Las Vegas postscript

A number of drivers were milling around the Las Vegas paddock this past weekend trying to put deals together, including Oriol Servia (who we hear might be close to a 3-race deal with one Champ Car team), ex-Champ Car driver Patrick Carpentier (pictured right), IRL team owner Sam Schmidt, Nelson Philippe, Charles Zwolsman, and Jan Heylen……we hear that Champ Car is talking to a number of cities in the USA about a street race and some are getting close to a possible deal, including one that could be the new season finale if it gets done (though we thought Phoenix had the rights for the finale)……..The Houston race runs in the opposite direction to Las Vegas and Long Beach and hence requires that the teams have a way to fuel the car from the left side instead of the right. Guess what, the new Panoz didn't come with the pieces for a fuel tank inlet on that side of the car. Supposedly Panoz is making the parts and they will be shipped to the teams within a week so the cars might be ready in time for Houston. Nothing like waiting until the last minute……the trouble-plagued Panoz paddle shifter system is slower than some drivers can shift manually so some teams have done things electronically to make them shift faster, which may explain why there have been gearbox issues.

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