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Red Bull GRC: Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross hits key youth market

November 13th, 2014

11.13.14 (via MotorSportsTalk) – With the Red Bull Global Rallycross season now in the books, it’s worth noting how one of the top teams from the Verizon IndyCar Series has diversified into the championship as a way of both expanding its business and hitting a key new market.
Andretti Autosport – or Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross as the team is known in GRC – had a driver in contention for the GRC title heading into the Las Vegas finale (Sunday, 1:30 p.m. ET, NBC) in the form of Scott Speed.
Speed’s a fascinating case study of what GRC can provide. The last American driver to start a Grand Prix in F1, Speed was later replaced by a then-upstart named Sebastian Vettel in 2007, and headed back stateside for NASCAR. A handful of challenging seasons in stock cars followed and seeking a third career reinvention, Speed then headed to GRC, where he became an instant winner.
With Andretti, new partner 7UP and teammate Tanner Foust – renowned for his career of TV presenting, rallying and generating buzz among a younger demographic – Speed was in the perfect place and got the year off to a great start with wins in the first two races.
Their presence added to the series, and it was something both Michael Andretti and John Lopes (president, Andretti Sports Marketing) have extolled as part of the company’s greater long-term strategy.
“This side is really important,” Andretti told MotorSportsTalk in an interview from New Orleans over the weekend. “Just finishing GRC, and having Kuala Lumpur with FE (FIA Formula E) in a couple weeks, it’s becoming a year-round thing for us. It’s important to stay diversified, and we need to stay in the news.”
Speaking specifically to GRC, Andretti said it’s hitting the youth market more than IndyCar is at the moment.
“Both have a lot of very positive buzz; I’m very bullish on both of them,” Andretti said. “Both series are going after the demographic, which we’re all starving to get, which is millennials. To me being in the racing business, that’s very important. We need to be in series that are hooking young guns, and following the sport for many years to come.”

Postseason profile: Munoz makes his mark

November 6th, 2014

11.6.2014 (via – The cast: Race engineer – Garrett Mothersead. Race strategist – Paul “Ziggy” Harcus. Chief mechanic – Rolando Coronado.

Twitter: @CarlosMunoz034, FollowAndretti
The car: No. 34 Honda, Cinsay, primary sponsors
The driver: Carlos Munoz turns 23 on Jan. 2. … He was the youngest full-season Verizon IndyCar Series driver in 2014. … From Bogota, Colombia, he resides in Miami. … He received Colombia Driver of the Year honors following the 2013 motorsports season.
Season finish: Munoz placed eighth in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings and earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award.
The gist: Munoz competed in three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2013 – starting and finishing second in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in an Andretti Autosport-prepared car – and driving for Panther Racing (substitute for injured Ryan Briscoe) at Toronto and Andretti Autosport (substitute for ill E.J. Viso) at Auto Club Speedway. Gained seven positions relative to his starting spot to finish 17th at Toronto — his first street course race. He also competed in the Indy Lights race the same day (finished fourth). … He placed third in the 2013 Indy Lights championship for Andretti Autosport, with four victories and eight top-five finishes overall in the 12 races. He placed fifth in Indy Lights in 2013 – his first year racing in the States – with two victories.
Season stats: Recorded three podium finishes and five in the top five overall. … Qualified seventh in the first (St. Petersburg), third (Barber) and fifth (Indianapolis 500) races of the season and sixth in race seven (Belle Isle2). Best qualifying was third on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway tri-oval, which also tied his season-best finish of third (matched at Long Beach after qualifying 11th and Houston1 after qualifying 23rd). … Was running at the finish in 13 of the 18 races.
Year over year: 2013 best qualifying second for Indianapolis 500, best finish second in Indianapolis 500 (competed in three races). 2014 best qualifying third at Pocono Raceway (10.5 average), best finish third at Long Beach, Houston1 and Pocono (12.6 average).
He said it: “It was a hard season mentally and physically for all the drivers, the stress and I only thought about racing. Though it was a short season, it feels like it was a long season. I had some top-10 finishes and think I showed what I can do. I can be really fast on all kinds of tracks. I have to learn from my mistakes for next year to fight for the championship.”

Scott Speed gets his own VW Beetle for Red Bull GRC season finale

November 5th, 2014

11.3.2014 (via MotorSportsTalk) – Andretti Autosport is bringing in the Beetle for their Red Bull Global Rallycross title contender, Scott Speed.
The former NASCAR and Formula One racer has earned three victories this season driving the No. 77 Volkswagen Polo and is one of four contenders with a chance to take home the championship in Wednesday’s season finale at Las Vegas.
But instead of sticking with the Polo for the final battle, Speed will drive VW’s latest version of the Beetle. The car made its 2014 debut in Los Angeles with Speed’s teammate, Tanner Foust.
“We’ve driven it enough to feel more confident with this,” Speed told the series website. “Obviously, we’d like to have had more testing with it before we bring it out in race circumstances, but we feel like our odds are better with this than with the Polo.
“I think everyone here is just happy to get working on what our future is, and that’s this car, which hopefully gets off to a good start.”
Down 29 points in the championship to leader Joni Wiman, Speed will need help in order to emerge with the GRC crown. But the American driver isn’t worrying about that scenario, and is simply keeping his focus on taking the checkered flag this week in Sin City.
“As far as championships are concerned, if we walk away from there with four total wins and the Championship winner has no wins, then we’ll still feel pretty good about ourselves and the year we have had,” he said in a team release – perhaps referencing the fact that two of the four championship hopefuls, Wiman and Nelson Piquet Jr., have not yet won a race this season.

Don’t Miss Out: Appearances for RBGRC Las Vegas

October 31st, 2014


10.31.14 – Come out to the Red Bull Global Rallycross: Las Vegas event at The LINQ next week Nov. 3 -5! Below you can find information on when and where you can meet Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.



Monday, Nov. 3

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Findlay North Volkswagen
7500 West Azure Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89130
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. PT


Tuesday, Nov. 4

Scott Speed & Tanner Foust
Autograph Session
Red Bull Global Rallycross Vegas: The LINQ
3545 Las Vegas Blvd South L-21
Las Vegas, NV 89109
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PT


INDYCAR unveils diverse 17-race schedule for ’15

October 30th, 2014

10.30.2014 (via – 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
“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

October 27th, 2014

10.27.14 (via – 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

October 22nd, 2014

10.22.2014 (via – 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

October 13th, 2014

10.13.14 (via – 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

October 13th, 2014

10.13.14 (via – 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

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).



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