- Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to make Indianapolis 500 starts 19 years apart, bettering Cy Marshall & Roland Free's 17-year gap set in 1947.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mann To Run Indy

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Pippa Mann announced today her signing with Dale Coyne Racing to compete in next month's 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.

"I'm delighted to be able to share this news," said Mann. "I actually first met Dale (Coyne) several years ago, before I came to the U.S., at what turned out to be the final Champ Car test at Sebring right before the open-wheel merger.

"We've sort of had an on-going conversation ever since then, and I actually got very close to getting in one of Dale's cars on Bump Day last year. A year later, we've now put this program together, and I cannot wait to be back on track with Honda and running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May."

The 29-year-old British driver qualified and started 31st in the 2011 '500', her rookie year. Driving the 2nd Conquest Racing entry in a deep field, Mann was thought to be an unlikely qualifier for the race by many. 7 car/driver combinations went home following Bump Day, including Sebastian Saavedra, Conquest's full-time driver.

"We have known and followed Pippa from her first interest in coming over to America and the IndyCar Series," Coyne said. "Her hard work and dedication are commendable and have shown results. She has qualified for Indy, qualified on pole at Indianapolis for the Indy Lights race, won an Indy Lights race at Kentucky and has been a great asset for the sport."

Mann's entry becomes the 31st confirmed car/driver combination for the 2013 Indy 500.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

RLLR Signs Jourdain

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced Tuesday morning the signing of Michel Jourdain to pilot the team's third entry at Indianapolis.

"I’m happy to be working with Bobby and the guys again as well as with Bruno (Couprie) my engineer, who I worked with last year," Jourdain said. "I have worked with Office Depot Mexico for over 11 years now and I am thankful that they will be the primary sponsor again. I’m also happy to have Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi back again as associate sponsors. Hopefully we can give them all a great result in the Indy 500.”

The 36-year-old Jourdain returns to compete in the Indianpolis 500 with RLLR for the second consecutive year, following a successful 2003 Champ Car season with the team which included wins in Milwaukee and Montreal. Jourdain started 22nd and finished 19th in 2012.

The Mexico native's #17 entry will once again be sporting Office Depot Mexico primary sponsorship. 

There are currently 30 confirmed car/driver combinations for next months '500'.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ROP Rescheduled

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The IZOD IndyCar Series announced Wednesday afternoon that Rookie Orientation for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 has been rescheduled for Opening Weekend, May 11 and 12.

Originally ROP for the four rookies, Tristan Vautier, AJ Allmendinger, Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz, was scheduled for April 11, but was delayed due to weather.

"With some teams having to load equipment for Brazil following the Long Beach event next week, and long-standing community activities scheduled at Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to Opening Day, moving ROP to Opening Weekend was the only option we had to give the ROP participants adequate track time and a chance to complete the program," said INDYCAR president of operations and strategy, Brian Barnhart.

The green flag will drop at noon Saturday, May 11, for veteran practice before clearing the track for a 2-4pm ROP session. Vets will return to practice from 4-6pm. Sunday May 12, will follow the same schedule.

The 2013 Rookie Orientation Program will follow the same format as 2012 with the exception of the requirement of 10 laps in phase two, rather than last year's 15.
Phase 1: 10 laps from 200-205 mph
Phase 2: 10 laps from 205-209 mph
Phase 3: 15 laps at 210+ mph (can be completed anytime before qualifications)
The 3-phase program requirements may be adjusted by the influence of track and weather conditions.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Briscoe Signs With Ganassi For '500'

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Chip Ganassi Racing Teams confirmed Friday morning the signing of Ryan Briscoe to pilot the team's fourth entry at Indianapolis alongside teammates Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball.

The 2012 '500' polesitter ran full-time in 2004 with Ganassi as a rookie -- sans a DNS at Milwaukee due to practice damage -- before suffering injuries in a horrific crash at Chicagoland Speedway, ending his season two races early.

“To say that I’m excited for the month of May would be a huge understatement," Briscoe said. "I’m thrilled to join the Ganassi team for the Indianapolis 500 this year.  Driving for the defending race winner – and especially with teammates that are former winners – is just incredible.  There are still a lot of familiar faces on the team from when I drove for Chip in 2005, and I can’t wait to get started."

Backed with NTT Data sponsorship, Briscoe will attempt to take the No. 8 to Victory Lane for the fourth time over the 97-year history of the Indianapolis 500.

“We all know Ryan is a talented driver, having had him in our Indy car system previously," said team owner, Chip Ganassi. "He will get up to speed quickly because he understands the ins and outs of how we operate our race program."

The 31-year-old Australian will be attempting to make is 103rd IZOD IndyCar Series start following 5 full seasons and 83 starts with Ganassi rival Team Penske from 2008 to 2012 where he piled up 7 wins, 26 podiums and 11 poles.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Daly To Run For Foyt At Indy

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A.J. Foyt Racing confirmed Tuesday morning the signing of Conor Daly to run the teams 2nd entry at Indianapolis. Daly's first on-track laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway behind the #41 entry will come during the annual Rookie Orientation Program April 11.

“I almost can't describe what it means to have the opportunity to race in the Indianapolis 500,” Daly said. “I have been to the 500 every year of my existence except for last year when I raced in Monaco. It is truly my home race since I was born and raised in the Indianapolis area.  I am so thankful that A.J. and Larry have given me my first shot at the greatest race in the world.  I know this will sound cheesy but I've never been happier in my life; this race means so much to me.”

The 21-year-old was impressive with his first laps behind an Indy Car last December at Sebring with Foyt.

“I'm excited about bringing Conor to Indy for his first race at the 500,” said Team Director, Larry Foyt. “I've been watching him come up through the open wheel ranks, and when we met at the F-1 race in Austin, Texas last year, we hit it off immediately. Doing the test at Sebring confirmed he could make the step up to an Indycar, and with my dad's guidance, the potential is there for a great month of May.”

Daly, a Noblesville, Indiana native, won the 2010 Pro Mazda Championship and ran five Firestone Indy Lights races with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winning at Long Beach. He contested the European GP3 Series full-time in 2011 & 2012 and ran the first two events of the GP2 Series this season.

Daly's father, Derek, ran six Indianapolis 500's from 1983-'85 and 1987-'89, all before Conor's birth.

 
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