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Dolphin rides on Bridgestone F1 rubber Dolphin rides on Bridgestone F1 rubberUPDATE There was a report on "Fuji", the dolphin with the Bridgestone rubber tail fin, on the CBS Evening News tonight.  She sure looked happy with her new tail! 11/25/04 In Fuji, Japan a 34-year old dolphin has received a prosthetic tail fin developed by Bridgestone with Formula One material. The dolphin lost 75% of her own fin to disease, but thanks to a $95,000 prosthetic fin she's jumping again. "Ten prototypes were made before the company found one that worked, and it then took Fuji five months to get used to the fin - it initially scared her," says the BBC. "Fuji only wears the fin, which weighs about 2kg (5 pounds), for about 20 minutes a day in case it falls off or is eaten by other dolphins." Masaya Kowami, a breeder at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in southern Japan, is quoted as saying, "We are very grateful. Although she can swim without the artificial fin, the speed is very slow and she certainly cannot jump without it." The fin is made from material usually used for Formula One race car tires, says the Beeb, adding, "Sponge rubber was used for the parts which come into direct contact with Fuji's skin."
NBC/TNT broadcast booth will get a facelift NBC/TNT broadcast booth will get a faceliftThe NBC/TNT broadcast booth will get a facelift in 2005 when Bill Weber and Allen Bestwick essentially switch jobs.  Weber will move from lead pit reporter to play-by-play announcer, joining analysts Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach.  Bestwick, who had served as play-by-play man for the NBC/TNT broadcasts, will become lead pit reporter. Bestwick also will handle play-by-play for selected Busch Series races.  NBC officials had no comment on the personnel moves.  Weber filled in for Bestwick for two broadcasts in early October while Bestwick was recovering from a broken leg suffered while he was playing in a hockey game near his hometown of Coventry, R.I.  Weber's career in racing began in 1990 when he served as a producer/reporter for Sunbelt Video, a television production company, where he produced, hosted and served as a reporter on a variety of motorsports programming, mostly aired on what was TNN (now Spike TV).
Tonis Kasemets Champ Car test notes, Day 1 of 2 Tonis Kasemets Champ Car test notes, Day 1 of 2Tonis Kasemets, the first Estonian to test a Champ Car in the history of motor sports, logged over 100 miles on the 1.9 mile short course at Sebring International today.  Tonis is the current Sebring track record holder on the long course of 3.7 miles in Formula Atlantic in 2003.  Now he takes it one step higher in the “Big Car,” Dale Coyne’s #19.

Tonis found this first time experience: “Much fun with SO much horsepower”  He adds: “The day went well, I had 4 spins in the first half of the day.  We kept trying different set-ups to find what I like in the car.  We’re going in the right direction and will do better tomorrow.”

Kasemets adds:  “Compared to Toyota Altantics, Champ Cars are very fast, have a lot of HP, and their brakes are incredibly good.  It’s a lot faster and heavier.  I’m taking my time to trust the downforce.  The crew did a very good job.  Stephan Dominic especially, he is very cool and cooperative, really cares about my driving style.”

Day 2 of testing continues tomorrow morning at 10am ET.  Joining Team Tonis at Sebring is his younger brother Madis, who made a special trip over from Europe to join his Big Brother. 

ESPN "3" movie draws big TV rating ESPN "3" movie draws big TV ratingESPN’s telecast of “3” on Saturday drew a 5.0 Nielsen cable rating, marking the net’s highest-rated movie telecast ever. It was seen in an average of more than 4 million HHs, and was the second-highest rated movie on ad-supported cable in ’04 behind TNT’s December 5 telecast of “Librarian” starring Noah Wyle. Additionally, the Dale Earnhardt biopic was the most-viewed program on TV from 9:00-11:00pm ET that night among men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.  Meanwhile, ESPN’s telecast of the Heisman Trophy presentation, which served as the lead-in to “3” on Saturday, drew a 2.7 rating with an average of 2.2 million HHs. The 2.7 is a 17.4% increase over the 2.3 last year, while HHs increased by 15.6% THE DAILY
Flying Lizard team announces 2005 lineup Flying Lizard team announces 2005 lineupFlying Lizard Motorsports announced today its driver roster for the 2005 American Le Mans series. In their second year of competition, Flying Lizard will again field two Porsche GT3 911 RSRs in the GT2 class (previously called GT). In 2005, the Sonoma, California-based team is looking to build on their successful first season in which they finished second in GT in 2004 in both the American Le Mans Series Drivers' Championship and team points.

The 2005 driver roster will include team principals Johannes van Overbeek, Lonnie Pechnik, and Seth Neiman, who all drove for the team in 2004. Jon Fogarty, who was a guest driver for three races in 2004, will join the team in 2005 as a full-time driver. van Overbeek and Fogarty will partner in the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche. Pechnik and Neiman will join forces again in the No. 44 Porsche.

"I'm looking forward to getting the No. 45 out on track in 2005 and having Jon on board as my driving partner," said van Overbeek. "Finishing second in GT in the Drivers' Championship in 2004 far exceeded our expectations for a first-year team. Our commitment is to continue to build on that and do even better next year."

Fogarty joins the team with more than a decade of driving success. He has a strong background in open wheel racing and is a two-time winner of the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Fogarty added, "It will be great to run full time with the Lizards and have Johannes, Seth and Lonnie as teammates. Other than the difference in height, Johannes and I are very complementary: we are both laser-focused on competing at the highest level we can." Fogarty and van Overbeek will participate in a live chat with fans hosted by the ALMS on Thursday, December 16 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. To join the chat, go to: www.americanlemans.com, and select the ALMS chat option.

Pechnik and Neiman will return in 2005 in the No. 44 Porsche. Pechnik added, "2005 should be an exciting season in the ALMS, with a full 10-race schedule. We'll see what Seth and I can do to build on what we learned in our first year and do even better in 2005."

Bussell to drive for JL West Motorsports Bussell to drive for JL West MotorsportsJ.L. West Motorsports will field a car for American Nick Bussell during the team's first season of competition in the Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2005. Bussell, a 21-year-old from Ionia, Mich., will drive the No. 21 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. His first opportunity to drive the car will come Jan. 18 during an Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for the 14-race schedule which begins March 6. Bussell competed in Formula Renault 2000 and Fran-Am 2000 for the past two years following an impressive career in karting. Bussell won the 2002 World Karting Association Triple Crown with national championships in three classes. He also was the SKUSA ProMoto Formula S1 world champion in 2002.

"Nick has been working for us for about seven months," said team owner Jeff West, who also owns Indy Performance Composites, a company that builds all of the camera pods for the IRL and performs carbon work for various IRL teams and manufacturers. "He's enthusiastic, a real go-getter and has demonstrated an ability to win on the racetrack. I'm looking forward to putting him in the car." "I'm looking forward to competing in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series," Bussell said. "This is a great opportunity to go forward a step. The best opportunity for a young, American driver in open-wheel racing is the IRL." J.L. West Motorsports, which is co-owned by Jeff and Laura West, announced its participation in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series earlier this month. IRL

Davis shuts down Busch team, lawsuit update Davis shuts down Busch team, lawsuit updateBill Davis Racing has shut down the #23 Busch Series [the article incorrectly refers to the series as Grand National, which it hasn't been since 2002] team in the wake of driver Kenny Wallace leaving and taking sponsor Stacker2 with him. Wallace is expected to become the new driver at ppc Racing. "Bill decided it didn't make sense to spend his money to keep the (Busch Series) team going," Davis spokesman Chip Wile said. "There is little money to be made racing in Busch Series. Bill has enough on his plate, so he decided to concentrate on his other teams." The plate includes one full-time effort in the Cup series with the #22 Dodges driven by Scott Wimmer, a possible part-time effort with the #Dodges in the Cup series, and three full-time Toyota entries driven by #22-Bill Lester, #5-Mike Skinner and #23-Johnny Benson in the NASCAR truck series. Wile said fielding the #23 team in the Cup series is dependent on sponsorship and it is unlikely Davis would do it out of his pocket as he did this year. Davis' plate also includes fighting an on-going legal action brought by Dodge parent Daimler-Chrysler in May of 2003. The case, once set for trial next Monday, is now scheduled to be heard in federal district court in Detroit beginning May 3. A pre-trial conference is scheduled April 26. The delay, according to court documents, was granted because both sides had trouble getting depositions during the racing season. Daimler-Chrysler alleges Davis violated his contract for Dodge factory support for his Cup teams by aiding a competitor when he helped Toyota with development work as it prepared for entry into the truck series this year. Daimler-Chrysler is asking that Davis return over $1 million dollars in factory support for the balance of 2003 after the lawsuit was filed. Daimler-Chrysler terminated its contract with Davis when it filed the suit. Davis filed a counter-suit in late June 2003 claiming Daimler-Chrysler had no grounds to terminate the contract because Toyota is not a competitor of Dodge in the Cup series. Wallace replaces Jason Keller at ppc Racing, which won the 2000 Busch Series title with Jeff Green. Wallace joined Davis when he brought Stacker2 as sponsor of the #23 Cup team in 2003. He dropped down to replace Wimmer in the Busch Series car this year when Stacker2 decreased its sponsorship. Wallace finished this season ninth in points with no top-five finishes. Davis leaves the Busch Series tour after fielding a team for the past seven years and a total of 12 seasons since beginning his operation with Mark Martin in 1988. Davis' drivers won a total of 11 Busch Series races. Wimmer won five times, and Martin and Gordon won three times each. Wimmer produced Davis best Busch Series season with four wins and a third-place in points in 2002. He added another victory in 2003. Martin had single victories in selected races in 1988, 1989 and 1990. He was replaced in 1991 by Gordon, who won three times in 1992. Davis moved to the Cup level the next season and disbanded the Busch Series team until reviving it in 1998. High Point Enterprise
Changes announced for Mexico City track Changes announced for Mexico City trackChanges have been announced for the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track in Mexico City for the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series race. There will be 2 main changes, one is a chicane in the main straight and the second one a curve to connect the second straight with the esses. The changes are to avoid failure of the brakes, since NASCAR cars do not have the brakes of a Champ Car. The changes will not affect other series, especially Champ Cars. The track for the NASCAR race will have a length of 4.04 kilometers.
Industry News
Huth buys ASA Huth buys ASALongtime motorsports executive Dennis Huth announced that he has formed a new partnership group, Racing Speed Associates, LLC, and acquired the ASA Member Track program from the American Speed Association. The terms of the asset deal were not released. "The fundamentals of the ASA Member Track program was to offer the weekly-program racetracks an alternative for insurance, point funds and assistance in competing against the other forms of entertainment that pull fans in different directions today," Huth explained. "Under the guidance of Racing Speed Associates, the program will remain unchanged in these respects. We are still an alternative for tracks and regional touring series looking to help lower their expenses, increase the visibility of their program, and feel like they are part of a national group."

Huth, formerly the director of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, had been the key player in developing the ASA Member Track program. In 2004, he was able to sign 14 tracks around the United States to the program, as well as several regional touring race series. Prior to working at ASA, Huth was instrumental in establishing the NASCAR Winston Racing Series (known today as the Dodge Weekly Series) and guided it to a peak of more than 100 NASCAR sanctioned tracks. He is a 16-year veteran of the stock car sanctioning body, started the NASCAR Northwest Tour and headed up the 11 touring divisions. In addition, he was instrumental in the planning and execution of the NASCAR Winston Cup and Winston West races at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
Eye surgery for Scott Dixon Eye surgery for Scott DixonScott Dixon has had corrective eye surgery as he builds towards the next IRL motor racing season, both on and off the track.  Dixon has had an implant inserted in one eye to correct a problem.  He has been testing out the surgery, as well as a new improved engine, in track testing the last few days in the US.  Dixon's mum Glenys says the eye implant has been a huge success.  She says he could not have laser surgery because the membrane in his eye is too thin, but after a few early hiccups the implant is working well.  Glenys says Scott still has Formula One ambitions, but all in good time.  She says teams are talking to him all the time, but it is a matter of getting the right deal and not jumping ship just for the sake of it. NZCity
Formula BMW
Formula BMW USA invites 18 to shootout Formula BMW USA invites 18 to shootoutAs preparations for the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship continue, 18 young drivers  have received an invitation to compete for five $40,000 Formula BMW USA Junior scholarships. The two day shoot-out will take place at the Formula BMW Racing Center in Valencia, Spain on January 12th and 13th, 2005.  The  invited drivers were selected from a pool of 28 talented drivers who participated in two Formula BMW licensing schools held at Valencia's Circuit de la Communitat in September and December 7th and 8th of this year.

Selected from the September program are Wade Van Hooser, 15, Tulane, Calif.; Robert Wickens, 15, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada; Justin Moon, 16, Shingle Springs, Calif.; Adrien Herberts, 15, Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada; Richard Philippe, 14, Miami, Fla. ; Michael McGrath, 15, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.; Elliott Ladik, 15, Kirkland, Wash.

Invited from the December program are James Davison, 18,  Kew, Australia; Race Johnson,16,  West Linn, Ore.; Johnny Johnson, 18, Marshalltown, IA; Kyle Weigand, 18, Bargersville, Ind.; Ryan Phinny, 15, Carmel Valley, Calif.; Keith Spicer, 15, Naples Fla.; Matt Lee, 15, Syosset N.Y.; Daniel Morad, 14, Markham, Ontario, Canada; Reed Stevens, 18, Palo Alto, Calif.; Jonathan Ziegelman, 18, Boca Raton, Fla.; Kevin Lacroix, 15, St Eustache, Quebec, Canada.

In addition to the $40,000 scholarship award, Formula BMW USA Juniors are enrolled in a comprehensive education and coaching curriculum that includes special emphasis on physical fitness, media training, racing car set-up and driving technique.

James Hinchcliffe, Jonathan Summerton, Graham Rahal, Tom Milner, Billy Johnson and Trevor Daley were the 2004 Formula BMW USA Juniors.

The 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship had one of the finest schedules of any racing series in North America. Ultimately won by Andreas Wirth, the race to the Championship included some of the most exciting circuits in North America. Beginning at Lime Rock Park, the series next supported the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis. The next three races were held on the temporary airport circuit in Cleveland, Road America, and the streets of Denver. The season finished at Laguna Seca Raceway.

At this time, the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship schedule is being finalized. A third 2005 season licensing school is scheduled to be held in spring of 2005.

Derek Hill to test IRL car Derek Hill to test IRL carAmerican racer Derek Hill will test for the Indy  Car Series Red Bull Cheever Racing team on December 17, 2004 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.  Derek Hill, son of World Champion Phil Hill, will test the Indy Racing League (IRL) Toyota powered Dallara chassis on the 1.5 mile oval following the morning test session of the team's newest driver, Patrick Carpentier.   Derek Hill, who has 3 years experience racing in the FIA International Formula 3000 series, is looking at options to compete professionally in the United States for the upcoming season.  In addition to the Barber Dodge Pro Series, Formula Dodge and International Ferrari Challenge championships, Derek earned class wins at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring as a BMW factory driver.     With the test date set, Hill commented, "This is a great opportunity to test with a well established Indy Car team and to get my rookie test behind me.  Getting into an IRL car is an important step towards my goal of competing in the Indy Car series and doing the Indy 500.   Testing with the Red Bull Cheever team on the same day as Patrick [Carpentier] and with the Toyota engine is going to give me a solid introduction to the IRL car."
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Wurz role in doubt
Brit GP on sale
DC's a 'done deal' - Red Bull
Schu up for soccer game
Honda vow to wow Button

Button beaten
BAR gearbox banned
Montoya to 'control' pace
'I want more' - Quick Nick
Fiorano for 'fun'
Schu can quit Ferrari - Brawn
Champ Car's Euro TV deal
Red Bull not rolling in it
McLaren snap up star
Brief Bits - Dec.14
Alonso 'matured' in '04 
Industry News
Raivich gets PR post at two tracks Raivich gets PR post at two tracksRaceway Associates, owner and operator of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, has named Meier Raivich as Director of Public Relations. A veteran sports industry publicist, Raivich will oversee all media relations and communications activity for the motorsports complex.

Raivich joins Raceway Associates with extensive knowledge of the Chicagoland media which he developed while serving as the Director of Media Services for the Chicago Wolves (AHL Hockey Team). Additionally, Raivich has amassed a great deal of experience in motorsports as an account supervisor with Alan Taylor Communications in New York City, a leading PR agency focused in the world of sports and events. While at Alan Taylor Communications, Raivich worked closely with NASCAR and NHRA, which represent four major events hosted at Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway (2 NHRA events, a NASCAR Busch Series event and a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event).

“Meier brings a unique combination of experience to Raceway Associates," said Matthew Alexander, Vice President and General Manager of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. “His experience within the Chicago market coupled with his extensive understanding of the motorsports landscape make him an ideal person to head up our communications effort as we continue growing our reputation as a leader in the motorsports industry and a leading force in Chicago sports.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the exceptional team that Raceway Associates has assembled,” said Raivich. “The events at both Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway have been embraced by the market. I look forward to continuing to tell the great story on both a local and ! national level, as well as serving the local and national media that cover our events.”

Industry News
Renovation project announced for MIS Renovation project announced for MISIn a continuing effort to improve experiences for fans who visit historic Michigan International Speedway each year, MIS President Brett Shelton announced today the largest renovation project in the 37-year history of MIS.  The renovation project includes a reconfiguration of the frontstretch area which will include new ticket gates, new vendor and display areas, several new concession stands, and a new suite/club structure high above the main grandstand near the start/finish line. The suite/club area will hold 16 suites, press box, 870 Champions Club seats, timing & scoring area, television and radio broadcast area, and race control for use by the sanctioning bodies.

The announcement today of the entire project goes along with yesterday’s announcement of approximately 870 Club Level seats. The project will be the first seat addition since 10,800 seats were added prior to the 2000 race season to raise the seating capacity at the facility to 137,243 for the 2005 racing season which begins Father’s Day weekend June 17-19.  The renovation project will allow MIS to keep many parts of its storied tradition, while adding amenities that will enhance the fan experience.

“In recent years, large interactive fan displays have become a huge part of our facility on race weekends, and the merchandise areas have always been popular with our fans,” said MIS President Brett Shelton. “This will allow the area in front of the speedway to be even more enjoyable for our guests during our race weekends. Fans come early and stay late, so the improvements are perfect for our loyal fans.”

The facility renovation project is scheduled to be completed in time for the season opening Father’s Day weekend NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event weekend June 17-19. Along with the debut of the renovation project, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will make its June debut on Saturday, June 18 along with the first of two 2005 ARCA RE/MAX Series events on Friday, June 17. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will make its 2005 MIS debut on Sunday, June 19.

The new Club Level “Champions Club” seats are now available to existing MIS customers. For fans who are not current MIS ticket holders, deposits are now being taken by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.

RENOVATION PROJECT AT A GLANCE:  Below is a quick look at each element of the 2005 MIS renovation project. Hi-resolution .jpeg drawings of each area are available by request from Bill Janitz in MIS Public Relations at 517-592-1272 or bjanitz@mispeedway.com.

FRONTSTRETCH: The reconfiguration of the frontstretch area will include the first ever “front door” to MIS. The merchandise and display areas will be moved away from the ticket gates with more room for fans to enjoy each area. New ticket gates will be installed as well as a plaza area in front of the main ticket gates. The plaza area outside the ticket gates will feature a “Legends Walk” with a tribute to many of Michigan International Speedway’s past champions.

CHAMPIONS CLUB: The Champions Club will be the first of its kind with a Club Seating Level high above the start/finish line above the existing grandstands and below the new suite/club structure. The Champions Club will feature many of the same amenities as other Club Seating areas at other major sporting facilities. Along with the addition of approximately 870 twenty-inch wide outdoor seats with in-seat waiter service, fans who purchase a Champions Club package will have access to an indoor entertainment area. The indoor area includes access to the club via elevator, an air-conditioned dining area, private restrooms, with food and bar area.

SKYLOUNGE STRUCTURE: The new skylounge structure will sit high atop the existing seating area above the start/finish line. The new area replaces the original structure that had been in place since the track’s opening in 1968. The structure will feature two levels above the Champions Club which will hold state-of-the-art areas for race operations, timing & scoring, network television broadcasts, MRN/IMS radio network broadcasts, and a new press box for media covering each event. The level directly above the Champions Club will feature 16 new suites.

SKYLOUNGE SUITES: The level above the Champions Club in the new skylounge structure will feature 16 new suites for corporate sponsors of MIS, up from 10 in the previous structure. For the first time, each suite will have its own private restroom along with 32 seats per suite which features tiered seating for an optimal view of the race action. The suites are fully-enclosed with two brand new elevators servicing the area. All suites will have the capability to form double, triple or even quadruple suites to form larger suites if necessary.

Bliss confirmed for Cup ride Bliss confirmed for Cup rideUPDATE Press release - Haas CNC Racing announced today that NASCAR veteran Mike Bliss has been selected to drive the No. 0 Haas CNC Racing entry in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for the 2005 season.  "We liked what we saw during the two races Mike drove for us this past season," stated owner Gene Haas. "We think Mike can help move this program forward and will work well with everyone on the team to take it to the next level. Mike has been involved in a lot of different types of racing and knows a lot about these cars, and we think that will help us build for the future. We feel fortunate to have been able to find someone with as much knowledge and racing experience as Mike's, and have high hopes for our future together."  "This is obviously a great opportunity for me," said Bliss. "Another chance to go NEXTEL Cup racing is something I've waited a long time for and to have the opportunity to do it for an owner like Gene Haas and a sponsor like NetZero is a huge honor for me. I'm looking forward to working with Bootie (Barker - crew chief), and the support Haas CNC Racing gets from Hendrick Motorsports is icing on the cake. I had the opportunity to get in the NetZero Chevrolet the last two races of the 2004 season and I certainly think there is a lot of untapped potential with this team. I had fun during the last couple years in the Busch Series, but sometimes when one door closes and even better one opens." 12/12/04 Haas CNC Racing has retained driver Mike Bliss for the 2005 Nextel Cup season, the team announced Friday. Bliss, who drove full-time in the Busch Series for Joe Gibbs in 2004, finished the year in Haas's No. 0 car after Ward Burton was released in early November.
Champ Car announces CBS/NBC TV deal Champ Car announces CBS/NBC TV dealThe Champ Car World Series today announced a set of new television partners for 2005, reaching agreements with CBS Sports and NBC for the upcoming Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season.

The new agreements give the open-wheel racing series an increased presence on network television in 2005. CBS Sports will broadcast four consecutive events live beginning in June, while NBC will carry two events including the April 10 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to secure live network coverage for six of our events in 2005, and are excited about the relationships with both CBS and NBC,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “This agreement allows for the Champ Car World Series to reach a greater audience, which is vital as we continue to grow. We believe this package with provide great benefits to the series and will provide greatly-increased exposure for our business partners as well as our teams and our drivers.”

CBS Sports, which last broadcast Champ Car World Series races in 2003, will provide flag-to-flag coverage of four consecutive events beginning with the June 4 race in Milwaukee. Races in Portland (June 19), Cleveland (June 26) and Toronto (July 10) will also be shown on CBS Sports.

“CBS Sports is excited to be back televising the premiere open-wheel racing series in the United States.” said CBS Sports Senior Vice-President of Programming Rob Correa.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be shown live on NBC on April 10 as the Champ Cars take to the streets of Southern California for the 22nd time for what is one of the marquee events on the series schedule. In addition, NBC will show the August 28 race from Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. This season marks the first time that NBC has broadcast a Champ Car World Series race since 1994.

The television schedule for the remaining events on the 2005 schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

Champ Car to be featured on History Channel show Champ Car to be featured on History Channel showUPDATE #2 A reminder that the 2nd episode of Tactical to Practical program about g-force that will be on the History Channel tonight at 11:00 p.m. ET. 11/30/04 A reminder that the first episode of this is tonight. 11/24/04  Part of the History Channel’s program lineup this season includes an exciting new series about military inventions that go mainstream and over the next few weeks drivers, team owners, and engineers of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be featured on two upcoming episodes. 

Each week the show Tactical to Practical explores the innovations developed for combat that have developed into useful tools for civilian life.  The episode on Tuesday, November 30, which airs at 1 p.m. Eastern and again at 7 p.m. Eastern, reviews the history of military aerodynamics and explores how the civilian world incorporates those military aerodynamic breakthroughs into everyday life. 

Host Hunter Ellis, a former Navy Fighter Pilot who is widely recognized as a contestant on the reality show “Survivor: Marquesas”, interviews the drivers, owners, and engineers from various Champ Car teams including Newman/Haas Racing, RuSPORT, PKV Racing, and Forsythe Championship Racing, as well as Champ Car Executive Vice President of Operations, John Lopes to explain the vital role that aerodynamics plays in racing and winning in the Champ Car World Series.

Filmed at the Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September, Tuesday’s episode is the first of two Tactical To Practical shows to highlight Champ Car racing. The second episode, featuring g-force, can be seen on Monday, December 13 at 11 p.m. Eastern as the show examines the new designs that keep race car drivers from blacking out during extreme g-force acceleration.

Weekly TV IRL drama series in works Weekly TV IRL drama series in worksUPDATE #3 This Indy Star article says, League officials have confirmed an agreement with veteran TV producer Aaron Spelling to develop a prime-time drama that would air weekly. The show would be fictional but use IRL cars, tracks, signage and possibly competitors.  Spelling's TV successes include "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Fantasy Island," "Starsky & Hutch" and "Charlie's Angels." Current hits include "7th Heaven" and "Charmed."  IRL spokesman John Griffin said Sunday the WB Television Network has purchased the option on the project, although there is no guarantee it will exercise it.

The process of developing a three-part script is under way. Griffin noted, however, that only a small percentage of scripts are shot as pilots, and not all pilots air on TV.  "We'll have to see what the writers think and what angles they can come up with," he said.  The IRL has retained the right to keep the show from being too adult-content oriented, Griffin said.

If scripts are developed, the IRL could see cameras at races early in the 2005 season, which opens March 6 in Homestead, Fla. The series could begin airing in the fall.  The idea came from the IRL and its California-based entertainment agency, Creative Artists Agency.  The TV series is part of the IRL's commitment to attract a younger audience. Amid declining TV ratings for its races, the IRL will introduce what it calls an edgy branding campaign in January to target men 18-34 years old.

12/08/04 A reader asks, Do you think Jason Priestley has anything to do with this IRL TV series (which I'm sure will be a real quality affair). If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Priestley was once employed by Aaron Spelling on a not unpopular show taking place in Beverly Hills, 90210. Just a thought. Patrick Harte Dear Patrick, We assume that is indeed very possible. Mark C. 12/08/04 Silicone Alley. Remember that name. It’s the working title of a prime-time TV drama on the IRL being developed by Aaron Spelling for the WB Network. National Speed Sport News 11/24/04 Spelling Television is developing a weekly, scripted primetime TV drama series that “will center on a fictional account of the IRL,” according to Scott Warfield of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, who reports the WB TV Network has purchased the option for the series. Terms of the deal were not released, but IRL Senior VP/Business Affairs Ken Ungar said the IRL is “’looking at this as a promotional vehicle’ and not a revenue generator.” Ungar declined to say whether the IRL will receive a licensing fee, but he indicated that the network “will have the right to use IRL marks, cars and tracks.” IRL VP/PR John Griffin indicated that ABC and ESPN, which hold IRL TV rights, “fully support the show.” The IRL and its entertainment firm, Creative Artists Agency, conceived the idea for the show. The first three pilot scripts will be written by John Berg and Todd Komarnicki, who will serve as executive producers along with Aaron Spelling and Duke Vincent. Warfield notes that if the project reaches the filming stage, the pilot episodes will be shot next spring and the series “would begin airing next fall” SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
NASCAR is not a sport NASCAR is not a sportGentlemen, start your engines! Ah yes, the calisthenics of professional auto racing.   The movie “3” debuted Saturday on ESPN, profiling the life of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. It is unfortunate that the network has chosen to show its own movie while Saturday night presents some great matchups in both pro and college basketball.

What a glorious sport, with all of the excitement of cars going around, and around, and around, and … around. The beauty of NASCAR racing is that the fans put in more physical activity than the “athletes.”

Have I forgotten that NASCAR racing is the United States’ favorite sport? No. Unfortunately, racing fans, your beloved NASCAR is not a sport. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a sport as “a source of diversion; physical activity engaged in for pleasure.” This definition is too broad to be applied to the modern sports world. Under this definition, the world of sports would span every activity from football to footsie (fall 2012 on ESPN 8: “The Ocho.”)

An online dictionary provides the better definition of “an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.” NASCAR, without a doubt, is competitive but requires more of a mental than physical exertion. Drivers only need to be in good enough physical condition to fit in a car and not have a heart attack behind the wheel. Anyone can drive a car around a track for a couple hundred laps.

Yes, they drive at very high speeds, but it isn’t that impressive. It’s like highway driving. You get out on the road and start cruising at 60, 70 or 80 mph, and it just feels normal and comfortable — the “highway hypnosis” factor. All the drivers do is put the car in gear, push the pedal, steer and collect a check. It all comes down to money and last names.

The Petty, Waltrip, Labonte and Earnhardt families have been able to produce multiple NASCAR drivers. The reason isn’t that they have racing in the genes or they have the innate ability to drive a car better than 99 percent of the world’s population. It all comes down to money and who has the dough to fund a racing team.

NASCAR is a private club run by rich men. Corporate sponsors are tagged all over cars, racetracks and even the drivers. Even the title they play for is a corporate sponsor. What used to be the Winton Cup is now the Nextel Cup. NASCAR is so corporately driven, it couldn’t even put its foot down and name its championship after one of its legends. The races are just one big cocktail party for the moneymakers, and the drivers are just hurrying back to join the fun. MinnesotaDaily

MotoGP signs long-term deal with Valenca MotoGP signs long-term deal with ValencaThe MotoGP World Championship will continue to race at Valencia for the next seven seasons.  An agreement was signed between Dorna Sports, television and commercial rights holders to the series, and the government of Valencia.  The current deal began when the purpose-built circuit was inaugurated by the first MotoGP race there in 1999.  This October the Ricardo Tormo circuit hosted the final round of the 2004 MotoGP World Championship and attracted the highest attendance of the season, with a capacity race-day crowd of 122,034.
Gordon to drive No, 7 Chevy Gordon to drive No, 7 ChevyRobby Gordon will race the #7 Chevrolet in Nextel Cup next season with support from Fruit of the Loom, Harrah's and Menards. Engineer Bob Temple will serve as crew chief, and IRL owner John Menard will provide the engines. Gordon will participate in the second Daytona test session when he returns from Senegal after the Dakar rally, which starts December 31 in Barcelona. FoxSports/Sporting News
Astromega rules out GP2 entry Astromega rules out GP2 entryUPDATE Team Astromega was not one of the teams to join GP2 and has announced that it intends to compete next year in the new Formula Superfund championship and will also run a team in the new Italian F3000 championships. "One of the main attractions is undoubtedly the car itself," said team boss Mikke van Hool. "It is already proving itself to be very quick indeed. The fact that it will be the main event - supported by other exciting series - coupled to the determination of the organizers to make the series work, will make it a friendly and professional atmosphere to work in with sponsors and business partners." Grandprix.com 12/01/04 FORMULA 3000 frontrunner Astromega looks unlikely to make a move over to the new GP2 Series for 2005. The Belgian team, which has competed in the F3000 International Championship since 1995, is not on the list of 12 confirmed GP2 teams published by the series organizers this week. Astromega also looks unlikely to take a potential 13th slot on the grid of the new Formula 1-support championship. Astromega boss Mikke van Hool said he had been unable to take up the offer to join GP2 for a mixture of contractual and financial reasons. He said signing the three-year contract to take part would place the team’s future at risk. “I believe we’re on the reserve list, but we’re unable to commit to the contract at this moment,” said van Hool. “I don’t think you’ll see us in GP2.” Astromega is likely to run in either Formula Superfund or Italian series for superseded F3000 cars in 2005. Autosport Magazine
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Renault confirm launch
Dupasquier successor named
Hopeful Heidfeld
19-grand prix 'challenge'
'No decision yet' - F1 team
Ralf's first smoke
Ant's stiff neck
Silverstone layout to change
Bahrain is 'best' GP
F1 regs penned 'for Ferrari'
Webber and Sydney Bridge
London GP 'is on'
Get set for more reform - FIA
F1 calendar is 'too long'
Hakk to join McLaren - report
Rubinho slams 2005-spec car
McLaren and 'West' to split
Santa at Fiorano
'We'll keep winning' - Schu
GPWC framework 'close'
Schu on karting panel
Rookies may 'share' F1 seat
Subaru sign Sarrazin
Wins 'won't be enough' - MW
Renault to 'lose time'
Red Bull wanted 'Ant'
Brief Bits - Dec.13
Michael Schumacher free to choose Michael Schumacher free to chooseFerrari's technical director Ross Brawn told Revved Up that even though his contract only has another two years to run, Michael Schumacher was free to decide when and where to retire.   "Michael might have a contract with Ferrari until 2006, but that is only a piece of paper because we wouldn't get in his way if he had had enough," he explained.   "As for who would replace him, I don't know because it changes all the time. But the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso would be the drivers we'd look at when we need to.  When Michael does retire, I don't think that it would be too hard to fill his place because it would be quite a desirable race seat and we'd be able to choose.  I can't fear the phone call from Michael telling me he was going to quit because of what he has done for Ferrari, but it would be a shame for him not to be in F1 any more."
Pedro de la Rosa again puts McLaren on top Pedro de la Rosa again puts McLaren on topPedro de la Rosa set the fastest time Sunday on the final day of testing of 2004. De la Rosa was significantly faster than the other three drivers, Takuma Sato, Franck Montagny and Ricardo Zonta and said he found a new Michelin rain tire to be much better than all the rest.
1. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'26"963 - 93 laps
2. Takuma Sato - BAR Honda - 1'29"502 - 114 laps
3. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'30"459 - 67 laps
4. Ricardo Zonta - Toyota - 1'31"508 - 78 laps
Yet another IRL team goes belly up Yet another IRL team goes belly upAccording to this SPEEDTV article, Pat Patrick admits last year wasn't much fun and the longtime Indy-car owner appears to be going out of business. He's laid off his crew and his IRL cars are for sale.  "Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I've got a conference call Monday with some people who might be interested in doing something but nothing definitive," said Patrick, who has captured three Indianapolis 500s with Gordon Johncock (1972-1982) and Emerson Fittipaldi (1989) in a career that began in 1968.  "I'm already way behind everyone and last year certainly wasn't much fun." [Editor's Note:  Except for the IRL teams funded by Honda and Toyota, the rest are starting to drop like flies.  Chevy is flying the coup, TV ratings are a disaster.  This was Tony George's vision for open wheel racing - i.e. to divide and destroy it.  While not intentional, he has nonetheless destroyed it.]
Fernandez Racing losing 2 of 3 sponsors Fernandez Racing losing 2 of 3 sponsorsAccording to this SPEEDTV article, 42-year-old veteran Adrian Fernandez is losing two of his three primary backers and that's thrown his 2005 Indy Racing League season into jeopardy. Tecate Beer and Telmex recently informed Mexico's biggest sports star they would not be able to continue and he's got one year remaining on his contract with Quaker State. "I don't know what's happening with our economy but right now it's really hurting," said Fernandez, who became an owner/driver in 2001 and is building a new shop in Indianapolis. "Tecate was with me for 11 years and Telmex for eight so I guess that's pretty good when you look at everyone else. "I've had Quaker State for 18 years and they'll be back next year but I've got to find some more sponsorship." It's believed Fernandez is leaning towards just running Motegi, Japan and Indy in 2005 unless he can find full-time funding. "I'll have to wait and see what happens but right now the most important thing is my team and I'll do whatever is best," he continued. "We are set with Scott Sharp and Delphi and Kosuke (Matsuura) and I feel like anything else is gravy. Last year was a very good one for me but if I have to sacrifice myself, I will."
Piquet postpones his BAR test Piquet postpones his BAR testNelson Piquet junior was scheduled to test for the British American Racing team in Jerez this week, however he opted to postpone the session until next month.  The British F3 champion will join other young Formula One hopefuls who have already had a chance to test the BAR006, but have since been invited back for a repeat performance.  As part of BAR's young drivers program, James Rossiter, Alan van der Merwe and Adam Carroll spent time in the cockpit last week while the team was busy testing at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain. However, due to the constant wet conditions experienced, the trio has been invited back for a second chance in January and Piquet will see how he measures up.
Industry News
Kristensen to support Paris Olympic bid Kristensen to support Paris Olympic bidIn a press meeting today at the French Embassy in Copenhagen Tom Kristensen was announced as ambassador for Paris' bid for the Olympic Games in 2012. "Tom is an outstanding person and athlete. His six victories at Le Mans speaks for themselves, and I am glad he will support our efforts to bring the Olympics back to Paris for the first time since 1924," said ambassador Regis de Belenet. Kristensen gave monsieur Belenet a poster from the games in Paris 1924 as a symbol on the new cooperation. "The Olympic Games demands so much from an organization, but I know Paris has the infrastructure and venues to hold such a big event. I am pleased to be asked to support this campaign," said Kristensen, who lives in Monaco.
Industry News
Chinese manufacturer enters racing Chinese manufacturer enters racingFrom WTCC press conference - FIA President Max Mosley and Angelo Codignoni, President and CEO of Eurosport hosted the meeting:
Max Mosley “I am delighted that after its continued success, the European Touring Car Championship has now achieved World Championship status. The new Championship will award two World titles, the FIA World Touring Car Drivers’ Champion and the FIA World Touring Car Manufacturers’ Champion. We welcome eight manufacturers to the new Championship - Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, and Seat as well as Honda and Peugeot. For the first time a Chinese Manufacturer, Brilliance, will compete in a World Championship." [Editor's Note: Hong Kong-listed Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd is a partner of BMW and also the mainland's biggest maker of minibuses. How much longer before a Chinese manufacturer will be racing in the USA?]
Race of Champions
SPEED to air ROC SPEED to air ROCUPDATE #2 Remember, the Race of Champions highlights will be on SPEED Channel Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET.  This will be immediately followed by Jimmy Johnson's behind the scenes special "Common Thread" from the ROC at 9:30 p.m. ET. 12/02/04 CORRECTION: SPEED Channel's Race of Champions Highlight special from Paris on Dec. 12 will begin at 8 p.m. ET and run 90 minutes ... the Jimmie Johnson behind-the-scenes special "Common Thread" from the ROC will begin at 9:30 and run for 60 minutes. 12/01/04 SPEED Channel will air two specials on this year's Race of Champions from the famed Stade de France in Paris, including a behind-the-scenes feature with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standout Jimmie Johnson.   Beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 12, SPEED will broadcast a 90-minute special on the international event, highlighted by some of the biggest names in motor sports. Seven-time Formula One champ Michael Schumacher will lead the German contingent, while open-wheel champions Tony Kanaan (Brazil) and Sebastien Bourdais (France) also are part of the mix.         "It is such a special honor to be invited to race against the best drivers in the world," Kanaan said. "There has never been an IRL driver selected to compete in this event, and I feel very proud to be participating. It is definitely going to be a lot of fun."  Four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, will represent the U.S. Gordon and Johnson were part of the 2002 Team USA that stunned the international field with a victory in the Canary Islands.  At 9 p.m. ET, SPEED will air Jimmie Johnson: Common Thread, an inside look at Johnson's adventure in Paris.
Highlights of Oreca Audi R8/ACO press conference Highlights of Oreca Audi R8/ACO press conferenceTeam Oreca and the ACO held a press gathering two days ago to launch the Audi R8 2005 LeMans effort. The following is a translation of the highlights provided by the ACO (we apologize that some of the English is not proper).  Hugues OF CHAUNAC, owner of TEAM ORECA, organized a breakfast with the media Thursday December 9, thus revealing the large features of the return of its team to LeMans, marked by the engagement of Audi R8. Also present were Laurent Crespeau (In charge of Marketing, ORECA), Raphaël de Chaunac (Directing development, ORECA), and Daniel Poissenot (Directing Sports A.C.O)  More....
German DTM
Audi announces 2005 driver lineup Audi announces 2005 driver lineupHaving announced its driver line-up for the 2005 DTM season some two weeks ago, Audi has now allocated its eight drivers to the two teams.

As in the past season when Audi clinched the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ titles, the Audi A4 DTM will be entered next year again by the two works teams, Abt Sportsline and Joest Racing. Whilst the team of Hans-Jürgen Abt will enter the new generation of the Audi A4, it will be the task of Reinhold Joest’s squad to enter a quartet of this year’s championship-winning car.

Joest Racing will field the experienced Christian Abt as well as the trio of DTM newcomers, Rinaldo Capello, Pierre Kaffer and Frank Stippler. Team Abt Sportsline will run the cars for defending DTM champion Mattias Ekström, Tom Kristensen, Martin Tomczyk as well as former Formula 1 driver Allan McNish.

"We are happy to be in a position to rely on the two powerful squads of Joest Racing and Abt Sportsline. The split of the line-up of cars reflects our aim to allow every team to fully concentrate on preparing and racing only a single generation of cars”, explains Head of Audi Sport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "I am sure that this arrangement means we have created the best possible starting position for our title defense.”

The development of the new Audi A4 DTM is currently being carried out at full speed in the Audi Sport premises in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. The roll-out of the next generation of the championship-winning car is planned for the beginning of next year.

Heidfeld fastest on wet Jerez track Heidfeld fastest on wet Jerez trackSaturday was the first part of a two-day test organized by Michelin on an artificially dampened Jerez track. Nick Heidfeld was the fastest driver, followed by Franck Montagny and Pedro de la Rosa.
1. Nick Heidfeld - Williams BMW - 1'27"783 - 102 laps
2. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'28"630 - 85 laps
3. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'28"661 - 91 laps
4. Christian Klien - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'29"330 - 84 laps
5. Ricardo Zonta - Toyota - 1'29"608 - 60 laps
6. Takuma Sato - BAR Honda - 1'29"673 - 101 laps
Bahrain voted best race of 2004 Bahrain voted best race of 2004During the 2004 FIA Award Ceremony, Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix received the Special FOM (Formula One Management) award for the Best Organized Grand Prix of 2004.

This trophy was awarded to International Bahrain Circuit for the great efforts that the organizers went into to achieve their very first Formula One Grand Prix.

After an official visit to Bahrain International circuit on December 21st 2003, Bernie Ecclestone and Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the General Organization for Youth and Sports, and CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, had decided on January 11th 2004, to appoint Philippe Gurdjian to oversee completion of the circuit construction at Sakhir in time for inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix on April 4th, 2004.
In just 70 days, Philippe Gurdjian made it to deal with the achievement of buildings and track construction works and with the organization of the first F1 Grand Prix in the Middle East.

One more time, the world of international motorsport has underlined the qualities, the excellence and the professionalism of Philippe Gurdjian, by presenting to Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Special FOM Price for the Best Organization of a Formula One Grand Prix.

“Within the little time that we had to achieve the construction works of the new International Bahrain Circuit, it was a quite difficult task,” said Formula One Executive Consultant Philippe Gurdjian. “We have known how to put the right teams at the right place in order to manage the hard work and fulfill the organization of this Grand Prix. I am very happy to see the Bahrain International Circuit receive the special FOM Price and more even for the Bahrainis themselves, as they deserve it, having been able to respond to strong Formula One very high quality standards.” concluded Philippe Gurdjian.

This award is also great for the Frenchman, who has now received this prestigious award for the fifth time: two for his first French Grands Prix at Nevers-Magny-Cours in 1991 and 1992, one for Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999 and one for 2003 Catalunya Grand Prix.

AWR expand team to 4 drivers AWR expand team to 4 driversAndersen Walko Racing (AWR) announced today that Robbie Pecorari of Aston, Pa. and Pablo Donoso of Santiago, Chile will join Jonathan Klein of Long Grove, Ill. and Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio on its squad of drivers for the 2005 Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear.  With today's announcement AWR rounds out its four-driver Star Mazda lineup, as Klein and Rahal signed with the team for 2005 in November. Team co-owners Dan Andersen and John Walko did not rule out running additional drivers on occasion too. 

A senior at Garnet Valley High School south of Philadelphia, Pecorari won the Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow Formula Dodge national championship scholarship award for 2004.  He did the full Skip Barber national season this year too, winning one race at Mosport Int'l Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada and finishing fifth in that championship.

He earned the national ICA (100cc direct drive) karting point championship in 2003, recording five ICA victories in the Snap-on.com Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow national circuit. He began his karting career at age eight and won events on the national circuit in the Cadet category before moving into the Yamaha Junior and 80cc Junior Shifter classes and then on to the ICA and ICC divisions.  Pecorari's Star Mazda car will carry decals advertising SAI Hydraulics, J&J Racing, Grand Prix Distributing and Lucky Designs in 2005 in addition to AWR.

"I think it's going to take consistency to win the Star Mazda championship," Pecorari said. "I'll try to win, but my goal will be a podium finish at every race and a top five at the worst.  The way the team worked last year was great," he added.  "We'll all work hard and try to help each other out and win some races.  Jonathan and I helped each other out when we ran together this year, and hopefully Graham and Pablo can help out too."

Although he'll be a rookie in Star Mazda, Pecorari noted that he's driven on most of the races on the 12-date schedule while competing in Skip Barber events.  "St. Petersburg will be new for everyone, and Watkins Glen will be new for me," he noted.  "The ovals will be completely new; I've never been on an oval before, so that will be interesting."

Donoso is the son of driver Jorge Donoso and the protege of Formula 1 and IndyCar star Eliseo Salazar, the most famous racer from his native country, Chile.  His campaign will be sponsored in part by Salazar's long-time sponsor, Cristal Beer.

Donoso competed in the European World Series by Nissan last year as the teammate to Brazilian Formula 1 driver Enrique Bernoldi, who is currently a test driver for the BAR F1 team.  Donoso also ran the World Series Light series in Europe in 2003, winning one race.  In 2002 Donoso finished second in the Formula Renault Argentina national championship, a series in which he also competed in 2001. He also has experience in Formula BMW Junior events in Europe.

The Star Mazda series is sanctioned by IMSA and televised on the SPEED cable TV network.  Its 2005 schedule, which is subject to change, is as follows:
1. March 18, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Fla. (with ALMS)
2. April 2, St. Petersburg temporary street course, St. Petersburg, Fla. (with IRL)
3. April 17, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga. (with ALMS)
4. May 21, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio (with ALMS)
5. June 11, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y. (with Grand American)
6. July 3, Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway, Fountain, Colo. (with USAC)
7. July 16,  Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. (with ALMS)
8. July 30, Portland Int'l Raceway, Portland, Ore. (with ALMS)
9. Aug. 20, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. (with ALMS)
10. Sept. 3, Mosport Int'l Raceway, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (with ALMS)
11. Sept. 30, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga. (with ALMS)
12. Oct. 15, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif. (with ALMS).

Industry News
American car companies band together American car companies band togetherGeneral Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group plan to let engineers cooperate with U.S. scientists to design ways to cut production and development costs as they lose market share against Asian and European carmakers and as losses from carmaking mount.  The three companies and the National Institute for Standards and Technology plan to develop technology for factory tools and improve working conditions of line workers. Foreign carmakers such as Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are excluded from the project, to be announced today.  "The automotive industry came to us to share in the technical knowledge the institute has," said Philip Bond, Commerce Department undersecretary for technology. "It is the appropriate role for government to provide some unique, pre-competitive research, which may be too costly for one company or industry to undertake."  The automakers agreed to form the U.S. Alliance for Technology and Engineering for Automotive Manufacturing. The alliance is to be led by the Commerce Department, which oversees the standards and the technology institute, and the Council for Automotive Research, funded by the carmakers.  Research will include developing computer simulations to test metals and other materials, new tools to help line workers lift heavy parts, and information technology to help automakers tie their computers with those of parts suppliers. The amount of the automakers' investment wasn't disclosed. More of Bloomberg article.
G and W Motorsports changes name G and W Motorsports changes nameG&W Motorsports owner Cole Scrogham announced a major transformation to his race team Friday. Scrogham explained the team's redevelopment of its approach to motorsports, which included the introduction of a new team name - Synergy Racing - and a new lightning bolt logo. The logo, as seen to the right, is a very innovative design using a lightning bolt and the colors red and yellow, something not seen anywhere in the sportscar racing world.  "Earlier this year, we recognized that Motorsports was at a crossroads in many areas, and we had to make some changes to the way we do business to succeed in the future," Scrogham said. "We began an excruciating study of who we were and what we wanted to become, which included market research, an analysis of what we do well and not so well, and ultimately a complete change of structure, direction and look to our team, which we are introducing today."
Newey concerned about 2005 schedule Newey concerned about 2005 scheduleMcLaren's Adrian Newey has expressed concerns regarding the 2005 F1 calendar, as he feels a record 19-race schedule will be too exhausting for the teams. "Some of our guys are already saying, 'Where does this leave us?'" a concerned Newey told the Guardian newspaper.  "People have got wives and children. If you look at the calendar, it's more than just (a matter) of the extra races. Quite a few of them are back-to-back and for the mechanics that means weeks away from home."
21 drivers eligible for Budweiser shootout 21 drivers eligible for Budweiser shootoutTwenty-one drivers are eligible to compete in the 27th running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, including nine former winners, four newcomers, and reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, Kurt Busch.

Busch earned his spot in the starting field by winning the Bud Pole Award in the last race of the 2004 season. The 05 Shootout will mark his third start in the non-points paying race, which is set to take place Saturday, Feb. 12 and will officially kick off the NASCAR portion of Daytona Speedweeks.

Making their Shootout debuts will be Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Casey Mears. They will join an impressive list of past Shootout champions, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003), Tony Stewart (2001, 2002), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000, 2004), Mark Martin (1999), Rusty Wallace (1998), Ken Schrader (1989, 1990), Bill Elliott (1987), Terry Labonte (1985) and Geoffrey Bodine

Furthermore, the 2005 Budweiser Shootout will kick off three farewell tours for retiring drivers: Rusty Wallace's "Last Call" Tour, Mark Martin's "Salute To You" Tour, and Terry Labonte's "Shifting Gears, Texas Style" Tour.  Tickets to the Budweiser Shootout can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP, or by logging onto www.1800pitshop.com.

The complete line-up of eligible drivers for the 2005 Budweiser Shootout at
Name (Bud Pole Awards / Shootout eligibility)
1. Ryan Newman, 8 (Rockingham, Bristol, Loudon, Richmond, Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta, Phoenix)
2. Jeff Gordon, 6 (Martinsville, Michigan, Sonoma, Daytona, Chicago, Bristol)
3. Kasey Kahne, 4 (Las Vegas, Darlington, California, Pocono)
4. Jeremy Mayfield, 2 (Dover, Dover)
5. Casey Mears, 2 (Pocono, Indianapolis)
6. Joe Nemechek, 2 (Talladega, Kansas)
7. Brian Vickers, 2 (Richmond, California)
8. Greg Biffle, 1 (Daytona)
9. Kurt Busch, 1 (Homestead)
10. Jimmie Johnson, 1 (Charlotte)
11. Bobby Labonte, 1 (Texas)
12. Ricky Rudd, 1 (Talladega)
13. Dale Jarrett (Shootout winner in 1996, 2000, 2004)
14. Tony Stewart (Shootout winner in 2001, 2002)
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Shootout winner in 2003)
16. Mark Martin (Shootout winner in 1999)
17. Rusty Wallace (Shootout winner in 1998)
18. Geoffrey Bodine (Shootout winner in 1992)
19. Ken Schrader (Shootout winner in 1989, 1990)
20. Bill Elliott (Shootout winner in 1987)
21. Terry Labonte (Shootout winner in 1985)

Industry News
Loss of show to hurt Indy Loss of show to hurt IndyWhen the PRI trade show moves to Orlando's Orange County Convention Center next December it will take with it more than $20 million in direct spending. The loss of the city's third-largest convention of 2004 will impact hotels and businesses across the city.
Industry News
Racing on TV Racing on TVThere are two racing TV programs on Saturday, 12/11/04, that  USA readers may be interested in watching:
 A.  Baja 1000      2:30 p.m. ET      NBC
 B.   Dale Earnhardt "3"      9:00 p.m. ET      ESPN
Williams BMW Jerez test summary Williams BMW Jerez test summaryThe BMW WilliamsF1 Team completed a three day test at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain today, marking the last test of the year. The team was represented by Mark Webber, Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld over the three days, all of whom carried out development work on the interim FW26s. Nick Heidfeld will remain in Jerez in order to complete a wet test for Michelin tomorrow.

Webber, Pizzonia and Heidfeld completed a total of 567 laps of the Jerez circuit, a distance of 2,510 kilometres over the three day period. The test also provided invaluable information to assist with the process of driver selection, but no decision has been taken as yet.

Sam Michael, Technical Director “We finished our dry weather testing today with Mark, Antonio and Nick all working for us this week. Nick has done a good job for us so far and will drive again tomorrow in a controlled wet test for Michelin. We have again covered a lot of mileage on the new gearbox and associated systems, as well as working on tire testing and traction control. The team has had a busy year and, thanks to their hard work, we have completed the target mileage we wanted to on the gearbox in preparation for next year."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director “From BMW's perspective, Jerez has been a very good test as we were able to cover a significant number of laps. On Thursday, in particular, Nick recorded an impressive number of laps, but today Antonio covered the most. We managed to collect a good deal of information in terms of engine mileage, but also in terms of traction control. Apart from this work, BMW supported WilliamsF1’s schedule. All three drivers’ contributed greatly to the test's achievements. For Nick, it was the first opportunity to drive our car in dry conditions and, again, he did a good job." BMW WilliamsF1 Team

Mosley calls for cost-cutting meeting Mosley calls for cost-cutting meetingFIA president Max Mosley has called for a meeting with team bosses on January 28 to try and find an agreement to cut costs with all the F1 teams.  Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mosley said: “If we do not do something this year, we will have the same crisis in 2006 and we won't get 10 entries [on the grid]. This sport desperately needs new blood. We need to attract new teams. We have attended to safety as much as we can for next year. Now we must urgently look at costs.  This business could be profitable, with teams queuing up to take part. Yet what we have is millions spent on silly things that people in the grandstands neither see nor care about. Why do teams need 100 people working on electronics? It takes 1,000 people to put two cars on the grid. If anyone thinks that does not need sorting out they don't know what they are talking about."
Industry News
Motor Sports has a big impact on Indy economy Motor Sports has a big impact on Indy economyA new study by IUPUI finds that motor sports-related businesses provide 425 million dollars a year in wages in the Indianapolis area, or about 8,800 high-skilled jobs.  The figures don't include the estimated 700 million dollar economic impact from the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and US Grand Prix.  As a result of the study, a regional economic development group plans to use the data to recruit more businesses related to the racing industry.
Industry News
Tunnel Reconstruction starts at TMS Tunnel Reconstruction starts at TMSA $1.5 million construction project has begun on roadways around the south tunnel infield entrance at Texas Motor Speedway in an effort to improve traffic flow on speedway grounds and to expedite traffic on nearby public roads. The south tunnel is the first of several improvement projects planned for the speedway. "The south tunnel project is something we've wanted to do for several years," said speedway president Eddie Gossage. "Heavy vehicular traffic around the tunnel combined with heavy pedestrian traffic makes it a tough situation for everyone. The new design, which includes an elevated roadway and pedestrian walkway, will hopefully cut down on the majority of the traffic problems we experience in that area at race time. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Tony Stewart even helped give us some suggestions."
Industry News
Sobering statistics on drinking and driving Sobering statistics on drinking and drivingAmy Farris is a 27-year-old widow. She lost her husband, Keith, in a crash caused by a drunk driver 18 months ago; she and her then-2-year-old son Christopher escaped without serious injury. The man who killed her husband was released from prison yesterday.  “He gets to go home and spend the holidays with his family,” Farris said. “But I’ll never see my husband again.”

Farris told her story Friday to a group of celebrity participants and media assembled for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first annual Holiday Sobriety Challenge, a controlled experiment that graphically illustrated the dangers of drinking and driving, even at levels well below the legal limit of .08-percent.

Platinum-certified rapper Da Brat, Congressman-elect Lynn Westmoreland, WSB-AM traffic guru Capt. Herb Emory, Star 94’s Jonathan Hyla and Hot 107.9’s DJ Nabs all served as celebrity participants for the first challenge.

Of the five participants, four failed at least one portion of the driving test, and all five failed at least one segment of the field sobriety test administered by GSP afterwards. All five participants were at less than .04, or half the legal limit. The participants each consumed a small amount of beer and wine (one to three glasses, depending on body weight and other factors) and then tested their driving abilities on a closed course accompanied by instructors from Xtreme Measures Teen Driving School.

“Being in the legislature for the past 12 years, we’ve worked to get the legal limit lowered from .10 to .08,” Westmoreland said. “But for those of us who haven’t had a breathalyzer test before, it’s hard to imagine just what that .08 feels like. After today, I can tell you that no one who’s at .08 needs to be driving. I was obviously not at my best even though I was well below that.”

At the conclusion of the event, participants were chauffeured home by designated drivers.
The event was co-sponsored by the Georgia Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), Georgia State Patrol (GSP), MADD Georgia, Team Georgia and Xtreme Measures Teen Driving School. Vehicles were provided by Bellamy-Strickland.

BAR concludes 2004 Jerez testing BAR concludes 2004 Jerez testingLucky Strike B·A·R Honda completed an intensive three-week period of testing today at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain. Race drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, third driver Anthony Davidson and test driver Enrique Bernoldi were all in attendance as the team took advantage of the favorable weather to successfully complete its planned program. With the '05 Concept car taking part in its third test, the team are feeling positive about development for 2005 and the progress made in advance of the launch of the B·A·R Honda 007 on 16 January.

Jenson and Anthony began the driving responsibilities on Wednesday for the first day of testing. In the Concept car, Jenson ran through a tire evaluation for 47 laps before an engine problem caused an early end to his running. Anthony rejoined the test team for the first time since the end of the season in the 006 car. He spent the morning session conducting an aerodynamic program, moving onto race simulation activity in the afternoon to complete a total of 102 laps.

Enrique joined the test on Thursday morning, taking over from Anthony. He ran through a long tire evaluation and completed 54 laps. Anthony was back in the car for the afternoon session and conducted further long runs to evaluate new rear tires. He completed 44 laps, totaling 98 laps for the 006 car. Jenson also had a productive day as he completed a series of chassis and tire evaluations over 102 laps, putting valuable mileage on the Concept car.

Takuma joined the test on Friday, taking over from Jenson. He started the day with some set-up work, followed by a chassis development program and tire evaluation. Anthony started the morning on a long tire program, completing 30 laps, before he suffered an engine failure. In the afternoon, he completed a full race distance simulation with live fuel stops. His final lap tally for the day was 97 laps.

Takuma will stay in Jerez and take part in a two-day wet test program this weekend, whilst Enrique is currently at the Idiada testing facility to undertake a three-day chassis development program.

Torrance plant to ramp up Torrance plant to ramp upThis Daily Breeze article says, Ford Motor Co.'s sale of Britain-based Cosworth Racing could mean greater opportunities for the maker of race-car engines and its Torrance facility, a Cosworth official said.  Ford sold Cosworth last month to Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, co-owners of the Champ Car World Series, which uses Cosworth engines. Terms of the deal weren't released.

"I think it's going to benefit us because the new owners see the U.S. as a particular area of expansion," said Ian Bisco, vice president of Cosworth's Torrance site, the company's only location in North America.

Cosworth employs 70 workers in a 24,000-square-foot building across the street from Torrance Memorial Hospital. Cosworth's Torrance workers assemble, test and service race-car engines used by teams in the United States. The Torrance group also helps design vehicle performance kits, Bisco said.

He said that with Ford out of the picture, Cosworth will have more flexibility in marketing its products to original equipment manufacturers, known as OEMs, that include other companies' parts in their products.

"With the change in ownership, that frees us up to approach any OEM manufacturer to do these types of performance kits. We see this as an area of expansion for us," Bisco said. "The intention is to grow our facility in the U.S. to pursue more design and manufacturing operations."

The weak U.S. dollar is another reason to do more manufacturing here, he added.  Kalkhoven, Cosworth's new co-owner, could not be reached for comment.  In a statement, Kalkhoven said, "We want not only to continue on from that great tradition, but also move into the future with new products and new ideas."

But Cosworth can't expand much more in Torrance without outgrowing its building, Bisco said. "It is difficult because real estate is very much in demand in Torrance," he said.  Cosworth established its Torrance facility in 1977. Torrance was an ideal site because of nearby resources. Also, teams and engine shops on the East Coast could make an order at the end of the day and, because of the time difference, Cosworth could ship the parts that same day, Bisco said.  He added that the South Bay has "very enthusiastic motor racing people."

Raikkonen fastest at Jerez Friday Raikkonen fastest at Jerez FridayFriday testing times from Jerez
1 RAIKKONEN     McLaren    1m16.307s
2 HEIDFELD      Williams   1m16.756s
3 BARRICHELLO   Ferrari    1m16.800s
4 BAODER        Ferrari    1m16.932s
5 SCHUMACHER    Toyota     1m16.937s
6 PIZZONIA      Williams   1m17.097s
7 KLIEN         Red Bull   1m17.117s
8 ZONTA         Toyota     1m17.154s
9 WURZ          McLaren    1m17.308s
10 MONTAGNY     Renault    1m17.650s
11 FISICHELLA   Renault    1m17.994s
12 DAVIDSON     BAR        1m18.243s
13 SATO         BAR        1m18.400s
14 JANI         Red Bull   1m19.002s
Final day of testing at Jerez for Ferrari Final day of testing at Jerez for FerrariFinal day of testing of 2004 for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, who today concluded a four day test at Jerez. At the Andalusian circuit, Rubens Barrichello and Luca Badoer worked on car set-up, while continuing with the development of Bridgestone tires and new components for the 2005 season. Barrichello completed a total of 74 laps, the quickest in a time of 1’16”786, while Badoer did three less, with a best time of 1’16”926.
Toyota Jerez testing roundup Toyota Jerez testing roundupJarno Trulli Total laps: 290 Best Lap Time: 1m16.838s Chassis: TF104/10B
"After all the rain of last week it was especially good to see the sun shining on the first day of testing here this week. That meant we could finally get through some of the program that we have long been planning on the new dry compounds for 2005. On all three days I worked on tires, putting in a lot of laps as requested by Michelin to check for degradation. On the last day we did some work on suspension. Overall I think it's gone well, and we've had some good running in these winter tests so far. Now I hope we can put all those pleasing results into the new TF105 car, which we will run for the first time in the second week of January."

Ralf Schumacher Total laps: 374 Best Lap Time: 1m16.937s Chassis: TF104/09B
"We've enjoyed excellent weather at Jerez this week, which has been very important because we struggled to achieve anything significant in the wet here last week. We've been working mainly on tires and brakes and we've got through the plan without any problems. On the first two days we did some set-up work and long runs on tire casings for next year. I had an engine problem on Wednesday, but it didn't really harm our program because it was at the end of its life anyway. Apart from that it has been a trouble-free week. On the last two days we tested more tire compounds for next year, doing some more long runs on Friday."

Ricardo Zonta Total laps: 141 Best Lap Time: 1m17.154s Chassis: TF104/10B
"I spent Friday doing long runs testing tires for next year. I put in a lot of laps to test durability over race distances. Over the weekend I will be testing wet tires on the track that will be artificially dampened. Michelin have brought so many wet tires here that we will need two days to cover the program. After that I'll stay in Europe until the end of next week, visiting Toyota for our Christmas party. Then I'll return home to Brazil for Christmas."

Bang! Racing becomes a Dodge team Bang! Racing becomes a Dodge teamBang! Racing today announced they have joined the Dodge Motorsports family driving Dodges in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2005 season becoming part of an elite group of world-class racing organizations alongside Evernham Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Penske Racing and Petty Enterprises.

"This has been a year to remember," said CEO and owner of Bang! Racing Alex Meshkin. "And today is another milestone as Bang! Racing becomes a Dodge team. We are honored to enter the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005 with the intended goal of Nextel Cup racing with Dodge as our partner. This relationship will enable us to achieve our goals of entering NASCAR's highest echelon of racing."

"We are really pleased that Alex Meshkin, Travis Kvapil and Bang! Racing have chosen to run Dodges for the 2005 season," said John Fernandez, Director of Dodge Motorsports Operations. "We are looking forward to seeing Travis Kvapil show his talent in a Dodge next year."

In 2005, Bang! Racing driver and former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil will drive the No. 77 Penske Jasper Kodak Dodge Charger full-time for Penske Jasper Racing.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity of running part-time in the NASCAR Busch Series with Bang! Racing," said Travis Kvapil. "I know the additional seat time will help me in my chase for the Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. In 2004, my Bang! Racing team captured a pole and won two races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and I am looking forward to surpassing those milestones during the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season."

FIA confirms final 2005 F1 calendar FIA confirms final 2005 F1 calendarFull 19-race 2005 Formula One calendar:
  1. 6 March Australia
  2. 20 March Malaysia
  3. 3 April Bahrain
  4. 24 April San Marino
  5. 8 May Spain
  6. 22 May Monaco
  7. 29 May Europe
  8. 12 June Canada
  9. 19 June USA
  10. 3 July France
  11. 10 July Britain
  12. 24 July Germany
  13. 31 July Hungary
  14. 21 August Turkey
  15. 4 September Italy
  16. 11 September Belgium
  17. 25 September Brazil
  18. 9 October Japan
  19. 16 October China
Formula 3
Hamilton wins Bahrain Super Prix Hamilton wins Bahrain Super PrixLewis Hamilton came through from the lower reaches of the grid to take victory in an amazing inaugural Bahrain Formula 3 SuperPrix today. The British driver racing for Manor Motorsport did a perfect re-start from behind the safety car in a two-lap sprint to the finish and battled to a career defining win.

Hamilton had started the day 21st on the grid after an accident yesterday, but it was two spectacular race re-starts that helped him to victory. He was 11th by the end of the first lap of this morning’s qualification race, which is where he finished. That meant he would start 11th in the main race in the afternoon.

He again made a superb getaway – he was fourth at the end of the first lap. Then he was up to second passing Fabio Carbone and Nico Rosberg. But still he had Jamie Green, winner of the morning’s qualifying race, ahead of him and looking a sure bet for the win.

Hamilton would have settled for a podium after Rosberg overtook him again in the middle of the race, but he thought his race was shot as his rear tires began to wear. But he got a last chance when a late-race safety car bunched up the cars once more. When the car pulled away and racing resumed it was Hamilton who did the perfect job from third. Whilst Rosberg and Green watched and battled each other down to the second hairpin, he slipped through almost unnoticed into the lead. It was daring, dashing and a season redeeming moment.

He then needed only to hold on for a lap and a half, and he keep calm despite the fact that Rosberg was catching him. Green briefly dropped out of the top three as Lucas di Grassi also slipped past him, but as mistake by the Brazilian ensured that the Euroseries champion got the third step of the podium. The result represented a 1-2-3 for competitors from the Euroseries.

“I am just overwhelmed,” said Hamilton. “I was just trying to preserve what I had in third. I couldn’t even stay with Nico. I was pretty happy to see the safety car bunching the field. I anticipated it just right. Nico and I have been friends and team-mates for a long time and it is fantastic to come away first and second.” The Bahrain International Circuit was singled out by all drivers as an exceptional venue, Winner Hamilton remarked “the track and facilities are amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Rosberg added: “I was also pleased to get a last chance to overtake Jamie. We both got it wrong just after the restart though. I’m pleased though – this was a fantastic place to drive and overtake on: the best track I have ever driven on.” Franck Perera, who was on pole position for the qualification race, had an unfortunate day as he stalled his car at the start. That put him last and effectively out of contention for the SuperPrix..
1. Lewis Hamilton Manor Dallara-Mercedes 20 laps 47min 11.528secs
2. Nico Rosberg Rosberg Dallara-Opel +00.794secs
3. Jamie Green ASM Dallara-Mercedes +04.701secs
4. James Rossiter Signature Dallara-Opel +05.747secs
5. Fabio Carbone Three Bond Dallara-Nissan +07.803secs
6. Marko Asmer Carlin Dallara-Mugen +07.863secs
7. Kazuki NakajimaDallara-Toyota +08.494secs
8. Loic Duval Signature Dallara-Opel +09.433secs
9. Alexandre Prémat ASM Dallara-Mercedes +09.958secs
10. Ernesto Viso Menu Dallara-Opel +10.144secs
11. Naoki Yokomizo Inging Dallara-Toyota +11.361secs
12. Kohei Hirate Prema Dallara-Opel +11.416secs
13. John O'Hara TME Dallara-Toyota +11.699secs
14. Eric Salignon ASM Dallara-Mercedes +11.824secs
15. Giedo van der Garde Signature Dallara-Opel +12.694secs
16. Matteo Cressoni Ombra Dallara-Mugen +12.871secs
17. Davide Mazzoleni Ombra Dallara-Mugen +13.656secs
18. Karl Reindler Swiss Dallara-Opel +13.725secs
19. Lucas di Grassi Hitech Dallara-Renault +33.983secs
20. Franck Perera Prema Dallara-Opel +1 lap
21. Richard Antinucci TOM's Dallara-Toyota +2 lap
22. Ronnie Quintarelli Inging Dallara-Toyota +2 laps

Rtd Ho Pin Tung Hitech Dallara-Renault 16 laps completed
Rtd Daisuke Ikeda Swiss Dallara-Opel 16 laps completed
Rtd Rob Austin Menu Dallara-Opel 14 laps completed
Rtd Barton Mawer Hitech Dallara-Renault 12 laps completed
Rtd Paul di Resta Manor Dallara-Mercedes 10 laps completed
Rtd Nelson Piquet Jr Piquet Dallara-Mugen 4 laps completed
Rtd Danilo Dirani Carlin Dallara-Mugen 1 laps completed
Rtd Ross Zwolsman TME Dallara-Toyota 0 laps completed

NC Rodolfo Avila Carlin Dallara-Mugen
Fastest lap: Jamie Green ASM Dallara-Mercedes 1min 54.048secs

Stewart donates his portion of winnings Stewart donates his portion of winningsTony Stewart was recognized for his philanthropy by being named NASCAR's 2004 USG Person of the Year. The award, presented to Stewart Dec. 3 at the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Breakfast in New York City, is designed to honor NASCAR drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. The annual award carried a $100,000 payment, which was to be split between the winning driver and his charity of choice. However, Stewart once again showcased his charitable compassion by donating the entire amount to Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a facility for chronically ill children located in Randleman, NC. DMF Communications PR
Evernham signs female driver Evernham signs female driverUPDATE #2 What's really interesting here is, according to a September AutoWeek article, Crocker was signed to a Ford development program. Sounds like Kasey Kahne all over again.  Recall Evernham and Dodge also stole Kahne from Ford. 12/10/04 Evernham Press Release:  Evernham Motorsports announced Thursday that it has signed sprint-car star Erin Crocker to a development deal that will allow the hottest young female driver in racing to compete next year in the Silver Crown, ARCA and NASCAR Busch Series.

Crocker, the first female to win a World of Outlaws race, caught the attention of Ray Evernham and Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Kasey Kahne for her performance in open wheel racing. 

Evernham Motorsports partnered with Kasey Kahne Motorsports and has signed Crocker to an agreement that involves her running the Silver Crown Series in a Kasey Kahne Motorsports car, along with three Busch races and three ARCA races in an Evernham Dodge.  Sponsors for the program have not yet been announced.

“This is like a dream come true,” said Erin Crocker.  “When Ray Evernham called, I was considering several options.  But once that phone rang, my mind was made up.  It is an unbelievable opportunity to race for him – if you consider what he done with other rookies such as Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne.  This is a chance for me to learn as much as I can, in several different types of cars, from the best in the business.  I get to race with a team that focuses on innovation and inspiration, and drive for a leader who puts teamwork, engineering and technology first.  It’s absolutely incredible.”

Crocker, who grew up in Wilbraham, Mass., in a racing family, ran her first event – a quarter midget race – at age seven.  She soon progressed through the ranks of open wheel racing, collecting awards at every level.  Crocker also graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York in the spring of 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Management Engineering.  Last season, she competed in the World of Outlaw series in 410 winged sprint cars for Woodring Racing.  She won a race at Tulare, California and brought home the “410 Wild Card” award, previously won by Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne.

“We’re thrilled to sign a driver with Erin’s talents to Evernham Motorsports,” said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports.  “I’m a big fan of open wheel racing and the talented drivers who come out of those series.  I’m always watching the sprint car and Silver Crown series because it’s exciting racing, but it’s also a great place to find talented, young drivers,”

Evernham said the addition of Erin Crocker furthers his team’s efforts to diversify.  “We believe that NASCAR and all forms of racing should be open to everyone, whether you want to drive the car or work on the team.  This is part of our ongoing growth initiative – we not only want to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup championship but we want to provide opportunities and help people succeed at all levels.”

Both Kahne and Evernham agree that Crocker is the “real deal” with the talent to win races.

“I’ve seen her out-run the guys I used to compete against, so I know she’s got talent and confidence,” said Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.  “She really knows how to handle a race car, and I think she’s going to be great in every series in which she competes.”

Crocker has already moved to Charlotte, N.C. to prepare for her intensive training program.  When not racing, Crocker likes to participate in outdoor sports, shop and spend time with her friends and family.

12/09/04 Evernham Motorsports hired female sprint car standout Erin Crocker to drive in several different series.   "We believe that NASCAR and all forms of racing should be open to everyone, whether you want to drive the car or work on the team," team owner Ray Evernham said Wednesday. "This is part of our ongoing growth initiative ... we want to provide opportunities and help people succeed at all levels."   Crocker, 23, will compete for Evernham in stock cars in three ARCA races and three NASCAR Busch Series races. She also will drive for Kasey Kahne Motorsports in a sprint car in the Silver Crown Series.   She caught Evernham's eye last season when she became the first woman to win a World of Outlaws Race.  "I'm a big fan of open wheel racing and the talented drivers who come out of those series," Evernham said. "I'm always watching the sprint car and Silver Crown series because it's exciting racing, but it's also a great place to find talented, young drivers." USA Today
Formula GP2
Viso signs with BCN Viso signs with BCNErnesto Viso has confirmed that he will contest the inaugural GP2 series season with the Spanish BCN squad. Viso finalized the deal on Thursday, becoming only the third driver officially confirmed for the new F1 feeder series, after the new Hitech Piquet squad announced Nelson Piquet Jr and Alexandre Negrao on the day that entries opened.

“I am very pleased with the agreement we have arrived at with BCN," Viso confirmed, "Mr Scalabroni is recognized, not only as one of the best engineers in the world, but also as a great person. Now, of course, we have to work hard to find the necessary sponsorship - which is something that my commercial manager Ramón David Rodriguez is working on - but I think that we are going to do very good things next season.”

Formula BMW
Jensen confirms Boyer for 2005 season Jensen confirms Boyer for 2005 seasonJensen MotorSport is pleased to announce that Doug Boyer will be driving for our Formula BMW USA team throughout the 2005 season. Doug (17), from northwest Indiana (near Chicago), has a successful track record in both karting and Skip Barber regional race competition.

Team owner Eric Jensen states, “Our team conducted numerous tests to identify the best prospects to drive our Formula BMW cars in 2005. Doug was impressive with both his speed and his ability to learn. We are confident that with our intensive testing schedule this winter that Doug will be very competitive in the 2005 series.”

Doug recently completed two tests at Carolina MotorSport Park and Savannah Georgia. His next outing will be December 22nd and 23rd at West Palm Beach, Florida.

Jensen MotorSport has a terrific 2005 plan. We will contest all three levels of the Champ Car ladder, including the Toyota Atlantic championship, plus one car in the top-level Champ Car World Series. The structure of the team provides our drivers with the opportunity to develop their careers “in-house” all the way to the top-level of racing.

The Formula BMW series is an excellent cost-effective series to provide our drivers with the experience needed to move up to the Toyota Atlantic series, all the while providing a solid commercial opportunity with events at major league races including the Canadian Grand Prix @ Montreal, and the United States Grand Prix @ Indianapolis.

Forsythe sues Players Forsythe sues PlayersGerald Forsythe, Champ Car co-owner and a team owner, has filed suit in Marion Circuit Court Civil Division against a former sponsor. He is suing Player's Company Inc., Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. and Player's Ltd., claiming breach of contract. Indy Star
Industry News
Michelin announces new motorsport head Michelin announces new motorsport headIn the light of Pierre Dupasquier’s forthcoming retirement in 2006 and wishing to ensure maximum levels of continuity and efficiency following his departure, Michelin has made the following changes to its motorsport organization:

Monsieur Frédéric Henry-Biabaud, who joined the motorsport group at the beginning of 2003 as Deputy Director, will replace Pierre Dupasquier as Director of Motorsport at the end of the 2005 season.

The motorsport group is made up of five departments:
o Rallying, headed by Aimé Chatard
o Motorcycling, headed by Nicolas Goubert
o Endurance Racing, headed by Matthieu Bonardel
o Rally Raids, headed by Aimé Chatard
o Formula One

Regarding the Formula One department, Pascal Vasselon has been promoted to a new position in North America following 10 years in the motorsport group and will take up his functions from April 2005. Mr Nick Shorrock will take over the responsibility of the Formula One department from January 2005, with Monsieur Patrick Cohen assisting him as Technical Manager.

Englishman Nick Shorrock will be responsible for Formula One operations, the performance of the Formula One department, and in particular relations with Michelin’s partner teams. In addition, he will be responsible for promoting the company’s position concerning the evolution of future tire regulations, a key factor in Michelin’s participation in Formula One. His experience in managing international teams within Michelin in the UK, Japan and France will be a key asset in this function.

Monsieur Patrick Cohen has vast experience within Michelin’s Technology Centre. A Doctor of macromolecular chemistry, he has held various important positions in the field of materials – including some destined for competition use - in tire casing design and tire development, and in the field of vehicle/tire dynamics. He will help forge even closer links between the innovations made in Formula One and the other activities of the Technology Centre, bearing in mind that motorsport is a formidable test and research platform for enriching the Group’s pool of technical knowledge for its commercial products.

Commenting on the recent decisions, Motorsport Director Pierre Dupasquier said: “I am very happy to see that we are putting teams into place early enough to whom I can pass the torch, therefore guaranteeing the quality of service that we owe all our partners and the continuity of Michelin in racing.”

Renault announces launch date Renault announces launch dateThe Mild Seven Renault F1 Team announced this morning that its 2005 challenger, the Renault F1 R25, will be presented on Tuesday, 1 February 2005 in Monaco.

Renault finished third in the Constructors' Championship in 2004 with Jarno Trulli taking a win at the Monaco circuit. While the team were happy with the 2004 car, they admit that it had 'a smaller sweet spot' in which the drivers felt comfortable on the limit.'

This will be one of the key areas, along with the changes to the aerodynamic and engine rules that the team are keen to address with the new chassis.

"Those handling vices have also meant that it has been harder to extract the full performance potential from the car," Bob Bell explained at the end of the season. "But at those circuits when we did get the right set-up, where the drivers felt fully comfortable, we demonstrated that it was an extremely competitive racing car – one only needs to think of Monaco or Magny-Cours as illustrations of this. We are very confident in how our development is progressing. I think the 2005 Renault car will be a much better-optimized vehicle in many areas." Renault

Formula 3
Green wins qualifying race in Bahrain Green wins qualifying race in Bahrain
Bahrain Super Prix Qualifying race results:
1 Jamie Green (Dallara-Mercedes) 15m17.488s
2 Fabio Carbone (Dallara-Nissan) 15m20.845s
3 Nico Rosberg (Dallara-Opel) 15m23.040s
4 Marko Asmer (Dallara-Mugen) 15m27.073s
5 Richard Antinucci (Dallara-Toyota) 15m27.421s
6 Paul di Resta (Dallara-Mercedes) 15m28.130s
7 Nelson Angelo Piquet (Dallara-Mugen) 15m29.035s
8 Lucas di Grassi (Dallara-Renault) 15m29.892s
9 Kazuki Nakajima (Dallara-Toyota) 15m30.367s
10 Ronnie Quintarelli (Dallara-Toyota) 15m30.667s
ALMS announces official brake fluid ALMS announces official brake fluidProspeed GS610 Maximum Performance Brake Fluid, a revolutionary new product from Prospeed Motorsport, LLC. Has been named the Official Brake Fluid of the American Le Mans Series. The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis.

One of the newest and toughest brake fluids in the world, Prospeed GS610 is a completely new and proprietary formulation that makes it the most extreme performance brake fluid available. Created specifically to exceed the performance needs of all racing applications, including carbon brakes, the performance characteristics of GS610 also make it a desirable choice for amateur racers as well as owners of sports cars and high-performance cars. Its development required more than three years of extensive research and testing, including usage by a Formula One racing team in competition

"This is the first of what will be a series of announcements of new corporate marketing partners for the American Le Mans Series," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS. "Some of the most exciting action in sports car racing is seen when drivers try to ‘out-brake' each other in passing zones on race tracks, so the participation of a high-performance brake fluid in our series is a perfect fit. It is well documented that endurance sports car racing is the ultimate test of man and machine. The fact that GS610 is joining the American Le Mans Series places this product into a category that is unmatched by its competition. We enthusiastically welcome Prospeed GS610 and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship."

Flying Lizard to field 2 cars in 2005 Flying Lizard to field 2 cars in 2005Flying Lizard Motorsports announced today that the team will compete in the GT2 class (previously called GT) in the upcoming 10-race, 2005 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season. The Sonoma, California-based team will again field two Porsche GT3 911 RSRs, No. 44 and No. 45, in a distinctive silver and red livery. For the 2004 ALMS season, the team's first year in competition, Flying Lizard finished second in GT in both the Drivers Championship and overall team points.

Flying Lizard Crew Chief Tommy Sadler talked about the upcoming season, "We're looking forward to getting back on track at the ALMS season-opener, the Twelve Hours of Sebring, in March. We'll see what a difference a year makes as we take the Porsches out for our second ALMS season. We've still got a long way to go and the next few months will be extremely important as we prepare the cars and the crew for a challenging 2005 season."

Fernandez book Fernandez bookMexican racing star Adrian Fernandez will debut his first book, Adrian Fernandez, Imagenes para la Historia, this week in his hometown of Mexico City. The 200-page, full color, coffee-table hardback chronicles Fernandez’s life in photos, and features a foreword by Jo Ramirez, the highly acclaimed former team manager of the West McLaren Mercedes Formula One team.

With detailed Spanish-language captions by noted writer Jose Antonio Cortes, the biography opens with Fernandez’s childhood days and his early racing successes in Mexico and Europe. Interspersed with personal photos, the book documents Fernandez’s debut on the American racing scene in Indy Lights and follows his 11 years in CART competition, culminating with his recent accomplishments in the 2004 IRL IndyCar Series.

“I have had the idea of a book in the back of my mind for a while now,” said Fernandez. “When my sister, Mary, approached me about heading the project, I thought the time was right coming off our success in the IRL this year.

“When I look back over my career to date, I have so many memories – of people that have helped me to get to this level, of friends that I have made, of the fans that have supported me, of successes shared and the many challenges along the way. I have been very proud to represent my country around the globe. Hopefully, this book will give everyone a glimpse into the world that I have worked hard to be a part of these past 30 years.”

Published by Mexico Desconocido S.A. de C.V., Adrian Fernandez, Imagenes para la Historia will be distributed by Sanborn’s, a department store with 58 locations in Mexico City and an additional 71 stores throughout Mexico, beginning December 10. The book will also be available at the SIAM 2004 Auto Show in Mexico City (El Salon Internacional del Automovil Mexico 2004) December 11 - 19.

“Adrian has been an inspiration to so many people,” said writer Cortes. “I feel very honored to have partnered with him on this project. Many people have followed his career through the media over the years, and this book really gives you an inside look at his life.”

Fernandez will take part in a media tour in Mexico City to promote the book launch on December 14, and will host book signings at Sanborn’s Loreto on December 14 and at the SIAM Auto Show on December 15. Fernandez Racing

Kvapil to drive for Penske Kvapil to drive for PenskePenske-Jasper Racing, which fields the No. 77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, announced Thursday that 2003 NASCAR Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil will be the team’s driver and will compete for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2005.

Travis succeeds Brendan Gaughan, who drove the Kodak car during the 2004 season. Kvapil participated in a development program during 2004 with Penske Racing and competed in three Nextel Cup Series races-Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead.

“The opportunity to drive for Penske-Jasper Racing is more than a dream come true. I have been a fan of Roger Penske since I was a little kid watching Rick Mears. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for a young driver and I’m excited to get that opportunity,” Kvapil said. “I’m honored to represent Kodak. Their history in NASCAR racing is impressive and they are one of the longest running sponsors in the sport.”

“Travis showed solid potential and demonstrated the skill and determination it takes to be a winner and we look forward to building on this foundation with our sponsor partners Kodak and Jasper.” Roger Penske said. 

After Kvapil made three starts late in the season driving a fourth entry for Penske, rumors began to run rampant that Gaughan was on his way out of the no. 77 car.

Gaughan struggled in his rookie season in the Nextel Cup Series after coming up just short of the Craftsman Truck Series title with his family-owned team in 2003.

In 36 starts in the No. 77 Dodge, Gaughan managed just four top-10’s and one top-5 finish, as well as eight DNF’s, netting an average finish of 25.4 for the season. His best finish was a fourth-place showing at Talladega in Oct.

Where the announcement leaves Gaughan is anyone’s guess, but it’s likely Gaughan would return to his family-owned team as a teammate to driver Steve Park. He has also been rumored as a possible driver candidate for the Gene Haas-owned No. 0 NetZero Chevrolet.

SpaceShipOne Photos SpaceShipOne PhotosFor those who followed closely Champ Car's sponsorship of the XPrize competition, here are some great photos of the winner, SpaceShipOne.
AMD takes battle with Intel to F1 AMD takes battle with Intel to F1AMD's fight with Intel continues to extend into the Formula One racing circuit. With both chip makers already tussling for those all-important hard-to-see-on-TV car-component sponsorship spaces, they are now attempting to outdo each other in the car design arena. AMD today lauded Sauber Petronas' decision to do aerodynamic simulation and testing on a supercomputer built out of 530 Opteron processors. But it's not so long since Intel wanted us all to see the 320-odd CPU Itanium 2-based number cruncher Toyota has put in place for the much the same applications. Both teams run Linux on their respective supercomputers, by the way, preferring its scalability and resilience over Microsoft's alternative.

You can't blame the chip makers for trying to bring a little of the glamour that surrounds the world's premier motorsport competition to the rather more prosaic Endeavour of selling 64-bit microprocessors. Alas, while modeling the flow of air over a car's numerous surfaces and doing so as quickly as possible, saves teams a serious amount of money - wind-tunnel construction and testing time is incredibly expensive - it's not exactly going to catapult either team to the top of the constructors league. And no one but the team techies think of fluid dynamics simulations when Schuey is up there on the podium spraying the champers. Which is of course while AMD sells kit to Sauber, it sponsors Ferrari. Sauber came sixth in 2004, Toyota eighth. But Sauber has been in the F1 game for the best part of 12 years, Toyota for less than a third of that duration. The Register

Penske a man of opportunity Penske a man of opportunityOn the subject of the possible use of ethanol in the IRL, could Roger Penske be behind it? Did you know that back in about 1990, Roger Penske was a BIG backer of using ethanol (at least he was back then). We don't know his position today, however, as he has tended to quickly "shift allegiances" on a number of matters over the years! At the time we think Roger could foresee a "tie-in" between his new ownership of Detroit Diesel fuel injection system research in partnership with Robert Bosch and Mercedes-Benz, his 50% ownership of Ilmor Engineering, and the widespread use of ethanol as a future "alternative" fuel. But knowing how he frequently changes his business & motorsports' allegiances, who knows where he stands on ethanol today! Roger switched from a partnership with Chevy in the Trans-Am to AMC in 1970, dropped Lola in the Can-Am - which he'd been using since 1966 - and teamed with Porsche for the turbo 917, switched from Pontiac to Ford to Dodge and soon to Toyota in NASCAR, and first used Cosworth engines, then the Chevy-Ilmor, then the Mercedes-Ilmor, Honda, and finally Toyota engines for his CART team. Or how he more recently dropped CART for "business reasons" and switched affiliation to the IRL! As Danny Sullivan once said, "In the game of motorsports' musical chairs, when the music stops Roger is NEVER left standing!
GT cars face speed cuts GT cars face speed cutsThe performance of GT cars at Le Mans is to be reduced. The event organizers have set target times of 3m55s for the GT1 (formerly GTS) class and 4m08s for GT2 (formerly GT). Cars that exceed these times in the race next year will face performance penalties in 2006. The Ferrari 550 Maranello and the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, the GTS pacesetters in 2004, have already been given 35kg of ballast. These penalties will also apply to the Le Mans Endurance Series and, most likely, the American Le Mans Series. Autosport Magazine
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Brit GP secure
Kimi back in style
Grove 'shoot out'
Mercedes' new F1 chief
F1 exec's at speed
Silverstone 'must improve'
Bull to pursue 'admiration'
Pollock challenge thrown out
Walkinshaw to return
Injured Fisher back at work
DC - 'no contract yet'
Bernie and Jackie 'get on'
Glad to dodge Kimi battle
'Thrilled' and 'overjoyed'
Brief Bits - Dec.10
What'll Santa bring Trulli?
Pollock moves to block Honda buy-in Pollock moves to block Honda buy-inUPDATE British American Racing Holdings Ltd, the holding company of the BAR-Honda F1 team is in bankruptcy following the failure of a legal challenge by Craig Pollock  to stop the company from clearing out minority partners in the business, prior to a restructuring of capital which will see Honda acquire 45% of the business. The move is legal under British law although in some other countries such activities are frowned upon. The court appointed administrator must accept the best deal for the creditors. The major creditor of BARH is British American Tobacco, which owns around 90% of the company. It wants to start a new company with Honda and so can bid as much as it likes for the assets of BARH because it is, in effect, paying itself. The assets of BARH include the BAR team and its various facilities.  Former shareholders Craig Pollock and Gerry Forsythe had tried to stop the administration and as a result of not agreeing a settlement with BAT, will end up getting nothing for their shares, unless they are also creditors of the team. Grandprix.com 12/01/04 Craig Pollock has filed a lawsuit in the UK to block Honda's buy-in to the BAR team.  BAR has threatened to bankrupt BAR to make Pollock's and Gerald Forsythe's minority shares worthless.  The plan is for Honda to own 45% and BAT the other 55% with all the minority shareholders being forced out.  Apparently the judge did not view BAT's action kindly and it will be interesting to see how this all falls out.  We suspect in the end Pollock and Forsythe will be offered a huge sum of money for their shares and the Honda deal will move forward.
Formula GP2
P1 pulls out of GP2 P1 pulls out of GP2British P1 Motorsport has confirming that its application to compete in the Formula GP2 series was being withdrawn at the request of team principal Roly Vincini. The team, which has run in the British F3 Championship in recent years, was due to step up in 2005.

"I am very disappointed not to be in a position to commit to the GP2 series any more but, out of fairness to the other teams, withdrawing my application is, for the moment, the best and the only decision I can take," he explained, "I am working hard to find a solution and am looking forward to announcing positive news in the near future."

"Of course, I am sad about P1 Motorsport's decision, but I fully understand it," said organizer Bruno Michel , "I was looking forward to having P1 in our inaugural championship, but whether we see them in GP2 or another series in 2005, I want to take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work to date, and to wish Roly and all his staff the very best of luck in all their future endeavors."

IRL sets Spring Training, Media Day dates IRL sets Spring Training, Media Day datesMedia members will have an opportunity to preview the 10th season of IRL IndyCar Series competition and the 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season during the Indy Racing League Open Test on Jan. 18-22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Open Test will be divided into two segments with testing on the road course scheduled for Jan. 18-20, and oval testing scheduled on Jan. 21-22.
Barnhart made President of Indy Racing League, LLC Barnhart made President of Indy Racing League, LLCBrian Barnhart, Joie Chitwood III and Gary Morris each have been promoted to head three operating units of companies owned by the Hulman-George family, said Tony George, president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and its parent, Hulman & Company.

Barnhart will serve as president and chief operating officer of the Indy Racing League, LLC.  Chitwood will serve as president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC.  Morris will serve as president and chief operating officer of Clabber Girl Corporation.  All three appointments, which are new positions, are effective immediately. 

"As president and COO of the Indy Racing League, Brian brings experience and a reputation for solid leadership to his expanded role," George said. "He joined IMS in 1994 and has been a consistent performer. Since 1997, when Leo Mehl (retired IRL executive director) tapped Brian as IRL director of operations, he has continued to grow as an individual, a leader and a motorsports executive.  "Brian's common-sense approach is recognized both inside and outside the company. His loyalty to the Indianapolis 500 and the IRL personally means a great deal to me."

Chitwood joined the staff of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as senior vice president, business affairs, in October 2002. He previously had served as vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway, which is partly owned by IMS. He oversaw the construction of the 1.5-mile oval and negotiated contracts with both the Indy Racing League and NASCAR for successful events there.  He was one of the first employees of the Indy Racing League, which had its inaugural race in 1996 at Orlando, Fla. Beginning at age 5, he was part of the well-known Chitwood Thrill Show, serving both as a stuntman and later as a precision driver.

Chitwood's family association with IMS dates to the late 1930s when his grandfather began competing in the Indianapolis 500.  "That, coupled with the experience he gained working with the IRL from 1995 to 1999 as one of the League's first employees, and as vice president and general manager of the Chicagoland Speedway, gives him a well-rounded appreciation for the challenges and opportunities that go along with promoting three world-class events at the 'Greatest Racecourse in the World,'" George said. "In the two years since rejoining our Indianapolis enterprise, he has worked hard at reconnecting with colleagues and community.  Joie brings a fresh look at how we need to position ourselves for continued success in a changing world."

Morris has been in the food industry for more than 25 years in sales, marketing and production. He has worked for Canteen Corporation in sales and operations, been a partner in the largest contract food service company in southeast Michigan, owned a food brokerage business and a direct marketing services business before joining Clabber Girl Corporation in 1999.  He grew up in Monrovia, Ind., and graduated from Indiana State University in 1975 with a bachelor of science degree. Morris and his wife, Sharon, have two daughters and live in Terre Haute, Ind.

"In the five years that Gary has been with our company, he has demonstrated leadership that has energized Clabber Girl Corporation," George said. "By leveraging the Clabber Girl brand, he has successfully expanded product lines and increased top-line sales while managing expenses. In addition, he has executed the acquisition and integration of Delisheries and Davis Baking Powder.  Gary's hands-on style has earned him respect as a member of our management team and the confidence required to lead our food service group."

Raikkonen fastest at Jerez Thursday Raikkonen fastest at Jerez Thursday
1 RAIKKONEN    McLaren   1m16.677s 
2 TRULLI       Toyota    1m16.838s
3 SCHUMACHER   Toyota    1m17.112s
4 WEBBER       Williams  1m17.521s
5 HEIDFELD     Williams  1m17.570s
6 MONTAGNY     Renault   1m17.728s
7 FISICHELLA   Renault   1m17.850s
8 WURZ         McLaren   1m17.89s
9 COULTHARD    Red Bull  1m18.009s
10 BUTTON      BAR       1m18.171s
11 BARRICHELLO Ferrari   1m18.523s
12 KLIEN       Red Bull  1m18.629s
13 LIUZZI      Red Bull  1m18.792s
14 BADOER      Ferrari   1m18.809s
15 DAVIDSON    BAR       1m18.901s
16 BERNOLDI    BAR       1m19.007s
Castroneves raises $25K Castroneves raises $25KThis past weekend Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves was in Delray Beach, FL to participate in the Chris Evert/Bank of America Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic.  The two-day event brought together some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment including former President George H.W. Bush, Matthew Perry, Chevy Chase, Lindsay Davenport and Gavin Rossdale as they raised $1.2 million to benefit South Florida charities. 

The weekend's matches paired each celebrity participant with some of the best professional tennis players on the tour.  On Saturday, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, paired with tennis star Lisa Raymond, defeated the team of Chris Evert and Chevy Chase 6-4. 

In addition to the action on the court, the event featured a concert by Sheena Easton on Saturday night at a Black-Tie Gala at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, FL.  The evening also played host to a silent and live auction that raised more than $300,000. Two of the items up for bidding were a pair of pace car rides with Helio Castroneves and four passes to the Toyota Motorsports suite at the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway that sold for a combined $25,000.

NASCAR sues over porn issue NASCAR sues over porn issueNASCAR has filed a trademark and service mark infringement lawsuit against Daystrike Marketing, Consolidated Media Group (CSMG), CSMG co-Founder John Eckerd and NI4NI Productions for their involvement in a video called “Racetrack Girls Go Nutz,” according to Cammy Clark of the MIAMI HERALD. The video, originally titled “Daytona Racetrack Girls Go Nutz,” is being sold on a Web site, which shows “bare-chested women purportedly at race events.” NASCAR filed suit “after learning that Daystrike Marketing Inc. was distributing flyers and advertisement for the video with NASCAR logos.” NASCAR Dir of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston: “We don’t want to be associated with that kind of video. We have an obligation to protect NASCAR’s trademark and good name” Miami Herald
Infiniti to enter Grand-Am as engine supplier Infiniti to enter Grand-Am as engine supplierOne of the world’s leading luxury car manufacturers has joined the Rolex Sports Car Series, as officials from Nissan North America, Inc. and the Grand American Road Racing Association today announced that Infiniti engines have been approved for Daytona Prototype competition beginning with the 2005 season.

“We are proud to welcome Infiniti to the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series,” said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. “Nissan is certainly no stranger to success in sports car racing, and we are truly delighted to welcome them back under the Infiniti banner. We’re thrilled that our competitors have another world-renowned manufacturer from which to choose an engine.”

The addition of Infiniti to the Daytona Prototype field bolsters a lineup of world class manufacturers that also includes Pontiac, Lexus, Porsche, BMW and Ford. The new powerplant is based on the 4.5-liter V8 used in the Infiniti Q45, and will make its competition debut at the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

"We are really looking forward to the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Daytona Prototype Series and the introduction of the Infiniti VK45 engine into competition there,” said Ron Stukenberg, senior manager, Motorsports Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, Inc. “The number of manufacturers involved in the series, combined with the close, high speed racing that has become a signature of the Daytona Prototypes, is extremely appealing to us."

The engines are being built and serviced by Indianapolis-based Menard Engineering Limited under the direction of Executive Director Chris Sumner. The Menard organization has a long and successful history of building race- and championship-winning engines, and is familiar with the Infiniti powerplant as the company has built spec engines for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series for the past two years. In 2004, Menard built engines for NASCAR Busch Series programs for drivers including Johnny Sauter, David Green and Robby Gordon and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program for driver Tracy Hines in addition to the MIPS program.

“Everyone involved with Menard Engineering is extremely proud to be entering into another new racing arena with Infiniti power,” Sumner said. “Interest in the Grand American Rolex Series is growing each year, thanks in large part to the competitiveness that is evident on the race track. The 2005 season will definitely be an exciting one for us as we return for our third year as the spec engine in the Indy Racing League’s Menards Infiniti Pro Series and we start our journey with the Infiniti engine in the Grand American Rolex Series.”

Trans-Am announces 10-race schedule Trans-Am announces 10-race scheduleThe Trans-Am Series announced it will hold 10 races in 2005, its 40th consecutive season of competition. Eight venues have been confirmed, with two events still being negotiated. The Series will again hold the bulk of its events in conjunction with the Champ Car World Series, which will again operate the Series in 2005.

“We’re pleased to announce our 2005 schedule, one of the best on record for Trans-Am’s unprecedented 40th continuous year of competition,” said Trans-Am Executive Director John Clagett. “When we began to assemble our 2005 schedule, we took a hard look at what has traditionally made the Trans-Am Series a success. We think we have the perfect combination of venues for 2005. The schedule boasts events at traditional and new tracks, on permanent and street courses, and in key markets throughout North America.

“This unique mix also gives our competitors something to look forward to,” added Clagett. “This will truly be a season to remember.”

The Trans-Am Series will kick off 2005 during the Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, April 8-10, followed by its 22nd visit to Portland Int’l Raceway (June 17-19). Three more traditional venues have been confirmed: Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport (June 24-26), the Molson Indy Toronto (July 8-10) and the Grand Prix of Denver (Aug. 12-14).

The Series will continue the longest continuously running relationship between a track and a racing series, at Road America on an as-yet-to-be-determined 2005 date. The Series has competed every year at the 4.048-mile road course since Mark Donohue won the inaugural event there in 1970.

The Series will return to Edmonton, Alberta, running on a new temporary circuit July 15-17. The Series last competed in the Canadian city in 1973 at a permanent track. Trans-Am will also be on the racing card during the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix weekend (July 29-31).

Trans-Am officials are in serious negotiations with five other venues to fill the two vacant slots. Those venues include the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec during the Molson Indy Champ Car weekend (Aug. 26-28), Road Atlanta during an ALMS weekend, as well as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, the Puerto Rico Grand Prix, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Bourdais nominated for another award Bourdais nominated for another award2004 Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais has been getting a lot of recognition lately for his outstanding racing season and has been privileged to become one of the ten finalist chosen for National Speed Sport News’ Economaki Champion of Champions Award presented by Rockett Brand Racing Fuel.

From this group of champions, a winner will be selected based on overall racing ability, sportsmanship and command of the sport – both on and off the track. The award presentation will take place during the 17th annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at the National Speed Sport News booth.

Bourdais earned his first Champ Car crown this year after a dominating season started in the top three at every race start this season aside from his eight poles, recorded seven wins, an overall of ten podium finishes out of the season’s 14-race schedule.

Bourdais joins other fellow U.S.-based series champions Kurt Busch from NASCAR Nextel Cup, Martin Truex, Jr. of the NASCAR Busch Series, Bobby East from USAC midgets, NHRA Pro Stock’s Greg Anderson. NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, Steve Kinser of the World of Outlaws, World of Outlaws Late Models’ Scott Bloomquist, Tony Kanaan from the Indy Racing League, and Sprint Car driver Fred Rahmer on the ballot.

The Economaki Champion of Champions Award is named in honor of Chris Economaki, the world’s best-known reporter of the auto racing scene and legendary motorsports broadcaster. He served as a publisher of the National Speed Sport News for more than 50 years and does occasional hosting for ESPN, SPEED Channel and other TV networks.

Formula 3
Bahrain Super Prix combined Qualifying times Bahrain Super Prix combined Qualifying timesNote: Qualifying was run on a drying track.  First session was slower.
1. Franck Perera Prema Dallara-Opel 1min 53.938secs
2. Jamie Green ASM Dallara-Mercedes 1min 53.972secs
3. Fabio Carbone Three Bond Dallara-Nissan 1min 54.078secs
4. Paul di Resta Manor Dallara-Mercedes 1min 54.085secs
5. Marko Asmer Carlin Dallara-Mugen 1min 54.116secs
6. Nico Rosberg Rosberg Dallara-Opel 1min 54.129secs
7. Lucas di Grassi Hitech Dallara-Renault 1min 54.135secs
8. Kazuki NakajimaDallara-Toyota 1min 54.347secs
9. Richard Antinucci TOM's Dallara-Toyota 1min 54.433secs
10. Eric Salignon ASM Dallara-Mercedes 1min 54.447secs
11. Ronnie Quintarelli Inging Dallara-Toyota 1min 54.522secs
12. Danilo Dirani Carlin Dallara-Mugen 1min 54.576secs
13. Nelson Piquet Jr Piquet Dallara-Mugen 1min 54.586secs
14. Matteo Cressoni Ombra Dallara-Mugen 1min 54.671secs
15 Alexandre Prémat ASM Dallara-Mercedes 1min 54.702secs
16. Davide Mazzoleni Ombra Dallara-Mugen 1min 54.704secs
17. Naoki Yokomizo Inging Dallara-Toyota 1min 54.830secs
18. Loic Duval Signature Dallara-Opel 1min 54.902secs
19. Ernesto Viso Menu Dallara-Opel 1min 55.012secs
20. Kohei Hirate Prema Dallara-Opel 1min 55.149secs
21. Ho Pin Tung Hitech Dallara-Renault 1min 55.226secs
22. Lewis Hamilton Manor Dallara-Mercedes 1min 55.227secs
23. Rob Austin Menu Dallara-Opel 1min 55.300secs
24. Ross Zwolsman TME Dallara-Toyota 1min 55.456secs
25. Giedo van der Garde Signature Dallara-Opel 1min 55.566secs
26. Daisuke Ikeda Swiss Dallara-Opel 1min 55.971secs
27. John O'Hara TME Dallara-Toyota 1min 56.225secs
28. Barton Mawer Hitech Dallara-Renault 1min 56.352secs
29. Karl Reindler Swiss Dallara-Opel 1min 56.480secs
30. Rodolfo Avila Carlin Dallara-Mugen 1min 57.234secs
31. James Rossiter Signature Dallara-Opel 2min 04.782secs*
Formula 3
Bahrain Super Prix Qualifying 1 Bahrain Super Prix Qualifying 1
1. Lewis Hamilton Manor Dallara-Mercedes 2min 03.307secs
2. Paul di Resta Manor Dallara-Mercedes 2min 03.723secs
3. Matteo Cressoni Ombra Dallara-Mugen 2min 04.155secs
4. Fabio Carbone Three Bond Dallara-Nissan 2min 04.217secs
5. Kazuki NakajimaDallara-Toyota 2min 04.395secs
6. Richard Antinucci TOM's Dallara-Toyota 2min 04.397secs
7. Lucas di Grassi Hitech Dallara-Renault 2min 04.496secs
8. Jamie Green ASM Dallara-Mercedes 2min 04.602secs
9. Nelson Piquet Jr Piquet Dallara-Mugen 2min 04.627secs
10. James Rossiter Signature Dallara-Opel 2min 04.782secs
11. Naoki Yokomizo Inging Dallara-Toyota 2min 04.916secs
12. Loic Duval Signature Dallara-Opel 2min 04.983secs
13. Franck Perera Prema Dallara-Opel 2min 05.012secs
14. Nico Rosberg Rosberg Dallara-Opel 2min 05.238secs
15. Marko Asmer Carlin Dallara-Mugen 2min 05.323secs
16. Ronnie Quintarelli Inging Dallara-Toyota 2min 05.362secs
17. Daisuke Ikeda Swiss Dallara-Opel 2min 05.383secs
18. Rob Austin Menu Dallara-Opel 2min 05.400secs
19. Barton Mawer Hitech Dallara-Renault 2min 05.547secs
20. Ho Pin Tung Hitech Dallara-Renault 2min 05.596secs
21. Kohei Hirate Prema Dallara-Opel 2min 05.691secs
22 Alexandre Prémat ASM Dallara-Mercedes 2min 05.744secs
23. Eric Salignon ASM Dallara-Mercedes 2min 05.751secs
24. Danilo Dirani Carlin Dallara-Mugen 2min 05.783secs
25. Ross Zwolsman TME Dallara-Toyota 2min 05.826secs
26. Giedo van der Garde Signature Dallara-Opel 2min 05.840secs
27. Ernesto Viso Menu Dallara-Opel 2min 06.109secs
28. Davide Mazzoleni Ombra Dallara-Mugen 2min 06.141secs
29. John O'Hara TME Dallara-Toyota 2min 06.771secs
30. Karl Reindler Swiss Dallara-Opel 2min 07.566secs
31. Rodolfo Avila Carlin Dallara-Mugen 2min 08.240secs
Champ Car live on Eurosport for 2005 Champ Car live on Eurosport for 2005The international flavor of the Champ Car World Series is evident in the cultural diversity of its lineup, not only in its drivers, but also in the teams, sponsors and fans that make up the ultra-competitive open-wheel racing series.

The international following of the series will be enhanced further in 2005 as the Champ Car World Series today reached an agreement with Eurosport for live coverage of each of the events on the 2005 schedule. The most widely available channel in Europe, Eurosport programming is available in 19 different languages, reaches 98 million households and 240 million viewers across 54 nations.

“This is a major step forward for Champ Car and will provide many new opportunities for us in the coming season,” said Champ Car CEO and President Dick Eidswick. “With young, exciting European drivers such as Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson enjoying great success last year, the popularity of Champ Car in Europe increased tremendously and we are excited to bring Champ Car racing to our many fans on the European continent.”

In addition to the live race coverage on Eurosport, the agreement calls for extensive coverage on the company’s vast multimedia platform with coverage on eurosport.com and Eurosportnews. Eurosport.com has established itself as one of the leading pan-European sports websites with up to 120 million page views per month in five languages while the Eurosportnews channel provides up-to-the-minute sports coverage to 18 million homes in over 70 different countries.

“Being the European partner of the Champ Car World Series consolidates Eurosport’s development strategy in all motorsports,” said Eurosport Managing Director of Broadcast Laurent-Eric Le Lay. “With its pan-European coverage, Eurosport will enable more viewers than ever to watch the thrilling action of the Champ Car World Series in 2005.”

Additional international partners in the Champ Car television package are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

V8 Supercers
Walkinshaw finds new job Down Under Walkinshaw finds new job Down UnderTom Walkinshaw has signed a contract to be a manager of Australia's Holden Motorsport in 2005. The former Arrows F1 team boss is well known to the people at Holden, being a former owner of the Holden Racing Team and is still involved as a partner in Holden Special Vehicles. His new role will include being responsible for supplying technology, service, research and development for V8 Holden Supercar teams including Holden Racing Team, Kmart Racing, PWR Racing and Tasman Motorsport. Grandprix.com
British GP secured for five years British GP secured for five yearsThe British Racing Drivers' Club have signed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone to keep the British GP on the F1 calendar for the next five years. An official announcement is forthcoming but sports minister Richard Caborn went public and stated that everything had been agreed. He said: "This is a great day for the future of the motor industry in the UK. We have been working with the East Midlands Development Agency and the local authority to develop this industrial cluster at Silverstone. This should not only secure the long-term future of all the teams operating out of the UK but will give the opportunity for others to join. This is consistent with the Government's policy of developing world-beating centers of excellence for manufacturing," he told the Press Association.
Methanol vs. Ethanol Methanol vs. EthanolUPDATE #2 If a group of companies known as Team Ethanol has its way, IRL Indy cars could be burning ethanol  before the end of the decade.  Major ethanol design firms Fagan Inc., ICM Inc., and Broin Companies are behind the project hoping to promote ethanol as a high-octane, high-performance fuel that is clean burning and produced domestically.  The group has partnered with Hemelgarn Racing, which gave Menards Infiniti Pro Series runner-up Paul Dana his first test in an Indy car at Phoenix International Raceway last week.  The team used methanol in the test as the ethanol project continues. National Speed Sport News 09/11/04 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, To underscore how corrosive Methanol is, recall that after each day is over the engines have gasoline run through them in order to purge the Methanol because it so damages various components of the engine. This process is known as pickling.  Mark McCauley, Texas  Dear Mark, Thanks for reminding us.  We should have mentioned that in our original response. Mark C. 09/08/04 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, I have noticed you talking about gasoline and/or ethanol for Champ Cars.  Since Champ Cars run on Methanol, of which the exhaust is mostly water vapor, would it be possible to have them certified as Ultra Low Emission Vehicles? I think they need to stay with methanol. Alternative fuels are hot topics among the public. Also, with oil taking such an especially high profile these days, methanol is great PR for Champ Car.

I had a friend of mine who is a chemist that said that the price of gasoline is so high, supposedly to offset the environmental damage and other considerations that do not apply to Methanol. Although Methanol is more expensive to produce, he thinks that if produced in large quantities, and without all the taxes, the cost would be about the same as gasoline. Methanol can be made from many sources. Know also that Americans, outside of the middle east countries, pay less for gas than anywhere else in the world.

So why can’t all cars run on methanol? Let racing drive the development of road cars instead of the opposite. Make racing engines that which you want road car engines to become, as opposed to what they already are.

15 years from now, Nextel Cup will be the GreenPeace Cup, and all the cars will be hybrid powered vehicles. Since acceleration is not as much of an issue, they would be better suited to capitalize on this when the public really gets on board. The public will shun all other forms of racing as detrimental to the environment. Even the Bubbas will stop throwing their beer cans and bottles on the track.  100 years from now, you will see a fusion reactor that produces superheated steam that drives a turbine engine. Instead of standing by with buckets of water to put out fires, they will be using them to fill up the race car. Exhaust will be helium-4 and steam.  Haha! Late night delirium setting in…the musings are…well…amusing. Sorry. Scott Morris, Florida  Dear Scott,  Methanol is extremely toxic.  Exposure to very small amounts of methanol (less than one cup) have been known to cause blindness and permanent injury including death. Exposure to methanol can occur through inhalation of vapor, or through ingestion or skin contact with the liquid fuel.  Be careful not to confuse ETHANOL with METHANOL!  Ethanol is a renewable energy fuel made from sugar crops, such as sugar cane and corn. Methanol, on the other hand is made from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.  There continues to be confusion between ethanol and methanol.   Ethanol typically costs $1.50-$3 per gallon.    Methanol typically costs $0.50 - $1 per gallon, but made in high tech plants at high pressure with a highly specific catalyst. Cost-wise, methanol gets the nod right now, but ethenol is good for the farmers.  Methanol and ethanol are both clean and efficient (in high compression engines) burning fuels.  The advantage to ethanol as I understand it, is the fact that it is less corrosive than methanol and gasoline and hence extends the life of the upper end of the engine, particularly the valves and pistons.  To reduce cost, long-life engines are desirable. Mark C.

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Coulthard rides a Bull
'Ant' to race in 2006 - BAR

Brit GP saga nearing end
Reutemann tests Schu's F1
Fog delayed sunny Spanish run
Prost and Le Mans
Gillan to quit F1
Nick's 'truly' Quick
McNish awarded
Honda to side with Ferrari
Heikki - 'no plan' for F1 run
IRL champ to test in Jan.
F3 in Bahrain
Revamp for F1 calendar

Sunday quali to be scrapped
DC 'taking it all in'
F1 is 'brutal' - Minardi man
Brief bits - Dec.9
Most fans are clueless Most fans are cluelessWe have gone on record that the average person watching a race doesn't have a clue what is inside the engine, just that it sounds good. At the recent Motorsports Conference, FIA president Max Mosley pretty much waxed those same words. "The total expenditure for engines in Formula 1 is well over a billion dollars a year, probably over $1.5 billion," Mosley said. "The vast majority of that money is being spent on exotic, very clever technology that nobody knows about it, nobody sees, and nobody understands except a tiny priesthood of the people who actually work on it. For the public, who are after all paying, there's no value added. There is nothing in return for this enormous sum of money. That, clearly, is not sustainable.

"Yet when you try to interfere with it, you are told that any attempt to restrict it is not Formula 1, as if 'Formula 1' is somehow a synonym for 'unlimited expenditure,' which of course it is not. But the people who pay for this are the people in the grandstand and the people who watch it on television. I know this is sacrilege because this is a room full of engineers, but the fact of the matter is, they don't know what goes on these engines. Most of them don't know how many cylinders it has, much less the technology inside it. More important, they don't care."
ISC files with Staten Island Board ISC files with Staten Island BoardInternational Speedway Corporation on December 1st filed preliminary plans for its Staten Island Speedway with the New York City Department of City Planning.  This first filing will be followed by many others over a two-year path of governmental hearings and pending approvals that will determine whether ISC can build a $509 million, 80,000-seat three-quarter-mile oval and an adjacent shopping center along the island's west shore.  A 2010 opening is planned.

ISC is hoping to complete its purchase of 676 acres of industrially zoned property from GATX and Duke Corp. by December 31st. of the 676 acres, 440 acres are for the speedway and the remaining land is for a 260,000-square-foot year-round retail plaza and a wetlands preserve.  The 60-page plan includes an environmental assessment and impact statement plus an economic generation report. The report also includes a transportation plan that may interest SIS proponents, skeptics and critics.  While Staten Island Speedway (SIS) hopes to attract 95,000 participants, workers and fans on race day, ISC has earmarked a grass lot for only 8,400 parking spaces. The rest are to arrive on 950 buses and 100 high-speed ferries from satellite park-and-ride lots from up to 40 miles away.

Coulthard tops Klien and Liuzzi Coulthard tops Klien and LiuzziDavid Coulthard boosted his chances of winning a contract with the Red Bull Racing team as he set the seventh fastest time in testing in Jerez. More importantly he was the quickest of the three Red Bull drivers as he outpaced rivals Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi on the Spanish circuit. "I am pleased to have the opportunity to join the team here this week and am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of an F1 car,” Coulthard said before going to work on Wednesday. Photos of Coulthard below.

San Jose race to benefit Canary Fund San Jose race to benefit Canary FundYesterday’s city council approval of a Champ Car World Series street race in downtown San Jose was the first step in what will prove to be an historic weekend for the city.  Benefiting the Canary Fund, the San Jose Grand Prix will be the first open-wheel street race in northern California.  The plan, which was brought before the council by San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, calls for the circuit to be designed around the HP Pavilion and the surrounding streets. The San Jose Grand Prix, which will be contested July 29-31, 2005, will be the eighth stop on the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule and is expected to attract more than 100,000 spectators to downtown San Jose.

Canary Fund, which was founded by Don Listwin, is dedicated to advancing the science of the early detection of cancer.  Canary Fund collaborates with cancer research centers including the Stanford University Medical Center in nearby Palo Alto and the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco.  Canary Fund was also recently announced as the Official Social Cause of the Champ Car World Series.

“On behalf of Canary Fund, I would like to thank Mayor Ron Gonzales, Councilwomen Cindy Chavez and the city council for their support of the San Jose Grand Prix,” said Listwin.  “This is going to be a very exciting event, which will not only benefit the city of San Jose, but will provide Canary Fund with an exciting platform to raise awareness and money for its unique new approach in the battle against cancer.”

In addition to the auto race, plans for the San Jose Grand Prix call for a week of activities including concerts, fairs, charity events and promotional activities.  The week long festival is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of fans to northern California’s largest city and become a mainstay on the Champ Car World Series calendar.

“I want to thank Mayor Gonzales and the city council for their hard work in bringing this historic event to San Jose,” said San Jose Grand Prix Vice President and General Manager, Bob Singleton.  “I would also like to thank Dean Munro of the San Jose Sports Authority for his efforts in support of this race and the City of San Jose staff who have worked tirelessly on the design and construction of the race track,” Singleton noted.

Singleton went on to say, “The San Jose Grand Prix will be much more than an auto race.  It will be a week long festival of activities that will generate significant revenue for the local community and businesses.  Whether you are a fan of racing or not, I guarantee that people throughout northern California will put this week on their calendar as a must attend event.”

The Champ Car World Series features some of the greatest race car drivers in the world competing in the most diverse and exciting series in the world.  Champions Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser, who hails from the Bay Area, and Canadian Paul Tracy along with 2004 Roshfrans Rookie of the Year A. J. Allmendinger, who was born in Los Gatos and resides in Hollister, are among the drivers who battle for the Vanderbilt Cup, which is awarded to the winner of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.  In addition, Mexican drivers Michel Jourdain Jr and Mario Dominguez will compete among an expected 18-car field.  The title is contested on oval circuits, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses.  The specific route for the San Jose Grand Prix has not yet been finalized, but it would follow city streets in the downtown area.

Tickets for the San Jose Grand Prix are on sale now and can be purchased through ticketmaster.  You may reach ticketmaster at the following phone numbers: 408-998-tixs or 510-625-tixs or 415-421-tixs  For corporate sponsorships, hospitality and group tickets call: 408-277-9470.  For additional information go to (www.sanjosegrandprix.com).

Industry News
Cadillac is truly GM’s global brand Cadillac is truly GM’s global brandThis AutoWeek article says, Last year, when General Motors showed its Cadillac Sixteen concept luxury sedan at the Dubai show in the United Arab Emirates, Kempston Darkes, GM's vice president for Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, was approached by a wealthy sheik who offered $10 million for the car. "I cried when I couldn't sell it," she says. "Although the thought did cross my mind that maybe we could build a very limited number." Whether concept or reality, Cadillac is drawing plenty of attention in the Middle East. Kempston Darkes says Cadillac's role as a global player will continue to rise as GM pushes into more countries. GM will sell more. It will add more exclusive dealerships. She says Cadillac dealers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will spend $35 million over the next few years for about 10 luxury channel showrooms. Hummer and Saab will be included in those franchises.

"If it's a global brand, you truly need to sell it around the world," Kempston Darkes says. "And I expect Cadillac to play a significant role going forward in the luxury brand business that is done in the Middle East." She adds: "The product range we now have for Cadillac tells you we can compete very well in luxury brands." Kempston Darkes says Cadillac's presence in the Middle East will help the brand image as a whole. "When you say you are a global brand, then I always think it helps the business case because you build (in North America) and you sell around the world," she says. "It gives an element of prestige to the brand, and it shows the viability as a luxury brand competing with the best in the world." [Editor's Note: If truly a global brand, then Cadillac should be racing in F1 or Champ Car.]

Industry News
Bridgestone and Toys for Tots Bridgestone and Toys for TotsMany children were among the nearly two million fans that attended Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford events in 2004, but Champ Car presenting sponsor Bridgestone is reaching out to those children that may not have had the ability to come to the race track this season.

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC has announced a partnership with the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Foundation to gather toys, books and other gifts for needy yet deserving children during the holiday season. Bridgestone/Firestone will install drop-off points at designated dealer stores this holiday season, serving as a station for the public to donate unwrapped toys and gifts.

“Last year the organization was instrumental in touching the lives of 6.5 million needy children across America during the holiday season,” said Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire Chairman and CEO Mark A. Emkes. “During my tenure, I would like nothing better than for our company and our partners to be well known for giving back to the communities in which we do business. It’s the right thing to do and it allows us to build positive relationships at the grass roots level.”

The Toys For Tots Foundation was named the Best Children’s Charity by Reader’s Digest in 2003, and was also included on the Gold Star List of Charities by Forbes Magazine. This year marks the first year in a three-year partnership between Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire and the Toys For Tots Foundation.

“We are truly thrilled that Bridgestone Firestone has decided to support our 2004 through 2006 Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaigns,” said William J. Grein, Major, United States Marine Corps (Ret.) and Vice President for the Marketing and Development Division. “We commend them for their thoughtfulness and generosity.”

Parties interested in contributing to the Toys For Tots Foundation can visit www.bridgestonetire.com/index_bs.asp to find the nearest participating Bridgestone/Firestone dealer store.

Pedro de la Rosa fastest at Jerez Pedro de la Rosa fastest at JerezDespite the early morning fog, fifteen drivers were in action today at Jerez, including David Coulthard who had his first taste of driving for Red Bull Racing.  Pedro de la Rosa turned the fastest time of the day, only two tenths of a second from the track record held by Michael Schumacher (in 1'15"650).
1. Pedro de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'15"837 - 110 laps
2. Antonio Pizzonia - Williams BMW - 1'17"491 - 71 laps
3. Jarno Trulli - Toyota - 1'17"614 - 126 laps
4. Juan Pablo Montoya - McLaren Mercedes - 1'17"709 - 97 laps
5. Ralf Schumacher - Toyota - 1'17"727 - 83 laps
6. Franck Montagny - Renault - 1'18"061 - 169 laps
7. David Coulthard - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'18"079 - 61 laps
8. Giancarlo Fisichella - Renault - 1'18"101 - 90 laps
9. Jenson Button - BAR Honda - 1'18"155 - 45 laps
10. Mark Webber - Williams BMW - 1'18"178 - 75 laps
11. Christian Klien - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'18"631 - 53 laps
12. Marc Gené - Ferrari - 1'18"789 - 108 laps
13. Luca Badoer - Ferrari - 1'18"906 - 114 laps
14. Anthony Davidson - BAR Honda - 1'19"237 - 101 laps
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Red Bull Cosworth - 1'19"419 - 30 laps
Super Karts added to MotoGP card Super Karts added to MotoGP cardWorld Super Karts will be a part of the incredible lineup when MotoGP makes its return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca July 8-10, 2005, Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of the world-renowned circuit announced today. Included on the preliminary entry list is a quartet of past World and American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) two-wheel champions who are scheduled to compete in the "Super Stars of Super Karts" event, as well as a practice session and Media Day Wednesday, January 12 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Super Kart event will be run on Saturday, July 9.
Formula 3
Bahrain wet for F3 aces Bahrain wet for F3 acesThe world’s leading Formula 3 drivers ventured out for their first look at the Bahrain International Circuit today, and as luck would have it their day was one of the few wet ones in the Gulf. Japanese Formula 3 championship front-runner Richard Antinucci was the fastest man for the Tom’s Team. The American driver set his time in the second of three free test sessions, all of which were wet to some degree. Times dropped throughout the first two sessions as drivers learnt their way round the track on wet tires, and the rain eased, so that all the day’s leading times came late in the second test. The final session was a quiet one, as tire supplier Yokohama decided to save its wet tires in case of further rain this weekend. Drivers were free to run dry tires, but most saw it as a pointless exercise and just eleven of the thirty-one did any laps in the session. Antinucci’s time was less than one tenth of a second quicker than British series race winner Lucas di Grassi, driving one of Hitech Racing’s Dallara-Renaults. The pair were two tenths clear of Japanese champion Ronnie Quintarelli. Next fastest was Franck Perera of the Prema Powerteam. Antinucci said: “We’re looking solid. The Tom’s team always goes well in international races and I’ve got faith! I like learning new circuits and we have a good package. It was difficult because the rain kept coming and going, but we were quick in all conditions. “It’s a good track. I found there is a lot of grip and I could just push harder and harder and keep getting quicker. But it is going to be quite different in the dry. Some corners will be easily flat out where we had to lift off the throttle today.” Qualifying for Sunday’s Superprix takes place tomorrow. The supporting MeCAR series also tested and qualified today. Salman bin Rashid earned pole position for the first of three races, which takes place tomorrow afternoon. The Mini category will also join the qualifying and racing activity tomorrow and Friday.
Reutemann makes F1 return at Fiorano Reutemann makes F1 return at FioranoThere was a surprise test today at the Fiorano track. Getting behind the wheel of an F2004 was a driver who had not been seen in Formula 1 for quite some time: Carlos Reutemann. The Argentinean driver arrived in Maranello yesterday, renewing acquaintance with the Ferrari team that had seen him race as a front runner in the second half of the Seventies. Reutemann was a works driver from the end of the 1976 season to 1978, winning a Constructors’ title in 1977 and five grands prix. He was met by Managing Director Jean Todt and visited both the Gestione Sportiva and the Gestione Industriale, as well as having a telephone conversation with President Montezemolo, who is currently on business in China. It was his chat with the sporting director from his days as a Ferrari driver that led to the idea of a test in the car that won this year’s Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles. And so, this morning, Reutemann came to Fiorano where mechanics and engineers waited to put him through a really special test drive. On his feet, the same shoes he wore in his racing days and even his helmet bore his old yellow and blue colors. “Lole” did several runs, completing a total of seventeen laps. “It was an unforgettable experience,” said Reutemann after the drive. “I would like to thank Ferrari for having organized this test even though it was a holiday. It was really exciting and I enjoyed myself very much! The car is impressive, especially in terms of the power from the engine. It is completely different to the car that I drove back in my day. Watching on television, Formula 1 today can look easy, but having tried it myself I can guarantee you that is not the case!” Ferrari


Team Rahal featured on Indy ducats Team Rahal featured on Indy ducatsBuddy Rice made room for two friends on the 2005 Indianapolis 500 ticket, in turn making some Indianapolis Motor Speedway history.  2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Rice and his Rahal Letterman Racing team owners, Bobby Rahal and David Letterman, are featured on the colorful ticket for the 89th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 29, 2005. It's believed this is the first time in Indianapolis 500 history that the reigning race winner shares the front of the ticket with others.  "I still think the whole thing is somewhat unbelievable," Rice said. "To come back to the Speedway and know you're going to be on all the tickets that are going to be handed out is pretty cool. It's just something you never thought would be possible."  The previous year's winning driver has been featured on the Indianapolis 500 ticket every year since 1947, except for the 1981 and 1982 race tickets, which featured stylized designs.  Tickets and information for the 2005 Indianapolis 500 are available by contacting the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or logging on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
Formula GP2
Garcia to drive for Racing Engineering Garcia to drive for Racing EngineeringThe Spanish-based Racing Engineering outfit has taken up the 13th entry into next year’s inaugural GP2 series, as expected. Spanish Formula 3 champion Borja Garcia will drive one of the two cars. Autosport Magazine
Kasey Kahne taps Kinser kin Kasey Kahne taps Kinser kinNASCAR Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne is pleased to announce that the driver for his #19 Dodge/Kahne Racing USAC Silver Crown machine will be 20-year old Kraig Kinser.  Kinser, who finished seventh in his inaugural World of Outlaws season, is the 2004 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year and son of 19-time World of Outlaws champion Steve “The King” Kinser.  The 2005 USAC Silver Crown season will be young Kinser’s first time competing on pavement in a non-winged open wheel machine.    “I’ve known Kraig for years and he’s an excellent driver,” said Kasey, whose Silver Crown team took three first place finishes in the 2004 USAC season.  “I believe he’ll make the transition to pavement and non-winged open wheel cars without a problem.  After all, Kraig has had training from one of the best drivers in the world and one of my racing idols, his father Steve.  It’s a dream come true for me to be associated with the Kinser family.”
Red Bull aero man leaving Red Bull aero man leavingMark Gillan, Red Bull Racing’s highly-rated head of vehicle performance, is to leave the team to take a up a role in academia. Gillan, 35, has a PhD in aeronautical engineering and lectured in the subject for three years before working as principal operational aerodynamicist at McLaren between 1998 and 2002. He then moved to Jaguar Racing as aerodynamics performance leader before taking up his current role at the start of 2003. Autosport Magazine
Season TV Ratings up 2% Season TV Ratings up 2%Final figures show the average rating for all Nextel Cup races this year rose 2% to 5.0, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Staff writer Andy Bernstein says most of the gain was attributable to a jump in the 10 races that made up the Chase For The Nextel Cup. Those races averaged a 4.6 household rating, up from 4.1 last year, although last year's figures were lowered because of a rain delay in one of the races. Bernstein reports that demographic breakdowns show that the ratings for men 18 to 34 fell from 2.9 to 2.8 this year, while the figures for men 18 to 49 remained at 4.1.
2004 was an uneven year for F1 TV 2004 was an uneven year for F1 TVIn spite of changes in the regulations and with the launch of new Grand Prix races around the world, Formula One recorded uneven TV ratings in 2004. The information is contained in a study conducted by Eurodata TV.  In Germany and Italy, the enthusiasm caused by the multiple victories of Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari faded with the passing seasons.  In Finland, MTV3 which benefited these last seasons from the Raikkonen effect, saw its audience ratings drop for the first time in years.
In Asia, Formula One met mixed results. In Japan, the seasonal record was once again reached during the national Grand Prix, with an average rating of 5,2 per cent on Fuji TV, i.e. slightly more than one inhabitant out of 20. In China the 1st edition of the Shanghai GP was followed by less than one inhabitant out of 100.  But this figure still represents 7,9 million viewers for CCTV5, almost as much as the average audience of the races in the main European countries.  On a more positive note 2004 was a geographical opening season for Formula 1 with new circuits in Asia and in the Middle-East, including four Grand Prix races during the night or very early morning in Europe, which was not the best for audience records.

However, the European broadcasters took advantage of these morning programs to reach strong audience shares. Thus with the live diffusion of the Australian Grand Prix at 4 am, RTL in Germany reached more than 60 per cent of audience share, Rai 1 in Italy almost 80 per cent and MTV3 in Finland more than 94 per cent.  The average audience remains significant in many countries. For instance, the Grands Prix races keep on gathering an average of more than 8,3 million viewers in Germany and almost nine million in Italy.  Finally, the new races often appear among the most followed on television, the Bahrain Grand Prix taking the lead of F1 audience of the year in Germany with more than 11,5 million viewers and in Italy with almost to 13 million viewers. Indian TV

Aston Martin test update Aston Martin test updateTesting of the new Aston Martin DBR9 occurred again last week at the famous Estoril Race Track in Portugal. The original plan was to run both performance and endurance tests over the three-day span but Mother Mature intervened with unexpected rain.

Due to the extremely wet weather, the Aston Martin went through vigorous endurance testing on the 4.182 kilometer track to highlight some reliability issues that as a result can now be addressed prior to the DBR9's debut at the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 16-19.

American Le Mans Series driver, David Brabham along with Tomas Enge and Darren Turner were behind the wheel of the DBR9 during last week's tests. After 269 laps at Estoril, the Aston Martin ran well and the team is preparing for further test dates.

"Testing went well in Estoril and the team is achieving their goals with every test," said David Brabham. "The car ran without too many problems for the 3 days, where we had wet and dry running. The team hasn't worked a lot on performance because they need to find out about reliability first. This seems to be good, and so the team will work on performance in the coming months."

Red Bull confirms Coulthard to test Red Bull confirms Coulthard to testRed Bull Racing confirmed today that as part of the continued winter test program, David Coulthard will join the team in Jerez (Spain) this week driving the 2004 car, the R5. Commenting in Jerez, David said "I am pleased to have the opportunity to join the team here this week and am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of an F1 car. I have spoken to Dietrich Mateschitz, the new team owner, and it has been good to hear the plans for Red Bull Racing's future - it is certainly an exciting new team.
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
DC at Jerez
Montoya on move

JB saga 'handled badly'
A1-Ring revamp called off
Schu created 'mayhem'
No 'Kimi v. JPM' at Jerez
'Who'll pick up the bill?'
Nick to get dry Jerez
Priaulx to run in January
Williams deal 'delayed'
Honda's 'lifetime' award
Button won't get 'caught up'
GPWC can't match $500m carrot
Ferrari ally absent
Edmonton tickets on sale Edmonton tickets on saleUPDATE The Edmonton race website link is http://www.edmontonchampcar.com/  Considering it's new, the website is quite good and a lot of other tracks should take note. 12/07/04 The organizers of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton today officially launched the Alberta city as the host of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford event, to take place on a temporary road circuit on July 17.

The official launch took place today in downtown Edmonton with government officials and local business leaders hosting the event along with 2003 Champ Car titlewinner Paul Tracy. The launch signaled the start of ticket sales for the July race, with tickets going on sale through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"I can't think of a better city to hold an event like this. The City of Champions, Edmonton has proven itself time and time again able to host international sporting events with great skill and hospitality," said Premier Ralph Klein at the launch. "Racing fans in Edmonton and across Alberta are absolutely thrilled that a race of this caliber will be held here."

The 1.96-mile circuit will be constructed at the Edmonton City Centre Airport, and will host what is currently the seventh race on the 2004 schedule.
San Jose race approved, track revised San Jose race approved, track revisedUPDATE We forgot to mention, the vote by the San Jose City Council was unanimous in favor of the race, effectively sending the naysayers home with their tails between their legs. 12/07/04 The City Council of San Jose, California voted to approve a Champ Car race for 2005 and snuffed out any dreams of the opposition groups to stop the event.  The original layout of the circuit has also been changed.  See feature story on our Home Page.
Another open wheeler eyes NASCAR Another open wheeler eyes NASCARIn a move designed to help advance his career long-term, 19-year-old USAC National Midget Car Series Champion Bobby East has signed a long-term contract with Ford Racing Technology, it was announced today.  East, son of legendary USAC team owner and car builder Bob East, became the youngest USAC National champion in the organization's 49-year history when he captured seven feature victories and 21 top-10 finishes on the way to the 2004 National Midget crown.  "We are thrilled to have signed Bobby to a long-term contract with Ford," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology.  "He's a very impressive driver who has shown a tremendous amount of talent, ability and success at a very young age.  We look forward to working together with Bobby to provide him opportunities to help him realize that same success long-term in NASCAR."

Davis said East will continue to run at least one more season in the USAC National Midget Car Series and the USAC Silver Crown series, while Ford arranges for him to test a variety of NASCAR race vehicles, with an eye on moving eventually to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.  "I think it is all pretty cool," said Bobby East.  "Dan Davis has been a big part of our Midget team since I started racing.  I've always looked up to Dan and I'm excited to know that now down the road I'll be working with Dan and Ford Racing on getting my NASCAR career going.  Ford's involvement in our USAC programs has been great.  The amount of races we won this year, and how we did at tracks we had struggled at before ... well, it just showed that Ford's work helped us kick some butts at those places.  Going forward, I really want to succeed in stock car racing," East added, "starting with the Busch Series and then going to NEXTEL Cup.  I'm just very excited about the opportunity." Ford

More testing for Ferrari More testing for FerrariFirst day of testing this week for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, working today at Jerez de la Frontera. As last week, once again Luca Badoer and Marc Gene were in action at the Andalusia circuit, continuing with a development program centered on Bridgestone tires and new components. The Italian driver completed a total of 101 laps (best time 1’18”755) while the Spaniard did 121, the quickest in 1’19”228. The Scuderia continues testing tomorrow, again with its official test drivers, Luca Badoer and Marc Gene. Ferrari
Paul Tracy eyes Rolex 24 Paul Tracy eyes Rolex 24UPDATE Look for an announcement about Tracy driving in the Rolex 24 Wednesday. The Grand-Am series has scheduled a press conference with the team. 11/29/04 Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) knows a thing or two about running at Homestead-Miami Speedway, having scored podium finishes in Champ Car races in 1997 and 2000 as well as scoring one of his 22 career poles there in 1996.  But open-wheel racing’s winningest active driver is taking a different route around the Homestead layout today as he tests the Grand-Am car of Bell Motorsports in what could be a precursor to a ride with the team in the 2005 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race.  Tracy is turning some laps today on the infield road course at Homestead as part of a three-day test session for Grand-Am teams. If he gets the chance to compete in the February endurance race, it would be the first time that the 28-time Champ Car race winner has participated in the prestigious event. It would also be the first time that he has raced a sports car in a professional series race since the very start of his career when he became the youngest-ever race winner in the Can-Am series at the age of 17.  The Bell Motorsports team would be a prime candidate for a ride for the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford champion, as it is the team that won the overall title in last year’s twice-around-the-clock event held at Daytona International Speedway. The team itself is familiar with the skills of Champ Car drivers as well, having won last year’s event with former series star Christian Fittipaldi as one of the four drivers on the team owned by Forest Barber. Champ Car
Bill Davis Racing taps Finley Bill Davis Racing taps FinleyBill Davis Racing has named Derrick Finley Crew Chief for the #22 Caterpillar Dodge driven by Scott Wimmer.  Finley, who earned his mechanical engineering degree from the University of New Mexico in 1995, has served as the team’s Race Engineer since August of 2003.  Prior to joining Bill Davis Racing, Finley worked with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated for several years until he moved on to Travis Carter’s operation in 2000.   “We’re very pleased to have Derrick step up to this role.  He’s been a part of the team for quite some time now, so he is familiar with our operation as well as what Scott needs in a car”, said owner, Bill Davis.  “Originally, we had planned on bringing a new Crew Chief on during the off-season but when we saw the chemistry that Derrick, Scott and the team enjoyed during the final races of the season we knew it would be shame to ignore that”.   “We are all working really well together, Derrick has a great attitude.  Everyone on the team is excited to move into our second year together.  I’m looking forward to going back to tracks with some more experience under my belt and having Derrick’s engineering background is a real plus”, said driver Scott Wimmer.
Bernie cuts legs out from under GPWC Bernie cuts legs out from under GPWCBernie Ecclestone returned fire at the GPWC group on Monday by offering to double all F1 teams' income. Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Renault are threatening to leave the 74-year-old's category and met with several F1 venues last week about hosting their alternate series from 2008. UK newspaper 'The Times' said Bernie's offer to the ten teams is a collective $500 million over 3 years. GPWC, who had representatives in court for the F1 banks' favorable verdict against Ecclestone, 'did not register any surprise' at the $500m offer, the press report stated.

However, while the teams would have to wait until 2008 to see any money from the GPWC, Ecclestone is now offering to double their income starting next year from the sport. He told the Daily Telegraph: "They can have the money from next year if they want. It's a lot of cash and over and above the sums they signed up to in the Concorde Agreement. I think the teams will want to accept it."

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart does not believe that the GPWC will have any answer to Ecclestone’s offer. He said: "The GPWC will at least have to match that sum if the rest of the grid is going to go with them in a breakaway. And that's just the starting bid. I can't see that happening, can you?"

Montoya fastest at Jerez Day 1 Montoya fastest at Jerez Day 1McLaren, Toyota and Ferrari were back to work today at Jerez, under near perfect weather conditions.  Juan Pablo Montoya - who was testing at Jerez for the first time in the McLaren - set the best time of the day, more than half second faster than Jarno Trulli, second at the wheel of his Toyota.
1. J.P. Montoya - McLaren Mercedes - 1'16"545 - 73 laps
2. J. Trulli - Toyota - 1'17"190 - 95 laps
3. P. de la Rosa - McLaren Mercedes - 1'17"274 - 89 laps
4. R. Schumacher - Toyota - 1'17"420 - 86 laps
5. L. Badoer - Ferrari - 1'18"762 - 100 laps
6. M. Gené - Ferrari - 1'19"226 - 120 laps
Roush announces new crew chiefs Roush announces new crew chiefsRoush Racing announced today that Mike Beam and John Monsam have been named crew chiefs of the two Roush Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entries for 2005.  Beam will head-up the No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150 with Ricky Craven and Monsam will oversee the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150 with Todd Kluever.  Beam and Craven have a long history together.  They scored one Nextel Cup win at Martinsville in the spring of 2001, and three pole positions at Michigan, Rockingham and Darlington.   “Ricky and I go back a long way and I think the fact we already know how to communicate with each other will be a tremendous asset,” Beam said.  “I am very pleased to join the Roush organization and I believe I can help Ricky and the Superchips team win Roush’s second truck championship.”  Monsam returns to Roush Racing as the crew chief for rookie Kluever.  Monsam was instrumental in helping Jon Wood achieve his two wins in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2003.  “I’m glad to be back at Roush and paired up with another young, talented driver,” Monsam said.  “I hope that my years of experience in the truck series will enable Todd speed up his learning curve.  I’ve helped a few drivers get their first wins and I’d really like to add Todd to that list.”
Spare car only for the needy Spare car only for the needyFormula One should axe a rule that allows bottom-six teams to run a 'spare' car in Friday free practice, Ferrari's Jean Todt said.   "The idea was designed for the smaller teams," Todt said, "to allow them to gain more exposure."  He said he would support the return of the former 'Heathrow' option, allowing teams to trade-in a year of unrestricted testing for the third car privilege.
More questions raised in San Jose More questions raised in San JoseThis latest San Jose Mercury News article talks more about the issue of using taxpayer money to help finance the San Jose race.  Having been burned in the early 1990s by a grand prix race that went bust, the mayor of Denver had one instruction for his staff three years ago when it came to negotiating for a new race in another part of town.  ``Fine,'' Kevin Magner, who oversees the race for the city's public works department, recalled the mayor, Wellington Webb, saying. ``But under no circumstance would we put any money into this.''

Unlike the deal Mayor Ron Gonzales cut last month with promoters of a similar race that backers say will draw more than 100,000 people to downtown San Jose next summer, the more than $3 million cost for repaving streets and parking lots around Denver's Pepsi Center arena were born entirely by the race's promoters.

San Jose taxpayers, though, will pay at least $690,000 to help prepare the race course around HP Pavilion under the deal that the city council is expected to approve today. Taxpayers will be on the hook for an additional $100,000 in 2006 if alterations to the course are necessary after the first race, scheduled for July 31.

The ultimate reason for investing in the race is the millions of dollars that fans would pour into hotels, restaurants and other businesses. At issue is how much money the city puts up to spur that activity.

Gonzales initially had said he'd pay no more than $200,000, but he agreed on a much bigger subsidy in final negotiations with Canary Enterprises, the commercial off-shoot of a new non-profit cancer research project called the Canary Fund, founded by former Cisco Systems executive Don Listwin. Knight Ridder, the corporate parent of the Mercury News, also has contributed $100,000.

San Jose officials couldn't explain why they were subsidizing the Champ Car World Series race while Denver wasn't, but defended the deal they reached, citing the expected economic shot in the arm for downtown.  ``I don't know any of the specifics of the Denver deal, so I can't comment on comparing us to Denver,'' said Joe Guerra, budget and policy director for Gonzales.

Another city that hosted a downtown race recently, St. Petersburg, Fla., paid $85,000 for street work as part of an event that the CART series -- the predecessor to Champ Car -- ran in 2003.  Echoing the earlier experience in Denver, that event folded after a year and was reported to have lost money. St. Petersburg will host a race in 2005 sponsored by the Indy Racing League, a rival of Champ Car.

Whether or when any profits might emerge is an open question. Even Listwin said he expected the race to lose money in 2005 and only start making ``a little bit of money'' in the second or third year ``if we run a great race.''  San Jose officials say they expect from 100,000 to 135,000 visitors during the three-day event, providing an ``economic impact'' of about $25 million.

They base those numbers on reports from other cities, including Denver, where the mayor's office said estimated economic impact of the first race in 2002 was $26.6 million. That figure was based almost entirely on data provided by race promoters and included direct spending of $13.7 million, inflated by a multiplier intended to represent the number of times a dollar spent trickles through the local economy.

Rich Grant, a spokesman for Denver's Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, described the race as ``a huge regional draw,'' which is good for the local restaurant and hotel business.  But some Bay Area observers wonder whether the race can be counted on as a sure thing in San Jose, given Champ Car's status in the world of auto racing.  The Champ Car organization ``is as shaky as an Internet stock that never turned a profit,'' said Tom Claridge, a Fremont Porsche and Mercedes dealer and avid race fan. ``I travel all over the world to see races. This has all the earmarks of just throwing people's money away.''  [Editor's Note:  Bankrupting CART continues to have a negative impact on the organization and make some leery to support Champ Car]  Listwin expressed confidence in Champ Car's new ownership, which includes former JDS Uniphase executive Kevin Kalkhoven. ``These people are quite good,'' he said.

McDonald’s severs ties with NASCAR McDonald’s severs ties with NASCARMcDonald’s and NASCAR are calling it quits, ending a sponsorship that dates back to ‘93. Within the past few days, America’s largest burger chain notified NASCAR in writing that it won’t renew its current deal, which expires at the end of ‘04. However, McDonald’s will continue to leverage NASCAR with a soon-to-be assembled collection of teams, tracks and drivers. “We are definitely not leaving the sport,” said one insider. “We’ll just be using different assets.”  NASCAR likely won’t miss the Golden Arches for very long. Multiple sources confirmed that after McDonald’s NASCAR rights have officially expired, the racing circuit will replace McDonald’s with both Subway and Checkers. Even in a business where category splitting is an art form, bisecting quick service restaurant rights between sandwiches and hamburgers is unusual; it also bears testimony to NASCAR’s mushrooming popularity and TV ratings, second only to the NFL among U.S. sports properties THE DAILY.
Zsolt must bring money Zsolt must bring moneyPaul Stoddart says Zsolt Baumgartner will continue to race for Minardi next season, but only if their budget allows it.   "I hope to have Zsolt back in the car in 2005 but it's all subject to commercial decisions," Stoddart told Reuters.  "There's no point beating about the bush, it's going to come down to budget."
Scenes from Toyota testing Scenes from Toyota testingHere are some scenes (photos courtesy of Toyota) from recent Toyota testing at Jerez and Barcelona with Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher at the wheel.
Toyota2.jpg Toyota4.jpg Toyota5.jpg Toyota6.jpg
dtbas0904.jpg dtbas1204.jpg dtbas1104.jpg dtbas1004.jpg
dtbas1404.jpg dtjes0604.jpg dtjes0704.jpg dtjes0204.jpg
dtjes0804.jpg Toyota7.jpg


Hicks saves another man Hicks saves another manLarry Hicks, who dove into a pond to save NASCAR team owner Jack Roush after his plane crashed into the water two years ago, recently saved a second man, hunter Roy Stewart, who had fallen out of a tree stand and was hanging upside down 30 feet above ground. Alabama Live
University Receives Petty Racing Collection University Receives Petty Racing CollectionLynda Petty, wife of stock car racing legend Richard Petty, has donated a large collection of materials documenting her husband's career to the Appalachian State University Libraries Stock Car Racing Collection. The donation, which covers 1958-2003, includes newspaper and magazine articles, fan letters, scrapbooks, promotional and charitable materials, awards of recognition, photographs, books, and race programs. During his long and successful driving career (1958-1992), Petty won seven NASCAR Winston [Nextel] Cup championships and holds the record for most victories, with 200. Known affectionately as "the King," he won the Most Popular Driver award nine times. Since his retirement in 1992, Petty has remained involved in racing. He owns Petty Enterprises, which fields entrants in NASCAR's Nextel Cup, Busch Series, and Craftsman Truck Series. The Petty family has been in the racing business for four generations; Richard's father Lee was a three time Cup champion, and his son Kyle and grandson Adam followed in the family tradition. The donation is currently being inventoried and organized for public use, and there are plans to produce a Web page with finding aids detailing the contents of the Petty collection. The Stock Car Racing Collection, located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the sport was born, is the only library in the country open to the public that focuses specifically on stock car racing. It contains more than 500 books, periodicals, and videos; an extensive clippings file covering more than 1300 subjects; photographs; posters; and promotional materials. Financial and material donations are welcomed. For more information go to: appstate.edu. Carrick PR
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Bernie to lose control
Bernie's Brit GP 'deadline'
Rivals reject Ferrari offer
China to host MotoGP
Minardi get $1.5m boost
GPWC support banks' ruling
Schu 'furious'
'Still hope' - Coulthard
Priaulx to taste F1
Bridgestone lament rain
Heikki is 'special' - Schu
British F1 duo to 'sue'
Burly, not Brawn - insider
Supermodel on podium
Moss couldn't 'get it up'
Mosley - 'axe arbitration'
Bernie's $500m carrot
Ferrari oppose 'spare car' option
Brief Bits - Dec.7
Priaulx to test for Williams Priaulx to test for WilliamsThe 2004 ETCC Champion, Andy Priaulx, will conduct a test for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. The news was announced at the weekend by Mario Theissen.   The BMW Motorsport Director told Priaulx the news during the BMW Motorsport Party, held at the weekend in Zell am See, Austria, in front of 650 guests.  The test is a reward for the 30 year old European Touring Car Champion’s great performances during the 2004 season, when BMW Team Great Britain driver Priaulx pipped Dirk Müller for the title. A date for the test has not yet been confirmed.
Formula 3
Piquet off to Bahrain Piquet off to BahrainAfter competing in the time-honored Macau F3 Grand Prix two weeks ago, Nelson Piquet Jr (Nelsinho) will move to a brand new venue for his next race, the Bahrain F3 Super Prix, which will take place on Friday, 10 December at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Located in Sakhir, the state-of-the-art 5.44km Hermann Tilke designed Grand Prix track was only completed at the beginning of 2004, in preparation for it hosting the region’s first Formula One race, which took place on 4 April. The clockwise circuit features a very long main straight, a notable place for overtaking maneuvers, and a mixture of low to medium speed turns, with one very high speed corner. The BIC complex can accommodate up to 50,000 spectators and features a stunning pit complex and many other facilities, the likes of which most F3 teams will not have experienced before.

This race will be Nelson’s final F3 race as next year he will be participating in the all-new GP2 series with Hitech Piquet Sports, an amalgamation of Hitech Racing and Piquet Sports. After two pre-qualifying sessions on Thursday, 9 December, Nelson will take place in a 10-lap qualification race at 11am local time on Friday, 10 December. The 20- lap Bahrain F3 Super Prix will commence at 2.50pm on Friday afternoon.
Nelson Piquet Jr. "This will be my last F3 race so I really hope that we can finish well and my real aim is to win the race. Macau was not a good weekend for us so I want to come back fighting and do a good job this week. It will be different from Macau, where experience really counts for a lot, as no-one will have raced there before so everyone will be on an equal footing. It is good that I will get to drive on another Grand Prix circuit, which is also going to be the last round of the GP2 series next year, as it means I am learning more and more. I have never been anywhere in the region before and I think Bahrain will be a really good experience.” Piquet Press Release

Industry News
BMW about to surpass VW BMW about to surpass VWBMW is on the verge of dethroning Volkswagen as the best-selling European brand automobile in the United States. BMW has been creeping up on VW. Through November, VW was just 45 units ahead of BMW. A year ago, VW led by nearly 65,000, indicating a big collapse for VW, which is not in racing. Figures do not include BMW AG's Mini brand, which if included, would push BMW far ahead. In 11 months VW sold 234,642 vehicles in the United States. BMW's total: 234,597. Through November, VW's U.S. sales are down 17.6 percent after falling 10.5 percent last year. Its November sales plummeted 40.5 percent vs. the year-ago month. While VW sales continue to slide, BMW sales through November are up 6.7 percent. Mercedes sales are off 1.1 percent through November at 194,714 vehicles.
Race of Champions
Kanaan Relishes Chance At ROC Kanaan Relishes Chance At ROCIRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan proved up to the challenge of racing at the all-star Race of Champions at Stade de France near Paris on Dec. 4.  In its 17th year, the Race of Champions-Nations Cup is an end-of-season international racing showdown. In the Race of Champions, rally and racing drivers competed in a series of knockout heats in equally prepared cars and on parallel tracks to determine the class champions. Then, in a shootout to determine the master of motorsport, the winners from the two classes met in a super final.

In the Nations Cup, the drivers competed on two-man teams in a bid to determine "The World's Fastest Nation."   Kanaan, the first IndyCar Series champion ever invited to compete in the 16-driver "Olympics of racing," filled the role of Team Brazil's "rally" driver because of a cameo appearance a few years ago in the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil.

In the first round of the "Group Rally" competition, Kanaan defeated World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb to the line at the end of the two-lap sprint. But Kanaan was penalized for brushing the wall with his car, which gave the victory to Loeb.

"At the drivers meeting, they said that they would make a race director's judgment as to whether you took advantage of the hit with the wall," Kanaan said. "I didn't even feel it, so I couldn't have hit it very hard.  But I'm not upset. I'm just happy to be here. It's really an honor to be a part of this group. I mean, how many drivers are there in the world? There were only 16 of us invited to be here. That says a lot. I've had a lot of fun. I'm here for the sport. My wife was more upset (about the penalty) than I was."

Kanaan's Team Brazil teammate Felipe Massa lost in the first round to Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. Former IndyCar Series champion Kenny Brack, representing Sweden, also fell in the first round of the racing category.

Kanaan and Massa fared better in the Nations Cup competition. They defeated the German team of Schumacher and Armin Schwarz by 0.2848 of a second in the first round. But the French team of Loeb and Jean Alesi - which went on to win the Nations Cup -- won the semifinal round by 4.4634 seconds.

"That was fun," Kanaan said. "I'd never driven a Rally car before and I beat a couple of guys. I did my job. I came here to have fun and I did."  Loeb, who hours earlier had fallen to Heikki Kovalainen in the "Champion of Champions" final, helped turn the tables on the Finn in the Nations Cup best-of-five title heat races. Loeb and Alesi defeated Kovalainen and Marcus Gronholm 3-2.  The 23-year-old Kovalainen, the World Series by Nissan champion, became the youngest winner of the "Champion of Champions" title in the 17-year history of the Race of Champions. IRL

REJECTED: Ferrari submits its own ’05 testing proposals REJECTED: Ferrari submits its own ’05 testing proposalsUPDATE Ferrari's Formula One rivals have rejected a proposal by the world champions to limit testing and cut costs. "The proposal of Ferrari is completely unacceptable," Renault boss Flavio Briatore said at a meeting of team principals in London.  Minardi's Australian owner Paul Stoddart described the proposals, faxed by Ferrari in the absence of any team representative at the meeting, as "a piss take".   Nine of the 10 teams, including Ferrari-powered Sauber, signed up for their own initiative at the season-ending race in Brazil in October that would halve testing during the season to 24 days. 12/06/04 Ferrari has put forward to Bernie Ecclestone, its proposals for a reduction in testing for the 2005 season. This is meant as a first step towards a more comprehensive plan, which will be drawn up in the next few weeks, aimed at containing the running costs of a Formula 1 team. The Maranello company’s Managing Director, Jean Todt, was asked to shed light on these proposals.

Why has Ferrari not adhered to the proposal put forward by the other teams, preferring to come up with its own suggestions?
“Because we believe that what has been proposed would not be effective and would not produce a real reduction in costs, as well as leaving the teams to work in a not very efficient fashion. At the moment, we face two alternatives: maintaining the agreement that has been in force since 2004 or come up with a plan that would lead to real cost savings for all the teams.”

What are the main points of your proposal?
“Let us start with an assumption: limiting testing to 24 days, with two cars running on track, would mean an average of 400 km per car per day, giving a total of 19,600 kilometers. Well, we propose a limit of 15,000 kilometers per team, for the purpose of developing the car, with an obligation to run at just one track. There would be total freedom to schedule the testing according to the needs of each competitor during a period running from the first to the last race of the season.”

So that covers testing for the overall development of the car, but what would be the situation regarding tire testing?
“We believe we must establish some sort of parity between the two tire constructors, Michelin and Bridgestone and, above all, take into consideration their requirements regarding safety, in the light of the new rules which come into effect at the start of next year. With that in mind, our proposal is for a maximum of an additional 15,000 kilometers dedicated to tire development for each of the two companies. They would be at liberty to subdivide that testing between their teams, with the sole condition that these tests take place where the chosen team is already testing on track.”

What will happen if your proposal is not accepted?
“It’s very simple: we will all be free to test how and where we like. Having said that, we are aware that the issue of costs affects everyone and we have to move towards a reduction. Furthermore, some of the regulation changes already agreed and which we were among the first to approve, such as the need to use just one engine for two race weekends, are already taking us in this direction, as well as addressing the need to reduce performance on the grounds of safety. It is for this reason that, as I already said in Sao Paulo at the Brazilian Grand Prix, we will rapidly present a more comprehensive proposal, which will take into account information supplied by the FIA last May, with which we are in agreement.”

The format of the Grand Prix weekend provides the possibility to use a third car in the first two hours of free practice on Friday, for those teams classified from fifth to tenth place in the previous year’s Constructors’ Championship. What is your view on this?
“This arrangement needs to be looked at. The opportunity to run a third car on Friday was designed as a concession to allow the smaller teams and their sponsors to gain more exposure. In our view, such an arrangement would be incompatible with a further reduction in private testing. In any case, we would not be opposed to the use of a third car, if the teams that chose this option then went for a consequent reduction in their overall mileage covered in private testing.” Ferrari

Industry News
Tony George accepts Autosport Award Tony George accepts Autosport AwardTony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief executive officer, received the inaugural Pioneering and Innovation Award at the Autosport Awards Dec. 5 in London for his leadership in the development of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier.  George received the award at the annual gala at the Grosvenor House on behalf of the creators of the SAFER Barrier from Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the leader of the Bahrain International Grand Prix circuit.  The SAFER Barrier, under development by the Indy Racing League and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility since 1998, absorbs energy during impacts with retaining walls and is one of the more important safety breakthroughs in motorsports. NASCAR joined in the development of the system in September 2000.  “It’s been a big step forward in speedway racing,” George said. “It’s something that was very important to me. The prospect of coming up with a soft wall has been something we have been working on for the better part of a decade.  “After several years of hard work, we called upon the expert advice of the people at the University of Nebraska. They have done a great job helping us in the development of this system. Everyone in the IRL and NASCAR worked very hard for this achievement.”  This is the fourth major award that has been presented to honor George and the SAFER Barrier development team. The SAFER Barrier also received the Louis Schwitzer Award, SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award and GM Racing Pioneer Award in 2002.
Bernie gives Silverstone final ultimatum Bernie gives Silverstone final ultimatumSilverstone's owners have been given 48 hours to agree a contract for next year's British Grand Prix, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Monday. "If it (the deal) is done before Thursday, they are on the calendar. If it's not, they're not," Ecclestone said at meeting in London.  Ecclestone, the commercial rights holder for the sport, was confident the race would go ahead at the circuit which hosted Formula One's first championship Grand Prix in 1950.  "I guarantee there will be Silverstone. Bernie's word," he said.
Ecclestone tries to save face Ecclestone tries to save faceBernie Ecclestone has insisted that his legal defeat today vs. the banks would mean "nothing at all" to him.  A High Court judge ruled against Ecclestone on Monday in his battle with F1's three shareholder banks. But Ecclestone struck a defiant note in the aftermath of the verdict.   Asked what the decision would mean for him, Ecclestone said: "Nothing at all.   The banks, they want to get out. These people didn't get their shares out of choice, they got them as a security. They got the house and they don't want the house.  Now they want to cash in the house and that's what they're trying to do.  We have no problems with the banks. This is just a problem of them trying to put value on their shares."
Bridgestone back to Jerez Bridgestone back to JerezBridgestone Motorsport continues its scheduled winter test program this week [December 7-10] at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera. Bridgestone's teams Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Jordan Grand Prix spent four days last week [December 1-4] at the Spanish circuit, where wet weather conditions persisted for much of the time, enabling Bridgestone to complete the wet tire programs that had previously been cancelled on November 29 at Fiorano due to fog.

The poor weather in Spain did, however, interfere with Bridgestone's dry tire development programs leaving Bridgestone and Ferrari with a substantial program to work through later this week. Unfazed by the work ahead of the Bridgestone Motorsport team, technical manager Hisao Suganuma commented: "Due to the amount of rain we had last week, we completed only a small number of laps on dry tires on Saturday afternoon - the final day of the test.

"Although we did get some valuable information from those runs, we shall now run most of the development specifications due to be tested last week in addition to the new arrivals originally scheduled for this week. Naturally, this does leave us with a lot to do in the next few days but we plan to use the time in an efficient manner and should be able to complete the programs."

"Last week, however, was by no means a wasted opportunity," he added. "We tried several new constructions and compounds for our wet tires and the natural rain conditions, as opposed to artificially wetting a test track, enabled us to gain some excellent data. We found some very positive results in both development areas and have a clear picture of our next phase of wet tire development." Bridgestone

Mosley warns engine manufacturers Mosley warns engine manufacturersSpeaking exclusively to Eurosport.com at the Stade de France on Saturday, FIA President Max Mosley has warned Formula One engine manufacturers BMW, Mercedes and Honda that they must stick by their decision to reduce engines from V10 to V8 in 2006 and that arbitration is a waste of time and money.

With engine performance edging ever closer to a colossal 1000bhp, the motorsport governing body, the Federation International d'Automobile, took it upon themselves to decrease engine capacity from a 3 liter V10 to a 2.4 liter V8 in time for the 2006 season, a decision uniquely based on safety grounds.

However, three of the sport's largest engine manufacturers, BMW, Mercedes and Honda, immediately voiced their discontent at the decision, stipulating that the Federation were in breach of the Concorde Agreement which states that V10 engines will remain until 2007.The decision was followed by a threat of arbitration, which could delay the introduction of the new regulations to a later date, but FIA President Max Mosley is confident that the correct decision was taken and that any law suit would be a waste of time and money.

"We are absolutely confident because had we left the engines alone we would have been over 1,000 horsepower next year, never mind 2006," Mosley told Eurosport.com, "and with these huge companies spending upwards of $250 million on their program each year just for two cars, that enormous escalation in power had to stop. "Now we are aiming to bring the engines back to around 700bhp, we might not get that, they might be in the region of 750bhp, but we'll bring it back into the realm of reasonable," Mosley added. "To have more than a thousand horsepower on today's circuits and today's cars would be distinctly dangerous. Therefore, there is no way, in my view, that any arbitration panel or any judge anywhere is going to overrule us and say 'no, no, you're wrong, it's not dangerous, it's perfectly alright, they can go ahead. I just don't see that happening, I think that the arbitration is a waste of everyone's time and money."

Brack may never come back Brack may never come backKenny Brack has admitted that he doesn't know if he will ever reach the stage where he can return to the IRL,  hinting that as with many IRL drivers, his time in the series could have been brought to a premature end by the massive accident he suffered at Texas Motor Speedway last season.

Speaking  to Crash.net at the Race of Champions event in Paris, Brack said,  "If I want to [get back] then yes," he said, when asked if he hoped to get back to the top level. "I would not like to be in a position where I want to, but I physically cannot. I would like to be in a position where I physically can and then I will decide in my head whether I want to go back there or not.

"Had I been 25-years-old then there would not have been a question in my mind, but I'm 38, I might have two years left in Indy Car racing because of the physical aspect of things and is it worth that amount of dedication and workout for two years"

"That's the question I have to ask myself when it is time to make a decision, and maybe it is, maybe it isn't " we'll see on the opportunities. 

"I couldn't ask for more," he said. "Three weeks ago I had a really big improvement in my right ankle and now I'm able to walk without even limping. It keeps getting better and better but even if it stopped now I would say "Thank you very much I never thought I could get back to this level' and I would be very happy with that."

T/A duo win in Puerto Rico T/A duo win in Puerto RicoJoey Scarallo and Jorge Diaz, Jr. co-drove a Trans-Am Series-spec Jaguar XKR to victory in Sunday’s three-hour season finale for the Circuito Corredores de Puerto Rico at the Salinas Circuit. The duo, competing in the Club’s GTS class, led all but two laps of the event, held at the 1.6-mile permanent road course.

The event traditionally ends the Puerto Rican club racing calendar. The Circuito Corredores sanctions racing which utilizes similar rules to the Trans-Am Series and has been a breeding ground for many Trans-Am competitors, including Trans-Am race winner Wally Castro, as well as Diaz. The three-hour event mandated teams run with just 10 tires and required two stops.

“We showed what two young guys from the Trans-Am Series can do when they team up to compete,” said Scarallo, who completed his sophomore Trans-Am season in 2004, driving the No. 06 Toyo Tires/ROH Wheels Chevrolet Corvette. “Jorge put the car on the pole and he led every lap of his stint. I took over and led all of my laps, and then he finished it off. We rocked and rolled out there.

“There has been a long-standing belief in auto racing that young guys are fast,” added Scarallo. “We proved that to be true on Sunday.”

Diaz is no stranger to Puerto Rico club competition, having won four Circuit Corredores titles (GTU in 1999 and 2000, and GTS in 2001 and 2002). However, Diaz had never won the season finale until Sunday.

“We’re extremely happy,” said the Puerto Rican driver, who notched his first Trans-Am victory during his second full year of competition in 2004, driving the No. 8 Jaguar XKR. “This is the largest local event in Puerto Rico. It feels incredible. This is the only local race where we’ve had bad luck. We ran twice before and led many laps, but had bad luck with debris and traffic. This is a big boost.”

Champ Car rookies finish 1-2 Champ Car rookies finish 1-2A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson battled all season on the race circuits that made up the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, finishing 1-2 in the fight for the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year Award as Allmendinger became the first American-born driver in 13 years to win the award.

The pair, now teammates at RuSPORT for the 2005 Champ Car World Series season, again finished 1-2 last night, this time in the voting for the Autosport Magazine “Rookie of the Year” title, with Allmendinger becoming the first American to ever win the prestigious award. The Hollister, California native nipped his new teammate for the award ahead of four other nominees after a year that saw him score nine top-10 finishes along with a pair of podium performances.

“Driving in Champ Cars this year has been a dream come true for me,” said Allmendinger. “I’ve definitely learned a lot this season and everyone at RuSPORT is as dedicated to winning as I am, so we all have one goal-to win. So, with my rookie year done, I plan on contending for wins and the championship next year. I want to thank Carl Russo, my parents, and everyone who supported me. I wouldn’t be getting this award without all of them.”

Wilson had an equally impressive first year in Champ Cars, earning a front-row starting spot in just his fifth race, and debuting in Long Beach with a sixth-place finish despite having had very little testing time prior to visiting a street track that he had never seen before.

“It was an honor to be nominated for the award, especially when you look at the competition,” Wilson said. “It’s always nice to be recognized for what you’re doing and if I have to lose out, who better to lose to than my new teammate! Seriously, A.J. is a very deserving winner and I had a great time racing head to head with him on the track. I’m really looking forward to next year with RuSPORT because I think A.J. and I can really push each other to some great results. I want to thank everyone for voting and supporting me this year.”

The two Champ Car stars were voted ahead of fellow nominees Christian Klien (F1), Kasey Kahne (Nextel Cup), Darren Manning (IRL) and Rob Huff (BTCC) in voting conducted on the magazine’s website, www.autosport.comChamp Car

Bernie loses battle for F1 control in court Bernie loses battle for F1 control in courtThe BBC reports that a judge has ruled against Bernie Ecclestone in a boardroom dispute which could see the businessman lose control of Formula One racing. Three creditor banks were disputing the make-up of the board of Formula One Holdings (FOH), the company that runs the Grand Prix circuit. Outlining his judgment at London's High Court, Mr Justice Andrew Park said the banks' "contentions are correct". "I should therefore make the declarations which it requests."

The judge ruled that Mr Ecclestone had "no defense". Mr Ecclestone is expected to appeal against the ruling. If an appeal was to fail, Bambino would no longer have a majority on the board.

At stake is Mr Ecclestone's grip over a sport from which he has amassed a reputed fortune of £2.3bn ($4.2bn). The ruling could also have a bearing on the dispute between Mr Ecclestone and the car manufacturers involved in F1.
The car companies have threatened to set up a rival series in 2008 if they are not given a bigger share of F1's revenues and more say in the running of the sport.

The judge started to go though the reasons for his ruling on Monday, a procedure which is expected to last for several hours. FOH has previously indicated that it will abide by any decision of the court. Mr Ecclestone, however, is thought to have been working behind the scenes to keep control of F1. "Bernie was not opposing this case, so you can bet he has an alternative plan up his sleeve that will leave him with all the crucial cards," One veteran F1 insider told the BBC. [Editor's Note: Could that be the purchase of Champ Car and the start of a new series? Makes for interesting speculation......]

Indian firm signs deal with Ferrari Indian firm signs deal with FerrariTata Consultancy Services of India has signed a deal to provide information technology to Ferrari.  India's largest software services firm will also provide engineering services for the development of the team's racing car for the 2005 season.   Tata did not indicate financial terms of the contract.

"This is a significant win," said Tata executive vice-president N Chandrasekaran.   "The aspect that makes it very special is that we will be doing the core work that powers the Ferrari engine for the race car division."  In Italy, Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni confirmed a three-year deal was signed with Tata, but would not reveal its value.  Mr Chandrasekaran said the first group of Tata engineers has already reached Maranello, Ferrari's headquarters, to start work on the project.  "I can't share the size of the deal. All I can say it's a multi-million, multi-year contract," Mr Chandrasekaran said.   But he said the deal would help Tata raise its profile in Europe especially at a time when several orders from European companies were in the pipeline.   Tata Consultancy's clients include American Express, British Telecom, Boeing and IBM.

MotoGP signs 7-year deal in China MotoGP signs 7-year deal in ChinaChina will host a MotoGP race for the next seven seasons at the Shanghai International Circuit.  The track, which staged its debut F1 race to great acclaim in September, was already on the 2005 MotoGP schedule.  But owners the Shanghai International Circuit Company have now signed a longer deal with Dorna Sports, MotoGP's licensing body.  Dorna Sports chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta said: "We say it's a great time to be in China."
Race of Champions
Bourdais only one to score win Bourdais only one to score winAfter a year of globe-hopping that resulted in his first Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford title, Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) got to go home to do some racing for a change last week. Bourdais joined 15 drivers from some of the world’s top racing series in the Race of Champions in Paris over the weekend, running in front of his countrymen against top-level competition such as seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher and World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb. The competition took place in the Stade de France, on an asphalt rally-style track where drivers went head-to-head with the winner moving on in the tournament format.

Bourdais was the only driver from a U.S.-based series to win a round in the Race of Champions, beating former IRL and Champ Car driver Kenny Brack by 15.1 seconds in their first round match up. Bourdais’ first-round time of 1:43.95 was the second-fastest of the entire round, but earned him a spot in the quarterfinals against the only driver to post a faster time in the first round – the vaunted Schumacher. Neither driver was able to duplicate their first-round efforts and Bourdais fell to the Ferrari ace by 3.2 seconds.

The 2004 Champ Car titlist also competed in the Nation’s Cup event on the next day with Stephane Sarrazin on the Playstation France team. The event took place on the same track as the previous day’s Race of Champions, but the Bourdais/Sarrazin team fell to their countrymen Jean Alesi and WRC champ Loeb, who went on to win the Nation’s Cup. The Champ Car title winner also finished second for the second consecutive time in voting for the SPEED Channel Driver of the Quarter. Bourdais finished second in the overall voting to NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson, making it a clean sweep as NASCAR drivers won the voting by a panel of credentialed media in each of the four quarters of 2004.

Bourdais clinched his first Champ Car title during the fourth quarter of 2004, winning the championship in dramatic fashion in Mexico City, rebounding from a spin to claim the victory. Bourdais led the Champ Car World Series in wins, poles, laps led and qualifying average in 2004. Champ Car

Dominguez on his F1 chances Dominguez on his F1 chancesWhen do you plan to have your first taste of a F1 car?
Well it’s up to Midland. It depends when they come out with the first car, which should be September 2005.

Are you 100% sure you will be a race driver with the Midland team in 2006?
Well, you can’t be sure of anything in this sport and it’s a long way to go. But I have to say it is looking very very good! They are interested in me and I am interested in them. They came to see me in Mexico for the last Champ Car race, they met some sponsors and everything. Yes, it is looking very good! Let’s put it like that: the possibilities are very strong! GP2004.com

Schumacher's Paris weekend Schumacher's Paris weekendIt was a Parisian weekend for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. The Prancing Horse pulled up for the two-day event, giving the fans a chance to come into close contact with their heroes. The world champion took part in a Race of Champions in the afternoon of Saturday 4 December in front of a crowd of sixty thousand. On the track the fans witnessed speed and rally specialists fight it out on a specially designed kilometer long circuit. The Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge was one of the cars to feature. In front of Ferrari’s Direttore Generale, Jean Todt, Michael Schumacher won the duel with the world champion French rally driver, Loeb. The Scuderia’s German star won two races out of three.

On Sunday morning Michael Schumacher and the F2004 were the main attractions of an extraordinary parade along the famous Champs Elysees. Ferrari’s Jean Todt also participated, on board an Enzo, with FIA president Max Mosley.

Four other models from the current Ferrari range also took part in the procession from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. A 575 Maranello was driven by Patrick Tambay, René Arnoux and director Luc Besson were at the wheel of a 360 Spider, Antonio Ghini, Director of Communication and Brand Management of Ferrari, and Andrea Castronovo, responsible of Ferrari West Europe, took the wheel of a 612 Scaglietti with Felipe Massa and Professor Gerard Saillant driving an F430.

The event was organized to celebrate the championship winning 2004 F1 season and was held in front of hundreds of thousands of people. The spectators demonstrated enormous affection for Ferrari and, in particular, Michael Schumacher. The reigning world champion frequently came to a complete standstill owing to the uncontrollable enthusiasm of the fans. Source Ferrari

SCORE selling Busch team SCORE selling Busch teamSCORE Motorsports, owned by Hermie Sadler and retired NBA star Bryant Stith, announced today that they have decided to sell their NASCAR Busch Series team. Sadler and Stith will continue to field a NEXTEL Cup Series team and a Late Model Stock Car team as part of the Drive For Diversity program in 2005. "We have been unable to find the type of funding we need to grow the Busch team," Sadler said. "We have looked at many options, including joining forces with another team and also participating in a driver development program. At the end of the day, our best option is to sell the Busch Series team to someone who can continue to grow it and for us to focus our attention on the NEXTEL Cup team. We will have an announcement on our NEXTEL Cup Series team in the next three weeks." The Busch Series team consists of several complete race cars, engines and many parts and pieces. Serious parties can contact SCORE Motorsports at 804-586-8215 and receive additional information. The SCORE Motorsports Busch Series team is 25th in owners points headed into the 2005 season.
AJ Allmendinger wins Autosport Rookie Award AJ Allmendinger wins Autosport Rookie AwardUPDATE All the Autosport awards:
Gregor Grant: Sainz
John Bolster: Honda
Innovation: SAFER barrier
Intl Driver: Button
British Comp: Priaulx
Rookie: Allmendinger
Racing Car: Ferrari F2004
Rally Car: Citroen Xsara
Intl Rally Driver: Loeb
Ntl Rally: Wilks
Ntl Racing: Thompson
Club Driver: Pickford 12/05/04 AJ Allmendinger has been voted the autosport.com rookie of the year. The 23-year-old American ended the season sixth overall in the Champ Car World Series standings with two podiums and finished top rookie. Allmendinger was voted by you ahead of new RuSPORT teammate Justin Wilson, IRL star Darren Manning, F1's Christian Klien, Nextel Cup ace Kasey Kahne and BTCC Seat driver Rob Huff. "It's been great for me," said Allmendinger. "I've had a lot of success but I've had a lot of good people behind me. Paul Tracy has been a good influence. Carl Russo has spent a lot of money on me and I have cost him a lot on damage! But it has been a great year and a lot of great things happened. Champ Cars is a great series right now with a lot of people in it that want to spend a lot of money. Autosport
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
BAR to launch Jan.16
Coulthard to test Red Bull
Michelin teams 'complain'
Bernie fate 'imminent'
Ville still top
Trulli had eye surgery
Schu doesn't rule in France
Toyota 'stole' Ferrari data
Nick to drive again
Ralf quits sex-toy jaunt
Lebanon and motor sport
Piquet to test BAR
Ant's 'blanket ban'
GPWC target F1 venues
BAR trio 'blown away'
Brief Bits 1
Di Resta to test McLaren
Zanardi on Letterman
'I've seen R25' - Alonso
Schu should go for 'ten'
BMW back Heidfeld
Brief Bits 2
Friday is Brit GP 'deadline'
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