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DATE News (chronologically)
10/10/04
grandam
Leitzinger and Forbes-Robinson win Grand-Am race Leitzinger and Forbes-Robinson win Grand-Am raceNo. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports co-drivers Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson extended the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series record for most different overall winners in a single season with their triumph in a soggy Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.

The duo became the sixth different set of co-drivers to take an overall victory in 2004, adding to the record established in August when Didier Theys and Jan Magnussen became the fifth different overall winners with their triumph in the Sahlen’s 200 at The Glen. The previous record for different winners in a single season was four, set in 2000 and equaled in 2001 and 2003.

After taking over the controls from Forbes-Robinson—who led 27 laps—Leitzinger took the lead from Scott Pruett in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley on a Lap 59 restart. Leitzinger withstood heavy pressure from Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 54 Kodak EasyShare Bell Motorsports Pontiac Doran as the laps ticked away, but the victory was his when Fittipaldi spun and made hard contact with the Turn 10 barrier with four laps remaining. Fittipaldi was not injured, and the race finished under caution.

It was Leitzinger’s 10th career overall victory in Rolex Sports Car Series competition, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time list behind James Weaver, who owns 13 career Rolex Series overall wins. The win was Leitzinger’s first in the Rolex Series since he emerged victorious at Watkins Glen in August 9, 2002.

"I know Max (Angelelli) would have been all over me like he was the whole half hour or so before that (if the race had finished under green),” Leitzinger said. “If we would have had a green, white, checker finish, we might have had a pretty spectacular Talladega-type crash. I do feel bad for the fans having to sit through the conditions, and the yellow finish, but they saw a good race. It’s nice to finally 'break the duck' and get that first win for this team. Now, we've got California in a couple of weeks and we'll see if we can continue it." 

For EFR, today’s win was his first overall victory in the Rolex Sports Car Series, and was his second Rolex Series class win. His previous class victory came in the 2000 Rolex 24 At Daytona when he teamed with Weaver, Rob Dyson and Max Papis to win the SR class. Today’s overall win also gave Forbes-Robinson a major road racing victory in five straight decades.

Angelelli and co-driver Wayne Taylor came home in second place, moving Taylor to within three points of Daytona Prototype co-points leaders Pruett and Papis (327-324) heading into the season-ending Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend at California Speedway in three weeks. It was the fourth straight race in which the No. 10 duo had finished higher than their rivals in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing machine.

The Fittipaldi incident opened the door for Pruett and Papis—who led the first 23 laps after starting from the pole position—to finish third for their seventh podium performance in 11 races. Perhaps more importantly, the extra spot also guaranteed the duo of at least a share of the 2004 Daytona Prototype championship with a second-place result or better in the California finale.

"The CompUSA team came into this weekend knowing what we had to do but we just couldn't take the chances we wanted to out there because of the conditions,” Pruett said. “It was just terrible out there with the steady drizzle on dry tires. I had to keep the No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley to the dry line because if you went off just a little bit it could have been disastrous. In fact, you saw that happen to the No. 54 car right in front of me at the end. The championship is going to come right down to an incredibly exciting end and that's a credit to the series because it truly shows how close the competition is. The CompUSA team will be ready to put it all on the line in California and see exactly what we're made of."

Intermittent rains throughout the race played havoc with many team strategies. One team that was bitten early by the conditions was the No. 02 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley duo of Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz, who lost one lap after pitting for new tires just five laps in. However, Morales and Diaz eventually found their way back onto the lead lap and came home with a fourth place result. It was their third straight top-four performance dating to a fourth-place run in the Miami 250 last month.

10/10/04
renault2000
Antoine Bessette breaks through at Barber Antoine Bessette breaks through at BarberCanadian Antoine Bessette kept his cool in treacherous conditions at Barber Motorsports Park to convert pole position into his maiden North American Formula Renault win in round eight on Sunday. Marcos Gomes made the most of the rainy conditions to storm from eleventh on the grid up to take second at the finish ahead of remarkable series newcomer Luca DiCienzo in third.

Bessette (center of podium in photo to right) had the measure of the field, and was able to hold on to his position despite twice having his considerable gap to the field eliminated during safety car periods.

“I think it’s the first time I have ever been nervous inside a race car-sure sometimes you get nervous before a race, but I have never once I got in, but today-every time I got a big lead on everyone, I’d lose it to the safety car,” said a beaming Bessette. “Aim Autosport did a great job-the car was just perfect, and I love racing in these kind of conditions, so its very, very satisfying to take the win.”

Gomes made big moves through the field, but knew that he didn’t want to risk it all in the conditions late in the race.

“The car was great, so I could really make some passes anywhere on the track but on the final restart, I just didn’t think I had anything for Antoine,” said Gomes. “It was very difficult conditions, though, so I had to be thinking about the championship so another podium for me and GTI/Roshfrans is a good result.”

The field got off to a clean start in the steadily raining conditions, with Bessette leading Ricardo Imery into the first corner. Imery stayed on Bessette's tail and hassled him for the lead for several laps, before getting caught out by the conditions and going off track under braking, bringing out the safety car.

The caution period was good news for Gomes, who had been picking off competitors nearly every lap, but was nearly thirty seconds behind Bessette before the yellow flew. On the restart, Gomes continued his charge forward through the field, but Bessette was also on the move, setting a series of fastest laps of the race to rebuild his gap to the field. A second caution period to move the car of Gelles Racing’s Michael Yager into a safe position forced Bessette to give up his gap again and defend his lead ahead of Gomes and Brandon Thomas once again.

Gomes’ presence was making Bessette nervous, but on the restart, it was Brandon Thomas making the move, passing Gomes in the first corner to take second place, before Gomes retook the spot as DiCienzo moved up to the final podium position.

Rounds nine and ten of the 2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship will take place at California Speedway in Fontana, California October 29-31

10/10/04
German Formula Renault
Double Dominance for Scott Speed and Red Bull Double Dominance for Scott Speed and Red BullRed Bull racer Scott Speed led every lap from pole position to win the final race of the German Formula Renault season and clinch the Championship ahead of fellow American and Red Bull Junior Team mate Colin Fleming. Michael Ammermüller of Germany, who also benefits from the support of Red Bull, took third in the championship to mark a Red Bull Junior Team 1-2-3 in the final Championship tally.

Speed, who entered the final race just one point behind Fleming in the standings, was understandably feeling like he was on top of the world after taking his thirteenth win of the season to net the Championship.

"What a season - first the Eurocup title and now the victory in the German Championship,” said an exultant Speed. “A big thanks to all those who have helped me in this! It's incredible, and I am ready to race next season-bring it on!”

Fleming fell just shy in his Championship efforts, but he fought all the way to the finish, moving up from ninth on the grid to take the final podium spot in third.

"I feared it yesterday that it would just not be enough today,” said Fleming. “But it is quite okay to make it from 9th to 3rd position. And I can still be satisfied with the second place in the Championship after this great season!"

Speed’s  Championship and Flemings Runner-up finish are new chapters in the successful story of the Red Bull Driver Search Program; a program that aims to discover and support the "diamond in the rough," lacking the knowledge and contacts needed to embark on a career in racing, as well as talented young drivers already in racing. The long-term goal is to have a steady group of three to six American drivers racing in Europe, on the Red Bull Junior Team, groomed to break into Formula 1 and compete for the World Championship.  Rounds 13 and 14, German Formula Renault Championship Oschersleben.
Race 1:
Fleming Qual – 4th, Race – 2nd 
Speed Qual – 1st  , Race –3rd 
Race 2:
Fleming Qual – 9th , Race – 3rd
Speed Qual – 1st , Race – 1st  

10/10/04
f1
Schumacher will not gift Barrichello at home Schumacher will not gift Barrichello at homeDespite already locking up the championship, Michael Schumacher does not plan on gifting the season ending Brazilian GP to his Brazilian teammate, Rubens Barrichello.  “Everyone likes to win his home grand prix, but I am sorry - I feel like I want to win another grand prix as well this year,” declared Schumacher, who won his seventh world championship this season.  “I'm pretty sure he will be very strong. He likes the competition and he likes it if he earns it without any support. I am pretty sure of that. But first we have to do the job.”
10/10/04
irl
The high cost of oval track racing The high cost of oval track racingThis SPEED TV article excerpt underscores the high cost of racing open wheel cars on oval track - It didn't end like Sam Schmidt had envisioned. Instead of celebrating their 2004 Menard's Infiniti Pro Series championship with Thiago Medeiros in victory lane last Saturday afternoon in Fontana, Calif., Schmidt wheeled over to the infield hospital to make sure his driver was OK after a spectacular crash on the last lap.

Medeiros, who clinched the title by simply taking the green flag, had led much of the 50-lap sprint at California Speedway before tangling with Jeff Simmons and flipping down the backstretch. The 22-year-old Brazilian escaped injury and eventually walked to the winner's circle to pose with his trophy. While he posed for photos, his car owner surveyed the remains of the badly mangled Dallara as it dangled from the wrecker.

"Get out the shovel and we'll bury it," said Schmidt. Asked how much the IPS championship paid, he replied: "One hundred thousand dollars." And the price of an IPS car? "It's about $140,000," he answered, breaking into a smile. "We can't seem to get ahead."

10/10/04
nascar
NASCAR drives fun out of Victory Lane NASCAR drives fun out of Victory LaneThis News-Record article pretty much sums up what NASCAR has done to inch Victory Lane celebrations toward F1-type boring and politically correct events. However, the majority of the celebrations are phony staged-for-TV events anyway as evidenced by Dale Earnhardt Jr. being asked to get back into his car last weekend at Talladega and perform their phony yelling and screaming all over again because the TV cameras missed the first phony one.  Is it a sport, or a PT Barnum circus act?
10/10/04
nascar
Martin tests In-Car caution lights Martin tests In-Car caution lightsA question about NASCAR's failure to implement the in-car caution-light system. Martin just tested a similar system in an ASA car he'll run at Charlotte this month, an audible system. "It goes right through your radio and goes 'Beep-beep-beep' every time the yellow flag comes out," Martin said. "That's nice. I've been very critical of NASCAR for not going with that system. I've heard that they're concerned people could tamper with that system, because there are smarter people with more money here than in ASA, and if someone could make yours go beep-beep-beep, they could change the outcome. That sounds about as ridiculous. Now there are a lot of smart people in this garage, but I don't see people being that underhanded. That would be pretty mean. That radio caution system is really good, because then everybody knows when there's an accident. When you see an accident you can't let off; you have to wait for the caution, and that's not great. We see accidents from time to time and have to look around to see if everybody else is backing off. Because you can't see a yellow light (on the track wall) when you're racing and you've got 30 cars around you." The cost of such an in-car caution light system is cheap at $400, for the safety edge it could provide. Winston Salem Journal
10/10/04
f1
Bernie bids for British GP Bernie bids for British GPUPDATE The Daily Express reports Ecclestone has approached the British Racing Drivers Club with an offer to promote the race for the next seven years if the group give him the rights to the circuit rent-free.  "I have given the BRDC another option to consider because I want to preserve the British Grand Prix," he tells the newspaper, almost one week after threatening to drop the race from the 2005 schedule. 10/09/04 Bernie Ecclestone has emerged as the latest bidder for the British GP, offering to promote the race for the next seven years at Silverstone if the BRDC lets him use the track rent-free. Bernie is now bidding against the Brand Synergies group led by Nigel Mansell. "We are still considering a number of alternative proposals for the future retention of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone," a BRDC spokesman said, "These options include some proposals that have been submitted by Mr. Ecclestone in the last 24 hours. We will carefully evaluate all options, and work tirelessly with all parties concerned to retain both the grand prix at Silverstone, and the pre-eminence of the sport and motorsport industry in the United Kingdom." If he wins this bid, anyone care to wager that Bernie will move the race to the streets of London first chance he gets?
10/10/04
nascar
Tony Stewart slams NASCAR Tony Stewart slams NASCARDale Earnhardt's recent penalty for saying $hit dropped him from first in the NASCAR standings to second with seven races to go. He trails Kurt Busch by 12 points. Earnhardt's verbal slip came following his victory in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Tony Stewart said NASCAR shouldn't remove points for something that didn't happen on the track.” The easiest way to sum up the relationship between the drivers and NASCAR is that we are pawns on a chessboard," Stewart said during a morning news conference at Kansas Speedway, site of today's Banquet 400. "We don't make the big moves. We're just sacrificial lambs, so to speak. (NASCAR officials) have their way of explaining to you very quickly that you can be replaced very, very easily in this sport -- no matter how popular you are. Since when does something that somebody says have an effect on winning the championship?" Stewart said.   "You used to get out and fist fight with the guy if you disagreed with something he did, and then you'd help him load up his car and go eat dinner together.  That's the way it used to be handled in the real world. Now we're in fantasyland up here and things have to be dictated by the almighty."
10/10/04
grandam
A record 10th pole for Papis team A record 10th pole for Papis teamSetting a new Rolex Grand Am Series record for most poles in a single season, Max Papis qualified the no. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley on pole for a tenth time this year at this race weekend's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.

In fact, the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team driver eclipsed two records in Saturday’s qualifying session; In addition to beating the 2001 record of nine pole positions in a single season set by Dyson Racing Team co-drivers Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver, Italian driver Max Papis shattered the track record with a best qualifying lap at 1:20.613 (102.713 mph). Papis’ lap was nearly four seconds quicker than David Donohue’s previous track record of 1:24.313 (98.205 mph). Papis has broken track qualifying time records in his last two attempts, last week in Virginia and again this weekend at Barber.

"Ten poles in a single season is a very nice record to have and it's a credit to all the CompUSA crew guys here and at the shop for the job they do every day that has made us this successful in our first season in the Rolex Grand-Am Series,” said Max Papis who has started from the pole six times in 2004 while co-driver Scott Pruett took the team’s other four pole positions. “We'll start P1 and we'll try to stay P1 the whole race. Qualifying was difficult today because the track is so very different than it was in practice so I really had to change my driving style because the 01 Lexus Riley behaved so differently as well. The 01 car was very loose but today l was fast and that's what we were."

10/10/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu debuted 2005 'hybrid' Ferrari
New F1 team 'may buy Cosworth'
Minardi get conditional support - Sauber
Schu on 'awkward' pole
Bernie offers to promote Brit GP
'It's time to race' - Ralf
F1 drivers had typhoon party
'Thanks, David' - Ralf S.
Zsolt to start from pitlane
Montoya under pressure
Old Honda F1 cars at Suzuka
Webber devotes third to Jag 'guys'
Coulthard to build more hotels
Brit GP not 'saved' - BRDC spokesman
Jaguar 'not sold' to Red Bull
2005 Ferrari 'felt strange' - Schu
Schumacher ends losing streak
10/09/04
f1
Japanese GP: Michael Schumacher wins pole Japanese GP: Michael Schumacher wins poleDrying conditions during the first ever Sunday morning qualifying for today's Japanese GP mixed up the grid but not up at the front where Michael Schumacher drove his Ferrari to pole position ahead of his brother Ralf Schumacher.

Because of the drying conditions it was better to go out later in the session and most of the front of the grid did.  Mark Webber made the most of the treacherous track surface and will start third in a Jaguar and hometown favorite Takuma Sato 4th ahead of his BAR Honda teammate Jenson Button.

POS DRIVER ENTRANT TIRE TIME
1. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1:33.542
2. RALF SCHUMACHER Williams-BMW M 1:34.032
3. MARK WEBBER Jaguar-Cosworth M 1:34.571
4. TAKUMA SATO BAR-Honda M 1:34.897
5. JENSON BUTTON BAR-Honda M 1:35.157
6. JARNO TRULLI Toyota M 1:35.213
7. GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Sauber-Petronas B 1:36.136
8. DAVID COULTHARD McLaren-Mercedes M 1:36.156
9. JACQUES VILLENEUVE Renault M 1:36.274
10. OLIVIER PANIS Toyota M 1:36.420
11. FERNANDO ALONSO Renault M 1:36.663
12. KIMI RAIKKONEN McLaren-Mercedes M 1:36.820
13. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA Williams-BMW M 1:37.653
14. CHRISTIAN KLIEN Jaguar-Cosworth M 1:38.258
15. RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1:38.637
16. NICK HEIDFELD Jordan-Cosworth B 1:41.953
17. TIMO GLOCK Jordan-Cosworth B 1:43.533
18. GIANMARIA BRUNI Minardi-Cosworth B 1:48.069
19. ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER Minardi-Cosworth B No Time
20. FELIPE MASSA Sauber-Petronas B No Time
10/09/04
renault2000
Gomes and Bessette take poles at Barber Gomes and Bessette take poles at BarberMarcos Gomes and Antoine Bessette each netted pole positions for the North American Formula Renault rounds seven and eight respectively as the series stages its first double header weekend of the season at the 2.33-mile Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama. Gomes led the first qualifying session, held in clear conditions on Friday, powering to a best lap time of 1:24.270-seconds at the facility, while Saturday’s wet session allowed Bessette, who has always been strong in the wet, to come to the fore and take his first pole of the season.  Gomes will start alongside Mark Wilkins for round seven, and is itching to get back to racing and is glad he has two chances for checkers this weekend.

“I like that we are racing here twice this weekend because I have a good car, and I really like this track,” said Gomes. “It’s a very interesting circuit with lots of medium and high-speed corners, so it suits my style.”

Gomes is also happy to have two races after his Saturday qualifying session ended before it started as he got caught out by some standing water in his first lap of the session. “I was the first driver out on the track, and I came across some water, and that was that-I just spun off and the car was damaged enough that I couldn’t keep going, so I will have some work to do in the race on Sunday!”

The pole is the first of the season  for Aim Autosport’s Bessette, who took third on the grid in the first qualifying session and then put his experience as a rally driver to use in the heavy rain to take the pole.  “I like running in the rain-I think it’s a great challenge to keep the car controlled while also trying to be very fast, so I’m happy to take the pole and get the front row start on Sunday,” said Bessette.

Toronto-round podium finisher Brandon Thomas will start alongside of Bessette after also taking his best qualifying position of the season. Series points leader Juan Ponte has adapted quickly to his new team Gelles Racing, and will line up on the second row for round seven.  Round seven of the North American Formula Renault Championship is scheduled to stage its exciting standing start at 5:10 PM on Saturday, with round eight getting underway on Sunday at 3:30 PM.
Round Seven
Top Ten:
1/Gomes/1:24.270
2/Wilkins/1:24.855
3/Bessette/1:25.438
4/Ponte/1:25.883
5/DiCienzo/1:26.270
6/Thomas/1:26.379
7/Braun/1:28.197
8/Yager/1:28.251
9/Siska/1:28.768
10/Dodds/1:30.725

Round Eight
Top Ten:
1/Bessette/1:37.417
2/Thomas/1:38.302
3/Imery/1:39.042
4/Wilkins/1:39.270
5/DiCienzo/1:40.219
6/Braun/1:40.308
7/Ponte/1:40.972
8/Yager/1:44.622
9/Siska/1:47.978
10/Dodds/2:07.173

10/09/04
grandam
Papis and Pruett take pole for Barber race Papis and Pruett take pole for Barber raceFor a record 10th time in 11 races, the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley will start from the pole position in Sunday’s Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park (SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET).

Two records fell in today’s qualifying session, as in addition to the fact that the No. 01 topped the 2001 record of nine pole in a single season set by Dyson Racing Team co-drivers Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver, Italian driver Max Papis shattered the Barber Motorsports Park track record with a best qualifying lap at 1:20.613 (102.713 mph). Papis’ lap was nearly four seconds quicker than David Donohue’s previous track record of 1:24.313 (98.205 mph).

“Ten poles is a single season is a very nice record to have and it's a credit to all the CompUSA crew guys here and at the shop for the job they do every day that has made us this successful in our first season in the Rolex Series,” Papis said. ”We'll start P1 and we'll try to stay P1 the whole race. Qualifying was difficult today because the track is so very different than it was in practice so I really had to change my driving style because the (No.) 01 Lexus Riley behaved so differently as well. The (No.) 01 car was very loose but I today loose was fast and that's what we were."

The Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant will be the fifth consecutive race that Papis will start from the inside of the front row, and Papis has started from the pole six times in 2004. Co-driver Scott Pruett took the team’s other four pole positions, and the duo enters the race looking to extend or maintain the five-point lead they share in the Daytona Prototype driver standings over No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley driver Wayne Taylor (297-292).

Starting a season-best second will be 2003 Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller in the No. 54 Kodak EasyShare Pontiac Doran. Borcheller—who is also the defending champion at Barber Motorsports Park—clocked a best lap of 1:20.907 (102.340 mph) to put his car on the outside of the front row. The performance topped his previous season-best qualifying result of third, which came at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

10/09/04
nascar
2005 tire testing at Lowe’s 2005 tire testing at Lowe’sA pair of cars tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this past week as Goodyear continues finding a tire package for the new inch-shorter spoiler that will be run in NEXTEL Cup in 2005. The drivers who accepted the challenge were #01-Joe Nemechek and #18-Bobby Labonte. The test took place Tuesday evening at LMS and began with cars set to 2004 specification. Once Goodyear engineers were comfortable with the 2004 spec car the files came out, chewing an inch off the rear spoilers of both cars. With the car in 2005 trim the drivers took turns making runs, under Goodyear’s leadership. One driver worked construction variant tires while the other handled various compound tires. According to the Goodyear men the drivers found comfort in similar tires that brought peace to Greg Biffle and the rest that tested at Las Vegas several weeks ago. After further adjustments on the cars both drivers seemed to like what they had under them. Mark Martin was scheduled to do the Goodyear tests at Charlotte but as one of the Chase for the Championship drivers he was precluded from the session. When Goodyear picked Martin for the test he was 14th in the points. One Goodyear engineer joked of Martin’s scrubbed involvement, “Geez, He gave up the opportunity to test for us for a shot for the 2004 Cup championship and the riches that come with it? I don’t know about that guy anymore.” Team Ford Racing
10/09/04
champcar
Mario Andretti - Out front again Mario Andretti - Out front againHis real name, Mario Andretti explained, is Cristoforo Colombo, who hailed from the town of Genoa, hard on the Liguria Coast in Northwest Italy. Colombo, as it stands, is only the most famous of the Italian explorers, esteemed just ahead of Amerigo Vespucci, for whom our country is named.

''In the second millennium, there were lots of contributions by Italians,'' Andretti, a Nazareth resident, said proudly. ''Do you know who brought spaghetti from China?''

He paused, waiting for an answer. When one didn't come, he gave it up.

''Marco Polo,'' he said. ''That's how it became an Italian dish.''

The list in time is long — Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Verdi, Puccini, Fermi — before one gets to Andretti, whose contributions as a race car drive have elevated him to the status of legend. For that, the Columbus Citizens Foundation has presented him with the honor of being the Grand Marshal in New York City's 60th annual Columbus Day Parade on Monday.

''There is a lot of pride within the Italian community,'' Andretti said. ''To be selected like that — and they have a lot of choices — I will always feel particular pride.''

Andretti, whose family sailed from Genoa to America 49 years ago, joins Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, Rudy Giuliani and Luciano Pavarotti, among others, who have served as Grand Marshal.

''We are honored that Mario Andretti, who is often referred to as the greatest race car driver of all time, is joining us as we celebrate Italian-American heritage and achievements in the largest and most important Columbus Day Parade in the world,'' Lawrence Auriana, the foundation's president, said.

Saturday night, Andretti will attend a fundraising gala at the Waldorf-Astoria. Monday, he'll take a seat in, appropriately, an Italian-made Lamborghini Murcielago Spyder, where he'll be trailed by a collection of cars he's driven to Victory Lane, including the models in which he won the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

For Andretti, promoting the sport of auto racing makes the honor a double source of pride. This past week, a similar collection of old cars, photographs, storyboards and a running video of Andretti's life were on display at Grand Central Station. There was also a display promoting tourism to Italy.

''We're a small country that has contributed tremendously to the culture of the world in many, many ways,'' Andretti said. ''People make different claims, of course — that didn't get support from the Italians, that he had to go to Spain, but they did give him three race boats.''

The parade will go from at 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will start at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street and end at Fifth Avenue and 76th Street. The Morning Call

10/09/04
nascar
5 sec. delay won't stop penalties 5 sec. delay won't stop penaltiesFive-second delay or not, it’s still not OK to use profanity on TV. That’s what NASCAR president Mike Helton said Friday. A bleeped-out oath will not excuse the offending driver from disciplinary action from NASCAR. “That delay doesn’t protect them,” said Helton. “First of all, the delay doesn’t necessarily mean the word won’t get through, and even if it doesn’t get through, it will still be obvious that an offensive word was used, even if the actual word doesn’t get out.” Helton conceded, however, that NASCAR officials will not likely take away points from a driver or owner whose profanity is bleeped out by TV censors. Radio will join the rush to delay, by the way. Motor Racing Network president David Hyatt announced on Friday that a seven-second audio delay would be implemented beginning with Sunday’s Banquet 400. Performance Racing Network, the Speedway Motorsports entity that broadcasts most of the races not assigned to MRN, began using a delay earlier this year. Gaston Gazette
10/09/04
f1
Japan to stage grand prix Japan to stage grand prix(GMM - Suzuka) Qualifying and the Japanese grand prix will go ahead as scheduled, an FIA official said on Saturday evening. 'Super typhoon 22' has now passed the Suzuka region and left the Formula One circuit unscathed, he said. Nicknamed 'Ma On' by the Japanese, the weather phenomenon brought winds of more than 150km/h, but the epicenter missed the heart of Suzuka and moved on around 3 pm. Renault's director of engineering Pat Symonds, though, said the Suzuka skies may have a little more in store for the traveling race circus. ''We may see a wet morning (for revised qualifying at 9 am),'' he said on Saturday, ''followed by drying conditions.''

10/09/04
MotoGP
Rossi on pole in Malaysia Rossi on pole in MalaysiaAfter falling out of the last race, World Championship leader Valentino Rossi has taken pole position for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix after a confident performance in today's final qualifying session at Sepang, which saw the Italian joined on tomorrow's front row by Repsol Honda's Alex Barros and Kawasaki's Shinya Nakano.
10/09/04
f1
New F1 team announced New F1 team announcedUPDATE #2 This Globe and Mail article tells us more about Canadian businessman Alexander Shnaider, the main man behind this new team. 10/08/04 This Reuters article sheds more light on the Russian businessman behind this new F1 team. 10/08/04 Midland F1 announced to the public at Suzuka that they would be making their debut at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix.  The company behind the latest F1 team is the ‘Midland Group” with backing from Russia and racing the Italian Dallara chassis.  While their intentions are very clear, co-founder and chairman Alex Shnaider confirmed that there are still a lot of finer details to be sorted, such as team manager, drivers etc, one of which is, naturally, expected to be Russian.  “We are in the middle of a selection process for the crew.  The car will be built in partnership with Dallara in Italy and the team’s headquarters will be on the outskirts of London,“ he was quoted as saying by the official F1 website. “For a global-acting business conglomerate, the search for a global platform is mutual and Formula One is the perfect fit: it’s global, it’s competitive, it’s tactical and it’s high tech. I am surprised that no one has realized that having a Formula One team is like getting an NBA or NHL franchise for free, as it is one of the world’s most popular sports. The opportunity to create value is immense and it stuns me that there are not more companies that have identified this opportunity just as we have.”
10/09/04
irl
Done with Indy Done with IndyA reader writes National Speed Sport News, I would like to say that I am now officially finished with the Indy 500, something that I thought I would never say about what I once thought of as no other. What I read about the new rules for the 500 just about made me sick. So, thanks for the great memories of the past, but no thanks to the future. Tradition is what made the 500 special, non-tradition will be the end of it and turn it into just another race.

The start time has nothing to do with ratings. It was at the same start time when the ratings were good. There is only one reason the ratings are down, and you, Tony George, seem to be wearing rose-colored glasses as to what that reason is. I believe that one of the only reasons the start time is being changed is to keep a few of the popular American drivers (i.e. Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart) from racing in the 500. It’s obvious that this is what the fans want to see more of, not less of. Look at what happened when Tony Stewart showed up last year and stole the headlines from all of the other IRL drivers. It must have been egg on Mr. George’s face. Again, if you want more ratings, get more American short-track drivers in the IRL and the 500. When are you going to realize this? After being told this time and time again, a person of even less than average intelligence would realize this and do something about it. But, as long as you are getting richer in the pocketbook, I guess you don’t care.

I find it really sad that tradition is being thrown by the wayside. In turn, I am going to start a new tradition of my own. For the first time since 1977 for myself and 1952 for my father, we’re staying home. So, Mr. George, you can take your tickets and stick them where the sun doesn’t shine. And, as for the new qualifying procedures, get real! I just wish your granddaddy was alive to tan your backside! Richie McLaughlin, Middletown, Ohio  Dear Richie, 33 is only a number. Mark C.

10/09/04
nascar
Petty changes engine builder Petty changes engine builderKyle Petty is no longer using Mike Ege engines here in Kansas.  Petty and teammate Jeff Green will compete with Joey Arrington engines for the remainder of 2004.  Arrington currently builds motors for all the Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck teams and the No. 49 Cup car driven by Ken Schrader.
10/09/04
nascar
RCR and GM unveil 2005 paint scheme RCR and GM unveil 2005 paint schemeGM Goodwrench, a division of General Motors Service and Parts Operations (GMSPO), unveiled today at Kansas Speedway the 2005 Daytona 500 paint scheme that will help kick off their 20th anniversary with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in NASCAR. The multi-colored No. 29 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, a combination of the different looks that GM Goodwrench has been a part of over the years, is only the beginning of a yearlong celebration planned to commemorate the great partnership that has brought so much to stock car racing.

"On behalf of everyone involved with GMSPO and the GM Goodwrench brand, we are very excited to be celebrating 20 years with RCR in NASCAR next year," stated Sue Seaglund, Event Marketing Manager with GMSPO. "With the rich history that we've enjoyed at Daytona, it only made sense to do something special for the biggest race of the season, and to kick off our anniversary celebration at a track where Goodwrench and RCR have enjoyed so much success.

"We feel this special paint scheme combines a little bit of everything that GM Goodwrench has been involved with over the years at RCR, from our days with Dale (Earnhardt) to now with Kevin (Harvick). It's really a privilege to be associated with the entire RCR organization and this great sport. We are extremely proud to be one of the longest standing sponsors in the business."

GM Goodwrench first officially shared room on the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet with Dale Earnhardt as an associate sponsor at RCR in May of 1985. Two and a half years later they took over the primary sponsorship role on the No. 3 and remained on the hood until Earnhardt's passing in February of 2001. The next race at North Carolina Speedway Kevin Harvick was given the honors to take over the coveted GM Goodwrench ride with a brand new No. 29 on the side and it's been that way ever since.

As a sponsor, GM Goodwrench has enjoyed unparalleled success during its relationship with RCR, accumulating six NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, 68 race wins, the biggest Daytona 500 victory in the modern era, and two stunning Brickyard 400 wins.

"GM Goodwrench has played a very big part in making RCR what it is today," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "The success we've achieved over the past 19 years has created a situation where you really can't think of one without thinking of the other. Our relationship has lasted longer than a lot of marriages and it's because of the respect we have for each other. I look forward to our 20th year of partnership in 2005 and hope it will continue into our 30th and 40th year together."

"It's pretty cool to think that GM Goodwrench has been with RCR for so long," added Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "They have been a big part of RCR, and their continued support shows their belief in us. It's good to know that we have such big backing from a solid company. I'm excited to help them celebrate this anniversary next year and look forward to many more years with them on the hood of our No. 29 Chevrolet."

The special paint scheme, designed by famed NASCAR illustrator Sam Bass, unites old with new by combining the original black No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet driven by Earnhardt in 1988 with the white No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet first driven by Harvick in 2001. The 20th anniversary logo commemorating the 20 years with RCR sits on the silver hood that adorned the GM Goodwrench paint scheme run throughout the 2002 season.

"Sue Seaglund came to me with an idea of bringing a few of their biggest paint schemes together and this is what we came up with," said Bass, who also created the 20th anniversary logo for GM Goodwrench. "It's an honor to be able to create something for such a big occasion. They've allowed me to be a part of so much in their 20 year partnership and I believe this helps to show their dedication to one another."

GM Goodwrench plans for next year's 20th anniversary celebration are going to be widespread, with several unique special paint schemes in store, a number of parties, special guests from the past, innovative promotions, and even a few surprises. Being the longest continuous team sponsor in the sport allows for some excitement to be had throughout the year. GM Goodwrench/RCR 

10/09/04
champcar
Newman/Haas Race Engineers' interview Newman/Haas Race Engineers' interviewWith two races remaining in the 2004 Champ Car World Series season, McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais holds a 307-280 lead over PacifiCare driver and Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) teammate Bruno Junqueira. Following are answers to questions posed to each of their race engineers. More....
10/09/04
f1
Symonds predicts classic GP Symonds predicts classic GPThe extreme weather conditions have forced all the F1 teams to adapt this weekend. Pat Symonds thinks the result could well be an extremely exciting race.

How big a challenge will tomorrow's revised schedule give the teams?
"At this stage, it is extremely difficult to predict what will happen. We are dealing with a very unusual weather pattern, and we may see a wet morning followed by drying conditions, or a full wet qualifying session and race."

"The simple fact is that we did very little useful running yesterday owing to the poor conditions, and if any part of the race proves dry, then we will find ourselves running tires that we have no specific information about at this circuit."

"Whatever happens, tomorrow's events will certainly keep us on our toes and favor those that can think quickly and react well. Although the situation is somewhat difficult, it is the same for everyone. Personally, I think this is just the kind of unexpected challenge that Formula 1 has a habit of throwing at you from time to time. and the kind of variation that makes things interesting."

Looking at the tire situation, what challenges might a wet-dry race provide?
"Suzuka is one of the hardest circuits for the tires in the dry, and this will affect the wet tires even more. If we find ourselves having to run extreme weather tires at any point in the race, twenty cars running at the same time will move a large amount of standing water very quickly. If at any point it then stops raining, the remaining water will be cleared in the space of a few laps - and because of the high energies involved in the high-speed corners the tire will quickly become totally unsuitable and wear very quickly. The transition to requiring normal wet tires will come very quickly, and if any team misses it, then the penalty in terms of lap-time for even just a single lap too far will be significant."

Will the intense schedule make life difficult for the drivers?
"Single lap qualifying is always a very delicate balance between being quick enough to be competitive, but not taking so many risks that you go off. If, as seems likely, qualifying is held in the wet, then the drivers will face a very difficult challenge: the risks of making a mistake and going off are higher in wet conditions, but also the pressure not to do so will be much greater tomorrow, as the time available for repairs before the race is extremely limited. Once they have navigated this potential minefield, they will then have to prepare for the 53-lap race, on one of the most demanding circuits of the year, in the space of just three hours. It is quite a challenge for all of them."

What do you think the race might hold?
"If qualifying is held in the wet, then I think we can expect a mixed-up grid, because it is hard to believe that nobody will make a mistake in those kinds of conditions. Logically, that should produce entertaining racing - especially on as good a drivers' circuit as Suzuka. Like we saw in Brazil in 2003, unpredictable conditions could well give us a very unexpected winner at the end of the race. All in all, I think tomorrow's Grand Prix has all the hallmarks of being a bit of a classic." Renault

10/09/04
alms
Fellow and Lehto lead most popular vote Fellow and Lehto lead most popular voteAmerican Le Mans Series champions Ron Fellows and JJ Lehto are the leading candidates so far as fan voting for the coveted Most Popular Driver Award enters its final week.  Fans can vote for their favorite driver on the professional sports car racing series online at www.americanlemans.com. Voting will continue until the checkered flag falls on the season-ending Audi Sports Car Championships race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., Oct. 16.

The name of the award recipient will remain a closely-guarded secret until being revealed at the American Le Mans Series "Night of Champions" awards banquet in Monterey, Calif., Oct. 17.   Fellows, driver for the factory Chevrolet Corvette team who has already won the GTS class driving title this season for an ALMS record third straight year, has received 19 percent of the votes cast by fans thus far in the balloting process. Lehto, driver for ADT Champion Racing in an Audi R8, is close behind Fellows in the race for the award with 14 percent of the votes. The Finnish driver has already clinched the LMP1 class driving title, his first in six years of racing on the ALMS.

Also receiving strong support in the voting process is James Weaver, driver of the Dyson Racing Lola in the LMP1 class, who has received 13 percent of the votes. Johnny O'Connell, teammate to Fellows at Corvette Racing and co-champion in the GTS class, is next with 10 percent of the votes.  The Most Popular Driver Award was established in the American Le Mans Series for the 2003 season. Jan Magnussen won the inaugural award.

10/09/04
nascar
SPEED to cover Labonte announcement SPEED to cover Labonte announcementSPEED Channel will interrupt regularly scheduled programming Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. to bring viewers LIVE coverage of the Hendrick Motorsports press conference with team owner Rick Hendrick and two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Terry Labonte. SPEED Channel's Bob Dillner will be on-site for post-announcement interviews.
10/09/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Grand Prix cancelled?
Minardi may race 2001 car in 2005
'I won't retire' - Coulthard
News from the ... hotel - Japan
Webber to get early Jaguar release
Schu 'relieved'
Toyota rule out customer engine
Button brake won't break BAR's bank
BAR to win a race - Schumacher
'No regret' in Villeneuve deal - Sauber
Jordan slams Ford
Brit GP to move to Donington?
Tobacco liveries to go
'There will be a Brit GP' - Stoddart
Midland to race in battle 'to survive'
Brit GP axe not 'acceptable' - BAR
10/09/04
f1
Typhoon misses Suzuka Typhoon misses SuzukaTyphoon Ma-on has missed the Suzuka area and is now heading towards Tokyo. The rain stopped in Suzuka at about 3pm local time on Saturday and fears that the wind would cause considerable damage at the Suzuka Circuit have passed. It remains to be seen if there is any flood damage at the circuit as the Suzuka area has had 78 inches of rain in the last two months and the ground is already rather saturated. Otherwise the Japanese GP will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday with Qualifying to happen just before the race itself.
Suzuka Sunday Schedule
0900 - 0950   Formula One  Pre-Qualifying Session
1000 - 1100   Formula One  Qualifying Session
1145             Formula One  Drivers Track Parade
1210 - 1255   Track Activity, 40th Anniversary Demonstration
1315 - 1345   Formula One  Starting Grid Presentation
1400             Formula One  Pit Lane Open
1415             Formula One  Pit Lane Closed
1416             Formula One  National Anthem
1430             Formula One  Grand Prix, 53 Laps.
10/08/04
nascar
Leffler loses legal battle, Busch ride Leffler loses legal battle, Busch rideHaas CNC Racing has prevailed in its legal face-off with driver Jason Leffler and will have newcomer Blake Feese in its No. 00 Chevrolet for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. Jason Leffler, who has driven the No. 00 all season, obtained a temporary restraining order late Thursday, preventing Haas from putting any other driver in the car. A Wyandotte County (Kans.) judge dismissed that order Friday morning after Leffler's attorneys argued for a permanent injunction. That would have allowed Leffler to remain in the No. 00 car this weekend and for the remainder of the season.
10/08/04
champcar
Mexico City race to feature 12 concerts Mexico City race to feature 12 concerts12 bands have been already confirmed for an equal number of concerts during the weekend of Mexico City's Champ Car race. The highlights will be Mexican pop group Fobia, and Argentinean rock star Miguel Mateos (both pictured right). Jose Arrambide
10/08/04
champcar
Valiante: I am happy to finally be driving Valiante: I am happy to finally be drivingAutoRacing1.com caught up with a happy Michael Valiante in Vancouver. “I'm happy to finally be driving,” said Valiante. “It has been a lot of work and I have a lot of people who helped me. Walker Racing really stepped forward.” When asked about the prospect of driving a Reynard against all the Lolas Valiante responded, “The Walker team had a strong car last year in Mexico City. It is a pretty low downforce track so we should be OK.”

Sources tell us that Valiante and David Besnard tested the Walker car at Homestead this week. Those same sources told us both drivers put in competitive times. Besnard will drive the car alongside regular Walker driver Mario Haberfeld in his home country of Australia with Valiante taking over in Mexico City. On a separate note, recall our rumor that Walker plans to run Lolas in 2005 and expand to a 2-car team.  With the prospects of four Canadian races in 2005, things could be looking up for Valiante.
10/08/04
champcar
Valiante lands Champ Car ride for Mexico City Valiante lands Champ Car ride for Mexico CityUPDATE Additional information - Walker Racing will expand to a 2-car team, a situation it is working to continue in 2005, fielding a Ford-powered Reynard for the 24 year-old from Burnaby, B.C. Valiante, who won six Toyota Atlantic races with the Lynx Racing team during the 2002 & 2003 seasons, has tested impressively in a Walker Racing Champ Car on several occasions, and was scheduled to make his debut in last year’s final race at Fontana until the event was cancelled due to wildfires in the area. “Over the past year I’ve been so close so many times to racing a Champ Car that to have it all finally come together is a real thrill,” says Valiante. “It’s taken a lot of hard work and help from a lot of people to get to this point, and I’d like to thank Derrick Walker and my sponsors for this opportunity. With Champ Car looking at adding one and possibly two more Canadian races, and with one of the series’ top Canadian drivers leaving at the end of the season, racing in Mexico City is a great opportunity to get my Champ Car career started, and I plan to make the most of it.” Valiante will compete in the Mexico City event with sponsorship from JV Investments, Lynx Racing, Italkart, Wasteco, Serengeti Design Group, CMSI Canadian Mortgage Strategies & Investments and Premier Pacific Developments. Fans and companies interested in sponsorship opportunities – both for the Mexico City event and the 2005 Champ Car season -- can find more information at www.MichaelValiante.com. “We’ve been following Michael’s career for several years now, and he’s a most impressive young driver,” says Walker Racing team owner Derrick Walker. “It’s been a difficult time for a young driver to break into the ranks of Champ Car, and we’re extremely pleased to have Michael in one of our cars for Mexico City. Hopefully it will be a good weekend for him and help us finalize the plans we have to run him as part of a full-season, 2-car effort in 2005.” 10/08/04 At the final Champ Car World Series event of the 2004 season held on November 7th 2004 in Mexico City, Walker Racing will enter a second car for Canadian driver Michael Valiante alongside Brazilian driver Mario Haberfeld, with both drivers running the Reynard chassis car for the event at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Valiante’s debut comes just one year after completing a strong Toyota Atlantic career. The Canadian finished second in the 2002 championship and third in ’03, winning three races in each of those two seasons. A winner of multiple national championships in the karting ranks, Valiante, who will run the #15 car for Walker Racing, was denied his Champ Car debut a year ago with Cummins Walker Racing entry to be race at California Speedway before the race was cancelled due to wildfires in the area.

“It has been our intent for sometime to have Michael join our team,” said team owner Derrick Walker. “He certainly has the talent and deserves a full time ride in Champ Car and we are happy to be able to end the season competing again with two car entries.”

The two-car effort will not diminish the effort for the Brazilian Haberfeld, who continues to have a strong  and consistent season in his first year in the #5 Cummins Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone machine. Haberfeld is just 27 points out of the 10th place in the points, important because the top 10 in the points will be recognized at the season-ending banquet November 7 in Mexico City. As the Champ Car season wraps up, Walker Racing is looking to finish the season strong and is excited about finally partnering up with Valiante, with an eye towards 2005.

Long-time Champ Car competitor Walker Racing has fielded entries for many of the top drivers in the series, based out of its state-of-the-art Indianapolis facility. For more information about Walker Racing, visit www.walkerracing.com. For information on the drivers visit www.MichaelValiante.com and www.mariohaberfeld.com.

 

10/08/04
irl
Charity Golf Tournament Set For Oct. 18 Charity Golf Tournament Set For Oct. 18The 14th annual Phil Casey Indy Racing Charity Golf Tournament presented by Firestone Racing, Spot-On Cables and Frank Weiss Machines will take place Monday, Oct. 18 at the Doral Tesoro Golf & Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.  The tournament is scheduled for  the day after the IRL IndyCar® Series' season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The popular event attracts players from all aspects of the Indy Racing League, including drivers, team members, corporate sponsors and fans.

Proceeds from the charity golf tournament will benefit the Pediatric Diabetes Center at Valley Children's Hospital (VCH) in Fresno, Calif., and the Racing for Kids® Foundation.  "I watched my granddaughter struggle with diabetes, and I wanted to help other kids with the disease," said Casey, the Indy Racing League's senior technical director. "I really have a soft spot for kids."  Casey's granddaughter, Jennifer Burkhart, is expected to attend the tournament for the first time in 2004. She was treated at the Pediatric Diabetes Center at VCH, and the facility has received half of the tournament proceeds since the event's inception. A second charity, chosen annually by a driver, receives the other half of the donated funds.

Former driver and current IndyCar Series team owner Robbie Buhl, a long-time tournament supporter, selected Racing for Kids to receive funds from the 2004 tournament. Buhl is national spokesperson for the foundation, which is designed to use motorsports to bring public attention and funding to health care needs of children. Racing for Kids will donate its half of the donated funds to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.  Casey first organized a postseason golf tournament in 1990, following the CART race at Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif. Since then, the annual outing has raised more than $181,000. This year, organizers are hoping to surpass the $40,000 raised at the 2003 tournament, the highest one-day total.  "I really want to thank the racers over the years for supporting this event," Casey said. "The early years proved to be a struggle just to break even, but now with enthusiastic support from the racing community, we are starting to see great results."

Casey also thanked several companies who donated items for auction and door prizes. Among them are: Andretti Green Racing, Klein Tools, Hershey, Nestle Water, Jim Beam, Rahal Letterman Racing, Miller Brewery, Phillip Morris, Emco Gears, Wright Enterprises, Honda, TAG Heuer, Bell Helmets, Simpson Race Products and Arai.

10/08/04
irl
Medeiros Tests With Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Medeiros Tests With Dreyer & Reinbold RacingRecently crowned IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series champion Thiago Medeiros tested an IRL IndyCar® Series car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing on Oct. 8 at Kentucky Speedway. Medeiros, who has won a record seven poles and five races in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series on his way to the title, had previously tested with Patrick Racing. He passed his IRL rookie test at Chicago in August. "The test went really well," he said. "We did 192 laps. We were working on setups, playing with setups, learning more about the car. We ran some pit stop simulations so I could get some experience with pit stops and driving on cold tires. "I put up some good lap times, and was very consistent. Overall, the test went very well. I'm really happy to have had my second test in an IndyCar Series car. I hope to get some more opportunities soon and hope that those help me get a ride for the 2005 season. "It's been a solid year in the Pro Series, thanks to the preparation of my team (Sam Schmidt Motorsports), but I want to keep planning for the future." Last month, Michael Keohane became the first Irish driver to sample an IndyCar Series car, taking the wheel of a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car at Texas Motor Speedway. Team co-owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl are looking to expand to a two-car team for 2005. Felipe Giaffone is the current driver of the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. "Thiago is a very talented young driver who's done an impressive job in winning the IPS championship," Reinbold said. "We hope to use this opportunity to work with him in getting some miles in the car and see where the future expansion and development of our team may take us." IRL
10/08/04
irl
Foyt recovering from surgery Foyt recovering from surgeryFour-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt Racing legend is recovering from surgery on Oct. 6 to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.   Foyt, 69, fell off some farm equipment at his ranch in Hockley, Texas, and dislocated his shoulder. A friend popped it back in place, but Foyt learned he had damaged his rotator cuff after he returned from the Oct. 3 Toyota Indy 400 in Fontana, Calif. IRL
10/08/04
champcar
More Paul Newman charity work More Paul Newman charity workWe find that Champ Car team owner Paul Newman is involved with more charity organizations than we ever imagined.  This News Courier article talks about the "Make A Difference Day" program.
10/08/04
Industry News
ISC reports 3rd Qtr. results ISC reports 3rd Qtr. resultsInternational Speedway Corporation today reported results for the third quarter and nine months ended August 31, 2004.  Total revenues for the third quarter were $156.5 million compared to revenues of $160.5 million in the prior-year period.  Prior period financial statements have been restated to reflect discontinued operations, net of tax, related to the previously announced sale of North Carolina Speedway. Operating income was $50.8 million during the period compared to $59.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2003.  Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2004 was $68.1 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared to net income of $36.0 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.     The timing of the Company's Labor Day NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch series weekend significantly impacted results for this year's third quarter.  Results for the 2003 third quarter include the Labor Day Cup/Busch weekend at Darlington, while the 2004 Labor Day weekend events at California will be included in 2004 fourth quarter results.  Third quarter fiscal 2004 results also include, net of tax, a $36.3 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, gain on the sale of North Carolina's assets and a $0.7 million pre-tax non-cash charge for the net book value of assets removed related to the Daytona infield renovation project.
10/08/04
nascar
Talladega TV rating Talladega TV ratingUPDATE The final TV ratings are in and The Chase playoff system continues to give NASCAR nothing in the way of increased TV ratings.  Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup EA Sports 500 on NBC posted a 2% decrease against last year's final TV 5.5/12 for the same race. FSN’s “NASCAR This Morning” prerace show finished the third quarter with a 0.53 average cable rating, up 10% from the 0.48 for the same period (February-September) in ’03. HHs are up 12% from 364,000 to 409,000 THE DAILY 10/04/04 From a TV standpoint, the new "Chase" system continues to flop for NASCAR, with ratings down slightly for the third week running.  NBC's coverage of Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway drew a 4.6 overnight rating and a 9 share from Nielsen Media Research.  The overnight rating represents a 2.1 percent drop from last year's overnight 4.7. The 2003 race went on to earn a final 5.5/12, which NASCAR said was the highest rating any auto race had ever earned against professional football broadcasts. NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter
10/08/04
f1
Japanese GP: Friday press conference Japanese GP: Friday press conferenceFriday's FIA press conference with David Richards (BAR), Peter Sauber (Sauber), Paul Stoddart (Minardi) and Tsutomu Tomita (Toyota).  NOTE: Continuing the policy of a guest questioner, we have, this time, Steve Cooper of F1 Racing.  Some interesting points of view were expressed. Transcript
10/08/04
nascar
MRN follows with 7-second delay MRN follows with 7-second delayMotor Racing Network, International Speedway Corporation's radio broadcast subsidiary, will follow suit with others in the broadcast realm by bringing its broadcasts to air with a seven-second audio delay, the network announced Friday.  MRN's announcement follows the decision by NBC to institute a five-second delay in its television coverage of NASCAR events, in response to use of an expletive by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in post-race comments after his victory at Talladega. For his lapse in judgment, Earnhardt was fined $10,000 and lost 25 championship points, as per NASCAR policy in such instances.
10/08/04
alms
Lehto and Werner look to set more records Lehto and Werner look to set more recordsIt could be one of those eerie coincidences that both drivers are 38 years old and that they race in car #38. JJ Lehto and Marco Werner have already clinched the American Le Mans Series driving title for 2004 in record-setting fashion, and have helped their team, ADT Champion Racing, win its first ALMS team title. In addition, they have helped Audi win its fifth straight ALMS manufacturer's championship in the top LMP1 class. But the two drivers are not backing off as the final event of the season, the Audi Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., comes up Oct. 14-16.

In their first season together as co-drivers, Lehto and Werner hope to win their seventh race, a mark that would break the series' record for the most overall race wins in a single season. Their win in the most recent event, Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Sept. 25, was their sixth in eight races this season and tied the record that was set in 2000 by Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish with the former factory Audi team.
10/08/04
f1
SPEED to cover revised F1 qualifying schedule SPEED to cover revised F1 qualifying scheduleTonight's Formula 1 Qualifying from Japan has been postponed because of the approach of Typhoon 22 to area surrounding the Suzuka circuit.  The storm is expected to move out in time for qualifying to be rescheduled shortly before the race late Saturday night.  Speed Channel will present qualifying at 10:30pm ET, in the time period previously announced as a replay of tonight's session.
10/08/04
starmazda
AWR team announces 2005 plans AWR team announces 2005 plansDan Andersen and John Walko of Andersen Walko Racing (AWR) announced today that they will devote all of their pro race team’s efforts on the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear in 2005.  The team will also continue to operate its SCCA Club Racing program.  "We'll be leaving the Cooper Tire championships, both the Formula Ford 2000 and the Formula SCCA classes, in order to devote our efforts to Star Mazda next  year," explained Andersen, who owns the team with Walko.  "After running three cars in Formula Ford 2000, three cars in Formula SCCA  and three cars in SCCA Club Racing this year, we added two Star Mazda cars and  joined that championship in June," he added.  "We are extremely impressed with the Star Mazda series' organization, administration and full fields of quality drivers.  When you add all of that to the series' large prize fund, SPEED TV package, great IMSA/ALMS schedule and a truly great new race car, we realized that Star Mazda is the place for us next year."
10/08/04
f1
160 KPH winds could destroy Suzuka 160 KPH winds could destroy SuzukaA 'super' rating Typhoon will hit the scene of the Japanese grand prix overnight, compelling FIA and race officials to postpone qualifying until Sunday morning.   'Stewards have cancelled all (track) sessions,'' read a portion of a FIA statement.  Teams have been advised not to leave nearby hotels, for safety reasons, as conditions featuring winds of up to 160 KPH are expected.  Will anything be left at the race track or will the 160 KPH level the place?
10/08/04
champcar
Dangerous Curves takes viewers to Manhattan Dangerous Curves takes viewers to ManhattanThis week’s installment of Spike TV’s Champ Car-themed magazine show Dangerous Curves hits the Big Apple, taking viewers on a ride through the streets of Manhattan with Newman/Haas Racing co-owner Paul Newman and racing legend Mario Andretti as they helped kick off a sponsorship gala in New York City.

Sunday morning’s show, which airs at 10 a.m. Eastern/ 9 a.m. Central Time on Spike, sees the Dangerous Curves cameras following the Champ Car two-seater through the streets of Manhattan on a miserably rainy night as the two lifelong racers helped Herdez Competition sponsor Gevril launch a new product. Upon conclusion of the ride, Beccy Gordon interviews Andretti and Newman, as well as members of Herdez Competition at the gala held at the elegant Tourneau Time Machine in New York City, which featured a special silent auction of motorsports art to benefit Hole in the Wall Camps.

The show will then go behind the scenes to meet some of the hard-working crew members who prep the 750 hp Champ Cars, with an exclusive and in-depth look at the Herdez and PKV race teams during the Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona in Las Vegas.

Sunday’s episode will also see Bronte Tagliani strap into the new five-liter 430 hp Ford Focus pace car as the Champ Car Fast Lap team takes her on a wild ride. Fans will also get a chance to vote on their favorite Champ Car music video, among three that have been aired this year. Voting details will be announced on the show, or you can vote online at dc@betelgeuse.com.

10/08/04
irl
IRL TV ratings approach zero IRL TV ratings approach zeroThe TV rating for last weekend's IRL race at Fontana was a 0.1 on ESPN.  That's about as close to zero as one can get.  Couple that with the less than 10,000 fans in attendance and the three straight years of TV ratings dive across all IRL races and it's easy to draw the conclusion that the IRL has one foot in the grave and the backhoe is filling in the hole.  Bottom line - no one is watching or cares about the IRL except those who receive free race tickets, and their loyalty doesn't continue once they leave the race track.  If it did, they would be watching on TV.  Open wheel fans have little desire to watch dumbed down race cars, even though the IRL supposedly has all the star teams and drivers.  As we have said for a very long time, by creating the IRL and splitting Indy Car Racing in half Tony George has allowed NASCAR to monopolize American motorsports and essentially kill the sport of Indy Car Racing in the USA.
10/08/04
f1
’Call it off’ - Ralf ’Call it off’ - RalfUPDATE See rumors page, all Saturday action has been cancelled. 10/08/04 (GMM - Suzuka) Ralf Schumacher has urged FIA and Suzuka officials to cancel all running at the circuit on Saturday. Williams' driver said the amount of standing water and aquaplaning on the opening day of practice would make it 'more sensible' to call off proceedings, given the worsening weather prospects. ''It would be nice to get some work done tomorrow,'' said the 29-year-old German, ''but unfortunately it doesn't look that way at the moment.'' Weather reports say 'super typhoon number 22' is heading for the Japanese coast and could bring more rain and winds of up to 150km/h to the Suzuka area. BMW's motor sport director, Dr Mario Theissen, agrees that if the conditions do not improve, 'it will make no sense' to run the F1 cars on Saturday. The outlook for grand prix Sunday appears more favorable.

10/08/04
nascar
irl
IRL loses most popular driver to NASCAR IRL loses most popular driver to NASCARThree-time Indy Racing League Most Popular Driver Sarah Fisher told MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody Thursday that she is turning her focus to a NASCAR career. Fisher, who turned her first stock car laps in a NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race last weekend, said Nextel Cup team owner Richard Childress was instrumental in getting her the ride, and that there may be other opportunities with Childress in her future. “I met Mr. Childress at a Chevrolet function, and he told me that if I ever wanted to take a ride in a stock car, to give him a call,” said Fisher. “ I waited awhile, and when it started to look like there was nothing happening in IndyCar, I called him. He put me together with Bill McAnally, whose car I drove in Phoenix last weekend, and I had a great time. It’s something I’d like to do more of.” Fisher confirmed that she tested a Childress car at Caraway Speedway recently, saying, “I think I did better than they expected to do.” She would not speculate on whether there might be another RCR-backed ride in her future, but said she has “lots more work to do” before climbing into a Busch or Nextel Cup car. “It’s different than anything I’ve done up until now, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” she said. “But wherever Mr. Childress thinks I should go, that’s where I’ll go.” MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway
10/08/04
nascar
FCC Looking at Dale Jr.'s slip FCC Looking at Dale Jr.'s slipDale Earnhardt Jr.'s use of a four-letter expletive Sunday in a live post-race interview on NBC after his win at Talladega Superspeedway is being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. An FCC spokesman was quoted in the news service report, which moved on general news wires Thursday evening. That report came several hours after NBC announced it would begin using a delay in such interviews, beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Kansas Speedway. "We've gotten a few dozen e-mail letters of concern," FCC spokesman David Fiske said in an interview with Bloomberg News. "We'll subject them to the normal review procedures, in which we look at the law, the precedent, the facts, and the context." ThatsRacin.com
10/08/04
nascar
$hit happens $hit happensA reader writes, Let this be a warning to everyone in NASCAR. If draconian penalties are applied for minor verbal indiscretions, you will finish up with driver interviews like those we see in Formula 1, where everyone does their very best to say absolutely nothing interesting or controversial at any time. I write as someone who was chief press officer for the British Grand Prix for 14 years and who had to watch this happening, as we slumped from  the era when drivers like James Hunt, Mario Andretti and Niki Lauda spoke as they found, to the modern day, where Ron Dennis will at all times endeavor to optimize his verbal response to the current interlocution. The sport needs to make a choice now, while they still can. Colin Wilson, UK
10/08/04
grandam
Grand-Am team looking for additional owners Grand-Am team looking for additional ownersFinlay Motorsports is pioneering the concept of fractional ownership motorsports whereby individuals (or corporations), can become owners of the Finlay Motorsports Daytona Prototype race team (that will participate in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Series) for a "fraction” of the cost traditionally needed to fund an auto racing team.
 
Another attractive component of this venture is that owners will enjoy full ownership benefits (see below) without the enormous time commitment needed to manage an auto racing team. Finlay Motorsports will be responsible for all maintenance of the vehicle, managing the mechanics and pit crew, and transportation of all team equipment to practice and race days.
 
About Finlay Motorsports
The Finlay Motorsports Daytona Prototype, equipped with the explosive power of a BMW engine and the pinpoint control of a Riley Technologies chassis, will race in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car series (www.grandamerican.com). Rolex series is the fastest growing motorsports series in the country--the field has swelled from only 10 cars in its inaugural season in 2003 to an astounding 35 in 2005.
 
Finlay Motorsports - Winner's Circle Benefits
Each fractional owner will receive:

  • 2 full access owner's passes to pits, paddocks, team meetings, catered hospitality services, etc. for test days, practice days and race days associated with each race event
  • Tickets for 10 invited guests to each race event and access to paddocks and catered hospitality services
  • Team memorabilia including shirts, hats, jackets, pictures, trophies, model replica of race car built to scale
  • Team dinners during each race week
  • Company name/logo on car in size and location to be determined by licensor
  • Complimentary participation in the Grand Prix Road Racing Course offered by the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving located in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Team victory celebrations after each win
  • Right of first refusal re participation in Winner's Circle for same car and series next season as well as priority opportunity to participate in other series and sports
  • Opportunity for "promotion days" where car and/or driver can be present for a participant's corporate marketing event

As you can tell, this is an amazing opportunity for motorsports enthusiasts to be part of action, rather than simply spectators, in America's fastest growing racing series.
Chris Storer
Finlay Motorsports [e] chris@ekkpr.com
[p] 203.705.9219

10/08/04
grandam
David Murry signs with G&W Motorsports David Murry signs with G&W MotorsportsG&W Motorsports announced David Murry (Cumming, Ga.) will join the team for the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Murry will partner with Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Texas) racing a Porsche GT3 Cup in the Rolex Series' combined GT class next season.  "I am very excited about working with G&W in 2005," said Murry. "I teamed with Mae this year in Canada and am looking forward to co-driving with her next year. Of course, G&W is one of the best teams in the business, and it is great to be reunited with them."  Murry has been behind the wheel of a wide range of race cars during his career. Since he first climbed into a Formula Ford in 1981, he has raced in Sports Renault, GTP, Sprint Car, Formula One and NASCAR Winston Cup, in addition to his success in sports car racing that includes the 1995 SCCA World Challenge and 1994 Firestone Firehawk championships.  Van Wijk (pictured left) will pilot the G&W Motorsports No. 86 Porsche in the SGS class at this weekend's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park. She is part of a four-car effort G&W Motorsports entered into this weekend's events.
10/08/04
f1
Jaguar to release Webber early Jaguar to release Webber earlyJaguar Racing has announced that it will release Mark Webber from the team's testing duties after the final race of the season in Brazil on October 24. It means the Australian will be free to begin work with his new Williams team when the testing ban is lifting at the end of November.

"In order to continue to support Mark Webber in his career, he will be released from his testing duties with Jaguar Racing post the final race in Brazil in order to start his 2004 winter test program with his 2005 team BMW-WilliamsF1," a team statement read. "Mark will test in plain overalls and will continue to be under contract with Jaguar Racing until the end of December 2004 carrying out any PR/marketing obligations with the team."

10/08/04
f1
Japan Free Practice 2: It's all Schuey again Japan Free Practice 2: It's all Schuey againUPDATE #3 We are downgrading this rumor to 'speculation.'  Carpentier is trying to mend fences with the owner of his Indy Racing League team after the pair squabbled over the performance of their Red Bull Racing Toyota at Motegi, Japan, this past weekend.   Carpentier claimed during the weekend that team owner Eddie Cheever was not allocating enough funds to make the team more competitive on the IRL circuit.  A frustrated Carpentier even told Le Journal de Montreal on Monday that he considered quitting the team after this month's Indianapolis 500.  But yesterday Carpentier told The Toronto Sun he had a long talk with Cheever about the problems he was experiencing and was promised that a solution would be found.  "Eddie said he has called a meeting for the team this week at which time I will tell them what I think is wrong," Carpentier said.  "Eddie told me that he too is frustrated at running in the back of the grid." Toronto Sun 05/03/05 AutoRacing1.com sources tell us Team Cheever will probably lose their Red Bull sponsorship after this year and the future for the team looks sketchy.  We believe Tony George will take from the family coffers and support Cheever rather than let him fold because Eddie backed Tony and the IRL through thick and thin.  Some sources say Red Bull will move to another IRL team, while others think they're Champ Car bound in '06. 05/02/05 Upon hearing this report Gerald Forsythe was asked today whether he would take Carpentier back after he left for the rival IRL series. His response was, "It's too late for this year, but maybe something can be worked out for 2006." Mark C. 05/02/05 According to this Journal de Montreal article, former Champ Car driver Patrick Carpentier is not happy in the IRL and with Team Cheever.  Carpentier says he is fed up with Team Cheever, who has blamed him for his poor performance and even went as far as writing him a letter stating so, and is ready to bolt after the Indy 500.  He says Cheever is under pressure to perform because his Red Bull sponsorship is coveted by other teams and they may lose it after 2005.  Montréal base Mechacrome pays Carpentier's salary and the team has a small budget that puts pressure on everyone.  With the Indy 500 approaching the team is under even more pressure.  Carpentier is another in a long list of ex-Champ Car drivers who have ruined their career jumping ship.
10/08/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Mansell part of Brit GP rescue
Jaguar 'R6' to be raced - Webber
Sato vows 'stability' for BAR
FIA will make wet race safe - Schu
'Midland' team to race in 2006 - official
Schu to start Suzuka twelfth?
Renault is Fisi's 'last chance' - Briatore
Bernie bashed by British paper
Rubens has been 'better' - Schumacher
'Michael makes mistakes' - Montoya
Webber seeks 1980 champion's advice
'Midland' did not buy Jaguar - founder
Sato to prove 'what he's made of'
'Not much fun in the rain' - Trulli
'Ralf and I will get along' - Trulli
BAR won't win 100th GP - Button
10/08/04
f1
Don't bend to Bernie Don't bend to BernieThe Guardian newspaper in London has accused Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone of "holding the British Grand Prix to ransom" and has urged the British government not to give in to Ecclestone's demands. "The fact that other countries are paying higher prices - often with government support - cannot justify Mr. Ecclestone's policy of treating the British race like a piece on his global Monopoly board," the newspaper wrote. "There is absolutely no case for central government to cut another sleazy deal with Mr. Ecclestone following his notorious £1m donation to Labor in 1997 - which had to be returned amid suspicion that it was a million quid pro quo in return for the exemption of F1 from the tobacco advertising ban". Ecclestone, the paper said that the fact that Ecclestone is now able to play governments off against one another is "an example of one of the worst aspects of globalization. It is outrageous that Mr. Ecclestone is prepared to turn his back on Silverstone for the sake of £1.5m. He may argue that this is a small sum for a government, but it is also a small sum for a man with billions in the bank. The government must not bend to Bernie".
10/08/04
f1
Japan Free Practice 1: Schmacher fastest in downpour Japan Free Practice 1: Schmacher fastest in downpourWhen NASCAR lifted the hard liquor sponsorship embargo, did it open a Pandora's box? The next wave of sponsors pushing to get into the garage are Internet gambling sites, which have approached several teams with big checks but have not yet gotten the green flag from NASCAR. Sporting News
10/08/04
irl
Medeiros to Test with DRR at Kentucky Medeiros to Test with DRR at KentuckyThe recently crowned 2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Champion Thiago Medeiros has been invited to test an IRL IndyCar Series car at Kentucky Speedway on Friday, October 8 with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team.   Medeiros, who has won a record seven poles and five races in the Pro Series in 2004 on his way to the championship, had previously tested with the IRL’s Patrick Racing.  He passed his IRL rookie test at Chicago last August.  “Everybody has been asking me what I’m going to do next year,” said Medeiros.  “The IRL cars are a little different with more downforce and grip. I enjoy the way they handle but it’s important for me to get some seat time so I can work with the car and learn the set-ups.  It’s been a solid year in the Pro Series, thanks to the preparation of my team (Sam Schmidt Motorsports), but I want to keep planning for the future.”  “Thiago is a very talented young driver who’s done an impressive job in winning the IPS championship,” said Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.  “We hope to use this opportunity to work with him in getting some miles in the car and see where the future expansion and development of our team may take us.”  Prior to running the Menards IPS in 2003 and 2004, Medeiros raced in the South American Formula 3 Series, posting seven wins and eight poles, and was also the 1998 Brazilian Formula Chevy Champion.  The 22-year-old Sao Paulo native began driving go-karts at age eight.
10/07/04
f1
It's raining at Suzuka It's raining at SuzukaIt's Friday morning here in Suzuka and already it has begun to rain.  A possible typhoon is threatening to hit the circuit on Saturday and flooding is possible, which would force a postponement of the race.  However, the storm may move away from the circuit and all fingers are crossed that's what happens.
10/07/04
f1
A lap of Suzuka A lap of SuzukaLike the majority of drivers, David Coulthard puts Suzuka very high on his list of favorite Grand Prix circuits. The experienced McLaren driver takes the time to describe a complete lap around the challenging Japanese track:

"Accelerating along the downhill pit straight at Suzuka, you reach 195mph / 312km/h in seventh gear, before lifting slightly for the fast, fifth gear right of First Curve. Your speed decreases only slightly to 162mph / 260km/h.

The track continues to bend to the right through the second corner, which is much tighter and negotiated at 95mph / 153km/h in third gear. A quick burst on the throttle to some 153mph / 245km/h, sees you reach the snake section. The track flicks left-right-left-right through this fourth gear complex. Your speed ranges from 130mph / 210km/h at the start, to some 86mph / 140km/h for the final right-hander.

The challenging, long left of Dunlop Curve is next. Taken at 135mph / 217km/h, Dunlop is quite bumpy on the entry and is nearly flat out. On the following straight you reach 180mph / 290km/h in seventh on the approach to the Degner Curve. The first section of this double right-hander is taken at 115mph / 185km/h in fourth gear, before dabbing the brakes for the tighter turn nine, which is taken at 75mph / 120km/h in second.

A short straight follows, and you flow under the bridge at speeds of 160mph / 225km/h in fifth gear, as the track kinks to the right slightly leading into the tide hairpin. Braking hard you drop to 40mph / 64km/h in first gear for the 180- degree left-hander. On the throttle as you exit, the circuit begins to sweep right through the long curve of turn twelve. You reach speeds of 185mph / 297km/h in seventh, before braking for the double apex of Spoon Curve. The first left-hander is entered at 112mph / 180km/h in fourth. As you continue round the corner, your speed increases slightly before a dab on the brakes takes your speed down to 87mph / 140km/h in third for the second apex. It is important to maintain good momentum through the Spoon Curve, as the exit takes you out onto the longest, straight of the track.

Powering up through the gears, you are traveling at 195mph / 312km/h in seventh as you crossover the track below on the approach to the 130R. Either flat out or with only a slight lift for the fast left-hander, your speed stays around the 170mph / 275km/h mark in the corner. Another straight leads to the Casino Triangle chicane. You then sweep back via a long right hander onto the start-finish straight." McLaren Mercedes

10/07/04
Formula 3
Red Bull’s Matt Jaskol to Europe and back in next two weeks Red Bull’s Matt Jaskol to Europe and back in next two weeksMatt Jaskol, one of three American drivers selected for the Red Bull Driver Search at the end of the last year left this week to Europe, to continue his quest to become one of the top American drivers in the world motorsports arena.   Las Vegan Jaskol received a Red Bull invitation for a two-day test driving a Formula 3 car from the prestigious British entrant Alan Docking. The test takes place on the legendary Estoril track in Portugal, using a format similar to what Jaskol performed during his 2003 Red Bull Driver Search test at the track.   “I am very excited to return to Estoril, a track which suited me well, and to drive the Formula 3 car again,” Jaskol stated.  “This will be a great opportunity for me, and I hope to be able to showcase my work ethic and potential, hopefully assisting Red Bull in deciding where and if to place me in 2005.”

Before heading to Portugal, Matt will spend two days at the Red Bull HQ training facility at Fuschl am See, in Austria. He has been there before: “It will be great to drop by and touch base with all the crew at Red Bull in Austria. Since I raced in North America this year, I look forward to seeing them again and updating them, eye-to-eye, on my season”.  After testing at Estoril, Matt will celebrate his 20th birthday on October 15th en route to Texas Motor Speedway, where he will help Greg Ray’s Access Motorsports team by spotting during the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season finale: “On my b-day, I will touch two continents, two countries and three different states before getting to the track. It will be fun”.  Jaskol has remained active since the end of the Formula BMW USA season, maintaining his strict physical training schedule and racing his go-karts. He is coming out off two wins in regional races in his hometown of Las Vegas, and over the Halloween weekend, Jaskol teams with Patrick Long to attack the SuperKarts USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals, also in Vegas.

10/07/04
f1
Schumacher: Everything was moving around me Schumacher: Everything was moving around meAfter fulfilling various sponsor functions in Tokyo yesterday, Michael Schumacher arrived at Suzuka circuit today, where he met the local and international media this afternoon. Given that all the talk in the paddock is about imminent bad weather and the possible arrival of a typhoon, followed by heavy rain and flooding, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, inevitably this was the topic of the opening question. Had Michael Schumacher ever driven in a typhoon? 'Well, as far as I remember, I don’t think so, laughed the world champion. "But I do remember a very difficult race back in 1994 which had to be brought to a premature end because of the very heavy rain. But there are still two days to go and the forecasts can change. We will have to wait and see what happens. However, I am sure the FIA will do everything to ensure that the race takes place in safe conditions and I am not worried about it.'

Rain was not the only force of nature on the agenda: earthquakes are a common occurrence here in Japan and a strong one hit Tokyo last night. "Everything seemed to be very lively,' joked the German. 'I was pretty sure I had not been drinking but it felt as though I had! I was lying on my bed and everything was moving around me. It is the first time I have felt that. In 2000, there was a small tremor here during Friday practice, but I was in the race car and it did not feel anything. It was all very strange.'

As usual, Michael expressed his delight at being back in Japan. 'The track is special, and the fans are really enthusiastic. I like the food, especially sushi which is healthy and non-fattening. 'Michael was asked if he was angry that Barrichello had won the last two races. 'No, of course not and there is no reason for me to be so. Rubens was evidently better than me in the last two races. The championship is already decided and the most important thing is that Ferrari has a driver on the top step of the podium. It can’t always be me. There are still two races: let’s see what happens.'

The Japanese Grand Prix is naturally very important for Ferrari’s tire supplier, Bridgestone. 'Everyone at Bridgestone is very motivated and the same goes for us. They have done such excellent work in terms of always coming up with new and more evolved solutions. So we would like to pay them back for this by getting the win here on Sunday.' Ferrari

10/07/04
f1
Briatore warns Fisichella Briatore warns FisichellaGiancarlo Fisichella has been warned by his future Renault team boss Flavio Briatore that the next two years will either make or break his Formula One career.  "You see a lot of drivers with fantastic talent, Jean Alesi was like that, but they never develop it," Briatore told Britain's Autosport magazine.  "Well, I think Fisichella still has the chance to do that and I think he understands he must, because it's the last ditch for him, isn't it?  If he misses this train, in three years nobody will remember him because he's done nothing. Absolutely nothing.  He has two years to make sure people remember Fisichella in F1, if not, he's history," he explained.
10/07/04
Industry News
BMW sales up 15% BMW sales up 15%The BMW Group continued its successful course worldwide and in September recorded a 15.1% increase in sales. In the month under review, 118,173 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce cars were delivered to customers (previous year: 102,633). For the first nine months of the year, the rate of growth was 8.8% or 887,293 vehicles (previous year: 815,317). BMW
10/07/04
champcar
Champ Car legend happenings Champ Car legend happeningsJust a heads up on some of Champ Car legends that are making news and are worthy of notice and celebration.  Wally Dallenbach will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame for his contributions to motorsport. (Oct. 23/24)  This is a great accomplishment, since the NJ/NY area tends to be very selective about who is inducted, and Wally is one of few in the world to receive this honor for motorsports. Dallenbach elevated the safety standards of motorsports worldwide, contributing even to NASCAR’s current safety standards. We believe inductees will be introduced at the New York Giant’s game that weekend as well. Dallenbach’s contributions to racing safety and his legacy – today’s Champ Car safety team - had a direct impact on Alex Zanardi’s life. Zanardi will be in the US (NYC and Colorado) on a signing tour for his book around December 1st. Related Hall of Fame info (PDF)
10/07/04
nascar
Earnhardt controversy great PR for NASCAR Earnhardt controversy great PR for NASCARMuch like the death of his father was a big media boon to NASCAR, ditto this latest Earnhardt Jr. controversy. NASCAR.com has had over one million page views for the story on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory lane interview after Sunday’s EA Sports 500, which includes a video clip of the interview, making it the most followed story on the site since Earnhardt Jr.’s injury at Infineon Raceway on July 19 THE DAILY
10/07/04
nascar
Because of Earnhardt , NBC to institute 5 sec. delay Because of Earnhardt , NBC to institute 5 sec. delayFollowing Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s use of an expletive during a post-race interview last Sunday, NBC announced today that it will use a five-second delay for its NASCAR coverage, beginning with this Sunday’s Banquet 400 from Kansas Speedway. NBC has previously used a delay when airing radio communication between teams and drivers. NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol said in a statement, "The delay provides a level of protection against anything inappropriate going out over the air.  Our initial hope would have been to broadcast on delay only during pre- and post-race coverage, but by using the delay during competition, our pit reporters won't be limited in interviewing drivers, crew chiefs and team.   While broadcasting on delay is extremely unfortunate, we've come to the conclusion that taking this step provides the additional safeguard needed in today's climate" NBC
10/07/04
nascar
ISC wants State of Washington to pay for track ISC wants State of Washington to pay for track[Editor's Note: Given how much profit ISC makes every year from its race tracks, we find it alarming that they would expect the government to pay for the majority of the track construction.]  If the state wants a NASCAR speedway built in Snohomish County, it won't come cheaply. State legislators yesterday heard for the first time what it could take to get racetrack developer International Speedway Corp. (ISC) to build a 75,000-seat track on a site between Marysville and Arlington.  Under a proposal jointly introduced by Snohomish County, the city of Marysville and ISC, the state and possibly the county would be asked to raise about $250 million through the sale of bonds to build the track, estimated to cost $300 million to build. The state would also foot the bill for road improvements around the track, including a possible new interchange on Interstate 5. No estimates have been made for the cost of those improvements.

The $250 million in bonds would be repaid with tax revenue generated by the track. The land would be leased to ISC, local officials said during a 90-minute legislative-committee meeting.  The track developer (ISC) would pay $50 million toward the track's construction, the city's chief administrative officer, Mary Swenson, told the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations.   Swenson said that was the amount ISC "threw out" when discussions started. It's just a starting point for negotiations, she said.   "That's the level of investment that we are willing to put in this project," said Lee Combs, senior vice president of corporate development for Daytona Beach, Fla.-based ISC. "It's a significant amount of money."  ISC announced last week that an 850-acre site in Snohomish County is its preferred site for a Northwest racetrack. The proposed 7/8-mile track could open in 2009 on what is now fallow farmland. More from Seattle Times | Another article from more liberal Seattle newspaper

10/07/04
grandam
ALMS duo enter Grand-Am races ALMS duo enter Grand-Am racesMarino Franchitti will join forces with his ALMS co-driver Gunnar Jeannette in the penultimate round of the Rolex Series Grand-Am championship, the Porsche 250, this weekend.  The duo will be competing in the #60 Gunnar Racing Brumos Porsche GT3 RS at the Barber Motorsport Park venue, the car that finished second in class when Jeannette and Kyle Petty were at the wheel at its last outing at the Food City 250 at Phoenix back in April.  The Porsche is prepared by Gunnar Racing at their facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, meaning the team has had a tough time recently with the hurricane's that have passed over Florida's eastern coastline. However, that has not held up Gunnar Racing who are the largest Porsche racing and restoration facility outside of Porsche AG.   "I am so looking forward to competing in Grand-Am with Gunnar at the weekend," a delighted Marino said. "Since winning the British GTO title in a Porsche GT3 RS in 2001 I've managed to get back into a Porsche each year since then, and picked up some great podiums along the way both in Europe and in the States, this will be my first opportunity in the States this year to do it again, and I can't thank Gunnar and his father, Kevin, enough for giving me that opportunity. Then straight on to Laguna with Gunnar to race the Panoz again the following weekend - it doesn't get any better does it!?"  Along with the racing this weekend the team are involved in the making of a reality TV promotion pilot for a new TV series in the States.   "It's a great recipe for a fun weekend," Kevin Jeannette said, "and hopefully it will include some success too!”
10/07/04
f1
Mansell behind bid to save British GP Mansell behind bid to save British GPUPDATE This Reuters article sheds a bit more light on this news and pretty much says the deal is done and the race is saved. 10/07/04 Former world champion Nigel Mansell is involved in a consortium bidding to save the British GP. The BBC website reports that Mansell has teamed up with a company set up to help promote the race and improve facilities at Silverstone. "For drivers Silverstone is one of the best circuits in the world," said Mansell. "But some of the facilities are not as good as those at new, government-funded circuits like Shanghai. We are going to rectify this." The company, Brand Synergy Ltd, is headed by motor-racing entrepreneur Kim Cockburn, former British Touring Car champion Robb Gravett and David Phipps, who has worked in F1 for more than 40 years. The move follows the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s failure to find the £1.5million eventually asked for by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to stage the race at Silverstone. “There is a deal on the boardroom table of the BRDC that is good for them, good for the fans and good for the long-term future of motor sport in this country," said Cockburn. "I have agreed with Bernie to sign a seven-year license and am confident that Silverstone will appear on the calendar for 2005 and the foreseeable future."
10/07/04
f1
Japanese GP Thursday Press Conferences Japanese GP Thursday Press ConferencesHere are the two Thursday FIA press conference transcripts from Suzuka Japan:
Press Conference 1: Takuma SATO (BAR) and Mark WEBBER (JAGUAR)
Press Conference 2: Jenson BUTTON (BAR) and Jarno TRULLI (TOYOTA)
10/07/04
World Series by Renault
Spain gets street race Spain gets street raceThe World Series by Renault will have two urban circuits in its 2005 schedule: Monaco and Bilbao The merge of the two championships Eurocup Formula V6 and World Series by Nissan, backed by Renault Sport Technologies in partnership with RPM, is causing great expectation. With the exception of Monte Carlo, never before has any European city invested approximately 16 million euros in consolidating over 3 years, 2005, 2006 and 2007, an urban circuit with FIA-approved characteristics similar to Monte Carlo.

Yesterday, in the city of Bilbao, the Councilor for Employment and Economic Promotion, Mr. Ricardo Barkala, the Director of Communications and Motor Racing at Renault España, Mr. Jesús Collazos, and the President of RPM, officially announced that Bilbao would be included in the World Series by Renault 2005 schedule until 2007. Due to Renault Sport Technologies and RPM’s new strategy, Bilbao will be the only race in the World Series by Renault held in Spain. The importance of the World Series by Renault 2005 project is underlined by the fact that it will be the first independent single-seater international championship, with its own schedule, that will offer two urban races.

The mythical circuit of Monte Carlo, accompanying the Formula 1, as is currently happening with the Eurocup Formula Renault V6 championship, accompanied by the incredible urban route of the Bilbao circuit as of next year.

The Bilbao track features 3 major aspects: It is approximately 4 km., crosses the two most important bridges in the city, over the river Nervión and occupies the heart of the city, affecting the Guggenheim Museum area. Finally, it will be possible to overtake and the average speed will be in excess of 130 km/h., soaring to 250 km./h at one point in the circuit.

The main event will be the World Series Formula Renault V6, the second event, the World Series Formula Renault 2000, and the third, the World Series Mégane Trophy, including a national race from the Clio Cup. In addition, Jean-Paul Mari, the person in charge at Renault Sport Technologies, and Jesús Collazos, the person in charge of Communications at Renault España, announced that the Renault F1 team will take part in a running show. The event is scheduled to take place on 24 July 2005.

10/07/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
No Brit GP rescue by Friday - source
Dallara to announce F1 entry
'Suzuka Special' nears 1000hp
Alonso eyes podium to mark 50th GP
'Mixed feelings' about coming home - Sato

Renault and Oxfam
Sir Bernie
Sacking rumor was 'nonsense' - Ralf
Earthquake in Japan
'We're not liars' - F1 carmakers
Brit GP will be saved
Davidson, not DC, for Button seat
Schu cheers for Suzuka storm
How long will new Brit GP deal be?

Bad season not my fault - Montoya
10/06/04
ASA
Mark Martin to give ASA another go Mark Martin to give ASA another goMark Martin will make a return to the series where he won four championships from 1978-86. Martin cut his teeth in the American Speed Association Series, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1978, before moving on to multiple championships in the series and eventually making a name for himself as one of NASCAR’s all-time elite drivers.

Martin will take a break from his hectic NASCAR schedule and make a return to his roots when he drives the World Financial No. 6 Ford in ASA at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 29. It will mark Martin’s first time in an ASA race since 1996.

Martin tore through the series in the late 70’s and early 80’s, running up four championships, 22 wins, 40 poles, 80 top-five and 95 top-10 finishes and leading 4,690 laps before moving on to one of the most successful careers in NASCAR Nextel Cup history.

“We are all excited and pumped up about running the ASA car in Atlanta. We will be doing the triple that weekend with the ASA race on Friday, the Busch race Saturday and the Cup race on Sunday. That will be a busy weekend for sure.  “I have a great affinity for this series. It’s a world-class series with world-class drivers that put on an extremely competitive show and I think they’ll really put a show on at both Lowe’s and Atlanta.”

10/06/04
renault2000
Renault 2000 North America in disarray Renault 2000 North America in disarrayUPDATE We spoke to John Kolody from Race Team Promotions today regarding this press release that was put out by Eurointernational. Race Team Promotions runs the Renault North American Formula 2000 series (Renault itself has no involvement except to allow the use of their name). He admitted that things have been difficult this year because they started late.  Car counts were down. The business plan was to have at least 25 cars to meet bills. "This press release came out of left field, " stated Kolody. Antonio Ferrari was fully aware of our situation this year from the very first race. I held owners meetings at just about every event - all the issues were laid out from Day One. He attended every meeting and knew that this year was a struggle and where we were cutting back to make it through."

"This is just sour grapes and I don't know what his hidden agenda is. You can talk to the other top team - GTI, AIM and Gelles, they are all happy with the way things are going. Everyone has made concessions to sustain championship. Ferrari's drivers, Ponte who is first in points, and Emery, who is 4th, have made arrangements with other teams to stay in the series. They are happy and they have their own issue with Ferrari. We are already working on next year to get ahead of game."

With regard to specific allegations made by Ferrari, "Yes, he did use his European connections to get us tires once this year when our schedule was very tight with back-to-back-to-back races. Otherwise we have had tires readily available throughout the year," said Kolody. "Cancellation of Homestead was because some teams could not make it due to hurricane. It was a safety issue. As far as why we have decided not to run the Renault V6 cars anymore, it's because Renault decided to drop the Eurocup Renault V6 series and not support the V6 cars as a worldwide standard. At that point it made no sense to run those cars here in the USA. Again I want to reiterate that Ferrari's press release came out of left field. We are working very hard to keep the series alive in North America."

10/03/04  Eurointernational, which leads both the team and driver championships in the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship, announced today that it is withdrawing from the Championship, citing grave concerns about the management of the championship, the cancellation of prize fund distribution, and the future of the series.
 
“FR2000 NA events have become less than club races and the situation is out of control, forcing my team to make the decision to leave the series,” said Arturo Antonio Ferrari, Eurointernational owner. “It is a difficult decision to leave a championship while we are leading both championships, but the team and its sponsors have to dissociate from RaceTeam Promotions and their way of doing business. Eurointernational will continue to support all Renault Sport programs worldwide and we wish our two very talented drivers, Juan Martin Ponte and Ricardo Imery the best for their futures in racing.”
 
Eurointernational has not been able to secure requested guarantees from series operator RaceTeam Promotions regarding past due prize money from the Toronto, Trois Rivières, and Mid Ohio rounds. Eurointernational also cited as part of the decision that RaceTeam Promotions, without consultation of the teams, and without announcement, has cancelled all prize money distribution for future events, as well as the season-ending awards of $100,000 cash to the series champion and $10,000 to the series rookie of the year. RaceTeam Promotions had also included in the prize package test laps in the Formula Renault V6, but have yet to provide the test laps owed to Juan Ponte for his three wins thus far this season.
 
In making this announcement, Eurointernational also cited the inability of RaceTeam Promotions to guarantee the remaining events for the 2004 season, the number of remaining events, to have qualified officials and race directors on hand at the events, and the availability of tires and parts. The cancellation of the Homestead Formula Renault round, which had been postponed by Grand American by one week and then run successfully, was also cited by Eurointernational as a reason for leaving the series.
 
“The original professional series officials are not present any more at FR2000 races and the events are run outside any Renault Sport standard, without any professional technical and racing control and management,” said Ferrari. “Eurointernational has been forced to import directly from Europe the mandatory Michelin tires because they were not available at the last events, despite having been previously paid for, while the lack of Tatuus and Renault parts has been always present at any event. Many other situations and problems can be added to the present status of the FR2000 NA Championship. RTP and its Chairman, Mr. John Kolody, have too many outstanding debts with race-tracks, teams, officials, suppliers, financial companies to guarantee a future for the series with the present management and car count.”
 
The team, which has lead the points championships in both Europe and in North America for much of the season, will race next in Dubai on October 5-8, as Eurointernational racers Giorgio Mondini leads the Formula Renault V6 Championship by two points and Eurointernational has a 25 point advantage in the Team Championship.
10/06/04
nascar
NASCAR hands out 12 more penalties NASCAR hands out 12 more penaltiesRoush Racing and Evernham Motorsports were issued the most severe penalties among the 12 overall for rules violations that occurred during this past weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials announced today.

Roush Racing received four of the penalties for an unapproved spoiler adjustment on the No. 16 Ford that occurred after pre-race inspection had been completed. Driver Greg Biffle was penalized 25 driver championship points; car owner Geoff Smith lost 25 championship owner points; crew chief Doug Richert was fined $25,000; and crew member Michael Hillman Jr. was suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 20 including the next two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races, beginning with Kansas Speedway's race this weekend. Hillman Jr. also was placed on probation until Dec. 31.

The team was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book.

Evernham Racing received three penalties for an unapproved spoiler modification to the No. 9 Dodge that occurred after pre-event inspection and was discovered by NASCAR officials during pre-qualifying inspection. Driver Kasey Kahne was penalized 25 driver championship points; car owner Ray Evernham lost 25 championship owner points; and crew chief Tommy Baldwin was fined $25,000. The team was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book.

Pat Tryson, crew chief of the No. 6 Ford driven by Mark Martin, was issued a pair of fines for separate infractions that totaled $15,000. He was fined $10,000 for an unapproved air directional device and $5,000 for an unapproved windshield mounting. He was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book. Both infractions were found by NASCAR officials during pre-qualifying inspection.

Peter Rondeau, crew chief of the No. 1 Chevrolet driven by Kenny Wallace, was fined $10,000 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book/Technical Bulletin for unapproved spring mounting plates and bolts. The infraction was found during opening-day inspection.

Michael McSwain, crew chief of the No. 21 Ford driven by Ricky Rudd, was fined $1,000 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book for unapproved windshield clips. The infraction was discovered during pre-qualifying inspection.

Doug Randolph, crew chief of the No. 10 Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs, was fined $500 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 17.2-C (Seat belts) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book for seat belts with an expired manufacturer's date. The infraction was discovered during opening-day inspection. NASCAR

10/06/04
f1
BRDC says no more cash for Bernie BRDC says no more cash for BernieThe British Racing Drivers' Club has refused to increased its bid for the British Grand Prix and the ping-pong game of who gets the blame for the demise of the event with the latest statement having lobbed the blame back into Bernie Ecclestone's side of the court.  "The position has not changed," said BRDC president Sir Jackie Stewart on Wednesday. "The offer is still there, it is still on the table and we hope it will be accepted."  The latest suggestion is that Ecclestone is now coming under pressure from the F1 teams to make sure the event happens but his response is to ask them to accept an 18th race, arguing that Britain is cheap for them to do and so does not need that much extra money. Ferrari and Sauber may not agree with the other teams on this as Silverstone is not just down the road for either of them. Grandprix.com
10/06/04
nascar
Hendrick Motorsports signs 15-year old Hendrick Motorsports signs 15-year oldTeam owner Rick Hendrick today announced the signing of 15-year-old Chase Austin, who will join Hendrick Motorsports' driver development program in 2005 by entering a full season of competition in the American Speed Association (ASA) Late Model Series with Hendrick ally SS Racing.

"On the race track, this young man has a ton of talent and potential, but he's also an exceptional person," Hendrick said.  "We're looking forward to working with Chase over the next few years and, hopefully, bringing him along when he's ready.

"It will be fun to see how he matures as a driver throughout this process.  Time is on our side, and his."

Austin started racing go-karts in 1998, earning more than 60 feature wins and 150 heat-race victories before progressing to micro sprint cars by 2001.

After 16 victories in less than two seasons in micro sprints, the Eudora, Kan., native jumped to full-size sprint cars before trying his hand at dirt modifieds, along with late models on dirt and pavement.

While competing primarily in the Midwest, Austin has scored more than 100 feature wins at various levels -- go-karts, sprint cars and stock cars -- since 1998.  Sanctioning bodies include the Mid America Racing Series (MARS), the Xtreme Dirt Car Series (XDCS) and the Topless Outlaw Racing Association (TORA).

10/06/04
champcar
Champ Car series gaining momentum Champ Car series gaining momentumAs the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford prepares to take its title fight to the final two races of 2004, an exciting sense of promise has permeated the paddock area. A talent-laden driver lineup, prominent new sponsors signing multi-year deals, team and manufacturer commitments and the prospect of a strong 2005 schedule has the Champ Car World Series looking to the future with great anticipation.

Champ Car has provided its legions of supporters with a season to be proud of and will continue to deliver the fast-paced action through the final two races of the schedule. Adding to the excitement is the opportunity for fans to see a brand-new name added to the pantheon of greats to have earned the title of Champ Car World Series Champion.

Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) has the inside track to capturing his first series championship, holding a 27-point lead with two races to run. Two-time series runner-up Bruno Junqueira (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) has stayed in the hunt on the strength of seven podium finishes while Patrick Carpentier (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is still mathematically alive, although he will be eliminated from contention as long as Bourdais makes his final two starts.

Things have been equally exciting off the track as well beginning with fast-food giant McDonald’s joining the growing list of companies that have signed partnerships with Champ Car. The world-wide restaurant chain inked a three-year contract in August to become the Official Fast-Food Restaurant of Champ Car, a deal which coincides with its three-year primary sponsorship of the Newman/Haas Racing team. Most recently, Mexican industry leader Roshfrans signed a multi-year pact to become the Official Lubricant of Champ Car, marking the first time that a Mexican company has signed on as a series sponsor.

Attendance has been strong as well with an average of more than 104,000 fans coming to every event this year with what are annually the season’s two best attended events yet to come in Australia and Mexico City. The events are expected to provide even more momentum for the 2005 calendar, which will be announced along with the series television package in the near future.

“Many people throughout the Champ Car community have worked extremely hard to help grow the series and we couldn’t be happier with the progress,” said Champ Car President and CEO Dick Eidswick. “But as good as things have been this year, we are working even harder to ensure that Champ Car will continue to move forward in the years to come.”

The depth of the driver lineup has been proven time and time again over the 2004 campaign. Twelve different drivers have earned podium finishes, thirteen have led laps and fourteen have finished in the top-five. This season has seen the emergence of not only budding superstars in Bourdais and Junqueira, but also been witness to breakout years by American rookie A.J. Allmendinger (#10 Western Union Ford-Cosworth/Lola Bridgestone), second-year American driver, Ryan Hunter-Reay (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and former F1 competitor and Champ Car rookie Justin Wilson (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola Bridgestone).

Series veterans such as defending series champion Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Alex Tagliani (#8 Johnson Controls/Lola/Bridgestone) and Oriol Servia (#11 YokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) have shown why they are mentioned among the sport’s elite by challenging for victories all year long. Tracy has a pair of wins to his credit this season and announced two weeks ago that he has signed a new contract with Forsythe Championship Racing for the 2005 Champ Car campaign. Tagliani earned his long-awaited first win this year and Servia has taken his Dale Coyne Racing team to unprecedented successes while Vasser has entered team ownership with PKV Racing and taken it to the podium as well.

The series will next compete October 23-25 in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia in the 14th running of the race on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Four current Champ Car drivers have won in Australia including defending winner Ryan Hunter-Reay although no driver has ever won the race more than once. Champ Car

10/06/04
Industry News
Watkins Glen announces appointments Watkins Glen announces appointmentsCraig Rust, President of Watkins Glen International (WGI) announced today that Paul Hemingway has been named the new Senior Director of Sales and Marketing starting immediately. In this role Hemingway will oversee all of the sales, marketing, communications and admissions efforts at the historic road-course.

Hemingway joins WGI after spending the last three years as the Director of Marketing for Keuka College, a liberal arts school located in the NY Finger Lakes region.  “2005 is going to be one of the best years of racing at Watkins Glen International,” stated Hemingway.  “I am thrilled to be able to join Watkins Glen International during this very exciting time and am equally pleased to be a part of the ISC family of companies.”  During his time with Keuka, Hemingway played an instrumental role in the development a sports management concentration at the College and has taught within that curriculum for the past two years. 

Hemingway is a New Hampshire native and prior to his stint with Keuka College was directly involved in professional sports marketing and management.  He served as Director of Communications for the Manchester (NH) Monarchs (American Hockey League) and prior to that was Public/Media Relations Manager for the Nashua (NH) Pride (Atlantic League of Professional Baseball). 

“Paul’s sports marketing and communications background will be an asset to our team at WGI as we approach a very exciting 2005 season,” stated Rust.  “I believe he has the right mix of skills to effectively lead our already dynamic marketing team during one of the most challenging years at The Glen.”

Hemingway currently authors a monthly sports column for the Central New York Business Journal titled “On The Ball” and is a sports business correspondent on Sports Radio WHEN 620-AM out of Syracuse, NY.  He holds a master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a B.A. in Communications from the University of New Hampshire. 

He replaces Scott Rovn who was transferred to Phoenix International Raceway this past August to help lead their sales and marketing efforts. Hemingway and his wife Susan live in Canandaigua, NY.

In addition, to continue to build upon the talent of WGI’s marketing team, Brett Powell has also joined The Glen as the new Corporate Marketing Coordinator reporting to Jon Beckman.  In this role Powell is responsible for supporting the entire sales and marketing department with a focus on sponsorship obligations.  Powell has his M.S. degree in Experimental Psychology from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a B.S. in Psychology from Mansfield University in nearby Mansfield, P.A.

Tickets are not yet available for the IRL IndyCar Series or for the SIRIUS at The Glen, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events in 2005. Fans interested in the upcoming IRL IndyCar Series are encouraged to call or write The Glen’s Ticket Office to be added to the track’s IRL database in order to receive ticket information as soon as it’s available. To be added to the list, please email racing@theglen.com or call 866-461-RACE (7223).

10/06/04
nascar
Kyle Busch gets two additional races Kyle Busch gets two additional racesHendrick Motorsports has added two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series dates to the schedule of 19-year-old Kyle Busch, team owner Rick Hendrick announced Wednesday.  Driving the No. 84 CARQUEST Chevrolets, Busch will compete Oct. 16 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and Oct. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, marking his fifth and sixth career races in NASCAR's most elite division.  Busch, who has made Cup-level starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and California Speedway in 2004, will also enter Sunday's 400-mile event at Kansas Speedway as announced in May.  The Las Vegas native is currently second in the NASCAR Busch Series standings with four pole positions, five victories, 12 top-five finishes and 18 top-10 results in Hendrick's No. 5 Chevrolets.
10/06/04
f1
Bernie's Dog Bernie's DogReports in The Times suggest F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been told to keep his dog Brulee under control after a series of attacks on people and pets in Chelsea Square, west London, where he lives. While out for a walk the red chow has allegedly bitten two residents, ripped the throat of a terrier and attacked at least two other dogs. After a flood of protests from fellow residents of the area, where house prices start at £2.5 million, Ecclestone has agreed to keep Brulee out of the communal garden. “Look at the silly thing,” Ecclestone said. “The problem is that other dogs go for him, growl at him and he defends himself. He is a bit like me.” Autosport Magazine
10/06/04
f1
Williams picks up bank Williams picks up bankThis week's Autosport Magazine reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland is finalizing details of a $15 million (£8.5m)-per season sponsorship agreement with Williams which is due to begin in 2005. The bank is keen to follow the HSBC model of re-branding through Formula 1 exposure and its RBS initials will be prominently displayed under the agreement.
10/06/04
f1
Eddie Irvine's new business venture Eddie Irvine's new business ventureParagon Sports Management, the London-based corporate hospitality and athlete management agency, has teamed up with Eddie Irvine’s ‘Track Marque’ Hospitality business.  A deal was agreed with the former Formula One driver’s company last week that expands Paragon’s role from that of sales agent to a principal owner.   Paragon will still undertake the primary sales and marketing of the packages as well as providing bespoke travel and accommodation.  Packages are offered for all the Formula One Grand Prix events including Monaco, Monza, Hungary and Shanghai.
10/06/04
Industry News
Heartland Park looks for government backing Heartland Park looks for government backingOfficials with Heartland Park Topeka want $5 million from the city to improve their race track. On Tuesday, owner Raymond Irwin met with the Topeka City Council Economic and Community Development Committee. He said the money would go toward making improvements to the road course and allow Heartland Park to attract larger events. Without the money, Irwin said the track couldn't bid to bring in the Sports Car Club of America, which is headquartered in Topeka. The full city council took a first look at the funding request during its meeting on Tuesday night. WBW
10/06/04
Formula GP2
Viso lines up Arden test Viso lines up Arden testVenezuelan F3000 graduate Ernesto Viso has revealed that he has lined up two tests with multiple FIA series champions Arden International in the hope of joining its proposed GP2 campaign in 2005.  “We are continuing to work very hard to sort a complete budget for next season," Viso said, "But we have arranged two tests with Arden towards the end of the month, and are maintaining contact with other teams that also are going to run in GP2 next season."
10/06/04
nascar
So why can ppc Racing have a tobacco as a sponsor? So why can ppc Racing have a tobacco as a sponsor?The VB sponsorship is interesting, being the first tobacco brand to set up a full-time effort in Cup after the departure of R.J. Reynolds as series sponsor after last season. Cigarette brands had been tacitly prohibited from advertising in NASCAR due to the primacy of RJR, although so-called "smokeless" modes were allowed. Moreover, VB is one of the smaller producers not covered by the 1997 Tobacco Settlement Agreement with state attorneys general. The TSA prohibited the top tobacco companies, such as RJR and Phillip Morris, from all sports advertising as of 2007 and required payment over time of a settlement in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The TSA hastened RJR's exit from NASCAR. Smaller companies, however, are not included in the settlement, and various regional producers such as Bailey's and Tucson have appeared at times as car sponsors. Speed Channel
10/06/04
nascar
Leffler out at Kansas, Feese in; Leffler out at Kansas, Feese in;Blake Feese, who is part of Hendrick Motorsports' driver development program, was named to drive Gene Haas' Busch Series car this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Feese replaces Jason Leffler, who has driven Haas' #00 Haas Automation Chevy into third in the Busch standings on the strength of a Bud Pole, a victory and 17 top-10 finishes in 27 starts. "Jason is still under contract and has not been released," Haas CNC Racing's marketing director Carl Cline said. "Jason has simply been removed from the car for this weekend's event and we'll evaluate things on Monday. "We're happy to help Hendrick Motorsports with their development program." Feese drove a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to victory last Saturday in the ARCA Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, his second ARCA victory this season for HMS in four starts, all of which have been top-10 finishes.
Of late, Leffler's name has been active in the rumor mill as a possible driver for Joe Gibbs Racing's third fulltime team for 2005 in the Nextel Cup Series, a #11 Federal Express Chevy. Tuesday, Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs was unavailable to comment on his organization's plans for the 11 car, which used Ricky Craven as its driver at Talladega in its second race this season. Joe Gibbs Racing and Federal Express have scheduled a news conference for Oct. 13 at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to announce their 2005 plans. NASCAR.com
10/06/04
V8 Supercars
Yoong ready for Bathurst 1000 Yoong ready for Bathurst 1000Malaysian ex-Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong is ready to take up the Bathurst 1000 km challenge in response to his team boss, Craig Gore, who made his first bullish prediction of the season about the prospects of his two-car Ford team as it prepares to do battle at Mount Panorama in the 10th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Gore, the owner of WPS Racing and chairman of its major sponsor Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, said the team was on track to register its highest finish of the season in the toughest race of the year as the WPS Racing 's 2-car team square off against the 35-car entry list.
 
He said the team was capable of finishing in the top five at the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama.

“I’m not one for making ballsy predications about our prospects for a big result but I can’t fault our preparation going into this race,” said Gore in his regular Gory’s Corner column on the WPS Racing website (www.wps.net.au). “I always tell it as it is and this time I think we are going to get the result. Our engine program is working well and Wal (team engineer Ian Walburn) and Stu (engineer Stuart King) and Keith (team manager Keith Evers) have done a fantastic job to get us into a competitive position. The team is ready, the drivers, the cars are ready and I’m so ready that myself and five mates have pooled $100,000 and we’ve been looking for someone to take a bet on us finishing in the top five. We can’t get the bet set at the moment but I reckon if we keep on the black stuff and keep out of trouble then maybe a podium finish isn’t out of the question.”
 
Gore said he was confident about the prospects of both WPS Racing entries, with Car 23 to be driven by regular season driver David Besnard and New Zealand’s John McIntyre and Car 48 to be driven by Alex Yoong and emerging Sydney driver Neil McFadyen. “Both cars are engineered to identically so there are no excuses,” he said.
 
Besnard has competed at the mountain for the past four years and, despite having led the race on two of those occasions, he is yet to finish the great race. “It’s my fifth trip to Bathurst and this time I’ll be looking to finish. If we can do that then the chances are we’ll post a good result,” said Besnard. “I’ve led the race a couple of times and actually looked like winning in my first race there but it wasn’t to be.” Besnard will be lining up at Bathurst a day after returning from the US where he was having his second test in a Champ Car to prepare for his pending drive in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.
 
His co-driver, John McIntyre, is a Kiwi who should get big support from New Zealand motorsport fans who will watch the great race live on television. “As a co-driver I have a very succinct job. David will do the majority of laps and I’ll then drive to the team’s instruction,” said McIntyre. “I have been watching Bathurst since I was a five-year-old and it is one of my life dreams to race there. I’m not sure if people realize how big this race is in New Zealand. There is a heap of interest over there and quite a few of the drivers from the series are household names.”
 
The drivers in the second WPS Racing entry, Car 48, are similarly enthusiastic about racing at Bathurst. “I competed in the 24-hour race last year and it’s a great track,” said Alex Yoong, who joined the team just ahead of the last round at Sandown. It is quite a well known circuit internationally and it is a race that I’ve been looking forward to competing in for some time.” Yoong returned to Australia last week after competing for Mobil 1, with support sponsorship from WPS Racing, in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the new Shanghai International Circuit in China. He said the experience was enjoyable and he predicted a great race when the V8 Supercar Championship Series travels to China in June next year.
 
“The crowd was pretty enthusiastic and the track was quite good. I don’t think the V8 boys will have any issues adapting to it all next year,” he said.

10/06/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Sato to race in 2005
Montoya was 'attractive' to Ferrari
Schu arrived early in Japan
Sato to win home grand prix?
Brundle to launch book
Fisi expects 'great' Suzuka tire
Tropical storm in Japan
Bridgestone woo Michelin-shod team
Montoya unmoved by Brit GP axe
Tobacco could thwart Africa GP
'Max and Bernie conspired to axe Brit GP'
BAR sign Epson
BAR not ready to beat Ferrari - Sato
Schu considers Suzuka changes
Ecclestone horror at PM plea
Brit GP talks will fail - BRDC chief
Schu vows to break Rubens' hat trick
10/05/04
irl
IRL weekly media teleconference IRL weekly media teleconferenceGuests for this week's IRL media teleconference were Thiago Medeiros, Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree. Transcript
10/05/04
irl
Japanese driver (foreigner) closes on IRL rookie title Japanese driver (foreigner) closes on IRL rookie titleKosuke Matsuura will wrap up the $50,000 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award if Ed Carpenter fails to win the Chevy 500k at Texas Motor Speedway.  Matsuura leads Carpenter by 35 points, and will clinch the title by finishing 11th or better, regardless of where Carpenter finishes. IRL
10/05/04
Industry News
Speedway Motorsports declares dividend Speedway Motorsports declares dividendSpeedway Motorsports, Inc. today declared a cash dividend of $0.31 per share of common stock.   The annual dividend will be payable on Nov. 15, 2004 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 1, 2004. This is the third consecutive year that Speedway Motorsports has paid a cash dividend to its stockholders. The dividend represents an increase over the prior year. The Board of Directors of the motorsports entertainment company unanimously decided to declare the dividend after reviewing the market for the Company's stock, current business conditions and future prospects of the Company.
10/05/04
Karting
Kart driver killed at Portland Raceway Kart driver killed at Portland RacewayA 78-year-old Kart driver from Medford crashed into a guardrail and died at Portland International Speedway over the weekend, marking the first fatality at the raceway since the mid-1990s and the first in the Portland Karting Association’s four-decade history.  Charles Holden was racing the back stretch at about 2:32 p.m. Saturday when he failed to make a right-hand turn, drove across a flat patch of grass and hit the guardrail, deputy medical examiner Duane Bigoni of the Multnomah County medical examiner’s office told The Oregonian newspaper.  The accident occurred in a remote section of the track but was observed by a racer behind Holden, who immediately reported it to safety personnel, said John "Pops" McIntosh, president of the Portland Karting Association.  Holden’s Kart was doing about 120 mph when it left the track and left no skid marks, McIntosh said. It wasn’t known whether Holden experienced a medical or mechanical problem that caused him to miss the turn, McIntosh said.  "They examined his Kart, and everything was functional as far as the braking and steering," he said. "He was wearing a helmet and all of his safety gear."  The medical examiner’s office did not perform an autopsy but said an external examination determined that he died of head trauma.
10/05/04
champcar
Mexico City news Mexico City newsThe website for this year's Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Mexico City is now live.  Click here for all the information.
10/05/04
nascar
Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx To Make Major Announcement Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx To Make Major AnnouncementOfficials from Joe Gibbs Racing and FedEx Corp. will make a major announcement about the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season at noon (EDT) Oct. 13 in Charlotte, N.C. The announcement will be that they are sponsoring a car for Joe Gibbs Racing. This is the latest in a series of sponsors that were in the CART fold and now have gone over to the monopoly called NASCAR. The split in Indy Car racing caused by the formation of the IRL has destroyed the sport, a legacy that Tony George will have to live with forever, because it's too late to resurrect it. The IRL has tried valiantly, to no avail.  The USA is a NASCAR-only country now. Mark C.
10/05/04
irl
champcar
Open Wheel Racing attendance Open Wheel Racing attendanceUPDATE #2 Another reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, I am sending you the attached photographs that I took back in 2000 during the Marlboro 500 race. It was the season finale, Adrian Fernandez was a contender for the Championship that eventually was won by Gil de Ferran. That was the year when de Ferran established a new record of speed for a closed course. I was lucky enough to be there. Look at the grandstands, they were totally packed. That year I remember the race had to be postponed due to rain; we came back the following day (which was a Monday) and the stands still looked pretty full, I'd say more 50% capacity for that second day. Now let's see who was driving back in 2000 (if my memory doesn't fail me), for which teams and where those teams are today:
Helio Castroneves - Team Penske - IRL
Gil de Ferran (ret.) - Team Penske - IRL
Michael Andretti (ret.) - Team Green (today's AGR) - IRL
Juan Montoya - Team Ganassi - IRL
Adrian Fernandez - Patrick Racing - IRL
Max Papis - Team Rahal - IRL
Kenny Brack - Team Rahal - IRL
Tony Kanaan - Mo Nunn - IRL
Paul Tracy - Team Green - IRL
Dario Franchitti - Team Green (today AGR) - IRL
Jimmy Vasser - Team Ganassi - IRL
Patrick Carpentier - Forsythe - Champ Cars
Michel Jourdain - Herdez Competition - Champ Cars
Cristiano da Matta - Newman/Haas - Champ Cars
Christian Fittipaldi - Newman/Haas - Champ Cars

Almost the same teams, drivers and engine manufacturers in 2004; but 1/10 of the audience; where did all those people go? It's a joke, isn't it?. Regards, Roberto Reyes Dear Roberto, We also included another photo from 2001 (below, right). Mark C.

10/04/04 Here is a photo of Fontana in 1997 under CART rule.  Compare that to the attendance photos below from Sunday's IRL race at Fontana.  This just shows the damage that has been done to the sport of Indy Car racing. 10/03/04 As we saw last week in Las Vegas for the Champ Car race where the crowd made a dash for the exit first chance they got, the attendance at Sunday's IRL race at Fontana was dismal, estimated at 10,000. Now that Fontana has two Nextel Cup races, stick a fork in the IRL race, it's done. Unless IRL tickets are bundled free with Nextel Cup tickets, or there is a massive ticket giveaway, and as borne by the IRL's dismal TV ratings, IRL, and open wheel racing in general, is not healthy in the USA because Tony George split the sport in two by creating the IRL, thereby, essentially killing it. The crowd shots below show the tale of woe from Sunday's race. About 10% of the 100,000 seats and suites were occupied.  Is America now a NASCAR-only country?

  

10/05/04
nascar
Hamilton Jr. pushes speeds even higher at Atlanta Hamilton Jr. pushes speeds even higher at AtlantaBobby Hamilton Jr. pushed his No. 32 Tide Chevrolet over the 189-mph mark Tuesday as he continued testing for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Also testing Tuesday were NASCAR Craftsman Truck series drivers Matt Crafton, Dennis Setzer, David Starr and Jack Sprague.  Hamilton topped the day’s unofficial speed chart with a lap of 29.27 seconds (189.409 mph). Having worked Monday on race setups, Hamilton Jr. and his team used Tuesday to work on aerodynamics.  “The car feels good – real good,” Hamilton said, “This is the car we’re taking to Charlotte and here, and we feel confident. As it gets hotter and hotter, the car responds more, which makes for a better race car."
10/05/04
Industry News
New magazine announced for women race fans New magazine announced for women race fans The first and only print publication dedicated to the more than 30 million women race fans is on schedule for release in early November. Women’s Racing Journal is expanding on their popular website which has covered racing from the female perspective for three years.

"A traditional high-gloss printed magazine is what we’ve planned since the outset," says publisher and editor, Joni Massengale, "Where we differ from other publications, is our focus on the lifestyle of motorsports enthusiasts. For many women fans, it truly is a part of our daily lives. We have the collectibles in our homes and the clothing on our backs. It is even reflected in the purchases we make at the grocery store, the services we use at home and in business and in the gifts we choose for our families. You can't really say that about any other sport.

"Women are typically interested in subjects concerning family, home, career, shopping and lifestyles. In racing, there are great story lines for each of these topics."

Regular features of the magazine will include:
"Hot Stock" - racing's sexiest men
"Spotters" - up-and-coming women drivers
"Road Course" - racing vacation destinations
"Super Speedway Cooking" - recipes from the racing world
"Fan Femme" - a look at the women who love motorsports, and more.

Fans aren't the only ones who will benefit from Women's Racing Journal. Recent studies of the purchasing power of women suggest that women are responsible for 83% of all consumer purchases. That's a statistic to turn the heads of any advertiser.

"Women have certainly come a long way as fans," says Massengale. "Gone are the days that we obligingly cheer for the driver our husbands, boyfriends or fathers support. Our choices may be based on who the driver is as a person as much as his ability to finish first. As a group, we can be as ardently loyal to sponsors' products as any other, but don't overlook our concern for value. As a means of reaching us, Women's Racing Journal will be unsurpassed."

According to an article published in the February, 2002 issue of American Demographics, the top 25 women's magazines had a 73% larger audience share of women ages 18-49 than the top 25 television shows targeted at the same group. "As a vehicle for reaching the female consumer, women's magazines are holding their own-even in today's economic climate."

Add in the rate at which motorsports are growing among women viewers.

"Look at any of our fan clubs," says Brendan Gaughan, driver for the #77 Penske-Jasper Kodak Dodge. "I was just over at my fan club and we were looking at fan club demographics. Sixty-four percent of my fans are women. If you look at what NASCAR is all about, we are about selling. Kodak is trying to sell cameras, film, EasyShare(TM) printers. Jasper Engines trying to sell engines and transmissions. Cheerios, Tide, Dodge, you name it. What we're trying to sell is a product in the marketplace. If a woman is going to watch this sport, that's what NASCAR wants and I think that something like Women's Racing Journal is just what the sport needs."

Gaughan will be featured as the cover story of the premier issue. The article will center on the photos he has taken throughout this his rookie season.

"He's really a great subject for us," says Massengale. "He's nice, friendly, honest and intelligent. It doesn't hurt that he's cute, single and can win races as well. We discussed at great length the importance of education (Gaughan graduated from Georgetown with a degree in business management). He's the total package."

The premier issue of Women's Racing Journal will be available primarily in the Charlotte, North Carolina market and will be freely distributed. Negotiations are still under way regarding locations that will carry the magazine. People interested in receiving a free copy via mail, in or out of the Charlotte area may register at www.WomensRacingJournal.com.

10/05/04
nascar
Airplus Insoles to Be An Associate Sponsor with ppc Racing and John Andretti Airplus Insoles to Be An Associate Sponsor with ppc Racing and John AndrettiAirplus Insoles announces its entrance into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with driver John Andretti and ppc Racing with its first race at next weekend’s event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  Airplus Insoles is currently an associate sponsor with drivers Jason Keller and Terry Cook in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, its first year of sponsorship with ppc Racing.  Airplus Insoles will be an associate sponsor on the No. 14 VB Ford Taurus, giving a full presence with ppc Racing.  “All of us at Implus Footcare are extremely excited to enter the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with ppc Racing and driver John Andretti,” said Todd Vore, president at Implus Footcare.  “We have had tremendous success with the Airplus Insoles brand sponsoring the NASCAR Busch Series team last year.  It gave us a lot of exposure for the brand and the response has been outstanding.  We look forward to continued success with ppc Racing and the Airplus Insoles NASCAR marketing efforts.”  

“We have seen a direct benefit with our motorsports marketing efforts and the Airplus Insoles brand,” said John Andrews, director of marketing at Implus.  “Our association with John Andretti, one of the most recognized names in racing, allows us to leverage our products to the millions of loyal NASCAR fans in all three major series.  It’s a grassroots effort to distribute our footcare products to the fans, teams and everyone involved in motorsports and leverage that awareness at our retail partners shelves. We are truly excited about today’s announcement.”  

“Adding Airplus Insoles to our cup efforts is another tremendous boost to our racing programs,” said Keith Barnwell, co-owner and general manager at ppc Racing.  “Airplus Insoles is currently an associate sponsor on the Nos. 22 and 10 in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series efforts.  This is a great compliment to have Airplus Insoles with the No. 14 Ford Taurus with John Andretti.  The guys at Implus Footcare are great people to work with and I am pleased to see their continued growth with us at ppc Racing.”

10/05/04
nascar
Victory Brand cigarettes to sponsor John Andretti Victory Brand cigarettes to sponsor John Andretti[Editor's Note:  Look for our full story on this new team on our Home Page shortly.]  ppc Racing today unveiled a NASCAR Nextel Cup team that will run the five of the final six races on the ’04 schedule and a full schedule beginning next year. Cigarette manufacturer Victory Brand and convenience store chain APlus, the official pit stop of NASCAR, will serve as the team’s primary sponsors. Victory Brand CEO Steve Swick said that Victory Brand will target adult smokers and proactively avoid marketing towards minors. John Andretti will drive the car.  ppc Racing
10/05/04
nascar
Auto Club 500 tickets on sale October 6 Auto Club 500 tickets on sale October 6Few things tug at the heartstrings of racing fans like the sound of 43 stock cars on track at California Speedway.  Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas are yearly events that have special meaning for many throughout the country.  Here's your chance to add another special date to the list of favorites that you won't want to miss.

Individual race tickets for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Auto Club 500 event weekend go on sale Wednesday, October 6.  The race weekend, which kicks-off California Speedway's 2005 racing season, includes a triple-header NASCAR line-up to be held February 25-27, 2005, on a new date just one week after the season-opening Daytona 500. 

The weekend gets started on Friday, February 25, with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Racing Wheels 200 competing under the lights, just like the recently completed race won by Todd Bodine.  Friday tickets are $30 (general admission) and children 12 and under are free.  On Saturday, February 26, the NASCAR Busch Series 300 will be accompanied by NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on-track action and the Miller Lite Rock 'n Racing Concert.  Saturday tickets are $40 for lower level and $50 for upper level seats.  The weekend goes full-throttle when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series superstars take to the superspeedway on Sunday, February 27 for the Auto Club 500.   Sunday tickets are $65 for lower level (Rows 1-23) and $105 for upper level (Rows 24-48) seats.

10/05/04
nascar
Kurt Busch comments on points lead Kurt Busch comments on points leadKurt Busch now holds a 12-point lead in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings after NASCAR penalized Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 25 points for a post-race comment.  "It's unfortunate,” said Busch of the incident. “The emotions in victory lane overcame him. He was the dominant car all day and deserved to win. The way he's been there in the past, we expected him to do that well, but, for us, we want to beat him on the race track. This is just a quick point difference that was 13 in his favor and now it's 12 in our favor, but we've got seven races to go. Hopefully, these 25 points won't come into the final factor because we want to beat him on the race track.  "I want to go into the last race with 155-point edge and that way we won't have to worry about anything."
10/05/04
champcar
 irl
Champ Car and IRL raise a lot of questions Champ Car and IRL raise a lot of questionsUPDATE This Detroit Free Press article is a follow-up to the previous ones.  In a second round of replies, here's what some of you said about the state of the sport:

"We should backpedal 10 years and look at the popularity of CART. Nigel Mansell, the F1 champion, came over to race. Big TV numbers, the Indy 500 was something. One series was just fine." -- Gary Pope, Urbana, Ohio.

"Anyone who does not think open-wheel racing would be better unified is mistaken. Tony George broke what did not need fixing. -- J Greg Callanan, Chuluota, Fla.

"The Indy 500 has suffered because it is no longer the stage on which the top 10 American open-wheel drivers compete. There should be only one open-wheel series, run by one organization." -- Larry Nutson, Bloomfield Village.

"Champ Car should come to certain realities that they openly deny: The war is over in North America, and the IRL has won. No matter what most diehard Champ Car fans say, the Indy 500 is the Super Bowl of open-wheel racing, and it is on the IRL schedule. Champ Car needs to come to grips with the fact that CART lost because of poor management and a poorer product. The IRL won, and that is the bitter truth. -- Tim Mullin, Chicago.

"I suspect that each (series) has a half-life of sorts and that open-wheel racing in its current form has lost the thrill that made it attractive years ago. I'm not sure whether I care anymore about either series but will watch the Indy 500 on TV for tradition's sake. -- Andrew Sturgess, Rockwood.

09/28/04 This Detroit Free Press article says, With two events -- Surfers Paradise and Mexico -- remaining on the Champ Car circuit this year, is the former bastion of American open-wheel racing finally out of gas?  Ask the owners of what used to be CART, and they probably would answer: "Are you crazy? We're in great shape. Look at the success of the Long Beach Grand Prix and the race in Toronto."  Talk to former CART drivers or crew chiefs, and some might say Champ Car is cooked.  Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between, but here are a few questions for you:
  1. Champ Car seems to be more popular overseas than here. Why are races in Canada, Mexico and Australia well received?
  2. Should there be one -- not two -- open-wheel series in North America? Who should run it, and what should it be called?
  3. If the IRL and Champ Car became one, could it rival the popularity of NASCAR?
  4. Should Detroit host an open-wheel race again? If so, where should it be held?
  5. Is there continued room for two series?
  6. Foreign-born drivers are dominating the IRL and Champ Car. Is this good, or do we need to foster more American talent?
  7. Has the Indianapolis 500 suffered because of the CART-IRL split? If so, why?
  8. Do you like IRL or Champ Car drivers better? Who is the superior driver? The IRL is introducing road courses to its format in 2005. Good or bad?
  9. What irks you most about the IRL or Champ Car? What do you like best?
  10. What IRL and Champ Car events do you like best or least?
  11. Did the split between the two series really affect you? Or couldn't you care less?

Let's know what you think. Contact me at my e-mail address below. Please include your name and address. I'll publish a selection of your comments in the next couple of weeks.  Contact MIKE BRUDENELL at 313-222-2115 or brudenell@freepress.com

10/05/04
Industry News
Motorsports adds $5 billion to North Carolina economy Motorsports adds $5 billion to North Carolina economy The total economic impact of the motorsports industry on the North Carolina economy in 2003 was $5.1 billion, according to an economic impact and development study sponsored by the North Carolina Motorsports Association, and is 30th largest of 481 industries ranked by the state. 

The North Carolina Motorsports Economic Impact and Development Study also found that in 2003, the motorsports industry generated 24,406 jobs in North Carolina, including 12,292 jobs generated through direct employment. Average compensation per employee for the 24,406 jobs was $61,017. Average compensation per employee for direct motorsports employment was $70,548. Motorsports contributed $1,489,175,042 in total employee compensation to the North Carolina economy.  

The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) does not classify motorsports as a separate industry. If it did classify motorsports as such, motorsports would rank 30th of 481 industries in the state, according to the study. Firms included in the motorsports industry are classified in 40 different NAICS codes. Motorsports’ impact ranks close to the impact of air transportation (26th), nursing and residential care facilities (27th), poultry processing (28th) and employment services (34th). Motorsports also ranks ahead of legal services (39th) and poultry and egg production (40th).

Motorsports’ direct impact on the state, or the sales and revenue generated by the organizations that comprise the motorsports industry, was $3,190,279,409. The motorsports’ supplier chain, measured as indirect impact, contributed $1,104,941,429. 

The previous figures reflect total spending generated by the motorsports industry measured by the final selling prices of goods and services. The direct value added impact of the industry, or the industry’s impact on the Gross State Product (related nationally to the Gross Domestic Product) is $1,426,829,620, with a total value added impact of $2,496,911,841.The total value added impact represents one percent of the state’s GSP. 

The study analyzed motorsports’ impact on the North Carolina as a whole, then analyzed its impact on each of the seven economic development areas designated by the N.C. Department of Commerce. While the Carolinas Partnership region receives the most benefit from the motorsports industry, the other six regions have significant presence of motorsports-related businesses within their boundaries. 

The study was performed to recognize motorsports’ importance as an economic force, to establish the relative importance of the industry in terms of economic output and employment and to suggest effective strategies to retain and grow the industry in the state.

“Those of us who are from North Carolina always knew motorsports was a big deal in this state,” said racing legend and NCMA Chairman Richard Petty. “This study will show the rest of the country exactly how much an impact the industry has on this state. With the state losing such major industries as textiles and tobacco, it’s good for North Carolinians to know that we still have a major home-grown industry to keep our economy going.”

10/05/04
f1
BAR keeps Sato BAR keeps SatoTakuma Sato will stay at BAR in 2005, the team has confirmed. BAR made the announcement ahead of Sato and engine supplier Honda’s home race at Suzuka this weekend. Sato signed a three-year contract with BAR at the beginning of 2003. He spent the first year testing for the team, before replacing Jacques Villeneuve in a race seat this year. The deal for 2005 was dependent on Sato reaching certain performance targets this season – something he has done.
10/05/04
NASCAR
Hyder Named Crew Chief for BAM Racing Hyder Named Crew Chief for BAM RacingBAM Racing announced today the addition of David Hyder as the new crew chief of the #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge of driver Ken Schrader. Hyder, 37, a High Point, N.C. native, now living in Trinity, N.C., comes to BAM Racing after a four-and-a-half year stint with Petty Enterprises, where he held several positions, most recently, car chief of the #43. Accompanying Hyder in the transition is shock specialist, Dean Johnson. "I'm certainly glad that BAM Racing gave me this opportunity,” Hyder said. “These guys run a top-notch organization, and I'm tickled to death to be over here. I've driven late models for 17 years, and I understand what it's like to be in the car and out of the car. Hopefully I can share the responsibilities with all the guys that work on this Schwan's Home Service team and we can help it continue to go forward. I think Schrader and I will work well together, and I look forward to the future here at BAM Racing." Spending most of his adult life in auto racing, Hyder drove late models for 17 years in various series including the Hooters Pro Cup and Slim Jim All Pro Series. Hyder then worked as a crew chief in the Hooters Pro Cup before moving to Petty Enterprises. At Petty Enterprises he spent the majority of his tenure working as car chief on both the #45 and the #43. Williams PR Who would have thought there would come a time when going from Petty Enterprises to BAM Racing would be an upgrade? Doug B
10/05/04
nascar
Earnhardt loses points, team to appeal penalty Earnhardt loses points, team to appeal penaltyDriver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized with a loss of 25 championship driver points and a $10,000 fine for an inappropriate post-race comment during the live national television broadcast of Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials announced Tuesday.  Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced today that the #8 Budweiser Team that fields Chevrolet Monte Carlos for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Nextel Cup Series, will appeal the NASCAR-imposed post-race penalty that cost the team 25 championship points and $10,000.   DEI Director of Competition, Richie Gilmore, cites that the 25- point penalty under the new 10-race “Chase for the Nextel Cup” format could be devastating with only seven races remaining.  “This is a huge setback for the entire company. We’re in a sport that focuses its primary attention on the final 10 races of the season and we’re racing against formidable teams for a championship. We’re facing a setback from a competition standpoint for something that should be considered a personal foul. We have no choice but to appeal the points portion of the penalty,” Gilmore stated.  He added, “ I think we’re the only sport that takes points off of the board after they’ve been scored. The popularity of this sport is based on colorful personalities and the fact that everyone can relate to these drivers and their emotions. Now, it seems like that’s a detriment. Dale Jr.’s comment was made in the excitement of the moment, seconds after he climbed out of the car. It wasn’t made in anger or hostility directed at anyone. This whole incident is going to force everyone in the sport to rethink showing any excitement in what should be a jubilant moment. We’ve had hundreds of calls from fans that support us. Our sponsors have vowed their support as well. If nothing else, we can look back at this race and always remember it as one where we were reminded of the loyalty everyone has toward Dale Jr., the #8 team and our company.”
10/05/04
F1
Jordan signs on Can Artan Jordan signs on Can ArtanJordan F1 has signed Turkish driver Can Artan to a testing role ahead of the 2005 inaugural Turkish GP.  Artan is pictured right with team owner Eddie Jordan and manager David Sears.
10/05/04
irl
Manning expects to be ready for Texas Manning expects to be ready for TexasIndy Racing League driver Darren Manning said Monday he should be recovered from his weekend accident at California Speedway to participate in the season-ending race at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 17.  The Ganassi Racing driver was hospitalized Saturday night in Loma Linda, Calif., after suffering a slight concussion and a bruise between his shoulder blades. He said computer data indicated the impact was "over 100 Gs," a high figure.  "I'm a bit stiff and a bit bruised, but I'm pretty sure I'll be all right by next week," Manning said after returning to Indianapolis. "My memory is about as good as it was before the wreck, which is good." Indy Star
10/05/04
nascar
NBC could face stiff fine over Earnhardt comment NBC could face stiff fine over Earnhardt commentDale Earnhardt Jr. knows he's got a problem when shock jock Howard Stern weighs in with a negative opinion.  Earnhardt used profanity on national television while being interviewed in Victory Lane after winning the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. If NASCAR holds true to its penalty system, Earnhardt will receive a fine and a minimum deduction of 25 points, which would knock him from the top of the current standings. "I'm worried about losing points," Earnhardt said Sunday after leaving Victory Lane.

NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said the sanctioning body is reviewing the situation and will make a decision on Earnhardt's fate sometime this week. "We are currently reviewing the tape of the post-race interview with Dale Jr., and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series director John Darby already had a conversation with Dale Jr. about the incident on Sunday night," Zizzo said. "A decision on whether there will be a penalty forthcoming could come as early as tomorrow (today)."

Earnhardt's profanity has the potential to cost NBC some large dollars.  On his national radio show Monday morning, Stern demanded the Federal Communications Commission fine NBC the same amount of money it penalized CBS for the infamous Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl halftime show.   CBS was fined $550,000 by the FCC in September. Stern has had a long, fierce battle with the government agency that regulates broadcast outlets.

NBC spokesman Kevin Sullivan said the network would not respond to Stern's comments. Sullivan said, as of Monday, the FCC had not contacted NBC about the Earnhardt incident.  "This is the type of thing that happens very rarely," Sullivan said. "It's a live event and situation. (Announcer) Bill Weber did a terrific job addressing it and apologizing and moving on."

Because of the Super Bowl incident, NASCAR president Mike Helton warned Nextel Cup and Busch Series drivers about using profanity with electronic media in February.  Helton reiterated the warning the next day to Nextel Cup drivers saying, "We have a policy about profanity, and that is under more of a microscope today than it ever has been."   Since then two Busch Series drivers, Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday Jr., have been fined $10,000 and lost 25 championship points for on-air profanity. Daytona Beach Journal

10/05/04
f1
Typhoon could affect Japanese GP Typhoon could affect Japanese GPThis weekend's Japanese Grand Prix is under threat. However, unlike with the British GP this threat is not coming from Bernie Ecclestone, instead it's tropical storm Ma-On.  According to the meteorologists, Ma-On is currently in the Philippine Sea moving west northwest and is expected to intensify over the next few days. This means that there's a possibility it could strike Yokkaichi some time on Saturday or even Sunday.  Should the storm, which could be upgrade to a typhoon as the days wear on, strike during the weekend it would play havoc with the Suzuka race, bringing it with it high winds and heavy rain. However, at the moment the forecasts suggest that Suzuka may escape the main brunt of the typhoon at least for this weekend.  On Thursday, as the teams' complete their preparations, they can expect sunny skies with a high of 24'C and a low of 14'C. However, Thursday could be the last time they seen clear skies all weekend because on Friday the conditions will take a turn for the worse. high of 17'C and a low of 16'C. A Southwesterly will accompany the rain, blowing at 9mph.  Saturday too will see heavy rain with a slight increase in temperature. Saturday's high should be 20'C with a low of 19'C. The wind will change to a Westerly, gusting at 9mph.  Sunday's conditions will be very much the same with heavy rain forecast. Race-day's high will be 21'C with a low of 17'C. Planet-F1
10/05/04
alms
Ian James on a roll Ian James on a rollIan James has had a great season thus far even with the change of sports cars halfway through the year. As one of the favorites to win the American Le Mans Series LMP2 driving championship as well as the series Rookie of the Year award, James is definitely making a name for himself in the world of professional sports car racing.

Born and raised across the pond in England, James was hooked on racing at an early age as a result of watching his father race. James went on to compete in his first race at age eight which only served to fuel his desire to someday race professionally fulltime. His early career included competition in the British Formula Vauxhall Junior Series, where he was championship runner-up in 1994. In 1995, he contested the Skip Barber Eastern Series in the USA and won four of the first six races before an accident ended his season.

Making his debut in the American Le Mans Series in 2000, James took a breather from ALMS competition and returned for the 2003 season for one race. With the start of the 2004 season, James had a full time ride with John Macaluso's Miracle Motorsports and started out the year performing well in the No. 10 Miracle Lola. Midway through this season, James had the opportunity to change cars with Macaluso's acquisition of the Courage C65 and now finds himself in the race for the LMP2 championship in his first full season of ALMS competition.

"Obviously the season started really well with winning the race at Sebring," James said. "We went on to win again at Lime Rock before we got the new Courage, which we won with at Road America. Any season where you win three races is a great year in itself, but the opportunity to be one of the ALMS champions is surely a highlight of my career so far."

James is currently four points ahead of his co-driver, James Gue, in the race for the LMP2 championship. As long as the two continue to compete together, it is mathematically impossible for Gue to grab the championship from James.

10/05/04
f1
Senna experience to open Senna experience to openIn the F1 rhythm, October brings exciting news for Ayrton Senna's enthusiasts. On Saturday 16th the mega exhibition Senna Experience will officially open to the public, an interactive and high tech show, where the visitors will be able to recall the life, the legacy and values of the three-times F1 worldwide champion, pleasing them with unforgettable moments.

With a forecast duration of three months, the exhibition happens in São Paulo, at Shopping Eldorado. Counting on electronic and digital state-of-the-art resources, the visitors will interact with equipments which will allow them to experiment similar sensations felt by Ayrton Senna on the racecourse. The exhibition will be divided in 15 spaces, named after Senna's values, among them willpower, strength, determination and excellence.

In the follow weekend is time of F1 Brazil' Grand Prix. During the last race of the season, Ayrton Senna will receive a homage when Lotus-Renault JPS-1986, used by him at 86's season, will ride again at Interlagos racecourse. The car will be conducted by Bruno Senna, Ayrton's nephew, by Bernie Ecclestone - F1' main in charge - suggestion.

In April, during San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, the same car was driven by Gerhard Berger. After the event in Interlagos, the famous black Lotus will park at Shopping Eldorado exhibition, where it will be shown to the public.

Senna Experience Exhibition

Three rooms promises to be the blockbusters of the show. At Superação Room (superation) the enthusiasts will feel the overtaking emotions among the cars that Senna drove, from kart to F1, through a 3D movie. The racetrack designed by graphic computers reproduces parts of the most defying F1 racecourses all over the world where Senna raced.

At Determinação Room (Determination), the public will get the perspective and sensations of a F1 pilot inside a cockpit emulated by audiovisual effects. Wearing a helmet, the "pilot" will feel the adrenaline of being in a racecourse at 300 km per hour, "riding" in two important racecourses to Ayrton Senna: Interlagos e Monaco. In a third space, Ousadia Room (Audacious), the visitor will feel inside a F1 car in Interlagos with a help of a simulator and a 180º screen.

Last but not least, the 1990 McLaren Honda MP4-5B and the 1987 Lotus Honda 99T will be on display allowing the visitors the unique chance of being so close of the F1 cars that were actually driven by Ayrton Senna.

All the exhibition assembly was made in very eclectic way, reaching out the most different publics: from F1 enthusiasts, youngsters whom loves technology, to the ones which likes or wants to know more about the life and the legacy left by Ayrton Senna.

The Senna Experience is an Instituto Ayrton Senna initiative implemented by Sight Momentum and sponsored by Credicard, Goodyear, Petrobras, TAM, Telefonica, Eletropaulo, Mapfre, Renault, SEST SENAT, Springer Carrier, Compuware, Shopping Eldorado and support of De Nadai, Gafisa, Golden Cross, Motorola and TAM Viagens.

10/05/04
f1
BAR announces partnership with EPSON BAR announces partnership with EPSONWith the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship nearing its climax, Lucky Strike B·A·R Honda is pleased to announce that it has concluded a one-race team partnership for the Japanese Grand Prix with leading technology company EPSON.  EPSON has been a major supporter of motor sport since 1983 and believes the Japanese Grand Prix to be the perfect vehicle to communicate with its home market through the dynamic global sport of Formula One.   The partnership with the B·A·R team is founded on a shared commitment to technical excellence through innovation and the provision of cutting-edge products that excite and impress. Both partners see this as an opportunity to explore and develop a longer-term relationship. 

David Richards, B·A·R Team Principal, commented: "The association with a globally renowned Company such as EPSON is another important step for the team.  When one considers we already have major Japanese connections through Honda and Takuma Sato, I am sure that this partnership with EPSON will further enhance our reputation in the Japanese market and beyond."   EPSON has launched the microsite www.i-love-epson.co.jp/BAR featuring information regarding the Suzuka circuit and current B·A·R team news and photography.

10/05/04
irl
Foyt IV catches wall Foyt IV catches wallUPDATE AJ Foyt IV crashed out in the race too.  At this point it has become embarrassing for both Foyt IV and for the IRL.  We can't help but wonder who is paying for all his damaged race cars the last two years?  Each crash has one excuse or another.  It appears even AJ himself is beginning to realize his grandson has limitations.  For example, he already said he was not going to run him on the road courses next year.  Road racing is a true measure of driving talent, not 100% throttle oval racing.  We suspect AJ doesn't want his grandson to be in an even more embarrassing situation.  10/01/04 A.J. Foyt IV’s afternoon practice at Fontana today was curtailed when the No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone brushed the wall coming off Turn 2 and suffered light damage to the right-side suspension.  “My car was pushing and then when I tried to pass Ed Carpenter, the dirty air from his car made my car push really bad and it pushed up and I brushed the wall.”  [Editor's Note:  If this kid's last name wasn't Foyt he would have been replaced long ago.  How many times can one driver crash before he admits he's chosen the wrong career?]
10/05/04
Formula BMW
 Karting
Hinchcliffe to race in karting Supernationals Hinchcliffe to race in karting Supernationals17-year old James Hinchcliffe completed his rookie season in the Formula BMW USA (FBMW) championship and will reunite with the First Kart North America squad for the SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals. Hinchcliffe, who claimed the FBMW Rookie-of-the-Year honors and second in the series championship, finished the season with three wins and four pole positions.

After the final BMW event in California, First Kart team principal Tony Ventresca contacted Hinchcliffe to explore the option of running the event. “I sat down with James and his father and it didn’t take long” stated Ventresca. “We outlined the details of the event and looked into flights and before we knew it, everything was set-up and a test session was scheduled.”

Always looking to stay ahead of the competition, Hinchcliffe was on track this past weekend for some pre-event testing. “We had a good test and it was good to get back in a kart again,” explained the 17-year-old University student. “I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends and teammates from a year ago. The SuperNats is one of the most competitive races in North America and I can’t wait to get to Vegas and start the weekend.”

While Hinchcliffe will reunite with First Kart, he will also come together with old time tuner Mike Maurini. Working together as they did back in 2002, the duo will utilize the First Kart chassis with the potent CRS power. Teamed with ’03 Stars of Karting Champion Bobby Wilson and ’02 Shifter Kart Illustrated’s Tuner-of-the-Year Terry Ventresca, the First Kart team will thrive on the knowledge, skills and abilities to make a run for the win.

Hinchcliffe will start his assault on the karting community on October 28th as the opening rounds of practice will take place for the SKUSA SuperNationals. Follow James and the rest of the First Kart team online with the latest up-to-date results at www.firstkart.com.

10/05/04
irl
champcar
More on Fontana attendance, Enge sponsor More on Fontana attendance, Enge sponsorA reader writes, What if they held an auto race and no one came? Oh, they already did ... It was called the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway. Note to Shav Glick of the LA Times who estimated that attendance was 35-thousand (out of 100,000 available seats). Dude! Look again at the photos on the AutoRacing1 Hot News page. Clearly proves that at best 10% of seats were occupied. If that race had 10,000 attendees, maybe even a couple of them who actually bought tickets, I'd be surprised. PS: Whoopee!!! Tomas Enge brought a sponsor to Patrick Racing's IRL entry: Czech insurance company "Ceska Pojistovna." Now there’s a company the average oval track fan of middle America really needs to know about. Looks like a lose-lose situation for everyone. I supposed Ceska Pojistovna is so excited about the prospects of increased policy sales to folks in Indiana, and I can't wait to 'Czech-out' the cost of a policy!!! Next stop NASCAR ... the Ceska Pojistovna no. 86 Taurus driven by Paulina Porizkova. Glenn Tanner Palos Verdes Estates CA Dear Glenn, The one point you are missing regarding the Enge sponsorship is that if the races are broadcast on Czech Republic TV than that is the audience they are trying to reach, not folks in Indiana. We have seen similar issues with Brazilian sponsors in CART/Champ Car and the IRL, who sell no product in the USA, for years, so it's unfair to criticize just the IRL on this issue.  Ironically Enge did crash in the race.  Maybe Ceska Pojistovna sees the chance to sell crash damage insurance to IRL teams like Foyt and Scheckter who crash on a regular basis. Mark C.
10/05/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Fans urged to save Silverstone
Webber to race b-spec Jaguar
Sato feels home race 'pressure'
Senna to drive uncle's F1 car
Bernie's dog 'should be put down'
Montoya and Mercedes
Brit GP shortfall 'was $1.4 million'
Israeli tests Jordan car
Button laments Brit GP axe
South Africa GP 'on track' - spokesman
Ferrari show 'no fatigue' - Schu
New venues 'threaten F1' - Surtees
F1 demise will not affect Olympic bid
PM asked to bail out Brit GP
Trulli - 'I am more motivated'
Panis ready for 'emotional' exit
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