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Old 14 Jun 2002, 21:25 (Ref:313924)   #1
tanalised
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tanalised should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Papis and Sigma not running Friday

Sigma are not running Max Papis's car on Friday at Portland and it doesn't look too good for them for the rest of the weekend.
only 18 cars now!
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Old 14 Jun 2002, 22:38 (Ref:313992)   #2
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macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!
In two weeks they've landed two sponsors, but no primary.
BOOOO! to Sunoco for allowing this to happen.

BOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 02:47 (Ref:314130)   #3
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SevenGrain should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
It's the engine lease bill that they cannot afford to pay.

If enough last-minute money comes through before Saturday's session there may be hope of Papis defending his Portland title, but it looks quite bleak at the moment...
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 04:19 (Ref:314152)   #4
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Muzza should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
As I wanted to have a pictured autographed by Max, the first pit I visited today - still early in the morning, a little past 8h00 - was Sigma.

I immediately noticed that the car had no Sunoco stickers, and I approached a mechanic to discuss the subject. His name was Antonio, responsible for the gearbox - a very nice Italian fellow (we spoke for at least 30 minutes! Put two Italians together and you've got a conference...)

He said that the Sunoco deal was a one-race deal, and that everybody in the team was disappointed. He sounded very downbeat, and only hours later - with the car not making the track - is that I would realize why. Antonio continued, complaining that the chassis was last year's, and that he was saving all parts he could, re-using as much items as possible. The other mechanics were around, but nobody was working on the car, which was fairly assembled (as much as the others for that time in the morning).

I saw Max at the other end of the garage (back), so I ran around and got to talk to him. He was the charming guy as always, but I noticed that he was holding his girlfriend very tightly, even when talking to me and to a Canadian fan who had driven throughout the night from Vancouver to watch the race. Likely Max was fully aware of the bad news, and was searching from comfort on loved arms...

The practice session begun and I went to the end of the pitlane. I saw all cars pass by, bar Sigma's... "This is unusual", I thought. But things went on, and the track announcers tried to cool down things, saying that Sigma - which they called "the Cinderella of the paddock" (lovely analogy, if not sad though, as there are no crystal shoes to be wore on CART) had a different strategy than the other teams. According to the announcers, Sigma was "saving parts" as they had one chassis only, and the story of Max shunt in Laguna Seca on the warm up was recalled (Antonio had mentioned the same case, and pointed to the fact that the team ran out of some parts after the completion of the repairs).

When the practice session ended, Max was interviewed, and he abruptly said that "you (the reporters) should not talk to me, you should talk to the team owner and ask why the car is not running"). Then reality sunk on me - it was another team folding an entry.

It was a great day in Portland, and I had lots of fun - but at the back of mind I kept on thinking on the Sigma team. Things in the CART paddock may be worse then what most of us had conceived.

At the autograph session I was talking to a number of fans and race officials while we waited for the drivers to arrive. I congratulated an official, as I saw the provisional dates of the 2003 CART race published at the Control Tower wall - I said that it would be cool to such a nice place as Portland to keep a slot in the calendar. He smiled and replied "yes, but assuming there will be a calendar next year".
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 05:19 (Ref:314165)   #5
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Jay should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
It's sad to see the team down...hopefully they'll be able to find some sponsorship and get back on their feet.

I'm confident that next year will actually be better than this one. wiht some new teams from Europe, the series' appearance might change with some new teams joining, but it will be the same great racing, on the same great tracks.

Cart still has by far the most successful events in North American open wheel racing. I have no doubt that they'll be able to attract new teams and sponsors from Europe. They still have, what IMO is hte best racing product in the world...it just has to be sold.
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 09:41 (Ref:314246)   #6
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Jordi should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridJordi should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
only 18 cars... damn, Max doesn't deserve that, neither does Oriol.....

Hell, I hope I had millions and millions of dollars, I would be pouring them in CART teams!
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 09:49 (Ref:314252)   #7
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macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!
I don't know why gearman Antonio told Muzza that Sunoco was a one-race deal. CART's website had this to say on June 7, the Friday of Laguna Seca...
http://www.cart.com/News/Article.asp?ID=3551

Sunoco announced today that it has signed with Sigma Autosport to be an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2002 CART FedEX Championship Series. "Sunoco is pleased to sponsor Max Papis and his team. We have great admiration for the determination and courage shown by Max and look forward to being part of a winning tradition," said Bob Owens, Senior Vice President of Sunoco.

“We're very proud to have a company like Sunoco join us for the season,” said Tom Wieringa, owner of Sigma Autosport.


BOOOOOO Sunoco! I'm boycotting their stations and I'm gonna tell them why.
www.SunocoInc.com
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 10:19 (Ref:314262)   #8
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macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!macdaddy has a real shot at the podium!
I was just reading about Sigma's debts to Cosworth...
http://www.autosport.com/newsitem.asp?id=19421&s=7
When I noticed that Mad Max's girlfriend's name is Tatiana Fittipaldi. Anybody know the story, if there is one?
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 15:58 (Ref:314430)   #9
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Speedworx should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Statement From Sigma Autosport Concerning Its Participation In The G.I. Joe's 200

Notes
PORTLAND, Ore.–Sigma Autosport decided not to participate in the first day of qualifying for the G.I. Joe's 200 today due to cost concerns related to a full day of on track activity.

As a result, Sigma Autosport driver Max Papis, who is the defending champion of the race, was unable to get the chance to qualifying today. However Papis, who is currently tied for sixth place in the CART FedEx Championship Series Drivers point standings, and the Sigma Autosport team was prepared to race his #22 Sigma Autosport Ford-Cosworth/Lola.

Papis still has a chance of qualifying for the race Saturday afternoon.

Final qualifying for G.I. Joe's 200 begins Saturday, at 1:45 p.m. Pacific Time.

Quotes

“I'm ready to race and mentally and physically fit to defend my title. All I need is a car to race. It's a situation that is out of my control. I'm very disappointed for all of the race fans who came to see me and are asking why a guy, who is sixth in the championship is not on the track. I am ready to run though.” – Max Papis, Sigma Autosport Driver

“We are very disappointed, but we will be back. Sigma Autosport has a fantastic team and we have many sponsorship opportunities that we are trying to move forward.” – Tom Wieringa, Sigma Autosport Owner

taken from www.cart.com
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 18:30 (Ref:314506)   #10
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I don't know if it would be an insult to the Sigma team, but I'm suprised companies have tried to come to Sigma with lowball offers for sponsorship? At this point or in the past, would Sigma accept lowball offers on a race to race basis? Would sponsors take a chance on Sigma? Of course, I'm assuming that the team has and will continue to perform fairly well?

But as a continuing associate sponsor, could Sunoco's money actually be enough to get the team back on the starting grid? For all we know, the money may just be enough to keep the team's operations running at just a critical/minimal level? If the team were to blow it all on racing, they would not have enough to keep the team operations afloat much longer?
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Old 15 Jun 2002, 23:14 (Ref:314633)   #11
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BootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Can the CART authorities step in to help them out, at least in the short term? Losing another car, especially a competitive one, would be nothing short of a tragedy.
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Old 16 Jun 2002, 01:57 (Ref:314702)   #12
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Muzza should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Hello, Folks, (with special regards to Macdaddy)

I am just back from the track. Pretty much tired. Sorry for not posting a more complete report on yesterday's activities. My working schedule, the World Cup and the race are draining me out.

As you may already know, Max Papis did not hit the track today either. I had some hopes of seeing the Sigma CART car this weekend, avec ou sans Sunoco, but it did not appear at all, and it will not race tomorrow. Max's mechanics disassembled his car ealier today, and spent the morning strolling around the paddock trailers with their hands on their pockets. Some of them were shifted to give a hand to Sigma's two Formula Atlantic cars - driven by David Wieringa (son of Tom Wieringa, the team owner) and by Rocky Moran Jr..

By the way, Sigma dismal continued on this smaller category, as David Wieringa got involved in an embroglio in the Turn 11 on the first laps and dropped to the back of the field.

I talked to another Sigma mechanic today (Joe) and he confirmed that Cosworth did not deliver vital engine parts. Coswort did not allow Sigma to either upload engine management software into the ECU, as engine leasing and service payments are late.

Interesting note: yesterday (Friday) the Sigma Formula Atlantic cars ran on their typical livery - all orange and no sponsorship, bar a "Sigma" sticker on the sidepods. But today during the race both cars had "Sunoco" stickers covering the "Sigma" brand... Would there be some light at the end of the tunnel?

Last edited by Muzza; 16 Jun 2002 at 02:02.
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