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  1. #1
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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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  3. #16
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    ***

    Graham And Conor go to Austin......







    IndyCar drivers Graham Rahal and Conor Daly attended the Formula 1 USGP at Austin and Graham shot this quick vid of the start of the race from the grandstands:

    http://instagram.com/p/g1I4BxOPLu/

    The hilarious thing is NO ONE is watching the start of the race. Instead they are all looking at their cell phones! The incredible noise is the cars all near full revs as they prepare to launch. What a sound!


    He later tweeted, All I can say is if you want to see one hell of a show, get @IndyCar to @circuitamericas. I’m telling you we would rock this place.


    We couldn't agree more and the series IS WORKING on a 2015 race at COTA.



    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; November 19th, 2013 at 2:13 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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    ***
    Just announced: Carlos Munoz to Andretti Autosport




    It's official! The young Colombian Indy Lights pilot is now in the bigs, and will drive the fourth Andretti car, possibly taking the spot occupied on the team by E.J. Viso. Sponsorship is as yet unavailable.

    Twenty-one year-old Carlos has been driving open wheel since starting in go-karts in 2002, with the last two years driving in the Lights for the Andretti Lights team , where he garnered 5 victories. He also participated in three races in the big cars, including an incredible 2nd place showing in his rookie start in the Indy 500 and an audacious and highly entertaining run in the MAV TV 500 at Fontana - right up to the moment he crashed out spectacularly.

    His statement on joining with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe on the big car squad:

    “I don’t have the words to express right now how I feel. After so many years of racing and all the sacrifices -- leaving my family in Colombia and going to Europe to race, then coming here to the U.S. -- but finally, I’m a professional race car driver in the maximum category in America, IndyCar. I have to thank Andretti Autosport, and especially Michael Andretti, for this opportunity. To be a part of this team, they believe a lot in me, and to pay them back would be to bring them great results.”



    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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    ***

    Racers in love, Part 1........


    Schmidt Hamilton Racing's French phenom Simon Pagenaud has expressed his undying devotion to the newest lady in his life - "Miss Madison"



    Miss Madison is a 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, similar to the car Steve McQueen drove in "Bullitt". Simon declares that the miss is "finally registered!"



    ahhh, love........




    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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    It's clear Simon has learned racers here enjoy vintage cars and aren't afraid to show them. So many great racers embrace vintage cars and it's become a racer's hobby. Sometimes it's the vintage cars that are the showstoppers -- the drivers parade in Austin was an example of vintage cars. You wonder if Dale Earnhardt Jr would one day let one of his cars go to the USGP in Austin as a parade car!
    Ashamed to be an American.

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    ***

    IMS Productions and IndyCars have put together this nice little tribute to Dario Franchitti - A look back at his beginnings and through a stellar career, made all the more remarkable by the way he has conducted his life and garnered friendships and admirers.








    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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    ***

    It's DONE! The newly-configured road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been completed on time and on budget. This is the way the course was configured for MotoGP and Formula 1 in the past:



    MotGP ran their course counter-clockwise, while Formula 1 ran theirs clockwise, as will IndyCars, when they compete on the course for the first time in May of 2014, as a run-up race to the Indy 500 at the end of the month.

    This is the newest iteration, designed to both increase speeds and create new passing zones:



    The course has two long straight-aways for speed, including all of the front straight of the famed oval, and it also incorporates a small part of turn two and the short chute between turns one and two of the oval. Area golfers will be happy to know that the IMS golf course remains unchanged in the area to the top-left of the course.

    Current owner and former driver Sarah Fisher got the honor to complete the final stretch of paving, driving the machine shown below. Running at a blistering pace of 2 miles per hour, it was well off her historic pole-winning time at Kentucky Speedway in 2002:


    The inaugural race will be held on the new config on Saturday, May 10th of 2014, kicking off the month of May goings-on at Indy until the 500 miler on Memorial Day. Tickets can be purchased in a package deal that includes both races.

    MARK IT DOWN!


    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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    ***

    Sebastien gets a sponsor.....


    As promised, KVSH has come up with at least one sponsor for the #11 car that Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais will be driving in the 2014 season. It's Mistic E-cigs - the makers of the electronic cigarette that allows smokers to enjoy a non-tobacco puff and drag. Here is a pic of the livery that the car will enjoy for at least 7 races of the season:


    The deal is a two-year deal - the same amount of time as Bourdais has with KVSH - but there are still plenty of races left to sponsor the car, so this will NOT be the only way you will see Seb next year.

    It's ironic that tobacco - once a MAJOR source of funds for motorsports, until finally banned - is now being replaced by faux tobacco products. Perhaps KVSH can get additional sponsorship for Bourdais with O'Doul's - the near-beer.



    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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    ***

    New Kids on the Block.....or, new faces for 2014.


    First, it was the announcement of Carlos Munoz entering the series, driving for Andretti Autosport. Now meet the newest IndyCar driver - Mikhail Aleshin from Russia, with love:



    Mikhail will be driving on the same Schmidt Peterson squad with Simon Pagenaud, and will have sponsorship from SMP Bank, Russia's largest bank.

    Like most open-wheel stars, the 25-year old Moscow native started in go karts and worked his way up through a number of open-wheel series in Europe, with his best performance a championship in the World Series by Renault 3.5 series, driving for Carlin Motorsports in 2010. Since then, he's tried to get a ride in an F-1 team with no luck. When the opportunity to drive in IndyCars came up, Mikhail hopped on a plane to Sebring and immediately impressed the Schmidt Peterson staff, engineers and fellow driver Pagenaud, who says that he and Mikhail have similar driving styles, which will have to make things easier on the team going forward. Mikhail will apparently be driving the #55 car that was piloted by Tristan Vautier in the 2013 season, which makes a return for the Frenchman far less likely, without a huge infusion of sponsorship cash.

    Aleshin is the first Russian to drive in the international series we know as IndyCars.

    Zdravstvuj, comrade, and welcome aboard!


    M


    BTW, it's hard to do right phonetically, but the name is pronounced more like "Mi-kha-il A-Lo-sheen". PRACTICE, and impress your friends!


    M, again
    Last edited by MarkyS; April 15th, 2014 at 10:58 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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  19. #24
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    Don't be surprised to see Vautier in talks about the #10 seat.
    Ashamed to be an American.

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  21. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteHatBobby View Post
    Don't be surprised to see Vautier in talks about the #10 seat.
    I'm SURE he's talking but I think odds are not in his favor. I like Tristan, and his 2012 performance proves to me he's in the right business. His rookie year in the bigs was hot and cold - as you'd expect. When he was hot, like the first two races of the season, he was ELECTRIFYING. But his mistakes through the year were costly.

    I hope he can find a sponsor and stay with it, but I doubt that Ganassi will see him as an asset. Wilson and Briscoe are sure bets for podium finishes and de Silvestro will be a DREAM for Target to have on its roster, image-wise, while Perez would be a huge asset to both Ganassi and the series as a whole.

    But what does Vautier bring Chip, besides excitement?


    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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  23. #26
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    ***

    Juan Pablo Montoya back in the saddle again, with apologies to Gene Autry.

    The Colombian made his IndyCar return debut today at Sebring, driving the #12 car, with its regular pilot, Will Power, in attendance to give pointers.

    Looking pretty fit, (he has shed 30 pounds,) the 38-year-old answered questions from the media, with Penske's Tim Cindric (to Montoya's right,) in attendance to field the tech bits for the press.


    JPM says that he loves the power available from the Chevy mill, will need to get used to the carbon brakes and will need to get used to the heavy steering input, compared to a cup car, but is in NO HURRY to match either Power or fellow teammate Helio Castroneves on times, preferring to ease into it.

    He was nevertheless only a few tenths off Power's time already, though he said that he's ..."braking like a (sissy) still," but will get faster as he gets acclimated.

    Said Power, "We have a similar driving style, which should make things easier on the team."




    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; June 26th, 2014 at 12:25 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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  25. #27
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    ***

    Racers in Love, Part 2....



    First, there was "Stenica" - the pairing of racers Ricky Stenhouse and Danica Patrick. Now the latest "power couple" announce themselves to the world:

    Meet "G-Force" The melding of IndyCar's Graham Rahal and NHRA's Courtney Force...



    The young scions of racing greats Bobby Rahal and John Force met this summer and have been inseparable since. If you imagine them running across a field of clover towards each other the combined closure rate would be about 540 miles per hour, given their day jobs....lends a whole new meaning to the words "speed dating"!

    Here's Graham, borrowing the girlfriend's car while his is in the shop...


    And here's the pair on stage helping to celebrate Papa John's 2013 championship....




    I can see them now, as an old married couple:


    Graham: "You know, honey, I can go 230 miles per hour..."
    Courtney: "230? Just 230? Oh, baby, that's so cute!"
    Graham: "Yeah, but I can turn left while doing 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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    ***

    Beautiful new lady in town.....



    Last week the Indy Lights series released the first renderings of the new chassis that the series will start using in 2015. Meet the Dallara IL15:



    As with the big cars, also made by Dallara, this little beauty will have two versions - a Road/Street course version with larger wings and a Speedway version with smaller wings. (The Road/Street Course car shown above.)

    Some features:

    The car will have paddle-shifters for the six-speed sequential gearbox and utilize the latest raised-nose aerodynamics as well as safety features like reinforced driver pods and the anti-intrusion floor-plate that makes it much harder for the open wheels of two cars to interlock, with disastrous results.

    The handling characteristics will be tailored to be much closer to the big cars, making the transition from one series to the next easier. The superb ladder system - USF2000 to Star Mazda to Indy Lights to IndyCars - is one of the reasons that up-and-coming talent is so good in the IndyCar series. This will make it even better.

    The new engine to go with the new car will be a tailored version of the English AER P07 2.0 liter turbo 4-cylinder. The mill will develop 450 HP, with an additional 50 HP on tap using the Lights version of Push-to-Pass. This replaces the current car's 3.5 liter normally-aspirated V-8, which maxes out at about 420 HP.

    Here's the new engine, this one used in Sports Cars right now:



    Smaller, lighter and more powerful. What's not to love?


    The current car, which has been around since 2002, will be once again updated as much as possible for 2014 but this new car is a much-needed and very welcome change.



    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; June 10th, 2014 at 1:43 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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  29. #29
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    ***

    Santa gets a new sleigh!


    Let the kiddies know that for at least part of the rest of the year Santa will be ON TIME as he proved by showing up at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in the IndyCar two-seater, with IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter replacing Donner and Blitzen and Rudolph and Sleepy and Dopey and Doc and....no, wait.........



    ....and that is one SERIOUSLY big green elf!

    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; November 30th, 2013 at 2:57 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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  31. #30
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    ***

    Carrera de Estrellas - The Race of Stars!

    Every year, Juan Pablo Montoya and wife Connie Freydell host the Carrera de Estrellas, a fabulous weekend of go-kart racing in Medellin, Colombia, all to benefit Montoya's home-grown charity, the Formula Smiles Foundation, which benefits the youth of Colombia.



    A huge contingent of racers from all sorts of disciplines all over the world made the trek to Medellin this weekend to participate. Among those stars were these four IndyCar pilots:



    That's fellow Colombians Sebastian Saavedra and Gabby Chaves and Brazillian Helio Castroneves alongside Juancho.

    Our boys held up well. Here's the podium from one of the races: That's Joey Logano in 2nd, Helio in 1st and Gabby in 3rd.


    Congrats to JPM and Connie for another successful weekend of racing for charity!


    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; March 26th, 2014 at 5:40 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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