Archive for the ‘Verizon Indycar Series’ Category

INDYCAR unveils diverse 17-race schedule for ’15

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

10.30.2014 (via IndyCar.com) – Two new races and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race highlight the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule announced today.
 
The 17-race campaign begins Sunday, March 8, on the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet road course in the Brazil capital of Brasilia and concludes Sunday, Aug. 30, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., which will mark the first time since Mexico City in 2007 that an Indy car champion will be crowned at a road course. Both races will be televised by NBCSN.
 
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off the North American schedule for the fifth year in a row on Sunday, March 29. “The World’s Fastest Spring Break Party” on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg (Fla.) street circuit will mark the debut of aerodynamic body kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda to their respective teams. ABC will televise the race at 3 p.m. (ET).
 
The most diverse schedule in motorsports includes events on technically challenging road and street courses, short ovals and superspeedways that is sure to deliver another exciting year of competition. In 2014, Will Power of Team Penske earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship in a season that featured a record-tying 11 different race winners. The Verizon IndyCar Series champion has been determined in the final race the past nine seasons.
 
Click it: Watch the 2015 schedule primer
 
ABC will telecast six events, including both days of Indianapolis 500 qualifications and the 500 Mile Race, while NBCSN will telecast 13 events. All races will be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network through its affiliates, including SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the INDYCAR 15 app and www.indycar.com.
 
“The Verizon IndyCar Series calendar represents another step forward in our strategy to grow the series,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “There were several factors that led to the positive momentum we experienced in 2014 and we will continue to execute on those initiatives – continuity in our broadcast schedule, strategic growth of our schedule and improvements to how we promote our events. The continued support from our television partners at ABC and NBCSN, and the ongoing collaboration with promoters, teams and sponsor partners gives us a lot of confidence about our future.”
 
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday, April 12 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) at NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans is the other new venue on the schedule followed by the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 19, NBCSN) and a return to scenic Barber Motorsports Park (April 26, NBCSN).
 
The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will kick off with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis (May 9, ABC) and will be followed by Indy 500 qualifications (May16-17, ABC). NBCSN will telecast Carb Day activities May 22 that include the final practice session and the Freedom 100 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race. The month culminates May 24 with the Indianapolis 500.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Abt tests for Andretti

Monday, October 27th, 2014

10.27.14 (via IndyCar.com) – A crescent moon of a smile is unveiled as Daniel Abt slides the terrycloth towel across his face following an exhaustive but productive outing at Barber Motorsports Park.
 
“Ich habe einen guten Tag hatte,” says the exuberant Abt in his native German, which loosely translates to “I’ve had a good day” in the Honda-powered No. 27 Andretti Autosport car on an unseasonably warm autumn day. It was an enjoyable one, too, for the GP2 driver, who came to the 2.38-mile, 16-turn road course to appraise the prospects of competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015 and be evaluated by team personnel.
 
Interest in the series and racing in the States was piqued by an American friend and fellow competitor, and much time didn’t lapse before Abt was hooked on the series’ blend of street, road courses and ovals.
 
Daniel Abt“I guess it all started with Conor Daly being my teammate. He kept telling me stories about IndyCar so my attention got more and more serious as I watched the races, and I went to Fontana (Calif.) this year to see the race live,” says Abt, 21. “I’m just at a certain stage of my career where I want to take the next step and IndyCar is certainly a great option so that is why I’m here.
 
“I’m not just doing the test because I’m bored and I want to spend some time racing. First of all, I want to get a feeling for the car and the people. I don’t know what the options are at the moment, but I’m interested in doing the season if the package is right and everything is like I want it to be.”
 
In 20 GP2 races this year with Hilmer Motorsport, Abt has a best finish of fifth (Hungary sprint and feature races, Belgium feature) and one pole start (Belgium feature race). He is 15th in the drivers’ championship standings with two races left in the season Nov. 22-23 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Jolyon Palmer wrapped up the drivers’ title at Sochi, Russia, earlier this month.
 
Last year in GP2, Abt placed 22nd in the standings with ART Grand Prix. He won two races and earned five other podiums in 16 races in placing second in the 2012 GP2 standings with Lotus GP.
 
“GP2 is only a feeder series, so it’s not a series you want to do for the rest of your career. It’s to get experience,” Abt says. “But you don’t have that many options in Europe. You have Formula One, which at the moment is really hard to get in because of money and politics. I think INDYCAR is a great series, and racing in the U.S. is different I have to say. It’s a whole new style of everything, but when you race in Europe your entire life it’s interesting to see something new, meet new people and go to new tracks.
 
“I met Marco (Andretti) in Fontana; just a nice bunch of people. I really liked how all the drivers were open and friendly, and I think that is the spirit that all series should have.”
 
Abt spent time in the Dallara simulator in Speedway, Ind., so as to not hit the challenging serpentine circuit cold, which he noted was another positive about the Michael Andretti-led team. He could fill the vacancy of the No. 27 entry following the move earlier this month of James Hinchcliffe to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2015 season.

 

 
 
 

Teammates again on international stage

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

10.22.2014 (via IndyCar.com) – Ryan Hunter-Reay and Kurt Busch will be teammates again Dec. 13-14 when they will represent the USA in the Race of Champions' Nations Cup at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados.
 
In May, Hunter-Reay won the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and Busch was voted the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after a sixth-place finish. Both drove Andretti Autosport-prepared cars.
 
"I've raced for a lot of great sponsors in my career, but to race for my country, that's something pretty special," said Busch, 36, the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion who is 15th in the series standings heading into the Oct. 26 race at Martinsville, Va. "You look at the names of the people who've competed in the Race Of Champions, past and present, to be included on that list is a real honor. I'm excited to team up with Ryan again. He won the Indy 500 for our team, hopefully we can win this one for the United States."
 
Star drivers from multiple motorsports disciplines compete in head-to-head knockout races in identical cars on a serpentine racetrack to determine the Champion of Champions. In the Nations Cup, featured in the Race of Champions since 1999, both drivers representing their country compete head-to-head on the parallel track against other countries in their group. The four most successful teams progress to the knockout semifinals.
 
Hunter-Reay, who was named to the field last month, competed in the Race of Champions in 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand, following his Verizon IndyCar Series championship. He is the most successful American driver currently in open-wheel racing and the only driver to have won in the Verizon IndyCar Series, CART, Champ Car, American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am.
 
“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.” 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Postseason driver profile: Andretti’s ups and downs

Monday, 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

Monday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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."
 
 

Speedway Style: Marco Andretti on racing, fashion and why DWTS is not in his future

Monday, September 8th, 2014

9.8.14 (via Fashion Trends Daily) – You never forget your first time.

Deep growls reverberated throughout my body. My pulse quickened and I could nearly taste the adrenaline rush. The deafening groans were almost too much to take as the sleek bodies hugged the curves — and then it passed and for a moment and I could breathe again. My first Indy Car race. I would never be the same.

It was my first time at the Long Beach Grand Prix, where in addition to feeling the visceral excitement of racing for the first time (TV does not count), I spotted Marco Andretti posing graciously and confidently with two of his many adoring fans. It was evident why racing and style are such seductive bedfellows and why Andretti, who hails from one of racing’s most illustrious families, is considered one of the sport’s top ambassadors. Straight out of the gate in 2006, Andretti finished second in his first Indianapolis 500 in the second-closest finish in 500 history and was named Rookie of the Year. Later that year, Andretti won at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. at just 19 years old. He has since finished top five in the Indy 500 five out of the last nine years.

While IndyCar racing has always been considered the kind of sexy sport that attracts high-end sponsors who capitalize on the industry’s equally sexy cars, camera-ready drivers (both men and women now) and high-octane action, what is newer to IndyCar racing has been luxury fashion and accessories companies stepping into the mix — both with sponsorship of the cars and collaborations and partnerships with the drivers. This past year we saw Detroit-based heritage and watch brand Shinola as a major sponsor of the Detroit race and  Izod, William Rast have also been past sponsors and luxury watch brands such as LAPIZTA and B.R.M. (Bernard Richards Manufacture) have collaborated with IndyCar drivers for exclusive lines. (Read more here).

Promoting the upcoming series finale at Auto Club Speedway outside Los Angeles, Andretti took the time to chat with Fashion Trends Daily from his home in Pennsylvania and give us a look into what it’s like to be one of racing’s hottest names and style arbiters — and why he thinks he’s just too boring for reality TV. (For the record: We beg to differ! How boring can you be if you vacation with Ludacris and can say that Ice-T and Coco’s dog King Maximus fathered your bulldog?!)

Read on for our fun chat with Andretti!

Fashion Trends Daily: I went to the Long Beach Grand Prix this year, and I saw firsthand how gracious you were with fans before the race, posing for pictures, giving autographs. Have you seen a change in the type of IndyCar fan coming to the track during your career? 

Marco Andretti: You know what’s funny? I’m not sure I see a difference in the fans, but I see in difference in myself. I’m often misperceived because I have a million things going on in my head at the racetrack. So I’ve been really working on myself and working on being more graceful with fans.

 

Read more here…

 

 

 

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.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Andretti Autosport’s Steve Barry named IndyCar Truck Driver of the Year

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

9.4.2014 - Steve Barry is one of the many members of the Andretti Autosport family and also one of the co-pilots of the No. 27 United Fiber & Data transporter that houses the two Honda-powered Indy cars of James Hinchcliffe. As a Transportation Manager, or truckie as they are fondly known, Barry drives the bright blue and white transporter from race to race, back to Andretti HQ and back out again. He, alongside the rest of Andretti Autosport's truckies, set up the "garage" at each race event or test, manage the pit box, load and unload all of our equipment and help with the ever-important pit stops during races. For 2014 he was named IndyCar Truck Driver of the Year by his fellow truckies throughout the paddock.

"I'm pleasantly surprised and humbled about this award," the Milwaukee native said. "Sometimes you're out here just working and doing your job and don't realize that other people watch. It's kind of humbling to know that all the work you put in gets noticed by other people. I think this whole award is chosen by the other people you work with out here and all the other guys that drive the trucks and set up the pits. There are eyes on you all the time – we're kind of a separate entity from the crew itself, and our responsibilty every weekend is to make everything gel. From that perspective, it's just nice that the other guys know you're doing a good job and vote for you."

The 15-year veteran of motorsport notes he is thankful to have his wife Sarah for holding down the fort all by herself while he travels with his Andretti Autosport family for so many days out of the year. Barry has been with Andretti Autosport since 2011 where he first started in the team's hospitality department; he has co-piloted one of the team's trucks for three years and now resides in Indianapolis with Sarah and their pets.

 

Congrats Steve! We're happy to have you be a part of the Andretti family!