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Marco Andretti rides Indy 500 momentum to Detroit Grand Prix

May 31st, 2014

5.31.2014 (via Daily Tribune) – Marco Andretti smiled when he was reminded that Honda engines were in both cars that won IndyCar races on Belle Isle last year. “We have to keep it up,” the driver of the No. 25 Snapple Honda said.

The game within the game will be part of the drama this weekend when the IndyCar Series stages two points races in Detroit, corporate home of Honda rival Chevrolet, which also happens to be the title sponsor of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

“We sure are,” Andretti said when asked if drivers are aware of the competition between the engine makers.

Andretti, 27, wore a golf shirt embroidered with logos of sponsors, Honda included, when he signed autographs and chatted with fans at a Kroger store in Shelby Township on Thursday.

The Pennsylvania native’s appearance represented calm before the racing storm that begins Friday with two practice sessions that precede 70-lap races Saturday and Sunday on the 2.3-mile Belle Isle street course.

“Track position, qualifying, pit stops: We need to execute everything,” Andretti said. “I need to get the monkey off my back. I need a win.”

Andretti came to Michigan feeling good about his driving and his season, even if he does thirst for a first-place finish. He took third last Sunday in the Indianapolis 500, which was won by Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay. Andretti led 20 laps in the 98th running of the 500, which paid double points, and posted his third top-10 finish in five races this season.

“As much as I was disappointed with not winning the Indy 500, you have to look at the positives,” the grandson of open-wheel racing legend Mario Andretti and son of two-time Belle Isle winner Michael Andretti said.

“It was like two podium (top three) finishes because of the double points,” Marco said.

 

Read more here…  

 

 

Andretti Formula E Announces Team’s First FIA Formula E Driver

May 29th, 2014

5.29.14 – Andretti Formula E, the FIA Formula E division of race team Andretti Autosport, will welcome French-native Franck Montagny to the team's stable of full-time drivers. With a diverse and extensive racing resume, Montagny becomes the first driver announced for Michael Andretti's two-car Formula E effort.

Although both new to Formula E for its debut season, the relationship between Andretti and Montagny dates back to 2008 when Montagny competed in the ALMS series with Andretti Autosport, he then returned to the team in 2009 with the IndyCar Series and again for the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

"It is a great honor to be racing again with Andretti Autosport and Michael Andretti." said Montagny. "I worked a great deal with the team in 2008 and 2009, and again this year, and working together on this new electric challenge will be exciting. I am convinced that this new fully-electric technology in the automotive industry will become a very important characteristic of our day to day lives in the future, and this high-level racing competition will very quickly bring new technical developments just as Formula 1 did in the past for everyday automobiles."

In addition to his resume with Andretti Autosport, Montagny boasts 12 starts at the historic 24 Hours de Le Mans with four-podium finishes, in addition to five years of Formula One experience with seven grand prix competitions.

In addition to his time on track as a driver, Montagny has spent a great deal of time working in front of the camera with the French TV Group TF1 as a Formula One consultant and pit reporter for "Canal+".

The FIA Formula E Championship will travel to Beijing, China for the debut round of competition taking place in September 2014.

For more information visit AndrettiAutosport.com or FIAFormulaE.com.

 

 

 

Hunter-Reay holds off Castroneves to win Indy 500

May 27th, 2014

5.27.2014 (via the Associated Press) – The finish was worth the wait for Ryan Hunter-Reay, who used a series of daredevil moves to deny Helio Castroneves a chance at history.

Hunter-Reay became the first American since 2006 to win the Indianapolis 500, passing Castroneves at the Yard of Bricks as the two bright yellow cars raced wheel-to-wheel under the white flag in a thrilling final lap. As Hunter-Reay surged ahead down the backstretch, Castroneves took one final look coming out of Turn 4 but couldn't pull off the pass.

Hunter-Reay won by 0.060 seconds — the second closest finish in race history since Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds in 1992.

"I'm a proud American boy, that's for sure," Hunter-Reay said in Victory Lane. "I've watched this race since I was sitting in diapers on the floor in front of the TV. This is American history, this race, this is American tradition."

Castroneves, trying to become the fourth driver to win a record fourth Indianapolis 500, settled for second. He was devastated by the defeat and needed several moments to compose himself, slumped in his car, head down and helmet on, before he was ready to speak. The Brazilian said a caution with 10 laps to go that caused a red flag so track workers could clean up debris and make repairs to the track wall broke his rhythm.

"It was a great fight," he smiled. "I tell you what, I was having a great time. Unfortunately second. It's good, but second sucks, you know what I mean?"

Marco Andretti finished third and Carlos Munoz was fourth as Andretti Autosport had three cars in the top four, as well as the winner.

Kurt Busch, also in a Honda for Andretti, was sixth in his first race of the day. He left immediately after the race to fly to North Carolina for Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race, where he his attempt to become the second driver to complete 1,100 miles (1770 kilometers) in both races on the same day ended when his car blew an engine late.

Three other drivers made the attempt, but only Tony Stewart in 2001 completed The Double. Stewart was sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"All in all, I'm very pleased. I cannot believe the execution of this team," Busch said before hustling away to a helicopter ride to his waiting plane. "I tried to enjoy it. My throat's real dry because I was smiling the whole time and the fresh air was coming in my mouth."

Marco Andretti appeared to have a shot at the win, but never could mix it up with Hunter-Reay and Castroneves as the two leaders swapped position four times in the final five laps.

"Ryan's just been a huge part of our team, a great guy, a friend," said Michael Andretti, who won for the third time as a team owner and watched his son finish third. "To have him get a win here is awesome, he deserves it, he deserves to have his face on that trophy. If it couldn't be Marco, he's the next guy I wanted."

 

Read more here…  

 

 

 

Kurt Busch Named 2014 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year

May 27th, 2014

5.27.2014 (via INDYCAR) – Andretti Autosport driver Kurt Busch has been named the winner of the prestigious 2014 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award for his performance during the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In the first Verizon IndyCar Series race of his career, Busch, in his No. 26 Andretti Autosport Suretone Honda, was the fastest qualifier (12th) and highest finisher (6th) among the seven rookies in this year's Indianapolis 500.

In addition to the prestige of being named Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Busch also earned a $25,000 bonus from Sunoco as part of his total race winnings of $423,889. Busch was presented with his award last night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Awards Celebration presented by Ice Miller Legal Counsel, Contour Hardening, Inc. and Allied Solutions.

Since its inception in 1952, the Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award has been presented to an amazing list of legendary drivers including Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Tony Stewart, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Arie Luyendyk and many more.

Sunoco has a long and successful history in motorsports. In the late 1960's, the team of Roger Penske and Mark Donohue competed in several different series with Sunoco-sponsored cars. This legendary team won many major events including the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona, the 1972 Indianapolis 500 and numerous high-profile sports car championships.

Sunoco has been the official fuel partner of the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2010, providing the opportunity to demonstrate the performance and durability of Sunoco gasoline in the most demanding and competitive forms of racing in the United States.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award electorate is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR officials, and members of the media.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Sunoco, Inc. markets its brand of gasoline through more than 5,000 retail outlets in 25 states, from Maine to Florida and west to Michigan and Louisiana, including more than 600 APlus convenience stores. Sunoco is proud to sponsor INDYCAR, NASCAR and more than 50 other racing sanctions. For more information on Sunoco Retail, or to find a local Sunoco location, visit http://www.gosunoco.com/.

The 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2015

 

 

 

Canadian Garett Grist dominates at LOR for first win

May 24th, 2014

5.25.2014 (via Pro Mazda Championship) – For the second time in two weeks in the Indianapolis area, a young Canadian scored his first victory in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. This time it was Garett Grist, driving for Andretti Autosport, who led from flag to flag in Saturday evening’s 90-lap Allied Building Products Oval Challenge at the 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway oval as part of the 69th Annual Visit Hendricks County Night Before the 500.

Fellow countryman Scott Hargrove, who turned the trick for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing two weeks ago on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, finished second, ousting front row starter and championship leader Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing) with six laps remaining in the fast-paced 90-lap race.

Both Grist, 19, from Grimsby, Ont., and Andretti Autosport teammate Shelby Blackstock had struggled during testing and official practice, but suddenly found the required turn of speed in qualifying as Grist took the pole with a two-lap average of 110.615 mph. Blackstock wasn’t too far behind in third, sandwiching practice pace-setter Pigot.

Grist took full advantage of his hard-won pole position by holding off Pigot and Blackstock at the start, with Nicolas Costa, making his first start for Pelfrey Racing, jumping into fourth ahead of Hargrove and Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Neil Alberico.

The race quickly settled into a pattern, with Grist and Pigot setting a torrid pace at the head of the pack and Blackstock gradually slipping behind in third place. On Lap 45, Grist’s #27 DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management car suddenly stepped out from underneath him in Turn Three. The youngster managed to regain control, but suddenly Pigot was alongside as the leaders sped past the grandstands and into Turn One. Grist, however, fought off the attack and soon began to edge clear to cement his victory in style.

Now it was Pigot’s turn to struggle. All of a sudden, the steering began to tighten up and the already stern physical challenge became even tougher. By Lap 75, Pigot had slipped back into the clutches of Costa and Hargrove, both of whom had found a way past Blackstock, who also was struggling with a handling imbalance.

Hargrove, who said his car mysteriously found some extra speed in the closing stages, swept past both Costa and Pigot on Laps 83 and 84 to take over second place and earn himself the RePlay XD Move of the Race Award. Hargrove also took home the Quarter Master Hard Charger Award after rising from sixth on the grid to second.

Pigot was virtually exhausted at the finish line after narrowly holding off the attentions of Costa. Afterward it was discovered that the right-front tire on Pigot’s car was almost completely flat after having picked up a piece of debris.

Veteran Anders Krohn, making his first start of the season, finished a strong fifth in the second Team Pelfrey car, followed by Alberico, the disappointed Blackstock, and Kyle Kaiser, who edged out Juncos Racing teammate Jose Gutierrez after a race-long battle.

Additional contingency awards included the PFC Award and customized Race Energy charger – the official battery of the ladder series – to the winning team, Andretti Autosport; and the Staubli Award to race winner Grist.

Pigot and Hargrove are now separated by only three points, 180-177, as the Pro Mazda Championship moves on to the streets of Houston, Texas, for Rounds Eight and Nine in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series on June 28/29.

Garett Grist, #27 DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management (Andretti Autosport): “Today’s race went really well. I was able to settle down into a rhythm after Spencer had put some pressure on me. Once I settled down into my rhythm we slowly pulled away and I think we managed traffic a lot better than the rest. I could definitely use all the lanes and not lose any time going down low which is a lot like I had last year in the USF2000 race. I am really happy the car was that good and we were able to do that.”

 

 

Andretti Autosport A Budding Auto Racing Empire

May 24th, 2014

5.24.14 (via the Associated Press) - In the far corner of Gasoline Alley, where the signs that say "Andretti Autosport" hang from the buildings, there is a flurry of activity that can best be described as organized chaos.

Engineers are poring over computer screens. Mechanics are peering into engine bays. Fans are milling about, snapping surreptitious pictures of their favorite drivers. And walking through the garage is what amounts to the sun, the man around whom everything seems to revolve.

Many have tried to segue from driver to car owner. A few have even thrived. Michael Andretti has done something else entirely: He has built an auto racing empire.

Read More…

What will Carlos Munoz do for an encore

May 24th, 2014

5.24.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – If not for Dario Franchitti crashing just moments after the final restart of last year’s Indianapolis 500, perhaps it would have been Carlos Munoz – a driver competing in his very first IndyCar race – drinking the milk in Victory Lane.
 
Munoz followed Tony Kanaan past Ryan Hunter-Reay to take second place off the restart and may have been able to draft past the Brazilian veteran had the race stayed green.
 
But it was not to be for Munoz, who was still impressive and fearless in his Indy debut for Andretti Autosport.
 
One year later, he has returned to the Brickyard as a full-time member of the Andretti stable and will start seventh in Sunday’s race.
 
After his stellar performance in 2013, does he think he can follow that up with a victorious one?
 
“It’s going to be really hard for sure,” he said Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I think it’s going to be harder than last year because it’s just more competitive.
 
“Last year was really competitive, but this year, everyone’s really close to each other…It’s hard to have a plan because things can change so quickly from one lap to another lap.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hinchcliffe returns to earn front row seat for Indy 500

May 21st, 2014

5.20.2014 (via The Hamilton Spectator) – For the second time in his career, James Hinchcliffe will have a front-row view to the start of the Indy 500.

The Oakville driver finished second in qualifying for the famed race, turning in a four-lap average speed of 230.839 mph. He’ll start in the front row, next to Ed Carpenter, who earned the pole position for the second year in a row with an average speed of 231.067.

It capped an incredible comeback for the Oakville driver, who wasn’t cleared to drive until three days before the final qualifying runs.

“To think about the fact a week ago I wasn't allowed to operate a cell phone,” Hinchcliffe said. “Today I'm whipping an IndyCar around IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) at 230-something miles an hour is pretty incredible.  It's only because of so many people, everything from the doctors, my family taking care of me at home, all my teammates who did such a good job getting these cars ready.”

The 27-year-old suffered a concussion in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis May 10 after being struck in the head by a piece of the front wing that broke off Justin Wilson’s car during a restart. Hinchcliffe could only wait for clearance as E.J. Viso drove his No. 27 United Fibre & Data car in practice early in the week.

“Driving into the Speedway on Thursday was just awful because I'm driving in, seeing cars drive around, thinking I should be out there, knowing I'm going to a dark room that is going to determine my fate. It wasn't the most comforting feeling certainly,” he said. “It was more nerves, I think, than any lasting effect from the accident. Needless to say when those results came in, it was a huge relief.  They determined I'm just as brain-dead as I was before.”

 

 

Read more here… 

 

 

 

Andretti Formula E and Wirth Research combine for the charge on the FIA Formula E Championship

May 21st, 2014

5.21.2014 – Andretti Autosport has reunited with Digital engineering specialists Wirth Research as it prepares to compete in the world's first international all-electric race car series.

Andretti Autosport and Wirth Research, two great names in international motorsport, have worked successfully together before – most notably in two of Andretti Autosport's four IndyCar Series title-winning seasons (2004 with Tony Kanaan and in 2005 with Dan Wheldon) and with victory in the 2005 Indy 500 with Wheldon (all wins achieved with an Andretti Dallara-Honda).
 
Wirth Research will now provide Andretti Formula E with vital engineering services for its assault on the new FIA Formula E Championship, which begins in Beijing in September.
 
Based in Indianapolis, Ind. and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Formula E is one of only 10 teams accepted by the FIA for the inaugural Formula E Championship, with car build and all pre-season testing taking place during May and June at the Donington Park Racing Circuit in England.
 
With its previously successful association, Oxfordshire-based Wirth Research -in the heart of motorsport valley and only a short drive from Donington – is perfectly placed to assist Andretti Autosport in this exciting new technology-racing venture. Wirth's virtual engineering technology includes flow simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) services and an advanced driver-in-the-loop simulator.
 
Testing and full race simulations for Formula E take place on track in July and August, prior to the cars being transported from the UK to China for the eagerly anticipated opening round.
 
Michael Andretti CEO of Andretti Formula E, said: "We couldn't be more excited about the upcoming FIA Formula E season and partnering with Wirth Research for all of our Formula E engineering services. We are building a strong team of management and drivers that will complement Wirth's expertise, and look forward to a success inaugural season."
 
Nick Wirth, President of Wirth Research, said: "I am delighted that we have been chosen by Andretti to support them in the new Global Electric Race Series with our engineering services. Technology, sport and environmental issues combined with safety are of great importance to both our companies. The engineering challenges for this championship will be unique, and getting the most out of the cars' features, such as the driver-controlled energy recovery and 'Push to Pass' power boost with its interactive vote, will be an interesting challenge. We are looking forward to being part of this new and exciting form of racing."

Andretti Autosport joins with SOL REPUBLIC

May 21st, 2014

5.21.2014 — Andretti Autosport today announced its partnership with headphone brand and music lifestyle company SOL REPUBLIC and, in doing so, jointly celebrate Kurt Busch's historic attempt at the "Double". On May 25th, Busch  will attempt to become the fourth driver to contest the "Double"  – competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway driving the No. 26 Suretone Honda in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a stock car race later that same day. SOL REPUBLIC, which is committed to changing the world one listener at a time, brings the power of music to Andretti Autosport with limited-edition headphones created exclusively for Kurt and the team as they race into the record books.

"Music and racing go hand in hand," said Seth Combs, SOL REPUBLIC co-founder and CMO. "We are thrilled to bring the power of music to celebrate Kurt's incredible 1,100-mile feat and the entire Andretti Autosport team with our race inspired limited-edition headphones."
 
"I'm happy to welcome SOL REPUBLIC to the Andretti Autosport family," said Andretti Autosport team-owner and open-wheel racing legend Michael Andretti. "The SOL REPUBLIC family is as dedicated and passionate about music as we are about racing, and our shared passion is in perfect harmony as we support Kurt's 1,100-mile effort."
 
To celebrate SOL REPUBLIC's participation with Kurt Busch's historic 1,100 mile effort, SOL REPUBLIC has created one-of-a-kind headphones for Kurt's Andretti Autosport crew to use.  Fans can get their hands on 1 of 10 headphones like the crew's and autographed by Kurt Busch by simply heading over to the SOL REPUBLIC Facebook (www.facebook.com/solrepublic) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/solrepublic ) pages today. Look out for information on how you could win one of the 10 autographed Kurt Busch Andretti Autosport special edition SOL REPUBLIC headphones.
 

SOL REPUBLIC offers sound, durability and style that every music and racing fan will love. With a wide range of options, from $39.99 in-ear headphones up to high-end studio-tuned headphones and wireless speakers, SOL REPUBLIC makes it possible for every music lover to own an amazing headphone that delivers an amazing sound experience. To learn more about SOL REPUBLIC headphones and speakers, go to www.SOLREPUBLIC.com.


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