Franchitti in Points Lead
Sept 6 - Now that the Baltimore IndyCar race is in the books, only
5 points separate point leaders Dario Franchitti (507) and Will
Power (502), the latter won the race.    

Power has a 12-point advantage over Franchitti in the Mario
Andretti Road Trophy chase with one event left.

Power has won 6 races this season, a record held by
Dan
Wheldon
and Scott Dixon.  

A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti hold the highest Indy car record
with 10 wins in a season.
September 2011
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
IndyCar Returns to Southern California
Sept 6 - IndyCar will return to racing at Fontana in SoCal next year.  The track is now called Auto Club Speedway.  It is a 2-mile D-shape oval with
14-degree banking in the corners, 11-degrees on front straight and 3-degrees on back straight.

Sam Hornish Jr. won the Inaugural IndyCar Series race at the Speedway in 2002 in an exciting finish that saw him beat Jaques Lazier across the
finish line by a mere 0.0281 seconds. The series continued to run there
through 2005.
Driver Shakeup At Lotus Renault
Sept 3 - Lotus Renault has fired German driver Nick Heidfeld,
34, from their Formula One team.

The team has replaced him with Brazilian
Bruno Senna for the
rest of this year to be
Vitaly Petrov's new teammate.  

GP2 champion
Romain Grosjean is the reserve driver.
Vettle Cruises to Monza F1 Victory
Sept 11 - Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel moved ever closer to his
second consecutive world championship with a totally dominant
victory at Monza, his eighth of the season.

Vettel had to play second fiddle initially to the fast-starting Ferrari of
Fernando Alonso, and then trail him obediently behind the safety
car after an out-of-control
Tonio Liuzzi spun down the grass on the
inside going into Turn One and triggered mayhem at the start which
accounted for his HRT, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and Vitaly Petrov’s
Renault. Williams’ Rubens Barrichello, Force India’s Adrian Sutil and
HRT’s Daniel Ricciardo lost valuable ground in the melee and, after
the race, Liuzzi was handed a five-place grid penalty for the next
event in Singapore.

When the racing resumed on Lap Four it quickly became clear that
the Ferrari was not going to stay ahead, and Vettel calmly breezed
round the outside of it in the Curva Grande on Lap Five, despite
having two wheels in the dirt, and then simply headed off to an easy
triumph.

Such is Vettel’s lead, if things go his way he could wrap up the title
at the next round in Singapore. Currently he is 112 points clear with
284. Alonso moved to second place today with 172, with Button and
Webber third on 167 and Hamilton fifth with 158. Red Bull have 451
points to McLaren’s 325 and Ferrari’s 254.
1st Lap Mayhem
Podium
Pippa Mann Cleared To Return To Indy Car
Sept 9 - Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Pippa Mann crashed
hard during practice at New Hampshire Speedway last month.
Cheif among her injuries was an end-plate fracture of the C7
vertebrae.

Mann said, "Being cleared to return to the cockpit is like having a
huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  I was worried about whether I
would heal quickly enough to be cleared in time for my next two
races, and now that concern has finally been put to rest."
“Pippa fought very hard at Loudon, trying to learn a difficult track,
a new car and a new team all in the same weekend,” said team co-
owner
Bobby Rahal. “She never quit trying at Loudon, and that
attitude helped her recover quickly from her injuries and has put
her in position to get back in the car at Kentucky
Temporary Drivers in IndyCar
Sept 23 - Jay Howard to drive in Vegas for Rahal Letterman
Lanigan.  Howard will join the Ohio-based team for the third time this
season, this time as the driver of the newly-numbered #15 Service
Central Dallara/Honda/Firestone, after having had promising outings
with RLL at this year’s Indianapolis 500 as well as the Firestone Twin
275s at Texas Motor Speedway. The 30-year-old from Basildon,
England made up 13 spots in the first of the Texas 275-milers back
in June and was having a strong run in his first Indy 500 in May
before a problem with a wheel ended his charge. The former
Firestone Indy Lights and U.S. Formula Ford Zetec champion will be
making his 13th career Indy Car series start, and his first on the
high-speed 1.5-mile LVMS oval.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced that American driver,
Townsend Bell, will drive at the IZOD IndyCar Series events in
Kentucky and Las Vegas. Bell will replace the injured
Justin Wilson
for the final two races of the season and will pilot the team's No. 22
Valspar entry for Kentucky and the No. 22 Dad's Root Beer machine
in Las Vegas.
Retired F1 Driver to Race in Indy 500
Sept 23 - Group Lotus brand ambassador Jean Alesi will make his
return to competitive racing flying the flag for Group Lotus at the
96th Indy 500.

Despite his considerable experience, Jean has never before taken
on competitive oval racing. Following a 12 year stint in F1 from 1989
to 2001, Alesi moved onto DTM racing and then last year made his
most recent competitive race appearance in the Le Mans Series. In
January 2011 he joined Group Lotus as a brand ambassador and
development consultant on the F1 customer race car, the T125.
Although never straying far from the race track, the Indy 500 and
oval racing represent completely new challenges for Jean.

Jean’s development role with Group Lotus will stand him in good
stead as he prepares for his new challenge as he will be competing
in a Lotus powered by the new Lotus IndyCar engine. Development
of the 2.2l twin turbo V6 is going to schedule with the first engine fire
up set for mid October and track testing planned December.
Wheldon's Back
Sept 26 - In an all-out attempt to win the Go Daddy INDYCAR
Challenge, team owner
Sam Schmidt, driver Alex Tagliani and
sponsor Bowers & Wilkins have agreed to put two-time Indianapolis
500 winner
Dan Wheldon behind the wheel of the No. 77 Bowers &
Wilkins at Magnolia Dallara/Honda/Firestone car for Sam Schmidt
Motorsports (SSM) in the Oct. 2 Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky
Speedway in Sparta, Schmidt announced today.

Wheldon will step into the car that Tagliani has driven in 15 IZOD
IndyCar Series events in 2011. It was announced on Sept. 13 that
Wheldon would also drive in the IZOD INDYCAR World
Championships on Oct. 16 in Las Vegas in a car jointly entered by
SSM and Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA). Wheldon will now drive the
No. 77 car for SSM at Kentucky in preparation for his attempt to win
the $5 million Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge.

“I can’t thank Alex enough for letting me drive his car in Kentucky
and to work with the team in preparation for Las Vegas,” Wheldon
said. “I know when I step into the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins at
Magnolia Honda, I’ll be stepping into a fast racecar that’s capable of
winning. As a driver, that’s all you can ask for. I’m really excited
about this opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at
Sam’s team. They were a large part of our winning effort in May, and
I’ll do my best to get back to victory lane.”
“I’m obviously not happy about sitting out Kentucky, but this is a very
exciting opportunity,” Tagliani said. “Dan and I are good friends, and
I’m very jealous that he gets to run for the $5 million."

As the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, Wheldon is the only driver
eligible to compete for the Go Daddy INDYCAR Challenge. If he wins
the Las Vegas race after starting at the back of the field, he will win
$2.5 million for himself and $2.5 million for a lucky fan.