Monday, July 31, 2006

Bourdais Wins Race! Tracy Wins Fight???

Bourdais captured his fifth race of the season at San Jose in convincing fashion followed by da Matta and Wilson. Although Speedy, Destructive, Dangerous, Does not finish, (pick one) Dan Clark worked his way to second and appeared to be the equal of Bourdais before his day ended in a mechanical failure.

The Tagliani Tracy altercation started when PT, in a run of after missing a turn, turned around and roared back onto the track clipping Tag putting both cars out of the race.

Tag marched into pit lane on the hunt for PT and when the two got together the heated debate deteriorated into fist a cuffs. Tag had wisely left his helmet on resulting in a badly swollen hand for PT.

The three day event attendance was reported at 155,394.

WickerBill sez;

Kneifel did a great job of fixing the track especially smoothing out the Lola Launch at Push Rod Hollow which last year took a huge toll on the cars. The track is still too narrow in places!

We actually made it to lap three before a caution this time an improvement but still annoying! Champ Car, more improvement is needed.

Will the Tag - PT show continue, perhaps they will sell a few tickets……perhaps!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

NEW Panoz DP01

Photos Courtesy of CCWS

WickerBill Sez;

Gelles Racing is moving up to Champ Car announcing last night at the unveiling that they were first to place an order for the new livery.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Wilson Captures First 06 Win

Justin Wilson blew by Bourdais to win the second Edmondton Race Sunday. The race attended by 69,921 fans, bringing the 3 day total to 171,391, saw Wilson take charge late in the race as Bourdais suffered with an ill handling car.

Bourdais finished second ahead of a not so healthy third place Almendinger who drove the entire race with flu like symptoms. Bourdais unable to track down Wilson attempted to settle for the fastest lap by waiting near the end to use the remainder of his PTP and set fastest lap. He failed by .022 seconds.

Next weekend San Jose and the unveiling of the new DP07, will it Champ Car orange?

WickerBill Sez;

The first lap was again marred by the usual carnage even though this time there were fewer cars involved we still had to endure the wrath of yellow before we could watch the race! Attention CCWS do something please!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Health of US Open Wheel Racing Mid 2006

Let’s take a look at open wheel racing in US after the IRL Nashville and CCWS Toronto events. The information I have gathered is post 7-16-06 and accurate to the extent that the web sites I checked out have correctly reported it. Even if it is only partially correct the picture is not good!

IRL cars with blank or owner related side pods.

Vision 2
Panther 1

IRL cars with genuine side pod sponsors.

Penske Marlboro 2
Gnassi Target 2
AGR Seven Eleven 1
AGR Jim Beam 1
Rahal Letterman Argent 2
Rahal Letterman Ethanol 1
Fernandez Delphi 1
Fernandez Super Aguri Panasonic 1
Dryer Rienbold Escort 1
Foyt ABC Supply 1

CCWS cars with blank or owner related side pods.

Newman Hass 1
Forsythe 2
Rusport 1

CCWS cars with genuine side pod sponsors.

Newman Hass McDonalds 1
PKV Bell Micro 1
PKV Gulfstream 1
Rusport CDW 1
Mi-Jack Mi-Jack 1
Mi-Jack Tide 1
Walker Aussie Vinyards 2
Coyne Sonnys BBQ 1
Coyne Media Mall 1
Rocketsports Flexovit 1

Using the raw numbers sponsorship in the IRL is better by a count of 15 to 11 for CCWS. Some on the IRL list, like Ethanol, Delphi (Bankrupt) and NYSE, are arguably suspect and their return for 07 could be in doubt but still leave the IRL in the raw numbers lead.

Even if the 2 Forsythe and 2 CTE sponsorships are counted there are still 2 empty side pods at CCWS. The CCWS list reads like a “who is” list with many of the sponsors not recognizable by the casual fan. It’s safe to say many of these sponsors could bolt at any time.

I have found information for purses for both series and found them similar, except for Indy, with a slight edge going to the IRL at 1M per event compared to 900K CCWS.

We can assume the sanctioning fees are not vastly different at 1.5 to 2M per event.

The IRL probably has the edge with TV revenues even without Indy.

The IRL is putting 18 cars on the grid down at least two from last year. CCWS is taking, in one case 16, otherwise 17 to 18 cars to the grid down 1 from last year. If the series owners didn’t have entries the IRL would only grid 16 and CCWS 12.

It would seem that the IRL is the healthier of the two but perhaps a better analogy would be that their cancer is not a far advanced as CCWS. Neither series is a picture of health!

I have a difficult time seeing any of this as growth!

How will it all end? We can only guess, perhaps 07 will help to clarify the situation. One thing is for sure, no matter how much cost is taken out - Honda’s discounted engines, CCWS new cheaper chassis - if the sponsor thing doesn’t turn around there will be nothing left to merge.

Monday, July 10, 2006

1 Allmendinger, 2 Allmendinger, 3 Allmendinger, Four?

Even pigeons dinning on the back stretch couldn’t deter AJ from another victory Sunday. Allmendinger had to swerve to avoid contact with pigeons on the backstretch on his way to a third straight series victory at Toronto.

Team mate Paul Tracy was second following AJ’s lead and barely missing the pigeons, a sign that Tracy’s luck has surely changed for the better.

This 1-2 Forsythe finish was the first for the team since Mid Ohio when Tracy and Carpentier did it in 03.

Bourdais finshed third leaving him with a scant 23 point lead over Allmendinger in the title chase.

Can AJ pull off a fourth at Edmonton?

WickerBill sez;

Seems like only yesterday we were all wondering if Bourdais was going to run the table as he had everything going his way. Now we are left wondering if AJ will overwhelm the rest of the field this year.
The attendance has not yet been announced except to say that it was up from last year. - Hmmm how much?