Sunday, September 21, 2008

CCWS Rookie Of The Year Captures Nurburgring Win

Robert "Bobby D" Doornbos in his new car riding for the motorsports team named for the professional football (soccer) team from Italy, A.C. Milan in the new Superleague Formula. Image Credit: The Beautiful Race

CCWS Rookie Of The Year Captures Nurburgring Win

The very last full season of the ChampCar World Series (CCWS) in 2007 saw several drivers make their North American debut only to see their good performances get washed away with the unification of open wheel racing series into the Indy Racing league and the IndyCar Series Championship.

One of the brightest stars of the 2007 season of the CCWS was Robert Doornbos who raced for a new team that had its roots in Formula 1 and wanted to expand its reach in motorsports team management to North America - Minardi Team USA . In 2007, Doornbos was able to earn a podium position in the series championship with third place and be awarded Rookie Of The Year having accumulated the most points of any rookie. He made a successful debut in the series in the first race of the season, the Vegas Grand Prix. After qualifying 3rd, Doornbos finished on the podium, taking 2nd place in the race.

He won two races (Mont-Tremblant Grand Prix, Montreal Canada and San Jose Grand Prix in California's silicone valley), had another second place finish and looked forward to having a great season for CCWS in 2008. After the merger of the CCWS and the Indy Car Series was announced for 2008, Minardi elected not to take part, leaving Doornbos without a drive for 2008.

After failing to secure a seat with competitive teams in the IRL, and refusing to drive for uncompetitive teams, Doornbos opted to sit out the 2008 season in search for a competitive seat in 2009. It was announced on May 21st 2008 that Doornbos will drive for A.C. Milan in the Superleague Formula, a newly created racing series where the cars are sponsored by football clubs. The A.C Milan club's technical director is the son of Giancarlo Minardi, former owner of the Minardi Formula One team under its take over by Paul Stoddart.

Well, "Bobby D" has found a home and is back to his winning ways. At the second venue of a six venue season, Doornbos wins his first race after leaving North America to race in open wheel motorsports elseware.

2007 ChampCar World Series Rookie Of The Year Robert Doornbos on the front wheel of his new ride in Superleague Formula. Image Credit: The Beautiful Race

This excerpted and edited from Setanta Sports -

AC Milan claim Race 1 victory
by staff, 21 September 2008

The AC Milan racing team have won their first race in Superleague Formula after dominating Race 1 from pole at the Nurburgring on Sunday.

With the experienced Robert Doornbos behind the wheel, the Italian outfit made up for their first round disappointment in Britain, to finish ahead of Anderlecht and Galatasaray.
“I was bit worried at the start when I locked up the brakes into turn one - I was very keen to make sure I led on the opening lap. The tyres are cold early and it was easy to get a vibration from a flat spot. I starting pulling away from Antonio [Pizzonia, Corinthians] and we had a very good pit stop," Doornbos said afterwards.

“I am happy I practiced with the team until late last night.

“It was certainly worth it because our stop went well and the last ten laps were an easy ride and I was able to bring it home. It is a great result for AC Milan and myself and I am now looking forward to the rest of the championship.”

Doornbos started well for AC Milan, holding his position as Anderlecht moved up to third with a superb move at the first corner.
Results - Nurburgring, Race 1
Pos Driver Club Result
1 R.Doornbos AC Milan 46:13.313
2 C.Dolby RSC Anderlecht -6.631 sec
3 A.Pier Guidi Galatasaray -19.978
4 J.Walker Rangers -23.002
5 D.Rigon Beijing Guoan -29.603
6 B.Garcia Sevilla FC -30.140
7 A.Pizzonia Corinthians -34.028
8 T.Gommendy FC Porto -42.546
9 M.Wissel FC Basel -43.436
10 Y.Buurman PSV Einhoven -53.033
11 A.Zuber Al-Ain -53.541
12 K.Andersen Olympiacos DNF -6 laps
13 D.Tappy Tottenham Hotspur DNF -8 laps
14 A.Valles Liverpool FC DNF -19 laps
15 N.Philippe Borussia Dortmund DNF -23 laps
16 T.Rocha Flamengo DNF -26 laps
17 A.Toccocela AS Roma DNF -26 laps
18 A.Soucek Atletico Madrid DNS

Reference Here>>

Many here in North America may be unfamiliar with the new Superleague Formula open wheel motorsports racing series.

Scuderia Playteam’s V12, 750-horsepower car that will feature the red and black colors of the prestigious AC Milan club in Superleague Formula in 2008. Pictured here in front of the famous Piazza Duomo (church plaza), Milan. Image Credit: The Beautiful Race

For some insights on this crossover sports promotional series, this was excerpted and edited from F1 Rage -

Robert Doornbos Back on Track
F1 Rage, May 22nd, 2008

Former F1 racer Robert Doornbos, has been appointed to drive for Scuderia Playteam’s AC Milan team in the new
Superleague Formula. The Dutch racer will be in charge of the Scuderia Playteam’s V12, 750-horsepower car that will feature the red and black colors of the prestigious AC Milan club and the car will make its race debut at the start of the season in August at Donington.

“I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with Scuderia Playteam and to take on this important responsibility of driving for the team at the official tests in Barcelona and Montmelo in July,” Robert said.

“For me it is really exciting since I’ve always been a huge AC Milan fan. My aunt Jeanine actually used to be the physiotherapist of the extraordinary famous successful trio of Dutch players Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit.

At school I could brag and proudly show all the latest club stickers of the club to my friends. Now they have left or retired, but current Dutch Champion Clarence Seedorf who is currently at the club is one of my best friends. I also drove in F1 for Minardi and I have maintained good contacts with Giancarlo Minardi whose son now manages Scuderia
Playteam. It’s definitely a small world and my first chief engineer in racing was Gabriele Tredozi, so I speak fluent Italian also!”
In the
Superleague Formula each football club will fight it out for 1 million Euros prize money at each of the six championship rounds. Each round will feature two races – one with a completely reverse grid.

My two shillings: What the hell are these people thinking?

They make the claim and believe apparently, “that football and motor racing can combine to deliver something spectacular,” that Superleague Formula “is about feeling the pride and the passion” while other formula’s “are dominated by technology.”

Which raises the overt and obvious question; If they are so adverse to advanced technology why complicate matters with a brand new formula that uses a Menard Competition Technologies 750-horsepower, V-12 power plant?

I don’t see it from a marketing standpoint either.

A1GP has seen reasonable success with the one-car-for-all formula and based on nationalism inherent in having the cars the stars so to speak. With each car flying the flag of the home country, and each team with a driver of the same country they can count on a certain amount of pride taking root and the added support it brings from those not normally attracted to motorsport.

I fail to see that happening in Superleague Formula.

Taking AC Milan for an example, the league and the racing team will market to AC Milan football fans obviously, but how many fans of the other 19 Serie A football clubs in Italy can they count on for support?

They can pickup some, those already motorsports fans will cross over and support the team. But how many of the football team’s bitter rivals like S.S. Lazio or A.S Roma will root for, and more importantly, attend a race to support A.C Milan?

I’m thinking not enough to take this league much further than the first season without some serious Euros tossed under the redline to keep it afloat.

My bottomline is, if it works fine, the more opportunities for drivers to strut their talent the better chance they have to move into GP2 and F1.

If it doesn’t, oh well, its not my cash pounded down a rat hole.

As an aside to
F1 Wolf, if you dislike A1GP’s tagline of World Cup of Motorsport, what are you thoughts on the SuperLeague Formula’s?

SuperLeague Formula - “The Beautiful Race.”

Reference Here>>

As for generating a fan base in North America, if the crossover does not mention the Oakland Raiders, Philidelphia Eagles, or the Dallas Cowboys … "fuggeddaboutit".

… notes from The EDJE

Friday, September 19, 2008

NIGHT MOVES: F1 Racing After Dark in Singapore

Image Credit: From Video - Toyota Motorsports [Ctrl/Click to launch video]

NIGHT MOVES: F1 Racing After Dark in Singapore
Friday 19 September 2008
(from digitial and video assets supplied by Toyota Motorsports)

Panasonic Toyota Racing takes a step into the unknown this weekend with the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix. Not only is this the first time the city state has hosted the Formula 1 World Championship, it is also the first time a Grand Prix has been held at night.

Singapore off of the tip of Malaysia - Image Credit:

The island of Singapore lies on the southern tip of the Malayan peninsula and, with an area of just over 700 square kilometres, it is the third smallest state to host a Grand Prix, after Monaco and Bahrain, but with over 4million inhabitants, it is a bustling metropolis.

The new circuit, which is 5.067km long and features 23 corners, is located in the Marina Bay area of Singapore City and includes iconic landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer big wheel, the Esplanade and Raffles Boulevard.

Anderson Bridge as seen in the daytime - Formula One cars will be crossing a portion of the inner bay in Singapore. Image Credit:

The lay-out is not just spectacular, it also features several unusual characteristics - the drivers will travel over Anderson Bridge, under a grandstand and through the 300km/h turn six; claimed to be the fastest corner on a Formula 1 street circuit.

That cocktail of glamour, novelty and challenge brings an obvious comparison to another street circuit. "It can definitely be the Monaco of the east because of the character of this street circuit," says Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis at Panasonic Toyota Racing. "But it could be also the Nürburgring of the east because we are talking about 23 corners, which starts to sound like the old Nürburgring!"

The Formula One (F1) Singapore Grand Prix street circuit - The 5.067km long street circuit, consisting of 14 left hand turns and 10 right hand turns offers a number of overtaking opportunities, challenging corners and gruelling sections that will test the true capabilities of the F1 drivers. The F1 Singapore Grand Prix is the first Formula One street race in Asia and is one of three races in the 2008 F1 calendar to run anticlockwise. Top Image Credit: - Caption and Bottom Image Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

Jarno Trulli concurs, although as a driver his priority is to understand the finer points of the lay-out in order to get maximum performance out of his TF108. "I've seen the plans and the Grand Prix looks amazing so far, although you always need to drive the track first before having a proper idea of it," he says.

"You need to understand the corners and the speeds so you know more about the set-up and the kind of downforce we are going to run. It is a new challenge because we don't know the track or the conditions so it will be interesting."

The race consists of an estimated 61 laps with 24 turns consisting of 14 left turns and 10 right turns. Top speeds in excess of 300kph are easily reached at the pit straights and the slowest corners allow the drivers to only reach speeds of 80-100kph. Overtaking opportunities are available at turn 1 at the Pit Straight, turn 7 at the Raffles Boulevard and turn 15 at Esplanade Drive. Total race distance is 308.95 km which is subjected to FIA confirmation. It should also be noted that the start and finish lines are not in the same place so the race distance is shorten than a 61 x 5.067km calculation. The start line is at the beginning of the straight, while the finish line is somewhere close to the middle of the straight. Caption Credit: Image Credit: Singtel Singapore GP Simulator Onboard Lap [Ctrl/Click to launch video simulator]

Despite the incredible location, it is the novelty of racing at night which has created a wave of anticipation in Formula 1 circles.

Many team members at Panasonic Toyota Racing have experience of competing at night from the team's adventures in the Le Mans 24 Hours, while others, such as Timo Glock, have experienced it elsewhere in their careers.

Unlike at Le Mans, the TF108s will not be equipped with headlights; instead around 1,500 lights have been installed around the entire track to ensure near-daylight conditions for the drivers. Timo raced under lights during his Champ Car season in 2005, when he finished eighth in a 400km race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so he is more prepared than most of his rivals for the challenge ahead.

"The main issue is that you are driving at a different time of day," explains Timo. "Normally you would be resting in an evening but in Singapore the race will start at 8pm. They will give us as much light as possible but as it is a night race I don't expect it will be like daylight in every corner. That is fine though.

"Driving at night is a fun experience and it is definitely a really good show for the fans; that is the most important thing."

For the drivers, adapting to the different timetable is the key issue but for other team members that is just part of the conundrum of racing at night. An observation team of engineers and logistics experts visited Singapore in July to witness a lighting test and study the impact artificial lights will have on team operations.

Singapore skyline at night - trackside Image Credit:

"We have looked at different things," says Chief Engineer Race and Test Dieter Gass. "We have looked at a pit board for example which is visible at night and we have to make sure everything is visible in the garage and on the pit wall. Also the display on the steering wheel might need to be different because normally it has to be quite bright in order to be visible on a sunny day."

Panasonic Toyota Racing has devoted a lot of energy to minimising the effect on team members of the unique timetable, which is the single biggest logistical challenge of the new circuit. "That has been the biggest concern," reveals Team Manager Richard Cregan. "All the other logistical matters are pretty much the same as with any other flyaway race.

"We have worked closely with the FIA and FOM in deciding the timetable and we have worked internally to come up with an appropriate daily schedule because you can't have guys starting work at 8am and leaving at 3am; that would not be fair. So we have come up with solutions to shift the whole working day later."

It is not simply the absence of daylight and the unusual timetable which could create a challenge in Singapore. On September evenings in Singapore the humidity of the day often breaks with heavy rain while teams will experience the unusual situation of air and track temperatures falling during the course of the race and practice sessions.

"I think for us the biggest challenge will be the temperature," says President John Howett. "The surface temperature of the track will be very low and normally Formula 1 tyres work best in higher temperatures. Then of course at that time of year there's a high probability of rain. So we will face difficulty with temperature, made worse possibly by heavy rain. Night racing is a challenge but we're a team that has come from Le Mans so we should be able to handle that quite easily."

So, the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix presents more challenges than any other race on the calendar, but Panasonic Toyota Racing has left no stone unturned in its preparations, giving Jarno and Timo the platform to fight once again for the podium. And that would be the perfect preparation for the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway next month.

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chevy VOLT Unveiled At GM Centennial Anniversary

VOLT main display for the control center ... the speedometer and other automobile operations information is placed on another display in front of the steering wheel. Image Credit: General Motors

Chevy VOLT Unveiled At GM Centennial Anniversary

General Motors celebrated its centennial anniversary by unveiling the production version of its Chevy Volt, a plug-in electric vehicle set to launch in 2010.

Automobile operations information is placed on a dashboard display in front of the steering wheel. Image Credit: General Motors

During its 100th anniversary celebrations, GM execs focused on future plans rather than the company’s past.

The Chevy VOLT electric car is due out in model year 2010 (Ctrl-Click to launch VOLT Video). Image Credit: General Motors

Throughout the next few decades, GM CEO Rick Wagoner says the company plans to find new alternative fuels that will help decrease dependency on oil.

Available video includes b-roll of the Chevy Volt, GM’s headquarters, animations depicting the automaker’s global operations, and soundbites from Wagoner, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz and GM VP of Global Design Ed Welburn.

Additional Video Assets Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pole Position Scored By Pacific Coast Motorsports’ Skerlong

Carl Skerlong at speed during testing at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway. Image Credit: Phil Sedgwick – CCWS (2008)

Pole Position Scored By Pacific Coast Motorsports’ Skerlong (almost)

While it has been a tough transition for Pacific Coast Motorsports and their driver Mario Dominguez, over at the IRL, the fortunes of the young Atlantic Championship Series (ACS) open wheel racing team has shown steady growth all season long.

Today, for example, Carl Skerlong driving the #14 King Taco/Mazda/Swift/Cooper Tires sponsored car scores provisional pole at the New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway.

His teammate Frankie Muniz (yes, that Frankie Muniz - star of the Fox Network television situation comedy, Malcolm in the Middle) driving the #41 PCM/Mazda/Swift/Cooper Tires sponsored car started the day sixth quick in warm-up and finished qualifying P11 for the Mazda Formula Zoom Zoom to be run Sunday, September 14, 2008 at the 2.25-Mile Permanent Road Course at Millville, New Jersey.

Carl Skerlong driving the #14 King Taco/Mazda/Swift/Cooper Tires sponsored car is almost ready to get his second pole start of the season ... if all goes right tomorrow. Image Credit: Phil Sedgwick – CCWS (2008)
Carl on qualifying: “I am so excited to take the provisional today. I’m always fast in practice sessions, but to do it in the session that counts is just incredible. I’m so happy to have been fastest in every session this weekend so far, and I’m hoping to keep it that way in the race. I want to give a big thanks to the team, especially my engineer, Burke Harrison, and my driver coach, Lee Bentham, because they’ve been fantastic, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. I know I have the car to win, but it’s up to me to do it.”

Frankie Muniz driving the #41 PCM/Mazda/Swift/Cooper Tires sponsored car improves position in every race. Image Credit: Phil Sedgwick – CCWS (2008)

Frankie on qualifying: “After ending up sixth in a great practice session this morning, I’m not happy with my qualifying result this afternoon. I got held up behind two of the slower cars which affected my lap times. I used a lap to gap myself from those cars, but I ended up just catching up to them when I did a fast lap which really frustrated me. The good news is that I was only .2 away from P8, so being that close is going to be great for the hunt in the race tomorrow. I want to thank all the guys for being here and working hard for me this weekend.”

Carl Skerlong logged a best lap at 1:10.801 (110.693 mph) to take the number one position by nearly four tenths of a second over rookie Jonathan Summerton of Newman Wachs Racing (yes, that Newman – Paul Newman). Skerlong earned a bonus championship point for his efforts and will be looking to claim the second pole position of his Atlantic career on Sunday morning in final qualifying, which will be held a few hours prior to the race.

At this point in the season (with New Jersey being the first of the last three races of the season), Carl is running seventh, sixty points behind leader (Jonathan Bomarito who’s driving the Mathiasen Motorsports, #26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Rockview Builders/RLM Investments car in the championship) and Frankie is sitting at twelfth.

Carl Skerlong leads Kevin Lacroix into the corner during qualifications. Image Credit: Phil Sedgwick – CCWS (2008)

This excerpted and edited from Atlantic Championship Series (ACS) –

Skerlong Takes Provisional Pole for Mazda Formula X at New Jersey Motorsports Park
September 13, 2008

MILLVILLE, N.J. - "It's been going great so far," Skerlong said. “The morale has been good all weekend. Hopefully, we'll be able to take it tomorrow. The weather is going to probably going to play a part in it. There is possibly going to be some rain tonight, and we saw how that affected the track this morning. Hopefully we can keep it going and finally have that win that we've been looking for."

Summerton was second on the provisional grid with a lap at 1:11.194 (110.082 mph) in the No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing entry. The Rookie of the Year points leader owns two top-three starting spots thus far in 2008 and he will be looking to cut into his current, 28-point deficit to overall championship leader Jonathan Bomarito. He will also be looking for his third victory of the season on Sunday.

"As I've said all weekend, it's fun to be out there," said Summerton. "It gets dirty very quickly, though, when people drop a wheel, it brings the dirt on. We were struggling with that in the last couple of laps and couldn't go any faster. It was a little disappointing, because we had the speed to be on pole. Hopefully, tomorrow it stays dry and we can be on pole."

Dane Cameron made it a sweep of the top-three positions for American drivers in provisional qualifying when he clocked the third-quickest lap of the session at 1:11.198 (110.076 mph) in the No. 19 MAZDASPEED/Finlay Motorsports/Lynx Racing machine for Genoa Racing. The rookie took his first career Atlantic pole position for Round 6 at Road America last month and has finished inside the top five in five of his last six starts. He heads into Sunday's race looking for his first career Atlantic victory.
Finnish driver Markus Niemela made it three rookies inside the top four with a fourth-place qualifying performance at 1:11.339 (109.859 mph) in the No. 8 Mr. Jones Bar & Kitchen/Rauma Town/Turku Karting machine for Brooks Associates Racing. Niemela is currently tied for third in the overall championship standings with James Hinchcliffe and trails Summerton by eight points in the Rookie of the Year point standings.

Niemela's Brooks Associates Racing teammate Tom Sutherland was fifth in the No. 88 ClickAway Computers & Networking machine at 1:11:369 (109.812 mph). Sutherland started a career-best fifth for Round 7 at Road America in August and will be making his sixth Atlantic start of the season in the Mazda Formula X.

Bomarito took sixth on the provisional grid at 1:11.438 (109.706 mph) in the No. 26 machine, followed by Hinchcliffe in the No. 3 Indeck/Tire Rack/NOCO machine from Forsythe/Pettit Racing at 1:11.569 (109.506 mph). Dutch racer Junior Strous was eighth at 1:11.637 (109.402 mph) in the No. 6 NEM/Shell/HTP/Muermans Group/Red, White & Bluezz mount from Condor Motorsports/Team Holland, with Mexican racer David Martinez ninth in the No. 7 Axtel/Tecate/Madisa machine at 1:11.703 (109.301 mph) for Forsythe/Pettit Racing. Kevin Lacroix completed the top 10 at 1:11.790 (109.168 mph).

The top-10 drivers in provisional qualifying were covered by less than one second.

• After turning in the sixth-quickest time in practice on Saturday morning, New Jersey native Frankie Muniz was 11th in provisional qualifying with a best lap at 1:11.890 (109.017 mph) in the No. 41 PCM/USRT machine for Pacific Coast Motorsports. The best starting spot of Muniz's Atlantic career was 13th for Round 7 at Road America last month.
Reference Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sad T-Points End To Open Wheel Unification

Justin Wilson misses out on capturing the IRL's Bombardier Rookie of the Year for the 2008 IndyCar Series season championship by six points. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Sad T-Points End To Open Wheel Unification

Qualification for the Chicagoland oval race typified the fortunes of the teams transitioning into the IRL in the last points paying race for the championship of the 2008 IRL season.

Not one driver from a former ChampCar World Series team made it into the top ten on the grid. This represents the beginning to a sad end to the first year performance of transition team drivers during this unification year of open wheel racing in North America.

This excerpted from -

Briscoe beats Dixon to Chicago pole

Saturday, September 6th 2008, 21:38 GMT

Ryan Briscoe helped his Penske teammate Helio Castroneves' chances of winning the IRL IndyCar Series title by beating points leader Scott Dixon to pole position for the championship decider at Chicagoland.

Ganassi driver Dixon, who had dominated practice, held provisional pole for most of the session, resisting strong challenges from the Andretti Green cars in particular.

But Briscoe, the last driver to take to the track, set a four lap average of 215.818mph to snatch pole away from Dixon, out-pacing the Kiwi by just over a tenth of a second.

Detroit winner Justin Wilson (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) struggled on the 1.5-mile oval and only qualified 22nd.

Ryan Briscoe will start in position P1 on the grid for PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Pos Driver Team Speed

1. Ryan Briscoe Penske 215.818
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 215.553
3. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 215.548
4. Helio Castroneves Penske 215.372
5. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 215.368
6. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 215.064
7. Dan Wheldon Ganassi 214.967
8. Tomas Scheckter Luczo Dragon 214.855
9. Vitor Meira Panther 214.796
10. Marty Roth Roth 214.794
11. Will Power KV 214.583
12. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 214.444
13. Oriol Servia KV 214.441
14. Ed Carpenter Vision 213.875
15. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 213.523
16. AJ Foyt IV Vision 213.485
17. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman 213.430
18. Jaime Camara Conquest 213.417
19. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher 213.389
20. Alex Tagliani Conquest 213.305
21. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 212.857
22. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 212.753
23. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold 212.682
24. Darren Manning Foyt 212.406
25. Franck Perera Foyt 212.126
26. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne 212.040
27. EJ Viso HVM 211.996
28. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne 211.451

T-Team Tally In Qualifications

Will Power grids in position P11 for the final points paying race of the season. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Pos Driver Team Speed

11. Will Power KV 214.583
13. Oriol Servia KV 214.441
15. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 213.523
18. Jaime Camara Conquest 213.417
20. Alex Tagliani Conquest 213.305
22. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 212.753
26. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne 212.040
27. EJ Viso HVM 211.996
28. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne 211.451
Reference Here>>

Missing from the line-up is Pacific Coast Motorsports who have bowed out after entering the season late, showed good improvement but wanted to spend this time to build for a stronger campaign next year.

15:46:25 GMT-0400 All cars are away from the grid for the pace laps. Green flag is expected on the third time by.

Start waived off due to spacing, Briscoe slowed the field way down – too slow.

Green Flag!

Three wide racing gets the heart pumping at the start. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

The cars charge three wide into the first corner

Tony Kanaan is trying to pass Briscoe on the high side. Castroneves is already up to P21 from P28

Castroneves is moves up to P18 from P28

LAP 11
Helio Castroneves is up to P13 from P28

LAP 14
Dan Wheldon looks to take P5 from Danica Patrick

LAP 15
Marco Andretti gets moved back to P13 as Castroneves passes by for P12

LAP 25
Castroneves gets moved back to P11 as Rahal passes by to regain P10

LAP 32 of 200
It’s Briscoe, Kanaan, Dixon, Carpenter, Weldon, Patrick, Meira, Foyt IV, Hunter-Reay, and Castroneves in positions 1-10

LAP 37
Yellow Flag - Ed Carpenter smashes into the wall on Turn 2 – ON FIRE

LAP 38
In the pits – All cars take on fuel, tires, get adjustments, and try to advance position

LAP 39
After the first round of pitstops Tony Kanaan appears to have won the race off of pit lane with Dixon in tow - Castroneves moving past Hunter-Reay. It’s Kanaan, Dixon, Briscoe, Weldon, Patrick, Meira, Foyt IV, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, and Viso in positions 1-10

LAP 50
Green Green Green- Restart underway – Castroneves moves up another spot making that 20 positions in 50 laps

LAP 53
Positions 9-13 running almost on top of each other – Hunter-Reay, Viso, Power, Rahal, and Scheckter

LAP 57
Double pass on Weldon and Patrick by Castroneves to P4 … right behind Dixon

LAP 63
T-Team Driver, Jaime Camara of Conquest Racing is done for the day

LAP 64
Jaime Camara appears to have his issues resolved as he rejoins the race

LAP 67
Helio Castroneves passes Dixon to P3. Dixon shows maturity by not contesting the position

LAP 74
Yellow Flag – Full Course Caution – Vitor Meira of Panther Racing hits the wall in turn two. Vitor received an email earlier in the day telling him that he will not be racing for Panther Racing next season … he is expected to be replaced by Dan Weldon currently at Target Chip Ganassi Racing … who is expected to be replaced by IRL 2007 Series Champion, Dario Franchitti – and so goes the silly season here in the last points paying race for the IndyCar Series 2008 Championship

LAP 84
Green Flag – Helio Castroneves leads the field after a great pitstop. Behind him It’s Briscoe, Kanaan, Dixon, Weldon, Foyt IV, Patrick, Power, Viso, and Rahal in positions 1-10

LAP 92
1.1 seconds separates the top nine cars

LAP 93
Three abreast at 213 mph with Castroneves on the bottom, Ryan Briscoe in the middle, and Dan Weldon on top – Dixon drops to seventh

LAP 95
Mario Moraes of Dale Coyne Racing and EJ Viso of HVM Racing are in the top nine. Moraes is 19 years old with little oval experience has moved up from next to last P27 to P5

LAP 108
Over halfway and the Yellow Flag comes out for debris on the track. Dixon runs at P10 and this race is beginning to slip away. If the race were to end right now, Dixon would only win by two points (down 28 from 30) for a $1,000,000 season championship bonus

Sarah Fisher in her new Dollar General livery races along side, three wide, with Marco Andretti and T-Team driver, nineteen year-old Mario Moraes in the Sonny's BBQ sponsored Dale Coyne Dallara. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

LAP 109
Buddy Rice of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing gets tapped while in pit lane by Graham Rahal of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and is unable to continue in the race

LAP 113
Rahal in pits to replace mirror – penalized to restart from the back of the pack

LAP 117
Green Flag – Helio Castroneves leads the field after a great pitstop. Behind him It’s Briscoe, Weldon, Kanaan, Viso, Foyt IV, Patrick, Dixon, Power, Moraes, and Wilson in positions 1-11

LAP 118
Yellow Flag – Sara Fisher in the Dollar General Fisher Racing car hits the wall in turn #4 hard. She has stopped in the grass. Sarah Fisher is out of the car, but is limping to the safety vehicle

LAP 119
Where season points leader Scott Dixon is running right now … he would win by four points. If Castroneves were to get the bonus points for leading the most laps – Dixon would still win by one point

LAP 125
Green Flag – 75 laps to go. Justin Wilson passes Scott Dixon and pushes him back to ninth

LAP 127
Weldon drops back one position from P3 to P4 moving Kanaan up

LAP 128
Dixon is able to make some passes and is now up to P6 after passing Patrick

LAP 132
Kanaan passes Castroneves – not good for Helio … and Dixon up to P4

LAP 136
Announcers speculate if Dixon is applying the same strategy Dario Franchitti employed last year where Dixon Pressures Castroneves to use up more fuel and have him run out at the end – the same way Dixon ran out last year giving Franchitti the win and the championship

LAP 137
EJ Viso’s tire deflates and sends the car into the wall from P8

LAP 140
Leaders in the pits – Dixon may have a problem in that he looses a few positions because a tire got away from a pit crew member causing Dixon to hold a little longer

LAP 144
Milka Duno stays out to get some camera time for her sponsor CITGO Petroleum - Green Flag – Helio Castroneves is second after a great pitstop. Behind him It’s Briscoe, Weldon, Patrick, Kanaan, Dixon, Moraes, Hunter-Reay and Andretti in positions 1-10

LAP 158
The top eight have opened up a 1.8 second lead on the field

LAP 163
Hideki Mutoh is slow on the apron near Turn #1

LAP 167
Dixon is holding station at P4 – if he finishes there, he wins the series championship for 2008 by nine points.

LAP 168
Hideki Mutoh is in for an extended pit stop. This could cost him Bombardier Rookie of the Year

LAP 177
It’s Weldon, Castroneves, Briscoe, Dixon, Kanaan, Moraes, Hunter-Reay, Patrick, Foyt IV, and Manning in P1 through P10

Helio Castroneves and teammate Ryan Briscoe get a nudge at over 200 miles per hour while running ... three wide. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

LAP 182
Mario Moraes of Dale Coyne Racing scrapes the wall and brings out a Yellow Flag. Mario out – Castroneves has the bonus points (3) for most laps led

LAP 184
Pits are open and the leaders come in – this could turn the race if there is a problem for either Castroneves or Dixon

LAP 185
Dixon picks up three positions and passes Briscoe and Castroneves out of the pits – only about 13 to 14 laps of racing to the end

LAP 189
11 laps left and it’s Green Green Green RESTART! – Graham Rahal gets into the wall from P18 – Yellow Flag

LAP 194
Six laps to go, after two wave offs due to Helio trying to get a jump - they are going to the end

LAP 195
Castroneves is all over leader, Scott Dixon’s rear wing

LAP 199
Two laps remaining and it is side by side

LAP 200
On the bottom Dixon out stretches Castroneves for his seventeenth race win by one one-thousandth of a second. The video evidence would suggest that Castroneves noses out Dixon – we’re waiting for the announcement

It’s official!

Scott Dixon is the 2008 IndyCar Series Champion and is second to Helio Castroneves in this race here today in the closest finish ever in an open wheel motorsports race … still at margin of one one-thousandth of a second flying along at 213 miles per hour. Image Credit:

Photo finish
By staff

JOLIET, Ill. - Helio Castroneves made a exciting dash to the front of the pack - going from worst to first in 77 laps - but Scott Dixon did what was necessary to wrap up his second IndyCar Series championship.

Dixon, who needed an eighth place in the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway to clinch, finished second in the 200-lap race -- by 0.0033 of a second to Castroneves in the second-closest finish in IndyCar Series history. The closest finish is 0.0024 of a second in 2002.

Another IndyCar Series championship-deciding race came down to the final turn of the final lap at Chicagoland Speedway. This time, Scott Dixon came out on top. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

IndyCar Series champion celebrates with all of the members of his Target Chip Ganassi team. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Dixon won by 17 points. Castroneves' teammate, Ryan Briscoe, finished third (0.0778 of a second behind) and Tony Kanaan was fourth. Will Power finished fifth and Dan Wheldon was sixth.
Reference Here>>

The highest finishing Transition Team driver is Will Power of KV Racing Technology.

So, it is a sad T-Team points end to this open wheel unification season at the end. Justin Wilson and Will Power both had a chance to take the lead in the rookie of the points but came up short.

Oriol Servia, Will Power's KV Racing Technology teammate was the highest ranking T-Team driver, but since he raced at the Indianapolis 500 in a previous season, he did not qualify as a rookie.

Bombardier Rookie of the Year

Rank. Name – PTS. Behind Leader

1. Hideki Mutoh - 346 Leader – and a rookie driver for an established IRL team
2. Justin Wilson -6
3. Will Power -15
4. Graham Rahal - -58
5. E.J. Viso -60
6. Mario Moraes -102
7. Enrique Bernoldi -126
8. Jaime Camara -172
9. Mario Dominguez -234

Overall 2008 Championship Points Standings

Rank. Name – POINTS – PTS. Behind Leader
(T-Team in CCWS orange)

1. Scott Dixon - 646 Leader
2. Helio Castroneves - 629 -17
3. Tony Kanaan - 513 -133
4. Dan Wheldon - 492 -154
5. Ryan Briscoe - 447 -199
6. Danica Patrick - 379 -267
7. Marco Andretti - 363 -283
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay - 360 -286
9. Oriol Servia - 358 -288
10. Hideki Mutoh - 346 -300
11. Justin Wilson - 340 -306
12. Will Power - 331 -315
13. Vitor Meira - 324 -322
14. Darren Manning - 323 -323
15. Ed Carpenter - 320 -326
16. Buddy Rice - 306 -340
17. Graham Rahal - 288 -358
18. E.J. Viso - 286 -360
19. A.J. Foyt IV - 280 -366
20. Bruno Junqueira - 256 -390
21. Mario Moraes - 244 -402
22. Enrique Bernoldi - 220 -426
23. Jaime Camara - 174 -472
24. Marty Roth - 166 -480
25. Milka Duno - 140 -506
26. Townsend Bell - 117 -529
27. Mario Dominguez - 112 -534
28. Jay Howard - 72 -574
29. Franck Perera - 71 -575
30. John Andretti - 71 -575
31. Tomas Scheckter - 66 -580
32. Sarah Fisher - 37 -609
33. Paul Tracy - 32 -614 - honorable mention
34. Alex Tagliani - 30 -616 - honorable mention
35. Roger Yasukawa - 16 -630
36. Davey Hamilton - 16 -630
37. Buddy Lazier - 13 -633
38. Alex Lloyd - 10 -636
39. Jeff Simmons - 10 -636

... notes from The EDJE