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DATE News (chronologically)
09/27/04
champcar
Vegas impressions from England Vegas impressions from EnglandA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com,  I have a number of impressions of the LVMS race. First, the Champ Car officials may well have made some bonehead decisions, but at least they showed no favors to Paul Gentilozzi, a series co-owner. I'd prefer wrong but honest officials to what some other series have given us.  Second, the lasting image for me is of the unfortunate Junqueira, in obviously a faster car, trying to get round Bourdais, who stuck to the inside line like a left-lane dick - the right thing to do in the circumstances - with Junqueira unable to pass by either skill or daring, why not race with the pitlane speed limiter on and be done with it?   The aero package gave us not a thrilling finish but a frustrating one.  Each driver should be tested at least once a lap with a lift on the throttle and a chance to test his skill and daring against the track and the other drivers. The worst part is that this was predicted a long time ago with this package. A drafting race at least gives an ever changing spectacle and everyone a chance. Third, why the mandatory pit windows? The race was predictable enough as it was without this being thrown in. Who can forget Max Papis winning the US 499 at Michigan when everyone else ran the US 500. It was a fuel race and a hell of a sight, Papis running out of fuel with 1 mile to go. Give us real racing and real sport, like it says on the tin. Ed McFarlane, Goadby, England
09/27/04
nascar
Delaware officials don't want to lose Dover races Delaware officials don't want to lose Dover racesThe McDonald's LPGA Championship was taken from Delaware before anybody had a chance to stop the move to Havre de Grace, Md.  The July announcement, after 18 years at DuPont Country Club, caught golf course officials and the state by surprise. Many, including Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, expressed anger that they never had the chance to convince the tournament to stay.   It's a feeling they don't want to experience again.

That's why the state already has reached out to Dover International Speedway officials. No event in the state is bigger than the two NASCAR Nextel Cup races held each year in Dover. About 140,000 people attended Sunday's MBNA America 400.   The two race weekends this year drew 400,000 fans. They pump about $300 million into the state's economy, according to a 2001 study commissioned by Dover Motorsports, the company that owns Dover International Speedway.

That's something the state can hardly afford to lose.   "The governor and the Economic Development Office are in constant contact with business leaders throughout the state, including Dover Downs, as part of the state's continuing efforts to retain businesses in Delaware," said Kate Bailey, deputy communications director for the governor. "In fact, communications with the leadership team at Dover Downs in recent months confirmed that we can look forward to the NASCAR events being part of Delaware's premier entertainment lineup for years to come."

Still, government officials felt it was necessary to call Dover International Speedway last month when they heard that a new race track had been proposed to be built in the New York City area, perhaps opening as soon as 2008.   They know such a track could lead to a current Nextel Cup venue losing its race to New York, and few venues are located in cities smaller than Dover.

"We talked to them because we wanted to double-check and triple-check the potential of one of the races leaving here," said Julie Miro Wenger, acting tourism director for the Delaware Tourism Office. "They pretty much told us that we're not in jeopardy of losing a race.   "We're confident in what they're saying, but after the LPGA left, we're trying to do much more outreach to events to gauge where we are."  It's a gesture that is greatly appreciated, said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc.   "The state has always been very supportive," he said. "They know the economic impact of our race weekends. And we know we're placing a big burden on the state because we have 140,000 fans coming into Dover for the races.  "We have to have the tolerance and the cooperation from the state, because twice a year, the little city of Dover is producing events that are twice as big as the Super Bowl." Delaware News Journal

09/27/04
champcar
Gold Coast Mayor to boycott Indy (Surfers) Gold Coast Mayor to boycott Indy (Surfers)The Mayor of the Gold Coast says he will not be at next month's Indy, but he will not stop other councillors attending the Surfers Paradise event.  Ron Clarke says he intends to boycott Indy in protest at organisers' reclamation of parkland against council wishes and because he does not agree with street racing.  Councillor Clarke says he supports the concept of Indy and recognises its economic value to the city and the state, but he will not be among spectators.  "I think it's a personal choice, that's why I believe I had a personal choice and I made the choice not to [attend]," he said.  "I have to say I have been invited to Indy before, I've been invited to Formula One, I have never gone to any street racing as yet at all." ABC.net
09/27/04
nascar
NASCAR official suspended NASCAR official suspendedNASCAR has temporarily suspended official Don Berry, following a mix-up on pit road Friday during Nextel Cup qualifying at Dover International Speedway, ThatsRacin.com has learned. On Friday, two cars – those of Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer – were told to take to the track for qualifying runs without a NASCAR official first removing the tape that is placed over the cowl, the top part of the car body that supports the windshield and the dashboard. The tape can only be removed by a NASCAR official. Berry is the pit road coordinator during the qualifying process, supervising such actions. With the tape on, car will typically run somewhat slower. NASCAR officials noticed the mistake before the session ended and allowed both Burton and Wimmer to qualify again. Wimmer was 29th fastest, Burton 33rd. NASCAR spokesperson Tracey Judd declined to comment, citing NASCAR’s policy of not commenting on internal personnel matters. ThatsRacin.com
09/27/04
nascar
The Stewart vs. Gordon fued continues The Stewart vs. Gordon fued continuesThe ever-competitive driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet was far from thrilled with his sixth-place effort in Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover's high-banked, 1-mile oval. Part of his frustration stemmed from having an ill-handling race car, while another part came via Robby Gordon. Gordon, who intentionally spun Greg Biffle last Sunday at New Hampshire to trigger a multi-car accident that consumed Stewart, again used questionable judgment at Dover. On a lap 22 restart, Gordon inexplicably drove his car to the outside of Stewart in turns three and four before officially taking the green. And when Gordon ran out of race track while coming off turn four, he clipped the right front corner of Stewart's nose, altering the #20's aerodynamics. With 378 laps still remaining, it was a case of premature aggression. Stewart quickly put the incident and Gordon behind him with a convincing pass through turns one and two. And throughout the race Gordon would remain in Stewart's rearview mirror, as he wound up finishing 30th, 15 laps off the pace. True Speed Communication PR 

Stewart, wrecked out of the New Hampshire race last weekend by Robby Gordon, tangled with him briefly again early in Sunday's race. The two traded bumps, with Stewart finally getting by Gordon. Stewart was none too happy after the race and paid NASCAR officials a visit to complain about Gordon's conduct. Asked what he felt like after the race, Stewart replied: "Kicking Robby Gordon's butt, to be honest. It's racing." ThatsRacin.com

"Tell him to come on over," Gordon responded. "Or, here, give him my phone number and tell him 'Anytime.'" Winston Salem Journal

09/27/04
nascar
Speeding - NASCAR's Monitoring System in the Dark Ages Speeding - NASCAR's Monitoring System in the Dark AgesRick Hendrick was not pleased with the drive-thru penalty handed to driver Jimmie Johnson [for speeding]. "I don't understand with all the electronics at our disposal -- and even our sponsor Delphi has told (NASCAR) that they could put a wire in the ground at every track. If these people think that they can put another 10,000 people in the seats, they'll do that in a minute. But why not take the guesswork out of this pit-road deal. You got a guy up there with eyesight and a stop watch making a decision that can affect the championship." FoxSports/Sporting News
09/27/04
Formula Renault
Americans Lead Another Red Bull 1-2 in Shanghai Americans Lead Another Red Bull 1-2 in ShanghaiScott Speed and Colin Fleming made the most of a weekend off from racing in Europe, traveling to the remarkable new Shanghai Circuit in China as part of the Formula 1 race weekend, on the series’ first-ever visit to the emerging Chinese market. In what could only be described as the thrill of a lifetime, the two Americans proved they were up to the task, racing off to a 1-2 victory on a track that neither had even seen before the weekend began.  The two young Americans were unfazed by the race day morning crowd of more than 100,000 enthusiastic race fans as they put their competitive stamp on the Asian Formula Renault Challenge in the same fashion as they have shown in Europe, hogging the best property on the podium once again.  The win is Speed’s 12th of the year in Formula Renault competition.  "It was a lot of fun to start right before a Formula 1 Grand Prix and in front of more than 100,000 motorsports supporters here in China,” said Speed. “This was a great opportunity for us, and to take the win was very emotional!"  Speed and Fleming will return to battle in Europe to settle the score between the two friends, roommates, and competitors, as there are just two rounds remaining in the Formula Renault German Championship, as Speed holds onto a narrow lead in the points over Fleming.
09/27/04
champcar
 irl
CARA Charities To Honor Broeman, DeRea CARA Charities To Honor Broeman, DeReaTwo of open-wheel racing's most recognized personalities, Ina Broeman and Father Phil DeRea, will be honored for their contributions to the sport on Oct. 1 at CARA Charities' "Beach Blanket Bash" at California Speedway.  Broeman and DeRea will serve as the honorary chairpersons for the annual event that raises money for CARA Charities as well as other causes.

Broeman recently retired as category director for the Marlboro brand of Philip Morris USA and has been a popular contributor to charity work throughout the sporting industry, including CARA Charities. She has been a major advocate of the CARA programs and assisted at many of the CARA events. 

"In the many years that I have been involved in auto racing, it always amazed me what CARA has always done to support not only the local community hospitals, but also the entire racing family," Broeman said. "They are truly an integral part of the racing community and essential for our sport."  DeRea, who will move to Rome in November to take a new position as Rector of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Piazza Navona, has served as Roman Catholic Chaplain in the open-wheel community for more than 20 years.   "I am thrilled to be honored by CARA at this great event," DeRea said. "CARA Charities has assisted every part of the motorsports community over the years. Its contribution to causes within this great sport is just immeasurable. I feel grateful to have been involved with this tremendous group."

09/27/04
irl
Analyzing Data From Two-Day Test The Next Step Analyzing Data From Two-Day Test The Next StepIndy Racing League officials were satisfied with the performance of the IRL IndyCar® Series cars at private testing held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sept. 22-23, but will wait before announcing its full road-course package.  "I think we're all very pleased with the progress of the cars," IRL Senior Vice President for Racing Operations Brian Barnhart said. "The cars were extremely reliable. We didn't identify any major issues with the cars that will prevent us from putting on a show everywhere we go."

Five IndyCar Series teams, representing each chassis-engine combination available, recorded more than 700 miles of testing on the 13-turn, 2.21-mile road course during two days at the track. Among elements evaluated were the cooling system, brakes and transmission.   "I think everyone was happy with every aspect (of the test)," Barnhart said. "All the major components we went down there to test performed well. It's just a matter of sitting down with everybody and going over what we have with regards to brakes. It will take us time to analyze the data. We ran a number of combinations down there. We just need to talk to all the teams and drivers and get their thoughts on it."

In addition to evaluating parts, the test gave IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti, Buddy Rice, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Alex Barron a chance to reacquaint themselves with their road racing backgrounds.  It also gave Ed Carpenter and Sam Hornish Jr. their first opportunity to drive an Indy-style racing car on a road course.  "It's been a while since I've done the right-left thing," said Hornish, who last drove a road course in 1999. "I'm just getting in the swing of things and knocking off all the cobwebs. I'm trying to get comfortable with all the shifting, the braking points and what not. Right now, I'm trying to get all my rhythm right. I guess the rest will come.  "I've never driven an open-wheel car of this size on a road course. It's all new to me. These other guys have had experience driving CART cars and what not. It's taken a little time to get used to driving a little heavier car on a road course."

Carpenter, who advanced to the IndyCar Series by running mostly on ovals, said his only road-racing experience consisted of racing his shifter kart and a 10-lap run in a Skip Barber Pro Series car. But he said IndyCar Series drivers with limited road-course experience can become good road racers.  "I learned a lot in the half-day that I ran. I can't wait to test somewhere else now," he said. "I think if you are a good race car driver, you can adapt to anything. It's just a matter of seat time and putting in the time it takes. Race car drivers can race anything. They just have to get used to what they are driving."

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

09/27/04
irl
Enge to drive for Patrick Racing Enge to drive for Patrick RacingTomas Enge will replace Jaques Lazier in the No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone for the final two events of the IRL IndyCar® Series season.   Enge, who turned 28 on Sept. 11, has been a top competitor in FIA Formula 3000 - the official feeder category for Formula One - for six seasons and has competed in three F1 races.   "Of course, I'd like to build my career from these races and make good progress," said Enge, whose oval experience consists of test sessions with Patrick Racing at Chicagoland Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway this year and one with Panther Racing in 2003.  "I don't know what to expect from these races because it's obviously completely different. They are different kinds of races and you also have to think differently. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a little bit anxious. Hopefully, we will have fun, good results and we can move on together."

That corresponds to team owner U.E. "Pat" Patrick's plans. Enge will join the practice groups Oct. 1 for the Toyota Indy 400 at the 2-mile California Speedway. He'll also compete in the Chevy 500 at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 17.  "The intent of doing these two races is to get a head start on next year," said Patrick, who has won the Indianapolis 500 three times as an owner.   Patrick Racing technical director Steve Newey said he's looking forward to working with Enge, who had six victories and eight pole positions in 55 Formula 3000 starts.

"I've watched his career from this side of the pond for several years and have been very impressed with what he has accomplished in Formula 3000," Newey said. "I'm confident Tomas will adapt very quickly, although there will be a learning curve - particularly when it comes to racing with 21 other cars on the track. But I'm confident the learning curve will be very short and he will be successful with our team."  In 10 Formula 3000 races this year (all teams are supplied with identical chassis and engines), Enge was runner-up at Monza and Magny-Cours as he teamed with Tony Schmidt in Ma-Con Engineering entries.
He finished fourth in points (Vitantonio Liuzzi was the champion).

"The IRL is a great opportunity to step up in my career," said Enge, who drove the Jordan Mugen-Honda 199 car in his first F1 test in 1999. "If I can continue next year in the IRL with Patrick Racing, it will be a good opportunity. Of course, it will be a great advantage to think about it through the winter and prepare for next season instead of coming in as a rookie in the 2005 season."

09/27/04
champcar
Champ Car will decide on San Jose in days Champ Car will decide on San Jose in daysThis San Jose Mercury News Editorial says, So, just how cool would it be to watch 25 cars blow through 10 or 12 traffic lights on Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose, screaming along at 200 mph, not a bit worried about seeing cops in the rear view mirror? Oh, and they'd be doing it to the lung-busting screams of tens of thousands of vicarious thrill-seekers.  That's what it will look like if San Jose gets to host an Indy-style car race downtown. And we'll know soon. The Champ Car race series will decide in the next several days whether to run a race here in summer of 2005.

The benefit to the city, based on a similar annual event in Long Beach, could be more than 100,000 visitors over a three-day weekend, including 70,000 on race day. Dean Munro, executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority, predicts at least $20 million will get pumped into the local economy.  Munro needs civic and private support to close the deal. He deserves it because the city deserves the event. The whopping return on the investment should be irresistible.  But it does come with costs:

• $200,000 in fire and police shifts. The Champ Car series itself might pick up that tab.

• $750,000 to $1.25 million, primarily for street repairs. Munro hopes to cover a third to half of that cost with private money. The city could justify fronting the rest, since the work would benefit every downtown driver.

A vital, urban center seizes opportunities like this. The boost next year will be especially welcome if downtown businesses have to suffer through the effects of a prolonged hockey lockout.

Another plus: This should be a great draw for the Latino community, many of whom idolize drivers Michel Jourdain Jr., Mario Dominguez and Rodolfo Lavin.

Munro says the ``urban festival,'' tentatively scheduled for July 2005 (July 31, 2005 to be exact), would feature car shows and many other events. Two-car owner Paul Newman is a sideshow unto himself.

But the real show would be world-class racers tearing through familiar downtown streets for 175 miles on a twisting 1.5-mile loop (1.9 mile loop to closer to the truth).  The San Jose Grand Prix. It has a nice ring to it -- and imagine all of those blimp-eye views of downtown San Jose broadcast internationally.

09/27/04
champcar
Champ Car lands Roshfrans as official sponsor Champ Car lands Roshfrans as official sponsorThe fervent support that the Champ Car World Series receives from Mexican sponsors, partners, and fans is a cornerstone of its success. Today, the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford made those ties even stronger by announcing that Roshfrans would become the first Mexican company to ever become an official series sponsor.

Roshfrans and Champ Car today joined into a multi-year agreement to become the Official Lubricant of Champ Car. The company’s synthetic oils will run in each of the Ford-Cosworth XFE engines that power all of the cars in the series, and Roshfrans’ complete line of lubricating products will be available for use on all parts of the 750hp turbocharged Champ Cars.

“As a Mexican company, we are very confident in the new Champ Car administration and are eager to participate in the growth of such an outstanding racing series,” said Sergio Platonoff, Commercial Director for Roshfrans. “The diversity of Champ Car competition demands the finest quality products and we believe this competition will further enhance Roshfrans’ reputation as being among the best.”

Roshfrans products, which include not only engine lubricants but cooling and transmission fluids as well as all types of greases and additives, will also be used on the fleet of Champ Car Safety trucks as well as the specially-prepared cars of the Champ Car Fast Lap pace car program.

“We are very encouraged by today’s announcement and are proud to undertake this new partnership with a company that has such a long and storied history in Mexico,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “The Mexican presence in our series has very deep roots and spreads throughout the paddock. We are very excited about the possibilities that this partnership provides for our future.”

09/27/04
nascar
For a good cause For a good causeIn honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will unveil new paint schemes for their race cars competing in both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Indy Racing League's IndyCar series during the month of October. In partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), Target will use the team's race cars as vehicles to help promote breast cancer awareness to racing fans across the country. Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Casey Mears will take the helm of a pink #41 Dodge for three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in October, which include Talladega (October 3rd), Kansas (October 10th) and Martinsville (October 24th). "It's great to know that we have the opportunity to make a difference in so many lives and help The Breast Cancer Research Foundation," said Mears. "I've driven a red car, a black car and a green car, but this is definitely my first time driving a pink car. It's an honor to represent Target and play a role in their initiative to raise awareness and money for a foundation that will ultimately save lives." In addition to the pink ribbon paint schemes, the Target team will make a donation to BCRF for every lap completed in each of the four races by drivers Mears, IRL Drivers Scott Dixon, and Darren Manning (NASCAR and IRL) for up to a total of $50,000. All Target Racing team members in both series will also take part in the promotion by wearing pink ribbons on their firesuits or crew shirts to show their support to those touched by breast cancer, as well as raise awareness and encourage fans to help raise vital funds for BCRF. The racing.target.com team website will undergo a pink make-over for the entire month as well. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Target also will unveil an exclusive line of beautiful pink items this October. One hundred percent of the profits benefit BCRF. The full line of products is available online at target.com/breastcancer, with select items available in stores. For donations or more information on The Breast Cancer Research Foundation see www.bcrfcure.org Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR
09/27/04
champcar
Seen at Las Vegas Seen at Las VegasUPDATE We have added the two photos of Bruce Willis who was with Paul Newman as a guest.

 

09/26/04 Bruce Willis was in the pits and Victory Circle at Las Vegas with the Newman/Haas team.  He appeared to be a guest of Paul Newman and is said to be a real race fan. Mark C.
09/27/04
champcar
About the Las Vegas attendance About the Las Vegas attendanceA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I keep reading how the race at Las Vegas became a ghost town 20 laps or so into the race, and that the originally large crowd was due to the CTS crowd.  I have to make two points, since I was there.  First, I left my hotel at 7:30 PM, figuring the truck race started at 7 PM, this would eliminate all traffic into the track.  Since it’s only a 14 mile drive to the track, this should have taken 15 minutes.  However, it took me well over an hour to get into the track, with traffic backed up over 4 miles on I-15.  There were literally thousands of cars pouring in at that time.  If these were die-hard NASCAR fans, they would have been there much earlier.  It was clear from the crowd, based on demeanor and hats/shirts that these were Champ Car fans.  Second, it took me even longer to exit the track than it did to get in, again with thousands of cars being diverted either to Las Vegas Blvd or to I-15.  This was at 12:30 AM.  So if there were only 10k fans left, figure that would have been 5-7k cars in the parking lot (at most), which would have emptied out MUCH quicker than that.  Sorry, but we were among thousands of cars trying to exit, and again traffic was backed up on the I-15 and Las Vegas blvd. for miles.  10,000 fans would not cause that type of congestion.  I can easily estimate that the attendance at the end was closer to 30k, as unscientific as my guesstimation is.

One more thing I should add; while the facility is excellent, the PA system is downright horrible.  And I think this is where the track (can’t really blame Champ Car) blew it for the NASCAR fans.  There were a few NASCAR fans around me that ended up leaving after the long caution.  But when you’re new to a sport, it’s difficult to stay interested when you don’t know who’s who or what’s going on.  You couldn’t hear A DAMN THING over the PA.  During the long caution, so many people were angry as they kept passing yellow lap after yellow lap, not knowing what was going on.  Only because I had my scanner did I inform people around me what was happening, and they were very much appreciative.  I know that PA systems on ovals are a tricky thing (couldn’t hear squat during the CTS race either), but that HAS to be fixed.  Find a way for heaven’s sake!  Street courses make for an entertaining venue, not only because of the many attractions, but because the announcers keep you informed and entertained.

One final thought; I don’t think much recognition has been given to the fact that rookies such as AJ Allmendinger, and especially Rodolfo Lavin raced side by side with many of the veterans and hung in there, lap after lap.  They didn’t make a mistake, were able to take the outside line, and didn’t cause any trouble for themselves or anybody else.  Rodolfo and Jimmy  went at it for several laps without Rodolfo budging or losing it like Foyt IV usually does.  I think that says a lot for the rookie talent pool in Champ Car.  Thanks again for the good work. J. Gonzalez, San Dimas, CA.  Dear Mr. Gonzalez, You raise some good points, however, about the attendance - Yes the traffic was still bad when you left the track at 12:30 AM but that was still remnants from the truck fans who left earlier and were still stuck in traffic. By the end of the race the grandstands were no more than 1/30th full.  In fact, some (in the turns) had zero people in them.  Yes, the Earnhardt Terrace was about 1/5th full, but on average 1/30th of the seats were occupied at best.  The place seats 140,000.  140,000/30 = 4,667.  Add in the infield crowd and a few hundred in the suites and maybe there were still 10,000 left to see what was a spectacular finish.  

A number of things worked against Champ Car - 1) the race was over so late; 2) It was added late to the schedule and was not marketed long enough; 3) NASCAR fans like big numbers on the cars so they can figure out who is who.  On a big wide track like Vegas, when you are sitting 60 rows up, the cars look tiny; 4) Some buses were reportedly leaving right after the truck race and so those fans could not stay for the Champ Car race, 5) Champ Car drivers are foreign to NASCAR fans because NASCAR dominates the print and TV media. Mark C.

09/27/04
Industry News
Atlanta unveils new website Atlanta unveils new websiteAtlanta Motor Speedway’s web site has undergone a dramatic transformation, as the site re-launched today with a completely new look, new information and more user-friendly options.   The new web site, still located conveniently at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, will make it easier for fans to locate information while still providing the quality race news fans expect.  In addition to the usual speedway news and race weekend updates, the new site will also feature contests and fan contributions to speedway projects.  With fresh new graphics and designs added, the updated site is a definite attention-grabber. Each color-coded and labeled section now has subsections, which break down information into easy-to-find categories. All of this will make access to specific information quick, easy, and just a click of a button away – with no searching or being bombarded with undesired information. 

Also, fans of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s “Real Racing. Real Fast.” can look forward to the upcoming “Real Fans” section. This will be a password-entry interactive section for fans to gain exclusive access to screen savers, desktop wallpapers and contests for autographed merchandise and ticket giveaways.  The new web site is a result of an initiative begun by Speedway Motorsports Incorporated, which owns Atlanta Motor Speedway along with Bristol Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway at Sonoma and Texas Motor Speedway, to ensure that each track has a web site that is user-friendly and all-inclusive.

09/27/04
NASCAR
Rusty Wallace’s Son Wins at Bristol Rusty Wallace’s Son Wins at BristolSteve Wallace captured his first career UARA Late Model win on the series' biggest stage Saturday night under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wallace's win came exactly one month to the day after a violent crash in a Hooter's ProCup Series race at Bristol, making his victory all the more sweet. Wallace, driving the No. 02 Food City Dodge, took the lead on Lap 83 and stayed in front for the remainder of the race. The 17-year-old Wallace's previous best UARA finish was a third-place effort earlier this year at Anderson Motor Speedway in South Carolina. "Man this is crazy, we blew a motor in practice and had to work all weekend and now I've got a huge trophy just like my dad," said Wallace, the son of NEXTEL Cup Series driver and nine-time Bristol winner Rusty Wallace. "My dad has won here, my Uncle Kenny's won here, and now I've won here and it's awesome." Bristol PR Don't count on him to fill his father's driving shoes any time soon...we'll check back on his progress in a couple years.  Doug B
09/27/04
NASCAR
German Road Course Driver Experiences Full-Throttle Racing German Road Course Driver Experiences Full-Throttle RacingKlaus Graf will drive the #99 BAM Racing Dodge this weekend in the ARCA stock car race at the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The car is fielded by BAM Racing, which also fields the #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge, driven by Ken Schrader in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Graf will be making his second start in the ARCA Series, just his second career start on an oval, and just his third career start in a stock car. In his inaugural ARCA start, and his first on a speedway oval, Graf led late in the race before finishing third at the Nashville Superspeedway. In his only start in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Graf started from the 38th position and finished a solid 17th at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., in June. Graf, 32, is the first German-born driver to compete in NASCAR’s top series. Graf trained to race Formula One in Europe, but switched to sports cars instead. After winning the 1993 German Formula Ford Championship, 1993 Austrian National Championship, and 1997 Rookie of the Year in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Graf raced in the American Le Mans series competing in the Le Man 24-hour race and the 12-hours of Sebring. "As a racer you are always looking for new challenges. My first time out at Talladega was just last week (testing) and it was quite an experience. Talladega Superspeedway is world renown. It’s extremely big, wide and fast. It’s always exciting when you first get out onto the track at a famous facility. You think about all the names that have raced there and you can really get a sense of the history. Everyone was telling me I was going to get bored running around Talladega by myself. It was hardly boring. It was weird at first holding the accelerator down the entire time. That’s something someone like me has never experienced with my road course racing background. It was as fast as I’ve ever been through a turn. But, the turns are so wide and long it almost doesn’t feel like much of a turn. Testing there was extremely beneficial for me and the team. I was really surprised at how well you can feel each little adjustment we made in the car throughout the day. I was also surprised at how bumpy the track is. I really thought it would be smooth and fast, but it’s actually very bumpy, especially when you aren’t down at the bottom of the track. Down in turn three and four it’s a pretty rough ride. That’s something I didn’t anticipate coming into the test session. I’m really looking forward to racing in the draft. As bumpy as the track was out there alone I’m sure it will be even more so with 40 cars around one another. Racing in the draft will be something totally different for someone like me. You can imagine, racing in tight packs at speeds average close to 190 mph is something I’m not all that familiar with. My mental preparation is what I’ll be working on. Just focusing on what to expect the first time I’m out working in the draft." Williams PR
09/27/04
f1
The race is on to find first Chinese F1 driver The race is on to find first Chinese F1 driverChina's staging of their first ever F1 Grand Prix in Shanghai will not just spark a rise in the sales of automobiles but it will also inspire the locals to take up motorsports.   With China now part of the F1 family and welcoming their first ever MotoGP next year, the car giants are looking to tap into the vast market of the world's most populous country.   China are predicted to surpass Japan as the biggest automobile industry in two years' time and they would certaily want to have a F1 driver of their own.   Speaking at a press briefing, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley is predicting a bright future for motorsports in China.    “This is a significant event for F1 and for the country. The enormous population of this country means that the potential to search for someone to be a top driver is always there,” said Mosley.  “When more people own cars, more people will drive and they will start to think about competing.   “And when Chinese drivers find success on the international arena, the whole country will be behind them and that generates even bigger interest in the sport.”

The race is already on to become the first Chinese F1 driver. Among those already making the grade in the lower formulas are Tung Ho Pin, Chen Congfu and Jiang Tengyi.  The 22-year-old Ho Pin dominated the inaugural BMW Formula Asia Championship last year, winning 12 of the 14 rounds and he was rewarded with a test drive for the BMW-Williams team at the Jerez Circuit in Spain.  The Star

09/27/04
irl
Nunn to test female drivers Nunn to test female driversNunn Motorsports will test several female drivers in an Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro SeriesT car during a three-day test Nov. 8-10 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The team will use the test to identify a driver for a chance at a full-season ride during the 2005 season.  Kathryn Nunn, the first female team owner in the IRL, and Lyn St. James, a seven-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, will collaborate on this effort and identify the women to participate in the test.  "I am very excited at the possibility of having a deserving young driver in one of our cars next season and at being able to help develop her skills for an eventual move up to the IRL IndyCar® Series," Nunn said.

St. James is one of only three women who have competed in the Indianapolis 500. Since retiring from Indy-style competition in 2001, she has dedicated herself to assisting women drivers from around the world with their racing careers, primarily through her Lyn St. James Driver Development Program.  "There are so many talented women drivers racing around the country and around the world," St. James said. "This is a tremendous opportunity that Kathryn is providing for all of these drivers, one which may be selected to step into an Indy-style car and develop their skills with an eye on someday racing in the Indianapolis 500."  The Menards Infiniti Pro Series was formed in 2002 as the development series for the IRL IndyCar Series. Past champions A.J. Foyt IV (2002) and Mark Taylor (2003), as well as driver Ed Carpenter, have earned full-time rides in the IndyCar Series.  Nunn Motorsports joined the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in July and has earned three victories with rookie driver P.J. Chesson. The team added a second car at the Chicagoland 100 on Sept. 11.

09/27/04
champcar
PacifiCare donates 1.75 million at Vegas race PacifiCare donates 1.75 million at Vegas raceUPDATE Some more info on this - The Dream Foundation, a nationwide pioneering charity that grants dreams to adults battling terminal illness and PacifiCare Health Systems honored Bruce Nash.  Nash, 60, and his wife, Gayle, of Pittsburg, California attended the Saturday Las Vegas 400 Grand Prix as guests of PacifiCare.  Dream Foundation recipient Bruce Nash was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer that spread to his bones.  He is undergoing chemotherapy and unable to work.  His wife, Gayle, is a homemaker and caregiver to Bruce and his daughter, Marnie, who is 35 years old and mentally disabled.  Bruce is a huge race fan who raced dragsters and stockcars in Minnesota from 1962 to 1965 and won the championship two years in a row.  The “Day at the Races” is courtesy of the PacifiCare and the PacifiCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cypress, Calif.-based PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc.   

The PacifiCare Foundation has pledged $150,000 to the Dream Foundation in celebration of the company’s sponsorship of the Champ Car World Series season and its role as the “Official Health Care Provider.”  PacifiCare is also the title sponsor of Newman/Haas Racing’s number 6 car, driven by Bruno Junqueira.

During the past 10 years, the PacifiCare Foundation has contributed more than $23 million and nearly 150,000 volunteer hours to local and national charities in the communities where PacifiCare employees live and work.

09/26/04 Newman/Haas sponsor PacifiCare donated a total of 1.75 million dollars to charity during the Las Vegas race weekend. The company contributed 150k to The Dream Foundation, a charity that grants dreams to adults battling terminal illness. Dream Foundation recipient Bruce Nash, a huge race fan who suffers from metastatic prostate cancer, enjoyed a "Day of the Races," courtesy of PacifiCare. The health care provider also donated 1.5 million to The Painted Turtle, one of Paul Newman's charities. Cassio Cortes (Photo by Mark Cipolloni)
09/27/04
champcar
Besnard confirmed for Indy 300 Besnard confirmed for Indy 300[Editor's Note:  The IRL must have taken over the Champ Car race in Surfers because it is called an "Indy" race.  Amazing.]  Australian V8 Supercar driver David Besnard has been given the green light to compete in a Champ Car in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise next month.   Besnard will line up in a Reynard in Derrick Walker’s Walker Racing team following a three-way agreement between Walker, US Champ Car series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven and Australian businessman Craig Gore.

The decision comes three weeks after Besnard had a successful Champ Car test session at the Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.   “Gory (Craig Gore) made a promise to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and the public that he would get an Aussie in a car at Indy,” said Besnard.   “He told me at the start of this that it would be a tough road getting there but he wasn’t going to fail in delivering.”

Besnard will return to the US later this week for a second test before flying back to Australia mid next week to compete in the 10th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series – the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst.

Besnard, who drives a Ford Falcon in the V8 Supercar series for Gore’s Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group (WPS Racing), was informed of the decision this afternoon.  “It’s great to finally get the green light and I’m looking forward to flying the Aussie flag at Indy,” said Besnard.

“I won’t be going out there to win the race but I’ll be looking to put on a good show and just soak up the experience.  Besnard will compete under the same WPS Racing livery that he sports on his V8 Supercar.   “Bezzy’s inclusion will be fantastic news for anyone considering attending the event. It’s great that we have got an Aussie – and especially a Queenslander – for everyone to follow,” said Gore.  “I’m delighted to have worked with Kevin and Derrick in arriving at a final resolution.”

The inclusion of Besnard in the field adds an extra element of excitement for this year’s 14th running of the Lexmark Indy 300 from October 21 to 24.  Only two Australian drivers have ever competed in the race. Jason Bright, who like Besnard competes in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, raced at Indy in 2000 and Gary Brabham in 1992-93.   Besnard’s late inclusion in the Indy field was made possible after teenager Josh Hunt, who this year has competed in the Toyota Atlantics Championships in the US with the support of Gore’s Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group and Kalkhoven, elected to have another season in the US rather than a one-off Champ Car drive at Indy.   Hunt will return to the Atlantics in 2005, again with the support of Gore and Kalkhoven, with a view to graduating into Champ Cars. The Gold Coast teenager is part of the WPS junior development program and will be part of the team at Indy. Surfers Indy Website
09/27/04
champcar
Miller slams Champ Car officials Miller slams Champ Car officialsUPDATE In this SPEED TV article Miller agains calls out the Champ Car officials for their actions on Saturday night.  However, in defense of the officials, it was not the 12 lap caution that sent most of the fans home.  It is simply the fact that the NASCAR fans in attendance had no one to cheer for in the Champ Car race because Champ Car drivers are relatively unknown to the general public (see related article).  They stayed 20 or 30 laps just to see what the race was about and then packed up and headed for the exits. 09/26/04 Robin Miller laid into the Champ Car officials over the Alex Tagliani pit incident this past weekend in Las Vegas.  While many of the NASCAR truck fans stayed around to see the start of the Champ Car race, the extended caution flag while officials tried to iron out the protests being thrown up by the Rocketsports team over Tag's then pending black flag, sent many fans headed to the nearest exit.  On Sunday night SPEED News on SPEED Channel Miller said, "Champ Car may have some good news coming with regard to TV and sponsorship, but they sure need new officials because they suck."  We suspect Robin didn't win any new friends from John Lopes' staff over that comment, but after seeing Paul Gentilozzi's eyes after the race on Saturday night, we suspect we haven't heard the last of this one yet, especially since the officials rubbed salt into Gentilozzi's wounds by not only denying his team's protest but, by dropping his driver even further down the order in the final official results. Mark C.
09/27/04
Euro F3000
Cagliari doubleheader to close season Cagliari doubleheader to close seasonUPDATE The final two rounds of the 2004 SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship will take place in Cagliari, Italy on 29th– 31st October.   The tenth race, originally scheduled for Dubai, will be combined with Round Nine in Cagliari to create one action-packed double race weekend as part of the crowd-pulling Gran Premio di Cagliari.  The provisional time schedule for the weekend is as follows:
FRIDAY  29.10.2004
Morning  Free Practice    (30 mins)
 Free Practice    (30 mins)
Afternoon  Qualifying: Round 9   (45 mins)
SATURDAY   30.10.2004
Morning  Qualifying: Round 10  (45 mins) 
15:15   Race:  Round 9
SUNDAY 31.10.2004
15 min   Warm Up   (15 mins)
15:15   Race:  Round 10

With a coveted Super License and the chance of a test drive a Formula One car at stake, there is everything to race for in Cagliari.  Fabrizio Del Monte will drive out on home soil heading the Championship standings with 44 points ahead of Dutch-Italian driver Nicky Pastorelli who remains at 32 points after retiring early from the last race in Zolder.  Norbert Siedler has 27 Championship points following his first win in Belgium.  The Austrian lies in fourth place on aggregate behind John Village Automotive driver Jonny Reid.

09/22/04 The Euro F3000 series will hold two rounds at the Cagliari street-race meeting on October 30/31. The extra race replaces the cancelled event in Dubai, which means the season will now end with a double-header. Autosport Magazine
09/27/04
champcar
nascar
Winning hearts and minds Winning hearts and mindsUPDATE Another reader writes, Dear Autoracing1, The Cassio Cortes article really hit the mark when it comes to the "American public" in general.   Mainly, they are the most ill informed people on this planet.  Can you imagine in this day and age when a "so called racing fan" can't follow Formula One 'cause the numbers are too small! THAT say's it all.  I thought we were in big trouble when I heard that "most Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein took part in the 9/11 tragedy", now after reading Cassio's article I know we are in BIG trouble. Paul Castoro, San Jose, CA. 09/26/04 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, There is nothing more that I could add to the excellent article I just read by Cassio Cortes.  Please make sure to keep him around and writing for you on a full-time basis.  That is the best written, most to the point article I have ever read about why open wheel oval racing is dead in the U.S.  Cassio certainly gets it.  And make sure that OWRS gets a copy of the article, too.  Thanks for the excellent piece. James M. Ziogas, Medina, Ohio  Dear James, Thanks for the feedback.  Indeed Cassio Cortes has been an excellent addition to our staff.  His research on this article, done during Saturday night's Champ Car race in Las Vegas, underscores what we have been preaching for quite some time now - that NASCAR has so monopolized American motosports that most people find all other forms of motorsports foreign and this all goes back to one Tony George, who split Indy Car racing into two, thereby allowing NASCAR to completely rule the roost.  To make matters worse, the IRL is going road racing in 2005 and that's going to further confuse the open wheel racing industry.  We find the notion that they have to continue with slow, heavy, lumbering cars so they can race on ovals in front of empty grandstands alarming.  If Champ Car doesn't get their head out of the sand and completely reinvent itself as we have suggested, they are going to find themselves up a creek without a paddle.  Mark C.
09/27/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Last news in the Paddock - China
Jag not given 'enough notice' - Webber
China will have F1 driver - Mosley
Last news in the Paddock - China 2
Rubens on hunt for rent-a-bed
Coulthard investigated
Last news in the Paddock - China 3
F1 can expect 'more' from Villeneuve
Coulthard has no contract
Last news in the Paddock - China 4
Trulli to race in Japan
Ralf fired?
No Chinese driver, yet - Peter Sauber
Button's a driver worth thrashing - Webber
Red light for Indian GP plan
Schu hasn't lost motivation - Jean Todt
'We're not against the FIA' - McLaren
09/26/04
champcar
Champ Car TV and Series Name Champ Car TV and Series NameA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, On the subject of TV... I am an avid Champ Car supporter... but I have zero interest in watching a race that occurred 18 hours ago.  Maybe in 1970 or even 1980 when Indy was that night, but not in today's world.  Thankfully I have DirectTV so I've been able to watch most live despite being on the west coast.  I understand the original concept of saving money but the Spike TV thing is an utter disaster.  I felt the same way last year when they delayed the CBS race from England and ultimately did not watch.  But I did stay up to watch the F1 race last night.  Whether on Speed, or Fox Net or CBS, they have to be live or who cares.  I'm sure this is no news but a thought from a Champ Car disciple who will NOT watch last night's race because I already know what happens.
 
On the subject of the Series Name:  How about something simple, to the point but not trying to steal Formula or other names?  OWWS.   The Open Wheel World Series.  Or better yet (knock on wood), the AOL Open Wheel World Series. While Formula is more known, there are many Formula series and quite frankly anything below Formula One sounds inferior.  Here's to hoping for many more years of the Open Wheel World Series. John Costello  Dear John, With regard to TV, in 2005 we believe you will see almost all the races live.  The one exception (possibly two) might be Long Beach, which wants to be on CBS, but CBS has the Masters Golf Tournament on the same day.  We think that race will have to be delayed on CBS to the following Saturday.  We also are not sure whether China will be shown live.  We suspect that race will be shown tape-delayed the next day.  With regard to your remark about the delayed Brands Hatch race last year - that rating on CBS still dwarfed anything Champ Car gets these days and the sponsors and cities need that sort of exposure.

With regard to the series name: True story - we had something printed last week at the printers that had the Champ Car logo on it.  When we picked up the order the clerk asked, "What's Champ Car, is that Matt Kenseth's, last year's NASCAR champion's car?"  We had to explain to him that it was a racing series.  "Oh" he said, "I never heard of it".  We proceeded to say, "Well it's like a Grand Prix car."  "Oh, is that what that guy Schumacher drives?"  We said, "It's America's low-tech version of F1 yes, but they race on ovals too."  The bottom line from that conversation is that except for the hard-core fan, no one on the street knows what a Champ Car is and the name certainly does not conjure up visions of what it is. Your suggestion could work, but one way or the other, Champ Car has a long long way to go before it's a properly branded name. Mark C.

09/26/04
champcar
TV is the key TV is the keyA reader writes, Having watched a great deal of all different kinds of racing this year, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that those series with the best television packages are the ones much more likely to succeed overall.    Take Formula One as an example.  A few years ago when FOCA TV produced the pay-as-you-go digital coverage, the difference between that and the normal terrestrial feed was night and day – it even made the Hungarian Grand Prix interesting.  This weekend the coverage was improved – again because Bernie’s crew was producing it.  Frankly, I don’t understand why Bernie can’t arrange a deal for his company to produce the entire year’s coverage. It makes the races appear more exciting, even if in reality not much is happening.

I think this, more than anything, is key to NASCAR’s success.  Its TV coverage is simply breathtaking – right down to the support series like BGN.  With multiple pit-lane reporters, plenty of on-board footage and lots of interviews with the drivers, it’s not hard to see why the drivers become heroes; put simply, the public knows who they are.  Perhaps more to the point, they are much more likely to pull for one driver and, as a consequence, put their butt in a seat at their nearest track.  It is also apparent that the television director bases his footage around what the commentators are talking about – in total, the whole is a slickly produced package, which is hard to take your eyes off.  It must be – I’d never watched NASCAR until this year (when I got digital TV) and now I’m hooked.

Compare and contrast with Champ Car’s television output.  Last night’s race at Vegas had a thrilling climax, but I literally fell asleep during the middle of the race.  Why?  Not enough on-board footage to break up the monotony of what will otherwise always be pictures of cars going in circles, without much overtaking.  There was also not enough on-screen info to keep the viewer up to date.  Compared to the action-packed coverage from the heyday of CART in the late 90s, there is only one winner.  Even the IRL’s footage - despite having two fairly un-knowledgeable commentators – packs a much better punch, thanks to the use more on-board cameras.  The technology is available – why not use it more, Champ Car? Neil Tipton, England  Dear Neil, Part of the problem with this year's Champ Car broadcasts is as a result of a low-bid by Betelgeuse.  As we understand it, their bid was around 50% of the next highest bidder and they are now very short of money.  In fact we hear they have come back to Champ Car asking for more money.  As with any bid that is much lower than all the rest, corners have to be cut somewhere to make up the difference.  There really is no such thing as a "free lunch."  We think the new owners of Champ Car learned a lot from this year's TV deal and hopefully won't make the same mistakes again.  Unfortunately that means the TV will cost them more next year, but if the sponsors are in the series, they will get back a good chunk of that money when the sponsors buy ad time.  Ad time is also worth a lot more on Network TV where ratings are much better. Mark C.

09/26/04
f1
Shanghai circuit puts demand on drivers Shanghai circuit puts demand on driversJenson Button came away impressed with the new Shanghai circuit and is impressed with the new circuits, most of which have been designed by Tilke.. "A lot of the new circuits have been an improvement for overtaking which is fantastic for Formula One," said Button. "This circuit is one of them and for me, the toughest part of the circuit is the quick left, the quick right and then you've got the two double lefts, the slow ones, because in those corners I don't breathe so I'm finding it quite difficult. You can't take a breath so it's pretty physical in that respect and I think we put on a good show today, so it's obviously a very good race circuit."  Race winner Rubens Barrichello agreed, "Physically, I would say this race was a lot tougher than Monza, that's for sure," he said.
09/26/04
champcar
Rocketsports protest denied Rocketsports protest deniedThe Champ Car World Series made the results of Saturday night’s Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona official on Sunday, as series protest judges unanimously ruled that the protest filed by Rocketsports Racing after Saturday’s race would not be upheld. The protest judges ruled that Alex Tagliani would be dropped from 14th to 16th in the final standings for failing to honor a black flag given to him late in Saturday’s race. Tagliani also lost the championship point that he had initially received for leading a lap. The resulting penalty gives Tagliani a total of 206 championship points and leaves him in fifth place in the standings with two races to run.  In addition, the penalty improves the finishing position for Walker Racing’s Mario Haberfeld who moves up to 14th, and Dale Coyne Racing’s Gaston Mazzacane, who will be credited with a 15th-place finish.
09/26/04
nascar
Ryan Newman backtracks on Dahmer reference Ryan Newman backtracks on Dahmer referenceThis AP article says, Ryan Newman realized it was a serious gaffe the moment he invoked the name of a serial killer in a room filled with reporters.  But it was too late to rescind the words he spoke during a breakfast Saturday.  Newman was being asked about rough driving, a popular NASCAR topic in the wake of Robby Gordon's intentional takeout last Sunday of Greg Biffle in New Hampshire. Nextel Cup championship contenders Jeremy Mayfield and Tony Stewart crashed in the aftermath.  Asked if he thought Gordon's legacy would be that he spoiled the chances of two drivers in the first of 10 races to decide a champion of NASCAR's top division, Newman said: ``Everybody's got to have a reputation. There's always going to be a Jeffrey Dahmer.''  He cringed immediately, then said in an apologetic tone: ``That's the first name that came to my mind. Let it be known that was at 8:43. I'm not referring to Robby as that.''
09/26/04
f1
Williams team in China crash Williams team in China crashWilliams Marketing Department employees, including British royal Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips, were involved in an accident on their way to the Shanghai circuit on Sunday morning.  Jim Wright, the head of Williams' marketing, as well as Chris Tyring and Phillips were on their way to the race when a car hit the van they travelled in.  Fortunately, FIA medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins arrived at the scene as did an ambulance shortly afterwards, taking both Wright and Tyring to hospital for a check-up.  This happened as Ralf Schumacher returns to racing following his accident at the U.S. GP and just a week after Williams designer Gary Fisher was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. Planet-F1
09/26/04
champcar
Hats off to Champ Car staff Hats off to Champ Car staffHats off to Lee Dykstra and his staff for coming up with an excellent aero package for the Las Vegas race in a short period of time.  It produced good side-by-side racing for the fans and the race was a safe one with zero wall contact - objectives achieved.   Everyone knows how we feel about the IRL's 100% throttle racing, and while this Champ Car race was just that, it was entertaining nonetheless and those that stuck around for the finish said it was a good show. 
09/26/04
champcar
Vegas: Great race, embarrassing attendance Vegas: Great race, embarrassing attendanceWhile Champ Car put on a great show for the fans at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night under the lights, not many were around at the finish to see the exciting lap-after-lap, side-by-side battle between teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira.  There was an estimated attendance of 70,000 for the NASCAR truck race and when it was over about 75% stayed around to see the start of the Champ Car race.  However, after 30 laps or so, there was a mass exodus from the grandstands and when the race was over, perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 were still there. We are not sure how much more Champ Car can do to put on a better show than we saw Saturday nighton an oval.  Perhaps next year, with more time to promote the event, attendance will be better.  Yes, this race came together late, and yes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway staff did a yeoman's job with the event given the circumstances, but the bottom line is that, as we have said repeatedly for some 5 years now, for open wheel racing in the USA, "stick a fork in the ovals, they're done."  NASCAR has won the war because they have made heroes out of their drivers and Champ Car nor the IRL has.  The sooner this race moves to the streets of Las Vegas, the better. "The staff of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway under the leadership of General Manager Chris Powell did an outstanding job this weekend and pulled off a first-class event," said Champ Car President and CEO Dick Eidswick. "I am sure that the crowd went away happy after seeing such a thrilling evening of racing."  Mark C.
09/26/04
nascar
Shane Hmiel wins Vegas truck race Shane Hmiel wins Vegas truck raceShane Hmiel powered his Whitaker Farms Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado to the front of the field on the final lap of the Las Vegas 350, and claimed his first ever major NASCAR Touring Series victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Saturday night.

“This win is for everyone at Billy Ballew Motorsports, my Dad and Mom, my girlfriend and her family and everyone who has supported me throughout my career,” Hmiel said (Pictured right.  Photo by David Allo). “This is just awesome. It is all my guys, they do such a great job and work really hard to give me such great trucks.  

“To come here on a big track when I have only been really good on short tracks just shows how good this team is.”

Hmiel battled problems with the truck’s carburetor throughout the night, but he was able to race through the difficulties, and his pit crew helped to keep him in the thick of the battle with solid performances on pit road. As the laps wound down, Hmiel posted the fastest times on the track, and moved through the top five.

In the end, Hmiel used the famous bump-and-run move to power his Silverado past race leader Todd Bodine as the white flag waved.

“I didn’t know if I could catch him (Todd Bodine, leader) but I knew I could get second,” Hmiel said. “Once I got into second I said to myself I wasn’t leaving here not winning this race.  We had come close too many times so I just kept digging and once I got up to him, there wasn’t many laps left so I gave him just a little bump and took the lead and held on to get the win.

“I am with a good team and we are certainly capable of winning some more races.”

Hmiel was quick to credit truck owner Billy Ballew for his first win. Ballew took a chance on the 24-year-old by putting him behind the wheel of the No. 15 truck at the start of this season although Hmiel had struggled with issues off the track. Hmiel was suspended by NASCAR last season for illegal substances.

“I like talking about how I have overcome the problem I had with drugs because I think it makes it better and easier for others to know they can do it too,” Hmiel said. “Billy gave me the chance to drive this No. 15 Silverado when no one else would even talk to me so I am just proud to give him his first win.”

“I promised myself I would buy myself a diamond Rolex when I won my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and I am going to do that tomorrow. This is the most awesome night of my life right now.”

09/26/04
f1
News in the China Paddock - the race News in the China Paddock - the race(GMM - Shanghai) A sterling second place in Shanghai, England's Jenson Button met rock legend Sir Elton John before the event.  JB told the Daily Mirror: ''He shook my hand and said 'so, will you be driving for Williams next year?'  I was so surprised I just mumbled 'yes'.''

Ferrari and Fiat president Luca di Montezemolo held the constructors' trophy aloft after Rubens Barrichello won the first-ever Chinese Grand Prix.  The Italian, who also pitched-in with radio congratulations in his native tongue for Barrichello, suffered the rare effects of 'victory-champagne-in-the-eyes' syndrome when the corks were popped.

F1 returnee Jacques Villeneuve admits some 'old habits' kicked in and curbed his pace around the Shanghai circuit this weekend.  ''This (event) was really all about learning,'' said the French-Canadian. 

A ridiculous rumor in the F1 paddock on Sunday was that Michael Schumacher spun his Ferrari on purpose in yesterday's qualifying session.  Why?  Supposedly to mask the necessity of an engine change due to a developing technical problem.  Credible sources lambasted the indolent speculation.

Michael Schumacher may have had a shocker in Shanghai, but the world champion left observers in no doubt of his Ferrari's ultimate pace in the grand prix.  On the final tour of the 56-lap event, the German - who finished twelfth after a pitlane start, contact with Christian Klien, a spin and a puncture - put in the fastest lap of all (1.32.238).

09/26/04
champcar
Rocketsports files protest Rocketsports files protestPaul Gentilozzi was not a happy camper after Saturday night's Bridgestone 400  at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and filed a protest over what they felt was an unfair black flag for his driver pitting outside the pit window.  His driver, Alex Tagliani, did not pit on lap 37 with the rest of the drivers because the caution waved just as he was getting ready to pit.  As Tagliani understood it, when the yellow waves the pits are closed so he stayed out on the track.  The Champ Car officials did not see it that way and black flagged him when the track went green again, which cost him a lap.  The Champ Car officials are reviewing the matter. Mark C.
09/26/04
champcar
CARA and Bridgestone make donation CARA and Bridgestone make donationCARA Charities and Bridgestone made a $2,500 donation to the University Emergency Medical Center for Pediatric Care in Las Vegas. Mark C.
09/26/04
f1
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
'I don't give up, I'm Schumacher'
News in the Paddock - Sunday morning
Pantano to sue Jordan
News in the Paddock - Sunday morning 2
Williams 'focus' on Ralf - Montoya
Minardi seek 2005 rule exemption
News in the Paddock - Sunday 3
F1's carmakers are 'lying' - Max Mosley
Honda won't quit F1, until ...
News in the Paddock - Sunday 4
09/26/04
Off-Road
SCORE signs deal with LVMS SCORE signs deal with LVMSAfter 10 years of rumbling around rugged desert race courses in the Southwestern U.S. and Baja California, Mexico, SCORE Trophy-Trucks--the untamed 750-horsepower, unlimited production trucks that are the featured racing division in the SCORE Desert Series--will make their stadium racing debut next July at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it was announced jointly today by Las Vegas Events, SCORE International and LVMS.   With a title sponsorship approved by Las Vegas Events and a co-title sponsorship with Terrible’s Convenience Stores, the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Cup I, will be held July 28-30 on the LVMS Dirt Track. It will feature a two-day event on a purpose-built race track with limited pavement and man-made dirt simulations of the rugged desert terrain these monsters of the desert face. Nearly 90-percent of the 1.5 mile course will be viewable in the 8,000-seat facility. Also competing in their own race will be the unlimited SCORE Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars along with a special SCORE All Star event for the top point leaders in the other 15 SCORE Pro car and truck classes.
09/25/04
nascar
Mike Skinner on Truck pole Mike Skinner on Truck poleVeteran Mike Skinner has won the pole for the Las Vegas 350, the NASCAR Truck Series half (Champ Car's Bridgestone 400 being the other) of tonight's Double Down in the Desert at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Skinner managed a 165.320mph average speed to beat outside polesitter Dennis Setzer by almost 3/10ths of a second. David Reutimann, Jack Sprague and Hank Parker Jr. rounded out the top-5.
09/25/04
Formula BMW UK
Senna picking up pace Senna picking up paceBruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton Senna, has conquered the first front-row starts of his Formula BMW UK career in only his 3rd race weekend in the series. He snatched two 2nd-place starts for the championship's 19th and 20th rounds this weekend at Donnington Park. Bruno, who had a late start in racing two years ago at age 18, is racing cars for the first time after less-than-stellar results in go-karts back in Brazil. Cassio Cortes
09/25/04
f1
Massa excited about career-best start Massa excited about career-best startFelipe Massa's 4th place on the grid for the Chinese GP marks the Brazilian's career-best qualifying effort, and Sauber's best starting position of the season. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella will start 7th, but perhaps more importantly, Massa's 2005 partner at the Swiss outfit and former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve managed only a distant 13th in a car regarded as far superior (admittedly, the Canadian's still a little rusty after his recent return, but Massa also outlapped Renault's #1 driver, Fernando Alonso, who'll start in 6th).
"I'll sleep peacefully tonight," said the Brazilian. "A podium is always a dream, but I won't worry about it much. My focus will be on not losing positions at the start." And then what? Massa's answer speaks volumes about his driving style: "Then I'll charge. It's just what I do, there's no other way for me." Cassio Cortes
09/25/04
champcar
Tracy: ’I’m the top dog’ Tracy: ’I’m the top dog’Quizzed by a fan about the perennial rumors of a possible future in NASCAR, Paul Tracy admitted that he would like to try it out: "I've never driven anything with a roof above my head, so it would be nice to see how's that like." After reassuring he's staying with Forsythe for next year, and will race Champ Cars "for as long as I'm competitive," the Canadian wouldn't let the opportunity for some humor pass him by: "Plus, I'm not sure I would like to be spun out by guys like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. I'm the top dog here [at Champ Car], so the only guys who screw around with me are the Champ Car officials." Cassio Cortes
09/25/04
champcar
Packed house for Champ Car Fan Forum Packed house for Champ Car Fan ForumToday's Champ Car Fan Forum at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was attended by a huge throng of fans anxious to ask questions of Paul Tracy, Rodolfo Lavín, Mario Haberfeld, Champ Car Executive VP of Operations John Lopes and the Manager of Las Vegas Motor Speedway Chris Powell. Below are the highlights:
Chris Powell - Addressed the huge crowd and was very surprised how many of the fans were from out of town. He also said the Speedway welcomes everyone and they aim to please. They are open to any complaints. Send them via email. It is a big weekend for us and John Lopes called me three months ago. I like to see motorsports grow and I think we are partnered with the right people for that to happen.
John Lopes - We knew from our TV ratings in LV that we always had a huge fan base for us. When we lost Fontana we wanted to still be out West on an oval and this place under the lights really showcases our product.
Paul Tracy - Race tonight will be like a NASCAR race and the Champ Car races at Michigan and Fontana - lots of close racing.
Rodolfo Lavín - Looking forward to oval, Corona car is running good. Tires are holding up well.
John Lopes - A NASCAR fan asked to describe what Champ Car was. John gave an overview and said when allowed these cars are the fastest car in the world.
Mario Haberfeld - For sure next year I will be in a Lola.
Paul Tracy - When asked about NASCAR rumors and he said he just re-signed with Forsythe and is quite happy driving Champ Cars until he is no longer winning.
John Lopes - Reiterated that the 2005 schedule will be released in two to three weeks.
John Lopes - New Lola costs $550K complete. A used Reynard is going for the bargain price of $75K.
John Lopes - A Mexican fan asked why Champ Car is no longer on TV. John Lopes said TV in Mexico was a challenge this year. John said next year we will have a better TV package in Mexico.
Chris Powell - When asked by a Vegas fan how long will Champ Car be here and Powell said once per year for the next 75 years and then we will renegotiate, which drew a big cheer.
09/25/04
transam
Scarallo voted Trans-Am most improved driver Scarallo voted Trans-Am most improved driverJoey Scarallo was voted the 2004 Motorock Trans-Am Series BBS Most Improved Driver. Scarallo, driver of the No. 06 Toyo Tires/Autotrend Chevrolet Corvette, joins an elite group of former Most Improved Drivers, which includes Johnny Miller, Randy Ruhlman, Tomy Drissi, John Baucom and Jim Derhaag. The award was first given in 1982, and is determined in a vote by those competitors who raced in at least half of the events this year.

The sophomore driver finished his best Trans-Am season on record a career-best seventh in points. Scarallo scored three top fives this year—including fourth-place effort at Portland, his best finish to date—as well as five top tens.

“The BBS Most Improved Driver Award is a high goal to achieve,” said Scarallo. “This award is very special, especially considering where it comes from. It’s important to be recognized by your peers.

“This season wasn’t perfect, but it was a huge step forward from last year,” added Scarallo, who teamed with owner/driver John Baucom this season after running his own team in 2003. “It goes to show my team did a great job, giving me a car that allowed me to showcase my talent. The personnel we had around the car this year were very talented. Their hard work really paid off.

“Last year, I had too much grease on my hands,” quipped Scarallo. “Having a professional team prepare the car took a lot off my mind. I could concentrate more on driving this year.”

09/25/04
champcar
 f1
Champ Car and F1 clash Champ Car and F1 clashA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Watching from England, it seems that the Champ Car and F1 races are live at the same time (6 am Sunday here). There´s a whole year and world to race in. Who planned that? Good job the F1 race is rebroadcast at 2.15 pm local time for the devoted race fan. Ed McFarlane, Goadby, England
09/25/04
champcar
Driving in circles rare for Champ Car Driving in circles rare for Champ CarThis Indy Star article talks about the Champ Cars on the Las Vegas oval, something you don't see too often.  Why?  Because historically the open wheel Indy and Champ Car series have struggled to make the ovals a commercial success.  CART and now Champ Car slowly reduced the number of ovals on their schedule in favor of the more popular urban races. 
09/25/04
champcar
The irony of Champ Car racing at LVMS The irony of Champ Car racing at LVMSThe Champ Car World Series is running at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.  That, in itself, is of note because the 1.5-mile oval is owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), which is Bruton Smith's outfit. SMI also owns Texas Motor Speedway, which sued CART (the former owner of the Champ Car World Series) when the series pulled out of a race at Texas a couple of years ago citing unsafe conditions for the drivers.

SMI also owns Infineon Raceway at Sears Point near Sonoma, which just added an Indy Racing League (IRL) event for the 2005 season. That gives Bruton and Co. several IRL races and a Champ Car race. Interesting. The two series hate each other. Well, maybe hate is too strong, but they are at war and, while they battle, NASCAR gets bigger and bigger.

What a shame. Open-wheel racing on road and street courses is so much more interesting.  The most interesting part of this weekend's Champ Car soiree in the city that never sleeps is the country's premier open-wheel series will be paired with a NASCAR-sanctioned event in a unique doubleheader tonight. More at Monterey Herald

09/25/04
alms
champcar
irl
State of the ALMS - Tops IRL and Champ Car State of the ALMS - Tops IRL and Champ CarOutline of the annual American Le Mans Series "State of the Series" address delivered today at a press conference by Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. Full Transcript
Where ALMS exceeds Champ Car and IRL
  • Network ratings (CBS) up 40% over 2003 results - consistently better than IRL and Champ Car.
  • Top Ten sponsor exposure/value ALMS, Grand-AM, IRL, CCWS (Joyce Julius Report - first five races of 2004) Results:
    ALMS $22,052,500
    IRL $14,195,560*
    CCWS $ 5,915,900
    Grand-Am $ 2,332,515
    * does not include Indy 500 - Remember, that's only the top ten sponsors after only 5 races - 9 hrs Petit & 2 hrs NBC at Laguna - the diff will only get greater
09/25/04
champcar
Tracy not concerned about rookies Tracy not concerned about rookiesThe aerodynamic package Champ Car officials have opted to use for Saturday night's Champ Car race on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas oval  is expected to lead to close racing, but Tracy said he isn't concerned that the more inexperienced drivers on the circuit -- 9 of the 18 have competed in few if any superspeedway races -- may cause problems for the veteran drivers. "The few guys that are going to run at the front have run a bunch of superspeedway races," Tracy said. "Everybody has been pretty good the last two seasons -- there haven't been any major problems with rookie drivers.   We had a test here (last month) and they've made the package that we're going to drive fairly easy to drive. Overall, I think it's going to be a competitive race and it's going to be challenging to position yourself properly for the end of the race. The key, really, is just being there for the final shootout that's going to happen at the end."
09/25/04
f1
Villeneuve disappointed with P13 Villeneuve disappointed with P13Jacques Villeneuve is disappointed with his thirteenth place effort in China's final qualifying sessions despite his time being within half a second of his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso's.   "I am slightly disappointed with my position - although the gap to Fernando is not so big, I was really in the wrong part of the grid and the small time difference translated into a lot of positions between us," said Villeneuve,   "I wasn't completely happy with the lap in qualifying, and definitely lost several tenths in turn 13 before the main straight. But we know the car is better on used tyres - which means we will be stronger in the race than we were today."

But Renault's Director of Engineering Pat Symonds believes JV's being a bit hard on himself. "We should congratulate Jacques on a good performance," he said.   "Single-lap qualifying is a difficult thing to get right when you have had limited time in the car, but his performance was good and we hope that tomorrow, his long distance pace will be even more competitive."

Meanwhile Alonso will start the race from the outside of row 3 (P6).  "I had quite a difficult day because when we began running this morning, the car's handling was very different to yesterday and much more nervous. We had to work on solving these problems, and that meant we did not really reach the car's full potential in qualifying,   From my point of view, I did not make any mistakes on the lap - I was pushing right to the limit and it was definitely my best lap of the weekend in terms of getting everything right. I am much more confident for the race than I was before qualifying though: we have a good chance for tomorrow."

09/25/04
f1
Schumacher not sure why he spun Schumacher not sure why he spunMichael Schumacher will start the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix from the back of the grid, after making an uncharacteristic mistake in qualifying when he spun out trying to capture the pole.   "I am not really sure what happened when I spun," a slightly sheepish German admitted, "We usually have to fight some understeer in that corner and we had not changed much on the car since the morning session. At the moment, the data does not provide an answer, so we will have to look into it. I don't know if it was my fault or not but, if we don't find something on the car, then maybe it is down to what is between the fuel tank and the steering wheel!"

"It is hard to say what I can do from this position tomorrow," he said, pondering a spot between Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni, "One thing is certain, it will be a big challenge. I had to come through the field in Monza and, honestly, I was hoping it was the last time this season that I would have to do that. Now, I will just have to try again. I am not angry, just disappointed."

"As far as Michael's race is concerned, we must regroup and recover - we have an interesting challenge ahead,"Ross  Brawn said, "But, as we showed in Monza, we never give up. It should be a fun race tomorrow."

09/25/04
nascar
Daytona USA closes as hurricane approaches Daytona USA closes as hurricane approachesDue to the threat of Hurricane Jeanne, DAYTONA USA, the "Official Attraction of NASCAR," closed at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24 and will remain closed on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26. DAYTONA USA will reaccess operating hours when the storm has passed. For more information on DAYTONA USA, contact (386) 947-6800 or log on to www.DAYTONAUSA.com
09/25/04
f1
China: Michael Scumacher on top in Pre-Qualfying China: Michael Scumacher on top in Pre-Qualfying
 P. No  Driver       Team - Engine   Tires    Times      Ave/Gaps  Laps
 1.  1  M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari           B   1'33"185  210.588 Km/h   3 
 2.  6  RAIKKONEN    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'33"499    + 0'00"314   3 
 3. 11  FISICHELLA   Sauber Petronas   B   1'33"738    + 0'00"553   3 
 4.  2  BARRICHELLO  Ferrari           B   1'33"787    + 0'00"602   3 
 5. 12  MASSA        Sauber Petronas   B   1'33"816    + 0'00"631   3 
 6.  4  R.SCHUMACHER Williams BMW      M   1'33"849    + 0'00"664   3 
 7.  3  MONTOYA      Williams BMW      M   1'34"016    + 0'00"831   3 
 8. 10  SATO         BAR Honda         M   1'34"051    + 0'00"866   3 
 9. 17  PANIS        Toyota            M   1'34"153    + 0'00"968   3 
10.  9  BUTTON       BAR Honda         M   1'34"273    + 0'01"088   3 
11. 14  WEBBER       Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'34"334    + 0'01"149   3 
12.  5  COULTHARD    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'34"355    + 0'01"170   3 
13.  7  VILLENEUVE   Renault           M   1'34"425    + 0'01"240   3 
14.  8  ALONSO       Renault           M   1'34"599    + 0'01"414   3 
15. 18  HEIDFELD     Jordan Ford       B   1'34"808    + 0'01"623   3 
16. 16  ZONTA        Toyota            M   1'34"958    + 0'01"773   3 
17. 15  KLIEN        Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'35"447    + 0'02"262   3 
18. 20  BRUNI        Minardi Cosworth  B   1'36"623    + 0'03"438   3 
19. 19  GLOCK        Jordan Ford       B   1'37"143    + 0'03"958   3 
20. 21  BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth  B   1'37"510    + 0'04"325   3 
09/25/04
f1
China: Michael Schumacher tops practice 4 China: Michael Schumacher tops practice 4
 P. No  Driver       Team - Engine   Tyres    Times      Ave/Gaps  Laps
1.  1  M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari           B   1'33"448  209.995 Km/h  13 
2.  2  BARRICHELLO  Ferrari           B   1'33"796    + 0'00"348  12 
3.  6  RAIKKONEN    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'34"042    + 0'00"594  11 
4.  9  BUTTON       BAR Honda         M   1'34"233    + 0'00"785  15 
5. 11  FISICHELLA   Sauber Petronas   B   1'34"286    + 0'00"838  10 
6. 18  HEIDFELD     Jordan Ford       B   1'34"404    + 0'00"956  12 
7.  3  MONTOYA      Williams BMW      M   1'34"458    + 0'01"010  12 
8.  5  COULTHARD    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'34"470    + 0'01"022  10 
9. 16  ZONTA        Toyota            M   1'34"518    + 0'01"070  19 
10. 12  MASSA        Sauber Petronas   B   1'34"607    + 0'01"159  12 
11.  8  ALONSO       Renault           M   1'34"627    + 0'01"179  12 
12.  4  R.SCHUMACHER Williams BMW      M   1'34"769    + 0'01"321   9 
13. 10  SATO         BAR Honda         M   1'35"155    + 0'01"707  16 
14. 17  PANIS        Toyota            M   1'35"211    + 0'01"763  14 
15.  7  VILLENEUVE   Renault           M   1'35"309    + 0'01"861  12 
16. 14  WEBBER       Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'35"354    + 0'01"906  20 
17. 15  KLIEN        Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'35"869    + 0'02"421  17 
18. 20  BRUNI        Minardi Cosworth  B   1'36"748    + 0'03"300  10 
19. 19  GLOCK        Jordan Ford       B   1'37"158    + 0'03"710  14 
20. 21  BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth  B   1'38"014    + 0'04"566   9
09/25/04
f1
China: Ralf leads practice 3 China: Ralf leads practice 3
 P. No  Driver       Team - Engine   Tires    Times      Ave/Gaps  Laps
 1.  4  R.SCHUMACHER Williams BMW      M   1'34"380  207.921 Km/h   7 
 2.  3  MONTOYA      Williams BMW      M   1'34"679    + 0'00"299   7 
 3.  1  M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari           B   1'34"844    + 0'00"464   9 
 4.  2  BARRICHELLO  Ferrari           B   1'34"854    + 0'00"474   8 
 5. 11  FISICHELLA   Sauber Petronas   B   1'35"049    + 0'00"669  14 
 6.  6  RAIKKONEN    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'35"532    + 0'01"152   5 
 7. 16  ZONTA        Toyota            M   1'35"597    + 0'01"217   8 
 8.  9  BUTTON       BAR Honda         M   1'35"660    + 0'01"280   9 
 9.  5  COULTHARD    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'35"930    + 0'01"550   5 
10.  7  VILLENEUVE   Renault           M   1'35"965    + 0'01"585   9 
11. 14  WEBBER       Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'36"002    + 0'01"622   6 
12. 10  SATO         BAR Honda         M   1'36"226    + 0'01"846  13 
13.  8  ALONSO       Renault           M   1'36"243    + 0'01"863   8 
14. 12  MASSA        Sauber Petronas   B   1'36"539    + 0'02"159  18 
15. 17  PANIS        Toyota            M   1'36"623    + 0'02"243   6 
16. 15  KLIEN        Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'37"160    + 0'02"780   4 
17. 18  HEIDFELD     Jordan Ford       B   1'37"166    + 0'02"786  10 
18. 20  BRUNI        Minardi Cosworth  B   1'37"533    + 0'03"153  12 
19. 21  BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth  B   1'37"552    + 0'03"172  13 
20. 19  GLOCK        Jordan Ford       B   1'38"128    + 0'03"748  11 
09/25/04
f1
Mosley dismisses idea of 3-car teams Mosley dismisses idea of 3-car teamsFIA President Max Mosley has dismissed the notion that the big F1 teams could run three cars next year after Ford's sudden withdrawal from the sport.  "I'm not sure at all whether they can put in the third car because that will cost each of them significantly more," he was quoted as saying by China's Xinhua news agency. "Where is the money coming from?" he said in Shanghai at the Chinese Grand Prix.
09/25/04
f1
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
News in the Paddock - Saturday 1
Carmakers are 'damaging' F1 - Mosley
New circuits have 'less feeling' - Alonso
News in the Paddock - Saturday 2
F1 'failed' Ford - Paul Stoddart
'Why can't we be friends?' - Schu
News in the Paddock - Saturday 3
Swiss lift Formula One ban
Trulli 'lost motivation' - Alonso
News in the Paddock - Saturday 4
Good to be 'home' - Villeneuve
Rossi might race 'third' Ferrari

F1 to try next Flying Finn
China is 'best' ever track - Mosley
F1 opens the airwaves
'I hadn't signed Jag deal' - Davidson
Lyons could race Jordan in Japan
'It's Rubens' turn to win'
Massa's doing a good job now - JV
Montoya to test McLaren by Christmas

Team boss doubts Jaguar sale
09/25/04
champcar
Junqueira tops final Friday practice Junqueira tops final Friday practiceWith a lap of 205.097mph, Bruno Junqueira set the fastest time of tonight's under-the-lights practice. His Newman/Haas teammate Sebastien Bourdais was 2nd fastest, and tomorrow's polesitter Patrick Carpentier set the 3rd-best time. The Mexican duo of Rodolfo Lavin and Michel Jourdain Jr. completed the top-5.
Results
Pos Driver # Engine/Chassis/Tire Lap Time Mph km/h Leader Previous
1 B. Junqueira 6 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.329 205.097 330.071
2 S. Bourdais 2 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.336 205.043 329.984 0.007
3 P. Carpentier 7 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.399 204.553 329.195 0.070 0.063
4 R. Lavin 3 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.41! 3 204.445 329.022 0.084 0.014
5 M. Jourdain Jr. 9 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.435 204.275 328.748 0.106 0.022
6 M. Dominguez 55 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.451 204.151 328.548 0.122 0.016
7 R. Hunter-Reay 4 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.470 204.005 328.313 0.141 0.019
8 A. Allmendinger 10 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.479 203.935 328.201 0.150 0.009
9 J. Vasser 12 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.483 203.904 328.151 0.154 0.004
10 N. Philippe 14 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.492 203.835 328.040 0.163 0.009
11 P. Tracy 1 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.525&n! bsp; 203.582 327.633 0.196 0.033
12 O. Servia 11 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.585 203.122 326.892 0.256 0.060
13 A. Tagliani 8 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.590 203.084 326.831 0.261 0.005
14 R. Gonzalez 21 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.610 202.931 326.585 0.281 0.020
15 G. Smith 17 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.838 201.207 323.810 0.509 0.228
16 J. Wilson 34 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.972 200.208 322.203 0.643 0.134
17 M. Haberfeld 5 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone 26.977 200.171 322.143 0.648 0.005
18 G. Mazzacane 19 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 27.253 198.143 318.879 0.924 0.276 Cassio Cortes
09/24/04
irl
No problems with IRL transmission No problems with IRL transmissionWe spoke to X-Trac transmission representative Andrew Heard at Las Vegas today where the Champ Cars were practicing for Saturday night's Bridgestone 400.  He told AutoRacing1.com that they had no reported problems with their IRL transmissions at this week's IRL road course test.  He reports they replaced the spooler with a differential for the road courses, which the transmission was designed for and everything worked well. Mark C.
09/24/04
FIA WTCC
Chevy to join WTCC, Ford may follow Chevy to join WTCC, Ford may followIn a surprising announcement, Chevrolet has revealed plans to join the 2005 FIA World Touring Car Championship - the first time in history the American manufacturer will participate in a FIA-sanctioned and operated series. The WTCC is the new moniker the current European Touring Car Championship will embrace for next year, as it prepares to race outside Europe for the first time - Mexico will likely be its inaugural overseas venue. Chevy will campaign the Lacetti, a car currently sold in Europe as the Daewoo Nubira (GM has decided to axe its Korean-based Daewoo brand). After its pullout from F1 (Jaguar) and the WRC, Ford is also rumored to join the WTCC next year, with the next-generation Focus.Cassio Cortes
09/24/04
f1
JV: 'Massa doing a good job' JV: 'Massa doing a good job'Not exactly a fan favorite in Brazil, thanks to his mind-games approach to teammate Ricardo Zonta during BAR's earlier seasons, new Renault driver Jacques Villeneuve has apparently changed his policies towards Brazilian teammates. Signed to run next year alongside Felipe Massa at Sauber, the Canadian - who criticized Massa during the Brazilian's turbulent rookie season in 2001 - has kinder words for Felipe this time around: "He's doing a good job now," says Villeneuve. "He's not causing trouble to anybody, and looks much more experienced [this season]." Cassio Cortes
09/24/04
f1
Villeneuve signs TAG Heuer deal Villeneuve signs TAG Heuer dealJacques Villeneuve's recent return to the F1 paddock is already generating profits - for himself. The 1997 World Champion has signed an endorsement deal with Swiss sportwatch manufacturer TAG Heuer, and will carry the company's logo on his overalls for this season's three remaining races (China, Japan and Brazil). The Canadian joins a team of TAG spokesmen which include fellow drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard and golf megastar Tiger Woods. Cassio Cortes
09/24/04
alms
ALMS signs multi-year deal with CBS and SPEED ALMS signs multi-year deal with CBS and SPEED The American Le Mans Series, SPEED Channel and CBS Sports have announced renewed multi-year agreements that will see the continued appearance of the professional sports car racing series on both television outlets for years to come.  The announcement at the annual American Le Mans Series press conference on the day before the running of Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta was made by Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS, as well as Rob Correa, Senior Vice-President of Programming for CBS Sports and Jim Liberatore, President of SPEED Channel.

The new arrangements will continue the American Le Mans Series' mix of network and cable television coverage that has been an important element in the growth and development of the series since its inception in 1999. The 10-race 2005 season will see three appearances on network TV with CBS Sports and seven on cable with SPEED Channel.  "This new agreement enables us to continue offering the best overall television package in road racing," said Atherton. "Being able to continue with SPEED Channel and CBS Sports is what makes it all possible. We could not be happier and I am sure our manufacturers, sponsors, entrants and fans will agree.

"It is fitting that we are announcing a renewed agreement with SPEED Channel on the eve of SPEED's coverage of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta," said Atherton. "Our relationship with SPEED goes all the way back to the very first running of the Petit Le Mans in 1998, and next year will be the sixth season of American Le Mans Series action on SPEED.  "SPEED has been a terrific partner and we look forward to even more American Le Mans Series races appearing on SPEED in 2005," he said. SPEED Channel is in 63.5 million US homes and another 4.5 million in Canada, and is one of the fastest growing cable networks in North America.

"SPEED Channel's road racing viewers are extremely passionate," said Liberatore. "Our continued relationship with the American Le Mans Series and signature events like the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans renews SPEED's commitment to bring those viewers the best coverage from this competitive series."  "We look forward to the opportunity to continue the outstanding level of production that SPEED and our production partners have delivered to the ALMS," said Rick Miner, SPEED Channel's Sr. VP Programming/Production and Executive Producer. "We look forward to raising that bar even higher in the future."

"The 2005 season will be our fourth year with CBS Sports and it is an outstanding partnership," said Atherton. "Our network television ratings have seen a 40 percent increase in 2004. We attribute much of the viewership growth to the outstanding support and close working relationship the ALMS with CBS. Additionally, CBS' interest in our series in terms of the on-air product as well as promotion for it continues to help grow our events and national broadcast presence."   "We are very pleased to be continuing our relationship with the American Le Mans Series into its fourth season," said Correa. "The races make for very good television and our viewers are responding positively. We look forward to more great seasons of racing."

Atherton indicated that the American Le Mans Series and CBS Sports are continuing to discuss the expansion of ALMS telecasts that appear on the network.  The 2005 American Le Mans Series season begins with the 13-hour 'live' SPEED Channel telecast of North America's oldest and most prestigious sports car race, the 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 19.

09/24/04
champcar
Lavin paces first Vegas practice Lavin paces first Vegas practiceMexican Rodolfo Lavin proved again he's raised his game this season by scoring the fastest time of the first practice session for the Bridgestone 400 presented by Corona at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Points leader Sebastien Bourdais was 2nd, with Las Vegas resident Jimmy Vasser in 3rd. The picture for qualifying could change quite a bit though, since the session's best times were attained by getting a tow from the car ahead, an impossibility in the one-at-a-time oval-track qualifying format.
Results
Pos Driver # Engine/Chassis/Tire Lap Time Mph km/h Leader Previous
1 R. Lavin 3 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.254 205.683 331.014
2 S. Bourdais 2 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.283 205.456 330.649 0.029
3 J. Vasser 12 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.361 204.848 329.670 0.107 0.078
4 P. Carpentier 7 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.436 204.267 328.735 0.182 0.075
5 B. Junqueira 6 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.438 204.251 328.709 0.184 0.002
6 A. Allmendinger 10 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.464 204.051 328.387 0.210 0.026
7 R. Hunter-Reay 4 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.475 203.966 328.251 0.221 0.011
8 M. Jourdain Jr. 9 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.500 203.774 327.942 0.246 0.025
9 R. Gonzalez 21 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.609 202.939 326.598 0.355 0.109
10 A. Tagliani 8 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.617 202.878 326.500 0.363 0.008
11 P. Tracy 1 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.632 202.764 326.316 0.378 0.015
12 N. Philippe 14 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.659 202.558 325.985 0.405 0.027
13 M. Dominguez 55 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.698 202.262 325.508 0.444 0.039
14 ! ; J. Wilson 34 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.835 201.230 323.847 0.581 0.137
15 G. Smith 17 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 26.840 201.192 323.786 0.586 0.005
16 G. Mazzacane 19 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone 27.172 198.734 319.831 0.918 0.332
17 M. Haberfeld 5 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone 28.653 188.462 303.299 2.399 1.481
09/24/04
champcar
Vegas Fan Forum panel set Vegas Fan Forum panel setThe Champ Car Fan Forum Panel for Las Vegas Saturday is Paul Tracy, Rodolfo Lavin, Mario Haberfeld, Champ Car Executive VP of Operations John Lopes and the Manager of Las Vegas Motor Speedway Chris Powell (tentative).
09/24/04
champcar
New sponsor for Guy Smith New sponsor for Guy SmithUPDATE We have added a photo of the Smith car with its new for this race sponsor, Microchip. 09/24/04 Guy Smith's car is sporting Microchip as a primary sponsor for this weekend's Champ Car race in Las Vegas. The team hopes they will eventually become a fulltime sponsor.
09/24/04
grandam
Montermini to drive for Doran-Lista at The Glen Montermini to drive for Doran-Lista at The GlenDoran-Lista Racing, which recorded a very popular victory in the Sahlen's 200 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. on Aug. 13, announced its drivers' line-up today for the remaining three Grand American Rolex series races of 2004.Team owner Kevin Doran said former Formula 1 driver Andrea Montermini will join lead driver Didier Theys behind the wheel of the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Oct. 1-3 and at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 8-10. Another ex-F1 driver, Jan Magnussen, is scheduled to co-drive with Theys at the season finale at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Oct. 28-31.  Magnussen and Theys were the drivers for the team's recent victory at the Glen.Montermini, a 40-year-old Italian from Modena, Italy and Monte Carlo, Monaco, had 28 Formula 1 starts from 1994 through 1996.  His best F1 finish was an eighth in Germany in 1994.  He has driven in the CART FedEx champ car series, and he also has successful results at Le Mans and the Rolex 24.
09/24/04
champcar
Champ Car to announce "Official Lubricant" Champ Car to announce "Official Lubricant"In a few short minutes Champ Car will announce a multi-year deal with Mexican company Roshfrans to be the "Official Lubricant of Champ Car."   The deal is said to be seven figures and includes not only a large sum of money for Champ Car but Roshfrans will also supply free lubricants to all the teams and Champ Car vehicles. We await the official announcement.   There will be no title sponsorship announcement this weekend but it is still very much alive and well we are told.  Mark C.
09/24/04
alms
ALMS announces 2005 schedule ALMS announces 2005 scheduleThe American Le Mans Series will run an expanded 10-race schedule of events in its sixth season in 2005, series officials have announced. The new schedule includes the revival of a popular early-season sports car racing classic and the placement of three races prior to the series’ traditional schedule break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The schedule will include return engagements at all nine venues that hosted the series in 2004, encompassing most of North America’s classic permanent road racing facilities. In addition, a 10th race has been added to the schedule, reviving an April event at Road Atlanta that for many years was an important part of sports car racing’s annual calendar. After opening with the 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, North America’s oldest and most prestigious sports car race, Mar. 17-19, the series will run the added Road Atlanta event the weekend of April 15-17, then visit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, May 20-22.

The first three races will be run before the series breaks to allow teams to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, the world’s most famous endurance race and the event upon which the ALMS is based. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, moved the traditional Le Mans test date from late April to the first weekend in June, two weeks before the weekend of the race, to allow the ALMS to hold additional events early in the season. The change of the 24 Hours of Le Mans schedule also allowed the ALMS to space its events more evenly for the 2005 schedule with only one instance of races being run on consecutive weekends.

Following the running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ALMS will return to action two weeks later with a July 1-4 event at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., before crossing the USA for a July 15-17 event at California’s Infineon Raceway. The series will remain on the West Coast but take a week off before running at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway July 29-31. After a two-weekend break, the series will race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Aug. 19-21 and then race again the next weekend with an Aug. 26-28 event at Canada’s Mosport International Raceway. The ALMS will return to Road Atlanta for the eighth annual Chevy presents Petit Le Mans Sept. 29-Oct. 1, with the season coming to a close the weekend of Oct. 14-16 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

All 10 races will be televised by either CBS Sports or the SPEED Channel. “We feel that the 2005 American Le Mans Series schedule will be popular with fans and competitors,” said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS. “We owe a great deal of thanks to Mr. Jean-Claude Plassart, the new President of the ACO, and his fine staff for reducing the schedule for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” he said. “This has permitted us to assemble a schedule that includes three events early in the season and some breathing room for race teams and the series through the summer. “We also appreciate the operators of the nine racing facilities hosting our events next season,” said Atherton. “We are working with some of the finest event promoters in motorsports and we look forward to another great American Le Mans Series season in 2005.”
The 2005 American Le Mans Series Schedule
Mar. 17-19 – 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring (FL) International Raceway, (3.7 mile), 12 hours (SPEED Channel).
Apr. 15-17 – Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA, (2.54 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (CBS)
May 20-22 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH, (2.225 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (CBS).
July 1-4 – Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT (1.54 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).
July 15-17 – Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA (2.53 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (CBS).
July 29-31 – Portland (OR) International Raceway, (1.944 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).
Aug. 19-21 – Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI (4.048 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).
Aug. 26-28 – Mosport International Raceway, Bowmanville, ON, Canada (2.459 mile), 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).
Sept. 29-Oct. 1 – Chevy presents Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA (2.54 mile), 1,000 miles or 10 hours (SPEED Channel).
Oct. 14-16 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA (2.238 mile), 4 hours.
09/24/04
f1
Briatore won't rescue privateers Briatore won't rescue privateersRenault F1 boss Flavio Briatore says he has no intention of reviving the Supertec operation to provide customer engines for Jordan and Minardi, when Ford pulls out of F1 next season. Headed by Briatore, Supertec rebuilt year-old Renault engines for customer teams after the French manufacturer dropped its F1 program at the end of 1997. Briatore claims "the timing is different now," since "Renault gave a year's notice."[back then]. "I'm also busier right now," he justifies. "This [Ford] situation is very difficult."
09/24/04
f1
Mosley: 'F1 must stop wasting money' Mosley: 'F1 must stop wasting money'FIA president Max Mosley believes Bernie Ecclestone's proposal of having F1's top teams run three cars next year to ensure full grids is but a temporary solution. Cutting costs is the way to F1's long-term survival, Mosley believes: "The difficulty is that the costs are far too high," he thinks, "and unless something is done about this we are bound to lose teams because they cannot get an income great enough to cover their costs. It's that simple." Mosley feels any move to push top teams into running three cars could spell disaster for the sport, since that option would mean even higher costs. "The manufacturers themselves [must] realize they are putting too much money in, spending money in the wrong ways, encouraging the other teams to do that and actually destroying the business," he continues. "It's like giving too much money to a child: it seems nice at the time, but it can do damage."
09/24/04
f1
Mosley sees full grid in 2005 Mosley sees full grid in 2005(GMM - Shanghai) Max Mosley has moved to allay fears that Formula One could lose up to three teams, or six cars and drivers, in the wake of Ford's withdrawal in 2005.

The FIA president said he thinks someone will buy Jaguar, while Cosworth-powered independent teams Jordan and Minardi will 'find a solution' and race on, as ever.

''I'm not saying it will happen,'' said the 64-year-old in China, ''but I think it is most likely and then in 2006 we might see one and maybe two new teams.''

Mosley also dismissed F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's excitement about big teams running three cars next season by speculating that it would be cheaper if a carmaker simply supplied an engine to the grid's stragglers.

He vowed to commission a study into Formula One, with the ultimate aim to devise a new set of regulations for 2008, the first year of a new Concorde Agreement.

Max said the costs in '08 will be 'lower.'

He concluded: ''The manufacturers may want to run their own series, and we will sanction it.  But bankruptcy will follow.  In Formula One, we will halve the costs.''

09/24/04
f1
News in the Paddock - China News in the Paddock - China(GMM - Shanghai) BAR announced a long-term 'web partnership' with SOHU.com, the Chinese portal which also did a deal with 'Formula One Administration' earlier this week.  SOHU will host a Chinese version of BAR's website.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has promised an incentive to top teams who may elect to race a third car next season.  The 73-year-old said: ''I think (the third car) should get points.  Why not?  It would be hard to explain, otherwise.  As long as there are not three Ferraris on the podium.''

Eddie Jordan, compelled to start a frantic search for a new engine supplier, has fired an early parting shot at Ford for not investing enough in the 2004 powerplant.  ''I don't want to get into an argument,'' said the Irishman, ''but we had an agreement.''

09/24/04
f1
Sato to get engine penalty Sato to get engine penalty(GMM - Shanghai) Takuma Sato's chances of a good result in the first ever Chinese GP suffered a major blow on Friday when the Honda V10 in his BAR racer failed.  At turn 16, in the afternoon session, the Japanese's day ended in a plume of white smoke.  Because the team will have to change the engine, under the single-unit rule, Sato will be demoted ten places from wherever he qualifies for the race on Sunday.
09/24/04
f1
Ferrari struggling to find balance in China Ferrari struggling to find balance in ChinaFerrari  is struggling to find the right balance to make the car competitive for Sunday's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix.  World champion Michael Schumacher and his teammate Rubens Barrichello finished eighth and fifth respectively after the first two  free practice sessions in Shanghai Friday.

"Obviously there is still much work to be done," said Ferrari chief Jean Todt. "However I am confident that, after analysing the data we acquired, we will know how to find the right solutions in order to be competitive for the rest of the weekend."

"We have not yet found a good balance for the cars and we have a bit too much understeer," said technical director Ross Brawn. "So we have work to do, even though we made some improvements in between the two sessions. But we are not where we meant to be. The track is changing quite a lot at the moment, which does not help as it means we are trying to hit a moving target."

Nevertheless, Schumacher likes what he sees at Shanghai and predicts an interesting race Sunday. "It's very challenging as you can make a lot of mistakes but at the same time there are opportunities to make up a lot of time," he said of the circuit. "We still have to adapt our car to the demands of the track and it is not yet perfect."

09/24/04
champcar
 irl
Bourdais against IRL-style Champ Car race Bourdais against IRL-style Champ Car raceOver the years we have seen a lot of IRL drivers injured as a result of wheel-to-wheel contact during a race because the 100% throttle, no-talent required cars race in packs.  Apparently Champ Car points leader Sebastien Bourdais is not enamored by the prospect of 'pack racing' at over 200mph either.  This Las Vegas Review-Journal article says, Sebastien Bourdais sounds as if he would rather be a spectator than a driver Saturday night during the inaugural Bridgestone 400 Champ Car World Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Running flat out at a little more than 200 mph on the 1.5-mile oval apparently isn't enough of a challenge for the series points leader.

Maybe because he was born in Le Mans, France, where a race isn't a race unless the track has hills, corkscrew twists and more than four turns to maneuver. It's not the high speeds he's leery of, but the lack of speed.  He has tempered prospects for his sixth win of the year Saturday because Champ Car officials have mandated the use of aerodynamic rear wings to slow the 18 cars considerably from their 240-mph potential on a banked oval like the Las Vegas track.

When teams tested at the speedway last month, the fastest runs were 203 mph, about 6 mph slower than it took to win the pole for the last Indy Racing League event at the track in 2000. The speed reductions were made for safety reasons and to help produce closer racing, series officials have said. [Editor's Note:  Safety reasons?  One touch of wheels caused by this 'pack racing' mentality and it's hard into the outside wall.  Keep the ambulance engine warmed up].  "It will be a great show," said Bourdais, who has won a series-leading seven poles. "The racing will be pretty impressive, but as a driver, (success) doesn't rely on me. It's all about the team. I don't really consider this one as a race. It will be all about the (my car's) reliability and the team effort getting it ready.   If they did a good job with the wind tunnel (testing), then we're going to be fast; if they screwed up, we won't."

"You can't back off (the throttle)," he said of oval racing. "If you back off, you'll die because you lose so many positions. It's pretty intense competition.  If you lose the leading pack, you're never going to catch it. The only thing we know is, (this race) is going to be flat out, that's for sure. I'll do my best and try to stay out of trouble."

09/24/04
champcar
Carpentier thinks he can rule the day at LVMS Carpentier thinks he can rule the day at LVMSThis Las Vegas Sun article says (excerpts) - As is the case with the majority of the drivers in the Champ Car World Series, Patrick Carpentier comes from a road-racing background and has scored four of his five career victories in the series on road courses.  Nevertheless, Carpentier said his confidence is at an all-time high as he prepares for Saturday night's Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona on the 1.5-mile oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Carpentier said of the 166-lap event under the lights at his hometown track. "We have a lot of downforce on the cars so we're going to be running close together for (166 laps) and it's going to be a very exciting race. For the fans, it's going to be a great show."  But it also figures to be a challenging one. Half of the drivers in Saturday's 18-car field have little or no Champ Car experience on a superspeedway.

"It's a little bit of a concern -- especially if we know we're going to run that close from one another," Carpentier said. "With the downforce we have, it'll be a little bit easier and it's going to be harder at the same time because everybody's going to be together and we're really going to have to watch what we're doing."

"I think, for us, it's a good track and we always seem to have a good car on the ovals," Carpentier said of his Forsythe Championship Racing team. "(Our history on ovals) has been great, so that's why I'm looking forward to this one -- especially being a race where we'll have a lot of friends coming in."

Carpentier also is riding a wave of momentum coming into Saturday night's race. In the past two races, he has finished second at Montreal and won in his most recent outing, two weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.   But Carpentier was quick to point out that his recent success on a temporary street circuit (Montreal) and a permanent road course (Laguna Seca) doesn't necessarily translate to success on a superspeedway.  "They're two different things completely," he said. "It's a separate thing but the one thing you can carry over is momentum and the confidence knowing the team and everybody is happy and that carries over to any kind of track. That is why I am really confident right now."

This could be Carpentier's final season in the Champ Car World Series. His contract with Forsythe Championship Racing expires at the end of this season and Carpentier said the only offers he has to drive next season have come from teams in the rival Indy Racing League.  Carpentier would not disclose which IRL teams are bidding for his services, but he has said that he wants to drive for a team where he would be the No. 1 driver. The lure of racing in the Indianapolis 500 -- which he never has done -- also makes moving to the IRL appealing.   "I think the Champ Cars are great to drive, but I've never done the Indy 500 and I'd like to take a shot at it someday," he said. "But we'll see how things play out over the next couple of weeks and then make a decision."

09/24/04
champcar
Champ Car cancels Seoul race Champ Car cancels Seoul raceChamp Car will not compete in South Korea this year as previously scheduled, leaving three races remaining in the 2004 Champ Car season. The season will end with the November 7 event in Mexico City.  `There were environmental issues we could not resolve,'' Champ Car co-owner Paul Gentilozzi said Thursday. ``We told our fans and our teams that we weren't going to be able to get there.''   The race, scheduled for Oct. 17, would have been the series' first race in Seoul, South Korea, and given Champ Car 15 events for the year.  Fans lost a lot of money on travel plans because Champ Car took so long to announce this cancellation (4 weeks before event).  Henceforth, they will probably not have nice things to say about Champ Car.
09/24/04
f1
Notes from Day 1 in Shanghai Notes from Day 1 in ShanghaiGrandstands were about 15% full and fairly difficult to get to the circuit - fighting traffic it took about 2 hours by private car from downtown. Lots of 3-day tickets available both from scalpers and the track ticket office. No lines at the ticket office because 2500 rmb ($300) tickets were selling for 300 rmb ($35) from the hundreds of scalpers.........The facility is awesome. The press center is 3-4 times larger than any other we have ever seen........The FOM offices have a 360 degrees balcony that can see everything. In the paddock each team has at least one large private bungalow surrounded by water in landscaped gardens with patio tables for outside eating - all a very short walk from their garage..........The pit entrance seemed to confuse people as many drivers hesitated as they entered the pit lane as it seems there are two roads. One Carrera Cup driver stopped completely, then made the wrong choice and drove along the outside of the guard rail down a narrow dusty road to a dead end.........Villeneuve was all smiles talking to reporters and friends in the paddock.
09/24/04
NASCAR
Annual Hot Rods and Reels Fishing Tournament set for Homestead Annual Hot Rods and Reels Fishing Tournament set for HomesteadRacing fans and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers and celebrities participating in the 3rd Annual Hot Rods & Reels™ charity fishing tournament will fish for trophy bass and a chance to win $1 million. The fundraiser for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation to Cure Paralysis and the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, Speediatrics, at Homestead Hospital will be held on Friday, November 19th at Homestead-Miami Speedway's infield lake as part of the Ford Championship Weekend. Under the rules of this year's tournament, the angler successfully landing the heaviest largemouth bass or peacock bass will then select from one of 250 envelopes, one of which containing the $1 million grand prize. An official weigh-in determining the winning fish will immediately precede the prize drawing. Tournament organizers will provide two spots on each fishing boat available for corporate or private purchase, with participants having the opportunity to fish with the likes of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champions Tony Stewart, Terry Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, plus other leading NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers. The tournament also features fishing opportunities with other racing celebrities including legendary team owner Richard Childress, and former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champs turned broadcasters Darrell Waltrip and Benny Parsons, among others. The tournament will take place on the Speedway's 18-acre infield lake, which is 60 feet deep and stocked with trophy-size peacock bass and largemouth bass. Because of its unique location and outstanding fishing, the lake has been featured on ESPN's "Great Outdoors" and the Miami Herald. "The Hot Rods & Reels™ fishing tournament merges two sports that seem to go hand-in-hand: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing and bass fishing during one of the biggest weekend's in all of motorsports: Ford Championship Weekend," said Curtis Gray, President, Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We encourage race fans and anglers alike to participate in this unique event benefiting two outstanding charities: the Darrell Gwynn Foundation and Speediatrics." This year's tournament features a 7:00 a.m. start, allowing ample fishing time prior to the scheduled start of NEXTEL Cup Series practice at 10:00 a.m. Each driver/celebrity will be teamed with two guest anglers in their own bass boat featuring an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recognized guide. NASCAR drivers and celebrities currently scheduled for the 2004 Hot Rods & Reels™ tournament include: Joe Nemechek, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Jimmy Spencer, Kasey Kahne, Scott Riggs, Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte, Jeremy Mayfield, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Craven, Elliott Sadler, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Green, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Brendan Gaughan, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton, Kenny Wallace, Buddy Baker, Donnie Allison, Benny Parsons, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond, Mike Wallace, Bill Elliot, Richard Childress, Ward Burton, Larry McReynolds. Homestead-Miami Speedway
09/24/04
NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to be featured on 60 Minutes Dale Earnhardt Jr. to be featured on 60 MinutesDale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet, will be featured on the season premiere of the weekday edition of 60 Minutes. The episode begins Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern on CBS-TV. Earnhardt Jr. is the first NASCAR driver to be featured on the prestigious news magazine show in nearly 20 years. Dale Jr. was interviewed by legendary correspondent Mike Wallace in Daytona (where he drove the 86-year-old reporter for a few brisk laps around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in a 2005 Corvette C6). Wallace also interviewed Dale Jr., the current point leader in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings, at his home and office near Mooresville, NC. The segment in Mooresville is the first in-depth interview with Earnhardt Jr. after his crash in a sports car practice session in July. This marks the fourth appearance on CBS-TV for the 29-year-old Earnhardt in 2004. He also appeared on the CBS sitcom "Yes, Dear," as well as "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn." Anheuser-Busch / Dale Earnhardt Jr. Publicity Let's just hope there aren't any forgeries on this edition of 60 Minutes... Doug B
09/24/04
Industry News
Kansas Speedway to add seats Kansas Speedway to add seatsKansas Speedway will add 1,600 seats by the 2005 season, bringing its grandstand capacity to nearly 82,000.  The new seats will be added at the end of the frontstretch of the 1 1/2-mile tri-oval.  "It's thrilling to see Kansas Speedway grow," track president Jeff Boerger said in a statement. "Ticket demand has been amazing, and we expect that it will continue."  This will be the second expansion at the speedway since it opened in 2001. A 1,500-seat expansion in 2003 brought the track's listed capacity to 80,187.
09/24/04
f1
Medical journal slams Chinese GP Medical journal slams Chinese GPOne of the world's leading medical journals has blasted China's first-ever Grand Prix, due to take place in Shanghai on Sunday, for bringing Formula One and Big Tobacco together in "a race to the death."   The editorial, published in Saturday's issue of The Lancet, describes the event as a victory for tobacco giants, who are exploiting their Grand Prix sponsorship to promote their brands in Asia.  "China is by far the world's largest cigarette market, with some 350 million smokers accounting for one in three cigarettes smoked globally," the editorial says. "The very staging of this event constitutes a triumph for the tobacco companies, reflecting both the enormity of the commercial opportunity presented by China and the strategic value of the sport."
09/24/04
f1
China: Davidson fastest in opening practice China: Davidson fastest in opening practiceAnthony Davidson set the pace in the opening practice session of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend. The British BAR Honda third driver recorded a best lap of 1:35.369s to beat Ralf Schumacher by less than a tenth of a second.   Michael Schumacher could do no better than 15th.  The track was quite dirty for this session, and the times slow.
P. No  Driver       Team - Engine   Tires    Times      Ave/Gaps  Laps
 1. 35  DAVIDSON     BAR Honda         M   1'35"369  205.765 Km/h  22 
 2.  4  R.SCHUMACHER Williams BMW      M   1'35"455    + 0'00"086  13 
 3.  3  MONTOYA      Williams BMW      M   1'35"761    + 0'00"392  13 
 4. 12  MASSA        Sauber Petronas   B   1'36"086    + 0'00"717  12 
 5. 38  BRISCOE      Toyota            M   1'36"394    + 0'01"025  21 
 6.  9  BUTTON       BAR Honda         M   1'36"475    + 0'01"106  11 
 7.  2  BARRICHELLO  Ferrari           B   1'36"660    + 0'01"291  14 
 8.  8  ALONSO       Renault           M   1'36"884    + 0'01"515  15 
 9. 11  FISICHELLA   Sauber Petronas   B   1'36"944    + 0'01"575   9 
10. 16  ZONTA        Toyota            M   1'36"970    + 0'01"601  16 
11.  6  RAIKKONEN    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'37"102    + 0'01"733   5 
12. 37  WIRDHEIM     Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'37"142    + 0'01"773  19 
13. 17  PANIS        Toyota            M   1'37"191    + 0'01"822  14 
14.  7  VILLENEUVE   Renault           M   1'37"240    + 0'01"871  20 
15.  1  M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari           B   1'37"300    + 0'01"931  11 
16. 10  SATO         BAR Honda         M   1'37"438    + 0'02"069   9 
17. 19  GLOCK        Jordan Ford       B   1'37"587    + 0'02"218  15 
18.  5  COULTHARD    McLaren Mercedes  M   1'37"976    + 0'02"607   5 
19. 18  HEIDFELD     Jordan Ford       B   1'38"132    + 0'02"763  14 
20. 15  KLIEN        Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'38"505    + 0'03"136  15 
21. 14  WEBBER       Jaguar Cosworth   M   1'38"761    + 0'03"392  11 
22. 20  BRUNI        Minardi Cosworth  B   1'38"805    + 0'03"436  13 
23. 39  DOORNBOS     Jordan Ford       B   1'39"244    + 0'03"875  23 
24. 40  LEINDERS     Minardi Cosworth  B   1'39"530    + 0'04"161  15 
25. 21  BAUMGARTNER  Minardi Cosworth  B   1'42"795    + 0'07"426  12 
09/24/04
f1
nascar
champcar
Ford withdrawal from F1 has no effect on USA Ford withdrawal from F1 has no effect on USAThis Detroit Free Press article says, The move [from F1] does not have any effect on Ford's North American motorsports operations, such as NASCAR, NHRA drag racing and the Champ Car World Series, said Ford Racing spokesman Kevin Kennedy.
09/24/04
f1
Latest F1 News in Brief Latest F1 News in Brief
China is lesson for Europe - Briatore
'Mellow' Jacques
Minardi will survive - Paul Stoddart
Jag won't sell to a 'chancer' - Purnell
F1 makes 'mockery' of health policy

'No-one speaks English' in China - Montoya
Ford bombshell 'blew me away' - Jordan
Sauber on mission to land sponsor
Briatore attacks F1 journalists
F1 hopeful beats off the girls
Saying goodbye will be hard - Ralf
Cosworth to double engine price tag
Villeneuve to 'motivate' Alonso - Briatore
Team support for 20-race calendar
Briatore to the rescue?  No.
Davidson had signed Jaguar deal
'I'm to blame' for team woe - Jordan

Bernie gives TV fans 2005 preview  More to follow.....
09/24/04
champcar
Champ Car drawing in Vegas Champ Car drawing in VegasA reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, I just wanted to share with you that Champ Car is having a drawing with great prizes, including passes  to the invitation only drivers VIP party at the House of Blues after the race on Saturday. Rod, Orlando, FL.
09/23/04
champcar
VERY Unprofessional VERY UnprofessionalA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Well, after all the "positive momentum" that Champ Car had built up for themselves recently, the "unannouncements" at Las Vegas today are an excellent example of how to reverse all the positive publicity that they had going for themselves. This is a real letdown once more and definitely "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" again! (NO 2005 Schedule and NO network TV contract announcement either!). I just can't wait for their "big" sponsorship announcement tomorrow......NOT! Buddy Queen, Florida Dear Buddy, Yes, they did indeed snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again, While the IRL announced their schedule well over a month ago and then added to it with the St. Pete race, Champ Car missed out on a golden opportunity with their failure to release a schedule and TV deal in a timely manner at the last USA race of the year with all the media gathered. There won't be many USA media at the Australia race to cover any announcement and a token few in Mexico City, both of which are too late for a meaningful schedule announcement anyway. We do believe, however, that a sponsorship announcement may still be in the works in Vegas. Mark C.
09/23/04
nascar
Sarah Fisher to make NASCAR debut at Phoenix Sarah Fisher to make NASCAR debut at PhoenixOpen-wheel star Sarah Fisher has been named to drive for Bill McAnally Racing in the Subway 150 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Oct. 3. Fisher - who has raced four seasons in the IRL IndyCar Series - will be making her NASCAR debut, driving the #20 NASCAR Select by NAPA Filters Chevrolet. "We are excited to have Sarah be a part of the team at Phoenix," said BMR President Bill McAnally. "This is a great opportunity for BMR to work with a talented young driver from the open-wheel ranks. She should provide an interesting perspective and some valuable input into our program." Fisher, who progressed through the sprint car and midget car ranks to the Indy Racing League, was voted the IRL's Most Popular Driver the past three seasons. The 23-year-old resident of Indianapolis, Ind., scored a career-best runner-up finish in the IRL IndyCar Series at Homestead-Miami in 2001 and won the pole at Kentucky in 2002. In 2000, she became only the third woman in history to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. "I'm really excited to be making my NASCAR debut," Fisher said. "It's a great opportunity. I've been working hard to prepare for this." Fisher will join BMR at Phoenix as a teammate to Austin Cameron, who is currently second in the championship standings. The event is the 10th in a 13-race schedule for the series this year. McAnally is a veteran car owner in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series with three consecutive series championships (1999, 2000 and 2001) to his credit. The West Series and the Busch North Series comprise the Grand National Division. Graduates of the West Series include 1998 series champion Kevin Harvick and Brendan Gaughan, who won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001. The NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend at PIR features the JC's Glass 100 NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Series race and the Subyway 150 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race. Tickets for the NASCAR DoubleHeader Weekend at PIR on October 2-3, can be purchased by phone 602-252-2227 or 1-866-408-7223. They can also be purchased by logging on the [urlwebsite]http://www.phoenixraceway.com[/url]. PIR PR
09/23/04
nascar
Two Crew Chiefs fined Two Crew Chiefs finedNASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chief #97-Jimmy Fennig was fined $1,000 for a fuel cell spacer infraction that occurred at last weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at New Hampshire International Speedway and crew chief #17-Robbie Reiser received the identical fine for the same infraction at the Sept. 11 event held at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR officials announced today. NASCAR PR
09/23/04
alms
Close speeds at top of ALMS field Close speeds at top of ALMS fieldQualifying will be held Friday for the American Le Mans Series Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and if Thursday's first official day of practice is any indication, the battle for the overall pole position will be a close one. The top four Prototype cars in the field were separated by less than a second in the Thursday afternoon session, the second of three one-hour practices for the ALMS cars on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta circuit. Chevy presents Petit Le Mans is a 1,000-mile endurance race, one of the most prestigious sports car races in the world. In the Thursday afternoon practice, leading the way were the two Audi R8 entries of ADT Champion Racing, with the car of new ALMS LMP1 champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner fastest at 1:13.417. The second Champion entry of Johnny Herbert and Pierre Kaffer turned a lap of 1:13.704. Third among the top Prototype class was the Dyson Racing Lola B01/60-AER of James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace at 1:14.048, followed by the Creation Autosportif DBA-Zytek of Jamie Campbell-Walter and Nicolas Minassian at 1:14.284. The LMP2 class was led by the Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40-Judd of Clint Field, Milka Duno and Robin Liddell at 1:17.285, followed by the Miracle Motorsports Courage C65-AER of Ian James, James Gue and John Macaluso at 1:21.261. The Team Bucknum Racing/Miracle Motorsports Lola B2K/40-AER of Jeff Bucknum, Chris McMurry and Bryan Willman was third at 1:22.134. The two Chevrolet Corvette C5-R entries of Corvette Racing were 1-2 in the GTS class Thursday afternoon, with the #4 car of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen first at 1:18.360. The #3 car of Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Max Papis was second at 1:19.187. Third in class was the Carsport America Dodge Viper GTS-R of Tom Weickardt, Jean-Philippe Belloc and Fabio Babini at 1:20.397. The two Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR machines were 1-2 in the GT class. The #23 entry of Timo Bernhard, Jorg Bergmeister and Sascha Maassen was first at 1:23.126, followed by the #24 car of Romain Dumas, March Lieb and Wolf Henzler at 1:23.828. Third in the GT class, in its ALMS debut, is the Cirtek Motorsports Ferrari 360 Modena GTC of Andrea Montermini, Frank Mountain and Rob Wilson at 1:23.955.
09/23/04
champcar
Drivers predict flat-out close racing in Vegas Drivers predict flat-out close racing in VegasThe drivers say this weekend's Champ Car race will look more like a NASCAR-type superspeedway contest with close, all-out racing in the series' inaugural run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "It's certainly going to be very tight. If you lose the leading pack, you're never going to catch it," series points leader Sebastien Bourdais said Thursday. "The only thing we know is that it's going to be flat out, that's for sure." Because the 750-horsepower, open wheel Champ Cars are capable of speeds up to 240 mph on the banked, 1.5-mile Las Vegas oval, series officials ordered aerodynamic changes that will likely keep qualifying speeds in the 200-205 mph range Friday. "I think hundredths, maybe even thousandths of a second are going to separate the cars in qualifying," Las Vegas native Jimmy Vasser said. Despite his 32 years in racing, Saturday will mark Vasser's first outing on his home track. The Champ Cars are part of a Saturday night doubleheader with NASCAR's Craftsman Truck series in an unusual pairing of the two racing circuits. While oval tracks are home to the trucks, the Champ Cars are more accustomed to street and road courses. This is only the second oval of the year for the series and its first superspeedway since Lausitz, Germany, last year. "It could bring a whole new group of fans to Champ Car racing," said Paul Gentilozzi, a co-owner of the revived series formerly known as CART. "They'll see the bumping and banging of the trucks, then the high speed of the Champ Cars." While this is the first time the Champ Cars have tested the Las Vegas track, CART ran two races in Las Vegas in 1983 and 1984, on a 1.125-mile temporary course set up in the Caesars Palace parking lot for the Strip casino's one-time venture into Formula One racing. The competing open wheel Indy Racing League last ran on the speedway in 2000. In addition to the aerodynamic restrictions, Champ Car is holding drivers to a maximum of 37 laps between pit stops to encourage flat-out racing rather than fuel conservation, and there's no push-to-pass button, which allows drivers a total of 60 seconds per race of extra boost. Alex Tagliani, another Las Vegas driver making his first start at his hometown track, said the restrictions make sense. "Start conservative, then adjust in years to come," he said. "It will make for a better, safer show." Instead of the typical Champ Car strategy of slipping under another car on a turn, he said the drivers will take a few pages from the NASCAR textbook by drafting and running different lines on the track - sometimes two or three abreast. "It's just going to be 'Go as fast as you can racing,"' Bourdais said. "Passing will be a challenge, but I think people are going to show up with solutions ... that could be interesting." AP Story
09/23/04
StarMazda
McDowell takes 4th pole at Road Atlanta McDowell takes 4th pole at Road AtlantaMichael McDowell, of Phoenix, Arizona, has continued his run of success, capturing the pole position, his fourth of the season, for Round Eight of the Star Mazda Series North American Championship presented by Goodyear this afternoon at Road Atlanta as part of the Petit LeMans weekend activities. Joining McDowell on the front row will be fellow championship contender Scott Jenkins, while Dan DiLeo, the current points leader, will start third for Friday afternoon's thirty lap race. Driving the Drive4USA/Sparco/Star Race Cars Star Mazda, McDowell, who has five victories on the season, set a new track record during the session, lapping the 2.54-mile circuit in a time of 1:19.726 for an average lap speed of 114.693 miles per hour. Jenkins, driving the Environmental Fibers International Star Mazda set a time just 0.290 seconds behind McDowell's best, but was unable to mount a charge after going off track halfway through the session. "The credit for the pole has to go to the Star Race Cars crew for giving me a great car," McDowell said afterwards. "I was able to put in a flyer and once Jenkins had trouble I was able to head to the pit lane and stand on that time." DiLeo, who has placed his Select Auto Star Mazda on the podium in each of his first seven races in the championship, will start third after lapping the track in 1:20.125, just ahead Colin Braun and Robert Pecorari, of a pair of talented sixteen year olds making their Star Mazda Series debuts this weekend
09/23/04
irl
Scott Dixon comments on road course test Scott Dixon comments on road course testTarget Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon wrapped up two days of testing in the no.1 Toyota/ Panoz G Force at the 2.21 mile road track at Homestead-Miami Speedway in anticipation for the Indy Racing League's three road course races on the 2005 IndyCar series schedule. Five teams including the Target team, representing the various engine-chassis combination packages available in the series, took part in the test to help IRL officials determine the different elements that will be needed for a road-course racing package. Among the items the teams tested were the cooling system, brakes, and transmissions. "It's good to be out running a road course, but we had a lot of rain on the first day and didn't run very long. However by the end of the second day I'd say we made a lot of gains," said Dixon who comes from a road racing background. "I think the Target team's vast experience and success on road circuits is a huge benefit because we already knew what direction to take and how to prepare for such a test. To be honest, we were expecting to encounter some small problems but that really wasn't the case at all. We know which areas need improvements and where to go in the future, but it was good to give the team a baseline. They did a pretty terrific job to have no problems right off the bat. We'll just go back and look at all our data and see where we need to improve."
09/23/04
f1
Brawn on China 'This is the future of F1' Brawn on China 'This is the future of F1'Speaking for perhaps everyone, Ferrari's Ross Brawn said in Thursday's press conference, 'This is the future of F1'. "I only arrived on Wednesday night," noted Brawn, "so I have not yet seen Shanghai, but the circuit itself is of a completely new standard: the facilities for the team and the track. I hear that a full crowd is expected on Sunday and that should be a fantastic sight. This is the future of Formula 1. This is an international event and very high profile, so it will raise China's profile outside the country and, for us in Formula 1, it is great to come and discover a new country and a new culture. It is very important for Formula 1 and I hope it is important for China." Others had similar comments, "I came out here, I think, at Christmas time and was hugely impressed and similarly, a little bit like Bahrain, not really believing they could get it all completed," said Eddie Jordan. "What we see here is absolutely amazing, fantastic, and they need all the congratulations that you can imagine because it's the detail, it's things like the teams' rooms and the facilities there and we don't have that anywhere else, and these people have set the benchmark." "I have travelled around China a bit in the last few months and the way the country has modernised is incredible," added Jaguar's Tony Purnell. "It is a statement to the world that China is arriving and is one of the most modern nations on the planet. This is the way to do it, with Formula One, and I am looking forward to the weekend."
09/23/04
f1
Jordan vows to fight to stay in F1 Jordan vows to fight to stay in F1Eddie Jordan has pledged to fight 'tooth and nail' to be on the grid in Melbourne, Australia next season with his Jordan team. Speaking in Thursday's FIA press conference at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Jordan said that while he couldn't guarantee that his squad would still be apart of F1 in 2005, he 'won't go down without a big fight'. "I'm going to do everything possible " he told reporters. "I feel Jordan is a credible member of Formula One and will break its balls until it's proved itself that it can't do it. It will do everything it possibly can. I will fight 'till I can no longer fight. What happened last weekend with Ford is every justification that the private teams are very essential to Formula One, because we are there through hard times, tough times, and it has been a tough time for Jordan," he continued. "We had our good times, but we are happy to wait around. I believe firmly that Formula One has to have a strong element of the private teams because manufacturers come and go as and when, and the private teams are the people who keep preserving that platform to enable manufacturers, who we all need in the championship. But the foundation of that championship has to be on the continual performance of private teams, so I will fight tooth and nail to be on that grid in Australia next year. Can I guarantee anything? I am not prepared to discuss that at the moment. But for sure I won't go down without a big fight."
09/23/04
champcar
Notes from Champ Car Las Vegas Media Conference Notes from Champ Car Las Vegas Media ConferenceThe Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford held a press conference Thursday morning at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino as part of the pre-race activities for this weekend’s Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona. What follows are a few of the key points addressed in the press conference by Champ Car World Series co-owner Paul Gentilozzi. 2005 Schedule – Management had targeted the end of September or the first weeks of October for the release of the 2005 Champ Car schedule. Factors involved in putting together a quality schedule have meant that the release of schedule will take a little longer than anticipated. Canadian venues – Recent media reports about Champ Car not returning to Vancouver have been misrepresented. Vancouver’s preparation for the Olympics will have little effect on Champ Car’s events in the coming years. Champ Car will run at least three races in Canada next season. Bridgestone Award – Bridgestone has announced a $10,000 award to be given to the polesitter for Saturday’s race. The Bridgestone Pole Award is of great value to our drivers and teams and Champ Car is very pleased to have the support of Bridgestone as well as all of its partners and sponsors. 2005 Television Package – Champ Car is currently working on a new television package for 2005 that will involve both cable and network exposure, but cannot discuss the elements of the new package until the race schedule is finalized. Korea Event – Champ Car will not compete in South Korea this year as previously scheduled, leaving three races remaining in the 2004 Champ Car season. The season will end with the November 7 event in Mexico City.
09/23/04
NASCAR
NEXTEL Race for the Chase Update NEXTEL Race for the Chase UpdateRace one of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is over and Kurt Busch emerged from the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway as the big winner. Another big winner among the 10 drivers who qualified for the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup was Busch's teammate Matt Kenseth, whose runner-up finish in the Sylvania 300 moved him up to fourth in the point standings, just 10 points back of Earnhardt, Jr. and Busch, respectively. Jeff Gordon, who posted a seventh-place run at Loudon, is third in the point standings, just nine points back of the leaders. Two drivers were hit hard by their results in New Hampshire, as Tony Stewart and Jeremy Mayfield were involved in an early-race accident that resulted in a 39th-place run for Stewart and 35th-place run for Mayfield. All of which puts a premium on strong performances from both Stewart and Mayfield this coming weekend at Dover International Speedway for the MBNA America 400. More than 130,000 race fans will eagerly await round two of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Here are the current point standings in the Chase: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kurt Busch - 5210 points, followed by Jeff Gordon (5201), Matt Kenseth (5200), Jimmie Johnson (5180), Elliott Sadler (5172), Mark Martin (5139), Tony Stewart (5086), Ryan Newman (5074) and Jeremy Mayfield (5068).
09/23/04
champcar
3-wide for Champ Car at Vegas 3-wide for Champ Car at VegasExecutiveVP of Operations John Lopes expects the Champ Cars to run three-wide at Saturday's Bridgestone 400 presented by Corona. Lopes has also revealed that the cars won't have the push-to-pass device during the Las Vegas race weekend, but assured that the aero package chosen by Champ Car for the race should allow for "plenty of passing." Cassio Cortes
09/23/04
irl
What is wrong with Scott Dixon? What is wrong with Scott Dixon?New Zealand Stuff.co.nz says, What on earth happened to Scott Dixon? One minute he was American champion and in the running for a Formula One drive, next minute he shrank to a tiny blip on the radar screen. The young Kiwi stands 11th in this year's Indy Racing League championship, which he won fair and square last year in his first season in the series. He tested twice with one of the top F1 teams, Williams-BMW, but has missed out on a seat there and has not even been offered a test with any other F1 outfit.

"He's having a bastard of a season," is the succinct summation of Dixon's former mentor and manager, veteran Auckland racer Ken Smith. So what went wrong? The answer, essentially, is right behind Dixon in his Target Ganassi G-Force car - the engine. Last year the Toyota engines used by his team were on a par with the rival Hondas and Chevrolets, but this season Honda - which has always been a great maker of racing engines - got the jump on the opposition. This was especially the case from the Indianapolis 500 on, when the ruling body reduced the V8 engine capacity from 3.5 to 3.0 litres. Honda handled this transition better than the competition and the result was races where Honda would sweep the top seven or so positions. Dixon has alluded to his power deficit in mild terms in his public statements but his corporate PR obligations prevent him from saying out loud: "My engine is crap."

The lack of power leads to other problems, Smith says. "When you're down on power it's hard to get the car right." Dixon's efforts to get his car competitive led him over-driving it in the corners at times, leading to handling problems, Smith said. The Kiwi lost further points when he crashed out of one race and then had to miss the next one because of a minor fracture. Dixon is a strong-minded man and Smith says he is still feeling positive. But, Smith adds, "it must get you down in the end". To add insult to injury, Dixon is behind his British teammate Darren Manning in the standings - always a bad look. But Smith reckons Manning is driving too dangerously. "He goes for gaps that aren't there, he's an accident waiting to happen. Scott would never drive like that." Dixon has signed to stay with the Target Ganassi team for another three years, though as usual there are clauses which would allow the contract to be broken. In particular, Dixon could leave if he found a seat with a good F1 team.

All through his career Dixon has made it clear that F1 was his ultimate goal and he was really buzzing after his first Williams test, unusually so, as he is normally quite taciturn. Williams were genuinely impressed with his performance - on his first test he was very nearly as fast as regular driver Ralf Schumacher - but eventually decided they needed drivers with experience and proven speed in F1. For his part, Dixon says he will go to F1 only if it is with a good team, which is understandable enough - why would you want to leave a series where you are the champion, take a substantial pay cut and drive a car that has no chance of winning? He might have been able to find a place with a team like Sauber - which has just signed former champion Jacques Villeneuve - but Sauber has never won a grand prix.

It is not clear at this stage what engines the Target team will be using next year. However, Dixon should benefit from one change next season - the IRL is finally venturing away from its oval-only format and will include two races on permanent road circuits and one on a temporary street circuit. Dixon's background in this form of racing could give him an edge over some of his competitors who have concentrated on ovals through their careers. But he still needs a decent engine if he is going to win races.
09/23/04
f1
Thursday Press Conference from Shanghai Thursday Press Conference from ShanghaiThis was a very explosive press conference.  Thursday's FIA press conference, with Flavio Briatore (Renault), Eddie Jordan (Jordan) and Tony Purnell (Jaguar).  NOTE: Eddie Jordan was representing the Jordan team rather than Ian Phillips and David Richards was not here through Force Majeur as he was retained in Europe, for the Contracts Recognition Board hearing. Continuing the policy of a guest questioner, we have, this time, Matt Bishop of F1 Racing.  The 2nd and third parts are included as well. Transcript
09/23/04
champcar
Champ Car schedule announcement postponed Champ Car schedule announcement postponedAt today's press conference to the local Las Vegas press, Champ Car co-owner Paul Gentilozzi stated that the 2005 schedule should be announced in the next 2-3 weeks. The delay is due to still ongoing TV negotiations, as Champ Car tries to fit its key events into network TV. Cassio Cortes
09/23/04
champcar
Bridgestone to present Pole Award Bridgestone to present Pole AwardBridgestone will award a ten thousand dollar prize to the winner of the Champ Car pole position for Saturday's Las Vegas race. Although the award is so far a one-race deal, Champ Car co-owner Paul Gentilozzi said the series hopes this pole sponsorship will become perpetual starting next year. Cassio Cortes
09/23/04
alms
Early scenes from Petit LeMans Early scenes from Petit LeMans
   
   
09/23/04
irl
IRL teams conclude road course test IRL teams conclude road course testIRL IndyCar® Series road-course testing concluded at Homestead-Miami Speedway with two-time series champion Sam Hornish Jr. and rookie Ed Carpenter turning their first laps on the 2.21-mile circuit.  Hornish replaced his Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, who tested at the track on Sept. 22, and recorded 67 laps in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone.

"It's been a while since I've done the right-left thing," Hornish said. "I'm just getting in the swing of things and knocking off all the cobwebs. I'm trying to get comfortable with all the shifting, the braking points and what not. A lot of guys are running both days, but (teammate) Helio (Castroneves) and I have both been off of road courses for a while, so the team thought it would be a good idea for us to both run. Right now, I'm trying to get all my rhythm right. I guess the rest will come."  Carpenter replaced Barron in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone following the lunch break and recorded 70 laps. Carpenter's previous road-racing experience came in shifter karts and a 10-lap Toyota Atlantic run at Sebring several years ago.

"It was cool. I've been waiting for this for a long time," Carpenter said. "Alex drove yesterday and most of today, and he ran some really quick times. He gave me a really good car to start out in. We did everything we wanted to do for the league. We did all of our brake stuff. I had a lot fun in the half-day that I ran, and I can't wait to test somewhere else now."

Drivers returning for a second day of testing at Homestead were: Dario Franchitti (Andretti Green Racing), Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), Buddy Rice (Rahal Letterman Racing).   Each driver and team participating in the test is aiding IRL officials in determining parts for a road-course racing package. Among the elements the group is testing are the cooling system, brakes, and transmissions.  "We didn't do many laps yesterday, so the first 15 laps really gave us a direction which we translated into a setup overnight," Franchitti said. "It's running well. I'm pleasantly surprised with the way everything is reacting. The car is a lot of fun to drive. The engine, for an engine that's built to run on ovals, it's pretty good. We're still trying stuff for the IRL, still trying different brake packages and stuff, and again we're getting positive results with that. Overall, we're very happy and having a good time."

09/23/04
superfund
World Series by Nissan news tidbits World Series by Nissan news tidbitsTeam Porfesa owner Santiago Porteiro sen. confirmed today, that the Spanish outfit will not participate in the Barcelona race on Oct. 3rd. After Roldan Rodriguez was released prior to the Estoril race, Santiago Porteiro will now see his son Felix Porteiro moving to the Basque Team Epsilon Euskadi.

Santiago Porteiro sen. will come back again with his team Porfesa for the race in Valencia (Oct. 17th). This race will see Santiago's oldest son Santiago jr. at the wheel of one car, the driver for the second machine is not yet confirmed. .

Tomas Kostka from Czech Republic will not race anymore for Italian team RC Motorsport. RC plans to fill the second seat with another driver from India, alongside Narain Karthikeyan. This driver, Kharum Chandok, was already a little bit quicker than Karthikeyan in testing at Barcelona today.Guenter Reinhold

09/23/04
champcar
A serenade of time and speed A serenade of time and speedThe Herdez team and their sponsor Gevril, a Swiss watch company, will sponsor a racing art and photo expo at the Tourneau Time Machine, 12 East 57th Street, Manhattan from September 30th through October 12th. Proceeds will benefit the Hole in the Wall Camps for ill and disadvantaged kids. Mario Dominguez will be on hand to drive his Champ Car on the streets and do some simulated pit stops.
09/23/04
champcar
More details on Portland deal More details on Portland dealNational Speed Sport News reports that the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the City of Portland and the Champ Car World Series for events at Delta Park the next three years calls for guaranteed revenues of $1.5 million next year, $1.8 million in ‘06 and $2 million in ‘07 with an opt-out clause should these numbers not be met. Another clause excludes competition (the IRL?). City Commissioner Jim Francesconi says the business community of his Oregon city has pledged to come up with a minimum of $500,000 in sponsorships. CCWS, which will be the ’05 promoter, has pledged to pay the city $30,000 in ’05, $110,000 in ’06 and $140,000 in ‘07.
09/23/04
f1
DuPONT ends Formula 1 Sponsorship as Jaguar Pulls Out DuPONT ends Formula 1 Sponsorship as Jaguar Pulls OutAs part of a larger plan to refocus resources and strengthen the profitability of the Jaguar vehicle brand, Ford Motor Company recently announced that it is withdrawing from its Formula One racing program at the end of 2004. As a result, DuPont Automotive Systems will also end its Jaguar Formula One Racing sponsorship at year-end.   "As a major business partner, we appreciate Ford Motor Company's decision to refocus its resources on strengthening the financial performance of Jaguar, one of the best-known and regarded luxury and sport vehicle brands in the world," said Marty McQuade, vice president and general manager, DuPont Automotive Systems.   "DuPont is proud to be a leading supplier of automotive coatings for Jaguar brands and other vehicle nameplates in the Ford Premiere Automotive Group of luxury vehicles," he said.   DuPont entered into a sponsorship agreement in 2002 to become one of the Jaguar Racing Program's "major partners." The sponsorship has been leveraged across DuPont business units for various promotional and customer events.
09/23/04
champcar
Champ Car returns to network TV in Mexico Champ Car returns to network TV in MexicoAfter a total screw-up that has seen Champ Car races not shown live in Mexico this year, OCESA has stepped in.  Trying to build interest in the Mexico City Champ Car race, OCESA executives have arranged with TV Azteca to broadcast live in Mexico this weekend's Las Vegas race. Jose Arrambide
09/23/04
f1
Mass interest in Jaguar Mass interest in JaguarTony Purnell, the boss of Jaguar Racing says that there is "masses of interest" in the team, which the Ford Motor Company has decided to discontinue.  "Formula 1 generates a lot of people who want to take a chance and we are sifting through the realistic buyers from the chancers," he said. "There is masses of interest and I think one has to be fairly confident that a solution will be found. The whole process is a confidential one, so I am not going to talk about any individual bid, but rest assured, I have contacted every potential buyer that I know of and I have to say one of the big challenges at the moment is finding time to sleep because it is a global business so I am getting phone calls night and day."

Purnell was present in the Thursday press conference with fellow F1 bosses Flavio Briatore and Eddie Jordan. The Sun's Stan Piecha asked Purnell how much the F1 team would cost. The Jaguar man replied that, “It's not about the purchase price, it's about a good sponsor for the years to come.”  “Sorry, I would like clarification on that,” said Jordan, who had already been ribbing Purnell over the performance of the Cosworth engines this season. “Are you saying you would turn down money? Are you saying you would turn down, in your view, a bad purchaser? Or is all money the same? Because, do you know something, when I go to my bank manager on Monday morning, he doesn't like cashing promises. He doesn't know how to do them. But he does like cash, and he does like checks, and bank transfers – loves them – but he hates promises. So if you could try and tell me what a good sponsor and a bad sponsor, because I started in banking and I never met any kind of an agreement like that before but maybe it's a new one, I don't know. Try me.”

Purnell's retort that ‘multinationals and billionaires' were credible met with a quip from Briatore, and an insight into Eddie Jordan's social life.

“But you know when I go to the bingo hall at night and I buy my book of cards, my money is the same as the granny next door and I still get a book of cards and the guy handing them out doesn't make the choice whether I deserve one or don't deserve one. Are you going to have a selection committee, that you'll have that many buyers? What's the story? Can you please give us some idea? Because I could do with a partner and I tell you what: I haven't found one yet and I don't know how he's going to do it in the next week.”

09/23/04
f1
Hanjin Shipping will run Chinese-language branding on Renault Hanjin Shipping will run Chinese-language branding on RenaultRenault F1 Team Partner Hanjin Shipping will run Chinese-language branding on the Renault R24 at this weekend's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix. The Korean group operates a global logistics and transportation network over 35 countries on six continents, comprising 140 vessels. Hanjin pioneered an early market entry strategy into China in 1989, and the country is now home to 29 of the company's offices, including its regional HQ in Shanghai.  "Like Formula 1, Hanjin runs operations on a global scale and we strive to meet individual and cultural requirements," commented CEO Sooho Cho. "On the occasion of the first visit to China by Formula One, we feel it is a significant gesture to address our local audience in their own language."
09/23/04
nascar
After Gordon radio incident, teams reconsider TV access After Gordon radio incident, teams reconsider TV accessNASCAR Senior VP Paul Brooks said that NASCAR “will work with teams who do not want their in-car communications broadcast by TV,” but Brooks will “try to convince [teams of] the value in allowing fans to listen,” according to Dustin Long of the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD. Nextel Cup driver Robby Gordon’s “vow to pay back Greg Biffle” at New Hampshire Int’l Speedway was broadcast by TNT during its coverage of the Sylvania 300 last weekend before Gordon intentionally wrecked Biffle. While Evernham Motorsports does not grant networks the right to broadcast in-car audio, some NASCAR teams, including Gordon’s, were “not aware they could prevent” them from doing so. After TNT decided to air Gordon’s comments, one TNT staffer “wondered whether that might lead to another team preventing its radio transmissions to be broadcast.” Long notes that would not “prevent networks from listening to those conversations ... and reporting what is said.” Turner Sports Dir of PR Jeff Pomeroy said some teams during the past four seasons have requested their in-car audio not be broadcast. Fox Manager of Communications Tim Buckman said that his net “had no complaints about in-car audio this season,” adding that when past issues arose, Fox “dealt with the teams.” NASCAR’s Brooks said, “That connection to the fans, I sure hope we don’t lose that. I want to give fans greater access to their sport.” But driver Matt Kenseth said, “I hate it and I’ve always hated it. I think it’s cool as a fan, that they get to listen to it, but I don’t like saying something that gets broadcast on TV and maybe you’re embarrassed by it later” Greensboro NEWS & RECORD
09/23/04
f1
Flavio blows his top Flavio blows his topFlavio Briatore pulled out his six guns during the FIA Press Conference on Thursday in Shanghai and began blasting away when asked to talk about the problems facing the sport, notably the withdrawal of the Ford Motor Company and the threat that poses to no fewer than three of the 10 existing teams.  The Italian promptly shot himself in the foot.

"Instead of being enthusiastic to come to this place, where the people have made a lot of effort to prepare for an incredible race, you guys try to turn things around as usual for no reason," Briatore ranted. "Really. I'm not prepared to answer any questions because I don't like a press conference like this, only talking about the problems for Formula 1. Everybody has problems, not only in these areas. We need to resolve our problems. If somebody makes a $300m or $400m investment in Formula 1, I think this is very positive for Formula 1, but you guys only like to look at the bad things. There's a lot of jealousy and you guys are part of that jealousy. I think this press conference is completely disgusting."

The F1 media is impressed by China and the last few days have seen a torrent of articles praising the Chinese although clearly Briatore has not actually read them nor been briefed properly. His charmless remarks serve only to strengthen the belief that some of the team bosses have so little grasp of reality that they do not understand that while they are fighting over their vested interests, the majority of the people who work in F1 are now more than a little worried about their future.  It is perhaps worth noting that the best way to avoid having to answer difficult questions about F1 would be to find a solution to the problems. Grandprix.com

09/23/04
f1
Bernie slams Ferrari Bernie slams FerrariThe war of words between Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari has stepped up a gear with the F1 ringmaster branding the world champion team “selfish”.  Two weeks ago at Monza, Fiat and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo criticized Ecclestone for pocketing the lion’s share of F1’s commercial revenue and leaving the teams with crumbs.  Ecclestone dismissed Montezemolo’s protestations as “the same old record as we’ve heard for the last two or three years”, and has now hit back at Ferrari on a broad front.

In an interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper, the 73-year-old accused Ferrari of vetoing measures designed to inject a degree of unpredictability into the sport, which has been dominated for the last five years by Michael Schumacher.  “They have a policy to win the world championship,” said Ecclestone. “They don’t want to take any risks but what’s a little bit bad is their selfishness in not wanting to compromise over the regulations to make the racing a little more challenging.”  Ecclestone cited the unpopular single-lap, back-to-back qualifying sessions as a case in point, saying that it was Ferrari’s resistance that scuppered plans for an overhaul.  “[The qualifying system] has been a complete disaster,” he said with characteristic bluntness, “and Ferrari haven’t done anything to help as they won’t agree to change anything. They’re terribly selfish like that.”

For good measure, Ecclestone added that he doesn’t think Schumacher would have enjoyed such prolonged success had the late Ayrton Senna still been around to challenge him.  “Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Schumacher fan,” he said. “But would he have won as many championships as he has done if Senna had not left us? I very much doubt it.  “Of course, Ayrton never had the luxuries Michael has had. Michael has never had anybody in his team who has been able, or been in a position, to challenge him, and he’s certainly in the best team there is.”  And Ecclestone’s response to the charge that he is fleecing the sport and driving teams out of business?  “It’s pure jealousy, 100 percent. Our company [SLEC, the F1 holding company] is only making what was agreed in the first place. Nobody has stolen anything but what concerns them [the teams] is what our company is making. They would rather have less money themselves if it meant us having less.” SPEED TV

09/23/04
champcar
2005 Long Beach tickets on sale 2005 Long Beach tickets on saleIt's never to early to start thinking about the Rites of Spring!  Specifically, Southern California's "Official Spring Brake," the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Tickets for the 31st Annual edition of America's premier street race, April 8-10, 2005 are now on sale.  The 2005 Grand Prix will again feature the cars and stars of the Champ Car World Series, expected to be led by four-time Long Beach winner Paul Tracy, Southern California favorite Michel Jourdain Jr., Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira.

"Following up on our very successful 30th anniversary celebration, we are already making plans to include several features at next year's race that will make it even more attractive," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "With the new stability of Champ Car and the added development in downtown Long Beach, the 31st edition of the Grand Prix should be something special."

Also scheduled for the action-packed weekend is the always-entertaining Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, now in its 29th year, as well as the Toyota Atlantic Championship showcasing young driving talent. There will be additional races announced in the coming weeks.

As always, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature much more than top-notch racing. There will once again be a variety of family-oriented activities throughout the weekend, including the Automobile Club of Southern California Lifestyle Expo, free to all race ticket holders. Every year the Lifestyle Expo features the latest high-tech products and services, racecars, games, and simulators. For the younger crowd, extreme sports demonstrations will return, as will the Kids' Fun Zone. Evening activities include the Tecate Fiesta Friday concert - featuring the hottest Latin bands - and Saturday Rock-N-Roar concert featuring internationally known acts like Third Eye Blind, Everclear and the Goo Goo Dolls in the past.

For the sixth consecutive year, the 1.97-mile, 11-turn race circuit configuration on the downtown streets of Long Beach encompassing the Aquarium of the Pacific, Pike at Rainbow Harbor and Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is unchanged. Nineteen grandstands line the circuit, which include reserved seats, limited general admission seats and seating for various club ticket packages.

Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $32 for a Friday/Saturday general admission ticket to $114 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are available and can be purchased when ordering tickets through the Grand Prix ticket office.

Credit card orders for the 2005 event can be placed by calling the ticket hotline toll-free at (888) 82-SPEED. A ticket brochure for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach can also be obtained by calling the ticket hotline. The ticket brochure includes a circuit map with grandstand and parking locations as well as ticket prices and a ticket order form.   Handicapped seating, Bosch Champ Car Garage passes, super photo tickets and several hospitality club packages are also available.  For updated Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ticket information, news or announcements of special race week activities, visit www.longbeachgp.com.

09/23/04
nascar
First NASCAR Chase race a flop First NASCAR Chase race a flopUPDATE This SPEED TV article talks more about the NASCAR flop called The Chase.   The likely reason why The Chase is a TV flop in our opinion is because the fans of drivers outside the top-10 with no chance of winning the title probably figure, why bother watching anymore, my driver has no chance. 09/21/04 So much for NASCAR's new playoff system generating more interest and hence bigger TV ratings.  TNT’s coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Sylvania 300 on Sunday – the first race in the ten-race Chase for the Nextel Cup – posted a 3.4 Nielsen cable rating, down 8% from a 3.7 for the same race on TNT last year. The Daily
09/23/04
irl
Chevy 500 K should give close finish Chevy 500 K should give close finish[Editor's Note:  Even NASCAR does not get finishes this close and they have been racing with a very restrictive rule book for decades. Seems pretty fishy doesn't it?]  When the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series stars invade Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 17 for the Chevy 500k, it won’t be your average Sunday drive to grandma’s house.  Living up to its tradition as “The Second Home of the Indy Racing League,” the IRL IndyCar Series drivers have provided Texas fans with more nail-biting finishes than any other speedway.  Six of the 20 closest winning margins in series history have been posted at The Great American Speedway with nine races being won by less than one second. Three of the five closest one-two-three finishes in IRL history have taken place at Texas.   Sam Hornish Jr. nipped Helio Castroneves by a mere 0.0096 of a second in the 2002 Chevy 500k for the closest IRL IndyCar Series Texas finish.  Hornish’s triumph in the 2001 Chevy 500k over Scott Sharp and Robbie Buhl produced the tightest Texas one-two-three finish, separated by only 0.0468 of a second.   "Since 1997, the Indy Racing League stars have kept our fans on the edge of their seats, or not even sitting in them,” said speedway president Eddie Gossage.  “The Chevy 500k will be another exciting chapter for our fans.”  Indy Racing League IndyCar Series point leader Tony Kanaan will be seeking his second straight victory at Texas.  Kanaan edged teammate Dario Franchitti for the June Bombardier 500k victory.  The other members of the Andretti-Green team, Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta, round out the formidable effort.   Other leading contenders for the Chevy 500k victory lane are Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, two-time 2004 victor Adrian Fernandez, two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, 2001 and 2002 IRL titleholder Sam Hornish Jr. and defending series champion Scott Dixon.  The Chevy 500k will get the green flag at 12 noon (CT) on October 17.  Tickets are available daily at the speedway, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster locations.
INDY RACING LEAGUE INDYCAR SERIES FINISHES OF LESS THAN A SECOND AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Margin                            Date             Winner                            Runnerup
1.          0.0096 second          9/15/02        Sam Hornish Jr.          Helio Castroneves
2.          0.0111 second          6/8/02         Jeff Ward                   Al Unser Jr.
3.          0.0188 second          10/6/01        Sam Hornish Jr.          Scott Sharp
4.          0.0590 second          6/11/00        Scott Sharp                Robby McGehee
5.          0.0810 second          6/7/03         Al Unser Jr.                Tony Kanaan
6.          0.1400 second          10/15/00      Scott Goodyear          Eddie Cheever Jr.
7.          0.2578 second          6/12/04        Tony Kanaan              Dario Franchitti
8.          0.8880 second          6/12/99        Scott Goodyear          Greg Ray
9.          0.9280 second          6/6/98          Billy Boat                   Greg Ray
09/23/04
NASCAR
TNT to Air Special Broadcast of 'Days of Thunder' TNT to Air Special Broadcast of 'Days of Thunder'In honor of Hendrick Motorsports’ 20th anniversary, Lowe’s is presenting a special broadcast of the 1990 motion picture Days of Thunder, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The movie is scheduled to be aired by TNT on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. ET, immediately following the network’s NASCAR Busch Series broadcast. The program will re-air Sunday, Sept. 26 at 10:30 a.m. ET, prior to the live NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event from Dover (Del.) International Speedway that airs at 12:30 p.m. ET. The movie will be interspersed with special remembrances by team owner Rick Hendrick and several of his drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. Hendrick was a technical advisor for the film, which was loosely based on the lives of driver Tim Richmond and crew chief Harry Hyde, who played integral roles in the early development of Hendrick Motorsports. “This was really a neat idea, and I’m very grateful to Lowe’s and TNT for all their effort,” Hendrick said. “Working on Days of Thunder was a fun experience and one I’ll never forget, but it couldn’t have been done without the hard work of so many dedicated people. It really was a massive undertaking.” Team Lowes Racing
09/23/04
Euro 3000
First photos of new Euro 3000 car First photos of new Euro 3000 carBelow are the first official photos of the new for 2005 Superfund Euro 3000 car.  It is an all-new car designed by John Travis.  It is powered by a 3.5 L 650 HP Judd ex-F1 V10.  It is scheduled to turn its first laps next Monday in England.   Sitting under the cover in the right image is the finished car, which will be presented to the public soon.

 

09/23/04
f1
The Shanghai Affect on Engines The Shanghai Affect on EnginesRenault's Denis Chevrier Talks About the Shanghai Affect on Engines.  For the engine team, preparation for a new Grand Prix such as the inaugural race in China begins on the dynamometer. Once a theoretical optimum racing line has been established using circuit maps and simulation tools, and once we have made our estimates of grip levels, we can then predict the duty cycle the engine will undergo at a given circuit. From this starting point, we run a simulation on the dyno in order to identify any defining characteristics that might potentially be troublesome for the engine.

However, from what we do already know, Shanghai will not be an "engine circuit". The duty cycle is not particularly severe, and the time spent at full throttle by the drivers is unlikely to exceed 60% of the lap - a figure that corresponds to the season average. The length of the main straight does exceed the average value, however, and is indeed relatively high at around 16 seconds - which should see the cars reaching approximately 325 or 330 kph.

Much of the rest of the circuit is very twisty, which will make the downforce compromise tricky to judge. However, the number of faster corners, combined with the high number of heavy braking and acceleration phases will make the fuel effect reasonably high - around 0.45s for an extra ten kilograms of fuel. Similarly, the numerous acceleration phases through corners which open out, and the slow speeds at which acceleration begins, mean that a strong torque curve and smooth power delivery will be essential to maintain car balance and give the drivers good speed on corner exit.

Overall, our expectations are that we will encounter an average type of circuit for the engine in Shanghai, but of course, our predictions and simulations cannot be full comprehensive, and some significant factors remain unknown at this point.

Firstly, the ambient temperatures are uncertain. It could be very hot, and the slow speeds at various points around the circuit could mean cooling become a problem, which means we will need to plan for a number of different cooling solutions.

Secondly, the wind speed and direction can always make a difference to engine performance and particularly the choice of gear ratios. Our first day's running will give us an indication of this parameter, as well as true values for corner speeds, and it may prove necessary to fine-tune our choice of gearbox ratios on Friday night prior to qualifying. The nature of the curbs, and how much the drivers can use them at high and low speeds, will also influence this decision, as this can lead to over-revving.

One other interesting point is that the start and finish line appears to be positioned relatively close to the first corner. The run down to this tightening curve seems to be of the order of 300 meters, and this will make it particularly important to qualify well as the overtaking opportunities at the start could prove to be limited.

09/23/04
f1
Bernie: Third car better than team support money Bernie: Third car better than team support moneyWith Formula 1's leading teams likely to be compelled to run extra cars in 2005 following Ford's decision to put Jaguar Racing and Cosworth Racing up for sale, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that third cars should be eligible to score points in both the drivers and constructors championships.

“If Jaguar, Jordan and Minardi don't make it, we'll have seven teams running three cars each, so we'll have 20 very competitive cars,” Ecclestone said in Shanghai. And, if it happens, I think that the third cars should get points. They're racing against each other, so why not? It could be hard to explain, otherwise. You could have a guy winning the race and not getting points.  As long as we don't see three Ferraris on the podium, it would be okay,” he said.

Ecclestone rejected the idea of any kind of F1 fighting fund being established to help the struggling independent teams and effectively provide a lifeline for Cosworth.  “I think people, for what they had to pay for the Cosworth engine, for what they got, are not sure…” Ecclestone continued, “I mean Eddie (Jordan) said he wouldn't do that anymore. We helped him this year a lot but I certainly wouldn't do that any longer.” Autosport

09/23/04
irl
Interview with Tony Kanaan and Sam Schmidt Interview with Tony Kanaan and Sam SchmidtThis week's Indy Racing League teleconference - As the season winds down, the championship stories begin to take shape, we have two guests on today's call that are extremely close to securing Indy Racing League titles.   Joining us to open the call is Menards Infiniti Pro Series owner Sam Schmidt and IndyCar point leader Tony Kanaan. Transcript
09/23/04
Industry News
GM to cut 3,000 jobs in Europe GM to cut 3,000 jobs in EuropeGeneral Motors, the world's largest automaker, will cut about 3,000 jobs in Europe and lose the equivalent of two car-making plants in production capacity, London's Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.  "Revenue generating capacity is way short of what we assumed," the newspaper quoted Fritz Henderson, GM Europe's chairman, as saying.  Henderson said he would decide on the cuts, covering Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and its partnership with Fiat, by December.  "I need to have a significant impact in 2005, so I need to have a plan in place in the next 60 days -- we don't have the luxury of time," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.  "Our assumptions on volume and market share were wrong and picking up market share in Europe is incredibly difficult," Henderson said, according to the Telegraph.  A General Motors representative was not immediately available for comment. Reuters
09/23/04
f1
SOHU and FOM announce website partnership SOHU and FOM announce website partnershipSOHU.com Inc. (Nasdaq: SOHU), China's leading  online  media,  communications,  commerce  and  mobile  value-added  services company, and Formula One Administration, have signed a long-term agreement under which SOHU will exclusively host and manage the Official Formula 1  website in Chinese, introducing Chinese motor racing fans to the world of Formula One in their own  language  and  offering  new  business  opportunities  to  Formula  One  associated companies in this promising market. The official website signing ceremony precedes the inaugural 2004 Formula 1  Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place in Shanghai from September 24-26.

The  new  website  (china.formula1.com)  will  include  daily  news,  official  live  timing with race commentary, extensive photographic galleries featuring exclusive still TV images, specially-commissioned interviews and features, an interactive results archive, in-depth technical analysis, general information on the rules and history of Formula One and full profiles on all the  competing teams and drivers including  all previous world champions. The presentation of the new website will follow the creative style of the flagship English language site, formula1.com.

Charles Zhang, Chairman and CEO of SOHU said: "We are honored  Formula One Management has chosen SOHU as its official online partner in China, as SOHU aims to become the country's preferred online platform for all fans, organizers and corporate advertisers involved in sport. At the same time, as the portal with the widest reach among China's 80 million online users according to iResearch/Alexa  for  the  past  eight  months,  we  offer  the  Formula  One  community prime  internet  access  to  the  affluent  urban  internet  users  who  are  the  most  likely people in China to embrace the world of motor racing."

 Bernie Ecclestone, CEO, Formula One Management Limited said:  "The  first  Formula  One  Chinese  race  is  a  very  significant  addition  to  the  global Formula  One  calendar  and  we  are  pleased  to  announce  this  cooperation  at  such  an appropriate time. For many years tens of millions of Chinese fans have been enjoying Formula  One  through  television,  and  now  millions  more  will  be  able  to  follow Formula  One  in  their  own  language  through  the  Internet.  We  are  confident  that  in SOHU we have found a committed partner to help build Formula One's interactive gateway  for  Chinese  fans  and  to  offer  a  new  platform  for  our  teams  and  sponsors. Additionally,  the  flagship  English  language  site  at  formula1.com  offers  similar opportunities for Chinese companies wishing to enter Formula One."

09/23/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Glock, Doornbos, in for Jordan
'Schu, why do you race in red?'
Button decision delayed
Coulthard could still race a Jaguar
Rubens wants to beat Schu again
BAR turn blue
'I have no F1 enemies' - Villeneuve
Ferrari are 'selfish' - Ecclestone
Schumacher - 'I'll quit when I lose'
Red Bull set to buy Jaguar
Agency ends media dispute
Yoong in F1 paddock
F1 websites launch Chinese version
Flavio's out to sea
Bernie defends F1 race to China
Jordan land third Chinese sponsor
Brit GP 'far from secure' - Bernie
Jordan as 'well-known as Ferrari' - EJ
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