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Di Resta one step closer to Euro F3 title Di Resta one step closer to Euro F3 titlePaul di Resta (ASM Formule 3) won the 17th season round of the Formula 3 Euro Series at Le Mans in France and thus set another big step towards the title. After his fifth victory of the season, the 20-year old Scotsman is 14 points ahead of his main rival Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3). At the 4.180 kilometers long track, the German finished ninth and failed to score any points. Jonathan Summerton (Mücke Motorsport) and Guillaume Moreau (Signature-Plus) came home in second and third place respectively. For 18-year old rookie Summerton, this was his best result of the season so far.

Sebastian Vettel started the race from eleventh place on the grid. As he hadn’t obeyed instructions from the track marshals during the 16th season round in Barcelona, he was put five places down on the grid. The 19-year old already had made it up into third place as he dropped back to twelfth following a driving error on lap eight. The Friday test driver of the BMW Sauber Formula 1 team eventually was classified ninth. zzzz

Paul di Resta, who had started fifth, could benefit from an accident on the opening lap. 17-year old Swiss, Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport), and Frenchman Romain Grosjean (Signature-Plus) collided. Di Resta inherited the lead and didn’t lose it until the checkered flag was out. On the opening lap, Jonathan Summerton claimed second place and maintained it throughout the race as well.
Giedo van der Garde (ASM Formule 3) already retired on the formation lap due to a broken drive shaft. The Dutchman had claimed pole-position in yesterday’s qualifying.

Paul di Resta (ASM Formule 3): “Today, I am probably the happiest man in the world. Because of the accident with Romain Grosjean and Sébastian Buemi, I was already in the lead on the first lap. Still, this weekend is one of the most difficult of the year for me, because I only managed to find my rhythm very late.”

Jonathan Summerton (Mücke Motorsport): “Second place is my best result in the Formula 3 Euro Series so far. I am really delighted. I benefited from the accident after the start, even though Paul di Resta overtook me in the turmoil on the first corner. I couldn’t attack him after that, because he was just too quick.”

Guillaume Moreau (Signature-Plus): “I am feeling great. Making my comeback on the podium in my home race is just excellent. This year, we have had some problems, but now we are back again. For my team and for me, this podium is a moral boost. My good start was the basis for this result.”

Pos. No. Driver Nat. Entrant Make lap. Time Diff. Gap fast lap.
1 2 Paul di Resta GBR ASM Formule 3 Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 39:59.914 1:31.604
2 8 Jonathan Summerton (R) USA ASL Mücke Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:00.939 01.025 01.025 1:31.497
3 9 Guillaume Moreau FRA Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:07.533 06.594 07.619 1:31.613
4 20 Charlie Kimball USA Signature-Plus Dallara F306 Mercedes 26 40:10.076 02.543 10.162 1:31.697
5 3 Kohei Hirate JPN Manor Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:17.433 07.357 17.519 1:31.726
6 4 Esteban Guerrieri ARG Manor Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:18.315 00.882 18.401 1:31.373
7 22 Michael Herck MCO Bas Leinders JRT Dallara F306 Mercedes 26 40:30.908 12.593 30.994 1:32.233
8 11 Richard Antinucci USA HBR Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:31.915 01.007 32.001 1:32.208
9 1 Sebastian Vettel GER ASM Formule 3 Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:32.625 00.710 32.711 1:31.506
10 21 Tim Sandtler (R) GER Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:33.192 00.567 33.278 1:32.134
11 18 Kazuki Nakajima JPN Manor Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:36.076 02.884 36.162 1:31.659
12 7 Sébastien Buemi SUI ASL Mücke Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:40.133 04.057 40.219 1:31.222
13 24 Natacha Gachnang SUI Jo Zeller Racing Dallara F306 Opel 26 40:52.785 12.652 52.871 1:32.978
14 6 Ronayne O´Mahony IRL Prema Powerteam Dallara F305 Mercedes 26 40:53.856 01.071 53.942 1:33.132
15 5 Alejandro Nunez ESP Prema Powerteam Dallara F306 Mercedes 26 40:54.707 00.851 54.793 1:33.086
16 19 Paolo Nocera ITA Prema Powerteam Dallara F306 Mercedes 26 41:02.520 07.813 1:02.606 1:32.643
17 14 Filip Salaquarda CEZ Team ISR Dallara F306 Opel 26 41:05.075 02.555 1:05.161 1:33.025
18 41 Cemil Cipa (T) TUR HBR Motorsport Dallara F304 Opel 26 41:33.163 28.088 1:33.249 1:34.393
19 46 Julien Abelli (T) FRA Janiec Racing Team Dallara F302 Renault 25 40:29.540 1 lap 1 lap 1:35.401
20 40 Anthony Janiec (T) FRA Janiec Racing Team Dallara F302 Renault 25 40:39.808 10.268 1 lap 1:36.264
21 10 Romain Grosjean FRA Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes 25 41:20.517 40.709 1 lap 1:31.625
fastest lap: 7 Buemi Sébastien 1:31.222 = 164.960 km/h at lap 23 total average= 163.026 km/h

Spengler beats Kristensen to pole Spengler beats Kristensen to poleAnother exciting qualifying session for the ninth and penultimate season round of the DTM at the 4.180 kilometres long Circuit Bugatti in Le Mans saw Franco-Canadian Bruno Spengler claim his second pole-position of the season with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class. A lap time of 1.30.486 seconds was enough for Spengler to beat Danish Audi-driver Tom Kristensen to the pole-position. Only 0.032 seconds down, Kristensen, seven times’ winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, had to make do with second place with two times’ Formula 1 world champion Mika Häkkinen third for Mercedes-Benz. This promises a very exciting race tomorrow (start at 14.00 h, ARD live from 13.45 onwards) as points leader Bernd Schneider (Vodafone-AMG-Mercedes C-Class) only qualified ninth - his worst qualifying result since EuroSpeedway Lausitz 2005, while Kristensen did everything to keep his chances in the title race, where he is trailing Schneider by 18 points. zzzz

Best placed year-old machinery driver: Christian AbtBruno Spengler was delighted with his second pole-position of his DTM career after the Nürburgring DTM round in August. “I knew I had another lap just before the session was over. I decided to go for it once again and fortunately, I had a clear lap and I made it to pole-position again.” Tom Kristensen said: “It is good to be on the front row for tomorrow’s race, although it is hard to lose out on pole-position in the closing stages of the session, but that is what it is like in the DTM. At least, this situation is good for the championship.” Jamie Green qualified fourth with his AMG Mercedes-Benz C-Class while Kristensen’s fellow-Audi-driver Christian Abt was the best-placed driver with year-old machinery in fifth place. He was followed by Alexandros Margaritis (EasyRent-AMG-Mercedes C-Class) and Pierre Kaffer (Castrol-Audi A4 DTM) in sixth and seventh place respectively, who also made it into the third and final shout-out heat with 2005-spec cars. Martin Tomczyk, who won the most recent race at the Nürburgring, qualified eighth with his Audi A4 DTM.

Ninth on the grid: Bernd Schneider. For points leader Bernd Schneider, qualifying was over after the second session. A lap time of 1.31.209 minutes meant that the four times’ DTM champion didn’t make it through into the final heat for the first time this season. The other former DTM champion in the field, Mattias Ekström, didn’t make it through either. “I had too much understeer on my flying lap and when it is so close, you are out when you have the slightest problem”, the Swede commented.

To the disappointment of the French fans, ex-Formula 1-star Jean Alesi failed to make it through after the first 14 minutes’ session. “I feel really sorry for my fans, but this was all I could do. Hopefully, it will be better in the race tomorrow.”

Bruno Spengler (1st place, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes): “I had a great qualifying session and it was really fun. On my final lap, I gave everything as Tom was really quick over here. I am very happy with my second pole-position of the season, it can go on like this tomorrow!”

Tom Kristensen (2nd place, Audi Sport Team Abt): “At the end, Bruno has really done a great lap. Of course, losing out on pole-position at the end like that is a little bit disappointing, but it still is a good position to start from for tomorrow. I am sure that it will be an interesting race. I don’t feel too sorry for Bernd that he is only ninth…”

Mika Häkkinen (3rd place, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes): “The spectators have seen a good and exciting qualifying session. Today, I could have done better, I could have been even on pole. Tomorrow, I will do everything to turn today’s potential pole into a race victory.”

Pos. Driver / Entrant Time Gap
1. Bruno Spengler DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes 1:30.486
2. Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Abt Siemens Audi A4 1:30.518 00.032
3. Mika Häkkinen AMG-Mercedes AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:30.853 00.367
4. Jamie Green Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:31.062 00.576
5. Christian Abt Audi Sport Team Phoenix Playboy Audi A4 1:31.089 00.603
6. Alexandros Margaritis Easy Rent AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:31.324 00.838
7. Pierre Kaffer Audi Sport Team Phoenix Castrol Audi A4 1:31.376 00.890
8. Martin Tomczyk Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Red Bull Audi A4 1:31.483 00.997
9. Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:31.209 00.723
10. Mattias Ekström Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Red Bull Audi A4 1:31.209 00.723
11. Timo Scheider Audi Sport Team Rosberg Gebrauchtwagen Audi A4 1:31.221 00.735
12. Frank Stippler Audi Sport Team Rosberg S line Audi A4 1:31.357 00.871
13. Daniel la Rosa TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:31.497 01.011
14. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Audi Sport Team Abt Veltins Audi A4 1:32.043 01.557
15. Stefan Mücke TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:31.569 01.083
16. Thed Björk Futurecom TME Futurecom Audi A4 1:32.006 01.520
17. Jean Alesi stern AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:32.046 01.560
18. Susie Stoddart AutoScout24 AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:32.311 01.825
19. Mathias Lauda Junge Gebrauchte AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 1:32.436 01.950
20. Vanina Ickx Futurecom TME Orgi. Zubehör Audi A4 1:32.812 02.326

Sainz to test Renault's F1 car Sainz to test Renault's F1 car(GMM)  Former double world rally champion Carlos Sainz, 44, is apparently scheduled to test a Renault formula one car within the next two weeks.

It is understood that the event will take place in England.

Rossi takes pole ahead of Americans Rossi takes pole ahead of AmericansThe MotoGP title chase undertook its latest twist this afternoon in qualifying for the bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal, with both Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden lining up on the front row for tomorrow’s race. There is also added intrigue provided by the presence of both riders’ team-mates in the immediate vicinity, perhaps acting as spoilers as they aim to help their colleagues.

Rossi took pole with a storming time of 1’36.200, taking his first ever front spot in Portugal but his fourth of the 2006 season. He lines up alongside Colin Edwards, who has stated that he will be looking to assist his Camel Yamaha colleague in Estoril. Nicky Hayden joins the two Yamaha M1s on the front row, and knows that a good start will be essential if he is to prevent title rival Rossi from getting away. Carrying his good form over from his free practice performance this morning, the Kentucky Kid wasn’t quite able to catch Rossi and Edwards but is still in a good position at the track where he has yet to finish higher than fourth.

Hayden was also accompanied by his team-mate on the timesheets, although Dani Pedrosa will line up on the second row. On his final flying lap, Casey Stoner had unintentionally impeded his fellow Honda rookie’s progress, and later went into his garage to apologize. Stoner himself was just behind the Spaniard in fifth.

John Hopkins completed the top six, ahead of Shinya Nakano and Sete Gibernau. Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi completed the top ten. bwin.com de GP Portugal

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 36.200 secs
2. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 36.478 secs
3. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 36.549 secs
4. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 36.569 secs
5. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 36.702 secs
6. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 36.790 secs
7. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 36.790 secs
8. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 36.940 secs
9. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 37.107 secs
10. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 37.182 secs
11. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 37.245 secs
12. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 37.371 secs
13. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 37.433 secs
14. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 37.517 secs
15. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 37.582 secs
16. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 37.592 secs
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 38.810 secs
18. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 39.647 secs
19. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 40.451 secs
20. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 41.260 secs

Harvick champ, Blaney outduels Kenseth Harvick champ, Blaney outduels KensethKevin Harvick clinched his second career NASCAR Busch Series championship, and Dave Blaney (right) owns his first career NASCAR Busch Series race in his 93rd attempt Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

The two accomplished tasks that appeared not to be attainable at the conclusion of a bizarre Friday the 13th race night in the Dollar General 300.

A pair of red flag periods in the final 10 laps of the brutal event kept the outcome in doubt until the checkered flag. Three off the four primary late race contenders simply pushed their cars beyond their limits. The last man standing was NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veteran Blaney, who ended up standing in victory lane.

Tire problems for Harvick were accentuated by unusually slow pit stop execution, and took him to a low of two laps behind the leaders. He raced hard and made one lap up on the track. But he also needed a little help from Carl Edwards, who appeared en route to the win when circumstances caused well planned strategies to be tossed to the ground. zzzz

NASCAR red flagged the event on lap 190 for an audit of scoring loops and video to determine the restart order. That was settled with Edwards in the lead, followed by Casey Mears, 38th place starter Danny O’Quinn, Jr, Blaney and Stacy Compton.

Inside five laps to go, Edwards and Mears wrecked, pushing their cars beyond the line of control. That set up a red flag period for track cleanup, followed by a green/white/checkered dash to the finish. Blaney inherited the lead following the Edwards/Mears incident.

Blaney led the field to the race’s “overtime” three lap finish that extended the event to 203 laps. He then made his car stick in the middle groove, offering challenger Matt Kenseth the complete low groove to make his move. Kenseth used the real estate boldly, but he crossed the line of control and spun as the checkered flag fell. Michael Waltrip, who started 42nd in the 43-car field, finished second followed  by 30th place starter Compton, Kenseth, and O’Quinn.

Harvick meanwhile had fallen two laps behind the lead lap and as deep as 35th place, before driving himself out of the hole to score a ninth place finish and clinch the series championship. He also won the title in 2001.

Saturday night Harvick returns to the pressure cooker of the Chase to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a bid to win championships in NASCAR’s two top series in a single season, a goal that remains within his reach.

Harvick starts Saturday night’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race fourth in points, only 33 behind leader Jeff Burton.

Industry News
GM and Renault lose ground in Europe GM and Renault lose ground in EuropeRenault and GM lost the most ground as new-car sales in Europe fell 2.6% in September, though Fiat, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen saw sales grow, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association ACEA said Friday.

France’s Renault SA saw the largest drop, slipping 14.9% in September compared with the same month last year. It sold 104,815 cars in Europe in September.

Detroit-based General Motors Corp. sold 9.1 percent fewer cars at 141,551.

Sales of PSA Peugeot Citroen SA cars fell 4%, while DaimlerChrysler AG only slipped slightly with a 1 percent decline with flatter sales of Mercedes and a sharp drop at its Smart car unit. Ford Motor Co. was down just 0.5%, selling more Ford models and fewer Volvos, Land Rovers and Jaguars. More at Detroit Free Press

Benny Parsons beats cancer Benny Parsons beats cancerBenny Parsons, NASCAR champion turned TV broadcaster, said his latest medical checkup Wednesday showed no trace of cancer, and he's crediting oncologist Steven A. Limentani of the Blumenthal Cancer Center for his treatment.
Parsons had lung cancer diagnosed in July and has been undergoing treatment.

"Three months ago my family doctor called me into his office and told me I had lung cancer," Parsons said. "So Rick Hendrick told me if I was going to fight cancer, 'You have to get Steve Limentani.'

"He helped Rick through his leukemia 10 years ago.

"So we did. The last three months we have been battling the disease. Then Wednesday I had a scan and he called me Wednesday afternoon with the best news..... the cancer is gone." Winston Salem Journal

Ford offers to help Yates Ford offers to help YatesFord director of racing technology Dan Davis said Friday that his company will do everything possible to help Robert Yates Racing regain its competitive footing after two woeful seasons that included the defections of drivers Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett. That help will include, he said, finding a sponsor to assure that the No. 88 Ford will return even though Jarrett took the powerful UPS account with him to Michael Waltrip Racing.

"I've told Robert, 'I will do anything in my power to develop whatever you need,' " he said. "It's a struggle for him at the moment."

Yates has had few highlights since Sadler finished ninth in points in 2004 and Jarrett won the Talladega fall race in 2005.

Davis said there was nothing Ford could do about some defections, such as Mark Martin, when owners such as Bobby Ginn are willing to pay an enormous salary for a part-time driver. Martin will contest 20 points races for MB2 Motorsports next year.

"It's all about compensation," Davis said. "I'm saying maybe that's happened to one of my friends. Eventually everyone looks at this and says, 'Damn, this is really quite an offer. And you know what? I really have a lot of loyalty and I have a lot of this and I have a lot of friends and I owe my career to somebody and I'm torn on this because of that, but damn. Damn.' And I think we get to that point when you have new manufacturers in the mix. You have new owners in the mix, you have new sponsors in the mix that are willing to upset the norm in terms of compensation." St. PetersburgTimes.com

Portugal: Hayden tops Rossi in practice 3 Portugal: Hayden tops Rossi in practice 3With two races to go, the two MotoGP points leaders were 1-2 in Saturday morning practice for this weekend's MotoGP race in Portugal.  Points leader Hayden was ahead of Rossi in this practice, but can he beat him in the race where it counts?  Rossi has eaten into Hayden's points lead and is now just 12 markers behind.

1. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 36.846 secs
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 37.032 secs
3. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 37.397 secs
4. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 37.406 secs
5. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 37.446 secs
6. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 37.583 secs
7. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 37.706 secs
8. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 37.869 secs
9. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 38.385 secs
10. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 38.433 secs
11. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 38.723 secs
12. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 38.757 secs
13. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 38.855 secs
14. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 38.871 secs
15. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 38.872 secs
16. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 39.030 secs
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 39.544 secs
18. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 40.258 secs
19. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 40.877 secs
20. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 41.165 secs

White says Toyota not overspending White says Toyota not overspendingLee White, senior vice president of Toyota Racing Development, made an appearance at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that served the purpose of quieting the notion that the Japanese manufacturer intends to smother the opposition with money next year. “We’ve done extensive research, and I don’t believe the level of expenditure is any higher than the existing manufacturer,” said White. White dismissed widespread rumors by saying: “This is a convenient way for a lot of existing teams to manipulate their own manufacturers and attempt to increase their own level of funding. “We provide technology. We don’t own these teams. We don’t fund these teams,” he said. “What we are trying to do is use our expertise with what I call ‘tribal knowledge,’ or the traditional method of producing racing engines.” White also said that Toyota would not further boost its expenditures or increase its teams in the Craftsman Truck Series, where Tundras have won 10 of the season’s 20 races to date. “There’s no question that the Truck Series needs focus,” he said. “I just attended a meeting along with the other manufacturers on the subject of what NASCAR, Speed Channel and MRN (Motor Racing Network) are trying to do to draw more attention to the Truck Series.” Gaston Gazette
TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Inside Drag Racing
12:00pm-12:30pm ESPN2
12:30pm-1:00pm WGN
12:30pm-1:00pm ESPN2
MotoGP World Championship Portugal
12:30pm-1:30pm (SDD) SPEED
MotoGP 250 Portugal
1:30pm-2:30pm (SDD) SPEED
ARCA RE/MAX Des Moines, IA
Montoya's 2nd stock car race
2:30pm-4:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Concord, NC -Lowe's
7:00pm-8:00pm (R) SPEED
NHRA Richmond, VA Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals
7:00pm-9:30pm (SDD) Rescheduled from October 8 ESPN2
The SPEED Report
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
Thed Björk replaces Nicolas Kiesa Thed Björk replaces Nicolas KiesaNicolas Kiesa will not be driving his 2004-spec Audi A4 DTM during the DTM premiere at Le Mans. After a medical check, the DMSB refused to allow the Dane the admission for the ninth round of the season. A fortnight ago, Kiesa had broken his right leg in a motocross accident and wanted to get back into the cockpit again.
GEICO and Wallace back together again GEICO and Wallace back together againMike Wallace, who has been behind the wheel of the #1 Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts Dodge for Phoenix Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2006, will remain with Phoenix Racing for the next three seasons, but instead he will be piloting the #7 GEICO Chevrolet.  Phoenix Racing and Wallace have experienced considerable success together and they are looking to help GEICO get their race program back on track and put the GEICO car up front in the NASCAR Busch Series. 

A restrictor plate specialist, Wallace went from fifth to first on the final lap in the Winn-Dixie 250 in Daytona on July 2, 2004, and passed Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jason Leffler coming out of Turn Four to score a NASCAR Busch Series victory at the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway.  While the win marked Wallace’s third at the famed tri-oval, it was the first for GEICO. zzzz

Mike Wallace is looking forward to reuniting with GEICO.

“I am extremely excited to be working with GEICO again,” Wallace said.  “We had a great relationship previously and we were able to experience success both on and off the race track.  I’m looking forward to being involved with their marketing program away from the track and producing good finishes on the track,” he continued.  “I am thankful for the opportunity they are giving me and I will do whatever I can to put the #7 GEICO Chevrolet up front each week.”

In regard to Phoenix Racing, Wallace said, “I’ve driven part-time for Phoenix Racing over the past couple years in both the Nextel Cup Series and the Busch Series and we always seem to run well together.  I enjoy working with James Finch, Marc Reno and the entire Phoenix Racing team and they always give me a great car that allows us to be really competitive.” 

Pecorari Lands ALMS Ride Pecorari Lands ALMS RideAston, PA - Adam Pecorari started the 2006 season with the goal of performing well in the IMSA Lites class in hopes that it would improve his chances to move up to the American Le Mans Series in 2007.

The rising star from Aston, Pa did more than just "perform well" in the IMSA Lites ranks, winning nine of ten races in the 2006 season and writing a new page in the record books

Pecorari's prowess in the Cape Motorsports IMSA Lites machine did not go unnoticed as he was able to land rides in the Grand Am Cup Series and the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge during the course of the season.

The wins and Poles that Pecorari amassed also caught the attention of ALMS driver and team owner Gunnar van der Steur.  The owner of the #19 EFC Systems, INC Radical SR 9 was impressed enough with the dominant performance to offer Pecorari a chance to drive his ALMS machine hot off the young driver's impressive dual wins at Road Atlanta. Van der Steur is confident that he made the right choice for his team as well as Pecorari. zzzz

"As far as I am concerned Adam has proven his ability to drive based on my observation from karting through IMSA Lites.  I wanted him to have an opportunity to prove that he is capable of driving with the best."

Adam understands that while he did his best to earn the chance with his on track success, this is an incredible opportunity afforded him by van der Steur.

"First and foremost I have to thank Gunnar van der Steur for making this race possible. I think Gunnar's interest shows the potential of the IMSA Lites Series in developing drivers to be the next ALMS pilots."

Pecorari will join van der Steur and Ben Devlin behind the wheel of the LMP2 car at the next stop on the ALMS schedule, Laguna Seca. The team will be shooting for a return to the podium after three straight top five finishes in just five starts in 2006.

"I just hope we can go out there and race for a podium and prove to Gunnar that he made the right move picking me as a driver for his team.  Obviously I am looking forward to jumping into the Radical for the first time at Laguna Seca."

There will be many interested eyes following Pecorari's progress as the first graduate of the IMSA Lites Series to earn a start in the American Le Mans Series. Up and coming drivers will be watching to see how IMSA Lites stacks up as the development series for ALMS while existing teams will also be interested in seeing how prepared an IMSA Lites driver is for the rigors of an ALMS race.

Tim Mayer, COO of the American Le Mans Series and IMSA has had his eye on both Adam and the IMSA Lites Series since the start of the season and is thrilled with the progress both have made in such a short time.

“Adam’s success, and the opportunity to run in the American Le Mans Series, is proof positive of the value of having a series like the IMSA Lites. We are very proud of Adam’s achievement, and very grateful to the Van der Steurs for providing the opportunity.”

Aston Martin Racing banks on Jefferies Aston Martin Racing banks on JefferiesThe Aston Martin Racing team and US-based investment bank, Jefferies & Company Inc, have become official partners. In addition to focusing on the team's competitiveness, the partnership will support certain charities and their related causes.

Jefferies is supporting the team as it heads for the last round of the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca. This final race is crucial for Aston Martin Racing as the team remains a competitor for the championship at this race.

Jefferies is one of the world's leading investment banks and institutional securities firms serving growth and mid-sized companies and their investors. John Sinders, Managing Director and head of Jefferies transportation, oil services and infrastructure group, sees great benefit for his global business in working with an internationally-recognized brand like Aston Martin Racing. He said: "This partnership brings together two leading global companies who share a passion for performance and perfection. Not only will we work together to provide much needed financial support for Bridge House and the new Oxford Children's Hospital, but we aim to help the team towards another win at Laguna Seca and a possible championship victory." zzzz

David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin Racing, said: "Aston Martin Racing has great appeal to partners and sponsors in all sorts of business sectors. Jefferies understands the benefits an association with such a prestigious global brand as Aston Martin Racing can bring, both on events, and through related activities with its staff and customers. We will work with them to maximize the benefits for our association."

Established in 1957, Bridge House is a Non Profit, substance abuse treatment centre. It is one of the largest treatment facilities of its kind in Louisiana and has been instrumental in the rebuilding of New Orleans. The mission of Bridge House is to facilitate positive change by teaching the principles of recovery and offering a therapeutic work environment that teaches clients discipline, ethics and marketable job skills. www.bridgehouse.com

Due to open in January 2007, Oxford Children's Hospital will be one of only a handful of specialized children's care facilities in Great Britain. The hospital's mission is to provide the very best medical care and all specialized children services in one facility, in a cheerful and family-friendly environment with playrooms, classrooms and IT facilities to make time spent in hospitals easier for children and their families. For more information see www.chox.org.uk Aston Martin Racing

Q and A with Michelin's Shorrock on tires for Brazil Q and A with Michelin's Shorrock on tires for BrazilMichelin's F1 program director, Nick Shorrock, shares his thoughts on the Japanese Grand Prix, and the forthcoming title decider in Brazil...

Q: Nick, a week on from Suzuka, how have you analyzed the Japanese Grand Prix?
NS: We need to consider the weekend's events in chronological order. On Friday, rain disrupted our running, but we were still able to run in dry conditions during the final ten minutes of the afternoon. We were pretty pleased, and our cars were competitive. However, we didn't have any information about the consistency over longer runs. So with our partners, we planned a major series of tests for Saturday morning. All our cars ran with lots of fuel, and that's why we didn't look competitive at certain points in the session.

Q: What were you expecting before qualifying?
NS: After the third practice session, we knew that our rivals had a significant performance advantage, and could not explain it. However, in spite of this, our partners teams, including Renault, decided to focus on the race. We drew a line under qualifying, and our choices were designed to optimize our race performance as we knew our tires were consistent. Our work on Saturday morning had shown us that the tires had the same characteristics as we observed during our testing in Silverstone.

Q: So were you optimistic for Sunday?
NS: Yes and no. We didn't have a good night! We could not explain the gap to the Bridgestone tires over one lap. However, when the race began, we were on the same pace as Ferrari, and perhaps even a little faster as Fernando was catching Michael when his engine failed. The track temperatures had cooled by a few degrees and our tires, particularly the prime tires, were then in their optimum operating window. That was a first explanation. And the conditions also caused some graining problems for Ferrari... zzzz

Q: What tires are you preparing for Brazil?
NS: We are finalizing the specifications at the moment, and we will go to Brazil with ten different types of tire. They need to respond to some very specific challenges, as the region around Interlagos can hold some surprises in terms of the weather. The track surface is not as abrasive as Suzuka, so we have chosen medium hardness tires. We also visited the circuit in early September, and saw that the asphalt had not changed significantly relative to 2005. Three short portions will have been resurfaced, and that should not have a major impact.

Q: Renault is leading both championships. Can you afford to be cautious?
NS: I don't think so. Of course, we will not go extremely aggressive, as we did with some of our tires in Magny-Cours for example. But we need to perform well, and we have been talking a lot with Pat Symonds. The tires will need to be spot on, and if they are not, we will pay a heavy price in lap-time.

Q: It will also be a special weekend for Michelin, as it is the company's last race before leaving F1...
NS: That's true. Psychologically, it will be an important weekend, and a difficult one too. We will certainly be a little more tense, although the result in Suzuka means we are calmer than we would otherwise have been. But anything can still happen, and nothing has been won yet - far from it. We will feel a little sad after the race, but we hope that the result will put a smile on our face. In addition to our usual teams, we will be inviting 30 of our personnel who have made a major contribution to Michelin's success in F1.

Q: Whatever happens in Brazil, it has been a fabulous season, hasn't it?
NS: Yes. We should really pay tribute to our competitors, whose teamwork has pushed us like never before. And Flavio and Pat Symonds have pushed us hard at times too! Winning is one thing. But to win after such a hard battle would be even better. We are determined to finish as champions.
Q and A with Jimmie Johnson Q and A with Jimmie Johnson
YOU'VE HAD A FEW DAYS TO REFLECT ON THE TALLADEGA RACE. WHAT'S YOU'RE INTERPRETATION NOW? "It's racing. It's like I've said all along. I know it wasn't intentional. We had a great opportunity to make up some points. But life goes on. We've got to worry about this weekend. Last weekend is last weekend, and it's all good."

HAVE YOU AND BRIAN VICKERS TALKED? "Yeah, we talked and everything's fine."

WITH THE PROBLEMS THAT YOU AND JUNIOR AND JEFF BURTON HAD LAST WEEK THAT SCRAMBLED THE POINTS, ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT NOBODY HAS TAKEN TOTAL CONTROL OF THE CHASE? "No, not really. In looking back at the Chase, every year I've been in it so far, it's been real unpredictable. I think you get so used to the points over a 26-race period of time, it's hard almost after 26 races to move very far in the points. But when you only have a 10-race stretch, you can move a lot in one race with just a little bit of points. I think we forget about that part of it."

WHEN YOU WERE HERE IN MAY, IT WAS VERY HOT. THIS WEEKEND, IT WILL BE MUCH COOLER. DOES THE WEATHER MATTER? "It doesn't make a huge difference. It's a little more comfortable inside the car when it's cooler outside. We can get a little bit more out of the engines and out of the downforce package on the car, but I don't think it's really going to change the race much."

DO YOU THINK THE NASCAR SEASON IS TOO LONG? "Oh yeah. I think everybody feels it's too long. And I'm a driver and have a lot of benefits that the crew members don't get. I get time off during the week. I have a great travel situation and have a motor home to sleep in here that's gives me a sense of home. It's a lot harder on the crew guys. But I think we all know there is no way we're going to get any time off." zzzz

WITH SIX RACES TO GO, HOW DO YOU LOOK AT YOUR CHANCES? "I really just have to go out and do all that I can and score as many points as possible and see how it falls into place. We're pretty far out and it's going to be tough to make up the deficit that we have. But the way this Chase has started and the way every year the Chase has been that I've been a part of it, it's so unpredictable. Anything can happen. Just when somebody looks like they're safe and secure, something crazy happens and they lose a lot of points. So I'm just going to do all that I can and see what happens."

DOES THE SITUATION YOU'RE IN RIGHT NOW CAUSE YOU TO TAKE MORE RISKS? "We're in a no-pressure situation. We have nowhere to go but up. And if we were leading the points, we'd be more worried about protecting right now. And we're not in that situation."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT AT MARTINSVILLE NEXT WEEKEND? "I can't wait to get back. That's been a great race track for me. I think it's a chance where I can score some points on some of the guys like Matt Kenseth and maybe (Jeff) Burton - even though Burton has been strong there. I really like the track and I think it's a chance for me to get some points."

TALLADEGA IS A WILD CARD. DO YOU LOOK AT MARTINSVILLE THE SAME WAY? "At Martinsville, you can't get away from anybody. You have a chance to get caught up in somebody else's wreck or somebody else's problem and take you out of a good points day. So I do look at it as a wild card race. I'm excited to go there. We usually run really well at Martinsville."

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RICKY CARMICHAEL JOINING MB2 MOTORSPORTS? "I think it's awesome. I've known Ricky for a long time and am a fan of his on top of knowing him. I think it's a great move. And I'm happy to hear that he's going to be patient and just try to get some seat time in doing what he needs to do in a stock car and Late Model experience and ARCA and Truck. Racing is racing to a large degree, but you need to understand the vehicles and understand the tracks and how to go fast in those vehicles. Coming off of motorcycles myself, along with knowing Rick Johnson real well, and other guys who are trying to go from two wheels to four, it's tough for them because they're used to training harder and physically manhandling the bike more to go faster on two wheels. In a car you can't do that. Once you learn how to adjust the car and what to look for you can take off. I would expect after a couple of years he'll be in great shape."

WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY DRIVERS FROM OTHER SERIES ARE COMING TO NASCAR? "It's an awesome sport. It's very inviting for everyone because there is a lot of racing. There is money in this sport and it's the strongest sport in America. For somebody like Ricky (Carmichael), I know he's been a fan of NASCAR racing his whole life, and as a two-wheeled rider, you know that your career is really pretty short and you can't really get into your 30's and continue racing on the dirt. The biggest sport in the country is right here."

REGARDING DRIVER DEVELOPMENT, DO YOU THINK THEY'RE LOOKING AT OTHER FORMS OF RACING NOW BECAUSE THE BUSCH SERIES ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE? "I think everybody will go through Busch at some point. Busch right now, is Cup junior in a sense. You've got all the major powerhouses in there dominating the sport and it's tough to just throw a guy into a car for a Busch Series race or two and expect him to learn it out there. You have to go back a little further starting in ARCA and Trucks - even in Late Model racing and get some of these guys some experience before they go to Busch because Busch is so intense now." GM Racing

Edwards Signs with Forsythe for 2007 Edwards Signs with Forsythe for 2007John Edwards, the 15 year old racing driver and 2004 winner of the Red Bull Driver Search, has extended his contract with Red Bull and signed with Forsythe Racing to drive in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship in 2007.  Just as in 2006, the 2007 Atlantic series champion will earn a bonus of $2 million to be used toward competing in the Champ Car World Series in 2008.  The Atlantic series features the Swift 016.a Atlantic car powered by a 300-horsepower Mazda-Cosworth racing engine.  The series attracts talented participants from across the globe and has emerged as one of the final steps of the ladder to the highest levels of motorsports competition. The 34th season in 2007 once again promises to showcase the emerging racing stars of the future.  The championship has a long and successful history of graduating champions including Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve, as well as the 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champion, A.J. Allmendinger.  Edwards is looking forward to following in the footsteps of these previous champions. John Edwards PR
Gilliland to run for Team Rensi in Busch Gilliland to run for Team Rensi in BuschDavid Gilliland will run 25 races for Team Rensi Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007, Team Rensi President Ronnie Russell confirmed Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway.  Gilliland drives in the Nextel Cup Series for Robert Yates Racing, which is a partner with Rensi. Gilliland will run the Nextel Cup companion races in the No. 25 Ford as a teammate to Bobby Hamilton Jr.
50 Cup drivers to test at Homestead 50 Cup drivers to test at HomesteadWith the season’s biggest honor yet to be determined, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams will invest three days next week preparing for the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Ford 400 on Nov. 19 marks the end of the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – the 10-race stretch that began Sept. 17 at New Hampshire International Speedway and culminates in south Florida that Sunday. Along the way, the standings’ top 10 drivers have continued to battle during the season’s final events; five races will remain when they arrive for next week’s test.

And the stakes are extremely high. zzzz

Drivers compete for Chase berths through the season’s first 26 events. Following race No. 26 at Richmond International Raceway, the top 10 drivers and any within 400 points of the leader earn the right to battle for the series title over the final 10 races.

But non-Chase participants also have plenty of testing incentive next week. The race for 11th place, which merits season-ending recognition during Champion’s Week in New York in December, is among the positions yet to be decided throughout the series standings. Finishing strong at Homestead-Miami also means fostering important momentum for 2007.

The Homestead-Miami test marks the final of six designated 2006 tests for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams. This year, NASCAR instituted a new testing policy to encourage a more level field of competition and help teams be more cost efficient, with these six tests (Daytona, Las Vegas, Richmond, Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Homestead-Miami) the only opportunities for teams to test at NASCAR NEXTEL Cup tracks.

Fifty drivers are scheduled to participate next week at Homestead-Miami, beginning Monday and ending Wednesday.

MIS race completes 17-race IRL schedule MIS race completes 17-race IRL scheduleThe IndyCar® Series will return to Michigan International Speedway next season, completing the IndyCar Series' 2007 calendar.

The 400-mile event at Michigan International Speedway, the 13th race in the 17-race schedule, will be held on Sunday, Aug. 5.

"Michigan International Speedway showcases the high-speed excitement and drama of the IndyCar Series, so we look forward to our return in 2007," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "Roger Curtis and his staff have been great partners during the scheduling process, and their flexibility allowed us to put together the most diverse schedule in all of motorsports. We have now closed out our schedule for 2007 in a manner that allowed us to achieve two primary goals: return all 14 of the races from the 2006 schedule, while adding three events."

Michigan International Speedway is the only two-mile track currently on the IndyCar Series' 2007 schedule. The D-shaped oval configuration of MIS has played host to two of the 13-closest finishes in series history and three of the 10 fastest races, including Helio Castroneves' victory in 2006 - the fourth-fastest race in series history.  zzzz

"Michigan International Speedway is one of the most exciting venues on the IndyCar Series schedule," said Roger Curtis, president of Michigan International Speedway. "The track action and the wheel-to-wheel excitement for 400 miles are just two of the things that make this track so historic."

The 2007 event will be the sixth IndyCar Series event at Michigan International Speedway and will be the 55th Indy-style race at MIS. Winners of past IndyCar Series races include Tomas Scheckter, Buddy Rice and Helio Castroneves, while Michael Andretti, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Bobby Rahal, Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, Tom Sneva, Danny Sullivan and Nigel Mansell are just some of the Indy-style winners at MIS.

"Tradition, history and loyalty are all part of what makes MIS great," Curtis said. "While we had originally planned to hold the IndyCar Series race during what has been a traditional July date for us, we want to do our part to help the IndyCar Series grow and hope the race fans will, too. This is a one-time only scenario for us and we truly appreciate the support that race fans give us and motorsports year-round."

The complete 2007 IndyCar Series schedule, featuring 12 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, follows:

March 24 Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1.5-mile oval (Night)
April 1 Streets of St. Petersburg, 1.8-mile street course
April 21 Twin Ring Motegi, 1.5-mile oval
April 29 Kansas Speedway, 1.5-mile oval
May 27 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.5-mile oval
June 3 The Milwaukee Mile, 1-mile oval
June 9 Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile oval (Night)
June 24 Iowa Speedway, .875-mile oval
June 30 Richmond International Raceway, .75-mile oval (Night)
July 8 Watkins Glen International, 3.37-mile road course
July 14 Nashville Superspeedway, 1.33-mile oval (Night)
July 22 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, 2.258-mile road course
Aug. 5 Michigan International Speedway, 2-mile oval
Aug. 11 Kentucky Speedway, 1.5-mile oval (Night)
Aug. 26 Infineon Raceway, 2.4-mile road course
Sept. 2 The Raceway at Belle Isle, 2.096-mile street course
Sept. 9 Chicagoland Speedway, 1.5-mile oval
ALMS titles on line at Laguna Seca ALMS titles on line at Laguna SecaBraselton, Ga. - To say that the final race of the 2006 American Le Mans Series is a microcosm of the entire season would be more than a fair statement. The racing has been tight, finishes close and the suspense overwhelming at times. The Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca offers one final time for teams to make their championship bids.

Heading into the 2006 finale, seven championships remain up for grabs - three drivers titles, two team crowns and one each in the tire and manufacturer ranks. It all points to one of the all-time classics in Monterey, which will see the cars and stars of the American Le Mans Series race for four hours into darkness.

The GT1 clash between Corvette Racing and Aston Martin has been the focus for much of the 2006 season. Two of the most prestigious names in the auto industry, the two titans will face off one more time in a winner-take-all round - sort of. zzzz

In the fight for the driver's championship, Corvette's Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta lead Aston Martin's Tomas Enge by 11 points. As long as the No. 4 Corvette C6.R completes 70 percent of the overall winner's total of laps, Gavin and Beretta will win their second straight class championship. If they fail to reach 70 percent, Enge will win the championship as long as he and Darren Turner finish the race. Stephane Sarrazin of Aston Martin and Corvette's Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell also remain alive, though barely.

The team championship is a bit simpler. Corvette Racing will clinch the team championship (as will Chevrolet in the manufacturers rank and Michelin in the tire championship) if one of its two cars finishes first or second. If both Corvettes fail to finish and one Aston Martin finishes, the team and auto manufacturers titles will go to Aston Martin and the tire crown to Pirelli.

If both Aston Martins finish 1-2 and at least one of the Corvettes finishes 70 percent of the race the two teams would tie for the championship as both teams would have the same number of wins. The next tiebreaker is the number of eligible runner-ups - simply put, races where the team's best result was second place.

"We're not interested in sharing the championship," Gavin said. "Our focus is on winning. You can't have half a cup or half a trophy."

GT2: Closer Than Ever
The driver and team championships in GT2 are even tighter than in GT1 Flying Lizard Motorsports' Johannes van Overbeek leads defending champion Jorg Bergmeister of Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing by 4 points after nine rounds. There are all sorts of scenarios that could happen.

If Bergmeister and Patrick Long win, and van Overbeek and Wolf Henzler finish second then Bergmeister will repeat as champion on the basis of most wins (his four versus van Overbeek's one). From that point on, van Overbeek would win the championship as long as the No. 45 Porsche finishes one spot behind the No. 31 entry. If Bergmeister finishes fourth or better and two spots ahead of van Overbeek, the German will be champion.

In the team standings, Risi Competizione leads by 6 points over Flying Lizard and 10 over Petersen/White Lightning. If one of the Risi Ferraris finishes first or second, it clinches the team title no matter where the Porsches finish. Flying Lizard can win the team title with a victory and third-place finish by Risi or a runner-up finish by the Lizards and fifth-place Risi result.

For Petersen/White Lightning to win its second straight championship, it must win the race plus have Risi finish fourth or worse and Flying Lizard finish second or worse.

Rossi, then Stoner fastest in Portugal practice Rossi, then Stoner fastest in Portugal practiceUPDATE Combined practice times:

1. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 38.218 secs
2. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 38.268 secs
3. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 38.337 secs
4. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 38.503 secs
5. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 38.568 secs
6. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 38.779 secs
7. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 38.815 secs
8. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 38.826 secs
9. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 39.007 secs
10. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 39.161 secs
11. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 39.217 secs
12. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 39.637 secs *
13. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 39.907 secs
14. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 40.096 secs
15. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 40.214 secs
16. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 40.504 secs *
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 40.661 secs
18. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 41.146 secs
19. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 42.096 secs
20. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 42.319 secs

10/13/06 Valentino Rossi got off to the perfect start to his Portuguese Grand Prix weekend by setting the fastest time in the opening practice session at Estoril.

Championship leader Nicky Hayden - who leads Rossi by 12 points in the rider standings - was fourth quickest on his Repsol Honda.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 39.398 secs
2. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 39.637 secs
3. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 39.654 secs
4. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 39.798 secs
5. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 40.099 secs
6. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 40.240 secs
7. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 40.261 secs
8. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 40.379 secs
9. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 40.404 secs
10. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 40.504 secs
11. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 40.657 secs
12. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 40.759 secs
13. Sete Gibernau SPA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 40.824 secs
14. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 41.005 secs
15. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 41.336 secs
16. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 41.808 secs
17. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 42.729 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 43.264 secs
19. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 43.424 secs
20. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 44.434 secs

Penske team caught cheating Penske team caught cheatingUPDATE The right-rear shock on Kurt Busch's car failed to decompress during post-qualifying inspection, causing his qualifying time to be disallowed Thursday, Penske Racing South President Don Miller said.  Busch had qualified third-quickest in the field but will now have to start 42nd in the Bank of America 500 on Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"What probably happened, either a shim broke or something got loose inside the shock to bind it up because it wasn't moving in either direction," Miller said Friday morning. "It won't go up, and it won't go down."

Miller said NASCAR has the shock and eventually will dissect it to figure out what happened.

"I don't think we gained any advantage, but that's the rule," Miller said. "They were right, and we were wrong." Scenedaily.com

10/13/06 Kurt Busch had posted the third-fastest speed in qualifying at 189.713 mph but will start 42nd in Saturday night's Nextel Cup race at Lowe's.   Kurt Busch's qualifying time was disallowed because the right-rear shock on the No. 2 Penske Racing South Dodge "did not conform to the NASCAR rules," NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter said Thursday night. Additional penalties are "possible," Hunter said.
track news
IRL gets its MIS date IRL gets its MIS dateBROOKLYN, Mich. — Michigan International Speedway has added an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series race to its 2007 schedule, speedway President Roger Curtis announced today.  The race will be held on Sunday, Aug. 5. 

“Michigan International Speedway and our fans have been loyal supporters of open-wheel racing since 1968, and we look forward to continuing that tradition with the IndyCar Series in 2007,” speedway President Roger Curtis said.

The Indy Racing League had originally agreed that it would race its IndyCar Series at MIS on July 22, but asked MIS to move the event to Aug. 5 to accommodate new venues for the series in 2007.  The August race date at MIS is expected to be for one year only.

“MIS is one of the most exciting venues on the IRL’s schedule.  The track action and the wheel-to-wheel excitement for 400 miles are just two of the things that make this track so historic,” Curtis said. “The loyalty of our ticket holders and their enthusiasm for the series is also what makes MIS so unique.” zzzz

MIS is the only two-mile track currently on the Indy Racing League’s 2007 schedule. The D-shaped oval configuration of MIS makes the high-speed racing both exciting and dramatic from start to finish.

But it may be its open-wheel history that MIS is known for.  The 2007 IndyCar Series event will be the 55th open-wheel race at MIS.  Winners of past open-wheel races here include Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000; Michael Andretti in 1987 and 1989; and his father Mario Andretti in 1980 and twice in 1984.  Rick Mears, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Bobby Rahal, Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, Tom Sneva, Danny Sullivan and Nigel Mansell are just some of the open-wheel champions at MIS.  

“Tradition, history and loyalty are all part of what makes MIS great,” Curtis said. “While we had originally planned to hold the IndyCar Series race during what has been a traditional July date for us, we want to do our part to help the Indy Racing League grow its product and hope the race fans will, too. This is a one-time only scenario for us and we truly appreciate the support that race fans give us and motorsports year-round.” 

Race fans who had renewed tickets for the originally scheduled July 22 race will be contacted in the following weeks about how their ticket accounts will be handled for the new August 5 date.  

Here’s the rest of the speedway’s 2007 race schedule:

June 15            ARCA RE/MAX Series
June 16            NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
June 17            NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Aug. 5              IRL IndyCar Series
Aug. 18            NASCAR Busch Series
Aug. 19            NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

Deposits for the 2007 season are being accepted until Friday, Dec. 15 by calling the MIS ticket office at 1-800-354-1010. Deposits can be redeemed starting Jan. 3, 2007. Placing a deposit allows customers to purchase tickets after the renewal process but before they go on sale to the public. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007.  For additional information, call the MIS Ticket Hotline at
1-800-354-1010. MIS

Summerton and Kimball in top 6 at Le Mans Summerton and Kimball in top 6 at Le MansAmerican Jonathan Summerton qualified his ASL Mucke Motorsport Dallara F305 Mercedes in 4th position for tomorrows first (of two) F3 Euroseries races at the LeMans Bugatti circuit this weekend. Another American, Charlie Kimball will start Race One from row 3 (6th on the grid) in his Signature-Plus Dallara F305 Mercedes. Kimball has been on the podium twice in the last three races, winning at Zandvoort and finishing second in Barcelona three weeks ago. Richard Antinucci, winner of the Barcelona race, only managed a low 14th spot for Saturday's race. Pole for Saturday's race went to Dutch driver Guido van der Garde in his ASM run Dallara F305 Mercedes. Saturday afternoon Race One will start at 12:20 PM local time.
Williams cars slower with Toyota power Williams cars slower with Toyota powerWell it wasn't the Cosworth engines they were using.  The Williams cars are now even slower with Toyota engines, some 2 seconds per lap slower than the BMW in Friday testing at Jerez.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. Kubica BMW-Sauber (M) 1.17.562 104
 2. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) 1:19.634 65
 3. Karthikeyan Williams-Toyota (B) 1:19.986 81

NASCAR Talladega TV rating down NASCAR Talladega TV rating downUPDATE The final TV rating for last Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Talladega was a 4.8/10 share, down almost 10% from last year's 5.3/11 share final rating.

10/10/06 The overnight NBC TV rating for the NASCAR UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Sunday was a 4.3/9 share, down 7% from last year's 4.6/9 share overnight rating.
7-Eleven backs Red Bull team 7-Eleven backs Red Bull teamQuietly it seems that convenience store chain 7-Eleven has become an associate sponsor for the Red Bull team, shown here with Robert Doornbos at the wheel in Suzuka, Japan last weekend.
Ilmor X3 MotoGP Challenger revealed Ilmor X3 MotoGP Challenger revealedThe Ilmor team held a press conference to unveil the bike with which they will make their World Championship debut in the final two races of 2006. The press room at the Estoril circuit was packed to the rafters with journalists and members of rival teams, as they heard from the men behind the radically designed X3 machine: Mario Illien, Eskil Suter, Steve Miller and their rider for these two events, former GP winner Garry McCoy. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, also welcomed the project into MotoGP.

The X3 is a V4 800cc machine, and is being run in preparation for next year’s change in regulations when the premier class of MotoGP will see maximum engine capacity reduced from 990cc. Famed for his high performance car engines which have seen him win many races in the past, Mario Illien in particular seemed excited about the challenge ahead. The Swiss engineer warned however, “Don’t expect too much from us in these two races.” He also made public plans to have two riders on the grid next year, depending on sponsorship deals that have yet to be finalized.

The project’s experience in motorcycles comes from former 250cc rider and chassis engineer Eskil Suter, who previously designed frames for Kawasaki. Meanwhile McCoy, the experienced Australian who won in Portugal six years ago in the premier class, will be key to the team’s development in the final races of the 2006 season. Ilmor Managing Director Steve Miller was also on hand to unveil the new bike. zzzz

Mario Illien - Owner, Ilmor Engineering: "Over the years I have closely followed MotoGP, I had an interest in it and always tried to attend at least a couple of races every season – I was instantly fascinated by the sport and the technology the teams use, for me it was particularly interesting when the teams switched to four-stroke engines, so it’s something I have always liked and I was looking for a way to participate. I would like to thank Carmelo Ezpeleta for giving us this fantastic opportunity to come here with the X³, it’s very early in the project program for us and we are on a steep learning curve so please don’t expect too much – we are here in Estoril this weekend to learn and most importantly prepare ourselves for next year to be as competitive as possible."

Garry McCoy: "I’m really happy that Ilmor has given me the opportunity to be here, they needed someone with a bit of experience and hopefully we can develop the bike together and put it where it needs to be. It’s early days and we’re just going to go out there and do the best we can, we will continue developing and testing to get it perfect. The bike is so different, there’s really nothing else out there that compares to it."

Carmelo Ezpeleta - CEO Dorna Sports: "For us the presentation of Ilmor as a new MotoGP team is very important. I have been talking with Mario about this for years and I even visited the Ilmor facility in Northampton - I was so impressed by the quality and the technology they have there but I wasn’t surprised given Ilmor’s background in other motorsports. It’s a very important moment for MotoGP, Ilmor is a very prestigious engineering company to have taken the decision to come to MotoGP and we wish them all the best. Of course they have a lot of hard work ahead of them compared to the well established teams but given all of Ilmor’s experience I think they will have a good chance next year to battle the other teams, to be in the middle or maybe even better than that. I wish them all the best." Dorna Sports

formula bmw
DELL is Official Partner of the Formula BMW World Final DELL is Official Partner of the Formula BMW World FinalMunich - When the top drivers in Formula BMW line up for the World Final on the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo from November 24 to 26, DELL will be on the grid with them. The company is the Official Partner of the event, which goes under the name of "DELL Formula BMW World Final 2006". Following the successful premiere of the World Final last year, the talented young racing drivers will be vying for a unique prize for the second time round - a Formula One test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

DELL and BMW are united by a longstanding partnership. As far back as 1999, the year BMW won the Le Mans 24-hour race, the DELL logo was emblazoned on the winning BMW V12 LMR. At the Nurbürgring 24 Hours of 2005, when the two BMW M3 GTRs took home a one-two victory, DELL was also involved as a partner of Team BMW Motorsport.

The world's leading provider of products and services for internal IT and internet infrastructures has been actively supporting the promotion of up-and-coming young racing drivers in Formula BMW Germany since 2005. Involvements with BMW Team Germany in the World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC) and as Official Partner of the BMW Sauber F1 Team round off the connection between BMW Motorsport and DELL. zzzz

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, "DELL and BMW are united by a very high level of efficiency as well as an extremely sophisticated standard for quality and individuality in their own product ranges. We're very pleased that we will be able to continue the successful cooperation of the past at the DELL Formula BMW World Final."

Patrick Swoboda, Manager Global Alliances, DELL GmbH, adds, "As a partner of Formula BMW Germany for many years, we are pleased to be able to support talented junior racing drivers in this World Final as well. For our motorsport involvement we have found in BMW a company that has internalized the same ideals as DELL - a passion for top performance coupled with innovative power and a feel for the latest trends. We are certain that DELL and BMW together will deliver an exciting and eventful weekend in Valencia for the spectators, teams and drivers alike."

Based on the direct business model, DELL develops, produces and configures its products and services according to individual customer requirements and offers a comprehensive range of software and peripherals. Dell’s revenue in the last four quarters totaled 57.4 billion US dollars. It ranks 25th in the Fortune 500 list.

Bill Elliott slams NASCAR, NASCAR offended Bill Elliott slams NASCAR, NASCAR offendedUPDATE NASCAR executives were taken aback by complaints from Bill Elliott, in his new autobiography, about NASCAR's safety policies, and they say the sport's record speaks for itself. Since NASCAR undertook a major expansion of its safety programs after the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt, there have been no drivers killed in any of NASCAR's national touring series.

But Elliott, in his book, said NASCAR should have a regular medical trauma unit, with trained specialists, that travels the entire circuit. Elliott said his wife, 10 years ago, had found a doctor willing to head such a team and that the NASCAR Wives Auxiliary was willing to pay for that project, but NASCAR rejected the offer. Elliott, saying he believes NASCAR passed on the project because of liability risks, said "I think NASCAR and the France family are sticking their heads in the sand" on the issue.

Elliott also calls on NASCAR to make the interior of the race cars larger, saying it is difficult to get out of one in an emergency.

The idea of a traveling medical team has been long discussed and debated, for perhaps nearly 15 years, and Darby said the organization stands by its long-time policy that local doctors and local medical staffs best know how to deal with emergencies.

"Our position on that hasn't changed since we investigated that and put what we have in place, years ago," Darby said. "Every area we go into, we have the best facility in that area, and the best doctors. We still believe the folks who live and operate at a facility five, six, seven days a week, are going to know better the resources available than just one person hopscotching across the country ... even if that's legal to do. As a physician travels from state to state to state, there are certificates and licenses involved.

"I know what we've done and I know what we do and I know what we continue to do, and I think our results speak for themselves. Our efforts are unparalled to any other motorsports series in the world." Winston Salem Journal

10/12/06 Former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, for years the series most popular driver with the fans, has slammed NASCAR on safety and its response to the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt.

In a new book, ``Awesome Bill from Dawsonville: My Life in NASCAR,'' Elliott accuses NASCAR of not getting serious about long-standing safety concerns until after Earnhardt's fatal crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. He said "that's disrespectful to the memory of drivers such as Adam Petty, Tony Roper and Kenny Irwin, who died in on-track accidents in the months before Earnhardt. No one called for investigations or softer walls, or HANS devices when these drivers died. But when Dale Earnhardt died, NASCAR went full bore, head over heels on safety,'' Elliott writes. ``We ought not only address incidents that kill stars. Shame on NASCAR for letting a handful of good men die before finally addressing the problem after Dale died.''

He also used his book to criticize NASCAR for its continued reliance on local medical teams to provide emergency care at tracks. Other racing series, including Champ Car and IRL, have mobile trauma units and teams of doctors that travel to all races.

``Fans would be shocked to know how poor basic first aid is at many NASCAR tracks,'' Elliott writes.

``I've been in so-called safety meetings where all it is, is a Joe Blow local EMT who works that particular race because he gets a (garage) hot pass,'' Elliott writes. ``This is a true story: I had a guy after a wreck one time, a paramedic, who was riding with me in the ambulance. On the way to the hospital he actually asked me to autograph my oxygen mask for him.''

A lap of Interlagos with de la Rosa A lap of Interlagos with de la RosaMcLaren driver Pedro de la Rosa takes us on a lap around Interlagos, site of next weekend's F1 finale in Brazil.

Powering along the uphill start-finish straight at Interlagos, you reach some 316km/h in sixth gear, before braking hard as the track gradient drops sharply on the entrance to the Descida do Sol. Your speed drops to 103km/h in first gear as you negotiate the tight left, which provides the best opportunity for overtaking.

A flowing right-left sequence follows immediately, you push slightly on the throttle to increase your speed slightly through the right of the Senna 'S', which is taken at 143km/h in third gear, as is where the pit exit feeds back onto the track. The left of Curva do Sol that follows, is a long bend, which is usually quite bumpy, but is taken flat out, at 201km/h. It is important to increase your speed and take a good line through the corner as it swings you onto the long Reta Oposta straight.

Pushing hard on the throttle, you reach 310km/h in seventh gear, braking hard for the double apex of Descida do Lago, which is negotiated at 145km/h in second gear. The entrance to the first tight left provides another good overtaking opportunity. Exiting the second apex, which is very bumpy and should again be taken flat out to ensure you have speed on the exit, you blast along the short straight that leads to Ferra dura.

You brake from 288km/h in fifth gear to 192km/h in third to negotiate the difficult and slippery right hander which is off camber in the exit. Another short burst of power leads to a slow, tight right hander, which is taken in first gear, and is immediately followed by the second gear 98km/h left hand of Pinheirinho. Exiting in third gear, your speed builds up to about 160km/h before braking hard for the Bico de Pato hairpin, the slowest point on the track, which is taken in first gear at 81km/h.

The bumpy left hander of Mergulho follows, which can be taken flat out in qualifying at 235km/h in third, before braking hard for the important left hander of Juncão, which is taken in first gear at 114km/h. This leads you uphill through the long left hander of Subida do Boxes, which takes you back onto the long start-finish straight.

Audi hunt down records with TDI Power in USA Audi hunt down records with TDI Power in USAAudi has already won every title in the LM P1 class of the world’s most popular sportscar series going into the American Le Mans Series finale at Laguna Seca (California) on 21 October. The last race of the year for the Audi Sport North America team is nevertheless of great importance once again. The new Audi R10 TDI could actually achieve something that no other Le Mans Prototype has managed before: to win every race that it has contested in a single season – and this in the revolutionary Diesel sportscar’s début season.
The Audi R10 TDI has lined-up seven times on the grid since its debut in March 2006 and has taken the checkered flag on each occasion – powerful proof of the efficiency and reliability of Audi TDI Power from which more and more Audi customers’ benefit: More than half of all new Audis sold are already equipped with TDI engines with the tendency set to increase. The image of diesel engines in the USA has also started to change since the R10 TDI began its winning streak. The American fans speak of the "whispering revolution” because the powerful 650 hp V12-engine can hardly be heard. zzzz
The R10 TDI’s successful debut season now closes at one of America’s most picturesque circuits. Laguna Seca has achieved global fame through its spiraling "Cork Screw” section. However, the majority of the other corners around the "rollercoaster” track are also very challenging. Adding to this are the permanently changing weather conditions: In the morning Laguna Seca is often misty and cold, in the afternoon sunny and warm. Furthermore, fine sand from the nearby Pacific is constantly blown across the tarmac.
It is not only for this reason that the Audi drivers face an uphill struggle. In view of the steeply rising and falling sections, vehicle weight plays an even more important role at Laguna Seca than at previous races. The petrol powered LM P1 vehicles are allowed – in contrast to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – to compete with 65 kilograms less weight than the R10 TDI. Even the significantly lighter prototypes of the smaller LM P2 class will have a good chance of overall victory at Laguna Seca.
That’s why fans can eagerly look forward to a particularly exciting season ending sportscar race, which runs for four hours into evening dusk. Practice at Laguna Seca starts on Thursday. Qualifying is held on Friday afternoon, and the race starts on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. local time (11:45 p.m. German time). Dindo Capello/Allan McNish (Italy/Scotland) and Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro (Germany/Italy) go record hunting for Audi. The R10 TDI with start number 1 has a 3,000 mile trip behind it: It drove through Manhattan on the opening of the Audi Forum New York City.
Quotes before the race at Laguna Seca
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "We want to round off this extremely successful season with another good result for the Audi R10 TDI. It will, however, be extremely tough for us: We saw in Road Atlanta just how fast the petrol-powered LM P1 Prototypes, which weigh 65 kilograms less, are. At Laguna Seca the difference in weight should be even more noticeable.”
Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1): "Laguna Seca is an interesting track with a great reputation. There are many fantastic circuits in America but Laguna Seca is something very unique. It cuts a ‘rollercoaster’ ride through the countryside and then there is obviously the famous ‘Cork Screw’. We’ve had a lot of great races at Laguna Seca. This year it is our last chance of bringing home a good result.”
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1): "Laguna Seca is fantastic. There are two reasons why I’m looking forward to this race in particular: Firstly, we had a lot of bad luck at Road Atlanta and secondly with the many good races this year in America and the win at Le Mans we’ve had a great season, which we want to end in the best possible fashion. I’m curious to see just how good the R10 TDI will be at Laguna Seca. The circuit’s tarmac is smoother than at any other track in the series.”
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #2): "Laguna Seca is a legendary race track. The ‘Cork Screw’ is famous throughout the world. But this is not the only tricky section. There are many corners where you can win or lose a couple of tenths. You need a lot of mechanical grip at Laguna Seca and plenty of downforce to be quick. It will be extremely difficult for us to be at the front in Qualifying because our competitors are allowed to compete with so much less weight. Luckily however, the race is four hours long. I hope that the reliability of our R10 TDI will play a starring role.”
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #2): "I’ve always enjoyed racing at Laguna Seca. The circuit is fast and flowing. In addition to the ‘Cork Screw’ there is a whole host of corners that run into one another. The circuit has been re-surfaced. The Audi R8 was always good on ‘green’, new tarmac which shouldn’t be any different with the R10 TDI. Even though the Creation, Zytek and Lola will make life difficult for us, Dindo (Capello) and I want to end this fantastic year on the top step of the podium.”
Dave Maraj (Team Director Team Audi Sport North America): "Laguna Seca is one of the most picturesque circuits on the American Le Mans Series calendar and the conclusion of a fantastic year for us. Audi has demonstrated with the R10 TDI just what state-of-the-art diesel engines can do. But we are under no illusion about how tough the last race will be. It is a very difficult track for our cars and the competition will be very strong.”
The schedule at Laguna Seca
Thursday, 19 October
16:40 – 17:10 Test (LM P1 / P2)
17:10 – 18:10 Test (all classes)
18:10 – 18:40 Test (LM GT1 / GT2)
Friday, 20 October
09:50 – 10:50 Free Practice
13:40 – 14:40 Free Practice
14:50 – 15:10 Qualifying (LM GT1 / GT2)
15:20 – 15:40 Qualifying (LM P1 / P2)
Saturday, 21 October
10:20 – 10:45 Warm-up
14:45 – 18:45 Race (4 hours) Audi Motorsports
Industry News
Ford's Ethanol vehicles slammed Ford's Ethanol vehicles slammedAn auto industry watchdog group accused Ford Motor Co. Thursday of selling more than 200,000 Taurus and Sable cars with faulty ethanol-capable fuel systems, asking the federal government to impose $136 million in fuel economy penalties and force Ford to change its advertising.

Ford contends the vehicles meet all federal standards, and denies it has misled either the government or buyers. It also defended its use of fuel economy credits, saying the program has worked as Congress intended to create demand for E85, the blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Ethanol-capable vehicles have been the top environmental talking point for Ford and other Detroit automakers this year, as all three have committed to doubling their output of E85-ready vehicles to 2 million annually by 2010.

Public Citizen said in a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that Ford Tauruses and Mercury Sables from the 2003 to 2005 model years ran so poorly on 85% ethanol-blended fuel that they should not be considered flex-fuel vehicles, which earn extra credits under federal fuel economy standards. More at Detroit Free Press

De la Rosa, not Hamilton, to race in Brazil De la Rosa, not Hamilton, to race in BrazilMcLaren confirmed on Friday that Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will race for them in next week's Brazilian Grand Prix, ending any hope of McLaren young gun Lewis Hamilton making his Formula One debut this season.

"After the disappointing race we had in Suzuka, I am looking forward to getting back on track and working with the team to finish the year on a high," de la Rosa said in a team Brazil race preview.

"The test in Jerez this week has been positive, with a lot of the focus on tires with Michelin and as a result we feel confident we will be able to get more out of them at Interlagos."

The news is despite GP2 champion Hamilton's outpacing of de la Rosa on McLaren's second day of testing at Jerez on Thursday.

TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR Live! Concord, NC -Lowe's
12:00pm-1:00pm (L)  SPEED
Star Mazda  Road Atlanta 9/29/06 
1:00pm-2:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Angels  
1:30pm-2:00pm ABC
Speed World Challenge  Road Atlanta 9/29/06
2:00pm-3:00pm - Touring  SPEED
3:00pm-4:00pm - GT  SPEED
Tradin' Paint Concord, NC -Lowe's
4:00pm-4:30pm SPEED
NASCAR Performance  
4:30pm-5:00pm SPEED
USAC Thunder -Silver Crown  Kansas City 9/30/06
(As listed on The Outdoor Channel) 
5:00pm-6:00pm Outdoor Channel
NASCAR RaceDay Concord, NC -Lowe's
5:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup  Concord, NC -Lowe's Bank of America 500 
7:00pm-11:00pm (L) NBC
Victory By Design -Ferrari  
10:00pm-11:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Concord, NC -Lowe's
11:00pm-12:00am SPEED

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

Lexmark Indy 300 names new General Manager Lexmark Indy 300 names new General ManagerQueensland's premier event, the Lexmark Indy 300, has appointed Mr. Greg Hooton as its new General Manager.

Mr. Hooton is currently Vice President Events for IMG and has vast experience in development and delivery of major events throughout Australia and Asia Pacific.

IMG Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Mr. Martin Jolly said Mr. Hooton would take immediate management responsibility for the Lexmark Indy 300 held on the Gold Coast next week and the IMG Motorsport business in Asia Pacific.

"We are delighted Greg has agreed to take on this new role," said Jolly. "He brings exceptional event management skills to our motorsport portfolio having been a key architect in developing best practice policies and procedures within IMG events in the region."

Mr. Hooton's recent projects include: zzzz

Direct management responsibility for the presentation, marketing and implementation of a major international event for the Singapore Government.

Director of Operations for the Australian Pavilion at the 2005 World Expo, Aichi, Japan. This event attracted 18 million visitors with over 3 million attending the Australian pavilion over 6 months.

In Australia Greg has been involved with a broad range of IMG activities including:

Director Operations Sandown 500 V8 Supercar event in Melbourne.

Event Director for International Soccer Series in Australia.

Sponsorship relationship manager for the 2003 World Rugby Cup in Australia.

Event Director for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Business Manager for IMG Australia's Rosemount Fashion Week.

National business management of corporate hospitality sales division for all IMG Australia's major events.

"Greg will provide strong leadership to a very experienced and committed team and will help take the Event and the IMG Motorsport division to a new level in future years."

Lexmark Indy 300 Chairman, Mr. Terry Mackenroth, welcomed the appointment and said he and all members of the Partnership Management Committee, which oversees the event, look forward to working with Greg to ensure the event continues to grow.

"Greg joins us at an important time as we work to take the Lexmark Indy 300 forward after 16 successful years."

Mr. Hooton said he was delighted to be joining the Lexmark Indy 300 team and was very excited to be involved with such an iconic Queensland event.

"The Lexmark Indy 300 is a world class event and I'm looking forward to joining the team and again delivering a great experience for all involved."

Mr. Jolly also announced Mr. David Bennett, current Operations Manager for Lexmark Indy 300, had also been appointed General Manager, IMG Motorsport, Australia. IMG

Wirth to make Champ Car debut in Surfers Paradise Wirth to make Champ Car debut in Surfers ParadiseLooking back at his 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Season Andreas Wirth was anything but overjoyed by the results.   While he may have started out strong, bad luck and unfortunate racing incidents put a damper on his Championship dreams and the quest for the $2 million purse.   However, despite a less than picture perfect Atlantic season, Andreas Wirth has reason to celebrate as he's given the rare opportunity to run in the Champ Car World Series this year.

While Andreas Wirth's official season may have ended in Road America back in September, it seems it's not quite time for him to hang up his driving gloves and helmet for the year.   This talented young man has reason to rejoice as he watches his future unfold, and sees his Champ Car dream being realized one year early.   While it is typically traditional for the Atlantic Series Champion to run in the Champ Car grand finale, this year, in spite of his third place Atlantic finish, Andreas Wirth has been given the rare opportunity to compete in the penultimate round of 2006 Champ Car competition in Surfers Paradise, Australia with Dale Coyne Racing in the #19 Sonny's BBQ entry. zzzz

An elated Wirth recounts, "I still can't believe it … it doesn't even seem real!  I thought my chance to run a race in Champ Car this year was over back in Montreal when I was no longer in contention for the Atlantic title.   But now, thanks to Dale Coyne Racing, I'm getting to live the dream that I thought I'd lost.  I don't think it's possible to express how grateful I am for this opportunity - this is huge for me – and it really makes up for some of the disappointments this year.   I can't wait to get in a Champ Car again, and to race at Surfers Paradise will be awesome!  This is a big chance and I'm going to take this opportunity to learn as much as I can for next year, and for sure I'll do my very best for the team.   I really didn't think that this would happen this year!  This is completely amazing, and I don't think I can explain how excited I am!"

Regarding Andreas Wirth's run in the Champ Car Atlantic Series this year and the opportunity he now has to run in Champ Car, Forsythe Racing's VP of Operations, Neil Micklewright commented, "Andreas did a sterling job for Forsythe Atlantic this year.  He was strong out of the box, winning two commanding victories; was on the podium six times; finished in the top six, eight out of twelve races - and after some bad luck he finished third overall in the most competitive ever Championship year of the Atlantic Series.  Andreas is a real racer, and a determined and hard working young man.  And having seen him confidently handle a Forsythe Champ Car on a test day I'm very confident that he will do a fine job for Dale Coyne Racing and will reward their faith in him and the great opportunity I'm delighted that they have afforded him to run in Champ Car."

With less than two weeks to prepare for his first Champ Car race, Andreas Wirth's world has been turned upside down in a frenzy of excitement.   Looking forward to the weeks ahead and a very bright future, Andreas concluded, "I really can't thank Dale enough for this chance.   I think people tend to underestimate this team because they appear to have a high turnover rate, but in reality, these guys are always there giving young guys like me a chance.   It's tough to get a break in Champ Car, but this team always seems ready to give rookies a shot.  It's really cool to run my first race in Champ Cars with the same team that gave Paul Tracy his first shot as a rookie, and with any luck I'll be a success too.   I think it's impossible to express how grateful I am for this opportunity, but I hope that everyone at Dale Coyne Racing knows that this means everything to me – thank you so much!" Andreas Wirth PR

ALMS teams gunning for pit stop crown ALMS teams gunning for pit stop crownBraselton, Ga. - The drivers, teams and manufacturers of the American Le Mans Series aren't the only groups that will be fighting for championships next weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. For the second straight year, the track is site of the final round of the $100,000 Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge.

Four of the best pit crews in the American Le Mans Series paddock will compete in the final as part of the Monterey Sports Car Championships - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing, BMW Team PTG, Aston Martin Racing and defending champion Corvette Racing. The final (set for 11:30 a.m. PDT on Friday, Oct. 20) will consist of three phases of round-robin competition with the two teams with best total times advancing to the championship matchup.

"It is really exciting and an honor to be in the Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge finals," said Dennis Chizma, crew chief for Petersen/White Lightning. "The competition has really been stepping it up so winning would be an extra bonus to us. The stop at Road America was good but we think we have some time left in us. We need to concentrate at doing our best at that moment. We're just going to keep our heads down and keep working on it. It's really great that Klein has come in to support the crews like this." zzzz

The Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge puts the focus squarely on one of the most important facets in American Le Mans Series competition - the pit stop. A Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge stop involves teams racing against the clock in efforts to complete a full driver change, simulated refueling and four-tire change before the car storms out of its pit box.

Preliminary rounds were held at Lime Rock Park and Portland International Raceway in July with the semifinal at Road America in August.

http://www.kleintools.com Klein Tools is the Official Hand Tool of the American Le Mans Series. It is a family-owned and operated company which has been in business since 1857, designing, developing, producing and marketing worldwide quality tools and protective equipment to meet the demanding needs of trade professionals who earn a living with their tools. The company, which initially grew as the premier plier manufacturer for the telecommunications and electrical industries, offers hand tools used in construction, electronics, mining, electrical, communications, aviation, security, audio/video and other fields.

The final round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series is the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at 2:45 p.m. PDT on Saturday, October 21. SPEED will broadcast the race from 5:30 to 10 p.m. EDT on the same day. MotorsTV will broadcast the race in Europe starting at 10:30 p.m. UTC in England and 11:30 p.m. CET. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage, and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at http://www.americanlemans.com

tv news
IRL returns to Infineon IRL returns to InfineonThe IndyCar® Series will return to Northern California in 2007 with the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County at Infineon Raceway, series and raceway officials announced. The race will be held on Sunday, Aug. 26 and will be one of three permanent road-course events for the IndyCar Series in 2007.

"In just two years, Infineon Raceway has become a significant destination for our drivers and teams," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "We look forward to working with (Infineon Raceway president and general manager) Steve Page and his staff to continue to grow this event and give us a significant presence in the Northern California market."

The IndyCar Series made its debut on the 12-turn, 2.26-mile road course located at the gateway to the Sonoma Valley in 2005, marking the first permanent road course event in the series' history and the first major Indy-style race in 35 years at Infineon Raceway. zzzz

History was made again in 2006 when 19-year-old Marco Andretti claimed the victory on the road course to become the youngest driver to ever win a major open-wheel event.

"The sound of IndyCar Series cars rumbling through the hills has become an instant tradition in the Sonoma Valley," Page said. "We look forward to welcoming the stars of the Indianapolis 500 back to Infineon Raceway next summer."

The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will also feature a doubleheader of Indy Pro Series events. The Indy Pro Series will return for the third consecutive year and will feature events on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.
The IndyCar Series has announced the following 16 events for 2007 with one possible more to be added:

March 24 - Homestead-Miami Speedway*
April 1 - Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.*
April 21 - Twin Ring Motegi
April 29 - Kansas Speedway
May 27 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 3 - The Milwaukee Mile*
June 9 - Texas Motor Speedway
June 24 - Iowa Speedway*
June 30 - Richmond International Raceway
July 8 - Watkins Glen International*
July 14 - Nashville Superspeedway
July 22 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 11 - Kentucky Speedway*
Aug. 26 - Infineon Raceway
Sept. 2 - Raceway at Belle Isle
Sept. 9 - Chicagoland Speedway*

Rocketsports adds sponsor Rocketsports adds sponsorEAST LANSING, Michigan -  An unfamiliar-looking #18 Rocketsports Champ Car will roll off the plane in Australia, but a familiar name will be on display of the shiny new black and red Lola representing the continued partnership between Rocketsports and Lexington Energy Services. 

Canada's Lexington Energy Services Inc. co-Founders Brent Nimeck and Larry Kristof today announced the company's participation in the Champ Car World Series with Rocketsports Racing for the final two events of the 2006 schedule, in Australia and Mexico.

Lexington Energy Services, Inc. joined Rocketsports during Round Eight of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford in Edmonton as an associate sponsor on the #18 car which was driven by Tonis Kasemets.  For the Australia event, former-Formula One driver Antonio Pizzonia will return to the cockpit of the #18 car after making two Champ Car starts previously with the team.  zzzz

Lexington Energy Services will be the primary sponsor on the #18 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for the final two races on the 2006 Champ Car World Series schedule, which includes live viewer ship from two international audiences, Australia and Mexico, along with national and international television coverage all over the world.  Lexington is motivated by the connection to Australia and Mexico, and Brazil with Pizzonia, because they are all oil generating countries and see this opportunity as something to build on for the future as their Canadian-based company continues to grow.

"We (Lexington) participated with Rocketsports at the Edmonton event, and saw that Champ Car provided us with an excellent marketing platform to help bring awareness to our company." commented C.E.O. Kristof.  "We will take this next step of being a high profile participant in Australia and Mexico as a means of introducing ourselves to Energy Sector majors in those two countries.  Our direction is definitely towards extending our involvement with Paul Gentilozzi and his team of dedicated racing professionals."

Lexcore Services Inc. is poised to be Canada's fastest-growing energy service provider.  With 2 drilling rigs on contract for the winter of 2006, a Q1 in 2007, and 10 more drilling packages being bid on, Lexcore Services CBM /Oils Sands coring rigs are sure to set the standards in shallow drilling performance.  Lexcore Services Inc., with the newest fleet of drilling rigs, will continue to set the bench mark in Safe and Efficient drilling operations in Canada and abroad while delivering incredible results for shareholders, customers, and employees.

Lexcore is currently exploring drilling markets in Central and South America. "With our focus on safety and performance we feel the partnership between Rocketsports, Lexington and Champ car is a perfect fit," stated co-Founder Nimeck. Rocketsports

Industry News
Clean diesel fuel ready for USA debut Clean diesel fuel ready for USA debutThe US government has required US refiners to make fuel with less than 15 ppm of sulphur for use in road vehicles from next Sunday, 15 October. From then, the operators of the US’ 8m plus trucks and buses will be able to fill up with fuel that is 97% cleaner than the formulation it replaces, cutting soot emissions from any diesel vehicle by 10%, and from next January, when new diesel emissions limits come into force, by up to 95%, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Diesel Technology Forum.

They say a new 2007 diesel truck will emit just one-sixtieth the soot exhaust of one produced in 1988, and that the ULSD fuel will enable operators to install the sulphur-intolerant exhaust catalyst systems that can reduce particulate emissions by more than 90%. The new fuel will also ease the passage of advanced diesel cars into the US market, including Mercedes’ latest BlueTec model and Honda’s recently-announced forthcoming second-generation i-CDTI diesel.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment, while the Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean diesel technologies whose members include engine and vehicle manufacturers, diesel fuel refiners, and manufacturers of emissions control devices.

Motorcycle star to NASCAR Motorcycle star to NASCARRicky Carmichael, considered the greatest motocross racer of all time, is moving to NASCAR. He will join the Bobby Ginn-owned MB2 Motorsports operation, which fields Nextel Cup teams for Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin. 

Carmichael, a 15-time American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) national champion and holder of a record 144 career wins in Supercross and motocross, agreed to a multi-year contract with MB2, starting with the 2007 season.

Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2, said that Carmichael will compete in a developmental program next year that will include a combination of approximately 15 events in late model stock cars, ARCA and possibly the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Frye added that Carmichael's MB2 program will be accelerated in 2008.

"There were other teams showing interest in Ricky and we are thrilled that he decided to join MB2," said Ginn, who purchased majority interest in MB2 in July. "He brings to MB2 many intangible qualities which have made him one of the great champions in all of motorsports.” zzzz

“What’s even more remarkable is that he achieved a legendary record and is still in the prime of his racing career,” Ginn added. “He has both the physical and mental skills to make a successful transition from two wheels to four wheels."

Carmichael, 26, is also planning to run an abbreviated Supercross and motocross schedule next year with Team Makita Suzuki Racing.

"To race in NASCAR has always been a dream of mine," said Carmichael. "This is a new challenge and I have no illusions that the transition will be easy. I truly understand the difficulties that are ahead. But I am committed to do whatever it takes to eventually make it to the Cup series."

Carmichael, who was born in Clearwater, Fla. and currently resides in Tallahassee, Fla., announced earlier in the year that 2006 would be his final full-time season competing in Supercross and motocross.

"I am excited about joining MB2," Carmichael added. "After talking to Bobby (Ginn) it was evident to me that this is an organization with a strong commitment to compete at an elite level. It's a good fit and I can't wait to get started."

Since joining the AMA Motocross circuit full time in 1997, Carmichael has never lost an outdoor championship. He won three straight 125cc championships followed by seven consecutive 250cc titles. His record also includes five indoor AMA Supercross championships.

The 2006 season was the fifth time that Carmichael captured the double -- winning both the AMA Supercross and Motocross championships in the same year.

Next closest to Carmichael’s 144 career victories is Jeremy McGrath’s 89 overall wins.

Regarding his exit from full-time AMA competition, Carmichael said, "I plan to always ride some events in Supercross and motocross. The sport has been very good to me over the years."

Carmichael is competing in this weekend’s Supercross event in Las Vegas – the Rock Star Energy Drink U.S. Open.

Nearing retirement, Schu still fastest driver Nearing retirement, Schu still fastest driverMichael Schumacher, just one race shy of his retirement, continued to set the pace in testing at the Jerez circuit Thursday, clearly demonstrated that he still is the fastest driver in F1 today.

The seven-time world champion posted a quickest lap of 1:15.688, just 0.033 seconds off the track record, set by himself in 2004 with a V10-powered car that had some 200 more HP.

The slowest driver remains, as he always has been, Narain Karthikeyan, a ride buyer who otherwise would not be in F1.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:15.688 104
 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:16.811 73
 3. Kubica BMW-Sauber (M) 1:17.015 98
 4. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:17.243 76
 5. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:17.300 70
 6. Zonta Toyota (B) 1:17.488 73
 7. Panis Toyota (B) 1:17.801 92
 8. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) 1:18.267 79
 9. Karthikeyan Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.450 61

Montoya to test Cup car at Homestead Montoya to test Cup car at HomesteadChip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Juan Pablo Montoya will join over 40 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams for the NASCAR Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, October 16-18. 

Montoya, a South Florida resident, will test a NEXTEL Cup car for the first time on Homestead’s 1.5 mile oval on Tuesday, October 17, from 1pm to 5pm and 6pm to 9pm.  He is scheduled to test again at the same times on Wednesday, October 18.

Fans are welcome to attend the free NASCAR Open Test, October 16 – 18 to catch Montoya and other favorite drivers in action.  Those who plan to attend should check in at the first-floor lobby in the Homestead-Miami Speedway administration building, and then take the elevator to the Speedway Club on the fourth floor.

Industry News
Ford Motor to unload auto warranty company Ford Motor to unload auto warranty companyFord Motor Co., in an effort to finance its expensive restructuring, has added another piece of furniture to its garage sale: a little-known extended-warranty business.

Dearborn-based Ford, in the midst of a restructuring after posting a $1.4-billion loss through the first half of the year, said Wednesday that it aims to sell Automobile Protection Corp., a subsidiary based in Atlanta.

APCO, as the business is called, joins a handful of other Ford assets for sale -- including the ultra-luxury brand Aston Martin and 14 plants and six other facilities formerly owned by Visteon Corp.

Ford needs to sell these assets to generate cash and shrink to a more manageable size.

Some automotive analysts are concerned that Ford's reserves will dip dangerously low as the company finances its deep restructuring, which aims to match operations with shrinking sales. Ford's revamped Way Forward plan aims to cut 44,000 jobs and close 16 plants through 2012.  More at Detroit Free Press

Carpentier signs full-time Rolex Series deal Carpentier signs full-time Rolex Series dealUPDATE A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing.com, I thought Carpentier turned down Champ Car because he had dreams of being a NASCAR driver?  Also, why would he turn down a Champ Car ride for Grand-Am? Jacques Courtie, Quebec

Dear Jacques, Carpentier had dreams of racing in NASCAR, but NASCAR appears to not put much weight in Carpentier.  He went with a race series where the drivers get paid to drive, unlike Champ Car where many drivers have to bring a suitcase full of cash.  The biggest failing of Champ Car to date is its inability to properly market itself and its drivers so it can attract sponsors so drivers do not have to pay for their rides.  Since the days of CART, and now Champ Car, the budget set aside each year for marketing has been small.  Because of this, every marketing manager they have had has failed.  Champ Car is doing a fairly decent job of rebuilding its foundation, but it must hire the right marketing firm (yes, we said firm because the job is too big for Champ Car's in-house staff) who can connect Champ Car with the consumer product corporate world.  It's time Champ Car stop giving marketing lip service.  Over the years, the IRL and the France family have been able to pluck the Champ Car paddock dry of its biggest names and brightest talent, and not much is going to change as long as they have the big sponsors and deep pocket manufacturers to lure away the best and brightest with fistfuls of cash. Mark C.

10/12/06 Montréal, QC - After a transitional year where he only competed in a handful of events in 2006, Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier looks set for a very busy 2007 racing season. The former open-wheel star announced Thursday that he is joining SAMAX Motorsport for the 2007, 14-race Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule. Carpentier, who - with Milka Duno of Caracas, Venezuela - raced the team's CITGO sponsored Pontiac-powered Riley Daytona Prototype to seventh place last August at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA, has been very busy working his way back to full time racing during his off-year.

"I'm very happy to be part of SAMAX Motorsport for 2007", Carpentier said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to race with one of the top teams in the Rolex Series. I have known Peter Baron (SAMAX Motorsport Owner) since my Atlantic racing days and I felt right at home the first time I raced with them last August. I also tested with them a month later and came back more impressed than ever with their professionalism. I'm really looking forward to our next test session in November." zzzz

SAMAX Motorsport Owner Peter Baron is delighted to have Carpentier on board.

"We are absolutely thrilled to sign Patrick for the season," said Peter Baron. "We tried a few times to get him in the car last year and finally had the opportunity at Infineon. Pat has a long history with many of our team members, including working alongside engineer Steve Challis at Forsythe [Championship Racing]. The fit was amazing - it felt like he had been with us all season. Before the first day together was over, we were already speaking about plans for '07. We were further impressed with Pat's ability to convert to driving a flat-bottomed prototype. At the conclusion of our test in September, Pat's ability to get everything out of the car and communicate effectively with the engineering team gave us some fantastic results that we are really looking forward to building on for '07."

While this agreement with SAMAX Motorsport is in the books, Carpentier and his business partner Robert Desrosiers are still working with team owners at different levels of the stock car world in order to fill what the Las Vegas resident-driver hopes will be a very busy year of racing. Carpentier, who is currently associated with Mecachrome International, feels that there is room in his schedule to seek opportunities to pursue his dream of running in NASCAR at any level this year. The Canadian needs to develop the momentum from racing 15 to 20 times a year up to the NASCAR Nextel Cup intensity.

"NASCAR drivers race almost 40 weekends a year including off-series excursions in Daytona Prototypes or the Busch Series," Carpentier continued. "Often they double-up on a race weekend running both the Nextel Cup and Busch races. The Rolex runs four times with Busch and there are only eight conflicting dates with the series' 34 races. We don't see why we should not continue our stock car development program while running full time in the Rolex Series."

Carpentier will join Florida-based SAMAX Motorsport for an open test November 6-7 at Daytona Int'l Speedway. It will be Carpentier's second test with the team and his third appearance at Daytona where he led the Daytona 24-Hour race for two hours earlier this year with Cheever Racing. The Rolex Series will debut the 2007 season with the Daytona 24-Hour race January 27-28. The Series will also make its first appearance at Montreal's famed Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve the first weekend of August.

IRL joins ALMS at Mid-Ohio IRL joins ALMS at Mid-OhioUPDATE The IndyCar Series has previously announced the following events for 2007 (The race increases the number of announced road/street course events in '07 to five.):
. March 24 - Homestead-Miami Speedway*
. April 1 - Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.*
. April 21 - Twin Ring Motegi
. April 29 - Kansas Speedway
. May 27 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
. June 3 - The Milwaukee Mile*
. June 9 - Texas Motor Speedway
. June 24 - Iowa Speedway*
. June 30 - Richmond International Raceway
. July 8 - Watkins Glen International*
. July 14 - Nashville Superspeedway
. July 22 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
. Aug. 11 - Kentucky Speedway*
. Sept. 2 - Raceway at Belle Isle
. Sept. 9 - Chicagoland Speedway*
The remainder of the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule will be announced at a later date.
* denotes Indy Pro Series event to be held.

10/11/06 Open-wheel racing will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as TrueSports, Incorporated announced today the IndyCar Series will team up with the American Le Mans Series in an event slated for July 20-22, 2007.

This signifies the first time the IndyCar Series has ventured to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and will mark the first open-wheel race at the Lexington, Ohio road course since 2003.  The event will be the one of three which the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series will run jointly in 2007. 

This combined event is poised to be the largest and most significant motorsports event in the state of Ohio, with live national television coverage from CBS.  Additionally, radio coverage will be provided on XM Satellite Radio and IMS Radio Network will feed affiliates nationwide.  The three-day event will combine the best of North American road racing. zzzz

“TrueSports, Incorporated has a long-standing record of hosting the best road racing has to offer.  Aligning the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series further reinforces our commitment to that initiative and our significant customer base as well,” said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, president of TrueSports, Incorporated.  “Further, it is important to recognize that without the cooperation of our long-standing partner, American Le Mans Series, and the interest of the IndyCar Series, none of this would have been feasible.  On behalf of our entire team, we are grateful to both.”

“We are thrilled to be adding Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to the IndyCar Series schedule and look forward to bringing our series to a state rich in motorsports tradition,” said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. “Mid-Ohio has a deep championship heritage that connects names like Foyt, Andretti, Rahal, Rutherford, Unser and others with the current stars and teams in the IndyCar Series.”

Ferrari determine cause of Schu engine failure Ferrari determine cause of Schu engine failure(GMM)  Ferrari has now determined the cause of Michael Schumacher's championship-denting engine failure at Suzuka.

It is understood that the German rarely smoked to a halt in Japan due to a failed intake valve.

Engineers at the Maranello based squad, however, have put the failure down to an isolated materials defect, meaning that a significant change or remedy in Brazil is unlikely.

Felipe Massa's pre-race engine glitch in Shanghai is also believed to have involved a damaged valve, but it was apparently a different failure.

Ferrari sources, meanwhile, ruled out the theory that Schumacher's final pit stop at Suzuka - including overheating - could be linked to his failure.

Penske and Porsche back again in 2007 Penske and Porsche back again in 2007ATLANTA -- After a successful championship season in 2006, Penske Motorsports and the Porsche RS Spyder will be back together in 2007 with a two-car effort in the American Le Mans Series’ LMP2 class.

Penske Motorsports has already clinched the American Le Mans Series team championship in the LMP2 class, and Porsche now owns the manufacturers title for both LMP2 engine and chassis for 2006 – with the Penske/Porsche drivers holding a solid lead for the LMP2 drivers championship going into the last event of the season at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway on October 21.

“We are excited to continue our successful partnership with Porsche as we look ahead to the 2007 American Le Mans Series championship,” said Roger Penske, Chairman, Penske Racing, Inc. “Our immediate focus remains on helping Lucas and Sascha earn the 2006 driver’s championship before we turn our collective attention to the development of the next generation RS Spyder.” zzzz

Penske added that the Porsche RS Spyder team will again concentrate exclusively on the American Le Mans Series’ 12-race schedule for 2007 with the goal of winning the LMP2 championship, and will not contest other races or series with the cars including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He said that the driver lineup for 2007 has not been determined at this time.

Hartmut Kristen, Porsche’s director of worldwide motorsports, is pleased that Penske Motorsports is back for 2007, and hopes to repeat this year’s success in the coming year.

“Porsche is delighted to renew its relationship with Penske Motorsports for the 2007 season,” Kristen commented. „Their experience and professionalism contributed greatly to achieving the goals we established going into 2006. Utilizing the next generation of the RS Spyder, we are very optimistic this success will continue next year.”

Unveiled recently at the Paris Motor Show, the 2007 edition of the Porsche RS Spyder promises to be even more formidable than this year’s championship-winning car. For better handling and greater speed, its many changes include enhanced areodynamics and a more powerful 3.4-liter, V8 engine. In addition the carbon-fiber body has been modified for an even higher standard of ease and convenience for service and maintenance.

Penske Motorsports, Inc. is the wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Racing, Inc. that fields two Porsche RS Spyders exclusively in the American Le Mans Series. Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have 279 major race wins including 14 Indianapolis 500-mile race victories, 323 pole positions and 20 National Championships.

Karting event brings out stars Karting event brings out starsUPDATE Interesting that this IRL press release left off Katherine Legge's name who will also be participating in this karting event (see related Hot News item).  Perhaps Legge's race in Surfers has precluded her participation due to the lengthy travel requirements.

10/12/06 Bring together IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series drivers and you can be sure competition will ensue. Soccer, beach volleyball, darts or karting, it doesn't matter.

Spirited competition is expected during the RoboPong.com 200 - a 200-mile endurance karting race at New Castle (Ind.) Motorsports Park on Oct. 15. The race, at the facility owned and operated by former IndyCar Series driver Mark Dismore, features two-four drivers per team, green flag pit stops and a purse that would rival some other open-wheel series' events. In its third year, the event will be shown on tape on Speed Channel at a later date.

The noon (ET) event is free and open to the public. Dan Wheldon, the 2005 IndyCar Series champion, will team with Mark Dismore Jr. in an attempt to successfully defend their title against 55 other teams. zzzz

Challengers will include Wheldon's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, who will be paired with Adam Rovazzini. Jeff Simmons will drive for Team Ethanol, while Tomas Scheckter and Sarah Fisher also will compete.

Indy Pro Series champion Jay Howard will have a kart on the pavement. Veronica McCann, who competed in the Indy Pro Series finale at Chicagoland Speedway, also will participate. Also in the field are former IndyCar Series drivers Robby McGehee and Rick Treadway.

"It will be a blast to be back on the go-kart track where the fundamentals of racing begin," Fisher said. "New Castle is one of the tracks where I run my shifter kart at to get ready for road course racing and to just stay sharp. New Castle is also where I have worked with Kyle O'Gara, my fiancé's little brother, for the past two years as he is an up-and-coming go-kart racer." IRL

Albers awaits Ferrari power, Gascoyne Albers awaits Ferrari power, GascoyneSpyker F1 driver Christijan Albers is looking forward to a stronger 2007 championship when he will be racing with Ferrari power at the Spyker F1 team with former Toyota designer Mike Gascoyne working to make Spyker into a winning team.

“I like Mike Gascoyne’s style of working; I think he is the same type of person as me – quite aggressive,” Albers told ITV. “Everything is black or white with nothing in between and that’s the same with me so I’m really looking forward to working with him and seeing how he can push the team. I’m sure he will kick my arse but that’s what I need – somebody to push me forward.”

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Schu tries super engine for Brazil
Turkey slams 'unacceptable' FIA fine
Spa's 2007 return now official
Rosberg rejects claims of 2006 decline
Heidfeld hits out at Kubica frenzy
Alonso rips scabs off Schu's old wounds
Lauda says Schu title chance '2 per cent'
De la Rosa predicts Brazil race seat
Former boss fears 'game over' for Webber
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for FridayCourtesy of TVRacer.com

NASCAR Beyond the Wheel Concord, NC -Lowe's
12:00pm-1:00pm SPEED
Live! Concord, NC -Lowe's
3:00pm-4:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice  Concord, NC -Lowe's
4:00pm-5:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Qualifying  Concord, NC -Lowe's
5:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
Trackside Concord, NC -Lowe's
7:00pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series  Concord, NC -Lowe's
8:00pm-11:00pm (L) TNT

All times listed are ET.  For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
Troubled Ford struggling at track, too Troubled Ford struggling at track, tooAmid distressing news of layoffs, buyouts and factory closings, the Ford brand also is taking hits at the race track these days. Even longtime Ford driver Mark Martin is ditching the Dearborn, Mich., company to drive a Chevrolet in 2007.

That leaves the Ford teams in NASCAR – already smaller in number than the dominating Chevrolet teams – with precious few big names and lots of question marks just as yet another manufacturer, Toyota, is adding to the competition for wins, championships – and drivers.

“I know people are going to ask about Ford losing another marquee driver to a competitor,” said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. “All I can say is that every situation is different.

“We feel we support our teams as well as any other manufacturer and that our business model has worked as far as winning championships and being competitive. We don’t like it when drivers leave, especially when they’re the quality of Mark. But the climate of NASCAR is changing and we’ve, unfortunately, felt the brunt of it this season.”

The driver drain has been going on longer than that for Ford. More at Mercury News

Mowlem rejoins Zytek for season finale Mowlem rejoins Zytek for season finaleJohnny Mowlem will be a part of the Zytek driver roster when the American Le Mans Series holds its final race of the 2006 season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

ALMS GT star Mowlem, who won a class victory in the GT2 class only two races ago, was part of the factory Zytek team that finished second overall in the Petit Le Mans. Team boss Trevor Foster was impressed by the Britain’s performance at Atlanta. zzzz

“Johnny did an excellent job at Petit and, although he isn't a regular in a prototype, he brought all his experience into play,” said Foster. “He got on it the moment he left the pits; the data shows he had the fastest out-lap of anyone during the race.”

The team campaigns a Zytek 06S in the LMP1 class, the fastest cars in the ALMS series. Mowlem will share the driving duties with former Formula One driver Stefan Johansson.

Mowlem, who was racing a prototype for only the second time, said, “Finishing second on the podium at Petit Le Mans was one of the highlights of my racing career to date and I am delighted to be asked back to hopefully go one better at Laguna.”

One of Britain's most successful and personable sports car drivers, Mowlem started his career behind the wheel at age 19. He was named the 2005 UK Reading Sports Personality of the Year, an honor reserved for the top sports performers in his region. A married father of two, Mowlem was raised in Majorca, Spain. He has earned university degrees in economics and Spanish. More information on Mowlem is available at www.johnnymowlem.com.

tv news
Spencer and Wallace re-sign with SPEED Spencer and Wallace re-sign with SPEEDNASCAR veterans Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace will continue sharing their wit and wisdom with SPEED viewers, signing new multi-year deals to continue their roles on the popular NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane.

“It’s great to be able to keep the team together,” said Chris Long, SPEED VP of Studio Production. “With the signing of John (Roberts) and Wendy (Venturini) earlier this summer, we’ve taken measures to ensure our viewers will continue to be the most well-informed NASCAR fans in the country. These guys have a lot of fun together and their chemistry is magical -- something every network hopes to capture.”

The new pre- and post-race formats continue to be a hit with fans, as NASCAR RaceDay ratings are up 17 percent from last year, and NASCAR Victory Lane ratings are up six percent. zzzz

“This show has really been adapted to fit the fans,” Spencer said. “We really try hard to cut through all of the stories that come out in press releases and tell the fans the real stories behind what’s going on in NASCAR. I’m happy to be staying with SPEED and I’m excited about being a part of the growth of this show … it doesn’t get better than working with John, Kenny, Wendy and Bobby Dillner.

"I've had so much fun doing NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane that I could not pass up the opportunity given to me by SPEED,” Wallace said. “SPEED has become a part of who I am and what I am known for over the last three years. I am very thankful for the opportunity that has been given to me and I hope that the fans continue to have fun and support all of the wonderful SPEED shows."

This week’s NASCAR RaceDay from Charlotte will feature a “Real Deal” interview with NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick.

Another successful test at Iowa Another successful test at IowaIowa Speedway received rave reviews from IndyCar Series drivers participating in Firestone tire and IndyCar Series aerodynamic testing at Iowa Speedway on Oct. 9.

Panther Racing's Vitor Meira and 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion Scott Sharp, who was invited by Rahal Letterman Racing to give his short-track set-up input in the No. 15 car, participated in the test at the facility, which will host the inaugural Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Ethanol on June 24, 2007.

"I was impressed with how smooth the track is," Meira said. "I think it will be a real exciting short-oval race. With the amount of downforce that we're studying and we think we'll run, there definitely will be lots of side-by-side racing. It will really make it a fun race." zzzz

Both drivers pounded out laps on an overcast and chilly day using a variety of Firestone Firehawk compounds. Firestone engineers were seeking comprehensive data - in concert with aero packages - to develop the correct level of grip for the racing on the .0875-mile variably banked oval.

"We were really pleased to test on a short oval and on a new track on our schedule next year," said Sharp, a free agent after his two-year deal with Fernandez Racing expired at the end of the season. "It's very impressive. Already the speeds we can turn, we're envisioning the kind of race we're going to have here. It will be extremely tight. I imagine you'll see three- or four-tenths of a second separating the entire field. It will be like some of our wild races have been on a big track."

The aerodynamic and tire package is critical for safety and competitive racing, which produces the excitement for ticket buyers and TV audiences have come to expect from the IndyCar Series.

"We're constantly trying to find a balance between the car being limited by its aerodynamics (drag) and limited by its level of grip," said Les Mactaggart, senior technical director of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series. "We're trying to find a balance where the car becomes grip-limited, where it becomes much more challenging for the driver. On this type of track it's difficult, because it's high-banked.

"We decided (after morning testing) that we'll stick with the package that we discussed three weeks ago because that will give us the right level of performance, safety and the right level of aerodynamic balance we need for the track.

"Between ourselves and Firestone, we come up with the most practical compromise. It's trying to look forward into a crystal ball to see what you have next summer. I think we have a good package. It's going to be very fast racing. The cars will be able to run two- and maybe three-wide." IRL

Canadian GP tickets on sale Canadian GP tickets on saleMontreal -  Grand Prix du Canada (GPC) s.e.c. announces today that tickets are now on sale for the 2007 edition of the Canadian round of the Formula 1 World Championship, to be disputed at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 8, 9 & 10.  With this presentation of the Grand Prix of Canada, Formula 1 enters a new era with the passage of Fernando Alonso to McLaren and of Kimi Räikkönen to Ferrari. This transition comes at an important milestone for Formula 1 in this country; its 40th anniversary on Canadian soil. The first Grand Prix of Canada won by sir Jack Brabham, took place, on August 27, 1967 at Mosport.

All 2006 ticket holders benefit now from a priority in seat assignment, a privilege that will be maintained until October 27 inclusively. It is therefore recommended that they act quickly and purchase their tickets without further delay. All other Formula 1 fans can also place orders at the Box Office and benefit from a good choice once the priority period is over.

The Grand Prix of Canada Box Office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. During these hours, customers can order by phone at (514) 350-0000. It is also possible to order online at any time, at www.grandprix.ca or by fax at (514) 350-4709.

The Grand Prix of Canada is the most popular sporting event in the country. Since 2001, it attracts more then 300,000 spectators and precisely 332,000 last June. On race day nearly 120,000 fans gathered to witness victories by Kimi Räikkönen in 2005, and of Fernando Alonso in 2006.

Schumacher quickest at Jerez Schumacher quickest at JerezMichael Schumacher blew away all other drivers today in testing at Jerez as the team prepares for the season finale in Brazil.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:16.238 117
 2. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:17.311 92
 3. Kubica BMW-Sauber (M) 1:17.575 120
 4. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:17.788 80
 5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:17.818 62
 6. Zonta Toyota (B) 1:17.988 111
 7. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) 1:19.072 90
 8. Panis Toyota (B) 1:19.342 95
 9. Karthikeyan Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.474 87

Racing News
Bourdais back on top of Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking Bourdais back on top of Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingTwo-time defending Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is preparing to head to Australia in hopes of locking up the top spot in the standings for a record-tying third consecutive season.

Today, Bourdais found himself atop a different set of standings, having vaulted back to the top of the SPEED Driver Rankings for the fourth time this season. Bourdais, who has scored podium finishes in five of his last six starts and has started on the front row for each of the last five Champ Car events, reclaimed the lead in the world-wide ranking system, climbing ahead of Formula 1 points leader Fernando Alonso and NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Matt Kenseth. Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America winner A.J. Allmendinger (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is fourth in the standings, which will wrap up in November.

Bourdais, who can clinch the Champ Car title by finishing ninth or better in next week’s Lexmark Indy 300, has a score of 8.200 in the rating system, which was developed by STATS Inc. and done in conjunction with the motorsports cable network.  Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series. Alonso is second with 7.950 points, Kenseth weighs in a 7.767 while Allmendinger has a score of 7.515.

Updated 10-11-06
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (2) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 8.200
2. (8) Fernando Alonso (F1) 7.950
3. (13) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 7.767
4. (3) A.J. Allmendinger (CCWS) 7.515
5. (9) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 7.440
6. (5) Dan Wheldon (IRL)* 7.438
7. (7) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 7.265
8. (NR) Kasey Kahne (NASCAR) 6.961
9. (24) Brian Vickers (NASCAR) 6.906
10. (10) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 6.777
11. (NR) Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 6.578
12. (15) Scott Dixon (IRL)* 6.553
13. (11) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR) 6.519
14. (14) Kyle Busch (NASCAR) 6.464
15. (6) Jeff Burton (NASCAR) 6.458
16. (4) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 6.432
17. (18) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL)* 6.426
18. (12) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR) 6.307
19. (21) Justin Wilson (CCWS) 6.297
20. (NR) Martin Truex Jr. (NASCAR) 6.281
*Season complete

Dropped out: Michael Schumacher (F1), Casey Mears (NASCAR), Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Clint Bowyer (NASCAR), Greg Biffle (NASCAR)

Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.

David Ragan replaces Mark Martin David Ragan replaces Mark MartinRoush Racing today announced that David Ragan will be the full-time driver of  the team's flagship No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion in 2007. The No. 6 has been the foundation of the Roush Racing stable, dating back to Jack Roush's beginning into NASCAR's premier series in 1988.

"We are very pleased to have David Ragan going into the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion next season," said Jack Roush. "David is a driver with outstanding talent and as a result of his actions he is the young man I selected to fill the seat. The No. 6 is obviously a special car to me personally and this organization and we are confident in David's ability to step up and get the job done."

Ragan currently shares the No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150 with Mark Martin and also pilots the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150.  Ragan started his first career Nextel Cup race at Dover three weeks ago. He is set to make four more starts in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006 and will make his first start in the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion in next season's famed Daytona 500. zzzz

"This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to racing on behalf of AAA's millions of loyal members in 2007. Obviously, I've got big shoes to fill and quite a legacy to follow, but I look forward to the challenge and the next chapter of the No. 6 race team," said Ragan.

"AAA has great confidence in Jack Roush and his entire organization, including their selection of David Ragan as the promising new driver of the No. 6 AAA car," said Kristin Warfield, director AAA Motorsports.

We look forward to cheering David on as he competes in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing for the first time, and to introducing him to our members and other race fans at tracks and special appearances throughout the coming year."

Ragan has one pole and six top-10 finishes in 15 starts in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2006. He will make his next Cup start at Martinsville Speedway on October 22nd.

Dupasquier to get top award Dupasquier to get top awardMichelin's former competition chief Pierre Dupasquier is set to receive the prestigious Legion d'Honneur for his services to French motorsport. Dupasquier headed Michelin in its F1 years between 1977-1984 and since it returned to the sport a few years ago. The Legion d'Honneur is France's highest decorative order and awarded for an outstanding contribution to military or civilian life.
Baja 1000
Micron Signs Up to Sponsor Baja 1000 Micron Signs Up to Sponsor Baja 1000LOS ANGELES -- Micron Technology, Inc. has become an associate sponsor of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and the title sponsor of the event to be held Nov. 15-18. The company will also field four race cars with Micron DigitalClarity image sensors and Lexar Professional CompactFlash memory cards to capture and store video of the more than 1,000-mile race.
Mixed reviews for COT Mixed reviews for COTNASCAR's latest car of tomorrow test, at Talladega, is drawing mixed reviews from drivers. The model is planned to run there next fall.  But drivers Monday said that the current version of the new model was surprisingly slow.

And Greg Biffle said that each team's version was so different that it was hard to get a good feel for much. "This is more for NASCAR; we are probably not going to get a lot out of it, our cars are still all over the map," Biffle said. "Jimmie Johnson's car is roughly a second faster than ours."

NASCAR put larger restrictor plates on the test cars, "so we've got a bunch more power," Biffle said, "probably 600 horsepower to go the same speed we did Sunday only having 400."

Jamie McMurray says that the new model's wider front fenders and unusual nose give the version more downforce. "But they are pretty slow. My first lap was five seconds a lap slower than what we ran Sunday."

Even after NASCAR put bigger plates on the cars McMurray said that they were "still pretty slow.

"Hopefully they'll give us some more speed where it is a little more fun to drive." Winston Salem Journal

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Teams begin last test of 2006 season
Bernie plays down Schu exit
Renault man says dirty tricks unlikely
Aguri to enjoy bolstered Honda backing
Briatore to expand fashion business
Dupasquier awarded Legion of Honor
Bernie says no decision about Valencia GP
TV production article feedback TV production article feedbackA reader writes, Great article on the TV production. I'm a business owner from Edmonton, Alberta and obviously I have been supporting the local race in our market. That being said, I would say that Champ Car needs to change their whole marketing approach including the TV Production. Now it isn't just the logistics of the production that need to change. Most times the tracks look terrible. Awful pictures of barricades and just no color. Just take a look at the F1 Races. The TV angles are great and the tracks are spotless. Banners light up the roadways! The races for Champ Car are just boring! They just need to hire a couple people that do this work for the F1.
I hope you understand my point but perception is everything and F1 get it right. Champ Car just needs to hire a few people to liven up the broadcasts and brighten up the race tracks. Brian Wyatt

Dear Brian, Sprucing up the tracks is the responsibility of the race promoter/track owner, not the TV production staff. As for color, some of the better cameras, especially the HDTV cameras, typically present more vivid colors and contrast. Mark C.

Pizzonia returns to Rocketsports Pizzonia returns to RocketsportsAfter making two-Champ Car starts with Rocketsports Racing this season, Antonio Pizzonia returns to the cockpit of the #18 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone to team up with previous Australia-race winner Mario Dominguez creating a dynamic pairing for the team at the Surfers Paradise venue.

Pizzonia, who made his Champ Car debut with the team on the streets of Long Beach, California, takes from that experience of racing on a street course to Surfers Paradise with the hopes of producing his best finish in a Champ Car.  Currently, after two events, the Brazilian's best start was 11th in Long Beach where he also earned his best finish of tenth.  Pizzonia, who was familiar with the track in Montreal from his days competing in Formula One, started 13th and despite a radio failure that lead to various issues throughout the race he finished 11th.  Pizzonia also earned a point for leading two laps during the Montreal event.

"I am obviously excited to get back into the #18 Rocketsports car," said Pizzonia.  "It was a shame what happened in Montreal with the radio failure.  That made for a very tough race for me without communication to and from the team, but we did our best.  I look forward to getting another opportunity in a Champ Car with Rocketsports Racing.  I would like to thank Paul Gentilozzi for believing in me and giving me another chance to drive one of his racecars in Australia.  I had a blast driving on a street course circuit in Long Beach, and I hear the Surfers Paradise circuit is just as exciting and challenging.  In Montreal I was paired up with engineer John Gentilozzi, whom I will be working with again in Australia, and I think we did a good job together so I am anticipating even better results this race." zzzz

Not only is Pizzonia excited to return to the team, but so is the rest of the Rocketsports squad as they enjoy working with the talented driver, both on and off the track.

"We look forward to having Antonio back for another race," said Rocketsports Team Owner Paul Gentilozzi.  "He has shown great potential every time he has put foot into one of our Champ Cars, so it is my pleasure to run him when the opportunity presents itself.  I hope that he can have a good weekend, because when everything goes right, I can see him finishing in the top-five with ease because his talent level is definitely there."

This will be the first run for the 26-year-old driver on the 2.795-mile temporary street course in Australia. 

Round 13 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford takes place next weekend, October 20-22, in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia.  The Lexmark Indy 300 takes the green flag on Sunday, October 22, at 1:10 p.m. local time in Australia.  The race can be seen via tape delay on SPEED Channel in the United States on Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST.  To follow Rocketsports all weekend, check out the team's website at www.rocketsportsracing.com or log onto www.champcar.ws and sign up for Race Director. Rocketsports

2007 NASCAR Truck schedule 2007 NASCAR Truck scheduleThe 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule was announced today and for the fifth consecutive year, the championship will be contested over 25 races. The schedule begins at Daytona International Speedway in February and concludes at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

The series will visit the same 22 tracks as it did in 2006. A change in the schedule order moves the Kansas Speedway event to April 28 and the Gateway International Raceway event to Labor Day weekend, on Sept. 1. The event at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis will move one weekend earlier, to July 27.

The eighth race of the 2007 schedule, June 1 at Dover International Speedway, will mark a milestone as the 300th race in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history. The Dover race is one of 15 events that will be held in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, while 10 races are scheduled as either “stand-alones” or in conjunction with NASCAR Busch Series races.

Among active tracks on the schedule, Texas Motor Speedway has hosted the most NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Texas will host its 19th and 20th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in 2007, on June 8 and Nov. 2.

Date   Site
Feb 16  Daytona International Speedway
Feb 23  California Speedway
Mar 16  Atlanta Motor Speedway
Mar 31  Martinsville Speedway
Apr 28  Kansas Speedway
May 18  Lowe’s Motor Speedway
May 26  Mansfield Motorsports Speedway
Jun 1  Dover International Speedway
Jun 8  Texas Motor Speedway
Jun 16  Michigan International Speedway
Jun 22  The Milwaukee Mile
Jun 30  Memphis Motorsports Park
Jul 14  Kentucky Speedway
Jul 27  O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
Aug 11  Nashville Superspeedway
Aug 22  Bristol Motor Speedway
Sep 1  Gateway International Raceway
Sep 15  New Hampshire International Speedway
Sep 22  Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct 6  Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 20  Martinsville Speedway
Oct 27  Atlanta Motor Speedway
Nov 2  Texas Motor Speedway
Nov 9  Phoenix International Raceway
Nov 16  Homestead-Miami Speedway

Tentative Schedule – Subject to Change

New Crew Chief for Hall of Fame Racing New Crew Chief for Hall of Fame RacingCORNELIUS, N.C. – Brandon Thomas will serve as crew chief of the No. 96 DLP® HDTV Chevrolet driven by Tony Raines beginning with the Bank of America 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.), officials from Hall of Fame Racing announced today.

Philippe Lopez, who has served as crew chief for the first 30 races of the season, will now concentrate full-time on his duties as competition director for Hall of Fame Racing.

“We’ve had this plan in place since the beginning of the season,” said Bill Saunders, managing partner of Hall of Fame Racing. “At some point in the near future we want to expand to two cars, move into a bigger shop and continue to put together an elite Nextel Cup team. Philippe was doing a fantastic job, not only serving as crew chief, but also as competition director. We’re excited to bring Brandon in so that he can concentrate fully on being a crew chief and Philippe can concentrate solely on being competition director to further Hall of Fame Racing’s growth.” zzzz 

Thomas comes to Hall of Fame Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) where he’s been employed since 2003. JGR supplies cars, engines and technical support to Hall of Fame Racing, which is owned by Hall of Fame NFL quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, as well as Saunders.

“We felt with Brandon’s connection to Gibbs that he was the best candidate,” Lopez said. “We’ve got a great relationship with Gibbs, and obviously, Brandon knows their chassis and their equipment.  It was a natural fit.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Thomas said. “The team has gotten off to a good start in their first year, and I want to work with Philippe and all the guys to continue to help the team grow and get better. It’s a good group at Hall of Fame Racing, and they’ve got a great sponsor in DLP HDTV.  I’m looking forward to working with Tony and making sure we’re competitive week in and week out.”

IRL medical director retires IRL medical director retiresDr. Henry Bock will retire as senior director of medical services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League, effective Jan. 1, 2007.

Bock has served in that capacity at IMS since 1982 and for the IRL since it started competition in 1996. He will remain at IMS and the IRL as a medical and safety advisor.

"On behalf of the entire Hulman-George family, I want to thank Henry for the many years of service to the entire enterprise, especially the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League," said Tony George, IMS and IRL chief executive officer. "His leadership and personal commitment of time have resulted in tremendous advancements in motorsports safety. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to continue to rely on his advice and counsel." More at Indycar.com

Ferrari fastest at Jerez Ferrari fastest at JerezFerrari were fastest at Jerez on Tuesday with Marc Gene and Luca Badoer recording the quickest times on a quiet first day of testing. Only five drivers took to the track with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Williams' Alex Wurz and Narain Karthikeyan joining the Ferrari pair.

Gene will be replaced by Michael Schumacher tomorrow when BMW-Sauber and Toyota will also begin their tests.
Today's Times:
1. Gene - Ferrari - 1:17.883
2. Badoer - Ferrari - 1:18.792
3. Wurz - Williams - 1:19.549
4. Hamilton - McLaren - 1:22.916
5. Karthikeyan - Williams - 1:23.550

Reutimann confirmed as 3rd Waltrip driver Reutimann confirmed as 3rd Waltrip driverMichael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced today that current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver David Reutimann completes the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series lineup for the organization. Reutimann will become the full-time driver of the No. 00 Toyota Camry co-sponsored by Burger King Corporation and Domino’s Pizza in 2007.
“David’s competitive spirit, proven on track performance and verve for racing made David our top choice for the No. 00 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Toyota,” said car owner Michael Waltrip.  “Dale Jarrett and I both feel strongly that David is the ideal candidate to cap off our driver lineup.  Like my and Dale’s backgrounds, David appreciates coming from a deep-rooted and well respected racing heritage.  It is my privilege to welcome him into the top NASCAR series.  I know everyone at Domino’s and Burger King Corporation will be pleased with what David can do on and off the race track.”
To become a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitor always has been a dream  of the Zephyrhills-Fla., native, whose family has a deep-rooted racing history and ironically has a last name synonymous with the “00” number. zzzz
“In my wildest dreams I couldn’t come up with a scenario that would have put me driving a ‘00’ car especially with great sponsors like Burger King Corporation and Domino’s in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series,” Reutimann said. “I always thought how cool it would be to drive a car with my family number in the top series in the world, but what are the chances that would happen. It’s right here in front of me. My grandfather, my father, my uncle and my cousins have all raced a car with the ‘00’ number. It’s our family number and if you’re a Reutimann that’s the number you race. I can’t describe it. It’s just such a great feeling.  It’s surreal and a thrill not only for me, but for my entire family.”
Reutimann and Domino’s Pizza will kick off the 2007 season at Daytona International Speedway. Following the Daytona 500, Domino’s will continue as the primary sponsor of the No. 00 Toyota Camry through the May race at Darlington Raceway.  A Domino’s paint scheme will also be carried on the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing entry in the August NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.  Domino’s will deliver its final five races during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship. Domino’s welcomes Reutimann as he competes for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. 
"We're thrilled to welcome David into the Domino's family and to be a part of the team that is bringing him into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series," said David Brandon, CEO of Domino's Pizza. "His unbridled passion, strong work ethic, and dedication to delivering his best performance each and every week reflects the core values of Domino's franchisees and our team members. We're looking forward to our mutual success in 2007."
Reutimann and the No. 00 Burger King Toyota Camry will take to the track Memorial Day weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, and cap off the regular season under the lights at Richmond International Raceway.  Five Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races, including the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will feature the Burger King paint scheme. Burger King Corporation is looking forward to having the rookie don their colors in Victory Lane.
“David is a great fit for the Burger King brand and we look forward to working with him next season,” said Russ Klein, President, Global Marketing, Innovation, and Strategy. “He has demonstrated he knows what it takes to win races. Hopefully he can put the No. 00 car in winner’s circle driving home the HAVE IT YOUR WAY® philosophy by giving fans the exciting season they want and expect.”
Reutimann made his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut with Michael Waltrip Racing last year at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, his only Cup Series race starting 26th and finishing 22nd. He’s been a regular on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit since 2004, winning his first truck race at Nashville Superspeedway in the Toyota Tundra 200 last year. Reutimann is now running for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship while competing in the NASCAR Busch Series on a limited basis. Next season that changes. In addition to running full-time in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Reutimann will also pilot the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the NASCAR Busch Series and race the entire schedule.
“I’m thrilled to be able to drive for Aaron’s,” Reutimann said. “We’ve had a few good finishes this season already. The team is doing well and I can’t wait to start the season fresh to run for the championship. It’s awesome that I get to run both Series full-time.”
Reutimann knows he has a lot to learn and is thankful for the two distinguished drivers he has to count on.
“I have a two-time Daytona 500 winner (Michael Waltrip) and a former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion (Dale Jarrett) to get advice from,” Reutimann said. “I feel like Dale and Michael are two of the best guys in the business to go talk to about things on and off the racetrack. I still have Darrell (Waltrip) I can go to who has been there for me many times. I’ll get their advice and look to all of them for their leadership. They are all invaluable people and I’m looking forward to working with them. I have a lot to learn and they have a lot to teach.”
Turkish appeal date confirmed Turkish appeal date confirmedThe FIA has confirmed that the appeal by organizers of the Turkish Grand Prix against their USD5million fine will be heard by the International Court of Appeal on November 7.
Dale Jarrett to retire Dale Jarrett to retireUPDATE In the interview below with Wendy Venturini on Speed Channel's NASCAR RaceDay -- Dale Jarrett revealed his retirement date. Jarrett will drive two years for Michael Waltrip Racing in a Toyota and then call it quits. Jarrett's immediate goal would to be the first driver to win in a Toyota in the Nextel Cup Series. Jarrett has won the big race three times, in 1993, 1996 and 2000.

"Now, is it going to happen in the Daytona 500? It can be because we’re going to be in the Daytona 500," said Jarrett. "If you get yourself in that race, then you have a chance. It’s been proven I know how to win that race, so I have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing at Michael’s right now in preparing for those races.

It would mean a lot for Jarrett to end his career on a high note, possibly as the NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion or at least be in the Chase for the final year. "If we were competitive week in and week out, then that to me would say this is the time that’s good for me to step away," says Jarrett. "It would be great if it were like John Elway and go out and win a championship – that would be fantastic. But those are the things dreams are made of and I have that dream. My career has been a dream story anyway. But that would be great if that could happen."

10/09/06 Wendy Venturini Gets ‘The Real Deal’ on Jarrett’s Move to Toyota and when the 1999 Nextel Cup Series Champ Plans on Retiring

Dale Jarrett and long-time sponsor UPS are headed to Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing for next season, ending a 12-year relationship with car owner Robert Yates. NASCAR RaceDay insider Wendy Venturini sat down with the 1999 Nextel Cup Series champion, as he talked about what’s recently transpired at Robert Yates Racing and when his career might come to a close.

Venturini: Coming in fourth at Kansas Speedway, how would you assess your season?

Jarrett: It’s been a real struggle. It’s certainly been a disappointment for all of us. With all of the changes forthcoming, that’s made it even more difficult. Things do change. I’d like to finish this off really strong. That would mean a lot to me. zzzz

Venturini: After years of winning – your last coming at Talladega one year ago - does it feel like a year since your last win?

Jarrett: It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long ago. Sometimes, it feels like things draw out forever. But this has been a situation I know we’ve been working hard – and we’re trying to get better – it just doesn’t seem like a year’s passed.

Venturini: You’ve run for great guys with Joe Gibbs, but 12 seasons with Robert Yates, did you ever think you would leave?

Jarrett: No. It didn’t even enter my mind because (Robert Yates Racing) was where I was going to finish up my career. It’s been a fun, fun ride, but a new challenge came along. As much as I didn’t think I would ever leave, that has changed. I do want to go out and try to be a winner.

Venturini: What will be the greatest memory of those 12 years?

Jarrett: Wow. There are a lot of them and we could have probably done a couple of shows in talking about them. But it was the championship in 1999. To know what that meant to Robert Yates meant more than anything else. That I was able to be apart of that team that brought him that championship.

Venturini: We talked with Robert Yates about six weeks ago and here is what he had say about you.

Robert Yates: …he’s a mold from his dad. He’s a gentleman guy and the most fair business guy…

Venturini: ‘…and have the utmost respect for him. He’s the guy that makes me believe that good guys can win races.’ (End Robert Yates excerpt). What do those words mean to you?

Jarrett: Means a lot to me to have someone like Robert Yates say those things about you. We’ve had a really good relationship throughout the years. I hate the way it’s ending the way it is. It would have been great if we could have just – even if we were going to part ways – that it could have been a little bit better. I think we still have a huge respect for each other. And to be mentioned in the same sentence with my dad, means a lot.

Venturini: What are your expectations for 2007?

Jarrett: To be the first driver to win in a Toyota in the Nextel Cup Series. Now, is it going to happen in the Daytona 500? It can be because we’re going to be in the Daytona 500. If you get yourself in that race, then you have a chance. It’s been proven I know how to win that race, so I have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing at Michael’s right now in preparing for those races.

Venturini: Have you decided what will be your final year in Nextel Cup?

Jarrett: Yeah, 2008 is going to be it. I’ve got a two-year deal here and I don’t see any scenarios that are going to change that for me.

Venturini: What do you consider going out on top? What would you be happy with?

Jarrett: Making the Chase would be something I consider going out on top. If we were competitive week in and week out, then that to me would say this is the time that’s good for me to step away. It would be great if it were like John Elway and go out and win a championship – that would be fantastic. But those are the things dreams are made of and I have that dream. My career has been a dream story anyway. But that would be great if that could happen.

Venturini: We heard Dale say that 2008 will be his final year in Cup. But what we can tell you is that UPS has had the ‘Drive the Truck’ campaign since 2001. He said it’s a good idea that he could possibly be in a brown truck before his career is over. Now, let me put the emphasis on truck, if you know what I mean. It’s purely speculation, but let’s wait and see if Dale Jarrett could possibly be in the Truck Series later on in about two years.

5th auction for Renault and Oxfam 5th auction for Renault and OxfamTuesday, 10 October is a date for F1 fans to mark in their diaries, as the Renault F1 Team and Oxfam join forces once again to host an online auction of F1 memorabilia to raise money to help overcome poverty and suffering in Brazil. This is the fifth in a series of auctions that have raised over $60,000 for Oxfam's work in Brazil in the last four years.
Renault F1 Team are again providing unique items for auction as part of their continuing support of Oxfam's 'One Million Cisterns' project, which provides water for poor communities in North Eastern Brazil. This is a region where 11 million rural people do not have access to clean water, the lack of which causes illness and disease and is a huge factor in the high infant mortality rate in the region. Ensuring access to a safe water supply is the vital priority and, in partnership with other organizations, Oxfam is implementing a huge project to build one million water tanks to collect rainwater in this region.

The Ebay auction runs for ten days ending on Thursday, 19 October and gives anyone and everyone the chance to bid on hugely collectable (signed) F1 memorabilia worn by current world champion Fernando Alonso and fellow Renault F1 Team drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen. Items on offer include: zzzz

*Alonso-signed racing overalls, race vest, shirt, gloves, caps and balaclava.
*Fisichella-signed racing overalls, cap, balaclava, race shirt, and racing vest.
*Kovalainen-signed racing overalls, race vest, race shirt and balaclava.

Renault F1 Team Managing Director Flavio Briatore commented: "The members of the Renault F1 Team are once again proud to be supporting Oxfam's charitable work in Brazil. We race in Sao Paulo every year, and enjoy the vibrant culture and hospitality of the country. But we are also struck by the social poverty in the cities - and that we know exists in the countryside too. It is a privilege to be able to use the popularity of our team, and Formula 1, to improve the basic standard of living for so many people, and we hope that this auction will make a significant contribution to achieving that goal."

"Over the last four years these auctions have raised significant amounts of money for the One Million Cisterns project in Brazil, and we are extremely grateful for the Renault F1 Team's continued support. The sale of these items -- each one representing a piece of F1 history -- will make a huge contribution to our work", said Michael Taylor, Oxfam's Marketing Manager, High Value Donated Gifts. Renault

NASCAR COT test held at Talladega NASCAR COT test held at TalladegaUPDATE The final portion of the "car of tomorrow" test was a good one for a driver looking to the future Monday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway.

Juan Pablo Montoya got to draft with 11 other Nextel Cup drivers during the session.

"The car of tomorrow has been great," said Montoya, who has moved from Formula One to Chip Ganassi Racing and will run full time in the No. 42 Nextel Cup car next season. "It is behaving really good. It was a nice experience to run with the Cup guys."

Montoya ran the ARCA race at Talladega on Friday, but got his first experience in a Nextel Cup car - though this version of a superspeedway car won't make its first appearance at a restrictor-plate track until next October at Talladega.

"Here, the side drafting, I was really learning to understand how it works and what you get and how everything works around it," Montoya said. "It's real interesting to see how you can work with people around you. It was just a lot of fun.

"It was fine. Run middle. Run low."

The Colombian star even got a feel of bump drafting - "Edwards broke my rear bumper," Montoya said.

In the final session with a 1-inch restrictor plate, the drivers ran an unofficial average of 193-194 mph, slightly slower than the race speed Sunday with 7/8-inch restrictor plates. There were no incidents.

"It's OK," said Bill Davis Racing driver Dave Blaney. "There was no problem with it. You could run three-wide easy and they're stable.

"They just react different. They suck up real fast and they don't run good out in the lead. But they were fine. They were fun, actually." Scenedaily.com

10/09/06 TALLADEGA, Ala. – Thirteen NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams -- the largest field to date – tested NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday. The test followed Sunday’s UAW-500.

Teams from Hendrick Motorsports (Jimmie Johnson), Roush Racing (Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray), Richard Childress Racing (Clint Bowyer), Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (Kerry Earnhardt), Evernham Motorsports (Scott Riggs), Wyler Racing (Ricky Rudd), Michael Waltrip Racing/Bill Davis (Dave Blaney), Haas CNC Racing (Jeff Green), Red Bull Racing (Mike Skinner), MB2 (Joe Nemechek), and Chip Ganassi Racing (Juan Pablo Montoya) participated in Monday’s test.

 The session served several purposes;
• Testing different restrictor plate sizes.
• Testing different aerodynamic packages by adjusting the rear wing angle and wicker size.
• Using different restrictor plate sizes and aerodynamic packages to work towards
eliminating a special unrestricted engine package at superspeedways.

The teams got on the track at 11 a.m., and began the day with individual runs. Following a driver and crew chief meeting with NASCAR, the teams held drafting sessions the remainder of the afternoon. John Darby, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Director, said the test was set up to serve multiple purposes. “This is the third Car of Tomorrow test we’ve had at a superspeedway and we’re learning more and more as we go along,” Darby said. “We were able to have the teams use several sizes of restrictor plates (beginning with 15/16 inch) and have them adjust their gear ratios accordingly to get the type of horsepower and speeds we were looking for at this type of race track. zzzz

“Once we’re able to accumulate all of the data, the goal would be to do away with the need for a special engine package at places like Daytona and Talladega. Being able to use the same engine packages that we use at places like Michigan, Lowe’s and California, the teams will be able to reduce costs in putting their various engine programs together.”

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford, drove the Car of Tomorrow for the first time Monday. He said once some adjustments were made to the restrictor plates, he didn’t notice any difference between the car he drove Monday and the one he drove during Sunday’s race.

“The car may look different, but it really drives about the same,” Biffle said. “We started out a little slower, but when we put on a different restrictor plate, we got the speeds up some. I think we’ll find that you can get better runs and pull up closer to the car in front of you better than before (in draft sessions).”

Since this was Biffle’s first experience driving the Car of Tomorrow, he was able to get a good look at some of the car’s new safety improvements.

“There is a good bit more room inside the car,” Biffle said. “There are also energy absorbing materials located outside the door bars, so both of those are good things when it comes to safety.”

The Car of Tomorrow is the culmination of a five-year design program by NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. The new car’s primary components are safety innovations, performance, competition and cost efficiency for teams. The new car will begin competition in 2007 at the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will race at 16 different events next season. The 2008 Car of Tomorrow implementation schedule includes 26 events. Teams will run the entire 2009 schedule with the Car of Tomorrow. Teams will be allowed to test their versions of the Car Of Tomorrow at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup test Oct. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Todt: We had no warning Todt: We had no warningFerrari team boss Jean Todt says the team had no warning that Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was going to blow an engine while leading at Suzuka, Japan Sunday.

The rare engine failure - the German's first in a race for six years - turned the championship on its head, and handed Alonso a near-impenetrable ten-point advantage with one race to run.

Todt said, "Mathematically, it's still possible but, logically, we know it will be very difficult.

"But that's racing. We know that to win races, to win championships, we need performance, good tires, good team, reliability, good drivers and, today, we did not have good reliability and we paid the highest price.

"It's our mistake and we have to accept it. The others did not make a mistake and they are in front, so there is logic.

"We [have been] in this business for many years so, when you have success, you must be happy, and, when you don't, you must turn the page. Sometimes, you must remember the unbelievable period we have had - success, friendship, a unique relationship.

"We are lucky to be able to exercise our passion, knowing that some more difficult things happen in the world. We must give a weight to each single thing."

Hulkenberg crash photos Hulkenberg crash photosGermany's Nico Hulkenberg had this frightening crash at the start of Sunday's A1GP race at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Photos courtesy A1 Grand Prix

Industry News
Cleaner diesel cars, fuel to hit USA showrooms Cleaner diesel cars, fuel to hit USA showroomsWith cleaner diesel fuel now available in the United States, DaimlerChrysler AG's luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is preparing to roll out the first of four models in North America featuring its newest diesel technology.

The E320 Bluetec sedan, which goes on sale next week in most states and in Canada, is equipped with a system that drastically lowers emissions of soot and other pollutants associated with diesel.

By the end of October, similar diesel versions of the ML sport utility vehicle and R-Class touring wagon will hit U.S. showrooms. Mercedes will add a diesel GL to its American lineup early next year.

Mercedes and other German automakers are trying to position fuel-efficient diesels as a time-tested alternative to popular gas-electric hybrids.

Mercedes first built diesel cars in 1936. In Europe, diesels are popular and account for half of new car sales. But the German automakers have been handicapped in the United States, which has stricter regulations than Europe on diesel emissions but had comparatively lax norms for diesel fuel -- until now.

Don't envy Hendrick Don't envy HendrickDon't envy NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick this week. Not only does he have three cars struggling in the Chase, now he has a shop divided with winners and whiners.

UAW-Ford 500 winner Brian Vickers found himself in a no-win situation Sunday when he crashed teammate Jimmie Johnson and race leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the way to his first Nextel Cup victory.

Vickers, 22 and a lame duck at Hendrick (he's committed to race Toyotas for Team Red Bull next year), had no place to go once he pulled out of line, ostensibly to aid Johnson in a bump-draft bid to pass Earnhardt Jr. with two turns left.

Johnson thought Vickers overdrove it, although Earnhardt's block left Vickers with little alternative than to send the front-runners skidding to the infield. Earnhardt fans, in abundance at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, were convinced of the same, hurling obscenities and assorted trash at Vickers, who was left to play post-race apologist.

"I hate it for Jimmie, and I apologize to him," said Vickers, already excluded from Hendrick team meetings. "I didn't expect for us to win. I was looking to maybe get second place by pushing Jimmie by the No. 8. I can promise you he was not going to pull out and pass that No. 8 car by himself."  More at USA Today

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Another engine problem for Schu
Schu failure is 'justice' - Briatore
Date set for $5m Turkey fine appeal
Schu confirms Jerez test
Boss rejects Coulthard's 'nervous' claim
Beware of Schu's dirty tricks - racers
Toyotas were not light - boss
Symonds 'sad' about Suzuka demise
De la Rosa - Suzuka didn't cost me seat
Alonso will miss Renault - Ecclestone
Renault plan ultra-reliable V8 for Brazil
Karaoke at Suzuka's Log Cabin
Alonso to carry '1' or '5' in 2007?
Kovalainen hopes for long Renault career
BMW deny 'team order' allegation
Former F1 tester to replace da Matta
Alonso denies 'mass damper' worry for Brazil
Final stage of GM Driver Evaluation Final stage of GM Driver EvaluationDetroit (MI) - The final stage of the three-stage GM Racing Development Driver Evaluation Program will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, October 10-11, 2006 at Nashville Superspeedway (NSS).  The 10 drivers invited to participate will be driving Richard Childress Racing (RCR) NASCAR Busch Series cars.

The GM Racing Development Driver Evaluation program was designed to provide opportunities for both the drivers and the teams to connect if an opening exists in someone's driver roster. All Chevrolet teams have been invited to attend and observe the drivers throughout the three stages.  GM Racing engineers along with Pratt-Miller staff members have been charged with accurately gathering data for review by Chevy team representatives.

Of the 16 original drivers invited to Stages I and II, Landon Cassill, Jeremy Clements, Marc Davis, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Drew Herring, Woody Howard, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Joey Lagano, Tim McCreadie and Jason Sarvis will be showcasing their talent before representatives of Chevy NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series teams.  zzzz

The first stage was held September 12-13, 2006 at Caraway Speedway, Asheboro NC and showcased the drivers in NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) cars. Stage II of the program was held September 19-20, at Dale McDowell Dirt School located at North Georgia Speedway, Chatsworth, GA in three different dirt track late model cars.

"We (the GM Racing group) met and discussed the results of the first two stages of the program - both objective and subjective," said Pat Suhy, NASCAR program manger for GM Racing. "We ranked the drivers in groups, from top (ready to go to Nashville) to bottom (not ready for Nashville) with a group in the middle and a practical limit on the number of drivers you can properly evaluate in two days on Nashville Superspeedway.  It was a very difficult process, as some very promising guys got left out.  We sent our list of suggested attendees out to the teams for feedback and worked a few changes in based on their input to come up with the final list."

Alex Job Racing, Team Synergy Prep For Rolex 24 Alex Job Racing, Team Synergy Prep For Rolex 24Monday morning kicked off a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway for two Rolex 24 At Daytona hopefuls, as the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team and Synergy Racing turned laps on the famed 3.56-mile, 14-turn circuit in early preparation for next year's twice-around-the-clock classic.

Among a number of historic sports cars in attendance preparing for an event at the "World Center of Racing", the two Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Daytona Prototypes are using the two-day test to prep for the 45th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 27-28, the prestigious kick-off event to the international racing calendar.

The No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Porsche Crawford fielded by Alex Job Racing returned to the Daytona with driver Patrick Long. The Alex Job Racing entry captured the pole for the 2006 Rolex 24 and finished third overall with drivers Long, Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller. zzzz

The team returned with the same car looking for reliability that proves vital in winning the demanding endurance challenge.

"The season ends a little bit early in the Grand-Am Series so it's given us some time to regroup and continue developing," Long said. "This team was new in '06 and a lot of people forgot about that because we had a real strong beginning. So we're out here to capitalize on the time off and really prepare for this year's Rolex 24 and the '07 season. We certainly had the speed last year but we learned reliability is absolute key so that's what we're doing."

With Alex Job Racing's first entry in the competitive Daytona Prototype division, the No. 23 Porsche Crawford quickly became the car the beat in the 2006 Rolex 24.

"From the opening test of preseason '06, the car came out of the box extremely quick," Long said. "That's a testament to Max Crawford and Porsche. Alex just really massaged the car and got Mike and I and Lucas for the 24 hour. We work really well together because of our relationship of being Porsche factory drivers."

"It was a sort of a dream opening and almost too good to be true. We had two axle failures and I think we were almost nine laps down at about 1 or 2 in the morning but we were able to battle back. We definitely want to come back and get a win here. It's one of the biggest races in the world so certainly as driver, it's one of my goals in my career so the sooner the better."

Also testing for next year's Rolex 24 was Synergy Racing and Team Seattle, which competes under the Synergy Racing banner.

Team Seattle is preparing for its 11th year of competition in the Rolex 24. Team Seattle uses the Rolex 24 to raise funds for the Seattle Children's Hospital. Since beginning the venture, the team has raised $2.2 million and has captured two Rolex 24 class victories.

The team will return for the 2007 Rolex 24 with two GT cars along with six returning drivers and two newcomers.

"We've got a lot on the line this year," said Team Seattle founder and driver Don Kitch Jr. said. "We've got already $200,000 in the bank toward this year's effort. Our goal is to leave here Monday morning, January 29, with somewhere between $500,000 and $600,000 in the bank. It's going to be a huge year for Team Seattle."

Through www.teamseattle.com, the team receives pledges for laps completed in the race.

Sports car testing continues on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway and is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

Formula BMW
3 Formula BMW standouts test Atlantic car 3 Formula BMW standouts test Atlantic carAmericans Matt Lee and Robert Thorne and Canadian Adrien Herberts jumped aboard a Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic car last week at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California. The three Formula BMW USA standouts impressed with similar lap times and they put in very good performances for their first time in a Mazda-Cosworth/Swift 016.a car. History was also made at Buttonwillow as the Conquest Atlantic squad became the first team to test the new Cooper Tires, the Official Tire supplier for the Champ Car Atlantic Championship starting next season.

“I’m really pleased with how the test went,” said Eric Bachelart, co-owner of the Mi-Jack Conquest Atlantic Team. “All three drivers had very good driving techniques and provided us with excellent feedback. Not one of them put a wheel wrong during the two days. They did a great job and they definitely have potential and a lot of talent.

“We are also glad to have had the chance to test and evaluate the new Cooper Tires and work on finding a good setup for the car with the new tires,” continued Bachelart. “The Cooper Tires proved to be very consistent and they performed well. We look forward to racing with them next season.” zzzz

All three drivers liked working with the team, enjoyed their time in the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic cars and hope to be in the Champ Car Atlantic Series next season.

Before joining the BMW Series in 2005, 17-year-old Adrien Herberts, competed for five years in Quarter Midgets winning a Regional Championship. He also raced go-karts and Formula TR where he became the youngest Canadian driver to compete at that Pro Formula Level. Herberts returned to the Formula BMW USA Series in 2006. He ended the season with two podiums and four top-ten finishes in 14 races.

The Canadian was having a great time and doing very well during his two half-days of testing in the Atlantic car but a problem with the gearbox put a very early end to his session on Thursday. “It was a really good test for us. It was my first experience in this type of car and I was really happy to do it in the Mi-Jack Conquest car because it is one of the best. It took me a few laps to get used to the new found power but after that I was able to push hard and do quick laps. (About the car) It was awesome driving the Atlantic car. It has great grip and amazing braking, it’s like being punched in the stomach,” said an enthused Herberts.

Matt Lee is a 16-year-old American who competed in his second season in the Formula BMW USA Series this year. He scored three victories, seven podiums and five pole positions in 14 races on his way to a runner-up finish in the Championship. In 2005, he represented the United States at the Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain and competed in his first season in Formula BMW USA, finishing 16th in his rookie season racing cars. He also raced in the World Karting Association and Stars of Karting in 2004 and was crowned the National Champion in the Junior HPV class in 2003. 

“I really like how the car goes. The acceleration and the braking are great. It didn’t take me too long to get up to speed and by the second day I felt right at home just like in my Formula BMW car. I started by taking a few warm up laps on the first day with a set of old tires then we moved on to the new Cooper Tires and did some tire testing. I think we found a good baseline set-up with the new tires,” explained Lee. “The team is great and well organized and I enjoyed my two days of testing with them.”

The third driver testing the Conquest Atlantic car was 16-year-old Robert Thorne who progressed nicely over his two mornings of testing. A rookie in the Formula BMW USA Series this season, Thorne had a best finish of fifth and four top-ten finishes. He was one of the five drivers to earn a scholarship from BMW to compete in their Series in ’06. The American participated in numerous karting events from 2000 to 2004 in the World Karting Association as well as the Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow series bringing home seven national titles.

“My first half-day of testing was really interesting. I was getting used to the car and how to drive it properly. It definitely has more acceleration and better braking than the Formula BMW and the steering effort is much less which surprised me,” said Thorne. “I was a little shaky on the first morning but my second morning went much better. We made changes that helped me out a lot and I was able to push harder and go much quicker. I put everything I could into it and I did my best.”

The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team will continue preparing for the 2007 season with more testing in the coming months. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing

RuSPORT announces Briscoe RuSPORT announces BriscoeRuSPORT announced today that Australian driver Ryan Briscoe will pilot the No. 10 RuSPORT Champ Car in the final two races of the 2006 Champ Car season, in Surfers Paradise, Australia on Oct. 22 and Mexico City on Nov. 12.  Briscoe replaces RuSPORT driver Cristiano da Matta, who was injured during a testing session at Road America on Aug. 3. 

Briscoe brings a solid base of racing experience to The Champ Car World Series.  He served as a test driver for Toyota’s Formula 1 program from 2002-2004, competed in the Indy Racing League as a member of Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, and raced in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in 2005 and 2006, winning the pole in 2005. 

2006 has already been a busy year behind the wheel for Briscoe.  In addition to Rolex Grand American event in Daytona, he has competed in four IRL events as a member of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, scoring two top-ten finishes, including one third place finish at Watkins Glen.  Briscoe has also been racing as a member of Team Australia in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and has already posted a successful result, finishing in third place in the first A1GP event of the 2006 season in Zandvoort, The Netherlands.  A very well-rounded young driver, Briscoe most recently raced in this past weekend’s Bathurst 1000, one of the premier events in the V8 Supercars Australia Series. zzzz

“I’m very excited about joining RuSPORT and competing in Champ Car,” said Briscoe.  “Because my official start will be in Surfers Paradise, it will be a very special race for me.  It’s been my goal since the beginning of the year to race in Champ Car, and I’m with a top team, so it’s a really exciting opportunity for me.  I’m hoping we can get off to a quick start and get some good results right away.” 

“Since Cristiano’s accident in August, we have been spent a considerable amount of time and effort on finding the right driver for the No. 10 car,” said RuSPORT president Jeremy Dale.  “Although we interviewed and tested several talented and capable drivers, we believe Ryan is the ideal type of driver for RuSPORT.  The experience he has gained in his relatively young racing career has enabled him to become a competitive driver with a solid base of technical knowledge that we look for.  RuSPORT is a team made up of very competitive people, and racing without the No. 10 car at the past three Champ Car events has been challenging for everyone here.  However, the entire team is very excited to have the No. 10 car back on track in Australia and Mexico City, particularly with a driver of Ryan’s caliber.” 

The 2006 Champ Car World Series continues with the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, October 20-22.  The race will be broadcast via tape delay in the U.S. on SPEED Channel, starting at 2:00 pm ET on Oct. 22.

Drake Recuperating at Home Drake Recuperating at HomeINDIANAPOLIS - Jay Drake, who crashed during Saturday night’s USAC National Sprint Car Series semi-feature at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, is recuperating at home Sunday after being released from Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

Scans and x-rays Saturday night proved negative, although Drake suffered bruises in the jarring crash, which occurred while fighting for the lead in the semi-feature.

2007 Champ Car Atlantic schedule 2007 Champ Car Atlantic schedule
Another Earnhardt tapped for development test Another Earnhardt tapped for development testA grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt will be part of the third and final stage of GM Racing's Development Driver Evaluation program at Nashville Superspeedway this week.

Jeffrey Earnhardt, son of Craftsman Truck Series driver Kerry Earnhardt, is among 16 drivers who will test Richard Childress Racing-prepared Busch Series cars at the 1.33-mile track in Lebanon, Tenn.

"Unlike other programs of this nature, there are no winners or losers," said Pat Suhy, NASCAR program manager for GM Racing. "Our program provides opportunities for both the drivers and the teams to connect if an opening exists in someone's driver roster.

"This evaluation program is designed to allow these drivers the opportunity to showcase their talent and adaptability in equal cars in a controlled environment."

The other drivers participating in the two-day session that begins Tuesday are Chase Austin, Colin Braun, Landon Cassill, Jeremy Clements, Marc Davis, Jay Gerst, Drew Herring, Woody Howard, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Joey Lagano, Tim McCreadie, Chad McCumbee, Josh Richards, Jason Sarvis and Kody Swanson. Scenedaily.com

Italy F1 TV ratings for Japan Italy F1 TV ratings for JapanTV ratings for the Japanese GP in Italy, broadcast live at 7AM, showed that just over 4 million households were tuned in with a 70 share (i.e. 70% of the households  that were watching TV at 7AM Sunday morning were watching the F1 race).
Red Bull team expects RB3 to be big step up Red Bull team expects RB3 to be big step upRed Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has promised Adrian Newey’s new RB3 chassis will be a “significant step forward” for his team in 2007 after David Coulthard criticized RBR’s strength in depth in Japan.

The Scot was furious at his failure to make it past the first qualifying session at Suzuka and questioned Red Bull’s ability to move forward after its drop in performance this year.

But Horner reckons the team’s lull in form is a deliberate blip induced by a shift in focus on to next year’s campaign.

“I think that you’ve obviously caught David just after he’s jumped out of the car at the end of a disappointing qualifying session for all of us,” he told ITV Sport’s Louise Goodman.

"David’s aware that the people we have in the team make up a very strong group. Under Adrian Newey’s leadership we have one of the strongest groups in Formula 1.

“We made a strategic decision earlier in the summer to turn off the development on the current car to focus on the development of RB3 – next year’s car – which will be a significant step forward for us.

“It was a very simple and straightforward decision to make to put all our eggs in one basket behind Adrian rather than splitting our resource.

“Inevitably there is a bit of short-term pain but we are expecting to see some longer term gain from it.

“I totally understand David’s frustration but he is a big part of our package for next year.”

Beijing A1GP circuit revealed Beijing A1GP circuit revealedUPDATE Plans for a street race in Beijing have been revealed - but have yet to be signed off by the FIA, according to reports.

The Chinese capital is due to hold the third round of the A1 Grand Prix series on November 12th, but concerns over the safety of the proposed circuit could prove a last-minute stumbling block.

The 1.894 mile/3.048km circuit is located approximately 10 miles to the south east of central Beijing in a high-technology economic development area. Yi Zhuang is located in Beijing’s south-east suburbs and is home to hundreds of multi-national companies and joint ventures. Companies with factories in Yi Zhuang include Nokia, Coca-Cola, GE and Mercedes-Benz.

Unlike Beijing's permanent Goldenport circuit, or Shanghai's opulent F1 circuit, the Yi Zhuhang street course would be easily accessible for spectators, with frequent bus and subway connections. Cold winter weather could still affect fan turnout, however (average November temp in Beijing is 39 degrees F).

The track includes two long blasts along a dual carriageway - similar in style to the fabled Avus circuit in Germany. But it is these straights which are calling safety into question, according to Autosport magazine.

FIA safety delegate Roland Bruynseraede told the magazine that he "required more information" before he could sign off the layout, adding that the dual carriageway could be considered "a little" dangerous.

"Nobody has been there yet and we only saw this drawing two weeks ago. There is not enough information, so we will have to wait before making any decisions," he said.

Should the Beijing race go ahead, China will be the only country to host two events in the 2006-07 A1GP series. eTracksonline.co.uk

09/14/06 In an AutoRacing1.com exclusive, to the right is the yet to be announced A1 Grand Prix street circuit in Beijing, China, for the race to be run the weekend of November 3-5 (now the 12th), 2006. The 11-turn track runs counterclockwise with the pits being curved in the center of the picture. This layout has yet to be announced by A1GP as we assume they are waiting on final government approval.
McCauley wins Crew Chief award McCauley wins Crew Chief awardTALLADEGA, Alabama – While most competitors in the UAW/Ford 500 had a day filled with ups and downs, Kurt Busch was a picture of consistency.  Following crew chief Roy McCauley’s game plan, the No. 2 Miller Lite team performed a series of two-tire pit stops that kept Busch on the leader’s board for the majority of the race.  Busch’s track position allowed him to steer clear of trouble and finish the day in third-place.  McCauley’s strategy earned him the WypAll® Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.

The No. 2 team went the entire race without performing a four-tire pit stop.  After starting in 29th place, Busch seemed stuck towards the back of the field and couldn’t make any significant gains on the leaders.  McCauley called for a change of right-side tires when Busch made his first trip down pit lane, which moved him up with the front runners.  McCauley kept his driver’s track position by continuing to call for two-tire stops, each time rotating the side that his crew changed.  Busch stayed up front to finish the day in third-place. zzzz 

“After practice yesterday, we learned that tire wear wasn’t that bad,” said McCauley.  “We felt that the tire wear was pretty minimal and that we could keep track position and stay out of the messes.  Kurt did a great job driving and the Miller Lite crew did a great job in the pits. This was the first time that I ever made only two-tire stops, but it worked out pretty good for us.”

A panel of voters, including Tony Eury Sr., a member of the local media and a WYPALL® Wipers representative, all voted for McCauley as the Crew Chief of the Race.  “Track position is so important at Talladega,” said Eury Sr.  “It’s tough to make up spots and Roy (McCauley) had a good plan to get his driver up front and keep him there.  Not too many crew chiefs would have been brave enough to make only two-tire stops.  It turned out to be a real good plan.  That kept Kurt out of trouble; he avoided all the wrecks and was able to come away with a top-five.  If he hadn’t come up with that strategy, Kurt wouldn’t have had that good a day.”

For winning the Crew Chief of the Race award, WYPALL® Wipers presented McCauley $1,000.  At the end of the season, the Nextel Cup crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned the WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.  This was McCauley’s second Crew Chief of the Race award, which ties him for third place with Mike Ford, Scott Miller and Chad Knaus. Doug Richert, Philippe Lopez, Frankie Stoddard, Alan Gustafson, Kevin Hamlin and Greg Zipadelli are tied for fourth-place, all with one win.  Todd Berrier and Tony Eury Jr. are tied for second-place, both with three wins.  Robbie Reiser and Kenny Francis are tied for first-place, both with four wins. 

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in briefUPDATE
Press pays tribute to 'captain' Schu
F1 teams sign 2007 test agreement

Pedro joins Jerez head-to-head
Alonso wants 'safe' run to title
Ferrari have 'blown it' - Lauda
Schu's manager reveals Suzuka horror
COT test at Talladega today COT test at Talladega todayNASCAR plans to bring eight sets of restrictor plates, and some could have holes as big as 1-inch in diameter (the current holes are 57/64-inch in diameter), when teams test the "car of tomorrow" today at Talladega Superspeedway. By instituting a gear rule for restrictor-plate engines (there is no current gear rule) and utilizing the car of tomorrow's increased drag, NASCAR could allow more air to flow through the engines. The first restrictor-plate car of tomorrow race is scheduled for October 2007 at Talladega. "Because it is different than our downforce tests which we've done, we're going to go [and ask teams] to put this plate on with this gear," NASCAR Director of Cost Research Brett Bodine said. "We're going to be able to zero in pretty quick on the package." Ten teams plan on attending the test at Talladega: Richard Childress Racing (Clint Bowyer), Roush Racing (Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray), Hendrick Motorsports (Jimmie Johnson), Evernham Motorsports (Scott Riggs), MB2 Motorsports (Joe Nemechek), Haas CNC Racing (Jeff Green), Dale Earnhardt Inc. (Kerry Earnhardt), Team Red Bull (Mike Skinner), Wyler Racing (Ricky Rudd) and Chip Ganassi Racing (Juan Pablo Montoya). Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing South, Robert Yates Racing and Petty Enterprises are among the teams planning on skipping the test. SceneDaily.com
Teams ratify new testing agreement Teams ratify new testing agreementAfter the Japanese GP Sunday all the Formula One team bosses have signed off on the 2007 testing agreement that lays out the rules for testing in 2007, which is now limited to 30,000 kilometers (about 18,000 miles) per team.
Conor Daly Wins Senior TAG World Finals Conor Daly Wins Senior TAG World FinalsIn what many described as his finest race ever, Conor Daly scored a spectacular win in the TAG World Finals at New Castle Motorsports Park. Conor qualified on the pole with the fastest ever senior TAG lap at New Castle, and after a 4th and 2nd place finish in the heat and pre-final, he started the final on the front row. After 20 spectacular laps, where he swapped the lead multiple times with the #1 nationally ranked shifter kart driver, Kyle Wiegand, Conor took the lead for the last time just before the white flag lap.

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

V8 SuperCars
Ford team wins Bathurst 1000 Ford team wins Bathurst 100063,000 turned out to watch round 9 of the V8 Supercars championship where Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup won the Supercheap Auto 1000 at Mt Panorama, Bathurst. Australia.(photo right courtesy of Ford).  They gave Ford its first win in the Bathurst 1000 since 1988. The Ford was chased home by the Holden of Rick and Todd Kelly with former Jaguar F1 test driver James Courtney third in a Ford with Glenn Seton.
Fresh look and a new name for Grand-Am team Fresh look and a new name for Grand-Am teamDALLAS — GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing will take on a new name and a new look for the 2007 Rolex Sports Car Series season, as last year’s breakthrough Daytona Prototype team is being renamed GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing.
Team owner Bob Stallings said the new moniker would more clearly link the team’s on-track successes with his off-track business prowess.
“As I’m out in the marketplace looking for potential partners for our team, I found that many of them were spending too much time figuring out who or what Blackhawk was,” Stallings said. “Now people who know me, or know of me, can instantly associate my name with my team – it just makes sense.”
Stallings said he felt the new name was also appropriate in that it clearly delineated his role within the organization – as a dynamic, hands-on team owner/driver involved in every facet of his team’s on-track performance. He serves as the face of the team for SPEED Channel’s broadcast coverage and is actively involved in team management and race strategy. zzzz
“The new name makes it clear to everyone that I’m proud of my team and its successes. I am committed, long-term, to making Bob Stallings Racing a championship-winning team in the Rolex Sports Car Series,” Stallings said.
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing will announce its complete lineup for the 2007 Rolex Sports Car Series season in the coming months.
The primary sponsor of the No. 99 Bob Stallings Racing Daytona Prototype is GAINSCO Auto Insurance (Amex:GAN), a Dallas, Texas-based auto insurer that distributes policies through a network of nearly 4,000 independent agents across the Sunbelt. One of the fastest-growing carriers in the auto insurance industry, GAINSCO uses its “Are You Driven?” motorsports sponsorship and marketing campaign to build brand awareness and advance its distribution strategies. For more information, visit http://www.GAINSCO.com.
Bob Stallings Racing has been committed to excellence in road racing since its formation in 2001. The team will campaign the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in the 2007 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. The team is supported by GAINSCO Auto Insurance, and proudly partners with Pontiac, Riley Technologies and Puma. For more information, visit http://www.GAINSCOracing.com.
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