NEWS ARCHIVE

30 NOVEMBER 2006

THE FIRST TEST OF THE WINTER

Ferrari has been in command at the Barcelona test in recent days with Felipe Massa fastest on the first two days of running and test driver Luca Badoer setting the fastest time on the third day - and overall.

WANT TO BUY AN AUTO-UNION?

One of only two 1939 Auto-Union D-Type racing cars known to be in existence is to be sold by Christie's in Paris next year, and the celebrated auction house is hoping that the sale will bring the highest price ever for an automobile at auction.

29 NOVEMBER 2006

DAN PETTIT BUYS RUSPORT

Dan Pettit, a wealthy venture capitalist in the telecommunications business, has bought the Rusport Champ Car team. Pettit was previously a partner in Kevin Kalkhoven's PKV Racing but has now decided to move on to have his own team.

HAKKINEN TO TEST FOR MCLAREN

Mika Hakkinen will drive a Team McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car tomorrow in Spain. The former double World Champion will be helping Pedro de la Rosa and Lewis Hamilton with the work as the team waits for Fernando Alonso to be allowed to begin testing.

28 NOVEMBER 2006

NEWSCORP DOES A DEAL FOR F1 IN AMERICA

Speed TV is teaming up with its brother company Fox Sports for a new three-year deal to cover Formula 1 in the United States of America. Fox will broadcast four events in 2007 with live coverage from the US and Canadian Grand Prix while Speed will air the remaining 13 events live, including coverage of practice and qualifying.

AND THEY ARE OFF!

Testing for 2007 has begun at the Circuit de Catalunya with eight of the 11 teams in action. Ferrari is running Luca Badoer and Felipe Massa while McLaren has cars for Lewis Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa.

CARLIN MOVES INTO GP2

Carlin Motorsport is entering the GP2 series in 2007 in a joint venture with DPR. Trevor Carlin will head the operation although Dave Price is staying with the team, which will enter under the name of Carlin DPR.

MOSLEY TO MAKE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT MONACO FORUM

Max Mosley, President of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile has confirmed that he will deliver a Keynote address at the 2006 Motor Sport Business Forum.

27 NOVEMBER 2006

NASCAR DECLARES INTERNATIONAL AMBITIONS

Brian France, the chairman and chief executive of NASCAR, has served notice that the successful US stock car series has global ambitions - something which an dismissive Formula 1 fraternity has thus far refused to take too seriously.

HERE AND THERE

World Champion Fernando Alonso was married on Saturday in a private ceremony in the Maldives to his fiancee Raquel del Rosario, a Spanish singer. Elsewhere, the A1 Grand Prix teams were in action in Malaysia.

FRENCH GOVERNMENT TO HELP OUT FRANCE'S CAR INDUSTRY?

Renault may be doing well in F1 and Citroen in the World Rally Championship but both Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen are suffering from falling sales and this is creating worries for the companies and for France.

ZANARDI RETURNS TO F1

Alex Zanardi returned to F1 at the weekend at the Formula BMW World Final at Valencia when he took the wheel of a BMW Sauber C24B and completed 12 laps of the track. It was his first run in F1 since 1999.

BUTTON HURTS HIMSELF WHILE KARTING

Honda F1 driver Jenson Button will miss this week's Formula 1 testing after suffering two cracked ribs in an accident while karting. According to the team, the injury occurred when Button was "participating in a karting test scheduled as part of his winter preparation".

24 NOVEMBER 2006

VERSTAPPEN TO CHAMP CAR?

Jos Verstappen says that he will be racing in Champ Car next year. In a column on his website Verstappen has told his fans that they should be ready to watch him in action at Assen in Holland on September 2 next year - when Champ car is due to visit the Dutch circuit.

HAMILTON GETS THE MCLAREN!

Lewis Hamilton has been confirmed as the second McLaren driver in 2007. The 21-year-old Briton, who won this year's GP2 champion, becomes has had his career nurtured by McLaren boss Ron Dennis since the age of 13.

23 NOVEMBER 2006

GM SUFFERS FOR RENAULT MERGER FAILURE

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has sold off 14m shares in General Motors, following the company's decision not to ally with Renault. The sale drops Kerkorian's holding in the Detroit firm to 7.4% from the previous 9.9%. GM shares have dropped around 15% in value since rumours began that Kerkorian was selling.

PHILIPS UPS ITS SUPPORT FOR WILLIAMS

The Dutch multinational Philips has announced an agreement to increase it sponsorship for the Williams team in 2007. The company had a trial year in 2006 and enjoyed a 15% increase in its sales of shaving equipment.

HAKKINEN LANDS DRINK-DRIVE ROLE

Mika Hakkinen has been named the Responsible Drinking Ambassador for McLaren sponsor Johnnie Walker by its parent company Diageo. Hakkinen's job will be to raise awareness on issues of responsible drinking, particularly in relation to driving.

22 NOVEMBER 2006

WHY REAL MADRID CAN AFFORD AN F1 SPONSORSHIP

Real Madrid is a Spanish sports club, best known for its soccer team. The team is one of the best in Europe. The organisation is still run by its membership and in addition to soccer fields a successful basketball team as well. The club has been headed for the last three months by president Ramon Calderon.

A NEW (OLD) WORLD CHAMPION!

The world of karting is in some confusion at the moment following the announcement that the FIA-CIK stewards at the World Championship at Angerville have reconvened an decided that the Formula A World Champion Francesco Antonucci should be excluded from the results.

A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR HAKKINEN RUMOURS

The rumours that Mika Hakkinen might make a comeback with McLaren are rather odd. It is hard to believe that McLaren would go down that route when the team has a hotshoe like Lewis Hamilton, who would be signed up within minutes if he was on the open market.

21 NOVEMBER 2006

VETTEL GOES TO THE WORLD SERIES

Sebastian Vettel has been much heralded as Germany's bright new star and thus it is a bit of a surprise that he has signed to drive for Carlin Motorsport in the 2007 World Series by Renault. Vettel did a decent job in the Formula 3 Euroseries and was expected to move up to GP2.

20 NOVEMBER 2006

LORDS IN A RUSH TO GO GREEN

Given F1's talk of switching to diesel turbos powered with biofuel, it is worth noting that the environment is becmong more and more of a political issue.

REJOICE, REJOICE

For years the facilities at Imola have been a problem for Formula 1 people with a crowded pitlane, paddock and media facilities that were out of date long ago. F1 folk may still wish to rejoice at the news that on Sunday, Italian civil engineers blew up the old pit building.

WILSON WINS GREG MOORE LEGACY AWARD

Former F1 driver Justin Wilson may not have won this year's Champ Car title, finishing second to France's Sebastien Bourdais, but the Englishman did make a mark, winning the Greg Moore Legacy Award for his determination, passion and skill as a racer.

F1 VENUE HITS NOISE TROUBLE

Villagers at Elvington, a small community close to York in England, have won a partial victory in their fight to stop Formula 1 testing at the Elvington Airfield. This year there have been 16 tests at the old aerodrome but Judge Kristina Harrison has now ruled that there can be only 10 a year.

A FUEL CELL KART

Imperial College in London is a famous place for F1 engineers to learn their trade. The list of famous alumni includes Cosworth founder Keith Duckworth, plus such wellknown names as Frank Dernie (now at Williams), Tino Belli, Nick Tombazis, Egbahl Hamidy, Seamus Mullarkey and John Davies.

JACQUES TO BE A TEAM OWNER?

Having already had a share in a Formula 1 team, Jacques Villeneuve may now be planning to run his own team in NASCAR. The word from the US is that the 35-year-old former World Champion and his manager Craig Pollock are busy pitching sponsors in order to put together a team.

HERE AND THERE

Greg Biffle won the final round of the NASCAR Nextel Cup at Homestead on Sunday, giving his sponsor The National Guard a proper send-off. The Roush Racing driver beat Dale Earnhardt Inc's Martin Truex Jr and rookie Denny Hamlin but Jimmie Johnson's ninth place was sufficient to give him his first NASCAR title.

PREMAT LOOKS TO AMERICA

Alexandre Premat, who drove for the Spyker team as third driver in China, looks like he is heading to the United States next year. Premat will test for the Eric Bachelart's Mi Jack Conquest Racing in Houston on November 28.

MONTOYA GOES DOWN IN FLAMES

Juan Pablo Montoya did a decent job in his first NASCAR Nextel Cup race until the final laps of the race when he crashed heavily and had to extricate himself from the flaming wreck of his car! Ryan Newman was later questioned about whether he had spun Montoya out but said that the two cars had not touched.

19 NOVEMBER 2006

AN ACTION-PACKED MACAU

There was plenty of action on Sunday in Macau after Saturday's 10-lap race in which Japan's Kamui Kobayashi won pole position for the main event.

18 NOVEMBER 2006

BSKYB MOVES IN ON ITV

The battle for control of F1's most important TV station is getting hotter and hotter. ITV, which supplies its feed to many of the English-speaking audiences around the world, is being fought over by some of the bigger players in the industry.

MONTOYA SHOWS HIS SPEED AT HOMESTEAD

Juan Pablo Montoya qualified for his first NASCAR Nextel Cup race Homestead on Friday, lapping the speedway at 175.667mph to line up 29th on the 43-car grid. Pole position went to Kasey Kahne in a similar Dodge at 178.259mph.

17 NOVEMBER 2006

WILLIAMS GETS ANOTHER CEO

Williams F1 has announced a new chief executive officer to replace Chris Chapple. The new man is Adam Parr, a executive who was previously an executive with the Rio Tinto Minerals company.

AN INTERESTING MOVE IN TV LAND

Formula 1 is inextricably linked to the television industry - at least for the moment - and thus it is interesting to note reports in The Financial Times in London that suggest that German F1 rights holder RTL, Europe's biggest broadcasting company, is preparing to bid for ITV, the UK television firm which broadcasts F1.

TURBOCHARGED BIODIESELS IN F1

Forced-induction is a concept which pre-dates the automobile. America's Francis Roots patented a pump system designed to increase the power of blast furnaces as long ago as 1860.

ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

The 2006 Motor Sport Business Forum has doubled in size this year with over 500 delegates and exhibitors preparing to converge in Monaco on December 6-7 for what the organisers hope will be the industry event of the year.

16 NOVEMBER 2006

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Peace between the FIA and the GPMA is, fundamentally, a good thing. It is also a natural state of affairs. It makes no sense - and never has made any sense - to have the manufacturers fighting with the FIA.

WAR AND PEACE - THE FIA-GPMA VERSION

Max Mosley of the FIA and Burkhard Goschel, the main in charge of the GPMA, announced yesterday that they are now in agreement on all the major issues involved in Formula 1. This is what they said.

15 NOVEMBER 2006

A POSITIVE MOMENT FOR THE SPORT

The FIA and the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association have agreed a deal over how the sport should be run. The deal, which was struck at a meeting in Munich, is yet to be put on paper but a document is planned and should cover the next five years.

KLIEN GETS THE HONDA TEST JOB

Christian Klien is to join Honda as test and reserve driver while James Rossiter is being retained as the team's official test driver.

DAVIDSON CONFIRMED AT SUPER AGURI

Anthony Davidson will be joining be joining Takuma Sato at Super Aguri F1 in 2007. The Englishman has been Honda test driver for the last few years but is finally going to get a fulltime break in F1.

MONTOYA AIMS FOR NEXTEL CUP DEBUT THIS WEEKEND

Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed that it will enter Juan Pablo Montoya in the Ford 400, the final round of the NASCAR Nextel Cup, this weekend at Homestead in Florida.

MANNING LANDS WITH FOYT

Britain's Darren Manning was missing from the ranks of the Indy Racing League in 2006, appearing only briefly in the A1 Grand Prix Series and driving a Nissan 350Z in the FIA GT Championship for RJN Motorsport. But now he is back in Indycars with a deal with AJ Foyt Enterprises

14 NOVEMBER 2006

COST-CUTTING? YEAH RIGHT!

This is the time of year at which the Formula 1 team financial results become public information and that is always interesting to see how the sport is developing.

THE FUTURE OF RUSPORT

The word in Champ Car circles is that Carl Russo, the boss of the Rusport team is to leave the series next year. It remains to be seen what will happen with the team but new owners are being sought.

A RESTRUCTURING AT RENAULT

This is the time of year at which F1 teams tend to revamp their structures and it seems that Renault F1 is reorganising itself slightly with the team's Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds taking on a slightly different role.

SPA REVAMP BEGINS

Work has now begun on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium which will return to the F1 calendar next year after missing out in 2005. The work which will be done this winter will include a completely revamped pit and paddock area which will be much bigger than previously.

A REAL NON-STORY YOU JUST HAVE TO READ

Mika Hakkinen is NOT going to be making an Formula 1 comeback in 2007. The 38-year-old Finn visited McLaren headquarters in Woking the other day and spent some time trying out the team's racing simulator but according to McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh that is far as it goes.

MELBOURNE STRUGGLES TO CONVINCE AUSSIE MEDIA

The Australian Grand Prix will rely more heavily than ever on Formula 1 cars next year after failing to do a deal to run an event for FIA European GT3 cars.

TIAGO TO GO RALLYING

Tiago Monteiro is to spend this weekend working on the Casinos do Algarve Rally in Portugal, driving the '0' Car, one of the official cars that is driven through the stage 15 minutes before the rally cars to ensure that the course is clear and to warn spectators that the event is about to start.

13 NOVEMBER 2006

CHAPPLE DEPARTS WILLIAMS

WilliamsF1 has parted company with its chief executive officer Chris Chapple. Chapple has been with the team for two years and is moving on to "a new challenge", whatever that may be.

A1 GRAND PRIX GETS A NEW CEO

A1GP has appointed Pete da Silva as its new chief executive officer. He is currently the chief executive of Siemens in South Africa.

BRIDGESTONE FINISHES CONTRACT PROCESS

Bridgestone Motorsport has finally managed to complete all the necessary contracts with the F1 teams and will add Renault, McLaren, Honda, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso to its books next year.

MONTOYA WAITS FOR NEXTEL CUP DEBUT

Juan Pablo Montoya is hoping to finish his racing season by making his debut in the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Miami Homestead next weekend, driving a Ganassi Dodge.

STODDART TO JOIN CTE/HVM?

There are rumours in the United States that former Minardi F1 team boss Paul Stoddart is going to buy into the CTE/HVM Champ Car team, which is run by former F1 team owner Keith Wiggins, who ran the Pacific Grand Prix operation back in the early 1990s.

AND SO TO MACAU

This week the Formula 3 clans will gather at Macau for the 53rd Macau Grand Prix, which will also decide the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup. There are runners from sixth different national and regional championships.

FIAT AUTO LOOKING FOR A NEW BOSS

Sergio Marchionne is a very busy man. Not only has he been overseeing the turnaround of the Fiat group, the parent company of Ferrari, but he has also been personally running Fiat Auto as well.

NO NASCAR FOR VILLENEUVE IN 2007

Jacques Villeneuve will not be with Roush Racing next season. The former F1 World Championship had been discussing deals with Roush to run in NASCAR Busch Series races races next year in preparation for a Nextel Cup programme in 2008.

HERE AND THERE

With the racing season now winding down around the world, this is a time when championships are settled and at the weekend NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson finished second in the Checkers Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway to strengthen his position in the championship.

11 NOVEMBER 2006

A NEW GRAND PRIX IN EUROPE?

While everyone is going on about new races in Asia, there is not doubt that there is one country in Europe where there are serious attempts going on to get a new race: Spain.

10 NOVEMBER 2006

GENE STAYS AT FERRARI - BUT TO DO WHAT?

Ferrari has confirmed that Marc Gene will stay with the team next year but says that with the restriction on testing that is coming into effect there may not be much for him to do.

IMOLA DREAMS ON

Imola had collected all the money needed to modify the circuit as demanded by the F1 authorities but then the promoter SAGIS was unable to meet the financial demands of the Formula One group and the contract was cancelled.

BEIJING CIRCUIT ALTERED

The Beijing street circuit has been substantially altered in order to solve the problem of the hairpin being too tight. The troublesome Turn 8 is to be moved up to the pit entrance area, where there is sufficient room for the A1 cars to turn, thanks to an intersection which allows a little more space.

THE PLACES WE GO

Formula 1 travels all over the world, and does business in a wide variety of different countries. Some are better than others but what is clear is that most of them seem to do business without too much sleaze being involved.

A NEW FIA DEPUTY PRESIDENT

Italy's Franco Lucchese, the president of the Automobile Club d'Italia, has been elected the new FIA Deputy President for Mobility and the Automobile, replacing Catalunya's Sebastia Salvado, who held the position for just one year.

AND SO TO DELHI?

As we reported in May, an Indian Grand Prix is creeping ever closer to becoming a reality and the latest project seems to be in the city of Delhi, the nation's capital and the country's third largest city was a population estimated to be around 15m.

ANOTHER NICE LITTLE EARNER FOR MR E

Union Properties of Dubai has done a deal with the Formula One group to buy the exclusive rights to develop F1 Theme Parks around the world. The first will be built in Dubai and aims to be open in 2009.

A MESS IN BEIJING

This weekend's A1 GP street race in Beijing has run into trouble because the A1 cars cannot get round the hairpin. The circuit runs down a section of dual-carriageway into the hairpin and then goes back using the other carriageway. The problem was that there is not enough turning space for the cars.

TOYOTA PUSHES JAPANESE TALENT

Toyota has announced that Kohei Hirate and Kamui Kobayashi will be involved in testing with the Panasonic Toyota Racing F1 team in the year ahead.

9 NOVEMBER 2006

GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT

Bernie Ecclestone is always wheeling and dealing to try to get the best result for his company - and challenging established ideas as he does so. Ecclestone's latest provocative idea, to be floated via an interview with the Bloomberg newsagency, is that Britain will share its Grand Prix with France.

PAFFETT ON THE VERGE

The word from Brackley for some days has been that Gary Paffett is the man most likely to be the new Honda F1 test driver. Paffett's experience with McLaren seems to have won him the day although our spies tell us that his management - Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell - have been pushing a little hard on the financial front.

ROSSI TRIES A DTM MERCEDES-BENZ

The DTM Series is running short of star names at the moment with the departures of Jean Alesi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Olivier Panis is expected to turn up next year with Mercedes but there is still the need to get the racing into the mainstream media.

CHANGES AT THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF APPEAL

The FIA has appointed EU Competition lawyer Ken Daly as the new Secretary General of the FIA International Court of Appeal. He replaces David Ward, who now moves on to become a special advisor to FIA President Max Mosley, while retaining his role as the director general of the FIA Foundation.

ALFA ROMEO HEADING BACK TO THE US

Alfa Romeo, which has not been exporting cars to the United States since 1995, is to return to the US in 2009 with a variety of different models which will include the 159, 169, 8C Competizione, Brera and Spider models.

FORMER F1 MAN BUILDS FASTEST EVER ROAD CAR

Anthony Crook may be 86 years old but he is still a key figure in Bristol Cars, which claims to be Britain's last remaining luxury car company. Crook, a former Battle of Britain fighter pilot, took part in the first post-war motor race at Gransden Lodge in 1946.

ING TO SPONSOR BELGIUM

The Dutch financial company ING recently announced its plans to sponsor the Australian Grand Prix and we are expecting another announcement shortly, indicating that the firm is also going to be the title sponsor of the Belgium Grand Prix, the race closest to the company's headquarters in Holland.

8 NOVEMBER 2006

F1 AND THE CAR MANUFACTURERS

It has been a wild couple of days in the automotive industry with two chief executives of the seven largest car companies being replaced and while this may all seem to be a long away from the world of Formula 1, it is never easy to predict whether it will ultimately be significant.

ASIAN F3 TO JOIN MELBOURNE PROGRAMME?

There are reports from the Philippines that the Asian Formula 3 Series could be called in to be a support race for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next year. An announcement is expected shortly.

BERGER PLANS NEW SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO FACTORY IN ITALY

Gerhard Berger says that he intends to build a new factory for Scuderia Toro Rosso either in Faenza or in nearby Forli, which boasts an airport and would offer a bigger factory with better access to the major motorway that runs through the region.

WILLIAMS SIGNS NAKAJIMA

WilliamsF1 has announced that Toyota protege Kazuki Nakajima, the 21 year old son of Japan's first regular F1 driver Satoru Nakajima, will be one of its test drivers in 2007.

A SHARP-ER IMAGE FOR RAHAL

Bobby Rahal has signed up veteran Indycar racer Scott Sharp to lead his IRL team in 2007. Sharp moves to Rahal Letterman Racing from Fernandez Racing.

TRUST JOINS SPYKER

Trust, the Dutch IT company that used to sponsor Minardi and Jordan is to return to the sport as a sponsor of the Spyker F1 Team.

7 NOVEMBER 2006

PEUGEOT NAMES A NEW BOSS

French automaker Peugeot Citroen has named former Airbus chief executive Christian Streiff as its new boss. The current CEO Jean-Martin Folz is standing down soon after 10 years in the job and Streiff, who resigned from Airbus last month after just 99 days in the job.

A BIG CHANGE AT VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen's chief executive Bernd Pischetsrieder is to leave Europe's biggest carmaker at the end of this year. He will be replaced by Audi's chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

BMW CONFIRMS GLOCK TEST

BMW Sauber F1 Team will test Timo Glock at the end of the month in Barcelona and then in Jerez in mid-December. The 24-year-old German was due to test in September but that had to be delayed as Glock had injured his hand in the GP2 race at Monza and so the test had to be postponed.

AGURI SWITCHES TEAMS

Aguri Suzuka has announced that he is switching his financial support for Kosuke Matsuura from Fernandez Racing to Panther Racing in 2007. Suzuki was the man behind the funding of the team which was created at the end of 2002, initially runner Roger Yasukawa but in 2004 switching to Suzuki protege Matsuura.

6 NOVEMBER 2006

GRAHAM RAHAL DROPS A1 FOR CHAMP CAR FUTURE

Graham Rahal has announced that he is stopping his A1 GP Series races with Team Lebanon because he wants to be in Champ Cars next year - and you can bet that means that a deal is close for the youngster to have given up some more racing experience.

MEANWHILE IN AUSTRALIA

There are still five months to go before the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne but already there is action as Adelaide has started an advertising campaign in the state of Victoria hoping to get race fans in Melbourne to go to the annual Clipsal 500, the opening round of the V8 Supercar Series.

HERE AND THERE

Tony Stewart won his second straight victory in the NASCAR Nextel Cup in Texas, but as he is not one of the 10 championship challengers, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was doing it just for fun while the fight for the title was going on behind him.

3 NOVEMBER 2006

JOB LOSSES AS A RESULT OF THE TESTING DEAL?

The 11 Formula 1 teams recently agreed on a 30,000km per team testing limit for 2007. This is around half the testing that some of the teams have done in the past and with the FIA turning Fridays at each Grand Prix into a testing session, it is logical that some of the teams will reduce their manpower.

MCLAREN PICKS UP EX-HONDA AERODYNAMICIST

Honda Racing F1 has been hiring aerodynamic staff like there is no tomorrow in recent months as it expands its aero programme from one windtunnel to two. In the last nine months the team has taken on 35 staff and more are coming.

PI SELLS TECHNOLOGY DIVISION TO SOUTH AFRICA

The Pi Group has sold its road car division to South African electronics firm, Control Instruments. The Pi Technology division will thus be separated from Pi Research, the company that deals with racing technology.

WHY LIUZZI AND SPEED CANNOT RACE IN LAS VEGAS

Superkarts USA (SKUSA) has announced that Formula 1 drivers Scott Speed and Tonio Liuzzi will not be taking part in the forthcoming Supernationals X in Las Vegas on November 9-12.

2 NOVEMBER 2006

KLIEN VERSUS PAFFETT IN THE GRAND PRIX OF BRACKLEY

Our spies in Brackley report that things are now coming to a head in the competition to become the Honda Racing F1 test driver next season.

STODDART 90% CERTAIN TO GO TO CHAMP CAR

The Minardi team is almost certain to enter Champ Cars next year with Paul Stoddart planning to make an announcement within the next 10 days. We understand that there are still three options available to the team, all of which will involve acquiring current teams.

MANSELL CANCELLED

Nigel Mansell's plans to upgrade the Dunkeswell karting circuit in Devonshire have been turned down by the East Devon Council after nine months of negotiation.

WILSON HOPES TO RACE IN MEXICO

Justin Wilson will be heading for Mexico for the Champ Car finale on November 12 hoping to be able to race decide a broken scaphoid bone in his right wrist after a crash in Australia a fortnight ago.

LONELY HEARTS IN MELBOURNE

The Australian Grand Prix is looking hard at ways to sell more tickets as the ldevel of interest in F1 has flagged in recent seasons - although it may be due to the date-switching and clashing events.

NISSAN RUMOURS AND REALITY

There have been rumours in recent days suggesting that Nissan may want to invest in Formula 1 in the near future. There is some logic in the idea if Nissan could acquire an F1 franchise - although these are few and far between.

1 NOVEMBER 2006

ING SPONSORS AUSTRALIAN GP

ING has signed a three-year deal to be the title sponsor of the Australian GP. ING has recently entered into a three-year deal with the Formula One world champion Renault team. ING replaces Foster's which decided not to renew its deal this year.