News for the Week of April 6, 2015 – April 12, 2015

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana Info:

Circuit MapWeekend ScheduleEntry ListSpotter GuidePit Lane Assignments

Hinchcliffe wins GP of Louisiana – James Hinchcliffe won the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in a timed race due to weather conditions and plenty of yellow flags. Hinch pitted only once throughout the whole race but made it stick thanks to short green flag stints late due to a large number of cautions. Castroneves, Jakes, de Silvestro, and Montoya completed the Top 5. Read our live blog of the race at the link. Full results here. – OW33 – (4/12/15)

Scary 3 car incident brings out last caution at GP of Louisiana – A scary incident between Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais brought out the last caution of the Grand Prix of Louisiana with under eight minutes to go. Pagenaud ran out of race track next to RHR, lost control in the soaked mud and grass, and wiped out both RHR and Bourdais as they entered a turn. Video and quotes at the link. – NBC Sports – (4/12/15)

Morning warmup at NOLA cancelled due to weather – INDYCAR cancelled the morning warmup session for Sunday’s inaugural GP of Louisiana due to rain and standing water on the circuit. Green flag is scheduled for 2:45PM ET. Follow along on our live blog at the link. – OW33 – (4/12/15)

INDYCAR bumps up NOLA start time – Sunday’s inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana will have an approximate green flag time of 2:45PM ET. Coverage on NBCSN starts at 2:30PM ET. The morning warmup session has been bumped up to 11:00AM ET. – INDYCAR – (4/11/15)

GP of Louisiana qualifying cancelled due to severe weather – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying at NOLA Motorsports Park was cancelled after severe weather stopped the qualifying session at the completion of Round 1. The session was full of controversy after Sebastien Bourdais had his two fastest times thrown out for a “block” on Tony Kanaan as he reentered the track after going into a run off lane. Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves are the big winners of the decision to cancel qualifying as neither made it out of Group 1 in Round 1. View our full recap of the action at the link. Starting grid here. – OW33 – (4/11/15)

Sir Patrick Stewart named Grand Marshall for Long Beach – “Acclaimed stage and screen actor Sir Patrick Stewart will serve as grand marshal for the Verizon IndyCar Series race on April 19 at the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Stewart is a racing enthusiast who competed in the 2002 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on the streets of Long Beach. Best known for his roles in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and the X-Men franchise, Stewart returns to series television later this year starring as the title character in “Blunt Talk.” Former Indy car driver Adrian Fernandez, who is enshrined on the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, will be the honorary starter.” – INDYCAR – (4/11/15)

Dixon leads the way in third practice at NOLA – After a delayed start for a timing and scoring issue Scott Dixon posted the fastest time of the third practice session at NOLA Motorsports Park with a 1:18.5538. Full results here. – OW33 – (4/11/15)

Attorneys of spectator struck at St. Pete want the debris –  According to the Tampa Bay Times the attorneys of the spectator injured in the race at St. Pete “notified the city that she intends to file a lawsuit over its “negligent acts or omissions.”” They would like the city to preserve the piece of debris that hit the spectator to review. – Tampa Bay Times – (4/10/15)

Power tops the charts in wet practice two at NOLA –  Will Power was fastest in a largely red flagged practice session at NOLA Motorsports Park on Friday evening. A torrential rain storm went through the area right before the start of practice forcing a late (and then short lived) green flag.  After a long delay the track was dried enough for a 10-15 minute green flag finish. Six cars chose not to run. Full results here. – RACER – (4/10/15)

Kanaan fastest in practice one at NOLA – Tony Kanaan was fastest in a chaotic first practice session at NOLA Motorsports Park on Friday afternoon. Though the weather stayed dry there were plenty of red flags for non-contact spins off the racing surface. Chevy had the top 7 on the leaderboard with James Hinchcliffe the fastest Honda in eighth. Full results here. – NBC Sports – (4/10/15)

NOLA track walk notes – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno shares photos and notes from his track walk around NOLA Motorsports Park on Thursday. A good read to familiarize yourself with a new track for the Verizon IndyCar Series. – NBC Sports – (4/10/15)

Cavin Q&A 4/10/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A covers The Rolling Stones, Long Beach advice, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (4/10/15)

Honda confirms changes for NOLA – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno writes about Honda’s confirmed changes for this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park. “HPD confirmed in its pre-race release that it has initiated updates to both the front-wing end plate and rear wheel guards to improve the impact resistance of these components. The updates consist of bonded in-place panels that further strengthen specific areas of the front-wing end plates and rear wheel guards. All design and initial production of these panels has been completed in the short,12-day period — which included the Easter holiday weekend — between the St. Petersburg and New Orleans events, HPD confirmed.” More at the link. – NBC Sports – (4/9/15)

RACER interviews drivers on aero kit effects on fitness – RACER’s Marshall Pruett interviews a lot of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers about how the increased downforce of the new aero kits has changed their fitness regime. Entertaining and informative. – RACER – (4/9/15)

Indy 500 pace car found after being stolen from Indy dealership – Real genius here: “An Indianapolis 500 pace car was stolen from a Chevrolet dealer on the city’s northwest side late Wednesday night. Police say the suspect stole the car from inside of Bill Estes Chevrolet on 96th Street just before midnight. He then drove the car through the glass front door and down a flight of stairs. The car was abandoned at Fort Road and Irishman Run Lane in Zionsville after police say the car was no longer drivable. The suspect is described as a white male with glasses and no shirt. Police believe he is on foot, and say he may be hurt from driving the car through the glass door with the top down.” – FOX59 – (4/9/15)

IMS announces installation of all new LED video boards – “Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans will now be able to experience the high-intensity, heart-pounding excitement of events up close and personal, courtesy of 20 newly installed networked high-definition (HD) LED video display boards from Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, an industry leader in engineering and technology solutions and the newest Official Partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Verizon IndyCar Series…Panasonic will also sponsor the legendary Pagoda, located on the start-finish line and reaching a height equivalent to a 13-story building. The newly renamed Panasonic Pagoda is one of the most recognizable structures in worldwide motorsports.” More at the link. – IMS – (4/9/15)

Belle Isle grandstand/bridge work has started – With less than two months before the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix doubleheader construction on the grandstands and pedestrian bridges has started at Belle Isle. Short video at the link. – WXYZ – (4/9/15)

Daly to drive 2-seater at NOLA – Per his Twitter Conor Daly will lead the field this weekend in the 2-seater before the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana. “Wheels up to @GPofNOLA Never been to Louisiana before. I’ll be starting the Indycar race this wknd… In the 2 seater #fastestseatinsports” – Conor Daly – (4/8/15)

RHR throws out first pitch at Dodgers game – Ryan Hunter-Reay threw the first pitch at the Los Angeles Dodgers game on April 7th as part of a media tour for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He also met with some of the confirmed drivers in the event’s famous Pro/Celebrity Race and had dinner with National Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. – INDYCAR – (4/8/15)

Conor Daly blog update – Conor Daly posted a blog entry on RACER regarding the recent activity in his career and it’s a fantastic read. Here’s a highlight on his IndyCar test with SPM: “In the end, I obviously didn’t get the race seat, but the funding situation was out of my control. What I could control was my performance on track. Here, I really felt like I maximized the opportunity that I had and did everything I could to both prove myself and help the team. I got that same feedback from the team as well. However, as usual in racing these days, there was a budget gap that I could not close, and someone else could. It was not a huge surprise; all we could do is continue to look forward and see what we could do next!” – RACER – (4/8/15)

Cavin Q&A 4/8/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A includes answers on the St. Pete, the 500 car count, aero kits, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (4/8/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 4/8/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (4/8/15)

NOLA entry list is out – Karam will race – Both the entry list and spotter guide for the Grand Prix of Louisiana are out. There are numerous sponsor and livery changes but the biggest news is the confirmation that Sage Karam will be racing this weekend. He’ll be in Comfort Revolution colors this weekend. See the spotter guide here. – NOLA Entry List – (4/7/15)

INDYCAR allows Honda to strengthen aero kit – “After experiencing issues with Aero Kits creating debris in the season-opening Verizon IndyCar Series race on March 29, Honda has been granted permission by INDYCAR to strengthen and reinforce parts of its kit, Steve Eriksen, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of HPD, told “We’ve talked to INDYCAR about it and have made a proposal to update a few of the key parts with some additional strengthening as a temporary countermeasure and as a permanent countermeasure to deliver replacement parts with an even higher resistance to car-to-car contact,” Eriksen said. “This would be immediate and INDYCAR has approved that.”” – FOX Sports – (4/7/15)

Coletti to run Variable Bore Rams, Inc. livery at NOLA – Stefano Coletti will have a new livery at the Grand Prix of Louisiana. Louisiana-based Variable Bore Rams, Inc. will be the sponsor of the car this weekend. See the the No. 4 car’s livery page here. – NBC Sports – (4/7/15)

Bourdais to run Mistic livery at NOLA – Per Sebastien Bourdais’ Instagram his No. 11 machine will be in a Mistic Electronic Cigarettes livery this weekend at the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. See the the No. 11 car’s livery page here. – Sebastien Bourdais – (4/7/15)

CFH adds Hildebrand for both races at IMS – “CFH Racing announced today that Preferred Freezer Services will be partnering with the team to field a third entry in both Verizon IndyCar Series events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for JR Hildebrand. Hildebrand will drive the No. 6 Preferred Freezer Services CFH Racing Chevrolet for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.” – CFH Racing – (4/7/15)

Simona back at AA at NOLA – “Following last week’s announcement that Simona de Silvestro would become Andretti Autosport’s fifth entry for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500, the team confirmed today the Swiss racer will be back with the four-time IndyCar champions for the second round of Verizon IndyCar Series competition this weekend in New Orleans. The 26-year-old will once again pilot the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda for the inaugural event to be held at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, LA. “It’s great to get another shot in the car and improve on everything we learned in St. Petersburg,” de Silvestro commented. “I’m really looking forward to being able to work with everyone again and hopefully have a better race! I’m really thankful for all that Michael (Andretti) and everyone at Andretti Autosport have been doing to make all of this happen.”” – Andretti Autosport – (4/7/15)

Cavin Q&A 4/7/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A includes answers on the Chevy infraction, aero kits, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (4/7/15)

1st INDYCAR Chronicles to highlight Hinchcliffe – IMS productions, which is producing a five episode INDYCAR Chronicles show for NBCSN, will be highlighting James Hinchcliffe in the first episode. The show will debut on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. (ET) on April 10th, and will follow James during the season opener at St. Pete, as well as, him doing a spot on a national radio show and karting with his teammates at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. – INDYCAR -(4/6/15)

INDYCAR punishes Chevy for “non-minor” engine repairs – “Chevrolet, which earned 128 points in the season-opening round of the Verizon IndyCar Series at St. Petersburg, has been penalized 220 points for a violation of IndyCar engine regulations. According to Rule of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook, 20 points will be deducted for a non-minor engine repair. Eleven of the 12 Chevrolet engines in the field underwent repairs following the St. Petersburg race…Honda holds a 162-point advantage in the manufacturers’ championship heading into this weekend’s Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at New Orleans Motorsports Park.” – RACER – (4/6/15)

Robin Miller’s Indy 500 car count – RACER’s Robin Miller speculates on how the Indy 500 field will get to the 33 cars necessary to fill the grid. A good read with very feasible transactions to make it happen. – RACER – (4/6/15)

NOLA race marks five years since new permanent circuit on INDYCAR calendar – MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno makes an excellent point that this weekend’s race at NOLA Motorsports Park will be INDYCAR’s first visit to a permanent circuit it’s never been to before in five years. – NBC Sports – (4/6/15)

Cavin Q&A 4/6/15 – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin’s fan Q&A includes answers on aero kits, the Indiana RFRA law, Simona, and more. – Indianapolis Star – (4/6/15)

Final Four athletes received IndyCar diecasts – All the athletes at the NCAA Men’s Final Four received a diecast replica of the IndyCar escort vehicle their buses were led by upon arriving in Indy. According to WRTV’s Dave Furst, they’re a hot item: “Each #FinalFour player receives FF shirts, other knick-knacks but they’re ALL talking about getting these.” Picture at the link. – Dave Furst – (4/6/15)

Panther/National Guard lawsuit thrown out – “Panther Racing’s lawsuit against Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and IndyCar was thrown out last month by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in U.S. District Court. After RLLR was awarded the sponsorship for 2014 (The Guard accepted RLLR’s bid which was approximately $5 million less than Panther’s for a one-car team), team principal John Barnes appealed the decision to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. That was denied so Panther sued RLLR and IndyCar, claiming Panther lost $13.1 million in Guard sponsorship because of bid-rigging and other improprieties.”…”But Judge Walton Pratt disagreed. “The Miles letter merely stated what IndyCar believed it had a right to do, which was to grant another race team, Rahal, space in the Fan Village for its potential sponsor, [the Army National Guard],” she wrote. The judge also said Panther’s argument that it had exclusive rights “defies common sense.”” – RACER – (4/6/15)

INDYCAR In-Car Theatre: St. Pete – IndyCar has brought back one of its greatest features from the past few seasons this year… the In-Car Theatre! There is nothing better than seeing all the action from the drivers point-of-view, and this race’s edition doesn’t disappoint, with a ton of wheel-wheel racing, contact, and passes. Feel free to check out the video below or on YouTube – (4/5/2015)

Tagliani close to 500 ride – RACER reports that Alex Tagliani is on the verge on confirming a ride for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “I really want to do the 99th Indy 500 this year and the 100th next year, and doing it with a great team to go for my first win is something really exciting for me,” Tagliani told RACER. “We aren’t going to announce everything at this moment, but I think it will be something that is very good for our sponsors and our fans.” – RACER – (4/2/15)

Simona makes it 5 at AA for the 500 – Simona de Silvestro will drive the No. 29 TE Connectivity car for Andretti Autosport at the 2015 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “I’m so excited to be representing TE Connectivity at this year’s Indy 500,” de Silvestro said in a news release. “It’s really great that they’re partnering with me in my efforts during the Indy 500, and with their advance technologies in my Honda Indy car, I will for sure have one of the best opportunities to win during the month of May.” See the livery here. – ESPN – (4/2/15)

IMS & Chevy extend partnership – “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and long-standing partner Chevrolet have agreed to a multi-year extension of their partnership agreement. Among the key elements of their partnership, Chevrolet will continue its role as an Official Sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here 400” at the Brickyard NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Chevrolet will provide the official cars and trucks along with the official safety vehicles for those three world-class IMS events, and will also provide the Official Pace Car for each race. The 2014 Indianapolis 500 marked the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”” – IMS – (4/2/15)

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