Posts Tagged ‘ izod indycar series ’

Fans of NASCAR spent years preparing for the “Car of Tomorrow.” During the 2007 season, as NASCAR worked to integrate the “COT” and teams tested the new design, analysts would remind the viewers watching at home what changes were coming with the Car of Tomorrow. The supposed improvements did little to instill confidence in viewers as it was always in reference to whichever car was in last place, struggling to keep up with the field, or out of commission before the final lap.

In February 2008, the Pittsburgh Tribune recorded video of the Car of Tomorrow chassis as presented by a NASCAR tech inspector. The inspector listed the benefits of the new chassis as safety and less costly. Safety meaning that the wider, taller design was created to make it easier to pull drivers out of the car in the case of a severe accident and keeping costs down not just from less-costly frame rails, but by requiring the rails to stay within 1/4 inch of NASCAR’s regulations. In other words, keeping teams on a level playing field.

NASCAR’s intention was to improve performance and competition with the Car of Tomorrow, but fan reviews state otherwise. So in July, when Randy Bernard announced new engine regulations and a new chassis design, who could blame race fans for airing concern that the changes would have the opposite effect intended? Fortunately, the impact was crystal clear- that rather than move the IZOD IndyCar Series closer to a spec series, we were moving even further away. The changes emphasize the value of competition and collaboration as the direct sources of innovation. Similar to NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, the new chassis, produced by Dallara, will reduce costs for teams. It is also designed to be lighter and safer than the current chassis.

Mayor Greg Ballard, Randy Bernard, Graham Rahal and others

Dallara breaks ground in Speedway, Indiana

But then came the engine manufacturers. Helping to fuel the competition and joining Honda in 2012 will be Lotus and Chevrolet. Most exciting? Each of these engine suppliers not only represent a different continent, but they also bring unique memories from racing history along with their names.

Green and yellow, a beautiful sight

Lotus Display at the LA Auto Show

And don’t forget about the aero kits. Teams will be able to personalize the product they place on the track with custom aero kits produced by Lotus, Chevrolet, and Dallara. The diversity in these kits will help avoid a situation similar to NASCAR’s announcement in early 2010 that spoilers would be reintroduced to their cars to help improve races and, admittedly, return to a more-comfortable look on the cars.

In the coming year, keep an eye on IndyCar.com/2012 for updates and announcements on what changes are coming to the IZOD IndyCar Series and voice your opinion on how these changes will affect the quality of racing for the fans. Submit your own design for the Future IndyCar or connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter and tell us what you think of the IZOD IndyCar Series efforts to increase competition and improve the quality of racing on the track, you might even see your comment right back here on the IndyCar blog. What other announcements are you hoping to hear during the 2011 season to make for a better 2012 season?

Another fan design

Future IndyCar Design Submitted by Rick Jones

When I was a kid, Christmas used to be easy. I’d write my letter to Santa, asking him for the latest slot car set or hot wheels track so my brother and I could live our dreams of the Indy 500.Nowadays, it’s not so easy.

We still make lists in my family, but gifts are so much more practical. I take gift giving seriously, so if you’re like me and you’ve stumped your family on what they should get their favorite INDYCAR fan for Christmas? Here are a few suggestions from my lists of Christmases past. (Note to my family, I already have most of this so, don’t bother).

JIM SWINTAL PRINTS

You may know Jim Swintal as the longtime starter of CART or the current voice of INDYCAR’s race control, but he’s also an accomplished motorsports artist. Two of his latest prints involve the Firestone Indy Lights and both are available on his website.

LEARNING CURVE

“In regard to “Learning Curve,” the title of the JK Vernay Champion’s painting, it’s the most recent of fourteen paintings commissioned by Firestone since they entered the series as title sponsor. The first piece I did was for Eric Bachelart’ s championship back in 1991. When Firestone rejoined the ’second era’ of the series in 2008, we picked it right back up again. I always select an important moment to portray in the champion’s painting and JK made a decisive pass on James Hinchcliffe for the lead at the Watkins Glen ‘bus stop’ chicane. I knew it was big as soon as I saw it on the monitors from race control, so at the end of the day I went out there with a camera while everything was being packed up and recorded the reference photos and angles of the background that I needed.

Vernay

JK Vernay painting

25 YEARS of Champions

“The “25 Years of Champions” painting honoring Roger Bailey was a thrill because I’ve been involved with the series for so long. It was my first officiating gig as the Starter for the first Indy Lights Series in the early Nineties, and Roger played a large part in the decision to let me up there! Tony George Jr. and Arni Sribhen with the series deserve the credit for coming up with the painting idea and I just filled in with the ‘ 25 Champion’s’ bit as I had already created images of 13 of the cars. I created smaller versions of those same car images from the champion’s paintings over again and found suitable angles for the rest, back to 1986. The only one I needed help on was Jon Beekhuis’ 1988 winner. I remembered a red, white and blue paint scheme but I only had a black and white reference photo. Jon helped out by showing me a video that was made of his ‘88 Mid-Ohio victory, which he ran for me in the broadcast booth in Sonoma.”

Bailey

Roger Bailey "25 Years of Champions"

IRACING SUBSCRIPTION

You may never run 225 mph down the Frontstretch at Indianapolis in a real IZOD IndyCar Series machine, but with iRacing.com’s simulator, you can in a virtual replica of the Dallara/Honda/Firestone that races every May.  An added surprise is that you may end up racing against IZOD IndyCar Series drivers as Justin Wilson, Will Power and Martin Plowman are avid users of the game. For just $24.00, get a three month iRacing.com membership, and the Dallara IndyCar for FREE!

INDY 500: A CENTURY OF EXCITEMENT BOOK

Officially licensed in cooperation with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500: A Century of Excitement celebrates the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and is a must-have for any fan of the 500. Ralph Kramer’s book features beautiful photos and an eloquent foreword by David Letterman, which are the highlights of the book for me. I’ve heard that even Randy Bernard is giving these as gifts this holiday season.

RETRO IZOD T-SHIRTS

Classic liveries of winning Indianapolis 500-winning cars inspired IZOD to create a line of t-shirts that make a great gift for race fans. Drivers such as Bobby Unser , Mark Donohue, Bill Vukovich and Ray Harroun are honored by the 100-percent cotton shirts.

While it may be too late to grab these items for the holidays, keep in mind that birthdays are a good time to gift these items as well. What did you buy for your favorite INDYCAR fan this Christmas?

Hi, my name is Josh Freund. You may have seen me around the paddock or on pit lane with Andretti Autosport. I work as the crew chief for the #11 team. During the off-season and through the 2011 season, I’ll be updating you on everything that goes on inside an INDYCAR race shop. From composite work to decals, and from testing to the first race, I’ll let you become a part of the team.

#11 Crew Chief, Josh Freund

#11 Crew Chief, Josh Freund

Growing up, I can’t say that I knew I would end up working on race cars. I did grow up in Indianapolis, the racing capital of the world, but I had intentions of being involved with aircrafts in some way, either as a pilot or a mechanic.

I got my start in racing the same way as a lot of others—karting. In 1998, I was offered a job at Players/Forsythe as a front-end mechanic for driver Lee Bentham who drove for the Toyota Atlantic Series, better known as go-karts.

In 2000, I moved into the IndyCar Series as a mechanic for driver Patrick Carpentier and in 2003 I became lead mechanic. After the end of the 2003 season, I joined the Andretti Autosport team and became a lead mechanic on Dario Franchitti’s car. We earned four wins that year—definitely a good year. In 2007, I was a part of Andretti’s ALMS team as a mechanic before going back to Indy cars shortly after as crew chief for Hideki Mutoh. As I mentioned before, I’m now crew chief for the #11 car in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Andretti Autosport #11 crew at Mid-Ohio

The #11 Andretti Autosport pit crew

During the race, you can find me in the pits changing the outside front tire. Back at the shop during the off-season, I work on the car to be the best we can for the next season. As chief mechanic, I work with the engineers to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. We do a lot of testing and fiddling with certain parts of the cars to get an extra tenth of a second in speed. It can be really fascinating to see first-hand how even a tiny change (either in the shop or during a pit stop) can make a relatively big difference on the track.

My favorite part about my job is being with the guys. I’ve met many people working in this industry and I can say I enjoy working with the people here. Most of the guys here are my good friends. Even with a busy travel schedule and a lot of time away from home, we find a way to enjoy the time on the road.

Andretti Autosport #11 crew in pit lane

The #11 team at Mid-Ohio

Looking back at my career, I’m not sure what I would be doing if I wasn’t part of a race team. Fortunately, it’s not something I’ve never had to think about it. However, if I had to it all over again, I’d probably have my own business of some sort. My goal for now, though, is to keep winning races.

Now that you’ve heard a bit about my background, what do you want to know about the racing industry?

Friday is finally here and rather than work all day long, we thought fans would rather talk about racing. Fortunately for us, so did our friends over at Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

In time for the quickly-approaching holidays, Just Pop In! decided to give away a prize pack to the fan with the best post comment below that shares a favorite moment from the 2010 season IZOD IndyCar Series season.

To makes things more interesting, the folks from Just Pop In! and the IZOD IndyCar Series will be monitoring your comments all day to share some of the best and most entertaining moments of the 2010 season on Twitter @IndyCar and @JustPopInOnline and at Facebook.com/IndyCarSeries and Facebook.com/justpopin.

CONTEST OVER– Congratulations to our winner, Sean, who will receive a holiday prize pack from Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Check out his comment below on the 2010 St. Pete race…

Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series

Just Pop In! The Official Gourmet Popcorn of the IZOD IndyCar Series

Tomas Scheckter Uncensored

Posted on: December 15, 2010 | Comments(34) | Drivers | By: Tomas Scheckter

Editors Note: Over the course of the off-season Tomas Scheckter will be writing from time to time updating us on his current racing pursuits, telling us his most memorable moments, and providing the fans with insight from inside the cockpit.  Tomas is one of the most exciting drivers to watch in the IZOD IndyCar Series and as you’ll soon realize he’s got a lot to say.  He’s not afraid to express his opinions so keep that in mind… these blog posts are HIS opinions.

First things first, I have to admit I have never written a blog before and, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever read one before.  A friend approached me and asked me to write up something after some heated exchanges between myself and Paul Tracy on Trackforum.com (more on that later).

The same friend who got me to write this blog recently brought by a recording of a TV show that aired in England not long ago and it really inspired me.  The title of the show was “When Playboys Ruled The World.” It’s a documentary that covers the lives of Barry Sheene and James Hunt.  It was during the year 1976 in which Barry Sheene won his 500cc Championship (which later became MotoGP) and James Hunt won the Formula One World Championship.  These two were no ordinary champions. They lived life to the max and on the ragged edge.  James had even been known for punching track marshals for restraining him after an accident.  James and Barry were no strangers to the party scene either, even to the point that James sported a badge on his race suit that said “Sex Breakfast of Champions.”

James Hunt and Tomas’ Father, Jody Scheckter, are interviewed after the 1976 British GP

The side of these two that most didn’t see, and the documentary brought to light, was the tangible danger they faced weekly.  They speak during the documentary how each of them lost upwards of 25 friends to the sports they loved.  I like to think of myself as quite fearless and there is really only one moment in my career where I remember feeling fear.  It was the morning Paul Dana passed away at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  I’d seen Paul that morning as he parked his rental car right next to my bus and I remember greeting him.  During the morning warm-up a yellow came out to clean up an incident and after about 15 minutes they cancelled the session, which they NEVER do.  I knew my teammate Ed Carpenter had been involved but I didn’t know how bad it was.  I went back to my motorhome after the session had been ended early to take a quick nap before the race got going.  I was sitting on my bed as it came across ESPN that Paul had passed.  I was in complete disbelief, my stomach turned, and my girlfriend at the time did her best to console me but I was feeling completely disconnected.  About 3 minutes later my team manager called and said “Tomas, the race is back on, driver intros in 30 minutes.”  I hadn’t felt confident in the setup of my car during warm-up and this tragic incident didn’t boost my confidence any.  I have no idea where I finished in that race but I knew it was the best finish Vision Racing had at that point.  After I got out of the car there were some people trying to come speak to me.  I was in no mood to speak to anyone, pit lane lost a great individual that day and my great friend and teammate was in the hospital.

The feeling of fear is what sometimes drives us to the limit.  It’s not the speed that’s exhilarating; we’re all used to the speed. It’s knowing that there’s a chance you might not come out the other side of the corner.  It gives you that feeling in the pit of your stomach, as much as you hate it, it becomes addictive and that’s why it’s so hard to walk away from this sport.

There’s no track in the world that gives that feeling more than Indianapolis and that’s exactly why I think we need to be going 230 – 240 mph.  Great ad campaigns like IZOD’s and leadership are of the upmost importance to any sport, but racing is sexy, dangerous, loud, scary, and on the edge.  It’s all about speed, going for it, and breaking records.  220 is a thing of the past, if we’re approaching 240 we’ll be on the front page of every major newspaper in the country.  Racing needs to get back to being on the edge, being on the edge is what Indy is all about.  It’s the bravest drivers at the fastest track taking it to the absolute limit.  We’re not playing ping-pong, darts, or bowling.  We’re driving IndyCars at the greatest racetrack in the world and that’s a privilege.  If you want that privilege, you have to ask yourself, “Am I willing to take that risk?”  If the answer is no then it’s time to hang it up.  There’s no greater feeling in the world than being able to say you were lucky enough to be one of the 33 drivers at Indianapolis.

Tomas putting on his helmet

Tomas Scheckter

My dad will probably hate me for saying this as he was the head of the Drivers Association when he was in Formula One.  They focused a lot on safety but back in his days they lost 2-3 drivers a year.  It’s a whole different world today.  I’m not trying to say I want to see people get hurt or anything but I do think it’s important that we get the fans respect back.  There are things we can do better to increase the safety, but still allow for higher speeds.  Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti have started having some meetings with drivers to get everyone’s point of view on safety, etc.  It’s my opinion we can absolutely go 230-240 mph safely.

During this same documentary, they spoke about James’ and Barry’s exploits as “ladies men” and how open they were about it.  Gerhard Berger made one comment that regardless of their extra-curricular activities they were still able to get the job done.  Being great drivers made these guys famous, but their personalities and emotions made them legends.  We need more of that.  A good example was last year. I  was sitting in my car after the Edmonton race, completely exhausted, seeing Helio Castroneves running around shouting and grabbing people (who easily could have tossed his butt all the way back to Brazil.)  I loved that.  It showed true emotion and it showed just how much emotion we all have invested in this.  My other thought was, the WWE needs to get Helio in the ring, he’s a great performer.
I fully understand that racing is expensive and sponsors want a certain image but I think for the overall popularity of the sport everyone needs to loosen up.  I would love to go back to the ‘70s or ‘80s and drive past the Snake Pit after a long day at the track.  I would love to not be afraid to tell someone to stop “crying like a baby,” even though I’ve done that anyway.  I read Graham Rahal’s tweets. He is a great kid and super talented but he is about as exciting as British politics.  He is in his 20s, he drives the fastest cars in the world and he’s speaking about holding hands and getting double frappaccino with whipped cream.  I’m not saying rob a liquor store or anything crazy like that but let loose, live a little.

I think anyone who steps into a race car has to be mentally and physically prepared.  I spend a ton of time in the gym and I sleep in an altitude tent in preparation for race weekends.  I weigh myself every single day.  It’s important to have respect in combination with fun.  As much as we all enjoy chasing girls we still control some very powerful machinery and take our own lives as well as the lives of the spectators into our hands every time we go on track.  With that type of responsibility if you don’t have respect for it you shouldn’t be involved.

I hope I didn’t make too many people angry over the course of this.  I can honestly say I love each and every single one of you fans and the amount of support you’ve shown me over the years has been incredible.  I hope to be writing more often here.  And hopefully, if everything comes together, I’ll see you all at the greatest place on earth, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Big news today at the IZOD IndyCar Series as we have finally succeeded in obtaining the Twitter account that our fans have been asking for, @IndyCar. Today marks an exciting change from our days with @IndyCarNation as we will go forward with an increased focus on creating better connections with our fans and followers. What does this mean? It means post to our Facebook wall, Tweet at us, leave a comment under our videos and blogs and expect to hear back answers to your questions and even more content that you approve of and ‘like.’

Our previous Twitter followers will notice that Twitter has automatically updated your following list to reflect the change. In the future, all you will need to do is make sure to tag @IndyCar when mentioning us in your Tweets (and let’s face it, saving six characters when you only have 140 to work with actually IS a BIG deal!!).

Anyone that is not currently following us on Twitter, now is the time to start. Add @IndyCar to receive exciting updates, exclusive photos and videos, and a special offers and giveaways from our corporate partners. As part of the announcement, the 250th user to retweet our new Twitter handle will receive an exclusive IndyCar prize pack. Stay tuned to hear who the winner is…

Follow the IZOD IndyCar Series on Twitter @IndyCar

Follow the IZOD IndyCar Series on Twitter @IndyCar

Latest Chassis Design

Posted on: November 14, 2010 | Comments(6) | 2012 Chassis Designs | By: Daniel

With all of the excitement——and questions around the Future IndyCar Concept Announcement. We at IndyCar.com thought we’d enlist our users to have fun with the open design concept that the 2012 IndyCar chassis will endorse. For more information please visit the www.indycar.com/2012 page for interviews, car information and of course…the details on how you can design your own concept.

Here is the latest design from Italy and Daniele Sanfilippo (who has already sent us multiple cool designs). Take a look and let us know what you think. AND – remember, you can submit your designs to us. We’d love to see them.

Daniele had this to say about his designs:

In this proposal, I have not given the initial design provided by Dallara. I built this from scratch mistaken some proportion. To be my first 3D design I’m quite happy.

In this car I tried to create a connection between the cars of the late ’70s and what could be the future concepts for the utilization of materials. As you will see on the sides are missing the air intake vents. In fact there are! Are vertical slots that follow the car’s aerodynamic profile. The sides are designed in two blocks. The upper part tapers towards the tail, creating the effect of Coca Cola is already known in F1. The bottom, however, is developed on the other hand, creating the side of safety necessary to avoid “engaging” among the cars.

The rest is all fiction that probably will not make the car go fast, but it certainly makes it pleasant to behold.

New 2012 design by DanSanfy13 front view

New fan submission from Daniele Sanfilippo.

[More]

Latest Chassis Design

Posted on: October 27, 2010 | Comments(16) | 2012 Chassis Designs | By: Jarrod

{Admin Note} With all of the excitement——and questions around the Future IndyCar Concept Announcement. We at IndyCar.com thought we’d enlist our users to have fun with the open design concept that the 2012 IndyCar chassis will endorse. For more information please visit the www.indycar.com/2012 page for interviews, car information and of course…the details on how you can design your own concept.

Latest design is in from Levi Hosselrode! Check out the angles he sent us:


Quarter view

Quarter view

This photo of the front view is particularly interesting:

Head on view

Front view

Sideview of Fan Design

Side view

What do you think of this new design? Leave a comment on the blog! Also, check out the complete archive of chassis entries in our Flickr set: here.

Remember: We are always accepting new designs, so get creative! We’d love to see what you have been working on.

150 Miles of Carnage

Posted on: October 26, 2010 | Comments (0) | iRacing | By: Brian

It has become our league’s standard for our races at Phoenix to have quite a few cautions at the start and then generally a long green flag run.  This seasons opener at the one-mile oval in Arizona was no exception.

We had a decent sized field of 28 drivers show up to take to the track and practice showed (with multiple crashes) that this was going to be a race of attrition.  Qualifying was as close as ever with the top three drivers being seperated by less than a tenth of a second.  Yang Ou started the season off with bonus points by taking the pole with John Paquin, Tim Holgate, Tim Doyle, and Larry Foyt filling out the rest of the top 5.  I made a small mistake in qualifying which slowed what should have been my fastest lap resulting in a disappointing 10th place starting position.

John Paquin

John Paquin

Lap 1 of the race didn’t last very long as the caution came out before we’d even made it down the backstretch.  I assumed it was going to be a long race and settled in, preparing myself for multiple cautions.  When we went back to green flag racing Firestone Indy Lights driver James Davison and Firestone Indy Lights Manager of Business Development Tony George Jr.  made it three-wide as they took an aggressive line to my inside.  I lifted and let them through.  As we came back around the next lap James’ car began to understeer resulting in a late spin.  I was about 8 inches off Tony’s gearbox and tried to pick the correct line through.  Unfortunately James came back across the track and collected me ending my race on lap 7.  A disappointing result as I felt I had one of the best cars on track.

Sciuto

Dan O and Niles Crash

[More]

IndyCar & Baseball

Posted on: October 22, 2010 | Comments(7) | Random | By: Dave

The IZOD IndyCar Series’ 2011 schedule basically runs concurrently with the Major League Baseball regular season and League Championship Series playoff schedule. And because IndyCar visits many markets with major league and Triple-A teams, this is a public service for potential vacation planning.

IZOD Tool Boxes

IZOD on the Road- Tool Boxes

Dates on which there’s a baseball homestand or individual game near an IndyCar event venue:

March 27 – Streets of St. Petersburg (Fla.). The Tampa Bay Rays open the season at Tropicana Field with an April 1-3 homestand against Minnesota. Extend your spring break stay from the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

April 10 – Barber Motorsports Park (Ala.). The Atlanta Braves’ home opening stand is April 8-10 against Philadelphia.

April 17 – Streets of Long Beach (Calif.). St. Louis visits the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14-17.

May 29 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians have a homestand in which they play host to Columbus (May 13-16) and Buffalo (May 17-20). Opening Day at the Speedway is May 14, with Pole Day on May 21.

June 11 – Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas Rangers are home to Detroit on June 6-8 if you want to come early and watch a game or two before the racing doubleheader under the lights.

June 19 – The Milwaukee Mile. The Brewers kick off a homestand June 20 against Tampa Bay.

June 25 – Iowa Speedway. The Triple-A Iowa Cubs play host to Memphis (June 21-24) and Albuquerque (June 25-28). June 24 is Fireworks Night.

Aug. 28 – Infineon Raceway (Calif.). The San Francisco Giants play host to Houston (Aug. 25-28).

Sept. 4 – Streets of Baltimore. The Orioles’ homestand against Toronto ends Sept. 1. The Washington Nationals are home to the New York Mets on Sept. 2-4 and continue their homestands Sept. 5 against Los Angeles.