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DATE News (chronologically)
10/16/04
irl
Both Panther Racing cars disqualified for cheating Both Panther Racing cars disqualified for cheatingUPDATE Word from the paddock is that indeed Panther Racing was caught with a flexible rear wing and they were not the first team to be caught, and not the first to be penalized. 10/16/04 While the two Panther Racing cars had passed initial technical inspection, post-qualifying inspection led to a closer examination of the rear wing elements on both cars (recall the rumors of flexible wings we published awhile ago.  Could this be the infraction?).  Both cars will be moved to the back of the grid (Scheckter will start 20th, Bell 21st) and Panther Racing has been assessed an undisclosed fine by the series.  The Panther response to this penalty "Panther Racing qualified for the Chevy 500 in racecars that had passed technical inspection on two occasions Friday - prior to the first practice and again as the car was rolled onto the qualifying grid. Unfortunately, the same cars that passed the previous technical inspections did not pass the post qualification technical inspection. We are disappointed in the result but we are fully supportive of the IndyCar technical inspection staff, rules and rulings. It is Panther Racing's belief that aggressive technical inspections and rules help keep the playing field even for all teams. Panther Racing is committed to winning races in the IndyCar series and it is our desire to do so with cars that fit within every rule and regulation of the IndyCar series."
10/16/04
alms
ALMS announces Founder's Challenge Cup ALMS announces Founder's Challenge CupDrivers in the American Le Mans Series whose primary career is not racing will have their own championship to compete for in 2005 as series organizers introduce the Founder's Challenge Cup. Named in honor of ALMS founder Don Panoz, the Founder's Challenge Cup will recognize drivers in each race, with points awarded for a season-long championship. The champions will receive unique, specially designed awards that will be revealed at the 2005 season-opening event at Sebring.

"Drivers who do not earn their primary living from racing, colloquially known as Gentlemen Drivers, have been the bedrock throughout the history of sports car racing," said Tim Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of IMSA, the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series. "We need to recognize them for their achievements in the sport.  Several years ago we introduced the IMSA Cup to recognize privateer racing teams, and the new Founder's Challenge Cup is another award in that same vane," said Mayer. "All of the drivers and racing teams in the American Le Mans Series, whether factory or privateer, professional or gentleman, deserve appreciation for their effort in competition."  Mayer said that full details of the Founder's Challenge Cup will be announced at a later date.

10/16/04
IRL
IRL speeds increasing out of control IRL speeds increasing out of controlFor 2004 the IRL cut back their engine capacity to 3.0 liters to slow the cars down because speeds were getting out of hand.  At Texas, due to the HP race between the engine manufacturers, speeds are up 5 mph between the June race and this weekend's race.  That is a lot in 4 short months.  Won't be long before the IRL is reducing engine capacity from 3.0 liters to 2.5 liters.  Because an IRL car is at 100% throttle the entire lap, increases in top-end HP result in significantly faster lap times, whereas on a road course a car is at 100% throttle only a fraction of the time.  Hence increases in HP on a road course do not equate to as large a jump in average lap speeds compared to an oval, everything else being equal.  This is the dilemma you face when you have a 100% throttle, no talent required,  oval racing series.
10/16/04
irl
The high-cost of oval racing continues The high-cost of oval racing continuesThe Infiniti Pro Series race today at Texas Motor Speedway was marked by a big five-car accident at lap 8, which totaled the car of James Chesson and badly damaged four others after Paul Dana spun all by himself. IRL races at Texas Motor Speedway have historically resulted in a lot of wrecked race cars and broken human body parts. Let's hope Dario Franchitti's broken foot is the only broken body part that results from Sunday's race.
10/16/04
irl
Wheldon leads final practice Wheldon leads final practiceSeeking to secure his runner-up position on the 2004 IndyCar championship, British driver Dan Wheldon pressed hard to set the fastest time on today's final practice for the Chevy 500. Tomas Scheckter and his Panther Racing teammate Townsend Bell will start from the rear of the field after chassis technical violations were found during post-qualifying inspection, while Wheldon's Andretti Green teammate Dario Franchitti will start 19th in his backup car, after making contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2 during morning practice.
Pos Driver Diff Time Speed Lap C/E/T Status
1 Dan Wheldon (26) 24.4258 214.445 32 D/H/F Pit
2 Mark Taylor (13) 0.0507 24.4765 214.001 10 G/H/F Pit
3 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 0.0736 24.4994 213.801 28 G/H/F Pit
4 Helio Castroneves (3) 0.0848 24.5106 213.703 13 D/T/F Pit
5 Vitor Meira (17) 0.1064 24.5322 213.515 33 G/H/F Pit
6 Bryan Herta (7) 0.1427 24.5685 213.200 14 D/H/F Pit
7 Adrian Fernandez (5) 0.1432 24.5690 213.195 26 G/H/F Pit
8 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.1754 24.6012 212.916 32 D/H/F Pit
9 Scott Dixon (1) 0.2070 24.6328 212.643 11 G/T/F Pit
10 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.2464 24.6722 212.304 11 D/H/F Pit
11 Scott Sharp (8) 0.2489 24.6747 212.282 13 D/T/F Pit
12 Townsend Bell (2) 0.2500 24.6758 212.273 15 D/C/F Pit
13 Alex Barron (51) 0.2601 24.6859 212.186 4 D/C! /F Pit
14 Tomas Scheckter (4) 0.2746 24.7004 212.061 10 D/C/F Pit
15 Buddy Rice (15) 0.3380 24.7638 211.518 9 G/H/F Pit
16 Sam Hornish Jr. (6) 0.3444 24.7702 211.464 34 D/T/F Pit
17 Tora Takagi (12) 0.3583 24.7841 211.345 33 D/T/F Pit
18 Felipe Giaffone (24) 0.3711 24.7969 211.236 40 D/C/F Pit
19 Tomas Enge (20) 0.4097 24.8355 210.908 42 D/C/F Pit
20 Ed Carpenter (52) 0.4137 24.8395 210.874 8 D/C/F Pit
10/16/04
irl
Franchitti crashes, breaks foot Franchitti crashes, breaks footDario Franchitti is questionable for Sunday’s IRL IndyCar Series season finale after a bone was broken in his left foot during a crash in practice Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

  
Photos by Shawn Payne/IRL

Franchitti’s No. 27 Andretti Green Racing Honda-Powered Dallara spun and hit the SAFER barrier in turn two during the Saturday morning practice session. He sustained a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, IRL medical officials said, but he has been cleared to drive in Sunday’s Chevy 500k. However, Franchitti and AGR officials said they weren’t sure if he would compete in the race. [He has been cleared to drive in tomorrow's Chevy 500K event by the IRL Medical Director, Dr. Henry Bock., who says Franchitti is limited only by the level of his discomfort.]

“It was a left-side hit, and I had my left foot on the clutch pedal,” Franchitti said. “The impact on my body was minimal. We obviously have a problem with the pedals on the car. We’ve had it for many years. It caught me out. I caught the side of my foot on the clutch and broke a little bone.” SPEED TV

10/16/04
nascar
Evernham Motorsports signs deal with Stanley Tools Evernham Motorsports signs deal with Stanley ToolsEvernham Motorsports announced Saturday they have signed a multi-faceted marketing agreement with Stanley Tools for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season.  Stanley Tools has signed on as an associate sponsor on the No. 9 Dodge of Kasey Kahne as well as the No. 19 Dodge of Jeremy Mayfield. “As someone who started out as a mechanic, I spent a lot of my career working with great tools like Mac and Stanley,” said Evernham Motorsports president and CEO Ray Evernham. “I’m proud to have them as sponsors on all three Evernham Motorsports cars.

“So for 2005 to get our program ready, we’ve got to bolt our program down, level the playing field, put the hammer down, and brush by our competition without getting nailed or screwed,” Evernham went on to say, getting raucous laughter from the assembled media.  “Today is an exciting day for Stanley Works,” said Don McIllnay, president of the Stanley Group. “We are returning to Nextel Cup racing for the first time in five or six years. It’s an incredible opportunity for Stanley through motorsports.” (Photo L to R: Kasey Kahne, Ray Evernham, Jeremy Mayfield)

Stanley Tools will also serve as primary sponsor of the No. 91 of Bill Elliott for four races during 2005 as Elliott continues his part-time schedule. “Bill will run at California, Texas, Indy and Charlotte,” said Evernham. “Right now we’ve got six for sure for Bill and we’re going to be making an announcement in November for the other two.”  Stanley’s new marketing agreement with Evernham and Dodge will include new product launches for each of its businesses, key customer outreach efforts, retail marketing efforts and internal promotions.

10/16/04
alms
IMSA mandates new tire, testing regs IMSA mandates new tire, testing regsThe International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series, is introducing new regulations regarding tire usage and testing into the professional sports car racing series. The regulations are designed to help racing teams and tire manufacturers control costs. The regulations take effect immediately upon the conclusion of the season-ending Audi Sports Car Championships event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., Oct. 16. "For the first time, a cooperative mechanism has been established in which we can work with teams and manufacturers to establish rules that are good for everyone and sensibly limit the costs of racing," said Tim Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of IMSA. "The ACO is working hand in glove with us to help create this environment." The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) is the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the event upon which the ALMS is based. New regulations regarding tires and their usage cap the number of tires any American Le Mans Series car can have on days leading up to the race, including the race day warm-up, to 20 dry tires. The number of tires that can be used in the race will remain open. In addition, "intermediate" tires will be eliminated, and a single wet tire per tire manufacturer, per class, will be mandated. Teams may also use only one set of tires in qualifying. "This is a landmark regulation that cuts out large areas of cost for both manufacturers and teams," said Mayer. "Intermediate tires had no benefit to the competition but added enormous cost. Hundreds of tires were manufactured and, for the most part, cut up. "We feel that race teams will be self-regulating as to the number of tires they use in a race because no one wants to stop more often than they have to," he said. "This creates an extremely predictable budget for the teams," said Mayer. "But, in the tradition of the American Le Mans Series, includes mechanisms where manufacturers can continue to innovate." The establishment of a mechanism to regulate testing is also a first-time move by IMSA. The regulations apply to testing by race teams, chassis manufacturers and tire manufacturers.
10/16/04
Industry News
Yet another V10 car in the works Yet another V10 car in the worksToyota is cooking up its own limited-production supercar, one that will either be the next Supra (with a possible TXS badge) or a high-end sports car for Lexus. The car caught testing is believed to be an early engineering mule for a 500-hp, 370-lb-ft V10-powered car. Weighing less than 3000 pounds, the sports car is expected to readily run to 190 mph. AutoWeek
10/16/04
Industry News
Race track for sale Race track for saleGrubb & Ellis | New Mexico announced today that the reserve price for the current eBay auction of Albuquerque's Sandia Motor Speedway has been lowered to $3,999,900. With fewer than four days remaining in the sale, no bidder had reportedly met the prior reserve price, which was not disclosed. The current high bid is $3,999,800, the company said in a news release.

Anne Apicella and Kevin Bobb of the Albuquerque-based commercial real estate firm, the property's listing agents, began hosting the 30-day online auction on September 17. According to the two agents, the motorsports park was appraised at $4,267,000 in 2002. "We are very pleased with the results of the auction thus far," Apicella said in the same release. "We had no idea what to expect going into this, [but] we are now having serious conversations with several potential buyers."

Located on Albuquerque's growing Westside, the motor racing and test facility created by a group of local racing enthusiasts opened in May of 2000. Situated on about 85 acres, the facility features oval-track and road-racing venues, including half- and quarter-mile paved ovals, a 1.7-mile paved course, a paved quarter midget course, and a 21-acre motocross track. The raceway is sanctioned by several professional associations including the Sports Car Club of America and the American Motorcycle Association. Its racing schedule will continue until sold. To view the auction, login to www.ebay.com and access item number 4320977266.

10/16/04
irl
Medeiros wins IPS season finale Medeiros wins IPS season finale2004 Infiniti Pro Series champion Thiago Medeiros ended his outstanding season on a high note, winning today's Texas 100. The victory at the season finale was Medeiros' 6th in a year which saw him break the series record for most single-season poles (8). The race was marked by a big five-car accident at lap 8, which totaled the car of James Chesson and badly damaged four others after Paul Dana spun all by himself.
Results  with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed, reason out (if any):
1. (1) Thiago Medeiros, Dallara-Infiniti, 67 
2. (2) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
3. (5) Al Unser, Dallara-Infiniti, 67 
4. (3) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 67 
5. (11) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 67 
6. (8) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
7. (4) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
8. (15) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
9. (13) P.J. Abbott, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
10. (14) Scott Mayer, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
11. (6) Paul Dana, Dallara-Infiniti, 8, Accident
12. (9) Leonardo Maia, Dallara-Infiniti, 8, Accident
13. (12) James Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 8, Accident
14. (10) Ryan Hampton, Dallara-Infiniti, 8, Accident
15. (7) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 8, Accident
Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 134.034 mph
Time of race: 43:38.3418
Margin of victory: 0.0562 sec.
Cautions: 2 for 18 laps.
Lead changes: 0 among 1 driver.
Lap leaders: Medeiros 1-67.
Point standings: Medeiros 513, Dana 379, P.J. Chesson 342, Luyendyk Jr. 330, Maia 292, Mason 283, Quintanilla 264, Unser 252, Giebler 215, Roe 164.
Cassio Cortes
10/16/04
snaponstars
irl
IRL to Sponsor Snap-on Stars of Karting Series IRL to Sponsor Snap-on Stars of Karting SeriesIn a continuing effort to support entry-level racing while building grassroots support of the Indy Racing League, executives from the IRL and the Stars of Karting today announced that the Indy Racing League will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Snap-on Stars of Karting Series through the 2007 season.  The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League was designed to establish the proper structure and competition in American karting to allow a new generation of racing stars to flourish. Karts have been the career starting point for Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta among many others. 

The Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League is an eight-race championship, divided into Western and Eastern divisions, with each division supporting six different classes of racing. The current class structure consists of ICC (125cc Shifter), ICA (100cc Direct Drive), 80cc Junior (80cc Shifter), JICA (100cc Clutch), EasyKart (125cc Clutch) and Cadet (80cc Clutch).  “We are excited to team with the Stars of Karting to further develop the league’s future stars and fans on a grassroots level,” said Ken Ungar, senior vice-president of business affairs for the Indy Racing League. “This partnership provides a great opportunity to expose our league and style of racing while increasing accessibility to our sport. Through programs like the Stars of Karting and USAC’s ‘Road to Indy,’ we’re able to help cultivate young talent by providing logical steps in the development of future Indy Racing League participants.”

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League is based at Rahal Letterman Racing headquarters in Hilliard, Ohio, sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA) and owned and operated by 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion and IRL IndyCar Series® team owner Bobby Rahal, IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta and veteran karting promoter Paul Zalud.

“We really are looking forward to building this relationship with the IRL,” Rahal said. “I want to thank (IRL President and CEO) Tony George, Ken Ungar and the entire IRL group for their support of the Stars of Karting and joining our good friends at Snap-on as a major partner. I think the two series working together will form a strong union, benefiting fans and young drivers alike for years to come.”

Every Stars competitor, official, kart and vehicle will carry the IRL brand logo. In addition, the IRL will gain exclusive access to Stars’ competitors, teams, fans and the karting community through specialized marketing programs.  “The entire Snap-on Stars of Karting Series is extremely happy and honored to be part of the IRL racing family,” Herta said. “As people know, karting is often the key starting point of some of the most prolific motorsports careers, including many of the current IRL drivers such as myself. In fact, there is a large group of us who stay in shape during the off-season by driving these karts. Beyond that, though, there is great competition throughout the entire Stars’ field, and I think IRL fans are really going to enjoy watching these talented drivers go wheel-to-wheel.”

10/16/04
worldseries
Highlights from Valencia Highlights from ValenciaNarain Karthikeyan had a good day's qualifying at Valencia today (Saturday), taking a pole position and a second position for RC Motorsport. The Indian driver had the extra motivation of his countryman Karun Chandhok joining the team for the first time, and rose to his best form in Spain.   "The car wasn't perfect by a long way," said Karthikeyan. "There was a lot of understeer, but I have proved a point," said the former British Formula 3 star, who is no longer in contention for the title.

Tiago Monteiro (Carlin Motorsport) earned pole for tomorrow's second race. The Portuguese driver needs a couple of wins to stop Heikki Kovalainen from sealing the title here, and will start the first race in third. He thought he would have been on the front row for that one too, had red and yellow flags not gone against him.   

But Kovalainen had the real flag-related disaster. After coming out very late in the first session following because of more steering problems, he set his best time while a yellow flag was being displayed. The stewards gave the Finnish Pons Racing driver a stiff penalty - exclusion from the session. He'll start the sprint race from the back as a result, so is unlikely to take the championship in that one. But he rescued his day with third in session two, although he still felt that the car "wasn't working at all."  

Milos Pavlovic, who has stepped up to the World Series after winning the World Series Lights championship, deserves a mention. The Yugoslav driver has stayed with the same Vergani Formula team and achieved a seventh and a ninth in his first outing with the big cars.

Qual. for Race 1
1. Narain Karthikeyan              (RC Motorsport)           1'23.118
2. Jean C Ravier                      (Epsilon Euskadi)         1'23.365  
3. Tiago Monteiro                     (Carlin Motorsport)       1'23.616
Qual. for Race 2
1. Tiago Monteiro                     (Carlin Motorsport)      1'23.262
2. Narain Karthikeyan              (RC Motorsport)           1'23.391
3. Heikki Kovalainen                (Pons Racing)              1'23.452     
 Guenter Reinhold reporting from Valencia

10/16/04
World Series by Renault
Provisional 2005 Renault Calendar Provisional 2005 Renault CalendarHere is the provisional 9-race 2005 calendar for the World Series by Renault (formerly Nissan World Series).  All races are doubleheaders except Monaco:
May 01, 2005 - Zolder, Belgium 
May 22, 2005 - Monte Carlo, Monaco
Jun. 12, 2005 - Magny-Cours, France (tbc)
Jul. 03, 2005 - Oschersleben, Germany
Jul. 24, 2005 - Bilbao, Spain
Sep 11, 2005 - Donington Park, England
Sep 18, 2005 - Zandvoort, Netherlands (tbc)
Oct 02, 2005 - Estoril, P0rtugal
Oct 16, 2005 - Monza, Italy
10/16/04
MotoGP
Gibernau pips Rossi off of pole in Australia Gibernau pips Rossi off of pole in AustraliaSete Gibernau (pictured right saluting crowd) served notice that the 2004 MotoGP title chase is not over yet with a brilliant pole position-winning lap at Phillip Island this afternoon. Gibernau and his Honda kept their best till the end of the final hour of qualifying, firing in a lap of 1 min 30.122 sec to relegate title favorite Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha to second place, just a tenth of a second away. “I think we are ready for anything,” smiled Gibernau after finally settling into his Island rhythm. “The pace is fast, the rhythm is good, and we know what tire to use.” Loris Capirossi rounds out the front row on his Ducati after being the first rider ever to reach the staggering figure of 330 km/h down Phillip Island’s long Gardner Straight. Australia’s Troy Bayliss, roared on by a crowd of 27, 412, was ninth on the other works Ducati, while compatriot Garry McCoy will start from 20th spot on the grid on his Aprilia.
10/16/04
Motorcycles
AMA Loses Chevy title sponsorship AMA Loses Chevy title sponsorshipAMA Pro Racing announced that Chevrolet will not return as title sponsor of the AMA Motocross Championship or the AMA Superbike Championship in 2005.  Chevrolet has been title sponsor of both championship series since 2000. The strategy originally was to support Chevy's truck division then was expanded at the beginning of the 2004 racing season to include Chevrolet's entire model line-up.  “Chevrolet has been a tremendous partner with us for the last five years and we sincerely appreciate that support,” said John Farris, AMA Pro Racing Vice President of Commercial Development. “Obviously we'd prefer that they were staying but we respect the business decision they have made. We are already proactively working on developing new sponsorship packages with other companies. Additionally, the door remains open for Chevrolet to return to AMA racing.”
10/16/04
Formula GP2
Interview with Formula GP2 test drivers Interview with Formula GP2 test drivers Former F1 driver Allan McNish ran a faultless week at the wheel of the GP2 car at Circuit Paul Ricard between the fourth and eighth of October 2004. Allan was tasked predominantly with tire evaluation, and spent much of the test session putting the car through its first paces on a wet track.   His work over the course of the five days has enabled the GP2 and Bridgestone engineers to decide on a base-level set-up for wet conditions and a control wet tire for the series. Allan will return to the wheel of the GP2 car at Circuit Paul Ricard from the 20-22nd October, with Franck returning to action at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain on the 1st and 2nd November. More (including latest photos of new GP2 car)....
10/16/04
f1
Ferrari to build Popemobile Ferrari to build PopemobileFerrari president Luca Montezemolo said today the Italian Formula One team would build a special car for Pope John Paul II to mark his 26 years as pontiff. "We will make a Ferrari Formula One car especially for the pope," Mr. Montezemolo told reporters on a visit to the Vatican. However, Mr. Montezemolo drew the line at changing the color of the car from its customary red to a different shade that the pontiff might prefer. "The Pope would not be best pleased to see a Ferrari that wasn't a Ferrari," he remarked. Mr. Montezemolo recalled his previous meetings with the Pope before Ferrari were the dominant force in motor racing. "I had the honor of meeting His Holiness on two occasions, first of all when I was involved in organizing the (football) World Cup in 1990 and then on the testing track at Fiorano where he had a ride in a Ferrari," he said. "That was when Ferrari were not having great success and the least I can do to show my appreciation is construct a special Ferrari car for him." Pope John Paul II will celebrate his 26th anniversary as head of the Catholic Church on Saturday (today). The Advertiser
10/16/04
transam
Ruhlman to ride for Armstrong Foundation Ruhlman to ride for Armstrong FoundationWhen Randy Ruhlman is away from the racetrack, where he earns his living as a professional driver, he often trades in his need for speed for a passion for pedaling.  And now he is using that passion in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  The Lance Armstrong Foundation, which focuses its activities on cancer survivorship, education, and resources, believes that in battling cancer, knowledge is power and attitude is everything.     Ruhlman believes strongly in the Foundation and will continue to help focus awareness on its cause, both on and off the track. Just as he did during the 2004 season, Ruhlman will be continuing his support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation by giving his time and energy during the upcoming year.     Last year, Randy Ruhlman helped out the cause, doing everything from the Tour de Road America, where he went straight from the podium to the bike, joining fellow drivers from Trans-Am and ChampCar in the charity ride to giving out Live Strong yellow wristbands at the track.  For the 2005 season, Ruhlman hopes to step up that participation with a more visible presence and further involvement with the Volunteer and Peleton Programs.     Ruhlman, who finished third overall in the 2004 Trans-Am Series Driver's Championship in a Corvette, carried the Lance Armstrong Foundation logo on his car for the later part of the season and plans to keep it there throughout the 2005 season.  "This is something I feel very strongly about. I have always felt that we have something to give back to the people who support us, and I am very pleased to be associated with such a tremendously valuable cause.  The fact that I love to bike and many of the events are bike oriented is an added plus for me," says Ruhlman.
10/16/04
champcar
Dangerous Curves goes Down Under Dangerous Curves goes Down UnderThe Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford takes flight for Surfers Paradise, Australia on Monday, but Spike TV’s Champ Car-themed show Dangerous Curves takes its viewers there first with a recap of the 2003 event Down Under.  With two races left on the Champ Car schedule and a tight Championship battle coming to an end, a trip to Australia for Round 13 is more exciting than one may think.  Dangerous Curves, which airs Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, will take an in depth look back at last year’s exciting points battle between Paul Tracy and Bruno Junqueira.  To the viewer’s surprise, the race did not turn out as expected.  As part of the show’s technical feature, Dangerous Curves will break down the anatomy of a pit stop and then take a look back at a few pit stops from the 2004 season that did not go as planned.  What do Spaghetti, Helmet Head, and Bad Ass have in common?  They are the secret names of three of the drivers in the Champ Car World Series.  Viewers have the chance to get to know their favorite drivers a little better as host Bronte Tagliani goes behind the scenes to match up these names to their rightful owners.  Last Sunday’s installment showcased three entries for music video of the year and the fans were given the chance to vote for their favorite.  All the votes have been tallied and this week Dangerous Curves will announce the Champ Car Music Video of the Year.
10/16/04
Formula GP2
Mansell eyes GP2 Mansell eyes GP2Newly crowned EuroBOSS champion Scott Mansell is aiming to take part in GP2 next year.  Mansell, who has been confirmed as one of the finalists for the McLaren Autosport Young Driver Of The Year competition, expects to make an announcement by the end of the month.  "The GP2 budget is in place," he said, "[EuroBOSS] has been good preparation, as I have learnt a lot about high power and high downforce."   EuroBOSS is a championship for recent Formula One and Formula 3000 machinery. Mansell won this year's title driving a Benetton B197, as raced in F1 by Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger and Alex Wurz. Formula-3000.net
10/16/04
MotoGP
Rossi on provisional pole Rossi on provisional poleValentino Rossi put his Yamaha on provisional pole with a lap of 1m 30.222s to edge out arch-rival Sete Gibernau’s Honda on a windswept but ultimately sunny day at Phillip Island. The championship leader threw on some sticky tires at the end of the one-hour session and promptly carved three-quarters of a second off his best time to strike the first psychological blow of a weekend that could see him clinch back-to-back titles on different makes of bike. “I’m pleased to have that under my belt already,” said Rossi, seeking just a handful of points this weekend to keep the title he won for Honda last season. Australia’s Troy Bayliss escaped unhurt from an early high-side off his Ducati but could do no better than 12th, while the returning Garry McCoy also had a late-session ‘off’ on the Aprilia and was 18th.
10/16/04
irl
Medeiros claims record 8th pole Medeiros claims record 8th poleThiago Medeiros claimed the pole for the final Menards Infiniti Pro Series race of the season, the Texas 100.  Medeiros, driver of the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone, recorded a lap of 27.6277 seconds, 189.592 mph. It was Medeiros' record eighth pole position of the season and the ninth of his career.
1. (11) Thiago Medeiros, Dallara-Infiniti, 189.592 mph
2. (5) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 189.294 mph
3. (25) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 188.252 mph
4. (6) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.560 mph
5. (2) Al Unser, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.366 mph
6. (91) Paul Dana, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.343 mph
7. (27) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.861 mph
8. (24) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.703 mph
9. (33) Leonardo Maia, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.645 mph
10. (3) Ryan Hampton, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.558 mph
11. (76) P.J. Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.276 mph
12. (67) James Chesson, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.228 mph
13. (22) P.J. Abbott, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.312 mph
14. (64) Scott Mayer, Dallara-Infiniti, 183.454 mph
15. (10) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, no speed
10/16/04
f1
Judgment Day for Button Judgment Day for ButtonFormula One's contracts recognition board (CRB) will convene in Milan, Italy this morning to determine whether Jenson Button remains a BAR driver next season or fulfils his wish to join Williams. Several hours of legal argument lie ahead for the three-man panel made up of one lawyer each from Britain, Italy and France. The position of BAR engine supplier Honda is thought to be the main argument. The loophole that Buttons management found that allowed him to jump ship to Williams is understood to be related to guarantees made by Honda about the supply of competitive engines to BAR going forward.

BAR's contract with Button was conditional on a new contract with Honda being signed by a specified date. Button's lawyers claim that all the necessary details were not in place by the prescribed time and therefore BAR failed to exercise properly the option they had on his services for 2005. However, Honda maintain that Button's advisers were given assurances of their intention to sign a new contract with BAR all along. Honda also made their position clear to the British media in June. David Richards, the BAR team chief, said: "Jenson is a very key member of the team but there are so many others. Let's not worry about individuals because team efforts are about every single person in the team. Every person plays a significant part, the drivers more so than most, but at the end of the day, you cannot get away from the fact that this is a team sport."

The CRB have three days to reach a conclusion.

10/15/04
nascar
ChevronTexaco Extends Sponsorship of Chip Ganassi Racing ChevronTexaco Extends Sponsorship of Chip Ganassi RacingChevronTexaco Products Company (CTPC), a division of Chevron USA Inc., announced today it has signed a long-term contract extension with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to continue sponsorship of the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. Terms of the contract were not announced. This season marks Texaco/Havoline's 17th consecutive year as sponsor in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Through its long-term sponsorship of motorsports, Texaco/Havoline Racing tests its products in the most demanding of laboratories -- high-speed automobiles performing on the tracks and roads of the international racing circuit. This commitment ensures the excellence of Texaco/Havoline's products and builds customer loyalty among the millions of racing fans in the United States and around the world. "With its rich racing history, Texaco/Havoline is one of the most storied sponsors in the sport," said Chip Ganassi. "Our team couldn't be more proud to represent Texaco/Havoline and we're thrilled to continue what has been a truly great partnership with ChevronTexaco. Winning a championship requires a long-term commitment to the sport and to the team, and we are well-positioned for success with a partner like ChevronTexaco." Currently the Texaco/Havoline #42 Dodge is piloted by Jamie McMurray, who was named the 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year. "It's an honor to drive that black car with the big Texaco Star on the hood with all its history and with ChevronTexaco being such a great sponsor," said McMurray. "Our team has continued to get better and better. Chip and Felix give us the resources to win and I am really looking forward to competing for the Championship next year and for wins every week." 2004 marks the 100th anniversary of Havoline, which is a highly recognized brand globally. Throughout the year, ChevronTexaco has been celebrating through a variety of marketing programs and promotions, including the Racing for a $1,000,000 Birthday Bash promotion, in which three lucky consumers will win the grand prize VIP Experience trip to the Checker Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix, November 4-8, 2004. At the race, each grand prize winner is eligible to win $1 million. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR
10/15/04
alms
Minassian wins ALMS pole Minassian wins ALMS poleIn only their second ever American Le Mans Series race, the Creation Autosportif team entered their name into the Series' record books today when they convincingly claimed pole position from the ALMS P1 Champions, Audi.

Nicolas Minassian set a fastest time of 1:15.893 on his 6th lap out, having played out a careful qualifying strategy of tire conservation and timing. The DBA-Zytek sat in the pits for the first six of the 20-minute qualifying session, allowing the opposition to set a benchmark time.  The two car team of Team ADT Champion Racing will start tomorrow's four hour endurance race, the final race of the American Le Mans Series season, in 2nd and 3rd positions.  JJ Lehto, driving the No. 38 Audi R8 will start on the outside of the front row while the No. 2 "sister car" qualified by Johnny Herbert will start behind the pole sitter Nicolas Minassian.    

The top five qualifying LMP1 prototypes are all extremely close in time thus ensuring an all-out battle as each team strives to be victorious and stand on top of the podium.  The extended race (4 hours versus the usual 2:45) will add excitement as pit-stop strategy and fuel conservation will play a major role in determining the winner.

Another significant difference is the fact this event will be partially run in darkness.  Long before the checkered falls at 8:00 p.m., darkness will have descended upon the Monterey Peninsula and the American Le Mans Series drivers will circulate the 2.238-mile track aided only by their headlight beams and whatever ambient lighting there is around the circuit.

Creation have had a very satisfying two days of practice at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, always challenging or at the top of the time sheets in every practice session that has taken place.  As Minassian says, "We know the car well now, having raced it in the Le Mans Endurance Series.  We know how it reacts, how to make it quicker and every race we have got better and better.  Tomorrow will be tough, because the opposition is very good, but we hope we can live up to Bicks' boast that we'll show the Audis a thing or two tomorrow!"  ["Bicks" is Ian Bickerton, co-founder and Team Manager of the team.  He cannot unfortunately be at Laguna Seca and has been following the team's progress from the edge of his seat back in England!]

The Audi Sports Car Championships event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will get the green flag at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, October 16. The American Le Mans Series Radio Network will have live coverage that can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com, and MotorsTV will have live flag-to-flag coverage that can be seen in Europe beginning at 24:00 (UK) and 01:00 (Paris).

In North America, NBC Sports will have coverage of the event on a one-day tape delay beginning at 2 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, October 17.
1)  N. Minassian/J. Campbell Creation 1:15.893 1:06.160
3)  J. Lehto/M. Werner ADT Champion Racing 1:16.111 1:05.856
2)  J. Herbert/P. Kaffer ADT Champion Racing 1:16.285 1:05.656
4)  J. Weaver/B. Leitzinger Dyson Racing 1:16.481 1:05.344
5)  C. Dyson/A. Wallace Dyson Racing 1:17.249 1:04.296

10/15/04
irl
Major boost for IRL Brazilian TV package Major boost for IRL Brazilian TV packageLooks like IndyCar racing will return to a prime spot in Brazilian network TV - a status it hasn't quite enjoyed in the past few years. Present at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend are Marcelo Meira, vice-president of Rede Bandeirantes (arguably Brazil's most traditional network in sports coverage) and longtime Bandeirantes racing commentator Willy Hermann. They have confirmed to Autoracing1.com that the network will broadcast "at least four races" live next year. The remainder of the schedule will be split between BandSports, the network's cable sports channel, and Canal 21, a services-focused UHF channel also under Bandeirantes' umbrella. That means all races will be called live by the same broadcasting team - in the past few seasons, rival cable channel SporTV shared the rights with Bandeirantes. Network president Johnny Saad is expected at TMS tomorrow to ink the deal. Meira, who is IndyCar standout Vitor Meira's uncle, is also confident that Tony Kanaan's championship will increase interest in the series and attract the sponsorship level necessary to have a full broadcasting crew on-site for most of the races (which are called off-tube these days - ditto for Champ Car, who has most of its races tape-delayed at RedeTV!, the country's smallest network). Cassio Cortes
10/15/04
champcar
Champ Car donates books to schools Champ Car donates books to schoolsHeadquartered in the Racing Capital of the World, it seemed only fitting that the Champ Car World Series provide a chance for the next generation of racing fans to learn about the heroes and legends of the series and the sport.

To that end, members of the Champ Car communications staff went out Friday and donated racing books to a number of public and private schools in the Indianapolis area. Each school received a copy of Gordon Kirby’s book Mario Andretti, which chronicles the exploits of the four-time Champ Car title winner, a copy of Dan Proudfoot’s Greg Moore: A Legacy of Spirit as well as three of the Autocourse Champ Car Yearbooks from past seasons. Students were also given the latest copies of the Champ Car media guides and record books.

“We have made our homes here in Indianapolis, as have many of our team members, and we wanted to give something back to the communities and the schools,” said Champ Car President and CEO Dick Eidswick. “Hopefully these books will be enjoyed by not only the next generation of Champ Car fans, but also the young men and women that will grow up to be race engineers, team executives and even racers themselves.”

The Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford next races October 22-24 in the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia in the 13th of 14 rounds that make up the 2004 season. Next Sunday’s race can be seen on Spike TV Sunday, October 24 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time/3 p.m. Central.

10/15/04
Industry News
TMS announces 2005 sponsors TMS announces 2005 sponsorsThe 2005 season will see the return of many sponsors as well as some new corporate names associated with speedway events.  “We are excited and energized for 2005,” said Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage.  “In addition to a great race schedule, we have some great corporate partners who will be with us next year and beyond.  Next year could be our best year ever.”  Race event sponsors announced for 2005 include O’Reilly Auto Parts, The Dallas Morning News, Albertsons and Chevrolet.  The speedway also announced deals with HCA North Texas Division and Infinity Radio Dallas. 
10/15/04
irl
Nunn, St. James, select female drivers to test Nunn, St. James, select female drivers to testKathryn Nunn and Lyn St. James have identified six female drivers to test an Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series car Nov. 8-10 at Texas Motor Speedway. Nunn Motorsports will use the test to select a driver for a chance at a full-season ride for 2005. Drivers Becca Anderson, Juliana Chiovitti, Sondi Eden, Rossella Manfrinato, Wendy Mathis and Sarah McCune will participate in the test. "It was difficult narrowing the field from the 21 capable drivers who had asked to be considered down to six, but I'm pleased with the experience and enthusiasm these six possess," said Nunn, the first female team owner in the IRL. "I appreciate the input provided by Lyn as well as (Menards Infiniti Pro Series Executive Director) Roger Bailey and (Technical Director) Butch Meyer. I'm looking forward to seeing these ladies in the car."
10/15/04
irl
IRL First Practice: Scheckter on top IRL First Practice: Scheckter on topTrying to end in a high-note what has got to be one of the unluckiest seasons in open-wheel racing history, Tomas Scheckter was off to a good start in the Chevy 500 race weekend. The South African paced today's first practice session with a fastest lap of 214.847 (circa 8mph slower than last year's pole average, won by Gil de Ferran before the switch from 3.5 to 3 liter engines), and will likely be a strong contender in the qualifying session later, at 4:30pm local time. Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves, who will attempt a record-tying four poles in a row, made a claim for that mark by finishing a close second. Defending champion and also 2004 hard-lucker Scott Dixon rounded out the top-3.
Results:
Pos Driver Diff Time Speed Lap C/E/T Status
1 Tomas Scheckter (4) 24.3801 214.847 12 D/C/F Pit
2 Helio Castroneves (3) 0.0599 24.4400 214.321 56 D/T/F Pit
3 Scott Dixon (1) 0.0645 24.4446 214.280 53 G/T/F Pit
4 Bryan Herta (7) 0! .0996 24.4797 213.973 31 D/H/F Pit
5 Vitor Meira (17) 0.1438 24.5239 213.588 34 G/H/F Pit
6 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 0.1513 24.5314 213.522 13 G/H/F Pit
7 Buddy Rice (15) 0.1515 24.5316 213.521 42 G/H/F Pit
8 Dan Wheldon (26) 0.1686 24.5487 213.372 53 D/H/F Pit
9 Townsend Bell (2) 0.1713 24.5514 213.348 5 D/C/F Pit
10 Sam Hornish Jr. (6) 0.1843 24.5644 213.235 46 D/T/F Pit
11 Mark Taylor (13) 0.2048 24.5849 213.058 25 G/H/F Pit
12 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.2224 24.6025 212.905 32 D/H/F Pit
13 Alex Barron (51) 0.2635 24.6436 212.550 16 D/C/F Pit
14 Adrian Fernandez (5) 0.3061 24.6862 212.183 40 G/H/F Pit
15 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.3108 24.6909 212.143 5 D/H/F Pit
16 Scott Sharp (8) 0.3477 24.7278 211.826 60 D/T/F Pit
17 A.J. Foyt IV (14) 0.3738 24.7539 211.603 42 D/T/F Pit
18 Ed Carpenter (52) 0.4258 24.8059 211.159 30 D/C/F Pit
19 Tora Takagi (12) 0.4510 24.8311 210.945 41 D/T/F Pit
20 Tomas Enge (20) 0.4884 24.! 8685 210.628 6 D/C/F Pit
Cassio Cortes
10/15/04
nascar
Bestwick to return to booth Bestwick to return to boothNASCAR on NBC commentator Allen Bestwick will return to the booth for Saturday night’s Nextel Cup Series UAW-GM Quality 500 from Lowe’s Motor Speedway after missing two weeks with a broken leg NBC
10/15/04
nascar
Minority group wants to protest at Lowe's Minority group wants to protest at Lowe'sThe CHARLOTTE OBSERVER reported that the National Association of Minority Race Fans (NAMRF) will stage its first protest at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday. The NAMRF expects as many as 100 picketers CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.   NAMRF spokesperson Shawn Griffith said that the group “wants NASCAR to take several steps to make minority fans feel more welcome at races, among them: a ‘flag exchange,’ where fans can turn in Confederate flags and receive a flag from their favorite racing team in return; increased infield security patrols involving more minority police officers; and participation in a debate on racism with group officials.” NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France said that officials do not consider the group to be credible USA TODAY 10/14
10/15/04
champcar
A lap around Surfers Paradise with Hunter-Reay A lap around Surfers Paradise with Hunter-ReayThis will be my first time returning to a track as a defending Champ Car race winner and it’s something I have been looking forward to for nearly 365 days. Here’s a rundown of a lap around my favorite street circuit, Surfer’s Paradise. There’s no other racetrack quite like it. Where else can someone surf one day and race a car at 200 mph only a hundred yards away the next? More....
10/15/04
nascar
irl
NASCAR steamroller marches on NASCAR steamroller marches onTexas Motor Speedway's General Manager, Eddie Gossage, has revealed that after dropping its 2nd IRL IndyCar date in favor of the long-awaited additional Nextel Cup race for next year, TMS season ticket sales for 2005 are already up by 30% compared to the same month in '04. Gossage expects fans to be "unable to get a good seat on the front stretch unless they're season ticket holders" in 2005. Yet another example of open-wheel racing's current inability to compete with the NASCAR juggernaut in the domestic market... Cassio Cortes
10/15/04
nascar
Nextel Cup Kansas TV rating Nextel Cup Kansas TV ratingUPDATE The final rating for Kansas was a 4.2/10 share, up from 2003's 4.1/9 share final rating, but still down from the 4.4/11 share we saw in 2002. Mark C. 10/12/04 NBC's 4.0/8 share rating for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Banquet 400 on Sunday represented a 5% increase from last year's 3.8/8 overnight for the same race.
10/15/04
worldseries
World Series by Renault
Bilbao, Spain gets street race Bilbao, Spain gets street raceThe World Series by Renault, born from the merge of the two championships Eurocup Formula Renault V6 and World Series by Nissan, backed by Renault Sport Technologies in partnership with RPM, aims squarely at the public. Therefore, The World Series by Renault will have a second urban circuit in addition to Monaco in its 2005 calendar : Bilbao !

Last Monday, in the city of Bilbao, Ricardo Barkala, Councillor for Employment and Economic Promotion, Jesús Collazos, Motor Racing and Communications Director of Renault España, and Jaime Alguersuari, President of RPM, officially announced that Bilbao would be included in the World Series by Renault until 2007.

With the exception of Monte Carlo, never before has any European city invested approximately 16 million euros in consolidating over 3 years - 2005, 2006 and 2007 - an urban circuit with FIA-approved characteristics, similar to Monte Carlo. Due to Renault Sport Technologies and RPM's new strategy, Bilbao will be the only race in the World Series by Renault held in Spain.

The track will be approximately 4 km, will cross the two most important bridges in the city, over the river Nervión, and will occupy the heart of the city, in the Guggenheim Museum area. It will be possible to overtake and the average speed will be over 130 km/h, soaring to 250 km./h at one point in the circuit.

The Spanish event will take place on July, 24 2005. The racing program will be the same as for the other meetings of the World Series by Renault.

Only categories programmed in the World Series by Renault will compete. The main event will be the World Series Formula Renault V6. The Formula Renault 2000, the new Mégane Trophy as well as the Clio Cup will also be part of the meeting.

In addition, Jean-Paul Mari, Communications and Motor Racing Director of Renault Sport Technologies and Jesús Collazos confirmed that the World Series by Renault will host demonstrations by the Renault F1 Team.

10/15/04
champcar
 cartatlantic
Formula BMW
Forsythe to test Fogarty and Wirth Forsythe to test Fogarty and WirthContinuing to provide opportunities for the top young drivers in open-wheel racing, officials from the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford today announced that the champions of Champ Car’s top driver development series – Jon Fogarty of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama and Andreas Wirth of the Formula BMW USA Championship – will both test in a turbo-charged 750-horsepower Champ Car at the end of November.

Both Fogarty, the 29-year-old Portola Valley, California native, and the 19-year-old Wirth will get the opportunity to test with Forsythe Championship Racing, the 2003 Champ Car World Series title-winning team that currently fields entries for Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier and Rodolfo Lavin. The test session will be held November 29-30 at the Sebring International Raceway road circuit in Sebring, Florida. In addition to the Champ Car test, Formula BMW USA Rookie of the Year James Hinchcliffe will also get to measure his skills in a 240-horsepower Toyota Atlantic machine at Sebring.

“Champ Car is excited to provide this opportunity to some of the future stars of open-wheel racing,” said John Lopes, Executive Vice President of Operations for Champ Car. “Both Jon Fogarty and Andreas Wirth showed tremendous talent and dedication in winning championships in their respective series this season and James Hinchcliffe also exhibited a great deal of promise and poise this year. These tests will provide all of the drivers with a unique chance to showcase their skills at the next level. This is another example of the benefits and opportunities available to drivers within the Champ Car driver development system.”

Fogarty, who added to his 2002 Toyota Atlantic title with this season’s championship run, captured six victories and six pole positions for Pacific Coast Motorsports in edging Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel for the 2004 crown in the season finale.

The championship dreams of the German-born Wirth were also realized at the season’s final race as he produced four victories and 11 podium finishes in 14 events to claim the inaugural Formula BMW USA title. Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, earned three wins and four poles this season finishing as the top series rookie, just 27 points behind Wirth in the championship chase.

The 17-year-old Hinchcliffe earned a test session with the Atlantic Polestar Racing Group team after finishing second in the Formula BMW USA series championship this season and taking top rookie honors. Polestar just completed its second Atlantic season, finishing fifth in the season standings with Denmark’s Ronnie Bremer.

“The Toyota Atlantic Championship is without a doubt the premier and most respected North American open-wheel driver development racing series and I am also pleased and honored to be playing my part in support of the future of Formula BMW USA and its strong association with Champ Car,” said Gerald R. Forsythe, Chairman of Forsythe Racing Inc. “Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty has been successful at every level of racing in which he has competed and Andreas Wirth of Formula BMW USA also showed a great deal of promise and talent this season.  I am pleased to give both Jon and Andreas this opportunity of a Champ Car test with Forsythe Championship Racing as the drivers showcase their ability and readiness to go to the next level.”

10/15/04
nascar
Earnhardt to carry MLB paint scheme Earnhardt to carry MLB paint schemeWhen the green flag drops for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday night, the No. 8 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will have a little white and some blue added to the Budweiser red paint scheme.  In association with Major League Baseball, Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt, Inc, the car will carry a World Series-themed look. It will be the same car he qualified with on Thursday night, but will now have the World Series theme added.  Both the American and National League divisional championships are now taking place in MLB and that means the World Series isn’t far behind.
10/15/04
Industry News
Cactus Jack Turner dies Cactus Jack Turner diesCactus Jack Turner, who survived three spectacular flips in consecutive Indianapolis 500s in the 1960s, died Sept. 12 in Renton, Wash. He was 84. His best finish was 11th in 1957, driving the Bardahl Special.
10/15/04
alms
Night practice at Laguna thrills ALMS drivers Night practice at Laguna thrills ALMS driversIn preparation for the first-ever night racing event in the long history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which will be held Saturday, American Le Mans Series drivers had one hour of night practice on Thursday and came away both thrilled and impressed.

The Audi Sports Car Championships, a timed event of four hours, will start at 4 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday and run until 8 p.m. At least 90 minutes of the event will be run in total darkness, with drivers competing at speeds of more than 180 mph with only the light from headlights and tail lights to guide them around the 2.238-mile road racing circuit.

Although ALMS drivers run in darkness in other events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, as well as in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, none of the seasoned pros had ever driven the Laguna Seca circuit in darkness until tonight.

"Racing around Laguna Seca in darkness on Saturday night will be awesome," said JJ Lehto, driver of the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 and the driver with the most overall race wins in ALMS history.

"The surrounding countryside looked beautiful this evening during practice," Lehto said. "The sunset spectacularly lit up the hills before dusk and then into full darkness which is what we'll get in the closing stages of the race. Darkness will add more excitement for the race fans - and the drivers for that matter - and I'm certain it will make for an interesting spectacle."

"Driving in the dark here is spectacular," said Sascha Maassen, the most winning ALMS driver of all time and driver of the YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. "It's like driving around the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring (Germany). It will be even more spectacular when we have spectators camping next to the track or we see some lights (on either side of the track) and we go between them. I'm really looking forward to Saturday night racing at Laguna. Lighting was not a problem, absolutely not a problem. We have big lights on our Porsche!"

"It's pretty daunting," said Jamie Campbell-Walter, co-driver of the Creation Autosportif DBA-Zytek that was fastest overall in the night session. "Actually, once we sort out our lights I think we'll be fine. Places like the Corkscrew are okay as they are quite well lit up, that's not a problem, but it's at the ‘normal' places like turn 1, 2, 3 and 4 – the flat ones – where you haven't got any reference points.

"The Corkscrew is hilly so once you've gone into it the lights are shining up quite well but it's the dead flat ones where you can't see a long way ahead that are more of a problem," he said. "Our lights aren't elevated enough basically so it was quite difficult, but I enjoyed it. I like driving in the dark."

"It's very difficult to drive because it is the first time we have run here in the dark," said Johnny Mowlem, driver of the ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R in the GTS class. "Unlike Road Atlanta and Sebring, where you are used to running a lot of laps in the darkness, this is just a new experience.

"The extra lights the track brought in helped somewhat but you really have to depend on your car's own lighting to show the way," Mowlem said. "The other hazard is the dirt on the track as a result of cars going off, which you can't see in the dark."

"I was able to set a good time in the dark," said Timo Bernhard, driver of the Alex Job Racing Porsche and the fastest driver in the GT class during the night test. "The track really changes at night because of the darkness and a nearly 15 degree temperature drop.

"They have added lights at a couple of the turns, which helps," he said. "The Corkscrew is a little scary because it is hard to see the faster cars coming up on you. Also, the exit of turn 10 coming down the hill – the exit is very dark and you think you are through the turn and then you are on the curb so you have to be careful.

"The parts of the track that are exciting in the daylight are twice as fun in the dark," he said.

"Sports car endurance racing needs to retain this element and to start and now finish the ALMS calendar with races that include night time driving is good," said Lehto. "At home in Finland during the winter, it stays dark late into the morning and then gets dark early in the afternoon so perhaps I'll have an advantage."

10/15/04
worldseries
Valencia could decide champion Valencia could decide championValencia looks to be very decisive for the Finn driver Heikki Kovalainen (Pons Racing), which is set to be reigning in the World Series by Nissan 2004, as he only has to score three points to get the title and proceed with the history of Ricardo Zonta and Franck Montagny. Four drivers are still in the bid for the vice-championship: Tiago Monteiro (Carlin Motorsport), Enrique Bernoldi (GD Racing), JC Ravier (Epsilon Euskadi) and Tristan Gommendy (Saulnier Racing)

Valencia is regarded as the home circuit for at least 4 of the World Series drivers. Apart from Adrián Vallés, Félix Porteiro and Sergio Hernández, it is now the home of the oldest of the Porteiro brothers, Santiago, who will make his debut in the family Team, Porfesa Competición. The Spaniard Celso Miguez, the Italian Matteo Pellegrino and the French Simon Abadie are also in the bid for the second and third place in the World Series Light category, which final meeting takes place also this weekend. Pavlovic, the current Lights winner, has found an agreement with his team Vergani, to replace Ricci (now in GD Racing) in the Dallara Nissan SN01 car. Alongside these two drivers, Valencia will see the debut of the Japanese Hiro Yoshimoto and the Indian Karum Chandok. The newcomers will start their activity tomorrow during the two Free Practice sessions.

The Circuit of Valencia has already hosted the World Series this season. The meeting disputed in June saw Kovalainen and Ravier sharing the podiums while Gommendy and Porteiro (Félix) switched 3rd positions. The official lap record is still held by Ricardo Zonta, 1.23.570.

10/15/04
Sprint Cars
Sprint car driver critical after Lowe’s crash Sprint car driver critical after Lowe’s crashUPDATE Latest word is that Weller suffered severe head trauma, but the hemorrhaging is dissipating and the swelling is decreasing.  He also has two hairline vertebrae fractures, but they will not require surgery and no paralysis is evident.  Good news indeed. 10/14/04 An 18-year-old sprint-car driver was in critical condition after crashing in a dirt-track race Wednesday night at the Lowe's Motor Speedway complex.  Emergency workers needed nearly a half-hour to remove Jimmy Weller III of Liberty, Ohio, from his car after it slammed into the wall and flipped violently, the Charlotte Observer reported. Workers covered the driver's cockpit with a white cloth as they worked to free Weller from the wreck.  Weller was flown by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where a hospital spokeswoman said he was in critical condition. She would not provide The Associated Press with details of Weller's injuries. USA Today
10/15/04
irl
Fernandez nominated for Mexico award Fernandez nominated for Mexico awardFernandez Racing Owner/Driver Adrian Fernandez has been nominated for Mexico’s National Sports Award – the 2004 Premio Nacional del Deporte – for his career achievements in auto racing and his impressive performance in his inaugural season of IRL IndyCar® Series competition.

This is the first year that professional athletes have been eligible for this prestigious award. Fernandez was nominated this week by the Mexican Auto Racing Federation (Federacion Mexicana de Autovomilismo Deportivo, AC) through its president, Hector Calatayud Izquierdo.

Fernandez joins an illustrious group of nominees including rising LPGA star Lorena Ochoa, boxer Erik Morales, who has won world titles in three different weight divisions, Golden State Warriors forward Eduardo Najera – only the second Mexican-born player to play in the NBA, and Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Vinicio Castilla. Nominations for the award will close on Friday, October 15.

Mexico’s President Vicente Fox will present the award in a special ceremony on November 20, Revolution Day in Mexico.   “I feel very grateful to have been nominated for what is the highest honor for an athlete in Mexico,” said Fernandez. “To be recognized as a candidate for the National Sports Award is truly a privilege, and to be nominated alongside Mexican athletes that have excelled in their sport like Lorena Ochoa and Vinny Castilla is very special. I am very proud to be able to represent my country in the sport of auto racing.”

Fernandez, 41, of Mexico City, Mexico, has been competing in major open-wheel racing categories the past 12 years. He entered the Indy Racing League in 2004, and is currently ranked fourth in the championship standings on the strength of three wins in the past five events. Fernandez, who has 11 major open-wheel victories to his credit, has been the past recipient of numerous awards including “Athlete of the Year” in Mexico. He was most recently recognized at the Premios Fox Sports Awards in December for his contributions to Latin American auto racing.

10/15/04
champcar
 irl
Champ Car employee jumps ship to the IRL Champ Car employee jumps ship to the IRLThis St. Petersburg Times article says, Tim Ramsberger has been general manager of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for three different employers in 16 months. Now the 42-year-old St. Petersburg native thinks he will finally get to stage a race.  Ramsberger, who resigned his position as vice president of promoter operations with Champ Car on Tuesday, has been hired by the promotional wing of Andretti Green Racing to run the Indy Racing League event that is scheduled for downtown streets on April 3.

"It has been a long, strange journey and at times the fog got very thick," Ramsberger said. "But here we are. This one feels very good. This one has got a lot more firepower behind it. I think they can make it a historic event."

Promoter Barry Green said Ramsberger's local ties were a plus, but it was Ramsberger's fit within his organization that made him the right hire.  "I am really, really big on having a complete team and a team that works well together," Green said. "He was a good fit for me and a real fit for the team. I enjoy him."  Ramsberger, a local attorney, was hired by promoter Dover Motorsports in June 2003 to manage the open-wheel Championship Auto Racing Teams event in St. Petersburg for 2003, but the race was canceled when the series was dissolved in bankruptcy court. He was hired by the series in March after it reformed as Champ Car. That series hoped to revive the St. Petersburg race, but logistics and legal wrangling eventually scuttled that plan.  The city then began courting the rival IRL, and in September announced a deal with Andretti Green to run the IRL's first street race.

Ramsberger thinks his previous experience in preparing for the Grand Prix will help assure this one occurs seamlessly.  "We obviously have a lot of foundation to build from," Ramsberger said. "But April will come very quickly, and there's a lot to be done. But I think we have the right ingredients - a quality, known product."  Among his first duties will be securing office space in St. Petersburg and putting "the finishing touches," Green said, on marketing and telecommunications. Tickets, he said, should be on sale before Christmas.

10/15/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Academy' stars enjoy F1 nibble
Renault zip is 'compromise'
Two-day weekend is 'okay' - Panis
Honda to 'fight' for V10 formula
Prince of Monaco won FIA 'Gold'
Impasse over Brit GP deal - BRDC
Montoya to face FIA penalty - media
One wish for Sir Stirling
Top driver 'unhappy' about '05
Williams 'on way back' - BMW
Mansell wins in F1 car
Button and a PR man
Toyota car 'has limits' - Trulli
More support for London GP
F1 fathers' boys at Macau
Bernoldi to attend Brazil GP
Three-day weekend is 'rubbish'
I'm quitting at 'right time' - OP
10/15/04
nascar
Corona and NASCAR reach agreement Corona and NASCAR reach agreementDesafio Corona and its promoting company OCESA, have come to an agreement with NASCAR. Desafio Corona will start the makeover of cars and tracks in Mexico so they can be in accordance with NASCAR rules. This weekend there will be a race in Quretaro and guests of honor will include a few NASCAR delegates - George Pyne, General Manager of NASCAR, Ed Bennett, Corporative Vice President of development, Gary Nelson Vice President of Development and Robbie Weiss International Manager of NASCAR. On the 17th there will be a press conference where the details will be explained. José de Jesús Arrambide reporting from Mexico
10/15/04
MotoGP
Rossi poised to give Yamaha title over Honda Rossi poised to give Yamaha title over HondaNot for 12 years and the days of Wayne Rainey’s hat-trick has Yamaha claimed the premier championship title in MotoGP racing. Now Valentino Rossi is poised to end the drought − and there’s a strong chance the brilliant Italian will do it at Phillip Island, Australia this weekend.

After tumbling out of the Qatar GP, Rossi bounced back to win in brilliant style in Sepang last weekend. Now The Doctor just needs to do enough to keep a 25-point gap over nearest challenger Sete Gibernau on his Honda to claim back-to-back titles and Yamaha’s first since 1992.

With Gibernau 30 points adrift and just two rounds remaining, Rossi can afford to finish five points shy of the Spaniard on Sunday and still be crowned World Champion. But there’s plenty of other people to watch out for when the MotoGP riders hit their favorite track. Can veterans like Barros and Checa do enough to cement their places for 2005? Could American aces Hopkins and Hayden be the men to shine? Or will brilliant new star Makoto Tamada take his third win of an outstanding year?

10/14/04
nascar
For Sadler, kids must wait For Sadler, kids must waitI think scheduling is tough says Elliott Sadler.  "I've been busier this year than I've ever been.   I saw my mom today for the first time in about two months.  That's tough for people that usually share a lot of time with their family.  I don't see how some of these drivers do it that have a wife and kids at home and they're in school or doing sports and things and they get a report over the phone all the time.  That's tough.  I'd rather try to race to 40, 41 years old and go home and try to raise a family where I can spend some time with my kids.  I mean, that's kind of the way I'm looking at it.  Will it happen like that?  I don't know, but it's tough.  Scheduling is tough.  We've got a lot of great sponsors on our race cars and they all want a little piece of your time.  You also want to try to spend time at the shop and you also want to do all the testing you can do.  There are a lot of demands on us right now, especially with being in the chase for the Nextel Cup.  It's been fun, but it's been time consuming as far as we want to make sure everybody knows that the M&M's car is in the chase and we have a chance to do it and we want to represent Nextel the way that we should.  They've come in and made a great impact on our sport and we want to be a part of everything they're trying to do to promote our sport.  It's been fun, but I think that's a big part of it.  I'm sure scheduling and money has a lot to do with it, but it's just hard for me to see how some of these guys spend so much time away from home.  It's easier for drivers because we have motorhomes and stuff like that that we can get our families to us, but these pit crew guys - I've seen a generation of them getting younger and younger too.  My race team, there might be two guys over 30 years old on the whole team that travels - everybody else is younger than that, so I see the generation of that changing also because of that."

 "I think our sport is changing a lot - it's changing right in front of our eyes.  A lot of the drivers retiring is scary to me still being, hopefully, looked at as one of the young guys still in this sport.  It's scary to me and some of the other guys that we really need to understand what the older guys have done for us - what they have done with this sport in the eighties and early nineties when it maybe wasn't as popular as it is now - what they meant to the fans and how they bridged the gap between the drivers and the fans and really got our sport going in the right direction.  Us drivers really need to understand that and young guys coming in.  We really need to understand about carrying the torch forward.  I think the most symbolic race in the history of NASCAR racing is kind of when Richard Petty ran his last race in Atlanta it was the same race that Jeff Gordon ran his first race.  That's kind of passing the torch on to a new breed, a new era of young drivers coming in.  I think Jeff Gordon really set the standard of if young drivers can come in this sport and put a good, experienced team around him, you can have great success.   I think we've seen that here, especially in the last four or five years - young kids coming in with good teammates with experience and car owners putting good equipment around them.  They're good spokespeople and I think sponsors like that.  They really like young guys coming in that are clean cut guys and they understand the race car and the owners believe in them and they want to grow together.  It's cool to come in, I think, at an elementary level with a young driver and a new sponsor and grow together - grow the two names as one - and I think that's where this sport is heading.  But I think us as young drivers really need to step up and really try to carry a torch on as much as these older guys have.  They have gotten us in this position where we're part of the number one growing sport in the United States and we've got to keep doing our part.  We've got to carry the load to keep making it go forward, so younger kids 10-15-20 years from now will have the same opportunity that we've had because of them."

10/14/04
nascar
Andretti and new team ecstatic Andretti and new team ecstatic"I'm really happy," said John Andretti.  A top 38 starting spot would have been good enough for me.  It wasn't about trying to get the pole, it was just about trying to come out and get in the race.  This was going to be a hard race because everybody and their brother, and sister, showed up for this race so I feel really good about it.  I mean, 40 days old and this team has come a long way in 40 days.  I want to thank VB and APlus for the support, but also Robert Yates Racing and Ford for their support because without everybody collectively there was no way."  DO YOU FEEL LIKE A GIANT WEIGHT HAS BEEN LIFTED OFF YOUR SHOULDERS?  "If you only knew.  If you only knew."
10/14/04
f1
Sauber secure sixth Sauber secure sixth(GMM)  Independent F1 team Sauber secured a quiet triumph at last Sunday's Japanese grand prix.  Peter Sauber's little Swiss-based squad can no longer be beaten to sixth in the constructors' world championship by a few better funded rivals.  With 33 points, Sauber sit comfortably ahead of Ford-backed Jaguar (10), the $400 million-a-year funded Toyota team, as well as Jordan and Minardi.  ''My compliments to the team,'' said Peter Sauber, ''who have underlined the reliability and speed of the car.''  Rival F1 privateer Paul Stoddart, who runs back-of-the-grid Minardi, praised the fact that Sauber is competing strongly in spite of a difficult climate for the independent.  He admitted: ''Peter is doing the best job of all (the small teams).''
10/14/04
f1
Vandals expose Schumacher coffin Vandals expose Schumacher coffin(GMM)  Whoever dug up the grave of Michael and Ralf Schumacher's mother have 'no respect for anything.'  Speaker 29-year-old Ralf, younger brother of seven time world champion Michael, was perhaps closest to mother Elisabeth, who died last year aged 55.  She is buried in Kerpen, the Schumachers' home town near Cologne (Germany).  Police said vandals exposed Schumacher's coffin by using a shovel, but did not attempt to open it.  Britain's 'The Sun' tabloid newspaper reported that a marble headstone was also kicked over and 'an iron cross memorial (was) stolen.'  ''It's unbelievable that there are people out there capable of doing something like this,'' said Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher.
10/14/04
alms
cartatlantic
Jon Fogarty lands another rdie in ALMS Jon Fogarty lands another rdie in ALMSChamp Car Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty is running with ALMS this weekend at Laguna. Just as he did at Sebring and Petit Le Mans, he's driving with the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche team. They added him as a third driver to their #44 car with Lonnie Pechnik and Seth Neiman.
10/14/04
nascar
Waltrip gets new Crew Chief Waltrip gets new Crew ChiefEffective immediately, Pete Rondeau has been promoted to crew chief of the Dale Earnhardt. Inc. No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.  Rondeau has served as car chief on the NAPA Chevrolet since joining DEI in 2002.  Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports, said, “Pete has been a tremendous asset as a car chief here at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. We’ve seen in the races he’s run for us this year with Dale Jr., Ron Fellows and Tony Stewart that Pete is an incredible team player.  "As a crew chief for those races, Pete demonstrated what he learned during the weekend was readily available to the other two teams. At the level of competition this sport is at now, that’s what it takes to be in the top-10 for the Chase for the Championship.  When we talked about when to make the transition, we initially thought this would be something that we would do at the end of the 2004 season. In looking at it a little closer, we decided we would go ahead and make the change now and try to win a race or two before the end of the 2004 season.  I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” Rondeau said. “I’m dedicated to doing whatever I need to do to win races. The company’s vote of confidence convinces me that we can do just that.”   Richard “Slugger” Labbe will now assist the title efforts for both the Chance 2 Motorsports and No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet teams. In addition, Labbe will oversee development programs for the No. 11 Menards BGN effort and the No. 15 NAPA team. Labbe served as crew chief on the No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet for the past three years.
10/14/04
f1
Jerez final day: Montagny on top Jerez final day: Montagny on top(GMM)  The final multi-team test of the 2004 in-season ended with Renault's 'third' driver Franck Montagny on top.  The Frenchman outpaced Williams' sole representative Antonio Pizzonia, fastest on the opening days, at the Jerez circuit in Spain.  Ricardo Zonta, who will drive for Toyota at his home Brazilian grand prix next Sunday, used the test to adjust to working with a new engineer -- Remi Decorzent.  ''I'm going straight back home to Curitiba,'' he said on Thursday, ''and next Wednesday I'll go to Sao Paulo.''  Meanwhile, as the action wound down in Spain, Ferrari got a test going at Fiorano, where Luca Badoer and Andrea Bertolini shared a F2004 car.  ''The Scuderia continues testing tomorrow,'' read a statement, ''at the Vallelunga circuit, to the north of Rome.''
1. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'16"297 - 93 laps
2. Antonio Pizzonia - Williams-BMW - 1'16"575 - 80 laps
3. Ricardo Zonta - Toyota - 1'17"030 - 83 laps
4. Alex Wurz - McLaren-Mercedes - 1'17"489 - 114 laps
5. Fernando Alonso - Renault - 1'17"532 - 75 laps
6. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren-Mercedes - 1'17"537 - 98 laps
7. Ryan Briscoe - Toyota - 1'18"051 - 58 laps
8. Anthony Davidson - BAR-Honda - 1'18"835 - 102 laps
9. Bjorn Wirdheim - Jaguar - 1'19"332 - 94 laps
10/14/04
Industry News
San Luis Obispo Police needs your help San Luis Obispo Police needs your helpVernon Ralph Erno 82, of San Luis Obispo, California becomes the latest profiled case for the NASCAR Elite Division Auto Zone Southwest Series race team based out of Phoenix Arizona. Desert Thunder Motorsports partnered up with the Nations Missing Children’s Organization & Center for Missing Adults www.nmco.org in 1999 when eleven year old Mikelle Biggs disappeared from her neighborhood.  Since 1999 together they have created this service naming it a public awareness & safety campaign traveling throughout the Southwest region of the United States in hopes of generating leads for law enforcement and educating innocent families.

“NASCAR racing is the place to be if you're wanting to reach large numbers of people.  Let's face it they are on top of their game and everyone is watching,” said Roger LaMoure team owner. Vernon Erno, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and hasn’t been seen since December 28, 2003 He was last seen approximately at 1:40pm near the intersection of Madonna road & Los Osos Valley road in San Luis Obispo, Ca. Vernon was last seen wearing a green fleece pullover, olive green khaki pants, tan Merriel slip on shoes, green beret style hat. He was wearing a gold ring with large blue stone with a chip; he also wears eyeglasses with silver frames.

Saturday evening October 16, under the lights of the Mesa Marin Raceway Bakersfield, California the Napa Auto Parts Chevy will place a larger then life image in front of one the largest fan based events of the 2005 season. The Ford Motorcraft “150” is part of this year's October Classic held at Mesa Marin and certain to be this year's greatest racing spectacle for the series as HDTV will be on hand to broadcast the event for the entire country to see. “If Vernon were found somewhere unable to identify himself he might still be ok. I mean San Luis Obispo isn’t that far from Bakersfield and just maybe someone has seen him.  That’s what we hope anyway,” said Darrell LaMoure, driver of the NAPA machine.

10/14/04
alms
Lehto and Werner top Thursday practice Lehto and Werner top Thursday practiceAmerican Le Mans Series champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner led the way Thursday as teams tested at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Saturday's season-ending Audi Sports Car Championships. The ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 driven by Lehto and Werner turned a lap of 1:16.461 on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road racing circuit, fastest of the cars that participated in the 90-minute unofficial test session. Overall winners of six of the eight ALMS races held this season, the duo is seeking to set a series record for the most overall race wins in a single season by winning on Saturday. The four-hour timed event, which begins at 4 p.m. (PDT), will mark the first time in the long history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca that a race has run into darkness. Race teams were scheduled to have one hour of night practice Thursday evening. The Creation Autosportif DBA-Zytek of Nicolas Minassian and Jamie Campbell-Walter was second-fastest overall and in the LMP1 class in the test session at 1:17.446, followed by the Dyson Racing Lola B01/60-AER of Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace at 1:17.788. The chase for driving and team championships in the LMP2 class for smaller Prototypes is still going strong. Current leader Ian James set the test session's fastest time at 1:21.817 in the Miracle Motorsports Courage C65-AER that he will share with James Gue and John Macaluso, but just behind at 1:21.865 was the championship-challenging Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40-Judd of Clint Field, Robin Liddell and Rick Sutherland. Third in the P2 class was the Van Der Steur Racing Lola B2K/40-Nissan of Gunnar Van der Steur, Erik Van der Steur and Ben Devlin at 1:33.590. Corvette Racing was 1-2 in the GTS class, with the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin fastest at 1:23.232. The #3 factory Vette of GTS driving champions Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell was second at 1:23.317, followed by the ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R of Johnny Mowlem and Terry Borcheller at 1:24.241.
10/14/04
nascar
2005 last year for Martin 2005 last year for MartinIn an announcement televised live Thursday by SPEED Channel, veteran Mark Martin confirmed that the 2005 season would be his last full-time run in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series. He said his plans for 2006 were not yet firm but that the 2005 campaign, which he will call "My Salute to You", will be his last run at the championship.

Martin, 45, added his name to a growing list of NASCAR superstars to announce retirement or cutback in the past year. Bill Elliott, now 49, announced a cutback to cameo roles at the end of 2003. Rusty Wallace, 48, announced in September that he would stage a farewell tour in 2005. Terry Labonte, 47, revealed Tuesday that he would run just 10 races each in 2005 and 2006.

Flanked at the news conference by long-time owner Jack Roush, NASCAR president Mike Helton, and wife Arlene, Martin thanked those who made his stellar 17-year run in NASCAR possible. Martin has been described as the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR championship, although he has finished second a heartbreaking four times.

From 1988, when he returned to NASCAR with Roush's Ford-backed NASCAR program, to the present, Martin has finished top-10 in points in all but three seasons, including a run of 11 consecutive years in which he finished sixth or better. He has 34 career victories, the last coming at Dover in June. He currently is in the running for the NASCAR championship, standing fifth in points.

In addition, Martin is the all-time leading winner in NASCAR's Busch Series, with 45 victories, nearly all of them coming in part-time campaigns with Roush.

Martin also has been instrumental in encouraging the careers of drivers such as Ted Musgrave and Matt Kenseth, 2003 NASCAR champion.

Martin, from Arkansas, attempted to migrate to NASCAR from ASA in 1981, on his own hook. Despite some striking success (two poles in his first five races), Martin was bankrupt by mid-1982 and returned to ASA, eventually regaining a foothold in Busch in 1987.

Ford helped broker the union of Martin and Roush in late 1987, with the duo making their debut in Cup in 1988. Martin scored his first Cup victory at Rockingham in fall 1989.

Roush has noted that Carl Edwards, promising Craftsman Truck chauffeur and current driver of Roush's unsponsored No. 99 car, would eventually take Martin's place in Roush's flagship No. 6, although that was not discussed Thursday.

10/14/04
grandam
An interview with Auberlen and Said An interview with Auberlen and SaidWelcome to the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Media Teleconference. Today we are joined by the two drivers battling for the GT driver championship heading into the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend, Bill Auberlen and Boris Said. Bill drives the No. 21 Team PTG BMW M3 along with co-driver Justin Marks and Boris shares the No. 22 PTG BMW M3 with Joey Hand.   Boris and Bill shared the No. 21 car until Round 6 of the 12-race 2004 Rolex Series schedule, the Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche.  Heading into the Lexus Championship Weekend at California Speedway, October 29 through 31, Bill leads Boris in the standings 348 points to 341 points.  It's been a close championship battle all season. Full transcript
10/14/04
nascar
 champcar
Changes for Mexico City track Changes for Mexico City trackA week after the Champ Car race in Mexico City, work will begin to make a few changes to the track for the NASCAR Busch Series race to be held in 2005. Changes will be made to take into consideration the differences between an open wheel car and a stock car.  More details as we get them. Jose Arrambide
10/14/04
champcar
 irl
Online CARA auction Online CARA auctionCheck out the new CARA Charities on line auction at www.caracharities.org/auction ! It will began on Saturday. October 9th and ends at noon Eastern Time on Saturday, October 16th. CARA Charities will contact the winning bidders on Monday, October 18th; payment must be received by October 21st . If payment is not received by the deadline, the next highest bidder will win your item. Shipping charges are to be paid by the winning bidder unless otherwise noted.
10/14/04
f1
Mansell's group submits revised bid for British GP Mansell's group submits revised bid for British GPBrand Synergy, backed by ex-driver Nigel Mansell, says it has the cash to make sure the 2005 race, which only has a provisional date, goes ahead. "It's a fully funded proposal the BRDC members should have a chance to see," consortium leader Kim Cockburn said. "All we ask is that our proposal is considered seriously." The plan will be submitted to the BRDC, who were unavailable for comment, early next week. In it, Brand Synergy will propose creating a new company, in which they, the BRDC and an as yet un-named investment group each have a stake. Cockburn says the un-named company will enable a billion pound redevelopment of the 300-acre Silverstone site that would provide income to secure the long-term future of the race and the circuit.

"The plan is to set up a new company of which the BRDC have a part," she told BBC Sport. We then master plan the whole Silverstone site and we deliver restaurants, shops, hotels etc. It will turn Silverstone into a massive motor racing, leisure, entertainment destination right in the middle of England. We've listened to the BRDC and our new proposal will reflect those comments. We believe it is a serious document, well backed, well funded and we believe it a strong proposal that they should put to their members." BTW, the 3 July date earmarked for the 2005 event is the same day as the men's singles final of the Wimbledon tennis championships.

10/14/04
f1
Montoya summoned before the FIA Montoya summoned before the FIAJuan Pablo Montoya faces being hauled in front of the FIA to explain his conduct in December. Reports in Italy and France suggest that the sport’s governing body will summon the Williams driver after he failed to attend the launch of a road safety campaign in Costa Rica last year. Montoya pulled out of the event two days after he was penalized for an incident at the US Grand Prix, a punishment that ended his championship hopes. The Colombian stormed away from the racetrack and later revealed that it had taken him two days to calm down and come to terms with the disappointment. Montoya is understood to have apologized to the FIA and promised to attend a later event – but he has still not done so. Possible punishments range from a slap on the wrists to a fine, or even the suspension of Montoya’s super-license for a period. The FIA are yet to comment on the matter. ITV-F1
10/14/04
German DTM
Opel announces DTM withdrawal Opel announces DTM withdrawalOpel has confirmed that it will pull out of the German-based DTM touring car series – but not until the end of the 2005 season. The move is part of a massive financial restructuring of General Motors Europe, which intends to reduce its annual structural costs by £350 million. 
10/14/04
f1
Bernie lays down the law Bernie lays down the lawBernie Ecclestone is going to eventually own the British GP. Bank on it. He has told the BRDC to take or leave his final offer to stage the British GP. Silverstone was on the provisional F1 calendar when it was announced on Wednesday – but will only go ahead if track owners the BRDC can agree terms with Ecclestone.

The BRDC are thought to favor a two-year deal with an option for a further five years but Ecclestone is only willing to sign a one-year deal with the possibility of a further six. It sounds like a small point of contention but the BRDC insist they need a two-year deal in order to realize their plans to redevelop the circuit. However, Ecclestone warned: “It is not something we can argue about, because this is my final offer.

“They need to agree this contract for the race to go ahead. If they cannot make enough money out of the race, as they say, then they shouldn’t do it. I don’t want to bankrupt them. But it’s no good wanting to buy a new house and then getting upset when the seller doesn’t accept an offer below the asking price. They didn’t start making improvements to the circuit until I kept banging on about it but were quick to find the money to build a new clubhouse for themselves at great expense.”

It's clear that Bernie, who is British of course, wants to control the British GP and perhaps make it the best GP on the schedule. One way shape or form he will eventually gain full control of the event and at some point move it to downtown London. If anyone can do it Bernie can.

10/14/04
Industry News
Time for a reality check Time for a reality checkIt will surprise no-one, but American football has once again been crowned the US’ favorite sport according to the latest poll. According to findings of the new Harris Poll, which has conducted an annual poll into the favorite sports of the nation since 1985, pro-football leads baseball by a ratio of 2-1 (30 percent to 15 percent). When Harris first asked the question 19-years ago, professional football and baseball were in a virtual tie (24 percent to 23 percent) for first place. Since then, football has steadily grown (up six points since 1985) at the expense of baseball (down eight points). While baseball has slipped badly, it is still ahead of college football (11 percent), men's pro-basketball (7 percent), auto racing (7 percent), and men's college basketball (6 percent). Says a Harris spokesman: “With the exception of pro-football and baseball, the numbers of people naming sports as their favorites are not very different from what they were in 1985. However, some sports have moved up and down over the last nineteen years. In the late 1990s, when Michael Jordan was at his peak, those picking men's pro-basketball as their favorite sport increased, from only six percent in 1985 to 13 percent in 1997 and 1998. It has now slipped back to seven percent.” The poll surveyed 2,555 adults in the US, online, between September 20-26.

However, on a worldwide poll, auto racing is liked by a much higher percentage of people, hence why some countries get well over 50% of the viewing public to tune in to each and every F1 race. When you start to understand that racing is far more popular outside the USA than in, you start to understand why AutoRacing1.com has said for a VERY long time that Champ Car must become a true international racing series. It appears OWRS shares that opinion as that is where the series is headed.

10/14/04
champcar
What defines a Champ Car? What defines a Champ Car?A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Regarding the Superfund Euro3000 car, it's a great looking car and it looks like ALL of the other series in the world including the IRL Crap Wagons. No more visual difference for Champ Cars to differentiate themselves from the other series. The unique profile brought by the pop off valve is a "signature" of the CART / Champ Car. A little composite change to the bonnet and 'tow' connection for safety and it would be good. Champ Car may be the stepchild to F1 but it does not have bear a family resemblance least of all one that has them looking like the IRL.

My discussions with people involved with CART with 10+ years of association feel that the turbo is another key 'signature' of Champ Cars. This combined with your misconception of the "perfect" V-10 solution is counter to world automotive trends save for F-1 and high-end luxury cars. The automotive world is looking for fuel economy based power plants for the majority of the buying public and the turbo is a power boost that does not guzzle as much fuel as the V-10. Fuel prices are not going back to old levels or even close which means there will be more development and vehicles using small displacement and superchargers.

Champ Car has one distinct signature in the incorporation of the turbo that provides two (2) points of recognition. One is the unique sound of the turbo equipped cars and the unique profile. The world economic climate says gas guzzlers are going to be for the rich and 'wanna bee’s' so why base a series on that engine. There are a number of Champ Car people that do not believe the V-10 as you push is the answer to differentiate the series.

I believe the owners have a good grasp on where Champ Cars needs to go and what the automotive manufacturers want as a technology development and advertising arrangement with a race series. Hopefully we will find out early next year what the 2006 car and engine configuration will be and it won't go through the false starts and poor publicity the 2005 schedule has. Gregory M. Waugh Dear Gregory, Thanks for your comments, they are valid arguments. Let me try to address your two issues - the look and the engine. Look - the Superfund car's bodywork, including the airbox, can be modified to address that issue and make the car look "different." You will lose HP without the airbox, but it is not mandatory. However that gives the teams more space to sell to sponsors and that is an overriding reason to have it. Without enough money a team is dead. The bigger the sponsors name the more money it is worth. Look at all the bodywork a Nextel Cup car has. That is one of the underlying problems with open wheel cars, not enough real estate to put a large car number and the sponsors names.

Engine - While turbos are more popular than V10's in passenger cars, Champ Cars are not passenger cars. The majority of turbocharged cars in the world are diesels. By your argument one would conclude the next generation Champ Car should have a turbo diesel engine. You talk about the sound. Let's put this misconception to bed once and for all. Ever hear a turbo Audi ALMS car? What about a turbo passenger car?  Doesn't sound so exciting. The turbo is NOT what makes the great sound. The turbo acts like an expensive muffler with regard to the sound. The engine note of a V10 and a V12 is far better than a V8, which is far better than a V6, which is better than an I4, etc.  The sound runs chills down your back and that is important. First impressions are key. While the existing Champ Car engine doesn't sound bad, it in no way sounds as good as an F1 car. Not even close. North America is ready for a race series that sounds like F1 and performs like F1, and Champ Car needs to fill that niche. It also will enable Champ Car to sell its product worldwide as an alternate to F1, because as we have stated repeatedly, F1 can't satisfy the world demand. Mark C.

10/14/04
Industry News
McDonald's posts strong 3rd Qtr. McDonald's posts strong 3rd Qtr.McDonald's Corp. said Wednesday its third-quarter profits will come in well above Wall Street estimates, reflecting a sales resurgence in its U.S. restaurants that remains in full force.  The announcement prompted the latest jump in McDonald's stock, which has doubled since the company began reviving flagging sales and earnings in spring 2003. Shares rose $1.31, or 4.8 percent, to close at $28.86 on the New York Stock Exchange.  The fast-food giant said its per-share profits for the quarter will top last year's by about 42 percent, due largely to impressive September sales. Its earnings estimate of 61 cents per share is 12 cents higher than the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

McDonald's said earnings, due out Tuesday, will include 7 cents per share from a tax benefit from an international transaction and other items. Chief executive Charlie Bell also singled out robust U.S. sales, which he credited to a combination of new menu items, longer restaurant hours, stronger marketing, and improved service and food quality.  The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company has enjoyed six straight quarters of higher comparable sales worldwide, burying an extended slump since overhauling management, cutting back on expansion, selling off non-McDonald's brands, making a push for healthier food and adding entree-sized salads, McGriddles breakfast sandwiches, white-meat chicken nuggets and chicken strips.  "They've hit a grand slam in a very difficult environment over the last 12 to 18 months," said analyst Douglas Christopher of Los Angeles-based Crowell Weedon and Co., referring to restaurant-industry competition, growing obesity concerns and a brief mad-cow scare.  "It started with a focus back on the McDonald's brand," he said. "And adding three to five stores a day was crazy. That affected profitability and cash flow, and everything started to fall back into place after that." AP Story

10/14/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
FIA unveil longest ever calendar
'Hakkinen drove DTM' - Haug
Pizza boy delivers again - Jerez
Brits receive 'draft' GP contract
BAR to 'go with Davidson' - boss
Japanese team could change F1 tire
Two day weekend was 'nice' - FIA
Ralf eyes final fling for Williams
Dallara won't do 'a Reynard'
Carlin to be new team's F1 principal
FIA 'not in favor' of GP axe
The Pope and Ferrari
Montagny and Jordan
Schu to dedicate week to family
Stewart - 'I hardly ever drive
'I beat Kimi' - Coulthard
Blow-up 'donkey does F1'
'Last chance' for Brit GP - Bernie
Gary Anderson and 'Midland F1'
Davidson targeted by new F1 team
Turkey is 'worthwhile' GP - FIA
10/14/04
alms
Mini LeMans of San Jose Mini LeMans of San JoseRookie driver Paul Dana remained in Methodist Hospital for a second night Saturday with a concussion and fractured T-7 vertebra (mid-back) from a crash Friday. Owner Ron Hemelgarn has yet to name a replacement, with Indy veterans Roberto Moreno and Jimmy Kite among the candidates. Indy Star
10/13/04
Formula GP2
 superfund
 champcar
 irl
GP2 vs Euro3000 akin to Champ Car vs. IRL GP2 vs Euro3000 akin to Champ Car vs. IRLBoth the Formula GP2 and the Superfund Euro3000 series are trying to outdo themselves next year in Europe. These two series have announced new cars and new engines, both closer to F1 than the Formula 3000 formula they replace. Both race in Europe and are essentially going after the same market share, to be the step drivers take prior to F1. Both will be going after the same race teams and the same funded drivers. That gives those drivers better exposure to the F1 team bosses. Both series are more expensive now that they have raised the stakes, and it will be interesting to see whether both flourish or both suffer the same problems Champ Car vs. the IRL does in the USA - united we stand, divided we fall.

One would think that GP2 would have one big advantage, their races are held with F1 on F1 race weekends. Think again. At each Grand Prix, there is a separate 3000 paddock, separate swipe card passes (no fans get in of course) to the F One paddock – indeed when they need to meet Charlie Whiting (Bernie’s no. 2) you have to make a timed appointment - not just to meet him, but to get past the F1 paddock gate…. There is absolutely ZERO chance that some young hopeful will either get watched by, or bump into, Frank Williams.

But the real point is that F3000 was – and GP2 will be – asked to stop cluttering up the elegant F1 atmosphere, and gets thrown out of the entire race track every Saturday night; “Do your race, pack your truck, and leave” – so no F3000/GP2 sponsor ever got to see the main event, never mingled in the F1 Paddock Club hospitality, never met a star – they just watched their own race on Saturday, after F1 qualifying, as the crowds drifted away, had no focus to their paddock, and pushed off.

How many real product or service brand names can you count on the side pods of FIA International 3000 cars in 2004 – 2, 3 out of 18 cars? Maybe. There have never been any proper sponsors in 3000 – and that’s why.

Why the new Superfund is so fascinating, apart from what is clearly a great car design, and lots of visual excitement, is that they are making their own show, at their own weekends, with self financed and own controlled TV, no Bernie deals and restrictions, and with a major press effort – there is a far better chance that a star will shine there, than in poor subjugated, locked away, treated like a leper GP2. Look at Felipe Massa, ex Euro3000 champion, not ever a FIA International 3000 driver. Better to be a big fish in a perhaps slighter smaller pond, than be treated like fish food in an ocean full of sharks.

10/13/04
f1
Dallara glad to be back in F1 Dallara glad to be back in F1"I'm glad to go back to F1," Gian Paulo Dallara told Italian magazine Autosprint. "For Dallara it's an opportunity to grow, which will benefit all the other projects we're involved in, because the technical know-how will deepen and the advantages will have positive repercussions. We're back in F1 because there are the guarantees to face this challenge in the best way, without compromising other commitments.  We don't want to do what BAR and Reynard did: everything is calculated for the available resources, there is no danger of letting things get out of hand. There is no desire of revenge with going back to F1. Our competitors are good; they have more experience and more resources. Our objective, however, is to be the best among the teams using the same engines."
10/13/04
f1
British GP: Now the real work begins British GP: Now the real work beginsNow the real work begins. As a July date for the British Grand Prix appeared on the provisional calendar for the 2005 Formula One season in Paris yesterday, a 21-page document landed on the doormat at the British Racing Drivers Club at Silverstone. This morning BRDC lawyers will begin to pick through the detail of a formal offer by Bernie Ecclestone, F1's commercial right holder. Both parties are broadly in agreement over the cost of staging the race, estimated at £7.5 million. It is the length of the contract that is at issue. Ecclestone wants a one-year deal with an option for six. The BRDC are seeking a two-year contract with a five-year option, giving them the time to develop plans and acquire planning consent for a radical revamp of the Silverstone site. Technically the parties have until Dec 10 - when the FIA world council meet to ratify the 2005 calendar - to agree a compromise. But the BRDC are hoping to conclude matters by the end of this month to maximize ticket sales. The BRDC chief executive, Alex Hooton, said: "The fact that we have gone from a position where we were off the calendar to one where we have a provisional date is progress. But we have not yet concluded a deal. We received a draft contract from Bernie, which we are now considering." More at Telegraph
10/13/04
World Rally
FIA fines Hyundai FIA fines HyundaiSouth Korean carmaker Hyundai has been fined $1 million (560,000 pounds) by motor sport's world governing body after missing four rounds of last year's world rally championship.   The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Wednesday that Hyundai Motor Company had appeared at a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Paris to explain their absence and failure to pay financial penalties for each event missed.   "Further to the presentation, the World Council unanimously confirmed the imposition of a $1 million penalty...with a deadline for payment of December 1, 2004," the FIA said.  Contracted manufacturers are obliged to contest all rounds of the world championship but Hyundai quit last year, saying they intended to develop a new car for a comeback in the second half of 2006 and a full season in 2007.  The fine could spell trouble for Japan's Mitsubishi, who have missed the last few rallies of this season to concentrate on building a new car for 2005. Reuters
10/13/04
NASCAR
Earnhardt Jr. Featured on Budweiser Packaging Earnhardt Jr. Featured on Budweiser PackagingAnheuser-Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced today that the popular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver will be displayed on the packaging of new Budweiser '8-packs' now available in select race markets. Select wholesalers and retailers in Charlotte, N.C., Darlington, S.C. and Atlanta are offering the specialty packaging of 12-ounce Budweiser cans through the end of the year while supplies last. In 2005, the new packages will be found in all NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race markets. The '8-packs' are packaged at the Anheuser-Busch Williamsburg brewery. “There's no coincidence that the '8-pack' contains eight Budweisers and I drive the number eight car,” said Earnhardt Jr. “I'm pretty excited about this, and I know racing fans will be, too. Two more cans than a standard six-pack means you can view the chase for the championship with even more friends.” “At Anheuser-Busch, we've always strived to bring adult beer drinkers and race fans the freshest beer as quickly as possible. Let me tell you, there's nothing faster than Dale Jr. and his #8 Budweiser Chevrolet,” said Andy Goeler, senior director, Budweiser Brand Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “NASCAR fans are going to love this convenient package that's perfect for tailgating at the track or hosting a race watch party at home. We wish Dale Jr. the best of luck down the home stretch of the season.” “Stock car racing has quite a following here on the east coast, so we're thrilled that the Williamsburg brewery is the source for this unique package,” said Brian McNelis, plant manager, Anheuser-Busch Williamsburg brewery. “Our brewery workers are faithful supporters of Dale Jr. week-in and week-out, and to have him here today to unveil the '8-pack' is something special.” Anheiser Busch Personally I'm getting tired of seeing Earnhardt Jr. on almost every racing advertisement, but there is no denying that NASCAR along with the teams and sponsors are masters when it comes to marketing. Other racing series could learn a lesson or two from them Doug B
10/13/04
f1
Pizzonia again dominates Jerez testing (Wednesday) Pizzonia again dominates Jerez testing (Wednesday)
1. Antonio Pizzonia - Williams-BMW - 1'16"549 - 99 laps
2. Ricardo Zonta - Toyota - 1'17"405 - 84 laps
3. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'17"460 - 96 laps
4. Alex Wurz - McLaren-Mercedes - 1'17"659 - 88 laps
5. Jacques Villeneuve - Renault - 1'17"718 - 60 laps
6. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren-Mercedes - 1'17"731 - 71 laps
7. Enrique Bernoldi - BAR-Honda - 1'19"410 - 135 laps
8. Bjorn Wirdheim - Jaguar - 1'19"721 - 94 laps
9. Katsuyuki Hiranaka - Toyota - 1'20"861 - 52 laps
10/13/04
grandam
Porsche to offer promotional program to Grand-Am teams Porsche to offer promotional program to Grand-Am teamsPorsche Motorsport North America has informed Grand American Road Racing Association that it will offer a promotional program to teams that compete in the Rolex Sports Car Series GT class for the full season in 2005. The program includes special labor rates for engine rebuilds and a parts/labor credit to race winners.

“We’re pleased to see with our move to the Porsche Cup car for the 2005 GT season that Porsche has stepped up with this program as a sign of their support,” noted Grand American Competition Director Mark Raffauf. “Porsche has always been a mainstay in sports car competition and has played a very dramatic role in the short history of Grand American racing. We expect with this support for their teams, the legendary 911s will continue to challenge all comers.”

“Porsche has always worked to give its customers the best product and the best service,” added Porsche Motorsport North America President Uwe Brettel. “And we work very hard to help our teams control their costs. For example, we have not raised our parts prices since 2001. And with this program, it will be even more reasonable for teams to keep their Porsche engines running strong all year long.”  The Porsche Performance Program is open to teams that run the full 2005 season in Grand American GT competition. More information is available from Porsche Motorsport North America at (714) 546-6939.

10/13/04
alms
Arena Motorsport withdraws from ALMS finale Arena Motorsport withdraws from ALMS finaleThe Arena Motorsport squad has abandoned its plans to run the factory Zytek 04S at this weekend’s Laguna ALMS finale. The team is still pursuing plans for next year to enter two cars at Le Mans and a mixed program of events in the ALMS and LMES. Autosport Magazine
10/13/04
f1
2005 Provisional F1 calendar released 2005 Provisional F1 calendar releasedFIA 2005 Formula 1 World Championship calendar (provisional)
Date Country Venue
Mar 6 Australia, Melbourne
Mar 20 Malaysia, Sepang
Apr 3 Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
Apr 17 France, Magny-Cours*
Apr 24 San Marino, Imola**
May 8 Spain, Catalunya
May 22 Monaco, Monte Carlo
TBD Europe, Nürburgring
June 12 Canada, Montreal
TBC United States, Indianapolis
July 3 Great Britain, Silverstone
July 17 Germany, Hockenheim
July 31 Hungary, Hungaroring
Aug 21 Turkey, Istanbul
Sept 4 Italy, Monza
Sept 11 Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps
Sept 25 Brazil, Interlagos
Oct 9 Japan, Suzuka
TBD China, Shanghai International Circuit
*contract under discussion
**subject to compliance with contract
10/13/04
NASCAR
FedEx to Sponsor Leffler in 3rd Gibbs ride FedEx to Sponsor Leffler in 3rd Gibbs rideFedEx Corp will sponsor a third Joe Gibbs Racing car for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season with Jason Leffler as the driver, officials from FedEx and JGR announced earlier today. Leffler will join teammates Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet and Tony Stewart 2002 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and driver of No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet. "Our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing in America's fastest growing sport is a strategic fit for the FedEx brand and a strong extension of our sponsorship portfolio," said T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of FedEx Corp. "Success on the track depends on reliability, precision, teamwork and speed, and our employees and contractors deliver those values to our customers every day." The partnership brings together the Gibbs name and FedEx for a second time. JGR owner Joe Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl-winning coach and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, coaches the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Landover, Md. "FedEx is one of the most admired and recognizable companies in the world, and I’m happy to have such a renowned addition to the team," Gibbs said. "FedEx and I enjoy a strong relationship with the Redskins, and I am excited to extend that winning relationship to NASCAR." Leffler, 29, from Long Beach, Calif., is a versatile driver who has competed in all three of NASCAR's top divisions, the 2000 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and won three consecutive United States Auto Club National Midget titles from 1997-1999 and the 1998 USAC Silver Crown title.
10/13/04
British F3
Piquet Jr: ’I’ll be in GP2 next year’ Piquet Jr: ’I’ll be in GP2 next year’UPDATE Well it looks like Piquet Jr. may not be in GP2 next year after all. Autosport Magazine reports that the Piquet Sports team has dropped plans to contest next year’s new GP2 category and left British Formula 3 champion Nelson Angelo Piquet to look elsewhere for a drive. Although Piquet says he feels ready for Formula 1, there are no competitive seats available for next year and GP2 is his most likely option (or Champ Car if the rumored Brazil race happens for 2005). Piquet Sports will not continue in Britain as it was built around Piquet and is not keen to run another driver in F3 or the two cars required by GP2. Team manager Felipe Vargas said: “It will be difficult to keep running the Formula 3 team here. The staff all have families in Brazil and only came here to support Nelson.” The high budget for GP2 is another factor in the team shelving its plans, although Vargas has not ruled out staying with Piquet as his engineer at another team. Persistent rumors link Piquet with Hitech Racing’s mooted GP2 effort, although he said nothing was confirmed. “We have to see who gets an entry first,” said Piquet. “It could be anyone with an entry, but Hitech is one to think about.” 10/03/04 Newly crowned British F3 champion Nelson Piquet Jr. has revealed he intends to run the new GP2 series next season. "I'll be in GP2 for sure next year. That and to keep testing for F1 teams are my goals," he affirmed. Piquet Sports, the team assembled by Nelson Sr. to nurture his son's path to F1, will likely move up with "Nelsinho" Piquet Jr. has become the 10th Brazilian in history to win the British F3 championship. The former champions' list reads like a who's who of Brazilian racing:
1969-Emerson Fittipaldi
1978-Nelson Piquet Sr.
1979-Chico Serra
1983-Ayrton Senna
1985-Mauricio Gugelmin
1991-Rubens Barrichello
1992-Gil de Ferran
1998-Mario Haberfeld
2000-Antonio Pizzonia
2004-Nelson Piquet Jr.
Cassio Cortes
10/13/04
f1
Sauber news Sauber newsSauber has ruled out customer use of its $43 million (£24m) wind tunnel until next year at least. “We need to understand it 100 per cent before we start leasing time,” said team boss Peter Sauber. “It has been hugely useful, but to take on more work would mean doubling the staff to 50 or so.” Sauber has also announced its race engineer line-up for 2005. Giampaolo Dall’Ara will work with Jacques Villeneuve while Felipe Massa will be looked after by Mike Krack. Autosport Magazine
10/13/04
f1
Mercedes denies McLaren buyout Mercedes denies McLaren buyoutThis week's Autosport Magazine reports that Senior Mercedes management have denied the company is about to buy Ron Dennis’s 60 per cent controlling share in McLaren. Speculation has linked Mercedes, which currently owns 40 per cent of the team, with a total buy-out, but Norbert Haug, vice-president of Mercedes Benz Motorsport, said: “That is not the case. We have a close relationship with McLaren, obviously, but it is not our intention to buy McLaren outright.”
10/13/04
f1
Minardi auction set Minardi auction setUPDATE What was not clear previously, but is now, the auction will include the sale of Minardi's factory in Ledbury because Minardi has consolidated all their F1 operations in Italy. Mark C. 10/12/04 Minardi has announced that the auction of part of team boss Paul Stoddart's collection of F1 cars and memorabilia will take place at the end of November.  The auction will be run at Minardi's factory in Ledbury on November 18, 19 and 20 and it will include almost half of Stoddart's collection of F1 cars – which features cars from Minardi, Arrows, Jordan, Tyrrell, BAR and Brabham. There will also be other memorabilia items including team and pit equipment.  Stoddart said: “This group of cars, which has been built up over the last 10 years, is possibly one of the most significant modern F1 collections ever offered.  What is of significance is that the sale includes not only approximately 4,000 catalogued items, but also that prospective purchasers will have access to hundreds of additional lots of a substantial nature, including plant and equipment, further F1 cars, and other items available for sale prior to the auction.  I think the sale will have something for everybody, from an F1 car to a tee-shirt, and as I am forever being asked, ‘Where can I purchase genuine Minardi merchandise?', here's the opportunity.”
10/13/04
champcar
superfund
Champ Car had better get their act together Champ Car had better get their act togetherA reader writes, I'm in Jakarta and just watched a re-run of the last EURO 3000 race on national television (great show)...they will have all races next year. Star sports will show it in all of south Asia as well. With their new car that is fast enough to qualify for an F1 race, Champ Car may soon find themselves out of the international market. Champ Car better come up with something international TV wise.....soon. Michael Baretta Dear Michael, Champ Car nearly disappeared from the face of the earth because of its horrible TV package this year. Domestic ratings were horrible and its international TV package was pretty much non-existent. The TV package in front of Champ Car to sign solves all of that but unfortunately, as has been the story of CART's demise, it's not getting done. Part of the blame is because of an unfinished 2005 race schedule, but we hear some folks are trying to get another deal, which from what we hear will kill the best possible international deal on the table. Mark C.
10/13/04
irl
Delphi IRL Safety Team Goes High-Tech Delphi IRL Safety Team Goes High-TechIRL medical personnel receive real-time information from safety trucks responding to accidents thanks to two Delphi on-board camera systems installed for the 2004 season. A front-facing camera records the Delphi IRL Safety Team's extraction of the driver from the vehicle and transfers that video wirelessly to the infield medical center so doctors can have an early indication of the nature and severity of any injuries. A rear-facing camera monitors the two firemen on the back of the truck and the oil dry distribution.
10/13/04
f1
Carlin to run new Midland F1 team Carlin to run new Midland F1 teamUltra-successful Formula 3 team boss Trevor Carlin will lead the new Midland F1 team's planned assault on Formula 1, this week's Autosport magazine can exclusively reveal. Carlin will link-up with businessman Alex Shnaider for the new outfit's entry into F1 in 2006, with a Dallara-built chassis. Midland F1 is set to use Carlin's base in Aldershot and make use of the Briton's ultra-close relationship with Dallara, which has already netted Carlin Motorsport the British F3 titles in 2001 and 2003. Speaking exclusively to Autosport, Carlin said: “I'm very excited about it. For anyone who is ambitious in motorsport the pinnacle is F1, and it's very rare to get the opportunity to go in at the beginning and do it the way you want to do it. I was never going to land a senior management role at Williams or McLaren. “I'm particularly excited because F1 is at a crossroads from the cost point of view, although I'm under no illusions how difficult it will be.”

Carlin plans to continue his team's efforts in the World Series by Renault, British Formula 3 and Formula BMW teams in 2005 alongside his work on the F1 team – which is scheduled to begin testing of its car next season. Carlin's involvement in the project will almost certainly be a massive boost to BAR test driver Anthony Davidson's hopes of landing a full-time F1 drive – because Davidson impressed the team by finishing runner-up in the 2001 British F3 title fight with Carlin Motorsport, behind Takuma Sato. “My personal ambition and dream is to have drivers like that with us again,” he said. “But we've got to earn our stripes to be able to work with drivers of that caliber.” Autosport

10/13/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Did BAR consider team order?
Hakkinen in 'secret' test
Minardi sale to raise $5m
Williams land Bank cash
Pizzonia's ankle healed - Jerez
Brit GP on '05 calendar - reports
'Welcome back, little brother'
FIA turn 100 at the Louvre
'I can win home race' - Barrichello
Lauda's new airline to take off
BAR set for Chinese oil partner
Schu to sponsor football club
'No contract' yet - BRDC president
10/13/04
champcar
Tickets sales hot in Mexico City Tickets sales hot in Mexico CityTickets just went on sale but already over 50% of the grandstand seats are sold out for the upcoming Champ Car race in Mexico City.  Last year this race drew over 411,000 people for the weekend surpassing the Indy 500 as the biggest auto race in the world.  The Indy 500 doesn't draw that many people for the entire month of May since Champ Car no longer races there. Mark C.
10/12/04
irl
Rahal Letterman Racing Teammates Lead Standings Rahal Letterman Racing Teammates Lead StandingsIndianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and Rahal Letterman Racing teammate Vitor Meira continue to lead the standings for the TAG Heuer Closest Finish Award heading into the season-ending Chevy 500k.   TAG Heuer, a world leader in prestigious sports watches and chronographs and the Official Timekeeper and Watch of the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis 500, announced in May it would present the "Closest Finish" award for the 2004 IndyCar® Series season.  "Since TAG Heuer has strived for more than 140 years to master the technology of split-second timing - with current capabilities including measurements to the 1/10,000th of a second - we believe this award is a perfect tribute to the accuracy and precision of both the world-class IndyCar Series races and our timekeeping technology for the league," Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer's President and CEO said.  The award goes to the drivers who are part of the closest 1-2 finish during the season, which began in February and concludes on Oct. 17 at Texas Motor Speedway. Both drivers winning the award will receive a TAG Heuer Carrera chronograph, a timepiece that combines sport with elegance in a polished steel case.
10/12/04
irl
Fan Could Drive Away With A Cool Ride Fan Could Drive Away With A Cool RideOne radio listener will drive away from Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 17 in a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox.  Since Sept. 20, listeners to ABC Radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have registered for the "Race to Win It" contest. Eight finalists will be invited to the Chevy 500k on Oct. 17 for the grand prize giveaway during pre-race activities. The Chevy Equinox will be awarded by process of elimination by drawing a name out of a bag.  The 2005 Chevrolet Equinox AWD has Pioneer electronics, including a 480-watt power amplifier, an XM Digital Satellite tuner, a DVD Navigation system and an overhead DVD player for the rear seats. It has IRL branded 18-inch Victory Wheels, a custom painted dash and door panels from Heritage Customs.   The vehicle will be on display at Service King Collision Repair Centers: from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 13 at 2129 S. Stemmons Freeway in Lewisville, Texas; from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 14 at 10831 Estate Lane in Garland, Texas; from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 4205 W. Plano Parkway in Plano, Texas.
10/12/04
alms
NBC to anchor ALMS season finale NBC to anchor ALMS season finaleNBC Sports will air the ninth and final round of the 2004 American Le Mans Series season with a one-day tape delayed telecast of the Audi Sports Car Championships, from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sunday, Oct. 17. The Audi Sports Car Championships will commence on Saturday, Oct. 16, and will be NBC's only ALMS race of the season, which has given NBC analyst Bill Adam something to look forward to.

"I think the race at Mazda Raceway will be a wonderful way to finish another great year of racing for the ALMS," Adam said. "This has always been known as one of the most beautiful and challenging tracks in the country, and holding a race there that runs into the night, will really make it even better. The famous corkscrew is hard enough in the daylight, but adding the additional challenge of doing it at night, may give some drivers nightmares just thinking about it.

"The other point that comes to mind is the beauty of racing in the dark. In the daylight, fans can see every movement a driver makes with the steering wheel and watch the ballet of balance that takes place on the track, but at night it becomes more like a live art exhibit. I love this racing!"

10/12/04
Industry News
Audi hires Lazard to sell Cosworth technology Audi hires Lazard to sell Cosworth technologyAudi AG has appointed Lazard to sell its specialist performance powertrain developer for about £50m, while HSBC is concurrently seeking buyers for the separate Cosworth Racing business being sold alongside the Jaguar Racing F1 team, together with Pi research, the electronics specialist. Possible purchasers reportedly include Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea FC, Dofasco, a Canadian steel company, the Austrian manufacturer of the soft drink Red Bull, and Hyundai.

Cosworth Technology supplied major engine parts for the Aston Martin Vanquish besides the engine for Audi’s own RS6. Cosworth Technology employs around 1,000 people at plants in Northampton, Wellingborough and Worcester, and at Novi, Michigan.

Audi bought Cosworth from Vickers in 1998 for £220m, keeping the engineering, manufacturing and casting unit which it called Cosworth Technology, and selling Cosworth Racing to Ford almost immediately for around £100m. Both Cosworth Technology and Lazard declined to comment to Scotland on Sunday, which published the story, over the weekend.

10/12/04
alms
Panoz to offer customer cars Panoz to offer customer carsFrom its successful introduction on the American Le Mans Series earlier this year, the Panoz Esperante GT-LM race car is on the threshold of making its presence felt on racing circuits in both America and Europe as its builder launches a new customer car program.
 
Built by Elan Motorsports Technologies (EMT) in Braselton, Ga., the Panoz Esperante GT-LM is based on the American-made Panoz Esperante road-going sports car and has been raced by the Panoz Motor Sports factory team since its launch in June. The car is powered by a 5.0 liter modular V-8 engine from Elan Power Products, a division of EMT.

The Panoz factory team is expected to expand to a two-car operation for the American Le Mans Series in 2005, and an announcement is also expected soon of a racing team that will run two Panoz Esperante GT-LMs in the European Le Mans Series. There are also expected to be American and European entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year with the car.

The Panoz Esperante GT-LM can also be built to specifications for customers in other racing series, including the SCCA's SPEED World Challenge and others.

"Don Panoz has shown, and continues to show, major commitment to this program," said David Bowes, Chief Executive Officer of EMT. "We have undertaken a multi-million dollar development and test program over the last 18 months, since the program was first authorized. We are now committed to building 10 new chassis for the 2005 season, and we are well through this build phase. EMT has the engineering and manufacturing resources to ensure that anyone who buys one of these chassis to go racing next year will be over-awed by the level of engineering and parts support back up that we offer."

10/12/04
nascar
Over $8.7 million on line in Atlanta Over $8.7 million on line in AtlantaWhen Bill Elliott won his first race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1985, he earned $59,800. Even if he finishes last in the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Elliott will take home a bigger paycheck. A Georgia native, Elliott will make his 56th start at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, which will have drivers competing for more than $5.7 million in prize money. In all, the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend purse has climbed to a record $8,785,920 million.
10/12/04
champcar
Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira interview Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira interviewBelow are key excerpts from Tuesday's Champ Car media teleconference with championship contenders Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira.  Here is the full transcript.
10/12/04
champcar
Keep Push-to-Pass and option tires say drivers Keep Push-to-Pass and option tires say driversWe saw the introduction of 'push to pass' and the alternate tire this year.  Are there any other rule changes you'd like to see moving ahead into 2005? 

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA:  I'd like to see to keep the 'push to pass' and the alternate tires.  But all the other changes, I'm not very keen on that. 

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Personally, I think the fact that we came back to something like a pit window is pretty good.  It makes racing less of a gamble, and I'm very happy that they came back on it.  Yeah, I think they tried experimental changes, and they've been smart enough to come back on the ones that were not very good and to keep the ones that were pretty good.  So I think the package we have right now is exciting and competitive.  So why should we change it? 

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA:  Yeah, that's how I think.  I think you don't need to change the 'push to pass' and soft tires.  It's been very good.  The qualifying for us is great.  I think they made adjustments inside the company to make the series grow. 

10/12/04
champcar
Push-to-Pass to be good in Australia Push-to-Pass to be good in AustraliaNewman/Hass teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira were asked whether the 'push to pass' will create more competition this year in Surfers.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  First, the straights are not that short.  That's the first deal.  I think it's probably one of these places where the 'push to pass' is going to be really powerful because the chicanes, you don't really need to have that -- when you lose the downforce, you don't slow down the car that much in the chicanes because they're pretty slow, and you can stay pretty close to the guy in front of you. 

So you might have a shot every time you press this button.  So I guess it's going to be a real challenge over there.  And definitely this is a point that I think has been the biggest improvement in the series this year, to generate some passing and to make a race even more exciting.  Personally, the Denver recovery would have been impossible for the McDonald's car if it was not because of the 'push to pass'.  So I'm pretty happy with that. 

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA:  I agree with Sebastien.  I think with the 'push to pass', you make a very exciting race for Australia.  But it's been exciting for all the past years.  Long straightaways, I think the 'push to pass' will generate a lot of passing. It's been the best thing that Champ Car made since I’ve been in the series, on the last four years, the best new thing they made, make a lot of difference on the racetrack.

10/12/04
champcar
Bourdais and Junqueira would welcome da Matta Bourdais and Junqueira would welcome da MattaWhen asked how they would feel if the rumors about Cristiano da Matta coming back to Newman/Haas in 2005 turn out to be true, and the team became a 3-car team. 

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  I think Bruno is better qualified than me to comment on the question because he knows Cristiano much more.  I think it would be great.  A third car with a great driver in it would be an even stronger package if we can plan it early enough. 

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA:  I agree with Sebastien.  Cristiano has been my friend since we were kids, since we started racing go-karts.  He's a very good driver.  If he adds to the team, it would be great.  I just don't know what is on his mind.  He's enjoying a lot his time in Brazil.  But let's see what happens.  For sure we need to have time to prepare, if that happens, to prepare the third car.  But it will be a good add for the team.  I think the team is very strong right now.  With another very fast and technical driver like Cristiano we would be even stronger.  I think it would be the Dream Team. 

We see the four-car Andretti Green team in the IRL kind of dominating this year.  Would a third car help in coming up with the best setup for the race?  Are your driving styles close enough that you could all share that kind of information? 

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA:  To be really, really honest, because we have the cars for three years, the 2002 car, it's very hard now to find a little new thing on the car.  We always find some very small change that suits like more little bit of the driving style of the driver.  Because we have a very good baseline from the car, and I think it really helps, like looking for 2006 and beyond, if we'll have like a completely new car, and we have to change a lot the setup, then we'll have three different feedback from the drivers. 

Right now you always hope, because he's really good, maybe he can see something that me and Sebastien didn't see on the car.  But he drove this car, as well.  You start with his setup when me and Sebastien start driving for the team.  So he would help, but can help more in a different car. 

10/12/04
irl
Broken back sidelines Manning for season Broken back sidelines Manning for seasonAs we speculated when Darren Manning was first diagnosed after his recent accident in Fontana, he may have broken his back but the cracks were initially masked by tissue inflammation much like Ralf Schumacher's were masked after his accident at Indy. That speculation turned out to be true as the carnage called open wheel oval track racing continues. Team press release - Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Darren Manning, driver of the no.10 Toyota Panoz G Force, will not compete in this weekend’s IRL IndyCar series 2004 finale in Texas after consultation with the Indy Racing League’s medical staff.

Manning underwent a follow up medical examination of his back with Dr. Terry Trammell on Monday, October 11, for an injury sustained at the California Speedway on Saturday, October 2. The injury, a minor compression fracture of the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae, was sustained during his qualifying attempt for the Toyota Indy 400 Fontana race. The incident occurred between Turn 1 and 2, and Manning was sidelined for the race with a slight concussion and a severe contusion in the middle of his back.

It is Dr. Trammell’s medical assessment that while Manning’s injury is not considered serious and is healing quickly, his recommendation is that in order to guarantee a fast and complete recovery, Manning must avoid any chance of a high speed rear impact for a period of two more weeks. Dr. Trammell expects Manning to be completely mended in just a few weeks.

“Darren has a full range of movement and very little discomfort, but given the physical demands and high speeds experienced in this sport, it is my opinion that he should sit this one out and give it a chance to heal completely for a three-week period,” said Trammell.

“It is a shame to end the season in this manner,” said Manning of missing the last two races of the 2004 IRL season [Editor's Note: It should be noted that even with this injury, his season is ending significantly better than the man he replaced, Tony Renna.] . “I feel really good, but I will certainly abide by the doctor’s recommendations. I have learned and gained a vast amount of experience from the Target team and we improved steadily throughout the year. I feel badly for my crew who worked so hard this year and we all would have liked to have had a chance to end the season on a better note. It’s a bit of a let down, but at the same time, I know that I have a lot to look forward to as the Target team prepares for the 2005 IndyCar Series season.”

10/12/04
champcar
Bourdais would like to wrap up title in Australia Bourdais would like to wrap up title in AustraliaOn today's Champ Car media teleconference Sebastien Bourdais was asked about winning the 2005 championship in Australia instead of it going down to the last race in Mexico City.  I think it's a bit above expectations for the McDonald's crew.  But quite honestly, I won't deny I'm happy with that.  We've been working really hard and have been rewarded for hard work.  It's a pretty neat feeling. 

"We have things pretty well under control.  We've been strong pretty much in any race.  I'm looking forward to the last 2 races and I'm hoping we can wrap this up in Australia.  I'm sure Bruno is going to be right there.  It's going to be a fight until the end.  We're working hard.  Consistency is really important this year.  We had the speed last year, but got lost in some events just because I didn't know everything about the racetracks.  You know, there were a lot of things for me to learn.  Even though the car was pretty close, sometimes I was not able to lead my engineer the way it should have been done. 

"This year it's different.  We have a strong baseline to the race every time, and evolution we put on the car throughout the year.  Obviously, it's working really well.  I don't really know what to say.  It's just great.  All I can say is I'm hope it's going to end like that till the end. 

"For sure, it would be really nice to be able to wrap this up in Australia, especially because the gap is going to be pretty wide over there (27 points).  But what can I say?  It's not the main target.  Obviously, it would be really cool.  But if we have to wait until the very last lap of the last race, it will still be as good as ever. 

"I don't want to risk everything to win it in Australia.  If the circumstances are all together right there to allow me to win it, then for sure I'm going to take it.  But, you know, if Bruno wins the race and we finish second, then fine, we just score big points again, and it would be hard for Bruno to win it still.  The very important thing, as my engineering chief said on the Champ Car website, I think the goal is to both finish and we should be able to put a strong 1-2 for Newman/Haas Racing.  That would be really cool." 

10/12/04
nascar
Seattle would be modeled after Kansas Seattle would be modeled after KansasNASCAR and International Speedway Corp. executives had Kansas Speedway all spiffed up and all the traffic plans finely honed, and they put on a dandy race, too - so the visitors from Seattle they've been wooing must have been pleased.  Seattle is the proposed site for ISC's next major track-building venture, and Kansas Speedway is the model. So if Washington officials accept ISC's offer and come up with $250 million of the $300 million it will take to build the Seattle Speedway, the Kansas Speedway will be the blueprint.  Kansas has spent $34 million on road improvement around Kansas Speedway, and the city built some roads, too. Now, 55 lanes of traffic touch the track property.  Kansas also spent $50 million on water, sewer and utilities.  Kansas officials changed state law so that sales and property taxes could be used to pay off their share of the project, $90 million in bonds.  In return, Kansas City gets a revenue boost from racing estimated at $170 million into the area's economy each year. Winston Salem-Journal
10/12/04
champcar
Champ Car not ready for playoff system Champ Car not ready for playoff systemOn today's Champ Car media teleconference championship contenders Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais were asked if a playoff system akin to NASCAR (and most major league sports) would work for Champ Car. Bourdais replied, "I'm not quite sure we have enough races in order to do that.  The way our sport is, it's probably more fair.  It probably brings the best driver up front and winning the championship if you have a contest between 15 and 20 races.  So this year we have 14 races, and I think it allows people to have some bad results, whereas if you do a playoff at the end, it would be like five races, and then if you fall down only once you're out of the contention.  So I don't really think it would be a great system for us.."

Junqueira was a bit more philosophical. "I think we don't have enough races.  I think the playoff system for sure is not the most fair thing in the world.  But I think once you build up a good TV package and a good marketing package, can be a good idea to have like two oval races, two street course races and two road course races making a six playoff races until the end of the year.  I think this is a valid idea.  But I think right now, I think the series needs to concentrate on other things for the next two years, and then after start to go to this kind of playoff.  But as Sebastien said, I think for sure the drivers always want to see a long championship that's going to pay the best driver/team combination to win.  The playoff going to make it like five races is going to be more about lucky than anything, but going to be more exciting for the fans.  But I don't think we're on the point to do it.  Maybe on the future."

10/12/04
ascar
Days of Thunder back to Germany Days of Thunder back to GermanyDays of Thunder, Europe’s fastest race series, will return to EuroSpeedway in Germany next season. Two visits to the 2-mile tri oval at Lausitz on May 29th and August 14th, alongside the six events at Rockingham, will give the championship eight international race meetings for the 2005 season.

“This is great news for the championship,” said Rockingham CEO Joe Dickinson. “Returning to EuroSpeedway is the first step in growing the series outside of the UK. We are traveling to Lausitz on 29th October to meet with some German teams, talking to them about running cars next year and giving them a practical demonstration of the race cars on the 2-mile oval. It is very important that we get some European teams involved to generate local interest when the series visits EuroSpeedway in May and August. We are also talking to a number of new British teams who are looking at running cars next year and I’m confident of increasing the number of cars on the grid for the first race of 2005.

Hans-Jörg Fischer, EuroSpeedway Lausitz President and CEO: “We are looking forward to welcome Days of Thunder back in Germany. Together with our friends from Rockingham it is our intention to further develop and establish Oval Racing in Europe. Days of Thunder already has grown to a fascinating series with more and more professional teams and very spectacular races. Our unique 2-miles-superspeedway is the ideal stage to showcase this product outside of England”.

The return to Germany is just one of some exciting changes planned for the series from next season. “As part of the five year business plan we are setting up a new company to manage and direct the growth of the championship outside of Rockingham,” Said Joe Dickinson. “This is very important because running a race series is fundamentally different to running a premier event venue. The new company will appoint a Series Director who will oversee the day-to-day running of the race series. We’ll also look at the race formats, maybe running one longer race at some events rather than two shorter ones as we do at present, which means we are looking at introducing refueling.

“The Pick Up Truck Series will continue to form an integral part of the championship ladder, providing the fans with close, exciting racing, as well as valuable experience for drivers looking to move up into the Days of Thunder series and we plan to have Pick Ups form part of the entertainment package that travels to EuroSpeedway next season. Also, there are a number of established Days of Thunder teams looking at running Junior teams in Pick Ups to provide up and coming drivers with oval racing experience before they race in the stock car series.

“Following the successful running of Formula BMW and Legends at the final two meetings of the 2004 season, it is our intention to have a support race at every meeting in 2005 to increase the on track entertainment element of the day.

“The other important part of the day is the off track entertainment that is attracting a growing number of people, including families, to watch this style of racing. Building on the success of the pop concerts held this year, Rockingham will look at varying the entertainment, which may include a rock concert or having comedians instead of music, to attract even more people to a Days of Thunder event.

“Moving further ahead, we are also investigating the possibility of running a Winter Series outside of Europe - somewhere like the Gulf or South Africa – at the end of 2005 or 2006. These are exciting times for the Europe’s fastest race championship,” Joe Dickinson concluded.

10/12/04
f1
Pizzonia tops Tuesday Jerez test times Pizzonia tops Tuesday Jerez test times
1. Antonio Pizzonia - Williams-BMW - 1'17"111 - 100 laps
2. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'17"293 - 90 laps
3. Alex Wurz - McLaren-Mercedes - 1'17"847 - 74 laps
4. Heikki Kovalainen - Renault - 1'18"175 - 54 laps
5. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren-Mercedes - 1'18"465 - 71 laps
6. Ricardo Zonta - Toyota - 1'18"542 - 44 laps
7. Enrique Bernoldi - BAR-Honda - 1'18"613 - 74 laps
8. Franck Perera - Toyota - 1'19"695 - 72 laps
9. Bjorn Wirdheim - Jaguar - 1'20"042 - 82 laps
10/12/04
champcar
Sponsorship renewal for Long Beach race Sponsorship renewal for Long Beach raceThe Grand Prix Association of Long Beach today announced that the Automobile Club of Southern California has signed an agreement to renew its sponsorship of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

With the agreement, the Auto Club will continue to sponsor the very popular Auto Club Lifestyle Expo, free to all race ticket holders, featuring the latest in action sports demonstrations, games, simulators, automotive displays, and recreation and entertainment products. This year's Ansari X Prize winner, SpaceShipOne, was displayed publicly for the first time at the 2004 Expo. SpaceShipOne won the $10 million prize, meant to develop vehicles for commercial space flight, earlier this month after flying into space twice in a one-week period.

The Automobile Club of Southern California has been a sponsor of the Grand Prix since 1994 and the Lifestyle Expo since 1998.

"The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of the premier sporting events in Southern California," said Michael A Johnson, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for the Auto Club. "Accordingly, the Toyota Grand Prix serves as an outstanding venue for the Automobile Club of Southern California to maximize its brand awareness, showcase many products and services and sign up new members."

Auto Club members will again have the opportunity to purchase Grand Prix tickets at a special discount.

"We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with the Automobile Club of Southern California in 2005," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "Not only are they an exceptional sponsor of the Grand Prix but their hosting of the Auto Club Lifestyle Expo will again afford unique experiences for all the attendees at the race."  

With more than five million members and 68 district offices in Southern California, the Automobile Club of Southern California is the largest affiliate of the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA is a not-for-profit federation of affiliated clubs with more than 1,100 offices serving 45 million members in the United States and Canada. Services provided to Automobile Club of Southern California members include 24-hour roadside assistance; a variety of homeowners, auto, life and business insurance; travel agency; financial products including auto loans, credit cards and prepaid travel money cards; automotive buying and financing programs; automotive maintenance services; highway safety programs, and legislative advocacy. Information about these services is available on the Auto Club's Web site at aaa-calif.com.

Tickets for the 31st Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run April 8-10, 2005, are now on sale. The Champ Car World Series will again be the headline racing event. Tickets can be ordered via credit card by using the toll-free ticket hotline,  (888) 82-SPEED. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at lbgp.com, in person at the Grand Prix ticket office (3000 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, Calif. 90806).

Ticket prices range from $32 for a Friday/Saturday-only general admission ticket to $114 for a three-day ticket, which includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating on upper levels of the grandstands. Limited pre-paid parking packages are available and can be purchased when ordering tickets. Handicapped seating, Bosch Champ Car Garage passes, hospitality club packages and super photo tickets are also available for purchase.

For up-to-date ticket information, descriptions of the various club ticket packages, or for announcements of special Grand Prix event activities, visit the official Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Web site at lbgp.com.

10/12/04
f1
Kimi: Bring on Juan Kimi: Bring on JuanBring him on says Kimi Raikkonen of the pending arrival of Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren. He told the latest edition of F1 Racing magazine: “I don’t care who my teammate is.   The real challenge for us all is to beat Michael Schumacher. I think we’ll have a chance of doing that next year, but we must have a reliable car from the outset if we are to do it.  What Montoya does won’t have any effect on the way I operate. He’ll work with his own engineers and I’ll be doing my own thing. It’s as simple as that.  It won’t change my position in the McLaren team.”

Asked if he expects McLaren to be capable of fighting with Schumacher next season, Raikkonen said: “Yes, if we get the car working consistently as well as it did in Belgium.  “But it’s not going to be easy by any means. We’re sure to have a lot of pressure from Williams, BAR and Renault as well, but we’ve just got to keep at it.”

10/12/04
nascar
Bobby Labonte comments on brother Terry Bobby Labonte comments on brother Terry“Obviously, there’s a lot that comes to mind. I was five years old, and he taught me how to race. It’s a pretty big deal. I can remember the first time I saw a racetrack with him – actually, I can’t really remember, but I was told I wrecked him. I can remember one story from Riverside in 1985 or 1986 Terry crashed on the front straightaway and went over the fence and onto pit road. I was working on the pit crew and took off running. I didn’t see the pit wall in front of me, so I fell flat down. I still outran everybody to the car. I got there and Terry gets out of the car and we check on him and Terry says, ‘That was big.’ I said, ‘Man you were upside down.’ He said, ‘I saw the gauges upside down.’ I said, ‘Yeah, you were upside down.’ So, back at the hotel that night in San Bernardino in Riverside there, I went over to Terry and Kim’s room and Terry’s got big bruises on him. And I said, “Check this out, I have got scuff marks all over me from me trying to get to you (Laughter).’ It’s just one of those deals where you see your brother and you just run to him. Obviously, at Atlanta in 1996 winning the race and Terry winning the championship that day. I mean, what a cool deal. There in Victory Lane with Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, Terry and I, Mom and Dad – I look at that picture quite a bit. That was a monumental day. Our parents won twice that day. Their kids won both things that day. It was unbelievable. Bob (Father) and Martha (Mother) were there. I think we had to go find out if the Cowboys won or something like that (laughter). It was still a monumental day. All the times we’ve parked beside each other at the racetracks. Knocking on the door. From the first day we owned a motorhome to Saturday night, beating on the door saying, ‘Hey, did you see this?’ Stuff like that is really cool. This year, Joe Crowley, my PR guy asked me, ‘Hey, they want a comment, because Terry has started a certain amount of races.’ People had been wearing me out about how many races he’d started. I said, ‘You know what, I think about it? I don’t care, because nobody has asked me how many races I’ve been to with him (Laughter).’ I was there in 1978 living in Terry and Kim’s apartment, off some road in Charlotte, for the summertime after they got married, which I know really bugged them. I can remember going to Darlington for the first race. I was trying to sneak into the pits. Being there for the first win, 1979 at Darlington. Going to Victory Lane at Darlington – it’s changed three or four times since then. So, he’s started a lot of races, but I’ve been there a lot too. I was working on the pit crew or I was hanging out at the fence or I was bothering them or whatever a young punk kid would do. So, I feel like I should be retiring or something. I’ve been going to a lot of races too, I guess. Anyway, it’s just been awesome. To see what’s happened today, I’ve known this was going to happen for awhile. It’s just an incredible feeling, and I’m proud of Terry. Proud of the accomplishments he done, the marks that he’s set, the people that he’s met. Admiring him and the example he’s set for all sorts of people in racing and – I just wanted to grow up to be like my brother.”
10/12/04
nascar
Terry Labonte shifting gears in 2005 and 2006 Terry Labonte shifting gears in 2005 and 2006Terry Labonte will extend his storied stock-car career for an additional two years, today announcing his intentions to drive a partial NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule with Hendrick Motorsports beginning next season.

The two-time Cup Series champion will embark on a 20-race campaign -- split evenly between 2005 and 2006 -- in Chevrolets branded with the No. 44, Labonte's car number during his first title season of 1984.

Expanding one of NASCAR's most enduring relationships, Kellogg Company will continue its 11-year support of Labonte and Hendrick Motorsports by assuming primary sponsorship of the No. 44 team for half of the planned events.  GMAC and ditech.com have also secured dates.

Yellow and red with green and white trim, the No. 44 Kellogg's Chevrolets will resemble the fleet Labonte drove to his second championship in 1996.

"This is something I've thought long and hard about," said Labonte, 47, who elected to vacate the No. 5 Chevrolets he steered for more than a decade.  "Though I still have the desire to compete, another 36-race grind isn't all that appealing.  After more than two decades, this is the best of both worlds.

"It's exciting for me to extend my relationships with Kellogg's and Hendrick Motorsports -- two organizations that have helped define my career.  These races are also an opportunity to show appreciation to all the loyal fans who have shown so much support over the years.

"And, of course, I've got my old number back.  Hopefully, we'll be able to make some of that same magic the car brought us in 1984."

Dubbed "Shifting Gears -- Lone Star Style" in deference to Labonte's Corpus Christi, Texas, roots, the tour will kick off Feb. 27, 2005 at California Speedway and conclude at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2006.  Though the 20-race slate has not been finalized, the 26-year NASCAR veteran has confirmed plans to make four return trips to his home state.

"I'm not sure my words can do justice to Terry Labonte," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports.  "He's a true friend, a gentleman and a humble champion.

"Terry is one of the greatest talents I've ever seen and I'm proud to say he's driven for Hendrick Motorsports.  It'll be great to have him back for two more years."

Since joining Hendrick in 1994, Labonte has posted 12 of his 22 career wins -- all with Kellogg's backing -- and bested teammate Jeff Gordon by 37 points to claim the 1996 Winston Cup (now NEXTEL Cup) title in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history.

"This has been a winning combination for us, both on and off the track, since 1994," said Rob Grainger, director of account-specific marketing, Kellogg Company.  "We're thrilled to continue our partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and honored to share these next two years with Terry Labonte, a true NASCAR legend."

Along with backing Labonte and the No. 44 program, Kellogg's will continue its longstanding support of Hendrick's No. 5 NEXTEL Cup entry, with 19-year-old Kyle Busch assuming driving duties as a rookie-of-the-year contender in 2005.

"The fact that I have this opportunity is amazing," Busch said.  "I'll never be able to fill the shoes of Terry Labonte, but I'm proud to follow in his footsteps.  He's an icon in our sport and a great role model for young drivers like myself."

Busch is currently challenging for the championship in NASCAR's Busch Series, piloting the No. 5 Hendrick-owned Chevrolets.  As the youngest full-time competitor in any of the sanctioning body's top three divisions, the Las Vegas native has claimed four pole positions, five victories, 12 top-five finishes and 18 top-10 results through 28 of 34 races in his first full season.

"It's been a privilege for Kellogg Company to have been involved with Terry's career for more than a decade, and we're excited to continue the relationship for another two years," said Jeff Montie, president, Kellogg North America.  "We welcome Kyle to the Kellogg's family and look forward to his future NEXTEL Cup successes, in his rookie year and beyond."

10/12/04
NASCAR
Andretti to run Saturday Night at Lowe's Andretti to run Saturday Night at Lowe'sJohn Andretti and the #14 VB/APlus at Sunoco Ford team run their inaugural race Saturday night in the UAW/GM 500 at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway. ppc Racing fields the car driven by the winning NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver. The VB/APlus at Sunoco Ford was the fastest in Lowe’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series testing a few weeks ago and, even though its first event, should be among the favorites for pole qualifying Thursday evening. The thoughts of VB/APlus at Sunoco Ford driver John Andretti heading into Lowe’s: “I’m excited. I know most press releases always have that quote in there somewhere, ‘I am really excited about such and such,’ but I am honestly and truly excited about getting started with ppc Racing and this VB/APlus at Sunoco Ford team. We have a great start to what is going to be a very competitive program. I’m not saying that just because we were the fastest in testing a week or so ago. I’ve been in this business long enough to know there is a reason they don’t hand out trophies for testing. But I know, too, that being second-fastest or 10th-fastest isn’t as good as fastest, so we’ve shown ourselves we have some positive things going. There is plenty of work in front of us, and we know that. There isn’t any room for error, especially as we get started. There are no points to fall back on, no provisionals for us. Rain on Thursday night would be disastrous for us but, at least right now, the weather forecast looks pretty good. We’re running the five races this year with a lot of seriousness but we’re running them, too, to put ourselves in solid position for 2005, when we run a full schedule. We’re learning about each other, we’re learning what it takes to make our race cars fast, we’re learning how to work together, and we’re putting up points to give us a solid start to the 2005 season." Williams PR We wish we could be as excited as Andretti is. Time will tell if he can have any success with this team. Doug B
10/12/04
nascar
Nextel Cup on Florida tour Nextel Cup on Florida tourA ten-day Chase for the Nextel Cup trophy tour begins today in the Miami area. The tour, which is being backed by Nextel and Homestead-Miami Speedway, is “part of an extended effort to build the Chase brand and sell tickets in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.” Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray will take the trophy to Thursday night’s Louisville-Miami college football game and Friday night’s Magic-Heat preseason game SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
10/12/04
MotoGP
Rossi takes breathtaking win in Sepang Rossi takes breathtaking win in SepangUPDATE Here are some photos taken by our Steven Levinson who was at Sepang and filed this report. Hold your cursor over the image to see the caption.

MotoGP StartRossi LeadingRossi on Victory Lap

Kuala Lumpur SkylineKL Tower from Bukit BintangInside the Batu Caves

10/10/04 Valentino Rossi is a step closer to the 2004 MotoGP world championship after overcoming the challenge of Honda riders Alex Barros and Max Biaggi to win today's Malaysian Grand Prix - and take a commanding 30-point world championship lead with just two rounds to go. Under typically sweltering (hot and very humid) conditions at Sepang International Circuit, Valentino Rossi rode brilliantly to win the Marlboro Moto GP of Malaysia.

Alex Barros led from the start on his Repsol Honda, followed closely by Rossi. After a number of laps (7) Rossi took the lead and was never headed. Barros was overtaken by a hard charging Max Biaggi, who briefly challenged Rossi, but faded to second, 3-seconds back. American Nicky Hayden finished a very distant 4th. Hayden had to hold off a charge by Loris Capirossi, who then fell into the clutches of two-time 2004 winner Makoto Tamada.

Clearly determined to put things right after falling in Qatar, Rossi took a brilliant pole with the fastest-ever lap at Sepang but then saw Honda veteran Alex Barros blast into the early lead. Rossi wasted little time, leading on lap two but running wide to let Barros back in front, then making it stick on lap four at the uphill left-hander halfway round the 5.54-km Sepang track.

When Max Biaggi passed Barros and started nibbling away at Rossi’s lead, the Italian responded with a new lap record of 2 minutes 03.253 seconds on lap eight of the 21 to cement his lead.

His eventual victory, his seventh of the season, was all the sweeter because his only title rival and the man he blames for starting the move to send him to the back of the Qatar grid, Sete Gibernau, could only come an anonymous seventh, his lowest race finish of 2004.

If Rossi finishes ahead of the Spaniard at Phillip Island he will be the first man since Eddie Lawson to take back-to-back titles on two different makes of motorcycle.

“This victory is very important,” said Rossi with a touch of understatement, “because it arrived at an important moment − after we lost 25 points in Qatar. We came here very concentrated, very determined to give it 100 per cent. “Also I like this track a lot, we do a lot of winter testing here. With just two races to go, Rossi now has 254 points to lead Gibernau on 224 and Biaggi back on 188. Steven N. Levinson reporting from Malaysia

10/12/04
f1
Button verdict due Saturday Button verdict due SaturdayJenson Button will find out on Saturday which team he will be driving for in 2005, BAR or Williams.  The Contract Recognition Board is set to meet in Milan on Saturday when they will hand down their verdict and finally put an end to speculation and suspense surrounding the Brit's future. BAR team boss Dave Richards is still confident that Button will be one of his two drivers in 2005.  "All credit to Jenson for the way he has behaved these past weeks," Richards told The Telegraph. "And credit, too, to the team for the way they have gone about their jobs. I'm relaxed, and confident about the weekend."  Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn is also hoping Button stays with BAR. He recently said: "We'd probably fear Jenson more in a Williams, because I think Jenson in a BAR is going to be a bit of a strained relationship next year."
10/12/04
f1
A tough race for Renault A tough race for RenaultRenault Engineering director Pat Symonds was philosophical after a disappointing result at Suzuka - and is looking forward to Brazil with renewed determination.

Pat, a disappointing weekend in Suzuka saw the team leave Japan sixteen points behind BAR with one race remaining. How is morale ?

PS : "Looking at the championship situation, claiming second place is now a mathematical possibility rather than a probability, but that does not diminish our efforts in any way. Our competitive spirit will not allow us to go to Brazil and give anything but our maximum. Both race drivers will be testing this week at Jerez and we will run new parts in Brazil that the conditions prevented us from evaluating in Japan. Our approach in Brazil will be very aggressive : we will finish the season with pride irrespective of the final championship result."

What was your assessment of the race itself?

PS : "To be honest, the tone of our race was set in the pre- qualifying session, which did not go well and left us thirteenth and fifteenth. That gave us poor timing for qualifying itself, putting us out when the track was at its wettest, which in turn compromised our race strategy as the drivers started further back than was ideal. Under the circumstances, though, I think we performed as well as we could have done."
 
How did you feel the drivers performed ?

PS : "Fernando drove a very good, strong race to fifth, making up as many positions as any other driver in the race. However, after qualifying eleventh, he was left with a lot of work to do. As for Jacques, I think the conditions this weekend were among the worst possible for him. With limited experience in the car, he was deprived of any set-up time at all at this difficult circuit. The weekend's weather certainly did him no favors at all."

Looking forward, Brazil will host the final race of the season in two weeks' time. What are the team's expectations ?

PS : "We will expect to be more competitive again in Brazil. We were quicker relative to our competitors in Suzuka than we had been in China and we hope to continue that trend with a strong performance at Interlagos. The team will still be pushing hard through the weekend and we will be determined to end the 2004 season on a high note." Renault F1 Team

10/12/04
f1
Suzuka fastest laps Suzuka fastest lapsFerrari was comfortably faster than the opposition at Suzuka, Japan last weekend.
1. Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) - 1:32.730 – lap 30
2. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) - 1:32.796 – lap 41
3. Ralf Schumacher (Williams BMW) - 1:33.467 – lap 23
4. Felipe Massa (Sauber Petronas) - 1:33.614 – lap 40
5. Takuma Sato (BAR Honda) – 1:33.742 – lap 28
6. Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams BMW) - 1:33.779 – lap 30
7. Jenson Button (BAR Honda) - 1:33.819 – lap 33
8. Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber Petronas) – 1’33.850 – lap 44
9. David Coulthard (McLaren Mercedes) - 1:33.917 – lap 14
10. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren Mercedes) - 1:33.920 – lap 35
11. Mark Webber (Jaguar) - 1:34.229 – lap 13
12. Fernando Alonso (Renault) - 1:34.279 – lap 29
13. Olivier Panis (Toyota) - 1:34.438 – lap 11
14. Jarno Trulli (Toyota) – 1:34.626 – lap 52
15. Christian Klien (Jaguar) - 1:35.261 – lap 32
16. Jacques Villeneuve (Renault) – 1:35.290 – lap 28
17. Nick Heidfeld (Jordan Ford) - 1:35.524 – lap 25
18. Timo Glock (Jordan Ford) - 1:36.667 – lap 14
19. Gianmaria Bruni (Minardi Cosworth) - 1:39.352 – lap 27
20. Zsolt Baumgartner (Minardi Cosworth) - 1:39.434 – lap 26
10/12/04
f1
Omega support boosts Cape Town race bid Omega support boosts Cape Town race bidThe Omega Consortium, that is in the process of trying to put a bid together for a license to stage the Formula One Grand Prix in Cape Town from 2007 onwards, received a major boost today with the announcement by One Vision Pty Ltd that it would make a R75m (11.4 million US dollars) investment in the project if it went ahead. One Vision will make the investment on behalf of an International consortium of industrial and energy product manufacturers. The consortium is involved in 54 countries worldwide and is involved in commodity trading, property developments, chemical production and the construction of oil refineries.

Mr. Taj Anvary, the CEO of Caspian Chemicals, a company associated with One Vision, was instrumental in broking the proposed investment. “This is a significant expression of our Group’s commitment to the country,” said Avary. Managing Director of One Vision, Mr. G Amouhadi, said that his company had great confidence in South Africa and had a number of plans in place to expand its presence here. “We believe that hosting a F1 Grand Prix in South Africa holds tangible benefits for the country and we would like our company, our products and our brands to be associated with this event.”
 
Dave Gant, the Chief Executive of the Omega Consortium said that the proposed investment represented close to 50% of the equity capital that the consortium was seeking from the Private sector to fund the Grand Prix track and infrastructure. “This project can only be undertaken in a Public / Private sector partnership and we are delighted with the support shown by. This adds substantial impetus to our efforts to engage with Government and get their commitment to the project.”

Gant said that all levels of Government had indicated an enthusiasm for the initiative and that the Omega consortium was now actively pursuing the right combination of Public / Private sector contributions and the most appropriate financial structures. “We urgently need to show serious intent and commitment to Formula One Management by the end of November if we are to retain their interest in bringing the Grand Prix to South Africa in the next few years.” Press Release

10/12/04
f1
Ecclestone extorts F1 Ecclestone extorts F1A reader writes, Let me get this straight … Did I REALLY read this about Formula 1? So Bernie Ecclestone controls the GP F-1 schedule, and he cancels the British Grand Prix for next year. THEN Bernie tells the British Racing Drivers Club (who stages the British GP) that they can get the event back if they hire him to promote the event (for a big fat fee of course). Is this the most outrageous example of conflict of interest, no (too mild), make that extortion, I’ve ever heard of?  Is there no legal oversight of F-1 operations? Glenn Tanner, Palos Verdes Estates, CA Dear Glenn, Because F1 is so expensive now, most of Bernie's new race deals are with governments because they are the only ones who can afford to pay what he charges to bring the F1 circus to town. Bernie tried to extort more money from the BRDC who had to turn to the British government, but they didn't blink and said they would not support the race. Then, out of nowhere, a new buyer (Brand Synergies) steps forward and says they will buy the rights to promote the race and pay Bernie's fees. Then Bernie stepped forward and said he would bid, we suspect to make sure Brand didn't get a no-bid sole-source contract. In almost all of Bernie's deals there always emerges a competitor (usually a new race venue that could replace the one he's negotiating with for renewal at the time), which in turn drives the price higher. Call it extortion, or call it whatever, we prefer to say they got "Bernied," i.e. outsmarted and outmaneuvered. Give the man credit, he's one shrewd businessman. Mark C.
10/12/04
irl
champcar
Tony George elevates Indy 500 to top-10 Tony George elevates Indy 500 to top-10I was reading Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary issue and there it was on page 173 … “Ten Dumbest Moments in Sports”  (subtitled “it’s true someone has to win and someone has to lose, but nobody has to make these kinds of colossal blunders”)… Number 7 … Memorial Day: Tony George splits off Indy Racing League from CART; as result has devalued the Indy 500, damaged open-wheel type racing, and allowed NASCAR to reign supreme.  Really, no further comment from me is necessary. Glenn Tanner, Palos Verdes Estates, CA
10/12/04
alms
Champions reunite for season finale Champions reunite for season finaleThey go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cereal and apple pie and ice cream. In the world of endurance sports car racing, many of their greatest successes have been achieved together. Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, who won two American Le Mans Series GT class championships and 14 races together as teammates from 2001 through 2003, and have been called the best GT racers in the world, will reunite for the first time this season in North America and will race in this weekend's Audi Sports Car Championships event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Saturday's four-hour event is the 2004 ALMS season finale.

 Maassen, the most winning driver in the six-year history of the ALMS with 22 wins, and 18-time winner Luhr, both Porsche factory drivers from Germany, will team with American Leo Hindery to race the YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for BAM! (British American Motorsport) in the Laguna Seca event. The trio hope to bring BAM!, a first-year team, its first victory in American Le Mans Series competition. Luhr and Maassen have made "guest" appearances with Hindery in selected races this season but the Laguna Seca race will mark the first time they have driven together in the ALMS since wrapping up the 2003 series championship with a win in last year's season-ending event at Road Atlanta. But the fact that they haven't been together this year in the ALMS won't mean much; Maassen once compared the two to "an old married couple. People think of us as one person," he said.

 "We don't need to talk," he said. "Sometimes when Lucas comes out of the car, I can tell the engineer "uh-oh, the car is not good.' I can tell by his attitude. "We know each other," he said. "It's like a couple that knows each other, both the good and the bad. We leave each other alone if we have a bad moment, or I tease him a little bit." As Porsche factory drivers, Maassen and Luhr were reassigned by Porsche to race primarily in Europe this season and they have been successful in the FIA GT Series, including scoring a class win together this past weekend in Dubai, UAE, in conditions that included temperatures of 97 degrees F and 90 percent humidity.

 While they will be out to win at Laguna Seca, which they did in both 2002 and 2003, Maassen and Luhr will also be keeping an eye on Timo Bernhard, their former teammate at Alex Job Racing, as he tries to clinch the GT class driving title for 2004. Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister have been driving the #23 Porsche for the Job team this season, the same car number that Maassen and Luhr used during their four years with the team. Maassen has scored two more ALMS wins this season with the Job team as a third driver in long distance races. "I would like to see my old teammate and old team win the championship," said Maassen. "And I'd like to see them finish second in the race, behind my car.

10/12/04
champcar
Bourdais in Mexico City Thursday Bourdais in Mexico City ThursdayThere will be a press conference in Mexico City with Sebastien Bourdais on the 14th of October.  The press conference will be on the track in Mexico City and that day the official schedule of the 12 concerts will be given to the press. Jose Arrambide
10/12/04
grandam
CompUSA team in championship mode CompUSA team in championship mode“The CompUSA team came into this weekend knowing what we had to do but we just couldn’t take the chances we wanted to out there because of the conditions, explained Scott Pruett. “It was just terrible out there with the steady drizzle on dry tires. I had to keep the no.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley to the dry line because if you went off just a little bit it could have been disastrous, in fact you saw that happen to the #54 car right in front of me at the end. The championship is going to come right down to an incredibly exciting end and that’s a credit to the series because it truly shows how close the competition is. The CompUSA team will be ready to put it all on the line in California and see exactly what we’re made of.”

“With the no.01 CompUSA leading the race, we had to set a conservative pace but really everyone was using the 01 car as a reference for braking points, and that made this very difficult for us,” said Max Papis. “We had a lot to lose because any small mistake could have taken us out of the championship. That’s racing and in the end it was a great race in difficult conditions. Don’t ever remember driving on slicks in wet conditions for so long. I’m really looking forward to Fontana now. The CompUSA team wants this Championship very badly and we’re working hard both on and off the track for it. Maybe we come out of this race only leading by three points, but the fact remains we’re still the ones to beat.”

10/12/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Webber burns treated by doctor
Coulthard backs sabbatical-Jacques
BAR will go for Brazil win - boss
Bernie's Brit offer 'for free'
Brit GP is 'important' - F1 chief
F1 chief behind Russian grand prix
Panis told to 'keep your F1 racer'
Schu set to eclipse Senna mantle
Future decided 'in a few days' - Button
Villeneuve was 'best choice' - Sauber
Cape Town boost in F1 bid
Three day GP is 'tough' on F1 crew
Prost queries Renault decision
No Brazilian 'team orders' - Ferrari
'Not guilty' - F1 magazine
Mansell to draw new Silverstone layout
Button is 'best of the rest'
10/11/04
champcar
Gigante gets it Gigante gets itWe were impressed by the Gigante Racing website.  Gigante sponsors Michel Jourdain Jr. on the RuSPORT Champ Car team.  This has to be the best auto racing sponsor website we have seen.  Others can learn from the Mexicans.
10/11/04
champcar
f1
F1 drivers amazing F1 drivers amazingUPDATE This image below (by Getty Images) of Felipe Massa in a Sauber getting sideways in the wet at Suzuka is what we saw over and over again, by almost every driver. It was as if it was a dirt track race on asphalt. BTW, dirt track cars have high tire sidewalls too. You won't see this kind of exciting driving in the USA because the rules makers don't yet get it. Fans are stuck with driving-on-rails snooze fests as a direct result of the low profile race tires.

10/10/04 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I was watching qualifying from a wet Suzuka track last night and was amazed how the drivers were doing tank slapper after tank slapper driving the cars almost totally out of control on a semi-wet track. Did you see Montoya sawing at the wheel on dry tires in the wet. I thought for sure he was going to loop it but every time the car got sideways he brought it back. Amazing stuff. Those guys really can drive. We never see that here in America from our wanker drivers. Dante Jones, San Diego, CA.

Dear Dante, Yes, the F1 drivers are good, but don't blame American drivers, blame the people who make up the rulebook. In the USA in the rain the cars are either on rails or they are instantly breaking loose and into the pea gravel. There is no in-between. The idiotic low profile tires used in USA racing make the cars either appear to ride on rails, or break loose suddenly. They are very stiff and although a stiffer sidewall gives a better performing tire in perfect conditions, when they break loose the driver gets very little warning.  Compare that to the high profile tires on the current McLaren F1 car shown above right. 

Hence in the rain, in Champ Car for example, the cars look slow, the drivers spin out and look like wankers, and they complain they can't race in the rain (because the compounds are too hard).   We too saw the Japanese GP qualifying and indeed it was quite entertaining. The announcers were besides themselves with excitement. Enlarge the image to the right and notice the significant deformation of the tire sidewalls on the McLaren, especially the rear tire.  It flexes so much it actually wrinkles. That flex allows the driver to throw the car around with confidence and recover from those tank slappers we saw in qualifying.  Hopefully on the next generation Champ Car we will see a switch to F1 size wheels and tires. We are hopeful that in 2006 Champ Car will switch to a car like the 2005 Superfund Euro 3000 car shown to the bottom right. Not only does it use F1 tires (without the grooves) and wheels it has a proper screaming V10 that, and in its maiden test at Silverstone, turned laps fast enough to qualify for this year's British GP.

Although it weighs 200 pounds more than a F1 car (it's still 200 pounds less than a Champ Car), because it has slick tires (vs. F1's grooved), a wider track than an F1 car, and a 4.0 L engine (vs. the 3.0 L F1 engine), it can almost perform on-par with an F1 car. The engine makes more torque as a result of its 25% greater displacement and that, combined with slicks, wider track, and underbody downforce (vs. an F1 car's flat bottom), enable it to be as fast as some of today's F1 cars. Here is the real kicker - it costs less to buy and operate this car per year than it does a current Champ Car. John Travis, who has designed many Champ Cars for Lola and Penske, has apparently done a great job with this car.  We are told John designed this car to far exceed all of Champ Car's current safety standards and it was designed with the intent that it could be a replacement for the current Champ Car in 2006 - i.e. it was designed to run on ovals and road courses and blow the current Champ Car into the weeds at a lower cost.

Champ Cars were most popular when there was a bragging war going on between F1 and Champ Car as to whose cars were faster. Today F1 cars are significantly faster than a Champ Car, and as a result, Champ Cars don't generate the worldwide interest they once did. It's time for Champ Car to put its current car out to pasture. It's old, it's tired, it's slow and it's not exciting.

As we have said, the John Travis car is everything the next generation Champ Car needs to be. If Champ Car wants to sell its series as a top-level worldwide product, the powers to be had better get their heads out of the sand and realize that the 2005 Superfund Euro 3000 series (or whatever its new name might be) just passed it by, thereby bumping them down to third on the world pecking order in terms of performance. Worse yet, when the new Formula GP2 cars hit the track, Champ Car will be relegated to 4th, slightly ahead of the hideous and slow A1 Grand Prix cars.  Champ Car officials now have some tough decisions to make - try to sell a 4th-best product as top-shelf and fail, or upgrade their product to one which has F1-type performance and save their teams money at the same time.  Once again, will they snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?  The world is watching.  Mark C.

10/11/04
champcar
Miss Indy Australia Schedule of Events Miss Indy Australia Schedule of EventsSince Australia is one of the most favorite races, among the fans and the drivers, we thought you'd like to have this Miss Indy schedule of events for down in Surfer's Paradise. The contest itself attracts more girls into it than the Miss Australia/Miss Universe contest. It is also one of the most interactive events where the drivers come out and socialize way more than at any other race! There are 36 contestants this year, being judged in interview, photographic, swimwear, and sports talent throughout the week leading up the race. The winner receives over $40,000 in cash and prizes. Miss Molson Indy Canada, Jessie Sulidis, even gets to go to this race as part of her Canadian prize....and she will act as an ambassador to Canada there. Mark C.
10/11/04
irl
Superman touched many lives Superman touched many livesAs an actor, Christopher Reeve was best known for his movie roles as Superman. For nine years after being paralyzed in a horseback riding incident until his death Oct. 10, Reeve was a real-life superman to thousands with devastating disabilities.  Two of the lives Reeve touched are part of the Indy Racing League community. Sam Schmidt, an owner in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, credits Reeve with helping him deal with his own paralysis. Driver Al Unser says his sister, Cody, was like a member of Reeve's team fighting for a cure for paralysis.  "(Reeve) was injured approximately four years before me," said Schmidt, who was paralyzed in a racing crash in January 2000. "If he hadn't have been injured, I would most likely be on a ventilator right now, or there's a decent probability I'd be dead.  I was just a passenger (during the initial recovery period). I was in ICU and didn't know which way was up or down. Because of his injury, people went to his Web site, called his doctors, tried to get information on what should be done. I think that's a common process these days for loved ones. A lot of people draw on him as a resource."

Schmidt formed the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation in the months after his injury. The foundation's biggest fund-raiser is the Racing for Recovery Gala held each May before the Indianapolis 500. "Christopher Reeve was involved in 2003 with our May event," said Schmidt, who clinched his first championship as a team owner Oct. 2 at California Speedway. "Everyone appreciated that. It was good to bring him out and let him speak to our motorsports community about how important the research is."  The relationship that developed also gave Schmidt the opportunity to attend Reeve's fund-raising functions in New York.  "He became an inspiration to me personally," Schmidt said. "He does more in one year than most people do in five years as far as travel, work, everything else."

Reeve also touched the lives of the Unsers. Cody and Al grew up in the midst of a family with nine Indianapolis 500 wins -- Al (4), Al Jr. (2) and Bobby (3) - but the focus of their lives shifted in 1999 when Cody became paralyzed because of Transverse Myelitis, a neurological syndrome caused by inflammation of the spinal cord.  Cody Unser, 17, met Reeve for the first time a year later.  "Paralysis was such a new world for me," Unser said. "I was looking for inspiration and I found it. I was able to go meet him at his birthday party. He was funny and very vivacious. He had a big heart."

Unser founded her own foundation, Cody's First Step, and worked with Reeve's foundation on improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.  "Last spring in Mexico, we talked and exchanged our stories and frustrations about public health for the disabled," Unser said.

All agreed that Reeve will sorely be missed.  "He was definitely leading the fight, a really big figure for not only those with spinal cord injuries but for people with disabilities in general," Schmidt said. "It's definitely going to be a pretty big loss. Effectively his life has been cut short by the injury. Hopefully, it will draw more attention to the need to find a cure."  "He's superman, and he'll always be flying above us," Cody Unser said. "He impacted my life and touched a lot of people."

10/11/04
f1
Toyota gives Panis a car Toyota gives Panis a carOlivier Panis ended his Grand Prix career with a present from Toyota – the F1 car he raced at Suzuka. The 38 year old Frenchman will step down from the Toyota team for the final race of the year so that Ricardo Zonta can race in front of his home crowd in Brazil. “It is a great gesture and I am really moved,” said Panis after the team presented him with his race car. “Unfortunately my final race didn't quite go the way I would have liked. I took a gamble by taking the softer Michelin tire while Jarno (Trulli) went for the harder one. I was only able to manage one quick lap and then the tires dropped off quite a lot. Panis stays with Toyota as their third driver for 2005, with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli forming the race line-up.

10/11/04
nascar
Newman fastest in Atlanta testing Monday Newman fastest in Atlanta testing MondayNASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Ryan Newman was fastest during Monday’s test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  No surprise there, as Newman has won three straight pole positions at Atlanta. But Newman wants more than just to be fast. He’s got a lot on the line when he returns Oct. 29-31 for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend.

Not only will Newman be trying for four straight poles and in the heat of the battle for the NEXTEL Cup championship, he will also be fighting for the $1 million payoff that goes to this year’s Crown Royal IROC champion.  “Atlanta’s a real big weekend for me,” Newman said. “I’ve got a lot on the line.”   Newman was the only NEXTEL Cup driver who tested Monday at Atlanta. He led the unofficial speed chart by circling the 1.54-mile quad-oval in 29.70 seconds (186.667 mph), leading the brigade of eight Ford Craftsman Truck Series drivers who also tested Monday. Carl Edwards, who is running in both the Craftsman Truck and NEXTEL Cup series, was the fastest Ford Truck on Monday, turning in a lap in 31.05 seconds (178.551 mph).

Newman leads fellow NEXTEL Cup driver Matt Kenseth by just four points in the standings for the Crown Royal IROC series, an invitational auto racing series that matches 12 drivers from different disciplines of auto racing in equally prepared cars. The series consists of four 100-mile races with points awarded for finishing positions. At the end of the Atlanta race, points will be tallied and a champion of champions will be named.

For the first time in history, the Crown Royal IROC champion will pocket a cool million. That’s a major increase from the 2003 season, when champion Kurt Busch received $250,000, a series record.    “It’s $1 million to win and something like $80,000 for second, so we’re definitely going for broke,” Newman said. “It’s cool, the way they’ve restructured things this year. It definitely catches your attention to be running for a million bucks.”

By virtue of being the points leader, Newman will have to start in the back of the season finale. His strategy?  Get to the front.”   But that won’t be as easy as it sounds, since Newman will be running with the best of the best. And with so much money on the line, every one of the IROC drivers will be pushing the limits.  “It should be a great race for the fans, because there are so many grooves here in Atlanta we can run at,” Newman said. “It’s a situation where we can work the race track and move around a little bit. It’s a great race track.”

And with all those grooves, Newman said he won’t be surprised if the race comes down to a finish much like the one they had at Daytona – when five cars crossed the line in a pack.  So how wide would Newman take it to earn that $1 million?   As wide as I had to.” But with so many other items on his agenda for Atlanta, Newman didn’t have too much time Monday to dwell on the Crown Royal IROC championship.

Instead, he tested his NEXTEL Cup car, trying to learn as much as he could both for the upcoming Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta and the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a sister track of Atlanta.  All test sessions are closed to public, but check the Atlanta Motor Speedway website at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com for more information and daily testing updates.
#       Driver  Time (Sec.)     Speed (mph)
NEXTEL Cup
12      Ryan Newman     29.70   186.667
Craftsman Truck
99      Carl Edwards    31.05   178.551
24      Travis Kvapil   31.36   176.786
50      Jon Wood31.45   176.280
14      Rick Crawford   31.45   176.280
10      Terry Cook      31.53   175.833
38      Brandon Whitt   31.53   175.833
67      JR Patton       31.90   173.793
29      Deborah Renshaw 32.11   172.656

10/11/04
Industry News
Cagle’s widow passes away Cagle’s widow passes awayGladys Cagle, widow of longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway Superintendent Clarence Cagle, died Oct. 9 in Indianapolis. She was 86. Gladys Cagle was hired as secretary to the superintendent in 1954 and worked in that position until 1977. She and Clarence were married June 21, 1963. They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary two weeks before he passed away on July 5, 2003. During her many years at the Speedway, Gladys became friends with the entire spectrum of people who were involved in maintaining the track and putting on the Indianapolis 500, from the drivers to the constructions workers. Clarence and Gladys Cagle moved to Ormond Beach, Fla., after they retired but continued to be involved in racing. They annually attended the Indianapolis 500 Old-timers Club barbeque at the Speedway each May. Last May, she participated in a memorial ceremony at the track for her late husband. Gladys Cagle was born in Colchester, Ontario, on June 7, 1918. She became a U.S. citizen in 1943. Survivors include daughters Linda Weber of Speedway, Ind., and Cheryl Cantrell of St. Louis, five grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Services will be conducted at Flanner-Buchanan Speedway Funeral Center on 2950 N. High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46224, with calling hours from 4-8 p.m. Oct. 12. The funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Oct. 13 at the funeral center. Donations may be made to the American Lung Association.
10/11/04
nascar
Larry Foyt to drive 2nd BAM Racing car in 3 races Larry Foyt to drive 2nd BAM Racing car in 3 racesLarry Foyt and the #59 BAM Racing Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race. Foyt joins BAM Racing with an extensive background in both stock car and open wheel racing. Part of the lineage of the legendary A.J. Foyt, Larry Foyt raced in the 2003 NASCAR Nextel Cup season for A.J. Foyt Racing, as well as in this year's Indianapolis 500. Foyt has a variety of racing experience from USAC, ASA, NASCAR Busch, and Nextel Cup series. "This will be the first time I've driven for a race team owned by someone outside of the family. It'll be a neat experience, something different that I'm looking forward to. Having two cars is something I know BAM Racing is looking forward to in the near future, so it's important for us to perform well this weekend. The only other time they've fielded two cars in the same race was at Infineon and both cars finished well out there. Hopefully, we can duplicate the same performance this weekend," Foyt said.” I’m also looking forward to having Kenny Schrader as a teammate. He and A.J. Foyt know each other pretty well and he has said often how A.J. helped him throughout his racing career. Hopefully, a Nextel Cup veteran like Kenny can return the favor. As for now, we're planning on running three Nextel Cup races with BAM Racing before the end of the year; starting in Charlotte, then Atlanta, then the season finale in Homestead. After that we'll see. We're actively working on securing sponsorship for the 2005 Nextel Cup season. Williams Company PR
10/11/04
alms
History will be made this weekend at Mazda Raceway History will be made this weekend at Mazda RacewayHistory will be made this Saturday when the American Le Mans Series finishes its 2004 season with a four-hour race starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., marking the first time cars have raced into the darkness at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  The sun will set at approximately 6:30 p.m. and total darkness will fall on the track around 7 p.m. (all times PDT), leaving the American Le Mans Series prototype and GT cars to negotiate the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit aided only by their headlights and ambient lighting around the circuit.  While the event will mark the first time in history that cars have raced in the darkness at Laguna Seca, the American Le Mans Series competitors are quite used to the practice, as most all of them have competed in the dark at either the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring or the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans race, held last month at Road Atlanta.  Nighttime racing will introduce several new aspects to longtime fans, as the cars will light up the night with belching exhaust flames, glowing brake rotors and sparks created by the ultra-low cars scraping the track surface. The cars also sport an innovative color-coded lighting system on the cars that signifies who is in first, second and third place in each class.  History can also be made by ADT Champion Audi R8 drivers JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, as the two attempt to set the single-season overall win mark.  They have already wrapped up the American Le Mans Series driving title on the strength of six wins in eight races, tying them for the record that was set in 2000 by Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish with the former factory Audi team.
10/11/04
irl
nascar
Free pole tickets for TMS races Free pole tickets for TMS racesFree tickets for The Dallas Morning News Pole Day on Friday, Oct. 15 are now available.    There will be a coupon good for one free ticket, a $15 value, in the Sports Day section of The Dallas Morning News Tuesday through Friday.   Fans may redeem the coupons prior to the Friday pole day at the speedway ticket office or on qualifying day at Gates 4 or 7.  There is no limit on the number of coupons fans may redeem as long as it is an original coupon -- no copies -- from The Dallas Morning News.  The Dallas Morning News Pole Day will consist of practice and qualifying for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series.   Spectator grandstand gates for The Dallas Morning News Pole Day will open at 8:00 a.m.   Qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will begin at 2:15 p.m. followed by qualifying sessions for the IRL IndyCar Series at 4:30 p.m. and the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series at 5:45 p.m.   Tickets for the Oct. 15-17 Chevy 500 race week are available at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500 or online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
10/11/04
ETCC
First row start and season best for Alex Zanardi First row start and season best for Alex ZanardiAfter two really hot races, for air temperature and incidents, Andy Priaulx claimed the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship title in Dubai’s season finale event. The BMW Team Great Britain’s man finished second to Alfa Romeo’s Gabriele Tarquini in both the 19th and 20th rounds of the season. Alex Zanardi takes the lead twice during race two after starting from row one. Rangoni had the pole, but Alex took a better start and jumped into the lead, chased by J. Müller and Priaulx. During the first lap the first three clashed and spun. At the restart, Zanardi took the lead again, but on the first lap Priaulx overtook both J. Müller and him. On lap 3, Zanardi could not resist the pressure from the Alfa Romeo men, he got passed by Tarquini while Farfus, with an optimistic move, bumped into Alex’s car who dropped from second to ninth. Thereafter he was able to gain three positions and finished 6th, the best result of the season. The second best season result came during race one when Alex was able to collect a seventh place spot. The third best result came on March 28th 2003 in Monza, Italy. Alex Zanardi will be in the United States in late November in order to launch his North American edition of "Alex Zanardi - My Sweetest Victory" from Bentley Publishers of Cambridge, Mass.
10/11/04
nascar
Seattle and NY officials visit Kansas track Seattle and NY officials visit Kansas trackOfficials involved with new track projects in Seattle and Staten Island, N.Y., attended this weekend's NASCAR event to see how Kansas Speedway became one of the gems of American motor sports.  Built in 2001, the Kansas track sprang from 1,500 acres of farmland at the western edge of the metropolitan area. Now surrounding it is a sparkling retail and tourist center that is transforming low-income Wyandotte County into a thriving area.  Seattle officials were also impressed with how property values and noise levels have been addressed here. Plus, there's the attention to detail that sets this speedway apart.  Both new tracks are expected to be less than a mile in length. Kansas is a 11/2-mile track. Indy Star
10/11/04
f1
Rabid Japanese F1 fans Rabid Japanese F1 fansDespite the torrential downpours on Friday and Saturday, 212,000 fans still showed up to watch the Japanese GP at Suzuka.  As can be seen on our Japanese GP photo page, the attendance Sunday was massive, announced as 160,000.
10/11/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Renault concede defeat
Overtaking is possible - Sauber
Ralf 'had advantage' - Montoya
Off the pace
Glock struggle
Gnashing of wheels
Webber can't stand the heat
Schu prefers three day weekend
Button.  BAR.  Brazil.
Brother scorn at Schu 'drought'
Brit GP will 'probably' survive - FIA
Sitting room only - Bahrain GP
Villeneuve exhausted
All but 'done and dusted' - BAR
Bernie and Brit GP
Ralf back to best - Patrick Head
Webber wants Williams win
Two day GP format 'no problem'
Team sale 'in process' - Jaguar
More grands prix in danger - FIA
Rubens to get 'no help' in Brazil
Coulthard may sit 2005 on bench
'Quiet' Schu destined to win - Brawn
'Embarrassing' - Villeneuve
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