January 2017 News
No German F1 Race

Jan 11 -  There used to be two Formula 1
races in Germany each year, Hockenheim and
the Nurburgring.  Then in 2007, Hockenheim
was dropped from the calendar.

It returned in 2012 and the plan was to switch
between the two locations each year.

However, In 2015 the race that was supposed
to be ran at the Nurburgring was cancelled for
the forseeable future and there was no German
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This year Hockenheim has been dropped from the F1 calendar.  A satisfactory deal could not be
struck, as the racetrack was unwilling to accept total possible losses for the event. Unfortunately, the
German racetrack was just not financially capable of managing an event of such status, given lower
attendance in recent years.

I am bewildered how a country with the best F1 team and German drivers, can let this happen.
group.  Unfortunately that deal has fell through and now
Manor Racing does not have the funds to insure its
presence on the grid in March.  They have filed for
bankruptcy protection.

The team scored 1 point in 2016.  
Esteban Ocon drove
for them but has signed this year to drive for Force India.  
2016 Indy 500 winner
Alexander Rossi was also
planning to be their reserve driver.

Based in Banbury, England, Manor employs a little over
200 people, but those talented professionals might have to
seek new jobs if there is nobody interested in taking over
the team and becoming a contender in Formula 1.
Manor Racing Files For Bankruptcy

Jan 11 - More bad news for F1.  It looks like the field
will be light this year with the exit of Manor Racing.

The team was founded in 2010 and it's name was
changed to Virgin - it's major sponsor.

Virgin pulled out two years later and Marussia then
bought a controlling interest and changed the name.  
They pulled out in 2014.

Stephen Fitzpatrick then bought the team and revived
the name.  He was trying to sell the team recently and
thought he'd struck a deal with an Asian investment
Technical head Lowe leaves Mercedes F1

Jan 11 - Technical head Paddy Lowe is leaving Formula
One world champions Mercedes and has started a period of
'gardening leave', the team said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sources have indicated he is set to join rivals Williams in a
deal likely to ease a move in the other direction for that
team's Finnish driver
Valtteri Bottas as replacement for
retired world champion
Nico Rosberg.

Lowe, who has helped Mercedes win three successive
constructors' titles, started his F1 career at former
champions Williams in 1987 and spent six years there
before moving to McLaren.

The 54-year-old Briton joined Mercedes in 2013.
In 2013, Paddy Lowe met actress Anna Danshina,
20 years his junior, and proposed 3 weeks later.
Legends Day Concert

Jan 11 - Four-time Grammy winner Keith Urban will
headline the annual Firestone Legends Day Concert on
Saturday, May 27, the day before the 101st Indy 500.

Dustin Lynch and Clayton Anderson will be special
guests and fill out the full lineup.

Tickets go on-sale Monday, Jan. 16 at 10 a.m.  General
admission tickets for the concert start at $40 and access
to the Firestone Concert Pit near the front of the stage is
set for $75. Prices will increase closer to the concert date.
For tickets and additional information, please visit
www.ims.com or call (800) 822-INDY. Children 3 and
under are free to the concert.
Fans with tickets for the Firestone Legends Day Concert
will be admitted free to Legends Day activities.
Admission to IMS on Legends Day will be $10 for
adults, with children 15 and under free when
accompanied by an adult.

Other featured events on Legends Day presented by
Firestone include the annual Public Drivers’ Meeting on
pit road adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand,
autograph sessions with the Indianapolis 500 starting field
of 33 drivers and former Indy 500 drivers and an
Indianapolis 500 memorabilia show.
IndyCar Wants 3rd Engine Manufacturer

Jan 11 - With renewed interest in the IndyCar Series
from engine manufacturers, IndyCar officials are not
only confident of landing a third engine partner but a
fourth engine partner is a legitimate possibility.

Freezing the current aero-kit rules for the 2017 season
and then introducing a universal aero kit beginning in
2018 has removed a key hurdle for new production
partners to join IndyCar.

“One of the main reasons we wanted to move away
from the aero-kit competition is to introduce a third and
maybe a fourth auto brand,” IndyCar director,
aerodynamic development
Tino Belli said. “Typically,
companies that might come in have indicated they did
not really want to develop and engine and an aero kit.
Current engine manufacturers indicated the costs in
developing an aero kit were higher than they expected.
Mark Miles, IndyCar CEO, visited with several
interested international automakers in December. He has
been working with IndyCar president of competition and
Jay Frye on luring new manufacturers to the
Verizon IndyCar Series.

“They (Honda and Chevrolet) both want a third and a
fourth engine manufacturer to come in, as well. Our
hopes are high that we will attract a third manufacturer,
and it could be a fourth if things go well.”

It’s likely a new engine manufacturer would not be able
to join IndyCar until the 2019 season in order for the
new company to have proper time to design, build and
develop an engine.
Carl Edwards Retiring

Jan 11 - The NASCAR driver known for doing back
flips off of his car when he won, is retiring at age 37.

After 28 Cup wins in 13 seasons of racing in NASCAR's
premiere series,
Carl Edwards surprised his team owner
a few weeks ago that he wanted to quit.

Edwards had one year remaining on his contract with
Joe Gibbs Racing.

"This was such a surprise,"
Joe Gibbs said. "When he
sat down in front of me and shared what he was
thinking, I was totally surprised.

Edwards first NASCAR job was driving for
Jack Roush.
That led to a Truck Series championship and a rapid rise
through NASCAR's ranks.

Edwards twice came within moments of winning a Cup
title. He lost to
Tony Stewart in 2011 on a tie-breaker,
then again in November when he was leading the season
finale with 10 laps remaining when a debris caution set
up a final restart. Edwards had to block
Joey Logano
on the restart and it triggered a crash that ended his title

Despite that heartbreak, he said he's walking away content
with his 28 career victories.

"You guys know I don't race just for the trophies,"
Edwards said. "I'm rewarded by the challenges. I feel
accomplished. I know sitting in that car, I'm the best I
can be."

NASCAR Chairman
Brian France praised the
contributions Edwards has made to NASCAR and the
news conference was attended by a large contingent of
NASCAR executives.

"Carl Edwards has made an indelible mark on
NASCAR," France said. "His hard-charging driving style
has led to memorable moments that will live forever in
the history of our sport. Carl's passion and personality
will greatly be missed - as will the signature backflips
that NASCAR fans have come to expect following his
victories. We wish Carl nothing but the best as he enters
this next phase in life."

Edwards, who lives in his home state of Missouri, is
married to a doctor and has two young children, also
wants more time to focus on outside interests.

"I can stand here healthy after all the things I've done,"
Edwards said. "That's a true testament to NASCAR, the
tracks. It's a risky sport. I'm aware of the risks. I don't
like how it feels to take the hits we take. I'm a sharp guy.
I want to be sharp in 30 years."
Edwards celebrating 2016 win at Richmond
Carl and Kate Edwards have a young son and daughter.
Sponsor Aflac Insurance uses a goose in their advertising.
Grand Prix.
Foyt Revamps Team

Jan 17 - AJ Foyt Racing has confirmed that it is
switching to Chevrolet engines in their IndyCars.  

The last time the team used Chevrolet engines was in
the latter part of 2005 when
A.J. Foyt IV piloted the
No. 14 ABC Supply Indy car.  (Note: AJ IV has now
had three sons with wife
Casey Irsay, and there is an
A.J. Foyt V!)

“I’m glad to be back with Chevy,” said
A.J. Foyt, Jr.,
team owner and first four-time winner of the Indy 500.
“I’ve had a lot of success with them in the past and I’m
looking forward to more success in the future.”

However, Foyt's 2012-1016 driver,
Takuma Sato,
followed Honda over to Chip Ganassi Racing.

Carlos Munoz will drive the team’s flagship No. 14
ABC Supply Chevrolet while
Conor Daly will pilot the
No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Both drivers recently
celebrated their 25th birthdays and are younger than
most of the full-time drivers  this season.

The Texas- and Indiana-based team will also include a
thoroughly revised engineering lineup.

The team expects to conduct its first test at Sebring
International Raceway later this month.
Note: Foyt released British driver Jacks Hawksworth.
Hawksworth found a ride for this season with 3GT
Racing.  He and
Robert Alon will be piloting the #15 in
the GT Daytona class for the WeatherTech Sports Car
Sage Karam and Scott Pruett are
driving 3GT Racing's other car, the #14.
Larry Foyt, A.J. Foyt, Jr. Carlos Munoz, Conor Daly
More Firestone Tires for IndyCar

Jan 17 - Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations has signed
a multi-year contract to continue as official tire supplier
for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

IndyCar and Firestone have added to the overall tire
allotment at each event to increase the amount of on-
track activity during practice sessions.

Additionally, teams will be permitted to run one set of
alternate (red-sidewall) tires during Friday practice
sessions at all road/street course events “to better
evaluate their capabilities for qualifying and the race.”
Felipe Massa Decides Not to Quit F1

Jan 17 - 2016 Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa
announced five months ago that he was retiring at the
end of the year, after 14 seasons.

However, the surprise retirement of
Nico Rosberg last
month from Mercedes F1, resulted in William's other
2016 driver,
Valtteri Bottas, moving to the Mercedes

This left Williams in a lurch as they wanted an
experienced driver to partner with incoming Canadian
Lance Stroll.  Hence, they asked Massa to
return and he signed a 1-year contract.
Felipe Massa
Mutt Strutt 2017 Registration Open

Jan 19 - The Indianapolis Humane Society sponsors a
fund raising event for homeless animals at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year.  It is called the
Mutt Strutt and involves pet owners bringing their dogs
to walk around the track.

This year's event will take place on Saturday, April 29,
2017, rain or shine.

You can register for the event at this website:

If you have any trouble registering, e-mail
muttstrut@indyhumane.org or call 317.872.5650 x121.
Red Bull Announces 2017 Air Race Schedule

Jan 20 - The 2017 season of the Red Bull Air Race will
begin with its diamond 75th race and conclude at the
motorsport mecca; Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Along
the way, the official World Championship will celebrate
its tenth season with a long-awaited return to San Diego,
USA as well as a premier in Kazan, Russia.

The eight-race calendar takes off on 10-11 February,
2017 with the celebration of a double anniversary: UAE
will mark the 75th Red Bull Air Race of the World
Championship and the 10th consecutive season opener
in Abu Dhabi. Then on 15-16 April, the raceplanes will
return to San Diego, USA, which became a favourite
over three consecutive seasons from 2007-2009.

Next: A third stop in Chiba, Japan on 03-04 June.
90,000 fans cheered home hero Yoshihide Muroya to
his first race win last year, and his triumph only fuelled
their passion. The exhilaration will continue on 01-02
July, as the raceplanes dart under the Chain Bridge in
Budapest, Hungary, the spiritual home of the sport.

As the summer continues, the Red Bull Air Race will
write a new chapter in its history. A July debut in the
Sports Capital of Russia, Kazan, with its rich
1,000-year-old culture and colourful skyline then the
fight for the championship will move to two more
locations in Europe which will be announced later.
The season finale will rev up back in the USA on 14-15
October, with the second consecutive race at the epic
motorsport track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,
where the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Champion will
be crowned.
IndyCar Will Sanction MX-5 Cup

Jan 24 - The Mazda MX-5 Cup is the signature spec
series for the Mazda Road to 24, the sports car
counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy, which consists
of Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000.

“When Mazda approached us regarding MX-5 Cup, we
felt it would be a great opportunity for IndyCar to expand
upon what we’re already doing with our involvement in
the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Jay Frye, IndyCar
president of competition and operations.

4 of the 12 Mazda Cup event weekends will be held
during IndyCar Series events – Barber Motorsports Park,
Road America, Toronto and Watkins Glen. The series
will also compete on the road course at IMS during the
SVRA event (June 15-17).
Snakepit Music Announced

Jan 24 - The Indy 500 Snake Pit announced the official
lineup for 2017 today.

I didn't think it was possible to improve on last year's
Snake Pit lineup — Skrillex / Martin Garrix / Zeds Dead
but I was wrong.

With EDM superstar Zedd and relative newcomer &
"anonymous DJ" Marshmello headlining, and support by
RL Grime, rapper Action Bronson, Canadian duo
Adventure Club and Chicago's The Trap House, this
lineup features a little something for everyone.

In addition, wrestling legend Ric Flair is the emcee.
Race of Champions - Miami

Jan 22 - Colombia’s 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan
put in a stunning performance to eclipse 16
fellow stars of motor sport and earn the title ‘Champion
of Champions’ for the first time on a thrilling afternoon
of action at Miami’s Marlins Park.

Today’s individual Race Of Champions pitted many of
motor sport’s biggest names in identical cars on a brand
new figure-of-eight track. On a hot and sunny day in
Miami, the best-of-three Grand Final boiled down to a
battle between two of the biggest stars of world motor
sport. But in the end ROC debutant Montoya saw off
‘Mr Le Mans’
Tom Kristensen in two straight heats to
become Champion of Champions in front of 15,000
race fans in Miami.

Sebastien Vettel beat Kurt Busch to win the Nations

Before today’s action the drivers took part in the ROC
Skills Challenge, a special course set up near Marlins
Park featuring chicanes, slaloms, 360° turns and parallel
parking. There was an early triumph for IndyCar star
James Hinchcliffe who came out on top, beating
Sebastian Vettel into second place.

Other Americans who competed were Kyle Busch, Alex
Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Travis Pastrana and Scott

Other IndyCar drivers were Helio Castroneves, Tony
Kanaan and Gabby Chavez.

Other Formula 1 drivers who competed were Felipe
Massa, Jenson Button and David Coulthard.

Montoya said: “First I want to thank all the fans who came
out today. Fredrik Johnsson and everyone at the Race Of
Champions have put together an amazing event, it’s
unbelievable. Today I’m regretting not having done this
before. It has been an amazing experience.

“It’s not our job, it’s a fun event. But when you go to the
grid you want to warm the tyres and the brakes. You think
about how to drop the clutch, what to do in the first corner.
It’s unbelievable how focused you are. It’s like qualifying. I
don’t know what gave me the edge. I don’t have pride, I
just kept asking people what they were doing. That way I
kept adding things to the database of what I needed to do. I
spoke to David Coulthard just before the final to ask
whether I had to change gears in the cars because I had no
idea. It went well… must be beginner’s luck!”
Montoya driving the Polaris Slingshot SLR  
Foyt, RLL and Coyne Test at Sebring

Jan 24 -  A two-day IndyCar private test session began
today at Sebring International Raceway.

AJ Foyt Racing brought their two new drivers -
and Carlos Munoz, for the test.  They not only
have new drivers to get aquainted with -  they also
switched from Honda to Chevy power over the winter.

Dale Coyne Racing brought their new rookie,
Ed Jones
today.  He won the Indy Lights championship last year,
but this was his first time at Sebring.  Jones not only
turned laps, but practiced pit stops and became more
familiar with the controls.

“The priority today was getting me where I was
comfortable, "he said. "The Indy Lights car is good
preparation in terms of handling, but with this IndyCar,
you can just go so deep into the corner, it’s difficult for
you to make that jump really quickly and find the limit.

“In terms of the engine, the power jump [from 450hp to
720hp] is big, too, but it was the first time I’d been in a
proper racecar since middle of September last year, so on
your first day back, everything feels a lot faster, more
extreme than you remember."

Sebastien Bourdais, who shook down Jones' car today,
will join his new teammate for a full day of testing

Graham Rahal also tested for Rahal Letterman Lanigan

While on-track action was sparse during the morning hours
today, the five drivers increased the workload after the
lunch break.
Driving a Miata fast is like coming out of the closet...
At first, everyone is surpirsed, but in the end, you're
still gay.
Ed Jones practicing his Dale Coyne car
Carlos Munoz in the pits
KV Racing May Fold

Jan 28 - KV stands for Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy
, the two owners making up the IndyCar team
KV Racing.

In the 90s, Kalkhoven got rich taking a laser/optical
networking company to the top of it's industry.  He
promptly quit and cashed out.  He invested (gambled)
his money providing equity financing to companies with
high growth potential.

He also pursued his racing dreams.  As CART was going
bankrupt and the big teams were fleeing back to
IndyCar, Kalkhoven was instrumental in getting Champ
Car started.  In 2003, he and
Craig Pollock (from F1)
bought the PacWest Racing CART team.  Vasser and
Dan Pettit joined the following year when Pollock quit
and the team name became PKV Racing.  Pettit left
when Champ Car went bankrupt and the team joined
the IRL.  It now became just KV Racing.  

They won the Indy 500 with
Tony Kanaan in 2013.
Usually a two or three car team,  KV dropped back to
just one full-time driver in 2016 -
Sebastien Bourdais.
Bourdais began driving for KV in 2014.  He had enjoyed
great success in Champ Car, winning the championship
four years in a row!  He then had an abysmal run in
Formula 1 from 2008-2009.  Followed by poor seasons
in IndyCar from 2012-2014.  I felt sorry for the guy.  
But KV Racing hired him in 2014 and he began to show
what he could do, winning four races in the following 3

Now Bourdais has left the team, moving back to Dale
Coyne Racing... and taking his race engineer with him.

There has been various stories about the team, such as
moving to Florida, hiring former F1 driver
, losing all their employees and having their
bags packed ready to sell off the race equipment.

It's not sounding good for KV Racing, which makes me
wonder if Kalkhoven lost his shirt with his venture
capital schemes...

Let's hope the field isn't light come March 12th.
NASCAR Changes Point System, Race

Jan 28 - NASCAR is adding a ton of ways to score points
this season.  And they are calling them "playoff points".  

They are not going to call their final 10-race playoff "the
Chase", but they are still going to have one.  However, it
sounds like instead of kicking drivers out of the chase as
the races go by, they are going to determine the series
champion by who finishes best in the last race out of the
four drivers who have the most points.  I'm not sure if
points will be reset, and if so, whose or if these are
different type of points.  

They are ALSO going to have another champion beside
this one - the guy that has the most points before the

Other changes includes dividing races up into three
mini-races!  Apparently 1/3rd of the way through a race,
they are going to stop and take a 10-minute break.  

Does that mean they can hop out and have a smoke?  Go
take a pee?  Have a snack?  Get a massage?  I look
forward to finding out.

The top 10 drivers at that point are going to get points.  
Then they are going to do it again 2/3rds of the way into
the race.

What will the restarts be like?  Will there be three pace
laps throughout a race?  Will they count as a lap?  So
many questions....
Nascar drivers will now take breaks throughout a race.
Maybe to sign a few autographs?
Rolex 24 At Daytona

Jan 29 - A long 24 hours, made even longer by 12 hours
of cold temperatures, steady rain and 21 caution flags –
though not even close to a record, actually – combined to
make the night hours of the most prestigious sports car
race in North America miserable for drivers and crew.
But the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona was
one of the most exciting, and certainly most important
endurance races in recent memory.

And those last seven minutes – wow.

The wild card in the Prototype class, which featured all-
new cars this season, was probably the three Cadillacs,
which, with Chevrolet power, have taken all three IMSA
WeatherTech SportsCar Championships so far. Would
the teams be as fast as last year?

In a word, yes – in fact, the No. 5 Cadillac DPi of
regular drivers
Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi,
helped out for this long race by
Filipe Albuquerque,
battled long and hard with the No. 10 Cadillac DPi of
Ricky and Jordan Taylor, longtime co-driver
Max Angelelli in his final race, and Jeff Gordon, in his
first Rolex 24 since his debut here in 2007.

With seven minutes to go, Albuquerque was leading in
the No. 5, with Ricky Taylor on his tail. At the end of
the long frontstretch, leading into a fast left turn, Taylor
took the No. 10 car low and inside of Albuquerque.
When the No. 5 set up for the left turn, Taylor hit the
car in the rear, spinning it out. Albuquerque recovered
quickly and at the end, finished only 0.671 seconds
behind the No. 10.

The incident was reviewed by IMSA officials who
decided to take no action against Taylor, which did not
go down well with Albuquerque. “I don’t race like that,
to be hit in the back. He didn’t even wait for me, he just
took off,” Albuquerque said. “Clearly I was hit in the
back. It was not a clean move. I think everyone saw

Even team owner
Wayne Taylor was nervous, as TV
cameras showed him burying his head in his hands after
the No. 5 spun, likely anticipating that it would be a
controversial call.
Regardless, Jordan Taylor said the win was a “relief.
We’ve come close so many times. I’m just proud of my
brother. He made it happen today.”

Indeed, Ricky Taylor’s pursuit of the No. 5 car was
dramatic during the last 24 minutes after the green flag
fell following the 21st caution period, this one for debris
on the track. Taylor frequently braked hard enough to
lock the wheels and several times overshot the corner as
he charged after Albuquerque.

In the end, though, it was great news for Cadillac –
finishing first and second place in its first time out. The
No. 31 Cadillac DPi, led often in the first third of the
race until electrical problems, a bent control arm and a
flat tire dropped the car to a sixth-place finish in class,
14th overall.

Third place went to the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing
Multimatic/Riley LM P2 car of
Marc Goossens,
Renger van der Zande and Rene Rast. “No one
expected us to last for 24 hours,” Goossens said. “That
just shows how strong this little team is. Right now we
have to look at the big picture.”

Fourth was the No. 2 Tequila Patron Nissan DPi, the
team that won both the 2016 Rolex and Twelve Hours
of Sebring. Drivers
Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and the
star of both races last year,
Pipo Derani, were three
laps behind the two Cadillacs.

Ostensibly taking the hard luck award – again – were the
two Mazda DPi cars, which during pre-season practice
were among the fastest Prototypes. They finished 40th
and 46th overall in the field of 55 entries after multiple
problems, ranging from a broken transmission to a major
fire from a blown engine.

In the other Prototype class, Prototype Challenge, it was
slightly less compelling, with the No. 38 Performance
Tech car finishing 22 laps ahead of second place, the
No. 2 BAR1 car. The Performance Tech driver lineup
James French, Kyle Masson, Nicholas Boulle and
Patricio O’Ward is one of the youngest in
the history of the race, but they did what they had to do.
“Twice around the clock, a lot can go wrong,” French
said, “and to come here and win it was amazing. But we
kept it clean and here we are.”
ECR Completes Driver Line-up

Jan 17 - As usual, Ed Carpenter, of Ed Carpenter Racing,
will race the oval track on the IndyCar calendar and
Spencer Pigot will contest the the car on the street and
road circuits.

J.R. Hildebrand ran some race eary in the season last year
for ECR.  He has been hired to run the entire IndyCar
season this year!
Pigot, Hildebrand and Carpenter