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DATE News (chronologically)
09/18/06
nascar
Ragan to make Cup debut at Dover Ragan to make Cup debut at DoverCONCORD, N.C. - Roush Racing announced today that David Ragan will attempt to make his first attempt at a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start in the No. 06 Ford Fusion this weekend at Dover International Speedway.  Ragan is currently competing in the Craftsman Truck Series.

"I've looked forward to this day for a long time," said Ragan.  "I never thought that the day would come this soon.  It just goes to show that hard work and determination really can pay off.  I have gotten a lot of racing experience in the Craftsman Truck Series that will help race with the guys in the Nextel Cup Series.  I'm looking forward to working with Frank Stoddard and the No. 06 Ford team." 

Ragan will also make his second Busch Series start of the 2006 season in the No. 50 Barr-Nunn Ford Fusion when he competes in the Dover 200 on Saturday. zzzz

"This is an awesome opportunity to get some more experience in the NASCAR Busch Series," said Ragan.  "The guys with the No. 50 team had a great run with Danny O'Quinn here in the spring.  It's a really good opportunity to get some valuable seat time to help me get familiar with Dover. I've never raced here so every lap I make is really going to help me."

"I see a lot of potential in these young drivers," said Jack Roush.  "This will give us an opportunity to evaluate David Ragan and it will also give him valuable experience running in both series at Dover. Dover International Speedway is a very challenging track, but I know David will perform to the best of his ability."

09/18/06
cc
Da Matta Birthday Da Matta BirthdayTuesday is Cristiano da Matta's birthday. He is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries. For those who might be interested: 
Birthday cards/gifts for da Matta can be sent to:
Cristiano da Matta, patient
Theda Clark Medical Center
130 2nd St.
Neenah, WI 54956
09/18/06
irl
Argent to sponsor Danica and Marco Argent to sponsor Danica and MarcoArgent Mortgage Co. announced a multi-year deal with Andretti Green Racing to sponsor two of its cars driven by Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti.  Argent will be the team's official mortgage lending company.
09/18/06
nascar
Childress statement regarding cheating allegations by SPEEDTV Childress statement regarding cheating allegations by SPEEDTVWELCOME, N.C. -- The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding allegations in the media after the Sept. 19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway that two of RCR’s teams had manipulated the rules:

Reports in the media, specifically on SPEED TV, that one or more of our NEXTEL Cup Series teams was found by NASCAR to be manipulating the rules yesterday at New Hampshire International Speedway are false and misleading. Our cars passed post-race inspection and officials at NASCAR assured us last night and again today that no one from RCR was told at any time not to bring a part back to the race track. The reported events and conversations did not happen.

Our focus remains on two of our teams competing for the championship and the other finishing as high in the points as possible.

09/18/06
f1
Imola get reprieve Imola get reprieveThe San Marino Grand Prix at Imola could return next year after it was decided to expand the 2007 Formula One calendar from 17 to 18 races.  The decision came in Paris on Monday at a meeting of motor racing's governing body the FIA, manufacturers and representatives of all the F1 teams.

The decision in Paris to expand next year's calendar was a unanimous one.

Other decisions to come out of Monday's meeting included:

  • The FIA (the sport's governing body) will prepare draft regulations for 2009 concerning the recovery and re-use of energy.
  • Manufacturers will do the same for devices that could use waste heat and exhaust gases to help propel the cars.
  • An engine 'freeze' scheduled for 2008 will be brought forward to next year with teams agreeing to no further development after next month's Japanese Grand Prix other than returning for a maximum of 19,000rpm.
  • A 30,000km testing limit scheduled for 2008 will be brought forward to next year.
  • A working group will be established to discuss ways of restricting the use of costly wind tunnels, simulators and the number of people employed by teams.
09/18/06
irl
Patrick featured in Newsweek article Patrick featured in Newsweek articleIndyCar Series star Danica Patrick is featured in the Sept. 25 issue of Newsweek as one of 20 powerful women who describe how they got where they are and where they hope to go to next.

The cover story, "Leading the Way," highlights women who are poised to be the next generation of leaders in their fields. Patrick, the 2005 Bombardier Rookie of the Year who was the first female to lead a race lap in the Indianapolis 500, joins Martina Navratilova as athletes featured in the article. Others include entertainer Queen Latifah, NASA CFO Gwen Sykes, "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira, Brown University president Ruth Simmons, political campaigner Mary Cheney and violinist Sarah Chang.

In the article, Patrick says her competitiveness started "right away" as a 10-year-old racing go-karts. It continues today in the IndyCar Series racing a sleek, 650-horsepower car at 220 mph.

The Sept. 25 issue of Newsweek is available on newsstands.

09/18/06
irl
Mobile Content for IndyCar Fans Mobile Content for IndyCar FansThe IndyCar® Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Digital Orchid, a leading provider in the development and distribution of real-time wireless applications for major sports and entertainment brands, today announced a wireless partnership that will bring IndyCar Series, Indy Pro Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis 500 wallpapers, ring tones and informational applications to download to mobile phones across the globe.

Beginning Sept. 22, Digital Orchid's mobile technology platform will provide compelling mobile content to IndyCar Series fans worldwide allowing users to stay connected to the sport, their favorite drivers and teams 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, Digital Orchid may enable fans to download wallpapers of their favorite drivers and cars, schedules, standings, news, racing results and audio highlights.

Through this partnership, Digital Orchid will provide branded IndyCar Series and IMS content for the mobile phone, and launch a WAP mobile Web portal for race fans to view the latest IndyCar Series and IMS information on their cell phones at any time.

The mobile initiative aims to increase fan awareness and adoption of wireless products and services through providing "Best-Of-Breed" IndyCar Series and IMS cell phone content for race fans. zzzz

"We are excited to be chosen as the provider and distributor of exclusive IMS and IndyCar Series mobile content," said Daniel Daou, CEO, Digital Orchid. "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series are great additions to our brand portfolio, and through our partnership, IMS and IndyCar Series fans will soon have the ability to view action-packed racing images, audio and video features, and the latest race circuit news and statistics from their cell phones. This is a very exciting step for Digital Orchid, IMS, IndyCar Series and racing fans around the world."

All mobile content for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500, IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series will soon be available for purchasing directly from indycar.com, the IndyCar Series' official website, and indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

"We are excited about our partnership with Digital Orchid and the many opportunities it affords the IndyCar Series and its fans," said Mike Ringham, vice president of marketing for the Indy Racing League. "We haven't even scratched the surface on what we could offer our fans, and the sky is the limit as it relates to mobile content and what we make of it."

Added Nicole Garside, IMS director of licensing, "We are very excited to welcome Digital Orchid into our racing family and help provide exciting cell phone content to our race fans. At the IndyCar Series, we look at our content through the eyes of a race fan. A cell phone is the only form of communication and entertainment that is always available to fans, no matter where they are, 24/7.

"With years of experience providing cell phone content, Digital Orchid has proven to be the best in the industry. Every team member at Digital Orchid is a racing fan, and they make the extra effort to create content that will generate excitement for fans and help bring every fan one step closer to experiencing the excitement of the IndyCar Series."

09/18/06
cc
Peter Brock tribute planned for Indy 300 weekend Peter Brock tribute planned for Indy 300 weekendThe Gold Coast event runs from October 19 to 22 at Surfers Paradise.

"We discussed a Peter Brock tribute at our management meeting today and it's still to be finalized, but we will definitely be doing something," Indy operations manager David Bennett said today.

"We'll probably make a decision on that later this week and an announcement early next week.

"It'll be something based around the V8 Supercars because obviously he was a big part of that, but the details are yet to be finalized.

"We'll do something on-track – maybe involving one of his old cars – but we don't know exactly what it's going to be just yet."

The Indy tribute to the nine-time Bathurst 1000 winner will be staged on Saturday, October 21.

Mr. Brock died on September 8 when his racing car crashed into a tree during the Targa West rally, north-east of Perth. His state funeral will be held in Melbourne tomorrow. zzzz

Meanwhile, preparations for Indy remain on track despite winds up to 80kph hitting the Gold Coast last week, causing delays in construction of the street circuit.

Tomorrow marks the official one-month countdown to the glamour event headlined by the champ cars and V8 Supercars.

"We made sure we planned ahead this year and brought our program forward a couple of days in case we had weather problems," Mr. Bennett said.

Indy's marketing campaign will focus heavily on Team Australia drivers Will Power and Alex Tagliani and England's Katherine Legge, the first woman to race fulltime in the Champ Car World Series.

"She's a really approachable and really attractive female driver," Mr. Bennett said.

"We'll make sure we utilize that and use her for promotional opportunities as much as possible.

"It'll give women the opportunity to follow someone and really support her."

Organizers are confident the four-day crowd record of just over 316,000 set in 2005 will be broken this year. The Australian

09/18/06
cc
Rocketsports announces Dominguez Rocketsports announces DominguezUPDATE AutoRacing1.com has obtained the image to the right which is supposed to be what Mario's car will look like in Pemex colors.

09/18/06 EAST LANSING, Michigan - The 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season has not been a smooth ride for Rocketsports Racing as the team has been looking for some solid runs and consistency throughout the year, but things just might change for the fourth-year Champ Car team with the signing of Mario Dominguez for the final three races of the year.

The Mexican's season has been as bumpy as the team's in terms of consistency.  He started the season driving the #7 car for Forsythe Championship Racing, but after four races, the driver and team parted ways.  The Mexican veteran then moved to Dale Coyne Racing, where he piloted the #19 car for the next seven races, but when the opportunity came to move into the Rocketsports stable, Dominguez and the Michigan-based team both jumped at the opportunity.
 
"We are pleased to have Mario join us for the final three races of the season," said Rocketsports Racing team owner Paul Gentilozzi.  "We had been working on having a chance to run him this season, but it came sooner than expected.  We were in discussions with some potential sponsors in Mexico to run him in 2007, with the anticipation of putting him in one of our seats at the season finale in Mexico City in preparation for next season.  However, with the early separation of him and Dale Coyne, that plan changed in the last few days.  So it will be great to be able to run him for three races as we continue to build a relationship between him and Mexico that can carry onto 2007." zzzz

The Rocketsports team has been running two cars for a good majority of the season.  Nicky Pastorelli has been piloting the #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for most of the season, but will sit out during Round 12 at Road America due to contractual difficulties.  It was confirmed that Tonis Kasemets would be making his return to the Champ Car paddock for the Road America event taking over the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, but the #8 car remained vacant. Meanwhile, the Mexico City promoters and Champ Car worked together to secure sponsorship from Mexico for Dominguez and ultimately seized the opportunity of the opening to run him with Rocketsports. 

"Nicky will be taking a one-race break, with the hopes of us being able to run him in the final two races (Australia and Mexico City) this season," said Gentilozzi.  "We will be taking this opportunity to run Tonis with the hopes of making him more competitive in a Champ Car on a racetrack that he knows very well and has been competitive on in the past driving other types of race cars.  He has been doing a great job for us, and we hope that the results can continue to improve because we knew he is capable of it and that the opportunity is there."

This is an opportunity for Dominguez to secure a ride and continue his strong run this season with the anticipation of earning his fourth top-ten finish in the Champ Car championship standings.  Dominguez will be reunited with his former engineer Brian Ma, whom he had worked with previously back when he was driving at HVM (now known as CTE Racing/HVM).  Ma brought the team their second win when Dominguez won in Miami, leading the team's first-ever 1-2 finish in 2003.  Ma's engineering skills crafted a Champ Car that recognized Dominguez as the Most Improved Driver of the year by his racing peers as he finished sixth in the championship standings.

"This is a sad and happy time for me," said Dominguez.  "I am leaving Dale Coyne Racing, who gave me an opportunity when no one else did.  Every member on the team was great.  They were very hard working and I had a great time with them.  We were able to enjoy some good times and good races together.  I will forever be grateful to Dale, his wife, and everyone on the team for that opportunity. 

At the same time, I am happy that CIE stepped up to the plate and three very important Mexican companies (PEMEX, GICSA, and Del Valle) to give me the opportunity to run with Paul Gentilozzi's team, Rocketsports Racing," continued Dominguez.  "I am going to be reunited with my engineer, Brian Ma, from 2003.  He and I had some great results together, so I am looking forward to working with him once again.  I hope to do an excellent job for the Rocketsports team over the next three races with the hopes of finishing the season in the top four of the championship standings."

The addition of Dominguez should help the team and Kasemets, who will be making his fifth Champ Car start, in the next race in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.  Kasemets, who earned his best result of  finish eleventh in Edmonton, heads to Road America with not only his own experience from past runs in various racecars and a recent Champ Car test on the 4.048- mile permanent road course, but a teammate who has run there five times in a Champ Car.  As Dominguez gets acquainted with the team, he and Kasemets can really work together to benefit both cars for the Rocketsports team to have a renewing weekend, with the hopes of more positive results to come for the team as the as the 2006 season comes to a close.

09/18/06
nascar
How tobacco made NASCAR what it is today How tobacco made NASCAR what it is todayThis Winston Salem Journal article is an interesting read on how RJ Reynolds saved NASCAR from bankruptcy in the early 70's and grew it to the major success it is today, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the sport. Of course what the article doesn't address is how many millions of people have died smoking RJ Reynolds' cancer sticks. The real hypocrisy is big tobacco using NASCAR sponsorship to sell their addicting cancer sticks to individuals, so the France family could become billionaires from the ticket and concession sales from the very people they were killing with their product.
09/18/06
formula bmw
Drivers wanted, bring no money Drivers wanted, bring no moneyTeam KMA announced today that it will operate as a multi-car team in the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship, as well as in the Indy Pro Series. Team KMA was created by the joining of forces between Atlantic Racing Team and American Spirit Racing, creating a much stronger team with excellent engineering and an experienced staff. In addition, Team KMA will award one talented driver a fully funded ride in the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship and two other drivers a full season ride at a greatly reduced price.

“Jon and I recently announced our partnership with Team KMA in the Indy Pro Series,” stated Ingo Strackerjan. “Combining our strengths in Formula BMW USA as well, will create an even stronger organization, creating the first true ladder system for drivers looking to enter the premier open-wheel racing world within one organization. Our Formula BMW USA operation will run four cars in 2007 and we are currently talking with several drivers looking to be part of our driver lineup. We are considering experienced drivers with a proven history of front running performance in Formula BMW, kart racing and other open-wheel racing series.”

“The formation of Team KMA in Formula BMW creates an even more powerful opportunity for our young drivers,” commented Jon Lewis. “As Ingo stated before, our operations have many strengths in specific areas and by bringing these strengths together we will create dividends for our drivers in their pursuit of the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship and beyond.”  zzzz

“As the 2006 season is nearly over for many race series, you as a driver now have the task to decide what you might be driving in 2007, said Ingo Strackerjan. “We talked to our team sponsors and received a very positive response. Therefore, we now offer a fully funded seat for one winning Driver, as well as substantially discounted seats for drivers placing 2nd and 3rd in our test.”

Who can apply for this award?
Drivers having fulfilled the Formula BMW USA criteria for licensing;
Drivers having a proven racing record in Formula BMW, karting or other open wheel series.

How do I apply for a free 2007 Season?
Send us; your resume, including all your racing statistics,
An abstract of your last three years school marks,
A picture of you, preferably in racing gear (helmet off), and
A completed Entry Form signed by you and your parents (if you are under age 18), and payment for the entry (check or money order).

Your initial Cost:
You will be invited to a 2-day test together with other selected applicants. The test will be conducted, watched and judged by a group of motorsport experts and our team. Your cost is $1,500 USD including your hotel, food and ground transportation to the track.

What we expect from the Winner(s):
You will be asked to test from time to time with us until the season starts,
Have all your own race gear (official BMW race gear will be provided at start of season),
Be available for all official Formula BMW tests, practices and races,
Travel to all tests and races on your own expense and pay your own hotel and food,
Damages to racecar over US $1,200.- per test or race day you will have to pay,
Never miss press and public relation demands from the sponsor (travel expenses are being paid to you),
Wear supplied Team/Sponsor uniforms at all times when on official business and race days, and Promote our Team and Sponsors through your dedication towards them.

What we provide to you:
Full Entry Fee,
A highly competitive FB2 car for the full 2007 Formula BMW USA season,
1 race and data engineer; 1 mechanic and helper,
All other Team support as you may have seen in 2006,
1 Formula BMW USA hospitality pass for your use,
Daily press releases/updates,
Possible IPS tests, pending on your performance,
Sponsorship space on the racecar, allowing you to generate funding for your expenses.

THE CATCH or FINE PRINT:
As the winning driver, you will have to sign with our team and sponsor(s) a full 3-year contract. The risk for you is that you might not be as good as you and we have thought. Should you be as good as, or better than, expected you will be contracted to our team and will be driving in whatever series we determine is best for your career for the following two years. We cannot divulge at this time our and your sponsors due to the competitive nature of the racing business. On the day of the announcement of the winner, we will have a press release issued and you will be asked to either accept your sponsor or decline. Our sponsor will not violate the Formula BMW USA regulations and your own convictions.

What if you do not win and want to race with our team?
Drivers finishing 2nd and 3rd in the test will be rewarded with a tremendously discounted price of participation with our team. Drivers with BMW scholarship funding may apply their scholarship towards payment of their positions. These drivers will get the same support as described above.

Atlantic Racing Team started in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After entering European and Canadian GT races Atlantic shifted their operation towards Formula Ford, Formula 2000 and Formula Renault races. When Formula BMW USA came into the open-wheel market in 2004, Atlantic was one of the first teams operating multi-car entries. Since then the team has continued to provide dedicated race and engineering services to drivers wanting to advance their racing career with the proper race knowledge. Growth into other premier open-wheel series with talented staff, engineering background and dedication towards motorsport in general is what Atlantic Racing Team is all about.

American Spirit Racing has a rich 20 year history of managing front running entries in just about all of North America’s professional auto racing series, including: IndyCar, American Le Mans, Trans-Am and IMSA GTP. American Spirit principal Jon Lewis’ experience also includes holding the titles of Vice President of Marketing for the North American Touring Car Championship, Germain Racing in NASCAR and the National Survival Game (founders of the sport of Paintball). American Spirit’s management and marketing background brings a well-rounded wealth of experience, assisting in the development and advancement in our driver’s careers.

For more information regarding driver opportunities and to receive an entry form, contact Ingo Strackerjan at: 902-488-5823, email info@atlanticracingteam.com or Jon Lewis at: 239-283-3306, email AmericanStarUSA@earthlink.net .

09/18/06
f1
Interview with Robert Kubica Interview with Robert KubicaAfter doing an excellent job as a "Friday driver" in twelve Grand Prix weekends, the 21-year-old was promoted to one of the two BMW Sauber F1.06 racing seats for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Since then he has qualified in the top ten each time and in Monza, only his third Formula One race, he scored his first podium.

Q: Can you describe your emotions when you found yourself on the podium in Monza?

Robert Kubica: My first emotion was happiness, and also great satisfaction for giving my team an important result. The fact that it happened in Monza is also not insignificant for me.

Q: Would you describe yourself as an emotional person?

RK: Not really. In my job it does not help and I am lucky not to be so.

Q: What did you do in the days after the Monza race?

RK: I went to Tuscany to Dr Ceccarelli's "Formula Medicine". It is a nice place where you can rest and train at the same time. The season is not finished yet and I want to keep my fitness preparation as high as possible.

Q: How was your reception in Krakow?

RK: The people in my home town are obviously very excited, and it's a bit difficult to handle the situation. From one side it is very good, but from another it is complicated, especially for me. However, I am aware there is a small price to pay in terms of loss of privacy when you become a public person. zzzz

Q: Do you think more podiums in 2006 are a possibility?

RK: I know now the expectation is to repeat this good result, but I am aware that it is not easy. The difference is now I know it is possible, but each race has its own story and I prefer to start each race weekend without thinking about the previous ones.

Q: How much has your life changed since you entered Formula One?

RK: There have not been any major lifestyle changes for me. I have been racing since I was very young and I am used to it. Formula One is very demanding on your time and this means there is almost no time left for personal issues. But it is just a matter of organizing my schedule better, and in the end everything will go smoothly.

Q: What are the most important characteristics a Formula One driver must have?

RK: To develop the car with his race engineer and try to get the most out of it in all different conditions. And then push on the throttle!

Q: When and why did you become interested in motor racing?

RK: I was too young to remember when - you should ask my father!

Q: What was your first vehicle?

RK: It was a very small French car. I also drove a Renault in an F1 test in Barcelona last year, but that one had a lot more horse power!

Q: You moved to Italy as a 13-year-old to continue your karting career. How was it possible for you live there on your own without your family?

RK: Italians are very friendly people and I picked up the language quite easily. All in all I have good memories, and when you are so young you don't need many things. I sometimes missed my family, but the fact was I had no alternatives if I wanted to compete in a professional environment.

Q: What was the worst experience in your life?

RK: My road car accident when I broke my arm. I knew sooner or later I would recover but I didn't know if this would negatively affect my career.

Q: Which one would you call your best race ever?

RK: My debut race in the F3 Euroseries at the Norisring. This was just six weeks after my road accident and I won. I could only use my right arm to change gears and had to do most of the steering work with my left arm.

Q: What do you think about Michael Schumacher's retirement at the end of 2006?

RK: He has made his decision and I do not feel I am in a position to comment on this. However, my first podium has been with him, and I can tell you it was an honor for me. BMW Sauber

09/18/06
track news
Hulk Hogan to Serve as Grand Marshal Hulk Hogan to Serve as Grand MarshalDOVER, Del. - Hulkamaniacs and NASCAR fans around the country rejoice.

Hulk Hogan, iconic professional wrestler and star of the VH1 reality show "Hogan Knows Best," will serve as the Grand Marshal of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2006. Hogan will deliver "the most famous words in motorsports" before the start of the 1:10 p.m. race.

Hogan, 53, gained fame in the 1980s as a professional wrestler with the WWF, WCW and WWE. A multi-time champion, Hogan has amassed accolades both inside and outside the ring. He has headlined ten Wrestlemania events, and taken on all the greats - from Andre the Giant and the Iron Sheik to Triple H and The Rock.

He is the only wrestler ever to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and has starred in numerous major motion pictures, including "Rocky III" opposite Sylvester Stallone. zzzz

Hogan is still going strong today, making appearances in the ring as well as starring in the reality series "Hogan Knows Best," which debuted in July 2005 as the highest rated show in VH1 history. The show, currently filming its third season, chronicles the Hogan family's adventures.

Hogan's daughter Brooke, 18, will perform the National Anthem before start of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday.

The September 2006 race weekend includes the Sunday, Sept. 24 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, the Saturday, Sept. 23 NASCAR Busch Series race, and the Friday, Sept. 22 NASCAR Busch East Series race. Great seats for the entire race weekend are still available and can be obtained by calling 800-441-RACE or online at www.DoverSpeedway.com.

09/18/06
irl
Marlboro full-page ad Marlboro full-page adMarlboro ran a full 2-page ad in a centerfold spread of the USA Today Friday congratulating Sam Hornish Jr. on his IRL championship. Of course Marlboro hopes by seeing the ad you will smoke some of their cancer sticks.
09/18/06
nascar
TV news
Wallace on Regis and Kelly show Tuesday Wallace on Regis and Kelly show TuesdayRusty Wallace will be a guest on the Live with Regis and Kelly show on Tuesday, September 19 at 9:00 am-10:00 am ET.  Check local listings for your time zone and channel.  Rusty Wallace will discuss the new "NASCAR Angels" reality show that he will host.
09/18/06
irl
Patrick to be featured on HBO’s Real Sports Patrick to be featured on HBO’s Real SportsUPDATE A reminder that this program will be shown Tuesday night, September 19 at 10:00 pm-11:00 pm ET on HBO.

09/14/06 After watching Danica Patrick compete in the last two IndyCar® Series races, celebrated author and broadcaster Frank Deford said the dynamic of woman and machine is only part of the compelling story of the recently-introduced Andretti Green Racing driver.

In "Driving Alone" - a segment in the season opener of the HBO series "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" - Deford explores the dynamo that has transcended motorsports in the past two years much like Chris Evert in the 1970s in tennis. Real Sports premieres at 10 p.m. (ET) Sept. 19 on HBO. Other air dates are 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 21, 10 a.m. Sept. 23, 5 and 11:45 p.m. Sept. 28 and 1 p.m. Sept. 29.

"Beyond the fact that she's a woman in a male-dominated sport, she is a true personality," Deford said. "I've come to understand that she helps (other drivers) in the long run with the attention she receives. Yeah, they're envious of her, but hopefully savvy enough to realize what she does for everyone. She is a very interesting person.

"The thing that impresses me about Danica is not that she's a woman, but how small she is. How she controls that car, the strength that is required is impressive. I always knew about the need to be agile and quick, but the strength I don't think I was aware of. So I come away with even greater appreciation for what these guys do." zzzz

Patrick drove a Honda Accord Hybrid safety vehicle with Deford in the front passenger seat on the 12-turn circuit at Infineon Raceway as part of the interview. It was a ride he will remember.

"It was a different experience for me," he said. "There are some people in my profession who say, 'Well, these guys really aren't athletes,' the perception being you have to rebound or something to be an athlete. I have never thought that for a moment; there are different kinds of athleticism. I stand absolutely in awe of her and the other drivers.

"She couldn't have been more gracious and forth-coming and agreeable. It's been a very fun story to do."

"Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" has won the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Journalism nine of the past 11 years, in addition to being the first sports program honored with the duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. Tim Walker is the producer of "Driving Alone." IRL

09/18/06
f1
Raikkonen to seek Schumacher's help Raikkonen to seek Schumacher's helpNow that it's official that Raikkonen will be replacing Schumacher at the Scuderia next season, the Finn is hoping to find the time to sit down to Schumi and learn about all things Ferrari before joining the team on January 1, 2007.

"Until now it was pretty difficult to talk with him about these kind of things because it was a difficult situation," the departing McLaren driver told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

"Maybe now it will be easier.

"He has decided to quit F1 and now I might be able to talk some more to him about Ferrari."

However, it's not just Schumi who Raikkonen could learn a lot from, there's his new 2007 team-mate Felipe Massa, who the Finn is looking forward to working with.

"I'm sure everything will be fine between me and Felipe," Raikkonen added.

09/18/06
nascar
And you thought you knew how big NASCAR was... And you thought you knew how big NASCAR was...The late Dale Earnhardt named his huge yacht “Sunday Money,” the implication being that it was paid for with his NASCAR winnings. For many, NASCAR is about making money on Sunday - and Monday, and all the other days of the week.

“NASCAR is the gift that keeps on giving,” says Ed Goren of Fox TV, which just signed up for another eight seasons of NASCAR telecasts. Fox is paying some $200 million a year for the TV rights to the first 13 races of each season. That's $16 million a race.

In 1996 - just 10 years ago - CBS paid $4 million for TV rights to the Daytona 500, NASCAR's showpiece.

The Frances - brothers Bill Jr. and Jim, and third-generation Brian - have let corporate America buy into the NASCAR success story. Of the 50 largest companies on the Fortune 500, 31 are involved with NASCAR. There's the official water of NASCAR (Dasani), the official microprocessor of NASCAR (AMD), even the official deodorant (Old Spice).

Much of the money pouring into NASCAR is finding its way into North Carolina, into the Charlotte-to-Winston-Salem corridor in particular, where many racing teams are headquartered.

According to a 2003 survey, NASCAR racing generated more than $5 billion for the North Carolina economy, with more than 24,000 jobs, at an average salary of $61,000. That same survey showed that NASCAR racing generated nearly $600 million in the 12-county Piedmont, which includes Forsyth, and employed nearly 4,000 people. More of this interesting article at Winston Salem Journal

09/18/06
f1
Panis retires leaves Toyota, Montagny in Panis retires leaves Toyota, Montagny inPanasonic Toyota Racing announced today that Olivier Panis has decided to leave the team at the end of 2006 and thereby put an end to his twelve-year Formula One career.

Olivier, whose test driver contract expires at the end of this year, explained: "Toyota has made much progress and I am happy to have been a part of this. The team was always very motivated and still is. I am really positive about the job the whole team has done and will miss everyone I have worked with, yet I know that it is time for me to move on and fulfill my wish to race again. I am looking forward to new racing challenges outside Formula 1 but I will keep a close eye on Toyota's performance and hope they achieve all the success they deserve."

The team extends its thanks and gratitude to Olivier for his support over the last four years and wishes him all the best for his future endeavors. zzzz

Panasonic Toyota Racing Team Principal, Tsutomu Tomita, says: "We are very thankful to Olivier for the high level of commitment he put into working with the whole team all along our four years of collaboration. His technical experience and human qualities greatly contributed to our team development as much as to the improvement of its overall performance. We understand and accept his desire to continue racing. We thank him for sharing his know-how and will support him in whatever he chooses to do."

With the likely revisions of testing format and new driving duties for Olivier Panis and Ricardo Zonta after the end of 2006, Panasonic Toyota Racing expects to reach an agreement soon for Franck Montagny to join as third and test driver.

Panasonic Toyota Racing is also looking to take advantage of the Toyota Young Drivers Program to promote a young driver to the testing team.

Once the test driver line-up has been finalized, Panasonic Toyota Racing will issue further details.

09/18/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Bernie being sued for $297m
Montagny coy on Toyota switch
Bulgaria plans formula one track
Klien could have earned more in US - Marko
Renault uncertainty made me switch - Alonso
Retired Schu to earn $26m in 2007 - report
Kovalainen back in action
More engine failures concern Renault
Kubica welcomes Raikkonen comparison
09/18/06
Racing News
Quotes of the past week Quotes of the past week
BERNIE ECCLESTONE, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
''With his ability and his fitness Schumacher has at least two more years in him."  Ecclestone even said Schumacher could race in 2007 if he wanted.  ''I know that Renault would take him right away.  So I prefer not to say goodbye.''  (Ecclestone is quoted as encouraging the Ferrari driver to race again beyond the end of the 2006 season -- for current title rival Renault.)
 
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, Ferrari Formula One driver
"It was an indescribable day. I think I did the right think saying that I would retire having won. I know that many people were surprised by my decision but, for me, it was the perfect moment. I think that Ferrari behaved admirably and left the decision entirely up to me. After selecting the Monza weekend for the announcement, at Istanbul I felt I had to take more time to think and I asked myself if the end of the year would have been the best time. However, during the tests at Monza when Jean asked me when I would have preferred to make the decision, I decided once again for post-race at Monza. I wanted to focus totally on the race to come. Today, I feel good about it.  I am not getting any younger and it is only natural that I ask myself whether I have the strength, energy and motivation to drive for another year and stay at the top.  Obviously, I am still fit and competitive but would I have still been in the future? Simply 'driving' is not enough for me. It is not my style. I am pleased to have taken this decision alone and calmly. For this I have to thank Ferrari, Willi, my manager over the years. He has often provided me with support during the time we have worked together, almost twenty years. I think that is all. We have complemented each other perfectly. He was the first to point me in the direction of F1 but he also gave me the freedom to retire.  My Formula 1 goodbye, as announced, will not be a goodbye to Ferrari or Willi. We will work together again in the future and I am happy about this.  We still have three races left and we have to take our chance. We have almost made up the gap in the Drivers' championship and already overtaken Renault in the Constructors' standings. Both titles are within reach. From now on, all that counts for us is the title. Everything else can wait."
 
JEAN TODT, Team Principal, Ferrari F1 Team
"Some people have speculated that Michael made his decision because he did not want to compete with Kimi. They are simply stupid."  (Todt was asked whether driving alongside Raikkonen had influenced Michael's decision.)
 
WILLI WEBER, Manager for Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F1 driver
''That is an unbelievable insult.  (It is) completely below the belt. Alonso is a brilliant driver, but his behavior leaves a lot to be desired.  Michael will give a suitable reply at the next race.''   (Weber reacted with fury to Alonso's outburst on Spanish radio this week, in which the Spaniard branded seven time title winner Schumacher the 'most unsporting driver in the history of F1'.)
 
TIGER WOODS,  American Championship Golfer
''In my eyes, Michael Schumacher has to be (the best).  His consistency does it for me. He's performed year in, year out, in a sport watched globally under immense pressure.''   (Although Woods narrowly beats the seven time world champion to the top spot on any sports earning list, he nonetheless called Schumacher's career achievements 'phenomenal'.)
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, Marlboro Team Penske, IRL driver
"There's not much to discuss with Tony to be honest.  After that, it's hard to consider that guy to be a friend. To be honest, I have no idea why he did that. I have to do a lot of thinking, but right now, he's not my favorite person in the world. Before that, I considered him a friend.  Disappointing, friends come and go. It won't change my life if he doesn't like me. Apparently, he doesn't, so it's very, very sad to come to that conclusion. I have no hard feelings, but he does for no reason. It's very upsetting."  (Tony Kanaan's decision to race with Helio Castroneves, despite the fact he was one lap down, has strained any friendship the two drivers were perceived to have, according to Castroneves.)
09/17/06
cooperff
Hildebrand clinches the Cooper Series title Hildebrand clinches the Cooper Series titleLexington, Ohio – Rising star J.R. Hildebrand continued his dominance of the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Championship by winning both of this weekend’s races at the challenging Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The 18-year-old from Sausalito, Calif., has now won 11 of the season’s 12 races with Cape Motorsports’ #2 Formotion/Spy/Mockett.com Van Diemen and has clinched the series title with two races still to be run next weekend as part of the Champ Car World Series event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

"We knocked the most wins [in a season] record out of the way and got the championship all wrapped up, so it’s been another good weekend," said Hildebrand modestly.

"I don’t think anybody expected us to be so dominant this season," he continued, "but that’s what I had been preparing to do all through the off-season. I’ve had a great team behind me in Cape Motorsports and I’ve put a lot of hard work in behind the scenes. I’ve done pretty much everything I wanted to do and I hope to translate that into bigger and better things for the future." zzzz

Another teenager, Cole Morgan, from Lighthouse Point, Fla., also achieved his weekend goals, emulating Hildebrand’s feat by claiming two more wins and clinching the Cooper Gold Cup crown for older Pinto-engined cars. Morgan’s latest two victories – maintaining an unbeaten streak this season – came with a new (to him) team in St. Clair Motorsports, running Mark Defer’s usual Van Diemen RF99 chassis while his own trusty Swift DB-6 was being prepared for the upcoming SCCA National Championship event in Topeka, Kan.

Saturday’s 20-lap race began with Hildebrand translating his ninth pole of the season into the lead at the first corner. He soon pulled out a commanding advantage over Cape Motorsports teammate Dane Cameron (#19 Finlay Motorsports/Jim Russell School/Red Line Oil Van Diemen) and Ricardo Vassmer (#25 Meridiano Television/Santa Barbara Airlines/JDC Motorsports Van Diemen), from Caracas, Venezuela, who managed to oust the third Cape entry of Chris Meredith (#3 MII Security/Bertil Roos School/Primus Racing Van Diemen) on the opening lap.

Hildebrand was never seriously challenged, although Cameron did manage to reduce the deficit a little in the closing stages. Cameron, 17, from Sonoma, Calif , also set the fastest lap of the race to ensure himself the pole position for their Sunday encounter.

"I made a few little mistakes early in the race," admitted Cameron, "but then the car seemed to get a bit better and J.R. began to struggle a little bit. It was the first time [this season] I had pole for the second race [of the weekend], so that was pretty cool."

Vassmer finished a distant third on Saturday, followed by Potomac, Md’s Meredith and Jason Byers (#28 A&B Refrigeration/St. Clair Motorsports Van Diemen), from Livonia, Mich., who thereby clinched the Cooper Masters title for drivers over 35 years of age.

Cameron led the field up to the green flag the following afternoon but was unable to prevent Hildebrand from braking deeper on the outside line into Turn One and slicing through to take the lead. Cameron gave chase before running wide over the curb on the exit of Turn Nine. The incident damaged his car’s nosecone and underbody diffuser, causing him to retire to the pits.

As Hildebrand romped away to the win, fellow former Team USA Scholarship winner Slade Miller made his mark for the first time in what has been a difficult rookie season. Miller, from Edmond, Okla., made an excellent start from sixth on the grid, then fought hard all race long to hold off the attentions of Meredith and Vassmer to claim a career-best second-place finish in his family-run #10 Kechi Energy/Quantum Mechanics Van Diemen.

"They might have been a little bit faster in a couple of places," related Miller, "but I made sure I didn’t make any mistakes and was able to hold them off. It’s great to be on the podium for the first time."

09/17/06
Karting News
Daly wins twice on Senior’s debut Daly wins twice on Senior’s debutDespite not being “technically” old enough to race in the senior class, Cytomax MRP-birel-America driver, Conor Daly, scored two pole positions, and two wins in the Senior TaG class at 9th and 10th rounds of the Superkarts USA 2006 Pro Tour at New Castle Motorsports Park, Indiana. Because of his success in the junior classes this season, Conor received special dispensation that allowed him to move up early to race in the senior class.

14 year old Conor Daly, son of former Formula One/Indy Car driver turned TV commentator, Derek Daly,  drives an Italian built birel chassis for MRPbirel America prepared by Motorama Kart Parts based in Mooresville, Indiana (mkpshop.com). Conor races exclusively on Bridgestone tires and is sponsored by Cytomax Sport Energy Drink. Conor Daly PR

09/17/06
cc
Dominguez quits Coyne to drive for Rocketsports Dominguez quits Coyne to drive for RocketsportsUPDATE #6 OCESA's Federico Aleman will hold a press conference tomorrow at midday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Mario Dominguez will be there. The topic of the press conference is to talk about The Gran Premio de Mexico. Aleman will talk about the promotion and related news for the race.

In related Dominguez/Pemex news, a TV ad appeared early today on Fox Sports in Mexico with Mario Dominguez who appeared with a white and green Nomex (which carried Pemex as a Sponsor) talking about the new Pemex Quality Certification Method for gas stations all over Mexico. Michel Jourdain appeared in a different ad, promoting the same and wearing the same Nomex. Héctor Serrano reporting from Mexico

09/17/06 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today (should have been on our rumors page all along). Today's Reforma newspaper says, "Mario Dominguez will race for Rocketsports with Mexican sponsorship."

The article says that Dominguez will drive for Rocketsports with three Mexican companies as sponsors - Pemex, his main sponsor, Jugos Del Valle and GICSA Real Estate.

Dominguez chose to take another swipe at Dale Coyne's operation.

"Thank God I have enough money to run the last three races with Rocketsports, which is a better team than Dale Coyne's and that will allow me to produce better results, finish the championship in a better position and hope to have a podium finish in one or two of the last races

"I've been talking to Rocketsports for three or four months, I was working on getting the money to do the last three races and finally in Montreal I talked to Paul Gentilozzi and told him I had secured sponsorship and wanted to do the last three races with them" said Mario Dominguez, via telephone from Phoenix where he did some promotional appearances for Champ Car.

At Montreal, Gentilozzi and Mario closed the deal with a handshake. A week later, once the situation with Nicky Pastorelli, who Mario is replacing, was settled, the deal was finalized, according to the article.

"I'm happy because the horizon is clearing up. There was times where I couldn't see where to go, if I would race or not. It was a hard time, but I'm getting over it", added Dominguez.

09/13/06 AutoRacing1.com hears that Mario Dominguez is talking to a couple of teams, Rocketsports included, about driving for their Champ Car team as early as Road America. We also hear that Dale Coyne is prepared to replace Dominguez by Road America. Word is that Coyne was not enamored with Mario's negative comments about his team to the Mexican media, so that relationship may be permanently damaged. We hear Dominguez might be testing at Sebring this week......for somebody.

08/30/06 Mario Dominguez flew straight from the Montreal CCWS race to England, and is sharing driving duties in the A1GP test with Salvador Duran.  "I'm not committed to anything yet, I'm just here for the test just wanted to give it a try," Dominguez revealed to autosport.com

08/28/06   In a phone interview with Mexican radio station 90.5 (Mexico City) Mario Dominguez stated that he will not run in the last race of the schedule in Mexico City if his only option is Coyne Racing, according to Mario he is looking for a better car for his hometown race. Rumor on the street is that Mario is talking with RuSPORT and Rocketsports. Jose Arrambide reporting from Mexico

08/27/06 As we reported yesterday, Mario Dominguez is very unhappy with his current situation in Champ Car.  AutoRacing1.com has learned that Dominguez was quoted in the Reforma newspaper this morning (the largest newspaper in Mexico) that he will not race in Mexico City given his current situation.  "I refuse to race in front of my home people and look like a fool in an uncompetitive car."

Of course if this comes to being Dominguez may be persona non grata in Champ Car, but he said he has offers to drive in A1GP and to be paid well for it.  With no Mexican drivers in Mexico City, this may result in a significant drop in ticket sales for this year's season ending Champ Car race, after last year's race saw a significant drop from 2004.  The Monterrey, Mexico race is gone for 2007 and if this keeps up, Mexico City won't be far behind.  Maybe this is why Champ Car has not been saying much about the NAFTA market recently.  Without Mexico, Champ Car will not be able to use that marketing slant any longer and perhaps they have decided to deep-six the Mexico market given there is almost zero sponsor support there now.....something we predicted once NASCAR moved into Mexico. 

08/26/06 The grandstands in Montreal were full Saturday and the general admission areas were swarming with people. We noted to race promoter that the event looks pretty good this year and he smiled broadly and said, "There are a LOT of people here today." There is a chance of rain Sunday so we shall see if that keeps people away..........Nicky Pastorelli broke a half-shaft in qualifying but told us the car was much better in the afternoon, he just did not get a chance to show it......Mario Dominguez is quite unhappy about his situation at Dale Coyne Racing. As the only Mexican driver, if he were to leave the series look for a complete collapse of the Mexico City race and Champ Car will be done in Mexico, playing perfectly into NASCAR's hands.......Spotted ex-F3000 and ex-IRL driver Tomas Enge (Right) looking for possibilities in Champ Car for 2007 (Photo courtesy Champ Car/LAT)........Katherine Legge is frustrated with her pace.  During the afternoon warm-up Legge was 12th on the practice report with a time of 83.298 seconds (117.078 mph).  As has been their practice, the Bell Micro – PKV Racing team went out with the drop of the green flag for qualifying.  Legge ran eight laps first stint posting a fast time of 82.902 on her eighth lap.  She went out for her second stint with approximately 12 minutes remaining and turned seven more laps, but could not improve her time.  “Qualifying definitely did not go according to plan for the Bell Micro – PKV Racing team and I don’t think I have ever been this far off the pace,” Legge began.  “The car feels okay and that makes it even more frustrating and confusing why we are slow,” she noted.  “I am thinking positively because it looks like it is going to rain tomorrow, which would be great because I like driving in the rain.  But, the other half side of me just wants to get it figured out.  My teammate (Oriol Servia) is pretty quick, so we may just put his setup on my car,” Legge concluded.
09/17/06
f1
Schumacher’s legacy will live on Schumacher’s legacy will live onNot only is Michael Schumacher leaving the sport of F1 holding every record of significance, and considered by many to be the greatest F1 driver of all-time, it seems there is something else that Schumacher is doing that is perhaps even more important.

Schumacher is by far the highest paid driver in the world and 2nd highest paid athlete behind golfer Tiger Woods. But instead of hoarding the money for private investments, he's secretly giving a chunk of it away to the needy.

According to Business F1, the soon to be eight-time world champion has given away $50 million over the last four years to charitable organizations. He has quietly funded orphanages in Peru, hospitals in Bosnia, and schools in Senegal. He paid $5.6 million as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador and was the largest private donor to the Asian tsunami relief fund, contributing $10 million.

So while Schumacher will long be remembered for what he did on the race track, it may be what he did off that cements his legacy as the greatest.

09/17/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for SundayUPDATE The NHRA race from Reading, PA today has been rained out and is rescheduled for October 1st. The next NHRA race is September 24th.

09/16/06
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR RaceDay New Hampshire
11:00am-12:30pm (L) SPEED
NHRA 2Day
11:30am-12:00pm  ESPN2
NASCAR Nextel Cup  Loudon, NH Sylvania 300
12:30pm-4:45pm (L) TNT
MotoGP World Championship  Australia
4:00pm-5:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane New Hampshire
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NHRA Reading, PA Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals
7:00pm-10:00pm (SDD) ESPN2
The SPEED Report
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Ed Hinton (Motorsports Writer)
Bill "Hat Man" Brodrick (former Unocal NASCAR Rep.)

9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
09/17/06
German F3
Ho-Pin Tung uses sensational win to clinch F3 title Ho-Pin Tung uses sensational win to clinch F3 titleUPDATE We added some photos and text to the article below.

09/17/06 With still one round to go (doubleheader at Oschersleben, October 1), Dutch-Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung (right) drove to a sensational race win and, coupled with his 2nd-place on Saturday, clinched the German F3 title at the ultra fast Salzburgring circuit near Salzburg in Austria!
 
After a troubled qualifying this morning on a drying track, Ho-Pin found himself back in sixth place, 0.463 sec from pole. After the start he steadily moved forward and with half a lap to go he passed his last challenger, Dutchman Renger van der Zande, in his JB Motorsport Lola B06 30 P Opel-Spiess. His main rivals for the title, Ferdinand Kool, another Dutchman, finished third and Latvian driver Harald Schlegemilch finished fourth in the race.

Nathan Antunes started from pole position but stalled the engine and Ho-Pin started from sixth position but was immediately in fourth place. He overtook teammate Ferdinand Kool for third and after the safety car period he overtook Renger van der Zande using the slipstream. On the last lap Ho-Pin overtook Harald Schlegelmilch for the lead using his slipstream again. Schlegelmilch tried to block him, the two cars touched each other but Tung still managed to win his 7th race of the season while Schlegelmilch led the whole race until the last lap and finished in fourth position.

HO-PIN: “I started sixth and finished first. Super! It was a great race. Yesterday in the race we missed some speed on the straights. My team changed a couple of things on the car which improved the top speed. The hardest part was to overtake my teammate because he uses exactly the same car and on the last lap I overtook Schlegelmilch. It's great to win the championship in style with a race win!”

With two races to go, Ho-Pin Tung now leads the championship with 121 points, 32 points ahead of Kool and 40 ahead of Schlegemilch.

1. Ho-Pin Tung (121) 2. Ferdinand Kool (89) 3. Harald Schlegelmilch (81) 4. Nico Hulkenberg (78) 5. Renger van der Zande (78)  zzzz

Results Race 2 
1 6 Ho-Pin Tung CHN JB Motorsport Lola B06-30 Opel-Spiess 17 25:27.969
2 8 Renger van der Zande (R) NED SMS Seyffarth Motorsport Dallara F 306 Mercedes-HWA 17 25:28.281 00.312
3 5 Ferdinand Kool NED JB Motorsport Lola B06-30 Opel-Spiess 17 25:29.067 01.098
4 46 Harald Schlegelmilch (R) LAT HS Technik Motorsport Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 25:29.679 01.710
5 9 Cyndie Allemann (R) SUI SMS Seyffarth Motorsport Dallara F 306 Mercedes-HWA 17 25:29.819 01.850
6 16 Recardo Bruins (R) KOR van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F 306 Opel-Spiess 17 25:29.868 01.899
7 41 Johannes Theobald GER SMS Seyffarth Motorsport Dallara F 304 Mercedes-HWA 17 25:30.262 02.293
8 42 Ronny Wechselberger (R) GER Prinz Schwadtke Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 25:30.444 02.475
9 27 Riccardo Azzoli ITA Target Racing SLC R1-006 Opel-Spiess 17 25:30.946 02.977
10 17 Dominick Muermans (R) NED van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F 306 Opel-Spiess 17 25:31.253 03.284
11 29 Natacha Gachnang (R) SUI Bordoli Motorsport Dallara F 306 Opel-Spiess 17 25:34.049 06.080
12 22 Mattia Pavoni (R) ITA Ombra Racing Dallara F 306 Mugen-Honda 17 25:34.849 06.880
13 25 Nico Hülkenberg (R) GER Josef Kaumann Racing Ligier JS 47 Opel-Spiess 17 25:36.341 08.372
14 33 Marco Oberhauser (R) AUT Neuhauser Racing Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 25:37.379 09.410
15 53 Marcel Schuler (R) GER Schuler Motorsport Dallara F 304 Tom´s-Toyota 17 25:42.416 14.447
16 54 Rolf Biland (R) SUI Schuler, Motorsport Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 25:42.697 14.728
17 48 Petr Samek (R) CZE KFR Team F3 Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 25:43.518 15.549
18 12 Max Nilsson (R) SWE Swiss Racing Team Dallara F 306 Opel-Spiess 17 25:45.078 17.109
19 35 Martin Konrad AUT Franz Wöss Racing Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 25:46.425 18.456
20 24 Massimo Rossi (R) ITA Ombra Racing Dallara F 306 Mugen-Honda 17 25:53.381 25.412
21 36 Denis Watt AUT Franz Wöss Racing Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 17 26:08.208 40.239
22 45 Luca Iannaccone ITA Team rhino’s Leipert Dallara F 304 Renault-Sodemo 16 26:08.080 1 Runde
23 40 Urs Rüttimann SUI Jo Zeller Racing Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 13 20:11.708 4 Runden
Did Not Finish
57 Michael Klein (R) GER Swiss Racing Team Dallara F 304 Opel-Spiess 9 12:18.665 8 Runden
2 Nathan Antunes (R) AUS HS Technik Motorsport Lola B06-30 Opel-Spiess 7 9:58.787 10 Runden
28 Johnny Cecotto (R) VEN Target Racing SLC R1-006 Opel-Spiess 1 1:30.186 16 Runden

09/17/06
British F3
Senna Wins in the Pouring Rain Senna Wins in the Pouring Rain
09/17/06
F1
First family of F1 in legal battle over unpaid loan First family of F1 in legal battle over unpaid loanFormula One and the family of racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone have been hit with a £158m ($296.6M) legal claim over an unpaid debt.

Switzerland's Kamos-Finanz is suing SLEC, F1's parent company, and Bambino Holdings, Mr. Ecclestone's family trust, over a $235m (£124.5m) loan that SLEC took out five years ago. Bambino Holdings is a minority shareholder in SLEC.

Kamos-Finanz is demanding SLEC repay the loan in full and also pay interest. Bambino Holdings is being pursued for damages equivalent to interest on the loan. Together it makes Kamos-Finanz's total claim, which has been lodged with the High Court, worth £158m.

The loan dates back to April 2001, and industry insiders believe it helped fund the acquisition of the commercial rights to F1, which SLEC bought a day after the loan was taken out. The rights, SLEC's core asset, were acquired for $313.6m for 100 years from F1's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). It is not known when the loan was due to be settled, nor why it has not been repaid yet. SLEC and Bambino declined to comment.  zzzz

The news comes just after SLEC filed accounts for 2005. These show that Formula One Administration (FOA), the wholly owned SLEC subsidiary that holds the F1 rights, made pre-tax profits of $435m last year on revenues of $787m. SLEC is majority owned by CVC, which spent almost $1bn last November acquiring its stake. The private equity giant has won plaudits for its running of F1, ensuring that rebel car makers, which were threatening to set up their own championship, stayed with F1 beyond 2008.

The disputed Kamos-Finanz loan was taken out by SLEC well before CVC become involved in the company.

SLEC and Bambino Holdings - which is believed to be for the benefit of Mr. Ecclestone's wife and children, and not him - have until 2 October to lodge defenses against the claim. The Independent
09/17/06
fiagt
Bertolini takes pole for Round 7 in Mugello Bertolini takes pole for Round 7 in MugelloA delighted Andrea Bertolini took pole position for the seventh round of the 2006 FIA GT Championship, on home ground in Italy. Behind the wheel of the Championship-leading Maserati MC 12, he set a time of 1:48.436 in a thrilling session, which started off wet but drying. Many of the teams went from wet tires, through intermediates and finally onto slicks within the space of just 20 minutes, giving one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the season.

He will start alongside the nr 9 Zakspeed Saleen S7, qualified today by Sascha Bert. Bert had been lying in 16th position at the end of the session, but managed a lap of 1:48.436 right at the end to take second place, just two tenths slower than the Maserati. zzzz

Third place went to newcomers Scuderia Playteam, with their nr 40 Maserati MC 12, after a great performance from Toni Vilander in a car which had been badly damaged in a crash in this morning's free practice. The team had not finished working on the car when the session started, so third place, six tenths behind the Saleen, was a great result.

Fourth went to the nr 24 Aston Martin BMS DBR9, leading a group of four Aston Martin cars, the nr 33 Race Alliance ahead the nr 23 BMS and the nr 5 Phoenix Racing cars.

Balfe Motorsport had been lying second in the wetter part of the session, but slipped to ninth by the end, as the cars came out on slicks. However, the nr 4 Corvette, which had been second-fastest in free practice, was down in 17th position, which will give the team a lot of work at the start of today's race.

09/17/06
lmes
Bruichladdich Radical SR9 testing update Bruichladdich Radical SR9 testing updateThe Team Bruichladdich Radical SR9 had its most comprehensive test to date last week at Snetterton in preparation for the LMS race in Jarama, Spain next Sunday (24th Sep).

This will be the third outing for the car and team and after a trouble-free full day of running the team is happy with the test outcome and optimistic of translating the data into time on the Spanish track. The pace of the car has never been in doubt and has more than proved itself at its Nürburgring and Donington races.

The missing part of the story before the end of the season is a podium place. Tim Greaves and Stuart Moseley will be paired once more in their quest for a trophy and both are optimistic.

Tim Greaves, Team Owner and Driver:
“Jarama is one of the circuits that is said to suit the more agile LMP2 cars very well to the extent that we could be competitive with LMP1 runners. Joao Barbosa certainly knows his way round so with him in the Rollcentre Radical you never know we could be looking two Radicals on the front row! I’m certainly expecting a tight race.”

Stuart Moseley, Driver:
“Last week was certainly the most beneficial test we’ve had. We ran all day and were able to try plenty of set-up changes. We looked at a few things specifically for Jarama including traction to get the best out of those hairpins. Our main objective is to get to the end of the race with a podium and with a couple of races of experience behind us there’s no reason why we shouldn’t make it.”

Drives with Team Bruichladdich Radical for the 2007 LMS season are available. Please contact Tim Greaves for further details.

09/17/06
motogp
Melandri wins in Australia Melandri wins in AustraliaIn what will go down as one of the most unpredictable races in premier class history, Marco Melandri took victory at the GMC Australian Grand Prix. Twenty six laps of breathtaking action saw the first appearance of the new white flag wet weather rule, a Phillip Island finally seeing some of the predicted rainfall at the start of the MotoGP race.

After a delayed start, Shinya Nakano stormed out of the blocks and commanded an early lead. Nicky Hayden dropped down to sixteenth after an atrocious start, although the World Championship leader would have a second chance to redeem himself. Colin Edwards and Sete Gibernau could only watch as the Kawasaki rider put space between himself and the other riders. However, the Japanese rider was the last to come in upon the waving of a white flag, after the rest of the field had made their permitted change of bikes, and would come out with his advantage thrown out of the window.

After the restart, the race was turned completely on its head.

Gibernau, Chris Vermeulen Carlos Checa and Nicky Hayden were the early beneficiaries, but a later gamble by Checa proved not to be so opportune as he crashed out after a second change.

There was delight for Vermeulen at his home Grand Prix, as he took both his and Rizla Suzuki’s first MotoGP podium with an awe-inspiring ride. Having seen mechanical problems rob the Australian of a rostrum place in America, there were plenty of anxious faces in the Suzuki garage as the last laps came round with Sete Gibernau hot on Vermeulen’s heels. However, fans weren’t to be denied a home rider on the podium as he guided his GSV-R home. zzzz

The title fight between Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi saw the Italian gain another 5 points on his rival when he made a last-gasp move on Gibernau to take third from his old adversary and the Kentucky Kid was unable to do the same. Casey Stoner put two home riders in the top six, ahead of Loris Capirossi and a disappointed Shinya Nakano. Toni Elias and Makoto Tamada completed the top ten. Hayden is 21 points ahead of Rossi, and 32 ahead of Pedrosa and Melandri.

Way back in 15th place, Dani Pedrosa’s inexperience on a MotoGP bike in wet weather conditions may have ended his title chances. The Spaniard was still crucial to the final stages of the race, as he was lapped by Rossi as Hayden protested that a yellow flag had been raised.

1. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 44min 15.621 secs
2. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 44min 25.320 secs
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 44min 26.147 secs
4. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 44min 26.236 secs
5. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 44min 26.315 secs
6. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 44min 26.944 secs
7. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 44min 42.176 secs
8. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 44min 42.287 secs
9. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 45min 12.855 secs
10. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 45min 17.852 secs
11. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 45min 18.053 secs
12. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 45min 34.430 secs
13. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 46min 3.854 secs
14. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 45min 23.691 secs
15. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 44min 31.119 secs
16. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 45min 35.526 secs
17. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 44min 57.572 secs

09/16/06
cc
nascar
Champ Car’s Allmendinger impresses in NASCAR debut Champ Car’s Allmendinger impresses in NASCAR debutLOUDON, N.H. - Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger wears a Red Bull helmet as one of the drivers endorsed by the energy-drink maker, so maybe that's why Team Red Bull Competition Director Elton Sawyer was one of the first people to talk to Allmendinger on pit road after his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut Saturday at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Sawyer and Team Red Bull General Manager Marty Gaunt were both in attendance as Allmendinger finished 13th in his debut after wrecking his Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra in qualifying.

Could the 24-year-old Allmendinger, who has four wins in Champ Car this year in a season driving for two different teams, be Brian Vickers' teammate when Team Red Bull takes to the track next season as part of the initial Toyota Camry Nextel Cup effort?

"That's a tough question," Gaunt said on whether Allmendinger could be Nextel Cup ready. "He did a hell of a job for his first time out. He finished 13th in a backup truck. He did real, real good.

"He wanted to try this, and when he was switching rides, he got hold of [Bill Davis] and you've got to give him a lot of credit for going out and doing what he did here today." zzzz

Gaunt said TRB is still a month away from naming a driver and a possible sponsor for that car.

"We still have a lot of pieces to put together," Gaunt said. "We're still looking at all the [driver] candidates that are options, It is a crucial decision, so we have to make sure to make the right one."

Allmendinger, who still might return to Forsythe Championship Racing on the Champ Car circuit next year and used the NHIS event to test the NASCAR waters, plans on competing in the Oct. 8 truck race at Talladega.

"Red Bull has been a great driver-sponsor/athlete sponsor of mine for the last three years," Allmendinger said Saturday. "Over this year with my success and switching to the Forsythe team, we've been able to really have a strong relationship and they [Red Bull] enjoy the atmosphere in Champ Car as well.

"Right now, I was just trying to see what it was like and my focus is still on the rest of the year in Champ Car and more than anything just trying to please Red Bull and win races in that." More at Scenedaily.com

09/16/06
cckarting
Formula BMW
More than just racing for Walker Racing More than just racing for Walker RacingWhen Walker Racing/Team Australia visits Elkhart Lake, WI for the Road America Champ Car event September 22-24, they will participate in more than just racing.  The team and its drivers will take part in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand National as they award a Rotax Max Challenge driver with a test in their Formula BMW car.

Everyone has to get their start somewhere in racing and for most that start is in karts.  No one knows that better than Walker Racing/Team Australia.  This season Walker Racing marked its first year to run the full developmental ladder series with programs in Champ Car, Atlantic and Formula BMW USA.  The team knows the importance of making that climb as all six of their drivers got their start racing karts. Walker Racing/Team Australia is excited to be able to give a deserving young driver that chance.

As the Official Karting Series of Champ Car and the fastest growing kart racing class in the world, the Rotax Max Challenge Series serves as the first step for young drivers to begin their climb toward an open-wheel racing career.  The series will hold its national championship at Road America as they crown their 2006 champion. zzzz

“It’s crucial for young driver to have a solid foundation in racing.  Simon, Will, Alex and Michael all got their start racing karts.  To be able to provide a stepping stone is imperative.  I applaud Rotax Max Challenge and Champ Car for bridging the gap and providing a solid foundation,” stated Champ Car team owner Derrick Walker.

Thousands of talented young drivers in the 16-18 age bracket will battle each other out, and the winner of the challenge will win a test in the team’s Formula BMW car.  The award winner will be determined by a panel of judges, which will include Team Australia Champ Car and Atlantic drivers Alex Tagliani, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Michael Patrizi.

“It’s exciting to be apart of this.  I grew up around karts, racing them and helping my dad build them at his karting shop.  I know how hard it is to work up the ranks of driving so to be able to help a talented youngster get a shot, I couldn’t be happier,” stated Tagliani.

The challenge will kick off on Wednesday with a barbecue where all four drivers will be in attendance.   On Thursday official practice for the event starts with qualifying on Friday and the final shoot out on Saturday.  Look for the bright yellow and green Formula BMW car as it will be on display all weekend long.  For more updates go to www.walkerracing.com.

09/16/06
Industry News
Only in Detroit..... Only in Detroit.....[Editor's Note: We have been saying this about the USA car manufacturers for over a year now - that they needed to cut production rather than sell cars at a loss just to keep factories open.   It's rather funny to watch as Detroit is finally getting the message.]

Detroit's way of doing business received its death sentence Friday, a generation later than it should have.

If there's a message in Ford Motor Co.'s accelerated restructuring, painful and speedy as it is likely to be over the next year, it's that the Dearborn automaker existed in a fantasy world rooted in another century. There, market share was more important than profitability, capital was routinely destroyed and the Detroit way thumbed its collective nose at accepted business practices.

  • Only in Detroit do they pay people not to work.
  • Only in Detroit do they build too many cars and trucks and sell them at a loss just so they can keep the plants running.
  • Only in Detroit do they ignore clear signs that gas prices are headed higher, build their business around V8-powered pickups and big SUVs, and then panic when American consumers bail on them.

"The simple fact is the business model that served us for decades in North America no longer works," said Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas unit. "In line with the new reality, we will re-size our business. We're dealing with the world as it is, not as it was 10 years ago." More at Detroit News

09/16/06
British F3
Bakkerud wins at Mugello Bakkerud wins at MugelloChristian Bakkerud finally joined Maro Engel and Oliver Jarvis as a winner in 2006 for Carlin Motorsport.  Narrowly avoiding the problems at the start of the race which saw Engel and Jarvis retire and Conway knocked down the field, the Dane took complete control of the race to lead by a large margin.  Stephen Jelley claimed a distant second to score his 4th podium of the year, but it was all smiles for the third placed driver as Alberto Valerio took his debut British F3 podium for himself and the Cesario Formula team.

 

Rodolfo Gonzalez made it 13 wins from 17 starts in the National Class and was overjoyed to have beaten Bruno Senna to the flag.  Promatecme's Alex Waters took second in only his third race in British F3, with Rodolfo Avila a distant third.  Italian F3 racer Mauro Massironi was the fastest in the Invitational Class and was 3rd on the road of the National spec racers.

Mike Conway scored 6 championship points to move him even closer to lifting the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series title and just needs to score 3 more points than Oliver Jarvis in tomorrows race to be crowned 2006 British F3 Champion.

1. Christian Bakkerud Carlin Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda 28mins 15.456secs 16 laps
2. Stephen Jelley Double R Dallara F306 Mercedes +10.524secs
3. Alberto Valerio Cesario F3 Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda +16.391secs
4. Yelmer Buurman Fortec Dallara F306 Mercedes +16.878secs
5. James Jakes Hitech Dallara F306 Mercedes +26.625secs
6. Mike Conway Double R Dallara F306 Mercedes +26.936secs
7. Salvador Duran Hitech Dallara F306 Mercedes +31.914secs
8. James Walker Hitech Dallara F306 Mercedes +44.605secs
9. Rodolfo Gonzales T-Sport Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda +56.975secs N
10. Bruno Senna Double R Dallara F306 Mercedes +57.357secs zzzz
11. Karl Reindler ADR Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda +59.272secs
12. Keiko Ihara Carlin Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda +1min 12.206secs
13. Alex Waters Promatecme F3 Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda +1min 20.328secs N
14. Mauro Massironi Passoli Dallara F304 Opel-Spiess +1min 20.710secs I
15. Fabrizio Crestani Corbetta Dallara F304 Opel-Spiess +1min 41.348secs
16. Rodolfo Avila Performance Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda +1min 49.958secs N
17. Cristiano Morgado Fluid Lola Dome F106/4 Mugen-Honda +2 laps N

DNF

Juho Annala Performance Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 3 laps completed N
Oliver Jarvis Carlin Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda 1 lap completed
Jonathan Kennard ADR Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda 0 laps completed
Stuart Hall Fortec Dallara F306 Mercedes 0 laps completed
Maro Engel Carlin Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda 0 laps completed

Fastest lap:

Christian Bakkerud Carlin Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda 1min 44.514secs

09/16/06
nascar
Benson Wins truck race at NHIS Benson Wins truck race at NHISPassing leader Kyle Busch on the 167th lap may have been the easiest part of Johnny Benson’s fourth victory of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season in Saturday’s race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Benson, who started the New Hampshire 200 from the outside of the front row, battled virtually side-by-side for second place with championship leader Todd Bodine over 25 laps beginning at lap 120 before taking the position and setting out in pursuit of Busch.

Aided by caution which closed a two-second deficit, Benson passed Busch’s Freedom Grill/Team Davis Dirt Chevrolet in the 1.058-mile track’s first turn and drove his Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota to the checkered flag largely unchallenged.

Mike Skinner, who’d put his Toyota Tundra Toyota on the Budweiser Pole at a record 129.626 mph but failed to lead a lap, was 0.691 second behind the winner at the finish.  Champ Car driver AJ Allmendinger, making his first start, came from last to finish a respectable 13th and on the lead lap.  zzzz

Benson, whose last victory came a month ago at Nashville Superspeedway, averaged 92.323 mph for the 211.6-mile distance as a record 12 caution periods consumed 50 laps – a quarter of the race.

Benson, who clipped 30 points off Bodine’s 154-point advantage entering the season’s 18th of 25 races, won $59,375. He was the track’s 11th consecutive different winner – a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record.

“I love racing with Todd but I knew I needed to get by him,” Benson said of his mid-race battle with Bodine. “Todd raced me clean. We bumped just once. It was great hard racing and we did what we needed to do.”

Busch, who’d snatched the lead from Benson when the field pitted for tires and fuel at lap 119, took third ahead of Bodine and David Starr as Toyota trucks claimed four of the top-five positions. Ron Hornaday Jr., Rick Crawford, Matt Crafton, Erik Darnell and Mark Martin wound up sixth through 10th as 21 of 29 finishers completed all 200 laps.

Four drivers – Benson, Busch, Bell and Clint Bowyer – swapped the lead eight times with Benson leading 145 of the race’s 200 laps. Bowyer was among contenders until an ignition problem dropped him four laps off the pace at lap 68.

Defending series champion Ted Musgrave dropped from fourth to sixth in the point standings after NASCAR officials parked him at lap 90 following a run-in with 2005 New Hampshire 200 winner Crawford.

Next event is Saturday’s Smith’s Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Fin Driver Make Laps Status
1 Johnny Benson  Toyota 200 Running
2 Mike Skinner  Toyota 200 Running
3 Kyle Busch  Chevrolet 200 Running
4 Todd Bodine  Toyota 200 Running
5 David Starr  Toyota 200 Running
6 Ron Hornaday  Chevrolet 200 Running
7 Rick Crawford  Ford 200 Running
8 Matt Crafton  Chevrolet 200 Running
9 Erik Darnell * Ford 200 Running
10 Mark Martin  Ford 200 Running
11 David Ragan  Ford 200 Running
12 David Reutimann  Toyota 200 Running
13 A.J. Allmendinger  Toyota 200 Running
14 Dennis Setzer  Chevrolet 200 Running
15 Ryan Moore * Chevrolet 200 Running
16 Mike Bliss  Chevrolet 200 Running
17 Chase Miller  Dodge 200 Running
18 Jack Sprague  Toyota 200 Running
19 Kerry Earnhardt * Chevrolet 200 Running
20 Chad McCumbee * Chevrolet 200 Running
21 T.J. Bell  Chevrolet 200 Running
22 Terry Cook  Ford 199 Running
23 Marcos Ambrose * Ford 197 Running
24 Cameron Dodson  Ford 196 Running
25 Clint Bowyer  Chevrolet 196 Running
26 Bobby Hamilton Jr.  Dodge 195 Running
27 Chad Chaffin  Toyota 193 Running
28 J C Stout  Chevrolet 188 Running
29 Aric Almirola * Chevrolet 188 Running
30 Bobby East * Ford 91 Out of Race
31 Ted Musgrave  Toyota 90 Out of Race
32 Erin Crocker * Dodge 83 Out of Race
33 Boston Reid * Dodge 82 Out of Race
34 Brendan Gaughan  Dodge 72 Out of Race
35 Bill Lester  Toyota 1 Out of Race
36 Robert Richardson, II * Chevrolet 1 Out of Race

09/16/06
German F3
Ho-Pin Tung closes on F3 title with 2nd place finish Ho-Pin Tung closes on F3 title with 2nd place finishAfter a 2nd place finish in today's German F3 race at Salzburgring (Austria), 2.4 sec. behind Nathan Antunes (Aus),  Dutch-Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung is only 8  points(*) away from clinching the 2006 German F3 title!
 
The standings after today's race (tomorrow 2nd race of the weekend): 

1. Ho-Pin Tung CHN 111
2. Ferdinand Kool NED 83
3. Nico Hülkenberg GER 77
4. Joey Foster GBR 76
5. Harald Schlegelmilch LAT 76
6. Renger van der Zande NED 70
7. Riccardo Azzoli ITA 38
8. Cyndie Allemann SUI 26
9. Recardo Bruins KOR 24
10. Johnny Cecotto VEN 20
11. Marcello Thomaz BRA 17
12. Nathan Antunes AUS 14
13. Salvatore Gatto ITA 10
14. Natacha Gachnang SUI 9
15. Johannes Theobald GER 9
16. Dominik Schraml GER 8
17. Marcel Schuler GER 5
18. Ronny Wechselberger GER 5
19. Leonardo Valois SVK 5
20. Rolf Biland SUI 4
21. Hiroyuki Matsumura JPN 3
22. Marko Nevalainen FIN 3
23. Norman Knop GER 2
24. Martin Konrad AUT 2

(*): Maximum # of points to be won in the next 3 races: 36 (10+10+10+1+1+1+1+1+1.  10 points for race win and 1 point per pole position and 1 point per fastest race lap. Ho-Pin has a 28 point lead!)

09/16/06
f1
Nick Fry on season so far Nick Fry on season so farHonda CEO Nick Fry talks about the season so far

Q: This has been a strange season for Honda so far, with lots of ups and downs. Are you satisfied?

Nick Fry: I think this season was again part of a learning. To start with testing before the season and the first few races we were pretty good, the car was quick. But maybe we relaxed a little bit and didn't develop the car quickly enough. Against team as Renault, Ferrari or McLaren you need to develop the car very quickly. Maybe we got a little bit conservative. However we realized that, but it took a little bit of time to get back up to speed again.

Magny-Cours was the worst point, but afterwards it gradually got better and obviously winning was fantastic for the team, and also Turkey was good. here in Monza a fifth and sixth was respectable, not the best but with the engine problems that we had we were pleased with Sunday's performances. As you said, lots of ups and downs but for the team to achieve the first win was a good step in the development.

Q: You mentioned the engine failures with Davidson on Friday. Is this going to be a problem in view of the 2007 engine cooling?

Nick Fry: It's not a problem, because we now know that the problem that caused the two engines blow-up was a manufacturing problem. It was not to do with the development of the engine, it was a completely different area. In fact, the issue was in an area which has been the same all year. So it was just a simple issue, we can fix that, and then we'll be back with our new development engine in Japan. zzzz

Q: Apart from the engine, have you found any particular area which needs to be improved?

Nick Fry: Since Magny-Cours, five or six areas of the car have improved. Firstly, aerodynamics: we now have a full-time wind tunnel, which we didn't have before, and clearly this has started to contribute towards our improvement. The electronics on the car have improved, the engine has improved. We have made various mechanical parts of the car different, on the front and the rear. So it's not one area, it's maybe six areas. They've all had a small contribution, but together they are very significant.

Q: From the drivers' side, Button has finally broken the duck and this can help him also from the psychological point of view, but maybe Barrichello was not up to the expectations.

Nick Fry: No, Rubens has performed exactly as we expected. Maybe some people outside thought that he would be able to jump in the car and be as quick as Jenson very quickly. I think that was unrealistic and it was not what we expected. Rubens has huge experience, but our car is different from a Ferrari in many small areas. There are some things where we need to adjust to Rubens' style, there are some things where Rubens has to adjust his own style, and there are definitely areas where we are not as good as Ferrari. What Rubens has done is helping us to improve the car.

Rubens has been very critical for our development because firstly he helped us to improve the car from an engineering point of view, but secondly, as he is a very fast driver, he has put pressure on Jenson and the two of them actually are very similar in speed. What we saw in Monza was Rubens and Jenson in qualifying looked different, but actually they were on different strategies and their difference in speed in qualifying was exactly the same as the fuel effect so they ended the race one in front of the other. The two drivers are pretty much identical.

Q: Will Davidson go to Super Aguri?

Nick Fry: If Super Aguri would like Anthony, we would be very pleased, because he deserves a chance. Obviously both Aguri and Anthony have to decide. But we would like very much Anthony to drive for Aguri because he's done a great job for us and he deserves to show the world what he can do.

Q: In that case, who would replace him?

Nick Fry: We've had a number of offers or approaches, but we haven't made a decision yet. Obviously we have James Rossiter who has been testing with us but probably we need someone else as well, maybe someone with more experience. We are open to offers.

Q: Next year there will be the single tire supplier, so you'll have to step again to Bridgestone. Will this be a problem in the first few races?

Nick Fry: No, I don't think it'll be a problem at all, because the tire that Bridgestone will offer for Formula One will be different for everybody. The tires that are currently used by Bridgestone and Michelin are very difficult and expensive to manufacture and I believe the construction that Bridgestone will use will be somewhat simpler because they'll supply the whole scene and it will be the same for everybody in terms of changing. Moreover, we were running on Bridgestone tires quite recently, and we know the changes we had to make to go from Bridgestone to Michelin and I think we'll be able to switch back relatively easily.

Q: Which are your goals for the end of this year and next year?

Nick Fry: In the next three races I want to achieve at least one more podium. I want in every race to have both cars in the points, and we should be able to do that in the last three races. Next year we need to challenge for the championship.

Q: Is there a particular race where you think you have more chances to reach the podium?

Nick Fry: It's a very difficult problem, because Rubens would like us to win in Sao Paolo and Honda would like us to win in Japan. So the easiest solution is to win in both. F1GrandPrix.it

09/16/06
nascar
NASCAR suspends drug addict....for good? NASCAR suspends drug addict....for good?UPDATE #2 Although Kevin Grubb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he does not recall being asked to submit to a drug test after his crash at Richmond last week, a NASCAR spokesman says series officials remain firm about his suspension. NASCAR suspended Grubb indefinitely after he refused to submit to a drug test. NASCAR suspended Grubb in 2004 for violating the series' substance abuse policy. Part of his reinstatement earlier this year was that he had to take random drug tests. Grubb told the Times-Dispatch he was "foggy'' after his accident last week and that he doesn't "remember most of being at the track.'' Asked if Grubb's comments might change NASCAR's stance, spokesperson Kerry Tharp said: "NASCAR made multiple requests for him to submit to a test and we're comfortable on our position with that.'' Roanoke Times

09/13/06 Kevin Grubb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "I had people pulling me in 20 different directions. I ended up leaving after Friday night's Busch race, from what I understand."

"I’m guessing that explains me acting crazy at the track," said Grubb, who was making his fifth Busch Series start after being reinstated from a previous suspension under the drug policy.

Grubb told the newspaper he has no problem with being observed and tested as necessary.

"I've been clean the whole time," Grubb said. "I worked very hard to get my life back to where it was. I don't see it being thrown away in one night.”

09/12/06 NASCAR today suspended Busch Series driver Kevin Grubb indefinitely for failing to comply with the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Grubb, 28 and driver of the No. 56 Chevrolet in the series, was suspended for failure to comply with the substance abuse policy and a refusal to submit to required testing. NASCAR's statement did not say when the refusal to submit to a test took place.  This is Grubb's second offense and the second time he has been suspended indefinitely.
09/16/06
nascar
cc
Spin puts Allmendinger last Spin puts Allmendinger lastChamp Car standout and Truck Series rookie A.J. Allmendinger spun off turn two on his qualifying lap, damaging the No. 24 Bill Davis Racing Toyota. Allmendinger's team was forced to a backup truck, meaning he will drop to the back of the field for the start, forfeiting his 32nd qualifying position.

Allmendinger was seen and released from the track's infield care center and was cleared to compete in this afternoon's New Hampshire 200. Kerry Earnhardt also had trouble on his qualifying run, shutting the engine down and pulling to the garage before completing a lap. Earnhardt is locked into the field based on owner's points and will start from the 35th position.
09/16/06
motogp
Hayden seizes pole in Australia Hayden seizes pole in AustraliaA sensational sunlit day at Phillip Island saw American Nicky Hayden become the first senior class rider since Mick Doohan to seize pole position in successive years ahead of tomorrow's 2006 GMC Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Championship leader Hayden carved three-tenths of a second off his own 2005 pole-winning time to set a new outright Island record of 1m 29.020s in a session where Sete Gibernau's Ducati was clocked at a stunning 327.4 km/h down the main Gardner Straight.

"I would be happy if I had a really fast race pace to go along with it," said Hayden. "I've struggled a bit this weekend on race tires, but I love this place and hopefully tomorrow I can come here ready with my A-game!"

Hayden had to fight off the man he hopes to dethrone as World Champion, Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, and a spirited two-pronged attack from the surprise Kawasaki pairing of Shinya Nakano and Randy de Puniet.

The Japanese-French combination swapped fastest times in the hour-long qualifying shoot-out and Nakano looked to have sealed a maiden MotoGP pole with just six minutes remaining. zzzz

While Hayden spoiled that dream, 28-year-old Nakano had the satisfaction of elbowing MotoGP legend Rossi off second spot.

Aussie Casey Stoner looked good for a front row when he went third-quickest 20 minutes from the end, but the LCR Honda rider will start from eighth on the grid after a late swoop by riders on 'sticky' qualifying tires. But Casey thinks he's got to the bottom of his Friday problems and says he's feeling "really good" for his home MotoGP debut.

Compatriot Chris Vermeulen couldn't come up with a hot qualifying lap as he and Suzuki team-mate, John Hopkins, struggled for drive out of the long left-hander at Turn 12 and will start 16th, two places back from his grid spot on home debut last year.

1. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 29.020 secs
2. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 29.258 secs
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 29.271 secs
4. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 29.662 secs
5. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 29.680 secs
6. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 29.865 secs
7. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 29.949 secs
8. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 29.969 secs
9. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 30.037 secs
10. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 30.081 secs
11. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 30.132 secs
12. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 30.237 secs
13. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 30.393 secs
14. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 30.498 secs
15. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 31.143 secs
16. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 31.288 secs
17. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 31.676 secs
18. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 31.998 secs
19. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 32.870 secs

09/15/06
cc
New DP01 Champ Car Finishes Final Test Phase New DP01 Champ Car Finishes Final Test PhaseSEBRING, Fla. – The new DP01 Champ Car had just finished the last of its 2,500 testing miles on a muggy Friday in Sebring when driver Roberto Moreno realized that there was one final test that the next-generation Champ Car had yet to pass.

“When you win a race, there is one more thing that you need your car to be able to do,” Moreno grinned.

So after getting the high sign from the test team, Moreno got two last gallons of methanol poured into his tank and launched out of his stall, ran to the end of Pit Lane and proceeded to become the first driver to turn victory donuts in the DP01 Champ Car. zzzz

The smoky celebration put an emphatic point on three long weeks of testing in Sebring that saw the new DP01 turn more than 2,500 miles on the Sebring International Raceway short course. Moreno piloted the new car for each and every one of those miles, testing every component of the new car through a rigorous schedule designed to ensure the reliability of the machine before the DP01 gets delivered to the teams.

“The car has performed exactly as we expected it to when we designed this test schedule,” said Champ Car Technical Director Scot Elkins. “We were really hard on this car and did a lot of things to it that teams won’t do when they get it. We wanted to make sure we are giving the teams a car they can have confidence in, and I feel that we have done that.”

The end of the testing program put a capper on a long three weeks for the test team that feverishly worked on the DP01 prototype, braving rain, wind and extreme temperatures to keep the car on the track. Engineers from Champ Car, Elan Motorsports, Pi Research, Cosworth Racing, Performance Racing Brakes, Hewland Gearboxes and Bridgestone all spent the three weeks in Sebring making sure the car was ready to answer the bell for each and every test day.

“I can’t say enough about the job these guys did here,” Elkins said of his team. “There were some pretty tough conditions out here and you can lose focus doing the same thing day after day, but these guys were always ready to do whatever it took to get the job done, and it shows.”

The car will now head back to Indianapolis to prepare for its public on-track debut, which will take place next weekend at Road America. The car will run demonstration laps on Friday and Saturday, and will also serve as part of the pace-car team leading the pre-race parade laps prior to Sunday’s Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America. Fans can watch the race live on SPEED, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, September 24.

09/15/06
nascar
cc
Sprague fastest, Allmendinger surprises Sprague fastest, Allmendinger surprisesToyota dominated practice for this weekend's NASCAR Truck Series race at New Hampshire with the Toyotas of Jack Sprague, Mike Skinner and Ted Musgrave 1-2-3.  The biggest surprise was Champ Car star AJ Allmendinger (pictured right, courtesy of Toyota) who was 8th quick the first time he is ever racing a car with a front engine and a roof on it.

Rank Car Driver Make Speed
1 #60 Jack Sprague Toyota 129.090
2 #5 Mike Skinner Toyota 129.072
3 #9 Ted Musgrave Toyota 128.589
4 #14 Rick Crawford Ford 128.186
5 #4 Chase Miller Dodge 128.135
6 #23 Johnny Benson Toyota 127.997
7 #6 Mark Martin Ford 127.898
8 #124 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota 127.709
9 #17 David Reutimann Toyota 127.662
10 #85 Dennis Setzer Chevrolet 127.589
11 #16 Mike Bliss Chevrolet 127.551
12 #59 Chad Chaffin Toyota 127.329
13 #11 David Starr Toyota 127.325
14 #18 Bobby Hamilton Jr. Dodge 127.257
15 #20 Marcos Ambrose* Ford 127.257
16 #88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet 127.253
17 #10 Terry Cook Ford 127.240
18 #46 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 127.219
19 #15 Kyle Busch Chevrolet 127.219
20 #33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet 127.189
21 #50 David Ragan Ford 127.121
22 #30 Todd Bodine Toyota 127.032
23 #13 Kerry Earnhardt* Chevrolet 127.028
24 #75 Aric Almirola* Chevrolet 127.024
25 #99 Erik Darnell* Ford 126.408
26 #77 Brendan Gaughan Dodge 126.245
27 #21 Bobby East* Ford 125.384
28 #07 T.J. Bell Chevrolet 125.232
29 #1 Robert Richardson, II* Chevrolet 124.887
30 #22 Bill Lester Toyota 124.507
31 #40 Ryan Moore* Chevrolet 124.013
32 #63 Cameron Dodson Ford 123.996
33 #98 Erin Crocker* Dodge 123.867
34 #08 Chad McCumbee* Chevrolet 123.791
35 #191 J C Stout Chevrolet 123.406
36 #25 Boston Reid* Dodge 122.183
37 #189 Garrett Liberty Chevrolet 115.450

09/15/06
motogp
Rossi slams rival Pedrosa Rossi slams rival PedrosaFive-time world champion Valentino Rossi has slammed the racing skills of title rival Dani Pedrosa.  Pedrosa accused Rossi of being "very aggressive when overtaking" at last month's Czech GP.

But Rossi said: "The problem with Pedrosa, at this moment, is that he is not able to overtake.

"He arrives at the front always over-shooting, so the danger is him, not me. He needs more experience and to understand the way to overtake."

09/15/06
alms
Petit LeMans: Then and Now Petit LeMans: Then and NowBraselton, Ga. - Petit Le Mans is where it all started for the American Le Mans Series. In 1998, the first 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance event took place at Road Atlanta and set the stage for the debut of the American Le Mans Series the next year and Don Panoz's vision for a professional sports car series in North America based on the traditions and rules of the French classic.

Nine years later, many of the same competitors are back for the 2006 Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7. While the cars certainly are different (and more advanced) the aspirations and dreams of winning Petit Le Mans - and an automatic entry to Le Mans - remain the same. Here's what some of this year's Petit players, who were at Road Atlanta in the beginning, had to say:

David Brabham, Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz Panoz Esperante GTLM (GT2)
"I've seen it grow from something no one knew about to an event that has been developing a history and heritage at a young age. The link to Le Mans has made that race grow not only in stature but also in importance. Getting a Le Mans entry is not easy. That makes it critical to do well at Petit, and that can take a lot of pressure off a team." zzzz

Jon Field, Intersport Racing Lola B05/40-AER (LMP2)
"It is in a position equal to Sebring and not very far from Le Mans. The Series has done an awesome job marketing the event as something so close to Le Mans. It has that flair that brings the people in. If you say Petit Le Mans to a racer, they'll know what it is. And that's pretty amazing to me.

"The thing about sports car racers is that we love endurance events. People want to compete in longer races because the most well prepared teams usually come out on top. History has shown that, and that's why we're looking forward to this year's event so much."

Allan McNish, Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI (LMP1)
"The last time I raced at Petit was in 2000, and I am glad to say everything I felt about the event in 1998 was the same or even better - well the result certainly was as Dindo, Michele Alboreto and I took an enjoyable first Audi R8 Petit Le Mans victory that basically put the 2000 Series title within our grasp.

"The Series has grown substantially in stature both in the USA and Europe. The race itself is becoming a legend in its own right and is seen as one of the "Big Three" with top manufacturers, cars, teams and drivers on the grid. Also I understand there are more fans and families coming along each year. In fact, I am sure that there will be a few youngsters at the race for the first time that will be inspired by it all and decide there and then, "Dad, I want to be a racing driver.'"

Didier Theys, Horag Racing Lola B05/40-Judd (LMP2)
"Definitely the publicity and glamour of the race has picked up since the first year. I think we can put Petit Le Mans as one of the classic endurance races of the world alongside Le Mans and Sebring. It is part of the top three endurance races in the world.

"Most of the time when we speak about endurance races, that is what makes the race quite competitive and intense - it is the length. The fact that the race is 10 hours and 1,000 miles makes it more challenging for the drivers and teams in preparation of the car."

Darren Law, Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT2)
"I am very proud to have been a part of the inaugural Petit Le Mans. I'm not surprised at the popularity that it has gained over the years. It's a great choice for a venue and a great event. What I am amazed at is the stature of the event and how it has grown. When you thought of IMSA and road racing in America prior to the first Petit, you thought of Sebring. Now Petit Le Mans has reached that level as it is one of the two big endurance events you want to do and win in America."

Butch Leitzinger, Dyson Racing Lola B06/10-AER (LMP1)
"It is amazing how quickly Petit Le Mans has gained stature. It's right up there with Sebring and Le Mans, which is tremendous given how young it is. It's a testament to how difficult the race is and how tough Road Atlanta is. Sebring is harder on the car because of all the bumps, and it puts a beating on the driver too. Road Atlanta is a much faster track, and it is a track where you can be caught out very easily when trying to pass the slower cars. After Road Atlanta, you're more mentally drained as it's a more furious pace." ALMS

09/15/06
nascar
Chaffin: Rejoining Toyota Chaffin: Rejoining ToyotaChad Chaffin has an array of premiers being unveiled this week.  Between rejoining the Toyota racing family, having his web site remodeled, and launching his new fan club, Chad has got lots of new and exciting information to share with all his fans. 

Chad Chaffin is pleased to be partnering with Toyota for the remainder of the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Toyota, known as the front-runner of innovative technology and maintaining the highest standards for competition, should provide Chad the extra tools he needs to step up to the next level of competition.  Debuting at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-opener at Daytona in 2004, Toyota found success early with their first win in June at Michigan International Speedway.  This year marks three strong years of competition for Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series.  Since joining the series in 2004, the make has captured 21 wins and 26 pole-starting positions.  The series competitors look to Toyota as a leader in performance, whose success in the racing industry should continue for years to come. Chaffin’s first race this season in a Toyota Tundra will be this Saturday, September 16th, during the Sylvania 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

09/15/06
f1
Davidson wraps up Jerez testing on top Davidson wraps up Jerez testing on topHonda test driver Anthony Davidson was fastest on the final day of testing at Jerez Friday.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Davidson Honda (M) 1:16.675 161
 2. Rossiter Honda (M) 1:17.008 107
 3. Doornbos Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:17.057 120
 4. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:17.059 169
 5. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:17.182 114
 6. Ammermuller Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:17.744 101

09/15/06
f1
Spyker team adds two minor sponsors Spyker team adds two minor sponsorsSpyker MF1 Racing will introduce two new sponsors to Formula 1 when the newly acquired and re-named team makes it debut at the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit on October 1.

Zecco.com and Eccky.com logos will have prominent positioning on the two Spyker-MF1 Toyota cars which will be driven by the team's drivers Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro.

Zecco.com is a new online financial service, combining a range of portals, communities and traditional features all in one place. At Zecco.com investors can find financial news, data, tools, opinions and ideas. And soon, a new way of trading too. Emerged in July 2006 and due to go live at the beginning of October. Zecco's own positioning and ambitious plans reflect those of the new Spyker MF1 management team. zzzz

Eccky.com was launched in October 2005 in the Netherlands as an interactive 6-day Internet game where two parents can make, name and raise a virtual child. Today more virtual babies are being born than real babies! An international roll-out of the game is imminent with applications to integrate real world brands and products.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal Spyker MF1 Racing said: 'After the announcement that the team has been sold last week, we have been approached by several companies who would like to join the team. This proves we are moving in the right direction. Both of these new partners are new media companies which is a target area, alongside telecoms, entertainment and luxury brands as we go forward. We are delighted to confirm Zecco.com and Eccky.com and new revolutionary and hip partners. It is the next step in our new beginning and we hope to announce more good news in China.

The sponsorship between Zecco.com, Eccky.com and Spyker MF1Racing was facilitated by GR8industries.com brand and motorsports marketing agency in the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg).

09/15/06
nascar
NASCAR TV ratings continue to fall NASCAR TV ratings continue to fallThe final TV rating for last Saturday night's NASCAR Nextel Cup race on TNT from Richmond was a 3.2, down 3% from last year's 3.3, and down even further from 2004's 3.5.  Even more telling -  From last year almost 1/2 million less viewers tuned in to watch this race, a drop of  7%.  We have added Richmond below:

DATE NETWORK TRACK  % CHANGE
2/12 TNT Daytona Int'l Speedway (Shootout) -15%
2/19 NBC Daytona Int'l Speedway 3.7%
2/26 Fox California Speedway -6.3%
3/12 Fox Las Vegas Motor Speedway -3.1%
3/20 Fox Atlanta Motor Speedway (Rain) -33%
3/26 Fox Bristol Motor Speedway -1.6%
4/2 Fox Martinsville Speedway 21.6%
4/9 Fox Texas Motor Speedway -5.3%
4/22 Fox Phoenix Int'l Raceway -5.9%
5/1 Fox Talladega Superspeedway (Rain) -66%
5/7 FX Richmond Int'l Raceway -2.2%
5/13 Fox Darlington Raceway -14.3%
5/20 FX Lowe's Motor Speedway (AllStar) -20.9%
5/28 Fox Lowe's Motor Speedway -16.4%
6/4 FX Dover Int'l Speedway -6.1%
6/11 Fox Pocono Raceway -7.1%
6/18 Fox Michigan Int'l Speedway -4.3%
6/25 Fox Infineon Raceway -10.5%
7/1 Fox Daytona Int'l Speedway -7.3%
7/9 TNT Chicagoland Speedway -26.5%
7/16 TNT New Hampshire Int'l Speedway -14.5%
7/23 TNT Pocono Raceway -12.3%
8/6 NBC Indianapolis Motor Speedway -11.3%
8/13 NBC Watkins Glen Int'l -11.5%
8/20 TNT Michigan Int'l Speedway -10.9%
8/26 TNT Bristol Motor Speedway -8.5%
9/3 NBC California Speedway -3.8%
9/9 TNT Richmond Int'l Raceway -3.1% (7% less viewers)

09/15/06
irl
IRL Chicagoland USA TV ratings plummet IRL Chicagoland USA TV ratings plummetUPDATE #4 Correction, the final IRL TV Rating from Chicagoland was worse than first thought. It was a 0.7/1 share, not a 0.8 as we previously reported, and, therefore down 30% from last year's final of 1.0. For a network TV rating it doesn't get much worse than that.

09/15/06 The final rating for the IRL Chicagoland race last Sunday held at the overnight rating of 0.8, down 27% from last year.

09/12/06 A reader adds, Regarding the IRL TV ratings, if the last race of the year with a 4-way battle for the championship and no NASCAR race to compete with only garners a 0.8 rating I'd say Tony George’s "Vision" for open wheel racing needs some glasses. Name Withheld

[Editor's Note: But Roger Penske said in his Road & Track interview that IRL TV ratings are up and the IRL is growing, so it must be true. We think more telling, however, was the actual race attendance. It was by far the worst IRL attendance at Chicagoland since the IRL has been racing there. As long as Tony George will not give up 50% control in a merger, there will be no merger with Champ Car and the IRL will continue to stagnate.]



09/11/06 Last year's overnight Chicagoland rating was a 1.1/2 share, so this year's 0.8 represents a drop of 27%. According to Roger Penske, IRL TV ratings are up. Not.

09/11/06 The overnight TV rating on ABC of Sunday's IRL Indy Car race at Chicagoland was a disappointing 0.8/1 share. This despite the IRL's close points battle.
09/15/06
alms
2007 12 Hours of Sebring tickets on sale 2007 12 Hours of Sebring tickets on saleTickets are now on sale for the 55th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. America's premier sports car race takes the green flag on Saturday, March 17th, 2007. Call 800-626-7223 for information.
09/15/06
alms
ALMS gives Corvette a bit back ALMS gives Corvette a bit backAfter playing with the rules between Corvette and Aston Martin, and each manufacturer complaining the other is getting an unfair advantage, the following “Balance of Performance” adjustments were announced by IMSA for ALMS effective September 27, 2006:

a) Aston Martin Racing DBR-9:
• Maximum on-board fuel capacity: 100 liters.
• Minimum Weight: 1100 kg.
• Maximum air restrictor I.D.: 31.2 mm (two restrictors) or
43.6 mm (single restrictor).

b) Corvette C6.R:
• Maximum on-board fuel capacity: 100 liters.
• Minimum weight: Per ACO TECHNICAL REGULATIONS 2006 “LM”GT1
APPENDIX 1, plus “LM”GT1 APPENDIX 2 requiring the addition of 25 kg (i.e.,
minimum weight = 1150 kg). (as opposed to the previous weight of 1190kg)
• Maximum air restrictor I.D.: 30.7 mm (two restrictors) or
43.0 mm (single restrictor).

In other sportscar news, LeMans organizers have announced that 55 entries, up from 50, will be accepted for the 2007 24 Hours of LeMans. Pit lane improvements will make more room for the additional cars.

09/15/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Superfund' denies Klien backing
FIA confirm 'blocking' rule change
Ralf denies Schumacher spat
Hamilton's dad admits 'other' F1 options
De la Rosa would revert to test role
CVC make two appointments

'Superfund' denies Klien backing
Sep.15 (GMM) The 'Superfund' company has rejected media reports that it is planning to sponsor Christian Klien's attempt to become a Friday driver for Spyker for the remainder of the 2006 season.

''These reports are incorrect,'' a spokesman told broadcaster ORF.

''Superfund is not putting money at Mr. Klien's disposal for (formula one) test runs.''

FIA confirm 'blocking' rule change
Sep.15 (GMM) A fax sent to formula one teams by the FIA's Charlie Whiting has confirmed reports that the body has immediately changed the rules governing 'blocking' during qualifying.

Whiting wrote that complaints, such as the controversial incident at Monza where Felipe Massa protested against the later penalized championship leader Fernando Alonso, will no longer be automatically referred to the stewards for review.

He added: ''Only in cases where it appears to race control that there has been a clear and deliberate attempt to impede another driver will the stewards be asked to intervene.''

Ralf denies Schumacher spat
Sep.15 (GMM) Ralf Schumacher has steered away from reports of a spat with his retiring brother.

The Toyota driver, who is six years younger than 37-year-old Schumacher, played down the fact that he left Monza last weekend without speaking personally with Michael, who had announced his retirement at the end of 2006. zzzz

Ralf told German broadcaster RTL: ''The only reason I left so quickly is that Monza was a very bad weekend for me.''

Hamilton's dad admits 'other' F1 options
Sep.15 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton's manager and father has admitted that a likely test at Silverstone next week is likely to determine the 21-year-old's immediate future in formula one.

The British youngster, who at Monza sealed his championship crown in GP2, is tipped to take either a test or race seat at the team in 2007.

It is also possible that he will replace Pedro de la Rosa as the temporary occupant of departed Juan Pablo Montoya's 2006 race seat.

''Based on his performance (at the test) they will decide whether, at this stage, he is good enough for formula one,'' Anthony Hamilton told the Mercury.

But Lewis' father also admitted that 'other options' might be explored for 2007, as Hamilton's long term management contract with Woking based McLaren is set to expire at the end of the year.

He revealed: ''We have been offered a drive for next season with one team and a testing role with a guaranteed seat for 2008 from another.''

De la Rosa would revert to test role
Sep.15 (GMM) Pedro de la Rosa says he would revert to being McLaren's test driver in 2007 if he does not land the race seat alongside Fernando Alonso.

The 35-year-old Spaniard told British broadcaster ITV: ''If it continues, fantastic.

''If not I have to go back to what I came from.''

CVC make two appointments
Sep.15 (GMM) Two new non-executives have been appointed to the formula one board of directors, holding company Alpha Topco announced.

They are Austrian Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chief executive of the food giant Nestle, and the British chief executive of marketing agency WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell.

CVC's Donald McKenzie said: ''We are confident that they will make a significant contribution to the board of Alpha Topco Limited and the future success of formula one.''

09/15/06
nascar
NASCAR drivers talk about 2007 Allstate 400 NASCAR drivers talk about 2007 Allstate 400Allstate 400 at the Brickyard satellite press conference transcript  with D. Earnhardt Jr., J. Johnson, K. Kahne. Transcript
09/15/06
track news
TMS signs 7-Eleven deal TMS signs 7-Eleven deal7-Eleven, Inc. will become the official convenience store of Texas Motor Speedway and qualifying title sponsor for the NASCAR triple-header race weekend in November, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announced today.

7-Eleven® will serve as the qualifying sponsor for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series fall races, beginning with the Dickies 500 weekend Nov. 2-5.  Leading up to race weekend, drivers will qualify for race position Thursday and Friday, Nov. 2 and 3, during the titled event,

7-Eleven Qualifying Days.  Financial terms and length of the agreement were not disclosed.

“The free and reduced-price qualifying-day tickets are an exclusive offer for 7-Eleven’s race-fan customers,”

7-Eleven Marketing Director John Moritz said.  “As the exclusive distributor of 100,000 tickets to this exciting lead-in of a triple-header race weekend, 7-Eleven will distribute them throughout our metroplex 7-Eleven stores starting later this month.  7-Eleven Qualifying Days will give NASCAR fans the opportunity to be the first to see their favorite drivers at this much-anticipated race event.” zzzz

7-Eleven Qualifying Days begin Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. CT with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying session for the Silverado 350k.  On Friday, Nov. 3, 7-Eleven Qualifying Days will include qualifying for both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series. Qualifying for the NEXTEL Cup Dickies 500 will begin at 3:40 p.m. CT, followed by the Busch Series O’Reilly Challenge qualifying at 5:35 p.m. CT.

The free and discount ticket give-away is the first benefit that race fans will see from the partnership between 7-Eleven and Texas Motor Speedway.  Beginning Thursday, Sept. 28, fans visiting any participating 7-Eleven store in the area can pick up a coupon valid for free admission to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying session Thursday, Nov. 2, as well as a $10 ticket discount per ticket to all racing action Friday, Nov. 3.  In addition to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch qualifying series, Friday’s ticket includes admission to the Silverado 350k Craftsman Truck Series race later that evening.

 “7-Eleven and Texas Motor Speedway are all about service and convenience for our customers,” Gossage said. “The 7-Eleven Qualifying Days partnership is a perfect example of that commitment with fans reaping the rewards. We are delighted to have another locally based company join our corporate partner family.”

 7-Eleven Qualifying Days will set the field for the Silverado 350k Craftsman Truck Series race scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3 (8:15 p.m. CT), the O’Reilly Challenge Busch Series race Saturday, Nov. 4 (1 p.m. CT), and the Dickies 500 NEXTEL Cup race Sunday, Nov. 5 (1:55 p.m. CT).  For ticket information regarding the November triple-header race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, call the speedway ticket hotline at (817) 215-8500 or go online to www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

09/15/06
irl
cc
Time to black-flag losing formula Time to black-flag losing formulaThe Indy Racing League couldn't have scripted a better conclusion to an exciting racing season than a virtual photo finish at Chicagoland Speedway, giving Dan Weldon a blink-of-an-eye victory over Scott Dixon, while Sam Hornish Jr. won a tie-breaker IRL title.

But such is the sorry state of open-wheel racing that the biggest news of this past IRL season isn't Hornish's success, but rather that Danica Patrick, who wasn't even in the chase for the title, opted not to jump the IRL for NASCAR.

Hornish, despite winning the IRL championship and four races, including the Indianapolis 500, will earn less this year than about three dozen NASCAR drivers. IRL television ratings are foundering and attendance is lackluster. The league struggled to assemble a 33-car field for the Indy 500.

Rival Champ Car isn't faring any better. Although this successor to Championship Auto Racing Teams has emerged from bankruptcy, it is racing only about 18 cars at each event. Attendance is flat and television contracts anemic. Since the 1995 breakup of open-wheel racing into warring camps, neither side has gained traction. Meanwhile, NASCAR continues lapping the field. It is only a matter of time before successful drivers in both open-wheel leagues jump to NASCAR.

It's time to black-flag this losing formula. IRL and Champ Car need to merge.  More at Indy Star

09/15/06
nascar
cc
karting
Youngster waxes NASCAR driver Youngster waxes NASCAR driverIndianapolis, Indiana – Not very many people have the chance to race against a NASCAR driver and even less have the honor to say they beat one, but Eliott Bachelart can [Eliott is the son of Eric Bachelart, co-owner of the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Champ Car team]. On August 2, 2006 the 14 year-old participated in a go-kart charity event called Race for Riley at New Castle Raceway Park and took the top honors beating NASCAR Busch Series driver John Andretti. It was a day the teenager will always remember.

Bachelart qualified for the main event by taking one of the top-two spots in an elimination race, but had to start the race at the back of the 20-kart field. Despite his starting position, he was already half way up the pack after the first couple of corners. By the end of that first lap he was in third position and five laps later he had moved into the lead with John Andretti right behind him. The Busch driver tried to pass him a couple of times, but the high school student kept his cool, fought him off and won the race by three tenths of a second.

“This was an exceptional day, that I will remember all my life. It was just unbelievable. I didn’t expect to win this at all, especially after starting nearly last. It was a little bit surreal for me when I got to the lead and looked back to see John Andretti behind me,” said an exulted Bachelart. “I was doing some intense racing with him. On the last lap he tried to make a difficult pass on me and nearly took both of us out but I managed to keep control of the kart. Just racing against him was special, but beating him to the finish makes it even better. It was such a great day.”

09/15/06
motogp
Hayden 3rd, Rossi 8th on day 1 Hayden 3rd, Rossi 8th on day 1While America, Italy and Spain lead the 2006 title chase in MotoGP, it was a Franco-Japanese alliance that fired the opening shots in the 2006 GMC Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Friday.

On a brilliant first day, MotoGP rookie Randy de Puniet found fine late-season form on his Kawasaki to beat off a determined assault by Italian Loris Capirossi on the Ducati with a stunning final lap.

De Puniet, 25, led the way in the second free practice session, bolted on a qualifying tire with seconds to go and reclaimed the top spot which Capirossi - also on qualifying rubber - had just stolen from him.

"The bike was OK - and me too!" grinned De Puniet, who is only 16th in the standings but has begun to find his feet in the second half of his maiden year.

Both riders saw their team-mates, Shinya Nakano and Sete Gibernau, follow them into the top four, split by the Honda of American title leader Nicky Hayden.

World Champion Valentino Rossi's Yamaha had a low-key day, finishing sixth in the second session, while the man lying second in the Championship, Dani Pedrosa, visibly struggled for pace on his Honda as he fights to recover from the leg injuries he sustained in Malaysia less than a week ago.

Aussie duo Casey Stoner (Honda) and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) were 6th and 14th respectively on the day as they fought to master the 4.448-km Island circuit on the big machines.

Stoner complained of having too many tires to test without finding a solution.

"It's a great feeling to be back at the Island," he said, "but I'm just trying to concentrate on what I'm doing out on the track."

MotoGP Friday practice times (combined).

1. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 29.745 secs
2. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 30.310 secs
3. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 30.471 secs
4. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 30.693 secs *
5. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 30.716 secs
6. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 30.768 secs *
7. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 30.863 secs *
8. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 31.045 secs
9. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 31.077 secs *
10. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 31.137 secs
11. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 31.346 secs
12. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 31.496 secs *
13. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 31.514 secs *
14. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 31.846 secs
15. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 31.978 secs
16. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 32.034 secs *
17. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 32.304 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 32.419 secs
19. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 32.778 secs

09/15/06
f1
Piquet to make Renault test debut Piquet to make Renault test debutNelson Piquet Jr will make his Renault test debut next week when he gets behind the wheel of the R26 at Silverstone. It will be Piquet’s first Formula One outing since signing with the team as an official 2007 test driver.

"I am really looking forward to my first test next week with Renault,” said Piquet. “I like Silverstone very much and I have driven there a lot so it's good that I don't have to worry about learning the track, I can just focus on the car.

“I am happy that I am getting three full days of testing because it will be more car time than any other F1 car I've driven, and I am looking forward to driving a front-running car like the R26 for the first time,” he added. “It will be a great chance to learn as much as I can and get to know everybody at the team."
09/15/06
nascar
TV News
Dover to be telecast in Canada Dover to be telecast in CanadaThe Dover 400, not initially scheduled to air in Canada, will now be shown in its entirety on TSN's dedicated High Definition channel, TSN HD, on Sunday, September 24 at 12:30pm/et. Bell ExpressVu will also provide the network broadcast with full commentary and analysis on Channel 440, as well as a free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 441-446. Rogers Cable Television will offer its free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 446-452. Subscribers can tune in to channels 1, 85 and 445 for digital coverage of the race and channel 59 for analog coverage. Rogers Television will also provide High Definition coverage of the race on channel 483. TSN.com
09/15/06
f1
Williams says 2006 season his worst ever Williams says 2006 season his worst everWilliams are currently eighth in the Constructors' standings having scored just ten points and with seventh placed Red Bull six points ahead - and more often than not looking the stronger of the two teams.

"It's the worst we've been since (co-owner) Patrick (Head) and I started in 1977," Sir Frank told Reuters.

"The lowest we've ever been since then I'm pretty certain is fifth so eighth is just unblinkingly, humiliatingly shocking."

But despite his frustration as Williams' longest period without scoring any points (the team last bagged points at the European GP in early May), Sir Frank is confident his team will bounce back next season.

"It's much more difficult now, but I'm not crying on this," he added.

"We want to beat the (other) guys and we can - but there is some very good opposition, (including) six manufacturers, and they know what they're doing.

"That's the mountain to climb for us, but it can be done."

"Clearly our product is the problem and we have a pretty straightforward idea of what we must do.

"I can't talk about what we're going to do but we just know what we need to do to make a faster car."

09/15/06
cc
Warriors in Pink weekend at Road America Warriors in Pink weekend at Road AmericaDEARBORN, Mich. – Who says pink can’t be fast?

Ford Racing brings the Warriors in Pink breast cancer awareness campaign to the Road America road circuit September 22-24, as part of the Champ Car World Series race weekend.

To show her support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Katherine Legge trades in her standard red, white and black machine for a “Warriors in Pink – Powered by Ford” paint scheme and decals.  Legge will sport a custom fire suit, gloves, shoes and helmet that will be signed and auctioned later this year to benefit the Komen Foundation.

“We are pleased to have Katherine Legge as a Warrior in Pink,” said Ford Racing Technology Director Dan Davis.  “Ford has been a long-time supporter of The Komen Foundation and with this special race car and awareness campaign at Road America, we contribute to educating our fans about breast cancer.”

In addition to Legge’s race car and gear, a Ford Shelby GT500, specially wrapped in pink, burgundy and white with Warriors in Pink decals, will be the official Road America Grand Prix Pace Car.  The Ford Shelby GT500 and a Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion will be displayed alongside other exclusive, high-end production Ford performance cars in the Champ Car Pace Car compound.   The fleet features thunderous Ford Mustang GT California Specials, Ford Factory Five kit cars and other bold marquee sports cars carefully modified for aggressive race-track duties. zzzz

“It is an honor for me to contribute to such a great cause and I am happy to support Ford in any way I can,” said Legge.  “My team and I feel privileged to do anything we can to raise awareness for breast cancer research and to further the effort of finding a cure.  We just hope we can make a difference.”

The Warriors in Pink initiative is an extensive collection of apparel and accessories for men, women and children which includes t-shirts, men’s thermal wear, gear and temporary tattoos for kids. The items feature bold symbols that represent the Warrior spirit of taking charge, living out loud, harnessing power and standing together. One hundred percent of net proceeds from Warriors in Pink merchandise will benefit the Komen Foundation. All items can be purchased at www.fordcares.com.

09/15/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice New Hampshire
11:00am-12:00pm (L)  SPEED
NASCAR Live! New Hampshire
12:00pm-12:30pm (L) SPEED
Movie: Grand Prix (1966)
1:15pm-4:30pm Turner Classic Movies
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Loudon, NH
1:30pm-4:30pm (L) SPEED
Monsters of Destruction
2:00pm-3:00pm (R) Outdoor Channel
Movie: 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story (2004)
2:00pm-4:00pm ESPN Classic
NHRA Qualifying Reading, PA
4:00pm-6:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR Performance
7:30pm-8:00pm SPEED
24 Hours of Le Mans-Highlights Le Mans
10:00pm-11:00pm SPEED

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

09/14/06
cc
cca
Rahal completes 2-day Champ Car test Rahal completes 2-day Champ Car testSEBRING, Fla. - Champ Car Atlantic driver Graham Rahal, 17, completed his second day of testing a Newman/Haas Racing (NHR)-prepared Champ Car at Sebring International Raceway today. He ran approx. 160 miles today in Bruno Junqueira's No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone race car before rain curtailed the test midday to bring his two-day total to 355 trouble-free miles with a best lap time of 51.5 around the 1.65-mile course, bettering his time of 52.4 seconds from Wednesday.

"Everything went really well," said Rahal. "I was able to go 9/10ths (of a second) faster than yesterday. It was nice to improve. Everything from the data from Sebastien and Bruno's test there told us the areas we could improve and we were able to so I am happy with the progress. Unfortunately the rain ended the test early but we were able to practice some pit stops. To improve made me happy and ended the test on a positive note. I think I like the car a little different than they are used to; I was fairly easy on the rear tires so they could tune the car more. I wasn't going to push it too much and force an error but certainly it (reduced rear tire wear) worked to my advantage. The team was great to work with and I hope I can work with them again in the future."

Rahal and NHR again shared track time with the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car driven by Roberto Moreno and were able to steadily lower their lap times. zzzz

"Today was another good test day with Graham," said Brian Lisles, general manager of Newman/Haas Racing. "He learns fast and gives good feedback which is the mark of a good race driver. He was able to run a competitive lap times and worked well with the team. We believe he has a bright future."

The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season resumes on September 24 with the Grand Prix of Road America which will be televised live on SPEED TV at 2:00 p.m. ET. With three races to go in the season, Newman/Haas Racing will continue their quest for their third straight title with McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais as well as attempt to claim a fourth place finish for Hole in the Wall Camps driver Bruno Junqueira. Rahal has locked in at least a second-place finish in the Atlantic season standings after having won a series-high five of 11 races and will attempt to close the 12 points deficit to series leader Simon Pagenaud (253-241) and earn the title in their season finale at Road America. Champ Car
09/14/06
track news
Mazda Raceway announces '07 schedule Mazda Raceway announces '07 scheduleMONTEREY, Calif. – The 50th Anniversary season at the world-renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will include a World Championship motorcycling event, the two premier professional sports car series in the United States, and the 34th running of North America’s most prestigious historic automobile race in a schedule announced today by Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The green flag waves on the historic season with the U.S. Sports Car Invitational May 18-20, headlined by the large fields of Daytona Prototypes and GT cars of the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series. The Daytona Prototypes and GT cars will do battle in a 250-mile race (with a two-hour, 45-minute time limit) on Sunday, May 20.  The Rolex Sports Car Series will be joined by the Grand-Am Cup for high-performance sports cars along with additional support races to be announced soon.

The 2007 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 20-22 will host American Nicky Hayden in his quest to top the MotoGP World Championship superstars for the third consecutive year. Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards and the rest of the MotoGP World Championship field will try to dethrone Hayden after two consecutive Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix victories. zzzz 

The third weekend of August remains the Monterey Historic Automobile weekend on the Monterey Peninsula highlighted by the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota August 17-19. The 34th running of the event brings Indy tradition back to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, celebrating Indy Roadsters and those who made the Indy 500 one of the most spectacular events in motorsports.
 
The 50th Anniversary season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca concludes with the world’s most exotic racing sports cars. The Monterey Sports Car Championships October 19-21 provides a dramatic conclusion to the 2007 American Le Mans season with a Saturday, October 20 afternoon-into-evening four-hour race featuring the high-tech, high-speed prototype and GT machines.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has also announced plans to host one additional event during the month of September. Details of the fifth event on the 50th Anniversary schedule will be announced at a later date.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was built in 1957 and has been operated since its inception by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP). SCRAMP is a not-for-profit corporation that donates net proceeds from each race season to the volunteer organizations that help put on the events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Last season alone, SCRAMP donated over $200,000 to local charities and civic organizations.

Information for all events on the 2007 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca schedule will be available by calling (800) 327-SECA during normal business hours or logging onto www.laguna-seca.com.

2007 Schedule of Events
May 18-20
U.S. Sports Car Invitational
Featuring the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
(www.grandamerican.com)

July 20-22
Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix
Featuring the MotoGP World Championship
(www.motogp.com)
 
August 17-19
Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota
Featured Marque:  Indy Roadsters
(www.montereyhistoric.com)

September
Event to be announced

October 19-21
Monterey Sports Car Championships
Featuring the American Le Mans Series
(www.americanlemans.com)

09/14/06
cc
Champ Car testing draws a crowd Champ Car testing draws a crowdSEBRING, Fla. – The Future of Champ Car Racing met up with the past, present and possible future teams of the sport today at Sebring International Raceway as the new DP01 Champ Car showed its paces for current and future squads.

Representatives from current Champ Car teams, as well as from new teams and other interested parties, came to Sebring as the DP01 ran the penultimate day of its three-week testing campaign.

RuSPORT, Rocketsports, CTE Racing – HVM, PKV Racing, Forsythe Championship Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and Newman/Haas Racing had engineers, team owners and team managers on site while the newly-announced Pacific Coast Motorsports squad spent both yesterday and today poring over the American-built Champ Car. In addition, former Champ Car driver Scott Sharp and former Trans-Am Series champion Greg Pickett were in attendance to witness some testing first-hand.

“This car is really generating a lot of buzz throughout the paddock, both here and throughout the rest of the motorsports world,” said Forsythe Team Manager Phil LePan. “I’m glad we’ve been able to come out here and get a look at the car, take some photos and see what we have to work with.”

The DP01 ran nearly 200 trouble-free miles on a thick Thursday in Central Florida, lapping the 1.65-mile Sebring short course in the capable hands of former Champ Car star Roberto Moreno. The day’s efforts pushed the DP01 over the 2,200-mile mark in this final phase of testing, a mark that is nearly half the mileage that a team would put on a car in a full season of Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford competition.

“I think that everyone is really anticipating getting their first cars and it’s important to be able to come out here and see it, hear it and check it out,” said PKV Racing Team Manager Mark Johnson. “This test team is really doing a great job and we have to thank them for allowing us to come in and crawl all over the car. They’ve done a lot of work and it shows in the car.”

The final phase of testing for the DP01 Champ Car ends tomorrow afternoon when Moreno turns the final laps of this three-week run. The car will then go back to Indianapolis in preparation for its public debut at Road America September 22-24. Champ Car

09/14/06
alms
Radical cars Petit Le Mans test a success Radical cars Petit Le Mans test a successGunnar van der Steur could hardly contain his joy. Even a full day after his first shakedown with his team's new AER-powered Radical SR9, the praise and excitement was overflowing.

"Fantastic!" he exclaimed. "We had a flawless day, other than a little weather. We did 70 laps total and didn't have any issues. The car is so precise. It's such a rewarding feeling. It's nice to have something new that you can work with."

The all-day test Wednesday at Summit Point Raceway in Virginia went about as well as van der Steur Racing could have hoped. Both van der Steur, the team owner, and Ben Devlin drove about 35 laps each in the KUMHO-shod Radical. Both pilots agreed that the new car, which will debut at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7, is light years ahead of the team's former Lola B2K/40. zzzz 

"I'm comparing everything against the old Lola," van der Steur said. "The actual body style is incredible. Everyone was amazed at how great the car looked going through the circuit. It just blends so well together. I can put a penny on the track and hit it every time. With the old Lola, I couldn't come within five feet. It's all about the new technology."

Ah yes, the new technology. The van der Steur operation – with the new Radical – now has many of the bells and whistles many teams take for granted. Features like power steering, traction control, a telemetry package and carbon fiber brakes (developed by the team) are just a few of the features that will make life much easier.

"It has every small feature that you could want," van der Steur said. "The new steering wheel will be a new thing for me after having all the controls on a console with the Lola. Now they are all directly in front me, which is so nice. We're very focused on Petit as we have raised our level a little bit."

Part of that package will be the support from KUMHO, which has worked with B-K Motorsports' Mazda-powered Courage in further developing its P2 tire. "We'll be the development team for the Radical on KUMHOs," van der Steur confirmed. "This will be a good relationship."

Petit Le Mans, the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series, is a tough enough event with a well-sorted car. The most elite teams, drivers and manufacturers have gathered at Road Atlanta each year since 1998 for the 1,000-mile/10-hour enduro, which serves as an automatic qualifier for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"If Petit goes as well as it did yesterday, I think we'd win Petit," Devlin said. "We'd love to be on the podium and we'd love to win. Running this car, you see where the Porsches gain their advantages. We're not going to beat the Porsches on pace. If we can spend less time in the pits and be precise, we'll do well."

The 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7, Round 9 of the American Le Mans Series, is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 30. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT and 3 to 10 p.m. EDT with MotorsTV providing live coverage in Europe. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA Live Timing & Scoring

09/14/06
f1
19 races means F1 profits up 19 races means F1 profits upFormula One motor racing's main management company increased net income by 11 percent to $312.7 million last year as it organized a record 19 races.

Formula One Administration Ltd., led by billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, also increased sales almost 12 percent to $786.6 million, its fourth revenue increase in five years, according to accounts posted on the Web site of Companies House in London today. Ecclestone added races in Turkey, China and Bahrain in the past two years.

The increased income came as buyout firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. acquired a majority stake in the motor sport from Bayerische Landesbank and Ecclestone in November 2005. Ecclestone, 75, retained an undisclosed stake and remains chief executive, a post he held since the 1980s.  More at Bloomberg News

09/14/06
cc
Da Matta medical update Da Matta medical updateChamp Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) continues his rehabilitation process as he recovers from a severe head injury. Da Matta was injured after colliding with a deer that ran onto the track near Turn Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. during a Champ Car Open Test on August 3, and has spent the past six weeks recovering at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc. 

Champ Car Medical Director Dr. Chris Pinderski returned to Theda Clark this week for an update on da Matta’s condition and to visit with the da Matta family.

“Cristiano has continued to show excellent progress while recovering from his injury,” said Pinderski.  “Early last week, he was transferred to the rehab unit at Theda Clark Medical Center where he is participating in a very intensive rehabilitation regimen designed specifically for patients with significant head injuries.  Cristiano is looking forward to returning to Miami in the near future and will continue his rehab program there.”  zzzz

Further updates on da Matta’s condition will be issued by RuSPORT as they become available.

RuSPORT also announced today that Justin Wilson’s No. 9 CDW / RuSPORT Champ Car will carry the logos of Theda Clark Medical Center, as well as the Champ Car Safety Team, during the Grand Prix of Road America weekend in appreciation of the efforts of those organizations for their help and support during da Matta’s accident and his recovery. 

Also during the weekend of Sept. 22-24, Champ Car, RuSPORT and CARA Charities will offer Champ Car fans two additional opportunities to show their support for da Matta and his family.  On the evening of Sept. 22, CARA will host a Champ Car Tailgate party along with a silent auction of Champ Car memorabilia.  On Saturday evening, Sept. 23, CARA and RuSPORT will host the CARA Cruise for Cristiano, a recreational bicycle riding event that will allow fans to take a lap around the track at Road America with some of their favorite Champ Car and Champ Car Atlantic Series drivers, such as Justin Wilson, Sebastien Bourdais, Bruno Junqueira, Nelson Philippe, Dan Clarke, Nicky Pastorelli and Andreas Wirth, among others.  Drivers participating in the CARA Cruise will also be available for autographs.  The proceeds from both of these events will go to CARA Charities, to help support da Matta’s recovery efforts.  For more information on these events, please contact CARA Charities by phone at 317-299-2277, or by email at carachar@aol.com.

Since da Matta’s accident on August 3, RuSPORT and Champ Car have received many messages of support for da Matta.  In response, RuSPORT also announced that, in lieu of sending flowers and gifts, anyone wishing to express their support for da Matta during his recovery is asked to please make a donation in his name to Hole in the Wall Camps, an official charity of the Champ Car World Series.  Donation information can be found by visiting http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org, or by calling 203-562-1203.

Get well cards for da Matta can be sent to:
Cristiano da Matta, patient
Theda Clark Medical Center
130 2nd St.
Neenah, WI  54956

09/14/06
cc
Champ Car CARA Charities news Champ Car CARA Charities newsChamp Car fans from around the world have sent their get-well wishes and support to the injured Cristiano da Matta, but at the upcoming Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America, fans will have two opportunities to show their support in a different way.

CARA Charities is holding a Champ Car Tailgate Party along with a silent auction of Champ Car memorabilia on Friday evening September 22, with all proceeds from the silent auction going to support Cristiano’s recovery from head injuries suffered during a mid-season test session. Tickets for the Friday event, which runs from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m., are available for $50 and can be purchased via phone at 317-299-2277 or by visiting www.caracharities.org. Silent auction items available include a Newman/Haas Racing team shirt signed by Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira as well as the gloves and shoes worn by Justin Wilson in his Edmonton victory earlier this season.

The next evening, RuSPORT and CARA Charities will conduct the CARA Cruise for Cristiano, where the public can ride their bicycles alongside the stars of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, touring the 4.048-mile Road America layout. Fans attending the race are encouraged to bring their personal bicycles to join Champ Car and Atlantic series stars for the ride. zzzz

Long-time CARA Charities and Champ Car supporter Bridgestone is donating unique signed racing memorabilia to Friday’s auction as well as a brand-new Bridgestone Transit bicycle. The Model 270A Transit features a black composite frame, mono sprung rear wheel and is driveshaft driven with front disc brake.  The bicycle, which folds to 37”X 26”X 13” is not normally available in the USA.  In addition, Bridgestone is donating a colossal weekend Champ Car race package for auction on Ebay. The weekend includes four three-day admission and paddock passes to the Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America, four tickets to the CARA Champ Car Tailgate Party, four Fast Lap Pace Car rides, four passes to the Bridgestone hospitality compound on Sunday as well as Bridgestone race wear.

“As CARA Charities celebrates its 25th anniversary we are proud to continue our mission to serve the auto racing community through charitable work and to promote the friendship of all in the motor sports family,” said Mary Lou Bogner, Executive Director, CARA Charities. “These two events will raise money to help Cristiano with his recovery efforts and will be lots of fun for the fans. The entire Champ Car community has come together to make this possible.”

Passes to Saturday’s bicycle event are available for a $20 donation. The track will open to the riders at 6:15 p.m. and will remain open until 7:15. The local chapter of the Lance Armstrong Livestrong Foundation will have a limited number of bicycles on-hand to rent as well. Fans can sign up for the CARA Cruise for Cristiano and buy tickets for Friday’s Tailgate Party at the CARA Charities tent in the paddock of Road America.

“RuSPORT would like to thank CARA Charities for their support of Cristiano da Matta and his family,” said Jeremy Dale, president of RuSPORT.  “We believe these events during the race weekend at Road America will provide significant assistance to Cristiano and his family as they help Cristiano through his recovery process, and we’re very pleased that we can be a part of it, and we are also very pleased that race fans and the racing community can be a part of it.” Champ Car

09/14/06
ips
4th new Indy Pro team announced 4th new Indy Pro team announcedMile High Motorsports is the latest team to announce its intentions to compete in the Indy Pro Series for the first time in 2007. Team principals Micky Gilbert and Grant Bentrud made the announcement from the team’s Denver headquarters on Sept. 13.

The team participated in its first two Indy Pro Series events in conjunction with Guthrie Racing at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on Aug. 26-27 with Gilbert driving to two top-10 finishes.

“The cars were even better than I expected,” said Gilbert, who has won several championships in his 16-year driving career, including the 2005 Star Mazda Championship Expert Series. “They're very fast, strong and easy to set up. They're a blast to drive. The series' $3 million dollar purse is also very attractive.”

Gilbert plans to drive one of the team’s cars in 2007. They are also seeking additional drivers.

09/14/06
alms
Aston Martin team announces Petit lineup Aston Martin team announces Petit lineupAston Martin Racing has today announced its driver line-up for the penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Road Atlanta on September 30.

The British team will not be recruiting two additional drivers, for the ten-hour, 1,000-mile, Petit Le Mans endurance classic. Instead, the team will leave the driving to Aston Martin Racing regulars, Tomas Enge (Czech Republic) and Darren Turner (UK) in the 007 DBR9 and Pedro Lamy (Portugal) and Stephane Sarrazin (France) in the 009 DBR9.

Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell said: “We are extremely pleased with our current driver line-up – the guys have all done a great job so far this year so we didn’t want to play around with the format. zzzz

“The DBR9 is now much more comfortable to drive with the improvements we have made to driver cooling so I am confident that this is the right decision for the team. This is a no compromise approach which will give us great continuity and each driver more track time.”

Darren Turner, who will be driving the 007 DBR9 with Tomas Enge said: “I’m looking forward to it. It will definitely be a challenge and probably even more intense than Le Mans as we will fit more driving into a shorter period of time, but I know we will all rise to the challenge.

“The track at Atlanta is a little like Road America. You need to get a good flow because it has tricky corners.”

Stephane Sarrazin was equally enthusiastic: “As a driver the more time I spend in the car the better, Pedro (Lamy) and I have worked well together all season so I am happy that we will be working hard together again in the 009 car at Road Atlanta.

09/14/06
nascar
2006 NASCAR TV Ratings plummet 2006 NASCAR TV Ratings plummetWe have told you all season that the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series has reached its peak, and in fact is dropping in popularity both in ticket sales at the track and in domestic TV Ratings.  The weekly Sports Business Daily publication has compiled all the NASCAR TV ratings thru Richmond, i.e. to the start of the final 10-race chase.  The picture isn't pretty.

DATE NETWORK TRACK  % CHANGE
2/12 TNT Daytona Int'l Speedway (Shootout) -15%
2/19 NBC Daytona Int'l Speedway 3.7%
2/26 Fox California Speedway -6.3%
3/12 Fox Las Vegas Motor Speedway -3.1%
3/20 Fox Atlanta Motor Speedway (Rain) -33%
3/26 Fox Bristol Motor Speedway -1.6%
4/2 Fox Martinsville Speedway 21.6%
4/9 Fox Texas Motor Speedway -5.3%
4/22 Fox Phoenix Int'l Raceway -5.9%
5/1 Fox Talladega Superspeedway (Rain) -66%
5/7 FX Richmond Int'l Raceway -2.2%
5/13 Fox Darlington Raceway -14.3%
5/20 FX Lowe's Motor Speedway (AllStar) -20.9%
5/28 Fox Lowe's Motor Speedway -16.4%
6/4 FX Dover Int'l Speedway -6.1%
6/11 Fox Pocono Raceway -7.1%
6/18 Fox Michigan Int'l Speedway -4.3%
6/25 Fox Infineon Raceway -10.5%
7/1 Fox Daytona Int'l Speedway -7.3%
7/9 TNT Chicagoland Speedway -26.5%
7/16 TNT New Hampshire Int'l Speedway -14.5%
7/23 TNT Pocono Raceway -12.3%
8/6 NBC Indianapolis Motor Speedway -11.3%
8/13 NBC Watkins Glen Int'l -11.5%
8/20 TNT Michigan Int'l Speedway -10.9%
8/26 TNT Bristol Motor Speedway -8.5%
9/3 NBC California Speedway -3.8%
9/9 TNT Richmond Int'l Raceway NA

09/14/06
usac
Donnie Adams fatally injured in crash Donnie Adams fatally injured in crashINDIANAPOLIS - Donnie Adams of Alexandria, Ind., who competed in numerous USAC Sprint and Midget races for a dozen years, was fatally injured in an auto accident in Delaware County, Indiana Monday morning.

The 55-year-old Adams made his USAC Midget racing debut at the Indianapolis Speedrome in 1986 and in 1991 finished fourth in the USAC National Sprint Car standings.

He was eighth the following year and posted several top-five finishes, but his finest USAC hour came in his final USAC start on May 16, 1997 when he led the final 23 laps to win a 50-lap Sprint race at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, beating Kevin Thomas and Brian Tyler to the flag.
 
USAC extends its sincerest sympathies to his family and friends. USAC
09/14/06
track news
New Allstate 400 logo unveiled New Allstate 400 logo unveiledThe colorful logo for the 2007 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard was unveiled Sept. 14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 14th annual NASCAR race at IMS is scheduled for Sunday, July 29, 2007, a new date one weekend earlier than the past date on the first weekend of August.

"This new logo captures the tradition and excitement of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and gives us another reason to be proud of our partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Pam Hollander, Allstate director of sponsorship marketing. "We look forward to another great race in 2007."

The logo, designed by IMS Creative Services and Allstate, features a color scheme of red, white, blue, gray and yellow, and includes the famed IMS "Wing and Wheel" and Allstate Good Hands® emblems.

"Unveiling the logo for our events at IMS is significant because it helps to create a unique identity for each race every year," said Joie Chitwood, IMS president. "We're pleased to present the new Allstate 400 at the Brickyard logo with our sponsor partner Allstate and are confident that the fans will like its bold, vivid look."

09/14/06
scca
SCCA To Continue Ownership of SCCA Enterprises SCCA To Continue Ownership of SCCA EnterprisesTOPEKA, Kan. – Sports Car Club of America, Inc.’s Board of Directors confirmed on a conference call Monday that it would maintain ownership of racecar manufacturer SCCA Enterprises. The Board noted that this would be a long-term decision.

The SCCA, Inc. Board merged the SCCA Enterprises Board of Directors and the Enterprises sale task force to complete the sale evaluation process. Several bids were received, and a thorough analysis of the company’s finances, operations and future was completed.

“After a careful and thorough evaluation of the potential sale of Enterprises, it was determined that it was in the best interests of the membership and parent company to maintain ownership,” SCCA Enterprises Chairman Andy Porterfield said. “This is not at all a reflection on the quality of the bids that we received, but rather an overall result of the review.”

“The SCCA Enterprises Board and sales task force did an excellent job through this entire process, bringing a recommendation, with research data to back it up, for us to endorse,” SCCA, Inc. Chairman Bob Introne said.

SCCA first announced that it was exploring the sale of the wholly owned subsidiary June 7.

For more information about SCCA Enterprises, please visit www.scca-enterprises.com.

09/14/06
f1
Barrichello fastest Thursday at Jerez Barrichello fastest Thursday at JerezHonda driver Rubens Barrichello topped the timesheets on the second day of testing at the Jerez circuit Thursday.  The Brazilian driver set a best time of 1:17.602 to finish just ahead of Argentine Jose Maria Lopez in the first of the Renaults.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Barrichello Honda (M) 1:17.602 81
 2. Lopez Renault (M) 1:17.685 44
 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:17.752 46
 4. Rossiter Honda (M) 1:18.217 93
 5. Doornbos Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:18.325 91
 6. Liuzzi Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:18.672 64

09/14/06
irl
Chicagoland was last race for Methanol Chicagoland was last race for MethanolLast Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, the IndyCar® Series used methanol fuel for the last time.  In 1965, methanol was introduced to Indy car-style racing.

Now, in 2007, a new fuel grade will be been incorporated into the high-tech world of open-wheel competition.

The IndyCar Series embraced alternative fuel sources with the introduction of ethanol into its fuel blend in 2006.  A blend of ten percent ethanol fuel and ninety percent methanol powered the Honda engines in 2006.  But, in 2007, all of the machines in the IndyCar Series will run 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol.

Ethanol, made from a variety of plants including corn, milo/sorghum, sugar cane and cellulosic material, is produced in the United States and has proven to burn cleaner than methanol and gasoline, the majority of current racing fuels.  As a clean-burning and renewable fuel that is non- toxic and 100 percent biodegradable, fuel-grade ethanol reduces air pollution. zzzz

"We are proud to partner with the ethanol industry to showcase a great American fuel source," said Brian Barnhart, president and COO of the Indy Racing League.  "Our series has been recognized for its technical leadership in automobile racing and now it is the industry's leader in renewable and environmentally responsible energy."

As the IndyCar series moves from methanol to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in 2007, the transition has shown no significant technical stumbling blocks.  In early 2006, pole speeds at Homestead, St. Petersburg and the Indy 500 were faster than the 2005 poles with the new fuel blend with ten percent ethanol.

"We have noticed little changes so far in the Honda engine's performance with the new ethanol blend in 2006," said Jeff Horton, director of engineering for the IndyCar Series.  "We expect similar performance in 2007."

"The transition between methanol and ethanol in our cars has been very smooth," said Phil Casey, IRL senior technical director.  "Our cars don't sound differently, smell differently or run differently than they have in the past."

By the conclusion of 2006, the U.S. ethanol industry will have a capacity of over five billion gallons annually, up more than 300 percent from five years ago.  Five billion is just a small portion of the 140 billion domestic market ethanol is now blended into more than a third of the nation's gasoline supply.

"More than 92 U.S. ethanol plants are providing ethanol for our nation's fuel supply and this is growing as the demand for ethanol continues to grow," said Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).  "Our partnership with the IndyCar Series will prove that fuel-grade ethanol is a U.S.-produced high performance fuel that runs with fewer emissions.  We are very excited to see the IndyCar Series run with ethanol-enriched fuel." IRL

The 2006 IndyCar Series was not the first time ethanol has powered a car in the world's biggest race, the Indianapolis 500.  In the 1927 "Brickyard" classic, a car driven by Leon Duray was operated with ethyl (grain) alcohols.

The Ethanol relationship with the IndyCar Series and its sanctioning body, the Indy Racing League, was assisted through the cooperation of a group of companies within the fast-growing ethanol industry, led by the major ethanol design-build firms Fagen Inc., ICM Inc. and Broin Companies. To gain awareness, the ethanol industry has sponsored a car in the IndyCar Series since 2005.

In 2006, the ethanol industry entered the No. 17 Team Ethanol Honda Dallara Firestone car from Rahal Letterman Racing in the entire IndyCar Series with rookie Jeff Simmons driving.  Rahal Letterman Racing will field a Team Ethanol Honda car in 2007.

09/14/06
f1
Honda renews with sponsor Honda renews with sponsorThe Honda Racing F1 Team is pleased to announce the continuation of its team supplier partnership with Endless Advance Ltd into the 2007 Formula One Season.

Japanese manufacturer Endless Advance, through its European sales agent Endless Brake Technology (Europe), will provide the Honda Racing F1 Team with its RF-650 competition brake fluid for the fourth consecutive year.

Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 Team, commented: "We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Endless Advance for the fourth year since our relationship began in 2003. As official supplier of brake fluid to our team, the Endless product is used exclusively in all our race and test activities and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them in the future."
 
Lucas Nylund, Manager of Endless Brake Technology (Europe) said "We are delighted to once again be entrusted with supplying an integral part of the braking system, and contributing to the overall performance and durability of the Honda Racing F1 Team's cars. With the provision of our premium brake fluid, Endless will continue to provide the ultimate in performance and heat resistance to a team operating at the pinnacle of global motorsport." Honda F1

09/14/06
nascar
NASCAR blitzes NY City today NASCAR blitzes NY City today
September 13th
5:30 PM   Taping of The NASCAR Top 10 delivering the Top 10 List
   The Late Show w/ David Letterman  

September 14th
 6:00-7:00 AM: Local Morning Shows
Today in NY
Kasey Kahne 
WB Morning Show
Kyle Busch @ 6:35 am
Good Day NY
Denny Hamlin
6-9 am   Kasey Kahne Radio Interview
   WZLX Boston

7:00-9:00 AM: 
FOX and Friends 
Jeff Burton @7:35 am
Early Show 
Dale Jr, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne
CNN American Morning
Jeff Gordon
   
7:35 am   FOX and Friends 
Jeff Burton
7:48 am   Kasey Kahne Radio Interview
FOX Sports Radio Show: First Team on FOX

8:15 am   Jeff Gordon Radio Interview
   Rick & Bubba (WYSF (adult contemp)
Birmingham
8:30 am   Matt Kenseth Radio Interview
   WCNN-AM (Atlanta) Show: The Rude Awakening
8:30 am   Jeff Gordon Radio Interview
ESPN Radio Show: "The Herd with Collin Cowherd"  zzzz

8:45 am   Matt Kenseth Radio Interview
WDAE-AM (Tampa)
Show: Morning Show
   Dale Jr Radio Interview
   Patty & Dollar Bill (WDXB (country)
Birmingham
9:00-10:00 LIVE w/ Regis and Kelly
Top 5
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Denny Hamlin
9:15 am   Jeff Gordon Radio Interview
   Rick & Bubba (WYSF (adult contemp)
Birmingham
9:25 am  Kasey Kahne Radio Interview
WQXI-AM (Atlanta)
Show: Mayhem in the AM
9:30 am  Dale Earnhardt Jr
   Radio Interview
FOX Sports Radio Show: "Out of Bounds"
Jeff Gordon Radio Interview KFAN Minneapolis 
10:10 am   Denny Hamlin Radio Interview WKNR Cleveland  
10:30 am Cold Pizza
Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin

   Jeff Gordon Radio Interview
   KROQ-FM Los Angeles
10:35 am   Dale Earnhardt Jr Radio Interview
   KTCK  Dallas 

11 AM-1:00 PM  PRINT MEDIA ROUND TABLE
   The Peninsula Hotel
   Select Drivers TBD
   Jeff Gordon 11:00
   Denny Hamlin 11:30
   Dale Earnhardt Jr 12:00
   Kevin Harvick 12:30
11:00 am   Jimmie Johnson Radio Interview
   KILT Houston 
   Jimmie Johnson Radio Interview
   KNBR San Francisco
   Jeff Burton Radio Interview   
US 99/WUSN Chicago
Morning Show

11:35 am   TBA Radio Interview
   Bickley and MJ in the Mornings-PHX

NOON  ESPN Zone Event Begins
   
Local Availability:
Kasey Kahne
   Jeff Gordon
   Jimmie Johnson
   Fan Q&A
   Mark Martin
   Jeff Burton
12:15 am   Kevin Harvick Radio Interview
   Matt Coulter WJOX (sports talk)
Birmingham
   
12:25 PM   Fan Q&A
   Jeff Gordon
   Denny Hamlin
   Local Availability:
   Mark Martin
   Jeff Burton
12:30 PM  CUT TO THE CHASE SMT BEGINS
   Kasey Kahne TMS SMT
   
12:45 PM   CUT TO THE CHASE SMT
   Jeff Gordon TMS  
   
   Local Media:
   Jimmie Johnson
   Denny Hamlin 
   
   Jeff Burton Sports Illustrated Interview
1:00 PM   Dayside on FOX News Channel  
   Denny Hamlin
   Mark Martin
   Jeff Gordon
     
   Fan Q&A
   Jimmie Johnson
   Kasey Kahne
   
CUT TO THE CHASE SMT
 Matt Kenseth TMS
   
   Local Media:
   Dale Earnhardt Jr

1:20 PM   Fan Q&A
Matt Kenseth
   Kyle Busch
   
1:30 PM   Kasey Kahne PIR SMT
   Dale Earnhardt Jr TMS SMT
   Local Media:
   Matt Kenseth
   Kevin Harvick
1:30-1:40  Jimmie Johnson Radio Interview
1540 The Ticket
   
1:45 PM   Jimmie Johnson PIR SMT
   
Fan Q&A
   Dale Earnhardt Jr
   Kevin Harvick
1:50 PM   Local Media:
   Kyle Busch
   
2:00 PM   Matt Kenseth to Sprint View
   Mark Martin to Sprint View
   Dale Earnhardt Jr. PIR SMT
   Kasey Kahne IMS SMT
2:10 PM   Kyle Busch Radio Interview
WDFN Detroit
Rob Pascoe     
   Nascaronwdfn@yahoo.com    
cell-248-252-7631
Call in number 248-848-1604...
 
2:15 PM   Jeff Burton PIR SMT
   Jimmie Johnson IMS SMT
   
   Kevin Harvick Radio Interview
Premiere Radio Network Show: The Jim Rome Show
2:30 PM   Dale Earnhardt Jr IMS SMT
   Matt Kenseth Radio Interview
   Radio Interview
   WCCO Minneapolis
   Mark Martin Radio Interview
   US Radio Networks
Show: Racing Rocks with Riki Rachtman
 
2:40 PM   Matt Kenseth ESPN News Interview
   ESPN ZONE
2:45 PM  Jeff Burton Radio Interview
   US Radio Networks Show: Racing Rocks with Riki Rachtman
2:50 PM   Dale Earnhardt Jr ESPN News Interview
   ESPN Zone
3:00 PM   NASCAR SMT
   Kyle Busch
3:15 PM  Dale Earnhardt Jr Radio Interview  WSCR “The Score” Chicago
3:40 PM   Jimmie Johnson ESPN News Interview       ESPN Zone
   Dale Earnhardt Jr Sprint View
 
3:45 pm   Kasey Kahne Radio Interview
   Gambo and Ash

4:00-5:00PM  FNC Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
   Drivers TBD
   TBD Radio Interview
   Gambo and Ash

4:10 pm   Denny Hamlin CNN Headline News

09/14/06
nascar
Letterman’s Top-Ten NASCAR list Letterman’s Top-Ten NASCAR list"Things Never Before Said By a NASCAR Driver"

[As presented by the 10 NASCAR drivers competing in the 2006 “Chase for the Nextel Cup” on the Wednesday, Sept. 13 broadcast of the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, seen weeknights (11:35 PM 12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.]

10. Kasey Kahne:  “Anyone know how to drive a stick?”

9. Jeff Gordon:  “Does this gas taste funny to you?”

8. Jeff Burton:  “I don’t care much for country music or beer.”

7. Mark Martin:  “Switch the ‘R’ and the ‘C’ in ‘racing’ and you get ‘caring.’”

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.:  “Wow, Letterman looks so young in person.”

5. Denny Hamlin:  “You’re looking at a guy who can drive 500 miles without taking a leak.”

4. Kyle Busch:  “A truly great driver doesn’t mind asking for directions, am I right, ladies?”

3. Kevin Harvick:  “It would be nice if the guys in the pits occasionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something.”

2. Jimmie Johnson:  “The Nextel Cup is great, but what I’m really excited for is the LATE SHOW Ventriloquist Week.”

1. Matt Kenseth: “If you think I’m fast in my car, you should see me in the bedroom.”

09/14/06
f1
Heikki out with stomach bug Heikki out with stomach bug(GMM)  Renault test driver Heikki Kovalainen had to sit out Thursday's session at Jerez with a stomach bug.

The Finn, who will line up in 2007 as Giancarlo Fisichella's race teammate, topped the times on the opening day of the test in Spain.

25-year-old Kovalainen was replaced on day two by Argentina's Jose Mario Lopez, after Fisichella joined the action late as a stand-in for the injured Fernando Alonso.

Honda and Red Bull also tested at Jerez on Wednesday.

09/14/06
nascar
NASCAR stamps available NASCAR stamps availableNASCAR fans and collectors looking to support their favorite drivers can now do so in a way previously unavailable - by mailing it in. Backed by a lineup of impressive cars and drivers, Xpress It Postage introduces the first-ever United States postage officially licensed by the individual race teams and drivers, featuring cars and drivers on First Class and Postcard postage. Xpress It Postage's lineup features the first-ever, actual U.S. Postage to be released featuring an official racing stock car. The inaugural release, a 39-cent First Class offering, depicts the historic #3 Richard Childress Racing, GM Goodwrench Chevy. The postage is being made available in sheets of 10, and as part of two limited edition cachet envelopes. Non-cancelled cachets will also be available. Other 39-cent postage includes the #24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevy, the #9 Kasey Kahne Dodge and the #48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevy and more. Gordon is also the subject of the first 24-cent postcard postage, playing off his car number. Releases will eventually be available in both 39-cent and 24-cent denominations. Future Xpress It Postage releases will feature the work of artist Garry Hill, of Garry Hill Automotive Fine Art, the Art of History. All postage releases will be available for a limited time only and some will be produced in limited quantities. The cachet envelopes will be limited to the number cancelled on the release date. Xpress It Postage will produce and release postage of new drivers and cars every few weeks. A Release Calendar is available at www.xpressitpostage.com. The postage is produced by Endicia, an authorized vendor of the U.S. Postal Service. Press Release
09/14/06
irl
track news
IRL announces Daytona test IRL announces Daytona testUPDATE The compatibility test will be open to the public with the purchase of a Daytona USA speedway tour ticket, which will take fans into the Nextel Fan Zone.

09/13/06 The IndyCar® Series and Daytona International Speedway announced plans today for a compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway on Sept. 26 and 27 that will feature six drivers from four different teams.

The last four IndyCar Series champions, Sam Hornish Jr. of Marlboro Team Penske, Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Tony Kanaan of Andretti Green Racing will join 2006 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Marco Andretti of Andretti Green Racing and Panther Racing's Vitor Meira at the test, which will take place on 10-turn, 2.73-mile circuit. (See map)

The visit will allow IndyCar Series officials to determine the possibility of Daytona International Speedway serving as a preseason testing venue.

"We are both excited and curious to see the IndyCar Series cars on the road-course and high-banked third and fourth turns of Daytona International Speedway," said John Lewis, the Indy Racing League's vice president of league development. "A compatibility test is due diligence by the League to make sure our equipment is well-suited with a facility.

"We had inquired with International Speedway Corp., about alternative warm weather venues for our preseason testing and that led to the planned compatibility test at Daytona. The IndyCar Series is committed to continuing at a minimum its annual pre-season oval testing at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and in this case we will be at Daytona to see if the track could be a possible option for our for road-course preseason testing in the future." zzzz

The compatibility test will allow series officials to see transitions onto the banking, tire wear/side loads and braking zones while looking for any challenging surface areas on the track. The IndyCar Series officials have analyzed data from Chip Ganassi Racing and Cheever Racing Rolex Sports Car Series programs that indicate IndyCar Series cars should have no issues.

Chassis-maker Dallara has stress-tested suspension as well on the calculated loads. Firestone will evaluate among its selection of tires what will be used at the compatibility test.

"We're happy to welcome the IndyCar Series to Daytona International Speedway," said DIS President Robin Braig. "The IndyCar Series has asked to test here at Daytona, we had an opening on our schedule, and we're happy to accommodate them."

The IndyCar Series and its teams will conduct the on-track activity with support from the Daytona facilities crew. For track services, Daytona will tap the experience and knowledge available from International Speedway Corporation's (ISC) other facilities with IndyCar Series events, which include Homestead-Miami Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Richmond International Raceway, Kansas Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.

"Both Daytona International Speedway and ISC have been very accommodating and we're excited to see what opportunities this might bring," said Lewis.

09/14/06
BTCC
Biggest BTCC field at Brands Hatch in decades Biggest BTCC field at Brands Hatch in decadesThree new teams, fielding four cars, will enter the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on 24 September, boosting the entry list to 26 – the BTCC’s biggest for more than a decade.

BTC Racing will enter a pair of Lexus IS200s for Chris Stockton and Darren Dowling, Team Forward Racing another Lexus IS200 for Mark Jones and NJL Racing with Daniels Motorsport a Vauxhall Astra Coupe for Nick Leason. All three teams are new to the BTCC as are their drivers.

Their arrival means a staggering nine new independent teams have now entered the BTCC in 2006.

09/14/06
nascar
Rudd, Wyler Racing to test COT Rudd, Wyler Racing to test COTMOORESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA - Wyler Racing announced today that it will take part in NASCAR's "Car Of Tomorrow" test session at Talladega Superspeedway on October 9th. Behind the wheel of their Toyota Camry will be veteran NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.

"We are very excited about this opportunity," said team owner Jeff Wyler. "We feel this is the perfect time to expand our organization. We bring tremendous value to the table for potential sponsors especially with Toyota entering into the NEXTEL Cup Series and with the personnel we have assembled."

Wyler Racing currently fields the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driven by three-time series champion Jack Sprague. The team earned its first pole and trip to victory lane earlier this year in Memphis. Sprague currently sits eighth in the overall driver's point's standings. In just over one year of existence, in addition to that pole and win, Wyler Racing has accumulated 13 top-10 and nine top-five finishes. zzzz

Rudd, who retired from full time competition at the end of the 2005 season, has 23 wins to his credit in 875 starts in NEXTEL Cup Series competition. One of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, Rudd finished a career best second in the final points standings in the 1991 season. He is also known as NASCAR's "Iron Man" for his record setting 788 straight starts in the Cup Series.

"I'm really excited about getting the opportunity to test the Toyota Camry COT for Wyler Racing and Toyota," said Rudd. "This will be my first time testing the COT so I'm really looking forward to the test and giving as much feedback to the team as possible."

For Wyler Racing, the test is a chance for the young team to assist Toyota and glimpse at what the future could hold. Although testing a NEXTEL Cup car, Wyler Racing is firmly committed to its NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series effort.

"While we are excited about the Cup opportunity, the focus remains on the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota and helping Jack Sprague to win his fourth Series championship," stated team president David Wyler. "We are very proud of the effort put forth this season by the Con-way Freight team. "We could not have asked for a better driver than Jack Sprague, a better leader than Tony Furr or a better sponsor than Con-way Freight." Wyler Racing

09/14/06
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Kubica 'justifies' Villeneuve axe - BMW
Williams hits out at winter test plans
Spyker admit possible Ferrari engine deal
Imola doubts readiness for 2007 race
No penalty for Briatore outburst - FIA
Hamilton still waiting for first F1 test
De la Rosa to finish year for McLaren
Fiat to pay $800m for Ferrari stake
Schu says quit decision was not forced
Honda to race 2007 engine in China
09/14/06
irl
AGR to remain 4-car team in 2007 AGR to remain 4-car team in 2007Speaking at the unveiling of Danica Patrick's Andretti Green Racing car Tuesday, Michael Andretti said, "We're going to maximize our time over the winter to catch up to the Penske and Ganassi cars," he said. "We have lots of ideas, but we need time. We couldn't do it mid-season."

"Tony (Kanaan), Marco (Andretti), and Danica all need to work together, and I've stressed that to Danica. With them and the fourth guy we're going to have, we'll have a really good, tight team."

[Editor's Note: We expect just about all IRL drivers, except for two at Rahal Letterman, and all the existing teams, will be back in 2007. We hear all the teams signed a letter of intent to return in 2007 this past weekend at Chicagoland.]

09/14/06
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for FridayCourtesy of TVRacer.com

NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying New Hampshire
3:00pm-4:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! New Hampshire
4:30pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
Kyle Petty Charity Ride Idaho to North Carolina
6:00pm-7:00pm (R) SPEED
Trackside New Hampshire
7:00pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED

All times listed are ET.  For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
09/14/06
formula bmw
BMW showdown at Valencia BMW showdown at ValenciaThere is no slowing Formula BMW USA. With Robert Wickens' name in the record books as 2006 Formula BMW USA champion, the series is already preparing for the 2007 season by searching for the next group of BMW Junior drivers during a two-day scholarship shoot-out at the Formula BMW Racing Center in Valencia, Spain on September 18-19.

Wickens, a 2006 Junior driver, is part of a BMW Motorsport scholarship program that has its roots planted firmly in racing history. At BMW, the tradition of promoting young talent goes back to the late 1970s. BMW doesn't just offer gifted young go- kart drivers a seat in a Formula racing car - it promotes the most promising candidates as Formula BMW USA Juniors. Underlining BMW's commitment to the discovery and grooming of future young talent, the scholarship shoot-out has been designed so that the most talented drivers, rather than the most financially healthy, succeed. In order to differentiate the scholarship recipients from all other series entries, the Juniors race in the distinctive BMW Motorsport livery.

From the pool of 28 talented drivers who passed the Formula BMW licensing course this year, 18 have received an invitation back to Valencia to compete for one of four 2007 $40,000 Formula BMW USA Junior scholarships. In addition to the monies, Formula BMW USA Juniors are automatically enrolled in Formula BMW's comprehensive Education and Coaching Program. Provided by a team of experts from the international motorsport scene the E & C program includes training in the areas of physical fitness, media, racing car set-up and driving technique. zzzz

Representing the global reach of the Formula BMW program invited drivers include Zachary Beard, 16, USA; Richard Compollo, 16, Guatemala; Ian Costa, 17, USA; Daanish Dalal, 16, Canada; Ricardo Favoretto, 18, Brazil; Grant Hebner, 18, USA; Timothy Hollowell, 17, USA; Chris Homan, 18, Canada; Alexander Jacovides, 15, South Africa; Martijn Mol, 18, Netherlands; Eric Morrow, 17, USA; Jeffrey Oleen, 16, USA; Jeffrey Petriello, 18, Canada; Robin Stonesifer, 18, USA; Dex Tuttle, 17, USA; Michael Vincec, 15, Canada; Brett Smrz, 15, USA and Kristine Daggett, 17, USA.

In addition to the four Juniors that will emerge from the scholarship shoot-out, a fifth scholarship is automatically awarded to the winner of the Rookie Cup from the previous season. Canadian Daniel Morad, the 2006 Rookie Champion, will receive a scholarship for 2007 and return for a second year of Formula BMW USA competition.

09/14/06
nascar
Dennis still yanking Ganassi’s chain Dennis still yanking Ganassi’s chainIt seems that Ron Dennis is still yanking Chip Ganassi's chain as Juan Montoya has not been released to drive in NASCAR yet and it's not expected he will until October 22nd when the F1 season ends.

Chip Ganassi Racing officials are still waiting anxiously for Juan Pablo Montoya to get in one of their race cars, according to this week's NASCAR Scene.

Once he is allowed to test, Montoya could possibly race in Busch and Nextel Cup before the 2006 season ends, Ganassi Managing Director John Fernandez said Sept. 9.

After the F1 season ends, there are four race weekends where Montoya could race: Atlanta (Cup)/Memphis (Busch) Oct. 28-29; Texas Nov. 4-5; Phoenix Nov. 11-12; and Homestead Nov. 18-19.

If Montoya were to become available earlier, Fernandez said he would entertain running him in ARCA races Oct. 6 at Talladega and Oct. 15 at Iowa Speedway. More at Scenedaily.com

09/14/06
Racing News
SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking
Updated 9-13-06
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (2) Michael Schumacher (F1) 8.992
2. (1) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 8.917
3. (13) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 7.964
4. (9) Kyle Busch (NASCAR) 7.680
5. (4) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 7.594
6. (22) Dan Wheldon (IRL)* 7.438
7. (11) Kasey Kahne (NASCAR) 7.246
8. (7) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR) 6.850
9. (15) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.796
10. (18) Jeff Burton (NASCAR) 6.596
11. (16) Scott Dixon (IRL)* 6.553
12. (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR) 6.542
13. (14) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 6.456
14. (25) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL)* 6.426
15. (10) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 6.349
16. (21) Helio Castroneves (IRL)* 6.250
17. (NR) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 6.177
18. (26) Scott Riggs (NASCAR) 6.153
19. (5) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) 6.069
20. (23) Paul Tracy (CCWS) 5.813
*Season complete
Dropped out: Fernando Alonso (F1), Felipe Massa (F1), Carl Edwards (NASCAR), Clint Bowyer (NASCAR), Marco Andretti (IRL), Vitor Meira (IRL)
Provided by STATS Inc.
09/14/06
nascar
Ford's "Race to the Dream" Ford's "Race to the Dream"Race fans will have an opportunity to experience the same thrills and excitement of being a race-car driver – including competing as drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway – by entering Ford Truck’s “Race to the Dream” Ultimate Fan Experience.

The second annual “Race to the Dream” contest pits nine finalists in a driving competition in NASCAR Ford Fusions and Ford production trucks to win a dream race weekend grand prize at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 14-20.

One of the nine will win the grand prize, which includes being an honorary member of a NASCAR Nextel Cup team pit crew, being appointed an honorary starter for the Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series race Nov. 18, and a chance to talk about the experience during a live interview on national television. zzzz

Race fans can enter the contest online at www.racetothedream.com and can earn additional entries by answering a variety of NASCAR and Ford-product questions. The nine lucky finalists – one selected each week through Nov. 2 – will race each other on track at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Ford Fusion NASCAR race cars, and on off-road and towing courses in Ford trucks for a chance to win a trip for two to Ford Championship Weekend.

The “Race to the Dream” contest officially began in August and two finalists already have been chosen. Ford Truck will host the nine winners at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 11-13 for the final competition.

The grand-prize winner of these competitions will be crowned the “Ultimate Fan Champion” and receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to Ford Championship Weekend, where all weekend the winner will be treated to racing action, behind-the-scenes activities and more, including:

·        Being an honorary member of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Motorcraft crew for driver Ken Schrader
·        Being appointed honorary starter for the Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Nov. 18
·        Traveling by helicopter to and from Homestead-Miami Speedway on race day
·        A live national television interview about the experience

Ford is in the third year of a 10-year sponsorship of Ford Championship Weekend.

09/14/06
a1gp
McIntosh and Hinchcliffe confirmed for A1 Team Canada McIntosh and Hinchcliffe confirmed for A1 Team CanadaMontreal, Québec – Looking to build on its tenth place finish in the Nations Standings from the inaugural season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, A1 Team Canada has today announced Vancouver’s Sean McIntosh and Toronto’s James Hinchcliffe as the drivers charged with leading the team’s attack for the 2006-07 season starting with the season-opener at Circuit Park Zandvoort, Holland on Sunday 1st October.
 
With McIntosh (21) returning to the team for the sophomore season, he’s joined this time round by another of Canada’s break-through open-wheel racing talents, James Hinchcliffe (19).  While McIntosh has been competing with success over in Europe for the past three seasons, where he currently sits seventh overall in his rookie season in the World Series by Renault, Toronto-born Hinchcliffe has been powering his way through the North American ranks, a front-runner and race winner in Formula BMW USA, the Star Mazda Series and in 2006, the Champ Car Atlantic Championship.
 
Quebec’s Kevin Lacroix (17) has also tested with A1 Team Canada, impressing with his pace and performance, and it is the intention of the team, subject to availability, to give him further opportunities to showcase his skills as the A1GP season progresses. zzzz
 
Delighted to have such an exciting driver line-up A1 Team Canada Seat Holder Wade Cherwayko commented:
 
“Without a doubt I believe we have in our driver line-up two of Canada’s future open-wheel racing stars.  Sean (McIntosh) and James (Hinchcliffe) have demonstrated their talents on both sides of the Atlantic and in some of the strongest and most competitive formula’s open to young drivers, put simply they’re both winners! 
 
“Sean did an amazing job for the team last season, racing against drivers who boasted Formula One, Champ Car and Indy Racing League experience, culminating in his victory in Indonesia while James has proved himself more than capable in pre-season testing, topping the timesheets at Silverstone two weeks ago.  Based on their respective forms I’m looking forward to seeing A1 Team Canada return to the top step of the podium this season.”
 
Returning for his second year of A1GP, Sean McIntosh is keen to build on last season’s record of success:
 
“I’m really happy to have the opportunity to represent Canada once again in A1GP.  Last season was an incredible challenge but I stepped up and was grateful for the chance to showcase my ability on a truly global motorsport platform.  Without a doubt my proudest moment was signing ‘Oh Canada’ on the top step of the podium having won the Feature race in Indonesia last February.  The goal for this season has to be more of the same, we have to be more consistent and if we’re up there fighting for podiums and wins at each round then we should be in the mix to win the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.”
 
Eager to follow in McIntosh’s footsteps and enjoy similar levels of success driving A1 Team Canada’s A1GP car against 24 rival nations, James Hinchcliffe looks ahead to his debut:
 
“It really goes without saying that it’s an honor to represent your country in anything and A1GP offers a fantastic platform for me to do that in motorsport.  I was thrilled to get the opportunity to test for A1 Team Canada back in July and then we followed that up with a pretty good showing in the official pre-season test at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve really enjoyed working with the team so far and I’m obviously looking forward now to competing in A1GP and building on the foundation put down by A1 Team Canada last year.”
 
A1 Team Canada consultant and 1964 Formula One World Champion, John Surtees, is confident in the abilities of the team’s driver line-up:
 
“Sean (McIntosh) and James (Hinchcliffe) make for an exceptionally strong driver pairing for A1 Team Canada!  We evaluated Sean last year and he seized the opportunity to race in A1GP with both hands and developed tremendously as a driver in the process, highlighted by his first A1GP victory.  From him we expect more of the same with a full season of experience to draw upon this time around.  James was impressive from his very first test session, stepping up with ease from the Champ Car Atlantic car he’s been racing this season into the more powerful A1GP car.  His pace in pre-season testing has been very encouraging and now we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on when the racing starts.”
 
A1 Team Canada will be run this season by Power Hawk Racing, formed by Seat Holder Wade Cherwayko to operate the team ‘in-house’, in association with Team JVA with John Village continuing to oversee on-track operations as Team Manager.  There will be additional team involvement from Toronto-based Team Autotecnica, winner’s of the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship.
 
James Hinchcliffe will be first up on duty for A1 Team Canada in Round 1 at Circuit Park Zandvoort in Holland on Sunday 1st October.  Sean McIntosh will also be in action that weekend as he’ll be competing in the penultimate round of the World Series By Renault, hosted at Le Mans, France.  After Holland A1GP moves on to the Czech Republic the following weekend before the schedule expands to the likes of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico and Great Britain.
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