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DATE News (chronologically)
09/27/05
nascar
Busch on 'Real Sports' Wednesday night Busch on 'Real Sports' Wednesday nightKurt Busch will be a guest on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Wednesday, September 28.  The show airs at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.  The latest edition of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel profiles Kurt Busch. Kurt Busch has already displayed a level of talent on par with the most prolific athletes in American sports. However, Kurt has never had a problem with the competitive side of racing, since joining the NASCAR circuit in 2001 Busch has captured his fare share of checkered flags and is the reigning Nextel Cup champion. Kurt's shortcomings have dealt more specifically with his inability to connect with fans, the media, and his competitors. The driver once described as a "cocky, arrogant punk" has seen an on-going feud with veteran driver Jimmy Spencer tarnish his public persona. Despite being a top ten mainstay in the point standings Busch has come to realize that there is more to being a successful NASCAR driver than just sitting behind the wheel. In collaboration with Sports Illustrated, REAL SPORTS correspondent Armen Keteyian catches up with Busch to talk about his career and volatile life on the fast track.
09/27/05
f1
Webber tops Williams test Webber tops Williams testMark Webber topped the time-sheets as Williams kicked off the final big test of the Formula One season at a sunny Jerez circuit in Spain.

Webber was by far the busiest of the three drivers in attendance, completing over 100 laps of tire testing for Michelin, while Nico Rosberg – widely tipped as a possible team-mate for Webber for the 2006 season – also took part in tire work before technical problems brought his day to a premature end.

Young gun Sebastian Vettel also got his first chance to test a Formula One car, completing 25 laps with a best time just under three and a half seconds off the pace set by Webber.

"On our first day at Jerez, the drivers managed to complete a substantial amount of mileage, in particular Mark, who recorded over 500kms while tire testing for Michelin," test team manager Tim Newton said. "Nico was also on duty and covered 37 laps of tire work before his half day session was ended prematurely by a technical problem. Nico is now on his way to Bahrain for the final round of the GP2 Championship. With a three point lead in the Drivers' rankings, the team would like to wish him all the best for a successful weekend.

"Sebastian Vettel made his F1 debut today as part of his BMW contract, awarded for winning last year's Formula BMW ADAC Championship. Sebastian performed well, completing 25 laps with no problems."

Testing continues tomorrow [Wed] when Toyota, BAR, Red Bull Racing and McLaren are all due to take to the track.
Results
Mark Webber Williams-BMW 1m 17.917s 125 laps
Nico Rosberg Williams-BMW 1m 19.265s 37 laps
Sebastian Vettel Williams-BMW 1m 21.364s 25 laps

09/27/05
irl
Issues, comments for 2006 IRL schedule Issues, comments for 2006 IRL scheduleUPDATE This Indianapolis Business Journal article talks about the very point that we brought up when the new IRL schedule was announced. The 2006 Indy Racing League schedule--which is two months shorter and has three fewer races than 2005--has teams considering either cutting staff or expanding into other race series to fill the void.

"You hate to make any staff cuts, but that's one question facing all the [IRL] teams," said Doug Boles, chief operating officer for locally based Panther Racing. "This is a very competitive industry and to keep your good people, you want to keep them employed year-round."

But with limits on testing and engines largely prepackaged, there's only so much an IRL team can do during the off-season. With the release of the compacted 2006 schedule, the IRL off-season grew from 4-1/2 months to 6-1/2 months.

IRL teams now find themselves considering expanding into Grand Am Series or American Le Mans Series to avoid downsizing.

"Teams face an interesting situation," said Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "Some reorganization will be needed."

"The biggest effect could be on the mechanics," said Cheever, who employs 50 people full time, including 15 mechanics. "It might return to the way it was 15 or 20 years ago, when some of the race personnel had to go out and find other jobs during the off-season."

That might be easier said than done, admitted Boles.

"You could end up losing some of your talent to teams or series that can afford to employ them full time," Boles said.

"For some teams, the Andretti-Greens and the Team Penskes, they'll be able to better deal with this situation financially," Cheever said. "It could have a bigger negative impact on the medium-size and smaller teams."

Another concern is that the IRL and its teams will be forgotten during such a long off-season, sports marketers said. [Editor's Note: Isn't this just dandy. Meanwhile Tony George and his lieutenants, who are responsible for the split and the destruction of the sport, still think they should run and control the sport if there were to be a merger with Champ Car. Amazing. The IRL teams can run some Champ Car races in the IRL off-season as well, at least those that have leftover Lolas, but only for 2006 because then Champ Car will have all new cars.]

09/13/05 [Editor's Note:  Contrary to all the quotes below about keeping the series in the news and in the eyes of the fans better via the condensed schedule, what about the other 6 months of the year when F1 and Champ Car are still in the news?  And what happens to all the team employees the other 6 months of the year, do they go on unemployment?] Earlier today, the Indy Racing League announced the IndyCar Series schedule for 2006. Following are quotes from throughout the IndyCar Series paddock about the schedule.

Robbie Buhl, co-owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing:
"From a driver's standpoint, when we had three races in a row I loved it. For a race driver, if you have a good weekend before then you carry on that momentum. If you have a bad weekend, you want to get back in the car as quick as you can to erase that one. They want to be in the car every day if they could. You have to keep the bigger picture of what the league is trying to accomplish. It's a good thing for our fan base and continuity that they can get in the rhythm of tuning in almost every week."

Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing:
"It has momentum from the fans' perspective and continuity for the races so they have almost a routine. The upside of a condensed schedule is all for the fans."

Kevin Savoree, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing:
"We're really excited about the way the IndyCar Series has looked at the schedule, looked at the timing of the events. We've had a chance to vet this with our sponsor partners and to me it's been a resounding hit commercially. From that perspective, Andretti Green Racing is really excited about what the league is doing, and we look forward to the challenge it will put in front of all of us."

Mike Hull, managing director of Target Chip Ganassi Racing:
"I think the concept is great. Trying to keep ourselves in the public eye week in and week out is a very important steppingstone to creating equity. We hope they're able to take this part of it and carry the ball down the field with us."

Scott Dixon, 2003 IndyCar Series champion:
"The racing week to week is fine. It keeps everybody involved, and people get addicted to watching, seeing what the outcome will be." IRL

09/27/05
cc
Fabrizio Del Monte joins HVM Fabrizio Del Monte joins HVMHVM, a competitor in the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, today announced Fabrizio Del Monte of Italy as the driver of the #4 HVM/Ford-Cosworth/Lola for the remainder of the 2005 season.

Del Monte, 24, will make his debut with HVM Racing next week when he completes a two-day test, beginning Monday October 3rd. "We are pleased to welcome Fabrizio to the team, we intend to give him a very good car and our best efforts for him to excel in the Champ Car World Series," said owner and managing director, Keith Wiggins. He continued, "We have worked hard with Bjorn to make him comfortable in the car and this showed in his strong performance in Las Vegas. He is a talented driver but there was not the budget to retain him. I am sure his future will include continued success in Champ Cars - perhaps with HVM."

Del Monte made his Champ Car debut at the 2005 season opener, driving for Jensen Motorsports at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He began racing go-karts in his native Italy at the age of 13. His professional open wheel racing experience includes success in the European F3000 Championship, a test in 2003 with the Minardi F1 team and several podium finishes in both the European and Italian Formula Renault Series. "I'm really enthusiastic about this opportunity. This is a program which, even if short, will give me the opportunity to get on the track in a very popular and competitive series with HVM Racing, a technically competent and professional team, which I will have plenty to learn from."

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

09/27/05
cc
Engineers are a peculiar bunch Engineers are a peculiar bunchForsythe lead race engineer, Eric Zeto, on Paul Tracy crashing out of the Monterrey Champ Car Race:  "We have a bunch of superstitious guys.. actually guys in general are superstitious about racing.... when we got knocked out.... I think to myself if I did something different that morning... and you start thinking ..... really thinking.... of where I might have, you know, gone off differently.

And I think that morning, believe it or not, I think I, you know, might have brushed my teeth, you know, before I shaved or something, you know, something different like that and I am particularly conscious of that right now.

09/27/05
f1
Vettel makes F1 debut Vettel makes F1 debutHe may have only just turned 18, and only just passed his driving license, but Sebastian Vettel got his first taste of a Formula One car today [Tuesday] as he joined the BMW Williams team for the first day of testing at Jerez.

The youngster was awarded the test following his domination of the 2004 Formula BMW ADAC Championship when he won 18 out of 20 races on his way to the title. Having been awarded a contract by BMW in December, the German driver made the move to the F3 Euroseries where he currently leads the rookie standings, and followed in the footsteps of Nico Rosberg and Ho-Pin Tung in earning an F1 test through the Formula BMW championship.

"It was an unbelievable experience!" he said after completing 25 laps of the Spanish circuit. "The brakes, the g-forces and the power of the engine are beyond description. Thanks to BMW and WilliamsF1 for giving me this chance to test. The test team looked after me brilliantly and I learnt plenty."

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said he was pleased with the way Vettel had acclimatized to the F1 car.

"Sebastian made a successful switch from around 220bhp in Formula Three to almost four times that in a Formula One car," he said. "The whole team was pleased with him. He now has a first-hand idea of the extreme dynamics involved and the physical demands on the driver. That experience will stand him in good stead in the future." Williams BMW PR

09/27/05
nascar
NASCAR fines Wallace team NASCAR fines Wallace teamNASCAR announced Tuesday that Joe Garone, crew chief for the No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Kenny Wallace in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, has been fined $1,000 for an infraction during last weekend’s event at Dover International Speedway.  Garone was fined for an unapproved fuel cell recessed well, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-U (unapproved fuel cell container) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book.  There were false panels inside the recessed well.
09/27/05
nascar
Lopez first key hire by Aikman-Staubach Lopez first key hire by Aikman-StaubachHall of Fame Racing made its first hire Tuesday when it picked Philippe Lopez to build the NASCAR team owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.   Lopez was hired as a crew chief and will be in charge of getting the Nextel Cup team ready to debut next season.

"My first priority is to get the shop up and running," Lopez said. "We are working very closely with Joe Gibbs Racing. That will give us a great advantage right from the start.

"You can't put a price on what they will be bringing to the table as this team gets ready to go Nextel Cup racing. We are quickly getting the shop up and running, sourcing the equipment that we need and hiring the people that we want."

09/27/05
irl
IRL losing another key executive IRL losing another key executiveThe Indy Racing League announced that Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Ken Ungar has decided to leave the League’s front office after the 2005 IRL IndyCar® Series season.  

Ungar joined the League in 2001 as its Vice President of Business Affairs, after serving as the first Chief of Staff at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for five years.  

“After many years in the sport of IndyCar racing, it is time to consider new challenges,” Ungar said. “In order to openly consider several unique opportunities, while ensuring a seamless transition for the League, I wanted to publicly announce my intention to leave my current position.”

“For the past nine years, Ken has been an integral part of my executive team,” said Tony George, IMS and IRL CEO.  “We will miss his contribution to our sport.” 

Ungar’s responsibilities as IMS chief of staff included supervision of the Executive Office, the Human Resources department and general policy issues facing the Speedway. He led IMS’ participation in the Motorsports Alliance LLC, a partnership with International Speedway Corporation of Daytona Beach, Fla., to establish Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill.

Ungar was also instrumental in the development of “Hulman Memorial Way,” a $3.2-million roadway beautification project in Speedway, Ind., honoring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its founders.

During his tenure as the League’s business leader, Ungar helped negotiate the League’s current long term broadcast agreement with ABC Sports and ESPN, built the Public Relations, Sales, Marketing, and Broadcast Relations staffs, put together the League’s initiative to convert its fuel to ethanol, and initiated grassroots fan-building programs like the award-winning IndyCar Series Fan Experience and DownForce, the League’s official fan club. 

“We are proud of Ken’s contribution to the League’s growth, including improvement in event attendance and television viewership,” said Brian Barnhart, IRL President & COO.  “His work lays a strong foundation for future success.”

Ungar also serves on the boards of the United States Auto Club, the National Motorsports Council, and Raceway Associates, LLC (Chicagoland Speedway).  IRL

09/27/05
f1
a1gp
GP of Nations leaves F1 standing in pit lane GP of Nations leaves F1 standing in pit laneThis Guardian article is one of many talking about how great the inaugural A1GP race at Brands Hatch was.  This sort of positive press will have Bernie's attention.  We expect him to go on the offensive when anything threatens his F1 series.
09/27/05
nascar
NASCAR confiscates shocks NASCAR confiscates shocksNASCAR officials confiscated rear shocks from six Nextel Cup teams following Sunday's MBNA 400 at Dover, Del., and plan to begin testing them Tuesday.  Among the teams that had shocks taken: Race winner Jimmie Johnson; Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Busch, who finished second; Ryan Newman, who finished fifth; and his Penske Racing South teammate, Rusty Wallace, who finished sixth.

Two Roush Racing teams - those of Mark Martin and Greg Biffle - also had rear shocks taken.

NASCAR officials took the shocks after several crew members and crew chiefs, watching the post-race inspection process, complained about the right-rear of the No. 48 and the team's attempt to clear post-race inspection, several witnesses to the incident said.

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed Monday night that NASCAR had taken rear shocks from the six teams after post-race inspection.

He also confirmed the Nos. 48 and 5 Chevrolets did not meet the required right-rear quarter panel height on their initial measurement in inspection, but after allowing the shocks to settle, they made the required height.

"All cars going through inspection had their rear shocks taken to ensure they were in compliance with our shock rules," Poston said. "We want to be sure everything is being done right." ThatsRacin.com

09/27/05
nascar
NASCAR Chase rundown NASCAR Chase rundown
09/27/05
f1
Back to work for Williams Back to work for WilliamsFor the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, the Brazilian Grand Prix didn’t run according to plan. Only meters after the start, a collision with Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard forced Antonio Pizzonia into early retirement. Mark Webber was also involved in this accident but made it back to the pits and after a lengthy repair he could rejoin and finish the race.

Now, the Anglo-German partnership will give its very best to add points to its tally at Suzuka (9th October) and Shanghai (16th October). To be well prepared when it comes to contesting the final rounds of the season, the team is going to test at Jerez de la Frontera, today and tomorrow. These two days of testing represent the final tests of the 2005 season.

Mark Webber will be testing on both days and will be joined on Tuesday by Nico Rosberg and on Wednesday by Antonio Pizzonia. Young gun Sebastian Vettel, the outstanding 2004 Formula BMW ADAC Champion, will join the test on Tuesday afternoon for his debut outing behind the wheel of a Formula One car. Williams

09/27/05
nascar
NASCAR fans drop a grand each on races NASCAR fans drop a grand each on racesThe average NASCAR fan spends about $1,000 to attend a weekend of races, according to a consultant hired by International Speedway Corp.  Berk & Associates of Seattle used the figure in a study aimed at persuading government officials in Washington State to subsidize a new $300 million track that ISC wants to build in Kitsap, Wash., near Bremerton, the Seattle Times reported. The report also estimates Washington would record nearly $140 million a year in new sales generated by track events, mainly from increased business at hotels and restaurants.

Mike Murphy, Washington state treasurer, greeted the report with skepticism, calling its numbers "hokey."   ISC has not disclosed how much it wants the state to contribute to the project. Daytona Beach News Journal

09/27/05
irl
Local merchants happy with Indy Car race Local merchants happy with Indy Car raceAfter a successful inaugural weekend, area merchants, innkeepers and restaurateurs are looking forward to the next Indy Racing League event in June.

Doug Thayer, owner of the Wildflower Cafe, a restaurant at 301 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen, said his sales over the weekend were about 150 percent higher than normal.

"It was a very good weekend," Thayer said. "I'm one tired boy."

The Indy Racing League's debut at Watkins Glen International drew an estimated 40,000 people to the track. Scott Dixon of Auckland, New Zealand, dominated the second half and won the 60-lap Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage.  zzzz

"Even after the race Sunday, restaurant owners said it was absolutely crazy. People were pouring in from the racetrack," said Jim Berg, president of the Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce. "That's good news, because it means people were staying in the area."

Finger Lakes wineries also saw a spike in sales.

"We were up about 20 percent," said Dick Reno, owner of Chateau LaFayette Reneau on state Route 414 in Hector. "It's hard to gauge how much of that was from the (race crowd) and how much came from an article (about the winery) in the Wall Street Journal. A lot of people said they came in because they read the article."

Chateau LaFayette Reneau was lauded in the Friday article in the Wall Street Journal for having the "best-tasting Riesling" in the Finger Lakes.

"In terms of percentages, things were pretty much the same at the winery. Right now we have the juice plant going, so we always see an increase in September and October because of that," said John Iszard, wine sales director at Fulkerson Winery on state Route 14 in Dundee. "But still, our sales ... we had a lot of sales during the Indy festival in the village, where we offered wine tastings."

The Watkins Glen Indy Car Festival on Thursday offered wine tastings and sales as well as a Green Grand Prix that featured alternative-fuel cars.

The festival will be held again in June when Watkins Glen International hosts the second Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix on June 4, one week after the Indianapolis 500. Tickets go on sale in January for the WGI race.

"It'll be a scramble to plan, but now we can really think it through and see what we want to add, subtract or change," Berg said. "The Indy crowd is obviously different from NASCAR."  More at Star Gazette

09/27/05
cc
irl
Seen in Las Vegas - Robert Clarke Seen in Las Vegas - Robert ClarkeUPDATE #4 Ford's Dan Davis did offer that "reconciliation has always been a priority for Ford." Davis further noted that he and former America Honda executive vice president Tom Elliott enjoyed an amiable and forthright relationship, down to openly discussing budget numbers. Although he didn't say as much directly, it's a safe bet Davis and Ford would probably feel a lot more comfortable competing with Honda in Champ Car -- or some unified Champ/Indy car series -- than a couple of other manufacturers that come to mind.

Of course, like anyone else involved in open wheel racing, Davis is keenly aware that -- following the collapse of reunification initiatives this spring -- there are two chances for a unified open wheel series these days: slim and none. For reasons that don't merit revisiting here and now.

Still, if Clarke and HPD are seeking common ground, Davis is listening.  "Never say never," he said in the Ford hospitality tent, approximately ten yards away from the motor home in which Clarke was meeting with Kalkhoven, et al.  More at SPEEDTV.com

09/25/05 Robert Clarke, President of Honda Performance Development, created a stir Friday when he met with several series and team leaders of the IRL's rival, the Champ Car World Series, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Clarke cautioned against reading too much into the get-together. He said he isn't interested in switching his company out of the IRL and back to CART, where it ran from 1994 to 2002. "I was just stopping by," he said upon arrival at Watkins Glen. "It's been a long time since I've been to a Champ Car race."  Clarke said he reiterated his open-wheel unification stance with Champ Car owner Kevin Kalkhoven. Like most in the sport, Clarke believes everyone would be better off if the IRL and Champ Car operated as one series.  "I'm never giving up on that one," Clarke said. Indy Star [Editor's Note:  Trust us, Clarke was NOT just stopping by.  We also saw Tony Cotman go into the meeting with Clarke and Kalkhoven.]

09/23/05 AutoRacing1.com finally had a chance to talk to Robert Clarke after his first of two meetings with Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven (At right Clarke and Kalkhoven share a laugh before walking away together towards Kevin's RV for their second meeting - bottom left).  As can be expected, Clarke would not say anything about what his meetings with Kalkhoven were about, but he did admit that HPD is looking at other series.  "I was just passing through Las Vegas on my way to Watkins Glen," kidded Clarke.  On a more serious note, "It doesn't make sense to have all your eggs in one basket if you want to accomplish all your business objectives," said Clarke.  "Yes, we are looking at sports cars and other series," but he would not comment whether his visit to the Champ Car paddock meant that Honda was looking at Champ Car again.  If anything the general consensus among the four of us that spoke to Clarke was that the meetings were most likely to talk about getting the two series (IRL and Champ Car) back together again. 

On the question of whether Honda has any old CART 2.65L turbo engines on the shelf, "No they have all been destroyed except for the few we keep for history," added Clarke. Mark C. 

09/23/05 Robert Clarke is now meeting with both Kevin Kalkhoven and Carl Russo. Something is coming down it appears (Robert Clarke pictured right waiting in PKV hospitality for Kevin Kalkhoven). 09/23/05 AutoRacing1.com can report that Honda Performance Development President Robert Clarke is here in the Las Vegas paddock today. We last saw him meeting with RuSPORT boss Carl Russo. Also here is Arie Luyendyk Jr and Arie Luyendyk Sr making the rounds. More later.....
09/27/05
Racing News
RACEceiver Developers to receive 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award RACEceiver Developers to receive 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial AwardJoe Vinson and Ken Pirkle, developers of the RACEceiver one-way communications system, will receive the 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the Busch Series race Friday night, Oct. 14, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe's Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport's outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment, and it is in his honor the award is named. Vinson and Pirkle founded Innovative Spectator Products in 2001 based on the idea of producing a compact scanner race fans could use to monitor driver-team communications. The RACEceiver was introduced in 2004 and allows officials to warn competitors of on-track hazards, align cars for restarts and communicate other pertinent information to drivers during events. The World of Outlaws sprint car and late model series, the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series and Iowa's Knoxville Raceway are among the sanctioning bodies and tracks utilizing the RACEceiver. It is also used extensively by 600 Racing for all Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero races across the country. Previous winners of the Bobby Isaac Memorial Award include journalists Chris Economaki and Tom Higgins; promoters Hugh Deery, Henry Furr and John Moose; drivers Jack Ingram and Harry Gant; motorsports equipment manufacturer Brian Butler; and American Sprint Car Series founder Emmett Hahn. LMS
09/27/05
nascar
Alabama Governor To Proclaim Sunday "Rusty Wallace Day" Alabama Governor To Proclaim Sunday "Rusty Wallace Day"Alabama Governor Bob Riley will proclaim Sunday, Oct. 2 as "Rusty Wallace Day" in the state, joining Talladega Superspeedway in special recognition of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver during pre-race ceremonies before the start of the UAW-Ford 500. Wallace will officially retire from full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition at the end of this year, with this 2005 final season in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge titled "Rusty's Last Call." In addition to Gov. Riley's proclamation, Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch will present Wallace with a framed, one-of-a-kind print thanking him for the many memories he's created over the course of his 25-year career. Also, Wallace and his wife, Patti, will be granted lifetime passes to Talladega Superspeedway. The UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway will be start #699 in the series for Wallace, his 45th here. Great seats are still available to the UAW-Ford 500 event weekend Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at Talladega Superspeedway by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Talladega Superspeedway PR
09/27/05
nascar
Bobby Allison Official Spokesperson for NASCAR Game Bobby Allison Official Spokesperson for NASCAR GameNASCAR Legend Bobby Allison, has reached an agreement to become the official spokesperson for the new NASCAR DVD Board Game, from Specialty Board Games. Set to hit shelves this fall, the NASCAR DVD Board Game incorporates the excitement of racing while testing the players' knowledge of one of the world's most favorite sports. Featuring a short and long track on a double-sided board, actual NASCAR footage, 5.0 surround-sound, and interactive DVD technology, the game provides the fans with a realistic experience that brings the excitement of NASCAR into the homes of fans, the object of the game being the first to complete a lap around either a Short Track or Superspeedway and enter Victory Lane. Allison will be making appearances this fall at NASCAR tracks and events, as well as in-store visits and appearances at consumer events and press interviews. In addition, Allison will be partaking in a tour of the markets in which upcoming NASCAR races will be taking place including the following locations: Talladega, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Miami. More info at bobbyallison.com
09/27/05
A1 Grand Prix
Ticket sales huge for A1 GP race Ticket sales huge for A1 GP raceUPDATE #3 The official attendance was announced by organizers as over 72,000 people over the 3-day race weekend, with 46,000 watching the two main races on Sunday. 09/24/05 There are a lot of fans at Brands Hatch this morning so it looks like the claims by the promoters of 80,000 for the weekend is real.  There are a lot of Dutch here, which goes to show you how starved the Dutch are for a big time motorsport event, especially when Jos Verstappen is involved.  Too bad for Champ Car, they blew their chance to get Jos Verstappen, a driver who has a huge fan following.  Just goes to show you the drivers who are 'heroes' bring the fans out in droves, as we at AutoRacing1.com have always maintained. Gary Parravani reporting from Brands Hatch

09/22/05 Organizers are now expecting 80,000 spectators for the weekend, 5,000 more than the recent 75,000 for World Superbikes and double what Champ Car drew in 2003.  All grandstands seats are sold out. 09/20/05 The first ever A1 Grand Prix race will be the biggest event in recent years for UK circuit Brands Hatch after ticket sales exceeded that of regular crowd puller, the World Superbike Championship.

The A1 GP stages its debut race at the circuit just outside London, on Sunday.  Interest in the series has now sent sales soaring well in excess of the 60,000 mark – and out-selling its two-wheel rival. A spokesman for the circuit said: “Response has been fantastic. There is a real demand out there for the event and the first race will have a huge crowd.”  [Editor's Note:  Champ Car was trying to do the team/country concept, got as far as one team, Team Australia, and then stopped.  Meanwhile A1GP, with huge Arab money behind it, is executing the concept to perfection and the results show it.]

09/27/05
f1
'We took a step forward in Brazil' 'We took a step forward in Brazil'Michael Schumacher left Interlagos the evening after the race and flew to Switzerland together with Jean Todt. The seven-time World Champion will enjoy a brief break before beginning testing on Thursday and Friday. This will probably be the final test session of the year and will be held at the French Le Castellet circuit.

The Grand Prix of Brazil proved that Ferrari had taken a forward step in performance and that the Scuderia has a good chance of maintaining third place in the Constructors’ championship.

“The value of the team is very important to us,” declared Michael. “We would like to keep third place. Losing it would not be very nice, not only for the pit lane position next year but above all for the image of the Scuderia. Coming third in a year like this one would not be at all bad.”

The Brazilian performance holds out hope for the future. “We certainly saw an improvement. It was easier to close the gap on this circuit and we stayed ahead of BAR, Toyota and there was still a Renault behind us. Unfortunately, we were not in a condition to win but it was a step in the right direction. As I have already said, we would like to find a solution before the end of the season, putting us in a position to go on the attack again during winter testing.” Ferrari

09/27/05
f1
A proud moment for Bernard Dudot A proud moment for Bernard DudotFrom the turbo adventure, through the first V10 engines to now, Bernard Dudot has seen it all. He was Renault’s Deputy Managing Director at Viry until April 2005 – and a proud man!

Bernard, you participated in Renault’s F1 adventure from the 1970s onwards. What does Fernando’s performance mean to you?
“I have been lucky enough to be part of Renault’s three lives in F1. The turbo period, when we built something unique and learned a lot. Then the V10 era, which allowed us to build on this and win world titles. Finally, this third period of Renault’s return as a chassis and engine manufacturer. To see a 100% Renault car win the title is an unforgettable moment. I don’t think it could have happened without what came before.”

What was the weekend like for you?
“For me personally, it was important to be in Brazil to see Fernando’s championship winning race, even though I left the team last April. It was a powerful moment, after ninety endless minutes. I am proud to be a Renault man today.”

You know the RS25 engine by heart – how would you describe it?
“We made of the most of all our experience in the design phase. One of the concept’s biggest assets was that we were able to develop it very quickly. What’s more, thanks to its mechanical simplicity, we were able to introduce lots of developments. Its performance is a new benchmark for Renault.”

You have known a lot of champions. Where does Fernando rank among them?
“You can’t compare Fernando – he is simply himself. He is young, but has an incredible level of maturity. He might sometimes appear a little cool or distant, but he knows how to motivate an entire team. That is a useful ability! Renault F1 Team

09/27/05
a1gp
cc
A1GP leaves Champ Car standing at the starting gate A1GP leaves Champ Car standing at the starting gate[Editor's Note: An article that underscores A1GP's initial popularity. It is based on Champ Car's team/country concept that was executed to perfection and left Champ Car standing at the starting gate with their pants down.  After Team Australia, we're still waiting for Champ Car to announce their 2nd country/team...Or is it too late, beaten by the competition before they can even get started? After all, while Champ Car has one country/team announced, A1GP has 25 and is close to their 26th - in other words game, set and match. And while Champ Car tries to figure out how to get into the Asian market from a long distance, don't be surprised if Shaikh Maktoum beats them at every turn of the way with the same basic concept - team/country/spec cars/spec engines/spec tires.]

There was incident, excitement, old-fashioned racing and even the odd comedy moment as the A1 Grand Prix of Nations made its debut at Brands Hatch.

An estimated 80,000 came to the old circuit last weekend to enjoy this new concept - and they clearly enjoyed themselves.

A1 Grand Prix is a very watchable concept and fans will have noticed some contrasts with Formula One.

It is affordable - the £29 ticket is a third of the cheapest for the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.

It is accessible, with the public having a chance to get into the paddock and see the teams' preparations close-up.

And with all 25 drivers using the same Lola cars and V8 Zytek engines, the race came down to a contest of driving rather than technology.

The bigger back wheels meant less down force and more sliding around as the cars came out of bends, adding to the spectacle.

The cars looked good and they sounded good but perhaps they could have gone a little bit faster than the current top speed of around 190 mph. More at BBC Sport

09/27/05
cc
nascar
Identifying race fans made easy Identifying race fans made easy[Editor's Note:  There is a lot of truth to this article.  The key is that NASCAR understands who and what their fans are (called Bubbas by NASCAR) and want and market accordingly.  Champ Car is primarily followed by the 'wine and cheese' set whether they want to believe that or not.  Champ Car fans are generally better educated and earn more money, but there is a smaller pool to draw from and because they earn more money, have the luxury to spend it doing a wide variety of things on a Sunday afternoon rather than sit in front of the TV screen and watch a race.  This is the dilemma for Champ Car, ALMS, etc. - how to market to an overall smaller pool of potential race fans.  With that said, F1 does it, and except for the USA, does it well.]

Before the rubber met the road for race winners Todd Bodine and Sebastien Bourdais during Saturday night's Double Down in the Desert NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series/Champ Car World Series doubleheader at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, about 50,000 fans of the two series filed into the grandstands to see if they could peacefully co-exist for a few hours.

From where I was sitting about 300 yards beyond the start-finish line, it was a frightening experiment.

Forget about mixing apples and oranges. This was like grafting the head of a fly onto Jeff Goldblum's body.

Anybody who believes if you've seen one auto race, you've seem them all, wasn't at LVMS when the motorized distant cousins and their fans traded paint at the 1.5-mile superspeedway north of town.

NASCAR beer and pretzels, meet Champ Car wine and cheese.

If there is anything more disparate than a 3,400-pound, 185-mph Craftsman Truck and a 1,500-pound, 240-mph Champ Car, it's the fans who follow the respective series, as I discovered on the way to Turn One Saturday night.  More at Las Vegas Sun

09/27/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Alonso's Spanish trick
Red praise for blue defeater
Munich to host F1 talks
Alonso not going home
Schu to test in France
'Alonso not F1's best driver'
Pizzonia to keep '05 seat?
DC also had Michelin hitch
'Maybe I'll do F1' - Rossi
Champion doubts 'Alonso era'
Alonso won't race forever
McLaren testers 'vulnerable'
09/26/05
alms
Audi wants an American driver Audi wants an American driverAudi is starting a search for an up-and-coming driver from the States to join its sports car squad. Audi North America has revealed it would like to have a domestic driver as part of its future American Le Mans Series lineup. The U.S. subsidiary has had a presence in the series with the Joest and Champion teams since 2000 but has never had an American driver in one of its cars.

Audi North America motorsport manager Rod Bymaster, who reaffirmed his company’s long-term commitment to the ALMS, said, “We do really need to look at having a young American driver one day. It would give us a lot of promotional advantages. We would like to get back into the SCCA World Challenge [in which it last competed with an RS6 in 2004] next year and that could be a way of bringing someone on. It is something we are planning for, but it could be a few years down the line.” AutoWeek

09/26/05
f1
A close look at the MP4-20’s nosebox A close look at the MP4-20’s noseboxThe nosebox is the first point of a Formula 1 car to puncture the air or, in the event of a head-on collision, to absorb a more solid impact.

This crucial structure has four key requirements: to channel air effectively for aerodynamics, to support the front wing, to be quick to change and most importantly, to protect the driver’s main safety cell - the monocoque - in a crash.

Made of carbon fiber impregnated with resin, the structure is laminated in order to provide the most effective energy-absorbing properties. During its construction, individual plies of carbon fiber are layered and staggered so that the car’s deceleration is controlled progressively.

"The beauty of composite construction is that you can put plies exactly where they need to be to optimize the load-bearing requirement," explains Matthew Jeffreys, Senior Project Engineer, McLaren Racing. zzzz

The component's function as the frontal energy-absorbing structure is regulated by Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, with its length being influenced by the amount of energy and deceleration it must sustain.

Each new nosebox design must pass two mandatory tests, one a static side load test and the other an impact test. In this, the nosebox is fitted to a monocoque - complete with driver dummy - mounted on a trolley and crashed into a wall. To pass the test, all the energy must be absorbed by the nosebox, with no damage incurred to the monocoque or dummy.
"People often comment that the test speed of 14 meters per second (around 50km/h) is not very fast compared with the speed at which a Formula 1 car travels," says Jeffreys. "But during the test the car is in effect hitting an immovable brick wall, whereas on the circuit the crash barriers take some of the energy so not all of it is absorbed by the nosebox itself." Upon impact, the carbon fiber will turn to dust.

"Generally the smaller the particles you are left with, the more efficient the structure has been," he explains. Another of the nosebox's crucial functions is as the supporting structure for the front wing assembly, which is mounted by two aerodynamically shaped wing hangers.

"A feature of the technical regulation changes for the 2005 season has been to raise the front wing," adds Jeffreys. "This has not really affected the structural requirement of the nosebox, but it has had an impact on the shape of the nosebox in order for it to fulfill the aerodynamic needs."

Since even the slightest contact may damage the front wing, another important feature of the nosebox is that it is quick and easy to change in a pit stop. The team has designed four quick-release fasteners which allow the unit to be detached from the car’s monocoque and replaced in a mere five seconds.

Team McLaren Mercedes takes seven noseboxes to each Grand Prix - two for each car, including the T-car plus a spare - and makes around 25 per year in total. As each new design must undergo a crash test, a revised design will only be introduced mid-season if there are significant aerodynamic advantages to be gained.

Technical specification MP4-20
Length: 780mm
Height: 394mm
Width: 300mm
Material: Pre-preg carbon fiber Source McLaren Mercedes

09/26/05
irl
cc
IRL drivers call for unification IRL drivers call for unificationVitor Meira, one of Patrick's teammates for Rahal Letterman Racing, has another suggestion. He'd like to see the IndyCar Series reunite with the CART Champ Car series. The two open-wheel series split 10 years ago.

"That would be just a big bonus," Meira said. "Just taking the momentum we have now, I think that would be the next step. But again, I don't know what the situation is, and I don't want to know. That's for people in IRL and the big guys to do."

Would that help the IndyCar Series compete with NASCAR's Nextel Cup?

"I don't know if this needs to happen," Meira said. "All I know is that we are dividing everything - fans and sponsors and effort and work and people. I don't think that's the way to go, and I think everybody knows that. How to make it happen? How to make the unification? I don't know. There's people with much more experience in doing only that. - I think that's the way to go. That's the only way to go, I guess."

Kanaan and his Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti agreed.

"Absolutely, we need to be one series," Franchitti said.

"Would help a lot," Kanaan said. "That would be the next step, for sure. That's all we need. We all need that. We need to make it happen."

Does Kanaan see IndyCar eventually - or ever - competing with Nextel Cup?

"It's going to take awhile," he said. "Someday, I hope so. It's going to take awhile. Cup cars have been around forever. So it's not going to be from one year to the other that we're going to grow like that. It's a fairly young series - it's only 10 years old - so I think we have the potential for sure." Star Gazette

[Editor's Note: There won't be one series until one dies because Tony George and his lieutenants feel their idea of what Indy Car racing should be is the correct one, while those who have studied the history of the sport realize it won't work........the photo at the right is all the evidence we need.]

09/26/05
f1
Dennis says Kimi and Juan better than Fernando Dennis says Kimi and Juan better than FernandoMcLaren boss Ron Dennis doesn’t believe that new champion Fernando Alonso is really a match for Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, despite beating them to the world championship this year.

“Our drivers certainly have better equipment but personally I feel they're also better drivers,” Dennis told Autosport-Atlas.

“This may sound like sour grapes and I'm taking something away from him, which I'm certainly not, but it's the way I feel.  We’ll only know now how strong or not he is, because he’s been driving percentages over the last few races,” Dennis told Autosport-Atlas.

Even if Alonso had gone flat-out in Brazil, he wouldn't have beaten the McLaren drivers, reckoned Dennis.

"That wouldn't have made any difference," he said.

09/26/05
alms
Q and A with Fellows and Turner Q and A with Fellows and Turner
09/26/05
irl
a1gp
Piquet Jr. chosen over Kanaan Piquet Jr. chosen over KanaanAccording to this Indy Star article, Nelson Piquet Jr. was chosen over IRL champion Tony Kanaan to represent the Brazilian national team in the Brazil A1GP race.
09/26/05
f1
Pizzonia confident of racing in Japan Pizzonia confident of racing in JapanAntonio Pizzonia is 'quite confident' that he will race for Williams in Japan and China, suggesting that Nick Heidfeld may well have driven his last event for the team.  After his home event, Pizzonia said: "I'm quite confident that I'm doing the next two races.  I don't see any reason why I shouldn't do it. As far as I know Nick is not fit, but I really don't know."
09/26/05
f1
Haug is still steaming Haug is still steamingMercedes boss Norbert Haug is still furious over Antonio Pizzonia’s collision with Juan Pablo Montoya at Spa. Pizzonia hit Montoya while trying to unlap himself in the Belgian Grand Prix, costing McLaren a certain eight points.

“It is ridiculous,” said Haug. “That may decide the outcome of a world championship and (the punishment) is 8,000 euros. I have a very clear view on this - a backmarker who is lapped should not affect the outcome of a race, which could affect the outcome of a world championship. He should be penalized. He got it wrong, badly wrong. It would not have happened if Nick Heidfeld was behind the wheel.”

Haug’s McLaren counterpart Ron Dennis said he understood his partner’s fury, and added that backmarkers were becoming a wider problem.

"Norbert's frustration is if it costs us the constructors' championship it is not particularly nice," said Dennis. The drivers who just don't get out of the way, they influence the outcome of world championships. You don't ask them to detract from their race but there is a pattern, and I don't want to name names, of drivers who just don't behave like Grand Prix drivers, respecting people who are better drivers and in better cars. There are those people who say incidents, accidents, interfering with the leader and everything is good for Formula 1. But if you are on the receiving end it is damned frustrating."

09/26/05
f1
FIA toughens safety car rule FIA toughens safety car ruleThe FIA has toughened the rules regarding safety car periods to prevent a repeat of McLaren’s pit stop tactics at Spa.  Kimi Raikkonen held the pack up under the safety car while his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya completed his pit stop. 

"After the teams have been informed the safety car will be deployed, any car driven at a pace we consider unnecessarily slow and that could endanger other drivers, will be reported to the stewards,” said an FIA statement.  This will apply to cars being driven on the track, the pit entry and the pit lane."

09/26/05
ga
Pacific Coast to move up Daytona Prototypes Pacific Coast to move up Daytona PrototypesPacific Coast Motorsports (“PCM”) is pleased to announce that next season the Ventura-based team’s championship-winning pedigree will be focused on campaigning a Riley-Pontiac Daytona Prototype in the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.

While looking ahead and planning for a full season of Grand American competition in 2006, subject to the delivery of the team’s new Riley chassis and Pontiac power-plant, PCM might look to kick start their Daytona Prototype (“DP”) effort this November with the fourteenth and final round of the 2005 season in Mexico City, 4th-5th November.

Tyler Tadevic, PCM Team Director spoke enthusiastically about the squad’s switch to the Rolex Sports Car Series:

“I’m really excited to be putting together a Daytona Prototype entry for 2006.  I’m confident that in the Riley-Pontiac combination we have at our disposal a competitive race package and one that will confirm our status as a leading racing organization.” zzzz

He continued, “I’m delighted that by using the Pontiac engine we’re continuing our association with General Motors.  We enjoyed a strong working relationship with GM throughout our 2005 sports car campaign and I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on those foundations in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.”

On the subject of a potential debut in Mexico City at season’s end Tadevic explained, “We’ve placed all the appropriate orders to get our race package up and running as quickly as possible.  If we have sufficient lead-time to familiarize ourselves with the new car and I believe we can put together a competitive debut in that timeframe, then we’ll definitely consider running in Mexico.  If that’s the case then our driver line-up from 2005 will remain unchanged, Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel will partner behind the wheel.”

While confirming the participation of one Daytona Prototype in the Rolex Sports Car Series, PCM is keen to expand its efforts and is looking to run a second DP car to take full advantage of their existing facilities, equipment and personnel – the team successfully retaining its multiple-championship winning group of mechanics and engineers ahead of the new season.

Parties interested in a PCM-run Daytona Prototype entry for 2006 should contact Tyler Tadevic directly: Tel: +1 805 485 3045 / Email: tyler@pcmracing.com

09/26/05
alms
Petit LeMans pre-test Petit LeMans pre-testTwelve teams from the American Le Mans Series took advantage of a three-day open test session at Road Atlanta for the eighth annual Petit Le Mans, set for this weekend at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Northeast Georgia road course.

It's pretty clear that no one wanted to show all of the proverbial cards. Of the cars there, the No. 37 Intersport Racing Lola B05/40 posting the weekend 's quickest times (between 1:12.9 to 1:19 laps). Father-son duo Jon and Clint Field did most of the testing, along with co-driver Liz Halliday. The LMP2 entry was unofficially faster than the Porsche RS Spyder, which tested Friday and Saturday. The car is not entered in Petit Le Mans.

The other P2 entry on hand was B-K Motorsports' No. 8 Mazda-powered Courage of Jamie Bach, Guy Cosmo and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Since the last ALMS round at Mosport earlier this month, the car has been at the Buford, Ga., shop of engine guru Dennis Spencer. zzzz

Sunday marked the first time Forbes-Robinson drove the car and his first laps at Road Atlanta since 2001. "I think there are a few things we can do to make it faster," EFR said. "It's a stable car. The engine reliability definitely makes this the car you want to have in this race."

No other team put more laps on their cars than Aston Martin Racing's two DBR9s. The No. 57 entry of David Brabham, Darren Turner and Jonny Kane turned laps between 1:18.6 and 1:20. The No. 58 car of Peter Kox, Tomas Enge and Pedro Lamy were about a half second to a second off their teammates' pace.

"It was a good day," Turner said. "We are looking for a little more pace. We did a lot of tire testing, so we should be OK."

ACEMCO Motorsports' No. 63 Saleen wasn't that far off the times from the No. 57. The car of Terry Borcheller, Johnny Mowlem and Ralf Kelleners were consistently between the 1:18 and 1:19 brackets.

There were a number of GT2 teams on hand, including two Porsches from both Flying Lizard Motorsports and Alex Job Racing. The AJR Porsches each were around the 1:24 range, with the No. 23 of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard dipping into the high 1:22s. Dumas said the team experimented in the afternoon with a new shock package that the crew will develop throughout the week.

Flying Lizards' two cars were between 1:25 and 1:28. BAM! also brought its Porsche for the test sessions and hovered around the 1:26 mark.

There weren't many offs reported, the most serious coming when the No. 24 AJR Porsche went off at the exit of Turn 1. The car sustained moderate damage to its rear but nothing that will require significant work, the team said. That bodes well for what could be top-to-bottom one of the most competitive Petit Le Mans we've seen

Petit Le Mans is the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series. The annual 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. EDT Saturday at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage. Qualifying is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT Friday. American Le Mans Series Radio, and IMSA Living and Timing Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

09/26/05
irl
Dixon Relishes Return to Road Course Glory at the Glen Dixon Relishes Return to Road Course Glory at the Glen[Editor's Note: Perhaps this win will help Chip Ganassi realize how much he misses road racing and Champ Car, and will spur his return that much sooner, as the rumors suggest.  We hear Chip is tired visiting his drivers in the hospital.] Target Chip Ganassi Racing was a team on a mission as the green flag dropped at the inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix and Scott Dixon along with teammate Giorgio Pantano battled their way to the checkered flag to celebrate a long awaited win and a fourth place finish.

From his fourth place starting position, Dixon moved his no.9 Target Toyota Panoz up to third spot on the first of what would prove to be an exciting 60-lap event on the historic Watkins Glen International 3.37-mile road course. The determined Target driver would go on to pass Tony Kanaan not once, but twice for the lead, and held him off once again on a restart with four laps to go in the race.

"This is just such a great win for me and the Target team because we knew we had the car for this track which is very difficult and also rewarding when you put a good lap together.” said Dixon who posts his 4th career IndyCar series win. ” We had to have good fuel strategy and we knew this track was all about momentum. It's good to come back to the road courses and win once again. This one win makes this very difficult season so much better.” zzzz

After leading the most laps with 25, and setting the fastest lap of the race at 131.375mph (lap 38) to earn the Firestone Performance Award, Dixon finally put on the brakes to a long and arduous road to victory circle to claim the team first winner’s trophy in 40 races.

“This is such a relief for the team,” said Dixon who gave the Target team their last win at Richmond on their way to the 2003 IndyCar Series Championship title. “They did a great job all day and this group really deserves it. Watkins Glen is a true drivers' track; everybody loves it. It is a lot of fun but it was a hard race. We ran strong all day, and this is a great feeling.”

Dixon’s victory not only gives the Target team its 46th win in an open wheel series and their 27th on a road or street course, but it also puts him in illustrious kiwi company as he joins New Zealanders Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Chris Amon and Howden Ganley, as drivers who have tasted success at the historic circuit.

Not to be forgotten are the efforts of Target’s Giorgio Pantano in just his second IndyCar start.  The Italian driver took the green flag from the front row of the grid and despite early set backs, including a difficult first pit stop that put him back to 18th place after a drive-through penalty, had a tremendous drive to a fourth place finish.

“My car was really fantastic and I was able to push really hard, “said Pantano of the no.10 Toyota Panoz his Target team prepared. “The pit lane penalty really hurt us and we missed being up there at the front with Scott. It’s just a great result for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team. I had a great time and was very happy to be part of it. Maybe we can do it again.”

09/26/05
f1
Alonso sends TV ratings skyward Alonso sends TV ratings skywardTV ratings in Spain to watch Spaniard Fernando Alonso lock up the F1 world crown in Brazil Sunday was 13.5 million viewers/62 share. Spain is a small country compared to the USA, yet this TV ratings dwarfs what NASCAR gets in the USA. F1 is still king and heroes still make or break a sport.
09/26/05
Industry News
Porsche to buy VW shares Porsche to buy VW sharesShares of Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest carmaker, may rise after Porsche AG said it's acquiring 20 percent of the common stock to prevent a hostile takeover that would undermine the companies' partnership.   ``The share price of Volkswagen should go up quite favorably,'' said Patrick Juchemich, an analyst with Sal Oppenheim in Frankfurt, who has a ``reduce'' rating on Volkswagen stock and a ``neutral'' rating on Porsche shares. Investors will assume Porsche ``has done the due diligence'' on Volkswagen's financials, he said.

Porsche, maker of the 911 sports car, will pay for the Volkswagen stock out of existing capital, the Stuttgart, Germany- based company said yesterday. The investment would be worth about 3.3 billion euros ($4 billion)at Sept. 23's closing price. Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, welcomes Porsche's interest in ``a strategic stake,'' said Frank Gaube, a Volkswagen spokesman.

Porsche has been purchasing Volkswagen's common or voting shares in recent days, currently owning less than 5 percent of the carmaker's stock, Porsche spokesman Manfred Ayasse said yesterday. Porsche has reserves worth 3 billion euros to 4 billions that could be used to buy Volkswagen stock, he said.

Volkswagen's ties to Porsche go back to the company's creation under the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Ferdinand Porsche, the grandfather of Volkswagen's current 68-year- old chairman, was the company's first leader. His father, Anton Piech, married Porsche's daughter and became Volkswagen's director. The extended Porsche-Piech family controls all of the sports-car maker's voting shares and Ferdinand Piech is on the Porsche board.

Shares of Volkswagen have gained 16 percent in the past six trading sessions and 56 percent this year, giving the company a market value, including both common and preferred shares, of 20.5 billion euros. The common stock closed at a three-year high on Sept. 23 of 51.55 euros. Porsche's shares have advanced 44 percent this year to 679.12 euros, giving the company a market value of 11.9 billion euros.

The investment is intended to prevent ``a hostile takeover of Volkswagen,'' Porsche said in a statement yesterday. ``Volkswagen has become not only an important development partner, but also an important supplier for about 30 percent of unit sales.''  More at Bloomberg.com

09/26/05
Racing News
Doctor killed in accident Doctor killed in accidentAn Allentown, PA physician died Saturday after his car crashed during an amateur race in Connecticut.  Adam Zimmerman, 36, who had a family practice in Lopatcong Township, was fatally injured when he crashed into another car as it was stopped by a sidewall at Lime Rock Park in Salisbury, Conn.

Zimmerman, an avid amateur race car driver, was competing in an Eastern Motor Racing Association race. Lime Rock features a well-known road course.  "With great sadness we must tell you that EMRA lost one of its own, Adam Zimmerman, at Lime Rock September 24," a statement on the association's Web site read late Sunday. "Our prayers, thoughts, and condolences are with his family and friends."

Zimmerman, a graduate of the Warren Hospital family practice residency program, was pronounced dead at Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Conn., from head injuries.  The unidentified driver of the other car was treated at the track. State police are investigating.

Family members declined to comment. Zimmerman lived with his wife, Deborah; son, Joshua; and daughter, Giselle.  Zimmerman received his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and graduated from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J.   More at Pennlive.com

09/26/05
f1
Spanish King salutes Alonso triumph Spanish King salutes Alonso triumphSpain's King Juan Carlos on Sunday warmly congratulated newly-crowned world motor racing king Fernando Alonso after the 24-year-old became the youngest ever winner of the Formula One drivers' championship.

"Juan Carlos expressed his great happiness and has proffered his warmest congratulations (to Alonso) in his name, that of the queen and the royal household and all Spaniards as this is a great day for the Spanish people," a royal household statement read.

Alonso's triumph at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil came less than three weeks after he won Spain's prestigious Asturias Prize for Sport for his thrilling exploits on the way to ending the six-year reign of outgoing champion Michael Schumacher.

09/26/05
f1
Sunday notes - Brazil Sunday notes - BrazilUnlike Fernando Alonso, not every face was filled with glory at the end of Sunday's Sao Paulo contest.

Portugal's Jordan rookie Tiago Monteiro, gunning for Michael Schumacher's record of 17 straight grand prix finishes, putted to a smoky halt with a suspected broken Toyota.

His 16-race run, though, is a record for a rookie.  Monteiro did not get a pat on the back from Juan Pablo Montoya, after the pair had continued to argue in the Thursday press conference about who was to blame for a recent race clash.  Then, after winning in Brazil, Colombia's JPM said: ''All the backmarkers were ok today except Monteiro.  He cost me two seconds in one lap, which was annoying.''

David Coulthard and Antonio Pizzonia, meanwhile, exchanged finger points after their Brazilian grand prix didn't even make it to the braking zone at turn one.  ''Antonio was moving over,'' Red Bull's 34-year-old DC said, ''but there wasn't anywhere to move to.  I'm surprised if he didn't know I was there.''  Home town lad Pizzonia, again filling in for Williams' Nick Heidfeld, blamed it on the Scottish veteran.  ''I just felt a sudden impact from behind,'' he explained.  ''I am surprised because he has many, many grands prix under his belt.''

Jacques Villeneuve's problems kicked off before the red lights had even gone out.  The French Canadian had to start his Sauber from pit lane after the Swiss team made an illegal change to the anti-roll bar setting in parc ferme.

09/26/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Schumacher Who?'
Ralf, Toyota, slam Michelin
Kimi not too disappointed
FIA stop safety car trick
F1 team 'serious' about Dan
Change on way for 30-day pact
Schu not sad at end of reign
'Sir Frank to bounce back'
'05 Heidfeld return unlikely
F1 slow-coaches slammed
09/26/05
a1gp
A1 GP Brands Hatch postscript A1 GP Brands Hatch postscriptAfter an enjoyable day yesterday I hit the stationary traffic 10 miles outside Brands Hatch on my way to the track Sunday.  To make it even worse it was raining.

I  had a feeling it was going to be a bad day!  Two hours later I had managed to make a 20 mile detour around the  traffic jam and was in the track, and the sun was out!   Another day of  topping up my bright red sun tan.....to the sound of A1 Grand Prix cars hitting their rev limiters around a damp  Kent circuit I headed to the media centre to make sure my camera and  lap top hadn’t walked off over night. After a couple of hours watching some enjoyable support races it was time for the first ever A1 Grand Prix race!

But first, the A1 Grand Prix opening ceremony! When I walked into the circuit I saw some nets covering some helium balloons, so I assumed that was all the opening ceremony would be.

How wrong I was.

The parade reminded me of a cross between a carnival, the Olympics and a taxi rank.

Each driver in turn was driven through a parade of dancers, acrobats and flag bearers in black London taxis. zzzz

Each driver was announced as they got out of their taxi and balloons and fireworks went off representing the colors of the respective country.

It was all very exciting and very well done.

Could the race live up to the hype?  The first race was a short spring with no pitstop.

The sight of the cars speeding around the beautiful roller coaster that is Brands Hatch was impressive, but unfortunately the race was a little dull, with little over taking.

Piquet Junior taking a dominant victory.   The second race, however, was a different matter.

The feature race was longer than the sprint and had a pit stop.

As it turned out the pit stops added the spice to the race by giving Piquet Junior some work to do, making a daring pass for the lead in the final section of the race.

Jr didn’t manage to take all the headlines though.

I was standing at the top of the hill at Druids hairpin, and I saw in the distance from the corner of my eye what I thought was a car flying down paddock hill upside down in mid air.

I watched the brilliant safety team withdraw the very lucky (and unhurt) Khalil Bashir from his upside down car, his head stuck in the gravel trap.

Later on I watched the replay on TV.

The Team Lebanon entry closing the door on Enrico Toccacelo at the top of paddock Hill Bend and took off, barrel rolling down the hill.

A lucky escape for the driver and for A1 Grand Prix.  After the race there was major celebration by the Brazilians, although the 'one man' attempt by one Brazilian fan to create a track invasion came to nothing.  All in all it was a good day for the drivers, the circuit, and the fans and for A1 Grand Prix. Gary Parravani reporting for AutoRacing1.com

09/26/05
f1
F1 crowns young champion F1 crowns young championSpain's King, Prince and Prime Minister were among the first to phone the youngest ever drivers' world champion, crowned after finishing behind a McLaren one-two in Brazil.

''It is too early to realize what is happening to me,'' the cool but perhaps a little overwhelmed Renault ace Fernando Alonso, 24, remarked.

''It is impossible to really say anything about it now.''

The grand prix in Sao Paulo, though, was - even with improvements to the Renault - really a race between two superior McLarens. Alonso's former title charger, Kimi Raikkonen, ultimately lost out to his Colombian stablemate, Juan Pablo Montoya.

''We probably lost the drivers' championship when Fernando was stronger at the start of the season,'' said the 30-year-old, ''but as a team we are probably a lot stronger now.

''I think we deserve the constructors' championship.''

If Finland's Raikkonen looked a little more glum than usual, it was probably that he was beaten fair and square by the man in the sister car. ''I wasn't quick enough at the beginning,'' the 25-year-old conceded.

''We knew that Fernando was probably going to do it some day so it happened now -- he deserves it.''

Alonso, born in Oviedo, has single-handedly turned Spain on to formula one. Boss Flavio Briatore aside, who put him in a Minardi back in 2001, he doesn't have too many people to thank. ''I would say this is thanks to three or four people,'' Fernando reminisced, remembering those days of trying to convince Spaniards to help him, ''no more than that.''

09/25/05
Formula BMW
Mexican David Garza Jr. lands FBMW ride Mexican David Garza Jr. lands FBMW rideMexican David Garza Jr., who just turned 17, will be making his racing car debut after it was announced today he has signed with the Eurointernational  for the 2006 Formula BMW USA Championship.

The Monterrey, Mexico, native, said he regards his new challenge with much enthusiasm and relishes the opportunity to compete against the youngest talents coming from all around the world to compete in the highly competitive Formula BMWUSA  Championship.

“ I am very excited to compete with Eurointernational becoming the youngest driver in the history of the Team” said David Garza Jr.” I am looking forward to start testing for next season in the best competitive position possible. I hope to reward my family, my sponsors and my team with a winning 2006 FBMW USA season”.

David Garza Jr., who studies at the American School Foundation of Monterrey, started racing in karting only last year winning at his debut the Mexican Rotax  Jr. Championship with 6 wins out of 8 races and he is currently leading the 125 c.c. shifter Championship with 9 wins and 8 poles. David graduated this summer at the Valencia, Spain, Formula BMW Licensing Course, where he has just taken part to the final selection for the 2006 FBMWUSA scholarship.

“David is an impressive young man and it is absolutely remarkable how much progress in karting he has made in so short a time”  said Eurointernational owner Arturo Antonio Ferrari” He has a great character on and off the track and I am proud to have him represent our team next year in the Formula BMW USA Championship”.

“Signing David already in September 2005” concluded Ferrari “ will give us a great start for next season allowing all necessary tests and technical preparation for our new driver, who will have a teammate to be announced soon” zzzz

Eurointernational has won with Italian driver Edoardo Piscopo the last two FBMW USA races at Denver and Barber and will compete with Piscopo in the Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain , finishing the 2005 Formula BMW USA season next week in Road Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2006, with the new racing program in Champ Car, with the continuation in the World Series by Renault Championship, and with the possible participation to the Italian/European  Formula Renault 2000 or FRV6 Series, the Formula BMW USA Championship will be for Eurointernational the first step of a unique ladder program for the Drivers, offering a worldwide market opportunity to Sponsors and technical Partners.

09/25/05
IPS Series
Simmons beats Andretti at The Glen Simmons beats Andretti at The GlenJeff Simmons claimed his fourth win in six races as he won the Corning 100.   Simmons, who became the first Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver to win on a short oval, superspeedway and road course, jumped to second in the series point standings, 33 behind point leader Wade Cunningham, who finished third.

Marco Andretti, who had won the three previous road/street events in the series finished second after leading with two laps to go.  Simmons passed the young Andretti in traffic and went on to win.

Results Sunday of the Corning 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event at the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International circuit, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any): 
1. (2) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 29 
2. (4) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
3. (1) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
4. (6) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
5. (13) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
6. (12) Phil Giebler, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
7. (3) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
8. (7) Larry Connor, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
9. (5) Bobby Wilson, Dallara-Infiniti, 29, Running
10. (9) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 28, Running
11. (11) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 28, Running
12. (8) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 27, Running
13. (10) Rocco DeSimone, Dallara-Infiniti, 4, Mechanical
14. (14) Scott Mansell, Dallara-Infiniti, 0, Did not start         

Race Statistics      
Winner's average speed: 114.159 mph      
Time of race: 00:51:21.9152      
Margin of victory: 0.6316 of a second      
Cautions: 1 for 1 lap      
Lead changes: 2 among 2 drivers      
Lap leaders: Simmons 1, Andretti 2-26, Simmons 27-29.      
Point standings: Cunningham 467, Simmons 434, Gregg 426, Bussell
400, Camara 383, Festa 355, Herb 342, Roth 329, Drake 323, Andretti 250. zzzz

Quotes

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, Corning 100 winner): ""I knew we had a chance to get back in the lead. We've been one of the quickest cars all weekend, and so was Wade (Cunningham). Marco (Andretti) hadn't been that quick, and he drove a heck of a race obviously to fight to the end. I couldn't get the brake balance right on the car. We made a lot of changes actually sitting in the line to go out for the race. I didn't get a chance to test any of that stuff. I just had a lot of problems with the brakes early on and was able to sort that out most of the way. I locked up the rear brakes a lot in the race, and that's what sent me wide. I'm just happy that I saved that spin, got the 360 done and was able to keep going. To spin and win, I don't think that's really a good thing. Danny Sullivan got a lot of good credit for it, but when you spin it means you made a mistake." (About the pass of Marco) "He and I were both kind of hard on the brakes trying to a void the car that slid in front of him. In a way, I was hoping there wasn't going to be traffic, because it can mess you up just as easy as it's going to help you. Fortunately, it worked out OK for me, but I was measuring him up any way trying to get him out on the open track. It worked out well for us and gave us the gap we needed to make it to the end." (About moving into second in the championship) "It's actually in a way a little bittersweet. We have a chance mathematically in the points. If Wade has problems and we're able to win again, we have a chance. It's a little bittersweet because we had mechanical problems and got taken out a couple of times early in the year, so we know that we could have been way ahead in the points right now. To still have a chance after all of the problems we had, we came back in such a short amount of time, I'm proud of everyone on Team ISI and the Kenn Hardley Racing for sticking with it."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished second): "The lapped car didn't have his eyes open. Obviously, he didn't know I was there, or he would have just moved over. If he would have, it would have been my race. It happens. I still had a shot at the end, but then I got a little aero push."

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 33 Motorsport New Zealand Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished third): ""It was a tough day. Everything wasn't quite right. We had the car set up for higher downforce. It was difficult, but once everything settled down, the car was fast. I was quick, if not a little quicker than the guys in front of me, and I just couldn't go anywhere behind them. I couldn't get close enough to make a pass going into the corners. Other than that it was OK, third place, and we'll get ready for California (Speedway)."

CHRIS FESTA (No. 19 SpacePak/CareCentric/SSM Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished fourth): "The race went much better than the whole weekend. We're very happy with that. We finished 4th so that's a pretty good result. We got some points back that we needed. It just wasn't our weekend All weekend we haven't run the pace that some other guys had, so it wasn't the best weekend for us. We'll put it in the book and go to Fontana. It's (Watkins Glen) is a great track. It's high speed but it's also technical. You have to push the car hard to get what you want out of it. It's a great track for people like us to come and learn before we move into the big cars."

NICK BUSSELL (No. 9 Vision Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished fifth): "Yeah, it was a good run from where we started. The times got better too. We made improvements all around. I'm happy with the guys. They got the car ready after we changed motors and all kinds of things like that. We changed a lot overnight. They were the last guys out here. I'm glad to get in the top five for them. It was a little slick out there. The set up is kind of a guess. The track was a little slower than it's been, and we were running times that we were running before. We obviously made big improvements."

TRAVIS GREGG (No. 7  Lucas Oil Products/SSM Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished 12th): "I spun in Turn 8, and I think confidence-wise, it hurt me a little bit because I didn't push as hard. I had a problem this morning and I didn't want to tear any more equipment up. We struggled on a road course as always, but we usually have a good car. It's just me working up to speed." (About remaining in the title chase): "We've been strong on the ovals all year, and I'm actually looking forward to getting back on an oval. My team won the pole last year (at California Speedway), so we should be in good shape."

09/25/05
A1 Grand Prix
Piquet wins opening A1GP race Piquet wins opening A1GP raceUPDATE Piquet has won the feature race too. Full report later (photo right by Gary Parravani/AutoRacing1.com) . 09/25/05 Nelson Piquet Jr dominated the first-ever A1 Grand Prix sprint race at Brands Hatch for Team Brazil. Piquet Jr took the lead at the rolling start and was never headed, beating the French team car driven of Alexandre Premat by 2.440 seconds. Premat set the fastest lap of the race and, therefore, like Piquet takes 10 points away from the race for his country.

The only major incident of the race came on the opening lap. Former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen finished last in the Dutch car after a first lap accident with the South African car of Stephen Simpson.

Verstappen said: "The first and second corners went ok, but in the third turn, somebody came into me and broke some of my rear. There was nothing you can do when somebody does that. I have to start at the back for the second race, so that race is gone as well."

Pos Team Time
 1. Brazil 23:15.682
 2. France + 2.440
 3. New Zealand + 2.899
 4. Australia + 11.457
 5. Great Britain + 12.797
 6. Mexico + 17.273
 7. Pakistan + 18.032
 8. Portugal + 18.189
 9. Switzerland + 20.851
10. Ireland + 21.056
11. USA + 23.866
12. Japan + 25.192
13. Malaysia + 25.351
14. Germany + 25.905
15. India + 27.793
16. Italy + 35.521
17. Indonesia + 40.333
18. Czech Republic + 40.346
19. Canada + 42.621
20. Austria + 55.293
21. China + 58.194
22. Lebanon + 59.092
23. Russia + 1 Lap
24. South Africa + 1 Lap

DNF
 Netherlands 1

Fastest lap: France, 1:17.143 on lap 7

09/25/05
nascar
Robby’s Helmet to be auctioned off Robby’s Helmet to be auctioned offUPDATE #6 The final bid on the helmet was $51,100. 09/21/05 The Robby Gordon eBay auction for the helmet Gordon wore during Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway will be reinstated at 10 p.m. EDT tonight. Officials at Robby Gordon Motorsports, along with representatives of eBay, conferred on Wednesday afternoon and chose to allow Auction Cause, an on-line auction expert that assists non-profit organizations in maximizing fundraising efforts, to manage the process. Most notably, Auction Cause has the ability to properly pre-qualify bidders on the eBay site. The original bidding exceeded $10 million on Wednesday, and given the traffic on the site, it was difficult to determine the validity of all the bidders.

"For those that bid on Robby's helmet throughout the first 24 hours of the original auction, we're sorry that we are asking them to resubmit their bids, but we hope that everyone that submitted a valid bid will do so again," said John Story, CEO of Robby Gordon Motorsports. "However, given the charitable nature of Robby's efforts, we felt it absolutely necessary to create a marketplace representative of the helmet's true potential. There is obviously a lot of value to the helmet, particularly since it was last seen on network television in such a unique fashion. Robby has a genuine interest in helping build the Harrah's Employee Relief Fund, and all of us here want to help in any way we can. That's why it is so important to reestablish the auction and guarantee that every dollar pledged actually goes to the relief effort."

The new auction will end on Saturday evening.

09/21/05 Given an overwhelming and unexpected response, the Robby Gordon eBay auction featuring the helmet he wore in Sunday's race at New Hampshire International Speedway has been temporarily suspended in an effort to assess the validity of the bids that have been received. It is our hope that the auction will resume in a relatively short period of time. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in our efforts to raise money for the Harrah's Employee Relief Fund." 09/21/05 Bid now up to $9,700,350.00 and rising.  This might be the highest bid ever on eBay.  It's on every news show around the country.  Amazing. 09/21/05 The bid on eBay is now approaching $1 million. Someone must really want that helmet bad enough. 09/20/05 Bidding is going crazy.  It's at $40G's and there is still 6 days to go. 09/20/05 Making some good from a tough situation, Robby Gordon on Tuesday pledged to further assist the Harrah’s Employee Relief Fund, which was established following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, by auctioning off his race helmet used in Sunday’s event at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Gordon and his helmet gained national attention when it was thrown at the car of Michael Waltrip in a sign of obvious frustration after Waltrip wrecked the No. 7 car driven by Gordon under caution.

“What happened Sunday is unfortunate, and I’m sorry for losing my temper following the race, but after a day or two of looking back at the race it’s easy to realize that it’s just not that big of a deal compared with what the people of the Gulf Coast are still going through.

“People started asking me almost immediately after the race if they could have my helmet, and rather than just giving it away we’ll use it to raise more money for the Harrah’s Employee Relief Fund.  Obviously I’m still angry about getting wrecked intentionally, but at the end of the day I still have a house to go home to which is a lot more than a lot of people can say.”

Following Hurricane Katrina, Gordon made an initial contribution of $20,000 to the Fund, and will raise additional monies through a $7 a lap pledge for the remainder of the season, and will also contribute 10 percent from the sale of Harrah’s racing merchandise and collectibles at the team’s web site – robbygordon.com – and at its track-side souvenir trailer.

09/25/05
nascar
NASCAR economic generator for Dover NASCAR economic generator for DoverThis weekend's NASCAR events in Dover will contribute nearly $50 million to the state's economy, according to the first official state analysis. An estimated 250,000 NASCAR fans are expected to swarm Dover International Speedway this weekend, dine at local restaurants, stay in hotels and take advantage of tax-free shopping. An analysis of NASCAR weekend conducted by the state economic development office found race weekend creates nearly 1,000 temporary jobs at concession stands, parking lots and other services geared toward fans. "There is no doubt this is very important to Delaware," said Judy McKinney-Cherry, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. "Not only do we get the national exposure on television for four hours, but we also have the actual realized dollars coming in." This is the first time the state has analyzed NASCAR weekend's impact on the economy. The weekend generates about $25 million primarily from ticket sales and concession stands. Supporting businesses, such as concession stand suppliers, earn about $4 million. Restaurants, hotels and others who serve visitors gain $20 million, according to the state. DelawareOnline.com
09/25/05
MotoGP
Capirossi wins race, Rossi title Capirossi wins race, Rossi titleDucati’s Loris Capirossi took his second victory in seven days, winning the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix ahead of Valentino Rossi, who secured his fifth consecutive title in the premier class, the seventh in his GP career.

Starting from pole position, Capirossi rode a brilliant race fending off the challenge of Rossi, who produced a strong comeback from seventh on grid to move up to 2nd by lap 8. The Gauloises Yamaha briefly took the lead by the mid-point of the race, but Capirossi regained the lead with 8 laps to go.

The late stages of the race saw Capirossi building up a comfortable advantage while Rossi was threatened by the blazing late charge from the other Ducati Marlboro rider, Carlos Checa. The Spaniard pushed hard in the last lap but couldn’t attempt a move, and eventually finished just 0.077s adrift from Rossi.

Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden took fourth after a strong start, ahead of factory colleagues Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi. Kenny Roberts was seventh on the Suzuki GSV-R, followed by Alex Barros and John Hopkins, while Colin Edwards completed the top 10.

1. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 43min 27.523 secs
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Gauloises Yamaha Team 43min 29.522 secs
3. Carlos Checa ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 43min 29.592 secs
4. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 43min 36.75 secs
5. Marco Melandri ITA Team Movistar Honda 43min 43.409 secs
6. Max Biaggi ITA Repsol Honda Team 43min 44.349 secs
7. Kenny Roberts USA Team Suzuki MotoGP 43min 44.772 secs
8. Alex Barros BRA Camel Honda 43min 45.744 secs
9. John Hopkins USA Team Suzuki MotoGP 43min 47.648 secs
10. Colin Edwards USA Gauloises Yamaha Team 43min 49.798 secs
11. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Yamaha Team 43min 57.379 secs
12. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 44min 19.195 secs
13. Roberto Rolfo ITA D'Antin Ducati Pramac 44min 32.888 secs
14. Shane Byrne GBR Camel Honda 44min 46.629 secs
15. Ruben Xaus SPA Fortuna Yamaha Team 44min 46.879 secs
16. Franco Battaini ITA Blata WCM 45min 23.405 secs
DNF:
James Ellison GBR Blata WCM 36min 38.849 secs
Olivier Jacque FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 8min 47.858 secs
Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 2min 9.64 secs
Sete Gibernau SPA Team Movistar Honda 2min 10.1 secs

09/25/05
Industry News
Goodyear to close plants Goodyear to close plantsGoodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the nation's biggest tiremaker, will close plants as part of plan to reduce worldwide capacity by 8% to 12% over the next three years. Restructuring charges will be $150 million to $250 million, the company said Friday. Goodyear has a target of $750 million to $1 billion in cost savings by 2008.

Goodyear Chief Executive Robert Keegan, who halted three consecutive years of losses in 2004 by trimming workers, closing plants and selling assets, is making deeper cuts to reduce North American costs that are limiting its competitiveness with rivals such as Bridgestone Corp.

Goodyear didn't say how many plants it would shut or disclose their location.  Keegan, who took over as chairman in June 2003, had already cut 1,400 jobs this year in addition to the 5,150, or 5.8% of its workforce, trimmed in 2003 and 2004. He has been adding production in lower-cost China. Detroit Free Press

09/25/05
cc
Las Vegas postscript Las Vegas postscriptSebastien Bourdais’ victory was the 15th of his career, tying him for 16th on the all-time Champ Car victory list. He also led 53 laps, boosting his career total to 1,080, passing Danny Ongais and Kenny Brack on the all-time laps led list.

Bourdais’ win gives him a 67-point lead on Servia after 11 races. Tracy is 27 points behind Servia in third while Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is two points in arrears to Tracy in fourth.

Timo Glock’s eighth-place finish allowed him to further widen his lead in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings, now holding a 40-point lead over Ronnie Bremer (#19 American Medical Response Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone).

09/25/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Alonso on walk to F1 history
Montoya backs 'A1' concept
Brazil is F1's 'shabbiest'
Heidfeld fit, says physio
FIA study Fisi's helmet
Williams 'chose' Bridgestone
09/25/05
f1
Saturday notes - Brazil Saturday notes - BrazilFernando Alonso moved within sniffing distance of the championship by putting his Renault on pole in overcast Brazil. Title challenger Kimi Raikkonen, hoping for a minor miracle, is fifth after a brake lock-up at the Senna-S which cost him seven tenths. Paddock gossip says the Finn's running with a bit more fuel.

''So far so good,'' Alonso, 24, smirked. No doubt, the revised blue car seems a bit better in Sao Paulo, but it's probably still not quite a match for the silver McLaren MP4-20.

Jarno Trulli's eighth on the grid turned into eighteenth because of a Toyota engine change before qualifying. It will be the Italian's first race this year in which he starts outside of the top ten.

Departing BAR driver Takuma Sato's ten-grid penalty for running into Michael Schumacher at Spa became a 20-place penalty after the team decided to change his engine to the 'Suzuka special' unit. As a result, the Japanese did not complete a hot lap on Saturday afternoon.

Will it or won't it? If you turn on a local TV weather report in Sao Paulo, you'll be told it'll rain on Sunday's Brazilian grand prix. Most teams' own forecasters, though, report a more than fifty per cent likelihood that it will be dry.

Even without rain, Michael Schumacher slipped and slid on his Bridgestone tires in qualifying, and was seventh quickest. But Rubens Barrichello, driving his final grand prix in Brazil as a Ferrari driver, was carrying less fuel but ended up slower. ''The car was bottoming out like crazy,'' he moaned to local TV. ''It was unacceptable and I should be a lot, lot further up the grid.''

Williams' Mark Webber, meanwhile, admitted that his FW27 is simply slow. Even outpaced by the (very low fuel) Jordan of Tiago Monteiro, the Australian reported that he is not even running with a heavy fuel load. ''I am sure most of the opposition is on a similar strategy,'' he said, referring to the most sensible two-stop. It is possible, however, that Monteiro (13th) and Red Bull's Christian Klien (6th), are three-stopping.

Backing up the three-stops-for-Klien supposition, teammate David Coulthard qualified a full second slower. ''(Klien) has a good strategy for the race,'' team boss Christian Horner insisted.

If Klien looked like a hero, then Robert Doornbos is feeling pretty zero after spinning his Minardi into the gravel. ''Yesterday I was laughing,'' said the Dutchman, who turned 24 on Saturday, ''but today, nothing.''

09/24/05
ga
Angelelli and Taylor extend lead with Glen Victory Angelelli and Taylor extend lead with Glen Victory
09/24/05
irl
Danicamania spreads to Hustler Magazine Danicamania spreads to Hustler MagazineA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, The December issue of Hustler magazine features a somewhat unflattering photo of Danica Patrick on page 16.  Some say you have made it when you get featured in Sports Illustrated, but I'm not so sure Hustler Magazine carries the same status.  I wonder where she will turn up next. Joe Mann, Denver, Co.
09/24/05
nascar
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to return to LVMS in 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to return to LVMS in 2006Las Vegas Motor Speedway will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2006 with a return engagement by the first major NASCAR series to compete at LVMS. Speedway officials announced Saturday that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Sept. 23, 2006. The Truck Series was the first major NASCAR-sanctioned series to race at LVMS. Jack Sprague won the inaugural event on Nov. 3, 1996. The 2005 event will mark the 10th visit by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to LVMS. The Truck Series event will be 350 kilometers (146 laps). Ticket information will be announced at a later date. The NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series event will be the second major event weekend on the superspeedway in 2005. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series events are scheduled for March 10-12, 2006.
09/24/05
f1
Trulli to start last due to engine change Trulli to start last due to engine changeToyota's Jarno Trulli will start from 18th on the grid after being forced to change his engine ahead of qualifying on Saturday.  The Italian was eight quickest in the session but the Japanese outfit opted to change his power unit when they discovered a problem during morning practice.

"Our engine has been very reliable this year but this morning we had a pneumatic problem which we couldn't risk, so we had a precautionary change of engines," Trulli said.

"It's a pity that we will lose ten places as a penalty because we were going well this morning and we could have gone well again.

"The car was well balanced and the lap went well considering our fuel load and the fact that I had to go out relatively early because I had an accident in the last race.

"But tomorrow will now be very tough for me. Still, we will try our best to race hard and see what we can bring home. This is not the easiest circuit for overtaking but anything can happen."

09/24/05
a1gp
Postcard from Brands Hatch Postcard from Brands HatchHello from a sunny day here at Brands Hatch. Strangely for late September in England it’s actually sunny and warm, I even have slight sunburn! I’m here in the county of Kent to catch the qualifying for the first ever A1 Grand Prix race.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived this morning (apart from the weather) was the amount of fans! As usual the Dutch were out in force with their huge flags, orange t-shirts and cans of Heineken.

As I arrived at the circuit I started to get a feeling of deja vu. The weather, the atmosphere and the view reminded me of a time a few years back when I was at the very same circuit, full of anticipation, to see the London Champ Car Trophy. The only difference I could see was that there were (surprisingly) more people compared to the qualifying day for Champ Car. When I heard there was going to be more people for the A1 Grand Prix race than the superbikes I told someone that I would eat my hat. Luckily I don’t own a hat. Judging by today’s crowd I would say it’s a distinct possibility that there will be a full house! I spent most of today touring the track for the best vantage points for taking photographs. From a day of watching these new Lolas blasting around the Grand Prix circuit I felt they looked a little slow. But more important than that, they look like they can be driven hard, and look like they are being driven hard.

From studying a couple of cars in the paddock I noticed that the cars are exactly how (in my opinion) a racing car should be: Big slick tires, small wings, and large ground effects. In theory this is exactly the ingredients required to produce some great racing. Gary Parravani reporting from Brands Hatch

09/24/05
IPS Pole
IPS Qualifying quotes IPS Qualifying quotesJEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, qualified second): "We're on the front row; we have a good shot at winning tomorrow. The car was pretty good. It came in fairly well. I just over-cooked a little here and there, and over-slowed a little bit in some places. It was a decent lap."

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 33 Motorsport New Zealand Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award winner): "I saw Jeff (Simmons) had turned a really quick lap time. It was his best time of the weekend, so I was pushing really hard from the out lap trying to get the heat into the tires. Going into (Turn) 1 on the first timed lap, I overdrove it in too hard and beached the car up on the middle of the curb. All four wheels were off the ground for maybe a split second. I thought that was a lap over, so I just pushed harder than in testing and tried to do the basics right for the rest of the lap. Everything was good, and we were a little bit quicker than Jeff. I'm happy with the run. I lost quite a bit in Turn 1. There was another few tenths that I'm 100 percent certain of. (About starting on pole): "All year, the pole sitter in road-course racing has been at an advantage. You get the clean air around here, which is very important because you've got so much downforce on the car. I'm looking forward to going into the first corner tomorrow with clean air and a really good car. It's nice to finally qualify on the pole. We were so close in St. Petersburg, and it just didn't turn out."

JAMIE CAMARA (No. 1 CELG - Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, qualified third): "I think if we could have more time practicing we are going to be better. It's just setup the car for the race tomorrow. It's a long race for us, so we need to save the tires a little to be at the end of the race fighting for a good position.

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, qualified fourth): "We were way loose going in, so I was fighting that. Whenever you have a loose car going into entry, it's going to come back to you and understeer at the exit. We're fighting some big handling problems right now. We just have to get a good start, and hopefully, get these guys on cold tires. But, these two are good on cold tires, too."

BOBBY WILSON (No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, qualified fifth): "I'm somewhat satisfied. It'll be interesting to see where everybody else ends up. I'm still kind of working up to speed here, having a little off-course excursion yesterday. I lost the whole session; I had one lap. This morning's warm-up was very critical. I didn't feel all that comfortable with the car this morning, but it's definitely an improvement going into qualifying."

09/24/05
IPS Pole
Cunningham wins IPS pole Cunningham wins IPS poleQualifying Saturday for the Corning 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International road circuit, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:
1. (33) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 121.801.
2. (24) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 121.546.
3. (1) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 119.416
4. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Infiniti, 119.131
5. (3) Bobby Wilson, Dallara-Infiniti, 118.778
6. (19) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 117.944
7. (36) Larry Connor, Dallara-Infiniti, 113.685
8. (7) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 113.432
9. (4) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 111.906
10. (11) Rocco DeSimone, Dallara-Infiniti, 108.194
11. (6) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 106.847
12. (20) Phil Giebler, Dallara-Infiniti, 105.422
13. (9) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 118.276*
14. (22) Scott Mansell, Dallara-Infiniti, no speed

*Nick Bussell changed an engine after qualifying and was moved to 13th
09/24/05
a1gp
f1
BAR’s Fry slams A1GP BAR’s Fry slams A1GPJenson Button's boss has branded A1GP "funny looking cars driven by an odd-ball mixture of drivers". BAR managing director Nick Fry fired a broadside at the new series ahead of the opening round at Brands Hatch tomorrow While he was half a world away preparing for tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix the self-styled World Cup of Motorsport kicks off outside London. "I don't consider it a threat to F1 at all," said Fry. "We already have plenty of formulae and this one doesn't look a lot different to GP2. They have got some odd mixtures of drivers." Daily Mirror
09/24/05
A1 Grand Prix
Kerr tops qualifying 2 as Scott Speed disappoints Kerr tops qualifying 2 as Scott Speed disappointsRound one at Brands Hatch - qualifying 2 results:

Pos Team Driver Time
 1. Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1:15.878
 2. New Zealand Jonny Reid 1:16.032 + 0.154
 3. Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr 1:16.070 + 0.192
 4. France Alexandre Premat 1:16.185 + 0.307
 5. Mexico Salvador Duran 1:16.283 + 0.405
 6. Australia Will Power 1:16.360 + 0.482
 7. Malaysia Alex Yoong 1:16.362 + 0.484
 8. Italy Enrico Tocaccelo 1:16.402 + 0.524
 9. Switzerland Neel Jani 1:16.435 + 0.557
10. Pakistan Adam Khan 1:16.457 + 0.579
11. Portugal Alvaro Parente 1:16.528 + 0.650
12. Japan Ryo Fukuda 1:16.544 + 0.666
13. Ireland Michael Devaney 1:16.576 + 0.698
14. South Africa Stephen Simpson 1:16.612 + 0.734
15. Germany Timo Scheider 1:16.624 + 0.746
16. Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1:17.267 + 1.389
17. Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1:17.510 + 1.632
18. Usa Scott Speed 1:17.638 + 1.760
19. Czech Republic Jan Charouz 1:17.813 + 1.935
20. India Karun Chandhok 1:18.286 + 2.408
21. Lebanon Basil Shaaban 1:18.433 + 2.555
22. Canada Sean Macintosh 1:18.485 + 2.607
23. China Qinghua Ma 1:19.071 + 3.193
24. Austria Mathias Lauda 1:19.148 + 3.270
25. Russia Alexey Vasiliev 1:21.298 + 5.420

09/24/05
A1 Grand Prix
Piquet leads qualifying 1 at Brands Hatch Piquet leads qualifying 1 at Brands HatchRound one at Brands Hatch, qualifying 1 results:
Pos Team Driver Time
 1. Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr 1:15.824
 2. Australia Will Power 1:16.056 + 0.232
 3. New Zealand Jonny Reid 1:16.359 + 0.535
 4. Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1:16.612 + 0.788
 5. Ireland Michael Devaney 1:16.803 + 0.979
 6. Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1:16.882 + 1.058
 7. Italy Enrico Tocaccelo 1:16.888 + 1.064
 8. Germany Timo Scheider 1:16.965 + 1.141
 9. Japan Ryo Fukuda 1:17.017 + 1.193
10. Pakistan Adam Khan 1:17.020 + 1.196
11. Portugal Alvaro Parente 1:17.199 + 1.375
12. France Alexandre Premat 1:17.278 + 1.454
13. South Africa Stephen Simpson 1:17.432 + 1.608
14. Usa Scott Speed 1:17.625 + 1.801
15. Mexico Salvador Duran 1:17.639 + 1.815
16. Switzerland Neel Jani 1:17.907 + 2.083
17. India Karun Chandhok 1:18.272 + 2.448
18. Czech Republic Jan Charouz 1:18.318 + 2.494
19. Malaysia Alex Yoong 1:18.507 + 2.683
20. Lebanon Basil Shaaban 1:18.671 + 2.847
21. Austria Mathias Lauda 1:18.977 + 3.153
22. Canada Sean Macintosh 1:19.902 + 4.078
23. Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1:20.253 + 4.429
24. China Qinghua Ma 1:20.465 + 4.641
25. Russia Alexey Vasiliev 1:21.615 + 5.791
09/24/05
f1
Raikkonen rises to top in final practice Raikkonen rises to top in final practiceMcLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen has turned the fastest lap of the weekend in final practice leading up to today's qualifying at Interlagos in Brazil.
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'11"929 215.663 Km/h
 2. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'12"110 + 0'00"181
 3. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'12"148 + 0'00"219
 4. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'12"158 + 0'00"229
 5. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'12"292 + 0'00"363
 6. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'12"382 + 0'00"453
 7. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'12"453 + 0'00"524
 8. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'12"509 + 0'00"580
 9. 8 PIZZONIA Williams BMW M 1'12"752 + 0'00"823
10. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'12"799 + 0'00"870
11. 15 KLIEN Red Bull Cosworth M 1'12"811 + 0'00"882
12. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'13"199 + 0'01"270
13. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'13"222 + 0'01"293
14. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'13"242 + 0'01"313
15. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'13"305 + 0'01"376
16. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'13"508 + 0'01"579
17. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'13"817 + 0'01"888
18. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'14"012 + 0'02"083
19. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'14"114 + 0'02"185
20. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'14"595 + 0'02"666
09/24/05
ga
Max Papis and Jörg Bergmeister will start 2nd Max Papis and Jörg Bergmeister will start 2ndKrohn Racing/TRG drivers Max Papis and Jörg Bergmeister qualified second today at Watkins Glen for the Grand American Rolex Series Crown Royal 250.  Teammate Tracy Krohn will start from the eighth row tomorrow afternoon.

After a day filled with fog and rain, the weather broke just in time for the 15-minute qualifying session. Max Papis and Jörg Bergmeister will start the number 66/Krohn Racing/TRG/Pontiac Riley on the front row as a result of his 1:45.080 qualifying time.  They swapped the lead with pole sitter Diaz four times during the brief session.

“It was a good battle for the pole,” said Bergmeister.  “We had some slight mid corner push that we need to work on in the warm-up tomorrow.  It would be nice to win back-to-back races and the front row is a good place to start.  The morning session today was wet, so we are a little behind on our dry setup work.  Max has a lot of experience in these cars and his work and feedback on the handling of the car at these tracks really benefits me.  There are at least ten cars in the field that can win the race, so qualifying is important.  We led a lot of laps here the last two races, now we just need a Phoenix type ending.”

09/24/05
alms
Petit LeMans notebook Petit LeMans notebookRoad Atlanta always will hold a special place in the hearts of those at B-K Motorsports. That was where its Mazda-powered Courage C65 debuted in the spring, marking the team's entrance into the ALMS and the Japanese engine maker's return to prototype sports car racing.

Both are back at the Braselton, Ga., track for Petit Le Mans, the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series. In April, Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo drove the No. 8 entry to a second-place finish in class. But Petit Le Mans is the event most have been targeting as one of the races to better suit the reliable Mazda three-rotor engine.

"This is where the car made it's first appearance, which was such an emotional outing," Cosmo said. "The fact that the car and engine are as reliable as they are is a great thing for us. We want to see what kind of progress we've made."  zzzz

Since Atlanta, the team has had its highs (a win at Mid-Ohio in May) and disappointments (a DNF at Road America, the team's home track). At Mosport, the car finished third, but well back of the winning Intersport Lola and runner-up Miracle Motorsports.

In the weeks since Mosport, the car has been at the shop of Dennis Spencer, the renowned engine builder, based near Road Atlanta. Cosmo said Spencer not only has been working on the engine but other aspects of the setup, as well.

"Dennis has gone out of his way to help the team in whatever way possible," Cosmo said. "Any development we're doing right now is coming out of his shop. He's doing everything we could possibly ask of him."

For Petit Le Mans, Cosmo and Bach will team with veteran Elliott Forbes-Robinson, who made quite a name for himself as a Mazda factory driver.

LIZ IS BACK, TOO: Friday marked Liz Halliday's return to the track where she first tested the No. 37 Intersport Racing Lola. A two-time LMP2 winner with Clint Field this year, Halliday had her first test in the Lola during testing prior to the Grand Prix of Atlanta.

Halliday said she was about two seconds quicker right off the transporter Friday, adding that being at a track she knew helped immensely. She'll share duties at Petit Le Mans with Clint and Jon Field. Intersport is second in the class' team championship standings, and Clint Field is second in the drivers championship.

 LIZARDS FLYING IN LONGER RACES: Of the two endurances races in which it has competed this season, Flying Lizard Motorsports has finished on the GT2 podium in both.

First was a third-place finish at the exhaustive Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with Johannes van Overbeek, Darren Law and Jon Fogarty doing the driving. Three months later in the team's first visit to Le Mans, van Overbeek, Seth Neiman and Lonnie Pechnik ended the day by looking down on the vast crowd after a third-place finish in class.

So if trends hold up, we can expect a similar result at Petit Le Mans, although the team certainly isn't going to settle for third place.

"The car always has been reliable," van Overbeek said. "(Crew chief) Tommy (Sadler) and his guys have done a great job for us. The way we look at it, it doesn't matter how fast you are if you have a mechanical problem and don't finish."

 
JOHNNY'S AUCTION: Once again, Johnny O'Connell will hold a Friday night auction to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association of Georgia and The Guest House, a Gainesville, Ga., facility that supplies day care to senior citizens.

The auction, an annual Petit event since 2001, includes items donated by various race teams and drivers, along with assorted other items. Last season, O'Connell says, the auction raised more than $130,000.

"I really started it as I learned a lot about Alzheimer's as my father had it and realized the need for funding to both find a cure and take care of those with it and their families," said O'Connell who will drive the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C6-R with Ron Fellows and Max Papis at Petit Le Mans.

"I also viewed it as a great opportunity to expand on the ALMS' theme of 'For the Fans,' letting them have the opportunity to acquire racing items they might not otherwise be able to acquire," O'Connell added.

AROUND THE PADDOCK: JJ Lehto is on a four-race winning streak at Road Atlanta following his victory with Marco Werner in the No.1 Champion Racing Audi R8 at April's Grand Prix of Atlanta. Lehto has won the last two Petit Le Mans events and also won the 2003 Grand Prix of Atlanta. . Thirteen drivers who entered the inaugural Petit Le Mans in 1998 are entered in this year's running: Eric van de Poele and Emmanuel Collard (who teamed with Wayne Taylor to win in a Ferrari 333SP), Ralf Kelleners, Butch Leitzinger, David Brabham, Andy Wallace, Darren Law, Ron Fellows, Terry Borcheller, Bill Auberlen, David Murry, Jon Field and Didier Theys. . Other notable ALMS competitors who were at the first Petit Le Mans include Bob Wollek, Michele Alboreto, Allan McNish and Yannick Dalmas. . Dalmas will always be remembered in Petit Le Mans lore for being at the wheel of the Porsche GT1-98 that flipped on the long Road Atlanta backstretch while leading the race. The car had led 234 of the first 235 laps.

Petit Le Mans is the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series. The annual 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. EDT Oct. 1 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage. Qualifying is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 30. American Le Mans Series Radio, and IMSA Living and Timing Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

09/24/05
irl
Cornell ecologist calls IRL's ethanol push a joke Cornell ecologist calls IRL's ethanol push a jokeThe Indy Racing League is joining farmers, several major U.S. companies, Congress and many others in endorsing the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.  But at least one upstate New York professor and his colleagues say the growing faith in corn-derived ethanol as a substitute for unleaded gasoline is greatly misplaced.

The process of turning corn or related vegetation into ethanol fuel requires more energy than the resulting ethanol produces, according to David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University in Ithaca.

As a result, ethanol will do nothing to curb the nation's dependence on foreign oil, says Pimentel, who has conducted his studies with Tad Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

The pair examined the energy content that goes into producing ethanol from items such as labor, machinery and transportation. It found, in one example, that corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

Pimentel stresses that he is not opposed to seeking alternative fuel sources. But even if energy inputs and outputs were neutral, "then why do it? Why spend the money and the time to replace one liquid fuel with another?"

The release of the study earlier this year prompted an angry response from the American Coalition for Ethanol, which described the pair's findings as "outrageous."

The association claims that the numbers are actually reversed — that it takes 35,000 British thermal units to turn a bushel of corn into a gallon of ethanol. That gallon of ethanol carries 77,000 BTUs of energy, the association said.

Pimentel and Patzek's study, the association said, is based on outdated data and assumptions.  Pimentel said his study is very much current. He says he asks advocates for ethanol an important question and is still waiting for an answer:

"If ethanol is so great," Pimentel says, "then why does the government give subsidies" to ethanol producers? Democrat and Chronicle

09/24/05
ca
Sierra Sierra makes key hire Sierra Sierra makes key hireUPDATE We are hearing that the team is talking to a number of very good drivers and the driver decision will come soon.  Look for this team to be a very strong contender for the title and the $2 million prize in 2006.  They have some unfinished business from 2004 where their driver narrowly missed the title when Jon Fogarty nipped Ryan Dalziel for the championship. Mark C 09/23/05 Autoracing1.com has learned that Gerald Tyler has joined Sierra Sierra Enterprises as Chief Engineer. Gerald holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has extensive racing experience. Gerald was the Technical Director for RuSPORT’s Atlantic team and helped guide them to the Series Championship.

“Gerald comes to Sierra Sierra with an impressive list of accomplishments and successes. We are very excited about him being a part of our team; he is clearly one of the major components in our quest for the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series.” said Diane Kottke, Team Owner. Sierra Sierra is currently in talks with several drivers and will soon begin testing.

09/24/05
f1
Renault over McLaren in practice 3 Renault over McLaren in practice 3Renault led the timesheets this morning at Interlagos as Fernando Alonso led the way from teammate Giancarlo Fisichella in the third practice session of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. The Championship leader set a best time of 1:12.738s, just a fraction ahead of Fisichella to make it a Renault one-two.

P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'12"738 213.264 Km/h
 2. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'12"789 + 0'00"051
 3. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'13"050 + 0'00"312
 4. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'13"088 + 0'00"350
 5. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'13"186 + 0'00"448
 6. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'13"529 + 0'00"791
 7. 8 PIZZONIA Williams BMW M 1'13"795 + 0'01"057
 8. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'13"869 + 0'01"131
 9. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'13"908 + 0'01"170
10. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'13"952 + 0'01"214
11. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'14"042 + 0'01"304
12. 15 KLIEN Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"051 + 0'01"313
13. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'14"112 + 0'01"374
14. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'14"255 + 0'01"517
15. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"401 + 0'01"663
16. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'14"479 + 0'01"741
17. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'14"851 + 0'02"113
18. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'15"252 + 0'02"514
19. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'15"772 + 0'03"034
20. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'15"815 + 0'03"077

09/24/05
nascar
In reality, NASCAR loves controversy In reality, NASCAR loves controversyThere's a long standing joke that when a driver gets called into the NASCAR trailer to get reprimanded for some controversy such as a fight, throwing a helmet, or taking a driver out, that he gets told what his fine is, then on the way out the door he's told, great job.

To make what NASCAR does even more transparent, the drivers get all the money back at the end of the year at the awards banquet.  In other words NASCAR loves controversy and their fines are so weak the drivers love to play to the audience.

This past weekend at NHIS it wasn’t Carl Edwards doing backflips -- nope, it was the suits of NASCAR doing the back flips of joy. To the delight of the sanctioning body, just about every news outlet in country last Sunday night and Monday showed Robby Gordon throwing his helmet at Michael Waltrip’s car. Not Ryan Newman’s late-race pass of Tony Stewart, nope, it was the helmet toss. Related article

09/24/05
A1 Grand Prix
Premat gives France top speed Saturday morning Premat gives France top speed Saturday morningThe final official practice session of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Brands Hatch, Great Britain finished and the drivers for Qualifying have been nominated.  Official Practice Session 3 (11.00 – 12.00)

 A1 Team Driver  Time No. Laps
1 France Alexandre Premat 1.15.420 29
2 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.15.802 25
3 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr 1.15.833 26
4 USA Scott Speed 1.15.968 19
5 Switzerland Neel Jani 1.16.292 25
6 South Africa Stephen Simpson 1.16.364 16
7 Portugal Alvaro Parente 1.16.537 22
8 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 1.16.704 19
9 Japan Ryo Fukuda 1.16.809 27
10 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.16.860 19
11 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.16.861 21
12 Australia Will Power 1.16.970 27
13 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.17.039 24
14 Malaysia Fairuz Fauzy 1.17.045 22
15 Czech Republic Jan Charouz  I.17.185 24
16 Ireland Michael Devaney 1.17.206 30
17 Canada Sean McIntosh 1.17.513 29
18 Austria Mathias Lauda 1.17.626 12
19 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.17.678 27
20 Germany Timo Scheider 1.17.692 13
21 Pakistan Adam Khan 1.17.804 20
22 India Karun Chandhok 1.18.983 12
23 Lebanon Khalil Beschir 1.19.368 26
24 China Tengyi Jiang 1.20.441 27
25 Russia Nikolay Fomenko 1.29.789 9  zzzz

Qualifying consists of four 15 minute sessions with a 10 minute break between each. Only one driver per A1 Team is allowed to take part in Qualifying but that driver must have completed at least three timed laps in an Official Practice session. Each driver is limited to three laps - effectively one “flying lap” - per session and must record at least two times, an aggregate of which will determine that A1 Team’s position on the grid for Sunday’s Sprint race. The grid for the Feature race will be determined by the outcome of the Sprint race.

Nominated drivers for Qualifying
A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Brands Hatch, Great Britain – Sat 24 September 2005
A1 Team A1 Driver
Australia Will Power
Austria Mathias Lauda
Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr.
Canada Sean McIntosh
China Tengyi Jiang
Czech Republic Jan Charouz
France Alexandre Premat
Germany Timo Scheider
Great Britain Robbie Kerr
India Karun Chandhok
Indonesia Ananda Mikola
Ireland Michael Devaney
Italy Enrico Toccacelo
Japan Ryo Fukuda
Lebanon Khalil Beschir
Malaysia Alex Yoong
Mexico Salvador Duran
Netherlands Jos Verstappen
New Zealand Matt Halliday
Pakistan Adam Khan
Portugal Alvaro Parente
Russia Alexey Vasiliev
South Africa Stephen Simpson
Switzerland Neel Jani
USA Scott Speed

09/24/05
f1
Brazil GP: Friday Press Conference Brazil GP: Friday Press ConferenceParticipating were Ross Brawn (Ferrari), Sam Michael (Williams-BMW), Pat Symonds (Renault), Geoff Willis (BAR Honda). Transcript
09/24/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
No Fuji, says Bernie
Webber voted off GPDA board
'Kimi's not better' - Alonso
BMW have eye on Villeneuve
Sloppy start for A1
'Ant' to stick with F1
Button branded 'stupid'
BMW and Dan Wheldon
09/24/05
irl
Foyt to miss IRL race Foyt to miss IRL raceA.J. Foyt will remain in Houston this weekend to ride out Hurricane Rita. It will be the first Indy-car race he has missed since Phoenix in 2000 when he went to a NASCAR race. Indy Star
09/24/05
nascar
HANS Device saved Biffle's life HANS Device saved Biffle's lifeGreg Biffle told Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio on Friday that it's clear to him that the HANS device saved his life after a very hard crash at Lowe's Motor Speedway testing this week. In fact, he's still hurting this weekend at Dover. "A good possibility I wouldn't be alive," he said when she asked him what would have happened had he not had the HANS device on at LMS testing this week. "We were 33 laps into a run on a set of tires and the right front failed. It blew out and we went straight into the fence....I hit over 170mph. I mean I'm screwed up," he said. "My shoulders hurt my neck hurt. Then, (I) turned around and did it the next night, backwards. That's as hard as you hit. I mean I went down in the corner was three quarters in the way across the corner flat on the throttle and we're running 28.80's probably going 200 miles an hour. The thing hit the fence just so squared off I mean it was like nearly probably 60 degree impact angle in the fence. You know it was..unbelievable." Biffle is still sore at Dover. XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
09/24/05
nascar
Ricky Rudd still undecided Ricky Rudd still undecidedRicky Rudd still hasn't decided what he wants to do next year, and the Wood brothers are getting restless in getting an answer. If Rudd returns for another season, the Wood brothers would likely put Jon Wood, the third generation, in a Cup car for seven races to get his feet wet for a full Cup campaign in 2007. If Rudd doesn't come back, Jon Wood would get the ride full-time next season. Winston Salem Journal
09/24/05
f1
Brawn jumped Rossi's gun Brawn jumped Rossi's gunRoss Brawn has admitted he jumped the gun in saying that Valentino Rossi would test once a month for Ferrari in 2006. Brawn, the team's technical director, responded to the MotoGP champion's denial that he would spearhead his two-wheeled Yamaha effort with a near full-time F1 test program.

''I probably got ahead of myself,'' said the Englishman. ''To me, (testing once a month) would be the right program to follow if Valentino wants to go grand prix racing. I think we need to wait and see what he wants to do.'' Brawn also scolded reports that Rossi has signed a contract agreeing that if he ever made the four wheel switch, it would be in a red car.

In another garage, Renault boss Flavio Briatore branded 26-year-old Rossi a 'kindergarten child' for claiming those in F1 are afraid of the multiple bike champion.

''If he believes he's super phenomenal,'' Rossi's countryman told La Gazzetta dello Sport, ''then he should keep on winning on motorbikes, where he has no rivals. He's like a kindergarten child, who has fun with toys.''

09/24/05
f1
Toyota the 'Chelsea of F1'? Toyota the 'Chelsea of F1'?If Toyota continue to spend the big bucks, it could win the championship but become known as the Chelsea of formula one.

That is the warning of Ross Brawn, technical director of the Ferrari team whose own budget is probably now eclipsed by the Tokyo based carmaker.

The Briton said Toyota's newly announced second wind tunnel could cost up to $60 million.

''I am not criticizing them,'' said Brawn, ''but we have to be careful in formula one that we don't end up with a spending - rather than an engineering and driving - contest.''

And, referring to the English football club owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Ross Brawn remarked: ''I hope Toyota don't end up the Chelsea of F1.''

09/24/05
TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
FORMULA ONE
'Inside Grand Prix'
Grand Prix of Brazil
3:30 a.m.-4:00 a.m. ET, SPEED
A1GP
Brands Hatch, England
8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET (Live) Setanta Sports/DirecTV
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP
'NASCAR This Morning'
Dover, DE
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
FORMULA ONE
Grand Prix of Brazil
Sao Paulo
12:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP
MBNA RacePoints 400
Dover International Speedway
12:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES - Qualifying
Hurricane Relief 400
Las Vegas, NV  (9/23/05)
3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET, SPEED
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES
Hurricane Relief 400
Las Vegas, NV  (9/24/05)
3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
INDY RACING LEAGUE
Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage
Watkins Glen, NY
3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) ABC
FIM 250 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Sepang Circuit
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP
'NASCAR Victory Lane'
Dover, DE
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-host: Carl Edwards
Featured Interview: Barry Graham
Featured Interview: Fred Rahmer
Expert Analyst: David Hobbs
9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
FIM MotoGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Sepang Circuit
11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED

For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

09/24/05
f1
Friday notes - Brazil Friday notes - BrazilChristian Klien provided the most spectacular moment of the day when he crashed his Red Bull heavily in Friday practice for the Brazilian GP.

''It was a strange spin,'' said the Austrian, just one of many to complain about a lack of grip on the dusty Interlagos surface. ''I think I hit a bump or something.''

A lack of pace in the RB1 car aside, his teammate David Coulthard also felt a bit of pain when he copped a huge $6000 fine for doing 71.6kmh in the 60kmh pitlane. The normal fine would have been $3000 but the veteran Scot was on notice as a repeat offender.

It was a bit tricky to evaluate the F1 field's relative pace under the Brazilian cloud, which could - by the way - turn into rain before Sunday's grand prix. More than one observer, with fuel loads in mind, pointed to the better-than-normal speed of Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello -- both locals.

Certainly, there wasn't much to choose between Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro in the morning session -- they posted an identical best time of 1.16.230.

Fernando Alonso, likely to be world champion at the drop of Sunday's checker, isn't exactly sure where he figures in the McLaren-dominated reckoning, but - by all accounts - his updated blue car should be closer to the silver pace in Sao Paulo. ''But this afternoon,'' Renault's Spaniard warned, ''there were quite a lot of people in front of us.'' Technical director Bob Bell, meanwhile, played perhaps a more crucial than usual role in the trip from Europe -- he carried some extra bits for the R25's new bodywork kit onto the plane as hand luggage.

Birthday boy Robert Doornbos (24) got a nice present -- fourteenth quickest in the afternoon in his Minardi, ahead of three Red Bulls, both BARs, a Toyota and three Jordans.

Williams 'sub' and Brazilian local Antonio Pizzonia is carrying a special message on the top of his helmet. The two black smudged bits, with the message 'Flat Out Daddy' underneath, are actually real hand prints made by his 9-month old daughter Sophia, who is attending her first race.

09/24/05
f1
Button blamed for Sato exit Button blamed for Sato exitTakuma Sato has sorted out a stoush with world champion Michael Schumacher.  The Japanese was shouted at and slapped on the visor by Schumacher, the Ferrari driver, after they clashed at Spa.

''I spoke to him here,'' 28-year-old Sato said in Brazil, ''in the toilet!  We're okay.''

Sato's future beyond 2005 is decidedly unclear after Jenson Button bought the right to stay at the team next year.

He was furious at the Brackley based team because he was only told of the news after the official announcement.  Sato has turned down an offer to stay as tester.

He said: ''There aren't many seats available but there are a few. ''I will not stay with BAR,'' he had angrily said the day before, ''I will go elsewhere.''

His Japanese supporters, meanwhile, are preparing huge 'F**K YOU, BUTTON' banners to display at the upcoming Suzuka race, according to Britain's tabloid 'Mirror' newspaper.  ''The fans will make their feelings clear,'' a spokesman for the Japanese grand prix confirmed.

09/23/05
cc
Seen in Las Vegas - II Seen in Las Vegas - IIUPDATE Pictured right is Toby Scheckter, brother of IRL driver Tomas Scheckter.  He also acts as his agent.  We had a chance to grab a few words with him.  On what brings him to Las Vegas - "I'm here to see what Champ Car is all about.  The series is moving in a very positive direction and we are keeping our options open for next year." 

On why Tomas, who grew up on road courses, went to the IRL in the first place - "At the time the IRL was stronger and things were very uncertain in CART, but now things have changed."

09/23/05 Darren Manning is making the rounds in the Las Vegas paddock, as is Richard Philippe, and Mario Haberfeld.  We also saw a Tomas Scheckter representative checking out what Champ Car is all about. 
09/23/05
ga
Diaz grabs 2nd pole at The Glen Diaz grabs 2nd pole at The GlenFor the first time since Round 3 at California Speedway and just the second time in his Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series career, Luis Diaz will start from the pole position in Saturday’s Crown Royal 250 at The Glen (SPEED Channel, Live, 3:00 p.m. ET).

Driving the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley, Diaz logged a best lap of 1:44.836 (116.754 mph) to secure his spot on the inside of the front row. The Mexican and co-driver Scott Pruett—the defending Daytona Prototype co-champion—are looking to avenge a disappointing outing in the Racetickets.com 250 at Phoenix International Raceway two weeks ago, and Diaz is certainly off to a good start based on his qualifying performance. zzzz

“I have to give all the credit to the Ganassi guys,” Diaz said. “They did a great job putting together this car, and I also have to thank Lexus. The Hoosier tires responded very well to the chassis changes. To be here on the pole with such a great driver like Jörg Bergmeister, I am very happy. I give all the credit to the team, Lexus and Hoosier.”

Starting second will be Germany’s Bergmeister, who is looking for his second consecutive Rolex Series victory in the No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac Riley. Bergmeister posted a best lap at 1:45.080 (116.483 mph) in the car he will share with 2004 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Papis. Bergmeister also started from the outside of the front row for the CompUSA 200 at The Glen in August, but a crash during the qualifying session tempered the performance. Bergmeister avoided those pitfalls in today’s session.

“It definitely would be nice to add another win,” Bergmeister said.  “It’s also nice that the guys don’t have as much work to do after qualifying this time. I’m pretty happy with the results. We’ve made a lot of progress through the weekend. Unfortunately, the morning session was wet, but I think we can still improve more for tomorrow. I’m pretty optimistic we are going to have a good car for the race.”

Cort Wagner made it two Chip Ganassi Racing cars in the top three positions with a lap at 1:45.352 (116.182 mph) in the No. 02 New Century Mortgage Lexus Riley. It was Wagner’s best qualifying performance since taking second on the grid for the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway in July, and was the sixth top-four qualifying performance in 12 Rolex Series races for the No. 02 machine. Wagner shares the ride with Stefan Johansson.

"My fast lap was great, but the car had a push and I got bit on the exit of Turn 5 on the third lap,” Wagner said. “After that, I got held up in traffic for the next three or four laps and the team was wondering when I would put a flyer down. I told them I would as soon as I got out of traffic and I backed it up. I wanted it to be an all-CGR front row with Luis on pole, but we'll take third today."

Starting a season-best fourth will be Burt Frisselle in the No. 8 Rx.com/Synergy Racing BMW Doran. Frisselle clocked a best lap at 1:45.600 (115.909 mph) at the same facility where he had a Rolex Series career-best result of second in the Sahlen’s 200 at The Glen in August, 2004. He will share the No. 8 machine with his brother, Brian Frisselle, who led the first laps of his Rolex Series career in the CompUSA 200 at The Glen last month.

Matteo Bobbi filled out the top five on the starting grid with a lap at 1:46.159 (115.299 mph) aboard the No. 77 Crown Royal Special Reserve Ford Doran. It was the fourth top-five qualifying result in the past five races for the Doran Racing machine, which Bobbi shares with Italian countryman Fabrizio Gollin. The No. 77 duo is looking for its first-ever Rolex Series victory, and is also looking to bring the first victory home to the Doran team since Jan Magnussen and Didier Theys won the Sahlen’s 200 at The Glen last year.

09/23/05
IPS Series
Select IPS quotes from The Glen Select IPS quotes from The Glen
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 33 Motorsport New Zealand Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, fastest in practice): "I think it was difficult going from learning the track in the rain then you have to go back out on a dry track. It's easier to adapt the other way. To get quicker each time is a mental challenge. That's why it took me a while to bring my speed up in the dry practice this afternoon. I'm pretty happy. The track is very fast. You've got the steel barriers on both sides. It's a fast track with a lot of consequence if you get it wrong, so I was just trying to stay within my limits today and see what I had. I was pushing myself a little bit more each lap. I was just trying to find the right gears to run. The last lap was the best, which it probably should have been."

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, second quickest in practice): "We're trying to find the right gearing because of the wind we have. We had trouble finding a clean lap. We only got one really clean lap the whole time. The car is not bad and I'm getting the feel for the track again. The setup is not bad right now. The car wasn't where we needed it when we started. We were way too low; I was pounding the ground and we had to raise it up a bunch. Now the car is not bad. There are still a lot of things we are going to have to go talk about, corner by corner and try to figure out what changes we can make." zzzz

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, third quickest in practice): "This practice was definitely better than the first session. We made a lot of gains. We made just little adjustments. It was different because it was dry. We've got a lot of work to do. We have two seconds that we need to find. This track is awesome. Its going to be fun once we get it working."

09/23/05
irl
Select IndyCar quotes from The Glen Select IndyCar quotes from The Glen
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, fastest in practice): "We haven't had much luck on the road course this year. I understand there is a lot of experience needed on a road course when you're running ovals all the time. It takes some time to adapt after running on ovals for a while. This place is spectacular. I think our experience in CART, and even in go-carts, has helped Tony and me today. It was a weird day. It was raining earlier, and then it got sunny. We changed tires a lot, and it took a while to get comfortable. Team Penske did a good job again today, and hopefully we can continue like that again next year."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, second fastest): "It was a fun day. We got a chance to drive in the rain, which I had missed a lot, and I loved it. Another day in paradise, I would call it, back on the road course. We're doing a lot of work to put ourselves in a good spot for qualifying. I think second-to-last is a good position. We'll see, we're working towards the race." zzzz

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, third fastest): "We did a lot of running in the rain. Our cars were the first ones out there. It was pretty decent. We messed up on a few different settings and we really didn't have the speed we needed to in the wet. We came out in the afternoon in the dry and the car was pretty decent. It was all about just getting a lap."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone, fourth fastest): "I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car feels pretty good.  I thought the balance of the car was good in the afternoon and I'm looking forward to qualifying."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone, fifth fastest): "We definitely saw everything today.  We saw beautiful sunshine and horrendous fog.  I think the ArcaEx team is a lot closer than we were in the test.  We still need to get the balance more comfortable for me.  The car is doing a couple of things that I don't really like on a road course car.  I think if we work on that, the lap time will come on its own.  This morning was great; running in the rain.  I haven't done that in a long time."

09/23/05
cc
nascar
Fireworks spectacular to cap Double Down In The Desert Fireworks spectacular to cap Double Down In The DesertSaturday evening’s Double Down In The Desert doubleheader featuring the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Champ Car World Series is guaranteed to end with a bang – literally – as a giant fireworks show will immediately follow the Hurricane Relief 400.

“Our guests will want to be sure to stay until the end of the show as we promise to present the biggest fireworks show Las Vegas has seen, short of its annual New Year’s celebration,” said Chris Powell, LVMS’ general manager.  "It will be spectacular, and the perfect end to an exciting evening of auto racing."

Saturday’s Las Vegas 350 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is schedule to start at 6:15 p.m.  The Champ Car World Series Hurricane Relief 400 is slated to begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.  The fireworks show will begin as the checkered flag falls on the Hurricane Relief 400.  Tickets for Double Down In The Desert are available at the LVMS ticket office or by calling (702) 644-4444.

09/23/05
SCCA
Rahal wins at Mid-Ohio Rahal wins at Mid-OhioFollowing in his famous father's footsteps, Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio won the Formula Atlantic national championship at the 42nd annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Kohler Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

After winning the pole with a new track record on Thursday, the 16-year-old son of racing legend Bobby Rahal had an incredible 42.95-seconds margin of victory over Dan Selznick at the end of the 20-lap national championship race Friday afternoon.

He was driving the Rahal Letterman Racing Swift 014 No. 3 sponsored by The Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, Bosch, Renier Construction and Norwalk Furniture in a field of 27 race cars (17 Formula Atlantic cars, three Star Mazda cars and seven Formula SCCA cars). zzzz 

The race was not without its challenges, as Rahal's car had a misfire at the start.  Rahal lost several positions, but he had regrouped to get second by lap two and he passed the leader, Selznick, on lap five. Rahal was never again headed, and on lap 13 he set another new track record when his fastest race lap time of 1:16.890 (105.719 mph) was three seconds under the mark set here last year by Dan Cobb.

Following Rahal and Selznick at the checkered on the 2.4-mile, 15-turn road course were David Wilcox, Ryan Spencer-Smith and John Burke.

"I had a misfire at the start," the happy winner said.  "When I came out of the paddock the car misfired, but it cleared up right away. 

"At the start [of the race] it did it again, and I thought, 'Oh no!,' but it cleared up again and we were OK.

"I definitely had the fastest car out there, and I knew that I could keep up.  I took my time and caught up to Dan.  I got a good run on him and passed him going into the Keyhole. We knew we had the fastest car.  It was fairly easy to make the pass, and then we just went forward.  I just kept being careful, building my lead and trying to stay out of trouble.

"Everything else was good; we had no issues at all. It was clear sailing."

What was he going to do to celebrate?

"Go home, eat some sushi and go to bed."

The race is scheduled to be broadcast on SPEED on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

09/23/05
f1
Wurz and Montoya lead McLaren charge Wurz and Montoya lead McLaren chargeAlex Wurz waited until the final minutes of the second one hour practice session to set the fastest time this afternoon at Interlagos. The McLaren Mercedes test driver set a best time of 1:12.083s, three-tenths off his own best set in the morning session, while Juan Pablo Montoya showed the real  speed of the MP4- 20 at the bumpy 4.309km circuit by taking the second fastest time of the session and the fastest time recorded by a 'regular' race driver in Friday practice.

Juan Pablo Montoya set times of 1:13.256 and 1:12.694 whilst Kimi Raikkonen times were 1:13.065 and 1:13.172. Montoya was seventh and second whilst Raikkonen ended up fifth and sixth.

Juan Pablo Montoya - "I didn't do an awful lot of running in the first session as the track was rather dusty but we were able to set quite good lap times, I think. However today is not really about lap times but about finding a strong balance and set-up, and I believe we are going in the right direction. We still have some improvements to make particularly as the balance of the car is still not 100% but our Michelin tires seem to be working well, and we have a pretty clear indication of our tire choice already."

Kimi Raikkonen - "An OK day where we worked through our program, so a positive start to the weekend. Obviously the track was quite dusty to start with, so I didn't do any real running in the first session. We still have some work to do to find the perfect set-up, but I'm confident that we will improve further during tomorrow's two practice sessions. Everybody in the team wants to leave Brazil with important points, and we are working hard to achieve this."

 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 35 WURZ McLaren Mercedes M 1'12"083 215.202 Km/h
 2. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'12"694 + 0'00"611
 3. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'12"706 + 0'00"623
 4. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'12"710 + 0'00"627
 5. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'13"088 + 0'01"005
 6. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'13"172 + 0'01"089
 7. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'13"202 + 0'01"119
 8. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'13"205 + 0'01"122
 9. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'13"493 + 0'01"410
10. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'13"518 + 0'01"435
11. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'13"545 + 0'01"462
12. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'13"650 + 0'01"567
13. 8 PIZZONIA Williams BMW M 1'13"828 + 0'01"745
14. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'13"922 + 0'01"839
15. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"006 + 0'01"923
16. 37 LIUZZI Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"141 + 0'02"058
17. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'14"189 + 0'02"106
18. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'14"427 + 0'02"344
19. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'14"563 + 0'02"480
20. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'14"600 + 0'02"517
21. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'14"671 + 0'02"588
22. 15 KLIEN Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"698 + 0'02"615
23. 39 KIESA Jordan Toyota B 1'15"094 + 0'03"011
24. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'15"187 + 0'03"104

09/23/05
irl
Rain and fog slow IRL cars at The Glen Rain and fog slow IRL cars at The GlenUPDATE Some photos from the wet morning session:

   

 
Photos by Ron McQueeney/IRL

09/23/05 It's wet, foggy and downright miserable at Watkins Glen where the opening practice has been run in the rain.  Giorgio Pantano was the fastest with a slow lap of 1m 52.13s lap.  Just how slow were the IRL cars?  In 1981 Mario Andretti put his Patrick Racing STP machine on pole with a 1m 56.1s lap in the same exact horrible conditions and that was done with a chicane in the middle of the uphill esses, a chicane that is not there today.  Add the chicane and the IRL cars are as slow as a 25 year old Champ Car.

IRL superstar Danica Patrick was 6.9 sec off the top time this morning, but this isn't a 100% throttle track.

Pos Driver Diff B Time B Speed C/E/T
1 Giorgio Pantano (10) ... 1:52.1348 108.191 P/T/F
2 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.0307 1:52.1655 108.162 D/H/F
3 Patrick Carpentier (83) 0.8083 1:52.9431 107.417 D/T/F
4 Tomas Enge (2) 0.8514 1:52.9862 107.376 D/C/F
5 Dario Franchitti (27) 1.2587 1:53.3935 106.990 D/H/F
6 Helio Castroneves (3) 1.4618 1:53.5966 106.799 D/T/F
7 Vitor Meira (17) 1.8792 1:54.0140 106.408 P/H/F
8 Tomas Scheckter (4) 2.0098 1:54.1446 106.286 D/C/F
9 Sam Hornish Jr. (6) 2.2475 1:54.3823 106.065 D/T/F
10 Scott Dixon (9) 2.8192 1:54.9540 105.538 P/T/F
11 Dan Wheldon (26) 3.3010 1:55.4358 105.097 D/H/F
12 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 3.8748 1:56.0096 104.578 P/H/F
13 Alex Barron (51) 4.0770 1:56.2118 104.396 D/T/F
14 Buddy Rice (15) 4.5531 1:56.6879 103.970 P/H/F
15 Bryan Herta (7) 4.7311 1:56.8659 103.811 D/H/F
16 Roger Yasukawa (24) 6.7024 1:58.8372 102.089 D/H/F
17 Danica Patrick (16) 6.8693 1:59.0041 101.946 P/H/F
18 Scott Sharp (8) 8.1016 2:0.2364 100.901 P/H/F
19 Ed Carpenter (20) 15.3401 2:7.4749 95.172 D/T/F

09/23/05
WoO
nascar
Petty announces new Sprint Car league Petty announces new Sprint Car leagueRichard Petty Driving Experience, a leader in providing high quality motorsports entertainment, announced the formation of the National SprintCar League. Steve Kinser, 19 - time World of Outlaws series champion, and 11 other current World of Outlaws drivers and teams have joined the newly formed NSL beginning in 2006.

The NSL has signed the following twelve current World of Outlaws series drivers and teams to 3-year agreements beginning with the 2006 season: Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana, Jason Sides, Brian Paulus, Brandon Wimmer, Shane Stewart and Jason Solwold. The series has also received commitments from 3 - time World of Outlaws series champion Sammy Swindell, 16 - time World of Outlaws championship car owner Karl Kinser and long time team owner Dennis Roth to run in 2006. zzzz

"We looked at acquiring this series a couple of years ago," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "The foundation of drivers, owners, tracks, sponsors and fans combined with the Petty family of partners and resources is the primary reason for our desire to create this series. We are especially excited that Nextel Cup points leader Tony Stewart has joined our series as a team owner and track promoter. Obviously, Tony, as well as, fellow Nascar friends, Kenny Schrader, Dave Blaney and Kasey Kahne have their roots in sprint car racing. It's really a natural extension for RPDE in the motorsports entertainment arena. The Richard Petty Driving Experience is a huge part of our family business and it will provide an incredible infrastructure for this business. We fully intend to leverage our brand, assets and resources by increasing the exposure and awareness of the series through promotion, partnership integration and marketing activation. Our ultimate goal is to provide the highest quality sprint car racing in the world."

"I am very excited to join the Pettys in this new series," said 19 - time World of Outlaws sprint car champion, Steve Kinser. "The Pettys have been in the racing business for over 50 years and they understand what it takes to promote a successful motorsports series. To have them as series owners is an opportunity of a lifetime. I can hardly wait for next season."

The NSL is making significant progress in organizing the 2006 championship schedule and is in discussions with several corporate partners regarding series sponsorship. In addition, the group is in the process of securing a comprehensive television package for the series.

"We plan on bringing our show to many of the famed sprint car tracks such as Eldora Speedway, Williams Grove Speedway and Knoxville Raceway," said 7-time NASCAR champion, Richard Petty. "The initial response within the industry has been phenomenal. Our primary goal is to deliver a series that will benefit everyone involved; drivers, owners, tracks, sponsors and most importantly, the race fans," said Petty. "This stuff reminds me of how racing was when I began to race 50 years ago, I love it," exclaimed the King.

Richard Petty Driving Experience is a leading provider of motorsports entertainment and is headquartered in Concord, N.C. RPDE will operate more than 1,100 track days at 24 locations nationwide in 2005, including permanent locations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Walt Disney World Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. In 2004, RPDE ran over 1.5 million miles and provided over 100,000 driving and riding experiences to the public. RPDE currently manages several mobile marketing display programs for corporate clients such as General Mills, Dodge, Army and Ferguson Enterprises. RPDE also manages manufacturer ride and drive programs for the automobile industry and is currently operating a training and education program for Mercedes-Benz USA.

For information on the National SprintCar League or for partnership opportunities, please send an email inquiry to NSL@1800BePetty.com or call 704.454.6222.

09/23/05
irl
Castroneves tops 2nd practice at The Glen Castroneves tops 2nd practice at The GlenMarlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves led the opening day of practice for the Sept. 25 Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Argent Mortgage at Watkins Glen International.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner posted a lap of 1 minute, 32.8258 seconds, 130.696 mph, in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Toyota-powered Dallara. The Brazilian's time was slightly faster than 2004 IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan, who recorded a lap of 1:32.8807, 130.619 mph, in his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Honda-powered Dallara. Castroneves earned the right to determine the order for Marlboro Pole Qualifying on Sept. 24.

2003 IndyCar® Series champion Scott Dixon was third-quickest at 1:33.2028, 130.168 mph in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Toyota-powered Panoz while Andretti Green teammates Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti were fourth and fifth, respectively in their Honda-powered Dallaras. 

IRL superstar Danica Patrick was again way off the pace, 6 seconds behind Castroneves.  This is not a 100% throttle track.

Pos Driver Diff B Time B Speed C/E/T
1 Helio Castroneves (3) ... 92.8258 130.696 D/T/F
2 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.0549 92.8807 130.619 D/H/F
3 Scott Dixon (9) 0.3770 93.2028 130.168 P/T/F
4 Dan Wheldon (26) 0.5515 93.3773 129.925 D/H/F
5 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.7616 93.5874 129.633 D/H/F
6 Giorgio Pantano (10) 1.0857 93.9115 129.185 P/T/F
7 Vitor Meira (17) 1.4704 94.2962 128.658 P/H/F
8 Patrick Carpentier (83) 1.6151 94.4409 128.461 D/T/F
9 Tomas Scheckter (4) 1.7427 94.5685 128.288 D/C/F
10 Bryan Herta (7) 2.0080 94.8338 127.929 D/H/F
11 Sam Hornish Jr. (6) 2.2548 95.0806 127.597 D/T/F
12 Buddy Rice (15) 2.8590 95.6848 126.791 P/H/F
13 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 2.9458 95.7716 126.676 P/H/F
14 Alex Barron (51) 3.0044 95.8302 126.599 D/T/F
15 Scott Sharp (8) 4.1011 96.9269 125.166 P/H/F
16 Roger Yasukawa (24) 4.5588 97.3846 124.578 D/H/F
17 Jeff Bucknum (14) 4.6948 97.5206 124.404 D/C/F
18 Danica Patrick (16) 6.0002 98.8260 122.761 P/H/F
19 Ed Carpenter (20) 9.2435 102.0693 118.860 D/T/F
20 Tomas Enge (2) 11.9284 104.7542 115.814 D/C/F

09/23/05
ga
Rolex Series Will Return to Watkins Glen Rolex Series Will Return to Watkins GlenThe 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule continues to form up as Grand American President Roger Edmondson and Watkins Glen International President Craig Rust today announced that the Rolex Series will contest two events at the historic upstate New York facility next year.

Taking a page from Watkins Glen history, the first Rolex Series visit will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Saturday, June 3 and will run in conjunction with Sunday’s Indy Racing League IndyCar Series event, with whom the Rolex Series is also racing this weekend. From 1969 through 1981, Watkins Glen International featured a mid-summer race weekend with a six-hour sports car race on Saturday and a Can-Am or Formula 5000 sprint race on Sunday.

Today’s announcement brings the running total of confirmed 2006 dates to eight. The announced dates include the Rolex 24 At Daytona (January 26-29), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (May 5-7), the Lime Rock Park weekend for the Rolex Series GT class and the Grand-Am Cup Series (May 27-29), Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (June 2-3), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 23-25), Crown Royal 200 (August 10-11), Infineon Raceway (August 24-26) and Miller Motorsports Park (August 31-September 2). Additional events—as well as a complete 2006 schedule—will be announced in the near future.

09/23/05
irl
Marlboro, Toyota continue to plaster market with free tickets Marlboro, Toyota continue to plaster market with free ticketsUPDATE A reader writes, Just wanted to let the AutoRacing1.com fraternity know that they don't need to waste their hard-earned money on IRL tickets for the upcoming Fontana race. There is a BIG push through Toyota with ads on the radio in the Los Angeles area to give away FREE IRL tickets! And we're not talking about tickets for Friday Qualifying, we're talking RACE DAY TICKETS! The deal is, if you take any Toyota to a Toyota dealership for service/repair, and the bill is more than $60, you get FOUR tickets to the featured event  at California Speedway!
 
Now granted we don't all drive Toyotas, but with this many free tickets being given away in Southern California, you should be able to find them on E-Bay or at the entrance to the event for $10 each! At the most! I feel bad for the (few) people that pre-bought full-priced tickets to the event! If you are one of those people, call the IRL, Toyota, or Cal Speedway and complain!  Charlie Frank. Valencia, CA 09/21/05 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Just sending you a note on free tickets that Marlboro has sent out.   My sister-in-law received 2 free tickets yesterday for the IRL event at Fontana, Ca. Marlboro sent them to her as a gift for her being part of the club membership of Marlboro. It goes with the other free tickets that you have mentioned on your site to boost the amount of seats filled. Those are two seats that will be empty as she is not a race fan and I only attend Champ Car races. Jack S. Karnes III, Long Beach, CA
09/23/05
A1 Grand Prix
USA team overall fastest on Day 1 USA team overall fastest on Day 125 A1 cars each racing for the pride of their nation took to the track today for the first time in two one-hour official practice sessions for the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Brands Hatch, Great Britain. 

A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman Sheikh Maktoum said: "We had an interesting day and saw a lot of action in two very different sessions. It is obviously early days but I'm very happy with what I have seen. I think the 25 teams have put on a professional show which looked impressive on television. We are also delighted that the fans turned up to watch the track action here at Brands Hatch today and know from ticket sales that we will get a big crowd on Sunday." 

A1 Team USA recorded the fastest lap time for the day in the first official practice session. A1 Driver, Scott Speed commented: "I'm quite happy with the way things have come together considering it has all been put together very fast and obviously it is quite encouraging to start a new season so quick. I last raced on this Grand Prix track in 2003 but I might as well have come to a new circuit as I didn't remember any of it! It's not so complicated actually but the car is quite a handful especially if you want to drive it at the absolute limit. It is quite easy to get 90 per cent out of it but the last 10 per cent is quite difficult. We have a very strong dry set up but we struggled a bit in the wet for a few reasons and we are hoping to sort that out for Sunday if it rains." 

Home driver, A1 Team Great Britain's Robbie Kerr said: "It has been a tricky day but it has gone well so we have to be happy. We are still learning about the car so have changed it quite a bit but the good thing is that we are going in the right direction. We have been working together now as a team for about a month and a half but in reality we have only worked together for five days so I am even happier about how well it is all coming together. Even though it is my home race, there are a lot of drivers here who know the track better than I do. I love Brands, I think it is a brilliant track and after talking to some drivers who had never been here before, after the first session they told me they loved the place. It is a brilliant venue to start the first A1 in the world." 

Nelson Piquet Jr. recorded the fastest lap in the second official practice session which ran in wet weather. Piquet commented: "We were a bit unlucky because we had some problems in the first practice session but it was no disadvantage as I was fastest in the second session. We don't have any major problems and the Team is working well but it really is too early to tell how quick we are going to be. I think qualifying and the Sprint race will say a lot about this weekend. It could be the true pointer for how the weekend is going to be. Obviously it is equal for everybody so it is good to be quick early on however I have a good history on this track as I have raced here on the long track in Formula 3 and won."

09/23/05
IPS Series
2006 IPS schedule announced 2006 IPS schedule announcedThe Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series 2006 schedule will feature an even mix of six ovals and six road-course races, including both courses at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and "doubleheaders" at St. Petersburg, Fla., and Infineon Raceway.

The fifth season of competition for the IRL's top ladder series will get underway March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The series will then travel to St. Petersburg April 1 and 2 for two races on a temporary street circuit before heading to Indianapolis for the fourth Freedom 100 on the historic 2.5-mile oval.

For the second consecutive season, the Freedom 100 will be contested on Carb Day (May 26), the Friday before the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Five weeks later, the series will return to Indianapolis for the Liberty Challenge on the 2.605-mile road course as part of the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Other oval events on the schedule are Nashville, Milwaukee, Kentucky and the season-ending race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 9.

"The Menards Infiniti Pro Series continues to evolve as the perfect stepping stone into the IRL IndyCar Series," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. "We have a nice blend of oval tracks ranging from one mile to two-and-a-half miles, and we've aggressively increased the number of road-course races to appeal to an even greater number of young, talented drivers.

"Of course the icing on the cake continues to be the fact that the Menards Infiniti Pro Series is the only racing series in the world to race twice at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the same year."

The series' two other road events include visits to Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway. The Watkins Glen event will move from September to June 4, the weekend after the Indianapolis 500. The Infineon event will feature races on both Aug. 26 and 27.

Six races will be held on the same day as IndyCar Series races. The complete 2006 Menards Infiniti Pro Series schedule:

Date Track
March 26 Homestead-Miami Speedway
April 1 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
April 2 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
May 26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (oval)
June 4 Watkins Glen International
TBA Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course)
July 15 Nashville Superspeedway
July 22 Milwaukee Mile
Aug. 13 Kentucky Speedway
Aug. 26 Infineon Raceway
Aug. 27 Infineon Raceway
Sept. 9 Chicagoland Speedway

09/23/05
cc
Champ Car signs Intel Champ Car signs IntelChamp Car has done a sponsorship deal with Intel for the remainder of this year that will see them involved in this weekend's Las Vegas race (there are Intel signs here everywhere around the track) as well as Australia and Mexico City.  Race Director is free courtesy of them, they are doing track signage and they will be primary sponsor on the No. 10 car this weekend. 
09/23/05
A1 Grand Prix
Brazil team fastest in 2nd practice at Brands Hatch Brazil team fastest in 2nd practice at Brands HatchFull times from the second damp free practice session of the day on Friday for the A1GP at Brands Hatch.  The Brazil team was fastest and the China team slowest, a full 10 seconds off the pace.  It's clear the mainland China drivers are out to lunch and in over their head.  China will have to get a driver from Hong Kong or Taiwan if they want to save face.

1. Brazil 16 laps 1min 25.122secs
2. Great Britain 23 laps1min 25.360secs
3. Portugal 16 laps 1min 25.639secs
4. South Africa 18 laps 1min 26.294secs
5. France 21 laps 1min 26.328secs
6. Canada 24 laps 1min 26.346secs
7. Ireland 17 laps 1min 26.540secs
8. USA 18 laps 1min 26.664secs
9. Germany 17 laps 1min 26.818secs
10. Switzerland 17 laps 1min 26.947secs
11. Mexico 24 laps 1min 27.552secs
12. Pakistan 19 laps 1min 27.738secs
13. Italy 19 laps 1min 27.891secs
14. Japan 22 laps 1min 28.109secs
15. Austria 23 laps 1min 28.154secs
16. Malaysia 11 laps 1min 28.193secs
17. Indonesia 17 laps 1min 28.241secs
18. New Zealand 19 laps 1min 28.351secs
19. Netherlands 8 laps 1min 28.594secs
20. Lebanon 15 laps 1min 28.806secs
21. Czech Republic 19 laps 1min 28.828secs
22. Australia 13 laps 1min 29.346secs
23. Russia 14 laps 1min 30.208secs
24. China 11 laps 1min 35.768secs

09/23/05
nascar
RCR joins MIA RCR joins MIARichard Childress Racing (RCR) has been accepted as the newest international member of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), and the UK association’s first US-based NASCAR stock car racing team organization.

The North Carolina team has earned more than 125 victories and nine NASCAR championships, including six Winston Cup Series (now known as the NEXTEL Cup) titles with the legendary driver Dale Earnhardt. It is also the first organization to win championships in the NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series.

The MIA works tirelessly to strengthen its network of contacts within the worldwide motorsport industry, including the NASCAR sector, and the membership for RCR will open up the world market through the MIA’s membership on all continents.

Chris Aylett, CEO of the MIA, said “North Carolina, USA and Motorsport Valley in the UK are far closer than geography suggests.  The culture of the motorsport businesses in both of these highly successful business communities is based on success. RCR’s decision to join the MIA and become the first NASCAR team to do so cements the closeness of those relationships.  The MIA will offer access to a truly global motorsport business network from which RCR will gain commercial and competitive advantage.  I am delighted that this outstanding company has chosen to join our membership, and we look forward to helping them succeed in whatever way we can.”

09/23/05
irl
AGR forms partnership AGR forms partnershipAndretti Green Racing announced today it has entered into a cooperative partnership with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, beginning with this weekend's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series event at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.  Through its website, www.FloridasBeach.com, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will use its partnership with Andretti Green to bring tourists to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area. St. Petersburg, FL. is the home of Andretti Green driver Dan Wheldon and also hosts the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
09/23/05
A1 Grand Prix
A1 GP cars slow A1 GP cars slowA lap time of 1 m 10s was expected at Brands Hatch for the A1 GP cars but so far they have failed to live up to expectations with a top lap in the 1 m 16s range.  That compares to a 1986 F1 record of 1.09, 1991 F3000 record of 1.13 and a 2002 F3 record of 1.18.
09/23/05
f1
Wurz fastest in Brazil morning practice Wurz fastest in Brazil morning practiceThe first practice session of the Brazilian Grand Prix got underway under sunny skies and in warm conditions. Alex Wurz dominated the session in his McLaren Mercedes as he lapped just over a second off the 2004 Pole Position time with a 1:11.701s best, a full second of his nearest rival.
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 35 WURZ McLaren Mercedes M 1'11"701 216.348 Km/h
 2. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'12"738 + 0'01"037
 3. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'12"782 + 0'01"081
 4. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'12"918 + 0'01"217
 5. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'13"065 + 0'01"364
 6. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'13"094 + 0'01"393
 7. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'13"256 + 0'01"555
 8. 8 PIZZONIA Williams BMW M 1'13"427 + 0'01"726
 9. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'13"509 + 0'01"808
10. 38 ZONTA Toyota M 1'13"573 + 0'01"872
11. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'13"788 + 0'02"087
12. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'14"154 + 0'02"453
13. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'14"282 + 0'02"581
14. 15 KLIEN Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"468 + 0'02"767
15. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'14"504 + 0'02"803
16. 14 COULTHARD Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"724 + 0'03"023
17. 37 LIUZZI Red Bull Cosworth M 1'14"842 + 0'03"141
18. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'15"211 + 0'03"510
19. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'16"230 + 0'04"529
20. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'16"230 + 0'04"529
21. 39 KIESA Jordan Toyota B 1'16"351 + 0'04"650
22. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'16"769 + 0'05"068
23. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'17"180 + 0'05"479
09/23/05
TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
FORMULA ONE - Qualifying
Grand Prix of Brazil
Sao Paulo
12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP - Final Practice
MBNA RacePoints 400
Dover International Speedway
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET (SDD) TNT
NASCAR BUSCH SERIES
Dover 200
Dover International Speedway
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
FORMULA ONE
'Inside Grand Prix'
Grand Prix of Brazil
1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
A1GP - Qualifying
Brands Hatch, England
2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (SDD) Setanta Sports/DirectTV
GRAND-AM ROLEX SERIES
Crown Royal 250
Watkins Glen, NY
3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES
'Race Car Driver'
Episode 4, Portland
6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET (Replay) WGN
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP
'NASCAR Live!'
Dover, DE
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Las Vegas 350
9:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR - Charity Ride
Kyle Petty Charity Ride
Oregon to North Carolina (7/23/05 - 7/31/05)
11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, SPEED

For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

09/23/05
A1 Grand Prix
British team gets sponsorship British team gets sponsorshipAt Brands Hatch today, A1 Team Great Britain is delighted to announce that A.C. Lighting has become an Official Sponsor of the team. A.C. will be using the sponsorship association to increase its overseas business derived from new or existing markets represented by the 24 other participating countries.  Formed in the early 1970s, A.C. Lighting is one of the world's largest distributors of architectural/ entertainment lighting, audio and associated equipment. Operating from offices in the UK, A.C. Lighting Ltd provides its products and services to over 80 countries worldwide. The company has contributed to the lighting systems for some of the industry's most prestigious projects, including the current Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang World Tour, London's BT Tower and Victoria & Albert Museum's John Madejski Garden, and the new Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower national landmark.
09/23/05
A1 Grand Prix
Scott Speed leads Team USA in opening practice Scott Speed leads Team USA in opening practiceAmerican driver Scott Speed (right) followed up his pre-season testing pace by setting the quickest time in the first ever A1 Grand Prix practice session on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afternoon.

The 60-minute session was initially led by Team Great Britain's Robbie Kerr, with Dutchman Jos Verstappen using his wealth of F1 experience to run in second place but the ex-F1 driver tumbled down the order during the second half of the session.

But right at the end of the session Speed, who was fastest during two test days out of three at French circuit Paul Ricard earlier this month, set a lap of 1m16.875s around the 2.6-mile track.

After joining the session slightly later than many other cars, the Brazilian machine of Nelson Piquet Jr hit the sharp end of the timesheets in second, getting to within 0.006s of Speed before the American went quicker in the dying moments.

Kerr's best time of 1m17.453s was not far behind the two leaders, which will spur on the UK's patriotic fans, who are expected to turn up in their tens of thousands this weekend. He was denied third place on the final lap of the session, when French driver Nicolas Lapierre stuck in a time of 1m17.215s to snatch the place.

Malaysia was fifth, with ex-F1 driver Alex Yoong in the car, followed by Australia (Will Power), Switzerland (Neel Jani), Portugal (Pedro Lamy), The Netherlands (Jos Verstappen).

Pos Team Time Laps
 1. USA 1:16.875 16
 2. Brazil 1:17.156 + 0.281 12
 3. France 1:17.215 + 0.340 17
 4. Great Britain 1:17.463 + 0.588 18
 5. Malaysia 1:17.578 + 0.703 16
 6. Australia 1:17.673 + 0.798 28
 7. Switzerland 1:17.731 + 0.856 21
 8. Portugal 1:17.741 + 0.866 17
 9. Netherlands 1:17.970 + 1.095 17
10. Mexico 1:17.997 + 1.122 25
11. New Zealand 1:18.157 + 1.282 21
12. Germany 1:18.344 + 1.469 13
13. Canada 1:18.470 + 1.595 26
14. South Africa 1:18.639 + 1.764 20
15. Japan 1:18.860 + 1.985 26
16. Pakistan 1:18.932 + 2.057 11
17. Czech Republic 1:19.397 + 2.522 18
18. Lebanon 1:19.491 + 2.616 22
19. Ireland 1:19.542 + 2.667 13
20. Austria 1:19.674 + 2.799 13
21. Indonesia 1:20.125 + 3.250 14
22. Russia 1:22.905 + 6.030 12
23. Italy 1:25.324 + 8.449 3
24. China 1:26.555 + 9.680 13
25. India 1:28.606 + 11.731 2

09/23/05
f1
How Alonso can lock up title in Brazil How Alonso can lock up title in BrazilHere is how Alonso can ensure he is F1 Champion in Brazil:
  • Alonso finishes on the podium, whatever the result of Raikkonen
  • Alonso 4th or 5th and Raikkonen does not win
  • Alonso 6th or 7th and Raikkonen does not finish better than 3rd
  • Alonso 8th and Raikkonen does not finish better than 4th
  • Alonso out of the points and Raikkonen does not finish better than 5th.
09/23/05
Formula 3
Dynamic shocks teams with Lola Dynamic shocks teams with LolaChassis manufacturer Lola Cars has joined forces with Multimatic's Dynamic Suspensions' brand to enhance its assault on the British Formula 3 Championship.

The P1 Motorsport Lola B05/30 Mugen Honda of Danilo Dirani has now been fitted with Dynamic Suspensions DSSV dampers - the same damping technology used by Nelsinho Piquet to win last year's British Formula 3 Championship.

After winning the opening two races of the 2005 season utilizing an evaluation set of the DSSV dampers, Dirani and the P1 team made a full-time switch to the Dynamic Suspensions product at Monza and immediately returned to the front running pace with a pair of third place finishes.

'"What I have noticed about these dampers is that they are very responsive to change, especially during a long test. This is so important in F3 because in a race weekend there is so little time before qualifying," Dirani said.

"At the start of the season we won both races at Donington Park with Multimatic products so I have a good feeling of confidence about their performance." zzzz

The partnership between Multimatic and Lola also includes extensive use of the Multimatic's four post rig at MTCe's Thetford base.

"Technically the Dynamic DSSV damper is very advanced and at the moment is one of the best in the marketplace," said Adam Airey, Lola F3 Designer.

"It has a highly developed method of control and is very predictable. Due to this we are able to model the characteristics which makes the DSSV completely unique."

The fiercely competitive worlds of Formula One, CART, IRL IndyCar Series, Formula 3 and international sportscar racing have been the laboratory for the high speed research and development of the new and unique Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve - DSSV Damping Technology.

After taking victories in each of these categories and winning the 2002 and 2004 Champ Car World Series and 2004 British Formula 3 Championship, Dynamic Suspensions unveiled the new range DSSV dampers in January at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England.

Currently used extensively in Formula One, sportscars and the Champ Car World Series, Multimatic is now developing a new mono tube version of the DSSV product targeted at the Formula 3 market.

The new damper to be introduced for the 2006 Championship season will be available for both the Lola and Dallara chassis .

"The development partnership between ourselves and Lola is an ideal combination as both Multimatic and Lola are looking to increase our share of the Formula 3 market," Multimatic Technical Centre Europe General Manager, Roger Tyler said.

"Our design engineers are working on a new package for 2006 which will enjoy the benefits of the DSSV technology, but be suitably packaged for Formula 3 competition and appropriately priced for the market.

"This damping technology has been developed at the highest levels of the sport in Formula One and Champ Cars. Formula 3 teams now will be able to enjoy that same technological advantage for next year's championship."

DSSV is more than just a damper - it is a complete program which incorporates hardware, software and engineering services. The DSSV damper program includes Dynamic Suspensions.

09/23/05
A1 Grand Prix
A1 GP finalizes Brands driver lineup A1 GP finalizes Brands driver lineupThe inaugural event in the World Cup of Motorsport is underway with every national A1 Team nominating their drivers for the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Brands Hatch, Great Britain.

With the pride of their nation at stake, each A1 Team will take to the track for the first official practice session this afternoon at 13.00 local time. A second official practice session will follow at 16.00 before a final practice session and qualifying tomorrow and the Sprint and Feature races on Sunday.

Adding an additional layer of excitement to the A1 Grand Prix series, A1 Teams can nominate different drivers for each race weekend. With all series points going to the national team, the A1 driver line-up will not only vary between qualifying

A1 Team Driver 1 Driver 2
Australia Will Power Christian Jones
Austria Mathias Lauda
Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Joao Paulo de Oliveira
Canada Sean MacIntosh
China Qinghua Ma Tengyi Jiang
Czech Republic Jan Charouz
France Nicholas Lapierre Alexandre Premat
Germany Timo Scheider Adrian Sutil
Great Britain Robbie Kerr Alex Lloyd
India Karun Chandhok Armaan Ebrahim
Indonesia Ananda Mikola
Ireland Michael Devaney
Italy Enrico Toccacelo Nino Piccoli
Japan Ryo Fukuda
Lebanon Basil Shaaban Khalil Beschir
Malaysia Alex Yoong Fairuz Fauzy
Mexico Salvador Duran
Netherlands Jos Verstappen Jeroen Bleekemolen
New Zealand Matt Halliday Jonny Reid
Pakistan Adam Khan
Portugal Alvaro Parente Joao Urbano
Russia Alexey Vasiliev Nikolay Fomenko
South Africa Stephen Simpson Gavin Cronje
Switzerland Neel Jani
USA Scott Speed

09/23/05
a1gp
A1 GP TV listings for Brands Hatch A1 GP TV listings for Brands HatchHere is where you can catch this weekends inaugural A1 GP race from Brands Hatch, England. TV Listing
09/23/05
irl
f1
Horrifying Briscoe crash keeps Davidson away Horrifying Briscoe crash keeps Davidson awayAutosport-Atlas reports that the dramatic crash suffered by Indy Racing League driver Ryan Briscoe has acted as a spur for Anthony Davidson to increase his efforts to land a Formula One drive next year. The BAR test driver had been considering making the switch to racing in the United States with only a few options left in F1, but he has now gone off the idea of the IRL after seeing Briscoe's accident at Chicago two weeks ago.

"I would always have the option of doing America but having seen the horrendous shunt of Ryan Briscoe I might try my luck at Formula One for a longer period," said Davidson, who is talking to Jordan and Williams about a race seat for next year.

"At the end of the day I enjoy what I do and I drive the best car in the world, I do like what I do. Obviously a race drive is where I want to end up and the sooner it happens the better.

"It obviously gets a little bit more difficult but I still am close to getting a drive for next year, even without Friday running. I still have a reasonably high profile in this game up and down the paddock, I just have to push as hard as I can."

[Editor's Note:  After seeing time and again the horrifying wrecks over the last 10 years  like Briscoe's, we are surprised any drivers want to be racing in the IRL.  Ah, for the love of money.]

09/23/05
nascar
Baseball No. 2, not NASCAR Baseball No. 2, not NASCARMajor League Baseball officials are beginning to dispute NASCAR's assertion that when it comes to television ratings, stock car racing takes a back seat only to the NFL. In the 2005 Nextel Cup series media guide, NASCAR proclaims itself "the #2 rated sport on television in the United States."

Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president/business, says when ratings for baseball's biggest events are included in the comparison, baseball's network television ratings were 23% higher than NASCAR's last year. "People can say whatever they want to say, but the facts speak for themselves," Brosnan says. "When it comes to network television, baseball is the No. 2 sport." Brosnan cites research from Nielsen Media, saying in 2004 NASCAR's 26 races televised on NBC and Fox averaged a 5.6 rating; that includes ratings for races in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the playoff-style championship format introduced last season. Baseball's 43 Fox telecasts in 2004, including playoffs and the All-Star Game, averaged a 6.9. One ratings point is equivalent to 1% of U.S. TV households.

NASCAR officials maintain their network ratings are higher than baseball's for most of the year, making them the No. 2 TV sport. "We know pundits are going to come up with various ways to dispute facts in every situation," NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said via e-mail. "However, we are proud to hold the No. 2 position on television." USA Today

09/23/05
nascar
Why no 5-sec. delay on TV? Why no 5-sec. delay on TV?UPDATE NBC/TNT producer Sam Flood had a simple answer about why Robby Gordon's 'bad word' was not delayed and beeped out. "It's cable," Flood said. "TNT isn't on a delay, was never on a delay and will never be on a delay." The rules are much different for cable outlets like TNT. Currently, the FCC has the power to fine over-the-air radio and television broadcasters for indecency violations. For example, over-the-air outlets are prohibited from broadcasting excretory or sexual content between 6:00am and 10:00pm, when it is more likely that children will be watching. Cable channels, like TNT, do not have the same restrictions.
TNT has its final Nextel Cup Series race broadcast of the season Sunday at Dover. Among the pre-race features planned:
• A profile of last week's race winner, Ryan Newman
• A review of last weekend's wild race at New Hampshire
• Wally welcomes Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis to "Wally's World." NASCAR.com

09/19/05 Some wondered why the "five-second rule", implemented after Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s slip last fall [at Talladega after winning], is not still in force [on Sunday at New Hampshire when #7-Robby Gordon said the 'S' word. That was not explained, although cable-vs.-network may have something to do with it. NASCAR VP/Communications Jim Hunter said NASCAR had no plans to call for such a policy. "We're going to tell our athletes not to use bad language when talking on television, that's all," he said. Speed Channel

09/23/05
nascar
Waltrip move to Bill Davis Racing made official Waltrip move to Bill Davis Racing made officialNASCAR veteran Michael Waltrip on Friday formally announced his move, along with primary sponsor NAPA Auto Parts, to Bill Davis Racing for the 2006 Nextel Cup season.  "I like the way Bill does business and he has created a strong organization," Waltrip said. "NAPA and I look forward to continuing our winning ways at Bill Davis Racing on the track, as well as extending our successful marketing efforts off the track."

"Teaming with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. for the past five years has been the highlight of my career to date," Waltrip said. "I look toward my future with NAPA and BDR with gratitude to DEI for the memories and friendships I have formed."

"It is no secret that our association with Michael has been a key ingredient of our marketing efforts," said Bob Susor, president of NAPA. "Race fans associate NAPA with Michael Waltrip and vice versa.

"We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the many successes NAPA has enjoyed during our tenure with DEI... We will value our DEI association and wish them nothing but the best in their future efforts."

09/23/05
f1
Button hits back over criticism Button hits back over criticismJenson Button has defended himself from criticism over his decision to remain with BAR rather than move to Williams. Former team owner Eddie Jordan claimed the 25-year-old Briton could have damaged his reputation by pulling out of his contract with Williams. But Button told BBC Five Live: "I know I've been criticized but I think Frank Williams and I have dealt with it well. "To agree, we've all understood the situation and come out reasonably happy. There should be no criticism. It's never a nice situation when you have to talk to someone about wanting to be elsewhere but I had to do it," he said. The best bit was phoning the factory to tell them that I was staying. The cheer I heard from them was amazing."
09/23/05
a1gp
A1 GP signs tech deal with BTMandB A1 GP signs tech deal with BTMandBBT Media and Broadcast (BTM&B), the digital media and broadcast services arm of BT, has signed a three-year deal with new motorsport series A1 Grand Prix.  The contract will see BTM&B provide a package of managed TV distribution services for the series, which races for the first time at Brands Hatch this weekend.  The firm will provide live world feed distribution from each event to broadcasters in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa.  The package also includes the provision of cameras, live stand-up equipment and transmission of broadcasters' unilateral broadcasts and news feeds from site.
09/23/05
ga
Q and A with Edmondson, Campbell and Trueman-Gajoch Q and A with Edmondson, Campbell and Trueman-GajochAn Interview with Roger Edmondson, Gill Campbell and Michelle Trueman-Gajoch talking about 2006 Grand-Am races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Transcript 
09/23/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Rubens' Alonso tribute?
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Alonso eyes bigger prize
No 'Buttongate' trilogy
Politics left Liuzzi stranded
Schu not sick of F1
Sato to walk away from BAR
Rosberg favorite - Webber
No 'number one' at BAR
Heidfeld eyes Suzuka return
No 'Friday' car for Minardi
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