'500' Qualifying Procedures Announced
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Check out the latest addition of Don Kay's Autosport Radio show, with guests Shannon McIntosh and Bruce Ashmore. In the first half of the program Shannon talks about her past, present and future dealings in the racing world. Bruce Ashmore of BAT Engineering finishes out the show speaking on his 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series chassis design.
Friday, March 26, 2010
"I think very excited. Certainly I think it gives everyone an opportunity to kind of reset the button in a way. We've been using the same equipment now for several years. Certainly there's a lot of teams that have amassed a huge amount of data and experience with that equipment, and it's a good way to gain a competitive advantage.I think our job over the next couple of years is to try to make up that difference, but also at the same time create those tools and processes that would hopefully get us out of the blocks very quickly here with the new car."
"Well, to be honest, I mean, I've been keeping kind of a somewhat of a distance. I think certainly the DeltaWing proves to be a radical concept, shall I say, a great departure from what we're used to seeing, and there's certainly very interesting aspects to it. But I think there's some interesting aspects to all the other proposals. I look forward to seeing what the final decision is.I think it's important for us that whatever decision is made that Indy car retain its what I believe is its true nature. The cars have always been the fastest cars on the planet. In many ways I think IndyCar was the original extreme sport. The cars were known as the fastest cars, and I think hopefully that has to be part in my mind of the future of IndyCar. They have to retain that value."
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
#2 Raphael Matos - Luczo Dragon Racing/de Ferran Motorsports
#3 Helio Castroneves - Team Penske
#4 Dan Wheldon - Panther Racing
#5 Takuma Sato - KV Racing Technology
#6 Ryan Briscoe - Team Penske
#7 Danica Patrick - Andretti Autosport
#8 E.J. Viso -KV Racing Technology
#9 Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#10 Dario Franchitti - Target Chip Ganassi Racing
#11 Tony Kanaan - Andretti Autosport
#12 Will Power - Verizon Team Penske
#14 Vitor Meira - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#18 Milka Duno - Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Alex Lloyd - Dale Coyne Racing
#22 Justin Wilson -DRR
#24 Mike Conway -DRR
#26 Marco Andretti - Andretti Autosport
#32 Mario Moraes - KV Racing Technology
#34 Mario Romancini - Conquest Racing
#37 Ryan Hunter-Reay -Andretti Autosport
#77 Alex Tagliani -FAZZT Race Team
#78 Simona De Silvestro - HVM Racing
#06 Hideki Mutoh - NHL
Monday, March 22, 2010
The advisory board will include a league representative, a team owner, an engine expert, a marketer/promoter and a racing engineer. The project will be named the ICONIC (Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective) IZOD IndyCar Series Advisory Committee.
The board will be led by 4-Star Air Force General William R. Looney III, who will report all of his findings to the IRL's CEO Randy Bernard. The rest of the committee will be chosen by the new CEO, with the exception of the team owner. Each full-time IndyCar entry will receive one vote to select an owner to represent them on the board. The recommendation from the committee, which is expected within 3 months, will then be presented to Mr. Bernard for the final decision.
"The Indy Racing League always has taken pride in its role in automotive innovation. The search for a new chassis and engine has been about enhancing innovation in our sport and renewing the IZOD IndyCar Series as the automotive industry's proving ground.
"As the league moves closer to making a decision regarding our new chassis and engine platform, we need to continue to have an articulate process in place that sets the criterion in a timely manner while taking into consideration the core areas of car development in our sport: competition, marketing, engineering, engine development and team ownership.
"Terry Angstadt and Brian Barnhart have done an outstanding job researching and developing the future car for the past two years. Now we would like for the members of the advisory committee to review the research and make a collective recommendation, utilizing their respective industry sector's point of view.
"Just as equally important in this process are the drivers and fans. The advisory committee will be encouraged to reach out to the drivers for their feedback and opinions about the engine and chassis. Additionally, we are currently conducting surveys to receive fan input on the new chassis and will look for similar ways to incorporate their voice into the committee's research in the future."
"Gen. Looney represents many of the characteristics that are important to this process and his Air Force background provides familiarity with speed, safety, technology and integrity. We are grateful to have someone with his vast experience serve as chairman, and I'm confident that he will set the appropriate procedures to oversee the advisory committee and facilitate a recommendation in a timely manner. Having an industry outsider chair should prevent any bias toward any certain industry sector when overseeing the advisory committee.
"Our objectives for the chassis remain the same as they were when the league first began the process of developing its next car: safe, raceable, cost-effective, American-made, less mass/more efficient, relevant technology, modern look and green. - IRL CEO, Randy Bernard
“I have always been attracted to racing in America. American open wheel has a rich heritage in competitive races and legendary drivers, and I couldn’t be happier about following in their footsteps. Racing in the US is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I am excited about entering into this next step of my career.
I am looking forward to the 15 races this year with the IndyCar series and I am thankful to the sponsors and for the support of the RACB National Team that have made this possible. I will carry the yellow color of the Belgian National Team with dignity and pride, especially during the legendary Indianapolis 500. To run this race in front of 400,000 spectators will undoubtedly be a big moment of emotion for me as a driver and Belgian countryman. I will be counting on the experience of my new team owner, Eric Bachelart, to help me enter successfully into this new world of racing." - Bertrand Baguette
"I am completely confident in the capacities of Bertrand to quickly adapt to the IZOD IndyCar Series car and the North America road and street circuits. I followed his 2009 season and was impressed by the excellent degree of competitiveness and maturity he showcased on his way to becoming Formula Renault 3.5 Champion. Because of his ability to adapt well to new formula, I am confident that he will also learn the art of oval track racing relatively quickly.
I am really looking forward to becoming more familiar with him during the upcoming race in St. Petersburg. It will be good for Bertrand to be able to attend an event, understand the communication between driver and team and get acclimated to IZOD IndyCar Series racing without the pressure of also having to learn the cars on the same weekend. This should make Bertrand’s debut event at Barber much smoother for him and for the team.” - Team Owner, Eric Bachelart
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
With last nights announcement that VERSUS would return to DirectTV immediately, look for the Barber ratings to sore even higher when the Honda-Powered Dallara's turn their first competitive laps around the Birmingham, Alabama road course next month.
Monday, March 15, 2010
"I would like to thank Derek Chang (executive vice president of content strategy and development of DIRECTV) along with Jamie Davis (VERSUS president) for working diligently to getting this deal done. Everyone wins - DIRECTV, VERSUS and most importantly the fans of the Indy Racing League." - IRL CEO, Randy Bernard
"We are pleased that both sides were able to work out a satisfactory deal to bring this programming back to our customers," - DirectTV executive vice president of Content Strategy and Developlment, Derek Chang
"We're excited that we were able to come to a fair agreement that puts VERSUS back in millions of homes with DIRECTV in time for our busy spring programming schedule. We look forward to super-serving these fans with NHL regular-season and playoff coverage, our first live UFC event and much more." - President of VERSUS Jamie Davis
Saturday, March 13, 2010
"Racing has always defined Lotus and on many occasions in motorsports history Lotus’ numerous innovations have re-defined racing. It’s only fitting that as the Lotus Racing name re-enters Formula 1, we will also race and innovate again in IndyCar. The Lotus name will, once again compete in the top two open-wheel racing series for the passion and enthusiasm of car fans around the globe.” -CEO of Group Lotus plc, Dany Bahar
“We are delighted to be part of Lotus and Cosworth’s return to the IndyCar Series, and with Takuma at the wheel of the classic racing green and yellow Lotus Cosworth race cars, we expect to be formidable competitors this year.” - KVRT co-owners, Kevin Kalkhoven & Jimmy Vasser
“This is fantastic news for everyone. It is exiting for me to be a Lotus driver and I’m really looking forward to great success with this new project.” - Takuma Sato
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Be sure to check out the Indy Racing Experience online and follow them on Twitter!
This move seems to leave James Rossiter, who tested the #32 last month at Barber, out of the loop.
“We are very pleased to have Mario back in the seat with KVRT. Mario showed last season he can be very competitive and is in the process of becoming one of the top talents in the series. He has grown and matured on and off the race track over the last year due in part to the support of his family and the many positive influences in his life. Mario finished the 2009 season with very strong results and I would expect more of the same starting this weekend in Saõ Paulo.” - KVRT General Manager, Mark Johnson
“I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and my sponsor Banco Panamericano for helping me and giving me this opportunity. Being in the car to start the season is very important for me especially since the first race is in my hometown. KVRT is one of the best teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series and I am looking forward to working with everyone on the team again. Hopefully we can continue the success we enjoyed at the end of last season.” - Mario Moraes
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"Sarah has clearly done an impressive job building Sarah Fisher Racing and I really thank her, the team, and Dollar General for this opportunity to compete in St. Pete and at Barber Motorsports Park. I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Dollar General No. 67 car and hopefully contribute to the success of SFR." - Graham Rahal
"Dollar General would like to welcome Graham to our racing family. We look forward to supporting him and cheering him on in the Dollar General No. 67 Honda." - Dollar General Chairman and CEO, Rick Dreiling
According to the always reliable Curt Cavin, Graham Rahal has landed a ride in 2010, all be it for just 2 races. According to Cavin, Graham has signed with Sarah Fisher Racing to pilot the #67 Dollar General entry at both St. Pete, and Barber.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Townsend Bell: It's always a big help, for sure. Those guys have won a lot of races, and they've both won an Indy 500, so I'll look for any support where I can get it. Can't do much better then 2 Indy 500 Champions to lean on.
16th And Georgetown: Herbalife was your helmet sponsor in 2008, your primary last year, they've worked with E.J. Viso as well, and they're coming back as your primary sponsors for the '500'. Obviously times are tough for everyone, but especially in the racing world, what kind of feedback have you heard from Herbalife about their experience with the series?
Townsend Bell: The Indy 500 is still the biggest race in the world and it gets a good global television coverage. They certainly like the fact that the event is not only high profile in the U.S., but it's high profile around the world as well. For me personally it's tough racing once a year, but right now that's the event that makes the most since for them. I'd love it if the rest of the IndyCar calender would see a big bump in the coverage and the following, it would certainly help me do some more races.
16th And Georgetown: In just 3 Indy 500 starts you have 2 top 10 finishes and have ran pretty well at IMS. Is there anything specific about the track it's self, or your driving style, or maybe the amount of preparation leading into the race that lends it's self to some of your solid runs?
Townsend Bell: I feel really comfortable there, I have since the first time I took laps around the track. It's incredibly smooth, and I've had good cars there. Not necessarily the fastest straight line, but from a handling stand point I've always come in with a pretty good package on race day and have always had something that worked pretty well. So hopefully this year with the combination of my experience, the great partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing and a really slippery car in a straight line it'll be even better.
16th And Georgetown: Last May you had a second week program, which meant the best you could of qualified is 23rd. I believe you wound up 24th and moved your way up to 4th through the race. If you would of had a full month to qualify a little higher and work on the car a little more, how would it of affected the end result?
Townsend Bell: What hurt us last year was not necessarily starting the race 24th, it's where you sit on pit lane. I didn't realise that until things played out. That's as far back as I've ever started, I think I've started 12th & 15th the previous two times. The biggest problem was that by the last 50 laps, last 2 pit stops, everybody that I was racing with on track which was Danica, Wheldon, & Helio, they are all pitted at the sharp end of the grid, down towards turn 1 and I'm all the way at the back. So regardless of how quick the pit stops were, the KV guys did a great job in pit lane after we made a few adjustments. The biggest challenge then is if I get done with my stop, and say it's a 10 second stop and Danica does a 10 second stop way down at the other end of pit lane, I'm coming down pit lane at 60 mph, all she has to do is pull out to the high line straight from her box, and I've got to lift to avoid running into her. That's what hurt us, just the situation of getting blocked going down pit lane with the people we were racing with, apposed to being somewhat near them in the box and being able to race them out of the pit stall. That's the only thing that would of changed. If we would of qualified a little higher, lets say top 12, top 11, top 14, whatever it probably would of helped us a bit. I don't think we would of been able to cover Helio, but I passed Wheldon and Danica I think each of them twice on the racetrack. Certainly Wheldon twice, and it was frustrating to lose it back in the pits, but all in all it was a pretty good day for us.
16th And Georgetown: A few months ago IMS announced changes to the May Schedule. They basically just dropped 2 qualification days, added an extra practice day, and squished everything together. What are your thoughts on the revamped schedule?
Townsend Bell: You know, the first time I went to the Indy 500 I was 10-years-old and that was 1986 and I distinctly remember the tradition of the Indy 500 being a month long experience, but there was a reason for that. There were different motor and tire combinations, and chassis combinations, it really seemed like people needed the time to develop their packages around the unique track. Today we run in a spec series. The cars are the same, the situation is the same if you had a 2-day event at Kansas as you do at Indianapolis, so it really just isn't necessary to have that much track time. For me as a one off obviously it's better for me to have more track time, just to shake off the cobwebs and get up to speed. It doesn't take me 5 days to get up to speed, it might take half a day, but just to get comfortable in traffic and all of that and to just get back into the rhythm of things helps. But as you pointed out, I think there is only 1 fewer actual day on track, it's just in a more concentrated schedule. It's kind of a shame not to have what it used to be which was a real sort of R&D exercise, but I think it makes since to condense things given the current formula.
16th And Georgetown: For anybody that follows you on Twitter or YouTube, they know that your love to work out in all sorts of ways from boxing, to skiing, to biking and everything in between. On one of your YouTube videos, your on an IndyCar simulator. I know guys like Tomas Scheckter, and Justin & Stefan Wilson are big iRacing fans. How much do you find that the simulators actually help the on track performance?
Townsend Bell: Well, first I want to say thanks for following me on twitter because I think I've only got about 40 people on there right now. For any of your audience that can get on @TownsendBell99 on twitter and bump up my numbers. It's embarrassing that I've got 40, and Paul Tracy's got 4,000, so we need to increase our numbers a bit there. I just started using it about a week ago though, but I like it. But anyways, the simulators are cool. They've come a long, long way. Obviously in Formula 1 they started getting serious about those several years ago and they've got some amazingly robust simulators over in Europe for the Formula 1 teams. Then there's what anybody can do by just going out and buying a computer, and steering wheel and pedals. Then there is a mid-tear range, with professionally engineers simulators that are available to the consumer or a racing driver and that's what I've been using. I use a company called CXC, which is hear in southern California. What really kind of helps is track knowledge. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway hasn't really changed in the last 3 or 4 years, so track knowledge isn't necessarily the main focus there, I use the simulators more on some of the road courses. Like I've been playing a lot on Barber Motorsports Park, where I've never been, but just looks like a really cool track and I enjoy the challenge of learning to driver there. The software accuracy, the track model accuracy seems to be pretty impressive. For me it's just kind of sharpening my skills, the steering wheel functionality is similar and just little things like going through the process of leaving the pits, going through your shift patterns on out laps and those sorts of things. It's just one less thing I'm going to have to worry about when I get there in May. It's a big help to be able to keep yourself sharp on a simulator. Shifter carts are also a great way, I'm waiting for my engine to get back from my engine builder, but that's something I'll be doing over the next few weeks.
16th And Georgetown: Obviously, over the last couple months all of the potential 2012 chassis' have been unveiled. What are some of the traits that you'd like to see in the next generation car and is there a particular chassis that your drawn to?
Townsend Bell: What I'd like to see in the car is a significant change from what we've had, in that were driving stuff that's been around ever since when I was a kid going to the Indy 500. The basic equipment is pretty much the same, nothing has really changed. The technology and the rapid development, and the pushing of the envelope and all of that, that really got me as a young kid and as a teenager excited about being and IndyCar driver, frankly that's kind of gone away. It's funny, a couple years ago at a race team that I was driving for they had a mid 90's CART car, like a '95, '96 Lola that one of the mechanics was restoring. We had 6 Dallara-Honda chassis' that were being prepared for the race, and I found myself being constantly drawn to the older car because it was sleeker more compact, more efficient looking, much more sinister. I miss that, I miss that about IndyCar racing, it was pushing the limits and really driving technology forward. When I was a rookie coming into CART, there was still quite a bit and those cars were beasts it was close 900 horsepower and real hand full just to come to grips with the power and handling and all of that. I sort of miss that challenge, we've been stuck in this rut of the same old thing and we've lost fans because of it and we've lost attention because of it and all of that. More than anything, I want to see in the new car is something that really inspires thought, debate, a new challenge, and a new frontier if you will that really differentiates IndyCar racing. The only new car concept that I've really studied closely is the DeltaWing concept because there is a lot of information available from Ganassi and Mr. Bowlby and their thought process going into the car. If you forget about what it looks like for a second, because it's not like were driving the most beautiful race car now anyway, and just look at the technical rational and the design concept and the thinking behind it, to me it all makes a lot of since, it's hard to argue with the logic. The one thing that I think is missing in all of this is power to weight should still be sensational. The specification that I've seen there, it would be nice to see a lot more horsepower involved given the weight. Top speed is one thing, but 0-150 or 50-150, that's the spectacle that is really going to get people excited about IndyCar racing from a street circuit and road course perspective. As a race car driver I want to feel like I'm getting strapped into a rocket ship. Something that is really going to blow me away in terms of performance. In my opinion I want something that feels like a really animal that your trying to harness.
16th And Georgetown: Over the last several years the IZOD IndyCar Series has gone through a ton of changes. If you were king of American Open-Wheel for a week, what are some of the changes you'd like to make?
Townsend Bell: I'd be looking for another job. No, I don't know. First thing is, you've got to acknowledge reality which is that outside of the Indy 500 and even including the Indy 500 the sport is pretty flat, I think we all acknowledge that. Television ratings are way down, sponsorship revenue for the teams are down. There are some highlights like IZOD coming in, which I think is fantastic. The job that Terry Angstadt and his team did to secure a title sponsor in the current environment, and not just a sponsor but somebody that really seems to acknowledge where IndyCar racing is as a sport right now and where it needs to go, I think is huge. But, as an industry it's pretty soft so I think acknowledging that reality is important. Taking some bold decisions about how your going to reinvigorate the sport, the fan base in a way that acknowledges reality, meaning you can't fall off the floor. So lets get aggressive and do some things that really shake it up. When I really listen to some of the people in the business that I respect the most, their opinions about where things need to go, what I hear more and more is 'lets be aggressive, lets be bold, lets push the envelope here, because we don't have a lot to lose'.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
USF2000 was recently announced as part of the new "Road to Indy" ladder system.
"The opportunity to drive for my mentor, Michael Andretti, has always been a dream of mine. I've worked very hard to get to this point, but I know I have a long way to go. Driving in the USF2000 with Andretti Autosport is the best way to reach my ultimate goal: racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series and winning the Indy 500." -Sage Karam
"We look forward to bringing Sage on board as Andretti Autosport's first USF2000 National Championship driver and hope to make him the first driver to go all the way through the 'Road to Indy' program - all the way to the IZOD IndyCar Series. I've watched him grow to become an accomplished young driver, and I think his experience in karting and Skip Barber will serve him well this year in the USF2000 series. I'm very confident Sage will be successful with Andretti Autosport." -Michael Andretti
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
“Racing in the IndyCar series, alongside the class of competition that I will be racing with is a true honor. I am very grateful for this opportunity and for the type of team that I will have alongside me. I am equally grateful for the support that I have from my sponsors, family, friends and fans. I am very eager for my debut in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar season" - Simona De Silvestro
"From the first day of the first test, we knew she could drive. The longer we worked with her, the more she impressed us. I think she has a great future in this series. She made a lot of history in the Atlantic Championship and we expect her to make some waves in IndyCar now that she’s here.” - Team Principle, Keith Wiggins
“This is yet another significant step in Simona's career. We have had a very fortunate few years that have led us here and I could not imagine being able to form this new relationship with a better person than Keith. I am greatly appreciative of every single person and every company that has helped make this possible and look forward to a successful 2010" - Team Principle, Imran Safiulla
Simona De Silvestro has been confirmed to pilot the #78 Honda-Powered Dallara in Brazil for HVM Racing. The Atlantics vet posted the 16th quickest time at last weeks Barber test, one spot higher then Andretti Autosports Danica Patrick.