March 2012
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
XR1200 Harleys To Return To IMS At Red Bull Indianapolis GP

March 22 - The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series – featuring the
distinctive thunder of Harley-Davidson motorcycles – will return to the Red Bull
Indianapolis GP schedule Aug. 17-19 after their debut last year.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 adds a fourth class of racing to the Red Bull
Indianapolis GP weekend. It joins the three World Championship classes –
MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 – competing on the 16-turn, 2.621-mile circuit that
combines part of the famed IMS oval with an infield section. Two XR1200 races
are scheduled Aug. 18-19 at IMS.

XR1200 competition in 2011 marked the racing return of Harley-Davidson to the
Speedway for the first time since 1909, when the world-famous facility opened
with a motorcycle event.

Tyler O’Hara edged Steve Rapp by just .048 of a second to win the first
XR1200 race last August at IMS, with 2011 series champion
Chris Fillmore
capturing the second race. Tight, handlebar-to-handlebar competition among
more than 30 riders thrilled fans. Also popular was the debut of
Shelina
Moreda
, the first female motorcycle rider to race at IMS in the 102-year history
of the facility.

The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series is a spec-bike series featuring
specially modified Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles.

The modification kits consist of a Vance & Hines XR1200 exhaust system, a
Fuelpak fuel management system, race bodywork including number plate, single-
seat tail section and belly pan, 17- inch front wheel with matching front fender,
steering damper, oil cooler relocator and race decal package.

Additional modifications are limited to racing suspension, hand and foot controls,
brake components and instrumentation. Like all other AMA Pro Road Racing
classes, the Vance & Hines XR1200 class uses Dunlop spec tires and Sunoco
spec fuel.

The Indianapolis double-header will be the eighth and ninth of 12 races on the
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 schedule this season.
Danica Got Out Just In Time

Mar 22 - IndyCar has finally made rules to balance driver weight
in competition.  While the cars have always had to meet weight
criteria, no rules were in place to equalize the different weight of
drivers so that there was an even playing field.  Good example
is the speed gained by, say,
Danica Patrick's car over Paul
Tracy
's car because his bulk added a lot of weight to the race
car.  

Beginning this year, ballast will be added to the car for driver's
weighing less than 185 lbs, to bring the weight up to that.

For instance,
Takuma Sato only weighs 135 lbs.  Sato will have
ballast added to the car to reach 185 pounds (53 pounds in his
case).

The weight of the road/street course car is 1,565 pounds. With
the gas tank empty  and with the driver sitting in the car, the car
will need to weigh at east 1,750 lbs at technical inspection.

Dallara has made provisions for driver ballast in the form of
steel or tungsten plates to be bolted to the cockpit floor – under
a compartment behind the driver’s seat – and on the front side
of the pedal bulkhead. Ten pounds is allowed in the latter, with
any remainder directed to the seat location.

Steel plates weigh about 4 pounds each; tungsten is about 9
pounds. They can be combined as necessary to achieve the
required ballast.
Currently there are two drivers who weigh over 185 who will not
have ballast added:  6'3"
Justin Wilson and 6'2" Graham
Rahal
,
IndyCar - 4 Test Days At Sebring

Mar 9 - Scott Dixon's Thursday morning laptime of 51.7932s
(116.077mph) was impossible for anyone to beat all week and
ended up the fastest time of all four days of testing on Sebring
International Raceway's 1.67-mile, 11-turn short road course.

Dixon's Ganassi-Honda team mate
Dario Franchitti was the
next fastest man of the week, 0.2225s back with a lap of
52.0157s (115.580mph) set in the final session on Friday
afternoon.

After that it was Chevrolet cars in the next five slots - including
all three Team Penske cars that tested at the start of the week
led by
Helio Castroneves. However, the Penske drivers were
broken up by
Rubens Barrichello who was fourth fastest in
the Andretti Autosport and by
JR Hildebrand impressing in the
Panther who was sixth fastest. Both Barrichello and Hildebrand
set their best times on Friday morning.

Practice sessions 1-4 are from Monday and Tuesday, and
practice sessions 5-8 are from Thursday and Friday. They are
not strictly speaking directly comparable because of differences
in the weather and track conditions, but it is the best
head-to-head form guide we have until March 24 when
qualifying takes place at St Petersburg.
Sebring testing - Combined times

1. #9 Scott Dixon Honda 116.077mph 51.7932s Practice 5 (144 laps)
2. #10 Dario Franchitti Honda 115.580mph 52.0157s Practice 8 (142 laps)
3. #3 Helio Castroneves Chevrolet 115.302mph 52.1413s Practice 4 (201 laps)
4. #8 Rubens Barrichello Chevrolet 115.257mph 52.1615s Practice 7 (165 laps)
5. #12 Will Power Chevrolet 115.159mph 52.2059s Practice 4 (161 laps)
6. #4 JR Hildebrand Chevrolet 115.157mph 52.2068s Practice 7 (185 laps)
7. #2 Ryan Briscoe Chevrolet 115.157mph 52.2072s Practice 4 (179 laps)
8. #14 Mike Conway Honda 115.122mph 52.2230s Practice 6 (169 laps)
9. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Chevrolet 114.850mph 52.3466s Practice 4 (153 laps)
10. #15 Takuma Sato Honda 114.768mph 52.3841s Practice 7 (203 laps)
11. #38 Graham Rahal Honda 114.582mph 52.4692s Practice 8 (136 laps)
12. #77 Simon Pagenaud Honda 114.580mph 52.4698s Practice 4 (200 laps)
13. #5 EJ Viso Chevrolet 114.228mph 52.6317s Practice 6 (146 laps)
14. #18 Justin Wilson Honda 114.180mph 52.6537s Practice 4 (174 laps)
15. #67 Josef Newgarden Honda 114.177mph 52.6551s Practice 8 (120 laps)
16. #83 Charlie Kimball Honda 114.009mph 52.7328s Practice 8 (133 laps)
17. #19 James Jakes Honda 113.802mph 52.8288s Practice 4 (191 laps)
18. #27 James Hinchcliffe Chevrolet 113.622mph 52.9125s Practice 2 (162 laps)
19. #22 Oriol Servia Lotus 113.610mph 52.9178s Practice 8 (212 laps)
20. #11 Tony Kanaan Chevrolet 113.607mph 52.9195s Practice 8 (133 laps)
21. #98 Alex Tagliani Lotus 113.582mph 52.9308s Practice 7 (129 laps)
22. #26 Marco Andretti Chevrolet 113.525mph 52.9577s Practice 3 (166 laps)
23. #78 Simona de Silvestro Lotus 112.941mph 53.2312s Practice 4 (129 laps)
24. #6 Sebastien Bourdais Lotus 112.797mph 53.2993s Practice 7 (69 laps)
25. #20 Ed Carpenter Chevrolet 112.423mph 53.4764s Practice 8 (108 laps)
26. #6 Katherine Legge Lotus 111.714mph 53.8161s Practice 8 (111 laps)
27. #27 Ana Beatriz Chevrolet 111.029mph 54.1478s Practice 6 (86 laps)

Total Laps for Combined Sessions: 4107
(R) Rookie
Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti Autosport
Formula One Veteran Moves To IndyCar

Mar 1 - Brazillian Rubens Barrichello confirmed that he has
signed with KV Racing to compete in all 16 races of the 2012 in
the Izod IndyCar series.

He will be piloting the  #8 BMC-Embrase KV Racing car and his
new team mates are
Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso.

At age 39, Barrichello will be the oldest driver in IndyCar, as
well as a "rookie".

Barrichello, in case you didn't know, was
Michael
Schumacher
's teammate at Ferrari.  Schumacher proved to be
one of the best race car drivers in history.  You couldn't ask for
a harder team mate, but Barrichello was able to compile nine
victories while at Ferrari including the 2002 United States
Grand Prix at Indianapolis.  He also won two F1 grand prixs in
2009 while driving for Brawn Racing.  He also holds the record
for having competed in more Formula One races than any
driver in history at over 300.

2000 to 2005 during which time he twice finished as runner-up
in the world championship, but during his career he also
competed for Jordan, Stewart, Honda and Brawn. The last two
years have been spent at Williams F1, but the team announced
in January that they were replacing Barrichello with
Bruno
Senna
, son of the legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna.

Today's press conference also revealed that Kanaan would be
back with KV Racing for two more years, having signed with the
team initially at the start of 2011.

"I am very excited to be returning to KV Racing Technology not
only with a two year deal but also to have Rubens Barrichello
as my team mate,” said Kanaan himself. "We have always
dreamed about racing together but never imagined it would
actually happen and certainly not in the near future or in
IndyCars."

Kanaan kick-started this whole thing when he tweeted an
invitation to Barrichello to come try out the KV car in January.

Everyone in the racing community is surprised and excited to
have Barrichello join the series.
Jimmy Vasser, Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello, Kevin Kalkhoven