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Cars 'n' Stars: Herta Quickest First Round Qualifier at Mid-Ohio, Suzuki Sets Price for New Esteem, Bernstein Hits 314 mph

8 August 1997

Bryan Herta, Bobby Rahal's team mate took control of the first qualifying session for the Miller 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course turning a lap of 122.649 mph to zap Alex Zanardi for the provisional pole for this Sundays CART championship points race. Though it was the first session it appears parity is really settling in on the champ car scene as the first 19 cars were only 3 mph off the pace.

American Suzuki Motors is making a lot of good moves as of late in the terms of new products and one of these is the brand new Esteem Wagon which debuts in dealer show rooms next week. It looks like a lot of bang for the buck as prices for the four cylinder, 90 hp four-door semi SUV will start at $12,499 and it has a 36 month warranty. Highway mileage is an impressive 37mpg.

King of Speed Kenny Bernstein set a Seattle track record last week in NHRA qualifying when he recorded a 314.13 mph pass. However in the semi finals Cory McLenathan put him on the trailer as the Big Bud dragster lost traction at the line.

The much heralded Speedway Restaurant International Bistro and Bar officially opens August 22 in Newport Beach, Ca. It is the first of five such motorsports saloons and will feature interactive car stuff, great drinks, a trinket shop, race cars on display...sort of an auto racing Planet Hollywood.

Pirelli has an all new high performance P8000 Vizzola tire they;ve designed for Sears and will be showing it off to the motoring press next week in a slalom demonstration which includes a Jeep Cherokee and a V8 Mustang. Stay tuned.

The REALLY BIG vintage car weekend approaches and car buffs throughout the U.S. will be heading for Monterey, Ca next Friday to gorge themselves on automotive nostalgia. Feature this. Friday at the Quail Lodge the Concours Italiano...lots and lots of Italian cars, The Rick Cole Auction also takes place on Friday and Mercedes Benz also has some kind of a blast on that night. Saturday over 350 very fine vintage race cars take over Laguna Seca, Lincoln sponsors an automotive fine arts exhibit, Aston Martin hosts their club members at night and of course Ferrari has a party. Sunday is the worlds famous Pebble Beach Concours on the lawn at the Lodge and hitchhiking that is the Christies (expensive) car auction and the very fine Blackhawk classic car exhibit. Hotels in the are are sold out and if you find one it_s a three day minimum. So you drive home Monday and half way to your domicile you remember Cadillac is having a new car presentation in Marina Del Rey on Monday. Whew !

The Super Touring Championship series heads for Mid Ohio with David Donohue, Dodge holding the provisional pole.He clocked a 93.087 mph lap. Carlos Hank won the Ferrari Challenge race at Sears Point last week. Today TACH received the ProSportsCar official race results for the JULY 13 races at Sears Point, Ca Raceway.

Isuzu is going to introduce the 1998 Rodeo to the press in Newport Beach, Ca on August 26.

The quotes from the race drivers qualifying for this weekends major races in CART, NASCAR and F-1 are pouring in and to a man(driver) they say complimentary things about..."the guys who gave me a great car today!" Do you think we'll ever hear driver say..."the car was a dog...those guys are jerks" Not in your lifetime Bunky.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel