Archive for June, 2011

Herta team, Wheldon named 2012 testers
By Dave Lewandowski – IndyCar Staff

NEWTON, Iowa — Verifying the IZOD IndyCar Series’ rolling chassis is the next stage of its implementation for the 2012 season, and INDYCAR has selected the Indianapolis 500-winning duo of Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta Autosport as the test organization.

“Dan, Bryan and (co-owner) Steve Newey have extensive experience in testing and development programs so we know our prototypes will be in the best hands as we finalize the chassis aspect of the program,” 2012 car project manager Tony Cotman said. “This verification testing furthers our commitment to ensure that our new car meets all the performance criteria promised to our drivers, teams and fans.”

The comprehensive chassis testing period on behalf of the series will take place in August and September. IZOD IndyCar Series teams are scheduled to receive their first new chassis Dec. 15 and the second by Jan. 15. The INDYCAR Safety Cell, designed and produced by Dallara Automobili in Italy until its Speedway, Ind., facility is up and running in 2012, will be powered by a Honda V-6 engine for purposes of the chassis testing.

Manufacturers (Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus) will have the opportunity to purchase a chassis Aug. 15 for their testing programs, which are scheduled to commence Oct. 1.

“Our goal is to confirm reliability and performance targets as set forth by the series to ensure that all teams will receive a proven, track-ready car in December,” said Herta, a former IZOD IndyCar Series driver who was Wheldon’s teammate at then-Andretti Green Racing.

“We plan to put the chassis through its paces with a rigorous program to prepare for the various types of tracks the series visits and a variety of conditions. I’ve always had an interest in the technical side of the sport and the process of constantly improving the car so I’m looking forward to this opportunity to have our team test the new chassis.”

Bryan Herta Autosport was founded in 2009 by Herta and noted engineer Steve Newey. Already a winner in Firestone Indy Lights competition, the team fields an entry full time in the developmental series and made its IZOD IndyCar Series debut in 2010 at the Indianapolis 500. The team won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 29 with Wheldon behind the wheel.

“Obviously I am very excited to continue with everyone that formed the Indianapolis 500 winning team at Bryan Herta Autosport,” said Wheldon, who also won the Indy 500 and series championship in 2005. “This is something that we are going to take very seriously and approach in a very professional manner. It is very important for the growth of the series that the testing is done in a way that will create an even better product at the start of 2012.

“For me to not be racing is obviously something that I am disappointed about, but being able to do the testing program will put me in a fantastic position for the future and I am thankful to the IndyCar Series, Honda and Firestone for the opportunity.”

Both Wheldon and Herta have extensive time behind the wheel as IndyCar test drivers for Honda in the past. Herta also was active in testing and development for Acura’s sports car projects. Newey was involved setting up the Firestone Test Team with Patrick Racing for the tire manufacturer’s return to Indy car racing in 1994.

Chassis comparison

Wheelbase: 122 inches current; 120 for 2012
Track width: 78 inches current; 76 for 2012
Height: 38 inches current; 40.5 for 2012
Dry weight: 1,575 pounds current; 1,450 for 2012
Suspension: Pullroad (front) current; pushrod for 2012
Pedals: Three current; two for 2012
Brakes: Steel/carbon current; Carbon for 2012
Fuel type: 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol current; E85 for 2012

Engine comparison

Architecture: Aspirated current; turbocharged for 2012
Displacement: 3.5 liters current; 2.2 liters for 2012
Direct injection: No currently; yes for 2012
RPMs: 10,3000 currently; 12,000 for 2012
Horsepower: About 630 currently; 550-700 for 2012 base on circuit

Bryan Herta & Dan Wheldon

Sirois Family Racing Memorabilia Auction to Benefit Riley Hospital for Children

Friday, June 03, 2011
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: 2764 East 55th Place, Indianapolis, IN 46220
More Info: 317-251-5635

There will be limited seating for this event.
Reserved seating and pre-registration available with catalog purchase
Contact us: 317.251.5635
Visit Auction Site —

Antique Helper to hold Sirois Family Racing Memorabilia Auction to benefit Riley Hospital for Children Friday, June 3 2011

Antique Helper Auctions is pleased to announce a charity auction to benefit Riley Hospital for Children on Friday, June 3. The Sirois Family Racing Memorabilia Auction to benefit Riley Hospital for Children will showcase racing memorabilia from the personal collections of Jigger Sirois and his father, Frenchy Sirois.

Jigger Sirois was immortalized in the Indy Car racing world in 1969, when trying out for the pole position in that year’s Indy 500. After being waved off his fourth lap on the first day of tryouts, two more attempts were also canceled—the second with another yellow flag, and the third when his car’s engine blew out. The fact that Jigger handled this set-back with a gentleman’s manners, placing no blame, raised him in the esteem of the entire racing community.

Attempts to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 during two additional years saw similar setbacks, with Sirois placing 35th fastest both times—just shy of being among the fastest 33 drivers to make the 500 field.

The Jigger Award is the tough luck award given to the driver who has the worst luck at the track during the month leading up to the Indianapolis 500. Given annually at the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association at the Indianapolis 500 AARWBA breakfast, “It’s the award no one wants to get,” say the amicable Sirois. Considering that it is this award, rather than a string of victories that put his name on the racing map, Sirois is charmingly upbeat. “I feel quite lucky that I had that unusual experience,” he says. “Without the Indy Speedway, I’d just be another guy who just didn’t make the race.”

Sirois was born into a racing family. His father, Earl “Frenchy” Sirois was a mechanic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He worked on winning Indy 500 crews in 1951, 1957 and 1958. The facts that Jigger was named after Indy 500 racer Leon Duray and acquired his nickname after Speedway mechanic, Jigger Johnson attest to the Sirois family’s racing linage.

Throughout his career, Jigger raced against some of auto racing’s greatest drivers, including Foyt, Andretti, Rutherford and the Unsers. After 20 years in the racing world, Jigger Sirois hung up his racing gear. He drove his last race at the Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana in 1977.

The decision to share his racing heritage with the world, while giving to a good cause was an easy one for Sirois. Through his retirement, he has been actively involved in raising awareness about childhood stuttering through the Stuttering Foundation. Along with his wife, Jigger works to raise awareness and promote early detection and intervention. For more information, visit the Stuttering Foundations’ website:

With no children of his own to inherit his family collection of racing memorabilia, Sirois decided to organize a charity auction to benefit Riley Hospital for Children. Though he now lives in Virginia, Sirois chose Riley as the beneficiary of his charity because, he says he will always be a Hoosier at Heart. “I just think it’s a fine way to make a contribution, Everybody wins. Children’s hospitals are wonderful. They add to the future immeasurably.”

The majority of items featured in this sale are from Jigger’s father, the late Frenchy Sirois. Among the highlights of the sale will be autographs including Clark Gable, Jim Clark and Juan Fangio, as well as a rare early 1950s driver’s arm band from the Mexican Road Race. Two late 1950s Ferarri uniforms from the Monza races are expected to generate a lot of interest.

In the spirit of community giving, Sirois and Antique Helper are extending an invitation to auto racing collectors to submit items for consignment in this historic auction event.

Submissions will be considered based on value and Riley donation considerations.

Auction Preview
June 1, 2 and 3, 2-5 PM
Auction Friday, June 3 5:30 PM

Frenchy Autographs

Sirois Timers