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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 Alzheimerís 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. #3331
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    ***


    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 11)...



    Two of our Entry Ticket holders have their pathway in common, as both Aaron Jeansonne and Jonathan Kotyk will go to Chandler for the Shootout because they were selected for the 2017 Team USA Scholarship - same as the 2016 Shootout WINNER Oliver Askew.

    Jonathan Kotyk (left) and Aaron Jeansonne for Team USA




    Getting selected as one of the initial 10 contenders to compete for the annual Team USA Scholarship is already an indication that one is an outstanding young American open-wheel talent, but actually pegging one of the two Scholarships handed out each year, allowing one to compete at the Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy in England, is a sign of not only racing talent but an ability to represent the country and the team well, too, on and off the track. Fully one quarter of the current IndyCar drivers in the big cars are former Team USA Scholarship winners.

    Aaron Jeansonne, an 18-year-old from Sulpher Springs, Louisiana, was pulled from the ranks of the Lucas Oil School of Racing series, where he has in 2017, his maiden year of Formula car racing, secured the Vice-Championship with 5 WINS and 9 podiums, even WINNING on his first-ever race weekend, and displaying a natural talent that caught the eye of the Scholarship judges. Following a fine showing in the Walter Hayes Trophy and the Formula Ford Festival for Team USA, Aaron promptly WON the next two races in the Lucas Oil series, sweeping the weekend, upon returning home from England.


    Aaron Jeansonne in his Lucas Oil School car





    Jonathan Kotyk, a 23-year-old from Atlantic Beach, Florida, took the path of USAC's F1600 series to get noticed for his Team USA Scholarship, securing the 2017 Vice-Championship in the series with 6 WINS and 13 podiums, driving for Team Pelfrey. (Teammate Matthew Cowley WON the championship and an Entry Ticket for doing so. See post # 3324) At the Walter Hayes Trophy Joanathan was a heat race WINNER and posted a finish of P6 in the Grand Final.


    Jonathan Kotyk leads teammate and fellow Shootout participant Matt Cowley in F1600





    Congrats, Jonathan and Aaron, and good luck at Chandler!




    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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    ***


    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 12)...



    This year Mazda will be picking TWO pilots for "at large" seats at the Shootout, picking outstanding young drivers from series OTHER than those officially listed as Mazda Road to Indy feeder series. American karter Jake Craig was one of them. (see post # 3329) The other is American Spencer Brockman, a 17-year-old from Westport, Connecticut. Spencer earned his Entry Ticket by taking BOTH the Formula Atlantic Southeast Conference championship as well as the Hoosier Super Tour championship. It didn't hurt a bit that Spencer did it in Mazda-powered cars.


    Spencer Brockman





    Spencer got his start in formula cars in F2000 in 2015 and did well enough in that to get the attention Atlantics owner Ove Olsson, who put the lad in an Atlantics car for 2016. In his first race, a wet race, Spencer got a podium. He would go on to take two WINS in the series and finish 3rd in the SCCA Runnoffs for 2016, as well. 2017 was his breakout year with his TWO titles and another P3 at the SCCA Runnoffs.


    Spencer in his Mazda-powered Swift 014 Atlantics car





    Congrats on the titles and the Entry Ticket, Spencer. Good luck in Chandler!




    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; December 10th, 2017 at 11:03 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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    ***


    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 13)...



    Our next Entry Ticket holder is Canadian Mitch Egner, of Kelowna, British Columbia who captured his 2nd career title - following a NorthWest Formula Continental Championship in 2016 - and took the Pacific F2000 series with 4 WINS and 9 podiums in 12 outings - despite two total engine failures in his first two races of the season. To take the title Mitch had to beat out Tom Hope and Tim De Silva in a season-long battle for supremacy in the series. Tim was the 2016 MRTI Shootout entrant for the series.


    Mitch Egner










    Like most of our Entry Ticket holders, Mitch got his start in racing in karts, but unlike most, he next transitioned to winged sprint cars before going to formula cars in 2016 - old school!


    Mitch in his winged Sprint





    Congrats on the title, Mitch, and best of luck in Chandler!




    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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    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 14)...



    Elliot Finlayson secured his Entry Ticket by securing the SCCA's Formula Enterprise Runnoffs Championship in 2017, but it wasn't his only claim to fame for the year, having also been named as one of the finalists for the prestigious Team USA Scholarship.


    Elliot Finlayson




    After a number of successful karting years, with multiple championships in hand, Elliot made the jump to formula cars in 2016, entering the SCCA's Majors Tour in Formula Enterprise. With their 2.3 liter engines and wings, it was a big step up. In 2017 Finlayson hit his stride, winning the SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour as well as the SCCA Super Tour. But he really creamed it at the Runnoffs in Indianapolis, beating the next car by almost 13 seconds at the line in a great smack-down.


    Elliot in his Formula Enterprise car





    Congrats on a terrific year, Elliot, and best of luck in Chandler!




    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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    ***


    Confirmed!...Jack Harvey to run 6 races in 2018 for Mike Shank...



    2014 and 2015 Vice-Champion of Indy Lights Jack Harvey has confirmed that he will partner with highly-successful SportsCar owner Michael Shank, and BOTH will partner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to run a Honda-powered IndyCar in at least 6 races from the 2018 season.


    Jack Harvey (left) and Michael Shank





    Following their initial partnership with Andretti Autosport in 2017 to get Jack in the Indy 500 in a leased chassis, Mike and Jack ran two more races at the end of the 2017 season in another leased chassis, that time using SPM equipment. For the 2018 effort a brand new chassis has been purchased by Mike. Michael Shank Racing will provide the crews and Schmidt Peterson will provide the engineering talent. Operations will be out of MSR's facilities in Ohio and/or SPM's facility in Indianapolis, depending on the venue.

    The six races scheduled will be St,. Petersburg, Long Beach, Indy 500, Mid-Ohio, Portland and Sonoma. Additionally, the team is seeking to fund races at Road America and Toronto, as well. Sponsors will be AutoNation and Sirius XM, both of which sponsored all three races for the Lincolnshire, England native in 2017.

    The effort will not compromise MSR's IMSA GDT-class Acura NSX GT3 program in the WeatherTech Championship series. Shank intends to return to the fray with two Acuras, following his successful debut season in 2017 with two WINS. Returning to drive one of 'em will be IndyCar driver Katherine Legge, who gave him those two wins. She'll be paired with Portugal's Alvaro Parente, instead of Andy Lally, who is leaving MSR for a return to old friends at Magnus Racing.

    Katherine Legge





    Best of luck, Mike and Jack!




    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; December 10th, 2017 at 10:30 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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    ***


    Announced today...David Malukas graduates to Pro Mazda with BN Racing in 2018...



    Following announcements by Oliver Askew (Cape Motorsports) and both Rinus VeeKay and Rob Megennis (Juncos Racing) super-karter David Malukas has confirmed that he will be the fourth driver to move out of USF2000 and drive for BN Racing in Pro Mazda for 2018, in one of two new Tatuus PM-18 chassis the team will run.

    David Malukas




    The 16-year-old missed the first 4 races of the 2017 season of USF2000 but nevertheless became an exciting component to the season with what he had left to run, capturing a pole and a podium and making his presence well-felt in every race weekend. After that success, his team, BN Racing, decided to give the new PM-18 chassis a try and put Dave in one at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test, where he was the fastest driver in one test session and put in the 2nd-fastest time of any Pro Mazda tester for the weekend.


    David in the BN Racing PM-18 at the Chris Griffis at Indianapolis, in October





    One of the reasons that BN Racing and David did so well in 2017 for their debut season in USF2000 was that English team owner Bryn Nuttall had the foresight to hire 2017 Pro Mazda Champion Victor Franzoni as a driver coach for David during the season. Franzoni is still performing that duty for the team, as they expand to two cars in USF2000 and two cars in Pro Mazda for 2018.

    Victor Franzoni - the coach!





    No word yet on who BN Racing will put in the other three team cars. Good luck in 2018, David!




    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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    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 15)...



    Another BRSCC driver, Scotland's Jamie Thorburn, comes to the Shootout by being the WINNER of the F1600 Super Series - a competition between several notable F1600 drivers utilizing Silverstone's iZone Driver Performance simulators. Thorburn qualified for the end-of-season competition by becoming the Champion of Brands (Hatch) in September, and was announced as the Shootout winner after a day of tests and evaluations at iZone's Silverstone facility. All SuperSeries Shootout finalists qualified for the Silverstone event by winning various prestigious Formula Ford 1600 events during the 2017 season.


    Jamie Thorburn





    19-year-old Thorburn has been in formula cars since 2015 and was 2016 Vice Champion of Formula Ford Scotland. He was also nominated to the Super Series in 2016, but lost out to Oliver White, who then went on to the MRTI Shootout. White was again a nominee for the Super Series in 2017, as was Ireland's Niall Murray, but both got their entry Tickets for 2017 in other ways and so bowed out of the Super Series, this year.


    Jamie in his Ray GR15 FF1600 for Cliff Dempsey Racing





    Congrats on the Entry Ticket, Jamie, and good luck in Chandler!




    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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    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 16)...



    Another fine young American talent to get into the Shootout this year will be 19-year-old Carter Williams of Clovis, California, who earned his Entry Ticket by becoming the 2017 Champion of the FomulaSPEED class of Formula Car Challenge. Carter not only took the West Coast Regional Championship, but went on to take the National Championship, too.


    Carter Williams




    Williams graduated from a successful karting career in 2016 and went right to Formula Car Challenge, winning 5 FCC FormulaSPEED races and winning the three-event, six-race Triple Crown National Championship. He stayed with his 2016 team, World Speed Motorsports, to capture his 2017 titles and the Entry Ticket.


    Carter in his FCC FormulaSPEED car





    Congrats on the multiple titles, Carter, and best of luck in Chandler!




    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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    ***


    Hey!...Look who has a coveted Entry Ticket to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.....(part 17)...



    Our final shootout Entry Ticket holder for 2017 is Oliver White, from Bath, England - another BRSCC driver and - along with Niall Murray - a returning 2016 Shootout contestant. In fact Oliver, again like Niall, made it all the way to the 6 finalists in 2016, so this will be a great 2nd chance for him. Oliver could have competed in the Super Series to get to Chandler, as did Jamie Thorburn, (see post 3337) but was awarded his Entry Ticket representing the Walter Hayes Trophy, instead.


    Oliver White





    The Walter Hayes Trophy was WON by veteran Michael Moyers this year, but he is too old to come to the Shootout. Oliver was P2 for most of the race and had already gotten 3 podiums on the race weekend, so the BRSCC felt that he most represented the talent necessary to compete at that level, and awarded him his 2nd Entry Ticket. At 24 years of age, he makes it by 1 year.


    Oliver White at the WalterHayesTrophy





    NOT attending the Shootout for 2017 will be Konrad Czaczyk, the 2017 Formula Tour 1600 Canada Champion, and Luke Williams the 2017 BRSCC F1600 2017 Champion of England (see post # 3322) as both have prior commitments. That leaves 17 nominees and they all arrived in Chandler today to meet up for the first time and go to the get-together dinner, tonight. That dinner is actually a PART of the competition, as the judges will be speaking with each driver and assessing their ability to represent Mazda and the Mazda Road to Indy in an informal setting. Tomorrow, they will be assigned race cars and the competition will begin.




    Good luck Oliver, and good luck again to ALL the 2017 Shootout competitors!!




    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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    ***


    On Friday all the entrants in the 2017 MRTI Shootout gathered at Chandler...




    All 17 of the young drivers who will compete in the 2017 iteration of the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout arrived at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, in Chandler Arizona on Friday, where they met each other and their judges at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. Then they all went to dinner together, with their judges in tow.






    Dinner was in fact a part of the weeding out process that will eventually crown a Shootout Champion, the recipient of the $200,000.00 scholarship that will be applied to the 2018 season of USF2000. The 6 judges spoke with the young men at their tables, assessing their abilities to both speak with them and commune with each other. Driving is only PART of the job of the Shootout winner. Representing Mazda and the series well in the press is also important.


    Dinner with family, friends, competitors and judges





    Following dinner it was off to bed. Saturday would start with breakfast at the Bob Bondurant school, then the driving begins!




    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. #3341
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    ***


    Saturday morning at the Shootout...




    Following breakfast the guys took a class picture. Here are the great 17 - the entrants to the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout:




    ....and in two halves, close up, with first the left half:


    front row - Liam Lawson, Jonathan Kotyk
    middle row - Keith Donegan, Manuel Cabrera, Aaron Jeansonne
    back row - Mitch Egner, Elliot Finlayson, Niall Murray





    ...and the right half:

    front row - Spencer Brockman, Matthew Cowley, Ross Martin
    middle row - Jake Craig, Olin Galli, Oliver White
    back row - Max Vidau, Jamie Thorburn, Carter Williams






    This constitutes one of the finest collections of young talents in the world of racing, this or any other year - multiple race-winners and/or champions all - some relatively new to racing, some veterans of years of competition.




    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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  25. #3342
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    ***


    Saturday morning at the Shootout...(part 2)....



    ...And here are the 6 men who will judge them, in their driving, in their interactions with others - including their competitors - and in their composure under pressure:


    Left to right, Scott Goodyear, Tom Long, Jonathan Bomarito, Andrew Carbonell, Oliver Askew and Victor Franzoni:






    Following their class photo, the kids all got to get acquainted with their chariots - their Bob Bondurant School cars:






    These cars are the cars that were the first Pro Mazda cars - then called Star Mazda, they're tube-frame cars with 5-speed gearboxes, wings and slicks and 180hp Mazda rotary engines.




    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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    Saturday morning at the Shootout...(part 3)....




    Also necessary was a track orientation that started in class and ended up with a track walk by all. The School utilizes the middle track at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and so will the Shootout:







    The man, the legend Bob Bondurant himself is on hand for all the events of the weekend and to give his sage advice to all the drivers - There's just none better:







    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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    ***


    Saturday afternoon, and the driving begins!...



    ...as all 17 kids got their chance to check out the track and get comfortable in the cars. Follow the links below the pic to see them head out for the first time, and make sure to turn up the sound.





    Group 1 - Ross Martin, Jamie Thorburn, Niall Murray and Olin Galli head out:

    https://twitter.com/MazdaRacing/stat...24756117659648



    Group 2 - Manuel Cabrera, Elliot Finlayson, Jonathan Kotyk and Spencer Brockman head out next:

    https://twitter.com/MazdaRacing/stat...30326249836544



    Group 3 - Matt Cowley, Carter Williams, Jake Craig and Oliver White head out:

    https://twitter.com/MazdaRacing/stat...35778920534016



    Group 4 - Liam Lawson, Aaron Jeansonne, Max Vidau, Mitch Egner and Keith Donegan all get their chance to roll:

    https://twitter.com/MazdaRacing/stat...50897922699270




    When the first session was done each driver got a debrief from one of the judges, there to answer any questions the kids may have. The judges are not just judges, but also coaches. The idea is to get everyone up to speed and give everyone the greatest possible opportunity to succeed.


    Judges/coaches Tom Long and Victor Franzoni debrief five of the young lions after Session 1:






    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; December 11th, 2017 at 1:48 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. #3345
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    ***


    Saturday afternoon, and the driving begins!...(part 2)...



    And just that quickly, the guys were in the cars for Session 2 in the afternoon - this time in a different car for each driver, just to make sure that the cars are not making a difference in their performance. Following the 2nd session was another debrief by the judges/coaches, followed by the 3rd and final session of the day, and the final debrief. It's always a good idea to hang around and listen to the debriefs of others - much can be gleaned.


    Scott Goodyear coaches Niall Murray as Jamie Thorburn and Mitch Egner listen in:





    Elliot Finlayson and Spencer Brockman exchange notes as coach Oliver Askew debriefs Jake Craig:






    M
    Last edited by MarkyS; December 10th, 2017 at 8:32 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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