December 2019 News
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F1 Silly Season - Renault
Ocon set to replace Hulkenberg for 2020

Dec 1 - Esteban Ocon will officially join Renault on  
December 2nd, the day after the season-ending Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix.

The Frenchman, who is Mercedes reserve driver this year,
was announced as
Daniel Ricciardo's 2020 team-mate in

The 23-year-old, who replaces
Nico Hulkenberg, will
drive for Renault at the Abu Dhabi test on December 3-4.

Ocon last raced in F1 in 2018, the second of his two
seasons with the Force India team, now known as Racing
Point. He also raced for the now defunct Manor team in
the second half of 2016.

Ricciardo, 30, joined the team in 2019, but has failed to
elevate Renault's place in the standngs.  Ricciardo is ninth
in the driver standings, while Renault has slipped from
fourth to fifth in the team standings this season.
Cyril Abiteboul & Esteban Ocon
Renault F1 team managing director Cyril Abiteboul thinks
that incoming driver
Esteban Ocon has the personality to
help push Renault to the then next level of the Formula 1

"The drivers have this ability to put tremendous pressure
on a team, which is maybe something we have missed.

"We need someone who pushes us very strongly with a
very strong aggressiveness on and off the track."
Carb Day Concert

Dec 3 - The speedway announced the acts peforming for
the 2020 Carb Day concert on Friday, May 22, 2020.

The concert featuring two of the most popular American
rock bands of the late 1970s starts at 3:30 p.m. on the
Miller Lite Stage inside Turn 4 of the IMS oval.

Styx will perform first, followed by REO Speedwagon.

General admission tickets start at $30.  This gets you in
the gate and includes the final practice for the Indy 500,
the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race and the Indy 500 Pit
Stop Challenge.

A limited number of concert pit tickets are available for

A limited number of tickets in a new temporary grand-
stand are available starting at $95, which including access
to the concert pit area.

A very limited supply of VIP platform tickets also is
available for $250, including pit access, snacks, two
complimentary drinks and dedicated bars.

Ticket prices will increase as the concert draws closer.
Silly Season - ECR & Daly

Dec 10 - Ed Carpenter Racing announced today the
addition of
Conor Daly to the team’s 2020 IndyCar

Daly will race the No. 20 Chevrolet at the road and street
course events, while team owner
Ed Carpenter will drive
the car at the oval tracks.

Additionally, Daly will compete in the Indy 500 as ECR
will expand to a three-car lineup.

The U.S. Air Force will continue a partnership with Daly
that originated three years ago.  The car's livery will
continue to pay tribute to American Air Force and includes
the iconic shark teeth war paint from the WWII P-40
Flying Tiger fighter plane.
Silly Season - Dale Coyne Racing

Dec 19 - Super Formula race winner and Rookie of the
Year, Spaniard
Alex Palou Montalbo will be coming to
America to compete full-time in the 2020 IndyCar Series
driving for Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh.

The 22-year-old driver is hot off an impressive season in
the Japanese Super Formula Series with TCS Nakajima
Racing. In addition to finishing as the top rookie, he scored
a victory, three pole positions (the most of any competitor
that season) and placed third in the Championship. He also
drove for Team Goh piloting their McLaren 720S GT3
this past season capturing the pole position during the last
round of Super GT series at Twin Ring Motegi by setting
a new GT300 class record.

The entry will be entered under the name “Dale Coyne
Racing with Team Goh” for the 2020 season.

“We’re very pleased to partner with our friend of many
Kazumichi Goh in this collaborative effort for
2020,” expressed Team Owner
Dale Coyne. “We tested
Alex at Mid-Ohio earlier this year and he impressed
everyone. His rise in performance over the past three
years shows great promise for the future.”
Prior to his season in the highly competitive Super Formula
championship, the Spaniard raced in the Japan Formula 3
Championship, finishing third in the year-end standings on
the strength of three wins and five pole positions. Before
his time in Japan, Palou became the first Spanish racing
driver to win a GP3 race when he took the victory at the
final round of his debut season in 2015 with Campos

Palou made the jump from racing karts to cars in 2014 and
placed third in the Euroformula Open Championship and
second in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship before his
move to GP3 where he spent the next two seasons.
Alex Palou Montalbo
Checking Out Formula E

Dec 22 - Formula E, the all-electric open wheel series, has
begun it's 6th season, kicking off in Saudia Arabia last
month.  The series boasts many manufactures as well as
some ex-F1 drivers.  Upon hearing that both Mercedes and
Porsche were joining the series, I thought it about time to
cover it.  I created a web page that shows their schedule
and will report the race results.  You can find that page

I then began watching their last race and my immediate
impressions were:

1. The cars sound like a dentist's drill.  That is annoying or
even unnerving.  I often wish race announcers would shut
up so that I could hear the cars.  With Formula E, I
wished the opposite.

2. The cars are strictly battery-powered and seem fake -
as if they're just toy slot cars.

For me, at least regarding race cars, I guess there is just
some primal appeal of the internal combustion engine.

If I forgot the fact that the cars had no engine and I muted
the volume, it was better.

What I found cool about them is they have a big round
brake light in the center.  From the rear, these cars looked
like the Batmobile with it's rocket engine.
Formula E motor
IndyCar motor
Safety Pioneer Bill Simpson Has Died

Dec 16 - Racing safety inventor Bill Simpson died.  He
was 79.

From dragstrips and Daytona to the Indianapolis 500,
virtually every driver in racing competition wore protective
clothing and helmets designed and produced by Simpson, a
company founded and operated by Bill, a racer himself.
Simpson went on to innovate 200 safety products, notably
the Nomex fire suit.  He later founded Impact Racing.

A competitor in 52 United States Auto Club National
Championship races from 1968 through 1977, in 1974
Simpson realized a long-time ambition by driving in the
Indianapolis 500. He finished 13th.

Simpson is survived by a son.
1974 Indy 500 Bill Simpson
1974 Bill Simpson