Michael himself, some sadness. They have certainly enjoyed better times. “It was not the outcome we were looking for. We have to work even harder to bridge the gap before the end of the season. We would like to score a win before the championship ends.”

Perhaps the Grand Prix at Spa next weekend may be the occasion? Schumacher keeps his feet on the ground: “I don’t think that it will be possible to reverse the trend in such a short time. We are quite a long way off the pace at the moment. This does not mean we will not be trying our best though. No-one should be writing us off just yet. I am sure we will come back."  Ferrari

DC says Bridgestone to blame for slow Ferrari DC says Bridgestone to blame for slow FerrariUPDATE Jordan's Tiago Monteiro hit out at the rubber product after Monza, where he said the Bridgestones got 'worse and worse' as the race wore on.  ''I do not understand how the tires could act like this,'' the Portuguese rookie remarked. 09/03/05 David Coulthard has denied that Monza marks the 'end of an era' in formula one's history.  Red Bull's veteran Scot refers to the fact that Sunday's Italian grand prix will almost certainly put 2000-2004 world champion Michael Schumacher out of contention for the 2005 crown.

''Michael is still in formula one,'' said the 34-year-old, ''and will be next year.  I would be surprised if he was in decline in terms of performance.''

DC, then, puts the Schumacher drop down to Ferrari and Bridgestone.  ''We've got the Michelin formula and the Bridgestone formula,'' he noted.

Coulthard also said that, no matter who wins the Kimi Raikkonen v. Fernando Alonso duel at the front, neither will be able to say that they beat Schumacher in a fair fight.

''Yes, they've won the title,'' he added, ''but Ferrari is not in the same formula.'

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ferrari cop Italian pain
Klien wins Spa ride
Alonso's magic number is '4'
McLaren boss praises Alonso
'Buttongate II' rumbles on
I've signed nothing - 'Ant'
Pizzonia on Spa standby
'Ferrari v. Toyota'
Monza in crowd decline
Ferrari 'foolish' - Lauda
Industry News
Major New International Motorsport Development in Beijing Major New International Motorsport Development in BeijingInternational Sports Company Limited the newly created international sports organization based in Beijing today signed an agreement with Event Promotion International Limited a United Kingdom based motorsport event promotion and management company to form a strategic partnership with the aim of ‘fast-tracking’ the creation of a number of major international motorsport events in Beijing. In addition I.S. and EPI will cooperate closely to develop a domestic Chinese motorsport structure that will foster Chinese motorsports talent that will include drivers and teams that one day soon will be able to compete with the world’s best in the international motorsport arena.

I.S. President Kang, Wei is “delighted to have signed this agreement with EPI and looks to a long and fruitful relationship. As a result of this agreement I.S. will be at the forefront of the development of the motorsport industry within PRC”

I.S. and EPI are in the process of developing a detailed strategic plan stretching over the next few years in which they are mapping the development of the fledging motorsport industry in China, reviewing the industries’ development in other markets and deciding how to best apply these experiences to the local market. It is clear intention of the parties to ensure that a vibrant and self-sustaining motorsport industry develops that is relevant to the fast-growing and vast Chinese market. David Clare (pictured right), EPI’s Managing Director stated “EPI welcomes this opportunity to work with such a well positioned organization such as I.S. and excited by the challenge of helping develop the motorsport market with our partners. We hope to be able to be the catalyst for many new projects, bringing with us our extensive motorsports and event management knowledge”. zzzz

I.S. Information International Sports Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “I.S.”) is a large-scale international sports events corporation, co-established by the Beijing State-Owned Assets Management Co., Ltd., and by relevant departments of the Beijing Sports Bureau. The I.S. operation concept is to fill an international niche, using professional management, market-oriented operation schemes and brand-oriented strategies.

I.S. aims to introduce and promote international and domestic sports events, as well as to develop and manage relevant sports industries. It has resource advantages over various sport events in Beijing, including an experienced professional operation team that has set an all-round high-efficiency operational mechanism for event financing, promotion, organization and management.

Up till now, I.S. has established good relationships with many famous international sports organizations, including car racing, basketball and tennis. It has also paved the way for the introduction of many high-level sports events into Beijing.

Based on our core business of introducing and organizing sport events, and following the rule of the market economy, I.S. is steadily developing to expand its core business to every relevant field of the sports industry. It will eventually become an important force to promote the capital sports market and to verify the sports life of the capital’s citizens. Our slogan is to build I.S. into the best brand and the flagship of the Beijing sports industry.

In 2008, the doors of Beijing Olympic Games will be opened to the whole world. At this historical moment, I.S. will do its utmost to seize the opportunity presented by the Olympic Games. It will cooperate with partners in this field to build the best possible brand of sports operation, and to contribute to the development and prosperity of the capital’s sports industry.
Address: 15/F Block B, Focus Place B, No.19 Financial Street ,Xi Cheng District, Beijing, China
Telephone: 66573366,Fax: 66573202, Website: www.intersports.com.cn

Event Promotion International Limited a UK company with many years of motorsport management experience founded by David Clare previously with Formula One Constructors Association and after that the Chief Operating Officer of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc an Chairman of Champ Car World Series, LLC. EPI’s Executive Director in PRC is Helena Hong Liang. EPI has offices in China, Korea, Australia, USA and the United Kingdom. Media Contact: Helena Hong Liang +86 136 0115 9518 hhl@epi.ms or David Clare +1 310 933 6210 djc@epi.ms

Conor Daly sweeps both Yamaha Junior Events Conor Daly sweeps both Yamaha Junior EventsWith just two rounds to go in the KRA season Championship, Conor Daly (pictured right with father Derek Daly, his two grandparents and his mother) made a strong bid for two championships by winning both Yamaha Junior events on Saturday Sept 3rd at New Castle Motorsports Park. Conor's win total for the season now stands at 10. His wins on Sunday were shared with his Grandparents who had just arrived from Ireland.
USGP postscript USGP postscript
Schumacher's future: Seven-time World Champion and four-time United States Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher has one year remaining in his contract with Ferrari. He said he will evaluate his future next season.

"I'm a Ferrari driver, and I'm pretty happy with that," he said. "I've said many times that next year I will take a decision on an extension, and we will see."

Hill visits: Phil Hill, who in 1961 became the first U.S. driver to win a Formula One World Championship, attended the Italian Grand Prix.

Stewart's 40th anniversary: Sir Jackie Stewart was in Monza to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his first Grand Prix victory when he drove his BRM to victory in the 1965 Italian Grand Prix. Stewart went on to win a (then) record 27 Grands Prix, including the 1968 and 1972 United States Grand Prix, and three World Championships.

In 1966, Stewart finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 and earned the Rookie of the Year Award. Last weekend, Stewart posed for photos with the trophy he won 40 years ago at Monza. zzzz

Toyota's aims: The Panasonic Toyota team is having its best season yet since it entered F1 in 2002.

"I must say that up to now this year we have achieved a lot more than we expected," driver Jarno Trulli said. "We scored four podiums, between me and Ralf (Schumacher), and I think that's a lot. Both drivers have a lot of points. We just need to try to keep scoring points for the remainder of the season.

"It would be nice to fight for the championship, but we mustn't forget that McLaren and Renault are very, very strong and then BAR is coming back. Ferrari is sometimes competitive. So there is quite a big battle to get on the podium and score points. The realistic aim is to keep scoring points until the end of the season and hopefully finish third, or fourth, for sure, in the Constructors Championship."

Ferrari's podium streak ends: A Ferrari driver has finished on the podium at the Italian Grand Prix every since 1998, but neither Michael Schumacher nor Rubens Barrichello scored any points in this year's event.

"There is no point in getting angry about our situation," Schumacher said of Ferrari's lack of pace this season. "We must simply try and improve, maybe in time for (the Belgian Grand Prix at) Spa, although that is unlikely, but possibly before the end of the season. The championship was obviously lost a while ago, but we have had a lot of good years before this one. There is no need to give up because this is all part of competition.

"I feel sorry for the tifosi (Ferrari fans) and thank them for their support even though we were not able to deliver them a good result."

GP2 winners: GP2 championship leader Heikki Kovalainen won the race Sept. 3 at Monza ahead of Nico Rosberg and Nelson Piquet Jr. The latter two are sons of former F1 World Champions Keke Rosberg and Nelson Piquet.

Neel Jani won the Sept. 4 race while Rosberg and Giorgio Pantano finished second and third, respectively. American Scott Speed qualified third for the first race but retired from both events.

Next event: The next race on the schedule is the Belgian Grand Prix on Sept. 11.

Tickets go on sale for Australia A1GP race Tickets go on sale for Australia A1GP raceTickets for the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Sydney’s Eastern Creek International Raceway -November 4-6, 2005 - have gone on sale through Ticketmaster. Eastern Creek will be the fourth of 12 A1 Grand Prix events held worldwide which will see 25 national teams, representing around 80% of the world’s population, go head-to-head for The World Cup of Motorsport.

Organizers have kept ticket prices family-friendly – starting at just $20, with Chairman of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations in Australia, Alan Jones declaring the tickets had been priced competitively to “attract all members of the family.”

 “Adult tickets for the three day event provide excellent value for this inaugural international world-class motor sport event,” said Jones, the 1980 World Formula One Champion. “All in all, the A1 Grand Prix of Nations will deliver a world-class sporting event at a very reasonable cost. zzzz

“Sheikh Maktoum (the founder of A1 Grand Prix) wants his events to be an action-packed, fan friendly three day celebration of national pride,” said Jones, who doubles as the seat holder for A1 Team Australia.

“Australia can expect a colorful multi cultural spectacle at Eastern Creek. There are some 3 million Australians whose first language is not English and around 600,000 of them reside in Sydney. We will be encouraging these multi cultural communities to embrace the sport of motor racing by supporting their nation of origin competing in the event.”

Naturally, Jones anticipates A1 Team Australia and its drivers will be well supported. “When you see the yellow scarves waving at the Rugby or the Australian flags at the Cricket, it really gives you a burst of national pride,” he commented. "I look forward to standing on the grid at Eastern Creek on November 6 and looking across to see plenty of Australian flags among the sea of color. It will be a truly international event.”

Tickets can be booked through Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com.au or via phone on 136 100.

Ticket prices are as follows (an additional transaction fee may apply):

Season (3 Days)
Adult - $95
Concession - $55
Family (2 Adults & 2 Children under-17) - $195
Grandstand (No Concession or Family, 3 day only ticket) - $150
Friday Only
Adult - $30
Concession - $20
Family - $75
Saturday Only
Adult - $40
Concession - $25
Family - $95
Sunday Only
Adult - $55
Concession - $35
Family - $125

A1 Grand Prix
Jos Verstappen unveils Netherlands’ A1GP entry Jos Verstappen unveils Netherlands’ A1GP entryThe striking orange A1 car that will represent the Netherlands in the first World Cup of Motorsport was officially unveiled at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk this evening to a crowd of press and public. (L-R: Jos Verstappen (NED), His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum (UAE) CEO A1 Grand Prix, Jan Lammers (NED), A1GP Team Netherlands team manager, and Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) at the launch of A1GP Team Netherlands. Credit: A1GP/Sutton Images)

A1 Team Netherlands seat holder, Jan Lammers started the proceedings saying: 'For us, A1GP is the icing on the cake of the work by Racing for Holland over the past years. All our guys have worked like lions, and to be able to defend our country in this wonderful new series is a big honor. That's how we all look at it. Simply the intention to be fast is not enough, it is simply our duty.'

A1 Team Netherlands' main driver and ex-F1 star, Jos Verstappen said: 'I'm very excited about this new series, the races will be very close and I can go to the absolute maximum. There are a lot of very good drivers, racing for good teams. A1 Team Netherlands has become very competitive very quickly, especially at our last test session at Paul Ricard where we finished third. Our motto will be to give everything till the very last lap of the final race! For me, it is an enormous challenge and I hope that a lot of Dutch fans will support me on 25 September at Brands Hatch.' zzzz

Jeroen Bleekemolen, A1 Team Netherlands' reserve driver went on to say: 'For me it is of course an excellent opportunity to get some experience with single seaters after my years with Opel in the DTM. There I learned a lot and had to push myself against team mates like Heinz Harald Frentzen. Now this has repaid itself and the fact that I can be the reserve driver at the level of A1GP is a very big break. Jos, of course, is the ideal example, assisting me in a great way during the tests. I hope that I can help him collect data for the Team.'

With the stage set for A1 Team Netherlands to actively compete on the level playing field of motorsport which is A1 Grand Prix, the Series took the opportunity to confirm RTL as the host broadcast for the Netherlands. RTL will show A1GP live across the country. Director, Jaap Hofman said: 'I find this series very interesting. It is obvious that it is all about the driver and his ability. That is why I am very happy that Jos and Jeroen are on the Team. I am sure Jos will show what he is capable of.'

Concluding the ceremony, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum presented Dutch Olympic medalist and current Chairman of the Dutch Olympic Committee, Erica Terpstra with a scale model of the A1 Team Netherlands car.

Sheikh Maktoum commented: 'Wherever you are in the world, the color orange is clearly recognizable as that of the Dutch sporting team so I am delighted to have such a bold car on the grid for the first World Cup of Motorsport. To me, it is an honor to have both Jan Lammers and Jos Verstappen involved in A1 Grand Prix. Jos has the largest fan base of any current racing driver and was responsible for making motorsport so hugely popular in the Netherlands. With Jos driving for A1 Team Netherlands, I am sure we will see a wave of orange as his supporters follow him to Brands Hatch, EuroSpeedway on 9 October, Estoril and beyond.'

Montoya a brave soul Montoya a brave soulMcLaren heralded the Juan Montoya's bravery at driving at more than 350kmh with a right-rear Michelin coming apart at Monza Sunday. ''It's hard enough when everything is ok,'' Martin Whitmarsh, the team's 'F1 CEO', said afterwards.  ''It was Juan's decision to stay out.''
Eury Sr. also re-signs with DEI Eury Sr. also re-signs with DEIFollowing on the heels of his son Tony Eury Jr., Tony Eury Sr., affectionately known as Pops, has signed his first contract with DEI. Eury led Earnhardt Jr. to two Busch titles and stepped down at the end of last season as Junior's Cup crew chief. Eury, who's under contract through 2008, is working in research and development. Sporting News
Industry News
Kerkorian taking bigger GM share Kerkorian taking bigger GM shareBillionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has raised his bet on General Motors Corp. by more than $463 million, a move that could throw a wrench into the troubled automaker's talks with the UAW to cut health-care costs.

The Las Vegas casino mogul has agreed to pay that much to buy 13.1 million more shares of GM, raising his stake to 9.53% from 7.2% previously, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday.

The move by Kerkorian, who in the past has forced other companies to sell assets and pay cash to shareholders, increased speculation that he won't wait patiently for GM to recover from losses that have totaled $1.4 billion through the first six months this year.

Kerkorian could pressure GM to pay higher dividends to shareholders or increase the value of the stock by buying shares back at the same time the automaker is pressing the UAW for health care cuts, said Jay Barney, professor of business strategy with Ohio State University.  "That is the conflict," Barney said. "I know Kerkorian's modus operandi, and it's cash. Cash is king." Detroit Free Press

GP2 season finale announced GP2 season finale announcedWith the GP2 series entering the final phase of the 2005 season, the championship is finely poised as Heikki Kovalainen (Arden International) leads Nico Rosberg (ART Grand Prix) by just four points. This coming weekend’s action takes place at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Only one round remains afterwards, on the 5.412km Bahrain International Circuit near Sakhir, Bahrain.

The weekend will take place over two days – Thursday 29 and Friday 30 September – as Thursday and Friday are the traditional weekend in Bahrain. Because of this, the final round will feature a slightly modified weekend format as follows:

Thursday 29 September
09.30 – 10.00 Qualifying 1
10.00 – 10.30 Qualifying 2

Grid positions will be decided by the fastest lap set overall by each driver, regardless of which session it was set within.

15.00 Race 1 (34 laps)

Friday 30 September
10.40-11.00 Warm Up
15.00 – 15.45 Race 2 (23 laps)

The Final round of the GP2 series will also feature Mini Cooper and Thunder Arabia support races.

Zanardi and BMW Zanardi and BMWAlex Zanardi's WTCC  win in Italy  (We should say around the world based on the interviews he has done) received major headlines... To the right is the ad BMW has been running; quite inspiring and a deserved tribute to the man!

The ad reads - Alex Zanardi won.  With him having won, all people, like BMW, believe that dreams can come true.  Alex left behind competitors and adversities proving that impossible results do not exist both on and off the tracks.

Several signs of new Sprint/Nextel name Several signs of new Sprint/Nextel name Several signs showed up this weekend at California Speedway signaling the start of Sprint and Nextel's efforts to integrate their merged company's name - Sprint - into Nextel's current sponsorship of NASCAR's top series.  The distinctive yellow and black Nextel signs - from banners entering the infield tunnel to coverings of trash cans - were visible throughout the track this weekend.

There are a few changes, including the use of the word "Sprint" and a new logo which resembles a rooster's comb.  With their merger recently completed, Sprint and Nextel have started the process to market the new company as Sprint. For 2006, at least, NASCAR's top series will continue to be called the Nextel Cup Series. ThatsRacin.com

Japan Super GT
Japan Super GT series has eye on international venues Japan Super GT series has eye on international venuesThe Japan Super GT Series, a motor racing championship which originated from Japan 11 years ago, plans to include more international racing venues next year, says Satoru Tsuyama, organizer of the series.

At present, the only international racing venue outside Japan in the eight-race championship is the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The rest are held in Japan on circuits like Suzuka and smaller circuits like Fuji Speedway, Okayama, Sugo and Motegi.

"We are looking at several places to make the championship more interesting," said Tsuyama after Round Five of the championship at Motegi near here.

The Super GT, which is also noted for its bevy of "umbrella girls" at the race track and paddock, features sedan type cars which have been supercharged to move at top speeds. Makes represented in the race include Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Chevrolet.

Tsuyama, who is also Pacific Rim Region Manager of the GT Association of Japan, said the venues being explored are California in the United States, Western Australia and China.

He said there was considerable interest from racing fans in Macau and Singapore but the organizers could not hold races in those places due to lack of suitable venues.

Asked whether the nearby Pasir Gudang racing circuit in Johor could host the championship and cater for the strong demand from Singapore, Tsuyama said: "Pasir Gudang is too small (at present). We have a field of 42 cars at each race. When you have such a large number of entries and the circuit is small, that could mean that the order of the cars from start to finish will be the same as there is little room for the drivers to move."

He said once negotiations had been concluded, next year's series, which has since changed its name to Autobacs Super GT Series, could be more exciting with more international venues.

Toyota aims to pass Ferrari Toyota aims to pass FerrariToyota are pushing hard to oust Ferrari from Formula One's top trio of teams after narrowing the gap between them to eight points in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.  While Ferrari failed to score, Toyota's Italian Jarno Trulli and German Ralf Schumacher finished fifth and sixth respectively.  "We are making ground on Ferrari," said team principal Tsutomu Tomita. "Now we are only eight points behind with four races left. We are closing on them and we will push hard to catch them and make it into the top three."
Klien gets nod for Spa Klien gets nod for SpaRed Bull Racing has confirmed today that Christian Klien will race for the team as second driver in car no. 15 at the Belgium Grand Prix on Sunday, 11 September. David Coulthard will drive car no. 14, while Tonio Liuzzi will continue as the team's third driver. 

Christian Klien commented, "It's great to have another chance to race for the team. I'm learning more about the car all the time and gaining in confidence with every race. I'll be focusing on bringing everything together in Spa this weekend and doing all I can to help the team stay in sixth position in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of BAR." 

With 15 of the season's 19 races completed, the team is continuing to evaluate both of its promising young drivers. It's likely to announce which of the two will partner David Coulthard for the 2006 season at the end of the year.

A1 Grand Prix
Australia’s A1GP League of Nations Australia’s A1GP League of NationsThe inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations was officially launched in Sydney on Friday amid confirmation that the New South Wales Government would be a major supporter of the event set down for Eastern Creek International Raceway, November 4-6.

The release of details, made jointly by the event Chairman and A1 Team Australia principal, 1980 World Formula One Champion, Alan Jones and New South Wales Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, the Honorable Sandra Nori MP (pictured left), confirmed:

  • Government funding to upgrade the Eastern Creek track to required FIA Grade 2 specification;
  • A national marketing and advertising program to promote the event;
  • The appointment of Fox Sports and Network Ten to show the event and the global series live and via delayed telecast respectively;
  • The release of ticketing details for the event; and
  • Confirmation of the support program for the three days of racing.

"Sydney is the natural place to host the Australian leg of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations,” Minister Nori said. “Our infrastructure and experience in hosting global sporting events has put us in a great position to host this event. That is why the NSW Government is contributing $1 million towards it.”
A key element of the Government’s commitment is the upgrade to Eastern Creek International Raceway to FIA Grade 2 specification, making it Australia’s highest rated permanent racing facility.
“The upgrade of Eastern Creek Raceway will be a great investment for the future of motor racing in our city," she said.
Jones praised the Government for their assistance with the event:

“The A1 Grand Prix of Nations in Sydney will be the next in a long line of world class events that the New South Wales Government have supported over recent years,” Jones said.

“I have absolutely no doubt this will become Sydney’s biggest annual international sporting event, delivering huge economic benefit to the city and the state. Images from the A1 Grand Prix of Nations at Eastern Creek will be beamed to a potential worldwide audience of over 4 billion people.” 

The event will see 25 national teams converge on Eastern Creek, which will be the fourth event of 12 globally. zzzz
“This event is set to become one of the leading international motorsport events held annually in Australia,” Jones continued. “It will be a spectacle that few other sporting events held in Australia can match.”
The ‘core’ of A1 Team Australia’s driving team for the 2005/2006 series was confirmed as being Christian Jones, Will Davison and Will Power.
“As all three have existing commitments around the world to various race teams, I anticipate that you will see several other drivers guest driving for the team from time to time throughout the 12 round series,” Jones said.
Tickets for the event go on sale today (Monday) through Ticketmaster, with ticket prices starting at just $20. Special Stay and See travel packages for interstate visitors are being offered through Showbiz.
Jones confirmed the action packed support card for the event would include the penultimate round of the Australian Formula 3 Championship, a 60 minute endurance race for the Australian GT Championship, incorporating the Porsche Drivers’ Challenge, races for the Australian Formula Ford Championship and a special historic open-wheeler event encompassing some of the best known racecars from yesteryear.
During his announcement, Jones stated that all twelve events on the A1 Grand Prix calendar will be beamed into Australia live through Fox Sports and all Australians will be able to follow the fortunes of their national team through delayed telecasts on Network Ten.
“Above all, A1 Grand Prix is a breath of fresh air on the world sporting scene,” Jones concluded. “By the time the 25 countries arrive at Eastern Creek for the fourth round of the A1 series, the landscape of world motorsport will be changed forever.”

A1 Grand Prix
Sydney lands A1 Grand Prix Sydney lands A1 Grand PrixSydney will zoom to the forefront of the international racing circuit when it hosts the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations from November 4 to 6, NSW Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Sandra Nori said today.

Ms Nori, along with Alan Jones, the 1980 World Formula One Champion and Chairman of Sydney’s A1 Grand Prix of Nations, today announced the race will feature international teams competing at Eastern Creek.

“This is in effect The World Cup of Motorsports - a motor car racing competition where teams represent different nations,” said Ms Nori.

“The global nature of the race will ensure world-wide coverage, with images of Sydney being transmitted across 50 countries, with 290 million potential viewers,” she said.

Ms Nori said Sydney is fast becoming one of the world’s best known big event cities. 

“Our experience in hosting such events as the Olympic Games and Rugby World Cup makes Sydney the natural place to host the Australian leg of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations,” she said. 

As part of the NSW Government’s strategy to host major events, it will upgrade the Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney at a cost of $400,000 to ensure that Sydney has the only permanent motor racing circuit in Australia with a level two international license.

“This is great news for western Sydney - driving tourism and business into the city’s heartland – it will be worth up to $10 million for the NSW economy.

“Tourism New South Wales will be working to incorporate the promotion of A1 Grand Prix into their Sydney summer marketing,” Ms Nori said.

A national marketing campaign will kick-start on Sunday September 4, with TV ads designed to entice spectators to the circuit from Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and regional NSW.

The Australian round of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations will involve national teams competing against each other. Other races are being held in Germany, Portugal, England, and after Sydney, Malaysia, with other events around the world forming a 12 event calendar.

Gordon and Ellen Gordon and EllenUPDATE A reminder that this show airs today.  Check your local listing for the time.  08/31/05 Four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to appear on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" next Monday [Labor Day, Sept. 5th]. Gordon will become the first NASCAR driver to appear on the syndicated program, which originates at NBC Studios in Los Angeles and has won two consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show. Check local listings for show schedules. NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter
Italian GP attendance plummets Italian GP attendance plummetsItalian organizers blamed a lack of Ferrari pace and high ticket prices on the low spectator turnout at Monza Sunday. An estimated 60,000 people attended the Grand Prix on Sunday, with the total number of people for the 3-day weekend was 90,000, a considerable drop from last year, and much less than the 160,000 in 2000.
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu hands crown to Alonso
Ferrari rule out tire switch
Top dog - McLaren or Renault?
Pizzonia wants race return
F1, without a single driver
Schu should have quit
No tears as Rubens departs
Luckiest man to lift F1 title
Alonso eyes Spa crown Alonso eyes Spa crownRenault driver Fernando Alonso has denied that Monza all but sealed his first drivers' crown.

But the young Spaniard, tipped by current champion Michael Schumacher to now run undeterred to the flag, does admit that it looks pretty good.

''If I have a problem in a race,'' the 24-year-old said, ''I might not even be in the top five or six. But when McLaren has a problem they're probably still on the podium.''

Alonso says his championship will be safe if he keeps plugging away with good results in grands prix. ''If we can keep that up,'' he added, ''then for sure we'll soon have two hands on the championship.''

Mathematically, he can tie it all up at Spa in a few days' time.

Alonso said: ''It's my favorite track, I won my first (F3000) race there and I want to do it there if I can, but I don't really mind where.''

McLaren accepts blame for Michelin tire problems McLaren accepts blame for Michelin tire problemsUPDATE Ron Dennis says McLaren is probably to blame for the team's tire problems at Monza.

Although Michelin quickly deduced that Kimi Raikkonen's sliced left rear looked like a puncture, the McLaren boss - after Juan Pablo Montoya's near identical problem - called it 'delamination trouble.'

He added: ''The problem was probably down to our setup rather than the tires. That's just part of the sport.''

Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier, meanwhile, agreed that extreme tire wear on the outside edge of a carcass - rather than the inside - would tend to point to the car.

''Normally it's the inside shoulder that bears the bulk of the load,'' said the Frenchman.

Montoya himself described sliding around on a cut tire a ''pain in the arse -- but I didn't really mind because I won! I could have done one more lap before I ran out of tire.''

McLaren heralded the Colombian's bravery at driving at more than 350kmh with dodgy rubber. ''It's hard enough when everything is ok,'' Martin Whitmarsh, the team's 'F1 CEO', said afterwards.

''It was his decision to stay out.''

09/04/05 "We obviously had some delamination trouble with both cars- but the problem was probably down to our set-up rather than the tires. That's just part of the sport. Michelin chose the best tire compound for this race, in my opinion, and despite the difficulties we were able to score a great victory." Ron Dennis, McLaren Mercedes Principal
Bridgestone hits back Bridgestone hits backBeleaguered formula one tire supplier Bridgestone says Ferrari has also made mistakes that contributed to a lack of competitiveness this year.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, racing boss for the Japanese marque, responded to Ferrari's increasingly public view that the four black things - and little else - is hurting the famous scarlet marque in 2005.

''Mutual accusations will not help us,'' he told the German daily 'Bild' newspaper, ''and do not solve problems. Ferrari have also made mistakes.''

Yasukawa said the F2005 car, for example, was finished too late. ''Two months were missing,'' he claimed, ''for testing and fine tuning the tires.''

The comments come after Monza, Ferrari's home race, where Michael Schumacher said light will not be at the end of the tunnel even at his favorite venue, Spa Francorchamps.

''At the moment I don't have a good feeling,'' the German admitted.

''It is very obvious why we are so slow.''

Chief Starter forced to flee New Orleans home Chief Starter forced to flee New Orleans homeDennis Paul, chief starter for the American Le Mans Series, is hoping this week begins better than the last. A week ago, Paul and his wife, Jackie Moss, were watching hurricane reports about this gal who had run across the southern part of Florida and was building in her trek through the Gulf of Mexico.

Paul, who has lived in the Garden District of New Orleans for the last 15 years, ended the week living with Jackie's niece in Baton Rouge as Hurricane Katrina tore through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

"We were perhaps more fortunate than most," said Paul. "The house seems to be okay. We are on relatively dry ground, but by Friday it was obvious we had to get out of there, so we boarded up the house on Saturday and headed to Baton Rouge."

Paul teaches pharmacology at Louisiana State University's Health Science Center while his wife is a teacher for the parish prison in New Orleans. They suspect it could be several weeks before they are able to get back to check on their house.

"We have a lot of friends and co-workers who have lost so much," Paul continued. "I suspect that about three-quarter of the homes in New Orleans will have to be destroyed."

Paul considers himself to be very fortunate to have had a place to go and to be employed by the state.

"So many people have not only lost their homes, but many have most likely lost their incomes since a lot of the businesses where people worked certainly will not get up and running any time soon or worse yet, not at all."

Sunday notes - Monza Sunday notes - MonzaThe championship moved another step to being all over for a luckless Kimi Raikkonen at Monza. In between being stuck in traffic, strips falling off his Michelin tire and a spin in a chicane, the dominant Finn was on what could have been a pretty handy one stopper. ''My chances are not looking good now,'' Kimi admitted on Sunday, ''but I'll continue to fight.'' With an eerily similar left rear tire problem, McLaren teammate Juan Pablo Montoya scraped the sister car home to win.

Antonio Pizzonia is worthy of the 'supersub' moniker after bringing Nick Heidfeld's Williams home in seventh place, despite starting sixteenth, at Monza. ''I'm slightly disappointed,'' the Brazilian said, ''because I think I could have done even better if I'd been at my top form.'' Teammate Mark Webber, after taking a bashing in the media courtesy of David Coulthard, hit the Red Bull in the first corner and had to pit for a new wing.

Incredibly, the 2005 Italian grand prix was the first formula one race in more than forty years in which there was not a single retirement. Giancarlo Fisichella's first podium since Melbourne, meanwhile, was the first at Monza for an Italian since the late Michele Alboreto back in 1988.

Also amazingly, Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve - who had held Kimi Raikkonen up in the first stint - was blue flagged later in the race when, again, the Finn's McLaren pulled up behind him. ''I had to let him by,'' the Canadian groaned. ''I guess the marshals were a bit over excited.''

In a stark example of just how much pain Ferrari is taking at present, Michael Schumacher's best lap at Monza was just 1.5 seconds quicker than the Minardis on Sunday. ''Yet another painful day,'' Jean Todt - with neither scarlet car even in the points - growled. For the Ferraris to be only 1.5 sec. a lap faster than the Minardi is quite telling just how slow the Bridgestone tires are right now.

Scott Speed loses fastest lap Scott Speed loses fastest lapScott Speed has been stripped of his fastest lap and the two points that went with it in Sundays GP2 race at Monza. Tire changes are not allowed and Speed changed his front tires after he flat spotted them during the race. Nico Rosberg was, therefore, awarded fastest lap and the two all important points toward the championship.
Schumacher eliminated Schumacher eliminatedAfter winning five straight F1 World Driving titles, Michael Schumacher is now mathematically eliminated from this year's title contention.  On Sunday in Monza winner Juan Montoya almost lapped him.  Did Schumacher forget how to drive over the winter?  Absolutely not.  He is running in the Bridgestone class in F1 owing to the fallacy of a tire war in racing.  In that regard Alonso's title will be hollow.  Could he have beaten Schumacher and Ferrari on equal tires?
Renault has eye on Kimi Renault has eye on KimiWith Fernando Alonso starting second behind Juan Pablo Montoya and Giancarlo Fisichella starting in eighth position, Renault is keeping a wary eye on Kimi Raikkonen who starts in 11th. Pat Symonds, Renault's engineering director explains why he is not ruling out a challenge from Raikkonen this afternoon.

Pat, how has the weekend gone so far?
" Pretty well. We didn’t seem very quick on Friday but I think we generally take a different approach to the other teams. That meant we weren’t worried about our times or our position on the first day – we knew what we were doing. Yesterday morning, we were in the position we expected and there were no problems. Fernando put in a very good qualifying lap, but Giancarlo unfortunately made some mistakes. I would have liked to see him higher up on the grid, but he can still make up places."

In Turkey, you took a different approach to strategy to battle with McLaren. Will you be doing the same thing until the end of the year?
"I decided to modify our race strategy in Turkey to get us close to McLaren on the grid, which meant our first stint was quite short. However, that was more a specific incident than a permanent change. We weren’t as fast as we wanted to be in Istanbul."

How will you approach the race?
"Kimi Raikkonen’s grid position doesn’t mean a thing. I think he can still win the race."

"If McLaren choose to take a team approach to the race, and personally I can’t see why they wouldn’t. If Montoya takes the lead, he can control his pace so that Kimi doesn’t lose too much ground. That would mean Kimi could be fighting for the lead by the end of the second stint. We are not going into the race telling ourselves that our main rival is out of the hunt."

What will be the keys to this race?
"Two things will be important. Firstly, the start: if Fernando gets ahead of Montoya at the first chicane, the nature of the race might change. After that, Raikkonen’s first stint will be crucial. If he is stuck in the pack and cannot make up places easily, he will struggle to get to the front. But if he can gain position before his first stop, then he will be a threat. Especially if he gets a helping hand from his team-mate..." Renault
Jani takes close win in Race 2 Jani takes close win in Race 2Neel Jani held his nerve to take a nail-biting win in race two at Monza, crossing the line just four tenths of a second ahead of Nico Rosberg, with Giorgio Pantano finishing just behind the pair.

The victory was one of the closest yet in the GP2 series, and the Swiss driver was lucky that the race finished when it did – Rosberg was climbing all over his tail on the last lap and looked certain to take the top spot if it had run for even one more lap.

The race got off to an unusual start when the drivers were waiting for the lights to go out and were greeted instead with flashing red lights. The official starting procedure could not be rectified, and instead the pack circulated once more and then took a rolling start.

Pole sitter Ferdinando Monfardini was unable to hold back fellow front row starter Jani and the Swiss driver was through before the first chicane. Behind the pair Rosberg was pushing Nelson Piquet Jr hard for sixth place, powering past the Brazilian into the Parabolica on the first lap, and then getting by Nicolas Lapierre just two corners later.

Fellow championship contender Kovalainen was having a torrid time trying to keep up, while Lapierre too was being harried by Piquet. The Frenchman went side by side with Piquet at the second chicane, and he went flying through the gravel and looking for a way back on track.

At the front of the pack Jani put in the fastest lap of the race to build a gap over Monfardini, who was already heading a queue of drivers looking to get past, namely Pantano, Adam Carroll and a flying Rosberg.

Kovalainen ran by teammate Lapierre on lap four, but seemed to be struggling for pace and handling on his car. Two laps later he was back down to ninth position after a small mistake, and he had all of his work to do once more.

Meanwhile Piquet was battling with Hiroki Yoshimoto, who was determined to bring home some points after his disappointment in Turkey. Yoshimoto looked to have the better of the Brazilian, but Piquet knocked into the side of his car at the second chicane, putting himself out of the race and the Japanese driver into the pits.

It was the start of a period of interest all over the track – Ernesto Viso spun off, as did Jose Maria Lopez while trying to overtake Toni Vilander in the first chicane, while Lapierre had a big hit when he found the barriers at the Parabolica.

Up at the front Jani had almost a two second lead over Monfardini, who was soaking up the pressure from Pantano and Rosberg, while a queue was forming behind Carroll comprised of Clivio Piccione, Juan Cruz Alvarez and Kovalainen.

Kovalainen forced his way past Alvarez for seventh place, which turned into sixth when Piccione was handed a drive through penalty for having his mechanics on the grid for too long at the start, and the Finn was suddenly looking for a way past the Ulsterman for fifth place.

On lap fourteen Pantano had finally tired of his view of Monfardini's rear wing and tried to muscle his way through at the first chicane. He left his braking far too late, however, and was forced to run straight, handing third place to Rosberg.

Two laps later and Rosberg showed Pantano, now behind him, how it should be done – he easily outbraked Monfardini at the second chicane and was off in pursuit of the leader. Behind them Kovalainen also passed Carroll, and was pushing hard for more points.

With three laps to go Rosberg was three seconds behind Jani, and the hunt was on. The German was easily able to run more than a second a lap faster than the Swiss driver, leading to a dramatic final lap where Rosberg was looking for a way past at every turn.

But time had run out – Jani was just able to hold on for victory ahead of Rosberg, with Pantano third after finally finding a way past Monfardini. Kovalainen crossed the line just one tenth of a second behind the Italian, with Carroll following well behind for sixth place and one point.

Williams: Teams want to own F1 Williams: Teams want to own F1"Williams has been a usefully profitable company for the best part of a decade. But we took on a lot of debt to fund the wind tunnel, although a lot of that is already paid back," William's Team Boss Frank Williams says.

Still, he admits that the costs of participating in F1 are rising - despite FIA initiatives to ease the financial burden - while income has remained static.

"When trying to run a business you have to trim spending to what you have in the bank or take a measured decision to take a little loss in order to keep a competitive position and re-emerge with good profits in the future," Williams says.

Williams is one of the teams that has not yet committed to Bernie Ecclestone's new Concorde agreement proposal and is part of the GPMA group that is threatening to launch a rival franchise.

"We are sitting on the fence and there is no need to rush into anything. The position is still the same. The teams have never had a useful share of the profits. Now the banks [Lehman, BayernLB and JP Morgan] own the business, the teams believe that if they sign up to another Concorde agreement we will be paying off the banks' investment in F1.

"The teams are reluctant to sign up to a Bernie deal unless the terms are improved - and Bernie has made a big step on those terms."

Williams confirms that Ecclestone has talked to some of the teams about the prospect of buying out the banks that own F1. "Bernie has not made a formal proposal yet, but yes he has talked about doing this."

Williams is keen on the idea of the teams buying F1, but what worries him is the cost.

"The teams would like to own F1 in an ideal world. But most teams take the point of view that it will cost them nothing to start their own series."

Despite Max Mosley dismissing GPMA's chances, Williams believes the group could offer his team a secure home in motorsport.

"Everything the manufacturers are doing is well thought through, well-structured and well organized. Without wishing to sound unsupportive, the only thing is missing is total transparency of the new deals required to fund this series - it's a case of show me the money." Sunday Telegraph

Webber's a 'hooligan' - DC Webber's a 'hooligan' - DCWilliams' Australian driver Mark Webber is a 'hooligan' and would be better suited to the boxing ring, according to formula one rival David Coulthard.

The Scot also called Grove's the 28-year-old pilot a 'madman' after a stoush at the recent Turkish grand prix.

''He performed a wild move on me,'' Coulthard told the Daily Record.

''In Istanbul he left me livid when he gave me a sideways swipe ... moving his car towards mine like a fighter flashing a dummy punch. It's disgusting behavior, unprofessional.''

The pair are both directors of the safety oriented Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA).

Teams can't agree, says Max Teams can't agree, says MaxMax Mosley says the 'GPMA' carmaker-team alliance hasn't yet produced a single 2008 rule.

The controversial FIA boss, who had expected to see some detail at a Milan meeting last week, revealed at Monza that the only thing put on the table was a set of 'principles.

''We've produced detailed regulations,'' he told a news conference, ''they haven't done that.  They are more into principles than detail.''

Mosley hinted that the group can't agree on what rules should govern the sport post-'08.

He added: ''They've been talking for some seven months ... so one has to assume they are having some difficulties.''

McLaren's Ron Dennis reacted by saying he was a 'little disappointed' with Mosley's claim.  He added: ''But the spin was more negative than the reality.''

Even Dennis' traditional ally Sir Frank Williams, though, has his reservations.  Now free of BMW loyalty, the team owner said one thing is missing from the breakaway plans -- ''total transparency of the new deals required to fund (the) series.''  He added: ''It's a case of 'show me the money'.''

Michelin attacks single-tire rule Michelin attacks single-tire ruleUPDATE Michelin has repeated its opposition to the proposed 'control tire' regulation for 2008 and beyond. It is argued, by the FIA and many teams, that getting rid of either Bridgestone or (more likely) the French brand would make the sport cheaper, safer, and also eliminate the predicament of being on the 'wrong' F1 rubber.

Clearly, though, Michelin might not stick around if the black things become 'banal' at the pinnacle of motor sport.

''As the world's leading tire manufacturer,'' said Pierre Dupasquier, ''that is something we cannot accept. It would make no sense at all ... for the image of the tire.''

'Bibendum' has proposed more test restrictions as a compromise. The Clermont Ferrand manufacturer insists that 'control tire' championships - like NASCAR and Indy Car - are no more safe.

And there is no guarantee, he said, that removing one supplier would solve the 'wrong tire' predicament. ''I could develop tires for (one) team by optimizing (their) car balance. Then I could reproduce this tire for everyone,'' the French boss said.

Indeed, Dupasquier claims this is exactly why some teams - like, presumably, Williams - urged Michelin to join Bridgestone on the 2001 grid.

09/03/05 Michelin has attacked the FIA plan to have a control tire in Formula 1 from 2008 onwards.

"This proposal to work with a single tire manufacturer in reality conceals a fundamental issue: the reduction of the role of the tire to that of a banal component with no other added value than permitting Formula 1 cars to be mobile," said Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier. "As the world's leading tire manufacturer that is something we cannot accept. In day to day life, road car and truck manufacturers are forever coming to us with a view to developing new tires that optimize the running, comfort, road holding and energy efficiency of their vehicles, while in Formula 1, a technological showcase if ever there was one, you are talking about tires becoming something banal. That would make no sense at all for our customers and for the image of the tire. The true spirit of racing means having two manufacturers, or even more."

To that we say BS. There is no place for tire wars in racing. None. Alonso may win the world title this year, but it is a hollow victory as many doubt he could beat Michael Schumacher in a fair fight on equal tires. Tire wars have always made the racing results lopsided and it drives testing costs through the roof.

McLaren to race 'as a team' McLaren to race 'as a team'Ron Dennis says he would bet money on Kimi Raikkonen winning the Italian grand prix even from eleventh on the grid -- if he can safety round the first and second bends.

The McLaren boss insists that the game is not up even despite yet another Mercedes engine failure for the title charger. For a start, Finland's 25-year-old has a mammoth fuel load on board -- and he still went quickest of all in qualifying.

''Kimi can definitely still win,'' Dennis said at Monza. ''I'd say we're at least a second a lap faster than anyone.''

Some might think, however, that Raikkonen's teammate - Juan Pablo Montoya - will not be an easy man to beat. Without referring to illegal team orders, though, Dennis hinted that McLaren will function on Sunday 'as a team. ''We function as a team at all levels.''

Meanwhile, although Mercedes' Norbert Haug admitted that the marque deserves to be criticized, 'iceman' Raikkonen insisted that he'll sleep as well as ever before the race. But he did let slip: ''It's something that shouldn't happen and it always seems to hit us at the worst moments.''

Renault power ahead Renault power aheadAs a demonstration of Renault's commitment to 2005 triumph, it has been revealed that the team will unveil not one, but two more engine developments at the last few grands prix this year.

A 'd' spec V10 will emerge in Brazil later this month, before the 'e' - at the last race before V8s are introduced in 2006 - races to China.

Title leader Fernando Alonso's V10 engineer, Remi Taffin, said at Monza that the Spaniard is feeling 'quite calm and relaxed' despite rival Kimi Raikkonen's quicker McLaren car.

''He is not worried,'' Taffin added, ''because he knows he has quite a comfortable gap.''

Renault's engineering director Pat Symonds, meanwhile, awoke on Sunday morning of the Italian grand prix expecting that not even a ten-grid penalty for Raikkonen would dim his charge.

''(It) doesn't mean a thing,'' said the Briton, who expects McLaren pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya to 'control' the pace so as to leave Raikkonen still in the battle.  ''I think (Kimi) can still win.''

Pre-race notes - Monza Pre-race notes - MonzaFerrari president Luca di Montezemolo slammed qualifying but also the one-tire regulation, at Monza. ''Why should I have to use the tires I used on Sunday to drive home with on Monday,'' he joked - without smiling - at a media dinner. ''I am not happy to see boring races and super boring qualifying. I am not happy to see this current formula one.''

Jenson Button says he will be instrumental in the outcome of the 2005 drivers' championship. ''We are the key,'' the BAR driver, on the second row of the grid with teammate Takuma Sato, added. His point, of course, is that he and 'Taku' could take points off either Kimi Raikkonen or - more likely - Fernando Alonso. BAR will have a new aero package at Spa. ''Renault will be very worried about us in Suzuka and Shanghai, in particular.''

Triple world champion and ex-Jaguar boss Niki Lauda has questioned whether Mario Theissen is the best man to lead BMW's works team next year. ''He has a big company mentality,'' he told an Austrian newspaper, ''and that doesn't work in formula one.''

Antonio Pizzonia says Williams can expect a mailbox full of speeding tickets after he abandoned his road car en route to Monza on Saturday. The 'reserve' driver was told to find his way from Milan to the circuit to replace an ill Nick Heidfeld just half an hour before free practice. ''I was in a traffic jam,'' the Brazilian told Speed TV, ''so they came and got me on a scooter. (This grand prix) was a bit too rushed as I am still getting used to everything.''

Former grand prix driver and Jordan 'sporting relations manager' Johnny Herbert has criticized ex-teammate Michael Schumacher for always moaning about safety at Monza's second chicane. ''If (he) really thought there was a problem,'' said the Briton, '(he'd) mention it a few months earlier to give organizers a chance to change it. I can't see his argument.'' A fire marshal was killed at the Roggia in 2000 but Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan emerged unhurt from a crash there in practice.

Edwards wins, Fernandez unspectacular Edwards wins, Fernandez unspectacularAfter winning the pole for the Nextel Cup race, Carl Edwards topped off a fantastic Saturday at California Speedway by notching his fourth Busch Series victory of the year in the Ameriquest 300. Greg Biffle finished second.

Meanwhile Mexican Adrian Fernandez made another NASCAR Busch start. He started 33rd and finished 28th. That should get the Mexican fans excited - NOT. Not only is he running in the 2nd tier Busch Series, he's a backmarker. Yet another open wheel driver ruining their career in NASCAR.

Q and A with Max Mosley of future of F1 Q and A with Max Mosley of future of F1Press conference transcript of FIA President Max Mosley announcing the new FIA/AMD computer chip deal and also Mosley's views on the future of F1. Transcript.
Ferrari renews with Philip Morris Ferrari renews with Philip MorrisFerrari have renewed their contract with tobacco giant Philip Morris until the end of 2011, the company's president Luca di Montezemolo revealed on Saturday at the traditional Ferrari dinner at Monza. The announcement comes a month after a pan-European ban on tobacco sponsorship kicked in, forcing those teams featuring cigarette branding to change their color schemes. Ferrari, who had used Marlboro sponsorship since 1984, had a previous contract with Philip Morris until the end of the 2006 season.
Montezemolo: ’Monza is always Monza!’ Montezemolo: ’Monza is always Monza!’As usual, Luca di Montezemolo who wears many hats including President of Ferrari and of Fiat, made his annual visit to Monza to watch qualifying. And also as usual, he was as outspoken as ever on a variety of subjects. “This is an important weekend because Monza is always Monza and then on Monday, we present the new Fiat Punto,” he began, before moving on to an analysis of the Scuderia’s performance this year. “Unfortunately Ferrari has not been very competitive this year, mainly due to lack of grip. It is worth remembering that since 1996 we have finished on the podium in Monza so until tomorrow, we can still hope to be there again, but it will be very, very difficult. I hope that our tire supplier that has done a fantastic job in the past can react and put us in a position to be really competitive at least in the last two races of the season.”

Next on Montezemolo’s agenda, as he faced the world’s press was the future of Michael Schumacher. “I have seen a lot of rumors about Michael,” admitted Montezemolo with a smile. “He will decide himself when to stop. I told him this one and a half years ago. If he decides to continue after 2006 we will be very pleased, because he is strong and motivated. He is the best driver in the world, but if he decides to stop at the end of the contract, we will accept his decision. Whatever happens, Michael will close his career with Ferrari. Next year, alongside Michael, we have a strong young driver in the shape of Massa. We have invested in him since 2001 and it is the right moment in his career to drive a Ferrari.”

If Montezemolo is naturally disappointed with this year’s results, he also voiced his displeasure with various aspects of the state of Formula 1 at the moment. “Every years the rules change and I do not like this current qualifying format,” he revealed. “It does nothing for the public and nothing for the TV viewers and it is not good for the sport. I am old enough to remember some great qualifying, with all the cars on the track at the same time. I remember for example Ayrton (Senna) taking pole at the very last second here in Monza. That is sport that is life. I want competition on Sunday but also on Saturday.”

The current one set of tires per race rule also came in for criticism from Montezemolo. “I do not like to have a race where I have to look after my tires. If I want to change tires every lap then I should be allowed to. I don’t know why I should use the tires I raced with on Sunday to drive home with on Monday! It is against the spirit of Formula 1. I look forward to having F1 with better overtaking but I still think the key problems in our sport is that we need extreme technology and research. I do not like a championship where tires are more important than drivers and cars. I am not happy to see the crowds and TV viewing figures going down. I don’t like to see boring races and I don’t like to see super-boring qualifying. I am not happy to see “taxi drivers” saving their tires for the last 20 laps of a race. I am not happy to see this current Formula 1.”

One story that has captured the imagination of the media is the rumor that multi motorcycle world champion, Valentino Rossi could drive in F1 for the Scuderia. “It is a simple story,” said Montezemolo when asked to explain. “Valentino is an Italian superstar. He loves cars and Ferrari and we wanted to give him the chance to drive an F1 car for enjoyment. Then we thought to say to him that, if he got tired of winning in motorbikes, why not try to get a new motivation in Formula 1. But there are no guarantees that he will drive in F1 nor that we will give him a drive. But, if after a few tests he can stand in front of a mirror and tell himself that he is ready to win, to win not just to race, then we will see. It is the same as with Michael. It is Michael who will decide if he stops and if Valentino decides to race then it is because he feels he is ready to win. It is hypothetical at the moment, but if Valentino proves capable of winning in F1 then why not have him drive a Ferrari?”

Finally, the very future of the sport itself was raised by the press and the President took a positive view of what the future holds for Formula 1. “I am sure that before the end of this Concorde Agreement, before 2008 we will have a strong group of manufacturers all looking forward together to a strong future for Formula 1. I will discuss everything with Max (Mosley) not from the point of view of one team only. Because if I had discussed with the FIA four years ago when we were winning everything, simply from the point of view of one team then we would have said we want no changes. And we did not do that. I am in favor of a legalist approach and a strong FIA because they have done a very good job for Formula 1.”

SCCA Speed World Challenge
Fellows Wins for Team Cadillac in Mosport Fellows Wins for Team Cadillac in MosportRon Fellows joined Team Cadillac for the 10th round of the SCCA World Challenge with one goal: win the race. He accomplished that objective today with a .814-second victory over Lou Gigliotti's Corvette in the 26-lap SPEED GT race at the Mosport Grand Prix. It was the Canadian star's second straight SPEED GT win at Mosport with Team Cadillac.

"This is cool - two in a row!" Fellows exclaimed. "I'll take a win at my home track any day."

It was an eventful day for Team Cadillac. Max Papis moved from third to first at the start, splitting the Corvettes of polesitter Leighton Reese and Lou Gigliotti. Papis spun in the first turn, triggering a multi-car accident. Fortunately no drivers were injured in the melee.

Fellows had a clear view of the action after starting fifth on the grid.

"I got a real good jump at the start and I decided to go around the outside," Fellows explained. "The next thing I knew, there were cars sideways in front of me. I swung wide and didn't get touched. We were lucky."

Racing resumed after a 26-minute caution period to clear the track. Running second, Fellows stalked race leader Gigliotti until the 10th lap, when he passed the Corvette going into Turn 10.

"I got beat by a classic Mosport move," laughed Gigliotti, who finished second. "After that it was follow the leader. It was a good, clean race and a lot of fun."

Points leader Andy Pilgrim started 10th in his CTS-V, and that position proved to be a blessing at the start.

"First I was amazed that we even made the race after the crash on Thursday," said Pilgrim. "The team did an incredible job, rebuilding virtually the entire car. At the start, I saw everyone coming together and I was looking for a hole. I just weaved my way through it, and almost got hit. It was tough."

Pilgrim emerged from the first turn in fifth. He passed Chip Herr's Corvette at the 32-minute mark to take fourth place, which he held to the finish.

"Chip was pushing Patrick Long's Porsche hard, but he made a mistake in Turn 5B and I got around him," Pilgrim explained. "The guys behind me were coming hard. As my tires wore, I had a huge moment in Turn 2, and almost lost it. That was my signal to slow down and not try to force a move, even though I wanted to pass the Porsche and help Cadillac in the manufacturers championship."

The Team Cadillac crew repaired the damaged right-side suspension and bodywork on Papis' CTS-V and got him back on track before the caution period ended. He completed 19 laps and finished 16th.

"Some days you get everything or you get nothing - today we got both," said Papis. "Ron won the race and I got zero REWARDS weight for the next race.

"We had a great start, and I'm not sure what happened, but I found myself backwards in Turn 1," he continued. "That wasn't the end of the day for us. Team Cadillac is a very strong organization and my crew fixed the car. We achieved the second-best goal we could. We're going to go to the final race at Laguna Seca and fight for the manufacturers championship."

"What an emotion-packed weekend," said Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor. "Team Cadillac did a fantastic job. They rebuilt Andy Pilgrim's car on Thursday and then they rebuilt Max Papis' car during the race. Ron Fellows brought home a victory for Cadillac again today, and it's great for the series that the championship is going down to the final race."

Today's SPEED GT race at Mosport International Raceway will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. EDT.

The final round of the 11-race series will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 16. The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. ET (check local listings).

Track: Mosport International Raceway, 2.46-mile road course
Winner: Ron Fellows, Cadillac CTS-V
Margin of Victory: .814 seconds
Average Speed: 75.125 mph
Pole: Leighton Reese, Corvette C6, 107.620 mph

1. Ron Fellows, Cadillac CTS-V, 26 laps
2. Lou Gigliotti, Corvette C6. 26
3. Patrick Long, Porsche 911 Cup, 26
4. Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac CTS-V, 26
5. Stu Hayner, Pontiac GTO, 26

16. Max Papis, Cadillac CTS-V, 19

Driver/Car/Points (victories in parentheses)
1. Andy Pilgrim/Cadillac CTS-V, 225
2. Tommy Archer/Viper, 217 (2)
3. Robin Liddell/Porsche 911, 212 (1)
4. Wolf Henzler/Porsche, 203 (1)
5. Stu Hayner/Pontiac GTO, 148
6. Max Papis/Cadillac CTS-V, 156 (1)

Manufacturer/Points (victories in parentheses)
1. Porsche, 57 (3)
2. Cadillac, 54 (3)
3. Chevrolet, 40 (2)
4. Dodge, 33 (2)

Oct. 16, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 2.238-mile road course TV: SPEED, Oct. 16, 6 p.m. ET (check local listings)

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 324,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company's history. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

Wease to make stock car debut Wease to make stock car debutUSAC National Midget standout Billy Wease will make his stock car racing debut in a Dodge fielded by Penske Racing South in the Sept. 10 SK Hand Tool Automobile Racing Club of America series race at Chicagoland Speedway.  In the first day of a two-day test late last month at the speedway, Wease posted the quickest time in his No. 27 Dodge. Wease, who began racing Quarter Midgets at age 5, recorded a lap of 173.244 mph.  "I feel pretty good about the (ARCA) race," Wease said. "If I don't make any mistakes, I think we'll be pretty good. They have a good car for me." ThatsRacin.com [Editor's Note: Yet another short track open wheel standout that has chosen stock cars over the IRL, their Road to Indy hats long since burned.]
No shortening of races planned No shortening of races plannedDuring the gasoline-shortage crisis of the 1970s, NASCAR shortened some races to conserve fuel. That won't happen during the current crisis, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. NASCAR cars run on high-octane gasoline that is produced for racing and supplied by Sunoco. About 100,000 gallons are used a year. Shortening races to save some fuel wouldn't make much of a difference "in the global scope," Poston said. The racing industry has been affected by the soaring gas prices "like everybody else," Poston noted. The cost of transporting cars, equipment and people around the country has risen substantially. Tampa Tribune
Bourdais to co-host Wind Tunnel Bourdais to co-host Wind TunnelUPDATE #2 Reminder that this show will be on tonight (Sunday night). 08/30/05 Champ Car fans get prepared, because 2004 Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais is trading in his drivers seat for one that is a little slower, yet it requires the same style and finesse that driving a racing machine takes when he co-hosts Wind Tunnel on Speed TV.

Wind Tunnel viewers will be charmed by Sebastien Bourdais’ clever and witty views on all types of auto racing while offering an insiders perspective when he joins host Dave Despain this Sunday September 4th from 9pm – 11pm ET.

In his third season in the series, Bourdais has established himself as the man to beat…having won 14 races in 42 starts, including 4 thus far in 2005. With only 4 events remaining on this year’s schedule, Bourdais is well on his way to defending his series championship as he currently leads his Newman-Haas teammate, Oriol Servia, by 61 points.

Champ Car fans are encouraged to join Dave and Sebastien as they share their opinion on a variety of subjects throughout the world of motorsports. You can send an e-mail question to windtunnel@speedtv.com now or call 1-866-W-TUNNEL from 9pm-11pm ET Sunday nights to be a part of the live call-in portions of the show. Champ Car

08/29/05 Champ Car point leader Sebastien Bourdais will co-host Wind Tunnel next Sunday on Speed Channel
Industry News
Ban on motorsports looms Ban on motorsports loomsMotorsports may again disappear from the Philippines if and when Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla and his group get their way.   Energy Undersecretary Peter Abaya confirmed to The Manila Times on Friday that a memorandum circular is to be released anytime soon ordering the ban on all forms of motorsports, from automobiles to motorcycles.

The move, Abaya said, is in line with President Arroyo’s energy conservation effort to save fuel and arrest its rising cost.

But Abaya, a motoring enthusiast himself, said he will try to block the move of Lotilla, saying this will only result in a worse scenario where illegal races are held and terrible accidents happen.   “If this happens, we would return to the martial law era, when races were clandestine and not regulated, which caused a lot of accidents and deaths because safety factors were not observed,” he said. The Manila Times

Industry News
Honda leads Asian auto manufacturers to USA record Honda leads Asian auto manufacturers to USA recordHonda Motor Co. led U.S. auto-sales gains with a 23 percent increase in August, helping Asian carmakers capture record market share after being eclipsed in July by discounts at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Japanese and South Korean automakers sold 578,277 cars and light trucks last month, a 15 percent increase from a year earlier. The gains included 14 percent at Toyota Motor Corp., Asia's biggest carmaker, 15 percent at Nissan Motor Co. and 9.3 percent at Hyundai Motor Co. Asian companies' combined share rose to 39 percent from 35.2 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

Honda, Japan's third-biggest automaker, ``got a lot more aggressive in their vehicle promotions last month,'' said Jack Nerad, executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book, an auto-data company in Irvine, California. ``Their lease offers on Civic and Accord looked pretty compelling. GM's employee pricing might have been a wake-up call to them.'' Bloomberg

Dyson wins Mosport pole Dyson wins Mosport pole
Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver fastest in Mosport practice Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver fastest in Mosport practiceFor the second straight day – and the 12th straight session – the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola of Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver posted the fastest time in practice for the Grand Prix of Mosport, Round 8 of the American Le Mans Series. Leitzinger toured the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course in 1:08.473.

The car of Weaver and Leitzinger has posted the fastest time in every session at Mosport since 2003. Saturday, the duo was a half-second ahead of the No. 20 sister Lola of Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace. Champion Racing's two Audi R8s were third and fourth, with the No. 1 car of JJ Lehto and Frank Biela the better of the two at 1:09.099.

In LMP2, the No. 10 Miracle Motorsports Courage of Chris McMurry and Jeff Bucknum were fastest for the second straight day, this time at 1:12.173. Second in class and 0.307 seconds back was the No. 37 Intersport Racing Lola of Clint Field and Liz Halliday.
The No. 35 Maserati MC12 was quicker in GT1 Saturday morning, ahead of the two Corvette C6-Rs.
For the first time this year in GT1, the No. 35 Maserati MC12 of Andrea Bertolini and Fabrizio de Simone were fastest in any session. The V12-powered supercar went around Mosport in 1:14.551. It was a scant 0.042 seconds ahead of Corvette Racing's No. 4 Corvette C6-R of Olivier Gavin and Olivier Beretta, the defending race champions. Third was the No. 3 C6-R of Ron Fellows, this weekend's hometown hero, and Johnny O'Connell.

Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard were quickest in GT2 on Saturday. The No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche posted a time of 1:18.815, which was 0.142 seconds ahead of the No. 31 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche of Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister. Dumas and Bernhard are a scant 2 points ahead of Long and Bergmeister in the class drivers championship chase, with AJR ahead of Petersen/White Lightning leading the team battle by the same margin.

Saturday notes - Monza Saturday notes - MonzaNot only did yet another engine change and penalty endanger Kimi Raikkonen's title charge, but so too will his run through the first few corners on Sunday, rival team Renault's Pat Symonds observed at Monza. ''The drivers around him,'' said the engineering boss, ''will know that they can afford to be very forceful with him on the way to the first chicane.''

No team or driver is as dominant as the silver McLaren or Kimi Raikkonen at present, but the combo handed it to Fernando Alonso on a plate ahead of qualifying by changing yet another failed Mercedes engine and making a pole run into no more than eleventh. But the Finn warned: ''I can still move up the field. You never know what happens.'' Inheriting the pole is Kimi's teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya.

With the news that likely 2006 'Midland' driver Anthony Davidson will soon test the yellow Jordan, Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro probably feel a little nervous in Italy. Indeed, Karthikeyan had a nasty spin in practice, which did a fair bit of damage to his car. ''I am still feeling a bit sore,'' the Indian reported. He then qualified 1.2 seconds slower than Monteiro, albeit who is at the wheel of the sole 'b' car.

Christian Albers' faux pas of the day came on his hot lap, when the Dutchman ran wide into the gravel in the flat out second Lesmo. ''Sometimes you just go over the limit,'' the Minardi driver said.

Antonio Pizzonia was asleep when the phone rang at 8.30. It was Williams' team manager, ordering the Brazilian to the Autodromo Nazionale to hop into unwell race driver Nick Heidfeld's FW27. ''I've been away from the car for nearly three months,'' he said, ''and the last time I drove it was fitted with a V8 engine!'' Pizzonia was the first car out, and qualified sixteenth for the race.

Before qualifying, Jenson Button was miserable with what he thought was an uncompetitive BAR. After, he heads an all-Brackley second row and came within half a tenth of eclipsing even Fernando Alonso. ''Hopefully we have a reasonably good strategy,'' he said.

Although better than in Turkey, Michael Schumacher still ruled out landing on the podium at the end of the Italian grand prix -- even for Ferrari employees who have their own grandstand. ''I feel that is a bit too optimistic,'' the German - seventh quickest on track in qualifying - said. Rubens Barrichello revealed the extent of the Bridgestone problem when he said the tires were 'graining' even as the car got to the quick Lesmo bends on his single lap.

Rossi will struggle - JB Rossi will struggle - JBJenson Button has rubbished Valentino Rossi's chances of making a smooth transition from motorcycling to formula one.

The BAR driver said that while the 26-year-old in a Ferrari would be good PR, the MotoGP champion will struggle for 'years' to become fully fit.

''He won't have the neck muscles,'' Briton Button told the Telegraph, ''(and) you don't develop that ... overnight.  He's a legend at what he does, but this is a different era to when John Surtees raced.''

Heikki Kovalainen over Rosberg and Piquet Heikki Kovalainen over Rosberg and PiquetHeikki Kovalainen held his nerve under race long pressure from championship rival Nico Rosberg to take a win in race one at Monza, with Nelson Piquet Jr taking third place behind the pair.

The rivals filled the front row on the grid and led the pack away, with Rosberg surviving a collision with teammate Alex Premat on the second lap but unable to find a way past the Arden driver, after looking at his rear wing for almost the entire race.

At the start Kovalainen (pictured right leading) was the first man through the chicane, followed by Rosberg, Scott Speed, who banged wheels with Jose Maria Lopez but held his position, and a fast starting Piquet. zzzz

But behind them mayhem ensued, with Juan Cruz Alvarez crossing the track sharply at the start and Olivier Pla, who was slow away due to teammate Giorgio Mondini stalling in front of him, making contact with the car and putting an early end to his race. New driver Toni Vilander and Xandi Negrao stalled behind him, and the safety car was brought onto the track.

Pla's broken car was promptly removed and the field was immediately away one lap later. Kovalainen led away with Piquet cutting the chicane but rejoining the track second, while Rosberg looked for a way by his teammate, who had got the jump on him at the restart.

Unfortunately for the ART pair Rosberg caught Premat's right rear tire and spun the Frenchman off track, narrowly missing a group of marshals and finishing his race on the opposite side of the track with a badly broken car.

A large group of drivers had taken what they thought would be an extended opportunity under yellows to pit, and were caught out by the prompt restart. Among their number was Speed, who never re-emerged from the pitlane after discovering a problem with his car.

At the front Kovalainen was caught by Rosberg, who had blown past Piquet for second place, but the German was unable to make any further headway. Ernesto Viso was up in a strong fourth position, but was off track shortly after in a racing incident as Sergio Hernandez tried to get by him at the chicane.

Just one lap later a hard charging Borja Garcia's race was over – he was looking to get past the lapped Negrao, but the pair tangled and both men joined the growing list of retirees.

By lap six the order at the front was starting to settle down – Kovalainen led from Rosberg, Piquet, Nicolas Lapierre, Giorgio Pantano and Clivio Piccione, with every other driver except last placed Vilander having pitted.

Two laps later the front runners started to come in: Rosberg pitted and came out in sixth, with Kovalainen in and out one lap later, retaining his lead over Rosberg. Piquet came in after leading for three laps, his first lead laps of the year, and re-emerged behind Rosberg once again.

Kovalainen seemed to have trouble lapping Vilander as he waited for the lead to come back to him, and after finding a way through his car looked quite a handful, sliding wide at almost every turn.

Rosberg was able to take chunks out of the gap to him and, with the lead pitstops finished on lap 19, Kovalainen led Rosberg by just one second, ahead of Piquet, Pantano, Lapierre and Neel Jani.

Vilander seemed to be giving a number of drivers a few headaches: on lap 22 Pantano was trying to lap the Finn and ran too deep under brakes into the chicane – he ran straight and set the fastest lap, which was later striped from him along with the issuing of a drive through penalty.

The move promoted Lapierre to fourth, who was now followed by Adam Carroll in an impressive fifth position from last on the grid. The Ulsterman had blown past Jani across the line, and the Swiss driver had no reply to his rival's speed.

Rosberg had scented blood and was pushing Kovalainen to the limit, but the Finn was somehow able to hold his errant car underneath him to take a vital win for his championship prospects, just one second ahead of Rosberg.

Behind them Piquet was delighted to be back on the podium again, with Lapierre, Carroll and Pantano crossing the line well behind the Brazilian. Jani was able to hold on to seventh position ahead of an impressive drive from Ferdinando Monfardini, who will start tomorrow's race from pole position.

With Pantano losing his fastest lap the two points were handed to Rosberg and, combined with his eight points for second, he lost nothing out of his battle with Kovalainen: the pair remain separated by just nine points at the top of the championship table.

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 H. Kovalainen Arden - 32
2 N. Rosberg ART 00'01"163 32
3 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 00'12"304 32
4 N. Lapierre Arden 00'29"980 32
5 A. Carroll Super Nova 00'35"951 32
6 G. Pantano Super Nova 00'37"920 32
7 N. Jani Racing Eng. 00'45"949 32
8 F. Monfardini Durango 00'53"315 32
9 C. Artam iSport 01'09"035 32
10 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 01'09"816 32
11 C. Piccione Durango 01'11"614 32
12 J. Alvarez Campos Racing 01'20"367 32
13 M. Lauda Coloni 01'31"089 32
14 F. Fauzy DAMS 01'31"778 32
15 T. Vilander Coloni - 30
16 E. Viso BCN Comp. - 5
17 S. Hernandez Campos Racing - 5
18 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet - 4
19 B. Garcia Racing Eng. - 4
20 A. Premat ART - 2
21 S. Speed iSport - 2
22 J. Lopez DAMS - 2

ALMS efforts in support of Hurricane victims ALMS efforts in support of Hurricane victimsIn support of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, the American Le Mans Series joined forces with the Salvation Army and SPEED Channel during its Labor Day race weekend at Mosport International Raceway. 

"The Salvation Army and the ALMS have participated together all season long in a Grid Kids program where we have hosted disadvantaged young people at our races," said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "With the gravity of the situation caused by Hurricane Katrina, it seemed very natural that we would do whatever we could to help the Salvation Army with its relief efforts." 

The SPEED Channel and the American Le Mans Series will run the Salvation Army's relief telephone number - 1-800-SAL-ARMY - and other hurricane relief contact information throughout its telecast Sunday and has asked the five teams with in-car cameras to carry hurricane relief signage/decals of the telephone number in prominent camera view. Several teams have chosen to donate all or a portion of their winnings to the relief effort with Dr. Don Panoz and his wife Nancy, founders of the ALMS, having agreed to personally match the amount donated by the teams. 

In addition, Mosport International Raceway has provided the local Salvation Army chapter with an opportunity to have an on-site presence to collect donations from those attending the Labor Day weekend Grand Prix of Mosport. 

Additional information about the relief fund can be obtained by logging on at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org

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

Montagny enjoys fast Monza Montagny enjoys fast MonzaFranck Montagny is the third driver at Renault and while he is not on track with the Championship leading team this weekend, he explains why the Italian track requires precision and feeling from a driver…

Franck, Monza is an unusual circuit. What is it like for the drivers?
"In the first laps, the lack of downforce makes you think you are driving a completely new car. It is completely different to usual – usually, the car feels glued to the track, like it’s on rails. You can really attack the high speed corners. At Monza, it slides under braking and in the corners."

Is it fun or frustrating for a driver?
"It’s quite fun… as long as you are quick! If you’re slow, then Monza immediately becomes much less fun…!"

How do you have to adapt?
"You need to be precise and attentive to how the car is behaving. You can’t miss braking points, and you need to do the same things lap after lap. When you have a heavy fuel load, it becomes even more difficult. The main thing is to not lose time in the corners so you reach the best possible top speed at the end of the straights."

Are there challenges for the set-up at Monza?
"In terms of the aerodynamics, you need to find a balance between too much and not enough. You need to get through the corners quickly, but not be too slow on the straights. We also work a lot on the mechanical grip: you need a stiff car in Parabolica, but a softer one for the curbs. So the teams try some different things to normal, like stiff anti-roll bars with softer springs for example."

Are there any secrets for being quick at Monza?
"Of course. Each circuit has them. You only need to do a lap on foot to spot them." Source Renault
BAR Honda in Bonneville record attempt BAR Honda in Bonneville record attemptBetween 4th and 11th October 2005, BAR Honda embarks on an attempt at setting an official Formula One Land Speed Record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. Driven by enthusiasm and a determination to establish what speed an F1 car can reach away from the confines of a race track, and to challenge itself outside the immediate realms of Formula One, the team and its group of expert partners has been hard at work developing a car to cope with running at immense speed on the legendary salt flats. The car BAR Honda will use for the record attempt, while being slightly modified for the event, is still a track legal BAR Honda 007 – the team's entry in the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship. At the wheel for the record attempt will be Alan van der Merwe, member of BAR Honda's Young Driver Program. BAR Honda
LeMans upgrades LeMans upgradesThe Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the club that runs the Le Mans 24 Hours, is to invest in a refurbishment of the paddock and racing village area, increasing the paddock to 60,000 SF and building additional pit garages to enable the club to have 55 starters in the 2006 24 Hours.

The paddock will be enlarged and will be capable of accommodating 55 cars. The village too will be given a complete face lift in keeping and brought up to contemporary standards. A square in the centre will link the aforementioned. The paddock will open up and the square will overlook it and spectators will be able to see what is happening thanks to a balcony.  The main idea behind these renovations is to improve the pedestrian flow between the two principal spectator zones currently existing as well as offering new walkways around the islands surrounding the square.

The ambiences

To the west the spectators can go to the Welcome centre while the VIPS will access the hospitality units situated at the entry to the new Dunlop curve. The Welcome will be back on its original site and will be accessible from the square. The ground floor will be very close to the track itself and will provide some magnificent panoramic views.

To the south the balcony will give a panoramic view of what happens behind the scenes and a foot bridge will enable spectators to go the grandstands.

The VIP Clubs will be located in gardens to the East. The density of the trees and plants will provide an ambience of intimacy and calm for these clubs in what is the best protected space in the village.

To the North a kind of pine forest will house the sales and restaurant zones. The layout of the alleys around the square will channel spectators towards the Northern tunnel. Crisscross alleys will provide access to the west and enable the spectators to see the track from several different angles as they walk across the restaurant area or rejoin the rest zones in the shade opposite the old museum.

The square alley will provide a direct perspective on the village. The restaurant in the curve will indicate the north entrance of the Village and provide a link with the sales and restaurant zone on the route that leads to the Dunlop bridge.

The new traffic circulation plan for the various vehicles from the south tunnel will provide a landscaped walk way reserved for pedestrians leading to the Balcony restaurant.

The different flows of pedestrians should be separated by the measures taken, and these should do away with the existing black spots.

Evolution and modules

The project provides an optimal level of modularity for boutiques and restaurants ( 1, 2 or 3 spaces) and hospitality units (20, 40 or 60 guests). In addition, the number of boutiques or other services can be modified within the metallic arcades that form the boundaries of the square.

Raikkonen must change engine Raikkonen must change engineKimi Raikkonen set the fastest time of the morning in both practice sessions on Saturday at Monza but his hopes of winning on Sunday and closing on points leader Fernando Alonso took a huge hit when it was announced that Raikkonen would be changing an engine before the race, which means that he will drop 10 places on the grid after qualifying. Therefore, best strategy is to qualify with the heaviest possible fuel load and hope that this will help him to climb back through the field by pitting late. This means that Juan Pablo Montoya moves into the position of favorite for the pole and perhaps the race.
Raikkonen, Montoya 1-2 in practice 4 Raikkonen, Montoya 1-2 in practice 4
1. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:20.916
2. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:21.318
3. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:21.399
4. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:21.548
5. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:21.884
6. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:21.851
7. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:22.066
8. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:22.291
9. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:22.345
10. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:22.395
11. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:22.437
12. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:22.558
13. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M 1:22.701
14. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1:22.710
15. ANTONIO PIZZONIA Williams-BMW M 1:22.823
16. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M 1:23.389
17. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:23.472
18. ROBERT DOORNBOS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:23.676
19. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:24.104
20. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:24.772
Raikkonen tops practice 3 at Monza Raikkonen tops practice 3 at Monza
1. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:22.415
2. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:22.550
3. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:22.676
4. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:22.867
5. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Renault M 1:22.900
6. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:23.162
7. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:23.257
8. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:23.875
9. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1:23.898
10. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:23.942
11. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:24.019
12. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:24.129
13. ANTONIO PIZZONIA Williams-BMW M 1:24.367
14. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:24.390
15. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M 1:24.447
16. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:24.668
17. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M 1:25.041
18. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:25.172
19. ROBERT DOORNBOS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:25.722
20. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:26.197
FIA to increase overtaking FIA to increase overtakingFormula One's governing body will use a massively powerful computer to try to solve the overtaking problem.

While announcing that Ferrari sponsor AMD had won the honor of becoming the FIA's 'technology partner', president Max Mosley also revealed that the body had started work to revise the proposed regulations for 2008.

He said the FIA would use a powerful AMD computer to run complex computational fluid dynamics, in order to assess what could be done to help a grand prix car to pass his rival.

''The only way to solve that problem,'' Mosley said at a news conference at Monza, ''is some really original thinking.''

The FIA boss said the process should be done before the end of the year.

Mosley claimed that the initiative is as a result of the recent FIA survey, in which more than 90 per cent of formula one fans said they wanted to see more overtaking.

Schu escapes grid penalty Schu escapes grid penaltyMichael Schumacher has, at least, escaped the dishonor of having to start Ferrari's home grand prix from the very back.

Although the German, after making an in-car setup tweak, backed his red car into the Parabolica barrier on Friday, the V10 engine - but not the gearbox - is basically undamaged and doesn't need changing.

Schumacher, 36, admitted that the 100mph shunt was the result of pushing too hard. ''When you are not as competitive as you want to be,'' he explained, ''you try everything you can to improve.''

Ferrari mechanics, meanwhile, changed damaged rear suspension (and the 'box) overnight.

Ferrari designer not to blame Ferrari designer not to blameRoss Brawn has hit back at suggestions that Ferrari's new designer should take some of the blame for the Maranello team's first championship defeat this decade.

The English technical director deflected criticism of Aldo Costa, who was chiefly responsible for the F2005's design after Rory Byrne stepped into a lesser role.

''(They) carry on confronting each other in every decisional process,'' Brawn told La Gazzetta dello Sport. ''There hasn't been a change of policy.

''Byrne wouldn't have made a car different from the F2005.''

Brawn confirmed that Costa is also in charge of the 2006 Prancing Horse, and insisted that tire supplier Bridgestone - and new tire rules - are the real source of Ferrari's least competitive season since before Michael Schumacher arrived.

Pizzonia replaces Heidfeld Pizzonia replaces HeidfeldNick Heidfeld will not take part in this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team.  After driving in Friday's Free Practice sessions yesterday, Nick experienced a strong headache and this morning, together with the team, decided not to continue his on track duties.  Nick crashed whilst testing at the Autodromo di Monza at Lesmo One on August 26th, and will now rest for a few days to recuperate completely in order to return to the cockpit as soon as possible. Nick said: "I spoke with Gary Hartstein and Sid Watkins this morning and they both recommended that I did not drive."  The team's test and reserve driver Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) will take Nick's place in the WilliamsF1 BMW FW27 for the rest of the weekend. This will be Antonio's 16th Grand Prix. His last race was here, in Monza. Williams BMW
Jon Wood takes wheel of famous No. 21 Jon Wood takes wheel of famous No. 21For the first time since 1964, a man with the last name of Wood is behind the wheel of the famed No. 21 Ford.  Jon Wood filled in for Ricky Rudd during Friday's practice session at California Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Sony HD 500.  Rudd was not at the track after attending the funeral of his father, Al Rudd, Sr. earlier on Friday in Virginia.  Al Rudd, Sr. died on Tuesday after a lengthy illness.  Many teams, including all five Roush Racing Fords, are sporting decals on their cars in memory of Rudd, Sr.  Glen Wood, founder of the family-owned team, drove from 1953-64 and won four times.  He competed twice in 1964, capturing one pole and one third-place finish.  He earned a grand total of $530.   Rudd's status for the remainder of the weekend is still to be determined.
Industry News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
'Inside Grand Prix'
Italian Grand Prix
12:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m. ET, SPEED
Monza, Italy
6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
Italian Grand Prix
7:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR This Morning
California Speedway, Fontana
11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET, SPEED
Mosport, Ontario
3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR This Morning - Special Edition
California Speedway, Fontana
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (Live) SPEED
Sony HD 500
California Speedway, Fontana
7:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET (Live) NBC
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-Host: Sebastien Bourdais
Featured Interview: John Force
Featured Interview: Chub Frank
Expert Analyst: Steve Matchett
9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.
Industry News
America must switch to Diesel/Biodiesel America must switch to Diesel/BiodieselUPDATE A reader adds, A switch to an alternative fuel is far more likely to be accepted if people see the benefits and adopt it freely than if the government forces us to do it. If my only option for buying a new car is one that has some mandated technology, even if it didn’t work, I would seek other alternatives. First I would keep my current car as long as possible by buying plenty of replacement parts to ensure it ran until the government came to its senses and permitted alternatives.

The reason is that a government mandate that permits no alternatives effectively creates a monopoly. And monopolists are rarely known for giving a damn what their customers want or think.

This was much the case back in the 1960s and 1970s when GM, Ford and Chrysler owned a de facto 100% of the auto market. During that time the quality of the cars offered deteriorated substantially. I would offer that the cause, in part, was the government. First, it mandated unleaded fuel and catalytic converters for all new cars. For years you couldn’t buy a car made by one of the Big 3 that didn’t cut out as soon as you stepped on the gas pedal to accelerate.

The next thing that happened was that the government bailed out Chrysler. The reason the government took this action: no one wanted to buy their big, ugly, heavy, gas-guzzling and poor running cars. By saving the company, though, it did ensure that American consumers had another choice, but it wasn’t the choice they wanted by then.

Finally, in the early 1980s when the government pushed Japanese auto makers to voluntarily limit their exports to the U.S. It wasn’t until Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Nissan started building their cars here that American consumers were finally able to see some improvement in quality. If that hadn’t happened I have little doubt that we’d still be driving under-powered, overweight cars that cut out the moment you stepped on the gas pedal.

Another example of how political choices often fail is the government’s efforts to get people to use solar power in the 1970s. People didn’t like the things and, as a consequence, didn’t buy them. The panels were too costly — even after the tax benefits —, didn’t work and created a big hot dangerous reflecting mirror on top of their houses or in their yards.

This is not to suggest that I don’t like the idea of Biodiesel. Far from it. From what I’ve seen, I would strongly consider buying such a car. But it should be permitted and maybe even encouraged, not required. And for me, it would have to work in a vehicle large enough to carry three kids in car seats — which alone eliminates a reasonable wagon like our current Subaru Outback, something the Bill Mahers of the world don’t recognize — and hopefully three or even four adults (so a family wouldn’t have to use two cars if their grandparents want to go along).

I have long believed that as oil becomes scarcer over time and, therefore, more costly, people will have an increased incentive to seek alternatives. As they seek those alternatives, some smart companies — not those that seek government protection from market forces —will seek to provide them with those alternatives. It was already happening before the run up in gasoline prices over the past year. The Toyota Prius and Honda’s equivalent — I’m sure they’ll love that comparison — are prime current examples.

But let the citizens determine whether they prefer vehicles powered by $3-per-gallon gasoline, a combination of self-rejuvenating battery and gasoline, Biodiesel or hydrogen, instead of putting the decision in the hands of politicians. Politicians, after all, rarely have foundations that are grounded solidly in the real world outside the Beltway or Brussels or Beijing or Canberra or… James C. Allen, Virginia

Dear James, Gas Stations can't carry a million different fuels. They already have diesel and gasoline. The proposal was for the government to force fuel savings immediately by making diesel and Biodiesel fuel available at all gas stations ALONG WITH gasoline, so that when a motorist pulls up they can get the fuel they need. This can happen quickly because the industry already sells both types of fuels (gasoline and diesel) at many gas stations.
If the government doesn't do this and we leave it to the people, they will procrastinate over 10 different alternatives. Meanwhile prices will soon hit $5 per gallon (because of world demand) and we will still be talking about alternate fuels 10 years from now.
There needs to be this stopgap interim measure of turbo diesels until hybrids and other alternate fuel technologies are perfected. We can't wait 10 years. The USA needs to learn from Europe on this one. In a recent test of hybrid cars a German manufacturer brought a turbo diesel and blew the hybrids away in 1) fuel mileage, 2) cost, 3) performance.

Another example - The turbo diesel E-Class Mercedes (a popular sedan) blows the gasoline equivalent E350 Mercedes away in performance and fuel mileage.

Turbo diesel technology is here, it's now, it's ready for prime time. In fact it's been ready for prime time for 20 years. Meanwhile Americans drive around with their big gasoline powered SUVs and consume 70% of the world's oil every day. Shame on America when that fuel consumption can be reduced quickly. There is no leadership from Washington to make it happen. Mark C.

09/02/05 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, With gasoline prices now so high in this country it is time our government forces the gas companies in this country and the auto manufacturers to follow Europe's lead and switch to diesel cars that get significantly better fuel mileage. What is AutoRacing1.com's position on this? Marty Malone, New York

Dear Marty, We published this article on diesel engines back in March of this year. In addition, in 2002 we published this article on Biodiesel fuel. There is talk of hybrids and electric cars to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel when in fact we can cut our consumption by 1/3 almost immediately by switching our cars to turbo diesels like we see throughout Europe. Europe also sells a better grade of diesel fuel that burns cleaner. It will replace our horrible diesel fuel now used in the USA starting in 2006. If we switch to Biodiesel (all diesel cars will also run just fine on Biodiesel) you can pretty much forget about the need for ethanol (sorry IRL, you are barking up the wrong tree) as our farmers can grow crops for Biodiesel just as easy as they would for ethanol.

This changeover can happen quickly and America can reduce its dependence on Arab fossil fuel in a matter of a year or two if our government would pass legislation to force it to happen. Many gas stations already have diesel pumps. It would be easy to switch over to more diesel pumps and less gasoline pumps. With China's consumption of fossil fuel increasing the world demand is outpacing supply. If we don't act now it will be too late. Dave C.

Q and A with McDonald’s Champ Car driver Sebastien Bourdais Q and A with McDonald’s Champ Car driver Sebastien BourdaisRegarding Round 3 of 4 of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions
at Richmond International Raceway -- Richmond, Virginia
Thursday, September 8
Televised LIVE on Speed TV at 7 p.m. ET
(Currently ranked 2nd overall to Mark Martin who has 42 points to SB's 32)


“After hosting Wind Tunnel on September 4, I will go to Richmond to prepare for the IROC race.  In the middle of preparing for that I will be leaving for a test in South Carolina and I’m going to miss some practice at Richmond but will return for the race on Thursday morning.  After that we test in Elkhart Lake so we are keeping ourselves busy.  For sure the break will be extremely short for us because we will be so busy.  I would like to spend some time at my new home but it will have to wait until the end of the season.”   


“It’s going to be extremely different, it’s a ¾ mile oval and I’ve never done that.  Guys like Mark Martin and the rest are extremely experienced in that and I expect to have quite a hard time especially since I’m going to miss some practice during the week because we have a Champ Car test in the middle.  I don’t really know what to expect but I didn’t know what to expect in Texas and won the race and we had a test in the middle of that week so we’ll see where we end up.  Hopefully we can repeat our win.  We’re second in the point standings and there’s a million dollars up for grabs so we’re going to go for it for sure.”


“It’s really enjoyable; I’ve had a very good time.  It’s just extremely different from what I’ve ever done.  It’s really cool to be able to run close in a pack like that side-by-side with cars in front and behind and to understand the drafting.  It’s just a different experience and I like it so far.”


“I don’t know, I’m just trying to be nice so they will want me to be back.  The schedules (between Champ Car and IROC) worked out okay for this year and that was a big help.  They will invite the series champion and I hope to be that one for sure.  Right now, all I’m thinking about in the Champ Car is to put the McDonald’s car up front, win the championship and then see what we can do after that maybe in IROC and try and win the championship.”


“It was great to win in Texas.  It was my first win in stock car racing and I had a very small amount of experience.  Starting back in the pack is a good thing; that means I am in contention for the Crown Royal IROC championship.  I think it was important to show that open wheel racing guys could do it too.  It’s been a while since we won a race in front of these NASCAR people.  It shows them that we exist too and we are definitely eager to get back to the top of the racing planet.”

IMS eyes possible bike race IMS eyes possible bike raceThis Indy Star article says that the Indy Motor Speedway is eyeing a possible motorcycle race to go along with its three car races. MotoGP and AMA Superbike are both under consideration. A 4th race at the Speedway will further dilute the market and reduce attendance at the Indy 500.
Atlantic finale to air Saturday Atlantic finale to air SaturdayThe down-to-the-wire season finale and the race that clinched the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama title for Dutchman Charles Zwolsman (#11 Continental Cartage/Condor Motorsports) will air Saturday afternoon on the nation’s top motorsports television network.

SPEED Channel will televise the tape-delayed broadcast of the Molson Indy Montreal Toyota Atlantic race, from the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve road course on Saturday, September 3 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. The noon start represents a change from the originally-listed air time of 9 p.m. ET. In addition to Saturday’s first-run airing of the Montreal Atlantic race, the broadcast will re-air on SPEED Channel, Monday, September 5 at 4 a.m. ET.

Viewers will experience last weekend’s exciting 25-lap battle on the drying, 15-turn road circuit that featured a fierce fight at the front for the top position and a championship decision along the way. Zwolsman secured the series crown in his incredible rookie season when he took the green flag to begin the race. In his typical bulldog style, the 26-year-old racer still fought to a sixth-place finish. Local favorite Antoine Bessette (#3 Unik Auto Design/Gouin Leblanc C.A./Services de Courtage Lessard) showed his skills in the wet as he roared from a third-place starting spot to pass polesitter David Martinez (#7 Roshfrans/US RaceTronics) for second place on the opening lap. The morning rain that doused the circuit seemed to aid Bessette, who was raised in nearby St. Bruno, Quebec. While race leader Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil) also struggled with the conditions, Bessette soared into the lead on Lap 4. From there the race was a personal tangle between Bessette and Kasemets. The Canadian edged Kasemets by just .555 of a second at the finish line for his second victory of the year, joining Toronto as home country wins for the promising 23-year-old. zzzz

Martinez, fresh off his first series pole-winning effort from the day before, fought back from a poor start to finish third for his fifth podium of the year. The result enabled the young Mexican to improve to fifth in the final season standings. The hour-long race broadcast will also chronicle the remarkable three-win season of rookie Katherine Legge (#12 PKV Racing), whose year came to a conclusion with a fourth-place finish in Montreal. Legge recorded eight top-five finishes and five podiums as she claimed third place in the title chase.

All of the series drivers had reason to celebrate at the conclusion of the race as the 32nd season of Atlantic competition came to a close, signifying the end of an era. Toyota bid goodbye to the open-wheel championship it had sponsored for 17 years at the conclusion of the race. The cameras captured all of the emotions from the final celebrations of ’05 as Zwolsman hoisted the championship trophy in a spray of champagne, honoring his Condor Motorsports team.

While the broadcast tribute to the Atlantic title will air Saturday on SPEED, series presenting sponsor Yokohama honored the champion in print form today. The longtime series partner and Official Tire of Atlantic competition sponsored a half-page ad in Friday’s USA Today sports section recognizing the accomplishments of series drivers Zwolsman and Legge.

The Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. Current Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Toyota Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.toyotaatlantic.com.

Mosley says FIA to do rethink on aerodynamics Mosley says FIA to do rethink on aerodynamicsFIA President Max Mosley was in Monza to announce an agreement between the FIA and AMD to give the international automobile federation the capability of carrying out computational fluid dynamic testing to try to find solutions to the problems which mean that the F1 cars are so aerodynamically-sensitive that overtaking is impossible at some race tracks.

Mosley took the opportunity to talk about the plans for rules in 2008 and revealed that the federation plans to rethink the question of downforce and rather than trying to restrict the downforce with the dimensions of the cars to declare the amount of downforce allowable and then develop a test to ensure that the teams do not use more.

The other plans mentioned were pretty much in line what was expected given the recent discussions between the FIA and the teams although there remain some areas, notably electronic control units, where the two sides do not agree. Grandprix.com

FIA releases results of fan survey FIA releases results of fan surveyIf you are interested in viewing the results of the FIA fan survey on F1 click here.  It is in flash format.
Ferrari continues to struggle Ferrari continues to struggleFriday was not a good day for Ferrari at Monza as Michael Schumacher crashed after he lost control of his F2005 in Parabolica at about 100 mph. The German is fine, but his session ended up earlier. His engine will not be changed. At the end of the second practice session Michael Schumacher was only 12th, while Rubens Barrichello was even slower, ending up in 16th place.

Michael Schumacher: “When you are not as competitive as you want to be, you try everything you can to improve and my spin was partly the result of that. I made some changes to the set-up but it made the car a bit unstable which made me slide off the track. It was not a heavy impact, as I was already at the corner exit. We have lost some track time, but it is not too important as we have tested enough here. The important thing is that the tires are not damaged so I can use them again. A thank you to the marshals at the corner as they were all very nice, asking me if I was thirsty and wanted a drink.”

Rubens Barrichello: “We have a lot of work to do. The balance of the car was not good and we will have to find out why by analyzing the data acquired over the two hours of free practice. At last week’s test, the situation seemed much better than it has done today. We knew it would be a difficult weekend, but we will give it our all to try and please our fans.”

Jean Todt: “Today’s program was slightly different to usual, in that we had already tested at this track last week. As usual, the priority was to compare the two types of tire provided by Bridgestone. Times from free practice are not an accurate reflection of the relative strengths of the teams, as we do not know what fuel loads the others were running, so studying the data will give us the more worthwhile information. Having said that, we know that our package will have difficulty in fighting for victory in this Italian Grand Prix, which we have won for the last three years. We have to work along with Bridgestone to get out of this situation. I hope we will see some improvement in the final three races of the season.”

Ross Brawn: “Losing Michael’s car in the middle of the second session was not an ideal start to our weekend. We had wanted to check a couple of new things on the car and we still have improvements to make in car set up. Rubens’s car seemed to be less balanced today than in the test last week so we need to understand why. He only did one day of the test last week so we shall go through everything carefully this evening to see if we can give him a better set up.” Ferrari

Ansan Construction Photos Ansan Construction PhotosUPDATE Below are some updated mid-August construction photos from Ansan.  You can see the progress from the previous ones.  Note the large billboards around town, something you did not see in Montreal and the results were evident.


08/20/05 Below are some photos from the construction of the permanent road course in Ansan, South Korea. Note the width of the track is decent compared to a street circuit like San Jose. Champ Car President Dick Eidswick and VP Joe Chrnelich are currently visiting Ansan and reports are that everything is go for a successful event.

Photos courtesy D3 Motorsports Development

Vote for all-time IROC team Vote for all-time IROC teamFan voting for the Crown Royal IROC Legend’s of Victory Lane program – representing the first all-time team in series history -- will conclude following the upcoming race weekend at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2005. The late Dale Earnhardt (stock car), Mario Andretti (open-wheel) and Hurley Haywood (road racing), lead their respective racing disciplines. Fans can vote for the four-driver all-time team by logging on to www.crownroyalracing.com. The final team will be honored at the last IROC race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29. In April, 12 drivers in the three racing disciplines were selected by an esteemed media panel based on their career performance in the Series. Other nominees include: Mark Donohue, Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough. Go to www.crownroyalracing.com to cast your vote. Speed Channel
Champ Car makes big splash in Australia Champ Car makes big splash in AustraliaThis FOX News article talks about the big splash Champ Car made in the streets of Brisbane this week where the Lexmark Indy 300 launch took place. You can see the throngs of people lining the streets to get a glimpse of the Team Australia car.

He said Indy's future was more secure with the announcement yesterday that Lexmark would extend its naming rights sponsorship to 2008, becoming the longest naming rights sponsor in the 15 years of Indy.   "Last year more than 309,000 people attended the four-day carnival and ticket sales are strong leading up to this year's event," he said.  The event, from October 20 to 23, will be watched by 1.7 billion TV viewers in more than 100 countries.

Mario Andretti says Tony George's proposal one-sided Mario Andretti says Tony George's proposal one-sidedThis Press Democrat article has quotes from all the major players in the IRL paddock as well as Mario Andretti who say that a unification between Champ Car and IRL is needed.  While Rick Mears said Tony George has given and given, Mario Andretti hits the nail on the head by saying, "I've told Tony by merging he's strengthening the crown jewel of open-wheel racing, the Indy 500, which has a chance to get back to where it needs to be," Andretti said. "He doesn't disagree, but he doesn't want to go on certain terms. He proposed some lame, one-sided terms."

As we have said, Tony George has proposed that he remain in full control, whereas Champ Car wants a 50/50 equal ownership.  Until Tony agrees to that a merger won't happen, period. 

What's interesting to read in this article are quotes by those in the IRL paddock that there needs to be a merger, the same people that were predicting CART/Champ Car's demise 20 months ago.  What no one is addressing is how to merge the two back together.  They have gone too far down the road with race contracts and the like to all of a sudden merge into one league. Will still maintain that this proposal is the only one that could work.

Champ Car Montreal TV rating Champ Car Montreal TV ratingUPDATE The final rating for Champ Car's Molson Indy Montreal race on NBC last Sunday held at a 1.0/2 share, the same as the overnight, which once again indicates Champ Car is beginning to make slight inroads into the smaller markets.  The IRL ratings drop from the overnights to the final and Champ Car's used to, but have shown an improvement lately. 08/29/05 Champ Car pulled in an overnight USA TV rating of 1.0/2 share on NBC for its broadcast of the Molson Indy Montreal race Sunday.  Champ Car has seen an increase in TV ratings this year on network TV and they are now getting slightly higher 'network' TV ratings than the IRL (0.8 and 0.9 for the IRL recently), now that some of the Danicamania luster has subsided.

Champ Car's ratings on SPEED have been horrible, however.  And when you look at it on a cost per eyeball basis, Champ Car gets a bigger return on their investment on network TV than cable, even though the time-buy costs more.

NASCAR and IRL ratings are not out yet because their races were on cable TV and we do not see overnight ratings for cable channels.

Michelin boss confident in Italy Michelin boss confident in ItalyPierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director, is very confident going into Sunday's Italian GP. "We evaluated a number of ideas for the very particular circumstances at Monza and our various compounds have produced interesting - and very satisfying - results. While it is clear that our 'option' tire is a little bit faster over a single lap, we need to pore over the data to see how it will fare over 53 on Sunday. We have plenty of information at our disposal because our partners have completed plenty of long runs during the two free practice sessions.

"Track conditions are not radically different from those we encountered during last week's test session here. Some teams have reported a little more understeer, but generally we appear to be in very good shape. Things really couldn't have gone any better today."

Klien fined Klien finedRed Bull driver Christian Klien was fined $2,000 this morning for speeding in the pit lane at Monza where the teams practiced for Sunday's Italian GP.
No Race Car Driver in Chicago No Race Car Driver in ChicagoA reader writes to inform us, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Next week, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, CCWS-themed Race Car Driver debuts on Superstation WGN. http://www.racecartv.com/ Superstation WGN is the national cable/satellite TV version of WGN-TV Chicago; WGN-TV is Channel 9 locally here in metro-Chicago.  While Superstation WGN carries much of the same programming as WGN-TV has locally in Chicago, the programming on the two stations is not always identical.  As it applies to Race Car Driver, Race Car Driver will be broadcast on Superstation WGN--so it is available to a nationwide audience--but it will NOT be broadcast locally here in Chicago on WGN-TV Chicago. 

Given that CCWS has some well established roots in the Chicago area--an owner/principal (Gerry Forsythe), two teams (Newman/Haas and Dale Coyne Racing), some major sponsors (McDonald's, Indeck, etc.) and many fans (me, etc.)--the lack of broadcast availability in the Chicago market is a major disappointment.  Regards, Mark S. Graham Naperville, IL

Buddy Rice to host CARA Charity event Buddy Rice to host CARA Charity eventBuddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion, will play host to the “Celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament” as part of this year’s CARA Charities “Raceway Rendezvous” on Friday, Oct. 14, at California Speedway, site of this year’s IndyCar Series finale, the Toyota Indy 400.

Rice, driver of the No. 15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda Panoz car for Rahal Letterman Racing, is no stranger to the poker table after competing in several celebrity events including a recent televised Las Vegas event that included Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr.  Rice reached the finals with many NASCAR drivers and owners.

 This year’s CARA Charities affair, located in California Speedway’s turn four parking lot, will have a western theme this year with the title of “Gun and Garters.”  The Toyota Hospitality Center will be transformed into “Miss Kitty’s Saloon” and gives racing fans the chance to donate money to needy causes as well as enjoying many activities throughout the evening.

            The Buddy Rice Celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament will feature IndyCar drivers, owners, sponsors and officials and fans will have the opportunity to play side-by-side with their favorite Indy Racing League personalities.  The entry fee for the tournament is an additional $100.  A spot can be reserved through the CARA office or, as space allows, at the door.

“It should be really fun to play with many of the drivers and car owners,” said Rice, the Phoenix driver.  "We have had our own private poker games with the IRL people in the past and the Texas Hold ‘Em tourney will show who will fold ‘em and who will hold ‘em.  Overall, it is a great way to raise money for many good causes.  I hope to see many racing fans there too.”

“We are happy to have Buddy as our host for the Celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament,” said Barbara Butz, president of CARA Charities.  “You just have to look at Buddy’s Wanted Poster – Renegade Rice – and see that he make a good poker player as well as a great driver.  We expect the poker event to be one of the highlights of the Guns and Garters event.”

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

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

Friday notes - Monza Friday notes - MonzaThere's clearly not a lot wrong with Williams' Sauber-bound BMW power plant -- only a silver car or three really looked quicker than Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld at Monza on Friday. ''We're not looking too bad at all,'' said Webber.

Speaking of silver things, the MP4-20 might be the car to beat around the Autodromo Nazionale, but it's still not perfect. 'Friday' man Pedro de la Rosa, although quickest of all, had to grind to a halt in the afternoon practice session with a faulty transmission.

Jordan rejected suggestions that a second 'b' car for Narain Karthikeyan might still be missing at Spa next Sunday. ''(We) will be running two EJ15B cars at the Belgian grand prix,'' said the team, ''and three at the Brazilian GP.'' Tiago Monteiro, in charge of the single car at Monza, outpaced Karthikeyan - in a regular 15 - by a couple of tenths. ''The gain is not huge,'' said the Portuguese, ''but every gain is a gain.''

In front of the Monza 'Tifosi', just when Michael Schumacher needed a stroke of luck, the German smashed his Ferrari into the barriers at the high speed Ascari chicane. He wasn't hurt but observers estimated the impact at 100mph. Video replays showed that Schumacher, 36 - 12th quickest on Friday - lost the back end. It was frowns all round in the scarlet camp -- Rubens Barrichello, at his last ever Italian grand prix as a Ferrari driver, ended up an embarrassing sixteenth best.

With Ricardo Zonta doing the donkey work, Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher saw no reason to do much at all on Friday morning at Monza. ''After the test,'' Trulli explained, ''we were able to run less than usual. We didn't look particularly quick (at the test).'' BAR's Jenson Button, not at all quick at the Autodromo, also didn't run in the morning practice session, and neither did Christian Klien (Red Bull), or the Renaults -- and they were ultimately ninth and tenth.

Champ Car series heads for Vegas Superspeedway Champ Car series heads for Vegas SuperspeedwayChamp Car drivers are well-known throughout the racing world as some of the most versatile in the sport, due to the fact that they must master many different types of courses in their quest to claim the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup.

The next stop on the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule is another example of this as the stars and cars of the series will tackle the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval September 23-24.

The superspeedway played host to the Champ Cars a year ago and provided a setting for one of the most thrilling races of the season as Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) nipped Newman/Haas Racing teammate Bruno Junqueira by 0.066 seconds to take the win. This year’s event will be the final U.S race for the Champ Cars as the battle for championship reaches the final stretch.

The high-banked Vegas oval continues a long-standing tradition in Champ Car annals, ensuring that series champions not only have the skills to deal with the technical street and road courses, but also the fortitude to handle a night full of 205 mph wheel-to-wheel laps. Last year’s Vegas race winner and series champion Bourdais followed in the footsteps of Alex Zanardi, Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Nigel Mansell as champions who used superspeedway wins as part of their march to the title.

The Champ Cars made their maiden visit to LVMS last season and put on a strong show for the crowd that had gathered to watch the Champ Car/NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series doubleheader. The race featured five different leaders and 13 lead changes – including a heart-stopping six swaps in the final nine laps as Bourdais and Junqueira tested each other’s will with each orbit of the oval.

“I think just going to Vegas in general is always good. It's good for the series, good for the fans, good for the drivers,” said Montreal winner Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone). “It's just a very different race in a very cool city. The event, it's always good fun. I know it's an important race for PacifiCare also. Last year they put a great show, Sebastien and Bruno. I hope this year we can do the same. Maybe we could reverse the order and would be welcome for all of us.”

This year will be no different as the Champ Cars will again team with the NASCAR trucks in a Saturday night showdown under the lights. The trucks will kick off the show with a 6:15 start, to be followed by the 750 hp turbocharged fury of the Champ Car World Series. Fans can get tickets for the weekend’s Double Down In The Desert event by logging on to www.champcar.ws or www.lvms.com. Champ Car fans can purchase a special ticket package available at the LVMS website which includes a seat in the Earnhardt Terrace overlooking the exit of Turn Four as well as a paddock pass for Saturday’s race. Champ Car

Heikki Kovalainen on Monza pole Heikki Kovalainen on Monza poleHeikki Kovalainen has taken pole for tomorrow's race one at Monza, beating championship rival Nico Rosberg to the top spot by just two tenths of a second. His pole means that, with two extra points, he now leads Nico in the championship standings by nine points.

No other driver was within a second of the pole time of 1:33.725 - the next closest driver was Scott Speed, who was 1.1 seconds behind and will share the second row with Rosberg's teammate Alex Premat.

The qualifying session was held under blue skies and with temperatures soaring. Kovalainen took the fastest first sector on his first lap out of the pits, but Rosberg struck back in the second and third sectors to take provisional pole.

It would only last for one lap – next time by the pits Kovalainen reclaimed the top spot from this morning with a lap of 1:33.739, which he bettered slightly at the midway mark of the session for pole on his second set of tires.

No one else had a reply, although not for want of trying. Jose Maria Lopez looked impressive throughout, and will start tomorrow's race on the third row, with a surprisingly quick Ferdinando Monfardini, initially fifth fastest, lining up behind him in eighth place, separated by Nelson Piquet Jr and Nicolas Lapierre.

The session was remarkably free of incident, with a few drivers running straight through the first chicane but no one finding the barriers.

New driver Toni Vilander made up for his lack of laps in free practice by claiming 16th position just as the session ended, an impressive lap considering his lack of time in the car.

With the first fourteen drivers separated by just two seconds there are bound to be fireworks as the pack finds their way to the first corner at the start of tomorrow afternoon's race.

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps Best Time
1 H. Kovalainen Arden - 10 01'33"739
2 N. Rosberg ART 00'00"191 8 01'33"930
3 S. Speed iSport 00'01"112 13 01'34"851
4 A. Premat ART 00'01"398 13 01'35"137
5 J. Lopez DAMS 00'01"421 13 01'35"160
6 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 00'01"566 11 01'35"224
7 N. Lapierre Arden 00'01"498 10 01'35"232
8 F. Monfardini Durango 00'01"698 9 01'35"258
9 N. Jani Racing Eng. 00'01"671 11 01'35"410
10 G. Pantano Super Nova 00'01"808 12 01'35"463
11 B. Garcia Racing Eng. 00'01"854 11 01'35"593
12 E. Viso BCN Comp. 00'01"982 12 01'35"721
13 S. Hernandez Campos Racing 00'02"005 13 01'35"744
14 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 00'02"082 11 01'35"821
15 G. Mondini DPR 00'02"118 13 01'35"857
16 T. Vilander Coloni 00'02"205 15 01'35"944
17 O. Pla DPR 00'02"305 12 01'36"044
18 J. Alvarez Campos Racing 00'02"380 4 01'36"119
19 C. Piccione Durango 00'02"626 13 01'36"365
20 C. Artam iSport 00'02"405 13 01'36"427
21 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet 00'02"812 12 01'36"551
22 M. Lauda Coloni 00'03"158 13 01'36"897
23 F. Fauzy DAMS 00'03"194 12 01'36"933
24 A. Carroll Super Nova 00'03"651 3 01'37"396

Industry News
New Ferrari store opens in Milan New Ferrari store opens in MilanThe new Ferrari Store in Milan has been inaugurated. The store is situated in Piazza Liberty and is the ninth official Prancing Horse sales point in the world. Ferrari’s president, Luca di Montezemolo, was present at the opening, as was the Direttore Generale Jean Todt and the drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

In the morning the two Scuderia drivers took each other on in an unusual yet gripping triathlon, the ‘Vodafone Race’. This included basketball, golf and mountain biking. The two started on Via Orefici and finished in the centrally located Piazza Liberty where some stunning Ferrari granturismo models were on show. Fans who had gathered since early morning looked on as Michael and Rubens were awarded prizes at the Vodafone Racing Track.

At 19.00 in the evening Jean Todt conducted the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony and the store was opened to the public between 21.00 and 23.00.

Tomorrow morning will be dedicated to the children with activities taking place in the Vodafone gazebo and the Ferrari Formula Bimbi. The youngest Ferrari fans (up to five years of age) can drive red, electronically-controlled TT Toys Toys cars on special circuits.

The Ferrari Store of Milan will be run as a franchise by the Percassi Group, a major player in Italian retailing. The store will become a point of reference for all Prancing Horse fans. Over three thousand articles will be on display inside, including apparel, leather goods, high quality accessories, scale models and toys. Prices range from €4.50 for a headed notepad to €40,000 for the championship winning F1 engine from 2000. There is a complete range on offer, one that will appeal to all of Ferrari’s clients, the fans and children.

The Milan store has been designed by the Iosa Ghini studio. It is an innovative commercial space and the largest of the stores currently in existence. There are five display windows and the store is over 800m², of which 600m² is given over to sales. On the five floors, visitors can find countless articles of memorabilia and the entire ‘Replica’ clothing range of track apparel and F1 accessories. Floor -1 is dedicated to clothing that takes Gran Turismo as its inspiration while floor -2 is the children’s zone where games and even an F1 simulator can be found. Books, scale models and original parts of Gran Turismo and Formula 1 cars are situated on the first floor. Luxury goods are on the second floor.

The Ferrari Store is equipped with the latest technology which allows visitors to be fully immersed in the world of Formula 1 and to participate directly in the company’s most famous events. Plasma screens (including one of 5m x 1m) and a state-of-the-art audio-visual system captivates the public in a sound and vision experience that truly gives the impression of being at trackside.

Ferrari’s Brand Development & Partners department, headed by Giulio Zambeletti, has the task of developing new sales points. This branch of Ferrari has recorded a constant and significant growth in interest. This is due to the great performance of the branded products, the broadening of the retail channels and the extension of the goods produced under license.

McLaren Mercedes running ultra-low downforce McLaren Mercedes running ultra-low downforceAs can be seen from the photo at the right of Pedro de la Rosa's McLaren Mercedes car at Monza Friday, the team is running an ultra-low downforce configuration.  The rear wing is the smallest we have seen in F1 in a long time. Photo courtesy of McLaren Mercedes.
McLaren Mercedes drivers 1-2-3 at Monza McLaren Mercedes drivers 1-2-3 at MonzaMcLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen, Pedro de la Rosa and Juan Montoya ran 1-2-3 in afternoon practice at Monza Friday for Sunday's Italian GP, thereby stamping the team as the favorite on Sunday. More alarming is how easy they made it look with a big gap back to 4th place Jarno Trulli in a Toyota.  Once again some teams did not run to save their engines.
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'21"738 255.142 Km/h
 2. 35 DE LA ROSA McLaren Mercedes M 1'21"890 + 0'00"152
 3. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'22"172 + 0'00"434
 4. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'22"933 + 0'01"195
 5. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'23"171 + 0'01"433
 6. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'23"391 + 0'01"653
 7. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'23"437 + 0'01"699
 8. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'23"513 + 0'01"775
 9. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'23"703 + 0'01"965
10. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'23"828 + 0'02"090
11. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'23"906 + 0'02"168
12. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'23"910 + 0'02"172
13. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'23"980 + 0'02"242
14. 37 LIUZZI Red Bull Cosworth M 1'24"360 + 0'02"622
15. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'24"375 + 0'02"637
16. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'25"468 + 0'03"730
17. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'25"897 + 0'04"159
18. 40 TOCCACELO Minardi Cosworth B 1'26"250 + 0'04"512
19. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'26"704 + 0'04"966
Penske Racing South to honor Hurricane victims Penske Racing South to honor Hurricane victimsPenske Racing South, including drivers Rusty Wallace, Ryan Newman, and Travis Kvapil, will display its support for those affected by Hurricane Katrina this weekend at California Speedway. The team's three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entries will each carry a decal on the driver's side B-post in support of those in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida who are suffering from the damage of the Category 4 hurricane that hit the Gulf region earlier this week. The decal will be on the three cars for this weekend's SONY HD 500 at California Speedway, as well as next Saturday's NNCS race at Richmond International Raceway. The team's ARCA entry also will display the decal next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. "We, as a team, have decided that it's time to give back some of the support that's been given to us," Penske Racing South President Don Miller said. "We know we have fans down there who are hurting right now. Anything we can do to help, we need to do." Several members of the Penske Racing South family have been directly affected by the hurricane's wrath. Family members have been displaced with no immediate hope of recovery or closure. Penske Racing South
NASCAR announces alliance with Red Cross NASCAR announces alliance with Red CrossNASCAR announced today it has aligned its industry with the American Red Cross to support in every way possible charitable efforts in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. “One of the special qualities of the NASCAR industry is helping others in times of need,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “NASCAR is working to rally our drivers, teams, tracks, partners, and most importantly, our fans to this common cause. “This tragedy has impacted millions of Americans, many of whom are NASCAR fans themselves, and we have reached out to the American Red Cross to do everything we can to provide relief. “Like all Americans, our hearts ache as we realize the devastating impact this storm has had. We know NASCAR fans are anxious to help. “Our alliance with the American Red Cross gives those fans, and our entire industry, an opportunity to band together in this common cause.” NASCAR, with the cooperation of its partner, Turner Sports Interactive, will establish a designated web page at www.NASCAR.com to coordinate NASCAR fan support of the relief efforts. Additional information and details will be forthcoming. NASCAR PR
Circuit de Catalunya to increase capacity Circuit de Catalunya to increase capacityRiding the wave of Alonso-mania in Spain, Circuit de Catalunya announced this morning that they are to add more seats to four grandstands and to extend general admission grass areas in order to have more place for spectators. This increase means 5,476 new seats, that is, 71,609 grandstand seats in all.

Thanks to these improvements, 8,000 new places will be available with additional toilet facilities to be built, foot bridges to be improved and general parking improvements. In 2003 this circuit received the Formula One Management award for the best organization of a Grand Prix, something the circuit hopes to repeat in 2006.

The Spanish Grand Prix will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2006 and the Circuit de Catalunya will be the setting of this event provisionally on May 12th, 13th and 14th. Circuit de Catalunya

Symantec joins Renault Symantec joins RenaultFollowing the merger of Veritas Software with Symantec in July 2005, the Renault F1 R25 will feature the new Symantec logo on its lower sidepods from the Italian Grand Prix, replacing the previous Veritas branding.

In parallel with the merger, Symantec has recently chosen to extend the duration of its Official Supplier Agreement with the Renault F1 Team.

Graeme Hackland, Renault IT Manager - "We are delighted to be entering a new phase of our relationship with Symantec. We enjoyed a successful and long-standing relationship with Veritas, which enabled us to protect our data efficiently and securely at both Enstone and Viry. The extension of our partnership with Symantec will open a wide range of exciting opportunities to develop our relationship even further."

Lindsey Armstrong, Symantec Vice-President  -"Our relationship with the Renault F1 Team extends beyond a simple supplier based agreement. From protecting critical data downloaded from the cars after a race to managing e-mail stores across the team's offices, our collaborative efforts have grown over the last nine years as their business requirements have evolved. We are pleased to play an important role in the winning tradition of the Renault F1 Team both on and off the track."  Renault

Industry News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
FORMULA ONE - Qualifying
Italian Grand Prix
7:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
2005 Season Finale (8/28/05)
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP - Final Practice
Sony HD 500
California Speedway, Fontana
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
Ameriquest 300
California Speedway, Fontana
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
California Speedway, Fontana
4:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Sony HD 500 - Bud Pole
California Speedway, Fontana
5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
'Inside Grand Prix'
Italian Grand Prix
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
Ameriquest 300
California Speedway, Fontana
8:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) NBC
USA International Raceway
Shawano, WI  (7/22/05 - 7/24/05)
11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET, The Outdoor Channel
For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.
2006 Edmonton GP tickets on sale 2006 Edmonton GP tickets on saleTickets for the 2006 Event can be purchased through the Grand Prix of Edmonton office by calling (780) 488-8882 or e-mailing tickets@grandprixedmonton.com   The price for 2006 will be going up, but if you order RIGHT AWAY, you can get your tickets at 2005 prices. The price increases are about $18 per ticket including GST and service charges.

Gold Package - $220.00 per ticket (+ GST)
3-day seating. These are the very best seats at the track - guaranteed. Ticket includes Friday and Saturday passes and a Pit Walk Thru Pass.

Silver Package - $155.00 per ticket (+ GST)
3-day seating close to the best action on the track.

Bronze Package - $90.00 per ticket (+ GST)
3-day seating located at prime racing areas on the track.

General Admission - Prices vary, see below (+ GST)
Purchase your 3-day or individual day passes for various General Admission viewing areas around the track.
Friday - Adult $35.00 - Youth $15.00
Saturday - Adult $45.00 - Youth $25.00
Sunday - Adult $55.00 - Youth $35.00

Pedro de la Rosa leads early practice in Monza Pedro de la Rosa leads early practice in MonzaMcLaren Mercedes test driver Pedro de la Rosa was the fastest car on the track in morning practice at Monza, though not everyone has taken to the track yet, preferring to save their engines because they take a beating on the fast Monza track where the drivers are 100% throttle 70% of each lap.

1. PEDRO DE LA ROSA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:20.201
2. MARK WEBBER Williams-BMW M 1:21.816
3. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:21.842
4. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA McLaren-Mercedes M 1:22.078
5. NICK HEIDFELD Williams-BMW M 1:22.351
6. RICARDO ZONTA Toyota M 1:22.567
7. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:22.577
8. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:23.739
9. DAVID COULTHARD Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:24.001
10. VITANTONIO LIUZZI Red Bull-Cosworth M 1:24.166
11. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:24.196
12. TIAGO MONTEIRO Jordan-Toyota B 1:25.134
13. NICOLAS KIESA Jordan-Toyota B 1:25.374
14. CHRISTIJAN ALBERS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:25.497
15. NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jordan-Toyota B 1:25.611
16. ROBERT DOORNBOS Minardi-Cosworth B 1:25.853
17. ENRICO TOCCACELO Minardi-Cosworth B 1:25.896
18. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Sauber-Petronas M No Time
20. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas M No Time
21. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Red Bull-Cosworth M No Time
22. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M No Time
24. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M No Time
25. RALF SCHUMACHER Toyota M No Time

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
No tobacco at Monza
Japanese to get Jordan run
Scott speeds into 2006
Kimi 'unlikely' to win title
Safety concerns at Monza
'Game over' for Schu at Monza
FIA disappointed after summit
Mansell returns
Alonso has warning for Kimi
Zanardi's in town
Heidfeld fit after crash
Second 'b' Jordan to miss Spa
Buttongate 'talks' go on
Schu hopes son plays golf
'I'll help Kimi' - Montoya
Heikki Kovalainen tops opening Monza practice Heikki Kovalainen tops opening Monza practiceChampionship leader Heikki Kovalainen has started his weekend in Monza the way he means to go on, setting the fastest time in free practice ahead of rivals Nico Rosberg and Scott Speed.

Kovalainen was the fastest man on track after the drivers made their first timed lap, and he stayed at the top of the timesheets for all but one minute of the session. His fastest lap was 1:35.112, more than two tenths faster than Rosberg's best time.

New driver Toni Vilander had a baptism of fire, setting a good first timed lap before spinning at turn two on his second flyer. Coloni Motorsport teammate Mathias Lauda was off immediately after him, spinning through the gravel at the Lesmo corner and getting stuck in the gravel.

In the seventh minute Rosberg briefly ran fastest, but Kovalainen was able to immediately reply with a lap time one second faster than his championship rival, and was never headed again.

Rosberg and Speed's fastest laps were set on their final tour, getting close to the Finn's lap time but unable to match it, as a number of drivers spun off track with the session closing, including Hiroki Yoshimoto, Sergio Hernandez and Jose Maria Lopez and Olivier Pla.

With lap times tumbling in the final minutes, the top seven drivers were split by just one second, with the top sixteen drivers separated by two seconds.

Pos Driver Team Time
 1. Kovalainen Arden 1:35:112
 2. Rosberg ART 1:35:346 + 0.234
 3. Speed iSport 1:35:497 + 0.385
 4. Carroll Super Nova 1:35:952 + 0.840
 5. Lopez DAMS 1:35:955 + 0.843
 6. Piquet Hitech Piquet 1:35:958 + 0.846
 7. Pantano Super Nova 1:36:159 + 1.047
 8. Alvarez Campos Racing 1:36:288 + 1.176
 9. Hernandez Campos Racing 1:36:307 + 1.195
10. Jani Racing Eng. 1:36:493 + 1.381
11. Monfardini Durango 1:36:590 + 1.478
12. Garcia Racing Eng. 1:36:611 + 1.499
13. Lapierre Arden 1:36:679 + 1.567
14. Viso BCN Comp. 1:36:730 + 1.618
15. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 1:37:009 + 1.897
16. Premat ART 1:37:103 + 1.991
17. Artam iSport 1:37:251 + 2.139
18. Pla DPR 1:37:432 + 2.320
19. Negrao Hitech Piquet 1:37:505 + 2.393
20. Mondini DPR 1:37:507 + 2.395
21. Fauzy DAMS 1:37:598 + 2.486
22. Piccione Durango 1:37:696 + 2.584
23. Lauda Coloni 1:39:775 + 4.663

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