News for the Month of February 2017

Derani to test with SPM on 3/1 – Pipo Derani will drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in a Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sebring International Raceway on March 1st. His teammate for the day will be previously announced fellow test driver Mexican Luis Michael Dorrbecker. Read Tony DiZinno’s full report at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/20/2017)

Andretti targets status of best Honda team – NBC Sports reports Michael Andretti wants Andretti Autosport to stamp its authority over other Honda teams after Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ switch to Honda. “But I think our goal as a team is that we must be the best Honda team, and get our licks in when we can with the rest of it,” said Andretti. Read Tony DiZinno’s full piece at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/20/2017)

Bourdais concerned over INDYCAR tech changes – Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais has voiced his concern over INDYCAR opening up the ability for Verizon IndyCar Series teams to develop and fabricate certain parts themselves in 2017. “They are not just allowing teams to make their own parts, they are allowing teams to make modifications to the parts that they have opened up,” Bourdais told RACER. “And that is what I’m not OK with. If you try to get a series that first, costs less money, and second is more equal, that is certainly not the path to take.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (2/20/2017)

KV Racing confirms end of team and sale to Juncos – KV Racing released a statement on Thursday that the team is finished and offered support to Juncos Racing after they sold their equipment to the team making the step up from the Mazda Road to Indy. “I want to thank all those who have written to express their appreciation of the efforts of KV Racing Technology during the last 14 years,” said KV Racing Technology co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. “However as I approach 73, I feel I can no longer give the team the effort and support it and the team members deserve. I have really enjoyed my time in the series, helping with reunification and of course winning the greatest spectacle in racing… the Indianapolis 500!” See the full release at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/16/2017)

IMS unveils 101st Indy 500 ticket design – Indianapolis Motor Speedway unveiled the ticket design for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Thursday. View it here and see the full release at the link. – IMS – (2/16/2017)

ECR completes Sonoma test on Tuesday – Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot each tested at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday. Check out the on-board footage from a lap with Pigot here. Read the full release from Sonoma Raceway at the link. – Sonoma Raceway – (2/15/2017)

RLL announces Steak ‘n Shake returns as primary sponsor for four races – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Steak ‘n Shake, a classic American brand and home of the original Steakburger™ and hand-dipped milkshakes, will return for a third season of sponsorship after a successful partnership in 2015 and 2016. Steak ‘n Shake will be the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s Honda entry at four Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2017 including races in St. Petersburg, the Indianapolis 500, Mid-Ohio, and a new venue for the partnership – the race at Gateway Motorsports Park, outside St. Louis, a key market for the company. Maxim Magazine branding will continue to be prominently featured on the race car. Both are owned by Biglari Holdings Inc.” Full release at the link. – RLL – (2/15/2017)

Report: Howard favorite for SPM/Stewart Indy 500 entry – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reported over the weekend that Jay Howard is a strong possibility to be the driver for the recently announced No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in an effort sponsored by the Tony Stewart Foundation. Full report at the link. – RACER – (2/15/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/15/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/15/2017)

Trackside podcast 2/14/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 2/14/17 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps the open test at Phoenix International Raceway and are joined at various points by Jon Beekhuis, Will Power, Ed Carpenter, Ryan Hunter Reay, and Scott Dixon. – 1070 The Fan – (2/15/2017)

Report: Juncos preparing IndyCar program for ’17 after purchasing 2 cars from KV Racing – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that Juncos Racing is preparing to enter the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017 after buying two cars from KV Racing. “It’s believed both cars will be entered in this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500; Kyle Kaiser and Pastor Maldonado are among the rumored drivers, and a steady recruitment effort to hire crew members for the program has been in motion.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (2/14/2017)

Carlin announces Alberico return to Lights program – “American racer Neil Alberico will race with Carlin for a second season in the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship. Alberico, a Mazda Road to Indy success story, spent his debut season in the Indy Lights Series racing with Carlin having graduated as Pro-Mazda Vice Champion in 2015.” “I’m excited to be back with Carlin for my second year in Indy Lights,” said Alberico. “The entire team has invested a lot of time and energy into my career, and I couldn’t be happier to continue our relationship together in 2017.” Full release at the link. – Carlin – (2/14/2017)

DiZinno Q&A with Dorrbecker – Luis Michael Dorrbecker will test with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Sebring International Raceway next month and NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno has posted an interview with him from the open test at Phoenix. The young Mexican driver definitely sounds excited by the prospect of driving in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Check it out at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/14/2017)

IMS to unveil 2017 Indy 500 ticket design on Thursday – “The epic countdown to the 101st Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil begins at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 with the official unveiling of the 2017 ticket design at the new Cummins Distribution Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. The event will feature Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles, Cummins Inc. Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles and 100th Running champion Alexander Rossi.” – IMS Press Release – (2/14/2017)

Helio breaks ground on renovations at Phoenix – “With the help of Phoenix Raceway’s “Speed King” Helio Castroneves, Phoenix Raceway officially broke ground on the Phoenix Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar today during a special ceremony at its second annual Verizon IndyCar Series “Prix View” Testing event…Castroneves officially broke ground on the Phoenix Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar, behind the seat of an excavator as he took the first dig following the ceremony.” “It was an honor, to be honest, because there’s a fun fact that this was my first short oval ever when I tested for Tasman Motorsports with Steve Horne back in 1996,” said Castroneves. Full release at the link. – Phoenix International Raceway – (2/13/2017)

Hunter-Reay tops final, accident-filled fourth test session at Phoenix – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay’s lap at 189.716mph was the fastest lap of an accident-filled fourth test session at Phoenix International Raceway. The rest of the Top 5 was Bourdais, Andretti, Chilton, and Sato. Aleshin’s 97 laps were the most in the session while Rossi had the fewest with 3 after an impressive effort from his team to get his car ready after a crash in the early session on Saturday. Rahal, Sato, and Hildebrand all made major contact with the wall and another caution was brought out due to minor contact between Newgarden and Bourdais. Full test session four results here and final combined results here. – INDYCAR – (2/11/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Phoenix open test photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ photo gallery from Saturday at the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix International Raceway is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (2/11/2017)

Hildebrand turns fastest lap in third test session at Phoenix – Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand turned the fastest lap of the third test session at Phoenix International Raceway with an unofficial track record lap at 193.234mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Carpenter, Newgarden, Castroneves, and Power. Rahal’s 73 laps were the most in the session while Rossi turned only 1 lap before this crash. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (2/11/2017)

Rahal visor cam from testing at Phoenix – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam series continues with Graham Rahal at the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix International Raceway. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/11/2017)

Andretti fastest in second test session at Phoenix – Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti had the fastest lap of the second test session at Phoenix International Raceway with a lap at 189.122mph. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Sato, Dixon, and Bourdais. Pagenaud and Castroneves each turned the most laps with 124 while Hildebrand’s 30 laps were the fewest on Friday night. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (2/10/2017)

Newgarden tops the charts in first test session at Phoenix – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden’s lap at 190.129mph led the way in the first session of the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday. The rest of the Top 5 was Carpenter, Power, Hildebrand, and Rossi. Power turned the most laps in the session with 60 while a mechanical issue limited Daly to only 7 laps. Dixon was the fastest Ganassi car in P12. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (2/10/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Phoenix open test preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix International Raceway is available at the link. Includes all of the relevant weekend information and notes on what to watch for. – The Open Wheel – (2/10/2017)

ECR Sonoma test open to the public – “Ed Carpenter Racing teammates JR Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot will take part in a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday, Feb. 14…Race fans are invited to the FREE test session, with testing slated from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They will be allowed to watch the cars on track and enjoy the open paddock. The Raceway Café will also be open for lunch. Tickets for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be available for purchase.” Full release at the link. – Sonoma Raceway – (2/9/2017)

Kingdom Racing announces partnership with DRR for Karam Indy 500 effort – “Kingdom Racing announced today their agreement with team Dreyer & Reinbold to compete in the 101st Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 28, 2017. Hard charger Sage Karam will return to drive the No.24 Dallara entrant and qualify for his fourth Indy 500. “This year will mark Kingdom Racing’s tenth consecutive appearance at the Indianapolis 500, which is a powerful testimony for the work and dedication of the team”, said Davey Hamilton, Kingdom Racing’s Managing Director.” Full release at the link. – Kingdom Racing – (2/9/2017)

CGRT still working on primary sponsor for Dixon – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that Chip Ganassi Racing Teams is “making progress” on finding a primary sponsor to replace Target for Scott Dixon’s No. 9. It’s expected that as in previous years, there will be a single primary sponsor for a majority of the races with other companies being the primary sponsor for a few races. Full story at the link. – RACER – (2/9/2017)

Pagenaud’s PPG livery unveiled – Simon Pagenaud’s PPG livery for 2017 was unveiled on Wednesday. See it on our No. 1 livery page here. – Simon Pagenaud – (2/8/2017)

INDYCAR to stream both days of testing at Phoenix – The Verizon IndyCar Series test at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend will feature all 21 confirmed full-time entries and will be streamed online by INDYCAR. “Test sessions both days run from 3-6 and 8-11 p.m. ET. Saturday is free to the public, with gates opening at 2 p.m. ET and with an all-driver autograph session taking place between practices. Live video streaming (without commentary) of all practice sessions will be available at racecontrol.indycar.com.” See the full entry list here. – INDYCAR – (2/8/2017)

Rain ruins SPM/ECR Sonoma test – Both Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Ed Carpenter Racing were scheduled to test at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday but rain in the forecast caused ECR to reschedule their test to February 14th and the rain itself kept SPM from running. SPM will reschedule their test day. – RACER – (2/8/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/8/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/8/2017)

Trackside podcast 2/7/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 2/7/17 is a great listen as always. The pair recaps all of the latest INDYCAR news and previews this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series test at Phoenix International Raceway. – 1070 The Fan – (2/8/2017)

Tony Stewart Foundation to sponsor SPM car at Indy 500 – USA Today’s Brant James reports the Tony Stewart Foundation will sponsor the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 77 entry for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The foundation’s sponsorship will support “TEAM ONE CURE, a project to benefit the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center.” A driver will be named at a later date. Full story at the link. – USA Today – (2/7/2017)

PIR to host “Prix View” open testing on 2/11 – The Verizon IndyCar Series will have a full open test at Phoenix International Raceway on February 10th and 11th and the track will be open to fans for free on 2/11 from noon to 7PM. Full release at the link. – Phoenix International Raceway – (2/7/2017)

INDYCAR announces weekend schedule/rule changes for 2017 – INDYCAR has announced changes to race weekend schedules and the rule book for the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017. The highlights are qualifying the same day as the race at Phoenix and Gateway, the distribution of an extra set of alternate Firestone tires at road/street courses for use in practice, changes to push-to-pass (including P2P being disabled at the start and on restarts outside of the last two laps), and standardizing “most” road/street course practice day schedules to 45 minute sessions at 11AM and 3PM local. See the full list of changes at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/6/2017)

IMS unveils “The Greatest ____ in Racing” to promote 101st Indy 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway debuted their new “The Greatest ____ in Racing” campaign with a regional Super Bowl LI television ad. “The Indy 500 offers a breathtaking number of fantastic and memorable fan experiences that no other event in the world can match. The campaign will highlight several of these experiences including fast speeds, thrilling finishes, exciting musical performances and more.” Watch the commercial here. – IMS – (2/6/2017)

Carlin announces Claman DeMelo as Lights driver – “Canadian racing driver Zachary Claman DeMelo will compete with Carlin in the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship the team are pleased to confirm today.” “I am proud to announce my seat with Carlin for the 2017 Indy Lights Series!,” said Claman DeMelo. Carlin to me, represent one of the most professional teams that Strive for only the best and I’ve no doubt that 2017 will be a great experience.” Full release at the link. – Carlin – (2/6/2017)

More on Dorrbecker’s IndyCar intentions – Luis Michael Dorrbecker will test with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Sebring International Raceway and according to a report from Terra has intentions of 3 or 4 Verizon IndyCar Series races including the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (which is presented as already being confirmed in this report). See the Google Translate version here. UPDATE: RACER has quotes from Sam Schmidt saying the only deal the team has with Dorrbecker at the moment is for the test and the right of first refusal for this season and next.  – Terra – (2/6/2017)

Team Pelfrey announces Piedrahita as Lights driver – “Team Pelfrey IL is elated to announce today Juan Piedrahita will rejoin the squad for the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season. The 25-year-old will mark his fourth season in Indy Lights as the season commences in St. Petersburg, Fla. March 11-12.” “I couldn’t be happier to rejoin Team Pelfrey for the 2017 Indy Lights season. After working with the crew last year, I knew it was the right fit coming into this year,” said Piedrahita. Full release at the link. – Team Pelfrey – (2/3/2017)

Cindric to call races for Newgarden in ’17 – INDYCAR.com reports that Team Penske president Tim Cindric will call races for Josef Newgarden in 2017 while Juan Pablo Montoya’s strategist Jon Bouslog will move to Will Power’s pit stand. “As we look back, Will and I had a lot of good times but he will continue that without me,” Cindric told the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app. “Will has won no matter who is in his pit and I think it’s important to understand the transition. As I looked at where our strengths are and where our experience is, Myron (Bouslog’s nickname) and I talked about it and thought we should switch this thing up a bit.” – INDYCAR – (2/3/2017)

Carlin announces British F3 champ Leist as Lights driver – “Reigning BRDC British F3 champion Matheus Leist will make the switch across the Atlantic and join Carlin’s championship winning Indy Lights team for 2017. The 18 year-old racer who has marked himself out as one to watch on the European racing scene has enjoyed an impressive career in both Formula 4 and Formula 3.” “I have raced against Carlin before so I know how hard they push as a team to win,” said Leist. “I’m incredibly excited to get out on track in the car and get the season underway.” Full release at the link. – Carlin – (2/3/2017)

Trackside podcast 2/2/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 2/2/17 is a great listen as always. The pair are joined by Zach Veach, Ricky Taylor, and Sebastien Bourdais. – 1070 The Fan – (2/3/2017)

DRR announces Karam as No. 24 driver for Indy 500 – “Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that young driving star Sage Karam will return to the team to pilot its No. 24 machine in the world’s biggest auto race, the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, set for Sunday, May 28, at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Karam, the 21-year-old racer from Nazareth, Pa., will enter his fourth Indy 500 in 2017 and his third entry with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing after two impressive drives in 2014 and 2016. The former Firestone Indy Lights and US Formula 2000 series champion drove from 31st position to ninth in his rookie showing in 2014 for the team. Sage won the “Hard Charger Award” in 2014 at age 19.” Full release at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/2/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/1/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/1/2017)

SPM officially confirms Aleshin for ’17 – “Mikhail Aleshin, racing driver of Russian motorsport program SMP Racing, has signed with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for his third full-time season of Verizon IndyCar Series competition. The Moscow, Russia native will pilot the No. 7 Honda for the Indianapolis-based team in 2017.” “Thanks to both the SMP Racing program and our American team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, I am to keep fighting for even better results this season in IndyCar,” Aleshin said. Full release at the link. – SPM – (2/1/2017)

Petro-Canada Lubricants renews partnership with Hinch/SPM – “Petro-Canada Lubricants is pleased to announce a renewed partnership with Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe as well as an increased relationship with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. After a successful 2016 partnership, this renewal will cover the entire 2017 IndyCar racing season and will see enhanced Petro-Canada Lubricants branding featured on James’ race car as well as additional Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team assets.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (1/31/2017)

7-Eleven to serve as associate sponsor for TK/CGRT for five races – “Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) and 7-Eleven, Inc. announced today that 7-Eleven, Inc. will partner with CGR and the driver of the No. 10 Honda, Tony Kanaan, as an associate sponsor at select races in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Indianapolis, and Texas). The partnership between 7-Eleven, Inc., CGR, and Kanaan comes 14 years after the leading convenience retail chain first backed the Brazilian in the Verizon IndyCar Series.” Full release at the link. – CGRT – (1/31/2017)

PIR officially announces renovation plans – Phoenix International Raceway officially announced their $178 million renovation plans on Monday. “Among the many highlights of the modernization project is a completely redesigned infield featuring a first-of-its-kind Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage Fan Zone, placing fans face-to-face with the superstars of the sport. Phoenix Raceway’s start/finish line will be repositioned in Turn 2 just before the track’s well-known dog leg. Other new highlights include a new pedestrian tunnel connecting the infield to the new seating areas featuring in-seat Wi-Fi connectivity.” NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno reports the 2018 INDYCAR weekend at PIR will be April 13-14, 2018. – Phoenix International Raceway – (1/30/2017)

INDYCAR’s Rolex 24 race update – The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing No. 66 Ford GT team that Sebastien Bourdais drove for won the GT Le Mans class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and that was the only podium by the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. INDYCAR’s full update for the Rolex 24 at Daytona race the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers participating is available at the link. Full race results here. – INDYCAR – (1/29/2017)

News From Last Month

Advertisements