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Mike Joy's father dies Mike Joy's father diesM. Verne Joy, 91, passed away peacefully Oct. 30, at home in Athol, Mass. Joy is the father of Fox broadcaster Mike Joy. A 1938 graduate of Parks Air College of St. Louis University, Mr. Joy was an aeronautical engineer at Lockheed in Burbank, Calif. where he helped design the famed P-38 Lightning, and the Hudson bomber. In 1942, Verne oversaw restoration to flying condition of the first Japanese Zero fighter downed by allied forces. Test flying the Zero to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses was of great help to the air war in the Pacific. He later was materials control manager for production of the Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk. In March 1952, Verne joined the Fuller Brush Company's home office in Hartford, CT, named chief engineer in 1954, and national industrial sales manager in 1960. He was named vice president in 1969, and elected to the company’s board of directors. Mr. Joy retired in 1975 to Petersham, Mass., where he enjoyed mechanical restoration projects, served on the town finance committee, and was elected to the Board of Selectman.

Verne is survived by his wife Jean (Peters) Joy of Whitinsville, MA; sons Michael Kinsey Joy of Mooresville, NC and David Sullivan Joy of S. Windsor, CT; daughters Susan Jean Winters of Athol, Caroline Anne McKenney of Whitinsville, 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, his younger brothers Stephen and Oliver, and a daughter, Marian, from his first marriage. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations the Gardner Visiting Nurse Hospice Program, 34 Pearly Ln, Gardner, MA 01440.

Ragan in the No. 60 at Texas Ragan in the No. 60 at TexasIn addition to racing in the Truck Series race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, David Ragan will also attempt to make his third start in the Nextel Cup Series, driving the #60 Pennzoil Ford in the Dickies 500. Roush Racing PR
McLaren sign another Spanish sponsor McLaren sign another Spanish sponsor(GMM) As revealed last month, McLaren has now signed another Spanish sponsor in the form of bank Banco Santander Central Hispano.

Daily newspapers 'Marca' and 'As Diario' added on Tuesday that, like former Renault backer Mutua Madrilena, the Spanish bank was attracted to McLaren because it will feature in 2007 double world champion Fernando Alonso at the car's wheel.

In Madrid, team boss Ron Dennis signed the reportedly five year deal on Tuesday with Santander's executive vice-president Juan Manuel Cendoya. The contract begins on 1 January, including a logo on the MP4-22 car, and drivers' overalls and helmets, for a rumored cost of $13m per season.

It is reported that Banco Santander is part-owned by McLaren's other main Spanish sponsor, Mutua Madrilena. 'As' Newspaper says the sponsorship news could be a boost to Pedro de la Rosa, whose appointment in 2007 would complete an all-Spanish McLaren driver lineup.

Renault sponsor to rename Australian GP Renault sponsor to rename Australian GP(GMM) Renault's new title backer has penned a deal to also sponsor the first race of the 2007 grand prix season.

The multi million dollar deal will see the race at Melbourne's Albert Park next March renamed the 'Formula One ING Australian Grand Prix', following the Dutch financial giant's three-year agreement to similarly rename the championship-winning Renault team in 2007 and beyond.

A spokeswoman for the race organizers, Emma Tierney, confirmed upon request that the naming rights contract is for three years.

"We are proud to be aligned with such a highly regarded company," said Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker.

Sources suggested that ING's sponsorship is more lucrative than the former arrangements with Foster's and Qantas.

It was reported in April that beer brand Foster's would also pull out of sponsoring the British grand prix at Silverstone next year.

Industry News
Saab 9-7X Aero Concept Debuts at SEMA Saab 9-7X Aero Concept Debuts at SEMALAS VEGAS, NEVADA - The sophisticated, jet-originated Saab brand gets in touch with its inner funk and is strutting its new and improved hip side, as the 9-7X Aero Concept debuts at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association trade show here this week.

In a collaboration with the DUB customization company in Los Angeles, Saab's first ever SUV is decked-out with a high-level of specialized elements. Those include:

24-inch custom fabricated "Aero X" wheels and 225/30 Pirelli tires
Suede and leather interior trim
Custom front fender side vents
Custom three-inch lowered suspension
Borla Performance Exhaust System
Window and tail light tint
DVD/TV in-dash double-din head unit
Four, seven-inch TV monitors for seats
15-inch flip down LCD center
Two amplifiers and two 12-inch sub woofers with custom box

"DUB was really inspired by the Saab Aero X concept car and the 'Born from Jets' theme," says Myles Kovacs, president and co-founder of DUB Magazine and Industries. "We wanted to integrate it into a custom vehicle. The 9-7X is a great vehicle to customize. We are very pleased with the outcome. It looks hot." zzzz

The big question at the show very well may be: when will this black beauty go into production? "Shows such as SEMA provide Saab a terrific opportunity to try new things and quickly get the evolution out in front of the public," Julie Kenar, Saab Automobile USA 9-7X marketing manager explains. "This will act as a good gauge for whether this concept is one which resonates with customers."

Earlier this year, Saab announced the 9-7X Altitude Edition, of which only 500 will be produced. Beyond the extremely rich standard equipment of the 9-7X, the Altitude Edition includes 18" alloy polished wheels, side assist steps, a rear DVD player, and an exclusive carbon fiber gray metallic paint. The package will be offered at a savings of nearly $1,000 than if the items were ordered individually. The package is available on the six-cylinder 9-7X 4.2i and the 9-7X 5.3I V8 - which will bring the total vehicle price (MSRP, destination charge and Altitude package) to $42,130 and $44,130, respectively.

For 2007, OnStar-equipped 9-7X models will feature a new service called OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully-integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. Also in 2007, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System becomes standard equipment on the 9-7X, and one new color, Crystal Blue metallic, has been added.

The Saab 9-7X, which debuted in the summer of 2005, brings unique Saab characteristics to the SUV segment, including sophisticated styling inside and out, premium quality and design features, and sporty and fun-to-drive performance. With its high-level of standard equipment, the 9-7X offers a terrific value.

Saab is a division of General Motors Corp. Saab Automobile USA is the importer and/or distributor of Saab 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For the 2007 model year, Saab markets seven engines/transmissions that perform at an EPA-rated 30 mpg on the highway. Saab also offers vehicle warranty coverage for five-years or up to 100,000 miles. Visit www.saabusa.com for more information.

Alex Job dumps ALMS for Grand-Am exclusive Alex Job dumps ALMS for Grand-Am exclusiveAlex Job Racing has announced that it will not participate in the 2007 American Le Mans Series season. The Tavares, Fla. Based squad have competed in every one of the rounds since the series' inception in 1999. AJR scored a total of 39 victories, 46 pole positions and 79 podiums in that period of time, making it one of the most successful teams in series history. We had a very rough road in the ALMS this season,” explains team owner Alex Job. “Every year since 1999 we have been able to win at least three races, except for 2000 when we won twice, that shows how tough a year it was for the team.”

“We had excellent support from Bell Microproducts and hirewise all year,” Job continued.

”It will be a sad day for me when Sebring rolls around in March, having made 18 consecutive starts there with at least one car.”

The team is expected to solely concentrate on its Grand-Am Daytona Prototype efforts in 2007.

Champ Car unveils new Cooper Tire logo for Atlantic series Champ Car unveils new Cooper Tire logo for Atlantic seriesAt the Cooper Tire booth at the SEMA show in Las Vegas tonight, Champ Car and new series sponsor Cooper Tire unveiled the new series logo that incorporates the Cooper Tire branding. The series will be called the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Phil Caris, the VP of Marketing & Sales for Cooper Tires, said that Cooper is moving in the direction adding more performance tires to their lineup and he sees their relationship with the Atlantic Series as a perfect fit. They have a new Need for Speed Carbon game coming out for Playstation 2.

Atlantic Series champion Simon Pagenaud and James Hinchcliffe were also on hand, as was Bobby Unser Sr. and nephew Johnny Unser to sign autographs. Outside in front of a huge crowd Champ Car had four Mustang pace cars giving high-speed rides on a closed course for VIPs. Mark C.

Press Release

Officials from the Champ Car Atlantic Championship joined representatives from new series sponsor and exclusive tire supplier Cooper Tire today to unveil the new logo for the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. zzzz

Cooper Tire showcased the new series logo  Tuesday at a special press conference at the SEMA Show automotive trade spectacular at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Champ Car World Series President Steve Johnson and Champ Car Atlantic Managing Director Vicki O’Connor joined Cooper officials at the press conference as the company discussed its new marketing and product promotional efforts for 2007. Details of Cooper’s new three-year partnership with the Atlantic Championship were discussed as well as the tire company plans to maximize it newest motorsports relationship beginning in 2007.

“Cooper has a lot of great ideas and concepts that tie in perfectly with the Atlantic Championship and we know they’re going to bring a high-quality product to the race track,” said O’Connor. “We’re very happy to unveil the new series logo today, which showcases both series sponsors Cooper Tire and Mazda, and we’re definitely excited to start growing and cultivating this new partnership.”

“The Cooper/Champ Car Atlantic partnership is mutually beneficial. We have conducted extensive testing with the newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis and have been able to provide a tire that allows for the best possible setup for optimal performance of both the car and tire. The Cooper Tire racing slick allows for more adjustments in the mid-range, giving teams and drivers more scope overall. We are confident that the tires will meet and exceed the teams’ expectations, resulting in high-level competitive racing,” said Julian Baldwin, as Vice President, European Operations, and Managing Director, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe. 

Atlantic competitors have already begun testing the new Cooper Atlantic racing tire and the new rubber will make its official debut at the first series pre-season open test, scheduled for January 28-29, 2007 in Sebring, Florida. While Cooper Tire joins the Atlantic family in 2007, Mazda came on board as an official series partner in ’06 and also teamed with Cosworth to provide the 300-horspower Mazda-Cosworth engines that power all Atlantic Swift Engineering-designed chassis.

“It’s been a great first year for Mazda as a partner and engine-supplier to the Champ Car Atlantic series,” said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality for Mazda North American Operations, and the man responsible for all of Mazda’s North American motorsport activity through its MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development arm.  “We welcome Cooper Tire into the family, and fully expect they’ll quickly see the research-and-development and promotional benefits from their involvement in one of the best open-wheel racing series in the world.”

Forsythe chooses Martinez over Jourdain Jr. Forsythe chooses Martinez over Jourdain Jr.Wheeling, Illinois – Forsythe Championship Racing is proud to announce that it will field a car for Champ Car Atlantic graduate David Martinez at the upcoming Mexico City Grand Prix on November 10-12,  the final event of the year as Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

The young Mexican driver is the most recent graduate of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship to move up to the Champ Car World Series.  Martinez began his career like most other top open-wheel drivers in go karts at a very young age earning numerous championships in Mexico.  In 1997 he was named top rookie in the Formula 3000 Marlboro Cup.  In 2000 and 2001 he had consecutive fourth place finishes in the Mexican Formula 3 Championship.  Martinez made his debut in the Champ Car Ladder System in 2002 making one start in the Atlantic Championship in front of his home crowd in Monterrey, Mexico.  zzzz

A Barber Dodge Pro Series victory at Monterrey, Mexico and the Mexican Formula Renault Championship highlighted his 2003 season.  In 2004 Martinez migrated to Europe and produced five top-five results in the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup Series.  The 25 year old missed the first race of the year in the 2005 Champ Car Atlantic Championship but still managed to claim fifth in his rookie season. He finished third in his first race in Monterrey Mexico, captured his first career pole and scored a total of four podiums and seven top-five finishes.  In 2006 Martinez returned to Atlantic and repeated his fifth place in the championship despite a challenging season in which he switched teams halfway through the year, but still managed to continue his success on Mexican soil by finishing third at the Monterrey, Mexico event.

Martinez will team up with Paul Tracy and Buddy Rice in Mexico City and pilot Forsythe’s #33 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola in his Champ Car debut.  This will mark the first time since the end of the 2004 Season that the Forsythe Team will run a three car operation.  Martinez will get his first taste of a Champ Car on Friday November 3rd at the MSR Houston road course in a test alongside teammate Buddy Rice.

David Martinez
#33 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola
“I’m very happy, this is a dream come true!  Being able to make my Champ Car debut with one of the best teams in the world is incredible.  And what better place to start off this new stage of my life than in Mexico where everybody has supported me so much.  I want to thank Jerry Forsythe and his Team for believing in me, I know it’s not going to be easy but I’ve been waiting for a long time for this great opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.  Having Paul Tracy as a teammate will definitely be an advantage, he has a great deal of experience and I hope I can learn a lot from him and from the rest of the Team, the most important thing is to grow lap by lap so that by the end of the race we can be competing up front.”

Neil Micklewright, VP of Team Operations
“David has been a model of consistency in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship; he completed every lap of the season and finished fifth in a very competitive field.  It will be a steep learning curve but he has shown great potential and we will help him get up to speed right away so he can put on a good show for everybody in Mexico.  Running three cars is always a challenge but we’ve done it in the past successfully and should be able to do it again without any problems.”

Jerry Forsythe, Team Owner
“We are very excited to have David as a part of our team for Mexico City.  Mexico has played a big role in the success of Champ Car and of our Team and I’m delighted to be able to give a young up and coming Mexican star an opportunity to race in front of his home crowd.  It just goes to show the strength of and effectiveness of the Champ Car Ladder System.”

A1GP plans two USA races A1GP plans two USA racesA1 TEAM USA stands seventh with 10 points after two rounds of the A1GP season. Phil Giebler's second place in the feature race in the opening round at Zandvoort, The Netherlands, was the highest finish for Team USA and the driver from Oxnard, Calif., added one point by taking sixth in the sprint race at Brno, Czech Republic.

Rick Weidinger of Washington, DC, purchased the A1 Team USA franchise from A1GP two months prior to the start of the inaugural season in September, 2005. In this interview, Weidinger discusses a variety of subjects regarding Team USA and the A1GP series, including a SPEED TV deal and two races for the USA. zzzz

Question: What are your expectations for A1 Team USA this season?

Weidinger: In this sport, you have to expect to win every time those engines fire up no matter where you are positioned on the starting grid. Truly anything can and does happen in motor sports. Expect the unexpected. We have started the second season of A1GP well and fully expect to carry that momentum throughout our 12-race series. Our objective at A1 Team USA is to win the championship and create great partnerships and sponsors.

Question: Phil Giebler drove in four races for A1 Team USA last season and you brought him back. Will he be your driver the entire season?

Weidinger: The driver selection is a very interesting and unique element of this A1GP Series. Also unique is the fact that all cars have the same chassis and engine--equal equipment equals a level playing field. The important ingredient and relationship for success in A1 is the driver and race engineer. If you get that combination correct, there is a high probability you are going to do well. This is a team championship, so theoretically we could select a different driver for each race. Last season we engaged three different drivers and they all scored points for A1 Team USA. This year we tested Phil in September at Silverstone and he did very well. Phil and Greg Wheeler, our new engineer, have been very effective together. Phil has performed well in the first two races, so as long as he is happy and continues to perform there may be no need to change. We will see but Phil and I talk regularly about this selection process.

Question: What attracted you to becoming an owner in A1GP?

Weidinger: The level-playing field and business model. Having been a prior professional motor sports owner, it seems odd to discuss racing and business model in the same breath. However, I believe that A1GP--the World Cup of Motorsport--is the best product in racing and contains an achievable, viable business model. In my second season with A1, I have pretty much defined my racing costs going forward and the only variable cost is a function of our revenue growth. I have a chance of achieving eight different revenue sources on top of a defined business cost. Bottom-line, even before all the economics line up, the biggest attraction to me personally is the nations versus nations form of competition. I am fortunate enough to own a racing team that represents the United States of America all around the globe. We expect sponsors to be highly attracted to this product.

Question: Will A1 Team USA enter the Indianapolis 500 again?

Weidinger: We expect to. Again, we are preparing to put Al Unser Jr. together with GEICO--a winning combination that was very successful last May at the Indy although the box score did not show it. We met our A1 Team USA objective and surpassed GEICO's objective. Under promise and over deliver is what we like to do. We went from 27th to 9th place last Indy before the unfortunate event of debris from another car taking us out. Al truly feels as though he can win that race again and so do we.

Question: What is the status of A1GP being on television in the United States this season?

Weidinger: We are pleased to announce that the A1GP races will be broadcast on the Speed Channel this year. The people at Speed are great to work with and obviously have a tremendous understanding of motor sports and how to promote it on television. It's a major improvement from last year. People turn to Speed to watch worldwide racing. They can find us there. A1GP produces the telecast and they do a first-class job. It's a competitive, thrilling and enjoyable broadcast. There are at least 28 cameras around the track with multiple in-car cameras as well.

Question: When will Speed begin broadcasting A1GP?

Weidinger: Speed will begin broadcasting the A1GP races on Dec. 6, 2006. The first telecast will be the Zandvoort, The Netherlands race where Team USA finished second to Germany in the feature race. The broadcast will be weekly at 4 p.m. every Wednesday. By January, Speed Channel will be current with the A1GP race schedule. For example, they will broadcast the New Zealand race of Jan. 21 on Wednesday, Jan. 24. The invitations for my "Speed Channel" party on Dec. 6, 2006 will be going out soon!

Question: What is the status of A1GP having a race next season in the USA?

Weidinger: We are working hard for the approval of a street race in September 2007 in Washington, DC. We have a lot of heavy lifting to do; but it will be well worth the effort. This will be a world-class event in the nation's capital. The possible street courses we have looked at are amazing and I believe the demand for a nations versus nations motorsport event will be high.

Question: How has A1GP been accepted as a major racing series worldwide?

Weidinger: It is gaining traction and has done amazingly well considering it is only one year old. I believe we have over 12 million viewers per race and growing. We continue to work hard on increasing the awareness of the A1GP Series in the USA whereas, in China and Europe it has already been accepted and becoming part of the fabric of those nations. This season we will have two races in China and three in Europe. Next year I hope to have two in the United States. Our sponsors and fans will make this happen.

Question: What are A1GP's prospects for success in the long term?

Weidinger: The sky's the limit. The management of A1GP has focused and improved the marketing, promotions and venue selection of the business in season two. This is critical to the long-term success of the racing series. It has also been successful in raising the necessary start-up capital from team owners and institutions. We expect an IPO next summer for the series. This will validate everything.

XM to broadcast weekly AGR racing show XM to broadcast weekly AGR racing showSatellite Radio, the nation's leading satellite radio company with more than 7 million subscribers, announced today that the Andretti Green Racing (AGR) team will host "The Andretti Green Racing Hour," exclusively on XM Satellite Radio beginning February 2007. XM is the official satellite radio network of the Indy Racing League and broadcasts every IndyCar Series race live and nationwide.

"The Andretti Green Racing Hour" will be a one-hour weekly program featuring drivers from the Andretti Green team, as well as Michael Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing and open wheel racing legend. The 2007 Andretti Green driver lineup will include, among others, Danica Patrick, 2005 IndyCar Series Bombardier Rookie of the Year; Marco Andretti, 2006 IndyCar Series Bombardier Rookie of the Year; Bryan Herta, two time IndyCar Series race winner; and Tony Kanaan, 2004 IndyCar Series champion.

Racing fans will be able to hear the biggest names in racing on "The Andretti Green Racing Hour" each week on XM's all sports channel, XM Sports Nation.

"XM is the exclusive home to racing's biggest stars," said Eric Logan, executive vice president, Programming, XM Satellite Radio. 'The Andretti Green Racing Show' will give fans the chance to hear from the superstars about what it's like behind the wheel and beyond the track. It's insight that only XM can provide." zzzz

"We're thrilled to be joining XM's outstanding lineup of sports programming," said Michael Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing. Racing fans across the country will now not only be able to get behind-the-scenes access to races and rivalries, but 'The Andretti Green Racing Hour' will provide the ultimate access into the lives and unique personalities of each of the drivers."

In addition to "The Andretti Green Racing Hour," XM is home to exclusive, weekly radio shows hosted by NASCAR superstars Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson.  XM is the sports leader in satellite radio, with more than 5,000 live sporting events in 2006.  In addition to the Indy Racing League, XM has Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, NBA games on ESPN Radio, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, college football, college basketball, boxing, and soccer.  XM also offers the most sports talk on satellite radio, including its newly-launched XM Sports Nation channel, ESPN Radio, ESPNews, and Fox Sports Radio.

Herta to compete in XM-Sponsored Acura Courage Herta to compete in XM-Sponsored Acura CourageWASHINGTON, D.C.- XM Satellite Radio, the nation's leading satellite radio company with more than 7 million subscribers, announced it will be the primary sponsor of the Andretti Green Racing (AGR) Acura Courage car in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The car is being unveiled today by driver Bryan Herta at the XM booth at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

In addition to driving the XM-sponsored ALMS car, Herta will serve as a co-host of "The Andretti Green Racing Hour" along with the 2007 Andretti Green Racing team lineup. The show will be among the high-profile motorsports programming exclusively available on the XM Sports Nation channel (XM 143), the exclusive home to racing's biggest stars.

"I'm really looking forward to continuing my relationship with XM Satellite Radio and also to the opportunity to spearhead Andretti Green Racing's entrance into the American Le Mans Series," said Herta. "I look back on my 13 years as an IndyCar driver and have a lot of great memories. Now, it's on to the next chapter of my career, and I'm very excited to drive a world-class Acura Courage sponsored by XM." zzzz

"XM is dedicated to supporting our automotive partners on the open road and at the race track. We're especially pleased to be part of Acura's debut season in the American Le Mans Series with Andretti Green Racing," said George Perry, director, Partnership and Event Marketing, XM Satellite Radio. "We're also looking forward to the launch of the new 'Andretti Green Racing Hour' show that will include a behind-the-scenes look into the ALMS."

The Acura Courage features the first racing engine completely designed and developed in-house by Honda's racing subsidiary Honda Performance Development of Santa Clarita, Calif.

XM is standard across the entire 2007 Acura model line, including three months of complimentary XM service upon purchase. XM NavTraffic, the nation's first satellite-based real-time traffic information service, is offered in four of Acura's top-selling models and is now available for 44 major metro markets nationwide.

Hopkins and Liuzzi swap seats Hopkins and Liuzzi swap seatsThe Formula 1 World Championship ended over a week ago and the MotoGP series finished on Sunday, so what would MotoGP star John Hopkins and F1 racer Tonio Liuzzi do for a bit of post-season fun? Why, get back on a race track of course! Today, the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer and the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, both of them part of the Red Bull family, took part in a special seat-swap event, riding and driving each other's machines around the Valencia circuit that hosted the MotoGP finale on Sunday.

 I've been looking forward to today for weeks now," said Hopkins, who admitted his only other experience of a four wheeled race vehicle took place in a go-kart. "Ever since I had the seat fitting, this experience could not have come soon enough and today was a dream come true. At first it was a bit overwhelming, looking at all the buttons on the steering wheel, but once I understood the most important thing is to keep the heat in the tires under braking then it all got easier. It's easy to say you can do this but when the time actually comes, it's quite a challenge and I spun it a couple of times. Then I began to get the hang of braking very late and on my final run I got a feeling for the car moving around underneath me. I could feel it drifting and I could sense the front end pushing coming out of the corners. I was trying my hardest and going for it without being reckless." Before today, Hopkins admitted his target was to get his car lap time down to what he did on his Rizla Suzuki MotoGP bike this weekend. He wasn't messing around: 1.31.65 on two wheels and a very impressive 1.19.8 on four, which is only around 5 seconds off a competitive F1 driver's time at this track! zzzz

"By the end of the run, it began to feel natural to me," added Hopkins. "I think I'd consider racing one of these in the future. I always knew it would be easier for me to get into four wheels than for Tonio on two, but with his lack of experience I think he did real good. He popped a wheelie and got his knee down!" So what did Liuzzi think? "It was an orgasm! It was f***ing cool! It was really great!"

Did we mention Mr. Liuzzi is an excitable Italian? "I've always loved bikes but after today, I love them even more, because the guys who race these are unbelievable and not human. The bike is like a crazy horse and it is really difficult to keep the front end down. I was trying, but I kept something in reserve because I could feel the shadow of Franz and Gerhard (Toro Rosso team bosses Tost and Berger) telling me to be careful as I am testing in two weeks! I think you just need to take more risks than I was prepared to take today. The way you tackle the lap is very different on two wheels, as the most important thing is to have the balls to keep the throttle open. It was a fantastic adrenalin rush. The most amazing thing about the bike was the grip, as you can lean right over.

Unbelievable. I would love to have a race on this bike." And an assessment of his fellow Red Bull rider? "The Formula 1 car is a much more complicated technically to drive than the bike," reckoned Tonio. "But once John got the hang of the car and how it handled, he was very impressive and very fast."

Paul Ricard Day 1: Luca Filippi dominates Paul Ricard Day 1: Luca Filippi dominatesLuca Filippi has dominated the first day of testing at Circuit Paul Ricard. Driving for Durango, the Italian again topped the times in this afternoon's test with a best lap of 1:13.630.

Andreas Zuber was again in impressive form, setting the second fastest time for iSport International just 0.005 seconds off Luca's pace. Jose Maria Lopez continued to show his usual impressive form at Ricard with third place for BCN Competicion while Xandi Negrao finished fourth for Piquet Sports with Giorgio Pantano fifth for Campos and Jason Tahinci in awesome form for FMS International, outpacing ex-F1 driver Antonio Pizzonia.

Of the rookie's it was Andy Soucek who proved the most impressive this afternoon, running his Super Nova International car to eighth place. Andy only ran this afternoon, after he was set to run for ART Grand Prix. The French squad have withdrawn from this test however, following the death of Steeve Marcel last night.

 Driver Team Time Laps
1 Luca Filippi Durango 1:13.630 26
2 Andreas Zuber Isport International 1:13.635 32
3 Jose Maria Lopez BCN Competicion 1:14.206 30
4 Alexandre Negrao Piquet Sports 1:14.313 28
5 Giorgio Pantano Campos Racing 1:14.335 20
6 Jason Tahinci Petrol Ofisi FMS International 1:14.408 32
7 Nicolas Lapierre DAMS 1:14.413 23
8 Andy Soucek Super Nova International 1:14.636 44
9 Javier Villa Racing Engineering 1:14.656 18
10 Antonio Pizzonia Petrol Ofisi FMS International 1:14.691 32
11 Kohei Hirate Trident Racing 1:14.768 27
12 Alvaro Parente Isport International 1:14.833 26
13 Ben Hanley Racing Engineering 1:14.841 26
14 Ricardo Risatti BCN Competicion 1:14.970 33
15 Mike Conway DPR 1:15.002 28
16 Roldan Rodriguez Campos Racing 1:15.005 28
17 Loic Duval Trident Racing 1:15.029 33
18 Christian Bakkerud Arden International 1:15.038 28
19 Vitaly Petrov Super Nova 1:15.294 29
20 Kaziki Nakajima DAMS 1:15.352 24
21 Adam Kahn Arden International 1:16.006 26
22 Tomas Kostka Piquet Sports 1:16.545 12
23 Dominick Muermans Durango 1:16.552 36
24 Michael Patrizi DPR 1:17.197 12

Honda unveil 'RC212V' Honda unveil 'RC212V'Just one day after clinching the final world championship of the 990cc MotoGP era, with Nicky Hayden, Honda has officially unveiled its new 800cc 'RC212V' - which it will race from 2007 onwards.

As well as confirming that the RC211V's successor will be called the 'RC212V', Honda also spoke of the design principals behind the new V4 powered machine, which appeared in Repsol colors for the first time - and with Hayden's #1 plate already in place.

"When we started development of the 800cc machine, effectively the 'second generation' of Honda MotoGP bike, we gave top priority to the pursuit of excellent handling and drivability," explained Takanori Okuma, the Honda R&D RC212V project leader. "For the newly-reduced engine capacity of 800cc, we decided a V4 was the most efficient layout. Rather than focusing solely on top end power, we also concentrated on producing good power delivery characteristics, which can have a significant effect on lap times. Using enhanced control systems, the result is an engine with good drivability in the low and mid ranges, and excellent power under acceleration when the engine is at the top of its range. zzzz

"On the chassis side, we further enhanced the 'mass concentration' package developed for the RC211V to improve the agility and quick handling characteristics of the bike," he continued. "The outward appearance is aggressive and appropriately innovative for a new generation of bike, affording both drivability and aerodynamic efficiency. We will continue to evolve the bike before the season opener and throughout next season."

The RC212V was first seen in public at Motegi, shortly after September's Japanese Grand Prix, when Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa rode 30 laps on the prototype machine, setting a highly respectable lap time of 1min 48.210secs.

"Definitely the bike is smaller, so for me it's better because I can control the bike more easily. I could touch my knees with my elbows while sitting on the bike and that's something I cannot do now with the RC211V. This is helpful when you ride a race bike," said Pedrosa. "The engine character feels a little different to the RC211V, but it was just my first test and development is still going on so this feeling will continue to change. And also I didn't push so much."

"It seems easier to ride because some things about the bike feel smaller and the rear seat is much shorter which makes the whole bike look more compact. The bike has some characteristics which are a little more like a 250cc but it's still a MotoGP bike. I don't know if it will be faster in the corners because there are many hairpins in Motegi and the corner speed is very low," he added

"We are satisfied with the progress of the RC212V prototype," declared Satoru Horiike, managing director of HRC. "Under the leadership of Takanori Okuma, the project team has remained well on schedule with the development and testing program set by HRC. We are confident that winter testing will be positive and look forward to being competitive in this exciting new era for MotoGP."

RC212V - Technical specifications:

Overall length : 2050mm
Overall width : 645mm
Overall height : 1125mm
Wheelbase : 1440mm
Road clearance : 125mm
Weight (kg) : over 148kg
Engine type: liquid-cooled four-stroke DOHC 4 valve V4
Displacement : 800cc
Maximum power : N/A
Frame type : twin-tube
Front Wheels (inch) : 16.5
Rear Wheels (inch) : 16.5
Front Suspension : Telescopic fork
Rear Suspension : New Unit Pro-link
Fuel tank capacity : 21 liter

Justin Wilson to Return for Mexico City Justin Wilson to Return for Mexico CityLoveland, CO, – After returning to the United States early because of an injury, Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT / Ford – Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) will return to compete at the Gran Premio Telmex in Mexico City, Mexico with RuSPORT with the intent to race.  Wilson sustained a broken scaphoid bone in his right wrist on Friday, October 20th during the warm-up prior to provisional qualifying in Surfers Paradise.

Justin Wilson received surgery on his wrist and has been approved to drive by Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car Medical Director.  Wilson plans to drive the #9 CDW / RuSPORT car on Sunday Nov. 12th in the final race of the Champ Car World Series 2006 season, however Adam Carroll will be on hand to fill in for him if this isn’t possible.  Adam Carroll test drove for Honda Racing F1 in 2006, competed in 2005 and 2006 GP2 race series and has previously raced British F3 and British Formula Ford.

“Obviously, I am very eager to get back in the car,” said Wilson.  “I missed not being able to race in Australia and there is nothing I want to do more than drive but we’ll just have to wait and see how I feel.  I’m going to be pushing it as much as I can but also respecting the seriousness of the injury.  I don’t want this to drag into next season.  I’m looking forward to Mexico City and I know that the worst case scenario is that I can’t drive, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.  I want to thank Adam for coming to this final race with RuSPORT in support of me and the rest of the team.  He has tested well in Sebring and he would be a good addition to the Champ Car series.”  zzzz

Adam Carroll added, “Of course it would be good for Justin to drive, get more points and possibly overtake 2nd place in the points race, but I look forward to being there in case he can’t.  If I do get the chance to drive, I’ll give it my best shot and hope to get a good result.  It will be a great opportunity to drive the car but if it doesn’t happen, it is at least a good chance to work with a top Champ Car team like RuSPORT.”

 “First off I would like to say thank you to Dr. Chris Pinderski and Dr. Terry Trammell for attending to Justin’s injury on such short notice.  As usual, they did a great job working under a tight timeline and preparing him to get back in the #9 CDW car,” said Jeremy Dale, RuSPORT president.  “For a race car driver the worst thing of all is not being able to drive, so giving Justin the opportunity to compete at Mexico City is all that we can ask for.  As far as Justin’s ability to do the race on Sunday, we won’t definitively know the answer to that question until we reach Mexico City.”

“I would also like to thank Adam Carroll for agreeing to come to Mexico City without any guarantees that he will drive the car.  That is also a tough situation for a race car driver to be in but having tested Adam in September we recognized his talent and ability and felt that under the circumstances he was a good candidate for the job.”

Gran Premio Telmex is the final race of the 2006 Champ Car World Series.  The race will be held on Sunday, November 12th and broadcast live on SPEED TV at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Red Bull announces engines for 2007 Red Bull announces engines for 2007UPDATE Ferrari, in conjunction with Red Bull GmbH, announces that it has defined a contractual agreement with Scuderia Toro Rosso to supply it with Formula 1 engines for a period of two years, starting from the 2007 season, with an option to extend this for one further championship year. At the same time, the engine supply agreement with Red Bull Racing which was valid for next year has been terminated by mutual consent.

"We are pleased to be embarking on a new long-term relationship with Scuderia Toro Rosso," commented Ferrari C.E.O. and Gestione Sportiva Managing Director, Jean Todt. "It will allow us to strengthen our ties with the world of Italian motor sport and also to work with a team run by Gerhard Berger, our former driver and friend of Ferrari." Ferrari

10/31/06 Red  Bull  announces  that,  as from  2007,  the  Scuderia  Toro  Rosso  team  will  use Ferrari engines and Red Bull Racing will use Renault engines.
Vegas Grand Prix makes call for 600 volunteers Vegas Grand Prix makes call for 600 volunteersAn estimated 600 volunteers are needed for the first running of the Vegas Grand Prix scheduled April 6-8 through the streets of downtown Las Vegas.

Volunteers will be able to enjoy a week of activities including top-flight Champ Car auto racing along with major rock concerts, a boxing match, celebrity poker tournament, giant Easter egg hunt and much more, creating a festival of speed and entertainment. Each volunteer will receive event t-shirts, a hat, discounted tickets for friends and family, coffee, donuts and lunch each day as well as enjoy a volunteer appreciation party.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age by April 6, 2007 and available for a three-day commitment of at least 25 total hours, including a Saturday and Sunday.  Volunteers are needed for: credentials, expo/festival, guest services, hospitality, hotel ambassadors, media center, office services, paddock tours, pass control, pedestrian flow, special events, track services, ushers, volunteer pool and to create a Vegas Grand Prix promotional team that is separate from race weekend volunteers.

Those interested in participating in the event can apply online at www.vegasgrandprix.com.  Further information may be obtained by calling Rena Shanaman at 702-944-8661, extension 304.

The internationally televised Vegas Grand Prix will cap an action-packed, three-day festival being held Easter weekend on and around Fremont Street.  It is expected to be one of the largest events in the history of downtown Las Vegas.  The culmination of the festival will be the kickoff to the 2007 Champ Car World Series season.  It will be conducted over a 2.44-mile course run through Glitter Gulch.

About DDB Ventures
The Vegas Grand Prix is being presented by DDB Ventures, a company based in Phoenix, Ariz. that has managed several Champ Car World Series races in the U.S. and beyond.  DDB Ventures was established in 2005 by principals Bradley Yonover and Dale Jensen, who have partnered to create an entertainment, motorsports and film investment entity.  Yonover is a real estate and entertainment entrepreneur whose New York-based production and finance company, GreeneStreet Films, produced films that garnered many awards as well as five Oscar nominations.  The firm's other partner, Jensen, is also a co-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team and the Phoenix Suns National Basketball Association team.

Las Vegas race to be live on NBC Las Vegas race to be live on NBCIt looks like Champ Car's season opener next year will be live on NBC.

It's NASCAR, with a twist. Organizers of the Vegas Grand Prix say they believe a three day race festival will help revitalize downtown Las Vegas and bring more attention to NASCAR. 

Organizers have a lot of confidence in this project. They say all the downtown hotels are behind the project. The three day festival of speed has a number of elements to it. And every element is first class, top of the charts. 

The Vegas Grand Prix is scheduled April 6 through 8. On Thursday night another information meeting was held for downtown residents and business owners. The Grand Prix race will start at Grand Central Parkway, head down to Bonneville, back up to Main Street, veer over to Ogden, and end up back at Grand Central. But that's just the beginning. 

The festival will include a gala, free concert, and even boxing in addition to an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday which will feature a $25,000 scholarship tied to the golden egg. 

Preparations are already being made. If you've driven downtown lately, you might have noticed some of the roads being paved for the race. The Vegas Grand Prix is the season opener for the Champ Car World Series. 

You can check out the race on Channel 3. It will be broadcast live on NBC. KVBC-TV (Including video)

Spyker team picks up new sponsor Spyker team picks up new sponsorSpyker MF1 Team is pleased to announce a three year sponsorship programme with Philoderm, the leading brand in skin care products manufactured by Rofil Medical in Breda, The Netherlands. The Philoderm logo will appear on the Spyker-Ferrari cars, helmets and the overalls of the race drivers in the 2007 season.

Robert Schreuder, CEO Rofil Medical
Quote : "Spyker F1 is hot and a unique project. We have had a very successful involvement in F1 through Christijan Albers for over a year and we decided immediately that we wanted to be a part of the Spyker programme. Philoderm is an ambitious brand in the professional skincare market. Our aim is to become a global brand and we are convinced that F1 is the ultimate tool to achieve this and to strengthen our worldwide presence. F1 is high-tech, glamorous and innovative. We share these values and we look forward to teaming up with this ambitious Dutch F1 team." zzzz

Colin Kolles, Team Principal and Managing Director - Spyker MF1 Team
Quote: " I am delighted to welcome Philoderm as a new long-term partner for the Spyker F1 Team. This commitment to our programme at such an early stage is a huge boost to everyone involved in transforming Spyker F1 into a serious competitor in the F1 World Championship. Rofil and Spyker both have global ambitions and we look forward to developing them together in the exciting sponsorship activity.

About Rofil Medical and PHILODERM
The Philoderm range contains a wide range of professional skin care products including anti-ageing treatments and dermal fillers. The products range from home-care to specialist items for the medical profession in the global field of dermatology, plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. A combination of high quality products, educational programmes and superior service allows Rofil products to achieve optimal results.

Marcel dies of cancer Marcel dies of cancerSteeve Marcel has lost his battle with cancer.  32 year old Marcel passed away last night after a battle with cancer.

Steeve engineered Nico Rosberg and ART Grand Prix to their double championship win in the inaugural year of the series in 2005. Despite his illness, Steeve attended a number of GP2 series races in 2006 to support his colleagues and friends at the team.

Our thoughts are with Steeve’s family and friends at this difficult time.

ART Grand Prix will not be taking part in this week’s GP2 series test at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Alonso says thanks to Renault workers Alonso says thanks to Renault workersUnder cloudy skies and light drizzle, a Renault Espace pulled through the gates of the Renault F1 Team’s Enstone factory – with a familiar face at the wheel.

After Sunday evening’s festivities in Sao Paulo’s spectacular Café de la Musique, where the youngest double champion in history congratulated the race team and Michelin not only on their success but also on the sense of fair play that has driven their title victory, Fernando was determined to visit his team-mates in Enstone and say thank you.

The applause were long and heartfelt… and then the champion took to the stage and spoke: zzzz

“Thank you, thank you all very much,” he began. “Really, there is nothing new to say. I just want to thank everybody, every single person in the team that helped win these two championships. We have had a very tough season, and a very close fight with Ferrari. And at the end, you know, time puts everybody in their place – and we are in P1 because we deserved it more than the others.

“I think there are thousands of people in the Formula 1 teams and of them only one team is champion. In the last two years, you have proved you are the best. I want to thank everyone for giving me the possibility to have a winning car in my hands, and to say I did  my best to earn my championships and your championships as well. We did it.”

Cue great applause, before Fernando continued…

“I am now moving on to another team as you know…” and he paused as a chorus of jovial ‘boos’ rained down on him, then, smiling, continued… ”but if I don’t have the possibility to win in the future, then I hope you win because you are the best.”

The room erupted as one, united behind their champion, before a final team photo with the women and men of Enstone – in the race shop where his faithful chassis R26-03, the car which he used in every Grand Prix in 2006, had been lovingly prepared throughout the season. Fernando held both world championship trophies aloft as the 540 staff cheered with him – in celebration of the historic “double double” championship wins in 2005 and 2006.

Signings followed, a last memento from a champion, before the Espace disappeared into the Oxfordshire gloom. More celebrations will come, in his hometown of Oviedo this Sunday then in Viry next week with his other team-mates. But these are the gestures that count: the generous spirit of a champion who has given the utmost of his talent, and now proffers his most heartfelt thanks. Renault

Carlos Sainz tries out Renault F1 power Carlos Sainz tries out Renault F1 powerAfter first driving the Renault F1 R25 on 19 October on a chilly, cramped junior circuit at Silverstone – and passing the test with flying colors – Carlos Sainz had the opportunity to really get to know Renault’s first world champion car a little better, during a special appearance as part of the World Series by Renault season finale at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.

Nearly 80,000 spectators attended the three-day meeting, and the sight and sound of the R25 – just one week after Fernando Alonso and the Renault F1 Team clinched championship victory in Brazil – was made even more impressive by the fact another Spanish double world champion was at the wheel.

On Saturday morning, Carlos Sainz couldn’t wait to get out on track in the R25, which was running in maximum downforce Monaco configuration. zzzz

“The acceleration, the braking, the grip, everything is amazing in this car," the former Rally star said.

"I have just been testing in Tunisia for the Dakar rally, so going from desert driving to a Formula One car is a pretty big change!"

"They are totally different, light years apart. In Formula One, you need to be a top athlete because the whole body is under duress," explained the Spaniard as he got to grips with the car. “It is a unique experience, almost impossible to describe, and unlike anything I have felt before. I have been in a fighter plane, I have ridden a 500cc GP bike, but this is something else again."

"Renault has given me one of the best experiences of my life,” he concluded as he stepped from the car one final time on Sunday evening. Source Renault

Mass Damper ban made Renault more determined Mass Damper ban made Renault more determinedThe Renault F1 Team’s Chassis Technical Director Bob Bell discusses the challenges of the 2006 World Championship.

Bob, what is your assessment of the overall competitiveness of the F1 field this season?
"I think the level was similar to what we saw in 2005. There were two teams in front, and the rest of the grid fighting behind them. I think overall reliability was better this year, and the level of performance took another step forward. But that’s no surprise. In aerodynamics, for example, an annual gain of 10 to 15% in not usual in a calendar year. What’s more, there was a very intense battle between the two tire manufacturers."

Looking at the R26, the first thing people saw was that it was a good-looking car…
"It was magnificent. Naturally, the regulations dictate almost all the proportions of a modern Formula 1 car. But the R26 was very elegant." zzzz

What were its strengths?
"It was always a very consistent car. It was easy to set up, and was competitive on every type of circuit. It gave the drivers a lot of confidence. It had excellent basic performance. And it’s now the world champion!"

You developed the car throughout the year. If it was taken to Bahrain right now, including all the development that has been conducted through the year…
"It would be at least a second a lap faster."

It goes without saying that the atmosphere in the team now is fantastic. But you had a challenging year at many points, and the summer was the toughest part. How did the team respond then?
"First of all, I think that when the tuned mass dampers were banned*, it made everybody much more determined. We wanted to prove that we could win without them. There is really strong morale in the team and we went through some turbulent times, but we didn’t give up."

"We accepted the results, and kept on working. The attitude of our colleagues in Viry was identical. That’s one of the things that makes me proud about 2006: in spite of all the difficulties we had, we never lost faith."

* The team raced without the TMD from Hockenheim onwards. Source Renault
Zanardi to test BMW F1 car Zanardi to test BMW F1 carFormer Champ Car Champion and F1 racer Alex Zanardi is to return to the Formula One cockpit next month when he takes to the Valencia circuit in a modified BMW Sauber F1.06.

Zanardi of course was fortunate to escape with his life in a horrific Champ Car accident in Germany in 2001, losing his legs in the accident. Since then the Italian has returned to racing with BMW in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Zanardi will run the F1.06 during the BMW World Finals on November 24th to 26th. "First of all I would like to say thank you to BMW for this opportunity," Zanardi told the BMW Sauber website. "Of course, I know that I won't get a contract with the Formula One team. However, having the chance to drive an F1 racer again is just incredible." zzzz

"I'm really excited to see what has changed since my last Grand Prix in 1999," Zanardi continued with reference to his season with Williams.   I can call myself a happy man, as I turned my passion into my profession. I still feel the fire burning in me. Formula One is - and will always be - the pinnacle of motor racing."

BMW Motorsport Director is happy to give Zanardi a run. "It was rather a joke when he asked me at the beginning of the year, if he could do an F1 test with us," Theissen said. "We will give him his chance now, the engineers made it possible. I cannot wait to watch his reaction after the test."  Source BMW Sauber 

British F3
Vettel to head up Carlin Macau campaign Vettel to head up Carlin Macau campaignF1 test driver Sebastian Vettel is to head up the Carlin campaign at the 53rd Macau Grand Prix next month. Vettel will lead the four car strong team of Oliver Jarvis, Maro Engel and Sebastien Buemi.

But it’s not a case of quantity over quality for the Aldershot based team. Carlin driver Oliver Jarvis, runner-up in this year’s British F3 Championship and team-mate Maro Engel head to Macau with 19 F3 podiums between them. They will be joined by young Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi, who finished second in last year’s Formula BMW World Final.

Bringing to the team essential experience of the tough street circuit, BMW Sauber test driver Sebastian Vettel will hope to better his third place in last year’s event. Vettel follows in the footsteps of his BMW Sauber team mate Robert Kubica, in racing for Carlin at Macau before resuming F1 testing.

The four Carlin drivers will be hoping to add their names to the illustrious winners list, which includes F1 drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Takuma Sato, who won the event with Carlin in 2001. zzzz

Team Principal, Trevor Carlin said, ‘The Macau Grand Prix has long been a favorite event of Carlin Motorsport and this year is no different. We go to Macau with a balanced driver line up, Oliver and Maro from our British F3 team and two drivers from the Red Bull program, which has served us so well this year.

‘I’m delighted to have Sebastian Vettel back in the team after his brilliant performance with us in World Series. I’m sure the other drivers will benefit from his experience at this very tough track. We were very unlucky not to win the race last year with Robert Kubica, losing the lead in the final laps. Hopefully, we will go one better this year and take the victory.’

Ticket sales off to flying start for NZ race Ticket sales off to flying start for NZ raceTicket sales for the first-ever A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event in Taupo, New Zealand, from January 18 and 21, 2007, are off to a flying start.
The tickets went on sale via Australasian ticketing agency Ticketek over the weekend, but already hundreds of Kiwi motorsport fans have purchased seats through www.a1gp.com.
The tickets direct from A1GP.com only went on sale on Wednesday 25 October without any fanfare, but already more than NZ $200,000 worth of sales have been generated.
A1 Team NZL corporate affairs director Bob McMurray said, “We're told that the tickets are the second-fastest selling in A1GP's short history, only behind this season's first round in the Netherlands where they generated a crowd of more than one hundred thousand."
"We always knew there was tremendous interest in the Taupo round and expected a strong start to sales. At this early stage, our only worry is having enough seats to satisfy demand."
The stands will accommodate 25,000 spectators with room for up to 3,000 on grass embankments. Corporate hospitality will account for a further 5,000, bringing the crowd total to 33,000.
Thursday will be a free day for spectators and ticket prices for the remaining three days range from NZ $295 for the best grandstand seats to NZ $90 for General Admission.
The overwhelming majority of tickets have been purchased by New Zealanders, but tickets have also been purchased in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Ganassi launches Spanish website Ganassi launches Spanish websiteCONCORD, N.C. - Largely due to the addition of Juan Pablo Montoya to Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' (CGRFS) NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series lineup for 2007, the team announced today its official website www.chipganassiracing.com would expand its online arsenal to include a fully-functioning microsite in Spanish, located at espanol.chipganassiracing.com.

"Although the initial Spanish site will serve to accommodate the outpouring of Juan Pablo fans and media that have spiked our traffic number since the announcement in July, we plan to continue to develop this medium for all our racing teams across the board," said CGR Teams, Inc. Vice President of Marketing Dan Griffis. "The Chip Ganassi Racing brand has a reputation as an industry leader and an innovator in motorsports, and this is another step toward delivering our team, sponsors and NASCAR racing to the Latino market."

Montoya's vast international fan base, in addition to NASCAR's growing fan base worldwide, now has the ability to stay informed on his historic move from Formula One to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series as the pilot of the No.42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger next season. zzzz

Visitors can access the Spanish site by selecting the "En Espanol" button in the navigation scheme on the team's homepage, or by going directly to espanol.chipganassiracing.com. Users will find the latest race releases and announcements on Montoya, in addition to team owners and driver bios, merchandise, sponsors, and information regarding CGRFS' involvement in NASCAR's Cup and Busch Series.

A special feature section entitled The JPM Source debuted in early October on the team's homepage, providing a much needed resource for fans across the globe to stay up-to-date on the Colombian's rigorous new stock car testing and racing schedule. Translations of those happenings were made available via The JPM Source, and teased on the site's homepage as a precursor to the new Spanish language site.

Anchored by the CGRFS homepage, which also includes the recently launched online store (store.chipganassiracing.com), future plans for the Spanish site include rolling out additional team content and audio clips specifically catering to the Spanish speaking market.

About Chip Ganassi Racing
Following a strong career as a driver, Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and established a partnership with a new sponsor, Target Stores. Today, his teams include two IRL IndyCars, three cars in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, a Daytona Prototype in the world of Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series racing and one entry in the NASCAR Busch Series. Ganassi's IndyCar teams have amassed five Championships and 50 wins since 1994; his NASCAR teams have nine wins and a Rookie-of-the-Year title; and the Grand American team has won two of the last three Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Championships and the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Chip Ganassi Racing operates out of state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis, IN, and Concord, NC, with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, PA. Credit www.chipganassiracing.com

Alonso completes victory tour in France Alonso completes victory tour in France(GMM) Fernando Alonso has completed a global tour in celebration of his successive drivers' championship win in 2006.

After lifting the trophy in Sao Paulo, the Spaniard's first journey was back to England, where he thanked the more than 500 staff at the single seater factory in Enstone.

25-year-old Alonso then moved to his home city of Oviedo (Spain), where on the weekend he stood before 20,000 countrymen.

He completed the tour on Monday, when he flew to Viry-Chatillon, where Renault's 2.4 liter V8 engines are born.

'AS' newspaper says Alonso spent two hours at the factory, located on the outskirts of France's capital city, Paris.

Massa's odd superstition Massa's odd superstition(GMM)  Ferrari racer Felipe Massa has revealed an odd superstition that he says could contribute to his success at F1 races.

Spain's Marca newspaper revealed that the 25-year-old Brazilian credits not changing his underpants for three days for aiding his home win at Interlagos earlier this month.

"If my weekend begins well," Massa confessed, "I use the same underpants on Saturday.  If that is also a good day, I wear them on Sunday.

"That is what I did in Brazil."

Massa also revealed that he will always regard 2006 teammate Michael Schumacher as akin to a 'university professor'.

"I learned an awful lot from him," Felipe said of the retiring champion.

"I am certain that I will phone him for advice many times next year."

racing news
Cameron, Podlesni Earn Team USA Scholarships Cameron, Podlesni Earn Team USA Scholarships
NASCAR on hunt for Atlanta cheater NASCAR on hunt for Atlanta cheaterUPDATE Robby Gordon benefited from the caution because he was the first car not on the lead lap. That gave him NASCAR's "free pass" to get back on the lead lap, and he wound up finishing 10th.

Jeff Burton, a championship contender, finished 13th and demanded after the race that NASCAR investigate to determine where the debris came from.

"We were going to be OK and then they threw a caution because of a roll bar pad," Burton said. "NASCAR should stop every car on pit road and check for roll bar pads and whoever threw theirs out should be fined 185 points and $100,000 because it was a huge impact on the race.

"It is starting to happen just too often and NASCAR gets on everybody when it happens. Well, they should find out who did it and penalize them."

10/30/06 Jeff Burton was not pleased with how a piece of roll bar padding created a caution flag about 35 laps from the finish. Burton hit the wall on lap 268 and cut a right front tire. He pitted on lap 281 and fell a lap down. He needed the field to go through its final pit stop under green to catch back up with the leaders but never got the chance when the caution came out for the roll bar padding. "We were going to be OK and then they threw a caution because of a roll bar pad,'' Burton said. "NASCAR should stop every car on pit road and check for roll bar pads and whoever threw their's out should be fined 185 points and $100,000 because it was a huge impact on the race. ... It is starting to happen just too often and NASCAR gets on everybody when it happens. Well, they should find out who did it and penalize them.'' The roll bar pad appeared to come from 10th-place finisher #7-Robby Gordon's car, NBC video showed. "I definitely did not throw anything out of the window,'' Gordon told NBC after the race. NASCAR did not penalize Gordon, citing the video was inconclusive. Roanoke Times

NASCAR's John Darby, the Nextel Cup tour director, said his inspectors would go through the various team haulers checking race cars for missing roll-bar padding: "It was a very large piece of something black and round, and we don't know what it is when everybody is running at 190 mph. Now trying to prove whose it was is another story. But we'll be going through every car as they load them. But that's not to say it might not have been just under somebody's seat." Winston Salem Journal

USGP tickets on sale Nov. 1st USGP tickets on sale Nov. 1stMONTEREY, Calif. – Tickets for the 2007 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 20-22, 2007 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will go on-sale this Wednesday, November 1.

All general admission tickets, grandstand seats, paddock passes and general camping will go on sale at 8:00 a.m. (PST) on-line at www.laguna-seca.com or by phone at (800) 327-SECA.

For the fan wishing to upgrade their Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix experience, a very limited number of special access tickets, including the Flagroom and Laguna Club hospitality areas, are available by telephone only at (800) 327-SECA. Those tickets will go quickly on the first day of ticket sales, so those wishing to purchase these tickets are encouraged to call early to ensure they don’t miss out. zzzz

In addition, a very limited number of Premier and Reserved weekend camping passes are available for the 2007 event. Those who aren’t able to get the Premier or Reserved camping but still want to camp on-site during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix will find plenty of general camping passes available. A complete description of camping tickets is available at www.laguna-seca.com/tickets.

A three-day general admission ticket for next year’s event remains $90. A weekend paddock pass, which admits the holder to both the MotoGP (with the exception to limited times prior to and just after on-track World Championship sessions) and AMA Superbike paddock, is $50 and must be purchased in conjunction with an admission ticket. Grandstand seats are $15 on Saturday and $25 for Sunday’s MotoGP World Championship Race.

The 2006 Red Bull Grand Prix saw American rider Nicky Hayden capture his second consecutive home Grand Prix win, which propelled him to his first world championship. Over 144,000 fans witnessed the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

Due to an expected high-volume of sales, orders will be taken only via telephone or internet on November 1. No orders will be taken on-site at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the first day of sales.

More information on the ticket process is available by calling (800) 327-SECA or logging on to www.laguna-seca.com.

Information on the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is also available at www.RedBullUSGrandPrix.com.

Houston ticket renewal packages out Houston ticket renewal packages outThe Houston GP has mailed a ticket renewal package out to last year's attendees.  Changes noted for next year:
  • ALMS race on Saturday night, Champ Car race on Sunday
  • Relocated pedestrian bridges
  • Champ Car Paddock now FREE and will be located outside
  • Pit passes included in price of 3 day Super Ticket
  • Pricing changes with a new price point on lower rows
  • Free concert by national recording artist with paid admission
  • 10% discount for early renewals
  • Diamond ground surface to reduce bumps
  • Reconfigured Turn 2-3 with new chicane.
tv news
SPEED Goes Inside with Ganassi SPEED Goes Inside with GanassiSPEED will deliver an inside look into the business of racing with a pair of one-hour Racing Incorporated specials focusing on the motor sports operations of multi-team owner Chip Ganassi. Given unprecedented access to race shops and meetings for about three weeks in August, the specials will air Nov. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. ET & PT.

“This is about as inside as it gets,” said SPEED VP of Programming Robert Ecker.  “For anyone interested in the inner workings of a full-scale, state-of-the-art race operation, this is the real deal.  The Ganassi organization is dynamic, diverse and constantly under pressure. Racing Incorporated provides a portal into that world unlike anything that has preceded it.”

“Initially I needed a little convincing to green light this project,” Ganassi said.  “We, as an industry, have historically been very tight-lipped about how we do things.  When filming started it took us beyond our comfort level, but as we became more and more at ease with the crew at Racing, Inc. it became much easier to allow them the access that we did.  I hope this show sheds light on all the people that work long hours behind the scenes in getting these cars ready for the race on Sunday.”

Industry News
SEC files fraud charges against IRL sponsor Delphi SEC files fraud charges against IRL sponsor DelphiFederal regulators on Monday filed civil fraud charges against auto parts maker Delphi, its former chief executive and other former executives, alleging they used deceptive accounting schemes to hide financial problems.  The Securities and Exchange Commission charges, filed in federal court in Detroit, accuse the company and the individuals of engaging in a "wide-ranging financial fraud" between 2000 and 2004.
ESPN Deportes Radio for NASCAR Racing ESPN Deportes Radio for NASCAR RacingIn a continued effort to better serve the Latino sports fans in the U.S., ESPN Deportes Radio and MRN Radio, the primary source for NASCAR stock car racing and related radio programming, announced today a five-year agreement that makes ESPN Deportes Radio the exclusive Spanish-language radio home of NASCAR racing's premier events, it was announced today by Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and David Hyatt, President of MRN Radio. Under the terms of the agreement, ESPN Deportes Radio will provide up-to-the minute NASCAR news and information, highlighted with coverage of NASCAR's three largest racing series - the NEXTEL Cup, the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. The agreement will provide ESPN Deportes Radio exclusive access to a vast amount of content that will fuel ESPN Deportes Radio's NASCAR coverage beginning with the 2007 season. ESPN Deportes is the brand under which ESPN Inc. has been serving U.S. Hispanic sports fans since 2000. In addition to ESPN Deportes Radio, the only around-the-clock national Spanish-language radio network in the U.S., the roster of branded initiatives now includes ESPN Deportes TV; ESPNdeportes.com, the leading Spanish-language sports site in the U.S.; ESPN Deportes La Revista, the only general sports Spanish-language magazine in the U.S.; and ESPN Deportes Wireless, which offers mobile phone subscribers images of their favorite Latino sports stars. MRN Radio PR
Scenes from Jonathan Summerton's first F3 race win Scenes from Jonathan Summerton's first F3 race winAmerican youngster Jonathan Summerton claimed victory in the final round of the season in the Formula 3 Euro Series.  Summerton was the first rookie to win a race this season.  The bent front suspension is from Charlie Kimball's car, after hitting Jonathan Summerton in lap 2 in the Sunday race! Kimball (obviously) retired, but Summerton went on to win the race!  Its not everyday an 18-year old American kid wins an F3 Euroseries race. 



Industry News
Ford plans production cuts Ford plans production cutsFord Motor Co. plans to cut North American production 8%-12% in the first half of 2007, Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair told Automotive News.
Audi and Frentzen go their separate ways Audi and Frentzen go their separate waysAudi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen (39) will part company after just one DTM season. The former Formula 1 driver had prematurely parked his Audi A4 DTM in Sunday’s DTM finale at Hockenheim following a collision and later stated that he had not been fully supported by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline during the 2006 season having not been accepted within the Audi squad.
In a conversation between Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen on Monday, no basis for a further successful collaboration could be found.
Frentzen was signed by Audi shortly before the start of the 2006 season and competed in ten DTM races for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. He finished third in the season "opener” at Hockenheim and also at Barcelona. He completed the DTM season in seventh position overall with 24 points.
"Unfortunately, Heinz-Harald was also unable to win a DTM race with Audi,” explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Audi Sport and the race team of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline have been fully committed to enabling Heinz-Harald to achieve good results. It is a shame that the collaboration has come to an end after just one season.”
Alesi done with DTM Alesi done with DTMJean’s three-year contract with DaimlerChrysler DTM partner HWA expires at the end of 2006, and Jean informed HWA that he has decided to look for a new challenge in 2007. During the five years, Jean has driven for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM he has won four races and finished a total of seven times on the podium. 30 times in 51 races Jean finished in the points. He and Mercedes-Benz will continue their close relationship. Mercedes-Benz want to thank Jean for his contribution to their successful DTM campaigns and wish him all the best for his personal and sporting future.

Jean Alesi: ”I would like to say thank you to Mercedes-Benz for the opportunity they have given me to be part of the DTM during the five exciting years we have been working together. In those years I have made many friends there and even after I will have stopped racing in the DTM I will consider myself to be part of the Mercedes family. This was a chapter of my career that I always will remember in a positive way. The DTM and their approach to their public is one of a kind and in its style second to none, which I always liked and admired very much.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Jean was a vital part of our DTM campaigns for the last five years. It was very special to have a driver of Jean’s caliber with such an impressive Formula One pedigree in our ranks. Jean brought excitement into DTM and not only by throwing his helmet into the spectators after having finished here in Hockenheim on the podium on his first ever outing. Jean will remain closely connected to the Mercedes-Benz brand, and he certainly will stay a friend. We all wish him all the best for his future, and we will miss him and his flamboyant and likeable style as much as the DTM fans will do.”

GM's Busch series boss to step down GM's Busch series boss to step downThe General Motors' Busch Series long-time manager Ray Smith, who has worked for GM since 1963 and has been involved with the company's NASCAR efforts since 1980, will retire from the Busch Series position at the end of the season but will represent GM in USAC and World of Outlaws racing next season.

"I've got a lot of friends all over NASCAR," Smith said. "The people involved are who I'll miss the most."

Shane Martin will take over Smith's duties.

Ford Auctioning Warriors in Pink Race Gear on eBay Ford Auctioning Warriors in Pink Race Gear on eBayINDIANAPOLIS – In support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Ford is auctioning off race gear and pieces of Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford rookie Katherine Legge (#20 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) special Warriors in Pink race livery on eBay.

Ford worked in conjunction with PKV Racing to design a special Warriors in Pink paint scheme along with a special fire suit, helmet gloves and shoes with all of the items available in the eBay auction. Also available are pieces from the Warriors in Pink car Legge drove at Road America on September 24, where she was involved in a spectacular accident while running sixth. The accident drew national news coverage as Legge walked away with only bruises after the frightful incident.

To access the all of the items in the Ford Warriors in Pink auction go to www.ebay.com and enter Warriors in Pink in the search box. All of the proceeds from the auction will be given to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Montezemolo praises Schumacher and team (Italian Version) Montezemolo praises Schumacher and team (Italian Version)
Montezemolo praises Schumacher and team (English) Montezemolo praises Schumacher and team (English)
Parente wins, Danielsson takes title Parente wins, Danielsson takes titleAlvaro Parente (Victory Engineering) has taken his third victory of the season in Barcelona. The Portuguese driver shared the final podium of the season with Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA) and Sean McIntosh (KTR). After finishing in fifth, the Swede Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) has the most points in the overall standings. But the final outcome will only be confirmed once we know the results of the various appeals in progress. The Team title goes to Interwetten.com.

The race got underway in front of packed stands. Sean McIntosh mistimed his start and Maldonado went into the opening corner in the lead ahead of Alvaro Parente. Alx Danielsson attempted to pass McIntosh, but the two got in each other's way and Zaugg took advantage of the situation to slot in between them! The leaders were followed by Garcia, Montanari, Miguez, Perera and Gommendy. Soucek was involved in a collision on lap one to end his chances of the title.

At the start of lap two, Gommendy collided with Barba, putting an end to Aleshin's race in the process. Montanari then managed to take sixth place from Garcia. zzzz

The race order was to remain unchanged until lap five when drivers started coming in for tires. Adrian Zaugg and Milos Pavlovic were the first to make their stops. Danielsson followed suit on the next lap. On lap seven, Perera became the next to take the gamble of an early pit stop strategy.

Maldonado, Parente, McIntosh, Montanari and Garcia meanwhile soldiered on. Danielsson, who was leading the drivers to have already stopped after nine laps, was 39 seconds back. Maldonado and Garcia made their stops on lap ten, while Ryo Fukuda (Tech 1 Racing) and Pasquale di Sabatino (Cram Compétition) were both involved in off-track detours of a different nature. On the next lap, Parente came into the pits, handing the race lead to McIntosh.

Maldonado came back out of the pit lane with a 5''5 lead over Danielsson. But the two rivals were outdone by Parente, who now had the virtual lead! McIntosh came in for his tires on lap thirteen and Montanari took over control of the race for just one lap.

With fifteen laps gone, all the drivers had made their stops. Parente regained control of the race ahead of Maldonado, McIntosh, Montanari, Danielsson and Zaugg. The latter was to abandon on lap eighteen, allowing Perera and Garcia to move up a place.

With only three laps to go to the checkered flag, Celso Miguez (Comtec Racing) and Grégory Franchi (Prema Power Team) collided. At the same time, Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) made a mistake to let Ben Hanley and Steven Kane through.

Alvaro Parente: "It's a superb victory after starting from fourth on the grid. My start was good, the team did a great job for the pit stop and I just kept attacking until the end."

Pastor Maldonado: "This race marks the end to an excellent season for me. We kept on fighting right to the end. I feel really good now and I'd like to congratulate Alx."

Sean McIntosh: "That was the worst start I've made all season! After that, I just worked to try and make it back onto the podium."

Alx Danielsson: "The opening bends were tricky. I knew that it was essential for me to score some points so I didn't take any risks. Our pit stop was good, as I moved up a place. Then, I just tried to avoid making any mistakes. I didn't know the outcome of the Championship until I crossed the line!"

Pos Number Driver Team Laps Time GapFirst KPH
1 16 Alvaro PARENTE VICTORY ENGINEERING 26 39:39.948 - 186.1
2 3 Pastor MALDONADO DRACO MULTIRACING USA 26 39:42.762 +2.814 185.5
3 6 Sean McINTOSH KTR 26 39:45.214 +5.266  186.0
4 30 Christian MONTANARI PREMA POWERTEAM 26 39:46.315 +6.367 185.9
5 27 Alx DANIELSSON COMTEC 26 39:56.229 +16.281 185.2
6 21 Franck PERERA INTERWETTEN.COM 26 40:05.904  +25.956 185.4
7 11 Ben HANLEY CRAM COMPETITION 26 40:10.370 +30.422 185.3
8 1 Steven KANE EPSILON EUSKADI 26 40:11.243 +31.295 184.4
9 25 Borja GARCIA RC MOTORSPORT 26 40:22.476 +42.528 183.8
10 20 Miguel MOLINA GD RACING 26 40:31.306 +51.358 183.3
11 26 Bruce JOUANNY RC MOTORSPORT 26 40:41.376  +1:01.428 182.7
12 18 Oliver JARVIS VICTORY ENGINEERING 26 40:41.740 +1:01.792 182.7
13 7 Michael ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 26 40:42.348 +1:02.400 183.4
14 19 Carlos IACONELLI GD RACING 26 40:43.130 +1:03.182 183.8
15 14 Alvaro BARBA JENZER MOTORSPORT 26 40:50.049  +1:10.101 183.6
16 15 Marco BARBA L. JENZER MOTORSPORT 26 40:51.899 +1:11.951 182.2
17 23 Nil MONTSERRAT EUROINTERNATIONAL 25 40:27.824 1 Lap 180.1
18 4 Milos PAVLOVIC DRACO MULTIRACING USA 24 37:40.452 2 Laps 185.1
19 31 Patrick PILET TECH 1 RACING 23 40:01.151  3 Laps 183.8
 28 Celso MIGUEZ COMTEC 22 34:16.445  183.9
 29 Gregory FRANCHI PREMA POWERTEAM 22 34:16.881  184.1
 22 Andy SOUCEK INTERWETTEN.COM 22 40:40.539  186.2
 2 Davide VALSECCHI EPSILON EUSKADI 21 33:38.813  183.5
 8 Adrian ZAUGG CARLIN MOTORSPORT 18 28:31.599  184.7
 10 James ROSSITER PONS RACING 18 28:33.876  185.1
 12 Pascuale Di SABATINO CRAM COMPETITION 9 14:50.555 180.9
 5 Robbie KERR KTR 9 36:33.157 186.6
 32 Ryo FUKUDA TECH 1 RACING 8 13:11.792  183.9
 24 Alberto VALERIO EUROINTERNATIONAL 3 4:55.539  178.7
 9 Tristan GOMMENDY PONS RACING 1 1:41.941

2 Andy SOUCEK ESP 101
3 Borja GARCIA ESP 99
5 Alvaro PARENTE POR 96
6 Sean McINTOSH CAN 63
7 Christian MONTANARI SMR 46
10 Milos PAVLOVIC SRB 41
11 Michael ALESHIN RUS 41
13 Sebastian VETTEL GER 31
14 Adrian ZAUGG RSA 29
15 James ROSSITER GBR 25
16 Ryo FUKUDA JPN 25
17 Tristan GOMMENDY FRA 16
18 Robbie KERR GBR 16
19 Steven KANE GBR 15
20 Colin FLEMING USA 14
21 Patrick PILET FRA 14
22 Franck PERERA FRA 13
23 Hayanari SHIMODA JPN 12
24 Celso MIGUEZ ESP 11
25 Gregory FRANCHI BEL 10
26 Alvaro BARBA ESP 9
28 Bruce JOUANNY FRA 7
30 Tomas KOSTKA CZE 5
32 Miguel MOLINA ESP 1

3 COMTEC 123
7 KTR 79

Ferrari fans pay final tribute to Schu Ferrari fans pay final tribute to SchuMonza - The 2006 Ferrari World Finals were brought to a close today at the Monza circuit with the traditional demonstration from Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. The key moment of the event that rounds off the Prancing Horse's racing season was a tribute to the Formula 1 career of Michael Schumacher. Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo, Vice-president Piero Ferrari, Chief Executive Officer Jean Todt, Managing Director Amedeo Felisa and the entire team then acknowledged and thanked the crowd of over 45,000 spectators. Particularly heartfelt was the acknowledgement of the German driver, whose racing career has ended, although he will continue to have a role with Ferrari.

Completing the busy program were the display of single-seaters prepared by the Maranello F1 Clienti department and runs for the laboratory car from the exclusive FXX Program. A special initiative from the Scuderia Ferrari Club then saw some members taking part in the final round of the 2006 Soap Box race, for four wheeled vehicles without engines, based on the imaginative designs of these enthusiasts.

The day's race card saw the final races of the season in various Ferrari championships. Of particular note, the world final of the Ferrari Challenge Pirelli Trophy race, using the F430 Challenge, which was won by Andrea Belluzzi (Motor,) who crossed the line ahead of Vito Postiglione (Stile F) and Max Blancardi (Auto Palace/Star Rent Competition.) Giorgio Sernagiotto (Motor) took first place in the "mondialino" for gentlemen drivers in the Shell Cup, with Lorenzo Bontempelli (Rossocorsa) first among the 360 Challenge runners in this the last year of eligibility for the Prancing Horse one-make series.

Also taking to the track today for the second series of races of the weekend were the competitors in the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge, also open to historic Maseratis. Wins at the end of these races went to Thomas Bscher in his 1955 Maserati 250 F in category "A" for single-seaters, to Bscher again, this time in a 1958 Maserati 450 S in the "B" group (sports and GT cars fitted with drum brakes) and the 1970 Ferrari 512 M of Patrick Stieger in the "C" class (cars with disc brakes.) Ferrari

Setzer victim of GM NASCAR reduction Setzer victim of GM NASCAR reductionChevrolet's decision to reduce its manufacturer's support in the Craftsman Truck Series has Dennis Setzer on the job market. At least temporarily, that is, as team co-owner David Dollar still hopes Chevrolet's marketing arm can broker a deal to place an ethanol-related sponsor on the truck.  Dollar, though, can't offer Setzer a contract until sponsorship is secured. And Setzer said Oct. 28 that he realizes Dollar could also secure sponsorship attached to a specific driver, increasing his urgency to get a deal done.  "I need to race, I don't know [where that will be]," said Setzer, whose name has been tied to Roush Racing. "I don't have any offers." Scenedaily.com
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ferrari rule out Brawn switch until 2008
Todt to remain F1 boss for now
Schu turns down test driver offer
Alonso leaves teammate decision to McLaren
Monteiro doubts Alonso quit reports
Bourdais ends talk of F1 switch
Klien reveals F1 'meetings' about 2007
Women to score cheaper F1 tickets in Oz
Skip Barber
Jonathan Goring Wins Skip Barber National Title Jonathan Goring Wins Skip Barber National TitleTOOELE, Utah - Over a tense three days and two final races, Jonathan Goring took the 2006 Skip Barber National Presented by RACER title and its $100,000 Career Enhancement Award over Marco Di Leo by a final margin of just two points. Di Leo, a three time race winner, won $20,000 while Alexander Rossi, who also won three times, took home $15,000 for third overall in the championship. Goring, 17, from Norfolk, Conn., who won his fourth race of the year in Saturday’s race one, finished fifth in the extremely exciting second race on Sunday -- right behind Di Leo and just enough to win the title and the $100,000 bonus.
Racing News
Quotes of the Week Quotes of the Week
PAUL TRACY, Forsythe Championship Racing, Champ Car driver
“I enjoyed my experiences in NASCAR and I appreciate the relationships that I have developed during my first season of stock cars, especially with Sport Clips and American Crew,” Tracy said.  “However, Champ Car is where my heart is and it’s where I come from and it’s what has put me where I am today and what has given my family and me this lifestyle.  I have a great relationship with Gerry Forsythe and I am committed to returning in 2007 and doing whatever I can to give Forsythe Racing another championship.  I have a great team and I am fully committed to working with them to consistently put us in Victory Lane.”
“I wish the best for A.J. Allmendinger and Juan Montoya in NASCAR, however I am committed to continuing my career in Champ Car and building the series in order that it will get both the national and global attention that it deserves.  Champ Car is a great series that provides excitement week-in and week-out.  In Australia, we had over 300,000 people there.  Is that not exciting?  Sure it is, and I want to be a part of it.  Next season we open in Las Vegas and we also head to China.  Great things are happening in Champ Car and people need to pay closer attention to what we have going on over here.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, Red Bull Toyota, NASCAR driver (former Champ Car driver)
"I don't know what it says, honestly. For me, I got a great chance to be part of Red Bull, who has been a supporter and with me for the last three years. It's been a relationship that's really fit me and allowed me to be myself and have fun. That was a big part of the reason for coming to NASCAR – to be a part of that.  I don't want to say anything bad about open wheel racing because I love it. I love Champ Car. I love everything about it. There's just a lot of opportunity in NASCAR.  I'm going to miss it. I'm going to especially miss the Forsythe team. That was probably the hardest part of the decision – to leave my team, because of everything they've given me this year."  (Bob Margolis, NASCAR reporter for Yahoo! Sports, asked Allmendinger "What does it say about open wheel racing in America when another one of its brightest young stars abandons the genre and heads to stock cars?") zzzz   
PATRICK HEAD, Williams F1, Team co-owner
"When you're in a pit without much light at the top and everybody's working like hell and you're not making progress, you've nearly always got to bring in a bit of new blood and so we've had a few changes," said Head.  (Many new technical appointments are being made at Williams after they finished a lowly eighth in the F1 constructors' title)
DALE EARNHARDT, Jr., Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, NASCAR driver
"The Impala is a great car, it is pretty cool. I bought one for my mom a couple of years ago, and my grandmother drives an Impala."  (A backhanded compliment by Dale Earnhardt Jr. regarding GM's decision to badge and market its version of NASCAR's new car of tomorrow under Chevy's Impala logo, rather than the long-standing (circa 1972) Monte Carlo SS coupe nameplate.  Mike Mulhern, NASCAR journalist, humorously suggested the new GM sales slogan should be "My grandmother drives an Impala.")

ROGER ENTNER, Wireless Analyst, Ovum
"Sprint profits have plunged 52% in the third quarter and at a time when Cingular and Verizon are adding more than 1 million new customers each per quarter, Sprint and Nextel managed to lose customers," notes Roger Entner, a wireless analyst at Ovum. "It's pretty bad." Entner blames Nextel for most of Sprints woes, "The Nextel side is near collapse," he says. ""They're still standing, but it's like a technical knockout." (Talking about NASCAR sponsor Nextel) 
Can divorce sell cars? Ford’s bold moves ad will tell Can divorce sell cars? Ford’s bold moves ad will tellChamp Car fans will recognize the ad discussed here.  I believe this ad debuted on CCWS telecasts.

A mom and dad joke with their kids as their Ford Freestyle winds through scenic terrain. They stop at a roadside stand for a snack. They frolic on a beach at sunset.

They look like the perfect, happy family until the Freestyle pulls into a condo complex and Dad gets out. "Thanks for inviting me this weekend," he tells his ex-wife. Dad gives his kids a heartfelt hug and waves as the Freestyle crossover vehicle pulls away. A voice-over intones: "Bold moves: They happen every day."

The daring move here really belongs to Ford: showing a divorced couple in an advertising campaign.

Although millions of Americans have been divorced and millions of children no longer share an address with both parents, that truth is almost never reflected in the advertising that manufacturers and retailers use to woo consumers.

It's likely to stay that way, some marketers predict, because there is still a stigma attached to divorce, and most advertisers prefer to evoke images of happy nuclear families when pushing their products. More at Chicago Tribune

formula bmw
Gelles Racing bolsters engineering staff Gelles Racing bolsters engineering staffCorrado Cardinali Joins Gelles Racing
Front Royal, Virginia, October 29th, 2006 - Corrado Cardinali has joined Gelles Racing as Engineer of the rapidly developing racing team. Cardinali comes to the team with a long history in open wheel racing and most recent success in winning the Formula BMW USA Series.

"Another example where Gelles Racing is able to attract strategic personnel in our endeavor to win the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship and 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship. I have been working to get Corrado on our team for almost five years. He is an engineer with vast experience at all levels of professional open wheel racing," said Bob Gelles, Team Owner.

Having committed high caliber staff is paramount to build a winning racing team. Cardinali brings to Gelles Racing the proper blend of experience, knowledge and result. He has engineered many of the top open wheel drivers over the course of his winning career.

"I am genuinely excited about joining Gelles Racing. They are a solid team with a proven track record. Together with the top drivers Gelles has attracted and Team Manager Gary Penission; the team is strong and is ready to take on the title fight for the 2007 Championships. Bob definitely wants to win and is pulling the team together to do it,” added Corrado commenting on his new team.

"I am really excited that we have been able to secure Corrado as our new Engineer which gives me confidence that we will give our drivers a championship winning effort in 2007," said Gary.

Corrado will commence his new position immediately after the DELL BMW World Final where he has committed to support his long time friend.

Stay tuned for upcoming news announcements regarding new corporate partners joining Gelles Racing in their quest to win the 2007 Championships.

Bruno Spengler wins season finale Bruno Spengler wins season finaleBruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) won the final round of the 2006 DTM at Hockenheim. With his fourth victory of the year, the Canadian ended the season runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship behind Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class). The German had clinched his fifth DTM Championship already two weeks ago at Le Mans and finished today’s race fourth behind Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class) and Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM). For Mercedes-Benz it is the 50th DTM race win since 2000 (including the Shanghai invitational event in 2004), the fourth 1-2 victory this year and the ninth consecutive success in Hockenheim since the 2002 season finale. Jean Alesi (stern AMG-Mercedes) drove his 2005 C-Class to an eighth-place finish; the Frenchman who will end his DTM career finished in the points for the 30th time in 51 races. Susie Stoddart (AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes) with a 2004 C-Class came home ninth, her best DTM result and the best result with a 2004 car this year. Mathias Lauda (Second Hand AMG-Mercedes C-Class) in another 2004 car ended up 10th. 149,000 spectators attended the DTM finale at Hockenheim during the weekend, a new record.

Pos Driver Make Time
 1. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1:00:13.459
 2. Jamie Green Mercedes + 1.503
 3. Tom Kristensen Audi + 10.490
 4. Bernd Schneider Mercedes + 11.507
 5. Martin Tomczyk Audi + 12.026
 6. Timo Scheider Audi + 19.526
 7. Christian Abt Audi + 21.359
 8. Jean Alesi Mercedes + 36.280
 9. Susie Stoddart Mercedes + 38.475
10. Mathias Lauda Mercedes + 1 lap
11. Vanina Ickx Audi + 1 lap
12. Mattias Ekstrom Audi + 2 laps
13. Alexandros Margaritis Mercedes + 3 laps
14. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Audi + 3 laps
15. Thed Bjork Audi + 10 laps


 Driver Make Lap
 Daniel la Rosa Mercedes 26
 Pierre Kaffer Audi 26
 Mika Hakkinen Mercedes 20
 Stefan Mucke Mercedes 4
 Frank Stippler Audi 1

Montoya to run rest of Busch races Montoya to run rest of Busch racesJuan Pablo Montoya most likely will run the remaining three Busch Series races this year, team owner Chip Ganassi confirmed Sunday morning.

Ganassi was pleased with Montoya's debut, an 11th-place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park.

"The thing I like about him is you don't have to tell him things twice," Ganassi said. "He gets it the first time. It's a matter of getting him in all these different scenarios.

"I thought it was mission accomplished and it couldn't have been better. He'll be in Texas [for Busch]."

Audi rejects criticism by Heinz-Harald Frentzen Audi rejects criticism by Heinz-Harald FrentzenStatement regarding TV interviews after DTM finale

Former Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen stated in TV interviews following the DTM finale at Hockenheim that he had not been treated fairly by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline during the 2006 season and had not been accepted within the Audi squad. AUDI AG wishes to comment on these statements.
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich: "I can understand that Heinz-Harald Frentzen is deeply disappointed after the race at Hockenheim. He started from the pole position and was hoping to claim his first victory in the DTM. But the race did not go for him as expected. He was overtaken by Bruno Spengler, gave away valuable time when driving off from his second pit stop and was spun by a team-mate shortly before crossing the finish line. It is understandable that he is less than delighted about this. Making mutual accusations in public, such as those voiced by Heinz-Harald on television, are not Audi’s style. We assume that Heinz-Harald made his comments as an initial response to the disappointment he suffered and will see things differently with a certain detachment. Everyone at Audi Sport and Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline has been fully committed to enabling Heinz-Harald to achieve good results. He had the same material as his team-mates and the full support of the entire Audi squad in a season that was difficult for all of us. We are now going to take a quick decision as to whether or not there will be a joint future for Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Audi. I’m disappointed by him.”
racing news
Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation Carroll Shelby Children’s FoundationRacing legend Carroll Shelby won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans race in John Wyer's Aston Martin with teammate Roy Salvadori. In 1962 he began production of the Shelby Ford Cobra. In June 1990 he underwent successful heart transplant surgery. In September 1991 he started the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation to help children with organ and tissue donation and transplants. Every fall, Shelby has a "Concours D'Provenance" at his factory, Carroll Shelby Enterprises in Gardena, CA.
This annual event also presents a gathering of many drivers from the 1950s and '60s including Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Bob Bondurant, Dick Guldstrand, Tony Adamowicz, Chuck Daigh, John Morton, Billy Krause, Scooter Patrick, Tony Settember and Jim Jeffords. Phil Hill was unable to attend. The event had a buffet, live music, as well as a "Concours D'Provenance". Photos Steven Levinson
Chevy out of touch with reality Chevy out of touch with realityUPDATE #2 It seems other journalists agree with us.

Win on Sunday, sell on Monday? But what is Detroit selling? If NASCAR is such a hot item in the American psyche, why are the three Nextel Cup brands - the Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Monte Carlo - such lackluster sellers?
NASCAR doesn't produce results for the very Detroit products that are its heart? Well, that's a ripe topic for debate, and all this isn't news. But GM's decision to badge - and market - its version of NASCAR's new car of tomorrow under Chevy's Impala logo, rather than the long-standing (circa 1972) Monte Carlo SS coupe nameplate, brings the issue back to the fore.

Chevy sold 219,167 Impalas in the U.S. during the first nine months of 2006, putting it seventh on the list of top-selling vehicles. Ford's new Fusion, Chevy's venerable Monte Carlo, and the Dodge Charger all had sales which paled in comparison to the Impala, despite weekly headlines around the country since January. Ford sold 10,917 Fusions in September, Dodge sold 10,228 Chargers, and Chevrolet sold 3,170 Monte Carlos, according to various Detroit reports.

Perhaps it's the common template. In gray primer, a NASCAR Dodge is a NASCAR Chevy is a NASCAR Ford. The only real difference is in the decals and the drivers who climb into the cars.

And where does the NASCAR Impala fit into the picture? In a humorous twist to the announcement, Dale Earnhardt Jr., in a backhanded compliment, said: "The Impala is a great car, it is pretty cool. I bought one for my mom a couple of years ago, and my grandmother drives an Impala."

New GM sales slogan: "My grandmother drives an Impala." Winston Salem Journal

10/28/06 Like we said, Chevy is going to race an old man's car that no one will buy because of racing.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. hammered our point home today.  "I bought one for my mom a couple of years ago," Earnhardt Jr. said. "My grandmother drives an Impala. It's a great car to market Chevrolet."  

10/27/06 Chevrolet officials say their switch from the Monte Carlo to Impala beginning next season is strictly a “marketing decision.”

“The Impala is our passenger car flagship and the best-selling domestic car in America. We would like to align those strengths with our powerful accomplishments on the track,” said Pat Suhy, General Motors’ program manager for NASCAR.

The fact is that the Impala is largely viewed as an old man's car, not a race car, and if Chevy thinks racing the Impala in NASCAR is going to raise sales they have their head buried further in the sand than anyone could ever imagine. See their announcement. Ditto for Ford and their Taurus, which is now being taken out of production for miserable sales (NASCAR failed them), and Toyota and their Camry, both viewed as old man's cars. Just as NASCAR failed to sell old man Ford Tauruses to race fans, Chevy and Toyota will find that NASCAR will fail to sell hardly any additional Impalas and Camrys. It's more a case of Monkey See, Monkey Do. Mark C.

racing news
Colombian race car driver shot dead on track Colombian race car driver shot dead on trackAn amateur race car driver was shot dead at a track near the capital Saturday minutes before taking his position at the starting line, police said.  Witnesses said German Neira's assailant entered the pits at a race track in Tocancipa, north of Bogota, and, using a firearm equipped with a silencer, shot Neira four times, in the head and back.

The victim died shortly after being taken to a hospital, said Col. Cesar Rojas, the local head of police.

Police chased and captured the alleged assassin and an accomplice, both minors, but other men waiting for the two in a motorcycle and car escaped.

"The assailant tried to escape through the back entrance of the race track, but an alarm call was immediately sounded and the police were able to detain him," Fernando Escobar, the manager of the track, told reporters. AP Story

Two NASCAR TV shows cancelled Two NASCAR TV shows cancelledSPEED has cancelled two NASCAR TV shows, Beyond The Wheel and 7 Days.  The bad news for NASCAR keeps piling up these days.
Rossi falls, Hayden World Champion Rossi falls, Hayden World ChampionUPDATE In another incredible race of what has been an amazing season, Nicky Hayden achieved the ultimate accolade of being crowned 2006 World Champion. The American star’s third place, coupled with Valentino Rossi’s early crash, gave Hayden his first ever MotoGP Title at the Gran Premio bwin.com de la Comunitat Valenciana in a race won by Ducati stand-in Troy Bayliss.

Starting from fifth on the grid, the Repsol Honda rider bearing a sticker proclaiming “All In 69” laid his chips down early, pulling sharply to the right and nearly touching Rossi, who led him by eight points ahead of the final race. By lap seven Hayden was in a comfortable third, a position he stuck in until reaching the chequered flag.

In the pre-race press conference, Hayden was insistent that Rossi was not a “choke artist,” but that he needed a bad day from the Camel Yamaha rider to take the title. It was an uncharacteristic error on lap four that proved to be Rossi’s undoing, as he lowsided his Yamaha M1 and was unable to make up enough points upon rejoining the race. The Italian eventually finished thirteenth.

With all the focus on the overall classification, the fantastic achievement of Troy Bayliss could easily be overlooked. The Australian rider was standing in for the injured Sete Gibernau to finish the journey of the Ducati Desmosedici 990cc bike which he started back in 2003, and did so in style by leading from the first corner on his 50th Grand Prix appearance. Bayliss’ took the early holeshot and was untroubled by team-mate Loris Capirossi, who finished second, as he earned his best ever MotoGP result. Capirossi also had reason to celebrate when he crossed the line, taking third place in the championship. zzzz

Dani Pedrosa was alongside Hayden for the second race in a row, but this time there was no reason for friction between the two riders. On the second lap the Spaniard took a wide line to let his team-mate through, and did a sterling job of keeping the rest of the field away from Hayden.

Immediately behind Pedrosa were two other Honda riders, Marco Melandri and Toni Elias. A top six finish tops off a good year for Melandri, who just missed out on third spot in the overall standings, and continues Toni Elias’ run of good form which culminated in victory two weeks ago in Portugal.


Troy Bayliss
It’s been a fairytale weekend. A fairytale year for me really. Sete was injured and they made a choice to bring me in, and it seems like it was a good one. It was something I couldn’t knock back and it’s been an incredible story to finish the 990cc story which I started back in 2003.

Loris Capirossi
I think that this whole weekend has been fantastic. Troy had a great race and I tried to follow him, but on the last laps he was so fast. Third in the championship is a great result for me.

Nicky Hayden
To be called “champion” sounds really good. You dedicate your life to something and when you win you just feel really good. I thought the championship was over after the first ten laps in Estoril, but then this happens. It just shows that good things happen to good people. Thanks to everyone who helped me get here, I’m so humbled by all this and it’s been a great day for me.

1. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 46min 55.415 secs
2. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 46min 56.734 secs
3. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 47min 4.645 secs
4. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 47min 7.480 secs
5. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 47min 11.721 secs
6. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 47min 12.805 secs
7. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 47min 14.744 secs
8. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 47min 18.589 secs
9. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 47min 21.487 secs
10. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 47min 23.609 secs
11. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 47min 24.779 secs
12. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 47min 25.122 secs
13. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 47min 33.961 secs
14. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 48min 15.428 secs
15. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 47min 10.246 secs

Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP
Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP
Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR
Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team

10/29/06 Valentino Rossi just fell of his MotoGP bike at Valencia and rejoined in 20th.  American Nicky Hayden is 2nd at the moment and will win the title if it finishes the way it currently is.  There are 24 laps to go.
Senna’s nephew wants F1 by 2009 Senna’s nephew wants F1 by 2009(GMM)  Bruno Senna says he wants to be on the Formula One grid by 2009.

The 23-year-old nephew of the sport's late triple world champion - Ayrton Senna - told reporters at the Hockenheim circuit on Sunday that he will almost certainly race in the GP2 series next year.

Probably referring to Gerhard Berger, co-owner of the Toro Rosso team but also his uncle's former McLaren teammate, Senna said: "I already have some contacts in Formula One.

"Depending on how I go (in GP2), I want to be in F1 within two years," Senna told 'Bild' newspaper, before crashing whilst guesting in the Porsche Carrera race at the DTM event.

And he said of Michael Schumacher: "If my uncle had not died, Schumacher would have won two titles less.

"Michael rarely had to drive right at the limit, but that would have been very different had Ayrton been there."

Ferrari deny Brawn 'sabbatical' Ferrari deny Brawn 'sabbatical'(GMM) Luca di Montezemolo has played down suggestions that technical director Ross Brawn's departure from the team is a mere 'sabbatical'.

"I do not know whether he is going to return," La Gazzetta dello Sport quoted the Ferrari president as saying, "but it is my belief that he will come back either to us or with someone else."

Montezemolo also rejected talk that Michael Schumacher was pushed out of Ferrari in favor of Kimi Raikkonen by insisting that the 37-year-old actually advised Ferrari to sign the Finn.

"The first time we spoke about (Raikkonen) was when he saw him testing for Sauber at Mugello. Michael recommended him to me," he said.

And to a reporter's query about why Ferrari did not consider Fernando Alonso as Schumacher's successor, Montezemolo added: "Raikkonen has a character and a style that fits with us better."

Valencia: Stoner tops morning warm-up Valencia: Stoner tops morning warm-up
1. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 32.407 secs
2. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 32.409 secs
3. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 32.477 secs
4. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 32.479 secs
5. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 32.830 secs
6. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 32.877 secs
7. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 32.896 secs
8. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 32.908 secs
9. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 32.912 secs
10. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 32.938 secs
11. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 33.119 secs
12. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 33.161 secs
13. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 33.210 secs
14. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 33.276 secs
15. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 33.285 secs
16. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 33.314 secs
17. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 34.098 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 34.746 secs
19. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 35.222 secs
20. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 36.294 secs
McIntosh wins pole for finale McIntosh wins pole for finaleQualifying times for the 18th and final round of the World Series by Renault Championship at the Barcelona, Spain.

1. Sean McIntosh CAN KTR 1min 27.115secs
2. Pastor Maldonado VEN Draco 1min 27.510secs
3. Alx Danielsson SWE Comtec 1min 26.137secs
4. Alvaro Parente POR Victory 1min 27.536secs
5. Robbie Kerr GBR KTR 1min 27.667secs
6. Borja Garcia ESP RC Motorsport 1min 27.676secs
7. Adrian Zaugg RSA Carlin 1min 27.686secs
8. Franck Perera FRA Interwetten.Com 1min 27.715secs
9. Andy Soucek ESP Interwetten.Com 1min 27.826secs
10. James Rossiter GBR Pons 1min 27.715secs
12. Celso Miguez ESP Comtec 1min 27.806secs
11. Milos Pavlovic SCG Draco 1min 27.978secs
13. Ryo Fukuda JPN Tech 1 1min 28.184secs
14. Christian Montanari SMR Prema 1min 27.886secs
15. Mikhail Aleshin RUS Carlin 1min 28.512secs
16. Tristan Gommendy FRA Pons 1min 28.047secs
17. Steven Kane GBR Epsilon Euskadi 1min 28.558secs
18. Alvaro Barba ESP Jenzer 1min 28.130secs
19. Gregory Franchi BEL Prema 1min 28.582secs
20. Patrick Pilet ITA Tech 1 1min 28.165secs
21. Bruce Jouanny FRA RC Motorsport 1min 28.661ecs
22. Ben Hanley GBR Cram 1min 28.572secs
23. Oliver Jarvis GBR Victory 1min 28.928secs
24. Marco Barba ESP Jenzer 1min 29.037secs
25. Alberto Valerio BRZ Eurointernational 1min 29.306secs
26. Davide Valsecchi ITA Epsilon Euskadi 1min 29.105secs
27. Carlos Iaconelli BRZ GD Racing 1min 29.564secs
28. Pasquale di Sabatino ITA Cram 1min 29.498secs
29. Miguel Molina ESP GD Racing 1min 30.345secs
30. Nil Montserrat ESP Eurointernational 1min 30.523

Paul di Resta: keeping a low profile Paul di Resta: keeping a low profileScotsman Paul di Resta (ASM Formule 3) has made it, he is the new champion in the Formula 3 Euro Series. The cousin of former DTM driver Dario Franchitti is the fourth champion in the world’s toughest junior racing series, following in the footsteps of Ryan Briscoe (Prema Powerteam, 2003), Jamie Green (ASM Formule 3, 2004) and Lewis Hamilton (ASM Formule 3, 2005).

Halfway through the season, the battle for the title in the Formula 3 Euro Series already turned into a duel between 20-year old Paul di Resta and the one year younger Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3). The two were the only two drivers to have won more than two races so far. With five victories, di Resta had one more win that his German opponent Vettel, who had already been involved as a Friday test driver for the BMW Sauber Formula 1 team. zzzz

Newly-crowned champion Paul di Resta has been making good progress this year in sporting terms. Driving for the Manor Motorsport team last year, he still made some driving errors with his Dallara-Mercedes. But he also showed his potential with very fast lap times. In the 2005 season, the man from Bathgate claimed three pole-positions. At the end of the season, only champion Lewis Hamilton had more. In 2004, Paul di Resta had already been crowned as the “McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year”, the annual accolade for the best British young driver.

In his spare time, the 1.85 meters tall racing driver is mainly involved with fitness training and motor sport. “My younger brother Stefan is racing karts. When I am not busy with my own motor sport activities, I am helping him wherever I can.” In doing so, Paul, who is known to be keeping a rather low profile, is taking care of many activities to support his brother in his career. After all, he himself got plenty of support from his own relatives. “My two cousins Dario and Marino Franchitti, who have been racing successfully for many years, have helped me a lot. But my father is doing very much for me as well. We are something like a small family business.”

In turn, Paul di Resta is helping his father, who owns a night club and rents out apartments. “I do whatever comes up. The only thing I don’t do is working in the night club at night.” His father and his girlfriend Laura are often accompanying Paul di Resta to his races. “Only when Stefan is racing, then my father usually goes with him. He is younger and needs him more. Meanwhile, I can find my own way.”

Like almost every other young driver, Paul di Resta is dreaming of Formula 1. However, he has never had a particular idol. “I try to copy the good characteristics of every person, not necessarily only in motor sport. Someone like Tiger Woods, for instance, is dominating in golf and is also an interesting personality.”

Summerton wins his first F3 race Summerton wins his first F3 raceJonathan Summerton (Mücke Motorsport) claimed victory in the final round of the season in the Formula 3 Euro Series. After 18 laps at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 18-year old took the chequered flag ahead of Giedo van der Garde (ASM Formule 3) and Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport). Summerton is the first rookie to win a race this season. Newly-crowned champion Paul di Resta (ASM Formule 3) ended his final race in the world’s toughest junior racing series in sixth place. Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3), Friday test driver of the BMW Sauber Formula 1 team, finished twelfth after a spin.

Starting from pole-position, Jonathan Summerton took the lead at the start while Charlie Kimball (Signature-Plus) took second place. On the second lap, Kimball hit the rear of Summerton’s car and retired with bent suspension. Newly second-placed Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3) spun two laps later and dropped back to 17th. After a recovery, he still finished twelfth. While Summerton pulled clear out in front and eventually drove his maiden win home, the battle for second place became exciting again on the final lap: Sébastien Buemi attacked van der Garde, while Esteban Guerrieri (Manor Motorsport) put the duo under pressure from behind. After a few position changes, Giedo van der Garde maintained second place with a margin of 0.977 seconds from Buemi, while Guerrieri crossed the finish line 0.37 seconds behind the Swiss. zzzz

Jonathan Summerton (Mücke Motorsport): “Winning a race in the Formula 3 Euro Series is great. I had a good start. I don’t really know what happened after that, but I just gave everything in order to maintain my first position. I had a very good car, too. Next year, I will most probably be racing in the Formula 3 Euro Series again.”

Giedo van der Garde (ASM Formule 3): “I am satisfied as I made it up from ninth into second place today. My team ASM Formule 3 sent me into the race with fairly high tire pressure. Thus, it felt like I was flying on the first two laps. I don’t know yet what I will be doing next year, but most probably, it won’t be Formula 3 anymore.”

Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport): In the closing stages of the race, I had a difficult and intense battle for second place with Giedo van der Garde. I didn’t have a clue whether I could overtake him on the inside or the outside. Even though I couldn’t get past, I am still happy for having been able to end the season with a podium finish.”

Pos. No. Driver Lap Time Gap
1. 8 Summerton/USA 18 28:47.189 28:47.189
2. 16 van der Garde/NED 18 28:52.106 04.917
3. 7 Buemi/SUI 18 28:53.083 05.894
4. 4 Guerrieri/ARG 18 28:53.453 06.264
5. 19 Streit/BRA 18 28:58.940 11.751
6. 2 di Resta/GBR 18 29:00.226 13.037
7. 3 Hirate/JPN 18 29:06.909 19.720
8. 11 Antinucci/USA 18 29:07.701 20.512
9. 17 Kobayashi/JPN 18 29:10.232 23.043
10. 24 Gachnang/SUI 18 29:25.383 38.194
11. 14 Salaquarda/CEZ 18 29:34.455 47.266
12. 1 Vettel/GER 18 29:35.908 48.719
13. 6 O´Mahony/IRL 18 29:46.098 58.909
14. 41 Cipa/TUR 18 29:59.849 1:12.660
15. 21 Sandtler/GER 18 30:21.036 1:33.847
16. 40 Janiec/FRA 17 28:53.035 1 lap
17. 5 Nunez/ESP 12 19:35.755 6 laps
18. 9 Moreau/FRA 3 5:43.148 15 laps
19. 22 Herck/MCO 2 3:30.401 16 laps
20. 20 Kimball/USA 2 4:05.926 16 laps

Hirvonen wins in Ford, Loeb is champion Hirvonen wins in Ford, Loeb is championMikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen claimed their maiden world rally victory in Australia today as the BP-Ford World Rally Team increased its lead in the FIA World Rally Championship. The Finns won Rally Australia in their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car by 37.1sec. Team-mates Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen finished fifth in another Focus RS as BP-Ford widened its lead in the manufacturers' series to 16 points.

This was the team's sixth victory of the season and, in terms of rally wins, this is now Ford's most successful season ever in world rallying. Right, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Jarmo Lehtinen - Ford Focus RS, photo courtesy of Ford

The four-day event, round 14 of the 16-rally series, was based on dusty gravel tracks near Perth in Western Australia, the 19th and final time that the west coast has hosted the rally. The 26 speed tests covering 348.51km were as demanding as ever, as millions of tiny ball-bearing like stones coated the road surfaces and made conditions treacherously slippery in temperatures touching 30°C. However, BFGoodrich's tires played a crucial role in Hirvonen's success, cutting through the gravel to the harder, more grippier, surface beneath. zzzz

As many top drivers fell foul of conditions on the opening morning, Hirvonen steered clear of trouble and took a firm grip at the front towards the end of the leg. He matched his pace to that of his rivals for the remaining two days to secure an emotional success.

"This is fantastic!" said Hirvonen, who won seven speed tests. "I had so much pressure, not only to win but also to bring the car home for manufacturers' points. Petter pushed me hard but I didn't want him to get too close and it felt good to keep him back. I wasn't too nervous and I concentrated on controlling my speed and rhythm. Now the plan is to win the manufacturers' title.

"I'm still young and to score my first win at just 26 is good. I can't believe I have finally done it. The team placed a lot of faith in me and it is a big relief to pay them back. It will take a lot of time to sink in. Before this I had scored podium finishes but the only way for me to learn is to fight for wins and that's what I did here. I know the Focus RS well and on the last four rallies I've learned a lot about my driving - I've been more consistent at high speed," added Hirvonen.

Grönholm dropped 11 minutes after rolling on Friday morning. However, the team calculated that he could regain fifth and score valuable points for BP-Ford in the manufacturers' championship. The 38-year-old Finn recovered from 56th and last position to claim fifth on the second of today's six special stages, covering 103.32km, east of Perth. His fight back means BP-Ford leads by 16 points with a maximum 36 available from the final two rounds in New Zealand and Britain.

"I'm pleased that after losing so much time on Friday I was able to score points and help the team move further ahead in the manufacturers' championship," said Grönholm, winner of 10 speed tests. "The team and the car are looking really strong and we are in a great position. I'm really happy for Mikko. This win will really boost his confidence and I'm sure he will be confident of beating me now! I'm sad we are not coming back to Perth again because it's a fantastic rally, a great place and the people are so friendly. I will miss it."

BP-Ford team director Malcolm Wilson said it was a 'dream result' for Hirvonen. "Mikko was confident and always felt he had the rally in his control once he took the lead. I've seen him mature throughout the season and the way he handled the pressure over the last two days was fantastic.

I'm sure this is a platform for him to go on to score more wins. Marcus did well to recover to fifth after his problems. He worked hard in firstly getting the car back on the road after his crash and then fighting back up the leaderboard to score valuable manufacturer points," added Wilson.

Ford TeamRS director Jost Capito said: "This is a special day for everyone at BP-Ford. We put our faith in Mikko and Jarmo this season and they have come through to win their first rally. They join drivers of the caliber of Marcus Grönholm and Sébastien Loeb as the only ones to win this year."

Grönholm's fifth place finish means that the absent Sébastien Loeb (Citroen) is crowned world champion for the third time (subject to the official publication of results by the FIA). Loeb broke his right arm in a mountain bike crash last month and has missed the last two rallies. Grönholm needed a podium finish to keep the title race active. Petter Solberg (Subaru) claimed his best result since Rally Argentina in April by finishing second ahead of Manfred Stohl (Peugeot). Xevi Pons (Citroen) and Grönholm were the only other WRC cars in the top 10.

Next round
The championship stays in Australasia for the 15th and penultimate round next month. Hamilton hosts the gravel Rally New Zealand on 16 - 19 November.

Final positions
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 15min 11.8sec
2. P Solberg/P Mills N Subaru Impreza 3hr 15min 48.9sec
3. M Stohl/I Minor A Peugeot 307 3hr 19min 10.4sec
4. X Pons/C Del Barrio E Citroen Xsara 3hr 19min 57.2sec
5. M Grönholm/T Rautiainen FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 27min 35.6sec
6. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Subaru Impreza 3hr 32min 21.0sec
7. M Baldacci/G Agnese RSM Mitsubishi Lancer 3hr 32min 54.7sec
8. D Herridge/B Hayes AUS Subaru Impreza 3hr 33min 33.8sec
9. S Beltran/R Rojas RA Mitsubishi Lancer 3hr 41min 35.3sec
10 C Atkinson/G MacNeall AUS Subaru Impreza 3hr 42min 17.3sec

FIA World Rally Championship (after round 14 of 16)
1. S Loeb 112pts
2. M Grönholm 91pts
3. M Hirvonen 57pts
4. D Sordo 43pts
5. M Stohl 40pts
6. P Solberg 31pts
1. BP-Ford 167pts
2. Kronos Citroen 151pts
3. Subaru 94pts
4. OMV - Peugeot Norway 73pts
5. Stobart VK M-Sport Ford 37pts
6. Red-Bull Skoda 23pts

Paul di Resta champion in the Formula 3 Euro Series Paul di Resta champion in the Formula 3 Euro SeriesPaul di Resta (ASM Formule 3) is the new champion in the Formula 3 Euro Series. A tenth place in the 19th round of the season was enough for the 20-year old Scotsman, as his direct rival Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3), Friday test driver of the BMW Sauber Formula 1 team, only finished third. Victory in the penultimate round of the season in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring went to Esteban Guerrieri (Manor Motorsport) from Argentina, ahead of 17-year old Swiss, Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport).

Paul di Resta had a jump start after starting from pole-position. After coming in for the subsequent drive-through penalty, he dropped back to 14th place. Sebastian Vettel benefited from the penalty of the Scottish ASM-driver and moved up from seventh on the grid to second after five laps. On lap eight, the 19-year old made a driving error which allowed Sébastien Buemi to get through. As Sebastian Vettel would have had to win the two remaining rounds to remain his title hopes upright, di Resta clinched the championship title.

Argentine Esteban Guerrieri celebrated his second victory of the season. Second-placed Sébastien Buemi celebrated his second podium finish in the world’s toughest junior racing series after his earlier success in Oschersleben. zzzz
Americans Charlie Kimball and Jonathan Summerton finished Saturday’s race in sixth and eighth positions. With the first eight of Saturday’s race being put in reverse order on Sunday’s second race grid, 18-year old Summerton will start this race from pole with 21- year old Kimball right on his tail in third. Richard Antinucci had a troubled time during Saturday’s race. Starting 14th he was brutally ' bulldozered' off the track by Frenchman Romain Grosjean, eventually still finishing the race in 12th. Grosjean was excluded from the rest of the meeting for causing an avoidable accident. (Antinucci, right, wasn't pleased)

Paul di Resta (ASM Formule 3): “It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I have actually won the title. It was one of the most difficult races, as I immediately knew that I had jumped the start. We have been working hard for four years, I have deserved the title. It was a hard fight with Sebastian Vettel. I have a couple of options for next year, but I don’t know exactly what I will be doing.”

Esteban Guerrieri (Manor Motorsport): “It has been a long time since my last win, so I am very happy. My team Manor Motorsport consists of some really hard-working people, so I dedicate this victory to them and my family.”

Sébastien Buemi (Mücke Motorsport): “My last podium was at the BP Ultimate Masters at Zandvoort, early August. Having made it again is a nice feeling.”

Sebastian Vettel (ASM Formule 3): “Unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes after a good start. Thus, I even had to fight for third place. Second place in the championship standings was not my goal, so I am a little bit disappointed. Changing back and forth from the Formula 1 into the Formula 3 car in the last few weeks has not always been easy.”

Pos. No. Driver Nat. lap. Time Gap
1 4 Esteban Guerrieri ARG 22 35:11.187
2 7 Sébastien Buemi SUI 22 35:12.015 00.828
3 1 Sebastian Vettel GER 22 35:13.794 02.607
4 9 Guillaume Moreau FRA 22 35:15.445 04.258
5 3 Kohei Hirate JPN 22 35:20.313 09.126
6 20 Charlie Kimball USA 22 35:20.803 09.616
7 19 Roberto Streit BRA 22 35:23.852 12.665
8 8 Jonathan Summerton (R) USA 22 35:35.389 24.202
9 16 Giedo van der Garde NED 22 35:36.176 24.989
10 2 Paul di Resta GBR 22 35:37.060 25.873
11 22 Michael Herck MCO 22 35:53.342 42.155
12 11 Richard Antinucci USA 22 36:00.898 49.711
13 24 Natacha Gachnang SUI 22 36:05.764 54.577
14 5 Alejandro Nunez ESP 22 36:06.734 55.547
15 6 Ronayne O´Mahony IRL 22 36:19.152 1:07.965
16 40 Anthony Janiec (T) FRA 22 36:42.116 1:30.929
17 41 Cemil Cipa (T) TUR 22 36:42.995 1:31.808
18 21 Tim Sandtler (R) GER 22 36:43.528 1:32.341
17 Kamui Kobayashi (R) JPN 8 13:14.671 14 laps
14 Filip Salaquarda CEZ 7 11:35.057 15 laps
18 Kazuki Nakajima JPN 1 2:19.914 21 laps
10 Romain Grosjean FRA 21 35:39.124 1 lap

Frentzen on pole-position for DTM final Frentzen on pole-position for DTM finalHeinz-Harald Frentzen made his mark at the end of the 2006 DTM season. The driver from Mönchengladbach came out on top after qualifying in mixed conditions and will be starting from pole-position in a DTM race for the first time with his Audi A4 DTM tomorrow (ARD live from 13.45 h). Frentzen was delighted: “I can hardly describe my feeling.“ Lined-up next to him on the front row of the grid is the record winner of the season, Bruno Spengler with the AMG-Mercedes C-Class.

The Franco-Canadian will be trying to claim his fourth win from the tenth round of the season and thus securing his second place in the championship standings. Third position on the grid is being occupied by the most successful qualifier of the 2006 season, Mercedes-Benz-driver Jamie Green.

Fourth fastest in qualifying was Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) ahead of his team-mate Tom Kristensen, who is still fighting with Bruno Spengler for runner-up position in the championship standings. The Dane requires four points more than his opponent. Mika Häkkinen will be starting from sixth place with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class. The Finn is facing a difficult job when he wants to defend his fifth position in the championship standings tomorrow, as Häkkinen is only one point clear of pole-sitter Frentzen.

The 2006 champion, Mercedes-Benz-driver Bernd Schneider, will be starting seventh. Thus, he has claimed the title this year without one single pole-position. Eighth place went to Schneider’s fellow Mercedes-Benz-driver Daniel La Rosa, who was best-placed driver with a year-old car in qualifying. zzzz

For the 2004 DTM champion, Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), qualifying was over after the second heat. The Swede will be starting from eleventh place on Sunday. Jean Alesi was already out after the first session of the shoot-out qualifying with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class, he qualified 15th. Only 19 of the 20 cars were taking part in qualifying after Vanina Ickx had hit the barrier in free practice. The Belgian lady racer escaped unscathed, but her Audi A4 DTM couldn’t be repaired in time before qualifying started.

The ARD is broadcasting the tenth round of the season over 169.238 kilometres and 37 laps on Sunday live from 13.45 h onwards.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (1st place, Audi Sport Team Abt): “I am very happy with my first pole-position. I can hardly describe my feelings and I am very surprised with the result. Here, being on pole is quite important. I am curious to see whether we can get a similarly good result tomorrow. In the first qualifying session, we were having a few problems. Fortunately, we have made the right changes to the set-up, so everything was all right in the end.”

Bruno Spengler (2nd place, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes): “I am satisfied with second place on the grid. I made two slight errors in the last two corners, which probably cost me one tenth of a second. Pole-position was certainly within reach, but Heinz-Harald did a great lap indeed.”

Jamie Green (3rd place, Salzgitter-AMG-Mercedes): “Third on the grid is a good result. Tomorrow, everything is possible with a good start. All in all, the weekend hasn’t been easy so far, because conditions are changing all the time. Being able to celebrate my maiden DTM victory tomorrow would be great.”

Audi motor sport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “Here, we have seen once again that this qualifying format is great and provides maximum excitement. We have also seen that the cars are incredibly close together and that it just comes down to a perfect lap. This morning already, Heinz-Harald Frentzen was convinced that he had a good car. Maybe this has helped him to get the maximum result with minimum effort. Mattias Ekström probably had problems with the tire pressure. I didn’t have the chance to speak to the team yet, we will analyze it later on. In the season opener here, we just weren’t strong enough. But we want to umprove and it is our goal to win the race and to secure runner-up position in the championship for Tom Kristensen. The team Abt also hopes that runner-up spot is still within reach.”

Mercedes-Benz motor sport director Norbert Haug: “Surely it is not sad to see Heinz-Harald Frentzen on pole-position. By claiming pole, he has shown that he is a good racing driver. I have always said that Audi is strong and in terms of race wins, it is now five to four. Although there are a few things that we could have done better, we are quite strong as a team. Bernd’s seventh place wasn’t our goal. But maybe he just likes to overtake and is sometimes making things more difficult for himself. In any case, that causes exciting racing. Daniel La Rosa has also shown an excellent performance. Just 20 years old, he is in his first year of DTM racing without any experience in touring cars. He was already strong in the season opener and surely this result is like being on pole for him. A big compliment.”

1  6 Frentzen H. Audi Sport Team Abt Veltins Audi A4
2  9 Spengler B. DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG MercedesDaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
3  3 Green J. Salzgitter AMG Mercedes Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
4  4 Tomczyk M. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Red Bull Audi A4
5  7 Kristensen T.  Audi Sport Team Abt Siemens Audi A4
6  8 Häkkinen M. AMG Mercedes AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
7  2 Schneider B. Vodafone AMG Mercedes Vodafone AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
8  18 La Rosa D. TrekStor AMG Mercedes TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
9  17 Mücke S. TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
10  12 Abt C. Audi Sport Team Phoenix Playboy Audi A4
11  5 Ekström M. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Red Bull Audi A4
12  16 Scheider T. Audi Sport Team Rosberg Gebrauchtwagen Plus Audi A4
13  14 Kaffer P. Audi Sport Team Phoenix Castrol Audi A4
14  15 Stippler F. Audi Sport Team Rosberg S line Audi A4
15  10 Alesi J. stern AMG Mercedes stern AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
16  11 Margaritis A. Easy Rent AMG Mercedes Easy Rent AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
17  21 Lauda M. Junge Gebrauchte AMG Mercedes Junge Gebrauchte AMG Mercedes C-Klasse
18  19 Björk T. Futurecom TME Futurecom Audi A4
19  22 Stoddart S. AutoScout24 AMG Mercedes AutoScout24 AMG Mercedes C-Klasse

Mike Bliss Races To First Win In Four Years Mike Bliss Races To First Win In Four YearsUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Allmendinger took off at the start and was leading until Benson took the air off his rear which sent him into the wall on about lap 20. He was out early but while he was leading he was making it look easy, but he, as well as Montoya will soon learn that as an open wheel driver you do not come into NASCAR and win or take all the PR.  The NASCAR regulars will take you out of the race over and over and over.  They may not hit you, but they will at a minimum take the air off your spoiler and send you spinning.  Welcome to the world of NASCAR. Jake Eldrige

10/29/06 Mike Bliss held off a hard-charging Terry Cook to win his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race since September 2002 on Saturday at Atlanta. Bliss passed rookie Erik Darnell with 10 laps to go and held off Cook by 0.2 of a second. The race had a track record 21 lead changes among nine different drivers.

Bliss had a dominant truck most of the day, leading 28 laps early in the race. He lost his lead when a crew member failed to secure a lug nut on the right rear tire during a pit stop on Lap 79. Bliss fell from first to tenth, but gradually worked his way back to the front of the field. The win was the 13th career series win for Bliss.

The intensity of the race stepped up on Lap 100 when the race went green after the sixth caution of the day. From that point until the checkered flag, Lap 130, the lead was swapped 10 times by five different drivers. David Reutimann and Bobby Hamilton Jr. put on a show, trading the lead five times in seven laps. Reutimann finished fourth and Hamilton finished ninth.

The day didn’t go as well for Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson, the two point standings leaders. Both drivers were involved in incidents that left them several laps behind the pack.

Bodine’s day took a turn for the worse on Lap 34 when his right front tire went flat. He was able to drive his truck back to pit road, but lost two laps in the process dropping him from eighth to 32nd. He finished 25th.

Benson seemed poised to take over the points lead, running in the top 10 for the first 88 laps. He spun on Lap 89 losing a drive shaft in the process. After being pushed to the garage, Benson’s team was able to replace the part and missed only seven laps before getting the truck back on the track. Benson finished 29th, losing only seven points to Bodine. With three races left in the season, Bodine holds an 86-point lead.

Benson’s Bill Davis Racing teammate A.J. Allmendinger led five laps early in the race before spinning in Turn 2. Allmendinger started second, a career high, in his third career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Mark Martin was knocked out of the race on Lap 3 after spinning in almost the same spot as Allmendinger. Martin had entered the race with nine top-five finishes in 11 starts, including five wins.

Schu's new role to be revealed on Sunday Schu's new role to be revealed on Sunday(GMM) Michael Schumacher's future role at the team will be announced by Ferrari on Sunday.

The president of the Italian marque, Luca di Montezemolo, told reporters at Monza on Saturday that the traditional 'Ferrari World Finals' would play host to the revelation, with speculation suggesting an advisory, technical or purely ambassadorial role.

But Montezemolo insisted to Deutsche Presse-Agentur: "He will not be an ambassador or an advisor and he won't have a desk either.

"He will not return as a (test) driver but will remain close to Ferrari."

Montezemolo added that Schumacher can make a proper formula one return for Ferrari 'at any time'.

The retired 37-year-old racer will also attend the Monza event on Sunday, where Ferrari has organized an on-track tribute to the German's successful career.

German set for BMW-Sauber test German set for BMW-Sauber test(GMM)  German youngster Marco Holzner is to test BMW-Sauber's 2006-spec 'F1.06' single seater next month.

As the prize for winning last year's formula BMW 'World Final' in Bahrain, the test will take place at Valencia on November 23.

"This is the greatest thing that could happen to me," he said.

Other formula BMW graduates who moved on to the world of grand prix racing are Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

BMW is to give away another F1 test drive to the winner of the 2006 World Final, which takes place at the Spanish track from November 24.

Stewart says IROC can keep his $1 million Stewart says IROC can keep his $1 millionTony Stewart is officially putting his International Race of Champions money where his mouth is.

After wrapping up the IROC series title with a third-place finish behind Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth in Saturday’s finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Stewart said he won’t cash the $1 million first-prize check until IROC decides whether it can stage a race in the series next year at the famed Eldora Speedway that Stewart now owns.

“This is not something that is a hoax or a joke,” Stewart said. “We’re working on it, and for short-track, dirt-track fans there is hope.”

IROC officials have said they’ll study the feasibility of running the cars used in the series on the half-mile dirt oval near Rossburg, Ohio. If they agree to run there, Stewart says he’ll give back the prize money from this year’s series.

“I will gladly give that back to them to give dirt-track fans around the country a chance to see these stars race at Eldora,” Stewart said. ThatsRacin.com

Australia: Mikko Hirvonen Leads after Leg 2 Australia: Mikko Hirvonen Leads after Leg 2Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen continue to lead Rally Australia after today's second leg. The BP-Ford World Rally Team pair returned to Perth this evening having extended their opening day advantage to 32.3sec in their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car. The Finns, chasing their maiden victory in the FIA World Rally Championship, controlled their pace over the slippery gravel tracks in Western Australia on a day when the team won eight of the nine speed tests.

Team-mates Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen continued to fight back up the order after yesterday morning's roll. The Finns, who began the day in 18th in their Focus RS, won five speed tests to climb to seventh. They remain on course for a fifth place finish, their target after losing 11 minutes in yesterday's crash. zzzz

Today's route initially took competitors 100km south-east of Perth to Bannister Plantation for a group of five special stages. Huge crowds gathered at the famous Bunnings jumps and watersplash, where cars were launched high into the air before plunging down into the river crossing at the bottom of the hill. Competitors then repeated yesterday afternoon's tests east of Perth before two final passes over the city's Gloucester Park trotting track. They tackled 120.36km of competition.

Hirvonen won three of the five Bannister stages to increase his advantage by a slender 0.2sec. Although the tracks were covered in a thick coat of loose gravel, earlier cars swept much of it away and the wider roads left more room for manoeuvre. A heavy rain shower during the lunchtime service compacted the gravel on the more technical afternoon tests, and there was more grip for the 26-year-old Finn than there had been on the same roads yesterday. He was second on both tests and ended the day by sharing another stage victory with Grönholm at Gloucester Park.

"I've had a fantastic day with no problems and I really enjoyed it," said Hirvonen. "I've proved that I can drive fast enough to challenge for victory. I've watched Petter Solberg's split times and driven accordingly. It's nice to be able to defend a lead and I've proved something to myself under pressure. I'm still not really thinking about actually winning. I'm just trying to maintain a good speed and keep Petter behind us.

"I expected Petter to push hard this morning but I knew those stages well and I was up for the challenge. I must think about manufacturers' points and not make any mistakes. If he catches me tomorrow then I will not risk everything to stay ahead because the points are more important than the win. Tomorrow's stages will be tricky but I'm not worrying about them. I will sleep like a baby tonight!" he added.

Grönholm was fastest over two of the morning tests in Bannister to complete a clean sweep there for the BP-Ford team. The 38-year-old Finn won three more stages this afternoon as he charged back up the order and ended the leg just 39.3sec away from fifth place.

"I'm closing on fifth, which is where we calculated we could climb to after the accident," he said. "Tomorrow I will continue to drive at my own speed and hope to get there. I don't think I can get any higher so anything more would be a bonus. It's not so good to be so far behind but it was my mistake and I must pay the penalty.

"I've not pushed to the maximum, but driven quite fast and watched what everyone else was doing," "The car felt fine and although there was still some dust getting in, it was nothing like as bad as yesterday. The roads were softer and there was more grip than during the first leg. There was plenty of loose gravel but my running position meant the roads had cleaned. My back is fine but I hurt my shoulder when I hit a stone in a corner. It's an old motocross injury, but it will be OK."

BP-Ford team director Malcolm Wilson said he hoped tomorrow would be a carbon copy of today. "The cars have been great and we have dominated the day, having only been beaten on one stage. Tomorrow will be difficult and on this rally a lot often happens on the final day, so we can't be complacent," he added.

News from Ford's Rivals

Petter Solberg (Subaru) remained Hirvonen's main challenger. The Norwegian won one speed test but was unable to make inroads to the BP-Ford driver's advantage. Xevi Pons (Citroen) began the day with a slender advantage over Manfred Stohl (Peugeot) in third, but the Austrian driver moved ahead on the second test and extended his lead over Pons to 20.1sec. Production Cup driver Toshi Arai (Subaru) climbed to fifth on the opening stage and pulled clear of his rivals before rolling into retirement this afternoon. Argentine Marcos Ligato (Mitsubishi) replaced him in the top five. All yesterday's leading retirements returned to action today under SupeRally, with the exception of Henning Solberg (Peugeot), whose car was too badly damaged.

Tomorrow’s Route

The final day is the shortest of the rally, but still contains 103.32km of competition in the forests near Mundaring, east of Perth. Drivers leave the city at 06.00 and complete two identical loops of stages, split by service back at Langley Park, before the finish ceremony in Perth at 14.30.

Leaderboard after Leg 2

1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 17min 01.8sec
2. P Solberg/P Mills N Subaru Impreza 2hr 17min 34.1sec
3. M Stohl/I Minor A Peugeot 307 2hr 19min 38.7sec
4. X Pons/C Del Barrio E Citroen Xsara 2hr 19min 58.8sec
5. M Ligato/R Garcia RA Mitsubishi Lancer 2hr 28min 27.1sec
6. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Subaru Impreza 2hr 28min 54.9sec
7. M Grönholm/T Rautiainen FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 29min 06.4sec
8. A Teiskonen/M Teiskonen FIN Subaru Impreza 2hr 29min 15.8sec
9. D Herridge/B Hayes AUS Subaru Impreza 2hr 29min 30.8sec
10 M Baldacci/G Agnese RSM Mitsubishi Lancer 2hr 30min 05.8sec

2007 ARCA Schedule announced 2007 ARCA Schedule announcedThe ARCA RE/MAX Series, headed toward its 55th consecutive season of competition, has released its 2007 schedule to include 23 events in 12 states.

The traditional combination of superspeedways and short-tracks, on both dirt and pavement, will help round out one of the most versatile schedules in all of motorsports.

“The 2007 schedule maintains our balance of superspeedway, short track and mile dirt state fairgrounds events, all of which are very important to the identity and industry position of the ARCA RE/MAX Series,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “In addition, the number of scheduled events remains stable at a level we’ve found to be appropriate for everyone associated with the series.”

The season, as it has since 1964, will open at Daytona Int’l Speedway with the 44th annual Daytona ARCA 200 on February 10th. The event will serve as a preamble for the same-day NASCAR Nextel Cup Bud Shootout. zzzz

Following Daytona, the RE/MAX Series will re-visit Florida on March 24th for its first-ever appearance at USA Int’l Speedway in Lakeland.

Superspeedways appearing twice on the 2007 schedule include Nashville Superspeedway, Kentucky Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Superspeedway tracks returning for single events include Daytona, Gateway Int’l Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan Int’l Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The event at Talladega marks the 46th RE/MAX Series appearance at the renowned 2.66-mile Alabama speedplant since 1969.

Short-tracks hosting two events each include Salem and Toledo Speedways. Berlin Raceway, the Milwaukee Mile, Iowa Speedway, Winchester Speedway and the annual state fair mile-dirt races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds will each host single events.

Companion events in 2007 include races with the NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series as well as with the Indy Racing League and the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series.

SPEED will return in 2007 with coverage of ARCA RE/MAX Series races as established in its multi-year agreement. The televised event schedule is traditionally released at the Series’ championship awards banquet in December.

2-10 Daytona Int'l Speedway Daytona Beach, FL 2.5 paved
3-24 USA Int'l Speedway Lakeland, FL .75 paved
4-7 Nashville Superspeedway Nashville, TN 1.33 concrete
4-22 Salem Speedway Salem, IN .555 paved
4-27 Kansas Speedway Kansas City, KS 1.5 paved
5-6 Winchester Speedway Winchester, IN .5 paved
5-12 Kentucky Speedway Sparta, KY 1.5 paved
5-20 Toledo Speedway Toledo, OH .5 paved
6-2 Iowa Speedway Newton, IA .875 paved
6-9 Pocono Raceway Long Pond, PA 2.5 paved
6-15 Michigan Int'l Speedway Brooklyn, MI 2 paved
7-7 Berlin Raceway Marne, MI .4 paved
7-13 Kentucky Speedway Sparta, KY 1.5 paved
8-4 Pocono Raceway Long Pond, PA 2.5 paved
8-11 Nashville Superspeedway Nashville, TN 1.33 concrete
8-19 Illinois State Fairgrounds Springfield, IL 1 clay
8-26 Milwaukee Mile West Allis, WI 1 paved
8-31 Gateway Int'l Raceway Madison, IL 1.25 paved
9-3 DuQuoin State Fairgrounds DuQuoin, IL 1 clay
9-8 Chicagoland Speedway Joliet, IL 1.5 paved
9-15 Salem Speedway Salem, IN .555 paved
10-5 Talladega Superspeedway Talladega, AL 2.66 paved
10-14 Toledo Speedway Toledo, OH .5 paved

GM delivers yet another blow to NASCAR GM delivers yet another blow to NASCARUPDATE The news keeps getting worse for NASCAR.  Hot on the heels of GM dropping its AC Delco and GM Goodwrench sponsorship in NASCAR comes word that Chevrolet will end its full-time primary factory sponsorship in the Craftsman Truck Series next season.  Chevrolet will continue to provide technical and engineering support to teams in the series, said Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing’s program manager for the Truck series.

“Things are tough in Detroit and there is some cost containment in place, obviously,” he said. “We are going to have some changes in the way we are going to support our teams next year.”

In recent years, Chevy has served as primary sponsor on several trucks.

10/20/06 Hot on the heels of GM Goodwrench dumping the No. 29 car, AC Delco will not return to the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for the 2007 Busch Series season, the sponsor announced Thursday. AC Delco has been on an RCR car for the past 10 years, but the company said it wanted to find other marketing avenues.

"Our decision not to continue our involvement in the Busch Series is related to our desire to explore other consumer marketing initiatives, including other motorsports activities," said Jim Moloney, general director, GMSPO Marketing. "We have experienced many successes along the way with the NASCAR Busch Series and share a history with our numerous drivers, Richard Childress, and RCR. We wish them every continued success."
With TV ratings and attendance falling, but with costs still rising, and slated to rise further as Toyota enters the fray, it appears NASCAR's ship is taking on water faster than we thought. It appears $100 million plus dollar expenditures in NASCAR is not helping either GM, Ford or Dodge because sales and profits are down for all three, and have been for quite some time. Seems the bean counters are starting to ask questions why they are spending so much in NASCAR.
Transcript: AJ Allmendinger at Atlanta Motor Speedway Transcript: AJ Allmendinger at Atlanta Motor SpeedwayRead the complete transcript from a press conference with AJ Allmendinger at Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday where the ex-Champ Car driver was to try for his first Nextel Cup start, but he was thwarted by an all-day rain that washed out qualifying and with the field being set on owners points, AJ went home early.
Atlanta: Truex wins race, Stewart IROC title Atlanta: Truex wins race, Stewart IROC title
Finish Start Driver Car Color Car # LapsLed  Times Led Tot Bonus Pts Status
1 8 Martin Truex Jr. Black 8 65 6 12 3 21 Running
2 11 Matt Kenseth Yellow 17 65 17 Running
3 12 Tony Stewart Orange 20 65 14 Running
4 9 Ryan Newman Red 12 65 5 12 1 2 12 Running
5 1 Ted Musgrave Lt. Blue 1 65 1 1 10 Running
6 5 Mark Martin Purple 6 65 3 33 3 5 9 Running
7 6 Frank Kimmel Magenta 46 65 2 8 Running
8 10 Max Papis Burgundy 16 65 7 Running
9 7 Sam Hornish Jr. Day-Glo 06 65 6 Running
10 2 Steve Kinser Green 11 65 5 Running
11 3 Wayne Taylor Drk. Blue 10 65 4 Running
12 4 Scott Sharp Gold 08 65 1 7 3 Running

Average Speed 111.22
Time of Race 0:54:34
Margin of Victory 0.301
Lead Changes 16 among 5 drivers
Caution Periods 2 Plus Comp. Yellow * Comp. Yellow at lap 40
Lap Leaders: Musgrave 1; Sharp 2-8; Martin 9-33; Truex Jr. 34; Martin 35-41; Truex Jr. 42; Newman 43-45, Martin 46; Newman 47; Truex Jr. 48-50; Newman 51-56; Truex Jr. 57, Newman 58; Truex Jr. 59-60, Newman 61; Truex Jr., 62-65

1 Tony Stewart NASCAR NEXTEL Cup 77 $1,000,000.00
2 Matt Kenseth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup 65 $ 80,000.00
3 Martin Truex Jr. NASCAR Busch Series 57 $ 80,000.00
4 Ryan Newman NASCAR NEXTEL Cup 54 $ 80,000.00
5 Mark Martin NASCAR NEXTEL Cup 47 $ 80,000.00
6 Max Papis Grand American Road Racing 46 $ 80,000.00
7 Frank Kimmel ARCA RE/MAX Series 40 $ 80,000.00
8 Sam Hornish jr. IRL IndyCar™ Series 36 $ 80,000.00
9 Wayne Taylor/Max Angelelli Grand American Road Racing 30 $ 80,000.00
10 Scott Sharp IRL IndyCar™ Series 29 $ 80,000.00
11 Ted Musgrave NASCAR Craftsman Truck 24 $ 80,000.00
12 Steve Kinser World of Outlaws 21 $ 80,000.00

*Tiebreaker Rule: In the event two or more drivers are tied in final points, the tie will be broken by the driver who finished highest on average over all four races. If there is a tie in average finish, the tie will be broken by the driver with the highest finishing position in the final race.

Memphis: Post-race Q and A with Montoya Memphis: Post-race Q and A with Montoya
Harvick Wins Sam’s Town 250; Montoya 11th Harvick Wins Sam’s Town 250; Montoya 11thMEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kevin Harvick, who clinched the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series championship one race ago at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, put an exclamation point on his season with his eighth win of the year on Saturday. (Right Montoya's Dodge leads Harvick’s Chevy, photo courtesy of Dodge)

Harvick won the Sam’s Town 250 after a thrilling “green-white-checker” finish at Memphis Motorsports Park. It was his 25th career victory in the NASCAR Busch Series. Clint Bowyer was second followed by Carl Edwards in third and Johnny Sauter in fourth place. International racing star Juan Pablo Montoya finished 11th in his NASCAR debut.

Johnny Sauter led the way ahead of Shane Huffman and Jason Keller as the race began and built a four-second lead by the 25-lap mark. Bowyer, the defending race winner, started 41st after coming over from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday morning. Undeterred, Bowyer was racing in the top 10 just as the first caution of 15 periods began on lap 45, following a spinout by Burney Lamar.

Sauter’s crew kept their driver in front as the leaders went to pit road under caution. A second caution period quickly began, however, with less than one lap completed on the restart. An accident collected several cars including NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown winner Tim Schendel, who was making his NASCAR Busch Series debut. zzzz

On the next restart, Bowyer continued his charge towards the front – before a third yellow flag was displayed on lap 60 when Carlos Contreras spun out.

Once racing resumed, Sauter and the other leaders had their hands full as a lightning-fast Bowyer closed in. Bowyer’s drive to the front was soon complete as he passed Sauter for the lead on the 83rd lap.

The fourth caution period began on lap 99 as Steven Wallace and Timothy Peters got together on the track. The leaders returned to pit road for service and Bowyer held onto the lead as the race was restarted for the fourth time.

While his brother battled to regain the lead, Tim Sauter brought out the race’s fifth caution flag by spinning on the 106th lap. The race was restarted with 140 laps remaining and Bowyer held the lead over Johnny Sauter while Harvick, Bowyer’s Richard Childress Racing teammate, raced in the third position.

A series of several caution flags slowed the second half of race, as Harvick, Sauter, Bowyer and Edwards raced for the lead in between yellow flags. Harvick and Bowyer were racing towards a 1-2 finish for Richard Childress Racing until Edwards moved in between the two teammates, in second place, with 22 laps remaining.

After the race’s 13th caution period, Edwards used the low side of the track to race underneath Harvick on the restart and into the lead on the next lap – just before a 14th caution began with 10 laps to go.

As Edwards and Harvick battled on the subsequent restart, Steven Wallace lost control of his car and touched the wall with four laps to go – bringing out the15th caution of the day and setting up the final “green-white-checkered” finish, which is used if a NASCAR race goes into extra-distance due to a late caution period. In this circumstance, drivers have just two laps to decide the outcome as the green flag is displayed to restart the race and the white flag – indicating the final lap – is waved on the very next circuit.

On the final restart, Harvick and Bowyer both raced underneath Edwards to score the 1-2 finish for Richard Childress Racing.

Montoya, a former Indianapolis 500 winner, CART champion and Formula 1 driver, qualified ninth for his NASCAR debut and spent most of the first half of Saturday’s race in the top 10, before settling in for his 11th place finish.

The NASCAR Busch Series returns to action Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway (TV: TNT, 2 p.m. ET).

Fin Car Driver Make Laps Status
1 #21 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 252 Running
2 #2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 252 Running
3 #60 Carl Edwards Ford 252 Running
4 #00 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet 252 Running
5 #88 Shane Huffman Chevrolet 252 Running
6 #20 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet 252 Running
7 #41 Reed Sorenson Dodge 252 Running
8 #50 Danny O'Quinn Jr.* Ford 252 Running
9 #9 Kasey Kahne Dodge 252 Running
10 #18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 252 Running
11 #66 Jason Keller Ford 252 Running
12 #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Dodge 252 Running
13 #29 Timothy Peters Chevrolet 252 Running
14 #22 Kenny Wallace Ford 252 Running
15 #4 Auggie Vidovich Dodge 252 Running
16 #27 Casey Atwood Ford 252 Running
17 #06 Todd Kluever* Ford 252 Running
18 #90 Stephen Leicht Ford 252 Running
19 #1 Mike Wallace Dodge 252 Running
20 #64 Steve Wallace Dodge 252 Running
21 #11 Paul Menard Chevrolet 251 Running
22 #35 Regan Smith Ford 251 Running
23 #5 Justin Labonte Chevrolet 251 Running
24 #59 Stacy Compton Ford 251 Running
25 #01 Jay Sauter Chevrolet 251 Running
26 #33 Cale Gale Chevrolet 251 Running
27 #114 Willie Allen Dodge 251 Running
28 #72 D.J. Kennington Chevrolet 251 Running
29 #47 Jon Wood Ford 250 Running
30 #270 Justin Diercks Chevrolet 249 Running
31 #36 Tim Sauter Chevrolet 248 Running
32 #163 Dexter Bean * Chevrolet 246 Running
33 #131 Peyton Sellers Chevrolet 245 Running
34 #138 Jason Leffler Chevrolet 243 Off Track
35 #10 John Andretti* Ford 243 Running
36 #99 Joey Miller Dodge 198 Running
37 #25 Ashton Lewis Ford 197 Running
38 #77 Burney Lamar* Chevrolet 177 Out of Race
39 #112 Carlos Contreras Dodge 135 Out of Race
40 #279 Shelby Howard Chevrolet 128 Out of Race
41 #23 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet 102 Off Track
42 #178 Jerry Robertson Chevrolet 65 Out of Race
43 #156 Tim Schendel Chevrolet 51 Out of Race

Rossi snags pole in season finale Rossi snags pole in season finaleValentino Rossi will start from pole position in the final MotoGP of the season in Valencia on Sunday as he bids to win a sixth successive world title.   Nicky Hayden, Rossi's only title rival, will start in fifth place with Troy Bayliss second, Loris Capirossi in third and Shinya Nakano fourth.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 31.002 secs
2. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 31.210 secs
3. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 31.307 secs
4. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 31.341 secs
5. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 31.378 secs
6. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 31.385 secs
7. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 31.470 secs
8. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 31.606 secs
9. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 31.663 secs
10. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 31.711 secs
11. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 31.892 secs
12. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 32.062 secs
13. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 32.144 secs
14. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 32.358 secs
15. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 32.467 secs
16. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 32.747 secs
17. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 33.289 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 33.755 secs
19. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 33.953 secs
20. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 34.811 secs

Sauter fastest, Montoya 8th Sauter fastest, Montoya 8thMEMPHIS, Tenn. - Jay Sauter led the final Busch Series practice at Memphis Motorsports Park on Friday, turning a lap of 117.806 mph in the No. 01 Keith Duesenberg & Leik Chevrolet.  Juan Pablo Montoya, attempting to make his NASCAR debut, was eighth in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge. The Sam's Town 250 is scheduled to get the green flag at 2:10 p.m. ET Saturday, with qualifying slated for 11:05 a.m.

Montoya admitted he was feeling some pressure. “I don’t want to look like an idiot out there,” he said Friday after three hours of practice around Memphis Motorsports Park. “I’m a little bit stressed out about everything has to go right. I know it’s about preparing myself for next year, but I want to do well.”

Valencia practice 3 times: Rossi, Hayden go at it Valencia practice 3 times: Rossi, Hayden go at itThis is the final race of the season and the championship title fight is between Rossi and Hayden. Rossi leads Hayden 244 to 236 points. If Hayden wins race, Rossi must finish 3rd or lower for Hayden to take title. Recall that Hayden was taken out of the last race by his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Points System:
1st = 25 points
2nd = 20 points
3rd = 16 points
4th = 13 points
5th = 11 points
6th = 10 points
7th = 9 points
8th = 8 points
9th = 7 points
10th = 6 points
11th = 5 points
12th = 4 point
13th = 3 points
14th = 2 points
15th = 1 point
1. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 31.817 secs
2. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 31.854 secs
3. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 32.133 secs
4. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 32.302 secs
5. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 32.432 secs
6. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 32.557 secs
7. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 32.615 secs
8. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 32.886 secs
9. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 33.087 secs
10. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 33.204 secs
11. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 33.204 secs
12. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 33.368 secs
13. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 33.456 secs
14. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 33.545 secs
15. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 33.859 secs
16. Alex Hofmann GER Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 34.013 secs
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 34.656 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 1min 35.132 secs
19. Garry McCoy AUS Ilmor SRT (800cc) 1min 35.300 secs
Mayfield to run the #09 car Mayfield to run the #09 carJeremy Mayfield, who will run the #36 360 OTC Toyota in the Nextel Cup Series for Bill Davis Racing in 2007, will run the #09 Miccosukee Gaming Dodge for Phoenix Racing/owner James Finch at Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mayfield is running the #15 Chevy truck this weekend in the Truck Series race at Atlanta. NASCAR.com
Nicorette Increases 2007 Program with Jeff Gordon Nicorette Increases 2007 Program with Jeff GordonNicorette nicotine gum will expand its Nextel Cup program next season, expanding its involvement with #24-Jeff Gordon to four races, officials announced Friday at Atlanta. They also commended the 173 NASCAR officials and crew members who quit smoking with their product this season. Gordon will run a special Nicorette paint scheme for four races next season: Las Vegas (March 11), Chicago (July 15), Richmond (Sept. 8) and Atlanta (Oct. 28). AMS Pit Notes
A1GP Beijing circuit nears completion A1GP Beijing circuit nears completionWith a little over three weeks until the first-ever A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race in Beijing, work has been stepped up to ensure the track and paddock are finished to the highest possible standards. Over the weekend, grandstands, fencing and pit walls were erected in the area surrounding the Jingkai Convention and Exhibition Centre on Beijing’s North East Ring Road.
With more than 7,000 meters of fencing and concrete walls and grandstands, it’s a tall order, however the organization team of A1GP, A1 Team China, the General Administration of Sports China (GASC) and the Automobile and Motorcycle Sports Administration Centre are confident all work will be completed on time.
The A1GP race will be the first major international motorsport event to be held in the Chinese capital. Cars will run on a course just over 3km in length, featuring long straights, 90-degree corners and tight hairpin bends through exhibition centre land and public roads in the urban jungle of the city’s south east.

Approximately 20 minutes from the centre of Beijing, the circuit is located in the Yizhang area, part of the Beijing Economic and Technical Development zone, the city’s biggest economic and technical area for high-tech research centers and large companies.

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