News for the Month of February 2016

Helio fastest in final session and overall in Phoenix testing – Helio Castroneves’ lap at 190.894mph topped the charts in the final session of the Verizon IndyCar Series Test in the West at Phoenix International Raceway. Andretti, Hunter-Reay, Sato, and Munoz composed the rest of the Top 5. Jack Hawksworth made contact with the wall in Turn 2 with around 30 minutes remaining. Full results here and combined results for the test here. – INDYCAR – (2/27/2016)

Pagenaud finishes P1 session 3 on Saturday at Phoenix testing – Pagenaud’s lap at 190.747 mph topped the charts in session 3 on Saturday of the Verizon IndyCar Series Test in the West at Phoenix International Raceway. His speed led the all-Chevy top 5 also consisting of ECR’s Josef Newgarden and Ed Carpenter as well as Tony Kanaan and Will Power. Full results at the link. – @openwh33l – (2/27/2016)

KVSH Racing confirms deal for Bourdais – KVSH Racing announced on Saturday that Sebastien Bourdais will return to drive for team in a one year deal. Bourdais being the team’s driver wasn’t a surprise but their was hope that it would be a two year deal. – NBC Sports – (2/27/2016)

Marco tops the chart in Practice 2 of Phoenix testing – Marco Andretti’s lap at 187.678mph topped the charts in the second session of day 1 of the Verizon IndyCar Series Test in the West at Phoenix International Raceway. The rest of the Top 5 was Dixon, Carpenter, Hinchcliffe, and Newgarden. Full results at the link. – @indy44 – (2/26/2016)

Helio leads the way in first session on Day 1 at Phoenix testing – Helio Castroneves’ lap at 187.850mph topped the charts in the first session of day 1 of the Verizon IndyCar Series Test in the West at Phoenix International Raceway. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Newgarden, Montoya, and Rahal. Full results at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/26/2016)

Andretti working towards 5 cars for the 500 – Tony DiZinno reports that while Andretti Autosport’s goal of adding a car for selected racesfor their Formula E driver, Robin Frijns, is off the table due to taking on the BHA No. 98 the team would still like to have five cars for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “We’re working on it. We’re working on five,” Michael Andretti told NBC Sports during Indy Lights testing at Phoenix International Raceway. “We were close on one deal that just fell apart, unfortunately. But there’s a few other irons in the fire. The goal is get to five.” Frijns may still race for the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series program later in the season. – NBC Sports – (2/26/2016)

Urrutia tops the charts in open Practice 2 in Phoenix Lights testing – Santiago Urrutia’s lap at 167.341mph was good enough for P1 in the second open practice session for Indy Lights testing at Phoenix International Raceway. The rest of the Top 5 was Negrao, Serralles, Stoneman, and Kaiser. Andre Negrao, the P2 finisher, was just a test driver for SPM this weekend so it will be interesting to see what his impressive showings will do for a team that may field an additional full-time entry. – Indy Lights – (2/25/2016)

INDYCAR working hard on improving driver head protection – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that “materials being tested this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway” in “IndyCar’s pursuit of driver protection from flying debris”. “I don’t see (installation) this year, but we certainly could see some testing this year,” said INDYCAR president Jay Frye. Much more at the link. – SPM – (2/25/2016)

Chaves to sub for Aleshin for SPM at Phoenix test – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Gabby Chaves will temporarily fill the seat of the No. 7 SMP Racing Honda entry during the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix International Raceway. Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin, SPM’s contracted driver for the No. 7 car, is unable to attend the test due to last-minute work visa issues.” – SPM – (2/25/2016)

Andretti Autosport releases ’16 liveries – Andretti Autosport has released their liveries for all of their Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights teams. Check them out at the link or at our livery pages here: Verizon IndyCar Series / Indy Lights. – Andretti Autosport – (2/25/2016)

ECR releases No. 21 livery and commemorative Fuzzy’s bottle – “To celebrate the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka is releasing two commemorative, limited-edition bottles of vodka. In support of this momentous occasion, Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) will feature a special Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka paint scheme for the No. 21 Chevrolet driven by Josef Newgarden.” “Beginning in early April, Fuzzy’s Vodka will be releasing the two commemorative bottles. The first will be a 750ml bottle paying homage to the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and past Indianapolis 500 winners. For the second bottle, Fuzzy’s has created a truly unique vodka that has been filtered through charcoal and lava 100 times, presented in a 1.75 liter bottle.” Check out the livery at our No. 21 livery page. – Ed Carpenter Racing – (2/25/2016)

Team Penske announces HP as sponsor for No. 22 – “Team Penske and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a multi-year extension of their partnership today that will see HPE’s involvement with the team and IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud increase, beginning with the 2016 season. HPE will serve as the primary sponsor for Pagenaud and the No. 22 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet in at least five events in 2016…Pagenaud, who joined Team Penske before the 2015 season, will race the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevy in the Verizon IndyCar Series events at St. Petersburg, Detroit, Texas, Boston and Sonoma in 2016.” – Team Penske – (2/25/2016)

Enerson fastest in first open Lights test at Phoenix – RC Enerson’s lap at 168.214mph was good enough for P1 in the first open practice session for Indy Lights testing at Phoenix International Raceway after Santiago Urruita was fastest in the rookie session earlier in the morning. The rest of the Top 5 was Serralles, Kaiser, Stoneman, and Negrao. – Indy Lights – (2/25/2016)

Engine lease price ceiling increases for ’16 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that the maximum cost to lease an engine in the Verizon IndyCar Series is about to increase: “A change to the 2016 pricing structure set by the Verizon IndyCar Series will allow engine suppliers to charge up to $1 million per year for an engine lease. The previous limit was $750,000. The $250,000 hike is included in new multi-year supply agreement between IndyCar and Honda, and has also been applied to Chevrolet’s agreement with the series.” Much more at the link. – RACER – (2/25/2016)

Miller reacts to new race steward trio – RACER’s Robin Miller’s reaction to INDYCAR’s announcement of their new race steward team (Luyendyk, Papis, and Davis – see below) is as interesting of a read as you would expect. “Because IndyCar needs one strong voice to rule the races – not a barbershop quartet. It baffles me why IndyCar feels the need to vote and how it can have people the past two years that aren’t qualified to make these game-changing calls.” – RACER – (2/25/2016)

Dixon and Bourdais named as Ganassi Ford GT drivers for Sebring – Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon were announced as part of the driving combinations for seaparate cars for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT’s for the upcoming 12 Hours of Sebring. “It’s exciting to continue with Sébastien Bourdais at the 12 Hours of Sebring,” said Ganassi Managing Director Mike Hull. “The addition of Scott Dixon to our Ford Performance GT lineup enhances the depth chart.” – CGRT – (2/25/2016)

Brabham and Team Murray continue prep for May – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno has a nice update on PIRTEK Team Murray and Matthew Brabham as they continue to develop their full plan for their confirmed races at IMS during the Month of May. Brabham and the team hope a strong month could lead to more events. “Good results help, but the goal is to create a big buzz around what we’re doing,” said Brabham. “We need to get a lot of people interested, and that gets some more partners, sponsors involved and makes some people happy.” – NBC Sports – (2/25/2016)

Entry list available for Lights Phoenix test – The entry list for the Indy Lights test at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday, February 25th has been posted and is available at the link. It features the 14 car/driver combinations confirmed for St. Pete and two test drivers for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Choi and Negrao). – Indy Lights – (2/24/2016)

Chevy yet to fill program manager role – RACER reports that Chevrolet has yet to fill their INDYCAR general manager role previously held by Chris Berube (who was reassigned to a different role within GM). GM Racing director Mark Kent had this to say to RACER: “We’ve used the IndyCar program manager role as one of our vocational assignments. We want to bring in up-and-coming engineers and hone their program management skills and then have them go back to production…Obviously it would be nice to have someone for the first race of the season, but I would rather make sure we spend an adequate amount of time to make sure we identify the right candidate.” – RACER – (2/24/2016)

INDYCAR names trio as race stewards – “INDYCAR announced it has strengthened its race control program by naming three race stewards with extensive motorsports experience to monitor on-track competition at all 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series events. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, former Indy car driver Max Papis and longtime motorsports executive Dan Davis will make up the three-steward panel at each race.” “As soon as we began the process of identifying our race stewards, we targeted Dan, Arie and Max and we’re thrilled they agreed to join this extremely important initiative,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “INDYCAR’s stewards have a great deal of experience across many different areas of motorsports and we are confident their varying perspectives will mesh well for consistent execution and enforcement of our rules.” – INDYCAR – (2/24/2016)

SPM to test two additional Lights drivers at Phoenix – TSO reports that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will run André Negrão and Heamin Choi as test drivers-only in the Lights test at Phoenix this Thursday. – TSO Ladder – (2/24/2016)

Andretti signs Stoneman for Indy Lights – “British racing standout Dean Stoneman will make his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires debut in 2016 with championship team Andretti Autosport. Stoneman, who is viewed as one of the most gifted drivers of his generation, will pilot the No. 27 Stellrecht Mazda driving alongside teammates Shelby Blackstock and Dalton Kellett.” “I’m delighted to be racing in the U.S. this year,” said Stoneman. “We have been looking at racing here for a while now and to have finally secured a seat with Andretti in Indy Lights is a fantastic move for me. This season will form the first step towards racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.” – Andretti Autosport – (2/24/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/24/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/24/2016)

Trackside podcast 2/23/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 2/23/16 is available at the link. Bryan Sperber and Alexander Rossi are a couple of the guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (2/24/2016)

Entry list for Phoenix test is out, Filippi in No. 19 – Luca Filippi is listed as the driver for the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda/Dallara for the “Test in the West” at Phoenix International Raceway on February 26th and 27th. The No. 19 car is the only unannounced seat on the grid for 2016. Check out the full entry list at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/23/2016)

Team Pelfrey announces Hargrove for St. Pete Lights weekend – “Team Pelfrey announced today that Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver, Scott Hargrove, will pilot the No. 3 Gap Guard Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Mazda in rounds one and two at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.” “I’m ecstatic about joining the new Team Pelfrey Indy Lights program,” said Hargrove. “It’s clear that this is a team that knows how to win, and I’m very confident we’ll be competitive right out of the gate. After nearly a year out of the Indy Lights car, St. Pete will be a great reintroduction as it is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule and I’ve had success there in the past.” – Team Pelfrey – (2/23/2016)

Rosenqvist confirmed as Belardi Lights driver – “Belardi Auto Racing is pleased to announce that they have added another extremely talented pilot to their driver roster for the upcoming 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires program, teaming reigning European Formula 3 champion Felix Rosenqvist with multi-time series race winner Zach Veach to form an impressive one-two punch on the Mazda Road to Indy’s top rung.” “I’m really excited about racing in the US this year, and doing so with Belardi Auto Racing,” said Rosenqvist. “Testing went very well and I got to grips with the car pretty much straight away. I like the way the team operates, and the racing seems a lot of fun with a wide variety of circuits and pure driving.” – Indy Lights – (2/23/2016)

Rossi confirmed to the Andretti/Herta No. 98 – “Alexander Rossi will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in 2016 with Andretti Autosport. Rossi, who will make the transition from the FIA Formula 1 World Championship to IndyCar, will pilot the No. 98 Honda. Rossi makes his transition to IndyCar official with a rookie test day March 1 at Sebring International Raceway.” “I’m very much looking forward to making my IndyCar Series debut this season and am proud to be racing with a team of such high calibre and pedigree as that of Andretti Autosport,” said Rossi. “As a racer through and through, I cannot wait to get started; our goal is to be competitive immediately at the first race in St. Petersburg.” – Andretti Autosport – (2/23/2016)

Miller reports Rossi has signed for Herta/Andretti – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that former American F1 driver Alexander Rossi has signed to drive the No. 98 Honda/Dallara for Andretti Autosport/Bryan Herta Autosport for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Miller says the deal will be announced on Tuesday. Update: Motorsport.com says it’s official. – RACER – (2/22/2016)

INDYCAR once again exploring international postseason event – RACER reports that INDYCAR is investigating the possibility of an international, non-points event during the weekend of October 9th. The venue is currently unknown. “We’ve been approached and wouldn’t consider anything that affects the championship,” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told RACER. “We’re ending the championship in Sonoma, as planned. It would be non-points, end-of-year, and it’s too soon to say whether that makes sense for us or not.” – RACER – (2/22/2016)

Rossi weighing options as F1 remains ultimate goal – Alexander Rossi has been in talks with Bryan Herta and Michael Andretti regarding their empty seat in the No. 98 but the young American is evaluating his options as he contemplates his future in regards to Formula 1. “It’s no secret I’ve been talking to Michael and Bryan, as well as a couple of other IndyCar teams,” Rossi told RACER. “And I’ve got an opportunity in the WEC as well. F1 wouldn’t be in a driving capacity this year but I’ve been in Europe since I was 17 and it’s all I know. My focus is still F1 and it’s important to be included and keep my foot in the door.” – RACER – (2/22/2016)

INDYCAR names Pappas VP of Competition – “INDYCAR announced that veteran racing engineer Bill Pappas has been named Vice President of Competition, Race Engineering. Pappas brings more than 30 years of motorsports experience to the position and has cultivated strong relationships throughout the racing community…Pappas is replacing Will Phillips, INDYCAR Vice President of Technology, who will be leaving INDYCAR in March.” – INDYCAR – (2/22/2016)

Mann partners with Genetic Technologies – “Verizon IndyCar Series driver Pippa Mann will partner with Genetic Technologies Limited (NASDAQ: GENE), a molecular diagnostics company specializing in women’s health, in 2016 to promote BREVAGenplus®, the company’s first-in-class, clinically validated risk assessment test for non-hereditary breast cancer. This new relationship between Pippa and Genetic Technologies further affirms Pippa’s commitment to breast cancer prevention and its associated technologies. Pippa is entering her third year of a partnership with Susan G. Komen®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.” – Pippa Mann – (2/22/2016)

Grace Autosport secures Chevy deal – In an interview with Bill Benner, Grace Autosport owner Beth Paretta told Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick that her team has a deal to run Chevy engines in their attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Check it out at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/22/2016)

Shelton to headline Legends Day concert at IMS – “Country music superstar Blake Shelton will headline the annual Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 28, the day before the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Current IMS customers can purchase tickets now through a pre-sale while an official on-sale date is slated for Feb. 29 at 9:00 a.m.” – IMS – (2/22/2016)

DCR has had “serious talks” with Filippi – Dale Coyne Racing is still working on filling the seat for their No. 19 machine and owner Dale Coyne says there are “six contenders” for the seat. Coyne had this to say to Motorsport.com on Luca Filippi: “Luca is good, he was comfortable in an IndyCar right away back in 2013, and I’d say he’s been impressive since. So we’ve had serious talks and I think he would be a good fit for the team.” – Motorsport.com – (2/22/2016)

DW12 release on Project CARS pushed back to 3/1 – The much awaited release of the Verizon IndyCar Series DW12 on the racing simulator Project CARS has been pushed back to 3/1/16. – Project CARS – (2/20/2016)

Pennzoil and “Yellow Submarine” back for Helio at the 500 – Pennzoil will once again be the primary sponsor for Team Penske and Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 Chevy/Dallara for The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Team Penske unveiled the livery in a ceremony on Friday. The livery can be seen at the link or at our No. 3 livery page. – Ben Reiff – (2/19/2016)

Team Penske exhibit opens at IMS Museum – A special 50th Anniversary Team Penske exhibit opened on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Pictures at the link. – NBC Sports – (2/19/2016)

Stevens open to INDYCAR switch – Former Manor F1 driver Will Stevens is open to coming to the Verizon IndyCar Series should a seat open now that he’s out of immediate options in Formula 1. “At the moment, we’re exploring all avenues,” Stevens told RACER. “I spend a lot of time in the States, know quite a few people there, so IndyCar is an option. We’re looking at a lot of things, and it’s no secret Formula 1 is not an option right now. So we’re trying to stay open and look at the best avenue for career longevity.” – RACER – (2/19/2016)

Firestone reveals special tire sidewall design for 100th 500 – “Celebrating the “100 Days Out” milestone leading to the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500® Mile Race, Firestone today unveiled a special tire honoring the legendary drivers who contributed to the brand’s 66 combined victories at the world’s most renowned race. As the Official Tire of the Indianapolis 500, Firestone has carried more drivers to victory circle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) than all other tire manufacturers combined.” Picture at the link. – Bridgestone/Firestone – (2/19/2016)

500 car count update – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno posted an interesting piece on the current full-time car count for the Verizon IndyCar Series and an early look at the numbers for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. There are currently 21 cars confirmed for the year and 27 for the 500. – NBC Sports – (2/19/2016)

IMS unveils ticket for 100th Running of the Indy 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Juan Pablo Montoya unveiled the ticket for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Thursday night featuring Montoya celebrating after his win in 2015. Picture at the link. – IMS – (2/19/2016)

RACER reports Rossi is the favorite for No. 98 – From Robin Miller: “RACER.com has learned that Rossi is the leading candidate to drive the No. 98 Dallara/Honda, and is on his way to Indianapolis for a seat fitting for next weekend’s IndyCar test at Phoenix International Raceway.” – RACER – (2/18/2016)

Project CARS’ DW12 developed by SPM – “I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Bryan [Herta] and BHA, and it’s an unfortunate situation,” the 2014 Indy Lights champion told RACER. “I’ll be looking for a car to get in for the Indy 500, and working with Bryan to look at any opportunities we can make to keep working together.” – RACER – (2/18/2016)

BHA & Andretti team up – Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport have formed an alliance to enable the No. 98 Honda/Dallara entry to remain in the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time in 2016. 12 BHA crew members will keep their jobs as part of the deal. “This is going to be great,” said Bryan Herta told RACER. “I called Mike earlier this week as a friend and told him I was struggling and he said he knew the feeling, so we started talking and I hopped on a plane to Indianapolis. It just kinda all fit together and it all happened in just a couple days.” Much more at the link. – RACER – (2/18/2016)

Project CARS’ DW12 developed by SPM – Racing simulator Project CARS is set to release its version of the Dallara IR-12 (DW12) next week and it’s been revealed that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports played a role in the development of their model. “Working with the SPM team has been a fantastic experience,” said Casey Ringley, vehicle lead at Slightly Mad Studios. “Their engineers were incredibly helpful during physics development of the car, offering setup advice and providing data to make sure the model in the game is as close to the real thing as possible for aero performance, suspension tuning, tire behavior and so on.” Conor Daly, who was with SPM in 2014, offered this: “It’s amazing to see our cars brought to life in a game with the technology we have access to these days. I have no doubt everyone will enjoy piloting the DW12 in game.” – INDYCAR – (2/18/2016)

Piedrahita named as Lights driver for Team Pelfrey – “Team Pelfrey has signed Juan Piedrahita for the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season. 2016 will mark the Colombian-natives third season in Indy Lights after previously competing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Belardi Auto Racing.” “Team Pelfrey has a rich history in fielding great Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires Championship cars,” said Piedrahita. “When I found out they would have an Indy Lights team, I knew they were going to be a top contender.” – Indy Lights – (2/18/2016)

SPM names Urrutia as newest Lights driver – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Santiago Urrutia will compete with the team, driving the No. 55 Mazda-sponsored car, in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series for the 2016 season. Urrutia competed in various formulaes in Europe before winning the 2015 Pro Mazda championship and earning Rookie of the Year honors.” “I am very honored to be able to drive for SPM,” said Urrutia. “The team has an amazing record in Indy Lights and I am going to make sure I add to its tally of wins and championships. I’m also very happy to work with an incredible group of guys and gals that I’ve already met during my tests with the team. Now that the business of contracts is done, St. Pete here we come!” – SPM – (2/18/2016)

Chilton plays down Ganassi Le Mans links – Chip Ganassi Racing’s new Verizon IndyCar Series driver Max Chilton has downplayed the possibility that he could drive one of the Ganassi Ford GT’s at Le Mans. “I would look at it. Personally, I don’t really fancy GTs yet because I still feel I’m at an age where I can do well and I can prove myself more in single-seated racing and get victories, maybe championships under my belt, before I jump into a GT car. I’d probably rather go LMP1 before I did that.” – Sportscar365 – (2/18/2016)

Trackside podcast 2/17/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 2/17/16 is available at the link. Tony Kanaan, Conor Daly, and Marty Snider are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (2/18/2016)

Chilton says track safety could deter F1 drivers from INDYCAR switch – “Yes, [more could come] if certain things are looked at,” Chilton said. “There’s certain things I don’t think they would like, and I don’t like personally. The thing that stands out to me is the track safety. You go to some tracks and think. ‘this would never happen in the rest of the world, or Europe’. They don’t have the same safety standards, in my opinion, when it comes to certain tracks. As the cars go, the cars are just as safe as Formula One. [But] I definitely think with certain circuits, [F1 Race Director] Charlie Whiting would come over and say, ‘Change that, change that’. I’ve spoken with a couple of drivers that have been doing it for many years, without mentioning names. They go, ‘Yeah, we’ve seen that for years, but they’re just not interested in changing it’.” – RACER – (2/17/2016)

Track build begins for Long Beach – “Construction began Tuesday morning on part of the 1.97-mile street course that will be the site of April’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Some of the more than 2,400 concrete blocks that are part of the safety barrier system were installed Tuesday on the 11-turn circuit. More than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks and four miles of fencing will line the track during the April 15-17 race weekend.” More at the link. – NBCLA – (2/17/2016)

Andretti Autosport announces returns of Butterball partnership – “U.S. based food corporation Butterball has expanded its relationship with four-time Verizon IndyCar Series championship team Andretti Autosport, marking 2016 the third year for the successful partnership. Butterball, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of total turkey production in the country, will see its deliciously familiar branding on the No. 28 Honda piloted by 2014 Indianapolis 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Additionally, in an expanded role for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the No. 27 machine of Marco Andretti will carry Butterball’s mark for the 2016 Grand Prix of Indianapolis as well as the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.” – Andretti Autosport – (2/17/2016)

RLL announces Fifth Third Bank as associate sponsor – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Fifth Third Bank has joined the team as an associate sponsor. The bank logo will appear on the No. 15 Verizon IndyCar Series entry of Graham Rahal.” “I’m very pleased that we have entered into this partnership with Fifth Third Bank,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “Fifth Third Bank is a major force in the banking industry in the Midwest and is known as one of the top banking institutions in the industry. It’s only fitting to come together for these great races and especially the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.” – RLL – (2/17/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/17/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/17/2016)

INDYCAR arrives on Project CARS on 2/23 – “#INDYCAR comes to @projectcarsgame on Feb. 23 in the US Car Pack for PS4, XB1 & PC!” Pictures at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/17/2016)

Busch and Kahne interested in 500 opportunities – Both Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne expressed interest in racing the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race sometime in the future at Daytona 500 Media Day. “We’re at Daytona and we’re all focused on Daytona,” Busch said. “I think once we get through Atlanta and that NASCAR Goes West Tour, that will give a better indication on whether I’m going to run Indy this year.” “It actually was more about the team and being in the right spot and things like that,” Kahne said. “It’s definitely on my radar. It’s something that could happen in the future. It didn’t really get off the ground, but I did some talking to see what was out there.” – NASCAR – (2/17/2016)

Allmendinger rules out INDYCAR return – AJ Allmendinger has ruled out returning to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series citing safety concerns. “The moment Justin Wilson passed away is the moment I said ‘never’,” Allmendinger told motorsport.com. “Never again. The only way I would do it is if they put in a closed cockpit over the car and tested it and they thought that was a good direction in safety.” – motorsport.com – (2/16/2016)

Firestone shares winter development endeavors – Dale Harrigle, Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Development for Firestone Racing, wrote an entry for the INDYCAR website on what Firestone has been working on over the winter. “Keeping in line with the overall theme of celebrating the 100th running, Firestone Racing’s Race Tire Development team had a role in developing a special enhancement for the 2016 Indianapolis 500 tires, which I believe fans will really enjoy. We’ll share more about those enhancements in the coming weeks. Without giving too much away, we are excited to celebrate Firestone’s rich history at the Indy 500 and we’re going to display that excitement in a way that only Firestone, with our 100-year history at Indianapolis, can.” – INDYCAR – (2/16/2016)

IMS posts construction update – Indianapolis Motor Speedway recently posted an update on Project 100 construction on their website. It sounds like great progress is being made and they’re on or ahead of schedule. Full story with pictures at the link. – IMS – (2/15/2016)

Daly’s rookie status confirmed – TSO reports that Conor Daly will be classified as a rookie in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016. “TSO was able to confirm that @ConorDaly22 will be classified as rookie for the 2016 #IndyCar season. #ChiltonVSDaly @DaleCoyneRacing” – TrackSide Online – (2/15/2016)

Hinchcliffe feels ‘invincible’ ahead of IndyCar season – The Toronto Sun has a great piece on James Hinchcliffe as he prepares for his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series. “I’m perfectly fine with (returning to racing),” Hinchcliffe said. “I think it’s way easier for me than it would have been had I had any memory of the crash. My memory of the crash is the same as yours. It’s what I saw on video. I feel very disconnected from that part of it…Everything subsequently, I’m a little more in tune with. But I can’t wait to get to Indy and get to Turn 3 and have a big grin on my face.” Read the full story at the link. – Toronto Sun – (2/15/2016)

INDYCAR updates stars’ NBA ASG experience – INDYCAR post a good update on what Conor Daly, James Hinchcliffe, and Josef Newgarden were up to at the NBA All Star Game festivities over the weekend in Toronto. “We hung out and talked cars and just did things friends do, I guess – talked about life and we saw some more cars and it was a good day,” said Daly. Much more at the link. – INDYCAR – (2/15/2016)

Daly, Hinch, Newgarden doing publicity in Toronto this weekend – Conor Daly, James Hinchcliffe, and Josef Newgarden are doing publicity work for INDYCAR in Toronto this weekend at the Canadian International Auto Show and NBA All Star Game festivities. “I don’t know what to expect,” said Daly. “I’m just glad we were invited and can’t wait to hang out.” – INDYCAR – (2/12/2016)

RACER’s aero kit comparisons – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has put together a nice feature comparing the new 2016 Chevy aero kit to the 2015 Chevy and Honda aero kits. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (2/12/2016)

Iowa and INDYCAR announce three-year extension – “Iowa Speedway and Iowa Corn today announced a multi-year sponsorship renewal that will keep Iowa Corn as title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 through 2018. Iowa Corn is in its 10th year of partnership with “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet.” The renewed agreement continues the second longest entitlement sponsorship in INDYCAR racing.” “The state of Iowa continues to lead this country in the production of corn and corn-based ethanol, and we are honored to celebrate and promote these industries at Iowa Speedway,” said Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small. – Iowa Speedway – (2/12/2016)

Vautier hopeful for DCR ride – Tristan Vautier is hoping that his solid performance with Dale Coyne Racing in the latter half of last year will lead to him getting a ride opposite the confirmed Conor Dale for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016. “We had a great connection, great chemistry at the team, straight away from when I qualified for them at Indianapolis,” said Vautier. “And so I think Dale would like that to continue…I think Conor and I would be a very strong lineup, but I think the team would make progress also because Dale and his staff have been working so hard over the winter.” – motorsport.com – (2/12/2016)

Former IMS Radio legend Marlowe passed away – “Chuck Marlowe, a longtime WTTV media personality and Indiana Broadcast Pioneer Hall of Fame member, passed away at the age of 86, according to his family…Marlowe performed TV play-by-play duties for IU basketball starting in 1958 and spent 41 years at a pit reporter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network’s broadcast of the Indianapolis 500.” – FOX59 – (2/11/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/10/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/10/2016)

Ganassi announces sponsor and livery for No. 8 – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will partner with CGRT’s No. 8 Chevrolet driven by former Formula 1 pilot Max Chilton in a full-season effort in the Verizon IndyCar Series.” The livery can be seen at the link or at our No. 8 livery page. – CGRT – (2/10/2016)

Foyt team confident offseason changes will improve results – AJ Foyt Racing’s Larry Foyt recently spoke with RACER about his team’s big changes over the offseason and how the team is optimistic they will result in a better season for the team. Sato and Hawksworth return as drivers but there are a lot of other personnel changes within the team. “But I’m really impressed by Honda’s effort, they’ve really tried to step up and say ‘we’re going to make this better’, and the teams are trying to do the same,” said Foyt. “Hopefully all the hard work will pay off.” – RACER – (2/10/2016)

Trackside podcast 2/9/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 2/9/16 is available at the link. Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (2/10/2016)

Montoya oversees start of St Pete track build – Juan Montoya showed up in St Petersburg on Tuesday for the start of their track build for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season opener. “It’s very nice to be here in St. Petersburg and see the racetrack, see the city,” Montoya said. “The city is really pretty. Preparing for the first race is huge, last year was a great race for me and a great crowd. Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd and a great race weekend (this year) as well.” – INDYCAR – (2/9/2016)

“No Hillary in 2016” group wants to sponsor a car at the Indy 500 – A new group wants to sponsor a car in The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Direct quote from said group’s website and resented without comment: “Hillary Clinton stands for everything that is wrong with our country today…This Memorial Day, we want to make a bold statement to the world that The American People have had enough of these failures! We are collecting contributions to enter a car in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, the largest sporting event on the planet, to make your voice heard. What better place to voice your opinion about who you don’t want for the next POTUS? 2016 will be the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as our nations next presidential election.” – No Hillary in 2016 – (2/9/2016)

Chevy drivers enjoy Phoenix test – Many Chevy teams and drivers tested at Phoenix International Raceway on Monday as a manufacturer’s test. As RACER reports, the drivers enjoyed their experience on INDYCAR’s newest oval. Power: “I think fans are interested to see what these cars are like on the track and how fast they are compared to NASCAR. They are a lot faster, which I think fans will enjoy.” Newgarden: “The first thing I noticed when we haven’t been in the car for three or four months in the off-season … you get here for the test session and it really throws you in the deep end…The grip is really high. It’s a pretty serious track. You have to be very committed with this IndyCar around here.” Montoya: “I think people don’t realize how fast we go. I think a Cup car races here in about 28s or 29s lap times, and we’re doing low 20s. It’s insane, how fast it is.” – RACER – (2/9/2016)

Ganassi unveils new NTT Data livery for No. 10 – Chip Ganassi Racing and NTT Data unveiled the new livery for the No. 10 car to be driven by Tony Kanaan. Check it out at the end link and at our No. 10 livery page. – CGRT – (2/8/2016)

IndyCar to be added to Project CARS “next” – The official Instagram account of racing simulator video game Project CARS posted that its version of the Dallara DW12 (IR12) is “#ComingNext” as the game continues to roll out new cars. – Project CARS – (2/8/2016)

“Very possible” Andretti could run Frijns in IndyCar – Luke Smith of NBC Sports caught up with Michael Andretti at the Formula E event over the weekend and Michael had this to say on a fourth car running for his team in the Verizon IndyCar Series: “Right now we’re still a three car team. There are still a couple of irons in the fire for the fourth car,” Andretti said. “We also have a couple of irons in the fire for the fourth car for maybe doing certain races, not the whole season. So we’re still trying.”. On Andretti Autosport Formula E driver Robin Frijns getting a chance in said fourth car: “It’s very possible that he could, one or two races, but we’ll see. It’s possible, yeah.” – NBC Sports – (2/8/2016)

IMS to air ‘500’ ad during Super Bowl – “We’ve got a little tip for you while watching the Big Game on Sunday – don’t miss any of the commercials in the first half! At some point there will be a commercial for our big race, namely the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. The commercial – a first for the Indianapolis 500 during the NFL’s marquee game — will air regionally around the Midwest.” “We’re in high gear at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing for our historic 100th Running of the Indy 500 and want to make sure everyone knows we’re closing in on Race Day,” IMS President Doug Boles said. “So what better way to remind fans than on another one of sports’ biggest Sundays?”” See the ad here. – IMS – (2/5/2016)

Hamilton Jr to run Lights with McCormack – Davey Hamilton Jr. will run in Indy Lights with McCormack Racing in 2016. “18 year-old King of the Wing Sprint Car Series champion Davey Hamilton, Jr. has come to terms to compete for Jack McCormack & McCormack Racing in the 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires. The third generation driver originally from Boise, ID will be making his debut campaign in a single seater…The team has tentative agreements in place to compete in the entire Indy Lights starting with the Streets of St. Pete March 11-13.” – NBC Sports – (2/5/2016)

Marco now engaged to be married – Marco Andretti announced on his Twitter account that he is now engaged to his long-time girlfriend Marta Krupa. – Marco Andretti – (2/5/2016)

Ganassi/Ford announce four-car LeMans effort – “The organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest), today confirmed that all four Ford GTs have received a place on the prestigious entry list for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours. Fifty years on from Ford’s famous 1-2-3 outright victory at Le Mans, all four Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs will compete for GTE Pro class glory at the world’s greatest motor race, which takes place on June 18-19.” While not definitively INDYCAR news, the Le Mans race weekend does fall on an INDYCAR off-weekend. – Ford – (2/5/2016)

Phoenix announces “Prix View” test session – “Phoenix International Raceway invites fans and media to the “Prix View” Inaugural Testing Event for the Verizon IndyCar Series on Feb. 27, PIR President Bryan R. Sperber announced today. The event will feature nearly the entire field of drivers and teams as they prepare to race under the lights in the Phoenix Grand Prix on Saturday night, April 2, 2016. Fans are encouraged to come out to PIR and enjoy free access to see the Verizon IndyCar Series on the one-mile oval for the first time since 2005. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and fans will have the opportunity to watch drivers on track for testing sessions beginning at 12 – 3 p.m. and again from 5 – 8 p.m. under the lights.” – Phoenix International Raceway – (2/4/2016)

Drivers excited for new Boston circuit – Both Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay were effusive in their praise for the layout for the new Boston venue the Verizon IndyCar Series is planning on racing at on Labor Day weekend. “The layout is beautiful,” explained Pagenaud, “It’s got some fast corners, some really wide straights, some deep braking. Obviously we’re going under a tunnel. I think that’s great. I hope the fans can go in the tunnel and hear the cars go by. That would be really cool.” Here’s what Ryan Hunter-Reay had to say: “I can’t figure out how somebody puts on a street race because there’s so much logistically that has to go into it. When you see the site undeveloped, roads, city streets, you see where the tunnel is going to be, it’s amazing that you can even pull something like that off. [There’s] huge potential. The site and where I saw it, how it’s going to be, the plans for it, massive potential. I hope it’s one of our cornerstone events.” – Grand Prix Times – (2/4/2016)

Oreovicz’s “State of IndyCar” – ESPN’s John Oreovicz wrote a very interesting “State of IndyCar” piece summarizing the where INDYCAR is at for the moment and moving forward. It’d be unfair to summarize so check it out at the link. – ESPN – (2/4/2016)

Hyatt joins RLL as associate sponsor – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Hyatt, a leading global hospitality brand, has joined the team as a major associate sponsor and official hotel sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series program in a multi-year deal. As the Official Hotel Marketing Sponsor of RLL, Hyatt will appear prominently on the side of the No. 15 Indy car cockpit near driver Graham Rahal. Hyatt plans to create innovative one-of-a-kind experiences for its loyal guests and partners. The team’s crew, owners, drivers and sponsors will stay at Hyatt hotels throughout the 16-race IndyCar Series schedule.” More at the link. – RLL – (2/3/2016)

Miller’s Mailbag 2/3/16 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (2/3/2016)

Trackside podcast 2/2/16 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from Verizon IndyCar Series Media Day on 2/2/16 is available at the link. The pair is joined by countless guests in a great show. Must listen. – 1070 The Fan – (2/3/2016)

2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Media Day Live Blog – Check out the full day of our live coverage from Verizon IndyCar Series Media Day in our live blog at the link. Full of great updates and pictures from throughout the day. – openwh33l – (2/2/2016)

Lightning is back as CGRT unveils Dixon’s No. 9 livery – A variation of the famous lightning Target livery previously on Ganassi cars will return this year on the Target livery for Scott Dixon’s No. 9 machine. See a video of the unveiling at the link. – openwh33l – (2/2/2016)

Honda signs new deal to continue as INDYCAR engine supplier – Honda announced at Media Day on Tuesday that they have officially signed an agreement with INDYCAR to continue as an engine supplier for the Verizon IndyCar Series. It’s a two year deal for 2016 and 2017 with Honda having a three-year extension option. – IMS – (2/2/2016)

Fry confirmed as Chilton’s race engineer – TrackSide Online reports that Max Chilton confirmed that Brandon Fry will be his race engineer for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 8 entry. Fry has previous INDYCAR experience with Dale Coyne Racing and was an engineer for the GT-R LM NISMO at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. – TrackSide Online – (2/2/2016)

IMS working to allow commemorative alcohol bottle sales for the 500 – The IBJ reports that Indianapolis Motor Speedway is working with Indiana lawmakers to allow for the purchase of takeaway alcohol for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Indiana law does not allow for carryout/takeaway sales of alcohol on Sundays. “Fans of the Indy 500 would be able to purchase a commemorative bottle of wine or liquor on their way out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day under a bill advancing this year in the Indiana General Assembly.” More at the link. – IBJ – (2/1/2016)

Chilton confirmed for full-time ride with Ganassi – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton from England will pilot the No. 8 Chevrolet in a full-season effort for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series.” “I couldn’t be happier to join Chip Ganassi Racing’s Verizon IndyCar Series program,” said Chilton. “This organization is built on winning and their 11 INDYCAR Championships back that up. Chip is the kind of team owner that every driver dreams of working for in their career. He’s accomplished so much in so many different categories over the years, and I can’t wait to start driving for him.” – CGRT – (2/1/2016)

Cavin Q&A 2/1/16 – The Indianapolis Star’s fan Q&A from 2/1/16 answers questions on Nigel Mansell, soon to be unnecessary chairs at IMS, and Kentucky Speedway. – Indianapolis Star – (2/1/2016)

RHR grabs podium, Sharp wins Rolex 24 – Former INDYCAR driver Scott Sharp’s Tequila Patron ESM No. 2 car won the Rolex 24 at Daytona over the weekend. Current Verizon IndyCar Series star Ryan Hunter-Reay drove the final stint for the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette and finished on the podium in P3. Full INDYCAR driver results to follow. – NBC Sports – (1/31/2016)

Plenty of INDYCAR connections in ’16 class for Motorsports Hall of Fame of America – Chip Ganassi, Sam Posey, and Bob Sweikert are among the seven inductees for the 2016 class for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The MSHFA is relocating to Daytona International Speedway this year and the ceremony will take place on July 29th. – FOX Sports – (1/31/2016)

Karam lands IMSA deal with Lexus – “F Performance Racing also announced that Sage Karam will join veteran racer Scott Pruett as drivers for F Performance Racing when the East Lansing, Michigan-based team campaigns the Lexus RC F GT3 for a limited schedule in the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.” “I’m really excited to be a part of the F Performance Team, it’s a great opportunity for me,” Karam said. “I have worked alongside Scott Pruett for a few years so we have a good relationship and I’m really looking forward to driving alongside him. We like to work with each other and we push each other to each other’s limits.” – Sage Karam – (1/29/2016)

Aleshin wins the pole for Rolex 24 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Verizon IndyCar Series driver Mikhail Aleshin won the overall pole for the Rolex 24 At Daytona this weekend. “It feels great,” Aleshin said. “I’m very happy to be at this track and this race with SMP Racing. It’s the first race in the U.S. for the BR01 car. I was developing it with other drivers through all of 2015 and I’m very happy that one of our great results is to be the pole sitter in Daytona. It’s one of the greatest races and one of the most difficult, for sure, that I have raced.” There are plenty more updates on INDYCAR drivers in the event at the link. – INDYCAR – (1/29/2016)

ECR returns to series as CFH Racing changes ownership – “A familiar name will be part of Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016 as Ed Carpenter Racing returns to competition. Team officials announced today that the organization that operated as CFH Racing in 2015 will be known as Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR), effective immediately. The team will remain headquartered in its current location at 1255 Main Street in Speedway, Ind. Ed Carpenter, Tony George and Stuart Reed are the owners of ECR.” “After competing for a year as CFH Racing, we will be returning to ECR for 2016 and beyond,” stated Ed Carpenter. “While we had a great year as CFH Racing, we have had some partnership changes within the organization and it makes the most sense to return to ECR. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team since we started in 2012 and look forward to building upon that success for another exciting Verizon IndyCar Series season.” Full release at the link. – Ed Carpenter Racing – (1/28/2016)

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