News for the Week of March 1, 2017 – March 5, 2017

Indy Lights announces new push-to-pass system for ’17 – Indy Lights will feature a new push-to-pass system in 2017. “What we’ve done this year is we worked on last year’s (push-to-pass package), figuring out if we can use it through the timing lines (in the tracks) and the transponder (in the car),” says race director for Indy Lights Tony Cotman. “We’ve kind of adopted a little bit of the DRS (drag reduction system) from Formula One – where if you are within one second of the car in front, the DRS automatically opens up the rear wing. For us, it’s similar. You have to be within one second of the car in front to activate it and then it’s up to the driver to hit the button and decide if he wants to use it. So whenever you’re within a second to the car in front, the dash flashes and tells you it’s there if you want it, based on where you are on the track, what type of corner it is. If you really want to use it, it’s your choice.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/3/2017)

Herta takes P1 in second Lights test session on Homestead road course – Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta’s lap of 1:15.2009 topped the charts in session two of Indy Lights testing on the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Thursday. The rest of the Top 5 was Jamin, Kaiser, Urrutia, and Piedrahita. Full results at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/2/2017)

IMS announces spectator camping options inside facility for GP – “Spectator camping for recreational vehicles and tents will be offered inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the INDYCAR Grand Prix for the first time this May, providing fans with an unforgettable experience and spectacular viewing opportunities. Camping will be available in a variety of prime spots adjacent to the infield portion of the road course for the Verizon IndyCar Series race May 12-13 at IMS. Prices for three-night camping Thursday, May 11, Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 will be $125 per tent spot and range from $150-$300 for each RV spot. INDYCAR Grand Prix general admission tickets for Friday and Saturday also are required for all infield campers age 16 and over.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (3/2/2017)

Al-Fe returns at associate sponsor at Foyt – “Al-Fe Heat Treating marks its seventh year in motorsports with its return as a major associate sponsor of the AJ Foyt Racing program. The Al-Fe Heat Treating logo will be on both ABC Supply Chevrolets for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season…While there aren’t plans to feature a third entry this year owing to the team’s reorganization over the winter, Al-Fe Heat Treating will continue to support and leverage Foyt’s motorsports program throughout the season.” Full release at the link. – AJ Foyt Racing – (3/2/2017)

Kaiser fastest in first Lights test session on Homestead road course – Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser’s lap of 1:15.5603 was fastest of the first session of Indy Lights testing on the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Thursday. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Urrutia, Telitz, and Blackstock. Full results at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/2/2017)

Rossi fastest in Day 2 of Sebring testing – RACER’s Robin Miller reports Alexander Rossi turned the fastest lap of Verizon IndyCar Series testing at Sebring International Raceway on Wednesday. Andretti Autosport and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports were the only teams that tested on Wednesday and SPM ran only test drivers. Full report at the link. – RACER – (3/2/2017)

New TV deal “likely result is one broadcast partner” – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that INDYCAR’s current TV broadcasting deals with ABC and NBCSN each expire after 2018 and INDYCAR anticipates that a change to a single broadcaster could be made. “We really aren’t negotiating now but anything’s possible,” Mark Miles told RACER. “If I had to say today, the most likely result is one broadcast partner. But I don’t know that.” Full report at the link. – RACER – (3/1/2017)

Belardi officially announces Telitz for full season in Lights – “Aaron Telitz will compete in the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series with the Belardi Auto Racing team, driving the No. 9 car in Mazda’s iconic Soul Red livery. Telitz, 25, of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, earned the Mazda driver development scholarship as the champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires last year and will compete for the Indy Lights title and rookie-of-the-year honors.” Full release at the link. – Indy Lights – (3/1/2017)

ECR announces Bankers Financial Corporation associate sponsorship for St. Pete – “Bankers Financial Corporation (BFC), the St. Petersburg-based insurance, surety and business solutions company, has announced a continuation of its associate sponsorship of Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) for a third straight year. During the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Bankers will have a presence on both ECR cars, the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet of Spencer Pigot and the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, driven by JR Hildebrand.” Full release at the link. – ECR – (3/1/2017)

Rahal visor cam from Sebring – INDYCAR’s excellent visor cam series continues with Graham Rahal testing at Sebring International Raceway. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/1/2017)

Team Pelfrey adds O’Ward to Lights lineup for St. Pete – “Team Pelfrey IL announced today Pato O’Ward and his primary sponsors, Gap Guard and Topo Chico, will continue to stand behind the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Champion as he moves through the Mazda Road to Indy ranks. O’Ward will be participating in spring training with Team Pelfrey IL at Homestead Miami Speedway as well as securing a spot on the grid for first race of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla. on March 10-12.” Full release at the link. – Team Pelfrey – (3/1/2017)

Ganassi cars fastest at Sebring test – RACER’s Robin Miller reports that the four Chip Ganassi Racing Teams cars were fastest in the Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday. There’s another test at Sebring scheduled for Wednesday. Full report at the link. – RACER – (3/1/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 3/1/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (3/1/2017)

Trackside podcast 2/28/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 2/28/17 is a great listen as always. USA Today’s Brant James is a guest on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (3/1/2017)

INDYCAR refines aeroscreen plans for ’18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports INDYCAR is now working on a single aeroscreen solution for 2018 rather than having different options for different circuits. “We have numerous things we’ve worked at, looked at,” says INDYCAR president of competition Jay Frye. “We’re honing in on one that seems to be the best that could work wherever we go.” Full report at the link. – RACER – (3/1/2017)

RLL announces renewal of Fifth Third Bank sponsorship – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) announced today that Fifth Third Bank has renewed their partnership as an associate sponsor in a multi-year agreement. The bank logo will appear on the Honda-powered No. 15 Verizon IndyCar Series entry of Graham Rahal.” Full release at the link. – RLL – (2/28/2017)

SPM/Aleshin unveil new chrome red livery for No. 7 – Mikhail Aleshin tweeted out a picture of his new chrome red livery before Verizon IndyCar Series testing at Sebring International Raceway on Tuesday. See Aleshin’s new livery and all others on our 2017 livery pages here. – Mikhail Aleshin – (2/28/2017)

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