Posts Tagged ‘ andretti ’

Andretti Autosport recently invited me into Riverside Jr. High School in Fishers, Indiana to listen, along with a class of 25 students, to a presentation on IndyCar aerodynamics. Students in Brad Bill’s Tech Education class had the opportunity to ask Andretti crew member, Kelly Potter, how to make the miniature balsam wood cars they are building this semester go fast.

The classroom setting offered the unique experience to have the high-tech aerodynamic theories in use on IndyCars brought down to a level that 8th graders could understand. A key point among those theories was to focus on the shape of the car. As Kelly put it, think of things that go fast like a jet or even a ship, they always have a pointed front.  He next equated the “drag” created by wind to the force to someone trying to swim in heavy clothing.

Kelly went further in depth to describe the down force effect created by the placement of wings on an IndyCar. He then complimented the students by explaining how cool it was to see them try to apply similar design techniques used on IndyCars because he did not have that opportunity in 8th grade.

When Kelly went on to explain how the logos on IndyCars can create increased drag and weight on the vehicle, Tech Education teacher, Brad Bill, jumped in to connect the same theory to his students’ frustration with the amount of sanding required to perfect their cars. As he told students, there is a purpose after all to the amount of sanding it takes to make a car run smoothly.

Students had the opportunity to view an IndyCar up-close as part of the lesson and show off their own designs to Kelly Potter. His pick for the best student car? The one with the coolest paint job.

Andretti crew member choosing his favorite model car

Andretti Autosport Crew Member, Kelly Potter, critiques the student's car designs

 

Photo Shoot: 33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

Posted on: October 12, 2010 | Comments(38) | Indy 500 | By: Arni

Ellen Bireley had no choice but to make Oct. 12 a free admission day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. That’s because 27 of the Indianapolis 500-winning cars usually found in the museum were being used for a unique photo opportunity on IMS’ front straightaway.

Sitting front and center

Dario Franchitti's #10 Front and Center

“It’s probably been our biggest undertaking,” said Bireley, who has served as the Hall of Fame Museum’s director since 1996. “We’ve never emptied out the museum to my knowledge.”

The photo, which commemorates next May’s 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, featured 33 winning cars of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” (OK, there were 32 winning cars, because Mario Andretti’s 1969 winner is in the Smithsonian Institution, but the replica was the next best thing).

Set up in the morning...

Setting up the grid at IMS

“It’s pretty amazing to have this many iconic cars here,” said track historian Donald Davidson. “We have 33 cars here and every one of them has won the race at least once. I think it represents 37 victories because there have been four cars to win the 500 in consecutive years and they are all here today.  I could probably do 30 minutes on just one car here and we have 33 of them.”
Davidson and Bireley helped select the field of cars used and helped bring in the six cars from private collections. From there, they invited 16 qualified people, ranging from Hall of Fame Museum staff to veteran Indy Car mechanics, to move the cars from the museum to the track side garages used by Firestone Indy Lights and MotoGP teams during race weekend.

Then, in the early morning hours, the group pushed the cars into the traditional 11 rows of three.
The front row consisted of the 1911-winning Marmon Wasp, Dario Franchitti’s 2010-winning Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda-powered Dallara and A.J. Foyt’s 1961-winning Bowes Seal Fast roadster, but iconic cars from the race’s first 99 years were spread throughout.

Early morning shot of the "front row"

Front Row: Ray Harroun, Dario Franchitti, A.J. Foyt

Cars driven by iconic names of the’ 500’ such as Unser (Al, Bobby and Al Jr.), Andretti, Mears, Meyer, Shaw, Rutherford and Jones were all included.
“They had to convince me (to do this),” Bireley said. “When they first said they wanted to do this product, I said no, but this was a really neat idea and after multiple conversations, we decided to do it and it was worth it.”

The line up

33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

“To see the cars in natural light, the colors really pop. When the cars are inside in the museum, the indoor lighting just doesn’t do them justice. They look spectacular out here.”

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is second only to the Indianapolis 500 in longevity on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. Of course, the series will make only its second visit to the scenic SoCal circuit this weekend. The previous 34 events (2008 was Indy Racing League sanctioned but Champ Car staged its farewell event before unification) were a mix. The temporary street course originally ran as a Formula 5000 race in 1975, moved to Formula One from 1976-83, then became a CART/Champ Car event from 1984-2008.

Pit lane in LB

Setup day in Long Beach

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