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10/30/04
Industry News
Dover Motorsports records 65.6% increase for 3rd Qtr. Dover Motorsports records 65.6% increase for 3rd Qtr.Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) today reported its results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2004.     Earnings before income taxes for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 increased by $4,114,000 or 65.6% to $10,385,000 compared with $6,271,000 in the comparable quarter of the prior year.  Improvements in all of the Company's NASCAR events, the favorable impact of certain previously discontinued events, as well as lower depreciation and net interest expense contributed to the increase in earnings before income taxes.     Revenues increased by $195,000 to $38,402,000 for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 compared with $38,207,000 in the third quarter of 2003. The Company promoted a total of six major motorsports events in the third quarter of 2004 compared with eight events in the third quarter of 2003. Broadcast revenues, admissions and event-related revenues for comparable NASCAR events all increased over the same period of the prior year.  The prior year third quarter revenues included a total of $4,456,000 from the Grand Prix of Denver and Gateway IRL events, which were not promoted in 2004. 

Operating and marketing expenses were $20,687,000 in the third quarter of 2004 compared with $24,686,000 in the comparable quarter of 2003.  The prior year amount included $5,991,000 related to the two events mentioned above.  On a comparable basis, operating and marketing expenses were $1,992,000 higher than in the prior year's third quarter, primarily due to increased sanction fees and purses.

General and administrative expenses were $3,907,000 in the third quarter of 2004 compared with $3,521,000 for the same quarter last year.  Savings from the elimination of overhead at Denver and St. Petersburg were more than offset by higher wages and fringe benefits, and legal, audit and consulting expenses related to compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley activities.  Administrative expenses also included $267,000 for a judgment entered into against the Company in August related to a claim that arose during the construction of the Company's Nashville facility in 2000.

The Company has filed an appeal, but has recorded an expense for the amount of the claim, pending the outcome of the appeal.     Depreciation and amortization were $283,000 lower in the third quarter of 2004, primarily due to a decrease in property and equipment resulting from the write-off of assets in December 2003 at Denver and St. Petersburg.     Net interest expense was $23,000 lower in the third quarter of 2004 compared with the same quarter of the prior year.  Lower average amounts outstanding on the Company's credit facility during the third quarter of 2004 was the principal reason for the decrease in interest expense.  Higher short-term interest rates were virtually offset by narrower spreads during this period.  Interest expense in the third quarter of 2004 also included $115,000 of pre-judgment interest related to the Nashville claim mentioned earlier.

Net earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 were $4,136,000 or $0.10 per diluted share compared with $4,465,000 or $0.11 per diluted share for the same period last year.  Net earnings and net earnings per share were negatively affected in the third quarter of 2004 by a 60.2% effective income tax rate compared with a 28.8% rate in the third quarter of 2003.  The higher rate in 2004 was principally due to an increase in state income tax expense attributable to valuation allowances established on state net operating losses. 

For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, revenues were $90,450,000 compared with $90,023,000 in the prior year, which included revenues of $7,404,000 from three events that were not promoted in 2004.     The Company's financial position strengthened during the first nine months of 2004 as cash flow from operations was $17,644,000 compared with $14,665,000 for the first nine months of last year.  At September 30, 2004, indebtedness was $46,288,000, down $15,989,000 from the $62,277,000 that was outstanding nine months earlier.     Capital spending was $2,735,000 for the nine month period ended September 30, 2004 compared with $2,865,000 in the same period of the prior year.  The installation of Steel and Foam Energy Reduction ("SAFER") walls at the Company's fixed facilities represented $854,000 of capital expenditures in 2004.  The Company expects to spend an additional $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 on SAFER walls during the remainder of 2004.

10/30/04
MotoGP
Tamada takes final MotoGP pole of year Tamada takes final MotoGP pole of yearMakoto Tamada will start the final MotoGP race of the season from pole position at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on Sunday after clocking the fastest time in the final qualifying practice this afternoon. Watched from the stands by basketball legend Michael Jordan, Tamada held off the challenge of his team-mate Max Biaggi in an exciting climax to the session, with World Champion Valentino Rossi qualifying third fastest to join the Camel Honda pair on the front row.

““We used soft tires to make the fast time, that’s all I can say,” revealed Tamada, who has set pole position twice already this season. “It was a great lap and the pole came with it. We have done so much work adapting to the constant changes in the track conditions on these first two days. We still have a few details to sort out, but we have the warm-up tomorrow to do that. It’s the race where I really have to do well though.”

Local favorite Sete Gibernau was held up by a slower rider on his fastest lap and could only manage fourth place after setting provisional pole yesterday. The Spaniard is joined on the second row by Nicky Hayden, who was cheered on from pit-lane by his two brothers Tommy and Roger Lee, in fifth place and Troy Bayliss in sixth. Bayliss makes his final appearance for Ducati tomorrow after two years with the Italian factory in the MotoGP series.

John Hopkins signed a new contract with Suzuki yesterday evening and celebrated with the seventh fastest time, putting him at the front of the third row ahead of American compatriot Colin Edwards. Whilst Edwards makes his final appearance for Honda before switching to Yamaha tomorrow, the man he will replace at the Japanese factory, Carlos Checa, starts alongside him in ninth place.

10/30/04
grandam
Michael Shank announces 2005 driver lineup Michael Shank announces 2005 driver lineupMike Shank announced today that his team will campaign the Mears Motor Coach-liveried Pontiac-Riley with drivers Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears Jr. for the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series season.  “We are excited to be announcing that we will be competing the full 2005 season with Mike and Paul,” said Shank. “The Riley-Pontiac combination has shown itself to be a strong package this season, and we are looking forward to getting familiar with the Riley chassis and beginning to prepare for next season.”  Michael Shank Racing made the transition from the sprint format of Toyota Atlantic competition into the endurance racing format of the Rolex Sports Car Series look easy this season, scoring a podium with drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri in just the teams second start in the category and going on to regularly compete in the top five.  Having seen first-hand the effort and results that the MSR team has produced this season, the decision about which team to work with for 2005 was not a difficult one for Mears and Borkowski.
10/30/04
grandam
Papis lead Ganassi 1-2-3 Papis lead Ganassi 1-2-3For the sixth consecutive Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race, Max Papis will start his No. 01 Lexus Riley from the pole position after leading a sweep of the top-three starting positions by CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing in qualifying today for Sunday’s Lexus Grand American 400k at California Speedway (SPEED Channel, Live, 4 p.m. ET).

Papis set the Daytona Prototype track record with a best lap of 1:30.962 (111.607 mph), topping Terry Borcheller’s previous record of 1:32.314 (109.972 mph) from 2003. The Italian also extended the No. 01 team’s 2004 season pole record by taking the team’s 11th pole in 12 tries. Papis and co-driver Scott Pruett enter the race holding a three-point lead (327-324) over No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley car owner/driver Wayne Taylor.

“To be on pole for the 11th time in 12 races really is a testament to how hard this team has worked all year to stay on top,” Papis said. “Even more important though is to have all three CompUSA cars take the top three positions. That’s really something incredible. It also gives us a little breathing room for the start to have our teammates between us and our rivals. We know what a battle it is going to be out there for the race. It is going to be just so tough because so much is at stake for everyone and the No. 10 car as well as the No. 4 and the No. 2 cars are right there in the thick of things as well. This whole Rolex Series season has been so very competitive and I really feel like my joy of racing has grown even more. I just expect the race to be absolutely awesome for every driver out there, every team competing and every fan watching.”

Making his Rolex Sports Car Series debut this weekend, Indy Racing League IndyCar Series regular Darren Manning put the No. 8 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley on the outside of the front row with a best lap of 1:31.820 (110.564 mph). Manning will share the No. 8 with his IndyCar teammate, 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who was not at California Speedway today as he was competing in the final Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“I spoke to the guys before I ran in the car, and I did a little bit of work over in Japan in similar cars to these and they’re good,” Manning said. “The good thing about them is they react in the right way. You make some changes and the car responds. I’m enjoying it, so I guess it’s what I wanted. I am looking forward to the race. There’s a lot of cars out there and a lot of speed difference in the cars. There’s a lot of overtaking and a lot of strategy with a long race. I like working with Scott. That’s going to be something new for us, the two drivers, so it’s going to be good.”

Completing the trifecta for CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing was Jimmy Morales in the No. 02 Lexus Riley. The rookie starts his final race of the season from the inside of Row 2 on the strength of a qualifying lap at 1:32.160 (111.156 mph). Morales and co-driver Luis Diaz head into the race still looking for their first career Rolex Series victory, but Morales was pleased with his team’s performance in qualifying today.

10/30/04
champcar
superfund
Reader wants this new Champ Car Reader wants this new Champ CarUPDATE #2 Another reader writes, This car sounds like the perfect fit for Champ Car, I hope they give it some serious consideration.  The only thing I haven't seen mentioned is whether or not this car has an onboard starter.  Hopefully it does to eliminate all the stalled cars Champ Car encounters during their races.  Any idea if it has one? Jerry Kara, Gravette, AR.  Dear Jerry, Yes it does.  Like I said, it's everything the next generation Champ Car needs to be.  If Champ Car sticks to the current car, the world order of things in terms of performance after 2005 will be:
#1 Formula 1
#2 Formula Superfund
#3 Formula GP2
#4 Champ Car
At that point Champ Car may as well be Formula 3.  It is important that Champ Car be positioned right behind F1 if it wants promoters and governments to pay the kind of sanction fees they want.  Recall my earlier warnings, when Champ Car was being compared to F1 it was popular.  Now it's not even on the same radar screen and it has lost the luster it once had.  With this car it has the chance to begin those comparisons again because this car is faster than some of the current F1 cars and the F1 cars have soft tire-war rubber. Mark C. 10/30/04 Another writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I was at the Nurburgring to see the new Force 10 Superfund car run.  In my opinion, it sounds like an F1 car, but with a lower, not so ear-piercing tone. Very exciting, but not as aggressive as an F1 car. Karl Wendlinger was driving slow on the damp, partly wet track. But this car is really fast, all the drivers driving it so far can tell you that. The design of the car makes it looking fast even if it's standing in the pit lane. Very aggressive design, especially the short rounded sidepods with the chimneys on top of the exhaust system are looking great, very much like F1.   Seems like John Travis and Paul Cherry had a diecast of a F1 Ferrari on their desk while designing this at least optical masterpiece ;-) I heard here through the grapevine, that Rockingham (England) officials contacted Superfund officials. They want them to race on their track, in 2005, if possible. That could happen, as a regular addition to the calendar already published, but more probably as a race not counting for the championship. Guenter Reinhold [Editor's Note: From a safety standpoint, this car was designed to race on ovals and road courses, but it would not use a locked diff (spooler) like the Champ Car teams use on ovals. While nice to have, a spooler is not mandatory as long as everyone is barred from using one.] 10/30/04 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Just listened to the wave file of the new superfund car. AWESOME! I know that you have influence with Champ Car (i.e. your push-to-pass concept) and whatever you do please for the love of Champ Car, please persuade them to adopt this car specs. Use all your powers of persuasion. Especially if it costs less then the current Champ Car spec. Dude, this is a no brainer! Who designed this great car? Jose Cano, Oxnard, CA Dear Jose, This article we put together tells you more about the car and who designed and built it. Note the comparisons of this car vs. the current Champ Car. Some similarities, but some key differences. Mark C.

10/30/04
grandam
14-Race 2005 Schedule for Grand-Am 14-Race 2005 Schedule for Grand-AmAs the hotly-contested Rolex Sports Car Series wraps up its 2004 season in the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend at California Speedway, Grand American Road Racing Association officials today announced a 14-race Rolex Series schedule for 2005.  The 2005 calendar—which opens with the 43rd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona on the weekend of February 3-6—will also feature a pair of venues new to the Rolex Sports Car Series. On the weekend of April 29-May 1, the series will make its first-ever visit to the picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The 2005 season will conclude on the weekend of December 2-4 with the series’ first trip south of the border to Mexico City’s famed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

While the Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off the race schedule on February 3-6, the teams and drivers will actually reconvene at Daytona International Speedway nearly one month earlier for the annual “Daytona Test Days” on January 7-9. Specific information regarding television coverage of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series will be announced at a later date, although all 2005 events will once again air in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel.
2005 ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
Date                                        Location           Race Length
January 7          Daytona International Speedway   Test Days
February 3-6      Rolex 24 At Daytona                      24 Hours
March 3-5          Homestead-Miami Speedway      250 Miles
April 1-3            California Speedway                       400 Kilometers
April 29 – May 1  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca     250 Miles
May 19-21          Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant               6 Hours
June 9-11          Watkins Glen International                6 Hours
June 29-30         Daytona International Speedway    250 Miles
July 29-31         Barber Motorsports Park                   400 Kilometers
August 11-12       Watkins Glen International              200 Miles
August 26-27       Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course         400 Kilometers
September 8-10     Phoenix International Raceway   250 Miles
September 22-24    Watkins Glen International          250 Miles
October 7-9        Virginia International Raceway         400 Kilometers
December 2-4       Mexico City                                      400k-1000k

10/30/04
nascar
Bass Pro Shops signs multi-year deal with DEI Bass Pro Shops signs multi-year deal with DEIBass Pro Shops and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. have solidified their relationship even further with a multi-year agreement that will return the team’s No. 1 Chevrolet into full competition.  Bass Pro Shops is currently the primary sponsor on the Chance 2 Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex, Jr. in the NASCAR Busch Series. The newest agreement maps out a plan for Bass Pro Shops and Truex, Jr. for the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons.  Truex, Jr, who currently leads the NASCAR Busch Series standings, will have Bass Pro Shops as the primary sponsor in all 35 Busch races in 2005 for Chance 2 Motorsports. In addition to the Busch endeavors, Bass Pro Shops will sponsor Truex, Jr. in seven Nextel Cup Series races next year, as well. The schedule tentatively calls for both Daytona and Talladega races, Michigan, Indianapolis and Homestead. In addition, they will be an associate sponsor on the No. 8 and No. 15 Nextel Cup teams of DEI.  For the seven Cup races in 2005, Truex, Jr. will drive the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for DEI. In 2006, Bass Pro Shops will then move to the Nextel Cup Series with Truex, Jr. and the No. 1 Chevrolet to compete on a full-time basis.  The announcement was made at Atlanta Motor Speedway with representatives of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Chance 2 Motorsports and Bass Pro Shops on hand.
10/30/04
nascar
Burton to move to No. 31 Cingular Car Burton to move to No. 31 Cingular Car[Editor's Note:  The key here is that there is no word of AOL renewing with RCR, meaning they are probably out of NASCAR and on to bigger and better things.] Jeff Burton will finish the season behind the wheel of Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) #30 AOL Chevy and then move to its #31 Cingular Wireless team for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. Cingular Wireless has also extended its contract with RCR through 2007. The Atlanta-based telecommunications leader has sponsored the team since 2002. “I’m excited about driving for Cingular Wireless and continuing on with RCR,” Burton said. “In the short time I’ve driven for Richard, it’s already been proven that we can be successful. I’ve had a tremendous amount of fun and I am looking forward to greater things. It is my intention to get RCR and Cingular Wireless in position to contend for a championship. Cingular Wireless is a household name and it’s an honor to represent a company that has such a quality product and is so supportive of motorsports.” Burton will replace Robby Gordon in the #31 Chevrolet. It was announced earlier this week that Gordon and RCR were parting ways at the end of the season, with Gordon stepping up to the ranks of NASCAR Cup Series ownership in 2005. RCR will announce the remainder of its 2005 plans in upcoming weeks RCR Website
10/30/04
superfund
Siedler wins first round at Nurburgring Siedler wins first round at NurburgringIn an action-packed race Norbert Siedler of ADM Motorsport claimed his second consecutive victory of the SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship at the Nurburgring, Germany. Jonny Reid of John Village Automotive finished in second place with Draco Junior Team driver Nicky Pastorelli completing the podium in third place.

Siedler dominated the race from pole position despite intense pressure from Jonny Reid of John Village Automotive. Reid made a spectacular start overtaking team mate Alex Lloyd off the grid for second position. Pastorelli also rocketed off the start line to move up from seventh to third position going into the first corner.

Alex Lloyd’s hopes of winning his second race were shattered when he ran off the track on lap two to retire from the race. Five laps into the race, championship leader Fabrizio Del Monte made an unforced error to spin dramatically on track to move down to tenth.

The action intensified at the head of the field. Reid continued to pile the pressure on frontrunner Siedler, closing the gap as the laps went by. The Kiwi launched numerous attacks for the lead, battling wheel-to-wheel with Siedler going into lap 20.

Midway through the race, Pastorelli closed the gap on Reid putting pressure on the JVA driver from behind in attempt to gain the second spot on the podium. Reid held his line and Pastorelli was unable to find a passing opportunity before the checkered flag was waved.

The drama was also unfolding in mid-field as Lauda, Del Monte and newcomer Luca Filippi of Euronova battled it out for sixth place. On Lap 35, the young Italian overtook fellow countryman Del Monte before passing Lauda for sixth place. Allam Khodhair nearly put paid to Siedler’s championship campaign four laps before the end of the race. The ADM Motorsport driver spun on lap 38 and almost took out his team mate as he rejoined the track.

On the penultimate lap, Fabrizio Del Monte’s experience paid off as he overtook rookie driver Filippi to regain sixth place and secure one championship point. Nineteen year old Filippi span off the track and out of his first SUPERFUND Euro 3000 race. Siedler came home half a second ahead of Jonny Reid. Nicky Pastorelli of Draco Junior Team completing the podium in third while championship leader, Fabrizio Del Monte finished in six place.

10/30/04
f1
Minardi to test 11 ride-buyers Minardi to test 11 ride-buyersThe current struggle by Formula 1's smaller teams to survive against the might of the big-money manufacturers has shown no sign of dampening Minardi's preparations for 2005, with the outfit planning a mammoth test next month that will feature 11 drivers, Autosport.com can reveal.  The main interest at the test is likely to be Japanese F3 champion Ronnie Quintarelli, who will be getting his first test in F1 machinery, and Portugal's Tiago Monteiro who tested for Minardi last year and is looking to graduate from the Nissan World Series.  Apart from Monteiro and Quintarelli, the test will also feature Australian duo Will Power and Will Davison, French GT driver Olivier Maximin, Asian F3 driver Enzo Pastor, Renault V6 champion Christian Montanari, Renault V6 drivers Giorgio Mondini and Damien Pasini, plus Euro F3 championship front-runner Robert Kubica.
10/30/04
Industry News
GM CEO expects China sales to pick up GM CEO expects China sales to pick upThis Reuters article says, General Motors, the world's top auto maker, expects China's car market to recover from a recent slowdown by mid-2005, Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said on Saturday.  He said China remained on track to become GM's second-largest market by end-2004, even as sales slow following a government crackdown on easy credit.  "Generally they've been leveling out and our outlook is the market will continue to be relatively slow in its growth for the next six months or so," Wagoner told reporters during a visit to China's economic center of Shanghai.  "But from everything we hear from the government, the plan will be growth will pick back up as we get into next year," he said. "Whether that's the first quarter or second quarter, we'll have to see."   Sales in the world's fastest-growing major car market in 2003 began slowing after the second quarter as the government tried to cool an economy in danger of overheating.   But they showed signs of life in September, rising 14 percent from August to 194,100 units, state media said......GM and rivals such as Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp are spending more than $13 billion to triple capacity to some 6 million sedans annually by 2010.  Among other ventures GM is pursuing in China, the U.S. firm signed an agreement with Shanghai Auto on Saturday to develop fuel cell vehicles, but did not say if they would be sold commercially.  GM and its Chinese partners are investing $3 billion over the next three years to almost double annual capacity to 1.3 million vehicles.  GM controls just under a tenth of China's market, versus Volkswagen's estimate of about a quarter.  More....
10/30/04
grandam
Memo Gidley moves to Grand-Am with Ten Motorsports Memo Gidley moves to Grand-Am with Ten MotorsportsThe racing world is buzzing with enthusiasm and anticipation about the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season – but the Finlay Motorsports team is nothing short of electric. Finlay Motorsports is breaking the spectatorship barrier, providing racing enthusiasts a unique opportunity to be an intimate part of the action.
 
Ten Motorsports, owned and operated by Finlay Motorsports, is poised to challenge for the Daytona Prototype series title in their debut season in 2005. Ten's proven champions, providing youthful exuberance and veteran savvy, have set lofty goals for themselves. Co-drivers Michael McDowell, the Star Mazda series 2004 season champion, and wily Champ Car veteran Memo Gidley, by way of a partnership with the United States Air Force Reserve team, deliver skill and technique matched only by the excellence of their machine. An explosive Dinan prepared BMW V8 will power the Riley-built Daytona Prototype that is scheduled to begin testing in December and will debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. Cameron Motorsports Management will perform trackside operations for the Daytona Prototype.
 
With the introduction of the Ten team, Finlay is pioneering a concept called fractional motorsports membership. Individuals or corporations can become team members with full-benefits for a small fraction of the cost needed to fund a racing team, and no commitment to the overall management of the team. Pit access, team and driver meetings, and marketing rights are only a few of the benefits that members will receive. “We’re giving racing aficionados an opportunity to truly experience the thrill and excitement of being a member of an auto racing team, without the enormous cost and time commitment necessary to produce a winning team,” explained Rob Finlay, President of Finlay Motorsports.
 
19 year-old co- driver Michael McDowell knows he has been given a golden opportunity to display his fresh yet proven talent on the main stage: “Grand-Am Rolex series DP racing is potentially the best thing to ever happen to motorsports. Veteran racing fans and newcomers to the sport are embracing it like no other, as evidenced by the growth of the series over the past two seasons.”
 
"This is a monumental year for motorsports – In recent memory, no other series has generated such a huge amount of interest and expectation in its infancy, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it and allow others to enjoy it as well,” said team owner Rob Finlay.
 
The Finlay Motorsports headquarters are located in Charlotte, NC. Chief sponsor of the team is Commercial Defeasance, LLC, the industry leader in full-service loan defeasance. For further information about fractional ownership opportunities, contact Rob Finlay at (704) 731-6290.
10/30/04
superfund
Siedler takes 5th pole of year Siedler takes 5th pole of yearNorbert Siedler took his fifth pole position of the season in Qualifying for Round 9 of the SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship five tenths clear at the top of the timesheets.  Starting the race this afternoon next to Siedler in second place on the front row of the grid is Alex Lloyd.  John Village Automotive team mate Jonny Reid clocked up the third fastest time of the session.

On a wet and slippery track, Siedler posted his best flying lap in the last eight minutes of the session to knock Alex Lloyd from the top of the timesheets.   The John Village Automotive driver battled with the greasy track conditions before putting in a strong flying lap on his last run.  As the fog and rain threatened to roll in, Kiwi Jonny Reid clocked up a 1:40.243 in the dying minutes of the session to put him in third place seven tenths ahead of Austrian driver Mathias Lauda. 

Championship front runners Nicky Pastorelli and Fabrizio Del Monte qualified further down the field.  Draco Junior Team driver Pastorelli, currently lying in second place in the driver standings, qualified in seventh place while Championship leader, Del Monte will start from tenth position.  Race 9 will start this afternoon at 14:15 with Race 10, the final race of the Championship, on Sunday at 15:15.

10/29/04
Champcar
Lose the Whiners Lose the WhinersA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, What a bunch of whiners. All these people who want more, more, more.  Champ Car was the greatest open wheel racing in the world; and has the people and potential to be so again. But it was raised from the almost dead only 8 months ago. The people trying to get it back to its grandeur ways, have put in MILLIONS of their own dollars, both running a team each (producing 7 drivers) and in rebuilding and supporting and promoting the series for 2004.

In the 8 months, they have resurrected the series, given it creditability, kept at least  1000 people who are directly involved in the sport, employed. They have negotiated with teams, tracks, sponsors, etc. etc. to establish a series for next year; they have come up with a great list of venues already for next season (and it's not finished yet). They have negotiated with the TV companies to get a very reasonable deal for the series next year.

They have achieved all this, and I am sure that there is a lot that I haven’t mentioned….things behind the scenes that Joe Public never sees or considers, but is just as important to put on this kind of show.

They have done ALL this,  and all we hear is whiners….why don’t we have this,…..why don’t they do that…..blah, blah, blah.  Well how about….Well done guys, there are thousands of us fans out here who really appreciate all your efforts, and look forward to Champ Car Racing in 2005 and beyond.  I am not pretending that there are not issues and problems, but even Joe Public has these when he goes down the road to buy a pair of shoes. Every company has issues and problems, but they work to overcome them.  Thank you everyone involved in the rebuilding and running of Champ Car Racing. I for one, really appreciate what you are doing. Stefan Dwornik

10/29/04
champcar
Not happy with Champ Car schedule Not happy with Champ Car scheduleA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I'm puzzled by the new CCWS schedule.  I love the "American Grand Prix" cars running here in my backyard of the United States, but I fully understand that if the series is going to rise like the Phoenix out of the ashes, that it has to become a worldwide power. 
 
I was expecting to see Argentina, Brazil, Dubai or Europe included on the schedule next year to give the series some true international appeal.  Instead, I see them add Edmonton.  I'm sure it's a nice city, but other than filling a spot on the schedule, what does it do for the teams and the sponsors?  It's not a Molson sponsored race and there's not even a Canadian sponsor involved in the series anymore without Players.  If the series is going to take off, you have to have races in appealing markets all over the world - and excuse me for saying, Edmonton doesn't fit.   Just what company around the world is saying "we really need to be in Edmonton"?
 
It's one thing if this series is going to go international, but if it's going to be a North American series, then it's absolutely ridiculous to race here in America only one time after mid-August and all they are doing at that race is being used to help traffic clear at a stinkin' pick-up truck race at midnight or 1 a.m. eastern assuming the races are finally going to go back to being live even if it is SPEED.  I'd love to be able to go be a part of the CCWS Chase for the Vanderbilt Cup, but it's a long way to Seoul, Australia or South Korea.  Keep up the great work.  I especially enjoy Mark Cipolloni's fine articles. Richard G., Springfield, Ohio  Dear Richard, The schedule released yesterday was preliminary.  Expect to see 2 or 3 races added, some or all of which can be overseas.  To Champ Car's credit, they are making sure any new venues will be successful for both them and the promoter.  It makes no sense to go into a new market, especially an overseas market where the cost of the event is higher, and fail.  There are a lot of factors that go into making an event successful, and part of that is being on TV in the local market ahead of when you actually go there.  With Champ Car's anemic TV package this year, it's become invisible to a large percentage of the world.  Next year will be different, so we hear.  It will be important that Champ Car have a solid TV outlet in each new country they visit and the international TV deal(s) must be wrapped up first, and will be in two weeks. Mark C.
10/29/04
MotoGP
Gibernau takes provisional pole in Spain Gibernau takes provisional pole in SpainSete Gibernau marked his territory at the Ricardo Tormo circuit today with the provisional pole time for the Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana. Riding in front of his passionate home support, the Spaniard clocked a time of 1’33.531 in cool and windy conditions to stay clear of a late pole attack from Honda colleague Makoto Tamada by just 0.003 seconds.

Tamada’s effort dislodged Valentino Rossi from second place and knocked Troy Bayliss off the provisional front row just minutes after the Australian had occupied top spot. Fourth place would represent Bayliss’ best grid position of the season if he can repeat his performance in tomorrow’s final qualifying session, ahead of what will be his final MotoGP appearance for Ducati on Sunday.

Bayliss is joined on the provisional second row by his team-mate Loris Capirossi, who was sixth fastest behind the Honda of Max Biaggi. Colin Edwards, who is making his final appearance for Honda this weekend before switching to Yamaha, was seventh fastest and is joined on the third row by Suzuki rider John Hopkins and Shinya Nakano on the Kawasaki.

Alex Barros qualified tenth fastest on his second bike after a crash early in the session. There were no other fallers today although Kenny Roberts has pulled out after making a brief return to action this morning.

The former World Champion set the fastest time in the first free practice session after missing the previous four rounds recovering from a dislocated elbow but later claimed that he would not have the strength to last race distance on Sunday and has been replaced at Suzuki for the remainder of the weekend by Gregorio Lavilla.

The first 11 riders were separated by less than one-second, while all 25 riders have provisionally qualified for Sunday's race.
First qualifying:
1. Gibernau
2. Tamada
3. Rossi
4. Bayliss
5. Biaggi
6. Capirossi
7. Edwards
8. Hopkins
9. Nakano
10. Barros
11. Checa
12. Hofmann
13. Xaus
14. Hayden
15. Abe
16. McWilliams
17. Melandri
18. Lavilla
19. Aoki
20. Hodgson
21. Jacque
22. McCoy
23. Roberts
24. Ellison
25. Burns

10/29/04
champcar
Will they be back? Will they be back?This Monterey Herald article talks about the prospects of Laguna Seca being added to the 2005 schedule.  Quite frankly, however, while we think Laguna Seca is a great track (as is Road America), unless the promoter can make some significant changes to attract more people to the event, we cannot possibly see how a Champ Car race there can be profitable.  For its part, Champ Car and its sponsors must 1) do a lot more to promote and advertise their product, 2) Make sure teams hire drivers fans want to drive to see, 3) Have a decent TV package, 4) Come out with a new car in 2005 that excites the fans again.  While the product is certainly the best open wheel series North America has to offer, against the NASCAR onslaught and for the global market Champ Car is going after, the current product needs a major refresh.  We used the example of the new Superfund car as a starting point.  Whether Champ Car contracts with Lola, or with Force 10 who designed and built the Superfund car you have seen on these pages, that is the sort of performance envelope Champ Car needs to be looking at.  Are we beating a dead horse?  Perhaps, but lack of fans at the traditional venues where the hardcore fans turn out, and low TV ratings point  toward a serious problem of fan apathy, and while the car isn't everything, it certainly is an important component.
10/29/04
champcar
New TV deal in place, says Kalkhoven New TV deal in place, says KalkhovenThis AP article says, (excerpts) The Champ Car series will have a stronger lineup next season and a better television package both in the United States and overseas, vows co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven, who says there won't be any merger with the rival Indy Racing League.
Kalkhoven and other team owners Paul Gentilozzi and Gerald Forsythe bought CART after a protracted battle that included the IRL's attempts at grabbing the CART leftovers.

That left the new owners with little time to organize the 2004 season. And it showed.  "I think like everything, we've had our strengths and weaknesses,'' he said. "The very fact that nobody is talking whether or not there is going to be a 2005 season is indicative of the fact that everything is comfortable, it's all settled down.''

But there was a downside.  "We didn't do a great television package this year, national or international, but that was because we only picked up the company in January,'' he said. "You just can't do it in time, so if there is one weakness, that has been it.  "For next year, we've had more time to negotiate, we'll be on a big network. And we'll have a better international package.''

He says the circuit next year will have 15 races -- "plus or minus one'' -- with one of those likely to be a stop in Seoul. That race was canceled this year due to environmental concerns in the South Korean capital.

Kalkhoven said the Seoul race next year likely will be the week before the Surfers Paradise event in Australia in October.

"We were disappointed this year,'' he said of the late cancellation. "We got involved in a political fight between the city and the government. But they're here today, they've paid their money so we anticipate we'll have a race. I would say with their money in the bank, it's pretty solid.''

While acknowledging there's still plenty of room for improvement, Kalkhoven said his circuit made some major strides this year and has built some momentum for next season.


On the IRL, Kalkhoven brushes off yet another question about a merger.  "It doesn't even affect me,'' he says. "It's not what we are looking at. I'm not even going to look at the IRL. Our strategy is working well, so we're just focused on that.''

10/29/04
IROC
International Race of Champions – 2005 Schedule International Race of Champions – 2005 ScheduleOfficials of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) series announced today that the legendary series, which matches 12 of the best drivers from different divisions of auto racing in equally prepared cars, will run a four-race schedule in 2005 with the champion earning a $1 million prize. For the 25th consecutive year, the Crown Royal IROC Series will run at the famed Daytona International Speedway.  In 2005, the Series will open at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 18, 2005.  For the second year in a row, the Series will return to Texas Motor Speedway, with the second event of the four-race series set for April 15, 2005. The short track of Richmond International Raceway will once again host the Crown Royal IROC Series, when the IROC cars are featured on Thursday, Sept. 8.  The 2005 Crown Royal IROC finale will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway to award the $1 million top prize, with the 12-car field set to run Oct. 29, 2005.    “The IROC season opener at Daytona during Speedweek is like a homecoming every year – it’ll be extra special going back next year and celebrating our 25th race at the Speedway,” said Jay Signore, president of the IROC Series. “We’ve really enjoyed this season with the new racetracks -- Texas, Richmond and Atlanta – and going back in 2005 gives us an opportunity to take what we learned the first time around and improve on it.”   For the second consecutive year, the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series champion will be awarded one $1 million with second through 12th paying $80,000, for a total purse of $1.9 million. SPEED Channel will televise the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series. The broadcast schedule will be announced in early 2005. 
Schedule
Race One, Friday, Feb. 18, 2005 – Daytona International Speedway
Race Two, Friday, April 15, 2005 – Texas Motor Speedway
Race Three, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005 – Richmond International Raceway
Race Four, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2005 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
10/29/04
champcar
nascar
f1
alms
irl
Composite 2005 Race Schedule Composite 2005 Race ScheduleWe have compiled our 2005 composite race schedule that shows how Champ Car, F1, NASCAR, ALMS and the IRL stack up week to week. We have completed our detailed Champ Car schedule, and are working on a detail version for the other series. It's interesting to note that by the time Champ Car gets their schedule started, their archrival, the IRL, already has three races down, NASCAR seven, F1 three and ALMS one. And then after coming alive for Long Beach, Champ Car goes to sleep for six long weeks, and out of the news until Monterrey, Mexico on May 22nd. Obviously they still have a lot of holes to fill and need at least three more races for 2005 to do that.
10/29/04
champcar
Champ Car confirms 4-year Toronto extension Champ Car confirms 4-year Toronto extensionFollowing up on Thursday’s announcement during the unveiling of the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford calendar, Champ Car today announced an agreement with Molson Sports & Entertainment for a four-year contract extension to host the popular Molson Indy Toronto. The extension ensures that there will be a Champ Car race in Toronto through the 2008 season.

“We are delighted to officially announce the race in Toronto,” said Champ Car Vice-President of Development and Planning Joe Chrnelich. “Toronto is obviously one of our top locations on the circuit and we greatly appreciate all of the support we get in Toronto from not only Molson, but the business community, the event organizers, and most of all, the multitudes of fans and supporters that Champ Car has not only in Toronto but throughout Canada.”

The Molson Indy Toronto will run for the 20th consecutive season in 2005 July 8-10, racing on the 1.755-mile temporary street course in Toronto’s Exhibition Place. The wildly-popular event has drawn at least 160,000 fans for each of the last 11 years and has seen more than three million fans come through the gates since the inaugural race in 1986.

“The 20th Anniversary of the Molson Indy will be a special event for race fans in Toronto - and all of Canada,” said Jo-Ann McArthur, president, Molson Sports & Entertainment. “We are excited to announce a four year extension for the Molson Indy. A strong partnership between Molson, Champ Car, city officials and community business leaders in this great city will help us continue to build upon this strong event for years to come.”

10/29/04
nascar
Martinsville NASCAR TV Rating Martinsville NASCAR TV RatingUPDATE Sunday's Nextel Cup Subway 500 on NBC drew a 10% increase against last year's 4.0/10 and was even with the same race in '02. Through the four Chase for the Cup races on NBC, the network is averaging a 4.7/10, up 4% from a 4.5/9 for the same four races in '03. 10/26/04 The overnight NBC TV rating for last weekend's Subway 400 at Martinsville was a 4.0/8 share, up from a 3.5/8 share in 2003 (up 14%), but down from a 4.4/11 share overnight in 2002. Last year's final rating was a 4.0/10 share.
10/29/04
champcar
Toronto gets 4-year extension with Molson and Champ Car Toronto gets 4-year extension with Molson and Champ CarMolson Sports & Entertainment has announced the status of its Molson Indy race events in Canada for 2005.  Molson Sports & Entertainment has secured a four year extension for the Molson Indy Toronto, which will keep the tradition alive at the 1.755-mile street circuit at Exhibition Place through to 2008. The event will take place July 8, 9 and 10, 2005 marking a major milestone this year, when the Molson Indy will celebrate its 20th Anniversary, making it one of the longest-running events on the Champ Car World Series calendar, drawing over 3,040,890 spectators since 1986.

"The 20th Anniversary of the Molson Indy will be a special event for race fans in Toronto - and all of Canada," said Jo-Ann McArthur, president, Molson Sports & Entertainment. "We are excited to announce a four year extension for the Molson Indy. A strong partnership between Molson, Champ Car, city officials and community business leaders in this great city will help us continue to build upon this strong event for years to come."

In Montreal, 'Gentlemen Start Your Engines' will be heard August 26, 27 and 28, 2005 at the 2.709 mile permanent road coarse at the renowned Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame. The city of Montreal added the Molson Indy to their summer calendar in 2002.

The Molson Indy events in Toronto and Montreal are two of the most anticipated annual spectator events in Canada - and two of the most popular races within the Champ Car World Series. Combined attendance for the two races in 2004 reached over 300,000 making a large economic impact in both cities.

Champ Car's 2005 schedule did not include the Molson Indy Vancouver event, as Molson, Champ Car and the BC business community are continuing negotiations at this time.

10/29/04
nascar
God will see us all through God will see us all throughThis Charlotte Observer article about the Hendrick Racing Memorial service summarizes the emotion of the event. 
10/29/04
nascar
Wallace to drive #4 Wallace to drive #4Mike Wallace will drive the No. 4 Chevy at the upcoming Atlanta race.
10/29/04
champcar
Champ Car returns to Cleveland Champ Car returns to ClevelandThis Cleveland Plain Dealer article says, The Cleveland GP Champ Car race is scheduled for the weekend of June 26, one week earlier than its more common July 4 weekend date. The race will also return to its Sunday afternoon time slot from last year's Saturday running.  "We think moving from the July 4 weekend will help us [with sponsorship and corporate entertainment]" said Rena Shanaman, general manager for the Grand Prix of Cleveland. "We were satisfied with the job we did last year, particularly on such short notice. But we still lost money. Our objective this year is to turn this into a profitable venture."

Shanaman noted that even with the short window to publicize the race and draw race fans to the lakefront airport, the event was still the No. 1-rated televised race by Champ Car this season.   "And that was tape-delayed, shown at 4 p.m. on July 4th [Sunday], and it was still No. 1," she said.

With an anticipated network TV deal in the works and document figures that show more than 50 percent of the race crowd came from outside Northeast Ohio, Shanaman is hoping to get the Cleveland race back on national television. 
"Unlike the extremely short timelines we faced in 2004, we are pleased to have many more months to market the 2005 race, attract new sponsors and educate local businesses about how they can benefit by participating in our event," Shanaman said.

10/29/04
superfund
Formula Superfund presents the SF01 Formula Superfund presents the SF01The Formula Superfund 2005 Championship chassis the SF01 was presented today to international media and teams and drivers from all Formulas at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany.

Representing the championship at the press conference was Martin Schneider, Head of Motorsport development for Superfund, John Travis, SF01 Designer and Paul Cherry of Force 10 Technology, and Karl Wedlinger, the Formula Superfund Development Driver.

Schneider confirmed the three objectives of the championship to be powerful cars for the drivers, reasonable budgets for the teams and exciting close racing and good entertainment for the fans. He also said that the Formula Superfund grid would consist of twenty cars and drivers of 15 different nationalities.

Cherry stated that the SF01 fulfilled a brief to be safe, light, fast, easy to use, hard-wearing and with no gizmos. He also announced that production had already started on the first wave of ten cars which would be delivered mid- to end February 2005 and the second wave of ten would be ready in mid-March.

Wedlinger discussed the testing program which has seen six drivers behind the wheel and has taken place at Magny Cours, Brno and the Nürburgring. Karl said he was particularly impressed with the SF01’s power, downforce and grip and that the car had worked well mechanically from the first shakedown.

As the fog at the circuit lifted Karl Wedlinger was able to drive the car for the first official roll-out after the press conference. The car completed an installation lap and three demonstration laps on the damp circuit.

Martin Schneider, Head of Motorsport Development:
“We are happy that with the Formula Superfund car we have created a package for the teams that is low-cost, easy-maintenance and high durability. The teams told us these are their priorities and so we have made that our brief. For the drivers and the spectators the car has incredible power and the high level of downforce will allow for close and exciting racing. The response from the teams has been positive and immediate so we wanted to present the car to the teams and drivers who hadn’t yet seen it as soon as possible so they had a fair chance to sign up.”

10/29/04
champcar
 Superfund
New Superfund Euro 3000 car spied New Superfund Euro 3000 car spiedRed Bull team boss Christian Horner has confirmed he will continue to rotate his drivers this season and that could spell bad news for David Coulthard.  Red Bull test driver and Formula 3000 Champion Vitantonio Liuzzi will be swapping places with regular driver Christian Klien throughout the season, with the first switch having taken place at this past weekend’s San Marino GP.  Horner plans to reverse that swap after race six, the Monaco GP, in late May as he continues working on grooming two stars of the future.

"We are not afraid to use the Chelsea-style rotation system but the driver line-up is fixed for the next three races,” he said.  “This is a building year for Red Bull."  But if both Klien and Liuzzi excel, Coulthard could find he has no place at Red Bull in 2006.

The Scot claims Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz was "misquoted" when he was reported earlier in the season to have revealed that Klien and Liuzzi will be Red Bull’s two race drivers next year.  However, Coulthard, whose points-scoring run came to an end on Sunday at Imola, does admit that his future is unclear.  "The truth is that I don't have a contract for next year," the 34-year-old said.  "That was my choice when I signed up, because there was no better options at the time.  At the right time we will talk about the future and if we come to an agreement we will make an announcement." Planet F1

10/29/04
superfund
Lloyd on pole for Nurburgring Lloyd on pole for NurburgringQualifying for Round 10 of the SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship took place today ahead of the race on Sunday. Alex Lloyd took his third pole of the season. In second place and starting the race tomorrow next to Lloyd on the front row of the grid is Norbert Siedler of ADM Motorsport. Nicky Pastorelli clocked up the third fastest time of the session. In changeable conditions, Lloyd set the fastest time in the first Free Practice session of the morning on a damp track ahead of Nicky Pastorelli and Mathias Lauda. The second session was lead by Fausto Ippoliti who finished less than a tenth ahead of Alex Lloyd before the session was stopped due to foggy weather. The fog lifted in time for Qualifying at 13:40. As the drivers adapted to the changing conditions, the deciding action took place in the final five minutes. Lloyd of John Village Automotive put in a strong flying lap on his second set of new tires to post the fastest lap of the day with a 1:21.023. Norbert Siedler set was one of the first drivers out on the second set of slick tires and clocked up a time that saw him in second place at the conclusion of the session. Nicky Pastorelli final flying lap was disqualified when he cut the chicane in the final moments of the session. His penultimate time of 1:21.470 puts him third on the grid for Sunday’s race. Championship leader, Fabrizio Del Monte will start in fourteenth position due to drive shaft failure.  Qualifying for Round 9 will take place tomorrow at 09:30 prior to the race in the afternoon.
10/29/04
irl
IRL TV ratings continued to plummet in 2004 IRL TV ratings continued to plummet in 2004UPDATE #2 The following presents final '04 Nielsen ratings for the IRL, including averages by network and race-by-race ratings. This year's individual race ratings are compared to the comparable '03 rating and the results paint a very bleak future for the IRL. We have seen this sort of decline every year.  Just when we hope things might get better, they get worse. Data compiled by The Daily 

BY NETWORK

NET '04 AVG. (NO. OF TELECASTS) '03 AVG. (NO. OF TELECASTS) % +/-
ABC 1.20 (10) 1.50 (10) -20.0%
ESPN 0.40 (4) 0.50 (4) -20.0%
ESPN2 0.20 (2) 0.30 (1) -33.3%
2004 RACE-BY-RACE RATINGS
DATE RACE '04 RATING (NET) '03 RATING (NET)
2/29 Toyota Indy 300 0.90 (ESPN) 1.80 (ABC)
3/21 Copper World Indy 200 0.90 (ABC) 0.90 (ABC)
4/16 Indy Japan 300 0.10 (ESPN2) 0.70 (ABC)
5/30 Indianapolis 500 4.10 (ABC) 4.60 (ABC)
6/12 Bombardier 500 0.40 (ESPN) 0.44 (ESPN)
6/26 SunTrust Indy Challenge 0.24 (ESPN2) 0.48 (ESPN)
7/4 Argent Mortgage Indy 200 1.20 (ABC) 1.30 (ABC)
7/17 Firestone Indy 200 0.50 (ESPN) 0.32 (ESPN2)
7/25 Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225 0.80 (ABC) NA
8/1 Michigan Indy 400 0.80 (ABC) 1.00 (ABC)
8/15 Belterra Casino Indy 300 0.80 (ABC) 0.80 (ABC)
8/22 Honda Indy 225 0.50 (ABC) 0.70 (ABC)
8/29 Firestone Indy 225 0.90 (ABC) 0.55 (ESPN)
9/12 Delphi Indy 300 0.80 (ABC) 0.80 (ABC)
10/3 Toyota Indy 400 0.10 (ESPN) 0.60 (ABC)
10/17 Chevy 500 0.80 (ABC) 0.46 (ESPN)

10/28/04 It should be noted that if you factor out the Indy 500, the 1.2 average rating for the ABC races drops significantly below 1.0, i.e. infomercial territory.  The IRL PR department would like us to believe the series is growing.  Facts don't lie. 10/28/04 The end results are in for 2004 and by all accounts the IRL continues to head further into oblivion. For the umpteenth consecutive year the IRL's TV ratings are down, thereby delivering less value to their sponsors. The ratings ABC got for the Indy Racing League in 2004 are especially telling. ABC averaged a 1.2 rating, down 20 percent from a year ago (which was down from the year before that, etc.), with cable ratings for six races on ESPN or ESPN2 down by a slightly larger percentage. What's telling is that despite the weekly full page ads by Honda, Toyota, Firestone, and the IRL in national USA newspapers such as the USA Today, the TV ratings go lower each time. It must be frustrating for these companies to see their money wasted. We maintained in 1995 that the IRL was a flawed concept and the only thing it accomplished was to destroy the sport of Indy Car racing, a sport CART had built up to be bigger than NASCAR, and leave it in a complete shambles and NASCAR now a monopoly in the USA. This is the legacy of Tony George.
10/29/04
champcar
Newman/Haas teammates to battle for $100K Corona Cup Newman/Haas teammates to battle for $100K Corona CupThe Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season finale in Mexico City will settle the championship battle between Newman/Haas Racing teammates Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Bruno Junqueira (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) on November 7, but unlike all great stories, this one will carry a six-figure subplot to go along with it.

Bourdais and Junqueira take their much-publicized title fight down to the wire in next week’s season finale at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but thanks to Forsythe Championship Racing team sponsor Corona, there is another $100,000 up for grabs in a battle that is also currently led by the Newman/Haas duo.

Corona, which is the primary sponsor of the #3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone Champ Car driven by Rodolfo Lavin, created the Corona Cup for the 2004 Champ Car World Series season, awarding a cash prize of $100,000 and a special trophy to the driver that scores the most total points in the two Champ Car races held in Mexico.

“As the proud brewers of Corona Extra beer and as the fourth largest beverage company in the world, we at the Modelo Brewery are proud to present the Corona Cup,” said Executive Vice-President of Grupo Modelo Rene Saraccho. “This trophy honors and recognizes the most talented race car driver in open wheel racing and embodies the same principles as our world famous Corona beer brand -- dominate the competition and have some fun along the way. Grupo Modelo is proud to have this opportunity to present this Corona Cup. On behalf of the Grupo Modelo team, we thank Champ Car and all the teams and drivers in the 2004season.”

The first event was held May 23 in Monterrey, Mexico and was won by Bourdais, who swept the maximum points available for the weekend, tallying 35 markers after leading both qualifying sessions, leading 43 laps and setting the race’s fastest lap. The Frenchman holds a seven-point lead over Junqueira in the Corona Cup competition, which is narrower than the 22-point lead Bourdais carried over Junqueira in the Champ Car standings heading into the year’s final race.

“First of all I would like to thank Corona for establishing this prize as it provides a great incentive for our Newman/Haas team in the season finale,” Bourdais said. “Winning the $100,000 prize would be a great thing for the McDonald’s crew and we will do everything we can to make that happen.”

Mexican favorite Mario Dominguez (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is third in the Corona Cup standings with 26 points after a podium finish in Monterrey, while Patrick Carpentier (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), Alex Tagliani (#8 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Justin Wilson (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) round out the top six. Defending Mexico City race winner Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is seventh in the Corona Cup standings after Monterrey.

The award will be given to the Corona Cup winner at the Champ Car World Series Awards Banquet, which will be held November 7 in Mexico City. Champ Car

10/29/04
champcar
More on Edmonton race More on Edmonton raceThis Edmonton Sun article talks more about the new Champ Car race in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It notes, The Molson Indy event in Vancouver is off but there is a date, the weekend following the Edmonton race, where Vancouver allegedly has been "penciled in" according to sources in B.C.. The race which has drawn 60,000 a year is trying to sort out a few things, not the least of which is the acquisition of a new financial partner. They also need to find a solution to their other little problem - the Athletes Village for the 2010 Olympics is planned for the site where the race has been held. The Edmonton race keeps a Western Canadian stop on the schedule regardless of what happens in Vancouver, although one source from the West Coast suggests Molson is looking at some sort of secondary sponsorship of the Edmonton race instead of "Molson Indy" sponsorship in the other Canadian stops. Paul Tracy, the career leader among active drivers with 26 wins, is expected to be there for the launch press conference next month.
10/29/04
Champcar
CENTRIX: Save that date! CENTRIX: Save that date!Save the date! The CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver will take place August 12 - 14, 2005. The league sanctioning body, Champ Car World Series, announced its 14-race 2005 schedule today, making it official that the Denver event will take place on the same popular mid-August weekend next year. The CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver will be staged as Round Nine of next year's Champ Car World Series.

The 2005 event will be the fourth running of the Denver Grand Prix and the second under the ownership and management of Centennial-based CENTRIX Financial. "This year CENTRIX made a significant commitment to evolving the Grand Prix into an urban festival and a truly world-class event for the city of Denver," said John Frew, vice president and general counsel for the Grand Prix. "We changed the weekend line-up to include a broader variety of racing and events and the public responded with record crowds. We intend to build on that success in 2005."

Due to CENTRIX's increasing involvement with motorsports, which includes NASCAR, the SCORE Baja 1000, and the Race of Champions there had been some changes and additions to the Grand Prix staff. John Frew, who formerly served as the Grand Prix's general manager, will serve as vice president and general counsel for the broader motorsports program in 2005. Jim Freudenberg will fill the roll of general manager for the Grand Prix of Denver, and will oversee much of the event's operational side going forward.

"John has been a great resource, and offers a unique historical perspective of the Denver Grand Prix because he has been involved since the beginning," Freudenberg said. "We have already begun working to solidify partnerships for the 2005 event. We look forward to renewing our existing partner relationships, as well as fielding inquiries from potential partners who want to come on board in 2005."

Anyone interested in partnership opportunities should contact Katie Kochenberger at (720) 873-5037.

The Grand Prix is in the process of upgrading its Website, www.gpdenver.com, so fans will be able to keep up with all of the latest developments in the coming months. There are many exciting innovations in the works. For example, the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT, enhanced action sports and Touring Series were recently added to next summer's schedule.

Ticket renewals for the 2005 CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver will be available December 1, 2004, with sales to the general public scheduled to begin by February 1, 2005. For more information call (303) 825-0300.

10/29/04
Champcar
Vancouver is all about money Vancouver is all about moneyWhy was Vancouver not on the 2005 Champ Car schedule?  Promoter Molson won't know for another two weeks if there is enough corporate support in Vancouver for the Molson Indy to return for a 16th season.  Jo-Ann McArthur, president of Molson Sports and Entertainment, said many corporations are switching support to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  "Molson is committed to continue to invest against the race but there's a gap and we need to find some more business partners," McArthur said in an interview from Toronto.  Less than $2 million is needed from the local business community to keep the Vancouver race alive for this year. Canadian Press
10/29/04
nascar
Hendrick Memorial Service story Hendrick Memorial Service storyFriends and family of those lost in Sunday’s tragic plane crash gathered on Thursday to remember the four members of the Hendrick family killed when their plane slammed into a Virginia mountainside en route to Martinsville, Va.  Hendrick Motorsports founder Rick Hendrick’s son Ricky, as well as Rick Hendrick’s brother John and John’s twin daughters Kimberly and Jennifer perished in the crash.

Ricky Hendrick’s sister Lynn Carlson remembered her brother as a passionate and giving person, who was never afraid to try new things. “Ricky focused on real stuff like his family, his friends, his goals and his dreams,” Carlson said. “ Instead of taking life too seriously, he chose to take love and giving seriously. He had a serving heart.  “He was passionate about adventure and success and he had big fun at it. I believe that inspired people and drew people close to him. Those who knew Ricky best were just like Ricky, good people with good hearts who were kind and accepting of everyone.”

Also killed in Sunday’s crash were Hendrick Motorsports chief engine builder Randy Dorton; Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Jeff Turner; Scott Lathram, pilot for NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Tony Stewart; Joe Jackson, an executive with DuPont; and pilots Dick Tracy and Liz Morrison.

A memorial service for Dorton was held earlier in the day.  Among those attending Thursday’s memorial service at the Church of God in Charlotte, NC were North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and NASCAR CEO Brian France.  Well over 4,000 people attended Thursday’s service, which was closed to the public. Hundreds of mourners showed up for a candlelight vigil held outside the Hendrick Motorsports race shop in Harrisburg, NC on Wednesday night. Pete McCole/AutoRacing1

10/29/04
f1
Klien ready to step down to test role Klien ready to step down to test role“As long as there's a race seat available, I'll be chasing it,” Christian Klien told autosport.com. “But if everything is full you also have to look at the possibility of being third driver for a bigger team. A testing role in a top team is a good solution for a driver with my experience, so we will be looking at that too.  For the moment I have nothing decided. We are talking to a couple of teams and waiting to see what happens with Jaguar Racing now. I think there will be a lot going on in the next couple of weeks.”
10/28/04
Champcar
2005 Champ Car Schedule 2005 Champ Car ScheduleUPDATE #3 Here is the full transcript of the press conference with the exact quotes. Transcript 10/28/04   Other notes: Dick Eidswick said they hope to announce a title sponsor very soon.  This is just a preliminary schedule and Dick Eidswick estimates 16 races for 2005 (when final schedule is released) and 18 by 2006.  There is still a 50/50 chance Vancouver could be added in 2005.  Spring Training will be at the end of February in the western part of the USA.  Laguna Seca is still being discussed for September 11, 2005.  Very likely there will be races in South America, but Europe won't happen until 2006.  Looking at Southeast and northeast USA for 2006. It's unlikely we will see a race in China in 2005, but they very much want to have a race in China in 2006.  They expect to finalize schedule in November. 2005 Preliminary Schedule 10/28/04 "The TV schedule will be announced in two weeks," stated Champ Car President Dick Eidswick.  "We will have different TV partners in 2005," said Eidswick. 10/28/04 See article on home page. Champ Car President Dick Eidswick assures every more races will be added and to expect between 16 and 18 races. Joe Chrnelich added, "This is a starting line. There are a lot of variables when putting together a schedule. We must follow the process. There are ongoing negotiations with promoters. We expect additions to the schedule. We have to have a balanced agreement, for us and the promoter."
10/28/04
irl
Meira renews with Rahal-Letterman Meira renews with Rahal-LettermanFor the first time in his IndyCar career, Brazilian Vitor Meira will start a season with a secure full-time ride. Rahal-Letterman racing has signed Meira for the whole 2005 season, a year in which the Brazilian hopes to obtain his first IRL win. "This will be the first time since I came to the States that I'll get to enjoy the holidays knowing what I'll be doing next year," he celebrated. Meira's consistency apparently made him a hot commodity in the IRL paddock, as he claims he was approached by Panther, Mo Nunn and Ganassi before re-upping with Rahal-Letterman. His rationale to remain teammates with Buddy Rice? Honda backing: "For sure, to be a member of the 'Honda family of drivers' is a huge asset. They are committed to keep winning in IndyCars for a long time. I could not be more optimistic for next season,'' said Meira. Cassio Cortes
10/28/04
renault2000
Renault 2000 series cancels another race Renault 2000 series cancels another raceFrom reports we have received from numerous teams who report the series is in serious trouble, it appears the North American Renault 2000 series is in jeopardy of complete collapse. After canceling the Homestead races, now they have cancelled the Fontana races. - North American Formula Renault series managers of RaceTeam Promotions confirmed that the anticipated season finale event at California Speedway has been cancelled. “Management of RaceTeam Promotions regrets having to cancel the races scheduled for California Speedway due to insufficient confirmed entries received by the pre-registration deadline Friday, October 15th,” said RaceTeam Promotions President John Kolody. “The decision to replace the cancelled races has not been made, with various alternatives under consideration,” said Kolody. “The declaration of the 2004 Championship winners will be confirmed based on the outcome of the decision about the balance of the season.”
10/28/04
cartatlantic
Toyota and Yokohama return for Toyota Atlantic Series Toyota and Yokohama return for Toyota Atlantic SeriesContinuing to build on one of the longest relationships in motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales USA will return as title sponsor for the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama in 2005.

Toyota became the Atlantic series sponsor and exclusive engine supplier in 1989 and as the Toyota Atlantic Championship gears up for its 32nd season in 2005, Toyota returns as the driving force behind the top open-wheel development series in North America. In 2005, Toyota will begin its 17th season as title sponsor of the Atlantic series.

“There is a very strong bond and a great deal of heritage between Toyota and the Atlantic series,” said Les Unger, Toyota National Motorsports Manager. “The Toyota Atlantic Championship continues to produce outstanding open-wheel talent year in and year out and we’re already anticipating another exciting season in 2005.”

The Yokohama Tire Corporation will also return to the Atlantic series as presenting sponsor of the 12-race championship next season. Yokohama first signed on as a series sponsor in 1989 as well, forming a bond with Toyota that has given the Atlantic Championship a long-lasting, trusted partnership with two of the top companies not only in motorsports, but in the entire automotive industry.

"The Yokohama Tire Corporation is pleased to continue its relationship with the Toyota Atlantic Championship series and Toyota Motorsports,” said Art Michalik, Director of Marketing and Communications for Yokohama. “This series has been a great success for us and we look forward to being a part of the 2005 season."

As series sponsors, both Toyota and Yokohama will contribute to a substantial prize fund for 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship competitors. Toyota will continue to provide the race-modified, four-cylinder, 1.6 liter, 16-valve, fuel-injected twin cam 4A-GE engines that will generate 240 horsepower for each Atlantic entry next season. Yokohama returns as the Official Tire supplier of the series, producing the ADVAN Racing Slicks that will equip each Atlantic machine in ’05.

Toyota Atlantic officials are finalizing details on the 2005 season schedule, but the 32nd season of Atlantic competition will get underway the weekend of April 8-10, 2005 with the crown jewel of the racing calendar – the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. All 12 Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama events that will be contested on a combination of road courses, street circuits and oval tracks will be broadcast on SPEED Channel. A full season schedule is expected to be released in within the next week or so.

“We’re delighted to welcome back both Toyota and Yokohama as we look forward to the 2005 season,” said Toyota Atlantic Managing Director Vicki O’Connor. “With such tremendous sponsorship support and the talented young drivers and hard-working teams that are putting together programs for next season, we’re looking forward to one of our best seasons ever on track in 2005.”

10/28/04
f1
Jordan signs new supplier Jordan signs new supplierJordan has signed a supply agreement with ATI Technologies Inc. of Markham, Ontario, Canada. ATI is a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions for desktop personal computers, mobile computing, DTV, cell phones, handhelds, consoles and workstation products. The utilization of ATI's FireGLTM workstation graphics cards supports Jordan Grand Prix's recent implementation of a Dassault Systems CATIA V5 design solution running on the latest generation of PC workstations under Microsoft Windows. Jordan's IT team carefully evaluated and tested a variety of competing products before selecting ATI's award winning FireGL workstation graphics hardware to install in 60 new CAD workstations being used in its design office.

Dr James Henderson, Head of IT at Jordan Grand Prix said "F1 racing is incredibly rich in information. At Jordan our challenge is to ensure that we use technology and computers to bring that richness into play to get more from tires, chassis and driver." He adds "In the relentless annual cycle of Formula 1, we cannot and will not be compromised on the two most important factors: performance and reliability. It is not difficult to make things go fast, whether a network or a CAD workstation. Its difficult to make them go fast reliably" He adds "The right choice of 3D workstation graphics accelerator is fundamental in this respect."

10/28/04
nascar
Jimmy Spencer fired Jimmy Spencer fired[Editor's Note: Could it be because Spencer was arrested by law enforcement officials?]Morgan McClure Motorsports announced today the release of driver Jimmy Spencer, effective immediately. He began driving for the team earlier this year at the Samsung Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. "Over the past several weeks there has been a steady and gradual improvement in the Morgan McClure racecar and Spencer has been an integral part of this drive for success. While his part has been greatly appreciated by everyone here at Morgan McClure Motorsports, it has been decided, by mutual agreement, that it would be beneficial to both the team and to Jimmy Spencer to release him so that he may pursue other driving opportunities within the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series," Larry McClure, team owner, stated. An announcement for his replacement in the #4 Chevrolet will be made before the BASS PRO SHOPS MBNA 500 race in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. Morgan McClure Motorsports PR
10/28/04
champcar
More Edmonton News More Edmonton NewsThis Edmonton Sun article talks about the soon to be announced Champ Car race in Edmonton. Once upon a time, a long time ago, Edmonton was a major-league auto racing town. Edmonton International Speedway. The Can-Am. The Trans-Am. The Continental. Jackie Stewart. Bruce McLaren. Denis Hulme. Peter Revson. Jim Hall. George Follmer. Francois Cevert. Mark Donohue. Sterling Moss. Roger Penske. Paul Newman. Little Dickie Smothers. Those guys. Those were the days. And now it's back. Except now it's a party. Now it's an event. Now it's a spectacle. You've heard of the Molson Indy in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver? Now there's a Molson Edmonton. OK. Whoa, on the Molson. A title sponsor has yet to be named. And nobody is sure if there's going to be a Vancouver Molson Indy in 2005. But what has been rumored for weeks has been made official. Paul Tracy and the Champ Car World Series circuit of Indy-style open-wheel auto racing is coming to the City Centre Airport July 15-17. Pulled out from under Calgary, an Edmonton Indy will be held here next year.

An official launch press conference will likely be held within the next month to name a title sponsor, reveal the names of financial backers beyond the name of Bruce Saville and many more key details of the race, which will have a budget of $13 million. Greg Macdonald, who leads the founding Edmonton organizing group which includes Tom Doerksen, Ernie Pesenko and Frank Calder, made the official announcement yesterday. At noon today the series dates, likely not including an in-limbo Molson Indy Vancouver, will be announced. The Edmonton deal is for three years with an option of another two according to Macdonald. The sanctioning fee is believed to be in the area of $2 million a year. The investors group consists of about a dozen who are having to put up, in shares of $250,000 a pop, a total of $5 million.

The City of Champions and Championships has had success after success in staging major international sports events, but doesn't have a long list of major annual sports events. And Calgary has been trying to rustle the Canadian Finals Rodeo again. "They like Edmonton," said Macdonald. "They know it's a city of festivals and they know about what happened here with the outdoor hockey game last year." Macdonald said this event could definitely be considered a legacy of the Heritage Classic outdoor NHL game at Commonwealth Stadium last year which drew 60,000 in -20 degrees C temperatures.

"Calgary was certainly the front-runner and favorite. Our group was working on a lesser race when we found out Calgary was going for the Champ Car event. We felt that would take our project out of play and decided to go for the big race. "It's a great venue. I think that had a lot to do with it. Hopefully, with next year being Alberta's centennial, we can get past the Edmonton-Calgary thing and make this a great celebration of Alberta. At the end of the day we hope Calgarians will love to be a part of the race up here." The airport venue will feature 45,000 temporary stadium-style seats. While three days of racing will be involved, the big event will last roughly an hour and a half on the Sunday. "We think we'll be in one of the top three venues in the circuit," says Macdonald.

"The difference between our race and any of the races on city streets or any of the other Canadian races is that you will be able to see 95% of the course at any given time. In so many cases, the streets are so narrow, passing is very difficult. We'll have a track 40 feet or wider," he said of the 1.96-kilometre circuit.[Editor's note: Another pathetically short course?] The series, which involves races in Canada, Mexico, Australia and the U.S.A., has struggled in recent years - which probably answers the question of why they've decided to add another Canadian race. The Canadian stops have generally been successful.

10/28/04
champcar
 irl
Kalkhoven: Won't consider merger with the IRL Kalkhoven: Won't consider merger with the IRLThis Canadian Press article has some interesting info regarding 2005 and beyond for Champ Car.  Excerpts - The Champ Car series will have a stronger lineup next season and a better television package both in the United States and elsewhere, vows co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven, who says there won't be any merger with the rival Indy Racing League.

"There's no part of your body that is left untouched or unaffected by it," said Kalkhoven, who estimates he spends about 90 per cent of his time on his Champ Car ownership duties. "Today I'm not a PKV guy until the race starts - I've got to have somewhere to sit."

"I think like everything, we've had our strengths and weaknesses," he said. "The very fact that nobody is talking whether or not there is going to be a 2005 season is indicative of the fact that everything is comfortable, it's all settled down."

"We didn't do a great television package this year, national or international, but that was because we only picked up the company in January," he said. "You just can't do it in time, so if there is one weakness, that has been it.

"For next year, we've had more time to negotiate, we'll be on a big network. And we'll have a better international package."  He says the circuit next year will have 15 races - "plus or minus one" - with one of those likely to be a stop in Seoul. That race was cancelled this year due to environmental concerns in the South Korean capital.  Kalkhoven said the Seoul race next year likely will be the week before the Surfers Paradise event in Australia in October.

"We were disappointed this year," he said of the late cancellation. "We got involved in a political fight between the city and the government. But they're here today, they've paid their money so we anticipate we'll have a race. I would say with their money in the bank, it's pretty solid."

Another expected addition to the 2005 season is the San Jose Grand Prix, which will be headed up by Bob Singleton, the former general manager of the three Canadian Champ Car races in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

While acknowledging there's still plenty of room for improvement, Kalkhoven said his circuit made some major strides this year and has built some momentum for next season. "I'm thrilled that we've got an Australian driver on the grid here (former Formula 2000 champion David Besnard at Surfers Paradise, who finished seventh) and I think there is every possibility we may have one on the series next year. That's important for this race. "It'll be good. The television package is done, and we'll be announcing it in the next few weeks."

On the IRL, Kalkhoven brushes off yet another question about a merger.  "It doesn't even affect me," he says. "It's not what we are looking at. I'm not even going to look at the IRL. Our strategy is working well, so we're just focused on that."

10/28/04
superfund
Superfund Euro3000 series wraps up this weekend Superfund Euro3000 series wraps up this weekendThe final showdown of the 2004 SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship takes place in a spectacular double-header at the internationally-renowned Nürburgring circuit in Germany on 29th – 31st October. Both Rounds 9 and 10 have been combined to create one double race weekend as an action-packed conclusion to the season.

Set in the Eiffel Mountains 80 km south-west of Cologne, the Nürburgring circuit was originally a 22 km long track that was home to the German Formula 1 Grand Prix. In 1977 safety concerns lead to the revision of the track into a 5.148 km medium-fast circuit. This is the third year in a row that Nürburgring features on the SUPERFUND Euro 3000 calendar and in 2003 the race was won by Minardi F1 driver Gianmaria Bruni.

Going into the race weekend at the Nürburgring, 20 individual points are still up for grabs and the 2004 SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship battle is far from over. With a coveted Super License and the chance of a test drive in a Formula One car at stake, there’s everything to race for.

After winning the first three consecutive races of the season, Italian driver Fabrizio Del Monte heads the Championship standings with 44 points. Del Monte has been in the points consistently throughout the season, failing to score only once in Donington. Twelve points behind and determined to overcome the gap is Nicky Pastorelli. After his early retirement from the last round in Zolder, the Draco Junior Team driver remains on 32 points in second place.

Following closely behind with 27 Championship points is John Village Automotive driver, Jonny Reid. The young Kiwi secured an impressive maiden victory in Donington in heavy rainfall and went on to finish second in the next two races. Alongside him in fourth place on aggregate is Austrian Norbert Siedler. After three unconverted pole positions in a row, the ADM Motorsport Driver converted his fourth pole in Zolder into his first win of the season.

10/28/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
BAR's winning gearbox
GPWC 'is serious' - Faure
Webber eyes Melbourne win
Toyota power Jordan's future
US-based buyer for Cosworth
Toyota 'low point'
New quali 'better' - JT
Ferrari should 'do a Rossi'

F1 champ 'gets $22m a year'
Brit TV lose F1 sponsor
'Hakk is back' after all?
McLaren duo 'to explode' again
BAR and Johnnie Walker
Schu to help German team
'We're still friends'
'I just drive' - Kimi
'Thanks for Williams drive'
Sauber survival
Ville was 'error' - Renault
Toyota need downforce - Trulli
F1 to recoup aero loss
10/28/04
transam
Miller eyes 2005 Trans-Am title Miller eyes 2005 Trans-Am titleMany aspiring racers are successful at the highest level of amateur racing, but reaching the top can sometimes spur the question: “Where do I go from here?” Johnny Miller found himself asking that very question eight years ago. He answered it by putting everything on the line and going for broke in the Motorock Trans-Am Series. The rest, as they say, is history.   In 1996, Miller, who had just two Trans-Am starts to his credit, sat down with his wife, Julie, and their two children. They made a family decision, and it wasn’t one to be taken lightly. Miller sold their house, took the equity, bought a Rocketsports Chevrolet Camaro and started his own team. That year Miller made full-on assault on the Trans-Am Series.

“We’ve made a lot of sacrifices to do this,” said Miller. “We finished a lot of races and won Rookie of the Year.   Miller hopes this year’s results will lead to a full-time assault on the championship in 2005.

“I have missed racing in the Trans-Am Series and enjoyed those two races—I hope to be back full time next year,” said Miller. “I liked working with Jim (Derhaag) and his crew. He has a solid operation and they are a great group of people. We can be quick with them. They did a great job getting back in the show this season, and it felt great to be back in the driver’s seat.   "Eaton wanted to seize the opportunity to continue their support this season," added Miller. "We rely on our sponsors to race. Eaton has proven it is dedicated to this program. I'm glad the decision was made to return this season and we're looking forward to 2005."

Miller was also pleased to be back in a Corvette. The marque holds great mystique and history for Miller.  “It's was great to again be back in a Corvette in the Trans-Am Series," said Miller. "I have competed in many different series, including Nextel Cup and Grand-Am, but the Trans-Am Series is where my heart is."

10/28/04
Champcar
Wilson congratulates Allmendinger Wilson congratulates AllmendingerMi-Jack Conquest Racing pilot Justin Wilson was disappointed not to take the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year honors, but felt as though he’d lost out to a worthy competitor in A.J. Allmendinger. Wilson, who raced last season for the Minardi and Jaguar Formula One teams, has scored seven top ten finishes this season and still had a shot of winning the award entering the penultimate round last weekend in Surfers Paradise, Australia.  Wilson and Allmendinger ran similar pit strategies during the race, but Wilson suffered when he was blocked by a lapped car at the last second heading into a corner midway through the race, and lost several positions in the process.  Wilson fought back to move back up the order and finish in eighth, but Allmendinger was able to clinch the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year award with his sixth place result.  Wilson and Allmendinger have got to know each other on and off the track this season, and have developed a mutual respect for each other in the car.   In Wilson’s first visit to Portland International Raceway for round four of the Champ Car World Series, the two rookies staged a mammoth battle, dueling for position over the final sixty-two laps of the race, and finishing within just one second of each other. Wilson got the better of the fight to take fifth at the finish ahead of Allmendinger, who had plenty of experience in Portland, scoring a fourth place finish in 2003 in Atlantics after winning there in 2002 in Barber Dodge.  “A.J. and I have had some great battles on the track this season, and he is certainly a talented driver,” said Wilson. “The Mi-Jack Conquest team had a great start to the season, but we lost a bit of momentum in the points chase with being knocked out of a couple of races in the middle of the season. RuSPORT and A.J. did a great job to stay out of trouble and get the points he needed.” 
 
For his part, Allmendinger was excited to take the award, and was quick to point out that part of what made it special was the level of competition he faced for the award.  “I’m very happy with Rookie of the Year, I mean with contenders like Justin Wilson it’s a pretty great thing to achieve,” said Allmendinger.  Despite not taking the award, Wilson is enjoying his first season in Champ Car competition, and is hungry to score a strong result in the final round in Mexico City, Mexico in two weeks time.  “As a driver, you want to be competing against the best you can, week in and week out, and that’s part of what makes racing in Champ Car so satisfying,” said Wilson. “I am looking forward to the Mexico City race to finish the season off on a high note.”  The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team will contest the final round of the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford on November 7th in Mexico City, Mexico.
10/27/04
Industry News
SPEED renews with IROC series for two years SPEED renews with IROC series for two yearsSPEED Channel will air the Crown Royal International Race of Champions' final race of the season from Atlanta Motor Speedway this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.  NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Ryan Newman leads the points after the first three rounds, and with a total purse of $1.9 million on the line, all 12 drivers representing five different race series will fight to see the checkers first. The series champion will earn $1 million.  "SPEED Channel loves IROC," said Rick Miner, SPEED's Sr. VP of Programming/Production and Executive Producer. "Where else can you get some of the world's best drivers together in equally prepared cars? We are thrilled to get the series signed up for another two years on SPEED."  The final race will feature an inversion of the point standings for the starting lineup. The driver with the most points will start last and the driver having the least amount of points will start on the pole. The field of 12 starts two abreast, six rows.  SPEED Channel's commentators Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Jeff Hammond will call all the action from the booth with Matt Yocum and Bob Dillner covering the pits.
10/27/04
irl
Scott Dixon one busy man Scott Dixon one busy manEven though the IRL IndyCar® Series season has ended, Scott Dixon remains a busy man. Like most IndyCar Series drivers, Dixon has taken advantage of the time off to travel, but unlike the other drivers, the 2003 IndyCar Series champion's schedule still includes appearances and races. "The IndyCar (Series) season may be over, but things haven't slowed down at all for us at Target Chip Ganassi Racing," Dixon said. "On Tuesday, I was in and out of New York City for an Esquire Magazine photo shoot for our sponsor TAG Heuer. On Wednesday, I travel to California for the Rolex Grand Am Hoosier Tire test that takes place all day Thursday on the road course at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif."

Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Darren Manning are scheduled to compete in a third Riley-Lexus Daytona Prototype for CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing in the Grand American Road Racing Series season finale on Oct. 31. The IndyCar Series stars will be teammates to former Indianapolis 500 competitors Scott Pruett and Max Papis, who are among the top contenders for the Grand Am Series championship. But that's not the only racing Dixon will do this weekend.

He'll join fellow IndyCar Series drivers Scott Sharp and Helio Castroneves for the final race of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., on Oct. 30. "On Friday morning, I have the first official practice session for the Lexus Grand American 400," Dixon said. "As soon as I get out of the car at the end of the session, I'll be heading directly to the airport to fly to Atlanta (for the IROC race). After the IROC race I'll jump back on a plane to California to take part in the Rolex Series finale."

Dixon had hoped to make a side trip to the IRL Championship Celebration in The Bahamas, but his schedule won't allow it. "This is such a busy week that unfortunately, I won't even have a chance to go to the cruise," he said. "I guess The Bahamas just wasn't in the cards this week, but being on a race track is where I prefer to be on any given day." IRL

10/27/04
irl
Disney ship to host IRL love fest Disney ship to host IRL love festPlans and props, including a Team 7-Eleven show car, have been set in motion for the IRL Championship Celebration on Oct. 29 aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship. IRL IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan and IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series champion Thiago Medeiros and their teams will be honored, while several other awards also will be presented, including the Bombardier Rookie of the Year, Marketer of the Year and Promoter of the Year, among others. The IRL Championship Celebration will be broadcast at 4 p.m. (EST) Nov. 9 on ESPN2. [Editor's Note: The IRL will have a captive audience with their teams on this several day cruise (err, love fest) extolling the virtues of the IRL. The risk of course is possible rough seas making everyone aboard ill.]
10/27/04
Industry News
champcar
Big cutbacks for Johnson Controls Big cutbacks for Johnson ControlsDespite a strong quarterly earnings performance, Johnson Controls Inc. [Champ Car Rocketsports sponsor] plans to trim jobs and take other steps to cut costs this quarter, company executives said Tuesday. The cuts for the nation's second-largest auto-interiors company will occur primarily in Europe, chief financial officer Stephen Roell said on a conference call discussing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. "We are taking significant actions," Roell said without elaborating. Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, which operates its automotive unit from Plymouth Township, and other auto suppliers are cutting jobs because of rising raw material costs and production cutbacks by automakers. In the last week, Delphi Corp., Lear Corp. and Superior Industries International Inc. announced job cuts or said they plan to trim jobs. Meanwhile, Johnson Controls said fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 24 percent from rising sales to automakers of products such as seats, interiors and batteries. Net income increased to $273 million, or $1.41 a share, from $220 million, or $1.16 a share, in the year-earlier period, adjusted for a 2-for-1 stock split Jan. 5, the company said. Excluding a tax provision, profit was $1.32 a share, the company said. That matched the estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Sales rose 13 percent to $6.76 billion from $6 billion. The company said its fiscal-year sales increased for the 17th consecutive year and earnings increased for the 14th consecutive year. "JCI continues to stand out as a safe-haven stock in this environment of rising raw materials," Himanshu Patel, an analyst with JP Morgan Securities Inc. said in a written statement after the company released its earnings. Johnson Controls said sales are expected to slow in fiscal 2005 as costs for raw materials rise and revenue from building controls declines.
10/27/04
nascar
Rusty responds to comments on Martinsville and Talladega airports Rusty responds to comments on Martinsville and Talladega airports"My intentions certainly weren't to infuriate the folks running the local airports at Martinsville and at Talladega and I definitely didn't mean for it to sound as if I was putting any direct blame on anyone," Wallace said on Tuesday evening. "But when you have just found out that you lost some great friends in an accident like that and they stick a camera and microphone in your face, you certainly should understand the emotion I had building up inside when I made those comments. What I was attempting to do was point out that we have several airports where we fly in that desperately need upgrading." Tom Roberts PR
10/27/04
nascar
NASCAR fans to give up Confederate Flags NASCAR fans to give up Confederate FlagsThe National Association of Minority Race Fans says it will approach NASCAR fans at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and ask them to exchange their Confederate flags for a new American flag, a NASCAR flag or a flag for selected drivers. "Since NASCAR won't take the flags down, NAMRF will do it for them," said Steve Parker, director of operations for the group that says it believes NASCAR tracks provide unsafe environments for women and minorities who are racing fans. NAMRF's statement also said it plans to hold another protest at the Atlanta track, anticipating more than 100 picketers. The group did stage a demonstration at Charlotte two weeks ago, but issued a statement Sunday saying its protest at Martinsville was canceled because of poor weather. In the statement announcing the flag exchange program, however, NAMRF now says it "first delayed its 50-member demonstration because of weather concerns, and then ultimately canceled it in light of the tragic news surrounding Hendrick Motorsports." NAMRF officials suggested that NASCAR institute a flag-exchange program as a "first step" toward such improvements, but says it has received no response. "NASCAR can ignore it if it wants, but the Confederate flag is a sign of hatred, not heritage," Parker said. "The first step in making NASCAR races more attractive is making those distasteful, disgusting flags disappear." ThatsRacin.com
10/27/04
nascar
Gordon to start own Nextel Cup team Gordon to start own Nextel Cup team“Driving for RCR has been an incredible honor and is an opportunity most drivers could only wish for,” Gordon said. “I’ve learned as much outside the car as I have in it with RCR, and Richard has taught me a great deal about the business of NASCAR. He’s a man of his word and someone I will always respect immensely. But I think everyone knows what my long-term goals are, both as a driver and a car owner, and now is the time for me to start my future as an owner at NASCAR’s highest level. If I can be half as successful as Richard has been, I’ll be very happy. We have been putting the pieces in place for our own team for most of the past year, and although we don’t have anything to announce yet for next season, we hope to make some announcements soon.”
10/27/04
champcar
Champ Car to announce 2005 schedule Champ Car to announce 2005 scheduleThe Champ Car World Series will announce the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule Thursday, October 28, 2004 at 1 p.m. Central Time at its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
10/27/04
irl
Indy 500 tickets on sale to public Indy 500 tickets on sale to publicTickets are on sale to the general public for the 2005 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the renewal period for 2004 ticket holders is complete. All fans – newcomers to the event and previous attendees – can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.
10/27/04
f1
Renault to quit F1 Renault to quit F1Renault Formula One president Patrick Faure has told Eurosport that the team will quit F1 and join the rival Grand Prix World Championship from 2008. Citing what he deems "unacceptable" revenue sharing, he said Renault has passed a point of no return, and is determined to establish GPWC. "We have not reached an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, and we are absolutely not ready to accept that there is not a better redistribution among the teams of the money generated by F1," Faure said. "We announced on Tuesday that we are working with ISE, a large affiliate of Dentsu and Publicis, to create a world championship that will take the place of Formula One from 2008, when the Concorde Accord expires." GPWC holdings consists of F1 giants Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes and Renault, with the manufacturers determined to secure a more favourable division of commercial rights with the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Faure blasted: "The only unacceptable thing is that 75 or 80% of Formula One profits stay with the 'Bernie system', and that the teams, who do all the work and create the spectacle, receive just 20 or 25%. I don't know any other sport that has that kind of statistic." When asked if the issue has passed a point of no return, Faure replied: "Definitely." Eurosport
10/27/04
champcar
Champ Car announces deal with Canary Fund Champ Car announces deal with Canary FundThe Champ Car World Series, LLC, is constantly looking for ways to break new ground not only as it pertains to auto racing but to a number of causes including health, education and the environment. Tuesday night, Champ Car announced that it has found another like-minded partner to join forces with in the San Jose, California-based Canary Fund.

Champ Car will enter an exciting new relationship with the Canary Fund in 2005, which will see the Canary Fund become the Official Social Cause Organization of the series. The Canary Fund, which was founded by Don Listwin, is dedicated to reducing the impact of cancer by helping to establish new tools to be used in early detection of the disease. The Canary Fund collaborates with some of the world’s leading cancer research centers including the Stanford University Cancer Research Center in nearby Palo Alto, California.

“This is another important step for everyone in our series and we believe that the Canary Fund is on the cusp of making major breakthroughs in the world of cancer detection,” said Champ Car World Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. “We are very excited about doing anything we can to help further the causes undertaken by this very worthwhile organization.”

This was evident in the official launch event for the Canary Fund, which was attended by Champ Car drivers Jimmy Vasser, A.J. Allmendinger, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Oriol Servia along with three Champ Car race cars at the racing-themed private reception hosting many of the leading cancer research scientists.

The partnership will enhance the participation that Champ Car already has with the Hole in the Wall Camps, founded by Newman/Haas Racing co-owner Paul Newman. The Hole in the Wall Camps are the Official Charity of Champ Car, and the series will continue to engage in a number of activities designed to raise funds and awareness for the camps, such as the auction of Champ Car-themed artwork in New York City two weeks ago.

“I expect this to be a very beneficial partnership for both sides and we have many exciting things planned for the future that will raise awareness,” Kalkhoven said. “I know that there were people that wondered why we were getting involved with the X PRIZE when we first announced it, but now everyone can see what we saw in that organization. I firmly believe that our partnership with the Canary Fund will yield similar results.”

The Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will wrap up its 2004 schedule at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on November 7 with the Gran Premio Telmex/Tecate Presented by Banamex. The 2004 Champ Car Awards Ceremony will also take place November 7 at the Camino Real in Mexico City. Champ Car

10/27/04
Formula GP2
Astromega commits to GP2 Astromega commits to GP2After a couple of turbulent years attempting to keep a two-car line-up running in the FIA F3000 Championship, Belgian outfit Team Astromega has revealed that it is committed to joining the new GP2 series in 2005. Team boss Mikke van Hool has been an outspoken critic of F3000's spiraling costs, but remained committed to the F1 feeder series through its final two seasons. He has now been rewarded with one of the twelve planned team spots in GP2, and has confirmed that talks with various interested drivers are already underway. Among those the team is talking to is Formula Three graduate Fairuz Fauzy, and the young Malaysian hopeful, who has impressed in British F3 over the past couple of seasons, is due to test in one of Astromega's F3000 cars at Barcelona early next month. Crash.net
10/27/04
nascar
NASCAR Nextel Cup driver arrested NASCAR Nextel Cup driver arrestedJimmy Spencer was arrested and charged after an incident with Cornelius [NC] police this weekend. Officers said Spencer interfered with police who were trying to serve a warrant on his son, Jonathan. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer. Jonathan Spencer and another young man are accused of pouring paint on two cars at a Cornelius home Oct. 6. They face charges of damaging personal property. news14charlotte.com
10/27/04
irl
Indian driver completes first oval test Indian driver completes first oval testUPDATE Team principal Eddie Cheever said: “He did okay, but the conditions were very poor. Alex [Barron, the team’s regular driver] tested the car first for 20 laps. Narain got within half a second after approximately 60 laps before it started to rain. He might get another test, but he has got a very busy schedule.” Autosport Magazine 10/23/04 Red Bull Cheever Racing's preparations for the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series 17-race campaign began yesterday with the team's first test of a rookie driver. Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan, 27, just completed his third season of competition in the European World Series by Nissan (Formula Nippon) with Tata RC Motorsport by earning one victory and a second place result. He had his first laps in an Indy car on the fast Phoenix International Raceway mile oval and completed a protracted rookie test before rain scuttled activities. Karthikeyan, backed by Cheever sponsor Red Bull ran about 50 laps in the car after 2003 RBCR regular driver Alex Barron set up the car and prepared it for the "World's Fastest Indian". While not spectacular the test went well, according to onlookers. An expected weather front moved in shortly after noon and scuttled attempts to further acquaint Karthikeyan with oval racing. A make-up date has not been scheduled. Motorsport.com
10/27/04
grandam
Grand-Am playing games with rules a la NASCAR Grand-Am playing games with rules a la NASCAR[Editor's Note: The Grand-Am, owned by the France family is just another managed racing series a la NASCAR] The 5.5-litre Pontiac V8, the most successful engine in Grand-Am’s Daytona Prototype division this year, is to be downsized. The series organizers are cutting Pontiac’s capacity by 500cc to equalize its performance with the Lexus, Ford, Porsche and BMW engines. Autosport Magazine
10/27/04
ALMS
LeMans gets facelift LeMans gets faceliftThe Tertre Rouge corner at Le Mans, which leads onto the Mulsanne Straight, will be altered for 2006. The profile will remain unchanged, but it will be brought inside the present bend in order to increase run-off. The Dunlop Chicane will also undergo a tightening for 2006. Autosport Magazine
10/27/04
champcar
Roshfrans to sponsor Champ Car ROY award Roshfrans to sponsor Champ Car ROY awardThe chase for top rookie honors in the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season came to an end in Australia but thanks to Roshfrans, Champ Car’s top rookie will have 10,000 extra reasons to enjoy his season-ending trip to Mexico City.  Roshfrans joined the Champ Car World Series as the first Mexican company to be an official series sponsor, signing a multi-year agreement in September to serve as the Official Lubricant of Champ Car. Today the company increased its presence in the series, becoming the sponsor of what will now be known as the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year Award. The award comes with a newly-designed Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year trophy as well as a check for $10,000 from Roshfrans.  “We are so excited about the consolidation and growing trend that Champ Car is making that it is Roshfrans’ honor to make a stronger commitment with the Series,” said Roshfrans Commercial Director Sergio Platonoff-Castillo. “And what could be better than to recognize the success of a novice driver who proves his abilities as an outstanding driver in one of the most competitive fields of automotive driving in the world”

A.J. Allmendinger (#10 Western Union Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) clinched the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year Award with a sixth-place finish in Surfers Paradise, becoming the first U.S.-born driver since Jeff Andretti in 1991 to win Champ Car’s top rookie honor. Allmendinger scored his first Champ Car podium finish with a third-place run in Vancouver and used a strong run of four top-six finishes in the last five starts to overtake Justin Wilson (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) for the top spot in the rookie standings.  “This is an encouraging and positive step for Champ Car as Roshfrans has joined the series and immediately found a way to increase its commitment,” said Champ Car President and CEO Dick Eidswick. “We are especially pleased to have a Mexican company with the reputation of Roshfrans involved with the series and I am sure that future drivers of all nationalities will come to Champ Car in hopes of winning the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year Award.”  The Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year Award will be presented at the 2004 Champ Car Awards Banquet, to be held November 7 in Mexico City. Champ Car

10/27/04
champcar
Champ Car Silicon Valley GP at San Jose Champ Car Silicon Valley GP at San JoseIn 2005, world class Open Wheel racing comes to the Silicon Valley as Champ Car will bring its special brand of racing to downtown San Jose next July.  The nationally televised Silicon Valley Grand Prix will attract 150,000 people to a series of events including multiple auto racing series, a public festival, and a black tie gala, benefiting Canary Fund. See this website for more.  Expect a formal press release soon.  We have the track layout and will publish it at the appropriate time.  This is a 10-year deal.
10/27/04
champcar
Wilson looks to stay with Champ Car Wilson looks to stay with Champ CarBritish ace Justin Wilson is targeting a second season in the Champ Car World Series next year, after putting in some impressive performances during his rookie campaign.  Although the former grand prix driver was beaten to the rookie of the year title by American AJ Allmendinger this season, a run of strong top ten finishes has left him currently 12th overall in the standings and eager to do even better in 2005.  “I obviously want to stay in Champ Cars and we'll have to see what happens,” said the Conquest Racing driver. “I've talked to a few other teams but Eric's [Bachelart, team boss] team is definitely an option.  “A few things need to be sorted out and obviously a lot of it depends on getting sponsors in place. At the moment it's open, but I'd like to continue here. That's the preferred option.” Autosport
10/27/04
Industry News
nascar
Cingular buys ATT Wireless Cingular buys ATT WirelessCingular Wireless [NASCAR sponsor for Robby Gordon] agreed to pay nearly $41 billion in cash to buy AT&T Wireless Services to create the nation's largest mobile phone company, raising concern among consumer advocates that it may hurt competition and impede lower prices. The deal announced Tuesday between the second and third largest U.S. wireless companies would create a cellular giant with 46 million subscribers and 70,000 employees. Current market leader Verizon Wireless has 37.5 million customers. The deal - subject to approval by AT&T Wireless shareholders and federal regulators - would be a boon for Atlanta-based Cingular's efforts to cut costs, fill service gaps and expand its spectrum, or radio frequency, in several key U.S markets, thus enabling it to offer wireless Internet access at broadband speed. ''Losing a competitor in this kind of market hurts consumers, especially when you're merging the big players,'' said Mark Cooper, director of research at the Washington-based Consumer Federation of America. ''It's not five and six that's merging. It's two and three, and that's a much bigger impact on competition.'' Guzman and Co. analyst Patrick Comack said he doesn't expect prices to go up if the deal is approved: ''You still have some very aggressive competitors out there.
10/27/04
Industry News
SMI Named in Forbes List SMI Named in Forbes ListSpeedway Motorsports, Inc., a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States, is among the 200 Best Small Companies in America according to an annual ranking by Forbes magazine. The annual feature, which appears in the Nov. 1 issue of the prestigious magazine, includes companies with revenues from $5 million to $750 million (small by Forbes standards), net profits greater than 5 percent and share prices above $5 as of Oct. 1. Speedway Motorsports became the first company in motorsports history to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995. In addition, the Company announced it has completed the exchange of all outstanding unregistered 6¾% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013, that were issued in a private transaction on July 7, for new registered 6¾% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013.(LMS PR)(10-27-2004)
10/27/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
GPWC to 'break away'
Sauber 'not worried'
'Poor decisions' - Michael
Flavio's future - 'we'll see'
Coulthard's 'one regret'
Webber's Williams welcome
Pizzonia 'will drive'
Max Mosley writes
Another scarlet record
Rules can't stop Ferrari
FIA 'marginalized' - Todt
GPWC 'bluffing' - F1 player
GPWC to host Brit GP - report
Thanks, wind tunnel - Sauber
Renault's 'bad' year
10/26/04
f1
GPWC turns up heat on Ecclestone GPWC turns up heat on EcclestoneFORMULA ONE’S biggest threat has appointed its own Bernie Ecclestone figure and made Silverstone a prime target in its race to set up a rival grand-prix series. The GPWC group — made up of the sport’s four leading car manufacturers — yesterday announced that it has hired a company to find circuits and teams that will form a breakaway championship that could put the skids under Formula One within three years.

The company — comprising Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and BMW — handed the commercial rights to Zurich-based International Sports and Entertainment (iSe), one of the world’s biggest sports marketing and management companies. The company portfolio is enormous and of the highest quality, with a client list that includes Fifa and the IAAF as well as the contract to market football’s 2006 World Cup.
 
The man who will be the counterpart and rival to Ecclestone, Formula One’s all-powerful promoter, is George Taylor, a Dutchman whose career has spanned almost every area of sports marketing, from working on McDonald’s sports sponsorship deals to negotiating contracts for football’s Champions League and European Championship. Now president and chief executive of iSe, Taylor’s first job will be to draw up a list of potential venues for the Grand Prix World Championship series to make up a 17-date calendar for a start-up date no later than 2008.

Silverstone, which has been knocked off the Formula One calendar by Ecclestone after he refused to agree a $13.5 million (about £7.3 million) deal for the rights to the British Grand Prix, is top of the list of recruits wanted by the GPWC.

Ecclestone has dismissed the idea of a rival series and Max Mosley, president of the FIA, motor sport’s governing body, added that the GPWC threat was no more than “a bargaining position” to lever more cash from Ecclestone’s coffers for the ten Formula One teams and their engine manufacturers. But a cornerstone of the GPWC’s case is that about 80 per cent of all revenues will be paid to the teams; the ten teams now get only 23 per cent of the estimated £500 million generated annually by Formula One, with Ecclestone’s companies taking the rest.   More at The Times  [Editor's Note:  See rumor on rumors page regarding Ecclestone owning the F1 name, the track contracts and the TV deals.  The rumor says he will do a deal with Champ Car, rename it F1 and carry on with the 55 year history of the F1 World Championship without the 4 manufacturers involved with GPWC.  If Kalkhoven bought Cosworth as rumored, the engine supply is set.  Hmm.....this might get interesting.]

10/26/04
nascar
Hendrick Memorial Service set Hendrick Memorial Service setIn remembrance of the 10 individuals who lost their lives on Sunday, Hendrick Motorsports will hold a candlelight service Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 6-8 p.m. ET.  Open to the public, the ceremony will be held at the Hendrick Motorsports complex, located at 4400 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28262.  The program, led by members of Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), will include Robbie Loomis, crew chief of Hendrick's No. 24 Chevrolets.  Parking is available on the complex as space permits and candles will be provided.  Please visit www.HendrickMotorsports.com for updates on additional services.
10/26/04
snaponstars
irl
Snap-on Stars Unveils Track Design and Schedule for National Championships Snap-on Stars Unveils Track Design and Schedule for National ChampionshipsWhen competitors show up for the Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championship Finals on November 12-14 at Walt Disney World® and Magic Kingdom®, awaiting them will be a specially designed temporary road racing circuit as six national titles are closely contested.

Laid out over 500,000 square feet of asphalt, the track measures just over .7 miles, runs clockwise and provides competitors with 15 distinct turns to negotiate each lap. The track features a 710-foot front stretch and a pit lane measuring the length of a football field at over 300 feet. While the track is flat with no elevation changes, Stars’ karters will have no problem producing their standard side-by-side racing with a 30-foot plus wide race track. Key passing zones will be in turns one, three, four, five as well as nine, ten and eleven. With evenly matched drivers and machines, successfully negotiating the final chicane complex of turns 13, 14 and 15 leading onto the long front stretch will be crucial to setting up competitors into the aforementioned turn one. In addition to the racetrack, competitors and their equipment will be housed in a separate 200,000 square foot paved area.

“It is always challenging to design a temporary facility and even more difficult to ensure it tests the skill level of your karters,” commented Paul Zalud, Stars’ principal and track designer. “When you have the best-of-the-best coming together from East and West, it becomes even more crucial to provide a course that demands the utmost skill from each driver. I think we have accomplished that and we are confident our competitors will put on the best show of the year.”

Meanwhile, the action plan as top competitors from both the Eastern and Western Divisions come together has been officially released. On-track sessions for the ICC, ICA, JICA, 80cc Junior, Cadet and EasyKart classes will begin on Friday, November 10th with five rounds of practice. More practice, qualifying and Pre-Finals will be held on Saturday. Sunday morning will be reserved for a warm-up, with the first National Championship Final taking the green at 12:00PM.

Schedule of Events
Thursday, November 11th
9:00am – 4:00pm   Registration/credentials/parking/pit assignments (All Star Resort)
9:00am – 5:00pm   Competitors move to designated pit spots
Friday, November 12th
7:00am                      Gates open to registered participants
7:00am – 9:20am    Scrutineering
8:00am – 12:35pm  Practice (All Classes)*
12:40pm – 1:00pm   Lunch Break
1:00pm – 5:00pm      Practice (All Classes)*       
Saturday, November 13th
7:00am                     Gates open to registered participants
8:20am                      Mandatory Drivers Meeting
9:00am  - 10:20am    Morning Practice (All Classes)*
10:30am – 12:45pm  Qualifying (All Classes)*
12:45pm – 1:15pm     Lunch Break
1:15pm – 3:45pm       Pre-Finals (All Classes)*
Sunday, November 14th
7:30am                     Gates open to registered participants
9:00am – 11:00am     Morning Practice (All Classes)*
11:15am                    Promotional Group Photo, All Drivers in suits with helmets in hand
11:30am                    National Anthem
12:00pm – 3:20pm   Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championship Finals
12:00pm                  Cadet (16 laps)
12:30pm                  80cc Junior (20 laps)
1:00pm                    ICA (26 laps)
1:40pm                    Easykart (23 laps)
2:10pm                    JICA (20 laps)
2:40pm                    ICC (26 laps)

10/26/04
Champcar
Mexico City poster Mexico City posterTo the right is the poster for this year's Champ Car race in Mexico City.  These posters are plastered all over the town as Mexico City ramps up for one of the biggest auto races in the world each year. Mark C.
10/26/04
champcar
CSS Stellar Mgmt lands Hunter-Reay CSS Stellar Mgmt lands Hunter-ReayUPDATE We reported this last week, but here is the official press release - CSS Stellar Management, plc., an established client management firm based in London, England, has signed Ryan Hunter-Reay, a rising 23-year-old American racing star in the Champ Car World Series, to a driver representation agreement.

“We’re very excited to welcome such a talented young driver like Ryan Hunter-Reay to the CSS Stellar family,” said Tim Sice, Managing Director of Sports Talent Management. “Ryan is a rising star in open wheel racing and we’ve been following his career closely. He has a very bright future ahead of him, and we’re convinced Ryan can succeed at the highest levels of motorsport both in the U.S. and internationally.”

“I’m confident that CSS Stellar can help me continue my success in open-wheel racing,” said Hunter-Reay. “I’m hopeful they can bring enhanced value to my team and sponsors, and help guide me in evaluating future opportunities, including Formula One.”

A native of Dallas, Texas, Hunter-Reay drives the #4 Lola/Ford-Cosworth car for Herdez Competition in the Champ Car World Series. Last season, he became the first American rookie to win a Champ Car race in 20 years when he took the checkered flag at Surfer’s Paradise, Australia. This year, Hunter-Reay captured his second career victory with a dominating performance at The Milwaukee Mile, breaking the Champ Car record for most laps led in a race with 250. In 2004, he has recorded eight Top 10 finishes with one race remaining.

Hunter-Reay enjoyed a steady rise through the Champ Car Ladder System and he is the first karting scholarship driver to make it through to the Champ Car World Series. He was the inaugural 2-Liter National Champion and was Rookie of the Year in the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2000. He also won “Fastest Driver” honors in his one year in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, awarded to the driver with the most wins, pole positions and fastest lap times.

Since its inception in April 1999, CSS Stellar has become one of the UK’s leading independent sports management companies. The organization was formed through the merger of CSS International, a 26-year-old sports marketing company in Britain, and Stellar Management, an established client representation agency. The firm represents a number of drivers including Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti and Dan Wheldon, newly crowned 2004 World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and Moto GP125 World Champion Andrea Dovizioso.

10/22/04 London-based CSS Stellar Management has signed Ryan Hunter-Reay to a driver representation agreement it was announced today. The independent sports management company already has Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Dan Wheldon and Sebastien Loeb on their books. “We’re very excited to welcome such a talented young driver like Ryan Hunter-Reay to the CSS Stellar family,” said Tim Sice, Managing Director of Sports Talent Management. “Ryan is a rising star in open wheel racing and we’ve been following his career closely. He has a very bright future ahead of him, and we’re convinced Ryan can succeed at the highest levels of motorsport both in the U.S. and internationally.” “I’m confident that CSS Stellar can help me continue my success in open-wheel racing,” said Hunter-Reay. “I’m hopeful they can bring enhanced value to my team and sponsors, and help guide me in evaluating future opportunities, including Formula One.” Hunter-Reay is eighth in the Champ Car standings with two races remaining.
10/26/04
Champcar
Nominees announced for 2004 Greg Moore Award Nominees announced for 2004 Greg Moore AwardAmong Champ Car drivers, perhaps no award other than the Vanderbilt Cup is more coveted than the one given in honor of a racer that may have seen his own name etched on the historic championship trophy had it not been for his untimely death in 1999.

The Greg Moore Legacy Award is given annually to the driver that best represents the ideals and talents of the Canadian star, who met with tragedy in the 1999 Champ Car season finale. The award is presented to the driver who best typifies Moore 's legacy of outstanding talent on track, as well as displaying a dynamic personality with fans, media, and the Champ Car community.

Four drivers have been nominated for this year’s award and will be voted on by a panel of motorsports officials, team executives and journalists. The fifth annual Greg Moore Legacy Award will be bestowed upon one of the four nominees during the 2004 Champ Car Awards banquet in Mexico City on November 7

This year’s award nominees include Champ Car veteran Jimmy Vasser of PKV Racing, series Rookie of the Year A.J. Allmendinger of RuSPORT, and Herdez Competition’s Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Toyota Atlantic Championship is represented by two-time series champion Jon Fogarty of Pacific Coast Motorsports.

“Greg Moore was the kind of driver that today’s youngsters should aspire to be,” said Champ Car President and CEO Dick Eidswick. “I have no doubt that Greg would have been one of the stars of Champ Car for many, many years. The four drivers nominated for the 2004 Greg Moore Legacy Award have shown the same spirit and dedication throughout this season that Greg had throughout his too-brief career. This is an extremely special award, and all of the drivers who have been nominated should feel tremendously honored.”

Vasser, a native of Canoga Park, California, set a new Champ Car record in 2004 by making his 193rd consecutive series start and has taken his new PKV Racing team to the top 10 in the standings. Boca Raton, Florida’s Hunter-Reay set a new series record of his own when he led a Champ Car single-event record 250 laps in winning at the Milwaukee Mile earlier this year. Allmendinger, a Hollister, California native, won the Champ Car Rookie-of-the-Year award in 2004 and has qualified in the top seven in each of the year’s last six starts. Fogarty, from Portola Valley, California, won six races en route to his second Toyota Atlantic title, coming back to the series after winning the 2002 championship.

Brazilian Helio Castroneves was the inaugural winner of the Greg Moore Legacy Award in 2000, Dario Franchitti was named as the recipient in 2001, former teammate Patrick Carpentier took the honor in 2002 while Sebastien Bourdais won the award last season.

10/26/04
nascar
Harvick to field Busch entry in 2005 Harvick to field Busch entry in 2005The Outdoor Channel today announced that it will serve as a primary sponsor for the Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevy in the ’05 NASCAR Busch Series. Tony Raines will share driving duties with Tony Stewart. Stewart will compete in ten Busch Series events with two special Action Performance paint schemes and eight more races with a sponsor to be announced at a later date. Raines will carry The Outdoor Channel logo for 16 events and Yard-Man for the remaining races The Daily
10/26/04
irl
Four Test With Sam Schmidt Motorsports Four Test With Sam Schmidt MotorsportsSam Schmidt Motorsports tested four drivers in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car Oct. 22 at Kentucky Speedway. The team, which fielded as many as three cars in 2004, including that of championship-winning driver Thiago Medeiros, is beginning its search for drivers for 2005.  Jason Bowles, Jaime Camara, James McCabe and Bobby Wilson completed laps on the 1.5-mile tri-oval.  "We've tested 35 people over the past two years," team manager Michael Crawford said. "This was the best collective group of talent we've had. It was stellar."  Bowles, who has won several regional karting championships, competed in the Cooper Tires Formula Ford Zetec Championship in 2004, winning rookie of the year honors after finishing fourth overall in the point standings. The 21-year-old is from Ontario, Calif.  Camara is a 23-year-old from Goiania, Brazil. He is in his third season of competition in the South American Formula 3 series, the same series that Medeiros competed before coming to the Menards Infiniti Pro Series.  McCabe, 24, won the World Karting Association Enduro National Championship in 1999. Since then, the Luzerne, Pa., native has competed in Skip Barber Formula Dodge, Formula Mazda and Star Mazda series among others.  Wilson won the Cooper Tires Formula Ford Zetec Championship title in 2004. The 23-year-old from Dousman, Wis., won championships in Snap On Stars of Karting in 2003 and the SuperKarts USA ProMoto Tour in 2000.  The group also was evaluated by Menards Infiniti Pro Series technical director Butch Meyer. IRL
10/26/04
irl
Kanaan Draws Hero’s Welcome In Brazil Kanaan Draws Hero’s Welcome In BrazilIRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan returned to a hero's welcome upon his return to Brazil last weekend.  "The reception I got from the fans here has been a big one, bigger than I expected, and I'm very pleased," he said. "It is the best thing that can happen to a driver. You pursue your dream and you win the championship, but when you get recognized, especially by your fans from your home country, it is pretty good."  Kanaan spent the weekend at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, where he was cheering for Rubens Barrichello in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Kanaan and Barrichello have been friends since childhood.   "I told him if I can bring him all the luck I had this year," Kanaan said. "I'll let him borrow it here, and then he will give it back to me after this race."  Barrichello used some of that luck as he drove his Ferrari to third place. Juan Pablo Montoya, winner of the 2000 Indianapolis 500, won the race in a Williams-BMW. Kimi Raikkonen finished second in a McLaren-Mercedes.  Barrichello, who won the 2002 United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is a big fan of Kanaan's.  "I think Tony is one of the talents that went to America," Barrichello said. "He won the championship in a nice way." Kanaan said that the thrill of winning the IndyCar Series championship is still sinking in.  "It is definitely a dream come true after all those years fighting for a spot in the sun," he said. "It is the result of a lot of teamwork and effort, and me persisting in what I want to do. It is still sinking in, and it is not 100 percent in yet. But now that I am here in Brazil, the fans are congratulating me and the people are making me feel it more and more."  Kanaan's achievements resulted in an invitation to meet with Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on Oct. 25.  "I think that is awesome," Kanaan said. "It's a big thing for me; to meet your own president of your own country, and especially when he just calls you and invites you to come and meet him. He wants to congratulate me, so that is definitely big."  After meeting the president, Kanaan planned to spend some time relaxing with Barrichello. The IndyCar Series and Formula One seasons are over, and it's time to go on vacation.  "We are going to spend a lot of time together," Kanaan said of Barrichello. "We have a go-kart race to do, and we are going on vacation together."  Kanaan was one of several famous Brazilian drivers to visit the paddock during the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. Gil de Ferran, winner of the 2003 Indianapolis 500 and another good friend of Barrichello's was there as was Emerson Fittipaldi, winner of the 1989 and 1993 Indianapolis 500 and the 1972 and 1974 Formula One World Champion, and Nelson Piquet, the World Champion in 1981, 1983 and 1986. IRL
10/26/04
nascar
RCR and Gordon make split official RCR and Gordon make split officialRichard Childress Racing (RCR) and Robby Gordon will part ways at the conclusion of the 2004 season, with Gordon stepping up to the ranks of NASCAR Cup Series ownership in 2005.

“Several months ago Robby told me that his goals included running his own NASCAR Cup Series team,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing.  “He has won three points races, a qualifying race at Daytona and has had a lot of good runs for RCR since 2001, but sometimes change is good.  Robby is a true racer and I will always be grateful to him for what we’ve been able to accomplish together and for the positive things he brought to our organization.  I’ve always said that Robby is one of the most talented drivers out there and he has always gone above and beyond for our sponsors.

“I’m sure Robby will do just fine on his own.  His Busch cars run good every week and I’m sure he can translate some of that success to the Cup Series. I wish him only the best.”

Gordon has earned three victories, eight top-five and 23 top-10 finishes in 114 races with RCR.  He also won one of the Gatorade 125 qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway in 2003.  He’s currently 23rd in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings.

“Driving for RCR has been an incredible honor and is an opportunity most drivers could only wish for,” Gordon said.  “I’ve learned as much outside the car as I have in it with RCR, and Richard has taught me a great deal about the business of NASCAR.  He’s a man of his word and someone I will always respect immensely.  But I think everyone knows what my long-term goals are, both as a driver and a car owner, and now is the time for me to start my future as an owner at NASCAR’s highest level.  If I can be half as successful as Richard has been, I’ll be very happy.  We have been putting the pieces in place for our own team for most of the past year, and although we don’t have anything to announce yet for next season, we hope to make some announcements soon.”

The Southern California native has been with RCR since July 2001 when he was named interim driver for the No. 31 Chevrolet while Mike Skinner, the team’s regular driver, recovered from injuries sustained in a crash at Chicagoland Speedway.  He was named the team’s fulltime driver in September and in November at New Hampshire International Speedway, in just his 10th start with RCR, he claimed his first NASCAR Cup victory.  Soon after, Cingular Wireless was announced as the team’s primary sponsor for the 2002 season.

“Cingular Wireless is glad to have had Robby Gordon behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet for the past three seasons,” said Daryl Evans, Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Communications for Cingular Wireless.  “He and the RCR team were able to take Cingular to the winner’s circle three times last year and we know we still have a great shot at getting back there before the conclusion of the 2004 season.  Robby is a very talented driver and we wish him continued success in the future.” RCR and Robby Gordon PR

10/26/04
Industry News
News Corp moving to USA News Corp moving to USAThe Hollywood Reporter notes that News Corp. shareholders today “voted overwhelmingly … in favor of relocating the company’s headquarters to the state of Delaware, USA” from Australia. The move will “facilitate expansion by gaining more access to capital investment and allow the stock to be added” to the S&P 500. Meanwhile, the company announced FY ’04 revenues of $21B, a 20% increase over ’03, and operating income of $3.1B, a 21% increase. Operating income for Fox’ TV group jumped 7%, making it News Corp.’s most profitable business.  What does this have to do with motorsports?  News Corp, which of course owns Fox and many other media outlets, may become a bigger player in USA motorsports by the very nature of having its headquarters in the USA.  Fox already has a deal with NASCAR, but News Corp is much more than just Fox.  For example they pretty much have Asian TV locked up with their massive satellite network.
10/26/04
nascar
Staten Island speedway backers commission new study Staten Island speedway backers commission new studyThe N.Y. TIMES reports that NASCAR promoters have “commissioned a study to determine whether buses or ferries could alleviate some of the traffic congestion that would result from a proposed Staten Island speedway, which could draw more than 80,000 fans to the borough on race days.” ISC, which is backing the project, expects to “release the findings of the traffic study by early next month” N.Y. TIMES
10/26/04
nascar
Ganassi saved Sebates from fatal crash Ganassi saved Sebates from fatal crashFelix Sabates made a last-minute decision that saved his life Sunday, choosing not to take a ride on the Hendrick Motorsports plane that crashed on the way to a NASCAR race, killing all 10 persons on board.  With his helicopter grounded by bad weather, Sabates, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, decided he did not want to take the chance of having the plane diverted and then having to drive to the Martinsville, Va., track in race traffic.  Sabates said his helicopter pilot called to say he could have a seat on the plane and he was preparing to leave for the Concord, N.C., airport when Ganassi phoned. Ganassi told Sabates his plane had been diverted from the airport near the track to Danville, Va., 30 miles away.  "Chip said his plane missed its approach in Martinsville because of the weather and he was thinking about going home," Sabates said. "I didn't feel like going to Danville and then having to drive to the track in traffic. If Chip hadn't called me, I would have been on that plane. He saved my life."  After deciding to pass up the race, Sabates was at his home in Charlotte when he got a telephone call from NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr., telling him the plane was missing and asking Sabates to go to the home of fellow team owner Rick Hendrick.  "When I got to the house, I'm the one that told Rick about the accident," Sabates said. "Then Bill France called to tell me that they had found the wreckage and everybody was dead. I still get chills thinking about it. It's just horrible for everyone." AP Story
10/26/04
nascar
Hendrick Motorsport statement Hendrick Motorsport statementOn behalf of the Hendrick family and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization, I'd like to thank you for the outpouring of support we've received over the past 24 hours. Your encouragement is sincerely appreciated and welcomed by everyone.  We have scheduled a question-and-answer session in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center for Friday, Oct. 29 at 12 p.m. ET. Each Hendrick Motorsports driver and crew chief will be available at that time.  Although our foremost concern is for the families and their right to privacy, please know that we are diligently working to disseminate as much accurate information as we can. As the facts become available, we will work with the appropriate authorities to pass them along in a timely manner.  We will soon have details regarding memorial services, but please bear with us while specifics are determined. Once plans are finalized, they will be communicated immediately.  Further inquiries regarding the aircraft investigation should be directed to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) public affairs office at 202-314-6100.  Sincere thanks, Hendrick Motorsports
10/26/04
f1
Renault commited to F1 Renault commited to F1There has been much talk about Renault's involvement in F1 in recent days because of plans for a change of management which will almost certainly mean new philosophies and new structures.  "I recently met with Carlos Ghosn, the future CEO of Renault," said Renault F1 boss Patrick Faure. "His message was crystal clear: "Carry on!" I repeat once again that this company is committed to Formula 1 for the long term. As for the future of our relationship with Flavio Briatore, that too seems promising. Flavio has met every target we have set him thus far and if he achieves that again in 2005 - and there is no reason to think he won't - then we would be pleased to extend our collaboration into 2006."
10/26/04
Champcar
Champ Car too predictable Champ Car too predictableA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, Every race in Champ Cars it seems that there is only one strategy. Fill up the car and run. Yellows and luck may turn a slower car into a winner if they run out of sequence. Mandatory pit stops make the race predictable. In F1, it is often the case that a car may run light and stop three times, or heavy and stop twice. Is this ever seen in Champ Car? Could it be that because Champ Cars are so heavy and overweight, that adding a full tank of 35 gallons of methanol (which weighs around 230 lbs) doesn't make the same relative difference that a full tank of petrol (35 gallons weigh around 215 lbs) does to an F1 car? Basically a Champ Car is heavy and slow full or empty, but an F1 car is nimble empty and relatively slower on a full tank. Whilst strategy in F1 is one way to avoid overtaking on track, at least it can lead to a driver pushing hard and there is tension in the run up to pit stops, whereas in Champ Car there isn't much of either with the current cars. Why don't the tanks of Champ Cars get adjusted in size so that fuel stops aren't an issue? i.e. 2 tanks and you run dry, 3 tanks and you have more than enough? Or for a lighter car that really does show up the driver's skill when the weight is up and down? Ed McFarlane, Goadby, England Dear Ed, You are correct that a Champ Car is not affected by the weight of a fuel load as much as a F1 car is because the car itself is so much heavier. Back in the 90's Champ Car teams would run many different fuel strategies because the rules were pretty much wide open. However, in F1 we seldom see a full course caution flag, but in Champ Car a full course caution is thrown if a driver sneezes. It's pathetic and destroys any chance to run alternate fuel strategies. With so many caution periods drivers were able to save enough fuel to skip one pit stop altogether and with track position being so important in Champ Car (can't pass easily with a Champ Car) almost every race became a fuel economy run. Hence, mandatory pit stop windows were instituted to force a driver to pit regardless of their strategy. Having a full tank of fuel when everyone else does means the driver doesn't benefit from saving fuel and may as well run 100% between stops. In order for us to see varying strategies like we see in F1, three things must happen, 1) Champ Car must get over the yellow flag fever and only throw it when it is absolutely necessary, 2) Weight must come out of the Sherman Tank Champ Cars, 3) Drivers must be forced to start the race with whatever fuel is left in the tank after qualifying. Mark C.
10/26/04
nascar
All 10 bodies recovered All 10 bodies recoveredCrews on all-terrain vehicles on Monday recovered all 10 bodies from the wreckage of a Hendrick Motorsports plane that was carrying family and friends of one of NASCAR's top syndicates.  Federal investigators said they did not know what caused the Beech 200 King Air to crash Sunday en route from Concord, N.C., to Martinsville Speedway, about seven miles east of the crash site on Bull Mountain in the foothills of the Appalachians.  A bulldozer cleared a path to the crash site so ATVs could recover the bodies.  "The only method we have of getting up to the scene is on ATVs ... so it's a tedious and slow process," State Police Sgt. Rob Carpentieri said. He said the bodies were taken to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for identification.  The plane had no flight data record, cockpit voice recorder or ground proximity monitoring system, said Brian Rayner, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator. AP Story
10/26/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'04 won't be beaten - Brawn
'Well rounded' Coulthard
Mexico's back in F1
Friday to seal Jag's fate
Montoya can be 'even better'
Schu 'sorry' for teammate
Toyota rue 'freedom' demise
Webber's 'the man' - Purnell
'Piddling' plan - president
'Tear up' proposal - Todt
New quali 'complicated' - FIA
Ford pull-out 'good for Jag'
Ferrari scupper BAR deal
Williams to 'correct' trend
Ferrari can 'do better'
Franck 'didn't deserve' seat
Teams want to end tire war
'I'm not a self-promoter'
Mexico not replacing Brit GP
'I don't care' about Montoya
'Third' car to cost $10m
10/25/04
nascar
Statement From Jack Roush on Hendrick tragedy Statement From Jack Roush on Hendrick tragedyJack Roush –  “My heart and prayers go out to the Hendrick family and the families of all who lost their lives in this tragedy. Like the entire Hendrick organization, fans, followers and supporters, I too feel the tremendous loss.

Mark Martin – “I was hoping never to have to hear this again in my lifetime, I just feel so  bad that it's unreal. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of those involved in this terrible tragedy.”

Greg Biffle – “I really don't have the words to express the sorrow I feel for Rick Hendrick, the entire Hendrick organization and the families and friends of those whose lives were taken by this tragic accident.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of them.

“I'd become very good friends over the years with many of those involved and I'm just heartbroken.  I'm deeply saddened and I have an empty feeling inside of me, as does the entire NASCAR family.  All of them will be greatly missed."

Matt Kenseth --  "I really don't know what to say, this is such a terrible tragedy.  It's not only a tragedy for NASCAR, but it's a personal one for the Hendrick Family--Rick has been through a lot this year already and I think the best thing any of us can do right now is just pray for them.  We all knew the people aboard and Randy Dorton has been a very close friend of mine.  We just need to pray for everybody right now for what they're going through."

Kurt Busch --  "It's such an extremely unfortunate situation. It's certainly something that illustrates how close-knit the entire racing community really is, and right now we're all just thinking and praying for all of the families."

Carl Edwards –  "This is certainly a great tragedy not only for Hendrick Motorsports but for the entire sport.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all my peers at Hendrick Motorsports and to all the family members and friends of each of the 10 individuals who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy." 

10/25/04
nascar
DuPont statement on Joe Jackson DuPont statement on Joe JacksonJoe Jackson, director of the DuPont Motorsports program, was among 10 people killed Sunday when an aircraft owned by Hendrick Motorsports, the company's partner in the NASCAR® No. 24 DuPont car, crashed en route to the NASCAR race at Martinsville, Virginia. Also on board were members of the Hendrick family and staff.

Jackson was instrumental in the development of the DuPont Motorsports program and routinely represented the company at NASCAR races. His entire 36-year DuPont career was spent in the Automotive Refinish business.  The following letter was sent today to DuPont Performance Coatings employees by Ed Donnelly, group vice president -- DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies:

"By now, many of you have heard that a Hendrick Motorsports aircraft crashed yesterday near Martinsville, Va., the site of yesterday's NASCAR race. Joe Jackson, a dear member of our DPC family, perished in that crash, along with members of the Hendrick family and staff members.

"NASCAR was a passion for Joe. He loved the sport and our role in it. His dedication to our business was apparent to all of us. But more than that, Joe, his DuPont colleagues and the Hendrick team were like family.

"Of course, there will be many tributes to Joe, large and small. And aside from the official observances, we will all mourn and celebrate him in our own way.

"All of our energies now must be devoted to doing everything humanly possible to support the family of friend and colleague. Joe's wife, Jan, his children, Jane and Jeffrey, and his other loved ones are in our prayers. Their grief is our grief.

"We will have information very shortly about how all of us in the DPC family can join in an expression of our love and support for Joe and his family.  For now, though, just remember Joe."

10/25/04
champcar
Critics apply heat, but it's paradise in Surfers Critics apply heat, but it's paradise in SurfersGrandstands and high-rise balconies were filled with diehard fans and partygoers, creating a colorful canyon of high-octane action ending with Brazilian Bruno Junqueira taking the checkered flag. But only one thing was louder than the shirt Premier Peter Beattie wore to yesterday's big race. That was his unwavering support for the event in the face of recent criticism questioning its economic benefit to Queensland.

"We as a government invest $11 million worth of taxpayers' money into this event. We think it's money well spent and we're going to continue to do that," Mr. Beattie said. "Queenslanders, regardless of where they live, they get a benefit out of this. I know there's some argument about whether it's worth $50 million or $49 million or $51 million. I mean, who cares? This is a major event for the state that produces great returns."

His comments follow last week's criticism by Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke over the credibility of a report, commissioned by Indy's promoters, that the four-day carnival injects more than $50 million into the state's economy. "Is it one of those reports, put out by the ones that are making money from it (Indy)? I've never seen it but I would love to see it," said Mr. Clarke, who boycotted the event. Courier Mail

But amid yesterday's balmy trackside atmosphere, Mr. Beattie was by no means feeling the heat over the attack. "I know the Mayor of the Gold Coast has some issues," he said. "But I think it's important that we talk this event up and support it . . . because this puts Queensland and the Gold Coast on the national and international map."

The North American-based Champ cars first hit the Gold Coast's streets in 1991 and are now supported by the popular V8 Supercar series.

AVESCO chairman Tony Cochrane, boss of the V8 Supercar series, said Mr. Clarke had not contributed a dollar to the event. "Why doesn't he do us all a favor and go back to Victoria," Mr. Cochrane said. The Gold Coast Indy's current contract with Champ car organizers runs until 2008. Mr. Beattie said under new owners – Open Wheel Racing Series – the event had a "long-term future". "It all works and we're happy with it at the moment and don't see why that'll change," he said. "There's something special about coming to the Gold Coast. You go and talk to the Indy drivers, they'll tell you that as well." Lexmark Indy 300 chairman John Cowley said: "Fourteen years this event has been going, it's not leaving town."

10/25/04
Champcar
Patrick Carpentier held overnight for observations Patrick Carpentier held overnight for observationsUPDATE Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier left hospital Monday under doctors' orders to rest for a few days after surviving a late-race Champ Car crash at the Lexmark Indy 300 on Sunday. Carpentier was unconscious for 15 seconds when his Forsythe Racing Ford Lola slammed at 250 km/h into a cement wall and tire barrier with four laps to go. ``I'm a bit dizzy still but all in all it's pretty good I guess,'' he said Monday. ``It's not good when you lose consciousness but it's pretty good to be back. ``Within a week my balance and everything should be back. Now if I turn fast it's like slow motion a little bit but I'm OK. I'm very happy.'' Carpentier, who has a concussion, lost control after a loose nosecone and front wings broke away, leaving him without steering or brakes. ``I was just a passenger,'' he said Monday. ``I remember hitting the first (wall) and they say I hit a second time but I don't remember this one. I was traveling at 250 (km/h) so it was pretty fast. It's always a good thing when you come out and just have a concussion.'' A CT scan at a Gold Coast hospital cleared the 33-year-old native of Joliette, Que., of serious injuries. AP Story 10/24/04 Champ Car driver Patrick Carpentier (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is awake, alert and uninjured after an accident in the waning laps of Sunday’s Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia.  As reported by Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Chris Pinderski, Carpentier suffered a brief loss of consciousness in the accident, and was transported to Gold Coast Hospital for precautionary tests. Carpentier received a CT scan that showed no injuries and he will be held overnight in the hospital for observation. He is expected to be released in the morning.  What follows is a quote from Forsythe Championship Racing Vice-President of Operations Neil Micklewright.  “Obviously we were aware of the damage to the front wing and that it was waving around.  Subsequent to a discussion that included driver Patrick Carpentier, the decision was made to continue the race in the hope that the wing would stay in place.  Given Patrick’s position in the championship standings and the number of points at stake, the team, along with Patrick, felt this was the correct course of action.  The most important thing is that Patrick is okay and for that we are all happy and grateful.”
10/25/04
nascar
SPEED to air Hendrick special SPEED to air Hendrick specialSPEED Channel will air a 30-minute special report beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight on the Hendrick Motorsports plane tragedy. Ralph Sheheen will host the program from the SPEED studios in Charlotte.  Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon, originally scheduled to be Dave Despain's in-studio guest tonight on Wind Tunnel, will not be on the show for obvious reasons. NASCAR Busch Series points leader Martin Truex Jr. has agreed to take Gordon's spot on tonight's show.
10/25/04
nascar
NTSB launches team to investigate crash NTSB launches team to investigate crashThe National Transportation Safety Board has launched a Go Team to investigate the crash of a Beech 200 King Air in Martinsville, Virginia.  On October 24, 2004 about 12:30 p.m. EDT, a twin-engine turboprop carrying 8 passengers and 2 crew impacted mountainous terrain while executing an approach to runway 30 at the Blue Ridge Airport, in Martinsville.  All on board were fatally injured.  It was reported that Hendrick Motorsports, Inc., which owns and supports many NASCAR race teams, owns the aircraft.  Brian Rayner is the Investigator-in-Charge of the NTSB team of 5 investigators.  Terry Williams is the NTSB press officer traveling with the team and a representative from the Board's Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance will provide on-scene coordination and family affairs assistance.  Information regarding the investigation will be released from the accident scene in Martinsville, Virginia. NTSB
10/25/04
nascar
Tony George statement on Hendrick plane crash Tony George statement on Hendrick plane crashA statement from Tony George, president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, about the tragic crash of a Hendrick Motorsports plane Oct. 24 near Martinsville, Va., in which all 10 people on board lost their lives. Hendrick has won the Brickyard 400 four times at IMS with driver Jeff Gordon:  "At moments like this, it is difficult to adequately express the deep sense of loss so many friends and families are feeling. Times of reflection for me in the near future will be full of prayer for Rick Hendrick, his family and his entire organization. We can take comfort, though, in knowing that the 10 souls that were taken yesterday made our lives richer for having known them, and we should always hold dear their memory."
10/25/04
NASCAR
Driver Quote of the Week Driver Quote of the WeekYesterday, Penske teammates Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace were beating and banging each other for position at Martinsville. Here are their reactions after the race: RYAN NEWMAN: “I don’t guess Rusty and I are on speaking terms right now. I know I was underneath him, and I know he came down on me. I wasn’t going to give him anything, so he got loose and lost a bunch of spots. Then he came up and hit me after the race. Our car was faster than his at the end. I’m not sure if he’s aware of that, but he will be." RUSTY WALLACE: “I didn’t see him all day long. He thought he was faster than me? I guess that’s why he ran through the quarterpanel. I told him to stay out of my way, and I could win the race, but he didn’t do it. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll talk a little bit. I want to see what he was thinking. I know what he was thinking. He was trying to get the best finish he could.” Ray Cooper, PR -Now, now boys....play nice..... Doug B
10/25/04
NASCAR
Drivers React to Hendrick Tragedy Drivers React to Hendrick TragedyDALE EARNHARDT JR: “It’s hard to express how it feels to hear the news about the Hendrick plane crash. It’s like a hammer to the chest. It takes the wind out of you. The Hendricks are a great family and they’ve always been very generous to me and to everyone in NASCAR. It’s helpful to have a strong family to surround you, and I know the Hendricks are a great family. For me, being in the garage is like being surrounded by your closest friends and family, and it really helped me through some rough times. I’m sure Rick and all the families involved will receive the support they need from everyone in the NASCAR family.” KEN SCHRADER: “Ann and I have lost some great friends, and our hearts are broken for all of their families. While we are grateful for the time we had with them, we will miss them greatly. Through nine years of working for Rick Hendrick, his family became our family. It's incredibly hard right now; we just need to keep our thoughts and prayers with all of the families involved. As much as they did for our sport, it can't begin to compare with how they touched our lives.” JOHN ANDRETTI: “I think everybody in the sport is in shock right now. We lost a lot of talented people, but we also lost of lot of really good people. This obviously affects Hendrick Motorsports but it affects all of us in motorsports when good people with great talents are taken away from you. Nancy and I are praying for the families and friends of those we lost, and we mourn with them.”
10/25/04
nascar
Childress statement on Hendrick plane crash Childress statement on Hendrick plane crashThe following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, regarding the Hendrick Motorsports aviation tragedy:  It’s a tremendous loss to the Hendrick family, the Hendrick Motorsports organization and NASCAR as a whole. It’s really hard to imagine. We spend so much time together during the year that, when a tragedy like this strikes, it hits deep and it hits hard because we are so close to one another. We are like family and our thoughts and prayers go out to Rick and all of the families who lost loved ones.
10/25/04
F3000
New F3000 series approved New F3000 series approvedThe Executive committee of the Italian ASN, CSAI, has approved Coloni Motorsport's proposed plan for a National Formula 3000 series for 2005. The category, to be called the Italian F3000 series, will consist of eight events in Italy and will be open to all F3000 Lola chassis constructed from 1999 to 2004. Coloni Motorsport has started negotiations with ACI Sport in order to define a promotional program of the series. Autosport
10/25/04
champcar
Surfers race promoter ecstatic Surfers race promoter ecstaticA record four-day crowd, plus a Sunday afternoon of motorsport without a wild storm, brought smiles all round. Gold Coast Indy chairman John Cowley was "the happiest chairman in the world" last night. Yesterday's crowd was 107,321, slightly down on last year but the four-day event saw a record crowd of 309,583, up almost 3000 on last year's attendances. "How couldn't you be happy?" Mr. Cowley said. "Good weather, good people, good fun and good motor racing with two major championships. What more could you want?" Courier Mail
10/25/04
renault2000
Gelles team rakes in honors Gelles team rakes in honorsWith the completion of the North American Formula Renault series, Gelles Racing turned out to be the winningest team in the 2004 championship. Argentinean Juan Martin Ponte has clinched the drivers’ title with a 13-point lead over Marcos Gomes from Brazil and former Gelles 2003 driver, Canadian Antoine Bessette. Ponte completed the season with Gelles. Best Rookie and best American in 2004 was Mid America Motorworks driver Michael Yager racing for Gelles the full season.   "We are very happy for our drivers and our team, declared team owner Bob Gelles. Our team worked hard from the first race in the Winter series and always gave our drivers excellent cars. Martin Ponte joined us at the end of the season with the financial help of Revelos Group, Western Union and Care Centric, racing the final 25% of the calendar: he was very happy to win the Championship title under Gelles colors, we look forward to his return full time in 2005. Michael Yager reached both goals he had set for himself in April: becoming the series best Rookie and top American driver. Obviously the busiest team in the championship, Gelles dominated, credit to the committed hard work of the entire staff.  I am most blessed to have such tremendous employees, thank you all, let's do it again two times in 2005!”
10/25/04
nascar
Hendrick Motorsports statement on plane crash Hendrick Motorsports statement on plane crashHendrick Motorsports officials have confirmed that an airplane owned by the organization was reported missing and downed today.  The craft was en route to Martinsville, Va., from Concord, N.C.  The following is a full list of passengers: Randy Dorton, Hendrick Motorsports engine director; John Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports president; Jennifer Hendrick, daughter of John Hendrick; Kimberly Hendrick, daughter of John Hendrick; Ricky Hendrick, son of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and owner of two NASCAR teams; Joe Jackson, sponsor representative; Scott Lathram, employee of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart; Elizabeth Morrison, co-pilot; Richard Tracy, pilot; and Jeff Turner, Hendrick Motorsports general manager.  Hendrick Motorsports asks that those affected be kept in your thoughts and prayers, and respectfully requests that privacy be considered throughout this difficult time.  Further inquiries regarding the investigation of this incident should be directed to the appropriate government agencies.
10/25/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Dangerous' Kimi fined
Minardi celebrate 20
Massa led a lap
Happier Jacques
Button disappointed
Jordan 'heartened'
Webber fumes at Klien
DC's rueful farewell
'I still feel fresh' - Schu
No swipe at Ferrari - Sauber
Cosworth to be sold - Purnell
Coulthard, Heidfeld, 'on list'
FIA sanction unofficial Brit GP
GPWC to issue statement
Jordan might not lose B&H
Webber made 'ass' of Schu
Bittersweet success
Letter is 'conspiracy' - Todt
No Ferrari 'conspiracy'
Ford make Jordan an offer
Teams halt unofficial Brit GP
Brit GP talks 'back on'
'Too late' for team change
Flavio may stay - Renault
10/24/04
Champcar
Champ Car had better get their heads out of sand Champ Car had better get their heads out of sandUPDATE #2 Speedway president Joie Chitwood said track officials were still considering whether to host Formula One's only United States race for a seventh year.  "At this point in time I can't confirm there will be a 2006 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis," Chitwood told the USA Today.  "Obviously, there is always a concern of something like what happened this year happen again," Chitwood said. "We're having discussions on what makes sense for us."

Michelin spokesman Michael Fanning said the company's troubles at Indianapolis were an aberration. "This is something that will never happen again," he said.

06/29/05 A reader adds, While the IMS ticket office is not cashing checks or charging credit cards while taking orders, the same cannot be said of ticket renewals placed online. My credit card was immediately charged and appeared on my credit card account within 1 day. Dan Racan 06/29/05 An IMS telephone operator yesterday said of tickets for the ’06 race: “We are taking orders from our subscribers, but we will not cash their checks or charge their credit cards until after IMS has made a decision on the future of the event” Toronto Sun
10/24/04
Champcar
Champ Car officials come under fire again Champ Car officials come under fire againA reader writes, I told my girlfriend Linda while we were watching the race that allowing Carpentier to remain on track was dangerous not only for him and the drivers, but for the fans as well. The officials were stupid to let him continue to race. Everyone was lucky that no drivers or fans were injured when the wing broke and apparently went over the fence and when its failure put Carpentier hard into the wall. Mark McCauley, Hurst TX Another reader writes, Why didn't the race officials red-flag the race at the end until Carpentier's accident was cleaned up, so the Australia fans could have seen a green flag finish? After the bad weather ruined the race for them the last two years, that's the least they could have done for them this year. Greg Turnbull, LA, CA Gentlemen, The officials discussed Carpentier's wing with the team, but because he was in the championship title hunt they did not want to black-flag him and take him out of the hunt unless the team agreed. As for the red-flag at the end, we would have red-flagged it since the race was on TV tape-delayed in most markets anyway. It would have left just a lap or two under green, so it's possible the finish order would not have changed, but it certainly would have made the finish a bit more exciting for the paying customers. On another topic, by eliminating the pit windows, the race became a fuel economy run again and no one was using their push-to-pass button much, thereby negating its effectiveness. How many times do we have to say that although the pit windows are a bit artificial, they ensure the drivers run 100% the whole race because they have little to gain by conserving fuel. Mark C.
10/24/04
Champcar
Champ Car and its Bush League TV channel Champ Car and its Bush League TV channelA reader writes, What happened to the audio on the Spike TV broadcast of the Surfer's Paradise Champ Car race? The commentators could barely be heard over the sounds of the cars, at least on my Direct TV setup. Only diehard Champ Car fans would have stayed tuned. And Champ Car has to pay for this? Please refrain from using my name if you publish this. Thanks. Name Withheld Another reader writes, I watched the Champ Car race on the computer last night ( OWRS Race Director) and the 4PM replay on Spike TV. What's with the audio mixing on Spike TV? They are running the background audio way too loud... to the point where you can hardly hear the announcers, who are sitting in a studio somewhere in the USA. Are they trying to simulate the track, where the cars drown out the PA? Or is this a ploy to get 13 year olds to watch, or is this just plain incompetence from a bush league network? Jim Barrie, Madeira OH Gentlemen, We heard the same complaints from DISH TV satellite viewers as well. However, the audio was better for some cable TV viewers. Bottom line - this year's TV broadcast quality has reached a new all-time low and the damage done to the Champ Car series is unconscionable. Whoever put this deal together must work for Champ Car's enemies. Mark C.
10/24/04
nascar
Hendrick plane crashes, 10 killed Hendrick plane crashes, 10 killedUPDATE The FAA confirms everyone on board was killed. The list of passengers is as follows: Ricky Hendrick, John Hendrick, Kimberly Hendrick, Jennifer Hendrick, Dick Tracy, Joe Jackson, Liz Morrison, Jeff Turner, Randy Dorton, and Scott Lathum.  We have received the following information regarding the relationship of the planes passengers to the Hendrick Racing Team... John Hendrick was team owner Rick Hendrick's brother. Ricky Hendrick was Rick Hendrick's son. Kimberly Hendrick and Jennifer Hendrick were John's twin daughters, Dick Tracy and Liz Morrison were the pilots, Jeff Turner was the VP and General Manager of Hendrick Motorsports. Randy Dorton was an engine builder for the company.   Roger Penske's plane tried to land at the same airport but could not due to poor conditions.  Apparently the airport does not have the latest electronic guidance systems.  Our condolences go out to the entire family. 10/24/04 A plane owned by the Hendrick Motorsports organization crashed with 10 people aboard on its way to a NASCAR race Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.  There was no word on fatalities or injuries, FAA spokeswoman Arlene Murray said.  NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said the FAA has notified the National Transportation Safety Board, and "they're investigating to see what might have happened or what has happened."  Murray said the Beech 200 took off from Concord, N.C., and crashed in the Bull Mountain area about seven miles west of the Martinsville airport at about 12:30 p.m.  Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Bailey said rescue workers could not immediately reach the crash site because of the rough terrain. More at Sports Illustrated  [Editor's Note:  In another report it was stated all 10 aboard were killed.]
10/24/04
nascar
McMurray wins M'Ville truck race McMurray wins M'Ville truck raceJamie McMurray held off Dennis Setzer over the last ten laps of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday to win his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. McMurray's Ultra Motorsports prepared Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was nearly flawless all afternoon on Martinsville Speedway's newly resurfaced 0.526 mile oval.   "We had a really good truck here," McMurray said after the race. "We've been good every time we've been in the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. We just haven't been able to put that win together. It's real cool to get it here at Martinsville. This is probably one of my favorite racetracks. I love to come here. It's different than the typical mile and a half racetracks we go to every week. They did a great job repaving the track. It's really special to get the win here. It's harder to pass here than in the past. Every time they repave a racetrack it seems to take awhile."
10/24/04
News
Additional AutoRacing1 URL options Additional AutoRacing1 URL optionsWe are pleased to announce that you have two additional ways to reach AutoRacing1.com now, thereby making it easier to remember us. Besides the traditional www.AutoRacing1.com, you can also type in www.AutoRacingOne.com (or just AutoRacingOne.com without the www prefix) and www.AR1.ws (or just AR1.ws without the www prefix). The .WS extension is new for the internet and stands for WebSite.   Of course the 'official' name of our website remains AutoRacing1.com and AutoRacing1, Inc. the company name. Mark Cipolloni, President
10/24/04
Industry News
Ford jumps on V10 bandwagon Ford jumps on V10 bandwagonFrom a Ford press release - "For the first time, Ford’s aluminum 3-valve cylinder head, introduced on the 2004 F-150, is available on a V-10 engine. The new 6.8-liter, 3-valve Triton V-10 is the most powerful gasoline engine in the class, with 355 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque – both class-leading figures. Like all of the Super Duty engines, it uses electronic throttle control for efficiency and quick response."   Now it remains to be seen when Ford will offer a V10 in a passenger car like many other manufacturers are doing.  BTW, Dodge already offers the Viper V10 in its SRT-10 truck.
10/24/04
Champcar
Canada wins Nations Cup Canada wins Nations CupPaul Tracy’s fourth-place finish clinched the Champ Car Nations Cup for Canada today, giving the Canadians their second consecutive Nations Cup.  Drivers Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani contributed points to the cause this season.
10/24/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Paddock talk - Brazil
Renault commit to 2007
F1 nod for Sunday qualifying
Paddock talk 2 - Brazil
French GP saved - Faure
Rubens backs IRL champion
New quali is 'confusing'
Paddock talk 3 - Brazil
F1 teams want testing cut
Ferrari under fire
Renault may supply second team
Jag could've been 'British Ferrari'
Frank offers to buy Button
DC's nightmare finale
Bernie can't axe Brit GP
Ferrari 'not invited' to meeting
10/24/04
champcar
Champ Car attendance tops 309K at Surfers Champ Car attendance tops 309K at SurfersUPDATE #2 Sunday's announced attendance was 107,321, bringing the weekend total to 309,583 fans (an event record), the 2nd largest on the Champ Car circuit behind Mexico City which will attract over 400,000 in two weeks time.  Visibly the crowd was larger than we have ever seen at Surfers.  This is the second consecutive year that the Australia event has surpassed the 300,000 mark. 10/23/04 Saturday’s attendance of 85,741 is a new event record for the Champ Car race in Surfers Paradise and boosts the three-day attendance figure to 202,262. Attendance on each of the three days of this year’s event has improved over last year’s numbers. 10/22/04 The Friday attendance at Surfers Paradise was 62,943, a figure that was up over 2,000 over last year. The two-day attendance for the event is 116,521 with the two biggest days yet to come.
10/23/04
Champcar
Besnard Sets High Expectation Besnard Sets High ExpectationAustralian driver David Besnard today fell short of his own expectation in the second and final qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.  Besnard had a troublesome day that started just five minutes into the morning's 75 minute practice session.   Besnard hit a bump while changing gear and, with the wheels of his Wright Patton Shakespeare/Walker Racing Reynard in the air, the gear change damaged his gearbox.  He pulled the car into the pits after just two laps and was forced to cool his heels for about 45 minutes while his crew made some running repairs to the third gear.   Besnard completed another two laps but the gearbox problems remained and he was forced to park the car for the duration of the session.

He had completed just four laps of the challenging Surfers Paradise street circuit.  "Considering I haven't really driven these cars before I couldn't really afford to lose the session," said Besnard.   He returned to the track for the afternoon qualifying session with a new gearbox and found an extra one second on the time he set when he placed 13th in the first qualifying session from Friday.  However, late in qualifying he ran out of fuel and caused the session to be red flagged. He was subsequently penalized his fastest qualifying lap.  The penalty saw him drop to 17th in qualifying. He will start from that position for Sunday's main race.

"I had bigger expectation for today," he said.  "After putting the thing 13th yesterday I felt I had more to improve than the guys who have been doing it for a long time.  Hurting the gearbox this morning really cost me a lot. I could have taken one and a half hours this morning to get comfortable. Instead, I had to put it on the line in 15 minutes rather than one hour and 15 minutes."

Besnard said he was dealt a double-blow at the end of the session when he ran out of fuel and was penalized his fastest lap.  "It was a double-whammy for me because I was on a quicker lap again when it happened. It was a kick in the guts as I lost my other lap as well," he said.  Besnard said he would be relaxed going into Sunday's Lexmark Indy 300.  "Tomorrow isn't about going quick," he said.  "It's about staying straight and attrition. I will be watching them fall off in front and hopefully I will be out-thinking a few of them as well."

Besnard is racing in the Champ Car in a one-off drive courtesy of his WPS Racing team owner Craig Gore, who negotiated a deal with Champ Car series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven and Walker Racing principal Derrick Walker.  He will resume his place in the WPS Racing Ford Falcon in the next round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Tasmania next month. WPS Racing

10/23/04
f1
9 of 10 F1 teams agree to curtailed testing 9 of 10 F1 teams agree to curtailed testingNine Formula One teams issued proposals to dramatically reduce costs in the sport next year as they turned the heat on world champions Ferrari in Brazil on Saturday. All teams, with the exception of the current title-holders, issued a joint-statement of proposed changes, which include a significant reduction in testing. And if Ferrari, who are against the changes because of the limitation on testing, also agree to their demands next year's British and French Grands Prix will go ahead. The nine teams met without Ferrari on Saturday morning, having failed to get the support of the world champions for their cost-cutting plans in two meetings on Friday.

The proposals will see costs substantially reduced with a cut in testing to 10 days per team with the Friday of Grand Prix weekends being made an unofficial testing day with two two-hour sessions. The scheme still needs the backing of Ferrari to go ahead in 2005, but could be put in place the following season without the Italian team.  They also agreed to a control tire rule to slow the runaway escalation of speeds caused by  the tire war.

"All teams, expect Ferrari, agreed the measures outlined, which will substantially and tangibly reduce, in both the short and long term, the teams' costs and significantly enhance the spectacle of the sport," the statement said. "At the meeting, Mr. Ecclestone (the sport's commercial rights holder) proposed a 19-race calendar, which included the French and British Grands Prix as the 18th and 19th races respectively. The attending teams agreed that if the significant cost-saving measures could be instituted by 2005, this would allow the French and British Grands Prix to proceed."

Ron Dennis, the McLaren team boss, had earlier expressed the frustrations of the teams at Ferrari's failure to agree to change. "I think there is a lot of frustration at the transcendence of some people to embrace the necessity for radical change," Dennis said. "The majority of the teams are deeply frustrated."

10/23/04
Champcar
How history will remember Andretti How history will remember AndrettiA generation or two hence, when historians look back on auto racing in this country, the name Mario Andretti will prominently appear. But, as I see it, not for all the obvious reasons. Victories in the Indy and Daytona 500s, Sebring and the world F-1 championship are reasons enough; however there’s another highly significant plus. When Mario Andretti talks, he speaks with intelligence, understanding, thought and meaning. His TV interviews and public pronouncements have always contained substance, a facet missing from many driver utterances. Last week Mario was Grand Marshal of New York City’s Columbus Day Parade. He rode up 5th Ave. in an Italian-made Lamborghini Murciélago Spyder with N.Y. City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki. But who did the NYC press quote? Not the mayor nor the governor. Reporters preferred Mario’s wonderful testament to the meaning of the Day, the Italian people and his pride in those from his native land. Bravo, Mario. Chris Economaki, National Speed Sport News
10/23/04
irl
f1
Honda says two different things Honda says two different thingsA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, In your "Rumors" section you had snippet on Honda pulling out on F1. If that is the reasoning for Honda F1 involvement why are they throwing money down the sewer in IRL when those are the same restrictions placed on the crapwagon engines? Yes, I know about the marketing premise of the US but people buy Honda's because of their reliability and quality not watching the IRL as proven by their race and TV numbers.

There is one point in Mr. Szafnauer's statement that does hold for IRL in that it is a "level" racing field with full throttle racing. "Honda’s Otmar Szafnauer commented. “One of the reasons we are here is so that we can fight the others on a level playing field in a formula that is not very restrictive. Once you start restricting it, the challenge goes away. That is not what Honda is here for.”

Szafnauer’s biggest beef surround restricting design freedom. “Defining the weight that the engine has to be, and the center of gravity, the bore size and the cylinder spacing – those are the main issues,” ..." Honda brings further disgrace to themselves in being two-faced again. I still won't purchase Honda products. Greg W.. Dear Greg, Honda is in F1 for the technology, they are in the IRL for totally different reasons. Until they move into NASCAR the IRL is an avenue to market to the American public who are used to dumbed down racing in NASCAR. Mark C.
10/23/04
f1
F1 approves Sunday qualifying F1 approves Sunday qualifyingToday, the FIA issued a bulletin outlining changes to the qualifying format to come into use as of the start of the 2005 Formula 1 World Championship. There will still be two sessions, but the main difference is that one session will take place on Saturday from 13h00 to 14h00, with the second on Sunday morning, from 10 to 11. The biggest change is that the grid positions will be decided by aggregating a driver’s times from both sessions, with the lowest aggregate obviously taking pole. A further change concerns the running order for the first session. Instead of running the cars in the order in which they finished the previous grand prix, with the winner going first, the order from the previous race will be reversed, so the complete opposite of this year’s system. Fuel loads will be free for Saturday’s session. The cars will then go into parc ferme after the first session, but refueling will be allowed prior to the second session. As is the case at the moment, there will be no refueling permitted between the end of the second session and the start of the race, so that they will qualify with their initial race fuel load on board.
10/23/04
champcar
Bourdais needs just 7 points more than Junqueira Bourdais needs just 7 points more than JunqueiraSebastien Bourdais needs to outscore Junqueira by seven points this weekend in Surfers Paradise to prevent a nail-biting showdown at the season finale in Mexico City. “I think it will be mathematically pretty difficult to pick up seven points on Bruno in the race because he is going to be so close,” Bourdais said. “We are going to more or less try to put the McDonald's car up there and see if the race comes to us. But if the championship goes to Mexico City, I'm fine with that.”

Junqueira rebounded strongly after a faulty gear position sensor on Friday that left him way down in 16th on the overnight grid. After vaulting to the top of the charts early in Saturday's qualifying session, he was eclipsed by Bourdais just after the halfway mark before going back out and nipping his teammate by 0.028s. Because his time was subsequently beaten by Tracy, however, Junqueira was demoted to third on the starting grid.

“I was very happy with the PacifiCare car today but I left a little bit on the table,” reckoned the Brazilian. “I was on a very good, mega lap and hit the tires and it cost me some time. It's a shame that the red flag ended the session with three minutes to go. After having the gear problem yesterday it was good to be able to make runs on both sets of tires today and that helped us improve our position. I need to finish in front of Sebastien but I'm going to try to win the race. I'm not thinking about the championship; I'm just thinking about getting the best result possible in the race.”

10/23/04
f1
Webber hopes Pizzonia is not teammate Webber hopes Pizzonia is not teammateMark Webber is secretly hoping Frank Williams does not hire Antonio Pizzonia to be his 2005 team-mate. The pair raced together at Jaguar in 2003 -- and Australian-born Webber thrashed the young 'Jungle Boy' until he was fired. But Williams' test driver improved his stock in 2004 by racing impressively in Ralf Schumacher's injured shoes, and is still regarded highly by Frank and F1 partner Patrick Head.  27-year-old Webber said in Sao Paulo: ''(Antonio) is still vulnerable to inconsistencies. He can get frustrated. It sounds obvious, but he did not do a good job at all at Jaguar.''  Pizzonia annoyed Mark when, earlier this season, he accused Jaguar of giving 'better equipment' to Webber in 2003. ''That's bull,'' Webber said on Friday. ''He was going to blow me away at Jaguar and he just didn't. We had the same chances.'' F1Racing.net
10/23/04
nascar
Earnhardt penalty left him feeling foolish Earnhardt penalty left him feeling foolishDale Earnhardt Jr. thought his appeal of a 25-point penalty for swearing on television would be overturned "on the drop of a hat." When it wasn't, he felt like he'd wasted his time. "I was really frustrated by the appeal," Earnhardt said Friday of his bid to have the point-docking and $10,000 fine overturned. The penalty was imposed for his use of vulgarity during a Victory Lane interview earlier this month at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR turned down the appeal this week wouldn't have went down there all the way to Daytona if I didn't feel like it was worth the trip," Earnhardt said. "They made you feel like they were listening to you while you were there, but I think the decision was already made before the wheels hit the ground, you know. I tried to state my case and I thought exactly what I said anybody would have turned it over on the drop of a hat," Earnhardt said after qualifying third for Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. "But I guess I felt more strongly about it than anyone else." The hearing, he said, left him feeling foolish. AP Story
10/23/04
f1
Button tops Saturday AM practice in Brazil Button tops Saturday AM practice in Brazil
Pos  Driver  Nat  Team  Laps  Time  Gap  To 1st

1.  Jenson Button  GB  BAR-Honda  9  1:11.466    
2.  Takuma Sato  J  BAR-Honda  11  1:11.580  0.114  0.114
3.  Kimi Raikkonen  FIN  McLaren-Mercedes  7  1:11.591  0.011  0.125
4.  Rubens Barrichello  BR  Ferrari  6  1:11.641  0.050  0.175
5.  Ralf Schumacher  D  Williams-BMW  8  1:11.714  0.073  0.248
6.  Michael Schumacher  D  Ferrari  9  1:11.740  0.026  0.274
7.  Giancarlo Fisichella  I  Sauber-Petronas  6  1:11.985  0.245  0.519
8.  Felipe Massa  BR  Sauber-Petronas  5  1:12.064  0.079  0.598
9.  David Coulthard  GB  McLaren-Mercedes  7  1:12.085  0.021  0.619
10.  Juan Pablo Montoya  COL  Williams-BMW  7  1:12.208  0.123  0.742
11.  Jarno Trulli  I  Toyota  5  1:12.263  0.055  0.797
12.  Mark Webber  AUS  Jaguar  8  1:12.356  0.093  0.890
13.  Fernando Alonso  E  Renault  7  1:12.563  0.207  1.097
14.  Christian Klien  A  Jaguar  8  1:12.612  0.049  1.146
15.  Ricardo Zonta  BR  Toyota  10  1:13.025  0.413  1.559
16.  Nick Heidfeld  D  Jordan-Ford  7  1:13.327  0.302  1.861
17.  Zsolt Baumgartner  H  Minardi-Cosworth  11  1:14.284  0.957  2.818
18.  Gianmaria Bruni  I  Minardi-Cosworth  10  1:14.336  0.052  2.870
19.  Timo Glock  D  Jordan-Ford  10  1:14.805  0.469  3.339
10/23/04
f1
Teams fight to save Britian and France Teams fight to save Britian and FranceThe fate of the threatened British and French Grands Prix could hinge on Formula One teams agreeing to further significant cost-cutting measures for next season. "Silverstone is not yet dead, the teams are working furiously to find a solution and throughout the team discussions, solutions were close for Silverstone and Magny-Cours," Minardi boss Paul Stoddart told Reuters at the Brazilian Grand Prix. "They're not done unless the teams can find a way to seriously reduce their costs." "It could well be that if we can get agreement this weekend, or shortly after it, to a few little things that we're trying to get agreement to from 10 teams, we could see an 18th or 19th grand prix." Stoddart would not give details but the measures were likely to concern limits on testing, which champions Ferrari have resisted in the past. Team bosses met Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone at Interlagos on Friday and will have more meetings over the weekend on a wide range of issues affecting the troubled sport's future.

The provisional calendar for 2005 has 19 races but teams are committed only to 17. Britain and France are subject to contracts being agreed. "Basically there was some serious discussion about cost saving," Toyota motorsport president John Howett, who also attended Friday's meetings, told Reuters. "Whether or not we can implement them we will have to wait and see, a couple of people may be resisting. "But overall I think there's a general understanding that we've got to go further even now than these regulation changes. "The issue obviously for some teams is that if there are 18, 19 races, how do they get reimbursed for the cost of those races? If we don't cut other things, it becomes really difficult for them to actually manage that. "For the smaller guys to do 19 races is impossible unless they get money and then you've either got to cut costs or they've got to be reimbursed. I think that was the position that was put forward," he said. Reuters

10/23/04
f1
Brazilian GP Friday Press Conference Brazilian GP Friday Press Conference Technical directors: Ross BRAWN (FERRARI), Mike GASCOYNE (TOYOTA), Sam MICHAEL (BMW WILLIAMS F1), Pat SYMONDS (RENAULT)  Transcript
10/23/04
nascar
Kvapil to race 4th Penske car at Martinsville Kvapil to race 4th Penske car at MartinsvilleUPDATE Roger Penske has turned some heads with the surprise entry of rookie Travis Kvapil in a fourth Penske team car here [Martinsville]. Penske's Don Miller had little to say about the entry, except that the decision was made Monday. Kvapil, who qualified an impressive fifth, is one of the drivers Penske has been testing for a possible Cup ride next season. "We're doing that development program and this an extension of that," Miller said. "Better to come here than Atlanta." Miller said this might be Kvapil's only run for Penske this fall. Next year? "Maybe next year," Miller said with a grin. "But I don't know what may happen next year. Next year is another year." Winston Salem Journal 10/20/04 2003 Truck Series champ Travis Kvapil will drive a fourth Dodge from the Penske Racing stable this weekend in the Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kvapil, who is also in Martinsville to compete in Saturday's Truck Series Kroger 200, will drive a #06 Dodge as a teammate to Penske Racing's Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and Penske Jasper Racing's Brendan Gaughan. "This is a continuation of our driver development program," Penske Racing co-owner Don Miller, the listed owner of the 06 car, said. "We're taking Travis to Martinsville in the same way we took Chad Blount to Talladega." Roy McCauley will lead the crew with Kvapil at Martinsville. Kvapil has been fodder in the Silly Season rumor mill since he tested a Penske Racing Dodge at Kansas Speedway in September. He's eighth in the standings, 381 points behind leader Bobby Hamilton with four races remaining. Kvapil has two victories this season, which were Toyota's first in the series. NASCAR.com
10/23/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Paddock talk - Interlagos
FIA publish new regulations
Jordan to skip 2005 season?
Paddock talk 2 - Interlagos

Unhappy with V8 engine rule
Bigger car numbers
Forget a sabbatical, DC
Toyota to rescue Jordan

Bernie backs unofficial Brit GP
'Pizza-boy doesn't deliver'
New Jag is 'gorgeous'
'05 rules 'sensible' - Brawn
FIA won't budge
Testers want F1 debut
Todt visits hospital 
'I'll race for free' - DC
'Third' car rule
Jordan to lose title sponsor
Pizzonia to get the nod
New rules to 'clash'
Jenson Button's 'headache'
Toyota must 'deliver' in '05
Montagny 'just missed out'
10/23/04
champcar
Laguna Seca announces 2005 Champ Car date Laguna Seca announces 2005 Champ Car dateThe Grand Prix of Monterey is scheduled for Sept. 9-11 and for the 25th consecutive year will feature the Champ Car World Series, pending final negotiations with the series. Support races for the weekend should include the crowd-pleasing Trans-Am, Toyota-Atlantic and Formula BMW Championships.
10/23/04
champcar
Bourdais leads Saturday practices in Surfers Bourdais leads Saturday practices in SurfersProvisional pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais picked up where he left off yesterday, setting the weekend's best time during both Saturday practice sessions at Surfers Paradise.  Qualifying is up next.
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