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Grist to auction Andretti-signed helmet at PRI for SickKids Foundation

December 9th, 2013

12.9.13 – Bell Racing USA LLC, the world’s premier auto racing Helmet Company, is partnering with Garett Grist to auction a special custom painted helmet at the 2013 PRI Trade Show. The helmet was worn by Garett Grist in the 2013 Toronto Cooper Tires USF2000 race and is signed by Grist’s teammates and IndyCar drivers as well as Andretti Autosport® team owner Michael Andretti. All proceeds from the auction will be donated directly to SickKids Foundation – a Toronto-based organization that the 18-year-old Grimsby, Ontario native has supported throughout his racing career.

The helmet will be on display at Bell Racing USA booth 917 at the 2013 Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attendees at the show will have an opportunity to bid on the helmet via silent auction during show hours from December 12-14..

The SickKids Foundation, established in 1972, raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children. Fundraising is driven by the belief that improving the health and well-being of children is one of the most powerful ways to improve society. In the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2013, the SickKids Foundation invested $61.3 million in child health research, learning and care. The organization’s mission is to inspire communities to invest in health and scientific advances to improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and around the world.

“The opportunity for Bell to partner with Garett Grist to support SickKids and raise money to help advance their mission of creating healthier children and a better world is very exciting and rewarding, said Kyle Kietzmann, President, Bell Racing USA LLC. We appreciate the support of Garett and his teammates to allow Bell to provide racers attending the PRI trade show with the chance to own this collectible racing helmet with all proceeds going to a fantastic cause.”

Garett Grist

Garett Grist, from Grimsby, Ontario, spent 10 years racing karts, before moving onto Formula Ford in 2011, competing in both Ontario and Quebec, where he set a new track record at Canadian Motorsports Park. Garett made his US racing debut with Bryan Herta Autosport in the F1600 Formula F Series in 2012 and was selected as a Team Canada Racing scholarship winner that same year. In 2013, the 18-year-old joined Andretti Autosport® to campaign in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Series presented by Mazda Championship, part of the Mazda Road to Indy.

Outside of the track, Grist devotes much of his racing effort supporting SickKids Hospital in Toronto. For the past three seasons, GG has worked with Bell Racing and the hospital’s patients to create helmet drawings which are used as inspiration for the final helmet design.  

Bell Racing USA LLC

Bell helmets have been worn and trusted by more champions, in all forms of racing, than any other helmet brand. The Bell name is synonymous with quality, innovation, safety, performance and engineering excellence. Bell auto racing helmets are sold to professional and amateur drivers through a network of specialty safety equipment dealers and distributors, as well as individual retail customers. Bell Racing USA is located in Champaign, Illinois.  

Bell’s products are designed and built to exceed industry specifications for helmets including standards developed and published by Snell, SFI and the FIA. 

 

 

Offseason driver profile: It’s officially Mayor’s Day

December 5th, 2013

12.5.13 (via IndyCar.com) – It's the Mayor of Hinchtown's 27th birthday so inundate him with best wishes @Hinchtown.
 
James Hinchcliffe, who won three times this past season, including his initial IZOD IndyCar Series race in the opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, will be back in the No. 27 car on Dec. 18 at Sebring International Raceway for testing of the new Honda twin turbocharged engine. In the interim, he's been doing a fair amount of traveling. On Dec. 7, he embarks on a cruise out of Costa Rica. Nice birthday present, eh?
 
Q: You’ve been the bit of a world traveler since the season ended. Where exactly have you been since we last saw you at Auto Club Speedway?
 
James Hinchcliffe: I always try to get one trip out of the way pretty close to the end of the season. It’s always good to unwind after what’s always a hectic, frantic year and end of the year. I went to the UK for my brother’s 30th birthday. He’s in (graduate) school over there, so my sister (Rebecca) and my girlfriend (Kirsten Dee) and I went over to surprise him.
 
It was a really good trip. We were there for eight or nine days and Kirsten had never seen the UK before. My dad is from England, so we got to see some family and I got to introduce (Kirsten) to my 98-year-old grandmother, which is always cool. It was a good trip, just too much eating and drinking.
 
Q: And you’re headed on a cruise here shortly as well, co-hosting a SeaDream Yacht trip in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with Graham Rahal on Dec. 7-14?
 
James Hinchcliffe: It’s like it is a winter of vacations for me, I guess. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never been to Costa Rica and I’ve never done a cruise before. The people at SeaDream have given us this awesome opportunity. As far as appearances go, this one probably tops it. It will be a cool experience getting to see a new country and a new culture. Hopefully we can educate some new INDYCAR fans at the same time.
 
Q: You’ll be celebrating your 27th birthday on Dec. 5. What should someone get you?
 
James Hinchcliffe: It’s tough to top a cruise, to be honest, so I’ll thank SeaDream for that.
 
I used to hear older drivers talk about this, and I never quite got it, but now I get it. I’ve decided after this birthday, I’ll turn 27 and I’ll just stop doing the birthday thing. I’ll stop there. Twenty-seven seems like a reasonable place to stop. There’s a good correlation with the car number. I think I’m going to call it quits on birthdays. No more gifts and just be 27 forever.  I think that will work.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

O’Rourke to engineer James Hinchcliffe

November 21st, 2013

11.21.13 (via RACER.com) – The architect behind James Hinchcliffe's three IndyCar Series wins will continue working with the Andretti Autosport team in 2014, but when the Canadian returns to the cockpit, he'll have a new engineer to collaborate with on the engineering stand.

RACER has learned championship-winning engineer Craig Hampson (BELOW, with Hinchcliffe) has transitioned to a new role within Andretti's engineering group, taking on overarching R&D responsibilities for the top-tier outfit.

Hampson, who engineered Sebastien Bourdais to his Champ Car titles while working for the Illinois-based Newman/Haas Racing organization, received numerous offers to join other teams once NHR exited IndyCar after the 2011 season. He'd work part-time with Dragon Racing in 2012 and spent the 2013 season traveling and winning with Hinch, but with the team's need to keep pace with rivals Ganassi Racing and Team Penske, Hampson was given a chance to use his considerable skills in a more family-friendly, shop-based role for the team.

Nathan O'Rourke, who established himself as one of the leading young engineers in the series  while running Josef Newgarden (BELOW, with O'Rourke) at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, has been signed to take over Hampson's race engineering duties on Hinch's No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda.

“Craig (Hampson) was a great asset as the lead engineer on the 27 car's program for 2013, but his long term goal has always been to be more involved in the R&D process.,” team owner Michael Andretti told RACER. “We feel Craig will continue to be a strong asset to the team as our new Director of Research and Development. We're happy to welcome Nathan [O'Rourke] to the Andretti family, and look forward to watching him and Hinch continue, and build upon, the success the 27 program saw this last season.”

 

Read more…

 

 

 

Early Honda performance impresses Hunter-Reay

November 18th, 2013

11.18.13 (via IndyCar.com) – Ryan Hunter-Reay was involved in the early development of 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged V-6 engine as Chevrolet rejoined the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012.

The Andretti Autosport driver, who rode that engine to the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship and two victories this past season, now is involved in the offseason development of Honda Performance Development’s twin turbocharged engine.
 
Andretti Autosport announced at the season finale Oct. 19 that it would switch to Honda power for the 2014 season. Hunter-Reay joined Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in testing the engine Nov. 18 at Sebring International Raceway.
 
“I’m very impressed with the power and delivery,” Hunter-Reay said. “We’re all happy with how we started testing. The development side of it is a lot of fun. You have an opportunity to customize and personalize and have your impact on a program. What we do right now is important, to get every bit of data out of every day, is crucial to the 2014 championship.
 
“All the hard work going into it will make a big different come the season opener at St. Pete. It’s great to get back to it."
 
In July, INDYCAR announced it would require all engines used in 2014 to be powered by twin turbochargers. Honda, the series' sole engine producer from 2006-11, had been using a single turbocharger.

Carlos Munoz Joins Andretti Autosport IndyCar Effort

November 18th, 2013

11.18.13 – Four-time IndyCar Series champions Andretti Autosport confirmed today that Colombian Carlos Munoz will join the team’s IndyCar stable for 2014. The former Firestone Indy Lights standout will join Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay for the Indianapolis-based team’s four-car IndyCar squad. Sponsorship details for Munoz’s entry will be announced at a later date.
 
“I don't have the words to express right now how I feel." said Munoz. "After so many years of racing and all the sacrifices – leaving my family in Colombia and going to Europe to race, then coming here to the U.S. – but finally, I'm a professional race car driver in the maximum category in America, IndyCar. I have to thank Andretti Autosport, and especially Michael Andretti, for this opportunity. To be a part of this team, they believe a lot in me, and to pay them back would be to bring them great results. With that, I have to work hard in all aspects – mentally and physically. I'm really happy and I'm looking forward to start practicing and testing. I also have to thank my family for all of their support all these years. Finally my dream has come true. Also to my fans for being here and believing in me; this is just the beginning.”
 
Munoz made his IndyCar Series debut at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 where he earned Rookie of the Year honors for starting on the front row and, after leading the historic race for 12 laps, finishing in the second position. The 21-year-old also competed in IndyCar’s Grand Prix of Toronto in July, as well as the season finale at Auto Club Speedway where he competed in both the (formerly) Firestone Indy Lights and IndyCar Series events.
 
Team owner Michael Andretti said, "Carlos stepped up this season and showed outstanding potential on track in Indy and Fontana. We are looking forward to welcoming him as a full time IndyCar driver and seeing what 2014 has in store. We are confident that his success in Indy Lights will carry on into his IndyCar career.”
 
The Colombian recorded five Indy Lights pole positions and four wins (Barber, Long Beach, Pocono and Fontana) in 2013, marking his career-best year in two seasons of Indy Lights competition. Throughout his time spent at the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, Munoz has accrued six wins, six pole positions, 10 podiums and 20 top-10 finishes. The Indy Lights veteran came away with a fifth-place finish in the 2012 championship point’s standings and third for 2013.
 
 
 
 

STATEMENT ON RETIREMENT OF DARIO FRANCHITTI

November 14th, 2013

11.14.13 – We are saddened to hear about the retirement of Dario Franchitti. Over the years he has become more than a former driver, he is truly a great friend and will forever be a part of the Andretti racing family. Dario captured his first championship and Indy 500 victory with us and the teams strong history is much to Dario's credit. We'd like to congratulate him on a successful career and wish him the best as he transitions into the next stage of his life. We have no doubt that he will continue to make a great impact on the sport of racing, albeit from behind the pit wall.
 

James Hinchcliffe nominated for Canadian Athlete of the Year!

November 5th, 2013

11.5.13 – Three-time IndyCar winner James Hinchcliffe is nominated for Sportnet's 2013 Canadian Athlete of the Year! "It's an honor to receive a nomination, and I'm simply proud to be on the list amongst so many outstanding Canadians," Hinch said.

"We can all be super proud of our accomplishments as athletes this year, and it shows the strength and determination of Canadians to succeed in competitive environments. Even better, it's a fan vote, and in my opinion, that's all the matters as they're the people who matter! For me personally, it was a great year taking three IndyCar victories for Andretti Autosport and GoDaddy. That's a platform I want to build on next year sporting United Fiber & Data colors, and once again, with the continued support of the fans both here in Canada, in the US and around the world!"

Voting ends November 15, so be sure to get your votes in now. You can vote for the Mayor of Hinchtown HERE!

 

 

 

Zach Veach nabs community service award

October 31st, 2013

10.31.13 – RePLAY XD driver Zach Veach has been selected as the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights KeyBank Community Leader for being the driver who "best displays a passion for community service and community outreach." The 18-year-old is active in many public outreach campaigns and continues to pour his energy into philanthropy all throughout the year. Just in 2013, Veach was involved with organizations such as STEM, Racing for Kids, Racing for Cancer, No Bull (anti-bullying campaign), Miles Ahead and much, much more. Along with the honors of being a leader in the community, the Ohio native will receive a check for $3,000 for his efforts. Veach will return to Andretti Autosport for his sophomore season of Indy Lights in 2014.

James Hinchcliffe to Return to Andretti Autosport with United Fiber & Data

October 19th, 2013

FONTANA, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2013) - IZOD IndyCar Series multiple race winner James Hinchcliffe will return to the team with which he captured his first career victory. The reigning series champions, Andretti Autosport, confirmed today that the Canadian fan favorite will pilot an Andretti Autosport Indy car for the 2014 IndyCar championship.

Hinchcliffe's No. 27 machine will don the colors of United Fiber & Data (UFD), a tech company, founded by three members of the multi-platinum rock band LIVE and their Think Loud Development company. UFD will also serve as a major associate on the No. 25 and No. 28 cars piloted by Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, respectively. In addition, Andretti announced earlier today that the company will serve as the primary sponsor for Pro Mazda Champion Matthew Brabham as he transitions to Indy Lights in 2014.

The 26-year-old Hinchcliffe will make his 50th IndyCar career start at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. Hinchcliffe has recorded three wins and 25-top 10 finishes in his previous 49 starts. The Toronto-native joined Andretti Autosport before his 2012 sophomore year in the open-wheel series.

Based in York, Penn., United Fiber & Data offers a complete suite of all-fiber networking and broadband solutions and also served as a major associate sponsor of the No. 25 machine of Marco Andretti for the 2013 season.

United Fiber & Data will feature a 400-mile fiber optic line running between New York and Virginia and will operate out of different data centers across Pennsylvania (Allentown, Lancaster, Reading and York).

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
"We are very happy to announce that Hinch will be back with us and that United Fiber & Data will be growing their sponsorship role. Hinch is a great addition to our team, and Chad (Taylor), Bill (Hynes) and everyone at UFD have become a true part of the Andretti Autosport family. We have a great friendship and partnership in UFD, and we look forward to sharing in many more wins together."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, DRIVER, NO. 27 UNITED FIBER & DATA CAR:
"It's great to be back with Andretti. Obviously, this has been home for the last two years and we preach so much about chemistry in this team and to keep it together is awesome. I want to, first off, thank GoDaddy for the last two years and the support past that they've given to this team. But, I'm really excited about UFD and being able to work with those guys. I think we can do a lot together and it's great to be back working with Michael (Andretti), Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and Marco (Andretti) and everyone on the team."

CHAD TAYLOR, CHAIRMAN, UNITED FIBER & DATA:
"UFD's title sponsorship of James Hinchcliffe further extends our belief in Andretti Autosport's championship caliber team. No doubt the 'Mayor of Hinchtown' will carry the United Fiber & Data IndyCar to Winner's Circle and hopefully a series championship!  'Gotta live, gotta live in Hinchtown.'"

BILL HYNES, DIRECTOR, UNITED FIBER & DATA:
"United Fiber & Data is excited to expand our multi-car affiliation with Andretti Autosport. Our title sponsorship of James Hinchcliffe represents UFD's long-term commitment to harnessing speed and technology for our state-of-the-art fiber infrastructure and redundant data facilities. Both our clients and employees have experienced the thrill of IndyCar racing. We look forward to many more Winner's Circle celebrations with the official 'Mayor of Hinchtown' and the Andretti Autosport family of championship caliber drivers."

 

United Fiber & Data Announces 2014 Sponsorship Plans

October 19th, 2013

10.19.2013 – Current sponsor United Fiber & Data (UFD) announced today that they will expand their current associate sponsorship role with the reigning champions by becoming the primary sponsor on the No. 27 IndyCar driven by James Hinchcliffe as well as Indy Lights driver Matthew Brabham for 2014.

IZOD IndyCar Series multiple race winner James Hinchcliffe will return to the team with which he captured his first career victory. The reigning series champions, Andretti Autosport, confirmed today that the Canadian fan favorite will pilot the No. 27 machine which will don the colors of UFD, a tech company, founded by three members of the multi-platinum rock band LIVE and their Think Loud Development company.

UFD will also serve as a major associate on the No. 25 and No. 28 cars piloted by Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, respectively. In addition, Andretti announced earlier today that the company will serve as the primary sponsor for Pro Mazda Champion Matthew Brabham as he transitions to Indy Lights in 2014. The third-generation racer will also showcase the colors of UFD.

Based in York, Penn., United Fiber & Data offers a complete suite of all-fiber networking and broadband solutions and also served as a major associate sponsor of the No. 25 machine of Marco Andretti for the 2013 season.

United Fiber & Data will feature a 400-mile fiber optic line running between New York and Virginia and will operate out of different data centers across Pennsylvania (Allentown, Lancaster, Reading and York).

 

 



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