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DATE News (chronologically)
11/09/04
champcar
Gentilozzi: TV deal within 2 weeks Gentilozzi: TV deal within 2 weeksUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, You say that Champ Car should put more than 6 races on network TV, I doubt they can afford to.  Damon Brown. Colorado Springs, Co.   Dear Damon, They can't afford not to.  Yes, it costs much more to broadcast a race on network TV than cable.  The production costs are the same for both, but to air a single race network TV is around $500K and cable around $100K.  However, network TV ads sell for a lot more money than those on cable, hence there is the opportunity to make all that back and more.  The real question that everybody forgets to answer is what is the delta net cost between network and cable?  We suspect it's a lot less than people think assuming you have an agency that knows how to sell the ad time for you.  Hence, we maintain that Champ Car's new 3-year TV contract should include 6 or 7 races on network TV in 2005, ten in 2006 and about 13 in 2007.  The added value to the teams, the drivers and the sponsors is enormous. Mark C. 11/09/04 This AP article says, The once-struggling Champ Car series is headed back to U.S. network television next season, at least in a limited way, series co-owner Paul Gentilozzi said Saturday. Gentilozzi, one of a group of team owners who purchased the series out of bankruptcy at the start of the year, said the television package would be announced "in two weeks at the very outside."  The lack of exposure on television has been widely cited as a major weakness for the series in its rivalry with the Indy Racing League, which lost its own bid to take over the assets of what had been the CART series.  "We'll have five or six network races [Editor's Note: We heard 6 or 7] and the rest on a major cable," he said in an interview during qualifying for the Telmex-Tecate Grand Prix in Mexico City, the Champ Car season finale.  In July 2003, the predecessor league, CART, had announced that as many as 10 races in 2004 would be carried on CBS, but that agreement later fell though amid CART's financial problems. [Editor's Note:  That is where Champ Car needs to get to - at least 10 races on network TV, perhaps more]
11/09/04
irl
IndyCar arrives for Infineon testing IndyCar arrives for Infineon testingThe big electric sign with the fuel-injected cow on top at the intersection of highways 37 and 121 proudly announces the anticipated arrival of the Indy Racing League in Sonoma next year.  It was quite a coup for Infineon Raceway's ownership group, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., when it negotiated a deal to become the first road course to host an IRL race, which had been a strictly oval track-based series in the past years. Another road course, Watkins Glen, in New York, will welcome the IRL on Sept. 25.  "I'm really looking forward to going road-course racing," IRL champion Tony Kanaan said earlier this year of Infineon. "This is a beautiful part of the country and we'll put on a good show."

The league officials were almost as happy as the track owners when the deal was announced in August. Since then, though, there has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to prepare for the Aug. 26 race at Sonoma. Designers have been modifying the open-wheel cars to handle the twists and turns of the road course.  Dario Franchitti, who placed sixth in the standings this year, will be the first driver to test the new cars at Infineon. He will be in Sonoma for a closed session Thursday afternoon.  Franchitti doesn't have any experience with the 12-turn Sonoma course, but he has taken some laps around Northern California's other major road-course - Mazda Raceway Laguna-Seca in Monterey. Franchitti spent five years with ChampCar, formerly CART.  This is the first of two test sessions IRL will hold at the track. Drivers will visit Infineon again April 12-13 for an open test session. The Reporter

11/09/04
champcar
18-year-old Key Biscayne man finishes Champ Car season 18-year-old Key Biscayne man finishes Champ Car seasonThis AP article says, A lot of 18-year-olds are still trying to get their first car and figure out what they want to do with their lives. Then there's Nelson Philippe.  On Sunday, he finished his rookie year driving a 750-horsepower Champ Car for a living and was dreaming of a Formula One ride someday.  A French resident of Key Biscayne, Florida, Philippe started the season as the youngest driver in Champ Car history. At Mexico City on Sunday, he was making just his 21st start in something other than a go-cart.

After a year in the Barber Dodge series, Philippe jumped directly to Champ Cars.  "I had the opportunity to go into Champ Car so I prefer learning with the big guys rather than learning with some younger drivers," he said.  "I learned how to set up a car. I learned to be a bit more patient," he said. But "overall, what I learned as a driver I learned when I was in go-carts. I'm just putting to use what I learned then."

Some drivers take years to develop into winners. "That's not going to be the case," Philippe said with the confidence of an unusually serious 18-year-old.  "Winning is in my blood and if I don't win, then it's hard to get satisfaction. I haven't won a race in a long time and I want to win a race," he added. That last win, in January 2003, came in go-carts.  Philippe's ultimate goal is Formula One. "But I don't want to go to Formula One to finish out of the podium."

A self-professed loner and rebel with a taste for 60s music by the Doors and the Velvet Underground, Philippe said he's shrugged off suggestions in the press and Internet that he didn't belong in Champ Car.  "If I did let it affect me, I would die of sadness," he said.

11/09/04
nascar
Jeff Gordon tops testing at Homestead Jeff Gordon tops testing at HomesteadFour-time series champion Jeff Gordon set the fastest lap of the day Tuesday as a total of 35 racecars took laps in preparation for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov 18-21.  Gordon, who is currently second in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, 41 points back of leader Kurt Busch, circled the 1.5 mile oval with a lap of 174.194 mph (31.00 sec). He was followed closely by fellow Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup contenders Dale Earnhardt Jr. 174.137 mph (31.01 sec), Mark Martin 173.689 mph (31.09 sec), and Jimmie Johnson 172.745 mph (31.26 sec).  Gordon is very impressed with how much the track has matured since last year's Ford Championship Weekend and believes that the track's quick maturation will lead to some great racing during the Ford 400 season-finale.
 
"Tracks tend to take a while to mature, but with this track, the hot sun has allowed the track to mature very fast," said Gordon.  "I think you are going to see a three-groove race track and that's really going to be exciting for the fans."  Gordon's teammate Johnson, who currently sits fourth in points only 47 behind Busch, agrees about the maturation of the track.   "The lanes are going to wider than last year and we'll have a higher groove out there than we did before," said Johnson. "It's only going to get better as time goes on."
 
Testing continues Wednesday with all 35 drivers that participated Tuesday expected to again turn laps. Testing is open to the public free of charge. Fans may view the testing from the Speedway's Club Level.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:
       1.  24-Jeff Gordon- 31.00 sec, 174.194 mph
       2.  8- Dale Earnhardt Jr- 31.01 sec, 174.137 mph
       3.  6- Mark Martin- 31.09 sec, 173.689 mph
       4.  48- Jimmie Johnson- 31.26 sec, 172.745 mph
       5.  42- Jamie McMurray- 31.31 sec, 172.467 mph
       6.  30- Jeff Burton- 31.38 sec, 172.084 mph
       7.  21- Ricky Rudd- 31.40 sec, 171.975 mph
       8.  18- Bobby Labonte- 31.42 sec, 171.865 mph
       9.  20- Tony Stewart- 31.47 sec, 171.592 mph
      10. 38- Elliott Sadler- 31.58 sec, 170.994 mph
 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Contenders:
      1. 8- Martin Truex Jr.- 31.52 sec, 171.320 mph
      2. 5- Kyle Busch- 31.92 sec, 169.173 mph

11/09/04
Industry News
BMW strengthens sales force in China BMW strengthens sales force in ChinaEffective from 1 November 2004, the BMW Group has set up a separate sales region responsible for the Chinese markets, including the Chinese Mainland, Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan. The company thus further strengthens its sales organisation in China, after having successfullly expanded its presence in the Chinese markets by establishing a production and sales joint venture in Shenyang with its Chinese Partner Brilliance China Automotive.
11/09/04
f1
F1 teams agree to reduce testing 50% F1 teams agree to reduce testing 50%Nine teams of ten F1 teams agreed to limit the number of days spent testing during the 2005 season to just 24. The majority of the teams' bosses met at the Heathrow Hilton in London on Tuesday to discuss a number of cost-cutting initiatives. Ferrari, though, did not attend; citing "previous commitments" as the reason Managing Director Jean Todt was not present.

The nine team bosses, together with Bernie Ecclestone, decided to limit testing to just 24 days in 2005. That is half the number of days that were permitted this season but more than double the previously proposed ten days. "I've never been to a meeting that was so positive," Ecclestone told Autosport. "We are a long way to making it a better World Championship. We have not done a good enough job in the last few years."

The reduction in testing, though, is voluntary, which means should Ferrari, who have their own test track and who haven't agreed to the proposal, opt not to abide, they won't be penalized, but AutoRacing1.com and the rest of the F1 media won't let Ferrari live it down, citing unfair advantage. Ecclestone, though, says the intention is not to back Ferrari into a corner. "It's wrong to say that Ferrari have been excluded," said Ecclestone. "I think they will come along. It's positive news for a change."

11/09/04
f1
Teams agree to save two races Teams agree to save two racesBoth Britain and France will be included on next year's F1 GP calendar after nine of the ten F1 team bosses agreed to an extended schedule.  All the team bosses, except for Ferrari's Jean Todt who boycotted, met with Bernie Ecclestone in London on Tuesday and agreed a commercial deal for the British and French GPs could go ahead.  And although in previous years the teams were paid to compete in extra events - last year's 18th race earned the top four teams a pay-out of $3million - for 2005 they have agreed to not get paid any extra and to shoulder their own costs.  "We believe agreement was reached today that removes any obvious obstacle for the British and French GPs to take place," McLaren team boss Ron Dennis told Autosport.
11/09/04
champcar
Champ Car per event attendance up in 2004 Champ Car per event attendance up in 2004A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Using a Champ Car "average per event" attendance figure gives a VERY unrealistic picture..................The races at RA, Portland, Las Vegas & Laguna Seca (for example) were horrible "attendance flops"! HUGE crowds at the Canadian, Mexican, and Australia races offset this and make it appear that EVERY race had big attendance. As you know, this certainly wasn't the case! No wonder Champ Car is moving aggressively to have more of their races "overseas," but does this really "solve" anything in the long-run - or just serve to "cover-up" a growing problem here in the USA which might eventually spread to include the other venues as well? Ben Kingsley, Phoenix, AZ Dear Ben, You raise a valid argument. As you know, we have said that Champ Car needs to become a true global company because there simply isn't enough interest of the current product in the USA for Champ Car to grow. However, as we saw with the 80,000 drop in weekend attendance at Mexico City this past week (from 2003), unless Champ Car 1) Develops or hires "heroes," 2) Markets and advertises the series heavily, and 3) Converts to a F1-type car which the world seems to like, they risk their future. As you can see in the picture shown from this weekend in Mexico City, already the Mexican fans are longing for a F1 race but Champ Car can't deliver that with the current car they have.......and this is just one in many arguments we can make for why the next-gen Champ Car should be very F1-like. The scream of the V10 is unforgettable.
11/09/04
champcar
cartatlantic
Dalziel invited to test PKV Racing Champ Car Dalziel invited to test PKV Racing Champ CarScotland’s Ryan Dalziel will strap into a 750bhp Champ Car next week following an invitation by Champ Car World Series front-runners PKV Racing to test one of their Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone cars at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th November.  Dalziel heads to PKV Racing’s Indianapolis race-shop for a seat fitting later this week before traveling to Birmingham, Alabama to run with the team on the 16-turn, 2.3-mile permanent road course at Barber Motorsports Park.

“I’m grateful to PKV Racing for giving me the opportunity to test with them,” commented Dalziel.  “I’m looking forward to working with the team on what I’m sure will be a productive couple of days for both parties where my previous Champ Car testing experience will no doubt prove useful!”

PKV Racing, owned by Kevin Kalkhoven, Dan Pettit and Jimmy Vasser, has fielded two cars in the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford with Vasser, the 1996 Series Champion, and Roberto Gonzalez racing the #12 and #21 entries respectively.

Ryan’s Champ Car invite comes off the back of another strong showing by the 22-year-old in the Toyota Atlantic Championship.  The Orlando-based charger stormed to four wins, including back-to-back victories in Vancouver and Road America, seven podium finishes, five pole positions and five fastest race laps to finish as Championship Runner-Up for the second consecutive year.  Dalziel’s 2004 Toyota Atlantic season was capped by winning the prestigious Gilles Villeneuve Award, traditionally awarded to the driver recognized as showing extraordinary ability, star quality and who has distinguished himself through sportsmanship, dedication and perseverance in the face of disappointment.  Since committing to a career based in America, Ryan has continued his rise to the upper echelons of open-wheel motorsport with wins on ovals, street circuits and permanent road courses further showcasing the young Scot’s versatility on some of the toughest proving grounds in racing.

11/09/04
grandam
Trust company to sponsor Watkins Glen race Trust company to sponsor Watkins Glen raceWatkins Glen International President Craig Rust announced today that Chemung Canal Trust Company has switched gears from their traditional involvement with the track’s historic races and will now be the title sponsor of the Grand-Am Cup Series event during the Sahlen’s Sport’s Car Grand Prix June 10-12, 2005.  The race will be titled the Chemung Canal Trust 250 and will run on Saturday, June 11.  “We are thrilled with the relationship that we have been able to build with Chemung Canal Trust Co. throughout the years,” stated Rust. “Their continued involvement at The Glen not only shows their support for the local community, but gives Chemung Canal the chance to showcase themselves on a national level through resources we have here at The Glen,” said Rust. Chemung Canal Trust had previously been the title sponsor of the historic races held at Watkins Glen International since 1999."
11/09/04
f1
 champcar
Bourdais hopes Champ Car title will land him Williams F1 seat Bourdais hopes Champ Car title will land him Williams F1 seatSebastien Bourdais, who just won the 2004 Champ Car title after a superb victory in Mexico, is still hoping to join the F1 circus.  Like Jacques Villeneuve, Alessandro Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya and Cristiano da Matta, Bourdais is hoping that his Champ Car title will be a ticket to enter F1 in the near future. Frank Williams gave the opportunity to Villeneuve, Zanardi and Montoya to make the jump so Bourdais hopes that he has a chance of following a similar path.

"I am aware that it is very difficult to reach F1," said Bourdais to Gazzetta dello Sport. "There are very few places available and they are very expensive. I would like to ask Frank Williams if he saw my last race because it is a good example of what I am capable of. I know that Williams has a long list of candidates for their second seat but I remember that he gave this opportunity to Champ Car drivers in the past."

Sebastien Bourdais had his first taste of F1 before moving to the United States. In 2002, he tested an Arrows. "That test went well," remembers Bourdais. "But the problem is that I had to bring a lot of money. Only the big teams pay their drivers; the others have to bring their own sponsors. Personally, I cannot bring five million Euros."

A few months later, Sebastien Bourdais tested with Renault but the French team ultimately chose Franck Montagny as their test driver. "I knew that I was not welcome at Renault. Flavio Briatore is a businessman and the only thing that he cares about is to make money."

11/09/04
nascar
NASCAR learning what NIMBY really is NASCAR learning what NIMBY really isISC is trying to build a track in NY City as well as one near Seattle, Washington.  They are meeting great resistance in NY City from locals who don't want the extra traffic.  Now it appears Seattle folks are up in arms too.  This Seattle newspaper article says, Traffic along Interstate 5 and other regional roads near a proposed speedway north of Marysville would be congested for up to 2 1/2 hours after a major NASCAR race, a study released yesterday shows.  But because fans arrive at different times on race days, getting people into the speedway wouldn't pose that kind of problem, officials said.  Those traffic projections depend on finding $68 million to pay for road improvements necessary to the project, such as improving two freeway interchanges and widening or realigning country roads.  The projections also assume that more than 5,000 race fans would take shuttle buses from nearby park-and-ride lots, hotels, restaurants or the Tulalip Casino.   If those ideas don't catch on, traffic around a chokepoint where I-5 crosses the Snohomish River at Everett could be heavy for more than three hours, the study found.  Those backups would occur on only four days a year -- on the weekends of major NASCAR races, officials said yesterday.  (Related Seattle Times article
11/09/04
nascar
Earnhardt movie to premiere on ESPN Earnhardt movie to premiere on ESPNESPN will premiere the movie about Dale Earnhardt on December 11th, "3" will air at 9:00pm/et. More info about the movie at ESPN.com
11/09/04
nascar
Homestead testing news Homestead testing newsNASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing continues at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a two-day session on Tuesday, November 9 and Wednesday, November 10 featuring seven out of the top-10 drivers competing in the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. A total of 28 drivers are scheduled to test in preparation for the upcoming Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, Nov. 18-21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The test sessions are open and free to the public each day from 9 am - 5 pm with seating in the Speedway Club level. Driver participation is subject to change. For more information or to order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, please call (305) 230-RACE or log on homesteadmiamispeedway.com
Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR Testing Schedule
(Driver Participation Subject to Change)
Tuesday, November 9 - Wednesday, November 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers:
Mark Martin; Carl Edwards; Elliott Sadler; Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Michael Waltrip; Jeff Gordon; Jimmie Johnson; Jeremy Mayfield; Ricky Rudd; Jeff Burton; Ken Schrader; Klaus Graf; Larry Foyt (3rd BAM Racing Dodge); Joe Nemechek; Boris Said; Jamie McMurray; Casey Mears; J.J. Yeley; Bobby Labonte; Tony Stewart; Travis Kvapil. HMS PR
11/09/04
champcar
Champ Car per event attendance up in 2004 Champ Car per event attendance up in 2004Sunday's Mexico City Champ Car race wrapped up a three-day event at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez that saw 345,428 fans roll through the gates, the highest event attendance of the Champ Car season. Although the 3-day Mexico City attendance was down from over 400K the previous year, the attendance boosted the series average per event attendance to 136,337, which is an increase of nearly 3,000 over the 2003 season.

 

11/09/04
champcar
RuSPORT owner gets his cake RuSPORT owner gets his cakeDan Pettit, Kevin Kalkhoven, Paul Gentilozzi, Carl Russo and Paul Newman gather around RuSPORT Champ Car owner Carl Russo's birthday cake Sunday in Mexico City......but things got exciting when Kevin Kalkhoven and Paul Gentilozzi decided to stuff the cake in Carl's face.

  
Photos courtesy of Champ Car

11/09/04
champcar
Champ Car Awards Banquet highlights Champ Car Awards Banquet highlightsThe Champ Car World Series gathered at the Camino Real in Mexico City on Sunday night to celebrate the conclusion of a successful 2004 season.  The photos below give the highlights (Photos courtesy of Champ Car):

   
(L to R) Sebastien accepts the $100K check and Corona Cup trophy.  Bourdais beside champion's Vanderbilt Cup with Champ Car owners Kevin Kalkhoven, Paul Gentilozzi and Gerald Forsythe.  Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Greg Moore Legacy Award given away annually to remember the late Greg Moore,  Bourdais kisses the beautiful Vanderbilt Cup.

11/09/04
nascar
Cost for Washington NASCAR track goes higher Cost for Washington NASCAR track goes higherTransportation needs for a proposed NASCAR track in Snohomish County [Washington] could require $85 million in public financing, according to a report commissioned by city officials.  The money would go toward rebuilding interchanges on Interstate 5 and surrounding roads likely to be used by 20,000 motorists and buses leaving a race. The cost includes $17 million already funded to build a new Highway 529 bridge over Ebey Slough.  The anticipated road costs are in addition to the $200 million International Speedway Corp. has already asked for from the Legislature to pay for the track. ISC has said it will cover another $50 million.  Under the proposal, much of the public cost would be paid back through sales taxes collected from race fans. A study earlier this year estimated fans would generate between $87 million and $122 million annually for the local economy.  The funding request comes as other costly projects, such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, vie for money.  State Rep. Brian Sullivan, D-Mukilteo, said unless ISC covers more of the track's cost, the $85 million price tag could be a hard sell.  "When I shop it around to legislators, it's not a good feeling," said Sullivan, a member of the transportation committee. AP Story
11/09/04
irl
IPS test begins for female drivers IPS test begins for female driversFour female drivers turned 60 laps each in an Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series race car at Texas Motor Speedway, as Nunn Motorsports began a three-day test of six top female drivers. The team hopes to offer one of the drivers a full-time ride in 2005. Sondi Eden, a 27-year-old USAC Regional Midget champion from Crawfordsville, Ind., was the first driver on track. "It was exciting." Eden said. "To have the opportunity to be able to test one of these cars is a lot of fun. I was a little nervous going into it, so I just started out slow to build up my confidence. I just progressed slowly, took my time and got comfortable in it, got up to speed and started hitting the rev limiter so I felt good about that. It was real smooth. It's just a lot of fun."

Becca Anderson, Rossella Manfrinato and Wendy Mathis also tested on Nov. 8. Juliana Chiovitti and Sarah McCune will test on the morning of Nov. 9 before all six drivers each have a second session in the car. Kathryn Nunn, the only woman to own a team in the IRL, was pleased with the results of the first day. "I expected them to do well," Nunn said. "They all had excellent credentials. Today's exercise was designed to give them all a lot of seat time and let them get comfortable in the car, on the track and with the crew. They'll have another opportunity to get in the car and pick up even more speed." Anderson, 25, began racing at the age of 13 and has 13 career feature wins as a sprint-car driver. The Lincoln, Del., native competes in the United Racing Club (URC) series.

Chiovitti, originally from Sutton, Ontario but now living in Las Vegas, is a three-time World Karting Association (WKA) Grand National Champion and has won a WKA national championship. She is 23. Eden, 27, is a former North American Midget Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Rookie of the Year. Manfrinato, 35, has competed in SCCA and Formula Continental events. The Milan, Italy native was the technical support and liaison engineer for chassis manufacturer Dallara in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series from 2002-2004. Mathis, 25, began racing at the age of 12. She has driven midgets and sprint cars and is the first woman to win a sprint car feature in the Tampa Bay Area Racing Association. Mathis lives in Brandon, Fla. McCune, 26, has competed in USAC National Midget events for the past several years. The Perrysburg, Ohio native tested an IRL IndyCar® Series car twice in 2000.

11/09/04
irl
IRL Awards Banquet reminder IRL Awards Banquet reminderJust a reminder that the IRL Awards Banquet will be televised today (Tuesday) at 4:00 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2.
11/09/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Anthony, Nick, to test Williams
Ferrari to snub F1 meeting
African GP talks falter
'BAR' two-seater F1
'Sensible' Sauber - Villeneuve
'Michelin might have won'
FIA may accept late entry
Stewart - 'wear your undies'
BMW 'know how to win'
'No sympathy' for Brit GP
Montoya motivated
'I can keep up' - Massa
Zonta 'deserves' F1 spot
11/08/04
champcar
Bourdais to appear on David Letterman Bourdais to appear on David LettermanLadies and Gentlemen, Start Your VCR's! Sebastien Bourdais, 2004 Champ Car Champion and driver of the McDonald's Ford-Bridgestone-Lola will be featured on Tuesday night's Late Show With David Letterman.
11/08/04
Industry News
SPEED Channel announces new show SPEED Channel announces new showSpeed Channel today announced that it will launch a 60-minute unscripted series in February. “Unique Whips” follows car customizer Will Castro as he modifies celebrities’ cars. Castro’s clientele includes athletes like Jermaine O’Neal, Carmelo Anthony, Yao Ming, Steve Francis, Latrell Sprewell, Curtis Martin, Santana Moss and LaVar Arrington, and entertainers such as Eminem, Jennifer Lopez, Wyclef Jean and Fat Joe. N.Y.-based Hollywood East Entertainment will produce the series Speed Channel
11/08/04
nascar
Waste Management expands NASCAR sponsorship Waste Management expands NASCAR sponsorshipNASCAR sponsor Waste Management today announced that it will serve as the primary sponsor of Roush Racing’s NASCAR Busch Series No. 17 Ford, driven by Matt Kenseth, for the rest of the ’04 season and for 14 events on the ‘05 schedule. Waste Management also will be an associate sponsor for the No. 17 DeWalt Ford driven by Kenseth on the Nextel Cup Series.  Additionally, Waste Management will be the primary sponsor of Bill Davis Racing’s Craftsman Truck Series No. 22 Toyota, driven by Bill Lester, for five races across the remainder of the ‘04 season and the ‘05 season. Finally, the company will sponsor an entry in the Dodge Weekly Series as part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program Waste Management.  Smith & Wesson over the weekend announced a partnership with SKI Motorsports to serve as the primary sponsor for an entry in eight Busch Series races during the ’05 season. The sponsorship marks Smith & Wesson’s first formal entry in NASCAR Smith & Wesson
11/08/04
f1
Williams team announces driver testing Williams team announces driver testingThe BMW WilliamsF1 Team today confirmed details of its winter testing program in relation to its 2005 season driver line-up. On Tuesday November 24, Mark Webber will undertake his first testing duties for the team in Barcelona, together with the team test driver, Antonio Pizzonia. In Jerez de la Frontera, from Wednesday December 1, Anthony Davidson will test with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. The following week, again in Jerez, Nick Heidfeld will assist with the testing program, commencing Thursday December 9. These tests are intended to assist the process of determining the team's full driver line-up for 2005.
11/08/04
nascar
NASCAR to investigate Harvick-Kahne tussle NASCAR to investigate Harvick-Kahne tussleNASCAR officials said they will investigate an incident between drivers Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne to determine if disciplinary action is needed. Kahne tried to pass Harvick on the last lap Sunday as the two cars bumped. When the race ended, Harvick pulled in front of Kahne's car and blocked it before walking over to confront Kahne. Harvick, though, was restrained by crew members. "Kahne started running into me after a caution, so I wanted to stop and ask him what the problem was," Harvick said. "Before that, I got to him a little bit, so I guess he was ticked off. But we were just racing hard." Dallas Morning News
11/08/04
superfund
New Superfund car to test at Jerez this week New Superfund car to test at Jerez this weekAs part of the on-going development of the SF01, Formula Superfund will be conducting a three-day test at the Circuito de Jerez, Spain from 9th to 11th November. On the first day, ex-F1 and IRL driver Vincenzo Sospiri will take to the wheel of the SF01 for the second time. The test team will work on a development program to maximize reliability and clock up mileage. The program will continue on Wednesday and Thursday with the evaluation of potential drivers for the 2005 Formula Superfund season. The selection of drivers will be confirmed shortly. This is the first test of the SF01 following the successful presentation and roll-out of the car to teams, drivers and media on 29th October at the Nürburgring, Germany. The car has previously undergone testing at Brno with Karl Wendlinger behind the wheel and at Magny Cours with Vincenzo Sospiri.
11/08/04
nascar
Ford 400 at Homestead sold out Ford 400 at Homestead sold outThe Ford 400, the season-finale for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, has officially sold out, Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray announced today.  Great seats remain available for the remainder of Ford Championship Weekend, November 18-21, including the season-finales for the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series as well as Qualifying and "Happy Hour" Practice sessions for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.  Ford Championship Weekend features the championship-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series.  The sold-out Ford 400 on Sunday, November 21 is the season-finale for the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup featuring the first-ever ten-race, ten-driver shootout for the series championship culminating at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
11/08/04
MotoGP
Biaggi breaks leg, out 2 months Biaggi breaks leg, out 2 monthsItalian MotoGP rider Max Biaggi has broken his leg in training and will be out of action for at least two months, ANSA news agency has reported.  The agency said on Monday the Honda rider, third in the championship this year, had suffered multiple fractures of his left leg after falling off a Supermotard bike at the Latina circuit south of Rome.
11/08/04
champcar
PKV to test two young hotshoes PKV to test two young hotshoesPKV Racing will test two drivers at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama in mid-November, namely Toyota Atlantic front runner Ryan Dalziel and 2003 FIA International F3000 champion Bjorn Wirdheim. Wirdheim tested a Champ Car in ’02 with Patrick Racing under the watchful eye of team manager Jim McGee, who is widely expected to join PKV Racing for the ’05 season. McGee’s arrival is largely at the behest of driver/co-team owner Jimmy Vasser who will, of course, be back with the team in ’05. Current teammate Roberto Gonzalez, however, is unlikely to return to the team next year. SPEEDTV
11/08/04
nascar
Still waiting on hard liquor approval Still waiting on hard liquor approvalUPDATE NASCAR officials are expected to announce this week that they will lift their long-standing ban on hard liquor sponsorships for next season. Several teams are hoping to court hard liquor companies, including Roush Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Under NASCAR's current rules, teams are allowed to advertise beer and so-called "malt beverages" such as Smirnoff Ice. USA Today 11/08/04 There is still no official word from NASCAR executives about lifting the ban on hard liquor sponsorships on Nextel Cup cars, but an announcement is expected shortly, to come with Richard Childress' expected announcement of Jack Daniel's as a sponsor, apparently to replace AOL.  NASCAR's announcement could open the door for Smirnoff to put its vodka brand on Matt Kenseth's car, replacing Smirnoff Ice, and for #99-Carl Edwards to get a Crown Royal-Diageo sponsorship, too. Winston Salem Journal
11/08/04
champcar
Mexico City tidbits Mexico City tidbitsSunday’s race was the first in the Champ Car Modern Era (1979-Present) in which every car that started the race, was running at the end of the race. That record covers an amazing 416 Champ Car races........This is the fifth championship for the Newman/Haas Racing team as Sebastien Bourdais joins Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Cristiano da Matta as drivers that have won titles for the Illinois-based team.........Bourdais is the first driver to win wire-to-wire on a road course this season, leading all 63 laps in today’s event........Bruno Junqueira today became the first Champ Car driver since Johnny Rutherford (1974-76) to finish as the series runner-up in three consecutive seasons.........Bourdais also today claimed the $100,000 Corona Cup, given to the Champ Car driver that earned the most total points between the two events held in Mexico.......3-day weekend attendance was 345,000, down from 411,000 in 2003.  High ticket prices and less success by Mexican drivers this year were blamed.
11/08/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Hakk's back
Fisichella at Enstone
Schu's Ferrari for sale
'I'll do it again' - JV
Schu donates $2m
Williams 'won't win' - Ralf
Lyons on track for F1 run
Why did Jackie quit?
Rossi switch misjudged
'Mark Webber Challenge'
Jordan 'securing investment'
Klien is top rookie
Rubens' wife had miscarriage
GPWC eye Brit GP
Kimi tried DTM car
Da Matta and Champ Car
Lauda in the air
New Renault 'is good' - Bell
F1 'Masters' to race
MB's to race Aston Martin

Ralf's 'reality check'
11/08/04
champcar
Bourdais fastest driver Bourdais fastest driverSebastien Bourdais won the 2004 fastest Champ Car driver award.  Bridgestone added all the fastest pole times together with the fastest race laps. On a cumulative basis, Bourdais was 2 seconds fastest in qualifying and 5 seconds up for fastest race laps.
11/07/04
champcar
Kalkhoven: Tony, we stole your hammer Kalkhoven: Tony, we stole your hammerThe Champ Car World Series gathered at the Camino Real in Mexico City on Sunday night to celebrate the conclusion of a successful 2004 season. Kevin Kalkhoven addressed the crowd and received a resounding round of applause when he held up a hammer and said a certain person in Indianapolis tried to nail the coffin shut of Champ Car, but, he said, “Tony, we stole your hammer.”
11/07/04
worldseries
Kovalainen and Monteiro win last Nissan races Kovalainen and Monteiro win last Nissan racesA number of IRL drivers are worried how they are going to get paid once all the engine manufacturer money dries up.  Many of them have contacted Champ Car teams to see what might be available, however, Champ Car, though building quickly now, still isn't at the level they want to be to pay drivers.  One source told us that Scott Dixon is downright miserable racing in the IRL.  We were told he wasn't alone. 
11/07/04
champcar
Poor result by Mexicans doesn’t dampen enthusiasm Poor result by Mexicans doesn’t dampen enthusiasmA few friends (and my dad) called me from Monterrey after Saturday qualifying for the Champ Car race. They wanted to know if the race would lose interest with the fans because of the bad performance of the Mexican drivers. Truth is I couldn’t answer the question, so I decided to talk with a lot of fans this morning, at my hotel, at the restaurant, at the paddock and every other place in the track. It seems that the fans are very interested in the championship battle. The media is focused on the fact that this is the first time a world class series will be decided on Mexican ground. Newspapers all over the city are explaining what Bourdais and Bruno need to do today in order to be champion. Jose Arrambide
11/07/04
champcar
Champ Car gets big play on Sports Center Champ Car gets big play on Sports CenterChamp Car is getting some decent coverage on Sports Center this weekend, at least ESPN Latin America. Although ESPN broadcasts the rival IRL races, and they try to go out of their way to ignore the Champ Car World Series, they had to jump on the bandwagon, since their biggest number of subscribers are in Mexico. Since every Network and Cable Network is doing something with Champ Cars they decided to give the race a 4 minutes story on their Spanish version of Sports Center. Not that they didn’t try to slander the race by saying they were expecting more fans for qualifications than the race. Jose Arrambide
11/07/04
champcar
Party anyone? Party anyone?As at most tracks of the Champ Car World Series this weekend it’s not only about racing, it’s also about partying and having a good time. Yesterday I decided to go to a few concerts and go to the xtreme zone. The concerts were incredible, especially the headliners, Fobia, which is one of the biggest rock bands in Mexico. The crowd was really partying at the track. I also had fun in the xtreme zone, I felt like a kid again (not that I’m too old), and I wasn’t the only grown up trying to revive their youth. Besides these events I had the chance to go to the Corona VIP zone. Jose Arrambide
11/07/04
champcar
Junqueira's shot at title won't get live coverage Junqueira's shot at title won't get live coverageNot even the fact that one of the country's most prominent drivers has a chance of winning the championship will put Champ Car on the priorities list of RedeTV!, who holds the series' broadcasting rights in Brazil. Today's Mexico City GP, in which Bruno Junqueira can clinch the 2004 Vanderbilt Cup, won't be broadcasted live. RedeTV! stated that the "unusual" starting time of the Mexican race would disturb its chart (read that: it will put Champ Car in the slot of a show that provides the network with higher advertising revenue), and will air the race tape-delayed at midnight (!) today - apparently, RedeTV! believes Brazilian Champ Car fans don't need to go to work on Monday mornings. The network has also promised to show live "flashes" of the race. Cassio Cortes
11/07/04
worldseries
Kovalainen wins race 1 at Jerez Kovalainen wins race 1 at JerezResults for race one at Jerez, Spain - the ninth round in the 2004 World Series by Nissan.
1. Heikki Kovalainen Pons Racing 27mins 22.149secs 17 laps
2. Tiago Monteiro Carlin Motorsport +2.416secs
3. Olivier Pla Carlin Motorsport +6.422secs
4. Jean-Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +7.075secs
5. Narain Karthikeyan RC Motorsport +8.813secs
6. Tristan Gommendy Saulnier Racing +9.629secs
7. Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +13.271secs
8. Karun Chandhok RC Motorsport +32.246secs
9. Felix Porteiro Epsilon Euskadi +32.713secs
10. Juan Cruz Alvarez Gabord Reyco +33.481secs
11. Milos Pavlovic Vergani Formula +34.821secs
12. Giovanni Tedeschi Vergani Formula +1min 03.679secs
Not classified:
DNF. Adrian Valles Pons Racing 10 laps completed
DNF. Damien Pasini GD Racing 10 laps completed
DNF. Hiroki Yoshimoto Gabord Reyco Did not complete first lap
DNS. Sergio Hernandez Saulnier Racing Did not start
11/07/04
Fomula Nippon
Treluyer wins Formula Nippon finale Treluyer wins Formula Nippon finale
Pos. No. DRIVER TEAM LAP TOTAL BEST

1 19 BENOIT TRELUYER mobilecast IMPUL 46 1:25'15.434 1'48.895
2 20 YUJI IDE mobilecast IMPUL 46 1:25'18.857 1'48.788
3 40 RICHARD LYONS DoCoMo DANDELION 46 1:25'20.170 1'49.463
4 7 JUICHI WAKISAKA LeMans 46 1:25'31.520 1'49.389
5 8 TAKESHI TSUCHIYA LeMans 46 1:25'40.849 1'50.125
6 1 SATOSHI MOTOYAMA ADiRECT 5ZIGEN 46 1:25'44.678 1'50.125
7 31 ANDRE LOTTERER PIAA NAKAJIMA 46 1:25'46.171 1'49.894
8 32 TAKASHI KOGURE PIAA NAKAJIMA 46 1:25'46.684 1'49.923
9 4 YUJI TACHIKAWA Yellow Hat KONDO 46 1:25'47.482 1'49.473
10 41 NAOKI HATTORI DoCoMo DANDELION 46 1:25'56.431 1'50.133
11 2 TOSHIHIRO KANEISHI ADiRECT 5ZIGEN 46 1:25'58.400 1'49.953
12 25 TATSUYA KATAOKA LeMans Spirit 46 1:25'06.634 1'50.279
13 3 RYO MICHIGAMI Yellow Hat KONDO 46 1:26'08.636 1'50.048
14 28 HIDEKI NODA CARROZZERIA MOHN 46 1:26'15.722 1'50.414
15 12 MASAMI KAGEYAMA COSMO OIL CERUMO 46 1:26'49.987 1'51.392
(ABOVE FINISHED)
- 11 TSUGIO MATSUDA COSMO OIL CERUMO 7 0:13'11.138 1'51.514
11/07/04
nascar
Drivers not happy with garage security Drivers not happy with garage securityNASCAR's garage security has been terrible this season on the Nextel Cup tour, forcing drivers back into hiding in their motor coaches, to avoid being mobbed by the hundreds of fans swarming through the working areas. Yesterday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally had enough, and to make a point with lackadaisical NASCAR officials, Earnhardt took a page from his late father's book. He sat down on the rear deck of the NASCAR trailer and signed autographs for the crowd that quickly packed the area, making it impossible for officials to enter or leave. Winston Salem Journal
11/07/04
Industry News
GM, Ford down, DaimlerChrysler Up GM, Ford down, DaimlerChrysler UpThe nation's two-largest automakers both said demand for new vehicles fell 5 percent last month from a year ago, almost assuring heftier consumer incentives to come, even as Japanese rivals Toyota, Honda and Nissan rode a slew of new products to double-digit gains. Industry wide, U.S. sales were up 2 percent in October, according to Autodata Corp., an industry research group. No. 1 General Motors Corp. said Wednesday that truck sales were off 4.6 percent and car sales down 5.5 percent in October. Sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand trucks were up 3 percent at No. 2 Ford Motor Co., but that demand was not nearly enough to offset a 22 percent decline in car sales -- an all-too-familiar trend for Ford this year. October marked the eighth time this year Ford's monthly sales have been below year-ago results. The smallest of Detroit's Big Three, DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, said overall sales rose 2 percent in October -- the 12th time in 13 months Chrysler has had a year-over-year increase. AP
11/07/04
nascar
NASCAR adopts new car inspection technology NASCAR adopts new car inspection technologyNASCAR has added Delcam’s PowerINSPECT inspect software, together with a Romer CimCore inspection arm, at its research and development facility in Concord, North Carolina, as part of the inspection procedures it uses to enforce its regulations in America’s major stock-car racing competitions. This follows the earlier decision of the FIA, the governing body for Formula One racing, to use PowerINSPECT for its pre- and post-race inspections.

In order to maintain competitiveness between its teams, NASCAR severely restricts the extent of the changes that can be made to the cars used in its races. Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s Managing Director of R&D, explained that “the Romer CimCore arm and PowerINSPECT help us make sure that all the Fords, Chevys, Dodges and Pontiacs really have the same configuration as the baseline configuration approved for competition by NASCAR.”

For more than a decade, every racecar has been dimensionally checked before, and some after, qualifying runs and races with templates of its required shape created from production vehicles. The biggest challenges with templates are translating dimensions taken from the automakers’ “submission” vehicles (and CAD models) into the silhouettes of the templates – plus duplicating them, getting them into the hands of the teams and sponsors, and checking them periodically.

Inspection with PowerINSPECT is bringing a much greater degree of precision. A few years ago, variations in a racecar’s length or profile might be as much as an inch. Now with many teams using aerodynamic testing, CFD and wind tunnels to a much greater degree, a worthwhile competitive advantage may be gained by altering the profile of a hood or bumper by as little as an eighth of an inch.

“The templates’ accuracy is very good now,” Mr. Kurtz said, “but it will become crucial as race team engineers learn to use dimensional technology to wring small but crucial advantages from smaller and smaller tweaks. The portable CMM also makes it easy to add new measurements.” These could be dictated by an automaker’s new submissions or by advances in safety such as driver seats and restraints, fire fighting and escape hatches.

“The Romer CimCore arm and PowerINSPECT helps keep all of our race teams competitive by making sure that money doesn’t make some teams more equal than others. If we allowed that to happen, the victory laps would soon be dominated by a handful of wealthy teams. Then the skill and determination of the individual drivers and pit crews would not count for much anymore,” concluded Mr. Nelson.

11/07/04
f1
New F1 regs mean hard work New F1 regs mean hard workRenault technical director Bob Bell says designers will face a lot of work to overcome the new rules in place for 2005 which will reduce downforce and make engines last two Grand Prix weekends.  "The aerodynamic losses generated by the new regulations are significant, and we are working very hard in the wind tunnel," said Bell. "We already know that our next car will be a good one. It will have new electronics and a heavily-modified engine. On the mechanical side, Chief Designer Tim Densham and his team are focusing on reliability as well as making the car easy to use and work on.  I think we had reached a situation that could have become problematic had we not responded to it," he added. "The cars were incredibly fast this year and we had to react. Otherwise, F1 would have become unacceptably dangerous."
11/07/04
f1
Aussie pair win Minardi tests Aussie pair win Minardi testsAustralians Will Power and Will Davison will test for compatriot Paul Stoddart's Minardi Formula One team this month. The pair will be among 11 drivers taking part in two two-day sessions at Misano in Italy as Stoddart searches for his two drivers for next season.  They will be under pressure to perform against talented racers such as Japanese F3 champion Ronnie Quintarelli while Russian test driver Sergey Zlobin will be a yardstick for several who have never driven a F1 car.  Power, whose British F3 series ran out of steam this season, is also scheduled to try out with Arden Motorsport, which won this year's Formula 3000 Championships.  Arden, which is looking for a driver for next year, will give Power the chance to trial for the team at Jerez in Spain just before the Minardi test.  Davison is also keen to step up from F3 to Formula 3000 next season and said he had several opportunities to try out with leading teams, including the Super Nova outfit. Sunday Mail
11/07/04
champcar
Press Release: Valiante stuns in Mexico quals Press Release: Valiante stuns in Mexico qualsMichael Valiante, the rising Canadian racing star from Vancouver, B.C., took his game to a new level today.  After setting the 17th-fastest time in preliminary qualifying on Friday, the 23 year-old Burnaby native and former Toyota Atlantic standout with the legendary Lynx Racing driver development program powered his #15 Walker Racing / Wildlife Conservation Network Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone to a lap of 1:27.642 (114.438 mph/184.170 kph) in final qualifying.  Valiante’s Walker Racing teammate, veteran Mario Haberfeld, qualified 17th with a time of 1:28.200 (113.714 mph/183.125 kph).

Valiante’s time today was 2.8 seconds faster than his time from Friday's first round of qualifying and he will start an impressive 12th on the grid for tomorrow’s Champ Car World Series season finale, the 64-lap Gran Premio Telemex Tecate.  The race is scheduled to take the green flag at 3:00 pm (ET) Sunday afternoon, November 7.

The race will be shown on TSN, Global and RDS in Canada.  Please check local listings for air times.

Valiante’s qualifying effort placed him on the grid ahead of veteran Canadian Champ Car driver Alex Tagliani 1:27.841 (114.179 mph/183.874 kph), and just 3/10ths behind Patrick Carpentier 1:27.338 (114.837 mph/184.934 kph).  Carpentier, like Valiante, is a graduate of the legendary Lynx Racing driver development program in the stepping-stone Toyota Atlantic series.

 Last year’s Mexico City winner and 2003 Champ Car World Series champion, Paul Tracy, qualified 6th with a time of 1:27.172  (115.055 mph/185.285 kph).  The front row for the race will consist of Sebastain Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira, teammates at the powerhouse Newman/Haas Racing team.  Bourdais turned a lap of 1:25.919 (116.733 mph / 187.987 kph), while Junqueira set a time of 1:26.545 (115.889 mph / 186.628 mph) around the 9-turn, 2.786-mile Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez track.

“I learned a lot between yesterday and today,” says Valiante, who prepared for this event by driving a racing go-kart every day and watching an in-car camera tape of Tracy’s drive from last year.  “There’s such a lot to think about at this level of racing, the pit stops, fuel strategy, tire wear, the effect of fuel loads on the handling of the car, and so on.  But I’m getting the hang of it.  My confidence level is up, and the car is working better, but I’m a bit disappointed to have left about 3/10ths of a second on the table during qualifying.  There’s one really fast turn on the track where the car is still moving around quite a bit and I’m just not comfortable taking it flat-out.  The Walker Team will be working late into the night tonight to get that sorted out, and I’m confident of having a good car for the race tomorrow.”

Valiante is competing in the Mexico City event with sponsorship from the Wildlife Conservation Network, JV Investments, Lynx Racing, Italkart, Wasteco, Serengeti Design Group, CMSI Canadian Mortgage Strategies & Investments and Premier Pacific Developments.

"We knew Michael was good, so his performance today does not surprise me,” says Walker Racing team owner and renowned talent-spotter Derrick Walker.  “We have to get Lolas for these guys next year."

Valiante and Haberfeld are the only two drivers competing in Reynard Champ Cars this weekend.  The remainder of the field is made up of faster and more aerodynamically-advanced Lola Champ Cars.  Haberfeld is Walker’s regular driver and has been racing a Reynard throughout the 2004 season.  Valiante’s Mexico City appearance is a one-off opportunity provided by his sponsors.  Walker Racing is working with those and other sponsors to try and move up to a full-time, 2-car effort for 200

Fans and companies interested in sponsorship opportunities – both for the Mexico City event and the 2005 Champ Car season -- can find more information at www.MichaelValiante.com.

Valiante rose through the ranks of open-wheel racing, demonstrating a champion’s talent at every level from karting, through the Skip Barber regional and Pro series, and with the Lynx Racing team in the intensely competitive Toyota Atlantic Championship.  Other graduates of the Lynx program include Champ Car veteran Patrick Carpentier, this year’s Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice and the 2002 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Alex Barron.

Valiante won six Toyota Atlantic races with the Lynx Racing team during the 2002 & 2003 seasons, finishing 2nd and 3rd (respectively) in the series championship.  He has tested impressively in a Walker Racing Champ Car on two occasions, and was scheduled to make his debut with the team in last year’s final race at Fontana until the event was cancelled due to wildfires in the area.  Walker Racing is working to expand to a full-time 2-car team in 2005, and hopes to retain the services of the 23 year-old from Burnaby, B.C. 

11/07/04
champcar
Kalkhoven to appear on Wind Tunnel Kalkhoven to appear on Wind TunnelUPDATE Kevin Kalkhoven cannot make his Wind Tunnel appearance this week as he'll be out of the country closing the Cosworth deal. Wind Tunnel will still have the Champ Car champion on that night though. 11/05/04 Confirmed guests for next week's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED Channel:
  • Monday 11/8 - Austin Cameron (NASCAR Grand National West Series driver)
  • Tuesday 11/9 - Colin Edwards (MotoGP motorcycle rider & two-time World Superbike Champion)
  • Wednesday 11/10 - 2004 Champ Car Champion & Kevin Kalkhoven (co-owner, Champ Car Series)
  • Thursday 11/11 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Chase for the NEXTEL Cup contender)

Viewers can send E-MAIL questions to windtunnel@speedtv.com anytime or call 1-866-W-TUNNEL from 10 p.m. - 11 p.m. ET Monday thru Thursday night to be a part of the LIVE call-in portions of the show.

11/07/04
nascar
Hendrick plane missed approach Hendrick plane missed approachUPDATE #2 Another reader adds - As a pilot, I can say, with almost absolute certainty, that the Hendrick aircraft had to be instrument flying rated. Unless there was some type of instrument malfunction documented in the aircraft maintenance log before the aircraft took flight that day, that particular aircraft is certified for instrument flight from the manufacturer. If there was a documented instrument flying related malfunction, then the aircraft was flying in violation of FAA regulations. If that was the case, the pilots would almost certainly be risking revocation of their licenses for flying an illegal aircraft in those conditions in that type of terrain. Furthermore, as a personal opinion, if the pilots did fly an ill equipped aircraft into instrument conditions, the gross negligence associated with that type of decision rises to the highest levels of stupidity, verging on a possible death wish on the parts of BOTH pilots. I cannot reasonably assume one pilot would take such a risk, let alone BOTH. Derek Hughes, Cincinnati, OH 11/06/04 A reader writes, The original report says " It does not draw a conclusion on the cause of the crash but does note the plane's global positioning system was not certified for instrument-only flight and the plane did not have a ground proximity warning system."  Your article says "It does not draw a conclusion on the cause of the crash but it does note the plane was not certified for instrument-only flight and did not have a ground proximity warning system." That is incorrect. There is no doubt in my mind that the plane was certified for IFR flight. Mark McCauley 11/05/04 The Hendrick Motorsports plane that crashed last month and killed all 10 aboard missed the approach to the airport and then failed to immediately climb before crashing into a mountain, according to a preliminary report Friday. The National Transportation Safety Board said the proper procedure after a missed approach at Blue Ridge Regional Airport in Spencer called for the aircraft to manoeuvre right and climb to 792 metres. Instead, the report said, the Beech 200 King Air descended to 548 metres before crashing into the southeast slope of Bull Mountain at an altitude of 746 metres. Both pilots were experienced, the report said. It does not draw a conclusion on the cause of the crash but it does note the plane was not certified for instrument-only flight and did not have a ground proximity warning system. Witnesses reported the mountain was obscured by clouds and fog. Pilots of at least 20 other planes, most carrying sponsors and race fans, decided it was too dangerous to land at Blue Ridge Airport at the time and instead touched down at Danville Regional Airport, where landing in bad weather is easier. After the plane descended to 548 metres, the controller advised the crew to climb to 1,341 metres, the report said. There were no further radio transmissions from the crew. One witness southeast of the mountain saw a plane fly past about 18 to 21 metres above the ground, according to the report. "When you miss something in bad weather ... the safe thing to do is to get to an altitude where you're not going to run into anything," former NTSB board member John Goglia said. AP Story
11/06/04
champcar
Guy Smith to tie knot Guy Smith to tie knotGuy Smith announced his engagement to Alicia Richardson. The couple was engaged in Sydney, where Richardson was born, following the Surfers Paradise race. Smith and Richardson will reside in a 200 year-old home they spent five months renovating in the small village of Braken, in Yorkshire, England.  There must be something with the water in Australia.  Smith's teammate, Alex Tagliani, met his beautiful wife Bronte there.
11/06/04
champcar
Tagliani accepts Nations Cup for Canada Tagliani accepts Nations Cup for CanadaAlex Tagliani today accepted the Champ Car Nation’s Cup award for Canada, along with fellow-Canadian Champ Car drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier. The Nation’s Cup is awarded to the country whose drivers have amassed the most race points in the season. The Canadian Champ Car racers have each won races and accumulated 11 podium finishes for a total of 361 points thus far, clinching the title for Canada in Round Thirteen. “I’m very proud to have contributed to Canada’s Champ Car Nation’s Cup award,” stated Tagliani. “All of the Canadian drivers have worked hard this season. Canadians love racing and appreciate Champ Car, so it’s an honor to have added my efforts to this great accomplishment for my country.”
11/06/04
champcar
 f1
Mexican Champ Car fans love F1 Mexican Champ Car fans love F1It’s incredible the number of fans with caps, shirts and any number of F1 merchandise here in Mexico City. You can find Ferrari, Jaguar, Williams, McLaren and Renault fans at the Champ Car race. But what’s more interesting is that Williams is advertising their team in the official program of the Champ Car race. Jose Arrambide [Editor's Note: As we have stated many times, F1 is loved around the world, and the more F1-like Champ Car is the better.....hence our push for Lola and Force 10 to supply a car similar to what Force 10 designed for the Superfund series.]
11/06/04
Industry News
National series in Mexico need help National series in Mexico need helpThe leader of the Mustang Cup Series (stock car type series which is one of the support series) Rafael Martinez, in a press conference asked the sponsors not to forget the Mexican series, saying that the national series need new tracks, new teams and better facilities. Jose Arrambide
11/06/04
champcar
Valiante stuns in first outing Valiante stuns in first outingWhile it comes as no surprise to us, many on pit row are talking about rookie Michael Valiante after putting his old Walker Racing Reynard 12th on the grid in his very first Champ Car race.  "I am a bit disappointed because I felt that I left 3/10ths of a second on the table, but all in all I am pretty happy with my very first qualifying result."    3/10's would have put him in P8, where Patrick Carpentier is... and by not going out the last 7 minutes, the team possibly gave up that P8, starting position, which would have been truly shocking for a first outing.  Remember, everyone except Tarso Marques had more time in a Champ Car in Australia ALONE than Valiante has ever had....and he is doing this in an old Walker Reynard..  Still, all in all, 6/10's up on his teammate Mario Haberfeld, who he himself is highly regarded, is something the young Canadian should be proud of.  Recall what we wrote about a month ago, this from his former Engineer at Lynx Racing - "If Valiante doesn't get a ride, it would be akin to Michael Schumacher never being discovered."  Derrick Walker said, "We knew Michael was good, so his performance today does not surprise me.  We have to get Lolas for these guys next year."  Perhaps with Lolas next year, Haberfeld and Valiante will put Walker Racing back in the win column. Mark C.
11/06/04
worldseries
Kovalainen will start both races from pole in Jerez Kovalainen will start both races from pole in JerezNewly-crowned champion Heikki Kovalainen has grabbed pole position for both races at Jerez tomorrow. The Pons Racing driver led Tiago Monteiro (Carlin Motorsport) in both qualifying sessions at the last-ever meeting of the World Series by Nissan (the championship will become the World Series by Renault next year).

 With famous team boss Sito Pons making a rare appearance at a race meeting, Kovalainen is particularly keen to end the year on a high note after earning the title at a rather poor weekend in Valencia last month. The Finn has tested for the Renault Formula 1 team at the Andalusia track, so yesterday's wet practice didn't hinder him too much.

 "Qualifying went to plan," said Kovalainen, who sealed the championship at Valencia three weeks ago. "It was quite slippery in the beginning but I did just enough for the pole. We changed the setup for the second session and then it was more comfortable. Valencia was not fantastic and we have tried to come back stronger. So far so good, but there's a long way to go this weekend."

 By contrast Monteiro has never been to Jerez and did well considering he had no dry running before qualifying today. It didn't change the familiar 2004 scenario: Monteiro and Kovalainen were in a class of their own again. "I love this track," said Monteiro of the fast Jerez layout. "It reminds me of a little Spa-Francorchamps! Having never been here I would have been happy with fifth or sixth. So I'm really happy to be on the front row."

 The Portuguese driver looks odds-on to secure second in the championship, with his main rival Enrique Bernoldi struggling to tenth and ninth on the grid. Monteiro's team-mate Olivier Pla did well enough with fifth in the first session, but a crash in the second will put him fifteenth on the starting grid for race two.

 There were a few other noteworthy showings today. Milos Pavlovic brought some smiles to Vergani at last as he will line up fourth for race two. The Yugoslav only graduated from the secondary World Series Lights category at the last round and did a great job despite spinning out at the end of the
session.

 Karun Chandhok will also be pleased with eighth and fifth for RC Motorsport. The Indian is also in his second World Series meeting after moving up from British Formula 3. He couldn't quite beat his team-mate and countryman Narain Karthikeyan though. Karthikeyan starts the two races from seventh and third.

FIRST QUALIFYING
1.-Heikki Kovalainen 1'33.317
2.-Tiago Monteiro 0.074
3.-J.Christophe Ravier 0.145
4.-Adrián Valles 0.245
5.-Olivier Pla 0.496
6.-T.Gommendy 0.627
7.-N Karthikeyan 0.659
8.-K Chandhok 1.225
9.-M Pavlovic 1.480
10.-E. Bernoldi 1.680
 
SECOND QUALIFYING
1.-Heikki Kovalainen 1'33.474
2.-Tiago Monteiro 0.390
3.-Narain Karthikeyan 0.740
4.-Milos Pavlovic 0.861
5.-Karun Chandhok 1.010
6.-JChristophe Ravier 1.079
7.-Tristan Gommendy 1.108
8.-Adrian Vallès 1.279
9.-Enrique Bernoldi 1.379
10.-Sergio Hernandez 1.532
Guenter Reinhold reporting from Jerez

11/06/04
champcar
Two biggest Mexican newspapers give Champ Car top billing Two biggest Mexican newspapers give Champ Car top billingToday’s paper and electronic editions of the two biggest newspapers in Mexico City, El Universal and Reforma, has Champ Car on the front page, although Reforma have much more detailed coverage inside. Jose Arrambide
11/06/04
champcar
Bourdais back on top in Mexico City Bourdais back on top in Mexico CitySebastien Bourdais is back on top in Mexico City after this morning's practice session, comfortably leading rookie Justin Wilson who was second.
Pos Driver # Engine/Chassis Lap Time Mph km/h Leader Previous
1 S. Bourdais 2 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:27.011 115.268 185.505
2 J. Wilson 34 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:27.404 114.750 184.672 0.393
3 P. Carpentier 7 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:27.558 114.548 184.347 0.547 0.154
4 R. Lavin 3 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:27.843 114.176 183.748 0.832 0.285
5 B. Junqueira 6 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:27.858 114.157 183.717 0.847 0.015
6 O. Servia 11 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:27.863 114.150 183.706 0.852 0.005
7 A. Allmendinger 10 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.131 113.803 183.148 1.120 0.268
8 J. Vasser 12 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.303 113.582 182.792 1.292 0.172
9 N. Philippe 14 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.618 113.178 182.142 1.607 0.315
10 R. Gonzalez 21 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.631 113.161 182.115 1.620 0.013
11 A. Tagliani 8 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.839 112.896 181.688 1.828 0.208
12 R. Hunter-Reay 4 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.856 112.875 181.654 1.845 0.017
13 M. Jourdain Jr. 9 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.877 112.848 181.611 1.866 0.021
14 M. Dominguez 55 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:28.877 112.848 181.611 1.866
15 P. Tracy 1 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:29.033 112.650 181.292 2.022 0.156
16 T. Marques 19 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:29.088 112.581 181.181 2.077 0.055
17 M. Valiante 15 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard 1:29.569 111.976 180.207 2.558 0.481
18 M. Haberfeld 5 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard 1:29.967 111.481 179.411 2.956 0.398
19 G. Smith 17 Ford-Cosworth/Lola 1:30.279 111.096 178.791 3.268 0.312
11/06/04
champcar
Valiante has mixed results on first day Valiante has mixed results on first dayUPDATE Valiante is still only 17th fastest after Saturday morning's practice session in Mexico City, but he increased the gap back to his teammate Mario Haberfeld, the only other driver in a Reynard, to 0.4 sec. 11/05/04 Rookie Michael Valiante had mixed results on his first day in a Champ Car in a race weekend environment. While he out qualified his teammate, Mario Haberfeld, so far he is only 17th on the grid. "We went backward in the qualifying session," said Valiante. "My car was better in morning practice, but we are sliding too much now. I can stay with the Lolas everywhere except the esses where they just pull away because our cars (he and Haberfeld) are sliding too much. I am also leaving something on the table because I don't want to throw the car away on my first day. We think we can improve the car and move up the grid tomorrow." Mark C.
11/06/04
champcar
Mexican media solidly behind Champ Car Mexican media solidly behind Champ CarThis is the third time Champ Car is visiting Mexico City, but this will be a more important race for Champ Car than the last two. Let me explain myself, Mexico is a very good asset for the Champ Car series, and although Mexico has two races, the Mexico City race is the one that sets the tone for the media. You have to remember that everything in this country is concentrated in Mexico City, but especially the media corporations. Since this a kind of rebirth for the series I was curious to see how the media would react to the season finale. To my surprise one of the most important radio corporations in Mexico is transmitting live from the track to all of their affiliates in the country, the two rival TV companies were talking about the race, and all the Mexican newspapers had the race as their top story in the sports section. Walking trough the paddock and the different stands I have found media members of almost every national and regional media corporation in the country. This is a great chance for Champ Car to show the Mexican market that the series is as good as before, now that the eyes of the media are all here. Jose Arrambide
11/06/04
irl
champcar
Vasser predicts the end of the IRL Vasser predicts the end of the IRLIn this ESPN Deportes article (in Spanish), 1996 Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser predicts the eventual demise of the Indy Racing League. Vasser believes Champ Car will "surpass" the IndyCar series in two years: "All those people over at the IRL are there thanks to Honda and Toyota money, and that is not going to last forever. I believe the IRL will lose its momentum in a couple of years, whereas Champ Car is very well-positioned for the future." Vasser doesn't even think the IRL is winning the open-wheel war: "I'm not sure the IRL is that strong. They didn't have as many people in their races as we did, and their TV ratings weren't good either." Jimmy is bullish on the future of the series he picked over Buddy Rice's Rahal IndyCar ride (simply because he "loves" Champ Car, he says): "There will be major improvements in '05. The schedule is ready, the TV package will be much better, new sponsors are coming in. It's going to be fantastic."
11/06/04
champcar
Mexico City race sold out Mexico City race sold outUPDATE Event organizer Federico Aleman said 300,000 tickets already have been sold. Last year's attendance was 402,000, with 221,000 showing up on race day itself in North America's largest city.  Mexico has played an increasingly important part in the historic but struggling series, with major Mexican sponsors seeking to reach Mexican-American fans north of the border, and four competing Mexican drivers.  Aleman said Mexico City officials promised that if a Mexican achieves a podium finish, police would block off traffic around the Independence Monument, where Mexicans traditionally celebrate sporting triumphs. 11/05/04 AutoRacing1.com learned this morning that the Mexico City Champ Car race this weekend is sold out. The promoter expects to exceed last years 422K weekend attendance.
11/06/04
worldseries
champcar
Argentina youngster spectacular in the wet Argentina youngster spectacular in the wetWith Champ Car almost definitely racing in Argentina in 2005 might this youngster be someone they look at? Juan Cruz Alvarez was fastest in Friday's practice. Tricky weather conditions made the free practice day a bit of a lottery as teams tried to prepare for the last-ever World Series by Nissan race this weekend. The three test sessions were all a little damp and left the competitors unsure of which settings they should try out. But at the end of the day it was the promising Argentine driver who was fastest for Gabord Reyco.

Alvarez set his time on his very last lap of the day, at the end of the final (and driest) session at the Andalusia venue. The conditions obviously suited Alvarez's spectacular style! Another youngster, Adrian Valles, was next up. But the Pons Racing driver was over a second behind Alvarez.

"Everyone said I was driving like crazy," said Alvarez, who was at the track for the first time. "But I like to push! I think everyone was just taking it easy today. I feel good in the wet, but I think it will be hard to stay number one when it is dry."

Newly-crowned champion Heikki Kovalainen was third. The Finn is enjoying a relaxed weekend and expects better tomorrow, when his superior track knowledge will come into play if it is dry: "This is what I was hoping for," said Kovalainen. "Mixed conditions today and dry for qualifying tomorrow!"

Kovalainen has had recent experience at Jerez in a Formula 1 Renault, as has BAR formula 1 tester Enrique Bernoldi. But some of the other regular front-runners like the Carlin duo of Olivier Pla and Tiago Monteiro have never raced here. Pla (fourth) and Monteiro (thirteenth) said they learned nothing today as the track will be very different when it is dry.

Kovalainen is keen to end his championship year on a high note with more wins, but the likes of Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi) and Narain Karthikeyan (RC Motorsport) who came in fourth and sixth respectively today, will also be out to spoil the Pons driver's party. Results
1. Juan Cruz Alvarez (ARG) 1.46.257
2. Adrian Valles (ESP) 1.47.591
3. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) 1.48.914
4. Felix Porteiro (ESP) 1.49.278
5. Olivier Pla (FRA) 1.49.443
6. Narain Karthikeyan (IND) 1.49.979
7. Hiroki Yoshimoto (JAP) 1.50.077
8. Sergio Hernandez (SPA) 1.50.487
9. Karen Chandhok (IND) 1.50.683
10.Tristan Gommendy (FRA) 1.50.718
Guenter Reinhold reporting from Jerez

11/05/04
nascar
Top-Flite inks sponsor deal with Busch team Top-Flite inks sponsor deal with Busch teamCallaway Golf today announced a deal for its Top-Flite brand to serve as the primary sponsor for Rusty Wallace-owned RWI Racing’s No. 64 Busch Series Dodge during the ’05 season, driven by Jamie McMurray. The car, which begins competition with the February 26 event at California Speedway, was unveiled today at Phoenix Int’l Raceway. Rusty Wallace is a Callaway endorser Callaway Golf
11/05/04
nascar
DEI unveils line of Automotive paints DEI unveils line of Automotive paintsIn conjunction with Sherwin-Williams, Dale Earnhardt Inc. today unveiled a line of basecoat paints endorsed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 8Tonz Paints – for use in the automobile industry. The new paints will be available November 15. Sherwin-Williams is the official auto body paint supplier to DEI’s four Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams. DEI
11/05/04
champcar
Interlagos or Rio? Interlagos or Rio?We quizzed Cristiano da Matta's manager Fernando Paiva about which venue would be better for Champ Car, Interlagos in Sao Paulo or Rio. “Rio and Sao Paulo would both be big events but Sao Paulo is a 60% bigger economy and has a population of 20 million vs. 13 million for Rio,” said Paiva. “The Interlagos race would draw a bigger crowd, but da Matta said Rio was his personal favorite road course.” As for holding a Champ Car race within weeks of the F1 race at Interlagos, “that will be no problem at all, they have held races at that track one after another before, and both races had big crowds.”  No doubt if da Matta comes back to Champ and joins Junqueira and Haberfeld, the Brazilians will go wild. Mark C.
11/05/04
champcar
Bourdais leads opening practice in Mexico Bourdais leads opening practice in Mexico
Pos  Driver  #  Engine/Chassis/Tire  Lap Time  Mph  km/h  Leader  Previous
1  S. Bourdais  2  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:28.290  113.598  182.818      
2  P. Tracy  1  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:28.720  113.048  181.933  0.430   
3  A. Allmendinger  10  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.018  112.669  181.323  0.728  0.298
4  P. Carpentier  7  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.219  112.416  180.916  0.929  0.201
5  B. Junqueira  6  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.275  112.345  180.801  0.985  0.056
6  R. Gonzalez  21  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.307  112.305  180.737  1.017  0.032
7  O. Servia  11  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.505  112.056  180.336  1.215  0.198
8  M. Jourdain Jr.  9  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.633  111.896  180.079  1.343  0.128
9  J. Wilson  34  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.769  111.727  179.807  1.479  0.136
10  R. Lavin  3  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:29.999  111.441  179.346  1.709  0.230
11  M. Dominguez  55  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:30.076  111.346  179.194  1.786  0.077
12  T. Marques  19  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:30.084  111.336  179.177  1.794  0.008
13  A. Tagliani  8  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:30.370  110.984  178.611  2.080  0.286
14  J. Vasser  12  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:30.432  110.908  178.489  2.142  0.062
15  R. Hunter-Reay  4  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:30.529  110.789  178.297  2.239  0.097
16  N. Philippe  14  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:31.054  110.150  177.269  2.764  0.525
17  M. Haberfeld  5  Ford-Cosworth/Reynard  1:31.076  110.123  177.225  2.786  0.022
18  M. Valiante  15  Ford-Cosworth/Reynard  1:31.509  109.602  176.387  3.219  0.433
19  G. Smith  17  Ford-Cosworth/Lola  1:31.668  109.412  176.081  3.378  0.159
11/05/04
nascar
Phoenix sponsor renews for 5 more years Phoenix sponsor renews for 5 more yearsIn Phoenix, Craig Harris reports Phoenix-based CSK Auto Corp. is extending its sponsorship of the Nextel Cup Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway for five more years. This year’s version of the race will be run Sunday. CSK VP/Marketing Jim Schoenberger said, “The targeting of NASCAR (fans) is marvelous for us. We are a chain that is all about people who love their vehicles and understand their vehicles.” PIR President Bryan Sperber said that the track has at least 40 sponsors “that have a national and regional presence” Arizona Republic
11/05/04
nascar
NASCAR Atlanta TV rating NASCAR Atlanta TV ratingUPDATE Sunday's Nextel Cup Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 on NBC drew a 48% increase against last year's 3.1/11, but was down 10% against '02. Through the five Chase for the Cup races on NBC, the network is averaging a 4.7/10, up 12% from a 4.2/9 for the same five races in '03 The Daily  AND..... Mark Armijo writes Nextel Cup ratings during the Chase “are starting to produce favorable numbers after a lukewarm start. The last three stops entering Sunday's race in Phoenix are up an average” of 21% over last year's races. NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France: “You really have to wait several years to get what I consider a real clear view of the TV numbers. Once the casual fan understands that there is a championship on the line, we'll get a better reception” Arizona Republic 11/02/04 NBC's broadcast of Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway drew a 4.2 overnight rating and a 9 share from Nielsen Media Research, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The figures represent a 40 percent increase from the 3.0/6 overnight figures in 2003, but the Daily points out that last year's numbers cover only the 39 laps of the race run on Sunday before rain forced the rest of the event to be concluded on Monday. The rating is 5 percent higher than the 4.0 overnight rating for last week's race at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter
11/05/04
f1
Barrichello's wife suffers miscarriage Barrichello's wife suffers miscarriageSilvana Barrichello, wife of Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello, has had her three-month old pregnancy interrupted earlier this week. Silvana and Rubens, parents to three-year old Eduardo, made an official announcement today. "We are very sad," stated Rubens. "We really wanted Eduardo to have a little brother. Although God's wish was different this time, we still hope we can increase our family in the future." Cassio Cortes
11/05/04
champcar
Michael Valiante makes Champ Car debut Michael Valiante makes Champ Car debutMichael Valiante is out on the track for the first practice session in a Champ Car. He is taking it easy so far and not running the Reynske front wings yet, they are being saved for qualifying. "I'm very happy to finally be here," said Valiante. I worked so hard for this. My entire focus is on this weekend for now. We will try to put together a deal for next season after this weekend." More later.

11/05/04
World of Outlaws
Brazilian to make World of Outlaws debut Brazilian to make World of Outlaws debutFormer F3000 driver and 2003 Spanish F3 champion Ricardo Mauricio will become the first Brazilian ever to compete in the World of Outlaws series. Mauricio will make his debut at the WoO season finale this weekend at Las Vegas. "Hopefully, I'll be able to open a new path for Brazilians who wish to go all the way to NASCAR," said the 25-year old Paulista. "Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne all started on dirt racing. Maybe in a couple of years it'll be my turn." Cassio Cortes
11/05/04
champcar
Roshfrans sponsors 2-seat car Roshfrans sponsors 2-seat carRoshfrans is the sponsor on Champ Car's 2-seat car for this weekend's sold out race in Mexico City.
11/05/04
champcar
New sponsor for Nelson Philippe New sponsor for Nelson Philippe

  

11/05/04
champcar
Haberfeld to defend title in Brazil race Haberfeld to defend title in Brazil raceJust because the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford’s 2004 season comes to an end this weekend in Mexico City, does not mean that racing is over for Brazilian Mario Haberfeld (#5 Cummins Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone).  The biggest race of the year in Brazil is the Granja 500, which pays nothing but trophies and bragging rights, will take place the weekend after the Champ Car finale in Mexico City.  Last year Haberfeld teamed up with former Champ Car star Christian Fittipaldi and Costa Rican karting standout Charles Fonseca to win the 500 Milhas da Granja Viana.   They will be back this year to defend their triumphant win against some of the greatest drivers in the world, in the eighth running of the 500 Milhas da Granja Viana, a charity kart 500-mile enduro beginning at midnight on November 13th.  An event that brings out the top and aspiring Brazilian drivers, also grabs the interests of several international drivers from not only Champ Car, but Formula One, IndyCar Series, Formula 3000, and even NASCAR.

Haberfeld, who will be representing the Brazilian drivers in the Champ Car World Series, may also be joined by Spaniard Oriol Servia (#11 yokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone).  One of the most veteran drivers in all of racing and a true Champ Car fan favorite, Roberto Moreno, will also be contesting for the Cup.

The 2004 field will be made up of 74 FIA-mandated teams, which will range from three to ten drivers per entrant.  The 500 Milhas da Granja Viana takes place on a 20-turn, nearly 7/8-mile Kartodromo da Granja Viana circuit on the outskirts of San Paulo.  Brazil is a country that is keen on its auto racing and this race has become one of the most anticipated events of the year.  The 500-mile charity kart race will see immense coverage on all of the major Brazilian networks and live coverage will be on the local cable sports channels.  In addition, the event takes over the sporting print media.

11/05/04
nascar
Female exposes breasts to Earnhardt Female exposes breasts to EarnhardtThe ARIZONA REPUBLIC reports that during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Checker Auto Parts 500 winner’s press conference last year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was “exposed to a female fan, who appeared to be inebriated, lifting her shirt outside a pressroom window.” Earnhardt: “I recall that. Jimmie Johnson tells me all the time that he sees that kind of stuff in the grandstands. I’ve been looking really hard over the last year, and I haven’t seen anything like that since” ARIZONA REPUBLIC
11/05/04
nascar
Dale Jr. awaits release of '3' Dale Jr. awaits release of '3'An ESPN movie about Dale Earnhardt, who died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, is scheduled for airing early next month. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is eagerly awaiting its release. "From day one, I've been pretty excited about it," said Earnhardt Jr., last year's Checker Auto Parts 500 champion at Phoenix International Raceway. "I really, really hope they did a good job. You know, the stuff that they've done in the past on that network has been pretty good. I've been pretty surprised actually by the quality of the films that they've had. I think there obviously will be a little bit of a Hollywood twist to a few things. I'm sure you can't expect somebody to tell the most accurate story unless you're going to write a book. You know, every film has a twist, a Hollywood flair to it. I'm sure this one will, too." The movie, titled 3, stars Barry Pepper, who also played New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris in '61. Arizona Republic
11/05/04
nascar
Wallace and Newman still have not talked Wallace and Newman still have not talkedIt sounds as if the shops of Penske South Racing might not be the warmest places in the world right now. Not with two of its drivers continuing to feud. Never close, Penske drivers #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman have drifted even farther apart these days. So it sounds, anyway. The latest point of contention involves the race at Martinsville two weeks ago. Wallace thought his teammate treated him roughly on the track and may have cost him a victory. This week, Wallace was asked whether things have been smoothed over between him and Newman. “No,” Wallace said. “We've got a long way to go yet. We haven't had time to sit down and work it out. We've definitely got a lot of work to do to get all the teams working together. He's seeing red, and I'm seeing blue. We're not seeing eye to eye at all on what's going on right now.” Wallace said he hopes things can be straightened out before the 2005 season, which will be his last as a full-time driver at Penske. Kansas City Star
11/05/04
nascar
Navy extends NASCAR deal Navy extends NASCAR dealThe Navy has extended its partnership with NASCAR and the FitzBradshaw Racing Team for the 2005 racing season with a new driver, manufacturer and support team.  "We are very excited to continue our relationship with NASCAR and the FitzBradshaw Team," said Rear. Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, commander of Navy Recruiting. "There are a number of exciting changes in store next year, most notably Dodge as our new manufacturer, a new partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing and the welcome addition of rising star David Stremme."  The Navy first announced its primary sponsorship with FitzBradshaw's Busch Series in May, and sponsored 11 races in 2003 and the full season in 2004. With this contract renewal, the Navy will be primary sponsor for a second full season in 2005.   NASCAR veteran Armando Fitz and Pro Football Hall of Fame member and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw are the team's co-owners. For the 2005 season, they have entered into an alliance with Chip Ganassi Racing, which will provide the FitzBradshaw team with full technical and engineering support.  "Next year will be our fourth year of racing, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have the Navy renew with us for the second time in our organization's young history," said Fitz. "We have worked hard to perform both on and off the track for the Navy. All of our employees are proud to represent the Navy."   The No. 14 Navy 'Accelerate Your Life' car switches to a Dodge Charger from a Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2005 season and will be driven by 2003 Busch Series Rookie of the Year David Stremme.
11/05/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Villeneuve at Sauber HQ
Minardi sale extended
Chinese F1 team 'premature'
Williams and Terzi split
New surface at Barcelona
Coulthard at Williams' HQ
French GP 'will go ahead'
F1 in Court's hand - Stoddart
Old F1 team-mates to race
Jag buyer may retain backing
Coulthard - 'I'm staying in F1'
FIA at Fuji
Red Bull - 'we've made an offer'
More carmakers quit racing
No Ferrari 'vendetta'
Gene in Argentina
Jordan man to start work
BAR back to Bridgestone?
11/04/04
irl
IRL a loser for Chevy IRL a loser for ChevyUPDATE A reader chimes in, When Toyota and Honda eventually drop the IRL, which I believe is inevitable given the abysmal ratings, what happens then? TG's ill-fated series has decimated the crowds at Indy, drawn down the vast George family assets, and virtually destroyed open wheel racing in the US. So Toyota and Honda take their money to the vastly better supported NASCAR series and TG's empire collapses. Is bankruptcy likely? Without the big money from the Japanese manufacturers, I suspect that the George family will be forced to find a buyer. Now if we're thinking like Bernie, who are the buyers? Well, the NASCAR cartel of course! They'll be able to buy Indy, the track, the name, the history, lock, stock, and barrel for pennies on the dollar. Actually, this might be the best thing for open wheel racing because if they can do what NASCAR has done, well, we just might have an interesting 500 for once! Shaun Fagan 11/04/04 This SPEED TV article gives a bit more info on the reasons the IRL is losing Chevy.  The bottom line is that the TV ratings are not there and the cost to win has gone way up since Honda and Toyota came in making it impossible to justify staying.  If the TV ratings were high, then Chevy might be able to justify the high cost.  Not only do the Japanese have good engines, they buy all the best teams and drivers by spending ungodly amounts of money, making impossible for Chevy and Ford to beat them.  They destroyed CART by doing this, and then pulled out.  They are now doing the same thing to the IRL.  The Japanese manufacturers will eventually leave the IRL and the teams, who are beholden to their financial support, will be forced to follow them to NASCAR or be out of business.  We saw this happen when teams were forced to follow them from Champ Car to the IRL.
11/04/04
alms
LMES
Enge first to test new Aston Martin Enge first to test new Aston MartinToday at a special lunch launch, ASTON MARTIN introduced the Aston Martin DBR9 in their's headquarters in Gaydon, United Kingdom. Tomas Enge and his manager were also invited guests. Enge will be the first driver to test the racing version of the Aston Martin DBR9 on November 5, 2004 at Snetterton, England. Enge received premission to do the test from General Motors Racing Division. The Aston Martin is being prepared by Prodrive, the team for which Enge drove a Ferrari and waged a spirited against the Corvette team, beating them badly at LeMans in 2003 but losing to them in 2004. Enge recently joined with Chevy to drive in the IRL and the Corvette in ALMS and at LeMans.
11/04/04
nascar
Three of Seven Zebras returned Three of Seven Zebras returnedNot wishing to be identified, a caller named "Larry" helped point Atlanta Motor Speedway and Warner Bros. Pictures officials to two of the seven zebras stolen after Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, where a promotion took place for the upcoming film Racing Stripes. Larry said the zebras might have been accidentally taken by a few of the youths in his party at Sunday's race. After hearing news of the stolen zebras on Monday, Larry called Warner Bros. officials and offered to return the zebras. "I saw the kids taking them, and I really thought it was kind of amusing," Larry said. "It's kind of like when you take home a banner after the race as a souvenir. But when I saw on the internet that they were wanting to use them again - and how expensive they were - I thought it was only right to call. We just overstepped our boundaries a little."

Larry said the two zebras - 8 feet tall by 15 feet long - are doing fine and will be returned to Tony Loiacono, president and CEO of The Next Box, a marketing company hired by Warner Bros. for the event. "They've been grazing out here all morning, and we're taking good care of them," Larry joked. "They've been eating heavy and should be fine." Larry refused the reward of two tickets to the March 20 Golden Corral 500, saying he was ashamed to have been involved in the removal of the zebras from speedway property. "I don't want the notoriety," Larry said, "I just want to do the right thing." Atlanta Motor Speedway officials also located a third zebra in the Shedd's Spread Country Campground RV lot on Monday morning, thanks to a call from alert race fan Ray Macolly. The other four zebras are still on the loose. All seven zebras were placed in the grassy areas overlooking turns 1 and 3 at Atlanta Motor Speedway prior to the start of the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. They were created for Warner Bros. Pictures and Alcon Entertainment to use in promotional events for the upcoming release of the movie Racing Stripes. Anyone with any additional information regarding the final four zebras is asked to call Loiacono at (760) 533-4434.
11/04/04
nascar
Kyle Busch wins pole, breaks record at Phoenix Kyle Busch wins pole, breaks record at PhoenixKyle Busch turned his first NASCAR Busch Series qualifying session at Phoenix International Raceway into a memorable one Thursday, winning the pole for Saturday's Bashas' Supermarkets 200 with a track record lap of 133.819 mph.
11/04/04
f1
Stoddard denies proposal was against Ferrari Stoddard denies proposal was against FerrariPaul Stoddart has denied claims that the proposal to reduce F1 costs signed by Ferrari's rivals is part of a vendetta against the Italian outfit. According to Jean Todt, Ferrari couldn't have agreed to the proposal as they weren't invited to attend the meeting. In fact the Managing Director claims he didn't even know that it was taking place. Todt, though, has been invited to the second meeting, which will take place in London next Tuesday. And Stoddart is hoping that in that time Ferrari's challengers can get the reigning Champs to say yes. "Jean Todt has taken a hard-line position because he thought he was set up, but nothing could be further from the truth," Stoddart told Autosport. "There is no vendetta against Ferrari, these are not anti-Ferrari measures. I am still optimistic that we can get their (Ferrari) agreement to our proposals."
11/04/04
champcar
Hunter-Reay likes Mexico track Hunter-Reay likes Mexico trackRyan Hunter-Reay had this to say about the Mexico City track where Champ Car will be racing this weekend - Mexico City was a good event for me last year, I qualified well and set the fastest lap of the race. I expect to do very well this year with Herdez Competition. We have a lot of support going into the event; the Mexican fans are just incredible. The track is a blast to drive and the roar of the crowd is an amazing feeling. This is a very important event for my team and my sponsors like Herdez, Roshfrans and Comex, I cannot think of a greater honor than to win on their home turf. I won the final race of the year last year and it was a nice feeling to enjoy over the winter, I intend to do the same this weekend!"
11/04/04
Industry News
Chevy not the only car company hurting Chevy not the only car company hurtingThe news that Peugeot and Citroen are going to leave the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005 is a blow for the series but the latest figures of French car sales, revealed a couple of days ago, give ample evidence of why such a move was necessary. The figures show a massive drop in the sales of private cars in the course of the last year with an overall drop of 8.1%. The two French firms Peugeot-Citroen and Renault have suffered most with drops of 13.3% and 12.6% respectively. In comparison the foreign car companies have suffered little, registering a drop of just 0.7% between them although some have done better than others. BMW, for example, has increased its sales by 9.9%. Ford and GM have managed to push up their sales by 5.4% and 5.1% respectively while others have suffered: Toyota is down 6.6%, DaimlerChrysler 5.8% and Volkswagen is down 4.1%. The French companies are blaming the drop in sales on special offers from rival companies which despite selling cars are hurting the profits of the firms involved. Grandprix.com
11/04/04
champcar
Why do Champ Cars need to change? Why do Champ Cars need to change?Michael Waltrip is headed eventually to the Toyota camp - along with Eury Jr., according to one Detroit source very close to the situation - in what is reported to be a top-dollar project. "Toyota has offered Michael and Tony Jr. so much money they can't turn it down," the source said. Waltrip has been eyed for a Toyota ride for more than a year, in part because older brother Darrell runs a Toyota team on the Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR has been pushing Toyota to step up its presence in the sport, for the added marketing punch that would provide. And Waltrip could give Toyota quick credibility. Toyota isn't expected to field a Cup team until 2007, although a Busch team is a possibility in 2006. Toyota does have a formidable presence in the truck series. The Toyota option? "I don't even know when that's a possibility, and I need a job for next year," Waltrip replied. Roush said that Waltrip has talked with him about a ride: "And Michael is on the list, along with Sterling Marlin, Ricky Craven, Jamie - and Mark." Waltrip has also inquired about openings at Chip Ganassi's, according to sources. Waltrip declined to be specific. "We've just had talks," he said. "We've talked to a lot of people about next year. There are no real offers, just people interested. I've got a lot of options. There are some things in the works. Making this announcement will probably complicate that, before it comes clear. I'm just looking forward to getting into the best situation possible." Winston Salem Journal
11/04/04
Champcar
The Fiesta is On – Herdez Style The Fiesta is On – Herdez Style5,000 guests are expected to enjoy the fantastic food and hospitality of Herdez Competition this weekend. Here is a sample of Chef Hector Benavides’s shopping list: 200 dozen eggs, 650 lbs. of Oaxaca cheese, 500 lbs. of corn dough for corn tortillas, 60 kilos or 6 cases of Herdez jalapeño peppers, 20 cases or 300 kilos of Herdez Salsa Cesara, 20 cases of zucchini flowers, 100 lbs. or 48 kilos of Dona Maria refried beans, 120 lbs. of tomatoes, 600 lbs. of chicken breasts, 400 lbs. of beef and to drink; 240 gallons of El Jimador Tequila and 400 cases of beer accompanied by 2,400 lemons and 2,400 limes!
11/04/04
champcar
Coyne selects replacement for Janis Coyne selects replacement for JanisUPDATE Here is the official Champ Car press release, saying what we reported yesterday - Veteran Champ Car driver Tarso Marques (#19 American Medical Response Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will end the season in the same place he began it as the Brazilian returns to Dale Coyne Racing for the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season finale.  Marques, who ran the first two races of the 2004 season with Coyne, replaces Jarek Janis for this weekend’s season-ending Gran Premio Telmex/Tecate Presented by Banamex. A veteran of 25 Champ Car World Series starts, Marques has never competed on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. He finished 18th in both of his starts with Coyne this season.  He is eligible for the $100,000 Corona Cup prize, having competed in the event in Monterrey, Mexico earlier this year. He qualified a strong 10th in that race but finished 18th. The Corona Cup is given to the driver that amasses the most total points in the two Mexican events.  The team will also compete with Oriol Servia (#11 YokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) this weekend as it has done all season long. Servia is currently ninth in the points and is poised to give the team its first-ever top-10 season finish. 11/03/04 Dale Coyne has chosen Tarso Marques (pictured right) to drive his AMR Lola Ford in the 2004 Champ Car World Series finale in Mexico City this weekend. Marques drove for Coyne before. One race we recall was Houston in 2000 where he qualified 11th overall, and fourth among the Ford drivers, in the Swift chassis entered by Dale Coyne Racing. After running for factory Ferrari in sports car he will do Mexico before heading to China for his next race. Marques replaces Czech Republic driver Jarek Janis who drove just one race in Australia.
11/04/04
f1
French GP not under threat French GP not under threatJacques Regis says that the French GP is not under threat, despite the fact that the F1 teams say they will not do 19 races unless Ferrari agrees to accept control tires and a restriction on testing next year.  "We already had a contract signed at the end of 2003 for five years that Ecclestone could cancel and not us," Regis told Autohebdo magazine. "It's a system which was obviously not what I wanted. We renegotiated and signed a modified contract around three weeks ago. This is for seven years and has appreciably different conditions. That is why Bernie has concluded that we are the 18th or 19th race. But that is only his thinking. As far as I am concerned the fate of Magny-Course is completely clear and there is no discussion about dates or priorities. I do not see any reason for the teams to call the race into question. It is completely illogical and does not have any legal basis."
11/04/04
NHRA
grandam
Chevy announces two new racing programs Chevy announces two new racing programsDoug Duchardt, Director of GM Racing, today announced two new programs for the 2005 season, one in the NHRA Sports Compact division, and in the Grand Touring (GT) class in the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Series at the SEMA show. "Racing production-based cars is very important to GM," explained Duchardt. "It allows us to not only have the excitement of seeing our cars racing, but allows us the strategy of racing vehicles that have a clear relationship with their production counterparts. It is important to have strong links between the two - both for our marketing and engineering arenas. On the engineering side, it allows us to take what we learn on the race track into future technology for our production vehicles."
11/04/04
Industry News
BMW posts increased profits BMW posts increased profitsGerman luxury automaker BMW saw its earnings rise 7.6 percent in the third quarter, boosted by new models such as the X3 sport-utility vehicle and the 6-series coupe.  Net profit reached 479 million euros ($594 million), up from 445 million euros a year earlier. Sales rose 6 percent to 10.61 billion euros ($13.5 billion).  Chief executive Helmut Panke called the results a success and said they indicate a strong fourth quarter is coming. BMW is renewing its entire model line. It has seen sales and profits rise as it launches new versions of old products such as its mainstay 5-series, as well as vehicles that reach new market niches beyond the company's basic line of sedans and wagons, such as the X3 and 6-series.
11/04/04
grandam
Lienhard announces his retirement Lienhard announces his retirementAt a special dinner following the Grand American Rolex series' season finale at California Speedway last Sunday night, Fredy Lienhard told his fellow Doran-Lista Racing teammates of his decision to retire as a driver at the professional level of endurance sports car racing.  Doran Racing will continue to be one of the top teams in the Rolex series, but Lienhard's company, Lista, the world-wide leader in modular storage solutions, will be one of its associate sponsors in 2005 rather than its primary sponsor. Lienhard did not say he was hanging up his helmet completely.  He may compete in smaller events in Europe from time to time.  He said the two biggest factors which caused him to make the difficult decision to step down from American racing were the time it requires for him to be away from his business and the increased level of competition in Grand American's top class, Daytona Prototypes.  Lienhard lives in Neiderteufen, Switzerland." With the day of travel to get to the states, followed by testing on Thursday, practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, the race on Sunday and a day of travel to get back to Switzerland, each race is at the minimum a six-day commitment for me," he noted.  "To do that 12 times a year - or 14 since there will be 14 Rolex series races in 2005 -is just too much time for me to be away from my business.  I have enough pressure from my work.  "It is also not fair to the team for me to drive when I have such a lack of seat time," he said.
11/04/04
champcar
Worried about braking zones Worried about braking zonesA reader writes, Dear Mark, I have been following the thread on the AutoRacing1 forums regarding a new car for 2006, and have been surprised at the amount of differing opinions on this topic. I agree that Champ Car indeed needs a hardware facelift, and the new Force 10 Superfund car looks and sounds like it would be a great alternative. My concern, however, is that if Champ Car tries to become more F1-like, will the on track product suffer as the F1 product often does? Even with the current heavier cars and longer brake zones, many of the Mickey Mouse street courses are already parades. Will a new sleeker, faster car reduce braking zones and further reduce passing opportunities? Champ Car will definitely be at a crossroads when deciding upon the 2006 platform. As a long time fan, I hope Champ Car can get it right. Thanks much, John Farney, Milwaukee, WI Dear John, There is plenty of overtaking in F1 back behind the leaders. For Champ Cars - Because the Force 10 car uses F1-size wheels (13" vs. 15" on current Champ Car) the brake rotors are smaller, hence the brakes have less stopping power. Yes, the car is lighter, but the brake zones may not get too short. However, if the car is fitted with carbon brakes, the brake zones will indeed get shorter. In most cases, the ability to overtake is a direct function of the track configuration. Road racing historically features few passes for the lead. That is the nature of road racing - i.e. overtaking is hard and something only the best can do. The existing Champ Car and the Force 10 car both have a push-to-pass button to help with overtaking. Call it road racing's version of the slingshot. Mark C.
11/04/04
F1
Villeneuve gets seat fitting Villeneuve gets seat fittingJacques Villeneuve spent his first official day of work with Sauber Petronas: The Canadian was at the Formula 1 factory in Hinwil today to have his seat made for the C23.  Villeneuve, who signed a two-year contract with the Swiss team, will be testing for Sauber Petronas for the first time in Barcelona on 26 November. "The first day of work in a new team is always something very special. I'm looking forward to my first test and my first impressions of the C23 with eager anticipation."  "During the course of the season Sauber Petronas' performance curve was clearly pointing upwards, and of course I'm hoping that we'll be able to continue this trend next year," the ex-World Champion said confidently." Sauber
11/04/04
champcar
Jourdain the Bus Driver Jourdain the Bus DriverYesterday Michel Jourdain changed his Champ Car for a passenger bus.  For a little more than an hour passengers were surprised to see they had Michel as their driver. And if anyone has driven in Mexico City, they will know  that driving a bus is as difficult as driving a Champ Car. Jose Arrambide
11/04/04
alms
New Aston Martin to debut at Sebring in 2005 New Aston Martin to debut at Sebring in 2005The highly-anticipated world racing debut of the new Aston Martin DBR9 will come in the American Le Mans Series when the British auto manufacturer enters two factory cars in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Mar. 16-19.

The 53rd annual running of North America's premier sports car racing event at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway will kick off the 2005 American Le Mans Series season.

Aston Martin Racing unveiled the DBR9, which will spearhead the company's return to international motorsports in 2005, at a launch at Aston Martin's headquarters in Gaydon, UK. An extensive testing and development program is scheduled prior to the racing debut of the car at Sebring, in which it will compete in the GT1 class (formerly GTS) of the American Le Mans Series. Drivers will be named later.

After racing at Sebring, Aston Martin Racing will return to Europe to prepare for racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which Aston Martin won overall in 1959 with American Carroll Shelby as one of its drivers. In recognition of its past history at Le Mans, the works Aston Martin will race with the same green and yellow livery as was used in the late 1950s.

Aston Martin is racing together with Prodrive, the British racing firm that has had success in both road racing and rallying. Prodrive built, developed and raced the Ferrari 550 Maranello machines that successfully competed in ALMS events from 2001-2003, scoring five class wins in the ALMS as well as a GTS class win at Le Mans in 2003.

11/04/04
irl
MBNA drops IRL program MBNA drops IRL programMBNA, which currently awards $10,000 to the pole-sitter of each IRL race, will drop that part of its program next year but continue to pay $100,000 for the pole winner at Indy. SPEEDTV.com
11/04/04
irl
TV Ratings will sink the IRL TV Ratings will sink the IRLA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, You recently published a summary of the IRL TV ratings.  Can you please publish them again.  If I recall all the ratings on ABC were below 1.0 except for the Indy 500.  Did I remember correctly?  If so, that underscores the fact that Tony George's vision isn't working and when Toyota and Honda come to the same realization as Chevy did, it's curtains for a league that should never have been formed in the first place.  By leaving CART and supporting the IRL, both Honda and Toyota have helped destroy the sport in the USA.  They swallowed the IRL Kool-Aid and, although I can't prove it,  I believe the conspiracy theory that they did it to pay their dues to get into NASCAR. Jamie Stewart, Buffalo, NY 

BY NETWORK

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

11/04/04
f1
Jordan seeks Chinese backing Jordan seeks Chinese backingWith the team closing in on a deal to secure a supply of Toyota customer engines next year, Eddie Jordan has been working hard behind the scenes to find potential investors to boost the outfit's financial situation. Part of those plans included his trip to Beijing, where he met with Guo Jie, the president of a Beijing-based property development company who is heading a group of Chinese businessman considering an involvement in F1. It is believed that a possible deal could lead to the Jordan outfit being renamed Team China. Speaking to Chinese newspapers on Thursday, Guo's official spokesman said that the group was seriously interested in a deal with Jordan after an offer to buy Jaguar was rejected.

Luo Jifu said: “We have been toying with the idea (of buying an F1 team) early this year but it wasn't until the huge success of the Chinese Grand Prix that we seriously pursued the idea. Looking at the huge commercial interest generated in Shanghai, we realized that a Formula 1 team backed by China could also enjoy business success."

Luo confirmed that the company had seriously considered a deal with Jaguar, but its overtures were turned down by the team's parent company. "Ford insisted on including Cosworth Racing, their racing engine subsidiary, in the deal,” said Luo. "So we shifted our focus on Jordan, who are more accessible and hopefully will be cheaper as well."

The Chinese bid is believed to not be the only one considering buying into Jordan, however, with F3000 team boss Christian Horner also said to be looking at taking over the team. An exclusive report in this week's Autosport magazine claims that Horner has backing from venture capitalists willing to fund the deal – although there is also the possibility that the Horner and Chinese bids could be merged. Autosport

11/04/04
champcar
Champ Car Hot Topics Champ Car Hot TopicsThe Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex (Spike TV, 4 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, November 7), is Round 14 of the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.  Following is a current round-up of the latest Champ Car news, trends to follow, names to watch and a few statistics to track as Champ Car racing heads to the 2.786-mile permanent road course of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City, Mexico.
Down to the wire – The 2004 Champ Car World Series Championship Title has yet to be determined and will be awarded during the season finale in Mexico City.  Newman/Haas Racing is set to have a 1-2 finish in the Championship standings, with either Sebastien Bourdais or Bruno Junqueira holding the Vanderbilt Cup at the end of the weekend.  Bourdais leads his teammate by 22 points.  This is the first time in four seasons that the battle for the title will go to the year’s last race.
Racing for Beer - Corona, which is the primary sponsor of the #3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone Champ Car driven by Rodolfo Lavin, created the Corona Cup for the 2004 Champ Car World Series season, awarding a cash prize of $100,000 and a special trophy to the driver that scores the most total points in the two Champ Car races held in Mexico.  Bourdais leads in the Corona Cup points after his win in Monterrey, while Junqueira is seven points behind.
Pressure on the Four Amigos – Michel Jourdain Jr., Mario Dominguez, Rodolfo Lavin, and Roberto Gonzalez are heroes in the eyes of their countrymen.  However, the Mexican countrymen would like to see one of these for drivers on top of the podium.  Mexico has yet to see one of their own win a race on home soil. 
All Eyes on Dominguez – Mario Dominguez stood on the platform with the Mexican colors waving proudly behind him last year after a third place finish, this year, he is anticipated to do well in Mexico City coming off a solid performance during the last round in Australia finishing third.  He has been on the podium three times this season, sits fifth in the Championship standings, and a win this weekend would not only mark the first win for a Mexican driver in Mexico, but also Dominguez’ first win of the 2004 season.
Crowd Pleaser – The Champ Car World Series saw a record crowd turn out for the Lexmark Indy 300 in Australia during Round 13.  309,583 Australian fans showed up throughout the race weekend marking the second consecutive year that the Australia event has surpassed the 300,000 mark.  Champ Car heads to Mexico City where over 402,000 fans showed up during the three-day event last year.
Two Car Effort – Walker Racing expanded their 2004 effort to a two-car team in Australia, and this weekend, Walker Racing has decided to run its #15 car again for the debut of Canada’s Michael Valiante putting him in the hot seat alongside Brazilian Mario Haberfeld.  Valiante, who finished second and third respectively in the 2002 and 2003 Atlantic standings, will make his long-awaited debut after his initial entry in last year’s Champ Car event at California Speedway was cancelled due to wildfires in the region.
Rookie is Crowned – A.J. Allmendinger of RuSPORT clinched the 2004 Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year title in Australia.  He needed to finish one point ahead of Mi-Jack Conquest Racing’s Justin Wilson and did so by finishing sixth to Wilson’s eighth place result.
Canada’s Cup – Canada became only the third county in the nine-year history of the award to win the Nation’s Cup in 2003, this year, they become the third country to do so back-to-back.  Canadian’s Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier, and Alex Tagliani put forth an effort to finish on the podium 11 times this season, each scoring a race win to help the cause.  In all, ten countries were represented in the 2004 field.
Dale Coyne Racing Making History – With 21 years of experience in the Champ Car World Series, Dale Coyne Racing has yet to finish a season in the top ten of the Championship.  Oriol Servia has produced seven top-ten performances including a third-place podium finish at Laguna Seca.  Servia sits ninth in the Championship standings with 182 points.
Gonzalez back to Mexico City – Last year, Roberto Gonzalez drove a second car for Herdez Competition, running for the first time in front of his native fans.  He finished in the top-ten in only his second Champ Car race.  This season, he has put together a solid effort with his PKV Racing team stringing along five top-ten finishes; his best finish of seventh came in Cleveland.
The Fight for a Top Ten Finish – The 10th-place driver earns a season-ending bonus of $70,000, and while veteran Jimmy Vasser enters the weekend in the final bonus spot, Michel Jourdain Jr., Justin Wilson, Mario Haberfeld, and Rodolfo Lavin all have mathematical chances at moving into that slot.
11/04/04
champcar
Newman/Haas teammates to battle for title Newman/Haas teammates to battle for titleIn their 21 previous seasons, Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) has earned four championships with drivers Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti (1991), Nigel Mansell (1993) and Cristiano da Matta (2002). Despite earning 85 wins, 81 poles and 200 top-three podium finishes to date since first competing in 1983, the team is in unfamiliar territory this weekend as their two drivers head to the Champ Car World Series season-finale in Mexico City in a head-to-head battle for the same dream – earning the 100-year old Vanderbilt Cup. Regardless of the outcome, NHR will better their best overall team performance of first by da Matta and fifth by Christian Fittipaldi in 2002 since becoming a two-car team in 1989 as they are already guaranteed a 1-2 finish in the 2004 season standings. Story
11/04/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Bernie - 'Africa is on'
Jordan in Beijing
Jag sale to Red Bull 'close'
DC 'ran out of puff'
Arden and Jordan
Big loss for Oz GP
Kimi's team

Heidfeld to test Williams
'Ferrari will be fastest'
F3 back to Monaco
Rossi and Ferrari - 'we'll see'
GP2 car 'quicker'
Oz debut for MP4-20
Webber cool on F1 reform
Wirdheim - 'no plans yet'
Aim to 'shame' Ferrari
Todt's son to run team
Montoya 'had fun' in '04
Engine deal 'would be positive'
'Let's test less' - Gascoyne
11/03/04
irl
How much longer will Toyota and Honda stay? How much longer will Toyota and Honda stay?A reader writes, It is of no surprise that the Chevy IRL engine will leave the series after 2005. In case some may not have seen the quote from the GM officials “At the beginning of the IRL, there was a certain model we could use and we were successful at it," Duchardt said. "That worked for us. There's no secret that the costs have gone up and the TV ratings and attendance have been flat or down. You have to lay that out. It is what it is. We have to make a decision based on our business model." This in my opinion leaves the door wide open for the other two manufacturers in the IRL, Toyota and Honda, to pull out after they realize what GM can see, i.e. lousy TV ratings! One has to wonder if this is the start of a crack in the dam known as the IRL. What does Mr. George think now, that all is well and the other manufacturers will stay with him until the cows come home? They have to be quite aware of the TV ratings and if it was not for the bitter rivalry between the two Asian manufacturers there may not be anyone one left standing. This announcement will send a message to all parties concerned that they need to address the real issue and that is of a broken Open Wheel Series that needs solidarity. Why Toyota & Honda do not address this issue with Mad King George is puzzling since it's clear the Champ Car IS NOT going away any time soon. Mad King George wants it all, except he doesn't see that it is costing him IT ALL. Regards, John Mylenek Dear John, We doubt it's the bitter rivalry between Honda and Toyota that keep them in the IRL. Robin Miller alluded to it on Wind Tunnel this week when he said (not his exact words) Bill or Brian France asked Toyota to stay in the IRL to help their oval track cartel brethren survive. If they want entry into Nextel Cup they must pay their dues. That's as good a conspiracy theory as we heard because we can't see how they spend so much money for such low TV ratings without some pot at the end of the rainbow. Mark C.
11/03/04
nascar
Helton to attend historic SAE conference Helton to attend historic SAE conferenceNASCAR president Mike Helton is among the noted participants for the 2004 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference & Exhibition in Dearborn, Mich., this fall. Held from Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn, the event focuses on high-performance technology in the racing industry. Particularly significant is the executive business panel on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Geared toward the theme of “Change for Relevance,” the panel will bring together – for the first time – the heads of the racing industry’s top sanctioning bodies: Max Mosley (FIA, Formula One’s global sanctioning body), Helton (NASCAR), Tony George (Indy Racing League), Tom Compton (National Hot Rod Association) and Steve Johnson (Sports Car Club of America). All five executives will discuss challenges and topics relevant to the current industry, including cost control, maintaining a competitive product, safety advances and the business of racing. NASCAR PR
11/03/04
nascar
Kenseth leads Day 2 at Homestead Kenseth leads Day 2 at HomesteadDefending series champion Matt Kenseth set the fastest lap of the day Wednesday in the second day of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing in preparation for Ford Championship Weekend, Nov. 18-21, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Kenseth circled the 1.5 mile oval in his No. 17 Dewalt Ford Tuesday with a speed of 174.194 mph (31.04 sec.).  He was followed by Kyle Petty's No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at 173.633 mph (31.10 sec.) and Busch's No. 97 Sharpie Ford at 173.054 mph (31.25 sec.).   Busch, who is the current points-leader in the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and led Tuesday's session, was pleased to finally turn some significant laps on the newly-reconfigured Homestead-Miami Speedway. At last year's Ford 400, Busch was involved in a lap four incident in last year's Ford 400 which knocked him out of the race.  "This is a fresh outlook for us because it's really the first time we are getting to see the facelift on the track," said Busch. "That's why we are down here testing. The testing is vital for this Chase for the NEXTEL Cup."
 
During the two-day session, Busch was impressed with the new 20-degree variable banking at the Homestead-Miami Speedway after turning many laps during the test.  "It's a cool racetrack," added Busch.  "I can understand the need to change it and appeal to the fans. Stock cars need banking to race on and they've given us that here."  With the new track surface a year older, Busch expects the racing to be very competitive as he and several other drivers will be racing hard to capture the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup during the Ford 400 season finale.
 
"The track is now a year older so it's a bit more mature, so that will help with the racing," Busch said. "With the way the corners are shaped here with the flatter entry and wider exits with the banking it's definitely a track that you don't have to worry about track position because you can pass." Testing continues next Tuesday and Wednesday November 8-9 with 20 drivers tentatively scheduled to test on the high-banked 1.5 mile oval, including championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Testing is open to the public free of charge. Fans may view the testing from the Speedway's Club Level.
11/03/04
nascar
Speedway Motorsports makes Forbes List Speedway Motorsports makes Forbes ListSpeedway Motorsports, Inc., operator of major auto-racing facilities in this country, has been named to Forbes Magazine’s list of this country’s 200 Best Small Companies in the Nov. 1 issue of this prestigious periodical. In order to qualify, companies must have annual revenues of $5 million to $750 million with net profits greater than 5%, share prices above $5 and must have shown a consistent pattern of positive growth during a five-year period.
11/03/04
grandam
Rolex champions on Wind Tunnel tonight Rolex champions on Wind Tunnel tonightRolex Grand American Sportscar Series Champions Max Papis and Scott Pruett of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will be the featured guests on SPEED Channel’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, this evening at 10 pm EST to talk about their stellar drive to capture the drivers and team title with a victory in the season finale at California Speedway.  The no.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley put together a single season Daytona Prototype record of 11 pole positions in 12 races, 4 wins and never finished outside of the top ten all season to capture the Rolex Series crown in just their first season in sportscar competition. While it is the team’s first Rolex Series championship, it is Chip Ganassi Racing’s sixth major racing championship since 1996, as the team earned four consecutive CART Champ Car titles from 1996 through 1999 and won the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series crown in 2003.
11/03/04
grandam
Rolex Sports Car Series Champions Honored in Las Vegas Rolex Sports Car Series Champions Honored in Las VegasUpwards of 500 attendees—including several Grand American and NASCAR dignitaries—saw the 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series champions receive the laurels of victory in the Rolex Sports Car Series Awards Celebration at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Monday night.  Taking home some of the night’s biggest pieces of hardware were members of the Daytona Prototype championship-winning No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing team. Champion co-drivers Scott Pruett and Max Papis were presented with championship trophies and specially-engraved Daytona Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Rolex watches.

“It’s a very special night for me,” said Papis, who earned his first auto racing championship. “I’ve been dreaming for many years to be in this position. I couldn’t do it without Scott and all the guys behind me. I’ve always been fighting for one goal, and I’m very proud of giving this championship to Lexus, CompUSA and Chip Ganassi. This season was a battle from our heart. That’s the way I’ve been driving all my life.”

 “This is a great championship, and I’m driving with a great friend of mine in Max,” Pruett added. “The CompUSA guys did a great job. This is about us tonight. This is one of my sweetest championships ever, and I hope to get another one. I think this is (championship) number seven for me. This is what racing is all about.”

CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates owner Chip Ganassi was also on hand to receive his Daytona Prototype team owner’s championship. It was the fifth major racing championship for Ganassi since 1996, as his team earned four consecutive CART Champ Car titles from 1996 through 1999 and won the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series crown last year.

“It’s certainly been a trying week of motorsports,” said Ganassi, who was referring to the tragedy that claimed the lives of several key members of NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports last week. “I’m glad to be in a festive atmosphere. Felix and I got into this last year, and we’ve done lots of racing and had lots of fun this year. It was fun because of great competition. People who I know from throughout my whole career are in this series. To put something together like this, you need very strong drivers. To be successful, you need drivers who aren’t selfish. These guys made it possible. I’m looking forward to being back next year. We felt really welcome.”

11/03/04
f1
Formula 3
Kimi to start F3 team Kimi to start F3 teamKimi Raikkonen is behind plans to create a Formula 3 team that could compete in the British championship next year, Autosport magazine exclusively reveals this week. He is linking up with his manager Steve Robertson to create the outfit that will be based near his McLaren team's factory in Woking.

Raikkonen Robertson Racing has not yet decided whether to race in the British or F3 Euroseries championships but plans for the team are already at an advanced stage. The team will be run by Carlin Motorsport engineer Anthony ‘Boyo' Hieatt.

Speaking to Autosport, Robertson said: “Kimi is a lover of racing, full stop. He's always wanted to have his own team and has talked about setting up something for karting in the past. Of course he will be very busy but he hopes to get to one or two rounds.”

11/03/04
nascar
Even dead, Earnhardt still a force Even dead, Earnhardt still a forceNASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was placed 16th in business magazine Forbes' list of top-earning dead celebrities. Autosport
11/03/04
LMES
alms
Veloqx in split with Audi UK Veloqx in split with Audi UKThe partnership that almost brought the Le Mans 24 Hours crown back to Britain earlier this summer has ended after just one successful season. The link-up between Audi UK and the British Veloqx Motorsport squad was dissolved late last week. The Brackley-based team then issued the majority of its 20 staff with redundancy notices on Monday. No comment was forthcoming from either party as Autosport closed for press. A Veloqx spokesman said to expect news shortly.

The demise of Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx will have major repercussions on top-flight sportscar racing in Europe. It means there are no Audis committed to the LMES next year and only the two R8s entered by the US Champion team are firmed up for Le Mans.

It also leaves three of Britain’s top sportscar drivers out of work: Allan McNish, Johnny Herbert and Jamie Davies were the core of the team’s driver line-up along with factory contracted Pierre Kaffer. Herbert is expected to return to Champion, with which he raced in 2001-03 (and occasionally in ’04), while McNish is likely to retain his links with Audi.

It is not inconceivable that Veloqx could still run an R8 at Le Mans under its own flag. Davies, who won the LMES title with Herbert, would then likely be part of that team. Autosport Magazine

11/03/04
champcar
F3000
Champ Car test for Italian F3000 winner Champ Car test for Italian F3000 winnerLola will offer a Champ Car World Series test to the winner of the new Italian Formula 3000 series. Lola will also work with series administrator Enzo Coloni to ensure full technical and logistical support, as well as a parts supply for both its B99/50 and B2/50 chassis. Lola will commit to the process that ensures parity between the two different chassis designs. If required, the Huntingdon-based company will also accept orders to build a new run of B2/50 cars, of which less were built than the B99/50.
11/03/04
Formula GP2
Arden to test two Americans Arden to test two AmericansArden International is pushing ahead with its plans to contest the new GP2 series with tests in recent days in Estoril and Barcelona for a number of young drivers. The tests will continue next week in Jerez. By the end of the running the team will have tried at least eight drivers including the two Red Bull-backed Americans Scott Speed and Colin Fleming, Venezuela's Ernesto Viso, France's Nicolas Lapierre, Finland's Nico Rosberg, South African Alan Van de Merwe, Briton Jamie Green and Argentine Esteban Guerrieri. Grandprix.com
11/03/04
Formula GP2
Todt's son to start Formula GP2 team Todt's son to start Formula GP2 teamNicolas Todt, the son of Ferrari boss Jean Todt, will be fielding a team in the new GP2 series next year in association with the French Formula 3 team ASM. The team will be based at Villeneuve la Guyard, near Fontainebleau, to the south-east of Paris. The new operation will be funded by sponsorship from Vodafone, the connection between Todt Jr and the giant British mobile phone operator, no doubt having been eased by Todt Sr. Grandprix.com
11/03/04
f1
Australian GP loses money again Australian GP loses money againCan any promoter make a profit with Bernie's huge fees?  The answer is no, hence why government backing of an event is necessary, with the argument, which is valid, that they make the money back on sales tax revenue and it increases tourism. 

The Australian Grand Prix cost the state $9.5m in 2003-2004 according to the latest report from the grand prix corporation. This year's figures reveal an increased attendance of 3.5%, resulting in ticket sales of $30m, with total revenues up to $38m. But expenditure has increased by 6.2% to $47m. This is due to contractual commitments to FOM, the cost of corporate catering and facilities and the extra costs incurred improving safety. The Grand Prix Corporation said that the costs of construction had increased faster than the rate of inflation.

Losses from the event are increasing with each year. Obviously calculations involving the historical exchange rates are complicated but we calculate that in 2001 the event lost $2.9m, in 2002 that went up to $4.8m and in 2003 it reached $6.9m.

Victorian state premier Steve Bracks says that the Grand Prix is worth whatever it costs because of the effect it has marketing Melbourne around the world.  "It's good for our reputation as the major events capital of Australia," Bracks said. "It's helped with economic activity in hotels which are full, in goods and services which are purchased, in crews which are coming here."

Grand Prix Corp chairman Ron Walker says the event continues to provide "an outstanding return" on the state's investment in the event and estimates that the Grand Prix has generated more than $700m in economic benefit to the state since it began in 1996. In part from Grandprix.com

11/03/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'No number one' at McLaren
Hunter-Reay and F1
Crisis talks to resume
Wirdheim to America
Bernie and Cosworth

Ford to stay in Rally
Mexico's 'crossover' F1 track
Ford management 'to blame'
Massa is 'best overtaker'
Fisi's a 'fighter' - Flavio
'Trouble free' for Trulli
Williams 'not good enough'
Glock may leave Jordan
Coulthard to get 'lifeline'
'05 tire-rule loophole
Schu 'improved' in 2004
'05 change to hurt small teams
11/02/04
champcar
Champ Car transporters arrive in Mexico City Champ Car transporters arrive in Mexico CityThe Champ Car transporters have made it successfully to Mexico City where they sit parked behind the garages which are under the pit grandstands in the background.
11/02/04
Formula GP2
F3000
superfund
GP2 cars blow away F3000 cars GP2 cars blow away F3000 carsUPDATE #2 Despite crashing Tuesday and losing most of the day, the Formula GP2 car at the hands of Franck Montagny led the 2-day test based on his first days time as follows:
1. Franck Montagny (Dallara GP2 car) 1m31.25s
2. Patrick Friesacher (Coloni) 1m31.49s
3. Nico Rosberg (Arden) 1m31.56s
4. Fairuz Fauzy (Astromega) 1,31.88s
5. Enrico Toccacelo (Astromega) 1m32.00s
6. Nicolas Lapierre (Arden) 1m32.12s
7. Pastor Maldonado (BCN) 1m32.14s
8. Alessandro Ciompi (Coloni) 1m33.64s 11/02/04 As of 11.20 AM today the fastest car was a F3000 car, then, before it could set a fast time today, the GP2 car crashed..........badly. 11/02/04 Monday, in the first head-to-head test of the new Formula GP2 car against this year's F3000 cars, the Formula GP2 car was almost three seconds a lap faster at Barcelona and the car is still being developed. What will be interesting is next week's test at Jerez that will see the new Formula Superfund car test head-to-head against the new Formula GP2 car. It's expected the Formula GP2 car will get waxed by the Superfund car. By comparison, the F1 pole time at Barcelona this year was set by Michael Schumacher at 1:15.02 sec, so the Formula GP2 car is still much slower than an F1 car and questionable whether it is the best training ground for future F1 drivers. 
Day 1 times (Monday November 1, 2004)
1 - Franck Montagny - Dallara GP2 - 1'31"254
2 - Nico Rosberg - Arden - 1'34"050
3 - Enrico Toccacelo - Astromega - 1'34"390
4 - Pastor Maldonado - BCN - 1'34"701
5 - Ernesto Viso - Arden - 1'37"256
6 - Alessandro Ciompi - Coloni - 1'37"494
7 - Fairuz Fauzy - Astromega - 1'37"500
8 - Chanoch Nissany - Coloni - 1'40"656
9 - Nicolas Lapierre - Arden - 1'50"931
10 - Patrick Friesacher - Coloni - 1'55"447
11/02/04
f1
Sauber drops Bridgestone for Michelin Sauber drops Bridgestone for MichelinUPDATE A reader writes, This news means that only Ferrari, Minardi and Jordan are under contract to Bridgestone now. It also raises a few questions in my mind as to why the so-called Ferrari 'B' team would switch and would it cause any problems with their dealings with Ferrari? Or is it conspiratorial, did Ferrari support this move in order to get more inside information on the Michelin tires and how they compare to the Bridgestones? Warren Davis 11/02/04 Sauber Petronas announced this afternoon that the team has signed a contract with French tire manufacturer Michelin. This agreement comes into effect immediately, and the team will conduct its first test with Michelin tires between November 24 and 26 in Barcelona.

"I'm very pleased that we were able to sign this contract with Michelin and I'm looking forward to a successful co- operation," stated team boss Peter Sauber. "At the same time I would like to thank Bridgestone for a good partnership during the past six years."

Pierre Dupasquier, Head of Michelin Group's Competition Operations, commented; "As we demonstrated in 2004, our technology makes a significant contribution to the performance of Formula One cars equipped by Michelin. I look forward to enabling Sauber Petronas to benefit from this progress."

The news means that only Ferrari, Minardi and Jordan are under contract to Bridgestone, thus opening the way for a team that used Michelin rubber in 2005, to run Bridgestone in 2005.

11/02/04
nascar
Kurt Busch leads testing at Homestead Kurt Busch leads testing at HomesteadNASCAR Nextel Cup Series points-leader Kurt Busch in his No. 97 Sharpie Ford was fastest as testing opened Tuesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch's lap of 173.077 mph (31.23 sec) bested three other cars including teammate Matt Kenseth on the first day of the two-day session.  The teams were preparing for the upcoming Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, Nov. 18-21, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.   Defending series champion Kenseth was second fastest in his No. 17 Dewalt Tools Ford with a lap of 172.524 mph (31.34 mph). Kenseth was followed by Jeff Green in the No. 43 Cheerios Dodge at 171.975 (31.40 sec.) and Kyle Petty in his No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at 170.866 mph (31.59 sec).  Testing continues Wednesday with Busch, Kenseth, and Petty at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Testing is open to the public free of charge. Fans may view tomorrow's testing from the Speedway's Club Level.
11/02/04
champcar
Jourdain Jr. bullish on Champ Car Jourdain Jr. bullish on Champ CarMexican driver Michel Jourdain Jr. is bullish on the future of Champ Car. He tells ChampCarWorldSeries.com “I hear good things are happening,” Michel says. “It was very important to get the schedule out and we keep hearing good things about television for next year and that there will be some news pretty soon. The most important thing is everyone is confident in the new people. They are very smart. They understand what almost killed the sport and they are building from a solid base. Once all the sponsorship and the television for next year are announced and the final two or three races are added and everyone sees there are long-term plans and commitments, the public and the media will understand too. At the end of last year we didn’t even know if there was going to be a next year, and this year it’s been completely different. Nobody is questioning next year. Everybody is planning for the future.”
11/02/04
cartatlantic
Toyota Atlantic series announces 2005 schedule Toyota Atlantic series announces 2005 scheduleOfficials from the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama today unveiled the series’ schedule for the upcoming 2005 season.

Preparing for its 32nd season as North America’s top open-wheel development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama announced the details of the 2005 schedule that includes a dynamic mix of traditional and popular venues combined with some new and exciting circuits to challenge the future stars of racing.

The ’05 calendar, in its current format, will offer up races on five permanent road courses, five temporary street circuits and one traditional short oval venue. A 12th event, to be held within the United States, will be added to the series schedule and announced in the coming weeks. Next season’s complete Atlantic slate will include eight events run within the U.S., three races at Canadian venues and one visit south of the border in Mexico.

The Toyota Atlantic Championship will once again run the majority of its races in conjunction with the Champ Car World Series next season and the Atlantic cars will join Champ Car at two new venues next year, racing on an airport circuit in Edmonton and at a new street course designed in California’s Silicon Valley. All 12 Toyota Atlantic events will be aired on SPEED Channel in 2005 with a complete television schedule detailing broadcast times and dates expected to be released within the next month or so.

“We believe that the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama offers a true test to challenge a driver’s ability and the 2005 season schedule once again provides a unique blend of venues for our competitors and fans,” said Les Unger, National Motorsports Manager for Toyota. “We look forward to returning to our traditional tracks next season and we’re very excited about showcasing the Toyota Atlantic series at our new venues in 2005.

“We’re very pleased to announce today a diverse and challenging schedule for 2005,” said Vicki O’Connor, Managing Director for the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama. “We welcome back both Toyota and Yokohama as series sponsors next year and we’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest in the series, especially over the last few weeks. We’re all looking forward to a very competitive season in 2005.”
April 10                         Long Beach
May 22                          Monterrey
June 4                            Milwaukee
June 18                          Portland
June 19                          Portland
June 26                          Cleveland
July 10                           Toronto
July 17                           Edmonton
July 31                           Silicon Valley
Aug. 14                          Denver
Aug. 28                          Montreal
TBA                               U.S.-based race

11/02/04
Karting
Barrichello, Montoya, Fittipaldi, Coulthard confirmed for 500 Barrichello, Montoya, Fittipaldi, Coulthard confirmed for 500Granja 500, that is. The biggest race of the year in Brazil – paying nothing but trophies and bragging rights – is less than a month away and all the major players are preparing for the eighth running of the 500 Milhas da Granja Viana, a charity kart 500-mile enduro beginning at midnight November 13th that brings out top and aspiring Brazilian and international drivers.

The 500 Milhas da Granja Viana feature takes place at the 20-turn, nearly 7/8-mile Kartodromo da Granja Viana circuit designed, built, owned and maintained by the Giaffone family on the outskirts of their Sao Paulo hometown. The family presence in the Indy Racing League’s IndyCar Series is 2002 IRL Kentucky race winner Felipe Giaffone, driver of the #24 Purex/Aventis Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone challenger from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

This competition brings out heavy hitters in the sport from Formula One, IndyCar Series, Champ Car World Series, Formula 3000 and even NASCAR. All the major Brazilian drivers vie for chances to be on one of 74 FIA-mandated teams in the field.

Entries closed within two hours of the call for teams, which range from three to ten drivers per entrant. Karts are powered by Honda GX engines making all of 15 horsepower, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the severity of competition that results in lap times under the one-minute mark that brings superstars to Sao Paulo for this race.

Last year Christian Fittipaldi, (04’ Daytona 24 winner and 03’ NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Petty Enterprises driver) won the 500 Milhas da Granja Viana with teammates Mario Haberfeld (Champ Car – Walker Racing driver) and Costa Rican karting standout Charles Fonseca. They’ll be back to defend this year.

Other entrants include 2004 FIA Formula 1 points runner-up Rubens Barrichello (a 4-time winner) and his F1 colleagues Antonio Pizzonia, Juan Pablo Montoya, Felipe Massa (another 4-timer), Ferrari 1 tester Luciano Burti and McLaren pilot David Coulthard. The IRL will be represented by the 2004 champion Tony Kanaan and runner-up Dan Wheldon as well as Vitor Meira and Felipe Giaffone. Champ Car will show with Mario Haberfeld and possibly Oriol Servia. Roberto Moreno, brothers Rodrigo and Ricardo Sperafico and virtually all Brazilian Series’ Champions from karts to F-Renault, F3 and Stock Cars will contest the Cup - there is a deep pool of talent down there.

Adding to it, this year young American Formula BMW USA standouts Matt Jaskol and Graham Rahal are rumored to take part for the first time, to be confirmed the former with IRL’s Victor Meira and the latter with ex-F1 and CART Roberto Moreno and two other Brazilian drivers. Marco Andretti paired with Kanaan last year.

This 500-mile charity kart race gains monumental air space on all the major Brazilian networks and over ten hours of live coverage is on local cable sports channels. The race takes over the sporting print media.

11/02/04
f1
Who are racers and who are drivers? Who are racers and who are drivers?Analyzing the F1 lap charts from 2004 reveals who were the best racers, versus drivers.  It's one thing to drive fast, but quite another to outrace your opponents on the track and get around them.  Here are the drivers who made the most passes in 2004:
Pos. Driver Teams Passes
1. Felipe Massa Sauber Petronas 29
2. David Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 25
3. Giancarlo Fisichella Sauber Petronas 24
4. Juan Pablo Montoya Williams BMW 23
5. Takuma Sato BAR Honda 19
6. Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 18
7. Jenson Button BAR Honda 17
8. Michael Schumacher Ferrari 17
9. Olivier Panis Toyota 16
10. Mark Webber Jaguar Cosworth 16
11/02/04
nascar
Wallace fined $10K for Martinsville incident Wallace fined $10K for Martinsville incidentDriver Rusty Wallace was fined $10,000 for his role in an incident at the conclusion of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race held Oct. 24 at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.

Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Dodge for Penske Racing South, was penalized for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rule Book when he made deliberate contact with the car of Ryan Newman as the field returned to pit lane following the conclusion of the race.

Three others were issued penalties for equipment infractions at Martinsville. Gil Martin, crew chief for the No. 31 Chevrolet of driver Robby Gordon, and co-crew chief Chris Andrews will share in a $10,000 fine for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-W (Improperly attached weight) of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rule Book.

Mario Gosselin, driver of the No. 80 Ford, was fined $500 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-17.1B (3) for an expired manufacturer's date on his driver's head-and-neck restraint device.

11/02/04
World Rally
Ford announces continuation of WRC effort Ford announces continuation of WRC effort[Editor's Note: Since Cosworth supports the Ford World Rally effort it appears whoever is buying Cosworth will continue that program. Kevin Kalkhoven, has said if he buys it he would also continue the IRL program.] Ford has announced a major four-year commitment to the World Rally Championship as the spearhead of its motorsport activities for the foreseeable future. M-Sport, which has run the works team since 1997, will remain in its current role.

The move follows a comprehensive review of Ford’s motorsport activities, which has seen it end a long association with Formula 1 by selling the Jaguar team. Ford will continue to use the existing Focus RS in the WRC next year, while a new Focus RS – based on the new road-going version of the car, which will be available early in 2005 – will be adopted from 2006 onwards. No announcement has yet been made on who will drive the cars in either 2005 or 2006.

Director of Ford Team RS, Jost Capito, said that Ford’s commitment to the WRC was confirmation of the series’ strengths as a promotional tool, and that Ford’s continued involvement was in turn a boost to rallying’s continually rising profile.

“Ford’s long-term commitment to the WRC will provide a great boost to the sport,” he explained. “Ford has been involved in rallying since before the WRC was conceived. Our continuation is excellent news for the championship and emphasizes just how much the sport has developed in recent years.

“Our review showed there is a strong business case for Ford’s continued involvement. The proposals from the FIA [world motorsport’s governing body] to reduce the costs of competing in the WRC, via revisions to the regulations, convinced us to continue long-term."

Capito also praised the work that M-Sport has done in building the team into a regular winner and championship-contender. “Since 1997, we have worked closely with M-Sport to develop a world-class rally team operating from world-class facilities at [team founder] Malcolm Wilson’s Dovenby Hall premises. We believe that the infrastructure is now in place for us to move forward and build a team capable of bringing world titles to Ford.”

Ford also announced that build and development of its Junior World Rally Championship contender - the Ford Fiesta Super 1600 - will be transferred to M-Sport to establish the team as Ford's centre for international rallying.

"We will continue to provide the Fiesta JWRC and Super 1600 cars for private teams," Capito said. "To ensure the Fiesta remains competitive and fulfils its full potential, M-Sport will take over immediate responsibility for the development of this program and customer support. It will be fully integrated into Malcolm Wilson's activities to guarantee that our customer teams receive the best possible support for their Fiesta programs." WRC

11/02/04
World of Outlaws
Woman first to win WoO race Woman first to win WoO raceErin Crocker became the first woman to win a World of Outlaws feature Friday night when she won at Thunder Bowl Raceway in California. Crocker is a 23-year-old driver from Massachusetts.
11/02/04
grandam
What if they raced and nobody came - II? What if they raced and nobody came - II?UPDATE #2 Yet another reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, While I usually agree with most of what I read on AR1, particularly Mark Cipolloni's fine articles, I have to disagree with what I've been reading on the Grand Am Rolex Series. I went out to see the cars here in Ohio when they raced at Mid-Ohio and have to admit, I really enjoyed watching road racing where there were actually passing opportunities. It's true the cars aren't technological masterpieces by any means, but the drivers are good and very accessible, costs are maintained so smaller teams (we have a small team not far from us in Columbus that can run with the big boys for less than $1.5 million a year) can compete. The Riley's may be butt-ugly cars (just like they were in IMSA GTP), but the Crawfords are beautiful race cars reminiscent of the Jag XJR 14s. It's obvious there aren't a lot of fans right now, but this new prototype class has only been in existence two years and it appears that they are building infrastructure with this series. This year's TV package was far better than Champ Cars with most of the races live on SPEED and about 15 or 16 hours of the Daytona 24-hour on live. It sounds like they could have close to 30 prototypes on the grid next year - which makes both of the open-wheel series and ALMS just look silly. The best thing about that series is they keep the costs under control so the racing is hard and close, and people can go out and hire drivers that I know and like. No offense to the ride-buyers, but what I'd give to see Scott Pruett, Max Papis, Memo Gidley and Jon Fogarty in Champ Cars. It shouldn't surprise anyone next year when Grand-Am has more drivers who have won Champ Car races and Champ Car support series races than the CCWS itself. It seems like one series we know and love is sleeping on the job, while Grand-Am is picking up the pieces. Keep up the good work, Richard G., Springfield, Ohio 11/02/04 A reader adds, I watched the Grand Am race on Sunday and couldn't help but wonder if there were any fans there at all. SPEED had a bunch of cameras, yet nowhere was there any evidence of any fans. Announcer Leigh Diffey, who I generally enjoy was beginning to sound like Paul Page, schilling for the Series endlessly. He kept on and on about all the "interest" in the series. From one point of view he is right, there are a lot of teams heading toward the series. It is relatively cheap and by most accounts are easy to drive. As championship car owner/driver Forest Barber put it last season, it is a series where the non-professional driver can be successful! Name Withheld Dear Noname, Yes, many of the drivers in the series are amateurs, but some are good drivers. The real point here is the fact that near-zero fans show up for these races. Given that, why is the France family pumping more money into this series? Is it to destroy ALMS and Champ Car by offering promoters options? Is it to steal teams and talent away from ALMS and Champ Car to erode their base? It certainly cannot be the incorrect excuse that they want to hold more races at ISC tracks to make them more profitable. When near-zero fans show up they do not make any money at all. There is an underlying reason why this series, which has no customers, is in existence and we doubt they will ever reveal that. Mark C. 10/31/04 The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley makes a pit stop (pictured right) during the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series finale at Fontana, California with Wayne Taylor at the wheel. Once again we see completely empty grandstands for a Grand-Am race. When is the France family going to realize that road racing fans have zero interest in dumbed down NASCARized sports cars? They are pumping millions of dollars into this series and it is flush with teams, many of which came out of the woodwork to ride the gravy train of money. While the racing is good, nobody is watching and while part of the blame lies with the butt-ugly dumbed down cars (pictured left), part also lies with the France family's success with NASCAR. It's just about killed all other forms of motorsports in the USA because it is so popular and the France's are so good at managing it. Mark C.
11/02/04
irl
Lucky Fan Can Compete Against Hornish Lucky Fan Can Compete Against HornishOne IndyCar Series fan will receive the opportunity to race against two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. in the IndyCar Series 2005 over Xbox Live and win a TAG Heuer Chronograph.

IndyCar Series 2005 by Codemasters offers 220-plus mph online game play via Xbox Live, where drivers can compete head-to-head with up to 12 persons simultaneously. The game consists of 15 IndyCar Series tracks and is the only title to feature "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Players can race individual tracks or re-create a full racing season as a leading IndyCar Series driver, including newly crowned champion Tony Kanaan, 88th Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Hornish.

Realistic rear-view mirrors and steering wheel support, which has in-game adjustment, are two of the additions that set IndyCar Series 2005 apart from other games.

To register for the chance to compete against Hornish, log on to www.codemasters.com/indycar2005/comp/?territory=EnglishUSA by Nov. 7.

11/02/04
irl
Giaffone Has Successful Surgery, To Host Go-Kart Event Giaffone Has Successful Surgery, To Host Go-Kart EventDreyer & Reinbold Racing's Felipe Giaffone is back at home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after undergoing surgery last week to remove the steel plate and screws in his right leg.

Giaffone suffered fractures to his leg and right pelvis in an accident during the Kansas Indy 300 on July 6, 2003, at Kansas Speedway while driving for Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing. He had three top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season after taking over for the retired Robbie Buhl in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

Giaffone will host a go-kart event Nov. 13 at his family-owned track that will draw competitors such as 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan and runner-up Dan Wheldon, and Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello. IRL

11/02/04
grandam
5 teams announce Daytona Prototype plans 5 teams announce Daytona Prototype plansUPDATE According to AutoRacing1.com sources, the proposed Las Vegas street circuit will be in the area shown on the map to the right, even if our track layout isn't exactly correct. The area is just west of "old town" Las Vegas which was the original hub of the gaming industry along Fremont Street. The big open undeveloped space next to Interstates I-15 and I-515 will be utilized we are told. We laid out what we think might be the course layout (pictured right). It measures 2.4 miles. We were told it was a "long" street circuit by Champ Car standards, so that agrees with our guess of a layout. The long straight along Main Street measures a whopping 0.8 miles in length and the open expanse is perfect for paddock area and grandstands. The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and the Nevada Hotel and Casino sit inside the track. The layout, if correct, would feature four tunnel sections, under the railroad twice and under I-515 twice. Would Champ Car be so bold to build a street circuit like this that the drivers can actually pass on? What a novel idea.

A less ambitious 1.7-mile layout is shown above left. Although simple and short at just 1.7-miles, you can pass on it as well. A possible 2.25-mile layout is shown to the right.  This layout would have the least impact on city streets.

Holding a season-ending street race in Las Vegas the weekend before the traditional Thanksgiving weekend is expected. We heard Thanksgiving weekend was also being explored, but if Champ Car did that they might have a mutiny on their hands with the teams and their families. Besides, who would travel to see a race on Thanksgiving weekend when everyone wants to be home with their families?

07/15/05 Word here in Edmonton is that a Las Vegas Champ Car street race is a distinct possibility, in 2006 or 2007. Final approvals are not all in place yet, but we hear the layout and location are great. It will not be on The Strip of course, but it's not far away and it's not any of the previously rumored locations in Vegas. The talk is that this race could and should be Champ Car's season finale in early November, back in the USA which is where it should be. Mark C.

11/01/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
A1 and F1's Alan Jones
Toyota-Jordan deal 'close'
'Time running out' for Jaguar
Rossi 'should switch'
'Sorry' to see Juan go
Ferrari's 'unrepeatable' year
Villeneuve 'not to blame'
Klien may test in 2005
Japan to host second GP?
More radio natter in '05
Bulgarian grand prix?
FIA win Schumacher support
Webber in Texas
F1 aces to race karts
Keep 'boring' F1 - Ferrari
Villeneuve image 'untrue'
Ferrari's 'team order'
Renault 'not a top team'
Ralf took team to dinner
11/01/04
nascar
Atlanta qualifying gets solid SPEED rating Atlanta qualifying gets solid SPEED ratingNASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Qualifying from Atlanta scored a 1.10 (702,000 households), making it the seventh most watched program ever on SPEED. Combined with the replay later in the evening, qualifying coverage broke the million-household mark with a cumulative rating of 1.70 (1,082,000 households).
11/01/04
f1
F1 sponsor signs huge deal with Iran F1 sponsor signs huge deal with IranChina has signed a $70 billion deal for the development of Iran's energy sector.  China's state-owned Sinopec Group has signed a deal to develop oil fields and liquefied natural gas in Iran. The memorandum of understanding, signed on Oct. 28, called for Sinopec to purchase 250 million tons of LNG from Iran over the next 30 years.  Another element of the MoU was that Sinopec would develop the Yadavaran oil field. Officials said Iran was committed to sell Sinopec 150,000 barrels per day for 25 years at market prices.  Iran has been the leading oil supplier to China, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said Iran was negotiating a similar oil development and LNG contract with China National Petroleum Corp.
11/01/04
Industry News
California Speedway eyes big 2005 season California Speedway eyes big 2005 seasonWith the end of daylight savings, the 2004 racing calendar at California Speedway comes to a close. The Southern California motorsports facility saw its largest season ever since it opened in 1997, hosting six major race weekends including two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events, one AMA Superbike doubleheader event, one IRL IndyCar Series event, one Grand American season finale event and one Historic Sports Car event.

"This year has not only been our biggest, but also our 'brightest' season in the speedway's history," California Speedway President Bill Miller said. "We introduced night racing for the first time here, and race fans were treated to a multitude of racing disciplines. From stock cars to IndyCars, sports cars to motorcycles, California Speedway is the place to be for some of the best racing action in the country and next year will bring more exciting changes to our schedule."

The 2005 racing season gets underway-early next year when NASCAR heads out West for the second race of the year - the Auto Club 500 - just one week after the season opening Daytona 500. The early date marks three major NASCAR weekends California Speedway will host within a 10-month span.

"California Speedway is completely focused on the 2005 season," Miller said, "featuring NASCAR's top-three racing series competing in February.
11/01/04
Industry News
Toyota posts strong results Toyota posts strong resultsToyota has reported a 11.4% increase in its earnings in the six months through September 30th. The company made profits of $5.5 billion on sales of $85 billion (an increase is sales of nearly 10%). The company reported that sales are growing in North America, Europe and Japan and this was quite enough to offset the effects of unfavorable exchange rates, which has damaged the results of some other Japanese companies. In the six month period Toyota sold 3.56 million vehicles around the world, up 12% from the 2003 figures. Toyota also increased car sales in Africa and other Asian markets and says that it expects to have sold 7.22 million cars by the end of its fiscal year in March 2005.
11/01/04
A1 Grand Prix
Alan Jones to lead Australia A1 team Alan Jones to lead Australia A1 teamAustralian Alan Jones has become the second ex-Formula One world champion to link up with the new A1 Grand Prix series. Organizers said in a statement on Monday that 1980 champion Jones would head an Australian entry along with compatriot and successful Formula Three team boss Alan Docking. Briton John Surtees, the 1964 Formula One champion, is involved with a British team. The Dubai-based championship, billed as the "World Cup of motor racing", plans to start in September 2005 to fill European winter months when there is no Formula One racing with a new nations-based one-make series. The single-seater 3.4 liter V8 cars will be provided by A1 and run on a franchise basis by national teams with drivers and sponsors from that country. Team from nine countries -- Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Portugal and South Africa -- have been confirmed to date. South Africa's team was unveiled by President Thabo Mbeki in Johannesburg on Monday. Organizers said that Portugal's franchise holders will involve Real Madrid footballer Luis Figo and former Real coach Carlos Queiroz, now assistant to manager Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Malaysia's entry will be run by Alex Yoong, the first Formula One driver from the south east Asian country. Reuters
11/01/04
nascar
Jimmie Johnson got "The Call" on Sunday Jimmie Johnson got "The Call" on SundayJimmie Johnson got the call Sunday.  Not "The Call," the supposed nod that skeptics, with little actual evidence, occasionally allege NASCAR gives to a car it "selects" to win a given race [Editor's Note: Does seem strange that these things always happen in NASCAR. Some say its very transparent].  This was a simple cellular phone call, a brief conversation between Johnson, who'd just won the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and, team owner Rick Hendrick back home.  "He was very emotional, very happy," Johnson said.  Hendrick also told Johnson to do something for him. He wanted the driver to turn his cap backward, a small way to remember Hendrick's son, Ricky, who used to annoy his dad by doing just that.  Around Johnson's Chevrolet, dozens of Hendrick Motorsports employees were already way ahead of the boss. Drivers and crew members from all of the Hendrick teams were there, and they already had their caps backward. That's Racin.com
11/01/04
nascar
Some NASCAR tracks to get new tires Some NASCAR tracks to get new tiresRich Heinrich, Goodyear's product manager for stock cars, says teams can expect new tires in 2005 for all tracks longer than New Hampshire (1.058 miles) to help compensate for the shorter spoiler the Cup cars will have. An open test will be offered to teams in January at Las Vegas and California to test the new tires. "The whole effort is to add mechanical grip to the car, which can be accomplished by changing both the compound and construction of the tires," Heinrich says. Drivers who tested the new tires at Las Vegas, Bristol and Charlotte reported the tires improved the balance of the cars. FoxSports/Sporting News
11/01/04
irl
Super Aguri Fernandez team saddened by death Super Aguri Fernandez team saddened by deathEveryone involved with Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Fernandez Racing is deeply saddened over the tragic death of teammate and friend John Martin Jr. who lost his life in a surfing accident in Nassau, Bahamas, on Friday, October 29. Martin was a mechanic on the team and also served as fueler on the pit crew for Kosuke Matsuura.

The son of former driver and team owner John Martin Sr. and his wife Linda, “Little John” or “LJ” for short, inherited his love of racing from his family. He attended his first Indianapolis 500 when he was just three-months old, and had been trackside ever since.

LJ started his career with Bill Simpson Racing as a mechanic. Over the years, he worked with numerous drivers including Adrian Fernandez, Roger Yasukawa, Franck Freon, Oriol Servia, Jon Fogarty, Dave Simpson, Mike Snow, Townsend Bell and Luis Diaz during his tenures with Bradley Motorsports, John Martin Racing, Dorricott Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.

Behind the wheel, LJ began competing in go-karts at the age of 11. In addition to racing in Legends and Sports 2000, he also tested in the former Indy Lights series.

Adrian Fernandez and the Martin family have had a close relationship dating back to 1992, when Fernandez drove for John Martin Racing with LJ as his mechanic in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship.

The Martin family has been an integral part of Super Aguri Fernandez Racing since its inception in 2003, when John Martin Sr. joined his son on the team as a spotter for Yasukawa last year and Matsuura this season.

LJ was a native of Irvine, California, and resided in Indianapolis. He was 30 years old.

The following is a statement from Tom Anderson, Co-Owner and Managing Director of Fernandez Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to John and Linda and the entire Martin family, as well as LJ’s girlfriend Megan and their many friends at this very difficult time. They are a very close family suffering a tragic sudden loss. On behalf of everyone involved with our team, our hearts are heavy as we express our deepest sympathy. The racing community is very much a family, and LJ had touched so many lives. This is obviously a difficult time for everyone on our team. LJ and the Martin family are very much a part of our ‘family’. He will truly be missed by all of us, and we will hold dear our memories.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced when available.

11/01/04
A1 Grand Prix
South Africa unveils their A1 GP entry South Africa unveils their A1 GP entryJohannesburg, 1st November. South African motorsport has entered a new chapter with the official launch of the A1 Grand Prix South African team. The launch in Johannesburg today was attended by President Mbeki who unveiled the car in its South African livery.

A month ago in London South Africa's participation in the unique one make series was announced along with that of China, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Now a total of nine countries have been announced. The new additions to the A1 Grand Prix grid are Australia, Canada and Malaysia. More are due to be announced at the next national team launch, which will be in Lebanon.

The series founder and CEO, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum, presented the South African seat holder, former freedom fighter and businessman extraordinaire, Tokyo Sexwale, with the car, and they were honored that President Mbeki had agreed to attend the launch, which showed strong Government support.

"South Africa has a rich motorsport history and I am delighted it is entering the sport again. It is a great opportunity for South Africans to showcase their country and sponsors in the World Cup of Motorsport. It is a country that loves all sporting events and I am certain as a nation it will be one of the most enthusiastic in supporting its A1 Grand Prix team and driver. From the moment we announced our series earlier in the year it was obvious one of the first seats to be snapped up was going to be South Africa knowing its great history in motorsport," said Sheikh Maktoum.

Tokyo Sexwale, who announced in London that the car would carry two numbers - 46664, which was Nelson Mandela's prison number, and 2010, the year South Africa will host the World Cup - commented: "A1 Grand Prix is effectively the world cup of motor racing. It will create a new patriotic edge to the sport, and add a new dimension to one of the most popular sports in the world. We are proud and pleased that there will be a South African entrant in this exciting global event. We fully subscribe to the need to spread motor racing away from its traditional European and North American roots and into the developing world. Welcome to the world of Motortainment."

11/01/04
f1
Montezemolo full of praise for Ferrari Montezemolo full of praise for FerrariThe traditional Ferrari Maserati World Finals dedicated to all Prancing Horse owners and fans ended Sunday afternoon, with the world finals of the Ferrari Challenge and a Formula 1 demonstration to celebrate what has been an exceptional year for the Maranello company.

During an informal meeting with the media attending the event, which featured Jean Todt, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, it fell to President Montezemolo to express what that the 2004 season meant to Ferrari and to avoid any questions about Ferraris stance on the 2005 rules package.

"What happened this year is something that no one could have predicted. 2004 was an exceptional year, probably unrepeatable, given the strength of the competition in Formula One," claimed Montezemolo.

"It is marvelous to be here in Monza to celebrate our sixth consecutive world title. This is a day to party, a really great day. The last time we were here in Monza was to celebrate our victory in 2001, when we could certainly not have expected the exceptional results we have achieved since then."

"When we won the Drivers’ title in 2000, after a 21 year drought, many thought we would spend the next few years celebrating. Instead, we invested, building a strong and united team. We continued to work constantly in design and development, giving it our all. We have a fantastic and stable working group, for whom technology is very important, but more important still is the human element," underlined President Montezemolo.
 
"Therefore, I really want to thank the entire team: Jean Todt, who leads it, Michael who has won more than any other driver has ever done with Ferrari; Rubens who has been a cornerstone of all our Constructors’ titles from 2000 onwards. I want to thank those who follow the race, who work in Maranello: everyone, without exception, because this is a collective success which makes me very happy. I am proud to be President of Ferrari, I am proud of this team."

"We must not forget the invaluable contribution of all our sponsors and suppliers who play an active role in our success. If I can single out two as examples: Shell, who have stuck with us over the years, investing in technology and constant improvement and Bridgestone, who have played a really pivotal role in all our wins and with whom, over the past years, we have made great steps forward."

"Our success is important to us, to Fiat, to Italy, to everyone who has worked together to achieve these results," continued Montezemolo. "There are some who maintain that Formula 1 is boring. We want to enjoy this ‘boredom’ and we hope to be very 'bored' in the coming years too. Ferrari is constantly looking to the future," replied the President, when asked for Ferrari’s position regarding next year’s rules and more generally, on the future of Formula 1.

"We have a lot to say on this subject, that is for later. I have nothing to add to what Todt said in Brazil. I also made some remarks on this subject not long ago, in Monza, but I do not wish to talk about it today. Today is all about enjoying this extraordinary year and this wonderful party." Ferrari

10/31/04
Industry News
New Corvette after Tuner crowd New Corvette after Tuner crowdChevrolet hopes the new Corvette will appeal to the "tuner" crowd and will add this "Show & Go" option on the new C6 Corvette.  Coming soon will be the 500HP Z06 version of the new Vette.  While the current C6 400HP version tops out at 186 mph, the Z06 will be the first production, street legal, over 200 mph Corvette ever sold.  How far over 200 mph remains to be seen.

 

10/31/04
Industry News
Federal legislation will help all race tracks Federal legislation will help all race tracksUPDATE #2 On Thursday President George W. Bush signed this bill into law.  This bill is a grotesquerie, even by the perverse standards of congressional handicrafts. It is the legislative equivalent of a riot, with major corporations and politically powerful lobbies smashing windows and kicking in doors to loot the U.S. Treasury.  What started out as a small, $5-billion-a-year fix to align U.S. practices with international fair-trade rules wound up as an anything-goes grabfest  The bill that allows foreign bettors to take home tax-free winnings from American dog and horse tracks (no, really) and provides tax exemptions for Chinese-made ceiling fans. The tobacco lobby used its muscle to win a $10 billion buyout for its farmers but without the FDA regulatory oversight that was supposed to be part of the deal.  There are goodies for NASCAR track owners and bow and arrow manufacturers. Railroads won tax credits just for maintaining their tracks — which they would have to do anyway, if they want to keep their trains from falling over. 10/12/04 The Senate passed a far-reaching, $136 billion corporate tax package Monday that cuts taxes for businesses ranging from film companies to bow and arrow makers while closing tax loopholes and bringing U.S. exporters in line with international trade rules. The corporate tax bill grew out of the need for Congress to respond to a World Trade Organization (news - web sites) ruling that a $5 billion annual subsidy for U.S. exporters was illegal. As a result, 1,600 American exports to Europe are being hit by penalty tariffs that now stand at 12 percent and are rising by one percentage point a month. The bill became the vehicle for the most significant overhaul of corporate tax law in nearly two decades. It includes $76.5 billion in new tax relief for the manufacturing sector, which was broadly defined to include oil and gas producers, architectural and engineering firms and film and music companies. The package also provides benefits for a wide range of groups, from native Alaskan whalers, importers of Chinese ceiling fans, NASCAR race track owners and residents of states without state income taxes, who would be able to deduct state and local sales taxes from their federal tax returns [Editor's Note: NASCAR track owners will benefit to the tune of $92 million by obtaining the ability to write off their grandstands over seven years instead of twenty years. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) sponsored the amendment to the American Jobs Creation Act, (HR 4520).] The measure includes a $10.1 billion buyout for tobacco farmers. Several senators from both parties objected strenuously that the final version of the bill drops Senate-approved language that would give the Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) the power to regulate tobacco. Yahoo News 10/09/04 The Kentucky Speedway will get a tax break under a major overhaul of the nation's tax law that is moving through Congress. The Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) Act, which has passed the U.S. House and is awaiting Senate approval this weekend. The bill includes $136 billion in new tax breaks and a $10.1 billion buyout for tobacco farmers. In addition to professional auto racing venues there are tax breaks for an array of industries, including thoroughbred racing, construction companies, architects, engineering firms and oil and gas companies.

The Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, 35 miles southwest of Cincinnati, will benefit when it eventually expands, said track President Mark Simendinger. The speedway is trying to attract a Nextel Cup NASCAR race. The speedway will expand if it receives a Nextel Cup race, Simendinger said. At that point track owners will, under the JOBS Act, be allowed to accelerate depreciation of the expansion and take bigger annual tax write-offs, Simendinger said.

"Let's say we spend $10 million on an expansion," Simendinger said. "Now, we would have to depreciate that amount over 30 years, meaning we could deduct $330,000 a year. "Under the new law, we could do that over eight years and take a deduction of $1.25 million each year," he said. The bill was pushed in part by Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning, a Southgate Republican. Bunning, who is running for re-election this year against Democrat Dan Mongiardo, was on the conference committee of legislators that reconciled differences in earlier versions of the bill. Cincinnati Enquirer

10/31/04
superfund
Pastorelli wins race and title Pastorelli wins race and titleNicky Pastorelli stormed to victory in the final round of the 2004 SUPERFUND Euro 3000 Championship at the Nürburgring in Germany closely followed by Alex Lloyd of John Village Automotive.  Draco Junior team mate Fausto Ippoliti made his first podium appearance of the season in third place. 

In a dramatic climax to the SUPERFUND Euro 3000 season which saw the Safety Car being deployed twice, Dutch-Italian driver Nicky Pastorelli claimed the SUPERFUND Euro 3000 title after winning the final race of the season.  Fabrizio Del Monte finished the Championship in second place one point away from his title dream as he was shunted off the grid at the start of the race by GP Racing team mate Tor Graves.  ADM Motorsport driver Norbert Siedler of ADM Motorsport ended the season in third place after retiring from the race at the first corner after a clash with rookie Luca Filippi.

“There was always the possibility that I could win the Championship so I just had to go out there today and fight as hard as I could.  I had a fantastic start but the race was never as easy as it looked as Alex Lloyd was pushing very hard all the way.  I’m extremely happy at the moment and I can’t quite believe I’ve won the Championship!  All the team has worked so hard for this and I’m glad I could win this for them!”

10/31/04
MotoGP
Rossi wins Valencia finale Rossi wins Valencia finaleThe title was won… pole-sitter Makoto Tamada and Honda teammate Max Biaggi were off the line like rockets… and so was Aussie Troy Bayliss in his last ride for Ducati.  So does The Doctor sit back, relax and let them go? That’s not the Rossi way.  Valentino Rossi ended the 2004 MotoGP World Championship in fitting style at Valencia today, taking his ninth victory of a season in which he has cemented his place as one of the greatest motorcycle racers in history. Rossi made a bad start but came through an entertaining battle for positions in the opening stages of the race, whilst pole setter Makoto Tamada streaked into a clear lead.

An incident between Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi on lap three opened the way for Rossi to chase Tamada and the Italian took the lead on the sixth lap before being relegated back to second by his Japanese rival two circulations later.

Rossi hit back seven laps later and was this time able to make his escape, eventually opening up a clear advantage at the front. Max Biaggi and Troy Bayliss began to close in over the final few laps after also passing Tamada but ran out of time in the hunt for Rossi.

“To win nine races has been unbelievable for everybody and we also won the team award, which was not so bad either!” said Rossi after the race. “Tamada was looking very strong, and I had a tough fight with him until he slowed and dropped back.

“My rhythm improved and I was able to push 100% to the end. Then there was a fight with Biaggi behind, and he was very strong. It is unbelievable to win here, and wonderful in front of this crowd. This year really has been unforgettable for me, my mechanics and Yamaha.”

Valentino Rossi, winning by 0.425 seconds from old rival Max Biaggi, took real satisfaction when his ninth victory matched his performance on the Honda last season.  But perhaps the real star of the day was Australia’s Troy Bayliss. He leapt off the second row to be with the front-runners early on, kept his head as riders went past him and brought the Ducati home for his first podium finish of the year.  First dispensing with local hero Sete Gibernau’s Honda on lap 12, Bayliss then took advantage of Nicky Hayden’s fall to make the top three with seven laps left and stayed there to sign off from the Italian team in superb fashion.

“It’s a great day for me,” said a delighted Bayliss, whose destination for 2005 is not yet clear. “It’s been a very difficult season, but the bike made progress halfway through, we tested some new bits after Phillip Island and the bike is really coming on strong.  I really believe in Ducati. I think they’re going to have a strong bike next year − I won’t be on it, but this is a perfect way to finish.”

While he left with such good grace, Bayliss must have taken some personal satisfaction from the fact that the man who will replace him next year, Carlos Checa, came a lowly 14th after another crash in his final ride for Yamaha. A jubilant Rossi said he had to push 100 per cent to the end as a charging Biaggi came at him hard in the closing laps, the Honda rider claiming the fastest lap of 1m 33.582s in the process.   “It was a great victory,” he said, “because the race was very hard for me and for everybody.  To win nine races has been unbelievable for everybody,” said the ebullient Italian, “and we also won the team award, which was not so bad either!”

Aussie Garry McCoy’s Aprilia was one place outside the points in 16th. Rossi’s final haul is 304 points to Gibernau’s 257 and Biaggi’s 217, while Bayliss’s strong finish sees him end the year in 14th place on 71. 

10/31/04
f1
champcar
Toyota has nothing to show for test miles Toyota has nothing to show for test milesThe list below shows the number of kilometers each F1 team tested in 2004. Toyota topped the list with over 50,000 kilometers, which converts to over 30,000 test miles. To make matters worse, they had a horrible season in 2004, which goes to show you that it isn't how many miles you test that counts, but whether your engineers design a fast car or not. And you wonder why F1 costs so much. We doubt a Champ Car team tests more than 1,000 miles with the current testing restrictions. Surprisingly Williams tested more than Ferrari and Ferrari has their own test track.
1. Toyota 50,731 km
2. Williams 47,313
3. Ferrari 45,512
4. McLaren 42,977
5. BAR 41,697
6. Renault 40,971
7. Jaguar 19,051
8. Sauber 15,991
9. Jordan 12,576
10.Minardi 3,159
10/31/04
champcar
Champ Car race a big boon for Lexmark Champ Car race a big boon for LexmarkBy associating with the hugely popular Indy car racing held annually for the last 14 years in the scenic surroundings of Gold Coast in Australia, printing major Lexmark International Inc expects to benefit tremendously in terms of branding and mindshare. According to Lexmark VP (Asia Pacific & Latin America) David Goodnight, the association with Indy last year helped Lexmark increase its market share in the Australian market. “Other regions also benefited from the same,” he added.

Called 'Lexmark Indy 300', the event spread over four days saw some high quality action with racing cars speeding in excess of 500 km per hour. And, it is the 13th stop on a 15-race series. This event is today recognized one of the biggest motorsport events of the world. Four championships hotly contested on the streets of Gold Coast include--Champ Car, V8 Supercar, Carrera Cup and Formula 3.

Commenting on the relationship between Lexmark and Indy 300, Lexmark Australia and New Zealand MD Henrik Stensfeldt said, “There are many synergies between our organization and this event--we are both technology leaders and we both use the latest technology to stay ahead of the competition.”

Off the track, Lexmark worked closely with Indy officials to develop a wide range of IT solutions. All the drivers at the event read thousands of pages of information during trialing and racing. Every morning team members lined-up in the driver administration tent on the Gold Coast to collect a wide range of information on track conditions, official announcements and race updates.

Going a step further, Lexmark now plans to slash future administration costs and improve communications at the event. As the event's leading technology supplier and naming sponsor--other major technology sponsors included Acer and Intel -- Lexmark will be designing workflow solution for the event following an extensive information distribution audit.

While the solution will be deployed in 2005, the first step was to record every printout, fax, photocopy and email during this year's event. This was no small feat considering that more than 50,000 pages were printed during the four-day event. The hardware at the track was linked to monitoring devices for further analysis. Infrastructure at the event included almost 30 Lexmark laser printers and hundreds of email and Internet-enabled devices.

10/31/04
NHRA
Mark Richter dead at 50 Mark Richter dead at 50Mark Richter passed away recently. His funeral service was held at the La Verne, CA, cemetery, on Tuesday, Oct 26th. Mark was only 50 years old at his passing. Notables from NHRA, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, and representatives from many magazines such as DRIVE, were on hand to say goodbye to this special man and colleague. He was the official photographer for the museum, and caught much of the local racing scene through the lens of his camera. Mark was famous for his quiet smile, for the service that he gave to others and for never complaining, no matter how serious his physical condition was.  He provided candy bars and cold drinks to the other photographers at the track, even though  they were competing with him for that "Career making Shot."  He gave the editor of this newsletter a ride on the back of his   electric wheelchair when my feet simply couldn't take the pavement any longer.  He would take personal photos of people,   develop them and then give them out to us whenever he saw us again, and never asked for reimbursement, donating all of his photos to individuals or to the museum.  Mark is gone, and he leaves a great void in our racing world, which can never be filled.  Although it rained on those gathered for his services, not one person among the throng that attended ever left the  graveside farewell.  Rest in peace, Mark, and pack your camera for those great racing events on the other side of the veil, and those great racers who have preceded you. Oilstick.com
10/31/04
Italian F3000
Lola confirms support for Italian F3000 Lola confirms support for Italian F3000Following last week's announcement, made in conjunction by the Italian governing body of motorsport - the CSAI and Coloni Motorsport, Lola Cars International Ltd are pleased to welcome and officially recognize the Italian Formula 3000 series, which will begin in 2005.

In addition to a new competitive series that will headline an exciting package of events organized by the CSAI, Lola are pleased to announce that the inaugural winner of the series will receive a test with a Champ Car team at the end of the season. Following in the tradition of success that has seen the likes of 2004 Championship protagonists Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais successfully graduate to Champ Cars from F3000, the 2005 champion will be given a valuable chance to follow in their footsteps.

With both the Lola B99/50 and B02/50 eligible for the series, healthy grids and close racing are expected. Lola Cars would like to express their intention of officially supporting the series and working together exclusively with Coloni Motorsport to ensure a dedicated and smooth engineering and logistical future for the series.

Lola will also commit to ensuring that parity is gained for the two different chassis that are able to race in the series - the Lola B99/50 and Lola B02/50. Lola will also offer support to Coloni to ensure full and adequate technical support and parts supply. If required Lola will accept orders for new B02/50 cars.

The Italian F3000 series will consist of 8 events in Italy and will headline events organized by the C.S.A.I. Coloni Motorsport has started negotiations with A.C.I. Sport in order to define a promotional program of the series whose details will come communicates shortly.

Lola Cars International Ltd have been the sole supplier to the International and European Formula 3000 championships since 1996, providing cars that have made the careers of a generation of current Formula One drivers, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Nick Heidfeld.

10/31/04
f1
Ferrari demo runs at Monza Ferrari demo runs at MonzaThe Ferrari Maserati World Finals conclude today at Monza with a demonstration run by four F2004s, driven by Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Luca Badoer and Andrea Bertolini.

Yesterday, cars competing in the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge, the Trofeo Vodafone Maserati and the Ferrari Challenge Pirelli Trophy, all took to the track, as well as the historic single-seaters run by the Maranello F1 Clienti Department.

In the Trident marque’s one-make event, Francesco Ravasio set the best time, proving to be faster than current championship leader, Andrea Palma and the Notter/Cattori crew, who today start from second and third places respectively on the grid. Ferrari

   

10/31/04
f1
Klien fighting to stay in F1 Klien fighting to stay in F1With a full season under his belt, Christian Klien hopes to race again in Formula One next season. The young Austrian driver partnered Mark Webber at Jaguar this year and showed well against his more experienced team-mate.

Klien's best result of sixth, secured at Spa Francorchamps, equaled the best scored by Webber. However, Webber did manage three further points paying positions for the team. While Webber heads off to BMW Williams, Klien is left looking for a race seat or failing that a testing role.

"As long as there's a race seat available, I'll be chasing it,” Klien told Autosport. “But if everything is full you also have to look at the possibility of being third driver for a bigger team. A testing role in a top team is a good solution for a driver with my experience, so we will be looking at that too.”

Klien, backed by Red Bull, hopes that a buyer can be found for Jaguar Racing. "I think there will be a lot going on in the next couple of weeks,” Klien stated. Jaguar Racing

10/31/04
f1
Ralf: I fought like a lion Ralf: I fought like a lionAfter missing the bulk of the summer season as he recuperated from injuries sustained at Indianapolis, Ralf Schumacher's final three races with BMW Williams brought a second position in Japan and a fifth position in Brazil.

With Juan Pablo Montoya winning the final race of the season and Ralf Schumacher finishing in fifth position, the team scored 14 points - their best points haul of the season.

“I fought like a lion,” Schumacher told the BMW WilliamsF1 site. “My team-mate’s win was important, and a nice way to finish the season for the whole team."

After spending the last six years with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team there wasn't much time left after the race to say good-bye properly to the team members. On Saturday evening before the race, Ralf thanked the engineers by inviting them all to a dinner.

After the race the German was whisked away to the airport and onto a plane back to Austria. "Although a lot of fans believe that I'm now on holiday, that's not true,” explained Schumacher, “I was home for one day before I was back on the road, attending a PR event at my Kart track in Bispingen. In a couple of weeks time I've got a couple of days off, which I will then spend with my family and my friends." Williams BMW

10/31/04
IROC
Matt Kenseth wins race, championship Matt Kenseth wins race, championshipMatt Kenseth won Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, holding off a charging Kyle Busch in the green-white-checkered dash to the finish.  Then he hopped in his Crown Royal IROC car and did it again, holding off the 11 other racing superstars in what is the equivalent of racing's all-star series, winning both the race and the championship.   Kenseth won a million dollars as he was crowned series champion for the first time. Ryan Newman finished second in today's race and in the championship while Danny Lasoski finished the race third. Once again the IRL drivers never led a lap and filled the tail end of the finishing order and hence further damaged their image.  
Results
1. Matt Kenseth
2. Ryan Newman
3. Danny Lasoski
4. Kurt Busch
5. Travis Kvapil
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Scott Dixon
9. Steve Kinser
10. Scott Sharp
11. Helio Castroneves
12. J.J. Yeley                
Average Speed: 100.983mphTime of Race: 59min. 29 sec.
Margin of Victory: 0.257 seconds
Lead Changes: 4
Caution Periods: 2 - Competition Yellow Thrown at Lap 45
Lap Leaders: 1 Kinser, 2-6 Busch, 7-52 Harvick, 53-65 Kenseth
Final Standings
Driver  Representing          Points
Matt Kenseth  NASCAR Nextel Cup  72
Ryan Newman  NASCAR Nextel Cup  67
Kevin Harvick  NASCAR Nextel Cup  55
Jimmie Johnson  NASCAR Nextel Cup  54
Kurt Busch  NASCAR Nextel Cup  54
Danny Lasoski  World of Outlaws  51 |
Scott Sharp IRL Indy Car Series  32
Travis Kvapil  NASCAR Craftsman Truck  31
H. Castroneves  IRL Indy Car Series  28
Steve Kinser  World of Outlaws  26
Scott Dixon  IRL Indy Car Series  26
J.J. Yeley  USAC    20
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