News for the Week of August 24, 2015 – August 31, 2015

Sonoma Information:

Entry ListSpotter GuideWeekend ScheduleCircuit MapPit Lane AssignmentsTickets

Awards doled out at the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration – Plenty of awards were officially handed out at the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration on Monday night at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. Scott Dixon was given his award as the championship driver, Gabby Chaves was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Justin Wilson was named Verizon IndyCar Series Fan Favorite Driver, among many awards. Read the full summary at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/31/2015)

Gonzalez’s P9 keeps No. 18 in Leaders Circle spot – Rodolfo Gonzalez finished a career best P9 at Sonoma on Sunday and that was enough for the No. 18 car to top the No. 4 entry in the entrant points for P22 keeping both Dale Coyne Racing cars in the INDYCAR Leaders Circle program next year. “I am really happy with the result. I think we got absolutely everything out of the car and the team today,” said Gonzalez. “I want to give a big thanks to the team and to Dale Coyne Racing. They have made me feel at home all season and helped me adapt and learn as much as possible about the series.” – Dale Coyne Racing – (8/31/2015)

Montoya not happy with double points after losing the title at Sonoma – “It sucks, but when you make the last race double-points on a road course and you change the tyre and you do everything you did for this weekend and you put so many variables, it doesn’t even matter what you do all year,” said Montoya. “Dixon had a shit season all year and had one good race, and we paid the penalty.” – RACER – (8/31/2015)

Rahal’s great season ends with disappointing Sonoma finish – “Car was just miserable today, just miserable. I don’t know why. We’ve been pretty strong on road and street courses all year, but we found a bad day to be bad. But that doesn’t overshadow the year we had,” Rahal said. “We have nothing to be ashamed of this year. Steak ‘N Shake rescued this team and gave us the chance to race this year.” – NBC Sports – (8/31/2015)

Dixon wins race and championship at Sonoma – Chip Ganassi Racing Team’s Scott Dixon won the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in dominating fashion and won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship on the number of race wins tiebreaker over Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya. The rest of the Top 5 was Hunter-Reay, Kimball, Kanaan, and Briscoe. Montoya finished in P6 and would have won the title if he finished in P5. Full race results at the link. Click here for our live blog of the race. – INDYCAR – (8/30/2015)

Brilliant NBCSN/Robin Miller tribute to Justin Wilson – NBCSN and Robin Miller’s excellent tribute to Justin Wilson is a must watch and available at the link. – NBCSN – (8/30/2015)

Power fastest in Sonoma morning warmup – Will Power’s lap of 1:17.8107 put him in P1 once again this weekend at Sonoma Raceway in the final warmup before the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Here’s how the other championship contenders finished: Rahal P4, Castroneves P6, Montoya P9, Dixon P12, and Newgarden P17. Full results at the link. – @indy44 – (8/30/2015)

Verizon IndyCar teams to test at Road America in September – According to RACER’s Marshall Pruett many Verizon IndyCar Series teams are planning on testing at Road America in late September. The testing would not be an official INDYCAR test so some teams have mentioned a date of September 22nd while others are targeting the 28th. – RACER – (8/30/2015)

IndyCar looks to finish 2016 season in Sonoma – As details slowly emerge on the 2016 IndyCar schedule it looks as though things are coming together for the season to end in the same place it concludes this year, Sonoma Raceway. Curt Cavin, of the Indianapolis Star, has confirmed IndyCar and Sonoma Raceway’s intentions of ending the 2016 season together, but nothing at this time is finalized. – Indianapolis Star – (8/30/2015)

Power wins the pole at Sonoma – Will Power set a new track record and edged Josef Newgarden for the pole for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma with a lap of 1:16.2597. The full Firestone Fast 6 finishing order was Power, Newgarden, Hunter-Reay, Pagenaud, Montoya, and Rahal. Scott Dixon will start in P9. Full qualifying results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/29/2015)

RHR tops the charts in Practice 2 at Sonoma – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay’s lap of 1:16.8702 was good enough for P1 in Practice 2 for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Practice was red flagged half way through the session to extract Sebastian Saavedra’s car from the Sonoma dragstrip. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Newgarden, Montoya, and Dixon. Results at the link. – NBC Sports – (8/29/2015)

strong>INDYCAR tests LED wheel display at Sonoma – Sebastien Bourdais’ No. 11 machine was outfitted with special LED pods mounted to his wheels for Practice 1 at Sonoma Raceway as INDYCAR explores more opportunities for LED’s in the series after the success of the scoring panels. “The LEDs, manufactured and supplied by UK-based Speed of Light Media Limited, have the potential of displaying logos or words for commercial partners, race or car information or other programmed details. The system is under INDYCAR consideration to add for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.” – INDYCAR – (8/28/2015)

Power fastest in Practice 1 at Sonoma – In what was officially a test day Will Power’s lap of 1:17.4858 was enough to earn the top spot in Practice 1 for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Friday. The rest of the Top 5 was Rahal, Hunter-Reay, Dixon, and Andretti. Mikhail Aleshin finished the session in P17 of 25 in his first Verizon IndyCar Series event of the year. Results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/28/2015)

Karam asks himself “What if I didn’t spin?” – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that Sage Karam admitted he thinks about his crash in the buildup to the Justin Wilson incident at Pocono and is struggling with it. “You’re looking up at the ceiling and thinking, ‘What if I didn’t spin?'” Karam said Friday at in his first public comments since the accident…”There’s no comfort in a situation like this. It is a tough time, but I’m just hoping his family is able to get through this with me and eventually we can get through it.” – Indianapolis Star – (8/28/2015)

Sonoma spotter guide released – The official INDYCAR spotter guide for this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma has been released. New liveries for the No. 19 (Vautier – Justin Wilson tribute), No. 25 (Servia – Justin Wilson tribute), No. 67 (Newgarden – GoPro), No. 77 (Aleshin – SMP Racing), and the No. 98 (Chaves – Alarm.com). – Sonoma Spotter Guide – (8/28/2015)

Official INDYCAR Sonoma preview – The official INDYCAR preview for this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is available at the link. The link includes the weekend schedule, entry list, special rules, and much more. – INDYCAR – (8/28/2015)

Marco interested in Haas F1 – According to a report from AUTOSPORT Marco Andretti would be interested in driving for Haas F1 next year should an opportunity present itself. “It [F1] depends on a lot of the logistics, for sure,” said Andretti. “Formula 1 is still the cream of the crop to me. Having said that, it would be tough to leave [IndyCar] because I feel like I’m just coming into my own as a driver.” – AUTOSPORT – (8/28/2015)

Servia to drive the No. 25 at Sonoma – “Verizon IndyCar Series team Andretti Autosport announced today that the No. 25 Honda of Justin Wilson will race this weekend at Sonoma Raceway to honor the late driver. Wilson passed away earlier this week following injuries sustained during the series event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday…IndyCar Series veteran Oriol Servia, Wilson’s close friend, will now have the responsibility of driving the No. 25 Andretti Autosport entry, formerly piloted by Wilson, at Sonoma.” “Justin was a true racer and advocate to our sport,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “We will have Justin and his family in our hearts this weekend as we honor him in the way he would want us to, by doing what he loved – racing.” – Andretti Autosport – (8/27/2015)

INDYCAR drives across the Golden Gate Bridge – Five Verizon IndyCar Series machines drove across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco today as a tribute to Justin Wilson. Check out the pictures and videos at the link. – NBC Sports – (8/27/2015)

CFH No. 67 sponsored by GoPro at Sonoma – “CFH Racing announced today that GoPro, enabler of some of today’s most engaging content, will partner with the team for the final race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season at Sonoma Raceway. Championship contender Josef Newgarden will drive the No. 67 GoPro Chevrolet in an 85-lap race on Sunday, August 30. All eyes will be on Newgarden as GoPro is also the title sponsor of the popular race, nestled in the rolling hills at the gateway to the Sonoma Wine Country.” See the car here. – CFH Racing – (8/27/2015)

Letterman struggling with love for INDYCAR after Wilson passing – The AP’s Jenna Fryer reports that RLL Racing co-owner David Letterman is struggling with his love for INDYCAR after the passing of Justin Wilson. “It’s just like, ‘Whoa, is this really the sport that you can embrace entirely?’ I don’t know. It’s a real self-examination,” Letterman said. “I talked to a lot of people about this: Racing is fun, but people are not supposed to get killed,” Letterman said. “I am brokenhearted for his family, for his kids, and everybody says, ‘Well, this is what the guy wanted to do.’ And of course, that’s the case. Much more at the link. – AP – (8/27/2015)

Sonoma Entry List is out – The official INDYCAR Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma entry list has been published and released. Items of note include a TBA as driver for the No. 25 entry, Aleshin in the No. 77, Coletti in the No. 4, and Gonzalez in the No. 19. – Sonoma Entry List – (8/27/2015)

Indy Cars to Drive Cross Golden Gate Bridge – Per an INDYCAR relase Marco Andretti will lead five competition Verizon IndyCar Series machines across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday as a tribute to the late Justin Wilson. Andretti will be joined by Josef Newgarden’s No. 67, Graham Rahal’s No. 15, Will Power’s No. 1, and the INDYCAR Experience two-seat Indy car driven by James Hinchcliffe with the championship trophy, the Astor Cup. The crossing will take place at 1:00PM PT from the southern side of the bridge. – INDYCAR PR – (8/26/2015)

DCR No. 19 to feature Wilson tribute livery at Sonoma – The Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 Honda will feature a special livery this weekend at Sonoma Raceway as a tribute to Justin Wilson. Picture at the link. – Dale Coyne Racing – (8/26/2015)

INDYCAR announces post-Pocono infractions – “INDYCAR announced the following post-event infractions and manufacturer championship points updates following the ABC Supply 500, which was held Aug. 23 at Pocono Raceway:
** Verizon IndyCar Series driver Tristan Vautier (Dale Coyne Racing) was penalized for violating Rule 9.3.3 (avoidable contact) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook. Vautier, who was placed on probation for the remainder of the season following the event at Auto Club Speedway on June 27, was penalized three points in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers point standings, fined $10,000 and will not be able to practice for the first two hours of the Verizon IndyCar Series Promoter Test at Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 28.
** The No. 2 Team Penske entry was fined $3,000 for violating Rule 7.10.1.5 (pit safety violation: contact with equipment – air hose, third offense).
** The No. 41 AJ Foyt Racing entry was fined $2,500 for violating Rule 1.1.1.3 (hazardous condition: tire coming loose and causing a yellow).
** The No. 26 Andretti Autosport entry was fined $500 for violating Rule 7.10.1.5 (pit safety violation: contact with equipment – air hose).” – INDYCAR – (8/26/2015)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/26/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/26/2015)

Canopy manufacturer willing to help INDYCAR – Indianapolis-based Aerodine Composites, who makes canopies for NHRA Top Fuel dragsters, is willing to talk to INDYCAR about potential canopy designs for INDYCAR. “The technology is out there to do some simulations and some live testing,” Aerodine president Craig McCarthy told RACER Monday morning. “We’ve seen the FIA testing video with canopies and even some NASCAR guys launching things out of an air cannon at wind screens, and I know IndyCar invests in seat testing and headrest testing, and maybe opening it up to try some things that are outside the box might be a worthwhile alternative.” – RACER – (8/26/2015)

Trackside podcast 8/25/15 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee show from 8/25/15 pays tribute to Justin Wilson. A terrific listen as always. – 1070 The Fan – (8/26/2015)

DiZinno’s Wilson tribute – In the past few days there have been numerous tributes to the fallen Justin Wilson and MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno has written one of the best. Check out his comprehensive piece at the link. – NBC Sports – (8/26/2015)

FIA to hold closed cockpit tests next month – Motorsport.com reports that the FIA will hold closed cockpit tests in open wheeled cars next month in the aftermath of the Justin Wilson incident. Previous tests have shown problems: “Initial tests of a fighter-jet style canopy highlighted two design problems – either the polycarbonate cover would shatter, or it would simply launch the debris high in to the air and potentially pose a danger to spectators. But of bigger concern to the FIA was potential difficulties in drivers getting out of the cockpit in the event of an accident – or delays in medical crews being able to attend to a driver because they had to waste time trying to remove a potentially damaged cover.” More at the link. – motorsport.com – (8/25/2015)

Wilson succumbs to injuries suffered at Pocono – Wilson Family Statement: “With deep sadness, the parents of Justin Wilson, Keith and Lynne, his wife Julia, and his brother Stefan share the news that Justin passed away today after succumbing to injuries suffered during the Verizon IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23. Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers. The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wilson Children’s Fund care of INDYCAR.” – Justin Wilson’s Website – (8/24/2015)

NBCSN’s Pocono telecast earns a 0.57 TV rating – NBCSN’s telecast of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway earned a 0.57 TV rating on Sunday. – ShowBuzzDaily – (8/24/2015)

Toyota extends title sponsorship of Grand Prix of Long Beach – “The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. and the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association to continue as the title sponsor of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The extension ensures that Toyota’s 41-year relationship with America’s premier street race will continue. Toyota has been title sponsor of the event since 1980, thought to be the longest consecutive entitlement in professional sports, while the automaker’s presence dates back to serving as the official pace car at the event’s inaugural running in 1975.” More at the link. – GPLB – (8/24/2015)

INDYCAR breaks down title scenarios – INDYCAR has posted a great breakdown of the points scenarios for each of the championship contenders this weekend at Sonoma. The drivers now competing for the championship are Montoya, Rahal, Dixon, Power, Castroneves, and Newgarden. Check it out at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/24/2015)

Justin Wilson update – 8/24/15 12:47PM – From INDYCAR: “Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson remains hospitalized in a coma in the intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa., after sustaining a severe head injury during Sunday’s event at Pocono Raceway. He remains in critical condition. INDYCAR continues to send its thoughts and prayers to the family and thanks the entire motorsports community for the outpouring of support. Additional updates to Wilson’s condition will be released when available.” – INDYCAR – (8/24/2015)

Coletti to test a Formula E car this week – Per his Twitter Stefano Coletti will be testing a Formula E car at Donnington on Tuesday. What this means for his INDYCAR future is undeclared at this time but the KV Racing rookie has failed to impress for most of the season. “Happy to announce that i will be testing tomorrow formulaE in donington! Cant wait to be driving that car :)” – Stefano Coletti – (8/24/2015)

Justin Wilson update – 8/23/15 9:00PM – From INDYCAR: “INDYCAR driver Justin Wilson suffered a severe head injury during today’s event at Pocono Raceway. Wilson is currently in a coma and in critical condition while undergoing further evaluation at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa. INDYCAR sends its thoughts and prayers to Justin, his family and Andretti Autosport during this difficult time. Additional updates to Wilson’s condition will be released when available.” – NBC Sports – (8/23/2015)

RHR wins at Pocono; Wilson airlifted to hospital – Ryan Hunter-Reay won a caution-filled ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway for his second win of the season. RHR won it at the end after a long delay due to a cleanup of an incident where a piece of Sage Karam’s debris struck Justin Wilson in the helmet requiring Wilson to be airlifted to a local hospital. The rest of the Top 5 was Newgarden, Montoya, Power, and Munoz. Graham Rahal’s day was ruined early on in an incident with Tristan Vautier. Montoya now leads the Championship Standings by 34 points over Rahal and 47 over Dixon. Full race results at the link. View our live blog of the race here. – INDYCAR – (8/23/2015)

Helio wins the pole at Pocono – Helio Castroneves won the pole for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 with a 2 lap average of 220.530mph. He’s joined in the Top 3 by teammates Simon Pagenaud and Will Power but Juan Pablo Montoya will start in P19. Graham Rahal will start in P5. Qualifying was delayed for quite a while due to a fence repair required after this scary Charlie Kimball incident. Kimball was checked, released, and cleared to drive from the medical center. Full qualifying results at the link. – INDYCAR – (8/22/2015)

Miles talks ’16 schedule with IndyCar Radio – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno posted an excellent recap of Mark Miles’ interview with IndyCar Radio during Saturday monring’s practice at Pocono. Miles talked a lot about the 2016 schedule and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Good read. – NBC Sports – (8/22/2015)

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