Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
Kalkhoven: We've still got the hammer Kalkhoven: We've still got the hammerRecall that at last year's Champ Car banquet Kevin Kalkhoven held up a hammer and declared, "Tony we've got the hammer, " referring to the hammer Tony George brought to work everyday in an attempt to nail Champ Car's coffin shut. At Sunday night's Champ Car Awards banquet this year Kevin Kalkhoven opened his talk by again pulling out the hammer and declaring, "We've still got the hammer," which was met with a great uproar.
Canadian fans fed up with TSN race broadcasts Canadian fans fed up with TSN race broadcastsWe, the ultimate fans of Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford (CCWS), hereby request to CCWS to not allow The Sports Network Canada (TSN) to broadcast events sanctioned by CCWS. From tape delays to edited race broadcasts, TSN has shown a complete disregard for the CCWS fans and does not appear to be a supporter of the best open-wheeled races series in the world. Sign the petition
Minardi 2-seater in action in South Africa Minardi 2-seater in action in South AfricaUPDATE For the second year in succession, the Minardi F1x2 Team staged a pair of thrilling demonstration races in front of an enthusiastic, sell-out crowd at Sunday’s Altech South African Grand Prix. In near-perfect weather conditions, the drivers and their passengers contested two 10-lap events as part of Sunday’s program at the famous Kyalami circuit, near Johannesburg.

It was Belgian drivers to the fore in the first race, with Bas Leinders and passenger, Robert Wray, taking the checkered flag in front of fellow countryman, David Saelens, and Graham Johnson, with Johnny Herbert and Sasha Martinengo taking the final podium spot. The only casualty of the race was Gianni Morbidelli, who spun at Sunset Corner, thus ensuring his passenger, Gary Formato, a never-to-be forgotten moment.

The second race saw Florida’s Ryan Hunter-Reay lead impressively from start to finish, but the Champ Car driver was penalized at the end of the race for not making his mandatory pit stop. This elevated the irrepressible Herbert and passenger, Fred Coetzer, into first place. Alan van der Merwe and Sarah Jane Trutter claimed second, with Patrick Friesacher and Nick Williamson taking the final podium spot. There were two retirements, the car of David Saelens and Linda Bam pulling out on the third lap with an electronics problem, and Zsolt Baumgartner and passenger, Claudio Piazza Musso, spinning out of the race at Tabletop Corner.

“We had a great start and were up to third by the end of the first lap, and then we overtook Matteo (Bobbi) and pushed hard to the pit stop,” said Bas Leinders, winner of race 1. “ David (Saelens) was ahead of us after the stop, but we managed to pass him before the checkered flag and score a great victory here in South Africa. It’s been a lot of fun, but best of all, it’s been for a good cause.”

“We mustn’t forget that, first and foremost, all the F1x2 drivers are here this week to support the charities that benefit from this event,” added Johnny Herbert, race 2 winner. “From my perspective, the nice thing about today is that my passengers in both races had good runs. We overtook several cars, so they had an opportunity to get a real sense of what it’s like when you’re racing. I had fun today, and I’m sure they did as well, so you’d have to say it’s been another successful weekend for F1x2.”

Results - Race 1
1. Bas Leinders - Robert Wray
2. David Saelens - Graham Johnson
3. Johnny Herbert - Sasha Martinengo
4. Patrick Friesacher - Brian Kennedy
5. Matteo Bobbi - Alistair McArthur
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay - Delen Naidoo
7. Alan van der Merwe - Peter Wharton Hood
8. Gianni Morbidelli - Gary Formato (DNF)
Results - Race 2
1. Johnny Herbert - Fred Coetzer
2. Alan van der Merwe - Sarah Jane Trutter
3. Patrick Friesacher - Nick Williamson
4. Bas Leinders - Joe de Beer
5. Tarso Marques - Pedro Rodrigues
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay - Joana Koornneef
7. Zsolt Baumgartner - Claudio Musso (DNF)
8. David Saelens - Linda Bam (DNF)  Minardi 

11/13/05 The Minardi F1x2 Team today completed its individual passenger runs for the Altech South African Grand Prix, and began final preparations for Sunday’s two demonstration races. Saturday’s F1x2 drivers were Marc Surer, Bas Leinders, Alan van der Merwe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Patrick Friesacher, the latter’s lap of 1:34.884s being the fastest two-seater time recorded over the last two days at the Kyalami circuit.

“It was great fun to be driving an F1 two-seater again, I really enjoyed it,” commented Friesacher. “I like this track a lot, and combined with the great organization here, this is just a terrific event. I particularly want to thank Paul Stoddart and the F1x2 Team for making it possible to be here again in South Africa."

“One interesting thing for me is that, so far this weekend, my best lap time in the two-seater is about two seconds slower than last year. I think this could be down to the higher track temperature, which has reduced grip levels, and a gusty wind that has been blowing for much of the time. Even so, I think we have still been able to give the passengers a good impression of F1 performance!”

The team also confirmed the line-up for the first of tomorrow’s F1x2 races, with Friesacher, Leinders, Hunter-Reay and van der Merwe being joined on the starting grid by Johnny Herbert, Matteo Bobbi, Gianni Morbidelli and David Saelens. Source Minardi

Roush Racing suspends Kurt Busch Roush Racing suspends Kurt BuschRoush Racing announced this morning that Kurt Busch has been suspended for the final two races of the season after an incident Friday evening involving law enforcement officials. Kenny Wallace will drive the No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Taurus in today’s Checker Auto Parts 500. More....
Q and A with Dr. Steve Olvey on fitness of older drivers Q and A with Dr. Steve Olvey on fitness of older driversDr Stephen E. Olvey, M.D., (pictured right) is based at the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine. He is a founding fellow of the newly-formed FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety and before that was Director of Medical Affairs for the Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) organization in North America for whom he provided medical care for 25 years.

You have had a long and highly respected career in motorsports medical care. Why did you choose to get involved with the Grand Prix Masters series?

The Grand Prix Masters series appealed to me for three reasons. Firstly, and this is the racing fan in me showing through, I just believe it is a really exciting proposition and exactly what is needed in motorsport right now. Also, on a personal note, I have become great friends with many of the drivers involved when they came to race in America and it will be good to see them back on track. From a professional standpoint I am very interested in showing that age should not be a barrier to anybody, whatever sport or pastime they would like to participate in. So many sports have consigned their biggest heroes to the sidelines at an incredibly young age. It seems that as soon as you hit 40+ you are considered too old to be of any use and told it is time to spectate instead. I believe Grand Prix Masters will prove that age is no barrier to providing competitive and spectacular racing.

Is there any medical or physical reason why drivers in the series should not be able to race as well as they did in their heyday?

None whatsoever! Studies have shown that there is no reason for people to stop competing in very vigorous sports, even when they are well into their sixties. We have a very famous guy in America called ‘Banana George’ Blair, who is 90 years old and still barefoot water skis all around the world. He even learnt to snowboard aged 75. It just goes to show that you are only as old as you feel.  And from a physiological standpoint there is no evidence to show that our drivers will not be able to cope with the demands of driving a high-speed racing car. Sure, they will be pulling large g-forces, but nothing compared to what an astronaut experiences and one of our most famous astronauts, Senator John Glenn returned to space on the Space Shuttle when he was well into his seventies. Similarly, Chuck Yeager, the most famous jet test pilot of them all, was regularly flying prototype jet aircraft in his fifties. What is more important to us is ensuring that every driver is fit and well before he takes to the track. It’s an unavoidable fact that there is a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease as people get older. Obviously we wouldn’t send them out into competition if we were not happy that such a risk had been checked out. A heart attack at 200mph with other cars around you is not good! zzzz

Can you quantify just how hard a driver has to work behind the wheel of a 200mph single-seater racing car?

Very easily, in fact. When I was the Director of Medical Affairs for the CART racing series in North America we used a metabolic monitor to see exactly how hard a driver was working during a test session. This monitor measures the amount of energy the driver expends as he is driving and gives you a simple numerical read-out. On the scale a ‘1’ would be simply sitting still. In the test session our driver was peaking at a reading as high as 12, which is equivalent to the sort of work rate you might see from an Olympic 1500-metre swimmer or a professional tennis player during a hard singles match.

It’s worth noting that this was during a test session, rather than a race where you would see drivers probably exerting themselves even more. And don’t forget, as well, that unlike so many sports, racing drivers don’t get time outs! They are asked to concentrate and work simultaneously for the entire length of the race. At 200mph you are traveling the length of a soccer pitch in one second – that demands full concentration and high physical fitness.

What other factors will play a part in determining how hard the drivers have to work?

Obviously the type of track is a clear determinant in how hard the drivers are worked. Road courses like Kyalami in South Africa, where the series kicks off on 13th November, are more demanding than oval circuits simply because they are more twisty and subject the drivers to high g-forces under braking as well as cornering. Environmental factors also play a large part. As the ambient temperature rises, so does the driver’s fluid loss. We studied weight loss on CART drivers and found that during a hot race drivers could easily lose as much as 2 liters of fluids. Obviously this can severely hinder their performance, which is why we make sure that they have drinks bottles with isotonic sports drinks, which not only replace water but also make sure their electrolyte levels are kept in check.

Things must have really changed since you began giving medical care at race tracks nearly 40 years ago?

More than you could ever believe! My very first race as a track doctor was the 1966 Indianapolis 500. I was stationed trackside and a horn would sound when a car crashed which was our signal to head out and attend the incident. My first crash just happened to be Graham Hill, who was then the reigning Formula One World Champion. When the horn sounded I went to jump into the ambulance – which was actually a hearse! – but the driver pulled away as I was climbing aboard and I was thrown around the back of the hearse and in the process cut both my elbows quite badly. When we got to the scene of the crash we soon saw that Graham had spun quite harmlessly and was in fact sitting calmly in the car! I walked over to him, blood running down my arms, and asked if he was okay. He looked at me and said: “I’m fine, but you look bloody awful!” I think it’s fair to say that things have changed a bit since then…

What level of medical care will be present at the Altech Grand Prix Masters South Africa race on 11th-13th Nov?

I am determined that it will be as good as any current, modern race series such as Formula One or the Indy Racing League (IRL). I will oversee the medical team at the race and it will be my job to co-ordinate the local medical services, the hospital, the trackside doctors and so on. Obviously, if we have an incident, then I will be on hand to ensure that the right level of care is administered as soon as possible. Grand Prix Masters cars will have safety standards every bit as good as other series.

The cockpit design, car construction, restraint systems and so on are of the highest standard and we will also require all drivers to wear the HANS device, which is a relatively new piece of safety equipment. Fixed around the driver’s neck and shoulders, it has tethers which attach to his helmet and prevent the neck suffering severed whiplash trauma in the event of a serious accident. HANS is one of the most impressive innovations in motorsport safety in many years and has already proved its worth time and again.

F1: Weekend update F1: Weekend update
Renault's head of aerodynamics, Dino Toso, collected the 'aerodynamicist of the year' award at a 'Race Tech' magazine event in London. ''First and foremost it recognizes the work done by an extremely talented group,'' he commented.

At the end of a long wait, Toyota and Bridgestone officially confirmed their 'multi year' deal for tire supply from 2006. After four years on rival Michelin's rubber, Toyota will kick off the all-Japanese pairing for real at the Barcelona test on 29 November.

MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi kept the 'will he, won't he' speculation ticking over by testing Ferrari's F1 car for the third time. The Italian ran for three days at Fiorano (last Wednesday) and at Mugello, collecting a further 600 kms and calling it a 'great experience'.

While attending an event in Portugal, Tiago Monteiro confirmed that he has signed a contract to stay at newly renamed 'Midland' (nee Jordan) next year. ''It was clearly a big relief to do the deal,'' the 28-year-old explained, even if the Colin Kolles-led outfit has not followed suit with official confirmation.

At Kyalami (South Africa), Nigel Mansell put his 'Grand Prix Masters' single-seater on pole, but fellow former champion Alan Jones had to pull out of the event with a neck injury. Another ex-champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, qualified second, with Jacques Laffite bringing up the rear, three seconds too slow. Mansell dueled Fittipaldi to the end in an historic finish.

In Australia, departed Minardi boss Paul Stoddart got his new domestic airline - OzJet - off the ground by announcing the receipt of the mandatory 'Air Operator's Certificate'. The first flight, from Sydney to Melbourne, will take off on November 29. Rides in Stoddart's two-seater formula one cars will be given away to lucky passengers, and legendary commentator Murray Walker will feature in OzJet advertising.

Renault confirmed that Franck Montagny has been asked to conduct much of the team's testing in November and December. Heikki Kovalainen, meanwhile, will appear four times before Christmas, with Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella to do just a single day each before turning to the new 'R26' in January and February. ''Everybody is very keen to get back on track,'' said the championship winning team's technical director Bob Bell.

South Africa race a sellout South Africa race a selloutUPDATE Watching the race on TV it's clear the place is packed.  The TV announcers said it was the biggest sporting event crowd in South Africa history! 11/13/05 Today's Grand Prix Masters race in Kyalami is a complete sellout according to race organizers, such is the pent-up demand for big time auto racing in South Africa.  Champ Car and F1 are both exploring races in Cape Town, but not Kyalami.  Kyalami has historically drawn big crowds in its F1 days.
Busch drunk? Gets cited for reckless driving Busch drunk? Gets cited for reckless drivingUPDATE #2 "I regret the incident that occurred near the Phoenix International Raceway Friday evening where I received a traffic citation. It is important to understand that this citation is not alcohol related. I want to apologize to the Maricopa County Sheriff's department for my actions." Kurt Busch 11/13/05 Defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champ Kurt Busch was issued a criminal traffic citation for reckless driving Friday night by a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputy. The stop occurred at 8:20 p.m. near El Mirage and Broadway roads, about three miles from Phoenix International Raceway. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said a motorcycle deputy saw Busch nearly rear-end another vehicle, speed around it to avoid a crash and blast through a stop sign. He was clocked at 60 mph in a 45 zone. The deputy said he tried to stop him, but Busch kept driving. The deputy called for backup and another deputy helped pull Busch over. Arpaio said Busch insulted the deputy by asking what law enforcement agency he was from and saying, "you ought to be directing traffic." Busch reportedly pulled out his driver's license and NASCAR identification and said, "Don't you know who I am?"

"He can speed on the racetrack but he's not going to speed on the streets of Maricopa County," Arpaio said. MCSO spokesman Lt. Paul Chagolla said the deputy "smelled alcohol" and tried to administer a standard field sobriety test. Busch started the tests but stopped before completing each one. He was then taken into custody under suspicion of driving under the influence and transported to a mobile command post at PIR for a breath-alcohol test, but the machine malfunctioned. Busch, who will drive in the Checker Auto Parts 500, was issued a criminal citation for reckless driving and ordered to appear in Tolleson Justice Court on Dec. 22. "I don't plan to take any action myself," said Jack Roush, Busch's team owner. "I'm not looking down the road with Kurt, based on the fact that he has his release and he will be doing something else. He'll be under new management, and new oversight next year, and I'll just stand aside and watch and see how that works out for him." Busch will drive for Penske Racing South next season. Arizona Republic 

NASCAR president Mike Helton was seen escorting Busch to a NASCAR hauler for a private meeting [at Phoenix]. Hunter also attended but refused to reveal any details of the meeting. Roanoke Times

11/12/05 Kurt Busch was detained on suspicion of drunken driving and cited for reckless driving after a confrontation with police near the track where the NASCAR champion is to race Sunday.

Busch was stopped Friday night after trying to avoid another car and running a stop sign about 2 miles from Phoenix International Raceway, said Lt. Paul Chagolla.

"As a result of the roadside investigation the deputy did take Mr. Busch into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol," said Chagolla, a Maricopa County sheriff's spokesman.

Chagolla said the deputy smelled alcohol on Busch, but the driver refused to perform standard field sobriety tests. Busch did submit to a field breath alcohol test, disclosing the presence of alcohol.

The deputy drove Busch to the raceway, where a sheriff's facility is located, to administer another breath test but the machine there failed. The deputy then decided to cite Busch for reckless driving and he was released, Chagolla said.  .zzzz

Busch was spotted driving about 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, Chagolla said. A deputy tried to pull Busch over but there was some delay, Chagolla said. When he did stop, Busch was argumentative and uncooperative, Chagolla said. The deputy then called for a supervisor.

More at ChicagoSports.com
Istanbul: LMES Qualifying report Istanbul: LMES Qualifying reportThe battle for the Le Mans Endurance Series titles commenced in earnest today during qualifying for the Istanbul 1000kms race. Emmanuel Collard and Jean-Christophe Boullion, currently second in the championship, got their campaign off to the best start when Collard set pole position time in his Judd-powered Pescarolo. His time of 1m39.359s was a little under a tenth of a second faster than the Zytek of Casper Elgaard, who has been drafted into the team at the last minute to help Hayanari Shimoda and Tom Chilton.

"Since we got here, we have been quick," said Collard. "My next lap was three tenths of a second faster on the data, but I messed up a corner. We still have too much understeer and tomorrow we will have to try something else. We are losing a lot of time on the brakes and we are much slower through the final section of corners than the Zytek."

Shimoda, who was involved in a large accident in Australia last week, was cleared to drive at a medical examination in London, and took part in free practice. "With three drivers in the car, the others need to get comfortable and need more time," said the young Japanese. Elgaard, with Shimoda and John Nielsen, drove the car to victory at the first LMES of the year at Spa in April l. zzzz

Nicolas Minassian was third fastest in the Creation DBA, ahead of Allan McNish in the Audi.

Guy Smith set the LMP2 pole position time in the Chamberlain Synergy Lola, the Briton joining Gareth Evans and Peter Owen for the first time. "I have never driven an LMP2 car before, so I had no idea what to expect," said the former Le Mans winner, who spun on his second qualifying lap and was nearly hit by Allan McNish's Audi.

"We had understeer yesterday so we dropped the ride-height at the front. That was fine, but I got a little sideways through the corner before, and then just put a wheel on the curb, which was enough to spin me around. I was in second gear, couldn't get neutral, and then the engine stalled. The marshals were not too happy with me. I saw Allan and I am glad it was him driving or we could have had a very big accident."

Tommy Erdos was second fastest in the RML Lola, the Brazilian driving with British driver Mike Newton. The pair are three points off Evans and Bob Berridge, who has been forced to miss this final race. Erdos's time of 1m41.797s, was nine-tenths of a second slower than Smith's pole position lap, but nearly four tenths of a second faster than Didier Andre's best in the Paul Belmondo Racing Courage. Their team-mates, Vincent Vosse and Claude-Yves Gossel in, who are level on points with Erdos and Newton, were fourth fastest in their class in the car that they will share with Karim Ojjeh.

Pedro Lamy was fastest in the hotly-contested GT1 class, the Portuguese driving the MenX Ferrari around the 5.316km circuit in a time of 1m49.297s. Lamy will share the car with Peter Kox and Robert Pergl, the Czech driver who lies seventh in the GT1 drivers' points table, four points off the leader Matteo Cressoni.

"I didn't have any traffic that lost me any time," said Lamy . "I had a good first lap, the second was rubbish because I was trying too hard, and then the third was again good. The car has been doing the times since the first practice. Michelin have brought the right compound of tires, learning from their experience here in the FIA GT Championship a few months ago."

Cressoni's BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari was third fastest in the hands of Fabio Babini. "I went out and set a time which was a good one," said Babini. I came to the pits, and they told me that it was not that important to be on pole, so I went out again without pushing the car too hard."

The two BMS Scuderia a Italia Ferraris are ahead of the Convers Team Ferrari. Christophe Bouchut was fourth fastest in the GT1 class in the Ferrari that he shares with Darren Turner and Alexey Vasiliev.

Andrew Kirkaldy and Nathan Kinch were fastest in the GT2 class in their Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 360 Modena. "We were not sure what our pace would be," said the Scottish driver. " I did a flying lap, followed by a slow lap to cool off, then another flying lap. I did a best of 1m51s and I was behind the GPC Ferrari of Jaime Melo. I could see that he was sliding and locking up, so I knew that he would not be able to beat my time. "

Melo was second quickest in the class, three tenths of a second behind and ahead of the TVR Tuscan of Laurence Tomlinson, Jonny Kane and Warren Hughes. The title is already decided in favor of the Sebah Automotive Porsche team, but Kinch and Kirkaldy are embroiled in a battle with the Autorlando Porsche team of Franco Groppi and Luigi Moccia for second place in the standings. Moccia was fourth fastest in the class.

Pos Num Class Team Car Time
1. 17 LM1 Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo C60 1:39.359
2. 15 LM1 Zytek Motorsport Zytek 04S 1:39.437
3. 7 LM1 Creation Autosportif DBA 03S Judd 1:40.437
4. 4 LM1 Audi Playstation Oreca Audi R8 1:40.782
5. 39 LM2 Chamberlain Synergy Motor Lola AER 1:40.860
6. 8 LM1 Rollcentre Racing Dallara Judd 1:41.281
7. 9 LM1 Team Jota Zytek 04S 1:41.468
8. 25 LM2 RML MG Lola EX 264 1:41.797
9. 13 LM1 Courage Competition Courage C60 Judd 1:42.015
10. 18 LM1 Rollcentre Racing Dallara Judd 1:42.063
11. 37 LM2 Paul Belmondo Racing Courage C65 Ford 1:42.171
12. 36 LM2 Paul Belmondo Racing Courage C65 Ford 1:43.640
13. 27 LM2 Horag Lista Racing Lola B05/40 1:44.906
14. 35 LM2 G-Force Courage C65 Judd 1:47.500
15. 67 GT1 Menx Ferrari 550Maranello 1:49.297
16. 51 GT1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550Maranello 1:49.609
17. 52 GT1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550Maranello 1:50.047
18. 61 GT1 Convers Team Ferrari 550Maranello 1:50.062
19. 28 LM2 Ranieri Randaccio Tampolli McLaren 1:51.625
20. 68 GT1 JMB Racing Ferrari 575 GTC 1:53.000
21. 26 LM2 Palmyr Lucchini Alfa 1:53.704
22. 93 GT2 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 360 Modena 1:55.156
23. 99 GT2 GPC Sport Ferrari 360 Modena 1:55.437
24. 81 GT2 Team LNT TVR Tuscan T400R 1:56.922
25. 76 GT2 Autorlando Sport Porsche 996 GT3 RSR 1:57.000
26. 82 GT2 Team LNT TVR Tuscan T400R 1:57.109
27. 57 GT1 Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper GTSR 1:58.297
28. 73 GT2 Ice Pol Racing Team Porsche 996 GT3 RSR 1:58.406
29. 89 GT2 Sebah Automotive Porsche 996 GT3 RSR 1:59.516
30. 83 GT2 Seikel Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3 RS 1:59.844
31. 95 GT2 RaceSport Peninsula TVR TVR Tuscan T400R 2:01.453 LMES

Q and A with Jean-Pierre Jabouille Q and A with Jean-Pierre JabouilleAs the first man to win an F1 race in a 100% Renault car, the Frenchman was delighted with the team’s double world title this year.

Jean-Pierre, how did you enjoy the 2005 season?
JPJ: Like every other motorsport enthusiast, I really enjoyed it! Renault achieved something very special this year, and they should be congratulated. It is extremely difficult to win in Formula 1, so to be regularly winning races, and to achieve the consistency required to take both championships, is even more exceptional. Well done to everybody.

Does the fact you were the first driver to win an F1 race with a 100% Renault car, make these titles even more special for you?
JPJ: In sentimental terms, it is always emotional to hear the Marseillaise being played after a Renault win. But that’s not all. I believe Renault’s successes this year demonstrate the competitiveness of French technology to the whole world. Just like in the Turbo era, the team is still closely associated with Michelin and Elf, and that also made this a unique achievement.

Is there still a connection back to your time with the team?
JPJ: A lot has changed: the team now has two bases, one in England, one in France, and the number of people involved is much higher… But the passion is still there, and that helps move mountains. You cannot win without it and everybody – from the canteen to the technical director – needs to be ready to give more in any team. That was true in 1979, and it still is in 2005.

What are the main differences between F1 in 1979 and today?
JPJ: I can see two fundamental differences: the safety and technology of the cars. At the end of the 1970s, the drivers’ feet were ahead of the front axle line, and the barriers were 50cm away from the edge of the circuit. If you had a problem, things could get very serious. Now, the sport is still dangerous, but they have pushed back the limits in an incredible way. The drivers can approach the job differently, and find the limit after two laps in the knowledge that going off won’t have serious consequences. The cars and the circuits are light years ahead of what we had, and that is thanks to the work of the FIA. After that, the technology the drivers can use to make the most of the cars’ performance is incredible: traction control, control systems, telemetry… It’s amazing stuff.

Would you like to drive a modern F1 car?
JPJ: I have always been fascinated by the technological aspect of F1. It would certainly be an interesting experience to run in a modern car. And a lot of fun! Renault

Theissen - We belong on the race track Theissen - We belong on the race trackBMW returned to Formula One in 2000 in partnership with Williams. After six years with the Grove -based squad the German car maker is taking on the challenge of turning Sauber Petronas from a competent mid-field runner into a winning force.

For BMW, the Formula One project is not just about winning on the race track, but it is about marketing, technology transfer and motivation.

"We see our involvement as very positive both within the company and in terms of how BMW is seen by others," Mario Theissen stated. "Producing an unusually high proportion of components ‘in-house’ at our Munich location from day one – for everything up to the engine electronics – has allowed us to maximize the transfer of technology between production cars and Formula One and vice-versa."

"Internally, a project with the emotional impact of Formula One has a high motivational value. And according to an independent marketing study in 2005, BMW gains a greater external benefit from its involvement in Formula One than any other manufacturer. Motor sport without BMW is as difficult to imagine as BMW without motor sport," Theissen continued. "The racetrack is a natural arena for our company, not just in Formula One, but also in touring car competition and the Formula BMW junior series."

2005 marks the first time in the company’s history that BMW is going to take its Formula One involvement completely in its own hands. BMW

Karthikeyan looks back on his season Karthikeyan looks back on his seasonNarain Karthikeyan says that the demanding nature of his debut season in Formula One has developed him as an individual after becoming the first Indian driver to enter the sport with Jordan Grand Prix and Bridgestone.

Karthikeyan, 28, joined Jordan in February after being recommended by the team's Sporting Director Trevor Carlin, for whom he had previously driven in Formula Three and the Dallara Nissan World Series.

"It has been a challenging first season in Formula One for me, but I have learnt a lot," he said. "Most of the tracks were unfamiliar to me, so I had to spend a lot of time learning the layout and getting used to the car's handling."

The Chennai-born driver, who now lives in Silverstone, was delighted to qualify in 12th place on the grid for his Grand Prix debut in Melbourne, and to finish 15th for the team owned by Russian-born businessman Alex Shnaider.

His best result came at the United States Grand Prix at the legendary Indianapolis circuit in June, when he followed home his Portuguese team-mate Tiago Monteiro and finished fourth. zzzz

The Australian Grand Prix was a pleasing experience for Karthikeyan. He added: "I have great memories of my first qualifying in Australia and I particularly enjoyed driving there, as there is a large Indian community in Melbourne. It was an amazing feeling to see all the Indian flags around the circuit. Imola was also a great race for me as I was battling with David Coulthard and was setting some good lap times."

The United States race provided Karthikeyan with his first points of the season and he said: "Then there was Indy. We had an opportunity to score points and I am delighted I was able to get some World Championship points and become the first Indian driver ever to do so."

His aggressive driving style won him many fans and he fared well at the tracks that require drivers to put in extra concentration, such as Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium, and Suzuka in Japan, where he qualified a career-best 11th.

Spa could have produced another points finish, had Jordan not gambled on a switch to dry tires too early, but there was some solace as Monteiro took the team's first point since Indianapolis.

"I really enjoyed Spa, as the conditions were tricky and I was running the EJ15B for the first time in the race," said Karthikeyan. "Unfortunately, my choice to go on grooved dry tires was a bit too early. Qualifying 11th in Japan, the best qualifying place for Jordan Grand Prix this season, was great too. The bad times were obviously the five races I did not finish. I made a few mistakes like at Monaco, Canada and China."

A huge crash in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix in September threatened to rule him out of the race at Monza, but Karthikeyan is made of tough stuff, and he drove on in pain, finishing 20th despite sustaining a thumb injury.

"I was a bit unlucky, having experienced technical problems in Bahrain and at Silverstone, which unfortunately happens," he said. "But it has been a good season overall and now let's see what the future brings." Press Release Bridgestone

Webber says to be patient Webber says to be patient"I know people in Australia get frustrated with my results but there is no other choice," The Sydney Morning Herald reports Mark Webber as saying. “Obviously there is more doubters in Australia than there is in Europe. People in Europe understand it a bit more and it is hard to educate people here in Australia what we are doing but that is fine.”

"I have done a lot of learning this year,” Webber said. “I am a competitor, an absolute fighter and I hate losing…."

TV News
Kevin Kalkhoven (and Penske) on Wind Tunnel Kevin Kalkhoven (and Penske) on Wind TunnelUPDATE #3 A reminder that this show is tonight. 11/08/05  Roger Penske, will also be a featured interview on Wind Tunnel this Sunday, November 13th. The IndyCar, NASCAR and now ALMS team owner has been a newsmaker on all fronts this year, including possibly the biggest story to come out of NASCAR this year…2004 Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch signing with Penske’s NASCAR group with a year left on his contract with Jack Roush.

Guest Co-Host Ed Hinton (Motorsports Writer, Tribune Company)

Featured Interview Roger Penske (Owner, Penske Racing)

Featured Interview Kevin Kalkhoven (Co-Owner, Champ Car World Series and Cosworth)

Featured Interview Tony Novotny (President, CASCAR Racing)

Topics of Discussion ‘The Chase’ moves to Phoenix for round 9
Busch Series and Craftsman Trucks in Phoenix
The state of Champ Car with Kevin Kalkhoven
What’s the future of CASCAR?

11/08/05 Champ Car World Series and Cosworth co-owner, Kevin Kalkhoven, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday, November 13th at 9:00 PM ET. Now that another successful Champ Car season has concluded, Kalkhoven and his group are already preparing for 2006. Ed Hinton, motorsports writer for Tribune Company, will co-host with Dave Despain. They'll talk to Kevin about the progress of his series along with its prospects for the future in addition to discussing his new client in Formula 1, Frank Williams. SpeedTV.com 11/02/05 Kevin Kalkhoven is scheduled to be one of the Featured Interviews on SPEED Channel's Wind Tunnel on the Sunday November 13, 2005 show.
Carl Edwards wins again Carl Edwards wins againIt was short-track racing at its finest on Saturday as Carl Edwards held off the frantic challenges of Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Busch Series Arizona 200 at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway.  (Photo by CIA Stock Photo)

“That was a real race. That was a lot of fun. It was a fight for the win there at the end,” said Edwards, who won his third race from the Busch Pole this season and his series-leading fourth pole overall. The victory was his fifth of the year.

The .246-second margin of victory marked the 11th time this season a NASCAR Busch Series race had been decided by less than three-tenths of a second.

Edwards held off the determined foursome of Bowyer, Kenseth and Harvick during the final 12 laps. He had wrestled the lead from Harvick on Lap 181, then engaged in side-by-side combat with the group the rest of the way. Harvick fell out of the fray and was replaced by Kenseth as he and Bowyer fought for the right to challenge Edwards in the final laps for the win. Ultimately, it was Bowyer who came close to nudging Edwards out of the way to try and take the victory, but in the end, chose clean racing en route to his runner-up finish. zzzz

Edwards, Bowyer, Kenseth and Harvick were part of a large group that pitted for the final time on Lap 176 during the fifth and final caution of the race. Each of the contenders took four tires and fuel, a move that nearly paid off for the fantastic four at the thrilling finish.

Bowyer started 32nd, and was in danger of being eliminated from the NASCAR Busch Series championship chase. Martin Truex Jr., the defending series champion, entered the race 84 points ahead of Bowyer, and could have been in a position to clinch his second consecutive crown prior to next week’s season finale at Homestead-Miami. However the bulldogged Bowyer refused to give in to the reigning champion, chasing him down and passing him after a tremendous pit stop during the final caution.

Unofficially, Bowyer gained 20 points on Truex, and enters Homestead 64 points behind the reigning champion. This marks the 13th time in the 24-year history of the NASCAR Busch Series that the championship will come down to the final race of the season. Truex needs to finish 12th or better next week at Homestead – regardless of what Bowyer does – to claim the championship.

After Edwards, Bowyer, Kenseth and Harvick, Greg Biffle was fifth, Truex was sixth, Jason Leffler was seventh, Reed Sorenson eighth, Denny Hamlin was ninth and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate J.J. Yeley, a Phoenix native, was 10th. Former open-wheel star and Mexico City native Adrian Fernandez, whose United States home is in Phoenix, was 28th.

Calling on Mario Andretti Calling on Mario AndrettiA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Having been a big fan of his all my life, I would love to see Mario Andretti back behind the wheel in the Grand Prix Masters cars. I can only imagine the interest that would generate in that series from the USA. It sounds to me like those guys are having a blast reliving memories and extending their careers. I would love to be around the dinner table listening to some of the war stories they tell on race weekends. And don't worry, they don't fly like that Crapwagon you were in at Indy a couple of years ago. After all, they are Champ Cars. How about it Mario? Dave Westphall, Oakland, CA.
Cosworth Christmas present idea Cosworth Christmas present ideaNot sure what to buy someone who has everything for Christmas?  How about this? 

This eBay auction is for one Cosworth Champ Car Ford crystal engine. Beautiful and detailed 3-d crystal image of a Ford Cosworth Champ Car engine (Cosworth XFE). Etched in solid crystal block. Perfect gift for Champ Car, CART and Ford fans. A limited production item, in blue gift case. Approx. 2" x 2" x 3".

Formula Palmer Audi
Hildebrand Strives to Impress in Qualifying at Brands Hatch Hildebrand Strives to Impress in Qualifying at Brands HatchWest Kingsdown, Kent, England -- Team USA Scholarship winner J.R. Hildebrand was immediately impressive today on his first-ever competitive appearance at the famed Brands Hatch circuit in England. The 17-year-old from Sausalito, Calif., posted the third-fastest time in morning practice, less than 0.2 seconds adrift of experienced pacesetters John Embiricos and Josh Weber, and was excited about his prospects for qualifying.

Ultimately, his effort wasn't properly reflected in his results, although a pair of top-six qualifying positions for the first two of the final three Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy races that will be held tomorrow (Sunday) still represented a solid effort by the youngster.

"I think he's showing a huge amount of promise," declared ex-Formula 1 driver and Formula Palmer Audi founder Jonathan Palmer. "He's racing for the first time in a foreign country, and let's face it, FPA is pretty competitive. There are several drivers who've been racing these cars for a year or two and have a lot more experience than he does. I think he's doing a terrific job."  zzzz

A couple of relatively small setup changes didn't bring the desired results in the opening 20-minute qualifying session, and after making a pit stop to reverse the changes, Hildebrand returned to the track and qualified a strong fifth - slower than his morning practice time but still within a half-second of pacesetter Weber (pronounced "Wee-buh").

In the second session, after trying a few more "tweaks" on the car, Hildebrand lost control under braking for Clearways and spun backward into the barrier, damaging his red-white-and-blue car's right rear corner. He was forced to sit and watch the final eight minutes of the session, but still held onto the sixth-fastest time.

"Although I'm still in a decent position for tomorrow's races, starting fifth and sixth, I'm definitely disappointed and a bit frustrated," said Hildebrand. "I had very high expectations following [a pair of second-place finishes] last weekend at Snetterton, and have fallen a bit short thus far. Even so, I think that I race quite well, and I will continue to figure out the track tomorrow. With such a close field at the front, anything can happen and I plan to take full advantage when it does."

The Team USA Scholarship, now in its 16th year, has received support this year from Mockett.com, a Torrance, Calif.-based producer and supplier of  "Fine Architectural Hardware For Your Fine Furniture," Sparco USA, RACER magazine, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Jim Russell Racing Schools and former Scholarship winners Jimmy Vasser (1990), Bryan Herta (1991), Tony Ave (1992), Memo Gidley (1995), Buddy Rice (1997), Paul Edwards (1998/'99), Andy Lally (1999), Joey Hand (2000), A.J Allmendinger and Bryan Sellers (2001).

Today's results from Brands Hatch:
Qualifying for Race One: 1. Josh Weber (GB), 44.693 (98.780mph), 2. Viktor Jensen (ISL), 44.795; 3. Chris Hyman (ZA), 45.041; 4. Andy Demetriou (GB), 45.098; 5. J.R. Hildebrand (USA), 45.150; 6. Stuart Prior (GB), 45.156; etc.

Qualifying for Race Two: 1. Weber, 44.651 (98.863mph); 2. Jensen, 44.781; 3. Hyman, 45.118; 4. Demetriou, 45.237; 5. Prior, 45.278; 6. Hildebrand, 45.308; etc.

A normally aspirated Champ Car A normally aspirated Champ CarWhen the debate was raging about a normally aspirated screaming V10 vs. the current turbo V8 Champ Car engine there were some that were worried that an engine air intake would ruin the looks of a Champ Car and make it look like the ugly IRL car. Think again. The new Grand Prix Masters cars are 1999 Reynard Champ Cars with a tidy airbox for the normally aspirated V8 engine. Not only does it make the car look better than the original Reynard, it adds valuable real estate for extra sponsor decals, a car number, or whatever else you might want to display in that area. With body real estate of an open wheel car a small fraction of a NASCAR stock car, this sort of tidy air intake would have helped the teams and the spectators alike. Imagine having enough real estate for a car number the spectators could actually read.

Nigel Mansell photos courtesy of Grand Prix Masters

TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
'NASCAR This Morning'
Phoenix International Raceway
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED: H Production
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, SPEED: C Sports Racer
Checker Auto Parts 500
Phoenix International Raceway
3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (Live) NBC
'NASCAR Victory Lane'
Phoenix International Raceway
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-host: Ed Hinton
Featured Interview: Kevin Kalkhoven
Featured Interview: Roger Penske
Featured Interview: Tony Novotny
9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Telstra Rally
11:00 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED

For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

Yeley to drive No. 18 in '06 Yeley to drive No. 18 in '06J.J. Yeley will drive the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet during the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) officials announced Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Yeley said. “Obviously, the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car has a lot of history to it and, hopefully, I can add to that. I’m looking forward to representing Interstate Batteries and Joe Gibbs Racing in 2006.”

Yeley, a Phoenix native, drove the No. 18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet for JGR in a partial Busch Series schedule in 2004 before moving to full-time in 2005. He has four top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in his Busch Series career. Yeley also has six career NEXTEL Cup starts, all with JGR, and will compete for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year title against one of the deepest lineups in ROY history; a lineup that also includes JGR teammate Denny Hamlin.  zzzz

Yeley, 29, is one of only two drivers to win the United States Auto Club “Triple Crown,” in the same season. In 2003, Yeley scored more than 20 feature wins en route to titles in the USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown divisions. His JGR teammate, Tony Stewart, accomplished the “Triple Crown” in 1995.

“J.J. has shown tremendous talent and driving ability throughout his career,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. “He has worked very hard over the past two years, and we look forward to him having a lot of success in the Interstate Batteries Chevrolet.”

The No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet is one of the most recognizable cars in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Dale Jarrett won the Daytona 500 in the car in 1993, while Bobby Labonte piloted the car to victories in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis and the Southern 500 at Darlington in 2000. Labonte also won a championship in the No. 18 in 2000. Since the No. 18 team’s first race in 1992, it has been to victory lane 23 times and has 128 top-five and 218 top-10 finishes. The team has also won 21 Bud Poles.

“We’re very excited to have J.J. drive the Interstate Batteries Chevrolet next season,” said Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries. “He’s obviously a very talented driver, and we look forward to having a lot of success with him.”

Yeley becomes the third full-time driver to pilot the famed No. 18 Interstate Batteries car. Dale Jarrett drove the car from 1992-94, while Bobby Labonte has spent the past 11 seasons behind the wheel, from 1995-2005.

Mansell on pole! Mansell on pole!UPDATE The inaugural Altech Grand Prix Masters South Africa moved up another gear today as the fourteen Masters took to the track for the historic opening qualifying session. The morning Free Practice session offered the Masters a final opportunity to make adjustments to their 600-horse power Grand Prix cars and as the clock ticked towards the qualifying session, so too did the impact of the South African heat. A punishing track temperature of 44- degrees Celsius greeted the drivers and as the qualifying session approached, all fourteen cars fired up to prepare for what was a truly epic display of 'on-the-edge' race craft. With minimal driver aids and maximum driver input, the packed grandstands were again looking forward to a master class of talent following yesterday's thrilling Free Practice sessions and again, no one was left feeling anything but stunned!

The Grand Prix Masters Qualifying format is made up of a single 45-minute session in which the drivers have a total of fifteen laps at their disposal, two sets of new tires and equal fuel loads. The drivers are free to stay out on track for as long or as little as they wish in an effort to post their fastest lap time to determine their places in tomorrow's rolling start Grand Prix race. And as was the case yesterday, the qualifying session proved to be a closely and fiercely contested battle between Britain's Nigel Mansell (pictured right courtesy GP Masters), Brazil's Emerson Fittipaldi and Italy's Ricardo Patrese, with Nigel claiming the pole spot from Emerson by just over five tenths of a second and Patrese right behind in third by 500th of a second! Of the fifteen laps available, Mansell used nine, Fittipaldi fourteen and Patrese twelve. zzzz

Nigel Mansell (UK): "I'm obviously very pleased indeed to be the fastest man today but it's not really about fastest laps. We've made history today and it's as simple as that! We've just successfully launched a brand new type of racing and this is not a show, it's the real thing! I defy anyone to watch those qualifying laps today and say that these guys aren't driving on the edge! These cars are nothing short of serious thoroughbred racing machines and when unleashed on this magnificent race track, the demands upon the driver are no different to what it took years ago to win the world championships that we all did. We went quick today. Really quick! I haven't driven like that for a very long time and on one occasion, I had a wheel on the dust and I still didn't back off. Crazy stuff, it really was! No one must under estimate what has been achieved here over the last few days. Scott Poulter (CEO Grand Prix Masters) and his team have pulled off a miracle in bringing this stunning concept to fruition. Tomorrow's race will undoubtedly deliver more surprises and as you can see from every one of us, we haven't lost anything when it comes to our speed, commitment and love for this great sport!"

Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil): "I saw Nigel's number five car come out in front of me during that last run and I thought I had to follow to see where the short cuts were! Nigel saw me behind him and as he backed off a little so did I. He then picked it up again and so did I. It really was just like the old days! Both of us pushing each other to the limit and at times beyond! I hit some traffic coming out of the pits on my second run but overall, I could not have asked for more. These cars are true racing beasts and it's an incredible feeling to be behind the wheel. I loved every second and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We're all going to drive really hard and take these cars to the limits they deserve. A new chapter in motor racing has just kicked off this weekend and will stay for generations to come I'm sure."

Ricardo Patrese (Italy): "Another fantastic day for Grand Prix Masters and to be amongst such great company is a pleasure for me. The racing is proving to be as hard as it was back in our time and I must say I love it. Our rivalries strength over a very long period of time and our respect for each other has grown in that period. We've all only raced on the old Kyalami but this new layout is unbelievable! No time to stop and think anywhere! Far from easy, no margin for error and breathtaking cornering speeds! It's very physically demanding but we would have it no other way! While we have nothing to prove anymore, the renewed acquaintance with this sport is something I am sure we will all enjoy for quite some time to come! To say I am excited about tomorrow is an understatement, it really is. After today's performances, I'm not sure it can get any better but Grand Prix Masters keeps proving us all wrong. In addition to the sold out Kyalami circuit tomorrow, many nations will be watching the race on television and given what has been achieved so far, a compelling battle of giants is surely the icing on what has been a massive cake so far!"

11/12/05 Nigel Mansell has pipped Emerson Fittipaldi to take pole position for the Grand Prix Masters race in Kyalami, South Africa to be held Sunday. It is interesting to note that both front row starters are former Champ Car drivers and the Grand Prix Masters cars are Champ Car Reynards fitted with a normally aspirated V8, so their prior experience with the chassis has helped them find the right setup in the thin Kyalami air.

Pos. Driver Fast Lap On Lap
 1. Mansell 1:33.428 9
 2. Fittipaldi 1:33.998 14
 3. Patrese 1:34.048 12
 4. Lammers 1:34.082 14
 5. De Cesaris 1:34.086 13
 6. Warwick 1:34.087 13
 7. Danner 1:34.132 9
 8. Cheever 1:34.602 13
 9. Stuck 1:34.755 7
10. Johansson 1:34.841 12
11. Arnoux 1:35.453 8
12. Salazar 1:36.852 14
13. Tambay 1:36.948 9
14. Laffite 1:36.958 7

Newman thrilled to get new teammate Newman thrilled to get new teammateRyan Newman is thrilled he's getting a new teammate next year in Kurt Busch. Much of that has to do with the fact he doesn't get along with his current teammate, #2-Rusty Wallace. "I think any change is definitely a good change, and I think Kurt is a better change than that," Newman said. "I've always heard good things about him as far as being a teammate." Newman and Wallace have barely spoken since they argued last year at Martinsville, and throughout the year they've taken subtle shots at each other through the media. Wallace has been the most outspoken on the subject. Busch will be taking over for Wallace, who is retiring after next week's finale at Homestead. Penske Racing South also fields the #77 Dodge, driven by Travis Kvapil. "We've operated for four years now as a one-car team and supported a lot of things the other two teams were doing and got nothing in return," Newman said. "It'll be nice to see the tables turned as far as some of the help coming back our way." Tampa Tribune
Alan Jones withdraws from Kyalami race Alan Jones withdraws from Kyalami raceAlan Jones (Australia) was this morning forced to retire from this weekend's Altech Grand Prix Masters South Africa race after suffering severe neck muscle spasms. In the interests of safety and pain minimization, Chief Medical Officer Dr Steve Olvey declared the former Formula One World Champion unfit to race following this morning's Free Practice session. Alan will, however, be re-united with the Grand Prix Masters campaign for 2006 and for the remainder of this weekend, his place will be taken by reserve driver Eliseo Salazar (Chile)

Dr Steve Olvey (Chief Medical Officer): "Commitments at home and abroad meant that Alan was unable to attend any of the Grand Prix Masters test sessions and pre-season seat fitting programs. He therefore did not have any time to adjust properly to the cockpit seating and neck position. As a consequence, his unorthodox driving position has resulted in severe cervical (neck) muscle spasms thereby creating an unsafe driving situation due to severe pain. The problem has compounded itself over the weekend to the extent that his participation in the race is too risky." zzzz

Alan Jones (Australia): "The problem manifested itself after the first day and has gradually worsened to the extent that the pain is unbearable. I have given it my best shot this morning and wanted nothing more than to compete alongside these fantastic drivers tomorrow but the situation is simple untenable. Commitments at home and abroad over recent weeks have meant that I have been unable to attend the seat-fitting and test sessions and unlike the other Masters, adjustments to my seating position have not been possible. A very disappointing interruption to what is a stunning new series and one which has really captured my imagination. The cars, drivers, team and partners have achieved a miracle in pulling this series off and I for one will do everything over the winter to ensure my participation next year. I want to thank everyone involved and wish the Masters the very best for what promises to be a sensational spectacle tomorrow afternoon. I will be sitting in the garage with the team watching and drooling!"

BAR Honda Bonneville run back on track BAR Honda Bonneville run back on trackUPDATE As was reported in our F1 News in Brief recently, the BAR Honda car did top 400 kph in the Mojave desert on November 4th - top speed 265+ mph on tarmac.  Prior to that the car did speed some time on the Bonneville Salt Flats and will return there next year in an attempt to go even faster.

The salt sticks to the tires just like snowflakes

11/04/05 The car that will spearhead BAR Honda's eagerly anticipated Bonneville 400 record attempt will run for the very first time tomorrow, Friday 4 November. As the world famous Salt Flats are still too wet to stage any record attempts, driver Alan van der Merwe will debut the specially-prepared V10 BAR Honda at Mojave Airport in California.

The team, however, is stressing that this is not an official attempt, although it plans to run the car as hard as possible on the 10,000-foot tarmac runway.

“The most important thing is we check that all the systems on the car are working properly,” explained a spokesman. “There are a lot of new bits on it that we need to assess. It will be an important occasion, but this is just part of the journey."

"Setting an official F1 land speed record at Bonneville, via the average of out-and-back runs through a measured mile, is still our number one goal - even if we have to wait until next year to do it.” BAR Honda

Montagny has nine days of testing planned Montagny has nine days of testing plannedThe end of the race season may have given some hard-worked members of the Renault race team an opportunity to take a well-earned break, but the test team will soon be back to work. The quad will return to the track in Barcelona from 30 November to 2 December; notably, the session will feature a first taste of F1 for Robert Kubica, 2005 World Series by Renault champion, and the 2004 Renault V6 winner Giorgio Mondini.

With the track debut of the RS26 V8 planned for January 2006, the team will run with a ‘restricted' V10 to simulate predicted power levels for next year. Why? To ensure the best possible start in the tire development program for next year that Franck Montagny will be working on with technical partner Michelin.

As for the race drivers, they will run for just one day each before Christmas to acclimatize to the reduce power levels, before starting intensive testing with the R26 in the New Year.

"Everybody is very keen to get back on track," explained Chassis Technical Director Bob Bell. "We want to pick up and carry on exactly where we left off on Sunday evening in Shanghai." Source Renault

Fittipaldi leads final practice session Fittipaldi leads final practice sessionThe oldest driver in the field, Emerson Fittipaldi, turned the fastest time in the final practice session for this weekend's inaugural Grand Prix Masters race in Kyalami, South Africa.
Pos Driver Time
 1. Fittipaldi 1:34.259
 2. Danner 1:34.538
 3. Warwick 1:34.884
 4. Stuck 1:35.472
 5. De Cesaris 1:35.692
 6. Mansell 1:35.718
 7. Patrese 1:35.799
 8. Johansson 1:35.824
 9. Cheever 1:35.930
10. Lammers 1:36.189
11. Arnoux 1:36.846
12. Tambay 1:37.143
13. Salazar 1:37.406
14. Laffite 1:38.509
15. Jones 1:41.829
Newman crashes again Newman crashes againFor the second week in a row, leading an on-track session is little more than a consolation prize for Ryan Newman.  Newman led Friday's final practice for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, but hit the inside wall hard in Turn 3 in the closing minutes of the session and will have to qualify a backup car when the field is set Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET.  "There's no need for me to comment about what happened on the track," Newman said. "Just look at the replay on TV and paraphrase it."

Happy Hour Speeds
Pos. Driver Speed Time
1. R. Newman 133.210 27.025
2. J. Nemechek 132.256 27.220
3. B. Labonte 131.540 27.368
4. R. Wallace 131.449 27.387 
5. D. Hamlin 131.238 27.431 
6. C. Edwards 131.205 27.438
7. B. Hamilton 131.085 27.463
8. B. Vickers 131.081 27.464
9. G. Biffle 131.009 27.479
10. Ky. Busch 131.000 27.481 

Grand Am
Moreno to race at home Moreno to race at homeFormer Formula 1, Champ Car and IRL driver Roberto Moreno will make his debut in Brazil's Stock Car V8 series this weekend at Jacarepagua. Amazingly, it will be the first time that Moreno has ever raced in a Brazilian national series having gone straight to Europe when he finished karting. Moreno has been racing on and off in the GrandAm series in recent times but with the growth of the Brazilian touring car scene in recent years it is now a big business.

Now 46, Moreno is hoping that the drive will lead to offers of work for next season. GrandPrix.com
Labonte to drive famous No. 43 Labonte to drive famous No. 43Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion, will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge beginning with the 2006 season, it was announced this morning by Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President of Operations, Petty Enterprises. Labonte, 41, joins Petty Enterprises from Joe Gibbs Racing where he won 21 Cup races and the 2000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship during his 10-year stretch with the team. He will be a teammate to Kyle Petty, and will also work first-hand with Loomis, who is rejoining the organization after a successful championship-winning stint at Hendrick Motorsports.

"Winning in our sport is a learned process," said Loomis. "The heritage of Petty Enterprises, coupled with a talented, successful driver like Bobby Labonte, will lead to some great things. There's a lot of work to be done, but we have some tremendous tools here and we're excited about the future."

"We're bringing some serious firepower to the #43 Cheerios Dodge next year and I am excited about having Bobby Labonte as a teammate," Kyle Petty said. "Bobby knows how to win races and how to win championships, as does Robbie Loomis."

"I'm really pleased to be part of Petty Enterprises," Labonte said. "When I first came into this sport, my heroes were Terry Labonte and Richard Petty. To have the opportunity to drive Richard Petty's #43 car is something I could not have imagined growing up. The #43 knows its way to victory lane, and we'll get it back there. I am looking forward to working with Robbie, Kyle, The King and the entire Petty team. And, I'm excited about working with households names like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, along with the entire General Mills team. I had a great run at Joe Gibbs Racing, and have the utmost respect for that organization and appreciate all they did for me. I am fortunate to be going to another high quality organization in Petty Enterprises," Labonte said.

"Just like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, Bobby Labonte is committed to winning, to family and to community," added General Mills Vice President Laurie Greeno. "We at General Mills are thrilled to have Bobby join the #43 team." Williams Company

Indy 500 tickets a dime a dozen now Indy 500 tickets a dime a dozen nowIt appears the Indy 500 is being run into the ground.  Apparently there are plenty of tickets available for the 500.  One reader told us he has been a ticket holder since 1964. This is the first time that he can remember ever receiving any information about additional tickets being offered early to present ticket holders.  And for just $20....the cost of a movie theater ticket in NY City.

Email from Speedway: You might be looking for the perfect holiday gift.  If you’re in the same situation as a lot of our ticket holders, you never know what to get people for the holidays.  It’s always:  “What do I get for my family, my friends, my clients and my best employees?”

Well, we have the perfect solution.


As a current Indy 500 ticket holder, you can purchase additional tickets to the 90th Running of the Indianapolis 500 before the tickets go on sale to the general public.  Starting Monday, November 14th through Thursday, November 17th, you will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase some terrific seats for everyone on your list.  Tickets start at just $20!!!  You’ll receive a Holiday Gift Letter to present to that special someone, then the actual tickets will be mailed as we get closer to the race.

To order, simply call 1-800-822-4639 and pay by credit card.  All you have to do is give them your account number or your full name to place your order.  But what if you have all the tickets you need??? 

Do all your holiday shopping at one place – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Order today by calling 1-800-822-4639.

Happy Holidays from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Rossi: "I increased my understanding of the car" Rossi: "I increased my understanding of the car""I am happy to have had the chance to get back behind the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car. On Wednesday I drove at Fiorano to re-acquaint myself with the car in preparation for these two days at Mugello, which is definitely a tough circuit. Obviously, I already knew the track, even if it is very different sitting in the cockpit from being on a bike. I was able to do around six hundred kilometers, increasing my understanding of the handling of the car on a very different track to Fiorano. I have to say it was a great experience and I want to thank Ferrari and all the engineers and mechanics who were with me on these fantastic days for once again giving me this opportunity."
Grand Prix Masters
Mansell fastest on Day 1 at Kyalami Mansell fastest on Day 1 at KyalamiUPDATE #2 The inaugural Altech Grand Prix Masters South Africa got off to a spectacular start today as the 15 Masters (inc. reserve E. Salazar) took to the historic track for the opening two Free Practice sessions. Many drivers have not driven the fast undulating circuit for over a decade - back when the circuit was clockwise in direction. Today's anti-clockwise layout served as the ultimate proving ground for the 600 horse power GP Masters cars and with minimal driver electronic aids on offer, race fans were treated to a jaw-dropping display of race car control with the Masters power sliding their way through the unforgiving high speeds bends of Kyalami. Britain's Nigel Mansell (1st) and Derek Warwick (2nd) claimed top spots ahead of Brazil's Emerson Fittipaldi (3rd) during the second Free Practice session. Varying fuel levels, different tire types and set-up changes mean the times are not strictly reflective of the pace. This will be truly determined by tomorrow's qualifying hour.

All the drivers kept their trouble-free machinery on the track and with a 30% chance of rain predicted for tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race, the much anticipated battle of the legends promises to deliver some action and performances of an epic kind.

Nigel Mansell (UK): "I have only one complaint from today and that is these guys behind me need to slow down! My last three runs were right on the limit and I must say this track takes quite some getting used to. After putting on new tires I had a lot more grip than I had earlier this morning and it was a lot more comfortable. Kyalami is one hell of a race track. We were hitting speeds of around 180mph in places today and I know it's going to get even more competitive over the weekend. Everyone is pushing the limit and even though many of us haven't raced in anger for over a decade one thing is clearly evident from today - nothing has changed. Out instinctiveness, hunger and competitive desire remains intact."

Derek Warwick (UK): I last drove competitively in Grand Prix racing in 1993 and am therefore very pleased and surprised to be as quick as I am today. When you're a long time out of the car you start asking yourself a lot of questions like, are you going to be brave enough? Is it going to frighten you? But I feel comfortable in the car. I think we have all experimented with different types of tires today and having found the right rubber, the grip out there is simply staggering in these cars. The cornering downforce levels are mind-blowing out there and I have to congratulate Scott Poulter (CEO, GP Masters) and the team for what is a stunning job. I really do feel humbled to be in the company of such great drivers albeit alarmed at how mighty fast they still remain. I am not sure what the weekend holds but if today is anything to go by, it will be awesome! We are all good mates, yes, but let's see how friendly we are come Sunday afternoon!"

Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil): "These guys are very very fast indeed! It's difficult to keep up with them! They are truly crazy! After I had my massive crash in Michigan a few years back, I thought that was it for me. No more racing. I was then invited to Silverstone two weeks ago to test the GP Masters car and then made the decision to come here. It's very enjoyable for me to be driving a super fast machine again and delighted to be racing with these guys. I'd like to congratulate everyone within GP Masters for successfully putting this together. Very few people thought it would happen and even less could have predicted what we have seen today, and this is only the Friday session! We have a fantastic team and 15 cars with the greatest names in the world - I'm proud to be amongst them and I hope this is going to be a great show come Sunday. It will be a very fast race and I ask one thing to everyone - slow down a little!"

Scott Poulter (CEO, GP Masters): "We have witnessed history in the making today and what these drivers demonstrated out on track has surpassed even our wildest expectations. The bravery, tenacity and sheer skill on display today was breathtaking. Fans, sponsors, media and team members alike were mesmerized by what was only a practice session! The weekend promises to re-crate some magical driving and I am sure we are in for some aggressive dueling out there. Alongside our partner Altech, I am extremely proud of what both team and drivers have achieved in such a compressed time frame. We have lost sleep, yes, but the end dream has been worth every last effort. Everyone here is still pinching themselves, especially me!"

11/11/05 This BBC article gives a good overview of what the GP Masters is all about. 11/11/05 Result Free Practice 2

 1 5  Mansell N. (GBR) Team Altech 1:35.086
 2 12 Warwick D. (GBR) Team Lixxus 1:35.367
 3 7 Fittipaldi E. (BRA) Team LG 1:35.728
 4 6 Patrese R. (ITA) Team GPM 1:35.790
 5 9 Lammers J. (NED) Team LG 1:36.407
 6 17 Cheever E. (USA) Team Altech 1:36.666
 7 14 Stuck H. (AUT) Team Phantom 1:36.775
 8 11 Danner C. (GER) Team Unipart 1:36.806
 9 2 Johansson S. (SWE) Team Phantom 1:37.338
 10 22 De Cesaris A. (ITA) Team Unipart 1:37.736
 11 28 Arnoux R. (FRA) Team Golden Palace 1:38.091
 12 999  Salazar E. 1:38.187
 13 25 Tambay P. (FRA) Team Lixxus 1:38.964
 14 26 Laffite J. (FRA) Team GMF 1:39.082 5
 15 27 Jones A. (AUS) Team Golden Palace 1:43.295

Final MotoGP 2005 standings Final MotoGP 2005 standings
Name Bike Nat Points
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Ita 367
2 Marco Melandri Honda Ita 220
3 Nicky Hayden Honda US 206
4 Colin Edwards Yamaha US 179
5 Max Biaggi Honda Ita 173
6 Loris Capirossi Ducati It 157
7 Sete Gibernau Honda Sp 150
8 Alex Barros Honda Brz 147
9 Carlos Checa Ducati Sp 138
10 Shinya Nakano Kawasaki Jpn 98

Team world championship
Team Points

1 Gauloises Yamaha 546
2 Repsol Honda 379
3 Movistar Honda 370
4 Ducati Marlboro 295
5 Camel Honda 220
6 Kawasaki Racing 150
7 Fortuna Yamaha 130
8 Suzuki 126
9 Minolta Honda 103
10 D'Antin Ducati 25

Formula Ford 2000
Jay Howard is the real deal Jay Howard is the real dealUPDATE See Rumor's Page on Howard's possible Champ Car ride for next year. 10/10/05 Jay Howard continues to prove that he is massively talented.  Today at VIR, he crashed out of the first Formula Ford 2000 Zetec race in the first lap with fellow speedy Brit Joey Foster.  In the Zetec series, qualifying for the second race of the two race weekend is based on the fast lap from race one. 

Having crashed out of the first race (won by Alan Sciuto), Howard was forced to start race two in 21st position on the twisty VIR circuit.  Howard made the most amazing start I have ever seen, cutting through cars at each turn ( I started in front of him, so I had a front row seat for the first three turns). 

By the end of the first lap, he was in third.  By the third lap he was in the lead and putting distance on Sciuto with each lap.  He won going away.  Absolutely amazing.  He deserves a top Atlantic ride because this guy is the real deal.  Ask the Star Mazda regulars whom  Jay smoked to win in a one-off at Mosport.  Ira Fierberg, Hermosa Beach, USA

Dino Toso - Aerodynamicist of the Year Dino Toso - Aerodynamicist of the YearRenault F1 Team Head of Aerodynamics Dino Toso was named ‘Aerodynamicist of the Year’ last night at a ceremony in London.

It is something of a cliché in Formula One, when drivers thank their team for all their hard work – often dismissed as simple PR speak, a way of sounding ‘politically correct’. Yet as anybody knows, the people who appear on TV at the races are just the tip of the iceberg – 80 people among 800 who work day and night to make Renault’s Formula One cars world beaters.

On of the largest groups within those 800 people is the aero department, one of the most secretive domains of any Formula One team, yet also the driving force behind much of its on-track performance and development during a season. This was never better demonstrated than in 2005, when a complete new aero package in Brazil, just three races from season end, gave the Renault F1 Team a decisive late-season performance boost. zzzz

Recognition of that fact came last night when Dino Toso, the team’s Head of Aerodynamics, was awarded the prize of ‘Aerodynamicist of the Year’ at an awards dinner in London, hosted by Race Tech magazine. Judged by a group of leading senior Formula One technical personnel, the award was an insider’s recognition of Renault’s achievements on the track this year.
"It is a privilege to receive this award,” commented Dino Toso, “but our performance this year is obviously about a lot more than the work of just one person. I am lucky to work with an extremely talented group of aerodynamicists, model-makers and technicians who have all contributed to the success of our program this year with their expertise and dedication. This is a well-deserved recognition of their hard work."

This morning, under heavy winter skies, Enstone’s wind-tunnel was humming with the busy sounds of development work as the new R26 is fine-tuned inside. Nobody is looking backwards: all eyes are focused on Bahrain 2006, and the car that will defend Renault’s double championship...Press Release Renault

Drivers nominated by AARWBA Drivers nominated by AARWBAUPDATE #2
Atlantic Series: Both Charles Zwolsman, the 2005 Atlantic series champion, and fellow rookie sensation Katherine Legge, who claimed third in the championship this season, have been elected to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-America Auto Racing Team. A panel of nearly 300 members of the motorsports press participated in voting for the annual team. This year’s squad is the largest in the 35-year history of the All-American team with 17 of the top stars of American racing recognized for their achievements this season.

Trans-Am: 2005 Trans-Am Drivers’ Champion Klaus Graf and 1978 Trans-Am titleholder Greg Pickett were honored in voting for this year’s American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-America Team. Both Pickett, who finished third in this year’s championship, and Graf received honorable mentions in the Road Racing category.

11/11/05 NASCAR: Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson lead the Stock Car category with Carl Edwards and Mark Martin making the 2nd team; Martin Truex Jr. led the Touring Series section with Clint Bowyer and Ted Musgrave on the second team. NASCAR drivers earning Honorable Mentions were Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Dennis Setzer.

11/10/05 Champ Car: After a season that saw Champ Car stars Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy battle week-in and week-out very few thought the day would come when they would become teammates.  But the racing media has spoken and members of the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) have voted the rivals to the 25th edition of its All-America Team.

Grand-Am: As part of the largest team in the history of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-America Team, Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series drivers Max Angelelli, Wayne Taylor, Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz swept the 2005 First Team selections in the road racing category. The 2005 AARWBA All-America Team will be honored in a banquet next month in Indianapolis.

ALMS: Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister's storybook year continued as they were chosen to the 17-member Auto Racing All-American team that was announced Thursday by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association.

IRL: 2005 IRL IndyCar® Series champion Dan Wheldon and Bombardier Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick have been nominated for awards by the Eastern Motorsports Press Association. Wheldon was nominated for the prestigious Al Holbert Memorial EMPA Driver of the Year honor along with World of Outlaws sprint car champion Steve Kinser, NHRA drag racing champion Tony Schumacher, IHRA drag racing champion Clay Millican, Champ Car Series champion Sebastian Bourdais and 1997 IndyCar Series champion and current NASCAR Nextel Cup star Tony Stewart. Patrick is one of two nominees for the T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year Award. Nominated with Patrick, the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, is the new National Sprintcar League. EMPA members will decide on the award recipient. Awards will be presented on Jan. 28 at the annual NASCAR/EMPA Hall of Fame Dinner.

Renault V8 won't be ready until January Renault V8 won't be ready until JanuaryWith Renault’s new V8 engine not due to debut until January, the team will use a detuned V10 in their forthcoming Spanish tests in order to simulate predicted power levels for next season. Renault hope the move will ensure the best possible start to their Michelin tire development program, which gets underway with a three-day session in Barcelona from November 30.

"Everybody is very keen to get back on track," explained Renault’s chassis technical director, Bob Bell. "We want to pick up and carry on exactly where we left off on Sunday in Shanghai."

Leading the team’s driver line-up in Barcelona, and in their subsequent 2005 Jerez tests, will be Frenchman Franck Montagny, in his final sessions with Renault. Sharing the workload will be Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen, the man widely expected to succeed Montagny as the team’s official test driver.

There will also be a number of one-off outings for up and coming drivers. 2005 World Series by Renault champion, Robert Kubica, will get his first taste of Formula One power, as will the 2004 Renault V6 winner Giorgio Mondini.

Renault race drivers Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella will run for just one day each before Christmas to acclimatize to the reduced power levels, ahead of intensive testing with the new R26 and its RS26 V8 in the New Year. Formula1.com

Sorenson to drive No. 09 at Homestead Sorenson to drive No. 09 at HomesteadReed Sorenson is going to get a badly needed Nextel Cup start next week at Homestead thanks to an old friend who has helped his career in the past. Sorenson will drive the #09 Dodge for James Finch, the same car owner who provided the Busch car that Sorenson drove in his second start in that series last year, at Memphis, and recorded his first top-10 finish. Sorenson is set to move to the Cup circuit next year, but unlike most rookies who run the NASCAR maximum of seven races the year before, he has just one start, at Atlanta. Finch said he's glad to help Sorenson advance his career by offering the car to drive at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Bridgestone supported Champ Car on trek to Mexico Bridgestone supported Champ Car on trek to MexicoBridgestone Americas’ support of Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is extensive and far-reaching. That fact was proven yet again last weekend at the 2005 season finale, the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex in Mexico City.

And, as revealed at Sunday night’s Champ Car Awards Celebration, the Bridgestone brand’s exceptional backing of the series is expected to continue in 2006.

Already regarded as one of Champ Car’s most staunch supporters – the Bridgestone brand has served as Series Presenting Sponsor since 2003 and the Official Tire since ’02 – the Bridgestone Motorsport team went above and beyond those positions by providing detailed logistical support for the series’ transporter caravans from Laredo, Texas, to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City before the event, and back again afterward.

Prior to the trip, Bridgestone Motorsport loaded tractor-trailer tires into its own transporters carrying the Bridgestone Potenza race tires for the event, assuring a ready supply of proper replacement tires for the journey. In cooperation with Bridgestone Firestone Mexico, arrangements also were made with six Bridgestone truck tire retailers to be on call for emergency support along the path from Laredo to Mexico City.  (In photo to right Champ Car asked Bridgestone to help a Grand-Am team who had a flat tire.  On the way down Paul Newman’s Coach, 2 TV Trucks and 2 Teams trucks needed tire replacements.) zzzz

“The Bridgestone Americas team has quietly provided this transport support to races in both Mexico City and Monterrey for several years now,” said Al Speyer, Executive Director of Motorsports, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC. “The series can’t put on a great show for the Mexican fans if all the equipment doesn’t reach the destinations on time, so we are happy to furnish this support that includes a thorough survey of all those sending transporters to make certain we have the correct truck tire sizes on hand. Of course, we couldn’t do any of it without the tremendous assistance of Bridgestone Firestone Mexico and its accommodating line of retailers.”

Once at the racetrack, Bridgestone retailers serviced numerous transporter tires that required replacement after the trip, which occurred over sometimes-difficult roadways. Such was the level of support that the Bridgestone team replaced a truck tire for one of the Grand American Road Racing Association teams that also raced in Mexico City, though not required to do so because Grand Am transporters were not a part of the Champ Car caravan.

“Having the support of Bridgestone Americas on these trips is a tremendous asset,” said Billy Kamphausen, Champ Car director of logistics. “Even when a team that is not a part of Champ Car had a flat tire, the local Mexican Bridgestone Firestone retailer assisted in accommodating the team and allowing them to get on their way.  The Bridgestone team is a great partner to the Champ Car World Series, not only on the track, but in all of the support they give the series and teams off the track.”

At Sunday night’s season-ending celebration, Speyer also made official the Bridgestone brand’s plan to once again provide its unparalleled Potenza race tires to all Champ Car World Series competitors in 2006. While details of the pact have yet to be finalized, Speyer said Bridgestone Motorsport has agreed with a Champ Car request to expand the popular alternate-tire concept used at select tracks the past two years to every road- and street-course event in ’06.

“We’ve witnessed the rebirth of the Champ Car World Series since Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi took control,” Speyer said. “And we’ve been greatly impressed by the efforts of the entire Champ Car staff under the direction of Dick Eidswick and now Steve Johnson. Our Bridgestone brand is eager to build on the growing success of the past two years and to help the series reach new heights in 2006.”

“The Champ Car World Series continues to grow and the retention of the Bridgestone brand as a Presenting Sponsor shows true dedication to our series,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson.  “The Bridgestone team has been a great partner to the Champ Car World Series and we are extremely pleased to have them on board for the 2006 season.  The quality of the racing tires they provide to our teams is second to none.”

Track News
2006 Indy 500 tickets to go on sale 2006 Indy 500 tickets to go on saleTickets will go on sale to the general public Friday, Nov. 18 for the 2006 Indianapolis 500, the historic 90th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

All fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.

Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time.  Ticket prices start at just $20.

Petty in Business Summit today Petty in Business Summit todayPetty Enterprises co-Owner and driver Kyle Petty, Fox Sports TV Group Chair & CEO David Hill and Sprint Nextel Senior VP/Marketing Mark Schweitzer will be featured at the Phoenix Int’l Raceway Business Summit today.
Montoya to star in German TV show Montoya to star in German TV showJuan Pablo Montoya will make an appearance in the popular German TV show called “Stars in der Manege” which will be filmed on the 3rd December. The program will be broadcast on German TV on December 26. The show which translates into English as “Stars in the Arena” is a benefit gala held at Circus Krone in Munich, Germany.

It remains a secret as to what Juan Pablo will be doing, but he will have to perform some sort of circus act as have all the other stars, appearing from both the German TV and sporting worlds. Two years ago Kimi Raikkonen took part in the show and helped out a knife thrower.

The show is not just held to entertain the public; it also raises a lot of money for charity. Last year 3.5 million euros were raised which benefited children’s charities in Munich.

The show will be broadcast on national television in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the 26 December at 8:15pm. McLaren

Q and A with Kimi Raikkonen Q and A with Kimi Raikkonen
Rice to race in Baja 1000 Rice to race in Baja 1000Already this year Buddy Rice has competed in the IRL IndyCar® Series and the Crown Royal International Race of Champions.  But the racing year is not over for the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion from Phoenix.  In fact, Rice, who was married to longtime girlfriend Michelle Noonan last Saturday, has put his honeymoon on hold for a few weeks to drive in another legendary motorsports classic.  On Friday, Nov. 18, the driver of the Rahal Letterman Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda Panoz Firestone Indy car will move from the smooth, high-banked paved ovals like Indy, Texas and Homestead to the rough desert terrain of Baja California.

Rice will team with veteran off-road racer Cameron Steele on the Desert Assassins racing organization to race in the 38th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road spectacular in the highly competitive Trophy Truck division and Rice is excited about his off-road debut.  "I have been looking forward to racing in the Baja 100 for many years," said Rice, a three-time winner on the IndyCar Series.  "We almost had a deal put together last year but there were many things that came up after winning Indy (500).

NASCAR to sell kids game NASCAR to sell kids gameNASCAR, whose fan base represents one-third of the U.S. adult population, is hoping a new game called Race Day, which is rolling on to store shelves this week, will boost its popularity among young children. Race Day's foil packaging makes it look like a pack of trading cards, but when opened it includes a fold-out game-board track and plastic cards with punch-out pieces used to construct two cars modeled after those used by NASCAR drivers, like Jeff Gordon. "(Race Day) is not that traditional die-cast car," said Blake Davidson, managing director of licensed products for NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. "We need to grow beyond that, and that's what a product like this lets us do." Race Day is rolling out to store shelves in time for the crucial end-of-the-year holiday shopping season, and as NASCAR, whose U.S. fan base has grown 19 percent to 75 million over the past 10 years, is stepping up its effort to draw more women and children to the sport. Reuters
Hamilton Jr. tests at Gateway Hamilton Jr. tests at GatewayPPI Motorsports and driver Bobby Hamilton Jr., tested the #32 Tide Chevy at Gateway International Raceway on Tuesday, November 8 in preparations for this weekend’s event at PIR. PPI Motorsports
Derrike Cope takes over the No. 00 for McGlynn Racing Derrike Cope takes over the No. 00 for McGlynn RacingMcGlynn Racing has signed former Daytona 500 winner, Derrike Cope, as primary driver for the 2006 season. The driver change will take place beginning with this week's race in Phoenix. Cope will remain behind the wheel for the final race at Homestead as well. McGlynn Racing has reluctantly parted ways with veteran driver Carl Long. The move was a business decision and was deemed necessary for the team to continue growing. Long has been with the team for over a year and is a big reason for the team's success in breaking into the very competitive NEXTEL Cup Series. Derrike Cope will run a full schedule in 2006 for McGlynn Racing. Sponsorship for the #00 team will be announced soon. McGlynn MotorSports PR
New engines for Robby Gordon New engines for Robby GordonRobby Gordon, after failing to qualify at Texas, Atlanta and Kansas City, and blowing engines at Dover, Charlotte and Martinsville, is rethinking his whole operation. He's bringing in a new engineer to help crew chief Greg Erwin and a new team manager to help John Story. And Gordon will have new engines here and at Homestead, from the Dale Earnhardt Inc. shop. "John Menard (who currently provides Gordon's engines) decided it would be better this way," Gordon said. "And we'll sit down at the end of the season and evaluate. Winston Salem Journal
Rossi slower than Schumacher Rossi slower than SchumacherUPDATE Gazzetta dello Sport timed Rossi's laps from outside the Mugello track (right) Thursday and while not 100% accurate, the Italian newspaper reports a best time of 1:23.2. The track record is 1:18.704, set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004. 11/10/05 Ferrari tested MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi again at Fiorano on Wednesday and on Thursday at Mugello. Rossi completed 40 laps at Fiorano with a best lap of 59.21 while Michael Schumacher did 55.99.  On Thursday the Italian completed 18 laps at Mugello according to Gazzetta dello Sport, but no times were released.
Monteiro re-signs with Midland Monteiro re-signs with MidlandAutosport reports that Tiago Monteiro will race with Midland F1 in the 2006 Formula One World Championship, after signing a new contract with Alex Shnaider's team on Thursday.  The Portuguese driver made the announcement during a ceremony organized by the national Confederation of Sports, where he received a special prize for his achievements in 2005, but declined to give the full details of the deal.

"You can never be 100% sure the contract is going to be signed, so it was clearly a big relief to do the deal and now I'm really looking forward to start testing again this winter," he said.  "We are in a much better position than we were at the start of the 2005 season. Because we've signed the deal when there are still four months to go before the start of the Championship, while last year we only had one month to prepare everything."

"Now we'll start with some experience and the financial package put together by Midland will be much stronger than in 2005. That makes me believe we'll be more competitive than it was the case until now."

"Continuity is very important in Formula One and that's another reason why I decided to stay with Midland. I'll have the same race engineer and basically the same mechanics, so I'm looking forward to an exciting and positive season."

Felipe Massa's new Ferrari life Felipe Massa's new Ferrari lifeNew Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is looking forward to the challenge of 2006 as he begins his new life alongside Michael Schumacher at the Italian team - positions previously occupied by Eddie Irvine and then Rubens Barrichello.

"I am looking forward to next year because I think it is a great opportunity to go to Ferrari," said Massa. "I want to be competitive in the beginning of next year, right from the start of the season, so I will be testing as much as possible so that I can get used to working with the team and driving the car."

Massa has only ever raced in Formula One with Sauber having made his debut with them in 2002 and re-joined them after a stint at Ferrari as test driver for two full seasons in 2004 and 2005 before confirming his Ferrari move.  zzzz

He is expecting to learn a lot from seven time champions Schumacher. "I am looking forward to joining Michael again, I think we have a good relationship and I am sure it will be very good for both of us to work together next year."

And he is confident that, while not looking to replace the seven-time World Champion, he will be able to make his own mark inside the team and prove a strong team-mate as Ferrari look to take on their rivals.

"You need to show your personality, show what you want and be very professional but the most important thing is the results," said Massa. "If you are professional and show some good results then I think you can get what you want."

"I think Michael is still quite strong and still really motivated. For sure, he is not as young as me but I am sure he is very motivated and as long as he is motivated to race, he will race quite a lot." Source Bridgestone

Toyota and Bridgestone finalize multi-year deal Toyota and Bridgestone finalize multi-year dealToyota Motorsport has today announced that it has signed a multi-year deal with Bridgestone Motorsport which will see the Japanese tire manufacturer supply the Panasonic Toyota Racing team with Potenza Formula 1 tires with immediate effect.

Chairman of Toyota Motorsport and Team Principal of Panasonic Toyota Racing, Tsutomu Tomita said of the announcement: "It is a pleasure to announce that Toyota Motorsport and Bridgestone Motorsport have joined forces. I am sure that our two companies will share a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship over the coming years in Formula 1. After a rather successful 2005 season, our sights are now set even higher up the grid and we feel that Bridgestone is ideally suited to the technical demands of F1 in the future and will be the best match for our 2006 car. Toyota is serious about winning in Formula 1 and we feel that the switch to Bridgestone tires is the best option in the medium-long term."

Panasonic Toyota Racing's first test on Bridgestone tires will begin at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on 29 November 2005

TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Arizona 200
Phoenix International Raceway
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Checker Auto Parts 500
Phoenix International Raceway
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Arizona 200
Phoenix International Raceway
3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
'Race Car Driver'
Episode 10: Denver
Episode 11: Montreal and Las Vegas
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (Replay) WGN
Irwindale Speedway
8:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED

For a complete listing of Saturday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

NASCAR puts clamps on big teams NASCAR puts clamps on big teamsNASCAR announced today it is taking several steps to ensure the continued growth and popularity of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, including a program that will cap the number of cars under one ownership group; institute a new testing policy
Car Ownership: The four-car ownership cap program starts in 2006 and NASCAR will work with groups that control more than four cars to establish a reasonable timeline for compliance. The four-car limit will extend to owners and any affiliate group, which includes situations where one or more of the car owners is entitled to receive, or actually receives, any financial consideration based upon the performance of the cars entered by the other car owners, or has any revenue sharing or ownership stake in the team.

Testing: Also new for 2006 is a track testing policy that sets a schedule for when and where NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series tests are to be conducted. The scheduled tests will be the only opportunities teams will have to test at Nextel Cup tracks. Teams will be able to schedule tests at facilities that do not host NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events [such as Kentucky, Nashville, Greenville-Pickens, Rockingham, etc]. There will be six test locations that include Lowe's Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Testing in Daytona will be conducted January 9-11 (even-numbered cars) and January 16-18 (odd-numbered cars). The Las Vegas tests will be January 30-February 1. All other dates will be announced at a later time. NASCAR PR

Hamilton sweeps the boards on GP2 debut Hamilton sweeps the boards on GP2 debutWe told Champ Car they should have grabbed this guy to late now.  Lewis Hamilton made it a clean sweep of fastest laps on his first day of testing in the GP2 series. The black Briton led the way from early in the final session of the November test at Jerez, and was never headed. Coloni Motorsport's Luca Filippi followed Lewis home in second, with Lewis's team-mate for the day Andreas Zuber third for ART Grand Prix. Jose Maria Lopez was again impressive for Racing Engineering in fourth, with Pastor Maldonado making his first appearance in the top five for Durango. Olivier Pla was sixth.

 Driver Team Laps Best
1 Lewis HAMILTON ART GRAND PRIX 25 1:29.113
3 Andreas ZUBER ART GRAND PRIX 30 1:30.200
5 Pastor MALDONADO DURANGO 29 1:30.541
6 Olivier PLA DPR 33 1:30.637
7 Nelson PIQUET JR. PIQUET SPORTS 22 1:30.740
8 Alexandre NEGRAO PIQUET SPORTS 24 1:30.897
9 Felix PORTEIRO CAMPOS RACING 21 1:30.908
10 Felix PORTEIRO* CAMPOS RACING 14 1:31.017
13 Adrian VALLES BCN COMPETICION 25 1:31.244
17 Alejandro NUÑEZ RACING ENGINEERING 30 1:31.729
18 Ferdinando MONFARDINI DAMS 19 1:32.075
19 James ROSSITER DAMS 31 1:32.204
20 Gianmaria BRUNI DURANGO 16 1:32.477
21 Maro ENGEL DPR 18 1:34.191
22 Stefano GATTUSO COLONI MOTORSPORT 37 1:34.573

GP2 testing: Lewis Hamilton fastest on debut GP2 testing: Lewis Hamilton fastest on debutWe told you to watch out for Lewis Hamilton, the fastest black driver on the planet. The Euro F3 Champ set the fastest time in this morning's GP2 series test in Jerez It may have only been his first morning in the GP2 series, but 2005 Euro F3 Champion Lewis Hamilton wasted no time in outlining his clear intent for 2006 by setting the fastest lap of the session. Lewis edged out Nelson Piquet Jr by almost a quarter of a second, with Nicolas Lapierre third. Clivio Piccione continued his run of good form for iSport International with the fourth best time, while Campos Racing continued to shine, this morning through Felix Porteiro. Adam Carroll was sixth on his first outing for Super Nova International since the end of the 2005 GP2 series season.

This afternoon sees the final running of the cars for this test, before the GP2 series reconvenes at Circuit Paul Ricard at the start of December.

 Driver Team Laps Best
1 Lewis HAMILTON ART GRAND PRIX 26 1:28.657
2 Nelson PIQUET JR. PIQUET SPORTS 28 1:28.887
5 Felix PORTEIRO CAMPOS RACING 21 1:29.259
7 Ernesto VISO COLONI MOTORSPORT 28 1:29.473
8 Adrian VALLES BCN COMPETICION 41 1:29.570
10 Ferdinando MONFARDINI DAMS 25 1:29.611
11 Andreas ZUBER ART GRAND PRIX 23 1:29.721
14 Gianmaria BRUNI DURANGO 22 1:29.996
15 Olivier PLA DPR 28 1:30.023
16 Alexandre NEGRAO PIQUET SPORTS 38 1:30.045
18 James ROSSITER DAMS 30 1:30.354
19 Felix PORTEIRO CAMPOS RACING 14 1:30.611
20 Maro ENGEL DPR 37 1:30.860
21 Pastor MALDONADO DURANGO 31 1:31.290
22 Alejandro NUÑEZ RACING ENGINEERING 28 1:31.767

Zwolsman caught out by Champ Car cornering speed Zwolsman caught out by Champ Car cornering speedCharles Zwolsman, 26, got his opportunity to drive for Team Australia as a reward for his own championship season in the Atlantic series. His debut weekend didn't start well after he struggled to find front grip throughout the Friday track sessions and then he spun in Saturday qualifying and caused a red flag. He qualified 18th of 19 cars and almost three seconds behind the pole time of RuSPORT’s Justin Wilson.

In the race, Zwolsman lapped consistently on the pace of the mid-field cars and certainly didn't look out of place on the track. He ended the day 13th.

"I felt pretty good -- it took me some time to get my rhythm but I'm really happy with how I handled it," the grinning Dutchman said after stepping from the car. "I think in the race I showed that I am up to it and that I can hold on with these guys."

While he expected the jump from the 240 hp Atlantic car to the 750 hp Champ Car to be awe-inspiring, it was the car's ability to corner at high speeds that caught him by surprise.

"I thought I would have more trouble getting used to the big horsepower difference but it was actually fun and after a few laps you get accustomed to it," he said with a laugh. "But taking the fast corners over the bumps was quite difficult because the car jumps and jumps and you have to have a lot of confidence to keep the throttle on there."

While it was only one race, Zwolsman feels that he knows the areas where he needs to improve to get back onto the Champ Car grid in 2006. He is already talking to a number of teams for a drive, but finding a spot will probably come down to the amount of sponsorship he can bring to the table. Globe and Mail

Industry news
Mario Andretti and Firestone team for safety Mario Andretti and Firestone team for safetyMario has teamed with Firestone on a new driver safety education campaign. The program includes six television commercials featuring Mario and a series of print ads in which Mario stresses the importance of proper tire inflation and maintenance, and urges drivers to check their tires every month. The campaign started in September and will run for the next three years.

“I’m proud of Firestone for having this commitment to safety and stepping up to provide drivers with life-saving safety information. I’m honored that they asked me to serve as spokesman for this important campaign,” said Mario. “After more than 40 years in racing, I know we all have a responsibility to make sure our tires are in good condition and are properly inflated. We also have to be alert—not distracted or impaired behind the wheel—and we must always buckle up.”

Mario encourages everyone to check out Firestone’s new Web site, www.tiresafety.com, which sends motorists monthly e-mail reminders to check their tires and includes a wealth of practical safety information.

Track News
Lifetime Pass to Infineon Raceway Lifetime Pass to Infineon RacewaySONOMA, Calif. — A lifetime pass to Infineon Raceway will be on the line when the Sonoma Valley facility opens its doors for business on Thursday, Dec. 1.  That’s the day tickets for all 2006 major events go on-sale at Infineon Raceway, and officials will celebrate by rewarding the first person who purchases a ticket with a lifetime pass to the raceway. The purchase must be made in-person at the Infineon Raceway ticket sales office.

It’s anyone’s guess as to when race fans will start camping at Infineon Raceway for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but one thing is certain: this lucky fan will receive a front-row seat to every major event at Infineon Raceway for as long as he/she lives. The winner will also be treated to a hot lap at speed around the world famous road course that morning.

A second race fan will be rewarded with a lifetime pass, as well, for showing up at the raceway and entering a free drawing. It’s all part of a celebration as Infineon Raceway ushers in the 2006 Big O Tires Racing Season by opening up ticket sales to the general public. zzzz 

That day, you’ll get first crack at securing the best seats possible for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, IRL IndyCar® Series and all other events on the 2006 main-event calendar.

“Since we announced our schedule, the anticipation has been growing among all of our fans to line-up their 2006 tickets,” said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. “This will be a fun way to kick things off, and a couple of people will be setting themselves up with race tickets for life.”

Infineon Raceway will officially open its doors for ticket sales at 8 a.m. (PST) on Thursday, Dec. 1. All race fans who purchase a ticket to any event in-person will receive a free gift, and coffee/donuts will be available for all those early-risers. Show-cars will be on display, including Rusty Wallace’s familiar No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, and track tours will be free-of-charge.

Ferrari Challenge: May 12-14.
Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown, presented by Supercuts: May 19-21.
Wine Country Classic Vintage Car Races: June 3-4.
Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup:  June 23-25.
Goodguys Nitro Nationals Nostalgia Drag Races: July 1-2.
Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic (cycling): July 14-16.
FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals, presented by Supercuts: July 28-30.
NHRA Summernationals Division 7 Drag Races: Aug. 4-6.
IRL IndyCar® Series: Aug. 25-27.

Racing News
Geoff Bodine bobsled news Geoff Bodine bobsled newsGeoff Bodine poses with the Whelen bobsled at the Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y. Bodine was at the track Tuesday, November 8, test-driving one of the sleds that will be used during the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Challenge January 5-7, 2006 at the Verizon Sports Complex.

Geoff Bodine drives the Whelen bobsled down the track at the Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday. Bodine was at the track test-driving one of the bobsleds that will be used during the Bo-DynBobsled Challenge January 5-7, 2006 at the Verizon Sports Complex.

Over 10 NASCAR drivers, including Geoff Bodine, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Todd Bodine, Boris Said and Ken Schrader, have signed up to participate in the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Challenge. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, which provides American-made bobsleds to the U.S. Bobsled Teams free of cost.

Track News
Road America announces $5M upgrade Road America announces $5M upgradeElkhart Lake, Wis., November 10, 2005-The Road America board of directors and staff is proud to announce a three-year, five million dollar facility enhancement plan. Road America continuously makes improvements to meet racer and fan expectations. Significant in scope and investment, the new three-year plan will allow for additional track and facility opportunities, and dramatically affect paddock operations.  

Expanded in 1990, the main paddock is being enlarged by 3.5 paved acres. The increase will provide additional space for race teams, transporters, vendors, and two new skid pad areas. The hill behind the current medical center will be excavated and graded to the west to gain paddock space. A larger medical center will be constructed in a new paddock location that will allow better access for racers, spectators and emergency medical personnel.   zzzz

Every season, racecars and motorcycles reach new levels of performance.  A thorough review by Road America reveals areas where track utility can be altered to meet these levels and provide the best possible safety features. Several track alterations will be made to the track without changing the original track design. Turns 3, 5, 6, 8 and 12 will be resurfaced with a high-wearing asphalt compound to improve wear and maintain the track's smooth, consistent asphalt surface. Modifications will also be made to the run-off area at turn 5 to make recovery faster and easier. Another notable safety change will be a reconfiguration of the Bill Mitchell bridge at turn 13 to accommodate a greater run-off area.  

Road America's growth will also build on its potential as a year-round, multi-purpose facility.  The expansion plans also include the development of Paddock Village, a 35-acre garage/workshop business park targeted toward small business owners and motorsports enthusiasts. The 2700 square foot units have an open, clear span and are expandable to 16,000 square feet. Tall entry clearance is accessed through 14-foot garage doors. Paddock Village membership will include Road America track and facility privileges.  

Road America is a 628-acre, year-round motorsports facility which celebrated its 50th year in 2005. In addition to major world-class race events, Road America offers the Suzuki Supermoto School, corporate ATV and karting programs, and top-of-the-line hospitality. Special promotions are held throughout the year and can be found on-line. For more information visit www.roadamerica.com or call 800/365-7223.

Unser hospitalized Unser hospitalizedUPDATE #3 This ESPN article gives a lot more detail regarding Unser's condition. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser was resting and expected to make a full recovery after doctors in Colorado removed a tumor from his liver Wednesday.  "He's good for another 100,000 miles," joked Unser's wife, Susan. "The doctor is 99 percent sure they got all of it. There's no evidence it spread anywhere."

The surgery was performed at University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.  Unser was hospitalized in his hometown of Albuquerque last month for treatment of pancreatitis and gallstones, but the liver operation became necessary after a biopsy disclosed the tumor.

Unser has a genetic condition called hemochromatosis, his wife said, causing him to retain excess iron. It apparently caused the 2-centimeter tumor to develop.

Doctors removed half of Unser's liver as well as his gall bladder during the Colorado procedure. Gall bladder surgery initially had been scheduled for last month in New Mexico.

"But they never got that far with the gall bladder," Susan Unser said. "They found the tumor when they did a CT scan. That's when they found his gallstones, but they also found this cancer."   The 66-year-old Unser is expected to remain hospitalized for about two weeks.

11/10/05 Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser was resting and expected to make a full recovery after doctors in Denver removed a tumor from his liver Wednesday that was discovered after being admitted to the hospital for Gallstones. Indy Star 10/20/05 Al Unser remained hospitalized in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., with pancreatitis, and his wife said the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion will stay through next week for gall bladder surgery.  The 66-year-old Unser was admitted Tuesday. Doctors found Unser's pancreas was inflamed, most likely because of gallstones.  He was ordered to rest and take fluids until the pancreatitis subsides, then he'll have his gall bladder removed Monday, Susan Unser said. Indy Star 10/19/05 The Indy Star reports that four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and IRL driver consultant Al Unser was hospitalized in Albuquerque, N.M., with suspected gallstones after complaining of abdominal pain.  "He's going to spend the night, but there's nothing life-threatening," said brother Bobby Unser.
Can anyone overcome NASCAR? Can anyone overcome NASCAR?A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, With NASCAR getting stronger each and every year, they are sucking up available sponsorship money and leaving mere crumbs for all other racing series. What's their secret to the phenomenal growth curve they are on? Dave Hill, Arlington, VA.

Dear Dave, NASCAR has a staff of over 700 people on their campus in Daytona Beach. They dwarf all other racing organizations in the USA, and probably number as many employees as all other racing organizations combined. For example, we suspect Champ Car's full-time staff numbers under 50. With that many staff, NASCAR leaves no stone unturned. They also have a sound business plan and they stick to it.

Certainly they were helped by the split in Indy Car racing, once the King of the Hill. We are of the opinion that there needs to be some consolidation between the other series if they are ever going to make inroads into NASCAR's near monopoly. It frustrates us whenever we hear a new racing series is being started. Certainly our free-enterprise system allows anyone to start a business, but it's so shortsighted given the current landscape.

And this isn't limited to the USA. We see a plethora of new series being started on the international scene as well - the latest examples being A1GP and GP Masters. Much like the France family in NASCAR, Bernie Ecclestone keeps tight reins on F1 and goes on the offensive immediately if he sees something that might take away or threaten F1. Mark C.

Industry News
BMW sales continue growth BMW sales continue growthThe BMW Group has continued its growth course in October 2005 too.  In comparison with the same month last year (101,909), sales rose by 6.6% to 108,628 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce cars. For the year up to October, at 1,097,103 cars delivered, sales have already clearly passed the million mark. This is a rise of 10.9% compared with the first ten months of the previous year (989,206).
Adrian Newey’s statement Adrian Newey’s statementUPDATE Adrian Newey says his decision to quit McLaren for Red Bull Racing was not motivated by money. "It's nothing to do with money," he told the Daily Express newspaper on Thursday. "My deal with Red Bull Racing provides identical money. The fact is, I had made up my mind to go even though I have really enjoyed my eight and a half years with McLaren and get on very well with everyone there.

"I will be sorry to leave but the easy option would have been to stay," added the 46-year-old.The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday that Newey would be getting around $10 million a year at Red Bull, owned by Austrian energy drink billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, after McLaren baulked at increasing his salary in contract renewal negotiations.

"There is more of a risk leaving McLaren for Red Bull, but I wanted to join a young team and be much more involved in how it grows," said Newey.

11/09/05 Adrian Newey joined Red Bull Racing after signing a contract yesterday. The British engineer will start working in his new office located in Milton Keynes, UK by the end of February 2006.

Below is the statement issued by Newey after signing with Red Bull:

“My current contract with McLaren Racing expires on January 31st 2006. I have been at McLaren for 8 1/2 years and feel that it is time for a change. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at McLaren and have a great relationship with Ron and the team. Ron is a good friend both professionally and personally. My immediate focus is to continue working at McLaren to finalize the new MP4-21 ready for testing in January and its championship challenge in 2006.

Red Bull is a much younger organization but I am excited by the opportunity to develop the car, team and facilities working closely with Christian Horner and his colleagues. I have been impressed by their plans and their commitment. I will be joining Red Bull at the end of February.”

New Houston track unveiled New Houston track unveiledUPDATE This Houston Chronicle article has a few more details about the event. Chuck Kosich, the general manager of the Grand Prix of Houston, was in charge of pulling the track together. Kosich has more than 30 years experience in motor sports management, including working on the previous races in downtown Houston.

"One consistency about an event, no matter if it's NASCAR or Formula One or Champ Car, is that it is ultimately judged by its track," Kosich said.  "We wanted a fast track, we wanted a wide track to allow for passing, we wanted a 1.7-mile track and we wanted 10 turns. We got all that. We want a track that drivers will talk about for years to come."

Tickets for the event are not yet for sale. According to Kosich, attendance for the three-day event in a best-case scenario would be 175,000. He said announcements on ticket prices would be forthcoming.

11/09/05 The new Champ Car Reliant Stadium track was unveiled today in Houston, Texas.  The 1.7-mile track diagram is shown to the right.  More details to follow and at the track website.  No long straights means there will be little passing, but the kink in the main straight should be breathtaking.
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for Friday
'NASCAR Live!'
Phoenix International Raceway
5:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP - Final Practice
Checker Auto Parts 500
Phoenix International Raceway
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Phoenix International Raceway
Guest: Clint Bowyer
Guest: Mart Martin
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Chevy Silverado 150
Phoenix International Raceway
8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
Irwindale Speedway
11:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. ET (Live) SPEED

For a complete listing of Friday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

Correction: Cotman on standing starts Correction: Cotman on standing startsUPDATE #2 Q: Are F1-like standing starts in play for ‘07?

Kalkhoven: “They definitely add to the entertainment value; we’d love to do them in 2007 on suitable tracks, like Monterrey in Mexico -- our current technical package makes it difficult since the cars were not designed to idle still for long and could have overheating issues. But that will be addressed in the new chassis, which will also makes things easier since it adds an on-board starter. Standing starts are exciting for the fans and can also be safer on the sense that cars reach the first turn after the start at lower speeds.” SPEEDTV.com

10/18/05 We chatted with Tony Cotman in Surfers Paradise Wednesday morning.  He clarified his position on standing starts for Champ Cars. 

"We have completed our evaluation for standing starts," said Cotman.  "It is not a dead issue at all.  I'm definitely in favor of it for Atlantics and it still may happen for Champ Car.  If we do it, we may want to do it everywhere.  We crash in the first turn here and in Cleveland every year and the drivers are carrying a lot more speed into the first corner with a rolling start."  [Editor's Note: Not only is the braking harder because the drivers are carrying more speed, the differential in speed from the front car to the back is much greater with a rolling start such that everyone goes barreling down into the first turn and the pack compresses like a spring, contact occurs, and cars get taken out of the race.  Meanwhile F1, GP2, Formula BMW, etc do standing starts week in and week out with no problem.  Are we saying Champ Car drivers are not good enough to get a car off the line from a standing start?  Nonsense.]

09/24/05 Champ Car's Tony Cotman was asked whether we will see standing starts in Champ Car in 2007.  "Probably not for Champ Car, but we hope to do it for the Atlantic Series," said Cotman.  This will be terribly disappointing news for many Champ Car fans.  He did not elaborate why the standing start idea was nixed.
FL. lawmakers back NASCAR tag FL. lawmakers back NASCAR tagTwo of Florida's most-powerful lawmakers support creating a NASCAR license tag during a special legislative session in December, potentially boosting Daytona Beach's bid for a stock-car hall of fame. House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, and House Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, back a plan to sell specialty tags to help finance the hall of fame. Daytona Beach is trying to outbid four other cities for the project, which economic-development officials say would be a boon to tourism. "I want NASCAR to see that we take this very seriously, and we want to help," Gardiner said Tuesday. But it remained unclear whether Senate leaders also would back the idea. Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he will consider adding the issue to the special session, but said hall-of-fame supporters should have met legally mandated criteria to get the tag approved. Those criteria include paying a $60,000 fee and doing a survey to ensure enough motorists would buy the tag. News Journal
PIR fans be prepared for traffic back-ups PIR fans be prepared for traffic back-upsValley residents and race fans should brace themselves for hours of traffic tie-ups as NASCAR lovers flock to Phoenix International Raceway for this weekend's big race in the southwest Valley. State, Maricopa County and city agencies have been working closely for the past month to get cars flowing through Avondale and Goodyear as smoothly as possible, but don't expect any miracles. More than 30,000 cars will pulse through Avondale's streets two times a day for four days as race fans get in and out of PIR for the Checker Auto Parts 500. The extra cars will create hours of traffic back-ups, impatient drivers and unhappy residents who just want to get out of their cars and into their homes. "The traffic coming out of PIR after a race is the equivalent of five hours of heavy traffic on a Valley freeway," said Roger Ball, a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Department of Transportation. Traffic tangles are the biggest price residents and fans pay when one of the state's largest sporting events takes over the southwest Valley, Ball said. AZ Central
Renault powered by Elf fuels Renault powered by Elf fuelsFrom the turbo era, to the V10 and now world championship victory with a 100% Renault car, it’s clear that Elf relishes a challenge. Just like in Renault, motorsport is part of the company DNA at Elf: these historic partners have been achieving sporting milestones together for nearly 40 years. The double world title success of the R25 this year was made possible by tailor-made fuels and lubricants.

“If you are standing still in Formula 1, you are going backwards,” explains Denis Marcel, Total’s Competition Director. “That is why Total Competition chose to attack 2005 with a strengthened team. Our organization grew, in line with our ambitions. The objective was to improve our reactivity, and anticipate the Renault F1 Team’s requirements.”

The Formula 1 Technical Regulations evolved significantly over the winter of 2004/5. The challenges for the engine team altered radically: using an engine for two consecutive race weekends was a significant challenge. zzzz

“Elf and Renault had already won nine world titles together, and we put in the place the programs needed to win: a V10 engine that was 98% new relative to its predecessor, and which used brand new formulations and products from Elf,” continues Denis Marcel. “We homologated a new lubricant. Our chemists also worked on fuel density, trying to provide a maximum amount of energy for each mass of fuel carried by the car. This was made particularly important by the need to make a single set of tires last the full race distance.”
For Elf, Formula 1 is not just a branding exercise. “Far from it,” states the F1 Technical Manager, Philippe Girard. “For us, motorsport is like a huge laboratory. Production vehicles have benefited directly from Elf’s Formula 1 involvement, notably in terms of energy-saving fluids.”

This relationship also works both ways: production car technologies have brought the F1 program valuable lessons too. For example, anti-wear solutions used in road cars have been adapted to the demands of competition. “Developments for Elf’s Formula 1 program come from the same engineers who work on road car programs,” concludes Philippe Girard. “The two programs interact extensively." Renault

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Williams still 'top' team
Button backed by ex-champ
'JVC' logo to Midland
STR's F1 lineup 'still open'
'At least I'm talented'
Two more for 'RoC' lineup
Outwit 'DC'
'Irv' is 40
Midland boss attacks Narain
Why Frank ignored 'Ant'
Garcia tops Jerez test Garcia tops Jerez testTest times from the first GP2 off-season test session in Jerez
Morning session:

Pos Driver Team Time
 1. Borja Garcia BCN competicion 1:29.050
 2. Luca Filippi Coloni 1:30.308
 3. Alvaro Parente ART 1:30.711
 4. Clivio Piccione iSport 1:30.759
 5. Olivier Pla DPR 1:30.845
 6. Nelson Piquet Jr. Piquet Sports 1:30.999
 7. Michael Ammermuller Arden 1:31.197
 8. Franck Perera Arden 1:31.197
 9. Lucas Di Grassi Campos Racing 1:31.315
10. James Rossiter Super Nova 1:31.682
11. Gianmaria Bruni Durango 1:31.726
12. Andreas Zuber ART 1:31.788
13. Hiroshi Yoshimoto iSport 1:31.899
14. Felix Porteiro Campos Racing 1:32.007
15. Ferdinando Monfardini DAMS 1:32.259
16. Giedo Van Der Garde DAMS 1:32.919
17. Pastor Maldonado Durango 1:33.053
18. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 1:33.143
19. Alexandre Negrao Piquet Sports 1:33.175
20. Maro Enge DPR 1:33.209
21. Alejandro Nunez Racing Engineering 1:33.476
22. Bruce Jouanny Super Nova 1:33.605

Afternoon session:

Pos Driver Team Time
 1. Alvaro Parente ART 1:29.547
 2. Lucas Di Grassi Campos Racing 1:29.671
 3. Clivio Piccione iSport 1:29.690
 4. Nelson Piquet jr. Piquet Sports 1:30.134
 5. Franck Perera Arden 1:30.208
 6. Hiroshi Yoshimoto iSport 1:30.229
 7. Ernesto Viso Coloni 1:30.236
 8. Gianmaria Bruni Durango 1:30.243
 9. Borja Garcia BCN competicion 1:30.280
10. Michael Ammermuller Arden 1:30.366
11. James Rossiter Super Nova 1:30.509
12. Andreas Zuber ART 1:30.715
13. Alexandre Negrao Piquet Sports 1:31.001
14. Felix Porteiro Campos Racing 1:31.056
15. Pastor Maldonado Durango 1:31.082
16. Ferdinando Monfardini DAMS 1:31.120
17. Luca Filippi Coloni 1:31.287
18. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 1:31.375
19. Alejandro Nunez Racing Engineering 1:32.295
20. Olivier Pla DPR 1:32.628
21. Maro Enge DPR 1:32.792
22. Bruce Jouanny Super Nova 1:33.112
23. Giedo Van Der Garde DAMS 1:33.392

Team Penske will be missed when it moves south Team Penske will be missed when it moves southTeam Penske is going to be missed when it vacates its headquarters along the Schuylkill River at the end of the 2006 Indy Racing League season in September and motors south near Charlotte, N.C.  Team Penske brought a considerable amount of prestige to Reading in its 32 years here. During that time, the team won 13 Indianapolis 500s, the last one in 2003 with Gil de Ferran at the wheel.

Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing Inc., said the decision to move was not an easy one. "We've been here a long time," Cindric said. "We've had a good record hiring people here with a good attitude so we can go racing."

The decision to move to NASCAR country was based on the need to consolidate all the team's racing operations.

The 424,697-square-foot facility near Charlotte, which opened last year, will house three NASCAR Nextel Cup teams and a new Porsche team in the American Le Mans Series as well as two Indy racing teams. It's also near the Penske Technology Group, which houses the team's wind tunnel, race engineering and testing facilities.

The new location also is designed to draw tourists with a gift shop and areas where fans can watch the crews prepare cars for upcoming races.

"It's the natural evolution of the sport," said Chris Schwartz, a Team Penske spokesman. "It's a big business." KRT Wire

Dyson Racing to Run New AER V8 Turbo LMP1 Engine Dyson Racing to Run New AER V8 Turbo LMP1 EnginePOUGHKEEPSIE, NY- New with a foundation of continuity: that is how Dyson Racing will be meeting the challenge of new rules for the 2006 American Le Mans Series LMP1 class.  Their two new Lola B06/10’s will be powered by Advanced Engine Research’s 3.6 liter twin-turbo V8 engines for the 2006 season. Created by an engine design team lead by ex-F1 engine designers Oliver Allan and Ian Prosser, the engine has been designed with the best of F1 and Indy Car technology applied to the endurance racing environment. 

“Advanced Engine Research has been an incredible technical partner for the past four years,” stated Rob Dyson, team principal.  “They share Dyson Racing’s cultural and philosophical outlook: always looking to improve and doing whatever it takes to win.  The team at AER is an extremely committed, flexible and determined engine partner.  Their contributions will ensure a competitive season for Dyson Racing in 2006.”

“We are very pleased to have been chosen as the engine partner for Dyson Racing on their exciting new LMP1 program,” commented Mike Lancaster, Managing Director for AER.  “They are one of best teams in sportscars and great to work with at the track.”

“After all the months of hard work, seeing the engine run on the dyno and exceed expectations has been a great satisfaction,” noted Oliver Allan, Technical Director of AER.  “But what we are all waiting for is to see the car run on the track. For that car to be a Dyson car is fantastic, as they have been the team to consistently challenge Audi.  The whole AER team is looking forward to a successful 2006.”

The new V8 engine was designed from a clean sheet of paper specifically for the ACO’s LMP1 rules. It sets new standards for size and weight, while minimizing frictional losses.  The 75-degree V8 first ran on the dyno in September.  Designed with the focus on durability, the engine is more compact than any existing V8 in the series.

The ten race American Le Mans season kicks off next year with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 18. [Editor's Note: recall our rumor that Cosworth is also working on a LMP1 turbo engine]

Pepsi extends with Hendrick and Gordon Pepsi extends with Hendrick and GordonPepsi and Hendrick Motorsports have extended one of NASCAR’s most enduring relationships, today announcing an agreement that secures the New York-based beverage maker as a major associate sponsor and “Official Soft Drink” of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 DuPont Chevrolets through the 2010 NEXTEL Cup Series season.

As part of the pact, Gordon in 2006 will drive Pepsi-branded race cars April 30 at Talladega, Ala., and July 1 in the company’s signature event, the Pepsi 400, at Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports have been invaluable partners over the last eight years,” said John Galloway, vice president of sports marketing and media for Pepsi-Cola North America.  “With Jeff we have been lucky to have one of the best drivers in NASCAR history as a member of the Pepsi family as well as a consummate professional who always goes beyond the call of duty.  We’re looking forward to another successful five seasons together.”

NASCAR’s 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001 Cup Series champion, Gordon has been associated with Pepsi since 1997 and remains its most longstanding spokesperson.

“I’ve been proud to represent the Pepsi brand for almost a decade,” said Gordon, 34, who has four NEXTEL Cup wins in 2005.  “They’ve been a great partner of Hendrick Motorsports and an incredible supporter of the No. 24 team and my racing career.  I’m looking forward to continuing an already fantastic relationship and putting that No. 24 DuPont/Pepsi Chevy in Victory Lane again.”

San Jose track improvements announced San Jose track improvements announced
SPEED Channel wants you! SPEED Channel wants you!As part of its Nov. 20 season finale, SPEED Channel is turning Wind Tunnel over to the fans.  After spending the year interviewing some of the most prominent figures in motor sports, the Wind Tunnel crew will put a fan in front of the camera for a full feature interview. SPEED will roll the satellite truck up to the winner’s house, his or her favorite bar or wherever the winner plans to be on Sunday night.  So, viewers are asked to e-mail the show at windtunnel@speedtv.com, and in 50 words or less, tell host Dave Despain why he should interview them on SPEED Channel.
Industry News
Delphi losses shoot higher Delphi losses shoot higherDelphi Corp. on Wednesday said its net loss shot wider in the quarter before the auto parts maker filed for bankruptcy, pressured by production cuts at former parent General Motors Corp. and high materials costs.  The loss widened to $788 million, or $1.40 per share, in the third quarter, from $119 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier, Delphi said. Revenue fell 5.4 percent to $6.28 billion from $6.64 billion.  Delphi, the largest U.S. auto parts supplier, on October 8 filed the biggest bankruptcy protection case in U.S. automotive history, blaming high wage costs for choking North American operations and masking strong performances in other regions.
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in briefUPDATE Added items marked with * below.

Indian misses 2006 seat
December call for Monteiro
Winkelhock son to debut
Bernie eyed to save Spa
Kovalainen and Montagny
'JV' warns Schu-bound Massa
Hermann Tilke defended
Date set for F1 'spy' trial
JV slates 2006 qualifying
'Time for a change'*
Cash to catch Midland ride*
Schu story scuttled*
Tip of hat to Heitzler Tip of hat to HeitzlerUPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.Com, In addition to the incredible job Mr. Heitzler did in Mexico, literally creating those two events from dirt, let us also not forget that Mr. Heitzler provided what is widely regarded as the pivotal testimony in the CART bankruptcy hearing.  That testimony contributed enormously to Judge Ott accepting the operational proposition put forth by OWRS' which defeated Tony George's higher cash offer and gave birth to what is today a revitalized Champ Car.  As to Mr. Heitzler's time running CART, I think it's now clear to all that it didn't matter who CART put in that job, complete failure was preordained as a direct result of subversive activity on the part of CART board members and team owners.  Joe never had a chance.  Just look at who was selling MPH stock, and when, if you REALLY want to know who is responsible, along with Chris "Spend It All" Pook, for the destruction of CART.  Was the destruction of CART really worth the IRL we have today? J.N. Anderson, Shaker Heights, Ohio

11/09/05 A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, Joe Heitzler may not have been the best CART President, but when he was down in Mexico City looking after that event it was the best year ever (2003), so I agree with your remarks that Champ Car needs to have a person like Joe in Mexico City 24 x 7 looking after things. Below are the weekend attendance numbers for Mexico City.

2002: 351,972, new series, event record
2003: 402,413, Joe Heitzler in Mexico City 24 x 7
2004: 345,428, off almost 15% from the previous year
2005: 271,569, down another 22%

Joe Gonzalez, Houston, TX.

Dear Joe, We could not agree with you more. Heitzler did an excellent job in Mexico City and we know for a fact was very well liked by the Mexicans. Mark C.

Servia wins Greg Moore Award Servia wins Greg Moore AwardDespite Spanish being his native tongue, Oriol Servia delivered a compelling acceptance speech as recipient of this year's Greg Moore Spirit Award at the Champ Car Awards Banquet Sunday night in Mexico City.  The award is given each year in honor of the great Greg Moore who was killed at Fontana in 1999 in a typical horrific open wheel oval track accident.
Gordon Team To Compete In SCORE Gordon Team To Compete In SCORERobby Gordon Motorsports will field a team in the SCORE Desert Series for the full schedule in 2006. Gordon will split driving duties with teenager Andy McMillin, who will drive the final four races in the 2006 SCORE schedule. McMillin was the 2004 SCORE rookie of the year and is contending for a series championship this season.

Toyo Tires has announced that it will sponsor Gordon in his off-road racing program after signing a multi-year agreement. Gordon will race in the Tecate SCORE Baja 100, as well as the 2006 Dakar Rally, a 16-day, 5,000-mile off-road event that begins in Portugal and ends in Western Africa.

Scenes from Champ Car banquet Scenes from Champ Car banquet 

(L to R) Nelson Philippe - Most improved Driver Award and Oriol Servia - Greg Moore Spirit Award, Cristiano da Matta, Steve Levinson and 2-time race winner Justin Wilson

(L to R) Atlantic champion Charles Zwolsman and Atlantic star Katherine Legge, Class-act Jimmy Vasser and his girlfriend, American AJ Allmendinger and a bevy of beauties

(L to R) Possible future Champ Car driver Milka Duno, Steve Levinson, American star Ryan Hunter-Reay and Beccy Gordon, Ryan Hunter-Reay back-to-back with Bronte Tagliani

Edmondson: France family has no ulterior motive Edmondson: France family has no ulterior motiveIn this provocative Autoracing1.com interview with Grand-Am president Roger Edmondson, Edmondson dismisses the notion that the France family is out to divide and conquer all non-NASCAR forms of racing.

"I think that this idea that they are just doing it (Grand-Am) for some ulterior motive is bizarre. I read some of the most bizarre theories you can possibly imagine. I've read that the reason that Grand-Am exists is to keep sports car racing splintered so that sports car racing doesn't overtake NASCAR in popularity.  So at no time in any of these things over a 25-year period have I ever heard or seen anything that would give credence to this idea that the Frances are going to reach out and send in the black helicopters and bomb things or do disinformation. If this was all true, it flies in the face of them starting IMSA years ago."

--Roger Edmondson

Edmondson: ALMS is not our enemy Edmondson: ALMS is not our enemyIn this provocative Autoracing1.com interview with Grand-Am president Roger Edmondson, Edmondson says that ALMS is not the enemy.

"We don't have any enemies with the ALMS. We're all in motorsports. Anything any of us do to raise the perception of motorsports is good for all the others."

--Roger Edmondson

F1's billionaires F1's billionairesA couple of formula one team owners also feature in lists outlining the world's billionaires.

Although F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is a well-known billionaire, also easily surpassing the 1000 million dollar mark are Alex Shnaider, of the Jordan-Midland outfit, and Red Bull's owner of no less than two teams, Dietrich Mateschitz. The trio are among 691 billionaires worldwide, according to Luxury Institute, a research organization specializing in wealth.

And, according to a list in the 'CNBC European Business' magazine, both Mateschitz and Shnaider are worth slightly less than (US)$2.5 billion each.

For the record, the richest billionaire in Europe is Indian-born Lakshmi Mittal, who is in the steel business. He is worth a cool $28.3 billion.

However, it is no surprise that Ecclestone courted the list's European 'number 6' when a team or two came onto the market -- Roman Abramovich.

The Russian, who owns the Chelsea football club and recently bought a $944m yacht called 'Pelorus', can count on a staggering $17.7bn fortune.

The closest any of Shnaider or Mateschitz's F1 colleagues come to matching their fortunes, meanwhile, is Renault boss Flavio Briatore. He owns a club called 'Billionaire'.

NASCAR Texas TV Rating NASCAR Texas TV RatingUPDATE NBC Sports’ coverage of the Dickies 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race earned a 5.1 'final' national rating, tying it for the second-most viewed race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. The 5.1 rating was tied with the UAW-GM Quality 500 held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 15 and only trailed the 5.3 rating posted by the Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 2. Those three events are the only ones through eight races in the Chase to better a 4.7 rating. The rating for NBC’s coverage of the Dickies 500 peaked at 6.6 between 6-6:23 p.m. CT as Carl Edwards outdueled Mark Martin for the win. The national ratings increased by four percent from last year’s comparable race (4.9 in Phoenix). Locally, the Dickies 500 drew a 5.5 rating in the Fort Worth-Dallas market. The top 10. metered markets for the Dickies 500: 1. Greensboro, NC (13.7); 2. Knoxville, Tenn. (12.0); 3. Greenville, SC (11.9); 4. Charlotte, NC (11.5); 5. Raleigh, NC (9.0); t6. Richmond, Va., Atlanta, Ga. (8.4); 8. Columbus, Ohio (8.0); 9. Orlando, Fla. (7.7); 10. Memphis, Tenn. 7.6. 

11/08/05 NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway earned an overnight Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.4 and an 8 share in the nation's largest markets, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The Texas race is new to the schedule, but the rating is 2.3% higher than the 4.3 overnight rating NBC drew for last year's 34th Nextel Cup race, the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter

Racing News
The other CART race in Long Beach The other CART race in Long BeachCyberAds, Inc., an extreme sports lifestyle marketing company, reported today that a star-studded field of celebrities, media and corporate sponsors participated in the inaugural California CART Trophy event in front of the historic Queen Mary, in Long Beach, November 2 - 4. The Grand Prix-style CART race featured a cast of celebrity drivers, including Luke Perry, Brandon Molale, Warren G, Peter Wolf, Chris Judd, Shar Jackson, Shawn Pyform, Naureen Zaim, David "Shark" Fralick, Courtney Hanson, Paul Mitchell and others who teamed up with corporate sponsors in the competition. CyberAds partnered with AEM to organize and promote the event. The CyberAds team, anchored by Sales VPs Jim Habig and John Rockett, placed third in the event.

"It was very exciting," exclaimed Jim Habig, VP Sales for CyberAds. "As the race progressed we began paying attention to lap times and scrutinizing different driving techniques. When you add the fact that broadcast media was covering the event, the Grand Prix-style format was very exhilarating. To a man -- and woman -- everyone I talked to plans to participate in the next event." The drivers' lap times and team standings were monitored live in the Red Bull Energy Station and individual team tents throughout the venue. CyberAds and A.E.M. Events Management worked together to promote and manage the inaugural event in Long Beach and are formulating plans for additional events in the US in 2006.

A large contingency of media attended the opening press party at Schatzi's and covered race day in Long Beach, including Access Hollywood, ESPN, Inside Edition, Planet X and KNBC. "This event was a great success for CyberAds," stated Jeff Criswell, President of CyberAds. "We believe that this will be a building block for future events that will allow us to showcase the extreme product lines and lifestyles that CYAD represents."

CyberAds, Inc. is an extreme sports lifestyle marketing company that provides professional services for product manufacturing companies. The company specializes in marketing and distribution of extreme sports products. For more information on CyberAds, call (800) 288-3099, or visit www.cyberadsinc.com.

Highlights from Long Beach GP Press Conference Highlights from Long Beach GP Press ConferenceThe following are selected quotes from Tuesday’s kickoff luncheon for the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run April 7-9, 2006. The luncheon took place at Gladstone’s Restaurant in downtown Long Beach.

(L-R): Mark Templin, Managing Director, Scion; Kevin Kalkhoven, Co-Owner, Champ Car World Series and Grand Prix Association of Long Beach; Jim Michaelian, CEO, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach; Les Unger, National Motorsports Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, and Scott Pruett, driver of the #01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Lexus Riley in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Photo credit: Andy Witherspoon/Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.

PAUL NEWMAN, actor/race car driver/Champ Car team owner (by phone): “We’ll be glad to be kicking off the season by returning to Long Beach April 7-9.  The people of Long Beach have always supported Champ Cars.  They’ve helped make the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach the real crown jewel of the Champ Car series.  We hope to provide even more excitement in 2006.”

KEVIN KALKHOVEN, co-owner of the Champ Car World Series and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach: “We’re looking forward to another great race here in the streets of Long Beach.  There are some three-car teams in the works so there’s a possibility of some fairly large starting fields next year.  I would be remiss in not recognizing the fantastic support of Toyota through the years, and we certainly look forward to many enjoyable and productive years to come with Toyota, Lexus and Scion here in Long Beach.” zzzz

LES UNGER, National Motorsports Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.: “We recently were very pleased to announce a five-year extension, through 2010, as title sponsor of the race.  And, we’ve taken the opportunity to involve not just the Toyota Division, but the Lexus and Scion Divisions, too.   This year, the Scion tC will be the official race car of our 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, and we’re also pleased that Lexus is heavily involved in the debut of the Daytona Prototypes on the streets of Long Beach.”

SCOTT PRUETT, 2004 Daytona Prototype Series champion (with co-driver Max Papis) driving a Lexus-powered Ganassi Racing Riley: “I’ve been coming here since I was 16 years old, so the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a mainstay race for me. We’re really looking forward to the debut of the Daytona Prototypes here on the streets.  With a 30-plus car field running a 90-minute race – we normally run 2-1/2 hours – plus a driver change, it should make it REALLY exciting. I’m sure we’ll be hitting 185 mph on Shoreline.”

(In response to a question about whether he’ll be back in a Champ Car cockpit in April): “No, I want to stick with sports cars.  I’m having lots of fun, and my days in Champ Cars are over.”

JIM MICHAELIAN, CEO, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, LLC: “I’d like first to acknowledge the extraordinary relationship we’ve enjoyed with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and the Toyota Dealers of Southern California over the years.  They’ve been a sponsor of the race for 31 years, 26 years of which have been as the title sponsor, and we look forward to five more years – at least! – of Toyota involvement. I’m also pleased we could incorporate not only the Toyota brand, but also Lexus and Scion products in the 2006 race.”

Villeneuve warns Massa Villeneuve warns MassaJacques Villeneuve believes Felipe Massa will get a warm welcome at Ferrari next season. But he's warned his former teammate to be on the lookout when it comes to Michael Schumacher.

"I think he'll get along well with Michael," Villeneuve tells Autosprint magazine. "But he'll have to be on the lookout: Michael is still strong, you need a lot more than a bad season to catch him off guard. Especially because this bad year has certainly not been his fault."

Villeneuve and Schumacher have never been the best of friends on the track. Their feud dates back to 1997 when the German attempted to punt the Canadian off course during the championship clinching race. However, the last few years has seen a mellowing of the antagonistic tone between the two.

"I don't think Michael has set out to destroy Felipe... (it's just) they are in two different phases.

"Felipe is there to learn from Schumacher and to take his mantle when Michael retires. It's simple: one of them is at the beginning of a career while the other is at the end."

Heart attack claims Dick Hutcherson Heart attack claims Dick HutchersonDick Hutcherson, who won 14 races in 103 starts in NASCAR's top series in the 1960s, died Sunday at age 73. Hutcherson was traveling back to North Carolina from Florida when he suffered a fatal heart attack near Columbia. Funeral arrangements have still not been announced. Hutcherson was born in Keokuk, Iowa, and raced late models in the Midwest for nearly a decade before coming to NASCAR in 1964. He finished second in his second career start, at Occoneechee Speedway, and the next season joined the powerhouse Holman-Moody team that was based in Charlotte. He ran 52 races in 1965, winning for the first time at Greenville-Pickens Speedway and adding eight more victories that year on his way to a second-place finish in the points standings. He won three more races for Holman-Moody the next year and two more in cars owned by Bondy Long in 1967. Hutcherson served as crew chief for David Pearson in Pearson's championship seasons in 1968 and 1969, then became general manager for Holman-Moody. In late 1971, he and Eddie Pagan formed Hutcherson-Pagan and started building race cars used by such drivers as Darrell Waltrip and A.J. Foyt. Hutcherson-Pagan still supplies parts to race teams with a truck that serves as a rolling warehouse at the track each weekend. ThatsRacin.com
Gibernau switches from Honda to Ducati Gibernau switches from Honda to DucatiSpaniard rider Sete Gibernau will switch from the Honda Movistar team to Ducati Marlboro in MotoGP competition next year the Italian team announced on Monday.  "I'm delighted to welcome Sete. We think Sete is one of the strongest guys in MotoGP. He's a talented, gritty and courageous rider", commented Federico Minoli, president of Ducati Motor Holding.
Race of Champions
Wheldon selected for ROC Wheldon selected for ROCDan Wheldon, the 2005 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series Champion and 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner for Andretti Green Racing, will compete in the 2005 Race of Champions-Nations Cup at the Stade de France in Paris on December 3 for the UK team.

"This is a proud moment for me to receive an invitation to the Race of Champions in Paris," said Wheldon. "This is such a unique event and I hear the atmosphere at the Stade de France is electric. It will be an honor to race with some of the most respected names in motorsport and I'm excited for the opportunity to represent England."

Drivers slated to participate in the 2005 Race of Champions include, four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais, Formula 1 stars David Coulthard and Felipe Massa, World Rally legend Colin McRae, two-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb, and 2004 Race of Champions winner Heikki Kovalainen.

Canadian Beauty wins prestigious ‘Face of Champ Car’ Canadian Beauty wins prestigious ‘Face of Champ Car’Gorgeous 21yr old Brandi Latimer of Caldeon, Ontario Canada, in front of an exclusive audience of Champ Car owners, drivers and supporters at the Champ Car Gala Awards Night in Mexico City,  was last night crowned the very first ‘FACE OF CHAMP CAR’.
She has won the opportunity of a lifetime with a $10,000 appearance contract from the Champ Car World Series. Brandi will be flown to at least five Champ Car World Series races in 2006 making special appearances, media calls and generally being treated as a very VIP. (Photo to right courtesy of Simon Leung/Champ Car)

Brandi is currently studying to become a nutritionist and loves to keep fit and maintain a high level of health.  The youngest of five, she works as a secretary and has raised a considerable amount of money for charities through her modeling career. 

The ‘Face of Champ Car’ competition launched onto the Champ Car circuit for the 2005 World Series to promote the excitement and glamour of high-octane racing action.  Thousands of young ladies from Australia, USA and Canada have competed in this glamorous International Grid Girl competition, culminating this week at the final round of the Champ Car World Series in Mexico City.

At all six international races young ladies went through various judging categories including photographic, interview, swimwear and media judging to find the essential qualities necessary in becoming an ambassador for the Champ Car World Series.

The girls are the hottest attraction on the track - not on four wheels - with enormous focus from race fans.  They have an exhaustive schedule of public, media appearances, rehearsals, judging, track and race appearances and autograph sessions.

This year ‘Face of Champ Car’ international competition rolled out at: -
Miss Toyota Grand Prix – Long Beach California USA
Miss Grand Prix - Cleveland, Ohio USA
Miss Molson Indy - Toronto, Canada
Miss Grand Prix- Edmonton, Canada
Miss Grand Prix - San Jose, Mexico USA
Bartercard Miss Indy – Gold Coast, Queensland Australia

Full details on the official web site: www.faceofchampcar.com

IMSA sets dates for Sebring winter test session IMSA sets dates for Sebring winter test sessionThe International Motor Sports Association has announced the dates for its second "Wheels Down Winter Test" at Sebring International Raceway. The three-day practice session will be held in advance of the 54th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which will open the 2006 American Le Mans Series schedule.

From Jan. 23-25, entrants in the 12-hour endurance classic can test for eight hours a day at the 17-turn, 3.7-mile road course. Teams will run from 8 a.m. to noon, break for an hour, then continue from 1 to 5 p.m. They also have the option to run as many or as few days as they like. IMSA also is exempting the three-day session from the testing limitations that apply to LMP2 and GT2 cars.

Admission prices for the public will be announced at a later date.

Rudd says he's taking a break Rudd says he's taking a break“With the announcement yesterday that Kurt Busch will be driving the #2 Penske Dodge next year, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify my plans for the future. First, let me say that discussions between me and the Penske organization about driving the #2 car next year came up very recently and after I already had decided to take a break from racing for a time. As I have told many of you before, I have not taken a vacation or sick day in nearly 30 years of racing, and with my contract with the Wood Brothers expiring at the end of this race season, it seemed like the perfect time to step back and take a break, but I did not want my plans to become a distraction to the Team. We have been running very well. The Wood Brothers and the Team deserved an opportunity to maximize the results for the remainder of the season. Eddie Wood and I talked some time ago, and he was comfortable with this approach.

“As I said, the opportunity to possibly drive the #2 car in 2006 came up only recently. I had previously turned down several other opportunities to drive for teams and owners I respect, but the Penske opportunity was unique, and maybe the only offer that would have made me consider changing my plans to step back for a time. The thing that made the offer unique was not often does the opportunity come along to step into a Championship contending car with just a one year driving obligation. In my view, however, the way this has worked out is to everyone’s benefit. I get to take the break I was planning to take and the #2 team gets to do what is best for them and their sponsors long term. I am happy that I was able to provide them with a good alternative in case Kurt was not able to drive the #2 car next year, but quite frankly - for me and my family - the way it has turned out is a much better result.  zzzz

“I really enjoy racing for the Wood Brothers -- they are great people. Since Michael McSwain has come on board as crew chief our cars have been extremely competitive -- we have not always had very good racing luck, but the cars are very capable of winning races and with a little bit of racing luck, I really think we could have been solidly in the top 10 this year. I still have the desire and ability to win races, but a little burn out is beginning to set in. I may drive a few races next year if someone needs a substitute driver, but its time to “freshen up” and do some things with my family that I have put off for a lot of years. I still have the ability to drive a race car and be competitive—I think we can win a race before this year ends. However, if I were to decide never to drive again, I have had a great career.

“....most of all, I want to thank my family, whose support and patience carried me when things were not quite as comfortable as they are today. I am especially grateful to my father, who passed away a few months ago, for his unconditional support and encouragement not only early on, but, throughout my career. His passing has been a very sad event in our lives, and I think it has contributed to my desire to take a little time off. Finally, I want to thank Linda, my wife, and Landon, my son. I am looking forward to a little private time with both of them. I hope this clarifies things. I am not going far. I will be around.” See Rudd's full statement at Rickrudd.com site

Court ruling on Atlanta Hall of Fame bid Court ruling on Atlanta Hall of Fame bidA Fulton County [GA] Superior Court judge has ruled that Atlanta's bids for the NASCAR hall of fame and 2009 Super Bowl must be open to the public. Judge Michael Johnson's ruling was a setback for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Central Atlanta Progress. The two leading Atlanta business groups argued in court that they are private organizations, and that releasing the bids would hamper the metro area's ability to win big-ticket spectacles like Super Bowls and Final Fours — prizes that mean millions to the local economy. At an all-day hearing Thursday, court testimony revealed that Fulton County and Georgia's Department of Economic Development, among other public bodies, helped pay to compile the NASCAR hall of fame bid. The bid cost $500,000 to prepare, with $300,000 coming from public sources, the business groups' witnesses testified. A witness also described meetings where NASCAR bid documents were handed out and then confiscated to keep the information out of public hands. Monday's decision was the latest round in a months-long dispute between The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the business groups over the Super Bowl and NASCAR hall of fame bids. Atlanta lost its bid for the 2009 Super Bowl, but the city is still competing with four other communities — Richmond, Charlotte, Kansas City, Kan., and Daytona Beach, Fla. — for NASCAR's hall of fame. NASCAR officials are expected to pick a hall of fame site by the end of the year. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Solid Rookie Season for Coyne Drivers Solid Rookie Season for Coyne DriversIn a year that saw near wins by Oriol Servia at Monterrey,  Ronnie Bremer at San Jose and a solid season long performance by rookie Ricardo Sperafico, Dale Coyne Racing reflects on the season past.

The number 19 American Medical Response Lola saw several drivers in the seat through the season after Oriol Servia moved to Newman/Haas racing to replace the injured Bruno Junqueira.  While all the Coyne drivers showed themselves proud the decision to do the majority of the season with Dane rookie Ronnie Bremer proved to be a good one.  Ronnie had several top tens, lead more laps than any other rookie and finished third in the highly contested rookie of the year chase.

Ronnie (pictured right) entered the final race in 10th position in the championship and a solid second in the Rookie chase, but an unfortunate accident on lap 18 of the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate here in Mexico ended the chases of a top ten by only one scant point.

“I am very happy for the opportunity this year that Dale and all the people at American Medical Response have given me,” reflected Ronnie at Sunday nights award banquet.  “Today was a big mistake that cost us a season top ten and for that I am sorry, but I have learned much this year and wish to thank everyone that has helped me.”  zzzz

Ronnie finished tied for 11th in the points with former Champion Cristiano da Matta.  “Ronnie did a great job this year, especially entering out team at mid season,” commented team owner Dale Coyne.  “We appreciate all of our friends at AMR and their support of our efforts in this exciting 2005 season.”

Ricardo Sperafico (pictured left) came to Champ Car in 2005 as a talented rookie driver.  Driving the number 11 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Lola, Ricardo showed steady and impressive improvement all year.  “I really learned a lot this year and made a lot of great friends,” commented the Brazilian.  “I hope I can return next year to use what I have learned to be even more competitive.”

Ricardo’s race in Mexico ended on lap 54 when a failed front suspension component ended his day.  Both Ricardo and Ronnie were getting better and better with the new venue in Mexico.  This was evident by their 7th and 12th place showings in the morning warm-up.  According to their data each of them showed incredibly strong rolling laps which would have placed them 1-2 in the warm-up.

“We have enjoyed the season with Ricardo.  He has shown well coming to a country he has never raced in at tracks he has never seen,” commented Coyne.  “We hope to continue and capitalize on his steady improvement through the year for an even stronger 2006.”

Racing News
New Wind Tunnel in Indy New Wind Tunnel in IndyAuto Research Center LLC plans today to break ground on a wind tunnel in Indianapolis. The 31,000-square-foot facility will be used to conduct dynamic research on vehicles. Auto Research employs 27 and plans to add 50 jobs as a result of the expansion at its Northwestside plant. Indy Star [Editor's Note: This is the old facility that was once the Reynard facility built next to the PVK facility when Bruce McCaw was involved with both.]
Red Bull drivers keep busy Red Bull drivers keep busyOnly a few weeks have elapsed since the end of the F1 season, but the Red Bull Racing drivers are already seeking out ways of getting their kicks on wheels. Over the weekend of 5 and 6 November, Christian Klien and Tonio Liuzzi headed off to Colombia to take part in the Carrera de Estrellas karting race, while David Coulthard and Christian Horner went soap box racing in Monaco.

This was the second time that Juan Pablo Montoya has organized a celebrity kart race in Cartagena to raise money for a charity he runs in conjunction with wife Connie to provide sports facilities for children in his native Colombia. Drivers from a variety of disciplines took part, with Formula 1 represented by Montoya’s McLaren team-mate Pedro de la Rosa, Antonio Pizzonia, Christijan Albers and our own Christian and Tonio.

Traveling out before the weekend, our drivers played football with some of the children who had benefited from the charity and then practice and qualifying took place on Saturday, with the races the next day. The circuit was laid out through the narrow streets of the historic city of Cartagena, famous in the past for its gold and its pirates – so the F1 boys certainly felt at home! zzzz
“It was a great atmosphere between the drivers,” reckoned Christian, “because normally, we never get much chance at the track to spend time with the guys from other teams.” Saturday night and everyone attended a special dinner, which, in keeping with Colombian tradition saw everyone dressed in white. But judging by his dancing style (yet again!) Tonio evidently thought this was a “Saturday Night Fever” theme night. It didn’t stop him taking a comfortable win in the second of the two races on Sunday, but he was not up for top honors, after crashing out in the first heat. De la Rosa was the overall winner.

Meanwhile in Monaco, David and Christian H were on the judging panel of the Red Bull Grand Prix Soap Box Race. Another famous face in the judging panel was Paris-Dakar motorcycle winner, Cyril Despres. To get an idea of exactly what the competitors were up against, DC didn’t need much persuading to jump in one of the machines and try out the course that followed the F1 Grand Prix circuit from Casino Square down the hill to the Portier corner, just before the tunnel.

Waving regally to the crowds, David seemed to enjoy traveling with slightly less horsepower than usual: “I have to say it was a novel experience, actually being able to take in my surroundings and hear the people at the side of the track,” he commented.

The event definitely livened up the usually reserved Casino Square, as Red Bull had set up base camp in the swish Café de Paris, usually home to little old ladies and dogs with diamond-studded collars, from where they were pumping out the music to go with the show; that’s Red Bull, not the little old ladies.

No less than 43 soap boxes were entered, one of them by an all-girl team who work at Coulthard’s Columbus Hotel in Monaco. Judging was based on three criteria: creativity of the vehicle, interaction with the spectators and speed. When it came to creativity, there were plenty of signs of lateral thinking with some people soapboxing in tents, cows, yes cows and proving very popular, beds! Source Red Bull Racing

Diageo to be McMurray's primary sponsor Diageo to be McMurray's primary sponsorDiageo, the world's leading premium drinks business, announced that it will take over primary sponsorship of Jamie McMurray's Roush Racing Ford beginning in the 2006 season. The company's Crown Royal and Smirnoff ICE brands will own the primary paint scheme on the Roush Racing Ford for 21 races next season, with Newell-Rubbermaid retaining the remaining 15 races. In 2004, Crown Royal became the first spirits brand to enter the sport after NASCAR announced that spirits companies would be allowed to participate as team sponsors. "I am excited about the opportunity to start a new era in my career with Crown Royal and Roush Racing," McMurray said. "I know that with this new partnership comes greater responsibility, as I will be counted on to help Crown Royal and Smirnoff ICE reach millions of fans with messages related to the importance of responsible drinking." The sponsorship will be built around Diageo's existing relationship with Roush Racing, which began in 2003 with a primary sponsorship of Matt Kenseth and the #17 car for Diageo's flavored malt beverage Smirnoff ICE. That sponsorship continued for part of 2004, before switching to the #97 car late in the season. Throughout the 2005 season, Diageo has utilized its association with NASCAR to promote responsible drinking to millions of NASCAR's adult fans as the #97 drove in the Crown Royal and Smirnoff ICE colors during 10 Cup races. On September 10, 2005 at Richmond International Speedway, Crown Royal became the first-ever spirit brand to win a NEXTEL Cup race when the #97 drove to victory during the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Crown Royal's integrated motorsports marketing plan will include primary sponsorship at 18 races during the 2006 season, including the Daytona 500. Smirnoff ICE will have primary sponsorship for three races. Crown Royal will continue to capitalize on its sponsorship on several additional levels throughout the season, including consumer promotions and retail events, dedicated print and broadcast advertising to promote responsible drinking, licensing, online consumer promotions, public relations and hospitality.

Crown Royal also continues to engage race fans across the country with its title sponsorship of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) series. For more information on Crown Royal, visit www.crownroyal.com. For more information on Smirnoff ICE, visit www.smirnoffice.com. Alan Taylor Communications PR

Irwin and Sharpie to sponsor McMurray for 15 races Irwin and Sharpie to sponsor McMurray for 15 racesJamie McMurray announced that he will drive the IRWIN Industrial Tools/Sharpie Ford for Roush Racing in 2006. The announcement ends the speculation of when one of the most coveted driver's seats in racing would be filled. "The addition of Jamie McMurray as driver of the IRWIN/Sharpie Ford is a development that's exciting to our employees, customers and fans," said Eric Pinkham, director of motorsports for Newell Rubbermaid. "There's no question that Jamie now has the right tools to achieve even greater NASCAR success and make a permanent mark on racing history." IRWIN and Sharpie racing will compete in 15 races throughout the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series next year, including special Sharpie paint schemes at each event at Bristol Motor Speedway. The brands' sponsorship will feature interactive marketing at tracks, retail appearances, advertising and consumer and customer promotions. Sharpie/Sanford PR
Markus Winkelhock offered an F1 test with Midland Markus Winkelhock offered an F1 test with MidlandAs part of its ongoing effort to discover talented drivers, The Midland Group confirmed today that 2005 World Series Renault driver, Markus Winkelhock, will conduct a one-day test for the team on 10 December at Jerez, Spain. Winkelhock will have a seat fitting at the factory on 16 November in preparation for his first Formula One test.

In 2005, the 25-year-old German driver competed for the Draco Multiracing USA Team and finished third in the Championship, winning three races. Previously, he had raced successfully in Formula Renault, Formula 3 and DTM.

"Markus Winkelhock is one of the most promising driving talents in Germany at the moment and I am delighted that we are able to offer him his first F1 test drive next month," stated Colin Kolles, Managing Director of Midland F1. "I saw him compete in F3 a few years ago and was already impressed by his driving. His first season in the World Series in 2005 has been very successful and we are looking forward to working with him at Jerez."

"This is a fantastic chance for me to drive a Formula One for the first time," said Markus Winkelhock. "This opportunity does not put too much pressure on me. I finished 3rd in the World Series this year so I think I have quite a good feeling for single seaters. I hope I will be able to do a good job for the team. I should like to thank my manager, Volker Zeh, who has given me great support. When I was struggling a bit in DTM last year with an old car, he encouraged me to return to single-seaters and now, a year later, I will be testing a Midland F1 car. Twenty years ago, my father, Manfred Winkelhock, also drove in F1, so this will be a great and unforgettable experience for me."

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Kimi's long interview
'FW28' on road to '06 debut
Bernie to give 'Sid' talk
Sato - 'I'll race in '06'
Brit GP future moving on
Au Revoir, Pierre
'Hi' praise for Red Bull

'DC' in a soap box
French hopeful slams Renault
Honda eye January debut
BAR slate FIA 'curve balls'
Support for radical FIA wing
Tambay salutes old team
Red Bull announces major new hire Red Bull announces major new hireRed Bull Racing confirmed media speculation on Tuesday by admitting that Adrian Newey would switch to the fledgling team from McLaren in 2006.

A statement issued by the Dietrich Mateschitz-owned outfit said that Newey, 46 and technical director at McLaren since 1998, would join Milton-Keynes based Red Bull Racing 'at the end of February'.

He is contracted to the Ron Dennis led team until January.

Newey will take up the role of 'chief technical offer' at Red Bull, in a technical and design team including Mark Smith and Guenther Steiner.

The Briton nearly switched from McLaren to Red Bull's former Ford-owned 'Jaguar' guise in 2001, but the move was legally challenged and he ultimately opted to stay put.

Speculation has lingered for some time that Newey was growing tired of the formula one scene and was considering retirement, or a switch to - for example - America's Cup yacht designing.

''I have been in motor racing since I graduated,'' he recently told the Autosport magazine, ''and ... I don't want to get to 65 only having done motor racing.''

Meanwhile, Midland announced that Markus Winkelhock - 'World Series by Renault' driver and son of former F1 star Manfred Winkelhock - would test for the team at Jerez next month.

Interview with BAR Honda Chief Designer Interview with BAR Honda Chief Designer
BAR covets Ferrari's secrets BAR covets Ferrari's secretsBAR will quiz Rubens Barrichello for the secret of Ferrari's success when the Brazilian joins the Honda-owned Formula One team from the former champions in January. Bar chief designer Kevin Taylor plans on learning the Italian team's secret. The fact that Rubens has been working with the most victorious team in modern history means we'd be fools not to quiz him on what's made Ferrari so successful," said Taylor.  "It's not just the design of the car, it's going to be on the way we operate," he said on the team website.  "We'll listen to him to see if there are things we don't do that we should be doing. It will probably be the small detail stuff and that could make all the difference."
Industry News
Ford and Fiat sign agreement Ford and Fiat sign agreementFiat SpA  and Ford Motor Co. said Monday they had signed an agreement to collaborate on small cars, completing a deal to co-develop models due in 2007 and 2008.
The two carmakers said they expected to save on development costs and benefit from economies of scale in the production of the vehicles and procurement of parts. For Fiat (search), the deal is part of its strategy to seek limited alliances in an effort to revive its fortunes.

Under the deal announced Monday, the platform Fiat used for its successful Panda (search) car will be used for the two new models: a revival of Fiat's iconic Cinquecento, and a new Ford Ka that will be made at Fiat's factory in Tyche, Poland, the companies said. They expect to make 240,000 annual units, split equally between the two brands.

The two cars "will play a significant role in each company's European product range," the automakers said, adding that each vehicle would retain its brand characteristics. FOXNews

Ironclad joins AGR as associate sponsor Ironclad joins AGR as associate sponsorAndretti Green Racing has announced a partnership with Ironclad Performance Wear, the leader in the performance wear category for construction and industrial professionals, for the 2006 IndyCar Series season.

Ironclad will become an associate sponsor of Andretti Green Racing -- the winningest team in IndyCar Series history -- with visibility on all four cars.

"We're thrilled to have Ironclad join the family of sponsors at Andretti Green Racing," said Michael Andretti, who co-owns Andretti Green Racing with partners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree. "Not only are they providing the support that will help fuel our 2006 championship campaign, they are also providing our team members a technical advantage with their unique products."

Rice wedding first of three for IndyCar drivers Rice wedding first of three for IndyCar driversBuddy Rice, winner of the 2004 Indianapolis 500, married his longtime girlfriend Michelle Noonan Nov. 5 on the hillside of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Ariz. in a sunset ceremony with friends and family.

The evening continued with a reception at the Sanctuary Resort near Rice's hometown of Phoenix and was highlighted by a performance by the popular rockabilly musician group, Reverend Horton Heat. Among the attendees were Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount, who assisted Rice in his early racing career, and members of his Rahal Letterman Racing IndyCar Series team.

The couple has put their honeymoon on hold for a few weeks as Rice prepares for his debut in the SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race on Nov. 17. Rice will drive a Trophy Truck with ESPN broadcaster Cameron Steele.

Rice's teammate, Danica Patrick, will be married in the Phoenix area later this month. Ed Carpenter's wedding, also in November, will take place in the Caribbean.

Cheever to drive in GP Masters Cheever to drive in GP MastersEddie Cheever Jr. will take a trip down memory lane Nov. 11 to 13 when he drives in the inaugural Grand Prix Masters race against former Formula One drivers. The race at Kyalami International Raceway in South Africa will be Cheever’s first professional race since the 2002 IRL IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I thought that book had been closed,” said Eddie Cheever Jr., who last drove in Formula One in 1989. “Now here we are again, with many of the same people, nearly twenty years later. I am excited about the fact that I will race against some of the greatest drivers of my generation again. I enjoyed my career as a Grand Prix driver and this will be a fun way to revisit that part of my life.”

Racing alongside Cheever will be an international list of champions including Andrea De Cesaris, Emerson Fittipaldi, Stefan Johansson, Jacques Laffite, Nigel Mansell, Riccardo Patrese, Hans Stuck, Patrick Tambay, Derek Warwick and more. The requirements to be invited: a minimum age of 45 years old and at least two seasons of former competition in Formula One.

Zwolsman runs well in Champ Car debut Zwolsman runs well in Champ Car debutCharles Zwolsman, the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama series champion, knew he’d face a steep learning curve in his first weekend of action in the Champ Car World Series. The native of the Netherlands also knew that once he got adapted to the increased power in the 750-horsepower turbocharged Champ Car, he would be able to relax and show what he could do.

Zwolsman gave a strong showing in his maiden Champ Car voyage, piloting the #25 Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia car to a 13th-place finish on Sunday at the Gran Premio Telmex/Tecate Presented by Banamex race in Mexico City. While getting only one day of testing in the Champ Car on Thursday and trying to make the most of his track time at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road circuit on Friday and Saturday, the talented Dutch racer began to shine on race day. He turned some very fast lap times, improving five positions from his 18th-place starting spot before taking his first checkered flag in Champ Car.

“I was pretty happy with the race and how I handled myself,” said Zwolsman, who scored three wins, five poles and eight podium finishes on his way to earning the Atlantic title this season with Condor Motorsports. “This was a great opportunity for me and I really got a chance to see what you need to do as a driver to compete in the Champ Car World Series.”  zzzz

The Atlantic Championship, Champ Car and Team Australia worked together to provide a ride for Zwolsman at this weekend’s season finale as a reward for capturing the crown in Champ Car’s top development category this season. Zwolsman took advantage of the opportunity as he was part of a very strong weekend for Team Australia. All three of the team’s drivers finished among the top 13 as Will Power of Australia finished 10th while Canadian racer and former Atlantic star Alex Tagliani earned an eighth-place result.

For Zwolsman, getting adapted to the boost in power from his 240-horsepower Atlantic car wasn’t as drastic as just finding a comfort zone to showcase his skills in a Champ Car machine. “It was a little tough to just get my seat and everything set up properly so I could be comfortable inside the car. By Saturday qualifying I was pretty comfortable,” said Zwolsman. “I was really expecting it to take more time for me to get used to the power, but it really didn’t take that long. It sure is great having that much horsepower behind you, though. I felt like I was being launched in a rocket or something.”

Both rounds of qualifying proved to be challenging for Zwolsman as he was forced to surrender his fastest timed laps in each session. He endured his first spin in a Champ Car during Saturday’s final round of qualifying when he lost control of his machine in Turn 6, stalling on course to bring out a red flag and a stoppage to the session. “That was too bad because that was going to be a very quick lap, but I pushed it too hard and lost my best time for causing a red flag,” remarked Zwolsman.

Starting 18th among 19 cars after recording a top qualifying lap of 1:29.503, Zwolsman began to attack the 2.786-mile course after taking the green flag. He posted some impressive lap times during the 70-lap race, even topping some of the marks established by his more experienced teammates during the course of the event. Zwolsman admitted that he made at least one error during the race, but fortunately it didn’t cost him too badly. After just learning about pit stops with the Team Australia squad on Thursday, Zwolsman mistakenly looked at his teammate Powers’ pit board during the race and came onto pit lane for service one lap earlier than the team was expecting.  “That was a rookie mistake,” said Zwolsman.

But the mistakes were few and far between for the driver who carried an impressive European road racing resume into his first year racing in North America in 2005. After demonstrating his ability to adapt quickly to the challenges of driving a hi-tech Champ Car, Zwolsman feels his strong result showed prospective Champ Car team owners that he’s ready to compete in the series full time in ’06.

“I think anyone who watched the lap times during the weekend and saw the race knows what I can do,” said Zwolsman, who has already talked to some teams about off-season testing as squads look ahead to next season. “I will surely do everything I can to get to Champ Car next year and I really want to thank Champ Car, Atlantics and Team Australia for this opportunity.”

Ganassi releases McMurray, hires Mears Ganassi releases McMurray, hires MearsChip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today they have released driver Jamie McMurray from his contract obligations for the 2006 season, clearing the way for McMurray to move to Roush Racing to replace the departing Kurt Busch, who earlier today received his release from Roush to allow him to drive for Penske Racing in 2006.

Team officials announced that Casey Mears will take over the driving duties of the no. 42 Texaco Dodge Charger for 2006. Mears was slated to run a fourth Ganassi entry in 2006, the team officials announced today they will remain a three-car operation. NASCAR Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson will drive the no. 41 Ganassi entry in 2006 alongside fellow Busch Series driver David Stremme, who will move up to pilot the no. 40 car, replacing Sterling Marlin.

Williams surprised by new rear wing concept Williams surprised by new rear wing conceptFrank Williams has been involved in Formula One racing for several decades, nevertheless, he is open-minded regarding new ideas – as long as they help to improve Formula One racing in his opinion.

Therefore, he is also an advocate of the new rear wing concept that was recently proposed by the FIA. “You have to admit that it looks strange,” said Williams, “When I saw the new rear wing concept for the first time, I thought: what is this supposed to be? But if it really helps to make overtaking easier, thus improving the racing, then it’s good for Formula One.” Accordingly, Williams is prepared to support this concept.

While the announcement of the new concept came as a complete surprise to the media, the teams had several days to deal with the new concept before it was officially announced. “Max Mosley brought several documents and sketches to China,” revealed the Team Principal, “and he presented them to several teams – including ours. Afterwards, we had a short discussion regarding the topic. It’s true, it came as a bit of a surprise, but on the other hand it was foreseeable that a proposition in this area would come.”

Nevertheless, Williams is not yet sure if the new wing really will be introduced. As the 64-year-old explains, his team is currently too busy preparing for the 2006 season and hasn’t got the time to extensively deal with the new concept. “I think it will take until February or March,” he added, “but then we will know if and how it works.” Source WilliamsF1 Team

Track News
Progress on Silverstone development Progress on Silverstone developmentThe following letter from Sutart Rolt, Chairman, and Sir Jackie Stewart, President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) has been sent to members of the Club informing them of progress on development plans for Silverstone.

Project Hill (the Board’s name for the project to assess the redevelopment potential of Silverstone) is proceeding well and we wanted to update you on the progress.

Over the last two weeks we have had a good response from developers wanting to put in bids. The revised deadline was 28th October and KPMG have now received nine firm bids.

The Board’s Project Hill Committee will meet on Friday 4th November to review the position and decided on a short list of three or four developers who will be invited to make presentations to the Committee in the near future. The Committee will then report back to the Board, hopefully at its meeting in late November. This will enable the Board to decide which, if any, of the bids meet our financial criteria and the overall objectives of the Club.

If the Board decides that one or more of the bids satisfy our objectives, it will authorize the Project Hill team to move ahead and refine a proposal, which can subsequently be assessed by the Board for submission to members for consideration. In the meantime our focus is on getting a detailed understanding of who is offering the Club the best proposal. Every bid is different and we will have our work cut out in the next three weeks to sort out the most attractive proposals. BRDC

Gibbs and Labonte end 11-year relationship Gibbs and Labonte end 11-year relationshipBobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing will conclude an 11-year relationship at the end of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, Labonte and officials from JGR announced on Monday.

 “I regret to say that this is my final year that I will be at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Labonte said. This relationship has lasted a long time, and I hate that it has to end. Joe Gibbs and his family gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I want to thank them, and all the employees at JGR, for 11 years of hard work. I will always cherish the times at JGR, and the only thing that I regret is that we didn’t win more races or championships.”

Labonte has driven for Joe Gibbs since joining the team in 1995, scoring his first career Cup victory in the Coca Cola 600 that same year. Labonte later scored Gibb’s first stock car championship in 2000. Labonte has struggled in the last two seasons at JGR, finishing 12th in last year’s points standings. He’s currently 25th in the 2005 Nextel Cup standings. In 372 starts for JGR, Labonte has tallied 21 victories, 183 top-10 and 109 top-5 finishes. Labonte began his Cup career in 1993 with team owner Bill Davis after winning the 1991 NASCAR Busch Series title.

A replacement driver for the no. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet has not been announced, although speculation has JGR Busch Series driver J.J. Yeley being promoted to drive the no. 18 in 2006. Labonte’s future plans are unclear, but his name has been linked to several driver vacancies, including Petty Enterprises and Chip Ganassi Racing. Pete McCole

Roush releases Busch Roush releases BuschRoush Racing has announced that Kurt Busch has been released from his Roush Racing contract obligations effective at the end of the 2005 year and that Jamie McMurray has signed to drive for Roush Racing commencing in the 2006 season.  Newell-Rubbermaid and Diageo will continue as primary sponsors of the McMurray driven entry in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series.
Osborne Wins Crew Chief of the Race Award Osborne Wins Crew Chief of the Race AwardBob Osborne, crew chief of the #99 Office Depot Ford, and Carl Edwards teamed up to capture their second win in a row this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.  Much like his win in Atlanta, Edwards only got stronger as the race went on.  He led five times for 82 laps, most importantly, the final two.  For bringing Edwards his fourth win of the season, Osborne was voted the WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.

Edwards had the car to beat in the final stages of the Dickies 500, but an untimely caution with 15 laps left in the event forced him to work twice as hard for the victory.  Osborne called Edwards into the pits under the yellow for a two-tire stop, which moved the #99 Taurus from first-place to sixth.  With only 11 green flag laps in the event, Edwards gunned down the five drivers ahead of him and captured his first-ever win at Texas Motor Speedway. 

The panel of voters, including Dave Wellham of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a WYPALL® Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr., all voted for Osborne as the crew chief that did the best job.  “Bob and Carl can’t do anything wrong,” said Eury Sr.  “Everybody thought that he was a sitting duck on the final caution, but he made the right call.  If he didn’t pit for tires, someone with fresh tires probably would have passed him.  If he took four tires, he would have been too far back in the field to win.  Bob’s two tire call won the race.”

Tracy and Bourdais win awards Tracy and Bourdais win awardsAt Sunday night's Champ Car Award banquet, Paul Tracy won the award for leading the most laps all season and archrival Sebastien Bourdais won the award for running the fastest overall lap times when adding up all the race laps for the season.
Philippe wins Most Improved Driver Award Philippe wins Most Improved Driver AwardAt Sunday night's Champ Car Award banquet in Mexico City, Nelson Philippe Jr. won the Most Improved Driver Award.  After struggling last year and being written off by many people, Philippe showed some real promise for the future by consistently outperforming his teammate Andrew Ranger and getting some good race finishes.  A podium is the goal for 2006 as he looks to improve along with the Mi-Jack Conquest team.
Racing News
Driver, teams beware Driver, teams bewareUPDATE #2 We spoke to former Barber Dodge Pro Series champion and Champ Car Atlantic hopeful Leonardo Maia in Mexico City who commented on this report.  "I was one of the people who fell for it.  I even went to Italy and ended up getting handcuffed by the police along with a group of other people.  Ironically they didn't touch the scam artists because Italian law says you can't arrest someone for proposing to do something illegal, only after they actually commit the crime can the authorities arrest them." 11/02/05 This scheme and these guys have been around for over a year, and it is so ridiculous and transparent that many established agencies think that it may be nothing more than either a U.S. or foreign government criminal investigation operation. 11/02/05 It has come to our attention that there is a Diamond Broker and his Advisor (Italian guy) who work out of Milan, Italy and who have contacted a number of drivers and teams about a sponsorship deal that involves some shady money transactions. From what we can tell these two guys are trying to launder money. The scheme involves trading Swiss Francs for Euros in cash at a rendezvous point in Switzerland. We found out about this because one driver agent we know was comparing notes with another driver agent and to their surprise they both were approached by these guys who used a different name in each case, but the transaction scheme was exactly the same.
Hisao Suganuma confident for 2006 Hisao Suganuma confident for 2006Bridgestone Technical Manager Hisao Suganuma believes 2005 has been a bigger challenge than winning the last six world titles with Ferrari as the company looks towards a winter of intensive testing for 2006.

The Japanese tire manufacturer partnered Ferrari to third place in the Constructors' World Championship with Michael Schumacher securing the same position in the Drivers' standings.

"Because we were not winning the races it was more difficult," Suganuma said. "We had to try to turn things around so we tried a lot of things, more than previous years' efforts. I would say from that point of view it has been lots of hard work this year, but we can use this experience. Although we lost this year, we have good data for the future."

Ferrari took a single race win this year at the United States Grand Prix in June and had to settle with third place overall as its rivals gained the upper hand. But Bridgestone believe they and Ferrari can learn from this more difficult year and Suganuma is confident that a winter of testing will put them in a strong position when the new season begins next March. zzzz
"I would say next year we will come back. We can apply this year's experience to that and then we can find a much better direction than this year," he added.

The company suffered a tough start to the season because, Suganuma believes, their winter testing did not show up crucial information on their tire wear patterns.

The company developed an intelligent prediction method during the 2005 season, which enabled their teams to move closer to the front during the 19 races throughout the year.

"The most difficult point of this season was the tires having to last the full race distance," said Suganuma. "That meant tire wear was a big issue in choosing the right specification. The technical centre developed a very good method to predict the compound wear for each circuit and then from the fourth race of the year, in Imola onwards, we used that method to predict the wear of the compound.

"Then we were able to make a good estimation and that allowed us to choose what compound range was needed for each Grand Prix. That method kept improving with each race result, so the accuracy of the prediction got better and better.

"I would say the wear prediction method we developed was quite a big benefit for thinking about the future races, so together we did a lot of analysis about the relationship between compound and track surface.

"Those things are good, although we didn't have good success for the race results we can learn quite a lot from these matters. I think what we learned this year could be a good asset for the future." Source Bridgestone

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Williams' 'big gap to bridge'
De la Rosa wins kart event
BAR-Honda clocks 415kmh
Schu to bite back - F1 talker
Bridgestone to bounce back
Schu accepts Rossi challenge
Paffett aims for '07 debut
Button 'passed out' at party
France hails later race
Field of 14 for GP 'Masters'

Foster's, F1 and 'A1'
McLaren in turnover boost
Another quick Coulthard
Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help
AutoRacing1 Inc. BBB Business Review