August 2019 News
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy Cars Becoming Hybrids in 2022

Aug 2 - IndyCar has an all new chassis arriving in 2022.

They will also be changing the powertrain by adding an
electric motor.

The hybrid technology will consist of a multi-phase motor,
inverter and electric storage device that will create energy
recovery from the car’s braking system.
The hybrid powertrain will be integrated into the push-to-
pass system and provide a power boost of 900-plus
horsepower.

Another benefit will be that the drivers will be able to start
their own cars.  This will help if they've spun or something
and killed their engine.  They won't have to wait on the
safety crew to get them started and back on track.
Max Verstappen Captures First Pole

Aug 3 - Max Verstappen claimed his first Formula 1
pole position while setting a new track record at the
Hungaroring - 1:14.572 seconds.

After seven wins in 93 starts, he became the fourth-
youngest poleman in F1 history.  

He also became F1’s 100th different pole sitter.
Photos from the SVRA Vintage Invitational at IMS
August 3rd - 4th.
Marco Andretti Livery

Aug 8 - For a third consecutive year,
Oberto Specialty Meats will paint the
No. 98 racing machine of
Marco
Andretti
in their iconic black, red and
green colors – this year for races at
Portland and St Louis.  Circle K is
also part of the sponsorship deal.
Best Postcard Ever!  
2019 Indy 500 Winner Simon Pagenaud's morning at home!
Under the partnership, the team will be renamed Arrow
McLaren Racing SP and will field two Chevrolet-powered
cars in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, reflecting the
continuing status of Arrow Electronics as the team’s title
partner, as well as
a new manufacturer partnership with
Chevrolet
.

The partnership will see the infrastructure of Arrow SPM
underpin the team’s operations, while McLaren adds
technical expertise, commercial experience and marketing
strength to enable the new entity to perform at the highest
competitive level and regularly challenge for wins and the
series title. Arrow SPM co-founders
Sam Schmidt and
Ric Peterson continue in their current roles.

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director, McLaren Racing, will
lead the McLaren IndyCar programme and involvement in
Arrow McLaren Racing SP. He will helm a dedicated group
from McLaren Racing, independent of the Formula 1 team.
McLaren Returns to IndyCar

Aug 10 - For several years now, American fans of Formula
1 driver
Fernando Alonso have hoped that he would join
IndyCar.

He got support from his F1 team, McLaren, to come to
Indy in 2017 & 2019 to race in the Indy 500.  (He retired
from F1 at the end of 2018.)

Teaming with Andretti Autosport in 2017, he did well in
the Indy 500, but he didn't even qualify for the 2019 event
when McLaren teamed with Carlin Racing.

We've since learned that Alonso has no plans to run
IndyCar full-time.  However, these experiences has
prompted the British racing and car company, McLaren,
to race in IndyCar.

Apparently McLaren cannot start a team on their own and
they have been looking for an existing IndyCar team to
partner with.

One big problem McLaren had was that their company had
so angered Honda while in F1, that Honda refused to work
with them, including in IndyCar.  This left McLaren's only
engine option as Chevrolet.  This cut in half the number of
teams that McLaren could partner with, including Andretti
Autosport.

Today McLaren Racing announced it will return to full-
time IndyCar competition from 2020 in a strategic
partner-ship with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and
Chevrolet. McLaren last competed full-time in IndyCar in
1979.
Glory Days... Johnny Rutherford won the 1974 & 1976 Indy 500 driving for McLaren.
Mark Donohue won the 1972 Indy 500 in a McLaren, driving for Penske.
A McLaren M16B Won the 1972 Indianapolis 500.
Conor Daly Gets More Races

Aug 12 - Carlin Racing announced Conor Daly will race
Max Chilton's #59 Gallagher Racing entry at the remain-
ing two IndyCar oval races - Gateway in St. Louis and  
Pocono Raceway.  Daly also drove the car at Texas and
Iowa.  (Chilton decided to stop racing on oval tracks in
June.)
Daly is also going to race at the final IndyCar race of the
season, which is at Laguna Seca.  He will be driving for
Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from the U.S. Air
Force, as he did at this year's Indy 500 where he finished
10th!
Another driver who is driving part-time for Carlin in InyCar is
Charlie Kimball.  His car gets a new livery for Gateway -
Albon Replaces Gasly at Red Bull F1

Aug 12 - Red Bull are replacing Pierre Gasly with their
Toro Rosso driver
Alex Albon.  It follows a tough season
for Gasly alongside
Max Verstappen – and a stellar one
for rookie Albon partnering
Daniil Kvyat. Gasly will
return to Toro Rosso for the remainder of the year.

Albon, in his first season of F1 after finishing runner-up in
last year’s FIA Formula 2 championship, has impressed all
in the paddock with his speed and maturity. The British-
born Thai driver has scored 16 points from his 12 Grands
Prix to date, with a best result of sixth in the rain-affected
German round - his first ever wet F1 race.

Gasly, by contrast, has spent 2019 struggling to keep pace
with Verstappen. Having himself been promoted from
Toro Rosso at the end of last season, he has been living
firmly in the Dutchman’s shadow, scoring just 63 points
to his team mate’s 181. The Frenchman has yet to appear
on the podium in a car that has taken Verstappen to two
race wins and three further top-three finishes, and has
been out-qualified by his team mate in nearly every race
so far.

A statement from Red Bull said, "The team will use the
next nine races to evaluate Alex’s performance in order to
make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside
Max in 2020."
Alex Albon
Pierre Gasly
New Harding Steinbrenner Livery

Aug 14 - IndyCar team Harding Steinbrenner Racing
tweeted a photo of their #88 car's new paint scheme for
the remainder of the IndyCar season.  
IndyCar Drivers Racing in Bathurst 1000

Aug 16 - IndyCar drivers James Hinchcliffe and Alex
Rossi
are heading to Australia to compete in a wildcard
entry for Walkingshaw Andretti United.

The Bathurst 1000,  also known as the "Great Race" and
held in some form since 1960, is the most famous race on
the Supercars calendar, as well as the longest both in terms
of race distance and race time. The race is run over 161
laps of the Mount Panorama Circuit, 1000 km (621 miles)
in total, with the race taking between six and seven hours
to complete.

The Supercars Championship is a touring car racing
category based in Australia.  They race front-engined,
rear-drive sedans that are for sale in Australia.  Power
output is between 620-650 hp and are limited to 6500-
rpm.
A Walkingshaw Andretti United Supercar
Walkingshaw Andretti United race with Holden
Commodore ZBs.  Other makes currently being raced are
the Ford Mustang and Nissan Altima.

Out of 20 races so far this year,
Scott McLaughlin has
won 14 in his Shell V-Power Racing Team's Mustang.  
3 races have been won by his teammates.  Red Bull has
won the other three races with a Holden.
Pocono 500 IndyCar Race

Aug 18 - Unlike most IndyCar race weekends, there was
no Friday practice scheduled for Pocono.  Saturday
practice and qualifying got rained out.  A 2-hour practice
was held afterward, but cars would line up on the grid by
driver points.  Team Penske and Ed Carpenter Racing,
teams traditionally fast on ovals, were both slow in
practice.

On the first lap of the 500-mile race,
Takuma Sato
caused a huge crash that took out 4 other drivers.  
Approaching turn 2,
Ryan Hunter-Reay went inside to
pass
Alex Rossi while Sato shot around Rossi on the
outside.  Inexplicably, Sato grossly misjudged the distance
and moved left as if he’d passed Rossi.  He had not.  
Felix Rosenqvist Crashed Car
This instantly wrecked himself, Rossi and RHR.  The
wrecked cars careened from the inside wall and back
across the track with Sato ending up upside down, his car
on fire.  The wreck also caught
James Hinchcliffe and
Felix Rosenqvist.  Rosenqvist’s car went flying into the
air, then the bottom of his car slid several hundred feet
along the top of the wall and the fence.  Luckily, the car
never flipped over putting his face in the fence.  That
might have been fatal.  Rosenqvist was injured, but
apparently not too bad, as he was later cleared to drive.  
All the other drivers escaped without injury.  Also, the
Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP) device that was
added to the cars this year did its job, deflecting a big
piece of carbon fiber that was flying toward Hinchcliffe’s
face.

The senselessness of the wreck angered many, especially
having happened on the first lap and at such a dangerous
track like Pocono where
Justin Wilson was killed in 2015
and where
Robert Wickens was severely injured just last
year.  An outcry that the track was too dangerous for
IndyCars sprung up on social media.  Pocono, known as
the Tricky Triangle, has 3 turns that are all different.  
Indy cars run fast at this track, hitting 220-230 mph.   

Even the very best drivers in the world make mistakes
sometimes, but to me, Sato’s mistake was incompre-
hensible for any good driver to ever make.  Then again,
I’ve never gone 220 mph.   RHR stated that starting
position at this race is important because with today’s
Indy cars, it’s a hard place to move from the rear to the
front.  Hence, every driver is concerned about getting up
front as soon as possible.  It was also especially sad for
Rossi who is in second-place in the point standings.  
While he held on to that position,
Joseph Newgarden
moved 35 points ahead of him while the other contenders
for the championship -
Simon Pagenaud and Scott
Dixon
– moved ever closer.   Rossi and Hinchcliffe were
able to get their cars repaired and rejoin the race, but they
finished many laps down.
The Aftermath for RHR and Takuma Sato on Lap 1
After an hour, the race was restarted with 15 cars.  At the
start Pagenaud was in the lead and Newgarden passed
Dixon for 2nd.  Rookie
Santino Ferrucci  ran in the top
5 most of the day and would finish in 4th.  He seems to
have a great knack at avoiding problems and leads all
other rookies in points.

The three Penske cars might have been slow in practice
yesterday, but not today.  Pagenaud led the first half of
the race after taking the lead at the start.  Pagenaud
would finish in 3rd.  Newgarden ran up front all day and
finished in 5th place.  
Will Power dropped from 3rd down
to 13th after the first lap crash, but he worked him way
back up and was in the lead when the race was called on
Lap 128 as a lightning storm approached the track.  He
was very happy as he had not won a race this year.  This
win keeps his yearly winning streak alive, currently at 12
years in a row.  He is surpassed though by Dixon, who's
winning streak stretches 15 years!  Dixon had a good day
too, taking over the lead on Lap 78 during a caution.  He
hung onto that until Power passed him on lap 115.  Dixon
finished 2nd.

Ed Carpenter Racing cars were also slow in practice  
yesterday, but were quick today.  
Ed Carpenter finished
in 6th.  But
Spencer Pigot locked up and hit the wall
ending his day on lap 42.  He said on the radio that
something broke on the car.  

Later on lap 74, while chasing down Dixon, rookie
Colton
Herta
lost the backend and slid into the wall, then bounced
down and hit the inside wall.

Everyone who had not crashed finished on the lead lap
except
Marco Andretti who finished 2 laps down.
8/23 Update: Now a week later, Takuma Sato was interviewed in St Louis.  
It did not sound to me like he was accepting any blame for the incident.
8/24 Update: Sato was interviewed by Indianapolis Star and says he was going straight and that the other two
cars moved up and into him.  His Rahal Letterman Lanigan team issued a statement saying, "The data and
video clearly shows that Takuma did not turn down the track  into Alexander in this incident and in fact the
first steering wheel movement made by Takuma was to the right, as he tried to correct his car after the initial
contact."  They concluded that it was just a racing accident.

After studying all video and data, IndyCar however penalized Sato for avoidable contact for the incident.  
Further action is not being taken because IndyCar rules say a driver has to commit avoidable contact in three
consecutive races in order to be suspended.
I've studied all the video available and in one, it appears Rossi may have drifted right and into Sato's left rear.  
It has changed my mind on how certain I was that Sato was totally responsible.  What is needed is an overhead
view and there isn't one.  My opinion in the end, is that IndyCar made the right call.
St Louis IndyCar Night Race

Aug 25 - Points leader Joseph Newgarden led the first 50
laps of the race, then
Will Power crashed and put himself
out of the race.  Newgarden was able to stay in the top 5
all night.  At the end, he and
Santino Ferrucci were
dueling for 4th place.  On the last turn of the race,
Newgarden tried to slip under Ferrucci when he went wide,
but Ferrucci came back down into the racing lane causing
Newgarden to almost lose control of his car.  The anti-stall
device prevented Newgarden’s car from dying, and he
slowly rolled toward the finish line as several cars passed
him.  He finished in 7th and was mad at Ferrucci.  
Ferrucci claimed he was just trying to save his car and still
hoped for a podium.  

Simon Pagenaud and Alex Rossi both finished a lap
down.  Pagenaud swapped position in the championship
points battle with Rossi, taking over 2nd place. Pagenaud
is now 38 points behind Penske teammate Newgarden.

Rookie Ferrucci controlled the middle part of the race,
leading the most laps of any other driver, at 97.  His
teammate
Sebastien Bourdais followed close behind and
it looked like Dale Coyne Racing would have a 1-2 finish.  
But Bourdais got loose and into the wall on lap 192.  This
brought out a caution that changed the race due to pit
strategies.   
Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan,  Ed
Carpenter
and  Newgarden were the only drivers on the
lead lap when the caution came out.

The track position and traffic proved vital since cars lose
downforce on their front wings in traffic, so the podium
was able to keep a faster Newgarden behind them.

That’s also why Carpenter was able to make gains on Sato
at the end once the leaders started working through traffic.
Newgarden and Ferrucci seemingly had faster cars than
the podium, but just couldn’t overcome the dirty air.

Sato had overcome a near crash at the beginning of the
race when he made contact with
Ryan Hunter-Reay
when James Hinchcliffe tried to pass them in a three-
wide attempt.  Now Sato needed to be perfect in the final
laps.
Two of the oldest IndyCar drivers made the podium.
Ed Carpenter (38),  Takuma Sato (42), Tony Kanaan (44)
With three to go Carpenter made a charge, making up
nearly half a second in a single lap.

On the last lap, Carpenter went high with Sato going low.
Sato edged out Carpenter by only 0.0399 seconds to win.  

The 40,000 plus fans at were treated to the closest Indy
Car finish ever at that track.
Brickyard 400 Pace Car Revealed

Aug 26 - A Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will once again pace
the Brickyard 400.  It is supercharged and puts out
650-horsepower.  Only graphics and a safety light has
been added to the stock car to make it ready to pace the
race.

Richard Childress will be driving the car to lead the
field to the start of the Brickyard 400.

Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is celebrating its 50th
anniversary this season as a NASCAR team.

For his contributions to the sport as an independent
driver and owner, Childress was inducted into the
NASCAR Hall of Fame in the Class of 2017.
The Other Oldest Drivers:
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power are 38.  
Scott Dixon is 39
Sebastien Bourdais is 40.
Everyone Wants Conor Daly

Aug 29 - Conor Daly may not have landed a full-time ride
in IndyCar this year, but everytime a team needs a driver,
they seem to call on Daly.  Hence, his knick name "Super
Sub".

Besides driving in multiple races for Andretti Autosport
and Carlin this year, Daly has now been tapped by the
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team to fill-in for
Marcus Ericsson at Portland this weekend.

Besides being a full-time driver in IndyCar this year,  
Ericsson is also a reserve driver for the Alfa Romeo F1
team.  Their driver
Kimi Raikkonen was injured this
week and there is the possibility he won't race, so they
requested Ericsson be on hand in Belgium in case he
needs to fill in for him.

Daly made four starts for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
in the 2015 season, finishing sixth in a race in Detroit.
Daly also has driven an Indy car for A.J. Foyt Racing,
Dale Coyne Racing and Harding Steinbrenner Racing in
his career.
Conor Daly
Marcus Ericsson
Jessi Combs Killed in Land-Speed
Record Crash

Aug 28 - Jessi Combs—vehicle builder, racer, fabricator,
TV personality, and all-around automotive legend—was
killed on Tuesday in a crash while attempting to break her
own land-speed record in southeast Oregon. She was 39.

The crash occurred as Combs was piloting her jet-powered
land-speed car on the Alvord Desert, a dry lake bed where
several land-speed records have been set.

Combs held the title of "fastest woman on four wheels"
after setting a record of 398 mph in her jet-powered North
American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger in 2013.
More recently, she had piloted that same car to 483.227
mph in a single shakedown run in October 2018, though
that run ended prematurely with mechanical troubles.

Combs was a legend in the automotive world. Trained in
fabrication and hot-rod building at WyoTech, she soon
made her way to automotive television. Combs was a host,
builder, and technical expert on shows like Xtreme 4x4,
Overhaulin', Truck U, and Two Guys Garage. She brought
about Velocity channel's All Girls Garage, and was a host
and builder on a season of Discovery Channel's
Mythbusters.

When not on camera, Combs competed in a wide variety
of racing venues. She was the first woman to place at
Ultra4's King of the Hammers; she took home a Class 10
podium finish at the Baja 1000; and she ran in the Rallye
Aicha des Gazelles, an all-women rally race.

Combs joined the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed
Challenger team as driver in 2013. Her goal was to pilot the
car (built from a decommissioned fighter jet) beyond 512
mph, the record for Fastest Woman on Earth, set in 1976
by
Kitty O'Neil.
Combs met O'Neil before her land speed record attempt.

Kitty O'Neil, a stuntwoman, set many records in her life such as
falling the furthest, driving the fastest quarter mile, fastest water
skier, driving a boat the fastest, as well as land speed records.
Ultra4's King of the Hammers