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DATE News (chronologically)
GPMA members support 'agreement' - Goeschel GPMA members support 'agreement' - Goeschel(GMM)  F1's other carmakers support the declaration of peace announced this week by FIA president Max Mosley and BMW's senior advisor Burkhard Goeschel at the BMW Research Centre in Munich.

Despite the absence of a separate confirmation by 'GPMA', and more than a mere 'Q&A' on the official FIA website, that is the insistence of Goeschel, who is chairman of the manufacturers' alliance.

Speaking to selected European media on Wednesday, the pair said a minimally five year 'agreement' had been reached, but explained that a new Concorde Agreement is yet to be signed.

Moreover, at a recent so-called 'breakthrough' meeting in Nice, again the only participants were Mosley and Goeschel, accompanied by Dr Juergen Reul -- another BMW bigwig.

Goeschel said: "A new Concorde Agreement should be possible and should be done in a very short space of time in my opinion."

Including BMW, GPMA is also comprised of Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Honda, but - despite the absence of a GPMA statement or statements from the other members - Goeschel insisted that all parties are singing from the same hymn sheet.

"It is the same idea for all the manufacturers because they want F1 to be integrated into their future business," he added.

Goeschel said: "If you are talking to, say, our Japanese friends, it is the same idea."

New open wheel racing book New open wheel racing bookMotorsports publisher Coastal 181 announced today the release of their latest title, DAREDEVILS OF THE FRONTIER, a thoroughly researched history of big car and midget racing in Western New York.  Written by Keith S. Herbst, an open wheel fan since attending races at the Buffalo Civic Stadium as a child, the book has been in development for over three years and will surely become a racing classic.

While many midget and sprint car books have a national theme, DAREDEVILS focuses on open wheel racing across the Niagara Frontier, a region of Western New York bordered by Ohio, Pennsylvania and Canada.  Buffalo’s Civic Stadium was the crown jewel of the Frontier and it was there that the traveling warriors from the Midwest met the top shoes from the East in some of the most outrageous automotive shootouts of all times.  Herbst documents the complete history of racing at the Stadium and profiles virtually all of the swash-buckling, Cromwell-helmeted performers—from glamorous heroes such as Bill Schindler and Dave Randolph, to colorful owners like Pappy Hough and Ken Hickey, to antiheroes like the mysterious Diego “Dee” Toran.  DAREDEVILS OF THE FRONTIER explores in depth the dynamics of racing in the thirties, forties, and fifties and provides detailed statistics on the era—from feature wins to championships to a very sobering summation of fatalities.  zzzz

DAREDEVILS is the eleventh motorsports book published by Coastal 181.  The firm offers titles on current drivers, including GOTTA RACE! (the autobiography of Ken Schrader) and Where Stars Are Born (the story of NASCAR’s top short-trackers), as well as books with a historical focus such as RICHIE! (the Richie Evans story) and PAVED TRACK DIRT TRACK (on Old Bridge Speedway and Nazareth Raceway).

DAREDEVILS OF THE FRONTIER is now available for shipping, in plenty of time for Christmas. A hardcover volume with 192 pages and over 350 photographs, it is priced at $39.95 plus $6.00 for S&H and can be ordered online at www.coastal181.com or by calling 877-907-8181 toll free.

track news
Utah track adds NASCAR race Utah track adds NASCAR raceMiller Motorsports Park (MMP) today announced a 2007 schedule that is among the best in the United States and will include the return of popular racing series like the American LeMans, AMA Superbikes and Supermoto, and Grand Am, plus the addition of a NASCAR Grand National West Series and more.

“You will see the top racers in the world at Miller Motorsports Park in 2007,” said Mitch Wright, Director of Racing. “MMP has gone from zero to 200 mph in less than 24 months,” said Alan Wilson, General Manager. “Not only are cars reaching speeds of nearly 200 mph down the front stretch, MMP is attracting race series that typically take years for a new track to secure.”

Miller Motorsports Park opened in April 2006 and had an exceptional inaugural year, which included the international honor of being named “Motorsport Facility of the Year,” a prestigious award granted by the Professional MotorSport World Expo in Cologne, Germany. “Such a venue is invaluable to the state, and further positions Utah as a leader in the national and international sports community,” commented Jeff Robbins, president & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.

Every weekend in 2007, from end of March through end of October, will be full of action. In addition to the major events, for example, are weekends featuring kart racing, car racing, and motorcycle racing – all on different tracks and all at the same time. zzzz

Historic racing will be back - with the Historic Sportscar Racing series, a Nostalgia racing weekend, and – new in 2007 – a Shelby American Auto Club national event, which is expected to draw up to 1,000 cars from all over the US.

Opportunities for local racers to fine-tune their skills will be abundant. Miller management expects even more Utah racers and regional racers to participate in 2007. Miller will again offer the popular Plaza Cycle Masters of the Mountains series for motorcycles, the MPRA (Miller Park Racing Association) for cars, the Plaza Cycle Utah Supermoto series, and a Utah kart championship series.

“Whether you race or not, there’s something for you here,” said Wilson. “Racing is a sport unlike any other where fans can get close to the stars and meet and talk to the riders and drivers. When you buy a ticket, you also get access to the paddock and Grand Prix garage area, so the public can see the teams at work on race days. Also, we will again host special fan forums, and at times fans will even be invited onto the track before the start of the race. In addition, we think we’ll generate a lot of interest in the track with our “Free Fridays” next year. Most Fridays will be free, and kids 12 and under are always free.”

Miller Motorsports Park operates a High Performance Driving School and is host to Freddie Spencer’s world-renowned motorcycle school. Kart rentals and corporate events are available on a daily basis during the season.

The 2007 Miller Motorsports Park Schedule

March 31-April 1 Season Opens (kart race, Plaza Cycle Masters of the Mountains motorcycle race, SCCA Driver’s School/regional race)
May 3-6 Racing 2 Save Lives
May 18-19 The Utah Grand Prix - American LeMans Series
May 25-27 SCCA Double National
June 15-17 WERA – regional motorcycle racing
June 22-24 The Honda Summit of Speed AMA Superbike Doubleheader
July 6-8 Stars of Karting, SAAC Shelby Meet
July 14 NASCAR Grand National West Series
August 3-5 Historic Sportscar Racing
September 7-9 Vintage Motorcycle Racing (AHRMA)
September 14-15 The Sunchaser 1000 - Grand Am Series
The Plaza Cycle Masters of the Mountains dates are: March 31-April 1, April 21-22, June 9-10, July 28-29, August 11-12, August 25-26, September 8-9.

The MPRA race dates are: April 7, May 12, June 9-10, July 28-29, August 25-26, September 22-23.

The Utah Kart Championship series dates are: March 31, April 14, April 21, May 12, May 26, June 2, June 3, July 14, July 28, August 11, August 25, September 8, September 22, October 6, October 20.

The Plaza Cycle Utah Supermoto dates are: April 7, May 20, June 17, July 1, August 18, August 19, September 16, October 13.

tv news
ESPN acquires rights to broadcast Champ Car races ESPN acquires rights to broadcast Champ Car racesUPDATE The reason why all 17 races are not on ABC/ESPN the first year is because of existing contracts with CBS and NBC that have to be honored.  Starting in 2008 all Champ Car and Atlantic races will be broadcast on ABC/ESPN.  The international TV distribution of Champ Car races just got a whole lot better.

11/16/06 (INDIANAPOLIS) – ESPN has further bolstered its motorsports lineup with the announcement of a new, multi-year agreement that will mark the return of the Champ Car World Series in 2007. At least 11 events of the international open-wheel racing series will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC in 2007, with the networks exclusively airing the series in 2008.
With the addition of Champ Car to its motorsports lineup, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC will televise races in 2007 featuring the four major North American auto racing sanctioning bodies: NASCAR, NHRA, Champ Car and IndyCar. ESPN2 will have more than 500 hours of motorsports programming in 2007.
The renewed relationship will begin with the April 22 Champ Car race at Houston’s Reliant Park street circuit.
The networks have a long history with Champ Car that began in 1981 when the first race ever aired live on ESPN was a Champ Car event from Milwaukee won by Mike Mosley. Series events appeared on the networks through the 2001 season. Many of the great moments in the history of the series were seen live on ESPN and ABC including Alex Zanardi’s 1997 win in Cleveland where he introduced the world to victory doughnuts and Mario Andretti’s final Champ Car win at Phoenix in 1993. zzzz
“Having the Champ Car World Series back on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC is a tremendous addition,” said John Wildhack, senior vice president of programming and acquisitions for ESPN. “This series produces competitive and exciting racing and adds more strength to the lineup of world-class motorsports and automotive programming we are offering our viewers, particularly on ESPN2 as it becomes the destination for motorsports fans.”
Champ Car President Steve Johnson said, “Champ Car is moving into a bright new era in 2007 with four new venues and a newly-developed car for the series, and this new television agreement gives us even more reason to be optimistic about the future. This agreement allows us to bring the excitement of Champ Car racing to a greater number of fans while providing a stronger delivery platform for our sponsors and corporate partners.”
As part of the deal, Champ Car and ESPN also will pursue strategies to utilize digital media applications as they pertain to the Champ Car World Series, including internet and wireless media opportunities. In addition, the agreement grants ESPN Spanish-language broadcast rights.
The new arrangement also provides for coverage of races of Champ Car’s feeder series, the Champ Car Atlantic Series, which will be aired primarily on ESPN2.
The complete schedule will be released soon. ESPN PR
Newman Wachs hires JR Hildebrand Newman Wachs hires JR HildebrandNewman Wachs Racing Announces Cooper Series Champion J.R. Hildebrand As Its First Selected Driver for 2007. The 2006 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 series champion J.R. Hildebrand will join Newman Wachs Racing for the 2007 season in the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.  

J.R. Hildebrand brings a very impressive record to the NWR Atlantic team after shattering the record for most wins for a season in the Cooper Tire FF 2000 series with twelve in '06. The 18-year-old native of Sausalito, California made his Atlantic debut for the NWR squad at the '06 season finale at Road America. "(NWR team co-owner) Eddie (Wachs) has given me a lot of opportunities this year and I am really grateful for that.  He is a super guy, and I will be pushing 100% all the time to bring him some hardware," said Hildebrand.
Audi V12 TDI is “Race Engine of the Year” Audi V12 TDI is “Race Engine of the Year”Audi yet again proved "Vorsprung durch Technik” on the race track by taking the first victory for a diesel powered sportscar at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours. The revolutionary diesel technology has now also triumphed in competition with Formula 1 and other motorsport categories: A panel of experts from the British specialist magazine "Race Engine Technology” voted the 650 hp V12 TDI engine from the Audi R10 TDI as "Race Engine of the Year 2006” and "Alternative Race Engine of the Year”.
On behalf of AUDI AG, Ulrich Baretzky accepted the "Race Engine of the Year” trophy at the Professional MotorSport World Expo in Cologne. The Head of Engine Technology at Audi Sport was also awarded the title "Design Engineer of the Year 2006” at the international motorsport exhibition.
The Audi R10 TDI is unbeaten since making its debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring (USA) last March. The revolutionary diesel sportscar started eight races and took the chequered flag as winner on each occasion – impressive proof of the efficiency of Audi TDI Power.
Audi customers will soon benefit from the experience gained at Le Mans starting with a 500 hp V12 TDI engine for the Q7. Worldwide every second new Audi is already delivered with a diesel engine – trend increasing.
Ten teams pre-selected for 2007 by Renault Ten teams pre-selected for 2007 by RenaultThe World Series by Renault Organizing Committee has completed pre-selection of the ten teams that will be invited to take part in the 2007 World Series Formula Renault 3.5 championship. The five other teams will be pre-selected on December 15.
The Organizing Committee consists of Jean-Paul Mari (Motor Sport and Communications Director, Renault Sport), François Sicard (Circuit Racing Manager, Renault Sport), Jaime Alguersuari (President, RPM Racing) and Jordi Castells (Motor Sport Director, RPM Racing).
The Committee reviewed 18 pre-registration requests for the 15 available places. The list of the 10 pre-selected teams is as follows (in alphabetical order):


The following teams (in alphabetical order) have expressed interest in taking part and have been placed on the waiting list: zzzz


The second phase involves the pre-selected teams signing a participation agreement by January 15, 2007. The Organizing Committee has requested further information from the eight teams placed on the waiting list. The final five pre-selected teams will be chosen on December 15.

Klien hopes to 'race again' Klien hopes to 'race again'(GMM) Christian Klien says he hopes to use his new role as Honda's 'reserve' driver to one day return to the F1 grid.

The 23-year-old Austrian landed the role despite reports that the highly rated Gary Paffett was the more likely candidate, but Klien also negotiated seriously with Spyker about a race seat.

"The possibility to improve even more is stronger with a top team like Honda," Klien told the newspaper Kleinen Zeitung.

Despite suggestions that his contract is for more than a single season, he admitted that returning to the grid as soon as possible was his target. Zzzz

"If I do a good job then hopefully I will race again," he said.

To the Austrian daily 'Der Standard', Klien denied that he is feeling disappointed about missing out on becoming Christijan Albers' Spyker teammate.

"At first you might think that being a test driver is like a step back for me," the former Red Bull and Jaguar racer continued, also having rejected a Champ Car drive, "but I can learn a lot at Honda.

"I think I found a good solution. There were a lot of conversations with both Honda and Spyker so I am relieved. Honda's objective is to win the world championship in 2007."
TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for Friday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

2:00pm-3:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying
3:00pm-5:00pm (L) SPEED
Craftsman Truck Qualifying
5:00pm-6:30pm (L) SPEED
6:30pm-7:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Craftsman Truck
7:30pm-10:30pm (L) SPEED
The SPEED Report
Craftsman Trucks Season Wrap-up
10:30pm-11:30pm (L) SPEED
Tradin' Paint
11:30pm-12:00am SPEED
All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
Hinchcliffe wins fan vote Hinchcliffe wins fan voteJames Hinchcliffe - the Mayor of Hinchtown - has finished P1 in the fan poll voting for the prestigious Greg Moore Legacy Award. "Honestly, just to have been nominated for this award was such a cool feeling, and then to lead the fan poll at the end is just unbelievable,” enthused Hinch. “The support has just been amazing, I can't even tell you what it means to even be on that list of drivers and then to finish off first. I feel like there was some sort of computer error; the electronic version of a hanging Chad or something! I just now have to thank, on top of those who nominated me, all of the fans that voted for me. Your support has just been fantastic! I know this doesn't mean we have won the award, but this in itself is more than I could have expected."
Formula 3
Asmer takes provisional pole position for Macau GP Asmer takes provisional pole position for Macau GPHitech Racing’s Marko Asmer secured provisional pole position for the Polytec Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Thursday when he led the way after an incident-filled first qualifying session.

The Estonian, who is competing in the Macau Grand Prix for the second time, put in his best lap with 10 minutes of the session remaining – and right before two red flags left his rivals unable to respond to his performance. (from left to right) Charlie Kimball, Richard Antinucci (in his ASM gear!) and Paul di Resta

The first red flag was brought out by Signature Plus’ Charlie Kimball, who crashed heavily at Fishermen’s Bend. The American climbed out of the car unaided and was unhurt in the incident.

Then just a few minutes after the session had restarted, Japanese Formula 3 Champion Adrian Sutil brought qualifying to a halt when he also shunted at Fishermen’s Bend. Although he remained in the car for several minutes after the accident, he eventually climbed out without injury. With only two minutes of the session remaining it was decided to abandon qualifying. zzzz

That decision left the morning’s free practice pace setter Kohei Hirate with the second fastest time. “The red flags meant I could not respond to Marko’s time, but I am sure there is plenty more to come from me tomorrow, so we should go quicker,” he said.

Romain Grosjean was third fastest overall, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and Fabio Carbone. British Formula Three champion Mike Conway was sixth fastest, with Richard Antinucci seventh and Roberto Streit eighth. Kimball still managed to take ninth place on the timesheets despite his accident.

Formula 3 Euroseries champion Paul di Resta was pretty happy with his tenth place after damaging his front right tire when he ran over debris at the hairpin and locked up. “I can’t really complain,” said the Scotsman. “Of course I would like to be right at the top but considering the number of laps I have done, I am pretty satisfied.”

Thursday qualifying times:

Pos Driver Make Time
 1. Marko Asmer Dallara Mercedes-HWA 2:13.965
 2. Kohei Hirate Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 0.291
 3. Romain Grosjean Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 0.439
 4. Kamui Kobayashi Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 0.535
 5. Fabio Carbone Dallara Nissan + 0.780
 6. Mike Conway Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 0.790
 7. Richard Antinucci Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 1.277
 8. Robert Streit Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 1.484
 9. Charlie Kimball Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 1.514
10. Paul Di Resta Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 1.628
11. Kodai Tsukakoshi Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 1.992
12. Maro Engel Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 2.137
13. Sebastien Buemi Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 2.315
14. Kazuki Nakajima Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 2.337
15. Kazuya Oshima Dallara Toyota-TOM'S + 2.610
16. Sebastian Vettel Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 2.655
17. Adrian Sutil Dallara Toyota-TOM'S + 3.013
18. Oliver Jarvis Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 3.156
19. James Jakes Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 3.279
20. Stephen Jelley Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 3.355
21. Daisuke Ikeda Dallara Toyota-TOM'S + 3.568
22. Yelmer Buurman Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 4.128
23. Jonathan Kennard Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 4.246
24. Mauro Massironi Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 4.689
25. Roldan Rodriguez Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 5.183
26. Michael Ho Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 6.149
27. Maximo Cortes Dallara Mercedes-HWA + 6.478
28. Rodolfo Avila Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 6.519
29. James Winslow Dallara Toyota-TOM'S + 6.734
30. Cheong Lou Meng Dallara Honda-Mugen NB + 10.153
31. Lei Kit Meng Dallara Opel-Spiess + 10.697
32. Jo Merszei Dallara Toyota-Tom's + 13.743

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
De la Rosa vows to 'help' Alonso win
Alonso to give Renault secrets to McLaren
Villeneuve is a father
Bahrain told to stop 'ripping off' F1
'RB3' to debut mid-January - Webber
Richards says F1 switch for Rossi unlikely
Alonso to marry in winter break
Speyer predicts big things for Power Speyer predicts big things for PowerThe executive director of Bridgestone MotorSport Al Speyer has predicted a huge future for Australian Will Power, who was crowned Champ Car Rookie of the Year last weekend.

Power, who drives for Team Australia, added to the rookie gong by also taking out the prestigious Passion for Excellence Award, which is awarded to the driver who completes the fastest aggregate race lap around every circuit on the 2006 Champ Car World Series schedule.

Generally, the Passion for Excellence award is recognized as reward for consistency at high pace and Power's acknowledgment in 2006 is the first time someone other than three-time champion Sebastien Bourdais has won the award in its four-year history.

Power picked up the gongs after the final event of the season in Mexico City last weekend, with Speyer saying the young Australian is one of the most exciting prospects to emerge on the Champ Car circuit. zzzz

"I am particularly impressed that, not only did he win the Passion For Excellence Award, but he did so as a rookie," Speyer said.

"Will was impressive in his ability to post consistently fast laps at all 14 events this season."

The awards cap off a fine season for Power after he claimed his first Champ Car pole position in his home event, the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise last month.

"There is little doubt that awards like these belong to the whole team and I have to thank everyone who has been a part of the Team Australia program in my rookie season," Power said.

"It's the team's efforts which have enabled me to be consistent this season and be in the running for such an award."

In an usual twist, Power will get a custom-made painting by respected motor artist Jim Swintal, as his award. The painting, which will depict Power's first pole position as a Champ Car driver in Surfers Paradise, will be presented to the Australian at the Champ Car banquet this Saturday night in Indianapolis.

"I cannot wait to see Jim Swintal's painting next Saturday night," said Power. "It will certainly be one of the most unique trophies I have ever received." Sportal.com.au

AGR utilizes bonus test AGR utilizes bonus testThe 2006 season ended Sept. 10 but IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series teams continue to reap the benefits of a bonus testing program that was introduced prior to the season. On Nov. 8, Andretti Green Racing used one of the bonus test days it earned to put Jaime Camara and Tony Kanaan on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"We've seen a lot of value in the testing program this year on the IndyCar Series side as well as the Indy Pro Series side," said Kim Green, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing. "Obviously, testing is limited in the Indy Racing League, so any additional track time is critical for the continuing development of our IndyCar Series program.

"At the same time, giving an Indy Pro Series driver a chance to get some time behind the wheel of one of the IndyCar Series cars is good for their development as drivers. It gives them an opportunity to experience the horsepower, downforce and feel of one of those cars and lets them learn how to work with one of those cars with full engineering support in a real setting." zzzz

IndyCar Series teams that also fielded cars in the Indy Pro Series in 2006 earned one bonus test day for every four Indy Pro Series races they participated in. Kanaan, the 2005 IndyCar Series champion, credited the program for helping him win at Milwaukee in July after the team had tested there prior to the race.

"I should thank Jonathan Klein, Marco (Andretti) and Dario (Franchitti) and the team for the Indy Pro Series program, because that really helped us," Kanaan said at the time. "I think when we struggled so badly this year to win a race, I think the test was very important. That put us in the right spot right from the beginning of the weekend. It's much easier tuning a good car than finding a good car."

The testing also continues to benefit the young, up-and-coming drivers like Camara who dream of driving in the IndyCar Series full-time, but who need experience behind the wheel.

"This was my third test in an IndyCar Series car, and it was a lot easier," said Camara, a three-time winner in the Indy Pro Series during the last two seasons. "I put in more than 300 laps in the three tests, and I feel like I really know the IndyCar Series car now. I was really satisfied with myself."

 "The great thing about working with Andretti Green Racing all season was working with the team, the engineers, the drivers. I was learning all year long."

Brembo Easy Check receives AIA product award Brembo Easy Check receives AIA product awardBrembo North America's (BNA) Easy Check rotor won the Auto International Association's (AIA) Best New Product for Import Cars and Trucks award at the recently held 2006 AAPEX Show.  Last year at AAPEX, BNA received two awards for its Easy Check rotor -– the New Product Showcase award from AAPEX and the Popular Mechanic’s Editor’s Choice award for innovative new product. In addition, Frost & Sullivan presented BNA with its Product Quality Leadership award for Brembo’s production of brake rotors and drums for the North American aftermarket.

BNA's Easy Check rotor has wear indicators -– two small holes of different depths machined into the face of the disc. When the first hole disappears, it indicates that 80% of the usable disc surface has been expended. When the second hole disappears, the disc needs to be replaced immediately, BNA says.

The wear indicators thus enable car owners and service technicians to ensure vehicle safety by allowing regular disc wear checks. Second, it reminds car owners of the importance of regular brake system check-ups and the need to replace worn components, and third, it provides technicians with a clear means to gain the customer’s trust that a repair is actually needed.

Brembo Easy Check is offered on the top 200 fastest-selling applications with ongoing expansion to the entire range, the company notes.

NASCAR's diversity program is a "sham … a smoke-and-mirror program" NASCAR's diversity program is a "sham … a smoke-and-mirror program"The father of Franklin racer Joe Henderson III said he is frustrated, discouraged and angry over his son's treatment in a NASCAR diversity program but is not considering suing anyone as was reported last week by the New York Times.

"The paper took some things I said out of context," said the senior Henderson. "I'm not going to sue anybody. I just asked my attorney to check the contracts to see what our options are."

The lengthy Times story — sharply critical of NASCAR for its continued small minority presence — said Henderson is considering suing NASCAR, his son's former MB2 Motorsports team and Access Marketing which oversees the Drive for Diversity program.

The Times quoted Henderson as saying NASCAR's diversity program is a "sham … a smoke-and-mirror program."

On Monday he qualified his remarks: "Yes I'm upset over how Joe has been treated, but I'm not going to cause problems for anybody. I just want folks to know that his problems were not all his fault."

Joe Henderson III, 21, said he didn't feel that he got a fair chance to prove himself before being dropped from the program earlier this year. Another minority driver, Jesus Hernandez, took over the ride, won two Late Model races, and MB2 general manager Jay Frey said Hernandez earned a chance to run some Craftsman Truck Series races next season.

Frey told the Times that even though Henderson failed to win a race he "wanted us to graduate him to the next level and we didn't feel he was ready for that." The Tennessean

Military losing interest in NASCAR Military losing interest in NASCARThe military's love affair with fast cars may be running out of gas.  The Coast Guard and Marines are dropping NASCAR racing sponsorships from their advertising budgets next year.

The Coast Guard will funnel the approximately $5 million it spends on NASCAR into its operations budget, helping pay to keep its cutters afloat and rescue helicopters airborne.

"We had competing fiscal demands," said Coast Guard spokesman Steve Blando. "It's going to operational missions."

The Marines' $3.5 million NASCAR budget will go for other advertising and recruiting expenses, officials said. zzzz

This year, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard have NASCAR programs, ranging in cost from a few million dollars to more than $15 million.

The Coast Guard decision was bittersweet because its driver, Kevin Harvick, has already locked up the Busch Series championship with one race remaining.

"This was a difficult, difficult decision. It's strictly a financial decision," said spokesman Blando.

Demand for Montreal tickets high Demand for Montreal tickets highMontreal – Due to the incredible demand for tickets since going on sale on Monday, November 13th, Stock-Car Montréal announced today that an additional grandstand has been added for the NASCAR Busch Series race weekend to be held August 3-4, 2007 at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal. The new “Petty” stand will be located in front of the pit lane next to the Waltrip Grandstand.

“We are extremely pleased to add a new grandstand responding to the high demand from NASCAR fans,” said Martin Spalding, General Manager of Stock-Car Montréal and promoter of the event. “Although we were not really surprised by the request for seats located in front of the pit lane, we were amazed of how quickly the first ones were sold. With all the action going on in the pits as cars come in for fuel and tires, especially during a caution period, these grandstands offer prime viewing for real race fans.” zzzz

Some seats are still available in the Waltrip Grandstand that went on sale last Monday, but now fans can also order tickets in the new Petty Grandstand. The location of the new stand can be seen online at www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca

The August 3-4, race weekend at Gilles Villeneuve Circuit will feature Round 23 of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series schedule on Saturday afternoon. Race action begins Friday with the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series 400-kilometer endurance sprint featuring the Daytona Prototypes.

To order tickets to attend the inaugural Montreal NASCAR Busch Series and Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series races, fans can call at (514) 397-0007, 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or order online anytime at www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca

Hotels urged 'don't rip off F1 fans' Hotels urged 'don't rip off F1 fans'HOTELIERS and other businesses have been urged to resist over-charging fans who travel to Bahrain for the annual Formula One Grand Prix motor race.

Fans should not go home feeling they have been ripped off, said Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) general manager Martin Whitaker.

He urged businesses to show restraint and not increase rates so much that people will not want to come back.

Mr. Whitaker made the comments at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Salmaniya, where he was guest speaker and had been invited to discuss the value of business that the BIC brings to Bahrain.

Around 30 people attended the lunch, held in the Golden Tulip Hotel.

"We have something in the region of 2,500 rooms which we protect for the Formula One people, because obviously we have to make sure that all the teams that travel have somewhere to stay," said Mr. Whitaker.

"I think it is fair to say that a number of people do feel that the hotel prices are too expensive here for the Grand Prix.

"I think in a sense we have to be very careful we don't cut off our noses to spite our face." More at Gulf News

Historic Grand Prix to compete at Vegas Grand Prix Historic Grand Prix to compete at Vegas Grand PrixLAS VEGAS – Vegas Grand Prix announced today that the Historic Grand Prix (HGP) will open its season at the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix, April 6-8, 2007.  Currently scheduled to race in the historic event are former open-wheel legends Arie Luyendyk, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Jr. 

“We’re thrilled to have these legendary drivers compete at the Vegas Grand Prix,” said Jim Freudenberg, president and chief executive officer of the Vegas Grand Prix.  “These drivers will be joined by an additional three racing legends that we’ll announce in the coming weeks.”

Historic Grand Prix is comprised of approximately 50 active owner-drivers of Formula One cars from the FIA (Federation International Automobile) Three Liter period from 1966-1983.  The roster of cars includes many Grand Prix and Championship winners including;  the 1981 United States Grand Prix Las Vegas (Caesars Grand Prix) winning Williams FW07C Cosworth, five Ferraris, three Lotus chassis, the Parnelli VPJ1, one of only four AAR Eagle-Weslake chassis, and many other cars of unique pedigree.  The series is designed to present fast, colorful and spirited racing at very select venues in North America.  zzzz

Six open-wheel legends are scheduled to compete against a select group of Historic Grand Prix owner-drivers in a 30-minute race prior to the Champ Car World Series race on Sunday, April 8.  Danny Sullivan, Indy 500 winner, former Champ Car champion and Formula One driver, is enthused about the weekend. 

“I can't wait to get behind the wheel of one of those gorgeous cars and compete against Al Jr. and Arie again," Sullivan said.  “The historic cars are meticulously maintained and the owners don’t just put them out for show.”

The Historic Grand Prix cars will be on display throughout the Vegas Grand Prix weekend for race fans to enjoy.  The cars are arranged chronologically and each is accompanied by a storyboard with period photos and history. 

“The HGP is about sharing history with modern fans and for those lucky enough to be at the Vegas Grand Prix.  They will actually see some of the great open-wheel stars driving as well,” explained HGP spokesman James King.  “We have a great variety of cars and they are a treasured asset that will transport some fans back to an early memory of a hillside at Watkins Glen, the streets of Long Beach or Las Vegas in 1981.”

NASCAR slams another cheater NASCAR slams another cheaterNASCAR has fined and indefinitely suspended Busch Series crew chief Joe Shear Jr. because of rule violations at Phoenix International Raceway.

Shear, crew chief for Curb Agajanian Performance Group's No. 43 Dodge driven by P.J. Jones, was penalized because the vehicle's quarter panel was too high in postrace inspection. His suspension is effective immediately and he was also fined $10,000. Shear was already on probation for a roof height being too low at Nashville in April.

Jones, who finished 21st, was penalized 25 driver points, and team owner Mike Curb was penalized 25 owner points.

Racing News
SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking
Updated 11-15-06
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (5) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS)* 8.452
2. (2) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 8.089
3. (8) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 7.595
4. (3) Dan Wheldon (IRL)* 7.438
5. (4) Fernando Alonso (F1)* 7.375
6. (10) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR) 7.230
7. (16) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) 7.102
8. (1) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 7.063
9. (13) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 7.012
10. (6) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 6.968
11. (7) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR) 6.935
12. (11) Michael Schumacher (F1)* 6.588
13. (14) Felipe Massa (F1)* 6.570
14. (15) Scott Dixon (IRL)* 6.553
15. (24) Kasey Kahne (NASCAR) 6.467
16. (17) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL)* 6.426
17. (NR) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.282
18. (NR) Justin Wilson (CCWS)* 6.269
19. (19) Helio Castroneves (IRL)* 6.250
20. (NR) Jeff Burton (NASCAR) 6.200
*Season complete; rating represents final week’s score
Dropped out: Kyle Busch (NASCAR), Nelson Philippe (CCWS), Casey Mears (NASCAR), Clint Bowyer (NASCAR)
Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.
Jarrett to Run Last Race for Yates Jarrett to Run Last Race for YatesDale Jarrett will be making his final start for Robert Yates Racing in the #88 UPS Ford Fusion this Sunday. When asked how tough this weekend will be as it is his final race with Robert Yates Racing, Jarrett responded: "For probably the last couple weeks as the races have run down I have been thinking about this race and some of the memories we had here. It's hard to believe that 12 years at Robert Yates Racing is coming to an end. Robert and the Yates family have treated me like family and it will be very difficult when I climb out of that car for the last time on Sunday. I owe a lot of people a lot. I think Saturday and Sunday will be tough days and I hope to be able to at least leave Homestead with a solid effort for Robert, the 88 team and the entire organization." Note - following the season finale in Homestead, Jarrett will travel to Baltimore, Md., where he is scheduled to have surgery on his left hand on Tuesday, November 21. Jarrett suffered a slight fracture in his left hand as a result of the accident he was in at Infineon Raceway in June. His hand has never healed correctly and he will be having corrective surgery next week.
Skinner to drive Toyota through 2009 Skinner to drive Toyota through 2009Bill Davis Racing announced today that Mike Skinner will return to the organization as the driver of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series through the 2009 season. The 1995 Craftsman Truck Series Champion has been behind the wheel of a Toyota Tundra since the manufacturing giant entered the NASCAR realm in 2004. 

"We are really excited Mike will be behind the wheel of the No. 5 truck for three more years," commented Team Owner Bill Davis.  "Mike and the No. 5 team have really done a great job and are a threat to win week in and week out.  Skinner has been an important member of the NASCAR community for many years, and we are looking forward to three more great years.  Toyota has proven to be a great partner both on and off the track.  They know what it takes to win, and we feel that, with the Tundra and Mike Skinner, we have another shot to win a championship."  zzzz

"Mike has been an important part of the Toyota Tundra program since we began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004," said Jim Aust, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) president and CEO.  "He's also a great representative for the Toyota program away from the track." 

Since joining Bill Davis Racing in September 2004, Skinner has captured three wins, including a dominating victory earlier in 2006 at the newly-remodeled Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The NASCAR veteran has complied 15 top-five finishes and 28 top-10 finishes since joining the organization three quarters of the way through the 2004 season.  He also has 16 poles in 56 starts for BDR. 

"I am looking forward to next year," Skinner commented.  "[Crew chief] Jeff Hensley and all of the guys on this Toyota Tundra team have given their hearts and souls to making this truck run fast, and I am really pumped about coming back to drive the No. 5 truck for three more years.  Toyota has an awesome program.  I am honored to be their flagship.  It is great to know every week when we get on the track we have a Tundra good enough to win. Toyota builds a great product both on and off the track, and I am looking forward three more years as their driver.  Bill and Gail Davis have become such great friends to [wife] Angie and I.  They have built a great organization there in High Point and put a great product on the track every week.  I am looking forward to three more great years as one of their drivers."

Mexico City Postscript - II Mexico City Postscript - IIBelow are some quotes from various Mexican publications following Sunday's Champ Car finale in Mexico City:

After the race was over the Mexican drivers talked to the media, David Martinez commented about his first race in Champ Car:  “When it wasn’t raining I thought I could finish in the top-5, but when it started to rain I just wanted the race to be over and not be left out the top 10.  The ninth (place) is ok.”

Martinez and the Mexican media are confident that his good performance in his Champ Car debut will lead to a full-time ride next year: “Seems like I left many people surprised after my first race (in Champ Car) performance, and I hope it opens the (Champ Car) doors for me.”

Mario Dominguez was disappointed with his day. Dominguez, a regular in Champ Car, had a disastrous race start which sent him to the back of the field down 4 laps in front of his hometown crowd. “After the incident (with Katherine Legge) I couldn’t do anything (to fight for a better final position) since the suspension was broken… I have surpassed not obstacles but mountains (in the 2006 season) with the purpose to get to the Mexico City Grand Prix in good shape, and then this happens,” a disappointed Dominguez told the media.

Also speaking to the media was Champ Car owner Kevin Kalkhoven: “It was good to have two Mexican drivers racing this weekend at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. We will see new faces in 2007, I believe that it will be a very interesting 2007, which will see new Mexican drivers; and there is David Garza in the Champ Car Atlantic Series next year as well. Looking to the future we have a group of new young talents ready to replace the veterans."

Speaking about Martinez, after his Champ Car debut Kalkhoven added “David did an extraordinary job this weekend, by coming from the Atlantic Series and jumping to Champ Car he has demonstrated how capable a driver from the Atlantic Series can be driving a Champ Car. It is a hard transition coming from the Atlantic to Champ Car, but he managed the role too good, I am amazed”

Kalkhoven also ensured Champ Car will return to the famous Mexican track, “I am satisfied with our race in Mexico, glad for the season we had; everything is working to perfection.”

Talking about F1 and Champ Car differences, Antonio Pizzonia said: “The difference between Formula One and Champ Car is huge. In F1 they are very professional, and there is more money than here (Champ Car). Here you can drive without too much pressure and there (Formula One) you have it from everywhere”.

Even GP2 has more technology than Champ Car.  “In terms of technology, GP2 has more than Champ Car. That’s the reason I am trying it. There is a big chance to race in GP2 next season,”  but the Brazilian has not made the decision about driving a Champ Car or a GP2 car next year.

Also Pizzonia took the opportunity to slam Mark Webber.  “I worked four years for Williams and I never had a problem. They always listened to me. It is a team that has won a lot. Mark Webber, as usual, talks bad about everything. I think he has to do better on the track and do less talking”  Hector Serrano reporting from Mexico

Jeff Gordon could still celebrate a Championship Jeff Gordon could still celebrate a ChampionshipJeff Gordon can't drive to his fifth NASCAR championship in this Sunday's season finale at Homestead- Miami Speedway, because it is statistically impossible to overcome his167 point deficit in the standings. However, Sunday night could bring a championship celebration of a different kind for Gordon - this time as a championship car owner. Gordon co-owns the No. 48 car with Rick Hendrick and if Johnson captures the championship on Sunday, it will mark Gordon's first in that capacity and Hendrick Motorsports' sixth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship as an organization. Along with Gordon's four championships, Terry Labonte won one for HMS in 1996 - edging teammate Gordon by only 37. "It's amazing to see what Jimmie and the entire No. 48 team have done," Gordon said. "They have been a championship-caliber team from the beginning, and Rick Hendrick deserves a lot of the credit. "I can take credit for talking Rick into hiring Jimmie, but Rick is the guy who provides us with great leadership and all the tools needed to win. "I'm still a racer and would prefer to be battling Jimmie for the championship. But, since we're not in contention, we're hoping our teammate wins it for Hendrick Motorsports." While Gordon may have been eliminated from championship contention, another strong run this weekend can shake up the standings. He is only 52 points behind fifth and 104 behind second place. "Our season isn't over, yet," said Gordon. "We still have an opportunity to move up in the standings, and we're looking forward to this Sunday's race. "We've run well here recently, and our intermediate program has definitely improved since last year. "Hopefully, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating a championship and a race win on Sunday."
Industry News
Chinese company copies Smart Car Chinese company copies Smart CarSHANGHAI -- A small Chinese automaker stopped production last month of a two-person electric car after DaimlerChrysler AG complained that it looked too much like its Smart car.

Shandong Huoyun Electromobile Co., based in the eastern coastal province of Shandong, started production of the City Spirit in August.

Shandong Huoyun used a toy model Smart car purchased via the Internet to help with the design, the company says. "We definitely did not expect our car to resemble the original," says Wang Fei, an executive at Shandong Huoyun.  More at AutoWeek.com

Davidson lands ride alongside Sato Davidson lands ride alongside SatoSUPER AGURI F1 TEAM is delighted to announce that current Honda driver, Anthony Davidson, will be joining Takuma Sato to complete the team’s racing line-up for the 2007 Formula One season.

Anthony joins SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM from the Honda Racing F1 Team where he has held the position of third driver since 2004. Anthony has consistently topped the timesheets of the Friday free practice sessions during Grand Prix weekends and tests and he played a pivotal role in the steady improvement which led to the Honda team’s first win in Hungary this season. 

Anthony’s Formula One debut came in 2001 as test driver for B·A·R Honda whilst also competing in the British F3 Championship, finishing as runner-up in his rookie year to none other than his new team mate for 2007 at SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM - Takuma Sato. Anthony drove in two Grands Prix for the Minardi F1 Team in 2002 and also in the 12 hours of Sebring, Le Mans 24 hours and Petit Le Mans (Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari GT team) in 2003, all whilst undertaking his testing duties at B·A·R Honda. Anthony secured his position as Third Driver for B·A·R Honda in 2004 and drove at the Malaysian Grand Prix for the team in 2005.  zzzz

Anthony Davidson
“'This is a great opportunity for me and I'm really excited about my first full season as a race driver in Formula One. I'd like to thank everyone at the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM and Honda for giving me this chance. I'm looking forward to working with everyone at SAF1 - I've been impressed with the improvements the team has made through the 2006 season, and I can already see from my first visits to the factory that the team is very hard-working and highly motivated. I can't wait to get started!”

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal
"I am delighted to have Takuma and Anthony as our drivers for next year. Takuma performed outstandingly in our first year and I hope that he will be able to build on this with us next year. As you know, Anthony has been with Honda as a test driver for a while now and he brings to us a wealth of experience in Formula One. I believe that he will make a positive impact on the team and that he will fit into the family atmosphere that we have at SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM perfectly. I am looking forward to seeing both our drivers rising to the challenge in the 2007 season.”  We have updated our 2007 F1 Silly Season Page.

Klien gets Honda test drive Klien gets Honda test driveThe Honda Racing F1 Team is pleased to announce its test driver line-up for the 2007 Formula One season. Joining race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will be Christian Klien in the role of Test and Reserve Driver, while James Rossiter steps up to the role of an official test driver.

Christian brings with him a wealth of experience which belies his 23 years of age. He has raced in 46 Grands Prix in the three seasons since his F1 debut at the 2004 Australian Grand Prix, prior to which he worked his way up through the ranks of karting, Formula BMW, Formula Renault and the Formula 3 Euroseries. 

Christian assumes the lead testing role from Anthony Davidson, who has secured a race seat with the Super Aguri F1 Team next season. The Austrian will join the Honda Racing F1 Team when winter testing gets underway from the end of November. In addition to his regular testing duties, Christian will attend Grands Prix with the team and will be on stand-by if required to substitute for either race driver in a Grand Prix at short notice. zzzz

Sporting Director Gil de Ferran comments, "I would like to welcome Christian to the Honda Racing F1 Team as he takes up his new role as our Test and Reserve Driver. Christian has accumulated a great deal of experience in Formula One over the past three years and this should prove extremely valuable to us given the limitations placed on teams by the new testing regulations. We expect Christian to play an important role in the development of the RA107 and we look forward to working very closely with him in the winter, together with James who steps up to be an official test driver for us. 

"On behalf of everyone at the Honda Racing F1 Team, I would like to offer our congratulations to Anthony on his new role at the Super Aguri F1 Team. We are absolutely delighted that Anthony has achieved his long-standing ambition of a Formula One race drive, a role that he certainly deserves. In his six years with our team, Anthony's commitment, loyalty and overall contribution have been crucial to our continued progress and competitiveness. Whilst we are sad to lose such a valuable asset, we wish him all the very best of luck and are pleased to know that he will be remaining within the Honda family."

Commenting on his new role as Test and Reserve Driver with Honda, Christian Klien said, "I am very proud to be joining the Honda Racing F1 Team. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to work with one of the top manufacturers in Formula One and alongside two of the best race drivers. I have three years of F1 experience to contribute and I am looking forward to helping Honda to achieve its ambitions. Equally, I have a great opportunity to progress my own career. I am very much looking forward to driving the car for the first time when winter testing begins."

FIA deny deal bad news for small teams FIA deny deal bad news for small teams(GMM)  A spokesman for F1's governing body has played down suggestions that the deal struck with car manufacturers on Wednesday has left independent teams with no say about rule changes.

A cornerstone of the minimally five year agreement is that regulations will be formulated in 2008 and beyond by holding discussions between the FIA and carmakers at board level.  It means that teams like Williams, affiliated with a manufacturer only via engine supply, are likely to lose their formerly equal voice.

So while the coup unveiled after a meeting in Munich puts the final nail in the GPMA's threatened 'breakaway' championship, it has given the carmaker's body reportedly unprecedented power in the regulatory process.

FIA president Max Mosley and the GPMA's Burkhard Goschel jointly described the deal as a 'fundamental change in the way we go about managing the rules'.

However, asked if the change is to the detriment of the smaller teams, the FIA spokesman told the BBC: "The FIA's role has always been to protect the independent teams and we will continue to do that."

Vettel to do F1 and World Series Vettel to do F1 and World SeriesSpeaking to autosport.com in Macau, Sebastian Vettel said that no final decision had been taken yet about his plans but said that GP2 was looking unlikely for 2007.

"To be honest I am focused now on Macau, and we will have a decision about where I race in the next few weeks," he said. "There is the option to do the World Series by Renault with Carlin, but we will see.

"If I do F1 testing and also GP2 then there is the problem that it runs on the same weekend. It is a bit hard to focus on both, so we will have to see."

Tiago Monteiro goes rallying! Tiago Monteiro goes rallying!SpykerF1 driver Tiago Monteiro has accepted an invitation from the Portugal division of Peugeot to take part in the Casinos do Algarve Rally this coming weekend, the 17th and 18th of November, however he won’t be actually racing, instead the very talented Portuguese driver will be piloting the safety "zero" car, a Peugeot 206 GTi with trophy specifications.

Tiago Monteiro has mainly concentrated on single seater racing during his racing career, however he has also had some experience with Porsche in his first race in the Cup de France races, and later in F3, F3000, Champ Car, World Series by Nissan, Chrysler Viper, Lamborghini Diablo and F1. With test drives for Renault and Minardi and racing for Jordan and Midland/ Spyker, Tiago already has a wide range of experience, but this will be something totally new in and he is expecting it to be quite a very interesting and fun experience. zzzz

"It is more of a new experience than a challenge. With the ‘Zero’ car I will have a number of tasks and responsibilities and for the first time I will have someone at my side telling me what I should do,” he said on his official website. “Paulo Primaz is a good navigator to help me get the most enjoyment out of the car as possible. I thank Peugeot Sport Portugal for this invitation and Carlos Barros who promoted the idea and I hope that our work will be a plus for the rally's organizers and for the public."

Off track, Tiago has also had a number of experiences that stand out in his career…

"Taking part in the races on ice tracks in the Andros Trophy, were the greatest, and in the 24 Hour Off-Road in Fronteira, which was impressive for the complexity of the terrain and the spectacular atmosphere you get in these races. I have been following the latest races in the National Rally Championship and this invitation came about naturally. I always like new challenges and trying out new cars, so this is going to be just great!"

Industry News
George Bush meets with Auto Execs George Bush meets with Auto Execs
Carmakers, FIA, declare peace in F1 Carmakers, FIA, declare peace in F1(GMM)  The war between Formula One's governing body and disaffected car manufacturers is officially over, leading figures declared in Munich on Wednesday.

Max Mosley, who is present of the FIA, and BMW's 'GPMA' bigwig Burkhard Goeschel, told correspondents for major European newspapers - including the Financial Times - that a deal principally about formerly disputed rules has finally been struck.

It follows the carmakers' commercial deal struck last May with Bernie Ecclestone.

"We defined the objectives of road relevance, lower costs and social relevance and then we defined the rules," Mosley and GPMA chairman Goeschel were jointly quoted as saying.

The agreement is for 'at least five years'.

Wurz insists no ’fear’ of Rosberg Wurz insists no ’fear’ of Rosberg(GMM)  Williams' Alex Wurz says he does not 'fear' Nico Rosberg, his first full time Formula One teammate since he left the grand prix grid in 2000.

"I am not going to lock myself in a room so I can hide from Nico," the long time test driver from Austria said.

Wurz, 32, spent five years as McLaren's third driver after he was dropped by Benetton following three seasons as Giancarlo Fisichella's teammate.

He moved to Grove based Williams as their 'Friday' and reserve pilot in 2006, and moves into the race cockpit alongside Rosberg next season to replace Mark Webber.

Referring to Rosberg, Wurz told motorline.cc: "I never had to hide from him so far, for example in the tests.  But I must say that Nico is a really quick driver.

"We will see how it goes next year, but I do not think I will have a problem."

In the interview, Wurz also enthused about Williams' new engine partnership with Toyota, and revealed that the gearbox for 2007 has been jointly developed.

"It is not just a customer engine deal," he insisted.  "We have access to the resources of Toyota and will also exchange information."

No 'Friday' driver for Williams in 2007 - Wurz No 'Friday' driver for Williams in 2007 - Wurz(GMM)  Williams is unlikely to follow BMW-Sauber's lead in using a dedicated 'third' driver in Friday tests next year.

That is the revelation of Alex Wurz, who is moving from the Grove based team's test cockpit to race in 2007.

The 32-year-old Austrian said that the scrapping of third cars in free practice next year means that the regular 'Friday' driver - BMW's Sebastian Vettel aside - is now a thing of the past.

"Probably only the teams who want to 'sell' the third seat will still use a test driver on Fridays," Wurz told 'motorline.cc'.

And with Williams signing Narain Karthikeyan and Kazuki Nakajima as test drivers for 2007, Wurz added: "I don't think Williams will be one of those teams."

He said the three hours of free testing on grand prix Fridays will be 'very useful' for each team's two race drivers.

And Wurz insisted: "I would be very surprised if any top team uses a third driver."

Barrichello not bitter as Schu exits F1 Barrichello not bitter as Schu exits F1(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello says he has no hard feelings at the end of former Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher's grand prix career.

The Brazilian became known as Schumacher's 'number two' during his six-season stint at the Maranello based team, and he revealed that since switching to Honda he hardly had any contact with Schumacher, 37.

"There was never the basis for a close friendship," 34-year-old Barrichello admitted.

Rubens, however, insists that he is not bitter about the role he had to play at Ferrari until last season, including the infamous round of team orders at Austria in 2002.

"It is clear that Michael used the situation to his advantage, in order to win races and world championships," he added.  "In this business you should not expect gifts."

Kovalainen vows to help Renault forget Alonso Kovalainen vows to help Renault forget Alonso(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen has vowed to help Renault to quickly forget about the departing double world champion Fernando Alonso.

The rookie Finn is McLaren-bound Alonso's replacement for the 2007 season, and he is promising to be fully up to speed for his first race appearance in Melbourne next March.

"I will throw Alonso's shoes out the cockpit quickly and replace them with my own," 25-year-old Kovalainen told the German specialist publication Motorsport Aktuell.

He was Renault's test driver this year, and has thus trodden the same route to a competitive race seat as did Spaniard Alonso, who is only three months older than Heikki.

"I know the car and team well," Kovalainen continued, "so the biggest difference next year will probably be the attention of the media."

He promised journalists, however, to expect a more cheerful and approachable interview than with notorious countrymen like Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen.

"Perhaps it is because I come from a different area of Finland to them," said Heikki, who was born in Suomussalmi, in the north.

"It is often said that Finns from the north are more expressive and open than some others."

De la Rosa to stay at McLaren - Dennis De la Rosa to stay at McLaren - Dennis(GMM)  Ron Dennis said on a visit to Spain this week that Pedro de la Rosa will feature in McLaren's driver line-up for 2007.

"He will definitely be one of our drivers," said the team principal, but he refused to be drawn on whether it will be as a test driver or alongside Fernando Alonso in the sister racer.

GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton is also in the frame for the vacant MP4-22 single seater, but McLaren rejected reports on Tuesday that said Mika Hakkinen was eyeing a shock comeback to F1.

Dennis also promised world champion Alonso a winning McLaren for 2007. zzzz

The 25-year-old became the youngest ever back to back winner of the drivers' title this season, but prior to the Bahrain opener had already decided to switch camps after five years with the Renault team.

"We know how hard it is," Dennis said, "but both Fernando and McLaren fully understand what is required to win.

"I believe that he will win with us, and if Alonso did not think the same then he would not have chosen us as his team.

"Fernando is the world champion and I understand the responsibility that we have to give him a car that is capable of winning the championship," Dennis added.

Champ Car Pre-Season testing Champ Car Pre-Season testingA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Any news on dates for off-season Champ Car testing? I heard one place was Laguna Seca. Speaking of Laguna Seca, any chance the new Champ Cars could break the recent F1 track record? Tim Shaughnessy

Dear Tim, The pre-season Champ Car test schedule is slated for Sebring (January 25-27), Houston’s MotorSport Ranch (February 12-13) and Spring Training together with the Champ Car Atlantics at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway (March 9-10 - Atlantics come in on the 7th-8th). Testing will be limited to those specific days so teams must have all their drivers signed by then to give them what little time there is with the new car. Rookies get an extra 300-miles of testing in addition to these days.

As for breaking the F1 record at Laguna Seca, won't happen as car is still too heavy for the amount of HP it has and the soft tire-war inspired F1 tires are much more grippy than the hard Champ Car tires. Had Zonta run with next year's harder Bridgestone F1 tires he would have never broken the Champ Car record. Mark C.

Andy Lally Impressive In Stock Car Test Andy Lally Impressive In Stock Car TestWhen road racing ace Andy Lally makes his transition to stock car racing, one thing is for certain, he will shine. Lally turned his first laps in a stock car last Thursday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks on the circuit.

Lally, the only three-time Rolex Grand Am Champion headed into the test session with an open mind. His main focus heading into the scheduled eight-hour test included several mock-runs, and relaying information back and forth to his crew.

Throughout the day, Lally showed determination and strength in a heavy test guided by ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran and NASCAR driver Andy Belmont. Lally’s lap times were strong enough to put him solidly in the last ARCA RE/MAX Series event held at the 1.5-mile facility. zzzz

“Andy did an awesome job,” said Belmont. “He is so smooth and learns so quickly he drove like a he’s been doing this for a while. His feedback was great and his feel for the car was strong. He is the real deal and I was very fortunate to work with him. We have an additional test scheduled next month and I’m really looking forward to it.”

As for the 2006 Rolex Grand Am Champion, he was eagerly excited about how the test went.  "I had a great time at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with Andy and the guys,” said the 29-year old. “The first time I set my eyes on this place was when I was racing go karts there in the infield. To be able to have the chance to fly into turn one in a stock car and run well was so much fun."

Lally, a native of Georgia added,  "I am trying to get as much seat time as I can I would love to be able to run some ARCA races next year as well as try and make the NASCAR Busch Series road course races, so every bit of testing that I get is a plus. Andy's crew was very helpful to me through out the day with answering all of my questions. I learned a lot and look forward to trying it again."

“When we head back to test I expect to be blown away,” added Belmont, who fielded a full time entry in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this season for various drivers. “I really think he has the credentials to be a great stock car driver and I hope that I’m with him for it.”

Cecotto Jr. fastest at Paul Ricard Cecotto Jr. fastest at Paul RicardJohnny Cecotto junior, son of his well known motorcycle and F1 driver father, set today's best lap times of the two morning and afternoon sessions. Moreover he set the overall best lap time of the two-day FR2.0 test session which took place on the 2D (4,150km)track solution of the Paul Ricard HTTT.

The 13 drivers present at this test session completed almost 10000km. The winter tests are known to be the time where team manager and drivers test each other to try to work together with the same winning goal in the coming season. The future will tell who met who... In the mean time the winter rest time will be welcome.

London Hospital Gets Tips From Auto Racers London Hospital Gets Tips From Auto RacersThis segment, London Hospital gets Tips from Auto Racers, was on the CBS Evening News Tuesday night.
Industry News
Accounting fix lifts Ford profit $1.2 billion over 5 years Accounting fix lifts Ford profit $1.2 billion over 5 yearsFord Motor Co. today said in a federal regulatory filing that it earned $1.2 billion more in profit over the past five years than it previously reported.

The struggling Dearborn-based automaker revised its earnings results over the past five years to correct for an accounting error.

While the automaker earned $805 million between 2001 and last year, far more than the $427 million loss previously reported, the company's results continued to show deterioration in 2005.

It was that poor performance that led the automaker to embark on its most recent restructuring effort, which calls for cutting 44,000 jobs and closing 16 plants by 2012.

Most of the financial gains booked because of the accounting fix were in 2001 and 2002. In the following years, Ford's results were actually worse than reported.
In all, here's how Ford's financial results changed: zzzz

2005: Ford posted net income of $1.4 billion - not the $2.0 billion previously reported.
2004: Ford earned net income of $3.0 billion - not $3.5 billion.
2003: Ford earned $239 million - not $495 million.
2002: Ford earned $875 million - a better performance than the net loss of $980 million reported.
2001: Ford posted a loss of $4.8 billion - not the $5.5 billion loss reported then. More at Detroit Free Press

Kvapil back to the Truck Series Kvapil back to the Truck SeriesWith the departure of Mark Martin, Roush Racing was presented with the question of who would fill his shoes in the #6 Roush Racing Ford in the Craftsman Truck Series. That question was answered this week when Roush signed former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil to pilot the Ford that Martin drove to five victories in 13 attempts this season. “It’s a great opportunity to join an organization that constantly demonstrates its ability to compete successfully in all areas of competition,” said Kvapil. “I’m looking forward to reestablishing a record of excellent competitive results in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and hope that I can continue competing successfully for a long time with Roush Racing.” At this point the #6 Roush Racing Ford is without a sponsor but Roush Racing president Geoff Smith believes that now that a driver has been chosen for the truck, a sponsor announcement will likely follow. Roush Racing PR
SPEED to get inside look at Ganassi Racing SPEED to get inside look at Ganassi RacingUPDATE Reminder:  The first part of this special will be shown Wednesday night at 8:00 pm-9:00 pm ET/PT on SPEED with a replay at 11:00 pm-12:00 am ET/PT.  The second part of this program will be shown on Thursday night at 8:00 pm-9:00 pm ET/PT with a replay at 11:00 pm-12:00 am ET/PT.  Check your local listings for your area.

11/04/06 SPEED will deliver an inside look into the business of racing with a pair of one-hour Racing Incorporated specials focusing on the motor sports operations of multi-team owner Chip Ganassi. Given unprecedented access to race shops and meetings for about three weeks in August, the specials will air Nov. 15 and 16 at 8:00pm/et/pt. SpeedTV PR
Racing News
180 mph rolling wind tunnel to be built 180 mph rolling wind tunnel to be builtWind Shear Inc. has hired a California company to design and build the first 180 mph wind tunnel in North America with a rolling road to test NASCAR race cars, according to a press release.  A unit of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. will build the $40 million wind tunnel for Wind Shear, a subsidiary of Haas Automation Inc. of California, in Concord, N.C., home of Lowe's Motor Speedway and NASCAR's research facility.

Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.  Plans call for building the facility tunnel on 5 acres near Concord Regional Airport. It will have 10 employees and be used to test the aerodynamic properties of motorsports cars and other vehicles.

Tennessee-based Jacobs Sverdrup, contractor for the project, plans to break ground in January and complete construction late next year.  Scenedaily.com

track news
Top Ford exec to serve as honorary starter Top Ford exec to serve as honorary starterAlan Mulally, recently named President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, will serve as Honorary Starter for Sunday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Ford 400 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Mulally will wave the green flag to get the final race of the season underway as NASCAR crowns its 2006 Season Champion.  Additionally, Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford Board of Directors, will serve as Grand Marshal for the event.

“We’re pleased to have Alan Mulally and Edsel Ford take part in our season-ending festivities,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray. “Ford has helped make this season-ending event a “must-see” for all race fans and we’re honored to have them be part of such a high profile motorsports weekend.”

Racing News
Hole in the Wall Gang event to honor Tony Bennett Hole in the Wall Gang event to honor Tony BennettThe year 1926 was a magical one for jazz. In May, in Alton, Ill., Cleota Davis and her dentist husband, Miles, had a baby boy they named after daddy. Four months later, in a North Carolina town with the positively quaint name of Hamlet, the Coltrane family welcomed a newborn named John. And in August that year, in Queens, N.Y., Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born. He probably arrived in the world like everybody else, naked and crying, but on most days since he's worn a natty suit and a winner's smile because, well, he is Tony Bennett, after all. More.....
Motocross star gears up for NASCAR Motocross star gears up for NASCARRicky Carmichael is gearing up for his NASCAR debut, planning to start testing NASCAR cars in December in preparation for a combined Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA schedule in 2007.

Carmichael will be part of the Bobby Ginn-owned MB2 Motorsports development program next season. The 26-year-old motocross star will also compete in some motorcycle races as he begins his transition to stock-car racing.

"I have to do 15 stock-car races next year," he said. "That is my plan next year, 25 the following year and then a full series hopefully after that. I have a three-year deal. It is a long process. I don't know which ones yet."

Carmichael will also compete in 15 motorcycle races next season. More at Scenedaily.com

Foyt to run Manning Foyt to run ManningDuring a media teleconference this afternoon AJ Foyt announced that he will run British driver Darren Manning next year in his IndyCar team.  Manning was fired by the Ganassi team two years ago.

“I’m excited about returning to the IRL with A.J.’s team,” said Manning, 31. “Now everyone is running the same engines and mostly the same chassis so the playing field is more equal. Plus, I have a lot of respect for A.J., and his team is putting a lot of effort into making next year one of their best. I think I can bring some good things to this team.”

tv news
The 'State of NASCAR' The 'State of NASCAR'SPEED will air a special edition of Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday at 10 a.m. ET. The special “State of NASCAR” program will discuss the direction of the sport, covering everything from the Car of Tomorrow to caps on team ownership to the future of manufacturer involvement. Joining Despain will be an expert panel including drivers Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Joe Gibbs Racing team president J.D. Gibbs, DEI Vice President Richie Gilmore, NASCAR journalists Dick Berggren and Godwin Kelly and others.

In addition, Wind Tunnel will air its season finale in its regular time slot Sunday night at 9 p.m. with guests Bob Varsha, Mike Joy and Robin Miller.

Speedway death lawsuit is settled Speedway death lawsuit is settledElyria -- The family of a woman killed when two race cars hurtled into the stands settled a lawsuit Monday against NASCAR and the Lorain County Speedway.  Two spectators injured in the crash also settled.

"Everyone is glad the matter has been peacefully resolved," speedway attorney Donald Anspaugh said after the settlements with Gerald Whyel, Janie Johnson and Kelly Polander.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.  Whyel's wife, Virginia, 64, who was in a wheelchair, died when the 2,000-pound cars left the track at 70 to 80 mph on July 21, 2001.  Whyel's 14-year-old great-granddaughter Kimberly Jones, suffered a broken leg. At least 11 other people also were hurt.

The plaintiffs could not be reached for comment, but their attorney, Benjamin Barrett Jr., said his clients are glad to have closure instead of participating "in a very grueling trial."

Barrett said he hopes the settlement will encourage NASCAR officials to strengthen safety standards for spectators instead of just drivers.  "Their concern has always been for the drivers . . . but they have the power to change things," Barrett said.  More at Cleveland.com 

Webber: Williams nearly ruined my career Webber: Williams nearly ruined my careerMark Webber claims that he was lucky anyone wanted to employ him for the 2007 Formula One season after his spell at Williams failed to live up to expectation.

According to The Australian newspaper, Webber believes that he was 'relieved to get out of Williams alive' when he signed a deal to join Red Bull Racing, effectively the team he left, as Jaguar Racing, to link up with the Grove operation.

"There's 550 people at Williams and no-one's reputation was really enhanced in the last 24 months - and I was included in that," he admitted, "Every year's a make or break - you can very easily derail any career if it doesn't go right for you - and I was very fortunate to come out of Williams unscathed, to be honest." zzzz

"I'm still getting over this year but, after a couple of weeks off, I'll be fully charged and ready to go again," he insisted, "I could have gone another year there and tried to get some results - which I was greatly trying to do - but, in the end, the opportunity at Red Bull was too great to pass up."

"There are a lot of people worried about how the team might do, which is good," he said, "I've got a really good situation at Red Bull. Technically, they are superb and, hopefully, they can work as a team and we can put a good car together.

"If it happens very, very quickly, I have plenty of time [left in my career]. If it doesn't, time might not work in my favor. But I'm confident that that won't be the case. I still believe we can go and get some good results before I'm an old bastard - but we've got to go out there and deliver."

Winston withdraws from motorsport Winston withdraws from motorsportCigarette manufacturer Winston has officially confirmed that it will withdraw from international motorsport sponsorship at the end of 2006 - thus ending its two-year association with the Ten Kate Honda World Superbike and Supersport teams.

"The presence of Winston on the Hondas of Team Ten Kate in the World Superbike and Supersport championships has been an undeniable success: two Supersport world titles (2005/06), with French ace Sebastien Charpentier, and two Superbike titles with world vice-champions Chris Vermeulen in 2005 and James Toseland this year," read a statement.

"Winston is leaving international motorsport and its sponsorship of the World Superbike and Supersport championships in the full knowledge that the brand has gained huge benefits from its partnership with Honda and Team Ten Kate. It will leave an indelible mark on the history of Winston in the world of motorsport.

"Our special and heartfelt thanks for the past two years go to Honda Europe, Team Ten Kate, and to all the riders who have flown our colors and all the fans who have accompanied us."

racing news
Andretti’s memories of Lola CART years Andretti’s memories of Lola CART yearsRarely does a name in any sport almost completely transcend the boundaries of which it competes in. But that is what the Andretti name has achieved throughout the past five decades, becoming a byword for racing excellence on a global scale.

Just as Lola was carving out a winning niche in the US in 1966, so too was Mario Andretti, who sampled his first experience of an Eric Broadley design with the iconic Lola T70 in the 1966 Can-Am series. Although Mario drove various Lolas in the 1970's, most notably the Parnelli T332 F5000 car, it was not until the early 1980's that he and the Newman/Haas team became truly synonymous with the Huntingdon manufacturer.

It proved to be a fruitful partnership. With Andretti and the Newman/Haas team developing the T700 in to a winning proposition. A famous win at the Michigan 500 in 1984 was a precursor to sealing the CART/PPG title that year. However, according to Mario, if it had not have been for the team's penchant for sushi, then the successful union may not have come about!

"We were in a Japanese restaurant - there was Carl, Paul [Newman] and Eric - and that's when the deal went together," Andretti told Lola last week.

"Lola made a commitment to doing their first proper ground-effects car, in '83, and from there to the end of my career in Champ Car, I only drove Lolas.

I think I won 18 races for Lola, and my last National Championship, in '84." zzzz

Andretti, who was recently ordained as a 'Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana' in New York, a special honor to recognize his remarkable career, also paid tribute to Lola founder, Eric Broadley, saying.

"The first Can-Am car I ever sat in was a factory Lola, as teammate to Jackie Stewart, at Riverside in '66. So we go way back and, of course, I developed a relationship with Eric Broadley because he was one of the people you wanted to know. He was one of the great icons of the sport, recognized everywhere, and what he and Lola accomplished was spectacular.

"I look back and have nothing but great fondness for everyone at Lola. Everybody I ever worked with there were great people."

Just as Mario was beginning years of success with Lola CART designs in the mid 1980's, his son, Michael was cutting his racing teeth in Formula Ford with a Haas run Lola.

"I had a long and good relationship with Lola, which started with Carl Haas in Formula Ford in 1982," said Michael. "I won a lot of races, saw a lot of different owners and always respected their winning ways."

From those early days Michael established himself as the best of his generation, taking the 1991 CART/PPG title in the Lola T91/00.

Statistically the Andretti's and Newman/Haas were the most prolific winners in Lola cars. Between them the pair collected a remarkable 46 wins, a staggering 24% of all Lola wins. Mario has achieved legendary status in almost every category of motor racing. He has been Formula 1 World Champion (1978), Indy 500 winner (1969), Daytona 500 winner (1967), four-time Indy Car National Champion (1965, 1966, 1969, 1984) USAC National Dirt Track Champion (1974) and three-time winner of 12 Hours of Sebring (1967, 1970, 1972).

As well as proving to be arguably the greatest ever American racing stars, the Andretti father/son partnership with Newman/Haas and Lola have proved to be incomparable ambassadors for their sport and role models for future generations, which have included Michael's son and Mario's grandson Marco Andretti, currently carving out a top line racing career of his own. More Lola Tribute

NASCAR is dominated by Multi-Car Teams NASCAR is dominated by Multi-Car TeamsNASCAR has over time built itself into one of the biggest professional sports series in the world.  It has record TV contracts that reach people all over the globe.  They have also made attempts at attracting a wider diversity of fans but in most part have failed to capitalize on many markets that have yet to be tapped.  They have a “Diversity Program” that has been mainly used in the past in South Florida at the Homestead race to try to appeal to the large Hispanic population, but without a marquee driver it also was a disappointment.  NASCAR hopes Juan Pablo Montoya coming over from Formula One will change that.  What does that have to do with Multi-Car Teams, you ask? zzzz

NASCAR Family Tradition
Since NASCAR was founded its participants have come from a small fraternity of family and long time racers who slowly over time become a tight-knit group that is hard for outsiders to break in to and some feel that multi-car teams contribute to the problem.  If your brother races in NASCAR then you can too.  Outsiders need not apply.  To NASCAR’s credit they have tried and that means they understand and are not ignoring it totally, but you look at how many families have had two or more drivers racing in America’s top series and it proves it’s all in the family.
Here’s a few family names off the top of my head; Petty, Earnhardt, Labonte, Allison, Baker, Woods, Jarrett, Burton, (breathe) Waltrip, Parsons, Busch, and Sadler.  Let’s not forget the biggest family, the France family, who controls it all.  Now the funny thing is most brothers were not on the same teams.  They had a good sibling rivalry but would help each other only when needed.  Now we get to multi-car teams.

Haves and have-nots
Pretty soon we could have only three or four car owners that would own all the cars in the field giving less opportunity to even fewer drivers.  Teams only need to look as far as siblings to find replacement or new drivers.  New owners to the series face long odds at making it without also being severely outnumbered.  Unless you have the dollars to field at least four cars in Cup competition then you find yourself behind the eight ball.  Unable to invest enough research and development into one or two cars makes even attempting to breakthrough and be competitive a losing proposition.  What we have is mega teams dominating and shutting out the small guy who are actually just like the pioneers of this sport and are now outsiders looking in.  As it becomes more big business and less sport it becomes more apparent that corporate America controls the purse strings and want as much return on their investment as possible and that means mega teams with the resources that come with them.

Roush Racing, the one that started this trend, is now finding itself in a position of maybe stretching resources too thin and having to reorganize and maybe cut back.  What was inevitable was that drivers start competing within the organization accusing one driver of receiving better equipment or manpower and leaving the other with the short end of the stick.  Drivers have huge egos and want the focus on them not their teammate.

NASCAR should, as planned, limit the number of teams one owner can field.  I say two is the limit and NASCAR always listens to me, right? South Florida Motorsports Report

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
McLaren deny reports of Hakkinen return
Staff changes at Williams, Renault
Albers gets married
Newey pushed for Renault power - Webber
Alonso in Lebanon (UPDATE)
F1 chiefs to select site for Indian GP
McLaren Group records profit
Replay Mexico City Champ Car season finale Replay Mexico City Champ Car season finaleA replay of the exciting Champ Car season finale race in Mexico City, Gran Premio Telmex Presentado por Banamex, will be shown on Wednesday at 12:00 pm-2:30 pm ET on SPEED.
Montoya unhappy already Montoya unhappy alreadyIn this Yahoo! Sports article, Juan Montoya talks about what horrible drivers you find outside the top-10 in NASCAR. He complains about the blocking that goes on, and the unprofessional driving. They are out to prove a point and won't hesitate to spin Montoya out at will should he meet with too much success. Later in the article it talks about how horrible Sam Hornish did in his NASCAR debut. And this Monterey Herald article discusses how horrible AJ Allmendinger is doing in NASCAR so far.
PitFit Training Client Wins Champ Car ROY Title PitFit Training Client Wins Champ Car ROY TitlePitFit Training (PitFit) extended congratulations to Will Power, who this weekend clinched the Rookie of the Year award in the Champ Car World Series.

Four out of the top five finishers in the Rookie of the Year hunt are also PitFit clients. Dan Clarke finished 38-points behind Power due to a mechanical failure early in the final race of the season, the Gran Premio Telmex Presentado por Banamex in Mexico City, Mexico. Charles Zwolsman came in third in Rookie of the Year points while Katherine Legge finished the standings in fifth spot.

Power was also honored with the Bridgestone Passion for Excellence Award. The award honors the driver who completes the fastest aggregate race lap around every circuit on the 2006 Champ Car World Series schedule. It is the fourth year the award has been given. zzzz 

“I am honored to be associated with drivers such as Will, Dan, Charles and Katherine,” stated PitFit Training Founder and President, Jim Leo. “Each driver exemplifies the passion and skill to excel in their sport as well as off the track. They have shown themselves each to be true competitors and champions.”

Power completed the season in sixth place in the overall standings.

About PitFit Training
PitFit Training is the recognized leader in developing driver-specific fitness, nutrition and human-performance programs to expressly address the physical and mental demands of the motorsports industry. PitFit was founded in 1997 by Jim Leo. Leo and the PitFit crew provide fitness training to racers in various series including the IRL, Champ Car World Series, Formula BMW, Toyota Atlantics, Indy Pro Series, USAC, Karting and more. To schedule an interview, contact Jim Leo at 317-388-1000 or jleo@pitfit.com. To learn more, visit www.pitfit.com.

Why 22 car limit for Champ Car? Why 22 car limit for Champ Car?A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I looked for this on your great site but did not see it. I heard on the Mexico race broadcast about the number of cars on the grid for next year and they expect it to be  22 cars. That is due to the limiting factor of Panoz - they cannot build more plus spares. The most they can produce is 35, so with spares, 22 is the limit they can support. I count about 26 potentials on your silly season page, so I wonder who might be left literally without a drive? Keep up the GREAT work! Gary Gudinkas, West Suffield, CT USA

Dear Gary, Yes, Kevin Kalkhoven told us that he wanted to limit it to 22 cars in 2007 due to Panoz being unable to supply more.  There is also an issue with some pitlanes not being long enough to hold more than 22.  However, that problem is easily solved.  For those tracks if any car on a team qualifies, say, 18th or worse, the team must share a pit stall for the race.  F1 does it all the time.  They figure out between teammates who pits on one lap and who on the next.  The incentive would be for the teams to qualify well.  Qualifying would take on more meaning.  And guess what, if you or your teammate are too slow in qualifying, your team pays the penalty and both cars share the pit stall during the race.  This would enable Champ Car to start 26 or more cars in every race should they so choose. Mark C.

Rule Changes Announced For Daytona Prototypes Rule Changes Announced For Daytona PrototypesDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A number of rule changes all designed to control costs in the Daytona Prototype category of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve were announced today by series officials and will be enforced commencing with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27 – 28.

The changes include the elimination of traction control and high-cost internal modifications to fuel cells as well as revised Hoosier test tire allocations that should provide teams with more opportunities to use the tires they earn the right to purchase.

“Our continuous goal with all of our racing series is to keep costs in-check and the racing relatively affordable,” said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. “Incredibly close racing and intense competition – and we have seen plenty of that in the Rolex Series the last few years – can drive costs up so it is up to us to do what we can to keep expenses under control.” zzzz

Traction control has been closely monitored by Grand-Am since the Daytona Prototype category debuted in 2003, but the decision to eliminate it was made after a successful first test of the new series-standard Bosch 4.3 Engine Control Units (ECU) at Daytona International Speedway last week. The new SunTrust/Wayne Taylor Racing team recently completed its transition to all new equipment, support vehicles and race staff and set the pace during the test straight out-of-the-box with one of the new ECUs.

The fuel cell changes do away with high-cost internal components that teams were adopting to speed-up refueling on pit stops. Instead, Grand-Am officials have increased the size of the fuel hose restrictor that basically provides for a larger filler hole to allow for quicker refueling.

The new Hoosier test tire allocations will see all teams competing in the Rolex 24 granted the right to purchase six sets of test tires. Another six-set allotment will then be made available to any team that competes in the year’s first three races (including the Rolex 24). The 12 sets of Hoosiers can be used at any time throughout the year but will be impounded by Hoosier on race weekends. All teams must notify Grand-Am two weeks prior to all testing and that information will be posted on grandamerican.com commencing in 2007.

Two more series test sessions will be conducted before the 2007 Rolex 24. A two-day test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway takes place on December 5 – 6 while traditional Daytona Test Days take place January 4 – 6.

Hamilton and de la Rosa to go head-to-head Hamilton and de la Rosa to go head-to-headLewis Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa will have to wait until mid-December to find out who has secured the second McLaren race-seat alongside Fernando Alonso. The two drivers will go head-to-head with one another in Barcelona at the end of November as the team bids to discover which of the two would be better suited to partner Alonso in the 2007 F1 World Championship.

"I think we'll announce something before January, we'll announce our decision sometime before Christmas," McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh told Speed TV.

"Clearly Lewis is a strong contender, and so is Pedro. We're not looking anywhere else. In F1 post-Michael the top echelon is definitely Kimi and Fernando, after that I think there's a reasonable step down."

Clarke doesn't blame team Clarke doesn't blame teamDan Clarke didn't win the Champ Car Rookie of the Year award when his car failed him but Clarke did not blame his crew. Clarke said of his first season, “Thanks to the hard work we put in for the races in Denver, Montreal and Road America, we were breaking records trying to gain points on Will Power, and at Road America, we really put some pressure on him. But, if someone had told me at that point that we wouldn’t even finish the next two races, I wouldn’t have believed it. But that’s what happened. Will ended his season in the best way possible, and I ended my season in the worst way possible.

“It would be easy to fall into the dark side and question what went wrong, and say that car failures that were outside my control cost me races. But I won’t do that. I think we have a great team, and this isn’t just a loss for me…it’s a loss for the crew, as well. They do a professional job, and you can’t knock them. Sometimes, bad stuff just happens and you have to deal with it. I want to work positively towards next year with this team, who have helped me out more times than I can count. I want to thank the entire CTE Racing HVM team. I also want to thank my sponsors, Ticketmaster, The Australian Pink Floyd Show and the Imagine charity, as well as my Chas Cole, my manager, who has stuck with me since 2002.”

Clarke notched up a pole position and a third place podium spot en route to his second place in the rookie of the year standings. He also finished 12th in the overall Drivers Championship.

Another open wheeler lost to NASCAR Another open wheeler lost to NASCAR[Editor's Note:  This is a reminder that the IRL's Road to Indy is truly dead].

Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. announced today that Josh Wise, who was crowned the 2006 USAC National Sprint Car Series champion on Saturday night, will drive in a variety of series for the organization in 2007.

Wise ended his USAC season with a win in the Western World Championships feature Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway.

“Michael Waltrip Racing is proud to be associated with Josh Wise not only for his ability to win championships, but also because of his humble personality,” Waltrip said. “We have already tested Josh in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck a couple of times and have been impressed with his ability to get around the track and provide input to the team.”

“We have plans to keep Josh busy in the off-season to help prepare him for the 2007 season,” Waltrip continued. “Josh will run in a variety of venues for Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA as well as the short track racing that he has brought him so much success.” zzzz 

Representatives from Michael Waltrip Racing were on hand to commend the Riverside, Calif. native’s accomplishments as he celebrated his third USAC title and second National Championship.

“Josh is a quality individual from a quality family and we knew it the moment we met him,” said Ty Norris, General Manager for Michael Waltrip Racing. “I was able to watch him race for the first time this weekend and it's easy to see why Tony Stewart believes Josh is the next great driver to come through the USAC ranks. We're proud to have a two-time USAC champion in our camp."

“The USAC championships are something that I always wanted to accomplish,” said Wise, who defeated the defending series champion - Levi Jones - by 88 markers. “When I came back to the Midwest it was my goal to win a championship in all three divisions. I won the Midget championship last year and came really close to the Silver Crown, but we had some mechanical problems that held us back from it. I really wanted to win the Sprint Car Championship this year to kind of complete that goal.”

It was also the third USAC National car owner title for Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises. Stewart attended the event and joined Wise and his team manager Bobby Barth on the champion podium for the celebration.

“Without Tony, I wouldn’t be where I’m at,” said Wise, who is a two-time Belleville Midget Nationals champion (2003, 2006), 1999 USCA TQ Midget Car Series champion and 2005 USAC National Midget Car Series champion. “He took a shot in the dark on me. I was living on the West Coast with my parents and racing my family car. I got a call from him out of the blue one day to come out to the Midwest and drive for him. The experience I have gotten and the success that I have had with his team has been tremendous.

Now, Wise prepares to make the move to Michael Waltrip Racing. 

“I really want to perform for everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing,” Wise said. “I’m ready to get started. I’ve already tested a NASCAR Craftsman Truck twice. When we tested Chicago not long ago, I had only run an ARCA car twice. The first time I didn’t run many laps and the other time was on a half-mile track. I was nervous about the first truck test because it was a fast track, but the guys made me feel real comfortable and we had a lot of fun. Adapting to a truck is going to be a different challenge because of the principles and the characteristics of the way they drive.”

The 23-year-old anticipates next season and his growth with Michael Waltrip Racing, which is slated to field three full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entries and one NASCAR Busch Series entry next season with Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett and David Reutimann handling the driving chores. Wise has those drivers to rely on for advice as he gets ready for next season.

“The two tests that I’ve done, David has been a huge help to me,” said Wise. “I can go to him and just ask. I can say to David, ‘I’m doing this and is this right or is this wrong?’ He can send me down the right path. Having each one of them to talk to will be a huge asset for me.”

Ex-IRL driver Tyce Carlson selling real estate in Indy Ex-IRL driver Tyce Carlson selling real estate in IndyUPDATE The highest priced home he has listed is Derrick Walker's.  Tyce and Derrick are said to be friends.

11/11/06 Every wonder what ex-IRL drivers do after they drive Indy Cars? More....
NASCAR dream fails Carpentier NASCAR dream fails Carpentier[Editor's Note:  Yet another open wheel driver who went to NASCAR thinking the grass was greener on the other side only to find himself largely unemployed and driving back of the grid cars.]

Patrick Carpentier said that in the final month of his self-imposed season-long sabbatical from racing, he made a decision about his future. Carpentier, a six-time winner in the Champ Car World Series, had planned to move his family to his farm north of Montreal to take what racing jobs might come his way -- a sort of semi-retirement.

He even put up his luxurious Las Vegas home on the market.

But a chance to drive in the former CASCAR Super Series in a one-off deal this past Labour Day weekend convinced him that he still had the racing bug and that driving cars with tops was "really, really" fun.

So the For Sale sign was taken down from his Vegas property and put up on his farm. I have sold all my Montreal property," Carpentier said. "We're back in Vegas."

He said that being hired to drive a full season in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car series with Samax Motorsports in the CITGO Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in 2007 gives him the financial security and the time to chase a partial NASCAR schedule.

So over the weekend he was a regular around the NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup garages at Phoenix International Raceway shaking hands with old foes like Juan Pablo Montoya and Robby Gordon and making contacts with team owners.

"I have talked to a lot of people," Carpentier said as he walked through the busy NASCAR garage area.  I had a couple of meetings already. We have to find something that will be a good fit for me and for the team." More at Autonet.ca

Couple donates $1.3M to Vette museum Couple donates $1.3M to Vette museumA Wisconsin couple donated $1.3 million to the National Corvette Museum in south-central Kentucky, the largest gift in the museum’s history.

The money, from Ivan and Mary Shrodt of Sherwood, Wis., will go toward a planned $14 million expansion, museum director Wendell Strode said. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2009, Strode said.

The Shrodts said they gave the money to the Bowling Green museum because they have no children and an affection for Corvettes. zzzz

“We looked at what we valued and what was important to us,” said Ivan Shrodt, 60.

The museum held a reception in the couple’s honor Saturday night, while the Shrodts were in town to pick up their sixth Corvette, a 2007 black Z06 model.

“We expanded our garage so we can house them,” said Ivan Shrodt, a retired research director for Kimberly Clark Corp. “We drive them all.”

Strode said fundraising efforts to expand the Corvette museum by 50,200 square feet will increase soon. The project calls for a larger store with attached warehousing space, a library archive, an embroidery shop and a Corvette Cafe. Detroit Free Press

Williams F team loses CEO Williams F team loses CEOWilliamsF1 has parted company with its chief executive officer Chris Chapple. Chapple has been with the team for two years and is moving on to "a new challenge."
16-race 2007 Indy Pro schedule 16-race 2007 Indy Pro scheduleThe Indy Pro Series will feature a series-record 16 races in 2007, including seven races on ovals, seven on road courses and two on street courses. The series will compete three times at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2007 season begins March 24 on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and concludes Sept. 9 on the 1.5-mile oval at Chicagoland Speedway. More than $3 million in prize money will be at stake.

The Indy Pro Series, which introduced doubleheader weekends to its competitors in 2006, will expand from two to four doubleheader weekends in 2007, including on the road course at Indianapolis in support of the United States Grand Prix. zzzz

"The 2007 schedule is yet another step forward for the Indy Pro Series," said team owner Sam Schmidt, whose drivers have won two of the last three series championships. "In the last two seasons, we've seen a tripling of the prize money, the addition of doubleheader race weekends as a cost-effective way to add races to the schedule, and the addition of a bonus testing program, giving IndyCar Series teams an incentive to participate as well. This is a well-balanced schedule that will afford us the opportunity to do a lot of racing on a variety of courses."

New venues for 2007 include the 7/8-mile oval at Iowa Speedway and the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"2007 should be our best season yet," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Indy Pro Series. "Our teams have been asking for more road and street courses. Last year, we were able to introduce a 50/50 mix with the ovals, and this year the balance tips just slightly to the road/street side. We're able to maintain our oval heritage with a diverse group of racetracks ranging from less than a mile to the 2.5-mile circuit at Indianapolis while competing at a variety of challenging road and street venues.

"We're delighted to add a third race at Indianapolis. We're still the only series that competes on both the oval and the road course, and now we get another opportunity to showcase our young drivers and teams on the world's biggest auto racing stage."

After a three-race swing through Florida to begin the season, Indy Pro Series drivers and teams will compete in the fifth annual Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Carb Day, Friday, May 25, two days before the Indianapolis 500.

The Indy Pro Series will join the IndyCar Series at The Milwaukee Mile the following weekend in the only back-to-back oval races of the season before returning to Indianapolis for the doubleheader on the road course just 22 days after the Freedom 100.

The series will then alternate events at ovals and road courses through the season finale.

The Indy Pro Series is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Teams compete for more than $3 million in prize money in cars that are second only in speed to the IndyCar Series at most tracks they visit. The complete Indy Pro Series schedule is telecast on ESPN 2 and available through live Webcasts. Recent graduates of this fast and cost-effective series include Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter and Jeff Simmons.

The complete 2007 Indy Pro Series schedule:

Date Track
March 24 Homestead-Miami Speedway
March 31 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
April 1 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
May 25 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (oval)
June 2 Milwaukee Mile
June 16 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course)
June 17 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course)
June 23 Iowa Speedway
July 7 Watkins Glen International
July 8 Watkins Glen International
July 14 Nashville Superspeedway
July 22 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 11 Kentucky Speedway
Aug. 25 Infineon Raceway
Aug. 26 Infineon Raceway
Sept. 9 Chicagoland Speedway

Ducati and Alice extend sponsorship deal Ducati and Alice extend sponsorship dealMotoGP team Ducati renewed its sponsorship agreement with high-speed internet brand Alice for a further three years.

The Alice brand name will appear on Loris Capirossi and Casey Stoner's 800cc Desmosedici GP7 bikes, as they challenge the Japanese giants for the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.

The three-year agreement builds on the relationship Alice has had with the Italian motorbike manufacturer since 2004. The Alice brand remains the Ducati team official sponsor until 2009. Telecom Italia has a long history of involvement with the sport.

Tryson Wins Crew Chief of the Race Award Tryson Wins Crew Chief of the Race AwardPHOENIX, Arizona – Almost every crew chief followed the same pit strategy in the Checkers Auto Parts 500, that is, except for Pat Tryson.  Tryson was one of the few daring crew chiefs who opted to take only two tires on the last round of pit stops.  His decision brought the No. 6 AAA team a finish just outside the top-five and earned him the WypAll® Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.

After spending the majority of the race outside the top-10, Tryson earned Martin’s track position the easy way – he spent less time on pit road.  When the caution waved on lap 253, Tryson called for a two-tire change on his driver’s Ford Fusion, a move the shot Martin into the lead for the restart.  Martin took advantage of his newfound real estate and held on to finish in sixth-place.  zzzz

“Track position was everything,” said Tryson.  “We knew that it was going to be tough to pass on the track, so we made our move in the pits.”

“We made the most of it,” said Martin about the two-tire stop.  “I’m real proud of this team and real proud of our run.  We could hold our own against those guys once everything settled in and we might have even done a little better with more green flag, but it was a great team effort by a great team.”

Three judges, including a member of the local media, Robbie Reiser and a Wypall® Wipers representative, agreed that Tryson deserved Crew Chief of the Race honors.  “Pat (Tryson) made the biggest difference to his team today,” said Reiser.  “If he didn’t call for that two-tire stop, Mark (Martin) wouldn’t have finished in the top-10.  Because he rolled the dice, he ended up having a good day. He had faith in his driver and knew what his car was capable of and made the right decision.”

Montoya just did not fit in Montoya just did not fit inJuan Pablo Montoya's premature departure from formula one this year was a 'disruption', McLaren's chief executive Martin Whitmarsh has said. As Colombian Montoya prepares to make his debut this weekend in NASCAR’s Cup division, Martin Whitmarsh said to SpeedTV.com that "We can try and apportion blame and responsibility there, but it didn't work out. Whether it was 90 per cent his fault and 10 per cent ours or vice versa -- he didn't really blend in. He didn't really blend in at Williams either, but we hoped we could achieve more with Juan than we did."
Racing News
Andrettis further Playboy ties Andrettis further Playboy tiesMichael Andretti recently married an ex-Playboy playmate.  Now son Marco is getting in on the Playboy act as well.  In the front of the latest Playboy magazine issue where they have the photos of the latest playboy mansion party, they include photos from the event where you wear your PJ's. Who is included? Michael and Marco in their PJ's with none other than Hugh himself.
Bridgestone welcomes new teams Bridgestone welcomes new teamsBridgestone Motorsport today confirmed that it has finalized contracts for the provision of Bridgestone Potenza F1 tires with Renault F1. McLaren, Honda, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Bridgestone expects to see the new teams run on Bridgestone tires for the first time at Circuit de Catalunya at the end of this month.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport commented: "We are extremely pleased that we have now reached agreements with the six remaining teams for the supply of Bridgestone Potenza tires in the FIA Formula One World Championship. We are very much looking forward to testing and racing with them all and developing good technical, personal and commercial relationships.

"This year has been an extremely positive year for Formula One and we look forward to working with the teams and the FIA to ensure F1 has an exciting future. Our role will be to provide safe, high performance tires of the highest quality and to ensure fairness of service to all the teams. We are therefore also particularly pleased that all eleven Formula One teams have recently cooperated with each other to agree a balanced program of testing for 2007 in the interests of fairness and cost efficiency."

Team USA
Team USA Drivers Put on a Clinic at Brands Hatch Team USA Drivers Put on a Clinic at Brands HatchBrands Hatch, England –– Two talented American teenagers put on a clinic today when the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy wrapped up with a triple-header race meeting at Brands Hatch.

Dane Cameron, 18, from Sonoma, Calif., produced a stunning display to win all three races. Fellow Californian Robert Podlesni, 19, from Thousand Oaks, was almost equally impressive in earning two third-place finishes and then rounding out the six-race mini-series in magnificent style for the pair of 2006 Team USA Scholarship winners by making a pass just yards from the finish line to annex second place in the final race.

Cameron, who finished a strong second in this year’s Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Championship (behind highly rated 2005 Team USA Scholarship winner J.R. Hildebrand), comfortably clinched the Autumn Trophy spoils, while Podlesni, this year’s Pacific F2000 Championship presented by Hankook winner ended up fourth in points. zzzz

"Today was absolutely fantastic, it couldn’t have gone any better," said Cameron. "The first race was really enjoyable as I had to hoist my way up through the field after falling back to sixth on the start. I was able to make some good passes and work my way into second quite quickly but [polesitter] Aaron Steele had already pulled out a sizable lead. I was unable to make up the gap until a late-race safety car came out and put me right on his gearbox again. On the restart Aaron made a slight mistake going into Paddock [Hill Bend] and got a little loose and it was all that I needed to take the lead going into Druids. I was able to hold him off and take my second victory and seize the series points lead.

"In the second race I got a jump on the start and passed Aaron on the outside of Paddock. I was able to keep a small gap until the safety car came out late in the race. I got another good restart and kept Aaron behind me and won the second race of the weekend and extended my lead in the points. I also set fastest lap in race two which gave me the pole for the final race of the day. I got another good start and was able to build a decent gap and get into a rhythm and turn fast laps as consistent as I could with no mistakes.

"To win all three races here today is just amazing. To come to a series where I have never seen the tracks or the cars in person before and win four of the six races is just unbelievable," continued an elated Cameron. "This is a huge boost to my career and to my program for 2007. I would really like to thank Jeremy Shaw and everyone who supports the Team USA Scholarship. It has been an amazing trip and a great experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life. It has been a dream come true for me."

Podlesni was similarly thrilled, especially following an impressive charge in the final race which saw him snatch second place from Steele on the run to the checkered flag.

"The final race was one of the best in my career," reckoned Podlesni. "I started third and got around [Luciano] Bacheta after a few laps with a move up the braking zone into Druids. There was a large gap to Aaron Steele, but I decided to save my [push-to-pass] boost and put my head down. I caught him in eight laps without using any of my boost and started to battle with four to go. I knew he was slower coming on the front straight, but being allowed to block, he was too fast for me to make a run on the outside into Paddock. I was confident I had the speed to get by, and on the last lap, coming out of the last corner, I got on the inside, hit the boost and moved him aside for the second spot. I wound up conserving too much boost, and I had 12 seconds left at the end of the race, but it was one of the best races I have had."

Team USA Scholarship supporters include Mockett.com, a Torrance, Calif.-based producer and supplier of "Fine Architectural Hardware For Your Fine Furniture," American Honda, Snap-on Tools, "Stars of Karting," Highcroft Racing, Sparco USA, RACER magazine, FormulaCar Magazine, Speedstar Management and an array of past Scholarship winners including Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, A.J. Allmendinger, J.R. Hildebrand and Memo Gidley.

For complete results, go to www.formula-palmer-audi.com then click on Autumn Trophy, then results.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Alonso in Lebanon
Webber predicts test return for Schu
Montoya exit was 'disruption' - McLaren
Tester wants race debut in 2007
Wurz defends Williams' engine switch
Lauda Jr says F1 not priority
Work begins on Spa's F1 upgrade
Racing News
Quotes of the Week Quotes of the Week
PAUL TRACY, Forsythe Championship Racing, Champ Car driver
"I don't think he's [AJ Allmendinger] thought about anything except the money," says Tracy. "Genuinely I wish the kid luck. But he's going to realize it's a lot harder than he was expecting.  [He's] gonna be facing drivers who have gone through the whole system of ARCA, Truck, Busch and how are they going to react to some open-wheel guy with a cocky attitude coming straight into Cup? They're automatically going to be thinking, 'Okay, I'm gonna show this little f****r what's up.'  AJ's just got in this deal where he's making a lot of money, but if he doesn't start making the race, he's gonna get spat out real quick. He might not have thought this far ahead before, but I bet you he's thinking about it now."  (Paul Tracy believes former teammate A.J. Allmendinger didn't really want to go to NASCAR but in the end, the money played a huge factor in his protégé’s decision)
NEIL MICKLEWRIGHT, General Manager, Forsythe Championship Racing, Champ Car team
The real reason Paul Tracy crashed his souped-up golf cart was "because his race engineer Eric Zeto didn't put on the right setup for the conditions. He was going 70 mph and failed to negotiate a turn. I hear the injury cost him $10,000 out of pocket because he forgot to renew his health insurance plan. I told him he needs to have his mother move in with him to take care of him," Micklewright said with a smile.  (Referring to Paul Tracy's accident with his ATV in Las Vegas which resulted in him missing the season ending Champ Car race in Mexico City)
VIVIENNE TRACY, Mother of Paul Tracy, Forsythe Championship Racing, Champ Car driver
"Neil's comment about I should move in to take care of him [son, Paul Tracy] - I'd take care of him with a slap up the side of the head!" (Referring to Paul Tracy's accident with his ATV in Las Vegas which resulted in him missing the season ending Champ Car race in Mexico City)
tv news
Gordon to appear on Monday Night Football Gordon to appear on Monday Night FootballUPDATE Reminder: Jeff Gordon will make a special guest appearance in the Monday Night Football booth.

11/10/06 Jeff Gordon will make a special guest appearance in ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the Carolina Panthers Monday in Charlotte.  Gordon, the winningest active drive and the current all-time money leader, will join ESPN’s Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser in the second quarter to discuss racing, football and other topics.

The ESPN telecast will also feature taped highlights of Theismann and sideline reporter Suzy Kolber at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.  The popular MNF personalities are expected to get behind the wheel for a thrilling ride of their own Saturday night at nearby Lowe’s Motor Speedway as part of their visit to Carolina.

Fans who attend the Monday Night game will also have the opportunity to see a specially-wrapped ESPN stock car that was created as part of NASCAR’s return to ESPN and ABC in 2007.  The vehicle will be parked alongside ESPN The Truck in an open lot at the intersection of S. Mint and Quincy Streets in Charlotte, just a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium.

Mexico City postscript Mexico City postscriptMexican fans probably will not forgive Katherine Legge for awhile. She and Mexican favorite Mario Dominguez got together on the front straight as the race got underway leaving Mario with no front wing and suspension damage. Any chance of winning was gone. Everyone in the massive main straight grandstands was booing and yelling at her every pit stop she made during the race. After the race was over, she walked along pitlane and fans still were yelling and shouting offensive words. She just responded by waving her hand, greeting them, in a way of appreciation. Perhaps by the next Mexico City race in 12 months time the Mexican fans will have forgiven her.

Seems like Will Power is now very popular with the Mexican fans, especially with some girls. There was a sign in the grandstand above pitlane that said “Will Power, make me a baby.” Every time Power walked around the pitlane and garage there were girls trying to reach him. Now that he has become Rookie of he Year, and finished in third position in the race, many Mexican fans will remember him. Great race for the Aussies as well.

Despite the fact that rain fell during the race, most fans stayed in the grandstands as many donned rain ponchos. The race was one of the best races that has been held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the modern era. Fans were clapping enthusiastically after the race, and screamed “Oohs” and Aahs” every time Bourdais seemed to pass Wilson was just unbelievable. It is a certainty that almost all the attending fans left the track happy, despite the disappointment of the Dominguez and Legge incident. Despite the rain the race had just one yellow flag. The driving today was superb.

It is unknown what will happen with the future of Mexican David Martinez. For his first race he drove clean and fast that resulted in ninth spot on Sunday, one ahead of his teammate Buddy Rice. It wasn’t that easy for him, after losing some positions early he came back strong to finish in the top 10. A deserved top 10 for him after jumping into a Champ Car that has much more power than the other racing cars he has been driving until now. After the race many fans stayed to see him waving a Mexican flag, and cheered wildly. Hector Serrano reporting from Mexico

track news
Fontana track removes RVs Fontana track removes RVsCalifornia Speedway officials announced that the track's infield has been reconfigured to improve sightlines for those sitting in the grandstands and for television viewers. "With the revised infield RV footprint, fans both in the grandstands and watching at home will notice a dramatic improvement in their ability to see the action on the backstretch," California Speedway President Gillian Zucker said in a news release.

The first row of backstretch RV parking has been removed, allowing an addition 50 feet after the inside retaining wall and the 150-foot skid pad. The new open area will be fenced and will not be accessible to the public.

The reconfiguration removed 157 of the 1,800 RV parking spots. Zucker said she informed each displaced RV owner of the decision, saying the move was necessary "on behalf of the NASCAR driver, our safety workers and [RV owners'] extended NASCAR fan family." scenedaily.com

Bridgestone rain tires carry Bourdais to epic win Bridgestone rain tires carry Bourdais to epic winRacing on the same set of Bridgestone Potenza wet-condition tires by his own choice for nearly half the race, Sebastien Bourdais demonstrated his true champion’s ability by pulling off a last-lap pass of Justin Wilson and driving to victory today. Bourdais’ Newman/Haas Racing crew bolted on the set of rain tires on the 34th of 66 laps around the historic Rodriguez brothers circuit, and Bourdais took it from there. Prior to his final pit stop on lap 57, Bourdais radioed his crew to leave the tires on and erased a 4.6-second deficit before sliding inside Wilson for the winning overtake.

It is the seventh win of 2006 for the three-time series champion and 23rd of his four-year Champ Car career – all the triumphs on Bridgestone tires. This one is truly unique, however, because all three types of Bridgestone tires available today – the standard and alternate slicks, and the rain tires – were used to achieve the win. zzzz

* From Sebastien Bourdais, #1 McDonald’s Ford/Lola/Bridgestone: “The Bridgestone wet tires were very consistent. It was a really tough deal because half of the track was dry, half of the track was wet or nearly so for a long time. When we put the wets on, I was pretty sure it was going to stay like that the whole time. Consistency was the key and the tires really delivered. Great job to Bridgestone. … (On the decision to keep the same set of rain tires during his last pit stop) “The tires were a bit worn then. It was just damp conditions, no standing water, so the block (of grooved tread on the tires) was lower and it was the best compromise. And then we were still able to do some donuts and leave some Bridgestone rubber here on the Mexico City track.”

* Bridgestone Tire Performance Summary: Bridgestone Motorsport brought proven tires for both wet and dry conditions this weekend. The standard dry-condition Potenzas ran earlier this season at Cleveland and Edmonton, while the alternates were used as the alternate spec at Portland and Montreal. The rain tire choice for this weekend was the more durable of the two that Bridgestone currently produces, and as Bourdais’ 32-lap achievement on one set demonstrated, they were up to the demanding challenges in wet and drying conditions.

* From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: “What a fabulous way to close the season, with the top two drivers in the series battling to the very last lap for the victory. Both should be congratulated; Sebastien for going all-out to win and Justin for pushing it to the end under difficult circumstances with his broken wrist. And we couldn’t be more proud of the Bridgestone tire performance today, particularly the rain tires. They delivered sure-footed response in the wet and held up incredibly well in drying conditions. For Sebastien to put nearly 90 miles on a set, all the while pushing the car and his Potenzas to the limit, is the greatest testament we can think of for just how excellent these tires are. It’s been another tremendous Champ Car season with plenty of great memories, but we’re already looking ahead to more thrills in 2007.”

Montreal Busch tickets go on sale Montreal Busch tickets go on saleIt's now a reality! Since 9 a.m. Monday morning, tickets to attend the inaugural Montreal NASCAR BUSCH Series race are on sale. More than 40 mighty cars, packing 750 hp each, will invade the renown Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, on August 3rd and 4th, 2007. As of today, fans can purchase tickets in a select number of stands, located in the most exciting portions of the circuit, all bearing the names of legendary NASCAR heroes.

"Our intention is to make NASCAR's return to Canada, after a 50 years hiatus, a resounding success," announced Martin Spalding, General Manager of Stock-Car Montréal and promoter of the event. "We will pull out all the stops to make this event attractive to the numerous NASCAR fans from Quebec, Ontario and South of the border. Actually, everyone is invited. We are convinced that the presence of more than 40 BUSCH Series cars - as well as an impressive crop of GRAND-AM ROLEX series cars - on one of the world's most demanding road courses, should result in a show that NASCAR fans will greatly appreciate. Take a minute to imagine these cars rushing in to the Senna Corner - needless to say that the display will certainly be impressive and spectacular!". zzzz

"Should anyone need more reasons to attend the event, here are four: the NASCAR legend, the fan-driven attitude of the sport, the pleasure of being in Montreal during the summer and most importantly the caliber of the on-track spectacle. As for true-blue local and international NASCAR fans, the beautiful and challenging Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, as well as the Downtown area festive atmosphere during a race weekend are more good reasons to book seats now. After a Montreal-style NASCAR weekend, fans will be heading home already planning for 2008." concluded the organization's spokesman.

The NASCAR BUSCH race scheduled for Saturday afternoon will be the main attraction. In addition, spectators will get a special Friday treat: the sleek GRAND-AM ROLEX Series Daytona prototypes.

To order event tickets by phone, fans can call (514) 397-0007, 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or order online anytime at www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca

Champ Car Mexico attendance Champ Car Mexico attendanceThe following attendance figures were announced by the Mexico City promoters for this weekend's Champ Car race:

Fri:        31,239
Sat:        62,714
Sun:     104,422
3-Day: 198,375

Power wins prestigious Bridgestone rookie award Power wins prestigious Bridgestone rookie awardTeam Australia’s Will Power has clinched the prestigious Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award in his rookie Champ Car season. Right, good sport Dan Clarke congratulates Power on winning the rookie of year award.

Power only needed to complete one lap at speed in his Aussie Vineyards Team Australia Lola in today’s final round of the Bridgestone presents the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford in Mexico City to win the award.

Ironically, Power had to wait six laps to clinch the title after a first-lap incident on the main straight saw the first five laps start under full course yellow.

Power also clinched the Champ Car Rookie of the Year award early in the race after his closest opponent, Dan Clarke, withdrew after seven laps with mechanical problems.

The Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award honors the driver who completes the fastest aggregate race lap around every circuit on the 2006 Champ Car World Series schedule. zzzz

That is, if all 14 tracks were laid end to end, the driver with the fastest cumulative lap, based on his or her best race lap at each track, earns the Bridgestone Passion for Excellence Award.

This year marks the fourth time the award has been presented, but the first time someone other than three-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will be the recipient.

The award winner receives a custom-made painting by Jim Swintal, motor artist and Champ Car Clerk of Course, depicting a highlight moment from the driver's season.

For this year, Swintal has selected the Surfers Paradise race where Power collected his first pole position as a Champ Car driver. Power will be presented the painting at the Champ Car banquet this Saturday night in Indianapolis.

“Congratulations to Will and the entire Team Australia group for earning the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award,” said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport.

“They truly earned it because it is won over the course of an entire season, not just a race or two.

“A driver must be able to complete at least one lap at speed in each race to qualify, which eliminated some other potential front-runners this year.

“Will was impressive in his ability to avoid that pitfall and post consistently fast laps at all 14 events this season. I am particularly impressed that, not only did he win the Passion For Excellence Award, but he did so as a rookie."

It has been a big month for Power, who took his first Bridgestone pole award in front of his home crowd at the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia three weeks ago.

“First of all I have to thank Bridgestone for their fantastic support of Champ Car and their commitment with things like the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award,” said Power.

“There is little doubt that awards like these belong to the whole team and I have to thank everyone who has been a part of the Team Australia program in my rookie season.

“It’s the team’s efforts which have enabled me to be consistent this season and be in the running for such an award.

“I cannot wait to see Jim Swintal’s painting next Saturday night. It will certainly be one of the most unique trophies I have ever received.”

Seen in Mexico City - V Seen in Mexico City - VThe attendance in Mexico City Sunday for the Champ Car race was larger than last year and larger than the NASCAR race held in March.  Whereas the NASCAR race had many empty seats, the front grandstands Sunday were completely full and the only grandstand that was empty was one of the general admission stands on the back near the esses.

Meanwhile Paul Newman was seen talking with Lee van Dam (right) who works for the race promoter of the Assen, Holland race.  Van Dam tells us Newman is very popular in Holland and he asked Paul if he would be willing to help with their race promotions.  They exchanged business cards.

We caught (L to R in photo to left) Champ Car team owners Keith Wiggins (CTE Racing-HVM), Eric Bachelart (Mi-Jack Conquest Racing), Carl Haas (Newman/Haas Racing) and Derrick Walker (Team Australia) in a happy mood.  Do these team owners look worried about the future?  Absolutely not.  In fact all are very bullish on Champ Car's future.

Seen in Mexico City - IV Seen in Mexico City - IV
  • With two Mexican drivers racing this weekend in Mexico City, many in the Mexican press are making bold statements about Martinez’ skills. As everyone knows David defeated newcomer to Forsythe and Champ Car, Buddy Rice, and regular Mexican in Champ Car “Super Mario” Dominguez (as the press calls him) on both weekend qualifying sessions.
  • The broken wrist of Wilson, and the courage he is showing by winning the Bridgestone Pole… the Mexicans are amazed.
  • The battle between Wilson and Bourdais - despite winning the championship last month Bourdais could not hide his disappointment for loosing P1 on the grid to Justin Wilson. Both have been pushing real hard this weekend…
  • The battle between Power and Clarke - everyone is wondering who will become ROY after the race. Power is starting inside the second row and Clarke is just a row behind him. The 2006 ROY battle is closer than anyone could expect by the beginning of the year.
  • The Face of Champ Car final, which took place here in Mexico, was won by Miss Lauren Gardner who became Miss Grand Prix of Denver last August. The whole week the Face Of Champ Car battle has captured the media attention.
  • The DP01 was on track yesterday - The press, and the fans, were impressed. After the demo run the Mexican fans were clapping, and shouting “Pupo!!!, Pupo!!!” - Roberto Moreno's nickname.
  • The reserved grandstands are sold out, every ticket for a grandstand has been sold, so let’s wait and see how many pay for a General Admission ticket.
  • Monterrey, Mexico native, David Garza racing in Champ Car Atlantics next season, expressed his optimism of racing for US RaceTronics next year. Hector Serrano reporting for AutoRacing1.com
Team USA
Race 1 win for Cameron; takes FPA Trophy lead Race 1 win for Cameron; takes FPA Trophy leadDane Cameron took a big step toward winning the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy, after taking victory in a dramatic opening race at Brands Hatch this morning.

Starting fourth, Cameron lost a place at the start but quickly dispatched Robert Podlesni, Luciano Bacheta and Gino Ussi to move into second. After runaway leader Aaron Steele's advantage was wiped out by a full-course caution, Californian Cameron made the most of the restart to dive up the inside of Steele at Druids and hang on for the victory.

"It's a really fantastic victory!" exclaimed the Team USA Scholarship driver. "I really want to win the Autumn Trophy and to take the points lead with only two races to go is just great."

Steele had to settle for second, but was philosophical in defeat: "I expected the safety car, but I was a little gutted. I just made a slight mistake on the restart and Dane got me on the inside."

Further back, Podlesni's third was his first FPA podium: "I knew I could do it, and once I got into third I went easy on the tires to save them for later on."

The race proved a disaster for erstwhile points leader Luciano Bacheta, after contact with Podlesni early on caused damage to his machine. He later rejoined to finish 16th, but has now fallen to third in the point standings with two races remaining this afternoon.

Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy - Round Four Result
1. Dane Cameron, 26 Laps
2. Aaron Steele, +0.271
3. Robert Podlesni, +2.369
4. Gino Ussi, +6.838
5. Stefan Wilson, +7.128
6. Chris Bell, +7.441

Industry News
DMB paying $300 million for GM proving ground DMB paying $300 million for GM proving groundScottsdale-based DMB Associates Inc. apparently has inked a deal with General Motors Corp. to buy its 3,200-acre Desert Proving Ground, sources say.

The land likely is going for $75,000 to $100,000 an acre, putting the cost at around $300 million, sources said. GM has been looking to sell the land as residential development moves further east. The deal, said GM spokeswoman Janine Fruehan, calls for a purchase and three-year lease back..

"The Phoenix market is under such unprecedented suburban growth and reaching our perimeter resulting in highly valuable land," she said.

Light rain in Mexico City Light rain in Mexico CityRain fell all last night and this morning it continues here in Mexico City.  The track is wet and we may see a wet race today.  The forecast calls for a 40% chance of scattered showers.  The morning warm-up will most likely be run on a damp track and crews will have to guess on what setup to run for the race, a dry, wet or intermediate setup.  For rain the teams will mount softer springs, change the camber of the wheels, put more wing in the car and of course mount the rain tires.  While the reserved grandstands are sold out, the rain will hold down the General Admission walk-up crowd.  Some of the grandstands on the backside are for General Admission seating.
Mexico City tidbits Mexico City tidbitsDavid Martinez is the first rookie to make his Champ Car debut by earning a top-10 starting spot since last year’s season opener, when eventual Rookie of the Year Timo Glock and Ronnie Bremer each did it in Long Beach.

Sunday’s Gran Premio Telmex Presentado por Banamex was declared a sellout Saturday by track promoter OCESA as all grandstand seats were sold. There are still general admission tickets available for the race, which is expected to see well over 100,000 fans for the season finale.
Three rookie drivers qualified in the top six for tomorrow’s event, marking the first time that first-year drivers have done so since 2003 when Tiago Monteiro (2nd), Sebastien Bourdais (4th) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (5th) turned the trick right here in Mexico City. Champ Car

Earnhardt and Gordon can’t stop NASCAR plunge Earnhardt and Gordon can’t stop NASCAR plungeDale Earnhardt Jr.'s presence, along with Jeff Gordon's, in the 2006 Chase For The Nextel Cup was supposed to make a difference in TV ratings a year after the duo's much-ballyhooed absence last season. Earnhardt Jr., asked to explain a lag in ratings this year, quipped Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, "Well, I don't know. I told everybody I knew to tune in."

 He added, "Obviously it has to do with the newness wearing off the Nextel deal. That big splash is gone. Maybe the Cup isn't what we all think it is. Maybe it's not quite as exciting and dramatic as we believe it to be."

As the composition of NASCAR's fan base changes, so too, in Earnhardt Jr.'s mind, does the attention span in some cases.

"I think the new fans find the races quite a bit too long," he said. "I think they'd be more interested in seeing 300-mile races than 500-mile races. There is that point in the middle of the race where it's sort of pointless. We're just kind of cutting laps is basically what we are doing to get to the end. We have our core fans, but a big percentage of the sport now is the new guys coming in watching the sport. Maybe the sport needs to be polished a little bit for that." Scenedaily

[Editor's Note: We have been saying for a long time that NASCAR has ruined a good thing by over saturation of their prime market. And yes the races are too long and put the audience to sleep. The younger generation has zero interest in sitting in front of a TV screen for hours to watch 1950's technology stock cars drive around in circles for 4 hours. They would turn on a PC well before they would sit in front of a TV. As the older generation of NASCAR lovers dies off, NASCAR's popularity will continue to plunge in its current format.]

A1GP embarrassed again, cancel quals too A1GP embarrassed again, cancel quals tooUPDATE #2 After enduring a difficult first two days that saw very little on-track action, the A1GP was able to complete both the sprint and feature races on the streets of Beijing, China on Sunday.  Unfortunately the cold temperatures and smog filled air kept the attendance low (we hear under 10,000) and the race was a financial bloodbath.  Of course after losing some $200 million in its first year of operation, the series' future may eventually be at risk if there is no end in sight to the financial difficulties.  There has been talk of taking the company public so the series owners could pass their losses off to the unsuspecting stockholders.

11/12/06 "My first impression of the track is that it's obviously bumpy - in fact it's the second bumpiest track I've ever driven on and you really have to define your line by where the bumps aren't! It's tight and there's not a lot of room for passing but everyone's in the same boat. Fourth is okay but I was hoping to be in the top three." James Hinchcliffe

11/11/06 Beijing: Following overnight modifications to the Jingkai street circuit, the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's inaugural Beijing race weekend got underway today with the third official practice session. After 25 minutes of action, the 90-minute long session was suspended following a red flag resulting from a manhole cover coming loose on the racing line between turns three and four.

The aerodynamics of the A1GP car creates an extreme suction effect, pinning the cars to the track during high speed racing. The manhole lids had been welded to the rim, utilizing a method that would cause less damage to the existing infrastructure, however the force of the suction proved too strong, fracturing the welding and loosening the lid. The remainder of the practice session and this afternoon's four qualifying sessions have been cancelled while work is undertaken to secure all the manhole covers on the circuit.

A proven method used during the Durban street race back in January this year will be used to secure the manhole lids. Bolts will be drilled into the gap between the manhole lid and rim and screwed into place, locking the 15 kilo lid into place. Silicon seal with then be injected around the bolt to ensure it is securely positioned. The work will be carried out this afternoon and the A1GP cars are expected back on track tomorrow.

With the cancellation of all four qualifying sessions, the grid for tomorrow's sprint race will be determined by the fastest lap times set in today's practice session. All A1 Teams will be given an extra session on track ahead of tomorrow's Sprint race.

A1 Team Driver No. laps Time Gap first
1 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 1.00.093 17 -
2 Mexico Salvador Duran 1.00.583 15 +0.490
3 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.00.942 17 +0.849
4 Canada James Hinchcliffe 1.01.103 15 +1.010
5 Germany Nico Hulkenburg 1.01.275 14 +1.182
6 Brazil Raphael Matos 1.01.306 22 +1.213
7 South Africa Adrian Zaugg 1.01.361 15 +1.268
8 Great Britain Oliver Jarvis 1.01.404 19 +1.311
9 Czech Republic Tomas Enge 1.01.555 22 +1.462
10 Switzerland Neel Jani 1.01.711 13 +1.618
11 Ireland Michael Devaney 1.02.810 14 +2.717
12 New Zealand Matt Halliday 1.02.852 14 +2.759
13 USA Phil Giebler 1.02.916 13 +2.823
14 Australia Karl Reindler 1.02.999 12 +2.906
15 China Cong Fu Cheng 1.03.275 17 +3.182
16 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.04.246 10 +4.153
17 Singapore Christian Murchison 1.05.897 9 +5.804
18 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.06.038 9 +5.945
19 India Armaan Ebrahim 1.06.056 14 +5.963
20 Lebanon Basil Shaaban 1.06.389 14 +6.296
21 France Nicolas Lapierre 1.09.662 5 +9.569
22 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.10.263 15 +10.170

Dutch team wins Beijing street sprint race Dutch team wins Beijing street sprint raceA1 Team Netherlands have became the fourth different team to win a round of the 2006/07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen secured a lights-to-flag victory at the Jingkai street circuit, just under 1.5secs from A1 Team Mexico's Salvador Duran and Italy's Enrico Toccacelo.

Following a difficult opening two days of the A1GP Beijing, China round, Bleekemolen roared away from pole position to pull out a one second lead by the end of the first lap from Duran and Toccacelo. The Italian tried to squeeze through the inside of Duran going through Turn Eight, the tight hairpin at the end of the back straight, but had to settle for third as Duran kept the racing line. Further down the racing order A1 Team France made a bold move on Lebanon to move up to 20th position.

France and Italy's charges were however halted the next lap when the safety car was deployed following a spin out of the final corner from South Africa's Adrian Zaugg. With the Vulindlela car in a dangerous position, a rescue vehicle was sent to recover the machine to the pit lane. zzzz

When the safety car pulled off, it was a true Sprint to the finish with only four minutes of racing action remaining. Toccacelo resumed his pursuit of Duran, but ran out of time and was forced to settle for third, Italy's first podium finish of the year. Behind the top three, Canada, Germany and Brazil completed the top six, Matos posting Brazil's best season result so far. France gained two more positions on the final two laps to seal 17tth overall.

Delighted with his win, Bleekemolen commented, "It was really great. We started from pole so you know you have a good chance of winning, especially on a street race. I was able to create a small gap to Salvador after the safety car and was able to control it. In the morning I was fast and I had a very heavy car but did not know how quick we were compared to the others. I now think we have a good chance for the next one."

Second place Duran added, "Everyone knows these sort of incidents happen on tracks like this, but I think for us the main thing is we have been quick all weekend and are in the lead of the points which for Team Mexico is very good. All my team have worked perfectly and done a great job and deserve this second place in the race. It is only the driving I have to do and I am happy to do this with such an awesome team behind me."

Toccacelo, who now starts the Feature race from third position on the grid, said, "That was a really good start for me and I was also faster than Salvador Duran but here it is impossible to overtake. I just had to be careful and not crash as it is easy to do that here. We have to wait and see what happens in the Feature race as I may be able to get by - you never know what happens."

Winners Netherlands will now start the 70-minute Feature race from pole position. Mexico will complete the front row, with Italy and Canada on row two. The race will start behind the safety car at 15.00 local time.

  A1 Team Driver No. Laps Gap first
1 Netherlands  Jeroen Bleekemolen 15 
2 Mexico  Salvador Duran 15 +1.464
3 Italy  Enrico Toccacelo 15 +2.311
4 Canada  James Hinchcliffe 15 +3.375
5 Germany  Nico Hulkenburg 15 +3.943
6 Brazil  Raphael Matos 15 +4.400
7 Great Britain  Oliver Jarvis 15 +7.377
8 Czech Republic  Tomas Enge 15 +8.397
9 Switzerland  Neel Jani 15 +8.849
10 New Zealand  Matt Halliday 15 +9.265
11 USA  Phil Giebler 15 +10.422
12 Australia  Karl Reindler 15 +11.920
13 China  Cong Fu Cheng 15 +13.216
14 Malaysia  Alex Yoong 15 +17.027
15 Indonesia  Ananda Mikola 15 +18.479
16 Singapore  Christian Murchison  15 +20.659
17 France  Nicolas Lapierre 15 +20.802
18 India  Armaan Ebrahim 15 +22.253
19 Lebanon  Basil Shaaban 15 +22.783
20 Ireland  Michael Devaney 15 +23.247
21 Pakistan  Nur Ali 15 +47.541
22 South Africa  Adrian Zaugg 2 laps 13 laps

Zanardi gets BMW seat fitting Zanardi gets BMW seat fittingPhotos of Alex Zanardi getting his seat fitting in the BMW Sauber F1.06 cockpit at the Swiss Hinwil factory.  Zanardi will test the car soon.

Martinez beats Rice in qualifying Martinez beats Rice in qualifyingTwo first-time Champ Car drivers are teammates for this weekend's Mexico City Champ Car race, but it was the Mexican, David Martinez, who never drove a car with as much HP as a Champ Car who got the better of his more experienced teammate Buddy Rice.

Martinez continued to impress today at the Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex by placing his #3Telmex/INDECK machine ninth in the grid for his first ever Champ Car race.  It was a solid run for the Mexican rookie who spent the last two years developing his skills in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and who only has a total of three days of experience driving Champ Cars.

Indy 500 Champion Buddy Rice had a strong run during morning practice that placed him comfortably in the Top 10 but qualifying did not deliver the same results as Rice struggled with his red alternate tires and was only able to achieve the 14th position on the grid.  Sunday’s race will also mark his debut in the Champ Car World Series.

Team USA
Team USA Scholarship Drivers Well-Placed Team USA Scholarship Drivers Well-PlacedBrands Hatch, England –– Dane Cameron and Robert Podlesni continued to impress today in qualifying for the final three races for the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy which will take place tomorrow on the short but challenging Brands Hatch “Indy” circuit in southeast England.

Cameron, 18, who lies just two points out of the series lead following the opening three races one week ago at Snetterton, will start fourth for the first race on Sunday and on the outside of the front row for Race Two.

Teammate Podlesni, 19, who lies fourth in the points table, showed his spurs by snaring third on the grid for Race One, although in the second session he wound up a disappointing sixth after being unable to find a clear lap. zzzz

The pole for both races was taken by 17-year-old Englishman Aaron Steele, who has a whole season of racing in Formula Palmer Audi under his belt. Current points leader Luciano Bacheta, 16, will start second and fourth for the first two races on Sunday. Grid positions for the series finale will be set according to fastest lap times from Race Two.

The two Americans were able to benefit from the time they spent driving the Spirit Formula Ford car yesterday, and although the FPA car was significantly more powerful and boasted much more downforce, the previous experience undoubtedly stood them in good stead.

“The Brands Hatch circuit is even more enjoyable in the Formula Palmer Audi car than it was yesterday in the Formula Ford,” said Cameron, from Sonoma, Calif. “It is very quick and it flows very well, so is quite a lot of fun on a flying lap.

“Most of today was spent watching the skies as it started off wet for the first practice so I was very happy with the extra time that we got on the track yesterday. In the first practice I was ninth quickest, getting to grips with the car on the wet track. For my liking, the car was much too stiff for the rain so I struggled a little bit for grip, but I now know what I want to change on the car if it goes wet again.

“The first qualifying session was my first time on the track in the dry and it went reasonably well,” continued Cameron. “I know that the car was fast enough to run the pole time, but it is extremely tough to get a clear lap with 22 cars on a track where the laps are only 44 seconds, so I ended up fourth on the grid for Race One. That is the hardest part of qualifying at this track, trying to find a gap.”

Cameron worked the traffic rather better in the second session and was able to post the second fastest time: “I know that there is still more time left but it is very difficult with traffic,” he said. “I wish that I could have gotten a pole for one of the races but I have some good starting spots to challenge for wins tomorrow.”

Podlesni, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., elected not to run the entire first session, which was held in drying conditions, in order to preserve his one set of wet tires in case of rain tomorrow. He then set the third-fastest time in first qualifying after holding the pole for much of the session.

“The first qualifying went very well,” he related. “The times are so close here that finding that clear lap, or series of laps, is very difficult. The second qualifying did not go quite as well. I pulled in the pits twice, and slowed on the track three times in order to try to gain space to get one or two clear laps. It’s tough. Everyone has to deal with the same thing, but this time I did not manage it as well as the first session. I ended up sixth, so I need a good start in Race One to get out of traffic. The track is very short and all the leaders are very close. The race is poised to be a close battle, and I'm looking forward to a lot of clean hard racing.”

Team USA Scholarship supporters include Mockett.com, a Torrance, Calif.-based producer and supplier of  “Fine Architectural Hardware For Your Fine Furniture,” American Honda, Snap-on Tools, “Stars of Karting,” Highcroft Racing, Sparco USA, RACER magazine, FormulaCar Magazine, Speedstar Management and an array of past Scholarship winners including Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, A.J. Allmendinger and J.R. Hildebrand.

For complete results, go to www.formula-palmer-audi.com then click on Autumn Trophy, then results.

Seen in Mexico City - III Seen in Mexico City - IIISpotted Graham Rahal talking to Kevin Kalkhoven, right, most likely about Rahal's Champ Car deal for next year.

Left, Steve Johnson and Kevin Kalkhoven with Lauren Gardner, the 2006 winner of the Face of Champ Car.  Photos courtesy of Champ Car

Kenseth Denies Harvick’s Attempt at History at Phoenix Kenseth Denies Harvick’s Attempt at History at PhoenixMatt Kenseth’s crew had been iffy on his first two pit stops at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, but during his last stop with just over 30 laps to go his crew was stellar, sending Kenseth into the lead and on his way to his second win of the year and his first NASCAR Busch Series victory at PIR.

Kenseth had captured his fourth Busch Pole of the season earlier in the day, then had the dominant car during the first half of the 200-lap Arizona Travel 200. However his crew surrendered his lead on his first two pit stops allowing Shane Huffman and Clint Bowyer to carry on a spirited battle for a lead over some 15 laps before Bowyer eventually overtook the rookie who drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

But Bowyer and Huffman had difficulties in the pits during the last key stop following the eighth caution of the race. Bowyer stopped on the air hose after coming dangerously close to sliding out of his pit while Huffman’s crew had trouble tightening lug nuts. Both errors cost each driver valuable time and track position. zzzz

Kenseth, on four fresh tires and enough fuel to finish the event, exited pit road in first place with 2006 NASCAR Busch Series champion Kevin Harvick just behind. Kenseth’s Roush Racing teammate, Carl Edwards, opted to take only two tires and the move cost him during the race’s waning laps.

Kenseth cemented his win during the final two cautions of the race. With 22 laps to go, his restart, although a bit slow, was good enough to hold off the hard-charging Harvick who was aiming for his record-tying 10th win of the season. Harvick clanged the wall with six laps left chasing Kenseth down, effectively ending his opportunity to catch the leader. A final caution one lap later resulted in a Green-White-Checkered sprint to the finish, but Kenseth saved his best restart of the day for last and pulled away from the field for the win.

Harvick finished second, followed by Denny Hamlin in third, Bowyer in fourth and Edwards in fifth. Huffman posted a solid eighth-place finish among a top-10 that featured eight full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers.

The NASCAR Busch Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway next Saturday for the Ford 300, the 2006 season finale. Harvick and team owner Richard Childress will officially be crowned the driver and owner champion for the season following the race.

Fin Car Driver Laps Status
1 17 Matt Kenseth 203 Running
2 21 Kevin Harvick 203 Running
3 20 Denny Hamlin 203 Running
4 2 Clint Bowyer 203 Running
5 60 Carl Edwards 203 Running
6 18 J.J. Yeley 203 Running
7 41 Reed Sorenson 203 Running
8 88 Shane Huffman 203 Running
9 33 Ron Hornaday Jr. 203 Running
10 5 Kyle Busch 203 Running
11 00 Johnny Sauter 203 Running
12 16 Greg Biffle 203 Running
13 19 Aric Almirola 203 Running
14 38 Jason Leffler 203 Running
15 64 Jamie McMurray 203 Running
16 61 Steve Wallace 203 Running
17 01 Jay Sauter 203 Running
18 06 Todd Kluever # 203 Running
19 1 Mike Wallace 203 Running
20 42 Juan Pablo Montoya 203 Running
21 43 P.J. Jones 202 Running
22 59 Stacy Compton 202 Running
23 27 Casey Atwood 202 Running
24 25 Ashton Lewis Jr. 202 Running
25 10 John Andretti # 202 Running
26 95 Stanton Barrett 202 Running
27 90 Stephen Leicht # 202 Running
28 36 Brent Sherman 201 Running
29 35 Regan Smith 201 Running
30 98 Erin Crocker 201 Running
31 22 Kenny Wallace 194 Accident
32 50 Danny O'Quinn Jr. # 194 Accident
33 4 Auggie Vidovich 186 Running
34 77 Bobby Labonte 185 Running
35 14 Willie Allen 183 Accident
36 39 Sam Hornish Jr. 183 Accident
37 11 Paul Menard 166 Accident
38 47 Jon Wood 166 Running
39 99 Michael Waltrip 165 Running
40 0 Kertus Davis 120 Transmission
41 78 Jerry Robertson 115 Engine
42 66 Scott Wimmer 103 Accident
43 23 Brian Keselowski 22 Accident

Dominguez speaks Dominguez speaksMilenio Diario, an important newspaper here in the country of Mexico, played a game of words with Mario Dominguez.  In Mexico it is a very popular game between interviewers and celebrities that is played on TV shows and other media which is to answer with the first sentence or word that comes to mind about a topic that is presented. This is what Mario answered to Milenio’s topics.

Gerald Forsythe – he does not stand for his word.
Paul Tracy – I like him.
A.J. Allmendinger – he did a huge mistake leaving Champ Car.
Podium – Australia came at good moment.
Dale Coyne – I will never forget what he did for me.
2006 Season – I hope to close strong here in Mexico.
2007 Season – I hope to run in Champ Car.
Houston – A victory that went away of my hands.
A slip – maybe Houston.
A success – maybe Australia.
Failure – This year has been not a failure. It has been hard strikes. Failure is my try to race in Formula1.
Mexico City Grand Prix – The most important race for me.
Best of 2006 – to find Mexican sponsors to support me in my way to Rocketsports.
Worst of 2006 – my departure from Forsythe.
Payback – here in Mexico. I am taking payback of what happened here last year. Hector Serrano

Mexico City sold out Mexico City sold outThe Mexico City promoter has just announced to the media here in Mexico City that there are no grandstand seats left for Sunday's Champ Car race.  It is a sellout, including the additional grandstands they have opened up on the backside of the circuit near the esses that were not opened last year.  Only General Admission tickets remain.
Forsythe withdraws Tracy from Mexico City Forsythe withdraws Tracy from Mexico CityUPDATE #2 Paul Tracy's mother Vivienne Tracy writes, Neil's comment about I should move in to take care of him - I'd take care of him with a slap up the side of the head! Vivienne Tracy

11/11/06 Forsythe Racing boss Neil Micklewright told AutoRacing1.com today (with a smile) that the real reason Paul Tracy crashed his souped-up golf cart was "because his race engineer Eric Zeto didn't put on the right setup for the conditions. He was going 70 mph and failed to negotiate a turn. I hear the injury cost him $10,000 out of pocket because he forgot to renew his health insurance plan. I told him he needs to have his mother move in with him to take care of him."

11/06/06 Forsythe Championship Racing announced today that it will withdraw the #3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola entry from the Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex due to the injury suffered by Paul Tracy during an ATV accident at his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. Tracy’s withdrawal will end a streak of 136 consecutive Champ Car starts, which ranks him seventh in the all time list. The Team will focus its efforts on its two new rookie drivers, Buddy Rice and David Martinez, who will both make their Champ Car debuts at the Mexico City event, November 10th – 12th.

Paul Tracy
#3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola
“This story has gotten blown way out of proportion.  Basically what happened is that I was out with some friends playing around with an ATV that I own and it just got a little out of hand, I flipped it over and it landed on top of me.  The first three or four days I was making a lot of progress and I thought that I was going to be ok for Mexico.  I was doing therapy and some exercises and I think I just overdid it, I just went backwards really fast and the injury got worse. 

I’m very disappointed obviously.  It’s been a long season, I’ve done Grand Am races, NASCAR races, I’ve done a lot of testing, so for now the best thing is to relax and let my shoulder heal, I don’t want to risk hurting it even more.  Dr. Trammell reviewed my X-rays and he recommended that I stay out of the car for a few weeks so the bone can heal properly. 

I’m disappointed for the Team, it’s been a long and unsuccessful season and we wanted to end it on a high note.  But now the focus is next year, I know that we are going to come back with the new car and we are going to be super strong and challenging for the Championship.” zzzz

Neil Micklewright, VP of Team Operations
“We decided that the best course of action was to withdraw the car and give Paul some time to recuperate and get ready for next season.  Buddy and David are both making their Champ Car debuts this weekend and we want to give them our undivided support and attention to help them make their first race as successful as possible.”

Dr. Terry Trammell, M.D.
“Paul suffered a fracture to his right shoulder blade which hasn’t responded as well as we hoped.  After reviewing his x-rays I told him that I didn’t feel it was safe for him to drive this weekend and I recommended that he stay out of the car for a few weeks so he can continue his rehabilitation and achieve a full recovery.”

Kenseth wins Busch pole Kenseth wins Busch poleMatt Kenseth won the pole for the Arizona Travel 200 NASCAR Busch race today at Phoenix International Raceway.  The Roush Racing driver turned a lap of 132.144 mph to earn the pole at the 1-mile oval.  Teammate Carl Edwards will start on the outside of the front row, with a lap of 132.110 mph. It will be the Busch debut for 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Hornish, who will start 27th.
US RaceTronics Expands to Two-Car Atlantic Team US RaceTronics Expands to Two-Car Atlantic TeamWith the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship season behind and 2007 on the horizon, US RaceTronics (USRT) is happy to announce Monterrey, Mexico native David Garza and Mukilteo, Washington driver Carl Skerlong will drive for USRT in the ’07 Champ Car Atlantic Championship. USRT Team Owner Shane Seneviratne made the announcement alongside former USRT driver David Martinez and new driver David Garza at the Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex, where Martinez is competing with the Forsythe Championship Racing Champ Car team. “2007 will open up a new chapter for the team in which we will expand to a two-car team. I am looking forward to the challenge. It will be a good opportunity to bring in additional quality people and keep on building the solid foundation that we’ve been building. Most of the 2006 crew will remain in place and we will add to what is already a strong team,” commented Seneviratne.

Both Skerlong and Garza are accomplished young racers who have won championships in their careers prior to joining USRT and are ready to make the leap into Atlantics. “Carl and David are looking to further their careers and USRT is happy to be a part of that. They are very mature and focused and I know that they will succeed,” added Seneviratne, who now enters his third year as Team Owner in the Champ Car Atlantic series after a successful tenure at Dorricott Racing where he led that team to three championships as Team Manager. zzzz

Skerlong, who is currently racing in the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Winter Championship, will pilot the # 24 USRT entry in 2007. His most recent accomplishment is winning the 2006 Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship and doing so in dominating fashion. Skerlong went on to win 16 of the 19 races with 16 starts from the pole. In 2005 Skerlong was the Formula TR 1600 champion, with 14 wins in 16 starts, 13 of those were from the pole. He was also awarded the Rookie of the Year honor for that year. Skerlong got his start in racing in the Rotax Max karting circuit. “I’m very excited to have finalized my plans for 2007 with USRT so soon after winning the 2006 Formula TR 2000 Championship,” declared Skerlong. “It’s great to join a team with the pedigree and track record of success that USRT has. The Champ Car Atlantic series is undoubtedly one of the best proving grounds in open-wheel racing in North America. I’m looking forward to furthering my relationship with Shane and the rest of the team as we begin our preparations for next season.” The Champ Car World Series has been the peak for many careers that started with the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, for such drivers as Bobby Rahal, Jacques Villeneuve, Jimmy Vasser, and A.J. Allmendinger. Skerlong hopes to follow that group. “Running in a series as prestigious as Champ Car I feel there is no better place to showcase my potential as a young American driver,” stated Skerlong.

Piloting the # 4 entry, Garza will join USRT in 2007 after a successful 2006 Formula BMW season that saw him earn two pole positions, two podium finishes, and seven top-10 results out of 11 races. Garza was awarded the Formula BMW Scholarship for 2006. For his efforts in 2006, David, who is also a friend of former USRT driver David Martinez, was fourth in the rookie championship and ninth in the overall Formula BMW championship standings. Garza won numerous awards and championships in karting before his Formula BMW season. The 18- year-old is elated about joining USRT and the Champ Car Atlantic series. An excited Garza stated, "Joining USRT for the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic season is extremely exciting. I have been working with the team for the past few tests and am surprised and delighted to have the opportunity to become part of this team.” Garza went on to say, “I am looking forward to next year. I’m hoping to place top-10 in points next year and fight for the Rookie of the Year Championship. My goals are optimistic for my first year in the series and I firmly believe in the team and trust that they will give me a competitive car next year. I will work my heart out at every race and give 100% every time I am behind the steering wheel," said Garza.

USRT will continue its testing program with both Garza and Skerlong, upon Skerlong’s return from Europe. Sponsorship announcements for 2007 are forthcoming and will be announced prior to the start of the season.

Mexico City: Top-5 stay same Mexico City: Top-5 stay sameThe five fastest drivers in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Mexico City Champ Car race - led by Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson and Will Power - maintained their position at the top of the charts in Saturday morning's practice session, which was interrupted several times by minor accidents.

Pos Driver # Lap Time
1 S. Bourdais 1 1:26.231
2 J. Wilson 9 1:26.417
3 W. Power 5 1:26.437
4 B. Junqueira 2 1:26.682
5 R. Briscoe 10 1:27.268
6 O. Servia 6 1:27.479
7 A. Tagliani 15 1:27.729
8 D. Martinez 3 1:27.755
9 B. Rice 7 1:27.839
10 A. Ranger 27 1:27.910
11 N. Philippe 4 1:27.922
12 J. Heylen 11 1:27.987
13 M. Dominguez 8 1:28.119
14 C. Zwolsman 34 1:28.174
15 K. Legge 20 1:28.231
16 D. Clarke 14 1:28.272
17 A. Pizzonia 18 1:28.404
18 A. Wirth 19 1:29.441

Tracy says Allmendinger only thought about money Tracy says Allmendinger only thought about moneyPaul Tracy believes former teammate A.J. Allmendinger didn't really want to go to NASCAR but in the end, the money played a huge factor in his protégé’s decision.

In his column for autosport.com, Tracy says, "I don't think he's thought about anything except the money," writes Tracy. "Genuinely I wish the kid luck. But he's going to realize it's a lot harder than he was expecting.

"(He's) gonna be facing drivers who have gone through the whole system of ARCA, Truck, Busch and how are they going to react to some open-wheel guy with a cocky attitude coming straight into Cup? They're automatically going to be thinking, 'Okay, I'm gonna show this little f****r what's up.'

"AJ's just got in this deal where he's making a lot of money, but if he doesn't start making the race, he's gonna get spat out real quick. He might not have thought this far ahead before, but I bet you he's thinking about it now."

Racing News
McDonald's enlists Paul Newman McDonald's enlists Paul NewmanMcDonald's has enlisted Paul Newman to help raise money for its Ronald McDonald House Charities in a campaign running next week and promoting World Children's Day on Nov. 20.

A spot breaking today and airing through Nov. 19 shows close-ups of children smiling and playing. After a few scenes, the voiceover from Newman begins: "When you think of it, children have always been able to put a smile on your face. Why not do something to put a smile on theirs?"

The ad encourages viewers to contribute a dollar at McDonald's between Nov. 10-19 to support the charitable arm of the Oak Brook, Ill., company. AdWeek

Corvette wins racing engine of year Corvette wins racing engine of yearCOLOGNE, Germany - GM's small-block V-8 added another accolade to a long list of honors when Corvette Racing's LS7.R was named the Global Motorsport Engine of the Year at the inaugural Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany, on November 9. The race-prepared LS7.R engine, which shares its architecture with the production LS7 small-block V-8, propelled Corvette Racing to its fifth GT1 class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18, 2006. The 7.0-liter engine also powered the Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars to the 2006 American Le Mans Series manufacturers, drivers and team championships with a perfect reliability record.

"Winning this award is another milestone in the history of the legendary GM small-block V-8," said GM Racing director Mark Kent. "The championship-winning LS7.R has evolved to a very high level of development, yet it retains the longstanding virtues of compact size, simplicity, reliability and high specific output that have made the GM small-block V-8 the world's most successful production-based racing engine." zzzz 

The 2006 Race Engine of the Year Awards were organized by Race Engine Technology magazine. The editors made three nominations in each of four categories: Grand Prix Engine of the Year, Global Motorsport Engine of the Year, North American Race Engine of the Year, and Alternative Power Race Engine of the Year. The magazine then invited votes from 50 key race engine engineers representing the spectrum of motorsports.

"It is doubtful if ever have so many experts voted for a competition engine award," said Race Engine Technology editor Ian Bamsey. "Each of the category winners was a genuine selection by an impressive jury of peers."

The Global Motorsport Engine of the Year award was given to GM engineer Roger Allen, engine manager for Corvette Racing. Herb Fishel, former director of GM Racing, accepted the award on behalf of Allen and GM Racing at the ceremony. The Corvette Racing program was conceived in 1996 under Fishel's guidance.

"Winning this prestigious award spotlights the technical expertise of GM Racing and the world-class team of partners and suppliers who have contributed so much to the success of the LS7.R engine," said Allen. "Winning at Le Mans, winning the ALMS championships, and winning this award are all tributes to the teamwork of Pratt & Miller Engineering, Katech Engine Development, and all of the LS7.R component suppliers. On a personal level, it's an honor for me as an engineer to have designed engines that have won the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 24-hour, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

The LS7.R is the heir to the GM small-block V-8's winning tradition that began in 1955. The small-block V-8 is the foundation of the hot rod and high-performance industries and the cornerstone of racing series around the world. GM has produced approximately 90 million small-block V-8 engines with a combined output of 27 billion horsepower.

GM Powertrain developed the production 505-horsepower LS7 small-block V-8 that powers the Corvette Z06 supercar using many competition-derived components and design features. The LS7 bristles with race-inspired technology from Corvette Racing, including titanium connecting rods and inlet valves, a dry-sump lubrication system, CNC-ported cylinder heads, a forged steel crankshaft, and a big-bore aluminum block with plate-honed cylinders. GM Racing

ING to sponsor 12 GPs in 2007 ING to sponsor 12 GPs in 2007(GMM)  Renault's new title sponsor will also have a trackside presence at up to twelve grands prix in 2007.

A spokesman for ING last month admitted that the Dutch bank has signed an agreement with F1's trackside advertising agent Allsport Management for circuit sponsoring 'at several formula one races in key ING markets'.

The Dutch magazine 'Formule 1 Race Report' now adds that ING's deal involves sponsorship at twelve GPs next year, including naming rights in Australia.  A spokesman for the Amsterdam based company, however, denied reports that it will also be title sponsor at Spa in Belgium.

Nevertheless, ING hoardings will feature trackside at Spa-Francorchamps, as well at the races in Malaysia, Spain, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, China and Japan.

Dodge and Davis settle out of court Dodge and Davis settle out of courtA settlement has been reached in the 2003 lawsuit by Dodge against car owner Bill Davis. In February, Dodge won a $6.5 million settlement against Davis, who campaigned Dodges in the Cup series when he began developing Toyota’s Tundra NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Davis has dropped his appeal of the judgment and all parties involved apparently agreed to settle and put the issue behind them. SpeedTV.com
Dodge Presents Viper SRT10 to Kahne Dodge Presents Viper SRT10 to KahneDodge Motorsports presented #9-Kasey Kahne with a new Dodge Viper SRT10 sports car at Phoenix International Raceway Friday morning to mark his circuit-leading six victories and spot in the Nextel Chase for the Championship. The Dodge Viper SRT10 Roadster and Coupe, with "Race Inspired, Street Legal" styling and performance, are the ultimate American sports cars and icons of the Dodge brand. The Dodge Viper SRT10 Roadster and Coupe offer an 8.3-liter 510-horsepower V-10 engine with acceleration of 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the low 12-second range. The distinctive styling features Dodge's signature crosshair grille design, deep-cut side scallops, swept-back fenders and lowered hood lines. Clear!Blue PR
Benson scores fifth truck win Benson scores fifth truck winFrom first to worst and back to first again summed up Johnny Benson’s fifth victory of the season Friday night in the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Benson, who’d earlier in the day set a new qualifying record of 132.660 mph, didn’t make a lap before losing the air off his Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota and spinning in Turn 3.

Fortunately, there was no contact and Benson was able to pit and restart in the 35th and last position.

From there the former NASCAR Busch Series champion methodically worked his way back through the field and by lap 100 had closed to the tailgate of Mark Martin’s leading Scotts Ford. zzzz

The pair battled fiercely until the 121st lap when Benson stuck the nose of his Toyota under Martin’s left flank and grabbed the lead as the pair exited the backstretch dogleg.

He held on through the final three of a race record 11 cautions to edge Martin by .429 second – about two truck lengths. Benson’s first victory since September in New Hampshire was worth $54,025. He averaged 86.221 mph as caution consumed 43 of the race’s 150 laps.

“I couldn’t believe the thing would spin. I thought it would stick,” said Benson of the first lap incident while racing Bill Davis Racing teammate Mike Skinner, the outside front row starter. “I felt like we could get back into the top 10 then a top five would be reasonable.

“We picked up five spots on pit road and it kept getting better and better. We had a great fight with Mark. He was loose; I was loose and it benefited the guy on the backside.”

Martin, who narrowly missed a sixth season victory saluted his adversary.

“Well, Johnny earned it,” said Martin. “Our strong suit was long green flags. We got that early but we didn’t get it late.”

Benson’s recovery staved off elimination from the championship chase – at least for a week. At one point, he trailed leader Todd Bodine by more than a clinching 191 points. By evening’s end, however, the margin was down to 112 from a previous deficit of 137.

Bodine started third and finished his Lumber Liquidators Toyota fourth a spot behind Skinner’s Toyota Tundra Toyota. Any finish of 28th or better will give Bodine his first NASCAR national touring series crown.

The race saw nine lead changes among six drivers. Martin headed the most laps – 82 of the 150.

Matt Crafton’s Menards/Energizer Chevrolet completed the top five finishers after battling Martin for the lead during the first quarter of the race. Former race winners David Starr and Jack Sprague were sixth and seventh followed by David Reutimann, Kyle Busch and Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader David Reutimann.

Just three trucks failed to finish matching the track record for fewest DNFs in a race.

The 2006 finale, the Ford 200, will take place next Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Gene stays on with Ferrari Gene stays on with FerrariMarc Gene will continue as a Ferrari test driver next year, the team confirmed on Friday.

The 32-year-old Spaniard has been with the Maranello squad since the end of 2004, and before that performed a similar role for Williams.

However, Ferrari admitted Gene is likely to have a reduced workload due to new testing restrictions in 2007.

“He will remain at our disposal if required to be involved in testing,” a team spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“He will be with us next year, but with the reduction in testing it is less likely that he will do too many kilometers.”

David Martinez talks to AutoRacing1.com David Martinez talks to AutoRacing1.comWe caught up with Mexican rookie David Martinez Friday in Mexico City to get his take on how his debut was going.

Q: How does it feel driving a champ car and taking it through the banked Peraltada?

DM: Well, I am getting a good feel with the car and it is working great through that corner, but it is too dangerous.
Q: Is it really as dangerous as it seems?

DM: Yes it is. The chicane curve before the banked curve is slow and tight, if they had not put in the chicane the Peraltada would be far too dangerous for these cars.
Q: How does it feel racing in front of your fans in Mexico, is the pressure great?

DM: Well, there is some pressure but the fans are doing great cheering me up, they always do. There is no pressure at all. Driving the Champ Car is indeed more powerful and I have to take it as it is since I don’t have any more time to get used to it.

Q: David, what are your plans for next season? Is there any chance for you to get a drive in Champ Car next year?

DM: Yes, there are always chances but for the time being they are kind of slim.

Q: So would you like to be in a Champ Car next season?

DM: Of course, if I can drive for a competitive team I will. I can of course drive for any team that hires me.
Q: Telmex - are they are going to help you find the drive?

DM: Perhaps, they are a great sponsor which is supporting me for this race, as they usually do, and we will see what happens for next season. Hector Serrano for AutoRacing1.com

TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Inside Drag Racing
12:00pm-12:30pm ESPN2
12:30pm-1:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR RaceDay Phoenix
12:30pm-2:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Phoenix Checker Auto Parts 500
2:30pm-7:00pm (L) NBC
Champ Car Mexico City
3:00pm-5:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Phoenix
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NHRA Pomona Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
7:00pm-10:00pm (SDD) ESPN2
The SPEED Report
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Ed Hinton (Motorsports Writer)
Mike Stefanik (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour)
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Drivers Non-Stop
10:00pm-11:00pm ESPN2

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
A1GP back on track after embarrassment A1GP back on track after embarrassmentUPDATE #2 After a challenging first day for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Beijing, the event is firmly back on track to create history in China. The first ever street circuit in the country's capital will witness the cars at full speed on a track that has been modified to cope with the A1GP cars and gain the approval of the FIA Safety Delegate.

The third official practice session of the A1GP, China, is scheduled to begin at 11.30 local time and this will be the first time all 22 drivers will be able to drive at full speed after the first session on Friday was suspended after just a few laps. The A1GP organizers have worked through the night to resolve concerns that emerged over turn eight, the hairpin bend that proved a little too tight for the cars to freely negotiate.

The track has been altered, shortening the main straight and moving the hairpin bend to a wider turning circle, doubling its width to 48.5 meters and giving the A1GP cars more room to maneuver. The FIA Safety Delegate returned to the track this morning to approve the changes.

A1GP Chief Operating Officer, David Clare commented: "What has happened overnight is an exhibition of team work. The FASC has pulled out all the stops to make sure this event goes ahead as planned. Without their invaluable input we could not have completed the work necessary to gain approval from the FIA. This is a groundbreaking event and we never expected it to be easy. Now we are looking forward to an exciting qualifying session and racing which is the hallmark of the series."

The session will be extended to 90 minutes giving the drivers additional time to familiarize themselves with the circuit ahead of this afternoon's qualifying at 14.15. A1GP PR

11/10/06 To alleviate the turning radius of the hairpin issue, A1GP organizers have cut the length of the circuit and the main straight and pulled the hairpin back to where they have enough street width to widen the hairpin.

11/10/06 Today's two practice sessions for the A1GP Beijing, China have been cancelled to allow organizers to address issues with the brand new street circuit. While the track, designed especially for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Series received its FIA Grade 2 approval this morning as planned, organizers have opted to delay on-track activity until their concerns over one section of the track have been addressed.   zzzz

Twenty two A1GP cars left the pit lane at 15.15 this afternoon for the delayed start of the first official practice session. After two cars had experienced minor incidents at turn eight, the hairpin bend at the end of the straight, which caused the session to be red flagged, it was decided to cancel all further track action for the day.  The hairpin was too tight and even with the steering wheel turned all the way the drivers could not make the corner and crashed.

A1GP organizers have decided to postpone on-track activity while they undertake further investigations on turn eight and are currently working to resolve the situation. A1GP

MB2 Motorsports Announces 2007 Lineup MB2 Motorsports Announces 2007 LineupMB2 Motorsports announced that its 2007 lineup will include a roster of seven drivers, entries in all three of NASCAR's national series and a driver development program.

MB2's expansion started to take shape following an ownership change in July when real estate developer Bobby Ginn purchased majority interest in the 10-year-old racing organization.

"Bobby has given us an opportunity to take this team to the next level and there's nothing more exciting than that," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "Our foundation is strong with a team mixture of experience and youth. Every piece we put together for 2007 was carefully thought out with the future in mind. We want to be a team to contend with over the next decade."

MB2's 2007 lineup of drivers/crew chiefs will be as follows: zzzz

Nextel Cup Series

* MB2 will field three Nextel Cup teams. MB2 newcomers Mark Martin (47-years-old) and rookie Regan Smith (23) will co-drive the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. Martin will drive in 20 point races plus the Bud Shootout and Nextel All Star Challenge. Smith will drive in the remaining 16 point races. Ryan Pemberton will continue to serve as crew chief on the 01 car.

* Sterling Marlin (49) will continue to drive MB2's No. 14 Chevrolet with Richard "Slugger" Labbe handling the crew chief duties.

* Joe Nemechek (43) will switch from the 01 Chevy to the new No. 13 team. Nemechek will be reunited with crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who was recently hired by MB2. Sospenzo was Nemechek's crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports in 2002 and 2003. The twosome combined to score a victory at the 2003 spring race in Richmond, Va.

Team sponsors for the No. 13 and No. 14 will be announced at a later date.

Busch Series

* MB2's Busch Series ride will be shared by Smith and Kraig Kinser (22). Doug Randolph will oversee the crew chief duties for the Busch operation.

Craftsman Truck Series

* MB2 will continue its partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. Kinser, along with MB2's development driver Jesus Hernandez (25), will compete in selected truck races. Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael (26), who will join MB2's development program next year, could also compete in a couple of truck races.

Development Program

* MB2's driver development program in the late model series will include Hernandez and Carmichael. Jeremy Thompson, an MB2 employee and former Craftsman Truck Series competitor, will oversee the late model program. Hernandez and Carmichael will also drive in selected ARCA races.

The MB2 racing teams will be based out of the teams 144,000-square-foot shop in Mooresville, N.C. MB2 Motorsports PR

Ticket sales up Ticket sales upAutoRacing1.com has learned that ticket sales for this weekend's Champ Car race in Mexico City is up comfortably over the past two years.
Martinez surprises in Mexico City Martinez surprises in Mexico CityMuch to the delight of the Mexican crowd, David Martinez (pictured right talking to reporters), making his very first start for Forsythe Racing, turned the 8th fastest lap in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Mexico City Champ Car race.  Even more impressive was the fact that he was able to outrun his more experienced Forsythe Racing teammate Buddy Rice by almost a second, though in Rice's defense, he did not get a lot of laps to qualify because of ongoing repairs on the car.  Still he feels it will all come together on Saturday.
Wilson endures pain to qualify 2nd Wilson endures pain to qualify 2ndJustin Wilson turned the 2nd fastest lap on his final circuit Friday to grab 2nd place on the provisional grid for Sunday's Mexico City GP. When asked how his wrist felt he told AutoRacing1.com, "everything was going good until I hit a curb in the chicane and it ripped the steering wheel out of my hand. That really hurt." Afterward he was soaking his wrist in ice water to relieve some of the pain.

"I'm reasonably satisfied with the car. We were second quick and I know I am giving up a tenth (of a second) in the last corner because I cannot wrestle the car down to the apex and through the esses I'm probably giving up another tenth or two."

When asked if the wrist feels well enough to run the entire race Sunday, Wilson said, "I'm not sure."
PCM lays out Champ Car plans PCM lays out Champ Car plansPacific Coast Motorsports President Tyler Tadevic (seated on left) and Team Manager Michael Harvey (seated on right) met with the media Friday in Mexico City to reveal more details about their planned move up to Champ Car with #28 Ryan Dalziel and #29 Alex Figge.

"We want to be the new poster boys of Champ Car," said Tadevic. "We are coming in as the news boys on the block and our goal is to be competitive without spending huge sums of money. We were in Grand-Am but this move to Champ Car happened very quickly. Kevin Kalkhoven and Tom Figge crossed paths in Aspen one day and within 5 weeks the deal to move to Champ Car was done. We are still pinching ourselves, the team is really excited.

"We can't wait to get started on what will be a very exciting time for our organization," said Tadevic. "We have all of our funding in place for this season and for some seasons to come, we have a good bit of our staff in place and we are now just trying to put together the final pieces.

"We think that the guys will be ready with the amount of testing we have in November," Tadevic said. "The new car in 2007 was a big key for us, as we think that it gives us not only an affordable way to get to Champ Car, but a competitive one since everyone starts with a clean sheet in 2007. We are really looking forward to getting started."

The team plans to do three tests with the existing Lola Champ Car before the new one arrives in mid-December. The team will operate out of a new 11,000 SF facility in Oxnard, California. Burke Harrison and Tim Lewis will be the two engineers and 70% of their Daytona Prototype staff will move over to the Champ Car program. The team is dropping out of their Grand-Am Daytona Prototype Series so they can focus on Champ Car.

Sponsorship and financing are in place for two years and they will be making their sponsor announcements by the end of the year. Some of their Grand-Am sponsors are moving over to Champ Car.

Forsythe Racing Partners with Telmex Forsythe Racing Partners with TelmexMexico City, Mexico  – Forsythe Championship Racing is pleased to announce that Telmex, Mexico’s leading communications company, will become primary sponsor on the #3 Telmex/INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola driven by Mexican driver David Martinez for this weekends Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex.  The race will take place at the historic Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track and will bring the 2006 Champ Car World Series season to an end.  Rookie driver Martinez was selected by the Forsythe Team to make his Champ Car debut in front of his home crowd after two successful seasons in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. 

Telmex has been a long time supporter of motorsports in Mexico and it will continue the tradition this weekend by having its logos prominently displayed in the #3 Telmex/INDECK car and on crew and driver caps.  Telmex is the leading communications company in Latin America with operations in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and United States.  It invested over $29 billion USD between 1990-2005 to ensure the growth and modernization of its infrastructure, developing a 100% digital platform which operates one of the most technologically advanced fiber optic networks in the world, including subterranean cable connections between 39 countries.  zzzz

Telmex and its subsidiaries offer the widest range of voice, data and video, internet access and integral solution services to all telecommunications segments; from public telephony, rural and residential, to client services for small and medium companies, to large national and international corporations.

David Martinez #3 Telmex/INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola
“I’m very proud to be able to carry the colors of a company like Telmex on my car in front of the Mexican people.  Telmex has supported me throughout my career on various occasions and they have helped me get to where I am today.  I will do my best to give Telmex and Mexico a great result in my debut race in Champ Car!”

Jerry Forsythe, Team Owner
“The Forsythe Team considers Mexico a very special place, and with our co-ownership interest in the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez event we are always especially excited to be associated with Mexican drivers and leading Mexican companies.  This partnership, giving the young and talented David Martinez his first chance in the Champ Car Gran Premio - promoted by Telmex - is exactly what Champ Car, Mexican racing and the Mexican fans need in this most important Mexico City market.  The Team will give David all the support he could wish for over the weekend in front of his home fans, and I’m sure that he is as proud as the Forsythe Team to be representing Telmex in the headline Champ Car race at the Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex”.

Jimmy Morales, ESCUDERÍA TELMEX Director
“We are very happy to be supporting David Martinez so he can race in Mexico and especially since he will be with Forsythe which is a very professional team.  This allows us to be optimistic about David having a good car and a first rate team so he can show his great potential in front of the Mexican people, this is truly a great opportunity.”

Wilson leads opening practice in Mexico City Wilson leads opening practice in Mexico CityDespite a broken wrist that is causing him pain, Justin Wilson picked up where he left off last year, at the top of the timesheets after practice 1 for the Champ Cars.

Pos Driver # Lap Time Behind Leader
1 J. Wilson 9 1:27.214  0.000
2 S. Bourdais 1 1:27.322 0.108
3 O. Servia 6 1:28.346 1.132
4 A. Tagliani 15 1:28.800 1.586
5 B. Junqueira 2 1:28.813 1.599
6 M. Dominguez 8 1:28.821 1.607
7 W. Power 5 1:28.825 1.611
8 A. Ranger 27 1:28.970 1.756
9 N. Philippe 4 1:29.117 1.903
10 R. Briscoe 10 1:29.212 1.998
11 A. Pizzonia 18 1:29.416 2.202
12 J. Heylen 11 1:29.775 2.561
13 C. Zwolsman 34 1:29.911 2.697
14 K. Legge 20 1:29.985 2.771
15 B. Rice 7 1:30.553 3.339
16 A. Wirth 19 1:30.823 3.609
17 D. Martinez 3 1:31.302 4.088
18 D. Clarke 14 1:34.277 7.063

Chicane tight in Mexico City Chicane tight in Mexico CityThe tight chicane that was installed on the backstraight of the Mexico City track to slow the cars before the Peraltada corner has caught a number of teams and drivers out because the chicane is very tight and the curbs very high. A number of drivers spun out in the first session when they clipped the high curb on drivers right going in. Forsythe team boss Neil Micklewright told AutoRacing1.com, "Please do not blame our drivers for being so slow in the first session. We messed up. Our gearing is not low enough for the tight chicane and the engines are bogging down at 26 mph. We are changing the drop gears and should be in better shape this afternoon. The engines like to be up at 9,000 rpm but we are dropping down to 3,500."
tv news
TV ratings down 16% for yet another NASCAR race TV ratings down 16% for yet another NASCAR raceUPDATE Things appear to be going from bad to worse for NASCAR's popularity.  The final TV rating for last weekend's Nextel Cup race in Texas was a 4.3/8 share, down 16% from last year's 5.1/10 share.  This is perhaps the biggest loss yet of any race this season.

11/06/06 NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Dickies 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 4.0 overnight Nielsen Rating with a 7 market share.  The results are down 9.1 percent from the 4.4/8 the race earned overnight last year.
Seen in Mexico City - I Seen in Mexico City - IMexican rookie David Martinez stepped into his Champ Car this morning in Mexico City with his car decked out in full Telmex livery. He ran a lot of laps in the first practice despite a dusty track to get as much practice as possible. He also practiced getting in and out of the pits. Word is that if he does really well this weekend Telmex might be willing to sponsor him full time in 2007.

His Forsythe Racing teammate Buddy Rice sat out much of the early part of the session waiting for the track to get clean. He told us that the hairpin before the Peraltada turn is extremely tight. He's happy to have been given this chance with Forsythe and aims to make the most of it. Forsythe's Phil LePan told us that Buddy is a real professional and his lap times at the Houston test last week were right on the pace. David Martinez was a couple of tenths behind, which was good given his first time in a car with as much HP as a Champ Car.

IRL pre-season testing at Daytona and Homestead IRL pre-season testing at Daytona and HomesteadThe IndyCar® Series will try something new while continuing with tradition in its 2007 preseason testing.

League officials announced today that the IndyCar Series will conduct preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2007 and at Homestead-Miami Speedway Feb. 21-22. The series will test at Daytona for the first time while the seventh preseason visit to Homestead will include testing under the lights for the first time.

"Expanding our preseason testing schedule to include Daytona International Speedway is good for both fans and teams," said John Lewis, vice president of league development for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar Series and the Indy Pro Series. "The feedback coming out of the test from our drivers and teams, Firestone, Honda and Ethanol was very positive and supportive of the IndyCar Series pursuing Daytona as a test venue." zzzz

In late September, the IndyCar Series completed a successful compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway, featuring past series champions Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, '02, '06), Scott Dixon ('03), Tony Kanaan ('04) and Dan Wheldon ('05) and Vitor Meira. The visit allowed IndyCar Series officials to determine the possibility of DIS serving as a preseason testing venue. Series officials were able to see transitions onto the banking, tire wear/side loads and braking zones while looking for any challenging surface areas on the track. The test took place on the 2.73-mile road course, which included 10 turns and the tri-oval of the famed Daytona oval.

The September test also was the first time IndyCar Series cars used the 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol that will power the field in 2007. The preseason test at Daytona will mark the first time that all cars will run with the new fuel mixture.

"We are very excited to be able to host preseason testing for the IndyCar Series here at Daytona," said Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig. "Bringing another motorsports sanctioning body to Daytona further solidifies us as the World Center of Racing.' We look forward to welcoming the stars and fans of the IndyCar Series."

The IndyCar Series will continue to test at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a new wrinkle - an afternoon/evening schedule (4-10 p.m.) - on the 1.5-mile oval. Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway also will include the Indy Pro Series, which will use the venue for both road course (Feb. 20) and oval (Feb. 22) testing.

Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the IndyCar Series' season-opening race for the sixth consecutive season - a 300-mile primetime event on March 24. Four of the last six IndyCar Series champions (Hornish '01 & '02, Dixon '03 and Wheldon '05) won at Homestead-Miami Speedway in their championship-winning seasons.

"Enhancing the Homestead-Miami Speedway experience to include testing under the lights makes perfect sense as we become the only open-wheel series to open its season in prime time," Lewis said. "The IndyCar Series was the first series of its kind to race at night at Texas, and now we are advancing that to include the season opener."

"We look forward to the IndyCar Series test being held at night and giving race fans a sneak peak of what they can expect at the season-opener when they can witness the spectacle of watching these cars race at 200 miles per hour under the lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway," said Homestead-Miami Speedway president Curtis Gray. "South Florida is famous for its fast-paced nightlife, so it was only fitting for the Speedway to host this event and the season-opener under the lights for the first time. We encourage everyone to order their tickets early and guarantee their spot to kick off the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway."

The tentative schedule for both preseason tests:

Daytona International Speedway
Jan. 31 - IndyCar Series Testing (10 a.m. -  Noon; 1- 5 p.m.)
Feb. 1 - IndyCar Series Testing (10 a.m. -  Noon; 1- 5 p.m.)

Homestead-Miami Speedway
Feb. 20 - Indy Pro Series Road-Course Testing (10 a.m. -  Noon; 1- 5 p.m.)
Feb. 21 - IndyCar Series Oval Testing (4 p.m. - 10 p.m.)
Feb. 22 - Indy Pro Series Oval Testing (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
    IndyCar Series Oval Testing (4 p.m.-10 p.m.)

The complete in-season Open Test schedule will be announced in the future.

Racing News
A night with Parnelli Jones A night with Parnelli JonesParnelli Jones, who was a winner in nearly all forms of motorsports, was honored at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, California on November 9, 2006. Jones who successfully competed in Midgets, Sprint Cars, Champ Dirt Cars, Indy cars, Can Am, Trans-Am, NASCAR and USAC stock cars as well as Off Road was feted and roasted by Al Unser, Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Joe Leonard, Walker Evans and George Follmer. The event was emceed by Dave McClelland. Many of Parnelli's race cars were on display, including, "Calhoun" the 1963 Indy 500 winning roadster, The 1964 Lotus raced at Milwaukee by Parnelli, the 1971 Indy winner "Johnny Lightning Special" driven by Al Unser; 1971 USAC National Championship car driven by Joe Leonard, and numerous Trans Am Mustangs driven by Jones. Also on display was the 1975 Parnelli F1 car driven by Mario Andretti. It was a spectacular evening presented by the museum, whose past honorees have included, Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. Photos
track news
Imola to press ahead Imola to press aheadImola mayor Massimo Marchignoli told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that the circuit will press ahead with circuit upgrades despite not having a race in 2007.

"Imola wants to maintain the prestige of its circuit," he said. "I'm convinced the absence of Formula One will be just a one-year thing, and we'll get it back for the 2008 season.

"In the meantime, on our part, the first step will be to change the management of the track, because previous organizer Sagis lacked the financial conditions demanded by Bernie Ecclestone to meet the new contract requests. This change should happen very soon, already before the end of the year."

TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com

NASCAR Busch Qualifying Phoenix
12:00pm-1:30pm (L) SPEED
1:00pm-1:30pm ABC
1:30pm-2:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice Phoenix
2:00pm-3:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Performance
3:00pm-3:30pm SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Phoenix
3:30pm-6:00pm (L) NBC
Super Bikes!
7:30pm-8:00pm SPEED
NHRA Qualifying Pomona
10:00pm-12:00am ESPN2
Champ Car Qualifying Mexico City
10:30pm-11:00pm SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

Champ Car's international expansion Champ Car's international expansionA reader writes, Dear AutoRaing1.com, I read with great interest your recent article on Champ Car's move toward more international races.  How far do you think they will take this? Kim Brock, Milwaukee

Dear Kim, We expect they could add 1 or 2 more in coming years (not including the two Europe races we expect them to announce soon) but they will maintain a USA base because that is where all the teams are based.  The cost and time to do too many overseas races is difficult. Mark C.
Recent success in NASCAR not helping Dodge sales Recent success in NASCAR not helping Dodge salesUPDATE This Orlando Sentinel article says what we have been saying all along, winning in NASCAR does not help a manufacturer sell passenger cars.....especially when they try to race a grandmother's car and pass it off as a race car. Even more ridiculous is when all the cars are the same and they just change the headlight and front grille decals and that converts it from a Chevy to a Ford to a Dodge. Amazing!

11/03/06 The Chrysler Group has far more previous-model-year vehicles in dealer inventory than it had last year or than dealers with other U.S. automakers have on their lots.

As of Nov. 1, 2006 models made up 45% of Chrysler's dealer inventory.

At this time last year, previous-model-year vehicles made up 29% of inventory, which is more in line with what General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are reporting, so recent wins in NASCAR isn't helping Dodge sales one iota.

What's funny is that Toyota thinks racing in NASCAR is going to help them sell more "grandmother image" Camrys.  This is so funny every time we think about it we burst out in laughter.  Ford tried that with the "grandmother image" Taurus and now has had to deep-six the Taurus model for lack of sales.  Racing Camrys....imagine that.  There isn't a car buyer in this world who would buy a Camry for its "racy" image, or even attempt to race it on the streets.  Ditto for the Chevy and the Impala they are going to race.

Equating NASCAR and selling cars is getting absolutely ridiculous.  Next thing we are going to hear is that NASCAR will approve the Smart car fortwo (right) for competition.  After all, with the NASCAR template cars, one just needs to remove the headlight decals and change them to the Smart car headlights and presto, it's a NASCAR Nextel Cup car.

Industry News
Sales up as GM unveils new SLS in China Sales up as GM unveils new SLS in ChinaDetroit -The General Motors China Group recently reported another sales record for the first nine months of 2006 (645,680 vehicles). These record sales are driven by Buick (+ 27.8 percent), Chevrolet (+51.0 percent), Cadillac (+27.1 percent) and Wuling (+38.7 percent), China's number one brand of mini-vehicles. At "Auto China 2006", this year's international motor show in Beijing, Shanghai GM is showcasing new models such as the Cadillac SLS and Escalade. In addition, an important new offering from the Wuling brand is to be premiered. Furthermore, GM concept cars such as the Saab Aero-X, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet WTCC Ultra will make their public debuts in China.  zzzz

GM's luxury brand, Cadillac has enjoyed remarkable success since its introduction to the China luxury market in 2004. The Cadillac China portfolio, consisting of the CTS sedan, the XLR roadster and the SRX crossover, will now be complimented with the all-new SLS and the Escalade SUV. Based on the STS sport sedan, the SLS has been lengthened by 100mm to add rear seat legroom. The interior is designed to meet specific local needs in this primarily chauffeur-driven luxury segment. Three engine options will be available which include the 2.8L V6, a 3.6L V6 and the top-level Northstar 4.6L V8 with 239kW/320hp. The new SLS will be built at the Shanghai GM plant for the Chinese market.

"The Cadillac SLS is a very important addition to our line-up in China as it meets very specific market needs," said Jim Taylor, general manager of Cadillac. "Cadillac reacts to country specific requirements and is proud to offer the SLS to Chinese luxury customers who demand extra space in the rear and other features." Earlier this year, Cadillac introduced the new BLS sedan in Europe and other international markets to satisfy the need for a smaller Cadillac model and a turbo diesel engine option.

"The Cadillac SLS is a strategic addition for the Cadillac brand in China, which will enable Cadillac to strengthen its presence in the luxury sedan market," said Mr. Ding Lei, president of Shanghai GM.

"The new Cadillac SLS and Escalade as well as the new offering from Wuling will strengthen our position as the market leader in China. GM's multi-brand approach in China enables us to successfully compete in all important segments of the fastest growing market in the world. I am looking forward to finishing 2006 as another year of record growth for GM in China," said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group.

Ganassi signs Brady Bacon Ganassi signs Brady BaconOpen-wheel standout Brady Bacon has signed on to become a part of the Chip Ganassi Racing driver development program. For the remainder of 2006, Bacon will be the feature driver at Keith Kunz Motorsports, filling in for injured teammate and fellow Ganassi prospect Bryan Clauson. The 2006 Southern Midget Racing Series champion, Bacon finished third this past weekend in the USAC National Sprint Car race in what was his first outing at the prestigious Eldora Speedway in Ohio. Brady Bacon website
Liquor spat in NASCAR-land Liquor spat in NASCAR-landPernod Ricard has said it will pull out of an industry-funded responsible-drinking organization in a dispute over the group's support of liquor sponsorships in auto racing. In a letter sent to the Century Council and obtained by MarketWatch, the France-based spirits maker resigned its membership, although its departure won't be effective until November. While that could give them time to work out some kind of compromise, the missive from Alain Barbet, the company's U.S. president, put the issue in fairly stark relief: "We at Pernod Ricard firmly believe that is inappropriate for the distilled spirits industry to engage in sponsorship of motor sports," he wrote. "We also believe strongly that any involvement of the Century Council in these sponsorship activities runs the risk of damaging [its] well-earned credibility . . . and undermining its message of responsibility."  More at MarketWatch.com
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Bernie still in charge of F1
Green light for F1 'theme parks'
F1 chapter 'not closed' - Rossi
Brits reject Bernie's 'share GP' proposal
Renault slam reports of near 'super swap'
Silver Arrows 'still alive' - Haug
Racing TV invention honored by 'Time' magazine
Toyota confirm new testers for 2007
Williams F1 signs Japanese driver at Toyota’s request Williams F1 signs Japanese driver at Toyota’s requestUPDATE This press release from Toyota talks about their up-and-coming young Japanese drivers.

11/08/06 Oxford - WilliamsF1 today confirmed that Kazuki Nakajima, the 21 year old race driver from the Aichi Prefecture in Japan, has been appointed as a team test driver.

Nakajima, who is currently racing in the Formula 3 Euro Series with Manor Motorsport, will take up his place as an official test driver following the conclusion of his race season and will work alongside Narain Karthikeyan and race drivers Nico Rosberg & Alex Wurz on the winter development of the Toyota-powered WilliamsF1 FW29 in readiness for the 2007 Formula One World Championship.

Kazuki Nakajima is the son of Formula One driver Satoru Nakajima, who raced for Lotus and Tyrrell in the mid-80’s and early 1990’s.

Kazuki started his racing career under his father’s tutelage at the age of 11, in 1996. Three years later, Nakajima was Suzuka Formula ICA karting champion. As he graduated through the championships, his performance in the All Japan Formula A kart championship attracted the attentions of the Toyota Motor Co and he became a member of the Toyota Young Driver program, (TDP). The following year Kazuki was Formula Toyota Champion, the stepping stone to Japanese Formula 3, a series he concluded as runner-up in 2005 while also selectively undertaking GT races in Japan. In 2006, he took the important step of demonstrating his talent outside of his native Japan by contesting the Formula 3 Euro Series. zzzz

WilliamsF1 undertook a detailed assessment of a number of potential candidates for the role, but Nakajima's good progression through junior Formulae and his positive GP2 test and simulator work alongside other assessments ultimately secured him the role.

On the confirmation of his appointment, WilliamsF1 Team Principal, Frank Williams said, “Kazuki has consistently demonstrated his potential through karting and other junior Formulae. Having assessed both his potential in the car and his aptitude out of it, we believe he has the necessary ingredients to graduate to Formula One in a testing role.”
For his part, Kazuki reflected, “For anyone with an interest in motor racing, Formula One is the ultimate objective and I am delighted that Williams, one of the senior names in the sport and a team that exists solely to race, has given me this great chance. I look forward to helping as much as I can with the team’s transition to Toyota power for 2007. It will be a great honor to be the first TDP driver to graduate to Formula One.”

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, General Manager, Motorsport Division, Toyota Motor Corporation reflected, “We are extremely delighted that Williams has chosen one of the drivers from the Toyota Young Drivers Program as an official team test driver. It will be certainly a big opportunity for Kazuki and we hope that Kazuki will make a contribution to Williams' test program and their fight back in the championship.

Kazuki is scheduled to attend a press conference in Tokyo on Friday November 10 and will join the formal Williams winter test program with immediate effect and is expected to start contributing to on track testing before the end of the year.

Justin Wilson to drive Friday Justin Wilson to drive FridayJustin Wilson has decided to participate in Friday's full practice session in Mexico City after a successful 10 lap run on Thursday. The objective of the brief test was to see how he would cope with various wrist supports following the fracture to the scaphoid bone in his right wrist at Surfers Paradise.

 "I tried out the #9 CDW car this morning and everything seemed to go quite well with my wrist," said Justin.  "We tested a couple of different wrist braces and positions and were even able to complete a lap without the brace.  We now have some ideas for tomorrow and I'm ready to give it another go."

Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car World Series Medical Director stated, "I examined Justin after his short test this morning and at this point I am confident that his wrist is well enough to participate in competition this weekend.  He will, however, be re-examined after every test and practice session to determine the health of his wrist."

Melandri has surgery Melandri has surgeryMoto GP race winner Marco Melandri has now undergone surgery on his left arm, to correct the problem that hampered his title challenge this season.

"I have struggled during the whole year because my left arm tended to stiffen up more and more often," the Italian said on his website after the operation in Forli.

"Despite medical treatment, the situation got worse and worse with every race.

"After the operation, I'll take two weeks off before getting on the Honda 800cc in Jerez at the end of the month."

Melandri, 24, won three races this season and finished fourth overall, one point behind compatriot Loris Capirossi.

He suffered concussion and injured his collarbone in a six-rider pile-up at the start of the Catalan Grand Prix in June. Eurosport
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