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#1 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:31

Vreme je da se pocne i ova tema...
 

IndyCar's 2018 bodywork pricing set
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Images by Pruett, IMS Photo

MarshallPruett_IndyCar_2018BodyworkTest7

 
Verizon IndyCar Series teams have received guidelines on how to budget the upcoming switch from aero kits sold by Chevy and Honda to new universal kits produced by Dallara.

RACER has learned that through a deal arranged between IndyCar and both auto engine manufacturers, each individual entry will be provided with two free 2018 bodywork kits that include all of the parts and pieces required for the variety of road courses and ovals on the calendar. For example, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, which runs one Honda-powered car for Graham Rahal, will receive two free kits from Honda to outfit his primary and backup car. Team Penske, which runs four Chevy-powered cars, would receive eight free kits from Chevy, and so on.

Although those two free kits will arrive with all the necessary components to complete the 2018 updates, teams have been told to prepare for two out-of-pocket labor expenses in the conversion process for every Dallara DW12.

The first involves $2,720 for a round of tub updates that will install new mounting locations on the DW12 in order to affix the 2018 bodywork. The second expense of $2,760 is to have the forward portion of the current floor modified to the new 2018 shape and profile. Altogether, teams will spend $5,480 per chassis. The installations are expected to be carried out by an external vendor, possibly Aerodine Composites in Indianapolis.

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After teams make use of the two free kits, each additional kit will cost $90,000. By repurposing some existing bodywork pieces like the nose cone, floor, front and rear road course wing main planes and few smaller components, Dallara's 2018 universal package has come in well below the estimated $125,000 to $165,000 teams have paid for Chevy and Honda aero kits.

Prior to the aero kit development freeze for 2017, teams also paid approximately $15,000 for annual bodywork updates. IndyCar has removed that cost by eliminating updates during the universal kit's three-year lifespan. The $90,000 price for the universal kit has also been guaranteed through 2020.

Although the 2018 universal kit comes in between $35,000 and $75,000 lower than the current aero kits, there is one negative to consider: The $90,000 figure is above the series' original and incredibly optimistic target of $60,000 per kit.

Although the initial 2018 bodywork kits used in testing by Team Penske and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports were manufactured at Dallara's primary base in Italy, it's anticipated Dallara's American factory in Speedway, Indiana, will be responsible for producing the dozens of kits required to outfit the entire field.

ELECTRONICS

In addition to the bodywork changeover, IndyCar teams will also need to update their DW12s with a new electronics package created by Cosworth. A payment option to spread costs over three years is also in place for teams looking to reduce the immediate cash outlay.

Per car, paid in full, the new data logger is $13,500 (or $4,500 split across three yearly payments), junction boxes are $8,901 ($2,967x3), wiring looms are $16,002 ($5,334x3), and the power distribution unit is $3,501 ($1,167x3).

Cosworth has two options for its new LCD digital dash where a complete 2018 steering wheel data package can be purchased for $12,000 ($4,000x3), or teams can have their current dash units fitted with the new screen, only, for $1995 ($665x3). The latter option is expected to be used in most instances.

On the three-year Cosworth plan, which most teams are expected to use, the cost per car heading into 2018 on the data/electronics side would be $14,633 if the cheaper dash LCD update option is chosen.

The final area of conversion costs involves engine-related electronics and ducting.

A new battery update ($599), engine wiring looms ($7,500), mounting boxes for the engine electronics ($2,000) and the turbocharger inlet ducts ($7,500), which feed air to the twin-turbo V6 motors and hold some of the engine electronics, complete the 2017-to-2018 chassis upgrade project at $17,599 per car.

With the $5,480 for tub and floor modifications, the least expensive three-year Cosworth plan of $14,633, and the engine-based electronics and inlet pieces at $17,599, teams have been told to forecast expenditures of $37,712 on each of the two free aero kit DW12s to go from 2017 to 2018 spec.

After the two free kits are used, teams can plan on adding $90,000 per kit for $127,712 per car.

One final cost for the Chevy-based brake ducts is still in negotiation, and the final price is expected to come in at $5,000 or less. A planned upgrade for the current McLaren TAG-400 ECU to the new TAG-600 model for 2018 has been pushed back to 2019.

Based on estimations, the two free kits represent more than $200,000 in savings for teams.


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#2 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 15:31

PRUETT: Farewell, aero kits
Friday, 15 September 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Images by Pruett, Feistman & LePage/LAT, IMS Photo

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At the onset of IndyCar's aero kit ridiculousness, Honda teams tried making downforce with 32 wings hanging off the front of their Dallara DW12s. Thirty-two. With the custom bodywork produced by engine suppliers Chevy and Honda, IndyCar's fastest, scariest corners transcended from fourth-gear dances to flat-in-sixth madness. Neck muscles strained; arteries bulged.

With every possible airfoil element and Gurney flap installed, and those wing angles dialed up to the max, Chevy's road course/short oval (RC/SO) package was capable of generating 6,826 pounds of downforce.

SIX THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED, and TWENTY-SIX.

Honda's kit, in full RC/SO insane mode, reached similar numbers, good for 6,683 crushing pounds of aero assistance.

Without the aid of power steering, drivers' forearms and wrists burned, joints were pummeled, while man- and woman-handling more than three tons of aero loading through the steering wheel. Lap after lap, all with inch-perfect precision at frightening speeds. The next time someone says IndyCar drivers aren't athletes, just point and laugh.

Whether you loved them, hated them or simply never cared, all the aero kit craziness that emerged in 2015 will come to an end after this weekend's race at Sonoma. New, universals kits are on the way that conform to a lower-downforce approach. It should help tell the story of why the series' top drivers are deserving of hero worship.

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The brief, strange, three-year aero kit era helped IndyCar drivers shatter longstanding track records at road and street courses, eclipsing the achievements set during CART and Champ Car's mythical 1000hp days. At Indianapolis, slippery aero kits, coupled with modest power – well below the monstrous figures used to sail above 245mph on the straights – allowed drivers to race north of 220mph and qualify above 230mph.

Thanks to the tens of millions invested by Chevy Racing and Honda Performance Development into their respective aero kit R&D programs, unparalleled knowledge was gained on downforce production and drag reduction. Drivers and race engineers also became smarter as a result of the aero kit experiment.

To give the bodywork a proper farewell, RACER assembled a mix of personalities to share their open-ended thoughts on aero kits, and then asked each person to share one story – something incredible – to help close the chapter on the experiment.

Let's start with Scott Dixon, first champion of the aero kit era using a Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy in 2015, who now races for Honda:

I think it's easy to look down on them. Just for the sheer fact that the Dallara DW12 originally was not a very pretty car, but it raced really well, which I think was very good for the sport. Whenever you incorporate any kind of added competition or difference between manufacturers, then you're typically going to have one side make a bigger step, which ... I think Chevrolet did a very good job.

Dixon_WG_LATGregg_Feistman.JPGHonda had a period to re-correct some of it last year, and have done a much better job. I think for the racers at heart and the people that were involved with the process, I thought it was very cool. It added a different dimension. It added more engineering to it. It had been awhile since I had been in that scenario. I remember going and doing the first aero kit test and then the upgrades and it was really exciting. The car does this different. It does that different. It was just really, quite an exciting part to be or to work with. From a team standpoint, it was exciting.

On the downside, even this year when we changed over to Honda, you would try and explain to someone how one kit is better than the other at certain tracks. They'd be like, 'Oh, this weekend, good luck, hopefully you can win.' And you're like, 'Well, thank you, but it's probably going to be a very tough weekend.' To try and even explain that, you just see them looking at you with their mouths open like, 'What are you talking about?' So, it was just an added thing that didn't really bring a lot to the game, I guess? I think as a process and to be part of it was really cool but, I don't think it really helped the sport. I don't think most fans really cared.

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It's quite a hefty expense, I'm sure, that the manufacturers went through to make it happen. I never really got a vibe that anybody really cared about them, which is a shame. It would have been nice if they could have put that money into marketing or something like that.

Simon Pagenaud, winner of the second aero kit title in 2016 in his Team Penske Chevy:

I think it's funny, we always talk about the old days and how much love there was for the cars. I think we will forget how fun the aero kit cars were to drive over one lap of qualifying. The racing isn't bad at all, it's just been hard to follow, but we all got used to it. We all set up our cars now to be good in traffic. I will regret how much fun it is to drive, how much it feels like a video game sometimes.

I'm welcoming less downforce because it's becoming very, very difficult to make a difference and I found that a bit of a shame. You can just rely on the [aero kit] downforce. I'm welcoming finesse back and welcoming a little bit of sliding and tire degradation as well.

Team Penske president Tim Cindric, whose program has won more aero kit races than any other:

I think it was a welcomed differentiation in motorsport. The fact that the manufacturers were involved in a program or project – that's what you need. In any kind of motorsports, the most successful ones have the manufacturers engaged. And it's the first time in a while that manufacturers have been engaged beyond engines in IndyCar racing in quite some time.

Pagenaud.jpgSo, I think from that perspective, it was refreshing. What we had hoped is that over time, there would be more evolution of things, both on the manufacturer level but also on a team level. For it to be successful for the long term, I think the teams still had to have a way in which to differentiate themselves – a way to make up for any shortcomings that there might be. Unfortunately, the handcuffs were such that we ended up with essentially two spec cars because of aero kits instead of one spec car.

After the initial couple years, we started to question why we have the differentiation. It's always frustrating to know that you're going into a race weekend and fifth might be your best opportunity for reasons that aren't of your making. So instead of having that, you'd almost rather have the same opportunity as everyone, rather than the same opportunity of a few.

Charlie Kimball, son of an Indy car chassis designer, with experience racing three different Dallara models for Chip Ganassi:

It was really neat to see the two manufacturers' development processes. I think one of the things that, with the Chevy aero kit, when the Honda kit came out, Chevy were not sure how the sidepods were going to work, but they were really impressed I think with the bumper pod pieces (upper element, pictured below). And vice versa.

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I think that the Honda guys were really impressed with the Chevy front wing (upper element, pictured below), and the cleanliness and user friendliness of the Chevy kit, but didn't quite understand the bumper pods.

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And then you look at the evolution they did in year two, and two ways of skinning the cat started to come together. As an engineer-minded individual, a mechanically-minded individual, I really appreciated seeing that evolution, and seeing those two different groups come up with two very interesting and similar, but different, ways to skin those cats.

I think the great thing about what Jay Frye's [IndyCar] competition group has done with the new universal kit is hopefully to encourage more passing. With all this downforce, we've gotten to a point where brake zones are so short, and terminal velocity is a very real thing on almost all of our racetracks that we get to a point where you just can't accelerate past anyone.

It's seeming to show in testing that moving the downforce production from the top of the car to more underneath the car with the universal kit, you create cleaner lines visually, reduce the total downforce, but also make it less draggy so you accelerate, and you've got longer brake zones so that the drivers that can really dance on the brakes and make the car dance through the corners. Visually, fans should see more of what the driver's doing with the car. And I think that's a good thing.

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The more the fans can put themselves in the driver's seat, and see how special it is, what we do in the car, that's always going to be a good thing for the sport. It's going to be better for fans at the racetrack, it's going to be better for fans watching on TV.

Maybe it's the difference between wanting to go see SpaceX re-land their first rocket. Wanting to go see a land speed record set at Bonneville. And wanting to go see a basketball game where LeBron or any of those easily recognizable and instantly noticeable players with real talent is on display head to head against other athletes.

And the challenge and the beauty of IndyCar racing is that it is that combination of car and driver. It is the combination of person and mechanics. And when those percentages and proportions are such that the driver isn't as highlighted because of all the downforce, it's hard to make new fans. And when the percentage is the other way, that the cars are boring and it's only the driver making a difference, that's not cool either.

We have to make sure that we're always evaluating those proportions to do right by our fans, do right by our history, and the future of the sport.

JR Hildebrand, who has raced the same three models and serves as IndyCar's resident driver-engineer with Ed Carpenter Racing:

I think the idea of creating different aero kits for diversity, creating for innovation, those are at the core of what has made motorsports interesting and meaningful. I think in some way the aero kit exercise in Indy Car was an example of that, but now we're asking what the endgame is. Did it have a point? At this stage, applying that strictly to aero development that allows for incredible increases in downforce, it's probably not a particularly relevant space. It did certainly have a fairly significant impact on how the cars performed, but at what cost? And did the manufacturers benefit from it in a substantive way? I think there's a reason that we're going back to a more highly controlled formula with spec aero kits next year.

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I think aero kits showed us that we might have to think about the vehicle formula fundamentally differently going forward, and design for what we want for it to be. We've taken a step towards doing that, I think, with the universal kit. I'm bummed to see the separation of manufacturers go away, but at the same time, I think it's a necessary thing to do at this point, to recalibrate.

Michael Cannon, championship-winning race engineer with extensive aero development experience who looks after rookie Ed Jones at Dale Coyne Racing:

The aero kits that manufacturers came up with make a shocking amount of downforce. Elkhart Lake's are probably a very good example. Turn 7 and Turn 13 were always a pretty good long lift with the Champ Cars. With the current kit, that's just like flat-out.

The guys that took advantage of that downforce, that exploit that downforce on a week in, week out basis, those guys are heroes. You have to be unbelievably fit to put up the G-forces these racecars generate. I don't expect fitness levels to change with the universal kits, but I will say that it will be good to have the drivers represent a larger percentage of how quickly the cars get through the corners.

Scott Dixon's aero kit story:

Because I've been going to these tracks with whatever configuration car for, I don't know, 15-plus years, you typically have a pretty good benchmark for things. Probably one of the bigger eye openers, it was in the last two years, was going back to Watkins Glen. When you're taking Turn 10 flat (below), the carousel flat most of the time. It's just like, WTF, you know? The steering's so heavy. You're struggling to breathe. You're having to take a deep breath and then just sort of get stuck into it.

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At Mid-Ohio, all of a sudden, you're going through Turn 1 flat. Before, you're downshifting, going down two gears, and now it's flat, top gear. Some of these tracks that you went to you were just able to take these corners so damn fast. I definitely won't forget that.

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Simon Pagenaud's aero kit story:

The last race at Watkins Glen, obviously I ran really high downforce hoping for rain and the bus stop (pictured above) was blindingly fast. It is just crazy. I was thinking, in the race when I was saving a little bit of fuel, I wasn't braking for the bus stop...it's just unbelievable. I would lift, the car would slow itself enough, and back to full throttle... I've never seen anything like it.

Tim Cindric's aero kit story:

We haven't seen the strain on the cars on the short ovals that we've seen here. The first time our car came back from Iowa with an aero kit, and you start finding bent push rods and cracked wheels...and you haven't hit the wall...

That was our first big indication that the downforce levels we were seeing went beyond anyone's furthest expectations.

Charlie Kimball's aero kit story:

Barber Motorsports Park has always been so evocative for downforce. You take every pound of downforce on the car around that place. And that last section, when you come down the back straight, and then you've got that left-right up the hill over across the long right into the right left onto the front straight, that whole sequence... The first time in qualifying on Firestone reds with the aero kit and I went flat through the left, and breathe the throttle, down a couple of gears and back flat up the hill through the right...

I mean, you go across the alternate start/finish timeline, come in the pit lane, and they plug the intercom in and I'm sitting there breathing too heavily to give them any feedback. And I wasn't the only one.

Michael Cannon's aero kit story:

I look at the efficiency of Indy 500 package. I mean we went very, very fast with what's arguably a very small engine. I mean, it's only a 2.2-liter V6 engine and these things are still going around there in excess of 230 miles an hour. Yeah, so the efficiency of the package is very, very good.

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It took brute horsepower in the CART days to go around that place in the 230s and we're a long way down from that in Fast Friday trim. We're still turning those kind of lap speeds, but it's through efficiency. Maybe that's not as sexy to talk about, but it was a hell of an engineering achievement.

JR Hildebrand's aero kit story:

I'll give you the full-on, most extreme example I have, which was when I kind of realized holy s**t this is actually how far these things have come. Last year, when Tony Kanaan and I both did the initial, on-track testing that was leading into development of the universal kit at Mid-Ohio, they had a test plan laid out and at the end of the day there was a free run, basically. If anybody had a strong opinion about wanting to do something different, at the end of the day, we could do that. I wish that I had chimed in and suggested that we take the wings off and see what the cars would be like, but...

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In what ends up being the racecar driver's most pure mentality, we both, I think, just wanted to see how fast the cars could go. We've been running around this whole test day on full tanks of fuel, and never doing new tire runs. And so they allowed for both cars to run with every piece of downforce equipment possible, stacked on the cars. And we didn't change the setup or do anything to different prepare for that. We went out, and it was like, holy s**t.

If we had gone out on sticker tires on low fuel, it would have taken everything you had to just steer the car through the corner. It was a shocking amount of grip that the car was generating. I think that's the experience that still stands out to me most in terms of how much development really happened with the aero kits, how much both Honda and Chevy, through HPD and Pratt & Miller, what they really accomplished through that period.


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#3 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 01:52

Stefan Vilson, koji je ustupio svoje mesto na 101. Indi 500 Fernandu Alonsu, o planovima za 2018:

 


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#4 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 16:21

Novi bolid za sezonu 2018. prati i smena generacija medju vozacima. Stara garda koju su nekada predvodili Frankiti, Montoja, Kastroneves, Kanan polako odlazi sa scene a dolaze Njugarden, Rosi, Hincklif...

 

MILLER: The passing of the torch
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
By Robin Miller / Images by IMS Photo & LAT archive

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Late Sunday afternoon they were separated by about 50 yards in the pits at Sonoma Raceway as one was celebrating a championship and the other seemed to be reflecting on the reality that his amazing career as a full-time IndyCar driver for Roger Penske was over after 18 years.

Josef Newgarden, the new face of IndyCar racing, alternated between the euphoria of the moment and emotional recounting of the people who helped him reach the top step of his profession in only 26 years.

Helio Castroneves, the most recognizable face of IndyCar for the past two decades, sat on the pit wall and looked back on all of his good fortune and accomplishments while more or less looking forward to a new chapter in his remarkable story.

It was basically the passing of the IndyCar torch inside the most successful team in American open-wheel history.

"I can't compare Newgarden to anyone else really but he's an American, which is special in this sport because many of the other drivers have come from all over the world," said Roger Penske, who now owns 15 IndyCar titles to go with his 16 Indy 500 triumphs and 197 victories since 1969. "I've had so many great drivers and you know I don't have a favorite. But to see Josef get to the top this fast is pretty exciting. He's quite a talent."

Castroneves was walking to meet Morris Nunn in the early evening of Oct. 31, 1999 to sign with Nunn's team when his life changed. Greg Moore, already set to join Team Penske in 2000, had lost his life earlier that day at Fontana and The Captain beckoned the 24-year-old Brazilian to his motor coach.

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"I don't want to sound cocky but I had always dreamed of driving the Marlboro car, which of course was Roger's, and when I got the opportunity it obviously changed my life," he reflected after finishing fifth at Sonoma and fourth in the Verizon point standings. "I was so excited and humbled and thankful all at the same time and it took me about 10 seconds to say yes. Obviously, I worked hard to try and get to that point but it's hard to describe how fortunate I felt."

Had it not been for Sarah Fisher, Wink Hartman and Ed Carpenter, there's a damn good chance Newgarden would have been one of the many talented Mazda ladder kids to get one test or one year in an IndyCar before being banished to sports cars.

Those three gave Josef a chance to drive through his mistakes and grow up – something kids seldom get the chance to do anymore – and show the paddock he possessed all the right stuff. Along with engineer Jeremy Milles, he went from potential to the real deal. And Tim Cindric, who hadn't been a big fan a couple years earlier, saw the progress along with R.P.

"After he broke his hand last year (Texas) and then didn't miss a race and dominated at Iowa, I was really impressed," said the 80-year-old dynamo who still seldom takes a day off. "You could see he was talented but that kind of grit and determination is what told me we had to have this kid."

The fact Castroneves never won a championship is hard to believe when you look at his body of work but he's always been adamant he'd never trade one of his Borg-Warner Trophies for No. 1. Maybe the most amazing thing is that as good as he's always been at Indianapolis, he's never driven better or smarter everywhere than the past two seasons as he passed into his 42nd year last May.

"I can't drive any harder or any better than I did this year and I finished fourth in the championship, which just tells me how tough the competition has become in this series during the past few years," said the veteran who captured three poles, the Iowa race and only missed one Fast Six all season.

Newgarden, the first American champ since Ryan-Hunter Reay in 2014, was overwhelmed at the team in Team Penske.

"They all made me feel welcome, immediately, and it makes you want to work even harder when you see Helio still so competitive and in such great shape. He's an inspiration."

Following his 2015 Indy win for R.P., Juan Montoya certainly didn't want to become a full-time sports car driver and Indy 500 only participant in 2017 but understood the timing was perfect for R.P. to snatch Newgarden. So now he'll have a teammate in the Acura program who also has zero desire to leave IndyCar but understands his loyalty to Penske is foremost.

"I love everything about IndyCar," said Castroneves, who was scheduled to test the Acura on Monday at Sebring. "I love the speed, the competition, my team and this has been my life and my family.

"Like I've been telling you for several months, I know I have a job with Roger next year and I'll do whatever is best for him and this team. But I can still win the Indy 500 one or two more times."

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Tony Kanaan (pictured above with Castroneves at driver introductions before the Sonoma race) said it was a shame there was no going-away tour for his longtime pal and rival and there was an atmosphere of hoping he could go out with the championship last weekend. Fans and even other drivers seemed somewhat nostalgic when his name was mentioned.

"Behind all the sparkly teeth and hair gel is a hell of a competitor and hell of a driver and he's still up front all the time," said Dario Franchitti, another three-time Indy king.

"Helio is an inspiration and it's been an honor racing with him," said Hunter-Reay, the 2014 Indy winner whose duel for the win with Castroneves was one of the best ever. "His hunger has always stayed there."

After Sunday's finale, teammate Will Power got out of his car and gave Castroneves a hug, as if to say, 'Helluva run mate,' and that pretty much sums it up. He's been a great ambassador for IndyCar and one of its most popular and successful drivers.

Newgarden is the future of IndyCar and Castroneves is slowly being phased out. But we'll still see a lot of him in May and that just seems kind of fitting.


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#5 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 16:44

Ganassi confirms IndyCar reduction to two cars
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Image by Phillip Abbott/LAT

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Chip Ganassi Racing confirmed it will be paring its full-time IndyCar program down from four cars to two in 2018. As RACER has written for most of the summer, CGR was expected to lose sponsor-wielding drivers Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton to other teams, and with their departure, their Nos. 8 and 83 Hondas were likely to be parked.

The No. 9 Honda, driven by four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, and the No. 10 Honda, piloted through 2017 by Tony Kanaan, will stand as the two cars entered by CGR next year.
 
"We will be returning to a two-car team beginning in 2018 with Scott Dixon in the No. 9 and a yet to be determined second driver in the No. 10," Ganassi said in a statement released by the team. "This decision was based on the fact that we felt we needed to get back to our core business of running TWO championship caliber teams. It was a tough decision to make as it affects a lot of people.

"With news like this comes contraction and as such we had to let a number of good people go. The decision was not taken lightly but we felt it was best for our business. It is one of the toughest things you experience as a business owner – especially because I am all too aware that it is the people that make any company tick. We will be back in 2018 and ready to compete for our 12th INDYCAR championship."

New Zealand's Brendon Hartley is expected to be confirmed as Dixon's teammate in the No. 10 CGR Honda; Kanaan will move to A.J. Foyt Racing to drive the No. 14 Chevy, as RACER's Robin Miller first reported.

During last weekend's season finale at Sonoma Raceway, rumors of widespread IndyCar layoffs at CGR made the rounds. As many as 40 staff members are said to be searching for work. For those who aren't repurposed to CGR's IMSA, NASCAR or Global Rallycross programs, finding new employment opportunities in IndyCar should not be a challenge.

New entries from Harding Racing, Carlin Racing, Juncos Racing, expansion at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for Takuma Sato, and talent fortifications at Foyt, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and most other teams would make the transition from CGR rather swift.

 

Planiram da ispratim uskoro sve glasine potvrdjene i nepotvrdjene o transferima vozaca i kalendaru, koliko mi vreme bude dozvolilo vec sad za vikenAd...


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#6 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 03:05

Ganassi Racing cuts more than 40 staff
Thursday, 21 September 2017
By Robin Miller / Image by IMS Photo

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Most everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing had heard for the past few weeks that the IndyCar team was cutting back from four to two cars for 2018, so Wednesday's announcement confirming the contraction wasn't a total surprise.

But it was still some tough reality as a team owner that never lays people off during the winter and breeds loyalty for the way he treats mechanics cut loose 40 people on Black Wednesday.

"It was one of the saddest days of my life and it hurt because we lost a lot of good people. But it's part of the business and I think it bothered Chip as much as anyone," said veteran Ricky Davis, who has been a chief mechanic for much of his 23 years with CGR and will be back for next season. "Chip treats us good and, although he doesn't want anyone to know, he's got a heart of gold and he cares about the people who work at his race team.

"I got laid off at 4:45 p.m. once so I know how some of those guys feel, but the good news is that Andretti, Rahal and some other teams are hiring so I think a lot of our guys had job offers before they left the building and that made me feel good."

Besides mechanics and engineers from the teams of Tony Kanaan, Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball, CGR also had to let go of machinists, painters, graphic designers and sub-assembly people as the days of spec racing have reduced the need for in-house fabrication and creativity.

Mike Hull, the managing director of CGR, agreed it was a sad part of the business but necessary for future plans.

"Chip wants to get back to two championship-caliber cars and, believe me, he didn't take this lightly and it was a difficult decision," said Hull, now in his third decade of working for Ganassi. "The strength of this operation is in the quality people who participate and I don't know of a weak link in any of those four teams. But this is the direction we've chosen going forward.

"I hope a lot of these guys can stay in IndyCar racing and I'm sorry they have to pursue it this way but I think there are a lot of jobs out there, so hopefully they can land on their feet."

Chilton is expected to start his own team with Trevor Carlin and will be taking some of his CGR crew with him while Kanaan is lining up some of the No. 10 team to join him at A.J. Foyt in 2018.

As Marshall Pruett reported a couple weeks ago, Brendon Hartley is expected to join fellow Kiwi Scott Dixon and take over the NTT data car while CGR looks for a primary sponsor for Dixon.

 

Prakticno se otcepljuje B-ekipa Ganasija sa Ciltonom i Kimbalom i, ako su glasine tacne, nose svoje sponzorstvo kod Trevora Karlina i sa njim pokrecu Indikar tim.


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#7 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 17:13

Sta za sada znamo o sezoni 2018:

 

- Bolid:

 

Sasija i dalje ostaje Dalarina DW12, ali dobija potpuno novo ruho. Novi standardni aerodinamicki paket povecava prianjanje generisano patosom u odnosu na ono generisano krilima i gornjom povrsinom bolida, uklanja "kardasijanke" iza zadnjih tockova i visoki erboks, i pomera teziste bolida unapred. Izgledom podseca na zlatno doba Indikar trkanja pod sankcijom CART kada je sampionat otvoreno konkurisao F1, a prvi testovi su veoma obecavajuci.

 

- Kalendar:

 

Jos uvek nije sve gotovo, ceka se potvrda iz Meksika o mogucoj jednoj ili dve trke - u opticaju su oval u Puebli i staza Ermanos Rodrigez u Meksiko Sitiju (verovatno u nesto izmenjenoj konfiguraciji u odnosu na F1). Naravno, u svetlu nedavnog zemljotresa su se i pregovori zakomplikovali. No ono sto znamo je da ce se svih 17 ovogodisnjih trka vratiti i dogodine

 

- Sent Pit (ulica) 11. mart

- Finiks (kratki oval) 7. april

- Long Bic (ulica) 15. april

- Barber (autodrom) 22. april

- VN Indijanapolisa (autodrom) 12. maj

- Indi 500 (superoval) 27. maj

- Detroit (ulica) 2. i 3. jun - dabl-heder

- Teksas (superoval) 9. jun

- Elkart Lejk (autodrom) 24. jun

- Ajova (kratki oval) 8. jul

- Toronto (ulica) 15. jul

- Mid-Ohajo (autodrom) 29. jul

- Pokono (superoval) 19. avgust

- Gejtvej (kratki oval) 25. avgust

- Votkins Glen (autodrom) 2. septembar

- Sonoma (autodrom) 16. septembar

 

- Vozaci i timovi:

 

Za sada je potvrdjeno ucesce sledecih vozaca i timova:

 

- Andreti - Honda: #26 Zak Vic (ruki), #27 Marko Andreti, #28 Rajan Hanter-Rej, #98 Aleks Rosi (u saradnji sa BHA)

- Fojt - Sevrolet: #4 (pretpostavlja se da ostaje Konor Dejli), #14 (ceka se zvanicna potvrda Tonija Kanana)

- Ganasi - Honda: #9 Skot Dikson, #10 (pretpostavlja se Brendon Hartli (ruki))

- Harding - Sevrolet: #88 Gabi Caves (za razliku od prosle sezone, ove godine ce voziti sve trke)

- Junkos - Sevrolet: (Indi Lajt ekipa koja ce se ukljuciti u Indikar sampionat sa aktuelnim Lajt sampionom Kajlom Kajzerom (ruki))

- Karlin - (Sevrolet?): (Indi Lajt ekipa za koju se ocekuje da se ukljuci u Indikar sampionat sa Maksom Ciltonom i Carlijem Kimbalom)

- Karpenter - Sevrolet: #20 Ed Karpenter (samo ovali - ceka se potvrda ko ce voziti ostale staze), #21 Spenser Pigot

- Kojn - Honda: #18 Sebastijan Borde, #19 (ocekuje se povratak ovosezonskog rukija godine Eda Dzonsa)

- Lazir - Sevrolet: Badi Lazir (samo Indi 500)

- Penski - Sevrolet: #1 Dzozef Njugarden, #12 Vil Pauer, #22 Simon Pazeno, (ocekuje se jos jedan bolid za kompletnu sezonu, ako ne onda #3 Elio Kastroneves samo za Indi 500)

- RLL - Honda: #15 Grem Rehol, #16 Takuma Sato

- SPM - Honda: #5 (ocekuje se povratak Hincklifa), #7 (ocekuje se Robert Vikens (ruki)), #77 Tristan Gomendi (samo Indi 500)


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#8 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 18:22

The odds are looking stronger for Carlin to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018.

One of the most successful teams in junior levels of motorsports around the world, Carlin has been a favorite of the rumor mill to join North America’s top open-wheel tour since entering Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires in 2015. Speculation has increased about Carlin entering cars in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, particularly following Chip Ganassi Racing’s announcement on Wednesday that it was scaling back from four to two cars.

Team owner Trevor Carlin is quick to admit he isn’t the type to dabble in a venture, but rather dives in head first when it becomes sensible.

“This year, we’re quite flattered because we’ve had a lot people saying we should be doing INDYCAR from our first race weekend, but we like to take our time and build up to something,” said Carlin.

“When we start something, we like to stay in it. There hasn’t been a right moment in the past, but I think the right moment is approaching.

“I’m not going to stand here now and say it’s a done deal, but I would say that the odds on us being on the grid next year are the highest they’ve ever been. It’s just a case of putting the package together now.”

One thing working in the favor of it happening is the universal aero kit that all Verizon IndyCar Series entries will use in 2018. In team owner Carlin’s eyes, it would put his team on more equal footing with the veteran teams. It also provides a similar entry point to what Carlin encountered when he joined Indy Lights in 2015 when that series introduced its Dallara IL-15 chassis.

Carlin driver Ed Jones won the 2016 Indy Lights championship before graduating to the Verizon IndyCar Series this year. Carlin drivers won four consecutive Indy Lights races this season – three by Matheus Leist and one by Zachary Claman DeMelo.

The learning curve to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018 could be similar with introduction of the universal kit.

“That’s a bonus for us, really,” Carlin said. “I think we would have been looking to do it next year anyway. The fact is, the new aero kit is perfect because, obviously the big teams got massive resources where they can do testing and aero this and that, but I think that it does level the playing field for a team like us that could come in.

“It’s just timing. It was a bit of the same with Indy Lights. We were ready to do it and, at the end of 2014, the IL-15 was coming in. So the timing was perfect. And I think the timing is perfect again for INDYCAR.”

Being a part of the top tier of the INDYCAR development ladder the past three seasons has also allowed Carlin’s staff to learn the tracks and how “the system works.” It’s all part of a bigger plan as the British team aims for the next level.

Part of the allure for Carlin to continue building his racing empire in North America is the on-track action itself.

“Most of the series are pretty similar, to be fair, whether being in America or in Europe,” said Carlin. “Of course, Formula One is a different beast entirely, it’s almost more science fiction and space station technology than motor racing.

“The reason we love being here in Indy Lights and would like to do INDYCAR is because the racing is so good. It’s purer. On track, the action is thick and fast.

“It’s not a big difference in the racing, but we like America because it’s a bit purer and on track its awesome stuff.”

Carlin’s team has a storied history competing in the likes of British F3, Formula Renault 3.5, GP3 Series and other junior European tours. Drivers including current Formula One pilots Sebastien Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have driven for Carlin, not to mention Verizon IndyCar Series stars Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato.

But the two former Carlin drivers who have drawn the most interest and speculation about a Verizon IndyCar Series future with the team are Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball. Chilton’s father, Grahame, is already a financial backer of Carlin as well as CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s international division, the financial services company that has sponsored Max Chilton in his two Verizon IndyCar Series seasons.

With only Scott Dixon confirmed to return to one of the two Chip Ganassi Racing entries in 2018, conjecture has the younger Chilton and Kimball headed back to Carlin to drive next season. Whether that scenario plays out remains to be seen.


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#9 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 15:59

Uh, pazi ovo:

 

 

Autosport understands Carlin has held initial talks with McLaren in the past month, and there have been rumours that outgoing Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball could join the programme.

 

Koliko je verovati glasinama, ali prica se da su u Karlinov Indikar projekat kao partneri uz Trevora Karlina ukljuceni otac Maksa Ciltona i Zek Braun. I Cilton i Kimbal imaju jake sponzore, a Braunu ovo moze posluziti kao proksi za Meklarenovo ucesce u Indikar sampionatu gde bi Trevor Karlin vodio ekipu pod firmom Karlin-Meklaren. To bi obezbedilo i prostor za buduce Alonsove ekskurzije na Indi 500.


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#10 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 17:17

Majkl Senk o planovima za sezonu 2018. u IMSA sampionatu i na Indi 500:

 


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#11 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 16:52

Sebring, danas:
 
DKp8tFTVYAY7SuD.jpg
 

The Verizon IndyCar Series has doubled the number of cars it will have at its disposal for Tuesday's final test for its brand-new 2018 bodywork.

Along with the two primary cars it has used throughout the summer from Chevy affiliate Team Penske and Honda partner Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, RACER has learned IndyCar's visit to Sebring International Raceway's short course will also include a 2018-spec Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy and a Chip Ganassi Racing Honda carrying high-downforce 2018 universal aero packages.

As IndyCar aerodynamic director Tino Belli recently told RACER, the final validation test scheduled for Sebring would be used to sign off on revised brake ducting to cool the new and full PFC braking systems that will outfit every car in the field. New steering wheels, electronics and other components will also be tested on Tuesday.

Ongoing testing by Juan Pablo Montoya for Penske and by Oriol Servia for SPM will continue as planned, and it's believed Scott Dixon will handle the driving for CGR and ECR's Spencer Pigot will pilot its Chevy as his first duty as a full-time driver for the team.

Once all of the bodywork, electronics, and brake systems are delivered, teams will be allowed to start private testing with the 2018 package on Jan. 8.


Edited by Rad-oh-yeah?, 26 September 2017 - 17:01.

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#12 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 15:44

IndyCar completes 2018 bodywork testing at Sebring
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Image by Sebring Raceway

Sebring.jpg

The Verizon IndyCar Series completed its fourth and final test of its new-for-2018 universal bodywork on Tuesday in hot and humid conditions at Florida's Sebring International Raceway.

In addition to the two series-led cars from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing were also invited to bring 2018-spec cars, giving IndyCar two Chevys and two Hondas to help complete the signoff process on bodywork, brakes, electronics, and other items like onboard TV camera positions.

Oriol Servia (SPM), Juan Pablo Montoya (Penske), Scott Dixon (CGR) and Spencer Pigot (ECR) handled the official testing duties for the series, and in an interesting development, SPM's James Hinchcliffe and Penske's new IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden were also invited to sample the 2018 package for the first time after the series finished its to-do list with the Servia and Montoya cars.

Running until 6 p.m. ET, Hinchcliffe and Newgarden spent most of the afternoon in the cars and its believed the Penske driver and CGR's Dixon dipped into the high 53.0s range while Hinchcliffe, Montoya and Servia were just above the 54.0s mark as the thermometer approached 100F on a dirty track surface that was recently visited by Hurricane Irma.

"Couldn't think of a better way this could have gone, from the first lap at Indianapolis to the last lap I did today," Servia told RACER. "The mission was to test the car in different conditions, and A, see that the performance was what their simulation and CFD numbers were showing, and B, make sure the new parts weren't flying off the car or deflecting or moving around, and C, that the cooling for everything from the engine to the ECU to the brakes [worked properly].

"The mission was the check the boxes A-B-C, and not only we did go through all that, the car performed as expected in every department and at every track. IndyCar, Dallara, Chevy and Honda did a perfect job getting the cars ready for next year."

It was far from a clean day around Sebring's short course, and from Servia's vantage point, it's a welcome change after three years of using excessive downforce to keep Indy cars from being unstable.

"The car was a handful, because the car has 2,000 pounds less of downforce," Servia continued. "The setup that was working last year will not work on 2,000 pounds less of downforce pushing the car to the ground, and that's what [IndyCar] wanted. The cars move a lot; people were getting off-track and sliding around under braking and spinning. It was a handful. That's what we were all asking for, and it is. You could see all four drivers working hard to keep the car on track. It's cool, it's fun. The cars are fast on the straight, and I have to say, double thumbs up to the [testing program]. Every IndyCar team will receive a package that works as it says on paper. Mission accomplished."

Montoya echoed Servia's comments after handing over to Newgarden.

"And I think it's a great thing. I didn't think it was hard to drive," said the two-time Indy 500 winner, whose car control is second to none. "I thought it makes it, because you have less drag (and higher top speeds), it makes the braking zone a little harder. So you slide around a little more, it's easier to make mistakes, which I think is great for racing. That's a great thing.

"When you come out of driving the [2017] car with 6,500 pounds of downforce or more from the aero kit and you go down to where we are in 2018 [around 4,500], and you don't have all that weight on the back [with the rear wheel guards], it's more forgiving. I told the guys today there were four or five occasions where if it was the old car, we would have come out [of the corner] backwards. You know you're getting in trouble [with the 2018 kit], you can correct it, and it doesn't do anything nasty."

With the series approaching the hand-off point with the new 2018 package, IndyCar has set the first two Manufacturers' test dates where Chevy (Oct. 17 at Phoenix) and Honda (Oct. 23 at Texas) can start the learning process on their own.

During the four series tests that went from Indianapolis to Mid-Ohio and Iowa before concluding in Sebring, all of the data gathered was for and kept by IndyCar. Although findings from the four tests will be given the Chevy and Honda, the two October oval tests represent the first opportunities for the engine manufacturers to test without IndyCar setting the agenda.

 

Uh mnogo dobro izgledaju novi bolidi, ja vec imam blagu erekciju i jedva cekam da ih dogodine vidim uzivo u Torontu! :wub:


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#13 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 02:40

Newgarden, Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Pigot get first taste of 2018 package
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Images courtesy of Sebring Raceway, Feistmann/LAT, LePage/LAT

sebring_Dixon.jpg

 
New Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, four-time champion Scott Dixon, race winner James Hinchcliffe and new full-time IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot sampled the 2018 aero, braking, and electronics package for the first time on Tuesday, and all four left Sebring International Raceway with interesting takes on the experience.

"I didn't get to explore setups too much, but the car feels quite a bit different from what we've been experiencing," Newgarden told RACER after sampling Team Penske's 2018-spec Dallara DW12-Chevy (pictured below). "I think we've definitely been spoiled with the super downforce [through 2017] because the car does not work nearly as well as it used to."

sebring_Chevy.jpg

With a significant reduction in maximum downforce available in road course and short oval trim, Newgarden and the others who've tested the 2018 bodywork have been forced to wrangle cars that pitch and heave and slide without the crushing downforce levels used through 2017.

"It's a lot lazier, and it just does everything worse," he continued. "So, you have to dial your brain back, and that's not a problem; you'll just adjust to what the new capability and grip level of the car is. It's definitely more drivable, it's more predictable, but harder from a grip standpoint and easier to make mistakes.

"I don't mind it. It's a matter of reprogramming your brain and getting used to it. The good guys will do that, regardless of what the downforce is. They'll figure out what the limit is and live on it. I do like the longer brake zones. If you can build a better setup, there's more ability to overtake. It's opened up the brake zone to where you can fight for more depth and beat people."

After sorting through a number of teething problems with his 2018-spec Chip Ganassi Racing Honda (pictured, top) Dixon was taken aback by how much work will be required to establish all-new chassis setups to work properly with the big cut in downforce.

"I think you'll dial in a lot more; it was our first go of it," he said of the twitchy, dancing DW12. "Dampers, springs, even [suspension] geometry will have to change a little bit. The rear was lot more exposed. In the long run, Firestone are working for a slightly different tire for it, and the car we finished with today is nothing similar to the car we'd run normally."

From the cockpit of his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Hinchcliffe enjoyed the contrast of how the 2018 package performed compared to the first time he tried Honda's overdose of downforce at Sebring.

"It was definitely different, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun," he said. "I remember coming here when we got the 2016 [aero] kit and just being floored with how much downforce we had, and having to relearn how to brake because you could go so much deeper than you ever thought you could and how much entry speed you turn in at the hairpin, and now it's like going back to basics. You're going faster at the end of the straights, your braking zones are that little bit longer again, the cornering speeds are a little bit lower, but it feels like an Indy car."

feistman-watkins_glen-17-09-01-_830.jpg

Hinchcliffe also explained the difference between the increased number of small slide corrections the 2018 car has created versus the giant power slides from open-wheel racing's glorious past.

"Days of seeing cars drifting around Mid-Ohio Turn 1 died in the 1980s with the advent of ground effects, and we still have a radial tire that doesn't like a lot of slip angle; and now we're producing most of our downforce from a floor that needs air going straight under it, not sideways under it, so we're not going to be Gilles Villeneuve drifting his [Ferrari] T12 through the corner in that sense," he said.

"We all wish it was that, but it's not. For sure it's going to be easier to make mistakes. You don't have the downforce to band-aid a handling imbalance of flat-out a mistake on the driver side, so it's going to place more emphasis on us."

lepage-170730-to-10516.jpg

Pigot's brief time in IndyCar has taken place during the high-downforce aero kit era, making the Ed Carpenter Racing driver's input rather interesting. As someone who's only known massive grip in his Chevy-powered DW12, the Indy Lights champion wasn't disappointed by the lack of extreme aero assistance.

"I wouldn't say it's more challenging [to drive], but it's challenging in a different way," he said. "You're definitely sliding around more in the corners, having to work the steering wheel more; the car's definitely not as planted. It will end up magnifying any mechanical grip deficiencies you'll have. Maybe with all the downforce before, it hid some balance issues. It's fun."

From being more delicate with throttle application to keeping the rear of the car from beating the front under braking, Pigot relishes the idea of solving a new driving puzzle.

"The power-down is difficult," he said. "I think I'm going to enjoy it. It's another challenge. It's not going to be any harder [to drive] than the old car because it was very difficult to get everything out of that car, [but] maybe it will be more fun."


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#14 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 17:47

 

:thumbs:


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#15 Rad-oh-yeah?

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 13:02

Kalendar testiranja:
 

IndyCar sets 2018 testing guidelines
Thursday, 28 September 2017
By RACER Staff / Image by IMS Photo

Servia.jpg

 
INDYCAR has set its off-season and in-season testing guidelines for manufacturers and teams to learn the new universal bodywork for 2018.

The off-season testing window, which began with this week's test at Sebring, runs through March 29, 2018. The in-season window begins March 30 and ends Sept. 16.

Four open test days have been designated with all Leaders Circle entrants required to take part unless approved by IndyCar. They will be held Feb. 9-10 at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway), March 20 at Barber Motorsports Park and March 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Each Verizon IndyCar Series entrant will have five team test days – three in the off-season window starting Jan. 8 and two in-season. Teams with rookie drivers will have an additional three testing days (one off-season, two in-season). An additional off-season day will be granted to teams who test a current approved Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires driver.

Teams who operate full-season in both IndyCar and Indy Lights are granted an additional in-season test day between May 12 and Sept. 16.

Teams that are new to the series in 2018 will be permitted two additional test days (one in each window).

Manufacturers Chevy and Honda will have five days through Dec. 18 to test the aero kit, with no more than two cars allowed per manufacturer at each test; the manufacturer is not required to allow its other teams or the competing manufacturer to attend. INDYCAR has stipulated one of the aero kit test days for each manufacturer: Chevrolet will test at Phoenix Raceway on Oct. 17 and Honda at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 23.

Each engine manufacturer can conduct two days of off-season engine testing through March 29 and must permit any team using its engines to attend the test – even if a team is not invited by the manufacturer as an engine test team. Teams attending an engine test will not be charged a team test day, but each team is limited to attending one engine manufacturer test day. Teams of the opposing manufacturer may also participate in the test, but those teams will be charged a team test day.

Firestone is allotted four tire test days (two in the off-season and two in the in-season window) with two teams at each test. All teams, including those providing a tire test car, may be approved by IndyCar to have one car participate in team testing to run concurrently with the tire test. Teams will not be charged a team test day for participating in any tire test day.

Testing blackout windows have been set from Nov. 20-27, 2017; Dec. 16, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018; and within seven days of the start of any on-track activity for a race event (if the first practice of a race weekend is on a Friday, testing must be completed by the Thursday of the week prior). The exceptions to the blackout windows are for open tests and on Sept. 11-12, 2018.

Teams and manufacturers may test at any Verizon IndyCar Series race location in the United States (except street courses). Other approved tracks for testing include Auto Club Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Circuit of The Americas, Homestead-Miami (oval and road course), Kentucky, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Sebring International Raceway.


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