IndyCars - The off-season: Series news and comment until the March 2014 kick-off... - Page 233

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    Default IndyCars - The off-season: Series news and comment until the March 2014 kick-off...

    ***

    For the faithful, it's a long wait until March, but series news will be reported here 'til then, and let's start with the next race - TOMORROW!



    No, it's not the big cars. It's GO-KARTS!!




    Most of the drivers in IndyCar started out in karts. Many of them STAY SHARP on open-wheel by karting, still. Not the kind at Disneyland, these are very simple but very fast and serious open-wheel racers, capable of over 160 MPH in the superkart class.

    Tomorrow, the 26th, New Castle Speedway, in Indiana, will host the inaugural Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge, benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. The event will feature 12 corporate-sponsored teams in a two-hour race at 12:30 p.m.




    AMONG the drivers will be IndyCar stars:

    James Hinchcliffe
    JR Hildebrand
    Ed Carpenter
    Simon Pagenaud
    Josef Newgarden
    Tristan Vautier
    Sebastian Saavedra
    Alex Tagliani
    Conor Daly
    Bryan Herta
    Jay Howard
    Sage Karam
    Gabby Chaves
    Zach Veach
    Marino Franchitti (substituting for Dario Franchitti)

    There is no admission charge. An autograph session begins at 11:45 a.m. - This is a chance to meet your favorite driver in a relaxed setting. GO!!!

    On Sunday, the 27th, most of the same drivers will be joined at New Castle by Will Power, Simona De Silvestro, Stefan Wilson and James Davison to run the tenth annual RoboPong 200, an endurance karting event that Wheldon won in 2005, the same year he captured his first Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series championship. That race, also free, begins at noon.


    As I stated, most of the current series drivers got their start in karts. Karts - as small as they are - have many of the traits of the highest-performing open-wheel cars. This is a picture of a current driver in their first open-wheel ride, at 6 years old:



    Who is this future IndyCar star?

    answer here:http://forums.hannity.com/showthread...#post103242390




    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; October 28th, 2013 at 8:58 pm.
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Rumor du Jour...We may be getting Brit Jamie Chadwick in USF2000 in 2018...



    The 2015 British GT4 Champion and WINNER of the 2015 Dunlop 24 Hour Race at Silverstone has been spotted testing a Tatuus USF-17 for BENIK Kart at Homestead. The 19-year-old is coming off a 9th in the 2017 British Formula 3 Championship - her first season in formula cars - and a podium finish in one of the heats at the 2017 Walter Hayes Trophy.


    Jamie with her Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4. She and co-driver Ross Gunn took this car to the national title when she was but 17 years old:






    Jamie in the BENIK Kart Tatuus USF-17




    Should Chadwick join the fray in USF2000 in 2018 she will be the 2nd lady in the series, along with Brazilian sophomore Bruna Tomaselli, who will drive for Team Pelfrey.

    Bruna Tomaselli





    Stay tuned!




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Last Wednesday, "The Amazing Race" visited Africa, again....



    ...and along for the ride was Team IndyCar - Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly - still in the hunt, following Episode 6, last week. For episodes 7 & 8 all the teams went to Harare, Zimbabwe.


    Team indyCar - Alexander Rossi (left) and Conor Daly




    Episode 7

    All teams were sent to a wildlife preserve and the first task was to build their own tents for sleeping among the animals. Our guys finished that last, unfortunately. Following a night of sleep all the teams were informed that there would be a partner swap, with Daly and Rossi being paired with Team Ocean Rescue, Lucas and Brittany. The newly-configured teams first had to find clues on small islands in Imiri Lake using makeshift rafts to get to them.

    They were thus directed to a poacher look-out tower. Alex and new-partner Brittany were 1st to get to the clues at the tower, with a choice of a detour task, "Rhino Track" or "Bushwhack." Alex and Brittany chose Rhino Track - a horseback task to find the evidence of poachers. Conor and Lucas chose Bushwhack - a task in an off-road vehicle which likely WILL BE stuck in the mud. The task is to get out and complete the run. Conor and Lucas did get stuck but got out and finished that task 3rd while Alex and Brittany finished 2nd. But they were the first quad to complete their tasks. Reassembled in their original teams, they were off to the next task in the next episode in 1st place.


    Conor stuck in the mud





    Episode 8

    The teams IndyCar and Ocean Rescue were directed to pick up clues in a haberdashery in Harare, where they got to choose which 2 other teams were to U-turn, requiring them to do two tasks. Alex and Conor U-turned Team Yale, Henry and Evan. Meanwhile Conor and Alex were tasked to deliver two used tires to the local marketplace by rolling them across town. Our boys got lost and finished that task in 3rd place. They were then directed to the last task, which was to learn a local song and dance and perform it properly for a crowd. Extrovert Conor got into that but introvert Alex was struggling. They got it on the 3rd attempt and finished the leg in 3rd. It was the Firefighting twins finishing last that were eliminated from the competition.




    Program alert: "The Amazing Race", episodes 9 and 10, will air on CBS on Wednesday at 8:00pm EASTERN time.




    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; February 13th, 2018 at 6:26 pm.
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Great news from Oz...Matty Brabham is a PIRTEK Enduro Cup Supercar driver in 2018....



    It's been a great month for the former USF2000/Pro Mazda Champion, as following his WIN at Mount Panorama in the C class of the Bathurst 12 Hour, Matthew announced that he will co-drive the # 18 ZB Commodore for Preston Hire Racing in the 3 PIRTEK Enduro Cup races of the 2018 season of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, alongside series regular Lee Holdsworth. The races are the Sandown 500, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast 600, which are scheduled all in a row, late in the season.


    Lee Holdsworth , (left) Matty Brabham and their mount, the new Preston Hire ZB Commodore





    Here, Speedcafe gets a word from young Brabham on this great opportunity:









    Brabham will of course be leaning a great deal on Holdsworth, but he will also be contacting his former IndyCar teammate and good friend Sebastien Bourdais, who also contested the PIRTEK Cup in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, collecting 2 WINS and 2 P2s for Triple Eight Race Engineering in their Commodore. While this deal was in the works before the Bathurst 12 Hour, it certainly doesn't hurt that young Brabham proved to know his way around Mount Panorama - the site of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - in a tin-top car.




    Matthew is coming off his 2nd Vice-Championship in Stadium Super Trucks, missing the title by 1 point to fellow Aussie Paul Morris, and is scheduled to run the full season of SSTs again in 2018, starting with the series support race of the Adelaide 500 Supercars race on March 1-4. God luck, Matty - Make us proud!




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Simona de Silvestro reveals her 2018 livery on her Team Harvey Norman Nissan Altima...



    The Swiss IndyCar driver has returned to Australia from an off-season visit to Switzerland and is prepping for her sophomore season of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with Nissan Motorsports. She has revealed the new look of her car, which has less red and more black than her 2017 rookie-season mount:







    Simona de Silvestro





    Other changes for the "Swiss Missile" include a new engineer, Chris Stuckey, who worked with Preston Hire Racing last year, and a new technical director, Nick Ollila - a NASCAR veteran. Pre-season testing begins at Sydney Motorsport Park this Friday.




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    If you have been following the exploits of Team IndyCar on "The Amazing Race" ....










    ...then you're already familiar with the fetching Miss Jessica Graf, who makes up Team Big Brother with her boyfriend, Cody Nickson. Celebrating 471K, 472K, 473K, 474K, 475K, 476K, 477K, 478K 479K and 480K views of the thread!




    Thanks, Jess!




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Danica Patrick lands with Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2018 Indy 500...



    Back in post # 3480 we mentioned the strong rumor that Patrick would run with ECR at the 500 this year - her last professional race, allegedly - and today that rumor was CONFIRMED.


    Danica Patrick





    Said the 2005 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, “I’m super excited to run for Ed. He’s obviously been a great competitor over the years. We’ve raced with each other a ton. Part of that relationship also came from Matt Barnes, who works for him, his head of engineering. He was my engineer back in 2009 (with Andretti Autosport). We finished fifth in the championship.

    “Matt and I are very like-minded to kind of go for things. I’ve kept in touch with him since I left INDYCAR. Between Ed and having a great team and always being competitive, qualifying really well, having fast cars and Matt being involved, it seemed like the perfect option.”



    Ed Carpenter found her to be a great fit, too: “She has high expectations. We have high expectations, as usual. When we look at running extra cars, we always want it to be a good situation and Danica certainly fits the bill there. She’s led laps, almost won the race before, she has a great track record there, so we’re excited to have her as part of the team.”

    Ed Carpenter





    Patrick is coming back to Indy at the perfect time. The new Universal Aero Kit that will be in play is much more like the last IndyCar she drove in 2011, and while it requires a lot more work to keep pointed it also requires a lot less muscle to turn - something that will make it easier on the diminutive driver to be competitive.




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    He made it!...Mazda Road to Indy Shootout entrant Manuel Cabrera will race in USF2000 in 2018...



    Manuel was one of the 17 entrants in the 2017 MRTI Shootout at Chandler, Arizona last year by virtue of WINNING the 2017 Formula PanAm championship with 4 WINS and 6 podiums. The young Mexican also raced in the Formula Masters Asia series, scoring 6 TOP FIVES, and was awarded the Rookie of the Year honors. Those accomplishments and the entry in the Shootout was enough to get the attention of Michael Duncalfe of Exclusive Autosport and the two got together on a 2018 contract.


    "Manu" Cabrera





    Said the excited 17-year-old, "I feel really excited to be racing in the 2018 USF2000 championship because it's an extremely competitive series and it has really good drivers. I'm expecting to have a nice year with Exclusive Autosport team. I've already completed four days of testing with them and I feel very comfortable. I feel that we are going to make good happen things this year. I'm going to give my best to win races and hopefully the championship this year. It's so important for me, so I'm going to push hard in every practice, qualifying session and race!"




    Manuel will join sophomore Jayson Clunie on the 2018 squad. Great to have another Shootout entrant in the series. Good luck, Manu!




    M




    .
    Last edited by MarkyS; February 18th, 2018 at 2:35 am.
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    It looks like two Indy Lights former champs will be in the 2018 Indy 500 for DRR....




    This is still a rumor but with the news that Danica Patrick will drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in the 500 (see post # 3486) the two drivers for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at Indy become much clearer, as Patrick had been rumored to be looking at DRR. Team owner Dennis Reinbold has really stepped up this year by purchasing two new chassis outfitted with the new UAK18 body panels and he has also secured the services of two young hot shoes - both former Indy Lights Champions - Sage Karam and JR Hildebrand.


    Sage Karam



    JR Hildebrand





    One of the most successful
    Mazda Road to Indy drivers of all time, with 17 WINS, Karam is a DRR favorite and drove for them at Indy in 2014, 2016 and 2017, with a best finish of P9 from a P31 start. He drove for Chip Ganassi Racing at the Speedway in 2015. He's a regular TOP TEN runner at the 500. He last worked on 3GT Racing's IMSA Lexus GTD-class squad in 2017 but lost his ride when the team went to private sponsorship in 2018.

    JR Hildebrand is also a regular in the top spots at Indy, with a best finish of P2 in 2011, where he famously hit the wall in Turn 4 on the final lap while leading, losing to the late Dan Wheldon. JR has posted 4 TOP TEN finishes at Indy. Both drivers are always considered a threat to win the race, regardless of where they start.

    Another name floated as possible for one of the two drivers is Catalan veteran Oriol Servia, but the rumor on Oriol is that he will instead land in a 3rd car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan, as Bobby Rahal is a huge believer in him. Dennis Reinbold will be making his confirmations in two weeks.

    Oriol Servia





    Dennis Reinbold has made it clear that this is the first time DRR has ever been able to choose their drivers based solely on talent, rather than on backing from sponsors: "Our whole outlook entering the Indy 500 is that if I’m going to commit money, equipment and cars, I want drivers who give me the very best chance of winning Indy. That’s the only goal at Indy....We’re free to have a totally different approach. We can say, ''It’s time to go win that race and this is how we do it.'"




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Great news!...Andres Gutierrez has signed with Team Pelfrey for Pro Mazda, 2018....



    Announced today, the 17-year-old Mexican standout will have a rookie season of Pro Mazda in the # 81 PM-18 for Team Pelfrey, following an outstanding 2017 season of racing and testing in various formats. Andres, the brother of IMSA prototype driver Jose Gutierrez (himself a Pro Mazda alum), and the cousin of Indy Lights driver and IMSA prototype champion Pato O'Ward, had three outings with DEForce Racing in USF2000 in 2017, making an instant nuisance of himself. Prior to those races Andres also WON 2 races in the IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 class for Performance Tech Motorsports and 2 races in the FIA Formula 4 Nacam Championship, driving for Ram Racing.


    Andres Gutierrez





    Just as impressive, Andres drove for Pabst Racing in their USF2000 car at the 2017 Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Indianapolis and topped a remarkable 6 of 8 sessions, making the TOP FIVE in all 8. (see post # 3267) It was just assumed he would drive for Pabst in USF2000 but he has decided that he's ready for a rookie season of Pro Mazda - just in time for the new Tatuus PM-18 debut as the series mount.

    Said Andres of the decision, “Team Pelfrey is one of the most successful teams in the Road to Indy. The amount of success they have had in the last couple of years really motivates me to do well for the team. My cousin, Pato O’Ward, found a lot of success with this team in Pro Mazda only several years ago and he really pushed me to sign with Team Pelfrey because he knows what this team is capable of. Being with such a successful team will make me work even harder than ever to make sure I bring the results they deserve. I would also like to thank everyone involved in making this happen, Team Pelfrey for the opportunity, and my family who have been behind me in my journey as a racing driver.”




    Pro Mazda 2018 just keeps getting better and better with each new confirmation. Good luck, Andres!




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Friday marked 100 days out from the 2018 Indy 500...



    ...and Indianapolis fans lined up for a meet and greet at the Speedway with several IndyCar drivers who will race this May:






    Here, Helio Castroneves and Kyle Kaiser make the day for two young fans:






    Alexander Rossi and Spencer Pigot were among the drivers there to greet fans:






    100 days and counting....




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    DEForce Racing jumps into the deep end of the pool, as they go Pro Mazda racing in 2018...



    After their excellent debut season as a team in USF2000 in 2018 David and Ernesto Martinez of DEForce Racing are announcing that in addition to their already-announced three-car USF2000 line-up, they will also field a new Tatuus PM-18 in the Pro Mazda series in 2018, piloted by British driver James Raven.


    James Raven at the Walter Hayes Trophy in 2017 - a P3 finish





    The 22-year old has been a standout in Formula Fords in Britain for many years, with a WIN of the Formula Ford Festival in 2014 and a 2nd in the national FF1600 title in the same year, with 4 WINS and 12 podiums. In 2016 James was 3rd in the national title, with 3 WINS and 6 podiums. He also placed 2nd in the Super Series that year, losing out to Oliver White who with the Super Series title, earned an Entry Ticket to the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. In 2017 James podiumed at the Walter Hayes Trophy with a P3. On pure car control, Raven is considered among the best.




    But this is a big leap - going from Formula Fords to a 275HP Pro Mazda Tatuus. It will be interesting to see how Raven does and we wait to hear if the Martinez brothers plan on giving him a teammate. Good luck, James!




    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Last Wednesday, Team IndyCar carried on in "The Amazing Race" for Episodes 9 ad 10. ..



    ... Finishing Episode 8 in 3rd place last week, our boys joined all the teams as they jetted to the Kingdom of Bahrain, via Dubai. Team Ocean Rescue - Lucas and Brittany - got stuck in Dubai as Lucas lost his passport en-route. They had to go to the American consulate to get a replacement, putting them way behind the other 4 teams.


    Team IndyCar - Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly





    Episode 9

    Upon arriving in Bahrain the teams had to go to the Dhow Shipyard, where teams were required to collect and weigh 300 pounds of teak to get their next task. Our boys were the first to arrive and the 2nd to complete the task, just behind Team Extreme - Kristi and Jen. They were sent to a sweet shop to sample a local treat known as "King of Halwa." Our boys and Team Extreme arrived at the same time, sampled the treat and got their next task, with both teams in 1st place. They were to go to the Delmon Pottery Industry where each team was given 10 trinkets and had to locate ten of the identical trinkets among many hundreds of pots.

    The location alone
    proved to be difficult to find and our boys arrived 3rd and left in 3rd. The next location was the Bahrain Endurance Village where teams were to milk a camel! Despite leaving 3rd our boys were the first to arrive. Conor performed the milking while Alex kept the camel calm. Our boys left in 1st place to make their way to the final pit stop at the Tree of Life. Our boys WON the episode! Team Ocean Rescue finally arrived in Bahrain after dark and were eliminated, leaving 4 teams still in.


    Conor grabs a hand full of camel teets





    Episode 10

    Next, the teams were off to the ancient city of Chiang Mai in Thailand, via Bangkok. Making their way to Royal Park Rajapruek, they were to find a garland on the elephant statues there and give it to one of the ladies of the Royal Pavilion, who would give them the next clue. Our boys got there first and were done first. Next was a detour - either "Seize it," where a team had to catch 20 bullfrogs in rice paddies, or "Size it" where live elephants cared for at the Patara Elephant Farm had to be measured and weighed to get a clue. Our boys and Team Big Brother - Cody and Jessica - chose the frogs. The other teams chose "Size it". Our boys at first struggled to both find and hold onto the slippery frogs but eventually got the hang of it. They left the task right behind Team Big Brother in 2nd place. The other two teams left Patara in 3rd and 4th place.

    The last task was a roadblock called "Thia Something New" where one team member had to eat 3 cooked scorpions and a frog while the other had live scorpions crawling on them - only to stop when their teammate finished their meal. Alex and Conor arrived first but Cody and Jessica were close behind. Alex chowed down while Conor got the live ones, as did Jessica. Alex was able to scarf down the scorpions and frog faster and our boys left in 1st place. They then raced to a Buddhist temple - the final pit stop -and WON the episode! Team Big Brother was 2nd and Team Extreme was 3rd. No team was eliminated this week but by finishing last, Team Yale - Henry and Evan - incurred an extra task - a "speed bump" - in the next episode.



    Our boys are not only still in it, but leading it. Onward to the final two episodes!




    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; February 18th, 2018 at 9:27 pm.
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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