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Hankook tires teams up with Corsa for GT2 effort
Hankook Tire Corp., and Corsa Motorsports have reached an agreement for Hankook to be a sponsor and the exclusive tire supplier for Corsa Motorsports, which will compete in the 2008 American Le Mans Series' GT2 class. The sponsorship within the Series will be a showcase for Hankook performance tire technology.

It is the logical next step in the marketing and brand-building efforts to position Hankook as a market-driven, technology-focused global brand.

"Hankook has been a wonderful partner in our IMSA Lites series, and not only will they continue in that role but we welcome them with open arms as they step up into the American Le Mans Series' ultra-competitive GT2 class," said Scott Atherton, Series President and CEO. "There is no more relevant motorsports test for manufacturers - and that certainly goes for tire manufacturers - than developing and proving the technology, quality and durability than in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series. I want to congratulate and thank Hankook for their great past investment and especially for this new initiative in our Series."

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VOTE FOR HELIO T-Shirts available from CARA Charities

Vote for Helio

Helio Castroneves has always been a great supporter of CARA Charities, and now CARA would like to return the favor. CARA is offering a great retro T-shirt with Vote for Helio and his Dancing With the Stars phone number printed on the front. This is the same shirt that Helio was seen wearing during practice sessions on ABC-TV. For details about how to purchase this unique shirt, go to www.caracharities.org. The information is at the bottom of the home page.

These are being sold for a $10 donation to CARA +$2.50 s/h.  All monies derived from the sales go to CARA.


Grand-Am team goes public
A familiar racing team with a new name will become a part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Daytona Prototype ranks for the 2008 season.

Fortune Market Media, Inc., a publicly traded multimedia firm has recently acquired Sigalsport. The two entities are now the Fortune Market Racing team - the first North American publicly traded race team.

SPEED TV Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series commentator Calvin Fish introduced the new team at this year's SEMA Show on Wednesday.

"Fortune Market Racing allows us to reach new markets," according to Fortune Market president and CEO, Arthur Kats. In addition to racing, Fortune Market owns and operates several streams of media including radio, print-publication, multimedia, online and offline direct guerilla marketing and a web data base with over 5,000,000 active subscribers. All of Fortune Markets media channels are self sustaining. "As a multimedia company, we look to take advantage of all forms of communication to reach our customers," adds Kats.

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industry news

Custom Cars go green at SEMA
Chrome rims and plasma TVs are not the only trends seen at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Many car enthusiasts are also equipping their custom vehicles with alternative fuel sources like E85. E85 is composed of 85 percent ethanol, renewable fuel made primarily from domestically grown corn, and 15 percent gasoline.

Jay Leno's E85 Corvette

Late night talk show host Jay Leno led the trend this year with his E85-powered Corvette Z06. Other celebrities attending this year’s show included rap artist 50 Cent, who was there with his customized Pontiac G8 sedan. General Motors reports the custom car industry is a $37 billion business annually. SEMA, which takes place in Las Vegas, runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2. Watch Video


Weekly NASCAR cheating report
NASCAR announced today that Greg Tester, crew chief of the No. 71 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series, has been suspended until Dec. 31 and fined $15,000 due to rule violations this past weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Tester was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules), 20A-12.3A (unapproved shock absorber piston) and 20A-12.3B(7) (shock absorber base valves will not be permitted) of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book.

Additionally, Ron Young, driver of the No. 71 Chevrolet, was penalized with the loss of 50 NASCAR Busch Series driver championship points while Jerry Young, owner of the No. 71 Chevrolet, was docked 50 NASCAR Busch Series owner championship points.

The infractions were found during post-race inspection on Oct. 27.

Also Tommy Perkins, crew chief of the No. 05 Chevrolet driven by Brett Rowe, was placed on probation until Dec. 31 and fined $2,000 after violating Sections 12-4-A, 12-4-Q and 20A-12.A (mounting points on the axle housing were not evenly spaced).


Ecclestone's Mercedes Sells for $8.1 M
Bernie Ecclestone's Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster sold for 3.9 million pounds ($8.1 million), including commission, at a London auction today, short of its top estimate.
Ecclestone, Formula One's billionaire chief executive officer, is selling more than 40 cars valued at a combined 15 million pounds by RM Auctions Inc. in London's Battersea Park. The silver 1937 Mercedes had a pre-commission top estimate of 4 million pounds.

Bidding for the car lasted more than 15 minutes. The winning bid came from an unnamed buyer in the front of the saleroom, according to Peter Haynes, a spokesman for RM Auctions.

The Mercedes 540K was the high point of the company's pre- World War II automobile development, according to the sale catalog. Only 26 of the 540K Special Roadsters were built, RM Auctions said. The ``K'' refers to the German word for supercharger, kompressor.

Other owners of 540K Special Roadsters have included Jack Warner, co-founder of the Warner Brothers movie studio, and Nazi Hermann Goering, according to the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper. Bloomberg


Bill Davis Racing owner bankrupts company UPDATE Here is more information on the bankruptcy.

10/30/07 Bill Davis Trucking, Inc., founded in 1975 by Bill and Gail Davis, announced today it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Today’s action was necessitated by an injury accident and an ensuing lawsuit against the company, based in Batesville, Arkansas.  “This has been a very unfortunate chain of events and Gail and I certainly hate that it ever had to happen,” stated Bill Davis. “Bill Davis Trucking and Bill Davis Racing are two completely separate entities and the race team will in no way be affected by today’s announcement.”


Allmendinger: There must be one series


Former Champ Car driver AJ Allmendinger said in an Autosport.com interview that "It's sad to see that the two series [IRL and Champ Car]  have killed each other. It's hard to say if it can ever get back to what it used to be, because NASCAR has grown so much and that's where the TV coverage is, and where the sponsors are.

"But first things first - you've gotta have one series, so you don't have to explain to the casual fan that 'Hey, I race in this series, but it's not the same as the cars racing in the Indy 500'. That, to me, was always the most painful thing.

"If you told someone you were a racecar driver, they'd ask what sort, you'd say 'Champ Car' and they'd say, 'What's that?' So you reply 'Well, it's IndyCar racing.' And they ask 'So you race the Indy 500?' Well, no. 'You race against Danica?' No - well, I did in Atlantics, but... 'So what is it?'

"That kind of confusion is why it's so tough for either Champ Car or IRL to get the casual fan back. The die-hard fans, the ones that have been into it from the start, you don't need to get them. They're there already, they'll love it through the good times and the bad.

"Champ Car have a lot of great fans. In fact, Champ Car owes their fans everything. They should have left. That's how bad it's been in terms of coverage and marketing, but the fans stuck there so all credit to their commitment and love for the series."

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Delphi renews with Hendrick team
Hendrick Motorsports officials have announced that Delphi Product & Service Solutions will continue its alliance with the team in 2008.  Delphi will remain as an associate sponsor of all Hendrick cars next season and will be primary sponsor for the No. 5 Nationwide Series Chevrolet, fielded by JR Motorsports, for four races. The team said also Delphi would receive "preferred logo placement" for Casey Mears' No. 5 Sprint Cup Chevy at Las Vegas, Indianapolis and the second Texas race.


Indy Racing League lands Peak as oil sponsor
Powerhouse automotive brand PEAK is expanding beyond antifreeze into a new line of premium quality motor oils, and will feature the IndyCar Series, Indianapolis 500 and Danica Patrick in rolling out its latest products as part of a multi-year official partner agreement signed with the IndyCar Series.

Representatives from Old World Industries' PEAK brand, the IndyCar Series, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today announced PEAK Performance Motor Oil as the Official Motor Oil of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The partnership will be in place for the 16-race 2008 IndyCar Series schedule, which includes the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on May 25, 2008.

Danica Patrick joined representatives from PEAK, the IndyCar Series, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas today to officially announce the partnership.

PEAK Motor Oil will be available at more than 4,000 AutoZone locations across the country, beginning in December, with a broad expansion to other retail outlets expected next year.

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AGR confirm Mutoh

Hideki Mutoh

Andretti Green Racing announced today it has signed Japanese driver Hideki Mutoh to drive its #27 IndyCar Series entry beginning in 2008. Mutoh, who was named 2007 Indy Pro Series rookie of the year, finished second in the series championship standings and posted victories-from-the pole on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Kentucky Speedway.

The entry he will drive next season won both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series championship in 2007. Mutoh has one IndyCar Series start to his credit, which came Sept. 9 at Chicagoland Speedway where he finished eighth.

The 25-year old native of Tokyo, Japan, started his driving career in 1998 when he competed in the Formula Vauxhall Winter Series. He won the Formula Dream Championship in 2003 and then moved on to Japanese Formula 3 for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Mutoh competed in the Formula Nippon Championship in 2006 and also in the Super GT Championship (500 class) where we won the season finale. Mutoh will be part of Andretti Green Racing’s four-car IndyCar Series effort in 2008 that features 2006 series rookie of the year Marco Andretti, 2004 series champion Tony Kanaan and 2005 series rookie of the year Danica Patrick.

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racing news

SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking
Updated 10-31-07
Pos.  (LW) Driver (Series)                     Pts
1. (3) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)                 8.571
2. (1) Kimi Raikkonen (F1)*                    8.499
3. (2) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR)                    8.134
4. (4) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS)               7.985
5. (5) Dario Franchitti (IRL)*                 7.632
6. (6) Clint Bowyer (NASCAR)                   7.568
7. (7) Scott Dixon (IRL)*                      7.272
8. (11) Carl Edwards (NASCAR)                  7.230
9. (10) Tony Kanaan (IRL)*                     6.693
10. (13) Justin Wilson (CCWS)                  6.650
11. (19) Jeff Burton (NASCAR)                  6.563
12. (NR) Kurt Busch (NASCAR)                   6.543
13. (23) Kasey Kahne (NASCAR)                  6.492
14. (21) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR)                 6.449
15. (15) Fernando Alonso (F1)*                 6.422
16. (20) Casey Mears (NASCAR)                  6.405
17. (18) Felipe Massa (F1)*                    6.231
18. (17) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR)                6.218
19. (8) Kyle Busch (NASCAR)                    6.150
20. (NR) Reed Sorenson (NASCAR)                6.002

Dropped out: Tony Stewart (NASCAR), Greg Biffle (NASCAR), Denny Hamlin (NASCAR), Ryan Newman (NASCAR)

*Season complete

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


Alonso won't be forced into move
Fernando Alonso’s manager says the two-time world champion will not be forced out of McLaren in a swap deal against his wishes. Alonso’s manager Luis García has dismissed these rumors and is adamant his driver won’t be going anywhere without agreeing to it.

"If that's what people are saying then they know more than me,” he was quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper.

“We have a contract next year with McLaren and that's it.

“Can they sell it? Without our approval, no they cannot."


Franchitti entered in second Busch race
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced Tuesday that driver Dario Franchitti will make his second appearance in the NASCAR Busch Series this Saturday, Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway in the O’Reilly Challenge (ESPN2, 3:00pm ET).

The fourth official step in Franchitti’s stock car learning curve will take place this weekend in the No.42 Dodge Charger on the 1.5-mile oval after previously contesting the ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway and last weekend’s NBS race at Memphis. Franchitti will again race under the guidance of CGRFS Crew Chief Brian Pattie.

In preparation for the 200-lap (300-mile) Texas NBS race, Franchitti participated in the two-day NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Open Test at Atlanta Motor Speedway that concluded Tuesday.


Champ Car doubles P2P to 100 HP
When newly crowned champion Sebastien Bourdais and the rest of the Champ Car World Series drivers use the popular Cosworth Power-to-Pass (P2P) feature on their respective cars in the Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex at Mexico City, they are going to get something they always ask for—more horsepower.

In the 13 previous 2007 races, when a Champ Car driver utilized the Cosworth Power-to-Pass on the Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone, they would benefit from an additional 50 horsepower. The P2P boost is available for 60 seconds, to be used at a driver’s discretion during a race, providing a strategic element to Champ Car racing.

When drivers push the P2P button during the Nov. 11 season finale at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, however, they will have an additional 50 horsepower to enhance their ability to pass other cars, as well as additional 15 seconds of use (75 seconds total).

“We will analyze how a 100 horsepower Power-to-Pass feature will affect the racing so we can consider it for next year,” said Tony Cotman, Champ Car Race Director and EVP, Operations. “The Cosworth Power-to-Pass has been very popular with the drivers, and even more so with the fans who love our racing, which features more passing than most other racing series. Everyone assumes if we go up another 50 horsepower, it will add even more excitement, but we’ve wanted to wait until now because we didn’t want the experiment to affect the championship [clinched recently by Bourdais].

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Helio "Cha Cha" Castroneves wows dancing judges UPDATE IRL driver Helio Castroneves, the lone remaining sports personality on “Dancing With the Stars,” advanced to next week’s competition.

Helio on last week's show

A spicy and energetic Cha Cha Cha by Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough had the judges singing their praises on the Oct. 29 airing of "Dancing with the Stars."

"You're re-branded, re-packaged, re-energized and back in the race," one of the judges said of their performance. A week earlier, the couple's Rumba received a score of 23 from the panel.

"This week you came back as the Helio that we love," said another. "That was fantastic."

Their score: 28 of a possible 30 from the three-panel judge, including their first "10." The couple will learn their fate on the results show at 9 p.m. (ET) Oct. 30 on ABC. IndyCar.com


Mosley plays down Hamilton effect
(GMM)  The president of F1's governing body has played down Lewis Hamilton's effect on the sport.

The British rookie and 2007 championship runner-up burst onto the scene this year and stirred widespread praise and adulation, but Max Mosley thinks "there is a tendency to exaggerate" the importance of the new star.

"There is always somebody new," he told the BBC's Hardtalk programme.

"If it wasn't him it would be either Rosberg or Kubica or one of the other new stars, a Vettel, would suddenly be the big one.  So I think there is a tendency to exaggerate the importance of Lewis Hamilton."

Mosley also questioned the perceived innocence of the McLaren newcomer by wondering if he, like the team's other drivers, also knew about the 780-page Ferrari dossier that sparked the spy saga.

"He's not a known quantity to me.

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track news

Silverstone wins right to host World Aerobatic Championship
The Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Formula One Grand Prix, will host the next official FAI World Aerobatic Championship in 2009.

Flying Aces, the air sports rights management company, in partnership with the British Aerobatic Association, was awarded the rights to the event by the FAI, the world’s official air sports federation, beating bids from the United States and Germany.

“This is another great example of the recent emergence of air sports as a new untapped property in the sporting world,” said Jeff Zaltman, head of the Organizing Committee and managing director of Flying Aces. “The air sports segment is undergoing a revolution that will change the face of sport; and Silverstone’s recognition of this potential – and the FAI’s adoption of new venues – is evidence that air sports such as aerobatics are entering the mainstream.”

The 2009 event will mark the first time since 1986 that the world air sports competition has been held in the United Kingdom.


Q and A with Jeff Burton

Jeff Burton

We have with us Jeff Burton, who is a Chase participant this year. He's in eighth place in the Chase as we head towards Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. He also won earlier this year at Texas. He's the first repeat winner there.

So what do you think, Jeff, going back there?

JEFF BURTON: Well, certainly we've had a lot of success at Texas. It's kind of been either really good or really bad for me. Not many just mediocre runs. We haven't run as well over the last three or four months as we'd like to run for sure. So as the year winds down, the intensity of wanting to have some good runs and running in the front just continues to build.

Obviously we're pretty much out of the championship hunt, but fifth is better than ninth. And 10 is better than 12. So we're going to go get all we can and try to get back on track.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jeff.

Q Jeff, I'd like you to go back and bring us forward from the time, I guess you had the dubious honor of being the first guy to spin out a Car of Tomorrow here in the test, where that car has come from here to now. And what you and your team have learned in the day and a half you've been here for this test?

JEFF BURTON: I think the wing has certainly helped a great deal with the stability of the car. Especially around all the cars.

We've yet really to see everybody's pretty much running by themselves like we typically would in a practice. So it's still yet to be determined how good or how bad they're going to be with 43 of them out there.

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Montoya’s rookie season praised by peers

An Interview with:

(L to R) Franchitti, Carpentier and Villeneuve

THE MODERATOR: We will begin now with Jacques Villeneuve from Bill Davis Racing; Patrick Carpentier from Gillette Evernham Motorsports. This is the first full-scale Car of Tomorrow test. Jacques, you were at Talladega. That's my mistake. Tell us what you've learned so far in a day and a half.

JACQUES VILLENEUVE: It's definitely a different beast than the truck to drive. More speed down the straight. Corners more speed, have to slow down. It's very different to drive and it's very difficult to drive.

And the tires drop off quite quickly as well. So to get your best lap out, you really have to go out hard and try to figure out a lot of things at the same time. So it's tough. But it's fun. So progress every time and that's what matters.



PATRICK CARPENTIER: For me it was the first time on the oval with the Car of Tomorrow. We tested that in Kentucky with the car of today or yesterday. And it went pretty well. But the track here is really challenging. It's a new track for me also.

So it's fast. The cars come up to the corners at tremendous speeds. They've got no downforce and they weigh a ton. It's very hard. You're always moving sideways and pushing and trying to get the car in the right lane. And it's been a challenge. Yesterday morning when I got in it, in the first, probably the morning, the whole morning I thought, man, am I going to figure this out one of these days? But it was better, the afternoon was a bit better and this morning is better again.

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Did You Notice? Hornish Missed Again?
Did You Notice? … The degree to which Roger Penske is trying to force Sam Hornish, Jr. into a Cup series ride for next season? After his sixth DNQ at Atlanta, the team was even talking about switching rides with Kurt Busch for ’08 so that Hornish could have the comfort of being locked into the Top 35 next season – not suffering through the pressure of having to qualify on speed.

Um … what? How many DNQs do we have to put this guy through here before someone’s convinced he’s not ready for Cup yet? Are the options left out there (including former Penske driver Mike Wallace, David Stremme, Johnny Sauter, even Jeff Green) that bad they can’t jump in and serve as at least a one-year stopgap while Hornish learns the ropes in the minor leagues? In fact, take away the last name Hornish from the guy trying to qualify the No. 06 car and replace it with Gaughan – do you think he would be allowed the same type of leeway? Oh, that’s right … he wasn’t.  Frontstretch.com

[Editor's Note: As we said, Hornish comes from the 100% throttle IRL series where driver talent, or lack thereof, is masked.  In NASCAR the car moves around a lot, even slides, which means a driver must have some level of talent. Maybe Hornish just needs more time...]


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Alonso to blame for breakdown says Hamilton
  • Alonso, McLaren should split - Wendlinger
  • F1 a 'ruthless' business says Wurz
  • Theissen worried about Honda-style setback
  • Australian GP files new record loss

Alonso to blame for breakdown says Hamilton
(GMM) The breakdown of the relationship between McLaren's drivers in 2007 was a gradual process, Lewis Hamilton reveals in his upcoming biography, 'My Story'.

In an extract published by The Sun newspaper, the 22-year-old rookie said Fernando Alonso introduced himself to Hamilton and his father in a hotel in Turkey late last year.

"He came by and said: 'Hello, I'm Fernando'," Hamilton, then a GP2 driver, said.

"He was the world champion, he was fighting to win the title for a second time. It really surprised me he had the time to say hello. I was quite impressed with that."

But the Briton speculates that Alonso, months later, took exception to being pushed so hard at McLaren by a rookie.

"I like and admire Fernando, so I was sad and disappointed that, for whatever reason, our relationship did not improve," he added.

"But it was not for lack of trying."

Hamilton said Alonso also failed to "build any bond" with his Woking based colleagues, beginning with failing to turn up for a pre-season team training week.

"I thought Fernando would be the one trying to set me an example and show me what to do, not the other way around," he continued.

He said team boss Ron Dennis encouraged Hamilton to try "extra hard" to make the Spaniard feel welcome.

"Fernando is very quiet," Hamilton said, revealing that he tried building their relationship by playing computer games in Alonso's motor home room.

But by the US grand prix in June, Alonso had started to voice his suspicion that Dennis was favoring Hamilton.

And Hamilton added: "After the French grand prix someone told me Fernando, who finished seventh, said he was happy the Ferraris had beaten me so I did not take maximum points."

Their relationship then fully imploded in Hungary, when Hamilton refused a team instruction and Alonso famously got revenge by holding up his teammate in a qualifying pit stop.

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industry news

How Volvo uses accident to improve cars
A new research model, developed by Volvo Cars, uses real accident reports to predict the chain of events that occur before and during a collision. After investigating more than 36,000 accidents over a 35-year span, the Volvo Cars accident research team can predict the consequences of the collision, as well as what initially led to the accident. Studying this chain of events helps Volvo Cars develop effective car safety systems to reduce accidents and the risk of serious injuries. Play Video


Waltrip sells truck team
Darrell Waltrip, appearing Tuesday on the Daytona 500 Champions Chat Series delivered by UPS, confirmed the sale of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team to concentrate on the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2008.

Three-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion Andy Lally will drive the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Tundra in the remaining three races of the 2007 season, beginning Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. TRG (The Racer's Group sports car team) will announce the details of the purchase Thursday in Texas, in preparation for a full-time run for Lally in the truck next season.

"Yes we are selling the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team," Waltrip said. "I think it's the best series, week in and week out, but we decided it was time to move on and use the Busch Series for driver development, and not the truck team."


Hendrick still against COT
Rick Hendrick didn't take NASCAR seriously when officials first talked about building the Car of Tomorrow.

Had he, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports would have tried harder to convince the governing body to improve the current car instead of constructing a new one.

"I made a huge mistake by not trying to lobby a little bit earlier, I guess," Hendrick said during Monday's COT test at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I've always been against it, and I haven't changed.

"What we had put on a really good race [Sunday]. We could have modified the car we had if we didn't have any safety problems."

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Where F1 drivers live
With Lewis Hamilton announcing he's moving to Switzerland (although not for the tax breaks), PlanetF1.com listed where drivers live. And while Monaco still ranks as the favorite place for the drivers to set up home, Switzerland is fast coming in at number two tied with England, which is where most of the teams are based.

* Jenson Button resides in the principality of Monaco, and also has properties in the UK and Bahrain.
* Nico Rosberg spent much of his youth in Monaco with his family, and still lives in the Principality.
* Alex Wurz also lives in Monaco.
* David Coulthard has resided for some time in the tax haven principality of Monaco.
* Felipe Massa and his lovely lady live in Monaco.
* Giancarlo Fisichella and his brood have a spot in Monaco.

* 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen lives in Switzerland with his wife Jenni Dahlman, a Finnish model and former Miss Scandinavia.
* Fernando Alonso owns a house near Lake Geneva in Switzerland but he also has a spot in Oxford, England.
* Lewis Hamilton is making his way to Switzerland in order to be able to use a public restroom without being bothered for an autograph.
* Nick Heidfeld lives in Stafa, Switzerland, with his girlfriend Patricia, daughter Juni and son Joda.
* David Coulthard owns a home in Switzerland, but he also has places in Monaco and London
* Michael Schumacher has been living in Switzerland with his family for years.

* Anthony Davidson and his wife Carrie reside in Brackley, England.
* David Coulthard owns a place in London, England.
* Jenson Button also owns a place in the UK.
* Fernando Alonso is another who owns a pad in Oxford, England.
* Lewis Hamilton, though, is moving out of his pad in England.
* Takuma Sato resides in Marlow, England.

* Jarno Trulli is the co-owner of a vineyard in Italy and produces his own wine.
* Tonio Liuzzi now lives in Pescara, Italy.

* New Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife Claire and daughter Emma, but they are said to be moving to Switzerland or France.

* Sebastian Vettel (who's probably still too young to leave home permanently) still stays in Heppenhelm, Germany.

* F1's only Polish driver, Robert Kubica, is also the only driver to live in Poland. He stays in the city of Krakow.

* Renault rookie Heikki Kovalainen hasn't moved far from home as he still lives in Suomussalmi, Finland.

* Rubens Barrichello couldn't stay further away from the F1 action if he tried. The Brazilian still lives in Sao Paulo with his wife and children. PlanetF1.com


Cooper Tire partners with Champ Car
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company today announced that it will partner with Champ Car to promote the Hands on the Wheel program through its network of tire dealers across North America. Cooper Tire Vice President of Sales and Marketing Phil Caris made the announcement at the 2007 SEMA Show, the biggest automotive specialty products trade event in the world.

“Hands on the Wheel delivers a message of driving safety that is important to all of us at Cooper Tire,” Caris said. “As a presenting sponsor of the Champ Car Atlantic Series, we are excited to work with Champ Car and our network of tire dealers to encourage all drivers to take The Pledge against distracted driving.”

Also during the news conference at the SEMA Show, Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow presented a proclamation from the city declaring October 30, 2007 “Hands on the Wheel Day.” Also on hand to participate in the news conference were Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson, Champ Car World Series driver Alex Tagliani and Champ Car Atlantic Championship driver Frankie Muniz, who previously starred in the “Malcolm In The Middle” television series.

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Atlanta COT Test Day 2: Speeds increase
Speeds from the test of the car of tomorrow at Atlanta Motor Speedway rose Tuesday morning as the second day of the session got under way. Kyle Busch's fast lap of 187.095 mph was more than a tenth of a second faster than his best lap Monday, when he also topped the speed chart. Busch is driving Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18, which he will drive in 2008 when the team switches to Toyota. Busch is in a Chevrolet for the Atlanta test. Second-fastest Tuesday was Busch teammate Denny Hamlin, who went 187.026. Scott Riggs (Haas CNC Racing) was third at 186.742, with Kasey Kahne (Gillett Evernham Motorsports) fourth at 186.184.

John 'Crash' Andretti (BAM Racing) slammed the wall in Turn 4 on Monday, causing heavy damage to the No. 49 Dodge. He was released from the infield care center unhurt.

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Vegas, baby
Several IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series personalities will make appearances in Las Vegas in conjunction with the annual SEMA show.

Among the personalities scheduled to appear at the show are: IndyCar Series drivers Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Dan Wheldon. Team owners Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal and Indy Pro Series driver Al Unser III on Oct. 31.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will also appear on Oct. 31 while IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher will appear at ESPNZone at the New York New York Hotel and Casino on behalf of ESPN.

SEMA Appearances:

Wednesday, Oct. 31
Danica Patrick, 10 - 11:30 a.m., XM Satellite Radio
Michael Andretti, 10 - Noon and 2 - 4 p.m., Motorola
Bobby Rahal, 10 - Noon, Autoweek
Johnny Rutherford, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bob Drake
Marco Andretti, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Magnaflow
Dan Wheldon, 1 - 3 p.m., NASTA International
Al Unser III, 2 - 3:15 p.m., Ekotrek
Sarah Fisher, 8:30 - 9:30 p.m., ESPNZone (New York New York Hotel)

Thursday, Nov. 1
Danica Patrick, 10 - Noon and 2 - 4 p.m., Motorola
Al Unser III, 2 - 3:15 p.m., Ekotrek
Michael Andretti, TBA, Sherwin Williams


New Ford Mustang series launched

Series will use all Mustang FR500S' so this is one series Ford cannot lose in 

Miller Motorsports Park, in partnership with Ford Racing, is pleased to announce a new professional racing series that will provide competitors an affordable way to go racing with a V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive car.

The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires will be an eight-round series utilizing the new Ford Mustang FR500S fitted with BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires. The series, which will be sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association, will consist of eight races during the 2008 season. A schedule of events and television package will be announced in the near future.

Series staff will be headed up by Series Director Lynda Randall, an industry veteran with many years' experience in race series management. Drivers will compete for purses and prizes totaling $300,000. Points will be awarded through 25th place, with 30 points to win and an individual point for pole position. The series will be open to drivers with a national-level racing license.

The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires will feature 45-minute"sprint" races. Each race weekend will include two 30-minute practice sessions, a 25-minute qualifying session and a 45-minute race.

"We are very excited about the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires," said Miller Motorsports Park CEO/General Manager Alan Wilson. "The series will fill a significant niche in professional road racing and will be the perfect venue for a variety of racers. The Ford Mustang FR500S has proven to be stable, reliable and fun to drive, and the competition should be close and intense.

"We would like to thank our friends at Ford Racing and BFGoodrich Tires for helping us develop this program, and we look forward to working with them to provide racers and fans with some of the best road racing in America over the years to come."

"Being a lifelong Ford fan myself," said Miller Motorsports Park owner Larry Miller, "I am thrilled about the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The Ford Mustang FR500S is a terrific car, and I think the racing is going to be tremendous. The series represents a unique business model for a racetrack to undertake, one that adds another innovative facet to our operation at Miller Motorsports Park. Our friends at Ford Racing and BFGoodrich Tires have been phenomenal to work with as our relationship has flourished from the creation of the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School through the co-development of the Ford Mustang FR500S to the creation of the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. It's an exciting time for us, and I can't wait to see the cars on the track."

"All of us here at Ford Racing are excited about the introduction of the new Mustang FR500S race car and the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. "The FR500S is the latest in our FR series, and we're very proud of it. We wanted to create an affordable race car, one that still packs the power and performance people expect from a Mustang. I think we've done just that.

"The new Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires will be an exciting option for those who want to start to get into professional sports car racing. We've had a great partnership with the people at Miller Motorsports Park, and look forward to working with them to grow this series."

industry news

Ford Mustang FR500S Launched


Building on the rich and successful racing history of Ford's iconic pony car, Ford Racing Performance Group is giving customers an affordable way to go racing with the introduction of the all-new 2008 Mustang FR500S.

The FR500S will be the heart of a new Mustang spec series, the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, which will make its debut on race tracks across North America in 2008.

The limited-edition FR500S is the first race car in Ford Motor Company's history to be built at a production facility and then made available for racers to purchase through the Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog and at authorized Ford Racing dealers.

"There aren't very many manufacturers that can say they build race cars right off of the production line, and we are very, very proud of this achievement," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. "This new pony car gives customers and racers a chance to get into a high-performing vehicle that is durable, reliable and competitive."

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De la Rosa interviewed for spy case in Italy

Pedro de la Rosa

(GMM)  On Tuesday it was McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa's turn to be interviewed by Italian prosecutors.

The Spaniard and his countryman and teammate Fernando Alonso became embroiled in the espionage saga this year when emails revealed their discussions about the famous 780-page Ferrari dossier.

Like Alonso earlier this month, de la Rosa on Tuesday arrived at the magistrates headquarters in the northern Italian region of Modena, not far from Ferrari's
Maranello base.

The third principal McLaren driver this year, Lewis Hamilton, will not be interviewed, it emerged recently.

Alonso earlier this month was interviewed for two hours, as prosecutors press the criminal case.

The news service ANSA reported in October that the prosecutors, led by magistrate Giuseppe Tibis, were interested to know more about Alonso and de la Rosa's emails, that depict wider knowledge within the team about suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan's possession of the dossier.

The Italian agency also clarified that the Spaniards were not under investigation but were called to appear as informed witnesses.

british f3

Hartley signs with Carlin for British F3
Newly crowned Formula Renault Eurocup champion Brendon Hartley has signed with Carlin Motorsport for the 2008 British F3 championship.  The 17 year-old Red Bull driver will also race for the team at the Macau Grand Prix later this month. Hartley dominated the 2007 Eurocup season, taking eight podium positions and four race wins.  Finishing in the points in 12 out of 14 races, Hartley was able to take the title with two races remaining.  Having tasted success in the junior levels of the sport, the young New Zealander now makes the jump to British Formula 3, which has long been the training ground for the stars of the future.   F1 legends Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen all took the British F3 title before going on to become F1 champions.


Final approval for night race still pending
(GMM)  Final approval for F1's first ever night race in Singapore next year is still yet to be given, a spokesperson for the race promoter confirmed on Tuesday.

The governing body's FIA World Motor Sport Council met in Paris last week and gave in-principle approval for the unique event, which should see the streets around the city-state's downtown Marina area floodlit next September.

A contractor to supply the bespoke lighting system has been selected, and successful night tests have been staged at Bernie Ecclestone's Paul Ricard circuit in France.

But when asked if the night event was still subject to final safety approval, a spokesperson for the Singapore Motor Sports Council on Tuesday said: "That is the case."

Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Lim Neo Chian confirmed in a statement: "Subject to final safety approvals, formula one fans worldwide will be able to enjoy a race experience like no other in Singapore from next year -- a dramatic night street race set against our beautiful city skyline."


Hans Ruesch, writer and Grand Prix winner, dies at 94

Hans Ruesch

Hans Ruesch, a successful Swiss racecar driver in the years before World War II who later became a writer of well-received novels of adventure, two of which became Hollywood films, died on Monday at his home in Lugano, Switzerland. He was 94.

The cause was cancer, his daughter, Vivian Ruesch Mellon, said.

Mr. Ruesch was believed to have been one of the last living drivers from the glamorous, dangerous days of European Grand Prix racing in the 1920s and ’30s. His novels include “Top of the World” (Harper, 1950), about Eskimo life; “The Racer” (Ballantine, 1953); and “South of the Heart: A Novel of Modern Arabia” (Coward-McCann, 1957).

Driving Alfa Romeos and Maseratis, Mr. Ruesch competed in more than 100 races in Europe and South Africa, winning 27. In the late 1930s, he moved to the United States, where he began publishing short fiction in popular magazines. He returned to Europe after World War II, living in various places in France, Italy and Switzerland.

Hans Ruesch was born in Naples, Italy, on May 17, 1913, to a German-speaking Swiss father and an Italian-speaking Swiss mother. (The pronunciation of the family name, Mr. Ruesch’s daughter said, is ROO-esh in Europe, ROOSH in the United States.).  NY Times


Stage set for Speedcar debut

Speedcar is meant to stop NASCAR from expanding globally should they try. Bernie Ecclestone is behind this stock car series

Race fans visiting the Bahrain International Circuit later this week can expect a feast for the senses as Speedcar Series drivers perform the pioneering public demonstrations of the new car.

Between Thursday, November 1, and Saturday, November 3, spectators at the Bahrain circuit can be amongst the first worldwide to sample the colors, noise and smells of the new series, which is set to start at the Dubai Autodrome on January 26.

All Speedcar drivers will be on hand throughout the three-day event to entertain the crowds, and wet their appetites for the spectacle of the hotly-anticipated series when it begins in the New Year. The drivers will be joined on-track by ex-GP2, A1 GP and current DTM racer Mathias Lauda, who will be taking the opportunity to sample the Speedcar chassis, with a view to becoming involved in the competition in the future.

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tv news

Czech Republic A1GP race to be televised
The A1GP race run in the Czech Republic on October 14, 2007 will be televised on Wednesday, October 31.  The show will air at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET on SPEED.

industry news

17,000 Watt Car Stereo Turns Car Into Jell-O

What happens when you cram 17,000 watts of pure audio power into a 2006 Ford Expedition? Apparently, it makes the whole thing bounce and shake like a giant slab of SUV-shaped Jell-O, or, as TechEBlog points out, an earthquake. Just watch the video as his 22-speaker sound system makes his iPod dance and the roof shudder like a flag in the wind. This guy should be hired by the Pentagon to head up its aural warfare project, since his new car kit is certainly a weapon of mass destruction.

And if watching this guy re-enact the classic Maxell Tape commercial wasn't intense enough, you can also head on over to his YouTube Channel where there's a video featuring speakers that rip his ceiling panel out.


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Hamilton tax u-turn draws mixed reaction
  • FIA too tough on McLaren says Hamilton
  • Raikkonen, Alonso, face long F1 breaks
  • Raikkonen a worthy champion says Coulthard
  • F1 needs number one drivers says Symonds

Hamilton tax u-turn draws mixed reaction
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton's announcement on Monday that he is leaving the country to live in Switzerland met with a mixed reaction from the British press.

The 22-year-old rookie explained that he decided to quit Britain because the local press and fans make his life too difficult.

"You lose your ability to go to places," he told the BBC, referring to his process of becoming a famous Briton in 2007.

"You really struggle to live a normal life. I've not been able to spend a lot of time with my friends, my family.

"I can't go to the cinema. I go to the bathroom in a petrol station and people come in there for autographs," Hamilton added.

British newspapers, however, corrected the McLaren driver's account of why he selected Switzerland for refuge.

"(Swiss) people don't come up to you. They leave you, they give you your space," Hamilton said.

He failed to mention that Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld live in Switzerland also because of the favorable tax conditions for foreigners who work abroad.

The Times headlined: "Swiss allow rookie to swerve high taxes".

The Daily Telegraph: "Lewis Hamilton flees Britain's taxing way of life".

The Guardian: "Goodbye Hamilton Way as Lewis takes Swiss route".

The latter is an ironical reference to the fact that, just a day earlier, Hamilton's home town of Stevenage said it would name a street in his honor.

The Daily Express observed: "Lewis Hamilton has proved his ability at tackling bends but today the formula one star showed that U-turns are his specialty."

To the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag at the weekend, Hamilton had said: "Higher taxes perhaps interests the management, but not me."

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Fernandez hammers Champ Car UPDATE #2 Another reader writes, I didn't/won't listen to his interview.....as I hold him as a major player who tried to trash Champ Car...his last minute antics before Long Beach tried to kill CART.....enough of him.....I boo him every chance I get....he went for the money.....20 pieces of silver.  Daniel Wood

Another writes, Adrian Fernandez who?  What has he done in his career except win a couple of CART races.  Why does the media even give this guy a forum?  Don K.

10/29/07 A reader writes, Listened to the interview with Fernandez.  I have to say, hard to argue with him on what he said.  And what he said wasn't targeted at Champ Car exclusively, but at the sport of AOW at large, which of course means the IRL.  On a side note, too bad these drivers, reporters, and fans who are on a Champ Car bash frenzy of late aren't considering what has happened to OW short track racing since the split, and how AOW's overall current condition all goes back to the original "most idiotic move in AOW", Tony George splitting the sport to begin with, hence why the guy has no right or business involving himself in running AOW.  Back to Fernandez's comments. 

Adrian Fernandez

He nailed it in saying there simply isn't anything in AOW for drivers who are looking at actually making a living from the sport, period.  Hence the attraction to something like NASCAR.  But I still contend, if there is to be AOW in the future, Champ Car has to succeed, because the alternative, the IRL, is the perfect recipe for the next LeMans-type tragedy in which dozens of fans are killed by a flying car.  Kanaan said it following MIS, he and Scheckter came close several times from putting a car in the grandstands.  Between that and the IRL getting caught red-handed using their version of NASCAR's call (steering assistance for Danica and Foyt's team), the IRL should be giving the likes of Robin Miller, Gordon Kirby, and even Adrian Fernandez, far more cause for alarm as far as the present state and future of AOW compared to the fiascos Champ Car has gone through this season.  Yet there seems to be a level of contention with a proven flawed car racing on high banked ovals never intended for cars that exceed 200 mph to begin with, so maybe such shortsightedness will prevail over.  Andy Fogiel Lansing, MI 

10/29/07 Legendary driver Adrian Fernandez of Mexico came into The SpeedFreaks Nation Sunday night and gave the audience the 4-1-1 on American open-wheel racing, especially the condition of Champ Car where he used to race. It was extremely very eye-opening. The buzz on Adrian's comments already is working its way through the Champ Car community. You be the judge... SpeedFreaksTV


Q and A with Director of Bridgestone Motorsport
Hirohide Hamashima, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development, has looked back over the 2007 Formula One championship season, the first year that they have singlehandedly supplied the eleven teams on the grid after Michelin opted to leave the pinnacle of Motorsports in 06.

What was the biggest change for Bridgestone in 2007 compared to last year’s season?
The biggest change for Bridgestone has been adapting to supplying all eleven of the teams in the pit lane, compared to the five we supplied the year before, and ensuring that we are fair in our supply to all of these teams. This fairness needs to be more than just in our supply of our tires, but also in our supply of information and technical service. As we saw in the pre-season testing it was not only the teams we supplied previously who were quick on our tires, but also teams who previously used our competitor’s tires as well. This continued during the season and we have seen three teams who have been very competitive, two of which used our rival’s tires last year. We are very satisfied with this aspect of the 2007 season.

Will there be any changes for next year?
We are still expecting to provide four dry tires with varying compound levels from hard to super soft and one wet weather tire and one extreme weather tire. These tires will generally be the same as this year. We are of course reviewing all the data from the year to see if any minor adjustments need to be made but at this stage, we are not expecting to make any big changes to the specifications. There is a small possibility that we may change the allocation of some of the tire compounds for certain grands prix but we will review the season’s data first before making any decisions.

Does that mean Bridgestone could bring different tires from within their range to certain grands prix?
We are reasonably happy with our allocation for 2007 and the results we saw with them, but there are always areas where we can improve. For example, the super soft compound did not perform as expected in Canada, and we are considering the possibility of modifying this compound for next season. Equally, there is the alternative that we could bring the soft and medium compounds to these circuits instead. Also, in Turkey we noted the stress level on the front right tire was higher than we expected. To prevent any problems there in 2008 we are looking at modifying the construction of the dry tire for next year in the interests of safety.

One of the innovations of 2007 was the compulsory use of two compounds of dry tire at each race. How well did this work?
I think this has made for some exciting racing and has meant that teams had to use different strategies. This regulation also provided us with quite a challenge though as we had to mark the tires after we had already made and shipped them. The need for this came about as a result of a late regulation change to make each compound distinguishable and we followed the FIA’s recommendation for a white spot at the first race of the season in Melbourne. However, it was soon apparent that this was not visible enough and we ran with a white band on the tires from the Malaysian Grand Prix. We were helped by the pen manufacturer, who created a new pen for us which was exactly the width of the tire grooves. Consequently, we were able to mark the tires much more quickly than we could initially and we thank Teranishi Chemical Industry for their help with that.

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industry news

Toyota hybrids rip off consumers

Economic comparison of hybrids vs. non-hybrids.  Pity the poor unsuspecting Toyota buyer

The chart to the right shows how many years it takes to recoup the added premium a car buyer must pay to get a hybrid version of Saturn, Ford, Mercury, Honda, Toyota and Lexus models.  The poor unsuspecting Toyota buyers are getting the shaft the worse with the Prius Hybrid taking 17.9 years for the buyer to recoup their money (like the car will last that long.  And is the Prius dangerously narrow when another driver runs a stop sign and hits you broadside?  Ouch.). 

The Camry Hybrid will take 12.1 years to break even and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid 11.3 years.  Few people keep their cars that long today. 

One long-term consideration when buying a hybrid is the relatively untested maintenance history of battery packs. If a hybrid battery fails, it will be quite expensive to replace -- likely at least $5,000 and perhaps as high as $10,000 depending on the drivetrain's complexity, says Jack Nerad, editorial director of auto research firm Kelley Blue Book.

Fortunately, hybrids have experienced few, if any, major repair problems over the past few years. And while consumers may consider these vehicles new, they've actually been in production for a while, giving manufacturers time to refine them. The first Prius hit the road in 1997 in Japan and came to the U.S. in 2000.

Most hybrids come with long warranties on their powertrain technologies -- eight years or 100,000 miles for the Prius -- that cover potential foul-ups. Still, after the warranties end, it's unclear what problems might crop up in an expensive battery pack. There's no experience with this since few, if any, people have owned a Prius for more than eight years.

A spokesman for Toyota says the company placed extended warranties on the Prius to address just such uncertainty but adds that issues with the vehicles' batteries have been "virtually nonexistent." He says the company actually expects Prius batteries to live well beyond the eight-year warranty.

Other Factors

Auto makers are gradually pushing toward electric plug-in hybrids, which will allow drivers to recharge a battery with a traditional outlet and go much further on electric power alone. Such cars could be a "game changer" that eventually displaces conventional hybrids, says Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a nationwide dealership chain.

Another fuel-saver on the horizon: diesel.

Many Americans think of diesel engines as noisy and dirty, but the introduction of cleaner diesel fuel in the U.S. that can meet tough emissions standards promises less pollution and wider use. Auto makers are ramping up plans to put diesels in light-duty pickup trucks and passenger cars. And auto companies eventually may employ diesel-hybrids to really boost fuel economy. WSJ


Atlanta COT testing: PM Speeds


Car# Driver Make Time (seconds) Speed (mph)
1 16A Greg Biffle Ford 29.942 185.158
2 11 Denny Hamlin Chevy 29.988 184.874
3 18 Kyle Busch Chevy 30.072 184.358
4 00A David Reutimann Toyota 30.152 183.868
5 1A Martin Truex, Jr Chevy 30.167 183.777
6 84A AJ Allmendinger Toyota 30.170 183.759
7 99A Carl Edwards Ford 30.177 183.716
8 5A Dale Earnhardt, Jr Chevy 30.185 183.667
9 9A Kasey Kahne Dodge 30.229 183.400
10 2A Kurt Busch Dodge 30.234 183.370
11 8B Regan Smith Chevy 30.264 183.188
12 25A Casey Mears Chevy 30.304 182.946
13 5B Dale Earnhardt, Jr Chevy 30.311 182.904
14 33A Scott Wimmer Chevy 30.316 182.874
15 96A J.J. Yeley Chevy 30.319 182.856
16 6A David Ragan Ford 30.320 182.850
17 29A Kevin Harvick Chevy 30.324 182.825
18 20 Tony Stewart Chevy 30.339 182.735
19 07A Clint Bowyer Chevy 30.353 182.651
20 25B Casey Mears Chevy 30.366 182.573
21 07B Clint Bowyer Chevy 30.436 182.153
22 42A Juan Pablo Montoya Dodge 30.438 182.141
23 29B Kevin Harvick Chevy 30.443 182.111
24 26A Jamie McMurray Ford 30.444 182.105
25 83A Brian Vickers Toyota 30.460 182.009
26 01B Mark Martin Chevy 30.468 181.961
27 17M Matt Kenseth Ford 30.496 181.794
28 70H Scott Riggs Chevy 30.507 181.729
29 83B Brian Vickers Toyota 30.510 181.711
30 19A Elliott Sadler Dodge 30.516 181.675
31 38A Travis Kvapil Ford 30.531 181.586
32 41A Reed Sorenson Dodge 30.544 181.509
33 49 John Andretti Dodge 30.555 181.443
34 22A Dave Blaney Toyota 30.559 181.420
35 12B Ryan Newman Dodge 30.571 181.348
36 55A Michael Waltrip Toyota 30.574 181.331
37 41B Reed Sorenson Dodge 30.579 181.301
38 15A Paul Menard Chevy 30.580 181.295
39 43A Bobby Labonte Dodge 30.586 181.259
40 12A Ryan Newman Dodge 30.622 181.046
41 4A Ward Burton Chevy 30.626 181.023
42 31A Jeff Burton Chevy 30.630 180.999
43 66A Jeremy Mayfield Chevy 30.642 180.928
44 1B Martin Truex, Jr Chevy 30.656 180.846
45 78A Joe Nemechek Chevy 30.685 180.675
46 21A Bill Elliott Ford 30.706 180.551
47 70B Scott Riggs Chevy 30.706 180.551
48 7B Robby Gordon Ford 30.721 180.463
49 10A Patrick Carpentier Dodge 30.724 180.445
50 8A Regan Smith Chevy 30.771 180.170
51 27A Jacques Villeneuve Toyota 30.829 179.831
52 40B Dario Franchitti Dodge 30.903 179.400
53 44a Dale Jarrett Toyota 30.936 179.209
54 78B Joe Nemechek Chevy 30.939 179.191
55 45A Kyle Petty Dodge 31.032 178.654
56 10B Patrick Carpentier Dodge 31.123 178.132
57 7A Robby Gordon Ford 32.735 169.360


How to activate sponsorship
NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya and his crew will pump gas, wipe windshields and carry out other pit-stop duties for Texaco/Havoline customers on Thursday at a Fort Worth, Texas station in advance of the Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.  Montoya's No. 42 Dodge is sponsored by Texaco/Havoline. Fans at the station will have the chance to win gift cards, as well as autographed Montoya photos, hats, shirts and other No. 42 merchandise. Montoya and his crew will be at the Texaco for two hours.


Herta thinks Acura had good first year
Andretti Green Racing’s Bryan Herta will be on hand for this week’s SEMA Show, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Herta will be at the show representing XM Satellite Radio, the primary sponsor of AGR’s Acura entry in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series.

Bryan Herta

“It’s a place that people use to talk about the season we just had with the Acura and our first season, as well as starting to talk about next year’s expectations,” Herta said. “There’s a lot of motorsports media at the show, and there’s always a chance to tie in with them.”

Last year’s SEMA show saw the unveiling of the No. 26 Acura entry with XM sponsorship. This year’s event is scheduled for Tuesday through Saturday.

Herta finished seventh in the 2007 P2 championship. He won in class at Sebring with Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, and had two other podium finishes with Marino Franchitti (second at Houston and third at Mosport). It marked Herta’s first full season in the Series since 2002.

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Earnhardt takes wheel of Hendrick Chevy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally got to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car during a test Monday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt Jr. at the wheel of the number 5 Hendrick Chevy

"I was just really surprised [in April] at how well the car turned and how well the front-end worked (when he subbed for Kyle Busch), and that's the same thing I thought this morning," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I'm really amazed at how smoothly and how well it turned.

"It's been wild how this all has worked out and how much attention it got and how hard some of it was and how much fun some of it was. As exciting as it is, I don't want to go and do it again. Hopefully, we'll have a great time at Rick's and he'll keep me as long as I want to drive."

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Italy cannot get enough of Kimi
For Kimi Raikkonen it's finally holiday time, the first holidays as a World Champion. But before he flew off, the last weekend was dedicated to celebrating with the Ferrari World Finals at the Autodromo del Mugello.

Kimi Raikkonen

"These were joyful days with many celebrations. It seems I can't stop smiling," said Kimi. "Wherever I go there are people who congratulate me. It seems that everybody in Italy is as happy as I am! Wednesday in Maranello was wonderful, when we celebrated the wins of the two Championships with everybody from the Scuderia. But I have to say that yesterday in Mugello was even better. In front of thousands of fans and numerous Ferrari clients."

"When I was going to the race track in Tuscany I remembered the first time I drove a race car, back when I was driving in the Formula Renault and then my first race in Formula One with Peter Sauber. I remember these feelings, but it is really something else driving the car, with which I just won the Championship, here at Mugello: it was like a second triumph. I was really happy and very proud being part of the Ferrari family when I saw all the fans celebrating. Thank you all so much, with all my heart!"

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Jimmie Johnson quotes from Wind Tunnel

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson appeared on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED Sunday night following his victory in the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Johnson gained some points on Jeff Gordon in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship by winning the race with Gordon finishing six spots back.  Johnson is now nine points behind Gordon in the series standings after entering the race 53 back.  Following are Johnson's quotes from the interview:

Despain: Chad Knaus says you're the best in the business at searching and finding where the car works best and driving it there.  Were you able to do that at all today?

Johnson:  "Not really, I could hang on inside the top 10.  But being a threat for the win really was out of the question.  Jeff was having some trouble and running near 20th and I was up near the top 10 and I was trying to think 'big picture.' But the car was a handful and I almost threw it away a couple of times and I had to have a couple of conversations with myself about how important the big picture really is and not to drive over my head.  With the strategy at the end and the way it worked out, I really didn't have to race for anything at the end.  It worked out."

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McGilton to drive truck for BDR in 2008
Bill Davis Racing announced today that Phillip McGilton will complete the  BDR NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series trio in 2008, with teammates Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson. "Phillip has shown us his talent on and off the racetrack," said Mark Chambers, BDR's Truck Team Manager. "He tested for us a few weeks ago at Caraway Speedway [Asheboro, N.C.] and ran incredibly well. He has shown his abilities in the ARCA RE/MAX Series over the last few years, and we are just very excited about the opportunities that he is bringing to the table." The 29-year-old McGilton is a native of Marion, Ill., and has been around racing for a while. McGilton ran in the AMA Motorcross Series before competing on a limited basis last year in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. The 2007 season marked McGilton's first full season of ARCA competition. The season was highlighted by a ninth-place finish at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and a sixth-place finish in the Championship standings. "I am very excited about this opportunity," McGilton said. "I tested a few weeks ago at Caraway Speedway with the BDR folks, and things went great. I was a little nervous at first, but the truck was not much different from a car on the short track, so I felt that I adapted rather quickly. This is a great accomplishment for me to land with such a great team, and I can't wait to get the ball rolling." McGilton will make his NCTS debut aboard the No. 22 Toyota Tundra at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. He will then run the complete NCTS schedule in 2008.


Lewis Hamilton to no longer be a Brit
Lewis Hamilton has confirmed he is quitting Britain for Switzerland. The 22-year-old Formula One sensation, who missed out on being the youngest driver and first rookie to claim the world championship by just one point last season, is fed up of the intrusion into his personal life he has endured since bursting onto the scene. "I've decided to move to Switzerland," Hamilton revealed on Monday, ironically 24 hours after his home town of Stevenage announced the naming of street after him. "You lose your ability to go to places," he told the BBC. "You really struggle to live a normal life. "It's been a really tough year. I've not been able to spend a lot of time with my friends, my family. "You come home and everyone knows you, it makes it so much harder to do normal things. "I can't go to the cinema. I go to the bathroom in a petrol station and people come in there for autographs. "It's tough but I knew that was going to be the case. Of tax haven Switzerland, he added: "People don't come up to you. They leave you, they give you your space." Sporting Life


Bernie Ecclestone holds £10m garage sale
With the Formula One motor racing season wrapped up for another year, Bernie Ecclestone is turning his hand to those odd jobs around the house. Such as clearing out the garage. Most of us aspire to do it now and again. The difference is that Ecclestone will this week make up to £10m he probably does not need by selling 43 cars he has never driven. 

Bernie Ecclestone,

Bernie Ecclestone

the motor sport supremo is auctioning most of the classic cars he has collected as a hobby over the past half-century. He bought them because he liked their look and, like fine wines, thought they would be a vintage investment. They range from a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster, expected to raise up to £4m, to a Mini similar to the ones used in Michael Caine’s 1969 film The Italian Job. It will be a snip at little more than £10,000.

According to Ecclestone, he is “refining” his collection. Those in the know say he is negotiating a shrewd maneuver to avoid any crash in the cars’ value if there is to be long-term financial slump.

Ecclestone is valued at £2.25 billion in The Sunday Times Rich List. But he is also at an age - he celebrates his 77th birthday today - where he may be thinking of ensuring there is enough ready cash available to his wife Slavica, a 6ft 2in Croatian-born former Armani model 28 years his junior, and their two daughters, Tamara and Petra. More at The Times Online


Pirelli tire makes Grand-Am return
In 2008, Pirelli will become the specified tire for the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. This will mark the re-emergence of Pirelli Tire into American Motorsports after a one-year hiatus from large sanctioned competition on the continent.

“Motorsport competition is part of Pirelli’s heritage, and the Rolex Sports Car series personifies the attributes we look for in a partnership – quality brand, opportunities for activation, and the ability to grow the Pirelli name amongst enthusiasts,” said Hugh Pace, Chairman and CEO of Pirelli Tire North America. The partnership between Pirelli Tire and the Rolex series was agreed upon early in 2007 and the tire company has spent a lot of time testing in Daytona Beach and Miami, FL as well as Birmingham, AL to design a product that advances competition in the series.

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Honda wins award for 'earth car'
(GMM)  It was among the slowest formula one cars in 2007, but Honda's controversial 'earth car' has scooped a prize.

The Japanese manufacturer, although derided far and wide for delivering a hypocritical message in a wasteful sport, last Friday won the aptly named 'Grand Prix' prize at the second Green Awards.

Held at the Guildhall in London, the second annual Green Awards rewards business for communicating sustainability in a creative and original way.

Honda sacrificed all sponsor space on its 2007 formula one single seater, the RA107, for a satellite image of the globe, to raise awareness about environmental issues.

The 'earth car' campaign "best exemplified an outstanding environmental message and had the greatest capacity to raise awareness among the general public", according to the judging panel.

Although controversial, the judges felt the campaign's "imaginative response ... got people thinking, and had many reappraise their relationship with the sport".


BMW, Honda, make announcements on Monday
(GMM) BMW-Sauber on Monday announced a replacement for former chief designer Jorg Zander.

39-year-old Swiss Christoph Zimmermann, already head of composite design at the team, will be responsible for the design of the race car as of 1 January 2008 and report to technical director Willy Rampf, the Hinwil based team said in a statement.

"In keeping with our philosophy, we will also replace him internally," team principal Mario Theissen revealed.

Also announced on Monday is that Honda will test promising young drivers Mike Conway, Luca Filippi and Andreas Zuber at the first winter test in Barcelona next month.

"Honda is committed to developing promising young talent in motor sport and we will take this opportunity to have a closer look at three young drivers who have done very well in the GP2 series this year," said sporting director Ron Meadows.

"We will also be evaluating their potential to assist Honda in the future with our testing requirements," he added.

industry news

GM launches strategy to support China
Shanghai, China – General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced today a far-reaching collaborative strategy to support the Chinese government’s pursuit of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly transportation that will be based on the principle of “in China, with China, for China.”

Wagoner was joined for today’s announcement by Xu Dingming, Vice Chairman of the Office of China Energy Leading Group; Chen Hong, President of SAIC Motor; and He Jiankun, Vice President of Tsinghua University.

GM also announced the first two major initiatives of its long-term strategy.

The first initiative is the establishment of the GM Center for Advanced Science and Research. The facility will be part of a new US$250 million GM campus in Shanghai. The center will carry out advanced research projects in partnership with the Chinese government, industry partners and academic institutions.

The second initiative is the establishment of the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC), a collaborative effort with Beijing’s Tsinghua University and GM’s strategic partner in China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC). CAERC will work with various stakeholders in government, academia and related industries to develop a comprehensive and integrated automotive energy strategy for China. GM and SAIC will jointly provide a five-year, US$5 million grant to Tsinghua University to establish CAERC.  GM PR


New Chief Designer for BMW team
The BMW Sauber F1 Team is bolstering its technical department and has appointed Christoph Zimmermann to be its new Chief Designer. In this position the 39-year-old Swiss will be responsible for the design of the race car as of 1st January 2008. He will report to Technical Director Willy Rampf. 

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: "On principle we fill executive positions internally whenever possible. It also sends an important signal to our workforce. I am delighted that in Christoph Zimmermann we have a highly qualified colleague in our ranks who will take over the task of Chief Designer. From his previous work he is familiar with the complex technical relationships as well as the specific operational procedures involved. In keeping with our philosophy, we will also replace him internally." 

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Honda F1 to test young drivers
Honda is pleased to announce that GP2 drivers Mike Conway, Luca Filippi and Andreas Zuber will drive at the team's first winter test in Barcelona next month. 

As part of the team's commitment to the development of young motorsport talent, Mike, Luca and Andreas will have the opportunity to drive the Honda race car at the Circuit de Catalunya on 13-14-15 November. 

Mike Conway, 24, has been part of the Honda Young Driver Programme since March 2007, and has worked closely with the Honda team throughout his debut season in the GP2 series with the Super Nova International Team. Prior to GP2, Mike won the British Formula 3 championship and the Macau Grand Prix during the 2006 season, in addition to winning the Formula Renault UK title in 2004. 

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Champ Car and ALMS to again team at RA
For the second straight year, the American Le Mans Series and Champ Car World Series will race at Road America the same weekend.

The Elkhart Lake racetrack's schedule of events for 2008 was released over the weekend on its Web site. Dates are tentative and subject to change.

The ALMS and Champ Car weekend is scheduled for Aug. 7-10. The Generac 500, featuring the ALMS sports cars, will again be held on a Saturday (Aug. 9). The Champ Car Grand Prix will be held Sunday (Aug. 10). Sheboygan Press

racing news

Over 30K fans at Mugello for the Ferrari party
The 2007 World Finals came to an end with the key moments of the event today at the Mugello International Circuit. Highlight was the demonstration by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, warmly received by thirty-two thousand fans gathered at the Tuscan track to salute Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Luca Badoer, Marc Gené and the entire F1 World Championship winning team. Also in attendance were Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, Vice-President Piero Ferrari, C.E.O. Jean Todt and Managing Director Amedeo Felisa.

Adding to the party was the on-track demonstration of the F430 GT cars that took Ferrari to victory in the 2007 FIA GT2 and ALMS GT2 Constructors' Cup and a parade of cars most representative of the 60 year history of the Maranello marque, right up to the present day with the new 430 Scuderia. Opening this part of the program was Michael Schumacher in a FXX, on the day when future plans for the exclusive "FXX Program" were announced for the next two years, which include the adoption of a new evolutionary package developed in conjunction with the seven times World Champion.

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Jean Todt talks about 2007 F1 season
Scarperia (Florence) - Numerous national and international journalists where present at the press conference of the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. Jean Todt started the meeting with the press, saying: "I wouldn't have placed a bet to be here today with the success of the driver's championship with Kimi Raikkonen in his first season as a driver for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. This means that this is a demonstration that our mentality, never to never give up and to believe for as long as you can believe. The last race was incredible: We knew that we had to finish 1st and 2nd and Kimi had to finish before Felipe in order to keep Alonso back and Hamilton had to be in the best hypothesis 6th. And this is what happened. All these factors had to come together and this is what happened in the end; our capacity to reach an extraordinary double-win."

"We lost the 2006 championships at the last race because of problems with reliability. This year we had more or less the same problems, but we dedicated some thought to that and we analyzed everything. We changed the organization of the racing division after men like Ross Brawn and Paolo Martinelli went to look for a different philosophy of life. This year 2007 was a transition, so it is even nicer that we can celebrate both championship wins today. We suffered and there were many unhappy moments." But Ferrari CEO Todt remembered the six victories by Kimi and the three by Felipe, with his six pole positions over the last season. Obviously Todt also spoke about the spy affair, which was a surprise for everybody. "I wouldn't have expected this betrayal from one of ours," Todt said. "Who for personal reasons wanted to help another team and I didn't expect them (McLaren) to accept his help. But that is what happened. We cried and they cried worse."

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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Russian driver wants competitive seat in F1
  • Alonso has 'idea' about 2008 plans
  • Doornbos to test Red Bull in winter
  • Gascoyne stakes job on Force India progress
  • Massa set to tie the knot
  • Coulthard 'faster than Webber' in 2007
  • Raikkonen among top earners in world sport

Russian driver wants competitive seat in F1
(GMM) One potential F1 pay-driver says he has no intention of buying a place on the grid any time soon.

Russia's most promising racer Vitaly Petrov, who won a GP2 race this season, also told the daily newspaper Kommersant that he does not want to drive for one of the sport's smallest teams.

"There are two ways of becoming a F1 driver," he said. "By means of money or by invitation from a team.

"We don't have problems with budget, but it's clear which way is more attractive. For money, I could drive for not the worst team," he said.

Petrov, who is 23, claims that his budget would allow him to already be a grand prix racer, or at least a test driver.

"But I'm a perfectionist in nature, I don't want to drive a Spyker, Toro Rosso or Super Aguri," he continued.

"I don't want to hurry and don't think it's a good idea to sign a contract with one of the outsiders. If the team doesn't show results, there will be no interest towards the team nor to its driver."

Petrov finished the 2007 GP2 standings in thirteenth place.

Alonso has 'idea' about 2008 plans
(GMM) Fernando Alonso may have settled on his ideal plans for the 2008 season.

The Spaniard, who thanked his countrymen for their support in his home town of Oviedo at the weekend, told local media that he is still waiting to know if he is going to honor his McLaren contract next year or switch to a rival team.

"I know what I want to do, but I do not know if it will be possible," he said, according to the Spanish broadcaster Telecinco.

The latest rumor is that Alonso, who spent an acrimonious season at McLaren in 2007, could be negotiating with Williams about a single-year contract.

Renault is pushing for a three year deal, and Flavio Briatore is reported to have travelled to Brazil recently for talks with a major potential Hispanic sponsor who could help bankroll Alonso's return to the team.

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