Monday, November 5, 2007
All Hallow's Champ Car? - 2000 Laps
For this activity we want to see your Champ Car pride integrated into one of the most fun holidays of the year, Halloween!
Carve a pumpkin with the “Champ Car” logo in it, disguise yourself as Count Champula (get it, like Dracula) or dress up a skeleton in CC swag. Take a picture of your creation and send it to us for all to see. Use your imagination and somehow combine the holiday of Halloween with the awesomeness of Champ Car.
Ended Nov 05, 2007
Awarded: 2000 Points ...
… notes from The EDJE.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Pivo 2 And You - A Biometric Car & Driver Team Proposition
At the upcoming 40th Tokyo Motor Show (October 26 to November 11), Nissan plans to unveil its lithium-ion battery electric-powered Pivo 2 concept car. Designed for urban use, the Pivo 2 features a 360-degree revolving cabin, inherited from the first-generation Pivo (allowing the driver to always face forward while driving, even when parallel parking), and a front opening swing door similar to those first introduced in the sixties by Fiat (600 Series) and BMW.
The Robotic Agent - A traveling companion that looks after security, safety, and friendly interaction. Voice commands program the on-board trip computer for GPS and display on center console. Image Credit: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (video)
What makes this urban town-car really unique, beyond its maneuverability is the computer powered assistant known as the “Robotic Agent”. Nissan claims that this multifaceted sensor will be capable of voice command and biometric facial recognition.
Robotic Agent captures face for driver identification. Image Credit: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (video)
Robotic Agent captures and translate mood of driver. Uses this information to interact with driver through computer generated voice in the appropiate attitude. Image Credit: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (video)
Robotic Agent "sees" that the driver is nodding off. Warns driver that it is time to pull over and wake up! Image Credit: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (video)
In a video released in advance of the show, the Robotic Agent senses driver identification, driver mood, and driver state of awareness (sleepiness) in an effort to show the benefit of computer assisted interactive biometrics in a car.
This from a Nissan Press Release via Jolopnic -
THE FUTURE IS ELECTRIC FOR NISSAN
- Pivo 2 concept turns heads and itself in Tokyo -
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. - TOKYO (Oct. 5, 2007)
Today [Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.] unveiled the Pivo 2, an advanced electric concept car that will debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. Pivo 2 builds on the popularity of the first Pivo, shown at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show.
Pivo 2 - Front Angle View - Image Credit: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (video)
Powered by advanced Compact Lithium-ion Batteries and featuring a unique rotating cabin - meaning no reverse gear required - the first Pivo became a cult hit at shows from Beijing to Geneva.
Pivo 2 Concept Car
Reasons to love Pivo 2:
* Electric power from Nissan's advanced Lithium-ion batteries
* A robotic agent to share every trip
* 'Revolutionary' technology with 360 degree turning cabin and 90 degree turning wheels
Pivo 2 takes the idea of an environmentally friendly electric urban commuter vehicle and delivers fun, functionality and a unique relationship between the car and driver. Pivo 2 is powered by advanced Compact Lithium-ion Batteries and employs 'by-wire' technologies for braking and steering.
Where the first Pivo, with its fully rotating cabin design, made reversing obsolete, the Pivo 2 takes that easy mobility concept to a new level. Each of the four wheels are powered by Nissan's advanced electric In-wheel 3D Motor and can turn through 90 degrees to allow Pivo 2 to drive sideways as well as forward. After a conversation with the Pivo 2 Robotic Agent computer sensor device, a map of the calculated route shows up on the GPS image in the dash display on the center console. Image Credit: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (video)
Thanks to the highly innovative Robotic Agent, you are never alone in the Pivo 2. With conversations possible in Japanese and English, the Robotic Agent has been created to work with Pivo 2 to make every journey less stressful. It provides a unique interface through which to communicate with Pivo 2 on everything from basic vehicle functions through to the nearest available parking.
Pivo 2 will be on display at the Nissan Ginza Gallery in Tokyo, for an exclusive public sneak preview ahead of the Motor Show.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Dario Franchitti Survives To Land A Championship
In what has to be one of the tightest races in a points championship battled out over 17 races, Dario Franchitti outlasts Scott Dixon on the final lap with enough fuel to scoot past for the outright win and the points championship at Chicagoland Speedway.
Starting the race with only a three point lead over Dixon, Franchitti had to be at least in front of Scott Dixon in order to grab the Indy Racing League championship for 2007 but that was not to be. The whole race Dario not only trailed Scott Dixon of the Target/Chip Ganassi Team, but Dixon's teammate Dan Weldon, along with Helio Castorneves, and Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske.
AGR teammates Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick chat prior to driver introductions. - Image Credit: Chris Jones
In the final laps, Dario Franchitti's Andretti/Green Racing teammate, Danica Patrick entered the pit lane for a final splash of fuel and spun, stalling her car. This brought out a yellow caution flag and slowed the field down allowing the race cars to save fuel. Before the caution flag came out, both Dixon and Franchitti were probably going to have to come in for fuel as well but with the cars slowed ... they used alot less fuel setting up a shootout run to the end with two laps to go.
Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti battle for the lead at Chicagoland. - Image Credit: Jim Haines
Both Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti rolled the dice (by staying out on the track). The green flag drops and on the next to the last turn before the finish line, the checkered flag that would end the race and the season ... Dixon's car sputtered and ran out of fuel. Franchitti poped to the right to miss rear-ending Dixon's car and sped forward to the wave of the checkered flag.
In a season that that featured Dario's car going airborne and flipping in racing accidents with Dario going uninjured through two consecutive races, this year's Indy 500 winner, Dario Franchitti and Andretti/Green Racing proved to be the most deserving of champions for 2007 by earning the championship through the air and on the track.
What a great season and a great racing series.
Dario Franchitti 2007 Championship Photo with team oner Michael Andretti, and Dario's wife, Ashley Judd - Image Credit: Jim Haines
Final ten laps excerpted from the “Commentary” section of the Live Timing & Scoring at the Indy Racing League website –
Dario Franchitti wins the race and championship as Scott Dixon runs out of fuel!
Lap 199: White flag. #9 Scott Dixon leads #27 Dario Franchitti by 0.0605 sec.
Lap 198: Dario makes it two wide for the lead.
Lap 198: A two lap shoot-out for the championship!
Lap 197: One lap until back to green.
Lap 196: Dan Wheldon may have lost his gearbox.
Lap 195: Pits are open.
Lap 194: Yellow for #7 Danica Patrick spun at pit-in.
Lap 193: Wheldon is slow in T2. He may be out of fuel.
Lap 193: #10 Dan Wheldon leads #9 Scott Dixon by 0.1337 sec.
Lap 192: Marty Roth is slow on the backstretch.
Lap 192: #10 Dan Wheldon leads #9 Scott Dixon by 0.1896 sec.
Lap 190: Dan Wheldon takes back the lead.
Lap 190: Top 5: #9 Dixon, #10 Wheldon, #27 Franchitti, #7 Patrick, #8 Sharp.
Reference Here (Commentary is live only - direct reference may not be available)>>
Dario celebrating the Chicagoland victory and 2007 Indy Car Championship - Click cursor on photo to send Dario and AGR a message of congratulations! - Image and Link Credit: Indy Racing League
Dario Franchitti finishes the season with 637 points to Scott Dixon's 624 points to capture the title.
Dario's 637 total points this season is a record for the series. The previous high was 628 by Dan Wheldon in the 2007 season. This is Dario's first IndyCar Series Championship. He becomes the third consecutive Indianapolis 500 winner to go on to win the IndyCar Series Championship in the same season.
This is the third IndyCar Series Championship for Andretti Green Racing. The team won the title in 2004 with Tony Kanaan, 2005 with Dan Wheldon. Andretti Green Racing becomes the first team to win three IndyCar Series Championships.
Team Menard, A.J. Foyt Racing and Panther Racing have each won two championships.
The margin for the championship was 13 points. It's the seventh time in 12 seasons that the IndyCar Series Championship point margin has been 20 points or less ...
… notes from The EDJE.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Dario Franchitti Survives to “Fly” Another Day
The IndyCar race at Michigan International Speedway was very exciting, close (to close), and virtually unwatched due to a rain delay that pushed the original start time and broadcast outlet off a good four hours (broadcast station from ESPN2 to ESPN Classic which not all standard cable providers carry).
There is no agreement between IndyCar and the MIS to stage another race there and this maybe just fine with Dario Franchitti.
In the late stages of the race, Dan Weldon managed to creep up the track and tangle his tires with Franchitti’s Canadian Club sponsored Andretti Green Racing machine sending him and the car on a wild airborne twisting flip that had the car land upside down. He walked away unscathed! Amazing!
This YouTube video starts at lap 141, moments later Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti interlock wheels and Dario goes airborne, bounces off the cars of Scott Dixon and AJ Foyt IV. Note how close Dario's sidepod gets to the helmet of Dixon and the tire marks on AJ IV's helmet.
This morning, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Dario wasn’t as lucky.
Contessa Brewer, while reading (and not understanding) the news, managed to mangle Dario’s last name during the full three hour telecast (again, virtually unwatched after the firing of Don Imus from this timeslot). She persisted in pronouncing Dario’s last name Fran-Chet-tea as opposed to Fran-Key-tea.
It is not as if Dario Franchitti’s name, and how it is pronounced, is not well known … he only won this year’s Indianapolis 500 race and he is part of a Hollywood “Power Couple” in that he is married to Ashley Judd and has been for a few years now.
This situation says more about the clueless-ness of the reporter than the fame of the race car driver.
We, at MAXINE, are happy - all that happened yesterday is that Dario Franchitti lost only one point in his series points lead over rival Scott Dixon … further, we can only hope that Contessa Brewer will soon be catapulted by MSNBC for her lack of attention to detail (trust us on this – it isn’t the first time she showed she could not read and understand) and NOT be around to fly another day.
Excerpts from Autoweek -
The Last IndyCar Race at Michigan Wasn’t Pretty
Tony Kanaan held off Marco Andretti for the win.
By CURT CAVIN - Autoweek - This article was last updated on: 08/06/07, 09:33 et
IndyCar said goodbye—at least for now—to Michigan International Speedway, and no one shed a tear.
Not the drivers who crashed out of the rain-delayed Firestone Indy 400, not the team owners who saw their cars damaged, not the Indy Racing League officials who held their breath through the carnage and not the promoter who hosted one of the smallest crowds of the season.
“I’m in no hurry to come back at this moment,” Dario Franchitti said.
Franchitti survived one of the nastiest accidents in recent memory when his car got turned sideways by Dan Wheldon on lap 144 and vaulted into the air, an estimated 20 feet at its peak.
The car, which won the Indianapolis 500, rotated twice before landing on top of that of fellow championship contender Scott Dixon, whose helmet got scuffed by a tire.
Franchitti, who realized immediately what kind of ride he was in for, said the landing was soft. He headed to Dixon to thank him.
“He really saved me,” he said.
The roll bar on Franchitti’s car was sheared off and parts and pieces scattered everywhere. Some of them struck the helmet and car of A.J. Foyt IV; others bounced off Wheldon’s machine.
The incident also collected Tomas Scheckter, Sam Hornish Jr. and Scott Sharp. The situation looked so grim at first that Hornish climbed from his car to assist with Franchitti’s rescue. As it turned out, Hornish was one of 10 people to help put the car back on its wheels.
Then Franchitti, who had led 101 laps, climbed out unharmed. Amazingly, no one else was injured.
“It’s unbelievable,” the Scot said. “The only other time I’ve been upside-down like that was in a DTM testing crash at Hockenheim.
“I certainly don’t want to do that again.”
Kanaan held off Marco Andretti in the final laps to win by 0.059 second. It was his third win of the season and his 10th overall.
A crowd estimated at 10,000 watched. For now, none of them will return to MIS for an IndyCar race.
UPDATE Aug. 12, 2007 -
Dario Flys Again ... You Just Can't Keep A Good Man Down
Dario Franchitti takes to the air for the second time in as many weeks!
Excerpted from IndyCar website with contribution from YouTube -
Kanaan wins, Dixon moves to eight points behind Franchitti
By Dave Lewandowski - indycar.com
SPARTA, Ky. – As Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon – locked in a championship duel -- battled for second place through the midsection of the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's, Tony Kanaan's No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car was knifing through the twilight air at Kentucky Speedway less than a second ahead.
The lead transferred through pit stop cycles, but Kanaan was never out of the top five.
But the excitement didn't end for the crowd of more than 56,000 and the ESPN audience. Taking the checkered flag, Franchitti's No. 27 Canadian Club car ran into/over the rear of the No. 55 Panasonic Panther Racing car driven by Kosuke Matsuura just past the finish line and flipped backward – again. Franchitti, who walked away from a frightening crash six days earlier at Michigan International Speedway in which his car flipped several times, also was unscathed in the post-race incident.
"That one was completely my fault; there's no excuse," Franchitti said. "I screwed up twice in the race. I screwed up once coming out of the pits and then after the checkered. I didn't realize it was the checkered. I got the 'Hey, it's a checkered' just as I was hitting him. I'm pretty disgusted right now for that -- for both my mistakes today."
Franchitti, who finished eighth mainly because of a pit lane mistake 20 laps earlier, saw his points lead over Dixon sliced to eight. Kanaan moved to 52 points behind.
… notes from The EDJE.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Champ Cars Take Flight In Cleveland
(Television Broadcast - CBS June 24, 1:00 pm ET)
The long, flat airport taxiways and runways make for one of the most exciting driver skill contested venues for an open-wheel event in Champ Car to be staged this year.
In Cleveland, the race is held on a working (but shut-down for the week-end) private aircraft airport right on the lakefront that the City of Cleveland resides on.
From Burke Lakefront Airport, the Cityscape of Cleveland acts a jewel of a backdrop with the Rock-N-Roll Hall Of Fame as a centerpiece.
The biggest attraction of the race venue has to be the track itself ... and in particular, Turn One on ANY start and restart.
The strightaway leading to the approach to Turn One is as wide as any concrete eight to ten lane freeway. The turn itself circles back to the other direction about 315 degrees onto a crossover to another runway heading back to the oposite direction.
As the Champ Cars and drivers head into Turn One, many are tempted to cut the corner short and take the shortest route to the apex, while others take a much higher line which allows one the hit the apex of the turn at a higher rate of speed.
The cars and drivers fan out and hope for the best. If a driver gets it right, they pass a few cars for position and get away clean ... if a driver gets it wrong? ...
... Well, here is the start of the race from last year where A.J. Allmendinger (currently racing in NASCAR) is able to just get past Sebastian Bourdais to maintain the pole starting position - Position One, while others will need assistance for a restart.
2006 Cleveland Grand Prix Race Start
This year may actually be the last race from Burke if some people in Cleveland have their way - and this would be very sad indeed. The Cleveland Grand Prix is one of just a few races that helped to define what it ment to BE a Champ Car venue. Really, it is right there with Long Beach, Elkhart Lake, and Toronto.
The Burke Lakefront Airport circuit in Cleveland, Ohio offers a challenging 2.106-mile, wide-open 10-turn race track. This will be the 26th time that the Champ Cars "Roar by the Shore". This event is the longest tenure of any temporary race venue on the Champ Car circuit.
Is it possible that the race in Cleveland will go the way of other great venues that were Champ Car staples like Ohio and Vancouver?
Excerpts from the Cleveland Plain Dealer -
What to do with Burke?
Its past as landfill complicates future
UPDATED: 10 :30 a.m. EDT, June 20, 2007 - Joan Mazzolini - Plain Dealer Reporter (originally published - Monday, April 23, 2007)
The vast expanse of land that makes up Burke Lakefront Airport has tantalized residents for decades as the last, best hope to give Cleveland a real lakefront, akin to Chicago, Milwaukee or Toronto.
And with two underperforming local airports -- Burke and Cuyahoga County -- the refrain from various quarters has long been to close Burke and merge operations.
But the hurdles to use Burke's 450 acres for a commercial center or housing or even a massive park are greater and more expensive than many realize.
While often called prime lakefront land, the reality is very different.
Most of Burke sits on garbage and dredge material. In fact, a Cleveland city dump since the time of horse-drawn wagons was located there and the garbage was burned until the 1950s.
Workers doing any digging on or near Burke are required to wear environmental hazmat suits because of the contamination, which includes PCBs, methane, oil, car tires and other debris.
Image Credit: Google Maps
Mike Hoyle, chief executive of Business Aircraft Group Inc., an aircraft management and sales company at Burke, doesn't believe the airport can be closed, both for the economic benefit it brings to Cleveland and for the simple reason that turning the land into a park would be too expensive.
City officials and others estimate that Burke contributes at least $100 million a year to the economy.
"You dig 4 feet and you're in sludge," Hoyle said. "My building sits on 6-foot-wide footers and it has settled 9 inches. You can't build a high-rise here."
But long before any new use of the land can even be considered, another question must be answered.
Can it be done? Can Burke, in fact, be closed?
That may be finally answered, with a master plan of the airport that Burke Commissioner Khalid Bahhur expects to be complete later this year.
It would finally answer the question of "does Burke stay or does it go?"
"If it stays, we'll be able to say here's why, and if it goes, here's why," Bahhur said.
If Burke goes, and the process could take years, a big question is where do the hospital helicopters, the Federal Reserve flights, the flight schools, corporate jets and others that use Burke go?
Some say other close-by reliever airports, such as Cuyahoga County, Lost Nation and Lorain County, could take portions. Of those, only Cuyahoga County has a control tower.
To close Burke, Cleveland would probably have to repay the Federal Aviation Administration $4.1 million in grants it received for airport upkeep.
But it might not be that simple.
The FAA could require Cleveland not just to move all operations to other airports, but could also require the city to reproduce Burke and its acreage at a different location.
"It's more than simply repaying the money," said FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro. "We would do an airspace study . . . to see what the consequences are and does this create more congestion.
"We can say 'No, you can't close this.' "
Longtime Burke Commissioner Mike Barth, who left to run Lorain County airport, said he believes you can give people more access and keep the airport.
Barth, who left in 1999 after 28 years at Burke, including 10 as the airport's commissioner, said dredged material should continue to be dumped at Burke, which would ultimately allow a runway to be added to the north.
"We all know the lakefront would be really prime land. We could have parks, entertainment, housing and retail," Dimora said.
"What land in the county isn't contaminated? You'll have to build with pilings," he said. "It's more difficult, more costly. But it's more desirable."
Hey! ... and then there is the Cleveland Grand Prix and all the commerce and attention this event brings into the Cleveland economy every year for the last 26 years ... where is the mention of this little tidbit of information?
Long live the Cleveland Grand Prix at the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit...
… notes from The EDJE.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Indy 500 - A Slice Of The American Pie
As we ramp up to what many believe is the greatest auto racing spectacle in the world today, here is a story that is a little slice of the “American Pie”.
One of the sponsors is a software operating system that really has no single corporate backing in that it is an Open-Source operating system code that runs on platforms that also run Microsoft Windows, known as Linux.
The driver is famous for being a substitute driver for many of the teams who race in American open-wheel racing series and was once a driver of note in the former CART Series before it split up into two different formulas – Indy Car and Champ Car.
This week it is all about Indy Car for both Linux and Robert Moreno, a Brazilian who recently applied for US citizenship.
Image Credit: TUX 500 website
This from the TUX 500 website -
The TUX 500:
A Community Linux Powered Marketing Program
Linux® is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Marketing Linux® has always been a tricky proposition. As a community, we have relied on corporations who have a stake in the Linux operating system to market Linux to the world at large. Today, we have an opportunity to change that, and make Linux marketing as much a community effort as Linux development. That effort begins with the Tux 500 project.
Our goal is simple: we want to collect community donations to enter a Linux sponsored car in the 2007 Indianapolis 500. We need your help! If less than 1% of the Linux community donates $1, this will happen... will you do your part?
WE are Linux! - TUX 500 promotional video posted on YouTube
So far, only about $16,000 of the $350,000 goal has been donated for the advertising enterprise effort.
Item #2 from Tux 500 website -
It's Official! We're in the Indy 500!
Sunday, May 20 2007 @ 06:16 PM MDT - Contributed by: Bob Moore - Views: 2,757
I just got back from the track... and what a day for Chastain Motorsports... what a day for Roberto Moreno... what a day for the Linux community!
For those of you who missed it, with less than 1 hour remaining in qualifications for the 91st Indianapolis 500, team owner Tom Chastain made a bold decision. Rather than take a chance on being bumped late in the day, he pulled their already qualified car to see if they could qualify with a higher speed. The idea being that they would put more pressure on the unqualified teams.
Roberto Moreno took the track, and put together the best 4 lap average since the day began... 220.299 mph! This put the car safely in the field, and sits us on the inside of row 11 for the race next weekend!
Roberto Moreno talks with reporters after qualifying run. - Image Credit: Bob Moore
Roberto was in tears as he was interviewed by television crews, newspaper reporters, and snapped by countless photographers. The crew members hugged each other... Tom Chastain gave his wife Carol a kiss. It was a very emotional moment.
As for the Linux community, tonight we can, and should feel a great sense of accomplishment for what we've done! But we're not done yet... tomorrow, we need to start working to reward this racing team which has put us in the middle of a great story... and has rewarded us with some wonderful moments this weekend! And remember that we still have time to make the Linux presence on the car even bigger!
p.s. For those who watched on TV, did we get good screen time like we did for Saturday's qualifications? I haven't been able to check my MythTV yet.
For helios' take on it, check out blog.lobby4linux.com
Also, there were two qualification shows on ESPN2 yesterday, an early one and a late one. I only got a recording of the early one. If anyone has a recording of the late broadcast, which had our qualifying run in it, I'd greatly appreciate a copy!
This from the Auto Racing Daily -
91st Indianapolis 500 Bump Day Post-qualifying Quotes - Roberto Moreno
May 21, 2007 - Roberto Moreno (#77 Chastain Motorsports Panoz/Honda/Firestone):
About Bobby More decal on side of car:
“Well, I’ve turned in an application for my (American) citizenship. On the form, it says there, you can choose a different name if you want to. So I went with Bobby More. I just need to get the accent right. I have not figured that one out yet. ”
What did you go through to get up to speed? :
“Basically yesterday, I asked to change the car. We were going in direction quite good. Then we changed the car and got a bit lost. Then people started to get in line (for qualifying). We didn’t have time to trim and fix the car. So we decided to try and qualify with the car as it was. Just in case it decided to rain (Sunday). What if it were to rain tomorrow? The car was really difficult to drive yesterday. We had lots of wing, and it was still difficult to drive. Today, we went back to what we had initially yesterday. We worked on that. My engineer did a great job. He focused really when we needed and he was right on. The car was good today. I was doing 217.1 with race downforce. Then they said it is time to “trim. ” I was a little unsure. But as soon as we trimmed, the car felt good. We trimmed one more step. Then they said lets trim two more steps. I said, ‘No, no. ’ We are quick enough. We had just gone over 219.6, which was good. So we went ahead and trimmed one more step. The car wasn’t really good, so I said to the guys lets go back one step on the trim and go into line (qualify). We did two more laps before qualifying at 220. I said, ‘That is good enough; let’s get in line and qualify. ’ I’m so glad that I got this opportunity. Stephan (Gregoire) is doing well. He will be back racing again. Thank you to the Chastain family gave me this opportunity. It’s an honor. One day, you are nobody sitting at home. Some people think I am too old and I don’t have any more left. But do not forget my spirit. It is so young, my strong desire to succeed. I am 48 years old, and today I feel great. I did it. We got in. I love this place. ”
Now even techno-geeks have something to root for in America's greatest automobile race.
Lap 37: Yellow for contact in T1 by #77 Roberto Moreno.
Lap 38: He got too high coming out of the turn.
Lap 38: Moreno is out of the car and into safety vehicle.
A live update report from the track indicates that Roberto Moreno is complaining of back pain and will be transported to the hospital.
TUX hits the wall on lap 37 - Image Credit: IndyCar.com.
... notes from The EDJE.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The sights, the sounds, the unique vantage points, all of which make up the premiere closed course temporary street circuit race in the world.
From the top of the Wells Fargo Building at the corner of Ocean Blvd. and Pine Ave., to the Fountain Corner at the aquarium, ending up at the General Admissions grandstands located on the southern end of the front straightaway grandstand bank ... This IS Champ Car! ... This IS The 33rd Addition Of The LBGP!
I am an Inner Circle Champion because there is absolutely nothing like the thrill of competition on the "EDJE" (pronounced edge)!
Awarded 2000 Points...
… notes from The EDJE.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Bets Placed, Cards Played, Will Power Takes The Pot!
The race starts on a clear, sunny Las Vegas spring day with the temperature in the mid to upper 80's.
The attitude of game was made at the very beginning of the race when it saw Paul Tracy pass pole winner Will Power and take the lead of the race from the very first turn.
Bobby Rahal's son, Graham, did not fair so well in that he found the wall before he was able to make it to the Start-Finish line.
By lap 11, Will Power found his legs and took the lead back in a clean but contested pass. What would one expect from Tracy?
The races for Champ Car this year are all "timed" races, in that the cars race for a specific period of time as opposed to a specific distance regardless of time.
Las Vegas is a great street course - it has every thing - A wicked fast, curved, 195 MPH front straightaway - Elevation change - Tunnels - Rhythm corners - A great mix of professional international experience rookies and series regulars - Lots of room to pass. The new DP01 car looks very racy as well. The louvered ground effects air escape ports just in front of the rear wheels look intimidating.
At lap 28, Tracy and Power pit while being very close to each other - Tracy played it straight and took full fuel ... Power out a little earlier and may have taken a little less on board to insure a quick turnaround.
Lap 32, after suffering three cut tires early on, Sebastian Bourdais (three time series Champion) goes out after he clips a wall and tucks his wing under the driver’s side front wheel. With that, CCWS' winnings team, Newman-Haas, folds for good.
Doornbos and Tracy speed past the parked and damaged McDonald's DP01 of Bourdais. Image Credit: Jalopnik's Las Vegas local, Curtis Walker
Tracy in for additional fuel on lap 34 - telemetry indicated that he did not get a full tank. This will put him back but the question remains ... Did Will Power get enough fuel? Reports are that he did.
Lap 40 - Alex Tagliani leads but is getting ready to pit.
Paul Tracy navigates the Las Vegas Grand Prix street course with the Stratosphere looking over his shoulder. Image Credit: Jalopnik's Las Vegas local, Curtis Walker
Lap 41 - Power, Doornbos, Jani, Junqueria, Tagliani, and Tracy
Will Power in the pits on lap 45 so it turns out he did not get a full load of fuel last time in. Power has a sloppy pit stop. These new pit stops on the DP01 car are a lot slower than the previous cars the Champ Car World Series ran last year. What used to be quick 7 second fuel fill-up is taking at least a third longer and it is confusing some of the members of the pit crew. It was causing the pit "captains" to wave drivers out before they were full of fuel.
Lap 50 - Finds Junqueria in for a pit stop and the fuel man indicated that the valve in the fuel tool never opened – Bruno’s Sonny’s BBQ White & Red DP01 is out of contention with a second fuel stop. Paul Tracy leads followed by Power, Tagliani, Doornbos, and Brit Kathryn Legge.
Will Power is fastest on the track and is pacing about one second per lap faster than leader Paul Tracy.
Tracy in on lap 55 for his final fuel with Power taking the lead at 18 minutes left in the race. Power may or may not need fuel to the end.
Tagliani in on lap 59 after 18 laps on the tank. Reports state that Power is running with 13 laps on his tank at this time. Telemetry shows that Paul Tracy is good to the end.
So this is the bet on the table - Does Will Power and the Aussie Vineyards Green & Yellow painted livery have enough to hold off the rest of the field ... Robert Doornbos' Black & Red Muermans machine, Paul Tracy's Dark Blue & White fully fueled Indeck DP01, and Alex Tagliani's Black & Red at eight minutes to go.
Bets placed, cards played, and Aussie Will Power takes the pot and his first win for CCWS 2007 season in the Inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix temporary street race course!
Next week, the granddaddy of all temporary street race courses, The 33rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It will be a rockin' party in LA ... especially if the teams can sort out the fueling procedure required for the new DP01 formula Champ Cars!
Excerpts from Champ Car World Series, Eric Mauk - Sunday, April 8, 2007 -
QUOTES FROM THE TOP THREE FINISHERS
Will Power: After that, I mean, I was pretty much alone. I caught Katherine Legge for a while, she held me up. But after that, it was a pretty cruisy race really. We had a good car. It handled well all day. The only issue I had was a really long brake pedal at the end of the race. But we had an 18-second lead, so we just brought it home and brought Derrick Walker his second win since '99. It's his birthday. So a pole and a win, I think that's a pretty good present for him.
Robert Doornbos: No, I really enjoyed it. A great start to the weekend. Already yesterday to have qualified in the top three, we couldn't have dreamed of a better start really. Was a bit worried this morning because it's a different routine that you have than in European racing with these rolling starts. I'm so pleased for everybody, especially for my sponsors here, they come all the way from Holland. It's been a long winter. Really a good decision to go racing in Champ Car.
Paul Tracy: It went really well. Obviously, to lead the beginning of the race, I made a good start, was able to get by Will on the start. We spent a lot of the first part of the race under yellow. We came in and did our first pit stop. The car didn't take any fuel for us. We spent 15 seconds and ended up getting like four laps of fuel. We came back out and chased, then had to come straight back in and take fuel again. That really took the fight out of the race I think for Will. I think we could have put a lot of pressure on him. It was a good day for the Forsythe team and Monster Energy.
· Will Power becomes the first Australian driver to win a Champ Car race. Geoff Brabham held the previous mark, having finished second on three occasions, the last of those being at Road America in 1987.
· Robert Doornbos is the first driver to score a podium finish in his Champ Car debut since Nigel Mansell won his debut in 1993.
· Both Roberto Doornbos and Tristan Gommendy made their Champ Car debuts with top-five finishes today, marking the first time that has happened since Jim Crawford (4th) and Emerson Fittipaldi (#5th) turned the trick at Long Beach in 1984.
… notes from The EDJE.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
For Will Power, It’s Vegas Baby!
Will Power - Team Australia edges out series rookie Dutchman, Robert Doornbos - Minardi Team USA (yes, that Formula One team) to grab the pole and line up next to former series champion, Paul Tracy - Forsythe Championship Racing.
So tomorrow, the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix takes off and will be broadcast Apr 08, 3:30 pm ET on NBC TV. Both Will Power and Paul Tracy start the race with one point apiece toward the series championship for 2007.
The race will be run in a newly developed area near the downtown Fremont Street area (to the west and slightly south) on a temporary street circuit ala the Long Beach Grand Prix, which is set to be run the very next weekend.
Inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix Race Course - Image Credit: Las Vegas Grand Prix
Along the temporary race circuit are new buildings that are part of the revitalization of the civic center part of town. The new World Market Center is at its center and it sponsors semiannual furniture trade shows attended by more than 100,000 national and international furniture buyers and representatives each year. The trade show complex will ultimately open year-round, but for now acts as a great photographic backdrop for the race going into turn one.
The temporary circuit also features a bump that gets the cars airborne.
Taking A Flyer - Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone. Image Credit: Jalopnik's Las Vegas local, Curtis Walker
Driver quotes after the days qualifying from Champ Car World Series -
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone -"I think it's going to be important for everybody to get through the first corner and go racing. I think this is the start of a new era for Champ Car. You've got a bunch of new young drivers that are in the series, obviously showing that they're quick. It's not the scenario that everybody thought it was going to be where everybody was saying in the off-season, Sebastien is going to run away with everything. He's starting near the back. It's going to be quite an interesting race. on the red Bridgestone tires, at the end I think the track also gripped up. But our car worked really well on them. I mean, we struggled yesterday with just niggling problems with the car. Not to do with the handling or anything. We were quick yesterday. We just didn't get a fair go. We worked on it, worked on the setup all the way up until qualifying today. Pretty much nailed it at the end, got a good run in traffic. Yeah, we did a mega lap. But it all started in the off-season. I think Craig and Derrick Walker from the end of last year till now; they've been working really hard. They really want to win a championship and I want to help them do that."
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "It was a little tougher for us today. Obviously we made some changes from yesterday. But it just seemed like my car suited going over that big jump in the chicane. We just never really got a chance to capitalize on the tires. We seemed to either catch a red at the end of the first set of tires, then the second set of tires I had some traffic with Pagenaud, which didn't help. That kind of just killed our qualifying effort. I think we didn't have anything for what the time that Will did. I think we could have made a better showing. Really the opportunity didn't come up. We're happy to be on the front row."
Robert Doornbos #14 Muermans/Jumbo Supermarkten/Media Mall Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "First of all, it's great to be in the Champ Car World Series. It's obviously a new category for me and also for my team, Paul with this Minardi outfit. We started the weekend not very competitive. I've been sitting down with my engineer, which is going really well, our relationship. Basically he turned the car to my liking. We improved every session. It's a great feeling to race between the streets of Vegas. I always enjoy driving open street circuits. We only have one really in Europe, which is Monaco, only once a year. I'll be more lucky this season, I think. Yeah, it went really well. Just in the end we pushed hard. The red tires were a new thing for me. I had no chance to try them in winter testing because obviously they were not there. So the first outing wasn't great. Then the second run on the red tires, we made some adjustments to the car and it was a lot better. So, yeah, up in third place. It's good to be here, especially because it's the first weekend. Hopefully I'll be here tomorrow as well."
Alex Tagliani #8 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "I am quite happy overall. I am just so thankful for the opportunity that Paul (Gentilozzi) and Dan (Pettit) have given me. I feel good about the RSPORTS team, and I think we are on the road to success this season. I feel that I am a good support for Justin (Wilson) and I feel that I have learned a lot from him and the team already. This is only the second time that we (both teams) are working together at a race track, so we still have a lot of catching up to do. But I think that we already have some great chemistry and that we are learning a lot from each other. I get along so well with my engineer Chris Lerch, and overall this whole deal is just a fantastic opportunity. Today's qualifying session went fairly well. I am happy with the #8 LXN2/RSPORTS car, and it is great to be starting in the top five for the first race of this season. The goal is to get lots of points, and obviously finish the race. But what is important is that we are running up front and I feel that we will be able to stay strong tomorrow during the race. I feel that we are in a good position with where we want the car to be, but we will work on making some more improvements tonight in hopes of being even quicker tomorrow."
Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "I was very happy with a sixth place qualifying run. We made some changes from yesterday and I think we could have gone a little faster. We didn't have an opportunity yesterday to run on the red Bridgestone tires. It is a good place to start tomorrow."
Mario Dominguez #7 Telmex/Cabi Developers Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "Well it was a good day overall, we definitely improved quote a bit from yesterday. The Forsythe Team has done a great job, we've been making a lot of changes and the car has just gotten better and better. Qualifying was a little disappointing because I know we could've been much faster but I caught traffic, the cars in front of me kept slowing down and that prevented me from posting a quicker time. But the good thing is that we know we have a really fast car and we should be able to move up through the grid tomorrow. It's going to be a really exciting race, it's just great to be back in a race car I can't wait for the green flag tomorrow!"
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "We just weren't quick enough today. The #9 CDW/RSPORTS car felt OK, but obviously the speed just wasn't there. It's disappointing, because we were up there yesterday, but today it slipped away. We need to look at the data to understand how to improve the car and hopefully we'll be more competitive tomorrow."
Graham Rahal #2 Medi Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "It's been a tough day for the Medi Zone team. I hooked it on the last curb at the end of the chicane and damaged the car so we had to get the backup car out for qualifying. The car was equally prepared. The guys did a great job getting it ready especially since it's never turned a wheel. Qualifying was pretty good but we just can't seem to get that last little bit; we need to find it. I know I'm giving my 100 percent so we need to figure out what it is. It's going to be a tough race. It's really hot out here. I think a lot of guys will fall out of the saddle. For me it will be a learning experience to go out there and figure out what I have to do. It's tough for me to tell if we have a good race setup having not run in a race"
Dan Clarke #4 Ticketmaster/Synapse Power/The Australian Pink Floyd Show Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "Last season I had my first third-place podium finish from a 13th place start, so I'm going for the double and aiming to finish on the podium again tomorrow from my 12th place grid slot. As I've already proved, it's certainly possible, so although I'd prefer to start higher up the grid and it's not going to be easy, it's not impossible. This year's field is very tough, so I reckon it'll be very exciting racing, and I know we have the pace for the race, so we'll be expecting to battle hard and bring home points from Vegas."
Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "I felt I could have gone about a second faster on the red Bridgestone tires. I have to improve a little more on my corners. I was very pleased with the results today, but I know I can improve on today's performance."
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone - "I screwed up and brushed the wall on the outside of Turn 9. The McDonald's car had too much understeer and I just forced the thing. The car stepped out a little bit on exit and I was already too close to the wall and hit the rear a little bit. It wasn't that bad a hit but it bent the toe link and broke the rim. To aggravate things we had the clutch creeping so I couldn't' get into neutral, couldn't back up, couldn't anything so we were stuck in fourth gear in front of tires and they wouldn't push me back or do anything so I was stuck there until they moved me out of the way. We have 60 seconds of push to pass which isn't a lot here. We are going to have to be pretty darn good to get it (win) done but we'll see. It's a new track so we don't quite know if it's possible to pass or not. I think Turn 1 seems to be pretty difficult because everyone starts braking in the middle of the track so maybe Turn 4 might be the best option. We'll have to try and pull it off. We've done it before but it was a different thing; we don't have the car we knew. It's not the best way to start the season for sure."
... notes from The EDJE
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The first offical time trials of the 2007 season are underway and the Champ Car World Series, North America's premiere open-wheel racing series is off to a blazing start.
Sporting a new chassis, a new logo, and having added six new venues (two of the venues in Europe) to a 17 race season, the Champ Car World Series (remnants of the old CART) looks to be set for one of the most exciting years yet.
Excerpts from two stories found at CCWS -
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES UNVEILS NEW LOGO FOR 2007 SEASON
The Champ Car World Series enters a new era in 2007 with six new venues, a number of new drivers and the brand-new Panoz DP01 chassis.To go along with the new-look series, Champ Car today unveiled its new logo that will be featured prominently on the cars, the driver and official uniforms as well as the new-look television package.
The logo is a sleeker, racier design than that of the past, and features the new DP01 on the right side of the layout. The traditional Champ Car colors of orange, silver and black are featured, and the style of the logo includes a chicane-like quality that stylizes the road and street courses that make up the 2007 Champ Car schedule.
“This new logo portrays many of the things that makes Champ Car special and unique and does it in an effective and stylish manner,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. “Having the DP01 in the logo is also a key for us, as it displays what Champ Car racing is all about.”The logo will begin to be displayed on the cars as early as tomorrow in the first of the year’s three open test session, which is taking place at Sebring International Raceway.
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES ANNOUNCES THE ADDITION OF TWO EUROPEAN EVENTS TO THE 2007 CALENDAR
The Champ Car World Series today announced that it will return to Europe for the first time since 2003 with inaugural races in Holland and Belgium.
… notes from The EDJE.