News for the Month of February 2015

DCR hoping “to make decisions next week” – After Alexander Rossi confirmed his plans to race in GP2 in 2015 Dale Coyne Racing is hoping to move forward with their driver decisions fairly quickly. The American was expected to earn one of two available seats with the team but now they’re open to other possibilities including bringing back veteran Justin Wilson. “We’re looking at several people – the ones we’ve testing and a few others ones we haven’t,” Coyne told RACER. “We expect to make decisions next week.”- RACER – (2/27/15)

Rossi to race in GP2 in ’15 – Alexander Rossi will drive for Racing Engineering in the 2015 GP2 Series. The highly rated American was in talks with Dale Coyne Racing for a Verizon IndyCar Series seat. – Alexander Rossi – (2/27/15)

USA Today and INDYCAR announce marketing partnership – “INDYCAR and the USA TODAY Sports Media Group announced today that they have entered into a multi-year official marketing relationship that will make USA TODAY Sports and its affiliated properties a preferred marketing partner of INDYCAR in the U.S. ” “INDYCAR is one of the premier sports properties in the world and we’re thrilled to be able to partner with them,” said Dave Morgan, President, USA TODAY Sports Media Group. “We’re looking forward to collaborating on ways to maximize our unique cross-platform capabilities in order to create the greatest impact and value for INDYCAR and their partners.” – Business Wire – (2/26/15)

Penske “banter” begins – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that the extremely talented driver lineup at Team Penske isn’t afraid to have some public banter over information sharing. Read the funny exchange between Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (2/26/15)

New Lights changes for ’15 to boost path to ICS – Great read from AUTOSPORT on the changes to the Indy Lights series for 2015 from the new chassis and engine to the new teams and the excitement that has provided for the path to the Verizon IndyCar Series. – AUTOSPORT – (2/26/15)

DiZinno talks Justin Wilson situation – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno shares his thoughts on yesterday’s “news” that Justin Wilson’s 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series possibilities are in trouble. A good read with his breakdown on finances, dwindling team numbers, and the lack of many new teams. – NBC Sports – (2/26/15)

INDYCAR to change approach to in-car electronics – RACER reports that INDYCAR is going to change the structure of their electronics restrictions as they get closer to adopting a new chassis in 2018. The lack of the latest technology in the mandated current steering wheel is a prime example. “It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when,” Derrick Walker told RACER. “You’d be crazy not to. Everything around us is changing and technology is getting into every part of our lives. We want our racecars to be at the front end of that technology, and that makes our 2018 car a big subject to think about; it’s tantalizing to consider the options a tech company could get involved in on that side of the car.” – RACER – (2/25/15)

Movie stars love IndyCar’s in “Focus” – At the premier of the film, Focus, Tuesday night the cast shared their thoughts on the cars featured in a portion of the film. “The Indy cars were fantastic,” said Will Smith. Director John Requa shared this: “IndyCar is just the fastest American racing car. It’s an exciting world and it’s an exciting sport and we hope people appreciate it when they come away from it.” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/25/15)

Wilson’s IndyCar future murky – With a little over a month to go before the start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series veteran Justin Wilson is still without a confirmed ride despite interest from Andretti Autosport. Wednesday morning his brother, fellow IndyCar driver Stefan Wilson, tweeted “Sad to hear that JW might not get a ride in IndyCar this year. 1 of the most talented in series & plays a huge part in push for driver safety.” Between this and RACER’s article on Simona’s nearly completed deal to drive for AA at St. Pete speculation on Justin Wilson’s immediate future in the series is not sounding promising. – Indianapolis Star – (2/25/15)

Simona close to deal for St. Pete – According to RACER’s Marshall Pruett, Simona de Silvestro is close to a deal to drive for Andretti Autosport at the Firestone GP of St. Petersburg. An announcement could come within the next week on the deal that would start with just one race with the possibility to “blossom into something bigger”. – RACER – (2/25/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/25/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/25/15)

IndyCar promotion heavy in “Focus” – INDYCAR has posted a video on YouTube with a behind the scenes look at the “IndyCar Series” portion of the upcoming Warner Brothers film, “Focus”. The movie stars Will Smith and Margot Robbie but also features INDYCAR’s Bryan Herta and Carlos Munoz. “We were approached about providing cars for the movie and two other drivers had conflicts, so I thought, ‘What the heck; I’ll drive it,'” said Herta. “I hadn’t driven an Indy car since ’06 or the new car ever, so I thought it would be fun to get in the car and see what it feels like for first-hand knowledge.” – RACER – (2/24/15)

Dixon to race in 12 Hours of Sebring – Scott Dixon will drive for Ganassi in the 12 Hours of Sebring alongside Scott Pruett and Joey Hand. “Sebring is one of those iconic motor races in the world and I think we’ll have a good chance,” said Dixon. “The team started strong with a win in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with the No. 02 car this season, and the No. 01 car won in its Sebring debut last year.” – IMSA – (2/24/15)

Cavin Q&A 2/24/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A provides an update on new IMS video boards, aero kits, 2016 500 plans, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (2/24/15)

Ganassi to open shop for tours to benefit Indy Honor Flight – Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar shop in Indianapolis will host tours and a silent auction on Saturday, February 28th from 2PM-7PM. Donations will be accepted on behalf of Indy Honor Flight. – Indy Honor Flight – (2/24/15)

INDYCAR modifies aero kit rules – According to RACER, INDYCAR has modified aero kit rules to NOT allow changes by the manufacturers during the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “Originally, if a manufacturer was behind, they could use their boxes in 2015, but we reverted to the original rule we had in place where manufacturers can only do updates in 2016 because we grew wary of the teams having to pay for upgrades this year,” IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development Tino Belli told RACER. – RACER – (2/23/15)

Phinny gets Sebring test with KV – Well-funded American Ryan Phinny will test for KV Racing on Monday at Sebring along with confirmed KV driver Sebastien Bourdais. – @kvracing – (2/23/15)

Century 21 to sponsor Newgarden at IMS – For the second year in a row Josef Newgarden will swap his No. 67 for the No. 21 and Century 21 colors at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. This year Century 21’s sponsorship will cover both races at IMS. – ESPN – (2/23/15)

Rodolfo Gonzalez to test for Coyne – According to his Twitter, former GP2 and Marussia F1 reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez will drive for Dale Coyne Racing in an upcoming test at Sebring. Gonzalez also tested for the team back in September. – @RSpeedyGonzalezUPDATE: Huertas driving in same test for CoyneNBC Sports – (2/23/15)

NASCAR suspends Kurt Busch – Kurt Busch has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR after a court ruling on Friday gave his former girlfriend a protective order over allegations of abuse. It’s far too early to tell what this means for Busch’s chances of running the Indianapolis 500. – ESPN – (2/20/15)

Penske adjustments working for Pagenaud so far – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno has a good piece on Simon Pagenaud’s adjustments to life with Team Penske as he prepares for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Among many changes, Pagenaud had to move to Charlotte after being in Indianapolis since moving to the US. “Life is great in Charlotte,” Pagenaud said. “There’s a great racing community there and great weather for training.” – NBC Sports – (2/20/15)

Chaves ready for IndyCar Series opportunity – 2014 Indy Lights Champion Gabby Chaves is excited for his first year in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Bryan Herta Autosport. Good feature on indycar.com. “We want to go out there and race as hard as we can, compete with the fastest cars,” said Chaves. “I believe we can do it. I believe with the right work ethic, you can make it happen, even in a one-car team, being a rookie.” – INDYCAR – (2/20/15)

Chilton leads the way on Day 2 of Lights Winterfest – Carlin’s Max Chilton was fastest in the overall third and final session on Day 2 of Indy Lights testing at NOLA Motorsports Park. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (2/19/15)

Karam and Newgarden workout at NFL Combine – Sage Karam and Josef Newgarden worked out at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday. Karam ran the faster 40 yard dash at 4.9 seconds. “The combine is great because it’s young guys trying to break into the pro level,” Newgarden said. “It’s very much like young race car drivers racing Indy Lights or some of the lower ladder series of the Mazda Road to Indy trying to become Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. These types of events are where you showcase your talent for your sport.” – INDYCAR – (2/19/15)

Serralles fastest on Day 1 of Lights Winterfest – Belardi Auto Racing’s Felix Serralles was fastest in Day 1 of Indy Lights testing at NOLA Motorsports Park as part of their Winterfest testing. Carlin’s former F1 driver Max Chilton was second fastest. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (2/19/15)

Miller endorses Ganassi/Karam move – Robin Miller has an excellent piece on RACER regarding the excitement surrounding the announcement that Sage Karam will start the season with a ride in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Ganassi. “If this were 1965, based on what he’s shown and done, Sage Karam would already be a full-time IndyCar driver. But, considering the economic realities of the Verizon series, he’s got the next best thing. One of the two most successful teams in open wheel racing history covets the talented teenager.” – RACER – (2/19/15)

RLL focused on in-house improvement over adding 2nd car – “The most important thing is that the team has worked extremely well together,” said Graham Rahal. “That’s what we learned last year wasn’t the case. I think we’re pretty cautious about throwing a second car in there and maybe disrupting that. We don’t have the finances together to run a second car yet. We have had a lot of people come to us about it.” – NBC Sports – (2/19/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/18/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is excellent as always. – RACER – (2/18/15)

Wilder names Grand Marshall for Barber – Tuscaloosa native WBC champion Deontay Wilder will be the Grand Marshall of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. “I have an appreciation for hard work and competitiveness, so it will be fun to see the fastest drivers in the world compete for the title of Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama champion,” Wilder said. “It’s a true honor to serve as grand marshal, and I hope all the fans come out for the exciting weekend of racing action.” – INDYCAR – (2/18/15)

Newgarden shares Mardi Gras experience – Josef Newgarden participated in Mardi Gras festivities last weekend as part of an INDYCAR PR tour and shares his experiences with Road & Track. Entertaining read. – Road & Track – (2/18/15)

Cavin Q&A 2/18/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A today covers aero kits, the IMS apron, and schedule concerns. – Indianapolis Star – (2/18/15)

MRTI Winterfest testing starts Wednesday – NOLA Motorsports Park will host two days of Indy Lights testing and multiple Pro Mazda and USF 2000 races from February 18th-20th. Here is the entry list for Indy Lights for Winterfest testing. – Indy Lights – (2/18/15)

INDYCAR Media Day notes – INDYCAR’s Media Day notes article is a good summary of Tuesday’s Media Day events if you missed anything. The biggest news of the day was the confirmation that Sage Karam will drive for Ganassi at the season opener St. Pete. – INDYCAR – (2/18/15)

Karam will race for Ganassi at St. Pete – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that development driver Sage Karam will join the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series lineup in the No. 8 GE LED Chevrolet for the season-opening race at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Karam’s No. 8 Chevrolet will bear the GE LED livery to start his first Verizon IndyCar Series event outside of the 2014 Indianapolis 500.” – Chip Ganassi Racing – (2/17/15)

Honda scheduled to reveal aero kits day before Barber test – Per Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star: “Honda’s current plan is to unveil aero kit at @BarberMotorPark museum on night before open test. That would be March 15.” – @curtcavin – (2/17/15)

Chevy road/street course aero kit revealed – “Chevrolet introduced the road course/short oval body design today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is distinguished from the previous racecar with new front wing elements, sculpted side pods and a new rear wing.” “This is an important milestone in Chevrolet’s involvement in IndyCar racing,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We focused on developing an aerodynamic package that delivers an balanced combination of downforce and drag, along with integrated engine performance. It’s a total performance package.” – GM – (2/17/15)

2/17/15 is INDYCAR Media Day – INDYCAR is streaming their Media Day from IMS on their website. We have it at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/17/15)

RHR’s “Yellow Party” to stage three events in 2015 – Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Racing for Cancer charity has announced that it will stage its famous “The Yellow Party” three times in 2015. The three events will be Friday, March 27th in St. Petersburg, FL, Thursday, May 21 in Indianapolis, IN, and Friday, August 28 in Napa, CA. – The Yellow Party – (2/16/15)

INDYCAR movie on the way? – The folks at RACER found this link about a movie in “pre-production” about a fictional owner and driver trying to make it in the Verizon IndyCar Series. While far from a completed project it’s certainly an intriguing possibility. – RACER – (2/16/15)

Jakes to drive No. 7 for SPM in 2015 – James Jakes will pilot the No. 7 car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series after testing for the team at NOLA last week. “The team has done a fantastic job over the past few seasons and I look forward to continuing that progress,” said Jakes. “I believe that – between myself and James [Hinchcliffe] – we can really push the team to the top of this sport. I’m excited to be working alongside him as we look to help Honda in maximizing the new aero kits. It’s going to be an exciting year and I cannot wait to get started in St. Pete.” – SPM – (2/16/15)

Cavin Q&A 2/16/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A today includes an update on the fact that IMS is still considering reinstalling the apron to make the NASCAR event more entertaining. Plenty more at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (2/16/15)

INDYCAR drivers hit the Mardi Gras scene – INDYCAR drivers Carlos Munoz, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, Sage Karam, Aaron Telitz and Neil Alberico all joined in the Krewe of Bacchus Carnival parade in New Orleans this weekend as a promotion of the upcoming race weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park. “The only thing I could compare this to is the Indy 500 with all the people. I think the coolest part is seeing how people try to get your attention so you will throw beads and just seeing the people’s reactions,” said Karam. – INDYCAR – (2/16/15)

Apex-Brasil did not renew INDYCAR deal – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that Apex-Brasil chose not to renew their deal with INDYCAR when it expired at the end of 2014. Jay Frye, chief revenue officer of Hulman Motorsports, told The Star that the series has signed four partnership deals that will be announced soon. – Indianapolis Star – (2/13/15)

Chevy aero kit to be unveiled Tuesday? – Per INDYCAR’s Media Schedule Chevrolet has a scheduled announcement at 10:30am on Tuesday, February 17th. There is heavy speculation that their road course aero kit will be unveiled at this time. Full schedule here. – INDYCAR PR – (2/13/15)

The end of Walt Disney World Speedway is near – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that Walt Disney World Speedway will be officially shut down at some point after June 30th. “Indy Racing Experience co-owner Scott Jasek, along with officials from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, has been told Walt Disney World will use the property for “transportation improvements.”” Much more at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (2/12/15)

Power fastest on Day 2 of NOLA testing – Team Penske’s Will Power was fastest in Verizon IndyCar Series testing at NOLA Motorsports Park on Wednesday dropping his time by 1.1 seconds from the previous day. Graham Rahal was second quickest. “For us, it’s just nice to have a smooth, solid day,” said Rahal. “We needed that to continue to work on the car. We got ourselves to a place where we haven’t been in a while with a setup that allowed me to attack.” – RACER – (2/12/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/11/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is excellent as always. – RACER – (2/11/15)

Cavin Q&A 2/11/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers aero kit reveal date possibilities and race cancellations in other major racing series. – Indianapolis Star – (2/11/15)

Calgary to be next new venue? – Motorsport.com reports that James Hinchcliffe and his team co-owner Ric Peterson are working on bringing a Verizon IndyCar Series street race to Calgary as soon as 2016 or 2017. “When we had Vancouver, it was one of the best races on the calendar. Edmonton was popular at first, but with the political issues and the promoters there it kind of killed that one. Ric and I have talked a lot about a street race in Calgary. We all know the city is capable of running big events, they do it every year,” Hinchcliffe said. – Motorsport.com – (2/11/15)

Spring test videos emerge – Two great videos of spring Verizon IndyCar Series testing are out on YouTube at the moment. Here is a video from Josef Newgarden’s YouTube channel of his on-board camera at Sebring. Here is a video from Aj Copenhagen’s YouTube channel of a full lap of NOLA Motorsports Park taken from the ground. This track has amazing sightlines! – Various – (2/11/15)

Pagenaud fastest on Day 1 of NOLA testing – New Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud was fastest on Day 1 of Verizon IndyCar Series testing at NOLA Motorsports Park. “The day went really well; I’m really happy,” Pagenaud told RACER. “On my side, the No. 22 car, it’s a brand-new team with a lot to check off the list. We needed to get our systems sorted, and we did that quickly.” Full rundown of drivers testing and their best times at the link. – RACER – (2/11/15)

Aero kit team testing window remains mid-March – “INDYCAR announced today that testing regulations would remain as published in the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook, with March 13 designated the opening of team on-track and wind tunnel testing of the full-size Chevrolet and Honda road/street course and short oval aerodynamic bodywork kits. Earlier this month, INDYCAR confirmed that there would not be a substitute race for the cancelled event in Brasilia, Brazil, which was scheduled for March 8. A Promoter Test is scheduled for March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park, and the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27-29 will mark the competition debut of the aero kits.” – INDYCAR – (2/10/15)

Jakes testing for SPM at NOLA – Former DCR and RLL driver James Jakes is testing Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s No. 7 on Tuesday and Wednesday at NOLA Motorsports Park. “It wasn’t a case of deciding to come back. I always wanted to be there, but obviously we live in a day and age where the financial institution plays a big part and it takes a long time to find partners and get the ball rolling again,” said Jakes. – INDYCAR – (2/10/15)

RACER’s 2/10/15 silly season update – RACER’s Marshall Pruett shares the state of the numerous seats on the grid of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. Great update on the open seats still left for this season. – RACER – (2/10/15)

Daly on the verge of IndyCar seat – After his impressive test with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports last week Conor Daly could be close to a full-time seat in the Verizon IndyCar Series. “I texted my dad after the day was over, and I said it was probably the best day I’ve had in a race car ever. No mistakes, went fast, did what the team needed me to do,” said Daly. “I checked all the boxes. For me it was big. It was just a day in the car, but it puts you so much closer to the game and putting you in play.” Potential teammate James Hinchcliffe believes Daly would be a great addition to the SPM team. “Marco (Andretti) and I are of the same opinion that we would like to see IndyCar as great as it can be, and step one for that to happen is to have the best drivers in the series,” Hinchcliffe told Motorsport.com. – Motorsport.com – (2/10/15)

Speed gets Andretti seat fit – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno reports that former American F1 driver Scott Speed’s seat fitting with Andretti Autosport is for the possibility of a test. The team says a test date isn’t definite at this time and the seat fitting is being performed in case a full-time driver can’t make a test day. Speed tweeted a picture of his fitting early Monday afternoon prompting a lot of speculation. – NBC Sports – (2/9/15)

KV still evaluating drivers for second car – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that KV Racing is using the NOLA test to evaluate their options for their second car this season. “We’re testing Stefano Coletti at NOLA, who tested before with Sam Schmidt, although the test is as far as things go with Stefano at this point,” co-owner Jimmy Vasser said. “And we’re also looking at James Jakes.” Last year’s driver, Sebastian Saavedra, is still a possibility. – RACER – (2/9/15)

Florida Georgia Line to perform at Legends Day – Hit country band Florida Georgia Line will perform at IMS Legends Day on Saturday, May 23rd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jason Aldean performed on a similar date last year. – IMS – (2/9/15)

Phinny set for 500 ride – According to RACER’s Marshall Pruett Ryan Phinny is close to completing a deal to drive in this year’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with KV Racing. “I’ve always lived the Indy 500, and that has connected with some people who feel the same way and want to help me achieve my dream,” says Phinny. “It’s the Indy 500. It’s the biggest race in the world. I’ve been to the race the last seven years, just as a spectator, and being able to go there and race is just surreal.” Phinny comes with a strong sponsorship foundation due to his hosting duties for Playboy TV. – RACER – (2/6/15)

Teams set for NOLA test – Many Verizon IndyCar Series teams are expected to take part in a test at NOLA Motorsports Park on February 10th and 11th. Teams scheduled are Andretti Autosport, CFH Racing, KV Racing Technology, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and Team Penske. – INDYCAR – (2/6/15)

Aleshin to drive ELMS in ’15 – Mikhail Aleshin will drive for SMP Racing’s European Le Mans Program in 2015 after the team ended their relationship with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. – RACER – (2/6/15)

Cavin Q&A 2/6/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers the possibility of a 2015 finale at Laguna Seca (not happening) as well as the changes for IMS Community Day and race control. – Indianapolis Star – (2/6/15)

Simona still working towards IndyCar return – Simona de Silvestro has been linked to openings at Andretti Autosport and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports by RACER’s Marshall Pruett. Simona is optimistic. “That’s the goal. For me to come back to IndyCar, I want to get re-established – work for the future – and not do one season and start over again,” she said. “IndyCar is my future; I want to be competitive, and I want to put myself in the best position. There are some seats left – although there aren’t many left – but I’m working with the sponsorship I have to find the best possible situation.” – RACER – (2/5/15)

Briscoe hoping for 500 ride – Talking to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star about his confirmation to compete at Le Mans Ryan Briscoe is not optimistic about his chances of a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series ride in 2015 after missing out on CFH’s role in the No. 20. He does want to race in the Indy 500 again. “I’ve got a quiet schedule right now, and it’s again one of those years where if I can throw in some IndyCar races it will be great,” Briscoe said. – Indianapolis Star – (2/5/15)

Hildebrand still searching for a ride – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports on JR Hildebrand’s search for a Verizon IndyCar Series ride after missing out on the part-time role for the CFH Racing No. 20. “I thought we were most of the way there – we tested late last year, which went really well, and it’s super frustrating, but you have to respect the direction they’ve chosen to go,” he told RACER. More at the link. – RACER – (2/4/15)

Cavin Q&A 2/4/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers questions on IMS Community Day, Simona, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (2/4/15)

Daly tests for SPM – American Conor Daly tested for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports on Tuesday at Sebring. Daly “matched” full-time SPM driver James Hinchcliffe’s time in the morning session. “It’s been two years since I’ve been in a car on a road course but to be right on pace with Hinch for me personally is great,” he said. “It’s just so nice to be back in a car and working with these guys is so cool.” – INDYCAR – (2/4/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/4/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is great as always. – RACER – (2/4/15)

Chaves officially in at BHA – Bryan Herta Autosport has 2014 Indy Lights Champion Gabby Chaves their driver for the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian machine in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Chaves: “I’m so excited and honored to be the latest Colombian driver in Indycar! Our country has such a great history in the sport and especially at the Indianapolis 500 with drivers like Roberto Guerrero, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Carlos Munoz ~I can’t wait to make my own history there!” – BHA – (2/3/15)

IndyCar 2018 – Randy Bernard – RACER’s “IndyCar 2018” series continues with former INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard. This is certainly one of the most entertaining pieces of the series and Randy presents a lot of insight and ideas into the series’ past, present, and future. One liner of the story: “I’m still very loyal and try never to miss a race on television, although I must admit that since John Barnes has gone, I don’t have anyone to root against.” – RACER – (2/3/15)

Month of May schedule revealed – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star has published the schedule for the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first test on the oval will be on May 3rd. The first official practice of the 500 will be on May 11th and run until 7pm. Full schedule for the month at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (2/3/15)

Brasilia race won’t be replaced – INDYCAR confirmed Monday afternoon that the cancelled season-opening race in Brasilia will NOT be replaced by a race. The series is looking at additional opportunities for testing. – INDYCAR – (2/3/15)

Four teams testing at Sebring this week – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno reports that four Verizon IndyCar Series teams will be testing at Sebring this week. The teams are Andretti Autosport, CFH Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. – NBC Sports – (2/2/15)

Munoz changing numbers for ’15 – Per his twitter feed Carlos Munoz will be switching to driving the No. 26 car in the Verizon IndyCar Series this year. Munoz drove the No. 34 last year. Picture at the link. – @CarlosMunoz034 – (2/2/15)

INDYCAR evaluating options after Brasilia cancellation – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that INDYCAR has talked to the Circuit of Americas about the possibility of replacing the now cancelled Brasilia season opener for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “Once the news broke coming out of Brazil, we immediately began speaking with tracks to see what their schedules might allow,” said IndyCar’s president of competition, Derrick Walker. “We’re working to come up with answers on what we will do and have communicated with our teams and partners that our goal is to have our options and direction in place early next week. If nothing comes from making another race happen, we’ll go as planned with the next race on the schedule at St. Pete.” More at the link. – RACER – (1/30/15)

Big staff changes at Ganassi – Long-time Ganassi engineer Eric Bretzman has been re-assigned to the team’s NASCAR program after spending years with Scott Dixon and the No. 9. Chris Simmons will move to Dixon’s team from the No. 10 (with Dixon and Dario) in 2015. Tony Kanaan’s new engineer will be former BHA 500 winner Todd Malloy. – RACER – (1/30/15)

Filippi confirmed as road/street driver for CFH No. 20 – Luca Filippi will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy’s car for CFH Racing on the road and street courses in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. “It’s a great feeling. I can’t wait to race and share the No. 20 with Ed this year,” stated Filippi. “I have to thank Ed, Fuzzy’s Vodka and CFH Racing for this fantastic opportunity and I look forward to the successes we will enjoy this season!” – CFH Racing – (1/30/15)

Marco changes number again – Per Marco’s Instagram page is looks as though he’s changing his car number again in 2015 to number 27. He used the hashtag #27in15 and posted an image of his car (with a new livery) with the No. 27. – Marco Andretti Instagram – (1/30/15)

Hamilton rejoins IMS Radio team – Davey Hamilton has rejoined the IMS Radio Network broadcast team as an analyst for 2015. Paul Page returns for a second consecutive year. Pippa Mann will not be part of the network team this year. – INDYCAR – (1/30/15)

Official INDYCAR statement on Brasilia cancellation – “INDYCAR, the governing body of the Verizon IndyCar Series, issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of the Brasilia Indy 300 in the capital city of Brazil: Today’s announcement by BAND that the March 8 INDYCAR race in Brasilia was cancelled was both unexpected and disappointing. INDYCAR had received every indication that the race was already a success: Two-thirds of the seats available for the event had already been sold; a title sponsor for the event (ITAIPAVA) was announced yesterday; hospitality was sold out; and track construction was progressing and scheduled to be complete in time for the event. Although we have not received formal confirmation from our partners in Brazil regarding the cancellation, economically INDYCAR is protected and the paddock is protected from such action.” – INDYCAR – (1/30/15)

Cavin Q&A 1/30/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on potential drivers for the TBD seats in the Verizon IndyCar Series. – Indianapolis Star – (1/30/15)

Conway officially joins Toyota WEC program – Mike Conway has officially joined Toyota’s World Endurance Championship team and thus is officially out of IndyCar in any full-time capacity in 2015. This tweet from CFH Racing claims they’ll have big news Friday morning. Luca Filippi is thought to be the favorite for the road and street course duties in the No. 20 even with the long standing rumors (and team experience) linking JR Hildebrand. – RACER – (1/30/15)

Juncos Racing pair leads first Lights oval test – Juncos Racing pair Kyle Kaiser and Spencer Pigot led the way in the second session of the first day of Lights testing at Homestead Miami Speedway. Max Chilton finished 10th of 11 cars on track after the first oval experience of his career. – Indy Lights – (1/29/15)

Brasilia season opening race is cancelled – Speculation on the cancellation of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ opening race of the 2015 season was rampant in Brazilian media reports this afternoon and has been confirmed by Indianapolis news station WTHR. “Brazilian organizers say the IndyCar Series opener scheduled for March in the nation’s capital has been canceled. The television channel organizing and promoting the event released a statement on Thursday saying the decision was made by the local government in Brasilia.” – WTHR – (1/29/15)

Daly to test at Sebring in early February – Conor Daly tweeted on Thursday that he will be testing for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Sebring in early February. In a subsequent tweet Daly mentioned that Marco Andretti contributed $3,000 to help fund the test. – @ConorDaly22 – (1/29/15)

Chaves rumored to be confirmed at BHA soon – From RACER’s Marshall Pruett: “2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves is expected to be announced as Bryan Herta Autosport’s full-time driver within the next week. RACER has learned the young Colombian, who tested for the team during the off-season, earned the nod over Italian GP2 ace Luca Filippi and will pilot the Honda-powered No. 98 when the season begins on March 8 in Brazil.” More at the link. – RACER – (1/29/15)

Barnhart to return as race director – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that Brian Barnhart will return as Verizon IndyCar Series race director for 2015. “Barnhart, who was chief steward from 1997-2011, was moved out of the job after a series of controversial incidents, including the decision to restart a race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the rain. That’s when Will Power, whose car was collected in the ensuing crash, directed an obscene gesture at race control.” – Indianapolis Star – (1/28/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 1/28/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is excellent as always. – RACER – (1/28/15)

Ed Jones leads again at Lights testing – Rookie driver and team Ed Jones and Carlin topped the charts again in Day 2 of Indy Lights testing at the Homestead Miami Speedway road course on Tuesday. Tristan Vautier substituted for Juan Piedrahita in the No. 5 Belardi entry. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (1/28/15)

News From Last Month

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