Archive for the ‘Indy Lights’ Category

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

Tuesday, 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.

 

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Hinchcliffe weighs in on new Indy Lights car

Monday, September 8th, 2014

9.8.14 (via IndyCar.com) – Current performance is solid while it’s the new-for-2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires car’s potential that excited Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe.
 
One month after its initial on-track testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the drivers provided feedback following separate sessions Sept. 5 on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Reigning Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves will add his perspective during testing Sept. 6 on the iconic 2.5-mile oval.
 
Scott Dixon“As far as performance, it feels very good though it’s hard to compare it to the other Indy Lights car,” said Dixon, the three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. “It’s fun going through some setups and driving something different. It’s early in its development with setups, but there are a lot of similarities to the IndyCar in terms of technology and safety. A nice thing is I can take my seat and put it in there, which is well thought out.
 
“The platform of Indy Lights is very important to see good drivers come through on their way up, hopefully, to the IndyCar Series so I’m happy to assist in any way.”
 
The turbocharged 4-cylinder Advanced Engine Research engine is mated to a Dallara chassis designed to be fast and safe on the variety pack of racetracks utilized in conjunction with Verizon IndyCar Series race weekends.
 
“It’s all about getting miles on the car and trying to contribute to the testing program,” said Hinchcliffe, of Andretti Autosport. “You feel out the brakes and the turbocharged engine, which has some different characteristics from the V8 engine that the other car had, and then you get to the chassis side and work on setups to handle each circuit. You have to build up slowly those first couple of runs.
 
“Every bit of data at this point is valuable. I’m a huge proponent of the Indy Lights series; it was a huge step for me in developing my skills and helping me get up to IndyCar. Anything I can do to help the series grow I’m here. To be part of the development of anything new is a nice new challenge and something fun.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Sonoma

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

8.20.14 – Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with all our Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at Sonoma Raceway!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Saturday, August 23
 


Marco Andretti
, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz
Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.



 
Shelby Blackstock, Garett Grist
Pro Mazda Autograph Session

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
 
 
Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham
Indy Lights Autograph Session

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
 
 


Ryan Hunter-Reay
Autographs
GoPro Booth

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.


 
 
 
 

Veach Victorious at Historic Milwaukee Mile

Monday, August 18th, 2014

8.17.14 (via motorsport.com) – Zach Veach, driver of the No. 26 RePLAY XD Indy Lights car, started Sunday's 100-mile race from the pole position and led 43 laps on his way to his third victory of the 2014 season.
 
He moved to second in the championship points standing with two races remaining.
 
"My engineer told me, 'we need those points, push,' so I was trying to get the best restart that I could. I think I jumped Matt (Brabham) a little bit. He got a little worried and protected the inside, so I got lucky to drive around the outside… I just pushed as hard as I could. I'm just so happy to have the RepPLAY XD car in victory lane," Veach said.
 
Teammate Matthew Brabham, in the No. 83 United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED car, started third and finished second to mark the Indy Lights Rookie's fourth podium finish of the season. He led 57 of the 100 laps.
 
"I'm proud of what the team did. We came from a long way back, especially in practice yesterday, so credit to them. I'm just a little bit disappointed, but I still have to be happy we ran such a strong race. It was unfortunate that the yellow came out when I was in the lead by eight seconds. Zach (Veach) just got around me and managed to snooker me at the end, so congratulations to him. I'd just like to thank all my team – United Fiber & Data,  MAZDASPEED and all the guys – my crew did a great job this weekend."
 
 
 
 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Milwaukee IndyFest

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

8.13.14 – Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with all our Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at the historic Milwaukee Mile!

 

 

 

Friday, August 15



Marco Andretti

Piggly Wiggly

2201 E. Rawson Ave, Oak Creek, WI 53154

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.




James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

 



Carlos Munoz

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

 



Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.



 

Garett Grist, Shelby Blackstock
IndyFest Street Party

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


 

Michael Andretti

IndyFest Street Party Autograph Session

6:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

 





Saturday, August 16



Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham

IndyFest Tweet Up

Social Media Tent in the Infield

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Garett Grist, Shelby Blackstock

Pro Mazda Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.



 

Zach Veach, Matthew Brabham

Indy Lights Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 





Sunday, August 17



Michael Andretti

Coffee with Legends

Main Stage in the Infield

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.



 

James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti

Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.



 

Marco Andretti

Generations Q&A

Main Stage in the Infield

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Driver Appearances for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

7.29.14 - Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with all our Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and IndyCar drivers! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at Mid-Ohio! 

 

 

Thursday, July 31

Marco Andretti

Wal-Mart

2485 Possum Run Rd. Mansfield, OH 44903 

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

 

Friday, August 1

Shelby Blackstock & Garett Grist

Pro Mazda Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village 

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 

 

Saturday, August 2

Zach Veach & Matthew Brabham

Indy Lights Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village 

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

 

Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz & James Hinchcliffe

Verizon IndyCar Series Autograph Session

INDYCAR Fan Village

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.

 

 

Third-generation racer visits with Andretti Formula E

Friday, July 25th, 2014

7.25.14 – While Andretti Formula E continues to evaluate candidates for its second full-time driver in the new global FIA, all-electric racing series, the American team recently called up one of its own from its stateside outfit. Reigning Pro Mazda champion and Indy Lights rookie Matthew Brabham made his way across the pond to visit with the team at its headquarters in the UK where the 20-year-old took a tour of the brand spanking new facilities at Donington Park, met with team members and had the opportunity to have a look at the innovative electric cars up close and personal, including an opportunity to take the Spark Renault SRT-01E for a few test laps.
 
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me, and I’m very grateful to Andretti Autosport; they have a fantastic operation going here in the UK,” the third-generation racer said. “The Formula E car is very interesting and complex and I think it has a great future ahead. I believe we got some valuable data from my time in the car, and it was a lot of fun, so a big thank you to the team. The series is also littered with accomplished engineers and drivers, and in meeting them, I think it’s great for building my experience as well.”
 
Brabham, son of four-time IMSA Champion Geoff Brabham and grandson to the late three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, is no stranger to the UK. The Indianapolis resident’s cousin, Sam Brabham, currently competes in British Formula Ford and is based north of London, while uncle David Brabham will be competing at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans in October. Matthew’s trip to the Andretti Formula E headquarters is a testament to the confidence team owner Michael Andretti has in the rising star.
 
“Matty has a bright racing future ahead of him,” said Andretti. “He’s done a great job for us in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. As one of our drivers, we were happy to have him visit Donington and learn more about Formula E. We’re very much enjoying having him as a part of the Andretti team and look forward to being a part of his developing career. ”
 
Next up for the United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED driver, who currently lies fourth in the Indy Lights championship points fight, is a doubleheader race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the final week of July. Fans can watch the race on NBC Sports Network at 6:00 p.m. ET on 3 August.
 
 
 

Veach and TXDOT against distracted driving

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

6.17.14 – The current Indy Lights championship points leader, Zach Veach, made a special visit to Austin, TX Tuesday in support of Texas Department of Transportation’s (TXDOT) Distracted Driving Summit. The 19-year-old started the day before the sunrise in pit lane of the gorgeous Circuit of the Americas (COTA) facility with local media and families of those affected by distracted driving accidents to share their personal stories. Following the early morning hits, Veach was given the opportunity to tour the 3.4-mile permanent road course, even getting the chance to view the track from its iconic observation deck.
 

Leading off the summit was TXDOT Operations Director Carol Rawson who introduced the “rising IndyCar star” to the crowd settled into the COTA media center. The Ohio native spoke to the summit attendees about his personal story of losing a community member and schoolmate to a distracted driving accident. Veach also expressed that while driving at 180 mph as a race car driver, it’s imperative to be 100% focused, and should also be the same for drivers on the freeway even if they’re driving at just 60 mph.
 

In Texas alone in 2013, of the 94,943 traffic accidents that were caused by distracted driving, 459 of those were fatal, according to TXDOT. One in five accidents in Texas is caused by distracted driving – not limited to texting while driving or even talking on the phone albeit on a hands-free device. Changing the radio station, turning around in your seat to speak to passengers, cognitive distractions, in addition to phone usage are all means of distracted driving. Did you know that employers nationwide are liable for distracted driving accidents caused by their employees if the employees are operating a company vehicle, are using a cellular device provided by the company or are doing company business on their phone while operating a vehicle?
 

Although the driver of the No. 26 RePLAY XD Indy Lights machine may drive at speeds that are uncommon for everyday motorists, his 100% focus at the task at hand is what keeps him safe and helps him beat the competition. All operators of motor vehicles should be just as focused so they can keep themselves and those around them safe.

 

For more information on Zach’s advocacy efforts, please visit www.ZachVeach.com. To hear more about TXDOT’s efforts in reducing distracted driving, please visit http://www.txdot.gov/driver/share-road/distracted.html.

 

 

BRABHAM: My emotional month of May

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

5.31.2014 (via RACER.com) – The Indy Grand Prix and the Indy 500 have come and gone, and the month of May is almost over; it has certainly gone by in a flash. I have been absorbed solely into racing and nothing else during this time and it feels nice to finally have a little bit of a break before the next race at Pocono in July.

There have been some highs and lows, but it has been an amazing experience. It was very gut wrenching and saddening for my whole family to lose my grandfather, Poppy. I know he would have been very upset with me if I had let his passing interrupt my focus for the Freedom 100, as racing was everything to him. So, I tried to look on the positive side and stay clear-minded.
 

Poppy's life was absolutely amazing; he lived in a great era and what he achieved during his time on this earth was incredible. I'm completely blown away from all of the support and condolences from everyone. It has made me incredibly proud, especially when I went to Lucas Oil Raceway and saw that all the USF2000 and Pro Mazda competitors had the same tribute sticker that I ran at the Freedom 100 on their cars. It was hard to keep my emotions in check. I had a strong month racing-wise and I felt Poppy was with me all the way.
 

There was a great deal of expectation leading into the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race. The hype of the Indy 500 and everything else going on around us was hard to totally absorb. We also only had two days on track; I wish we had more time on The Speedway as it was such a blast to drive on. It went by so quickly and it was all over before I knew it.
 

Practice didn't start out so well for us. We all did qualifying simulations in the only morning practice session on Thursday, and straight away it became apparent that the Sam Schmidt cars were very quick. The team and I were still confident we could go out and be in contention for pole, but it was a little disheartening when that didn't happen. Zach Veach and I spent the rest of the session working together on our race setups. My racecar felt very good in practice, and Zach and I worked really well together, but it was hard to tell how we both compared to the rest of the field.
 

Qualifying went as we thought with Zach and I lining up in the second row behind Luis Razia and Jack Harvey. Everyone was very close except for Luis, who absolutely smoked us, which was a worry. I figured it would be really hard to break the draft in the race, and I felt as though my race setup was really good so I remained confident.
 

Carb Day was amazing! I was surprised at how many people were at IMS. I almost missed the drivers briefing because it was chock-a-block traffic getting into the track. It was a really cool experience to be competing in front of such a big crowd. They gave us all the pre-race lead in's and introductions, which was really special. It made it a little more nerve-wracking before the start of the race, but once we pulled out of pit lane, all my emotions and butterflies disappeared; I was only focused on the race.

 

 

 

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Carlos Munoz primed for Indianapolis 500 success

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

5.10.14 (via theindychannel.com) – As a rookie in 2013, Carlos Munoz finished second in the Indianapolis 500.

At just age 22, Munoz is a young man on the move. He began his pro career at age 15, working his way up from Formula 3 through Indy Lights to a full-time ride this season with Andretti Autosport.

"I'm really happy, especially at 22 years old," Munoz said. "A top team usually doesn't like the young drivers. Ganassi or Penske, they prefer the experienced drivers."

Munoz, a Colombian native, now lives in Miami.

"It's nice to be here. Since I was a child, I came here with my family to Miami to have holidays," Munoz said.

Munoz was fast from the beginning of last year's Indy 500 and was firmly in the race on Pole Day, qualifying second, only the fourth rookie to start on the front row in the last 15 years.

Kanaan held Munoz off to claim his first Indy 500 win.

"I don't think about it much," Munoz said. "It's in the past. I have another shot this year. I didn't cross the finish line first. You just have to stop thinking what would have happened."

Getting ready for this year's race has meant a lot of work away from the track.

"I work out five times a week, biking and running, swimming, gym sessions," Munoz said. "I also do one day of go-cart."

As an active triathlete, Miami gives Munoz plenty of places to train on land and water.

"It's not nice to be all the time in the gym. Here, I can run outside. I can do swimming in the ocean," he said.

The south Florida setting is also good for rest and relaxation.

 

 

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