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DATE News (chronologically)
04/09/07
Racing News
Quotes of the week
JACK ROUSH, NASCAR team co-owner, Roush Fenway Racing
“I’m not going to gloat over what’s happened, or take any glee in it,” Roush said, “because it’s hard to start a new program, around new people and new drivers and a new manufacturer. And this year’s hardware issues (like the Car of Tomorrow) make it triple tough.  I didn’t expect Toyota to be a factor early on. But the comments I’ve made were not based on what I looked for in the first half of 2007, or even all of 2007, but rather 2008, 2009 and beyond will be a very good time for Toyota, if they continue to have the money they now have available to get the people and technologies. Toyota will get it right … and they will put the rest of us in the back, unless NASCAR is vigilant in its effort to protect against unlimited amounts of money coming into this sport and buying everything of value from the existing teams.  If Toyota can do that, there will be an upset the likes of which we have never seen. Right now the good news for the established teams is that the good drivers have all been under contract, and the good crew chiefs and the best crewmen have not been willing to take a chance on an upstart team or a new program. But as time goes on, as the Toyota teams get their legs under them and start to consistently qualify, the more those people who have the talents to make a difference in the programs will be inclined to consider the generous offers they’ve made - offers that will escalate as time goes on.” (Commenting on Toyota's slow start to the 2007 season, but the probability of its future domination of NASCAR racing)
 
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO, Formula One team
"Scuderia Toro Rosso confirms that this press release paper was designed on the same computer as the Red Bull Racing press release paper," an amusing document issued to the press at Sepang read. "Having flown out a ten strong legal team from Austria, the UK and Italy late last night, we can confirm that our paper complies fully with all regulations regarding media headed paper and the industry standard British Universal Length Layer Size Height Interface Template (B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T.)"  (Comically responding to rival Spyker's protest at the Malaysian GP of apparent evidence showing that parts of the STR2 single seater were illegally designed by its sister team, Red Bull)
 
JIM FREUDENBERG, President and CEO, Vegas Grand Prix
Jim Freudenberg said that when he was first presented with the idea we were told by people in the city that "you will never get it done (approved). That's the wrong thing to say to the three of us (Freudenberg and Vegas Grand Prix owners Dale Jensen and Brad Yonover)."  He had many complimentary things to say about Chris Kneifel. "Chris Kneifel did a phenomenal job making this the great track it turned out to be. We took notes every minute this weekend on what we can do to make this event better next year.  We had to close the General Admission grandstand sales at 10:15 this morning because they were full. We were nervous about doing it on Easter, and it was a challenge, but it turned out OK. We plan to build more grandstands for next year. Attendance was far more than we expected."  As for the railroad being a barrier between the paddock and the downtown, they knew that early on. "We had plans to build a double bridge over the railroad but their insurance people got nervous and nixed the plan this first year. Even if we have to fly to Omaha (where the insurance company is) we will meet with the city and them to make sure those bridges are up next year."
 
DALE JENSEN, Vegas Grand Prix co-owner, said "The race was over the top. It exceeded my expectations in every way." He added, "This is the worst Vegas GP there will ever be," meaning it will only get better from here.

WILL POWER, Champ Car driver, Team Australia
“It feels really good. This is the first of a long marathon 'cause, you know, we really want to win this championship. But I lost the start to Paul. I was a bit worried about it because we were on the dusty side. You know, I was sort of expecting to get wheel spin, and he got me there. Then, like he said, he made a bit of a mistake in the chicane. I got a good run on him with 'push to pass', passed him. He pretty much pressured me all the way to the pit stop, especially at the end when my tires went off. I struggled with the rear tires. I expected him to come out behind me. But I think he had a bit of a problem in the pits. After that, I mean, I was pretty much alone. I caught Katherine Legge for a while, she held me up. But after that, it was a pretty cruisy race really. We had a good car. It handled well all day. The only issue I had was a really long brake pedal at the end of the race. But we had an 18-second lead, so we just brought it home and brought Derrick Walker his second win since '99. It's his birthday. So a pole and a win, I think that's a pretty good present for him.”  (Commenting after winning the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix Champ Car race)
 
ROBERT DOORNBOS, Champ Car driver, Minardi Team USA
“I really enjoyed it. A great start to the weekend. Already yesterday to have qualified in the top three, we couldn't have dreamed of a better start really. Was a bit worried this morning because it's a different routine that you have than in European racing with these rolling starts. At the end of the day, I thought it was more like a safety car start. It did cut me out a little bit in turn one when I saw Junqueira with I think a smoked wheel coming on the inside. I thought, I want to have a long afternoon, so I let him go. I got him back in the end. It took me a couple of laps. It was quite tough on these red tires. We had no idea how long they would last. The pit stops went well. A very long one, the second one, because we had a different strategy. Then I had to save fuel, which is also a new thing for me because he kept telling me, You have to save more fuel, more fuel. I was like, I'm racing, what do you want me to do Valet parking or something? I'm so pleased for everybody, especially for my sponsors here, they come all the way from Holland. It's been a long winter. Really a good decision to go racing in Champ Car.”  (Commenting after finishing second in the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix Champ Car race)
 
PAUL TRACY, Champ Car driver, Forsythe Championship Racing
"When they first said they were going to have a race in downtown Las Vegas, I said, Man, there's no way you could have a race down there. The roads are so rough, you can hardly drive a nice car on them. But the city got behind the race. They made the track beautifully smooth. We had one small issue with a bump on the track and they came in and worked all night and fixed it. We had a problem with the track and they didn’t just try to band-aid to fix it. They tore the whole intersection out and repaved it and that’s great." (Commenting after finishing third in the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix Champ Car race)

FERNANDO ALONSO, Formula 1 driver, McLaren
"To win today after coming second in Australia with my new team is like a dream come true. I'm so happy and pleased with the progress we as a team have made since we unveiled the MP4-22 in mid-January. We knew the key to victory today was to make a good start and get in front to control the race which we achieved. To have Lewis in second place makes today's result even better. There was bit of a drama when there was a problem with my radio after about ten laps, so I wasn't sure if the team was ready for me when I came in to pit for the first time. However they were and the radio was fixed during the stop. After that it was a matter of fighting the conditions, but as I was not really threatened I could take it a bit easier, however it was tough - really tough. We will now continue our preparations for Bahrain and I can't wait." (Commenting after his first win for McLaren at the Malaysian Grand Prix)
 
LEWIS HAMILTON, Formula 1 driver, McLaren
"That was the toughest race of my career. I was defending my position for a lot of the time, and I'm so pleased that I managed to keep both Felipe and Kimi behind me. However it was hard work and it was just so hot inside the cockpit. A big thank you to the team who have worked so hard both with the car but also preparing me for the past months. Today's result is super for the entire team. I made a good start and was able to get past Felipe and Kimi to take second. At one point Felipe was attacking at Turn 4 and ended up going slightly off the track, and I was able to keep second. Kimi was catching towards the end as I was struggling with the balance a bit but what a race. I now have experience of racing in these conditions and will be even better prepared next year. I'm now looking forward to Bahrain. Congratulations to Fernando, very well done." (Commenting after finishing second to teammate Fernando Alonso in the Malaysian Grand Prix)
 
JACQUES VILLENEUVE, 1997 F1 World Champion
"I don't want them and they don't want me," the 1997 world champion told the Canadian Press after relocating with his new wife and baby son from Switzerland to Montreal.  Although his F1 retirement was not voluntary, Jacques insists that he is "100 per cent happy" with his new life, which involves launching music albums and racing later this year in the famous Le Mans 24-hour event.  Referring to his defunct grand prix career, Villeneuve said: "It gave me time to do stuff I didn't think I would have time to do.  It just panned out right."  He is still waiting for news about a ride in the NASCAR series but said he is "confident it will happen".  (Commenting on his new life which includes no plans for an attempt to return to Formula One racing)
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