News for the Week of August 10, 2015 – August 16, 2015

Fontana off the 2016 calendar – “INDYCAR announced today that Auto Club Speedway, the 2-mile oval in Fontana, Calif., will not return to the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule in 2016. INDYCAR explored several options to retain the event as part of its 2016 calendar, including plans to race later in the season to comply with the track’s request to host the season finale. Ultimately, the two sides were unable to identify a start time and broadcast window that would not adversely impact television viewership on the East Coast.” – INDYCAR – (8/14/2015)

Clauson announces ’16 Indy 500 program as part of ambitious 200 race season – Bryan Clauson will attempt to qualify for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race next May as part of a 200 race schedule he recently announced for the 2016 calendar year. The program is called “The Chasing 200 Tour: Circular Insanity.” “It started as a crazy idea I had and took shape in Las Vegas,” said Clauson. “It’s going to be a lot of racing and a lot of travel, but we feel pretty good about the partners and everybody we have involved. – NBC Sports – (8/14/2015)

Brembo to continue as exclusive Verizon IndyCar Series brake supplier – “Brembo’s innovative braking system incorporates lightweight CER200 carbon-carbon rotors (324 mm x 30 mm), similar to rotors used in Formula One and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and CCR400 carbon pads,” said Dan Sandberg, Brembo North America president and chief executive officer. – INDYCAR – (8/14/2015)

Magnussen intends to race full-time in ’16 – Former McLaren F1 full-time driver and current reserve driver Kevin Magnussen says he will not spend another year on the sidelines in 2016. “There will not be one more year without racing – no way in hell,” Magnussen said. He later added: “I’ve always loved IndyCar and I think there’s something about it which is really cool. I just like old-school racing.” – AUTOSPORT – (8/14/2015)

INDYCAR close to Phoenix return in ’16 – The Arizona Republic reports that a date and distance have been agreed to for a Verizon IndyCar Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in 2016. The race would be 250 miles on Saturday night, April 2, 2016. A final deal is not in place yet but negotiations are close. “This is the closest we’ve been (to a deal) in 10 years,” PIR President Bryan Sperber told azcentral sports. “We working hard on it but it’s not a done deal. There have been things we’ve worked hard on in the past that didn’t (happen).” – The Arizona Republic – (8/14/2015)

Harvey fastest of Lights drivers at Sonoma test – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has an excellent writeup on Thursday’s Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sonoma Raceway. Will Power posted the overall fastest time of the day while Jack Harvey turned the fastest lap of the numerous Indy Lights drivers testing for half the day in the No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda. “Sonoma is a track I’ve gone well at in the past; last year we won both the Lights races with double poles, so I was pretty happy when I knew this was the track we’re coming to,” Harvey said. Much more at the link. – RACER – (8/14/2015)

Highly anticipated Sonoma test at Sonoma on Thursday – Most Verizon IndyCar Series teams will be testing on Thursday at Sonoma Raceway with Indy Lights drivers at the wheel for some portion of the day. Take a look at Tony DiZinno’s great piece on who’s driving each car and their social media excitement. – NBC Sports – (8/13/2015)

Honda negotiating with INDYCAR for aero kit changes – FOX Sports’ Bruce Martin reports that Honda is pressuring INDYCAR to allow Honda to make changes to their aero kit under rule 9.3 (“In the event that an aero kit is not competitive to such extent that it would be detrimental to the Verizon IndyCar Series, INDYCAR may permit in its sole discretion Approved Suppliers to implement modifications to their respective Aero Kits.”). “There is no guarantee if you get 9.3 you will get something and move down the road. It means you will get consideration in a wind tunnel situation against the competition,” Derrick Walker told FOX Sports. “IndyCar has all the data with both aero kits and it’s very complicated and not an exact science.” – FOX Sports – (8/12/2015)

Newgarden tweet leads to ’16 RLL speculation – Josef Newgarden tweeted about buying a car from Bobby Rahal’s BMW dealership prompting rampant speculation on social media that it was a sign the soon to be out of contract driver will drive for Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing in 2016. Even IndyCar Radio’s Jake Query tweeted this: “Prediction: @josefnewgarden & @GrahamRahal will be 2016 teammates.” We shall see. – @josefnewgarden – (8/12/2015)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/12/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/12/2015)

Andretti Sports Marketing files lawsuit against Andretti Autosport – Andretti Sports Marketing is suing Andretti Autosport and owner Michael Andretti is not pleased about the situation. “This lawsuit is a disingenuous and self-serving attempt to benefit John Lopes and Starke Taylor at the expense of Andretti Autosport and its 120 employees,” said Andretti. “The allegations by Lopes and Taylor will not be supported by the evidence and we will aggressively respond with the truth. My family has strived to earn an exemplary reputation in all facets of our personal and professional lives. We will not allow this reckless attempt at grabbing leverage to impact our family name.” More at the link. – NBC Sports – (8/12/2015)

Trackside podcast 8/11/15 – 1070 The Fan’s popular Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 8/11/15 recaps all of the latest news from INDYCAR. – 1070 The Fan – (8/12/2015)

Mann and Vautier to drive for DCR at Pocono – Dale Coyne Racing has announced that Pippa Mann (No. 18) and Tristan Vautier (No. 19) will be their drivers next weekend at Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500. – Dale Coyne Racing – (8/11/2015)

Six drivers to test on IMS oval on Wednesday – Six Verizon IndyCar Series drivers will test on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday for various purposes. Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti are doing Firestone tire testing. Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter, Simon Pagenaud, and Ryan Hunter-Reay are all doing team testing. – NBC Sports – (8/11/2015)

Robin Miller weighs in on INDYCAR vacancies – Robin Miller weights in with his thoughts on what he believes should be a two person replacement for the outgoing Derrick Walker. Miller calls for a President of Competition and a Chief Steward. Miller goes through numerous realistic possibilities for each job. Must read. – RACER – (8/10/2015)

Piquet Jr. dismissive of INDYCAR future – Nelson Piquet Jr. raced in Indy Lights earlier this year and has an upcoming test with Team Penske at Sonoma but remains committed to his 3 year contract in Formula E in an interview with MotorSportsTalk. “Well I have a three year contract with [Formula E], so there’s no way I can think about IndyCar,” Piquet said. “I’ve always wanted to test an IndyCar, and not necessarily wanted to race, so it’s going to be a great opportunity to be with the best team and testing with them.” – NBC Sports – (8/10/2015)

New chassis in near future for Pro Mazda and USF 2000 – “Request for Proposals (RFP) have been circulated to constructors for a new car in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017 and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2018. Andersen Promotions debuted the track record-shattering Dallara IL-15 in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition, the third step on the ladder system, to rave reviews this season. The new carbon composite chassis will be a “common chassis” between USF2000 and Pro Mazda with specific elements defining both visual and performance differences in the two series including variations in horsepower and aerodynamics. It will be designed to the latest FIA specifications with added safety enhancements to accommodate U.S. road, street and oval circuits and a more modern appearance, and will share many of the current F4 specifications but with improved performance designs and increased horsepower.” – NBC Sports – (8/10/2015)

INDYCAR officially announces return to Road America in 2016 – “Road America, which was acclaimed by drivers and revered by fans when it hosted Indy car racing from 1982-2007, is on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The event is set for June 24-26 on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit. Road America, established in 1955…In addition to the Verizon IndyCar Series, all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy will compete on the race weekend. Road America officials have been overwhelmed with fan requests for Indy car racing to return to the venerable track, and worked hard with INDYCAR to make it happen.” More at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/9/2015)

Marco races against Dani Pedrosa’s bike at IMS – As part of IMS’ promotion of this weekend’s MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis GP Marco Andretti raced his No. 27 Snapple machine against the bike of MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa. “I have a Repsol CVR (Honda motorcycle), it’s pretty cool – but nowhere near like these guys,’” said Andretti. “It was fun, definitely a fun lap.” – INDYCAR – (8/9/2015)

St. Pete confirmed for March 2016 – “Organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announced today that the 12th edition of the annual event will be held March 11-13, 2016 with the Verizon IndyCar Series headlining the weekend. The event is scheduled to run two weeks earlier than the late March weekend it typically occupies due to the Easter holiday. “We are pleased to confirm our 2016 event dates,” said Kim Green, Owner, Chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “While our place on the calendar is a little bit different, we look forward to bringing another great weekend of racing to St. Petersburg.”” – GP of St. Pete – (8/6/2015)

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