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DATE News (chronologically)
10/22/04
nascar
Robby Gordon will not be back with RCR Robby Gordon will not be back with RCRRobby Gordon has confirmed that he and car owner Richard Childress will split at the end of 2004. Gordon told PRN's Garagepass, "The process is we've made the determination that our Busch car runs so competitive every weekend that we're gonna go ahead and make the step and move that to a Nextel Cup car in 2005. Obviously we'll have other announcements in the near future but our plan is to take our existing Busch car and roll that up to a cup program." When asked...so you won't be with RCR next year? Gordon said, "that's what it sounds like right now, so that looks like our direction...looks like the direction we're trying to head." PRN's Garagepass Radio show
10/22/04
champcar
Besnard on cruise control Besnard on cruise controlThe best news was rookie Champ driver and Australia's hope in the Indy 300 David Besnard brought the car back without a scratch. He might have clipped the wall once, not that he noticed until his pit crew told him later, but the main thing was he didn't crash during the first day of qualifying. Yesterday was the V8 Supercar driver's first day behind an open wheel vehicle and life in the fast lane just got a whole lot quicker.

By his own admission Besnard was taking it relatively easy as he maneuvered the $1m automobile around the Gold Coast street circuit, clocking a time three seconds slower than fastest qualifier Sebastien Bourdais. His time has him positioned in 13th out of the 19 Champ cars, with another day to record a faster qualifying time today.

"It's funny, everyone was saying great job and all the rest of it but I don't really see that," Besnard said. "For me it's more about how do we make it go faster, how do we improve. It's going to be tough but it's a good challenge. "I'm trying to drive the car within the limits while also having a go at the same time. I've had it sideways a couple of times and done some good skids. There's definitely a little bit of trial and error."

While Besnard was a little unsatisfied his opening day was endorsed by Champ car series leader Bourdais, who indicated the Gold Coast product has the potential to develop into an elite driver. But the Australian was quick to redirect his long-term allegiance to the V8 Supercars, where he has forged a strong bond with the WPS team owned by Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore. "I saw that he didn't do any mistakes so that's a pretty good beginning," Frenchman Bourdais said. "It's a tough course, myself I made some mistakes when I first started. "He's going to be a good driver." The level of support for Besnard among race fans continues to increase with Queensland deputy premier Terry Mackenroth watching some of yesterday's action from the WPS racing team pit. Townsville Bulletin

10/22/04
f1
FIA mandates engine power cuts FIA mandates engine power cutsFIA, the governing body of Formula One, has approved new engine regulations which will see manufacturers switch to 2.4 liter V8 engines in place of the current 3-litre V10 powerplants in 2006. FIA also revealed several other new regulations which will come into effect next year and in 2006 after teams failed to approve any of the three proposals submitted to the Technical Working Group back on September 6.

Last June, the World Motor Sport Council voted ominously to invoke Article 7.5 of the Concorde Agreement and gave F1 teams two months to come up with their own proposals to reduce speeds on the grounds of safety.

On Thursday, the World Motor Sport Council decided to impose proposal number two with some of the regulations taking effect March 1, 2005 and the rest being implemented January 1, 2006.

Among the new rules taking effect next year are changes to the bodywork (aerodynamics) to raise the front wing, bring the rear wing forward, reduce the diffuser height and cut back the bodywork in front of the rear wheels. The move is expected to result in a 20-percent cut in downforce with minimal loss of drag. Also teams will be restricted to one set of tires for qualifying and race day, which should result in a harder tire being produced and a reduction in cornering speeds. Engines will also have to last two Grand Prix weekends, instead of the current one weekend.

In 2006, 2.4 liter V8 engines will be introduced along with a number of restrictions concerning design and permitted materials. Independent teams, such as Minardi, Jordan and Sauber, will be allowed to use the current 3-litre format through 2007, provided there are restrictions on revs which will be determined by FIA. "These regulations impose restrictions on engine development comparable to those already applicable to Formula One chassis," read a statement from FIA. "Such restrictions have by no means stifled technical development of the chassis, but they have prevented uncontrollable increases in performance.

"In a similar way the proposed engine restrictions will significantly slow the rate of increase of engine power output." FIA says when it reduced engine capacity from 3.5 liters to 3 liters midway through the 1994 season, it predicted horsepower limits would be 650 maximum. Instead, we have seen horsepower climb to as much as 1,000 over the last few years. "It's what we expected and I'm completely in favor," said Renault's Flavio Briatore.

Several manufacturers, notably BMW, Mercedes and Honda, have stated they would re-evaluate their participation in Formula One if there was a change in engine power. "We are committed to Formula One and I think the easiest thing to do in the light of something like this is quit," said Honda's Ottmar Szafnauer. "We want the engine formula to be open so that we can differentiate ourselves one from the other, which makes the sport interesting for us and is one of the reasons we are here." Toyota has indicated it would accept a change to V8 power adding that extending engine life to two races may open the door to supplying a second team, possibly as early as 2005. TSN.ca

The essence of ‘Package Two' for 2005 is as follows:

- Approx 20% less downforce through raised front wing, rear wing mounted further forward, reduced diffuser height, cut back bodywork in front of rear wheels.

- One set of tires for qualifying and the race.

- Engines to complete two events.

The 2.8-litre V8 rule, which has been vehemently opposed by the likes of BMW and Honda, will come into force for 2006. It remains to be seen what action they may take, as Max Mosley has clearly indicated that they would be ill-advised to take on the FIA on matters of safety. As promised for the first two years of the rule old V10s will be available to the smaller teams with a rev restriction designed to equate them with the V8s.

10/22/04
f1
Barrichello leads 2nd session in Brazil Barrichello leads 2nd session in BrazilBrazilian Rubens Barrichello set his best lap of one minute 11.166 seconds with just 10 minutes of the session remaining to knock teammate Michael Schumacher off the top spot in practice session 2 at Interlagos in Brazil. Quotes
 P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps Laps
 1. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'11"166 217.975 Km/h 25
 2. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'11"334 + 0'00"168 28
 3. 6 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'11"526 + 0'00"360 20
 4. 9 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'11"731 + 0'00"565 25
 5. 35 DAVIDSON BAR Honda M 1'11"920 + 0'00"754 31
 6. 10 SATO BAR Honda M 1'11"988 + 0'00"822 23
 7. 8 ALONSO Renault M 1'12"005 + 0'00"839 30
 8. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas B 1'12"183 + 0'01"017 24
 9. 38 BRISCOE Toyota M 1'12"209 + 0'01"043 34
10. 4 R.SCHUMACHER Williams BMW M 1'12"235 + 0'01"069 26
11. 3 MONTOYA Williams BMW M 1'12"280 + 0'01"114 24
12. 7 VILLENEUVE Renault M 1'12"316 + 0'01"150 31
13. 39 DOORNBOS Jordan Ford B 1'12"345 + 0'01"179 27
14. 17 ZONTA Toyota M 1'12"347 + 0'01"181 30
15. 5 COULTHARD McLaren Mercedes M 1'12"430 + 0'01"264 24
16. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'12"545 + 0'01"379 36
17. 11 FISICHELLA Sauber Petronas B 1'12"631 + 0'01"465 29
18. 14 WEBBER Jaguar Cosworth M 1'12"816 + 0'01"650 35
19. 18 HEIDFELD Jordan Ford B 1'13"114 + 0'01"948 24
20. 20 BRUNI Minardi Cosworth B 1'13"467 + 0'02"301 31
21. 15 KLIEN Jaguar Cosworth M 1'13"509 + 0'02"343 32
22. 19 GLOCK Jordan Ford B 1'13"966 + 0'02"800 24
23. 21 BAUMGARTNER Minardi Cosworth B 1'13"979 + 0'02"813 25
24. 37 WIRDHEIM Jaguar Cosworth M 1'14"303 + 0'03"137 28
25. 40 LEINDERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'14"754 + 0'03"588 10
10/22/04
nascar
irl
NASCAR and IRL TV Ratings NASCAR and IRL TV RatingsUPDATE #2 The ABC network TV rating for the IRL's season finale at Texas Motor Speedway fell from a 1.0 overnight to a final of 0.8/2 Share continuing the dismal TV ratings for the league. 10/19/04 NBC earned a 4.9/9 final Nielsen rating for Saturday’s broadcast of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series UAW-GM Quality 500, a 14% increase over last year’s 4.3/18 NBC  This is the first post-season playoff race that garnered an increased TV rating over the previous year. 10/18/04 The overnight TV ratings for the NASCAR Nextel Cup race from Lowe's Motor Speedway was a 4.6/8 share on NBC.  Overnight ratings in 2003 for the race were 4.5 overnight rating and 8 share and the final was 4.3 rating and 8 share.  The overnight TV rating for the IRL season finale at Texas Motor Speedway garnered a 1.0/2 share on ABC.
10/22/04
f1
Brazilian GP Thursday Press Conference Brazilian GP Thursday Press ConferenceFirst part of this Thursday's FIA press conference with Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) and Ricardo Zonta (Toyota).  Second and final part of this Thursday's FIA press conference with David Coulthard (McLaren) and Felipe Massa (Sauber). Transcript (Both)
10/22/04
f1
Montoya leads opening practice in Brazil Montoya leads opening practice in Brazil We have it on good word that Race Car Driver, a reality TV series based around Champ Car, will debut on September 7, 2005. The show will air on Superstation WGN. Look for more info on www.racetv.com Mark C.
10/22/04
champcar
Drivers shave head Drivers shave headChamp Car drivers Michel Jourdain Jr. from Mexico and Oriol Servia from Spain showed up in Surfers Paradise with shaved heads from a bet they made (and apparently lost).  Photo courtesy of Champ Car.
10/22/04
champcar
Gearshift problems hamper Smith Gearshift problems hamper SmithGuy Smith in the No 17 Rocketsports Lola qualified 18th and posted a time of 1:38.897 (101.742 mph or 163.738 km/h). “This is my first time on the Surfers street course. It’s an exciting, busy track and it’s been a steep learning curve,” said Smith. “I had some shifting problems, so I didn’t qualify as strong as I had hoped, but I expect the next session will be better.”  Photo courtesy of Champ Car.
10/22/04
nascar
Daytona infield rennovations nearing completion Daytona infield rennovations nearing completionThe earth-moving, ground-shaking metamorphosis continues at Daytona International Speedway. The Speedway's ambitious infield renovation project, said to cost $50 million, is beginning to take shape as the shells of new buildings begin to rise from the ground.  Speedway president Robin Braig along with former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Skinner provided a facility update Wednesday morning.

Most of the infield, including all the competitors' garages, were either demolished or moved to make room for this new, fan-friendly paddock-garage area.  Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will find new garages waiting for them when they arrive here in January for testing. The media center has doubled in size.  The old scoring tri-lons will be replaced with three scoring pylons standing 153 feet tall. Each will be fitted with a big screen for replays.

The 960-foot tunnel in Turn 1 has been enclosed and crews are busy shoring it up with concrete and dirt.  "The tunnel in Turn 1 was our No. 1 priority," Braig said. "Weather can't hurt that project now."  The centerpiece of this new project is a four-story structure called the Daytona 500 Club, situated right at the start-finish line. The new infield FanZone laces through the competition and garage areas.  "Now we can see where all these mega-millions are going," Braig said. "It's going right to competitors, who deserve a new garage area. And it's going to our race fans, who can walk up to the garage and look in and see the cars being worked on.  I think the race fan is going to be thrilled with what they'll have going on here," said Bill Kilgannon, Haskell's project manager. "A lot of this is for the fans. They have done a spectacular job making this whole thing fan friendly."  Braig said the three hurricanes that hit the area slowed the renovation project but that Haskell is still at least a week ahead of schedule on construction.  "The hurricanes were difficult and stressful," Kilgannon said. "We overcame all that and we're on schedule." Daytona Beach News-Journal

10/22/04
nascar
Financing Alternatives breaks into NASCAR marketing Financing Alternatives breaks into NASCAR marketingThe Sponsor Agency is pleased to announce that Financing Alternatives, Inc. (FAI) has joined the NASCAR family by sponsoring the #07 Craftsman Series truck during races at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia and the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.

Walt Pollard, Director of Operations at Financing Alternatives, Inc. had this to say of the marketing agreement: “I’ve followed NASCAR for twenty years. Many of our employees are NASCAR fans and are very excited about the new program. We hope to increase brand awareness and utilize NASCAR’s marketing power to get our message out”.

Financing Alternatives, Inc., located on the Internet at www.PCS4ALL.com, will be an associate sponsor on the #07 truck piloted by driver Sean Murphy. Sean has a history of winning in many different series of racing and looks forward to his turn at the famous Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Financing Alternatives Inc. will also come on board as a primary sponsor on the #07 truck during the final NASCAR weekend of the season, which takes place in Florida at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In addition to the sponsorship campaign, Financing Alternatives, Inc will offer one winner and a guest the weekend of a lifetime: An all-expense-paid, VIP trip to the Miami Craftsman truck race to be an Honorary Pit Crew Member. The winner will receive round-trip airfare, race tickets, hotel accommodations, pit passes, spending cash and a VIP tour of the speedway. To enter, visit www.PCS4ALL.com.

Financing Alternatives, Inc. (dba PCS4ALL) is a national leader in computer sales and financing. “We offer consumers with less than perfect credit an opportunity to own a brand new computer system (out of the box turn key) that includes a color printer, digital camera and over $1000 worth of software for an affordable $35 per week. We do not check credit, so no matter how you have paid in the past, FAI will give you a fresh start and the opportunity to own a computer system”, adds Pollard.

10/22/04
champcar
Drivers get extra P2P in Surfers Drivers get extra P2P in SurfersChamp Car drivers at Surfers Paradise will benefit from an extra fifteen seconds of 'Push to Pass' power boost on the 2.795 mile temporary street course on Australia's Gold Coast (75 seconds total).
10/22/04
f1
Bernie to meet with team owners Bernie to meet with team ownersBernie Ecclestone will today meet with team principals in the latest episode in the saga over the British Grand Prix.   Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the venue for the final round of the Formula One World Championship, Ecclestone will canvas the comments of the team bosses over the future of a race which continues to hang in the balance.

The race, held annually at Silverstone, was originally left off the provisional calendar for 2005 – then reinstated. However, earlier this week Ecclestone publicly declared the race was ‘almost certainly off’. Talks continue between him and the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) – the track’s owners – and hopes remain a new deal can be reached.

The current sticking point appears to be over the length of the deal and the costs involved.   Following a board meeting yesterday, BRDC chairman Ray Bellm said: “We have been in intense negotiations for nine months and we met the bulk of the terms, including closing the gap on fees. We thought we were close to agreement. However the major stumbling block is over the length of contract.   “The only way forward for us is a two-year contract which would give us time to plan and secure the long term future for the British Grand Prix. We have financial limits on what we can afford. We need a British Grand Prix to sustain the long term stability of the valuable British motorsport industry and for the sake of Silverstone. We have done our utmost to come to an agreement but the present terms are not financially viable.”

10/22/04
champcar
Besnard shows well for 1st outing Besnard shows well for 1st outingAussie David Besnard (pictured right, courtesy Champ Car) qualified 13th fastest in provisional qualifying for the Lexmark 300 Indy.  It's Besnard first Champ Car outing and already he's comfortably ahead of some of the regulars, which should give the Aussie fans something to celebrate this weekend.
10/22/04
champcar
Jarek Janis struggles on first day Jarek Janis struggles on first dayJaroslav ‘Jarek’ Janis (pictured right, courtesy Champ Car) ran 17th in his first-ever Champ Car qualifying session. The 21-year-old Czech posted a best time of 1:38.534 in his Dale Coyne Racing machine, over 4 seconds from pole.  In defense of Janis, he has never seen the Surfers track before and it's his first Champ Car race ever yet he still managed not to be slowest in the field.
10/22/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Unofficial Brit GP?
'Family affair' for Barrichello
Bertolini again
Mexico to stage grand prix
New tire supplier by 2007
Midland might debut next year
McLaren's new sponsor
BRDC urge Brit GP 'support'
Kimi to attend 'Stars & Cars'
Schu expects 'strong fight'
'Weather's getting better'
Coulthard eyes Williams job
Coulthard backs Bernie
Champ teammate 'nice' - Massa
United front at BAR
Heidfeld and Williams
DC's 'the man' - Webber
Bernie to sue Jackie Stewart
Davidson and Midland
Button unhappy with 'advice'
Schu scored a goal
F1 to ban BAR device
Bumpier than ever
Sympathy for Jenson Button
One tire 'unsafe' for F1
DC dislikes 'aggregate' quali
Team saga 'drained me' - Button
Brazil set for close race
Bruno Senna to stir 'emotion'
10/22/04
champcar
It’s down to three It’s down to threeIt's down to just three drivers who have a chance to win the coveted Vanderbilt Cup that goes to the champion of the Champ Car World Series.  Pictured below are points leader Sebastien Bourdais (Newman/Haas), 2nd place Bruno Junqueira (Newman/Haas) and third place Patrick Carpentier (Forsythe Racing).  Realistically Carpentier's chances of winning are nil.

 
Photos courtesy Champ Car

10/21/04
champcar
Tracy leads opening practice in Surfers Tracy leads opening practice in SurfersPaul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) has qualified in the top four in each of the last eight races held at Surfers Paradise, and appears to be on pace to make it nine in a row after the weekend's first Champ Car practice session. Tracy led Friday's first session at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the 2.795-mile street course in Australia, posting a best lap of 1:35.279 (105.606 mph) to pace a 19-car field. Tracy was nearly an entire second quicker than the rest of the field through the first hour of practice before the other contenders started narrowing the gap. Title hopeful Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) made his intentions known in the opening session, taking the second spot on the speed sheets with a time of 1:35.401 (105.471 mph), while Oriol Servia (#11 YokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was third on the day with best lap of 1:35.613 (105.237 mph). Bruno Junqueira (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), who needs a good weekend to keep Bourdais from clinching the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford title, was 11th in the first session, nearly two full seconds off the pace. The first round of Champ Car qualifying will take place at 2 p.m. local time today with the final grid set in Saturday's qualifying at 1:45 p.m.
Pos  Driver  #  Engine/Chassis/Tire  Lap Time  Mph  km/h  Leader  Previous
1  P. Tracy  1  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:35.279  105.606  169.956      
2  S. Bourdais  2  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:35.401  105.471  169.739  0.122   
3  O. Servia  11  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:35.613  105.237  169.362  0.334  0.212
4  J. Vasser  12  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:35.907  104.914  168.842  0.628  0.294
5  P. Carpentier  7  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:36.221  104.572  168.292  0.942  0.314
6  M. Jourdain Jr.  9  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:36.394  104.384  167.989  1.115  0.173
7  A. Tagliani  8  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:36.732  104.019  167.402  1.453  0.338
8  M. Dominguez  55  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:36.741  104.010  167.387  1.462  0.009
9  J. Wilson  34  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:36.883  103.857  167.141  1.604  0.142
10  M. Haberfeld  5  Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone  1:37.185  103.534  166.621  1.906  0.302
11  B. Junqueira  6  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:37.224  103.493  166.555  1.945  0.039
12  A. Allmendinger  10  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:37.695  102.994  165.752  2.416  0.471
13  R. Hunter-Reay  4  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:37.729  102.958  165.694  2.450  0.034
14  R. Lavin  3  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:37.907  102.771  165.393  2.628  0.178
15  D. Besnard  15  Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone  1:38.135  102.532  165.009  2.856  0.228
16  G. Smith  17  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:39.025  101.611  163.527  3.746  0.890
17  N. Philippe  14  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:39.064  101.571  163.462  3.785  0.039
18  R. Gonzalez  21  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:39.078  101.556  163.438  3.799  0.014
19  J. Janis  19  Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  1:39.307  101.322  163.062  4.028  0.229
10/21/04
champcar
Besnard lands drive of his life Besnard lands drive of his lifeIt has taken David Besnard two broken legs, nerve damage in his left arm and 10 years of trying - but finally the V8 Supercar driver has made the Champ Car circuit. He admits there were times when he almost gave up hope. It's a good thing he didn't. The Cronulla-born driver, who now lives on the Gold Coast, is the man everyone wants a piece of this weekend as he prepares to make his debut appearance on the Indy racing card. Besnard's journey to become only the third Australian to compete in the Gold Coast's showpiece event has been far from smooth, with serious injuries and financial difficulties presenting major hurdles. But a phone call from local businessman and WPS racing team owner Craig Gore two months ago changed all of that. It was the unexpected present Besnard had waited 15 years for - a start in the Champ Cars at Indy. Originally booked to drive in the V8 Supercars, Besnard was offered the option of switching into a Champ Car when Gold Coast teenager Josh Hunt opted to pass up the chance to fly the WPS flag at Indy. "It's an incredible experience for me, there's been so many commitments and I must admit there has been a fair bit of pressure," Besnard said. "But just hearing the cars starting to make some noise has got me thinking that this is what it's all about. "My goal is to try and qualify not too far out of the top ten - that would be great. "To get through the first corner, finish the race and be somewhere up there in the top ten would just be awesome. "I'll try and make sure I don't crash the car too badly along the way. I'll be in big trouble if I smash it up." Since earning the start he has craved since he began racing karts at the age of eight, Besnard has spent only a few hours in the car he will drive around the circuit at practice today. Aside from testing trips to Arizona and Florida in September, the last time Besnard spent quality time behind a similar open-wheel car was five years ago, when he was working on the US circuit. Besnard made his first overseas racing trip when he was still a teenager, heading to Europe where he marked his name with some sharp driving on the Italian kart circuit. From there he returned to Australia in 1995, where he was involved in a freak accident at Eastern Creek, suffering two broken legs and nerve damage in his left arm. It was here the competitor in Besnard emerged, defying medical advice to drive at Bathurst only weeks later with his bones still healing. With a heart like that it is easier to understand why David Besnard has finally earned the drive of his life. Townsville Bulletin
10/21/04
champcar
Champ Car attendance for Thursday in Surfers up Champ Car attendance for Thursday in Surfers upPractice and first-round qualifying gets underway at the 2.795-mile street course on Australia’s Gold Coast shortly. The attendance from the first day of the event has already increased over last year as 53,578 fans came through the gates on Thursday afternoon.
10/21/04
champcar
Coyne installs Janis as Servia teammate Coyne installs Janis as Servia teammateDale Coyne Racing is in the midst of its best season since team owner Dale Coyne himself filled the cockpit of a Champ Car back in the 1980s. Spaniard Oriol Servia (#11 YokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is poised to give the team its first-ever top-10 finish in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford standings as he sits in the ninth spot in the championship with two events left on the calendar.

But Servia will have a new teammate as he chases his top-10 perch over the year’s last two races as Coyne announced Thursday that 21-year-old Jaroslav Janis will take over the reins of the #19 American Medical Response Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine. Janis replaces Gaston Mazzacane for the remainder of the season in the #19 car, although Mazzacane will return to the Coyne team for a full year’s ride in 2005.

Janis comes to Champ Car after making 10 starts in the FIA International F3000 championships, where he scored fourth-place finishes at Barcelona and the tricky street course of Monaco. The native of the Czech Republic finished seventh in the 2003 F3000 championship before making the jump to the German Touring Car (DTM) series in 2004. Janis tested the Coyne Champ Car at Putnam Park last week before joining the team for this week’s Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia.

“The car was a little heavier than what I am used to but it feels really good and I think I will be fine with it,” Janis said. “I am looking forward to this weekend and I hope to do well enough to earn a spot here for next season.”

The team will get its first look at the young Janis in a Champ Car setting this morning as practice and first-round qualifying gets underway at the 2.795-mile street course on Australia’s Gold Coast. The attendance from the first day of the event has already increased over last year as 53,578 fans came through the gates on Thursday afternoon.
10/21/04
champcar
Champ Car race back to daytime in Milwaukee Champ Car race back to daytime in MilwaukeeThe Milwaukee Mile and the Open Wheel Racing Series finalized their plans, agreeing today to a return of the Champ Car World Series to the historic speedway on Saturday afternoon, June 4, 2005.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of contract discussions with the Champ Car World Series organization,” stated Wisconsin State Fair Board Chairman Martin Greenberg.   “Although the details must remain confidential for competitive reasons, I can say that the adjustments agreed to between our respective organizations provide a benefit to both entities.  This allows the long standing, positive relationship between The Milwaukee Mile and Champ Car to continue well into the future.”

In the past two seasons, Champ Car has paid the cost of positioning temporary lighting to hold the open wheel race at night.  A provision in the contract required renegotiation of lighting costs for the 2005 and 2006 racing events.  Due to cost and potential weather issues, the WSFP Board approved modifications to the current Champ Car World Series contract to eliminate the necessity for lighting and move to a daytime race.

“Holding the first-ever nighttime Champ Car race was truly exciting in our 100th Anniversary season.  As spectacular as it was to watch Champ Cars blurring past at 185mph under the lights, our two nighttime Champ Car races featured less than ideal temperatures for our fans and competitors,” commented the speedway’s Vice President and General Manager Mark Perrone.  “We know our loyal fans will appreciate warmer daytime temperatures, and we look forward to showcasing The Milwaukee Mile to a live CBS network audience.”

The Board also approved adding one year to the two remaining years of the contract, plus one option year.  “We feel that based on the agreed to provision adjustments, an extended term is a fair trade off that provides security of future programming for The Milwaukee Mile and security of market presence for the Champ Car World Series,” Greenberg said.

“We certainly look forward to a very bright future of open wheel racing in Milwaukee together,”  Champ Car President Dick Eidswick shared.  “We are very pleased with the outcome of these negotiations as they serve to bolster the long standing relationship between the Milwaukee Mile and Champ Car Open Wheel Racing.  We love the greater Milwaukee marketplace and The ‘Mile because of the strong fan support and rich tradition of racing at the track.”

Championship automobile racing dates back to 1933 at America’s Legendary Oval, with the first auto race held in September of 1903, making The ‘Mile the longest, continuously operated speedway in the world.  For further information on the exciting 2005 racing season at The Milwaukee Mile, visit www.milwaukeemile.com.

10/21/04
champcar
No rain for Surfers No rain for SurfersAfter two years of record crowds despite horrible weather, the forecast for this year's Surfers Paradise Champ Car race is good for the entire weekend, meaning the chances to top last year's 300,000+ attendance record is good.
10/21/04
irl
Window shut on Kelley Racing Window shut on Kelley RacingThis Fort Wayne Gazette Journal article talks about how all the superior CART teams came into the IRL and annihilated all the IRL teams to the point that most are now out of business, including Kelley Racing.
10/21/04
champcar
Labrosse refutes false Montreal report Labrosse refutes false Montreal reportAutoRacing1.com caught up with the Montreal race promoter Alan Labrosse regarding recent reports in a Montreal newspaper (The report was in the Journal de Montreal, written by Rejean Tremblay) that his race only attracted 14,000 fans in 2004 and he was short $2 million on his sanction fee payment to Champ Car.  "That report was totally inaccurate," said Labrosse in an exclusive AutoRacing1.com interview.  We don't know where that reporter got his attendance figures but we stick by those originally announced.  Regarding us not paying a $2 million sanctioning fee, that is false as well.  We have one small issue to iron out with Champ Car regarding next year and we fully expect that there will be a Champ Car race in Montreal in 2005 and 2006 per the contract.  In fact we expect there will be a Champ Car race in Montreal for as long as Champ Car is in business." Mark C.
10/21/04
grandam
Borkowski to drive in Grand-Am finale Borkowski to drive in Grand-Am finaleBill Margraf, owner of Margraf Racing, announced today that 2003 Daytona Prototype runner up and the winner of last year’s Fontana race, Mike Borkowski, will co drive with George Nolte in its new Pontiac-Riley for the 2004 Daytona Prototype finale at the California Speedway in Fontana, California.  We are extremely fortunate to be able to have Mike join us for Fontana,” said Margraf.  “We have worked with Mike in the past and know that his knowledge and experience will help jump start the whole team.  That fact that he has already raced a Pontiac-Riley this year will certainly increase our learning curve.  We are looking forward to racing up front with Mike.”  “I have worked with George and the Margraf Racing crew on a few occasions and have always been impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail.  I have good memories of racing at Fontana.  I can’t wait to get there and help the team obtain a strong and competitive finish,” said Borkowski  The Margraf Racing Pontiac-Riley is sponsored by Nolte Associates, 400-person civil engineering company with offices in Colorado, Utah and Mexico.
10/21/04
Industry News
Blair calls for Fords commitment to UK Blair calls for Fords commitment to UKBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair called on Ford Motor Co. to make a long-term commitment to manufacturing in England. Speaking in the House of Commons, Blair said he spoke to Ford executives about his concerns that the company plans to cut 1,150 jobs at its Browns Lane factory in Coventry. He urged them to allow unions to scrutinize the plans and to consult workers about the changes. "I am assured this is going to take place from conversations I had the other day," Blair said. "I also hope they will be able to give commitments about the long-term future of Jaguar and indeed Ford in the country." Detroit Free Press
10/21/04
irl
The Glen requires extensive mods for IRL The Glen requires extensive mods for IRLRecall that AutoRacing1.com has said The Glen is not safe enough for open wheel cars, hence why Champ Car never went there.  Well it appears that ISC is going to have to reach deep into their pockets to upgrade the track for the IRL, which may draw 5,000 or 10,000 spectators.  - The main topic of Wednesday's gathering centered on the changes WGI will make to accommodate low-slung, lightweight IndyCars capable of speeds faster than 230 mph.

"If you look back the last time and open-wheel racing car has ran (here), the acceptable limits were different," said Team Penske President Tim Cindric. "Now things have evolved. You see it every year, whether its SAFER barriers or what have you. These things all evolve and time has stood still here in terms of open-wheel racing in the last 20 years or so."

The primary offender appears to be the powder-blue Armco guardrail which lines the entire race track. Castroneves likened them to "razors to our cars" and the sturdy metal barriers - sufficient to halt bulky stock cars - sit mere feet from the racing surface.  Likewise, the curbing is much too upsetting to a skittish IndyCar. Also, the sight lines are almost totally obscured by the rail in the uphill turns and race cars would slice through Styrofoam and tire barriers upon impact.

The exact changes the track would have to undergo, no one could - or would - say. But Cindric offered an estimate to the lengths WGI would go to get the facility fixed up before Sept. 25, 2005.  "It's extensive, I can tell you it's very extensive," Cindric said, before adding, "The way we're going to come back here and race, this will look like a completely different facility in my eyes."

Cindric said WGI, International Speedway Corp. and the IRL already have computer models of the track with a digital map projecting the ideal layout of the safety changes. The course itself will not be changed, but its surroundings could be completely different.  "I've seen iterations of SAFER barriers. I'm not the one to tell you if it's fact or fiction, but I know that's been discussed," Cindric said. "I think that's what we'll see."

SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) walls have been installed at several speedway-style ovals in the past three years, including New Hampshire, Phoenix and Homestead, and have lessened G forces in high-impact crashes. The walls, which cost at least $1 million to install on a one-mile oval, have not been installed at a permanent road course anywhere in the United States.  As for the race cars, they'll require overhauling, too.

Equipped for an oval-only series, the IndyCars will compete on road/street circuits three times in 2005, beginning on the temporary course in St. Petersburg, Fla., Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. and The Glen. Team Penske started mutating a car earlier this year in Homestead, Fla. and discovered a myriad of things that need to be changed.  "Really, it was getting the thing to turn right, which is basically suspension geometry. A differential instead of a locked rear end and cooling issues that you typically have - along with the acceleration and traction control, those type of things you adjust," said Cindric, who began his career with Penske as an engineer.  Though there is a lot of work to be done before the green flag drops on IRL at The Glen, first impressions were promising Wednesday. Corning Leader

10/21/04
V8 Supercar
champcar
Flawed Surfers pits leave V8 series in uproar Flawed Surfers pits leave V8 series in uproarUPDATE #2 Safety fears have forced V8 Supercar officials to abandon compulsory pit stops for this weekend's races at the Gold Coast Indy – a move set to turn the potentially championship-deciding round into a war of attrition. A new pit complex, built on a section of controversially reclaimed public park at Macintosh Island, was criticized by teams and drivers as too narrow and potentially dangerous when they saw it for the first time on Wednesday. V8 Supercar racing's governing body AVESCO today agreed to ditch compulsory pit stops for this weekend and fix the problems prior to next year's race. "There are some minor issues with the amount of room in pit lane that has meant it is difficult for multiple teams to pit at the same time, which they have a tendency to do under the current rules," AVESCO chief executive Wayne Cattach said. "The new dimensions are approved by the FIA (world motor racing's governing body) but the problem is the sheer size and nature of our cars. "These issues can be addressed – we just didn't want to disrupt our teams so close to a race weekend." Courier Mail 10/21/04 The map to the right shows where the V8 Supercar paddock is located.  (look for it on far right end.) 10/20/04 The flawed design of new V8 Supercar pits have raised serious health and safety issues on the eve of the Gold Coast Indy. The 11th round of the V8 Supercar series may run without pit stops after teams and drivers complained that the new purpose built pits were too narrow and potentially dangerous. The V8 Supercar Championship Series governing body AVESCO held urgent discussions with team representatives and owners but refused to comment and indicated an announcement would be made on Thursday. Lexmark Indy management said the pit design had been cleared by AVESCO prior to construction.

Larkham Motor Sports' Mark Winterbottom was among drivers concerned that the pits were so narrow crews who were changing tires could be run over. "If there's a car coming along at 40kph their bum's sticking out at pit lane so it would be easy to get hit or knocked over," he said. "It needs to be another two meters wider to be safe."

Among alternatives is a plan to abandon the compulsory pit stops. Russell Ingall said he hoped another solution could be found. "I hope that's not the case because our race is built around pit stops and if we can't have them during the race it is going to be a great loss," he said. Until this year the Supercars were garaged on the Gold Coast in an off track car park, but under a new deal to keep the crowd pleasing V8s at Indy organizers agreed to provide the pits. Despite objections from local government and protests from nearby residents, a section of public park was reclaimed by the Queensland government earlier this year to allow their construction. smh.com

10/21/04
nascar
State to hold forum over NASCAR track State to hold forum over NASCAR trackSnohomish County residents are going to get their chance to tell state legislators face to face exactly what they think about the NASCAR racetrack proposed for Marysville [in Washington State near Seattle].  Lt. Gov. Brad Owen said Wednesday that a joint House and Senate committee from Olympia will come to Marysville to hear from supporters and opponents of the $250 million, 850-acre project.  The work session will be 6-8 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium.  The committee will hear from recognized groups on both sides of the issue.  Opponent groups that have been invited to speak include Snohomish County Citizens Against a Racetrack, or SCAR, the Arlington Airport Pilots Association and homeowners associations from the Gleneagle and Berry Farm developments.   Supporters invited to speak include Fans United for NASCAR, or FUN, the Snohomish County Labor Council and the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County. The Tulalip Tribes also will be asked to make a presentation about environmental issues regarding the track site. Herald.net
10/21/04
f1
Midland could still buy Jaguar team Midland could still buy Jaguar teamThe man behind the new Midland Formula 1 project, Alex Shnaider, has admitted to Autosport in this week's magazine that he is considering buying the Jaguar team and Cosworth Racing. The Russian-born billionaire said he would buy both the team and its affiliated engine builder “at the right price”.

“I would buy Cosworth in conjunction with Jaguar,” said Shnaider. “Our number-one choice is to build a team from scratch, but if there's an interesting situation that could arise within Jaguar and Cosworth we would consider buying it. We are considering a number of possibilities which we will pursue after the Brazilian GP when the teams are a little more relaxed and we are able to make an engine deal,” he said. “Cosworth was a possibility before Ford pulled out and it still is a possibility if the ownership situation is clarified.”

“Why would anyone buying the team not want to take part in the 2005 championship?” a Jaguar Racing source said. “We are only interested in selling to someone who will pick the team up and run it next season.”

10/21/04
f1
BAR's front braking system outlawed BAR's front braking system outlawedThe BAR-Honda team has agreed to allow its controversial FTT front-braking system to be outlawed in 2005 without dispute, reports today's Autosport magazine. Technical directors from all 10 Formula 1 teams agreed to amend the technical regulations to prevent them from embarking on expensive development programs to manufacture similar systems, at a meeting of the F1 technical working group last week. “It would been easy for [BAR technical director] Geoff Willis to dig his heels in over this,” said WilliamsF1's Sam Michael, who praised Willis for his ‘sporting' approach. “It was a broad-minded decision to take the wider view.”
10/21/04
nascar
Barker named Crew Chief for NetZero Chevy Barker named Crew Chief for NetZero ChevyHaas CNC Racing announced today the appointment of Robert (Bootie) Barker as crew chief of the No. 0 NetZero Chevrolet beginning at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Barker, who has been leading the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series all season, will swap roles with current Cup crew chief Bill Ingle. Starting in Atlanta, Ingle will lead the Busch Series team for the remainder of the 2004 season. Both Ingle and Barker will remain in their current positions for this weekend's racing at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park.

"It makes sense to bring Bootie on board at this point to get ahead for next year," stated Ward Burton, driver of the NetZero Chevrolet. "I have a lot of respect for the job that Bill has done for us. He took over in a difficult situation and has worked hard to make this team better. That said, I'm also looking forward to working with Bootie. He has developed a strong Busch Series program for Haas CNC Racing and has led the team to a lot of success. Our paths have crossed before and I've seen what he can do, so I'm excited to have the chance to work with him at Haas CNC Racing."

Barker has led the Haas Automation Racing Busch Series team to victory lane in its inaugural season, winning at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway in June. The team has also challenged for the Busch Series championship, collecting eight Top-five and 17 Top-10 finishes so far this year. Before joining Haas CNC Racing, Barker spent one season at Jasper Motorsports heading its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup program. Prior to that, Barker spent several years serving as crew chief for Bill Davis Racing's Busch program.

10/21/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
BAR win Button
F1 to vote for new qualifying
Brit GP summit in Brazil
Four Ferraris at Monza
France to host grand prix
'I'll win home race' - Rubens
Bertolini at Fiorano
BMW 'backed' Williams in '04
BAR lose sponsor
Pizzonia 'top of the list'
Future F1 star
De la Rosa serves 626 hp
Bahrain drag race
Button to join Williams in '06
'I won't accept gift win'
Typhoon 22 killed six
Fiat launch 'Schumacher' Stilo
'One day we'll sell' - bank
10/20/04
nascar
Ford Exec goes to Roush Ford Exec goes to RoushRoush Racing announced today that former Ford marketing executive Torrey Galida has joined Roush Racing as its senior vice-president of marketing. Galida will assume leadership roles within a multiple of marketing based activities engaged in by Roush Racing as part of the organization's long-term strategy of maintaining and enhancing Roush Racing's leadership position in the motorsports entertainment marketplace. Galida will report to Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing. Ford Racing site
10/20/04
nascar
Martin fastest in Atlanta test Martin fastest in Atlanta testWith the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend only a week away, the garages were full on Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch teams prepared their vehicles. Mark Martin topped the unofficial speed chart during the day/night test, piloting his No. 6 Viagra Ford around the 1.54-mile quad-oval in 30.00 seconds (184.800 mph). Martin also tested Monday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and then waited out the weather that hit metro Atlanta on Tuesday to stay and finish testing on Wednesday.

It was a little longer than he intended to stay in Hampton, but Martin said it was worth it. "With five races left, and the championship on the line, we have no room for error," Martin said. "We've got to have great finishes - and a lot of luck - to get back to the top." Martin is fifth in the NEXTEL Cup standings, 186 points behind leader and teammate Kurt Busch. He knows that it isn't likely he'll be able to make up those points within the time remaining to earn that elusive first NASCAR championship, but he's not ready to give up yet. "I think Martinsville will be our greatest challenge - we need to finish well there," Martin said. "I feel good about Atlanta, Darlington and Homestead, but again, we just need a little luck." Second fastest during Wednesday's test was John Andretti in the No. 14 VB Ford with a lap around the fast track in 30.07 seconds (184.370 mph). Andretti finished second last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in his debut with the new ppc Racing NEXTEL Cup team. .
Unofficial Speed Results NEXTEL Cup:
#6-Martin - 30.00 seconds (184.800 mph)
#14-Andretti - 30.07 seconds (184.370 mph)
#43-Green - 30.38 seconds (182.488 mph)
#33-Earnhardt- 30.55 seconds (181.473 mph)
#17-Kenseth - 30.55 seconds (181.473 mph)
#02-Blaney - 30.58 seconds (181.295 mph)
#45-Petty - 30.82 seconds (179.883 mph)
#15-Waltrip - 31.04 seconds (178.436 mph)
#1-Truex Jr.- 31.12 seconds (178.149 mph)
#80-Yeley - 31.42 seconds (176.448 mph)
#41-Mears - 32.03 seconds (173.088 mph) Busch:
#87-Reid - 31.00 seconds (178.839 mph)
#21-Bowyer - 31.27 seconds (177.295 mph)
#41-Sorenson - 32.03 seconds (173.088 mph)
#11-Menard - 31.73 seconds (174.724 mph)
#96 Crosby - 33.76seconds (154.218 mph)

10/20/04
f1
Move afoot to block Ecclestone Move afoot to block EcclestoneLondon: British Grand Prix organisers will stage an emergency meeting Thursday aimed at blocking Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s plans to scrap the race. The absence of a British race in the 2005 calendar — a strong likelihood according to Ecclestone — would be “a severe body blow to the sport”, British Racing Drivers’ Club president Jackie Stewart said Wednesday.
10/20/04
champcar
Kalkhoven/Gentilozzi interview excerpts - II Kalkhoven/Gentilozzi interview excerpts - IIMore excerpts from this week's Autosport magazine interview with Paul Gentilozzi and Kevin Kalkhoven about next season:
AUTOSPORT:: Team-wise, is everyone safe financially?
KK: I see no reason why we wouldn’t have the same teams next year.
PG: And several more are looking hard.
KK: And here’s why. It’s the only form of international motorsport today where a new team can come in and expect to get on the podium, because of the nature of the regulations. This makes it attractive to the team because it is attractive to sponsors. I mean, look at the wonderful job RuSPORT has done this year. Brand new Champ Car team. And that’s the sort of performance that attracts more new teams.

AUTOSPORT: How many tracks are confirmed – or as good as?
KK: We anticipate 16. We’re just waiting for one last set of paperwork before we reveal the calendar, which should be at the next round in Australia. We didn’t want it to be issued with any unconfirmed dates.

AUTOSPORT: Are there any surprises, notable additions or omissions to the provisional calendar?
PG: No omissions that would affect anyone’s perception of the series.
KK: When the schedule comes out, I think people will see the direction we’re going in.(i.e. international)

AUTOSPORT: So there won’t be more than two ovals?
KK: No.

AUTOSPORT: What can we expect to see regarding the technical regulations? Any changes to, say, ‘push-to-pass’?
PG: The limitation on ‘push-to-pass’ is a function of Cosworth’s confidence in how much the engine can take. We don’t want to push the reliability envelope too far, so I think the 90-second limitation per event at a number of events is about right. I think we’ll see some alterations to the aerodynamic package. Not major changes. Mechanically we may see some areas open up – areas which we tried to regulate, like shock absorbers, that didn’t necessarily work. We’ll go back to a more open process. But I don’t think you’ll see a lot of change technically, no.
KK: It’s been such interesting racing this year, why change it?
PG: Exactly. Our focus is what happens on the race track rather than in the wind tunnel.

10/20/04
champcar
Canadian fans get Surfers live, not USA Canadian fans get Surfers live, not USAAccording to Canada's TSN TV listings, The Lexmark Indy 300 will air live from Australia on Sunday, October 24th at 12:30 AM EST.  So Canadians don't have to stare at their computers to see this one live! And especially since Spike TV's airing of Champ Car gets blacked out in Canada and delayed to Sunday at 4 PM EST in the USA!!  All to change in 2005.
10/20/04
irl
Indy Car return to The Glen a washout Indy Car return to The Glen a washoutHelio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Marlboro Team Penske Toyota took his first laps around Watkins Glen International today before a scheduled compatibility test for the Indy Racing League (IRL). "We went out on track and this is definitely going to be a lot of fun," stated Castroneves regarding a drive in his sedan around the historic road course. Due to inclement weather, the scheduled compatibility test didn't happen but the excitement of open wheel racing at The Glen was apparent, especially by Castroneves.

"I think it is awesome. The layout of the track is outstanding when compared to a lot of racetracks in the entire world!" said Castroneves. "Today is my rookie day and the first time I have been here - but I can't wait to come back." Craig Rust, President of Watkins Glen International, was equally thrilled to see the IndyCar Series team at the historic road course. "To see Marlboro Team Penske and Helio Castroneves at Watkins Glen International in an official capacity was magnificent. This enthusiasm was shared by the team members, staff and the media," stated Rust. "We have waited years for the return of open wheel racing to The Glen, so it will be difficult to wait until next year when they return."

The IRL announced yesterday that they would hold an Open Test at The Glen on June 15, 2005. "With the testing policy introduced before the 2004 season, Open Testing is extremely important, especially at the new venues we will visit in 2005." said Brian Barnhart, IRL Senior Vice President for Racing Operations in a press release issued yesterday. Other International Speedway Corporation Open Tests include Homestead-Miami Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.
10/20/04
f1
BMW admits defeat BMW admits defeatBMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen says BMW-Williams failed to reach the goals it set at the beginning of the season and promised certain things must and will change for 2005.

"After promising tests at the beginning of the year, expectations were high," he says in an open letter to race fans. "But even in the very first Grand Prix in Australia we realized that our rivals had made a bigger step forward than we had." Theissen says the advantages of the radical new nose cone which appeared in wind tunnel testing failed to materialize on the track, forcing the team to go back to more traditional design midway through the year.

"WilliamsF1 responded with an enormous show of strength," explained Theissen. "Although we are not completely satisfied with the results, I am happy that the team rose to the difficult situation and got the maximum results possible from the season." Theissen says Ralf Schumacher's accident and subsequent 14 week recovery along with the knowledge that both drivers would be leaving the team at the end of the season did not help the situation within the team.

"The new drivers will give a boost in motivation to the whole team," he says. "The new wind tunnel and further optimization of the resource cross-linking at Munich and Grove should be fruitful." "With these ingredients we intend to close the gap to the front runners and fight for race wins next year."

Despite the struggles, Theissen praised the BMW engine as the "benchmark" powerplant in the sport. He points out that the P84 set the highest ever measured speed in F1 history - 369.9 kilometers an hour at Monza - and the team was able to run at maximum revs on one of the most demanding circuits in the series - even in seventh gear.

"The availability of the maximum revs during the whole weekend, which saw the mileage of an engine double compared to 2003 following massive rule changes, proved that the BMW P84 is a clear exception in Formula One," said Theissen, noting that they have suffered just one engine related failure this season.

10/20/04
grandam
Two Additional Riley Chassis Entered For Season Finale Two Additional Riley Chassis Entered For Season FinaleThe Daytona Prototype field and Indianapolis-based Riley Technologies’ chances of winning the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype chassis constructors’ championship have been bolstered in recent days, as two additional teams have announced their intentions to run Riley MKXI chassis in the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend at California Speedway on October 29-31.  As it pursues Daytona Prototype team and driver championships and an engine manufacturer title for Lexus at the 2004 season finale in California, CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing will run a third Lexus-powered Riley. Meanwhile Auburn, California-based Margraf Racing is set to make its Rolex Series debut in its home state with a Pontiac Riley. CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing—which has fielded the championship-leading No. 01 Lexus Riley for co-drivers Scott Pruett and Max Papis and the No. 02 Lexus Riley for Mexican Rolex Series rookies Luis Diaz and Jimmy Morales—announced earlier this week that it will campaign a third entry in California. The No. 8 CompUSA Lexus Riley will be shared by 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Darren Manning.
10/20/04
irl
IRL reduces network TV coverage IRL reduces network TV coverageSee other hot news item containing press release on IRL TV schedule for 2005.  For the 2nd year in a row the IRL has reduced their network TV coverage.
2004    10 of 16 races on ABC = 62.5%
2005     7 of 17 races On ABC= 41.2%
10/20/04
champcar
Kalkhoven reveals hint of future Kalkhoven reveals hint of futureUPDATE A reader writes, What exactly does that mean? 3-5% in top speed? And a reduction in lap times? What is that crap? By half a second or so?  Sorry, that will not even come close to what is desired by the fans. Nobody will even notice a difference on TV or at the tracks. We are talking seconds! not tenths!  This isn't NHRA. Gee, I think that might get us back to the 2002 levels, which were still way off the 1999 or 2000 levels. If they don't understand the product needs to be "sexed" up again, as it was in 1999 or 2000, it may not sustain itself any longer with many of us fans full of nostalgia. Derek Hughes, Florida 10/20/04 According to this week's Autosport magazine, Kevin Kalkhoven revealed a hint of the future - First of all, we love the international nature of our driver make-up. And we want to see more drivers from around the world. In a perfect world we’d probably have two more cars, making it 20. We’d have four ovals at most. We’d continue to have more major urban events in big cities around the world, where we bring the racing to the people rather than ask them to drive to a remote race track. And I think when we make the next step from an engine and chassis standpoint, it will be an advancement in performance. We could see a three to five per cent increase in speeds and a reduction in lap times. He also went on to say he doesn't see allowing multiple manufacturers back into the series and driving costs up.
10/20/04
f1
Pizzonia in catbirds seat Pizzonia in catbirds seatBrazilian Antonio Pizzonia believes he is top of Williams' list for a Formula One drive in 2005 after BAR's Jenson Button was ruled out. Briton Button had been lined up to join Australian Mark Webber at Williams but the sport's Contracts Recognition Board decided on Wednesday that his BAR contract remained binding.  Speaking at a news conference in Rio before the ruling was announced, Pizzonia sounded hopeful of landing a full-time drive after standing in for the injured Ralf Schumacher in four grands prix this year.  "For the time being, all I have guaranteed is to remain a test driver but I am waiting to hear about my future," said the driver from the Amazonian city of Manaus.  "The four races that I did this year were very good for my career. I hadn't planned to race this year but I managed to score six points for the team which they needed for the constructors' championship.   "Thanks to these four races I am at the top of the list to race for Williams next year if Button stays at BAR."   Pizzonia, 24, raced for Jaguar last season but failed to score a point and was replaced after 11 races. However, team boss Frank Williams has spoken highly of him.   "All we know is that when he's driving a Williams BMW he's very competitive," Williams said last week. "Whether it's testing or racing, his application is exactly the same." Reuters
10/20/04
f1
Button disappointed, will stick by decision Button disappointed, will stick by decision“Naturally, I am disappointed by the ruling but, as a matter of principle, I firmly believe in standing by the decision the CRB has reached today," he said in a statement issued, ironically, by the Williams team, "BAR have been extremely professional at the race track during this process, and I expect this to continue. However, I look forward to joining the BMW WilliamsF1 team in the future.”
10/20/04
nascar
Martinsville gets SAFER Barrier Martinsville gets SAFER BarrierCompetitors in Sunday's Subway 500 will be racing across a new surface following the highly publicized ‘break-ups' during April's Advance Auto Parts 500 as on the exits of turns two and four, where concrete extends onto asphalt, the concrete has been extended an extra 100 feet.

The SAFER barriers, installed last month, extend 832 feet on the outside wall of the first and second turns; 640 feet on the outside of the third and fourth turns; 706 feet along the inside front stretch wall; and 569 feet along the inside of the backstretch wall.

“The first thing I saw when I got to Martinsville [to test] was the addition of the SAFER barriers,” said Elliott Sadler. “Believe it or not on such a little track we are carrying a ton of speed into the corners. They also added the barriers on the inside of the straightaway walls. The addition of the barriers means that the track owners put safety first and it's a great thing to see.

“The track [surface] is smooth and from what I was told they really, really put a lot of effort into making sure it was as close to perfect as a track can be,” added the Robert Yates Racing driver. “They did a great job because the transition from the concrete to the asphalt is unbelievable. I'm glad they added another 100 feet of concrete. That will be a lot easier on the motor guys and on the driver. That was always the biggest obstacle here at Martinsville, getting the car hooked up from the concrete to the asphalt.”

10/20/04
irl
IRL announces 2005 TV schedule IRL announces 2005 TV scheduleESPN telecasts will book-end the 2005 Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series television schedule announced by the IRL in conjunction with its broadcast partners ABC Sports and ESPN. ESPN will televise a total of 10 races, including the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 6 and the season finale, the Toyota Indy 400 at the California Speedway on Oct. 16. ESPN will also telecast the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first non-oval event in IndyCar Series history, on April 3.

ESPN2 will telecast the night race from Richmond International Raceway, giving ESPN networks all three prime-time events on the IndyCar Series schedule. ABC Sports, which will broadcast the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race for the 41st consecutive year, will open its 2005 coverage of the IndyCar Series on March 19 from Phoenix International Raceway. The network’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 29.

ABC Sports will broadcast five of the IndyCar Series’ final seven events, including the series debut at Watkins Glen International on Sept. 25. The 2005 schedule is an extension of the wide-ranging multimedia agreement announced by the IRL, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ABC Sports and ESPN in May and continues a relationship that began when the IRL debuted in 1996. ESPN has televised Indianapolis 500 qualifying since 1987, and ESPN2 joined the coverage in 1996. ABC Sports has televised the Indianapolis 500 since 1965, including live coverage since 1986.

The agreement includes comprehensive coverage of the IndyCar Series, the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series™ as well as ancillary programming support, extensive coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and the distribution rights for IRL-related programming and content on numerous ESPN outlets, including ESPN Classic, ESPN International and ESPN.com.

ESPN also holds rights to emerging technologies such as pay-per-view, video-on-demand, interactive TV, broadband, video game development and wireless applications. ESPN will hold rights for high definition distribution on ESPN HD and Spanish-language telecasts on ESPN Deportes.

ESPN International networks retain worldwide rights to televise race coverage to 149 countries and territories. ESPN International will continue as global syndication representative. Current syndication agreements are in place with broadcasters in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, with pan-regional highlights available on Eurosport, the most widely-distributed sports network in Europe.

ESPN and ESPN2 will receive several programming opportunities as part of the agreement, including exclusive coverage of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series and Indy Racing League Banquet, an annual ESPN Original Entertainment special, a Season Preview show and three one-hour IRL-related specials a year.

2005 IRL IndyCar Series Television Schedule Date Track Network
March 6 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN
March 19 Phoenix International Raceway ABC
April 3 St. Petersburg ESPN
April 30 Twin Ring Motegi ESPN
May 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ABC
June 11 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN*
June 25 Richmond International Raceway ESPN2*
July 3 Kansas Speedway ESPN
July 16 Nashville Superspeedway ESPN*
July 24 The Milwaukee Mile ESPN
July 31 Michigan International Speedway ABC
Aug. 14 Kentucky Speedway ABC
Aug. 21 Pikes Peak International Raceway ABC
Aug. 28 Infineon Raceway ESPN
Sept. 11 Chicagoland Speedway ABC
Sept. 25 Watkins Glen International ABC
Oct. 16 California Speedway ESPN * -- Night race
10/20/04
f1
Williams comments on Button CRB decision Williams comments on Button CRB decisionThe BMW WilliamsF1 Team today acknowledged the verdict delivered by the Contract Recognitions Board (CRB) that Jenson Button is legally bound to BAR for the 2005 season.  The team also confirmed that it would not seek to challenge the judgment under any other legal jurisdiction.  In response to the verdict, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Principal Frank Williams said, "Naturally we are disappointed with the CRB's conclusion. We took the view that Jenson was a driver worth challenging for, and based on strong legal advice, we have no regrets about making a bid for his services. The CRB accepted a significant number of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's arguments, but nevertheless found against us. We do not believe any further legal action in relation to this matter to be in the broader interests of the sport. In spite of the CRB's conclusion, which relates to 2005, we will maintain our close relationship with Jenson for 2006."  Jenson Button commented, "Naturally I am disappointed by the ruling, but as a matter of principle, I firmly believe in standing by the decision the CRB have reached today. BAR have been extremely professional at the race track during this process, and I expect this to continue. I look forward to joining the BMW WilliamsF1 Team in the future."  The BMW WilliamsF1 Team will make a further announcement concerning its 2005 driver line-up in due course. Williams F1
10/20/04
f1
BAR wins Button battle BAR wins Button battleThe BAR-Honda team have won their battle against Williams over the services of British driver Jenson Button, after the Contracts Recognition Board submitted its verdict to both teams.  Statement from BAR:- -  B·A·R has expressed delight at the confirmation today from the Contract Recognition Board that B·A·R's contract with Jenson Button is the only valid contract for 2005.   Jenson has played a crucial role in B·A·R's success over the past two seasons, particularly this year when B·A·R is hopeful of finishing 2nd in the 2004 Constructors' Championship.
10/20/04
NASCAR
Driver Quote of the Week Driver Quote of the WeekKlaus Graf will be attempting to qualify the #59 BAM Racing Dodge at Martinsville's NEXTEL Cup race this weekend. Klaus, who has a road-racing background, commented on the uniqueness of driving a short track: “Five-hundred circuits on a half-mile will be something new to me. The best advice I’ve received so far has been from my teammate Kenny Schrader. He said, ‘Don’t count the laps - just keep driving.’" That's good advice, Klaus. Counting that many laps....I mean circuits.... is likely to make you dizzy. Doug B
10/20/04
A1 Grand Prix
A1 GP to debut at Kyalami A1 GP to debut at KyalamiAccording to this week's Autosport magazine, The A1 Grand Prix car will make its South African track debut on November 6 at Kyalami. The test follows the official launch of the African franchise, which has been bought by South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale, on November 1. Ex-British Formula 3 champion Alan van der Merwe has been tipped to drive the car at Kyalami.
10/20/04
irl
Indian driver to test for IRL Indian driver to test for IRLAccording to this week's Autosport magazine, Narain Karthikeyan will become the first Indian to test an IRL IndyCar when he tries out a Cheever Racing Dallara-Chevrolet at Phoenix this week. The Red Bull-backed driver has been given the opportunity through his links with the energy-drink company. It will be his first oval test and the World Series by Nissan frontrunner is not sure exactly what to expect. “I haven’t seen a lot of oval racing,” he said. “I know it’s very fast. The team has told me to take it easy and if the car has oversteer to come straight in.” Karthikeyan triumphed in one of last weekend’s World Series by Nissan races at Valencia and says his ambitions still lie in road-course racing. “The IRL is an option,” he said, “It’s a great opportunity but I’m still trying to raise the money for Formula 1. It’s going quite well at the moment. Every time I win it generates a lot of publicity. My aim is still to become India’s first F1 driver.” Karthikeyan also added that he had been approached by A1 Grand Prix to become the series’ Indian driver.
10/20/04
f1
BAR loses sponsor BAR loses sponsorBAR's most successful season in grand prix racing has not been enough to convince one of its sponsors to stay on board – with clothing company Brunotti deciding to turn its back on Formula 1.  The surfwear company claims that Formula 1 no longer offers, 'the sufficient added value for the future', that it requires. Instead it will focus its attention to snow and surf boarding events.  The loss of Brunotti will not be a major financial blow to BAR but is significant as the team does not have a huge portfolio of sponsors beyond owners British American Tobacco. Autosport.com
10/20/04
irl
Team Penske testing at The Glen today Team Penske testing at The Glen todayMarlboro Team Penske will spend today at The Glen, participating in an exploratory test session which is closed to the public - and media access is strictly limited. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and two-time IndyCar Series champ Sam Hornish Jr. will drive IRL-sanctioned open-wheel cars around a road course for the first time in the IRL's nine-year history.  Today's session is being conducted to determine what changes need to be made to the 3.4-mile road course in preparation for the Sept. 25, 2005 race, in addition to assessing what changes the league will have to make to the cars. To date, the IRL hasn't sanctioned a race on a road course, but have three on the '05 schedule - St. Petersburg, Infineon Raceway and The Glen.
10/20/04
alms
Ian James named ALMS ROY Ian James named ALMS ROYIan James, the American Le Mans Series LMP2 class champion for the 2004 season, has also been named Rookie of the Year.  James, a native of England who now lives in Orlando, Fla., followed in the tire tracks of Germany's Marco Werner, who was also a champion and the top rookie driver in the ALMS in the same season. Werner was the 2003 LMP1 class champion and the inaugural recipient of the rookie award.  "I'm very honored to receive this award," said James, 30, who drove for Miracle Motorsports during his first full season of ALMS competition. "I love this series and I love these cars. I'd love to come back next year. This is the greatest show in motorsports. It was a great opportunity to do this with the American Le Mans Series."
10/20/04
f1
Stewart slams Bernie over British GP axe Stewart slams Bernie over British GP axeSpeaking on the BBC Radio's Today program, Jackie Stewart insisted that Bernie Ecclestone had promised UK sports minister Richard Caborn that the race would be given a two-year stay of execution in order for improvements to be made to Silverstone, with the option of a five-year extension should the circuit come up to scratch. However, a shock revelation by Ecclestone overnight appears to have scuppered talks between with BRDC, with the F1 ringmaster claiming that negotiations over the length of the initial contract - he favors a one-year deal, with a six-season option - and the fee being asked to stage the event had dragged on too long. Stewart, meanwhile, insists that the event can still be saved.

"Bernie Ecclestone committed to Richard Caborn that he would commit to a two-year contract in order to allow us the situation we need to develop the land," he said, "Now he's walked away from that commitment, which is unusual."

"[Bernie] has already been paid in full for the British Grand Prix by the previous promoters, through to 2010," he claimed, "I doubt there are as many grands prix around the world as he says [that have] to pay these prices. We need to get down again to negotiations and I think the minister needs to join in."

10/20/04
irl
Castroneves allowed to keep win despite cheating Castroneves allowed to keep win despite cheatingUPDATE #2 Another reader writes, This should be no surprise to anyone. IRL is just the open wheel NASCAR division, and NASCAR has always had the rule that you never change the winner after the race is over, you just hand out a fine and dock the team/driver some points. What they should have done is have another restart, and if the offending car does it again, put it at the back of the lead lap cars. Just remember, when discussing the IRL you are really discussing NASCAR. Robert Laubach, Florida Dear Robert, The IRL could not have done another restart because then the race would have finished under yellow. Their backs were to the wall. The proper thing would have been to black-flag Castroneves for a stop-and-go penalty and if he didn't abide on the last lap (the green flew with 2 laps remaining), disqualified him. Oh, wait what am I saying. He drives for the real behind-the-scenes boss of the series, Roger Penske. Mark C. 10/18/04 A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, Is this any surprise to anyone remotely keeping up with the IRL's "on the fly" adjustable rules?  Any surprise it relates to Team Penske and Castroneves again?  I sure hope I don't have to explain why I stated "again" to anyone.  More than anything, I'd love to hear what Scott Goodyear thinks about this new ruling!  Anyone remember the infamous 1995 Indy 500 ruling whereby he lost the win for jumping the start, some say because he had Honda power?  How come Goodyear lost the win for jumping the start but Castroneves didn't?  Derek Hughes, Florida 10/17/04 [Editor's Note: According to this press release, it is OK to do whatever it takes to win in the IRL, including cheat, and you will keep your win but get a slap on the wrist. Castroneves jumped the restart so blatantly he jumped out to a big enough lead that the other drivers were not able to catch him with just two laps to go to the finish. This ruling now sets a precedence that the leader in all future IRL races can jump a restart well before the designated line, gain an insurmountable advantage and be assured they can keep the win.] IRL officials penalized driver Helio Castroneves for jumping a restart late in the Chevy 500k. Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone, will keep his victory in the IRL IndyCar Series season finale, but was fined $50,000 and docked 15 driver points for accelerating prior to the designated restart point on the track during the final restart. Castroneves remains fourth in the final point standings. IRL
10/20/04
champcar
Bourdais looking for 8 points Bourdais looking for 8 pointsMcDonald’s® driver Sebastien Bourdais and PacifiCare driver Bruno Junqueira put on an exciting show on the superspeedway in Las Vegas with Bourdais finishing a narrow 0.06-margin over Junqueira while Patrick Carpentier finished third in Las Vegas to hold onto a slim chance at the championship with two races remaining.  The trio will bring the battle for the 100-year old Vanderbilt Cup Down Under for this weekend’s Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia. Bourdais, who has a 27-point lead over Junqueira (307-280) is the only driver with the capability of clinching the championship this weekend although he is in no hurry to do so. 

“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,” said Bourdais, 25.  “But what can I say?  It's not the main target.  Bruno is going to be right there.  It's going to be a fight until the end.  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.  For sure I would be very happy to celebrate the championship over there because there is always a big party at the end of the weekend but I have no problem to wait until the end of the season.” 

With a maximum of 70 points available to each driver in the remaining two races this season, all Bourdais needs to clinch the title is to increase his 27 point gap (307-280) over teammate Junqueira by eight points after Australia.  With a maximum of 35 points available in Mexico City if Junqueira won both qualifying points, led the race, set the fastest race lap and won the event he could tie with Bourdais but lose the tie-breaker based on having won fewer events than the Frenchman.  Therefore, Bourdais needs to increase his 27 point advantage to 35 over Junqueira at the end of the day on Sunday.

“We need to finish every race in the top five and we should be all right,” said Bourdais.  “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 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 (NHR).  That would be really cool.”  NHR

10/20/04
nascar
Labonte to drive truck Labonte to drive truckBobby Labonte is going truck racing at Martinsville in the Kroger 200.  For only the second time in his NASCAR career, the 2000 Cup champion will compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.  Labonte has been tapped as one of the elite seven Chevy Silverado All Star drivers.  He will be behind the wheel of the No. 47 Acxiom Celebrity Silverado with a special paint scheme showcasing country music star Josh Turner. Labonte’s only previous NCTS start was in 1996 at Phoenix International Raceway in October 1996 where he finished 34th after engine problems brought an early end to his day.  “I'm looking forward to racing in the truck race for Morgan-Dollar and Chevy,” said Labonte.  “I've only driven a truck once and that was at Phoenix in 1996. It didn't last very long, so hopefully, we'll have a better outcome this time. But, either way it should be fun.”  Labonte will team with long-time friend and on-track rival Dennis Setzer.  In the early days of their careers, Labonte and Setzer waged great battles in their late models at Caraway Speedway near Asheboro, NC. Setzer is the full-time driver of the No. 46 Morgan Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado and is in a tight battle for the 2004 NCTS championship.
10/20/04
Industry News
Solid sales growth revs Ford's 3rd Qtr. profits Solid sales growth revs Ford's 3rd Qtr. profitsFord Motor Co. turned in a third-quarter profit, thanks to solid sales growth and the strength of its consumer-lending business. The auto maker also raised its earnings guidance for the full year.  Ford Tuesday reported net income of $266 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $25 million, or a penny a share. Last year's results included a $264 million charge stemming from an accounting change.  Total revenue increased 6.1% to $39 billion from $36.74 billion a year earlier. Ford said automotive sales climbed 8.4% to $32.8 billion, as financial-services revenue fell 4.6% to $6.2 billion.

Ford's world-wide automotive business posted a pretax loss of $609 million, $61 million wider than a year ago. That figure excludes total charges of $64 million, including a $23 million charge for restructuring at Jaguar and a $41 million charge in North America related to an investment in Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLDP), a fuel-cell manufacturer.
Last month Ford said it planned to revamp its money-losing Jaguar brand by cutting 1,150 jobs, shuttering the assembly operations at its Browns Lane plant in the United Kingdom by year-end 2005 and trimming 15,000 units from its remaining production plan for 2004. The company also said it would back out of Formula One racing.

Looking ahead, Ford said it now expects full-year earnings between $2 to $2.05 a share from continuing operations, excluding special items. The company said the increase from its previous guidance of $1.90 to $2 a share primarily reflects the strong performance of its financial-services sector.  Ford said it expects "special" items related primarily to the restructuring and revaluation of the company's investment in Ballard, as well as restructuring actions at Jaguar and Ford Europe, to reduce its full-year earnings by 13 cents a share. Dow Jones

10/20/04
Industry News
Boundless becomes DIRT Motorsports Boundless becomes DIRT MotorsportsBoundless Motor Sports Racing Inc.,  (Boundless) Chairman and CEO Paul A. Kruger announced that the Board of Directors has unanimously approved changing the Company's name from "Boundless Motor Sports Racing, Inc.," to "DIRT Motorsports, Inc." During the meeting the Board also approved the reincorporation of the company to Delaware. The Company's name change and reincorporation to Delaware will require shareholder approval in order to be effective. "I'm very confident about the direction that we are taking with the Company," said Kruger. "DIRT Motorsports is a recognized leader in the industry with an established reputation and loyal fan base built in part by the wide variety of broadcast programs produced by our in-house studios including 'This Week on DIRT,' 'Rush Hour on DIRT,' DIRTvision's online race broadcasts and our new online talk-show 'DIRT Doggs LIVE.' Changing the name to DIRT Motorsports more accurately reflects our position as the dominant name in dirt track racing." "The Company will continue to leverage and build upon its existing brands including the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, and the DIRT Big Block Modified Series," said Bobby Hartslief, Boundless Chief Operating Officer. "While the World of Outlaws Sprint Series and World of Outlaws Late Model Series are still the foundation of the Company, we believe the name change to DIRT Motorsports will foster an environment that will enable us to expand the reach and popularity of all our dirt track racing series throughout the United States." Once completed, www.dirtmotorsports.com will be the new official corporate web site address.
10/20/04
champcar
 irl
Tony George's vision Tony George's visionI had to laugh when the ABC announcers talked about Indy Racing League founder Tony George's vision during the open wheel racing series' anticlimactic season finale at Texas Sunday.  George's "vision" has been to steal most of the best teams, drivers, engine manufacturers and now, road course events, from the rival Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series, which is struggling to stay afloat in its new guise as the Champ Car series.  If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Champ Car should consider itself more flattered than the late Elvis Presley. The IRL on Sunday even stole the driver-in-the-crowd introductions that Champ Car created for its debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month. Las Vegas Sun
10/20/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Look out' for Brazil rain
'I'm sorry to leave' - Fisi
Brit GP is dead - Bernie
Kimi to honeymoon
Prost in F1 comeback
No McLaren loyalty - Montoya
FIA stop 'flexible' wings
Doornbos will 'struggle' - EJ
Bahrain set to expand
Renault set for Rally switch
A1 signed 'several' TV deals
BRDC 'don't want' Brit GP
Kimi's no fan of 'two day' GP
Don't blame Schu - Prost
'I'll take sabbatical' - Coulthard
Circuit preview - Interlagos
London to save Brit GP
Button behaved 'impeccably'
Brit GP not dead - BRDC
Durand to 'States
10/20/04
champcar
Where's the big announcement? Where's the big announcement?A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1:  I kept reading about the big Champ Car series sponsor announcement that was going to happen.  Was the big announcement the deal with the Mexican Company being the "Official Oil" of Champ Car?  That was not a big sponsor announcement.  Did the big announcement go away?  I'm tired of hearing of a big sponsor announcement and then nothing.  I'm getting like several of the fans that have written in expressing disappointment with the progress of OWRS.  Races come and go and old cars and on and on.  I've been watching F1 more but with Michael winning 13/16ths of the races and F1 not being available to the US except at TG's race track, it's hard to get excited about it.  What's a fan to do?  Maybe the way to get the public interested is enticing more celebrities interested in owning teams.  Maybe Tom Cruise or Bruce Willis would pony up a few bucks to own a team.  That way the non racing public would take notice of the celebrities and maybe people would get interested in OWRS that wouldn't otherwise care about auto racing. John Schieving Denver CO. Dear John, Good question.  We can assume one of two things, either the deal is dead like so many others before it, or they are going to make a grand announcement at the season-ending Awards Banquet. Mark C.
10/20/04
champcar
Junqueira wants to shake bridesmaid role Junqueira wants to shake bridesmaid roleThis Courier-Mall article says, TWICE the Champ car bridesmaid, Bruno Junqueira is out for maximum attack this weekend on the streets of Surfers Paradise. The Brazilian was runner-up in the open wheeler series the past two seasons and, with two rounds left, finds himself again running second in the 2004 title chase. Ahead is his Newman-Haas racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais, 27 points in front as the championship approaches the penultimate round at the Lexmark Indy 300 on Sunday. "This is a very important race for me," Junqueira said on the Gold Coast yesterday. "But I'll be trying to do the same as I would normally do – go out and win the race. "I need to finish in front of Sebastien but he's doing so well the best thing to do is win on Sunday." Both Lola drivers – Junqueira in the PacifiCare-backed car and Frenchman Bourdais in the McDonald's-sponsored machine – have turned in consistent results through the year. Junqueira collected four second placings in the first six races of the season. There are 35 points up for grabs this weekend and a further 35 in the last round on Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on November 7. The 4.5km, concrete-walled Surfers Paradise track has not always been kind to 27-year-old Junqueira. He has led the race twice but finished 15th last year, an on-track tangle with Mario Haberfeld putting paid to Junqueira's podium and championship chances. "I want to win this championship a lot," he said. "So here I'm hoping for the win, or at least take some points off Sebastien. "It would be better to be the leader (on points) but I'm not, so this is a very important race."
10/19/04
champcar
Hilton renews with LBGP Hilton renews with LBGPThe Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that the Hilton Long Beach has renewed its status as the Official Hotel of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The Hilton Long Beach has been the race's Official Hotel since 1994, and serves as the unofficial maitre d' of the Grand Prix since most of the race officials and VIPs visit the Hilton first when arriving in Long Beach for lodging or to pick up credentials.

"Being a part of the Grand Prix is an integral part of our community involvement," said Ed Proenza, general manager of the Hilton Long Beach.

The Hilton Long Beach is also one of the primary hospitality caterers of the event.

"We have enjoyed our relationship with the Hilton Long Beach for the last 11 events and look forward to working with Ed and his staff in the future," said Jim Michaelian, president & CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.  "Not only does the Hilton provide us with first-class hospitality and accommodations but they are also a very popular site for our fans on race weekend."

The Hilton Long Beach is located in downtown Long Beach, adjacent to the World Trade Center, and only four blocks from the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. The Hilton Long Beach recently completed a $2 million renovation with 393 newly appointed guest rooms, suites, restaurants and lounge. It has twice earned Hilton Hotels' Top Guest Service Award. State-of-the-art business support service is complimented by a 4,500 square-foot WTC health club and fine dining. Guest rooms offer all the comfort and conveniences expected from a luxury class hotel.

The Hilton Long Beach also opened its new Executive Meeting Center last spring. The Executive Meeting Center was developed with an army of experts in lighting, audio-acoustical and audio-visual disciplines.  It is a self-contained facility offering 12 conference rooms that vary in size and are designed to reduce fatigue and increase productivity.  The center also has a quiet room library and 88-seat amphitheatre. All EMC rooms have tackable wall surfaces, non-glare hard writing surfaces, ergonomic chairs suited to all-day sessions, whiteboard surfaces, unobstructed interior views, individual climate controls, business center/concierge and a T4 line for instant Internet access.  Plus - private cell phone nooks for in-between session catch-up calls and continuous break stations that are fully stocked with food and beverages.

Tickets for the 31st Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run April 8-10, 2005, are on sale now. 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 longbeachgp.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 longbeachgp.com.

10/19/04
champcar
Fan loses interest Fan loses interestUPDATE Another reader responds, To the fan that has given up, just hold on. Just like everything else that is overexposed, NASCAR will run its course. It is impossible to sustain the popularity it has with the amount of exposure they are running right now. They dictate personalities and the France family and sponsors have taken all of the fun out of it. Take the stickers off of the cars and tell me which is the Ford and which one is the Chevy. It's no different than Champ Car.  They all run the same car with different stickers but nobody has told the fans. I talked to several people who were at the Kansas Speedway race and they all talked how boring it was. I live 65 miles from Kansas Speedway and I didn't take a free ticket to the race because it's easier to sleep at home, but I did buy a ticket and fly over 500 miles to watch the Champ Cars in Denver. Rubbing is not racing.  It's two guys that have to help one another around the corner. Watch the road courses in California.  Do they have enough talent to pass on a road course, or do they hit them and spin them out and pass?  I know it's tough to be patient but good things come to those who wait. J. Marney Dear Mr. Marney, Unless NASCAR steps on their own toes, don't look for any other racing series in the USA to make inroads into their near-monopoly. NASCAR is simply too powerful and too smart to allow another racing series in the USA. Mark C. 10/19/04 A reader writes, If you want to see where CART is going just look at the Trans-Am. 12 car field with 4 of them owned by the series owner and based upon your rumor page, BFG is going away. I would love to go the CART races, but now they are just a memory. Now I don't follow anything. I went to 4 races in 2003, but it just isn't what it used to be. The France family killed another series. Tim DeCesaro, Novi, MI Dear Tim, NASCAR is like a snowball rolling downhill. It is going faster and gaining in size with each passing moment. It is gobbling everything up in its path - sponsors, drivers, teams and manufacturers. NASCAR owns the USA market. Period. That is why Champ Car is trying to morph into another F1 and go after the markets F1 can't serve. Unfortunately they are strapped with the existing 5-year old car that is slow and not so exciting anymore. We have been campaigning for Champ Car to switch to a screaming F1-like car for a couple of years now. When we saw the new Force 10 Superfund Car with a screaming V10 that is fast enough to qualify for a F1 race and costs less to operate per year than the current antiquated Champ Car, we could finally see some hope for the series. The question is whether the powers to be share that vision and will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or come up with some dumbed down Champ Car that sends fans heading for the exits like we saw in Las Vegas in September. The race fans stayed for 30 laps or so, were unimpressed, and headed for the exits.  Tommy Kendall said it best to the Oregonian newspaper back in June - Kendall isn't surprised that TV ratings are almost nonexistent for Champ Car and Indy Racing League events in this country. "When people say there's nothing wrong with the product, that all it needs is better marketing and promotion, that's a pretty good clue they don't know they have a product nobody wants," Kendall said before Saturday's Trans-Am race. "There is a problem with the product. People are afraid to admit that. I think the product, as it is presented now, is awful -- although it has the makings of being a tremendous product. The fans will scream at me, but admitting it's awful actually frees you to figuring it out," said Kendall.  The question remains whether the powers to be can admit their product is no longer inspiring and do a complete makeover.  If Champ Car is going to take their product onto the world market in a big way, there will be immediate comparisons with F1, which is a good thing, as long as you have a product that can measure up. Mark C.
10/19/04
nascar
Driver's comment on new Martinsville surface Driver's comment on new Martinsville surfaceThree of Ford's four drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup - Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Elliott Sadler tested at Martinsville over the last two weeks in preparation for Sunday's Subway 500.  Busch, the point leader by 24 over Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Kenseth, seventh in the standings, gave their thoughts on the new surface at the half-mile short track. 

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Ford Taurus - WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHANGES AT MARTINSVILLE? "Martinsville's done a fantastic job in all the improvements that they've done over the years with this garage area and adding more grandstands and suites over in (turns) one and two.  With this surface it's a whole new look and a whole new feel at Martinsville.  I think the track record is like a 19.8 in qualifying and we were within three-tenths of that right off the bat.  The track surface is definitely better.  It still has its little quirks to it as far as Martinsville is concerned.  It's always been a fun track for me, but I've just never had the grip to do well.  We did win one race here in 2002, the fall race, and that was right after they did the concrete cutting to help with creating two grooves.  That is gonna be an interesting race track and that's why we went there and tested because it's part of the final 10." 

WHAT ARE THE QUIRKS OF THIS TRACK?  "They didn't bring the concrete out on corner entry.  They brought it out on exit, which will probably enable cars to cut underneath somebody and try to go two-wide down the straightaway - try to get a run out of the corner.  And then on corner entry, you're still gonna have to finesse the car into the corner because you're going from asphalt to concrete and that might provide for some great racing." 

IS THERE ONE GROOVE BETTER THAN ANOTHER?  "One thing I saw right away is that the surface is abrasive and it's creating a lot of marbles just outside the groove.  They even had to blow it for us during the lunch break, so when you have cars running side by side, they do generally clean the track better for the cars and that will be something to watch and something to keep track of throughout the race.  If the track surface is clear, people will be up there racing side by side." 

IS THIS MARTINSVILLE RACE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PAST?  "It definitely is more important.  It's gonna have the intensity like it always does, but yet the top 10 guys are gonna feel that pressure of when to pit and what decisions to make.  Is it gonna turn out to be the right thing?  You'll see a caution around lap 50 or lap 60 and half the field will pit while half the field will stay out.  That separates the field as far as sequences and that ends up carrying on for usually another 300 laps until there's a long green flag run to eliminate some of those cars."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Ford Taurus - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW SURFACE AT MARTINSVILLE?  "It's just like it was before they ground it.  It's a little bit smoother, but it's just like Martinsville used to be before they ground the bottom groove." 


SO YOU THINK WE'LL SEE SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING THERE LIKE THE LAST COUPLE OF TIMES OR WILL THE BOTTOM BE THE FASTEST WAY AROUND?  "The fast way around is the bottom.  You're gonna see a race like you saw there a couple years ago, which I thought was OK.  I mean, the bottom is the way to go and it's gonna be very difficult to pass on the outside, but I still think a better handling car is gonna be able to pass.  Before you could run side-by-side, but you couldn't pass." 

A LOT OF CARS FINISH THIS RACE.  IS IT TOUGH TO MAKE UP A LOT OF POINTS IN THE CHASE BECAUSE OF THAT?  "It's a weird race because of the lucky dog rule that they have.  There's gonna be 35 cars on the lead lap because there are gonna be a lot of cautions and on every caution you give somebody their lap back.  On a short track like that there are a lot of cars on the lead lap and it's gonna be very difficult to plan your strategy and try to pit when there are so many cars on the lead lap." Ford

10/19/04
nascar
NASCAR challenging football for top ratings NASCAR challenging football for top ratingsNASCAR is gaining ground on football in the TV rating war.  Here are the top 10 cable TV ratings of the year to date.

RK NET PROGRAM DATE NATIONAL RAT (COV.AREA RAT)/SHR HHs (000)
1) ESPN NFL: Chiefs-Broncos 9/12 6.9 (8.4)/14 7,527
2) ESPN NFL: Buccaneers-Raiders 9/26 6.4 (7.8)/12 6,998
3) ESPN NFL: Dolphins-Bengals 9/19 6.2 (7.7)/12 6,832
4) ESPN MLB All-Star: Home Run Derby 7/12 4.7 (5.7)/9 5,041
5) TNT NASCAR NC: Siemens 300 7/25 4.3 (5.3)/13 4,706
6) TNT NASCAR NC: GFS Marketplace 400 8/22 3.9 (4.8)/11 4,223
7) TNT NASCAR NC: Pennsylvania 500 8/1 3.8 (4.7)/11 4,121
8t) TNT NASCAR NC: Sirius at The Glen 8/15 3.6 (4.4)/9 3,869
8t) ESPN MLB: Yankees-Red Sox 7/25 3.6 (4.4)/8 3,862
10t) ESPN NFL Prime Time 9/19 3.5 (4.4)/7 3,890
10t) TNT NASCAR NC: Chevy Rock & Roll 400 9/11 3.5 (4.3)/8 3,829

10/19/04
nascar
Martin Truex, Jr. to attempt first Nextel Cup start Martin Truex, Jr. to attempt first Nextel Cup startMartin Truex, Jr. will attempt his first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start in the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 31, 2004. Truex, Jr. will drive the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. This will be his first Nextel Cup Series start if he qualifies for the race on the 1.5-mile track. His previous attempt was at New Hampshire International Speedway in September, where qualifying was cancelled by NASCAR due to rain.
10/19/04
irl
IRL announces 2005 test dates IRL announces 2005 test datesContinuing the testing rules introduced in 2004, Indy Racing League drivers and teams will participate in four Open Tests during the 2005 season, league officials announced. Open Tests for IRL teams begin with the preseason tests at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jan. 18-22) and Phoenix International Raceway (Feb. 4-6).

The IRL IndyCar® Series and the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series™ will practice on both the 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course at Homestead. Oval testing will take place on Jan. 18-19, while road-course testing will occur Jan. 20-22. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series will practice on the first day of each scheduled test. Open Tests are also scheduled at two of the three new venues on the IRL schedule. A two-day Open Test is slated for April 12-13 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series teams are scheduled to participate.

The IndyCar Series will have a one-day Open Test on June 15 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series will not participate in that test due to its race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but an additional test may be announced at a later date. “With the testing policy introduced before the 2004 season, Open Testing is extremely important, especially at the new venues we will visit in 2005.” said Brian Barnhart, IRL Senior Vice President for Racing Operations. “These tests continue the league’s goal of containing the costs associated with running in our series.”

Engine manufacturers will be allowed three testing days during the 2005 season. Two test days are reserved for oval venues scheduled for two-day events. Those tracks are: Richmond International Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Pikes Peak International Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. The other test day will be reserved for an IRL-approved road course.
10/19/04
Industry News
2005 Watkins Glen early ticket deals 2005 Watkins Glen early ticket dealsWatkins Glen International announced today that they are offering three easy ways to renew your tickets for next year’s events, including the newly added NASCAR Busch Series event during the SIRIUS at The Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup Series weekend in August, and the inaugural IRL IndyCar Series event September 23-25.

Fans that purchased a ticket to any event at Watkins Glen International during the 2004 season can now renew/buy via mail, telephone or the online by visiting www.theglen.com. But, no matter which method you choose, make sure you order before the highlighted deadline located on your renewal form or renewal letter. Customers choosing to renew their tickets by the deadline will not only get a priority chance to buy tickets for two new races at The Glen this year, but will also be automatically entered to win an all-expense-paid trip to one of the most popular open wheel events – The Indianapolis 500!

Also, as part of an ongoing effort to make capital improvements at The Glen, the Gray, Green, Yellow and Orange Grandstands will be replaced by a new 42 row high, FrontStretch Grandstand. Customers that were previously sitting in the Gray, Green, Yellow and Orange Grandstands will get first priority to purchase seats in the new grandstand. The new FrontStretch Grandstand is a modern aluminum structure that provides higher seating for better viewing and bench-style seat backs for better comfort.

The entire season schedule will be announced within the next two weeks and is highlighted by the return of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series with the newly added Saturday NASCAR Busch Series event during the annual SIRIUS at The Glen weekend in August. Open wheel racing returns to The Glen this year, September 23-25, for the Inaugural IRL IndyCar® Series event. Tickets for the entire 2005 racing season will go on sale in January 2005.  For tickets and information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or log on to the official web site of Watkins Glen International at www.theglen.com.  For the finest Watkins Glen International items and apparel, motorsports collectibles, and authentic NASCAR merchandise, diecasts and clothing, stop by The Shop at 2 North Franklin Street in Watkins Glen or call 607-535-2338.

10/19/04
champcar
 Industry News
D3 Motorsports events are winners D3 Motorsports events are winnersAs the end of the 2004 Champ Car calendar draws near, the final two events are set to be a success. Surfers Paradise, Australia and Mexico City events are considered the leading tracks in design, construction and promotion and have proved the most successful in the Champ Car series.  D3 Motorsport Development is the company responsible for these events, which have been described as superior and first class.  Surfers Paradise was designed and built 13 years ago by the founder of D3, Ron Dickson, and still brings well over 300,000 fans track side each year, injecting more than AUS$52 million into the local economy.  This track not only proved a huge success in itself but it launched Champ Car onto the international stage.  The Mexico City race in November 2004 will mark the third year of racing at the circuit that is considered a world-class facility by drivers, officials and fans alike.   Each year more than 400,000 fans congregate at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez making it the largest sporting event in Mexico and the largest auto race event in the world. The city receives an economic impact of more than US$56million annually from the event.  In the last 3 years this event has drawn major Mexican sponsorship to the Champ Car series and has provided opportunities for more Mexican drivers.  D3 has more than proved they have the expertise, resources and personnel to design, construct, develop and operate successful first class motor racing events anywhere in the world. [Editor's Note: D3 is involved in other new Champ Car venues which will be announced with the release of the 2005 schedule.  Examples are Buenos Aires, Argentina, San Jose, CA and more.] 
10/19/04
worldseries
champcar
Monteiro out to win 2nd place Monteiro out to win 2nd placeFormer Champ Car driver Tiago Monteiro went into the next-to-last World Series by Nissan races last weekend with total dedication: “I concentrated and did the best I could. I started well and went full out from the start of the race to get ahead of Karthikeyan, and as my car was feeling great I was successful in achieving my goal by winning the 2nd race. The Pit-Stop went well, allowing me to return in front after coming into the boxes in the 17th lap, and then I just had to control the times of those following me. It was an excellent weekend, which let me slip safely into second place in the championship when there is just one more round left in Jerez, a track I don’ t know, although both Kovalainen and Bernoldi have both raced there.”
10/19/04
grandam
7 of 10 championships still up in air 7 of 10 championships still up in airSeven of 10 championships in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series - including a tight Daytona Prototype drivers battle - will be decided in the season-ending Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend, October 29-31 (SPEED Channel, October 31 at 4 p.m. ET).
10/19/04
Industry News
Cadillac sees open road in China Cadillac sees open road in ChinaFor well-to-do urban Chinese, the luxury car most desirable for their wedding day is a vintage Cadillac. On weekends, flower-festooned black Cadillacs squire brides and grooms about town, turning heads along the way.

But the Cadillac sedan doesn't yet belong in the pantheon of luxury cars -- such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi -- that newly rich Chinese aspire to own. "It's seen as very upscale, very luxurious, very prestigious -- but not relevant for day-to-day use," said Stuart Pierce, the Cadillac brand manager for General Motors Corp. in China. In one of the most expensive TV and billboard advertising campaigns ever launched in China, GM is attempting to change that and gain a share of the luxury car market. GM executives say China may become Cadillac's second-largest market, surpassing Canada, by the end of the decade.

The company has opened boutique showrooms with black granite floors in five of China's largest cities. At each one, greeters usher customers to the Cadillac Cafe, which offers espresso and snacks, and perhaps wine and a cigar. Huge flat-screen monitors display flashy promotional videos. Images of heritage and modern Cadillacs adorn the walls.

So far, the showrooms only take orders. But within days, the first several hundred buyers of Cadillac CTS sedans will take delivery. The first cars are imported from the United States. By the end of this year, an auto plant in an industrial zone of Shanghai will assemble the Cadillac CTS for the Chinese market.

In China, it's different. Most Chinese have heard of Cadillac (which is pronounced kai-dee-la-kuh in Chinese) but know little about the vehicles. Marketers have a nearly clean slate. It’s almost like a new launch," said Donald Chan, the managing director of Leo Burnett, Shanghai, the advertising agency that put together Cadillac's campaign. "We want to position ourselves on a par, if not above, Mercedes."

Luxury car brands in China sometimes foster images that are distinct from those they have elsewhere. Most Chinese, for example, see German-made Audi A6s as "official" sedans. Chauffeured black Audis with Communist Party leaders and state industry managers aboard are a constant sight. Audi, a Volkswagen top-end brand, sold about 60,000 A6 sedans in China last year, a majority of the 100,000 or so cars sold in the luxury car segment. Audi began production in China more than a decade ago. Detroit Free Press

10/19/04
f1
Team boss Tsutomu Tomita disappointed with Toyota Team boss Tsutomu Tomita disappointed with ToyotaWith one race left to go, Toyota are lying in eighth place in the Constructors' Championship, which is where they finished the 2003 season. However, despite not improving or dropping in the standings, the team currently has seven points less than what they managed to obtain last year. "Looking at the seventeen races that have led up to this weekend's season finale in Brazil, it is fair to say that all of us at Toyota are disappointed and frustrated that we have not been able to get better results in 2004," said Tomita. "However, this is the end of only our third season. We are continuing to make our way up from the bottom, and the improvements that we make on a race-by-race basis can only lead us up the grid in the future. We brought Jarno Trulli into the race team in Japan and this marks the next important step in our 2005 preparations. Jarno will gain further experience with our team at Interlagos this weekend and I am sure that he will give us more valuable feedback," added Tomita.
10/19/04
irl
Enge struggling so far Enge struggling so farCzech republic driver Tomas Enge is struggling in his first two races in the IRL, although much of that blame must go to the Patrick Racing team which appear to be there just as field fillers and to collect a check from Tony George and Chevrolet.  Here are some photos by Peter Soukup of the wrecked machinery of Enge and Tomas Scheckter at Fontana.

  

10/19/04
champcar
Bad weather can strike Champ Car race again Bad weather can strike Champ Car race againThe past two Champ Car races at Surfers Paradise have been struck by violent rain storms. Yesterday (Monday) the area was besieged with 9 inches of rain and numerous blackouts. It was a welcome rain for locals because the area has been drought stricken this year. More rain is forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday but the forecasters promise better weather for the weekend.
10/19/04
irl
Honda running ads in Mexico with Fernandez Honda running ads in Mexico with FernandezHonda published an ad in Mexico's version of the Wall Street Journal.  "El Financiero" ran the Honda ad to the right with Adrian Fernandez in it.  It says "We took ourselves serious, then go a step ahead"  "In Honda we maintain young and enthusiastic.  Our vision, for that reason our technology, always goes a step ahead. In Honda we worked to make reality your dreams."
10/19/04
champcar
SPEED World Challenge
SPEED World Challenge will be a support event at Denver next year SPEED World Challenge will be a support event at Denver next yearThis Who Won article says that as the SPEED World Challenge series heads back east, they make their return to the Denver market for the first time since 1991, joining Champ Car on the CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver Aug. 12-14. The temporary circuit utilizes both downtown streets and parking lots for the Pepsi Center arena. World Challenge visited the previous rendition of the downtown race from 1990-1991.
10/19/04
f1
Improvements planned for Bahrain Improvements planned for BahrainWith Dubai having stolen all the headlines in recent weeks with the first race at the Dubai Autodrome and the announcement of a Formula 1 team in 2006, rival Bahrain is trying to keep up and has announced that it is intending to push up attendance at its Grand Prix next year by 20% from the 42,000 spectators who saw the inaugural race. Bahrain will host two more racing events this year with a two-day GT Festival planned for the end of November in preparation for the circuit getting an FIA GT date in 2005 and there will then be a Formula 3 Superprix on the weekend of December 9-10. The management at the Bahrain International Circuit hope that these events will raise the profile of the track. The circuit is also planning to expand its facilities with plans for a museum, restaurants, hotels, a kart circuit, a drag strip and an off-road track. Grandprix.com
10/19/04
A1 Grand Prix
A1 Grand Prix Creates A Buzz At SPORTELMonaco A1 Grand Prix Creates A Buzz At SPORTELMonacoA1 Grand Prix was the talk of SPORTELMonaco after international television sports executives were able to find out first hand what the exciting new international motor racing series will be able to offer viewers worldwide. At SPORTELMonaco, which is the largest and most important meeting place for international television sports executives, the A1 Grand Prix car took centre stage, and the series has now not only concluded several major television rights deals, but also initiated discussion with further significant international broadcasters. The series that captured the imagination of the broadcasters is the first ever World Cup of Motorsport. It will begin in Autumn 2005, and will pit country versus country in a unique one-make series that brings together the worlds of business and motorsport. Attending the four day event was A1 Grand Prix creator His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum member of the ruling family of Dubai, who was able to discuss his concept with not only the broadcasters, but also Prince Albert of Monaco, a keen sport fan. While the car on display caused much interest, the series itself proved a sure fire winner in the world of television. The negotiations for the TV rights deals are in the capable hands of Richard Dorfman, the Broadcast Director of A1 Grand Prix, who negotiated the rights for the last Rugby and Football World Cups. He said: "SPORTELMonaco was a great success for A1 as it provided a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our series to the majority of the world's broadcasters. The reception we received from them was extremely positive, with some deals signed, and many others now in negotiation. The enthusiasm generated for the A1 concept was universal and holds the forthcoming championship in good stead for all of the national seat holders in what will become the World Cup of Motorsport."
10/19/04
champcar
Mazzacane out last two races, will drive in 2005 Mazzacane out last two races, will drive in 2005UPDATE Some people are taking this paragraph and reading into it that Dale Coyne will run three cars in 2005. 
It is the plans of the team to campaign multiple cars in the 2005 season. One car under the to be announced sponsorship from South America for Gaston Mazzacane, a second car under the American Medical Response with a to be determined driver and of course we would like to continue our relationship and competitiveness that we have enjoyed with Oriol Servia in 2004.
While one can certainly read into it that way, we believe what was meant was that Mazzacane would be in one car with Argentina sponsors, and a 2nd car for Servia running the AMR logos because his Yoke TV sponsorship looks set to go away.  Whether they would field a third car for a fully funded driver is simply speculation at this point. Mark C. 10/17/04 Plainfield, Illinois & Buenos Aires, Argentina - With the strength of the Champ Car World Series set for 2005, Dale Coyne Racing and Gaston Mazzacane map out their future plans.

Gaston Mazzacane will drive a full season in 2005 for Dale Coyne Racing under a new set of sponsors from Argentina. Dale Coyne Racing and Gaston Mazzacane who started their future plans at this year's Milwaukee event in June have big plans for the 2005 season. “Gaston has done an excellent job in 2004 learning the circuits and experience the newness of ovals and street circuits,” commented Team Owner Dale Coyne. “We are pleased with the 10 race stint that we have done and happy to be now preparing for a full 2005 season with support from several companies in Argentina.”

Gaston’s season has been an excellent learning curve with a best finish of 6th at the Molson Indy Toronto. “I am happy for this opportunity with Dale Coyne and look forward to winter testing and starting the next season strong,” reflected the personable Argentine. “I know that the experience of 2004 will help all of us in 2005 and am excited about what is happening in Argentina in motorsports.”

“It is important to understand that we have a great relationship with our first year sponsor, American Medical Response,” said Coyne. “In light of their continuance with us in 2005 and with new sponsors for Gaston we will be trying one or two other drivers in the AMR car for the last two races.”

It is the plans of the team to campaign multiple cars in the 2005 season. One car under the to be announced sponsorship from South America for Gaston Mazzacane, a second car under the American Medical Response with a to be determined driver and of course we would like to continue our relationship and competitiveness that we have enjoyed with Oriol Servia in 2004.

Champ Car entered 2004 very late and under unique circumstances. Now that a solid base is in place Dale Coyne Racing is looking to use that platform to increase its participation and competitiveness in the Champ Car World Series for 2005 and beyond. Dale Coyne Racing [Editor's Note: While the above sent to AutoRacing1.com by Dale Coyne does not specifically say so, Mazzacane will step down the last two races of 2004 to possibly allow Czech Republic driver Jarek Janis to drive in Surfers Paradise and possibly Mexico City after he tested very well for the team at Putnam Park this past week.  A final decision is expected from Dale Coyne Racing on Monday.]

10/19/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'05 car will be better - Renault
'More torque than F1' - McNish
Ralf eyes podium in team finale

Beer conflict
BAR will win Button tussle
Home race is 'crazy' - Zonta
'Problems' for Brit GP deal
'I want to race for Toyota'
Trulli expects 'better' GP

'I won the race' - Fisi
It will rain
McLaren, Dubai in 'exclusive' talks
'We could beat' Renault zip
Sort out the bumps - Heidfeld
Ford 'won't be back' - Webber
'Webber will race' - Jaguar
'I'll help Rubens' - Schu
Champion Finn
'Smaller step' in '05 - BAR
Button's right to switch
Massa 'didn't cope' in Brazil
10/19/04
champcar
Champ Car Surfers Hot Topics Champ Car Surfers Hot TopicsThe Lexmark Indy 300 (Spike TV, 4 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, October 24), is Round 13 of the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.  Following is a current round-up of the latest Champ Car news, trends to follow, names to watch and a few statistics to track as Champ Car racing heads to the 2.795-mile temporary street course on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia.

Clinching a Championship – Sebastien Bourdais leads his Newman/Haas Racing teammate Bruno Junqueira by 27 points as the Champ Car World Series heads Down Under for the second-to-last race of the season.  If Bourdais can walk away with eight more points than his teammate, he will clinch the 2004 Championship title becoming only the sixth driver in Champ Car Modern Era (1979-present) to do so in only his second year of Champ Car competition.

Rookie roundup – RuSPORT’s A.J. Allmendinger took the lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year battle during Round 6 in Toronto and has stayed out in front since.   Holding a 34-point margin over Mi-Jack Conquest Racing’s Justin Wilson, the young American can win the 2004 Jim Trueman Rookie-of-the-Year award this weekend by finishing one point ahead of Wilson in Australia.

Unpredictable Down Under – From the weather to the winner, nothing has been consistent when the Champ Car World Series heads Down Under for competition.  The last two years it poured rain, causing a red flag to stop the races and the race lengths to be shortened.  Out of the thirteen visits, not a single driver has won the Lexmark Indy 300 more than once. 

Qualifying consequences – Starting up front for the Lexmark Indy 300 has proven to be anything but lucky on the 2.795-mile temporary street course.  Out of 39 drivers who have started in the top three, only twelve of them have finished on the podium in the past thirteen years.  Sebastien Bourdais started on the pole position last year to end up 17th, while Bruno Junqueira started second and finished 15th and Paul Tracy started third and finished 13th.

Rookies Reign – A rookie has not won yet this season, meaning that the last time a rookie stood on the top rung of the podium was Ryan Hunter-Reay when he won in Australia last year.  Previous to that rookie win, Mario Dominguez earned his first Champ Car victory, also during his rookie season, in 2002. 

Where it all began – The Lexmark Indy 300 was the first of 216 starts and 195 in a row for Jimmy Vasser back in 1992.  It was the beginning of a solid career path that would lead him to ten wins and a series championship. This season he broke the Champ Car Modern Era (1979-present) of most consecutive Champ Car starts set by Al Unser Jr. and will extend his own series record streak by making his 196th consecutive Champ Car start this weekend, where it all began.

Series Leader Report –Sebastien Bourdais leads this season in the categories of victories, poles, and laps led.  With six victories this season and the possibility of winning the last two, Bourdais can put his name in the Champ Car Modern Era (1979-present) list with Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr. tied with eight wins for most wins in a single season.  By obtaining the pole for the last two races, Bourdais can also tie the series record of nine poles recorded by Danny Sullivan in 1988.  Leading laps in the last nine consecutive races, the Frenchman has recorded over 443 laps out in front this season.

Bruno’s bad luck –Bruno Junqueira has proven to be fast on the streets of Surfers Paradise with qualifying runs in 2002 and 2003 that put him on the outside of row one for the green flag.  However, his past three runs have been anything but lucky with his best finish being 14th in 2002. 

Vasser’s Podium Experiences are Rare – The record that holds for most podium finishes for a single driver in Australia is three times.  Jimmy Vasser is one of five drivers out of a total of 24 drivers that have made a podium appearance at least once during their Champ Car career to establish this feat.  Winning in 1996, the American backed up this podium finish by earning two third place finishes in 2000 and 2003. 

Herdez’ Championship standings –Herdez Competition drivers Mario Dominguez and Ryan Hunter-Reay are on their way to both finishing in the top ten in the points standings.  Last year Dominguez finished sixth.  He is currently ranked sixth in the standings with two races to go and he has the opportunity to move into the top five before the season ends.  His teammate, Hunter-Reay sits behind him in eighth.  This season marks only the second year that Herdez Competition has run two cars.

Coyne’s best season yet – With 21 years of racing experience in the Champ Car World Series, Dale Coyne Racing has yet to finish in the top ten in the Championship points standings.  With two races to go, the driver of the #11 Dale Coyne Racing entry, Oriol Servia, sits ninth in the standings.  He has finished in the top ten seven times this season, including his third-place performance at Laguna Seca during Round 11. 

Nation’s Cup battle to the end – Canada has the lead with 336 points, however France and Brazil trail by the most of 42 points.  Only three countries have won the Nation’s Cup in the nine-year history of the award.  Canada is the defending Nation’s Cup winner and are on their way to earning their second-consecutive Cup.  If France can win, it would become the fourth country to win the Cup. 

Laps Completed – Rocketsports Racing’s Alex Tagliani currently leads the 18-car field in laps completed this season running 1,203 out of 1,215 laps possible after twelve rounds.  Mario Haberfeld of Walker Racing sits second on the laps completed chart with 1,173 recorded.  Rookie Roberto Gonzalez has also put in his fair share of laps logging 1,164 laps this season to put his name third on the list.

10/18/04
champcar
 irl
Fogarty keeps option open, hints at IRL Fogarty keeps option open, hints at IRLIn 2002, Jon Fogarty captured the Toyota Atlantic championship with a final-race effort that saw him overcome Michael Valiante's championship lead in that last race and become the first rookie to win the championship since Alex Barron in 1997. He sat out most of 2003, returning to an Atlantic car for the last two races of the season, then won the championship again this year with Pacific Coast Motorsports.  Fogarty will get a Champ Car test with Forsythe Racing next month and he'd like to land a ride in the Champ Car World Series. He's not limiting his options, however.  "I'm willing to do a number of things," Fogarty said. "I certainly want to be an employed driver next year. I would like to stay in road racing. But, as long as it's a competitive series and a healthy series..."  Fogarty has yet to have any series discussions with any Champ Car teams, noting, "They're busy there (wrapping up the season with the final two events in Australia and Mexico City) and I'm busy here." Trying to make the field chase a Flying Lizard. Monterey Herald
10/18/04
Superfund
Final Euro3000 race cancelled Final Euro3000 race cancelledCagliari's double-headed season finale to the Superfund Euro3000 series has been axed because of financial problems in the Sardinian capital. The street circuit had been due to host both the tenth and eleventh rounds of the championship, after an earlier plan to hold the final at a new circuit in Dubai proved unpopular with teams. The weekend was expected to include races on both Saturday and Sunday, each with their own qualifying and warm-up sessions, with free practice taking place on Friday. The races have now been moved to Germany's Nürburgring, which has hosted rounds of the series in the last two years, and also has a place on the Formula Superfund championship next season. It is not the first time that the Cagliari races have caused problems for Euro3000. The series was the first to race on the street circuit when it was opened in 2002, after an 82 year absence of racing on the island. But safety concerns forced organizers to postpone that race. Last year's race was also delayed by a week, from its original October 26th date to November 2nd. Formula-3000.net
10/18/04
nascar
Monday testing news from Atlanta Monday testing news from AtlantaThree of NASCAR’s frontrunners for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch series championships tested Monday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend.  Leading the way on the unofficial speed chart was NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship contender Mark Martin. Martin, who is currently fifth in the NEXTEL Cup standings, piloted his No. 6 Viagra Ford around the 1.54-mile quad-oval in 30.04 seconds (184.554 mph).  With only five races left and 186 points between himself and the championship, Martin knows that in order to win that elusive first title, he will need more than just good finishes on his side.  “We need to finish in the top five every week to have a chance,” Martin said. “But last weekend, we outran Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch and still finished behind them. More than anything, we need a little luck.”  Also testing with Martin were the top two drivers in the NASCAR Busch championship chase. Although Busch currently trails leader Truex Jr. by 144 points, he was a step ahead during Monday’s test, gunning his No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet around the fastest speedway in NASCAR in 30.23 seconds (183.394 mph). Truex was a tick behind at 30.35 seconds (182.669 mph).
10/18/04
grandam
CompUSA Adds 3rd Entry for Rolex Series Finale CompUSA Adds 3rd Entry for Rolex Series FinaleCompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is proud to announce that it will be fielding a third Daytona Prototype Lexus Riley entry for the 2004 Rolex Grand American Sportscar series finale, the Lexus Grand American 400, on the road course circuit at California Speedway in Fontana, CA on Sunday, October 31. To close out a very successful rookie season, during which the no.01 and no.02 CompUSA Lexus-Riley entries combined to produce 3 wins, 10 pole positions and two double podiums, the CompUSA team has decided to field a third car which will be designated as the no.8 CompUSA Lexus Riley. Indy Racing League drivers Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar Series Champion, and Target teammate Darren Manning have been assigned to share the driving duties.
10/18/04
nascar
Graf to run 2nd BAM car at Martinsville Graf to run 2nd BAM car at MartinsvilleKlaus Graf, and the #59 BAM Racing Dodge head to the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway, for Sunday's Subway 500. The German native Graf will be attempting to start the second Nextel Cup race of his career. After this weekend, he will also run the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series finale at Homestead for BAM. In his inaugural ARCA start, and his first on an oval, Graf led late in the race before finishing third at the Nashville Super Speedway. Earlier this month, Graf qualified seventh at the Talladega ARCA event and ran well before being caught up in another car's crash at Talladega, Ala. In his only start in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Graf started from the 38th position and finished a solid 17th at Infineon Raceway in June. He was an obvious contender at Watkins Glen, but qualifying was rained out. Graf, 32, is the first German-born driver to compete in NASCAR's top series. He lives in Dornhan, Germany, which is located in Germany's Black Forrest region. Graf trained to race Formula One in Europe, but switched to sports cars instead. After winning the 1993 German Formula Ford Championship, 1993 Austrian National Championship, and 1997 Rookie of the Year in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Graf raced in the American Le Mans series competing in the Le Man 24-hour race and the 12-hours of Sebring. Williams Company PR
10/18/04
nascar
Dale Jr’s appeal to be heard Monday Dale Jr’s appeal to be heard MondayUPDATE The National Stock Car Racing Commission has upheld NASCAR's $10,000 fine and 25-point penalty levied against Nextel Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for using profanity in a live, post-race interview following the October 10 race at Talladega. 10/15/04 The National Stock Car Racing Commission will hear Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s appeal on his 25-point penalty at 11:00am Monday at an undisclosed location within a two-hour drive of Charlotte, N.C., according to a team official. Richie Gilmore, director of competition at Dale Earnhardt Inc., said he and Earnhardt will present the appeal. Gilmore says that if the commission rules against Earnhardt, the team does not plan to appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner, whose decision is final. "I think we decided whatever happens here, we're done with it," Gilmore said Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Our focus is on the chase right now, and we just need to get back to racing and let this get past us and not let the 25 points bother us if we lose." The commission is a review board independent of NASCAR. The chairman, George Silbermann, is employed by NASCAR. Since Silbermann's appointment to chairman in November 1999, the commission has upheld 37 of the 53 appeals it has heard. The commission reduced a penalty 11 times. The commission overturned a NASCAR decision four times. Once, the commission increased a penalty. Roanoke Times
10/18/04
champcar
Canada’s Champ Car champion, Bob Singleton resigns Canada’s Champ Car champion, Bob Singleton resignsBob Singleton has resigned his position as "Molson Indy Boss" (Vice President, Molson Sports & Entertainment). After seven years and many great Champ Car events, Bob Singleton is moving on to start a consulting business and to explore opportunities within the race community . Bob told his staff today, "My years here have been fantastic, and the biggest reason for that is the people that I have had the opportunity to work with... truly the best in the industry. When I think of you guys I think of the Tina Turner song "You 're Simply the Best" because you are." "Thank-you all for your support and for many times making me look good." No successor announced yet.. stay tuned. [Editor's Note: We have been aware this was coming for 6 months]
10/18/04
champcar
Walker Racing announces 2nd car for Australia Walker Racing announces 2nd car for AustraliaWalker Racing announced today that it will enter a second car for  Australian V8 Supercar veteran and former U.S. F2000 champion David Besnard at the upcoming Lexmark Indy 300, October 22-24 in Surfers Paradise, Australia.

With the addition of Besnard to the team for Australia and Canadian Michael Valiante piloting a second Walker entry for the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate presented by Banamex in Mexico City, November 5-7, it now appears that the Indianapolis-based Champ Car team is gearing up for full-time two-car effort in the coming seasons.

"Finally we are back to a two car team, which I believe will make Walker Racing even more competitive for the last two races of the 2004 Champ Car season," said team owner Derrick Walker.  "This entry for the Lexmark Indy 300 was finalized late, but we are prepared to campaign two cars in Australia as well as in Mexico City.  Hopefully, this is an indication of what is in store for our team in the coming seasons," Walker noted.

Besnard, 27, who was born in Sidney, but resides on the Gold Coast, is no stranger to American open-wheel cars, having run two years in the U.S. F2000 series, winning the title on the strength of eight wins and eight poles in 1998.  He currently drives for the Wright Patton Shakespeare V8 Supercar team, but will forgo his V8 driving responsibilities in Surfers Paradise to run the #15 Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone entry, which will be sponsored by Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, in the main event.

Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group is lead by Craig Gore. Gore, 37, is one of Australia’s most high profile young businessmen with interests ranging from property development and financial services through to agriculture and construction.  He is the chairman of Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, an emerging financial services company and the sponsor of his race team, WPS Racing.  The company entered motorsport in February 2004 when Gore formed his own two-car Ford team to compete in Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. The primary motivation for Gore’s interest in motorsport was to brand Wright Patton Shakespeare ahead of a national rollout of offices. The initiative has started to pay handsome dividends, with Wright Patton Shakespeare now synonymous with Australian motorsport.  Besnard was the foundation driver recruited to WPS Racing.

Commenting on Besnard’s move to Champ Cars for the 2004 Lexmark Indy 300 Gore said, "David tried to break into the Champ Cars some years ago but basically ran out of cash and he returned to Australia to forge a career in our V8 Supercar series. When the opportunity arose to get an Aussie behind the wheel at Indy I knew he was an obvious choice and it will be extremely satisfying to see David on the starting grid. There have been a lot of people who have helped make this possible, including Kevin Kalkhoven and Derrick Walker, so I’m extremely grateful for their support. The Indy race is extremely popular in Australia and this year we will probably get a record crowd courtesy of us having a local driver in the field."

Walker added that, "The Gold Coast has been one of Champ Cars biggest supporters, so it will be great for the fans to have a local guy in the race."  The Walker Racing team is looking forward to working with David and the folks at Wright Patton Shakespeare and are confident that we can have a successful race.’

Besnard has run in Australia’s top V8 series for the last four years, making 50 starts. He has three podium finishes with a victory coming in the 2002 Queensland 500. Besnard finished eighth in the championship in that season, marking it his best effort since joining the V8 Supercar series in 2001.

Besnard will team with second-year driver Mario Haberfeld (#5 Cummins Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) in the race on the 2.795-mile Surfers Paradise street circuit. Haberfeld has been one of the most consistent drivers in the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford field this year, standing second in laps and miles completed. The Brazilian is currently 13th in the championship with two races remaining.

10/18/04
Industry News
Wind Tunnel guest list Wind Tunnel guest listGuest list for upcoming episodes of Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED Channel:
Monday -- George Follmer (road racing great) & Doug Fehan (program manager, Corvette Racing)
Tuesday -- Michael Andretti (IRL team owner, former CART champion)
Wednesday -- Ernie Irvan (former NASCAR driver)
Thursday -- Elliott Sadler (Chase for the NEXTEL Cup contender)
Oct. 25 -- Jeff Gordon (NASCAR champion)
Wind Tunnel airs Mondays thru Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on SPEED Channel. Viewers can e-mail questions to windtunnel@speedtv.com or call 1-866-W-TUNNEL to be a part of the LIVE call-in portions of the show.
10/18/04
nascar
irl
TMS fans choose NASCAR over 2nd IRL race TMS fans choose NASCAR over 2nd IRL raceThis KRT Wire article says, On championship Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, the ultimate Indy car champion, Tony Kanaan, got to pose with a trophy roughly the size of an oak tree. The winner of the day's Chevy 500, fellow Brazilian Helio Castroneves, got to perform his trademark climbing-of-the-fence, while partying like it was "Carnival". A bevy of balloons rose in celebration. Confetti filled the Texas sky.

And, in keeping with local-racing custom, the air smelled of controversy. After chasing and racing side by side with Castroneves for two hours, fellow drivers were alarmed to see him stomp the accelerator on the final restart, like a guy stealing a mall parking space. It was grand theater. But, then again, the annual fall visit of the Indy Racing League always was.

We said "was," because beginning in 2005, there won't be a second Indy car race at TMS. On account of the speedway being granted a second NASCAR Nextel Cup race in November 2005, speedway president Eddie Gossage told the IRL his track could no longer play host to a second Indy car date. The 2005 IRL season finale will be in Fontana, Calif., in front of an audience that could swell to, oh, maybe 15,000. People here are going to miss the October IRL race. "I agree," Gossage said. "Even the guy who made the decision is going to miss this race." That would be Gossage himself. He pulled the plug on the second IRL date after a survey indicated that the speedway's 50,000 season-ticket holders didn't want it.

They did what? The crowd at Sunday's Chevy 500: 94,000. "I'm not a big proponent of surveys," Gossage sought to explain. "But we have surveyed our fans, and better than 60 percent of them said they wanted two Nextel Cup races and only one IRL." Hard as that is to believe, Gossage said that the track has no intention of defying the wishes of its primary constituents. "I have mixed emotions about this," he confessed.

10/18/04
irl
Barron escaped with only minor injuries Barron escaped with only minor injuriesAlex Barron sustained a mild concussion, a chipped tibia bone in his left foot and a laceration on a hand in Sunday's crash at Texas Motor Speedway with Dario Franchitti. Barron was transported by ambulance to the hospital. He was released shortly after being evaluated and returned to Indianapolis, where he is expected to undergo further exams. “I feel OK,” Barron said. “I’m a little bit sore and have a good gash in my hand, but other than that I’m pretty lucky to be able to just walk away. I'll see some doctors in Indy tomorrow to do a follow-up and make sure everything's OK. It’s disappointing to end my season this way, though.”  (Photo by Ron McQueeney/IMS)
10/18/04
f1
McLaren confirm Dubai F1 team connection McLaren confirm Dubai F1 team connectionMcLaren has confirmed that it is in negotiations with Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and his Team Dubai F1 group regarding an entry into the Formula One World Championship.  A McLaren spokeswoman confirmed to Crash.net -  “I can confirm that McLaren and Mercedes-Benz are in exclusive negotiations with Team Dubai F1 for the supply of engines and technical assistance for their program,” she said. “Further details will be given at a press conference hosted in Dubai following the Holy Month of Ramadan."
10/18/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Dubai team bound for F1
Button's future decided
Jacques' last chance
GP2 is Bernie's 'back up' plan
Michelin's triple triumph
Jordan test at UK airport
'I'm just like Mike' - Rubens
Jag could be 'great' - chief
Williams axe twin keel car
'Best chance' to win - Button
Date 'agreed' for US grand prix
Pizza-boy can deliver - Frank
Chirac wins FIA prize
Ferrari find new winter venue
Brit GP 'running out of time
If Montoya was President ...
Less power in Brazil
Rain in Brazil
Williams won't pursue Button
Montoya amazed at FIA summons
Sato injured
'We decided not to buy Jordan'
'We've not done well' - Alonso
10/18/04
Industry News
Alex Simon Management Signs Artist Bill Patterson Alex Simon Management Signs Artist Bill PattersonAlex Simon Management, Inc. (ASM) is proud to announce that it has signed noted artist Bill Patterson to a management contract.  Standing true to its commitment to represent only the elite in sports, entertainment and lifestyle, ASM continues to diversify its scope of operations by adding one of the world’s most unique and innovative artists to its client roster.

“Bill and I came together through motorsports, but our goal is to showcase him to the world as the premier sports artist of the modern era”, said ASM president, Alex Simon.  Patterson has extensive experience working in the motorsports arena, with some of his original work being owned by legends such as Mario Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Nigel Mansell, Al Unser, Jr. and Alex Zanardi. In addition, he has performed in front of live audiences at sites such as the 2004 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, the 2004 Champ Car Grand Prix of Long Beach and an array of fundraising events. Bill also holds the distinction of being the official artist of California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

“Whether it’s my live performance art, the ground-breaking digital art, or unique and expressive originals, my mission is to celebrate the raw emotion and drama of sports worldwide”, said the Simi Valley, California-based Patterson.  More information on Bill Patterson and his art is available at www.billpattersonart.com.  For booking information contact Alex Simon Management, Inc. at (813) 244-9864 or alex@alexsimon.biz.

   

10/17/04
worldseries
Monteiro wins Race No. 2, Kovalainen is champ Monteiro wins Race No. 2, Kovalainen is champHeikki Kovalainen and Pons Racing were crowned World Series by Nissan champions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit yesterday, but race wins in the year’s penultimate meeting went to Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro – two of Kovalainen’s closest rivals this year.

“This is not the way I wanted to win it,” said the Finnish driver. “I’m very happy for me and the team, but it isn’t over yet. I want to end the year with a win in the last race.”

RC Motorsport driver Narain Karthikeyan had a lights-to-flag win in the first race. While the pole position man resisted race-long pressure from Jean–Cristophe Ravier (Epsilon Euskadi), Tiago Monteiro’s failure to win meant that Heikki Kovalainen was crowned champion after driving through the field to take a point.

Karthikeyan made no mistakes with his start, making a perfect getaway. He had no worries into the first corner, where the top four kept their grid positions. The Indian driver did not have it easy though, because Ravier kept trying to force a mistake all race. Karthikeyan has a reputation for errors under pressure, but this time kept calm all the way despite a few wobbles.
 
Carlin drivers Tiago Monteiro and Olivier Pla trailed home third and fourth after each enduring a desperately dull race. But behind them was an enormous brawl. Santiago Porteiro led a train that comprised six cars by the end. Enrique Bernoldi was in that queue, but only because he’d spun out of a secure fourth place early in the race.

Kovalainen was at the back of the ultimately static bunch – which meant tenth position. It was a good drive from the back of the grid and a point was about the best the Finn could expect. It wasn’t the best way to claim the championship, the Pons Racing team still enjoyed its celebrations after success in its first year of car racing.

Monteiro made the most of pole position in the second race, though Karthikeyan was almost able to squeeze up his inside on the way to the first left-hander. From then on it was a straightforward race for the leading two. On both sides of the pitstops, Karthikeyan couldn’t live with the Carlin Motorsport driver and Karthikeyan had little competition behind him until the very end.

“I am extremely happy for the team and all its supporters,” said Monteiro. “I was sick overnight and wasn’t sure how fit I would be. It’s been a fantastic season, and my congratulations go to Heikki and Pons. They were obviously the best.”

Although Karthikeyan did get caught by the flying Epsilon Euskadi duo of Felix Porteiro and Jean-Cristophe Ravier (both of whom had made progress during the pitstops), he put his race one experience to good use and kept them behind easily enough in the closing laps.

Though the championship is now over, the series still has one final race to run. It will take place at Jerez in Spain on November 7. There will no doubt be major celebrations as the successful series comes to an end before it becomes the World Series by Renault in 2005.  World Series RPM

Results for race two at Valencia, Spain - the eighth round in the 2004 World Series by Nissan.
1. Tiago Monteiro Carlin Motorsport 37mins 38.522secs 26 laps
2. Narain Karthikeyan RC Motorsport +5.576secs
3. Felix Porteiro Epsilon Euskadi +6.597secs
4. Jean-Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +7.255secs
5. Heikki Kovalainen Pons Racing +13.737secs
6. Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +14.073secs
7. Didier Andre KTR +26.233secs
8. Juan Cruz Alvarez Gabord Reyco +27.071secs
9. Adrian Valles Pons Racing +27.318secs
10. Tristan Gommendy Saulnier Racing +28.121secs
11. Giacomo Ricci GD Racing +40.233secs
12. Hiroki Yoshimoto Gabord Reyco +1min 00.270secs
13. Karun Chandhock RC Motorsport +2 laps
DNF. Sergio Hernandez Saulnier Racing 11 laps completed
DNF. Giovanni Tedeschi Vergani Formula 9 laps completed
DNF. Santiago Porteiro Porfesa Competicion 7 laps completed
DNF. Milos Pavlovic Vergani Formula 0 laps completed
DNF. Olivier Pla Carlin Motorsport 0 laps completed

10/17/04
worldseries
Indian driver wins Race No. 1 in Valencia Indian driver wins Race No. 1 in ValenciaResults for race one at Valencia, Spain - the eighth round in the 2004 World Series by Nissan.
1. Narain Karthikeyan RC Motorsport 25mins 26.267secs 18 laps
2. Jean-Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +0.454secs
3. Tiago Monteiro Carlin Motorsport +16.412secs
4. Olivier Pla Carlin Motorsport +29.341secs
5. Santiago Porteiro Porfesa Competicion +33.618secs
6. Adrian Valles Pons Racing +33.990secs
7. Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +34.311secs
8. Felix Porteiro Epsilon Euskadi +34.977secs
9. Tristan Gommendy Saulnier Racing +35.262secs
10. Heikki Kovalainen Pons Racing +35.830secs
11. Didier Andre KTR +42.245secs
12. Sergio Hernandez Saulnier Racing +42.672secs
13. Giacomo Ricci GD Racing +45.332secs
14. Giovanni Tedeschi Vergani Formula +2 laps
DNF. Hiroki Yoshimoto Gabord Reyco 9 laps completed
DNF. Karun Chandhock RC Motorsport 9 laps completed
DNF. Milos Pavlovic Vergani Formula 2 laps completed
DNF. Juan Cruz Alvarez Gabord Reyco 0 laps completed
10/17/04
Industry News
Red Bull selects 2004 winner Red Bull selects 2004 winnerUPDATE In his own words……….
Hey guys....Sorry I wasn't able to update you from Portugal, but I'm glad you found the press release. I left for Europe on a Wednesday, and got there on a Thursday. Literally, a full day of travel. Then we were told that we were to go to the training center after just a few hours of rest at the hotel. What?! Fortunately, we were only doing some medical tests, nothing physical before we got a night's rest. The first day we cycled. My program was a little different because of my age, and involved more endurance than strength. They took our blood to monitor our lactic acid as it rose and fell.

On the second day we ran on the treadmill. They once again monitored our lactic acids as they took our blood every 3 minutes. From there we traveled to Portugal and got a little time to rest. The next day we went to the track for orientation. "Orientation" means walking the track, biking the track, and pouring our seats in preparation for the next two days of testing in Formula 3 cars. The car was simply incredible. I was coming off of turn 4 on to the back straight and got wheelspin in 3rd gear. Sure, this happens a little bit in the Skip Barber car, and any other car for that matter as the car goes over a rise, but this happened on flat ground, and I needed opposite lock to save it. The rest of day 1 was spent adapting to the car and the track.

Day 2 I spent the morning waiting. I didn't get to drive until after lunch because they put Colin Fleming in the car in the morning when the track was at its best, then put Matt Jaskol in the car. Then I got in the car and got right back into a rhythm. I drove a lot in the afternoon because the judges wanted to watch me to see how I improved. They also watched how I responded to their feedback and how I translated it to the track. Later I was told I had been chosen as a Red Bull Junior Driver for 2005. They told me I was to find a series for myself next year, and they would approve it. I'll be racing in the U.S. for next season, then to the German BMW ADAC series. John Edwards

10/15/04 Young American John Edwards, from Little Rock, Arkansas has been selected as the winner in the 2004 Red Bull Driver Search after being selected in the Final round, held at the Autodromo Fernanda Pires Da Silva circuit in Estoril, Portugal.   Edwards, who is all of thirteen years old, impressed the Red Bull judges with his dedication and potential after two days of fitness training at the Red Bull Diagnostics & Training Center in Thalgau, Austria and testing in Alan Docking Racing-prepared Formula 3 cars on the former Formula 1 race circuit.   All of the 2004 Finalists were coached by Colin Fleming, who was on hand for the event to set baseline times in the Formula 3 car and to help the finalists in the high-pressure environment.
10/17/04
irl
Scheckter re-signs with Panther Racing Scheckter re-signs with Panther RacingTomas Scheckter signed a contract extension Saturday to return to Pennzoil Panther Racing in 2005. “I’m happy that I re-signed with these guys," said Scheckter. "I really get on with them. Hopefully we can get some better results next year for our sponsors. We need it.”  Team owner John Barnes chimed in, “We love him,” Barnes said. “He’s the guy we want in our car.”
10/17/04
alms
Pirelli wins ALMS championship Pirelli wins ALMS championshipThe American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season-ending race, the Audi Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, had a little bit of everything. It was a longer event—4 hours instead of the previous 2 hour 45 minute format, it was a race that finished in darkness for the first time, and it offered up a smattering of rain during the last hour just to keep the teams on their toes and tires. But through it all, the consistent driving of Clint Field, Robin Liddell and Rick Sutherland resulted in another P2 class victory for the Pirelli-sponsored Intersport Racing Lola/Judd, the sixth in the nine race series for Intersport, the 7th overall P2 class win for Pirelli and a first place for Pirelli in the coveted ALMS Tire Manufacturers’ Championship in P2. The Intersport trio dominated the race, coming home 19 laps in front of the third-place Courage of Miracle Motorsports. Intersport Racing also took a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year for Pirelli with lead driver Clint Field having the distinction of becoming the youngest driver ever to win a class at this most famous of all endurance races. The win also gave Intersport Racing the P2 IMSA Cup Points Championship by 10 points over Miracle Motorsports. The IMSA Cup is presented to the top independent team in each of the four ALMS classes. Pirelli Tires
10/17/04
transam
Trans-Am legend Follmer to appear on Wind Tunnel Trans-Am legend Follmer to appear on Wind TunnelTwo-time Motorock Trans-Am Series Drivers’ Champion and world-renowned race car driver George Follmer is scheduled to appear on Speed Channel’s popular call-in show, “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain” tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 18). The show airs nationwide at 10 p.m. (EDT).  Follmer won his Trans-Am Drivers’ Championship in 1972, driving an AMC Javelin. He won the Can-Am championship that same year, making him the first driver in history to win both titles in the same year. He scored his second Trans-Am title, driving a Porsche Turbo RSR for Vasek Polak, in 1976, just his fourth full season in the Series. In 67 Trans-Am starts, Follmer has 13 wins, 38 podiums, 45 top fives and 52 top tens, as well as 17 poles. Follmer began his Trans-Am career in 1967, as teammate to Mark Donohue. His most recent Trans-Am start came in 1986 at Riverside.  Follmer also saw success in Indy Cars, NASCAR, Formula One, IMSA, IROC and Can-Am.
10/17/04
champcar
nascar
What, no Business-to-Business? What, no Business-to-Business?This LA Times article talks about UPS's and FedEx's battle for consumer business.  Isn't that ironic?  When FedEx was a sponsor of CART (now Champ Car) they never ran any ads based around the series to consumers.  At the time one of their marketing people told AutoRacing1 that they were in Champ Car for the business-to-business deals and there was no focus on the consumers.  Even when rival UPS joined NASCAR and made a big push for consumers FedEx continued to do absolutely zero for CART.  Now they are in NASCAR and they are talking about a push for consumers.  For Champ Car, the trend continues.  The majority of sponsors in the series do absolutely zero to help the series grow by working the series into its advertising.  Contrast that with NASCAR and the IRL to a lesser extent, where we see many ads that work the drivers or the race series in.  This is the biggest challenge ahead for Champ Car's marketing department.  Their success will largely be measured on whether they can get current and future sponsors to engage the series.  If they can't, they will have failed and Champ Car will remain largely invisible to the majority of the earth's population. Mark C.
10/17/04
irl
7-11 extends sponsorship with Andretti Green 7-11 extends sponsorship with Andretti GreenFresh off its first Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series championship as a primary sponsor, 7-Eleven, Inc. announced Sunday it has extended its sponsorship agreement with Andretti Green Racing (AGR) and will continue in its role as the chief backer of the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone. "We had a great season with Michael, Tony, Team 7-Eleven and Andretti Green Racing," said Jim Keyes, president and CEO for 7-Eleven, Inc.  "They did an exceptional job and we're so proud of Tony getting the championship.  On behalf of 7-Eleven employees across the country, we're excited to continue as the title sponsor of Team 7-Eleven and be part of this great American racing tradition.  We look forward to a fast start and a strong finish for the 2005 season."
10/17/04
nascar
Truck driver released from hospital Truck driver released from hospitalDavid Reutimann was evaluated and released from Harris Methodist Hospital Saturday evening after colliding with the Texas Motor Speedway retaining wall on the front-stretch of the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra fielded by Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. “After being examined last night, I was released and I was able to fly home with the team,” said Reutimann. “Another truck got loose and ran into me around lap 103 and there was nothing I could do. I really appreciate everyone’s concern and I have a lot of people to thank in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage. I’m looking forward to feeling 100% and racing my boss at Martinsville this weekend.”
10/17/04
nascar
Race delayed 27 minutes to fix SAFER Barrier Race delayed 27 minutes to fix SAFER BarrierThis Dallas Forth Worth Star Telegram article says, The Silverado 350 equaled the record for most cautions in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.  But one of the nine cautions stood out.

By the time the track was cleared from an accident on Lap 104, five trucks were involved, four drivers were checked out at the infield care center, two drivers made a trip together to Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 was put back together after withstanding a ferocious test, and more than 26 minutes had elapsed.

The wreck started when Bill Lester got loose on the inside of rookie points leader David Reutimann in Turn 4. Lester slid up into Reutimann, sending both hard into the SAFER Barrier. Lester's Toyota stayed up high but Reutimann's Toyota slid down the track and wound up in the pits. The accident also ended the race for J.R. Patton and Robert Huffman. Chad Chaffin was also involved, but after a 26-minute red flag, he rejoined the race, finishing 16th.

"This race was really crazy," said Shane Hmiel, who finished 10th. "I am not sure if it was aggressive driving with only five races left or what. I just hope David and Bill are OK. I can't believe I missed it."

Reutimann was taken from his truck on a stretcher. He and Lester left the HCA Infield Care Center together and were transported to the hospital via ambulance for observation. Patton and Huffman were checked and released at the track facility.  Reutimann and Lester were released from the hospital late Saturday night with no major injuries.

The drivers believe the severity of the wreck was lessened by installation of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier in May.  Race winner Todd Bodine said "all the drivers commend" TMS for installing the barrier. "Unfortunately, I've tested it a couple of times. It definitely works. It's definitely the way to go."  The race re-started after being red-flagged for 26 minutes, 48 seconds. Drivers still racing found trying to regain their focus difficult.

10/17/04
irl
What did Bobby say? What did Bobby say?A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I just read an article on ESPN Deportes in which Bobby Rahal was interviewed and had a couple of comments about Michel Jourdain. First he said that Jourdain could of been a winning driver in the IRL and, second that had Jourdain decided to go with Team Rahal his GIGANTE sponsorship was not needed in order for him to race in the IRL since Team Rahal had the money and everything else in place. Please pardon my ignorance but where would Team Rahal have found the money to run Jourdain a full season without sponsorship? And if my memory doesn't fail me, I recall Mr. Rahal saying before his last minute "Houdini Act" saying Team Rahal will go where the sponsor (MONEY) wanted them to go. I AM CONFUSED! Marta Campos Los Angeles, CA. Dear Marta, Don't be confused, you remember correctly. Some speculate that most of the big teams in the IRL are funded with Honda (including Team Rahal) and Toyota money and that the sponsors on the sidepods only contribute a small fraction of the overall cost to run the teams. Some say the plan was to lure the sponsors in at a reduced rate with the hope they would like what they saw and renew at a higher rate in the future. With IRL TV ratings tanking, we're not so sure they will be willing to pay a higher amount in future years. Anyway, all that is scuttlebutt, but that's what we hear. Mark C.
10/17/04
nascar
Chevy clinches manufacturers title again Chevy clinches manufacturers title againJimmie Johnson's victory in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway clinched the 2004 Manufacturers' Championship for Chevrolet in NASCAR's premier division. With five races left in the season, Chevrolet collected its 28th Manufacturers' crown and the 24th of NASCAR's Modern Era, which began in 1972. A total of five different drivers have contributed to the 18 victories in 31 races thus far this season that brought Chevrolet its 24th crown. Chevy drivers who posted wins during the season included Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5), Jeff Gordon (5), Jimmie Johnson (5), Tony Stewart (2), and Joe Nemechek (1). The 2004 Manufacturers' Championship continues Chevrolet's dominance of North America's most popular motorsports series. In fact, Chevrolet's nearest competitor has won just nine times. Since 1972, GM Racing has earned 26 of the 33 Manufacturers' titles contested, with Chevrolet collecting 24 of those for an impressive .75 winning percentage (Buick has won the title twice). GM PR
10/17/04
irl
PJ Chesson gets his hands slapped PJ Chesson gets his hands slappedP.J. Chesson was fined and docked 25 driver points for causing the final yellow in the Pro Series race. Chesson was seen throwing an item out of his car onto the track. The item was identified as part of his headrest.  Speculation is that he threw the headrest onto the track to cause a yellow and allow him to bunch up with the leaders for the restart, one of the oldest cheating tricks in the books.
10/17/04
irl
Injured Dario will race, weighing options for 2005 Injured Dario will race, weighing options for 2005Dario Franchitti liked how his left foot felt Saturday evening even though it was broken earlier in the day.  The Indy Racing League driver said he will compete in today's Chevy 500K at Texas Motor Speedway despite the injury he suffered in an accident when his right-rear wheel failed.  Franchitti wore a brace in the final practice and required a few hops to reach his crutches. Surgery might be required this week, according to a league doctor.  "(But) I'm getting in that car," the Scotsman said after practice. "It was a little bit painful over the bumps, and you wouldn't want to be at Milwaukee or Pikes Peak or even Phoenix. But apart from that . . ."  Franchitti was fortunate that it was a single-car crash in the second corner. He spun in front of Andretti Green Racing teammates Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan, the IRL champion. Each held his line and escaped contact.

The injury is another thing on Franchitti's plate. His one-year contract with Indianapolis-based AGR expires at the end of today's race, and he's checking his options while negotiating with his team.  "It's just doing the due diligence," Franchitti said of job hunting. "But I think it's highly, highly unlikely that I'll be in anything but an AGR car next year.  "I'm happy, the performance level is there, and it will be my eighth season."  Franchitti, who has won two races this season and is sixth in points, also is one of Andretti's best friends. Indy Star

10/17/04
MotoGP
Rossi takes back-to-back titles Rossi takes back-to-back titlesValentino Rossi has taken back-to-back MotoGP world titles on two different makes of machine with one of the most stunning final laps ever seen. Arch-rival Sete Gibernau’s Honda did all it could to postpone the seemingly inevitable, but Rossi took the Yamaha to the front for the final time on a breathtaking final lap with a lunge through turn eight, held on down the long Gardner Straight and added Yamaha’s first title since 1992 to the crown he won for Honda last year.  You can see this race on SPEED Channel today at 6PM Eastern Time in the USA.


Rossi, (3rd in photo) battles Sete (1st) with the two Marlboro Hondas

The first of the 27 laps was almost as exciting, with Loris Capirossi’s Ducati taking the hole shot before Gibernau swept past, and Rossi running off-track to pass Australian Troy Bayliss in his desperate bid to keep Sete in his sights.

It was the 25-year-old Italian’s fourth consecutive win at this circuit and his sixth in all ─ on a day when he might have settled for second and still taken his fourth consecutive world championship (World Champion Rossi, "The Doctor" pictured right).

“I think it is the best year for me,” said Rossi after taking the title in his first season with Yamaha. In terms of the performance, the way to ride, and the great battle with Gibernau ─ the level makes this the best. We made a fantastic year.”

Gibernau said he could not ride the way he had in qualifying because of problems with his Honda’s engine response, but made no excuses. “I was trying to go round this problem rather than concentrating on going fast,” said the Spaniard, “but Valentino rode a great race and there can be only one champion.”

Rossi’s great friend Loris Capirossi on the Ducati fought his own battle with Alex Barros’s Honda, setting a new lap record of 1m 31.102s on his way to third place ─ his first podium since the last race of 2003.

10/17/04
f1
Doornbos tests interim 2005 Jordan Doornbos tests interim 2005 JordanOn Friday at Elvington Airport in the UK, Jordan third driver Robert Doornbos successfully completed a exclusive one-day aerodynamic test program for the Silverstone based squad in preparation for the upcoming Brazilian GP. Next to a shakedown with his EJ-14 chassis no. 6, Doornbos was also involved in the team’s first test with several newly designed parts conformed to 2005 regulations.

The session at the former NASA airport near York was somewhat hindered by rain throughout the day but the Dutchman managed to put in 61 straight-line runs in order to provide the team with some useful information in regard to both the 2004-car and the (interim) 2005 spec. In the interim car (specified with a higher front wing, new bargeboards, and a newly constructed rear wing), the 23-year old Dutchman completed 30 laps before darkness fell.

“I’m happy to have been handed this opportunity in order to provide the team with important data for the upcoming GP as well as their preparations for next year’s car,” Robert said.” Though I’d hoped to run in dry circumstances, in order to train my neck muscles more during acceleration and braking, I still enjoyed a positive test in which I learned a lot. Not only could I spend much time and attention to all possible settings on my steering wheel, I also had a fine day out with my team of engineers and mechanics.”

Next week, Robert will, for the third time, climb into the EJ-14 during the Friday practice sessions, this time at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil.

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