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.
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.
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.
5.15.2014 (via FOXSports.com) – As morning rains and a thick, dark gray sky hovered over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for what was supposed to be the fourth day of practice for the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Wednesday, Kurt Busch cut out of town to head back to his "Day Job" as driver of the No. 41 Chevrolet at Stewart Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He flew back to North Carolina to get his Cup car up to speed for this week's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
INDIANAPOLIS (May 13, 2014) – United Fiber & Data (UFD) announced today that they have joined Andretti Autosport’s expanding sponsor portfolio in signing as an associate sponsor with the 7UP Volkswagen Polo driven by Scott Speed. The sponsorship unveils this weekend at the Top Gear Festival in Barbados, round one of the 2014 Global Rallycross season.
“United Fiber & Data is thrilled to announce our entry into Global Rallycross with our sponsorship of the No. 77 7UP Volkswagen,” said United Fiber & Data director and founder Bill Hynes. “We saw Global Rallycross as a natural fit for our company and our culture. It's a revolutionary racing platform where challenge, high performance, speed and talent converge to bring you something you haven't seen before.”
Founded by three members of the multi-platinum rock band LIVE and their Think Loud Development company, UFD offers a complete suite of all-fiber networking and broadband solutions. Based in York, Penn., UFD will feature a 400-mile fiber optic line running between New York and Virginia and will operate out of our different data centers across Pennsylvania (Allentown, Lancaster, Reading and York).
“This partnership further solidified UFD's presence in the motorsport community, and we are proud to expand our relationship with Andretti Autosport,” commented Hynes. “Our interaction with their team and hospitality program has been world-class. From our clients, to our employees, to our potential clients and guests – Michael Andretti and his team all lend to an experience that is unparalleled."
The 2014 Global Rallycross season kicks-off on the Caribbean island of Barbados at the newly renovated Bushy Park Circuit on May 17-18 at the Top Gear Festival. As a part of its Americas debut, the Top Gear Festival will feature an impressive line-up of cars and driving talent. NBC will air the season opener race on Saturday, May 24 at 1 p.m. EST.
5.12.14 (via MotorSportsTalk.com) – The day felt like a Tuesday – even though to some, Tuesday has no feel – but the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice felt like a proper Indianapolis 500 practice day with plentiful running throughout the six hours and a boat-load of tows in the final hour to produce the day’s fastest speeds.
The two that emerged fastest on what was the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Monday practice session were a pair of Andretti Autosport teammates, with Ryan Hunter-Reay posting the month’s first 225-mph lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 225.025. Teammates Marco Andretti was over 224, at 224.037. Both had tows from others in the five-car Andretti brigade that also includes Carlos Munoz, Kurt Busch and EJ Viso.
Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top five. Those three and Munoz had tow-aided laps north of 223. Busch and Viso cracked the tail end of the top 10 in ninth and 10th, so all five Andretti cars were in the top 10.
Thirty drivers took laps, with the only three that didn’t Sebastian Saavedra as the KV/AFS Racing crew continued repairs on the No. 17 Chevrolet after the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and Buddy Lazier and James Davison.
Only Davison of that trio is on a short program, although Lazier’s pit garage sign was just hung in Gasoline Alley for the first time today, even later than Davison’s had been. More on both of them will follow later this week to MotorSportsTalk.
The track was busy with Hunter-Reay, Montoya, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden all completing north of 100 laps. Many others were in the 80-90 range. In total, nearly 2,300 laps were completed – 2,286 laps were turned on the day.
The third day of practice is set for Tuesday, but, with a 70 percent chance of rain there’s a possibility of a washout. Here’s your Monday times and speeds.
5.11.14 (via MotorSportsTalk.com) – Welcome back, EJ Viso, even if it’s in admittedly less than ideal circumstances.
The Venezuelan was forced to withdraw on the eve of the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, with Carlos Munoz drafted in as a last-minute replacement at Andretti Autosport.
Now it’s Viso’s turn to deputize for one of the Andretti quartet, with James Hinchcliffe sidelined due to a concussion suffered during the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Hinchcliffe was checked and released Satruday evening from Indianapolis Methodist hospital with symptoms of a concussion. On Sunday, the Canadian made a brief appearance, but no medical evaluation was performed today and the three-time race winner returned to his Indianapolis home to rest and recuperate. Hinchcliffe could return to the speedway for re-evaluation as early as Tuesday, however a date for his next medical visit has not yet been set. In the meantime, the Canadian is not cleared to drive in Indy 500 practice sessions.
That leaves it to Viso to fill-in in the interim. On Sunday, he was immediately comfortable and back up to speed in his first running of any kind since driving Starworks Motorsport’s Riley Dinan Daytona Prototype at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and his first running in an IndyCar since the streets of Houston last October. He ended sixth at 222.105 mph after 28 laps, most of them in traffic.
“So far things have been pretty smooth,” Viso said. “I love working with these guys. Last year I had an amazing year, an amazing experience, and I only have positive things to talk about my teammates and my team. This opportunity just showed up overnight.
5.10.14 (via MotorSportsTalk.com) – Andretti Autosport’s fifth Verizon IndyCar – the No. 26 Suretone Honda – is getting a ton of press for the Indianapolis 500, with Kurt Busch in the seat and set for the double run between Indy and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend.
But the car is getting something of a test run this weekend in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, with Franck Montagny back in North American open-wheel racing for the first time in five years.
Montagny hasn’t raced since a one-off appearance in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans in OAK Racing’s P1 Oak Pescarolo Judd (with ex-open-wheeler Bertrand Baguette and Dominik Kraihamer), and his last start in North America came in a one-off in Level 5 Motorsports’ HPD P2 car at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May of that year. Prior to that, he’d been a factory Peugeot LMP1 driver before the program ended at the end of 2011.
Now he returns to an IndyCar for his first start since the 2009 race at Sonoma, in what was also a fifth Andretti Autosport entry. He also finished second in the Champ Car series finale at Long Beach 2008, driving for Gerry Forsythe.
“The thing is I haven’t driven in two years. I’ve been off working television in France, following the Formula One circus,” he told MotorSportsTalk. “It’s been since 2008 and 2009 over here… but when Andretti had the opportunity to put together the fifth car, they called me, and here I am. Easy as that.”
Montagny was seriously impressed with the depth of the field, and despite wanting to be fastest said it spoke better of the series that as a one-off entry, he isn’t able to come in and be immediately on the pace.
“Compared to anything else in the world, nowhere else there’d be seven tenths between the first guy and the last guy. Nowhere else,” he said. “I’m seven tenths off and it feels not too bad, then I look at the times and I’m almost last! But in F1 I’d be second!
“It’s very tough because one tiny mistake screws it up. The car is what is what is, but the level of the championship speaks for itself.”
© 2014 Andretti Autosport Holding Company, Inc. Andretti and the Shield Design are registered trademarks of Andretti Autosport Holding Company, Inc. All rights reserved.