News for the Month of December 2017

Hinch enjoys updated steering wheel for ’18 – Cosworth has rolled out an updated LCD steering wheel for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season and James Hinchcliffe has enjoyed using it in testing. “With the old dash, it was a lot of small, character-saving acronyms because we’ve never had that big screen to do with as you please, and now, it’s full words and all the colors you want and it’s very easy to read whatever’s on there. There’s also more options with automated things that can be programmed to pop up at certain places on the track or if specific parameters have been met. For fans, it’s the going to be a lot clearer to read from the on-board [cameras] so it’s going to help in a lot of ways.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (12/11/2017)

Michael Shank Racing announces part-time IndyCar effort with Harvey and SPM – “After making its IndyCar debut in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with driver Jack Harvey, the team will build on that effort in 2018 with a select schedule of IndyCar events with the talented Briton. As part of a multi-race program with commercial sponsors SiriusXM and AutoNation, America’s Largest Automotive Retailer, the race program will utilize a technical partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM)…The Michael Shank Racing program with Harvey will be Honda powered and will include outings at St. Petersburg, Long Beach, the Indianapolis 500 and Sonoma Raceway.” Full release at the link. – Michael Shank Racing – (12/8/2017)

SPM announces cancellation of partnership with Calmels for ’18 500 – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Calmels Sport have mutually agreed to end their partnership of a 2018 Indianapolis 500 program. SPM will continue to focus on raising the level of performance of its involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Both parties wish one another well in the future.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (12/8/2017)

Changes at Andretti as Rossi moves to No. 27 and Marco moves to Andretti-Herta No. 98 – “The race-winning partnership between Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport will continue for a third season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The Andretti Herta Autosport team will again field the No. 98 Honda, but this season it will be third-generation driver Marco Andretti behind the wheel…Alexander Rossi will transition to pilot the No. 27 entry of Andretti Autosport with NAPA AUTO PARTS returning for a 10-race co-primary package.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (12/7/2017)

CBS officially announces Daly and Rossi as part of Amazing Race cast – “Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly have been friends for years, and sometimes housemates since both joined the Verizon IndyCar Series full time in 2016. Now they’re something more: teammates for Season 30 of “The Amazing Race,” the popular, Emmy Award-winning reality competition show airing on CBS. Rossi and Daly form “Team INDYCAR” for the competition that covers 10 countries, 21 cities and more than 29,000 miles in the quest to cross the finish line first and win $1 million. Team INDYCAR is among 11 two-person entries competing in the contest, which premieres at 8 p.m. ET Jan. 3 on CBS. The 30th season of “The Amazing Race” will conclude with a two-hour finale on Feb. 21.” Full release at the link. – INDYCAR – (12/7/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 12/6/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (12/6/2017)

Trackside podcast 12/5/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 12/5/17 is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (12/6/2017)

2018 driver meetings taking place in Indianapolis – 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden shared a cool picture from driver meetings for the 2018 season on Tuesday in Indianapolis. Check it out at the link. – Josef Newgarden – (12/5/2017)

Norman eager to build on Lights experience in year two – Josh Farmer has a nice story on on Indy Lights driver Ryan Norman looking forward to his second year in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport. “I think I’ll be able to, right from the get-go, Practice 1, go out and start working on the practice items that we have set up instead of learning the tracks,” Norman said. “I think that is really going to set me a step forward in the weekend going forward instead of being a step back and having to catch up. That alone I think is going to have a really big difference come qualifying, and I think it is going to help me start up front and be able to stay there.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (12/5/2017)

Sato stars at Honda Thanks Day in Japan – Takuma Sato starred at Honda Thanks Day at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan over the weekend as he ran laps in his Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winning livery on the oval in front of a lot of fans. Check out the cool video at the link. – RACER – (12/4/2017)

Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Montoya, and Newgarden named to ROC roster – “Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden will compete for the first time in the Race Of Champions, joining fellow INDYCAR drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya in the prestigious all-star event set for Feb. 2-3 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (12/4/2017)

INDYCAR announces it will NOT race in Mexico City in ’18 – “INDYCAR announced today that discussions regarding a Verizon IndyCar Series race in Mexico City are continuing, but that the proposed event will not be added to the 2018 schedule. Future talks will focus on plans to host this event at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course as early as 2019.” Full release at the link. – INDYCAR – (11/30/2017)

Hulman-George family statement on passing of Jim Nabors – “Jim Nabors was such a kind, caring man, and we will miss him greatly. Jim was born in Alabama, but he became a Hoosier to all of us almost immediately after he began his superb performances of ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ starting in 1972. He loved coming back home to the Speedway almost every May for more than 40 years and seeing his friends and race fans, who loved him dearly. Jim was not only a treasured friend, but truly a cherished member of our family. We will never forget his genuine kindness, sincerity and loyalty. He was wonderful man who inspired millions of people across the globe every May and throughout his entire life.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (11/30/2017)

Jim Nabors passes away at 87 – WTHR’s Dave Calabro reports legend of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Jim Nabors passed away at the age of 87. More at the link. – WTHR – (11/30/2017)

PIR to honor 25th anniversary of Mario’s final win – “Phoenix Raceway will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s final career win with a special reunion weekend April 6-7, 2018 for the Verizon IndyCar Series Phoenix Grand Prix. As the stars of IndyCar take over the track in Saturday night’s Phoenix Grand Prix, the weekend will be filled with events celebrating Andretti as one of racing’s most iconic and renowned racing legends, as well as Phoenix Raceway’s rich open-wheel history. The event will be highlighted by a reunion of the drivers who participated in the 1993 IndyCar race that culminated in Andretti’s last open-wheel victory, while racing for the legendary Newman/Haas Racing team. Fans can interact with legends of the sport such as Bobby Rahal, Lyn St. James, and Arie Luydendyk Sr. in a panel discussion and autograph session.” Full release at the link. – PIR – (11/30/2017)

Brian Barnhart named President of Harding Racing – “Brian Barnhart has been named President of Harding Racing, effective December 18, 2017. Barnhart, will be based at the Harding Racing corporate office in Indianapolis, Indiana…Barnhart’s tenure in the operational side of INDYCAR began in 1997 where he served in various roles, most recently as Vice President of Competition and Head of Race Control. Prior to his move to INDYCAR, Barnhart spent several years as a crew member for multiple race teams including Al Unser Jr.’s winning teams.” Full release at the link. – Harding Racing – (11/29/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 11/29/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (11/29/2017)

Trackside podcast 11/28/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 11/28/17 is a great listen as always. Oliver Askew, David Malsher, and Jade Gurss are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (11/29/2017)

Mazda announces Pigot will drive for team at Rolex 24 at Daytona – Mazda announced this morning that Spencer Pigot will drive one of the team’s prototype entries at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. – Mazda Motorsports – (11/28/2017)

INDYCAR held recent meetings for third manufacturer – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports INDYCAR continues to work behind the scenes to add a third engine manufacturer for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “I think the topic of bringing in a third manufacturer does have some momentum behind it,” INDYCAR president of competition Jay Frye told RACER. “Since the season ended, we’ve organized meetings with some prospects and had some follow-up meetings with manufacturers we’d met with before. The good news is they’re paying attention to what we’re doing and have a lot of curiosity in what we’re doing.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (11/28/2017)

Borg-Warner Trophy to make first overseas trip in Japan – RACER’s Mark Glendenning has a full report on the Borg-Warner Trophy heading to Japan with Takuma Sato this week. “We are very happy that the Borg-Warner Trophy is traveling to Japan later this week as part of Honda Racing THANKS DAY at Twin Ring Motegi,” HPD President Art St Cyr told RACER. Full story at the link. – RACER – (11/28/2017)

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