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Postseason driver profile: Andretti’s ups and downs

October 13th, 2014

10.13.14 (via INDYCAR.com) – Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
 
The cast: Race engineer – Blair Perschbacher. Race strategist – Michael Andretti. Chief mechanic – Jeff Grahn
 
Twitter: @MarcoAndretti, @FollowAndretti
 
The car: No. 25 Honda (Snapple primary sponsor)
 
The driver: Turned 27 on March 13 … Owns his boyhood home in Bushkill Township, just outside of Nazareth, Pa., and near the home of his paternal grandparents, Mario and Dee Ann.  
 
Season finish: Andretti placed ninth in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings – the seventh time in his nine seasons in the top 10 (high of fifth in 2013). He was 20 points behind teammates Carlos Munoz in eighth.
 
The gist: The third-generation Indy car driver has competed each season for the championship-winning team owned by his father, Michael. He has made 151 consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series starts (third among active IndyCar drivers). … He has two victories, including one at Sonoma Raceway in his rookie season. … He recorded three victories in six Indy Lights starts in 2005 while also competing in Star Mazda.
 
Season stats: Andretti started the season by qualifying in the top 10 in the first three races and recorded two top-10 finishes, including his season-high of second at Barber Motorsports Park. … He qualified sixth for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and finished third – his fifth top five in nine starts. … Strung together three consecutive top 10s (Houston 1 and 2, Pocono) in the middle of the season and closed with eighth- and 11th-place finishes (gaining 12 positions total from his qualifying spot). … Overall, posted nine top-10 finishes and led four races and was running at the finish in 14 races.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Richards-Ross head Broward Hall of Fame class

October 13th, 2014

10.13.14 (via sun-sentinel.com) – Swift, stalwart, durable, dedicated and highly accomplished. The six members of the 2014 class of the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame named Friday span all of those attributes, and their list of achievements is staggering. 
 
Fort Lauderdale native Ryan Hunter-Reay, winner of the Indianapolis 500 this year, shares the honor with Olympic gold medalists Sanya Richards-Ross (track and field) and Howard Davis, Jr. (boxing), Miami Dolphins great center Dwight Stephenson, swimming coach Jay Fitzgerald and long-time track and field official William T. Reeves.
 
They will be inducted in an Oct. 28 ceremony at the Broward County Convention Center.
 
The Broward County Sports Hall of Fame recognizes coaches, athletes and pioneers who are, or have been, Broward County residents. Past members include Dara Torres, Chris Evert, Whitey Ford, H. Wayne Huizenga and Dan Marino.
 
"The Class of 2014 has positively impacted our community by representing their strong roots to the Broward County sports community and shining an international spotlight on the area's commitment to excellence," said Pat Lawlor, co-chair of the organization.
 
Hunter-Reay, a graduate of Cardinal Gibbons, is in his racing prime. He won the IndyCar championship for Andretti Autosport in 2012 and in May became the first American since 2006 to win the Indy 500 with a dramatic pass of Helio Castroneves on the final lap. Hunter-Reay also spearheads fund-raising efforts for the fight against cancer through his Racing for Cancer foundation.
 
 
 
 
 

Andretti Autosport confirms Abt, Kellett for upcoming evaluation tests

September 30th, 2014

9.30.2014 – The four-time IndyCar Series and one-time Pro Mazda championship winning team will take part in two tests in the coming weeks to evaluate Formula E racer Daniel Abt (right) and Mazda Road to Indy driver Dalton Kellett (left).

Abt, a former Formula 3 teammate of 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Carlos Munoz, will test one of the team’s Indy cars on October 27 at Barber Motorsports Park. The 21-year-old German has been on the team’s radar since competing against him in its FIA Formula E efforts across the pond and would like to see what the GP2 Series veteran can do in an Indy car.

“I’m super excited to be testing an Indy car for the first time,” said Daniel. “I want to thank Andretti Autosport for giving me the chance to get my first outing in a race car in the USA. There will be a lot of things for me to learn, but I’m sure I can adapt quickly and master the challenge with all the experience I have gained in single-seater racing over the last couple of years. IndyCar is something I could definitely see myself racing in, so it’s good to get a feeling for everything and to show what I can do.”

The team’s Pro Mazda crew will see Canadian Kellett get behind the wheel at Putnam Park next Monday, October 6. The 21-year-old participated in his rookie year of Pro Mazda for the 2014 season and came away 10th in the championship with one podium, two top-five and nine top-10 finishes.

"I am very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to test with Andretti Autosport's Pro Mazda Team," Dalton added. "In the process of looking ahead to my next step in the Mazda Road to Indy, spending a test day with this successful organization will be a rewarding experience. Seeing how the team works and how I fit in with them will be an important part of the day. I hope to learn a lot and am looking forward to a successful test!"

The Indianapolis-based team remains busy during the INDYCAR offseason with its efforts in Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross with race winners Tanner Foust and Scott Speed racing in the November 5 season finale at SEMA. Additionally, the Andretti Formula-E Team, with drivers Franck Montagny and Charles Pic, alongside reserve driver Matthew Brabham, will head to Malaysia in late November for the second round of FIA Formula E competition. To stay up to date with the team, please follow along via Twitter (@FollowAndretti, @AndrettiFE), Instagram (andrettiautosport, andretti_fe) and Facebook (Andretti Autosport).

 

 

Hunter-Reay headed for Race of Champions in Barbados

September 25th, 2014

9.25.14 (via INDYCAR.com) – Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will represent the Verizon IndyCar Series in the annual Race of Champions, slated to take place at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14. 
 
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to the Race of Champions for the second time," said Hunter-Reay, who previously raced in the Race of Champions when it was held in Thailand following his 2012 series championship. "My first ROC in Bangkok was an amazing experience, going head-to-head with some of the best drivers from every different motor sport discipline from around the world."
 
Hunter-Reay is the most successful American driver currently racing in open-wheel competition and one of the most versatile drivers in the sport. He has 14 career Indy car victories in addition to race wins in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am. Hunter-Reay captured three victories during the 2014 season (Barber, Indianapolis and Iowa) and finished sixth in the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings driving the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport. 
 
"Experience really helps with the short amount of seat time in each of the different types of ROC race car," Hunter-Reay said. "When it's time to head to Barbados for the race weekend, I'll be focused on winning. It's an honor to represent America, INDYCAR and the Indy 500 in such a prestigious event."
 
The ROC features drivers from all different types of motorsports disciplines in a head-to-head knockout competition in a variety of equally-matched vehicles. Hunter-Reay is the third driver confirmed for ROC along with Formula One driver Romain Grojean, the winner of the event when it was last held in 2012, and sports car legend Tom Kristensen.
 
"It's great news that Ryan is coming back to the Race of Champions," ROC organizer Fredrik Johnsson said. "This year's Indianapolis 500 was a true classic and Ryan did brilliantly to hold off his rivals by such a tiny margin after that thrilling dice to the checkered flag. We can now look forward to seeing Ryan take on greats from all over the world of motorsport in December. He's right at the top of his game and now that he's already had a taste of the ROC machinery he's sure to be a big threat to all the other drivers."
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for RBGRC: Seattle

September 25th, 2014

9.24.14 – Come out to the Red Bull Global Rallycross: Seattle event at DirtFish Rally School this weekend! Below you can find information on when and where you can meet Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 25

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Chaplins Volkswagen
15000 SE Eastgate Way
Bellevue, WA 98007
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PT

 

Friday, Sept. 26

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Red Bul Global Rallycross LA: DirtFish Rally School
7001 396th Dr. SE
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. PT

 

Scott Speed scores third win of 2014 in Los Angeles Race 1

September 21st, 2014

9.21.14 (via NBC Sports) - A victory for Scott Speed, another podium for Ken Block, and a major setback for Nelson Piquet Jr.has tightened up the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship after the first of two races this weekend at the Port of Los Angeles.

Speed grabbed the holeshot in today’s final and went on to lead Joni Wiman and Block across the stripe, earning his third win of the season and his first since the X Games in Austin.

But Piquet did not make the final after being knocked out of his semifinal heat early with wall contact and then failing to make it out of the Last Chance Qualifier.

As a result, Block has pulled into a tie with Piquet for the championship lead at 248 points and Speed is just two points behind them. Wiman is also in the hunt at just 10 points back.

Put it all together, and tomorrow’s event in L.A. – which you can watch at 5 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra – is shaping up to be the most dramatic of the 2014 GRC season so far.

“We’re back to our ways,” Speed told NBCSN after his win. “We’ve had a great weekend with no problems so far, and that’s the result. We’ve still got the speed. These guys are getting closer though, it wasn’t easy. But I couldn’t be happier with our team.”

Read more…

Volkswagen Beetle to make debut at Los Angeles rounds of Global Rallycross series

September 18th, 2014

9.18.14 – Herndon, VA — The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team will be racing at the Port of Los Angeles this weekend in an action-packed double header—and will debut the exciting Global Rallycross Beetle that will spearhead the team’s efforts in their 2015 Championship chase. The two-race event will be a new challenge for the team, the only double header weekend in the 2014 season.

 
Scott Speed, driver of the No. 77 7UP Volkswagen, is looking to take advantage of twice the number of championship points being on offer. After six rounds, he is third in points behind Nelson Piquet Jr. and Ken Block.
 
"The No. 77 7UP Volkswagen has had a lot of bad luck lately and we are due some good fortune—hopefully it turns up this weekend on the West Coast,” said Speed. “We will have to work extremely hard in L.A. and make sure we get off on the right foot on Friday”
 
Tanner Foust is in a close battle with Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek for seventh position in the driver championship. The driver of the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen is pushing for podium finishes in the last four races of the season and is delighted to be given responsibility for debuting the team’s new car.
 
"It's been a roller coaster season so far, but I am still very happy with the results, especially the win in New York, considering this is a new team and a new car,” said Foust. “Continuing the learning process, I will be piloting an even newer car with Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in Los Angeles. I am very excited to compete with the new Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle at the Port of LA.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles will take place at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA, from September 19-21. NBC will air both races live on Saturday, September 20, and Sunday, September 21, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Follow @VW and @FollowAndretti on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
 
For tickets and further event information, visit: http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for RBGRC: Port of LA

September 17th, 2014

9.17.14 – Come out to the Red Bull Global Rallycross: Port of LA event in Los Angeles this weekend! Below you can find information on where and when you can meet Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed during their stay in SoCal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, September 18
 

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Pacific Volkswagen – 14900 Hindry Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
 
Saturday, September 20
 
Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
RBGRC: Port of LA – 425 S. Palos Verdes St, San Pedro, CA 90731
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
 

 

Brabham calls debut of Formula E series a ‘great success’

September 16th, 2014

9.16.14 (via Motorsport.com) – Matthew Brabham, reserve driver for the Andretti Autosport Formula-E team for the first round of the FIA’s all electric Series held in China, is enthused about the forward progress of the Championship.

Following a successful test session in the electric-powered Dallara chassis last month in England, the 20-year-old was drafted into the squad to assist drivers, Franck Montagny (in photo above) and Charles Pic at the circuit which circulated the Beijing Olympic precinct.

It was a tremendous success for the Andretti Formula E team and its two French drivers. Montagny finished second and Pic came home fourth in the dramatic event, that saw the two leaders – Nico Prost and Nick Heidfeld collide on the final corner, Heidfeld rolling into the barriers.

Brabham’s key area was to work with the team and drivers on the strategy to maximise the battery power on the electric cars.

He walked away from China believing that Formula E has a fantastic future and with a majority of the field featuring international drivers with modern Formula 1, IndyCar and sportscar experience it bodes well.

“The whole setup is extremely professional, it is very much to the spec of Formula 1 in terms of the paddock layout, the pit area and how the event runs,” said Brabham upon returning to his US base.

“I was a little concerned about the racing product being diminished by the power saving and the different strategies that teams would employ, however the race was entertaining, there was a lot of passing and you couldn’t ask for anything more – coming down to a last lap, last corner pass for the win.”

The Prost/Heidfeld crash was the major talking point after the race.

“It was a huge crash, massive. I think that once everyone realised that Nick was OK from the crash they were quite relieved and were impressed at the strength of the vehicles to withstand something that big.

"In any form of racing, you can't ask for much more than to have the lead come down to the last corner on the final lap and with it being so dramatic, it should generate huge pickup around the world."

Brabham believes the Andretti Formula-E team was one of the best prepared heading to China and were able to take advantage of that preparation.

“The engineers and team members at Andretti Autosport were really on it right from the very beginning when I first went to the test in England,” he explained. “A lot of the other teams were working to get their heads around the systems and the cars, but the Andretti guys knew what to do from the start.

 

Read more here… 

 

 

Andretti Autosport happy to be on top

September 14th, 2014

9.14.14 (via ElectricAutosport.com) – Andretti Autosport Formula-E Team leaves Beijing in high spirits and top of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship following a successful first ePrix in China, with a second-place podium finish for Franck Montagny and a fourth place from fellow countryman Charles Pic.

The one-day event, comprising of two practice sessions, split qualifying and a 25 lap race around the city street circuit made for an exhilarating spectacle in the world’s first all-electric racing series.

Michael Andretti, Team Owner at the American-based squad praised the series on its exciting debut: “Congratulations to Alejandro [Agag] on an event that was an overwhelming success. I’m very proud to be able to be a part of this exciting new series and to help shape the future of motorsport. Franck [Montagny] and Charles [Pic] did a great job and I’m happy to come away from the event leading the team championship.”

Things did not all go quite to plan however. After initially qualifying fifth, Montagny was handed a three place grid penalty for repeatedly crossing the white line on pit exit, demoting him to start the race from eighth place on the grid. This only spurred the 36 year old on to produce a fine start that saw both Andretti’s alongside one another as they narrowly avoided contact, before Montagny executed a brave move around Pic to claim position. From here he never looked back setting the early pace with another overtake, this time on Karun Chandhok for fifth.

A quick car change allowed him to jump Daniel Abt In the pits, before being gifted a place on the podium when Nico Prost and Nick Heidfeld came to blows on the last lap. Montagny was left delighted with the team’s showing and 18 points in the drivers’ championship:

“I would like to say thank you to the organisers of the Formula E series, because it really was a fantastic day. I have driven many different cars in many different series and I have to say that this is one of my best times in a car! The team has done a fantastic job, at testing and here in Beijing. Andretti Formula-E is an American team, based in Donington, UK, so it is not easy to start a team in a different country and everyone did very well. My teammate and I work well together and I had really, really good fun.”

 

Read more here…

 

 

 



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