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Champ cancels event in S. Korea

Champ Car has canceled a race scheduled for next month in South Korea, leaving three events to settle a tight battle for the championship.

"There were environmental issues we could not resolve," Champ Car co-owner Paul Gentilozzi said Thursday. "We told our fans and our teams that we weren't going to be able to get there."

The race, scheduled for Oct. 17, would have been the series' first in Seoul and would have given Champ Car 15 events this season.

With 89 points separating the first six spots in the standings, the drivers are down to Saturday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Oct. 24 outing in Australia and the Nov. 7 finale in Mexico City.

INDYCARS: With a debut lap by Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, the series began its first tests on a road course Wednesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rice and four other drivers turned 165 laps on the 2.21-mile circuit before rain shortened the first of the two days of private testing.

"It's a big learning curve to take these cars that have been made to predominantly just go left and try and sort everything out, but I think it's going quite well," Rice said. "The biggest change is the braking. We haven't been using the brakes (on ovals) really."

The first of three road races scheduled next year will be on a temporary street circuit in April in downtown St. Petersburg.

Racing operations director Brian Barnhart said the initial road tests "exceeded expectations."

FORMULA ONE: CEO Bernie Ecclestone said an initial public offering of the series' holding company probably will take place in 2006. "It's always been the idea to have an IPO, and that's what we're talking to the shareholders about at the moment," the British billionaire said. Ecclestone, whose family owns 25 percent of SLEC Holdings Ltd., is under pressure as carmakers threaten a rival series and SLEC shareholders take legal action to diminish his influence.

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