- Byrd Brothers, with partner team KV Racing Technology, have announced a return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2015 with Bryan Clauson.

Friday, March 30, 2012

CGR To Test 4-Cars In Cali, 2 In Indy

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INDYCAR announced Wednesday an IZOD IndyCar Series test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway scheduled for April 4th, inviting a car from all teams, sans rookie drivers.

Chip Ganassi Racing had a pre-planned test at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California April 4th for all four of their pilots, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Charlie Kimball, and Graham Rahal. A Chip Ganassi Racing rep says that the April 4th test in California is still planned with all 4 cars. The team also plans to run 2-cars in the test at Indianapolis. Who will run each of the cars is unclear.

Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports, both rookies, will test April 4-5 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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UPATE 1:55 pm est: The Indianapolis Star's Curt Cavin reports both Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal will run at Indianapolis.

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UPDATE 3/31 8:02 pm est: Cavin reports that Ganassi has been told just one car can test. Dixon will be at Indy.

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Testing at IMS will be:

A.J. Foyt Enterprises - Mike Conway
Andretti Autosport - Marco Andretti
Dale Coyne Racing - Justin Wilson
Ed Carpenter Racing - Ed Carpenter
KV Racing Technology - Tony Kanaan
Panther Racing - JR Hildebrand
Rahal Letterman Lanigan - Takuma Sato
Target Chip Ganassi Racing - Scott Dixon
Team Penske - Helio Castroneves

Admission is free, with the south end viewing mounds open. Cars will not be on track from noon to 1pm.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

NBC Sports Network Releases Season & Month Of May Schedule

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Following a merger and name change over the off-season, the newly branded NBC Sports Network will return to air 10 IZOD IndyCar Series races in 2012. Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis, Wally Dallenback, Jr., Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, and Robin Miller will all return, alongside newcomer Townsend Bell.

Barber, Long Beach, Sao Paulo, Texas, Iowa, and Edmonton will all be aired by the NBC Sports Network as will the last 4 races leading-up to the championship including China, Infineon, Baltimore and Fontana.

Complementing the race time time slot, a half-hour all-access show, IndyCar 36 will take to the air just before each of their 10 events, profiling a different driver from the previous race. NBC Sports Network will also continue their hour-long qualifying show airing the day before the race as well as an hour-long taped Firestone Indy Lights broadcast for all 12 of their events airing 5pm the Thursday after the race.

The Month of May schedule will kick-off for the NBCSN Saturday, May 19th, for Pole Day coverage from 11am-2:30pm and from 4:30-6:30pm and will return on Bump Day from 12pm-6:30pm. Airing the next Friday, May 25th, from 11am-4pm will be Carb Day practice, the Firestone Freedom 100, IZOD Performance Pit Stop Challenge and other festivities.

NBC Sports Network will air their first INDYCAR coverage of the season Saturday, March 31st, with IndyCar qualifying at 4pm est. IndyCar 36 featuring Tony Kanaan will air at 1:30 Sunday, followed by the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at 2. The race will re-air Monday, April 2nd at both 7am and 4pm.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

IndyCar To Run Houston, Test At IMS

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The IZOD IndyCar Series announced today a return to Houston, Texas.

With sponsorship backing from Shell/Pennzoil, the event is slated for an October, 4th-6th race weekend.


"When we look at growing our schedule, one of our top objectives is to showcase our racing in major U.S. cities, which in turn helps our sponsors, team owners and television package and is key to the success of our sport," said INDYCAR CEO, Randy Bernard. "As the fourth-largest city in the country, Houston is a great fit for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Reliant Park will be a tremendous venue."

The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston will take place on the 1.7-mile, 10-turn concrete circuit in Reliant Park

"We are thrilled to be returning to Houston," said Mike Lanigan, Chairman and CEO of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. "The Grand Prix was very successful in 2006 and 2007 (Champ Car World Series events won by Sebastien Bourdais), with big crowds at Reliant Park witnessing an exciting three-day festival of speed. In 2013 it will be better than ever."

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The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since early November to test aerodynamic changes developed to help resolve speedway set-up issues discovered in testing with the new 2012 Indy car.

Scheduled for April 4th, all teams are invited to participate with one car piloted by an Indianapolis 500 veteran. Rookies will get their first shot at the 2.5-mile track May 10th.

"What was originally scheduled to be a manufacturers' test has been expanded to provide each team the opportunity to send one car to the test," said Will Phillips, vice president of technology for INDYCAR.   "Dallara has worked hard to make sure all the required parts are available to allow teams to test the new package."

Viewing mounds on the south end of the track will be open for public viewing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Castroneves Wins In St. Pete

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After a winless 2011 season, Helio Castroneves kicked off 2012 standing atop the emotional podium in St. Petersburg.

Marking not only the inaugural event of the season and first competition with the new Lotus/Chevrolet/Honda Dallara DW12 formula, Sunday's 100-lap race was also the first since the loss Dan Wheldon.

"Looking around, it is a beautiful day with everyone remembering Dan (Wheldon).  It reminds you that there are a lot more important things in life than dropping out of a race,” said driver and close friend of Wheldon, Tony Kanaan.

Kanaan wasn't the only driver with mechanical problems. 19th place finisher JR Hildebrand  dropped out on lap 96 with fuel pressure problems, while Honda drivers Mike Conway and Takuma Sato's days ended early with transmission issues on lap 75 and 73 respectively. 3 of the 5 Lotus powered entries - Bourdais, Legge and de Silvestro - also dropped out early with mechanical failures.

Top 10

1-Castroneves
2-Dixon
3-Hunter-REay
4-Hinchcliffe
5-Briscoe
6-Pagenaud
7-Power
8-Viso
9-Kimball
10-Wilson

Race Time: 1:59:50.9863
Avg Speed: 90.113
Margin of Victory: 5.5292
Lead Changes: 9
Leaders: 7 (SD 37, HC 28, TS 11, WP 11, RB 9, JH 3, DF 1)
Cautions: 3 for 15 laps

Sunoco ROY Standings

Pagenaud - 28
Newgarden - 19
Legge - 12

Manufacturers Championship

Chevrolet - 9
Honda - 6
Lotus - 4

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Calendar Benefiting Japan Tsunami Relief Now Available

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Just over a year ago Japan was rocked by a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami leaving behind thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars in damage. Although the news reports have slowed and the TV reporters are long gone, the devastated area is still in much need of attention.

Brothers Kazuki and Hiroyuki Saito, Japanese journalists who cover the North American racing scene, were deeply affected by the tragedy and decided to do something about it.
"The tsunami came within a half-mile of our family home," wrote Kazuki Saito. "Not only did it cause unprecedented loss of life, it also destroyed the homes and jobs of many of the survivors. Following the earthquake we traveled to our hometown and saw the true destruction that had occurred. We soon realized just how long the road to recovery would be for the region, and that long-term support will be required to move forward. We learned that no one is immune to natural disasters and felt more people around the world could learn from this."

"As our way of contributing to the recovery, we decided to launch the 'US-RACING 311 ●  Photo Aid Appeal', making a selection of our photos available for purchase and download, in the hope that the people affected in this disaster will not be forgotten. All proceeds will be donated to support recovery in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake."

"Proceeds will be donated to charity organizations which support families in the affected areas who have children suffering from disabilities. As a father of a young son with autism, Kazuki felt a strong connection with these families struggling in unfamiliar surroundings."
You can contribute by purchasing a 2012 calendar filled with IndyCar images by visiting their website HERE.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Saavedra Full-time In Lights, '500'

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Andretti Autosport and AFS Racing announced today the signing of Sebastian Saavedra to pilot a co-entried full-time Firestone Indy Lights Dallara in 2012.

Running the #27 in the ladder series, Saavedra will attempt to qualify for the 96th Indianapolis 500 behind the wheel of the #25 Andretti Autosport/AFS Automatic Fire Sprinklers Chevrolet, with the potential for 'two to three other IZOD IndyCar events'.

Saavedra started 32nd and finished 23rd in the 2010 '500' in a one-off entry with Bryan Herta Autosport. The Columbian returned with intent to run full-time in the IZOD IndyCar in 2011, competing in 14 of the 17 races, the 21-year-old missed the last 2 events do to sponsorship and failed to qualify at Indianapolis.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

KVRT Confirms Barrichello, Kanaan

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KV Racing Technology confirmed today the signing of veteran racers and friends, Rubens Barrichello and Tony Kanaan. Kanaan's contract included a 2-year deal.

After 19 season in Formula One, Barrichello will pilot the #8 BMC | Embrace Chevrolet-powered Dallara full-time in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

“I am thrilled, it is something very new to me,” Barrichello said.  “I need to thank everyone involved, especially Tony because he has been involved for a long time.  I would also like to thank my sponsors, BMC, Embrase and Locaweb for their help.  This is a new experience, but I am very very happy.  With all my experience I will start as a rookie, but I think I will get better as the year progresses.  My main thing is to be an addition to KV Racing Technology.  They have been doing very well and Tony brought the team to a different level last year, so I hope with my contribution we can build on this and take the team to another level.  I am extremely happy and have a big smile on my face."

Kanaan, a key player in the signing of Barrichello, was also confirmed today as returning to KVRT for a second season. With varying sponsorship packages including the Geico | Mouser Electronics sponsored Dallara at 10 events, Mouser Electronics | Geico livery at 4 races, ITAIPAVA sponsored car in Brazil and a co-primary sponsored machine at the Indy 500 by both Geico and Mouser, TK will run his classic #11.

"I am very excited to be returning to KV Racing Technology not only with a two year deal but also to have Rubens Barrichello as my team mate,” Kanaan said.   “We have always dreamed about racing together but never imagined it would actually happen and certainly not in the near future or in IndyCars.  So I am looking forward to the start of the season, I think its going to be a very exciting year.”


Kanaan and Barrichello will join E.J. Viso, who was announced last week, creating a 3-car team for KVRT.



"It's an exciting day for the IZOD IndyCar Series and a positive step to start 2012," said INDYCAR CEO, Randy Bernard. "We've said all along that one of the most important factors that will make the IZOD IndyCar Series successful is having the best drivers in the world, and there's not a person in the world who knows racing that wouldn't tell you that Rubens Barrichello is one of the greatest drivers of all time. I think it's been interesting to hear the response of the other drivers. It's been 'This is great for us because it will show how good all of our drivers are.'


"That, to me, is important because the best in the IZOD IndyCar Series are saying 'Bring him on. We want this guy.' That will create great competition and expands our international platform. There will be millions of fans that will want to see what Barrichello can do. The other factor, which we saw last weekend at Infineon Raceway as he talked with fans attending the Chevy test, is that he's such a great guy. That will resonate with our fans." 


 
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