September 2020 News
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The Cooper Tires Indy Grand Prix

Sept 3 - Just over a month after his first Indy Pro 2000
victory – and on his 19th birthday –
Sting Ray Robb,
from Payette, Idaho, stepped onto the top of the podium
again this afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Robb’s second win for Juncos Racing allowed him to
close to within 10 points of series leader
Devlin
DeFrancesco
at the halfway mark in the season.

A dramatic race was brought to an early conclusion after
last year’s USF2000 Championship winner,
Braden Eves,
from New Albany, Ohio, was involved in a frightening
crash in which his Exclusive Autosport Tatuus PM-18
was flipped over onto its roll hoop. Eves was taken to
the Infield Care Center and transported to IU Health
Methodist Hospital.  [Update: Eves was diagnosed with
multiple neck fractures and a fracture above his right eye.  
His season is over.]

New Zealander
Hunter McElrea rebounded from a
disappointing result one week ago on the World Wide
Technology Raceway oval to finish second for Pabst
Racing.
Canadian Parker Thompson rounded out the
podium for DEForce Racing.
Second-generation racer Eduardo Barrichello scored an
impressive maiden Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship
victory this afternoon for Pabst Racing at the Indianapolis
Grand Prix road course. In front of his former Ferrari
Formula 1 race winning father Rubens, the 18-year-old
Barrichello worked his way methodically from fourth at
the completion of the opening lap to secure top honors in
the first of three races that will comprise the USF2000's
Cooper Tires Indy Grand Prix.

One day after celebrating his 16th birthday,
Reece Gold,
from Miami, Fla., moved up to second in the points table
following his fifth podium finish in succession for Cape
Motorsports, while pole-winning Brazilian
Kiko Porto
had to settle for third for DEForce Racing.

After dominating the first six races of the season for the Jay
Howard Driver Development team, Denmark’s
Christian
Rasmussen
qualified a relatively disappointing fifth and
could manage no better than sixth at the finish after being
shuffled all the way down to 13th place on the opening lap.

Barrichello said afterward, "I will never forget this race!
I’ve been waiting so long and I’ve been working so hard,
both me and my dad."
Sting Ray Robb
Eduardo Barrichello
Sep 4 - Both series had two more races today as part of
the Cooper Tires Indy Grand Prix

Sting Ray Robb swept all three Indy Pro 2000 races that
comprised the Cooper Tires Indy Grand Prix and now
leads the Indy Pro 2000 Championship with 10 of 17
races in the books.

Robb was chased home this morning by Italian-Canadian
Devlin DeFrancesco winning by just under two seconds,
and was even more convincing later this afternoon as he
again led from start to finish before taking the checkered flag
almost three seconds clear of New Zealander
Hunter
McElrea

Robb’s Russian teammate, Artem Petrov, claimed a pair
of third-place finishes today.

The Indy Pro 2000 contenders expect to be back in action
next weekend with IndyCar pending final confirmation for
a pair of races at Mid-Ohio.
Friday Races
The USF2000 wrapped up today with another exciting pair
of all-green races

Brazilian
Eduardo Barrichello continued his excellent
form from yesterday by winning again this morning.  
Brazilian
Kiko Porto had the pole for the morning race,
but Barrichello took the lead in Turn 1 and never looked
back.

The final race of the week saw Barrichello once again take
off confidently into the lead.  A few laps later
Jack
William Miller
and Reece Gold passed Barrichello.

Christian Rasmussen, who won every race coming into
Indy, started from 2nd, but was inadvertently hit from
behind at the start and finished in last place.

Miller drove superbly until the very last lap when, with
Gold closing, the leader left his braking a fraction too late
at Turn 1 and slid straight on into the escape road. Gold
slipped into the lead and then completed the final lap to
secure an emotional victory.  Barrichello finished in 5th.
Thursday Race
#2 Sting Ray Robb
Reece Gold
Superman will Race Indycars

Sep 10 - Nascar Cup legend Jimmie Johnson has spent his
20-year stock car career at Hendrick Motorsports.

He is joining the Chip Ganassi Racing team after this
season and plans to race in non-oval IndyCar races for the
next two years.  

At 44 years old, Johnson will be the oldest driver in
IndyCar.

Johnson may also be racing part-time in Nascar next year
for Ganassi.

Johnson said that whether he races in the Indy 500 or not
will be determined by his wife, who views IndyCar oval
racing as too dangerous.  Considering Johnson's experience
racing on ovals, I would think that would be his only
chance to experience any success in IndyCar.  Ganassi
already has three full-time IndyCar drivers: Kiwi
Scott
Dixon
and Swedes Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus
Ericsson
; all of who are experts on road courses.

I suspect Johnson is doing it for fun and Ganassi is hiring
him for the publicity.
Jimmie Johnson
Vettel Replacing Perez Next Year

Sept - 10 - Back in May, Sebastian Vettel learned that he
was being let go by the Ferrari F1 team after the seaons
ends.  It was looking like the 4-time champion might be
missing from the 2021 grid.  News surfaced today that the
Racing Point F1 team has hired him for 2021 and beyond.

Billionaire
Lawrence Stroll bought the Sahara Force India
team and renamed it Racing Point in 2019.  His son Lance
races for it, so their other driver,
Sergio Perez, is being let
go to make room for Vettel.  Perez was caught by surprise
and currently does not know what will happen with his F1
career.

The 30-year-old Mexican has driven for the team for seven
years and has had five podiums with them.  He has finished
in the top 10 every one of those years.

Note: Racing Point will be renamed "Aston Martin" next
season.
Sergio Perez - 2018 Azerbaijan
Ferrari's 1,000th Grand Prix

Sept 10 - Ferrari will celebrate their 1,000th Grand Prix this
weekend during the Tucsany GP.  The race will be held at
the Mugello circuit, – a venue owned by the Scuderia.

As a result, Maranello have a weekend of celebration
planned, despite their current lack of competitiveness
meaning there’s little to celebrate in terms of results.
The SF1000s of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc
will race with a one-off burgundy livery, which is a repro-
duction of the color used on the first Ferrari 125 F1 that
raced at Monaco in 1950.  There were four of them in the
race.  

Vettel and Leclerc will also be wearing commemorative
race suits, while
Mick Schumacher will take the wheel of
his dad’s F2004 to drive around the circuit on Sunday
morning as a tribute to the Scuderia’s most successful car
and driver.
Luigi Villoresi (left) was among the 4 Ferrari drivers
racing in the second Formula 1 race, which was May 21,
1960 in Monaco.  The car was powered by a 1.5L V-12.

The race was won by
Juan Manuel Fangio for the Alfa
Romeo team after starting from pole position.

Alberto Ascari finished second for Ferrari and Louis
Chiron
finished third for Maserati.
Mid-Ohio - Race #1

09-12 - Spectators were allowed at the Mid-Ohio IndyCar
race this weekend.  They were limited to 6,000.  Social
distancing could be seen in the infield, as they were evenly
spread out in small clumps.

Will Power started the race from pole.  While he’s done
that before, and finished on the podium over the last 11
years at Mid-Ohio, he has never won at this track.

The cars got away clean, but on Lap 2, there was an
incident in the keyhole, when
Simon Pagenaud got into
Tony Kanaan.  Pagenaud spun, recovered and rejoined
the race.  No yellow flag was shown, and the race would
run caution free.  All drivers took two pit stops during the
75-lap race.  Normally 90 laps are run here, but since there
will be another race tomorrow, the distance was shortened.  
None the less, many of the drivers were worn and tired
after the race.

There was a bit of drama for
Colton Herta during his first
pit stop.  As he came in,
Alex Rossi was released into his
path, forcing him to brake, and finally stop in his box out
of position.  After he re-entered the race his car suddenly
slowed abruptly and
Scott Dixon hit him from behind.  
Luckily no apparent damage occurred to either car.

Dixon, the favorite coming into Ohio, suffered a poor
qualifying session, which was held several hours before the
race.  He had to start from the 17th position, but within
nine laps, had moved up to 11th.  He stayed in that pack
until the end, finishing 10th.

The best pass of the day may have happened on Lap 52,
when
Rinus VeeKay shot by Herta for P8.  VeeKay let
out a whoop that all heard over the radio.

Dark clouds blew in and a few rain drops fell, but rain
never interrupted the race.

Power led the race from flag to flag, finally winning in
Ohio. He racked up his 60th Pole and 38th career victory.
TOP 5 FINISHERS
1. Will Power
2. Josef Newgarden
3. Alex Rossi
4. Graham Rahal
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay
Will Power's Winning Verizon Car
Mid-Ohio - Race #2

09-13 - A lot of rain came down last night and this morning,
washing away some of the rubber and making the grass
slippery.

Like
Will Power yesterday, Colton Herta grabbed pole in
the morning qualifying and led the race to the finish.  After
two wins last year, the sophomore Herta won his first race
of 2020.  

Finishing behind him were two of his Andretti team-mates -
Alex Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Marco Andretti
hung out at the back of the field all day, except for when
he skipped the first pit stop and spent 10 laps in 2nd place
behind
Takuma Sato, who had also delayed pitting.  Zach
Veach
, the other Andretti driver, started from 11th, but
would fall back to finish 17th.  Meanwhile,
Jame
Hinchcliffe
is sitting in the announcing booth!  What the
hell?!  Hinchcliffe is better than either of those drivers -
why doesn't he have a ride?!

Herta defended hard from the start, angering
Scott Dixon,
who started 2nd; and probably
Santino Ferrucci, who
tried to pass Herta in a turn on the first lap.  But Herta
gave Ferrucci no room, forcing him into the grass.  He
bounded back onto the track and hit his teammate
Alex
Palou
, who then bumped Felix Rosenqvist and both cars
went off and into the barrier.  While Rosenqvist's day was
done, Palou seemed to only have made just slight contact,
and he was able to keep driving.  Once he was in the pits,
he hopped out and they took his car to the garage.  I was
surprised that his race was ended as I didn't see any
damage.  Ferrucci may have had a puncture and he came
into the pits.  Race control penalized him for "Avoidable
Contact" and sent him to the back.

Rookie Dalton Kellet went off into the sand trap on Lap
16.  Everyone was allowed to pit before the caution was
brought out.

On the restart on Lap 19, Dixon power bumped Hunter
-Reay to prevent his passing him.  That is not something
you see Dixon do often.  Maybe he was angry.  Maybe he
stayed angry, as two laps later he overcooked the tires and
spun.  He kept the engine running, but was facing
backwards.  Once he got turned back around and going,
he'd dropped from 4th place back to last place.  His tires
had got square off and he pit on Lap 31.  He would
eventually work his way up 12th by Lap 65, when he pit
again.  He now had plenty of fuel and while the leaders
were having to watch their fuel consumption, Dixon was
free to use his push-to-pass and he did.  On the last lap, he
made his final pass around Rinu VeeKay to finish in 10th -
the same result the points leader achieved in yesterday's
race.

The last time that Andretti captured the top three finishes
in a race was 15 years ago.
TOP 5 FINISHERS
1. Colton Herta
2. Alex Rossi
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
4. Graham Rahal
5. Marcus Ericsson
1st Lap - Ferrucci into grass
Alex Rossi inside Scott Dixon
Colton Herta & Andretti Autosport
Pato O'Ward
Bourdais Returns to IndyCar

Sep 15 - AJ Foyt Racing announced today that Frenchman
Sebastien Bourdais will be racing the final three IndyCar
races of 2020.  He had originally planned to race in four
road course events for the team, but the first, St Peters-
burg, was postponed to October 25 and the other three
races were cancelled, all due to the pandemic.

A new double-header race at the Indy Motor Speedway
was added to the October IndyCar schedule.  Those races
will be October 2 & 3rd.

In addition, AJ Foyt Racing said that Bourdais will drive full-
time for the team in 2021.

This year, Bourdais has been competing in IMSA's
WeatherTech Sportscar Championship for Action Express
in the top-level DPi class.  His Cadillac team is currently
in 2nd place in the standings.

“This is exciting news for all of us,” said Bourdais from
Le Mans, France, where he is preparing for this weekend’s
24 Hours of Le Mans. “We waited with anticipation for
most of 2020 to put together a deal for 2021. I’m really
happy that I’m running the last three races of the year – it
is great for us to get an early start on next year. 2020 has
been a very strange year so far, and I can’t wait to finally
get behind the wheel of the AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet No.
14.”
Sebastien Bourdais
2020 24 Hours of Daytona
Nashville Wants IndyCar Race

Sept 16 -  Organizers in Nashville Tennessee have teamed
up with the Nissan Stadium and the Tennessee Titans NFL
team to hold an IndyCar street race there next year.

The planned course circles the stadium's parking lot then
heads out and across the Korean Veterans Memorial
Bridge, does a little loop and circles back the way they
came.  The bridge crosses the Cumberland River.

Using Google's Street View, I noticed there was absolutely
nothing separating opposing lanes of traffic anywhere on
the streets proposed.  I assume concrete barriers will be
set-up in the medium of the streets and across the bridge,
and then removed after the race is over.

Nashville is a fun town and just over four hours from Indy.  
It sounds like a great idea to me!  No dates have been
announced, though there is a web site -
MusicCityGP.com.

The event is being called the Music City Grand Prix and the
course should be 2.17 miles in length.

Note:  The IRL raced at the 1.33-mile concrete Nashville
Super Speedway from 2001 - 2008.
View from the bridge
Spectators Allowed at IMS for Grand Prix

Sept 18 - It may be short notice, but Indy Speedway race
fans will be excited to learn they can attend some races
there this year after all!

The race dates are October 1-4, 2020.

IndyCars will be competing on the road course in the
innaugural Harvest Grand Prix.  The event will be a
double-header, with races on Friday and Saturday.
Fans can come Thursday too to see practice and qualifying.

Tickets are limited to 10,000 people per day and are on sale
now at the
IMS Web Site
On Sunday, the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hours endurance
race will take place, featuring the Intercontinental GT
Challenge series and the GT World Challenge America
series.  The event also will showcase drivers in SRO
America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America
and the TC America series.
NOTES:
* General Admission will be first-come, first-served in selected portions of various grandstands each day.
* Children 15 and under are admitted free with a paying adult in General Admission locations.
* No infield parking or sitting.
* Stands that will be open are on the outside of the oval in the NW and SW corners of the track.
* 5,000 spectators will be allowed at each end and spacing between groups of fans will be marked.
* General Admission only for Thursday and Sunday.
* Face masks and hand santizer will be handed out to guests.
* IMS is requiring masks to be worn at all times in locations.
* The Hulman Terrace Club seats are also for sale at $200/day.
INDYCAR - HARVEST GRAND PRIX DOUBLE HEADER
Practice/Qualifying
Race #1
Race #2
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
$15
$25
$35
INDIANAPOLIS 8 HOURS SPORTSCAR ENDURANCE RACE
Race
Sunday
$35
Note: G.A. tickets in stands J & NW Vista will be restricted to the lower rows on Friday & Saturday.
General Admission
Reserved Seating
Penthouse E & B, Stand E
Stand J & E & NW Vista
Stand J & E & NW Vista
N/A
Stand J & NW Vista, Penthouse B & E
Stand J & NW Vista, Penthouse B & E
N/A
$50
$55 & $75
Stand J & NW Vista, Penthouse B & E
General Admission
IndyCar Driver News

Sept 24 - Andretti Autosport has ended driver
Zach
Veach's
3-year contract with the team, with three races
left to run in 2020.
James Hinchcliffe has driven a fifth
car for the team on a few occasions this year and I suspect
he'll be tapped to drive the remaining races of the season
for the team.
Team Penske has shown a keen interest in bringing their  
Australian Supercars driver,
Scott McLaughlin to IndyCar
and had arrange
d for him to drive in the GMR Grand Prix
in May, before the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

Penske announced today that McLaughlin will be driving

the No. 3 entry at St. Petersburg Florida on Oct 25th -
the last race of the 2020 season.  The 27 y/o won the
Supercars Championship in 2018 & 2019
and is looking
to repeat this year.