Racing News and Notes, Nov. 14, 2005

November 14, 2005

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Racing Results: November 11-13, 2005 by John F. Gardner (11/14/2005)

A couple of big stories in the world’s two biggest series top this week’s news.


Formula 1:


• On Monday, Red Bull Racing dropped a bombshell on the Formula 1 world by announcing that it had hired Adrian Newey, one of the most successful designers in the series’ history, to be their Chief Technical Officer. Newey has been at McLaren for eight years, winning two World Championships with Mika Hakkinen. Prior to that he worked for Williams, where his designs were responsible for 58 victories, four World Driving Championships and five World Constructors Championships between 1991-1997. This is a major coup for Red Bull, and it will be interesting to see what the future will bring.


Portugal’s Tiago Monteiro, a former Champ Car shoe, has been announced as the second driver for the Midland F1 (formerly Jordan) team for 2006, alongside Christijan Albers. Monteiro drove for Jordan last year, and scored a podium at the embarrassing United States Grand Prix. His signing leaves only one seat at BMW (nee Sauber) and two at the new Super Aguri team open for next year.


Toyota, as has been expected, announced this week that it will switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tires for next year. That gives Bridgestone five teams for next year: Toyota, Williams, Ferrari, Midland and Squadra Toro Rosso.


• Ever wonder what an F1 car would do flat-out in a straight line with no rear wing? BAR/Honda did, and they have been working with such a car with the goal of breaking 400kph (248.6mph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats next year. They recently surpassed the 400 kph mark three times in testing at California’s Mojave Airport, with driver Alan van der Merwe posting a top speed of 257.9mph.


• Ferrari continues to tantalize the Italian media by testing Moto GP champ Valentino Rossi. Rossi did three days of running this past week at Ferrari’s Fiorano and Mugello circuits. No times were released, but an Italian newspaper clocked him unofficially at some 4.5sec under the Mugello record set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004. Rossi’s Moto Cup contract with Yamaha expires at the end of the 2006 season, which is the same time that Michael Schumacher’s current Ferrari contract expires.





• Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably already heard all the fuss about Kurt Busch. First of all, as we predicted last week, on Monday it was announced that Kurt had been cleared to leave Roush Racing at the end of the season to take over Rusty Wallace’s No. 2 Dodge at Penske Racing South. Concurrently, it was announced that Jamie McMurray would leave Chip Ganassi Racing to take Kurt’s place at Roush. Casey Mears will take McMurray’s No. 42 for Ganassi, who will only run three cars (two others for David Stremme and Reed Sorenson) instead of the four he had planned.


Then, on Friday, Kurt was arrested in Phoenix and charged with criminal reckless driving. The Maricopa Sherriffs Department said that he had alcohol on his breath and treated the arresting officers with disrespect. On Sunday morning, citing pressures emanating from his sponsors (one of whom is a liquor company), Jack Roush suspended Kurt for the final two races of the year. Kenny Wallace took his place at Phoenix, and either Kenny or Truck rookie Todd Kluever (who is slated to replace Mark Martin in Roush’s No. 6 in 2007) will drive in the Homestead finale.

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