The TACH Report: Here Comes the U.S. Grand Prix, New Model for Honda, USAC Turns Down, NASCAR Lashes Up

4 February 1998

King Bernie Ecclestone, head of all you survey in Formula One, has
worked out a deal with Long Beach G.P. (CART) impresario Chris Pook
(who is also a Brit) to handle stateside activities regarding bringing
a Formula One race to the U.S. in two years.  Pook worked with and
held F-1 races at Long Beach 20 years ago until they got too expensive
to conduct. Chances are the U.S. G.P. will not be at the Long Beach
street course, but maybe at Road Atlanta, Houston streets, Vegas
streets or Laguna Seca, which has an ingress and egress problem.

Honda is pretty happy with sales of its CR-V line and adding a
two-wheel drive version and a 5-speed manual transmission option for
1998.  Prices are: 

       CR-V 2WD LX                   $18,350
       CR-V 4WD LX  5-speed          $18,750
       CR-V 4WD EX  Automatic        $21,050

Rumors of a merger between USAC (open wheel) and NASCAR have been laid
to rest: the two sanctioning bodies could not come to agreement.
Instead the venerable United States Auto Club passed a resolution to
work closer with Tony George, the guy that kicked USAC out of IRL and
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Big, upscale automotive event planned for the Dana Point, California
area come next September 11-13: Already a very ritzy part of Southern
California, a charity concours and yacht regatta will take place
oceanside at the Ritz Carlton hotel, featuring 200 cars, 50 luxury
yachts, a gaggle of tall ships (the Pilgrim is moored nearby), and a
dynamite fireworks extravaganza.  It's all to assist charities such as
Child Help, USA, The Boy Scouts, Orange County Register charities and
others.  The honored marque for the concours is Rolls Royce, and to
cater to your ears, the music of David Benoit.  For your palate, two
chefs directly from France will cook. Be there!

Vintage car authority Keith Martin says the new Beetle is real cute
and should bring a lot of money.  The first ones may go at auction for
twice their worth, but in one year they will most likely be
discounted.

IROC has announced that four more drivers have been added to this
years field: Arie Luyendyck, Tony Stewart, Al Unser, Jr, and Jimmy
Vasser will join the fray.

The Daytona 500 is coming up, and all eyes are on Ford. Will the blue
badge guys run the unproven Taurus or go back to T-Birds?  The Taurus
has clocked 190.609 in practice.

Big recall going for GM trucks because of brake problems. When the
dealer can't fix it, Generous Motors is buying them back.

Tony Stewart ran in all the classes at the Copper State Classic in
Phoenix yesterday: midgets, sprints and silver crown.

Injured IRL driver Davey Jones was at Walt Disney World last week for
the IRL race and says he hopes to be well enough to compete in the
Indy 500.  At Disney World only one Infiniti engine appeared.  It was
mounted in Dr. Jack Miller's car, and even though the good Doctor says
the mill now has 60 more ponies and is 40 pounds lighter, race
officials were heard over the car-to-car radios telling Miller to get
out of everyone's way or bring the car in and quit.

The Paris-Dakar World championship rally is over and Mitusbishi took
the first four spots.

In F-1 activity Damon Hill will have a very competitive team mate in
the person of Ralf Schumacher on the Jordan team.

Millionaire Don Panoz of Panoz sports car fame and owner of Road
Atlanta has inked a pact with the organizers of the LeMans 24 hour
race, which could shake up Pro Sports car and the new USRRC.  We may
see LeMans qualifying races at Road Atlanta. It may be called "Petit
LeMans 1000".

We told you about the 12 cylinder VW unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show.
This supercar may see the light of day and will be priced at
$170,000...for a VW?

We keep hearing from researchers that the most popular car color s
green. Next time at a stoplight count the green cars. Nada, Yet,
DuPont now says medium dark green is preferred by 17.5% of new car
owners.  White is next at 17%. Bright red is 4%..

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel

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