News for the Month of January 2015

Filippi confirmed as road/street driver for CFH No. 20 – Luca Filippi will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy’s car for CFH Racing on the road and street courses in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. “It’s a great feeling. I can’t wait to race and share the No. 20 with Ed this year,” stated Filippi. “I have to thank Ed, Fuzzy’s Vodka and CFH Racing for this fantastic opportunity and I look forward to the successes we will enjoy this season!” – CFH Racing – (1/30/15)

Marco changes number again – Per Marco’s Instagram page is looks as though he’s changing his car number again in 2015 to number 27. He used the hashtag #27in15 and posted an image of his car (with a new livery) with the No. 27. – Marco Andretti Instagram – (1/30/15)

Hamilton rejoins IMS Radio team – Davey Hamilton has rejoined the IMS Radio Network broadcast team as an analyst for 2015. Paul Page returns for a second consecutive year. Pippa Mann will not be part of the network team this year. – INDYCAR – (1/30/15)

Official INDYCAR statement on Brasilia cancellation – “INDYCAR, the governing body of the Verizon IndyCar Series, issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of the Brasilia Indy 300 in the capital city of Brazil: Today’s announcement by BAND that the March 8 INDYCAR race in Brasilia was cancelled was both unexpected and disappointing. INDYCAR had received every indication that the race was already a success: Two-thirds of the seats available for the event had already been sold; a title sponsor for the event (ITAIPAVA) was announced yesterday; hospitality was sold out; and track construction was progressing and scheduled to be complete in time for the event. Although we have not received formal confirmation from our partners in Brazil regarding the cancellation, economically INDYCAR is protected and the paddock is protected from such action.” – INDYCAR – (1/30/15)

Cavin Q&A 1/30/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on potential drivers for the TBD seats in the Verizon IndyCar Series. – Indianapolis Star – (1/30/15)

Conway officially joins Toyota WEC program – Mike Conway has officially joined Toyota’s World Endurance Championship team and thus is officially out of IndyCar in any full-time capacity in 2015. This tweet from CFH Racing claims they’ll have big news Friday morning. Luca Filippi is thought to be the favorite for the road and street course duties in the No. 20 even with the long standing rumors (and team experience) linking JR Hildebrand. – RACER – (1/30/15)

Juncos Racing pair leads first Lights oval test – Juncos Racing pair Kyle Kaiser and Spencer Pigot led the way in the second session of the first day of Lights testing at Homestead Miami Speedway. Max Chilton finished 10th of 11 cars on track after the first oval experience of his career. – Indy Lights – (1/29/15)

Brasilia season opening race is cancelled – Speculation on the cancellation of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ opening race of the 2015 season was rampant in Brazilian media reports this afternoon and has been confirmed by Indianapolis news station WTHR. “Brazilian organizers say the IndyCar Series opener scheduled for March in the nation’s capital has been canceled. The television channel organizing and promoting the event released a statement on Thursday saying the decision was made by the local government in Brasilia.” – WTHR – (1/29/15)

Daly to test at Sebring in early February – Conor Daly tweeted on Thursday that he will be testing for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Sebring in early February. In a subsequent tweet Daly mentioned that Marco Andretti contributed $3,000 to help fund the test. – @ConorDaly22 – (1/29/15)

Chaves rumored to be confirmed at BHA soon – From RACER’s Marshall Pruett: “2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves is expected to be announced as Bryan Herta Autosport’s full-time driver within the next week. RACER has learned the young Colombian, who tested for the team during the off-season, earned the nod over Italian GP2 ace Luca Filippi and will pilot the Honda-powered No. 98 when the season begins on March 8 in Brazil.” More at the link. – RACER – (1/29/15)

Barnhart to return as race director – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reports that Brian Barnhart will return as Verizon IndyCar Series race director for 2015. “Barnhart, who was chief steward from 1997-2011, was moved out of the job after a series of controversial incidents, including the decision to restart a race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the rain. That’s when Will Power, whose car was collected in the ensuing crash, directed an obscene gesture at race control.” – Indianapolis Star – (1/28/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 1/28/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is excellent as always. – RACER – (1/28/15)

Ed Jones leads again at Lights testing – Rookie driver and team Ed Jones and Carlin topped the charts again in Day 2 of Indy Lights testing at the Homestead Miami Speedway road course on Tuesday. Tristan Vautier substituted for Juan Piedrahita in the No. 5 Belardi entry. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (1/28/15)

Al Unser to be honored by IMS in May – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone will honor four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser during the 45th anniversary of his first Indianapolis 500 victory on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at “Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone.” “Fifty years ago I arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a rookie, drove for some remarkable teams, raced with my son and brother, drank the milk and my life was forever changed by this special place,” said Unser. “I am honored to be named the 2015 Legend and look forward to seeing the race fans and being a part of the events leading up to the spectacular annual Indy 500 Race.” – IMS – (1/27/15)

Bell expects to be back at Indy 500 – Townsend Bell told that he expects to race at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race once again in 2015. “I’m expecting to be back this year. I think about the Indy 500 every day, always working, thinking, trying to make sure we’re strong,” Bell said. – INDYCAR – (1/27/15)

Ed Jones and Carlin fastest in Day 1 of Lights testing – Rookie driver and team Ed Jones and Carlin topped the charts in Day 1 of Indy Lights testing at the Homestead Miami Speedway road course on Monday. Full results at the link. – Indy Lights – (1/27/15)

Cavin Q&A 1/27/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, aero kits, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (1/27/15)

Lights testing at Homestead this week – The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series will be testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway this week. 12 cars are on the official entry list including Max Chilton with Carlin. The teams will be on the road course on 1/26 and 1/27 and move to the oval on 1/29. – Indy Lights – (1/26/15)

Cavin Q&A 1/26/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A answers questions on Vitor Meira, Ryan Briscoe, Graham Rahal, and “Back Home Again in Indiana.” – Indianapolis Star – (1/26/15)

Dixon leads Ganassi to overall win at Rolex 24 at Daytona – The Ganassi 02 car led by Verizon IndyCar Drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan won the overall title at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Sebastien Bourdais’ drove the final leg on his team’s overall second place finish. Ryan Briscoe was on the winning team in GTLM. – INDYCAR – (1/25/15)

Piedrahita named Lights driver at Belardi – Indy Lights veteran Juan Piedrahita will drive for Belardi Racing in the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship. Piedrahita drove in Lights for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2014. – @RoadToIndyTV – (1/22/15)

Chilton to test for Carlin – Former Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton will test for new Indy Lights team Carlin next week at Homestead. The long-established European race team says the plan would be to bring him in and fast track him to the Verizon IndyCar Series. “We’ll have max in our car all three days next week at the Homestead test,” Carlin told RACER. “And if all goes the way we hope it will go, we could see him race with us as part of a fast-track program to get him into IndyCar.” – RACER – (1/22/15)

Daly may test with SPM in February – According to Conor Daly is the running for the No. 7 car at SPM. Daly is a candidate to test with the team at one of the February test days. “There are still a few things to work out,” Daly said. – INDYCAR – (1/22/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 1/21/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is great as always. – RACER – (1/21/15)

Schmidt offers his take on “INDYCAR 2018” – RACER’s “INDYCAR 2018” series continues with SPM co-owner and former driver Sam Schmidt. – RACER – (1/21/15)

Big INDYCAR contingent to race at Rolex 24 – INDYCAR reports that 14 of the 33 drivers who started last year’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will drive in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend. The article contains the full list of drivers with INDYCAR connections who will be competing. – INDYCAR – (1/20/15)

Aero kit designs submitted but no timeline on unveiling – Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star spoke with Derrick Walker who says both Chevy and Honda have submitted their aero kit designs but fans will have to be patient waiting for the unveiling. “Our wish is that they’ll come out with a release pretty soon so we can get the fans seeing something,” Walker told The Star. “We’re waiting for them to confirm (how) to release…Given that most of the car has to be the same, it will be tough to make that big of a change where you’ll say, ‘Ooh, there’s (a Chevrolet or a Honda). In certain configurations you’ll see one has a lot more widgets than the other one.” – Indianapolis Star – (1/20/15)

TBA seats set to be filled soon – Between the passing of the homologation date for aero kits, teams and drivers gathering for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the upcoming INDYCAR Media Day on February 17th MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno is predicting many of the current “TBA” spots in the Verizon IndyCar Series field will be filled soon. Here is his list of openings: “Chip Ganassi Racing #4, Andretti Autosport #4, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #2, CFH Racing’s road/street course #2, Dale Coyne Racing’s #1 and 2, and Bryan Herta Autosport’s #1.” – NBC Sports – (1/19/15)

INDYCAR mandates chassis changes to accommodate aero kits – In order to control the amount of downforce generated by the new aero kits for 2015, “Chevy and Honda were instructed to remove the diffuser strakes from the new Dallara floor, and to pull both diffuser sidewalls, which then required a significant re-working of their aero kits to function with less underbody downforce and increased drag.” – RACER – (1/19/15)

Anderson grabs final SPM Lights seat for 2015 – American Scott Anderson will drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series in 2015. Anderson drove for Fan Force United in Lights in 2014. “We are pleased to have Scott at SPM for 2015,” SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt said. “We kept an eye on him throughout 2014, and we think having teammates to gauge off of will be key to his success this season.” – Indy Lights – (1/19/15)

RHR and Andretti receive their Baby Borgs – Ryan Hunter-Reay and owner Michael Andretti were presented their “Baby Borg” trophies for winning last year’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Wednesday in Detroit. “Seeing my likeness on the trophy brought it home for me,” said Hunter-Reay. “I remember going to the museum and just kind of staring at (the trophy). That was extremely cool for me.” – Indianapolis Star – (1/15/15)

Results from day 2 of first official IL-15 testing – Rookie Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing was fastest on the second day of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires testing Wednesday at Palm Beach International Raceway. Full official results here: Session 3. – Indy Lights – (1/15/15)

Ganassi cars test at NOLA – Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, and Sage Karam all tested for Chip Ganassi Racing at NOLA Motorsports Park on Wednesday. “The facility is very good and once you get the grandstands up and there’s a little prep to be done to the track, it will be too,” Dixon said. “Right now I think the track layout is going to be really good.” – INDYCAR – (1/15/15)

Results from first official IL-15 test – Scott Hargrove of 8Star Motorsports was fastest in each session of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires testing Tuesday at Palm Beach International Raceway. Full official results here: Session 1Session 2. – Indy Lights – (1/14/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 1/14/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (1/14/15)

TK’s second child born on Tuesday – Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren Bohlander’s second son, Deco, was born on Tuesday, January 13th. According to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star Kanaan said the name is a compromise for his grandparents. “It’s a name that both grandmothers can say,” Kanaan said. “One (grandmother) is a Brazilian who doesn’t speak English, the other speaks English but not Portuguese.” – Indianapolis Star – (1/13/15)

Marco likely to contest US rounds of Formula E – Marco Andretti is poised to drive in the two US rounds of the Formula E championship with Andretti Autosport. “We’re hoping to have him in for two more,” said owner Michael Andretti “The two US races. After that there are conflicts [with IndyCar].” – AUTOSPORT – (1/13/15)

First official IL-15 test is Tuesday – Five Indy Lights teams will contest the first official test of the new Dallara IL-15 chassis on Tuesday at Palm Beach International Raceway. The teams competing are 8Star Motorsports, Andretti Autosport, Belardi Racing, Juncos Racing, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. – Indy Lights – (1/13/15)

Holmatro Safety Team undergoes training – Interesting article on giving background on training and technological improvements for the Holmatro Safety Team. Thanks to a Verizon initiative: “For the 2015 season, the Holmatro Safety Team trucks will be equipped with 360-degree cameras mounted to the interior of the windshield and three fixed HD cameras.” – INDYCAR – (1/13/15)

Harvey to return to SPM Lights program – Jack Harvey will drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in Indy Lights once again in 2015. Harvey tied Gabby Chaves for the lead in points in the series in 2014. – @jack_harvey42 – (1/12/15)

Andretti finishes 13th in Formula E debut – Marco Andretti finished 13th for Andretti Autosport on his Formula E debut in Argentina. Andretti suffered from bad luck with timing and scoring as well as an overheating issue. – @MarcoAndretti – (1/12/15)

Power on RACER’s IndyCar 2018 – RACER’s excellent “IndyCar 2018” series continued with Will Power’s thoughts on the series next steps moving forward. It’s a fascinating read just like the others. – RACER – (1/12/15)

5 cars is the goal for Andretti Autosport – “I think we’re going to be at four; my goal is five,” Andretti told RACER. “I think the realistic possibility is four. I’m pretty excited about some of the things we have going. I think we have a few good options that we’re working on that could really help the team a lot. We’re pushing towards five but I’d be happy at four.” RACER’s Marshall Pruett mentions possibilities for the fourth and fifth seats being Justin Wilson, Zach Veach, Jean-Eric Vergne, and most surprisingly McLaren Honda F1 reserve driver Kevin Magnussen. – RACER – (1/8/15)

Busch welcome to try 500 again with Andretti – “I am a big supporter of Kurt and if we are able to put a deal together for him to run the Indianapolis 500 I will still run him,” Andretti told Wednesday night. “He did a great job at the Indy 500 last year. Right now, our focus is on putting a fourth car together but there is still a possibility for something to come together for Indy. I would love to do it with Kurt Busch again. He was a pleasure to work with.” – FOX Sports – (1/8/15)

Marvin Riley Q&A – Marvin Riley, INDYCAR director of engine development, has a Q&A posted on regarding “implementation of regulations for 2015 and provides a general outlook for what INDYCAR is investigating for the next generation Verizon IndyCar Series engine platform.” Very interesting read. – INDYCAR – (1/7/15)

Cavin Q&A 1/7/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers questions on Carpenter’s road course driver, a Meira return at the 500, test schedules, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (1/7/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 1/7/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. Robin mentions that he’s hearing Andretti will sign Justin Wilson to the team’s fourth car and may run a split of Jean-Eric Vergne and Zach Veach in a fifth car. – RACER – (1/7/15)

Fisher to race again at the Chili Bowl – CFH Racing co-owner Sarah Fisher will drive the No. 67RW midget at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, OK taking place from January 12th-17th. “Competing in the Chili Bowl has always been a bucket list item for me and with the support of Wink, I am able to fulfill another dream,” Fisher said in a release. “By attending the event last year to cheer on my brother-in-law, Kyle O’Gara, I was able to experience the atmosphere and see how much fun it was. I wanted to be racing in it the next time I came back.” – NBC Sports – (1/6/15)

Mazda engine for 2015 Lights use has endurance racing past – Mazda’s MZR-R 2-liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine will be used by all cars in the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series. The engine design has been used in the past in the ALMS series, at Le Mans, and won its class at the 2012 12 Hours of Sebring. “The target set by Dan Andersen and his team at Indy Lights has been 450 horsepower, which is well below its capabilities, and we know it can run for 10 or 12 hours straight without problems,” Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan said. “Dan’s intent, and certainly Mazda’s intent, was to be able to give the teams an engine that is capable of doing a full season without a rebuild. Early testing has proven that, and we haven’t had any engine issues since testing began with the Dallara IL-15.” – INDYCAR – (1/6/15)

Former SPM team manager Edwards joins Andretti Autosport – Former Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team manager Rob Edwards has joined Andretti Autosport as the team’s Director of Race Operations and Engineering. Edwards takes the place of the departed Kyle Moyer (who left to Penske this offseason). “We are excited to welcome Rob (Edwards) to the Andretti family,” Michael Andretti said. “His experience in racing will be valuable in moving our organization forward across multiple racing platforms.” – Andretti Autosport – (1/6/15)

Cavin Q&A 1/5/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers questions on Ryan Briscoe, chassis manufacturing, ovals, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (1/5/15)

INDYCAR Q&A with aero kit leader Tino Belli – INDYCAR has posted a Q&A with director of aerodynamic development Tino Belli to provide more background into the the arrival of aero kits in 2015. – INDYCAR – (1/5/15)

Hamilton named Managing Director of Kingdom Racing – “Today, Davey Hamilton was named as the Managing Director of Kingdom Racing. “This is a great day for Kingdom Racing as Davey is one of the most respected and courageous people in motorsports. We are blessed to have him at the helm as Kingdom Racing reaches for new heights in 2015 and beyond,” said founder George Del Canto. As such, Hamilton will oversee all of the IndyCar race operations as well as sponsorship activities for the team.” Full details at the link. – Kingdom Racing – (1/5/15)

Marco to drive Formula E in Argentina – Marco Andretti will drive for Andretti Autosport’s Formula E team at next weekend’s race in Buenos Aires. “I’ve been looking forward to the chance to get behind the wheel of a Formula E car,” said Andretti. “Having never been in the car, it’s a bit of an unfamiliar situation for me but the team’s pace looks solid enough for a great result. I like unknown situations; I’m up for the task.” The race will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2 at 12 p.m. ET on January 10th. – Andretti Autosport – (1/2/15)

Foyt reading team for two cars again – A.J. Foyt Racing will have two cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series for the first time in a while with drivers Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth. It sounds like they’ll be free to race as hard as necessary. “I want them to run as hard as they possibly can,” said owner A.J. Foyt. “I want them to race each other the best they can, and may the best man win. Just don’t take each other out. – RACER – (1/2/15)

Montagny tests positive for cocaine use – Franck Montagny tested positive for cocaine following the Formula E event in Malaysia. He was driving for Andretti Autosport after driving for the team at the GP of Indianapolis last year. “I am at fault. I will not argue,” Montagny told French publication L’Equipe, confirming that he will not challenge the ruling. “Auto sport is perhaps over for me,” he added, reports NBC Sports. “I made a mistake, I’m guilty.” – FOX Sports – (1/2/15)

Former Penske engineer talks Senna Penske test – Former Penske Racing engineer Nigel Beresford spoke with about Ayrton Senna’s legendary test with the team after the 1992 Formula 1 season had ended. Great background from an exciting time in the sport. – – (1/2/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 12/31/14 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is excellent as always. – RACER – (12/31/14)

Phinny to IndyCar Series in ’15? – According to Tony DiZinno of MotorSportsTalk, former Lights driver Ryan Phinny and sponsor Casamigos (an American tequila company) are in contention for a Verizon IndyCar Series ride in 2015. KVSH is mentioned as a possibility. Full details of an interesting deal at the link. – NBC Sports – (12/30/14)

Team Moore Racing receives first IL-15 – “Team Moore Racing today received the first of its two Dallara IL-15 chassis for the upcoming 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The news over the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday was welcome to the entire race team. Mark Moore of Team Moore Racing said, “What better way to celebrate New Year than the arrival of the team’s first Dallara IL-15. I honestly think it is the most beautiful formula car in the world right now! The design team from Dallara and project managers like Tony Cotman and Alex Timmermans did a fantastic job. Well done!”” – Indy Lights – (12/30/14)

RACER’s IndyCar 2018 Project – Clarke – RACER’s project on IndyCar in 2018 continues with Robert Clarke, president of SCCA Pro Racing and a consultant to Honda and IndyCar. Includes links to previous installments of the feature. Great read. – RACER – (12/29/14)

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