Friday, March 30, 2007

Champ Cars Easter Basket getting Fuller

Perhaps Champ Cars co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven will pull a proverbial “Rabbit out of his Hat” and manage to have a “Full” grid “Just-in-Time” for Easter. With just one week to go until Champ Car begins its 2007 season we’re finally hearing some of the Really-Really-Really “Big” announcements Kalkhoven promised us. Of course there’s still plenty of Easter eggs and chocolate Bunnies to find as Champ Car still has NOT conjured up a pathetically weak field of 17 entries for “Los Wage$.” Nevertheless, here are some of the latest announcements…

Minardi confirms drivers
Minardi Team USA has announced their two car driver line-up for the 2007 season just days prior to the Las Vegas season opener.

Not surprisingly Robert Doornbos, who’s been flush with bag loads of Kroners, has been confirmed to one of the team’s seats.

Yet the choice for second driver was a little surprising, as the seat went to “Speedy” Dan Clarke instead of Nelson Philippe.

Meanwhile look for the team’s third driver, Zsolt Baumgartner to be the primary pilot of the two seater F1, Err Champ Car that will appear at several venues this year…

Dominguez returns to Forsythe
Talk about the desperate times in Champ Car… As Forsythe has decided to take the driver it spurned last year as “Sand Dune” Tracy’s teammate.

Mario Dominguez who was fired after punting Tracy off track twice last year was unceremoniously “FIRED” at the beginning of the 2006 season. This led to the ultimate round robin of AJ Almendinger’s move to Forsythe. Cristiano da Matta moving to RuSPORT and Dominguez being sent to Dale Coyne.

Dominguez then moved to the faltering Rocketsports for the remainder of the season and now has once again been given a reprieve at Forsythe…

Interestingly the deal seems to be only firm for the first three races, with major sponsorship coming from Mexico, where Forsythe has several business interests including promoting the Mexico City event…

“R Sports” alliance announced
Although it has previously been mentioned that RuSPORTS and Rocketsports were combining forces for the upcoming season, the alliance has now been formally announced.

The two squads, who’ll only be campaigning single car efforts for the 2007 season, tried a technical partnership arrangement at the final pre-season test at Laguna Seca.

Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani seemed to work very well together and now appear to be one of the strongest driver pairings for the upcoming season…

Rahal confirmed at N/H/L
Although this has to be one of the worst kept secrets in the Champ Car paddock, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has finally confirmed American “hot-schue” Graham Rahal as Sebastian Bourdais teammate…

So with a ground swell to 14 Champ Car drivers confirmed for the upcoming season, who will fill in the remaining seats? Stay Tuned to see if Champ Car can muster up more than 17 competitors, as Kalkhoven’s claims of 22-24 entries seems a “Hair” optimistic…

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