The TACH Report: Universal Pictures Teams with Hogan in CART, NASCAR in L.A., 80 Entries for LeMans.
8 April 1998
Hogan Racing of the FedEx CART series has teamed up with Universal Pictures to help the Hollywood film producers promote pictures and products. At the Long Beach Grand Prix Dario Franchitti's car was painted with the T-Rex from Jurassik Park. The company will also paint Jeff Gordon's Winston Cup Chevy. The Los Angeles Vintage Grand Prix--through the streets of that city--is still on the VARA schedule for September 5-7. It was organized by Dr. William Burke, the man who puts on the extremely successful Los Angeles Marathon, which attracts about 30,000 runners and elite proffesional thinly-clads. The loquacious, much honored, feted, and super-self-promoting, good Dr. --who has served on just about every important charity board, City advisory committee, sports commission, etc (to a point where veteran Los Angeles Times auto editor Paul Dean commented: "he has the titles of a man twice his age")--says he also wants to put NASCAR stockers on the tight Austin Healey Sprite-like downtown L.A. road circuit. In your dreams Bill. What happens to the vintage race date? Parking? Escape roads? TV camera vantage points? Capable P.R.? Etc., etc. The entry for this years running of the LeMans 24 hour race has hit 80 cars for the 48 available grid positions. The organizers will stage a May 3 runoff for the starters. In the lead are the supercars from Toyota, Nissan, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes. There will also be Lister Jags, Panoz, Saleen Fords, Callaway Vette and McLaren racers. In F-1 the McLaren's controversial second brake system has been banned from further competition. So what? McClaren is miles ahead of the other competitors. Ferrari may have a few tricks coming up. NASCAR has fined Ricky Rudd's crew two grand for the lead weight they attached to the front of his Ford. It fell off and clobbered Rusty Wallace's car. They also fined three of Rusty's crew members for running on the track after the number 2 car crashed. The world FIA GT Championship kicks off this weekend in Germany. It boasts 14 Porsche teams in the field, and five Chrysler backed Viper Coupes. Another new race circuit for Las Vegas? Some guys in Vegas, anxious to snag a U.S. Grand Prix F-1 race for the city that never sleeps, have proposed the building of a new road course near the Luxor Hotel at the end of the Las Vegas gambling/casino strip. Tommy Baker, the catalyst for the deal, also proposes an IROC event with a huge purse. Clint Mears, son of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick, is recuperating at Rick's Florida home. Clint crashed and sustained injuries during practice for the March 15 Indy Lights event at Homestead, FL. Speed costs money and so does viewing speedy events. Ticket prices for the Brazilian GP were $400 for the weekend. For that race, The Red Bull Sauber team brought 51 people to Brazil from Europe. Dover Downs raceway just bought Penske Motorsports' Long Beach Grand Prix stock and made $1 million on the deal. Now LBGP becomes a subsidiary of Dover Downs in June and LBGP head exec, Chris Pook is no longer the man in the drivers seat. He'll still direct the event in Long Beach. Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel