March 2017 News
Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest of the day.

Valterri Bottas ran a full-race simulation in the after-
noon, surviving a high-speed brush with Barcelona’s
barriers along the way as he took seventh place in his

At Sauber, Ferrari third driver
Antonio Giovinazzi
made his official F1 test debut, standing in for the
Pascal Wehrlein.

It was another troubled session for McLaren, with
further technical woes forcing the team to make their
second Honda power unit change in as many days.

Finally, Williams were forced to abandon their
programme at lunchtime, after what had looked to be a
minor spin into the gravel for rookie
Lance Stroll
turned out to have caused significant damage to his car.

Bottas was fastest on day 3.

Stroll wrecked his Williams car again today.

Jolyon Palmer's morning stint included a spin into the
gravel at Turn 3 with his Renault.

Carlos Sainz's day coming to an early conclusion due to
drivetrain issues with his Force India

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was artificially
dampened before and during the day, and then allowed
to dry, enabling drivers to explore the Italian firm’s new
wet and intermediate compounds - and the crossover
points between them - as well as their dry rubber.

There was a flurry of quick, dry times at the end of the
day, but none could prevent Raikkonen finishing on top
of the pack after a very positive week for Ferrari, nine-
tenths ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with a best
lap of 1m 20.872s set on soft tyres.

Haas’s strong reliability continued, with
again adding more than a century to the
VF-17’s lap tally for the week as the Frenchman went
fourth fastest in his Ferrari-powered machine.
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F1 Tests

Mar 2 - The Formula 1 teams got a chance to
test their new cars in Spain this weekend,
Feb 27-March 2nd.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest, knocking a
second off time from a year ago.

Kevin Magnussen brushed the barriers in his
Haas machine, but was 4th fastest of the day.

McLaren had an oil system problem which
Fernando Alonso from practicing until
the afternoon.
Kimi Raikkonen - Day 4 Wet Testing
IndyCar Sebring Testing

Mar 1 - IndyCar tested at Sebring International
Raceway in Florida yesterday and today.

Sixteen cars tested yesterday, Tuesday, at Sebring.  
Chip Ganassi Racing, swept the top four positions on
Tuesday’s time chart, brightening the entire Honda

James Hinchcliffe, who led SPM’s two-car effort,
said, “Everybody with an ‘H’ on their car is going to
benefit from (Ganassi) swapping over.  Their
expertise and experience is already showing. It’s
already making us stronger as a unit.”

Today, Ganassi Racing again topped the time sheets,
followed by the Penske Chevrolets including
who was feeling unwell and could only
complete 18 laps.

Ed Jones lost over two hours of track time as the
team searched for an electrical gremlin, and was not
accompanied by his teammate, as
completed a test day earlier this month.

Mikhail Aleshin, in an IndyCar on a
road course for the first time since last year’s season
finale at Sonoma, did an impressive job to draw
within 0.03sec of teammate
James Hinchcliffe.

Andretti Autosport decided to test on Wednesday in
order to avoid the traffic on the track Tuesday.
Alexander Rossi's lap of 51.64-second lap led his
teammates Marco Andretti (51.72), Ryan Hunter-
Reay (51.79) and Takuma Sato (52.16)

Joining Andretti was Schmidt Peterson Motorsports,
which gave
Robert Wickens, Pipo Derani and
Luis Michael Dorrbecker their first chances in an
Indy car. Former Atlantic star Wickens, now a
rising star in the DTM series, led the way in his
return to open-wheel with a best lap of 52.41 in the
afternoon session, while sports car ace Derani turned
a 52.69 in the morning and Auto GP champ
Dorrbecker ran a 53.64.
1. Scott Dixon
2. Charlie Kimball
3. Max Chilton
4. Tony Kanaan
5. Will Power
6. Simon Pagenaud
7. Helio Castroneves
8. Josef Newgarden
9. Carlos Munoz
10. Conor Daly
11. James Hinchcliffe
12. Mikhail Aleshin
13. Spencer Pigot
14. Graham Rahal
15. JR Hildebrand
16. Ed Jones
AJ Foyt-Chevrolet
AJ Foyt-Chevrolet
Schmidt Peterson-Honda
Schmidt Peterson-Honda
Ed Carpenter-Chevrolet
Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda
Dale Coyne-Honda
1. Alexander Rossi
2. Marco Andretti
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay
4. Takuma Sato
Scott Dixon was Fastest.  His primary spnsor, Target, has
departed racing. He's picked up GE to sponsor him in the first
race, but he needs to find a season-long primary sponsosr.
So Long KV Racing

Mar 6 - It's official - KV Racing has gone out of business,
as reported here in January.

Juncos Racing acquired three IndyCar chassis, speedway
aerokits and some pit equipment from KV.  After success
in the lower formulas, they plan to enter IndyCar, first by
participating in this year's Indy 500.

Many other remaining items from the team will be
auctioned off March 27th by
Key Auctioneers.
As the years roll by and IndyCar and
Formula 1 struggle to design a cockpit
protection system for their open wheel
race cars, I direct your attention to
Bruce Walkup's 1970 Indy 500 entry -
the Wynn Spitfire Mongoose-Offy.

Walkup made it to the end of the 500,
finishing 14th.
Carb Day Concert Announced!

Mar 8 - Performances by the Steve Miller Band and
Barenaked Ladies will cap an incredible day of excite-
ment and action on Carb Day at IMS.

The field for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500
will have one hour of final practice to prepare for the
race, from 11 a.m.-noon.

Then aspiring IndyCar Series drivers will be in the spot-
light starting at 12:30 p.m. during the Freedom 100 race
for the Indy Lights.

The speed and precision of top Indianapolis 500 crews
will also be on display during the annual Pit Stop Chal-
lenge at 2 p.m., followed by the Miller Lite Carb Day

The 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place
Sunday, May 28.

The legendary Steve Miller Band will headline the Carb
Day concert Friday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway, as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steve
will shift race weekend for the 101st Indianapolis
500 into high gear with hit songs that defined a generation
of American music - including “The Joker,” “Livin’ in the
USA,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly
Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner,” “Jungle Love” and

Grammy-nominated Canadian rock icons Barenaked
Ladies will open the concert, which is free with a general
admission ticket to Carb Day ($30).  Fans wanting the
closest access to the stage can purchase a $20 upgrade.

The band released its 14th studio album, “Silverball,” in
2015. Barenaked Ladies’ latest release was a live album,
“BNL Rocks Red Rocks,” in 2016.
KV Racing won the 2013 Indy 500 with Tony Kanaan.
Owners - Jimmy Vasser on left, Kevin Kalkoven on right.
Camp Inside Infield for Indy Grand Prix

Mar 8 - Spectator camping for recreational vehicles and
tents will be offered inside the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway during the IndyCar Grand Prix for the first
time this May.

Camping will be available in a variety of prime spots
adjacent to the infield portion of the road course for the
race May 12-13.

Prices for three-night camping (Thursday-Saturday) is
$125 per tent spot and range from $150-$300
for each RV spot.

IndyCar Grand Prix general admission tickets for Friday
and Saturday also are required for all infield campers age
16 and over.
IMS President Doug Boles will celebrate the debut of
this fan-friendly feature at the INDYCAR Grand Prix by
camping in the infield for the entire event, visiting with
fans and enjoying the wheel-to-wheel action that starts
the Month of May at the Racing Capital of the World.  
IndyCar drivers also will make surprise visits to camping
areas during the weekend.

Tent camping will be available in two areas - the
and Unser Lot - that will offer great views of
portions of the first five turns of the road course.

RV camping will be available in all the lots.

Balloon Lot is inside Turns 3 and 4 of the road

Museum Lot is behind the IMS Hall of Fame
Museum and the only lot on pavement.
The New Infield Camping Lots are shown in blue on this map.  Note, they are all grass except the Museum Lot.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports won't have an Indy Lights
team this year in order to focus on its Verizon IndyCar
Series efforts.
SPM missed winning the Indy Lights Championship last
year by two points.  They won it the previous four years
in a row.
After losing Target sponsorship, Scott Dixon is looking for a new permanent main sponsor.  
For the first race, he has GE sponsorship.  The livery looks a lot like Tony Kanaan's, who also drives for Ganassi.
Hey Kids!

Wayne Selman from Ed Carpenter Racing shows you
the proper way to give the peace sign!
St Pete Grand Prix

Mar 12 - Sebastien Bourdais pulled off a major upset in
the IndyCar season-opener Sunday, driving from last place
to a victory that left him in tears.

Bourdais made an off-season move to Dale Coyne Racing,
convinced he could help turn around the small team. The
French driver brought two engineers from his glory days
and was determined to recreate his early success.

"Dale, I’ll be forever in debt to you, thanks for bringing my
crew back," Bourdais said on his team radio. "Thanks for
the opportunity."

A tearful Bourdais explained in the victory circle just how
much this meant.

"It's the first one, and putting the band back together," he

When he moved to Coyne, Bourdais had the team owner
open the payroll to hire engineer
Craig Hampson, who led
Bourdais to 31 victories, 31 poles and four consecutive
titles from 2004 to 2007.

Bourdais also brought with him
Olivier Boisson, who was
Bourdais' engineer at KVSH Racing the last several
seasons. Bourdais and Boisson teamed to win four races
for KVSH.

So the potential was there for Bourdais to help build the
Coyne organization. But few expected it to come Sunday
on the temporary street course in St. Pete, the town
Bourdais calls home. Team Penske was seeking its fourth
consecutive victory in the event, and a problem in
qualifying meant Bourdais started last in the 21-car field.

It left him downtrodden the day before the race.

"It's probably the hardest race to recover. The (passing)
windows are super narrow and it's difficult to pass," he
said. "We had a pretty good car and I just threw it away.
I really didn't know what to do myself. To turn the result
from yesterday to today, I just thank the guys."

Bourdais earned his 36th career victory, which broke a tie
Bobby Unser for sixth on IndyCar's all-time win list.
It was the fifth career win for the Coyne team. (Note: I do
not count any CART wins after 1995 as IndyCar wins.)

"From last to first, that's about all you can do," Coyne
said, adding of his new hires, "we knew we'd be much
better than we were before."

Bourdais led 69 of the 110 laps to give Honda a much-
needed victory over Chevrolet. He beat reigning series
champion Simon Pagenaud to the finish line by 10.350

"He was untouchable," Pagenaud said.

Scott Dixon finished third for Chip Ganassi Racing, in its
first race back with Honda.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was
fourth for Andretti Autosport and Honda appeared much
improved with four drivers in the top five.
Takuma Sato
was fifth in his first race with Andretti and James
of Oakville, Ont., was ninth.

But the day belonged to Bourdais, who is off to an
amazing start to the racing season. He was part of the class
victory in January at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and
heads to Sebring next weekend looking for another sports
car win.

Bourdais also earned a class win in last year's 24 Hours of
Le Mans, which is actually Bourdais' hometown and the
one race he's always wanted to win.
Dan's race notes live -

Rahal got turned around on 1st lap, bringing out a caution.  
He’s down a lap.

Power was in 2nd, pitted, ran over a air hose and got a
penalty that moved him to last place.

Hinch keeps leading, followed by Dixon and Sato,

TK and Aleshin made contact – caution – Tk had right rear
bodywork damage.

Lots of drivers came in during caution including leaders.

Simon Pigot had mechanical problem, going to take time to
fix, had been in 5th.

Pagenaud pitted earlier on lap 24 and is now in the lead, but
he’ll have to save fuel.

Restart – lap 31.

Lap 44 Bourdais still leads, followed by Pagenaud, Jones,
Marco and Helio

Leaders pit
Lap 55 -  Sato, Bourdais, Pagenaud, Power, Jones out front.
Bourdais got lead back.

Lap 83 - Pagenaud, Sato, Jones out front.
Bourdais pitted, then
Sato pitted, airgun problems slowed him down!  Almost hit
Newgarden on way out of pit.
Then Pagenaud pit.

Will Power was black flagged for not having enough speed!
OMG.  Guess he has mechanical problems.

10 laps to go
Bourdais contained Simon and wins it after starting in last
Happy Tears for Bourdais - with wife and father
Bourdais hugs team owner Dale Coyne
John Surtees Died at Age 83

Mar 12 - Formula 1 driver and team owner
John Surtees died March 10 in England.

Surtees raced motorcycles in Europe in the
1950's, winning the championship seven

He moved to Formula 1 in 1960 and was one
of the great British drivers of that decade,
along with Jim Clark,  Jackie Stewart and
Graham Hill.  He drove for Ferrari for
several years before leaving and joining

He won the F1 championship in 1964,
making him the only man to win both
motorcycles and F1 championships.

He was critically injured in a 1965 practice
run for a race at Mosport Park in Ontario,
but managed to recover.

He had his own F1 team in 1970 & '71, but
with little good results and he walked away
from racing.

His 18 y/o son died during an F2 race in

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

John Surtees On-Line Biography
John Surtees
1934 - 2017
F1 Testing

March 7th - DAY 1

Felipe Massa
puts Williams on top with fastest time.

Massa also clocks up 168 laps - as does
.  Thats more than anyone else has achieved on a
single day of testing at Barcelona since F1's new era
came into effect in 2014. It's almost three whole race
distances - and also comes close to eclipsing Toro
Rosso's entire mileage from the first four days of testing
last week.

McLaren and Renault changed engines in the morning,
but bounced back in the afternoon.

Pascal Wehrlein got his first taste of 2017 machinery
after returning from injury with Sauber.
March 8th - DAY 2

Valtteri Bottas
set the fastest time so far this winter to
narrowly edge
Felipe Massa on day two of the final
pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Kimi Raikkonen kept Ferrari in the mix in third, although
the Finn also triggered the red flags and was forced to
abandon running prematurely when he spun and tagged the
barriers on the exit of Turn 3 late in the afternoon.
Sebastian Vettel in the red Ferrari and Felipe Massa in the white Williams ran the most laps of the day.
March 9th - DAY 3

Ferrari’s seriously strong pre-season continued in Spain
on Thursday, as
Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest
time yet seen around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
this winter. The German also completed the highest
driver lap total for the day, at 156.

Stoffel Vandoorne managed just 48 laps after another
frustrating day for McLaren, the Belgian twice bringing
out the red flags as electrical issues afflicted his MCL32.
The consolation was the team’s quickest laps time so far,
as he finished seventh.
March 10 - DAY 4

Kimi Raikkonen
was the only man to dip under 1m 19s,
with his best time of 1m 18.634s set on Pirelli’s supersoft
tires late in the morning. That put him almost a second
clear of the second-placed Red Bull of
Max Verstappen.

The Finn was one of four drivers to exceed 100 laps,
despite bringing out the red flags briefly when his SF70H
stopped on circuit mid afternoon. Verstappen racked up
71 after turbo issues on his RB13’s Renault power unit
cost him track time.

Romain Grosjean’s running finished slightly early thanks
to a water leak on his Haas, putting the Frenchman 10th
with 76 laps and prompting him to concede that the team
still face 'unknowns' ahead of Australia.

But his misfortune was minor compared to that of
McLaren, who endured another session of stoppages,
leaving Fernando Alonso 11th after just 43 laps for the
IndyCar Testing in Birmingham

Mar 21 - Twenty-two cars turned out for a full day of
testing at the 2.3-mile 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park.
There was two 3-hour sessions, with most drivers
improving their speeds in the 2nd sessoin.

Competition was tight - the top 14 drivers on the
com-bined speed chart were separated by less than a half-

Will Power set the best lap of the day moments before
the checkered flag waved.

2nd-year driver
Max Chilton, driving for the Chip
Ganassi Raing, was less than a hundredth of a second
slower than Power, to finish 2nd fastest.

Juan Montoya was fourth quick in the No. 22 Team
Penske Chevrolet despite it being his first time in an Indy
car since the 2016 season finale six months ago; and with
a new crew and engineer.
IndyCar Drivers' Fastest Lap
Car Changes for Indy Xfinity Race

Mar 23 - The NASCAR Xfinity Series are making
changes to their cars for the Lilly Diabetes 250 race at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The race package will
incorporate three major modifications aimed at improving
competition at IMS.

The 7/8th-inch restrictor plate currently used at Daytona  
and Talladega will be added along with a taller rear
spoiler.  This will help the cars run close together.  
However, the ability to pull out and pass would remain

So they are adding aero ducts on the lower front bumper
area.  They will direct air in through the existing brake
ducts and out through the wheelhouse on each side.  The
high speed air flowing out creates a larger hole or
"envelope" for the trailing car.  The aero ducts should
increase the amount of horsepower differential for the
trailing car by approximately 25 percent.

It is expected that the cars which are 4 or 5 lengths back,
will be able to move up into the bubble of the car in front
and that momentum will allow the car to pull out and try
to pass.

NASCAR doesn't believe this will create the big packs of
cars seen at the other two superspeedways, but likely will
create several packs of 5 to 6 cars which will be passing
each other on the straights.
Brickyard 400 Schedule Changes

Mar 23 - The Brickyard 400 race weekend will be
condensed to two days of on-track activity for the
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Practice and qualifying for NASCAR's premier series
now are scheduled for Saturday, July 22, bookending the
Lilly Diabetes 250 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Pole Qualifying for the Cup Series is slated for 6:15 p.m.
ET, after the Xfinity Series' 3:30 p.m. start.

Indy's annual Brickyard 400 follows Sunday, July 23
(3 p.m., NBC). The news follows similar announce-
ments of condensed weekend schedules made by
Pocono Raceway and Martinsville Speedway in recent

Friday's slate at Indianapolis will now feature a pair of
practice sessions for the Xfinity Series. That opening day
will also feature a fan fest with interactions with
NASCAR Cup Series drivers and the traditional Hauler
Parade through Main Street in Indianapolis.

Detailed Brickyard 400 Schedule
Why Montoya Is Gone

I wish Josef Newgarden would have remained driving
for Ed Carpenter Racing for two reasons.  First off, I
love to see the smaller teams win.  Besides the normal
"underdog" feeling, it adds legitimacy to IndyCar being a
competitive series.  

Secondly, I love Montoya.  Besides being a tough racer in
whatever you put him in, he's frank, comical, has that
funny little voice and all those expressions.

Penske had to try and get this young, fast, American
driver -  
Josef Newgarden - and that meant someone
had to go.

Helio Castroneves had been with Penske for 16 years;
Montoya for 2.  Castroneves is the more consistent
driver,  Montoya the more exciting. Keeping
Will Power
was a no-brainer.  He is an exciting driver and he wins a
lot.  At any rate, Montoya was out and Newgarden was

Montoya wants to run the full season but he wants a
great car.  The best team for him would probably be
Chip Ganassi Racing.  But Ganassi would have to
replace someone too.  Like Power, Ganassi can't replace
36 y/o  
Scott Dixon, their best driver.  That leaves
42 y/o
Tony Kanaan, 32 y/o Charlie Kimball and
25 y/o
Max Chilton.

I imagine
Chip Ganassi wants to make sure he has a
young driver in his IndyCar stable, so we have to rule
out replacing Chilton.

Kanaan joined Ganassi just two years ago.  He is a year
older than Montoya.  Last year, he finished 7th in points
and had two podiums.  

Montoya, who's career stretches from CART to F1 to
NASCAR Cup, returned to IndyCar in 2014 driving for
Penske Racing.  His first season began tentatively as he
re-aquainted himself with the Indy car, yet ended the
year 4th in points.  In 2015, after winning the first race
of the year and Indianapolis, he finished the season in
2nd.  Last year he again won St Petersburg and went on
to get another 2 podiums, finishing right behind Kanaan
in points.

Following Montoya in points last year was Ganassi's
racing diabetic,
Charlie Kimball.  Kimball has raced
for Ganassi since he moved up to IndyCar in 2011.  In
five years, he has had only 1 win.  He's the obvious
choice to move out for Montoya, even though he is nine  
years younger than Montoya.   The rub is, he brings a main
sponsor in Nova Nordisk, a manufacturer of insulin.  

So that means we go back to TK, who is pretty evenly
matched with Montoya, has a contract and many years
more experience in IndyCar.  

Montoya seems to be made of the same stuff as
AJ Foyt
Mario Andretti - guys that won in everything and
also raced into their 50s.  So I'm not giving up hope on
Montoya yet.

Sorry Juan.  If I owned a multi-million dollar company I
would sponsor you.  At least Penske is providing a 5th car
for you at Indy this year.
Newgarden demonstrated how tough he was last year with
his quick come back from a terrible wreck in Texas
NBC Sports Network Mosaic View

Mar 31 - If you subscribe to cable television and your
package includes NBCSN, then you can stream videos
and live tv from them to your TV through devices such
as the ROKU.

If you do that, you will not only have the ability to watch
a Formula 1 race in the normal broadcast mode, you will
also be able to watch the race in what they call the
"Mosaic View"

This photo shows what the Mosaic View looks like.
I like it and find it very exciting to watch.  What I am
currently doing is watching the normal version first, then
I watch it again in the Mosaic View.

The normal broadcast may have an hour's preliminary
coverage before the race.  The Mosaic View isn't
activated until the race is about to start.
I would like to see NBCSN do this with the many
IndyCar races they provide coverage of.
Mosaic View