News for the Week of May 25, 2015 – May 31, 2015

Live Blog – 2015 Detroit GP – Weekend Coverage

Sebastian Bourdais wins Race 2 of the Detroit GP – On a race that started on an improved drizzly track, Bourdais ran a smooth race all the way to the finish by stretching fuel until time went to 0:00. “Track Conditions” were the buzz words of the day as the race track dried, more rain came, then the rain slowed and the track dried again. Even with the ever changing track conditions making it difficult on the drivers, everyone maintained their calm and ran a clean race for nearly the first half of the race. Carlos Munoz went from first place to last place over the two races when his car went out with a mechanical issue soon after the green flag was shone. Will Power had steering wheel issues that forced him out of contention and several other incidents plagued the latter half of the race. Honda continued their dominance in the wet by taking positions two through nine. Unofficial results from INDYCAR – (5/31/2015)

Race 2 Results

Grid set by entrant points for Race 2 at Belle Isle – Today’s qualifying session was supposed to be broken down into two groups with 20 minutes of time on track each; but mother nature had something to say about that. The rain fell continuously throughout group 1’s session, but really picked up in the second session, overloading the improved on-course drainage, resulting in standing water. In what would have been an exciting moment for young Sage Karam, who set the fastest lap time in the first group, turned out to be quite disappointing as qualifying as a whole was scrapped by INDYCAR shortly into the second session. Per current INDYCAR rules, the starting grid will be set by entrant points, which means Montoya gets the lucky break again by getting the Verizon P1 Pole award. Full Starting grid provided by INDYCAR – (5/31/2015)

Munoz wins his first race in Race 1 at Belle Isle – Carlos Munoz has one the Saturday Race 1 in a rain shortened event. The race was exciting from the start with heavy rain making way for semi-sunny skies that quickly dried the track; but a dry finish wasn’t in the cards today. With approx. 30 min. remaining the red flag was shown to signify stoppage for lightning in the area. IndyCar eventually called the race with Munoz, Marco, and Pagenaud standing atop. Full results provided by INDYCAR. – (5/30/2015)

Race 1 Results

Filippi and Chevy pick up the pace in P2 – CFH Driver Luca Filippi picked up his pace considerably in the Saturday morning practice at Belle Isle taking the top spot with a lap time of 1:16.7466. Honda dominated early on in the morning practice, at times placing 6-7 drivers in the top ten, but as the hour came to a close Chevy picked up their pace and took the top five spots. The only incident in the morning practice was from Bourdais, who went into the tire barrier causing a significant amount of damage that the team will be scrambling to fix prior to this afternoons race. – P1 ResultsCombined ResultsINDYCAR – (5/30/2015)

Power takes the pole for Race 1 at Belle Isle – Will Power took the pole today… and he did so by breaking the track record. His lap time of 1:16.0941 bested the other Penske drivers, who all qualified in the top five. The highest qualifying Honda driver was Takuma Sato who has always been fast here in Detroit. – INDYCAR – (5/29/2015)

Q - Results

TK leads the way in Practice 1 at Belle Isle – Tony Kanaan turned the fastest lap of Practice 1 for the Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Dual in Detroit in his No. 10 Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour Special. Chevrolet had 9 of the Top 10 spots. Takuma Sato was the only Honda driver in the Top 10. Full results at the link. – INDYCAR – (5/29/15)

Taylor Swift to adorn TK’s car in Belle Isle – “Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and Indianapolis 500 Winner Tony Kanaan will drive the No. 10 Taylor Swift, Big Machine Records car at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. The car will promote Seven-time GRAMMY winner TAYLOR SWIFT and Big Machine Records recording artist Taylor Swift’s THE 1989 WORLD TOUR that kicked off in Japan in early May, and will come to a close in Australia this December.” Awesome livery at the link. – Big Machine – (5/28/15)

Belle Isle Spotter Guide is out – The official INDYCAR spotter guide for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit is available and features new liveries for Tony Kanaan in the No. 10 (Taylor Swift) and Simon Pagenaud in the No. 22 (PPG). Check it out at the link. – Belle Isle Spotter Guide – (5/28/15)

INDYCAR planning 1 or 2 international races for ’16 – The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that INDYCAR is working on confirming one or two international races for 2016 and that in order for them to happen they’ll need to be signed in the next month. Columbia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates are thought to be the most likely destinations. Plenty more at the link. – IBJ – (5/28/15)

Eddie Gossage: “Pack racing is good racing.” – Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage wants a better race at his track this year and as always isn’t bashful with his thoughts. “Pack racing is good racing,” he told MotorSportsTalk. “The first thing you should always do when you run into a problem with a race car is slow down and they slowed the cars down, just a little bit,” Gossage said of the issues in Indianapolis. “That was the right thing to do and I’m sure they’re figuring out what the best fix is for us. Speeds are going to be a little bit slower, but not much. I’m sure they’re focusing on that too.” More at the link. – NBC Sports – (5/28/15)

City of Boston responsible for circuit improvements and cleanup – The Boston Herald reports that the City of Boston will be responsible for any and all changes INDYCAR sees fit for the street course for the inaugural Grand Prix of Boston on Labor Day weekend next year. “In the event that any change in … standards requires a modification of the design, construction or installation of the Race Circuit, (the) City shall be solely responsible, at its expense, for accomplishing such modification,” according to the agreement. – Boston Herald – (5/28/15)

Miller’s Mailbag 5/27/15 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (5/28/15)

INDYCAR announces post-500 penalties – INDYCAR has announced penalties from the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race onto car No. 2, No. 4, No. 19, No. 28, and No. 28. The penalties for the DCR No. 19 and BHA No. 98 were the most severe at $10,000 for an unsafe release and contact with pit personnel. – NBC Sports – (5/27/15)

Vautier and Gonzalez in at DCR for Belle Isle – Dale Coyne Racing announced their drivers for the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit on Wednesday. Tristan Vautier will pilot the No. 19 car and Rodolfo Gonzalez will drive the No. 18. Each has experience with the team earlier this season. – Dale Coyne Racing – (5/27/15)

Safety developments emerge after Hinchcliffe crash – RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports that changes have been (and are) coming to prevent injuries like the ones sustained by James Hinchcliffe in his recent crash at IMS. “In response to the crash, the series and Dallara mandated the installation of new wishbone “pads” for the race, and made the welding of a rod between the wishbone legs optional. The metal pads, as shown in the rendering, are affixed to the rear leg of the lower front wishbones at their mounting points and create more surface area to reduce the likelihood of a wishbone leg piercing the chassis in an impact. The wishbone rod addition, which was given the green light two days before the Indy 500, was a regular item found on Indy cars prior to the DW12, and were created to prevent wishbone intrusions from happening.” More at the link. – RACER – (5/27/15)

USA Today profiles Sebastian Wheldon’s young karting career – Terrific piece from USA Today’s Brant James on Dan Wheldon’s son Sebastian’s prolific karting success at a very young age and his mother’s reaction to it all. Great read. – USA Today – (5/27/15)

Hinchcliffe released from the hospital – Per INDYCAR, “Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was released from IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on May 26, following surgery May 18 for an upper left thigh and pelvic injury suffered in a practice crash on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. He returned to his Indianapolis area home and is expected to make a full recovery. Hinchcliffe, 28, of Toronto, has not been cleared by the INDYCAR medical staff to resume competition.” – INDYCAR – (5/27/15)

Wilson to drive for AA in Formula E in Moscow – Justin Wilson will continue his relationship with Andretti Autosport by racing for their Formula E outfit for the upcoming Moscow ePrix. “I’m looking forward to making my Formula E debut with Andretti,” said Wilson. “I’ve been following the Championship from the start, and it is a very interesting formula. I appreciate Michael (Andretti) giving me this opportunity. I know there is a lot to learn, but I am excited about this new challenge and looking forward to the Moscow ePrix weekend already!” – Justin Wilson – (5/27/15)

Belle Isle Entry List is out – The official INDYCAR entry list for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit has been posted and features TBA’s for the Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 and No. 19 cars once again. Other noteworthy driver mentions are Conor Daly in the No. 5 and Sage Karam in the No. 8. Sponsor highlights include Verizon for the No. 2, Hitachi for the No. 3, Comfort Revolution/Big Machine for the No. 8, Mistic for the No. 11, and PPG for the No. 22. – Belle Isle Entry List – (5/26/15)

Daly to drive the SPM No. 5 in Belle Isle – “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Conor Daly will pilot the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car for the “Dual in Detroit” races at Belle Isle Raceway on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. SPM’s contracted driver, James Hinchcliffe was injured during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 18. With an undetermined recovery period, the team will field a replacement driver until the Canadian fan favorite is medically cleared to compete again. Daly, a Noblesville, Indiana native, drove for SPM in May for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. On race day, Daly’s No. 43 Smithfield “Fueled by Bacon” Special had a mechanical issue and did not start the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” – SPM – (5/26/15)

Cavin’s post-500 notebook – The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin has plenty of nuggets in his post-Indy 500 notebook on Monday. James Hinchcliffe is targeting a return in August (Wilson, Briscoe, Daly mentioned as possible subs). “Dale Coyne Racing crew member Daniel Jang underwent successful right ankle surgery Sunday night at Methodist. He also had a procedure done to his left foot, a team official confirmed, and the current plan is to have him released Wednesday.” The 500 drew a 4.2 overnight TV rating, up from 4.1 last year. – Indianapolis Star – (5/25/15)

Last 15 laps of 500 from JPM’s onboard cam – The last 15 laps of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race have been posted to YouTube from the onboard camera of winner Juan Pablo Montoya. It’s an incredible watch from beginning to end. From his incredible save at 7:06 to his remarkable celebration starting coming off of Turn 4 it’s a must see. – YouTube – Juan Pablo Montoya in [HD] – (5/25/15)

Robin Miller says Daly/Smithfield deserve another shot with SPM – Robin Miller claims Conor Daly and his sponsor Smithfield deserve another chance with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports after his non-start in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Daly says Smithfield largely joined because one of their marketing VP’s has been a fan of Daly for a long time. “It might be me – I’ll talk to Sam about it tomorrow and I’ve love to drive a double-header,” said Daly, referring to Saturday and Sunday races at Detroit. “I’ve been with SPM all month and Sam knows I want to stay so we’ll see what happens.” – RACER – (5/25/15)

Montoya wins his second Indy 500 – Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya won his second Indy 500 on Sunday in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Montoya held off his Team Penske teammate Will Power and won by just 0.1046 of a second, the fourth closest finish in the history of the race. The rest of the Top 5 were Charlie Kimball, Scott Dixon, and Graham Rahal. Full results here. Four of our favorite race recaps at the links. – INDYCAR / Indianapolis Star / AP / NBC Sports – (5/25/15)

No. 3 crew wins TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge – Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 Team Penske crew won the Pit Stop Challenge over the No. 83 Chip Ganassi Racing crew of Charlie Kimball in the final on Coors Light Carb Day. It was the 15th time one of Roger Penske’s pit crews won the illustrious competition. – Indianapolis Star – (5/22/15)

Harvey wins Freedom 100 – Jack Harvey won the Freedom 100 on Friday under yellow after a late Ed Jones crash in Turn 4. He and fellow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport teammate Ethan Ringel had spent most of the race battling for P1 before the late caution decided the order for them. The result sent Harvey to the lead in the championship standings as all of the fellow contenders struggled in the first oval race of the year. – NBC Sports – (5/22/15)

Boston officially confirmed as new venue for Labor Day 2016 – “INDYCAR announced today that it will race in the South Boston Waterfront on Labor Day weekend during the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The Grand Prix of Boston will feature an 11-turn, 2.25-mile temporary street course that surrounds the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The event marks the first time INDYCAR has raced in the Boston area, a key northeast market for the Verizon IndyCar Series.” See the official event website at the link. – Grand Prix of Boston – (5/21/15)

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