Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
Weekly NASCAR cheating report  NASCAR penalized Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth 25 Busch Series points and fined crew chief Drew Blickensderfer $10,000 for having the right rear quarterpanel too high in postrace inspection Nov. 10 at Phoenix International Raceway.  The loss of 25 points, announced Tuesday, moves Mike Wallace into 10th in the driver standings with one race remaining. Kenseth, who has not competed in 11 races this year, is 14 points behind Wallace.

Team owner Jack Roush, who was penalized 25 points in the owners standings, said Nov. 11 that a broken spring caused the violation.

Roush Fenway Racing can appeal the decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commission.

Fernandez to run Acura designed chassis in ’08  

Luis Diaz and Adrian Fernandez

In preparation for its second season in the American Le Mans Series, Lowe’s Fernandez Racing today confirmed its move to the Acura ARX-01b chassis next year in LMP2 class competition. The official entry - the No. 15 Lowe’s Acura ARX-01b - will once again be piloted by Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz, who recorded three podiums and six top-five results in 2007.
“What Acura has accomplished in their first season of the American Le Mans Series is remarkable,” said Fernandez. “They were strong out of the box with not only a brand new engine but the chassis as well. Expectations are even higher for next year with the amount of development work planned for the offseason. To become a full Acura effort is something that everyone at Lowe’s Fernandez Racing is really excited about because this will definitely help to take our program up to the next level.” More ...
Bourdais settling in at Toro Rosso  

Sebastien Bourdais

The 2008 season got underway today, just under a month after the 2007 season finale in  Brazil.  Today  saw  two  "firsts"  for  Scuderia  Toro  Rosso,  the  first  run  for  Sebastien Bourdais as an official driver for the team and the first time the team could carry out a track evaluation of the common ECU now required to be used by all teams for the 2008 season.

That  task  fell  to  Sebastian  Vettel  and  it  was  an  encouraging  day's  work,  with  a  high mileage completed on a brand new system. His program also included testing new brake material and new front and rear suspension.

As for  the  other  Seb, he  ran a  car  with  2007  electronics,  however,  to  simulate  some aspects of the 2008 package, the traction control and engine braking systems were not operational. He was delayed by a couple of mechanical problems in the morning, before getting on with his program which also included evaluating new aero elements.  Both  drivers  ran  the  Bridgestone  tire  used  during  the  Spanish  GP,  held  at  this  track back in May.  Both drivers continue with a similar program tomorrow.

Tracking Robby Gordon  Here are the links to track Robby Gordon throughout the Baja 1000. Today he rolled off the start line 4th.  Starting position is determined by a drawing... for once, luck was on his side!  This is the 40th Anniversary of the Baja, so it's close to 1400 miles.  If everything goes well they will finish about noon Wednesday.



http://robbygordon.com/2007BAJA1000/ionearth.htm  (this is a live tracker that  started at 11 a.m. PST)

http://www.race-dezert.com/wm/wm.html  (this is the "weather man"...essentially race control)

Early results

Garron Cadiente of Mesa, Ariz., had the early lead Tuesday evening in a wild duel in the trophy-truck class at the start of the 40th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Defending race winner Robby Gordon of Orange, Calif., fell behind shortly after the trophy-truck class left Ensenada Tuesday morning in northern Baja California. Six hours into the race, Cadiente held the lead in the No. 38 Ford F-150, followed closely by Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas in the No. 3 Mark Post Ford F-150 and B.J. Baldwin of Las Vegas in the No. 1 Chevrolet Silverado. Gordon, the NASCAR Nextel Cup regular, and his No. 71 Chevy CK1500 had dropped out of the top five in the early portion of the world‘s most famous off-road race.  Gordon is co-driving with Dale Ebberts. Post of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and MacCachren’s co-driver, leads the SCORE International Off-Road Racing Trophy Truck championship heading into the season-ending race. Baldwin came into the race one point behind Post, with Cadiente 20 points off the lead. The first of 22 class winners is expected to arrive at the finish line early Wednesday in Cabo San Lucas, the southern point of Baja California. Among the early class leaders Tuesday was another NASCAR driver, Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas, in Class 1, Matt Cullen of Long Beach, Calif., in Class 10, and Stan Potter of San Marcos, Calif., in SCORE Lites. Robby Bell of Sun City, Calif., the SCORE points leader, is leading Class 22, the motorcycle division that includes 250cc engines or larger. Bell, riding a Honda motorcycle, teamed with Johnny Campbell of San Clemente, Calif., who’s going for his 10th overall victory. The 40th running of the annual desert classic, which covers 1,296.39 miles from the northern part of the Baja peninsula to the southern tip, drew 438 entries.

Mansell sons to drive for Walker  UPDATE #2 On Wednesday Derrick Walker will announce a 3-car Champ Car Atlantic team for 2008 with the two Mansell boys plus Kevin Lacroix as his drivers.

10/11/07 Below are some photos from the Walker Racing test of the Mansell brothers at Sebring, and from when they were in the shop for their seat fitting.


10/09/07 Walker Racing continues to ramp up its efforts for the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season as they successfully commenced their second round of testing in Sebring, Florida today.  

It has been all work and no play for the Indianapolis based squad, who has been making preparations for the upcoming season.  Entering their third year of competition in the Champ Car Atlantic series, Walker Racing continues their efforts to find and breed young talent for the pinnacle of the sport and introduce them to the competitive racing platform of the Champ Car Atlantic program.  The team made the announcement in August that they will pilot Canadian Kevin Lacroix in one of the Walker Racing entries in 2008, announced a strategic partnership with Performance Friction Brakes in September and just recently completed their first round of tests at Putnam Park Raceway.   

Former Champ Car and Formula One champion, Nigel Mansell and his son’s Leo and Greg consider Champ Car’s Mazda Atlantic Series for 2008. More ...
Helio and Julianne nail it on ’Dancing with the Stars’  UPDATE After their dynamite performances last night, Helio and Julianne have advanced to the semifinals next Monday night, November 19.  The show will air at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.  They will be competing against three other couples in the penultimate round of 'Dancing with the Stars.'

11/12/07 Helio danced absolutely fantastic tonight on 'Dancing with the Stars'!  He and Julianne received the top combined score of 57 (out of a possible 60) from the judges tonight.  Their first dance was the paso doble.  Helio was dressed as a matador and the dance had a lively bullfight theme.  He and Julianne really nailed the quickstep they did for their second dance.  They received the only perfect score of 30 from the judges tonight for that dance, and the audience gave them a standing ovation!  Helio had a big cheering section in the studio audience. He wore a yellow suit and big yellow hat for the quickstep, and one of the judges said he looked like a dancing banana!  But the other judge said Helio had the "finish line in sight."  We think Helio could pull this off and win the championship!
No Traction Control is great fun  

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen described the new-for-2008 traction control-free Formula 1 as 'great fun' as the sport moved into a new era on the first day of winter testing at Barcelona on Tuesday.

"I was very happy to back driving today," he said.

"I have to say that driving without any assistance, as was the case today is really great.

"You have to pay attention to your driving, your reaccelerating, your tire wear and behind the wheel it's fun."

Q and A with Ryan Briscoe  

Ryan Briscoe

IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe was the guest on the IndyCar Series teleconference on Nov. 13 to discuss his signing with Team Penske for the 2008 season. Briscoe, a 26-year-old native of Sydney, Australia, will drive the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone. He talked about getting a second chance with a top IndyCar Series team after making selected starts over the past two seasons.

Q. Was getting back to IndyCar full-time always on your radar? 

RYAN BRISCOE: "Well it's definitely been a priority of mine to try to get into the IndyCar Series again, have a shot at the Indianapolis 500 and the championship and everything. But definitely my position I'm coming from is a factory Porsche driver with Penske, it's a very good spot to be in. So it was kind of like, I was in that position knowing that maybe there could come a time where if I was doing a good enough job, then this (IndyCar Series) position could come along; but also content to be patient and keep racing in the American Le Mans Series, which is a series that's really growing and getting stronger and a lot of fun to race in. But to get this chance with Team Penske in the IndyCar Series, really, it's unbeatable. It's definitely a step forward for me in my career. "

Briscoe also talked about his relationship with his new teammate Helio Castroneves and how he expects they'll work together.

Q.  How well do you know Helio, and what are you looking forward to most with working with him? 

RYAN BRISCOE: "I've gotten to know Helio pretty good this year, and he's a great guy. I've got to say at Indy this year, I never asked a whole lot from him, but he was always helping out, seeing how it was going with setup and how I was feeling in the car, trying to help out as much as possible. He was really great to work with all month long. He's a real fun guy. We get along great. I've got no doubt we're going to be great teammates together. "

Q. I know you'll be turning towards Helio for lots of different kind of help with the setup of the car and the way that things happen at Team Penske, but will you also be turning to him to learn some new dance steps? 

RYAN BRISCOE: "I think I'll be turning to him more for race help than dance moves. But I've been watching it pretty closely on TV and taking some notes. I'm not the best dancer out there, though, I've got to tell you.

"I'm a fan (of "Dancing With The Stars"), and it was a lot of fun (to watch him). It looks like he's enjoying it, too. I'm really pulling as much as I can for him, and hopefully, he'll make it all the way to the end."

New livery for newly named Force India  

New Livery

New Logo

With a new interim burgundy red and white livery, Force India made its F1 debut today as the team participated in its maiden test session at Barcelona. Roldan Rodriguez and Giedo van der Garde both saw action for the team today.

The team also revealed its logo today. The flag of India was a big part of the brand new logo. The logo was seen on the front nose of the car.

Germany calls up Ammermuller  

Michael Ammermuller

Reigning A1GP World Cup of Motorsport champion A1 Team Germany has announced the identity of the new driver who will race in Malaysia – Michael Ammermuller.

The 21-year-old will finally get his chance to race for the team at A1GP Sepang, Malaysia on 25 November, having tested for it at Silverstone in the summer of 2006. After that test, Nico Hulkenberg was chosen as the team’s lead driver for 2006/07 and went on to set a record nine victories before helping the team secure the overall title.

Ammermuller has never raced at Sepang, so will use Friday’s morning’s rookie sessions to become acquainted with the 3.44-mile circuit.

Christian Vietoris, who raced in the first two meetings of this season for the team, is unable to be in Malaysia because he was already committed to testing a BMW Sauber Formula One car, which was his prize drive for winning the Formula BMW World final in November 2006.

‘I’m delighted to get a second chance with A1 Team Germany,’ admitted Ammermuller. ‘It’s extra motivation to start for the defending champions. Even though I’ve never driven at this interesting circuit I want to show that I earned this seat by getting a good result in Malaysia.

‘I’m up against a lot of good drivers. I know some of them already from other series. It’s a great challenge.’

When he takes the start in Sepang, Ammermuller will become the sixth different driver to race for the team since A1GP launched in 2005.
Schumacher shows he has lost none of his speed  

Schu is still the greatest

Retired seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher showed the "youngsters" he's still the greatest by topping the times on the first day of testing at the Barcelona circuit Tuesday.  The German driver  posted a best time of 1:21:922 in Ferrari's F2007.

As the cars took to the track at the Catalunya circuit, Formula 1 itself stepped back in time to the days before electronic driver aids ruled the world.  In common with most teams, the main item on the program was the new common ECU (all teams must use the same electronic control unit.) Everyone was running the same Bridgestone tire, the hard one that had been available for the Spanish GP, held here earlier in the year.


Pos Driver Team Time/behind Laps
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:21.922 64
2. Badoer Ferrari 1:22.129 76
3. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.687 63
4. Kovalainen Renault 1:22.802 81
5. Kubica BMW-Sauber 1:22.883 56
6. Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.008 46
7. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:23.187 66
8. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:23.332 55
9. Trulli Toyota 1:23.624 46
10. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 1:23.671 75
11. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:23.847 58
12. Montagny Toyota 1:23.861 61
13. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:24.048 77
14. Zuber Honda 1:24.065 77
15. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:24.193 51
16. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 1:24.246 70
17. Rossiter Honda 1:24.480 69
18. Chandhok Red Bull-Renault 1:24.896 39
19. van der Garde Force India-Ferrari 1:25.317 84
20. Rodriguez Force India-Ferrari 1:26.973 87

Strikes force McLaren appeal out of Paris  (GMM) F1's governing body has changed the location for McLaren's appeal that on Thursday could alter the outcome of the 2007 drivers' championship.

The Court of Appeal hearing will now be heard in London, "due to the transport strikes that are planned in Paris in the coming days", the FIA announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Media reports say the strikes, to begin on Tuesday over pension rights, could become the biggest France has seen in more than ten years.

McLaren is appealing Brazilian GP stewards' decision to not penalise both Williams and BMW-Sauber cars even though scrutineers identified that they had used fuel that was colder than is allowed.

Toro Rosso refugee Vitantonio Liuzzi, meanwhile, stood in pitlane ahead of his Force India trial later this week.

The Barcelona test continues on Wednesday and Thursday.
First post-season test begins in Spain  (GMM) More than a year after his retirement, seven time world champion Michael Schumacher stole the show on Tuesday as F1's first post-season test kicked off outside Barcelona.

At precisely 9:01am, the famous German rolled onto Circuit de Catalunya in a Ferrari, and by lunch he was trailing only McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa for the quickest lap.

A banner in the grandstand read: "Schumi, we've missed you so much".
ppp Also conspicuous were the Honda-powered runners, as both the works team and Super Aguri apparently tested with similar plain-white RA107 chassis.
ppp It is not known if Honda's famed 'earth car' will reappear at the grands prix in 2008.

Force India, formerly Spyker, powered onto the Spanish venue with the 2007 car re-painted from orange to white and burgundy, and team owner Vijay Mallya's 'Fly Kingfisher' sponsor logos appear to have been switched from the Toyota garage to a new home.

Toro Rosso refugee Vitantonio Liuzzi, meanwhile, stood in pitlane ahead of his Force India trial later this week.

The Barcelona test continues on Wednesday and Thursday.
Tire selections made in Mexico City  

Tire selections made by Champ Car drivers and teams in Mexico City Sunday
Courtesy of Bridgestone

Brawn warns Lewis Hamilton  Grand Prix kingmaker Ross Brawn has warned Lewis Hamilton there will soon be a new Brit to fear... Jenson Button.  The technical mastermind, who made Michael Schumacher a seven-times world champion, was unveiled as the new head of Honda yesterday - banking a reputed £6million salary per year.  And he immediately insisted it was only a question of time before the Brackley-based operation overhauled mighty McLaren.

"Ultimately we will. I just can't guarantee how long it will take," said Brawn. "It's difficult to give you a timing, but I am convinced we will.

"It may be that we will get lucky and things will turn around very quickly, or it may take a bit longer.

"But the resources here match anything I have been used to in the past."

This week's F1 test schedule  The Formula 1 teams returned from their holidays today after last month's Brazilian Grand Prix for a week of testing at Circuit de Catalunya. Every Formula One team is present at the track near Barcelona for a three-day test.

A new face in the paddock is Force India F1. The new name for Spyker F1's team will run with a temporary livery in Spain. The team will have five different drivers in its cars this week.

At Ferrari Michael Schumacher will return in a Formula 1 car. The seven-time world champion will be testing with the Ferrari F1 team on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday: Michael Schumacher
Wednesday: Michael Schumacher
Thursday: Luca Badoer

Tuesday: Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica
Wednesday: Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica
Thursday: Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica

Tuesday: Kazuki Nakajima
Wednesday: Nico Rosberg
Thursday: Nico Rosberg

Red Bull Racing
Tuesday: Karun Chandhok and David Coulthard
Wednesday: Karun Chandhok and David Coulthard
Thursday: Robert Doornbos and David Coulthard

Scuderia Toro Rosso
Tuesday: Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel
Wednesday: Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel
Thursday: Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel

Tuesday: James Rossiter
Wednesday: Jenson Button
Thursday: Jenson Button

Tuesday: Franck Montagny and Jarno Trulli
Wednesday: Franck Montagny and Jarno Trulli
Thursday: Franck Montagny and Jarno Trulli

Force India
Tuesday: Roldan Rodriguez en Giedo van der Garde
Wednesday: Adrian Sutil, Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi
Thursday: Adrian Sutil, Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi

Tuesday: Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett
Wednesday: Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett
Thursday: Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett

Renault and Super Aguri

Ross Brawn talks exclusively to Honda Racing TV  

Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn talks exclusively to Honda Racing TV about his decision to join Honda. At the end of a hugely exciting day for the Honda Racing F1 Team, Ross Brawn took time out from his first visit to the team’s Brackley headquarters to tell Honda Racing TV why the lure of Honda’s challenging spirit proved impossible to resist.

Fresh from a year-long sabbatical, in which Ross gave careful consideration to the next step in his Formula One career, he says that hanging up his fishing-rod was not such a tough call versus the opportunities that lay ahead with Honda. “It wasn’t so difficult”, said Ross, “especially with an opportunity like this, because there are only a few teams in Formula One that appeal to me and this especially was one that I wanted to work for. So it wasn’t a difficult decision.”

When asked why he found the role at Honda so enticing, in his first TV interview for his new team, he said: “The main thing is the attitude and commitment of Honda. Also knowing that Honda have a very long racing heritage and they understand what is needed in racing, how difficult it is, how challenging it is and clearly they are making the commitment in resource, commitment in people and commitment in all the things that are necessary to succeed in Formula One. If we don’t succeed it’s down to us, it’s not down to the resources and commitment that Honda are making.” More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Brawn takes wind out of Barrichello rumors
  • Honda crisis inspires Brawn
  • Rally champ Loeb to test for Renault
  • Force India plans 'B' car strategy for 2008
  • Keep GP at Albert Park, Webber pleads

Brawn takes wind out of Barrichello rumors
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has taken the wind out of speculation that Brazil's Rubens Barrichello might not be retained by Honda in 2008.

It was reported recently that, although the 35-year-old penned a new deal in July, F1's most experienced driver could lose the ride if Honda find a better alternative in the wake of Fernando Alonso's impending impact on the driver market.

But after Brawn on Monday was confirmed as Honda's new team principal, the former Ferrari technical director said Barrichello and his teammate Jenson Button are both "more than capable" of winning grands prix.

Brawn, 52, worked with Barrichello between 2000 and 2005, when the nine-time race winner was Michael Schumacher's teammate at Ferrari.

Barrichello failed to score even a single point in 2007, but Brawn said Honda's problem was not its drivers.

"The drivers are not an issue," he told reporters on Monday.

"On his day Rubens was as quick as Michael and Jenson is outstanding.  They are as good as anyone.  Let's hope we can give them the material to do the job," Brawn added.

Honda crisis inspires Brawn
(GMM)  Ross Brawn might have returned to Ferrari in 2008 if the Italian team was "in crisis", he has revealed.

The 52-year-old engineer, who spearheaded Ferrari's technical challenge throughout the ultra successful Michael Schumacher era, was on Monday confirmed as Honda's new team principal.

Brawn held talks with Ferrari near the end of his recent sabbatical, but he said returning to Maranello while the team celebrated its newly won world titles would have been like "putting on a very comfortable glove".

"The fact that Ferrari wasn't in crisis made it less attractive to me," the Briton said during a conference call on Monday.

In stark contrast to Ferrari's success in 2007 even without Brawn, Honda scored a meager six points all season with the abysmal RA107 'earth car'. More ...

Petty says Hendrick battle for title bad  Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Richard Petty says the battle for the 2007 title that has boiled down to a fight between Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon isn't ultimately good for the sport.  That's just one of the opinions about the state of the sport that he offered reporters as he sat on a picnic table outside his motorhome at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday. In addition to the title race commentary, he offered his views on what he sees as the abuse of the past champions provisional and NASCAR Chairman Brian France.

On Johnson and Gordon, Petty said having two teammates race each other for the championship "is not good for the sport."

"If one of these drivers happened to have been [Dale Earnhardt Jr.], it might be a little different," he said. "But when you get Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, they're the same - they've just got different names." More ...

tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC  
The Chase Concludes: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Live from Miami on ABC

The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup concludes this weekend with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and ESPN on ABC will have live coverage of the event Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. ET beginning with NASCAR Countdown. Jimmie Johnson will be going for his fifth consecutive race win as he tries to hold off Jeff Gordon for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title.

Brent Musburger will host ESPN’s coverage, while Dr. Jerry Punch will handle play-by-play for the race telecast. Analysts will be 1989 NASCAR Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree.

Pit reporters will be Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro. Two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN DISH Tech Center.

Suzy Kolber will host NASCAR Countdown along with analyst Brad Daugherty, a former winning team owner in the NASCAR Busch Series and Truck Series, in the ESPN Pit Studio.

ESPN2 will have live coverage of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying from Homestead on Friday, Nov. 16, at 3 p.m. Coverage of practice airs Saturday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m. More ...
Ward out, Bodine in at Homestead  

Todd Bodine (L) and Paul Tracy

Tim Morgan, President of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Inc. (MMM), and Larry McClure, Team Manager announced that Todd Bodine will drive the #4 State Water Heaters/Lucas Oil Chevy for Morgan McClure Motorsports in the final race of the season this weekend at Miami-Homestead Speedway. Morgan stated, "Ward has worked hard for us this year, he is a good driver and a friend. Todd has been helpful to us in the past and has agreed to step in and help us benchmark our efforts as we get ready for the 2008 season." Both Ward Burton and the MMM team have agreed that his change is the best way to fully evaluate the performance of the team. Morgan continued, "We are proud to have State Water Heaters back as a sponsor for our team next year. We are currently in the process of negotiating additional sponsorship and selecting a driver for the upcoming 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season." Morgan McClure Motorsports PR
A new factor for the 2008 season: ECU  Next season will see a revolution in the area of electronics as the FIA technical regulations impose a standard ECU for all the teams. It is one of the most significant changes of the past few seasons for the engineers. The ECU has become the car’s brain, so modifying a way of thinking built up over many years is going to pose a few problems.

All-purpose ECU
In the twenty years since Renault pioneered the first electronic systems in F1 on the turbo engine, the processors have expanded their influence. Today, they have invaded all areas connected with performance. It is now impossible to start the car without a battery of computers. The chips monitor, analyze, record and control. To sum up the ECU sends signals and receives orders in real time. It guarantees the functions of all the car’s components and measures huge quantities of data. These are stocked, sent by telemetry or used for calculations. The measuring unit is the nanosecond, a thousandth of a millionth of a second! More ...

track news
Miller Motorsports Park Announces ’08 Schedule  As Miller Motorsports Park prepares to wave the checkered flag on the 2007 season, preparations are already well underway for 2008.

The schedule for the 2008 racing season will be similar to that of 2007, with a few date shifts and a couple of notable new events. As before, in addition to the professional events, the four amateur series based at Miller Motorsports Park – the Miller Park Racing Association, the Honda Presents the Plaza Cycle Masters of the Mountains Series, the Plaza Cycle Utah Supermoto Championship Series and the two karting series, the Icebreaker Kart Championship Series and the Utah Kart Championship Series – will remain intact and will hopefully continue to flourish.

The first big spectator event of the season will take place over the weekend of May 16-18, as the American Le Mans Series will bring the world’s most sophisticated prototype and GT racing cars back to Utah for a third consecutive year for the Utah Grand Prix Presented by The Grand and Little America Hotels. The 200mph diesel-powered, twin-turbo V10 Audi R10s will once again face off against the factory Porsches and Acuras for the overall race win, while the Porsche 911s and Ferrari F430s will duke it out in the GT class. Support races will include the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championship, the STAR Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the IMSA GT3 Cup Presented by Michelin and the IMSA Lites presented by Hankook Tires. More ...

Erwin wins Crew Chief of the Race award  Working tirelessly throughout the 312 laps of the Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil, Greg Erwin, No. 16 Dish Network Ford, showed why crew chiefs really do earn their keep.  Erwin knew of the passing difficulties that all drivers have experienced with the Car of Tomorrow throughout the 2007 season.  To compensate the passing problems, Erwin’s race strategy at Phoenix International Raceway would revolve around track position to give his driver, Greg Biffle, a chance at a solid finish.  However, track position was not all Erwin ended up battling with, as the No. 16 Ford was also experiencing handling problems throughout the race.  To his credit, Erwin soldiered through the problems and masterminded a path to the front for Biffle to give him a shot at a high placed finish.  As the checkered flag waved, the team picked up their fifth top five win of the season after Biffle crossed the finish line in second place.  For his hard work and never quit attitude, Erwin was awarded the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. More ...
“Sam’s The 1”  Mobil 1 ran a full-page ad in USA Today introducing former IRL driver Sam Hornish Jr. as the driver of the No. 77 Sprint Cup Dodge with the words, “Sam’s The 1”   Must be biting words for the IRL who spent a lot of effort trying to make Hornish a star only to lose him, along with another of their stars, Dario Franchitti, to NASCAR.
racing news
Quotes of the Week  UPDATE
BOB BAHRE, Former NHIS Owner of New Hampshire International Raceway
Bruton Smith would "be foolish to move a race from here. If he wants another one in Las Vegas, he ought to take it from Atlanta (another SMI track).  That place never sells out" (Reacting to rumors that Smith will move one of the two NHIS dates to Las Vegas)

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, 4-time consecutive Champ Car World Series Champion, Winner of season finale Gran Premio Tecate race in Mexico City; 2008 Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 driver
"You know, we tried to do the best we could to stop the pressure from building around us, but there was just no way out. Everybody was really emotional today, and I was, too. I had to leave a couple of times before jumping in the McDonald’s car. I couldn't hold it. It was really, really strange just to finally realize that it was going to be the last time. When I closed the visor it was all business. I knew it wasn't going to be easy because the Push to Pass and the fact that it increased the importance of it this weekend, it was going to be super hard. We just had the better car and the team once again just pulled it off. We had a good start and great strategy and great speed, and that's what it's all about.  There was no better way to finish off this chapter of my career. I really felt like everybody deserved it in the team, and it was on my side to finish it off because the cards were on the table and played pretty much. It was up to me to make the best use of it."

"Bulls***.  I've been dusted a few times this year for doing things that I haven't done, and I'm really disappointed because I tried to do the best I can.  Like yesterday when I had to give up my qualifying run, not to interfere with Justin, and trust me, that was the toughest thing I had to do in a long time because the very last thing I wanted to do was to just have a non‑qualifying session like I had.  This morning was just the same crap, period.  I rolled down the pre‑grid like I had been instructed, I took the stuff from the finish line, yeah, I dropped the clutch on my box, I didn't come to a stop, I didn't do a stop.  The problem is Tony [Cotman] doesn't seem to be able to put in writing what he thinks, and that's the real problem."  (Commenting after Tony Cotman docked Bourdais and his NHLR teammate, Graham Rahal, 22 seconds from their 70 seconds of P2P allocation for the Gran Premio Tecate race in Mexico City because in the morning warm-up they stopped in their start line boxes and laid down rubber, specifically against the competition bulletin Champ Car had put out earlier in the day.)   

FLAVIO BRIATORE, Managing Director, Renault F1 team
“Personally, I wish F1 could be run by Bernie [Ecclestone], supported by Max [Mosley], as a dictatorship,” said Briatore.  “That isn’t possible any more, because the F1 world has become so corporate.  So we must introduce a majority-rule system with the new Concorde Agreement.  At the moment, nothing can be decided without unanimity.  You wouldn’t even run the residents’ committee of an apartment block like that, let alone a global $3 billion sport.  It’s crazy.” More ...

Dyson looking into past and future  A three-day test at Sebring last week had Dyson Racing looking both down the road and in its rear-view mirror. With the 2007 American Le Mans Series barely three weeks in the history books, the Dyson squad was on the 12-hour circuit getting ready for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2008, the Series’ 10th season of world-class sports car racing.

“Honestly, 2008 really started when the checkered flag flew at Laguna,” said team principal and driver Chris Dyson. “Then we started immediately talking about next season and getting ready for Sebring.

“We carried out a pretty substantial bit of work, mostly chassis setup which will be hugely beneficial for the winter,” he added. “It’s the first time since 2004 that we’re heading into the season with the car that we campaigned the previous season. That is critically important. We’ve had a full season and have been able to isolate areas of priorities.”

The 2007 season marked the reunion between Dyson Racing and Porsche. After fielding Porsche 962s in IMSA GTP from 1985-1991 (with 12 race wins and 14 podiums during that span), the Rob Dyson owned-team purchased two Porsche RS Spyders for LMP2 competition last season and scored a second-place finish in the class championship. More ...

Andretti to race full 2008 schedule for BAM Racing  

John Andretti

BAM Racing co-owner Tony Morgenthau says driver John Andretti will return for the full NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2008. 

Andretti qualified the team's No. 49 car for 10 of 11 races before missing the show at both Texas and Phoenix.

"John's no slouch," said Morgenthau, who co-owns the team with his wife, Beth Ann. "He's going to be with us next year."

Retirement decision 'final' says Schumacher  (GMM)  Michael Schumacher on Monday clarified that he is not reconsidering his decision to retire as a formula one driver.

At Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 38-year-old former seven time world champion will test for Ferrari as the post-season 'winter' period kicks off.

But although the appointment is his first official F1 action since he raced for the last time in Brazil more than a year ago, the German on Monday said he simply wants to enjoy the experience and also contribute to Ferrari's preparations for 2008.

Schumacher will in Spain work alongside his 2006 teammate Felipe Massa, as well as test drivers Marc Gene and Luca Badoer.

"Is it clear that I am looking forward to it," he said.  "My love for the sport is not diminished and formula one driving is the ultimate.

"But it has nothing to do with my decision to retire, which is final," he added.

It is believed that Ferrari was particularly keen to grant Schumacher's request to test due to his vast experience and success during the previous era when traction control was banned.

"I hope I am able to help and support Ferrari in their preparations for the new season," Schumacher continued.

He added: "In 2008 electronic aids are banned in formula one, so my experience could be useful."

Domenicali to replace Todt at Ferrari  (GMM) Stefano Domenicali will replace Jean Todt as Ferrari's team boss from 1 January 2008, the Maranello based marque announced on Monday.

The announcement follows Honda's confirmation that Ross Brawn, who had been touted to return from sabbatical to head the Prancing Horse, has decided to join the Japanese outfit as team principal.

"Before the end of 2007, the details on the organisation will be made available," Ferrari said.

Todt, who joined Ferrari's team principal in 1993, became CEO of the entire Ferrari brand one year ago.
Roush to build all Yates cars  Roush Fenway Racing will be building all of Yates Racing’s Sprint Cup cars next season, and team co-owner Jack Roush said he’s looking forward to helping the Yates group return to its performance levels of old. Starting with the 2008 season, Roush Fenway Racing will manufacture all of Yates Racing’s cars, with Yates moving to Concord, N.C., next to Roush Fenway’s shops. Yates, meanwhile, will lease its current shop in Mooresville, N.C., to Petty Enterprises. “We’re making preparations to enter into a service agreement with them that will avail them of the technology and of the vehicles with the engineering essence and the vehicles that are coming out of our construction activities,” said Roush Saturday morning at Phoenix International Raceway. “We want to try to breath some blue sky and some viability back into the program.” One of the benefits of Roush Fenway Racing building cars for both teams is that in the long run, it will result in cost savings, because the cost for R&D, tooling, etc., will be spread over a larger number of cars, Roush said. “We’ve got some opportunities of scale, in terms of understanding what we need to do and then the more volume you generate off that for the same amount of engineering work, design work, tooling, all those things you do, it’s an extraordinarily expensive proposition to go do all the testing that’s necessary to build and support one Cup car in today’s world,” said Roush. “If, taken to the other extreme, an IROC scenario where all the cars were completely identical coming out of the factory, then the cost to the teams and the value to the sponsors would be maximized. This is something in between.” Ford Racing

[Editor's Note: When the dust clears, all the Ford teams in NASCAR will either be run by Roush or will be 'Customers'. You have to give Jack credit, he always turns a negative into a positive, for him!  Once again he finds a way to circumvent the 4-car NASCAR team limit.]
Marlin settles with Ginn  

Sterling Marlin

Veteran Nextel Cup driver Sterling Marlin said he has settled his legal issues with his former team owner, Bobby Ginn. Marlin and former Ginn teammate, Joe Nemechek, along with two crew chiefs, sued Ginn for breach of contract after they were cut from the team in July. "He did what he said he was going to do," Marlin said Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. "We got it straightened out this week. We're square." Marlin would not offer specifics but said he was satisfied with the result. He said he has not spoken to Ginn since July. "I let the lawyers handle it and it all got taken care of," Marlin said. As for next year, Marlin said he expects to run about 10 races with James Finch. He will run the Daytona 500 and the races at Talladega Superspeedway. "But from there on out, I don't know," Marlin said. ESPN.com
Brian France meets with GM's top racing exec  NASCAR's Brian France, meeting here with General Motors’ Brent Dewar, that company’s top racing exec, may be cranking up the wick on an E-85 ethanol-gasoline fuel program.  Dewar has been pushing NASCAR to go green, and switch Trucks, for example, to some ethanol-gasoline mix, which he said would be a good public-relations move for the sport.  France said that NASCAR has begun a test-car program to see just what it would take to switch over. Ethanol is caustic to normal fuel lines, so different lines, probably Teflon-lined, would be needed, although the cost would be minimal. The problem would come with Sunoco, the sport’s official fuel supplier, which would obviously have to get on board with any E-85 options.  Engine builders said that NASCAR officials have asked them for some information on how such a fuel would burn in a racing engine.  Winston Salem Journal
Goodyear tires continue to be thorn in side  Stock-car crews are still sizzling mad about the Atlanta test of the car of tomorrow two weeks ago: not just because of significant issues with excessive tire wear, but also because NASCAR insisted on going on with the two-day test, even though it knew of potential tire problems two days earlier. "We wasted two days, and wore out our teams to boot," one team manager griped.

Goodyear said that it wasn't happy with the tire problems at Atlanta so it will be testing Atlanta again with the car of tomorrow. And car-of-tomorrow tire tests are scheduled for California Speedway this week, probably with David Green in a Rick Hendrick car, and for Las Vegas Motor Speedway in two weeks.

Goodyear is trying to organize the tire logistics for next season too, because it needs several thousand tires for each Cup-Busch-Truck weekend, and it would like not to have to bring so many different types of tires. So, Goodyear will be testing the car of tomorrow and Trucks together, to try to find a common tire that works.

At Atlanta, when Goodyear put the Truck tires (used in Friday’s race there) on Cup cars of tomorrow, the tires wore so much that teams didn’t learn much at all. And what aggravates stock-car teams is that those tires had already shown issues of wear in Truck practice and the Truck race, and yet NASCAR kept some 40 teams at Atlanta for the Monday and Tuesday test anyway.

“The car of tomorrow weighs more than the Truck, it has a higher center of gravity than the Truck, and it has less downforce than the Truck,” one team engineer said.  More at Winston Salem Journal

Honda coup by landing Brawn  Following a period of strengthening across its entire team, the Honda Racing F1 Team is delighted to announce a further key appointment. Ross Brawn is to join Honda where he will take up the position of Team Principal with full responsibility for designing, manufacturing, engineering and racing Honda's Formula One car. Ross will work alongside Nick Fry who continues as Chief Executive of the team. This appointment reaffirms Honda's absolute commitment to success in F1.

Ross spent ten years with the Ferrari team where, in the position of Technical Director, he helped them regain glory in the form of six consecutive constructors' championship titles from 1999. Prior to joining Ferrari, Ross held the position of Technical Director with the Benetton F1 Team, helping them win back-to-back World Drivers' Championships in 1994 and 1995 with Michael Schumacher and take the Constructors' Championship in 1995. In the course of his 30 year career in motorsport he has worked with a number of Formula One teams and in sports car racing. More ...

Ex-drivers criticize Schu's test return  

Michael Schumacher watches Felipe Massa in car at Fiorano

(GMM) Two former Ferrari drivers have criticized Michael Schumacher's return this week to the formula one test tracks.

The retired seven time world champion is scheduled to drive the title-winning F2007 alongside his former race rivals on Tuesday and Wednesday, as post-season testing kicks off at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Furthermore, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that there is a possibility that Schumacher, 38, will also travel with the Ferrari team to Jerez for the subsequent test.

"I thought Michael made the right decision to retire one year ago," said Frenchman Jean Alesi, who drove for Ferrari in the nineties before Schumacher's arrival in 1996, winning just a single race.

Alesi told the Swiss newspaper Blick: "The fact that he wants to test again does not seem right. It must also be remembered that even testing is very dangerous.

"And just imagine if Michael does a better time than the proper drivers -- the newspapers will go mad, but what will Ferrari think?"

Triple world champion Niki Lauda also questions the wisdom of Schumacher's Spanish return.

"The only important victory in this game is the day on which you step out of the paddock with your life," said the great Austrian, who still wears the scars of his near-fatal Nurburgring crash in 1976.

More jovially, Lauda added: "Raikkonen will be happy that he does not have to see it! For me, this test is a Marlboro PR stunt, just as his ride on the Ducati (MotoGP bike) was."

Mexico City Sunday News Tidbits - 3  Regarding the penalties imposed by Champ Car at today's Mexico City season finale, Tony Cotman talked to us media after the event to explain the reasons they were imposed.

Mario Dominguez violation:  There is a 'foul line' coming out of the final corner and the drivers are told not to cross over it if battling for position because it allows you to come off the corner quicker and gain an advantage.  Dominguez violated that rule three times while battling for position with Bruno Junqueira and he was moved behind Junqueira in the final standings.

Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais start box violation: 
Bourdais: Bulls***.  I've been dusted a few times this year for doing things that I haven't done, and I'm really disappointed because I tried to do the best I can.  Like yesterday when I had to give up my qualifying run, not to interfere with Justin, and trust me, that was the toughest thing I had to do in a long time because the very last thing I wanted to do was to just have a non‑qualifying session like I had.  This morning was just the same crap, period.  I rolled down the pre‑grid like I had been instructed, I took the stuff from the finish line, yeah, I dropped the clutch on my box, I didn't come to a stop, I didn't do a stop.  The problem is Tony doesn't seem to be able to put in writing what he thinks, and that's the real problem. 

Cotman: We had video and telemetry data that showed Rahal and Bourdais both stopped in their start line boxes and laid down rubber, specifically against the competition bulletin Champ Car had put out earlier in the day.  "I was pretty hot and I saw it happen," said Cotman.  "But we reviewed the data to make sure I was not seeing things and it was clear 15 drivers followed the rule but one team (NHLR), both drivers, decided to ignore our instructions." More ...

Mexico City Sunday News Tidbits - 2  

(L to R) Kelly Pettit, Dan Pettit, and Liz Moses

(L to R) Kelly Pettit, Dan Pettit, and Liz Moses get together before the start of Sunday's Mexico City race. For the second straight year Kelly and Liz dressed up in race-themed costumes for the race. Dan Pettit confirmed to AutoRacing1.com that he will indeed be buying into an existing Champ Car team for 2008......Attendance Sunday looked slightly down from last year despite the promoter claiming the front straight grandstands were sold out. Official attendance will be announced later........We hear a new F1 track is being planned for somewhere in Mexico, but won't be built unless Bernie Ecclestone can guarantee them an F1 date.......The NHLR team's reaction to the 22 second penalty was no big deal. "We just need one pass (push) for the lead and then we'll be gone.".......The Minardi team both broke down at the beginning of the race. It was especially disappointing to Doornbos who was battling Power for 3rd place in the final point standings.  The team finally fixed his car more than halfway through the race and on lap 46, using a combination of light fuel and P2P Doornbos broke the race lap record by more than 1 second and grabbed the single point he needed to hold off Power for third place in the points.
Dominguez, Martinez follow successful Mexican legacy  The 2007 Champ Car World Series comes to a close today in Mexico City with the Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex, where fan interest centers on the local heroes. Mario Dominguez and David Martinez were hired with two races to go and both drivers can expect to receive the biggest cheers on Sunday.

They’re big on racing heroes down in Mexico, starting with the track that hosts the 2007 season finale. It’s called the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which honors the late, great racing brothers from Mexico, Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez. Ricardo Rodriguez astounded the racing world by qualifying on the front row of the 1961 Italian Grand Prix at the tender age of 19—in his first F1 race! Tragically, he was killed the following year while practicing for the inaugural Mexican Grand Prix at this very track, although it was extensively modified before the 2001 race.

Older brother Pedro achieved his success primarily in endurance sports car racing, most notably with the legendary Porsche 917, and also attempted to become the first Mexican driver to race at Indianapolis. He also found rides with virtually every top team in F1 and recorded a pair of world championship victories before perishing in a sports car racing accident in Germany in 1971.

The loss of the Rodriguez brothers may have created a temporary void, but in time, a number of Mexican drivers came to the forefront. This is the legacy on which Dominguez and Martinez hope they can continue to build. More ...

Champ Car penalizes NHLR drivers  Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing drivers Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Graham Rahal (#2 MEDIZONE Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) have each been penalized 22 seconds of Power To Pass from the original allotment of 75 seconds for infractions during this morning’s standing start practice for this afternoon’s Gran Premio Tecate presented by Banamex (ESPN2, Live, 2 p.m. ET).  

Bourdais and Rahal each laid down rubber in their grid boxes on the front straightaway during the 15-minute standing start practice session this morning. The rubber on the track creates a traction advantage for the drivers at the start of the race. 

The 22-second penalty corresponds with the maximum amount of Power To Pass available to a driver upon a single press of the button, unless the driver deactivates Power To Pass himself. With an extremely long and wide front straightaway at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and a prime passing location in Turn 1, the 22-second Power To Pass penalty is significant. 

Bourdais will start the Gran Premio Tecate presented by Banamex—his final start in the Champ Car World Series before moving to Formula 1—from second on the starting grid. Rahal starts seventh.
Miss Australia and Miss Houston in tiebreaker  The new 2008 Face of Champ Car final round was this weekend in Mexico City. The voting resulted in a tie Friday night between Miss Australia (Kate Hockly) and Miss Houston (Angela Saltzman). Champ Car took until Saturday morning to finally name the winner, Miss Australia. However, when it was determined that Kate Hockly would be too busy and could not fulfill all the commitments required as the Face of Champ Car, the title went to Angela Saltzman.

Kate Hockly

Angela Saltzman

CDW not interested in IRL, NASCAR  CDW's Bruce Delahorne said that CDW was leaving RuSPORT because 'it is not the same team it was when CDW first signed on', citing an up-and-down year off the track for the team, which Pettit acquired from founder Carl Russo over the close season.

"The merger with Rocketsports was for other reasons than making the car go fast, and that didn't go very well," he reflected, "We made a good decision to go with RuSPORT when we started, but it's not the same team now. The awareness value of CDW is the reason we came to Champ Car.”

Delahorne, a self-confessed 'race nut', admitted that he doesn't know what CDW will do after its contract ends with RuSPORT, but revealed that it was considering a range of options, including remaining in motorsports. The 'on track' options include moving to another Champ Car team or into another form of motorsports, but the overall range also has the possibility that the company will not return to motorsports all.

He also said that there were separate investigations into backing Wilson separately from any motorsport decision but, currently, the company wasn't considering a package deal with the Briton, with CDW more interested in a team which would have Wilson as a driver. The Briton has been linked with the vacancy created at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing following the impending departure of Sebastien Bourdais to F1 - a move made more easy by the demise of RuSPORT.

Among the motorsports options CDW is not considering, however, are the Indy Racing League and NASCAR. CDW has had a conversation with IRL, but things changed during the conversation, according to Delahorne, while the company has NASCAR teams which are customers - including DEI and Hendrick Motorsports - and the relationships are going well, but Delahorne intimated that, despite conversations in NASCAR, 'I don't think it would work for us - it costs too much'. Crash.net

Briatore 'puzzled' by new spy saga timing  (GMM) Flavio Briatore has questioned the timing of the latest espionage saga that has cast a shadow over Renault's preparations for the 2008 season.

When rumors of the Phil Mackereth case first emerged at the height of 'Stepneygate' in September, the Enstone based team "invited McLaren's independent experts to come and assess the team's computer systems and inspect the cars and the design records," Renault revealed in its recent statement.

But while conducting an interview with team boss Briatore, a journalist for The Times says the Italian "seemed puzzled as to why McLaren had waited so long to make a formal complaint to the FIA, which they did this week". More ...
Mexico City Sunday News Tidbits - 1  Sunday has dawned bright and beautiful here in Mexico City on a perfect day for racing. .........The Champ Cars will be back on the 2.774-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course this morning at 10 a.m. (EST) for a half-hour warm-up session. The green flag will drop at 2 p.m. (EST) for the Tecate Champ Car Grand Prix on Sunday and can be seen live on ESPN2 starting at 2 p.m. (EST). The standing start rule will be in effect to officially begin the sixth running of the Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex in Mexico City, Mexico. When drivers push the P2P button today they will have an additional 100 horsepower to enhance their ability to pass other cars, as well as additional 15 seconds of use (75 seconds total)........Conquest Racing won the Sherwin

Nelson Philippe's winning paint scheme

Williams ‘It’s All in the Finish” Color and Design Award. The brilliant pearl blue, white and metallic silver Juniper Soul / Opes Prime car sparkled in the Mexican sun and along with Nelson Philippe, pilot of the #34 car, wowed the local Planet Color judges. The judges evaluated the paint scheme on the field of Champ Car DP01s to find which car had the best color, design, gloss and overall appearance. Along with the Color and Design Award recognition, Conquest Racing earns a $20,000 cash prize. “We are delighted to have won the Sherwin Williams ‘It's All in the Finish’ Color and Design Award this weekend,” said Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner. “We made a very strong effort to come up with a good presentation and we are grateful for the support and incentives Sherwin Williams have provided all of the teams to enhance the Champ Car experience. This competition allows the teams to show off the DP01 and Sherwin Williams Planet Color paints to all of the fans. The colors and quality in the vast range of Planet Color paints we can choose from are truly amazing.”
Montoya warns open wheelers - stay out of way  

Juan Montoya

Juan Montoya warned fellow open wheel drivers that qualifying was easy, and the race will be much harder today at Phoenix.  “It's a tough race. You can get a lap down here so fast. Once you get a lap down, it’s downhill from there.”

Montoya, who’s 20th in the Nextel Cup standings with a victory, said it’s going to be difficult for Hornish, Villeneuve and Carpentier to stay out of the way of the contenders and avoid holding them up. He advised against blocking.

“They can move you [out of the way] pretty easy, as well,” said Montoya. “That’s the problem. I think, when you run a lot of open wheel, people are used to holding people off. Here it just doesn’t work, and if you hold off the wrong person, he’ll wreck you.   It’s pretty hard.”
Q and A with Brian France  Brian France became NASCAR's chairman and CEO four years ago. Bill France Sr., Brian's grandfather, founded NASCAR in December 1947. Brian's father, Bill Jr., took charge in January 1972. A boom from the mid-1990s through the middle of this decade has cooled the past two years. France, 45, sat down Friday with Republic contributor Michael Knight for an exclusive interview wearing his best rose colored glasses as NASCAR's popularity continues to shrink under his watch.  Interview
racing news
Q and A with Tony George  IRL and Indy Motor Speedway boss Tony George answers 20 questions in this dated interview.  He really does not say anything new, but reiterates his previous position on a number of topics.
Frye looking around for job  Former MB2 Motorsports and Ginn Racing General Manager Jay Frye, who was let go as part of the sale of the team to Dale Earnhardt, Inc. earlier this season, was in the garage at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday, said he has had numerous inquiries from other teams about his availability for next year. “I’m looking at what’s available,” said Frye. “There are a lot of good opportunities out there.” SPEEDtv.com
Hamilton may never win title says Button  

Jenson Button

(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton may never again get the chance to win a world championship, his countryman and rival Jenson Button has warned.

Hamilton, the McLaren rookie, looked certain to make history this year by securing the drivers' title at his first attempt, as he entered the final races of the season with a substantial points advantage over his rivals.

But errors and problems in China and Brazil, as well as the back-to-back victories of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, meant the 22-year-old ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot.

Hamilton dealt with the disappointment by telling the media that he will come back even stronger next year, but Button warned that title opportunities may never come around twice.

Was Hamilton overrated and was his McLaren fast because of the stolen Ferrari secrets and Alonso's ability to develop the car? 2008 will tell us.

"He's a great driver, but there are lots of great drivers in formula one who did not have his package," said Button, who won his maiden grand prix last year and then fell to the back of the field in 2007 with the abysmal Honda RA107 racer.

The 27-year-old told the Evening Standard: "What would worry me is the lost opportunity.  You can't say in my sport: 'Oh well, I only missed out by a point so next year I'll go one better'.  It doesn't work like that.

"He should be sick as a dog because another chance like that might not come round again," Button added.

Consoling Hamilton over the winter period, however, are ever increasing signs that he could be about to embark on perhaps the most financially-lucrative career in the history of the sport.

The Independent newspaper reports that he is considering floating himself on the London stock market, with a 10 per cent share in his newly formed company to potentially fetch about $100m immediately.

Kyle Busch wins PIR Busch race  Kyle Busch held off Matt Kenseth by .305 seconds in a green-white-checkered finish that took the Arizona.Travel 200 NASCAR Busch Series race three laps beyond its posted distance Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

The victory, coupled with his Craftsman Truck Series win at Phoenix on Friday night, put Busch in position to record an unprecedented triple in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 Nextel Cup event -- winning a race in each of NASCAR's top three national series at the same track on the same weekend.

In his final Busch Series start for Hendrick Motorsports, Busch led all but one of the last 116 laps (132 overall), collected his fourth win of the year and his 11th in the series. Despite problems with his power steering, Kenseth posted his seventh runner-up finish of the season.

Balky power steering wasn't Kenseth's only problem. The right rear quarter panel of his No. 17 Ford was found to be too high during post-race inspection. If any penalties are forthcoming, NASCAR will announce them during the coming week. More ...

industry news
Audi says October car sales up 5.3%  Audi AG, the luxury car arm of Volkswagen AG, said that its global sales worldwide rose 5.3 per cent in October compared with last year.  The Ingolstadt-based maker of the TT and A4, among others, said it sold 76,900 cars last month, up from the 73,050 it sold in October 2006.

That put the company on course to surpass its goal of selling 950,000 cars by the end of the year, said Ralph Weyler, who oversees marketing and sales at the company.

"Owing to last month's results, we are extremely confident about the final months of 2007," he said. In the January-October period.

New F1 spy saga ignites  UPDATE #2 Autosport reports that as many as 15 engineers at Renault had proprietary McLaren design data, even the chief designer Tim Densham. Expect Max Mosley and the FIA to hammer them as hard or harder than McLaren, who received a $100M fine and a loss of all constructors points for 2007. If Renault has to pay that sort of fine (and how can they not since the precedence has been set with McLaren) expect Renault to pull the plug on the entire program. And even if they do not, Renault President Carlos Ghosn will simply cut their budget dramatically meaning the team will become a mere shadow of its former self. In addition, Fernando Alonso could be out of that ride and will be forced to go to Red Bull, or tend to his garden for a year.

Unlike the Renault case, none of the Ferrari details got as far as McLaren's computers. If McLaren were punished so heavily on the suspicion that Ferrari information may have been used, then the penalty due to Renault should be similar, or one can argue even more severe.

The steep fine imposed upon McLaren has set a dangerous precedence and the sword the FIA have created is aimed right at their own back. 

11/09/07 A Renault employee on his way to McLaren was the one who reportedly told the Woking outfit that his former team had CDs of McLaren's technical information.

In the latest spy scandal to rock Formula One, Renault have been charged by the FIA of having "unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information belonging to McLaren."

According to the Times, the 'affair goes back to the end of last year, when Phil Mackereth, a design engineer with McLaren, was recruited by Renault and allegedly arrived with three computer disks of technical data.'

The FIA claims that these disks, which included various technical secrets as well as "a novel suspension component used by the 2006 and 2007" McLarens, were in the hands of Renault from September 2006 until October this year.

But while the information may have reached Renault through an ex-McLaren employee, Reuters claims that McLaren were tipped off about the disks through an employee moving in the opposite direction from Renault to McLaren. PlanetF1

11/08/07 (GMM) Renault chiefs have been summoned to the World Motor Sport Council as a new espionage saga kicks off in formula one.

Mere weeks after McLaren was kicked out of the 2007 constructors' championship and fined $100m for spying on Ferrari, it now emerges that Renault is similarly accused of possessing secret data about the McLaren car.

At the height of the so-called Stepney-gate scandal, it was reported that McLaren had evidence that Renault was also involved in a case of espionage, following the departure of an engineer to the French team.

Media reports identified the former McLaren engineer as Phil Mackereth, who supposedly took with him to Renault three disks of detailed information about the Woking based team.

An FIA statement on Thursday said Renault chiefs would appear at the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on December 6.

They will "answer a charge that between September 2006 and October 2007" the team had "unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information" belonging to McLaren including "the layout and critical dimensions" of the McLaren car.

Also in Renault's unauthorized possession was "details of the McLaren fuelling system, gear assembly, oil cooling system, hydraulic control system and a novel suspension component used by the 2006 and 2007 McLaren F1 cars", the FIA statement charged.

Peugeot wins 2007 LeMans Series title  Second place for the N°8 908 HDi FAP of Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin in this weekend's 1000 Milhas Brazil at Interlagos, Sao Paulo, was sufficient to wrap up the 2007 Le Mans Series title for Peugeot Total. The 908 HDi FAP of Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian took victory in the 1000 Milhas to hand Peugeot Total its second one-two result of the year to round off the 2007 season in style.

Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin, who were the only drivers in a position to take the LMS crown for Peugeot Total, did not have a trouble-free run in the Brazilian race which saw them forced to start from the back of the grid despite securing pole position in Thursday's qualifying session. Indeed, a clutch problem prevented Pedro Lamy from pulling away immediately for the formation lap and the Portuguese driver only succeeded in leaving the line once the rest of the 24-car field had passed. An outstanding drive nonetheless saw Lamy fight his way back to second by his first refueling stop on Lap 37.

The N°8 car was then called into the pits by the stewards on Lap 198 when the right rear light was seen to be flashing on and off. Three laps were lost, but the car managed to re-join in second place. Then, on Lap 326, Pedro Lamy picked up a slow front-right puncture and stopped to change all four tires.

On Lap 338, the team chose to call the car back in to the pits to inspect the front suspension after observing sparks coming from the front-right corner, although nothing serious was found. More ...

Mexico City Saturday News Tidbits - 2  The attendance Saturday in Mexico City was fairly decent, far better than the Saturday NASCAR crowd in March.......With this being Sebastien Bourdais' final Champ Car race arch nemesis Paul Tracy and Champ Car's Director of Competition, Tony Cotman, made a nice going away presentation to him at today's drivers meeting. Bourdais was pleasantly surprised and quite moved, having to pause to regain his composure as his voice began to crack. In the cutthroat world of F1 where Bourdais is off to he won't find that kind of respect and camaraderie......The Champ Car merchandise trailer was slammed in the afternoon with Mexican fans 5 to 10 deep buying up various items.....The weather forecast for race day is good with temperatures around 70 F and mostly sunny skies.....With bands playing and corporate guests smiling, the Mexican promoters can teach some of the American road course promoters a thing or two about entertaining the fans.
track news
PIR wall unsafe  NASCAR has asked International Speedway Corporation to come up with a plan to improve the inside retaining wall on the frontstretch after an accident Friday night during the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.  Andy Lally's truck smashed into the wall, virtually breaking it in half, leaving concrete pieces on the track but the rebar remained in tact. The race was stopped for 16 minutes as NASCAR put a temporary barrier behind the wall for the rest of the race. Track workers then welded steel plates into the back of the wall before Nextel Cup practice today.  Scenedaily.com
Phoenix race sold out  Phoenix International Raceway is sold out for the Checker Auto Parts 500 on Sunday.  All grandstand seats are sold, with only general admission mountainside viewing still available.  PIR has 76,000 seats. It will mark the third race in the Chase For the Nextel Cup that was sold out. Events at New Hampshire International Speedway and Kansas Speedway also were sold out.
Bourdais tops practice 3 in Mexico City  Provisional pole sitter Sebastien Bourdais, visibly attacking the challenging Mexico City turns with tail-out driving, topped Saturday morning warm-up for Sunday's Mexico City Champ Car race. PKV's Neel Jani was 2nd fastest ahead of Robert Doornbos who improved significantly from Friday. Justin Wilson and Will Power rounded out thee top-5.

Final qualifying is next up this afternoon.


Driver # Team Lap Time Mph Leader
1 S. Bourdais 1 Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:24.815 117.743
2 N. Jani 21 PKV Racing 1:24.882 117.650 0.067
3 R. Doornbos 14 Minardi Team USA 1:24.918 117.601 0.103
4 J. Wilson 9 RuSPORTS 1:24.943 117.566 0.128
5 W. Power 5 Team Australia 1:25.072 117.388 0.257
6 P. Tracy 3 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:25.886 116.275 1.071
7 O. Servia 22 PKV Racing 1:25.939 116.203 1.124
8 D. Clarke 4 Minardi Team USA 1:26.216 115.830 1.401
9 S. Pagenaud 15 Team Australia 1:26.248 115.787 1.433
10 D. Martinez 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:26.305 115.711 1.490
11 B. Junqueira 19 Dale Coyne Racing 1:26.516 115.428 1.701
12 G. Rahal 2 Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:26.564 115.364 1.749
13 N. Philippe 34 Conquest Racing 1:26.642 115.260 1.827
14 A. Figge 29 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:26.780 115.077 1.965
15 M. Dominguez 28 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:26.808 115.040 1.993
16 A. Tagliani 8 Rocketsports 1:26.957 114.843 2.142
17 K. Legge 11 Dale Coyne Racing 1:27.903 113.607 3.088

Mexico City Saturday News Tidbits - 1  No fog today in Mexico City. It is a glorious day for racing........The Champ Car Minardi 2-seater program continues to get heavy use with the Chairman of Tecate, Mr. Gonzalez getting a ride as did the CEO of TV Azteca Mr. Salinas, and AXTEL's Thomas Milmo. Bridgestone has four guests going for rides each day and the wife (Shelly Dyck) of the Racer Magazine sweepstakes winner went for a ride........We are told that AXTEL people are very happy with David Martinez and his 6th place performance Friday. More later......
Industry News
Brembo buys Hayes Lemmerz unit  With a mission to grow, the North American unit of Italian brake-maker Brembo bought the brake business of Northville wheel maker Hayes Lemmerz for $58 million, the companies announced Friday.

With the deal, Brembo will nearly double its North American business, which is mostly with Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp., said Adrian Smith, general manager of Brembo North America.

The move should be seen as the beginning of a growth strategy in North America, which he said is a critical market for Brembo.

By adding scale to the North American brake business, he aims to grow the business with sales to North American plants owned by Japanese and other foreign automakers.

"This should put us in a better position to approach the transplants," Smith said.

Crook NASCAR team owner drove Best Buy away  A  Best Buy official says the legal troubles of Haas CNC Racing owner Gene Haas were one of several factors in the company's decision to move its sponsorship to Gillett Evernham Motorsports' No. 19 for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series.

"It was a variable, no doubt [about] it," said Brad Morrill, senior motorsports manager for Best Buy following the announcement that it would back the car driven by Elliott Sadler. "Any time you have something like that happen, you have to put that into your variable package.

"But it wasn't the final variable at all. ... Many athletes get in trouble and companies still sponsor them."

"We were with Haas for three years, three really good years - they got us into this sport," Morrill said. "We had a good learning experience with those guys. We got to a point where we were at the end of our contract this year with them.

"As any good sponsor should, we wanted to check the market and we looked around and found this opportunity. Having Elliott with our brand and Ray [Evernham] with the performance on the track and the Gillett guys from the [business-to-business] side was just a strong package that we just focused that way."

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Bernie gets involved in new spy scandal
  • Hamilton was lying through his teeth
  • Liuzzi, Klien, to test for Force India
  • Klien determined to race in 2008

Bernie gets involved in new spy scandal
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone, F1's chief executive, called a crisis meeting on Friday as a new spying scandal broke out.

The 76-year-old, who is a close business partner and friend of Flavio Briatore, summoned key members of the formula one fraternity to his London office as Renault admitted to recently possessing secret information belonging to McLaren.

The Daily Telegraph reported that each team except Renault, Ferrari and McLaren - the three involved in spying scandals - attended Ecclestone's meeting, to "establish the nature and full extent of espionage within F1 and cut out the cancer at source".

At first glance, the new Renault case appears potentially worse than 'Stepneygate', due to the length of the possession and the detailed nature of the secrets.

In a press statement issued on Friday, Renault said the rogue engineer in question - former McLaren employee Phil Mackereth who took floppy disks of information to his new team - has been suspended.

Renault said the information had been loaded onto the team's computer system "without the knowledge of anyone in authority", but that Mackereth made "some of our engineers aware" of the secrets.

The Telegraph claims that officials even as high-ranking as "the chief designer, deputy chief designer, deputy technical director, head of research and development and the head of vehicle performance" saw them.

Renault, however, insists that although some engineers were "briefly shown" the drawings, the McLaren information was not "used to influence design decisions relating to the Renault car". More ...

Champ Car trying out new ideas for 2008  Champ Car established a new rule for the first practice session in Mexico City. Each entrant received eight sets of tires (six primary and two alternate) of the total nine sets allocated for the event as usual. The ninth set (primary) was to be earned in the Friday morning practice. The 75-minute practice session was divided into two segments, with 15 minutes downtime between segments. Segment one consisted of 30 minutes of guaranteed green time, while segment two was run for the remainder of the scheduled session time with no guaranteed green time.  Each entrant that completed a minimum of 12 laps during segment one was provided with their ninth set of tires. Just like in Australia, where the morning practice awarded qualifying laps, here in Mexico City, the teams were awarded tires. This is just part of new ideas that Champ Car is trying out as a test to possibly initiate in 2008, as the series prepares for a bigger and better season. Rocketsports PR
Busch Victorious At Phoenix; Skinner's Lead Dwindles  Kyle Busch won his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race of the season and the sixth of his career Friday night in the Casino Arizona 150, as runner-up Ron Hornaday trimmed Mike Skinner's lead in the championship battle from 57 points to 29.

In a race interrupted by a track record 13 cautions and two red-flag periods, Busch crossed the finish line .479 seconds ahead of Hornaday, who posted his 13th top-five finish of the season.

Skinner came home eighth after his teammate, Johnny Benson, passed him for position in the closing laps. That pass cost Skinner four points and rankled the series leader, who thought Benson was helping to protect him from being passed.

"I guess we're not a team," a disgruntled Skinner said after the race. "I thought he (Benson) was taking care of me. . . I really don't want to comment on it. We'll go to Homestead, and hammer down."

Mike Bliss ran third, followed by Jason Leffler, Kevin Harvick, Todd Bodine, Benson and Skinner. Skinner lost 15 positions during a slow pit stop on Lap 44 and could only work is way back to eighth by the end of the race. More ...

France does not plan on any Chase changes  Brian France said he doesn't anticipate any big tweaks for the Chase For The Nextel Cup format for next season as a pair of Hendrick Motorsports drivers have broken away from the 12-driver pack compete for the title. France, speaking after being a panelist Friday at a business summit at Phoenix International Raceway, said he was happy with the format, which seeded drivers for the Chase based on wins and also added five more points for a win week to week.

He was especially pleased with Jimmie Johnson going for the win last week at Texas, where he earned five more points than he would have a year ago. "It's worked," France said when asked about the bonus points. "We may do a little more of it. What Jimmie Johnson did - I actually called him on the phone and told him, by going after that win - because he knew how close it was - he knew those bonus points may be necessary to win it all. "In the old days, a couple years ago, somebody might have settled for second. He took a lot of chances. I hope it was because the rewards were such that it counts." Scenedaily.com
Hornish finally qualifies  Now that Sam Hornish Jr. has officially thrown his hat into the Nextel Cup Series ring, it was only appropriate he should make a race. Hornish Jr. will make his first series start in seven tries as he qualified for Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. He was 26th fastest overall and third among those drivers not locked in the field in the top 35 in car owner points.
Best Buy teams up with Gillett Evernham team  Best Buy, Inc., announced today it has entered a new affiliation with Gillett Evernham Motorsports.   The nation’s leading electronics retailer will serve as the primary sponsor of driver Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge Avenger in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in 2008, including the 50th running of the “Great American Race,” the Daytona 500.

“At Best Buy, we’re all about bringing consumers the complete product and service experiences, and that’s what we feel we’ve found with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, “said Barry Judge, senior vice president , Marketing, Best Buy. “With Gillett Evernham Motorsports, not only do we have the focus on performance, but we also have a charismatic fan favorite and proven winner in our driver, Elliott Sadler. We’re confident this new relationship will generate excitement and enthusiasm among our employees, as well as our customers.”

”This sponsorship is a natural fit,” said Gillett Evernham Motorsports co-owner, Ray Evernham. “Gillett Evernham Motorsports is known for bringing technology and innovation to its race program, just as Best Buy is recognized for bringing the newest technology in entertainment to its customers.” More ...

Renault responds to allegations  Following the notification of the FIA for the Renault F1 Team representatives to appear in front of the World Council, the team has responded and issued the following statement.

"On the 6th September 2007 it came to our attention that an engineer (Mr. Phil Mackereth) who joined the team from McLaren in Sept 2006 had brought with him some information that was considered to be proprietary to McLaren. This information was contained on old style floppy discs and included copies of some McLaren engineering drawings and some technical spreadsheets. This information was loaded at the request of Mr. Mackereth onto his personal directory on the Renault F1 Team file system. This was done without the knowledge of anyone in authority in the team. As soon as the situation was brought to the attention of the team's technical management, the following actions were taken:

  • The information was completely cleansed from the team's computer systems and a formal investigation was started.
  • We promptly informed McLaren of the situation and immediately after the FIA.
  • Since then we have constantly and regularly kept McLaren and the FIA informed on all relevant findings.
  • Mr. Mackereth was immediately suspended from his position.
  • The original floppy discs were impounded and sent to our solicitors for return to McLaren. More ...
More programming should tank NASCAR ratings further  With fans already disgusted with too much NASCAR programming on TV, below is more news of NASCAR oversaturating the airwaves and driving fans to switch off the TV in disgust.

NASCAR Leaders Johnson, Gordon to Appear on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

With the final race of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season in their windshields, drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon will appear during halftime of ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The game airs Monday, Nov. 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Hendrick Motorsports teammates will battle for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title in the Ford 400 at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway, the last race in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. The race airs Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. on ABC.

ESPN’s Stuart Scott will interview Johnson and Gordon via satellite. Johnson is the defending NASCAR champion while Gordon is attempting to win his fifth title.

NASCAR Now Expands Schedule for NASCAR Final Week

NASCAR Now, ESPN’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will have an expanded schedule for the final week of the NASCAR season including seven one-hour shows the week of Nov. 12-18. ABC will have live coverage of the Ford 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event from Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. More ...

Petty Enterprises announces new sponsor  Petty Enterprises announces today that the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) will serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Dodge Avenger for two races during the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.  The events will be the May race at the Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and the June race at the Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.  The organization will be an associate sponsor on the #45 Dodge for the remaining 34 races of the season.

Richard and Kyle Petty, along with PVA members Dianne Brunswick and Benjamin Garcia, were on hand at the Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway to make the announcement. 

“It is going to be an honor to represent the Paralyzed Veterans of America because it is such an outstanding organization,” said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 PVA Dodge.  “The work of the PVA is life-changing for those seriously injured heroes who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

“The King” Richard Petty sees the PVA as a great way to give back to those who do so much for our way of life.  More ...

Mexico City: Wilson tops Bourdais in opening practice  UPDATE The fastest lap in opening practice last year was a 1m27.214s so the new Panoz appears to be marginally faster so far with Wilson lapping at 1m27.078s this morning.

11/09/07 Justin Wilson nipped Sebastien Bourdais in opening practice for Sunday's Champ Car race in Mexico City. Oriol Servia was an impressive third for PKV Racing. Team Australia's Will Power and Simon Pagenaud were 4th and 5th.


Driver # Team Lap Time Mph Gap
1 J. Wilson 9 RuSPORTS 1:27.078 114.683
2 S. Bourdais 1 Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:27.136 114.607 0.058
3 O. Servia 22 PKV Racing 1:27.798 113.743 0.720
4 W. Power 5 Team Australia 1:27.927 113.576 0.849
5 S. Pagenaud 15 Team Australia 1:27.957 113.537 0.879
6 A. Tagliani 8 Rocketsports 1:28.137 113.305 1.059
7 G. Rahal 2 Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:28.216 113.204 1.138
8 B. Junqueira 19 Dale Coyne Racing 1:28.321 113.069 1.243
9 P. Tracy 3 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:28.354 113.027 1.276
10 D. Clarke 4 Minardi Team USA 1:28.441 112.916 1.363
11 M. Dominguez 28 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:28.632 112.673 1.554
12 A. Figge 29 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:28.742 112.533 1.664
13 N. Jani 21 PKV Racing 1:28.814 112.442 1.736
14 N. Philippe 34 Conquest Racing 1:28.959 112.258 1.881
15 R. Doornbos 14 Minardi Team USA 1:29.065 112.125 1.987
16 K. Legge 11 Dale Coyne Racing 1:29.152 112.015 2.074
17 D. Martinez 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:29.253 111.889 2.175

NASCAR TV ratings continue to tumble  UPDATE #2 Correction: The final rating for last weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup race in Atlanta was a 3.7 (not 4.0 as previously reported), which means the final rating was down 21.3% from last year's 4.8 final rating.

11/09/07 NASCAR CEO Brian France said there won’t be many changes for 2008, but maybe he should take a second looking at the TV ratings.  Viewers for last week’s Pep Boys 500 were down almost 20 percent from 2006, and that 4.0 national rating wasn’t very impressive, even less so considering last year’s fall race drew a 4.8. ABC has this year’s Chase telecasts, and NBC had the Chase from 2004 through 2006. When pressed last fall about slumping TV ratings, France blamed NBC, in the last year of its contract, for not adequately promoting the sport. This year, however, ABC-ESPN has done an amazing job of promotion.  If the sport’s ratings are down, and it’s not because of lack of promotion, then it must be something else.  Winston Salem Journal

11/06/07 UPDATE 'Final' TV ratings for the Oct. 28 Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway were down 17 percent from a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. The race drew a 4.0 national rating on ABC, down from a 4.8 received in 2006 when the race was broadcast on NBC.

The broadcast of the NASCAR Busch Series race from Memphis, Tenn., received a 1.2 rating on ESPN2, down from a 1.6 received in 2006 when the event was broadcast on NBC.  Speed Channel's broadcast of the Craftsman Truck Series race from Atlanta received a 0.6 rating, the same as one year ago.

As we have stated on numerous occasions, NASCAR has oversaturated the media market with NASCAR TV shows and other media everywhere you turn. In addition, by bringing in foreign drivers NASCAR is turning off the Xenophobic fan base that made it so popular.  The Car of Yesterday (Yes, yesterday because the new car has 100% technology of 30 years ago) IROC-style kit-car with decals to change it from one brand to another Americans are saying 'enough-already' and are clicking NASCAR off with disgust by the millions.  

And if NASCAR thinks the foreign drivers are going to enable it to sell its brand worldwide, think again.  Open wheel fans view F1 as the pinnacle and any ex-F1 driver in NASCAR is considered a washed-up has-been.  Even Juan Montoya, who got eaten alive by Kimi Raikkonen at McLaren, is considered inferior.

11/05/07ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Dickies 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 3.6 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.  The figure is 10 percent lower than the 4.0 NBC earned overnight for the race in 2006.
track news
Details of new Silverstone emerge  Details of the plans for the Silverstone circuit have now become available with the plans available for download here. The BRDC's Master Plan aims to keep Silverstone as one of the rare original circuits on the F1 calendar, along with Monza, Spa and Monaco.

Formulated by Spencer Canning and a property advisory committee of BRDC members, the Silverstone Master Plan aims to release value from the Silverstone Estate in order to provide the financial means for the BRDC to implement necessary works required to retain the British Grand Prix at Silverstone beyond 2009.

In addition to developing and improving circuit facilities, the Silverstone Master Plan will enable Silverstone to realize its ambition of becoming more than a Grand Prix Circuit, and retain its position at the heart of motorsport valley. The long term objective is to expand its function and relevance to motorsport, leading technologies, education and training and, finally, to ensure that the UK continues to be the global leader in these specialist areas.

If all goes well the track will remain as it is but the land around the facility will be substantially developed with a new pit and paddock complex, new grandstands, three hotels, residential developments and leisure and conferencing facilities. The key to the development is 11 acres of land that is owned by the BRDC to the north of the circuit, between the A43 and Silverstone village. These are currently open fields but the BRDC wants permission to create up to 220 homes in a carefully landscaped area, with building design reflecting the local styles and the scale of the village. To the south of the A43 in areas which are currently used for parking, the plan is for an extension to the existing Technology Park with 41 of the 93 acres to be developed with the rest remaining as parkland. This would greatly increase the size of the existing park.

There would be new grandstands all the way down the existing pit straight. More at GrandPrix.com

Mexico City Friday Tidbits 3  All the main straight grandstand seats are sold out for Sunday's Champ Car season finale in Mexico City.  As a result they have opened up the first turn grandstands and they hope to fill them up as well.  Ticket sales are on par with last year, but not what they once were in the early years here in Mexico City.  Our Mexican sources tell us there will be far more people here this weekend for the Champ Car race than there was for the NASCAR race back in March.....The 2-seat Minardi F1 Champ Car has had a lot of track time this morning, more than usual......Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy are the early leaders in morning practice.
Mexico City Friday Tidbits 2  UPDATE

Power's hand was just wrapped as morning practice began

Correction on the turbo boost pressures given below.  For this race it is 38 inches (not 37) and 43 inches with P2P activated.  All other races this year were 41.5 inches (not 40) and 44 inches with P2P activated.  Next year the P2P boost will probably be close to 47 inches for all races but here in Mexico City, which will be 43 inches........Will Power tells us his wrist is actually broken in two places and it is bothering him quite a bit. 

Will Power moves his wrist to test his new brace

The fog is lifting and the sun is beginning to break through so we are looking forward to a nice day weather-wise in Mexico City.  The two Minardi F1 2-seat Champ Cars are currently on track..........Will Power made a couple of test laps to see how the carbon fiber brace he had fitted to his broken wrist felt.  He complained it was too restrictive so the Champ Car doctors are taking him back to remove the carbon fiber

Turbo Cosworth Champ Car engine

and just wrap his wrist like they did Justin Wilson's last year.......Due to the high altitude here in Mexico, the turbocharger cannot be cranked up with too much boost pressure or it would blow apart.  The boost pressure has always been lower at this race for that reason.  The boost pressure all year has been 40 inches normal and 44 inches when the P2P button is pressed.  For this race the normal boost pressure will be 37 inches with 43 inches when the P2P is pressed.  37 to 43 inches equates to the 100 HP difference that the drivers will get when the P2P is activated for this race.   If the 100 HP differential works well this weekend, we hear for next year they are looking at probably keeping the 40 inches of boost for all but Mexico City and bumping the P2P boost up higher than the 44 inches they had this year to give 100 HP extra for P2P everywhere.  Mark C.
tv news
Weekend USA TV Reminders  UPDATE The full Saturday and Sunday TV listings are now shown below.

Courtesy of TVRacer.com
12:00am-12:30am (updated time) ESPN2
NASCAR Busch Practice Phoenix
12:00pm-1:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! Phoenix
1:30pm-2:30pm (L) SPEED
Go or Go Home Phoenix
2:30pm-3:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Busch Practice Phoenix
3:30pm-4:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Qualifying Phoenix
4:30pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying Phoenix
5:30pm-7:30pm (L) ESPN2
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Casino Arizona 150 Phoenix
7:30pm-8:00pm   (L) - Pre-race
8:00pm-10:30pm (L) - Race
Trackside Phoenix
10:30pm-11:30pm SPEED More ...
Mexico City Friday Tidbits 1  Friday morning has dawned foggy and rather cool here in Mexico City.  The airport is closed due to the fog but we expect practice will go off as planned this morning........The teams are all working on their cars getting them ready and various Mexican film crews are broadcasting early morning news reports to the Mexican news channels..........We will have further reports as the day progresses so stay tuned to AutoRacing1.com for all the latest.
Hayden upbeat about new Honda  

Nicky Hayden

After a strenuous season and a day and a half of testing the new RC212V at Valencia 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden headed directly to the prestigious EICMA Motor Show in Milan on Thursday.

The Repsol Honda rider was in a positive frame of mind when it came to reviewing this week’s work with the 2008 prototype, stating: “We’ve improved every component of the bike and in fact I was second fastest in Valencia behind (Casey) Stoner. So hopefully things go better than this year.”

However, the Kentucky Kid was candid in his reflections on what has been a long hard campaign in 2007, commenting: “This season wasn’t one of my best and the tyres didn’t help. The frame and the engine always needed fine-tuning during the season and so I was rarely able to ride like a real World Champion. I definitely didn’t like my results this year.” More ...

Abu Dhabi signs up for World Rally go  Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, was named as Official Destination Partner of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), in a new sponsorship deal.

The deal, between International Sportsworld Communicators (ISC) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), runs until 2010. The agreement will see the inaugural involvement of an official destination partner in the WRC. The Championship will provide a marketing platform to assist the ADTA in its goal to position itself as one of the leading destinations in the world.

ADTA’s association with the Championship will be leveraged via a selection of media, including the official website, www.WRC.com, on-event promotion including sponsorship of World Rally Radio, branding opportunities around the rallies themselves and a pan-Championship award to be announced for the 2008 season.

Simon Long, CEO of ISC, highlighted the importance of the role played by Abu Dhabi and the other Championship sponsors in the continuing success of the sport. He explained: “The WRC is a showcase for global, premium brands and working closely with our partners enables us to build an even stronger Championship. ISC is looking forward to partnering a destination which is committed to providing real value to the sport.” More ...

racing news
Dallara appoint new Managing Director  Dallara the Italian based race car constructor and R&D facility today announced the appointment of Mr. Andrea Pontremoli as their new Managing Director.

Mr. Pontremoli will work very closely with the company President Mr. Gian Paolo Dallara and will take over operational responsibility of the company in the coming months and also take a minority share holding. Andrea brings to Dallara considerable business experience and has a spectacular record in management of technology led companies. He joins Dallara from IBM Italia where he was President and CEO and had a career spanning 27 years.

Andrea’s appointment comes at an important time for Dallara as the company expands further to meet the global demands of the flourishing range of projects being undertaken, particularly in the automotive consultancy business. He will re-organize and prepare the company for the challenges that lie ahead as continued investment takes place in both facilities and personnel. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief   
  • Kovalainen does not want to be Alonso's no.2
  • Renault vow 'transparency' for spy probe
  • No government money for British GP - minister

Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen does not want to be Alonso's No. 2
(GMM) Heikki Kovalainen says he would enjoy having Fernando Alonso as a Renault teammate next year but only if he enjoys equal status with the double world champion.

"If the team can guarantee that we are equal, it would be perfect for me to have Fernando beside me," the Finn told the Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

Alonso won world championships in 2005 and 2006 at Renault and then switched to McLaren.

But after one season with Ron Dennis' team, the 26-year-old Spaniard is back on the market having spent an uncomfortable year alongside rookie Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso has said he expects to be properly treated by his team as a multiple world champion, and Renault chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds agree that modern formula one requires a 'number one' role to be clearly defined.

Kovalainen, linked with a move to McLaren to replace Alonso but still under contract to Renault, added: "I am still young, but I cannot afford to spend any time playing second fiddle.

"Rather, I need to better establish my name.

"On the other hand, I am not in the kind of position where I can have something to say about who my teammate is," he added.

26-year-old Kovalainen's current Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, is widely expected to be pushed out of the team for 2008; either by Alonso or Brazilian test driver Nelson Piquet Jr. More ...

racing news
Feature Film on Bruce McLaren in the works  

Bruce McLaren (L) and Mario Andretti pose with their 1967 12 Hours of Sebring winning Ford.  They dominated the race, lapping the biggest names in the sport numerous times.

The proposed feature film about the life of internationally celebrated Formula One racing driver Bruce McLaren (1937-1970) has taken another step further today with Barrie M. Osborne - Academy Award® winning producer of The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy - confirming he will be the producer of the film.

Osborne, who has produced or executive produced several other major movies including The Matrix and The Big Chill, said the McLaren story was a truly inspiring and highly emotional story that simply had to be told.

"McLaren, a New Zealander, was one of the world's pre-eminent sportsmen. His name is still synonymous with the international motor sport scene through Team McLaren."

This film will capture the inspiring, highly emotional true story of how McLaren, who was crippled with a hip joint problem as a child, rose through energy and skill to establish the most successful professional racing team in the history of world motor sport.

The film has all the ingredients of an international blockbuster: a fast-paced drama set against the competitive and glamorous world of international motor racing, and is set to tap into motor racing's vast, established global fan base. More ...

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help