Posts Tagged ‘Andretti Autosport’

2015_tonykanaanontrack_1600x800

On Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a half-dozen Verizon IndyCar Series drivers took part in a test on the 2.5-mile oval. Some were specifically testing Firestone tires while others were testing for their own teams.

2015_marcoandrettiindy_1600x800And all had some thoughts about being back on the 2.5-mile oval in exactly 291 days for a particularly big version of the biggest race of all – the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.“I think about what it would mean to win the 100th a lot,” Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti said. “That will be the first for the next 100 years. I think an Andretti needs to win that.”

Andretti and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves were on hand for Firestone, testing various tire compounds for potential use in 2016.

For Castroneves, of course, next year’s “500” is one more chance to join A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser in the four-time winners club.

“I wish I would have said, ‘yeah, I didn’t want to win this year because the 100th would be more important,’” Castroneves said with a laugh. “That’s not the case, but since we didn’t win, now we’re thinking about the 100th and what a special moment it would be. Imagine capturing the fourth, and for Roger Penske. It would be another storybook ending. We’ve got to work hard to make it happen.”

Castroneves’ teammate Simon Pagenaud joined CFH Racing’s Ed Carpenter, Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan as team testers on Wednesday, driving more for data collection than specifically for Firestone.

Any day at IMS, whether it’s in the pressure cooker of May or a pleasant midweek day in August, is precious for gathering that information.

“Every day is different out here,” Hunter-Reay said. “The wind direction’s completely different from the year we won in 2014, so we’re getting some answers on that, on the tire degradation. It’s a pretty nice day, not overly hot. We’re running the tires long into their life, trying to get some answers on some mysteries that we had during this past May.”

And with that, perhaps inching closer to unlocking next May’s mysteries and possibly becoming one of the most famous winners of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“You talk to people, fans, partners, sponsors – everyone’s excited for the 100th and everyone knows it’s going to be big,” Carpenter said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to take part in that historic race. They’re all historic here, but to be a part of that is going to be really special.”

Photos and Data Courtesy of IndyCar

Leigh Spargur 1

Simon Pagenaud has watched his teammates since he joined Team Penske at the beginning of the season, but the frenchman stole the spotlight in the fifth practice session heading up into the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

Driving the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, Pagenaud logged the best of nearly 2,000 laps turned on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval, at 228.793 mph. Carlos Munoz, who eclipsed 230 mph in practice Wednesday, was second fastest today in the No. 26 AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda, at 228.126.

“Today was a really good day for the Avaya car,” Pagenaud said. “We’ve been focusing on understanding what the car does in qualifying runs. Very happy to see the preparation from Penske and how fast the 22 car is. So far, so good.”

Pagenaud is teamed with a pair of Indianapolis 500 winners – Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya – and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power in the Penske armada. Montoya and Power have each won a race this season, while Castroneves has won two Verizon P1 Awards for taking the pole position.

“We’re happy but we can be happier,” Pagenaud said. “At the end of the day we did some pack running and once again we’re very happy so far. What’s difficult is it’s really cold right now, so you get more downforce because the air is so thick. We know it’s going to be warmer in the race, that’s what makes it tricky. You’re trying to understand what the car’s going to do in the race. It’s definitely going to be warmer.”

Following Pagenaud and Munoz on the speed chart were Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Sage Karam (227.683), Scott Dixon (227.634) and Tony Kanaan (227.527). Friday marks the final day of practice prior to two days of qualifications that will set the lineup for the 500-mile race on May 24.

The lone incident of the day came in the last of the six-hour practice session. Josef Newgarden was uninjured when his No. 21 Century 21 CFH Racing Chevrolet spun and hit the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 1 in nearly the same spot where Castroneves’ car hit a day earlier. Newgarden’s car slid on its top before coming to rest in the short chute between Turns 1 and 2.

“I got around pretty quick in Turn 1; it definitely surprised me,” Newgarden said. “I knew it happened when it did, so I’m just lucky that everything’s good. The Dallara tub held up pretty well. I just want to get back to my guys and see what the damage is. I’m sure it’s bad but we’ll see what we can do going forward. It was a hard bit, (but) I feel fine.”

Chris Jones SDSAndretti Autosport driver Simona de Silvestro returned to practice today, two days after her No. 29 TE Connectivity Honda sustained heavy damage from a fire sparked by a fuel leak. De Silvestro was uninjured in the on-track incident and the team rebuilt the car at its Indianapolis shop. “Today we ran mostly in traffic … we learned a lot,” de Silvestro said. “I have a little bit of work to do, and I’m looking forward to going back out there tomorrow and working on it.”

Meanwhile, Pippa Mann spent the day recuperating and watching her No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda being repaired after a crash Wednesday that saw her car hit three different walls. She hopes to be back on track Friday afternoon to log important laps prior to qualifying this weekend.

MWY_3145“I can’t overstate how horrible I feel for these guys,” Mann said of her hard-at-work crew, “but at the same time, unfortunately it is a part of racing. … It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’re going to work hard. That’s the biggest thing, the amount of work it’s created for these guys.”

Tristan Vautier will drive the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in Indianapolis 500 qualifications this weekend in place of James Davison, who will be competing in a sports car race in Canada. Davison, who finished 16th in his first “500” start a year ago, is expected back in the car for the final two practice sessions, on Monday and May 22, before the race on May 24.

Vautier, meanwhile, is scheduled to compete in the Blancpain Endurance GT Series event on the same day as the “500.”

“It is an interesting tradeoff,” said Vautier, the 2011 Pro Mazda and 2012 Indy Lights champion who earned Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “Obviously, we’re not going to get out there trying to break records but work toward the qualifying. It’s an interesting task to be in an Indy car and qualifying it for another driver, but I’m approaching it like I would any other race.”

Vautier completed his refresher program on the 2.5-mile oval today and logged 93 laps with a top speed of 225.406. Davison recorded the fourth-fastest lap (228.043 mph) in practice Wednesday before departing for Canada.

“It all came together last minute, but we have been talking about it for quite a while: that if James’ deal would come through I would qualify the car,” Vautier said. “So, yeah, it was not really a surprise for me but more of a long wait to see that everything was confirmed. But it’s really cool. I was happy to get back in an Indy car – it’s been a year and a half now. The first two or three laps were kind of weird, but it came back pretty quickly, so really cool. It was cool to have Simon (Pagenaud, his former teammate) on the track with me for quite a while. It reminded me of the Schmidt (Peterson Motorsports) days, so it was fun.

IMS to Honor World War II Vets at Race

In observance of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, 11 WWII veterans will be honored before the national anthem at the Indianapolis 500. Among those honored will be U.S. Army Air Corps Capt. Jerry Yellin, 91, of Fairfield, Iowa, who flew the final combat mission of the war on Aug. 14, 1945, the day the war ended.

The veterans recently took a trip to Washington, D.C., on an Indy Honor Flight, a program that offers free-round trip travel to veterans so they may visit the memorials in our nation’s capital that stand in their honor.

MWY_3143The No. 91 Wynn Iowa Vision Research Chevrolet driven by 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier became the 34th entry to take to the track this week. Larry Curry is team manager for the Lazier Racing Partners entry, with David Cripps the engineer. … All entries will receive an additional 10 kPa of engine turbocharger boost beginning in practice Friday, which should equate to approximately 40 additional horsepower. The engine boost bump will continue through qualifying weekend, with the original limit of 130 kPa reinstated for next week’s final two practice sessions and the race. … INDYCAR announced that the chassis centerline wickers, added to all cars prior to the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9, are optional for the Indianapolis 500.

INDY indycar-results-p4 5-14

Photos courtesy of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Images created by Leigh Spargur, Chris Jones and Mike Young

Honda_Pano_Pre_Final-16880474

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 http://hpd.honda.com 

Data and Images courtesy of Honda Performance Development

Ryan Hunter-Reay video courtesy of Racer.com 

Swiss Racer to Compete at Verizon IndyCar Series Season Opener with Andretti

logoINDIANAPOLIS (March 11, 2015) – Simona de Silvestro was announced today as the fourth driver to the Andretti Autosport Verizon IndyCar Series lineup for the 2015 season. The Thun, Switzerland native is currently confirmed for the season opener with the four-time IndyCar Championship winning team later this month.

“I am very excited to be joining Andretti Autosport and to become part of a team with such a successful history,” de Silvestro said. “It feels really special to have been given this opportunity to drive for them. I also want to thank Michael for believing in me and I can’t wait to start working with the team. Also, I am looking forward to get back behind the wheel of an Indy car.”

03-11-deSilvestro-Introduced-At-Andretti-StdThe 26-year-old competed in Formula Renault 2.0 Italia, Formula BMW USA and the Atlantic Championship prior to moving to IndyCar full time in 2010. de Silvestro has 65 IndyCar starts under her belt that include one podium finish (Houston: Race One, 2013), five laps led and 14 top-10 finishes along with being named the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and Tony Renna Rising Star award recipient. The Swiss racer is one of only 3 women who have recorded a podium finish in IndyCar competition. Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick being the others.

“We are really excited to have Simona come on board with the team for St. Pete,” added team owner Michael Andretti. “She will be a great fit for the team, and hopefully we’ll be able to build on the program, eventually taking it from this race to future events and maybe even a full-season relationship. Fans should stay connected with the team to hear more about our potential future with Simona.”

10299521_10153185503273678_3787825183698358405_n

The former Formula One test driver joins teammates 2014 Indianapolis 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Carlos Muñoz and veteran racer Marco Andretti, who will begin his 10th season of Verizon IndyCar Series racing. The newest member of the quartet will head to pre-season testing with the Indianapolis-based outfit, soon marking her first laps behind the wheel of an Andretti Autosport Honda. The 2015 season kicks off with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the sunny streets of St. Petersburg, FL March 29, live on ABC at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Data courtesy of Andretti Autosport

Images courtesy of IndyCar

Robin Miller video courtesy of Racer.com