The TACH Report: CART Spring Training; Mercedes M-Class; F-1

17 February 1998


CART drivers Max Papis and Alex Barron of the Dan Gurney All American
Racers Toyota team started off the 1998 practice season in fine style,
posting quick times at the Homestead, FL 1.5 mile oval.  Newcomer
Barron popped a 206.820 mph run right out of the box in his
Reynard/Toyota, and Max Papis ran a 207.321 lap in the MCI
Reynard/Toyota.

Mercedes Benz's hot selling ML320 Sport Ute has been built from the
get-go with safety construction firmly at the forepoint.  The vehicle
boasts "crumple" (crash) zones in the front and rear, four wheel
traction control, and front airbags.

McLaren unveiled its new MP4/13 F-1 racer to the press at its
headquarters in Woking, England.  12,000 man hours went into the new
design, the car will use a V10 Mercedes motor, and it is 5% lighter
than last year's model.

The Red Bull Sauber team tested at Barcelona and experienced gearbox
problems. Tyrrell brought its new Ford powered 026 to Barcelona and
driver Tora Tagagi racked up 138 practice laps. Damon Hill and Ralf
Schumacher were present testing the new Jordan/Mugen/Honda. Hill's
wife Georgie recently gave birth to their fourth child.

In Kansas City, city fathers OKed the construction of the
1.5 mile Kansas International Raceway, to be completed in 2000.

The Homestead, FL race track will host a USRRC race, May 15-17. CART
drivers had good things to say about the race plant. Michael Andretti
said, "It's faster, but you don't feel faster."

The 1998 Penske PC-27 was unveiled last week in Miami, bearing the
red/white Marlboro colors. Test driver for the Arciero Wells team,
Robby Gordon, was on hand at Homestead but didn't get any seat
time. German driver Arnd Meier brought Baan Business Software
sponsorship to the Davis team, which was formerly Jim Hall Racing.

Honda has a new lightweight race motor for CART and Swift rolled out
its new racer for this season for M. Andretti, Christian Fittipaldi,
and Richie Hearn.

Penske announces big improvements to his Michigan International Raceway
by adding 68 acres of parking for motorhomes.

Those famous Clydesdale are a huge attraction; Budweiser gave foal
to Bill France of NASCAR for his birthday.

Top 5 motorsports telecasts of 1997 were:

1  Daytona 500               8.6
2  Indy 500                  6.6
3  Interstate 500 NASCAR     6.6
4  California 500            5.5
5  NAPA 500 NASCAR           5.5

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel

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