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DATE News (chronologically)
11/22/07
a1gp

A1GP Sepang, Malaysia - Nominated Drivers
The following drivers have signed on to compete in the A1GP Sepang, Malaysia
A1 Team Driver 1 Driver 2
Australia Ian Dyk John Martin*
Brazil Sergio Jimenez* -
Canada James Hinchcliffe Robert Wickens*
China Congfu Cheng Marchy Lee*
Czech Republic Erik Janis* -
France Loic Duval -
Germany Michael Ammermüller* -
Great Britain Robbie Kerr Oliver Jarvis*
India Narain Karthikeyan Parthiva Sureshwaren*
Indonesia Satrio Hermanto* -
Ireland Adam Carroll* -
Italy Enrico Toccacelo Edoardo Piscopo*
Lebanon Khalil Beschir Chris Alajajian*
Malaysia Alex Yoong Aaron Lim*
Mexico Michel Jourdain Jr* -
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen Arie Luyendyk Jr*
New Zealand Jonny Reid Earl Bamber*
Pakistan Adam Khan -
Portugal Joao Urbano* -
South Africa Adrian Zaugg Wesleigh Orr*
Switzerland Neel Jani Rahel Frey*
USA Jonathan Summerton Charlie Kimball*

Drivers marked with a star are eligible to participate in the first official practice session on Friday 23 November 2007, reserved for rookie drivers and developing nations only.

Comment
11/22/07
formula bmw

Vietoris and Farfus thrilled to drive BMW F1 car


(L to R) Augusto Farfus and Christian Vietoris

Vietoris won this event in 2006, and in doing so was given the opportunity for his first Formula 1 drive. For Farfus, the outing in the BMW Sauber F1 Team car was the reward for a successful season in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. As recently as last Sunday, Farfus was still battling for the World Championship title with BMW Team Germany at the season finale in Macau (MAC).

Vietoris was first to complete his initial "taster laps" round the 4.005-kilometre track. The 18-year-old, who took overall victory in the 2006 Formula BMW Germany season, quickly came to terms with the unfamiliar car. He did 62 laps and constantly improved his times.

"That was an amazing experience", said Vietoris, who raced in German Formula 3 in 2007, and is currently fighting for points with the German team in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. "I have spent many years working towards the chance to drive a Formula 1 car. The g forces, braking effect and speed are simply phenomenal. This car is great fun to drive. It has certainly given me a more accurate impression of the unbelievable power and aerodynamics that are at work in Formula 1. Today's drive has made me even more determined to make it into the elite motor sport class."

Read more & Comment...

11/22/07
nascar

Truck Series heads to Iowa in 2008
Iowa Speedway will add a truck race to its 2008 schedule in addition to the IndyCar races returning for the track's second full season.  The nine-event schedule will include the truck race on July 20.  The first race at the speedway is scheduled for April 19 and the last race will be Sept. 20.

Comment
11/22/07
f1

Honda engineer honored by university
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello's race engineer at Honda has been awarded an honorary doctorate by his former university.

Jock Clear, who previously guided Jacques Villeneuve to Williams' last world championship in 1997, was to be given the title Doctor of Engineering by Scotland's Heriot-Watt university at graduation ceremonies on Thursday, reports said.

Clear, who graduated with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering in 1987, deserves the honor due to his "outstanding success in applying engineering science in the most demanding and competitive of environments", the famous university, located in Edinburgh, said.

Clear started working in formula one in 1988 for teams including Benetton, Lotus and BAR.

Comment
11/22/07
f1

Richards says no debut for Prodrive in 2008

Dave Richards

(GMM) David Richards has confirmed for the first time that Prodrive will definitely not debut in formula one as planned in 2008.

"There was a dispute about our eligibility," the Briton said in an interview with the German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

"In addition, the new Concorde agreement has been repeatedly delayed. We asked the FIA to be able to start mid-way through the season: our request was rejected.

"So for 2008 there is not a realistic chance of there being a Prodrive formula one team," Richards stated.

In April of last year, F1's governing body announced that Banbury-based Prodrive, an outfit famous for its involvement in world rallying with Subaru, had been selected to become the twelfth and final team in 2008.

Read more & Comment...
11/22/07
track news

Lowe’s Motor Speedway will stay in Concord
Lowe's Motor Speedway will remain open in Concord, a speedway spokesman said late yesterday afternoon.  No details were immediately released. The speedway spokesman said more information would be released Monday. Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith had said he would decide before Thanksgiving whether an incentives deal in the range of $70 million would convince him to spend $100 million to $200 million to renovate the 47-year-old speedway and build a $60 million drag strip at the racing facility. Concord City Council members initially blocked Smith from building his planned drag strip near the speedway, saying they were worried noise from the hot rods could carry into nearby neighborhoods. Smith then threatened to move Lowe's Motor Speedway, one of the county's biggest taxpayers, When Smith announced the Thanksgiving deadline, officials assumed "he would have everything he needs to do what he needs to do," said Cabarrus Economic Development leader John Cox. Cabarrus leaders have offered Smith incentives, which were outlined in an e-mail County Manager John Day sent to commissioners, county officials have said. The options include extending the George Liles Parkway to U.S. 29, replacing the U.S. 29/Rocky River bridge, providing structures to decrease noise from the drag strip and giving Smith property and sales tax rebates based on the amount of investment on the drag strip and speedway improvements. Charlotte Observer

Comment
11/22/07
nascar

Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at Lowe's
NASCAR enthusiasts and Christmas shoppers will have the opportunity to fulfill their dream of driving around Lowe's Motor Speedway during the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out on Friday, Nov. 23. Shoppers spending $50 or more on merchandise or race tickets during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle two laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. As a special bonus, fans will receive a free Windstream Pole Night ticket for each 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge or Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race ticket they purchase. This one-day sale offer is good only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office or by phone at 1-800-455-FANS. Lowe's Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many items selling for only $1. A wide variety of hats and T-shirts will be available starting at just $3. In addition, more than a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs are expected to be on hand, offering driver and team merchandise at drastically reduced prices. When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23. Information concerning the annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out can be obtained by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway Gift Shop at (704) 455-3204. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com. LMS PR

Comment
11/22/07
a1gp

Jourdain to replace Toledano in Sepang


Picho Toledano

Picho Toledano, a driver who participated in the preseason testing for A1 Team Mexico, was expecting to join the Mexican Junior Team, but over a week ago had an accident at the Ponce circuit, in Puerto Rico and was injured.

Due to this situation, A1 Team Mexico wishes him to get well and will dedicate their participation in the A1GP The World Cup of Motorsport in Malaysia this weekend.

"Picho is currently in Indianapolis and he underwent two surgeries. Last Wednesday was the first one due to he fractured his right foot and on Friday it was the second surgery on his left leg. From Malaysia, A1 Team Mexico and Michel Jourdain Jr. dedicate him their performance wishing him to get well soon. In addition, the car will show a decal supporting this great young up-and-coming Mexican driver," Julio Jauregui, Executive Vice President of A1 Team Mexico said.

Read more & Comment...

11/22/07
f1
wrc

Kovalainen and Loeb to swap seats
Heikki Kovalainen and Sébastien Loeb will swap horses for a day. On 5th December, this summit meeting will be held for the press at the Paul Ricard circuit.

Sébastien Loeb

Sébastien Loeb needs no introduction. This year he is well on the way to clinching his fourth rally world championship title, and he also drove in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2006, which he adored. This time on the initiative of our partner Total-Elf he’s going to be able to test an F1 car. And not just any old car as it’s the R26, winner of the world championship. During the day his team-mate Dani Sordo will also get the opportunity to taste the sensations generated by an F1 single-seater.

Total-Elf wanted to add a bit of spice to the proceedings and have set Heikki Kovalainen a challenge. The young Finn will have the opportunity to climb into the Frenchman’s C4 to see if he has inherited his father’s rally genes - the latter was a rally driver in Finland. To say that Heikki is delighted would be an understatement!

Preparations are going full steam ahead. Dani Sordo and Sébastien Loeb came to Enstone for a seat fitting on 7th and 8th November. They were given a warm welcome by the Roadshow team that’s in charge of this event. The two Citroën drivers received their first explanations concerning the procedures to follow as well as getting settled in the car and getting to know the team. They are champing at the bit to see what it’ll give out on the track.

Comment
11/22/07
f1

The traction control ban, chapter 1
In 2008, there will be another revolution in the paddock. An electronic aid that has been a great help to the drivers is also doomed to disappear. Renault f1.com describes how this miracle system works.

Since the last test session in Barcelona, the cars have been running without traction control in view of the 2008 season. It is a major revolution for the engineers who were used to setting up the cars in accordance with this system that had become increasingly refined as the years passed.  For the drivers too it is a radical change. They will have to rediscover what it means to have an educated right foot, as well as becoming accustomed to adopting a different approach to setting up their cars.

The concept
Over the years since the FIA decided to free up electronics in the mid-nineties, the traction control system had reached a level of sophistication hitherto unknown in the world of the motorcar. This technology was born from something that is difficult for the non-specialist to grasp. To enable a car to go as quickly as possible the tires must have a minimum rate of slippage in relation to the track. In such conditions the vehicle transmits more load than when it slides a lot, or not at all. The rate is around 5 to 6%. To sum up when a car is moving at 100 km/h its rear wheels have to turn at 105 km/h to generate maximum performance. The term traction control best describes this system, because while it does not eliminate wheel spin, it limits it to its optimal value.

Read more & Comment...
11/22/07
f1

2008 Ferrari to debut in January


Luca Baldisserri

(GMM)  Luca Baldisserri has revealed that Ferrari's 2008 car, to be an "evolution" of the current F2007, will be tested for the first time at Jerez on 14 January.

"For the first test we will be ready with two cars," the Italian, who is the Maranello based team's head of track activities, confirmed to the newspaper La Stampa.

He also said Kimi Raikkonen, the newly crowned world champion, will not enjoy number one status next year over teammate Felipe Massa.

"The track will determine the hierarchy," he explained.  "The same as in the days of Schumacher.  Barrichello for example ended 2003 very strongly and began 2004 full of chances, but Michael won the first five races."

Despite the promotion of Stefano Domenicali to team boss, meanwhile, Jean Todt will still attend grands prix in 2008, Baldisserri said.

Comment
11/22/07
f1

Schu to test at Jerez - Baldisserri

Michael Schumacher was fastest in recent testing despite a year sabbatical.

(GMM)  Former world champion Michael Schumacher will return to the cockpit of Ferrari's single seater early next month as the 2007 testing season ends at Jerez.

The 38-year-old tested for the first time in earnest since retiring at Circuit de Catalunya recently, impressing observers by setting the pace as the sport gets accustomed to life without electronic aids like traction control.

"After so many years together we are accustomed to facing situations like these with Michael.  He will be driving at Jerez on 4 December," Luca Baldisserri, Ferrari's head of track activities, told the Turin-published Italian newspaper La Stampa.

Michael Schumacher back in a Ferrari at Barcelona

"We have asked him to put his helmet back on because F1 has gone back to taking away the electronic aids.

"Drivers today use the accelerator like a button -- press it and let the software do the rest.  Now they have to learn another way," he added.

The media still can't get enough of the World's greatest

At the end of the bitter espionage affair with McLaren, meanwhile, Baldisserri admitted to being "slightly bothered" about having to now use the new McLaren developed ECU in 2008 and beyond.

"On the one hand we must protect the confidentiality of our data and on the other try to make it (the ECU) work better," he said when asked about working with MES technicians.

Comment
11/22/07
irl

Look for Castroneves on talk shows UPDATE #2 A reminder that "Dancing with the Stars" finalists Helio Castroneves and his professional dance partner, Julianne Hough, will be guests on the "Ellen DeGeneres" show on Friday, November 23.  The network and time varies.  Please check your local listings for your location and time zone. 

11/21/07 A reminder that Helio and Julianne and the other two celebrity finalists and their professional dancing partners will be guests on the "Larry King Live" show tonight, November 21.  Tune in to hear what goes on behind the scenes on "Dancing with the Stars."  The show airs at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET on CNN.  Check local listings for your location and time zone.

11/20/07 Helio Castroneves will appear on two national talk shows this week. Castroneves will appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Nov. 21 and "Ellen" on Nov. 23 to discuss his success on "Dancing With the Stars."  The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner will be joined by his professional dance partner Julianne Hough for his visit to Ellen DeGeneres' nationally-syndicated, afternoon talk show, while the three finalists of the reality dance competition and their partners will appear on Larry King's long-running evening interview show. Larry King Live airs at 9 p.m. (ET) on CNN.

Comment
11/22/07
f1

Evidence builds in Stepney sabotage case


Nigel Stepney

(GMM)  Allegations of sabotage against sacked Ferrari chief mechanic Nigel Stepney have intensified this week in Italy.

Amid this year's famous espionage scandal that became known as 'Stepneygate', it also emerged that the Briton was being pursued by Ferrari and Italian prosecutors for allegedly trying to sabotage the Maranello based team's charge for victory at Monte Carlo in May.

According to the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, the white powder found in Stepney's trouser pockets have now been analyzed at length by a laboratory at Modena university.

The results of the investigation reportedly indicate that the powder, determined to contain phosphate and calcium, matches the substance found in the fuel tank of Kimi Raikkonen's F2007 before it was shipped to the Principality to race.

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11/22/07
f1

Rosberg, Sutil, drop out of McLaren race
(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen and Pedro de la Rosa have moved into the box seat to inherit Fernando Alonso's recently-vacated McLaren drive for 2008.

In the German press, Adrian Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann has once again insisted that the German youngster is firmly contracted to Force India for next year.

To the British newspaper Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, Nico Rosberg fended off renewed speculation that he could be the subject of a $22m transfer deal between his contracted team, Williams, and Woking based McLaren.

"I am staying here, I'm only 22 and am not rushed yet," Rosberg said.

"I can pace my career but I want to start being on the podium next season," he added.

Of the known contenders to become Lewis Hamilton's new teammate, then, only Finnish rookie Kovalainen or McLaren test driver de la Rosa appear contractually able at this time.

Rosberg, meanwhile, urged the British press to "get the right perspective" when gushing over Hamilton, the 2007 title runner-up.

"You can't argue with his performance because he has had the world champion as a teammate and that is all the perspective you need," the German, a former karting adversary of the British rookie, said.

"But no other rookie has ever had the equipment he had," Rosberg added.

Comment
11/21/07
cc

Champ Car Holiday Gift Ideas for the Racing Fan
The Thanksgiving holiday traditionally heralds the official beginning of the holiday shopping season and with that in mind, the Champ Car World Series offers some great gift ideas for the racing fan in your family.

A hot gift item for the nostalgic race fan will be a limited-edition full-color special commemorative 32-page Sebastien Bourdais booklet. Officially licensed by Champ Car, the booklet is on sale for $10 at www.champcarstuff.com, with proceeds going to Paul Newman’s Association of Hole in the Wall Camps. The book relives Bourdais’ five-year stint with the Series including his unprecedented four consecutive Championships. A special version of the book was presented to Bourdais and team owners Paul Newman, Carl Haas and Mike Lanigan at the recent Champ Car awards banquet.

Read more & Comment...
11/21/07
cc

Top Racers meet Top Guns
It really was a case of “aces high” following the recent Champ Car World Series season-ending event in Mexico City.  After providing high-speed passenger rides to 40 excited individuals in the course of the three-day festival of speed, two of the Champ Car F1x2 “aces” – Zsolt Baumgartner and Mario Dominguez – met up with aces of a slightly different kind and, for once, became excited passengers themselves.

Zsolt and Mario travelled north to Cold Lake, Alberta, home of the Canadian Armed Forces 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron.  This was in order to fulfill a reciprocal arrangement that dated back to July of this year, when pilots from the Squadron, performing the race day fly-past at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, were passengers in the F1x2 cars.

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11/21/07
superleague

Superleague announce inaugural race schedule
Football and motorsport fans can now mark their calendars, Superleague Formula has confirmed its schedule for its inaugural 2008 six-race season.

Merging the passion of international football with the excitement of high-tech motorsport, the new championship will visit six major circuits across Europe, debuting at Donington in the UK on August 30/31.

Five of the six circuits have been confirmed for the new championship with races at Donington, Nürburgring in Germany; Zolder in Belgium; Estoril in Portugal and Jerez in Spain.

The fourth round will be staged in Italy at a circuit to be determined.

The schedule for the Barcelona-headquartered championship has been approved by the Spanish Motorsport Federation for inscription in the official FIA 2008 calendar This will be finally approved at the World Motor Sport Council in early December.

Aug 30/31: Donington  United Kingdom 
Sep 20/21: Nürburgring  Germany
Oct 4/5: Zolder  Belgium
Oct 18/19: To be announced * Italy
Nov 1/2:  Estoril  Portugal
Nov 22/23: Jerez  Spain

Comment
11/21/07
tv news

ESPN2 airing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch Series Season Reviews
The just-completed 2007 seasons of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series will be reviewed in a pair of programs airing Sunday, Nov. 25, on ESPN2.

A half-hour look back at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season airs at 1:30 p.m. ET, followed at 2 p.m. by a review of the NASCAR Busch Series season. Both series concluded their years at Homestead-Miami Speedway the weekend of Nov. 17-18.

ESPN networks had live coverage of the last 17 races of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this season, with six airing on ESPN and the final 11 on ABC. ESPN2 was the home of the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007.

Comment
11/21/07
industry news

Ferrari joins green race
Ferrari aims to have future models of its luxury sports line consume 40 percent less fuel by 2012 in response to the growing pressure on car makers to reduce CO2 emissions.  Amedeo Felisa, general manager of the Italian luxury sports car maker, said Ferrari wanted to reduce CO2 emissions from 400 grams per kilometer per vehicle to 280-300 by the same target date.

"We have to face the challenge of reducing consumption but not affecting the performance of the car," he said at the Reuters Auto Summit in Frankfurt. "Otherwise we move (away) from our position in the market and we do not want to do that."

Felisa said Ferrari engineers were looking at everything from improving the performance of the engine to using lighter materials for the body of the car.

"The answer is efficiency," he said.

Read more & Comment...
11/21/07
f1

Hamilton most popular F1 driver - poll
(GMM)  After just a single season in formula one, 2007 championship runner-up Lewis Hamilton is the sport's most popular driver, according to a poll.

The survey of more than 8500 fans across Europe, conducted by Renault's title sponsor ING, revealed that the 22-year-old Briton is even more popular than the newly crowned world champion Kimi Raikkonen, as well as Hamilton's highly successful McLaren teammate this year, Fernando Alonso.

Despite double title winner Alonso's immense popularity within Spain, the 2005 and 2006 champion attracted less than ten per cent of the vote, while nearly one third nominated Hamilton as their favorite.

The ING poll also revealed Ayrton Senna as the most revered driver of all time, ahead of the most statistically successful driver in formula one history, Michael Schumacher.

Alongside the ING acclaim, Hamilton has also been awarded the Autocar Motorsport
Award by the British weekly car magazine.

"I am a regular reader of Autocar, I am very proud to have won this award," he is quoted as saying.

Comment
11/21/07
Karting

Speed and Heylen added to Karting All-Stars Classic
MRP-Birel America will head into the All-Stars Karting Classic at the PRI Show led by two of the most successful drivers in North American karting of the past decade. Scott Speed will represent the outfit in the Masters Division alongside his brother Alex, who will line up in the Karter Division. The brothers will be also be joined by Champ Car pilot Jan Heylen to race in the Masters Category of the event.

Scott Speed in 2006 and 2007 represented the United States in Formula One driving for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Before rising up the European open wheel ranks, Speed dominated the national karting scene, including a Stars of Karting Series Champion in 2001. He has now shifted his focus to stock car racing and will compete in the full 2008 ARCA season in the No. 2 Red Bull Camry with Eddie Sharp Racing.

Read more & Comment...
11/21/07
nascar

Democrats are like NASCAR, Thompson says
USA Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson compared his democratic rivals to NASCAR drivers Tuesday. 'It's like they're all in training for NASCAR you know, nothing but a left turn," he said in Iowa.

Comment
11/21/07
industry news

Bankers fail to sell Chrysler debt loans
Chrysler LLC's bankers failed to sell $4 billion of loans that backed the purchase of the automaker by Cerberus Capital Management LP, according to investors briefed on the decision. JPMorgan Chase & Co. notified the potential buyers Tuesday, said the investors, who declined to be named because terms weren't public.

The failure marks the second time buyers have refused the debt from the banks. Chrysler's lenders were stuck with $10 billion of loans when they were unable to find investors to help finance the acquisition in August of 80.1 percent of Auburn Hills-based Chrysler from Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany.

JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns Cos., all of New York, revived plans to sell the debt earlier this month at 97.5 cents on the dollar, according to people with knowledge of the effort.

Read more & Comment...
11/21/07
roc

Drivers confirmed for 2007 ROC
The following drivers have been confirmed for this year's Race of Champions, to be held in Wembley Stadium in December after being in Paris the past two years.
  • Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher
  • Formula One star Jenson Button
  • Reigning World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx
  • Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard
  • Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel
  • Four-time Champ Car Champion Sébastien Bourdais
  • Seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen
  • Two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström
  • Reigning NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson
  • Eight-time X-Games Champion Travis Pastrana
  • Double World Rally Champion, Marcus Grönholm
  • Renault F1’s Heikki Kovalainen
  • 1995 British Rally Champion Alister McRae

World Touring Car Championship star Yvan Muller

Comment
11/21/07
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Raikkonen glad appeal 'mess' now over
  • Bernie baffled by London GP letdown
  • Schu lends name to Dubai skyscraper
  • BMW to launch 2008 car in Munich

Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen glad appeal 'mess' now over
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has described the recent cool-fuel saga as a "mess", but says he never worried about losing his title.

The Ferrari driver mathematically clinched the title in Brazil last month, but his crown was only confirmed after the Court of Appeal last week dismissed an appeal lodged by his former team McLaren.

"Obviously it was the news I wished to hear," the 28-year-old Finn, who has relaxed since Interlagos at his home in Switzerland, said of the decision to dismiss the appeal.

"Finally it is all clear.  We are the champions and there is nothing to be said about that any more," he added.

Raikkonen insists that he did not worry about losing his title to Lewis Hamilton, even though the McLaren rookie's team disputed the legality of several cars that finished higher than the Briton in Brazil.

"I can honestly say that I didn't stress about this affair at all," he said.

"Nothing had changed since the stewards went through it after the race.  One team just wanted to have a go at it.  Now it is over," Raikkonen added.

He said: "I think it is good for the sport and, obviously, it is good for me and for Ferrari.

"Now with this last mess wiped off, I can enjoy my holiday even a little bit more."

Raikkonen has previously lost two drivers' championships in the closing stages of a season; once against Michael Schumacher in 2003, and again two years ago with Fernando Alonso as his adversary.

"I still can feel how it hurt," he explained.  "Winning for me is everything.  Now I can say that it feels even better to have lost it before you finally succeed."

Raikkonen will get back to work at Jerez early next month, and also attend the FIA prize-giving event in Monaco to receive his championship trophy.

"I have never been so keen on those kind of gala evenings, but this time it is different," he said.

Bernie baffled by London GP letdown
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone said he is baffled as to why plans for a formula one street race in London did not succeed.

F1's chief executive revealed that organizers said the event was going to be too expensive.

"It would cost a small amount compared to what they're spending on the Olympics," he argued, referring to the British capital's hosting of the Games in 2012.

Ecclestone, 77, at the launch of the official 2007 season review DVD, added: "If they look at it from a pure business point of view, all the revenue it would bring in ... I just don't understand why it isn't happening."

Read more & Comment...

11/20/07
cc

Kalkhoven trial nears close


Kevin Kalkhoven

Kevin Kalkhoven was in Oakland District Court on Friday, but not for long, as the final day of testimony in the class action civil jury trial against the mogul and three other individual defendants drew to a close.  Friday's witness Charles Neagoy, a JDS Uniphase employee, completed his testimony from Thursday, and the jury was then excused while further discussions continued. Kalkhoven left at this point, while the other defendants, Charles Abbe, Robert Muller and Dr. Josef Strauss remained in court for the two remaining witnesses, who testified without the jury.

Plaintiff witness Dr. Scott Hakala and defense witness Allan Kleidon testified on the various methodologies of determining stock inflations and damages, if assessed. Judge Claudia Wilkins conducted the questioning. Part of the complexity is that each of the many plaintiffs in the class action suit bought and sold different amounts of stocks and/or on different days.

Once Wilkins had finished questioning the two damages experts, the other three defendants left. The attorneys from each of the three legal teams argued before the bench, with cites, for their respective points on the jury instructions, which will be given Monday, followed by the plaintiff's summation. The judge will continue discussions early Monday morning, if required, before court opens. Crash.net

Comment
11/20/07
IRL

Perfect Scores and Standing Ovations for Helio and Julianne UPDATE After the viewers votes were counted, Helio and Julianne have advanced to the final round of competition of "Dancing with the Stars" where they will be competing against two other couples in two freestyle dances.  Don't miss the exciting final round of competition to be held next Monday, November 26 at 8:00 pm on ABC.  See related article on IndyCar.com

11/19/07

Julianne Hough and Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough did their part in the semifinals of "Dancing with the Stars." Now it's up to the viewers/voters to put them in the championship round.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 champion and his professional partner scored a pair of perfect 30s from the three-judge panel for their Foxtrot and Cha Cha Cha performances on the Nov. 19 live show.

"You are the standout couple tonight," head judge Len Goodman told the couple on the air.

His review was supported by the other judges. Carrie Ann Inaba said, "You are a star." And Bruno Tonioli said, "Eye-popping. You are the king of a great ride."  More at IndyCar.com

Comment
11/20/07
f1

Denis Chevrier talks about the common ECU


Dennis Chevrier

The ING Renault Formula One Team's head of Engine Trackside Operations, Denis Chevrier, talks about the impact of the common ECU on the Viry-Châtillon engineers. The common ECU is one of the most significant changes of the past few seasons for the engineers.

Denis, can you tell us a bit about the impact of the common ECU on the engineers’ work?
"It’s huge! It’s THE major winter assignment for all the teams, and above all a challenge for the engineers."

Why?
"The engines are frozen at present. This means that the specifications of the V8s cannot evolve, whereas the arrival of the common ECU has completely revolutionized their electronic control systems. Renault had collaborated with its historic partner for over twenty years, and had perfected its own system with its own language and philosophy. Over the years the environment controlling the engine evolved according to our needs and desires. This winter all that has disappeared. We have to learn everything from scratch again. The ECU’s functions are different. The program supplied with it has different parameters, different interactions and different structures."

What’s your mission between now and the first race of the 2008 season?
"It’s simple. We’ll have to try and reach the same fine-tuned level of control despite this unfamiliar environment. We’ll do it not only by achieving total comprehension of the new system, but also by training the engineers involved. A year ago, we didn’t know the functional aspect of the 2008 engine ECU: namely, analysis and data stocking. It’s not only the ECU that’s changed: it’s got its own language and way of working. I’d add that it’s not a question of each one in Enstone and Viry working in his own corner to understand the common ECU. We have to do things in such a way that the two entities communicate as fluidly as before in the car."

Does the ban on traction control upset the learning process?
"Yes, it does. If the situation hadn’t changed between 2007 and 2008 electronically speaking, reoptimising the engines without traction control would have already been a big challenge. Doing it with a new ECU is a daunting task, as we have to master all the ins and outs of the systems we’re getting to know."

Read more & Comment...

11/20/07
nascar

Gordon’s team claims 2007 Pit Crew Title
Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 over-the-wall crew beat Mark Martin’s No. 01 crew in a tiebreaker to capture the 2007 Checkers®/Rally’s® Double Drive-Thru Challenge season championship.

Gordon’s and Martin’s pit crews ended the season tied for first with four wins a piece, but the tiebreaker went to Gordon’s team for having the highest finish in the Nextel Cup driver point standings.

Checkers/Rally’s will present Gordon’s crew a $111,150 bonus check for winning the season-long competition during Champions Week in New York City. Combined with its $11,000 winnings for each weekly each pit crew victory, the total prize money earned by Gordon’s crew in 2007 is $155,150.

"The No. 24 DuPont® pit crew did an amazing job all year," said crew chief Steve Letarte. "They were consistently fast and didn't miss a beat when changes were made to the lineup due to injuries. Aside from those listed, Mike Atwell did an incredible job changing rear tires in Kevin Gilman's absence for six or eight races. I'm glad this award recognizes their contribution to our season."

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11/20/07
nascar

Franchitti to run Nationwide Series
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced that Fastenal Company, a leading global industrial and construction supply distributor, has signed a multi-year deal with the team to sponsor driver Dario Franchitti and the #40 Dodge Charger in the 2008 Nationwide Series.  The program will feature Franchitti as the car’s primary driver and also include select races with his CGRFS Sprint Cup Series teammate Reed Sorenson behind the wheel.

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11/20/07
nascar

Ambrose to run 12 Cup races in '08


Marcos Ambrose

Marcos Ambrose has today been confirmed as the driver of the Little Debbie Ford Fusion for 12 races in next year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the top division of NASCAR.

The Australian will also become the new pitchman for all of the Little Debbie® snack cake brands as well as appearing in all ‘point of sale’ materials and related items.

Ambrose, 31, is scheduled to make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup (formerly NASCAR Nextel Cup) appearance at the Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma, California on June 22.

The announcement coincides with Wood Brothers Racing and JTG Racing re-signing with McKee Foods and its Little Debbie Snack Cakes brand as a primary sponsor for the next two years, extending on the relationship of the past two seasons.

Little Debbie will serve as the primary sponsor for 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup events in the 2008 season and again in the 2009 season. Additional driver line-ups for the remaining six Little Debbie events will be announced at a later date, as will other sponsor/driver combinations for 2008.

Ambrose will continue to drive the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series (formerly NASCAR Busch Series), meaning it will be a busy 2008 schedule for the former two-time Australian V8 Supercar champion, with a full 35-race program in the second-tier Nationwide Series and a current schedule of 12 races in the top-flight Sprint Cup, with the potential for more Cup appearances.

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11/20/07
track news
f1

Ecclestone renews attack on Silverstone


Ecclestone: "They have known for 5 years what they need to do."

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has described Silverstone as the sport's worst circuit and called on the government to invest in improvements. Ecclestone has repeatedly warned that the historic venue is in danger of losing the British Grand Prix.

"Britain is supposed to be the heart of Formula One racing and our circuit is bottom of the list," he said.  "With a tiny percentage of what the government are wasting on the Olympics, they could support Silverstone."

Silverstone's contract to stage the British GP expires in 2009, but a £25m redevelopment has been approved by the British Racing Drivers' Club, who own the Northamptonshire circuit.

Ecclestone said: "They know exactly what they have to do. They've known for at least five years.

"It's not for us to say where the money comes from but it's strange because most of the events we have now are supported by governments."

Ecclestone is also baffled as to why the move to stage a Grand Prix on the streets of London appears to have stalled.

Speaking at the launch of the official F1 season review DVD, he added: "Things were sorted out very nicely in London.

"Mayor Ken Livingstone was very helpful and we laid a plan out of what we could do.  It would have happened, it was just a question of where the money was going to come from.  It would cost a small amount compared to what they're spending on the Olympics.  "If they look at it from a pure business point of view, all the revenue it would bring in, I just don't understand why it isn't happening."  BBC Sport

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11/20/07
a1gp

Summerton replaces Rice for Team USA


Jonathan Summerton

Jonathan Summerton will drive for A1 TEAM USA this weekend (Nov. 23-25) in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. 

Summerton, of Kissimmee, Fla., holds the distinction of being the youngest driver to stand on the podium in A1GP's two-plus seasons. Summerton  was 18 when he finished second in the Feature race at Mexico City on March 18, 2007. 

After starting the 2006-07 season in the all-rookie practices that begin race weekends, Summerton drove A1 TEAM USA's Lola-Zytek for the full weekend in the final four events and scored 18 points. He was sixth in the Feature at Brands Hatch, England, and fifth in the Sprints at Mexico City and Shanghai. 

Summerton, 19, has never driven at Sepang, a 3.44-mile, 15-turn circuit that also holds Formula 1 and MotoGP events. 

"I can't wait to get back in the 'We the People' car," Summerton said. "I have been training for the past month to be ready for my race seat. I know I will be a bit rusty in the first practice session but hopefully by  qualifying I will be able to be in the top 10 and then for the races be in the top five. I am looking forward to racing on another F1 track." 

Read more & Comment...

11/20/07
track news

EuroSpeedway Lausitz: No.1 instead of Formula 1


Matthias Tomasetti and Hans-Joerg Fischer

Klettwitz - EuroSpeedway Lausitz is the most successful motor racing circuit in Germany. This was announced by the two managing partners of EuroSpeedway Lausitz GmbH Hans-Joerg Fischer (41) and Matthias Tomasetti (39) with the publication of the 2006 business report. The company, which operates EuroSpeedway Lausitz in the Federal State of Brandenburg, earned an operating profit of more than one million Euro in the reporting year. Only three years after taking over the operation on January 1, 2004, the company has reached top position among the four permanently operated German motor racing circuits. 

Hans-Joerg Fischer, managing partner of EuroSpeedway Lausitz GmbH: "With the support of a motivated team, continuous service orientation in all areas of the company, efficient cost management and the focus on profitable business, we've turned EuroSpeedway Lausitz GmbH, though located in one of Germany's poorest regions, into the most successful company in this sector." 

Utilization of the circuit capacity was increased from 78.9 percent in 2004 to 92.1 percent in the reporting year 2006 by means of an active and target group-specific sales strategy.  In the current  business year 2007, utilization has further increased to 95.7 percent. 

Fischer and Tomasetti, the two owners of the company, who each hold 50 percent of the company shares, have already managed the turnaround in 2004 and achieved break-even in 2005. For the current business year 2007, EuroSpeedway Lausitz GmbH once again estimates a seven-digit operating profit. 

In contrast to the common subsidy policy in Germany, for example at the loss-making Formula 1 circuits Nurbürgring and Hockenheimring, EuroSpeedway Lausitz GmbH has not received a single cent of public money. Fischer and Tomasetti will move on  without asking for any subsidies.

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11/20/07
irl

Fans have chance to "trick out" safety cars
IndyCar Series fans now have the chance to "trick out" the paint and graphics on the new Honda Accord Safety Cars to be used during the 2008 IndyCar Series season.

Through a contest starting today and lasting through Jan. 1, 2008 on the indycar.com Website, fans will be able to register, download a template of the all-new, 268-horsepower Honda Accord Coupe, and then create their own unique paint schemes and decals for the vehicles that will pace 14 of the 15 domestic IndyCar Series events during the 2008 season.

The contest winner will receive a pair of tickets to the season-opening IndyCar Series race at Miami-Homestead Speedway on March 29, 2008, along with pit/garage passes and travel accommodations for both the winner and a guest.

"Everyone at Honda is enthusiastic about the new Accord and its role as the new Safety Car for the IndyCar Series," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development.  "This is the highest-performing, best-looking Accord yet. We eagerly anticipate seeing the paint and graphic schemes developed by fans. It's a great opportunity for our supporters to become even more involved in the IndyCar Series."

Read more & Comment...
11/20/07
irl

Castroneves nominated for award for dancing
Helio Castroneves is far from being a rookie on the race track, but his exploits on "Dancing With The Stars" have earned him a nomination for the "RACER Magazine Rookie of the Year," which will be presented as part of the Speed Performance Awards. Castroneves is nominated along with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Champ Car driver Robert Doornbos.  The Speed Performance Awards are selected by the fans who vote for their favorite video clips at www.speedtv.com. The first three categories, "RACER Magazine Rookie of the Year," Biggest Hit" and the "Oops Award.", opened for voting on Nov. 19.  The second series of categories - "Temper, Temper," "Biggest Upset" and "Heartbreak" will open to fan voting beginning Nov. 26 and the final three categories - "Best Rivalry," "Best Finish" and "Tell it Like it Is" will be open to fan voting beginning Dec. 3.  All of the awards will be part of a one-hour SPEED Performance Awards special to air in February.

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11/20/07
irl

Kanaan finishes sixth in Formula Nippon event
For a one-off, Tony Kanaan was pleased with his finish.  The 2004 IndyCar Series champion advanced 12 positions to finish sixth in the Japan Formula Nippon finale at Suzuka Circuit last weekend. Kanaan had never driven at the track -- or driven the Formula Nippon car - before the first of two practice sessions. "I was pleased at the end of the day, after all I gained 12 positions in the race," said Kanaan, who won the IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi in April. "The (standing) start especially was difficult, since I hadn't done one in 12 years." Kanaan said he spoke with Formula 1 drivers Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa about Suzuka Circuit and watched in-car camera tape to learn the racetrack."  "I really liked Suzuka; I'd like to be back next year but with more time to practice," Kanaan said. "I absolutely love going to Japan. I love the culture, the food and the country. I always look forward to racing at Motegi and was fortunate to get my first win there in 2007. I have been partnered with Honda for a long time so it was very special for me to win at Motegi."

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11/20/07
nascar

Johnson offered lifetime contract
Jimmie Johnson has been offered a lifetime contract to stay at Hendrick Motorsports. "And it's a lifetime contract with unlimited budget, right?" Johnson jokingly asked team owner Rick Hendrick after the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend.

Johnson is coming off his second consecutive Nextel Cup championship, and he and crew chief Chad Knaus have won 33 races in their six years together on the No. 48 Chevrolet team. Johnson has also finished in the top five in the final points standings all six seasons he's raced in Cup.

"I just offered it to him," Hendrick said. "It's a commitment. Jimmie and I talked about it, and Chad and I talked about it. You know, I want to do whatever I can do to keep it together.

"When you've got someone that you really enjoy being with, and you see that they've got unlimited potential and he and Chad have got great chemistry - I try to look down the road as far as they feel comfortable. So we know we're going to be together for a few more years. I'm going to do everything I can to give them everything they need and whatever they look forward to in the future."

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11/20/07
cc

Toronto GP sponsor in 'liquidity crisis'
Generic drug entrepreneur Barry Sherman has gained court protection for D'Angelo Brands and Steelback Breweries in efforts to save the two former high-flying beverage companies which together owe his family firm more than $120 million.

Justice Sarah Pepall quietly issued an order late last week for a stay of any proceedings by creditors against the two insolvent companies until Sherman's Wasanda Enterprises attempts to file a restructuring plan.

Sherman's son Jonathon, who took over as chief executive officer of D'Angelo and Steelback earlier this month, said in an affidavit that the two floundering companies need court protection to stabilize operations, assess their "future viability" and develop a plan.

Without providing details, Sherman said both companies have cut staff, chopped the number of beverage offerings and reduced marketing costs to stop "financial bleeding." The two companies employ more than 300 people.

Read more & Comment...
11/20/07
f1

Klien gets second Force India test

Christian Klien

After testing for the Force India F1 team at the Barcelona circuit last week, former Red Bull racer and Honda tester Christian Klien will return to the test track for the Silverstone based squad again next month when teams take to the Jerez circuit for the fin al testing session of 2007.

After clocking up over 150 laps last week and emerging as the fastest driver on duty for Force India, the young Austrian was thrilled with the working conditions presented by the team and despite the fact that the banishment of all driver aids made things a little trickier than normal, he was happy with the overall outcome.

Read more & Comment...

11/20/07
f1

Toyota confirms January 10 launch
(GMM)  Toyota will launch its 2008 car on 10 January early next year, the Japanese team confirmed on Tuesday.

The TF108, to be raced by Timo Glock and ostensibly Jarno Trulli, is to be launched at the outfit's Cologne headquarters, Toyota said.

Toyota's 2007 car, the disappointing TF107, was launched at the Expo XXI site, near the Japanese outfit's Cologne headquarters, on January 12 this year.

"Our 2008 car will be very different," Pascal Vasselon, Toyota's general chassis manager, recently told F1 Racing magazine.

"I wouldn't say 'revolutionary' because nature is continuous," he added.  "For instance, you don't go from being stupid to intelligent, or back again, from one day to the next.

"So, although our car will be very different, it will be a normal evolution according to what we've learned through experience -- and where we are in terms of understanding our performances.

"We started on the 2008 car very early -- in January," Vasselon added.

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11/20/07
nascar

Jeff Burton honored as 2007 Person of the Year
Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 AT&T Chevrolet and winner of the Busch race in Miami on Saturday, is well-known for his skill and tenacity on the track, but he is also a noted philanthropist off of it. Today, Burton was named the 2007 Person of the Year by NASCAR Illustrated for his efforts both on and off the track. As part of this honor, Old Spice has agreed to donate $5,000 to Duke Children's Hospital in his name. To congratulate Burton for the award, AT&T has matched the donation with a $5,000 contribution of their own to the hospital. "AT&T wants to congratulate Jeff for this wonderful honor," said Tim McGhee, director of national sponsorships for AT&T's wireless unit. "We have always known that Jeff is not just a great driver, but a great person. We're proud that others will be aware now, too." In addition to being one of the top drivers in the sport, Burton has been an advocate for improved driver safety as well as a top supporter of the Duke Children's Hospital. Burton and his wife Kim have raised well over a million dollars for the hospital and devoted countless hours of personal time to brightening the lives of seriously ill children. The Person of the Year award is an annual honor decided on by NASCAR Illustrated staffers. This is the first time Burton has won the award, and he appears on the cover of the December issues. AT&T PR

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11/20/07
nascar

Judge recommends NASCAR, Kentucky Speedway settle lawsuit
A federal judge said attorneys for NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Kentucky Speedway should consider returning to the bargaining table. U.S. District Court judge William Bertelsman said Monday an expected month long trial, followed by several years of appeals, could be avoided if the two sides continue mediation. NASCAR and ISC attorneys asked Bertelsman for a summary judgment Monday, arguing the speedway has insufficient evidence to prove NASCAR and ISC worked together with other tracks to keep the Kentucky track from acquiring a NASCAR Nextel Cup race. Bertelsman said he won't rule on the motion until January at the earliest. A March 4, 2008 trial date already has been set. "If you want to, now would be a good time to return to mediation," Bertelsman said. The two sides met for five hours in June with no success, and Bertelsman said it was his understanding neither side wants to settle. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said it was "premature" to say whether NASCAR and ISC would be willing to return to mediation. Cincinnati attorney Stan Chesley, a co-counsel for the track, said track officials are "always willing to sit down and talk." In the lawsuit, the speedway alleges NASCAR conspired to leave the Sparta, Ky., track and some other tracks out of the coveted Nextel Cup schedule despite their superior amenities. The speedway is asking ISC be ordered to sell at least eight of the 12 tracks it owns that host Nextel Cup races and that the Kentucky speedway be awarded in excess of $200 million in damages. The speedway's goal is to "destroy an anticompetitive regime," said track co-counsel Stephen Susman. He said that because NASCAR and ISC work so closely together -- the two companies are both controlled by the France family and share the same offices in Daytona Beach, Fla. -- that a jury could "reasonably divine" that the two companies have worked together to deny independent track races the chance to host a race. The 1.5-mile tri-oval in northern Kentucky opened in 2000 and is host to several events each year, including a Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series race, as well as an Indy Racing League event. David Boies, lead attorney for NASCAR and ISC, argued that if NASCAR was intent on shutting out the speedway, it would not allow the speedway to host NASCAR-sponsored events. "It's inconsistent with their logic," Boies said. "NASCAR wouldn't support the track if it was trying to drive Kentucky out of business." Associated Press/ESPN

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11/20/07
f1

Video: Toyota signs Timo Glock

Click photo to watch interview

Toyota Motorsport GmbH has confirmed Timo Glock will join the Panasonic Toyota Racing team as a race driver for the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship. Timo, 25, returns to Formula 1 as the GP2 Series champion after his triumph in the season finale in Valencia, Spain. Timo discusses his thoughts on achieving his ambition of becoming a full-time Formula 1 race driver, as well as his expectations for the upcoming season. Panasonic Toyota Racing Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina is delighted with Timo’s arrival and praised his “driving style and spirit”

Comment
11/20/07
industry news

General Motors stock sinks on mortgage losses
Deepening concerns about deteriorating credit-market conditions helped send shares of General Motors Corp. to their lowest level in about 17 months on Monday.
The automaker, in the midst of a restructuring aimed at restoring profitability, has been stung in recent months by the weak performance at GMAC Financial Services, which has struggled due to losses at its residential-mortgage business even as auto loans continue to be profitable.

News on Monday that Goldman Sachs had downgraded shares of Citigroup Inc. (Charts, Fortune 500) to sell, citing concerns of more write-downs for the bank and mortgage-related exposures, revived concerns that the crisis could worsen for companies that have links to the mortgage market.

Read more & Comment...
11/20/07
f1

McLaren sponsor wants out
(GMM)  Officials for the Spanish sponsor Mutua Madrilena will travel to Woking next week for talks with bosses of the McLaren formula one team, reports on Tuesday said.

El Mundo Deportivo claims that the Madrid based insurance company intends to try to negotiate an exit from its binding McLaren contract so it can accompany Fernando Alonso to his new team for 2008.

The newspaper added, however, that Mutua Madrilena may be appeased by McLaren if the British team signs test veteran and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa to be Lewis Hamilton's new teammate.

News of Mutua Madrilena's aim to leave McLaren interestingly coincides with a move in the Spanish financial world.

Another Spanish sponsor at McLaren this year was Banco Santander, which appears to be happy to stay with the team in 2008.

In a neat coincidence, it emerges that Mutua Madrilena has in the last few days sold its small stake in Santander, seemingly clearing the way for them to compete on the grand prix tracks next year.

Meanwhile, El Mundo reports that Hamilton and de la Rosa are this week training in Finland under the guidance of McLaren doctor Aki Hintsa.

Comment
11/19/07
ga

Pirelli tires shine in first Grand-Am test
Daytona Beach, Florida- Pirelli’s inaugural pre-season test session with the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 took place in sunny weather and track temperatures of 90°F. The two day session was marked by highly favorable comments from the drivers and record lap times from the cars. Pirelli debuted its new motorsport support team and fleet which brought 2400 tires to support the 44 teams that attended.

Starting with the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona, Pirelli will fit all Daytona Prototype and GT competitors with tires specifically designed to suit both standard road course circuits and the banking of the Daytona and Miami tracks. Pirelli proudly returns to the North American motorsport scene as the official tire supplier to the largest professional sports cars series in the United States.

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11/19/07
nascar

NASCAR Champ Jimmie Johnson Visits ESPN


Johnson on SportsCenter

Less than 24 hours after winning the NASCAR Nextel Cup 2007 points championship, Jimmie Johnson visited ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. Monday afternoon. Johnson did a chat with ESPN.com users, met with ESPN executive vice president, production Norby Williamson, who was at Sunday’s season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and appeared on Outside the Lines, ESPNEWS, SportsCenter, and NASCAR Now.

SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne (l) and 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on the set Monday at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. John Atashian / ESPN

Comment
11/19/07
nascar

Yates to bring back #28 in 2008 UPDATE A reader adds, What a surprise! a Roush driver in a Yates car. Just confirms that Roush is going to be running the Yates team in 2008.  Jack has to be getting a real kick out of NASCAR 4 car only rule. His 5, 2 Yates, 1 Wood Brothers and 1 Robby Gordon, equals 9 teams that he is involved with. Hendrick only has 6 teams (his 4 and Haas's 2), so I guess he will need to get a couple more.  Tim DeCesaro

11/19/07 Yates Racing will resurrect the #28 next season with driver Travis Kvapil. The number, which has been driven by 10 of the 40 winningest drivers in NASCAR history for 76 victories, hasn't been used since Ricky Rudd was behind the wheel at RYR in 2002. "Hopefully, we can do the things we used to do with it," said Doug Yates, the co-owner of RYR. Among those that have driven the 28 are Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Davey Allison, Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan. Davey Allison won 19 races with the number between 1987 and his tragic helicopter death in 1993. Rudd last drove the number from 2000 to 2002, collecting three wins and 53 top 10s. He was fifth in points in his first season, fourth in 2001 and 10th in 2002. Yates is making the switch because it gave the #88 to Dale Earnhardt Jr. to use at Hendrick Motorsports next season. "We hope it brings back the good times we had before," he said. "It's always been a number we've been fond of." ESPN.com

Comment
11/19/07
Industry News

Cadillac CTS Motor Trend's '08 Car of the Year


Cadillac CTS

The editors at Motor Trend, one of the world's premiere automotive authorities, announced today that they have chosen the Cadillac CTS as the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

"Cadillac is truly honored to receive one of the world's most coveted automotive awards," says Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "This is a very meaningful reward for our team that created the all-new 2008 CTS, and a powerful statement to consumers everywhere about Cadillac's product renaissance."

The Motor Trend Car of the Year honor highlights the wide acclaim the 2008 CTS sport sedan has earned around the world and with consumers since its launch earlier this fall. Luxury cars buyers are responding similarly, with CTS U.S. sales jumping 75% in October.

The full report from Motor Trend appears in the January issue of the magazine (on newsstands in early-December) and online at www.motortrend.com. Cadillac was the first automaker ever to win Motor Trend Car of the Year in the magazine's inaugural year of 1949, and again in 1952 and 1992.

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11/19/07
cckarting

Meet Miles Maroney
Miles Maroney, 14, of Topanga Canyon, California is another member of the PCM Jr Team. Miles has just wrapped his 2007 karting season, where he earned multiple race wins, fast laps and podium finishes en route to his third place finish in the Gatorz Rotax Series Championship, third in the overall Western Division Championship and fourth in the overall national championship standings.  Miles will be signing autographs alongside the PCM show car at the LA Auto Show on Saturday, November 24th.  The show car is located in the Kart Factory Display in Kentia Hall (display k440) at the LA Convention Center.

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11/19/07
cca

PCM Jr. team tests
US RaceTronics, the Atlantic team in PCM’s JR Team stable, completed a test at Buttonwillow Racetrack on Thursday.  The team announced last month that American standout, Carl Skerlong will return to fight for the 2008 title, “It felt great to get back in the car before the new year, we had a good test and I cannot wait for 2008,” commented Skerlong.  Frankie Muniz also tested with the California-based US RaceTronics team.  Heading into his sophomore season, Muniz is evaluating options for next year; it was his first test with the US RaceTronics team, “it was an awesome experience,” said Muniz.  “I learned so much, the car felt great, we ran 200 miles without an issue.  I am excited to announce my plans for 2008 in the coming weeks.”

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11/19/07
cc

Dominguez Soars in a CF-18 Hornet

Mario Dominguez

PCM Champ Car driver Mario Dominguez was a guest of the Royal Canadian Air force in Cold Lake, Alberta on Thursday.  Dominguez met Captain Paul “Squish” Umrysh earlier this year at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton when Dominguez gave the pilot a ride in the F1 2-Seater.  Captain Squish returned the favor and offered Dominguez the opportunity to ride in the CF-18 Hornet.  A lifelong dream for Dominguez, he jumped at the opportunity.  Dominguez traveled to Alberta, Canada on Tuesday.  Similar to race cars, Dominguez completed a seat fitting on Wednesday, followed by a medical and gear fitting.  Thursday was the big day, Dominguez spent 1.5 hours in the C19 Hornet, “riding with “Squish” in the CF-18 was unbelievable, after take-off he broke the sound barrier almost immediately, the we entered a simulated Dog Fight.  He did several maneuvers, one after the other, he is a phenomenal pilot and I will never forget this experience,” said Dominguez.

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11/19/07
nascar

Ford Wins Crew Chief of the Year
WypAll Wipers is pleased to announce Mike Ford, crew chief for the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team, as the 2007 WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.

The WypAll Wipers Crew Chief Challenge has been a season-long contest set out to determine the best crew chiefs in the garage. At the conclusion of each NASCAR race, a panel of judges decided which crew chief did an outstanding job throughout the course of the weekend based on their strategic planning and race day calls. While, it wasn't necessarily the crew chief that made it into victory lane, it was always the crew chief that made the biggest difference to his team. The crew chief with the most weekly wins received top honors as the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.

The challenge spotlights the crew chief's performance and efforts to get his team into victory lane.  “Crew chiefs work hard to get their team and car ready for competition week in and week out,” says Tom Merrill, category manager for WypAll Wipers.  “Often times, the crew chief goes unnoticed by the fans, even when they win.  This award is designed to bring recognition to the hard work and dedication that crew chiefs display throughout the season, whether they made it into victory lane or simply finished strong.”

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11/19/07
nascar

Evernham plans to scale back track time in 2008
Although Ray Evernham will be overseeing how the race cars will be built at Gillett Evernham Motorsports next year, he doesn't expect to be at the race track all the time to do it. "You'll probably see less of me as the thing goes on a little bit," Evernham said Nov. 16. "I'm going to try to get a little bit rested up and concentrate on what we've got to do to get better and see what the next things are." Evernham sold majority interest of his team to George Gillett and family in August. The former crew chief for Jeff Gordon has remained with the team as chief executive officer. "The Gilletts have done a great job and they're doing exactly what they said they would do and it's maybe letting me stand back a little bit and say, 'OK, what have we really got to do with this organization?' " Evernham said. "I'm looking forward to maybe being more of a consultant to my own company and helping more rather than trying. For me to be in the shop worrying about where the bodies are put and how the cars are being built? No, I need to be out identifying the people and getting that long-term vision back again and it's going to allow me to do that, so you're probably going to see a little bit less of me." SceneDaily.com

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11/19/07
nascar

NASCAR TV ratings continue to tumble
The Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup concluded on Sunday with the Ford 400, which earned a 3.8 overnight Nielsen rating on ABC, down 11.6% from a 4.3 overnight on NBC last year.

Comment
11/19/07
cc

Champ Car implores all drivers
With Thanksgiving on tap this week, Champ Car is kicking its ‘Hands on the Wheel’ safe-driving campaign into high gear this month, hoping to keep the roads safe during the busy Holiday season.  

With many people set to get behind the wheel of their vehicles to visit friends and family, Champ Car’s drivers, partners and other stakeholders are encouraging everyone to go to www.handsonthewheel.org and take the pledge to not be a distracted driver.  

“Champ Car gets involved in lots of good causes, but this is one we’re really passionate about,” Champ Car driver Katherine Legge explained during a Indianapolis high school appearance. “It’s one that does really predominate in a lot of young people’s minds.”

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11/19/07
f1

Klien, Liuzzi, to test again at Jerez
(GMM) Both Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi are expected to test again for the Force India team at the last test of 2007 early next month.

Among others, the pair are in contention for a race seat with the Silverstone based outfit for 2008, and appeared in the newly liveried burgundy and white cars last week at Circuit de Catalunya.

Austrian Klien was marginally the quickest, but both he and Liuzzi, Toro Rosso's ousted 2007 racer, will be fending off strong competition for the seats at Jerez if the likes of veterans Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella also appear.

"The times were close but it's really nice to be quickest after being out of an F1 cockpit for so long and I am very much looking forward to the Jerez test," 24-year-old Klien said.

Liuzzi's participation at Jerez is not yet confirmed but he told the Italian website f1grandprix.it that it is likely.

"I should test with the team also in Jerez," he said. "We are still waiting, but it's very likely.

"The chances with them are good, but there are also some other chances for the future, so I'm very confident," the Italian, who had been linked with Williams before the British team confirmed Kazuki Nakajima for 2008, added.

Liuzzi said: "Some other teams got in contact with me. I have to say at the moment I'm quite focussed on Force India because they proved to be a much more professional and competitive team than I thought."

Comment
11/19/07
f1

Renault to have different drivers in 2008
(GMM) Renault will field a different driver lineup in 2008, team boss Flavio Briatore said on Monday.

The Italian was also quoted by the news agency ANSA as predicting a "60 per cent chance" of securing the services of double world champion Fernando Alonso.

"Renault will certainly have different drivers next year," he said.

"Alonso has a 60 percent chance of coming to us," Briatore added.

Heikki Kovalainen is strongly linked with the newly vacant McLaren seat alongside Lewis Hamilton for next year, while the Finn's 2007 Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella's future is presently unclear.

Alonso, meanwhile, is tipped to return to the team that he won back to back titles with in 2005 and 2006, but Red Bull and Toyota have also been touted as possible destinations for the Spaniard.

"We have an advantage because we know him," Briatore said. "He will decide between today and tomorrow.

"When you get married, you break up and you get back together again, it's not easy," he added.

Briatore also angrily described Renault's World Motor Sport Council summons next month for espionage as "a vendetta by McLaren".

He suggested that Renault properly handled the case of engineer Phil Mackereth by suspending him and immediately informing McLaren and the FIA.

Briatore said: "When you have a thousand employees, it is difficult to be aware of what's going on."

Comment
11/19/07
cc

Da Matta hopes for comeback
In August of 2006, former Formula 1 driver and Champ Car World series champion Cristiano da Matta had just notched his best race of the season when his team participated in a practice session at the very long, very rural Road America road course in Wisconsin. It's so rural that a deer ran out in front of da Matta's car, struck a front tire, then landed in the cockpit, striking da Matta's helmet.

An excellent on-scene medical staff did what they could, but da Matta was unconscious when he was helicoptered to the hospital. Many at the track figured they'd never see the slight, invariably cheerful little Brazilian again.

They very nearly didn't. Da Matta's brain swelled so much that doctors had to remove a large portion of his skull, so his brain could swell outside his head. The prognosis was grim; some publications began making notes for an obituary. We were told he may never awaken, and if he did... well, even that prospect was guarded.

No one told da Matta. Within months, he was home, working out on a stationary bicycle, updating his Web site for fans.

And last Wednesday, he was at Daytona International Speedway for the Grand-Am sports car series test, wandering the garages, visiting with friends.

Read more & Comment...
11/19/07
superleague

Turkish delight for Superleague Formula
Superleague Formula has added 16-time Turkish League champions Galatasaray SK to its roster of major international football clubs that will line up on the grid for the championship’s debut in August next year.

Galatasaray SK will take its place on a 20-strong grid alongside AC Milan, FC Porto, Olympiacos, PSV Eindhoven, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, Flamengo and FC Basel in the new Superleague Formula championship that features 750 horsepower, V12-powered single seaters bearing the colors of the world’s leading football clubs.

Launched in April this year, the championship will kick off in 2008 with an initial six races staged at major circuits across Europe.

Graduates of a prestigious high school – with roots stretching back to 1481 – established Galatasaray SK in 1905.

Read more & Comment...
11/19/07
f1

Spying has ’always’ been in F1 - Newey

Adrian Newey

(GMM) This year's espionage scandal would have been dwarfed by other instances of spying in formula one that went unnoticed, according to Adrian Newey.

The Red Bull designer, who for years penned championship winning cars for Ron Dennis' Woking based team, said the so-called Stepneygate saga involving Ferrari secrets in 2007 was "over-hyped".

"Such things have always gone on in the industry and will always continue to do so," the 48-year-old Briton told F1's official website.

McLaren was excluded from the constructors' championship and fined an unprecedented $100m earlier this year when the information in a 780-page Ferrari dossier in the possession of chief designer Mike Coughlan was found to have spread throughout the team.

Renault will appear at the World Motor Sport Council on December 6 to face the separate charge of possessing detailed information about McLaren's F1 single seaters.

Newey said: "The fact is that there have been far bigger breaches of personnel taking info with them from one team to another in the past which have gone undetected or without penalty.

"My personal opinion is that anything anyone can take with them in their head is fair game, but anything that is written or in electronic format is not," he added.

Newey, meanwhile, revealed that next year's Red Bull, the RB4, will be a mechanical "evolution" of the 2007 car.

"(It) should give us a much more reliable and well understood base to work from at the start of the season," he said.

Comment
11/19/07
a1gp

A1GP heads to Malaysia for Round Three
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2007/08 title race is hotting up, despite just two of 10 rounds having been held so far this season. After a five week break, the thrilling championship heads east to Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur for the third round of the season on 23-25 November, as 22 nations prepare to recommence their on-track battles.

As the series celebrates its 50th ever race on Sunday afternoon, championship defender Germany take on a new driver in Michael Ammermüller while Switzerland demonstrate the growing role of women in motorsport by naming Rahel Frey as its rookie for the weekend. When she takes to the track on Friday, the 21-year-old will become the fifth female to drive an A1GP car during a race weekend.

Home nation Malaysia’s Alex Yoong is the most experienced driver in A1GP and, despite a tough start to the season, the 31-year-old from Kuala Lumpur remains upbeat about his team’s chances at his home race. Malaysian rookie Aaron Lim, who knows the Sepang circuit well, will get his first taste of his home circuit in an A1GP car when he takes to the track this weekend.

Current championship leader New Zealand will have its sights firmly set on extending its one-point advantage over South Africa while Oliver Jarvis will be aiming to keep Great Britain, currently lying third, in title contention. Jarvis will arrive in Malaysia fresh from taking a dominant victory at the Macau F3 Grand Prix. A1 Team China was also present in Macau as both CongFu (Franky) Cheng and YinKin (Marchy) Lee were on hand to perform demonstration laps in the Chinese car to promote the fourth round of the A1GP season at Zhuhai.

Read more & Comment...
11/19/07
Racing News

2007 Lap Times Comparison Chart

Track

IndyCar Champ Car Le Mans P1 Le Mans/FIA GT1 Super GT MotoGP Formula 1
Mid-Ohio 1:06.838 ----- 1:09.435 1:16.568 ----- ----- -----
Laguna Seca ----- 1:05.880 1:11.175 1:19.304 ----- 1:21.975 -----
Zolder ----- 1:12.821 ----- 1:25.812 ----- ----- -----
Interlagos ----- ----- 1:18.787 1:29.296 ----- ----- 1:11.810
Assen ----- 1:18.765 ----- ----- ----- 1:37.433 -----
Fuji ----- ----- ----- ----- 1:33.022 ----- 1:18.734
Silverstone ----- ----- 1:31.692 1:43.504 ----- ----- 1:19.152
Nurburgring ----- ----- 1:41.867 1:53.062 ----- ----- 1:30.912
Sepang ----- ----- ----- ----- 1:54.306 2:01.877 1:34.057
Road America ----- 1:41.535 1:47.665 2:00.973 ----- ----- -----
Spa ----- ----- 2:00.105 2:14.554 ----- ----- 1:45.070
----- Dallara-Honda Panoz-Cosworth Audi R10 Corvette C6-R Nissan Z Ducati McLaren-Mercedes
----- ----- ----- Peugeot 908 Saleen S7-R Honda NSX Yamaha Ferrari
----- ----- ----- ----- Aston Martin DBR9 ----- Honda -----
Power 650 hp 750 hp 700 hp 600 hp 500 hp 200 hp 750 hp
Weight (with driver) 1760 lb 1720 lb 2200 lb 2580 lb 2580 lb 480 lb 1323 lb
Power / Weight Ratio 0.37 0.44 0.32 0.23 0.19 0.42 0.57

Comment
11/19/07
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ralf slams Toyota's approach to F1
  • Ferrari fires salvo as title made official
  • Spy saga would have cost McLaren ECU tender
  • McLaren staffer regrets Alonso exit

Ralf slams Toyota's approach to F1
(GMM)  Ralf Schumacher has questioned Toyota's approach to formula one.

The veteran German, who is struggling to find a seat for 2008 after a disappointing three year tenure at the Japanese team, said Toyota's unique philosophy makes it an unattractive destination for renowned figures like Ross Brawn.

Following a highly successful decade at Ferrari and a sabbatical in 2007, Brawn will return to the sport next year as Honda's team principal.

Schumacher, 32, told the Cologne newspaper Express: "I know that Toyota is the only team that didn't even want to talk with Brawn.

"A contact was offered but there was no reaction to it -- not a single meeting took place," he marveled.

The team's relationship with former technical director Mike Gascoyne famously ended early last year over what Toyota described as a "fundamental difference of opinion".

Gascoyne, now at Force India, said in 2007: "If they continue to follow their corporate philosophy I don't think they've got a hope in hell (of succeeding in formula one)."

Schumacher explains: "The structure of the team is clearly the result of what they call the Toyota Way.  That is why someone like Ross Brawn cannot go there.

"Brawn should have been a candidate for Toyota, given what he could do to strengthen the team.  But Toyota will never allow a one man show," he added.

Read more & Comment...
11/19/07
f1

Glock to race for Toyota in 2008

Timo Glock

Toyota Motorsport GmbH today announced that Timo Glock will race for Panasonic Toyota Racing in 2008.

Timo, the reigning GP2 Series champion, has signed a multi-year contract and the team hopes an agreement can be reached with BMW Sauber to allow him to test at Jerez on December 4-6.

Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina said: "It is with great pleasure that we confirm Timo Glock will race for Panasonic Toyota Racing in 2008. I am convinced Timo has the potential to help this team move forward and achieve its aims.

"Timo has great experience of motorsport in several different categories and he reinforced his reputation by winning the highly competitive GP2 Series, which we have already seen is fantastic preparation for Formula 1. He has demonstrated a fighting spirit and good race craft in GP2 so we believe he is the right man for the job."

Read more & Comment...
11/19/07
racing news

Quotes of the Week
ROBIN MILLER,  Expert Open Wheel Racing Analyst
"It's the saddest story of the year.  It shows you how far down open wheel racing has fallen when people who are successful at driving open wheel cars can't wait to go run 35th in a stock car every weekend."  (Commenting on the defection of open wheel drivers to NASCAR)

BERNIE ECCLESTONE,  President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
"If anyone thinks that's the best thing for Formula One then I'd have very serious thoughts about me retiring," said Bernie Ecclestone said.  (Ecclestone had threatened to quit if Kimi Raikkonen's world drivers championship was snatched away.  McLaren appealed Brazilian GP stewards' decision last month to not penalize four rival cars despite their fuel being found arguably colder than the regulations allow.  If the FIA Court of Appeal in London had excluded three of the four cars and promoted Lewis Hamilton up the Interlagos finishing-order, Hamilton could have belatedly been handed the championship.  Ecclestone revealed that such a scenario could have compelled him into retirement.)

NIGEL TOZZI QC, lawyer for Ferrari
"McLaren are 'shameless hypocrites devoid of any integrity,' " according to Nigel Tozzi, the lawyer representing Ferrari at the so-called cool-fuel appeal in London on Thursday.

JEAN TODT, CEO Ferrari
"The decision of the ICA finally brings to an end a very intense season, both on and off the track," declared Jean Todt.  "Today, a final and desperate attempt to change the result obtained on the track was rejected. Now, all our efforts are focused on preparing for next season." (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is completely satisfied with the decision of the International Court of Appeal regarding the cool-fuel appeal which confirms the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix, as a consequence of which Kimi Raikkonen won the Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship.)

Read more & Comment...
11/18/07
f1

Q and A with Bob Bell


Bob Bell

The ING Renault F1 Team’s Technical Director, Bob Bell, has spoken to the French based squad’s official website where he laid out the implications of the common ECU that will be in place for the upcoming 2008 Formula One championship season.

Bob, you’re changing from an ECU designed by Renault with Magnetti Marelli, the Step 11, to a common one in 2008. What’s its performance like?
In relation to what we’ve been using up to now, the system has lower performance. Its capacity, complexity and functions are not on the same level. For a team like ours, which designed a bespoke system, it’s a backward step.

Will this ECU require a specific installation on the car?
Its format is different to what we’ve been using so far. Its accessories are also specific and we had to install all these new components on the car. It wasn’t an insurmountable task, but the final result isn’t what we’d have chosen if our hands were free.

Read more & Comment...

11/18/07
cc

Team Australia drivers win awards


Pagenaud and Power with Team Owner Derrick Walker

Team Australia drivers Will Power and Simon Pagenaud have both taken out significant awards at the annual Champ Car End of Season Banquet in Indianapolis.

Power received the Performance Friction Pass of the Year Award. The Australian driver’s winning pass was on his own Team Australia teammate Simon Pagenaud and came during the race in Mont-Tremblant in Canada.

Power won two races in Las Vegas and Toronto and five pole positions this season on his way to fourth in this year’s Champ Car World Series points standings.

Pagenaud wins most Improved Driver Award

Pagenaud received the prestigious Bosch Most Improved Driver Award, an especially significant honor as the Frenchman was chosen by his peers as the recipient. Pagenaud, who was last year’s Atlantic champion, finished eighth in the final point standings with sixth top five finishes along the way.

Sebastien Bourdais received his fourth-consecutive Vanderbilt Cup for winning this year’s title, along with the Hole in the Wall Camps Lap Leader Award and the Bridgestone Passion for Excellence Award.

Robert Doornbos won both the BBS Hard Charger and Roshfrans Rookie of the Year Awards. Justin Wilson received his second-straight Greg Moore Legacy Award and PKV Racing was recognized as the overall winner of the Sherwin Williams “It’s All in the Finish” Award, a crown Team Australia won last season.

Comment
11/18/07
nascar

Brian France thinks NASCAR is doing fine


Brian France

NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer Brian France met with reporters Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Here are highlights from that session:

BRIAN FRANCE: We started out the year with a couple of goals.

One being the obvious that we wanted to roll out the car of tomorrow successfully. We think we have done that. ... The other thing we wanted to do was that was important to us was to elevate winning and make winning mean more and to get that to translate to the track with the drivers competing harder. I think we’ve gotten that, too.

Jimmie Johnson, what he did at Texas and other places stepping up his game, then Jeff Gordon throughout the year. I think to start the year the drivers understood the emphasis on winning and the points we put on it. That was important for us.

We had, by definition, a very good year. Whatever happens today, in terms of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, let me say one thing: Jeff could win the championship, but we obviously know that Jimmie Johnson would have to struggle in some way. But if that happens, the way the structure is set you would have to say that Jeff earned that right to be in position to take advantage. He had six wins and was near the top in the points for the entire year.

So whatever happens today will go down as very, very good year for NASCAR that will give us momentum as we go into 2008 as well.

Q: How concerned are you about a substantial drop in television ratings and polls showing indications that older and presumably more long-term fans are leaving the sport?

France:They are not leaving the sport, but they are getting their NASCAR fix and information differently than they did before. There are lots of different ways to watch, read of pick up video clips about what goes on. That has some impact on your ratings.

I would tell you about ratings, you have to put it in some context. We’re still the No. 2 sport on television. Everyone has had ratings erosion and I am just not talking about sports – shows in prime time and “American Idol” and lots of big franchises.

Read more & Comment...

11/18/07
nascar

NASCAR, ISC and Kentucky Speedway hearing Monday
NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Kentucky Speedway head to court Monday afternoon for a hearing on whether the race track's antitrust lawsuit should go to trial. Each side will get 45 minutes to present their case in front of U.S. District Court Judge William O. Bertelsman in Covington, Ky., during the summary judgment hearing. The summary judgment motion, which asks the judge to rule in favor of NASCAR and ISC before the case goes to trial, already has been filed under seal. It is typical for defendants in such litigation to file summary judgment requests. The judge is not expected to rule Monday. Kentucky Speedway claims that NASCAR and ISC illegally conspire to keep non-ISC tracks from getting Nextel Cup races. NASCAR is a privately owned sanctioning body owned by the France family while ISC is a publicly traded track operator whose majority of voting stock is owned by the France family. ISC and NASCAR deny the claims. Kentucky Speedway is asking for the France family to sell its interest in either NASCAR or ISC, for ISC to sell eight of its tracks and for NASCAR to create objective factors for the awarding of Cup dates. The trial is scheduled to begin March 4. SceneDaily.com

Comment
11/18/07
f1

McLaren sought title at appeal, Sauber says
(GMM) Formula one team founder Peter Sauber has criticised McLaren for trying to win the 2007 championship in an appeals hearing this week.

The Swiss, who still owns a small stake of the outfit known as BMW-Sauber, said he did not believe McLaren chiefs who insist that the 'cool fuel' saga was not a veiled and desperate last effort to steal the crown from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

"This season deserved a better finish," Sauber wrote in the Swiss newspaper Blick.

He pointed out that Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug have been at pains recently to point out that the London hearing was simply about clarifying the rules.

But Sauber, referring to the argument barrister Ian Mill took to the court, said: "Apparently their lawyer thought something else.

"His strategy was clearly to establish the disqualification of Rosberg, Kubica and Heidfeld," Sauber added.

Read more & Comment...
11/18/07
macaugp

Injured Senna forced out of dream F3 return in Macau
Bruno Senna was unable to fight for glory at the infamous Macau F3 GP as he was ruled out of today's race following a heavy crash in yesterday's qualification event. It was a big blow for the 24-year-old, who had high hopes of a strong result in his one-off return to Formula Three.

Bruno was competing in the event with his former British F3 team, Double R Racing, and pre-qualified in 18th position. However, after a strong start to Saturday's qualification race, he had battled his way up to seventh position. On lap seven, he was defending his position from Nico Hulkenburg, when the two collided on the entry to Mandarin Bend.

The frightening crash was at some 160kph and sent Bruno's car into the barriers on the right hand side, before flying in the air over Hülkenberg’s right rear tire and finally crashing into the barriers on the left.

Read more & Comment...
11/18/07
wtcc

Menu and Priaulx win WTCC races at Macau

Alain Menu in his Chevy won Race 1

For the fifth time this season, Chevrolet Lacetti driver Alain Menu converted his pole position into a race win, an all-time record in the history of the World Touring Car Championship. In the streets of Macau, the Swiss driver dominated the first race, despite a jumped start from championship leader Muller.

Andy Priaulx

Rob Huff steered clear of the typical Macau mayhem to score a fine third place behind Alain, while in the second race Nicola Larini fought a race-long battle with James Thompson and Tiago Monteiro to finish second for the fifth time this year. The team’s excellent results at the WTCC finale were witnessed by Chevrolet’s partisan crowd, led by General Motors Asia-Pacific CEO, Nick Reilly, who is one of the WTCC program’s biggest supporters.

QUOTE

Alain Menu: “As in Pau, Yvan jumped the rolling start of the first race, visibly running ahead of me before the lights went green, so he obviously took the lead of the race. I pushed him as hard as I could hoping to force him into a mistake, while the stewards investigated his jumped start, but he didn’t make any. Then he suddenly slowed at the Melco hairpin, where there is a permanent yellow. I braked hard to avoid passing him, as I didn’t want to be trapped into an illegal overtaking maneuver, but then I noticed he had problems so I passed him anyway and continued to win. In the second race I had a good start, but got hit by Huisman at Lisboa, which put me into a big slide. I came back well up the order and was close behind Jörg Müller, when at Turn 10 I turned in too soon and clipped the inside wall, which bounced me off into the outside wall. Every year I make one mistake, and unfortunately it was today. All in all this has been a very good season and I’m quite pleased as well as proud with what we have achieved with RML and Chevrolet.”

Read more & Comment...

11/18/07
macaugp

Jarvis leads all the way in Macau

Feature race podium with winner Jarvis in the center

Oliver Jarvis led every lap in winning the 2007 Macau GP Formula 3 race Sunday.  Japanese drivers Kodai Tsukakoshi (Manor Motorsport) and Kazuya Oshima (Team Reckless TOM’s) took the final two podium positions. While Jarvis led all the way from lights to flag to claim the coveted win in the prestigious event, there were quite a lot of position fights further down in the field.

“Winning this race 25 years after Ayrton Senna means a lot to me, especially having won both races," said Jarvis.  "Coming to Mandarin in the lead was important and so I did. After that, I was able to drive victory home.”

Full report to follow.....

POS

NO DRIVER NAT TEAM GAP FAST LAP
1 5 Oliver JARVIS GBR Team Reckless Tom's 2:11.833
2 21 Kodai TSUKAKOSHI JPN Manor Motorsport 1.767 2:11.762
3 6 Kazuya OSHIMA JPN Team Reckless Tom's 4.390 2:12.036
4 11 Marko ASMER EST Hitech Racing 5.331 2:11.744
5 22 Robert STREIT BRA Prema Powerteam 6.558 2:11.930
6 15 Sam BIRD GBR Carlin Motorsport 7.148 2:12.310
7 18 James JAKES GBR Manor Motorsport 9.573 2:12.868
8 7 Romain GROSJEAN FRA ASM F3 10.176 2:12.049
9 1 Stephen JELLEY GBR Raikkonen-Robertson Racing 10.618 2:12.352
10 24 Edoardo MORTARA ITA Signature Plus 11.317 2:12.247
11 2 Sebastien BUEMI SUI Raikkonen-Robertson Racing 13.055 2:12.189
12 14 Brendon HARTLEY NZL Carlin Motorsport 13.959 2:12.850
13 9 Kamui KOBAYASHI JPN ASM F3 16.854 2:13.791
14 27 Carlo van DAM NED HBR Motorsport 17.792 2:13.171
15 25 Esteban GUERRIERI ARG Signature Plus 18.521 2:13.438
16 31 Takuya IZAWA JPN Fortec Motorsport 20.762 2:13.942
17 23 Renger van der ZANDE NED Prema Powerteam 24.806 2:13.797
18 10 Walter GRUBMULLER AUT Hitech Racing 26.631 2:13.943
19 28 Rodolfo AVILA MAC HBR Motorsport 45.405 2:17.585
20 29 CHEONG Lou Meng MAC Swiss Racing Team 1:38.470 2:23.239
21 17 LEI Kit Meng MAC Carlin Motorsport 1:47.359 2:26.611
22 30 Jo MERSZEI MAC Swiss Racing Team 1:47.797 2:26.405
23 8 Nico HULKENBERG GER ASM F3 1 LAP 2:13.233
24 12 Michael HO MAC Hitech Racing 1 LAP 2:17.919
. . Not Classified . . . .
. 4 Jonathan KENNARD GBR Raikkonen-Robertson Racing D.N.F. 2:14.025
. 19 Frank MAILLEUX FRA Manor Motorsport D.N.F. 2:12.239
. 26 Atte MUSTONEN FIN Signature Plus D.N.F. 2:13.919
. 16 Niall BREEN IRL Carlin Motorsport D.N.F. 2:34.583
. 20 Yelmer BUURMAN NED Manor Motorsport D.N.F. .
. . Fastest Lap . . . .
. 11 Marko ASMER EST Hitech Racing 103.91mph 2:11.744


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