Sunday, September 28, 2008
Before becoming a team owner however, and in a case of life imitating art, Newman became an avid and accomplished racer in his own right following the filming of the 1969 movie "Winning" in which he aptly played a racecar driver.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Yesterday at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, AGR unveiled Honda as the title sponsor for the freshly minted Honda Toronto Indy. In these uncertain economic times, to get such a deal is indeed the apex of luck.
Then AGR's chairman and No. 1 cheerleader, Michael Andretti, kick-started the enthusiasm the event will need to come back from a year off of racing on the temporary street circuit along the shores of Lake Ontario.
It would seem that all that is needed now is for AGR team members to roll up their sleeves and get to work putting Toronto's premier summer sporting event back together again.
Just six months ago that seemed a Herculean task, especially after the merger of the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series resulted in Toronto being left off the 2008 schedule -- marking the first time in 22 years that the roar from open-wheel race cars would not be heard in this city.
After two years of fading attendance, poor promotion and weak grids after Molson left as caretaker of the event in 2005, the decision by the IRL not to include Toronto on its race calendar this past season easily could have been its death knell.
But by sheer force of his iconic racing heritage and the fondness he has for the race where he won an astonishing seven times, Andretti vowed he could not let the Toronto Indy die.
"He must have sent (IRL racing boss) Brian Barnhart 1,000 text messages, arguing that Toronto had to be put back on the racing calendar," AGR public relations chief Al Larsen said yesterday.
According to Andretti, as soon as word began to leak out that he was trying to purchase the Toronto race, he got a phone call from Honda Canada executive Jerry Chenkin saying that if AGR was intent on going ahead with the deal, Honda wanted in.
It must be understood that finding a title sponsor for any sporting event usually is the hardest and final thing that gets done to make it work. In this case, the Honda deal was done before the ink was dry on AGR's agreement to buy the Toronto Indy.
That gave AGR a running start to force Barnhart and the IRL to give them the traditional second week in July race date for Toronto in 2009.
"Since 1986, (Toronto) has been a can't-miss event in racing," Andretti said. "It always had the biggest crowds and the solid commitment from community, government and industry in Ontario."
He said that it is his goal to bring back the glory days when the downtown core was the place to be for race fans and tourists alike when the green flag dropped at Exhibition Place.
Kevin Savoree, Andretti's partner, will be the go-to guy for the Honda Toronto Indy and he said yesterday that the Japanese manufacturer's participation is key to rebuilding the event.
"The Honda brand is very powerful and is one of the true driving forces behind the growth and success of the IndyCar Series," Savoree said. "Andretti Green and Honda have a long legacy of successful partnership and the Honda Indy Toronto will benefit immeasurably from the strength of that relationship."
Of course, it was cheques from the province, the city (via Exhibition Place) and Tourism Toronto -- believed to be about $2 million a year over the next three years -- that sealed the deal for AGR.
"We simply could not have done this without the support of all levels of government," Andretti said.
What he didn't mention was the $50-million windfall the race will bring to Toronto next summer.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen was the only of the “big-team” drivers to sneak into the front positions and will start alongside Vettel, as Red Bull-backed cars swarmed the first two rows with RBR’s Mark Webber in third and Sebastien Bourdais in fourth in the other STR, also a career-best qualifying result for the Frenchman.
Williams’ Nico Rosberg completed the top five.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is the best championship contender in sixth – bad timing with the rain meant Kimi Raikkonen in the second scarlet car and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton were relegated to 14th and 15th respectively, being left stuck in Q2 when the downpour increased and times could not be bettered.
Here's a look at the shocking starting grid:
1) Vettel, Toro Rosso-Ferrari ,
2) Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes ,
3)Webber, Red Bull-Renault ,
4) Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari ,
5) Rosberg, Williams-Toyota ,
6) Massa, Ferrari ,
7) Trulli, Toyota ,
8) Alonso, Renault ,
9) Glock, Toyota ,
10) Heidfeld, BMW Sauber ,
11) Kubica, BMW Sauber ,
12) Fisichella, Force India-Ferrari ,
13) Coulthard, Red Bull-Renault ,
14) Raikkonen, Ferrari ,
15) Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes ,
16) Barrichello, Honda ,
17) Piquet, Renault ,
18) Nakajima, Williams-Toyota ,
19) Button, Honda ,
20) Sutil, Force India-Ferrari
info and picture courtesy of http://formula-one.speedtv.com
**LIVE RACE UPDATE:**
I'm sitting here watching the race live. What an exciting race. Wet conditions have made for an interesting race. Race starts under yellow behind the safety car.
Vettle turns P1 into a real lead.
Bourdais had problem off the line, has to let the field go by and has to start at the back of the pack.
Hamilton is tearing it up, moving through the field. Lots of action in the mid pack as the points leaders try to fight to the front.
Where is Kimi? Not so good in wet conditions.
Entire race is run on rain tires, due to wet track, but no rain, which has threatened all day but has not yet appeared .
10 laps left.
Track is drying up.
Hamilton's gets caught up behind Massa for 7th. Pace dropping off.
Massa getting closer to Webber in 4th.
Kimi still 10th, mid pack.
Lots of action on the track for positions.
6 laps to go.
Nice move by Kimi for 9th.
Webber all over Hamilton's ass.
Mark Webber tries to get by Hamilton, contact into the corner, Webber goes wide, Hamilton keeps the position.
4 laps left, Vettle still 14 seconds in the lead.
Nakajima tries to go around the othside of David Coultard into the corner, contact!
Nakajima goes off, Coultard keeps going.
Concern for debris from contact with Cultard and Nakajima on track.
Last lap, Vettle wins.
Shocker! Announcers gush like little girls at the achievements of Vettle.
Kovalainen second, Kubica thrid.
Massa 6th, Hamilton 7th, Raikkonen 9th.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The price of gas spiked to one of the highest rates ever seen in the GTA Friday - $1.36.6 for a litre of regular.
And the price of oil fell below US$100 a barrel on world markets for the first time in five months.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Armstrong, who will turn 37 on Sept. 18, will join the Astana team and compete in five road races, the sources told VeloNews.
He will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia, the Dauphine-Libere and the Tour de France. The sources told VeloNews that Armstrong will receive no salary or bonuses.
7 reasons why Hamilton's penalty was bullshit...
Some criticised him for cutting the chicane. But what was his other option? Given how close he and Raikkonen were, and how sharply Raikkonen turned in on him, I don’t think he would have been able to avoid hitting Raikkonen just by braking. In which case,
If he stayed on track and caused an accident with Raikkonen he would have gotten [Kovalainen's] penalty, instead he went off, spared both cars and gets penalised for having a competitive advantage.
Hamilton himself said: “Kimi ran me wide. To avoid an incident, I had to go up that part of the track.”
If Hamilton had no choice but to cut the corner, what did he need to do to avoid a penalty? He let Raikkonen go entirely past him. Presumably the stewards wanted him to let Raikkonen go further ahead. But how far away did he need to let Raikkonen to be sure he wouldn’t get a penalty? There’s no way of telling by looking at the rules.
It almost goes without saying that the stewards’ decision makes no sense in the context of recent decisions. Felipe Massa went off the track and gained an advantage at least once while racing Robert Kubica in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix:
Adding to the inconsistency, race director Charlie Whiting told McLaren he thought what Hamilton did was legitimate.
3. A great race ruined
If there’s one thing all F1 fans like it’s a proper, wheel-to-wheel battle for the lead. The stewards interfering with that not only spoiled the race, it gives the impression they don’t want drivers overtaking in Formula 1.
Assuming Hamilton did gain a slight advantage by not letting Raikkonen past by enough, the punishment seems grossly disproportionate to the crime.
The stewards could easily have instructed him to let Raikkonen past again - indeed, they’ve done it in the past in F1 and it’s common practice in other motor sports.
Instead, they relegated Hamilton behind two drivers who weren’t even involved in the battle for the lead. Where’s the justice in that?
The innuendo about the FIA favouring Ferrari has hung around F1 for years. The barge board and Michelin tyre scandals in 1999 and 2003, Fernando Alonso’s dubious penalty at Monza in 2006, and McLaren’s staggering punishment in spy-gate last year are just a few examples of occasions when the FIA has been accused of protecting F1’s most famous team.
Hamilton’s punishment is just one more reason why so many F1 fans think the FIA is biased in favour of Ferrari. And if the game is rigged, no-one will want to watch.
6. Another court room battle
The 2007 season was ruined by a seemingly unending string of controversies that ended up before the FIA Court of Appeal. And here we go again.
Many F1 fans are sick of the politics. They want to see races decided by the racers.
We may grumble and groan about its idiosyncrasies, but F1 fans at heart are passionate about motor racing and see Formula 1 as one of the top forms of motor sport.
Decisions like this which seem unjust, out of all proportion, and designed to favour one team over the others, are hugely damaging to F1’s public image.
No-one wants to admit to liking a sport if the rest of the public see it as being corrupt. The FIA stewards brought Formula 1 into disrepute yesterday.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing is as talented a bunch of folks as you'll find. They dedicate millions of dollars and thousands of hours to researching innovative methods for getting their IndyCars to go as fast any others on any type of track, working tirelessly so that every part is properly assembled and optimally configured.Well, almost.
Upon review of its Timing and Scoring process following the conclusion of Sunday's race, IndyCar Series officials have confirmed that the transponder on Scott Dixon's No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car had been improperly installed, resulting in Dixon being shown in the top spot on the Indy Racing League's T and S system rather than race winner Helio Castroneves."