Danika ponovo u Indikar bolidu:
Jump to content
Posted 01 May 2018 - 23:59
"I've been wondering what the hell it was going to feel like" – Patrick
By: Robin Miller
Danica Patrick was more relieved than thrilled after her first day back in an IndyCar.
“I was just looking forward to get today over with so I could get on with the job,” said Patrick after being asked about her excitement level on returning to a single-seater for the first time in seven years. “Indy is a special place, but I wanted to get through the refresher test and then try and get comfortable.
“The steering felt so heavy, and I’m stronger than I was when I was here before but stock cars have power steering and it was hard to be aggressive.”
The only woman to ever win an IndyCar race turned 52 laps in her Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy and reached a top speed of 218.5 mph. She’ll get to run again Wednesday in the manufacturers test, but most of the questions in her press conference centered around being back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to end her career.
“I can’t think of a better place to end it than here,” said the 36-year-old veteran who vaulted into the headlines back in 2005 when she led the Indianapolis 500 in the closing stages. “It’s where it all started, and and it’s come full-circle.”
Carpenter, a two-time pole-sitter at Indy, was with Patrick all day, and she was also reunited with engineer Matt Barnes.
“I wanted to have a fun May, and I’m so glad this team is easy to work with -– it’s a good group,” she said. But after she left open-wheel for NASCAR full-time, Patrick admitted that she wasn’t sure the Indy 500 would ever be on her radar again.
“I tried to [run Indy] the second year I was in NASCAR, until two managers said that people questioned my commitment [to NASCAR], so I didn’t do it. I really did believe that I was never going to do it again. After that point in time, I was like, the further I get away from it, the more I don’t want to do it. But there was no wavering in my decision to come back.
“Since last fall I’ve been wondering what in the hell it’s going to feel like, and now I know. Tomorrow I’ll start running flat out and start making changes to the car and then we’ll be back in two weeks. That’s when it really starts.”
Posted 02 May 2018 - 00:01
Kaiser, Leist, Wickens complete Indy 500 rookie orientation
By: Robin Miller
Kyle Kaiser, Matheus Leist and Robert Wickens passed their rookie tests Tuesday on another perfect day for running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s tough to go slow because you have to run the throttle at 60-70 percent and hold it there,” said Leist, breaking into a grin after completing his three phases in A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply Chevy. “But I think it’s the proper way to do it.
“Because when it’s time to push it to 215mph and over, you’re ready for it.”
Leist won the Indy Lights race last year and Kaiser, who also competed, said it was beneficial as he takes on his newest challenge.
“You’re going so much faster, I mean that’s obvious, but my turn-in spots were the same and running all those laps last year helped too,” said the 2017 Lights champion who is driving for Juncos Racing.
“I was a little surprised at how light the wheel was and it’s making the car turn a lot better. I just expected a much heavier wheel, like on a road course.”
Kaiser was also thankful for Monday’s open test for IndyCar regulars.
“The track was really rubbered in and that helped us,” he said. “So when it was time to go 215 or over, I was able to go flat out and it felt comfortable.”
Wickens, who came within two laps of winning his IndyCar debut at St. Pete after capturing the pole position, had a little more drama than his fellow first-timers.
His primary Arrow Honda had gearbox issues after he completed his first phase. So they rolled out James Hinchcliffe’s primary Dallara and Wickens was able to complete his final two phases.
“I didn’t have time for pedal adjustments so I wasn’t super comfy and I didn’t want to crash James’ car so I’m glad we got this test out of the way,” Wickens said after making his first laps around IMS counter-clockwise (he competed in Formula BMW on the old F1 course).
“It’s a cool place, but it was bumpier than I thought it would be.”
Posted 03 May 2018 - 12:56
Chevy leads manufacturers’ test day at Indy
Image by Chris Jones/IndyCar
By: Marshall Pruett | 14 hours ago
A significantly windy day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway wasn’t enough to slow the 11 combined drivers from Chevy and Honda from setting some impressive lap speeds during the final test day ahead of the Indy 500.
The Manufacturers’ test saw Chevy make a statement as the unofficial laps by A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan (226.7mph), Ed Carpenter Racing’s Ed Carpenter (225.4mph) and Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves (224.0mph) took the top three positions.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens was fastest among the Honda runners in fourth (223.7mph), but was sandwiched by three more Chevys as Carlin Racing’s Charlie Kimball (221.5mph), ECR’s Danica Patrick (220.8mph), and Foyt rookie Matheus Leist (220.5mph) followed the Canadian.
Honda’s Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Ed Jones (220.5mph) and Scott Dixon (220.1mph) were eighth and ninth, SPM’s James Hinchcliffe was 10th (219.8mph), and Carlin’s Max Chilton (218.2mph) completed the driver roster.
If the 2017 Indy 500 looked like it favored Honda with its apparent horsepower advantage, pre-race testing suggests the Bowtie has turned the tables and could be holding high ground once the May 27 race arrives.
Posted 04 May 2018 - 16:55
Bourdais returns to Indy hoping to put 2017 crash behind him
By Phillip B. Wilson | Published: May 3, 2018
His return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, specifically Turn 2, brought out the candid sense of humor in Sebastien Bourdais.
The Frenchman’s body still aches from enduring an unforgettable qualifying crash in that corner during a qualifying run for last year's Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
After facing that turn for the first time since the crash on Monday morning during an open test, Bourdais was about to head for lunch when three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves approached on pit road.
“You good, my man?” Castroneves asked. “Comfortable?”
“Turn 2 still turns the same way,” Bourdais said. “It’s better when you’re not upside down, on fire though.”
The four-time Indy car champion would tweet later, “Pretty good day at the office. It sure feels nice to go thru turn 2 with 4 wheels on… (wink emoji).”
He admittedly didn’t know how he would feel about facing Turn 2 again. The last time he drove in there, Bourdais crashed and sustained multiple fractures to his pelvis as well as a broken right hip.
How could he not think about what happened? He always will.
“Well, yeah. Yesterday and the day before and every other day,” he said. “It’s not like I don’t wake up any day without feeling the consequences of what happened. It was not track specific. You make mistakes sometimes and that one bit me.”
His first two qualifying laps were quick enough to be No. 1.
“It’s too bad it wasn’t a two-lap run,” he said, smiling.
Bourdais, 39, proved he’s still a capable contender after driving the No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan to a season-opening victory in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He’s tied for third in the Verizon IndyCar Series points.
His 37 victories rank sixth on the all-time list. The only active driver with more wins is Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing at 41.
“It definitely sets you back, when you have those kinds of incidents,” Bourdais said. “But the good thing is there’s more practice here than any other place. There’s plenty of time to get back in the groove and get comfortable again. I’m not concerned. I don’t feel like I’m doubting.”
Teams are getting acclimated to a redesigned car with a new universal aero kit, a process Bourdais referred to as an ongoing “investigation.” Monday was a positive start.
“With the quality of the drivers, there’s a solid 20 and maybe even more drivers that are probably capable on any given day, provided the right car,” he said of winning the Indy 500. “Last year, we just had the rocket ship. It was a rocket ship from the moment it hit the ground on Monday and all the way through the week, then when we topped Fast Friday and for the first two laps (of qualifying) until I screwed up.
“Last year, (lead race engineer) Craig (Hampson) and the guys gave me an awesome car … and it was working awesome, until it wasn’t.”
Bourdais and crew will continue to work out the kinks.
“At the end of the day, what are you going to say?” he said. “Ultimately, I made a mistake. Unfortunately, it cost us probably the shot at winning the ‘500’ and being on the pole. Can’t change that. All we can do is try again and hope that the car will be as quick as it was last year and give us the chance to execute.”
The desire to win this race is as strong as ever, if not more.
“It’s the Mecca of racing,” he said. “In open wheel, there aren’t many races that come anywhere near it. In our sport, it’s the Indianapolis 500. I’d love to win it for multiple reasons. It’s a tremendous achievement and it means a hell of a lot to everybody in that paddock. It probably means even more now that I’ve gone through what I’ve gone through here.”
He looked out at the front straight of the 2.5-mile oval and offered one more perspective.
“There’s a mystery you build with every track,” he said, pausing to laugh. “And this one didn’t quite end on the right foot last year, so it would be cool to set the record straight.”
Posted 04 May 2018 - 17:59
Fittipaldi suffers leg injuries in Spa crash
By: Marshall Pruett and Stephen Kilbey | 37 minutes ago
Dale Coyne Racing rookie Pietro Fittipaldi’s hopes of contesting his first Indy 500 might have to wait until 2019 after a heavy crash in qualifying for the FIA WEC’s opening round at Spa Francorchamps.
Fittipaldi suffered injuries to both legs in the impact at Raidillon behind the wheel of his DragonSpeed BR1 Gibson LMP1 car.
“At 15:52 today, Friday 4 May 2018, the No.10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1 left the track at high speed at Raidillon, Circuit de Spa Francorchamps. The incident occurred during the LMP qualifying session for the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps,” read a statement from the FIA.
“The car was being driven by Pietro Fittipaldi of Brazil.
“The driver, who was conscious at all times, was attended immediately by the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Medical Services and FIA Medical Delegate Jacques Tropenat, extracted from the car and taken by helicopter to the Centre Hospitalier de la Citadelle de Liège with suspected fractures to both legs. He is accompanied by the DragonSpeed Team Manager and his condition is not life-threatening.”
Prior to his crash, Fittipaldi was scheduled to practice and qualify the No. 19 DCR Honda as teammate to Sebastien Bourdais, Conor Daly, and Pippa Mann. It’s unclear whether Coyne will look to run the No. 19 with another driver, or pull the entry from the field of 35 entries received for the 102nd Indy 500.
Posted 05 May 2018 - 20:21
Alonso on Indy 500: “I miss being there”
By: David Malsher, US Editor
18 hours ago
Fernando Alonso, who will make his World Endurance Championship debut this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, admits he watches every IndyCar session he can and is still thinking about the Indy 500.
The two-time Formula 1 World Champion, whose Toyota TS050 Hybrid will start from pole for the six-hour race on Saturday, started from the second row of last year’s Indianapolis 500. He led 27 laps and was one of the victory contenders until his McLaren-Andretti Autosport entry’s Honda engine blew after 179 of the 200 laps.
Asked by reporters if he was still thinking about the Indy 500, Alonso replied: “Yes, yes. I follow every session they do, every test. I have a lot of friends there, I have close contact again with engineers, and everyone is telling me that the new aero package really works.
“I will watch the race closely and yeah, I miss being there, to be honest.”
Alonso, who faces a packed schedule of F1 and WEC superseason commitments, chuckled when asked when he might make a return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s difficult for me to think of extra races right now!” he said. “But I miss being there. When they test now with the new aero package and things like that, you watch on television and you would like to do one lap, you know?
“So definitely I want to test again.”
Posted 07 May 2018 - 14:36
Limited options for Coyne to replace Fittipaldi
Image by Chris Jones/IndyCar
By: Marshall Pruett | 1 hour ago
With Pietro Fittipaldi sidelined for the foreseeable future due to leg and ankle injuries suffered in qualifying for the Spa FIA WEC race, his Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar team could find itself with a small pool of suitable replacements for the Indy 500.
Scheduled to race the No. 19 Honda on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the Indy GP and again for his maiden run in the Indy 500, Fittipaldi was expected to play an important role in DCR’s line-up for the month of May.
Slotting fellow rookie Zachary Claman De Melo, who shares the No. 19 with Fittipaldi, into the car for the GP would be relatively easy, but a driver with more oval experience – and funding to replace the sponsors that won’t be part of Fittipaldi’s effort – for the Indy 500 is where DCR could struggle.
Despite his status as an IndyCar rookie, Fittipaldi’s previous stock car oval experience, not to mention the promise he showed with DCR in testing at the one-mile Phoenix oval, put the team at ease with his Indy 500 ambitions. Claman De Melo, who has yet to turn a lap on an oval in the No. 19, is not expected to be in the frame for the 500.
And, with 35 entries received for the Indy 500, there aren’t many drivers with Indy 500 experience that are both available and capable off bringing a budget to drive the No. 19 in IndyCar’s biggest event.
Sebastian Saavedra (Image by Scott LePage/LAT)
The leading candidate is believed to be six-time Indy 500 starter Sebastian Saavedra, who was looking at an entry with his longtime backer AFS Racing before all the decent opportunities and engine leases were taken. The Colombian, who is racing full-time in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the support of AFS owner Gary Peterson, spent two seasons racing as teammate to DCR’s Sebastien Bourdais at the former Dragon Racing and KV Racing IndyCar programs. As the only apparent driver with solid Indy 500 experience and a willing backer in AFS/Peterson, not to mention his familiarity in working with Bourdais, the 27-year-old could find himself in pole position for a prized Indy 500 seat.
DCR was also quite keen on Tristan Vautier’s performance on the Texas oval last year as a substitute for the injured Sebastien Bourdais, and he does have Indy 500 experience, but a lack of funding could complicate matters for the Frenchman.
Two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya would be the logical option to consider, but his boss Roger Penske has been unwilling to farm his IMSA sports car ace out to other teams. Former Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver and Indy 500 veteran Mikhail Aleshin shopped a sponsored deal to a number of teams in recent months, but was unable to come to terms. It’s unclear whether his sponsors are still engaged in the idea of making another Indy 500 run.
Looking back to the 2016 Indy 500, names like Townsend Bell, Matty Brabham, Jack Hawksworth, and Alex Tagliani stand out, and moving back to 2015, Ryan Briscoe is another proven driver who could deputize for Fittipaldi if his Chip Ganassi Racing sports car team opens the door for DCR. Funding, with all but Tagliani and possibly Bell, would not be part of their offerings.
Dale Coyne can expect to hear from dozens of drivers in the coming days for the Indy GP, Indy 500, and next month’s Texas oval race where Fittipaldi was also scheduled to race.
Until he nominates Fittipaldi’s replacement for the 500, only 34 confirmed entries will be in place.
Posted 08 May 2018 - 16:40
Katherine Legge chasing Pietro Fittipaldi IndyCar stand-in role
By David Malsher
Published on Tuesday May 8th 2018[
Katherine Legge is chasing a single-seater return as the injured Pietro Fittipaldi's stand-in at the Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar team for the Indianapolis 500 and Texas.
Fittipaldi has been sidelined for around two months with leg injuries sustained in a qualifying crash at the Spa World Endurance Championship opener last week.
Legge's last IndyCar appearance was an Indy 500 one-off with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2013, and her main '18 campaign is with Michael Shank Racing's Acura team in the IMSA SportsCar Championship's GTD class.
"Obviously, first of all, it's unfortunate how the ride became available," Legge told Autosport.
"Pietro's a really good driver and those injuries are horrible. It's sad for him - and sad for the 500 to not have the Fittipaldi name there again.
"But I'm a racer and I believe I could do a good job for Dale, and would love the opportunity to prove it."
Coyne incumbent Sebastien Bourdais was a pole position contender at Indy last year until being injured in a qualifying crash, while team-mate Ed Jones went on to finish third.
"I feel it's going to be a competitive seat," Legge said.
"There's the results at Indy last year, but also the fact that as a whole, Dale's team has just moved onto a whole new level. Craig Hampson and Michael Cannon are great engineers - two of the best, actually.
"And then there's the fact that it's Honda power. As I'm an Acura racer in IMSA, it would be nice to continue the relationship with the HPD family. We have a strong relationship.
"So I've had people reach out to Dale and he is looking for some funding, so we're seeing what we can come up with to try and be on the grid this year.
"I know there's a number of drivers in contention for this ride and Dale's been inundated with calls, but I think a couple of my partners could help make this happen.
"The feedback has been pretty positive - although nothing's done yet."
Legge, who finished third in the 2005 Atlantic Championship, spent two years in Champ Car, the second of which was with Coyne.
She missed out on a seat when Champ Car and the Indy Racing League merged for 2008, but after a three-year DTM spell she competed for Dragon Racing in IndyCar in 2012.
Aside from the following year's Indy 500 appearance, she has since concentrated on sportscars with first the DeltaWing project and now Shank.
Legge is confident her long absence from single-seaters will not be a hindrance.
"I'd have a lot more testing than the last time I stepped in," she said.
Coyne confirmed to Autosport that Legge is a contender for the seat, although the bank holiday in the UK meant that his talks with sponsor PaySafe, a British company, had been delayed 24 hours.
Paysafe-backed Zachary Clemen de Melo is sharing the second DCR seat with Fittipaldi this season, but Indy was not part of his original programme.