:: fast in-laps ::

A place to share interesting information on auto racing, especially CART, IRL, & F1. Also welcome are any anecdotes from the club SCCA-type racing set. E-mail: ebrott -at- juno.com Pray for our troops. Read Romans 8:28.
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:: 29.1.03 ::

Indy Car

UPDATE: 2/4/03 - Apparently Dare is racing with someone else. AJ IV's partner is Shigeaki Hattori. My point still stands.

Headline in ESPN's RPM site:
"Foyt fifth team to use Toyota"

All right, A. J.!! You go show it to those foreigners... in your Toyotas,...with Airton Dare...um, weren't those chassis designed in Italy, too?? Oh, never mind...

:: Eric 29.1.03 [+] ::
...
UPDATE: 2 more team announcements.

Latest CART drivers: Newest announcements in bold.

Confirmed drivers:
Adrian Fernandez - Fernandez Racing
Paul Tracy - Player's Forsythe
Patrick Carpentier - Player's Forsythe
Alex Tagliani - Rocketsport
Bruno Junquiera - Newman/Haas
Max Papis - (Rocketsport?)
Bryan Herta - (Patrick?)
Roberto Moreno - (Bettenhausen?)
Michel Jourdain, Jr. - Rahal
Mario Dominguez - Bettenhausen
Joel Camathias - Dale Coyne
Sebastien Bourdais - Newman/Haas
Alex Yoong - Team Morello
Rodolfo Lavin - Walker
Darren Manning - Walker (was Roberto Gonzalez)
Oriol Servia - Patrick
Patrick Lemarie - PK Motorsports
Jimmy Vasser - American Spirit Johanssen
Ryan Hunter-Reay - American Spirit Johanssen
Mario Haberfeld - Mi-Jack Conquest Racing
Laurent Redon - (Mi-Jack Racing Bachelart?)


Drivers who should be on team owners’ speed-dial:
Memo Gidley
Johnny Herbert - (Team Morello?)
Michael Valiente


:: Eric 29.1.03 [+] ::
...
:: 17.1.03 ::
Night Moves: It looks like CART will be racing under the lights, not once but TWICE this season. First, they announced that Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport circuit will be raced at night. Now, CART has added that the Milwaukee Mile's 100th race will also run on a Saturday night. Very cool!!
:: Eric 17.1.03 [+] ::
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UPDATE: As of Fri., Jan. 17: New announcements are in bold.

Confirmed drivers:
Adrian Fernandez - Fernandez Racing
Paul Tracy - Player's Forsythe
Patrick Carpentier - Player's Forsythe
Alex Tagliani - Rocketsport
Bruno Junquiera - Newman/Haas
Max Papis - (Rocketsport?)
Bryan Herta - (Patrick?)
Roberto Moreno - (Bettenhausen?)
Michel Jourdain, Jr. - Rahal
Mario Dominguez - Bettenhausen
Joel Camathias - Dale Coyne
Sebastien Bourdais - (Newman/Haas?)
Alex Yoong - Team Morello
Rodolfo Lavin - (Walker?)
Roberto Gonzalez - Walker
Oriol Servia - Patrick
Mika Salo - (PK Motorsports?)
Jimmy Vasser - (American Spirit Johanssen?)
Ryan Hunter-Reay - (American Spirit Johanssen?)
Mario Haberfeld - Mi-Jack Racing Bachelart
Laurent Redon - (Mi-Jack Racing Bachelart?)


Drivers who should be on team owners’ speed-dial:
Memo Gidley
Johnny Herbert - (Team Morello?)
Michael Valiente

No word yet:
Townsend Bell
Eddie Irvine


:: Eric 17.1.03 [+] ::
...
:: 16.1.03 ::
Along with the announcement of the official name change to the CART (ahem) Champ Car World Series, Robin Miller penned a great article on the history of the Champ Car.

F1 champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Nigel Mansell migrated to CART along with grand prix regulars Derek Daly, Bruno Giacomelli, Jan Lammers, Roberto Moreno, Roberto Guerrero, Eddie Cheever, Stefan Johansson, Mauricio Gugelmin, Mark Blundell and Alex Zanardi.

Mixed in with American road racing standouts like Danny Sullivan, Scott Pruett and Rahal, plus second-generation stars Al Unser Jr. and Michael Andretti, and off-road toughie Rick Mears and Champ Car racing became a melting pot of talent.

“It was a title that gave you such a feeling of accomplishment because of all the talented competition and different types of circuits,” said Mario Andretti, the 1978 F1 champ who captured the CART crown in 1984.

“And that is why it's still the most challenging form of racing out there.”

While F1 is all road courses, IRL is all ovals and NASCAR is mostly turning left, CART remains the truest test of man and machine as it heads into 2003.


Great stuff, Robin! Read the whole article here.
:: Eric 16.1.03 [+] ::
...
Open Wheel News: Now, when you're watching an open wheel race on TV, and someone walks in and asks what you're watching, it will be a lot simpler to explain.

IRL cars are now officially called IndyCars.
CART cars are now officially called Champ Cars.

F1 will continue to be called Formula One cars. Midgets, sprint cars, karts, and Baja-racing buggies will also remain as they were.


:: Eric 16.1.03 [+] ::
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:: 10.1.03 ::
CART racing in May.

Chris Pook's European Vacation will take place on consecutive weekends at the historic Brands Hatch racetrack in Great Britain followed by a bank holiday race at the modern oval at Lausitzring, Germany.

A bankruptcy prohibited racing at the German track last year, but the race was run the year prior. It was a terrible race, run just four days after the Sept. 11 tragedy, and involved a horrifying wreck in which Alex Zanardi lost both his legs.

The last time CART ran at Brands Hatch was back in 1978. That was a much more joyous event, mainly because Rick Mears won the race over Tom Sneva. Hooray!!
:: Eric 10.1.03 [+] ::
...
Five weeks away from the start of the CART season, and still the picture is unclear who will be driving which car for 2003. So, as speculation continues, I'll start a weekly post: Who's where in 2003?

Confirmed drivers:
Adrian Fernandez - Fernandez Racing
Paul Tracy - Player's Forsythe
Patrick Carpentier - Player's Forsythe
Alex Tagliani - (Rocketsport?)
Bruno Junquiera - Newman/Haas
Max Papis - (Rocketsport?)
Bryan Herta - (Patrick?)
Roberto Moreno - (Bettenhausen?)
Michel Jourdain, Jr. - Rahal
Mario Dominguez - Bettenhausen
Joel Camathias - Dale Coyne
Sebastien Bourdais - (Newman/Haas?)
Alex Yoong - Team Morello
Rodolfo Lavin - (Walker?)
Roberto Gonzalez - Walker
Oriol Servia - Patrick

Drivers who should be on team owners’ speed-dial:
Jimmy Vasser
Memo Gidley
Johnny Herbert - (Team Morello?)
Michael Valiente

No word yet:
Townsend Bell
Eddie Irvine

(Thanks, to seventhgear.com for the above information.)


:: Eric 10.1.03 [+] ::
...
:: 8.1.03 ::
Ok, it's rare that I even pay attention to any headlines from the NHRA. I mean drag racing just doesn't do it for me. Maybe because the race is over in literally the blink of an eye. That said, I read on the rpm.espn.com website that Shirley Muldowney may retire after running a limited season this year. She is nothing short of amazing, that she has raced and won at the top levels of her sport.

And that she's still racing today, at age 63.

I mean, I look at those Top Fuel dragsters at the auto shows and think there's no way I'd strap myself in there. I think it's great that she is able to celebrate this year as a "farewell tour." She brought a lot of interest to new generations of fans and drivers in the sport, and hopefully NHRA can return the favor by paying tribute to her career this season.
:: Eric 8.1.03 [+] ::
...
I may have to break down and purchase a Playstation 2 system after all. It looks like the software company Codemasters is near to releasing an IRL videogame, that includes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 33 cars in its simulations. Graphics are rendered in brilliant PS2 quality. The big question, and major selling point: Will the game feature the Michigan International Speedway? Check the link for screenshots of the game.
:: Eric 8.1.03 [+] ::
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:: 7.1.03 ::
If all of the CART driver deals pan out, it looks like the class of the field will run quite a bit deeper than many people thought for 2003. No wonder Mr. Pook seems to be smiling more:

Drivers coming back with the best chance of scoring victories, winning the championship:
Adrian Fernandez
Paul Tracy
Patrick Carpentier
Alex Tagliani
Bruno Junquiera
Max Papis
Bryan Herta
Roberto Moreno
Michel Jourdain, Jr.

Other drivers who will fill out the field next year:
Mario Dominguez
Joel Camathias
Sebastien Bourdais
Alex Yoong
Rodolfo Lavin


Drivers who should be on team owners’ speed-dial:
Oriol Servia
Jimmy Vasser
Memo Gidley
Johnny Herbert
Michael Valiente

Thanks for playing:
Townsend Bell
Eddie Irvine

Okay, that last one was kind of a joke.

UPDATE: It looks as though Ricardo Zonta will not run in a Newman-Haas champ car as the Brazilian has announced that he signed as a Toyota test driver for F1. Oh, well. Sometimes you gotta let kids make their own mistakes.
:: Eric 7.1.03 [+] ::
...
At today’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, Paul Gentilozzi is expected to announce the driver for his startup team, Rocketsports. It is rumored that Max Papis will be driving the Johnson Controls sponsored car.

Papis has shown a knack for wringing the most performance out of his machinery. I watched him dominate and nearly win at Michigan in a Rahal car. (He ran out of fuel on the final lap.) His performance last year with the Sigma racing team was excellent, prior to the team’s early departure for lack of funds.

In addition to CART, Max Papis has had experience racing in Formula 1 and sports cars (24 Hours of Sebring winner).

:: Eric 7.1.03 [+] ::
...
A couple more familiar faces may be seen in the starting grids at CART races in 2003. Michigan native, Bryan Herta and Brazilian, Roberto Moreno are rumored to have inked deals with rides. Or at least they are very close to announcing they’ve inked deals with rides.

Herta last raced with Forsythe’s second team, but is mostly remembered for his time with Bobby Rahal’s team where he won the Laguna Seca race a couple of times.

Moreno, now 41, has spent an entire season racing for Pat Patrick, following a season he spent as a “super-sub”. In addition, Moreno has spent time racing for the Forti Ford team in Formula 1, and in the Indy 500 for a variety of teams.

:: Eric 7.1.03 [+] ::
...
:: 3.1.03 ::
Good news for Witherill: He's going to have the one thing he's needed most for next season. Stability in a strong team. I like Cory Witherill. The guy's got a lot of heart. He did terribly in his rookie debut in the IRL, but that was before they came up with their development program, the Infiniti Pro Series. He has found his current skill level in the new series and now has a proven team behind him, and the ability to improve on his good performance of last year (win at Nashville). A successful season this year could springboard him back into the IRL for '04 at a much improved level.
:: Eric 3.1.03 [+] ::
...
In keeping with the "Welcome Back, Kotter" theme: CART Welcomes Back Another Great Champion:

Eric Barchelart is sick of going around in circles and has returned to CART racing, this time as a team owner. Barchelart originally raced in CART in 1992 - 1995, and was Indy Lights champion in 1991. Robin Miller has a great writeup on the CART.com site. Check it out!

Looks like his team purchased a bunch of surplus Reynards. It's not as bad as it sounds. There is a design freeze on the chassis this season, everyone will have the same Cosworths, and the Players team made pretty good use of their Reynards last season...
:: Eric 3.1.03 [+] ::
...
From the Archives: This was a racing post on the short-lived "other blog". And it shows how long I've been away from this stuff. The Montreal CART race was awesome!! Much better than the Ferrari parade that was there earlier in the season. As for the IRL St. Louis race: I may have seen it. I really can't recall. I think the finish was close, but then most of the IRL finishes are. As Scotty would say "They need more power!!"


[8/23/2002 11:14:55 AM | Eric Brott]
RACING: Racing this weekend: The Champ cars have arrived in Canada - again. But this time they take on the F1 circuit in Montreal. Prior commitments (a fantasy football draft) preclude me from watching the race live. But a hearty thank you to Speed Channel, who will be replaying the race at 9 pm (and again at 1 am). It will be great to be able to watch the race on the same day (not to mention sleep with the music of turbocharged Lolas and Reynards in my ears).

I was concerned at first when I read about CART coming to race at the F1 circuit, but really the concern should be Bernie Ecclestone's. I have no doubt that Tracy/Tagliani will be a much more exciting show than the Villenuve/what'sthatGermanguy? yawnfest that has become F1. Ho hum.

Also, the IRL racers are in St. Louis for the Gateway Indy 250. Go get 'em, Helio. That should be a pretty exciting race, too. Their points battle is probably the best of all the series right now. Maybe Hornish could have some technical snafus this weekend? That'd be great. Heh, heh.

:: Eric 3.1.03 [+] ::
...
(Cue the Welcome Back, Kotter theme music)

SITE RESURRECTION UPDATE!!!

To borrow a phrase from Gilda Radner's Emily Littela character: "Never mind." Never mind that idea of starting a new blog with other sports comments. Making the Mad Cow as a separate blog coincided neatly with my ceasing to create ANY new blogs, on this site or any others.

But during this Christmas, my dad asked me if I could give him the URL for "your racing site" and it hit me. I loved finding new stories about all the racers, the team owners, the CART-IRL politicking, etc. And sharing them on this site was just plain FUN. Even if no one ever reads it but my Dad and I.

When he asked me about it, I thought, "Gosh, I don't even know if it (or even Blogger) exists anymore. I'll have to go check."

I am extremely pleased to see that the site is still here, and that I can still publish to it! Thank you, Blogspot.com!

And thank you, Dad!

---Silly Season, Open Wheel, Fast Racing, Robin Miller-inspired commentary coming soon...

EB
:: Eric 3.1.03 [+] ::
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