News for the Week of March 16, 2015 – March 22, 2015

Bourdais grabs a victory at Sebring – Sebastien Bourdais was a co-driver for the overall winners of the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring, the No. 5 Action Express Chevrolet. Scott Dixon was a part of a fourth placed finish for Chip Ganassi Racing. Conor Daly was part of the podium finish in PC with Performance Tech. – INDYCAR – (3/22/15)

Allmendinger wants to do the double – AJ Allmendinger wants to run the Indianapolis 500 and Coca Cola 600 and his Sprint Cup team owner “has an open mind” should he find the right deal. “The only problem is I was definitely spoiled by doing it with Roger Penske for the first time ever,” said Allmendinger. “And I would only do it if it was an opportunity to go win that race, because leading at Indy is a feeling I’ve never had before in my life. My heart was beating, shaking in the car. I want to experience that again, so if it’s the right opportunity, I’d love to do it.” – FOX Sports – (3/22/15)

Boston working hard to land ’16 INDYCAR finale – The city of Boston is working hard to land a deal to run the Verizon IndyCar Series finale in “The Hub” district of the city in 2016. “We’re working on it, we’re looking to see if it works for the city,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Certainly it would be a great opportunity for promotion of the city.” – Boston Herald – (3/22/15)

INDYCAR announces Leaders Circle increases – “INDYCAR announced an increase of $250,000 to its Leaders Circle program, which raises the total annual payment to eligible Verizon IndyCar Series entrants to $1.25 million. A total of 21 entrants are entered in the Leaders Circle program for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “INDYCAR is invested in the continued support of its teams,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “The Leaders Circle program rewards INDYCAR teams for full-season participation and helps each of them with an additional source of funding. The program is also an asset to our promoters as it guarantees over 20 cars at each Verizon IndyCar Series event. As INDYCAR continues to grow we’re excited about opportunities like this that are beneficial to the teams that compete in our series.”” – INDYCAR – (3/20/15)

8 Star and Hargrove in for Lights at St. Pete – Scott Hargrove will drive for new Indy Lights team 8 Star Motorsports at St. Pete. “It has been great to work with the team and the new Dallara IL-15,” Hargrove said. “Our pace is very promising and we have no other intentions but to run up front and go for the win. The St. Petersburg Grand Prix is one of my favorite races of the year, the atmosphere is great and the track is a blast to drive.” – 8 Star Motorsports – (3/20/15)

Allison Transmission to serve as sponsor for CFH at Indianapolis – “Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) today announced a sponsorship of CFH Racing for the two Verizon IndyCar Series events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, including the world-renowned Indianapolis 500. Allison will appear on the No. 20 car which will be driven by two-time defending Indianapolis 500 pole winner and three-time IndyCar race winner Ed Carpenter for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Earlier in the month, Allison will also appear on the No. 20 car driven by Luca Filippi for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9.” – CFH Racing – (3/20/15)

Castrol EDGE returns as associate sponsor for BHA – “Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) is pleased to confirm the extension of its associate partnership with Castrol EDGE for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The Castrol EDGE brand will be prominently displayed on the #98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Dallara-Honda, which will be driven by Gabby Chaves, 2014 IndyLights champion. Chaves will be a leading contender for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series.” – BHA – (3/20/15)

Cavin Q&A 3/19/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers the importance of the success of the new aero kits. – Indianapolis Star – (3/19/15)

Brabham in at AA for Lights at St. Pete – Matthew Brabham is back with Andretti Autosport for the Indy Lights race at St. Pete. As of now it’s just a one race deal. “It’s brilliant that we have the opportunity to link up with Andretti Autosport again for this campaign,” said Brabham. “It has been a tough off-season trying to piece everything together, but thanks to the team and some close supporters, we’ll be at St. Petersburg.” – Andretti Autosport – (3/19/15)

Terrific “slider” aero kit comparison feature – Jalopnik has made a terrific feature to compare the two new Verizon IndyCar Series aero kits. Using a slider it’s very easy to investigate the similarities and differences of the Chevy and Honda aero kits. A must see article! – Jalopnik – (3/18/15)

Cavin names likely 500 one-offs – In his article on Dale Coyne Racing (also linked below), the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin mentions that Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Townsend Bell (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) are likely to run the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race this season. – Indianapolis Star – (3/18/15)

Small team DCR has big goals – Team owner Dale Coyne has heard the criticism about the two drivers he’s chosen to start the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series with. Coyne told the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin, “Everyone remembers how you finish here. They don’t remember how you start.” Coyne points out that they’ve won with three drivers that were relatively unheralded at the time in Mike Conway, Carlos Huertas, and Justin Wilson. – Indianapolis Star – (3/18/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 3/18/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (3/18/15)

Power turns fastest lap of Barber test session – Will Power ended up with the fastest of the 2,832 laps completed at the March test session at Barber Motorsports Park with a time of 1:07.3118. Scott Dixon, rookie Stefano Coletti, Helio Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud made up the rest of the top five. Graham Rahal was the fastest Honda driver in seventh. Fastest times for each driver over the four sessions here. – INDYCAR – (3/17/15)

Power fastest in first session on Day 2 at Barber – Will Power had the fastest of the 680 laps turned in the first session of Day 2 of Verizon IndyCar Series testing at Barber Tuesday morning with a time of 1:07.3118. The two KV Chevy’s of Sebastien Bourdais and Stefano Coletti were second and third. Graham Rahal continued his strong testing season as the fastest Honda in the session. Full times here. – INDYCAR – (3/17/15)

Lights driver Enerson soliciting ideas to name car – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Indy Lights rookie RC Enerson has asked for fans to name his car for the season. Check out the article for more information. – NBC Sports – (3/17/15)

AA adds TE Connectivity as a sponsor – Andretti Autosport announced technology company TE Connectivity as a new sponsor on Tuesday. “We are really excited to announce this new partnership and welcome TE Connectivity to our family of corporate sponsors,” said owner Michael Andretti. “The relationship provides a unique opportunity to showcase the reliability and high-performance capabilities of TE Connectivity’s innovative products and technologies in the very demanding environment of the Verizon IndyCar Series.” – Andretti Autosport – (3/17/15)

IndyCar drivers adjust to new aero kits – This AP story has some great quotes from drivers on their experience with the new aero kits. “I don’t think it’s going to be as straightforward as last year,” Newgarden said. “It was always physical in IndyCar racing. You couldn’t get away from the physical aspect. It’ll be worse this year.” – AP – (3/17/15)

Dixon fastest on Day 1 of mass aero kit testing at Barber – Scott Dixon posted the fastest time of the day at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday with a time at 1:07.4805. The rest of the top 5 were the Penske cars of Pagenaud, Power, Montoya, and Castroneves. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the fastest Honda in sixth place overall. Full times here. – AUTOSPORT – (3/16/15)

Dracone to drive in first 4 races for DCR – Dale Coyne Racing announced on Monday that Francesco Dracone will drive for the team in the first four races of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. Dracone will be joined by Carlos Huertas, who was confirmed for the full season earlier on Monday. Each driver tested at Barber on Monday. “It is good to be back in America and great to be back in IndyCar,” said Dracone. “I feel that it is the best single-seater series for a driver to be in. Working with Dale Coyne is an honor and a privilege because he is one of the most experienced team owners and he runs a great team.” – RACER – (3/16/15)

Huertas returns at DCR for 2015 – Carlos Huertas was confirmed as the driver for the No. 18 Honda Dallara at Dale Coyne Racing on Monday. “Carlos surprised everyone last year with his performance. The effort the team has made over the winter, as shown by our Sebring test with Carlos, gives us confidence for the upcoming season,” said team owner Dale Coyne. – RACER – (3/16/15)

INDYCAR tests on-car LED scoring system – “INDYCAR this week is validating new technology that will track each car’s position on the racetrack and display it in real time via a light emitting diode panel on each side of the chassis. The May 9 race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course is the target for implementation of the track positioning system and display of when a driver triggers the push-to-pass feature. “This project started over a year ago in concept and it really is about how we can get fans more engaged, allow them to see more of what’s going on,” INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said. “If you’re not in line of sight of a video screen or a scoring pylon, it’s hard to know who’s doing what. It was a natural to do the numbering system.”” – INDYCAR – (3/16/15)

Karam injures hand in testing crash – Sage Karam injured his right ahead in a crash in testing at Barber on Monday. He was released from the medical center but was not cleared to drive immediately. Curt Cavin reports that the No. 8 team packed up and went home later in the day. A picture of the crashed car can be seen here. – Indianapolis Star – (3/16/15)

Beekhuis joins ESPN as pit reporter – “Veteran motorsports broadcaster Jon Beekhuis has joined ESPN’s team as a pit reporter for telecasts of the Verizon IndyCar Series on ABC in 2015. Beekhuis, Dr. Jerry Punch and Rick DeBruhl will be pit reporters for ABC’s telecasts of the Indianapolis 500 and four other Verizon IndyCar Series races as well as two days of Indianapolis 500 qualifying. Other members of the telecast team will be lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick and analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever.” – ESPN – (3/16/15)

DCR names TBA’s for Barber test – Carlos Huertas and Francesco Dracone will be the drivers for Dale Coyne Racing for the open test at Barber on Monday and Tuesday. At this time they are confirmed only for the test dates and not for any portion of the season. Check out the full entry list at the link. – INDYCAR – (3/16/15)

IMS names 500 “Snake Pit” performers – World renowned electronic DJs and producers Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak will perform in the Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite during the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.“We’ve seen a renewed popularity in the Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite in the past few years and our younger fans really enjoy the direction in which it’s been going,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak are among the world’s leading electronic music artists, and combining their talents with the other entertainment we have planned will make our Snake Pit the place to be for the most entertaining party in Indianapolis this year.” – IMS – (3/16/15)

Aero kits debuted at NOLA test – RACER reports that Scott Dixon and Will Power posted the two fastest times at testing at NOLA Motorsports Park on Saturday as teams completed the first mass test of the new aero kits. Graham Rahal had this to say after his first test: “In some areas you notice the difference the aero kit makes and others, not as much. When we talk about more downforce, typically that is higher speed so in the high speed areas, sure you can feel it but in the slower speed areas it’s not as noticeable.” – RACER – (3/15/15)

Carlin preparing for Lights challenge – “I’ve always had a fondness for racing in the States ever since I worked out there,” says team founder and principal Trevor Carlin, “and although I ended up returning to Europe, that affection for the American motorsport scene was still there. So I was looking for that moment where circumstance meets opportunity, as they say. Well, the business in Europe has gone better than I ever could have imagined before I set it up, and it’s solid and stable. That was the circumstance sorted out; and then when the new Indy Lights car came along, there was the opportunity. And so here we are.” – RACER – (3/15/15)

Jalopnik breaks down aero kits – Popular autos site Jalopnik has posted a thorough article breaking down what was allowed to be changed on the new Verizon IndyCar Series aero kits and comparing differences between the two kits. – Jalopnik – (3/13/15)

Senna and Speed unwilling to race on ovals – Current Formula E drivers Bruno Senna and Scott Speed told motorsport.com that they have worked on INDYCAR deals in the past but have made it clear they will not compete on ovals due to safety concerns. Senna: “I’ve talked to a few teams but it’s always been yes, no, maybe … Nothing has really materialized, but I would be interested. Not the ovals though. It’s just not worth the risk and with my family history, I’d much rather stay with what I am familiar with.” – motorsport.com – (3/13/15)

INDYCAR to test IMSA-like on-car LED scoring system – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that when testing begins this weekend INDYCAR will test an on-car LED scoring system similar to what’s been used in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship the last couple years. “IndyCar president Derrick Walker said Dallara is making what is described as a 9-by-4 inch picture frame that will be mounted on the roll hoop of each car. Ideally, the system that’s tied to official timing and scoring will be ready for use in the Indianapolis 500 in May.” – Indianapolis Star – (3/12/15)

Bowers & Wilkins to serve as primary sponsor for BHA in ’15 – “Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) in partnership with Bowen Motorsports are proud to announce Bowers & Wilkins has expanded their role with the team to become primary sponsor for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. Bowers & Wilkins has been an associate partner of BHA since 2012 and was the team’s primary partner for the 2014 Honda Indy Toronto event. Gabby Chaves, 2014 Indy Lights Champion, was announced last month as the driver for the #98 Bowers & Wilkins Dallara-Honda. Chaves will be a leading contender for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The livery of the car will be revealed at INDYCAR’s upcoming Spring Training at Barber Motorsports Park on March 16-17.” – BHA – (3/12/15)

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