News for the Week of April 7 – April 13, 2014

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Race Results

Race – 4/13/14 – 4:00PM ET NBCSN

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Circuit MapLap w/GrahamT&SStanding Start RulesQualifying Results

Mike Conway wins in Long Beach – The road/street-course specialist for Ed Carpenter Racing made Ed Carpenter look like an absolute genius by delivering a win in just his second race with the team.  Scott Dixon was forced to pit for fuel late giving Conway the lead after he’d passed Will Power on a late restart.  The defining moment of the race was an accident taking out nearly all of the top contenders when Ryan Hunter-Reay tried an ambitious pass on leader Josef Newgarden after the last batch of green flag pit stops.  Full results here. – INDYCAR – (4/13/14)

Fans Cheer On Favorites in Pro/Celebrity Race – Brett Davern won the 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race, triumphing over a field of film, television, music and sports stars in the annual charity racing event. The roaring crowd witnessed the stunning performance by Davern who started the race on the pole in his Scion FR-S race car. Al Unser Jr. finished first in the Pro category. – GPLB.com – (4/13/14)

Chaves Earns Victory in Caution-Free Race – Gabby Chaves overtook pole sitter Zach Veach entering the left-hand Turn 1 of the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street circuit and went on to win the caution-free Long Beach 100 by .6364 of a second over the Andretti Autosport driver. Two weeks earlier, Veach passed pole sitter Chaves in the right-hand Turn 1 of the 14-turn, 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street course and earned his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires victory. – INDYCAR – (4/13/14)

Indy Lights Long Beach Results – Click Here for the Indy Lights Results. – INDYCAR (4/13/14)

  1. Gabby Chaves – No. 5
  2. Zach Veach – No. 26
  3. Mathew Brabham – No. 83
  4. Jack Harvey – No. 42
  5. Luiz Razia – No. 7

KV confirms Townsend Bell for Indy 500 – Bell will pilot the No. 6 Robert Graham – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry. “I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Robert Graham for the chance to compete with KV Racing Technology at this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said Bell. “In 2001, Jimmy was my teammate in my first Champ Car event and in 2009 I had my best finish at Indy racing with KVRT, so coming back to the defending Indy 500 champions, is special. I will be working with one of my favorite engineers, Gerald Tyler, so that is also a big plus.” – KV Racing – (4/12/14)

RHR wins the pole at Long Beach – Ryan Hunter-Reay won a dramatic pole on Saturday over teammate James Hinchcliffe on a great day for Andretti Autosport.  Sebastien Bourdais took third and was the only Chevy in the Firestone Fast Six.  Hunter-Reay was pretty excited:  “What a qualifying session. You never knew who was going to put in the best lap; it was anybody’s session. It’s a good start for us, but tomorrow is going to be challenging. We have the standing start and a long day on the beach. We’ve been on the outside pole so many times here and final got the big one.” – INDYCAR – (4/12/14)

Zach Veach takes the Lights pole at Long Beach – Veach grabbed the pole on his last lap to top Belardi Racing’s Gabby Chaves and Andretti Autosport teammate Matthew Brabham.  The American won last time out at St. Pete and is well poised to grab another on Sunday. – RACER – (4/12/14)

Buddy Lazier’s 500 livery revealed – The image of the car was found on the sponsor’s website. – Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research – (4/12/14)

2014 car 91 500

Cavin says Townsend Bell to KV is official – The Indianapolis Star reporter has reported for weeks now that the American driver would join the team on a deal for the Indianapolis 500. – @curtcavin – (4/12/14)

Will Power leads final practice session at Long Beach – Josef Newgarden and James Hinchcliffe round out the top 3.  Rahal, Kimball, Andretti, and Saavedra were the slowest four.  Click the link for full results. – @indy44 – (4/12/14)

Sato Still Enjoying the History He Made With 2013 Victory – Takuma Sato on Wednesday sat with friends and business associates at Parker’s Lighthouse in Shoreline Village. It was nearly a year earlier that he made history just across the street at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Continue reading on PressTelegram.com – (4/11/14)

Honda’s Fastest Seat to be Filled by Who – Roger Daltrey, founding member and lead singer of The Who, will mix racing with philanthropy at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Daltrey will attend the Verizon IndyCar Series race to raise awareness of Teen Cancer America. – INDYCAR – (4/11/14)

Pagenaud visor cam from Long Beach – Marshall Pruett and RACER are at it again with the visor cam.  Once again it’s awesome!!! – RACER – (4/11/14)

Pagenaud fastest in P2 at Long Beach – Simon Pagenaud finished with the fastest time during practice one at Long Beach.  Click the link for full results. – @indy44 – (4/11/14)

Hinchcliffe paces the field in P1 at Long Beach – Canadian James Hinchcliffe finished with the fastest time during practice one at Long Beach.  Honda had 8 of the top 12 spots including 4 of the top 5.  Castroneves and Power were the fastest Chevy-powered entries.  Click the link for full results. – @indy44 – (4/11/14)

The Coolest IndyCar Pace Cars – Jalopnik has started a thread today for the coolest IndyCar Pace Cars. Check out the comment section to see some cool Pace Cars! – Jalopnik – (4/11/14)

Updates on the IMS Upgrade Process – Chad Smith rode a few laps of new road course with Doug Boles and his son and provided an excellent update on the status of the upgrades to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The viewing mounds are indeed much higher and look like they’ll provide an excellent view of the circuit.  New fencing has been put up in the pits and there are plans to replace the fence all the way around the track.  “I asked Doug about the main scoring pylon, and he said that what they want to do is take the time to get it right. They want the new pylon to have the look of the current pylon, but also have the updated technology which will allow them to display different sets of numbers, with the ability to adjust the size of them. He said it will also have a video board that will have on-track action, as well as advertising opportunities. The new scoring pylon will likely be put up just before the Brickyard 400 weekend.” – Open Wheel America – (4/11/14)

Cavin Q&A 4/11/14 – Curt Cavin answers questions from fans on the latest 500 car count, an update on James Jakes, the “Festival on Main” event in Speedway next month, and more.  “There will be 24 cars for the GP, with Oriol Servia and Martin Plowman added to the 22 combinations from St. Pete. For the 500, you’re looking at those 24 plus Indy-only cars for Buddy Lazier, Jacques Villeneuve, Kurt Busch, JR Hildebrand, Alex Tagliani and Townsend Bell (not yet announced but expected at KV). That’s 30. There’s the Stefan Wilson car that I wrote about earlier in the week plus two – yep, two, both Chevrolets – from the Dreyer & Reinbold shop (one from D&R, the other from another individual). The latter is a car purchased from Panther Racing, and it has many of the nice updates. Maybe one more car from Dale Coyne’s team and maybe one for Sage Karam from Ganassi. That’s a max of 35 since I don’t expect a second from Bryan Herta Autosport.” – Indianapolis Star – (4/11/14)

Long Beach a Success Story – From Chris Pook’s inaugural Formula 5000 race, through an eight-year run with Formula One, to its current incarnation as a key stop on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, the LBGP has been a success in every form it has taken. It’s easy to see the impact Long Beach made as the prototype for the downtown American city street race. Continue Reading on ESPN. – (4/10/14)

MotorSportsTalk previews Long Beach – NBC’s preview for this weekend’s big race putting drivers in categories of likely to unlikely to capture a win this weekend.  Good fact-finding story. – NBC Sports – (4/10/14)

Indy Star reporting Panther’s future doesn’t look promising – Subscriber article so won’t spill many details but mentions staff members leaving, equipment sold, and lack of news of a return (including definitely missing the 2014 Indy 500) as a likely sign that Panther Racing may be coming to an unceremonious end. – Indianapolis Star – (4/10/14)

Scott Dixon’s Team Wins Firestone Pit Performance Award – The first Firestone Pit Performance Award of the year went to Scott Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing team. Their team had an impressive cumulative time of 95.36 Seconds during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Continue Reading this story HERE – The OpenWheel (4/10/14)

Fascinating video on Townsend Bell and the Indy 500 – Renowned artist Slater Bradley followed his childhood friend Townsend Bell around at the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and shot a video on the race that’s far different than anything ever done before.  It’s absolutely worth checking out. – Forbes – (4/10/14)

Briscoe’s guide around Long Beach – Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ryan Briscoe breaks down the quickest way around Long Beach ahead of this weekend’s big race. – RACER – (4/10/14)

Buddy Lazier confirms his entry for the 500 – Lazier’s No. 91 will have the University of Iowa’s Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research on the side of the car this year at the Indianapolis 500. – Indianapolis Star – (4/10/14)

Servia hopes to expand role at RLL -Oriol Servia will compete in his first of four races currently schedules with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing this weekend at Long Beach.  However, he believes success in these events will open the door for a full-time opportunity with the team.  “I’m looking at this opportunity as one I’ve never had – to build a program that I can take the profit off the build in Year 2 and 3,” said Servia. “If we put the team together and we start getting successful as we should, there’s no reason why we cannot find proper sponsorship that will allow us to have two or three good seasons together. That’s what you need to challenge the top teams year after year. Like any other sport, you need continuity to beat the top teams. It takes time to get the best out of each other, so I hope we’re being stronger and longer.” – INDYCAR – (4/10/14)

Robin Miller’s Mailbag 4/9/14 – RACER’s Robin Miller answers questions on a wide variety of topics.  Highlights include comments on the TV and radio coverage, the need to return to double-file restarts where there’s room, and the need for successful female and/or American drivers in the series. – RACER – (4/9/14)

Will Power blogs on his fast start – Will Power’s first blog for AUTOWEEK since the 2014 season started is a good one.  “My approach to racing is probably the biggest change that I’ve tried to carry over. Being out of the championship battle for most of last year, I was much more aggressive with my driving because the points didn’t matter as much. That kind of opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to be more aggressive all the time anyway, not worrying about points because that means you’re thinking about the wrong thing. I just need to get out there and race hard all the time; that’s my new motto and what I like to do. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re all here to do.” – AUTOWEEK – (4/9/14)

Big Weekend Ahead in Long Beach – Motorsport.com gives its pre-event breakdown of this weeks race at Long Beach. – motorsport.com – (4/8/14)

Racing for Kids Programs Turns 25 in Long Beach – The weekend of April 11-13 will not only be a celebration of the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, it will also mark the 25th anniversary year for “Racing for Kids,” an organization active in raising money for children’s hospitals throughout the United States.  – RACER – (4/8/14)

Stefan Wilson and Townsend Bell on the verge of a 500 ride – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star gives details on each drivers’ chances of a 500 gig.  He says KV Racing has entered a #6 entry for the 500 in an unannounced effort Townsend Bell.  Stefan Wilson’s details are yet to be finalized but he’s poised to complete a deal that would put him in more races than just the 500.   BHA would like to decide if they’ll have a 2nd car at the 500 by the end of this week.  They would put Luca Filippi in the car if a deal comes together. – Indianapolis Star – (4/8/14)

TGPLB Entry List Notes – Sponsorship/livery notes: #3 will be AAA of Southern California, #8 TNT Energy Drink, #11 Mistic, and the #67 is expected to go back to Hartman Oil on the sidepods.  HVM is now listed on the entry list for the #34 along with Andretti Autosport.  Carlos Huertas is back in the #18 Dale Coyne car.  Oriol Servia will drive the #16 for RLL. – NBC Sports – (4/8/14)

Long Beach starts busy five weeks for Mike Conway – Conway races at Long Beach this weekend, then heads to his home country to race the FIA WEC curtain-raiser in Silverstone on April 20. April 27 is back to the ECR IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park, in what will be his first natural terrain road course race in an IndyCar since Sonoma 2012 (all his 2013 and the first two 2014 races were on street courses). Then it’s back to the WEC for Spa on May 4, and then the five-week stretch concludes May 10 with the ECR IndyCar in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. – NBC Sports – (4/8/14)

Roger Griffiths joins Andretti Autosport as Director of Motorsport Development – “I’m very excited to have Roger (Griffiths) join the team,” said Michael Andretti. “A man with his knowledge, talent and experience will be a huge addition for not just Andretti Autosport, but also for VARX and Andretti Formula E. We look forward to using expertise in many different areas within our team.”  Griffiths, who has enjoyed a vast background in many motorsports endeavors including Formula 1, IndyCar, American Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and Super Touring Cars, most recently served as the Technical Director for Honda Performance Development where he experienced recent success at the Indy 500 in 2012 and the 2013 Driver’s Championship.  “I am very excited to be joining the Andretti Autosport Organization,” said Griffiths. “I have, in past, shared a lot of victories with the team but now look forward to the opportunity to be able to contribute more directly to their future success and growth.” – Andretti Autosport – (4/8/14)

Montoya returns to Long Beach – The Long Beach newspaper is excited to have Juan Pablo back where he scored his first major win, the 1999 GP of Long Beach.  He was 23 and it was just his third American open wheel race.  “That was a big deal,” Montoya said. “It was my first win in a big series, you know what I mean? Like a worldwide series. It was really, really exciting.” – Long Beach Press-Telegram – (4/8/14)

Cavin’s Q&A – 4/8/14 – More info from Curt Cavin on the car count for the 500.  The count is at 28 for the moment and possible additions could come from a likely 2nd car at Coyne (he said Pippa yesterday), 1 or even 2 cars from DRR, a fifth at Ganassi for Karam, second at BHA for Filippi, and a 3rd at KV likely for Townsend Bell.  He also says this: “There’s another deal materializing for a popular rookie driver; my goal is to confirm that today.” – Indianapolis Star – (4/8/14)

Tony Kanaan to Appear on “The Late Late Show” – Reigning Indianapolis 500 Mile Race champion Tony Kanaan will be a guest on “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson, which airs at 12:30 a.m. (ET) April 10 on CBS. – INDYCAR – (4/7/14)

Cavin’s Q&A – 4/7/14 – Car counts for the GP of Indy and 500 are at 24 and 28 at the moment.  Says that he’s hearing we should see speeds around 230 in May. – Indianapolis Star – (4/7/14)

Gordon Kirby recounts Zanardi’s fantastic 1998 win at Long Beach – Great read and video on Alex Zanardi coming from a lap down to win the historic race in 1998. – MOTORSPORT – (4/7/14)

Briscoe excited to be back in IndyCar – “We had been in talks,” Briscoe said,. “A lot of things come down to money or whatever. At the end of the day, yes, it is Dario’s injury that probably ended up opening the ride for me. But that’s not to say that maybe something might have worked out for me here. We had been talking since [last year at] Indy about trying to make something work, but you’ve got to live in the now. There wasn’t a complete project for a fourth car at Ganassi at the time. Then, everything worked out. The stars aligned, and I’m very thankful. I don’t take anything for granted. I feel like I’m very lucky and this is a great opportunity and great chance to really take advantage of it and get back in the game and have another shot at winning races.” – AUTOWEEK – (4/7/14)

INDYCAR history of the GP of Long Beach – INDYCAR’s first of two installments on the history of the upcoming race.  “We were the first modern street race in North America and one of the keys to the success of street racing is really the selection of the venue at which it takes place,” said Jim Michaelian, President and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “We were fortunate that when we were looking for a home that Long Beach was receptive to bringing street racing to their city.” – INDYCAR – (4/7/14)

Justin Wilson interview – Interesting interview with Justin Wilson from last week.  Talks about a lot including his career path, favorite liveries, bucket list tracks, and more. – Open Wheel Now – (4/7/14)

Cool summary of the history of GP of Long Beach – Check out the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s Facebook page for a cool feature they’re doing called 40 moments with 40 drivers. Here’s Charlie Kimball’s: “Doing the pre-race parade lap before my first IndyCar experience at Long Beach in 2011, I could see my friends and family in the stands! Coming back to California and racing in the Grand Prix makes me realize how far I’ve come.” – TGPLB Facebook – (4/7/14)

IndyCar In-Car Theater – St. Pete – Highlight video from the GP of St. Pete using only on-board cameras. – INDYCAR – (4/7/14)

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