News for the Week of March 17 – March 23, 2014

Barber Verizon IndyCar Testing –  Entry ListDetailsTiming & ScoringDay 1Day 2

James Hinchcliffe interview with Canadian media – Interesting interview with Hinch talking about many different topics from his red gloves, the No. 27, and what the Toronto event means to himself and to the local fans. – AUTONET – (3/22/14)

Return To Brazil Possible in 2015 – IndyCar confirmed that there is a possiblity that IndyCar could return to Brazil in 2015. Mark Miles commented: “Brazil has a real history in INDYCAR racing and we would like to re-establish a championship race there as early as 2015.” – IndyCar – (3/21/14)

Jacques Villeneuve Excited for Indy – The 1994 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, and 1995 Indy 500 Winner was fitted for his new seat at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports yesterday. Villeneuve said “It’s really exciting. This is the next step toward Indy,” and “It’s good to be sitting in an open-wheel car again.” – IndyCar – (3/21/14)

IMS unveils “Indy Girls” for the GP of Indianapolis –  They will serve as goodwill ambassadors at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 10, and at future IMS and IMS-supported community events.  The link has pictures. – IMS – (3/21/14)

Dallara IL15 begins wind tunnel testing – Tony Cotman, the new-car project for Andersen Promotions, said, “Things are moving right along with the car and now Dallara have a scale model running in their tunnel. We’re on target for testing this summer, and after they’re done in the wind tunnel and make any final changes that come out of it, we’ll start to move onto having the first prototype made.” The new 2015 Indy Lights chassis could be unveiled in May at IMS. – RACER – (3/21/14)

IndyCar Advocate interviews Martin Plowman – Martin Plowman will be driving the #41 AJ Foyt Racing machine in both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indy 500. IndyCar Advocate interviews Plowman on his recent deal with AJ Foyt Racing, his new teammate Takuma Sato, and much more. Quite an interesting read. – IndyCar Advocate – (3/20/14)

IndyCar announces new points system for 2014 – Double points will be awarded for the 500 mile races at Indianapolis, Pocono, and Auto Club Speedway.  Points will be awarded for qualifying on both days of Indianapolis 500 qualifying (only for the fast nine on Sunday).  10 spot grid penalties will be removed for this year but unapproved engine changes will still be met with penalties.  Entrant-initiated engine change-outs will result in the loss of 10 driver and entrant points.  An unapproved engine change-out by an entry will result in it starting from the rear of the grid in the next race. No engine change-out grid penalties will be served during the Indianapolis 500. Penalties carried over into or earned at the Indianapolis 500 will be served at the subsequent race.  Manufacturers will be rewarded 10 points for each engine that reaches 2500 miles.  Any leader of a lap will receive one bonus point and the leader of most laps in a race will receive two points. There are now 600 points available on Non-Ovals and 592 points on Ovals. – IndyCar – (3/20/14)

Curt Cavin’s story on J.R. tells us how the 500 can get to 33 – Cavin has an excellent breakdown on the five most likely additional entries to get the 500 field to 33 now that 28 entries have been confirmed.  His prediction is a 2nd car of Dale Coyne Racing, 3rd car of KV Racing Technology (likely for Townsend Bell), 1st car of Panther Racing, 1st car of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (potentially Paul Tracy but likely James Jakes), and a 5th car from Ganassi Racing (likely for Sage Karam). – Indianapolis Star – (3/20/14)

Hildebrand named to 2nd car at ECR for Indy 500 – Ed Carpenter Racing today announced that American racer J.R. Hildebrand will be the driver of the team’s second entry in the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for May 25 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  “I’m extremely excited to join Ed Carpenter Racing for this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said Hildebrand. “Ed’s team has been very strong on the ovals the past two years including winning at Fontana and taking the pole position at last year’s 500. Working with Ed and his staff at Indy gives me a lot of confidence going into the world’s biggest race. I can’t wait to jump into the No. 21 Chevy and get back to the Speedway.” – ECRPodcast from 1070thefan (3/20/14)

Joe Namath named Grand Marshall of GP of Alabama – The legendary former NFL quarterback will be the Grand Marshall for the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park the weekend of April 25-27.  “We are honored to have another well-respected athlete as our grand marshal,” Gene Hallman, president of ZOOM Motorsports, said in a prepared statement. “His presence will add to the fun-filled weekend, and what a great opportunity for fans to get up-close with a true legend.” – AL.com – (3/20/14)

Montoya ready to win again – LOTS of quotes from Juan Pablo Montoya on the upcoming season.  “For me, it’s a great opportunity,” Montoya says of the agreement forged after a few phone calls with team owner Roger Penske. “When I decided to do something different I always said I need to be in a winning car. They don’t come any better than Team Penske. It’s an easy deal when both parties want the same thing.” – IndyCar – (3/20/14)

Honda gets teams acclimated with new engines – Solid article about the performance of the new Hondas at Barber.   Notes that 5 Hondas were in the top 10 on the cumulative time sheet.  Includes quotes from many Honda competitors including Justin Wilson, Takuma Sato, Jack Hawksworth, and Mikhail Aleshin. – IndyCar – (3/20/14)

Dan Wheldon’s son stars in Florida karting event – Sebastian Wheldon leads the field, which includes IndyCar stars, in an exhibition karting event to promote the upcoming GP of St Pete.  Includes quotes from Marco Andretti and Susie Wheldon. – Indianapolis Star – (3/19/14)

St. Pete Activities – The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is now less than two weeks away, and you may find it interesting that there will be a lot to do at the racetrack besides watching the racing. This can be important for families, but also gives the casual and even serious fans something to do during the inevitable down times during the weekend. There will be a 5k run on 3/28/14 at 6:30, a Ferris Wheel, The Bright House Networks Speed Zone (which has numerous activities such as a pitstop challenge and a rock climbing wall), and of course The IndyCar Fan Village. Read more about these activities and more at GPSTPETE.com (3/19/14)

Robin Miller’s Mailbag 3/19/14 – Too much info to summarize at the moment.  Enjoy! – RACER – (3/19/14)

Editorial on Montoya’s prospects this season – Good read on Montoya’s expectations and reaction to IndyCar thus far.  Quotes from Montoya, Penske, and Power. – Racin’ Today – (3/19/14)

Conor Daly finishes fourth in GP2 Testing – Conor’s GP2 chances were surely boosted on Wednesday when he finished fourth in afternoon testing at Bahrain.  American Alexander Rossi led the way in the session.  Daly’s teammate finished 12th. – GP2 – (3/19/14)

Chevy allows a closer look at its engine – Chevy showcased its twin-turbo IndyCar engine for the first time to the assorted media at Barber.  Too much good info to abbreviate.  Worth a read. – IndyCar – (3/19/14)

RACER’s update from Day 2 at Barber – Quotes from Will Power and Carlos Munoz with a picture of the final results from the day. – RACER – (3/19/14)

Justin Wilson getting used to new crew – Nice article on Justin Wilson’s early success in testing while building relationships with a vastly different staff at Dale Coyne Racing.  Also includes a few notes on Carlos Munoz and Jack Hawksworth. – NBC Sports – (3/19/14)

Cavin Q&A 3/18/14 Curt Cavin answers questions on Griffiths and the Honda situation, Bettenhausen, and the car count. – Indianapolis Star – (3/18/14)

Ed Carpenter Racing to Possibly Field Two Cars at Indy – Kevin Lee and Curt Cavin briefly discussed on Trackside the strong possibility of Ed Carpenter Racing fielding a second entry for the Indianapolis 500. – Trackside – (3/18/14)

Rule Change Announced on Trackside – Jon Beekhuis announced on Trackside this evening that there will be points penalties in the Manufacturer Championship instead of the 2013 standard grid penalty. Apparently this rule change has been common knowledge amongst teams, but had not yet been formally announced to the public. – Trackside – (3/18/14)

List of Verizon IndyCar Series Team/Driver/Engineer/Strategist – Very cool page for linking teams and drivers with their just as important lead engineers and strategists. – The Set-Up Sheet – (3/18/14)

IndyCar announces upgrades to chassis – Additional carbon fiber panels and a carbon fiber ring are being added around the cockpit in the interest of driver safety.  There will be an adjustment to the headrest to lower G-forces on bumpy street courses.  A foam material will replace carbon fiber  on the outside of drivers’ thighs.  All changes will be mandatory for the Indianapolis 500. – IndyCar – (3/18/14)

Diverse racing lineup at St Pete – Cool roundup of all the events and festivities taking place while the Verizon IndyCar Series is at St Pete. They will be joined by the Mazda Road to Indy series, SPEED Stadium Super Trucks, and the Pirelli World Challenge. – Tampa Bay Newspapers – (3/18/14)

Indianapolis 500 Carb Day Performers Announced – Sammy Hagar and the Wabos & Sublime will headline the Coors Light Carb Day Concert.  The concert is free with paid admission to the track on Carb Day. – IMS – (3/18/14)

New tire carryover rules for 2014 – Verizon IndyCar Series teams will benefit from new regulations regarding Firestone tire allotment written into the 2014 series rulebook. Each entry will receive credit for new tires remaining from its race event allotment.  “We thought, ‘What happens to all those tires that are left from an event?’ ’’ INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said. “Firestone worked with us to get this into place.”  After a street course event, one set of new primary tires remaining may be carried forward to a future street course event and added to the entry’s allotment.  Any remaining new tires from an entry’s event allotment may be added to the entry’s test allotment. Remaining new sets of alternate tires will be returned to the entrant as primary tires. Each entry is permitted a total of 54 sets of tires (primary or wet) for their 18 test days through the end of the season, and the carryover tires must be the correct specification for the circuit.  Teams may carry forward two sets of tires from the Barber Open Test to a future Open Test or a team test. – IndyCar – (3/18/14)

RACER’s Barber testing Day 1 notebook – Dale Coyne confirms his 2nd car will be at St. Pete. Bob Varsha will call the Pocono and Toronto races. Updates on the situation at HPD. Chevy will allow their bare engine to be photographed. Simon Pagenaud will likely be without major sponsorship for the early races. Nice on-board video from Newgarden. – RACER – (3/18/14)

Team Penske sweeps top 3 in day one of Barber testing – Click the link for full results. – RACER – (3/17/14)

Matthew Brabham RACER Blog – Interesting entry written by Matthew Brabham as he prepares for his first season in Indy Lights.  Best quote on the bigger car:  “In a way, it feels like I have a train of carriages behind me pushing me into the corner.” – RACER – (3/17/14)

Hydroxycut back on board at KVSH – Hydroxycut will sponsor Sebastien Bourdais’ #11 car for seven races this season. – KV Racing Instagram – (3/17/14)

Update on Conor Daly’s future – Conor picked up a 2nd test with a GP2 team this week in Bahrain.  He still hasn’t secured a ride with the team for the season but he was nearly a second faster than the team’s confirmed driver at the last test.  He also picked up a follow from Dale Coyne Racing on twitter who has yet to confirm their 2nd driver for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. – Indianapolis Star – (3/17/14)

Sage Karam stars at Sebring – Good summary of part of Sage Karam’s eye-opening performance at Sebring.  This weekend had to have helped his chances of getting ride for the 500. – NBC Sports – (3/17/14)

IndyCar driver results at Sebring – Sebastien Bourdais (third overall and in Prototype class); Simon Pagenaud (fifth overall and in Prototype class); Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam (sixth); Justin Wilson (ninth); Ryan Hunter-Reay (18th overall; seventh in GT Le Mans class); Ryan Briscoe (19th overall; eighth in GTLM); Gabby Chaves (50th overall; 15th in Prototype); Alex Tagliani (52nd overall, seventh in Prototype Challenge class); Sebastian Saavedra (61st overall; 17th in Prototype) – IndyCar – (3/17/14)

IndyCar and USAC legend Gary Bettenhausen passes – Excellent obituary written by Robin Miller – RACER – (3/17/14)

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