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Barrichello leads testing at Jerez Barrichello leads testing at JerezRubens Barrichello continued to set the pace on the second day of testing this week at Jerez in southern Spain. The Brazilian finished 0.7s ahead of fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa in the Sauber.   Barrichello put in 89 laps of the 4.428 km circuit, his best in 1m 16.093s while Massa ran 99 laps.   "In the morning we were able to finalise our aerodynamic work for the three remaining races in China, Japan and Brazil," explained Massa's race engineer Mike Krack. "We also did a Bridgestone tire data verification in the afternoon. Thanks to good weather and track conditions Felipe was able to run a lot of laps which helped us to catch up with the program."  Tomorrow Michael Schumacher takes over from Rubens Barrichello and Vitantonio Liuzzi will take over from Massa.
Cosmo Tests Panoz Esperante GT-LM Cosmo Tests Panoz Esperante GT-LMGuy Cosmo escaped briefly from his clean-up efforts at his West Palm Beach home for a lengthy test day in the Panoz Esperante GT-LM at Road Atlanta Thursday, Sept. 9, 2004. Although weary from enduring the effects of Hurricane Frances and the storm's aftermath, Cosmo spent over 2-1/4 hours in the Panoz, including a grueling 1-1/4 hour-long stint.  "It was a great opportunity," said Cosmo.  "The Panoz Esperante GT-LM has a great powerplant and is very well-mannered.  Panoz runs a first class operation and have made their mark in endurance racing.  Naturally, I'd like to be a part of their vision for American sportscars."  Thursday, Cosmo took part in Élan Motorsports' compressed development program to address the issues of cockpit environment that have plagued the team since the Infineon Raceway event in July.   Cosmo tested along with Gunnar Jeannette and Marino Franchitti.  The team, working together with thermal management engineering experts at the Southern Research Institute, believe they have developed a comprehensive solution which they are testing before the Petit Le Mans. 

This was the second time Cosmo has tested for Panoz.  His first opportunity came in 2003 when he tested the Panoz LMP prototype.  That test was awarded to him for winning the 2002 Star Mazda Championship title. Cosmo admits that he gets a thrill every time he drives a new car.  "You can't help it.  The smile factor kicks in at first, but as soon as you hit the track the job takes over.  It's like learning a new language.  A driver's inputs are generally the same, but every car responds differently to those inputs.  So you have to learn to listen to the car's language and translate that so you can work together."

Industry News
Infineon guilty in price-fixing Infineon guilty in price-fixingA German manufacturer of technology commonly used in personal computers has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $160 million fine for engaging in an international price-fixing conspiracy that drove up computer prices, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.  Infineon Technologies AG "conspired with unnamed manufacturers" to boost prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) sold to computer makers, the Justice Department said.  Government antitrust lawyers identified the firms directly affected by the conspiracy as Dell, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, IBM, and Gateway. CNN
First look at 2005 Dodge First look at 2005 DodgeThis link will take you to the first photo of the 2005 Dodge, currently being tested at Las vegas.  Greg Biffle, Casey Mears and Ryan Newman were at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Sept 14th testing for Goodyear with the 2005 package on the cars. Mears even had a 2005 Dodge doing the test, while the other drivers were in 2004 bodies.  Notice how the car doesn't look like a Dodge at all as NASCAR plays around with new templates and allowing the teams to butcher the nose of the car to generate maximum downforce.  It's a crime to call them 'stock' cars anymore, they are simply NASCAR cars.
Newman optimistic Champ Car moving in right direction Newman optimistic Champ Car moving in right directionFor a series that was almost dead and buried nine months ago, the Champ Car World Series is showing some real signs of life these days.   Eleven races into its first season under the stewardship of owners Kevin Kalkhoven, Paul Gentilozzi and Gerald Forsythe, the Champ Car series has a highly competitive 18-car field, a compelling championship battle between Newman/Haas Racing teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira, big crowds at most evemts and, most important, some new interest from corporate America that could bode well for its future.   "Everything I see out there right now is positive," said Paul Newman, co-owner of the Newman/Haas team, as well as racer, businessman, Academy Award-winning actor and Champ Car's biggest cheerleader.

Newman, whose energy and determination belie his 79 years, has always tried to keep a low profile in racing. But he has recently, and reluctantly, taken a leadership role in the battle to get the once-moribund open-wheel series back to the prominence it enjoyed as Championship Auto Racing Teams before the rival Indy Racing League began competition in 1996 and split both allegiance and the fan base.   "I didn't have to be involved before," Newman said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I could simply be kind of an absentee landlord, but I have a vested interest in this series and its future. And I wouldn't be here if I didn't think this offered great promise."

Newman said he is delighted that fellow team owners Kalkhoven, Gentilozzi and Forsythe stepped up to buy the assets and form a new company to run the series after CART declared bankruptcy late last year.   The series has been losing top teams and big-name drivers to the IRL for years, its television ratings have been nearly invisible -- at several races in 2003, there were fewer TV viewers than spectators at the event -- and teams have been struggling to attract sponsors.

Meanwhile, NASCAR has continued to grow in popularity and the IRL has kept the pressure on in the battle for existing American open-wheel fans, a job made easier with former CART championship teams like Penske Racing, Team Rahal and Chip Ganassi Racing now in the rival series.   Even Carl Haas, a longtime CART stalwart, Newman's partner and the guy who has run the team on a day-to-day basis since they got together in 1983, acknowledges he was thinking about joining the IRL this season -- a move that would likely have ended the long partnership.   "Four months ago, I was a little pessimistic over it, but I see a lot of good signs right now," Haas said. "The whole job isn't done, but I think it has a good chance. It has become a lot better. I want to be optimistic about it."   And things are looking up for Champ Car.   Newman/Haas got fast food giant McDonald's to sponsor Bourdais' car -- thanks to Newman's relationship with the company through his Newman's Own food conglomerate -- and Champ Car recently announced that the international company has signed a three-year deal to be the official fast food of the series. CBS Sportsline

Dan Davis likes what he sees in Champ Car Dan Davis likes what he sees in Champ CarWill Ford be back in the Champ Car World Series next season, beyond its role as engine supplier through its Cosworth subsidiary? At the Champ Car opener April 18 in Long Beach, Ford Racing boss Dan Davis said,"Let’s wait and see."  With the season winding down, Davis was back in the Champ Car paddock at Laguna Seca, and apparently likes what he’s seen so far.  Davis wasn’t ready to confirm Ford’s return as one of Champ Car’s presenting sponsors, nor rumors Ford will step up its marketing program (and cash contribution) in 2005. But Davis’ tone, and his affinity for long-term contracts, suggest Ford will be involved in Champ Car for at least a few years.  "Before this season they went from near-extinction to life-support," Davis said. "Now they are off life-support and growing, and they are listening to us and considering what we need.  "Don’t get me wrong. There’s still a lot of things that need fixing, but there’s some confidence that they will be fixed. We like what we’re getting here." AutoWeek
2004 Rolex Sports Car Series Champions to Be Honored at Caesars Palace 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series Champions to Be Honored at Caesars PalaceFurther demonstrating the remarkable growth of the Rolex Sports Car Series, Grand American Road Racing Association officials today announced that the 2004 Rolex Champions Banquet will be held at the world-renowned Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Monday, November 1. The evening will honor the top drivers, teams and manufacturers from the 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series season.  Scheduled for the day after the Lexus Champions Weekend at California Speedway, the 2004 Rolex Champions Banquet marks the first time in series history that the season-ending banquet will be showcased in a stand-alone event at a world-recognized destination. The best-known casino resort in the world, Caesars Palace is a Las Vegas institution that recaptures the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome in a resort that continues to set the standard for excitement and luxury.  For tickets and more information on the banquet, contact Cathy Marshall in the Grand American offices at (386) 947-6681 or via e-mail to cmarshall@grandamerican.com. Information regarding the Grand-Am Cup Series season-ending awards celebration will be announced in the near future.
Menards Infiniti Pro Series Prepares For Road Racing Menards Infiniti Pro Series Prepares For Road RacingIn addition to IndyCar Series testing, two IRL Menards Infiniti Pro SeriesT teams will test a new road-course package at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Brian Stewart Racing driver Leonardo Maia and AFS Racing drivers Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Gary Peterson will test on the road course on Sept. 21 as the series prepares to add several road races to the schedule in 2005.

The test will allow the series to evaluate the components needed for the cars to race on road courses. Menards Infiniti Pro Series Technical Director Butch Meyer said cars will require some adjustments to the powertrain, suspension and engine. The cars also will need larger brake ducts to improve cooling.

Changes to the suspension include modified wishbones on the front of the car and a change of uprights on the left side of the car. Meyer said the road-course powertrain will change from a spool drive to a limited-slip differential.  "We'll have to have a new rack and pinion for quicker steering," Meyer said. "We'll also have to put what's called a shift cut into the shifting system. When you pull on the shifter, it triggers a switch that actually shuts the engine off for a split second, so the car will shift easier and save gearboxes."

Other changes will include a modified oil pick-up, as well as the addition of a rain light.  Two things that will not change are the brakes and the aerodynamic package. The brakes already have calipers and rotors large enough to accommodate the frequent braking of road-course racing.

The wing configurations will remain the same, although Meyer said the road-course package will offer teams the option of using larger wickers for the front-wing flaps.  "We have a very good road-course package," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. "It's a proven commodity based on a previous design. As we go through some test sessions, we'll see what minor changes may still be needed."

IndyCar Series To Shake Down Road Course Package IndyCar Series To Shake Down Road Course PackageIn preparation for its first road-course events in 2005, the Indy Racing League will test mechanical parts for use in a road-course package during a closed test on Sept. 22 and 23 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Five teams representing each available chassis-engine combination in the IRL IndyCar® Series will participate in the test on the speedway's 2.21-mile road course.

"We're not going down there to set any track records," IRL Senior Technical Director Phil Casey said. "We're just going down there to make sure everything works properly on a road course. All the parts are built. We just have to see it work on the track like we think it will."

In August, IRL officials announced that the IndyCar Series would race on a modified 10-turn, 1.77-mile course at Infineon Raceway on Aug. 28, 2005 and the historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn long-course at Watkins Glen International on Sept. 25, 2005. Earlier this month, the IRL announced it also would race at a temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 3, 2005.

The drivers and teams participating in the Homestead-Miami test are: Dario Franchitti (Andretti Green Racing), Alex Barron and Ed Carpenter (Red Bull Cheever Racing), Sam Hornish Jr. and Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske), Scott Dixon and Darren Manning (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) and Buddy Rice (Rahal Letterman Racing).
Among elements the group will be testing are the cooling system, brakes, and transmissions.

"This is just a shakedown (test) to check for cooling and make sure the cars do cool. That's why we picked Homestead; we tried to find the warmest place," Casey said. "We'll also try to pick a brake package. We're trying several different combinations, using everything from steel rotors to carbon rotors and three different brake calipers. We just want to see how the cars perform on a road course and see if there is enough cooling because there is much slow running on a road course."

Casey added that the performance of the car will be secondary to the information that chassis manufacturers Dallara and Panoz G Force and engine manufacturers  Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota obtain.  "We want to have good transmissions and brakes and don't want to have any unforeseen problems come up," Casey said. "We just want to make sure everything is OK, so the manufacturers can get going with their package for the rest of their cars. That's why we're only taking five cars. In case we have to make changes, we don't have to change a lot of parts. We want all the work they do down there to work fine."

Brian France Interview Brian France InterviewHere are select quotes from Tuesday's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED Channel. Despain's guest was NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. France talks about the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and some other issues facing NASCAR. Transcript
Industry News
Driving schools questioned after deaths Driving schools questioned after deathsTwo driver fatalities in three weeks in amateur race-driving programs — one at Talladega and one at Nashville Superspeedway — raises questions about allowing unskilled drivers to run on tracks where their speeds reach 130 mph. But veteran driving instructor Ricky Haynes believes the timing of the two fatal crashes is purely coincidental and cites the ''impeccable'' 10-year safety record of his local Monster Racing program. ''This program has been running for six years at Dover and we're in our fourth year here, and during all of that time we've never had a serious accident,'' Haynes said. ''We have an impeccable record. We constantly emphasize safety, and we carefully monitor our drivers.'' Jack Walter Irwin, 56, of Hendersonville, TN died while driving a car in the Richard Petty Racing Experience last Friday at the Superspeedway. The car hit the retaining wall but an investigator said the driver ''might have had a medical problem.'' The investigation is continuing. Haynes, whose Monster Racing program is not connected to the Richard Petty Driving Experience, said he would not advise anyone with medical problems — especially heart-related — to participate in such racing programs. Although the two recent fatalities are sure to raise concerns, Haynes said the programs ''are well-supervised and completely safe. I don't know what happened in these two instances but I'm sure it wasn't safety-related. It could have been something that could have happened to them if they had been driving to work.'' Haynes said the fatalities will not disrupt his program's schedule. In part from the Tennessean
Test times from Silverstone, JV slowest Test times from Silverstone, JV slowestAlthough Villeneuve recorded the slowest time of the day, his best time of 1m18.776s was less than a second off Renault regular Fernando Alonso's pace.  “It's great,” said Villeneuve after his first day back in an F1 car in nearly a year. “Silverstone's a great track, it's a fast track and a good track to drive on. We did a lot of laps, 70. So it's just a question of getting used to the team and working on the seat. We did not really do much set-up work today."
Pos Driver Chassis-engine Tires Time Laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes M 1m16.151s 59
2 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes M 1m17.102s 94
3 Takuma Sato BAR-Honda M 1m17.144s 84
4 Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m17.283s 101
5 Jenson Button BAR-Honda M 1m17.457s 103
6 Ricardo Zonta Toyota M 1m17.653s 129
7 Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m17.706s 80
8 Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m17.783s 117
9 Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m18.389s 37
10 Jacques Villeneuve Renault M 1m18.766s 70
News item on Sierra Sierra News item on Sierra SierraWe have taken down the post that started with a letter from a reader regarding the Sierra Sierra Toyota Atlantic Team.  We have confirmed, unequivocally, that we were substantially mislead in regards to the actions of Sierra Sierra this year and we regret, and apologize, for accepting without verifying allegations by two individuals who apparently have a personal axe to grind against the team.  We have removed that Hot News item and are attempting to ascertain why we were fed false information.  Meanwhile we apologize for any embarrassment this may have caused the Sierra Sierra team.
President to attend New Hampshire race President to attend New Hampshire raceUS President George W. Bush will attend this weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup race, the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, as he continues on his re-election campaign trail. Bush, a self-proclaimed longtime stock car fan, also appeared at the season-opening Daytona 500. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said democratic challenger John F. Kerry would be welcome to attend a future race. Autosport
Just how good is Jon Fogarty? Just how good is Jon Fogarty?Recently we wrote, "We would put Jon Fogarty as one of the top half-dozen young race drivers on the planet right now.  He is the real deal.  He is the complete package.  If there's any justice, he'll be in a Champ Car next year.....but we're not counting on it because he refuses to buy his way into the Major Leagues and we respect him for that (see related article).  If after winning two Toyota Atlantic championships in three years (he sat out the year he didn't win) he isn't qualified to get a shot at a Champ Car ride, the system is broken."   To underscore his versatility, Fogarty joins the Flying Lizard Motorsports ALMS team for the 1,000 mile, 10-hour Chevy presents Petit Le Mans endurance race Sept. 25 at Road Atlanta.  This year's Petit Le Mans will be Fogarty's second ALMS race with the team. He drove with van Overbeek and Law in the No. 45 car at the 12 Hours of Sebring last March, setting the fastest race lap in GT in his first endurance race and he did it in the dark, very late in the race while chasing another car for 3rd position.
NY to offer Dale Earnhardt license plates NY to offer Dale Earnhardt license platesGov. George Pataki announced Tuesday that New York would begin offering the first custom license plate in the nation honoring Earnhardt. The new red, white, black and gray "legacy" plate features a silhouette of NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt with arms stretched out in victory in front of the trademark "E" against a black background. Earnhardt's signature and the logo of NASCAR are just below the image. The new plate is officially licensed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. The initial cost is $43, and the plates may be purchased for passenger and commercial vehicles registered in New York state. The state began producing NASCAR plates in 1999, and today 1,366 vehicles are registered with the No. 3 Dale Earnhardt plate, followed by 880 featuring the #8 of his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. In all, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles offers 25 NASCAR plates. USA Today/AP
Briatore to quit after 2005 Briatore to quit after 2005Renault boss Flavio Briatore has said in an interview with Italian weekly Sportautomoto, “There are lots of rumours around the paddock and they come all the time. But 2005 is my last year at Renault and we will see what happens after that. Maybe I will leave F1.  In 2005 we will have a competitive pair of drivers and the only question is the tyres,” added Briatore in the interview. “I like the Michelin guys but they need to understand that they are behind Bridgestone and we need to work hard to be better. If you stand still in F1 you fall behind.”
Villeneuve arrives at Silverstone Villeneuve arrives at SilverstoneJacques Villeneuve arrived at Silverstone this morning for his return to Formula 1 action with the Renault team, but things did not go quite as smoothly as expected as minor problems getting him comfortable in the car delayed his first test outing.  The former world champion turned up at the track shortly before 9am and, after sporting a very baggy pair of plain white overalls, he disappeared into the garage to start getting himself acclimatized to the cockpit. The team is now believed to be working on his seat position. Autosport
O'Connell brings racing home to Georgia O'Connell brings racing home to GeorgiaJohnny O'Connell's career as a professional racing driver has taken him to many parts of the world, and he has lived in several different states, but he has never liked an area better than his current address in Flowery Branch, Hall County, Georgia.  The 42-year-old O'Connell, a native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has lived in Flowery Branch since 1999 and has no intention of leaving, even when his racing career is over.  O'Connell has been racing professionally since 1986 and is on the verge of adding to his racing accomplishments as he prepares to compete in Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Sep. 22-25. The driver for the factory Chevrolet Corvette team can clinch his second consecutive American Le Mans Series GTS class driving championship if he and co-drivers Ron Fellows and Max Papis finish either first or second in their class in the 1,000-mile sports car endurance racing event.  "We've already won the manufacturer's championship for Chevrolet and the team championship for Corvette Racing, so the driver's championship is the next order of business," said O'Connell, who has four wins this season in the seven ALMS events that have been held. He finished second in the other three.  "Ron and I won the championship together last year and it was great to be able to share it with him," he said. "He's not only a great teammate but also a great person. We'll have Max with us at Petit because it's a long race and we need three drivers. He helped us win at Sebring this year and he did a great job in the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
ISC eliminates one NW track site ISC eliminates one NW track siteInternational Speedway Corp. has eliminated Thurston County from the field of possible sites for a 75,000-seat racetrack to serve NASCAR fans in the Northwest.  The announcement was cheered by track foes in Yelm and Lacey. The news was a disappointment, though not a shock, to those leading a charge for a track in Thurston County.   "We learned of the decision through a telephone conversation Friday," said Mike Edwards, president-elect of the Economic Development Council of Thurston County. "We're disappointed but came to the realization that from a geography perspective we were not the target area from the get-go, and as much as we tried to stretch that it never connected."

A formal proposal was made for a 1,400-plus-acre site in Yelm. A location off Interstate 5 in Lacey was possibly in the mix as late as a week ago.  "For ISC, it was a question of location, location, location -- like all other real estate transactions," Edwards said. "They said from the onset that they wanted to be as close to Seattle as possible. They've eliminated Thurston County."   ISC still is looking at a Marysville site in Snohomish County and undisclosed sites near Seattle and Portland, ISC spokesman David Talley said from Florida, where the company is headquartered.   Talley said he is confident a Northwest track will come to be.

"We are a growing sport that needs to enter new major markets to get our product in front of new eyes," Talley said. "The Pacific Northwest is underserved, and there are plenty of eyes."  ISC wants to be as close as possible to as many of those eyes as possible -- making Seattle and Portland targets for one track to serve all of the Northwest.   "We jumped in with both feet looking for sites in both Washington and Oregon from the beginning," he said.  In Washington, any location outside of King or Snohomish counties is off the board, Talley said.  A site will be selected this fall.  The Olympian

Industry News
New Zealand to get new road course New Zealand to get new road courseA new motorsport complex for New Zealand complete with track, purpose-built garages, and apartments could be ready for use in late 2006, if all goes to plan.   The proposed circuit, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, is planned to be built on 162ha of rolling farmland near the current Meremere drag strip, 64km southeast of Auckland.   The brains behind the project – Aucklanders Tony Roberts and Chris Watson – along with Darren Manning, a former mechanic in Formula One, said in a statement the land has already been purchased and finance for the project, believed to cost about $20 million, was already in place.

"We are just guys who love motorsport and are increasingly frustrated at the problems with finding a suitable venue on which to run and promote modern motorsport," Roberts, a member of the Bruce McLaren Trust, said.  "We are not trying to muscle in on the Australian V8 Supercar championship or stymie any other plans to further develop Pukekohe, Taupo or Manfeild circuits."

They supported moves by other circuits to upgrade their facilities and saw their project as a suitable alternative in the greater Auckland area if the troubled Auckland street race round of the Australian V8 race was a non-starter because of resource consent issues.   The circuit has already been designed and will be 3.8 km (2.28 miles) in length over undulating countryside.   It has been configured so that it can also be divided into two separate circuits – one 2.6km in length and the other 1.1km for club circuit type racing.   It will be built to International Automobile Federation ( FIA) category 2 level – a higher level than any other current circuit in New Zealand and easily upgradeable to category 1 for Formula One races should there be that requirement.

"Pukekohe circuit is in such constant demand for race meetings and testing etc that it is just impossible to satisfy the demands of the motorsport enthusiasts in the Auckland region," Roberts said.   "Another circuit will be complimentary to Pukekohe's present operation and will further promote motorsport in the northern region.   Apart from the 60-80 trackside units complex, we intend to have 32 covered garages in the pit area, a skid pan, a kart track, and even an area for 4WD activity.   "There will also be an associated industrial unit development with access to the motorsport park and circuits for testing and development."  Stuff.co.nz

Driver change for Doran-Lista Racing Driver change for Doran-Lista RacingHurricane Frances not only caused the Miami 250 Rolex series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to be postponed until this coming Sunday morning, but the storm also altered Doran-Lista Racing's drivers line-up for that event.  Jan Magnussen was originally scheduled to co-drive with Didier Theys in the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 at Homestead, but when the race was postponed one week he became unavailable due to a previous commitment to compete in a race in Europe. Team owner Kevin Doran and Theys studied the list of drivers available to substitute for Magnussen at Homestead, and today they announced they'd chosen Kelly Collins of Newport Beach, Calif. to fill that role.  Collins is most well known as a factory Corvette driver, but he has driven  DORAN JE4s in five Rolex series races already this year.  Theys said that was a key factor in their decision, since "we wanted someone who has experience with these cars."  Collins was one of the G&W Motorsports drivers who finished second in the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead in February in a DORAN JE4 BMW.  He also has a third overall (Phoenix), a seventh overall (Mont-Tremblant) and a 12th in class (Watkins Glen six-hours) in that car and a fourth in class in this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona in the Michael Shank Racing DORAN JE4 Lexus.
 Industry News
McDonald's shows financial strength McDonald's shows financial strengthMcDonald's Corp. on Tuesday raised its annual dividend 38 percent, a move the world's largest restaurant chain said is another sign of its revitalization.  McDonald's shares, which had been down modestly, rose nearly 2 percent after the Oak Brook, Illinois company said its board of directors boosted the yearly payout to 55 cents per share from 40 cents per share.  The increase is the second-biggest since 1980, the company said in a statement. Last year, McDonald's raised its dividend by 70 percent, the largest increase in 25 years, to improve shareholder returns.  Prudential restaurant analyst Larry Miller said in a note to clients the increase was larger than he had expected, and added that "future dividend increases could be more modest than the past two."
PKV Racing to host car show PKV Racing to host car showBuilding off a successful inaugural show last September that attracted a number of hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles, imports and race cars from the Indianapolis area, PKV Racing is gearing up for the second installment of its “All Racers Cool Vehicle Show” this Saturday, September 18th (rain date Sunday, September 19th) beginning at 9:00 am at the Champ Car team’s headquarters located on Indianapolis’ northwest side.   

Presented by the “All Racers Car Club” and local merchandiser The Current Group, this year’s “All Racers Cool Vehicle Show” will feature a flame-throwing, jet-powered quad racer, tours of PKV Racing’s 33,000 square foot Champ Car facility and team transporters, historic race car and pace car displays, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, food, music and fun for any motorsports enthusiast.   

Proceeds from the event will benefit legendary actor and Champ Car team owner Paul Newman’s Association of Hole in the Wall Camps – the official charity of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford. The Hole in the Wall Camps are the world’s largest family of camps for children with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions. To date, over 70,000 children from 34 states and 27 countries have attended free of charge since Newman founded the camps in 1988.  

PKV Racing headquarters, located at 4001 Methanol Lane, Indianapolis, IN 46268 (just south of 71st Street and Guion Road) will open its doors from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm for pre-show and entry, followed by judging from 12:00 – 2:00 pm and the awards ceremonies at 3:00 pm. The entry fee for your vehicle of interest is just $15.00 at the gate, with the first 100 entries receiving unique “All Racers Cool Vehicle Show” plaques. In addition, unique trophies will be presented to all finalists at the show.  

For sponsorship or show information please contact Jeff “Fuzzy” Horton (317) 557-8627, or Nigel Bloom (317) 557-8642 at PKV Racing to join the growing list of participants for this year’s event!

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Villeneuve to race Renault
Trulli to race Toyota in China
Ralf quickest on F1 return
Panis won't make F1 return
Sauber end Ferrari gearbox deal
F1 to introduce '05 safety changes
Horner confirms F1 'buyout' talks
Minardi to get government cash boost
F1 carmakers to meet in Paris
$48m bond not to blame - Max Mosley
BAR relishing Renault chaos
'I don't care about Montoya' - Raikkonen
BAR can hang onto second - Richards
'Gentlemen, start your 2005 cars!'
Panis as F1 team manager?
Real Mexico City race promotion to begin Real Mexico City race promotion to beginThis Tuesday September 21st,  the organizers of the Mexico City Champ Car race will officially begin their marketing effort for the race.  There will be a press conference in the pit area at 10:30 am.  The 4 Mexican drivers will be there - Michel Jourdain, Mario Dominguez,  Rodolfo Lavin and Roberto Gonzalez.  After the press conference there will be a Mexican banquet in honor of the festivities of the Mexican independence.  Jose Arrambide
NASCAR Richmond TV rating NASCAR Richmond TV ratingTNT today announced that its coverage of Saturday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevy Rock & Roll 400, the final race to decide the ten drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, delivered a 4.3 Nielsen cable rating (3,800,000 HHs), making it the highest-rated and most-watched fall race from Richmond Int’l Raceway that TNT has televised. The 4.3 is up 13% over last year’s 3.8.
TMS signs new sponsor for Nextel Cup race TMS signs new sponsor for Nextel Cup raceThe AP reports that Texas Motor Speedway today announced a three-year title sponsorship deal with Williamson-Dickie, maker of Dickies sportswear, for the track's fall NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race, which will be called the Dickies 500. The race will be part of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The track also announced that RadioShack and Samsung have agreed to three-year extensions of their co-title sponsorship of the spring NASCAR event.
Ralf turns first laps Ralf turns first lapsUPDATE Perhaps the layoff did Ralf some good, as he was fastest today in testing at Silverstone.
01  R Schumacher Williams 1:18:015 32 laps
02  Wurz McLaren 1:19:088 39 laps
03  Davidson BAR 1:19:376 66 laps
04  Panis Toyota 1:19:528 56 laps
05  Button BAR 1:19:558 42 laps
06  de la Rosa McLaren 1:19:635 49 laps
07  Alonso Renault 1:19:725 59 laps
08  Zonta Toyota 1:19:991 46 laps
09  Glock Jordan 1:22:241 54 laps
10  Montagny Renault 1:30:484 26 laps
11  Gené Williams 1:32.062 33 laps
09/14/04 Ralf Schumacher has driven a Formula 1 car for the first time since his crash in the United States Grand Prix in June.  The German ran a handful of laps at Silverstone early on Tuesday morning as Formula 1 testing got underway.  He reported no pain on Tuesday as he stepped back into a Formula One car for the first time since a big accident in June.   "I have no back pain any more, everything's gone well," said the 29-year-old Williams driver after his first few laps on a showery morning at the Silverstone circuit.   I want to be back for the race in Shanghai."
NASCAR wasn’t broke, but they fixed it NASCAR wasn’t broke, but they fixed itThis NY Times article says, It is rare for a sport to change the nature of its television contracts in the middle of a deal. Oh, there are tweaks, like changing starting times, but big alterations are usually ways for a league to induce networks to pay more money in a new agreement.  But after Matt Kenseth ran away early with last year's points championship, NASCAR decided to turn the first 26 weeks of the season into a giant qualifying tournament for the top 10 drivers to compete for the Nextel Cup over the last 10 races.   The most obvious comparison is the wild card in baseball, which is marketed as a way to maintain fan interest throughout September, when football starts.  "We were looking for a way to spur and maintain interest from Daytona to Homestead," said Dick Glover, NASCAR's vice president for broadcasting, referring to the first and last races of the season. "We were looking at the best way to determine a champion and best way to compete against our competition for the whole year." More....
Dalziel wins Gilles Villeneuve Award Dalziel wins Gilles Villeneuve AwardScotland’s Ryan Dalziel signed off on another year of outstanding racing in the Toyota Atlantic Championship by winning the prestigious Gilles Villeneuve Award at the end-of-season banquet hosted on Sunday night (12th September) at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California.

Earlier in the day the 22-year-old from Lanarkshire sealed the series runner-up position, for the second consecutive season, having taken the fight for the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship all the way to the 12th and final round against America’s Jon Fogarty. While Dalziel was denied the opportunity to challenge Fogarty from his second place starting position following a start-line violation at Laguna Seca, the Sierra Sierra Enterprises racer added to his points total to finish the year on 307, just 18 points behind eventual Round 12 race winner and subsequent champion Fogarty and 40 points clear of Danica Patrick in third place.

Ryan was presented with the Gilles Villeneuve Award on Sunday evening as the Toyota Atlantic field, officials, sponsors and families gathered for one last time this year. The Gilles Villeneuve Award, named after the legendary Canadian Formula One star and 1976 Toyota Atlantic Champion, is traditionally awarded to the driver in the series who posses extraordinary ability, star quality and who has distinguished himself through sportsmanship, dedication and perseverance in the face of disappointment.

Ryan’s four wins, including back-to-back victories in Vancouver and Road America, three second place finishes, five pole positions and five fastest race laps further cemented his reputation as one of open-wheel racing’s most promising talents. His perseverance has been tested on several occasions this season, most notably being taken out of Round 2 in Mexico at the first turn having led from pole position and a huge crash in practice at Road America ahead of Round 9 thanks to a brake failure - Dalziel subsequently regrouped to dominate the weekend.

On receiving the Gilles Villeneuve Award Ryan commented:

“It’s simply a pleasure to win such a prestigious award. Gilles Villeneuve is a legend in motorsport and to receive an award named in his honor is something I’m really proud of. It’s been a great year for me driving for Sierra Sierra Enterprises where we’ve continued to build on our successes from 2003.

“Obviously it’s disappointing to have had a great season and not win the championship but I didn’t make it easy for Jon! I’ve beaten my previous personal-bests for wins and poles in a single season and I’m looking to carry that momentum forward into next year.”

In addition to Ryan’s triumphs Sierra Sierra Enterprises celebrated further successes on Sunday evening with Ryan’s mechanic, Jethro Austin, named as ‘Mechanic of the Year’ while Andrew Ranger, driver of the team’s second car, collected the ‘Rookie of the Year’ honor.

IPS race to run on Carb Day IPS race to run on Carb DayThe Indy Racing League® Menards Infiniti Pro SeriesT will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time on Friday, May 27, 2005, league officials announced.  The Futaba Freedom 100 will be part of the festivities on Miller Lite Carb Day, which moves from its traditional place on the Thursday before the Indianapolis 500 to Friday. Same-day coverage of the race will air on ESPN2.

"The addition of the Futaba Freedom 100 to the Carb Day schedule is very exciting," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. "Combining the race with the other Carb Day activities will allow our young, up-and-coming drivers to showcase their skills before a large crowd at the premier racing venue in the world."

Other events scheduled for Miller Lite Carb Day include the final IndyCar Series practice before the 89th Indianapolis 500, the Checkers/Rally's Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert.  The remainder of the 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series schedule will be announced in the near future.

DAYTONA USA Featured In CMT Greatest Road Trips DAYTONA USA Featured In CMT Greatest Road TripsDAYTONA USA, "The Official Attraction of NASCAR," was named one of the top 10 road trip destinations in Country Music Television's Greatest Road Trips. Hosted by Lance Smith, "CMT Greatest Road Trips", part of a CMT Series called "The Greatest", counts down the 10 most interesting places in America to warm up the car, pack a cooler and take a road trip. CMT placed DAYTONA USA at No. 3 on the Greatest Road Trips and described the interactive motorsports attraction as an "ultimate high octane full throttle racing experience." Other road trip destinations profiled in CMT Greatest Road Trips included Elvis Presley's Graceland, Route 66, Dollywood, Music City USA in Nashville, Tenn. and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D. Singled out by CMT as an attraction that "puts you in the driver's seat alongside some of the greatest names in NASCAR history," DAYTONA USA is jam-packed with can't-miss activities such as NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience and Daytona 500: The Movie in the Pepsi IMAX Theatre, three different motion simulator rides and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Daytona 500-winning No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. Speedway PR
Richeson Named Interim Crew Chief for Schrader Richeson Named Interim Crew Chief for SchraderDonnie Richeson has been named interim crew chief for BAM Racing, which fields the #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge for driver Ken Schrader in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Richeson replaces Scott Eggleston, who had been with the team since the start of the 2003 season. “With everything else in place for the rest of the year and for 2005 – Schwan’s Home Service on board with us and Ken Schrader as our driver – we felt a change was in order,” said Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of BAM Racing. “Tough decisions are part of this sport, and this was certainly a tough decision for everyone. We wish Scott nothing but the best in his career.” BAM has already begun discussions with several potential crew chiefs. Richeson will maintain those duties at least until a full-time replacement is named. Williams Company
New Indy 500 qualifying format New Indy 500 qualifying formatAn exciting new qualifying procedure for the Indianapolis 500 will create even more drama and excitement for drivers, teams and fans while returning qualifying to its traditional four-day format, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials said Sept. 14.

The new format will debut during the 89th Indianapolis 500 in May 2005. MBNA Pole Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, with Second Day Qualifying on Sunday, May 15, Third Day Qualifying on Saturday, May 21 and Bump Day on Sunday, May 22.

Among the highlights of the new format is the potential for cars being "bumped" out of the starting field by faster cars each of the four days of qualifying.

"We think this new qualifying format is exciting for everyone involved with the 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing,'" said Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO. "It will provide even more drama and competition on each day.

"Qualifying formats for the Indianapolis 500 have evolved throughout the years since the lineup for the first race in 1911 was determined by the dates when entries were received, and we're confident this new system honors the tradition of four days of qualifying at Indy while introducing some new elements to the event."

Here's a look at each of the four days of qualifying in the new format in 2005. Qualifying speeds will continue to be determined by the overall time and average speed for four laps around the historic 2.5-mile oval:

.MBNA Pole Day, Saturday, May 14: Positions one through 11 in the 33-car field are available to the fastest 11 qualifiers that day. Once the 11 spots are full, bumping will occur for the rest of the day to determine the MBNA Pole and the fastest 11 qualifiers for that day.

.Second Day Qualifying, Sunday, May 15: Positions 12 through 22 are available. Once those spots are full, bumping will occur only in spots 12 through 22 for the rest of the day to determine the fastest 11 qualifiers for that day.

.Third Day Qualifying, Saturday, May 21: Positions 23 through 33 are available. Once those spots are full, bumping will occur only in spots 23-33 for the rest of the day to determine the fastest 11 qualifiers for that day.

.Bump Day, Sunday, May 22: Any qualifying attempt on the fourth day that is faster than a qualified entrant in the 33 positions in the starting field will bump the slowest qualifier from the field, regardless of the day of qualification. The "bumped" entrant will be removed from the field of 33, and the remaining field will move ahead one position in the starting field as the newly qualified entrant will take the 33rd position, or a higher position if faster than the other fourth-day qualifiers.

Each car, primary or backup, will have three attempts per day to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. If a car is bumped on any day of qualifications, that entrant can re-enter the qualification line and attempt to re-qualify based on the numbers of attempts remaining for that car.

Entrants also can still withdraw qualified cars from the field at their choice, but that car still will be allowed to make qualifying attempts based on the number of attempts it has remaining for the day. The car does not have to be removed from competition, as in previous formats.  Q&A on new procedures

Formula GP2
Formula GP2 selection process Formula GP2 selection processDear all,

Following the presentation of the GP2 car, its specifications, and the main regulations which will govern the GP2 championship as of April 2005 when it will run at the first European F1 race, we are writing to you to inform you of the selection process for the championship.

The maximum number of teams allowed to join the GP2 championship will be 12. Teams will be chosen on the basis of their sporting performance over past seasons, their financial strength and stability and a three year business plan that demonstrates the team's ability to commit to a three-year involvement in the GP2 championship.

The selection process will begin in early October and will last until 12 teams have been accepted and have signed the supply and organisational agreements. The first step of that process is for us to identify the teams which seriously want to join the GP2 championship and to conduct an initial analysis.

To that end, we will ask you to provide us with the following information by Monday 27 September:
- A summary of the team's sporting record over the last 3 years including the
championship(s) it competed in, the team's championship position, and the names and
championship positions of your drivers;
- The current position of your team and your drivers in the 2004 championship in
which you are competing;
- Profit and loss statement and balance-sheet for 2002 and 2003;
- Profit and loss statement, and cash flow situation as of Sept 2004;
- An indication of expected management and shareholders in the GP2 team;
- Expected sponsors and possible drivers;
- Any other information you think would be useful for us to know regarding your GP2
business plan.

Each team that submits the information listed above will then be contacted in order to discuss these documents and other potential requests with a view to making a preliminary selection. We will proceed on the assumption that your team is not interested in pursuing your involvement with the series any further if this information is not received on or before the date mentioned above.

Best regards,
Bruno Michel
GP2 Series organiser

Industry News
Italian motoring glamour hits Shanghai Italian motoring glamour hits ShanghaiItalian automakers, behind some of legendary names in motoring history, are to hold a major expo on the eve of the much anticipated Formula One race.   Behind the array of exhibits, ranging from the timelessly stunning Ferrari sport cars to exquisite auto components, which went on show yesterday, is the desire of Italian companies to gain a bigger chunk of China's soaring auto industry.

The four-week auto show entitled "Myth and Speed" has been organized by the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) and Italian Association of Car Industry Suppliers, together with the regional governments of Emilia-Romagna and Piemont, where a cluster of auto manufacturers drive most of local business activities.

In addition to exhibits centered around the historic moments and modern technology in Italy's auto and transport industry, a string of technical seminars and lectures will be held during the event. Bilateral meetings between Italian and Chinese auto firms are expected to afford a raft of business opportunities.   "We want to bring local spectators a magnificent display of Italian style, design and craftsmanship in the auto sector," said Beniamino Quintieri, president of ICE.   "Hopefully, the event will help lay a strong basis for Italian firms in the sector to find their partners and enter the Chinese market," he said.  China Daily

SPEED to cover 8 hours of Petit LeMans SPEED to cover 8 hours of Petit LeMansSPEED Channel will carry LIVE coverage of the Road Atlanta's Petit Le Mans beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sept. 25. Coverage of the American Le Mans Series event will begin with the pre-race show and continue through the afternoon with race coverage from the 2.54-mile road course in Braselton, Ga., beginning at noon. Post-race coverage will conclude SPEED Channel's on-air reporting after 10 hours or 1,000 miles, whichever mark is reached first.   SPEED Channel's play-by-play will be handled by Leigh Diffey, with a broadcast team that includes expert analysis from decorated racers Dorsey Schroeder and Derek Daly, as well as complete pit reporting from Calvin Fish, Brian Till and Andrew Marriottt.

"For the ALMS, the two big events of the year are the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, and the two events are so very different," said Schroeder, who has more than 30 years of racing experience, having competed in Trans Am, IMSA, IROC, ALMS the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the 12 Hours of Sebring. "... at the Petit, Road Atlanta is a faster track -- the closing speeds are staggering. And running at night at Road Atlanta is a lot more difficult -- it is a very dark track in places, so the night racing should be great for the SPEED Channel audience. This will be the biggest event of the year at a track with a great racing history. It draws a big crowd and it's a great place to watch a race."

The race will feature four classes of ALMS sports cars, including two classes of Prototypes from Audi, Lola, Courage, Zytek and others, as well as production-based GTS and GT class cars, such as Corvettes, Porsches, Saleens, Ferraris, Panoz and Vipers. All of the cars compete at the same time for class wins and the overall win.  This will be SPEED's sixth year covering Petit Le Mans.  SPEED aired flag-to-flag coverage in 1998, 2000-03.  In 1999, SPEED aired a one-hour highlight show of the race.

Ryan Moore Signs Driver Development Contract With DEI Ryan Moore Signs Driver Development Contract With DEITwenty-one year old Ryan Moore, of Scarborough, Maine, has signed a driver development contract with NASCAR powerhouse Dale Earnhardt, Inc. which will take him from the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005.   "I'm excited, and my whole family is excited," said Moore, son of 1995 Busch North Series champion Kelly Moore. "To have this finalized is a huge deal for our family."   Negotiations began in the spring, but were only finalized just recently.   "It took a while," he explained, "there was a lot of swapping around and stuff to make sure everything was covered to everyone's liking. We got Teresa [Earnhardt, widow of Dale] tracked down, which is tough to do since she has a lot of stuff going on. But we got her tracked down and got the deal signed, and we're pretty excited about it."   The driver development program that Moore signed on to will have him testing NASCAR Busch Series cars for DEI over the winter, and entered into seven Busch Series races - the most he can run without jeopardizing his Rookie Of The Year eligibility for future seasons - during the 2005 season. And if everything goes well, goes as planned, we'll step up to a full-time Busch ride in 2006," Moore said.  BNS Racing
Sauber to use Ferrari engines again in 2005 Sauber to use Ferrari engines again in 2005 Sauber will continue to use Ferrari engines next year but will revert to their own gearbox, the Swiss-based Formula One team said on Tuesday.  "We will be using engines Ferrari are making on behalf of our partner Petronas," said technical director Willi Rampf in a team statement.  "We are very satisfied with the engines supplied by Ferrari, which means that it absolutely makes sense for us to continue this co-operation."  Sauber have used Ferrari engines for eight seasons after switching from Ford at the end of 1996.  They also used a Ferrari gearbox for the first time this year but Rampf said that was an exception.  "All our former cars, from the C12 to the C22, were always fitted with Sauber gearboxes," he said. "Our specialists have already started to work on the new gearbox for the C24."  The new car will be the first Sauber has developed completely in their new wind tunnel and Rampf is convinced it will be competitive. Sauber lie sixth in the championship. Reuters
2005 F1 safety measures 2005 F1 safety measuresThe FIA have published the following press release, which relates to new safety measures they intend implementing next season.

"In a very constructive meeting of the Formula One Technical Working Group in Monza on Sunday, September 12, 2004, the Formula One Technical Directors unanimously agreed to propose the following measures to the Formula One Commission and the World Motor Sport Council for introduction from the beginning of the 2005 season.
Wheel tethers:   Each wheel will be restrained by a tether system which is capable of absorbing more than four times the energy of existing tethers.   This has been made possible by research carried out by the newly-established FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety into the development of metallic tethers, rather than the fibrous tethers used currently.
Headrests: Research conducted by the FIA at the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK has demonstrated that an increase in the thickness of side headrests would offer significant safety benefits to drivers.  The thickness of side headrests will therefore be increased from 75 to 100 mm. 
Debris containment: Following a number of incidents where sharp shards of debris have been blamed for tyre damage, all front wing endplates, ‘barge boards’ and other turning vanes will be manufactured using outer skins of materials such as Kevlar which tests have shown can reduce debris by as much as 80%."

Judge OKs CART's plan to repay debts Judge OKs CART's plan to repay debtsA victory in federal bankruptcy court Monday should allow Indianapolis-based CART Inc. to pay off its debts and possibly return money to its shareholders, according to the attorney representing a committee of the group's creditors.  That confidence comes on the heels of Judge Frank Otte's approval of a payoff plan submitted by the former parent company of the open-wheel racing series.  "The worst reasonable case is that (CART's) creditors will get 87- to 90-some percent of their money back," attorney Jim Knauer said. "And they probably will get 100 percent."  That news is significant given the pessimism of 2003 when CART slid deep into debt. The racing division was sold to a group of investors known as Open Wheel Racing Series during a January auction in Otte's court in Indianapolis.

Knauer said CART, a publicly traded company, has nearly $4 million in cash and about $800,000 in additional assets. OWRS' owners have pledged $500,000 to ensure that the creditors are paid.  "Usually we're talking about getting 20 cents on the dollar, if a creditor gets anything at all," he said. "What we're talking about here is so rare that I'm not about to let it go by."  In court, CART attorney Jim Carr offered a range between "87 percent and 98 percent" for the creditors.  "That's our plan," he told Otte.  Knauer said CART's total debt should settle between $4.7 million and $5.3 million, assuming California and Brands Hatch receive some form of settlement payment. If neither does, he'd expect the range to drop by about $3 million.  "So it's likely there could be some money left for CART to disperse in some form," he said.  Attorneys representing 88 Corp. voiced the only objections Monday to CART's plan.  Champ Car, the successor to CART, is not affected by the bankruptcy proceedings. Indy Star

 Formula BMW
China's best-known racing driver divides opinions China's best-known racing driver divides opinionsHis fans hail him as a hero, his critics call him a lout. Since Han Han dropped out of school four years ago to write a caustic book on his country's education system, the Chinese writer has split public opinion down the middle. Han Han is just 22 years of age, but his five publications so far have posted sales of more than four million - and sparked a nationwide debate on China's education policy.

An American newspaper once compared the longhaired heartthrob with James Dean. As for Han Han, he sees himself not as a rebel, but as a racing driver. "When I was seven I already dreamt of driving fast cars," he recalls. Now that dream has come true. During the Formula One weekend (24th to 26th September), Han Han will be lining up on the grid in his native city of Shanghai. He won't be competing in motor racing's top echelon but in Formula BMW Asia, a junior series for promising drivers in which talented youngsters can learn the skills of racing Formula BMW cars that generate 140 bhp and reach speeds of up to 230 km/h.

Han Han long ago went through his baptism of fire in Formula BMW Asia. In April 2004, he made his debut in Bahrain as a driver for the Korean E-Rain Team. His main goal: "In 2005 or 2006 I want to win the championship." But he's a long way off from that. In China, Han Han may be more famous than Michael Schumacher, but he's nowhere near as fast as the seven-times Formula One Champion. "I still have a lot of catching up to do on the race track," admits Han Han, though he did claim a creditable sixth place in the 2003 Chinese Rally Championship. "But Formula BMW Asia is an ideal opportunity to iron out these weaknesses."

As one of the five Formula BMW Asia scholarship drivers, Han Han gains all the benefits of BMW's education and coaching programme. Apart from courses in driving technique and strategy, the curriculum for the scholarship candidates also covers instruction in vehicle dynamics and chassis set-up, fitness training and nutrition, media training and PR, as well as sponsoring and sport management. "We want our Formula BMW drivers to learn everything they need for a successful career in motor racing," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen.

It means Han Han's diary is pretty full, leaving the 22-year-old little time for writing. "To be successful I have to focus on the sport," he realizes, which is why racing driver Han Han has put his sharp quill aside "for a few months or even longer". But he is loath to give up his writing career entirely: "Who knows, maybe in a few years I'll write a book on my experiences in motor racing," says Han Han with a grin. There are bound to be plenty of stories to tell.

Formula Ford
American impresses in Formula Ford UK American impresses in Formula Ford UKThis weekend, September 11-12, Charlie Kimball competed in the penultimate rounds of the UK Formula Ford championship at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium. Kimball qualified well, lining up on the front row for both races and taking pole in race two. A mechanical failure in the first race meant Kimball was unable to complete even one racing lap but held on to a second place finish in race two.

Qualifying was held late Friday afternoon and Kimball was once again able to put in several solid laps securing a second place start in the first race and pole for race two.  "I am pleased with my qualifying efforts - Spa is an amazing track and to be on pole here is a great achievement for me," commented Kimball.  The first race seemed to be playing into Kimball's hands as he made a fantastic start in difficult wet conditions. Kimball passed teammate Daniel Clarke for the lead as the pair made their way downhill into Rivage. The Californian driver began to pull out an advantage over the rest of the field until he made a small error coming on to the back straight. It had begun to rain and the track conditions were constantly changing, when Kimball exited Stavelot corner, hit a wet spot and spun. Several other competitors had costly spins on the first lap and the safety car was deployed, allowing Kimball to refocus his charge for the front. As the lights went out on the safety car and Kimball began to accelerate, he experienced a massive gearbox failure. Kimball limped into pit lane, resulting only his second DNF of the season.

"I am incredibly frustrated. I made a good start and was pulling away. I pushed slightly too hard and just made a mistake. It was a bit of a free mistake since the pinion was going to fail, it was just a matter of how many laps. I am disappointed I wasn't able to race to my full potential," said a disheartened Kimball.  Kimball started on pole for the second race, early Sunday morning and again on a damp track. Starting on the wet line meant Kimball struggled at the start and lost two places. He quickly fought back and passed Suk Sandher on the exit of the Bus Stop, regaining second place. Kimball quickly began chasing down Dan Clarke who had been able to pull out a 7 second advantage. Once clear of traffic, Kimball began lapping significantly quicker than anyone else on the track and when the checkered flag came out, the gap between the top two was only 2.2 seconds. Kimball also picked up fast lap of the race.

"It was a good race but the lead Dan pulled out early was too much. It is a long lap but 9 laps really isn't a lot of time," Kimball said after the second race. "I am pleased with getting fastest lap, it shows I have the pace. A pole, second place finish and fastest lap at Spa is pretty exciting."  Kimball will take the next few weeks to test and train before the season finale at Brands Hatch, October 2-3.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ferrari could lose Shell
F3000 team in Jordan F1 buy-out
Ralf has to feel 'ready' - Williams

Renault deny Trulli talk
Sato to stay at BAR, hints Richards
Jaguar set for Ford cash boost
Bernie - F1 carmakers 'against' Ferrari
Williams will run 'spare' on Friday
Signed F1 chequer to be sold
F1 fans' funerals in Wales
Sauber 'no' to Pizzonia
BAR's 'FTT' system to finish season
Rivals have 'flushed out' Ferrari
Alonso - 'Renault can come back'
Ferrari to race 'new' tyre in China
No rest for Schu 
Officials cheated fans Officials cheated fansOutside Toyota Atlantic polesitter Ryan Dalziel crossed the start line a few feet ahead of pole sitter Jon Fogarty on Sunday at Laguna Seca and got a black flag for it.  However, Fogarty beat Dalziel into the first corner anyway, so why the penalty on Dalziel?  He certainly did not gain an advantage by crossing the S/F line first.  If he had beat Fogarty into the corner perhaps the penalty would have been justified, but he didn't.  What the officials managed to do was read the rulebook word for word instead of asking themselves the simple question - did the driver gain an apparent illegal advanatge?  They stole what would have been an exciting championship battle between Fogarty and Dalziel, who were neck and neck for the championship, from the fans, the paying customer. 
Keohane secures IndyCar test Keohane secures IndyCar testIreland's top international racing driver, Michael Keohane, has secured an IndyCar test with race winning IRL team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.   The 24-year-old former British F3 race winner, from West Cork, will test the team's Chevrolet powered Dallara at the Texas Motor Speedway next week for two days and in doing so will become the first Irish driver to sample one  of the high speed oval racers.   Keohane will visit the team's Indianapolis headquarters later today for a seat fitting in the 650bhp IndyCar having already spent the weekend as their guest during the latest round of the IndyCar Series at Chicagoland Speedway, Chicago, in preparation for the Texas test.   The Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile banked oval where the average speed for last year's pole position lap, set by Gil de Ferran, was 222.864mph.  Keohane tested with Dale Coyne earlier this year but did not land a Champ Car ride. RTE Sport
IROC launched Evernham's career IROC launched Evernham's careerThis Richmond Times Dispatch article is a good read on how working for the IROC series helped launch NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham's career.  For a man who now possesses the gleaming, pearly white smile and well-coiffed hair expected of a CEO with a multimillion-dollar company, Evernham looked every bit the part of a scruffy, 26-year-old Modified racer in December 1983 when he entered an industrial complex in Tinton Falls, N.J., and answered an ad for a job with the International Race of Champions series.

Barbara Signore, wife of IROC President Jay Signore, signed him up before the words barely were out of his mouth.  “Barbara always kids (that) the only reason they hired me was they needed people who were breathing,” Evernham said. “Thank goodness the standards weren’t high. I had long hair, a beard and no real job. I probably didn’t look like the most productive candidate to hire.”

On Friday, Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield began their final push for spots in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, qualifying 11th and seventh, possibly offering Evernham Motorsports two legitimate shots at a championship in its fourth year.

Neither could have happened without the other. Working closely with drivers such as Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Rick Mears and Mario Andretti offered a wealth of networking for Evernham.

“All my NASCAR contacts came through my years there,” said Evernham, who moved to North Carolina and took his first Cup job with Alan Kulwicki after meeting the 1992 champion in IROC. “If not for that, I’d still be busting my butt in New Jersey trying to make a living somehow, bouncing off the fences of local short tracks.”

Safety Measures Help Rice Walk Away From Scary Accident Safety Measures Help Rice Walk Away From Scary Accident[Editor's Note: Pure dumb luck kept Buddy Rice safe. That car easily could have headed for the safety fences or back into the path of the oncoming pack. Only luck prevented this from turning to tragedy. To claim that it was the supposed safety improvements is only half the truth.  The bottom line is that IRL Indy Cars still fly.  The day a car sails into the grandstands and kills spectators will be the day insurance companies refuse to insure the IRL races, hence putting the series out of business overnight.]  Thoughts of the October 2003 incident in which Kenny Brack sustained serious injuries flashed through Buddy Rice's mind as his car slid upside down on the backstretch during the Delphi Indy 300 on Sept. 12.  Aside from a hex on the car number, Brack was also driving a No. 15 Team Rahal entry, any other comparisons can't be drawn.   Rice's car remained intact and on the race surface after it flipped, and the driver walked away uninjured thanks to aerodynamic alterations implemented by the IRL for the 88th Indianapolis 500 in May and built-in safety equipment.  Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner, was in the middle of the lead pack when the left-rear tire of the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Pioneer Argent Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone touched the right-front tire of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry driven by Darren Manning on Lap 186 of the Delphi Indy 300. The impact pushed Rice's car sideways and lifted it over Manning's. It slid about 150 yards down the backstretch.

"Actually the crash wasn't as bad as I thought it might be," said Rice, whose helmet and roll hoop were the only things scratched. "The car moved up in the air and I just grabbed my seat belts and held on."

Since May, a quarter-inch vertical spine, designed to keep a spinning car from lifting off the track, has been used at all tracks. In addition, a curved skid plate is used at all tracks longer than one-mile, while a quarter-inch reverse wicker will be used at the final two races of the season.   At tracks where the reverse wicker is not used, the cars had brake ducts, tire ramps and sidepod extensions to create drag and extra downforce.  The roll hoop, which follows the contour of the headrest, is 5 inches above the driver's helmet and is constructed of SAE 4130 aircraft-quality tubing. Drivers are outfitted with a head and neck support that reduces forward motion and is tethered to their helmets.   Helmets, designed for racing, are made of carbon fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass shell, and are lined with energy absorbing foam and Nomex padding. Drivers also wear fire-resistant headsocks, underwear, gloves, shoes and a one-piece suit.  "The smack wasn't too bad at first and I was waiting for the big one," Rice said. "The Delphi Safety crew was there immediately."

The first Delphi IRL Safety Team vehicle was waiting for the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing car to come to a stop. It arrived within 10 seconds and a paramedic communicated to personnel that Rice was uninjured about 5 seconds later.  "We get that piece of information immediately," IRL Track Safety Coordinator Dave Brown said. "A paramedic immediately goes to the point where he can communicate with the driver. Once he confirms there are no injuries, he lets the driver know exactly what we want to do. He tells him to relax and let us do the work.  That paramedic maintains proper position of the driver's head so that the airway is not compromised in the manipulation of the car to get it back on its wheels."

It was a textbook removal accomplished in less than one minute by the Delphi Safety Crew and local fire fighters. The crowd cheered as Rice climbed from the car and walked around.  "We established a protocol many years ago that says that unless there's extenuating circumstances (fire, unconscious driver), we want to get the car in an upright position before we attempt to remove the driver from the car," Brown said. "That way, we're absolutely positive that he has a good airway and that no injuries should occur in the extrication process.  That also gives the driver time to reorient himself after being upside down to the point that he can do most of the removal by himself. Sunday's incident went pretty much by the book."
Rice was initially more upset about his finish (14th). He remains mathematically eligible for the IRL IndyCar® Series championship, but is 95 points behind leader Tony Kanaan.  "(The incident is) not something I want to be doing every week, but it was OK considering what could have happened," he said. "There were no bumps, no bruises. I just held on for the ride."

Why bother Champ Car? Why bother Champ Car?According to this SPEEDTV article, The Lola chassis in use are based on the Lola B2/00, first introduced in Y2K and are getting long in tooth. An all new design is expected to be developed for the 2006 season but, in the meantime, some team owners and Champ Car officials are lobbying to open up the rules on aerodynamic development at least in part to encourage subtle differences in the outward appearance of the cars.

All well and good, except for Walker Racing which has historically campaigned Reynard chassis and has continued to do so this year with Mario Haberfeld. The Reynard is universally believed to generate less downforce than the Lola, thus Haberfeld has struggled to be competitive in most races which other teams - Mi-Jack Conquest in particular - have switched to Lola chassis.  Interestingly, however, it is also generally agreed that the Reynard chassis is less expensive to run and maintain, making it a good “vehicle” for start-up Champ Car teams coming into the series.

“Lola has made a proposal that’s being discussed,” said John Lopes, Champ Car’s senior vice president of operations. “It would include some visual changes and some performance enhancements.  [Editor's Note:  Why raise costs by allowing aerodynamic changes in 2005 (one year)?  Will it make the racing better?  Absolutely not!  Will it decrease  the amount of money needed to field a winning car, or at least keep costs the same?  Absolutely not!   Will it stop the already old cars from reaching the end of their fatigue life?  Absolutely not!  Three strikes and you're out.  This is one change that makes no sense whatsoever.  All focus should be on an all-new car for 2006.  That is when the teams should be prepared to tap their bank accounts.  Fortunately, the new car and engine can cost significantly less money per year than what the teams are currently spending if the right proposal is accepted, so in reality the teams can spend less money on equipment in 2006 and spend more money where it counts - on hiring the best drivers (i.e. the athlete) available.  This isn't a PT Barnum and Bailey circus (i.e. a show), this is Major League sports where only the best athletes compete, and get paid for it.  Then, and only then will Champ Car be able to increase their fan base, because in the end, every successful sport in the world is built upon great athletes who become heroes to so many for the incredible skills they possess and the plays/moves they can make.]

DVD of 2004 Indy 500 available DVD of 2004 Indy 500 availableFans can soon recapture all of the excitement of the 88th Indianapolis 500 by ordering the 2004 Indianapolis 500 DVD packed with bonus material and features not available anywhere else.  Consumers can receive the DVD free with a subscription to IndyCar Series magazine ordered by Oct. 31 at www.indycarmag.com or (800) 970-INDY, or for $15 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Online Gift Shop at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The DVD will be available at the Online Gift Shop starting Tuesday, Sept. 14.  The 2004 Indianapolis 500 DVD provides a recap of the entire month of May, including exclusive camera footage of the race and behind-the-scenes action. Commentary is provided by the actual race calls of the IMS Radio Network broadcast crew and legendary IMS public address announcer Tom Carnegie.  "Fans are going to be amazed with the level of access teams and officials gave the IMS Productions staff in May to create this DVD," said Buddy McAtee, vice president and executive producer of IMS Productions. "With this access, fans will see and hear things they could only imagine. In addition, the DVD format allows us to include additional material that we couldn't include on a VHS tape."  The production gives an insider's view of what it means to win the Indianapolis 500 as race winner Buddy Rice looks back on his month of May, going from pole sitter to Victory Lane in an exclusive interview conducted the day after his win at IMS. Special sections on Rice include a feature on his rise to glory from his early days in BMX and kart racing to his career in the IRL® IndyCar® Series, a feature on his hot rod collection and an interview of Bobby Rahal, Rice's team owner and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner.  Rice also offers commentary throughout the film, similar to the "director's cut" commentary offered in many feature-film DVD's.
NASCAR ramping up promotion of championship playoffs NASCAR ramping up promotion of championship playoffsWith the “Chase for the Nextel Cup” beginning next weekend, NASCAR is “rolling out a new set of ads” focusing on the ten speedways where the races will be held, according to Sarah Talalay of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. Nextel has already been “promoting the Chase with a sweepstakes in which fans enter their names along with the name of their favorite driver.” The company is “picking 10 winners, who will get to visit their favorite driver and receive VIP treatment at one of the tracks” (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 9/12). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Scott Warfield reports that NASCAR is planning a “promotional blitz” Thursday in N.Y. around the ten drivers who qualified for the “Chase.” NBC, which will broadcast the final eight races, will have all ten drivers on the “Today” show, and ESPN’s “PTI,” “Live! With Regis & Kelly” and ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza” are also interested in having the drivers as guests. NASCAR Chair Brian France will be on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” and, along with Nextel Senior VP/Marketing Mark Schweitzer, will also appear on PBS’ “Nightly Business Report.” ABC’s “The View” and Fox News’ “DaySide with Linda Vester” also plan NASCAR segments SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
Tropicana drops sponsorship of NASCAR Chicago race Tropicana drops sponsorship of NASCAR Chicago raceTropicana will not renew its four-year sponsorship of the July NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway after “setbacks in the juice market caused them to retrench,” according to Tim Cronin of the DAILY SOUTHTOWN. Chicagoland Speedway VP & GM Matt Alexander said that three companies, two of them Chicago-based, are “under serious consideration to become the new title sponsor.” All three companies “have been involved with racing sponsorships in the past.” The sponsorship “would cost approximately [$3-4M] annually, not including any TV commercial time.” Alexander “hopes to land a company that would sponsor the entire weekend,” which also includes a Busch Series race. Alexander would also like to add a Craftsman Truck race, but that “is on hold, pending the signing of a title sponsor with an interest” DAILY SOUTHTOWN
Seen at Laguna Seca Seen at Laguna SecaLola and Ford executives were seen headed to a meeting with all three OWRS owners and top Champ Car executives on Sunday in Laguna Seca. As we understand it, the topic of discussion was 2005 and beyond. Paddock chatter is that the current chassis/engine will remain largely unchanged for next year, with an option to extend to 2006 if Champ Car so desires.
Marlboro to end IRL sponsorship in 2006 Marlboro to end IRL sponsorship in 2006According to this Philip Morris (PM USA) article,  The agreement (tobacco Master Settlement Agreement) limits each participating manufacturer to a single brand-name sponsorship in any 12-month period. It prohibits manufacturers from engaging in brand-name sponsorships of concerts, events in which minors are a significant percentage of the intended audience, events in which any paid participants are minors or any athletic event between opposing teams in any football, basketball, baseball, soccer or hockey league.  PM USA chose as our single 2004 sponsorship an Indy Racing League (IRL) car racing team in conjunction with Team Penske but has announced we will voluntarily discontinue our brand sponsorship of auto racing by December 1, 2006.
F1 again dwarfs NASCAR F1 again dwarfs NASCAROnce again, to put in perspective how miniscule NASCAR is compared to F1, yesterday's Italian GP drew a TV audience of 17.8 million in Italy alone.  Given the small population of Italy compared to the USA, and if Americans could take their blinders off, they would realize that NASCAR has a very long way to go before it even dreams of surpassing F1.  What's really preposterous, was Anton George's proclamation at a motorsports conference (two years ago) for all to hear, that he would grow the IRL to surpass F1 and NASCAR in  ten years time.  Last we checked, the IRL's network TV ratings were comfortably under a 1.0 rating and dropping.  Perhaps Tony was hallucinating, as we can't explain such ridiculous statements any other way.
Jeff Gordon worth $155 million (net) Jeff Gordon worth $155 million (net)According to Fortune Magazine, Jeff Gordon has a net worth of $155 million and is 29th on the list of under 40-year old millionaires.
Another costly wreck filled day for the IRL Another costly wreck filled day for the IRLThis IndycarRacing.com article summarizes all the crashes at Chicagoland on Friday, resulting in another windfall cashflow day for the car manufacturers.  Buddy Rice’s day was proceeding according to plan before it literally was turned upside down.  Rice was in the middle of the lead pack when the left-rear tire of his No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone touched the right-front tire of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry driven by Darren Manning on Lap 186 of the Delphi Indy 300.  The impact pushed Rice’s car sideways and Manning’s front wing scooped it like a shovel. The No. 15 car flipped and slid about 100 yards down the backstretch. The Delphi Safety Crew quickly righted the car and Rice climbed unhurt from the cockpit.  “What ends up happening when you have 20-lap shootouts at places like this everyone is in tight quarters all the time and it is the way it goes,” said Rice of his bumpy ride. “I’ll just have to wait and see what happened when I look at the video.”  Ganassi credited the safety elements of the IndyCar Series cars with protecting Rice. The roll hoop, which follows the contour of the headrest, is 5 inches above the driver’s helmet and is constructed of SAE 4130 aircraft-quality tubing (that and the luck of God).

Manning, who was running fifth after a Lap 179 restart, agreed that the final 20 laps in a race with championship points on the line was a factor.  “We were just running so close it is difficult to say what happened to be honest,” said Manning, who also was uninjured. “You are just running in such close proximity all the time and these cars were moving around so much at the end of the race. I know Buddy had to check down a little because of a car on the outside of him. It’s just a shame for both of us.”  The first 86 laps were run under green, an IndyCar Series record for Chicagoland Speedway. The IndyCar Series record is 146 laps at Kentucky in 2003.

Three other incidents involved five cars. On Lap 111, the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Townsend Bell made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 3 on Lap 111. He was running 11th at the time.

On Lap 130, the right-front tire of the No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone driven by Jaques Lazier made contact with the right-rear tire of the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone of Vitor Meira exiting Turn 1. The bump sent Lazier’s car into the SAFER Barrier.

Tomas Scheckter's No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing car, getting caught behind Lazier in the “dirty air,” also made contact with the wall. Lazier, who started 20th because of a post-qualifying engine change, was running seventh.  “We are extremely disappointed with what happened,” Lazier said. “I need to take a look at some stuff but without a doubt there was some crazy things going on out there. People were driving over their heads.”

There was a 23-lap caution period before the Rice-Manning contact to pick up the debris and clean the track of oil after the No. 14 entry driven by A.J. Foyt IV made contact with the No. 13 car of Mark Taylor in Turn 4.   “We got into a bang-up a few laps before that in Turn 1, right front (to) left rear, so you never know, something might have happened,” said Foyt, who was running 13th. “All of a sudden, the car wanted to go up the track. Unfortunately, the 13 car was there. We had a good day going, but it ended a little short.”

Toyota Atlantic honors 2004 standouts in awards banquet Toyota Atlantic honors 2004 standouts in awards banquetThe Toyota Atlantic championship held its 2004 awards banquet at Monterey's Hyatt Regency hotel this Sunday night. The evening's highlights were the announcement by Dick Eidswick that a Champ Car test will be arranged for 2004 Atlantics champion Jon Fogarty (and likely to all future series winners), and series runner-up Ryan Dalziel outrageous pink outfit, matched to a traditional Scottish kilt (to the naysayers, Dalziel assured "it takes a real man to wear pink AND a skirt.").
The Awards:
Rookie of the Year - Andrew Ranger
Gilles Villeneuve Award - Ryan Dalziel
Mechanic of the Year - Jethro Austin (Sierra Sierra)
Rising Star - Ronnie Bremer
Most Laps Completed - Danica Patrick
Team Owner of the Year - All team owners
Michael Rosen Memorial Trophy - Alex Figge
Engineer of the Year - Tim Lewis (Pacific Coast)
Shock Technician of the Year - Jim Griffith (Polestar)
Top Wrench Award - Alex Roberge (Pacific Coast)
Jovy Marcelo Sportsmanship Award - Bryan Sellers
Cassio Cortes
Tracy gave Bourdais flat tire Tracy gave Bourdais flat tire“Paul (Tracy) rubbed my left rear tire real hard with his wing and it put a big hole in it,” said Sebastien Bourdais after Sunday's race at Laguna Seca.  “He kept pushing and pushing and pushing on my tire until he got me sideways and punctured it.  I went around the debris in the area and he just ran over it like he didn’t care.  After that we were trying to get back to the front and were stuck behind (Roberto) Gonzales and the struggle continued.  He was slowing so much at the apex of the Corkscrew and the other corners that it was impossible to pass him.  He was stopping the car so much and I was surprised once and ran into the back of him.  On the last stint we were one set short on tires because we had to replace the first set after Paul cut one so we had to use a scuffed, standard set which was not the best situation. The back of the car was difficult to control and I was trying hard to pass Tagliani.  On the last lap I wasn’t even trying to do anything.  Maybe I got too close in Turn 4 and went into the dirt which allowed Mario (Haberfeld) to pass me.  It was a very frustrating race; the result didn’t equal the potential.”
Junqueira happy with Laguna Seca result Junqueira happy with Laguna Seca resultBruno Junqueira was all smiles when he exited the car Sunday at Laguna Seca after finishing 2nd and gaining points on his teammate.  “I am really happy,” said Junqueira.  “It was a good weekend for me and the PacifiCare team.  We had great expectations coming here this year after running well last year.  However, the car was not as good and we couldn’t find the right balance.  Then I crashed the morning before final qualifying and my team had to work hard to get the car ready.  We started 8th, which wasn’t really good, so we knew it would be hard.  My PacifiCare team had good strategy and we had good fuel mileage and we were strong at the end.  I am happy to finish second.  The Championship is still wide open and I am still fighting hard.  This really gives us a boost for us to do well in Las Vegas and keep fighting.  Let’s roll the dice in Vegas and see if we can win.”
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
Trulli fired
Quick questions in Italy - Sunday 1
Bruni - 'I'm fine' after blaze
'You're P1, Rubens!'
Button - 'That's for Grandad'

Carping Trulli is 'mad' - Briatore
Marshals only push a Ferrari - Alonso
Bad choice was DC's fault - McLaren
BMW's Mini gift was 'rude' - Ferrari 
I didn't try to trick Schu - Montoya
Minardi's $5m damage bill
China will be 'staggering' - F1 aces
'Parc ferme' + rain = safety risk
One more rule change likely - source
Pizzonia move 'silly' - Coulthard
Ferrari's 'best season ever' - Barrichello
Rubens to succeed Schu - Ross Brawn
F1 may lose team in 2005, warns Todt
Villeneuve to test Trulli's Renault
Laguna Seca tidbits Laguna Seca tidbitsPatrick Carpentier became the first back-to-back winner at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since Bryan Herta in 1998-99

Oriol Servia’s podium finish for Dale Coyne Racing was the first podium for the Coyne team since Roberto Moreno finished third at the inaugural U.S. 500 at Michigan in 1996.

Carpentier’s victory also boosted Canada’s lead in the Nation’s Cup standings to 43 points after 11 races, which is the largest lead that any nation has held so far this season.

Michel Jourdain Jr’s start today was the 149th of his career, vaulting him ahead of Scott Brayton for 12th on the Modern Era (1979-Present) starts list. It was also his 146th consecutive start, moving him into fifth place on that Champ Car list.

Schumacher slams Montoya Schumacher slams MontoyaAccording to this Planet F1 article Michael Schumacher has slammed Juan Pablo Montoya for playing games with him in the opening lap of the Italian GP, claiming that Montoya purposely slowed making it look as if Schumi had gained an advantage. Going into the first chicane, Schumacher and Montoya were tussling for position with the Colombian having the advantage of the inside line. This forced Schumi wide and across the apex of the chicane, which allowed the Ferrari driver to gain a place on Montoya. Schumacher therefore had to slow down and allow Montoya to pass him or risk being penalised by the stewards. The Williams driver, though, didn't immediately retake third place, choosing instead to play. And when he finally did decide to pass the German, he allowed for Kimi Raikkonen to slip through as well. Explaining the incident Schumacher said: "At the first chicane I just couldn't stop the car in time. It looks like we struggled a little bit more than the other tyre companies, so I had to run straight. I then slowed down to let Juan get through. Juan played a little bit smart and slowed down himself to make it look like I was gaining an advantage." His woes, though, didn't stop there, as "coming into the second chicane it was just slippery again. I was sliding, got a nice four wheel slide. Jenson was on the outside, he couldn't avoid that one and I just touched slightly with my front wheel, I don't know, on his side pod, which spun me around. It was just one of those things, they do happen." Schumi added: "During the race I wouldn't have expected after that to be second because I expected the pace with other teams to be closer but our car was so fast. To come home with both cars first and second with just one second between us was great - we made the right calls thereafter."
Buddy Rice uninjured in horrific crash Buddy Rice uninjured in horrific crashUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Maybe it was to you or someone else that I once emailed this earlier this season - whether it's in the pits or on the track, each IRL race is a disaster waiting to happen. It was lucky today that Rice didn't land on top of another car and kill one or both drivers. Mark Smith, Texas  Dear Mark, Ironically we have quotes from Bobby Rahal when he was President of CART whereby he said he was uncomfortable about an all-oval race series because it was far too dangerous.  “I’m uncomfortable with a series that runs only on ovals. The risk factor is considerably greater," said Rahal in September, 2001.  We wonder if today he had flashbacks to the horrifying crash of another of his drivers in Texas one year ago, that of Kenny Brack. Mark C. 09/12/04 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice was uninjured after his Dallara Honda got upside down at today's Chicagoland IRL race, flew over Darren Manning's car and rode upside down along most of the back straight.  The IRL made changes to try and stop the cars from flipping over and today's incident was the first flip since the IRL added aero changes to the cars to keep them down on the track.
Carpentier and Servia put option tires to good use Carpentier and Servia put option tires to good useMuch like a year ago here, Patrick Carpentier controlled today's race while others around him stumbled, as the Forsythe Championship Racing driver rolled to his second consecutive victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Carpentier took the lead for good on lap 41 and pulled away from the field to win by 5.4 seconds over Bruno Junqueira of Newman/Haas Racing. Oriol Servia finished third, giving longtime Bridgestone Firestone supporter Dale Coyne Racing its first podium finish since the 1996 U.S. 500.

Like most drivers, Carpentier opted to use both of his Bridgestone Potenza alternate tires sets during the race and they helped him build the insurmountable cushion. The alternate tires, nicknamed "red stripes" for their identifying red sidewalls, provide additional grip compared to the standard tire sets and yield quicker lap times.

"It was amazing," Carpentier said with an ear-to-ear grin in victory lane. "We used the Bridgestone soft tires in qualifying and I had a set that I thought I kind of burned out because I kept spinning the rears in qualifying. But they were perfect. The car stayed balanced the whole time. It was a little bit loose - that's how we set it up - and even with that it stayed exactly the same. For me the tires were really great. I really love that soft compound Bridgestone came with. It lasts as long as the other one. It's fantastic!"

So good this weekend were the Bridgestone alternate tires that Mario Dominguez of Herdez Competition, a lap down in 11th place, pitted in the closing laps specifically so his crew could put on a set of alternates to finish the race. Dominguez proceeded to set the fastest race lap - and collect a championship point for doing so - on his last lap. The time of 1 minute, 11.727 seconds was more than six-tenths of a second quicker than the next-best lap.

Industry News
Chicagoland Speedway Director of Public Relations resigns Chicagoland Speedway Director of Public Relations resignsAnnounced today, Brian Crichton who has been the Director of Public Relations and Promotions since the inception of the Chicagoland Speedway in 1998 has announced that this is his last year at Chicagoland.  He will be going to Daytona Speedway and will be the new manager of the Daytona Speedway Special Events and the new manager of DaytonaUSA.  No replacement for his position has yet to be announced by the Chicagoland Speedway. Rick Schenk
Nightmare race at Laguna Seca for Wilson Nightmare race at Laguna Seca for WilsonJustin Wilson was moving strongly through the field at Laguna Seca when he was unceremoniously punted off by Roldolfo Lavin at The Corkscrew on Lap 1.  Justin’s Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Lola suffered terminal damage to the front left suspension and steering rack.  Although the team attempted repairs in the hope they could pick up some valuable points, after 15 laps in the pits they concluded it was too risky to take the car back out on track.

Justin had been looking forward to the race at the undulating Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit, especially given his strong pace at Montreal.  However, finding a good set-up for the tight, dusty Californian circuit proved a real challenge.  Though Justin and his engineers found additional pace for final qualifying, the car still lacked grip and was still too far from the front-runners’ pace.  Justin found himself starting unusually far back from 15th on the grid.

Determined to enjoy the race and salvage some decent points, Justin pulled off one of his trademark starts.  Before the first lap was halfway gone he had put moves on Guy Smith and Rodolfo Lavin, while Mario Haberfeld had spun and Alex Tagliani had suffered a puncture.  But Justin’s race was over at Turn 8, the infamous Corkscrew which claimed a number of scalps throughout the weekend.

Talking through the accident after the race, Justin was angry with what he saw as over-aggressive driving by Lavin: “Rodolfo lost momentum after I passed him.  I went round the outside at The Corkscrew leaving him plenty of room, but he T-boned me and spun me round.  Then, to add insult to injury, he kept ramming the side of the car so he could get going again”.  Given early pit-stops from the likes of Sebastien Bourdais, Mario Dominguez, and Jimmy Vasser, Justin could have looked forward to a top six finish, which would have been a decent day’s work given his qualifying position.

Asked whether this was one to forget, Justin returned the question: “what’s to forget?!  We’re obviously bitterly disappointed to be out of the race, especially since it looks like we could have got a decent result.  It’s been a difficult weekend all round at Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, but we’ll re-group for Las Vegas”.

Formula BMW USA
Wirth wins Formula BMW crown Wirth wins Formula BMW crownRacing with an eye on the race track and another on rival James Hinchcliffe, Andreas Wirth clinched the 2004 Formula BMW title after taking 3rd place at today's Laguna Seca race. Hinchcliffe finished 4th and ended up in the runner-up spot in the standings; the race was won by Matt Jaskol.
Brazilians go crazy for Junqueira Brazilians go crazy for JunqueiraThe Brazilian fans know how to show their support for their countrymen. Bruno Junqueira did not win at Laguna Seca today, but you may have thought so the way the Brazilian fans waved their flags and chanted outside of victory circle. Bruno finished second.
50th victory for an Audi R8 50th victory for an Audi R8Audi drivers Jamie Davies and Johnny Herbert clinched the Drivers' title in the first ever Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) by winning the 1000-kilometre race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). They also gave the Audi R8 its 50th victory in a sports car race and secured the Teams' title for Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx. Seiji Ara and Rinaldo Capello from Audi Sport Japan Team Goh completed yet another 1-2 victory in a turbulent race, which saw the safety car in action on five occasions. For Pierre Kaffer and Allan McNish, the LMES finale at Spa ended prematurely after an hour following a collision with a lapped car.  The most successful Le Mans prototype of all time celebrated its 50th victory at the 1000 kilometre race at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. This milestone is particularly impressive because it was achieved over a mere four year period and in only 60 races. Since its debut at the 12-hour race at Sebring in March 2000, the Audi R8 has been considered the sports-prototype to beat. The R8 has already won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans four times. With its five victories in succession at Sebring, it remains, up till now, unbeaten, just as it does in "Petit Le Mans" at Road Atlanta. R8 drivers have won the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) five times in a row. And the R8 was also in a class of its own from the off in the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) held for the first time in 2004. The result at Spa-Francorchamps:
  1. Davies/Herbert (Audi R8) 144 laps in 5hrs 58m 55.262s
  2. Ara/Capello (Audi R8) - 1 lap
  3. Minassian/Campbell-Walter (Zytek) - 5 laps
  4. Frei/Hancock/Cochet (Courage) - 7 laps
  5. Stack/Hignett/Collini (Zytek) - 8 laps
  6. Erdos/Ramos/Newton (Lola-AER) - 8 laps
  7. Bouchut/Lamy/Zacchia (Ferrari) - 12 laps
  8. Belmondo/Gosselin/Eyckmans (Courage) - 15 laps
  9. Ortelli/Collard (Porsche) - 15 laps
10. Enge/Pergl/Goueslard (Ferrari) - 15 laps
Sunday morning notes from Chicagoland Sunday morning notes from ChicagolandCars that changed engines on Saturday: No. 24 Felipe Giaffone, No. 20 Jaques Lazier, No. 12 Tora Takagi, and No. 4 Tomas Scheckter will be moved to the rear of the starting grid and start in the following order:
18. #13 Taylor
19. #24 Giaffone
20. #20 Lazier
21. #12 Takagi
22. #4 Scheckter
Drivers mathematically eligible for the IndyCar Series title:
1. Kanaan   503 Points
2. Wheldon 431 Points  -72
3. Rice  427 Points  -76
4. Castroveves 359 Points  -144
5. Franchitti 354 Points  -149
Weather: Sunny with a high of 84 expected.  Wind conditions very calm. 
Drivers meeting very intense could hear a pin drop. Rick Schenk
Fogarty tops morning warm-up Fogarty tops morning warm-upToyota Atlantic championship leader Jon Fogarty topped the timesheets in morning warm-up for today's race. Chief title contender Ryan Dalziel was third fastest but he had gearbox troubles, so he may be faster come race time. Today's championship battle should be hard fought with a tie for points quite possible, depending who wins, leads most laps and sets fastest lap.
Button stunned by Ferrari's race pace Button stunned by Ferrari's race paceThe Ferrari team's 1-2 on home soil was disappointing for BAR's Jenson Button who had looked to be on course for the win. However, he was unable to match the blinding pace of the Ferraris in the final stint of the 53-lap race.  "Ferrari's pace was something else which we didn't expect," Button said.  "It's great now that we have overtaken Renault for second in the Constructors' Championship and I just have to dedicate this podium to my grandad who is watching the race from a hospital bed," Button added. "  "I knew we were looking very strong to claim a podium and we did even think we could go for a win but the Ferraris were just so fast that we couldn't."
British F3
Carroll turns up the heat on Piquet Jr Carroll turns up the heat on Piquet JrAfter being pushed to the grass in the first lap and dropping down to 7th place, Nelson Piquet Jr fought back to finish 4th in today's British F3 race at Spa, Belgium. The bad news for Piquet is Adam Carroll, who had already won the previous round yesterday, led from flag-to-flag to close his gap to Piquet in the standings from 51 to only 26 points - giving him a realistic shot at the title, should the Brazilian have a bad weekend during the season finale at Brands Hatch, in October.
Bruni recovering from fire Bruni recovering from fireGianmaria Bruni is recovering at the Monza circuit's medical centre after his horror refuelling fire during Sunday's race.  The Italian's Minardi caught alight during his second pit stop when fuel continued to pour out even after the fuel hose was disengaged from his car. The fuel ignited when it touched the hot exhaust, resulting in a ball of flames that engulfed Bruni's car.  His mechanics quickly doused the fire and Bruni was able to climb from his car. He was, however, struggling to breathe because of the powder from the fire extinguishers that he'd inhaled.Bruni was then taken to the Monza circuit's medical center where he is currently recovering. PlanetF1
Study: Stewart will be Nextel Cup champion Study: Stewart will be Nextel Cup championTony Stewart will win the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship.  This announcement might seem a bit premature, since none of the deciding 10 races in the new Chase for the NEXTEL Cup have been run yet.  But if history plays a role in the final 10 races, Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark – whose speedway will host the seventh of 10 races in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup – said this projection probably isn’t too far off the mark.

“Of course these findings are completely based on what might be, rather than what will be – and as we all know, anything can happen in NASCAR,” Clark said. “But those of us who follow racing history also know how strong an indicator it can be. Based on what we’ve found, I wouldn’t be surprised if the final standings are almost identical to our charts.”

Atlanta Motor Speedway’s unscientific study took the average finish of each of the top 10 drivers at each of the 10 tracks in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. Drivers were then awarded points, according to the usual NASCAR points system, based on their average finish at each track. Those projected points were added to each driver's current point totals to create a projected finishing order for the top 10 drivers in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. None of the 5-point bonuses for leading a lap or leading the most laps were awarded.

Based on those calculations (see attached charts), Stewart will fare the best during this final 10-race stretch, propelling him to the 2004 NEXTEL Cup championship. He will be closely followed by four-time champion Jeff Gordon and fellow Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson.  “Obviously our study was just for fun, but it does provide some food for thought,” Clark said. “When you break things down like this, you see who needs to do a lot of work and who just needs to stay with the status quo. The beauty of this new format, though, is that you don’t have any idea who’s going to peak – and momentum is something that we can’t calculate mathematically.”

“The key to winning the championship for those at the bottom of this list is to focus on improving every week,” Clark said. “I expect to see a lot of testing and a lot of experimenting – anything to improve their past performances.   And of course we think the culmination of this excitement of the final 10 races will probably be during week 7, when a couple of drivers are starting to establish themselves as contenders and the rest of the field is struggling to stay in the race.”
Order   Pts     Driver  Proj. Points    Total Proj. Points    
1       5,050   Gordon  1,305   6,355 
2       5,045   Johnson 1,287   6,332 
3       5,040   Earnhardt Jr    1,166   6,206 
4       5,035   Stewart 1,345   6,380 
5       5,030   Kenseth 1,081   6,111 
6       5,025   Sadler  1,007   6,032 
7       5,020   Busch   1,054   6,074 
8       5,015   Martin  1,253   6,268 
9       5,010   Mayfield        964     5,974 
10      5,005   Newman  1,213   6,218 
Projected Top 10                                      
1       6,380   Stewart               
2       6,355   Gordon                
3       6,332   Johnson               
4       6,268   Martin                
5       6,218   Newman                
6       6,206   Earnhardt Jr.                 
7       6,111   Kenseth               
8       6,074   Busch                 
9       6,032   Sadler                
10      5,974   Mayfield

Krisiloff wins first stock car race Krisiloff wins first stock car raceWinner of the yellow flagged plagued ARCA RE/MAX ReadyHosting.com 200 yesterday, Indianapolis Indiana native Kyle Krisiloff driver car # 5 ditech.com Chevrolet, is the nephew of Tony George.  His father is Steve Krisiloff who works with the Passive Racing Group of the Indy Racing League Series.  This marks the first career Stock Car race win for Krisiloff. Rick Schenk
Gentilozzi/Kendall battle was closet ever Gentilozzi/Kendall battle was closet everGentilozzi and Kendall finished the season tied in championship points, a feat not achieved in the Trans-Am Series since 1966. Gentilozzi clinched the title by virtue of his five wins this year to two victories for Kendall. His fourth title ties Gentilozzi with Kendall for the most championships in Trans-Am history. In fact, it was the closest Drivers' Championship finish in Trans-Am's 39-year history as the drivers' title was not officially instituted until the 1971 season.
Trulli paranoid claims boss Trulli paranoid claims bossFlavio Briatore is growing tired of Jarno Trulli's claims that the Renault team has tried to damage his performance since shocking the F1 paddock with the announcement that he was to leave at the end of the season.  Trulli, who created his first surprise of the season by winning the Monaco Grand Prix, reportedly told the Italian media that he suspected members of the team of 'playing mind games... in the hope that he might quit early'. Briatore, however, insists that such ideas are nonsense - and verging on paranoia.  "I think Jarno is suffering from a syndrome," Briatore told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, "Why would we want to make life difficult for him when we are still fighting for second place in the constructors' championship? We need to get both cars in the points at every race. It's madness."
Some people claim that my mind is not on the game any more," the Italian told ansa.it, "but I am stubborn. Even if they want me to leave sooner [than the end of the season], I will continue to stay."  Trulli suffered a big accident at the British Grand Prix in July, and then complained that his replacement chassis did not feel as predictable as its predecessor. He qualified on pole at Spa two weeks ago, but dropped back through the field after his car 'lost balance' after its first pit-stop.  Renault built an entirely new car for the Italian's home race this weekend, but Trulli has continued to mistrust its handling.  "I still do not feel completely comfortable with the car, and it was nervous and difficult to drive on the [qualifying] lap," he said after taking ninth place on the grid at Monza. Crash.net
Rain hits Monza Rain hits MonzaForget what the local weather person says, because it has been raining hard here since 08:30 this morning, and there is little indication that it will improve to the once-forecast 21 degrees Celsius ambient temperature predicted.  There hasn’t been a wet race here since the 1981 race was affected at times by precipitation, and certainly there will be a lot of careful thinking by the teams and stewards to decide just what set-up changes will be allowed if it is still this wet this afternoon. There is no real sign that the weather will get a lot better, but right now it is a case of wait and see.
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
Quick questions in Italy - Saturday 1
Kimi to Ferrari - in 2006?
Zsolt happy to be unhurt
FIA to 'suspend' race behind safety car
BAR system is 'illegal' - Ron Dennis

Quick questions in Italy - Saturday 2
Tifosi used to 'bother' Barrichello
'CRB' decide Button hearing date

Ferrari president attacks Ecclestone
Ralf will test on Tuesday

'Fax Max' not successful - FIA's Mosley
Quick questions in Italy - Saturday 3
BAR to race '555' livery in China
Zanardi wants F1 test
Minardi stole Button tire - Michelin
Bernie hasn't responded - BRDC's Bellm
Ferrari to race 'new concept' tire
Formula BMW
Wirth scores his fourth victory Wirth scores his fourth victoryAndreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport) took a flag-to-flag victory in Round 13 of the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship, moving ever closer to his first Formula BMW Championship. The season-long points leader held off a charge by teammate Jonathan Summerton to win the 15-lap contest by 1.284 seconds and now holds a 15 point lead heading into tomorrow's final round. Jonathan Summerton finished second, his sixth trip to the podium this season. James Hinchcliffe finished third and clinched the Rookie Championship. The young Canadian BMW Junior driver has led the Rookie points from Round 1 and has had a stellar season, winning three times and finishing out of the top-five only once. 15 points behind Wirth, he still has an outside chance at the overall Championship in tomorrow's Round 14 race.

Overall, the top-five in the Championship are Wirth (189), Hinchcliffe (174), Summerton (148), Matt Jaskol (141) and Billy Johnson (85).  The top-finishing Rookies were Summerton (P2), Hinchcliffe (P3) and Graham Rahal (P6).  With the Rookie Championship awarded to Hinchcliffe with 215 points, the battle for the remaining top positions is between Summerton (193), Tom Milner (135) and Graham Rahal (132).  The Round 14 race is scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow.

Race 13 - Results (15 laps) :
1.   Andreas Wirth              (HBR Motorsport)              22:21.697 (90.074 mph)
2.   Jonathan Summerton (R)  (HBR Motorsport)                 22:22.981
3.   James Hinchcliffe (R)      (AIM Autosport)               22:24.692
4.   Matt Jaskol                (Team Autotecnica)            22:25.077
5.   Billy Johnson              (Team PTG Motorsport)         22.36.803
6.   Graham Rahal (R)           (Vitesse Farm Racing)         22:37.972
7.   Kyle Herder                (Atlantic Racing Team)        22:41.421
8.   Brian Frisselle            (PoleVision Racing)           22:42.006
9.   Robbie Montinola           (Jensen Motorsport)           22:47.045
10. Tom Sutherland (R)          (Team PTG Motorsport)         22:50.975
11. Tom Milner (R)              (Team PTG Motorsport)         22:54.657
12. Alexis Fenton (R)           (Team Autotecnica)            23:13.163
13. Derek Burseth (R)           (PoleVision Racing)           23:40.855
14. Lawson Aschenbach           (Team PTG Motorsport)          4:42.386

Championship points after 13 of 14 races:
1. Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport, 189), 2. James Hinchcliffe (AIM Autosport, 174), 3. Jonathan Summerton (HBR Motorsport, 148), 4. Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica)

di Montezemolo launches scathing attack on Ecclestone di Montezemolo launches scathing attack on EcclestoneThis Autosport article says, Fiat and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo launched a scathing attack on Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at Monza on Saturday - and feared the sport was heading for crisis unless the teams were given more revenue immediately.  Di Montezemolo used the backdrop of his team's home race to warn that even super rich outfits like Ferrari would face question marks about continuing in the sport because the rising costs of competing could no longer be justified - especially as Ecclestone takes so much money out of the sport's coffers.

At the moment the teams receive just 47 percent of the television income while Ecclestone takes the rest, plus money from trackside advertising and hospitality. Di Montezemolo is also furious that shares in the sport have been sold to banks by Ecclestone.  "I think that a certain era of F1 is finished," said di Montezemolo. "We have to look at something new and it is totally impossible, and unacceptable, that the business has been sold three times [by Ecclestone] in three years and without any advantage for the players.  "The teams get only 47 percent of the television rights, which is less than 50 percent, and zero from advertising, ticket revenues and hospitality. This is not possible any more and it means unfortunately that someone has gone too far.  "I am worried that some teams cannot survive for money reasons. Ferrari is a small company and we have to think very carefully for the future. We have to try and give the maximum support to change the situation with the other car manufacturers."

Tidbits from Laguna Tidbits from LagunaSebastien Bourdais is the first driver since Juan Montoya in 2000 to win four consecutive Champ Car poles. He is also the first driver since Cristiano da Matta to win as many as seven poles in a year. He is still within reach of Danny Sullivan’s series record of nine poles in a season. 

Sebastien Bourdais has now qualified in the top three in each of his last 12 starts, eclipsing Alex Zanardi’s Modern Era Champ Car record (1979-Present) of 11 consecutive top-three starts. 

Bourdais now has 12 career poles, tying him with the legendary Parnelli Jones for 19th on the all-time Champ Car polewinners list. 

Five of the last six Champ Car races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca have been won from pole, with only Max Papis’ victory in 2001 breaking that streak.

Liuzzi wins final-ever F3000 race Liuzzi wins final-ever F3000 raceVitantonio Liuzzi finished his Formula 3000 International season as he started it by dominating the Italian Grand Prix support race in his home country. The Italian sprinted off at the start of the Monza event and was unchallenged as he came home 9.4sec in front.  This was the 206th and last race in the history of the category that has produced talents such as Jean Alesi, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Fernando Alonso. It was also Liuzzi's seventh victory in 10 starts this year, tying him with Montoya for the most wins in the category. Liuzzi will test Sauber’s F1 car at Jerez next week.  "It's great to be the last F3000 champion and also to win the last race to catch Juan Pablo's record,” said Liuzzi. “I would have liked to race to pass him with one more, but anyway it's been a great season so far, and we won more races than anyone else in one year and had more pole positions in one year.  I'm very happy about everything and hope to find something for the future.” SPEEDTV
IRL punishes Hornish and Franchitti IRL punishes Hornish and FranchittiFormer race winners Sam Hornish Jr. and Dario Franchitti were the first drivers to be sidelined as the Indy Racing League increases penalties for pit lane problems.  The two high-profile racers were held out of half of Friday's practice at Chicagoland Speedway for situations that occurred last month at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway.  At Nazareth, Franchitti bumped Scott Dixon sideways during a practice. In the race, Hornish pulled out of his pit box before his crew could disengage the fuel nozzle, causing the hose to tear and fuel to spill. A fire ensued.  The drivers lost 30 minutes of Friday's practice time, and neither appreciated it. But they both said they understood the emphasis chief steward Brian Barnhart is putting on pit lane safety.  There have been eight pit-related incidents in the past five races. Four crew members have been struck, and there have been two fires.  Barnhart started by fining teams, then moved to black-flagging them in races. Now practice time is being docked.  "We're trying to find the deterrent," Barnhart said.  Hornish, a two-time league champion, and Franchitti accepted responsibility for their miscues.  "They've got to punish somebody," Hornish said. Indy Star
Industry News
Key motorsports leaders to convene at conference Key motorsports leaders to convene at conferenceKey leaders of the automotive racing world will share the stage for the first time ever at the 2004 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Motorsports Engineering Conference & Exhibition. The conference takes place on Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Mich. 

Developed around the conference theme, "Change for Relevance," opening remarks by conference honorary general chair Herb Fishel, CEO, The Business of Motorsports; the keynote address by Max Mosley, President of the FIA; the executive Business Panel; and other executive sessions will examine the many key challenges facing racers, track owners, and sanctioning bodies, including providing exciting racing and competitive fields, controlling the high cost of racing, and assuring the safety of drivers, crew, and spectators. The scheduled business panel brings together for the first time the heads of the leading sanctioning bodies: Max Mosley, FIA; Mike Helton, NASCAR; Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League; Tom Compton, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA); and Steve Johnson, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Paul Pfanner, president of RACER Magazine, will serve as the panel moderator. Other panels will cover safety, racing engine and drivetrain, and vehicle design and development. A special event for young engineers interested in a career in racing is the Young Engineers Panel, during which professionals will talk about the skills needed to work in racing and the best opportunities to find these sought-after jobs.

For the first time, the conference will take an in-depth look at the extreme sports of Motocross and Snocross in two sessions scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 1. Another highlight of Wednesday will be the SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference Banquet, featuring Neil Ressler, former head of Jaguar Racing and Vice President of Ford Motor Company. Rounding out the event is an extensive program of technical sessions covering all aspects of racing from aerodynamics to engines, and an exhibit of many new products and services for race teams, plus racing vehicles of interest to all attendees.

Speaking at the conference and receiving special awards or recognition are: Ross Brawn, Technical Director, Scuderia Ferrari, SAE Motorsports Engineering Achievement Award; Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Director, AudiSport, SEMA Award; Doug Louth, Corvette Team Manager, Pratt & Miller, SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference Award; and Dr. Marcus Krug, Head of Electrics/Electronics, Sports and Touring Cars, BMW Motorsports, Special Certificate of Merit for the Design of Adaptive Controls for Alex Zanardi's Racing Sedan.

Motorsports engineers and enthusiasts alike are encouraged to attend. For more information on the event or how to register, visit the SAE Web site at http://www.sae.org/msec

Forgarty takes back pole from Dalziel Forgarty takes back pole from DalzielAmerican Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment) has had some impressive performances while winning nine pole positions in his distinguished Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama career, but none was more important or timely than the pole he earned Saturday in final qualifying for Sunday’s series finale – the Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Monterey Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Sunday, September 26 - 2 p.m. ET)

Fogarty, who resides in Portola Valley, California – just down the road from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road circuit – solved the problems his team encountered during Friday qualifying and posted the fastest lap of the weekend of 1:18.646 (102.444 mph) on his 19th turn on course in this afternoon’s final qualifying session. The 29-year-old racer finished third Friday in first-round qualifying after fighting a setup problem most of the day.

Winning the pole gave Fogarty a vital championship point in this weekend’s battle for the 2004 Atlantic crown, as he stretched his lead back to five points (295-290) over Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks). Fogarty, who won the series title in 2002, also will start from the front in Sunday’s 30-lap race and history has proven that winning the pole offers a good chance at victory at Laguna Seca. In the last 12 Atlantic races run at the picturesque Northern California course, the winner has started from the pole position nine times. More....

No ringing endorsement for IRL from France No ringing endorsement for IRL from FranceFor those of you who did not catch the Motley Fool financial radio show today, Brian France was on.  At the end of the show, they play "Buy, Hold or Sell," a bit whereby the host shoots subjects at the guest and the guest has to say buy, hold or sell based on their knowledge.  The host said "Indycar Racing," and France refused to anwer.  He said, "No comment, I just don't have the facts."  Not exactly a ringing endorsement from NASCAR, the organization the IRL is trying to align itself with!
Gonzalez crashes, misses qualifying Gonzalez crashes, misses qualifyingRoberto Gonzalez did not post a time in the final qualifying session due to his aforementioned off in the warm-up. The PKV crew will be hard at work this evening repairing moderate right rear damage to the 750hp Lola, in order to breathe new life into the machine that must start the race from 18th spot on the grid.  “I just lost the rear end – it’s pretty simple,” said Gonzalez. “I was going into Turn 4 and the back end came out and that was it. My guys made some changes that we thought would help us in the session. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see if those changes would have worked. I’m just really disappointed that it happened right before qualifying.”
Medeiros wins IPS race Medeiros wins IPS raceResults Saturday of the Chicagoland 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event Sept. 11 at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed, reason out (if any):|
1. (1) Thiago Medeiros, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
2. (8) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
3. (5) Al Unser, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
4. (4) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
5. (14) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
6. (11) James Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
7. (6) Leonardo Maia, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
8. (3) Paul Dana, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
9. (10) Jesse Mason, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
10. (12) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
11. (15) Taylor Fletcher, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
12. (13) Scott Mayer, Dallara-Infiniti, 67, running
13. (2) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 66, running
14. (9) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 66, running
15. (7) Cory Witherill, Dallara-Infiniti, 44, accident
Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 152.537 mph
Time of race: 40:03.5089
Margin of victory: 0.0586 of a second
Cautions:  2 for 13 laps.
Lead changes:  0.
Lap leaders: Medeiros 1-67.
Point standings: Medeiros 437, Dana 342, Mason 283, Luyendyk Jr. 282, P.J. Chesson 272, Maia 242, Unser 217, Quintanilla 210, Giebler 180, Roe 164.
Formula BMW
Jaskol wins final pole of year Jaskol wins final pole of yearMatt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica) will start at the front of the field for the final race of the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship. He turned a lap of 1:28.232 around the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit to capture the Round 14 pole, his third of the season. Turning his three fastest laps at the end of the session, his last lap was his quickest, but the time was disallowed because an electrical problem with his car in the beginning of the session had brought out a red flag. His second fastest lap was still good enough to give him a one-half second advantage on the field. James Hinchcliffe, second overall in the Championship and Rookie points leader, improved from his third place effort in Round 13 qualifying and will start second (1:28.721). Jonathan Summerton will start third (1:28.727) and Championship points leader Andreas Wirth will start from the fourth spot.  The quickest Rookies in the field were Hinchcliffe (P2), Summerton (P3) and Graham Rahal (P8).
Delphi Indy 300 Post-Qualifying Notes Delphi Indy 300 Post-Qualifying NotesDelphi Indy 300 Post-Qualifying Notes
  • This is Helio Catroneves’ third MBNA Pole Award this season and the seventh pole position of his IndyCar Series career.  He also earned poles at Richmond and Nazareth earlier this season.
  • This is Castroneves’ and Toyota’s second consecutive pole.
  • Tony Kanaan qualified second, his seventh front-row start this season.  He has won only one race (Phoenix) from his previous six front row starts.
  • A.J. Foyt IV qualified sixth, his first top-10 qualifying effort in the IndyCar Series.  His previous best starting position this season was 14th at Kansas this season.
  • Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Alex Barron and Ed Carpenter turned identical lap times during qualifying.
  • #4 Scheckter did not make a qualifying attempt after his team changed the engine following morning practice.  He will however start 22nd. Rick Schenk
Champ Car Fan Forum highlights Champ Car Fan Forum highlightsToday's Champ Car Fan Forum panel at Laguna Seca included - Champ Car's John Lopes, Tommy Kendall, Kevin Kalkhoven, Roberto Gonzalez, Mario Dominguez and Ryan Hunter-Reay. There was a standing ovation for Kevin Kalkhoven. 
Kalkhoven asked fans how they like the series now, which brought a big ovation. Kevin made a point to say that he has made a career out of turning companies around.
Lopes - we expect 80 to 85K attendance in Vegas and race will be a nail biter, probably coming right down to the end for the win.
Lopes - Direction of chassis and engine - Chassis will be an evolution of the existing chassis, talking a lot to Lola. As for engine manufacturer, we do not want to forget about Ford because they were there for us.
Kalkhoven was asked about Long Beach - it is very much our intention to continue at Long Beach. Long Beach has received thousands of letters and email from fans saying they will not return to the event if the IRL were to replace
Calgary - Champ Car. Fan asked about 4th race in Canada - During Olympics we will not be able to race in Vancouver so we are looking for another venue in Canada.
Pit Windows - Question came up about pit windows. Basic answer was that pit windows, push-to-pass and option tires were all implemented to allow a faster car to pass a car in front.
Turbocharger - Kevin says we are studying it and would not commit one way or the other on whether engines will stay turbo. Some fans like turbos but in our opinion fans will like whatever engine Champ Car uses as long as it is not a dumbed down IRL engine, just as they have come to like push-to-pass after pissing and moaning about it. 
Kalkhoven said that just about every race we have been to this year attendance has been equal to or greater than the previous year. Promotion is the key.
TV - Kevin said we will have a combination of network TV and cable. Qualifying will remain on HDNet in 2005, though we can tell you that an abbreviated version may be shown on cable.
Officiating - they are looking to make changes to rules such that officials can make calls that won't ruin the show. Kendall says officials must be able to evaluate if infraction was an avoidable risk.
Fontana return someday? - Kevin said they do not want us.
Vegas - Top teams have gone to wind tunnel to figure out to free cars up.
Sense of speed - One fan asked how to get a better sense of speed, he felt there were too many wide angle shots. The simple answer is to use more cameras like F1 does to get a closer shot of the car speeding by. That and a screaming V10 engine. End of story.
P2P once again increased to 75 seconds P2P once again increased to 75 secondsRepeating a trend of this season's 2nd half, Champ Car has decided to once again allow an extra 15 seconds of push-to-pass to its drivers - a good call, considering how difficult passing is at Laguna Seca.
Fogarty fights back, claims Laguna pole Fogarty fights back, claims Laguna poleIn another chapter of their to-the-wire duel for this year's Toyota Atlantic championship, PCM's Jon Fogarty was able to steal pole position for tomorrow's race from Sierra Sierra's Ryan Dalziel, after Dalziel set the fastest time during Friday qualifying. After being chopped to 4 points yesterday, Fogarty's lead over Ryan is back to 5 points, making the Scotsman's task for tomorrow a little more complicated. Sparks will likely fly Sunday on Laguna's traditionally hectic first turn as the title contenders share the first row. Andrew Ranger, Danica Patrick and Ronnie Bremer round out the grid's top-5.
Pos Driver Car# Team Lap Time Mph Kph Leader Previous
1 Jon Fogarty 96 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:18.646 102.444 164.863 0.000
2 Ryan Dalziel 28 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:18.921 102.087 164.289 0.000 0.275
3 Andrew Ranger 27 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:19.020 101.959 164.083 0.099
4 Danica Patrick 24 Rahal Letterman Racing 1:19.177 101.757 163.758 0.256 0.157
5 Ronnie Bremer 4 Polestar Racing Group LLC 1:19.201 101.726 163.708 0.602 0.024
6 Alex Figge 69 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:19.219 101.703 163.671 0.298 0.018
7 Bryan Sellers 19 Lynx Racing 1:19.814 100.945 162.451 0.948 0.595
8 Tonis Kasemets 6 Brooks Associates Racing 1:20.104 100.579 161.862 1.028 0.290
9 Chris Festa 25 Rahal Letterman Racing 1:20.264 100.379 161.540 1.353 0.160
10 Adam Pecorari 2 Jensen Motorsport 1:20.339 100.285 161.389 1.554 0.075
11 Josh Hunt 15 Lynx Racing 1:21.188 99.236 159.700 2.267 0.849
12 Philip Fayer 3 Polestar Racing Group LLC 1:21.586 98.752 158.922 3.057 0.398
13 Al Unser 10 Brooks Associates Racing 1:22.306 97.888 157.531 3.385 0.720
14 Cameron Binder 65 Binder Racing 1:24.657 95.170 153.157 5.736 2.351
Schumacher can’t beat Senna Schumacher can’t beat SennaMichael Schumacher's 3rd-place performance during today's qualifying at Monza means the German won't be able to break the last major record not already owned by himself in the F1 books: career poles, at least not this season. With only three races left after the Italian GP, the seven-time World Champion no longer can surpass Ayrton Senna's 65 poles, although he can tie Senna's mark - Schumacher has started in 1st 62 times in his 13-year career. Cassio Cortes
Barrichello’s pole the fastest ever Barrichello’s pole the fastest everIn further proof of Formula One's scarily escalating speeds, Rubens Barichello's pole-winning lap during qualifying today is the fastest pole ever in F1 history. Rubens's lap of 1:20.089 meant he traversed Monza's 5,793 meters at an average of 260.4kph (161.8mph). Although the Brazilian's flying lap was enough to beat 2nd place Juan Pablo Montoya by half a second, it was the Colombian who recorded the fastest F1 lap ever earlier in pre-qualifying, when he managed a 262.2kph average. Considering the speed-reducing regulations to be introduced by the FIA for next year and beyond, the South American drivers' records are likely to stand for a long while. Cassio Cortes
Hydraulic Differential not working for Conquest team Hydraulic Differential not working for Conquest teamThe Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team tried a hydraulic differential in both of their Lolas on Friday, but both Justin Wilson and Nelson Philippe struggled with it and hence both are switching back to a mechanical one today. As we understand it, many of the teams are running the hydraulic differential with good results, so it is a matter of the team figuring out the right setups for the hydraulic version.
British F3
Piquet Jr chokes, postpones championship clinch Piquet Jr chokes, postpones championship clinchIn an all-out slugfest at Spa, Nelson Piquet Jr was unable to close the deal on the 2004 British F3 title on today's first race. Polesitter Piquet stalled at the start, then spun to fall to 12th place, and drove back to end up 6th. Adam Carroll won to move up to 2nd in the championship standings, 37 points behind Piquet. Nelson Jr now needs to clear another 6 markers over Carroll to win this year's crown, a difficult task considering Sunday's grid is determined by Saturday's finishing positions. Cassio Cortes
Grand-Am watching Hurricane Ivan Grand-Am watching Hurricane IvanHurricane Ivan continues to be watched as we prepare for next weekend’s Miami 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  To give competitors more flexibility in their travels to Florida, the Miami 250 has been adjusted to a two-day event with on-track activity on Saturday, September 18th and Sunday, September 19th.  Competitor move-in will now be on Friday, September 17th at 2:30 p.m.  The complete revised schedule can be found as an attachment in this email and at www.grandamerican.com.  At this stage, the Miami 250 remains scheduled to run at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sept. 18 – 19, although we encourage you to look for another update on Monday afternoon when we should have a better idea as to the path and impact of Hurricane Ivan.  In addition to our Internet site and these email and FAX bulletins, we have also set up a telephone hotline that will provide regular updates on the status of the race and the storm.  The hotline is available at 1-866-451-7223.
Chicagoland Speedway Announces 2005 Season Schedule Chicagoland Speedway Announces 2005 Season ScheduleChicagoland Speedway officially announced the 2005 season schedule that will feature the return of NASCAR weekend in July and the Indy Racing League and ARCA RE/MAX Series weekend in September.  Chicagoland Speedway also announced there will not be an increase in Track Pack ticket prices for the 2005 season.  Chicagoland Speedway’s 2005 season will open with the 300-mile NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, July 9 and the 400-mile NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Sunday, July 10.  The 2005 season will conclude with the 100-mile IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series race and 200-mile ARCA RE/MAX Series on Saturday, September 10 and the Delphi Indy 300 (IRL IndyCar Series) on Sunday, September 11.
F1 is not boring according to Max and Mike F1 is not boring according to Max and MikeTwo of Formula One's most powerful men, Max Mosley and Michael Schumacher, don't believe grands prix are boring.  The latter, Ferrari's seven time champion, has won all but two races so far this season, but still thinks it's a good thing.  ''You can take it negatively if you want,'' said the German, ''but there are a lot of people who see it in a positive way.  'It just depends on who you ask.''

Meanwhile, Mosley - the governing FIA's president - admits that while some races are processional, 'an awful lot' have been good.  ''Hungary, okay, it was boring, but Germany and Spa were interesting.  And I see (Schumacher) as a sporting phenomenon.  'It has a 'I was there' element, and that interests people.''  But, surely, Max cannot deny that without Michael on the grid, the '04 tussle for the championship would have been very close.  ''Yes.  It needs to change.  But it will change.'' GMM

Naked hack's not off the hook Naked hack's not off the hookBob McKenzie thought he was off the hook by putting a shirtless photo of himself with a 'Daily Express' race report.  Not so, according to McLaren's Ron Dennis.  Earlier in 2004, journalist McKenzie confidently promised to run naked around Silverstone if a silver car won a race this season.  At Spa, of course, Kimi Raikkonen did the deed. Newest reports confirm that Dennis is indeed organising a day at the F1 circuit in Northamptonshire complete with 'flag marshals.'  Juan Pablo Montoya has also vowed to attend. GMM
One Team gets their hand slapped One Team gets their hand slappedUPDATE Ryan Newman remains an opponent of the current championship format, but he said no one in NASCAR had pressured him to temper his remarks. “I think the system that determines the champion ought to be fair to everybody,” said Newman, “and this system isn’t fair. I’m going to leave it at that, but I think everybody knows, as Americans, that we have constitutional rights, and if I have an opinion, I’m going to express it. I would hope NASCAR recognizes the rights we all have as Americans, and, no, they haven’t said anything to me about it.” Gaston Gazette 09/07/04 When NASCAR announced its new points system in January, some drivers complained. Since then, many have changed their mind, at least publicly, saying NASCAR made the right call. Don't expect to hear a dissenting opinion as at least one team has been told by NASCAR to keep its driver from bashing the system News and Record
Robby Gordon gets first Busch win Robby Gordon gets first Busch winRobby Gordon won a thrilling duel with Casey Atwood in the final laps Friday night to win the Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Gordon led the final 15 laps to capture his first career Busch Series victory.  "This is our first win, but there should have been about five or six of them," Gordon said in Victory Lane before thanking his team.  You can't say enough about guys that want to win."

Truex was third, followed by Jason Leffler, Kyle Busch, Mike Bliss and Kevin Harvick, giving Chevrolet the top seven spots.  "It's just tough short-track racing. You get up under somebody and it's so hard not to get loose down there on the bottom, especially on cold tires," Truex said. "I got a run on him, got loose and I want to apologize to him. He had an awesome car and probably should have won the race."  I'm so disappointed. I thought we were going to win tonight," said a dejected Atwood, who has three career victories, but none since 1999.

Max Mosley quotes Max Mosley quotesI wanted to have a quick press conference here for two purposes. One is because at the last one at Magny-Cours, I told you all that I was going to resign in October and that there was no going back on this decision and then two weeks later I went back on the decision. I thought I owed an explanation for that. Secondly, I thought you might find it useful if I brought you up to date where, at least from the FIA point of view, we are on the Formula One regulations for 2005 and 2006, because there seems to be a certain amount of misunderstanding.

Now for the Formula One regulations: The situation is, as I think everybody knows, that we gave, at the beginning of July, the Technical Working Group notice to produce proposals to slow the cars. Two months went by; there were no proposals, so in accordance with the Concorde Agreement, we have put forward three packages of proposals to slow the cars, and invited the Technical Working Group to choose one of them. These three packages, in each case, have three elements: tyres, aerodynamics and engine. The aerodynamics package is most liberal in package one, slightly less liberal in package two and still less open in package three. I won’t bore you with the details, it’s to do with wings and dimensions and so on – but that’s really what it comes down to. The tyres: it’s the same everywhere, the two sets per weekend that I think everybody knows about, and then the engine: the package one is a very restricted engine, package two is a slightly less restricted engine and package three is a fairly free engine, but in all three cases we’re talking about a 2.4-litre V8. And there’s some misunderstanding about it so let’s be very clear about that, in every case we’re talking about a 2.4-litre V8 but package one very restricted, package two not so restricted, package three quite open, rather like they are currently now, but with a requirement that the major manufacturers, in consideration of being allowed to spend huge sums of money on getting more horsepower, supply the small teams with engines.

Now, at the present time, I think it’s right in saying, but of course it can change at any moment, as far as the aerodynamics are concerned, they are all happy with package two. As far as the tyres are concerned, they are all happy – and when I say all, I believe it to be all ten teams but as we’ve seen so often in the past, that can change very quickly. On the engines, six or seven of them are happy with package two, that is to say, the restrictive but not ultimately restricted engine, and three are not happy. The three that are not happy have said they would prefer to stay with a 3-litre V10 in 2005 and 2006, also a single race engine, and that they would then consider going to a 2.7-litre V10 in 2007.

So I think that is a reasonable summary of the situation as it is at the present time. Now within the 45 days during which the technical working group have the possibility of choosing one of these three packages it may be that they will choose, that eight of them will agree finally on package two, which is the one that seven would appear to support. Or it may not. If that happens, well, then the matter could go immediately to the World Council for a decision. If that doesn’t happen, at the end of the 45 days the FIA is then free under the Concorde agreement to impose one of the packages itself, which I don’t doubt it will do. So I think that’s really all I can say. I think if I go on further about that I would be just confusing the issue. I think that’s fairly clear, but if it isn’t, I think the moment’s probably come to try and answer questions. Full Transcript

Montoya shatters Monza record in pre-qualifying Montoya shatters Monza record in pre-qualifyingUPDATE #2 We are now hearing that the Champ Car media event will indeed be held and the dates are March 24/25 in Indianapolis as we previously reported.  No on-track action is planned. 01/28/05 We are now hearing there probably won't be any on-track Spring Training for Champ Car this year because too many teams are up in the air at this point (Late TV deal, late schedule, no sponsors).  If there is an event, it will be a media/fan event in March in Indianapolis.  Drivers will be required to attend. 01/19/05 UPDATE#2 We are now hearing that Spring Training will not be at LVMS.  Firebird south of Phoenix has been mentioned.   Pretty desolate, but warm. 01/05/05 Word on the street is that Champ Car Spring Training will probably be in February at either Laguna Seca or Las Vegas, with Las Vegas being in the lead. 11/03/04  According to the Las Vegas Sun, Champ Car World Series officials are believed to be looking at holding their 2005 Champ Car spring training pre-season test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in February.  'We're going to pick a site out in the Western part of the United States that works for the teams and works for us and particularly as a good location for the press," Champ Car president Dick Eidswick said, while declining to elaborate on a specific site. "We're talking about having the spring training and the preview of the season probably the end of February."  LVMS general manager Chris Powell acknowledged that the topic of holding the test session and preview in Las Vegas has been discussed, but said the speedway and Champ Car do not have a signed agreement.
Formula BMW
Points leader Wirth scores pole for Round 13 Points leader Wirth scores pole for Round 13Championship points leader Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport) showed that he is the man to beat for the inaugural Formula BMW USA Championship, taking the pole in today's Round 13 qualifying session. Wirth has led the Championship points since Round 1 and made a strong statement today in saving his fastest laps for the last few minutes of the session. He recorded a 1:28.248 minute lap around the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit to take his second pole of the season.  Matt Jaskol qualified second (1:28.310) and James Hinchcliffe third (1:28.379). The fourth man in the championship battle, Jonathan Summerton, was fourth (1:28.463).  Only .215 seconds separate the four, guaranteeing an exciting Round 13 and race for the Championship.  This morning's one-hour practice was shortened to only 24 minutes because of an early morning fog surrounding the circuit. The top-five in that session were the top-five in Championship points, led by Matt Jaskol, Andreas Wirth, Jonathan Summerton, James Hinchcliffe and Billy Johnson.  Overall in the Championship, the top-five in points are Andreas Wirth (169), James Hinchcliffe (162), Jonathan Summerton (133), Matt Jaskol (131) and Billy Johnson (77).
Qualifying: Round 13
1.   Andreas Wirth              (HBR Motorsport)              1:28.248 (91.297 mph)
2.   Matt Jaskol                (Team Autotecnica)            1:28.310
3.   James Hinchcliffe (R)      (AIM Autosport)               1:28.379
4.   Jonathan Summerton (R)  (HBR Motorsport)                 1:28.463
5.   Billy Johnson              (Team PTG Motorsport)         1:28.965
6.   Lawson Ashenbach           (Team PTG Motorsport)         1:29.407
7.   Graham Rahal (R)           (Vitesse Farm Racing)         1:29.435
8.   Kyle Herder                (Atlantic Racing Team)        1:29.589
9.   Brian Frisselle            (PoleVision Racing)           1:29.790
10. Tom Milner (R)              (Team PTG Motorsport)         1:29.972
11. Robbie Montinola            (Jensen Motorsport)           1:30.152
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
Quick questions in Italy - Friday 1
Mosley may stand for re-election
Kimi is Schumacher's 'heir' - Ross Brawn
No 'heir' of mine - Michael Schumacher
Quick questions in Italy - Friday 2
Jaguar to remain 'Jaguar' in 2005
Quick questions in Italy - Friday 3
No more racing Stewarts - Sir Jackie
F1 to have V8 engine in 2006 - Mosley
BAR run 'legal' torque system
F1 return is 'unlikely' - Firman
Qualifying may not change - Mosley
No carmaker is quitting F1 - Max Mosley
Quick questions in Italy - Friday 4
Big teams are 'killing' us - Jordan
Jaguar run 2005 'interim' car
Bernie's being sued
Bernie 'no' to Brit GP offer
Dalziel wins provisional pole Dalziel wins provisional poleEvery time that Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks) has needed to produce a point in this season's tight championship fight for the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama crown, he's been able to deliver. The Scottish racer continued his ability to perform in the clutch on Friday, recording the fastest time in first-round qualifying and earning a vital point to close to within four markers of title rival Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment) for the 2004 Atlantic championship.

"We had to have this point," said Dalziel. "If we were to have lost this point to Jon, I think (the championship battle) would be over. It's that simple."  After struggling in the morning practice session at the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road circuit and working his way up the time sheets through the afternoon qualifying, Dalziel found his speed at exactly the right time, posting his fastest lap of 1:18.921 (102.087 mph) on his 12th and final lap to claim the provisional pole. In addition to earning the invaluable point in the title chase, the 22-year-old Lanarkshire, Scotland native also locked up a front-row starting spot for Sunday's 30-lap race - the Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Monterey Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Sunday, September 26 - 2 p.m. ET).

Dalziel's Sierra Sierra Enterprises teammate, Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye), also came up big late in the 30-minute qualifying session, clocking in at 1:19.020 (101.959 mph) for the second-fastest time of the day. Dalziel and Ranger qualified 1-2 in Round 6 earlier this season in Cleveland and the Sierra Sierra duo will look to turn the trick again on Saturday in final qualifying.

Fogarty, who led the morning practice session, fought a setup problem on his car for much of qualifying but still managed to produce the third-fastest time at 1:19.053 (101.916 mph). The local Portola Valley, California native feels that the problem was corrected on his machine and is confident that he can reclaim the point from Dalziel in final qualifying.

After running among the top three for the majority of qualifying, Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) wound up fourth in the running order with a top lap of 1:19.177 (101.757 mph). Alex Figge (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment) was also at the top of the scoring chart for most of both on-track sessions on Friday and he rounded out the top five qualifying times at 1:19.429 (101.434 mph).

Kendall wins Trans-Am pole Kendall wins Trans-Am poleTommy Kendall won the pole for Saturday’s Trans-Am 100, the 2004 season finale for the Motorock Trans-Am Series, Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR), turned in a 1:26.800-minute lap (92.820 miles per hour) to win his 45th career pole in his first Trans-Am start here.  Boris Said was second quickest in the No. 33 Applied Computer Solutions/ GE Access Ford Mustang, ahead of Ron Fellows in the No. 40 Derhaag Motorsports/Balijet Chevrolet Corvette. Paul Gentilozzi will start fourth in the No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR, ahead of the No. 49 Preformed Line Producs Chevrolet Corvette of Randy Ruhlman.  Kendall earned one bonus point for pole and now sits just 10 points behind championship leader Paul Gentilozzi going into tomorrow’s race.  “We need every point available and some help,” said Kendall, who earned Jaguar’s production-based, overhead-cam, fuel-injected AJ-V8 engine its sixth pole this season. “I need every point available and have Paul finish off of the podium. I’m glad to have these two guys, who aren’t my teammates, between myself and Paul.  “I’m racing for the championship, but I can’t afford to be careful,” added Kendall. “All three of us here want to win the race. For me, the simpler the scenario, the better. I simply need to win this race.”  Said starts on the outside pole after making a surprise entry in this weekend’s race.
Firman not giving up on F1 Firman not giving up on F1Ralph Firman today admitted it would be 'very hard' to get back into Formula One – but vowed to keep trying.  The Norwich-born driver raced for Grand Prix team Jordan last year, but his season was dogged by unreliability and bad luck, and he was not retained for this year's championship.  Since then he has competed in rounds of the Nissan World Series and in the Le Mans 24-hour race, and has recently signed a deal to help develop the single seater A1 Grand Prix car for a brand new winter championship.  "We have been talking to a number of Formula One teams but there's been nothing official yet so we will have to wait and see what happens," said the 29-year-old.  "It's going to be very difficult to get back into Formula One but we will keep trying. My main priority is to get a car – whether a single seater or a sportscar – which will give me a chance of winning a championship." Evening News 24
Industry News
More changes in store at Laguna Seca More changes in store at Laguna SecaMore changes are in store for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Between now and next summer more garages will be built, runoff areas in several turns will be increased and the Mazda Bridge over Turn 9 will be relocated further up the hill toward the Corkscrew 50 to 100 feet for safety reasons and to improve access to the Corkscrew area. Any changes at the track are always a struggle because of all the government oversight, not the least of which is the Army since Laguna Seca is surrounded by Fort Ord and the land the track is on used to be Fort Ord land. Mark C.
IPS quotes from Chicagoland IPS quotes from Chicagoland
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Our car was quick, and we were really confident in both sessions. We were just trying to find the best setup for qualifying and for the race. We just put everything together and got the best result. It's a long race. It's a 100-mile race, with a lot of side-by-side racing. It's always to good to start on the front. I'm really happy. We're looking forward to the race tomorrow."

TRAVIS GREGG (No. 5 AVS-Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We trimmed the car out a little bit more as the day went on. We worked on a little different downforce. We had a race setup on the car to start the day, and then towards the end, we were working on qualifying setup, and I think we ended up pretty good. Now that I've got a race under my belt at Kentucky, I have a lot more confidence. I feel like I can drive the car where it needs to go, and I can try new lines. We're able to experiment a little more and work towards that first win."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're happy we're near the front. We're a little disappointed we're not at the front. Actually, the grid is the exact same as the Kentucky grid, it's just the (Sam) Schmidt (Motorsports) cars are flipped around on the front row. I think we might have made a gearing error, and it cost us some time ramping up to speed. I think there might have been a tenth we left on the table but not the two or three tenths that they're quicker. I don't know that we were going to catch them. It's not going to matter for tomorrow. The Ethanol car is real solid in race traffic. The race is going to be a big lottery. It only matters what happens at the end."

CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We were actually trying to get some more speed out of the car. Qualifying wasn't too bad for us. We made some changes to try to get the car to cut through the air a little bit better. I'm definitely looking forward to the race. I was supposed to do the ARCA race tomorrow, too, but that didn't quite work out. I'm actually glad to be back over here and running in a car that I'm quite familiar with. Hopefully, we'll get a good finish tomorrow."

Medeiros takes IPS pole, Wheldon fast in Indy Cars Medeiros takes IPS pole, Wheldon fast in Indy CarsPoints leader Thiago Medeiros captured a record sixth pole position of the season, earning the top starting spot for the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro SeriesT Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Medeiros, driver of the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, recorded a fast lap of 28.6838 seconds, 190.770 mph, breaking Ed Carpenter's 2003 track record of 28.9437 seconds, 189.057 mph.

Medeiros' teammate Travis Gregg will start second, marking the third time Sam Schmidt Motorsports has swept the front row in 10 Menards Infiniti Pro Series events. Gregg qualified with a lap of 28.7564 seconds, 190.288 mph.

Paul Dana, Medeiros' closest challenger for the series championship, will start third with a lap of 28.9567 seconds, 189.972 mph.

The Chicagoland 100 is scheduled for 5 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 11. It will be broadcast at 3 p.m. on Sept. 16 by ESPN2.

Also on Sept. 10, Dan Wheldon led opening day of preparations for the IRL IndyCar® Series Delphi Indy 300, recording the fastest lap of each practice session.

Wheldon, driver of the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/ Firestone, recorded a best lap of 25.2788 seconds, 216.466 mph, in the afternoon session. Wheldon's lap was slightly better than Vitor Meira, whose fastest lap of 25.3508 seconds, 215.851 mph also was recorded in the afternoon session. Bryan Herta was third at 25.3608 seconds, 215.766 mph in the No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Qualifying for the Delphi Indy 300 is scheduled for Noon (EDT) on Sept. 11.

Pos. Car Name C/E/T Speed
1. 26 Dan Wheldon D/H/F 216.466 mph
2. 17 Vitor Meira G/H/F 215.581 mph
3. 7 Bryan Herta D/H/F 215.766 mph

Qualifying Friday for the Chicagoland 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:
1. (11) Thiago Medeiros, Dallara-Infiniti, 190.770 mph
2. (5) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 190.288 mph
3. (91) Paul Dana, Dallara-Infiniti, 188.972 mph
4. (25) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 188.777 mph
5. (2) Al Unser, Dallara-Infiniti, 188.094 mph
6. (33) Leonardo Maia, Dallara-Infiniti, 188.088 mph
7. (92) Cory Witherill, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.793 mph
8. (24) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infinti, 187.345 mph
9. (27) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.755 mph
10. (3) Jesse Mason, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.905 mph
11. (67) James Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.994 mph
12. (10) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.855 mph
13. (64) Scott Mayer, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.341 mph
14. (76) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.330 mph
15. (21) Taylor Fletcher, Dallara-Infiniti, 182.705 mph

Vasser proud to be Champ Car's old guard Vasser proud to be Champ Car's old guardThis SFGate article says, When Jimmy Vasser takes the green flag at Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey, he will extend one of the more impressive streaks in sports.   Vasser will make his record 194th consecutive start in a Champ car. The 80-lap race on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's twisty road course will also mark his 215th start in the 750-horsepower cars, which unlike stock cars have wings and no fenders.   "I've got a lot of great memories here," the 1996 Champ Car World Series champion and 1997 Laguna Seca winner said this week at the track where he watched races as a youngster. "I grew up in Morgan Hill up the road, went to high school there. I took my first driving school here.   "I won my first big Formula Ford race in 1984 here ... I won my first Formula Atlantic race here in 1987 and clinched the championship here in '96."  Vasser, 38, set the consecutive-start record two weeks ago in Montreal. Al Unser Jr. had started 192 races in a row when he left for the rival Indy Racing League.   Aside from his ability to avoid injury, Vasser's streak is all the more impressive given the financial and legal troubles faced by Champ Car, once the most popular open-wheel series in the United States.  The troubles are due in part to the rift that began eight years ago when Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George founded the Indy Racing League to showcase American oval racing. It challenged Championship Auto Racing Teams, which had a high number of road and street courses and was scheduling more races outside the country.   With the marquee Indy 500 on its schedule, the IRL lured many top drivers and teams.   CART declared bankruptcy last year, but investors bought CART's assets and named the new entity the Champ Car World Series. With new leadership, Vasser believes the series' troubles are mostly in the past. New teams and new drivers -- among them rookie A.J. Allmendinger of Hollister -- along with veterans such as Paul Tracy make for a good show for the fans, Vasser said. He also firmly believes Champ Car's mix of racing -- high-speed ovals, street courses such as Long Beach and road races such as Laguna Seca -- make it the most challenging series in the world
SPEED World Challenge
Audi team not happy with restrictions Audi team not happy with restrictionsThe Audi Certified Champion RS 6 team faces its greatest challenge in the team’s five year history competing in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series.  The SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. organization recently issued additional adjustments to the Audi RS 6 “Competition” cars.  These adjustments were “deemed necessary” by the SCCA officials in response to the Audis finishing one-two in four of the eight races this season. 

The new “negative adjustments” to the Audi RS 6s are as follows:  a 49.4 percent restrictor prior to each turbocharger (the car carried no restrictor previously); a maximum rear weight distribution of 42 percent (previously 42.5 percent); a combined limit of intercooler and brake cooling water capacity of 3.5 gallons (previously not limited); a freeze on the air intake system; a freeze on the cooling system and the removal of the standard intercoolers and air intake listed on the current Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS), which were used only at Sebring due to parts availability.

“The 49.4% restrictor means the Audi RS 6 will be breathing through a hole about the size of a .50 cent piece which will have a stifling effect to our performance,” said Mike Peters, Team Manager for Champion Racing.  “All we can do now is pray for rain and hope the quattro drive can move us to the front.”

“The Champion Racing Team is paying the ultimate price for the tireless performances that have been put forth in the last few rounds of World Challenge GT racing,” commented Louis Milone, Audi RS 6 Team Leader.  “Our Certified pre-owned RS 6s will now be competing at a level of performance far lower than even street driven units straight off the showroom floor.  With a severe blow to our cornering ability and an even more substantial blow to our power output, our team will have to pull together the remaining strengths of the Audis in an attempt to defend our 2003 Manufacturers Championship title for Audi.  It is because of the team’s consistent efforts, hard work and first-rate skills that we have been able to overcome previous competition adjustment obstacles.  The Champion Racing team is pulled together, poised and ready to show that we are not finished fighting yet.”

“Champion Racing built the Audi RS 6s according to the 2004 rules and regulations stipulated by the SCCA,” said Rod Bymaster, Motorsports Manager for Audi of America.  “The team spent the entire off-season developing the cars according to the SCCA guidelines and has continually developed the cars with each competition adjustment the SCCA has made throughout the year.  It’s because of the efforts of the well-run team that Champion Racing has stayed competitive.  Champion Racing will once again have to dig deep to try and develop the cars to make them competitive for the final two races.” 

A summary of the changes:
Car Change
Audi RS 6  49.4% turbocharger inlet restrictor, maximum rear weight distribution of 42%, intercooler and brake water cooling capacity limit of 3.5 gallons, freeze on air intake system, freeze on cooling system.
Cadillac CTS-V  +2% rear weight distribution maximum (to 50%)
Chevrolet Corvette  -50lbs (from 3000 to 2950lbs)
Dodge Viper Comp Coupe  -50lbs (from 3200 to 3150lbs)
Porsche 911 GT3  -2% restriction (from 20% to 18%)
Saleen SR  -100lbs (from 3100 to 3000lbs)

Kendall fastest in session 1 at Laguna Seca Kendall fastest in session 1 at Laguna SecaTommy Kendall didn’t let his lack of Motorock Trans-Am Series experience at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hold him back Friday as the driver of the No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR set the fastest time in first-round practice. Kendall, who has never before made a Trans-Am start here, turned the 2.238-mile circuit with a lap of 1:27.797 at 91.766 miles per hour.  Boris Said was second fastest in the No. 33 ACS Express/GE Access Ford Mustang, ahead of Ron Fellows (No. 40 Derhaag Motorsports/Balijet Chevrolet Corvette). Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR) and Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top five.
End of an era for Lynx End of an era for LynxUPDATE It should be noted that, although Lynx Racing will disappear from the scene, Cameron Motorsports - the organization that fielded the Lynx effort - will continue.  The team hopes to continue to field an Atlantic program for promising drivers with sufficient funding, but is also exploring opportunities in the Grand American Road Racing Daytona Prototypes category.  Cameron, and his brother, Rick Cameron, who has been Lynx Racing's head engineer for the past eight years, are also providing engineering support to the Valley Motors Star Mazda team that is currently 1-2 in the championship with drivers Michael McDowell and Dan DiLeo. 09/09/04 It will be the end of an era when the checkered flag falls on the final Toyota Atlantic race of the season this weekend when the Lynx Racing team completes its final race.  Owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx Racing is the most successful, championship-winning combination of racing team and driver development program in the 31-year history of the Toyota Atlantic series. Over the past 14 years, drivers, including Buddy Rice, Patrick Carpentier and Memo Gidley, have started from pole 32 times, scored 37 victories, finished on the podium 41 times and claimed two Toyota Atlantic championships.
Bridgestone and Corona take major sponsor role for Vegas Bridgestone and Corona take major sponsor role for VegasChamp Car World Series sponsor partners Bridgestone and Corona have had a major presence during the 2004 campaign, and both announced Friday that they would increase their roles when the series makes its first-ever visit to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 24-25.

The race will be known as the Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona, and will take place on the 1.5-mile LVMS superspeedway oval on Saturday night September 25. The event will take place directly after the conclusion of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck event, marking the first time that Champ Car will run a same-day doubleheader with a NASCAR-sanctioned series.

“Our valued partners play a major role in the success of the Champ Car World Series, and we’re very pleased to see Bridgestone and Corona take advantage of this opportunity with the Las Vegas race,” said Dick Eidswick, Champ Car president and CEO. “Bridgestone and Corona have long been involved in motorsports and the Champ Car community is proud to be associated with them both.”

From acting as the presenting sponsor of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, to serving as the exclusive tire manufacturer for the series, sponsoring of race events and race-weekend street parties and even through its work with CARA Charities in the ‘Buckle Up Baby’ program, Bridgestone has left its impression on nearly everything in the Champ Car paddock. This year has seen the manufacturer increase its commitment even further with the addition of the new alternate tires, designed to increase the race-day drama for the fans as well as strategic options for teams. This weekend, at the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey, the manufacturer announced that it will continue to maximize its presence by serving as the title sponsor of the September 24-25 Champ Car event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“The opportunity to take on a high-profile role in the Las Vegas race weekend was one we could not pass up at Bridgestone Motorsport,” said Al Speyer, executive director of Bridgestone Motorsport. “Las Vegas is such a vibrant market and to pair the Champ Cars with the truck series for a racing doubleheader first will make this an evening to remember. Sponsorship of the Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona also will allow us to conduct a unique sales promotion involving one of our loyal, longtime Bridgestone Firestone dealers. Every fan who enters the Bridgestone Champ Car paddock throughout race weekend will receive a money-saving coupon on new tires at Ted Wiens Tire & Auto Service Centers in the Las Vegas area. We’re excited about this promotion and about bringing thrilling Champ Car action to Las Vegas.”

Corona has also been on the Champ Car scene for a number of years, serving in the last two years as the primary sponsor of the #3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine of Forsythe Championship Racing’s Rodolfo Lavin. Corona also stepped forward this year with the introduction of the Corona Cup, which awards $100,000 to the driver that earns the most combined points in the races in Monterrey, Mexico and Mexico City on November 7.

“Corona is excited to sign on as a major sponsor of the Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona and we look forward to an exciting event that will entertain thousands of race fans in Las Vegas,” said Timm Amundson, Vice President of Corona Marketing for Barton Beers.  “Corona has long enjoyed a fun-in-the-sun image and we think this race will offer fans plenty of fast-paced fun under the Las Vegas sun as well as under the Saturday night stars, which makes this a great partnership.”

“I’m really excited that Corona has decided to step up and support the series further,” Lavin said. “It is great to see how excited they have been getting as the season has gone on. The Las Vegas race will be a good one for us, we had a great test there a few weeks ago. I have always been good on the superspeedway ovals from back in my days in Indy Lights and I expect to have a great race for the team, for Corona and for the Mexican fans that have supported me throughout my career.”

Mosley refutes doomsdayers Mosley refutes doomsdayersThis Sporting Life article says, Max Mosley believes reports of Formula One's impending demise have been greatly exaggerated.Mosley, president of world governing body the FIA, is optimistic Formula One faces a rosy future despite several issues plaguing the sport this season.

Michael Schumacher's unprecedented domination on the way to his fifth consecutive world championship has prompted criticism from some quarters that the sport is boring and predictable.Mosley's own plans to cut speeds in Formula One have led to claims that some engine manufacturers will pull out over their unhappiness with his changes. But Mosley has issued a defiant message to the doom-mongers, insisting Formula One can look forward to an entertaining future, with more teams likely to jump on the bandwagon.

He said: "I don't find it boring. Some of the races have been boring but many have been extremely good."I see Michael Schumacher as a sporting phenomenon, like Muhammad Ali at his prime, Pete Sampras at his prime.If we have a good year in 2006, and I think we will, you will probably find one or two teams come in.

"We need professional racing teams from outside Formula One to come in. There are at least four waiting." Mosley believes worries over engine supply are the main obstacle facing newcomers and has pledged to remedy that problem despite warnings from some companies that they will consider pulling out. He is likely to enforce major changes to engines from 2006, cutting capacity from three-litre V10 to 2.4L V8 and demanding power plants last longer. Part of that proposal includes a requirement to supply smaller teams on the cheap. "If we go for a restricted engine there are two manufacturers who might leave," he said. "But if we continue as it is there are two others who say they will leave.You can't please everybody. If we go for the less expensive option I don't think anyone will leave."
Food poisoning sidelines Diaz Jr. Food poisoning sidelines Diaz Jr.2003 Motorock Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year Jorge Diaz, Jr. withdrew from this weekend’s Trans-Am 100 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca due to food poisoning. Diaz is currently fourth in points.   “It appears something Jorge ate on the airplane on the way here has made him very ill,” said team owner Jorge Diaz, Sr. “He was up all night last night with nausea and a host of other symptoms. We spoke this morning and although he was excited about racing here, he didn’t think he could be competitive in the race. We therefore decided to withdraw to allow Jorge to recuperate.  “We will return full time to the Trans-Am Series in 2005,” added Diaz, Sr. “Our support is 100% behind the Trans-Am Series and the Champ Car World Series.”   The Trans-Am 100 is scheduled for Friday and Saturday Sept. 10-11 at the 2.238-mile permanent road course at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The 45-lap Trans-Am race is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday. The Trans-Am Series is part of a full weekend of racing, which also includes the featured Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, as well as the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, and Formula BMW USA.   The race will be broadcast LIVE on HDNet, with tape-delayed highlights coverage on Spike TV’s popular “Dangerous Curves” timeslot, Sunday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. (EDT, PDT).
Formula BMW
Big championship weekend at Laguna: 3 titles on the line Big championship weekend at Laguna: 3 titles on the lineIn addition to round 11 of the Champ Car World Series, Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca will be hosting the season finales for three other categories: Toyota Atlantic, Trans-Am and Formula BMW USA will all crown their 2004 champions this weekend.

The Atlantic battle for the title is well-known: Jon Fogarty leads Ryan Dalziel by 5 points, and the crown will likely fall in the hands of the one that finishes ahead of the other. The Trans Am and BMW hunts are almost as close. Paul Gentilozzi has an 11-point cushion over teammate Tommy Kendall, with Randy Ruhlman another 9 markers behind. With 30 points for a win, all come to Monterey with solid championship possibilities.

Formula BMW’s dispute also involves more than two drivers. In spite of leading the standings all season long, Andreas Wirth now sits only 7 points ahead of James Hinchcliffe, with Jonathan Summerton and Matt Jaskol still within striking distance in third and fourth, 36 and 38 points off the lead respectively. A BMW win is worth only 20 points, but the championship will conduct two rounds during the Laguna race weekend. Cassio Cortes

Takuma Sato awarded Confartigianato Motori Prize Takuma Sato awarded Confartigianato Motori PrizeLucky Strike B·A·R Honda driver Takuma Sato has been awarded a Confartigianato Motori Prize at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this weekend, an honour which has been bestowed on many illustrious names from Formula One racing over the past 21 years.  The Confartigianato Motori Prize Awards were established in 1983, and every year, on the occasion of the Italian Grand Prix, are presented according to the voting of authoritative judges in recognition of Formula One driver talent.  There are various categories and the Award received by Takuma is presented annually to "the emerging driver who, working with diligence and devotion, has found positive recognition in the world of motoring competitions."  Previous winners of the Award include Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard.  Commenting on the prize, Takuma said, "I am very happy to be given this Award by such an important panel of judges. It is good to be recognized for such an important Award."  The judging panel includes former drivers Ivan Capelli and Gabriele Tarquini, Monza Circuit Director Enrico Ferrari, Paolo Montagna from the ACI Milano and a selection of Italian journalists from the world of motorsport.  The Award was presented at a special ceremony in Monza this afternoon in the Confartigianato Motori Hospitality Suite at the Autodrome Palazzina Ospitalita.
No England, Korea for Champ Car No England, Korea for Champ CarAutoRacing1.com can report that Manchester, England and Seoul, South Korea will not be on the 2005 Champ Car schedule when it is released, possibly as early as this coming week. They both remain as possibilities for 2006.
Fog delays Friday action at Laguna Fog delays Friday action at LagunaThe beautiful Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit was socked in with fog this morning, which has delayed the action by about one hour. Support series practice started about 9:15 AM local time.
BAR reintroduces Front Torque Transfer system BAR reintroduces Front Torque Transfer systemThe BAR-Honda team has modified its Front Torque Transfer system and is running it this weekend at Monza. The system, which was banned by the FIA after the German Grand Prix, has been tweaked to fall within regulations, and is now, according to team boss David Richards, "perfectly legal." The FTT is designed to shift the torque loads between wheels during braking, preventing the tyres from locking up. The system's major benefits are faster lap times and increased consistency during long race runs. To us, the FTT comes across as yet another example of how bottomless F1's technological depth can get. ; Cassio Cortes ;
Pizzonia crashes at Monza Pizzonia crashes at MonzaWilliams BMW driver Antonio Pizzonia had a big crash this afternoon in Monza, but walked away OK.  Afterward, Pizzonia said, "We did our normal Friday homework today, mainly consisting of tyre evaluation and set-up work, and I am pretty confident with what we have achieved. The grip was not ideal today, especially in the first session, because the track was quite dirty but we had some good running here last week, during three days of testing. With 20 minutes to go of the second session, when I was at the Parabolica, I felt something had happened with the brakes and it caused me to go off the track. There is a wide runoff area there and fortunately I didn't hit the barriers too hard."
F1 Frenchless for 2005 F1 Frenchless for 2005Back in the '80s, the Formula One paddock was to French drivers what Champ Car was to Brazilians in the late '90s. After experiencing its heyday with Alain Prost, who retired after winning the 1993 championship, French pride relied mostly on Olivier Panis in the past few years. Now, with Olivier's retirement, Renault's home country won't have a driver to root for in the next season. The country's hopes for the future seem to lie in Renault's test driver Franck Montagny, but with Sebastien Bourdais being blistering fast in America, one can't help but wondering...Cassio Cortes
Monza Free Practice 2: Raikkonen spoils Ferrari’s parade Monza Free Practice 2: Raikkonen spoils Ferrari’s parade
 P. No  Driver       Team - Engine   Tires    Times      Ave/Gaps  Laps
 1.  6  RAIKKONEN    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'20"846  257.957 Km/h  13 
 2.  2  BARRICHELLO  Ferrari           B   1'20"899    + 0'00"053  21 
 3.  1  M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari           B   1'21"080    + 0'00"234  20 
 4.  9  BUTTON       BAR Honda         M   1'21"124    + 0'00"278  16 
 5. 04  PIZZONIA     Williams BMW      M   1'21"264    + 0'00"418  18 
 6. 10  SATO         BAR Honda         M   1'21"313    + 0'00"467  20 
 7.  3  MONTOYA      Williams BMW      M   1'21"419    + 0'00"573  17 
 8. 35  DAVIDSON     BAR Honda         M   1'21"544    + 0'00"698  37 
 9.  8  ALONSO       Renault           M   1'21"630    + 0'00"784  18 
10.  5  COULTHARD    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'22"052    + 0'01"206  12 
11.  7  TRULLI       Renault           M   1'22"191    + 0'01"345  19 
12. 38  BRISCOE      Toyota            M   1'22"197    + 0'01"351  35 
13. 12  MASSA        Sauber Petronas   B   1'22"258    + 0'01"412  18 
14. 16  ZONTA        Toyota            M   1'22"298    + 0'01"452  22 
15. 11  FISICHELLA   Sauber Petronas   B   1'22"302    + 0'01"456  12 
16. 39  GLOCK        Jordan Ford       B   1'22"332    + 0'01"486  17 
17. 14  WEBBER       Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'22"392    + 0'01"546  24 
18. 17  PANIS        Toyota            M   1'22"813    + 0'01"967  15 
19. 37  WIRDHEIM     Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'22"914    + 0'02"068  26 
20. 15  KLIEN        Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'23"199    + 0'02"353  25 
21. 19  PANTANO      Jordan Ford       B   1'23"818    + 0'02"972  17 
22. 40  LEINDERS     Minardi Cosworth  B   1'24"045    + 0'03"199  19 
23. 21  BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth  B   1'24"063    + 0'03"217  17 
24. 20  BRUNI        Minardi Cosworth  B   1'24"225    + 0'03"379  23 
Thursday press conferences from Monza Thursday press conferences from Monza
Part 1: Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
Part 2: Gianmaria Bruni (Minardi), Jarno Trulli (Renault)
Dixon organizes Darrell Russell Memorial auction Dixon organizes Darrell Russell Memorial auctionTwo-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon and his wife, Allison, are organizing a charity auction to benefit the Darrell Russell Memorial Fund and Russell's wife, Julie.

The Darrell Russell Memorial Auction will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13 in the Hospitality Village at Pomona Raceway at 6 p.m. (PT) following the completion of qualifying for the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. There will be both silent and live auctions and all proceeds will benefit the Darrell Russell Memorial Fund.

"We need to rise up together and help out a fellow racer," Dixon said. "I call on every driver and sponsor to donate items and for the fans to show up and bid on something.

"My wish is that this grows outside of the boundaries of the NHRA family. I hope we can raise some awareness in the other sanctions as well. If one of our drivers knows anyone racing on another circuit, please call them and ask them to help out."

Bob Frey, the longtime voice of NHRA drag racing, will emcee the auction and Julie Russell will be on hand for the event. The silent portion of the auction will take place from 3-6 p.m. The auction is open to anyone attending Saturday's racing action at Pomona Raceway.

Some of the items up for bid include a big-block Chevrolet crate motor, a fully-paid tuition to Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School, an autographed Jesse James Mac Tools toolbox, Dixon's 1995 Miller Genuine Draft fire suit from his 1995 Rookie of the Year campaign, and an autographed guitar from rock-and-roll group Van Halen.

"If every driver can find one or two cool items from their own collection and then talk their sponsors into donating one or two things, we'll end up with an awesome collection of stuff," Dixon said. "Hopefully, we can raise a bunch of money for Julie (Russell) and the family to help them through this difficult time in their lives. It's the right thing to do."

The Dixon's are looking for volunteers to help the day of the auction at Pomona Raceway. Anyone interested in contributing a few hours of their time in coordinating the event, please contact Ali Dixon.

If you would like to participate by making a contribution to the auction, please contact Dixon or Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School at (888) 901-7223. Also, if you have items to donate, please send them to the Darrell Russell Memorial Auction c/o Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School, Fairplex -- Gate 12, Pomona, CA 91768. Please note that Hawley's school can only accept items sent via UPS, FedEx or DHL.  Snake Racing

Allmendinger finding his groove Allmendinger finding his grooveIn his brief professional racing career, Hollister's A.J. Allmendinger has never stayed in one series long enough to find out if he would suffer a sophomore slump.  In 2002, Allmendinger made his pro debut in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, hoping to earn some podium (top three) finishes and maybe a couple of wins along the way. He dominated the series, winning the championship and rookie-of-the-year honors.The next season, Allmendinger moved up to the Toyota Atlantic Championship, signing with RuSPORT Racing. His success in Barber Dodge bred a loftier confidence and he said he would shoot for the title. Again he turned in a dominating performance, winning rookie-of-the-year once more and the championship.

This season, Allmendinger and the RuSPORT team moved up to the Champ Car World Series as a unit and once more the "Super Rookie" is in contention for top rookie honors.  Last year, Allmendinger won the Toyota Atlantic event at Laguna Seca from the pole. He was third in the Barber Dodge race the year before. He considers Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca his home track.  "I love this race track," Allmendinger said Thursday. "If we're able to get a podium or a win here, great, but I don't put any extra pressure on myself each weekend."

Allmendinger is enjoying the ride, especially working with his teammate and friend Jourdain. They are both content to continue to learn with an eye on being even more competitive next season.  "Montreal was probably our best race of the season," Allmendinger said. "My car was good all weekend. More importantly, I am learning more about the car every weekend." More at Monterey County Herald

Kenseth wins IROC race Kenseth wins IROC raceMatt Kenseth won race three of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions at Richmond International Speedway Thursday night. Starting fourth, Kenseth, the reigning NASCAR Cup champion, took the lead from IndyCar Series driver Scott Sharp on lap six of the 90-lap event and without challenge went on to dominate the remainder of the first short track event for the All-star series. Finishing second was NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver, Ryan Newman placing him in the points lead. Fellow NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. There were two caution periods, including the competition yellow at lap-60. The first caution was for World of Outlaws star, Danny Lasoski who got his car out of shape exiting turn two. Lasoski flat spotted his Goodyear tires and was serviced by the Crown Royal crew before rejoining the field. IndyCar Series star, Scott Sharp bested the open wheel contingent finishing sixth followed by USAC Triple Crown champion J.J. Yeley in seventh. IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Lasoski finished 10th followed by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil finishing 11th after tagging the wall, and rounding out the field, finishing 12th, World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser. Kinser fell out of the race on lap-38 with mechanical problems.  Kenseth, in his first year of Crown Royal IROC competition spoke proudly of his accomplishment at Richmond saying, “I watched a lot of IROC races as a kid and I remember watching Mid-Ohio and Darlington with all the great drivers in it. It’s an honor for me to be invited to the IROC series, and really cool to win a race and get one of the IROC trophies.“ The Crown Royal International Race of Champions will reward one million dollars to the 2004 champion when the series concludes at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 30. IROC
Sauber signs three new sponsors Sauber signs three new sponsorsTeam Sauber Petronas is pleased to announce sponsoring agreements with three companies exclusively for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza: "Motta Barlassina", "Coming Soon Television" and "Crems".   Motta Barlassina is the producer of Italian meat specialties. The logo is positioned on the lower part of the rear wing end plates. "Motta Barlassina" is sponsoring Team Sauber Petronas for the third consecutive time at the Italian Grand Prix.   Coming Soon Television is a theme television channel mainly featuring movie trailers. The Rome-based company is planning to extend its services to the European market. The "Coming Soon Television" logo is placed on the side of the monocoque above the turning vanes.   Crems is a toy producer specialising in the supply of puppets to retail companies. "Crems" is taking initiatives to increase its brand awareness. The logo is positioned on the main plane of the front wing.   The agreements with "Coming Soon Television" and "Crems" were facilitated by the Italian Publicity Company "Incentive Group".
Monza Free Practice 1: Ferrari 1-2 Monza Free Practice 1: Ferrari 1-2It's Italy.  It's Monza.  Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello gave the fanatical Monza tifosi something to get excited about by clocking the two fastest times of the opening practice session for the Italian Grand Prix.  The seven-time Champion stopped the clocks with a best time of 1:20.526s, half a second faster than his own Pole Position time at the circuit last year, but some four-tenths of a second slower than the fastest time in testing following the Belgian Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello, now desperate for his first win the season, was second faster, just over three-tenths of a second slower than Schumacher.
 P. No  Driver       Team - Engine   Tires    Times      Ave/Gaps  Laps
 1.  1  M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari           B   1'20"526  258.982 Km/h  10 
 2.  2  BARRICHELLO  Ferrari           B   1'20"861    + 0'00"335   4 
 3. 35  DAVIDSON     BAR Honda         M   1'20"902    + 0'00"376  25 
 4.  6  RAIKKONEN    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'21"637    + 0'01"111   5 
 5.  8  ALONSO       Renault           M   1'21"778    + 0'01"252  10 
 6.  9  BUTTON       BAR Honda         M   1'21"904    + 0'01"378   5 
 7.  7  TRULLI       Renault           M   1'22"052    + 0'01"526  11 
 8. 37  WIRDHEIM     Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'22"065    + 0'01"539  24 
 9. 04  PIZZONIA     Williams BMW      M   1'22"159    + 0'01"633   9 
10.  3  MONTOYA      Williams BMW      M   1'22"232    + 0'01"706   9 
11. 10  SATO         BAR Honda         M   1'22"245    + 0'01"719   8 
12.  5  COULTHARD    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'22"248    + 0'01"722   5 
13. 12  MASSA        Sauber Petronas   B   1'22"260    + 0'01"734  13 
14. 11  FISICHELLA   Sauber Petronas   B   1'22"460    + 0'01"934  11 
15. 17  PANIS        Toyota            M   1'22"487    + 0'01"961   8 
16. 16  ZONTA        Toyota            M   1'22"607    + 0'02"081  10 
17. 38  BRISCOE      Toyota            M   1'22"815    + 0'02"289  20 
18. 14  WEBBER       Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'23"071    + 0'02"545   7 
19. 39  GLOCK        Jordan Ford       B   1'23"333    + 0'02"807  28 
20. 40  LEINDERS     Minardi Cosworth  B   1'23"696    + 0'03"170  15 
21. 15  KLIEN        Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'23"723    + 0'03"197   7 
22. 18  HEIDFELD     Jordan Ford       B   1'24"000    + 0'03"474  10 
23. 19  PANTANO      Jordan Ford       B   1'24"412    + 0'03"886  10 
24. 20  BRUNI        Minardi Cosworth  B   1'26"062    + 0'05"536  11 
25. 21  BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth  B   1'26"161    + 0'05"635  13 
NASCAR Drivers Racing for Hurricane Relief NASCAR Drivers Racing for Hurricane ReliefIn response to Hurricanes Charley and Frances, Lowe’s Monte Carlo drivers Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are “Racing for Relief” at Richmond International Raceway this weekend to generate funds for disaster relief efforts. Last month, Johnson announced the implementation of an in-store customer donation program at Lowe’s stores along the Gulf and East Coasts to assist the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Lowe's announced it will match donations up to $1 million. In addition, for every lap that Johnson completes in the 400-lap NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Richmond on Saturday night, Lowe’s will donate $48 (Johnson’s car number). For every lap that Busch completes Friday night in the 200-lap Busch Series race at Richmond, Lowe’s will donate $50. Racing for Relief is a program Lowe’s first introduced in April of 2000. The program has helped disaster relief efforts for hurricanes, tornados and floods, raising more than $350,000 to date. "Racing for Relief is a way for me and my team to get the word out about how people can help after the devastation of Hurricanes Charley and Frances,” said Johnson who has been involved in the Red Cross for two years. “It’s been a tough month for those folks so we are doing everything we can to help. Florida is a huge racing community and this is our way of showing support.” In addition, Johnson's No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet will carry a special decal on the rear deck lid (trunk) and hood supporting the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Anyone interested in donating to the fund may go to any Lowe's store along the Gulf or East Coasts or make an online donation at www.lowes.com or www.redcross.org. Team Lowe's Racing
Stewart on NASCAR Outdoors TV Show Stewart on NASCAR Outdoors TV ShowOutdoor Life® Network’s hot new show NASCAR Outdoors will feature 2002 NASCAR Premier Series Champion, Tony Stewart, fishing for bass in Birmingham, Ala. He may be fiery on the track, but he knows how to dial it down off the pavement. Fans will experience a different side of “Smoke” as he casts his lines for bass at a friend’s exclusive resort in the heart of Alabama. The episode will air on OLN® on Saturday, September 18th in the morning at 8:30 AM ET/PT and in primetime at 7:00 PM ET/PT.Alan Taylor Communications
Formula 3
Piquet Jr can clinch British F3 crown this weekend Piquet Jr can clinch British F3 crown this weekendNelson Angelo Piquet, son of three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet, is set to make history this weekend at Spa, Belgium, during rounds 21 and 22 of the 2004 British F3 championship. Now in his sophomore season, Piquet Jr leads Englishman James Rossiter by 39 points, and only needs to increase his lead by another four points to become the 2004 champion, 26 years after his father won this very same crown in 1978. The title would be Nelson Jr's second F3 laurel in three years - he won the South American championship in 2002. Piquet Sr went straight to F1 after conquering British F3, a move his son is unlikely to mimic, though he is expected to continue to test for WilliamsF1 next year. With the GP2 series still looking uncertain and the F3000 fields ever less populated, might we see another Piquet attempt at North American racing, a little over a decade after Nelson Sr ran the Indy 500? --Cassio Cortes--
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
Villeneuve deal 'not done' - Peter Sauber
BAR drop legal challenge for Button
Panis to become Toyota's test driver
Trulli - 'I have a 2005 contract'
Schu 'worried' about F1 safety
Will a beard make Jarno go faster?
'I want to keep racing' - Minardi's Bruni
Ferrari staff get Monza grandstand
Schu's 'not champion yet' - Ecclestone
Schu should have waited for crown - Montoya
France at 'low point' in F1 - Lafitte
'McLaren are quicker' than BAR - Button
Ferrari 'agrees' with '05 plan - Todt
Davidson 'pushing' for Button's drive
Montoya averted huge Monza shunt
Rivals have 'caught us up' - BMW boss
Brit axe will be 'strange' - Button
'I want to win a race' - Barrichello

Quit talk makes Schu yawn
'Risk' is part of F1 life - Trulli
Montoya's record set to tumble
Toyota and Bang Racing kiss and make up Toyota and Bang Racing kiss and make upBang Racing and Toyota jointly announced today that Bang Racing will remain with Toyota for the balance of the 2004 season.

Toyota will continue support of Bang Racing's No. 24 Line-X team with driver Travis Kvapil. As Bang Racing prepares for its full-time entrance in the NASCAR Busch Series for 2005 with Kvapil, Mike Skinner will join Bill Davis Racing after indicating his desire to remain a successful competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

"This has been an incredible first year in NASCAR," said Alex Meshkin, CEO and owner of Bang Racing. "As a new team with a new manufacturer, it was and is an honor and a privilege to provide outstanding on- and off-the-track performances for Toyota and Line-X."

"Our achievements have been etched in NASCAR and Toyota history, but most importantly, they have been etched into the hearts and minds of every Bang Racing member," said Meshkin. "Our successful record this season is proof of our dedication and teamwork. However, my plans have never wavered from the beginning of the season when we made clear our intentions to enter into NASCAR's other premier series. Our team and current sponsors are looking forward to advancing Travis Kvapil's career -- his talent and accomplishments since entering the truck series are proof that he has a very bright future ahead."
Champ Car Fan Forum lineup Champ Car Fan Forum lineupUPDATE We now have the final list for the Laguna Seca fan forum:
Kevin Kalkhoven: Champ Car and Team Owner - PKV
Roberto Gonzalez: Champ Car Driver - PKV
Ryan Hunter-Reay: Champ Car Driver - Herdez Competition
Mario Dominguez: Champ Car Driver - Herdez Competition
John Lopes: Champ Car Executive
Tommy Kendall: Trans Am Driver (contending Championship) and TV Personality 09/09/04 Saturday's Champ Car Fan Forum at Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca is shaping up to feature series owner Kevin Kalkhoven, Trans-Am driver and Champ Car TV personality Tommy Kendall, Champ Car's John Lopes, a Herdez driver, AJ Allmendinger, and one other guest.
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