News for the Week of September 4, 2017 – September 10, 2017

Report: TK expected to join Foyt for ’18 – RACER’s Robin Miller reports Tony Kanaan is expected to drive the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises entry in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018. Neither party has confirmed the report. Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/9/2017)

Entire field to test at Sonoma on Thursday before race weekend – “The full field of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, including the drivers in contention for the series championship, are scheduled to participate in a series-sanctioned open test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 14, the day before the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma race weekend, Sept. 15-17. The six-hour session on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course is open to ticket holders for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and spectators who purchase a race ticket at the gate. Verizon IndyCar Series teams are slated to be on track from 10 a.m.-noon and 2-6 p.m.; Formula Car Challenge will also hit the track that day.” Full release at the link. – Sonoma Raceway – (9/8/2017)

SPM announces extension and “increased level of partnership” with HPD through ’20 – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports along with Honda and Honda Performance Development announced today an increased level of partnership between the two parties. The Verizon IndyCar Series team and the engine manufacturer also noted the extended contract is intact through the 2020 season.” Full release at the link. – SPM – (9/8/2017)

RaeLynn to perform national anthem at Sonoma – “Chart-topping Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville recording artist RaeLynn will perform the national anthem for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 17.” Full release at the link. – Sonoma Raceway – (9/7/2017)

New aero kit could lead removal of P2P – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello reports push-to-pass could be rendered obsolete in the Verizon IndyCar Series with the universal aero kit coming in 2018. “If you have more horsepower and different braking zones and the car was faster down the straightaways, you might have the same type of opportunity to pass as you do now,” INDYCAR president of competition Jay Frye told the Indianapolis Star. “But it wouldn’t be a push-to-defend type thing (where the race leader uses it to keep from being passed). It would be who drives it further into the corner and makes it stick when it’s in the corner.” Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (9/7/2017)

Third car possible for RLL in ’18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports Zachary Claman DeMelo could be in line for a full-time ride with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing after his Verizon IndyCar Series debut with the team at the finale at Sonoma Raceway. “This opportunity marks an incredible moment for my career,” Claman DeMelo told RACER, “and I’m getting that much closer to securing a full-time position with RLLR for next season.” RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal had this to say in the report: “It’s highly likely we’ll have two cars, and this event for Zach and us is a one-off; let’s see what happens, have a good, solid weekend, and then let’s talk,” Rahal told RACER. Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/7/2017)

Harvey encouraged by IndyCar progress – Jack Harvey is optimistic about his Verizon IndyCar Series future after his solid showing at Watkins Glen last weekend with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “I don’t have anything to announce yet, and we’re still talking to two or three teams about where it would be, but my sponsors were quite pleased with how everything has gone this year, and were fired up after we did well at Watkins Glen,” Harvey told RACER. “They’re more engaged in working together for something bigger next season that I’ve ever experienced.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/7/2017)

Upgrades coming to Lights engines in ’18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports “important engine upgrades” are coming for Indy Lights in 2018. “There were some peripheral problems we’ve dealt with in the past like replacing the alternator vendors to fix issues there, and together with AER, we’re changing wastegate vendors and they’ve readily agreed to upgrade all of the cars before the end of the year,” Dan Andersen told RACER. “In addition, we’re upgrading the turbocharger, going to a different manufacturer with a greater product. Those will all be changed before next season. We also had two electronic boost management box issues, so we’ve implemented a more frequent service and inspection schedule and we’ll be relocating them in the car to a position that’s cooler in the engine compartment.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/7/2017)

Claman DeMelo to drive RLL No. 16 Sonoma – “Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will enter a second car in the Verizon IndyCar Series season-finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma September 15-17 for Indy Lights driver Zachary Claman DeMelo, 19, who will make his series debut. DeMelo, who is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, earned four podium finishes in the 2017 Indy Lights season, including a win at Road America, and finished fifth in series standings. Paysafe, a leading global payments provider, will be the primary partner of the No. 16 Honda.” Full release at the link. – RLL – (9/6/2017)

Hinch hoping to finalize ’18 decision by Sonoma – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports soon-to-be free agent James Hinchcliffe would like to at least have a decision (if not announcement) on who he’s racing for in 2018 by the series finale at Sonoma Raceway. “Certainly by Sonoma, we’d like to be able to say something, or at least have things in place to know which direction we’re headed,” Hinchcliffe told RACER. “I’d say all parties are working to make that happen, and hopefully there will be some news before we get to the end of the season.” Full story at the link. – RACER – (9/6/2017)

Miller’s Mailbag 9/6/17 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (9/6/2017)

Trackside podcast 9/5/17 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 9/5/17 is a great listen as always. Indy Lights champion Kyle Kaiser is a guest on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (9/6/2017)

Sato tweets picture of Borg-Warner sculpture progress – The winner of the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Takuma Sato, tweeted a picture of work being done to sculpt his face for the Borg-Warner Trophy on Tuesday morning. Check it out at the link. – Takuma Sato – (9/5/2017)

INDYCAR partners with MANDT VR for ’18 season – “Capturing INDYCAR action like never before, augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) production company MANDT VR has teamed with the racing giant to deliver immersive content surrounding its 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season…Initially launching on the IndyCar.com, Facebook and YouTube channels, the MANDT VR pieces will showcase exclusive glimpses into the INDYCAR world, connecting fans with their favorite teams and drivers and placing them right on the race track. Starting with five videos, enthusiasts will be able to sit in the driver’s seat, cheer from the stands and get a deeper look at the mechanics behind this fast-paced sport.” Full release at the link. – SYS-CON Media – (9/5/2017)

INDYCAR giving Mexico until just after Sonoma to finalize schedule – USA Today’s Brant James reports Mark Miles has said INDYCAR will give organizers of a prospective race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City until four days after the Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Sonoma Raceway to finalize the 2018 INDYCAR calendar. The race would be expected to fit into the schedule between traditional dates at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Pocono Raceway in August. Full story at the link. – USA Today – (9/5/2017)

Monday Musings: Watkins Glen – The Open Wheel’s Dylan Reynolds’ collection of random thoughts following the INDYCAR weekend at Watkins Glen International is available at the link. – The Open Wheel – (9/4/2017)

Rossi celebrates win at The Glen at Seneca Lodge – Alexander Rossi celebrated his win at Watkins Glen in fine tradition as he hung his victory wreath at Seneca Lodge. Check it out at the link. – WGI – (9/4/2017)

Rossi wins at The Glen – Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi won from pole in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International in a dominant performance. The rest of Top 5 was Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, and Rahal. Championship leader Newgarden finished P18 after this incident exiting pit lane. Newgarden’s championship lead heading to Sonoma is 3 points over Dixon, 22 points over Castroneves, 34 points over Pagenaud, and 68 points over Power. Full race results here. – INDYCAR – (9/3/2017)

Telitz wins in Lights at rainy WGI, Kaiser seals title – Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz dominated and won the Indy Lights finale at a rainy Watkins Glen International. The rest of the Top 5 was Urrutia, Herta, Leist, and Jamin. Kaiser finished P7 and won the Indy Lights championship and subsequent Mazda scholarship for three races in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2018. Full race results here. – Indy Lights – (9/3/2017)

Franzoni sweeps races to win Pro Mazda title and Lights scholarship at WGI – Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni won both Pro Mazda races this weekend at Watkins Glen International to win the title and Mazda scholarship to race in Indy Lights in 2018. Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/3/2017)

Nasr in attendance at WGI – NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno reports former F1 driver Felipe Nasr is in attendance at Watkins Glen International as a guest of fellow Brazilian Helio Castroneves. Nasr is interested in racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. “This is my first weekend here,” Nasr told NBC Sports. “It’s good to have a look around. It’s a series that always caught my attention. I wanted to stay closely by. Helio will show me around. It’s interesting.” Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (9/1/2017)

Andretti announces extension with Rossi and NAPA for ’18 and beyond – “A partnership renewal between five-time Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport and NAPA AUTO PARTS will see Alexander Rossi return to the cockpit of an Andretti Autosport machine as part of a multi-year agreement starting in 2018.” “It’s great to have NAPA AUTO PARTS return in support of Alexander and the team. NAPA has been a fantastic partner, and we look forward to building on the success of the relationship,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “Alexander has been a great ambassador both on and off the track and, with only two years of IndyCar experience, he’s proven that he is a true competitor as well.” Full release at the link. – Andretti Autosport – (9/1/2017)

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