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#31 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 01:52

- Nakon sto je potvrdjen angazman Satoa u Andretiju, jos jedna kockica mozaika je pala na mesto: Huanpablo Montoja je potvrdjen u Penskijevom petom bolidu, za sada samo na Indi 500 ali moguc je nastup na jos nekoj trci. U medjuvremenu, Monti ce prekracivati vreme takmiceci se u Penskijevom programu sportskih prototipova.

 

Ovo takodje otvara vrata najavljivanoj kombinaciji Dejli - Munjoz kod Fojta, kao i angazmanu povratnika Hildebranta u timu Eda Karpentera u bolidu #21 koji je vozio Njugarden.


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#32 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:25

- Ocekuje se potvrda Hildebranta u Karpenterovom timu, navodno je dil potpisan!


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#33 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:29

 

1988 Nissan Indy Challenge from Tamiami Park in Miami. The CART season finale saw Al Unser Jr. claim his second win on the streets of Miami and win for the fourth time that season.

 

Unser led 88 of the 112 laps and clinched second in the championship behind Danny Sullivan, who had already claimed the series title for Team Penske.

 


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#34 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 15:59

- Hildebrant zvanicno potvrdjen, kompletna sezona za tim ECR u bolidu #21. Ceka se potvrda ko ce deliti #20 sa gazdom Karpenterom, Spenser Pigot koji je to prosle godine radio i Sejdz Karam su glavni favoriti.


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#35 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 13:40

- Aktuelni Indi Lajt sampion i dosadasnji vozac Karlina Ed Dzons vozice drugi bolid Dejl Kojn Rejsinga.

 

- Konor Dejli potvrdjen kod EjDzej Fojta, ceka se zvanicna potvrda Karlosa Munjoza.


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#36 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 16:50

Trenutno stanje sto se tice transfera vozaca za sledecu sezonu, plus glasine i nagadjanja:
 

INDYCAR: Silly Season portal *updated*
Tuesday, 08 November 2016
Mark Glendenning / Images by IMS Photo & John Bisci


Silly Season fans were gifted a rare treat this year, with an unusual amount of desirable seats becoming vacant - including one at each of the traditional 'big three'. Even more unusual was how quickly all of those seats were confirmed, meaning that the drivers who are still unemployed face a particularly fraught battle to land one of the few remaining spots. To help you make sense of it all, RACER has produced this handy-one stop guide to all the driver movements ahead of 2017. We'll keep you updated as various moves develop.
 
 
AJ FOYT ENTERPRISES

NO. 14 CARLOS MUNOZ UNCONFIRMED
NO. 41 CONOR DALY EXPECTED TO BE CONFIRMED

With the Newgarden- and Montoya-shaped pieces of the Silly Season puzzle having now settled, and Takuma Sato preparing to be announced as replacement for Carlos Munoz at Andretti, the two seats at the newly Chevy-aligned Foyt have become a major focal point for the raft of drivers chasing one of the rapidly-dwindling available rides for 2017.

Pretty much everyone with a racing license was linked to the team, starting with Munoz himself, who has been strongly tipped to replace Sato in a straight swap. So if that's as probable as we're led to to believe, then that only left the No.41 seat looking for a new owner ... and Conor Daly happily obliged.
 

ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT

NO. 26 TAKUMA SATO EXPECTED TO BE CONFIRMED
NO. 27 MARCO ANDRETTI CONFIRMED
NO. 28 RYAN HUNTER-REAY CONFIRMED

Ryan Hunter-Reay's deal with the team has been extended through to 2020, and Marco Andretti is similiarly secure in the No.27 for next year. Although there has been no official confirmation from the team yet, multiple well-placed sources have indicated that Takuma Sato will take up residence in the No.26 formerly occupied by Carlos Munoz.
 

ANDRETTI HERTA AUTOSPORT

NO. 98 ALEXANDER ROSSI CONFIRMED

The rumor mill briefly whirled with all sorts of potential opportunities for Rossi, but that was all put to bed relatively swiftly: Simon Pagenaud was still shaking confetti out of his racesuit when it was confirmed that Rossi will remain with the Andretti/Herta team that helped him win the Indy 500 and rookie of the year honors. Next year, he'll have some additional reinforcement in the form of engineer Jeremy Milless, who will move across from ECR, where he oversaw Josef Newgarden's rise to Penske-dom.
 

CHIP GANASSI RACING

NO. 8 MAX CHILTON UNCONFIRMED
NO. 9 SCOTT DIXON CONFIRMED
NO. 10 TONY KANAAN CONFIRMED
NO. 83 CHARLIE KIMBALL CONFIRMED

During the last few races of the season, the paddock was rife with chatter that Ganassi would return to Honda in 2017 - speculation that Ganassi eventually addressed by ... returning to Honda.

With Scott Dixon's place already secure, there was a big question mark over whether Tony Kanaan would remain with the team. The Brazilian was known to have been keeping his options open, but ultimately decided to sign a new deal for 2017. With Charlie Kimball having signed an extension at the end of 2014 and showing every sign of maintaining his strong relationship with longtime sponsor Novo Nordisk, the only grey area surrounds Max Chilton in the No.8. He told RACER a few weeks ago that he planned to start discussions about a new contract as soon as the season was over, and at around the same time, the team expressed a wish to sign the Brit to a multi-year deal. Several other drivers are known to be monitoring the situation, though.
 

DALE COYNE RACING

NO. 18 SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS CONFIRMED
NO. 19 ED JONES EXPECTED TO BE CONFIRMED
The first real shock of the silly season came in the form of a bespectacled, trophy-laden Frenchman, when four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais ended uncertainty over his future at KVSH by decamping to Coyne.

And the second seat? Given Coyne's recent history of waiting until about four hours before the first session at St Pete to settle its line-up, it might seem strange to think of how many drivers were having sleepless nights over the No.19. But that speaks to two things. First, there really aren't very many open doors for 2017. And second, the engineering changes taking place during this off-season point to a team that is preparing to be a far more consistent force next year.

That latter point will be enthusiastically welcomed by reigning Indy Lights champion Ed Jones, who should soon be confirmed as Bourdais' teammate.
 

ED CARPENTER RACING

NO. 20 ED CARPENTER CONFIRMED (OVALS)
NO. 20 UNKNOWN (ROAD/STREET)
NO. 21 JR HILDEBRAND CONFIRMED

As the guy with his name on the door, Carpenter will drive the No. 20 on ovals for as long as he wants to, and the only question mark over that side of the garage is what he'll do with the car on the road/street weekends.

Meanwhile, JR Hildebrand's solid performances in a third ECR entry at Indy over the past couple of years have been rewarded with a full-time drive; the Californian's first since Panther Racing went into the barriers in 2013. Hildebrand has long been eager for another chance to prove himself, and in the seat that put Josef Newgarden on the map, he'll have a solid platform with which to do so.
 

KVSH RACING

NO. 11 UNKNOWN

It's probably safe to assume that KVSH was blindsided by Sebastien Bourdais' plans to return to Coyne next year, given that Jimmy Vasser had been making optimistic noises about keeping the Frenchman just two weeks earlier.
But in the same story, Vasser also admitted that the team doesn't have its financial ducks in a row for next year yet. It was this uncertainty that spooked Bourdais, and which leaves a question mark over the team's plans for 2017.

Vasser told RACER that James 'Sulli' Sullivan might not be with the team next year, taking 'KVSH' back to simple 'KV'. But the changes don't stop there, with Trevor Carlin considering using a partnership with some iteration of KV to help ease his team's planned move from Indy Lights to IndyCar.
 

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN

NO. 15 GRAHAM RAHAL CONFIRMED

Team co-owner Bobby Rahal expresses an interest in adding a full-time teammate for Graham Rahal every year, but only if doing so will also benefit the No. 15 program. If that driver and their budget materialize, look for a second car.
 

SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORT

NO. 5 JAMES HINCHCLIFFE CONFIRMED
NO. 7 MIKHAIL ALESHIN CONFIRMED

Hinchcliffe's current contract runs through 2017, and Aleshin has signed on for a third year in Schmidt colors. So, no movement there. For a few weeks we had the tantilizing prospect that Schmidt might add a third car, but following Ganassi's move to Honda, it now appears that HPD's engine supply has potentially reached its limit.

 
TEAM PENSKE

NO. 1 SIMON PAGENAUD CONFIRMED
NO. 2 JOSEF NEWGARDEN CONFIRMED
NO. 3 HELIO CASTRONEVES CONFIRMED
NO. 12 WILL POWER CONFIRMED
NO. 29 JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CONFIRMED (INDY 500 ONLY)

Rumors were followed by denials, which were followed by more rumors, which were followed by lots of Josef Newgarden doing his best to pretend that he never even heard of Team Penske, never mind committed his future to it. So it was a great relief to all when it was finally confirmed that the 25-year-old has indeed signed on to replace Juan Pablo Montoya in the No.2 entry.

Or at least, it was a great relief to all except for Montoya himself. The Colombian certainly wasn't blindsided by the news, and his desire to remain in the series full-time prompted him to sound out opportunities elsewhere in the paddock. Arguably, the most appealing available seat was the No.10 at Ganassi, and when Tony Kanaan slammed that door shut by renewing his deal, Montoya reassessed his options and elected to accept Penske's offer of an Indy-only seat.
 

POTENTIAL PLAYERS

SHELBY BLACKSTOCK
2016: Indy Lights


The 26-year-old now has two Lights seasons with Andretti under his belt. He says that he's in no rush to move up to IndyCar full-time just yet, but is shopping around for a drive in next year's Indy 500.
 

MATT BRABHAM
2016: Indy 500


Brabham impressed many with a solid debut on the big stage at Indy this year, despite running with a start-up team. The Australian/American is keen for more IndyCar seat time, but with all signs from PIRTEK Team Murray boss Brett 'Crusher' Murray pointing to this year's effort being a one-off, Brabham is going to have to find opportunities elsewhere. In the meantime, he has Stadium Super Trucks and outings at the wheel of the IndyCar two-seater to keep himself busy.
 
 
GABBY CHAVES
2016: IndyCar, part-time with Dale Coyne Racing


The quick Colombian was unable to find the backing needed to build upon his solid 2015 rookie season with Herta, but managed to salvage something from this year by making a handful of appearances with Coyne. Highly regarded by many in the paddock, his prospects will once again be determined entirely by budget.
 

RC ENERSON
2016: IndyCar, part-time with Dale Coyne Racing


The Floridian pulled the plug on his Indy Lights program mid-season in favor of an IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio with Coyne, and then extended the deal to include Watkins Glen and Sonoma. His performances to date have already put him onto the radar of many, but will he have the funding to back it up?
 

JACK HARVEY
2016: Did not race full-time


The two-time Lights runner-up has two IndyCar tests with Schmidt under his belt. Harvey's ambitions of making his race debut in a one-off at Watkins Glen fell through, but he is continuing to work on trying to put together a deal for next year and remains optimistic about his prospects.
 

SAGE KARAM
2016: Did not race full-time


After parting ways with Ganassi at the end of 2015, Karam found a home in sportscars in the new F Performance Lexus – only for that program to be delayed until 2017. Karam is expected to remain in the Lexus camp, but will continue to look for opportunities in IndyCar. It's believed that he already has one potential Indy-only opportunity in the works, and Jimmy Vasser is also thought to be a fan.


LUCA FILIPPI
2016: IndyCar, part-time with Dale Coyne Racing


Filippi already has a lot on his hands for 2017, having just become a father for the second time in less than two years. But the peripatetic Italian is still keen to press on with his hopes of establishing something resembling a permanent home on the IndyCar grid. He has some budget available, but like so many others, it's enough money to start a conversation; not enough to end one.


SPENCER PIGOT
2016: IndyCar, part-time with ECR & RLL


Pigot earned a three-race deal with RLL for winning last year's Indy Lights title, and has since added a suite of road/street course appearances with ECR. In the absence of easy access to funding, Pigot famously made his way up the ladder by winning a succession of Mazda scholarships, but now that he's in an IndyCar, the job is to make sure he can stay there. Just ask Gabby Chaves.
 

ORIOL SERVIA
2016: IndyCar, part-time with Team Penske & RLL


The Spanish veteran hasn't been a big part of the Silly Season conversation up until this point - but that could quickly change if RLL decides to add a second car.
 

DEAN STONEMAN
2016: Indy Lights


Another contender for the Lights title and accompanying IndyCar promotion, Stoneman had has first taste of an IndyCar when he jumped into Andretti's No. 28 at the Watkins Glen test in August. The Brit lost a couple of years of his career to illness, and at 26, is looking to get into a frontline series sooner rather than later.

SANTI URRUTIA
2016: Indy Lights


Urrutia's late surge of form in Lights made him the guy to beat as the championship entered its final stretch, although he ultimately finished second to Ed Jones. He tested an IndyCar for Schmidt at Mid-Ohio in July.
 

ZACH VEACH
2016: Indy Lights


Veach returned to the cockpit in Lights this year after sitting out 2015, and added three victories to the three wins he earned in 2014. The 21-year-old impressed mightily when he drove Josef Newgarden's ECR car at the rookie test at Sonoma, but needs to find a budget to match his ambitions.


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#37 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 20:29

- Novi momenti, Rehol-Leterman-Lanigan blizu zatvaranja finansijske konstrukcije za drugi bolid za kompletnu sezonu, kao glavni kandidat za vozaca spominje se veteran Oriol Servija. Tim RLL je zadnjih par sezona bio jedini "mali" tim sa jednim bolidom koji se uspevao umesati medju "velike" (Penski, Ganasi, Andreti) a Grem Rehol je dve sezone zaredom bio najbolji vozac sa Hondinim motorom. Ocekuje se da ce Servijino iskustvo i podaci skupljeni sa njegovog bolida pomoci oko setapovanja Reholovog bolida i da ce se Rehol tako umesati u borbu za titulu.


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#38 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 19:09

- Kao sto je najavljivano, Konor Dejli i Karlos Munjoz zvanicno predstavljeni kao novi vozaci EjDzej Fojta.


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#39 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 16:22

- Doskorasnji Indikar vozac u timu EjDzej Fojta Dzek Hoksvort karijeru ce nastaviti u GT3 klasi IMSA sampionata spotrskih automobila.

 

- Tim SPM vlasnika Sema Smita, najuspesnija ekipa u istoriji Indi Lajt sampionata, povlaci se iz ovog takmicenja u zelji da fokusira svoje resurse na Indikar program. Ovo je verovatno i znak skore propasti Indi lajt sampionata koji vec par godina muku muci da navuce dovoljno ucesnika.


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#40 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 07:16

Verizon IndyCar Series teams and drivers will make a gradual shift from Brembo's braking package for the Dallara DW12 to a new solution provided by Performance Friction Corporation. Although IndyCar announced the vendor change in September, the specifics behind the migration were not provided.

Rather than implement a complete substitution this offseason, the switch to PFC as IndyCar's exclusive brake vendor from 2017-'20 will see teams use a blend of both packages next year and a complete move to PFC products in 2018.

"For 2017, teams will use the existing Brembo caliper and we will be providing brake discs, hats, pads, and hardware," PFC's Darrick Dong told RACER. A brand-new PFC brake caliper will replace the Brembo unit the following year.

"In 2018 the full package will be on the car; the design criteria for the caliper has been finished and expect teams will be able to inspect and review it in March or April, and to start testing with it after the Indy 500," he added. "It's a Monobloc caliper with all of the bells and whistles."

According to Dong, PFC took the opportunity to reduce the number of pieces required for assembly with each brake disc to lower weight and complexity.

"When we got the nod to provide brakes for IndyCar, the first thing we looked at was how to build carbon products that fit the existing Dallara system," he said. "We've incorporated a mounting package with 15 titanium pegs that go into the hat. The disc fits on top of these titanium pegs and we've been able to eliminate all the bolts and washers and extra items from the last package. It's a clever way of implementing a larger carbon content to the package than drivers have had."

 

In a blind test conducted at multiple tracks, PFC's discs and pads earned rave reviews, and after years of complaints regarding uneven brake temperatures, high wear rates, and excessive vibrations, braking could become a happier topic to broach with drivers next year.

"We're doing more testing on the Sebring short course and are looking at ventilating the pads to further reduce heat soak," Dong said. "We've been testing continually since the Road America test and the wear has been very good, the consistency has been good, and we've done three oval tests and had no vibration issues which was another problem teams have dealt with. Firestone was also happy about the vibrations going away."

Due to the somewhat late timing of the agreement between IndyCar and PFC, teams will conduct most of their pre-season tests using the full Brembo package (pictured above, Marshall Pruett image). The timing is tight, but Dong is confident PFC will deliver ahead of the March 1 deadline.

"We've committed to the series to have everything delivered at the beginning of March, but we know the second week of March is the first race at St. Pete," he said. "Our goal is to have at least one car set per team in their hands by the middle of February so they can test without St. Pete being right around the corner."


Edited by Rad-oh-yeah?, 19 November 2016 - 07:16.

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#41 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 19:57

The Verizon IndyCar Series expects to name the manufacturer of its new-for-2018 universal aero kit by the end of the year. Based on its previously announced plans to freeze development of the custom aero kits produced by Chevy and Honda for the 2017 season, IndyCar will commission a specialist firm to replace those kits. The new package will be used by every manufacturer involved with the series through the end of the decade.

"We've been working on this since April and the process has been ongoing; we're getting closer," IndyCar competition president Jay Frye told RACER. "Like we spoke about before, we're working on the looks of the car; that's the first big area of change. And then the other criteria, which is equally important, is to meet the safety and performance targets we've established, and we're hoping to have everything with who will make it and the timelines for it resolved before the end of the year. We hope to have some good news to share soon with everyone."

ARC, Dallara, Red Bull Technologies, and Wirth Research are among the companies known to have been engaged (or expressed interest) as potential suppliers of the 2018 universal aero kit. In concert with IndyCar's Tino Belli and Bill Pappas, Frye says his competition department has worked in a collaborative manner with those suppliers to achieve their goals.

"It's been a little bit of both," he added. "Last April, we came up with some ideas on the performance and safety, and then the next step was how it might look. We've had a lot of great feedback on how it would look aesthetically, and we have literally done thousands of versions of how it will look and have continued to change little things and then seek feedback.

"The Universal kit will be used through 2020, and then it will be followed by something new. The [current Dallara DW12] will be a hybrid of what we want it to look like until we decide what to do after 2020. The universal kit hasn't been a 100 percent clean sheet project, obviously, because we're working with the same [DW12] chassis, but a lot of the process has been working ideas back and forth to make it look as new as we can until we decide where to go with things after 2020."

At some point in the next month or two, Frye anticipates revealing a five-year plan that details IndyCar's road map for its cars, technology, and a variety of aspects pertaining to its future. Part of that plan will involve breathing life into the cottage industries that once supported the IndyCar paddock with custom designs and fabrication skills, and the universal kit, at some point, could be part of Gasoline Alley's revival.

"It's something we're interested in and we want to resurrect that industry so, once we're able to show the full five-year plan, you could see how it would work," Frye said. "We do have some timing constraints to get the universal kit going pretty quickly here so it can start testing next year, but after that, there are a lot of opportunities where production of the kit could work locally."

 

Uh, Njuijev Indikar aeropaket, dao bih levo mudo da to vidim!  :thumbs:


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#42 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 16:52

Jon Beekhuis explains the process of IndyCar tech inspection.


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#43 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 17:02

Josef_.jpg

PRUETT: New development for Newgarden
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Marshall Pruett / Images by IMS Photo, LAT


We work from the general belief that taking a young, race-winning driver like Josef Newgarden and exposing him to the full might of Team Penske will somehow transform the kid into an ass-kicking, championship-dominating machine.

If only it was that simple.

The Tennessean, who turns 26 in December, will indeed have access to every resource imaginable as the newest member of Penske's IndyCar empire. But as history suggests, delivering glory for the Captain will only happen after Newgarden makes a crucial mental transition.

After breaking into IndyCar with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing – Josef's equivalent of community college – and rising to the increased scholastic challenge with Ed Carpenter Racing, the blinding spotlight at Penske University has finally arrived. Gone are the gravy days of being an underdog where any amount of success was celebrated due to the long odds that were involved.

For Newgarden, years of safe and measured grooming at SFHR and ECR have been replaced with immediate pressure and unfathomable expectations. Or so it would appear from the outside.

"The way I see things in my lens, I agree, it is a lot like transferring college," Newgarden said. "People have asked me what it's like being around this type of group compared to my past teams, if the pressures are going to be different, if I feel a different responsibility. And I tell them it's really not that different. I mean, it really isn't. It is all the same stuff."

Months away from his first race alongside defending champion Simon Pagenaud, 2014 IndyCar title winner Will Power and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, adjusting to the new surroundings is first on Newgarden's priority list. Based on his experiences so far, it would appear Team Penske is working hard to smooth Newgarden's transition before the 2017 championship gets under way.

Newgarden_test.jpg

"You have a great responsibility that is bestowed upon you, both on and off the racetrack, and I haven't experienced much of the on-track portion, mostly just the off-track stuff," he said. "But, sure, there are different classes, if you will, there's different professors, but a lot of the workload is similar.

"A lot of what they expect from you, all of those pressures and all of those different things that they really require, feels similar. I feel the same demand, the same responsibility to uphold all of my tasks and responsibilities.

As one of IndyCar's most private programs, Newgarden didn't know what to expect once he was welcomed into the team's inner circle. His findings might come as a surprise.

Josef3.jpg

"I think there's a perception on the outside of what Penske is like," he said. "What is their working environment like? No one knows unless you're there. I had no idea what type of chemistry the group has, or how comfortable the working environment would be. Those are all questions I certainly had from the outside, as I think a lot of people do. At least people who have never been there. And then I got to experience the reality myself.

"What I have been able to experience so far in the last month, it has been wonderful. Just my life with the team has been very, very easy. They work at such a high level and they have such a large scope throughout the whole organization. Yes, it is a lot to take in, and there's a lot of information to process. But at the same time, it is almost easy to integrate yourself because they have so many tools and so many things to help you integrate."

It's too early to judge how Newgarden will fare at Team Penske once the engines are lit, but the 2011 Indy Lights champion appears to be on the right path.

"I know it's on me to learn and get plugged into their approach to IndyCar; they're not expecting to have to teach me to do anything to fill in any gaps," he added. "There is absolutely no magic within the Verizon IndyCar Series. If you look at what we did at Ed Carpenter Racing this year, we took the fight to Penske. We were, at times, capable of being on their level and sometimes better than their level.

Josef2.jpg

"What I have learned is the same skill sets, the same things that I had to do before Penske, the same preparation, the same type of process that I go through on a race weekend, it's going to be exactly the same here. I'm going to be doing the same thing. I'm going to be doing the same job, using the same skills I have acquired over the years to try and find success at Penske."

The rosy, new-relationship period will soon be forgotten. Dealing with the hardest part – handling his teammates' ferocious hunger to win – will have to wait until March at the season opener in St. Petersburg. Although I'm not sure it has been fully realized, it's the one area of the Penske move that could burst Newgarden's bubble.

"I am excited to get to next year and see what the on-track portion is like," he said. "I guess in a way it has been cool because it hasn't been vastly different from what I have experienced in the past. You are just transferring up to a higher level."

That level change is where Newgarden's destiny will be revealed.

We've seen ingredients that point to the possibility of greatness behind the wheel at his previous teams, but possessing immense natural driving talent isn't unique among the legendary Penske drivers. What separated a Mark Donohue and Rick Mears from so many others took place between the ears, and the sooner Newgarden recognizes it, the faster he can shape himself into the driver RP is after.

Despite impressing the world while driving with part-time teammates at SFHR and ECR, Newgarden is in for one hell of a surprise at Penske. He's never encountered drivers who work harder or more obsessively outside the car than Pagenaud and Power. As he'll soon learn from the Frenchman and Australian, their trophies and driving titles are a byproduct of the untold hours spent outside the cockpit scrutinizing and addressing their weaknesses.

Where most drivers are gym rats, previous few add that layer – the one that separates the goods from the greats – found only in deep introspection. If Newgarden is going to eventually match and overtake Pagenaud and Power, it will require embracing the same kind of OCD that drives them to master every technical facet and all the inner workings of their minds.

Although Newgarden bristles at the idea of being perceived as incomplete, we should have an inkling of whether he arrived at Penske as a work in progress or a finished product by the time we get to the 101st Indy 500 in May.

"Yes, there are different resources; yes, there's a little bit of a different process, if you will from the way they are set up structurally at ECR," he said. "Most of what you have to do to be successful at this level has all got to be shaped at this point. So looking at it that way, you say, I should be able to hit the ground running.

"Hopefully, I can use the additional resources, the additional teammates, the extra data and just make myself better and make a better jump in performance. That is what I think everyone hopes, and I certainly hope that too, but time will tell to see how I react. And hopefully, there's not many hiccups along the way and we hit the ground running and we are successful right off the bat."

newgarden_crash1_copy.jpg

Will Newgarden buckle under the weight of having to practice his craft at its highest form? It's hard to picture; his steely determination after flying in practice at the 2015 Indy 500 and again after breaking bones at Texas in June (pictured) revealed a tough character who isn't afraid of the unknown.

Are there holes in his game waiting to be exposed by his teammates? Of course. We are, after all, talking about a 25-year-old being drafted into IndyCar's most successful team. Even a veteran like Pagenaud stumbled on his debut and endured a humbling year before figuring out how to curb the mental misfires.

Few would question Newgarden's ability to blitz the field on road and street courses, or on ovals, but that isn't the measure for greatness at his new home. When Indy 500 wins and IndyCar championships are the only acceptable outcomes for a team celebrating its 50th anniversary, the weight on Newgarden's shoulders will only intensify. Ask Juan Pablo Montoya how thin the line between hero and has-been is at Team Penske.

If Pagenaud needed a year to elevate his game to title-winning status, the professional revelations awaiting an up-and-coming driver like Newgarden should be significant. It will also make tracking his growth and maturation at Penske a thoroughly compelling thread to follow in the years ahead.

How fast is Newgarden? He's a rocket; we all know that. How hard will he attack his professional development, and will that effort surpass his teammates? The history books await those answers.


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#44 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 19:06

The current Dallara DW12 chassis could be used at least through the 2020 or '21 IndyCar season before a new car is developed.

The 2016 aero kit packages have been frozen for '17 so Chevrolet and Honda are not allowed to make any developmental changes.

In 2018 a standard kit will be used by both manufacturers, and IndyCar's president of competition and operations Jay Frye thinks that will increase the lifespan of the current Dallara.

"We are coming up with this universal kit in 2018 and its shelf life may be three to five years so when we do a new car has yet to be determined," Frye said.

The DW12 began competition in 2012 and remained a spec chassis for three years before the manufacturers were allowed to develop individual aero kits.

David Faustino, race engineer for 2014 champion Will Power, believes the way the DW12 has evolved has minimised the need for a new car.

"The tub and the gearbox and bellhousing have stayed the same but the engine has constantly changed and over the past few years the aero kits have constantly changed so the concept of the car has changed," Faustino said.

"If they have changes like that every two to three years it's enough to not make the car look so stagnant.

"They could swap in a new tub and no one would know the difference."

The introduction of aero kits for 2015 increased costs to manufacturers and teams, and split the field at times as Chevrolet initially outperformed Honda by a wide margin.

The hope is that the standard aero kit will resolve these problems and lure a third manufacturer into the series.

"We have a plan and talked about it with our paddock and both Chevrolet and Honda and they are very enthusiastic about that plan," Frye said.

"Simultaneously we have also shared this plan with other OEM [manufacturer] prospects because we thought it would be wise for them to have equity in the direction we are going.

"The worst thing we could have done would be to come up with a plan and then taken it to the other OEMs and they didn't want to do that either.

"We feel good about where we are at, where we are going and confident we will get another OEM."

Frye hinted that other areas of the rulebook - particularly surrounding mechanical grip - could be opened up for development after the standardised aero kit arrives.

"There are more things to come," Frye said.


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#45 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 22:26

James Hinchcliffe gave his hometown crowd something to cheer about last summer, and now he is helping to make a child's dream come true).

The Mayor of Hinchtown, who qualified sixth and finished third in this year's Honda Indy Toronto, is auctioning off the driver's suit he wore in this year's race to Make-A-Wish Canada. It's the same suit on which that could write messages of support (in exchange for a donation to the charity) to the 29-year-old Toronto native following his near-fatal accident at Indianapolis in 2015.

In addition to the 2016 suit – and his never-worn 2015 suit – people can also bid on the driving suits of fellow Canadian stars Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani.

The auction begins today at noon and runs through Dec. 11. For details and to start bidding, visit the Make-A-Wish Canada site.

Hinch_suit2.jpg


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