March 2009
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
2009 Indy 500 Program Art Revealed
Mar 1 - Artist Thomas Kinkade unveiled a new painting that
will serve as the cover of the collectible 2009 Indianapolis 500
Program
Pace Car Unveiled
Mar 1 - The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro will pace this year’s
Indianapolis 500.

The first Camaro to pace the 500 was in 1967. The other
years were 1969, 1982 and 1993.

This Camaro has a 6.2-liter LS3 all-aluminum Chevy V-8
engine that produces 426 horsepower at 5,900 rpms.

Photos of All Pace Cars
New IRL Driver
Mar 1 - Robert Doornbos is joining the IndyCar ranks in
2009, signing to Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing's second
seat.

"Mike (Lanigan) and I are excited to add Robert to our
lineup,"
Carl Haas said. "He was a fierce competitor in
Champ Car and we are hoping for the same in the IndyCar
Series.

In 2007, the Dutchman stormed into Champ Car with
authority, and proved a thorn in
Sebastien Bourdais' side
working with engineer Michael Cannon and the former
Minardi Team USA effort (now HVM). He won two races and
secured Rookie-of-the-Year honors, finishing third overall in
the series standings.
Doornbos had been rumored to bringing ING backing,
but the Dutch bank is in financial straits at the moment
and has adjusted the dollars it spends on motorsport. A
majority of the company's backing is invested in Formula
One with the Renault team and four race title
sponsorships.

Newman/Haas/Lanigan also has entered a third car for
the upcoming Homestead test per an IndyCar Series
release, without a driver or car number named. Milka
Duno has been rumored to that seat but there has been
no official confirmation from the team.
New Ticket Prices for Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
Mar 5 - Imagine a whole day of exciting NASCAR racing for only
$45!  

The Indy Speedway has reduced some Northeast Vista tickets
for the Brickyard 400 this year.  Seats in Sections 41 through
50 of the NE Vista have gone from $75 to  $45.

Its easy to park for free and since you can bring in your own
food and drink, you don't have to spend any more money that
day.

Now that's some bang for your buck!

The 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is on Sunday, July 26th,
2009.

Visit
the Official Site to purchase these tickets.
And I Thought Mine Was Big...

The Transportation Research Center is an independent
automotive proving ground located on approximately 4,500
acres of land in East Liberty, Ohio, approximately 40 miles
northwest of Columbus.

The facility was created in a joint effort between Ohio State
University and the Ohio Department of Highways.  The Ohio
State Board of Trustees approved a development plan in
1966 and acquired the necessary land.

The Indy Speedway was originally designed to be a test
facility too, back in 1908. It occupies 450 acres.

TRC Inc. conducts programs designed to test for safety,
energy, fuel economy, emissions, durability, noise, crash,
crash simulation and performance. They test trucks, buses,
recreational vehicles, motorcycles, electric vehicles,
passenger cars and components.

Transportation Research Center's 7.5-mile (12.1-km) test
oval contains one asphalt and three concrete lanes on the
front straightaway and curves and two asphalt and three
concrete lanes on the back straightaway.

The track's parabolic banking allows neutral speeds up to
140 mph (225 km/h). The track features level 2-mile (3.2 km)
straightaways. Possible tests include: mileage accumulation,
brake burnishes, fuel economy, and coastdown testing.

Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.) provides
comprehensive research, development and testing services,
facilities to manufacturers, industry organizations, and
government agencies worldwide.

Tour the track on the web
Carburation Day Concert Announced
Mar 14 - The band 3 Doors Down will be headlining the
Carb Day concert May 22nd.

They released their last album a year ago.

Originally a 3-piece band, current members consist of:
Brad Arnold - lead vocals
Matt Roberts - lead guitar
Chris Henderson - rhythm guitar
Todd Harrell - bass guitar
Greg Upchurch - drums, percussion
F1 Gold, Silver and Bronze
Mar 23 - The FIA has voted to adopt Bernie Ecclestone's idea to
award medals to first, second and third place in Formula One.  The
championship will be awarded to the driver who wins the most races,
not the most points, as in years past.  This puts the emphasis on
winning as opposed to being consistant.  I think it is an interesting
idea that is worth a try.  Strategies may change and we may see
drivers battling harder for the win.

The teams and drivers do not appear to be in favor of the plan.  
Their organization, FOTA, offered a plan where first place would
receive 12 points instead of the 10 currently awarded for winning.  
The FIA flat rejected the idea.

Mar 26 - Ross Brawn bought the Honda F1 team and it is now
called Brawn GP.  They are retaining the drivers
Jenson Button
and
Rubens Barrichello, but they have switched to Mercedes
power.

They did surprisingly well during testing this month beating
everyone.  Red Bull, Ferrari and Renault filed complaints to the FIA
that Brawn GP, as well as Williams and Toyota, were running
diffusers that were outside the scope of the rules.

Today, on the cusp of the Australian Grand Prix, the FIA has given
clearance to the three teams to use the diffusers as is.

To examine the car designs, click on
2009 F1 Cars
Decked element and double endplate
the diffuser sports a closed and
curved section in the middle
Brawn GP Sweeps Australia
Mar 29 - The new Formula One team Brawn GP, did in fact start
from the front row.  They finished in the same order in an exciting
race that saw the safety car come out twice.

Jenson Button won, followed by teammate Rubens Barrichello.   
With
Jarno Trulli finishing third, the three oldest drivers finished on
top.

Both Ferraris DNF'd today.

Just a few months ago, Button and Barrichello received the bad
news that Honda was withdrawing from F1.  They had just had two
terrible seasons driving for them.  They wondered if their F1 careers
were over.  But Ross Brawn aquired the Honda team, plugged in
Mercedes power and the drivers went on to dazzle everyone.  The
last time a new F1 team swept the front row and finished 1-2, was
Mercedes in 1954!

Barrichello's hope for finishing 2nd were dimmed from the start.  His
car started to stall and he had to put it in neutral.  The delay cost
him many spots.  Then he was involved in a melee at the first turn.  
He continued on and would experience several collisions today.
Note that the protest against Brawn GP and their diffusers has been
appealed and it will be reviewed again in April.  So, there may be a
chance that Brawn GP could lose their race points in the weeks
ahead.

The Toyotas were penalized before the race for rear wings with too
much flex, and had to start from the pit-lane. Unfortunately for Trulli,
he was also penalized after the race for passing
Lewis Hamilton
while the safety car was out, and he lost his 3rd place finishing
position.  (update: Upon review, Hamilton was removed from the
race results and Trulli got his 6 points back for 3rd place.)

Sebastian Vettel's smashing debut with Red Bull -- he spent the
first 55 of 58 laps hot on the heels of winner Button, crashed out
BMW Sauber's
Robert Kubica to land a 10-spot grid penalty for
next Sunday's race in Malaysia.

Both cars continued after collision, both finally hitting the outside
wall. Kubica was stopped when his car lost two wheels, which went
bouncing along the track. Vettel drove on, his left front wheel
tethered to the car and resting on its bodywork. Stewards fined the
Red Bull team $50,000 for Vettel driving a damaged car.