News for the Week of August 7, 2017 – August 13, 2017

SPM announces Aleshin is out of the No. 7 car for rest of the year – “Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the No. 7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (8/12/2017)

INDYCAR completes another successful ’18 test at Iowa Speedway – Another successful test of the 2018 universal aero kit took place at Iowa Speedway on Thursday. Both Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia were happy with the test. “It was very consistent, especially if we end up going on the lower downforce package,” said Servia. “You have to drive it, which is fun. You have to lift and you’re still doing the same lap speed (as with more downforce), which is interesting. Exact same lap speed.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/11/2017)

McLaren still interested in IndyCar full-time according to Miles – According to a report from AUTOWEEK, McLaren is still interested in joining the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time. “We know that there are options for McLaren to return to the Indianapolis 500 next year with Andretti Autosport,” INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles told Spain’s El Mundeo Deportivo. “And McLaren is still interested in being a team in the Verizon Indycar series full time, probably not for 2018 but perhaps in 2019.” Full story at the link. – AUTOWEEK – (8/10/2017)

INDYCAR hoping to test aeroscreen later this year – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has an excellent story with IndyCar aerodynamic director Tino Belli on the future of head protection in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Kelli said INDYCAR is developing an aeroscreen prototype to test moving forward. “Step one’s going to be to try what we would call our final prototype design in the simulator,” Belli told RACER. “If everything goes well and we don’t get negative feedback in the simulator, we’re probably looking to the fall to winter to test it on a car. Everything would have to go really, really well with no hiccups for it to be on a car for next year.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/9/2017)

Long Beach City Council votes to continue with INDYCAR organizers – The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach that organizes the INDYCAR weekend on the Streets of Long Beach released a statement confirming the Long Beach City Council officially voted to continue with them over a group investigating the possibility of bringing back Formula 1. Full statement at the link. – TGPLB – (8/9/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/9/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/9/2017)

Trackside podcast 8/8/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 8/8/17 is a great listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (8/9/2017)

Carpenter hard at work on ’18 plans – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has a nice report with quotes from Ed Carpenter as he considers his team’s options for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. “For me, the first step going into the next season is making sure we have the partners and budget in place, and then fill in the pieces,” Carpenter told RACER. “We have a little more options long-term with JR than we do with Spencer.” Carpenter goes on to say that he’d like to have two full-time teams and himself in a third car as the part-time oval driver. Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/8/2017)

Brown talks possibilities of Alonso’s IndyCar future – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has an interesting story on how 2018 manufacturer choices on both the Formula 1 and Verizon IndyCar Series side of things might affect Fernando Alonso’s future in the Verizon IndyCar Series according to McLaren boss Zak Brown. “[It’s] 50-50; it could make a different or not make a difference,” Brown told RACER. “It really depends where our Honda relationship goes as to whether it’s important there would be a Honda engine in the car.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (8/8/2017)

Kimball advocates for fight against diabetes in DC – Charlie Kimball traveled to Washington, DC before the INDYCAR weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to raise awareness and encourage fundraising in the fight against diabetes. “You don’t ever think that wearing a helmet to work would ever lead to you wearing a suit and tie on Capitol Hill,” said Kimball. “Honestly, my love for racing and being able to grow into an advocate through the Race with Insulin program, through the work with Novo Nordisk – they’ve been such a good partner.” Full story at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/7/2017)

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)

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