Posts Tagged ‘barber motorsports park’

Josef_Newgarden_Barber

By: Jeff Majeske

Special Correspondent for Speedway Sightings

An IndyCar season that seemed destined to be littered with shredded pieces and broken promises pulled itself out of the marbles just in time as the month of May looms.

Josef Newgarden’s thrilling victory at Barber – his first – gives the series a much-needed boost as it ramps up for its marquee event, the Indianapolis 500.

A few things about Newgarden and his win:

  • He’s American, not German or Austrian as a casual observer might have guessed. Moreover, the fourth-year driver hails from NASCAR country, specifically Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star ran a nice piece about how Newgarden and his dad logged thousands of miles driving to New Castle, Indiana, to the karting track of former Indy driver Mark Dismore to begin learning his craft.
  • Newgarden may be the first driver from the Volunteer State to ever win an IndyCar race. I sent an email to the IndyCar Series asking if this were the case, but did not get a response. Certainly no driver with a birthplace in Tennessee – or Mississippi, Alabama or Georgia, for that matter – has won the Indianapolis 500.
  • Given how many drivers with Indiana connections who gravitated to NASCAR because they weren’t interested in Indy cars (Ryan Newman, South Bend), didn’t get a chance (Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro after leaving California) or sought greener pastures (Tony Stewart, Columbus), it’s nice to see the tables turned a bit.
  •  Newgarden drives for the newly formed CFH Racing team, an easy-to-root-for outfit. The “C” is Ed Carpenter, and the “F” is Sarah Fisher. After a rough start, Carpenter, stepson of Tony George, is a solid competitor on ovals with three victories. He’ll be aiming for an unprecedented third straight Indianapolis 500 pole this year. Fisher was one of the most popular drivers and now, despite many challenges, fields a solid and winning team.

Anyway, it’s nice to watch (and talk and write about) good racing.

That momentum needs to continue with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. These two races, plus the doubleheader at Detroit the weekend after the 500, are the last ones on network television this year (ABC).

With the rest of the races on NBC Sports Network, that means May is the last, best opportunity to grab the attention of casual viewers.

Photo credit: Joe Skibinski/Verizon IndyCar Series

Originally Posted on Jeff’s Indy Talk

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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 

NBC IndyCar

By Dave Lewandowski
IndyCar Media

Bob Jenkins was struck by the perceived speed of the new IZOD IndyCar Series cars as they navigated the 1.67-mile Sebring International Raceway short course during testing earlier this month, and turned to relay the observation to a colleague on pit lane.

That was his second notification that the next-generation car-turbocharged engine package is certainly different from 2011.

“The first thing I thought of when I saw the new car on track was it looks fast, and that’s the way it appeared on TV, too,” said the veteran broadcaster, who will lead NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama this weekend. “As far as the engines are concerned, that was the biggest surprise when I heard them because you could actually carry on a normal conversation with someone not far from the racetrack when the cars were going around.

“That will be more appealing to the race fan; it’s more like they were 10 years ago.”

Links to Click:

Weekend Schedule
Driver Performances at Barber
Pit Lane Assignments
NBC Sports Network 2012 IndyCar Telecast Schedule & Facts

The re-branded NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS) enters its fourth season of a multi-year partnership, and its lineup features 10 IZOD IndyCar Series races in addition to qualifications and special programming.

Jenkins and analysts Jon Beekhuis and Wally Dallenbach Jr. will be on the air at 4 p.m. (ET) March 31 to call the three rounds of qualifications on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park. The pre-race telecast begins at 2 p.m. (ET) April 1.

Preceding the race day coverage will be the debut of “INDYCAR 36” (1:30 p.m. ET), which will feature Tony Kanaan.

As a TV viewer of the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25, the reliability of the Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engines and the competition on the tight 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit stood out to Jenkins.

“My biggest fear was that there were going to be parts all over the racetrack on Sunday, engines were going to be blowing and, in fact, there was nothing like that and I’m very encouraged,” he said. “The fact that there are three engine manufacturers I don’t think it could be better for the series. Obviously, there’s going to be one engine that’s better than the other two – at least initially – and you have the top two teams with different engines — Penske with Chevy and Ganassi with Honda.

“All in all, it’s going to make for an interesting 2012 season.”

Complementing the booth announcers will be current IZOD IndyCar Series driver Townsend Bell, Marty Snider, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller on pit lane.

“Jon has just done an incredible job — as he always does — this past winter doing his homework and finding out all the nuances about the cars and regulations that are in effect this year,” Jenkins added. “Wally will be able to relate to what the drivers are thinking while in the battle.

“And at the meeting we had in Sebring, I was so impressed with Townsend and the questions he asked and his obvious interest in being good in the pit area. He’ll be a great addition to our team, and he’ll bring a different perspective as far as a driver being able to relate to what’s happening on the racetrack.”

An IMS Productions crew followed Kanaan, driver of the No. 11 GEICO | Mouser Electronics-KV Racing Technology w/ SH car, during the St. Petersburg race weekend for INDYCAR 36.

“This show will give viewers their first real opportunity to go behind the scenes with a driver – from riding in the car with them to the racetrack to their team meetings,” said Robby Greene, president and COO of IMS Productions.

The excitement and drama of the season-opening race is captured – along with the disappointment of completing only 21 of 100 laps because of an electrical issue.

“We are not really sure right now what it was or what caused it, but my dashboard just went blank and the car shut down,” Kanaan said on pit lane. “Looking around, it is a beautiful day with everyone remembering Dan (Wheldon). It reminds you that there are a lot more important things in life than dropping out of a race.”

INDYCAR 36 also will be replayed three times during the week following each NBC Sports Network race.

NBC Sports Network also will televise qualifications and Carb Day activities from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Additionally, Firestone Indy Lights races will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network this year. The St. Petersburg 100 will be televised at 5 p.m. (ET) March 29. Mike King, Beekhuis and Jake Query are the announcers.