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12/05/04
champcar
Battle against cancer fuels San Jose race Battle against cancer fuels San Jose raceThis is another positive article from the San Jose Mercury News on the San Jose Champ Car race, whose contract is up for final vote in the city on Tuesday.  How does a non-profit dedicated to improving cancer detection end up paving San Jose's streets for a car race?  For Don Listwin, it's part of a marketing strategy, a way to grab the attention of wealthy tech industry donors.  ``If you do yet another black-tie dinner, you're not going to get them to come,'' said Listwin, founder of the Canary Fund.

The Canary Fund has recently drawn attention because its commercial affiliate, Canary Enterprises, is the promoter behind the San Jose Grand Prix in July. The city has committed almost $700,000 so far to the race, almost three times more than originally planned. The San Jose City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on the contract between Canary Enterprises and the city.

Listwin, 45, left his job as a top Cisco Systems executive in 2000 to become chief executive of Openwave. Six weeks later, he found out that his mother had advanced ovarian cancer. She died from it three years ago.  Now Listwin, who resigned as Openwave's CEO last month, is pouring millions of the dollars he earned in the tech industry into funding research that will improve cancer tests. He recruited Dr. Lee Hartwell, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and a 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, to head the group's scientific advisory board.

Listwin is personally funding Canary Enterprises, the group with financial responsibility for the race. Canary Enterprises will pay more than $10 million to put the race on for the first year, Listwin estimates, and he expects the race to lose money for the first few years.

So why a car race? Listwin said he isn't a fan himself. And although profits from the races will go to the Canary Fund, the main goal is marketing. Listwin asked promoters he had worked with previously how best to reach donors.  ``The promoters came back and said, `One of the things that this target audience of yours is very excited about is car racing. If you want to get people to come to your event and to listen to your scientists and your proposition, this is the way to do it,' '' Listwin said.  The Canary Fund will also have access to two-seater cars, which allow passengers to ride along with a driver.  ``We're going to be inviting people that we want to have conversations with to come down to a racetrack and go for a couple of spins,'' Listwin said.

12/05/04
f1
D-Day for Ecclestone D-Day for EcclestoneThis Guardian article says, [Key excerpts] Some time after 2pm Monday in the Chancery Division of the High Court, Mr Justice Andrew Park will deliver a judgment on which rests the future of formula one and, in particular, Bernie Ecclestone's part in that future. After almost 30 years of iron control over an industry that has risen from an enthusiasts' club to a multibillion-pound business, Ecclestone now faces two major challenges to his hegemony.

The first comes from the three banks - JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers and Bayerische Landesbank - who between them control 75% of SLEC, the ultimate parent company of formula one which owns the lucrative television and commercial rights. The other 25% is owned by Bambino Holdings, an Ecclestone family trust which benefits his wife Slavica and daughters Tamara and Petra. Monday Judge Park will rule on whether the banks should have voting rights on the board of Formula One Holdings, the company that controls Ecclestone's complex business empire. Should the court rule in the banks' favor, it could signal the beginning of the end for Ecclestone; should it rule against, the battle for control of formula one's multimillion-dollar income will require a trial hearing which could last many months.

The banks took the case to dispute Ecclestone's recent appointment of two directors of FOH. The banks claim they have been deprived of key voting rights to match their stake in the sport's parent company, which they acquired after the collapse of the German media giant Kirch.

Under the umbrella of the Grand Prix World Championship, the teams have begun the process of setting up a rival series to Ecclestone's official one and last Wednesday GPWC made a presentation to a group of circuit owners. Those represented were Spa, Nürburgring, Hockenheim, Monza, Silverstone, Catalunya, Fuji and Le Mans.

Ecclestone's great strength has always been the fact that he had all the tracks signed up and in his pocket. But perhaps that, too, is about to change if the banks gain the voting rights they are seeking which would enable them to exert control over all aspects of Ecclestone's operations, allowing the track owners to feel less intimidated by Ecclestone's uncompromising business style.

"It was a very positive meeting," said a source close to GPWC. "But the tracks are obviously going to take a long time being persuaded to adopt a unified line with Bernie. Whatever happens in the court case, Bernie isn't about to be kicked out of the door. He's certainly going to be around tomorrow and for some time to come." More.....

12/05/04
nascar
Only small adjustments for NASCAR in 2005 Only small adjustments for NASCAR in 2005"I really liked one particular newspaper headline that said, 'It wasn't broken, but NASCAR fixed it.' That kind of said it all," Brian France noted. "The interest was tremendous, particularly the last few races." There was some criticism that the new points system did not reward victories enough, with runner-up Jimmie Johnson finishing eight points behind champion Kurt Busch despite winning four of the 10 Chase events and a series-high eight races during the season. Busch won three times, including the first race of the Chase. "The entire team at NASCAR will review the type of things they think can make it better," France said. "If there was anything, it would only be an adjustment, a small adjustment. I pretty much liked the way things turned out. "We have momentum this off-season like we've never had before. Ratings were swelling big in the last three or four races, the energy level was so high down in South Florida (for the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway). That's a great thing for us heading into next year. AP Article
12/05/04
nascar
NASCAR HDTV NASCAR HDTVNBC and Turner Network Television will televise their portion of the 2005 NASCAR schedule in high-definition.  NBC and TNT will televise the second half of the Nextel Cup and Busch Series seasons, beginning with the Daytona races July 1 and 2.  NASCAR in HD debuted on NBC in this year's Daytona 500 on Feb. 15 and on TNT on Sept. 11 for the race at Richmond.  Dick Glover, vice president of broadcasting and new media for NASCAR, said it is a big step for the sanctioning body's TV coverage.  "HD's sharper and more detailed race coverage brings our fans closer to the action than ever and the format's high production values are a true showcase of our sport, sponsors, tracks and partners," Glover said. AP Article
12/05/04
f1
Doornbos completes successful Jordan test Doornbos completes successful Jordan testRobert Doornbos successfully completed a four-day test for Jordan Grand Prix at the Southern Spanish circuit of Jerez de la Frontera on Saturday. Doornbos had previously shaken down the interim Cosworth powered chassis at Elvington Airport. Heavy rain affected much of the running throughout the week for all of the teams but Doornbos still managed to record 300 laps in the 2005 specification EJ-14. The team focused on the effects the new aerodynamic regulations as well as testing the latest specification Bridgestone tire. “During the week we booked progress on several sides," explained engineer Dominic Harlow. "On the one hand we improved the balance of the car by transferring some more weight to the front of the car, on the other hand we collected much important data about the car and the tires. In the upcoming weeks, we will study all gathered information in order to be further prepared for our next test in January.” Doornbos himself was pleased with the test. "I’m really very satisfied with how things went over the last couple of days," said Doornbos. "A true instructive experience for both the team and me, which went excellent for both of us!” The team will use Toyota engines next season and Doornbos remains in contention for a race seat with the team. Source Doornbos PR
12/05/04
champcar
San Jose's Roar of Opportunity San Jose's Roar of OpportunityThis San Jose Mercury News article comes out very strongly in favor of next year's inaugural San Jose GP Champ Car race.  Next July, the HP Pavilion parking lot will be the pits.  And that suits us just fine. Because it'll also be the finish line and final turn of the first San Jose Grand Prix.  When the checkered flag falls on Sunday, July 31, businesses in San Jose should have taken in approximately $8 million to $10 million. That's a marvelous return for a minimal, fairly secure up-front investment.  Open-wheeled race cars will reach top speeds of 200 mph along West Santa Clara Street. They'll brake hard, slowing to 80 mph, then roar around the streets of downtown San Jose near the arena. Over a three-day period, promoters expect 100,000 to 120,000 fans. More....
12/05/04
f1
Wurz fastest at Jerez on Saturday Wurz fastest at Jerez on Saturday
1. Alex Wurz - McLaren Mercedes - 1'19"750 - 38 laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'19"766 - 31 laps
3. Jarno Trulli - Toyota - 1'19"914 - 83 laps
4. Luca Badoer - Ferrari - 1'21"925 - 50 laps
5. Giancarlo Fisichella - Renault - 1'22"206 - 29 laps
6. Marc Gene - Ferrari - 1'22"403 - 54 laps
7. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'23"296 - 25 laps
8. Robert Doornbos - Jordan Cosworth - 1'25"459 - 78 laps
12/05/04
champcar
San Jose race’s cost to taxpayers is accelerating San Jose race’s cost to taxpayers is acceleratingThis Contra Costa Times article is a similar negative article like we saw in the Mercury News. It says, Next summer's Grand Prix-style race through downtown San Jose will cost taxpayers more than three times what city officials had originally planned, according to newly released documents. And it could go even higher than the nearly $700,000 the city has so far committed. The July 31 Champ Car World Series race would feature open-wheel cars reaching speeds of more than 150 mph as they race around a 1.5-mile course on the streets surrounding HP Pavilion. According to the documents -- mostly e-mails among city officials and others involved in the negotiations -- Mayor Ron Gonzales' budget chief, Joe Guerra, had insisted through the middle of October that the city contribute no more than $200,000 in public money toward the $3 million needed to cover police overtime and prepare the race course. But by the time Gonzales announced on Nov. 19 that the race is coming to San Jose, he agreed to a deal featuring $690,000 in taxpayer money. That figure could reach $815,000 because the San Jose Sharks pro hockey team is balking at a city request to release $125,000 from an arena repair fund. The City Council is scheduled to consider the deal Tuesday. The documents show race advocates scrambling to come up with the money needed to secure the event. More....
12/05/04
Race of Champions
f1
Kovalainen basks in beating Schumacher Kovalainen basks in beating SchumacherHeikki Kovalainen, who celebrated his win over Michael Schumacher in the Race of Champions by leaping on to the roof of his Ferrari, said: “It was really a fantastic night for me. It’s not every day you get a chance to beat Michael. That was a big moment.  Over the race you do not get the right picture of the strength of the drivers. It’s a new car for everybody, although I don’t know how much sneaky testing Michael has done.  It’s all about trying to adapt to the situation and trying to push very close to the limit and Michael wasn’t successful at that. For me it was a fantastic moment.  I had already beaten Jean Alesi which was quite close and I was really happy after that.  With Michael I thought I would try to go a bit quicker, try to attack a little bit more and to beat him was fantastic.”
12/05/04
f1
Ferrari puts on show at Bologna Motor Show Ferrari puts on show at Bologna Motor ShowTest driver Andrea Bertolini took to the track at 12.30 and ran a series of laps in the F2004. He made four pit stops during his stint on a circuit rendered only just navigable because of the heavy rain. Despite the grey skies and wet surface, many fans gathered to warm the hearts of the mechanics and the driver, cheering and clapping. For the spectators the day took on a party atmosphere and was yet another occasion to celebrate the triumphant 2004 season with the team. At the end Bertolini’s laps, the Motorshow patron, Alfredo Cazzola, personally praised all the members of the team, today headed by Stefano Domenicali, the Direttore Sportivo.  Domenicali and Bertolini witnessed the procession of the championship-winning Scuderia and lingered at the Ferrari-Maserati Group, Fiat and Alfa Romeo stands. They were joined by Lapo Elkann, Director of Marketing of the Fiat Group, in a jovial exchange with the fans about the glorious 2004 season. Ferrari
12/05/04
Race of Champions
Oval track drivers get smoked Oval track drivers get smokedAs expected, the oval track drivers from the IRL and NASCAR got smoked against some of the greatest road racers and rally racers in the world at Saturday's Race of Champions in Paris, France.  Unlike the American IROC series, which is a complete and utter joke because it heavily favors the NASCAR drivers, this Race of Champions was a real "Race of Champions" pitting drivers head-to-head and making them swap cars.  It also was run on a road circuit where the driver had to brake, shift, and turn both left and right.  The IRL drivers, Tony Kanaan and Kenny Brack, their skills dumbed down from countless laps of 100% throttle senseless oval races were particularly out to lunch, usually getting their head handed to them on a silver platter by 4 or more seconds a lap.  It was an utter disgrace and humiliation for American motorsports.  The NASCAR drivers, Casey Mears and Jimmie Johnson, didn't fair much better though Mears did manage to win one heat race.  The lone Champ Car driver, Sebastien Bourdais fared a bit better.  In one race he beat Tony Kanaan by over 5 sec (actually 15 because Kanaan also got a 10 sec. penalty infraction) a margin that doesn't surprise us.  Bourdais lost in the next round to Michael Schumacher and was eliminated.  The fast reflexes required in F1 and rally racing dominated the day and America's dumbed down "lazy" racers simply looked silly.   The NASCARization of the USA motorsports scene means America may never again produce another F1 World Driving Champion and that's a real pity.  Champ Car drivers are the only hope.
12/04/04
Race of Champions
Fastest laps in ROC Fastest laps in ROCWho is the fastest driver of them all? If the Race of Champions held Saturday in Paris, France is any indicator, Heikki Kovalainen is the man. He won every head-to-head match up that he was in and only lost the Nations Cup finale because his car broke down. He stood out on this day.  Also see feature stories on Home Page.

Top-3 Fastest Laps
Heikki Kovalainen 1:40.8116
Jean Alesi 1:41.7459
Michael Schumacher 1:41.8246

12/04/04
champcar
Laguna Seca throws Champ Car a bone Laguna Seca throws Champ Car a boneThe Laguna Seca track has offered to move its American Le Mans Series race to September and slot Champ Car in the October ALMS position (Oct. 14-16) in an effort to get Champ Car to agree to return.  Only problem is the Champ Car series will be in Seoul, South Korea on October 16th.  The Korean promoters have paid a large deposit this time (according to Kevin Kalkhoven the money is in the bank) so that race will happen in 2005.  With a horrible attendance for three straight years, we're not sure why anyone thinks the race can be successful in 2005.  The best thing would be for Champ Car to grow the San Jose race into a big event and in three years or so when Champ Car is more popular in the region perhaps the fans will drive to see a race at Laguna Seca and it can return to its former glory.  Until then we doubt a 2005 race at Laguna Seca will be any different that 2004, i.e. a ghost town.
12/04/04
champcar
Champ Car TV deal for Europe Champ Car TV deal for EuropeEurosport announced today that they will broadcast all Champ Car races throughout Europe in 2005. 
12/04/04
Race of Champions
Bombardier wisks American team to Paris Bombardier wisks American team to ParisTeam USA boarded a Bombardier Global Express business jet in New York City on the morning of December 4, and was whisked across the Atlantic to arrive on time and fully rested in order to participate in the 17th annual Race of Champions at 14:30 that afternoon. From left to right, NASCAR drivers Casey Mears and Jimmie Johnson. Bombardier
12/04/04
Industry News
Toyota, Honda and Acura record big November sales Toyota, Honda and Acura record big November salesToyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported best-ever November sales of 154,272, an increase of 8.8 percent over last year. Calendar-year-to-date (CYTD) sales total 1,872,116, an increase of 9.3 percent compared to the same period last year.   "Despite November's slide in consumer confidence, showroom traffic remained brisk," said Jim Press, TMS executive vice president and COO. "As we enter the year's final stretch, this bodes well for a strong finish."  The Toyota Division recorded best-ever November sales of 131,414, an increase of 9.8 percent. The Lexus Division also enjoyed best-ever November sales of 22,858 units, up 3.1 percent over last November.

American Honda, boosted by record November sales of Acura models and Honda light trucks, reported total November sales of 95,524 units, an increase of 3.1 percent over last year's November results on a daily selling rate basis. American Honda year-to-date sales of 1,257,017 were also up 0.7 percent over previous year's result.  "It continues to be a very tight market, especially as consumers turn their attention to the holiday shopping season," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "Hot products like our redesigned Odyssey and the all-new Acura RL are playing a big part in keeping us on track for another record year."

Strong demand for the all-new RL helped drive November Acura sales to its 13th consecutive record-breaking month, with total division sales of 15,532 vehicles, surpassing the previous November record of 14,423 set in 2003, by 12.2 percent, Acura announced today. Year-to-date, Acura sales rose to 178,773 units, up 15.1 percent compared to 2003. In its first full month on sale, the dramatically redesigned RL sold 1,941 units, its best month ever, eclipsing the previous record of 1,880 set in March of 1996.

12/04/04
Industry News
Toyota to consolidate North American operations Toyota to consolidate North American operationsToyota announced today that it plans to consolidate its North American engineering and manufacturing into one company. The new company will be called Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA), and will be launched during the first half of 2006.  Atsushi Niimi, currently the head of Toyota's North American manufacturing operations, will lead the transition team establishing TEMA.  "As we see it," Niimi said, "this will be a strategic alliance of our engineering and manufacturing organizations in North America. While there are many details yet to be worked out, we believe this new structure will improve synergies and further strengthen our customer focus and quality, strengthen supplier cooperation, and enhance our overall speed and flexibility."  "Given Toyota's rapid growth in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, this new organization signals the next stage in our development in North America," Niimi continued.
12/04/04
nascar
NASCAR draws huge crowds on NY City streets NASCAR draws huge crowds on NY City streetsNASCAR's concerted push to root itself in greater Manhattan is working. I can say that, because I've seen it first hand.  I was quite skeptical when NASCAR announced that its top 10 drivers would ring the opening bell at NASDAQ, then scurry outside, fire up authentic stock cars and parade through the city for a "Victory Lap."  It would be a logistical nightmare, and I had to wonder if New Yorkers cared enough about us to tolerate, much less enjoy, such a display.

Umm, yeah.

Take away the high rises and high fashion, and Times Square could have been Talladega on Thursday morning. It was packed when I arrived. Both sides of the street were lined with folks clamoring for Dale Jr. and Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, and only a small percentage wore Chase Authentics button downs.  Businessmen in $5,000 suits left work to witness the event. Some folks even took the day off entirely. I was fascinated by the turnout. And I wasn't alone.  "That was pretty impressive, lots of people, man," Earnhardt Jr. said. "There were a lot of awestruck looks out there."
 
The most awestruck look of all may have been on Buster Auton's face. Auton, a NASCAR official for three decades with whom I rode with in the Nextel Cup pace car during the parade, never imagined he'd live to see the day NASCAR stock cars cruised down Park Avenue.  "Most of the time you can't even get a (taxi) in this town, and here they've completely cleared the streets for us," Auton said. "This is neat. I've never driven in New York. Hell, never dreamed I'd ever get to. It's unreal that NASCAR is driving stock cars through the streets of New York." (Photos by Autostock)

It was no small undertaking, mind you. Some 40 permits and more than two months of precise logistical planning were required. NASCAR's New York headquarters worked in conjunction with the New York Sports Commission, the police and department of transportation to map the route from Times Square to NASCAR's Park Avenue office.  The end result was beyond comprehension.

"We've been (in New York) since 1998, and we never had our moment," said a giddy Brett Yormark, NASCAR's vice president of corporate marketing. "Today, we had our moment."  It wasn't just a moment. It was a statement.

"They only shut down the streets for the President," said New York Daily News motorsports writer Richard Huff, who was riding along with Auton and me in the pace car. "I've been covering this sport for years, and I always thought (NASCAR) didn't take full advantage of being here. This year they are. Look at this crowd."  From the start to finish, fans lined both sides of the street, 10 rows deep, snapping photos and cheering like it was the last lap of the Daytona 500.  "That, right there, shows that NASCAR has arrived," Mark Martin said. NASCAR.com

12/04/04
A1 Grand Prix
Too funny Too funnyFrom the "too funny" department.  This Lebanon The Star newspaper article says, Iraqi hotel owner and millionaire, Nadhmi Auchi, held a reception in the presence of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud Wednesday night at his Royale Hotel in Dbayeh to launch the new Lebanon "A1" Grand Prix racing car.  The car, nicknamed Lola, will participate in a new competition for high speed race cars called A1, which is being seen as a potential rival to the Formula 1 competition.  "Lola," which was driven around Beirut's streets Thursday, has been built and financed by one of Auchi's sons, Tameem Auchi, President of Team Lebanon who will be participating in the competition.  [Editor's Note:  Psst, quick someone tell this reporter Lola is the name of the car manufacturer.  The Middle East has a ways to go before they understand this sport of auto racing.]
12/04/04
Industry News
Johnson wins 4th Qtr DOY balloting Johnson wins 4th Qtr DOY ballotingJimmie Johnson bounced back from a slow start in the fourth quarter to win four times in five races, and dominate the voting for the Speed Channel Driver of the Year, fourth quarter, 2004. Johnson, who drives the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, finished runner-up to Kurt Busch, by only eight points, in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Chase for the Championship. It was an emotional roller coaster for the 29 year-old driver, After an engine problem at the EA Sports 500 and an accident at the Banquet Foods 400 put him next to last in the Chase, he took three straight wins at UA-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's, then the Subway 500 at Martinsville, VA, and the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta. He also won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington. Along the way he and his team faced the personal tragedy of losing ten team members, family and friends in an airplane crash on the Martinsville's race day. While feeling that loss, yet still being prepared to race and win, he proved the strength of his Hendrick Motorsports team. In New York for the annual NASCAR awards banquet Johnson, winner in the second quarter, was flattered to learn of his fourth quarter honor. In the voting he took 13 first-place Speed Channel Driver of the Year votes, and a vote on every ballot for a total of 143 points. Sebastien Bourdais, the Bridgestone Presents Champ Car World Series powered by Ford Champion, was second in the tally with 67 points and one first-place vote. The French born driver of the McDonald's Lola-Ford for Newman/Haas Racing, scored two wins including a victory from the pole at the season finale in Mexico City. Kurt Busch driver of #97 Sharpie/IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus, and first Nextel Cup Champion, was third in the voting with one first-place vote and a total of 66 points. Busch had a win at the Sylvania 300, and except for one engine failure finished in the top ten in all ten races in the quarter. A total of 13 drivers scored points in the fourth quarter voting, including fourth place Tony Schumacher from the POWERade Top Fuel division, fifth place Steve Kinser, with two first-place votes in the World of Outlaws series. And Martin Truex, Jr. from the Busch Series was sixth.  Noteworthy; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the fan vote, and Johnson was second. Bourdais was third. More than 40,000 fans clicked their votes on the www.speedtv.com website. In its 38th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis. Johnson will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch to be presented on Speed TV. A separate vote will determine the 2004 Driver of the Year shortly. DOTY PR
12/04/04
nascar
Busch collects over $5 million Busch collects over $5 millionNASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch  received $5,356,181 in point fund money at Friday night’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Once Busch accepted the official check, his season winnings will total $9,677,543. Busch’s point fund payout comes from NASCAR and series sponsor Nextel, which is completing its first season as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsor. Prior to Friday night’s celebration, Busch also received a total of $105,000 in various contingency awards during the annual Myers Brothers Breakfast on the Waldorf=Astoria’s historic 18th-floor Starlight Roof. Busch’s 2004 race winnings total $4,200,332. His career winnings stand at $22,860,894. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 runner-up Jimmie Johnson received a point fund payout of $2,404,137 from NASCAR and Nextel. Third-place finisher Jeff Gordon received a point fund payout of $1,766,527 from NASCAR and Nextel. NASCAR PR
12/03/04
irl
Danica Patrick engaged Danica Patrick engagedOn Thanksgiving Day Danica Patrick became engaged to Paul Hospenthal, a physical therapist and athletic trainer living in the Phoenix area.  Hospenthal, 39, also has his own line of golf fitness videos and has been featured in Sports Illustrated.  He works with a lot of professional teams, like the St. Louis Cardinals, and works on the PGA Tour.  The wedding is probably a year away.  Congratulations to the couple.  Also see Rumors page on her IRL ride for 2005.
12/03/04
nascar
Evernham tabs Labbe to oversee plate program Evernham tabs Labbe to oversee plate programOne of the important cogs in Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s restrictor-plate dominance has moved to another team.  Richard "Slugger" Labbe, former crew chief for Michael Waltrip at DEI, has been hired to oversee Evernham Motorsports' speedway development program for drivers Kasey Kahne's and Jeremy Mayfield's restrictor-plate efforts.  Labbe has already started work in Evernham's Statesville, N.C., shop in preparation for the 2005 season, which opens with the Daytona 500 -- a restrictor-plate race.  Labbe joined DEI in September 2001 as crew chief for Michael Waltrip's No. 15 team, leading him to three victories, all on plate tracks. In October, Labbe was removed in favor of Pete Rondeau.  Labbe spent the rest of the season working with DEI's championship-contending teams in Nextel Cup and the Busch Series.  DEI's record on plate tracks is enviable. Either Waltrip or Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won 11 of the past 16 restrictor-plate races since 2001.  By comparison, the best an Evernham car could do in 2004 on a plate track was Mayfield's 21st-place finish at Talladega. NASCAR
12/03/04
Industry News
Infineon Raceway wants to build bridge instead Infineon Raceway wants to build bridge insteadInfineon Raceway wants to revisit the concept of building a pedestrian bridge over Highway 121, instead of a tunnel as agreed in 2000 when the county approved a $30 million expansion at the facility.  The Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission will review the raceway's current bridge proposal at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, in the lounge room at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. W. Also on the agenda are a request for a use permit for a 40-foot telecommunications tower at 20600 Leveroni Road and an application for an AM radio transmitter with four 195-foot towers on 259 acres at 5400 Sears Point Road.

In the past, critics have opposed the bridge across Highway 121 as aesthetically displeasing. Infineon Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page said the bridge idea is being resurrected because of repeated problems and delays on the tunnel project - and because pedestrian safety is of prime importance.  The original 1997 plan for the raceway's expansion included a pedestrian bridge over the highway. However, public outcry over the visual impact of a bridge at the southern gateway to Sonoma Valley forced designers to switch to a tunnel under the highway to transport pedestrians from the facility to a nearby 50-acre parking lot.

When first proposed, raceway officials said the tunnel idea was cost prohibitive. Page said that after years of effort on the tunnel project, they've returned to the original bridge plan because of yet another delay due to bureaucratic red tape. There is an extremely high water table in the area and Caltrans has asked for an environmental study of the tunnel.   That was "the straw that broke the camel's back," Page said.  "We've reached the conclusion that the tunnel will never be built," Page said.  He added that due to safety concerns "we simply need to do something." Sonomanews.com

12/03/04
irl
J.L. West Motorsports To Field Team In IPS J.L. West Motorsports To Field Team In IPSJ.L. West Motorsports will field a two-car team in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2005, team and league officials announced. The team, which is co-owned by Jeff and Laura West, expects to announce its drivers in the near future. "We're very pleased to welcome the Wests into the Menards Infiniti Pro Series as team owners," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. "They've been around racing for a long time and have a solid plan in place to compete in this series." Jeff West grew up in upstate New York and spent 15 years driving a variety of race cars, including supermodifieds, midgets and Busch Grand National series cars. West started a fabricating business in New York in 1986. "Basically, I've been in the racing business my whole life - driving, fabricating, building cars," West said.
12/03/04
irl
IRL Alters Preseason Testing Schedule IRL Alters Preseason Testing ScheduleThe Indy Racing has revised its preseason testing schedule regarding tests at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. As previously announced, the IRL IndyCar® Series and IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series will each test on the oval and road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Jan. 18-22, but teams will test on the 2.21-mile road circuit on Jan. 18-20 before moving to the 1.5-mile oval on Jan. 21-22. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series will test on the road course on Jan 18 and on the oval Jan. 21. The IndyCar Series will test on the road course on Jan. 19-20 and on the oval on Jan. 22. Both series will test at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 8-10. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series will test on the 1-mile oval on Feb. 8 before turning the track over to the IndyCar Series for a two-day test beginning Feb. 9.
12/03/04
champcar
 cartatlantic
Atlantic drivers find fitness key in Champ Car Atlantic drivers find fitness key in Champ CarOnce a driver gets a rare opportunity to test a 750 HP Champ Car, learning the car and going fast aren’t the only challenges that must be met.  For many drivers the first thing that they realize once they put in a few laps behind the powerful turbocharged machine is just how strong and durable you need to be in order to tame the beast.

Toyota Atlantic Championship driver Bryan Sellers learned this valuable lesson while testing the #11 yokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring International Raceway on Monday.

Sellers, a fit 22-year-old who finished seventh in the Atlantic series this season, logged over 215 miles in the Champ Car over the course of the day and he said he certainly learned ways that he would adjust his fitness regimen if he were driving full-time in the Champ Car World Series.

“You work out four or five hours a day and you wonder if you’re doing the right kinds of things to prepare you for a test like this,” said Sellers. “I learned that I need to get a little stronger and work on my endurance a bit more. Your muscles just deteriorate much faster when you’re driving a Champ Car.”

The 5-8, 132-pound Sellers has the perfect build for a race car driver and he felt he was in pretty good shape when he was piloting his 1,265-pound Atlantic car this season. But he definitely felt the difference behind the wheel of the 1,565-pound Champ Car.

“Turning the wheel and pulling the amount of G’s through the corners is similar but the sheer weight of the car is so much more and you really feel it,” said Sellers. “I’m sure I’d get used to it if I was able to drive the car more often and I’ll adjust my workouts to try and get stronger.”

Team owner Dale Coyne feels that proper fitness and strength is one of the most important things a driver can focus on when preparing to test the powerful Champ Car.

“We’ve tested a lot of different guys over the years and whether they’re from the Toyota Atlantic series, F3000 or wherever, I don’t think they realize how demanding the car is,” said Coyne. “For some guys, they’ll get to 1:30 in the afternoon on the first day of testing they’re just whipped.”

Coyne feels that weight-lifting and cardio training can help prepare drivers for the demands of Champ Car racing, but he believes the best way to get ready for the physical toll of testing is karting.

“Go-karting beats you up but I think it’s the best thing a driver can do,” said Coyne. “You can work out in a gym but there’s no mental stress involved. In karting there’s the mental aspect of racing plus you’re doing the physical things you need to work on as a driver.”

Michael Valiante, who got a first-hand experience with the physical demands of a Champ Car at this year’s Gran Premio Telmex/Tecate Presented by Banamex in Mexico City, agrees that his fitness and training regimes that feature karting played a key role in his ability to adapt to the more powerful car.

“What I've found that prepares me for driving a Champ Car is running a 125 (CC) go-kart. I kart a lot and I think the karts use some of the same skills and muscles that you use while driving a Champ Car,” said the former WKA National Karting Champion. “Of course the kart reacts very differently than a Champ Car but I think it's the closest thing I've found to compare it with the physical nature of Champ Car racing.”

Sellers, who hopes to either move up to Champ Car or return for a championship run in the Atlantic series next season, said he’ll spend the next few months increasing his strength training so that he’s ready for the green flag in the spring. He agrees with Coyne, however, that there’s really only one exercise that can prepare him for the rigors he’ll face out on the racetrack.  “You can train as hard as you want but the bottom line is, nothing compares to driving the car,” said Sellers. Champ Car

12/03/04
f1
Heidfeld gets 2nd test in Williams Heidfeld gets 2nd test in WilliamsGerman Nick Heidfeld has been granted a second test with Williams next week after experiencing two days of wet weather running at Jerez. "He will run again," a spokesman said. "He will get the time he was promised next week as well."  Rain and windy conditions at the southern Spanish circuit this week prevented Heidfeld from taking the car to the limit but was still able to go quicker than Antonio Pizzonia on Thursday, setting the second fastest time to Jacques Villeneuve.
12/03/04
f1
Toyota again accused of stealing Ferrari data Toyota again accused of stealing Ferrari dataPublic prosecutor in the Toyota stealing Ferrari secrets case, Siegmar Raupach, was quoted in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that “We organized a new search upon request of Modena's district attorney in Italy, and two Italian policemen, instructed by Ferrari, identified the Italian software in Toyota's current computers. They found a considerable amount of Ferrari's data in Toyota's wind tunnel software.”

Toyota swiftly replied: “The actual statements that are reflected in the article contain a number of serious omissions and inaccuracies which create an entirely incorrect impression of the true facts surrounding the situation.

"As only one example we can clearly state that we have given our full co-operation to the investigating authorities at the time they visited our facilities. All requested support was given and copies of requested materials and equipment provided freely and willingly. Since this time we have received no further request for co-operation or support from the German authorities.”

“We have conducted a comprehensive internal investigation into our entire operations since this issue has occurred and taken every possible measure to further improve our rigorous control systems,” added the team. “This not only includes countermeasures to ensure that data import does not take place but also that the measures taken to protect our own intellectual property comply with the obligations that any company has in this respect. At this stage the allegations only involve individuals and their behavior, Toyota Motorsport has never voluntarily been involved in unfair acquisition or use of material or data from others. We are committed to winning and believe that winning performance will only come from achieving competitive advantage which is derived from our unique solutions and technology a large amount of which can be found in our cars. We have confidence in both the Italian and German Judicial processes and are confident that they will reach the right decision in this case.” It should be noted that Toyota allegedly fired the employees in question when it was discovered a year ago.

12/03/04
F1
Ferrari Friday testing update Ferrari Friday testing updateThird day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again working on two tracks: at Fiorano with Andrea Bertolini and at Jerez de la Frontera, with Luca Badoer and Marc Gene. At Ferrari’s private test circuit, Bertolini continued to work on new components and electronics. The Ferrari Maserati Group test driver completed a total of 88 laps, 28 of them on the short version of the track. The quickest in 1’01”633. At Jerez, Badoer and Gene were in action once again, continuing with a development program of Bridgestone tires and new components. The Italian driver completed a total of 50 laps (best time 1’29”206,) while the Spaniard did 55, the quickest in 1’29’’469. Tomorrow Badoer and Gene continue testing at Jerez de la Frontera; Andrea Bertolini will be representing the Scuderia at the Bologna Motor Show, at the wheel of an F2004. Ferrari
12/03/04
F1
Villeneuve again fastest at Jerez Villeneuve again fastest at JerezAs winter testing came to an end for F1 teams at Jerez, Sauber driver Jacques Villeneuve topped the speed charts for the 2nd straight day at the Spanish track. His teammate Felipe Massa was fastest on Wednesday to make it a clean sweep for Sauber. The Ferraris of Luca Badoer and Marc Gene were second and third fastest some 8/10ths of a second in arrears.
1. Jacques Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas - 1'28"345 - 81 laps
2. Luca Badoer - Ferrari - 1'29"191 - 50 laps
3. Marc Gene - Ferrari - 1'29"483 - 54 laps
4. Ralf Schumacher - Toyota - 1'29"523 - 83 laps
5. Giancarlo Fisichella - Renault - 1'29"814 - 29 laps
6. Alex Wurz - McLaren Mercedes - 1'30"151 - 33 laps
7. Christian Klien - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'30"379 - 86 laps
8. Takuma Sato - BAR Honda - 1'30"883 - 66 laps
9. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'31"084 - 31 laps
10. James Rossiter - BAR Honda - 1'31"194 - 43 laps
11. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'31"876 - 26 laps
12. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'31"935 - 25 laps
13. Enrique Bernoldi - BAR Honda - 1'32"414 - 36 laps
14. Neel Jani - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'32"700 - 11 laps
15. Robert Doornbos - Jordan Cosworth - 1'33"465 - 78 laps
16. Adam Carroll - BAR Honda - 1'33"545 - 13 laps
12/03/04
champcar
Zanardi to appear on Letterman Zanardi to appear on LettermanUPDATE As part of his tour of the United States to promote the American version of his book “My Sweetest Victory”, two-time Champ Car World Series Champion Alex Zanardi will make a guest appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” on CBS this evening.  In his new book, “My Sweetest Victory”, the 1997 and 1998 series champion takes his fans and readers through his childhood in Italy to the ups and downs of his successful racing career that started in karting, taking him to Formula 1, and his celebrated Champ Car days.  The story also includes his description of the terrible accident back in September of 2001, his long road to recovery, and his triumphant return to Lausitz in 2003 to complete his 13 unfinished laps from the German 500 in a specially modified 750 hp Champ Car.  During the Champ Car media teleconference yesterday Zanardi talked about his U.S. book tour and the opportunity to appear on the show.  “My first visit to New York ended with the invitation to the David Letterman Show, which is going to be aired tomorrow night (actually tonight, Friday December 3rd) in which I certainly had a lot of fun, but you would not expect much different when you have a host like David Letterman,” said the high-spirited Italian as he was excited to be back in the States.   The CBS audience is getting a true feeling of the Champ Car World Series as the 2004 Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais also made an appearance on “The Late Show” a few weeks ago during a stop on his champion’s media tour in New York. 11/29/04 Alex Zanardi will appear on the David Letterman Late Show to be taped Tuesday in NY City and to air this Friday evening on CBS.  Zanardi was in NY City today doing his book signing.
12/03/04
nascar
Jeff Gordon withdraws from ROC Jeff Gordon withdraws from ROCUPDATE NASCAR Nextel Cup racer Casey Mears is to replace Jeff Gordon in the American team for the Race of Champions and Nations Cup competitions in Paris on Saturday. Mears will fly in over night with Jimmie Johnson after the NASCAR banquet in New York this evening. 12/03/04 With a day to go before the world's greatest racing and rally drivers will do battle over a 1km track in the hallowed Stade de France, organizers of The Race of Champions – Nations Cup have revealed that just 6000 tickets remain for the greatest motor sport spectacle of the year. “We have sold 56,000 tickets so far,” said event organizer Fredrik Johnsson. “The capacity for the Stade de France with our track is 62,000 so we are very pleased. The fans will not be disappointed, we have the most significant line-up of international drivers ever assembled and competition will be fierce.” NASCAR star Jeff Gordon had to withdraw due to the flu. No replacement has been announced.
Participants
Michael Schumacher, 7-time F1 World Champion
David Coulthard, Winner 13 F1 Grand Prix’s including Monaco GP 2003.
Jeff Gordon, 4-time NASCAR Champion [Withdrawn] 
Jean Alesi, 3rd F1 World Championship 1997, 201 starts in GP
Kenny Brack, INDY 500 Winner, IRL
Jimmie Johnson, 2nd NASCAR 2003
Mattias Ekstrom, DTM Champion 2004, Winner Gr.N Swedish Rally 2004
Heikki Kovalainen, 2004 World Series by Nissan Champion
Sebastien Loeb, 2004 World Rally Champion
Marcus Gronholm, World Rally Champion 2000 & 2002, winner 2004
Colin McRae, World Rally Champion 1995
Armin Schwarz, European Rally Champion 1996
Sebastien Bourdais, 2004 Champ Car Champion
Tony Kanaan, 2004 IRL Champion
Felipe Massa, Sauber-Petronas F1 driver
Stephane Sarrazin, 2004 French Rally Championship leader
Cars
Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge
ROC Cars
Citroen Xsara WRC
Peugeot 307 WRC
12/03/04
nascar
Earnhardt Jr. wins Most Popular award Earnhardt Jr. wins Most Popular awardFor the second straight year, fans voted Dale Earnhardt Jr. the Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver. The announcement was made Friday during the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Awards Breakfast at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Earnhardt Jr. becomes just the fifth driver in the award's history to have won in consecutive years, joining Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip. A year ago, his selection by race fans made Earnhardt Jr. and his father, Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won NASCAR's oldest off-track honor.

"It was fun to win it last year, but to get two in a row really means a lot to me," said Earnhardt Jr. "I've learned this year about how loyal and supportive my fans are. My team had our best season ever, but we also had a lot of trouble along the way, including my injuries.

"I used to worry about losing my fans after a bad race or two, but I found out this year the fans really got behind me when I needed it the most. It's a big compliment to have that many fans voting for me and letting me know they're supportive and loyal no matter what."

12/03/04
superfund
Lemarie shunts Superfund car Lemarie shunts Superfund carEx-BAR F1 test driver Patrick Lemarie took over the Superfund car at Estoril today to continue the car's development program after his first outing in the SF01 yesterday [Thursday]. The Frenchman focused on tire development and compound assessment and, by his fourth lap, was finally able to fit dry-weather tires in order to evaluate their performance on the damp but drying track.

The experiment yielded some data but, a wet patch on the main straight caught Lemarie out and he slid off into the tire barrier, causing damage to the chassis. With only half a day remaining and unfavorable track conditions still ruling the roost, the development team took the decision to end the test program to concentrate on repairs to the car in preparation for the next round of testing.

“Obviously, I'm very disappointed with today's results," Lemarie sighed, "I went out on dry tires after Alvaro finished his run as the track was drying off, but, on the straight, I hit a wet patch at the braking point and went off into the barriers. I suppose that, at least, this proves the car is very safe!”

12/03/04
A1 Grand Prix
Jan Lammers to head Dutch team Jan Lammers to head Dutch teamAs a welcome addition to the evening, A1 Grand Prix announced four new national seat holders to A1 Grand Prix's World Cup of Motorsport.
Country                    Seat Owner
Mexico                     Mr. Juan Cortina Julio Jauregui
Turkey                     Mr. Valkan Ertas
Korea                      Auto Racing Korea Mr. Maximus Wie
Holland                    Mr. Jan Lammers
Full profiles of the new seat holders will be announced in the next few days.
12/03/04
nascar
It’s official: Jack Daniel's to sponsor No. 07 It’s official: Jack Daniel's to sponsor No. 07The Jack Daniel Distillery announced today it has entered into a partnership with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) as the primary sponsor of the No. 07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with veteran driver Dave Blaney and crew chief Philippe Lopez.  See related cartoon.

“We are thrilled to be making this announcement and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with RCR,” said Mike Keyes, senior vice president of Brown-Forman Beverages and global general manger for Jack Daniel’s.  “Richard Childress is a legend in NASCAR racing and we believe that this is the beginning of an excellent partnership.  Putting together two iconic brands like Jack Daniel’s and RCR opens up a wealth of opportunities and we couldn’t be more excited for our consumers, fans and everyone who loves this sport.”

The company applauded NASCAR’s decision to allow distilled spirits sponsorships next year in the NEXTEL Cup.  Keyes noted that the company’s marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns have always been grounded in responsibility and that will continue with the RCR sponsorship.

“This sponsorship makes sense from a business standpoint – and it also makes sense from a responsibility standpoint,” continued Keyes.  “We will be promoting our key message, “Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly” on a recurring basis and, like everything we do, our marketing will be directed to adult audiences of legal drinking age.”

Blaney, the 1995 World of Outlaws sprint car champion, is a veteran of 163 NEXTEL Cup Series starts since 1992.  The 42-year-old Hartford, Ohio native began his tenure with RCR in June at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, taking over the reigns of the No. 30 Chevrolet.  He was instrumental in advancing the program to a new plateau and was immediately on Childress’ short list to be the team’s full-time pilot in 2005.

 “I couldn’t be more excited about representing the Jack Daniel’s brand for RCR next season,” said Blaney.  “Promoting responsibility and moderation are hallmarks of Jack Daniel’s and those are exactly the messages we want to convey -- not only to Jack Daniel’s consumers but to NASCAR fans all over the world.  We have a great platform in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series to continue this very important message of responsibility.  We’ve got a great team in place with Philippe leading the way. We’re looking forward to running up front right out of the box with the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet at Daytona in February.”

12/03/04
Industry News
New Vukovich book New Vukovich bookA new book on the legendary two time winner of the Indianapolis 500 has arrived from the printer.   Race fans have long clamored for an in depth look at the mysterious, charismatic racing icon who dominated auto racing’s greatest race like no one before him, or since.  This biography, authored by Bob Gates, the critically acclaimed writer of Hurtubise, and a freelance auto racing journalist, has accomplished just that. Titled Vukovich, the book is based on years of research by the author, and covers Vuky from his first roadster race at the age of 17, to his death at Indianapolis in 1955. The book also details the life and careers of the two generations of racing Vukoviches, Bill Jr, and Bill III, that followed him.  The book has a forward by Dick Berggren, of Fox Sports NASCAR, and Speedway Illustrated fame. It contains 320 pages, with 260 photos, 72 in color. Vukovich is available in soft cover for $30, or hard cover for $40, postage paid.
Witness Productions
Box 34 Marshall IN 47859
(765)597-2487
12/03/04
nascar
Fox to broadcast races in high def Fox to broadcast races in high defNASCAR on FOX hits the gas on its fifth season in grand style with razor sharp 720p high-definition pictures accompanied by crystal clear Dolby 5.1 audio. FOX's Emmy Award-winning coverage begins during SpeedWeeks at Daytona, returning to the airwaves on Saturday, Feb. 12 (8:00pm/et), with a prime time presentation of the Bud Shootout, live from Daytona International Speedway. Coverage continues from Daytona with the 2005 season's inaugural NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, Feb. 19 (2:00pm/et), and culminates with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the 47th running of "The Great American Race" — the Daytona 500 — on Sunday, February 20 (12:00pm/et). "We're thrilled to present the entire NASCAR on FOX 2005 season in 720p High Definition clarity and Dolby 5.1 audio," said FOX Sports Chairman David Hill. "Our HD broadcasts will ensure that fans at home are treated to the visceral experience that NASCAR action provides to those present at the speedway, which is precisely what we at FOX Sports aim to deliver as broadcasters." NASCAR racing legend Darrell Waltrip and former champion crew chief Larry McReynolds return to provide race analysis for all NASCAR on FOX Nextel Cup and Busch Series events, and Mike Joy returns as race announcer. Prerace coverage is again hosted by Chris Myers with analyst Jeff Hammond, and returning to cover pit road for FOX are reporters Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum and Jeanne Zelasko. In its fifth season as the home of NASCAR, FOX Sports airs 15 NASCAR Nextel Cup races. Last season, the average per-race audience for FOX's "regular season" NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule (Rockingham through Sears Point) was 9.03 million viewers, identical to the figures posted in 2003. NASCAR Nextel Cup racing has retained its status as the second highest-rated sport televised nationally, trailing only the National Football League. NASCAR on FOX' 2004 regular-season average rating of 5.6/14, topped the regular season average of the NBA on ABC by 133% (vs. 2./4/16), the biggest margin ever between those two sports. FOX's 5.6/14 for regular season Nextel Cup racing was also +22% better than ABC's 4.6/10 for the NBA playoffs. NASCAR on FOX is clearly the dominant player in the portion of the year formerly controlled by the NBA. FoxSports.com
12/03/04
f1
Ralf Schumacher to open sex stores Ralf Schumacher to open sex storesUPDATE Ralf Schumacher has pulled out of a sex shop business venture after being mocked by a German comedian.   The German announced plans last weekend to invest in a chain of sex stores in Slovenia and Croatia.  But he has had a swift change of heart after Stefan Raab nicknamed him ‘Porno-Ralle’ and gave his wife Cora the moniker ‘Hard Cora’.   Ralf, who is planning to take legal action against Raab, told Bild: "It's become a campaign against me. My role as an example to others is more important than any money.  "What Stefan Raab has done with my name and that of my wife was far too personal. I have a son to think of." 11/27/04 Racing driver Ralf Schumacher has teamed up with a subsidiary of German erotic products firm Beate Uhse in a joint venture aimed at the Slovenian market.  "For me, it's just like any other investment," the German told Bild newspaper which said two million euros ($2.6 million) would be invested to set up eight shops in Slovenia next year.  "I've entered as a silent partner."  Beate Uhse, Europe's leading sex store chain, was founded by Beate Uhse, a former Luftwaffe pilot. It sells more than 10,000 products ranging from sex toys to racy lingerie and erotic films in more than 200 shops in 10 European countries. 
12/03/04
champcar
Canadian Hot Shoes - Photos Canadian Hot Shoes - PhotosCanadian hot shoes Michael Valiante (L) and Andrew Ranger were the two fastest drivers in Champ Car testing at Sebring this past week. Both are aiming to land a Champ Car ride in 2005 and with Champ Car losing Patrick Carpentier, the series certainly can use their addition. Ranger already has backing from Tide who will step up their effort for a Champ Car ride, but a bit more sponsorship is needed. Valiante also needs sponsorship and at least two teams are trying to find it. Valiante has proven he's bloody quick, by our qualifying and out racing the highly regarded Mario Haberfeld in a sister Walker Racing Reynard in Mexico City, Valiante's very first Champ Car race. That's stuff champions are made of. More photos from testing
12/03/04
f1
Piquet to test for BAR Piquet to test for BARBritish F3 champion Nelson Piquet Jr will test for BAR Honda at Jerez in Spain next week.  He is the latest is a string of youngsters the team has tested in recent weeks.
12/03/04
f1
Rain doesn't dampen Renault test goals Rain doesn't dampen Renault test goalsThe Mild Seven Renault F1 Team began a three day test session in Jerez this morning, but running was disrupted by poor track conditions, owing to intermittent rain, throughout the day. Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer “Although the rain meant we completed a more restricted program than we would have done on a dry track, it nevertheless provided the opportunity to complete a large amount of useful software development." "Also, Giancarlo had never driven on Michelin wet tires before, so the conditions helped him in another aspect of his acclimatization to our package.” Renault F1 Team
12/03/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Dupasquier's successor
Founder blocks BAR sale
Villeneuve on top
Quick Nick to get second run
Schu to drive F1 in Paris
DC 'top' of Red Bull's list
It's no 'mind game' - JPM
Red Bull confirm launch
Keke's advice -- 'copy Schu'
Girl racer eyes F1
Webber in hot water
Minardi aim for same line-up
'Advantage Michelin'
Todt, F1 cohorts, to meet
DC lauds 16-year-old
Briscoe in 'States
Green to DTM
Button to leave BAR in '06
Sato to launch F1 drink
Bobbi to drive 2-seat F1
12/03/04
F1
Schumacher to drive F2004 down Champs Elysees Schumacher to drive F2004 down Champs Elysees(GMM) On Sunday, world champion Michael Schumacher will drive his F1 Ferrari down Paris' Champs Elysees.

Jean Todt will be at the wheel of an Enzo, French F1 legend Rene Arnoux a 575 Maranello, Patrick Tambay in a 612 Scaglietti, and Ferrari-powered Sauber star Felipe Massa in a new F430.

The parade, to run from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, is a Ferrari tribute, but also the marking of an agreement between France and the ICM, with Schumacher and Todt as patrons.

France's World Rally champ Sebastien Loeb will show off his Citroen just prior to the Ferrari extravaganza.

12/02/04
champcar
alms
Bourdais could lead French Audi assault on LeMans Bourdais could lead French Audi assault on LeMansUPDATE A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com Ryan Hunter-Reay recently said he turned down an opportunity to drive a prototype at LeMans because it conflicted with the Portland Champ Car race. This whole idea about teams offering Champ Car drivers opportunities to compete at LeMans in 2005 is all well and good but, in case they didn't notice, Champ Car has a race the same weekend in Portland, as does F1 with the US Grand Prix. Surely, every driver's contract stipulates that they are obligated to fulfilling their primary obligations before doing one-off's in other races. Name Withheld 12/02/04 This Autosport.com article says, Top-line French race team ORECA is linking up with Audi to field an R8 in the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours to try to put an all-French driver line-up on the top step of the podium for the first time since 1978. Champ Car title winner Sebastien Bourdais is favorite to lead the driving squad with Emmanuel Collard and Nicolas Minassian completing the line-up. Renault F1 tester Franck Montagny and F1 driver turned rally ace Stephane Sarrazin are also said to be in the frame. ORECA boss Hugues de Chaunac has been working on the idea for some time and Autosport first revealed his intentions in November. The deal has now been finalized with backing coming from Audi France and Playstation. De Chaunac said: “There will be a blue Audi at Le Mans with three French drivers. An all-French crew hasn't won since Renault [with Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud in ‘78] and we want to change that.” The deal means that there should be at least three Audis at Le Mans next year as the US Champion team is expected to run two of the all-conquering Audi prototypes. ORECA now becomes a victory favorite.
12/02/04
Industry News
Group Acquires “America’s Top Driver Racing Series” Group Acquires “America’s Top Driver Racing Series”UPDATE Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCBB:ISPO) ("Idea") Chairman & CEO William C. Morris announced today that legendary NASCAR Champion Cale Yarborough has joined the company, and will serve as Director of the Idea Motorsports Division, and as a television analyst for its upcoming America's Top Driver Racing Series, scheduled to be televised weekly during its inaugural racing season.   Cale Yarborough commented, "America's Top Driver(TM) is one of the most interesting, and compelling racing series I've ever seen. I think it's great. For a young driver to have a chance to race in great equipment, on a big-time racetrack, with a chance to go head-to-head with a superstar for One Million Dollars . . . I wish I could jump in the car myself. Aside from the whole excitement of the series, we might just find that next Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt. A lot about racing is being in the right place at the right time. I know that firsthand. Racing has been very good to me, and if this series could be the right place, and the right time for a young driver, then I'm all for it. I just think it could be a great and entertaining racing series that we could do year after year." 11/29/04 Adding to the stable of entertainment- based  projects, Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCBB:ISPO)   (“Idea”), announced today that it has purchased the rights to “America’s Top Driver ” racing series from New York- based, The Adler Group Idea Chairman and CEO, William C. Morris commented, “We’re excited about acquiring this the America’s Top Driver Racing Series, which will be the cornerstone of our motorsports- entertainment division.  We are also currently in negotiations to acquire additional motorsports, sports, and entertainment projects from Lenny Adler and The Adler Group”. Idea is currently accepting qualified applications on the America’s Top Driver website: (www.americastopdriver.com).   Information regarding the series, and application guidelines are also available on the website.  Additional information relating to America’s Top Driver Racing Series will be posted on the website as it becomes available. America’s Top Driver will be administered by Idea Management Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. America’s Top Driver will combine the excitement of motorsports, with a unique made-for- television entertainment platform as it searches for the next race car driver to get a shot at the big time, and a chance at a $1,000,000.00 ($1million) grand prize, and a 3-race professional racing contract.  Joined by current and former motorsports greats, America’s Top Driver will hit all demographic groups as it gives talented young men and women the opportunity to prove themselves on the race track, and earn the title “America’s Top Driver”. About Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. is a sports and entertainment marketing and management company dedicated to developing undervalued sports and entertainment properties and discovering niche opportunities to serve underdeveloped market segments. Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. through various partnerships, and wholly owned affiliates, is a creator and developer of entertainment content focusing on sports and general entertainment properties.
12/02/04
nascar
Las Vegas to honor Busch Sunday Las Vegas to honor Busch SundaySome of Las Vegas’ most distinguished officials will be on hand Sunday afternoon to honor NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch.  Busch, a Durango High School graduate, will bring his championship trophy to the Fremont Street Experience on Sunday at 3 p.m. and will share his title with his hometown.  Among those scheduled to attend and present Busch with honors and proclamations are Las Vegas Motor Speedway general manager Chris Powell, Senator John Ensign, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller and Las Vegas City Councilman Gary Reese.  The festivities will be held on the First Street Stage adjacent to the Golden Nugget. The festivities will begin at 2 p.m. with a performance by the Speaks Brothers. In addition, Busch’s Irwin Tools car will be on display and Las Vegas Motor Speedway has produced a congratulatory banner for all race fans to sign. This banner will be given to Busch at the conclusion of the event.
12/02/04
champcar
"One of a Kind” Champ Car Cobra Scooter "One of a Kind” Champ Car Cobra ScooterCARA Charities and Cobra Scooters, LLC, importers of the Cobra line of motor scooters including Vento scooters, Longchang ATVs, Classic Retro scooters, Euro scooters, Cobra Motorcycles, and many more powersports products, are auctioning a special “One of a Kind” Champ Car Cobra Scooter on ebay.com from Dec. 5-12, 2004.

The special Cobra Motors scooter made the rounds of the Champ Car World Series paddock during the 2004 season and has a “Champ Car Only” addition to its paint. 

While most race fans get their driver autographs on a sheet of paper or a hat, the entire field of Champ Car drivers, including current series champion Sebastian Bourdais, 2003 champion Paul Tracy and 1996 titleholder Jimmy Vasser, has put their autograph on the Cobra Motors scooter!    Now that’s a unique item for “at-the-track” transportation.

Interested bidders should check the ebay.com website for details on the upcoming auction.  The CARA charities website (www.caracharities.org) also has details.

“We would like to thank Cobra Scooters for this great donation,” said Mary Lou Bogner, executive director of CARA Charities.  “It is so different and unique for the racing fan.  We appreciate Cobra’s generosity in assisting our organization.  The scooter will be available this coming week on ebay.com and should be raise a good amount of money for charity.”

“We thought that this would be an great way for fans to get their hands on a truly unique item,” said Cobra Motors president Bill Pierce.  “I think fans will be excited at the chance to own this one-of-a-kind scooter.  We look forward to watching the auction unfold and we hope that it raises money for this deserving charity.”

Cobra Motors is a growing presence in the scooter industry. For more information on Cobra, please visit their website at www.cobramotors.com.  Mackey Marketing Group, Inc., a veteran motorsport marketing and promotion agency, is the firm that developed the giveaway campaign.

12/02/04
Race of Champions
ROC track layout ROC track layoutWhereas in previous years the Race of Champions track was dirt and favored the off-roaders, this year's track is asphalt and laid out entirely within the Stade de France in Paris, France.  All races are run as side-by-side runs on parallel tracks.
12/02/04
ascar
Days of Thunder becomes SCSA Racing Days of Thunder becomes SCSA RacingEurope's fastest race series will have a new name next season, becoming the Stock Car Speed Association (SCSA) Racing. The series, which has been called Days of Thunder after the 1990 Tom Cruise film (was ASCAR before that), is hugely popular with race fans and families with its high speed, action packed racing.

“Because the series has gained such a popular following the time is now right to give it its own identity,” said Rockingham Chairman Gerry DeNotto. “The Days of Thunder name helped kick start the series as it did exactly what it said on the box, but with the new company to develop and build a professional race series, we needed a professional race series name. We chose SCSA Racing as the new name because of the American Speed Association (ASA) stock cars we use and we will be announcing some very exciting trans Atlantic action very soon. SCSA will continue to provide the same high speed racing action it has been giving the paying public for the past four seasons, with more cars and more high profile sponsors.”

The events held at Rockingham on the first Sunday of every month will also be renamed to Thunder Sunday at The Rock.

Joe Dickinson, CEO Rockingham: “Because the race series will be run as a separate company from Rockingham next year, we had to differentiate between the race championship and the Rockingham events. Thunder Sunday at The Rock is the perfect name for the family orientated entertainment our customers come to Rockingham for. The format will basically remain, but we will be adding much more variety to what you see both on and off the track.

“On track we will always have a guest race, Legends are one of the series who wish to take part and we are looking at some other very interesting additions for 2005. We will also vary the race distances for both the SCSA cars and Pick Ups. The music element will continue with high profile artists from pop and rock and, again with variety in mind, we are looking at, for example, comedy at one of the events.”

12/02/04
nascar
NY City Sports Commissioner announces NASCAR Day NY City Sports Commissioner announces NASCAR DayNew York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba announced that today is NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champions Day in the City of New York. Among the day's festivities was the first-ever 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Victory Lap featuring the sport's Top 10 drivers as they drove their stock cars in a police-escorted procession from the NASDAQ Exchange to NASCAR's NYC Headquarters (375 Park Avenue) as well as a proclamation ceremony in Times Square.
 
The week's events are the culmination of the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, as the ambassadors of the sport of NASCAR come to New York City to celebrate their season and crown their champion, Kurt Busch, at the Waldorf-Astoria.

"I am delighted to welcome 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champions Week to New York City," said Commissioner Podziba. "Since 1981, NASCAR has come to our city to crown its champion. This year, we are pleased to welcome the sport's most recent champion, Kurt Busch, and the other Top 10 drivers as they take part in this exciting procession through the city's streets. We congratulate NASCAR on another successful year and look forward to our continued partnership."
 
Among those in attendance at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Victory Lap ceremony were NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne, Nextel President and CEO Tim Donahue, NASDAQ President and CEO Bob Greifeld, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch, Decca/Universal Recording Artist Ronan Tynan, and native New Yorker Donald Trump.

"NASCAR has been celebrating our champion in New York City for more than 20 years and today was truly one of our great moments in the city," said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne. "We want to thank the New York City Sports Commission, NYPD, DOT and the Community Assistance Unit for helping make Victory Lap a safe and successful event."
 
The 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Victory Lap consisted of 11 stock cars, 2 official Chevrolet pace cars, as well as additional support vehicles escorted by the New York City Police Department from the NASDAQ Exchange in Times Square to NASCAR's NYC Headquarters (375 Park Avenue). Top 10 drivers in attendance included Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, and Jeremy Mayfield.

The 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, December 3rd in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria at 7:00 p.m.

12/02/04
champcar
Alex Zanardi transcript Alex Zanardi transcriptEric Mauk of Champ Car:  We have a special Champ Car media teleconference today.  We are honored to be joined by two-time Champ Car title winner Alex Zanardi, who is making a whirlwind tour of the United States talking about his American release of his new book, entitled, My Sweetest Victory, which is Alex's story of life and racing, and chronicles everything from how he got started as a young karter all the way up to the events of what happened at Lausitzring in 2001 and his inspirational tale of how he got through that and getting right back into the mainstream of life and the success he's had here in the last couple years, which have included many things, including a return to racing. More.....
12/02/04
f1
Red Bull to launch at Jerez Red Bull to launch at JerezThe Red Bull Racing Team announced today that the launch date of the team's 2005 car, the RB1, will be Monday 7th February 2005 in Jerez (Spain) at the Circuito De Jerez. The RB1 will be the first car to race under the team's new ownership by Red Bull, makers of the world's No.1 energy drink, who bought the Jaguar Racing team in November 2004 from the Ford Motor Company. The RB1 will be the result of the on-going development and evolution of the Jaguar R5, the 2004 Jaguar Racing car. The Milton Keynes (UK) based team, have retained their existing staff structure and despite the recent sales process are on schedule with the launch program for the new car. Further details regarding the launch will be issued in January 2005.
12/02/04
f1
Williams test summary Williams test summaryThe BMW WilliamsF1 Team completed a three day test at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain today. The team was represented by Mark Webber, Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld over the three days, all of whom carried out component development work on the interim FW26s. Despite unfavorable weather conditions, in particular a lack of dry running, the drivers managed to bank a considerable amount of track time, therefore securing valuable data from the car’s new variables. Combined, Webber, Pizzonia and Heidfeld completed a total of 506 laps of the Jerez circuit, a distance of 2,241 kilometers over the three day period. Mark and Antonio also recorded the two quickest times of the test. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team will return to Jerez on 8th December for another three day test, the last test of this year.

Tim Newton, Test Team Manager “After a rather troublesome test in Barcelona last week, we’ve made good progress this week in Jerez. Mark, Antonio and Nick all did a good job with the interim cars and, despite some rather inclement weather, all three recorded impressive mileage. On his first outing with the team, Nick settled in well and gave us some productive feedback. Credit must be given to everyone, both at the factory and at the track, who have worked hard over the past week to rectify the teething problems encountered in Barcelona. As a result, we’ve had a relatively trouble-free, and therefore productive, test.”

Nick Heidfeld “I’m really happy with the two days I’ve had in the car. It’s a very nice car to drive, and I was getting more familiar with it lap by lap. I think I would have benefited from some more time, and better weather to get a proper feel of how the car handles in the dry. Overall though, it’s been a very productive and satisfying test.” BMW WilliamsF1 Team

12/02/04
f1
Jacques goes fastest at wet Jerez Jacques goes fastest at wet JerezThursday test times on a wet Jerez track:
1. Jacques Villeneuve - Sauber Petronas - 1'22"061 - 74 laps
2. Nick Heidfeld - Williams BMW - 1'22"430 - 96 laps
3. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'22"631 - 88 laps
4. Christian Klien - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'23"124 - 35 laps
5. Antonio Pizzonia - Williams BMW - 1'23"382 - 48 laps
6. Takuma Sato - BAR Honda - 1'24"115 - 44 laps
7. Giancarlo Fisichella - Renault - 1'24"525 - 42 laps
8. Alex Wurz - McLaren Mercedes - 1'24"700 - 48 laps
9. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'24"774 - 41 laps
10. Alan Van Der Merwe - BAR Honda - 1'25"446 - 36 laps
11. Ralf Schumacher - Toyota - 1'26"200 - 54 laps
12. Luca Badoer - Ferrari - 1'27"553 - 61 laps
13. Marc Gene - Ferrari - 1'28"929 - 37 laps
14. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'29"697 - 23 laps
15. Robert Doornbos - Jordan Cosworth - 1'32"211 - 10 laps
16. James Rossiter - BAR Honda - 1'33"474 - 34 laps
17. Enrique Bernoldi - BAR Honda - 1'33"493 - 46 laps
12/02/04
Industry News
Day 1 and 2 highlights from Motorsports Marketing Forum Day 1 and 2 highlights from Motorsports Marketing ForumWith Honda's BAR buyout, and Toyota's annual $400m budget, formula one is in danger of turning into a spending war between the Japanese carmakers.

Predictably, bosses for the manufacturer-pair shrugged off the concern amid the governing FIA's effort to reduce the need to dig too deep.

''We will spend a reasonable amount of money to make the team stronger,'' said Honda racing president Yasuhiro Wada.

Japanese rival Toyota, on the other hand, now has a budget that eclipses even Ferrari and McLaren, and intend to fork out another $70m or so for a second on-site wind tunnel.

''I don't think this expansion is so expensive,'' said Toyota principal Tsutomu Tomita. 'Two wind tunnels for a top level team is quite reasonable.

''But we are worried about a spending war -- we have to always be careful about spending too much in formula one.''

12/02/04
superfund
LeMarie: Car is cross between F1 and Champ Car LeMarie: Car is cross between F1 and Champ CarEx-BAR F1 test driver, Patrick Le Marie kicked off the development program today as he took to the track in the SF01 at a rain-drenched Circuito do Estoril, Portugal.

This is Le Marie’s first time behind the wheel of the SF01 and he is the fifth driver with Formula One experience to test the car. The Frenchman ran in the morning session and as this was the first time the SF01 had run on a wet track, his extensive experience was invaluable in collecting set-up data for wet weather conditions. The development team also continued their gearbox mapping program in preparation for the start of the Formula Superfund championship next May.

The afternoon session saw a continuation of the on-going assessment of young drivers for the new championship with a trio of 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 competitors behind the wheel of the new car.

Austrian driver Mathias Lauda took to the track first at the beginning of the afternoon session. He completed 13 laps before handing over to Nicky Pastorelli. The newly crowned 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 Champion ran for the same distance as the rain continued to fall. Runner-up Fabrizio Del Monte was the third and final driver of the session. He also managed 13 laps before the circuit closed.

The test program will conclude tomorrow with Patrick Le Marie in action for the second time alongside 2004 EuroBOSS champion Scott Mansell, and young Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente.

Patrick Le Marie: “From my experience, the SF01 combines all the positive features of both Formula One and a CART Champ Car. It has a good balance between tires, aerodynamic design, engine specification and without traction control, it’s a really, really fun car to drive! When the weather is as bad as this, it’s always difficult to realize the full potential of a car but we’ve managed to get through a lot of work on the gearbox systems today and collect valuable data for the on-going development program. I’m hoping we’ll get a dry spell tomorrow so we can move on with the tire testing program.”

Mathias Lauda: “The SF01 has exceeded all my expectations! The power is exceptional and it’s definitely a huge step up from anything I’ve driven before in F3000. The rain meant we weren’t able to push the car to the limit as the track was very slippery so I can’t wait to see what the car really has to offer.”

Nicky Pastorelli: “Everything about the new car is impressive! The big difference is the engine and you can really feel the power going into the faster corners. The brakes are also very powerful and even in these wet conditions, the car was really exciting to drive. The SF01 is a fantastic car because it’s very quick and yet not too difficult to drive so it’ll be good training for Formula One”.

Fabrizio Del Monte: “I’d like to thank Formula Superfund for the opportunity to drive the SF01 as this was a fantastic experience for me! I drove the Minardi F1 car last year and the cars feel very similar in terms of power and braking. It’s amazing how powerful the SF01 is! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to drive the car again in the Formula Superfund championship next year.”

12/02/04
champcar
Winners of Alex Zanardi book giveaway Winners of Alex Zanardi book giveaway6 of the 8 winners of the AutoRacing1.com Alex Zanardi book, "My Sweetest Victory" are as follows.  The final two random drawings will be made tonight.  Here is a sampling of the responses.
  1. Michael Neubauer
  2. Derek Condon
  3. Cindy Adams
  4. Brad Filbey
  5. Brett Kear
  6. Scott Peper
  7. Jeff Cuomo
  8. Jason Hoehn
12/02/04
champcar
Roberto Gonzalez speaks Roberto Gonzalez speaksUPDATE Dale Coyne told AutoRacing1.com that they have not spoken to Gonzalez, so one must assume it was Forsythe Racing or another team. 12/02/04 "ESTO," a sports journal in Mexico focuses on soccer but from time to time they do feature other sports. In the latest issue they have an interview with Roberto Gonzalez. He was quoted that he has been reviewing "four choices for a ride in Champ Car for 2005." Contrary to what AutoRacing1.com has been told, Gonzalez claims the Nextel of Mexico sponsorship is his and they will follow him to whatever team he finally lands at. He claims he left PKV because they did not give him a competitive car, again contrary to what AutoRacing1 was told. He says he will decide on which team he will drive for soon. "The last thing I would do is to race for PKV again," said Gonzalez. Talk about burning your bridges, but we're pretty sure the feeling goes both ways. He also said that one of the teams interested in his money offered him a test drive this week, which we assume means Dale Coyne Racing.  He said that he refused the test drive because he wants to be sure about his decision!  In other Mexico news, Honda is still running its ads with Adrian Fernandez in "El Financiero," Mexico's version of the Wall Street Journal.
12/02/04
f1
Webber says Pizzonia is lying Webber says Pizzonia is lyingIn an interview for Gazzetta dello Sport WilliamsF1 driver Mark Webber has come out and publicly criticized Antonio Pizzonia for the claims that Antonio made in regard to Mark been given preferential treatment when they both were drivers at Jaguar.  This war of words between the pair has been going on for sometime but now takes on a more significance given that there is a strong chance that the pair will be driving together for the WilliamsF1 team in 2005. Previously Pizzonia had claimed that he was treated badly while at Jaguar. These claims are something that Webber challenges.  In the interview Webber said: "He knows he's been telling lies. He says his car was different from mine? It's all bullshit. But if he really thinks so, then he's a loser. The truth is that Antonio was fast in testing, but couldn't do as well in the races.   This year, when he took over from Gene on Ralf Schumacher's Williams, he did well, but he didn't have too much pressure on him because he had nothing to lose. Things change when you are the race driver: in this case the responsibilities are much bigger. Especially if you're at the wheel of a Williams."   And these two guys might be teammates in 2005?  Amazing.
12/02/04
nascar
CitiFinancial expands Yates sponsorship CitiFinancial expands Yates sponsorshipCitiFinancial this morning announced an expanded sponsorship of Robert Yates Racing, including a primary sponsorship for 19 NASCAR Busch Series events in ‘05. Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler will share driving duties. CitiFinancial will continue to serve as an associate sponsor on Robert Yates Racing’s No. 88 UPS Ford, driven by Jarrett, and No. 38 M&M Ford, driven by Sadler, on the Nextel Cup Series. CitiFinancial unveiled its Busch Series car this morning at Street & Smith’s Sports Group’s Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Westin N.Y. in Times Square.  The Motorsports Marketing Forum concludes today. Prior to IRL & IMS President & CEO Tony George’s 10:15am ET keynote address, NASCAR President Mike Helton, VP/Corporate Marketing Brett Yormark and VP/Broadcasting & New Media Dick Glover, as well as Sunoco VP/Marketing & Development Cynthia Archer, Phoenix Int’l Raceway President Bryan Sperber and Fox Sports President Ed Goren will assess the ‘04 NASCAR season.  Meanwhile, the ten drivers who competed in the inaugural Chase for the Nextel Cup this season will make a victory lap this morning ending in front of NASCAR’s N.Y. office on 52nd Street and Park Avenue. Donald Trump will wave the green flag to start the lap, which begins outside the NASDAQ on Broadway at 9:45am ET THE DAILY
12/02/04
MotoGP
TV numbers up TV numbers upTelevision audiences around the globe for the MotoGP World Championship continued to grow in 2004, and viewers were gifted with one of the most exciting seasons in the 55-year history of the series. In total, some 5,226 million viewers tuned in to the sixteen rounds of the championship as Valentino Rossi won the title in his first season with Yamaha, a staggering 121 million more than those who saw him win for Honda the previous year. MotoGP coverage was provided in every corner of the world, with the average number of viewers per Grand Prix increasing to 327 million in 208 countries, a boost of 2.5% on 2003. Almost half of that total (148 million) watched the races live in 185 countries, through 47 terrestrial and pan-continental broadcasters. Improved exposure from free-to-air broadcasters saw the total broadcast hours for the season also swelled, rising 4% to 3,729 hours. In addition, 270 million homes were reached by cable or satellite.
12/02/04
German DTM
Jamie Green to DTM Jamie Green to DTMNew F3 Euroseries champion Jamie Green has confirmed rumors that he will switch from single-seaters to touring cars next season by announcing a deal to race in the burgeoning DTM series with AMG-Mercedes. The Briton, a former frontrunner in both Formula Renault and F3 in the UK, will pilot a Mercedes C-Class in the 2005 campaign, having campaigned Three-Pointed Star power in his successful Euroseries assault this year. Green tested impressively at the wheel of the DTM car within weeks of clinching the F3 title, but had to turn down GP2 offers to accept the move into 'tin-tops'.

"When I tested the AMG Mercedes C-Class, I felt comfortable in the car, and I'm really happy to be promoted to the DTM, which I believe is the best touring car series in the world," the former McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year commented, "The competition is going to be very tough, but I'm happy to be part of such a top-class field. It will be a great challenge for a young driver like me, and I will do my best to justify the confidence Mercedes and AMG have in me."

Green graduates to the DTM having claimed seven race wins in the F3 Euroseries and clinched the title five rounds from the end of what turned out to be a dominant season, having single-handedly scored half of the Mercedes-powered drivers' tally of 14 wins in 2004.

12/02/04
f1
New Sports drink for Sato New Sports drink for SatoLucky Strike B·A·R Honda, Takuma Sato and Asahi Soft Drinks Co. Ltd. have today announced a partnership that will see all parties working to develop a new re-hydration sports drink. Asahi Soft Drinks are planning to launch the product, the first to be developed in conjunction with Formula One in Japan, in Spring 2005.

Formula One racing is a rigorous sport, requiring not only sheer physical strength, but also the capability to maintain concentration for long periods of time. Racing drivers can lose approximately 2 to 3 liters of fluid during a Grand Prix, making re-hydration a vital issue.

Utilizing Takuma Sato's experience gained as an F1 driver with B·A·R Honda and Asahi Soft Drinks' expertise in drinks development, the new sports drink will initially be launched in conventional bottles and ring-pull cans. The company will also develop a powder version suitable for use by other sporting athletes.

An important factor for Asahi Soft Drinks was 'the challenging spirit' of the B·A·R Honda team and Takuma Sato, an ethos that closely matches the company's own corporate philosophy. Both partners see this as an opportunity to explore and develop a longer-term relationship.

"I am very happy to be working so closely with Asahi Soft Drinks to create a new brand of sports drink," says Takuma Sato. "This is a great opportunity for us to work together to create a product that will help me and other sports people to perform at the highest level and also become a favorite with the public. Asahi Soft Drinks has a fantastic reputation for quality products, so I am very much looking forward to this association."

The agreement not only sees the co-development of the new sports product, but also its exclusive use by the B·A·R Honda team, the team's support of its sales and promotional activities and on-car and driver branding.

12/02/04
A1 Grand Prix
A1 Grand Prix Team Lebanon A1 Grand Prix Team LebanonTeam Lebanon entered the world of international motor sport today with the official announcement of the Lebanese A1 Grand Prix team. The race car, in full Lebanese livery, was unveiled this evening by Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud at a stunning VIP gala evening at Le Royal Hotel, Beirut, hosted by Mr Nadhmi Auchi.

The President was guest of honor at the launch reception. Other dignitaries involved in the proceedings included His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum and Team Lebanon leader Mr Tameem Auchi. The event was presided over by Lebanese TV celebrity Mr George Kordahi.

"I am very pleased to be here tonight to celebrate this challenging Team Lebanon concept," said President Emile Lahoud. "The whole country will be supporting the team on the race track, while the rest of the world will see the strength, pride and determination of Lebanon and its people. I am sure that we will all be very proud of A1 GP Team Lebanon."

Team leader Tameem Auchi then introduced the car: "We want the Lebanese people, both here and around the world, to be proud of the team that is bearing their national colors. This launch event is a clear demonstration that Team Lebanon is a serious player, one that will bring success to those involved."

The world debut of Team Lebanon saw the A1 Grand Prix racing car, bedecked in the red and white colors of the Lebanese national flag and featuring the famous Cedar of Lebanon on the sidepods, emerging with a roaring engine to a fanfare of sound and light. The car made its way down a specially constructed 30 meter runway to finish in the middle of the reception.

At the launch, Sheikh Maktoum said: "A1 Grand Prix is delighted to welcome Mr Nadhmi Auchi, his son Tameem and the Lebanese A1 Grand Prix team as the first Arab nation to join the global family in the World Cup of Motorsport. It shows the entrepreneurial spirit of the Lebanese people and business community and is a demonstration of how Lebanon now wishes to showcase its achievements and new image to the world." A1GP

12/02/04
irl
Wheldon targets ’05 IRL crown Wheldon targets ’05 IRL crownEnglishman Dan Wheldon has his eye on winning the Indy Racing League title next season after a near miss this year.  Wheldon, from Emberton, UK, was a serious title challenger all year but lost out to ultra-consistent Andretti Green teammate Tony Kanaan.  Now Wheldon is looking to come out on top in 2005 after firmly establishing himself as one of the IRL’s rising stars.

Wheldon, who was rookie of the year in 2003, said: “It’s been an enjoyable season and a relatively successful season.  I would have liked to have won the championship and that’s something I’m going to work very hard on next year. For my first full season in the IRL, I think it’s been pretty productive.  From my standpoint, I feel like I’ve performed very well. I still think there are areas where I can improve a lot, which I am certainly going to work on during the off-season.  Interestingly enough, I haven’t been in an Indy car on a road course yet, so that’s something that I’ve got to work on, as well.”

12/02/04
champcar
Marshall aims at landing Champ Car ride Marshall aims at landing Champ Car rideIt's a long way from the Australian beaches for Marcus Marshall.  The 26-year-old is vying to become the first ever Australian-born Champ Car World Series driver, and just completed testing this week at Sebring International Raceway for Dale Coyne Racing.  "It was just an overall good result," Marshall said after what he deemed a successful final day at the track Tuesday. "It was, overall, a really good thing for me to come here and be on the pace."

Just to be in the position to make the series puts him in a select group. Countryman David Besnard beat him by just a few months to become the first Aussie to try out.  "I don't think about stuff like that too much," Marshall said of the historic context. "I just worry about doing the right thing, and getting a job somewhere."  Marshall has put much at stake upon his ability to do so with the Champ Car series. Having exhausted all his options back home, where he impressed on the Australian F3 series, it's either win a spot with Dale Coyne or race on a European circuit.   "We're really taking a big step," Marshall said.

Marshall is excited about the prospect of joining what he believes is a growing Champ Car tour, particularly in America.  He is staying in America until through next week to try and drum up sponsorship for his potential new team.  One of his selling points could be the way he quickly fell in love with auto racing. He was mainly interested only in surfing until he got his driver's license, but after having driven for a relatively short time with no background in go-karts or on junior circuits, he is now on the cusp of making history.  "I've been racing for the last six or seven years," he said. "I've had to work really hard getting myself up to speed."  Indeed, it also his ability to get a quick feel for a car that he counts as one of his strengths as a driver, one he hopes to use in April, when the Champ Car World Series opens in Long Beach, Calif. News-Sun

12/02/04
nascar
Busch's Wednesday in NY City Busch's Wednesday in NY CityOn a rainy, windy Wednesday in New York City, Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) got a bird's-eye view of one of Manhattan's traditional industries.   His third day as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion began with a visit to the Canadian International Bank of Commerce trading floor. And the occasion was all for a good cause: CIBC, an international investment bank, was hosting its annual Miracle Day fundraiser for children's charities -- including the March of Dimes. The CIBC donates the day's trading fees to charities -- and Busch was one of many celebrities whose visit drew attention to CIBC's charitable efforts.

Amid the keyboard-clacking and traders' shouts, Busch roamed the floor and visited with CIBC staff members, signing autographs and posing for photos. The CIBC has hosted Miracle Day since 1984 and has raised over $100 million to date.   That was mind-boggling to see all those computers and that many people yelling at each other," Busch said, "but yet all working together for a common goal of charity."

Busch also met two celebrities who appeared at CIBC at the same time: Miss USA, Shandi Sinnessey, and actor Michael Imperioli, who portrays Christopher Moltisanti on HBO's "The Sopranos."  "Had a chance to hug her and take a picture," Busch said of Miss USA.  Still battling wind and rain, Busch traded the hustle and bustle of CIBC for the warmth and tradition of the 21 Club, one of New York's historic restaurants. There, he met with regional and business media, taking time for sit-down discussions along with team owner Jack Roush. Later, both Roush and Busch enjoyed a luncheon with media attendees.

After the 21 Club event -- and after the sun had broken over the top of Manhattan's skyscrapers -- Busch spent much of his afternoon doing satellite media interviews with national television outlets as well as local affiliates. Later Wednesday evening, Busch would attend a media reception and dinner with NASCAR and Nextel executives. Also squeezed into Wednesday's schedule: Two opportunities to practice his speech for Friday's Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria.

Gracious with his time, Busch acknowledged the importance of Wednesday's activities.  "Today has been one of those cool media days where you get to talk to different media that you don't normally get a chance to talk to," Busch said.

What's on tap tomorrow for the champion ... Thursday will be the busiest day yet for Busch, who'll be up early for the traditional champion's photo shoot in Times Square. At 8:30 a.m. ET, he'll have his photo taken with a show car against the pedestrian-busy, neon-filled expanse of Times Square. Here's the rest of Busch's Thursday schedule:

After the Times Square photo shoot, Busch -- along with Nextel CEO Tim Donahue and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne -- will open the day's trading activity at NASDAQ (approximately 9:15 a.m. ET).  At 10 a.m., ET, Busch will lead the rest of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 in a Victory Lap procession from NASDAQ's Times Square location to NASCAR's New York office on Park Ave. The drivers will strap into their show cars and wait for Donald Trump, Chairman, President and CEO of the Trump Organization, to say, "Gentlemen, start your engines!"  Following the Victory Lap, Busch will participate in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup media luncheon. He'll be joined by the rest of the Top 10 drivers, along with the 11th-place driver, Jamie McMurray (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge), Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge), NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton and all of NASCAR's weekly and touring series champions.

Busch's mid-afternoon schedule will include a 3 p.m. ET photo opportunity in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and a 3:30 p.m. ET autograph signing at the NBC Experience at Rockefeller Center.

Later Thursday afternoon, Busch and Top 10 drivers Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Tools Ford), Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet), Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford), Tony Stewart (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) and Elliott Sadler (No. 38 M&Ms Ford) will visit New York City's Ronald McDonald House at 5 p.m. ET, meeting with children undergoing cancer therapy who are staying there, and their families.  At 7:15 p.m. Busch will visit with NASCAR's touring and weekly series champions at their celebration dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel.  Busch will end his day at a Nextel party at the Marriott Marquis. NASCAR

12/02/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Jordan name tech director
FIA publish 'entry list'
Teen to test Red Bull
'Quick Nick' not quick
Massa reigns in Spain
Fiorano still foggy
FIA's Blash in UK
Dupasquier, 67, to retire
Stewart drives forklift
Indy star discards F1 'dream'
Bernie pal 'in court'
Stoddart slams corporate Oz
Honda claim 'huge' - JB
China to BE - 'how much?'
Want Schu to make it 8?
Brits test McLaren
12/01/04
f1
Button: Schumacher will be beaten Button: Schumacher will be beatenIn an interview to British newspaper The Guardian, BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button said that Ferrari’s dominance in F1 will come to an end soon. “Nobody is top forever. Everybody can be beaten, and Michael definitely can be beaten. He's made quite a few mistakes this year, which I was actually surprised by. He's beatable, and I think most drivers on the grid would think so,” he said,  “Maybe not Rubens…due to team orders"  "I don't think Michael is a better driver than Raikkonen, Montoya or Alonso,” continued the Briton. “He's won the world championship on many occasions, but it's not all down to him. He's got the quickest and most reliable car out there. Michael will be beaten."  It should be noted that Schumacher has not had his car fail him for several years.
12/01/04
champcar
Chat live with Sebastien Bourdais Chat live with Sebastien BourdaisOne day before the Race of Champions, chat live from the Stade de France on Friday, December 3rd at 6 PM CET with Sébastien Bourdais, 2004 Champ Car World Series Champion, and Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of TAG Heuer on www.tagheuer.com.  It will be Bourdais' first opportunity to talk about his Champ Car title, after winning the final event of the season in Mexico.  The Frenchman clinched an impressive total of seven victories and eight pole positions out of fourteen races. The Newman/Haas driver also broke a record by scoring a total of 369 championship points, 28 points ahead of second place finisher - and team-mate - Bruno Junqueira.  With such amazing results, Bourdais' name can be added to the list of famous Champ Car champions such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya.  The next day, Bourdais will take part in the highly awaited 'Race of Champions - Nations Cup' at the Stade de France in Paris.  "I am eagerly looking forward for the opportunity to talk to Sébastien about his victory," mentioned Jean- Christophe Babin, CEO of TAG Heuer. "We are proud to be associated with this young prodigy since 2002, even before he even won the F3000 championship. We want to congratulate him for his fabulous season, in which he confirmed to be an amazing Champion."
12/01/04
irl
Hornish off to Mexico Hornish off to MexicoTwo-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. finally had time to give his new bride, Crystal, the honeymoon she’s been waiting for since the couple tied the knot on June 5th of this year.  With the time constraints of the 16-race schedule and off-season testing, the two made sure that they had time to sneak away this weekend as they departed for Cabo San Lucas.  The couple has been looking forward to their honeymoon to get some much-needed “R&R” before the holidays and the 2005 IndyCar Series season begins.
12/01/04
irl
Cindric: Road courses will be key Cindric: Road courses will be keyIn preparation for the three road/street course events during the 2005 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar® Series season, Marlboro Team Penske has recently been employing a number methods for its drivers to get reacquainted with the rigors of driving on these challenging circuits.

While many other IndyCar Series drivers are keeping their skills sharp in other forms of racing during the off-season, Marlboro Team Penske recently tested an old CART car at Sebring, FL.  The Reynard/Toyota, prepared from Penske Racing’s inventory, provided Castroneves his first experience behind the wheel of an Indy car on a road or street course since Australia in 2001 when he competed in the CART Series. 

Although Castroneves has tested Formula 1 cars since then, the Reynard/Toyota was more similar to the IndyCar Series machines the Team will be running in 2005.  This test also marked the first time Hornish Jr. has had the opportunity to run a car with a power-to-weight ratio similar to that in which he’ll be competing next season.  The last time Hornish Jr. raced on a road or street course was in Houston in 1999 when he competed in the Toyota Atlantic Series. 

Castroneves and Hornish Jr. are also in the process of working with their personal trainers to create a new workout regimen in order to prepare themselves physically for the upcoming road/street course events.  To supplement their sessions in the gym, the pair has also been driving go-karts to maintain their conditioning.

“It’s important that our drivers stay physically fit,” said Tim Cindric, President Penske Racing Inc.  “Our primary objective is to get Helio and Sam mentally and physically prepared for this type of racing.  Many of our competitors have had the opportunity to stay sharp on road and street courses as they have been competing in other series.  We feel these three events will be critical to the 2005 IndyCar Series Championship.”

12/01/04
irl
Helio into Whoppers Helio into WhoppersIn addition to hitting the racetrack to brush up on his road course racing skills, Helio Castroneves also took some time to kick-off his latest business venture.  The 29 year-old has teamed up with nine other colleagues to bring the global Burger King hamburger franchise to the country of Brazil.   Last week, the group opened up the nation’s first Burger King outlet in Sao Paulo at the Ibirapuera Mall, where Castroneves joined two of the nine other partners Galvao Bueno, a Brazilian Formula 1 announcer, and Luiz Eduardo Batalha for the grand opening of the franchise.  In addition, Nish Kankiwala the international president of Burger King and Julio Ramirez, the president of Burger King in Latin America, were present at the opening ceremonies.  Castroneves and his partners are planning to open two more Burger King franchises in Sao Paulo this year at the Interlagos Mall and at the Tatuape Mall and a total of 50 stores over the next five years.  Burger King is now available in every country in Latin America.
12/01/04
Race of Champions
Castroneves and de Ferran teammates again Castroneves and de Ferran teammates againHelio Castroneves was in Brazil this past month not only to visit with friends and family, but also to take care of a little business.  On November 14th, Castroneves competed in the Granja Viana 500, which is held annually at Felipe Giaffone’s family karting facility.  The 500-mile endurance race attracts some of Brazil’s most skilled drivers including Castroneves, former teammate Gil de Ferran, and IndyCar Series stars Vitor Meira, Tony Kanaan and Felipe Giaffone.  While they led for a good part of the race, Castroneves and teammates de Ferran and Meira ultimately finished second behind the Team of Kanaan, Giaffone, Dan Wheldon and Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello.  More than 70 teams entered the 644-lap race, which took nearly 11 hours to complete.
12/01/04
irl
Dana tests IRL car for Hemelgarn Dana tests IRL car for HemelgarnDana Tests IndyCar Series Car For Hemelgarn: Paul Dana, who finished second in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2004, tested an IRL IndyCar® Series car Nov. 29 at Phoenix International Raceway with Hemelgarn Racing. Dana, a native of St. Louis who now lives in Indianapolis, completed approximately 80 laps in the team's 2002-spec Dallara on the 1-mile oval. He also practiced pit stops. "Paul did a good job," said team manager Lee Kunzman. "He took his time getting comfortable at first, but then was right on race pace. He got into the high 20-second range. For the track conditions and how we had the car set, those were the lap times we expected."

In 12 races this season in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, Dana recorded seven top-five finishes, including four seconds and his first career victory. He was thrilled with his first experience driving an IndyCar Series car. "It was awesome to finally get a chance to drive an IndyCar Series car," he said. "To have been chasing this for so long, it's a dream come true. The amount of grip the thing has is unreal. It makes great power. It sounds awesome. It handled well and was really predictable, which made my job easier. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again."

Hemelgarn Racing was a founding team in the IndyCar Series in 1996 and, in partnership with USAC team owner Roger Johnson, in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2002. Dana, who raced in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series with Hemelgarn in 2004, hopes to remain with the team. "It's no secret that we've been working hard to put a program together to step up," Dana said. "Today was just the first step. I'd like to thank Ron Hemelgarn for giving me the opportunity to drive his car. Hopefully we'll have something to announce about our 2005 plans soon."

12/01/04
nascar
New Crew Chief for Bobby Labonte New Crew Chief for Bobby LabonteSteve Addington has been named Bobby Labonte’s crew chief on the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for the 2005 season, Joe Gibbs Racing officials announced Dec. 1.  Addington comes to the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car after one year as crew chief for the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Busch Series car for JGR, which was driven by Mike Bliss in the 2004 season and finished fifth in the final Busch point standings.   “Steve brings a great deal of racing knowledge and leadership to the Interstate Batteries team,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. “He did a great job with the No. 20 Rockwell Automation car in the Busch Series last year, and we look forward to a lot of success with him in 2005.”   During the 2004 season, Addington helped Bliss to his first career Busch Series victory Oct. 15 at Charlotte and 14 top-10 finishes. Prior to working with JGR, Addington was crew chief for Jason Keller in the Busch Series, first at KEL Racing from 1990-96 and then at PPC Racing from 1999-2003.   "I’m looking forward to working with Bobby and the No. 18 Interstate Batteries team,” Addington said. “Bobby is a tremendous driver, and Joe Gibbs Racing is a great team to be associated with. We’re going to work hard and try to put ourselves in a position to be in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup in 2005.”   Addington, 40, from Spartanburg, S.C., becomes only the fourth crew chief in the illustrious 13-year history of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries team. Jimmy Makar served as crew chief for Dale Jarrett (1993-94) and then Labonte (1995-2002) until being promoted to senior vice president of racing operations for JGR. Michael “Fatback” McSwain served as crew chief for the 2003 season and 18 races of the 2004 season when Brandon Thomas took over as interim crew chief for the final 18 races of the season. Thomas will continue with JGR in the engineering department.
12/01/04
f1
Heidfeld's first day at Williams Heidfeld's first day at WilliamsNick Heidfeld had his first experience at the wheel of a Williams today at Jerez. The German completed more than 100 laps in the interim FW26C, working mostly on the evaluation of traction control systems. Mark Webber also completed over 100 laps in an FW26C today. The Australian tested different Michelin tires and electronic components.
Sam Michael, Technical Director
“Even though the weather was mainly wet today, we completed a combined total of 917kms on the two FW26C interim cars, which is a good achievement at such an early stage with the new rear end. Mark worked on wet tire testing for Michelin, electronics and reliability running. He was joined today by Nick Heidfeld who did a great job in the other car and also did some work on traction control. Tomorrow, Antonio is driving again with Nick.” BMW WilliamsF1 Team
12/01/04
f1
Red Bull Racing continues winter testing Red Bull Racing continues winter testingThe Red Bull Racing Team continues with winter testing and driver evaluation this week at the Circuito De Jerez (Spain) from 1st – 3rd December 2004. Christian Klien (21) and Vitantonio Liuzzi (24) will drive on all three days, with Christian predominantly testing in the R5 chassis and Vitantonio in the R5C, although the drivers may swap chassis as the program requires. The team will also run Swiss driver Neel Jani (21) on Friday 3rd in the R5 as part of the team’s on-going driver evaluation program. Jani is a member of the Red Bull driver development program, and performed testing duties with the Sauber-Petronas F1 team in 2003 and 2004. Jani also entered the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup this season, and finished fourth despite not entering all rounds. Red Bull Racing
12/01/04
f1
2005 preliminary entry list 2005 preliminary entry listHere is the entry list of the 2005 Formula One World Championship published today by the FIA. The first Grand Prix is scheduled for March 6, 2005 in Australia.

Car No. Driver Country Team
1. Michael Schumacher (D / Ferrari)
2. Rubens Barrichello (BR / Ferrari)
3. Jenson Button (GB / BAR-Honda)
4. Takuma Sato (J / BAR-Honda)
5. Fernando Alonso (E / Renault)
6. Giancarlo Fisichella (I / Renault)
7. Mark Webber (AUS / BMW Williams)
8. TBA (BMW Williams)
9. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN / McLaren Mercedes)
10. Juan Pablo Montoya (CO / McLaren Mercedes)
11. Jacques Villeneuve (CDN / Sauber Petronas)
12. Felipe Massa (BR / Sauber Petronas)
14. TBA (Jaguar Cosworth*)
15. TBA (Jaguar Cosworth*)
16. Jarno Trulli (I / Toyota)
17. Ralf Schumacher (D / Toyota)
18. TBA (Jordan Toyota)
19. TBA (Jordan Toyota)
20. TBA (Minardi)
21. TBA (Minardi)

* The team applied for a change of name (Red Bull Racing).

Names of drivers are subject to the granting of a Super License and to the agreement of the Contract Recognition Board. In accordance with Article 58 of the 2005 Formula One Sporting Regulations, drivers may be nominated and/or changed until 16.00 hrs on March 3, 2005. Source FIA

12/01/04
f1
McLaren tests three young drivers McLaren tests three young drivers
There was an eerie silence in the pitlane at the Silverstone circuit this morning until 10am, when the noise of a powerful V10 Mercedes- Benz engine started to echo in the empty grandstands surrounding the circuit.

Inside the garage Lewis Hamilton sat in the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4- 19, his eyes focused, an intense look of concentration on his face. For Lewis this was the first time that he would drive a Formula One car, it was to be an immense moment.

Alongside him stood Jamie Green and Alex Lloyd, the previous two winners of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, who are here to also get their first experience of a Formula One car.

"This is going to mean a great deal to me," says Lewis. “I feel very privileged to have this opportunity. Knowing that I will get to drive the Formula One car is a dream come true."

"Driving a Team McLaren Mercedes Formula One car will be a big milestone in my life," adds Jamie. "It will be a day I will always remember. When I won the award, my first thought was 'wow I am going to get to drive a Formula One car."
 
As Lewis edges out into the pitlane and onto Silverstone's national circuit, he exudes an air of confidence. You can hear him as he travels round the circuit, gently powering up through the gears, hitting the braking points. He is fast yet controlled, his enthusiasm and confidence growing with each lap. As he pulls into the garage at the end of his run, you can almost see his grin from beneath his helmet.

"That was phenomenal," he says after pausing to catch his breath. "I felt very natural with the speed of the car and thought the steering was quite light. The main difference was the power. My F3 Euroseries car has about 250bhp, whereas this car has more than 800bhp.

"As I pulled out of the pits, I took my time to get up to speed. I found that the car was very light and the traction control was amazing. The team said that they thought I did a good job, and the way I progressed over the laps was good. I just felt so at home."

For Jamie Green and Alex Lloyd, the chance to make their dreams a reality came in the afternoon. The two McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award winners were to get a total of 21 laps each in the Team McLaren Mercedes machine as part of their prize for winning the competition.

Jamie was the first to go, turning the car out into Silverstone's long pitlane. He then got into a steady rhythm powering up through the straights and tackling the corners on the national circuit.

As he pulled back into the pit garage, he got out of the car and had a long talk with the engineers, talking to them about every detail of his test. "The confidence you get from the car is unbelievable," he said. "The braking, the power you get from this car is a massive step up from anything else I have driven before. My heart was beating fast before I left the garage, however I tried to get to the limit of the car as soon as I could, it was fantastic."

It was then the turn of Alex Lloyd, he too confidently maneuvering the car out of the garage for his series of laps. As he traveled down the pit straight after his first couple of runs, you could see how his confidence had grown and he continued his runs, putting in a series of impressive laps.

"As I put my helmet on ready to go, I was pretty relaxed," he said. "As I came out of the pitlane there was no words I can use to describe the feeling. I have never driven a car with carbon brakes before so that took a bit of getting used to, however for the last few laps I was getting on really well."

So as the test came to an end and the obligatory photographs were taken, the drivers made their way back to their own cars for their journey home. However all of them agreed that it had been an unforgettable day, and one that they would talk about for a very long time. McLaren Mercedes

12/01/04
f1
Massa on top in Spain Massa on top in SpainWednesday test times from Jerez, Spain
1. Felipe Massa - Sauber Petronas - 1'17"513 - 60 laps
2. Jarno Trulli - Toyota - 1'19"287 - 56 laps
3. Mark Webber - Williams BMW - 1'20"171 - 90 laps
4. Enrique Bernoldi - BAR Honda - 1'20"370 - 46 laps
5. Luca Badoer - Ferrari - 1'21"672 - 61 laps
6. Takuma Sato - BAR Honda - 1'21"724 - 70 laps
7. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'21"900 - 47 laps
8. Ralf Schumacher - Toyota - 1'22"069 - 37 laps
9. Nick Heidfeld - Williams BMW - 1'22"713 - 98 laps
10. Christian Klien - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'22"731 - 46 laps
11. Marc Gene - Ferrari - 1'23"191 - 41 laps
12. Alan Van Der Merwe - BAR Honda - 1'23"730 - 30 laps
13. Christian Albers - Jordan Cosworth - 1'24"452 - 60 laps
14. Robert Doornbos - Jordan Cosworth - 1'25"291 - 71 laps
15. Adam Carroll - BAR Honda - 1'28"865 - 24 laps
12/01/04
Industry News
Mosley: 'It's insane' Mosley: 'It's insane'"We are all facing similar problems," said Mosley at this week's SADE Motorsports conference in the USA. "For 1,000 people to work to put two F1 cars on the grid is completely insane; it's the ultimate folly. By 2008, we hope to cut costs dramatically."
12/01/04
f1
Ferrari test notes for Wednesday Ferrari test notes for WednesdayFirst day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, working on two tracks: at Fiorano with Andrea Bertolini and at Jerez de la Frontera, with Luca Badoer and Marc Gene. At Ferrari's private test circuit, Bertolini worked on new mechanical components. The Ferrari Maserati Group test driver completed a total of 55 laps, twenty one of them on the short version of the track. The best time on the day was a 1:03.951. At Jerez, Badoer and Gene were in action, working on a development program of Bridgestone tires and new components. The Italian driver completed a total of 61 laps (best time 1:21.658,) while the Spaniard did 42, the quickest in 1:23.193. Tomorrow's program sees Bertolini continue at Fiorano, while Badoer and Gene remain at Jerez.
12/01/04
NASCAR
Kahne Signs Deal With Avon Kahne Signs Deal With AvonAvon Products, Inc. today announced that it has signed NASCAR’s newest star, Kasey Kahne, to a promotional agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed. Kahne, 24, drives the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge for Evernham Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He was the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year and finished 13th in the season points standings. Under the agreement, Kasey Kahne will serve as the spokesperson for Avon’s Pro Sport Daily Performance product line. In the second quarter of 2005, Kasey Kahne will be featured on the front cover of M – The Men’s Catalog, and will also be featured in public relations and the Internet. “Avon is a great brand – everyone knows them as a leader in the beauty products and grooming industry,” says Kasey Kahne. “I’m honored to have been selected as the spokesperson for the ProSport Daily Performance line and excited to be a part of the Avon family.”Evernham Motorsports
12/01/04
superfund
Weather washes out tire test Weather washes out tire testDue to bad weather and heavy rainfall at the Circuito do Estoril, the Formula Superfund development team decided to delay the SF01 tyre evaluation programme as scheduled for today with Bas Leinders. The development program will restart tomorrow with Nicky Pastorelli and Mathias Lauda in action alongside 2004 EuroBOSS Champion Scott Mansell. On Friday, ex-BAR F1 test driver Patrick Le Marie and young Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente will conclude the development program.
12/01/04
nascar
Childress to make announcement Childress to make announcementRichard Childress Racing will make a Sponsor/Driver/Crew Chief announcement and car unveiling on Friday, Dec. 3, 2004 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. A sponsor will be announced. This event is only open to the media.
12/01/04
nascar
Sharpie honors Kurt Busch Sharpie honors Kurt BuschWhile Kurt Busch, this year's NEXTEL Cup Champion and driver of the #97 Sharpie car, picks up NASCAR's ultimate honors in New York City Friday night, millions of fans will be "racing" to pick up their prize. Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers deemed the autograph pen of choice for celebrities, sports figures and their fans, and whose logo emblazons the champion's #97 racecar, is offering a $.97 savings on any purchase of Sharpie markers ($2 or more) through the end of the year. Fans can get the coupon in an ad appearing in USA Today December 2, featuring the new Sharpie Retractable marker which offers single-hand use and no cap - just "click and write."

"We're proud of what Kurt accomplished this year," said Rory Leyden, president of Sharpie, a brand of Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL). "This achievement means all that much more knowing that fans support Sharpie markers day-in and day-out. We wanted to give back to those individuals who consistently support Sharpie - it's like getting a free Sharpie."

Sharpie markers are widely known in racing circles as the tool that virtually every driver carries with them at all times, because of their utility for a variety of uses. "I'm grateful for the support of my sponsor, Sharpie, as we leave a permanent mark on NASCAR history," said Busch, who is in the middle of a NASCAR whirlwind tour. "I am proud to be associated with Sharpie and all they do for my team and the entire racing industry."

Busch will be honored at NASCAR's annual awards ceremony December 3 in New York City. The event will be broadcast on TNT at 9 p.m. ET.
12/01/04
irl
champcar
Honda’s Tom Elliott to retire Honda’s Tom Elliott to retireHonda Motor Co. said Tuesday that Thomas G. Elliott, its highest-ranking American executive and a key player in the Japanese automaker's rapid growth, would retire next year. Those in the IRL and Champ Car paddocks know Tom as one of the true gentlemen of the sport. AutoRacing1.com would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Tom on a successful career. Under Tom Honda USA flourished in the passenger car business, and in racing they were always fierce competitors and enjoyed much success.
12/01/04
Industry News
SPEED TV signs merchandizing deal SPEED TV signs merchandizing dealSPEED Channel Sr. VP of Marketing and On-Air Promotions Bill Osborn announced today that SPEED Channel has partnered with industry leader The Source International (TSI) in an effort to supercharge the network's merchandising efforts. "We tested the concept of selling SPEED-only merchandise and the results were better than anticipated," Osborn said. "We decided to partner with a company that not only understands licensed merchandise, but also is a major player in merchandise television and trackside sales." The first phase of the partnership begins Dec. 1 as an all-new line of "SPEED Swag" becomes available on the SPEEDTV.com Web site, including network apparel and accessories, as well as show-specific items for Wind Tunnel and 2 Wheel Tuesday. Moving forward, the merchandising effort will be expanded to at-track sales beginning with the 2005 race season. In addition, discussions are underway to increase offerings to include motor sports books, DVDs and other merchandise.
12/01/04
nascar
Mike Wallace leaves Biagi Brothers Racing Mike Wallace leaves Biagi Brothers RacingAfter spending the last three years helping Biagi Bros. Racing build their NASCAR Busch Series race team, Mike Wallace is moving on to pursue other opportunities.  In the near future, Biagi Bros. Racing will be announcing plans to run a driver development program with a NASCAR Nextel Cup team.  This relationship creates an opportunity for Wallace to move on and pursue a full-time Nextel Cup ride and/or opportunities in the NASCAR Busch Series. 

Mike Wallace has been driving the #4 car since 2001, when Fred Biagi and himself decided to move forward with forming a NASCAR Busch Series race team.  In the three years he has been in the car, Mike Wallace has helped build the team from a start up venture in 2001 to winning Daytona on July 2, 2004, becoming only the 3rd non-Cup affiliated Busch team to win a race at Daytona since 1982. 

“It has been a great opportunity to be a part of something that was new and watch it progress as we collectively built it,” Wallace said.  “It has been a great three years and now it is time for me to focus on other opportunities where I can contribute to a race team and continue to win races.” 

12/01/04
Industry News
ESPN announces wireless mobile phone service ESPN announces wireless mobile phone serviceESPN this morning unveiled plans to partner with Sprint to create the first national wireless phone service specifically targeted at sports fans. The new service, called ESPN Mobile, will launch next year. ESPN Mobile will offer wireless voice service, as well as access to various sports information via streaming audio and video and other methods. ESPN Mobile will sell ESPN-branded handsets, accessories and applications. ESPN Mobile also will be responsible for billing ESPN
12/01/04
nascar
NASCAR signs 2-year iN Demand extension NASCAR signs 2-year iN Demand extensionNASCAR Digital Entertainment today will announce that it has reached a two-year extension through the ’06 Nextel Cup season of its deal with iN Demand for NASCAR In Car.  The multi-channel digital sports package includes seven channels of in-car camera coverage, as well as team communications and virtual dashboards.  The service launched during the ’02 season THE DAILY
12/01/04
nascar
DEI announces team changes DEI announces team changesDale Earnhardt, Inc. has announced various internal motorsports promotions effective for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season. Tony Eury, Sr. has been promoted from Crew Chief of the No. 8 Chevrolet to Director of Competition. Steve Hmiel, previous Director of Competition, will now be the Technical Director for Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

During his tenure as Crew Chief, Eury Sr. led Earnhardt, Jr. to two NASCAR Busch Series Championships and 15 NASCAR Nextel Cup victories including the 2004 Daytona 500 and 2000 All-Star Race. He also led Dale Earnhardt to 21 Busch Series victories.

Pete Rondeau has been moved to the Crew Chief position of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. He took over as Crew Chief on the No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet during the latter portion of the 2004 Nextel Cup Series season. Rondeau led Earnhardt, Jr. to a Busch Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway this year and Ron Fellows to a second-place finish at Watkins Glen International. Tony Eury, Jr. will Crew Chief the No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet of Michael Waltrip. Eury, Jr. was the Car Chief on the No. 8 Chevrolet for the past five seasons and was also instrumental in Earnhardt, Jr's two Busch Series championships.

The No. 8 and No. 15 core members of the teams will collectively transfer intact with the promotions of Eury Jr. and Rondeau, as well. Richie Gilmore, Vice-President of Motorsports for DEI, said the moves come on the heels of a successful season and the teams wanted to improve and achieve even greater success.

"We all sat down and talked because we want all of our teams to produce even better results," Gilmore said. "Everyone is excited about this and we're already getting ready for Daytona testing. We think the results will show up immediately."
12/01/04
GT-Racing
Japanese GT Series to become global Japanese GT Series to become globalThe Japanese GT Championship is set to upgrade to a global series. The JGTC is understood to be planning to drop the word ‘Japanese’ from its name for 2005 and become an international series, most likely a ‘cup’ rather than a ‘championship’, provided it gets the necessary approval from the governing body of motorsport, the FIA. The ambitious plans of a series fought out by factory teams from Nissan, Toyota and Honda will go before the FIA’s World Council legislature on December 10. Japanese GT Association director Toshiyuki Ohya, whose organization runs the series, explained that it was the desire of the championship to grow around the Pacific-Asia Rim region and as far west as Turkey. He claimed a move into the rest of Europe wasn’t envisaged. “The JGTC wants to grow,” he said. “We want to go global, and the first step towards that will be to drop the word ‘Japanese’ in the name.” Ohya explained that the series would expand step-by-step over successive seasons. This year’s seven-race JGTC included a round at Sepang, home of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Next season, it will be joined by a race at Shanghai in China. “We are an Asian series and we want a strong base in Asia before we go any further a field, so we can expect races in South Korea and maybe Singapore,” said Ohya. “But we are also looking to the new Istanbul circuit in Turkey and we have a strong interest in staging a race in Australia.” Autosport Magazine
12/01/04
Formula BMW
UK to host Formula BMW World Finale UK to host Formula BMW World FinaleFormula BMW has announced that next year the top Formula BMW drivers from the UK, Germany, the USA and Asia will meet for a world championship playoff somewhere in the UK. A November date is anticipated, but remember many of these kids are still in school so it will have to be held when school is out, not an easy scheduling task.
12/01/04
champcar
Wilson talks tough Wilson talks toughJustin Wilson has targeted the big guns in the Champ Car World Series following his move to the RuSPORT team.  Although in its first year of Champ Cars in 2004, RuSPORT took rookie driver AJ Allmendinger to sixth in the championship. Wilson, 25, will join the 22-year-old American in a two-car team next year, and reckons he can compete with the likes of champion team Newman-Haas Racing after recording seven top-10 finishes with Conquest Racing this season.  “I believe I have moved to a team that are in the top two; they are that good,” said Wilson. “It’s a great team and a good opportunity for me to move forwards. I think it’s the best place to be to win races.  Newman-Haas did a great job to win the title with Sébastien Bourdais this year. It’s up to us to try to challenge them – or at least to keep them honest.”   Team chief Carl Russo said: “I believe we have what it takes to get there. AJ and Justin are two young champions who know how to go for it. We believe they will raise each other’s game.” Autosport Magazine
12/01/04
f1
Hamilton in McLaren run Hamilton in McLaren runMcLaren protégé Lewis Hamilton will test an MP4-19B Formula 1 car alongside McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winners Jamie Green and Alex Lloyd this week, who receive runs as part of their prizes. Hamilton was ineligible to go for the award at the end of his Formula Renault title-winning season in 2002 because he had raced in Formula 3 before the end of the year. A McLaren spokeswoman confirmed that this would be a “one-off” run for all three. Autosport Magazine
12/01/04
f1
Red Bull bowled over by Liuzzi Red Bull bowled over by Liuzzi“I wanted to come here, build a relationship with the team and show them I can do the job,” he said. “There are things I had to learn, but I think I demonstrated that I can be quick,” said F3000 sensation Vitantonio Liuzzi after last week's Red Bull test debut.  Mark Gillan, Red Bull Racing’s head of vehicle performance, said the team had been bowled over by Liuzzi: “He was impressive over the first two days of testing. He should definitely be on our list for a drive in 2005. He was very consistent and composed.”
12/01/04
f1
New Jordan Tech Chief starts work New Jordan Tech Chief starts workToday Mark Smith starts work at Jordan Grand Prix as the team’s new Technical Director, returning to the team where he spent ten years working on its most successful cars. Smith worked at Jordan from its entry into Formula One in 1991 until he left his chief designer position to join Benetton in 2001. The last Jordan car Smith worked on was the EJ11, with which the team finished 5th in the 2001 Formula One Constructors’ Championship and Smith’s return to Jordan in the role of Technical Director significantly strengthens the team’s technical capability. Eddie Jordan said, “I am so glad that Mark is back at Jordan. His work played a major part in our best performing cars over the years and in my opinion he has been instrumental in the recent turnaround in performance at his last team. His return to us as Technical Director, along with the recent deal securing Toyota engines for Jordan in 2005, means we have every reason to be optimistic about an improvement in competitive performance next year.” Mark Smith said, “Returning to Jordan has two main facets for me. Firstly, the motivating factor is of course to play a key role in moving the team towards the front of the F1 grid. This will be neither easy nor instant but it is a challenge that I relish. Secondly, this team represents something a little special for me since I was fortunate to have the opportunity of being one of the three designers of the first Jordan F1 car, the 191. I am looking forward to playing a part in what I personally regard as the next Jordan generation.”
12/01/04
irl
St. Pete race gains Firestone backing St. Pete race gains Firestone backingOfficials from the 2005 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Bridgestone Firestone announced today that Firestone will be the official tire and a major associate sponsor for the inaugural event, to be held April 1-3, 2005. The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first street-circuit race in the history of the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series, will be run on a 1.806-mile, 14-turn course through the streets of St. Petersburg on Sunday, April 3, 2005. Practice and qualifying sessions for the event will be held on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2.
12/01/04
nascar
No NASCAR, so now what? No NASCAR, so now what?This Seattle Times article says, Now that a swath of fallow farmland between Marysville and Arlington is no longer being considered for a NASCAR racetrack, local officials will decide what development — if any — should go on the property. More than 30 owners hold the deeds to the 850 acres a racetrack developer had considered for a track. When negotiations ended last week, the developer, International Speedway Corp., or ISC, said the number of property owners was one of the disadvantages to the site. The owners range from homeowners who want to keep their historic farmhouses to investors who are eager to sell. Most of the land is outside the two cities, although some of it is within Marysville's urban-growth area, land the city is expected to annex. The Snohomish County Council is expected to decide this winter whether to add the rest of the former track site to Marysville's urban area, opening it for development. If the council agrees to rezone it, the property will be one of the last large, developable areas near Interstate 5 in the county. It is the most appropriate [use] given the proximity to [Arlington] Airport," said Richard Moultrie, a land-use consultant who represents owners of 250 acres on the site. "It's not suitable for residential. Only part of it is suitable for retail." He envisions an office development or corporate campus on the site.
12/01/04
Industry News
Ebersol family statement Ebersol family statementThe Ebersol family has released the following statement: "In the wake of this tragedy, we are touched by the overwhelming outpouring of love from people all over the world. We will miss Teddy, our sweet boy, forever. He was a deeply cherished brother to his sister, Sunshine, and his brothers Harmony, Charlie, and Willie. Teddy was a warm, loving, energetic young man. He had developed a wonderfully quirky sense of humor way beyond his years that kept the whole family laughing. His wonderful spirit lives on in our family, and in all who knew and loved him. Of course, everyone who knew Teddy was aware of his passion for the Boston Red Sox, and a highlight of his short life was the Red Sox winning their first championship in 86 years. Like his team, Teddy never lost hope. While our grief is unfathomable, we are so proud of our Charlie, who pulled his father from the flames. That anyone was able to survive this horrible accident is a miracle, and all of us will forever be inspired by Charlie's courage and bravery. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Luis Espaillat and Warren Richardson, who perished along with our son, and to the third crewmember, who remains critically injured. Again, we are so grateful for your prayers and support." Statement from Bob Wright, Vice Chairman, GE, and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal: "Our hearts go out to Dick and Susan on their loss. Words cannot express the depth of a parent's anguish when a child's life is abruptly taken, and all of us at NBC Universal share their grief. Suzanne and I knew Teddy from the many events he attended with his father. He was a delightful boy, and a devoted Boston Red Sox fan who relished the team's World Series victory with unbounded enthusiasm. He will be deeply missed. At the same time, we are all so grateful to Charlie for saving his father's life in such a heroic display of courage. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dick and Susan -- whose strength throughout this ordeal has been remarkable -- and their family. Our prayers are also with the injured co-pilot and the families of the crewmembers who died in this terrible accident."(NBC) Teddy was a frequent volunteer at the Litchfield County Association for Retarded Citizens. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Association at the following address: LARC Capital Campaign In memory of Teddy Ebersol 84R Main Street Torrington, CT 06790 Federal Tax ID# 06-6075006
12/01/04
superfund
Leinders in for Glock Leinders in for GlockTimo Glock is unwell, so his place for today's test of the Superfund car will be taken by Bas Leinders.
12/01/04
nascar
NASCAR Award Banquet fast facts NASCAR Award Banquet fast factsWhat: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony.
Where: Grand Ballroom, Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, New York City.
When: 7-10:30 p.m. (ET). Friday, Dec. 3.
TV: TNT, 9 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Kurt Busch 6,506. 2. Jimmie Johnson 6,498. 3. Jeff Gordon 6,490. 4. Mark Martin 6,399. 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6,368. 6. Tony Stewart 6,326. 7. Ryan Newman 6,180. 8. Matt Kenseth 6,069. 9. Elliott Sadler 6,024. 10. Jeremy Mayfield 6,000.
11th-place driver: Jamie McMurray.
Raybestos Rookie of the Year: Kasey Kahne.
Special Guest: Comedian Jay Mohr, host of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
Musical Entertainment: Scott Stapp, former lead singer of Creed, and R&B vocalist Brian McKnight.
12/01/04
champcar
Kasemets to test in Dale Coyne Champ Car team Kasemets to test in Dale Coyne Champ Car teamUPDATE Dale Coyne confirmed to AutoRacing1.com that he will indeed test Kasemets in a couple of weeks at Sebring and he will probably test a 2nd driver at the same time. 11/25/04 Estonian Tonis Kasemets is in full preparation for the entire Toyota Atlantic Championship Season in 2005. While they continue to complete finances, Tonis is taking a short time-out December 14th and 15th to strap into his “hopes for the future” and take a 2-day Champ Car ride at Sebring. Having climbed through the ranks of SCCA of Formula Continental to Pro Zetec to Pro Atlantic (last season), this is “now a chance to taste a Champ Car”. Tonis also adds: “We’d like to thank Dale Coyne for choosing Toyota Atlantic drivers to test. We appreciate the fact that Dale still believes the road to Champ Car is through Toyota Atlantics. I’m looking at moving up to the next level soon, therefore, this is a good opportunity to ‘feel’ what a Champ Car is like now. Personal thanks to Dale for believing in the talent coming up through the Atlantic ranks.”

From Estonia, Tonis made his way to the U.S. in late 1994. Once completing the 1995 European Championships in Opel Lotus (running a half season on low budget) Tonis makes the U.S. his permanent home. Meeting new people, making friends throughout the years of ‘96 & ‘97… although tough for someone racing European Karts for 10+ years (since age 8, thanks to father Toomas, a cross country rally driver himself), the wait now pays off.

12/01/04
V8 Supercars
Chinese delegation to visit V8 finale Chinese delegation to visit V8 finaleA delegation of Chinese dignitaries, businessmen, motorsport executives and media are visiting Australia this week to attend the BigPond Grand Finale at Eastern Creek Raceway ahead of the debut of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Shanghai next year. The party of around 30 people includes representatives of the Federation of Automobile Sports of the People's Republic of China (FASC), the Shanghai Automobile and Motor Sports Association (SAMSA) the Shanghai Greenland Group and the JinJiang International Group. The delegation is a first for Australian Motorsport and further underpins the positive and growing relations between the V8 Supercar Championship Series and the Chinese community.

The series will race in China for the first time at the $500 million Shanghai International Circuit next June. The event will represent a major breakthrough in the history of Australian sport and will also be the country's largest single sporting export. There will also be a representation of some 14 Chinese media from Shanghai TV, Shanghai Dragon TV who are all part of the Shanghai Media Group and journalists from major metropolitan newspapers. During their visit the delegation will make several announcements regarding the detail of next year's groundbreaking event and outline China's expectations of the race. They will also stage high level meetings with executives of the Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company, the Confederation of Australian Motorsport, Australian host broadcaster Network 10 and the Queensland Government. "This will be a significant visit in the forward planning for our debut in China," AVESCO CEO Wayne Cattach said. "We are deeply honored to be able to host these guests during the climax to our season to give them a taste of the color, flair and fierce competitiveness of our great sport.

12/01/04
Industry News
Construction begins on new seats Construction begins on new seatsKansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger announced today that construction has begun to add 1,500 seats to Kansas Speedway for 2005.   Three new sections of permanent grandstand seats are being added to the on grade front stretch near Turn 1. Because of Kansas Speedway’s bowl-shaped design, the new seats will continue to provide some of the best views of the race track, Pit Road and all the exciting track action – from start to finish.   With the addition of the seats, total capacity of Kansas Speedway’s grandstand will be nearly 82,000. The new seats are bench-style seats with backs in varying shades of green – depicting Kansas’ waving fields of wheat.   Permanent concession stands and restroom facilities are also being added during this construction phase.   “It’s important to us to continue the growth of Kansas Speedway in all aspects,” Boerger said. “As we add seats, we will continue to add amenities like concession stands and bathrooms for our fans. Keeping up with a fan comfort ratio is what makes Kansas Speedway unique and a true fan-favorite.”
12/01/04
Industry News
Nashville gets SAFER Nashville gets SAFERNashville Superspeedway Vice President and General Manager Cliff Hawks says you can't put a price tag on safety.  Not even if that tag is $875,000.  That's how much Dover Motorsports will spend installing new ''soft walls'' at the 1.3-mile Superspeedway. Work will start this month, and Hawks said the project will be completed in time for his track's March 26 season opener.  NASCAR requires all tracks that hold Nextel Cup races to have the soft walls in place for the 2005 season, but they are not mandatory at tracks where lower-division races are run. Since the Superspeedway has no Cup race, the soft walls are not mandatory. So why spend the money if they don't have to?  ''Because it's the right thing to do,'' Hawks said. ''This is an extremely fast race track and we feel it is necessary to do everything we can to protect our drivers. Clearly the SAFER walls offer protection in the event of a crash.''
12/01/04
grandam
champcar
Homestead test Day 1 - Tracy gets first taste Homestead test Day 1 - Tracy gets first tasteThe Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Hoosier Tire Introduction test got underway at Homestead-Miami Speedway today, with 19 cars turning 1,355 incident-free laps around the 2.3-mile speedway road circuit.  The No. 65 The Racer’s Group Porsche GT3 Cup of owner/driver Kevin Buckler and the team’s recent signees for 2005, Andy Lally and Marc Bunting—who won the 2004 Super Grand Sport driver crown—turned in the most laps of any car on the day, as the trio made a total of 113 trips around the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course in their new-for-2005 GT machine. Leading the way among the Daytona Prototype competitors were David Donohue and Darren Law in the No. 58 Red Bull – Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar with 112 laps. Official times were not distributed.

DYSONS TEST WITH ESSEX RACING  Day One of the Hoosier Tire Introduction Test turned out to be a reunion of sorts, as Rob and Chris Dyson returned to the Rolex Sports Car Series paddock for this afternoon’s opening test sessions. While both took the opportunity to visit with old friends, their main mission was to get a feel for Essex Racing’s first-of-its-kind Ford Crawford alongside Harrison Brix and James Gue.  “The idea is to see how the cars perform and enjoy the company of my son,” said Rob Dyson, whose Dyson Racing Team owns the most overall victories in Rolex Series competition with 15 triumphs. “Maybe we will put a program together to run the 24 Hours (at Daytona), which is a great event on anybody’s racing calendar. To have won it twice, I’d like to win it a third time, but do it with Chris in the car with me.”

KODAK TEAM READIES FOR ’05; TRACY TRIES OUT DAYTONA PROTOTYPE  Today’s test sessions brought out a host of familiar faces from various forms of motor racing. Some were walking the pit lane, essentially “kicking tires” and looking for potential opportunities for 2005. Others got significant seat time, including 2003 Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller, who was sharing his No. 54 Kodak EasyShare Bell Motorsports Pontiac Doran with a few drivers new to Daytona Prototype competition.  C.R. Crews—who brings previous experience from Formula Mazda—was on hand to test the No. 54, as well as 1999 Toyota Atlantic champion and sports car regular Anthony Lazzaro and 2003 Champ Car World Series champion Paul Tracy.

“It’s going pretty good,” Borcheller said. “We’re just testing things on the chassis as well as Paul, Anthony and C.R. Crews. The car’s pretty sorted so it’s pretty comfortable to drive. Paul has tested here before, and Anthony has raced here, so they’re just getting used to a new car. C.R. has never been here before. We’ve got a lot of improvements to do on the car, but we haven’t had time yet. We’re anticipating having them done for the Daytona Test Days.”

For Tracy, today’s test session represented his first exposure to a Daytona Prototype, and was the Canadian’s first time in a race car other than a single-seater.  “I’m happy to have the opportunity to drive for Bell Motorsports and come out here and see what this is all about and get used to the car,” Tracy said. “Terry was going through some things this morning for setup and he did a good job with the car. I think I did about 25 laps. This is the first time for me really driving with a roof over my head and a windshield inside a closed-cockpit car. It’s fun to drive and it’s fun driving a car again.”  With another star-studded lineup in the offing for the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Tracy hopes this week’s test sessions are the first step toward him joining the fray for February’s twice-around-the-clock race as well.  “For me, it’s always been a goal of mine to do some long distance races,” Tracy said. “The opportunity this year has presented itself with the team that won at Daytona last year. You couldn’t be on a better team. My main focus is to get some miles in the car and have some fun doing it.”

JMB RACING USA PREPARES FOR FULL ROLEX SERIES SEASON IN 2005  South Florida-based JMB Racing USA plans a full-season attack on the 2005 Rolex Series GT title, and today’s test sessions provided the team with its first opportunity to get acquainted with its brand-new No. 11 Ferrari 360 Challenge. The team has signed 21-year-old American Anthony Pinto—who brings previous experience from the European Formula Palmer Audi series—to drive for the full 2005 season. Alongside veteran driver Matt Plumb, Pinto turned his first laps in the GT machine in today’s test session.  “The first time I stepped into a GT car, I immediately recognized the lack of downforce as compared to an F3 car or something like that,” Pinto said. “It’s just realizing that it’s like slow motion. The key is smoothness. There’s so much for me to learn. The brakes are unbelievable—you can brake as late as an F3 or something like that. It’s shocking to me. Besides that, it’s just realizing how to keep it consistent rather than just going fast.”

12/01/04
f1
'More people watched F1' 'More people watched F1'(GMM) More people tuned in to Formula One this year than in 2003, a research firm has found.  'Sports Marketing Surveys' (SMS) monitored hundreds of hours of television and said its most recent data shows an increase in year-on-year F1 viewing.  The most recent comparison was January-June 2003 with the same period in 2004.  SMS also said higher viewing figures were noted in Spain, Italy and Japan.  ''It is hard to find another activity through which you can market a brand to a global audience in such a simple way,'' Matthew Patten, of marketing and financial services company SP Holdings, told UK newspaper The Independent.
12/01/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Drunk Kimi condemned
Michelin F1 man 'to 4x4'
Heidfeld test sped-up
GPDA 'essential' - Schu
Trulli backs early debut
Jordan go all-Dutch
Green light for bumper test
Jordan 'not sold'
Mexican to debut in 2006
GP2 teams unveiled
A 'moving' tribute
Elsewhere in motorsport
Piquet and F1
F1-turned-rally star
Mosley in London
'I want to win' - Fisi
Schu's 'no better' - JB
Brit axe may be 'best' - Ralf
11/30/04
F1
Button admits error in seeking move to Williams Button admits error in seeking move to WilliamsFormula One driver Jenson Button admits his bid to leave BAR in favor of Williams was "misguided." The 24-year-old Englishman declared his intention to rejoin his initial team in August, but the move was blocked on legal grounds by BAR team principal David Richards.

Button is testing for BAR for the 2005 season and says he regrets his actions of three months ago.

"Yes, I did make some mistakes," Button told The Guardian, an independent newspaper based in Nigeria. "I don't know the legal side of things so I just had to listen to what people had to say.  I thought it was the correct thing to do, but obviously it wasn't. In my reasoning for moving, I don't think I made a mistake, but in not talking to David myself, I was misguided."

One of the factors which led to Button seeking a move was the fear that Honda would sever its ties with BAR. With the Japanese firm now holding a 45% stake in the team, he sees a bright future ahead.  "Honda having a stake in the team is the best thing for BAR," Button added. "It's huge for everyone working here. It makes us very excited about the coming years."

This past season, Button finished third on the Formula One circuit behind dominant Ferrari teammates Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. He had 10 podium finishes in 2004 but has yet to take the checkered flag in an F1 career that began with Williams in 2000.USA Today
11/30/04
Baja 1000
Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 to be featured on CNBC Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 to be featured on CNBCThe recent 37th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be featured in three different special segments this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Dec. 1-3) on CNBC's 'Bull’s-eye' show. It will air each day at 3 p.m. (PST). CNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan participated in the race in the No. 2 SCORE Trophy-Truck of Pete Sohren and Cameron Steele.
Ratigan and his crew covered pre-race activities as well as portions of the race itself from Ensenada to La Paz, Baja California, Mexico. A total of 284 racers, competing in 26 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs started the granddaddy of all desert races and an event record 198 of them finished the grueling 1,013.57-mile odyssey within the 40-hour time limit. The race was held Nov. 18-20. The motorcycle portion of the event was won by the American Honda factory team of Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif., and Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif. The 4-wheel vehicle portion of the race was won by Las Vegas' Troy Herbst and Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, Calif., in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Smithbuilt-Ford Class 1 unlimited open-wheel desert race car. The entire race will be televised in a one-hour NBC Sports special on the NBC Television Network on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (PST).
11/30/04
Industry News
Japanese automakers use clout Japanese automakers use cloutNissan Motor Co., seeking to block a proposed U.S. tax change this fall that would have forced the Japanese carmaker to pay more than its U.S. rivals, found a ready champion in Mississippi U.S. Sen. Trent Lott.  "I said that was totally outrageous and unfair and we're not going to let that happen," said Lott, whose home state benefits from a Nissan plant employing 6,000 people. The offending language was dropped before the bill was passed last month; Lott, the former Senate majority leader who has never owned a foreign car, says his next one will be a Nissan.  Japan's carmakers, long a quiet presence in Washington, are flexing their political muscle. Since 1999, Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan have nearly quadrupled the amount they spend on lobbying in the United States, and have increased their political giving. Further adding to their clout, most of their 11 U.S. assembly plants -- which employ 55,000 workers -- are in Southern states where Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, are politically ascendant.  "In the past, the Japanese automakers would defer to Detroit on auto issues, even when it wasn't in their best interest," said Brian O'Neill, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which works with automakers on legislative issues for the insurance industry. "Now they're being much more assertive, and their confidence is growing in line with their increase in U.S. plants."  More at Bloomberg
11/30/04
f1
Kimi gets wasted Kimi gets wastedUPDATE #2 A reader writes, I don't feel the same way Strietzel (Stuck) feels about Kimi. Well, I am not a fan of Kimi in the first place, but damn let him have his fun. I don't see why a guy like Kimi can't get s**t wasted just because he's a F1 driver. I'd rather be scared if he didn't. Something like that makes him human. The problem is that those sick f**kers of BILD Zeitung are trying to make a big fuss out of it. And then Mr. Stuck, those that live in glass houses should not throw stones (he's never been an altar boy!). Robert Kleine, Germany 11/30/04 Here are some photos of Kimi in his drunken stupor:
http://www.aftonbladet.se/sport/0411/27/SPORT-27s20-kimi2-61_368.jpg
http://www.aftonbladet.se/sport/0411/27/SPORT-27s20-kimmi-12_368.jpg
http://www.aftonbladet.se/sport/0411/27/SPORT-27s20-kimmi3-40_368.jpg
11/30/04 Kimi Raikkonen has apologized after photos of him on a boozy bender in Gran Canaria appeared in the German press. Bild pictured the Finn in a variety of embarrassing situations under the headline ‘Is he drinking away his career?’ Raikkonen was photographed gyrating with a singer in a nightclub, having to be propped up by a fellow reveller and finally collapsing in a heap on the street. Asked for his reaction to the incident, Raikkonen told a Finnish newspaper: “I must say sorry!” But Raikkonen went on to voice his frustration that he could not let his hair down without stories appearing in the press. He said: “I was drunk all right? I had a few drinks and danced - why shouldn't I? Everyone relaxes in different ways. Sometimes I wish I were just a normal chap.” Raikkonen’s antics have been condemned by former driver Hans Stuck, now a pundit on German TV. Stuck said he could not imagine Michael Schumacher finding himself in such a situation – conveniently forgetting that Schuey had been snapped at Suzuka last year in a similarly boozy state. Stuck added: “A Formula 1 driver cannot drink publicly in such a way. Raikkonen is a role model for millions of children and young people.” ITV.com
11/30/04
irl
f1
IRL snuffs out another driver’s F1 dreams IRL snuffs out another driver’s F1 dreamsDriving in the oval IRL series is a certain death warrant for any driver who had aspirations for F1. The no-talent-required 100% oval racing does zero to enhance a drivers skills to drive an F1 car, in fact it does the exact opposite, it dumbs down the reflexes. Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti have given up the F1 dream and now comes news in this SPEED TV article that Helio Castroneves, despite winning two Indy 500's, has given up the ghost as well. Australian Ryan Briscoe is now rumored to be an IRL driver.  So much for his F1 aspirations.  Champ Car drivers making it to F1 include Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Alex Zanardi, Juan Montoya, Dan Gurney, Cristiano da Matta, Mark Donohue and soon to be Mario Dominguez. Unless Toyota or Honda fund their way, you won't see the IRL producing any F1 material drivers from the USA anytime soon. The IRL produces NASCAR drivers, who also are great at turning left.
11/30/04
irl
IRL Drivers Nominated IRL Drivers NominatedFour Indy Racing League drivers are among the 44 nominees for the 2004 Auto Racing All-America team, officials with the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association announced on Nov. 27. 2004 IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan and IndyCar Series standouts Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice are nominated in the Open Wheel category. 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series™ champion Thiago Medeiros was nominated in the At Large category.

Members of AARWBA will vote from among six drivers named in each of seven categories -- Open Wheel, Stock Car, Road Racing, Drag Racing, Short Track, Touring Series and At Large. Two drivers from each category will be named to the first team and will be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet Jan. 15 in Pomona, Calif. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award, the driver earning the most votes in the balloting regardless of category, also will be announced at the banquet.
11/30/04
irl
Tickets for Honda Grand Prix Available Dec. 1st. Tickets for Honda Grand Prix Available Dec. 1st.Tickets for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be available to the public on Dec. 1, at all Ticketmaster locations and at ticketmaster.com, race officials announced on Nov. 30. Reserved seat grandstand tickets for the race range from $55 for seats in the lower rows to $75 for reserved seats in the upper rows. Three-day passes, which include reserved seats for both Saturday and Sunday, are $105 for upper rows and $80 for the lower rows. Three-day general admission tickets also are available for $45 each. Sunday-only general admission tickets are $35 and Saturday general admission tickets are priced at $25.

Race fans purchasing a three-day reserved ticket before Dec. 31, will receive a free one-day paddock pass, which can be used for unlimited access into the Indy Racing League paddock on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Paddock passes also will be available through Ticketmaster outlets and are $50 for a three-day unlimited access pass and $25 for a one-day pass.

“Everyone associated with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg felt it was important to keep ticket prices at the same level as the last race in the market,” said Barry Green, managing director of the event. “We also are encouraged by the response we have had from race fans and sponsors about the 2005 event and want to reward these loyal race fans by offering the free paddock pass for those who purchase tickets before the end of this year. It is a great opportunity for race fans to get behind the scenes of this exciting event.”

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first street-circuit race in the IRL IndyCar Series history, will be run on a 1.806 mile, 14-turn course through the streets of St. Petersburg on April 3, 2005. Qualifying and practice sessions for the event will be held on April 1-2.
11/30/04
champcar
Valiante blitzes Sebring Valiante blitzes SebringUPDATE Tuesday Test Times 
Driver Nation Team Best Lap Total Laps
Michael Valiante Canada Dale Coyne Racing Lola 51.88 sec 110 Laps
Andrew Ranger Canada Forsythe Racing Lola 52.07 sec 123 Laps
Jarek Janis Czech Republic Forsythe Racing Lola 52.25 sec 107 Laps
Marcus Marshall Australia Dale Coyne Racing Lola 52.45 sec 92 Laps

This SPEEDTV article adds - “It's testing - not qualifying,” explained multiple Toyota Atlantic race winner Michael Valiante, in an attempt to justify why had he left a few tenths on the table upon climbing out one of Dale Coyne Racing’s Lolas.

It may be only “testing,” but for Valiante and the other Champ Car hopefuls gathered at Sebring - fellow Canadian Andrew Ranger and Czech Jarek Janis, plus Yankees Alex Figge and Bryan Sellers, who tested yesterday, and Australian Marcus Marshall - being conservative was not an option in their opportunities sitting ahead of 750 horsepower. The show is “Who wants to be a Champ Car star?,” and these drivers need to be on top of their games. And that means “fast.”

That - being fast - is something Valiante has done before, and in a Champ Car already: he outqualified and finished ahead of rated teammate Mario Haberfeld in his first competitive outing in the series, driving one of Derrick Walker’s Reynards in Mexico City.

Now in Coyne’s Lola, Valiante can feel the pain Haberfeld endured for a whole season: “The Lola is just way more consistent [than the Reynard] as a whole: easier to drive, less tire wear and so on.”

Seeming satisfied with his Sebring performance, Valiante thanked Dale Coyne before expressing his future plans: “The team seemed happy with me, and we got along very well. Hopefully that can lead on to something for next year, though I’m also still working with Derrick [Walker]. Either way, we expect to be on the Champ Car grid soon.” Maybe “finally” would have better described the Canadian’s feelings.

Valiante set the fastest time of the day, but considering his total lack of previous Champ Car experience, Andrew Ranger came in a close second.

“The car is so fast, it’s almost crazy!,” he exclaimed. “You push the gas so hard, and immediately you have to brake hard - your body just never stops moving! In an Atlantic car, since it so much slower, you can get some rest on the straights, something you never get to do in a Champ Car.” Considering Ranger completed 133 laps, that must have been quite a workout. But the youngster is not complaining. Far from it.

“Of course I’m a bit tired, but not that much. I’ve been training [in the gym] a lot, and it seems to be paying off,” he grinned. Echoing Alex Figge and Bryan Sellers’ remarks from yesterday, Ranger affirmed he got comfortable with the Champ Car “pretty quickly.”

11/29/04 A summary of test times Monday at Sebring. Most noteworthy was Marcus Marshall from Queensland Australia. He turned the fewest laps, is an Australian sports car driver (i.e. not an open wheel car driver) and never saw Sebring before, yet turned the 2nd fastest time.
Driver Nation Team Best Lap Total Laps
Alex Figge USA Forsythe Racing Lola 53.57 sec 91 Laps
Marcus Marshall Australia Dale Coyne Racing Lola 53.71 sec 68 Laps
Bryan Sellers USA Dale Coyne Racing Lola 53.72 sec 130 Laps
Andreas Wirth Germany Forsythe Racing Lola 54.43 sec 114 Laps
11/30/04
MotoGP
MotoGP wraps up 2004 testing MotoGP wraps up 2004 testingMotoGP engines roared for the final time in 2004 today at two separate tests in France and Spain. Whilst Kawasaki riders Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann completed a wet tire test for Bridgestone at Paul Ricard, Alex Barros took advantage of his last chance this year to test the RC211V on the second and final day of a Honda and Ducati session at Valencia.

After rain had spoilt proceedings on Monday, today began with bright sunshine and several riders took to the track at around 10am. Barros, who rejoined the Camel Honda team run by Sito Pons two seasons after leaving for Yamaha, took his bow at around 12pm and was the fastest Honda rider on a day which saw the Ducati partnership of Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa again set the pace.

Capirossi’s unofficial lap time of 1’32.67 is inside Makoto Tamada’s pole position time from the final round of the 2004 season, the Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, at the Cheste circuit one month ago and is just two tenths outside Valentino Rossi’s pole record from 2003. Tamada crashed out today as did Troy Bayliss, the fastest rider on the wet first day, and Régis Laconi, who continued in his role as a test rider for Ducati.

"These tests have been very positive and the results are far superior to what we achieved here at the final race of the season,” said Capirossi. “The Bridgestone tires have worked quite well even though we don’t have the evolution tires for our bike until the first test of next year. “Development of the GP5 is going very well and I think we are on the right tracks to keep getting better."
Unofficial lap times provided by the teams:
Loris Capirossi (Ducati): 1'32.67
Carlos Checa (Ducati): 1'33.09
Alex Barros (Honda):1'33.18
Sete Gibernau (Honda):1'33.43
Marco Melandri (Honda):1'33.47
Nicky Hayden (Honda):1'33.52
Makoto Tamada (Honda):1'33.85
Troy Bayliss (Honda):1'34.59
Régis Laconi (Ducati): 1'35.79
Tohru Ukawa (Honda): 1'37.05 MotoGP.com

11/30/04
champcar
San Jose race costs accelerating San Jose race costs accelerating[Editor's Note:  It appears a case is being made by the local taxpayers group to try and kill the event.]  This San Jose Mercury News article says, Next summer's Grand Prix-style race through downtown San Jose will cost taxpayers more than three times what city officials had originally planned, according to newly released documents.  And it could go even higher than the nearly $700,000 the city has so far committed.  The July 31 Champ Car World Series race would feature open-wheel cars reaching speeds above 150 mph as they race around a 1.5-mile course on the streets surrounding HP Pavilion.

According to the documents -- mostly e-mails among city officials and others involved in the negotiations -- Mayor Ron Gonzales' budget chief Joe Guerra had insisted through the middle of October that the city contribute no more than $200,000 in public money toward the $3 million needed to cover police overtime and prepare the race course. But by the time Gonzales announced on Nov. 19 that the race is coming to San Jose, he agreed to a deal featuring $690,000 in taxpayer money. That figure could reach $815,000 because the San Jose Sharks pro hockey team is balking at a city request to release $125,000 from an arena repair fund.

The city council is scheduled to consider the deal next Tuesday.  The documents show race advocates scrambling to come up with the money needed to secure the event. Boosters argue that the city stands to benefit by hosting an international sporting event, bringing tens of thousands of people downtown and millions of dollars of new business to the city.

In the negotiations, representatives of the Canary Fund, a charitable organization run by former Cisco executive Don Listwin, which is promoting the race, had offered $1.5 million and wasn't budging. Faced with that limit and a then-$600,000 funding gap after accounting for other expected contributions, Paul Krutko, San Jose's economic development director, wrote ``I'm ready to shut it down'' in an e-mail to Guerra on Oct. 12.  In the end, the Canary Fund increased its contribution to $1.625 million, while Guerra came up with $650,000 in direct city contributions, which would be repaid only if the event turns a significant profit. An additional $40,000 in taxpayer contributions is being funneled through the San Jose Sports Authority.

There is also a list of contributors, that is not on the website. Here it is:
CONTRIBUTOR                    Amount
Canary Fund................... 1,625,000
San Jose General Fund.........   400,00
San Jose Redevelopment........   250,000
Hotel Rebates.................   200,000
Arena Capitol Reserve Fund**..   125,000
Knight Ridder Newspaper.......   100,000
San Jose Sports Authority*....    40,000
Mike Akatiff..................    25,000
John Davis/Ralph Borelli......    25,000
San Jose Sharks...............    25,000
Dan Duc.......................    25,000
San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber.  25,000
San Jose State University.......  25,000
San Jose Water Co...............  25,000
Jim Losch.......................  10,000
Hugh Center Trust...............  10,000
San Jose Police Officers Assoc.    2,500
                        TOTAL $2,927,500     More at Mercury News

11/30/04
Industry News
Pocono buys South Boston Speedway Pocono buys South Boston SpeedwayPocono Raceway has acquired South Boston Speedway, Pocono officials announced today. South Boston Speedway, which recently completed its 47th year of operation, is a NASCAR sanctioned 4/10 mile paved oval located in South Boston, Va.  For the past five years, the Speedway has been directed by its President Joe Mattioli III, son of Dr. Joe Mattioli, CEO of Pocono Raceway and Manager Cathy Rice. During that time, South Boston has achieved the distinction of being recognized by Circle Track Magazine (March 2002) as the "Leader of the new generation of Super Short Tracks". Additionally South Boston boasts one of the biggest fields of NASCAR Late Model Stock Cars, averaging over 24 cars per event with each event paying $3,000 to win.  South Boston has proven to be a great training ground for both competitors and future motorsports facility managers. Nick Igdalsky, Dr. Mattioli’s grandson, is currently working at South Boston, as well as competing in their Pure Stock Division.  The acquisition will provide Pocono with a presence in the Southeast and will align South Boston with the excitement and prestige of Pocono, a NASCAR Nextel Cup facility, providing both venues with joint marketing and promotional opportunities. The management of South Boston will remain unchanged.  "We are excited about the opportunities that this acquisition will provide, allowing South Boston to reach new heights that it would not be able to achieve on its own", commented Joe Mattioli, South Boston's President.  In addition to its NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series events, the Speedway promotes events for USAC Ford Focus Midgets and two nationally televised Hooters Pro Cup events.  South Boston will honor its 2004 champions on Saturday evening, December 11th. Charlotte Observer
11/30/04
irl
Indy 500 DVD's available Indy 500 DVD's availableIndianapolis 500 fans can now order a five-disc DVD box set of the highly popular Indianapolis 500® "Legacy Series" by IMS Productions and Shoreline Media Group, a perfect holiday gift idea for fans of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

"Indianapolis 500: The Legacy Series" features five DVD's, including a special bonus disc, that provide more than 10 hours of content. Included in the set are the four previously released "Legacy Series" discs each covering a golden decade of speed for the Indianapolis 500:

."The 60s: A Decade of Change"
."The 70s: A Decade of Legends"
."The 80s: A Decade for the Ages"
."The 90s: A Decade of Drama"

Each of the "Legacy" discs is packed with historic race footage and interviews with many of the stars of the era at Indianapolis. Other features include bonus items such as trivia, photos, box scores and other statistics, interactive menus and more.

Also included in the box set is a bonus disc that includes more than an hour of feature material on the Indianapolis 500:

.A documentary, "Voices of the 500," which features the IMS Radio Network.
.A feature on the Borg-Warner Trophy awarded to the Indianapolis 500 winner.
.A feature on legendary public address announcer Tom Carnegie.
.A feature on Firestone tires.
.A gallery of past Indy 500 images.

Consumers can buy the IMS DVD products via www.SportsDVDHeadquarters.com, by calling toll-free at (800) 856-4266 or by visiting the Brickyard Authentics Online Store at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's official Web site, www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The DVD products also are available at the two Brickyard Authentics stores in Indianapolis and at the Speedway Hall of Fame Gift Shops, and will be available at other select retail outlets by January.

11/30/04
nascar
Army Helicopters Borrow NASCAR Windshield Technology Army Helicopters Borrow NASCAR Windshield TechnologyA laminate that protects NASCAR racecar windshields from rocks and debris will soon give extra protection to Army helicopters flying in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate at Fort Eustis, Va., started testing the concept in March and just got the green light to begin applying the Mylar polyester coating to the windshields of operational aircraft. Nathan Bordick, an engineer working on the project, said the Army borrowed the idea from NASCAR, where teams have been applying multiple layers of the peelable coatings to vehicle windshields for years to resist cracking, chipping and scratching. Periodically throughout a race, pit crews peel away a layer, leaving a clear, undamaged windshield for the laps ahead, he said. American Forces Press Service / Conservative Voice
11/30/04
nascar
NASCAR champions hit the Big Apple NASCAR champions hit the Big AppleAlthough Kurt Busch already has earned the 2004 Nextel Cup Series championship, he'll get a taste of what it's like to celebrate it this week in the Big Apple.  It's time for NASCAR's annual Champion's Week festivities, and Busch, who is enjoying his first Cup title, is the latest champion to be officially crowned in New York. NASCAR has feted its premier series champ in New York City since 1981.  So it's back to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for car owner Jack Roush. Busch, who drives for Roush Racing, is following the footsteps of teammate Matt Kenseth, who celebrated his first Cup title during 2003 Champion's Week.

Busch, 26, represents a season of firsts -- the first season of series sponsorship for Nextel, the first year of the "Chase for the Nextel Cup," the new method of crowning a champion, and many other twists on and off the track.  He'll be busy this week with media events, a charity endeavor, appearances on national morning shows, photo shoots and a visit to a New York fire department training facility. The fourth-year driver from Las Vegas will cap his Champion's Week schedule with Friday night's awards ceremony in the Waldorf's historic Grand Ballroom.

 Busch will participate in several traditional Cup champion activities, like Friday afternoon's team photo in front of the Waldorf's main entrance. Another is Thursday morning's photo op in Times Square with the champion's show car at 8:30 a.m. Following that activity, Busch will join NASCAR chairman Brian France and Nextel's Tim Donahue to open NASDAQ at 9:15 a.m.  Another highlight is a group photo of Busch, Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton along with NASCAR's weekly and touring champions to be taken at 11:30 a.m. at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum at Pier 86. All 11 champions will be pictured together against one of Manhattan's landmark vistas. NASCAR

11/30/04
Industry News
Indy Star picks Schumacher best of 2004 Indy Star picks Schumacher best of 2004UPDATE What in the hell is wrong with Sebastien Bourdais’ “presentation” that he ranks a 2 and Buddy Rice gets a 5? The kid is bright, well-behaved, speaks well even with a slight accent, shows emotion when it is warranted and presents himself, his team and his sponsors well. After all, how could he have received a 10 in “fan voting” if he deserved only a 2 in “presentation"?  The eejits at the Star are  showing their unbridled chauvinism and boosterism again with this bogus ranking. James C. Allen 11/30/04 Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is our Driver of the Year for 2004. Motorsports writers Curt Cavin and Steve Ballard considered all drivers who raced in the U.S. during the past season. A consensus top 10 was determined and the drivers were rated against one another in five categories.
  Driver (series) Winning Consistency Frontrunner Presentation Fan voting Total
1. Michael Schumacher (F-1) 10 10 10 3 8 41
2. Tony Kanaan (IRL) 3 9 9 9 9 39
3. Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car) 7 5 8 2 10 32
  Greg Anderson (NHRA Pro Stock) 9 8 7 6 2 32
5. Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws) 8 7 6 4 5 30
  Tony Schumacher (NHRA Top Fuel) 5 6 4 8 7 30
7. Buddy Rice (IRL) 4 2 5 5 6 22
8. Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) 2 3 2 10 4 21
9. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 6 1 3 7 3 20
10. Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 1 4 1 1 1 8
Best of the Rest (alphabetically): Rubens Barrichello (F-1), Jenson Button (F-1), Bobby East (USAC), Jay Drake (USAC), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR), Adrian Fernandez (IRL), John Force (NHRA Funny Car), Bruno Junqueira (Champ Car), Danny Lasoski (World of Outlaws), Max Papis (Grand Am), Scott Pruett (Grand Am), Martin Truex Jr. (NASCAR Busch), Dan Wheldon (IRL).  Indy Star
11/30/04
gp2
Hitech and Piquet merge for GP2 assault Hitech and Piquet merge for GP2 assaultHitech Racing and Piquet Sports have revealed a union that will see both teams competing in the new GP2 series as Hitech Piquet Sports.  The project will see the team running two cars, for new British F3 champion Nelson Piquet Jr and current South American F3 Championship leader Alexandre Negrão. The ten-strong engineering team will be based at Silverstone and will be jointly headed up by David Hayle and Felipe Vargas.

"I'm pleased to hear Hitech Piquet Sports has been selected as one of the teams for the new GP2 series," Vargas commented.   "As a Brazilian team that came to Europe just two years ago to compete alongside some of the best motorsport teams in the world, it gives us a huge sense of achievement. We are very excited about the opportunity to be working in this brilliant new class, and confident that joining the qualities of Hitech Racing and Piquet Sports in a new team will allow us to do a good job."

11/30/04
F1
Doornbos to shake down Jordan Doornbos to shake down JordanRobert Doornbos has been asked to shake down Jordan Grand Prix's interim 2005-spec F1 car during this week's test session at Jerez de la Frontera. Because of this prior working experience, Jordan asked the Dutch driver to conduct the shakedown and three further days of intensive testing at the Spanish circuit between 1-4 December, so that the engineers can collect as much data as possible. The Silverstone-based team did not join the rest of the grid in testing as soon as the 'autumn' ban was lifted last week, but will run two cars at Jerez in an attempt to make as much progress with its development program. “I'm very proud to have been asked by the team to support them in their development program for next year and, in the last few weeks, I've prepared myself both mentally and physically for the challenges that might arise," Doornbos commented, "We plan to do a good amount of mileage this week in order to collect as much relevant technical data as possible but, as a result, our focus will not be on lap-times as the new car will run with the new, restricted 2005 aerodynamic package.”
11/30/04
Industry News
NBC statement on Ebersol crash NBC statement on Ebersol crashNBC Universal issued the following statement tonight [11-29]: Dick Ebersol and his son Charlie are both hospitalized in stable condition and are expected to make a full recovery. The body of the 14-year-old son of NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol was believed recovered Monday after a fiery jet crash that killed two crewmen and left the injured executive and another of his sons injured.  Coroner Mark Young said a body matching the description of Edward "Teddy" Ebersol was found underneath the wreckage. Heavy equipment was used to recover the body. ESPN.com
11/30/04
gp2
Formula GP2 race weekend format revealed Formula GP2 race weekend format revealedAlthough the format has yet to be ratified by the sport's governing body, the FIA, the current timetable for the weekend is
Friday
Two 30-minute free practice sessions
One 30-minute qualifying session
Saturday
1430 – Long race (180km)
Sunday
1130 – Short race (80km)
Friday's qualifying session will decide the grid for Saturday's race, with Sunday's grid being decided by the finishing order from the long race. The only change will be that the top eight grid positions will be reversed.  The points system has also been confirmed, with the top eight drivers from the long race being awarded points (10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) as well as the top six (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) from the short race. The fastest driver from qualifying will also be given two points, with an extra two points up for grabs for the driver who sets the fastest lap in the races.
11/30/04
champcar
Photos from Seoul Photos from SeoulMany in the Champ Car community are wondering what to expect when they visit Seoul, South Korea next October.  We sent our Steve Levinson over to survey the city.  Here are a few preliminary photos, which show clearly it's as modern a city as any you will see in the USA.

   

11/30/04
gp2
Formula GP2 teams and schedule revealed Formula GP2 teams and schedule revealedThe Formula GP2 Series today revealed the teams that will compete in their inaugural season: The list includes big names from the past of F3000, including multiple champions Arden, DAMS and SuperNova, and some teams moving up from lower level single seaters, such as HiTech and Campos. However the shock omission is the Belgian Astromega team, which had already announced that it had been given an entry to the championship. Michel says a thirteenth team, thought to be the Spanish squad Racing Engineering, could be added before the start of the season, which begins with four, compulsory, official tests, starting at Paul Ricard in February. "It has been quite difficult to make a choice between all the applications we have received over the past few months," says Michel. First of all we wanted to make sure that every single team could commit for at least three years. We were also looking for strong teams, who have proved their competitiveness in other championships in the past. In the end we managed to select a fantastic grid for 2005."

Provisional 2005 calendar for GP2 (subject to ratification by the FIA)
April 17 France
April 24 San Marino
May 8 Spain
May 22 Monaco
TBA Europe
July 3 Britain
July 17 Germany
July 31 Hungary
August 21 Turkey
September 4 Italy
September 11 Belgium
September 25 Bahrain
11/30/04
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Michelin fire Vasselon
'Happy with Sunday quali'
Jordan-Arden sale 'close'
F3 trio to test BAR
Fisi's a 'changed' man
Red Bull - $63m 'per word'
Aussie asks for F1 'support'
Briscoe 'will not test'
'I made mistakes' - Button
Fog foils Ferrari flow
Mark's new 'mindset'
GP2 teams to be unveiled
'Let me shoot-out' - Davidson
Coulthard still hunting
Trulli's low target
Berger role ruled out
Lyons 'puzzled' by F1 snub
Toyota duo 'not perfect'
Red Bull hunt carmaker
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