Archive for the ‘Pro Mazda’ Category
3.21.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Carlos Munoz’s two 2013 starts for Andretti Autosport in an IndyCar produced audible gasps more often than not.
There was no way he was going to make some of the moves and entry lines he did work. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his line of arcing in so high and then diving so low below the white line in the turns should not have ended without him in the wall. But it did, in second place in his Indianapolis 500 debut.
Then at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in October, Munoz was moving high or low with ease in an action-packed 100 laps. Then, just past the century-mark, it finally bit him.
The 22-year-old Colombian is a seriously impressive star in the making, and with a full offseason to prepare for his first full season in the championship, he’s the early favorite for rookie-of-the-year honors in the team’s No. 34 Cinsay Honda.
Don’t tell him that, though. Munoz is a quiet, introspective student appreciative of the teammates around him and his countryman, Juan Pablo Montoya, who he’ll have the chance to race this year.
“Yeah, I’m a really quiet guy. I’m really shy,” Munoz admitted during IndyCar media day in Orlando. “That doesn’t mean I’m – how you say – bad person. I’m quiet and shy compared to James (Hinchcliffe). He’s always talking, making jokes, completely different mind.
“But they treat me as one of them. They treat me really well. After Indy they treat me really well! But it’s great to have this combination of drivers, no?”
Munoz didn’t need to produce a star turn in the ‘500 to earn his place on the grid, but it didn’t hurt. He showed enough aggression, poise and pace in his two full seasons in Indy Lights that he was projected to move up this year, despite not winning the championship a year ago.
“That race just gave me the opportunity to be here in a full season,” he said. “I have another chance to go get that race. I’m focused on this year. But now I have my chance and I have to think and work for it.”
At least initially, he may have a slight pace edge on his two countrymen, Montoya and Sebastian Saavedra. Montoya will need to shake the rust off after his extended open-wheel hiatus, while Saavedra acclimates to a new team at KV/AFS Racing.
Munoz said Montoya wasn’t so much his idol, as much as a symbol of what could be achieved when Munoz was growing up. But he plans to consider him just “one of the guys” once on track.
“I don’t like the word ‘idolized,’ but he was a symbol for me when I was a kid, an example for me and many Colombian drivers, to follow him,” Munoz said.
Brabham, 20, is part of the Brabham Family dynasty as grandson of three-time Formula One champion Jack Brabham, son of four-time IMSA GTP champion Geoff Brabham and nephew of two-time ALMS LMP champion David Brabham. With this scholarship he will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire, Director of Performance Prime, on an individually-designed performance-enhancement program, and will benefit from a unique training program at Jim Leo's PitFit Training – all courtesy of Gorsline Company.
2.28.14 (via RACER.com) – The rivalry that is developing between Matthew Brabham and Gabby Chaves continued to gain momentum when the Cooper Tires Winterfest Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series test concluded with two more days of testing at Barber Motorsports Park. As was the case last Friday and Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana, the two protagonists were rarely separated by more than a few tenths of a second during four sessions yesterday and today on the scenic and challenging 2.3-mile road course. On this occasion it was Brabham who emerged with the fastest time for Andretti Autosport.
Brabham, who is seeking to become the first driver ever to win all three steps on the Mazda Road to Indy in consecutive seasons after claiming the 2012 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda championship and last year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires title, posted a best of 1:15.160 in bitterly cold conditions this afternoon.
"I'm coming out of this test a lot more confident than I was going in, that's for sure. I think we proved that we definitely have the pace to run up front. We were in the top two, fighting for the first few positions time-wise, in every single session, so I'm really, really confident and very happy with how the team's working. They're doing an awesome job. I can't thank the guys enough and I'm really looking forward to the first race in St. Petersburg. It's going to be interesting to see where everybody ends up when testing finishes and we get to the first race, but so far so good for us."
Chaves, who paced this morning's session for Belardi Auto Racing, ended up second overall with a time of 1:15.461 set this afternoon.
Brazilian Luiz Razia completed the test third fastest for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at 1:15.522. The veteran of GP2 in Europe headed Andretti Autosport's Zach Veach (1:15.728), from Stockdale, Ohio, who was feeling much better after being hit by a nasty throat infection last weekend, and Englishman Jack Harvey in a second Schmidt Peterson car on 1:15.806.
2.28.14 – Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires sophomore Zach Veach spent his Friday visiting with eighth-grade students at Riverside Jr. High in nearby Fishers, IN. Veach spoke to six classes totaling about 180 students at the Northside school.
The high school graduate related the technology of Indy cars to what the students in Mr. Brad Bill’s students are about to begin discussing in his Technology Education classes. Zach spoke about aerodynamics, each part of the car, technology within the steering wheel and the journey that has brought him to where he is as an Indy Lights driver today.
“I am very privileged to be here today at Riverside (Jr. High) speaking to Mr. Bill’s eighth-grade classes about my passion and hopefully getting more youth involved in our sport,” the 19-year-old said. “A lot of the kids seem very interested in what we’re showing them. I’m hoping to see a lot of them make it out to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May!”
This is the fifth year Andretti Autosport has participated in a school visit with Riverside Jr. High bringing along a show car to reference to during the visit for Mr. Bill’s class.
Veach and Indy Lights teammate Matthew Brabham will next head to Milwaukee, WI this weekend for a series of appearances on behalf of the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. Fans can meet the American Andretti Autosport duo at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show in front of the Milwaukee IndyFest show car on Saturday from 3 – 4 p.m. CT and 11a.m. – 12p.m. on Sunday. They will also be bowling at JB’s on 41 Sunday at 7p.m. for anyone who would like to join.
2.27.14 (via RACER.com) – Three of auto racing's rising stars under the age of 21 who have already demonstrated their talents on North American racetracks for at least a dozen years are candidates for the 20th Gorsline Scholarship in 2014.
2.12.14 (via IndyCar) – Eighty-three.
It’s the number that will adorn Matthew Brabham’s white and turquoise United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED car in his inaugural season in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. However, 83 is not just a number. It’s family.
“The first time I raced go-karts I was in the 83,” said Brabham, the American-born, Australian-reared driver. “It was my dad’s number when he was racing in the IMSA GTP days. It’s kind of a weird thing with my family, between just my mom, myself and my dad.”
If one of the trio races on four wheels, they use 83. If it’s racing on two wheels or less, as Matthew does with when he competes in BMX, it’s flipped to 38.
Brabham, 19, signed with Andretti Autosport in October, and is one of three members of the Brabham gene pool currently competing in some form of racing. Nicknamed “Matty Brabs,” he has raced since age 7 in the Australian Midget go-karting class. While his family has deep racing roots with his Hall of Fame father Geoff Brabham and grandfather Sir Jack Brabham, a three-time Formula One champion, it was from the maternal side of his family that he first remembers experiencing competition.
“I don’t even know how old I was. But standing on the side of the beach at Lake Havasu for the (International Jet Sports Boating Association) World Finals and watching my mom race jet skis was fun,” Brabham said.
Brabham has since conquered every racing challenge. In 2012, after moving to Florida, he won the USF2000 championship with four wins and seven more podium finishes. He followed that in Pro Mazda with a record 13 wins, including a record seven victories in a row.
“My dad and my family have been in racing for so long and they’re very good and very supportive of how to go about things,” said Brabham, who turns 20 on Feb. 25. “Having a family like that, they try to keep you as humble as possible.”