Racing News - September 2001
- (9/30) - U.S. GRAND PRIX
Mika Hakkinen, on the cusp of his retirement, won the 2nd annual F1 race at Indianapolis after starting from 2nd.
Michael Schumacher started from pole and finished 2nd.
4th place finisher, Jarno Trulli was disqualified due to a plate on the bottom of the car, being too thin by the end of the race. How lame.
Juan Montoya led part of the race, but retired due to car failure.
Rubens Barrichello led too, and was looking to finish in 2nd, when his engine faltered a few laps from the end.
- (9/30) - In the support races for the U.S. Grand Prix,
German Jorg Bergmeister won the Porsche Pirelli Supercup race and and American Steve Earle won the Ferrari Challenge race.
- (9/21) - Greg Ray might be driving on a Nascar Busch team next year, as well as driving for Foyt's IRL team.
- (9/21) - This year's guest drivers competing in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup race during next week's U.S. Gran Prix include IRL champ Sam Hornish, Jr. and David Donohue, the son of Mark! Last year, we had Mario and Little Al compete in the race.
- (9/21) - Bobby "Dorkboy" Rahal has said his cart team, based in Ohio, will attempt to qualify at Indy next year. Um, where were you at when you had Kenny Brack on your payroll wanting to defend his 500 championship? Loser.
- (9/21) - A 20 y/o Brazilian, Felipe Massa is testing with the Sauber F1 team and apparently will replace Kimi Raikonnen when he moves to West/McLaren next season. Recently a crop of very young drivers have been entering F1 - Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Alex Yoong. Felipe also brings some hefty sponsorship dollars with him!
- (9/21) - The condition of Alessandro Zanardi continues to improve, and his medication has now been reduced to the point where he is awake and talking. He came out of the medically induced coma yesterday, and today reached the next stage in his recovery.
"[Zanardi's wife Daniella] had just told Alex about his legs and he said that was OK, he didn't care because he still had her and Niccolo," related Tony Kanaan, Zanardi's teammate at Mo Nunn Racing. "That's the kind of spirit I expected from him."
- (9/21) - Well, the CART race from Germany, where Alex Zanardi's accident took place last week was rescheduled again. It supposedly will be broadcast in the middle of the night tonight on ESPN. TV Guide reports now that it will be on at 2:30 am Saturday (22nd) Indy time (Central Daylight, or Eastern Standard).
- (9/20) - It appears that Steve Park's steering wheel came off his Busch car on Sep. 1st at Darlington and that is what caused his accident.
During a caution period, his car jumped down infront of Larry Foyt's car, who was accelerating to move up to the head of the line of lapped cars on the inside lane. He couldn't avoid hitting Park's car on the driver's side.
Park had to be cut from the car and spent two days in a South Carolina hospital. He hasn't raced since because of a bruise to his brain and is expected to miss at least another month.
- (9/20) - Security agencies have been meeting with IMS officials about plans for the upcoming U.S. Grand Prix. They say that excellent plans were already in place and there is some tweaking going on and that no changes may even be visible to the fans, although more announcements could come Friday.
Peter Beering, Indianapolis' terrorism preparation coordinator, was encouraged by Wednesday's meeting with IMS.
"We've always had great dialogue between the agencies and the folks at IMS, but it's even better now," he said. "We've got a plan in place and it's pretty solid -- time-honored and battle tested, as I like to say.
"We'll make some adjustments for this race, I'm sure, but that's not unusual. We always consider current information."
Beering said the public's renewed interest in security will help Speedway fans accept any changes.
"People need to remember that the Speedway is one of the best-constructed sporting facilities ever built," he said. "Its (grandstands are) reinforced steel and concrete. It was meticulously built with solid engineering. It's a strong facility."
- (9/17) - Sarah Fisher and Walker Racing are looking for new sponsors for 2002.
- (9/16) - 2000 Indy 500 champ Juan Pablo Montoya will be coming back to the Speedway to compete in the U.S. Grand Prix on the heels of his first Formula One win in Italy.
- (9/15) - Alex Zanardi suffered a career-ending accident in the first CART race in Germany, losing his lower legs. The race will be rebroadcast Saturday at 2:30am on ESPN. Apparently Alex was leading the race, dropped into the pits for a splash of fuel 12 laps from the end, and spun out into the track exiting the pits. He slid into the path of Alex Tagliani who was going 200 mph. Zanardi had the front end of his car sliced off along with his legs.
Its been a week from hell. Kenny Brack ended up winning the race.
Alex Zanardi's car
- (9/15) - Juan Montoya has the pole for the Italian Grand Prix, his 2nd pole position in a row and his 4th of the season.
9/14) - McLaren confirmed that Mika Hakkinen would end his current term in the sport at the end of the year, and at the same time announced that Coulthard would continue in 2002, to be joined by the new young sensation, Kimi Raikkonen. Hakkinen says he needs a break and will try and come back after a year off. He has raced for McLaren nine years for 159 races and has garnered 26 pole positions and 19 wins and 2 driver championships. Coincidentally, Kimi is from Mika's home country - Finland.
9/14) - The IRL and NASCAR has postponed their races for this weekend. The season ending IRL race at Fort Worth has been moved to Saturday October 6th. The New Hampshire Winston Cup race has been moved out to November 23 and will become their season ending race. F1 will observe a moment of silence during practice today and Ferrari are running their cars with no sponsor logos and black nosecones all weekend.
- (9/13) - I was wondering if all of the foreigners who will be pouring in for the U.S. Grand Prix will be dismayed at the new tighter airport security that we will have set up. But my well traveled friends assure me that they are used to it as the rest of the world's airports have been like this for a long time.
- (9/12) - Due to the national tragedy of the terrorist attack on NY and DC, the IRL and NASCAR has cancelled qualifying for this weekends races.
- (9/12) - Sigh. Well, after only two weeks of my predicting that CART would run Indy Lights into the ground, they pulled the plug today. The IRL had offered this year to buy it, but they turned them down. So the IRL will create their own junior racing league called The Infiniti Pro Series. It will debut sometime next year. See last months news for more.
- (9/10) - Brake lights are set be tried out for the first time in Formula One at this month's U.S. Grand Prix, the FIA governing body confirmed on Friday. "Consideration is being given to fitting all Formula One cars with brake lights in time for evaluation in the first free practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis," it said in a Formula One update.
Formula One cars currently have constant red rear lights used in bad weather as well as a flashing rear light linked to a speed-limiter that comes on when they enter and leave the pits. The new lights will come on when a driver brakes or slows by lifting off the power.
- (9/9) - As you may have noticed, whenever a racing series that runs Goodyear tires, recieves some competition from another tire company, Goodyear drops out. Goodyear recently approached Tony George, president of IMS, about returning to Indycar racing. Currently, Firestone supply tires to both the IRL and to CART. As you know, Firestone has been under fire for their Ford Explorer tire recall and are hurting financially. Goodyear figured it was a good time to re-enter openwheel racing, however, they still do not want any competition and told Tony that they will not return if any other tire manufacturer is allowed to compete. Currently Goodyear is the only tire supplier for Winston Cup racing. Goodyear also dropped out of Formula One several years ago when Bridgestone started competing. Michelin has recently began competing in Formula One too.
- (9/7) - The track's young marketing guy, Bob Rief, is leaving the Speedway team to run his own NY marketing company, though he will still be promoting the IRL. Reif was responsible for the IRL dropping the Las Vegas oval from the schedule. He was also responsible for having Aerosmith sing the national anthem at the 2001 Indy 500 which was a p.r. disaster as the rendition steamed many fans. On the plus side, he helped form the new tv package for the IRL.
- (9/6) - Heritage Motorsports will is adding a second car to their team. To join Jeff Ward will be former F1 driver, Johnny Herbert. Herbert won 3 G.P.'s as well as Le Mans. This new car too will be powered by an Infinity engine.
- (9/6) - A.J. Foyt has replaced Donnie Beechler with Greg Ray to run in a second car at Texas. This car will be powered by an Infinity engine, the first Infinity for Foyt Racing. For now, Beechler is going to stay with Foyt and see how things work out. Greg also drove for Foyt back in '98 when he filled in for an injured Billy Boat.
- (9/4) - Great news for the U.S. Grand Prix! ABC will be broadcasting the race "live" across America. This means that the entire country can watch the F1 race instead of just the cable channel subscribers! However, Speedvision, who will be televise the race delayed, retains the right to the "in car cameras" and they're not sharing. Consequently you won't see incar views during the "live" broadcast on ABC. Speedvision will be televising the race the following week. Also, ABC will probably black-out the race in Indianapolis. Also, F1 has given Tony George the right to work on the tv schedule for F1. He is trying to get ABC/ESPN to broadcast all F1 races next year! He said "Speedvision has done a reasonable job with what they have, but on ABC, more people would watch it by accident (than on purpose on Speedvision)." This would greatly enhance F1's exposure in the USA.
- (9/4) - Luciano Burti suffered a concussion and brain bruising after his crash in the Belgium G.P. Formula 3000 driver Tomas Enge of the Czech Republic is one of the drivers in line to fill-in for Burti. Enge will begin a three-day test for Prost at the Magny-Cours circuit in France on Wednesday in an attempt to land the temporary drive.
(9/3) - Hometown Heroes Capture Championships
During 47th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Local drivers Whit Bazemore of Indianapolis and Larry Dixon of Avon headlined a spectacular final day of eliminations at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Bazemore captured his second U.S. Nationals title in the Funny Car division, while Dixon dominated the Top Fuel field for his second U.S. Nationals title. Other winners for the day included Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, Angelle Savoie in Pro Stock Bike and Mike Coughlin in Pro Stock Truck.
(9/2) - Jaques Lazier won the inaugral IRL race in Joliet Illinois for his new Team Menard.
Sam Hornish Jr. finished 2nd today in the race at the new Chicagoland speedway earning enough points to clinch the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Lights Series Championship!
Felipe Giaffone won the IRL's rookie of the year.
- (9/2) - Announcement: ABC and ESPN, Inc. have agreed to terms that would extend and expand their partnership through 2007 to telecast and promote the Indy Racing League as their exclusive American open-wheel racing series.
(9/2) - WilliamsBMW capture the front row with JPM on the poll. However after 3 restarts today at the Belgium GP, Micheal Schumacher took the lead and held it to the end. THIS IS HIS 52nd FORMULA ONE WIN AND A NEW WORLD RECORD!!! Note that Fisi made the podium!
- (9/2) - Luciano Burti has really been taking a beating in F1; one bad crash after another. Then, today in the Belgium GP, Eddie Irvine sliced his front wing off as he drove him off the road at the Blanchimont turn. This removed the downforce at the front of Burti's car. Eddie might as well have just taken away his steering wheel.
Burti plowed directly into the wall out of control. There was a tire barrier there several tires thick. Burti, burying his Prost under the tires and spanked that wall hard. It was a horrific sudden stop and I was pretty certain that he was dead. Eddied stood by trying to help.
It appears that he will be ok. He suffered a concussion and may have some broken bones. I reckon he's had enough violent crashes this year to last him a lifetime.