Chaves Confirmed To '500' Ride With New Team

The worst kept secret in INDYCAR was finally announced...

Napa Returns With Rossi

A.J. Foyt Racing announced...

Carpenter Signs Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing announced...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Helio Needs

UPDATED: With neither Scott or Helio winning the bonus point for Pole, a simplified version:


Holding a 25-point lead entering the season finale at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, Scott Dixon is sittin' pretty. With the tie-breaking scenarios favoring Dixon due to his four wins compared to Helio's one, Helio Castroneves must finish at least 6th or better to stay in contention. On the other hand if Dixon finishes 5th or higher he will clinch the title.

Full details on what the Brazilian needs to accomplish on the 2-mile D-shaped oval to capture his first series championship:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ganassi Signs Kanaan, Swaps To Chevy

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced Friday morning the signing of Tony Kanaan and the switch of engine manufacturers from Honda to Chevrolet in 2014.

The Brazilian will run with NTT DATA sponsorship, an organization he partnered with to run a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Daytona Prototype entry at the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series' Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. NTT DATA was also the primary sponsor on Ryan Briscoe's Chip Ganassi Racing ride in last May's Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan, a free agent following a his third season with KV Racing Technology, was courted by numerous teams over the past few months and received offers from at least two, Ganassi and KVRT. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion, who signed what is believed to be a multi-year agreement, will fill the fourth seat in the Ganassi IndyCar stable alongside longtime friend Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, and Charlie Kimball.

“It is not all the time that you can find yourself as an owner with drivers that represent seven championships, five Indianapolis 500 victories and over 75 wins," said Chip Ganassi. "That feels pretty good.  I think TK will add a lot to this organization, not only from his talent behind the wheel but also from his leadership skills off the track.

Kanaan's departure from KVRT leaves an open and fully funded 2014 seat available. The team has made an offer to Andretti Autosport free agent and three-time race winner James Hinchcliffe. Hinch, however, is still in negotiations with Andretti's team with a decision expected in the coming weeks. Once the Hinchcliffe domino falls, the fate of other free agent drivers Sebatien Bourdais, Oriol Servia, Simona De Silvestro, Justin Wilson, James Jakes and others will be determined. 

"Tony Kanaan is an outstanding driver, a great teammate and a good friend. Over the last three years he has demonstrated his professionalism and more importantly, this year brought KV Racing Technology - SH Racing its first Indianapolis 500 victory," said KVRT in an e-mail statement. "The entire organization wishes him the best as he moves forward with his career. KV - SH Racing is and will continue to pursue negotiations with several top drivers and looks forward to competing for race wins and championships in the coming years."

Announced just moments before the Kanaan news, Chevrolet sent a press release announcing the addition of the four-car Ganassi team to the manufacturer's 2014 lineup. Ganassi becomes just the second team to formally announce an engine designation for next season, joining Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who announced a return to Honda in August.

This decision makes a lot of sense for us for a number of reasons,” said Ganassi. “We feel Chevrolet has done a great job in their return to the IndyCar Series and because of our existing relationship with them in NASCAR.  There are a lot of synergies that we will be able to realize in working with the same manufacturer across the two series.  We are thrilled.”

Switching from a single turbocharger two the now required twin-turbos next season, Honda released the following statement on the move:

“On behalf of everyone at Honda, I’d like to thank Chip Ganassi and the entire Ganassi Racing organization for their efforts in our very successful, eight -year partnership in the Indy Racing League and INDYCAR, which included four driver’s championships, three Indianapolis 500 victories and more than 40 individual race wins since 2006. 
“It may be worth noting that when our previous – and also very successful – association with the Ganassi organization in Championship Auto Racing Teams competition ended after the 1999 season, Honda went on to win 15 races over the next two seasons, including both the 2000 and 2001 driver’s championship, and the 2001 Manufacturers’ Championship. 
“While this partnership is coming to an end, Honda and Honda Performance Development remain committed to achieving even greater IndyCar success in the future with our continuing and new partner teams. While Honda and the Ganassi organization are going our separate ways, we remain committed to winning the 2013 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ championships, and our collective efforts for the final three races will be entirely focused on accomplishing those objectives.” - Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Debelopment.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

IMS Announces Grand Prix Details

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced details today of last weeks unveiling of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, set to air on ABC.

"The Grand Prix of Indianapolis is all about elevating the Month of May, the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series with more thrilling content for our loyal supporters and new fans," said Hulman & Company CEO, Mark Miles. "This will be a very different event than the '500' and will be one of three major weekends of excitement at IMS in May, all leading into the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25."

The month will kick off FREE to the public Thursday, May 8 with road course practice for the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, and USF2000 series. The cars will return Friday for IndyCar qualifying and Mazda Road to Indy events with $20 general admission. Reserved tickets for Saturday's IndyCar race range from $40 to $75 & $25 general admission and go on sale October 14th.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has already begun a $5-million reconfiguration project altering the course. May's events will be ran clockwise on a re-vamped 14-turn 2.434-mile course with at least 3 passing zones -- Turn 1, 7 and 12.

Changes include nearly wiping out the old F-1 Turns 5,6 & 7 replacing them with a small chicane at the exit of Turn 4 before hitting a nearly 2,500 foot straightaway down Hulman Boulevard. In addition, the Turn 7, 8, 9 complex behind the IMS Museum will also be slightly adjusted to 'create more speed and passing'. The cars will then enter the oval Turn 2 and continue down the short chute before a 90-degree right turn entering the Moto-GP section of the course with the another passing opportunity.

"Our approach is to create an affordable, fun, family-friendly opening event to kick off the excitement for the entire Month of May," Miles said. "The most expensive ticket for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis is less than half the price of the costliest seat for the Indianapolis 500. Fans will get the best views possible of the exciting, side-by-side action created during this historic event on our new circuit."

IMS President Doug Boles addressed the track changes during the press conference.
"The drivers in the IndyCar Series spent an awful lot of time with Derrick Walker and I as we thought through these corners. We're excited about what we think we've delivered. One of the questions that we heard earlier today is how is this different from Formula One. Formula One didn't encourage passing. Formula One, when the track was here had one passing zone, and that was the Turn 1 that you see behind me. We've actually made it a little bit better. We think it's going to be stronger. 
Turn 7 is going to be much better than where we were with Formula One because the run up as you go through the 5-6 chicane is an awful lot longer, it's about 2,500 feet from the moment you come out on Hulman, until you make that corner at Turn 7, and then the corner at Turn 12 is going to offer another unique opportunity to pass, but what it's going to do for the Indianapolis 500 fan who loves to sit in Turn 1 for the first time ever, they're going to get to experience what it looks like for a car to run on a road course here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
In addition to the track improvements, spectator mounds and grandstands will also be expanded and adjusted.

For more information visit GPofIndianapolis.com