Monday, June 6, 2011

Fuelgate 2011

Feathers are flying on Twitter this afternoon as the link to this article is making the rounds. In short, the article quotes an unnamed team source questioning how J.R. Hildebrand went so many laps before crashing, speculating that the car was outfitted with a larger fuel tank.

@GrahamRahal fired the first shot, saying "Now some of you may understand what I was saying the other night. Word is finally out now!" Within 12 minutes, @PantherRacing fired back "You're a real class act, Rahal. Congrats." Rahal then stressed that it was neither him nor his team that was the source for the article.

The Racemind Take: I doubt very much that Panther wanted to risk the humiliation of a post-race teardown discovery, and a larger fuel tank would definitely be noticed. If there was any shenanigans going on, I would think it would be something that would never be discovered.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Firestone Cuts It Close

The deadline for Firestone to extend it's agreement as official tire supplier to the Indycar Series beyond 2011 has come... and gone. In all likelihood they'll be back for 2012, but so far negotiations have gone flat.

The question that should be getting some traction is this: does it really matter? Fans will enjoy the same level of racing regardless of which white letters appear on the sidewall, and no one wants Firestone in Indycar reluctantly if another supplier is eager to inflate their racing credibility.

Just no Michelin, please. Let's not blow it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pennzoil Returns, This Time With Penske

It's always great to see a major sponsor come on board to help a struggling, underfunded hardscrabble outfit like Team Penske. Finally, the boys from PA can afford a can of corn to go with their bread and water.

I'm not trying to give Penske a hard time... well, OK, I kinda am... but I think we all would have loved to see Pennzoil back on Panther's sidepod, where they found so much success in the Hornish era.

But Pennzoil does has a history with Penske as well -- one that includes a guy named Rick Mears. Congrats to Penske and Helio!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Indycar Assumes the Lotus Position

Confirming one of the worst-kept secrets in Indycar, Lotus will be joining the Indycar series as both an engine and aero kit manufacturer.

Awesome. Just awesome. What else is there to add, really? Lotus has a grand history at the Brickyard, its crowning moment coming with Jim Clark winning the 1965 Indy 500 with the famed green-and-yellow car.

The shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who watched Lotus livery circling the tracks in 2010, but an anticipated announcement nonetheless. Welcome back Lotus!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Bowtie's Back

General Motors has now announced they are returning to Indycar competition with a 2.4L V6 engine. This confirms the info I received back in October.

Welcome back, Chebby!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hot Tip: Chevy Returning to Indycar

According to a few whispers, look for GM to officially announce the return of Chevy as an engine manufacturer in the next 7 to 10 days. Not a huge surprise, but still... Chevy at Indy makes all the sense in the world. It just feels right.

Fingers crossed!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Square Peg Wins a Round Hole

When the first Indycar Oval Championship is won by road-course specialist Dario Franchitti, could a Series Championship be far behind?

I love the three separate Indycar Championship titles because it allows a lower-funded team to compete in a single discipline (like oval tracks) and have a chance at winning a title on a shoestring. But there's still the risk that one driver will sweep all three championships, which would defeat the point. We'll have to see how it plays out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Indycar and Wine: It's Not Just Andretti

When you think of Wineries with connections to Indycar, Andretti immediately springs to mind. But rough-and-tumble punch-throwing laptop-smashing Texan A.J. Foyt? News to me.

The fledgling Foyt Family Wines is mainly run by the legend's grandson A.J. IV and quattro's uncle Larry. No specifics on where they get their grapes, but I suspect that since A.J. doesn't like to finish second to Andretti in anything, a full vineyard cannot be far behind.

Anyone out there interested in an Andretti v Foyt wine tasting? I'm definitely in.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Star Rises While Another Sets

As Simona De Silvestro takes seventh in qualifying at Edmonton, Milka Duno gets a finger-wagging rebuke from the league.

The cynical take: The series *needs* a female driver, preferably a good one. Prior to 2010, Milka Duno was the "backup gal" in case Danica bolted for NASCAR. Now that Simona looks like a solid female competitor who's here to stay, Milka is yesterday's fish wrapped in newspaper.

And to clarify for other readers out there like me: the 14th word in that Simona article is "throng", with an "r". Because that's not how I read it the first 3 times.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

...But Will It Be a Classy Chassis?

After much speculation -- probably too much, and most of it far too silly -- the Indycar movers 'n' shakers have announced the 2012 Indycar chassis "strategy".

It's about time for a change. And bonus: it's not the Delta Wing.