News for the Week of March 5 – March 11, 2018

The Open Wheel’s Sunday St. Pete photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s photo gallery from Sunday Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights action at the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/11/2018)

Bourdais wins again at St. Pete – Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais won the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the second straight year in dramatic fashion after Wickens and Rossi collided going for the lead on a restart with two laps to go. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Rossi, Hinchcliffe, and Hunter-Reay. Full race results here. – INDYCAR – (3/11/2018)

St. Pete starting grid – The starting grid with tire designations for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are available at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/11/2018)

Urrutia wins wild Lights Race 2 at St. Pete – Belardi Auto Racing’s Santi Urrutia won a wild Indy Lights Race 2 on the Streets of St. Petersburg in a battle of attrition. Urrutia took over the lead late after O’Ward went off course with a 7 second lead. Herta crashed out from P2 earlier in the race. Championship contender Telitz was crashed out by Franzoni on the opening lap. The rest of the Top 5 was Blackstock, Norman, Franzoni, and Alberico. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (3/11/2018)

Belardi gets car from Carlin for Telitz to race Sunday – Belardi Auto Racing has received a car from Carlin so that Aaron Telitz can race on Sunday on the Streets of St. Petersburg after Telitz’s car was damaged in Indy Lights Race 2 qualifying on Saturday. Telitz missed Race 1 on Saturday due to the damage. – Belardi Auto Racing – (3/11/2018)

Rossi fastest in warmup at St. Pete – Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was fastest in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg morning warmup with a lap of 1:01.6182. The rest of the Top 5 was Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Chaves, and Newgarden. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (3/11/2018)

The Open Wheel’s Saturday St. Pete photo gallery – The Open Wheel’s photo gallery from Saturday Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights action at the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/10/2018)

Verizon IndyCar Series liveries from St. Pete – The Open Wheel’s Parker Hall’s collection of livery shots from Verizon IndyCar Series action at the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/10/2018)

Indy Lights liveries from St. Pete – The Open Wheel’s Parker Hall’s collection of livery shots from the 2018 Indy Lights Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/10/2018)

Wickens wins shock pole at St. Pete – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens won the pole for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a Firestone Fast Six lap of 1:01.6643 in wet but drying conditions. The rest of the Top 6 qualifying order was Power, Leist, King, Sato, and Hunter-Reay. Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Jordan King set a new track record of 1.00.0476 in Round 1 Group 1 qualifying. Full qualifying results here. – INDYCAR – (3/10/2018)

St. Pete qualifying groups – The qualifying groups for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are available at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/10/2018)

O’Ward leads start to finish to win Lights Race 1 at St. Pete – Andretti Autosport’s Patricio O’Ward started at the front and led the whole race to win Indy Lights Race 1 on the Streets on St. Petersburg. Pole winner Aaron Telitz missed the race due to a damaged car following an incident in Race 2 qualifying on Saturday morning. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Herta, Franzoni, and Blackstock. Telitz is expected to race on Sunday with a car loaned from Carlin. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (3/10/2018)

Dixon quickest in Practice 3 at St. Pete – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon’s lap of 1:00.7571 was quickest in Practice 3 for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Power, King, and Leist. King brought an early end to the session with a late red flag due to contact with a tire barrier. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (3/10/2018)

O’Ward earns pole for Lights Race 2 at St. Pete – Andretti Autosport’s Patricio O’Ward won the pole for Indy Lights Race 2 on the Streets on St. Petersburg with a lap of 1:05.0392. The rest of the Top 5 in qualifying was Herta, Telitz, Franzoni, and Alberico. Full qualifying results here. – Indy Lights – (3/10/2018)

Visor cam and new nose cam from St. Pete – INDYCAR has posted some excellent on board videos from Verizon IndyCar Series practice on Friday. Check out a lap with Will Power’s visor cam and a new nose cam shot with James Hinchcliffe. – INDYCAR – (3/10/2018)

Hunter-Reay takes P1 in Practice 2 at St. Pete – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in Practice 2 for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a lap of 1:00.8295. The rest of the Top 5 was Hinchcliffe, Power, Dixon, and Newgarden. Binder brought out a brief red flag for this spin but an incredible save kept him from making contact. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (3/9/2018)

Telitz grabs pole for Lights Race 1 at St. Pete – Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz won the pole for Indy Lights Race 1 on the Streets on St. Petersburg with a lap of 1:05.1279. The rest of the Top 5 in qualifying was O’Ward, Herta, Urrutia, and Franzoni. Full qualifying results here. – Indy Lights – (3/9/2018)

Servia gets Indy 500 ride with Scuderia Corsa/RLL – Sports car team Scuderia Corsa has announced a partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to enter a car in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race to be driven by Oriol Servia. See the livery on our No. 64 livery page here. Full release at the link. – Scuderia Corsa – (3/9/2018)

Leist fastest in Practice 1 at St. Pete – AJ Foyt Racing’s Matheus Leist was the surprise of Practice 1 for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg by posting the fastest lap of the session with a 1:01.7231. The rest of the Top 5 was Bourdais, Hunter-Reay, Rossi, and Dixon. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (3/9/2018)

Telitz tops the charts in Lights Practice 1 at St. Pete – Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz topped the charts in Indy Lights Practice 1 on the Streets of St. Petersburg with a lap of 1:05.9100. The rest of the Top 5 was O’Ward, Herta, Franzoni, and Norman. Full results here. – Indy Lights – (3/9/2018)

TAG Heuer extends partnership with INDYCAR and IMS – “TAG Heuer solidified itself as the premier watch brand in the world of motor racing by renewing their contract as the Official Timekeeper of the Verizon IndyCar Series and 102nd Indianapolis 500 race for the next three years.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (3/8/2018)

Firestone extends sponsorship of Grand Prix of St. Pete – “Bridgestone Americas, Inc. today announced a two-year extension of its Firestone brand’s title sponsorship of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The announcement was made as the 2018 Verizon IndyCar® Series season gets underway in St. Petersburg, Florida, and gives the Firestone brand naming rights through 2020. The 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marks the Firestone brand’s fifth year as title sponsor, having begun its entitlement in 2014. The race has served as the season opener of the Series for the past seven years, providing Firestone with a great venue to engage race fans and consumers, while showcasing its best-in-class tire technology.” Full release at the link. – GPSTPETE – (3/8/2018)

DCR announces partnership with Valpak – “Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan is pleased to welcome St. Petersburg, FL-based Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in the U.S. and Canada, to the team. The new partner will be featured on the #18 Team SealMaster entry piloted by fellow St. Petersburg resident, Sebastien Bourdais, throughout the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.” Full release at the link. – Dale Coyne Racing – (3/8/2018)

The Open Wheel’s St. Pete preview – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ preview of the INDYCAR weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. It includes all relevant weekend information, historical stats, predictions, fantasy advice, and more for the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. – The Open Wheel – (3/8/2018)

TSO Ladder’s St. Pete Lights preview – TSO Ladder’s Steve Wittich’s thorough preview of the Indy Lights weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. – TSO Ladder – (3/8/2018)

ECR officially announces Danica deal for Indy 500 – “Ed Carpenter Racing has finalized their 2018 Indianapolis 500 lineup with the addition of Danica Patrick, one of the most successful female racing drivers in history. Patrick will conclude her motorsports career carrying the familiar colors of longtime sponsor GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. Patrick will compete in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.” See the livery on our No. 13 livery page here. Full release at the link. – ECR – (3/7/2018)

Miller’s Mailbag 3/7/18 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (3/7/2018)

Trackside podcast 3/6/18 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 3/6/18 is a great listen as always. Charlie Kimball and Colton Herta are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (3/7/2018)

Gateway announces unique lodging opportunity for INDYCAR weekend – “Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois, will offer its INDYCAR fans the most unique lodging opportunity in all of motorsports: Instead of staying at a motel or camping out, fans will be able to live in a fully-functional house – albeit a tiny one – in the infield of the oval track. Try It Tiny Village will be constructed in the infield of Gateway Motorsports Park in August for the second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Verizon IndyCar Series race.” Full release and details at the link. – Gateway MSP – (3/7/2018)

St. Pete spotter guide – The spotter guide for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/6/2018)

DCR confirms partnership with Thom Barnes Racing for Indy 500 team – “Dale Coyne Racing announced today that it will be running an entry for American driver Conor Daly at this year’s Indianapolis 500 in a joint entry with Thom Burns Racing, along with a partnership with the United States Air Force.” Full release at the link. – Dale Coyne Racing – (3/6/2018)

Thom Burns Racing announces Daly and USAF for Indy 500 effort – Thom Burns Racing announced on Tuesday that the team will field a car in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Their No. 17 Honda-powered entry will be driven by Conor Daly and sponsored by the United States Air Force. See the livery on our No. 17 livery page here. Full release at the link. – Thom Burns Racing – (3/6/2018)

INDYCAR announces partnership with AMR for INDYCAR Safety Team – “The INDYCAR Safety Team, an industry leader in motorsports, now has title sponsorship from a national leader in emergency medical transport. American Medical Response (AMR) was named today to a multiyear partnership with INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. AMR will brand the INDYCAR Safety Team and provide emergency and non-emergency ground medical transportation services at IMS. The group now known as the AMR INDYCAR Safety team will continue to provide world-class medical response and care at all Verizon IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy events…As previously announced, Holmatro remains involved with INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the Official Rescue Tool Provider. Holmatro tools have been used to expedite on-track medical response at Indy car events since 1991.” Full release at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/6/2018)

Pelfrey announces Blackstock as Lights driver for St. Pete – “Team Pelfrey announced today Shelby Blackstock will compete in the signature yellow No. 3 Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Mazda to begin the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season. The 28-year-old Nashville, Tenn. resident will enter his seventh season on the Road to Indy alongside his new teammate, Neil Alberico.” Full release at the link. – Team Pelfrey – (3/6/2018)

Harding reveals new logo and livery for ’18 – “Harding Racing is eager to present their new team logo, their updated website, and the 2018 #88 Gabby Chaves livery for the IndyCar Series opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The updated branding is another step towards preparation for running its first full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series.” See the livery on our No. 88 livery page here. Full release at the link. – Harding Racing – (3/6/2018)

Drivers expect story to be setup importance over engine battle with new aero kit – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has a great report on how the Verizon IndyCar Series expect the return to a universal aero kit this year to lead to a battle of setups as opposed to a simple engine battle between Chevy and Honda. “I don’t think that it is going to be one engine versus another, meaning that one is going to dominate, like it has been,” Graham Rahal told RACER. “I think it’s going to come down to getting the setup right on that given weekend…And you’d think, by going with a universal kit, a spec kit, it would become all about who has the hot engines again, but I just don’t think that’s going to be the case.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (3/6/2018)

St. Pete entry list – The entry list for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Streets of St. Petersburg is available at the link. The season opener has 24 entries. – INDYCAR – (3/5/2018)

Pelfrey announces Alberico as Lights driver for St. Pete – “Team Pelfrey announced today that 25-year-old Indy Lights driver Neil Alberico will drive the No. 2 Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Mazda for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Weekend.” Full release at the link. – Team Pelfrey – (3/5/2018)

Magnussen still interested in future IndyCar switch – Crash.Net’s Luke Smith reports Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen wants to drive in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race when his time in Formula 1 is done but he would want to run a full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. “It would require full focus, and I’d like to do more than just the Indy 500,” Magnussen told Crash.Net. “I’d like to do a full season of IndyCar if I was going to do it I think. But whether I’ll get a chance to do that, I don’t know.” Full story at the link. – Crash.Net – (3/5/2018)

Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration moves to WRTV for ’18 – “All 33 starting drivers in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will be honored Monday, May 28 during the Victory Celebration, which will be televised in Central Indiana by WRTV (RTV6). Longtime RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst will host the Victory Celebration, which starts at 6 p.m. (ET) at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis. A reception will start the evening at 5 p.m. A variety of awards are presented during the annual Victory Celebration, including special honors for the winning driver and team, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, and recognition and purses to all 33 starters.” Full release at the link. – IMS – (3/2/2018)

PFC brakes a key component of testing so far – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has a nice story on how the new Performance Friction Corporation brakes have performed in Verizon IndyCar Series testing so far this year. “The brakes are good,” Graham Rahal told RACER. “What I like about them is they’re consistent. The set I’m using now I’ve used everywhere we’ve gone for testing – road course and oval – and you get a different feel from what we had before with Brembo. Full story at the link. – RACER – (3/2/2018)

DRR announces Karam as driver for No. 24 in ’18 Indy 500 – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has announced a deal with Sage Karam to run in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with support from WIX Filters. Full story at the link. – The Open Wheel – (3/1/2018)

Thom Burns Racing to release more details on 3/6/18 – Thom Burns Racing announced they’ll release more details about their Indy 500 plans on Tuesday, March 6th. “It’s coming… Tuesday March 6th. Be looking for the details later this week!” – Thom Burns Racing – (3/1/2018)

INDYCAR details “The Fast Four” details – “It’s widely known that Verizon IndyCar Series drivers possess superhuman powers. INDYCAR thinks it is now time to present the unique abilities of four drivers in “The Fast Four,” an animated video debuting today on its social channels…“The Fast Four” consists of drivers Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden and Takuma Sato.” Full release and video at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/1/2018)

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