Archive for the ‘Indy Lights’ Category

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.

 

 

 

Read more here… 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Read more here…

 

 

Matthew Brabham scores first Indy Lights win

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

5.9.14 (via RACER.com) – The Brabham family finally has a victory to its credit at the hallowed Indianapolis Motor Speedway after third generation racer Matthew Brabham made light of treacherous conditions to lead throughout this evening's fifth round of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Brabham, who had qualified Andretti Autosport's #83 United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED entry on the pole earlier in the day, held off a race-long challenge on a rapidly drying track from Brazilian GP2 graduate Luiz Razia (#7 Lucas Oil with Curb-Agajanian) to score his first Indy Lights race win.

 

Brabham, 20, who was born in Florida and raised in Australia, now has added a race win at the highest level of the Mazda Road to Indy after winning back-to-back titles in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

 

The track was thoroughly soaked after a heavy rain shower immediately following the preceding Pro Mazda race, so every competitor had no choice but to start on grooved Cooper tires. Brabham, whose grandfather Sir Jack Brabham pioneered the rear-engined revolution at the Indianapolis 500 in the early 1960s and whose father, Geoff Brabham, made 10 Indy 500 starts of his own (with a best finish of fourth in 1983), led away from the pole but came under pressure almost immediately from Colombian-American Gabby Chaves, who had already won two races this season for Belardi Auto Racing.

 

Chaves slipped through into the lead at Turn One on the second lap only to later relinquish the lead once again to Brabham. Chaves' teammate, Alex Baron, moved up into second before quickly realizing his car's setup didn't work on a wet track as he fell immediately into the clutches of Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport) and Razia (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian).

 

The opening stages of the 40-minute race were thoroughly entertaining as positions swapped and changed with regularity – albeit not for the lead as Brabham put his head down and led by as much as three seconds by Lap 9. By then a dry line had begun to emerge and, despite lingering dark clouds, there was no further precipitation.

 

As the track began to dry quite quickly, drivers started to seek damp patches on the road surface to prevent their wet-weather tires from overheating. Razia gradually whittled the deficit to Brabham to less than a second, but he was able to get no closer. Brabham managed the margin – and his tires – to perfection to claim a finely judged victory.

 

 

 

Read more here…

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for week of May 5, 2014

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

5.7.14 - Don't miss out on your opportunity to visit with our INDYCAR drivers from Pro Mazda to Indy Lights and the Verizon IndyCar Series! Check out the list of appearances for our weekend at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis!

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, May 8
 
James Hinchcliffe
Pit Pass LIVE
Gasoline Alley at IMS or AndrettiTV.com
9:30 a.m.
 
 
Marco Andretti
Walgreens signing
1424 S. Rangeline Rd, Carmel, IN 46032
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
 
 
 
Friday, May 9
 
James Hinchcliffe
Pit Pass LIVE
Gasoline Alley at IMS or AndrettiTV.com
9:30 a.m.
 
 
Zach Veach & Matthew Brabham
Indy Lights autographs
INDYCAR Fan Village
3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
 
 
Marco Andretti, Franck Montagny, James Hinchcliffe,
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz
REV Indy
North & East Chalets – IMS
6:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
 
 
 
Saturday, May 10
 
Shelby Blackstock & Garett Grist
Pro Mazda autographs
INDYCAR Fan Village
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
 
 
 
 

VEACH: My ride on the Alabamian rollercoaster

Monday, May 5th, 2014

5.5.14 (via RACER.com) – Out of all of the tracks we will compete on in the 2014 season, Barber is the one place that all of us in Indy Lights have the most testing time at. Throughout the winter, we spent a total of four days running together learning the track and preparing the cars. The only not-so-ideal thing was the Alabamian weather in December and February. At both tests, we all suffered through 45 and below temperatures… and a lot of rain, which wasn't exactly the case for us this past weekend, 75 and sunny… well, mostly sunny, but we'll get to that.

 

Coming off of our pole and second place at Long Beach just a couple weeks before, the team and I had a lot of momentum and confidence rolling into our two practice sessions on the promoter test day. Eager to get the weekend started, we were the first ones to roll onto the track as soon as it went green Thursday morning, but after the two test sessions that day, we knew we had some work to do as a team. We ended P3 in the first session and P4 in the second. With the dramatic change in the ambient and track temperature compared to the test, our cars needed a bit of a makeover to fit the new conditions.

 

On Friday, we had one early practice and then straight to qualifying. We knew we still had a chance to improve the car a bit, so we changed a good amount of things and were able to see what worked and what didn't, which led us to make a list of things to try in the 45-minute qualifying session and just keep working away hundredth by hundredth to get where we needed to be.

 

At the start we were P3, about 2.5 tenths off of pole position, but with 35 minutes to go, we didn't panic and just focused what we needed to do on the car. The next outing, we managed to get that gap down to just a tenth. We were finally dialing the car into where we needed to be, and at this point we had just about 10 minutes to go and one last change to try. My engineer told me to remember back to Long Beach and push the car as much as I could. On the out lap, I could tell we made the right change; I felt I had a car for pole – I just had to focus and make it happen. On my first timed lap, my projected was on a pole lap, but I just pushed too hard and made a mistake.

 

With the tires falling off so quickly at Barber, I knew I had only one or two more opportunities for a lap like that and I didn't want to throw that chance away. My second lap allowed me the pole by a tenth, but I knew I could get just a little more out of it. On my third, I pushed as hard as I could and snuck out five more hundredths. I couldn't believe it! We started off the weekend a step behind, and my engineer and I were able to rebound, stay positive and take our second consecutive pole of the season. It's just a starting position, but with it being so difficult to pass at Barber, it was definitely progress toward another win.

 

The way the past two Indy Lights races have gone, the race is ether won or lost in the first corner. We were 100% focused on how we could get a good start, because chances are, if you lead through Turn 1 at Barber, and have a consistent race, you can run your way to victory.

 

In the first race, I was lucky enough to be able to do just to that. Starting on the pole, I made sure I had a good run onto the front straight to give me what advantage I could take being the pole sitter into Turn 1, but it wasn't much. As we approached the brake zone, we were almost three wide again – Gabby (Chaves) looking to the inside and (Alex) Baron still hanging on the outside. After Gabby took the pole away from me at Long Beach, I wasn't going to let it happen again here. I broke later than I ever had into Turn 1 that just let me slip ahead. As I got to the exit, I looked in my mirrors and saw the two of them going off track. At first I had no idea what happened, but after review the two of them had made costly contact. From there on, I knew I just needed to build a gap up and save my tiresuntil the end. After 30 laps, I saw the checkered flags flying to drive to my second win in Indy Lights this season which ultimately helped extend our championship lead.

 

In the second race I didn't get the honor of starting on the pole. For the doubleheaders it goes off of your first and second fastest laps in qualifying; I missed pole for Race Two by just .02 hundredths of a second. Our race on Sunday was actually moved to 30 minutes earlier to try to escape the threat of strong rain, but it still looked as if, at some point in the race, we'd have to deal with it. My engineer and I decided to take a gamble and go toward a wet setup just in case, and looking back, we might have got caught out on it a bit. On the start Gabby and Baron worked really well together bump drafting into Turn 1 leaving me stuck on the outside falling back to third.

 

Right away, we just didn't have the speed with the wet setup on the car and I was left defending a lot of pressure from fourth place (Luiz) Razia, and he was making me work for it. As we got to halfway, it started to drizzle, and at first I thought our plan was going to work out, but after a few laps it stopped. With about 10 laps to go, I had to think about the championship – try not making any mistakes and just driving home our third place. Unfortunately, it was a little bittersweet. The rain came down very heavy at the end cutting the race three laps short. I could've used the rain a lot earlier, but all-in-all, I was very happy with the weekend. We have two wins, two poles and four podiums in four races, which is letting us leave Barber with a nine-point advantage over Gabby going into the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

 

I want to thank my engineer and the Andretti Autosport crew for doing such an amazing job for me so far this season, as well as RePLAY XD, Young Marines, ADS IT Solutions, Zakosi Data Back Up, Bell and OMP for all of their support. Last but definitely not least, thank you for reading, and I hope to see some of you in Indy!

 

Zach

 

 

BRABHAM: Just one of those weekends

Monday, May 5th, 2014

5.5.15 (via RACER.com) – Barber, for me, was just one of those weekends. Obviously things did not go according to plan, and likewise, certain things didn't fall in our favor. The track conditions and weather were considerably different compared to the last time we tested there. The temperature was double than what it was at the test, and it was amazing how that affected our setup, so we seemed to be playing catch-up all weekend.
 

Challenging! Yes, I have to admit, but I came away from the weekend with even more determination. It has been a while since I have had to really dig deep and fight it out in the middle of the pack. Experiences like this certainly develop not only your skills, but are also character-building.

The qualifying session started OK as we were in and out of the top four, depending on who had new Cooper Tires on. But, we lost our way a little bit and did not have an extra set at the end, and as a result, I ended up a disappointing sixth.
 

My Andretti Autosport teammate Zach Veach was having simular problems to myself, but they made the right call on setup at the end of qualifying and captured the pole; unfortunately, we ran out of time and did not get a chance to do the same.

 

Barber is a notoriously difficult track for passing with really only one opportunity to pass at the start. Starting from the sixth position for both races was certainly not ideal… also survival through the first turn was crucial.

 

At the start of Race 1, the two Belardi Auto Racing cars hit each other in the first corner and I was able to slip through into fourth place. The changes to the setup made the car much better, and I was quicker than the car in front of me; passing was a whole other issue, and unfortunately, I spent the entire race following. I couldn't quite overcome the aero wash and the loss of down force. I could get close in certain corners but never close enough to make a clean pass for the podium position. This was rather frustrating, but it reminded me how important qualifying is in these cars.

 

The track conditions for Race Two on the following day were very different. Our race was scheduled immediately after the World Challenge cars, and along with the significant weather changes, it was going to be a guessing game for everyone. Unfortunately these factors changed the balance of the track and it seemed to affect both Zach and I negatively in the race. Although both of our setups seemed to be heading in the right direction, our balance still needed improvement.

 

Unlike the first race, the second race got off to a clean start. Although I managed to get a good jump, I had nowhere to go, and I maintained my position through the first corner. Just as in Race 1, I was having a hard time following the car in front, and I couldn't get close enough to make the lunge for the position. My only option was to continually attack and keep the pressure on… just maybe they would make that tiny error that would enable me to get by, however, I was never to get that opportunity. Earlier in the race I had the engine hesitate and I thought 'no that doesn't feel right'. But I thought luck was shining on me when the engine seemed to correct itself. With around 15 laps to go, my car completely died coming out of Turn 2 and I lost fuel pressure. The kind of luck I wasn't looking for paid me a visit, and I was forced to pull the car off to the side of the track and retire - that's my first DNF in a long time.

 

Barber is one of the prettiest circuits I have ever been to; however, when you pull off the track and have to jump the fence, the bushes on the other side are very difficult to clear. I ended up all tangled up in them, so hope nobody was filming me!

 

I know I am more motivated and determined than ever. All of us will be working even harder for that place on top of the podium. The month of May is almost here, and along with the excitement of the traditional Freedom 100 oval race for us, we also have the inaugural road course race to look forward to. What a blast! The new track looks brilliant and I can't wait to go racing again.

 

-Matty