Archive for March, 2015

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The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced one of the greatest icons in the history of motor racing will serve as grand marshal for its June 11-14 Brickyard Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Sr. will return to the scene of his most legendary triumphs from a sterling career. Unser is one of only three drivers to win the “500” four times, and one of five to win the storied race in consecutive years, 1970-71. He narrowly missed becoming the only winner of three consecutive Indianapolis 500 races when he finished second to Mark Donohue in 1972.

1971VictoryLane-4438A three-time Indy car champion (1970, ’83, ’85) Unser was among the rare breed that could drive any type of car on any venue, including sports cars, stock cars, modifieds and dirt cars. The four-time Hoosier Hundred victor drove and won in sprints, midgets, Formula 5000 and stock cars to name a few. The Hall of Fame super star was USAC stock car rookie of the year in 1967 and IROC champion in 1978. In his final Indianapolis 500 (1987) win he broke Ralph De Palma’s 67-year-old record for most career laps led in the historic race.

“It will be great to return to the Brickyard in an atmosphere that is so focused on the track’s history,” Unser said. “I know from what Little Al told me from when he won last year how much the fans appreciated this event and that means everything to me.”

ic_al_chrisUnser, who in 2011 was voted by fans as number two to A.J. Foyt in the “Greatest 33” to ever compete in the Indianapolis 500, will drive the pace car for the feature race of the weekend – the second annual “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. Like last year, the SVRA, America’s premier vintage racing organization, is creating a return to competition for veterans of the Indianapolis 500 with a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 13. The SVRA expects to attract a field of 33 Indianapolis 500 veterans.

Previously announced Pro-Am entries – 1992 Rookie-of-the Year Lyn St. James, Willy T. Ribbs and Mark Dismore – were joined today by four more veterans, all of which competed last year: Spike Gehlhausen, Billy Roe, Tom Bagley and Rick Treadway. Gehlhausen is a veteran of five Indianapolis 500s, finishing tenth in 1979 and starting fourth in 1980. Roe raced in 1997 and 1998 while Treadway made the big show in 2002. Bagley is a three-time Indianapolis 500 starter and captured the Indy car series Rookie-of-the-Year trophy in 1978. They, along with the other Indianapolis 500 veterans for the Pro-Am, will be in 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of “Group 6,” with an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches. The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting their stints at the wheel at their discretion.

The Indy Legends Pro-Am is the crowning event of the Brickyard Invitational but there is literally a festival of other activities. Like last year, the storied 2.5-mile oval will be utilized with exhibition runs by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.”

This time around the weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest collector cars. Motostalgia, with offices in Austin, Mexico City and Monaco will stage an auction showcasing select premier classic and rare automobiles from around the world on June 12. The Brickyard Invitational will also expand out onto the world-famous infield IMS golf course with car corrals for various organizations and clubs united by special marques and vintages.


The SVRA has 11 groups of race cars spanning 100 years of vintage machines and all will be in action at IMS. The exciting array of entries include exquisite examples of select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2009. Race fans can enjoy every minute of the action by taking advantage of overnight camping inside the Speedway.

The Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing fans to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. All entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum Foundation.

Brickyard Invitational ticket information: Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets for all or any one of the four days of the event online through the Speedway or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at 4790 West 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. Children 12 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. Tent camping passes in the IMS infield start at $30 and are available all four days.

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Verizon IndyCar Series teams have had limited opportunities to evaluate the performance characteristics of the components and multitude of optional elements that increase downforce and reduce drag, so there is about as much driver and team personnel intrigue as there is by fans.

Underneath the Dallara IR-12 chassis, however, the primary and alternate Firestone Firehawk tires for the March 27-29 season opener are the same specification as last year.

“We’re confident that those specifications will be fine, but we’ll be watching closely — as we do at every race — how we could improve things for street courses later this season or next year,” said Dale Harrigle, chief engineer for Bridgestone America’s Motorsports and manager of race tire development.

Harrigle, like many Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, expects lower lap times at road/street courses on the Firestone Firehawk alternate tires. Each of the 24 drivers entered in the 110-lap race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit won’t experience the effects of the alternate tires until qualifications March 28.

“There is no question that with the increased downforce that the alternate tire, with its increased grip, is going to lend itself well to the car and we expect to see a significant increase in speed on the alternate tire,” Harrigle said. “Where we’re going to all be learning – Firestone and the teams – is how the aero kits affect the gap between the primary and alternate tires in the race.

Hanks Nichels 1954

For a look back at Firestone’s legacy in IndyCar — Click Here

“The teams are not allowed to test on the alternates; the alternates are designed to be a little bit of the unknown to teams so we’re all going to be learning during the race.”

Each entry, which will receive seven sets of primary and three sets of alternate tires for practice, qualifying and the race, has to run at least two green flag laps on both primary and alternate tires.

Firestone Racing has been collaborating with INDYCAR since the germination of aero kits, and was an active participant during all phases of manufacturer development.

“As INDYCAR resolved their volume boxes and it became apparent what Honda and Chevrolet were going to be able to do with the freedom that they were given to design their cars, we started working closely with Honda and Chevrolet to make sure that we watching the loads that were being developed and that they were sharing the simulation data,” Harrigle said.

“We were getting simulation data from INDYCAR, which was doing a parallel program. So we worked closely with the three groups. As they were providing us simulation data, we were running tires on our indoor testing to make sure that basically the tires could keep up with the loads and speeds that were being talked about with the aero kits.

“Ultimately, with all the decisions that were made, especially with the decision to put the hole in the floor (of chassis) for safety and a couple of other items, we determined that the current tire would be a good fit for the car with the aero kits.”

That’s a testament to the performance characteristics of the tires. Firestone Racing engineers and track support personnel attended all but one manufacturer test between Oct. 6, 2014, and Jan. 18.

“That’s when we used the 2014 spec and determined that yes in fact what we were providing was a good fit for the cars and we used that testing to help us move forward with our plans.”

Manufacturer tests were conducted on a variety of road courses and ovals. The road/street course aero platform also will be used on short ovals such as Iowa Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile. The speedway aero kits are scheduled to be delivered to teams by April 1.

“We ran on ovals with both manufacturers during their development phase and then at Texas Motor Speedway on March 14 with Ed Carpenter and Helio Castroneves (for a Chevrolet test session),” Harrigle said. “We use those tests to learn where the car is going to be with the aero kits relative to the ovals.”

Data & Image courtesy of — By Dave Lewandowski

Firestone History – 


BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 24, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Steak ‘n Shake, the defin­i­tive Amer­ican brand and home of the orig­inal Steak­burger™ and hand-dipped milk­shakes, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal at five Verizon IndyCar Series events including the 99th running of the Indi­anapolis 500. The part­ner­ship includes races at Long Beach, two events at Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway and Detroit and Mid-Ohio. Maxim Maga­zine branding will also be featured on the race car. Both are owned by Biglari Hold­ings Inc.

In addi­tion, Steak ‘n Shake will be an asso­ciate sponsor for the rest of the 2015 IndyCar Series season. It is the first time that the Indianapolis-based company will be involved in Indy car racing.

I’ve been eating them since I was 11. Finally, free Steak­burgers!” said David Letterman, co-owner of RLL with 1986 Indy 500 winner and three-time Indy car cham­pion Bobby Rahal and Mi-Jack co-owner Michael Lanigan.

Dave Letterman clearly loves Steak ‘n Shake, and we love teaming up with cham­pions. After all, the best way to be a cham­pion is to unite with cham­pions,” added Sardar Biglari, Founder, Chairman and Chief Exec­u­tive Officer of Biglari Hold­ings Inc. “As we enter the Indy car series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, without a doubt we are spon­soring the very best in racing and we are honored to be asso­ci­ated with the team, whose name is synony­mous with winning.”

As a long­time fan of Steak ‘n Shake, this part­ner­ship seems so perfect,” added Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL. “Over the years I have visited many Steak ‘n Shakes and never had the thought that they could poten­tially be a sponsor of ours but here we are. We are thrilled to welcome the Steak ‘n Shake brand to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and intro­duce them to Indy car racing. This is another bit of good news for our sport with a new company coming in. We’re looking forward to putting them in Victory Lane.”

The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins on March 29 with the Fire­stone Grand Prix of St. Peters­burg and will be tele­vised live on ABC at 3:00 p.m. ET.

About Steak ‘n Shake Inc.

Steak ‘n Shake, a classic Amer­ican brand, serves premium burgers and shakes in more than 500 restau­rants across the country and the world. Founded in 1934 in Normal, Illi­nois, Steak ‘n Shake is the leader in the “better burger” segment of the restau­rant industry, serving hand-crafted, premium Steak­burgers and hand-dipped milk­shakes. Steak ‘n Shake is the recip­ient of the Nation’s Restau­rant News Golden Chain Award. Zagat has recog­nized Steak ‘n Shake as having the #1 Milk­shake. Steak ‘n Shake Inc., based out of Indi­anapolis, Indiana, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Biglari Hold­ings Inc.

About Maxim Inc.

Maxim. is one of the largest men’s lifestyle maga­zines in the United States and inter­na­tion­ally. The company is based in New York, New York. Maxim Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Biglari Hold­ings Inc.

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Browns­burg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Cham­pion and 1986 Indi­anapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATESHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2015 the team will compete in their 24th year of open wheel compe­ti­tion and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 81 podium finishes and 1992 series cham­pi­onship. The team also competed in the Amer­ican Le Mans Series from 2009 – 2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manu­fac­turer and Team Cham­pi­onships in the GT cate­gory in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 — Manu­fac­turer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Cham­pi­onship and third in the Manu­fac­turer Cham­pi­onship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manu­fac­turer Cham­pi­onship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL competed in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Cham­pi­onship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team opened the season by scoring their 50th podium finish of second place at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and will attempt to add to their 10 wins.

Data & Image courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing


IndyCar has announced an increase of $250,000 to its Leaders Circle program, which raises the total annual payment for eligible Verizon IndyCar Series entrants to $1.25 million.

A total of 21 entrants are entered in the Leaders Circle program for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“INDYCAR is invested in the continued support of its teams,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “The Leaders Circle program rewards INDYCAR teams for full-season participation and helps each of them with an additional source of funding. The program is also an asset to our promoters as it guarantees over 20 cars at each Verizon IndyCar Series event. As IndyCar continues to grow we’re excited about opportunities like this that are beneficial to the teams that compete in our series.”

The Leaders Circle program was established in 2002 to provide incentives to teams that participate full time in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Each Leaders Circle member is assured a minimum of $1.25 million if the entrant successfully qualifies for all of the 16 Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2015, including the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Twenty-one entrants were selected based on final 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series final entrant points.

Click here to see the entire list of 2015 Leaders Circle members …

All Leaders Circle entrants will continue to compete for bonuses that will now be paid to the top-12 finishers – an increase of two positions compared to 2014 – at each Verizon IndyCar Series race aside from the Indianapolis 500. Non-Leaders Circle entrants also will compete for payouts awarded to the top-three finishers in each race excluding the Indianapolis 500.

The Verizon IndyCar Series driver champion and championship entrant again will share a $1 million bonus, with second through 10th in the standings sharing bonuses totaling $320,000. The recipient of the Verizon IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award will receive a $50,000 bonus.

Contingency awards will continue to be presented at all Verizon IndyCar Series events. See the full story.

— The 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring …

The No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette Daytona Prototype team scored the overall victory Saturday in the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the first overall victory for Chevrolet in 50 years. Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais combined as the winning drivers. It was the fifth Prototype victory for defending champions Fittipaldi and Barbosa.

Corvette Daytona Prototypes swept the podium. Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller took second in the No. 90 VisitFlorida,com Corvette DP, followed by Max Angelelli and brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Scott Dixon placed fourth in the 2014 race-winning Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley.

In the GT Le Mans class as Ryan Briscoe, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen co-drove a Corvette Racing entry to its second victory this season. 

SebringPole1Martin Plowman‘s qualifying run in the #16 BAR1 Motorsports machine earned him the Total Oil Pole Award, clocking in at 1:55.257.  The BAR1 Motorsports team spent much of the night rebuilding the #16 car after a crash during Thursday’s night practice. The car was immediately taken back to the paddock for repairs. Plowman tested the car in this morning’s practice session, where his time was the fastest of the morning grid. Plowman noted: “This was a massive effort by the whole team. The guys spent a lot of the night building the car. I told the engineers to give me a fast car, and I’d get the result that they wanted. They definitely delivered on that. I focused on hitting every apex, every breaking zone, and the time just appeared out of nowhere.

Conor Daly PodiumLate addition to the speed and endurance race at Sebring was American driver Conor Daly whose debut in the event saw him behind the wheel for 6 hours and 27 minutes in the Performance Tech Motorsports No. 38 Ric Man Construction/GO PUCK ORECA FLM09 car. Daly joined Jerome Mee and James French in rounding out the Prototype Challenge class podium.

IndyCar Notes …

— Allison Transmissions will celebrate its centennial in part by being an associate sponsor on the No. 20 CFH Racing car driven by Luca Filippi in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and by Ed Carpenter in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 24Allison traces its corporate lineage to the founding of the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co. on Sept. 14, 1915.

As a co-founder of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and part-owner of several racing teams, James A. Allison established a precision machine shop and experimental firm on Main Street in Speedway called the Allison Experimental Co. to support his racing endeavors. As a race team owner, Allison won the 1919 Indianapolis with driver Howdy Wilcox.

“We’re honored that Allison Transmission chose to celebrate their centennial with CFH Racing,” said Carpenter, a team co-owner. “In addition to producing world-class products, they are great neighbors and supporters of the community.”

bhacastrol— Castrol EDGE returns as Bryan Herta Autosport associate sponsor: Bryan Herta Autosport announced that Castrol EDGE has extended its associate partnership with the team for the Verizon IndyCar Series season. “We are very pleased to continue our association with the Castrol EDGE brand, which includes promotion of Castrol EDGE to customers in our great new car dealer network,” team owner Bryan Herta said. “With Castrol’s support, 2015 is shaping up to be our best yet.”

Gabby Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, will drive the No. 98 Honda in the 16-race season.

“Castrol EDGE is our most advanced motor oil, providing superior motor oil strength for engines that work harder due to higher engine pressures, helping vehicles to maximize performance, ” said Dan Hanson, Castrol’s OEM workshops director. “Our partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport gives us a tremendous platform to showcase that performance and to connect with IndyCar fans.”

Click here to read more about the partnership.

Conor Daly Photo courtesy of of Darren Pierson Motorsports Photography

Other images courtesy of IndyCar and the 12 Hours of Sebring

Your 2015 Indianapolis 500 tickets have been mailed via the U.S. Postal Service.

Do open the envelope upon receipt to ensure that your order has been processed correctly.

If you have any questions or if we can be of additional assistance please call the IMS Ticket Office Monday through Friday (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET) at 317-492-6700 or 800-822-4639.

Indianapolis 500 Schedule
Sun. May 3 Opening Day
Mon. May 11 Practice
Tues. May 12 Practice
Wed. May 13 Practice
Thurs. May 14 Practice
Fri. May 15 Fast Friday
Sat. May 16 Qualifications
Sun. May 17 Old National Armed Forces Pole Day
Mon. May 18 Practice
Wed. May 20 Fan Experiences
Thurs. May 21 Indy Lights Practice & Qualifying
Fri. May 22 Coors Light Carb Day
Sat. May 23 Legends Day presented by Firestone
Sun. May 24 Race Day
INDYCAR Up Close & Personal
Complete your Month of May with tickets to the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Saturday, May 9. See the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series as they battle on the IMS Road Course. Purchase Tickets
Jane’s Addiction, O.A.R and 38 Special are going to rock IMS on Friday, May 22, for Coors Light Carb Day! Purchase Tickets Florida Georgia Line headlines the Legends Day concert presented by Firestone Saturday, May 23 Purchase Tickets The biggest party on race day is inside the Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite. Purchase Tickets
Parking & Camping
Make sure you have your parking or camping spot reserved at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Reserve Your Spot Today Gate Search Policy
Be sure you know what you can and cannot take into the gates at IMS on Race Day. From cooler restrictions to food and beverages we cover it all. Learn More
Directions to IMS
There have been some improvements outside of IMS that could affect how you arrive. Make sure you plan your trip to find the fastest routes around the Indianapolis area to IMS. View Directions


PLAINFIELD, Illinois – Dale Coyne Racing is excited to announce the 2015 return of Carlos Huertas who will drive the #18 Honda powered car for a second consecutive season.

Huertas participated in his rookie Verizon IndyCar Series season in 2014 and impressed with his consistent showings. He took his first and Dale Coyne Racing’s fourth IndyCar win in round one of June’s Houston race. This victory, his consistently fast pace, and his keen sense to avoid race ending contact served as the primary reasons Coyne sought his return for 2015.

Previous to his Verizon IndyCar career, Huertas raced in top development series in Europe earning wins in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and British Formula Three Series.

“Carlos surprised everyone last year with his performance. The effort the team has made over the winter, as shown by our Sebring test with Carlos, gives us confidence for the upcoming season,” commented team owner Dale Coyne.

Adding to Huertas’ confidence from last season’s successes, Huertas posted the fastest time of any Verizon IndyCar Series driver that tested at Sebring this offseason. This fast time was recorded on February 24th, the second of two days of DCR testing.

“I am very happy to be back with the team this year. I expect to have a better year than last year because I obviously have the experience of a full season and winning a race last year. That helped a lot for my confidence for this year.” Huertas continued, “The guys did such a great job last year with the car and race strategy that I’m sure we will have a successful year.”

After IndyCar’s “spring training” test at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, Dale Coyne Racing and Carlos Huertas will continue to test the new Honda HPD aero kit equipped cars March 23 and 24 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. The team will kick off competitive action on March 29 in St. Petersburg, Florida for the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.


PLAINFIELD, Illinois – Dale Coyne Racing has firmed up its early 2015 Verizon IndyCar plans with the signing of veteran open wheel driver Francesco Dracone. He will drive the #19 Honda for DCR in the first four rounds of the season with further plans undetermined at this time.

Dracone makes his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series having previously participated in the series with Conquest Racing in 2010. He has since been driving in the Auto GP Series in Europe. Dracone also tested with Coyne in December 2013. The Italian brings 13 years of open wheel racing experience to Dale Coyne Racing and should bring a unique perspective to the new Honda aero kit making its debut in 2015.

While trying to control his excitement Dracone said, “It is good to be back in America and great to be back in IndyCar. I feel that it is the best single seater series for a driver to be in.” He continued, “Working with Dale Coyne is an honor and a privilege because he is one of the most experienced team owners and he runs a great team.”

“Francesco shows great enthusiasm for our sport,” said Dale Coyne. “We look forward to working with the rookie in preseason testing and early races as he looks to IndyCar for his future.”

With his only competitive IndyCar starts being in the previous generation car, having several days of testing in the DW12 chassis will be invaluable. The team will test with him two additional days after the 2015 Barber Open Test.

After IndyCar’s “spring training” test at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, Dale Coyne Racing, with Dracone at the wheel, will continue to test on March 23 and 24 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. The team will kick off competitive action on March 29 in St. Petersburg, Florida for the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.


Honda 2015 IndyCar Series Aero Kits

  • Road Course/Short Oval package shown
  • Efficient development utilized CFD and multiple simulation tools
  • Wide range of aerodynamic tuning options available to teams

TORRANCE, Calif. (March 9, 2015) – Honda today debuted the package of aerodynamic upgrades and components its teams will use in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series, as the manufacturer seeks to add to an already impressive list of accomplishments in American open-wheel racing.

The 2015 Honda Indy car “aero kit”, produced by Honda Performance Development, Honda’s racing arm in North America, includes nearly 200 individual pieces that can be fitted to the existing Honda-powered Dallara Indy car chassis.  All are intended to give Honda’s six IndyCar Series teams the ability to maximize performance at each of the 15 circuits that make up the 2015 championship schedule.

“We’re excited to reveal our aero kits as Honda welcomes this era of enhanced competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD and vice president, auto operations, for American Honda.  “Coupled to our proven Honda Indy V6 engines, these aero kits are the products of literally thousands of hours of research, development and testing, as we seek to give our drivers and teams the tools they need to win races, the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series championship.”

Following in the proven path of the successful Honda-powered prototype sports racers – winners of 74 American Le Mans Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and World Endurance Championship races and multiple titles since 2007 – the Honda Indy car aero kits were developed by utilizing the latest in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technology.

Concepts for the Honda aero kit were validated using Driver-In-Loop (DIL) Simulators, minimizing waste at the prototype stage and allowing aerodynamic direction to be determined prior to the creation of full-size components.

Components were then tested in a full-scale wind tunnel to confirm actual aerodynamic performance characteristics, and create aero maps to be used during on-track testing.  Final proof-of-concept correlation then took place in a series of on-track tests, totaling six days at various circuits, conducted by HPD with the assistance of the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team.

The complete kit provides Honda drivers and teams with a significant range of available configurations to tune the cars to their desired characteristics and provide additional visual variety to engage fans at all IndyCar Series circuits.

In addition to improving performance, aerodynamic safety was a primary consideration in aero kit development.  Working with INDYCAR, Honda has a well-established record of utilizing its development resources to produce a safer racing environment, including the design and development of the fuel safety interlock system, now standard on all Indy cars, and more recently the 2015 chassis floor and other future safety developments to be fitted to the Dallara chassis.

“We’ve been encouraged by the performance of the new Honda aero kits in testing, but of course the end goal is to win races, the Indy 500 and the championship,” said St. Cyr. “We believe we have a superior aerodynamic and engine package.  We’re looking forward to the start of the 2015 season on the streets of St. Petersburg, and taking on the battle for the Manufacturers’ Championship.”

Honda’s Indy car aero kits will make their public debut next week at the Verizon IndyCar Series “Open Test”, March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama.  The 2015 season opens March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.

About Honda Performance Development

HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead Honda’s entry into Indy car racing.  No other manufacturer has matched Honda’s success in Indy cars, which includes 211 race victories, 15 drivers’ championships, six competitive manufacturers’ championships and 10 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004, including the 2014 event won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport. 

HPD and Honda have a history of success in the classic endurance sports car races, including a pair of LMP2 wins and a privateer LMP1 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2010; as well as multiple American Le Mans Series championships and five LMP2 class victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring since 2007.  HPD’s Honda engines have recorded 74 race wins at endurance sports car races around the world, with 70 of those victories coming in the HPD-developed line of sports prototype cars.

HPD offers a complete line of race engines for cars from grass roots to pinnacle; for professional, amateur and entry-level racers. For more information about HPD and the company’s racing product lines, please visit 

Data and Images courtesy of Honda Performance Development

Ryan Hunter-Reay video courtesy of 


By Dave Lewandowski – 

Chevrolet & Honda have unveiled computer-generated models of their road/street course and short oval aerodynamic bodywork platforms, and the radical packages will spring to life March 16-17 when Verizon IndyCar Series teams convene at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama for the initial multi-day on-track examination.

“It’s kind of like taking the SATs; everyone is cramming for the big test, which is St. Pete,” said Josef Newgarden, who enters his fourth season in the No. 67 CFH Racing Chevrolet.

The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 29 (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

“There’s a lot of work to do to try to figure out how the aero kits work on track. Set-ups will change, driving styles will change a little bit. It’s exciting and a new challenge,” added Newgarden.


The March 16 sessions (10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. local) on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber road course are free and open to the public. Live lap timing both days will be available on Each car will receive six sets of Firestone primary tires for the test.

Click it: Promoter Test at Barber Motorsports Park entry list || March 16-17 schedule

Most teams will take advantage of the test window that opens March 13 by converging March 14 on NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisana, for a group study session.

Check the afternoon of March 14 for the first look of the aero kits on track.

On March 13, CFH Racing co-owner/driver Ed Carpenter and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves will test Chevrolet’s full-scale speedway aero kit for the first time at Texas Motor Speedway.

The speedway bodywork components for Texas Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Auto Club Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 (rear wing main plane exclusive to that race) are to be delivered to teams by April 1. Because each of Chevrolet’s four teams has a full kit in house, teams/drivers are allowed to begin on-track development.

“The nice thing is we do have two cars now so we can split up some of the work,” said Newgarden, who is among the 20 drivers scheduled to drive on the 2.74-mile, 13-turn NOLA road course that will host the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on April 12.

Also on March 13, the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay will be on the Sebring International Raceway short course.

“I think we’re all holding our breath on St. Pete because that will be the first idea we have of all the work that’s gone into it the past couple of years,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner.

“There are so many unknowns. No matter what, there’s a lot of work ahead for the teams to find the best combination for us at a given track and race weekend.”

Cars will be differentiated by their shape as manufacturers have taken distinctively different approaches to increase downforce and reduce drag. Multiple component options are available to suit drivers and the diverse set of racetracks on the schedule. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.

“This will be not only a competition of engine manufacturer versus engine manufacturer. The aero kits are now a component of their package,” INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said. “It will add a lot of performance to the competition.

“When you say to designers and engine manufacturers, ‘OK, you can make some changes here. Go do what you can,’ you’ll get some different shapes and certainly get more performance. So more parts, sexier parts, more efficient designs that aid the performance. For the casual fan and those who follow the tech side, there’s a lot more to look at.”

This report originally published here

Images and Data courtesy of IndyCar 


Bowers & Wilkins has expanded its role with Bryan Herta Autosport in partnership with Bowen Motorsports to be the primary sponsor of the No. 98 Honda driven by Gabby Chaves for the Verizon IndyCar Series season that starts March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Since 1966, Bowers & Wilkins has developed high-end audio equipment, including recording studio, automotive, home and theater applications. The company, with headquarters in England, has been an associate sponsor of the team since 2012.

Technology is at the forefront of Bowers & Wilkins’ business, which correlates to the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“IndyCar provides a great opportunity for us to engage our national dealer network and expose the brand to our target demographic,” Bowers & Wilkins chairman and CEO Joe Atkins said.

Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, will be in the No. 98 entry March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series Promoter Test of the new aerodynamic bodywork components supplied by Chevrolet and Honda.


AVONDALE, Louisiana (March 14, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) and driver Graham Rahal completed their first test day with Honda’s all-new aero­dy­namic kit today at the 2.67-mile NOLA Motor­sports Park road course. The team previ­ously tested at this track February 10 – 11.

Overall the day was pretty good,” said Rahal, who completed 80 laps. “We didn’t get to run our last set of tires but I don’t think many people did. I would have liked to have picked up a bit more speed; our fastest lap was on old tires so I was kind of hoping to see what we could do on new tires but we just never really got to wring its neck. For our first day, the car feels decent and for it to be the first time we have run with this aero kit and to have been right up there with the fastest Honda team, and be the fastest one this morning felt pretty good. We’ve got a little more work to do to catch up to the fastest guys but all in all its pretty close and we feel pretty good about it.

In some areas you notice the differ­ence the aero kit makes and others, not as much,” added Rahal on the feeling of driving the car with the new aero kit compared to the previous config­u­ra­tion. “When we talk about more down­force, typi­cally that is higher speed so in the high speed areas, sure you can feel it but in the slower speed areas it’s not as notice­able. We have been waiting for this day for a long time and I’m very happy it went as well as it did. We will keep working on it, get better and better and I think we will be good in the end.”

The team will travel to Barber Motor­sports Park tomorrow for a series-wide open test March 16 – 17.

The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins with the Fire­stone Grand Prix of St. Peters­burg on March 29. For more infor­ma­tion, log on to, or

SchmidtIndianapolis, IN – March 5, 2015Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) proudly announced today that Denver-based technology company Arrow Electronics will be the primary sponsor of the No. 5 car driven by James Hinchcliffe in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series.

The Arrow livery will be officially unveiled on the No. 5 car later today at Arrow’s Internet of Things (IoT) Immersions event in San Jose, CA. Schmidt, Hinchcliffe and key Arrow team members will be in attendance to present the car.

Arrow’s IoT Immersions tour brings together technology leaders to discuss comprehensive IoT building blocks and how businesses can leverage Interconnected Intelligence to improve lives. With forums in four key U.S. markets, Arrow connects technology developers with leading-edge suppliers to provide insights about IoT technologies and services, discuss topical issues and applications, and see demos of IoT solutions created with Arrow’s support, and more.

“The true goal of technology is to benefit people and improve their lives,” said Michael Long, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arrow. “Collaborative learning on how society can improve, by being better connected and better informed, is what Arrow hopes to accomplish with our Immersions tour.”

Every Immersions event features a keynote presentation by SPM team owner Sam Schmidt. Schmidt shares his story of how working with Arrow on machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies enabled him to drive official qualifying laps at the 2014 Indianapolis 500 in a uniquely modified 2014 Corvette. He was severely injured in a practice lap crash in 2000 that left him a quadriplegic. Schmidt said the race car sponsorship is the next logical step in the evolving Arrow relationship that revolves around innovation.

“Having Arrow Electronics as a primary team sponsor is just another step in this dream come true,” adds Schmidt. “The company’s vision is perfectly aligned with SPM and INDYCAR’s key focal points: speed, innovation and technology. We look forward to an exciting race season and a great partnership for years to come.”

Aiden Mitchell, vice president of semiconductor marketing for Arrow Electronics said, “Our partnership with Sam Schmidt has helped bring to life how technology can help people become the drivers in their own lives. Working with Sam and sharing the technology behind our modified Corvette C7 in our Immersions series has been a pivotal element in demonstrating the power of M2M technologies and the Internet of Things. We look forward to taking this next turn with SPM, and helping to spread the word with a wider Arrow audience.”


Driver James Hinchcliffe added, “I’m very excited to drive the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car this season and set our sights on victory lane. Although the number 77 has been part of SPM since 2011, we have an incredible opportunity to spread the word about Arrow’s Five Years Out initiative, and coincidentally, we were lucky that the No. 5 was available to further Arrow’s brand story.

“The Five Years Out philosophy shows that Arrow sets the bar high, and that’s exactly what we want to do in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Competing in the most versatile racing series in the world means we’re focused on technology, which makes this partnership a natural fit.”

In less than two weeks, Hinchcliffe’s Honda-powered car will hit the track for the first time at the Verizon IndyCar Series Open Test on March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL. SPM and the other teams will fine-tune setups for the final time before the INDYCAR season opener on Sunday, March 29. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the first of 16 races on the INDYCAR circuit.

Photo courtesy of: INDYCAR

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