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The TACH Report: Dayton Tire Official Rubber For Indy Lights, Collusion Hinted In F-1 Title Race, Mitsubishi Brass Pay Bribes

13 November 1997

The ninety one year old Dayton Tire company, now a division of Bridgestone/Firestone, has signed on as the official racing tire of the Indy Lights series, which will now be called the PPG Dayton Indy Lights Race Series. The announcement was made at the SEMA show in Las Vegas last week. Firestone has been the official tire since 1991, and now Bridgestone wants to get Dayton into the racing picture.

The FIA is investigating reports that two Formula One teams joined forces to give Jacques Villenueve the world title. They say that recordings of pit conversations between the Williams and McLaren show that they orchestrated the win at Jerez, Spain Oct 26.

Four top level Mitsubishi execs, including a board member, were arrested last week and charged with paying bribes totaling $200,000 to racketeers so they would not disrupt the company's operations. A Japanese newspaper said bribes are common.

In CART testing at the Twin Motegi race track in Japan, Jimmy Vasser posted the quickest time of the eleven teams practicing. He ran 213 mph on the one mile banked oval. Dario Franchiti was second fastest, followed by Richie Hearn. The Honda powered cars performed in front of 17,000 Japanese fans, which, according to Honda flackman Brian Wagner, bodes well, for the turnout for next March 28's scheduled CART race.

Saturn has been mulling over the idea of building a sport utility vehicle, just like everyone else, but now announces they may follow Volvo's lead and field an all wheel drive wagon.

The Automotive Hall of Fame has awarded Young Leadership Awards to Gregg Penske of the Penske Combine, 33 year old Chrysler whiz James Bonini, and Carole Yancey of Genuine Parts Distributors, Atlanta.

Mercedes has a new Indy car race motor for the 1998 season. It has 4,000 parts and weighs less than the 1997 version. MB was the only motor maker to have engines win in both CART and Formula One this year.

In USAC FF2000, Yokahama Tires and Sunoco fuels have been added to the sponsor list for this open wheel training series for the IRL program.

J.D. Power, the automotive research guru, has ranked Ford car seats as the best . . . highest quality.

The annual Silver State speed classic has been run on the cordoned off roads of Nevada, and the winning speed was recorded by Kelly Sievers, Brookings, OR, in a Corvette at 187.0324 mph.

When you go to your favorite auto show this coming show season you will probably see the new Mercedes Maybach concept car. It is a beauty, and in true MB fashion, it features lots of electronic and creature comfort goodies, such as: electronic entertainment center with LCD screen TV, three telephones, a bar, reclining rear seats, and an electrochromatic roof whereby the passengers can control the amount of light entering the car. Eveybody should have one.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel