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DATE News (chronologically)
11/17/04
Industry News
Power2Ship Engages Emerson Fittipaldi firm Power2Ship Engages Emerson Fittipaldi firmPower2Ship, Inc. (OTCBB:PWRI - News), a Web-based Collaborative Marketplace for the freight transportation industry, announced that it has formed three new divisions in order to accelerate the market penetration of its patent-pending P2S MobileMarket(TM). An international licensing division will market the P2S MobileMarket(TM) abroad. Power2Ship has retained International Logistics Solutions ("ILS") to represent the P2S MobileMarket(TM) Globally. Richard Hersh, Power2Ship's CEO commented, "The principals of ILS have prominent and extensive international contacts developed over many years. I'm highly confident that ILS will be successful in attracting many companies interested in using the P2S MobileMarket(TM) in their respective countries which will expand our market share."

The second division is focused on Homeland Security and Operation Safe Commerce, primarily related to development of "smart" container tracking and visibility. Power2Ship is leveraging the technology developed by the domestic MobileMarket(TM) into new global applications. Power2Ship has been collaborating with major defense and technology companies that are developing devices to address global transportation security and visibility.

The third division is pursuing mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures of strategic, non-asset based, trucking companies and transportation-related providers. Non-asset based companies effectively control the utilization of trucks operated by independent owner-operators. Power2Ship expects that these companies, by using the P2S MobileMarket(TM), will improve their asset utilization and increase Power2Ship's revenue and profitability.

11/17/04
champcar
Bourdais to stay with Newman/Haas Bourdais to stay with Newman/HaasUPDATE This GP2004.com article says, It was reported recently that 2004 Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais was looking to secure a test drive with the BMW WilliamsF1 team with the aim of showing team boss Sir Frank Williams just how talented he was. However it now looks as if France’s main hope of having a full time racer back in the pinnacle of Motorsports has been dashed leaving the young racer very frustrated in the process.  With Olivier Panis retiring at the end of this season, the Frenchman competing in his final race for the Panasonic Toyota racing outfit in Japan, 2005 will be the first time in many years that the country won’t be represented.  Bourdais has won the F3000 title as well as the Champ Car crown, just as Juan Pablo Montoya did before him, but while Williams announced Montoya as the new Messiah when he arrived in 2000, it appears as if the Grove based squad doesn’t seem to regard the titles he possesses in the same way anymore, meaning that the possibility of a test is almost non existent let alone a full time drive!  “I indeed contacted Williams but it all went to a dead end. I hear that the Champ Car title has not the same value as some years ago… but I can’t do better than what I did,” he told us. “I am frustrated! I will probably not even participate in an F1 test this winter. David Sears (Seb’s manager) worked hard to convince teams but he hasn’t got the power to decide and he is not always considered well everywhere.”  Despite his disappointment, Sebastien knows he is a lot better off than some of the current crop of Formula One drivers who are left struggling at the back of the grid being lapped race after race….  “I do not complain. I think some F1 drivers are not as happy as I am, struggling at the back of the field whereas I have a sporting and financial rewards here in the USA, a great country with great people, and I very much enjoy myself driving these cars, and I can at last earn my life doing my passion on this side of the pond.” 11/10/04 Despite all the talk of Sebastien Bourdais trying to line up a F1 test with the Williams F1 team, Bourdais said on the Late Show with David Letterman last night that he will be with the Newman/Haas Champ Car team in 2005. Mark C.
11/17/04
champcar
cartatlantic
Alex Figge to also get Champ Car test Alex Figge to also get Champ Car testAnother top Toyota Atlantic competitor will get a chance to see what he can do behind the wheel of a 750-horsepower Champ Car when Alex Figge of Pacific Coast Motorsports will test with the Forsythe team at Sebring International Raceway at the end of the month.
11/17/04
champcar
cartatlantic
Dalziel shines in Champ Car test Dalziel shines in Champ Car testScotland’s Ryan Dalziel proved that he’s one of the top rising talents in open-wheel racing by finishing second in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama over the last two seasons. Dalziel took a major step toward proving that he can bring that success to the next level as he logged nearly 200 miles over the last two days while testing for one of the top teams in the Champ Car World Series – PKV Racing.

Dalziel, the 22-year-old native of Lanarkshire, Scotland, produced four victories and five pole positions this past season competing for Sierra Sierra Enterprises in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. He battled eventual series champion Jon Fogarty of Pacific Coast Motorsports down to the wire this season, finishing just 18 points behind Fogarty for the title. PKV Racing offered Dalziel the opportunity to test a Champ Car following his strong performance in 2004 and the speedy Scot did not disappoint, posting some very fast times over the last two days while putting the #12 Gulfstream Champ Car through its paces on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Alabama.

“We’re happy to give Ryan this opportunity, but he truly deserves this test,” said PKV Racing co-owner and driver Jimmy Vasser, who is also a graduate of the Toyota Atlantic Championship. “He’s done a fantastic job. Ryan knows what he wants and he’s a very confident driver. We’re still evaluating our (driver) situation for next season but we’re very happy with what we’ve seen.”

Dalziel, who owns six career Atlantic victories and finished on the podium 19 times in 36 series starts from 2002-04, was happy to have a veteran and former Champ Car champion in Vasser as a guiding hand at the test session. “I’m pretty pleased with the way I’ve driven over the last two days and it’s certainly good having Jimmy here as a guy who knows these cars inside and out,” said Dalziel, who shared track time with 2003 Formula 3000 champion Bjorn Wirdheim, also testing for PKV over the two-day period. “I want to thank Jimmy, (team owner) Kevin Kalkhoven and everyone at PKV Racing for this opportunity and hopefully I’ve proven that I’m ready for the challenge at the next level in Champ Car.”

The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama continues to provide opportunities for the top up-and-coming stars of open-wheel racing. In addition to Dalziel’s test with PKV, two-time series champion Jon Fogarty also earned a Champ Car test following his title run this season. Fogarty was scheduled to test with Forsythe Championship Racing at the end of November in Sebring, Florida, but he’s had to put those plans on hold after recently shifting his focus to sports car racing beginning next season.

The Atlantic series is also doing its part to help some of the future stars of racing advance through Champ Car’s driver development system. One of the top Atlantic teams, Polestar Racing Group, will give James Hinchcliffe, the 2004 Rookie of the Year for Champ Car’s entry level development series, Formula BMW USA, an opportunity to shine in an Atlantic machine at Sebring November 29-30.

Vasser, the 1996 Champ Car Champion who competed in Toyota Atlantic series in the early 90s, sees the value of Champ Car’s driver development system and he feels the latest generation of Atlantic graduates has certainly made the most of its opportunities.

“It’s clear to me that there’s a lot of talent and promise coming out of the Toyota Atlantic Series,” said Vasser. “Guys like (2003 series champion) A.J. Allmendinger, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Michael Valiante, who just did a good job in Mexico City, are coming out of Atlantics and driving very fast when they make it into Champ Car. Hopefully, Ryan (Dalziel) will also get that opportunity.”

11/17/04
f1
Davidson back to Williams Davidson back to WilliamsAnthony Davidson will return to Oxfordshire this week to make more modifications to his new Williams seat. The BAR tester, like Jordan's Nick Heidfeld, is scheduled to test the BMW-powered FW26 at Jerez (Spain) in December in view of winning the coveted 2005 race spot alongside Mark Webber. "The main concern is getting the seat comfortable enough," said the 25-year-old of the next visit to Grove HQ. "I'm clearly smaller than Ralf Schumacher so there's a bit of work to do to get it just right."   Davidson, who will stay at BAR in 2005 if he does not land the Williams job, revealed that he's spoken to Sir Frank Williams 'a few times' since the Jenson Button-saga kicked off. F1-Racing.net
11/17/04
f1
Liuzzi gets seat fitting at Red Bull Liuzzi gets seat fitting at Red BullUPDATE Red Bull Racing will test Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi at the forthcoming Barcelona test (November 24-26). Liuzzi is no stranger to Red Bull; he was part of the Red Bull Junior Team driver Development program; which selects talents and offers support and advice from their first go-karting attempts right up to the ultimate discipline. Expected to be hot property, Liuzzi broke the record for the most wins in one year in this years FIA F3000 Championship and went on to secure it. Liuzzi has karted with the likes of Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher (in the 2001 Karting World Championship) and won the Italian Karting Championship in 1993 at the tender age of 11. Red Bull Racing Team Principal Tony Purnell commented: "It is great to be testing Liuzzi. I have known him since his early karting days and I believe he is full of potential for the future." Liuzzi visited the Milton Keynes based team on Tuesday this week for a seat fitting and commented: "It's an exciting opportunity to be testing for Red Bull Racing. They have been very supportive to me and my racing." Red Bull Racing will commence its testing program with an interim car and livery at three tests in Barcelona (November 24-26) and Jerez (December 1-3 & 8-11). 11/16/04 While at Red Bull Racing (formerly Jaguar F1) today AutoRacing1.com cameras caught F3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi getting a seat fitting for next week's test that will include him, Christian Klien and Bjorn Wirdheim.

 
Photos by Mark Cipolloni

11/17/04
nascar
Lots of Cash on the line Lots of Cash on the lineNextel and NASCAR unveiled a record Nextel Cup Series points fund of more than $24 million to be distributed among the top 25 drivers at the end of the 2004 season. The payout guarantees each of the top 11 drivers at least $1 million for the first time in the sport's history. "The Nextel Cup Series is America's most widely attended spectator sport, and the structure of this year's points fund reflects NASCAR's popularity and Nextel's commitment to this sport," said Tim Donahue, Nextel's president and chief executive officer. "NASCAR Nextel Cup Series teams compete on the highest level for 10 months out of the year, and we are proud to honor the drivers and teams for their hard work and achievement." The previous record points fund payout was $21,031,000 in 2003. This year's record payout significantly ups the ante for drivers. The 10 drivers in the Chase for the Nextel Cup are competing for the lion's share of the purse - $5.2 million - as well as the title of Nextel Cup Series champion. The points fund provides incentive for teams not contending for the Nextel Cup trophy, as the 11th place driver will win a minimum of $1 million. R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand began the points fund in 1971 to award end-of-season bonus money to teams. The 1971 purse totaled $100,000, including a $40,000 bonus for the series champion Richard Petty. This year's $5.2 million champion's prize sets a new benchmark. The winner's share reached $1 million for the first time in 1989 when Rusty Wallace won the series championship. It reached $2 million in 1999, $3 million in 2000 and climbed above $4 million last year. ThatsRacin.com
11/17/04
champcar
Historic photo Historic photoFor the first time in the history of Newman/Haas Racing, the team has finished 1-2 in the Champ Car Championship. This is a truly historic and terrific photograph taken in Mexico City on the day before the last race. Photo by Dan R. Boyd, courtesy Newman/Haas Racing and Pegasus Marketing Group
11/17/04
irl
IRL job opening IRL job openingResponsibilities: With the Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, supervises a Sales and Business Development staff as assigned. Research potential sponsors, identify targeted companies whose marketing message complements those of the Indy Racing League's overall message, and develop a corporate sponsorship plan. Identify multi-race and league-wide sponsorship opportunities and partnerships for races, special events and new promotional platforms. Meet with potential partners and develop customized partnership programs between partner and the Indy Racing League to leverage each other’s assets to promote mutually beneficial relationships. Provide leadership for Partnership Services activities, including contract fulfillment, sponsor communications, and customer service.

Closely coordinate with Marketing team to support Indy Racing League marketing initiatives through sponsorship activation. Provide sales support, where appropriate, to Indy Racing League race teams and promoters. Develop, coordinate and implement/execute sales presentations. Negotiate sponsorship contracts. Evaluate and renew as appropriate. Develop the resource allocations and departmental operating budget required executing sponsorship plan. Review, analyze and control budget-operating performance on a regular basis to ensure that objectives are accomplished on time within budget.

Represent Indy Racing League by attending or speaking at member and industry events and professional organizations. Develop and maintain contracts with key sponsorship clients nationally through telephone calls, correspondence and meetings and by making personal calls in key market areas. Track and record the results of sponsorship projects and programs to ensure a basis for meaningful review and evaluation. Enthusiasm for and commitment to the corporation and the Vision, Mission and Values. Other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Skills, Education and/or Experience Desired: The ideal candidate will have at least 8-10 years of business sales experience, preferably in the sports or entertainment business. Must have demonstrable competence in creating, selling and implementing corporate sponsorship, media and promotional programs. Proven experience in positioning or repositioning a fast moving product that increases sales. Proven track record in securing regional/national/multi-event sponsorships. Demonstrable solid relationships with a broad base of national or regional corporate sponsors. High integrity and confidentiality. Effective leader with strong people skills. Innovative thinker and self-starter with perseverance to lead teams to success. Effective communication skills. Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or equivalent experience required, MBA preferred. Familiarity with consumer promotional programs, retail promotional programs and sport entities will be important.

Hours: Mon- Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm, must be able to travel and work overtime.

Reporting to: Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, IRL

Targeted Employment Date: as soon as possible

11/17/04
f1
Sauber wishes Red Bull farewell Sauber wishes Red Bull farewell“The fact that the cooperation with Red Bull will not be continued fills me with exceptional regret," Peter Sauber stated. "Yet I’m neither surprised nor unprepared since we’ve known about Dietrich Mateschitz’ dream of realizing his own Formula One team for years. Dietrich Mateschitz has always communicated this to me in an honest and upfront manner.”

“I would like to thank Dietrich Mateschitz for the outstanding ten- year cooperation that has benefited both sides and wish him the best of luck for his new team.”

With Red Bull running its own team, Sauber is confident that the team will not suffer in the short term. “For Sauber, the end of the partnership with Red Bull will not have any short-term effects," Sauber continued. "Concerning the situation over the long run, it makes no sense to engage in speculations at this point, since we will have enough time to influence this. With Petronas and Credit Suisse at its side, Sauber has two strong and reliable partners, added to which is the support from MTS, a medium-sized sponsor, and roughly 40 smaller partners and sponsors. This puts the company on a solid foundation."

"The 2004 season has shown that the team’s performance curve has been clearly pointing upwards, a fact that is also attributable to the new wind tunnel. This has made Sauber Petronas very attractive and thus interesting for potential partners. We are in contact with several companies.”

11/17/04
Formula 3
Guy Ligier launches a new chassis Guy Ligier launches a new chassisGuy Ligier, Philippe Ligier and Tico Martini today launched the Automobiles Ligier JS47 single-seater Formula 3 chassis. The launch is the culmination of a substantial project which brought the trio together. Several months ago Guy Ligier acquired a significant share in Automobiles Martini which specializes in the construction of competitive racing cars. The Ligier MK84, created and developed by Tico Martini was presented at the Mondial de l’Automobile event at the Automobiles Ligier stand. This car kicked off the mass production of specialized cars for competitive racing. The new Ligier JS47 will be ready for action from 2005 onwards and can be fitted with a two-liter, four-cylinder engine and benefits from a specially developed six-speed sequential gear box by Ligier.

"The Ligier JS47 will enable us to better develop our commercial potential," explained Philippe Ligier, Managing Director Automobiles Ligier. "The Formula 3 car will compete in the various international Formula 3 championships in 2005. Built from carbon fiber we designed the car to meet all the rules and regulations set by the FIA for 2005 in particular for improved safety in the case of front, side or rear impact. This new F3 car sets the precedent for design and marketing of racing cars of the future. It meets a genuine need from the racing world and enables us to grow our presence."
 
Guy Ligier added: "Under Gilles Alegoet, our technical and commercial Director responsibility, we’ve been working on this project for around ten months. We have been focusing carefully on designing efficient aerodynamics, transmission and suspension. I wanted to build a fast, reliable racing car in full compliance with the new FIA regulations for 2005. It’s always great to be involved in the birth of a new car. Taking the car from concept to creation is always special as is hearing that on track it behaves like our simulations predicted. To optimize the car we must now perform a long testing program on track to learn more about the car’s behavior; this is always fascinating."

Two French drivers from the FFSA, Alexandre Prémat, runner up in the 2004 F3 Euroseries, and Tristan Gommendy (winner of the 2002 F3 Monaco Grand Prix) carried out the first track test of the Ligier JS47 at the circuit, just a few hundred meters from where the car was conceived, drawn and built. Development of the car will begin on Monday 15 November at the ASA Armagnac Bigorre circuit at Nogaro in south-west France. The initial test is scheduled to last three days when a clearer picture will emerge of the car’s potential and competitiveness against its rivals. Ligier competed in Formula One between 1976 and 1996 starting 608 Grand Prix and taking nine wins before being taken over by Alain Prost. Automobiles Ligier

11/17/04
f1
Upcoming Williams BMW tests outlined Upcoming Williams BMW tests outlinedAnthony Davidson and Nick Heidfeld have a chance to impress Frank Williams in the coming weeks as they join 2005-signing Mark Webber and 2004 test driver Antonio Pizzonia at Jerez. Williams is looking forward to Webber's first test with the team.

"Mark is self-evidently a highly talented driver," Williams said. "From what I’ve seen thus far, he is also quick and calculated, a driver with great potential and talent we hope to be able to exploit. His tenacity, determination and motivation are also qualities we prize at WilliamsF1. As a team, we have traditionally prospered with drivers who have a down-to-earth, ‘let’s get on with it’ attitude. Mark is certainly in that mould, and I am delighted he has agreed to join the team for 2005."

The identity of Webber's teammate in 2005 has already taken up many column inches and will continue to do so until the team confirm who is racing in the second FW27.

"Ideally, we need someone with experience but also someone who is quick. We need someone intelligent, hard working and, above all, F1 skilful," said Williams without revealing too much. "I hope more victories and for us to be fighting for the Championship, but we will have to wait until Melbourne which will give everyone a clearer picture of our fortunes for 2005."
Schedule
Mark Webber      November 24th   Barcelona
Antonio Pizzonia December 1st    Jerez
Anthony Davidson December 6th    Jerez
Nick Heidfeld    December 9th    Jerez Williams BMW

11/17/04
alms
Autosportif plan ALMS return Autosportif plan ALMS returnWith a few weeks passed since the end of the 2004 American Le Mans Series season, and now back in England, Creation Autosportif owner Mike Jankowski has had time to reflect on his sports car racing team's two-race venture to America.  The team ran the last two events of the ALMS season, including Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the Audi Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Competing in the LMP1 class with its unique DBA-Zytek Prototype, Creation was extremely competitive in both events, winning the overall pole at Laguna Seca and leading the race three times.  Although mechanical problems prevented the team from finishing either race, Jankowski and the team left for home with good feelings about their experiences in the American Le Mans Series and plan to return for more racing in 2005.

"The whole ALMS setup was very impressive," said Jankowski, a native of California who operates businesses and lives in London. "We went out and met as many fans as possible, and their (ALMS) approach to the fans is very good. We loved the whole ambience of the ALMS, and we expect to be involved there next year at least as often as we were this year."

The team has a throwback "race hard, play hard" outlook, and Jankowski is cautiously optimistic as he looks ahead to the 2005 racing season.  "It's possible that we could run two cars next year," he said. "It's theoretically possible that we'll run an ALMS program and an LMES program, but that's unlikely. But we're talking to American sponsors, and we certainly could do the whole ALMS.  It's more likely, at the moment, that we'd do the LMES, plus Sebring and the two end of season ALMS events, but also be more adventurous in the middle of the season, with some ALMS races between the LMES ones," he said. "There are certainly some very interesting circuits in America, and after Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca, we're full of the positives of the ALMS." ALMS

11/17/04
nascar
transam
Boris Said inks NASCAR and Trans-Am deals Boris Said inks NASCAR and Trans-Am deals2002 Motorock Trans-Am Series Drivers’ Champion Boris Said will compete in a minimum of 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races next year, driving for MB/Sutton Motorsports. Said will drive the No. 36 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the newly formed team with sponsorship from Centrix Financial. The new team will make its NASCAR debut in February at the Daytona 500.

“This is big time—competing against the best drivers in the world,” said Said, who competed in three Trans-Am Series races in 2004, winning from the pole at Infineon Raceway, and finishing third in the season opener at Long Beach and second in the season finale at Laguna Seca. “The new deal for next year is a great opportunity for me. As I have stated many times—I love being on the edge and I welcome the challenge.”

Said also said he plans a part-time effort in the Trans-Am Series next year. Said will continue his relationship with ACS Express Racing, which fielded the No. 33 Ford Mustang for Said in 2003 and 2004, as well as a Panoz Esperante in 2002.

“I’m planning to do Long Beach and possibly another race with Mike Davis,” said the Carlsbad, Calif. native, who has 13 wins, 33 podiums, 38 top fives, 52 top tens, and six poles in 65 career Trans-Am starts. “I’ve always said Trans-Am cars are my favorite cars to drive.”

Said has competed in virtually every form of motorsports and won in nearly every series in which he has raced. Said, who has 12 starts in NASCAR’s top series, earned his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup pole in 2003 at Infineon Raceway. Said also finished 10th in the 2004 Budweiser Shootout NASCAR event at Daytona Int’l Speedway. This year, Said became the first American driver to win the 4 Hours of Nürburgring GT endurance event in Germany. Said has also competed in the Craftsman Truck Series, Busch Series, Grand-Am, ALMS, and World Challenge.

11/17/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Sleeping Klien
Red Bull to seal tire deal
Three Dutchmen and a Minardi
Coulthard Laud-ed
Briscoe still in Jordan frame
'I'd have a V12' - Berger
Ligier back on track
RTE lose Irish TV deal
'No problem' with tire deal
Liuzzi will test
Ralf to test 'in white'
Coulthard as F1 manager?
Verstappen had surgery
Liuzzi back in the frame
'I refused to beg' - Hakkinen
Jordan and Horner
Berger's still wanted
Davidson at Grove - again
BAR star in magazine awards
11/16/04
f1
Displaying pressure gradients Displaying pressure gradientsDid you know that the Jaguar F1 team is able to map the exact aero pressure applied to all surfaces of their car and then paint the pressure gradients on a full-size car to show the design engineers where the high pressure and low pressure areas are?  The photo to the right shows high pressure areas as red, all the way down to low pressure areas as green.  As expected, the wings are highly loaded. Photo by Mark Cipolloni
11/16/04
nascar
Centrix to sponsor Nextel Cup cars Centrix to sponsor Nextel Cup carsMB2 Motorsports and NASCAR sponsor Centrix Financial today announced the creation of MB/Sutton Motorsports, which will own the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series No. 36 Centrix Financial Chevy that will begin racing in the ‘05 season. Boris Said will drive the entry. Additionally, Centrix will serve as the primary sponsor of the MB2/MBV No. 01 and No. 10 Chevys for a total of four races and as an associate sponsor of the cars throughout the ’05 season  Centrix
11/16/04
nascar
Darlington Final TV Rating Darlington Final TV RatingUPDATE NBC today announced that its coverage of Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Mountain Dew Southern 500 earned a 5.1/11 final Nielsen rating, a 50% increase over the 3.4/8 for the Rockingham race on the comparable date last year on TNT. Through nine Chase for the Nextel Cup races, the average rating on NBC and TNT is a 4.4/10, a 10% increase over last year’s 4.0/9 for the same nine telecast dates NBC

The following presents race-by-race ratings for the Chase for the Nextel Cup (THE DAILY):

DATE RACE TRACK 04 RAT/SHR (NET) 03 RAT/SHR (NET) % +/-
9/19 Sylvania 300 New Hampshire International Speedway 3.4/7 (TNT) 3.7/8 (TNT) -8.1%
9/26 MBNA America 400 Dover International Speedway 3.1/8 (TNT) ^ 4.2/10 (NBC) -26.2%
10/3 EA Sports 500 Talladega Superspeedway 5.4/12 (NBC) 5.5/12 (NBC) -1.8%
10/10 Banquet 400 Kansas Speedway 4.2/10 (NBC) 4.1/9 (NBC) 2.4%
10/16 UAW/GM Quality 500 Lowe's Motor Speedway 4.9/9 (NBC) 4.3/8 (NBC) 14.0%
10/24 Subway 500 Martinsville Speedway 4.4/10(NBC) 4.0/10 (NBC) 10.0%
10/31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway 4.6/10 (NBC) 3.1/7 (NBC) 48.4%
11/7 Checker Auto Parts 500 Phoenix International Raceway 4.9/10 (NBC) 4.7/10 (NBC) 4.3%
11/14 Mountain Dew Southern 500 Darlington Raceway 5.1/11 (NBC) 3.4/9 (TNT) ^^ 50.00%
11/21 Ford 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway NA (NBC) 4.5/10 (NBC) NA

NOTES: ^ = Rating reflects TNT's national cable rating. ^^ = Rating represents the November 9 race from Rockingham, NC, and it is TNT's national cable rating.

11/15/04 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Southern 500 race at Darlington on NBC last Sunday was a 4.6/9 share.  Last year's Southern 500 was run on Labor Day weekend so it's hard to make a direct comparison.
11/16/04
irl
IRL denies Cosworth bid involvement IRL denies Cosworth bid involvementIRL spokesperson was quoted in this ESPN.com article, Fred Nation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway's vice president of communications, said Tony George has not made a bid for Cosworth and was not part of any other group that has.  "Absolutely not," Nation told ESPN.com. "There was never any interest on behalf of Tony George, the Indy Racing League, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or any of the Hulman companies in the Cosworth situation. Like many in the racing industry, we have been watching it from afar. But we did not aid or abet any effort to acquire Cosworth."  Ganassi declined comment when reached Monday. George has not returned calls.........Kalkhoven thinks Ganassi and Co. tried to acquire Cosworth in another effort to derail the Champ Car series, which he along with partners Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi saved thanks to their victory in Judge Frank Otte's courtroom 10 months ago. Cosworth produces and maintains the turbocharged engine that powers every car on the Champ Car grid.
11/16/04
nascar
SPEED Channel to televise press conference SPEED Channel to televise press conferenceSPEED Channel will carry a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series press conference from Homestead-Miami Speedway LIVE Friday at 9 a.m. ET. The event is scheduled to include drivers still in the hunt for the inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup -- Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Mark Martin. SPEED Channel will be the exclusive television outlet for the press conference, which will be simulcast by NASCAR.com and XM Satellite Radio. Mike Joy will host the event.  In addition, SPEED Channel will expand Sunday's post-race coverage, going LIVE to the track immediately following the Ford 400.
11/16/04
champcar
Wirdheim and Dalziel neck and neck Wirdheim and Dalziel neck and neckSwede Bjorn Wirdheim and Scottish driver Ryan Dalziel each completed their first day of testing for PKV Racing at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.  Each were in separate cars but turned almost identical times according to AutoRacing1.com sources in the team.  Day 2 of testing is Wednesday. Mark C.
11/16/04
nascar
Atlanta and LVMS not affected by new NASCAR rule Atlanta and LVMS not affected by new NASCAR ruleAtlanta Motor Speedway will not be one of the tracks affected by NASCAR's new altered race weekend schedules, speedway officials confirmed Tuesday. Both of Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR race weekend qualifying rounds are sponsored - in the spring by Georgia Power, in the fall by Georgia-Pacific - and have strong crowd draws. The 2004 qualifying day crowds have been the largest in speedway history. "I applaud NASCAR for what they're trying to do, and I appreciate them taking into consideration that this type of format doesn't suit all tracks," said Ed Clark, president and general manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We have commitments to our sponsors and our fans for three full days of great racing, and that's what we'll deliver."

Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s traditional NASCAR Weekend schedule will be unchanged in 2005.  Speedway officials said LVMS will not be among the venues that will be moving NASCAR Nextel Cup qualifying to Saturday.  In an announcement made Monday, NASCAR cited that a majority of the speedways hosting Nextel Cup events would hold qualifying for their Nextel Cup races on Saturday mornings instead of the traditional Friday afternoons. However, qualifying for the March 13, 2005 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at LVMS will be held on Friday, March 11.

 “The Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend is unique in comparison to many of the other NASCAR Nextel Cup events,” said Chris Powell, LVMS general manager.  “Roughly 70 percent of our race fans come from out of state, and they come from all over the world to enjoy three days of motorsports and three days of what Las Vegas has to offer.  "To cut a day of racing out of the schedule would be unpopular to people who have traveled great distances to get here. We applaud NASCAR’s efforts to cut costs for the race teams, but we do not believe this would be good for our fans or our community.”

11/16/04
champcar
Kalkhoven on Wind Tunnel Thursday Kalkhoven on Wind Tunnel ThursdayJust after closing the deal on the purchase of Cosworth Racing with fellow Champ Car World Series co-owner Gerald Forsythe in London, series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven will come back to the states and be live on SPEED Channel this Thursday at 10 p.m. ET as a guest of the popular Wind Tunnel program.   As a successful venture capitalist who stepped into the limelight of the motorsport world last year, Kalkhoven teamed up with Craig Pollock to form PK Racing in 2003.  The duo was joined by 1996 Champ Car title-winner Jimmy Vasser and business partner Dan Pettit to expand to a two-car effort in 2004 under the name of PKV Racing running Vasser and rookie Roberto Gonzalez from Mexico.   In addition to his team ownership, the Australian joined fellow Champ Car team owners Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi to purchase the assets of CART in January of 2004 to save and revive the Champ Car World Series.   As a successful 2004 season has been completed and a new champion has been crowned, Kalkhoven will appear as a guest on the motorsport show hosted by Dave Despain to talk about the past year, the big purchases, and the future.
11/16/04
nascar
NASCAR enters strategic alliance with CASCAR NASCAR enters strategic alliance with CASCARNASCAR Enters Strategic Alliance with CASCAR: In a joint effort to increase fan interest and visibility for stock car racing in Canada, NASCAR and CASCAR [www.cascar.com]have entered into a multi-year operational and marketing agreement. “NASCAR is looking forward to working with CASCAR in a growing market for stock car racing,” said George Pyne, Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR. “NASCAR will lend operational and marketing expertise to help grow Canada’s only national stock car series. This partnership further demonstrates NASCAR’s support of grassroots racing throughout North America and our efforts to bring sponsorship and licensing opportunities to businesses at every level of the sport.” “In the past 23 years, CASCAR has grown from a regional racing series to a national organization,” said Tony Novotny, President of CASCAR. “NASCAR’s experience and resources will strengthen and support racing in Canada while establishing a foundation for future growth.” Earlier this year, NASCAR formed NASCAR Canada, a partnership with TSN that established a Canadian base of operation in Toronto, as well as NASCAR Mexico, based in Mexico City. These new offices support local racing and extend the marketing of the sport to borders north and south of the U.S. “NASCAR’s alliance with CASCAR, which complements our partnership with TSN, will help attract new fans to our sport and bring new opportunities to NASCAR sponsors and licensing partners,” Pyne said. “It will be an important vehicle for NASCAR’s continuing support of stock car racing at the grass roots in the Canadian market.” NASCAR is the top-rated motorsport on Canadian television, and TSN is the most preferred viewing destination. The Canadian fan base is six million strong with Canadians considered among the most passionate NASCAR fans, according to the 2004 Ipsos-Insight NASCAR Canada Brand Tracker Survey. A significant number of Canadians have attended a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. Regular travel to NASCAR events across the United States is common and growing. NASCAR PR
11/16/04
f1
nascar
F1 vs. NASCAR engine F1 vs. NASCAR engineThis photo snapped of the new 20,000 RPM Cosworth F1 V10 engine crank sitting next to the current Ford NASCAR engine crank depicts the stark contrast between the short stroke F1 engine and the long stroke NASCAR engine.  The sheer size of the NASCAR crank makes you wonder how they get the 9,000 RPM they do manage from those engines. Mark Cipolloni reporting from the UK
11/16/04
alms
Dyson team switches to Michelin Dyson team switches to MichelinUPDATE Rob Dyson added these comments to the announcement - "I believe that for Dyson Racing to achieve its goals in sportscar racing, it is necessary for us to build relationships with the best suppliers in every area that touches the sport today. Our decision to change from Goodyear to Michelin was imperative if our team is to win races and the team championship in the American Le Mans Series in 2005 and beyond. We are looking forward to a long and successful relationship with our new friends at Michelin.   "That said, as Dyson Racing moves forward, I wish to acknowledge the long and very successful relationship that Dyson Racing enjoyed with Goodyear over the past quarter century. Every one of the victories that Dyson Racing scored in the last 25 years was with Goodyear tires. It was a successful and mutually beneficial partnership and I want to thank Goodyear as a company and the many friends we made there personally. Goodyear and Dyson Racing have ended our business relationship on good terms. We wish them nothing but the very best.” 11/15/04 Leading American Le Mans Series team Dyson Racing today undertook its first test of Michelin® tires in preparation for the 2005 season. Dyson Racing’s switch to Michelin rubber makes it the third team to choose Michelin in two weeks. The Dyson-Michelin agreement follows the switch by Sauber Petronas from Bridgestone to Michelin in Formula One and Aston Martin with Prodrive's choice of Michelin as technical partner in their return to sports car racing. The two announcements follow the success of new Michelin partner teams, B.A.R. Honda in Formula One and Corvette Racing in international sports car racing during 2004. Michelin-partner teams have won all but three races in the history of the American Le Mans Series. Dyson Racing and Goodyear took two of the victories in the past two years. But with Michelin winning the tire manufacturer’s championship in the P1 class for six years in a row, Dyson elected to change for 2005.

Teammates Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace already have raced in other series on Michelin tires this year. Dyson piloted the Michelin-equipped Zytek prototype at the Silverstone round of Le Mans Endurance Series, while Wallace raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. "The tires were fantastic in the Silverstone 1000 KM. They had great grip from the first lap out of the pits and were incredibly consistent,” Dyson said. “We were able to go two stints without changing tires, and the car was as fast the last lap as the first. Really, that drive convinced me that Michelin had the edge."

Aston Martin and Prodrive will launch a new assault on the GTS class in 2005 – aiming to repeat the victory at Le Mans achieved by American hero Carroll Shelby in an Aston Martin DBR1 in 1959.  The new Aston Martin was unveiled Nov. 4, 2004, on Michelin tires at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, Great Britain. An intensive testing program now follows for “Aston Martin Racing” prior to the DBR9’s debut race at the Twelve Hours of Sebring.  “Aston Martin Racing” will run two cars at Sebring March 17 to 19, 2005, and then move to Europe to prepare for the Le Mans 24 hours in June 2005.

Corvette Racing also enjoyed a dramatic comeback to victory lane this year. The U.S. squad was beaten by 10 laps in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 by the Michelin-equipped Ferrari team and also lost the final four races of the ALMS season. In 2004, Michigan-based Corvette Racing was undefeated in the ALMS and reclaimed the GTS Class crown at Le Mans – finishing first and second in the 24 Hour classic.

11/16/04
f1
Lauda backs Coulthard Lauda backs CoulthardBritish driver David Coulthard would be a major asset for new Formula One outfit the Red Bull Racing team, says former world champion Niki Lauda. Dietrich Mateschitz's drinks company completed a buyout of Jaguar on Monday and are set to retain Christian Klien. Several drivers are in contention for the second seat but Lauda said: "They must sign up the right people so the car is successful quickly. "Coulthard's free and would be a good solution because of his experience." Mateschitz has a reputation for encouraging young drivers, such as 21-year-old Klien and reigning Formula 3000 champion, Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi. But Lauda said: "It is not crucial whether a driver like Christian Klien sits in the cockpit. "Mateschitz should give tests to youngsters but pick the fastest." Coulthard, 33, has lost his drive at McLaren to Juan Pablo Montoya but is confident his experience - he has won 13 F1 races - will attract suitors. Team principal Tony Purnell said: "I'm sure we will put him on the consideration list, but I don't want to go into driver speculation. "No decisions have been made but over the coming weeks we will be testing a few drivers." BBC
11/16/04
nascar
’The Chase’ Stays in 2005, no major changes ’The Chase’ Stays in 2005, no major changesNASCAR chairman Brian France will keep the new points system in place for next year, satisfied that the closest championship race in history is proof that the 10-race playoff structure works better than expected. Five drivers head into Sunday's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway separated by 82 points, creating a one-race shootout to crown the Nextel Cup champion. "The new points system has been wonderful, it's created interest and a scenario that was unthinkable under the old system," France told The Associated Press. "Obviously, we were hoping to create drama all the way down to the last lap of the last race. That was our preference under the old system, and it just wasn't happening. So we like things the way they are. We always said we wanted to let the full year play out, but the balance we have now, we're real happy with. We may end up making some slight adjustments next season, but nothing very noticeable." The system has had opponents since it was announced, and critics are still finding faults. The biggest complaint was the theory that one bad finish would ruin a driver's title hopes. France said Jimmie Johnson has proved that wrong. After dropping to ninth in the standings with six races left, Johnson has used four victories to pull into second place, 18 points behind leader Kurt Busch. "Everybody thought Jimmie Johnson was out, he had three bad races and everybody said you couldn't have one," France said. "Well, nobody thought about the way to climb back into races. That is to win. That is exactly what we wanted." So forget about a points system within a points system. He said he is also not going to award extra points to a race winner. France is particularly pleased with what the Chase has done for television ratings. Part of the reason he wanted the new system was to create drama that could match up with the NFL and baseball playoffs. Although NBC's ratings didn't move at first -- the first race was down 8 percent from last year, and the third race was down 2 percent -- it's been a steady climb since. The race in Atlanta three weeks ago was up 21 percent from last year, and NASCAR expects the Miami finale to post similar numbers now that there is a five-driver battle. It couldn't come at a better time for France, who is just starting to renegotiated NASCAR's television package. He said he was impressed with the $8 billion extension the NFL worked out last week with CBS and Fox, NASCAR has a $2.8 billion deal with NBC and Fox that they signed in 2001 and expires at
11/16/04
nascar
NASCAR looking to get TV renewals underway NASCAR looking to get TV renewals underwayIn the wake of the NFL’s announcement last week of a new $8 billion, six-year deal with CBS and Fox to televise Sunday afternoon games through 2011, NASCAR is itching to get underway with its own TV rights renewals, the first of which comes up following the 2006 season. NASCAR officials privately believe their telecasts are currently undervalued, particularly the second-half of the racing season on NBC and TNT, in which ratings have grown as a result of the new Chase for the Cup driver points system that was initiated this year. Ratings for the last four races on NBC are up 15 percent cumulatively over last season, and NASCAR is expected to seek a hefty increase from NBC if it wants to renew its telecast rights. The NBC/TNT portion is up for renewal following the 2006 season, while the Fox portion of NASCAR rights runs through the 2008 season, although NASCAR has the option of terminating it after the ’06 season. If the NFL can secure hefty rights-fee increases when the TV ratings over the course of its current contract declined, NASCAR officials believe they can do as well, or better, since its ratings have grown. Also bolstering NASCAR officials’ hopes for big rights hikes is ESPN’s open desire to televise the races. At a recent upfront event, George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN/ABC Sports, stated that the one property he would like to add to the ABC/ESPN schedule is NASCAR. While NBC has an exclusive window to negotiate, NASCAR could hold out and allow ESPN to bid. This prospect has fueled speculation that NBC may walk away from NASCAR, and concentrate its efforts on a bid for either ABC ’s Monday Night Football package or the newly created NFL Thursday/Saturday package. NBC may also bid on a new Major League Baseball telecast-rights package. Mediaweek.com
11/16/04
champcar
irl
Hunter-Reay rejects Ganassi Hunter-Reay rejects GanassiEven after going for a seat fitting and spending two days at Ganassi Racing we predicted that hell would freeze over before Ryan Hunter-Reay would drive an IRL car. Lo and behold, AutoRacing1.com has learned that Hunter-Reay and his management team have informed Ganassi Racing that he will not race an IRL car and will remain a Champ Car driver.
11/16/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
No change on pitwall - Purnell
Jag rescue is Sauber blow
Cosworth committed to F1
Coulthard and Red Bull
Cosworth's other bidders
Jordan deal 'is a challenge'
Red Bull engine 'change' in '06
Ford 'won't return'
Juan vows to 'blow Kimi away'
Red Bull and Michelin
No Brit GP - report
Some Jag sponsors will stay
Red Bull 'like Benetton'
Red Bull to find alternative
Ralf's a 'mystery' - Montoya
11/15/04
Industry News
Lawsuit filed against Carroll Shelby Lawsuit filed against Carroll ShelbyUPDATE Denice Halicki filed an amended complaint today in Los Angeles Federal Court, asking the Court to stop defendant Carroll Shelby from branding and marketing his line of high-end, retrofitted Ford Mustangs with the name “Eleanor” from the classic film Gone in 60 Seconds.  Ms. Halicki claims that she and her husband, the late filmmaker H.B. “Toby” Halicki, were the first to use the Eleanor and Gone in 60 Seconds marks, and that Mr. Shelby has no right to market Eleanor-branded vehicles and merchandise without her permission.  She seeks an order from the Court that would instruct the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel and invalidate trademarks which she alleges were wrongfully obtained by the Defendants.  Ms. Halicki is represented by Jeffrey S. Kravitz with the Los Angeles office of Lord, Bissell & Brook, LLP.  Halicki vs. Carroll Shelby International, Inc., Case No. CV04-8813 SJO (PJWx).  Ms. Halicki is the CEO of Halicki Films and filed suit on October 25, 2004 for copyright and trademark infringement of her rights to the film Gone in 60 Seconds and its feature character Eleanor against Carroll Shelby, Carroll Shelby International, Inc. (OTC-CSBI) (Bulletin Board: CSBI), Carroll Hall Shelby Trust and Unique Motorcars, Inc., among others.  In February 2004, Ms. Halicki alleges that she discovered that the Defendants were manufacturing and marketing unauthorized motor vehicles which are copies of the character Eleanor featured in Gone in 60 Seconds, and which sell at prices ranging from $90,000 to $150,000 each.  She claims that the Defendants have further expanded their exploitation of her Eleanor trademark by marketing bronze scale models of Eleanor and selling them for $5,900 apiece; selling Eleanor clothing; selling posters of Mr. Shelby and Eleanor; licensing Eleanor to Quaker State Motor Oil; and made a race car with the names Gone in 60 Seconds and Eleanor on it. 11/03/04 Denice Halicki filed suit in Los Angeles Federal Court on Monday, October 25, 2004 against Carroll Shelby International, Inc. and Carroll Shelby for copyright infringement and trademark infringement of Ms. Halickis rights to the film "Gone in 60 Seconds" and its feature character, a 1971 Fastback Ford Mustang named Eleanor. Plaintiff alleges that, without right or license, Defendants have been manufacturing, marketing and selling three motor vehicle versions of Eleanor as featured in Gone in 60 Seconds, ranging in price from $90,000 to $150,000. Ms. Halicki is represented by Jeffrey S. Kravitz with the Los Angeles office of Lord, Bissell & Brook, LLP. Halicki vs. Carroll Shelby International, Inc., Case No. CV04-8813 SJO (PJWx).

Ms. Halicki seeks damages and punitive damages; and alleges unfair competition and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, among other claims. Co-defendants in the case include: Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc., Carroll Shelby Engineering, Inc., Carroll Shelby Motors, Inc., Carroll Shelby Distribution International, Inc., Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, Unique Motorcars, Inc., and Sanderson Sales & Marketing.

11/15/04
nascar
NASCAR to impound cars after qualifying NASCAR to impound cars after qualifyingUPDATE NASCAR will implement a post-qualifying impound procedure for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series at the majority of the 36 championship-point races in 2005, NASCAR officials announced today. More than half of the events on the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule will utilize the new procedure that will provide cost-containment benefits to the teams. Following qualifying and the post-qualifying inspection process, the starting field of 43 cars will be impounded by NASCAR officials until race day. During this period, the teams will not be permitted to work on their cars unless for special circumstances and authorized by NASCAR officials.  “We are still in the process of getting more tracks to commit to this procedure,” NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Director John Darby said. “We appreciate the cooperation of our track operators to assist us in delivering cost-saving measures to the team owners.”  Some of the benefits of the new procedure will include reducing the amount of labor by crew members on the cars throughout a race weekend; reducing practice tire consumption and, most importantly, eliminating special qualifying parts, components, oils and set-ups. “Ultimately, all the teams will arrive at the track with a focus on one goal,” Darby said. “That goal will be to have the best possible race set-up, and hopefully that will enhance the overall competitive element throughout the field.”  The new procedure will alter the traditional race weekend schedule. The two 45-minute final practices the day following qualifying – commonly known as “Happy Hour” – will be eliminated.  In many cases for a traditional race weekend (Friday-Sunday), two hours of practice would take place Friday, Bud Pole qualifying on Saturday and then the cars would be impounded immediately following post-qualifying inspection. On doubleheader weekends, Bud Pole qualifying could be followed by a NASCAR Busch Series event, creating a strong single-day package for race fans. NASCAR PR 11/15/04 NASCAR is taking a page out of Formula One's rule book and starting next year, cars will be impounded following qualifying for most of the 36 point scoring races in 2005. NASCAR says the new procedure will provide cost-containment benefits for all the teams. Following qualifying and the post-qualifying inspection process, the starting field of 43 cars will be impounded by NASCAR officials until race day. During this period, the teams will not be permitted to work on their cars unless for special circumstances and authorized by NASCAR officials. The move mimics a similar rule in Formula One, whereby cars are placed in Parc Ferme following qualifying until the start the race. Some of the benefits of the new procedure will include reducing the amount of labor by crew members on the cars throughout a race weekend; reducing practice tire consumption and, most importantly, eliminating special qualifying parts, components, oils and set-ups.

"Ultimately, all the teams will arrive at the track with a focus on one goal," said NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Director John Darby. "That goal will be to have the best possible race set-up, and hopefully that will enhance the overall competitive element throughout the field." The changes will force the elimination of "Happy Hour", the two, 45-minute final practices which follow qualifying. In most cases, two hours of practice will now take place on Friday with pole qualifying on Saturday before the cars are impounded. On double-header weekends, pole qualifying could be followed by a NASCAR Busch Series events to make up for the lost track time for spectators. NASCAR is also making available a maximum of four preseason test days in the new year, two each at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and California Speedway. This should eliminate the expense of making two separate trips for tests at those respective tracks for most teams. The tests at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and California Speedway will serve as the western swing of NASCAR Preseason Thunder, which kicks off the 2005 season with sessions Jan. 11-13 and 18-20 at Daytona International Speedway. TSN.ca

11/15/04
nascar
NASCAR Today announces schedule change NASCAR Today announces schedule changeNASCAR today announced several changes to its race weekend schedule, including a post-qualifying impound procedure for the Nextel Cup Series. Following qualifying and post-qualifying inspections, the starting field of 43 cars will be impounded until race day. The new rule limits the amount of work teams can do on their cars, and effectively ends “Happy Hour,” which consisted of two 45-minute practice sessions the day following qualifying. Also, on doubleheader weekends, Bud Pole qualifying could be followed by a Busch Series event. NASCAR
11/15/04
champcar
Cosworth sale press conference transcript Cosworth sale press conference transcriptGood afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. I'd like to welcome you to the media call. I think probably by now you will have caught up with the news that has been announced earlier today over here in Europe. What we'd like to do on this call is to run through that news again. I'm joined by Richard Parry-Jones, who is the group vice president, chief technical officer, and has overall responsibility for Motorsport at Ford. Also joined by Kevin Kalkhoven who has been confirmed as the new owner of Cosworth today, and Tim Routsis, who is the managing director of Cosworth. The format today is we will just make a few short remarks from the speakers, then we'll hand it over very much to you and take the Q&A over the telephone line. More....
11/15/04
champcar
 irl
f1
Why Kalkhoven/Forsythe team got Cosworth Why Kalkhoven/Forsythe team got CosworthUPDATE Richard Parry-Jones gave the four criteria Ford looked at when choosing the buyer for Cosworth. 1) Did the buyer have a motorsports history such that they really knew what they were getting into, 2) Did they have a good plan to grow the business, 3) Did they have a solid financial plan and financial backing to sustain and grow the business, 4) Did they have the ability to close the deal by the November 15th FIA deadline.  "When evaluating this criteria it was clear that the Kevin Kalkhoven-Gerald Forsythe approach was significantly superior to all the others," said Parry-Jones. 11/15/04 Why did Ford and Cosworth choose Champ Car owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe to buy Cosworth?  "Ganassi and others did not understand the contingent liabilities," said Kalkhoven. "We made guarantees on $60 million of contingent liabilities, but of course we will manage the business so they are never an issue," said Kalkhoven.  "We also spent a lot of time laying out our strategy and understanding all the issues.  We had a team of lawyers, accountants and others in England four weeks working on this deal, people like Pierre Wildman from my firm and Jim Cox from Ernst & Young."  Mark Cipolloni reporting from London
11/15/04
Industry News
Cosworth announces three kits for USA "Tuner" market Cosworth announces three kits for USA "Tuner" marketIn their first move to break into the USA "Tuner Car" market, Cosworth has announced the sale of three different engine kits for the Ford Focus that take the HP all the way up to 250 HP.
11/15/04
champcar
Champ Car statement on sale of Cosworth Champ Car statement on sale of CosworthWhat follows are statements made by Champ Car World Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven following today’s purchase of Cosworth Racing by Mr. Kalkhoven and fellow series co-owner Gerald Forsythe. If used in print, these statements should be attributed to Kevin Kalkhoven.

“Cosworth has a truly wonderful heritage of engineering that we have great respect for. We want not only to continue on from that great tradition but also move into the future with new projects and new ideas. There are many new markets we want to develop. The company has been doing a lot of work on low pollution marine engines for example, which should be very appropriate in the coming years. I believe there’s a big opportunity in that area.

“Broadly, we’re looking at the whole area of engine development, but also in new markets such as supplying kits to the emerging tuner car market. We also intend to continue working with automotive manufacturers around the world on an even more expansive basis than Cosworth has in the past.

 “The second reason is Cosworth’s Formula 1 heritage. We are strongly committed to continuing that great and very successful heritage into the future.

“Cosworth has been a performance engine supplier to the American motor racing scene for forty years and we wish to continue that heritage and allow it to develop into the future. As we go forward, Cosworth will be an engine developer for the supporting series of the Champ Car World Series. Cosworth will develop affordable engines for our ladder series.

“Being able to control our engine supply allows us to significantly determine the future of all of our race series from Champ Cars through the ladder system. Having control of its engine design and technology for the future is a key to the development of the Champ Car World Series and our developmental series. This will enable us not to be dependant on any particular manufacturer.”

11/15/04
Industry News
IPG terminates agreement with Silverstone track IPG terminates agreement with Silverstone trackIPG announced today that it has exercised its option to terminate its leasehold interest in the Silverstone race track, effective December 15, 2004.  On that date, IPG's Silverstone Motor Sports Limited subsidiary will transfer to the British Racing Drivers' Club its associated businesses at Silverstone, ending IPG's involvement in U.K. motor sports. IPG will have no significant future financial obligations related to its former motor sports holdings or contracts. IPG
11/15/04
nascar
Big crowd good news for Darlington Big crowd good news for DarlingtonDarlington Raceway has “struggled to sell tickets in recent years and lost one of its traditional two annual race weekends to another track this year, but the grandstands were fairly full” for yesterday’s Mountain Dew Southern 500 USA TODAY
11/15/04
nascar
Jeff Gordon steaming mad Jeff Gordon steaming madTheir experience under pressure was supposed to be the edge for Jeff Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports team in their quest for a fifth NASCAR championship.  And it still might be. But if Gordon comes up short in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, he and his team can look at a faulty pit stop in the closing stages of Sunday's Mountain Dew Southern 500 as a big reason.  Gordon was cruising along with a six-second lead when a caution brought everyone into the pits. In their haste to get their man out first, Gordon's crew got the air hose caught under the right rear tire. The extra time taken to free it resulted in Gordon exiting the pits in seventh place.  Although he rallied over the final 27 laps to finish third, the four-time series champion was unhappy after the race.  "We had the opportunity. We had the car. If you're going to win a championship, you can't make those kinds of mistakes," said Gordon, who heads into next week's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway third in the Nextel Cup standings, 21 points behind leader Kurt Busch and three behind teammate and race winner Jimmie Johnson.  "I'm glad I'm mad right now," Gordon said, "because I'm looking forward to going to Homestead really mad." Indy Star
11/15/04
nascar
NASCAR studies changes NASCAR studies changesNASCAR is contemplating dropping the so-called "lucky dog" rule implemented last season after racing back to the start-finish line under caution was outlawed. The rule allows the first driver a lap down when a caution comes out to get back onto the lead lap.  NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said the rule has created confusion among fans and, at times, the competitors.  "We keep being asked about it and it's hard to explain," he said. "One way out is just to eliminate that element completely."  NASCAR also is looking at phasing in a new qualifying system that would allow for two-day shows at several tracks in 2005. Qualifying would be moved to Saturdays and the cars then impounded until the race. The idea is to cut costs because teams would not need to prepare a car especially for qualifying and then redo it for the race.  "They're spending all this money on qualifying," Hunter said. "If one does it, they all have to. But if nobody does it, nobody has to."  To protect the teams that are committed to a full season, the top 35 in points would be guaranteed a spot in the field. Indy Star
11/15/04
f1
Minardi to race Cosworth Minardi to race Cosworth(GMM -- Nov.15) F1's poorest team will not have to race its own 'European' engine in 2005, a spokesman told us on Monday. The confirmed sale of engine supplier Cosworth to US-based Champ Car championship bosses will mean that an existing contract can be honored, he added. Minardi's V10 unit will be the 'TJ' model. But, the small Italian-based outfit - run by millionaire Paul Stoddart - is still seeking to start with the 2004 car/engine package early next year, because the Cosworth sale came so late.
11/15/04
f1
Purnell to stay Purnell to stay(GMM -- Nov.15) 2004 Jaguar principal Tony Purnell will remain at the helm of the now Red Bull-owned Formula One team next year.  He said at a press conference in England: ''Can you imagine a better outcome (for the staff at Milton Keynes HQ)? The months of uncertainty are over.''
11/15/04
champcar
 irl
Kalkhoven to call Ganassi Kalkhoven to call GanassiNow that it is official and Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe have defeated Chip Ganassi and others in a bid to buy Cosworth from Ford, we asked Kalkhoven today in London if he thinks Ganassi still wants to use Cosworth to help him with his NASCAR and Grand-Am engine programs because Ganassi said that is why he was bidding on Cosworth (even though speculation is rampant that Ganassi was really a front for Tony George). "I intend to give Chip a call and see if he still wants to use Cosworth's services to improve his engines," said Kalkhoven tongue-in-cheek to AutoRacing1.com. Mark Cipolloni reporting from London
11/15/04
champcar
 f1
irl
Ford statement on sale of Cosworth Ford statement on sale of CosworthFord Motor Company and Cosworth are jointly announcing today that Cosworth has been purchased by Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, co-owners of the Champ Car World Series and heads of the PKV and Forsythe Championship Racing Champ Car teams, respectively.

"I am delighted that Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe have bought Cosworth. Since we made the announcement to sell our F1 businesses in September we have received tremendous support from the management and employees at Cosworth and we have worked very hard to secure a sale to a reputable buyer," said Richard Parry-Jones, Group Vice President – Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. "Kevin and Gerry are very successful businessmen, have a long history in the sport and a clear vision for how they wish to take Cosworth forward. I am pleased to announce this outcome."

"Cosworth has a truly wonderful heritage of engineering that we have great respect for," said Kevin Kalkhoven, the new co-owner of Cosworth. "We want not only to continue on from that great tradition but also move into the future with new projects and new ideas. There are many new markets we want to develop. For example, the company has been doing a lot of work on new technology marine engines, which should be very appropriate in the coming years. I believe there’s a big opportunity in that area."
 
Gerry Forsythe added: "Broadly, we’re looking at the whole area of engine development, but also in new markets, such as supplying kits to the emerging tuner car market. We also intend to continue working with automotive manufacturers around the world on an even more expansive basis than Cosworth has in the past."

Separately today, Ford announced the sale of Jaguar Racing to Red Bull. As part of the deal the new Red Bull F1 team will continue to use Cosworth engines next year. This announcement, together with the news that Minardi will also be using Cosworth engines in 2005, helps underpin Cosworth’s long and ongoing role as an F1 engine supplier. "We are strongly committed to continuing the great F1 tradition at Cosworth and take that very successful heritage into the future," stated Kevin Kalkhoven, "and we want to extend Cosworth’s four-decade old tradition of building performance engines for the American racing market."

An additional reason for Kalkhoven and Forsythe’s purchase of Cosworth is to ensure control of the development and costs of engines for Champ Car’s ladder series. "As we go forward, Cosworth will be a developer of affordable engines for the Champ Car ladder series," Forsythe said.

Commenting on the news, Cosworth Managing Director Tim Routsis said: "This is wonderful news for Cosworth. We have an excellent relationship with Kevin and Gerry built up over time through our involvement in North American motorsport. Being acquired by people of their knowledge, resource, experience and passion is a rare opportunity to not only strengthen and expand our existing position in world-wide motor sport, but also to lead Cosworth into new markets that will provide long-term stability and a foundation for future growth."

"The high regard in which Kevin and Gerry hold the Company, its people, brand and products has been demonstrated today in the most convincing manner possible," stated Routsis.

Richard Parry-Jones concluded: "Today marks the passing of an era. After competing for over thirty-five years in the sport in partnership with Cosworth, deciding to exit F1 was a very tough decision for us to make. During that time, the Ford-Cosworth relationship has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, but we have also left a rich legacy of victories and championships won by some of the most famous drivers and teams in motorsports history."

"This success would not have been possible without the contribution of our employees, partners, drivers, sponsors and of course the fans. I would like to thank them all, and am reassured that this famous racing name will go forward under the stewardship of Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe. We look forward to a continuing relationship with Cosworth," said Parry-Jones.  Ford and Cosworth

11/15/04
champcar
PKV Racing hires McGee and Krisiloff PKV Racing hires McGee and KrisiloffOne of PKV Racing's owners Dan Petitt told AutoRacing1.com that they have officially hired Jim McGee to be team manager and Steve Krisiloff to oversee one of their two cars for next year. McGee will oversee the other car while overseeing the entire team.  The team has also hired Kevin Diamond to do Public Relations. Mark Cipolloni reporting from London
11/15/04
Karting
irl
Karting Stars champions crowned Karting Stars champions crownedTo a man, each championship contender in Sunday’s Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championship finale knew all scenarios that could play themselves out as they tried to win their respective class national titles. All 34 contenders in the six classes knew that by winning, they were at least assured of a shot at national karting glory. Fittingly, four national champions won their races while the remaining two champion drivers finished in second place. More....
11/15/04
f1
Toyota announces Jordan engine supply Toyota announces Jordan engine supplyToyota announced this morning that Jordan will run with its engines in 2005. A one-year deal was concluded on Friday 12 November which will see Jordan Grand Prix purchase a supply of 2005-spec Toyota RVX- 05 engines at an 'affordable price' for the 2005 season.

"The decision to supply Jordan Grand Prix with engines was only taken in recent weeks once engine regulations for 2005 were confirmed," explained Tsutomu Tomita, Chairman of Toyota Motorsport GmbH and Team Principal of Panasonic Toyota Racing. "The move to a two-race engine and the recent planned reduction of testing for next year have also contributed considerably to making this deal possible."

"The last-minute nature of this agreement will offer us a real challenge for the upcoming season, but it is one which we are happy to take on. We are pleased to be able to offer our services to help another team, given the difficulties that Formula One is currently facing, particularly with engine supply. I sincerely hope that the Toyota RVX-05 engine will be a substantial asset to the Jordan team in the coming season."

The agreement between Toyota Motorsport and Jordan Grand Prix will not result in a re-branding of the Jordan team in 2005 and the Toyota name and logo will not be used in conjunction with those of Jordan Grand Prix next season.  Like the Ferrari/Sauber/Petronas engine arrangement, Jordan will re-brand the Toyota power plant. Toyota

11/15/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Red Bull bought Jaguar
Sauber set for KL launch
Banks bowl Bernie blow
Jordan 'will enter'
Bike legend wants F1 test
Williams didn't 'expect' beating
Jaguar cost $55m - report
'We've started the V8'
Barrichello wins in Brazil
2004 'not lost year' - Kimi
19-race calendar is 'too long'
Pedro has a baby
Scalextric and Ferrari
Williams to welcome new teams
Schu can't win 'em all
11/14/04
champcar
PKV loses hospitality truck PKV loses hospitality truckOn the ride back from the season closing Mexico City Champ Car race last Monday, one of the PKV Racing hospitality trucks burnt to the ground when a propane tank exploded for some unknown reason.  No one was hurt.
11/14/04
f1
Red Bull boss confirms Jaguar F1 purchase Red Bull boss confirms Jaguar F1 purchaseAustrian energy drink firm Red Bull has taken over the Jaguar Formula One team from Ford, Red Bull's owner told a newspaper on Sunday.   "It is true, we bought Jaguar Racing at the weekend," Red Bull's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz was quoted as saying by Austria's Salzburger Nachrichten on its website.   Mateschitz's comments confirmed media reports that a deal had been reached just before Monday evening's deadline for entries to the 2005 championship.

He did not, however, say how much Red Bull had paid. Ford have spent about $2 million a week keeping the team afloat since the end of the season that finished last month.  The takeover should secure the future of the 300-strong Milton Keynes-based team and end talk of other Formula One teams having to run three cars next year to make up the numbers on an otherwise depleted grid.

Mateschitz said he could not provide job guarantees but added that he had no plans to change the team's leadership in the short term, the newspaper said. Asked whether the team would sign Austrian driver Christian Klien, who made his F1 debut at Jaguar last season and was sponsored by Red Bull, Mateschitz said he would be considered.

"Like other drivers, he will come to testing as of late November," Mateschitz said. "But it is true that a second season for Christian after his debut would make sense."  The team will use a Cosworth engine this season because there is too little time to make changes to the car's design, the newspaper said.  "But I can imagine a change in 2006," Mateschitz added.

Red Bull will end its sponsorship of the Swiss-based Sauber team, the newspaper reported. Red Bull was involved with the now-defunct Arrows team and has been involved in Formula One and motor racing for years as well as in a range of action sports. Reuters

11/14/04
Karting
Barrichello teams wins karting event Barrichello teams wins karting eventFormula One star Rubens Barrichello and 2004 IRL champion Tony Kanaan led their team to victory Sunday in the Granja Viana 500 kart race. They beat an all-star field that included F1's Juan Pablo Montoya, retired two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran and current IRL star Helio Castroneves. More than 70 teams competed in the event, which began Saturday night and finished Sunday.

The winning team, which also included the IRL's Dan Wheldon and Felipe Giaffone, needed 644 laps and nearly 11 hours to complete the 500-mile event at the Granja Viana track. De Ferran, who retired after running the 2003 season in the IRL, and Castroneves co-drove the runner-up kart with the IRL's Vitor Meira. Montoya's team, which included F1 driver Antonio Pizzonia, finished 57th. Michael Andretti's 17-year-old son, Marco, was 69th.

11/14/04
f1
Major F1 events slated for Monday Major F1 events slated for MondayThree major F1 events are slated for Monday in Europe. First we will know once and for all who is buying Cosworth, 2nd we will learn who is buying the Jaguar F1 team, and 3rd we will learn if the Jordan team will use Toyota or Cosworth engines in 2005. These announcements are all being made at the last minute, November 15, 2004 because that is the deadline set forth in the Concorde Agreement whereby formal entries by all F1 teams for the following year must be submitted.
11/14/04
champcar
 f1
irl
Cosworth sale to be announced Monday Cosworth sale to be announced MondayOn Monday, Champ Car owner Kevin Kalkhoven and Cosworth Managing Director Tim Routsis will address the Cosworth employees in the UK at 8:30 AM local time, followed by two press conferences, later that morning for the European media and one at 12:00 noon Eastern Time for the USA media.  The topic will be the future of Cosworth.  AutoRacing1.com will bring you all the news live from London. Mark C.
11/14/04
NHRA
Warren Johnson to retire Warren Johnson to retireWarren Johnson, the winningest Pro Stock racer in NHRA history, will announce his retirement from drag racing today at Pomona Raceway, effective at the end of the 2005 season. Johnson, a six-time champion whose 92 national event wins trail only the 113 posted by John Force, failed to qualify for today's final eliminations of the Auto Club NHRA Finals. His best quarter-mile pass in four qualifying runs was 6.793 seconds, 0.088 behind one-time crew chief Greg Anderson, who led the 27-car field. Guess you could say the 2004 season will not receive a prominent spot in the Johnson family scrapbook,'' Johnson said before the season-ending race. ``Things did not go (this year) the way we anticipated. We broke things that we didn't even know we owned. ``It certainly was not due to a lack of effort by everyone on the team. We're not happy, but we're not about to sit around and waste any time moping about it.''
11/14/04
nascar
Kahne holds off Hamilton in truck race Kahne holds off Hamilton in truck raceNASCAR Nextel Rookie sensation Kasey Kahne held off a furious challenge by the father and son duo of Bobby Hamilton Sr. and Jr. to win the Darlington 200 at Darlington Raceway in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut. Kahne dominated the competition in his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge, leading 95 of the 150 laps contested, but he was forced to earn the win in dramatic fashion with two late race restarts including a green-white-checker finish. On the final restart Hamilton Jr. missed a shift, slammed into the outside wall after an unintentional nudge from his father and spun to the inside collecting the luckless David Reutimann. The ensuing melee allowed Kahne to cruise to the checkered flag under caution, becoming only the third driver in NCTS history to win in his first NCTS start.

"Just to win at Darlington Raceway - this is definitely one of my favorite tracks if not my favorite track," Kahne said after the race.  "It's a lot of fun to win here. It's a tough track. It's pretty neat to race underneath the lights tonight. The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge I drove tonight was just awesome. We had great pit stops, and the truck was perfect."

11/14/04
Industry News
China barrels ahead in oil market China barrels ahead in oil marketThis LA Times article talks about China's thirst for oil fueled by its booming economy and strong car sales.  Their thirst for oil is putting a huge demand on supply, which is driving up oil prices worldwide.  F1 race sponsor Sinopec, China's big oil producer, is mentioned.
11/14/04
champcar
Clare no longer with Champ Car Clare no longer with Champ CarAutoRacing1.com has learned that David Clare is no longer with the Champ Car organization. No word on where he will land. We do hear that Dick Eidswick has agreed to remain on as President.
11/14/04
nascar
ESPN tribute on Dale Earnhardt ESPN tribute on Dale EarnhardtESPN Classic's Dale Earnhardt Tribute: ESPN Classic celebrates the career of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt, as they build up to the debut of the EOE movie "3", beginning on Wednesday, December 1, at 9:00pm/et. Every night for six nights ESPN Classic will air a fantastic Dale Earnhardt race at 9:00pm/et. Then Thursday, December 9, to Saturday, December 11, ESPN Classic will televise the "3 Days of Dale" which will feature around-the-clock airings of his greatest NASCAR and IROC races, as well as shows/documentaries that pay tribute to the career of the immortal "Intimidator"
11/13/04
nascar
Truex wraps up Busch title Truex wraps up Busch titleMartin Truex Jr.'s fourth-place finish Saturday at Darlington Raceway gave Dale Earnhardt Jr. the first of two series championships he covets this year. With the help of a bad day by Busch Series runner-up Kyle Busch, Truex wrapped up the title with one more race remaining in the 2004 season, giving Chance 2 Motorsports, co-owned by Earnhardt and his stepmother, Teresa, their first championship. "I never thought this would ever come true," Truex said. Jamie McMurray shared the spotlight with Truex, winning his second race in a row and giving the new Rusty Wallace Inc. team its first series victory. Truex is the first driver to win a Busch championship in his first full season since Earnhardt Jr. got the first of his two consecutive titles in 1998. The new champion has been the top driver in the series most of the year, leading the series in wins (6), poles (7), top fives (17) and top 10s (25). McMurray was excited, too. "That's really cool to win at Darlington," said McMurray, whose No. 66 Dodge dominated the race, leading 72 of the 147 laps on the 1.366-mile oval, including the final 46. "Now that Rockingham's gone, this is my favorite racetrack. CBS
11/13/04
snaponstars
Karting Stars grid set Karting Stars grid setUnder sometimes hovering ominous clouds, the second day of the Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championships saw nail-biting qualifying action and even tighter racing action. Minus a few sprinkles, the rain held off during the day as all six classes qualified in the morning and ran Pre-Final rounds in the afternoon to determine the final grids of Sunday's National Championship. While points are not on the line, final starting positions are determined by the results of the Pre-Final races, so action was intense.

Strong wheel-to-wheel competition marked the ICC Class as it provided its usual strong show during the Pre-Final Race. On the standing start, Kyle Wiegand beat polesitter Bobby Wilson as 35 karts roared through the first turn. A three kart accident involving National Championship contender Ron White on lap two ended his day and will force White to fight his way through the field on Sunday as he will start 32nd. Wiegand continued out front, with Jordy Vorrath now taking up second place as Pre-Final polesitter and defending National Champion Bobby Wilson began to drop back. Wilson would eventually finish in sixth place.

Wiegand would stretch out his lead to over two seconds before Vorrath steadily chipped away and made his charge into the lead on lap 14. With two laps remaining and Vorrath out front, the lead duo's battle had opened the door for third place Darren Elliot to be within striking distance. As the white flag flew, Elliot had completed his charge to the front and was just behind the leaders. With Elliot charging and no time to waste, Wiegand made his move in turn six to the inside of Vorrath to retake the lead for the final time and lead at the checkered flag by 0.368 seconds. Elliot ran out of time and finished third just 0.538 seconds behind the lead. Elliot will start fifth Sunday due to a rule pertaining to season long participation in the series. Alex Speed, second in National points, came home in fourth place after starting eighth, while championship leader Alan Sciuto moved up steadily from his eleventh place starting position to finish fifth. Both will move up one position in the starting order due to Elliot moving back to fifth place.
11/13/04
Formula 3
Macau GP Entry List Macau GP Entry ListAccording to sources, Penske is giving Kurt Busch a five-year contract for anywhere between $6 million and $12 million a year. It is unclear what Busch is making with Roush, but the average Cup driver makes $3 million-plus a year, plus whatever he can generate in souvenir sales and through personal-services contracts. At the top end, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon are reported to be making about $20 million a year each. Winston Salem Journal
11/13/04
snaponstars
Karting Stars get first look at Disney track Karting Stars get first look at Disney trackOn a day that started with a completely green race track, Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championship competitors steadily worked in a racing groove today during practice on the temporary circuit located in the Magic Kingdom® at Walt Disney World® Resort. Measuring just over 0.73 miles, the parking lot circuit proved to up for the task, as times decreased over five sessions of practice for each of the six Stars’ classes. With National Championships on the line and 34 total drivers still in the running, practice proved to be critical for some while others continue to tune with their sights on Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s finale. More.....
11/13/04
nascar
Sadler and Rudd wreck cars in Happy Hour Sadler and Rudd wreck cars in Happy HourElliott Sadler and Ricky Rudd will both go to back-up cars after hitting the wall during happy hour at Darlington today.  Sadler will drive the same Taurus he won with at Texas earlier this year.  Sadler said, "I really don't know what happened.  The first car had been working great all day and I really wasn't up to speed yet.  I just let the 18 car pass me and when I went into turn three it just didn't turn.  It just kept straight, so either I was up just a little bit too high and got in the gravel or what, I don't know.  I saw some other guys have problems with that corner (three and four).  I was behind Ricky Rudd right there at the end and he did the same thing.  His car never turned and it hit straight head on.  I just don't know.  I was really careful there at the end to try to stay below what I thought the trouble spot was and I'm gonna have to do that tomorrow.  It's gonna cause some interesting racing tomorrow if you're caught on the outside."
11/13/04
f1
Lance Armstrong wants to drive F1 car Lance Armstrong wants to drive F1 carSix-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said he would love to drive a Formula One car after he and Australian racer Mark Webber trained together.  "He said he wanted to drive the car himself rather than be a passenger," Webber, who has his first test with Williams on Nov. 24 after moving from Jaguar, told the BMW-powered team's website on Friday.  "I told him I wasn't sure if it was possible but I'd look into it."  Webber is a keen cyclist and fan of Armstrong's, flying to Texas for a training camp with the U.S. rider after the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix last month.  "As everyone knows, Lance is a phenomenally fit guy and it was amazing to be cycling alongside him and chatting, although my breaths soon got shorter and shorter, as did my answers to his questions," said Webber.  The two had met briefly earlier in the year during the Tour de France.  "I admire people that can do things that I can't do," Webber had said after that first meeting. "I don't have many racing drivers as heroes...I look up to people like Lance because of what he's gone through." Reuters
11/13/04
GP2
 Formula 3
Piquet Jr. to GP2 with Hitech Piquet Jr. to GP2 with HitechThe Piquet Sports team has folded. Nelson Jr. will team up with fellow Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi (8th place in this year's British F3 championship, won by Nelson) in the Hitech team, which will move up from F3 to the new GP2 series next year. Piquet Jr will make his Hitech debut at the Macau F3 race.
11/13/04
Karting
Barrichello on pole at Granja 500, Andretti is 5th and Jaskol is 9th Barrichello on pole at Granja 500, Andretti is 5th and Jaskol is 9thRubens Barrichello grabbed the pole this Friday for the 8th 500 Milhas da Granja Viana, in São Paulo, Brazil. He will start ahead of some of the biggest stars of racing in Brazilian and international motorsports. He won this race in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The Ferrari driver will share driving duties with Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon and Felipe Giaffone.

“This pole position gives us an extra shine. I had a good kart, thanks to the team. For the race, whatever happens we will have had fun – of course we want to win, but we are here for fun. It is always good to be on pole”, said the Formula 1 Championship runner up in 2004.

Brazilian karting champion Sérgio Jimenez will start second, and will drive with Juan Pablo Montoya, Mario Romancini and Antonio Pizzonia.  The qualifying system changed a little this year, and after the two groups of over 36 karts each had a 15 minutes qualifying session, the top five of each group had a “super qualifying” of one lap each, by themselves, to define the order of the top 10.

Tony Kanaan qualified the kart in which Marco Andretti will co-drive, and will start 5th, while Brazilian Stock Car stand-out Nono Figueiredo qualified the kart in which Matt Jaskol will drive, and will start 9th. Defending Champion Christian Fittipaldi will start 7th.  The 500 Milhas da Granja Viana will start at midnight (Brazilian time) this Saturday.

The top ten on the grid:
1 Barrichello/Giaffone/Kanaan/Wheldon - 57s915
2 Jimenez/Montoya/Pizzonia/Romancini - 58s155
3 Giovannetti/Marcelo/Douglas/Luis/Giorgi - 58s178
4 Quadros/Francesco/Dietter - 58s523
5 Kanaan/Andretti/Bia/Giaffone/Barrichello - 58s529
6 R. Gomes/P. Gomes/Moro/Rodrigues/Wortmann - 58s576
7 Fittipaldi/Haberfeld/Fonseca - 58s584
8 F. Massa/E. Massa/Popó/Bertucelli/Sportelli - 58s708
9 Roberto Moreno/Hellmeister/Nonô/Jader David/Matt Jaskol - 58s761
10 Montoya/Cacá/Federico Montoya/Jimenez/Pizzonia/Romancini/Scudeler - 58s917

11/13/04
champcar
Kalkhoven and Forsythe on verge of joining most powerful list Kalkhoven and Forsythe on verge of joining most powerful listUPDATE AutoRacing1.com has learned that the investment banks handling the sale of the Jaguar F1 team and Cosworth invited both Gerald Forsythe (because of his relationship with Cosworth) and Kevin Kalkhoven to bid on Cosworth.  Kalkhoven has led all the negotiations because of his relationship with the investments banks.  Forsythe and Kalkhoven are said to be equal partners in the deal, which we assume will become official on Monday. 11/11/04 Already part owner of the Champ Car series, and majority owner of PKV Racing, Kevin Kalkhoven is poised to become one of the most powerful, if not one of the most influential, men in motorsports if he acquires Cosworth from Ford. Cosworth not only supplies engines to F1, Champ Car, the IRL, the World Rally series, and LeMans, they also do R&D work for NASCAR teams and have many other side projects in the automotive industry. They have their fingers in just about everything and as a 500-person company they are very highly regarded. If Kalkhoven completes this purchase as expected, he will immediately touch just about the entire racing community in one way or another. As a venture capitalist, it will be interesting to see what plans he has for Cosworth to grow the business and, thereby, his influence.

Similarly, Gerald Forsythe also owns Forsythe Racing, is equal partners with Kalkhoven in ownership of the Champ Car Series and is rumored to be buying into Cosworth with Kalkhoven. On top of that, Forsythe is the owner/promoter of a few key races, including Mexico City, Champ Car's biggest race and soon to be one of NASCAR's biggest events. Together, these two men are quickly becoming major factors in motorsports, and their influence is growing, which is certain to send chills down Tony George's back, the man who tried to kill CART/Champ Car for years, but instead just about destroyed an entire sport. Mark C.

11/13/04
nascar
Martinsville decides to install new fencing Martinsville decides to install new fencingMartinsville officials have decided to install a new catch-fence around the .526-mile oval before next April's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Advance Auto Parts 500. The decision was made after track president Clay Campbell determined a taller fence would decrease safety hazards.  "The new fence is just the next logical step for us," said Campbell, who sold Martinsville to the International Speedway Corporation, a subsidiary of NASCAR, earlier this season. "We started with the new [racing] surface and added the SAFER barriers during the summer months. Now, we are working hard so we'll have the new fence up before our April events."  Work to relocate the railroad tracks behind Martinsville's backstretch grandstand is nearing completion. Campbell expects to expand Martinsville's seating capacity (86,000) in the near future. The speedway will host the Nextel Cup Series on April 10.
11/13/04
champcar
Edmonton gets 2nd billing to Calgary Edmonton gets 2nd billing to CalgaryThis Edmonton Sun article says, Carson City and Las Vegas. Lansing and Detroit. Olympia and Seattle. Victoria and Vancouver. Edmonton and Calgary. Notice a pattern? It's simple. The first city of each is the capital of a state or province. The second city is seen to be the economic and cultural hub of the state or province in which the two communities are located. Sadly, outside of this province, Edmonton is often seen as the second-fiddle city in Canada's wealthiest province. That perception was reinforced this week when the 5.6 million daily readers of the USA Today newspaper were treated to a glowing account of Calgary's prosperity fuelled by the booming energy industry. The headline blared "Calgary leaves cow town image in the dust" and the story raved about how energy companies will invest "$40 billion (US) or more by 2025 to crank up production in northern Alberta's oilsands region." Hey, wait a minute, we're a whole lot closer to the oilsands than Cowtown, er, Calgary. How is it Edmonton didn't get this kind of prominent coverage in the USA Today money/business section that included three sizable color photos? More than a few Sun readers e-mailed me to complain of the story including one who wrote, "Isn't this typical? Calgary gets sunshine poured up its ass and Edmonton gets the stepsister routine again."..........However, Edmonton beat out Calgary in securing a prestigious Champ Car World Series auto race that will bring massive international attention to our city this summer as the world follows the fortunes of motorsports heroes such as Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier. "We just have to keep hammering home our message," said Rudolph. He's right about that.
11/13/04
grandam
The Racer's Group hires new team manager The Racer's Group hires new team managerIn what marks the first significant addition to its professional staff in preparation for a four-car, two-class Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series effort for 2005, TRG announced today the hiring of Mike Johnson, a well-known and experienced racer. Johnson, whose teams have over the years captured class victories at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans, will join the Company as Professional Racing Team Manager, responsible for the operations of the four-car Daytona Prototype and Porsche team.

Johnson's reputation as a driver, team owner and manager are well known throughout the paddock, and his teams' records at the world's most prestigious sports car races are stellar. From 2000 to 2002, Johnson's teams rolled off an impressive streak of 32 consecutive podium finishes, and most recently, he managed the Grand-Am SGS class championship team TPC Racing, which finished 1-2 in the 2004 team championship and an outstanding 1-2-3-4-5 in the driver championship.

"We're thrilled to announce that Mike has decided to join our team," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "His skill and organizational ability have been proven time after time, and he's got the work-until-the-job-is-done attitude that we've tried to cultivate at TRG for more than 10 years. We'll continue to add all-star staff in preparation for the 2005 Rolex season, but we feel that Mike is one of the key pieces in building our staff for the challenges and logistics of running four cars next season. Mike's had a lot of experience organizing teams that work with prototype cars, and as we get to learn our new Crawford Daytona Prototypes, that kind of experience is invaluable."

11/13/04
nascar
Stoddard out at Bill Davis Stoddard out at Bill DavisA representative from Bill Davis Racing confirmed that Derrike Finley has been named interim crew chief on the No. 22 Dodge of Scott Wimmer. Former crew chief Frankie Stoddard has been released from his duties with the team.
11/13/04
LMES
Veloqx announces withdrawal from motorsport Veloqx announces withdrawal from motorsportAfter three highly successful years competing in endurance and sportscar races in the UK, Continental Europe and the USA, Veloqx announces its withdrawal from competitive motorsport. Formed at the end of the 2001 season, Veloqx's successes have included:

* 2002 British GTO Championship including 11 podium results (Veloqx Motorsport)

* 2002 FIA GT Championship -- Estoril podium (Veloqx Motorsport)

* 2003 FIA GT Championship -- 9 podium results (Team Maranello Concessionaires)

* 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans - victory in GTS class (Veloqx Prodrive Racing)

* 2003 Le Mans 1,000 Km -- 1st and 2nd in GTS class (Veloqx Care Racing)

* 2004 12 Hours of Sebring -- 1st and 3rd (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx)

* 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans -- P1 and P2 grid positions, fastest race lap (Jamie Davies) and 2nd and 5th overall (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx)

* 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series -- 7 podiums plus LM P1 Champions (first and second overall - Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx)

Sam Li, Veloqx Motorsport's Team Principal, confirmed : "The Veloqx Group takes pride in its business success. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we stay true to our original plan to build the team over time and secure a long-term and significant 'works' project. Through a combination of external commercial factors, it has proven impossible for Veloqx to follow its motorsport business objectives in 2005. "In the absence of a program next year, it will be very hard to retain the services of some of the world's most talented people. Therefore, it is with much sadness that we take the decision to close our motorsport activities for the time being. There is 25 years or more ahead for Veloqx to mount another challenge to secure the overall Le Mans title, the only victory that eluded us in 2004. The most sensible approach is to conserve our resources and maximize our profitability in other areas of the Group and return at the most appropriate time. Departing the motorsport world on a 'high' will leave many good memories. Veloqx is extremely proud of its successes this past three years - British GTO Championship in 2002, Le Mans 24 Hours in GTS class in 2003, victory in class in the Le Mans 1,000 Km the same year, victory in Sebring this year - our first race with the prototypes, all four LMES races and the ultimate prize of the Championship, not to mention the drama and delight at securing P1 and P2 in Le Mans in 2004 and being part of the closest finish in La Sarthe for some 35 years. The team has made history and we have the awards to take with us to remind ourselves of what we have achieved. I'd like to thank our partners, suppliers and associates, all of whom have demonstrated unfailing enthusiasm from the beginning, for their tremendous support. Worthy of special mention are the relationships we've enjoyed this year with Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and his team at Audi Sport AG and with David Ingram of Audi UK. We remain resolute in our opinion that Audi are by far the finest technical partner to work with in the world of motor racing."

11/13/04
f1
Jordan hard at work Jordan hard at workThe start of the 2005 season may be four months away but there will still be plenty of on-track action during the winter period. Jordan is hard at work preparing an interim version of the EJ14 with a 2005 spec aero package to run in early December in Jerez, Spain, where the weather should be considerably milder than the UK.  Winter testing gives the team a valuable opportunity to evaluate new components for next year's car, particularly with new regulations coming into effect.   At the meeting of team bosses on Tuesday the 9th, nine teams have agreed that as of next year there will be limited testing as part of a cost cutting initiative - so any chance to rack up the kilometres now is even more valuable. Jordan
11/13/04
Industry News
Company paper suggested BAT targeted teens Company paper suggested BAT targeted teensInternal company documents made public for the first time indicate that British American Tobacco (BAT) executives discussed ways to sell cigarettes to the youth market, the Times of London reported Nov. 8.  Memos show that BAT executives proposed using live bands, DJs, toys, and video games to attract teens to its cigarettes. At the same time, the company was projecting a "corporate social responsibility" image by lobbying worldwide for the minimum age for tobacco sales to be raised to 18.  A November 1998 fax to Tom Moser, head of global sponsorship at BAT (and now head of Champ Car Marketing), outlines a promotion that featured a member of British American Racing, a Formula 1 team owned by BAT. The fax stated, "We feel strongly and have been advised by professional animators that we should not follow the 'cuddly/funny animal' character concept as the National Football League pre-game show, Disney theme parks, or events like the World Cup. We feel this concept has run its course and is probably more popular with very young children rather than 'kids.' Our direction will be computers. For example, a computer-rendered character, as in the characters from the PlayStation game Tomb Raider or Tekken."  Other documents addressed ways to target South African youth by promoting Lucky Strike cigarettes at a series of parties and hosting the bands Bush and The Violent Femmes, groups with a strong youth following.  David Betteridge, BAT's spokesman, said that BAT has funded more than 120 youth anti-smoking efforts worldwide. He also said that minors were not allowed at the South African marketing events.  "It is British American Tobacco's policy worldwide only to promote, advertise, or market to adult smokers," he said. "We strongly believe that children should not smoke."
11/12/04
champcar
Alex Zanardi memories Alex Zanardi memoriesHere are some of the responses we received to our Alex Zanardi book giveaway question, What was your favorite Alex Zanardi memory?  As you can see, he touched many peoples lives in a very meaningful way.  If only there were more Alex Zanardis in this world. Memories....

AutoRacing1.com is giving away 8 free copies of Alex Zanardi's new book, My Sweetest Victory.  To enter to win send the following to contest@autoracing1.com.  1) Name, 2) Mailing Address, 3) Email Address, 4) Your Favorite Alex Zanardi memory, 5) Your favorite racing series.  Entries must be complete.  Random drawing winners will be announced Dec. 1, 2004.

11/12/04
nascar
Earnhardt Jr. Wind Tunnel quotes Earnhardt Jr. Wind Tunnel quotesMuch of F1's political war could be called off as early as August 31. It's then, a Wednesday, when formula one teams and the carmakers' group - 'GPMA' - are set to next meet with FIA president Max Mosley to mull over a possible 'compromise' over regulations for the future.

Peace in that arena, it is believed, might pave a road to a similar, commercial resolution, averting the 'breakaway' menace and settling the dispute over '08 -- the start of a new contract.

At present, an eerie silence looms over the political combat-zone -- it's a go at diplomacy.  ''Nobody wants two series. Nobody,'' said Minardi's Paul Stoddart. ''We have to find a solution.  It may not work, but we've got to try.''

11/12/04
Race of Champions
ROC may pit all champions against one another ROC may pit all champions against one anotherUPDATE #2 Because of all the heavy hitters in this race, it is drawing a lot of attention and, hence,  SPEED just changed their ROC special on Dec. 12th from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. 11/11/04 SPEED Channel will have a one-hour highlight special on the ROC (held on December 4th) on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET ... Peter Windsor will be on-site collecting interviews. 11/11/04 Did you know that should Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson win the NASCAR Nextel Cup championship, every major racing series current champion will be competing head to head, in identical cars at the Race of Champions in France. Heady stuff.

Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais - champions of America’s two leading open-wheel race series, IRL and Champ Car World Series, are the latest title holders to join the line-up for December’s Race of Champions – Nations Cup at the Stade de France in Paris.

The Brazilian and the Frenchman will join an exclusive gathering of this year’s title holders from across the spectrum of motor sport. Already confirmed for the December 4th event are F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, WRC Champion Sebastien Loeb and DTM Champion Matthias Ekstrom plus over half a dozen former champions including NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon and rally heroes Colin McRae and Marcus Gronholm.

Kanaan will form half of a powerful Brazilian team. His team mate will be Sauber F1 driver Felipe Massa. The Brazilians will bring an element of color and showmanship to the event as they try to beat pairings from the USA, Europe and Scandinavia.

“It will be really nice to represent Brazil,” says Kanaan. “When the organizers called me up they didn’t have to finish the sentence for me to say yes. I have watched the Race of Champions for a while and a lot of the guys who have done it before like Kenny Brack and Cristiano da Matta have said how much fun it is. My personal feeling is that the real drivers are the rally drivers. They have to do well on all sorts of surfaces. I have done a couple of events in rally cars, the Bettega competition in Italy and a rally a long time ago in Brazil. That was in a BMW M3. I came second.”

A regular points scorer in 2004, Massa will break from winter F1 testing to make the trip to Paris for the stadium spectacular. He will be in familiar company. He will join fellow F1 drivers David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher.

“I think it has to be my aim to beat Michael Schumacher,” says Massa. “But it is not just about trying to beat him. There will be some amazing drivers there like Loeb and Jeff Gordon.

“It’s going to be very interesting to drive in the middle of the Stade de France. I say interesting but I have no idea how it is going to be. To be racing for Brazil will be cool. Tony Kanaan is a good friend. We have two open wheel guys so I am not sure how we will do. I hope we can be in the top 3.”

The host nation of France now has two teams for the local fans to cheer on. Rivaling the existing French team of Sebastien Loeb and Jean Alesi, Team Playstation France will feature the new Champ Car title holder Sebastien Bourdais and racer/rally driver Stephane Sarrazin. Sarrazin stunned the rally world by finishing fourth on the WRC Catalunya Rally last week, beating many of the world’s top drivers.

"I'm very proud to participate in such an important event as The Race of Champions,” says Sarrazin. “I have already been teammate with Sebastien Bourdais last year in the 1000 km race at Le Mans were we finished 2nd in a Pescarolo. I hope we can do a good result for the French fans in the Stade de France."

Playstation’s sponsorship of the second French team is part of a wider partnership with The Race of Champions. Georges Fornay, Vice President Managing Director of SCE Europe and Chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment France said: " We have been partners for 4 years with some of the most prestigious French drivers like Sebastien Loeb, Sebastien Bourdais and Stephane Sarrazin. Now we are very happy to become an Official Partner of The Race of Champions - Nations Cup for the next 3 years."

"This is a truly unique event taking place in France and gives us a perfect platform to communicate our association with the top drivers and their genuine passion for the best racing games, like Formula One, WRC and Gran Turismo 4 exclusively on PlayStation2. The credibility and experience of these drivers makes the PlayStation2 the leading games console in the world of motorsports."

Bourdais’ agreement will give French fans a rare opportunity to see him in action on home soil. Seven wins in the Champ Car World Series have made him a household name in America.

"After having won the title in America it's fantastic to come back to France and compete,” says Bourdais. “We will try to celebrate by winning another title in front of our home crowd!"

The announcement of Bourdais and Kanaan comes after NASCAR giants Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson confirmed their attendance in Paris. U.S. cable television network HDNet will provide an exclusive live telecast of the entire Race of Champions event. HDNet (www.hd.net) features general entertainment, live sports and news programming all in the highest quality 1080i HDTV, and is available in the U.S. through most cable and satellite providers.

11/12/04
champcar
Zanardi to visit USA for book appearances Zanardi to visit USA for book appearancesMediabuy USA Inc., which has been instrumental for the publication of Alex Zanardi’s book “ALEX ZANARDI – MY SWEETEST VICTORY” by Bentley Publishers, is pleased to announce that Alex Zanardi will be traveling to the United States this November and December.  Alex’s activities will include a New York City book signing session.  The appearance, that is open to everyone, is scheduled to take place on Monday, November 29th from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at Exoticar Model Gallery 280 Park Avenue & 48th Street New York, NY 10017 – Tel (212) 573-9537.

In addition Alex Zanardi will be appearing on Speed TV – “Wind Tunnel” with Dave Despain, and on the “Late Show with David Letterman” scheduled to air on December 3rd. We are also anticipating further coverage on many other national and local media outlets. Alex Zanardi’s US trip will also include an appearance in Beaver Creek, CO on December 1st where he will make a demonstrative ski run during the Alpine Ski World Championship event.  In addition, Alex will also be participating in several other sponsor related functions.

“ALEX ZANARDI – MY SWEETEST VICTORY” is currently on track to be the hottest motorsports title of the holiday season.  For more information please visit BentleyPublishers.com

11/12/04
nascar
Edsel Ford to serve as Grand Marshal Edsel Ford to serve as Grand MarshalOn October 10, 1901, a man by the name of Henry Ford ran in his one and only race against Alexander Winton - known as the greatest racer of the era - and beat him in a stirring upset that ultimately attracted investors to Ford and helped him start Ford Motor Company less than two years after the famous race. The race has long been known as the start of the Ford Racing program.  Just over 103 years later, Edsel B. Ford II, Henry Ford's great-grandson and current member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company, will also be part of history as he will serve as Grand Marshal and give the command to start engines for the Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, the deciding race in the Inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
 
Edsel Ford recently had the chance to reenact his great-grandfather's famous win with Charlie Wake - the great-grandson of Alexander Winton. Wake drove an original Winton race car, while Ford used the car driven by his great-grandfather. Henry Ford had called his car "Sweepstakes" because he gambled his automotive career with the famous car.   While Ford Racing's legacy has grown over its 103 year history, Edsel Ford, commonly known as the "godfather" of the current Ford Racing program, is looking forward to being Grand Marshal of the most unprecedented event in motorsports history, the Ford 400 finale for the Inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
 
"I'm honored to be named Grand Marshal of the Ford 400," said Ford.  "Racing has always been such an important part of our heritage at Ford, and events like the Ford Championship Weekend fit in well with our strategy to use the excitement of our racing program to appeal to millions of race fans nationwide.  My great-grandfather understood what racing success could do for a company.  He knew that racing could provide benefit in terms of both marketing and technical innovation.   Those are strong reasons we still race today.  I hope it's a great race weekend for all the competitors.  But, I have to admit, I am a little biased, so I also hope that I'm giving a trophy away that afternoon to one of our Ford drivers."
11/12/04
irl
IRL To Conduct Test At Infineon Raceway IRL To Conduct Test At Infineon RacewayUPDATE Dario's test at Infineon was rained out Thursday and they may try to come back next Wednesday. Michael Andretti was on-hand, but the rain stopped too late in the afternoon for the track to dry.  The IRL teams still do not have rain tires from Firestone that will be used next year.  Ironically, as if an omen from up above, all three attempts by the IRL to test on a road course have been hit by rain.  The Homestead test was cut short by rain, Castroneves never got out at Watkins Glen a couple of weeks ago, and now Dario's rain out at Infineon.  We still have major concerns with the IRL cars racing at both Infineon and Watkins Glen.  Although they are going to try and protect the Armco by putting bundles of tires in front of them, it's not an ideal situation by a long shot. 11/10/04 The Indy Racing League will conduct a private compatibility test at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on Nov. 11.  The purpose of the test is to determine if any changes are needed for IRL cars to race at the facility. The first IRL event at Infineon Raceway will be held on an IRL-modified course in August 2005, but the league will conduct an Open Test for all teams in April.  The compatibility test will be conducted by Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti. IRL
11/12/04
Off-Road
Centrix Financial supports Baja teams Centrix Financial supports Baja teamsOn November 17th at Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, 300 racers will race for three days over 1,000 miles through the region’s rugged terrain, pristine beaches and rustic towns. Thirty US states and 10 countries will be represented.   Today, CENTRIX Financial, a national financial management and services firm, announced its Team CENTRIX line-up for the 2004 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race.  CENTRIX will be returning to the Baja 1000 for the third consecutive year, having signed on as an event sponsor, as well as sponsor of the CENTRIX Financial Baja Challenge Class.  Team CENTRIX will be fielding five cars to compete in the Baja Challenge Class, which Robert E. Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CENTRIX Financial, has won two years running.   This year Newman Haas team owner, Paul Newman will race with Sutton. Other notable Team CENTRIX entries include: Indy Racing League driver, Vitor Meira; Indy 500 winner, Danny Sullivan; Champ Car Drivers, Michel Jourdain Jr., Oriol Servia and 2004 series champion, Sebastien Bourdais; and Pikes Peak Hill Climb winners Jeff Zwart, Rod Millen and Rhys Millen.  “I am thrilled about returning to Baja,” said Sutton. “It is an iconic event in the world of motorsports, presenting more challenges in terms of scope, difficulty and logistics than any other event in the world.  My compliments to Sal Fish and the SCORE team for being able to step up to the challenge and pull off a world class event year after year.
“The Baja 1000 is one of the most rigorous events in motorsports.  The speed, ability to understand and manage risk, and teamwork necessary to win is a direct reflection of the skills used to achieve success at CENTRIX,” continued Sutton. 

The CENTRIX Financial Baja Challenge class features 12 identically-equipped, Porsche-powered Baja Touring cars shod with BFGoodrich tires prepared by Todd Clement and his team at Wide Open Baja. 

2004 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Team CENTRIX Entries:

BC-9
• Robert E. Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for CENTRIX Financial
• Paul Newman, Newman Haas Racing team owner
• Rod Millen, Pikes Peak Hill Climb Winner and record holder and seasoned Baja driver
• Jeff Zwart, Rally Driver and Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner
  BC-2 
• David Sutton, Sutton’s son and seasoned Baja driver
• Ryan Thomas, Five-time Baja 1000 Winner and Wide Open Baja Guide
• Ryan Millen, Rod Millen’s son and emerging Open-Wheel driver
• Wally Fisk, Wide Open Baja
 BC-8
• Sebastien Bourdais, 2004 Champ Car World Series Champion, Newman-Haas Racing
• Vitor Meira, Indy Racing League driver, Rahal Letterman Racing
• Rhys Millen, US D1 Drifting Championship Driver and Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner

BC-4                              
• Michel Jourdain Jr., Champ Car driver, RuSPORT
• Michel Jourdain Sr., Retired Open-Wheel driver
• Bernard Jourdain, Retired Open-Wheel driver

BC-5                           
• Danny Sullivan, 1985 Indy 500 winner
• Roberto Guerrero, Retired Indy Racing League driver
• Oriol Servia, Champ Car driver, Dale Coyne Racing

11/12/04
champcar
Champ Car comments on Patrick Carpentier Champ Car comments on Patrick CarpentierWhat follows is a statement released by the Champ Car World Series concerning today’s announcement by Forsythe Championship Racing on the departure of Patrick Carpentier from the team and the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World  Series Powered by Ford  for the 2005 race season. The statement should be attributed to Champ Car President and CEO Dick Eidswick.  “We’ve enjoyed having Patrick compete in the Champ Car World Series. The fact that he finished third in points in our Drivers’ Championship this season is a testament to the considerable skill and talent he demonstrated in our diverse and challenging series.  We wish him a safe and successful future in his new endeavors.”
11/12/04
champcar
 f1
Seeing double Seeing doubleEver notice how much BMW's Mario Theissen (pictured left) and Champ Car's Carl Russo (pictured right) look alike? While not twins, there is definitely a resemblance.

11/12/04
f1
F1 Holdings loses case F1 Holdings loses caseThe battle for control of Formula One, the company which holds commercial control of Formula 1 racing, took a major turn on Friday when the High Court in London rejected an appeal by Formula One Holdings against a court action being held in the United Kingdom rather than in a Swiss court. The decision means that the case will go ahead in Britain and we believe that this could happen as early as November 22-23.

The case against FOH has been brought by Speed Investments, a company owned by three banks - Bayerische Landesbank, JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers - which seeks to gain control of the management of FOH, in which they have a 75% shareholding. If they win the case they will be able to change the balance of power on the boards of the various FOH companies so that these reflect the shareholdings. That will mean that the banks will effectively take over management control of the business. This would almost certainly lead to a rapprochement between the Formula One group and the GPWC and it is thought likely that the management of the sport would be transferred to the structures being put in place at the moment by the GPWC with the assistance of International Sports and Entertainment.

A deal had been in place for a settlement between all parties involved, which culminated in a memorandum of understanding at the end of last year but that deal collapsed last spring and so the legal actions began.

Ecclestone can go on defending his position by fighting for control of each board in turn but if he does that he could leave himself open to further legal actions if the banks decide to go after him for causing their shares to lose value. This has all kinds of possible implications and would be a very messy business but it would not stop the process by which control switches from Ecclestone to the banks.

The banks may seem to be confident of victory but, as everyone in F1 knows, it is always very dangerous to underestimate Bernie Ecclestone. Grandprix.com

11/12/04
f1
Sauber sets launch date Sauber sets launch dateSauber Petronas is the first team to set the launch date of their 2005 chassis. The Swiss based team will unveil the C24 design in Kuala Lumpur on January 11th as part of a Petronas event to celebrate a decade in the sport. The Malaysian oil and gas corporation began its association with Sauber in 1995. The C24 will also be the team’s first chassis that utilizes the state of the art wind tunnel that was pushed into service earlier this year. The car will feature their own gearbox design in 2005. The new car will use Petronas-badged engines once again, but the team will run on Michelin tires for the first time. Felipe Massa remains with the team and is joined by 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Sauber Petronas

Why is the team launching in Malaysia and not Europe? See rumors page.

11/12/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Ford 'not talking'
Ferrari won't agree
Bernie to front Brit GP
'Ant' chasing race spot only
Bourdais and Renault
Sauber vow tire-silence
Ferrari 'should join' - BMW
Jordan prepare 'interim' car
Bernie may lose control
Sauber against 19 grands prix
Davidson at Grove
BMW to offer customer engine
Ferrari 'too fast' - designer
Badoer drove most
11/11/04
champcar
 irl
Carpentier Montreal radio interview Carpentier Montreal radio interviewCourtesy of one of our forum members, Patrick Carpentier was on the French language sports show on CKAC radio in Montreal at 6 pm. He did a 15 minute interview. Below are the main points of the interview regarding his move from Champ Car to the IRL.

He had decided at the end of last season to go to the IRL and instructed his agent to look for openings. He made sure to point out that he made this decision prior to Forsythe telling him he would sit on the sidelines before changing his mind at the beginning of the season. He thanked Forsythe for the 7 years and in particular for funding his ride out of his own pocket and giving him equal equipment to Paul Tracy.

He prefers the ovals and that was his main motivation to go to the IRL. He started out a road racer but finds his skills lets him excel on the ovals and he gets a bigger thrill from them now and wants to try to win the Indy 500. He realized that he would never be the #1 driver in any Champ Car team because of his nice guy reputation. One of the reasons for the move to the IRL was to start fresh.

He learned from Tracy how to be champion. He saw that Tracy had no problem walking up to Forsythe and giving him sh*t and telling him what he wanted. He also saw that Tracy had no distractions in the paddock and only thought about what is best for himself. This made him sit down at the end of last season and reflect on his career and he decided to emulate Tracy in every way which led to the decision to go to the IRL. He thought it was the best way for him to be a #1 driver and be a series champion by concentrating on the part of his skill set which he seems to be dominant (Ovals). He also fired most of his entourage (PR, Massage Therapist, Psychologist, etc...) which he said added baggage to his driving and the turn around this year can be seen in him beating the defacto #1 driver at Forsythe.

He said Forsythe made him an offer that matched Cheever several times and made a last minute offer that was better then Cheever but for all of the above reasons he chose to move on. He would come back to Champ Car one day if the opportunity presented itself under the right circumstances (#1 status with a top team, not equal or #2 status).

He negotiated the contract with Cheever personally since his agent (Alan Labrosse) decided it was a conflict of interest for him to deal with any IRL related business while he was the promoter of the Champ Car Montreal GP. He said the split was amicable.

He said he is the #1 driver at Cheever and when the announcer asked in name only or on paper, he answered both. He will miss racing in Canada. He thanked the fans, Champ Car, Tracy, and Forsythe repeatedly for getting him where he is now.

11/11/04
nascar
ISC must pony up more money in Seattle ISC must pony up more money in SeattleUPDATE This Seattle Times article gives the latest info on the meeting that took place Wednesday night regarding local approval of the track. 11/10/04 This Seattle Times article says, As a key legislative committee prepares to hear testimony tonight on a proposed NASCAR speedway, some Snohomish County officials say the track may be on shaky ground unless developers pony up more money.  At issue is the offer made by track developer International Speedway Corp. (ISC) to pay $50 million toward the cost of building the track. The company wants the state and county to raise between $200 million and $250 million in track costs through the sale of bonds, and to pay for improvements to roads and other infrastructure.  "There needs to be a larger investment on the side of the corporation," said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.   Officials for ISC, a Florida-based developer of NASCAR tracks, did not return calls yesterday.  The Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations will meet tonight in Marysville to discuss the proposal to build a speedway on 850 acres between Marysville and Arlington. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, the committee chairman, said the meeting will allow legislators to hear from local residents who favor and oppose the track.   The committee — made up of representatives from economic-development committees in the state House and Senate — may propose legislation for financing a racetrack or advise other legislators about the project.   "When finally the total cost comes together and the total package comes together on how it's going to be taken care of ... that's what's going to determine whether [ISC's offer] is sufficient or not, and I'm not sure whether it is," Owen said. More....
11/11/04
champcar
 cartatlantic
Atlantic drivers do well in Champ Car Atlantic drivers do well in Champ CarContinuing to prove that it’s the top developmental series for the future stars of open-wheel racing, the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama saw a number of its recent graduates experience success on the track this season in the Champ Car World Series.

With the completion of the 2004 Champ Car season last weekend in Mexico City, Toyota Atlantic grads proved to be some of the most productive and talented drivers over the course of the 14-race campaign, capturing six of the top 10 positions in the series championship that was eventually won by Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais.

Highlighting the performance of the former Atlantic competitors this season was 2003 Toyota Atlantic Champion A.J. Allmendinger of RuSPORT Racing who drove his #10 Western Union car to two podium finishes on his way to earning Champ Car Rookie of the Year honors. The 22-year-old Hollister, California native who won seven times en route to the ’03 Atlantic crown with RuSPORT, finished third in the season finale last weekend and came home sixth in the championship with the first-year team that also moved up from Atlantics to Champ Car this season.

“This has been an unbelievable year for me and the team,” said Allmendinger. “If you look at where we were a year ago, we had just won the Toyota Atlantic Championship and now I won the Champ Car Rookie of the Year title and we finished sixth in the championship. I really don’t know if I, or the team, could have accomplished as much as we did if we hadn’t had the experience in Toyota Atlantics. Last year taught us how to work together and how to focus on common goals and how to be a team that can win races and championships. The challenge of Atlantics was definitely a big factor in helping us set a foundation that has become RuSPORT. Now, we’re a team that can be competitive in the Champ Car World Series, and winning races is just around the corner.”

Another former Toyota Atlantic Champion also had a tremendous finish to the 2004 Champ Car season. Canadian Patrick Carpentier, the 1996 Atlantic champ, won at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this season and tied his career-best Champ Car performance by finishing third in the season championship for Forsythe Championship Racing. Carpentier’s teammate and former Atlantic competitor Paul Tracy followed up his 2003 Champ Car title with wins at Long Beach and Vancouver this season as he finished fourth overall in the championship.

After honing his skills in the Atlantic series from 1996-99, another talented Canadian, Alex Tagliani, enjoyed a stellar season for Rocketsports Racing. Tagliani captured his first Champ Car win at Road America this season and wound up seventh in the final series standings.

Two American racers with extensive Toyota Atlantic experience also finished among the top 10 in Champ Car in 2004. Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 Champ Car title-winner who entered into team ownership this season with PKV Racing, finished second in Toronto and was eighth overall in the championship this year. Ryan Hunter-Reay joined the Herdez Competition team for his second Champ Car season and he earned his second series win in May at the Milwaukee Mile. Hunter-Reay came home ninth in the season’s final rundown.

Mexico’s Rodolfo Lavin, who ran in Atlantics in 2001 and 2002, joined the Forsythe Racing stable this season and he also performed well, posting a top career finish of second at Road America. American Memo Gidley, who finished among the top three competitors in his two Atlantic seasons (1997 and ’98) also made a brief return to Champ Cars in 2004.

Canadian rising star Michael Valiante, one of the top competitors in the Toyota Atlantic Championship from 2001-2003, got his opportunity to run a Champ Car at the final race of the year in Mexico City. Valiante finished 14th for Walker Racing and he hopes to return to the series full-time in 2005.

Following in the tire tracks of their fellow Atlantic graduates that have excelled at the next level, the two top performers from the 2004 Atlantic season – American Jon Fogarty and Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel – will also get a chance to shine in a Champ Car this month. Both drivers that battled it out for the Atlantic crown this season have earned tests with top Champ Car teams. Fogarty, the two-time Atlantic champion who won the title in the series finale back in September, will test with Forsythe Championship Racing at Sebring International Raceway November 29-30. Dalziel, who was series runner-up the past two seasons, will test with PKV Racing November 16-17 at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park.

11/11/04
Industry News
Honda to build more plants in USA Honda to build more plants in USAHonda Motor Co. will spend $270 million to build an auto parts plant in Georgia and expand two other U.S. plants to boost profit by countering currency fluctuations.  Honda, Japan's third-largest automaker, will build a $100-million plant in Tallapoosa, 40 miles west of Atlanta, Koichi Kondo, the automaker's chief operating officer for North America, told reporters in Atlanta on Tuesday. The plant will open in two years and eventually employ 400 people to produce 300,000 automatic transmissions a year.  The components will boost Honda's presence in the expanding U.S. market for light trucks, Honda said. The transmissions will be used in Odyssey minivans and Pilot sport-utility vehicles made in Lincoln, Ala., 60 miles west of the new factory.  Asia's largest carmakers -- Honda, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. -- are adding or expanding production in North America to increase sales and reduce the effect of currency shifts on profit. Asian automakers had a record 34.4 percent of U.S. light vehicle sales through October, up from 32.9 percent a year earlier. Bloomberg
11/11/04
irl
IRL Race At Infineon Raceway To Include "Carousel" IRL Race At Infineon Raceway To Include "Carousel"Dario Franchitti became the first IndyCar Series driver to test the Infineon Raceway road course during a one-day compatibility test on Nov. 11.

The test, which IRL officials used to evaluate the facility, confirmed that the track's inaugural race will incorporate Turns 4-6 of the road course, including the sweeping, 200-degree Carousel.

Track and IRL officials had originally planned to use a modified 10-turn, 1.77-mile version of the road course for the event, but decided to include the Carousel, one of Infineon Raceway's signature turns, to provide the best possible race for the fans. With the addition of the Carousel, the IRL will utilize a 12-turn, 2.2-mile circuit. The distance of the race has not yet been determined.

Infineon Raceway will host the first permanent road course race in the 10 year history of the IndyCar Series on Aug. 28, 2005.
The use of the Carousel should offer fans an additional area for great racing and passing on the road course. The circuit will also include modified versions of Turns 9 and 11.

"It is very exciting to see the plans for this event take shape," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. "Our fans in Northern California are in for one of the best shows in motor racing."

Work is currently under way on track enhancements around the course in preparation for the event. Grading will be completed at Turns 2 and 3 to provide more run-off, and k-wall and tire packs will be placed around the course. Paving and smoothing will also be completed in some run-off areas.  IRL

11/11/04
irl
Carpentier Joins Red Bull Cheever Racing Carpentier Joins Red Bull Cheever RacingPatrick Carpentier will compete in the IRL IndyCar Series in 2005 after signing with Red Bull Cheever Racing on Nov. 11.  "I love ovals and I've been wanting to do it for a few years," Carpentier said. "I've never done the Indy 500. For me, it's going to be a new experience, but I'm really looking forward to it. I love oval racing, so it's fantastic. It's a great opportunity for me. I love to drive those cars, the race cars, and I love ovals. I was watching the IRL on TV, sitting at the edge of my seat. They've had some great races this year."

Carpentier will join IndyCar Series veteran Alex Barron at Red Bull Cheever Racing. Barron finished 12th in IndyCar Series points driving for the team in 2004.  "Our driver lineup for 2005 is outstanding," said managing director Max Jones. "Both drivers are veterans with years of success under their belts in both oval and road course racing. Their combined knowledge is a breeding ground for a championship winning year."

Red Bull Cheever Racing also announced a partnership with Toyota Motor Sales, USA to use the Toyota engine for the IndyCar Series beginning in 2005. "We have one mission at this team, to win races," team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "This partnership with Toyota is vital to achieving our goals to win races and the championship."

Red Bull Cheever Racing will field the No. 51 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone for Barron and the No. 83 Toyota-powered Dallara for Carpentier.   "I think (Patrick) is at a perfect point in his career, both from an age point of view and experience he's had," Cheever said. "I cannot say that I have spent a lot of time with Patrick, but he seems to be extremely motivated. Something that you can always judge, a driver's motivation, is by looking if they're in good physical shape or not. He seems to be in incredibly good shape. He has done very well. He's a professional. We expect him to deliver results. I'm sure he will do that. I put him on very much of an equal par with Alex Barron, who I have a lot of respect for. He's put a lot of work into this team. I think between the two of them, they will do a very good job working with each other."

The announcement ends Red Bull Cheever Racing's partnership with General Motors, which generated Red Bull Cheever Racing's best championship results in 2004, and best Indianapolis 500 results in 1998, 2003 and 2004.  "We are proud of our history with General Motors," Cheever said. "They powered Cheever Racing to our 1998 Indy 500 win and many other great moments. While we have both chosen to pursue different plans, I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors." Transcript

11/11/04
superfund
Leinders: Superfund car almost as fast as F1 car Leinders: Superfund car almost as fast as F1 car[Editor's Note: Almost as fast as an F1 car and cheaper than a Champ Car. Hmm.....Sure sounds like a car for the next -gen Champ Car to us] 2004 Minardi test driver, Bas Leinders was the latest Formula One driver to get behind the wheel of the new SF01 on the final day of testing in Jerez, Spain. Leinders completed the first full race distance in the SF01 which included a simulated pit stop. This marked a successful conclusion to three days of car development and tire evaluation ahead of the 2005 Formula Superfund Championship. Leinders is the eighth driver to test run the car in preparation for the forthcoming Formula Superfund series. Time ran out in the session for the other drivers, 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 Champion Nicky Pastorelli and Austrian driver Mathias Lauda. Their test will be rescheduled at a later date.

Bas Leinders: “The SF01 is much quicker than any other car I’ve driven, with the exception of Formula One and even then it’s not far off the mark. I was amazed by the power behind the car and also its drivability – the SF01 is very stable and not at all nervous. Also, there’s no traction control so it was really fun to drive! For me, the race simulation was particularly enjoyable and we were able to get good feedback especially for the evaluation of the tires. It’s been a very successful day today.”

11/11/04
nascar
Hard liquor ads have far reaching effects Hard liquor ads have far reaching effectsNASCAR yesterday announced that it will allow hard liquor sponsorships for teams and tracks beginning next season, and in L.A., Wharton & Henderson note broadcast networks have upheld a voluntary ban on hard liquor ads for over 50 years. Several network execs indicated that their voluntary ban on hard liquor ads would not change. NBC two years ago “began airing such commercials but stopped after several months.” But in addition to NBC and Fox, TNT also carries NASCAR races, and Nielsen Monitor Plus reported that cable nets have “accepted hard liquor commercials and distillers spent $36.5[M] on such advertising last year.” Meanwhile, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics VP/Communications & Marketing Mike McCarley said of how race announcers will handle identifying cars with liquor sponsorship, “We will identify cars with the best identifier, whether that is the number or the sponsor’s logo” L.A. TIMES, 11/11  NASCAR President Mike Helton, on how the networks will identify cars: ”We certainly had conversations with them and let them know what we were thinking. But the decision as to how they handle it will be up to them.” Helton added that NASCAR will review NASCAR-themed ads made by liquor companies and will have the right to reject them THE DAILY.  IEG Sponsorship Report Senior Editor William Chipps said NASCAR allowing liquor sponsorship “opens up the floodgates to a new category that has deep marketing budgets. They obviously can’t market on TV, so this would give those companies great exposure” BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/10.

TEAM DEALS: Diageo Exec VP/Consumer Strategy & Marketing Mark Waller, whose company’s Crown Royal brand will sponsor a Roush Racing team next year, said of NASCAR rescinding the ban on liquor sponsorships, “We didn’t have to lobby hard. We made our case when asked. We gave NASCAR, like many other stakeholders, our thoughts and views on how we would do the sponsorship.” In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly writes Roush’s No. 17 Ford driven by Matt Kenseth “will likely wear the Crown Royal colors in 2005” NEWS-JOURNAL, 11/11. But in Tampa, Tony Fabrizio suggests the sponsorship will go to the No. 99 car driven by Carl Edwards, for which Roush Racing “lobbied unsuccessfully earlier this year to have a Crown sponsorship approved.” Richard Childress Racing is also “close to landing Jack Daniel’s” as a sponsor for its No. 30 Chevrolet TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/11.  Brown-Forman Assistant VP & Dir of PR Rick Bubenhofer said his company, which makes Jack Daniel’s, “is excited by the opportunity [the decision] presents to us and our industry” BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/11.

ON TRACK: Lowe’s Motor Speedway VP/Promotion & PR Jerry Gappens indicated that the speedway “has been talking with liquor companies about sponsorships but wanted to wait until NASCAR had made its decision before finalizing any deals.” Gappens: “It creates some advertising and hospitality and ticket sales opportunities.” In Charlotte, Kerry Hall writes Roush Racing President Geoff Smith “thinks the change will encourage other companies, not just makers of distilled spirits, to get involved,” saying, “It also opens up the door to companies that market alongside the distilled spirits in the stores to come enter in as players as well” CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/11.

BEER VS. LIQUOR: NASCAR sponsor Anheuser-Busch “expressed its concern” about the organization allowing liquor sponsorship in a statement released by VP/Consumer Affairs John Kaestner that read, “We believe the public views beer and hard liquor very differently. ... We expect that NASCAR will be closely monitoring the public acceptance of this new sponsorship opportunity” Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 11/11.  Helton said that A-B’s sponsorships, such as the Busch Series and Bud Pole qualifying, did not have an impact on NASCAR’s decision not to have liquor sponsors previously: “I think we for a long period of time, 20 some years, have taken the position that the general consensus was that there was a good deal of difference between spirits and malt beverages.” Helton added beer companies “have been part of the sport and have a proven track record for their responsibleness, their style and method of handling their involvement in the sport. So there is a 20-plus year history there of the malt beverage companies. The spirits are brand-new, and so we use a new guideline with them as we bring them into the sport” THE DAILY.

TWO SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT: Roush Racing’s Smith said, “It’s important for us to have access to the marketing money as it’s being spent in America. This category represents a significant amount of marketing energy we haven’t been able to take advantage of. It will be a big boost to many race teams.” But car owner/driver Morgan Shepherd wondered, “Is it worth the price of how many families this is going to affect and how many people are going to get hurt by it” L.A. TIMES, 11/11.  Shepherd in a statement said, “There won’t be alcohol sponsorships on my car, no matter what. ... If that means we never have a corporate sponsor on our car, well, we’ll just have to live with that” THE DAILY.

RESPONSIBLE DRINKING ADVOCATES: NASCAR is requiring that liquor companies direct their advertising at the legal age audience and not to kids, and that 20% of advertising dollars go toward promoting responsible drinking. National Commission Against Drunk Driving President John Moulden: “We’d like to see that same type of responsibility by all sports and advertisers” (P, 11/11.  But George Hacker, Dir of the Alcohol Policies Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said, “What this deal is all about is getting liquor advertising onto network television. ... On top of that, rather than disassociating drinking and driving, it reinforces the relationship between liquor and cars” WASHINGTON POST, 11/11. Hacker added, “You’ll have liquor billboards rolling around the track hundreds of times, constantly in view of the cameras. This ought to raise some eyebrows” L.A. TIMES, 11/11  (Compiled by Sports Business Daily)

11/11/04
nascar
Cops suspended over Elliott copter ride Cops suspended over Elliott copter rideTwo Georgia State Patrol troopers were suspended without pay for letting NASCAR driver Bill Elliott hop a ride in their helicopter when they were supposed to be reporting about marijuana fields. The troopers spent two hours shuttling Elliott from his home in Dawsonville, where he had dropped off an airplane, back to Blairsville, where Elliott's car was parked. Cpl. Kevin Coalson, the pilot, was suspended for three days last week, and Lt. Eddie Williams began a six-day suspension Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. During the June 29 flight over northern Georgia, Elliott, a licensed helicopter pilot, took the controls of the surplus military aircraft intended only for law enforcement. Meanwhile, anti-drug officers on the ground waited for details about the location of the marijuana fields. The newspaper said the troopers could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But according to investigative files, they said they didn't know there was anything wrong with giving Elliott a ride. Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP
11/11/04
f1
British Sports Minister committed to Silverstone British Sports Minister committed to SilverstoneBritish Sports minister Richard Caborn has promised changes will be made to turn Silverstone into a world-class circuit after it appears the British Grand Prix is almost certain to take place next year. A delighted Caborn said: "This deal is excellent news for not just the thousands of Formula One fans in the UK, but the motor sport industry that revolves around the Silverstone Grand Prix as well. It now represents a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in UK motor sport to further enhance the industry's reputation as a world leader.

"We are now determined, through the partnership of the British Racing Drivers' Club, local authorities and the Development Agencies to not just make the necessary circuit improvements but build the world's best high-performance motor sport industry cluster too. With F1's many British-based teams now remaining on these shores, we will have the continued supply of 40,000 jobs as well.

"I particularly welcome Bernie Ecclestone's FOM organization and all the F1 teams' decision to run the extra races that have allowed Silverstone on to the 2005 calendar and his decision to take on the promotion of the British Grand Prix next year. This has undoubtedly been a tough few months for everyone involved in negotiations.

"But I hope this announcement presents a new chance for us all to work together to achieve what are our common goals: to see Formula One continue at Silverstone and the British motor sport industry to prosper in the worldwide business market."

11/11/04
f1
Banks vs. Bernie court battle Friday Banks vs. Bernie court battle FridayThe outcome of the ‘Banks verses Bernie’ battle will be known tomorrow. Reports circulating in the British media today said a decision from the High Court in London would be announced on Friday morning. The outcome has huge ramifications for Formula One as it will ultimately decide who controls F1. Towards the end of September the Financial Times Deutschland reported that the Bavarian National Bank, together with investment banks JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers, had filed complaints against Formula One Holdings. The three banks, whose interests are represented by Speed investments, currently own 75% of the sport and Ecclestone is the owner of the remaining 25%. Despite their majority shareholding, the banks have little say in the running of F1 so, in an attempt to take control of the business, they started legal proceedings against Ecclestone. It has been reported that if the banks are victorious they are likely to strike a deal with the GPWC – run by BMW, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and Renault – that would see control of the championship go to the automotive manufacturers. [Editor's Note: Should this happen, it will be the beginning of the end of F1 because the political shenanigans between the manufacturers will eventually run the sport into the ground. Has there ever been a successful race series run by the manufacturers? No.]
11/11/04
champcar
Newman and Bourdais to team in Baja 1000 Newman and Bourdais to team in Baja 1000UPDATE We were reminded that Champ Car veteran Jimmy Vasser will also be in the Baja 1000.  Vasser’s Baja team left their shop early this week. 11/11/04 Champ Car team owner Paul Newman, and his championship winning driver Sebastien Bourdais will team up to drive in the upcoming Baja 1000 off-road race.  Bourdais will also compete in the Race of Champions in France before taking a break for the holidays. Mark C.
11/11/04
champcar
 irl
IRL losing the battle with Champ Car IRL losing the battle with Champ CarThis AP article says that the future looks bright for Champ Car despite the continued underhanded attempts by the IRL to put them out of business. [Excerpts] The bitter, long-term battle with the rival open-wheel series, IRL, continues - a factor that many believe has weakened overall interest in open-wheel racing in the United States. "To have two open-wheel series doesn't help anything," Haas said. The IRL has focused on oval-track races in the United States, though foreign drivers have recently dominated. Champ Car's focus on road courses across the Americas has drawn fans who like to see right turns occasionally, but it has suffered from IRL's grip on America's most famous race, the Indianapolis 500. And the bitterness remains.

Gentilozzi complained that "some of our competitors... spent a lot of time and energy trying to make sure we didn't have a season. Every promoter we have has been approached by other open-wheel sanctioning bodies," he said. "They are offering to come for free, they are offering to undermine whatever financial platform we have." He said engine makers such as Honda and Toyota had been spending money to lure Champ Car teams to the IRL, hoping to boost that series, which had been troubled by poor television ratings and indifferent attendance. Oh, no. It hasn't stopped," Gentilozzi said. "It hasn't stopped at all." [Editor's Note: The IRL is doomed for failure. They have been so focused on putting Champ Car out of business by undermining them at every turn, that they lost sight of the core business plan, a fatal error in judgment. Of course their original business plan was fraught with mistakes and now they are trying to morph into the old CART. With Chevy leaving, Toyota making noises about leaving, and everyone realizing that Champ Car is here to stay, it will be interesting to see what Tony George has up his sleeve next.]

11/11/04
nascar
Car of future to be phased in by NASCAR Car of future to be phased in by NASCARNASCAR's "Car of the Future" will be phased in over a two- to three-year period, starting with the 2006 season, according to sources with NASCAR and the teams.  NASCAR is designing the new car to increase driver safety, reduce dependence on aerodynamic grip and therefore improve the quality of racing and reduce costs. Team owners lobbied heavily for changing the cars over a longer period of time rather than all at once to reduce demands on manpower and costs.   Sources close to the project said NASCAR would roll out the Car of the Future design first with road-course cars or superspeedway cars, followed by short-track cars and, finally, the intermediate-course cars used at one- to two-mile tracks. National Speed Sport News
11/11/04
Industry News
Dick King dies Dick King diesRichard “Dick” King, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Auto Club between 1976 and 1997, passed away unexpectedly on November 8, 2004.  Mr. King, who was due to retire as President of USAC Properties, Inc. at the end of the year, was vacationing in Mexico. He was 73.

A native of Niagara Falls, New York, King had a lifelong interest in motor racing and traveled by train to witness his first Indianapolis 500 in 1956. In 1966, after having attended several recent USAC Championship events at Trenton, New Jersey and Langhorne, Pennsylvania, he was befriended by Harry McQuinn, then USAC’s Championship Division coordinator and Chief Steward. The owner and operator of an ambulance service in Niagara Falls by this time, King began working on the safety crew at selected events and in 1967 was named Safety Director for the entire series with the exception of the Indianapolis “500.” In 1970, one year after McQuinn’s retirement, King became the Championship series’ Chief Steward.

In early 1972, when Executive Director Bill Smyth was hospitalized with a heart attack, King relocated to Indianapolis and became the full-time Assistant to the Executive Director. Shortly thereafter he became USAC’s Director of Competition and was soon made responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization.

These years were not without their challenges and the angular and deep-thinking King frequently found himself leading USAC through turbulent situations. There were two separate chapters of the so-called “energy crunch,” the first being so threatening to the sport that King even secretively drew up a multi-stage plan for the temporary closing down of USAC should federal mandates have made that necessary.

There was at least one major financial crisis in the mid-1970s which the fiscally-minded King was able to resolve over a period of several months of sound planning.

There was the disaster of April 24, 1978 when a small chartered aircraft, returning from a Championship race at Trenton, went down near Indianapolis, claiming the lives of the pilot, plus eight USAC officials---five of them heads of departments---the majority of whom had been handpicked by King. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was due to open for practice just days later, and did so with emergency replacements recruited by King. Even as this occurred, USAC was already preparing to present two events in England, at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, which it did near the end of the season. And while this was taking place, King had to deal with the impending formation of Championship Auto Racing Teams, a break-away organization of USAC car owners.

Between 1979 and 1981, King was named Chairman of the Board, and in 1984, he took on the additional responsibilities of President of USAC Properties, Inc., a position he still held at the time of his passing.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, three adult children, David, Donald and Susan, and several grandchildren. Arrangements are pending.

11/11/04
champcar
Champ Car posts victory by surviving Champ Car posts victory by survivingThis AP article says, A season of tight racing, good crowds and the emergence of a new star, series champion Sebastien Bourdais, helped make the Champ Car series as dramatic on the track in 2004 as it had been in the boardroom.  If the future looks bright, it's mostly because there is a future.  "Last spring I was pretty pessimistic. I really thought it was a difficult thing, it wasn't going to happen," said Carl Haas, who stuck with the series despite its bankruptcy late last year.  The sale of what had been the CART series wasn't finished until mid-February, leaving little time to complete schedules, find sponsors and arrange for racing.  A network television deal collapsed, leaving series telecasts only on the Spike cable network. Teams led by Bobby Rahal, Pat Patrick and Adrian Fernandez shifted — sometimes reluctantly — to the IRL.  More....
11/11/04
champcar
Carl Haas wants Champ Car in China Carl Haas wants Champ Car in ChinaWhile we have called for a Champ Car race in China some four years ago (and were ridiculed for being crazy) , finally those in the Champ Car paddock are beginning to see the light. Team owner Carl Haas told National Speed Sport News, "I'd like to get to a 16 or 17-race schedule. I think we need to retain eight or nine races in the USA, to help teams get and retain sponsorship. And there's a couple of good off-shore opportunities. Personally, I'd really like to see a race in China."
11/11/04
champcar
 irl
Champ Car and IRL lack local talent Champ Car and IRL lack local talentThis Detroit Free Press article says, [Excerpts] Champ Car, once the domain of A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti, crowned a new champion this past weekend.  His name is Sebastien Bourdais. He is French, and he clinched his title in Mexico City.  Bourdais is a great talent, a former F1 test driver and a very pleasant young man.  A couple of weeks ago, Tony Kanaan won the Indy Racing League championship. Kanaan is Brazilian, a former Champ Car driver and a very funny person.  I wonder, however, how many race fans in America care much about either driver's achievement.

In recent years, Champ Car and the IRL have taken on a distinctly overseas flavor. Whereas American racers such as Foyt, Mario and Michael Andretti, the Unsers, Danny Sullivan, Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal and Buddy Lazier were open-wheel heroes in the '60s through the '90s, the names and the game have changed. This season, Bourdais, Bruno Junqueira, Mario Dominguez, Patrick Carpentier, Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani and Oriol Servia were top-10 finishers in the Champ Car standings. None is from the United States.

At the IRL, Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Helio Castroneves, Adrian Fernandez, Dario Franchitti, Vitor Meira and Scott Dixon placed in the top 10 in points. All are foreign nationals.  Though only one IRL race was held outside the United States, Champ Car included events in Canada, Mexico and Australia. Next year, Champ Car will compete in South Korea.

Since the IRL-CART split in 1995, more and more drivers from overseas have entered both open-wheel racing series. Champ Car seems to be going off shore in an effort to find a new audience and sponsors. Meanwhile, the IRL has become a second home to Brazilian and British drivers. It seems that drivers who have left F1 or are trying to find a ride in the world's premier racing series end up in the IRL or Champ Car.

It can be argued that competitors from overseas inject color, skill and money into open-wheel racing here, particularly money. But you don't see NASCAR in a rush to encourage foreign drivers to compete at Talladega and Darlington.  Open-wheel racing in America is in trouble, and make no mistake about it. Overseas drivers can be a quick fix, but for the long-term health of the sport, teams need to foster talent from this country.  It may be impossible to produce a pair quite the same as Foyt and Andretti, but Champ Car and the IRL had better try.

11/11/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Teen to test Minardi
Webber stopped Pizza-delivery
BRDC 'caution' for Brit GP

Ferrari back 19-race plan
Indian to 'push' for F1
Lyons 'deserves' F1 spot
Not even F1 will entice
Cosworth sale '90 percent'
F1 fraudster in jail
Unanimity to be defeated
Want to take Schu on?
Irvine back in court 
F1 'door open' for Rossi
Massa to race in France
Heidfeld - 'I want the job'
Glock in Superfund car
Brit deal 'one year only'
'Support French talent'
Jordan also enter
Ferrari 'weren't invited'
11/10/04
nascar
Gordon-Earnhardt dual is classic Gordon-Earnhardt dual is classicDale Earnhardt Jr. was 20 when his dad introduced him to Jeff Gordon on pit road at old North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1994.   Gordon wasn't much older than Junior at the time, but he already was driving full time in NASCAR's premier division and generating a lot of attention. That's where Junior was headed in a few years.   ``We didn't guarantee ourselves [anything], but we knew the possibility of us racing each other would happen one day,'' Earnhardt said, reflecting on the introduction.

Ten years later, the two are the biggest giants in their sport. And now, with just two races left in the marathon 2004 season, they are entangled with three other drivers in the closest championship in history.   Heading into Sunday's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Gordon and Earnhardt sit 41 and 47 points behind leader Kurt Busch, respectively. Jimmie Johnson is only 48 points out, and stubborn Mark Martin is still in the picture at 102 back.

But it's Earnhardt vs. Gordon that's particularly intriguing.   ``It's awesome to be able to race with him,'' Earnhardt said. ``He's one of the best. He's one of those drivers who, 200 years from now, when they look back at the history of NASCAR, he'll be in the top 10.

``To go out and race against him is an honor. It's probably come to light to me personally more now than in the past because of the drivers that are retiring now. You start to think about how, you know, you looked up to Terry Labonte and Rusty Wallace. What an honor it was to share the racetrack with them the last few years. And how many more races will me and Jeff have before one of us is gone?'' More at Tampa Bay Tribune 

11/10/04
nascar
Martin fastest on final test day Martin fastest on final test dayChase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup contender Mark Martin set the fastest lap Wednesday during the final day of testing in preparation for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov 18-21.  Martin set a fast lap of 176.759 mph (30.55 sec). He was followed by fellow Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup contenders Jeff Gordon 175.382 mph (31.79 sec), Jimmie Johnson 174.081 mph (31.02 sec), Dale Earnhardt Jr. 173.633 mph (31.10 sec), and Tony Stewart with an identical fast lap as Earnhardt at 173.633 mph (31.10 sec).  Martin, who currently ranks fifth in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, 102 points back of leader and teammate Kurt Busch.  Like many of the drivers in the garage area during the two-day test, Martin was impressed with how the track has matured since last year's Ford Championship Weekend.  "The track was really awesome last year and racer friendly right out the box," said Martin. "It acts like it has aged four years in one year. It is one of the best repaved tracks I've ever raced on and I expect it to be even better this year."
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:
        1.  6- Mark Martin- 30.55 sec, 176.759 mph
       2.  24- Jeff Gordon 30.79 sec, 175.382 mph
       3.  48- Jimmie Johnson- 31.02 sec, 174.081 mph
       4.  8-  Dale Earnhardt Jr- 31.10 sec, 173.633 mph
       5.  20- Tony Stewart- 31.10 sec, 173.633 mph
       6.  38- Elliott Sadler- 31.11 sec, 173.576 mph
       7.  15- Michael Waltrip- 31.21 sec, 173.025 mph
       8.  9- Kasey Kahne- 31.23 sec, 172.911 mph
       9.  21- Ricky Rudd- 31.24 sec, 172.855 mph
       10.  06- Travis Kvapil- 31.25 sec, 172.8 mph
11/10/04
nascar
Roush gets Crown Royal Roush gets Crown RoyalImmediately after the announcement that NASCAR will allow sponsorship by spirits distillers, Diageo and Roush Racing revealed that Crown Royal will sponsor a team from Roush for the 2005 season:

Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, today announced one of the company’s spirits brands would participate in the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) for the first time ever beginning with the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. Earlier today, NASCAR announced spirits companies would be allowed to participate as team sponsors and that Diageo would lead the spirits category’s entry into the sport.

Diageo, which has a history in NASCAR with its flavored malt beverage brand Smirnoff ICE, will utilize its new sponsorship in NASCAR to continue to educate consumers about the importance of responsible drinking.

“Diageo is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this exciting new opportunity in NASCAR because of our existing relationship with Roush Racing,” said Mark Waller, Executive Vice President, Consumer Strategy and Marketing, Diageo. “Our association with this world class racing team will allow us to connect with millions of adult consumers, who are devoted NASCAR fans, and remind them about the importance of responsible drinking. A multi-million dollar marketing budget supporting this sponsorship will include dedicated social responsibility messaging.”

Diageo’s sponsorship, which will feature the Crown Royal brand, will be built around the company’s existing relationship with Roush Racing, one of the premier racing teams in all of motorsports with over 280 wins and 30 championships. In 2003, Smirnoff ICE partnered with Roush Racing as an associate sponsor of the #17 car, driven by Matt Kenseth, which won the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. That associate level sponsorship has continued throughout the 2004 season.

“We are excited to grow our relationship with Diageo because we have first-hand knowledge that social responsibility is at the forefront of their marketing efforts,” said Geoff Smith, President, Roush Racing. “We are in our second year with Diageo and we know that they have the highest standards in responsible drinking.”

11/10/04
MotoGP
115K average MotoGP attendance 115K average MotoGP attendanceThe average weekend attendance for the 16 MotoGP events this year was 115,237, with an overall total of 1,843,797 fans for the year.  The final round of the championship, the Valencia Grand Prix in Spain, attracted the biggest weekend crowd of the series, 211,468 fans.  The biggest race day crowd was also in Spain, at Jerez, with 124,933 packing every vantage point for the Spanish Grand Prix. 206,936 attended the weekend as a whole.
11/10/04
starmazda
Klein, Rahal Sign with AWR For 2005 Season Klein, Rahal Sign with AWR For 2005 SeasonAndersen Walko Racing (AWR) is pleased to announce that it will campaign Jonathan Klein of Long Grove, Ill. and Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio in the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear in 2005.  The powerhouse team, which won the Formula Ford Zetec team championship in 2004, also hopes to announce the names of two additional drivers soon to round out a four-car Star Mazda line-up for the team in 2005.

Klein, 17, will return to both Andersen Walko Racing and the Star Mazda series for a second year. He won the series' Most Improved Driver award for 2004.  Rahal will turn 16 on Jan. 4. He finished seventh in the Formula BMW series this year, and will be a rookie in Star Mazda in 2005.  He is especially looking forward to being part of a multi-car team in the very competitive series.

"Jonathan did a great job in Star Mazda this year, and impressed a lot of people," team co-owner John Walko said.  "Graham is very mature for his age too, and is also pleasant to work with.  He did a few laps in our car last week at BeaveRun [Motorsports Complex near Pittsburgh] and did a really good job."

"We're very pleased that Jonathan has signed up to run with us again and we're also pleased that Bobby [Rahal] has chosen us to run his son in Star Mazda," added his partner, Dan Andersen.  "They're both very focused, and we're all looking forward to the new season very much."

"After this year and the results we had and the experience we gained with both the car and the series, we're really looking forward to 2005," Klein said.  "By concentrating on Star Mazda, everyone will be more focused.  I'm looking forward to working with John Walko, Dan Andersen and everyone else on the team; they're all great people and they're all very knowledgeable.  We're looking forward to building on what we learned this season during testing in the off-season and all of 2005.  We'll learn a lot and have a great time on and off the track, and I'm really looking forward to it!"

"I watched Andersen Walko in the Zetec series this year, and they always run up front," said Rahal, a sophomore at New Albany High School  "I've also known Jonathan Klein for awhile, through go-karts. Andersen Walko runs a nice operation, and I see no reason at all for us not to be contenders in 2005."

11/10/04
alms
Tracsport Team Eyes ALMS Debut with New Courage Tracsport Team Eyes ALMS Debut with New CourageAfter a successful first season of Le Mans-style sports car racing in 2004, the British Tracsport racing team is looking to expand its horizons in 2005 by racing in selected rounds of the American Le Mans Series.  The European team would most likely make its American debut in the Mar. 16-19 running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, the opening event of the 2005 ALMS season.  Participating in the Sebring event would also give the team a chance to perform in a major long-distance event in front of the eyes of the selection committee for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which Tracsport hopes to run in 2005.

Tracsport recently began preparations for 2005 by testing a Courage C65 Prototype on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans. The Daventry, UK, based team conducted the test under the guidance of the Courage works team and is currently in the late stages of negotiations to purchase a new Courage chassis. Tracsport raced an older Lola B2K/40 in the Le Mans Endurance Series in 2004, finishing third in the LMP2 class with drivers John Gaw, John Ingram and Rick Pearson.

Formed in 2001, Tracsport is owned by John Ingram, Sr., a lifelong motorsports enthusiast and former rally driver and now head of a financial business. The team raced in the Elf Renault Sport UK Clio Cup in 2001 and 2002, then in the Caterham R400 Challenge in 2003, winning the championship.

Tracsport would be the second team to run a Courage C65 in the LMP2 class of the ALMS, joining 2004 class champion Miracle Motorsports. The Miracle team acquired its chassis just before the Road America event and then qualified fastest and won the class during the race.

11/10/04
irl
IndyCar Stars Racing Abroad IndyCar Stars Racing AbroadIndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan will join IndyCar Series competitors Felipe Giaffone, Dan Wheldon and Vitor Meira in the 500 Milhas da Granja Viana karting race Nov. 13 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The eighth annual event will be held at the Giaffone family-owned Kartodromo da Granja Viana facility. The charity feature will be on the 20-turn circuit.  Also scheduled to compete are Formula 1 drivers Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya, and Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais. IRL
11/10/04
Industry News
Racing Community Bowls for Charity Racing Community Bowls for CharityThe CARA Charities' "BOWL-A-THON" is scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST) Nov. 13 at Raceway Lanes in Speedway, Ind.  CARA Charities has been a fund-raising organization for services within the open-wheel racing community for the past two decades. Prizes will be awarded throughout the event. Cost is $15 per person and includes shoes, bowling ball and two games of bowling. Each team will consist of six bowlers.  For further information, contact the CARA Charities office at (317) 299-2277.
11/10/04
irl
Kanaan to team with Massa in ROC Kanaan to team with Massa in ROCIRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan will participate in the Race of Champions event at Stade de France in Paris next month. "It is such a special honor to be invited to race against the best drivers in the world," Kanaan said. "There has never been an IRL driver selected to compete in this event, and I feel very proud to be participating. It is definitely going to be a lot of fun."  Kanaan will join other champions from across the spectrum of motor sport. Drivers confirmed for the Dec. 4 event include F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, DTM Champion Matthias Ekstrom, plus more than half dozen former champions including 1998 IndyCar Series champion Kenny Brack, NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson  and rally drivers Colin McRae and Marcus Gronholm.  Kanaan will team with Sauber F1 driver Felipe Massa as part of Team Brazil.

"It will be really nice to represent Brazil," Kanaan said. "When the organizers called me up they didn't have to finish the sentence for me to say yes. I have watched the Race of Champions for a while and a lot of the guys who have done it before like Kenny Brack and Cristiano da Matta have said how much fun it is.  My personal feeling is that the real drivers are the rally drivers. They have to do well on all sorts of surfaces. I have done a couple of events in rally cars, the Bettega competition in Italy and a rally a long time ago in Brazil. That was in a BMW M3. I came second."

11/10/04
f1
Fisichella/Villeneuve job swaps Fisichella/Villeneuve job swapsGiancarlo Fisichella had his first seat fitting with Renault last week on his return to the team to replace Jacques Villeneuve. “It was quite emotional because visiting Enstone was just like coming home,” he said. “Most of the mechanics and the engineers are the same as three years ago and I will be working with the same race engineer, Alan Permane. Things have grown since I left, but the atmosphere is still the same. I feel excited and confident.” Villeneuve has had his first seat fitting for his new team Sauber, where he replaces Fisichella. He spent eight hours at the team’s Hinwil factory in preparation for his first test at Barcelona on November 26. “I feel as hungry as I was before my first year with Williams,” he said. Autosport Magazine
11/10/04
f1
Berger slams Williams Berger slams WilliamsEx-BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger has slammed Williams for finishing only fourth in the 2004 constructors’ championship. He told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag: “For the past three years BMW has made the best engine in Formula 1, but because of the weak performance of Williams in terms of aerodynamics we could not realize the engine’s potential.” He added: "BMW have only one goal and, if the results remain lackluster, you cannot exclude drastic consequences.”
11/10/04
Industry News
Volkswagen shuffles motorsports arm Volkswagen shuffles motorsports armVolkswagen has merged its racing arm and its factory-based motorsport department to form a single company, Volkswagen Motorsport GmbH. Former DTM and sportscar racer Kris Nissen will manage the operation. Autosport Magazine
11/10/04
champcar
 irl
Forsythe Racing announces departure of Carpentier Forsythe Racing announces departure of CarpentierUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I don't get Forsythe.  Isn't Pat leaving because they, Forsythe Racing, didn't renew the contract nor were they making moves toward renewing the contract?  Their press release sounds just the opposite of what we've been hearing.  What's the deal?  Marco Clark  Dear Marco, Forsythe told Carpentier he would run him in 2005 if sponsorship was found, but there were no guarantees.  Patrick was able to get a sure deal in the IRL and rather risk being left without a ride if Forsythe was not able to find sponsorship, chose a guaranteed salary in the IRL.  So the bottom line is that Forsythe did not fire him, Patrick left on his own terms and the deal was rumored well before the season was over, indicating Patrick was looking to leave much earlier than now.  If Forsythe wants another Canadian he has both Michael Valiante and Andrew Ranger to pick from, both of whom are potential stars.  Ironically Forsythe said over the weekend he might expand to 4-cars in 2005, meaning two seats may be available within the team, a team that can win races.  It remains to be seen whether the Cheever team can win races and what engines they use when Toyota pulls out of the series after 2006.  Mark C. 11/10/04 “Patrick Carpentier called me last night from Indianapolis to advise me that he had signed a contract with Cheever Racing to drive in the Indy Racing League in 2005” said team owner Jerry Forsythe.

“Patrick has been with the team since 1998 and I’ve enjoyed seeing him develop as a driver over the years to become one of the leading and most competitive drivers in Champ Car, North America’s premier open wheel racing series.  He has had successes on every type of race track that this most diverse and demanding Series races on; oval, road and street courses, and Patrick has proved himself to be a genuine championship contender in recent years.  He will be especially missed at our highly attended and great events in Canada where he is a popular local hero.”

“I think it’s a shame that Pat has decided to make a move now, and frankly I don’t think this is a good career choice for him personally – but this is his decision.  We like and respect Patrick and his family very much indeed, and all of us at the team wish Patrick, Anick and Anais the very best of luck in the future.”

Vice President of Operations Neil Micklewright added, “It’s a pity Patrick felt he had to make such an early decision – we didn’t want him to leave.  He’s come a long way during his tenure with the team and we will miss him.  We wish him the best of luck and look forward to him returning to Champ Car in the near future.”

Paul Tracy reiterated the comments he made in Mexico City about his teammate and fellow Canadian, “I’ve enjoyed having Pat as a teammate; we’ve worked well together I think, always openly sharing information and battling hard but cleanly at every race.  I wish him the best.”

11/10/04
superfund
Timo Glock tests Superfund car on Day 2 Timo Glock tests Superfund car on Day 2Timo Glock, 2004 Jordan F1 driver, took the Formula Superfund SF01 to the track for the second day of the on-going test in Jerez, Spain. Glock took to the wheel at the beginning of the afternoon and completed a trouble-free 40 laps. He provided valuable feedback on tire evaluation for the forthcoming Formula Superfund Championship. Vincenzo Sospiri concluded his phase of the development program in the morning and clocked up a further fifteen laps of the Circuito de Jerez before handing over to Timo Glock. The final day of testing concludes tomorrow with 2004 Minardi F1 test driver Bas Leinders behind the wheel. He will be joined by 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 champion Nicky Pastorelli and Austrian driver Mathias Lauda. Timo Glock: “The SF01 is a very impressive car. In my experience, it’s definitely the closest car to F1 in terms of horsepower as it’s an incredibly powerful car. I’m used to traction control in Formula One with less margins for oversteer and understeer but I found a good rhythm over the course of the session and clocked up 40 laps by the end of play today. We had a successful day assessing tires and putting miles on the car - I think its looking good for next year.”
11/10/04
champcar
Da Matta talks about future Da Matta talks about futureUPDATE More da Matta quotes on joining Newman/Haas as a third driver in 2005 -  “If I could choose where to go my first choice would be Newman/Haas Racing for next year. We’re working on it.  If you have an opportunity to drive for the team that is fighting for first and second positions in the championship it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? Where else would you want to be?”   Team boss Carl Haas said: “Our people would love to have Cristiano back with us – even our current drivers have no animosity to the idea.” Autosport 11/05/04 Former Champ Car champion and Toyota F1 driver Cristiano da Matta talks about his future plans in this feature article on AutoRacing1.com.
11/10/04
Industry News
Bill Ford vows to retake lost marketshare Bill Ford vows to retake lost marketshareThis AutoWeek article says, Despite enormous obstacles, Ford Motor Co. CEO Bill Ford said the automaker's U.S. market share will rebound within six months.  Ford Motor's stinging share slide will end as new products such as the 2005 Ford Freestyle sport wagon, Five Hundred sedan and redesigned Mustang grow the market, Bill Ford told Automotive News last week. If Ford Motor's year-to-date domestic brand share of 18.4 percent held through December, it would be Ford's lowest share since 1928.  Ford also is making moves to improve share longer term. Several vehicles are in the product pipeline through 2008. Bill Ford said a subcompact car smaller than the Focus is likely for North America.  But production cuts already on the books could make Bill Ford's predicted short-term share rebound nearly impossible.

Ford will drop a shift - up to 120,000 units of annual SUV production - from its St. Louis assembly plant in January. Nonproduction weeks are planned at other plants through the end of this year and in January, reducing the volume of product in the marketplace.  Weak products, tough competition and a less-than-robust economy have led to production cutbacks. But Ford Motor also has curbed sales to rental fleets deliberately this year in an attempt to improve profits, retail share and residual values.  "It is painful every month to wake up and see Ford lose its share again in North America," Bill Ford said. "But really, it's paid off for us."  Residuals are improving, and that discipline will continue. Strengthening retail share is more important than increasing total share, Bill Ford said, though he expects both to rise.

11/10/04
champcar
French proud of Bourdais championship French proud of Bourdais championshipFrance hopes the success of Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Bourdais in rallying and Champ Cars can lead to a resurgence for the country's motorsport fortunes.  "It has been a great year for French motorsport," Jacques Regis, president of the French Motor Sport Federation (FFSA), said in a statement on Tuesday.  "We hope that the success of these two young men will help to inspire a new generation of French champions and encourage French companies to be more active in their support and help us to build more success for France in the longer term."  Bourdais won the Champ Car title in Mexico on Sunday, becoming the first Frenchman to win the national championship since Gaston Chevrolet in 1920.  The 25-year-old from Le Mans, who has set his sights on entering Formula One in the future, won the junior Formula 3000 crown in 2002.  France has not had a Formula One world champion since Alain Prost won his fourth and final title in 1993 and looks likely to have no driver in the championship next year after Olivier Panis retired in October.  Loeb has won the rally world championship for French carmaker Citroen, who last week announced they were pulling out of the series at the end of next year. He was the country's first rally champion in 10 years. Reuters
11/10/04
champcar
 irl
Carpentier to announce move to IRL Carpentier to announce move to IRLUPDATE Veteran Champ Car driver Patrick Carpentier will join Alex Barron on the two-car Cheever Racing team in the Indy Racing League, a top team official confirmed.  The Indianapolis-based team also is switching to Toyota engines for 2005. It has used Chevrolets the past two seasons.  Carpentier, a 33-year-old Canadian, has been in Champ Car the past eight seasons, the past seven for Forsythe Racing. He won five races while in the series and finished third in points this year. He'll replace Ed Carpenter on Eddie Cheever Jr.'s team.  Cheever hopes to announce a third car to the 2005 stable next month. Indy Star 11/09/04 Canada's Patrick Carpentier, one of the Champ Car World Series most popular drivers, will announce Tuesday he is racing next season in the rival Indy Racing League with Red Bull Racing owner Eddie Cheever Jr, reported the Toronto Sun. While it has been no secret that Carpentier has been negotiating with as many as three IRL teams, a source close to the talks said Monday Carpentier has a contract with Cheever to drive a Chevrolet-badged Ford Cosworth-powered Dallara chassis. Carpentier ended the Champ Car season in third place in championship points - his highest career finish - ahead of Forsythe Racing teammates Paul Tracy of Toronto and Rodolfo Lavin. The other IRL teams mentioned as possible destinations for Carpentier included Chip Ganassi Racing and Mo Nunn Racing, both former Champ Car teams. The deal with Cheever, however, includes full sponsorship from Mecachrome, a Montreal-based engineering company involved in the development and design of racing chassis. Carpentier told reporters in Mexico City, site of his final Champ Car race Sunday, that he was saddened by his departure from the series but was looking forward to new challenges in the IRL..``I want to race (in the IRL) next year because I want to do the Indy 500 and the ovals,'' he said. Canadian Press
11/10/04
nascar
Spencer gets part-time Busch ride Spencer gets part-time Busch rideJimmy Spencer will make his Michael Waltrip Racing debut this weekend in the Busch Series race at Darlington Raceway in the #99 Bryan Foods Chevy. Spencer is also scheduled to run the #99 in five Busch Series races in 2005: Atlanta [Mar], Talladega, Darlington, Bristol [Aug] and Memphis. Bryan Foods Site
11/10/04
nascar
Phoenix TV Rating Phoenix TV RatingUPDATE NBC got a 4.9 final rating for Sunday's race at Phoenix, up 4 percent over last year. NBC and TNT are up 5 percent this year from last year in their ratings for the second half of the season. NBC is also up 5 percent in the eight Chase for the Nextel Cup races it has aired. 11/08/04 NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 from Phoenix International Raceway earned a 4.3 overnight rating and an 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The 4.3 represents a 2.3 percent increase over last year’s 4.2 overnight figure.. NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter
11/10/04
nascar
Ward Burton out of NetZero car Ward Burton out of NetZero carMike Bliss has replaced Ward Burton in Haas CNC Racing's #0 NetZero Chevrolet for this weekend's Nextel Cup Series Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Owner Gene Haas released Burton after last weekend's Checker Auto Parts 500, a Burton spokesman said, ending negotiations with Haas for Burton to continuing as the team's driver. Bliss has 33 career Cup starts and two top-10s, including a career-best fourth at Richmond in September 2004. NASCAR.com
11/10/04
f1
BRDC confident Ferrari will agree to cuts BRDC confident Ferrari will agree to cutsThe British Racing Drivers' Club are "pretty confident" Ferrari can be persuaded to agree to cost-cutting measures intended to save the British Grand Prix. Alex Hootton, chief executive of the BRDC who own Silverstone, told Radio Four's Today program: "Next year there will be 19 races, which is two more than the teams are obligated to go to. In order to accommodate that Mr. Ecclestone, I believe, has reached an accommodation whereby he will pay them fees to turn up to two extra races and the teams have added their contribution to it by agreeing to a range of cost-cutting measures. The only word of caution is that Ferrari were once again not present and their compliance would be required to make this work. Let me put it this way, we understand from the teams themselves that they are pretty confident Ferrari will come along. Despite the very significant contractual difficulties, there has always been this feeling that it's not only the BRDC and the British public that want the British Grand Prix to take place. The teams obviously want it as well and there are other parties out there, sponsors etc, who need this race."
11/10/04
superfund
Sospiri completes Day 1 test at Jerez Sospiri completes Day 1 test at JerezThe first day of testing the SF01 was successfully completed Tuesday at Jerez with Vincenzo Sospiri clocking up 45 laps in the driver’s seat. Testing of the new chassis continues today with 2004 Jordan racer Timo Glock behind the wheel. Minardi F1 test driver Bas Leinders will be in action on Thursday alongside newly-crowned Superfund Euro 3000 Champion Nicky Pastorelli and Austrian driver Mathias Lauda. “This has been a successful start to the test and we made good progress today," stated Sospiri. "We have a big program to complete with nineteen different areas to develop but our main aim today was to put miles on the car rather than chase fast times. The car is working well and suits the tight corners here at the Circuito de Jerez. I had a small problem with my shoulder but we still managed to put in some solid laps and collect valuable data for the next couple of days testing." Superfund
11/10/04
irl
British woman impresses in late IPS test run British woman impresses in late IPS test runBritish driver Katherine Legge was a surprising seventh candidate in a three-day test of women drivers by Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series team Nunn Motorsports at Texas Motor Speedway. Six drivers were selected in October to participate in the test, which team owner Kathryn Nunn hopes leads to a full-time woman driver in 2005.

Legge, a 24-year-old from Silverstone, England, was not chosen but decided to attend anyway. "Katherine had not only been phoning me from England on a daily basis but e-mailing me to see if any decisions had been made," said Nunn, the only woman owner in the IRL. "When she found out she was not chosen, she waited a couple of weeks and then she e-mailed me and said, 'Would you mind if I just came and watched?' "I said, 'You're welcome to come, but I can't guarantee any time in the car. You probably should just go on that fact.' I didn't really think she would come, and then she sent her itinerary and she came Saturday night before the test. She's here, and she was smart enough to bring her driving suit. I'm just so impressed with her determination that I just couldn't let her go back to England without finding time for her in the car and letting her have some laps."

Legge, who has competed in Formula Ford, British Formula 3 and Formula Renault, turned 37 laps on the 1.5-mile oval - her first time driving on an oval. "When I first went out it was a bit awe inspiring, because I've never felt anything like it," Legge said. "You're feeling the g-forces pushing you into the seat and pushing you backwards. I'm used to having to brake and turn and all sorts where this is really about being as smooth as you can. It's made me a better driver in a way, because it makes you think about things slightly differently."

Legge quickly brought the car up to speed and maintained a consistent approach throughout her 37 laps. She had a good line and was very consistent," said Butch Meyer, technical director for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. "She was on the mark every lap." "I'm very, very impressed," Nunn said.

Legge began racing karts at the age of 10 and moved into Formula Ford at the age of 19. In 2002, she was the first female to receive the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club "Rising Star" award. "My goals have changed," Legge said. "I started in Europe and thought very narrow-mindedly about Europe. I thought Formula One, Formula One, Formula One that's where you need to go. That's been hindered a lot by money and budgets. Then I came over here this year. I had never been to the U.S. before. Everyone said there's more opportunity out there, they're more open-minded, they're more media orientated, the marketing is much better. I came out here and I was like, 'Wow. I love it. This is where I want to be.'

"And then when I heard about this, I thought, 'Wow. What an opportunity.' And I didn't get in, so I was 'please let me come." Legge hopes her brief tryout will allow her an opportunity to compete in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2005.

11/10/04
nascar
NASCAR and Ford to hit streets of Ft. Lauderdale NASCAR and Ford to hit streets of Ft. LauderdaleFor the third consecutive year, the official kickoff of Ford Championship Weekend - Ford RaceFest - takes over the streets of downtown Ft. Lauderdale at Las Olas Riverfront on Thursday, November 18 from Noon - 11 p.m. This free-to-the-public street festival, presented by Homestead-Miami Speedway, features NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver autograph sessions, NASCAR showcars, interactive racing displays, official NASCAR souvenirs, live musical entertainment, food and beverage, and much more.  "Ford RaceFest is always a huge hit as the sport of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup visits the streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale," said Curtis Gray, President Homestead-Miami Speedway.  "It's the perfect place to kick off this year's Ford Championship Weekend, the most anticipated race weekend in the history of Homestead-Miami Speedway."
 
The City of Ft. Lauderdale welcomes Ford RaceFest and NASCAR fans from throughout all 50 states for next week's Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  "We are thrilled to have Ford RaceFest and NASCAR come to downtown Ft. Lauderdale," said City of Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle.  "We invite race fans from throughout South Florida as well as those visiting to Ft. Lauderdale for this spectacular event."
 
At Ford RaceFest, fans will have the opportunity to meet several of their favorite Ford NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series drivers, including Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd, who will be available for autograph and question-answer sessions throughout the event.
 
Fans can also experience NASCAR showcars, interactive displays, and official NASCAR merchandise trailers.  Fans can view and take their photograph with the inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup trophy while also checking out the NEXTEL Mini Experience featuring race car simulators, the Daytona USA pit crew challenge and the Ford Tech Tour.   Several of the latest Ford production vehicles will also be on display.
 
The Ford RaceFest main stage will be the place to enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the evening, including performances by the South Florida band Rambler, saxophone player Billy Bones and comedian Michael Petit.   Bennett Auto Supply has joined the year's Ford Racefest as an associate sponsor. Fans can stop by the Bennett Auto Supply display and receive information on all their products, including Motorcraft Parts.  Ford RaceFest at Las Olas Riverfront in downtown Ft. Lauderdale is the official kickoff of Ford Championship Weekend, November 18-21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series will all conclude their seasons and crown their champions in one spectacular race weekend.  For more information on Ford RaceFest or to order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend, call (305) 230-RACE or log on homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
WHAT: Ford Championship Weekend RaceFest
WHERE: Las Olas Riverfront in downtown Ft. Lauderdale
WHEN: Thursday, November 18, Noon - 11 pm
Schedule of Events:
12:00 p.m. Racefest begins
4:00 p.m. Ricky Rudd Autograph Session in Park
4:00 p.m. Mark Martin Autograph Session at Gazebo
5-9 p.m. Billy Bones (sax player) performs in the Courtyard
5:30 p.m. Mark Martin & Ricky Rudd Q&A session on Main Stage (hosted by Mike Joy)
5:45 p.m. Kurt Busch Autograph Session in Park
5:45 p.m. Dale Jarrett Autograph Session at Gazebo
5:45 p.m. Robert Pressley & Stacey Compton Autograph Session at SVT Display
7:00 p.m. . Robert Pressley & Stacey Compton Q&A session on Main Stage  (hosted by Mike Joy)
7:15 p.m. Dale Jarrett & Kurt Busch Q&A session on Main Stage (hosted by Mike Joy)
7:15 p.m. Matt Kenseth Autograph session at Gazebo
7:15 p.m. Elliott Sadler Autograph session in Park
7:30 p.m.  Comedian Michael Petit performs on Main Stage
8:30 p.m. Matt Kenseth & Elliott Sadler Q&A session on Main Stage (hosted by Mike Joy)
9:00 p.m. Rambler performs on Main Stage
11:00 p.m. Racefest Ends
WHAT: Free to the Public Race-Themed Festival Featuring NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver appearances, NASCAR showcars, interactive displays, official NASCAR souvenirs, live music, food and beverage and much, much more.  
ADMISSION: Free for all ages
11/10/04
irl
IRL has become motorsports version of "Onion Gum" IRL has become motorsports version of "Onion Gum"UPDATE We are upgrading this rumor to 'fact' as someone we know spoke to Bobby Rahal who told them his son Graham was definitely racing in the Champ Car Atlantic Series in 2006. Mark C. 07/31/05 We have it on good word that Bobby Rahal has ordered a new Atlantic car for his son Graham (pictured right) who will graduate from the Star Mazda Series to the Champ Car Atlantic Series in 2006. Given his performance in Star Mazda this year it's clear that Marco Andretti is not ready for the big cars and needs a year in Atlantics, the best training series in the world, as well. Michael  Andretti would be wise to have Marco run one year in the new Atlantics series because the IPS series just does not have the level of competition that the Atlantic series provides. With $2 million to the winner next year, the best young talent from around the world will be eyeing the series. The fact that 18 cars have already been ordered in less than 24 hours, it's clear just about everyone is eyeing this new series as the place to be if you want to learn how to really drive a race car in the USA and gauge your talent against the some of the best.

It should be noted that Graham Rahal has made it clear he does not want to race on the dangerous ovals and prefers to take the road racing route, the route the best drivers in the world take.

11/10/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Teams agree test cut
Minardi lodge FIA entry
Michelin team to switch?
Kyalami 'missed out'
Dominguez and Midland
F1 faces in Bahrain
Three-seater F1 car
Bourdais phoned Sir Frank
Terzi and 'the nose'
Quali to change - again?
Ferrari 'must sign'
New Ferrari is 'big step'
Coulthard still in frame
Ant thanks Schu
Exit praise for team duo
Brit and French GP 'back on'
Mandela and A1
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