Sunday, 22 April 2018

Coming Soon?

Coming in the Month of May.

There is something in the wind and the sun is rising on something that is all about the IndyCar fan. Watch this space as "Race Control" lands Monday May 14th 2018.

More details very soon but you are going to want a part of this thats for sure.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Qualifying from Barber Motorsport Park

'What They're Saying' 

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama winner, 2018 Verizon P1 Award winner): "Tim (Cindric, race strategist) was telling me when I came in what the lap time was. I didn't know if that was going to be enough. It was a good lap. Actually, I like this set of tires a little bit better than the others. You almost have a favorite sometimes with the Firestones, but they held up well. I think he had a slight advantage because he didn't have to do a hot lap on his, but I knew our car was quick. After I saw the time we did on this set of tires I knew we had a shot at it. Really proud of everybody, Hitachi being on the car with us, it's good to get them a first pole and just everyone else. Team Chevy has done a really good job. They have really given us the good power this weekend, good drivability. We are going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we will have, but it's going to get mixed up with the rain. So, I think the first part of this weekend is done. We just need to focus on tomorrow now and see how we are going to get through the weather."

MATHEUS "MATT" LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Tough qualifying for the team, for me, for Tony (Kanaan). We just didn't have the speed today, this whole weekend. We've got a lot to talk about, debrief and see what we can do to improve the car for the road courses."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): "Pretty solid qualifying for us. We didn't have a great test here a couple of weeks ago. We unrolled with a car that had some challenges. This Arrow Electronics SPM team did a great job over lunch yesterday and again overnight. This morning, Robbie (Wickens) and I went different ways on setups trying to find some things... We talked beforehand, and I actually had to lean on him, so big thanks to the Lucas Oil boys. It's so nice having a great teammate that we can bounce ideas off on and work through this new car together. A top-five start - it's great to be up front when it's raining (laughter), unfortunately that's what tomorrow looks like. Happy for the guys to be back in the Firestone Fast Six, and we'll see what tomorrow brings."

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): "I don't think qualifying went quite as well as planned. We were very quick on the blacks (primary Firestone tires) in both Round 1 and Round 2, but unfortunately we were lacking some speed on the reds (alternate Firestones tires) to make it through. Both black runs, we were P1, so that was nice, but obviously the quicker tire, if you're not competitive on those, you're not going to make it through the Firestone Fast Six and challenge for the pole. Unfortunately, we're starting 10th, but we can still play from there and see where it goes."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "We had quite a few red flags in the first session today so that was tough to get the car consistent and where we needed it. Once we get the PNC Bank car in the right area, we know it's fast. It's just about finding that correct balance. We're still working on the car. We're trying to get the grip we need. We just missed in qualifying and hopefully we're not looking at too much rain for the race tomorrow."

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I had an off in Turn 5 in the first session and we took new tires after that, but never got a chance to show our speed as we kept hitting traffic. In qualifying we were at a bit of a disadvantage as we had to run two sets of red tires, and the second qualifying group had a red flag which enabled them to save a set. Tires make all the difference in the world here and we did the best we could with what we had in the NTT DATA car. We continue to improve and try different things to get results. I know these things take time and sometimes I get frustrated, but I know we have the tools to win and that's the goal each weekend. "

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "The pole would have been nice, but I think it's going to be a pretty mixed up day tomorrow. Maybe it will be a little wet, which makes it more straightforward, I guess. But, a good start to the weekend. I've had three front row starts this year. No poles. Been close though."

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Difficult weekend. We've been trying a bunch of different things, but it's not working. And obviously it didn't help my mistake in qualifying. We're struggling here, but we have a whole night to think about it and hopefully we'll come back stronger in the race and see what we can do."  

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): "Ultimately it's on me; we just didn't get it done. Something that has been nagging us a little bit this whole weekend is that we're good on old tires, then we go to new ones and we just don't pick up the pace. For sure in Turn 2, I went in and got real loose on entry and then it locked the inside front somehow, so I was way, way, way offline and that probably cost me a couple of tenths. And then the same thing happened in Turn 9, it didn't rotate and just pushed straight off. I left at least two-and-a-half to three-tenths (of a second) on the table and you just can't do that in qualifying these days. Ultimately, it's on me to get the job done. I think we only needed a tenth-and-a-half (of a second) to advance and just didn't get the job done. That's how it is in the Verizon IndyCar Series today. You miss by a little bit and you pay the price. Tomorrow is going to be a wet race. We'll just have to try to outrace these guys, make no mistakes and see how it turns out."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): "It was almost perfect. I got every little bit of it I had and the SealMaster Honda No. 18 was good but obviously not quite good enough - just a tenth off. It's just super, super tight. Those guys always seem to be able to step it up in the Firestone Fast Six. I essentially matched Group 2, but I couldn't dial out the last little bit of understeer. It is what it is but I'm pretty happy with that. I think you can win from anywhere if it rains and we get going. I think it will be pretty exciting. Starting from the front always helps, spray and all, so hopefully we can just get a clear run and get some good points. We've been leaving a lot on the table for one reason or another on the last two races, showing a lot of pace. So, hopefully tomorrow we can get back to some strong scorings."

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): "On the bright side, it was our best qualifying result this year, but it's frustrating because the No. 19 Paysafe car was really good and I think we had the potential to make it to the second round. We were faster than some guys on Firestone reds (alternate tires) with our black (Firestone primary) tires. It's unfortunate that we didn't get a chance to go out on the reds in the final minutes of the session because of the red flag cutting it short, but I think we'll be fine for the race."

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet): "I feel like we had the potential to be in the top 10 and challenge to get through to the Firestone Fast Six. It's a bit annoying in that sense, but the circuit changed a lot, so the car was quite a bit different. It was difficult to get the lap time out of the car this afternoon, when this morning we seemed to show good promise. I am quite disappointed for obvious reasons, but it's just one of those things."

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet): "Qualifying was pretty disappointing based on how everything went yesterday. The car just didn't feel quite the same today. I'm not sure if it's the rubber that's been laid down or the heat, but both Jordan (King) and I struggled this afternoon. This is something that we really need to work on and sort out for future sessions. It's frustrating to be second one day and near the back the next, but we've got such a good group of guys here and the Fuzzy's Vodka team working really hard. We'll see what tomorrow brings, it might be a crazy race with the weather coming."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): "Well, I've got to tell you it's frustrating qualifying. Sometimes I can throw a lap down and do a good lap, but sometimes I really struggle. The car is very much on the edge. I've got to take a look at what my teammates do because they are obviously really fast. The cars are good. The cars have been fast, it's just I'm struggling with consistency, finding what I need from the car. It's funny, last week in Long Beach the car was beautiful, really easy for me to drive, here is a different story. So, we just have to understand what I need from it better and go from there. Disappointing, but in the meantime, happy to see the teammates up there."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): "It's a little frustrating not to make the top 12, but honestly, the progress we've made since St. Pete and even in Long Beach just on qualifying is nothing to scoff at. I'm really proud of this team - they keep making progress. I think we have a solid baseline to go off of moving forward. Now we just need to optimize for each race track and figure out to how to get into the top 12 and ultimately into the Firestone Fast Six."

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda): "Qualifying felt a little like being inside a washing machine. This is one of the toughest days I've ever had mentally in a race car. I'm just so thankful. I think we had the speed to get into the top 12 today, I know we got a little luck with (Tony) Kanaan bringing out the red (flag). It's just good to get that monkey off the back. We left Long Beach saying we wanted to qualify a little better, and we did just that. Hopefully tomorrow when I come back a little more rested, we can make our way further up in the field. There's so much more I want to develop. My end goal is miles away from where I'm at right now. I have to say, I did enjoy that last run in qualifying. You've got someone like (Scott) Dixon in front of you, and he's not pulling you that bad, or you're running with (Sebastien) Bourdais... it's cool to be around that atmosphere. Once you get inside the top 10 in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it's pretty rarified air. I'm just so thankful and I'm going to keep working. I wasn't happy until I was winning races in Indy Lights and I'm going to feel the same in the Verizon IndyCar Series."

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 Kerauno / Honda, Verizon IndyCar Series points leader): "We've been on the outside of the five, bottom of the top six, all weekend so we tried to be aggressive with it to see if we could get through. We missed it by a bit. We didn't get a lap together, quite honestly. I know the car had enough performance capability to transfer, but I just didn't put it together. I think it would've been fifth or sixth, so it's not like we are too far off in eighth. Things will get interesting tomorrow with the weather, and we'll fight to get the Kerauno / Military to Motorsports car to the podium."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "It's really been tough today to stay on top of the track conditions - they've been changing a lot. It feels more like an oval out there where the wind changes just a little bit and you have to adjust your driving style to it. It's a lot of fun adjusting to that. We kind of got burnt there a little bit. Group 2 had a red (flag) that allowed them to save a new set of red tires to use at the end in the Firestone Fast Six. We got out-qualified by two guys that were on new red tires - but hats off to (Josef) Newgarden, he did it on used tires. I think we got about everything we could have out of the No. 28 DHL Honda. Big props to the team for giving me what I needed today, we kept making the car better and better and hopefully we can do that for the race. It's going to be interesting, it's going to be wet tomorrow. Hopefully we can get this thing in and have an exciting rain race."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): "I think we made some good progress since the last practice, but it seems like everybody made some gains as it was a quite competitive qualifying. We got only the first run in, the warm up run and just needed to be a little quicker, but the session was stopped by a red flag. No one knows how it will be in the wet. No one has run a wet setup or run the wet tire.  Only a few cars ran a wet tire in the Barber test.  We didn't so we will see how it is in the race."

RENE BINDER (No. 32 Binderholz tiptop timber Chevrolet): "Qualifying was short. Only one run. We basically had only one lap on the red (Firestone alternate) tires, so that was difficult for me. I think there was still more in the car, I would say one second more. I took the first lap conservative because yesterday I crashed on the reds. I think there was a lot more in it, so I am looking forward to getting back in the Binderholz Chevrolet tomorrow."

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): We're 100 percent making progress. The gap in that session to pole was half a second, which is the closest it's been all weekend. We're catching up, but it's just a little frustrating that we went red and it didn't pay off for us. It's difficult around here, because it's so close that you have to really perfect your lap, and unfortunately, I made a slight mistake at Turn 13. Barber is one of those tracks where you really have to push to get a good lap and I think I just slightly overdid it.  Regardless, today's qualifying efforts from myself and Charlie (Kimball) are the best Carlin Verizon IndyCar Series results so far this season, so that's something we can build on."

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): "We made a great step overnight to prepare for today, but we just had some bad luck in qualifying. We were unable to get the lap in that we needed to because of the traffic and the ill-timed red flag. I think we've made the right steps to improve, the silver lining is that we go racing tomorrow."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 Kerauno / Curb Honda): "The Kerauno boys did a great job rebounding from practice. I think we can win this race from seventh, especially if it's wet. This was the first qualifying session that nothing drastic happened for us; it was the first normal session of the year. I think we wouldn't have qualified out of the top 10 all year, pace-wise, and I think we've shown that in the races. We're a little closer to the front and that's good - we need to stay here. I expect to be here, even if a lot of people don't (expect it), I do."

Quotes from IndyCar Media Service and photo from David Turner Collection

Monday, 16 April 2018

Is Rossi the Man to beat in 2018?

Rossi caps dominant Long Beach weekend with impressive victory.

                                                            Rossi at Indy 2016

Sunday April 15th and the 2018 IndyCar Season is very much in full flight 
Back to back weekends of racing from the short oval of Phoenix to the Streets of Long beach and then this weekend the road course at Barber thats going to test the teams before the magic month of May. Just briefly speaking of that and the very good chance of a Bump Day with an expected 35 or more entries makes for a great time ahead at the Brickyard thats for sure.
Alexander Rossi sought redemption for the one he felt got away a year ago at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Andretti Autosport driver made up for it in dominant fashion, completing a nearly flawless weekend with a flawless drive to win today's race.
Driving the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda, Rossi led all but 14 of the 85 laps on the renowned 1.986-mile, 11-turn temporary street course that's hosted Indy car races for the last 35 years. The 26-year-old Californian crossed the finish line 1.2413 seconds ahead of Will Power at Rossi's "second home race," grabbing the championship lead in the process.
It was the third Verizon IndyCar Series win for Rossi, in his third season, and win No. 58 in the Indy car history of Andretti Autosport. Rossi is the third different driver to win in as many races this season and felt it made amends for last year, when he was running strong in the top three until a mechanical issue ended his race early.
"I can't really put into words how good the car was all weekend," Rossi said. "I think we proved that and I'm just so glad we were able to capitalise and nothing crazy happened.
"This one I'll definitely remember for a very long time for a lot of different reasons."
Rossi led three of the four practice sessions over the weekend and claimed the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying on Saturday. In the race, he zoomed to a lead of more than nine seconds by Lap 34 and only surrendered first place during cycles of pit stops as he stuck to a two-stop strategy. Rossi became the first pole sitter to win at Long Beach since Sebastien Bourdais in 2007.
Rossi has totaled 126 points in the first three races, 22 more than second-place Josef Newgarden, the reigning series champion who won the April 7 race at ISM Raceway and finished seventh today in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
"This one, even though it's not my true home race, it really feels like one," said Rossi, whose Nevada City, California, home is closer to Sonoma Raceway, site of the season finale. "The crowds here and just the whole atmosphere is so welcoming and inviting that it's no surprise that this race has been on the calendar for so long. It's a pleasure to be able to come here and race, first of all, and to be able to win here is pretty special."
Power started and finished second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, leading six laps. It was the 63rd career podium finish for the 37-year-old Australian, ranking him 16th on the all-time Indy car list.
"That was absolutely driving just as hard as I could go," Power said, "and I am sure he was driving as hard as he could go. I am sure he was using push-to-pass and the Hondas are just a little bit better out of the hairpin. On the restarts, I couldn't get close. I think we had better top-end (speed) but their drive out of the hairpins was really good."
Ed Jones of Chip Ganassi Racing finished a solid third in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda, tying the career best that the second-year driver from Dubai accomplished at last year's Indianapolis 500. 
"It was tough out there today," Jones said. "We had been struggling with the NTT DATA car on cold tires. Once we got heat in the tires, it was better. I'm really pleased with the result, though. It's just my third race with the team and I was able to equal my best result in the Verizon IndyCar Series."
Rookie Zach Veach placed a career-best fourth in the No. 26 Group One Thousand One Honda. Coupled with Rossi's win and Marco Andretti's charge from 20th on the starting grid to place sixth, it gave Andretti Autosport three of the first six finishers.
Graham Rahal, in the No. 15 Total Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, overcame a drive-through penalty for running into the back of Simon Pagenaud in Turn 1 on the opening lap to place fifth. Rahal sits third in the championship, 33 points behind Rossi, making for an all-American top three in the standings.
The race in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd in the Southern California port city was slowed by four full-course cautions. The last came on Lap 72 when Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Jordan King ran into the back of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan's Bourdais, winner of the season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida, in the Turn 11 hairpin.
Following a restart, Rossi kept Power at bay over the final 10 laps despite being at a disadvantage in push-to-pass time, which allows drivers to activate a boost of turbocharger pressure for additional horsepower.
"I needed to get close enough to him to make him use his," Power said, "but I just stayed at that one-second gap, just kind of couldn't make time on him enough to use (Rossi's push-to-pass) up. But yeah, it was like qualifying every lap for both of us there at the end. At the end of the day, Rossi was just too fast all day."
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action again this Sunday April 22nd with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the scenic Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Alabama.  Then al, eyes focus on the big month of May at the Speedway.

                                  Scenes from 2017 at Indy will we see them again this May

Media quotes from IndyCar Media and Photos from David Turner Collection

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Pre Season Testing Underway

The first test of the new season.

                             Scott Dixons new colours for 2018 revealed early this week.

The sleek and racy 2018 Indy car had its first en masse showing in the opening day of the preseason open test at ISM Raceway, and it couldn't have come quickly enough.
Twenty-three Verizon IndyCar Series entries took part in six hours of practice on the 1.022-mile oval outside Phoenix that will play host to the second race of the 2018 season in April. More than 2,600 laps were completed to the delight of the drivers involved.
"It was nice to get behind the wheel of a car on an oval after everybody has been talking about it for so long," said Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 28 DHL Honda. "Got to get in there, get a feel for it myself. I liked it. It was good fun. Definitely (the car feels) lighter, a lot lighter than when we were here last year."
The lighter feeling Hunter-Reay referenced is from the universal aero kit every Verizon IndyCar Series competitor is using for the first time this year. The new design with its bold look produces significantly less downforce than the previous competitive aero kits from manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda. 
Most of the downforce is now generated from underneath the car, which can make it feel less stable, or lighter, through turns. It puts driver skill front and center in developing a fast car that handles well.
"It's different," reigning series champion Josef Newgarden, driver of the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, said of the 2018 car. "I think there's definitely adjustments that need to be made from last year, obviously. It's useful to have this time and to be able to work through everything because I think we're all going to need it."
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing set the pace in each of the day's three-hour sessions. Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, who rejoined RLL this season after five seasons away, led the afternoon practice with a lap of 187.022 mph (19.6726 seconds) in the No. 30 Honda. Teammate Graham Rahal was fastest in the evening practice and quickest overall in the No. 15 Honda, at 189.090 mph (19.4574 seconds).
"We're good and Takuma is right behind us," Rahal said. "And frankly, that lap wasn't anywhere near what the potential was. We were on a (19.30-second lap), but I caught traffic.
"The car has pace. Both cars have pace, and so that's awesome. We haven't had a lot of luck here the last few years. We're used to coming here and getting our butts kicked. To be able to come here and be competitive with this aero kit is awesome."
Sato followed up being fastest in the afternoon by running second to his teammate under the lights with a lap of 189.065 mph.
"I was happy to get back behind the wheel," Sato said. "This is our first oval test with the team. It wasn't flawless because we had some electrical issues again, but the engineers deal with it very well. Once we get going, I think we were very comfortable."
The lone incident of the day came with less than 30 minutes remaining in the evening practice. Rookie Matheus "Matt" Leist spun in the No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet exiting Turn 2, but did not make wall contact.
"I was already doing race stints, we had already done our qualifying (simulation) stint," said Leist, who was fastest in a Thursday test among five rookies and two drivers who had no previous ISM Raceway experience in an Indy car. "Tony (Kanaan, Leist's teammate) was coming out of the pits and I was behind him, and he stopped too much. I was carrying a lot of speed and I lost the rear and it just spun. Fortunately, I didn't make contact."
Team Penske's Simon Pagenaud, who won last year's Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway, was third at night and overall, at 188.430 mph in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden clocked in fourth overall, at 188.182 mph.
Al, I can say is roll on March 11th and the first race of the new season at St Pete its going to be a great season once again and with these off season changes  its like a fresh start for everyone.
Below is the round up on how the day ended for everyone.

1 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.4574 189.090 110
2 30 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.4600 189.065 163
3 22 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.5256 188.430 124
4 1 Newgarden, Josef D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.5513 188.182 150
5 14 Kanaan, Tony D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.5904 187.806 64
6 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.5990 187.724 122
7 98 Andretti, Marco D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.6393 187.339 102
8 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.6807 186.945 91
9 27 Rossi, Alexander D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.7134 186.634 121
10 4 Leist, Matheus (R) D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.7154 186.616 159
11 12 Power, Will D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.7432 186.353 160
12 18 Bourdais, Sebastien D/H/F Test Session 2 00:19.8250 185.584 103
13 21 Pigot, Spencer D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.9261 184.642 252
14 6 Wickens, Robert (R) D/H/F Test Session 3 00:19.9364 184.547 203
15 23 Kimball, Charlie D/C/F Test Session 3 00:19.9495 184.426 102
16 20 Carpenter, Ed D/C/F Test Session 3 00:20.0271 183.711 100
17 5 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/F Test Session 3 00:20.0465 183.533 109
18 10 Jones, Ed D/H/F Test Session 2 00:20.0593 183.416 95
19 59 Chilton, Max D/C/F Test Session 3 00:20.0626 183.386 129
20 19 Fittipaldi, Pietro (R) D/H/F Test Session 1 00:20.0669 183.347 242
21 26 Veach, Zach (R) D/H/F Test Session 3 00:20.1814 182.306 169
22 32 Kaiser, Kyle (R) D/C/F Test Session 2 00:20.2367 181.808 254
23 88 Chaves, Gabby D/C/F Test Session 3 00:20.3407 180.879 122
24 26 Andretti, Marco D/H/F Test Session 1 00:20.5878 178.708 18
(R) Rookie
Total Laps for Combined Sessions: 3264
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone

Information provided by Indy Racing Information System - Copyright INDYCAR 2018 

Media details from Indy Car Media.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Windscreen arrives.

INDYCAR will take the next step in the evolution of its driver safety program by testing a windscreen on an Indy car for the first time on track, Thursday, Feb. 8, at ISM Raceway. The test will be held in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series' preseason open test near Phoenix.
The windscreen, under development for nearly two years, will be affixed to a Chip Ganassi Racing Honda driven by four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon. The primary goal of the test will be to validate visual acuity for the driver in various lighting conditions - under full sun, at dusk and at night under track lighting. Seen above is my good friend and Dixon Crew Chief Blair Julian (in black at rear) assisting in the fitting of the screen for the test.
The testing will take place on the day set aside for rookie oval testing and Dixon is expected to turn his first laps in the late afternoon. 
"This has been a long process, one that's been very methodical and purposeful," INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Jay Frye said of the windscreen project. "We have been striving to create a safety piece that aesthetically looks good and works in all conditions, and this is a test of those things. Any piece we put on an Indy car must work for multiple types of venues and different lighting conditions. It has to be versatile."
The windscreen is made of a proprietary Opticor advanced transparency material by PPG, the same material the company uses in its production of fighter jet canopies. The material has shown to be stronger, lighter and more impact-resistant than polycarbonate previously used, according to Jeff Horton, INDYCAR's director of engineering and safety, who has spearheaded windscreen development with Dr. Terry Trammell, INDYCAR medical consultant.
The prototype windscreen has been tested in a scale-model wind tunnel and racing simulator at Dallara, INDYCAR's chassis producer. Harding Racing's Gabby Chaves provided driver feedback after testing in the Dallara driving simulator last year. The on-track test at ISM Raceway is the next step in its evolution, though Frye said there is no timetable for implementation in Verizon IndyCar Series competition.
"We've tested this at Dallara's simulator, but this will be the first time it has been on a car at speed," Frye said. "So, this is just the next step in the process."
It certainly will be very interesting to read and hear the comments after the test and the INDYCAR version is certainly way more pleasing on the eye than the currently seen versions of the F1 Halo due to be used in this years up coming F1 Season.

Photos from INDYCAR Media.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Things changing for the Indy 500 and other pre season changes

Indianapolis 500 qualifying points modified among 2018 rules updates

INDYCAR teams have received the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Official Rule Book that includes rules updates and procedural modifications for the upcoming season. Among the changes are the amount of championship points earned for Indianapolis 500 qualifying.
Qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are set for May 19-20, a week ahead of the 102nd running of the race on May 27. This year, driver and entrant points will be awarded to the top nine qualifiers for the race. The pole winner earns nine points and the second-fastest qualifier eight points, with awarded points decreasing by one point for each position down to one point earned by the ninth-fastest qualifier.
Race points for the Indianapolis 500 and the 2018 season finale, the Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sept. 16, will still pay double the normal points for driver and entrant.
Among other changes for 2018:
  • The qualifying order for all oval track events except the Indianapolis 500 will be determined by entrant points entering the event. The qualifying order will run in reverse order of entrant points, with the highest in entrant points qualifying last. A car without entrant points will be placed at the front of the qualifying line. If more than one car has no entrant points entering an event, a blind draw among those cars will determine their qualifying order at the front of the line. The qualifying order for the Indianapolis 500 will still be determined by a blind draw.
  • Times have been set for the series-wide open test at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway), scheduled for Feb. 9-10. The track will be open to all cars from 3-6 p.m. and 8-11 p.m. ET both days. INDYCAR has also added four hours of track time on Feb. 8 (3-7 p.m. ET) for rookie drivers to complete their oval test assessments.
  • The series-wide open test at Portland International Raceway will be held Aug. 30, a day prior to the beginning of the Grand Prix of Portland race weekend. Indy car racing returns to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in 11 years in 2018.
  • A schedule change for the month of May will see the INDYCAR garages closed on May 13 - the day after the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course - to allow teams time off for Mother's Day. The track will not be open to the public on this day. The garages will be open on May 14, but there will be no on-track activity. Practice for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 begins Tuesday, May 15 on the IMS oval, with the first two hours open for rookie orientation and veteran refreshers, then to all cars. Practice continues May 16-18, ahead of qualifications weekend May 19-20.
  • INDYCAR is granting teams that did not participate in fall manufacturer testing with the universal aero kit an additional half day of private testing. The testing is limited to one car per team and must take place in conjunction with the team's first on-track test of 2018. Each team is permitted five hours of track time and two sets of Firestone tires.
  • Working with Firestone, INDYCAR has increased the tire allotment at five events. The race weekends at ISM Raceway, the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Texas Motor Speedway, the streets of Toronto and Iowa Speedway will see teams receive an additional set of tires. In a related change, drivers outside the top 10 in the point standings will no longer have an extra set of tires available to them for the opening practice session of a race weekend.
  • The minimum car weight for 2018 has been increased by 10 pounds - to 1,620 pounds for road and street courses and short ovals, 1,590 pounds for superspeedways (both do not include fuel, drink bottle and its contents, driver and driver equivalency weight) - to accommodate for new parts and additional on-car cameras related to the universal aero kit all competitors will run in 2018.
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule consists of 17 races, beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11 and concluding with the Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sept. 16. Teams will gather for a series-wide open test at ISM Raceway on Feb. 9-10, with the second day of testing offering free admission for fans to attend.  

Media supplied from IndyCar Media Services and photos from the David Turner collection.

Friday, 5 January 2018

The New Year and lots of IndyCar News.

Jordan King is in a ECR in 2018.

Ed Carpenter Racing officials have announced the completed lineup of the team’s No. 20 Chevrolet with the addition of British driver Jordan King. The native of Warwickshire, England will compete in the 11 road and street course events for Ed Carpenter Racing in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. The only owner/driver in the Verizon INDYCAR Series, Ed Carpenter, will continue to pilot the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet at all oval races. King’s transition to Indy car racing is the next step in a young career which has seen him ascend the European motorsport ranks. 
Though the 23-year-old has not yet competed in a U.S.-based racing series, he joins the INDYCAR field with numerous accolades, including the FIA Institute’s 2015 Driver of the Year and the 2013 British Formula 3 championship. “I am beyond excited to get started in the Verizon INDYCAR Series,” stated King. “After winning at Silverstone in 2016 and being able to drive in F1 practice, 2017 was not what I was hoping for. Going into the new season, I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity with ECR to work towards our collective goals. I believe that together, both of us have the capability to do well.”
After beginning in karts in 2005, King progressed to single-seaters in 2010. After two years in Formula Renault, King claimed the 2013 British Formula 3 championship in his debut season with three wins and eight podium finishes. He has spent the last three seasons honing his craft in Formula 2, previously known as GP2. While serving as a development driver for Manor F1 in 2015 and 2016, he participated in several tests and drove in practice sessions at the 2016 United States Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Most recently, King competed for MP Motorsport in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship, collecting Top 10 finishes in over half of the races.
“We are very excited to welcome Jordan to the ECR family and to have him in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for the 2018 road and street course races,” proclaimed team owner Carpenter. “I first met Jordan at Sonoma Raceway in 2016 as he was exploring opportunities in INDYCAR. He is a very motivated, intelligent and hungry driver, which is exactly what we are looking for at ECR. Jordan has had a lot of success and experience in Europe and I can’t wait to see what he is capable of with ECR in the Verizon INDYCAR series.”

Since 2014, the No. 20 has been split between Carpenter on the ovals a second driver at the remaining events. Spencer Pigot became the first driver to retain the No. 20’s road and street course seat for a second season when he drove the car in both 2016 and 2017. The 24-year-old from Orlando, Fla. was promoted to the full-time driver of ECR’s No. 21 entry for the 2018 season, providing King with the opportunity to become the road and street course driver for the No. 20. Indianapolis native Carpenter, 36, will remain the oval driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in his 16th year of Indy car competition.
King, who will be a true Indy car rookie, is excited for the opportunity to partner with Carpenter, one of the most veteran drivers in the field. “Sharing the No. 20 seat with Ed gives me a great opportunity to learn from him and the team while racing at the road and street courses will let me put into practice what I have learned,” said King. King is represented by UK-based MB Partners. CEO Mark Blundell ( former F1 and ChampCar driver) commented, “The focus for Jordan was to give him a platform to build from in Indy Car and the opportunity with Ed and ECR is the perfect fit. Ed will be a great mentor. Having a full road and street course program alongside some oval testing will allow Jordan to show his racecraft and ability in some of the most competitive open wheel racing in the world today.”

Fans will get closer than ever to INDYCAR action with 2018 TV schedule in the US and the Global Markets.

INDYCAR and its broadcast partners announced the 2018 television schedule today featuring an expanded use of in-car cameras to bring fans the thrilling action of the Verizon IndyCar Series from a variety of new angles in the upcoming 17-race season. 
ABC and NBCSN will utilize never-before-seen views of the intense racing that the Verizon IndyCar Series offers with cameras strategically placed on the universal bodywork kit that is new for all cars in 2018. In addition to the traditional in-car position above and behind the driver's head, cameras will be mounted to the nose, sidepod and rear attenuator. There also will be expanded use of the popular visor cam mounted on the driver's helmet and pioneered by INDYCAR. 
"This is a unique opportunity to bring the sport even closer to the television audience," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "INDYCAR has experienced 38 percent growth in audience over the past four years and providing a firsthand look at the exhilarating action is a way to win over even more fans." 
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season consists of 17 races in the United States and Canada. ABC will again air five races, beginning March 11 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (12:30 p.m. ET), which opens the season for the eighth consecutive year. The network rejoins the series on May 12 for the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (3:30 p.m. ET). 
ABC will celebrate its 54th year at the Indianapolis 500 with qualifying May 19-20 (4 p.m. ET) and the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27 (11 a.m. ET). 
"The Indianapolis 500 is one of the world's iconic sporting events and it's always an honor for ESPN and ABC to bring the pageantry and excitement to our viewers as we have for the past 53 years," said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. "And with the other big events of the month of May at Indy as well as the season opener at St. Petersburg and the doubleheader in Detroit on our calendar, IndyCar Series fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a robust schedule of racing events from a diverse selection of venues." 
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, the only doubleheader weekend on the 2018 schedule, will conclude ABC's coverage for the season (June 2-3, each broadcast starting at 3:30 p.m. ET). 
Twelve 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series races will be telecast by NBCSN, which in 2017 saw a 3 percent increase in viewership over the previous year. The network kicks off its season under the lights at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway) on April 7 (9 p.m. ET), followed by the historic Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 15, 4 p.m. ET) and Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (April 22, 3 p.m. ET). 
Two NBCSN races will have earlier time slots than last year. The Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway on July 8 will air at 2 p.m. ET, while the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park will air at 8 p.m. ET on Aug. 25. 
NBCSN will also air Miller Lite Carb Day activities on May 25 (11 a.m. ET), which includes final practice for the Indianapolis 500 and the marquee race of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires schedule, the Freedom 100. NBCSN will track the hunt for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship throughout its coverage of the final nine races of the season, including the previously announced new race at Portland International Raceway on Sept. 2 (2:30 p.m. ET) and culminating in the championship finale at Sonoma Raceway on Sept. 16 (6:30 p.m. ET). 
"As the cable home of the Verizon IndyCar Series, NBCSN is proud to once again showcase the exciting racing that INDYCAR delivers at each event," said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports Group. "Our schedule features iconic circuits like Long Beach and Road America and the final nine races of the season, including INDYCAR's return to Portland, as we crown another INDYCAR champion on NBCSN in 2018." 
         For U.S. readers this is the broadcast breakdown of the 2018 Season

INDYCAR names Novak as Verizon IndyCar Series race director

INDYCAR has named veteran race official Kyle Novak as race director for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, made the announcement today.
As race director, Novak will lead operations in Race Control at all Verizon IndyCar Series events. Race Control utilizes a variety of video, audio and data communications to oversee all aspects of competition and assure a safe, timely and competitive event. Novak will also work in conjunction with INDYCAR's race stewards to initiate reviews of on-track incidents, though it will remain with the panel of stewards to decide whether a penalty should be levied against a driver or team.
"Throughout our extensive search for a race director, one name was mentioned repeatedly - and that was Kyle Novak," Frye said. "We have been aware of Kyle's work for the past couple of years. He's clearly impressed those he's worked with and, after meeting with him, we knew he would be a great fit for our Race Control team. Kyle has a great future and we couldn't be more excited to have him as part of INDYCAR."
Novak has spent the past three years as a race director or steward for various sports car series sanctioned by IMSA, but the 36-year-old attorney by trade has a lengthy motorsports resume. It began in drag racing, where for years he has joined his father and brother in amateur bracket racing competition near their home in Dexter, Michigan, outside Ann Arbor. They own two cars.
"Always been a gearhead," Novak said. "Always working on cars; muscle cars, mostly. That's how I got my feet wet, and then one thing led to another. And here I am."
Novak's introduction to Indy car racing came as the operations manager and director of operations for the group promoting Champ Car races in Cleveland, Denver and Houston from 2004-08. His jobs in the years that followed were as a program manager for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series with the Sports Car Club of America; a team manager for the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Series now sanctioned by INDYCAR; and then IMSA, where he has been race director for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, while also serving as a race steward for IMSA's top series, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Novak said the chance to work with Frye and other staff members he already knows simplified the decision to join INDYCAR.
"Jay and I hit it off immediately - it's the fresh outlook he brings that is a huge part of it (for me)," Novak said. "Ironically enough, three people who work in INDYCAR Race Control are some of the first people I met in the industry, and that goes all the way back to 2004. Those are among the key people I'll be working with on a day-to-day basis. There's a great deal of familiarity with them.
"Motorsports is such a small industry that many of the people who have helped me over the years have stayed with me as industry colleagues. But INDYCAR has always been at the forefront of professional motorsports in North America, and I had the opportunity on several occasions to witness that first hand, since many IMSA races are run in conjunction with INDYCAR events. I can't thank the people at IMSA enough for the opportunities I was given and for their assistance in making this a smooth transition to INDYCAR. "I can't wait to get started."
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season consists of 17 races, beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11, concluding with the Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sept. 16 and anchored by the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27. The season will feature the highly anticipated introduction of the sleek new universal aero kit on every competing car.
Only one week into the New year and lots of announcements already and plenty more to come as well in whats shaping up to be a massive 2018 racing season.

Photos and Media Quotes provided by IndyCar Media