NEWS ARCHIVE

29 FEBRUARY 2008

SUPER AGURI SAYS IT WILL BE IN MELBOURNE

Fumio Akita, Aguri Suzuki's partner in the Super Aguri F1 operation, says that the team will be in Melbourne, despite fears that the organisation could go out of business. Akita admits that the team is scrambling to get things ready in time for the Australian GP but said that the same was true a year ago.

MCLAREN TO SEEK BRITISH GOVERNMENT HELP?

McLaren says that that it is going to contact the Home Office, the British ministry responsible for law and order, regarding concerns about how the Italian police are conducting their inquiries into the espionage affairs of last season.

MCLAREN UPSET AGAIN

McLaren Racing has issued a statement saying that it wishes to place on record "its extreme displeasure" with the wording of a statement that the Italian Police are reported to have made yesterday.

NASCAR COMES TO EUROPE

The Paris Tuning Show this week witnessed the launch of a new European championship which is to be called the All Stars V8 Cup, with backing from the NRJ radio station.

28 FEBRUARY 2008

A MEETING AT SILVERSTONE

The Economic and Environmental review and development committee of the South Northants Council has agreed to refer the Silvestone Master Plan back to the council, rather than giving the plan an instant go-ahead. The next Council meeting will be in March.

FORSYTHE SHUTS UP SHOP

Gerald Forsythe has announced that he is going to close down Forsythe Championship Racing Ltd, the Champ Car team, saying that he cannot find the budget to race in the Indy Racing League.

WILLIAMS ANNOUNCES BAUGUR MONEY

Williams has announced two new sponsorship deals and although the team is not saying it openly, both are owned by Baugur, the Icelandic company that had been tipped as a potential investor in the team. Our sources say that this deal has not gone ahead but that this does not mean that Baugur will not be a big sponsor, even if the company decides to use different brands.

27 FEBRUARY 2008

ITALIAN MAGISTRATES TALK TO MCLAREN

The Italian magistrates investigating a complaint from Ferrari, made last summer, have been meeting with and talking to "a number of McLaren executives" about what happened.

26 FEBRUARY 2008

MSC AIMS FOR THE F1 CROWD

MSC Cruises, a division of the giant Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second largest container shipping firm in the world, is to enter Formula 1 this year as a trackside sponsor at four races.

25 FEBRUARY 2008

A FATAL ACCIDENT IN ADELAIDE

Ashley Cooper, a 27-year-old V8 touring car driver in Australia, has died following an accident during a support event for the V8 Supercar frace on the streets of Adelaide. Cooper was competing in the Fujitsu series when he went off at high speed and went sideways into a concrete wall.

PAUL FRERE

Paul Frere, a celebrated racing driver and journalist, has died at the age of 91. The Belgian never fully recovered from an accident at the end of 2006 while driving a VW Golf near the old Nurburgring in Germany. Frere, 89 at the time, suffered a shattered pelvis, several broken ribs and punctures to both lungs.

23 FEBRUARY 2008

PEACE DECLARED IN US RACING

The owners of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League have announced an agreement to unify the sport for 2008. The three signatories to the agreement are Gerald Forsythe his partner Kevin Kalkhoven and Indy Racing League founder and chief executive Tony George.

21 FEBRUARY 2008

A STRANGE MOVE

Perhaps in Spain the insurance company Mutua Madrilena will be seen as heroic for having ditched the McLaren team after its difficult 2007 season, in order to follow national hero Fernando Alonso back to Renault.

AN OPEN-WHEELER DEAL GETS CLOSER

Open-wheeler racing looks set to reunite in the United States with the talks between the Indy Racing League and Champ Car edging closer to a solution. It will, no doubt, take mon ths to sort out all the legal details but a reunification means that finally open-wheeler racing in the US can once again become a serious proposition.

19 FEBRUARY 2008

WALTER TOTSCHNIG

Walter Totschnig, the logistics manager of Toro Rosso, has died at the age of 67. Totschnig was one of the great characters of Formula 1 and spent 13 years working with Sauber before switching over to Scuderia Toro Rosso.

18 FEBRUARY 2008

VILLENEUVE OUT OF WORK

Jacques Villeneuve has been dropped by the Bill Davis Racing NASCAR team after hitting a wall and triggering a multi-car accident during a qualifying race for the Daytona 500.

A GREAT DAY FOR ROGER PENSKE

Roger Penske's racing teams have won in all the championships in which they have competed but some races have remained a problem. The teams have won in F1, Indycars, NASCAR, CanAm, TransAm, ALMS and Formula 5000. But one event consistently eluded Penske: the Daytona 500.

17 FEBRUARY 2008

RYAN NEWMAN WINS DAYTONA 500

The Daytona 500 kicked off the NASCAR Sprint Cup season with victory going to Ryan Newman in his Alltel Dodge.

16 FEBRUARY 2008

THIS IS THE STORY - DON'T TRUST IT!

The Formula 1 teams were testing over a four day period last week in Jerez de la Frontera with the McLaren team topping the timesheets thanks to Heikki Kovalainen's 1m17.974s after a total of 180 laps during his two days.

15 FEBRUARY 2008

F1 MEN JOIN PEUGEOT AT LE MANS

Peugeot Sport has announced a stong driver line-up for the current season of sports car racing, which will include the Le Mans 24 Hours. The line-up includes Stephane Sarrazin, Pedro Lamy Marc Gene, Nicolas Minassian and Jacques Villeneuve. They will be joined by Christian Klien, Franck Montagny, Alexander Wurz and Ricardo Zonta.

14 FEBRUARY 2008

MORE ON THE BAHRAIN FORUM

Formula 1 team bosses have thrown their support behind the inaugural Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East and will take major roles in the event on 1-2 April 2008. Ron Dennis, Frank Williams, Nick Fry, Christian Horner and Colin Kolles have all confirmed their participation in the high-profile conference programme.

WHERE SHOULD F1 RACES BE HELD?

Formula 1 is a very profitable business with TV companies, in particular, pouring money into the coffers of the Formula One group of companies, which is controlled by the venture capital company CVC Capital Partners. There are additional streams of revenue coming from race fees, trackside advertising, corporate hospital and official licensing.

13 FEBRUARY 2008

THIS ENVIRONMENTAL THING

We are all for Formula 1 portraying itself as being environmentally-friendly. That is a very good idea and getting rid of the crazy "fuel burn" segment of the qualifying was an intelligent thing to do. However, one does have to ask whether all this pressure on Asia-Pacific races to hold races at night is really a good idea as the floodlighting in Singapore is expected to use 3.2m Watts of power.

A NEW CONCEPT FOR A RACING DRIVER

In these days of new ideas one should not overlook Danica Patrick, who has led the way for women racing drivers in America in recent years. Danica has now achieved something that no racer before her has ever achieved by appearing in Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue, which hits news-stands this week.

A BRITISH GRAND PRIX IN GIBRALTAR?

Look forward to a British Grand Prix in Gibraltar. It seems that anything is now possible following the confirmation that the Amaury Sport Organisation has agreed a deal to run the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile. The radical move comes following the cancellation of the traditional event this year in Africa because of terrorist threats in Africa.

11 FEBRUARY 2008

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF TIMING

The Australian Grand Prix has traditionally started at two o'clock in the afternoon but with Melbourne being 10 hours ahead of London this means that the TV coverage of the event begins at a less than agreeable 0400 in Britain and a slightly less painfull 0500 in Europe.

A FORUM IN BAHRAIN

In recent years the Monaco Motor Sport Business Forum has earned a reputation for being an important event within the motor sport industry, with stakeholders, sponsors and decision-makers coming together to talk business. The Forum has now expanded and this year will feature a new event in the week before the Grand Prix in Bahrain.

8 FEBRUARY 2008

VILLENEUVE CLOSE TO A DEAL

Jacques Villeneuve is reported to be close to signing up a major sponsor to support his entry into the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2008. The plan is to run the Bill Davis Racing Toyota Camry unsponsored at the upcoming Daytona 500 on February 17.

MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES

It is being reported in the United States of America that Champ Car owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe have reached an agreement with Tony George of the Indy Racing League to merge the two championships, bringing to an end the self-destructure schism that has torn open-wheeler racing in the United States apart in the course of the last 13 years.

RUSSIANS IN F1 - RUMOURS AND SPECULATIONS

There are reports that the unknown bidder for the Super Aguri F1 team is from Russia. We do not believe that this is the case but we hear that some of the money behind the bid may come from Russian sources, probably in the form of sponsorship.

FORCE INDIA REVEALS

The Force India team had a spectacular launch in India yesterday to unveil the team's new livery. This includes considerable sponsorship from Kingfisher, in addition to support from Medion (which came with Adrian Sutil) plus money from Kanyan Capital, an investment company which specialises in Africa having invested in mining, telecommunications, tourism, property, aviation and agriculture.

7 FEBRUARY 2008

BACK IN MODENA

The Formula 1 has done its best to close the book on the 2007 espionage affair but it seems that the Italians are not going to give up that easily. There were reports yesterday in the Italian press that Modena magistrate Giuseppe Tibis has asked for a number of McLaren staff to visit him to answer questions about the espionage question, to see whether it is worth pushing ahead with the civil legal action in Italy.

FIA INSTITUTE TO HOST SECOND CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE SUMMIT.

The FIA Institute will host its second annual Summit at the Bahrain International Circuit on April 3, which will be chaired by the Deputy President of the FIA Institute Professor Gerard Saillant, who will lead the discussions on the subject of Medicine in Motor Sport.

FORGET THE A1 RING

The future of the A1 RIng in Austria remains clouded following the news that an attempt to revive the track for F1 has failed. The track was purchased by Red Bull and the pits and grandstands were then demolished in preparation for a major overhaul aimed at winning back an Austrian GP.

THE START OF A NEW TREND?

There are reports that Williams is to establish a permanent base for its test team in Spain, not far from the Valencia circuit. Spanish newspapers are reporting that the team is in negotiation with the regional government for a suitable facility and will give young Spanish drivers the opportunity to test its cars as part of the agreement.

RALF TO TRY TINTOPS

Ralf Schumacher was left behind by Formula 1 this year and so has decided to continue his competition career with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM. The 32-year-old has had two tests with Mercedes in recent weeks and says that he is enjoying the experience. The drive has yet to be officially confirmed but reports that a deal is done are widespread in Germany.

TONY ROLT

Tony Rolt has died at the age of 89. The former Grand Prix driver had a spectacular career both as a soldier and later in racing and in business. At 21 he was a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade which was part of the British Expeditionary Force in France when the German invasion occurred. Rolt was trapped in Calais where the small British force helped to hold back the advance of a Panzer Division that was bound for Dunkirk.

PRIZE-WINNING IN PARIS

The 23rd annual Festival Automobile International took place last night in Paris. A dozen prizes are awarded by a jury made up of eminient representatives from the sports car industry, architecture, fashion, design, art and the press, all of them having in common a passion for cars.

6 FEBRUARY 2008

THE QUESTION OF RACISM

Racism is an ugly thing and the fact that a number of Spanish fans felt the need to be offensive to Lewis Hamilton during the recent test is not something that can be considered acceptable in the sport.

5 FEBRUARY 2008

WHAT IF SILVERSTONE DOES GET A NEW CONTRACT?

The British Grand Prix may have removed one hurdle in its path with the news that its development plans have moved one step closer to becoming a reality - but this is no guarantee that the race will be able to survive in the longer term.

SILVERSTONE GETS A NOD (WINK STILL TO COME)

The British Racing Drivers' Club has announced that the South Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet Committee has adopted the plans laid out in the Joint Silverstone Circuit Development Brief. The plans have already been endorsed by Aylesbury Vale District Council. This means that the club's vision for the future will now go ahead to gaining planning permission. An application is expected shortly and if all goes to plan work will begin in order to have the new pits and paddock development finished in 2009.

4 FEBRUARY 2008

WHO IS WHERE IN THE F1 PECKING ORDER IN 2008?

The Formula 1 teams were testing again over the weekend in Barcelona and although times are still an unreliable guide - the two Toro Rossos were fastest on Saturday - the Formula 1 teams are now beginning to get a clearer idea of who is where in terms of overall speed, as the engineers in the different team have had a chance to digest the data that was created at the tests to date.

YAMAMOTO JOINS RENAULT

The ING Renault F1 Team has signed a deal with Sakon Yamamoto to give him the role of test development driver for the 2008 season. This is most odd as the team already has a third driver and a test and reserve driver and the impression one gets is that Yamamoto's presence in the team may be related to the desires of a sponsor or because he is bringing backing to the team.

2 FEBRUARY 2008

BMW SIGNS KLIEN AND ASMER

The BMW Sauber F1 Team has announced that it will be employing test drivers Christian Klien and Marko Asmer in 2008. "We wanted a third driver with Formula 1 racing experience," said BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, "as well as an up-and-coming young driver for us to train up to Formula 1 level.