News for the Week of July 31, 2017 – August 6, 2017

Urrutia claims significant progress on ’18 IndyCar deal – Motorsport.com’s Federico Faturos reports Indy Lights star Santiago Urrutia claims he has 70% of the budget he would need to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. He’s in talks with three teams. “I have a preliminary contract to race in IndyCar in 2018”, Urrutia said in a press conference. “We are in negotiations with three IndyCar teams to race next year. We have 70% of the budget, we still have to work in the other 30 percent but we are on it. That 70 percent is confirmed.” Full story at the link. – Motorsport.com – (8/4/2017)

Iowa Speedway announces 8/10 ’18 IndyCar test will be open to public – “Iowa Speedway race fans will have their first chance to see the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will fit the current Dallara IR-12 chassis for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Just a month removed from the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300, the premier North American open-wheel series will conduct a test for the new car at The Fastest Short Track on the Planet on Aug. 10. This is a free event and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 10. Viewing will be from the Newton Club, where fans can watch the action from seats overlooking the Start / Finish line.” Full release at the link. – Iowa Speedway – (8/4/2017)

Drivers rave about new Gateway surface after test – Eight Verizon IndyCar Series drivers tested on the new surface at Gateway Motorsports Park on Thursday and raved about the results. “It’s smooth like a baby’s bottom,” said Helio Castroneves. “It feels really grippy and it’s a lot faster than when we tested here before,” said Conor Daly. “It will be the best short oval race of the year,” added Graham Rahal. “There will be good drafting and a lot of passing in this one.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/4/2017)

INDYCAR should have ’18 Mexico decision by end of August – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports INDYCAR expects to have a decision on whether or not it will race in Mexico in 2018 by the end of August. “There’s serious dialogue and progress there,” INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles told RACER. “I think it’s something we’ll know by the end of August, and then the 2018 calendar will come out.” The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City is the anticipated venue for what would be an October race according to Miles. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/3/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/2/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/2/2017)

Trackside podcast 8/1/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 8/1/17 is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (8/2/2017)

’18 road course aero kit test recap from Mid-Ohio – Mark Robinson posted an excellent update on the 2018 road/street course aero kit test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Tuesday. Each of the two cars put in over 100 laps on what was deemed a successful day. “It feels pretty good; it’s very different than the current aero kit,” said Chevrolet test driver Juan Pablo Montoya. “The (new) car is a little more forgiving, but the level of downforce is a lot lighter so you slide around a lot more. That, I think, is good.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/2/2017)

ECR interested in IMSA – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Ed Carpenter Racing is interested in a factory Daytona Prototype international or GT Le Mans project in IMSA if the right opportunity arises. “The interest is there for sure,” Carpenter told RACER. “IndyCar is always going to be my emphasis, but this year has been the first time I’ve thought about sports cars and have started to look around.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/1/2017)

Fifth Third Bank to serve as primary sponsor for RLL No. 15 at Gateway – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) announced today that Fifth Third Bank will be the primary sponsor for the No. 15 Honda driven by Graham Rahal in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park on August 26. It is their second Indy car event as primary sponsor after holding the role for Oriol Servia’s No. 16 entry for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Duals. Fifth Third Bank is in its second year as an associate sponsor for the team and extended their partnership for three more years in May 2017.” See the livery on our No. 15 livery page here. Full release at the link. – RLL – (8/1/2017)

’18 aero kit testing underway at Mid-Ohio – The first road course test of the 2018 universal aero kit started on Tuesday morning at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Just like the superspeedway aero kit test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, Juan Pablo Montoya is driving for Chevrolet while Oriol Servia is driving for Honda. See images from the test at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/1/2017)

8/1 Mid-Ohio ’18 aero kit test free and open to public – “Fans are welcome to attend on-track testing of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series universal aero kit at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on Tuesday, Aug. 1. It is free admission with gates opening at 8 a.m. A break in the testing will occur approximately 12 noon – 1 p.m. with all activity to wrap up by 4:30 p.m.” Full release at the link. – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – (7/31/2017)

Bourdais turns over 80 laps in Mid-Ohio test – Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais turned over 80 laps in his first time back in a Verizon IndyCar Series car since his qualifying incident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Monday. “It’s just great to be back in the car, really, and to feel like nothing’s changed,” said Bourdais. “Two and a half months have gone by and you get back in the car, hop in the saddle and feel good. It was very positive.” Bourdais isn’t fully cleared by INDYCAR yet and how the team fares at Pocono Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park will determine whether he’s back for Watkins Glen International or needs to wait for the finale at Sonoma Raceway. Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (7/31/2017)

Monday Musings: Mid-Ohio – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ Monday Musings piece continues with a collection of random thoughts following the INDYCAR weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Check it out at the link. – The Open Wheel – (7/31/2017)

Bourdais to test at Mid-Ohio on Monday – Sebastien Bourdais’ amazing recovery from his horrific qualifying crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue with a test with his Dale Coyne Racing team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Monday. Full story at the link. – RACER – (7/30/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Indy Lights Mid-Ohio photo gallery -The Open Wheel’s Parker Hall’s photo gallery from the 2017 Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Powered by Mazda at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (7/30/2017)

The Open Wheel’s Mid-Ohio photo gallery -The Open Wheel’s Parker Hall’s photo gallery from the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (7/30/2017)

Newgarden dominates for Mid-Ohio victory – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden used an early pass on teammate Will Power to dominate en route to victory at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Newgarden led 73 of the 90 laps after Power led the first 12. The rest of the Top 5 was Power, Rahal, Pagenaud, and Sato. Full results here. – INDYCAR – (7/30/2017)

Jamin wins Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio – Andretti Autosport’s Nico Jamin won Indy Lights Race 2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after taking the lead following an early Herta spin. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Blackstock, Claman De Melo, and Telitz. Championship leader Kaiser finished P12. Full Race 2 results here. – Indy Lights – (7/30/2017)

Urrutia wins Lights Race 1 at Mid-Ohio – Belardi Auto Racing’s Santiago Urrutia won Indy Lights Race 1 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in dominant fashion from the pole position. Urrutia led every lap. The rest of the Top 5 was Herta, Jamin, Blackstock, and Claman De Melo. Championship leader Kaiser finished P12 while fellow contender Leist finished P11. Full Race 1 results here. – Indy Lights – (7/29/2017)

Michael Andretti expects engine manufacturer decision soon – AUTOWEEK’s Bruce Martin reports Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti expects to make a decision on his team’s 2018 engine manufacturer “in the next week or so.” “If I knew, I would tell you,” Andretti told AUTOWEEK. “I don’t know yet. I am still trying to make the decision. We are still working on where we need to be and have the deal that is right and fair for the team. That is what we are working on.” Full report at the link. – AUTOWEEK – (7/28/2017)

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