Sunday, May 27, 2012

96th #INDY500 Tweet-By-Tweet - A Live Blog Effort

The famous control tower IMS pagoda at dawn the day of the 96th Indianapolis 500. Image Credit: Jeff Gluck via instagram

96th #INDY500 Tweet-By-Tweet - A Live Blog Effort

This edition of the "Greatest Spectacle In Racing" will be unique due to one major overriding issue, the new Dallara DW12 is racing in its first oval race and it happens to be the biggest, most historic venue one could choose for this maiden outing.

Fans and drivers are excited to see how this platform will perform in traffic because these cars are much kinder to the cars that trail behind them due to the aerodynamic effect known as Mushroom Busting incorporated into the design of the body work. What this means is that the disturbed airflow behind the car has been directed above the racing surface much more quickly than previous designs and this allows a car riding behind another car to be more stable and be able to get a "TOW" from the car in front.

Multiple car teams like Andretti Autosport with five cars entered may have an advantage if the team drivers work together as roller-derby teammates would work together to "sling-shot" each of their drivers forward.

The additional subtext to this 500 mile race would be the durability of the new racing engine formula. Three engine manufacturers have been authorized to produce these engines and it would seem that the weakest link resides with the DW12's powered by the Lotus/Judd turbo-charged engines. How many laps will they go before they are 1) Black-Flagged for being too slow or 2) if they will be able to complete the 500 miles still running without a failure.

Of course the final outcome will be watched by the Chevrolet and Honda engine team for their own ability to be able to complete the 500 miles still running without a failure as well.

Predictions are that either KVRT's Tony Kanaan or defending championship team of Bryan Herta Autosport's #98 Alex Tagliani would be the winner at the end of 500 miles. If the race is won by a multiple car team that would go to Andretti Autosport with Ryan Hunter-Raey. Fastest female now that Danica Patrick isn't sucking the PR air out of the room goes to Andretti Autosport's Ana Beatrix. Top former F1 driver goes to KVRT's Takuma Sato. Highest placing former INDY500 champion would be Helio Castroneves - Motorsports Unplugged Radio.

The following entries come from "Tweet Deck" tweet-by-tweet with added comments from the author:

Matt Archuleta @indy44
What a great intro on ABC. Spotlighted Dan Wheldon on Borg-Warner trophy. "That's what it takes to ride with Legends." #Lionheart #Indy500

 Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck 39s
Cool pic. RT @penskeracing: Minutes before the walk out to #Indy500 @h3lio & @12WillPower collect their thoughts. twitpic.com/9pxgn8

Indy Motor Speedway @IMS
Cars are lining up on the front stretch! Head over to get a chance to see the new DW12 cars up close and personal. #Indy500

Chris Siegle @chrissiegle
You'd think with every Dan Wheldon tribute that is shown on TV, they'd get easier to watch. But they haven't for me. #Lionheart #Indy500

Sam Schmidt Mtsprts @SSMIndy
@simonpagenaud talks with Honda guests. Thanks to @HondaRacing_HPD for all they do. #Indy500 @IndyCar pic.twitter.com/IneJrVaz

Indy Motor Speedway @IMS
Driver introductions and pre-race ceremonies are about to begin! What's your favorite #Indy500 tradition?

Dave Walker @reklawed
Turned on the #Indy500 only to discover that #IndyCar hasn't honoured Greg Moore and kept his number retired. That is beyond disappointing

Craig Terrill @TerrillMusic
"When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash, then I long for my Indiana home" #indy500

The recorded version channeling Jim Nabors seems grand and appropriate for this first race of the DW12

on Frankl @ronfrankl
In-cars on ESPN3.com just went live. #IndyCar

Brad Plummer @PlummerBrad
why do i not have the video only sound? - #indycar live on livestream.com/indycar

 Mike Saverko @Msave69
Like to thank all our veterans for giving us a chance to enjoy #Indy500 and #Coke600 today!! This wknd for you!! Thanks!! #NASCAR #IndyCar


GREEN, GREEN, GREEN!

IZOD IndyCar Series @IndyCar
GREEN FLAG FOR THE 96TH RUNNING OF THE #INDY500! #indycar2012

All cars safely around for a full lap - James Hinchcliffe takes the first lap

Two laps two lead changes as Briscoe takes the position back

Steph@MoreFrontWing @99forever
Okay, guys. The only lap you need to lead is the 200th. Relax, please. #indy500

Graham Rahal's fuel light alarm is flashing on lap 8 of 200

Wayne Willis @WayneWillisJr
These cars are racing really nice. Looks good so far. #Indy500 @JamieLittleESPN

Jay Howard @JayHowardRacing
[PIC] Seeing #dannyboy car circle @IMS is not only emotional bt special 4 all his many fans, me included #indy500 @IMS lockerz.com/s/212340109

Peter Leung @BaronVonClutch
Race Control has black-flagged Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro. Both cars were lapping about 10mph slower than rest of field. #Indy500


Lap 15 of 200 - Lotus/Judd cars are out of the race as predicted yesterday on Motorsports Unplugged Radio - "Wouldn't last 25 Laps"

YELLOW Flag - Clauson spins and saves the car and doesn't hit the wall - Pits Open

EJ Viso punts Dario Franchitti in pit lane and turns the #50 car around - nose cone change ordered by Chip Ganassi

Patti Rodisch @nascar_lugnuts
that was a frantic set of pit stops...#indycar

LAP 17 of 200 - Restart - GREEN, GREEN, GREEN!

IZOD IndyCar Series @IndyCar
Incident between Viso and Franchitti on pit lane was investigated. No action taken. #Indy500 #indycar2012

Fuel consumption may be down from expected due to the temperatures on the track

9 lead changes between three drivers by Lap 24 of 200

ABC replays the "single-file" restart and there were as many as five-wide at one point

IZOD IndyCar Series @IndyCar
Pic: The start of the 96th Running of the #Indy500. #indycar2012 pic.twitter.com/8x0Wyi8C

Ryan Brothers @renegade_3
RT @INDYracereview: . @MarcoAndretti is back in the lead. #IndyCar #Indy500

Tom Meyer Klipsch @TOMMYKlipsch
Lets go @Andretti26 #TeamRCcola #Andretti Leading the #Indy500! instagr.am/p/LIyFPuTENu/


LAP 34 of 200 - Top five - Andretti, Hinchtown, Briscoe, Tagliani, and Kanaan

GREEN Flag ptistops begin

F1 Fanatic Live @f1fanaticlive
L43 Hinchcliffe pits. #IndyCar

Doug Demmons @dougdemmons
Jean Alesi says he'll be back next year and he won't be driving a Yugo ... I mean, Lotus #Indy500

Ron Frankl @ronfrankl
Hinchcliffe told by team they're beating everyone on fuel mileage. Not concerned to be first to come in. #IndyCar

James Jakes @JamesJakes
4 more #Firestone tires and fuel! Fast work by the crew today! Indy500 #IndyCar

LAP 49 - Newgarden car stalls in the pits - hand pushed and restarted

Dragon Racing's Katherine Legge two laps down in P28 - Teammate Sebastien Bourdais in P23 one lap down

LAP 50 of 200 Top 10 - Andretti, Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Briscoe, Sato, Power, Kanaan, Franchitti, Rahal, and Conway

Graham Rahal is just not up to speed - complains of too much downforce

Tagliani must have had a terrible pitstop - he's dropped to P24 on lap 64 of 200 after running in the top 5at lap 34

Marco Andretti is showing great strength on lap 68 with a lead, running alone at .6689 ahead of Scott Dixon - lapping at 217mph

 Bruno Tarulli @BrunoTarulli34
Kanaan paro otra vez en boxes. Sato es tercero. Sigue adelante Marco Andretti, nieto de Mario. #IndyCar #Indy500

Jenna Fryer @JennaFryer
Marco Andretti has now led more laps than he'd led in all his previous combined #Indy500 (31 laps led) #IndyCar

Anthony Stuart @Anthony_Stuart
#INDY500 came back into my room… definitely awake now! Some absolutely amazing driving on display @imsupdates

Dario Franchitti has worked his way up to P5 since dropping to P28 with the first pitlane incident

LAP 74 - Andretti in the pits, Hinchcliffe in the pits, RHR in the pits, 29 laps on a tank of gas

LAP 75 - all three Penske Racing cars in for fuel and tires

Dixon and Franchitti P1 and P2 before their pitstops - two Honda-powered lead the race

14 different lead changes as Charlie Kimball takes the lead on transition

YELLOW Flag - Mike Conway and Will Power in a big crash after Mike Conway pulss out of the pits. Conway on the pitstop ran into three of his crew members and was assesed a drive through penalty which he was going to serve on the next lap.

Conway's ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing car just spun in front of Will Power as it looked like a front wing problem that caused instability

Four cars out of the race - the two Lotus cars and now Mike Conway and Will Power - Slow motion of the accident showed the safety of the systems built-in to the cars and the track

 Andretti Autosport @FollowAndretti
After dropping back with push condition, @RyanHunterReay climbing back into fray. P7. #Indy500

Tony @PopOffValve
Looks like more folks are seeking out the misting stations @IMS - worst heat of the day right now.

Allen Wedge @AllenWedge
@tonydizinno everyone ok, Conway hit wall alone Power couldn't avoid and got under him

Bill Zahren @pressdog
As Conway gets airborne he's all like "fabulous. this again" heart rate climbs to 49 bpm

LAP 88 0f 200 - GREEN Flag Restart of second caution period of the race 

Top ten - Andretti, Dixon, Sato, Kanaan, Franchitti, Hinchtown, RHR, Briscoe, Rahal, and Kimball

LAP 89 of 200 - YELLOW Flag - Ana Beatrix hits the wall alone - backend got loose and barely brushes the wall

Pits Open with many takers - RHR decides at last moment to not go in - Hinchcliffe has a pit problem - Dixon and Franchitti stay out as well

Jim @RacingBluejay
What the hell is it with rear tires today at #IMS? #Indy500 #IndyCar

Ryan Brothers @renegade_3
Sad to see my man @12WillPower have to end his day early #Indy500 . A little momentum lost from his amazing start to this #IndyCar season.

Stephanie Flint @stephmflint
Listening to the #500 on the radio as I drive home isn't quite the same after experiencing it as a @PrincessIndy500 last year... #indycar

Formula 1 @F1grid
PHOTO: A lot of empty seats at the Indianapolis 500 #Indy500 #IndyCar twitpic.com/9pzaod

On pit out, Ana Beatrix pulls out slowly and causes a traffic jam on the out lane

LAP 95 0f 200 - GREEN Flag Restart of third caution period of the race

All cars safely through in very tight racing quarters - this Mushroom Busting design delivers a quality racing product!

Conwezys @Conwezys
Lap 98 #lionheartforever #LIONHEART #indy500

White sunglasses placed on the faces of everyone in the stands

James Foreman @James__Foreman
#indy500 #indycar2012 #hondaindy @girlracercouk - Dan Wheldon's wife Susie watching the race from the pits, must be a very tough day for her

Halfway - LAP 100 of 200 - Top 10 drivers are TCGR's Dixon & Franchitti, Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Raey, CGR's Graham Rahal, Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Takuma Sato, CGR's Charlie Kimball, Panther Racing's JR Hildebrand, Dale Coyne Racing's James Jakes, and Sam Schmidt Motorsport'sTownsend Bell

The field has settled down nose to tail in order to save fuel

LAP 112 - Pitstop by RHR after not taking fuel after the last yellow flag

Top six positions are Honda-powered DW12s

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck
Will Power on crash: "(Conway) said the team sent him out w/a broken wing. I don't understand why they would do that." #IndyCar

Taylor J. Ness @tness88
Many drivers, including seasoned veterans, seem to be having trouble with getting going out of the pit box. #INDY500

Robby Howard @robbyhoward1
Charlie Kimball, the first driver credited with racing with diabetes, has moved into the fifth position. #indy500

Dario Franchitti in and out of the pits on Lap 118 - Dixon gets one more lap after leading 34 laps - in and out

LAP 121 - Takuma Sato leads all drivers with the 18th lead change in the race and the first time in IMS history that a Japanese-born driver has led an INDY500 race

Ryan Hunter-Raey's car is giving him troubles and comes into the pits - may be terminal - right rear upright giving way

Rubens Barrichello leads a lap at INDY500 after 33 laps between fuel stops

LAP 125 - top five are Sato, followed very closely by Franchitti, Dixon, Andretti, and Hildebrand ... oops, passed by Rahal

Four Chip Ganassi managed cars in the top 10 - P2 Franchitti, P4 Dixon, P5 Rahal, P7 Kimball

Indy Star Sports @IndyStarSports
RT @indystar_hutch: Top five at Indy thru 131 (13 on lead lap): Sato, Franchitti, Dixon, Andretti and Rahal. #Indy500

Filip Cleeren @FilipCleeren
Marco still looking good to win this. #indy500

Allen Wedge @AllenWedge
Just watched Marco pick off Dixon on ESPN3, I wish they offered this to everyone

Team Chevy @TeamChevy
Total of 20 lead changes today. Most ever at #Indy500 - 29. @IMS #ChevyIndy500

Crash Gladys @CrashGladys
Turn 2 is never the hardest turn, but drivers r reporting that due to the tailwind it is increasingly difficult 2 turn there #Indy500

Mandy Valentine @Indy_Mode
Come on @TonyKanaan & @Hinchtown - U guys can do it! (well, not both of U, obviously, but U can be 1st & 2nd!) Drive boys, drive #Indy500

Vibration troubles with Marco Andretti's car which may be the same problem with the CV Joint as Ryan Hunter-Raey's car Marco in pitlane ... and out

YELLOW Flag - LAP 145 of 200 fourth of the race - Andretti Autosport's Saavedra stalled on pit in lane

Almost everyone in the pits - very hectic - now 12 cars on the lead lap - should be cycled forward for the restart

After pitstops by the field the top ten positions are Sato, Franchitti, Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Wilson, Kimball, Briscoe, Kanaan, Castroneves, and Barrichello

LAP 152 of 200GREEN Flag Restart of fourth caution period of the race

 IZOD IndyCar Series @IndyCar Green green green! Sato leads on Lap 152. #Indy500 #indycar2012

Single file restart with a log jam - Franchitti takes the position away from Sato - then Dixon TCGR in P1 and P2

Hinchtown now targeting TAKU! - Everyone needs to make one more pitstop so fuel strategy is out the window

Kanaan just eclipsed Hinchcliffe - after one lap, Hinchcliffe takes the position back

LAP 159 - Dixon passes Franchitti for the lead with TAKU right behind - oops, Franchitti passes Dixon right back

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck
It's official: The temperature has reached 93 degrees, making the hottest #Indy500 in the 96-year history of the event.

Hasby Díaz Colina @dernierslayer
#INDY500 VUELTA 145 1.Sato 2.Franchitti 3.Andretti 4.Dixon 5.Wilson 6.Hildebrand 7.Kimball 8.Hinchcliffe 9.Bell 10.Castroneves 24.VISO

YELLOW Flag - LAP 164 - Josef Newgarden's car lets loose and pulls to the infield of the track - Pits Closed

Pits now open with 35 laps to go - al little long to stretch to the end - WOW all leaders in - Hinchcliffe runs over a hose and delays at getting out of pits - lost positions way down the order

Ron Frankl @ronfrankl
Hinchcliffe being told repeatedly by cc to save fuel; James acknowledges but says he" doesn't want to lose the field." #IndyCar

Oakley @oakley
RT @OakleyRacing1 The #Indy500 - @scottdixon9 leading followed by fellow O driver @dariofranchitti - will they hold on? #indycar2012 Lap 168

Speculation is that with leaning down, all of the leaders my be able to make it to the end - possible penalties to Rahal and Hinchcliffe

LAP 171 of 200 - 30 LAPS To Go - GREEN Flag Restart of fifth caution period of the race

Three wide and Justin Wilson gets by Sato - Franchitti takes the lead - Wilson set sights on Dixon

Kanaan in the mix with Franchitti, Dixon, Wilson, Sato and Kaanaan

Wilson slips up near the wall and losses places back to P7 - now top five is Dixon, Franchitti, Sato, Carpenter, and Kanaan

YELLOW Flag LAP 181 - Ed Carpenter spins and is in OK shape - no crash or damage, may have kissed the wall - actually no touch - white line sends the car skidding

LaMarquis Martin @LaMarquisMartin
100% skill, 200% luck there by @edcarpenter20 #indy500 #indycar

Tony @PopOffValve
Holy cow. Screw green/white/checkers, this is going to be a GOBSMACKING finish to the #Indy500.

Kendra McKinley @dance_kenny
another new record! most lead changes in a single race. 31. #Indy500

Max Papis @maxpapis 41s
Hats off to the class act of @CLTMotorSpdwy to show #Indy500 on the giant screen #classact

LAP 176 - Franchitti back in the lead with radio commands to manage fuel at "4.3 on the dash"

Dixon sets a new lead change record ant the INDY500 with 30 lead changes for this Mushroom Buster DW12

LAP 184 of 200 - 16 LAPS To Go - GREEN Flag Restart of sixth caution period of the race

Kanaan streaks to the lead from P6 - Franchitti passes TK back - Franchitti tries to bunch the field - Kanaan takes the lead again

YELLOW Flag - up to P8 Marco Andretti hits the wall and the tires on the right side of the car are bent - inside wheels hit the white line and spins

Declan Brennan @TheRaceTool
Has anyone noticed how FECKING AWESOME the Indy 500 is? :) #IndyCar

Curt Cavin @curtcavin
Pretty sure @TonyKanaan wishes he hadn't taken the lead just before that crash. He's going to be second (or maybe fifth) by Turn 4. #indy500

T.Marc Jones @TMarcJones
Ok ladies and gentlemen; 7 lap shootout! Is this an exciting race or what! #INDY500 #indycar2012 Let's go @TonyKanaan

Angelique @Angeliquecr
This next restart is gonna test the sphincters of every soul at the @IMS #RaceDay #indy500 #Indy500SnakePit #indycar2012

Top five before restart are Kanaan, Franchitti, Dixon, Briscoe, and Wilson

LAP 194 of 200 - 6 LAPS To Go - GREEN Flag Restart of seventh caution period of the race

Franchitti passes on restart - Oriol Servia maks a charge to the front and is in P6

Two laps to go Sato holds on to Franchitti's tail and is in P2 - Sato tries to pass on the inside, touches the whiteline and spins - YELLOW Flag

CHECKERED Flag - Franchitti becomes a three-time winner under a YELLOW Flag. WOW!

Final top ten - Dario Franchitti (from P33 to P3 on one stint), Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia (former Lotus-driver), Ryan Briscoe, James Hinchcliffe, Justin Wilson, Charlie Kimball, Toensend Bell, and Helio Castroneves

This is the first race of the season not won by a Penske Racing driver, but it still is a race win by either a Penske Racing or a Chip Ganassi Racing driver!

Ashley Judd Franchitti is absolutely beside herself as well she should be - Dario Franchitti becomes a Three-Time INDY500 Winner - dedicates the race to Dan Wheldon in post race interview (paraphrased).

"To be placed on the trophy besides Dan means the world to me."

Dario gets an Igloo cooler full of icy water dumped on him ala winning Football Coach/Super Bowl style.

 Post race interview has Takuma Sato complaining that he had taken the position but Dario pinched him down so hard that it caused him to have to be below the whiteline causing his DW12 to spin and hit the wall. 

The 96th Indianapolis 500 is in the books and should be renamed the "Mushroom Buster 500" in honor of the technology that brought together a great, competitive, and record 35 lead change race.


... notes from The EDJE



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dallara DW12 Speedway Aero Takes A Nod From Swift Engineering

The Dallara DW12 in Speedway Configuration rear wing side-by-side with the Swift Engineering Concept 66 Mushroom Busting design and the similarities are striking. Image Credit: Various resources combined by Edmund Jenks (2012)  

Dallara DW12 Speedway Aero Takes A Nod From Swift Engineering

The major difference with the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 ... the Greatest Spectacle in Racing ... and virtually all previous editions of the race is the racing platform technology.

Most people who have been following American open wheel racing since the beginning know the trials and tribulations with the separation and unification of the series but few really have a handle on as to why this year will be different than any other year.

The IZOD IndyCar Series has adopted a new chassis that handles the flow of air much differently than chassis of previous years and this change lays mainly in the concept of managing the airflow vortex that is created by the car and what happens to the flow of air after it leaves the back end or rear wing of the open wheel chassis. The car punches a change of the nature of the air ... or hole in the air and this allows a car that is following to pass through the same space more easily, with less drag. Some have come to term this effect as "Tow" but what is really happening is that the new design manages the flow of the air to allow for the vortex "mushroom" to be busted. An aerodynamic design feature first pioneered by Swift Engineering and put into play by some very enterprising aerodynamic engineers at Dallara for the Speedway Configuration of the DW12 chassis.

Bryan Herta Autosport's Alex Tagliani had the following observation as to this "Mushroom Busting" effect upon the trailing car, a car following a lead driver:

“You can really see it. If you make the corners flat (out), and being within three car-lengths, you'll get sucked in,” explains Alex Tagliani, who's understandably bullish about his chances having both a Honda and running with defending champion team Bryan Herta Autosport. “If your car isn't as good, and you're maybe four lengths back, you'll still be able to suck in three, but you'll just getting right on their back.”

This is where the timing element comes into play. “Getting closer, you get more disturbed, and if you lift, you become a sitting duck,” he says. “The timing of the draft is very important, but you also have to stay within the appropriate distance to pick up the tow and get by the guy.”
(quote ht: Racer.com)

The following was first published on 4/16/2010 and updated on 6/10/2010 by Edmund Jenks after a visit and tour of the Swift Engineering creation and production facility located in San Clemente, California:

Swift Engineering's 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 CAD image with California Speedway background. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Surprise Swift Tour Yields A Look At "Concept 66" Platform
(originally posted 4/16/10 - 1:28 PM)

If the folks at the IZOD IndyCar Series are thinking with a level head, given what we, at The EDJE, were exposed to at a surprise tour of the Swift Engineering facility in San Clemente, they will soon be singing "We get our kicks settling on Concept 66" as their way of the future of open-wheel racing.

Swift Engineering's 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 artist rendering. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

We were invited by the Publisher of The Motorsports Report, Dicken Wear, as an impromptu field trip after checking in at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Credentials area to pick up our Photo Vests for this weekends event. What a bonus since the major motorsports events of the day would be background shots taken while the IRL, ALMS, World Cup Challenge, and Firestone IndyPro Series cars practiced so the teams could dial in for the races ahead.

Swift Engineering's 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 CAD image without background. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

A group of about 20 people (writers, drivers, engineers, and photographers) gathered and were treated to a tour of the facilities at Swift that included a look and demonstration of their on-premises 140 mph wind tunnel, driving simulator, and composite fabrication areas. We were led on the tour by Program Director, Casper Van Der Schoot originally from Holland by way of Hogan Racing.

Casper enlightened the eager crowd with the concept of designing to reduce the effects of the vortex "dirty air" so that the platforms could race nose to tail with greater safety and, of course, greater competitiveness. The design concept of how to do this came in the development of a rear wing and forward rear wheel pod shapes that turn the Concept 66 into a "Mushroom Buster"!

Swift Engineering Inc. - Design Concept 66 - Mushroom Buster Video

One can not totally eliminate the shroom effect, but by shrinking the width of the shroom plume, and raising the "cap" of the shroom so that it is moved away from the following platform ... the mushroom is effectively busted.

UPDATE: Swift Concept #70 proposal for the next IZOD IndyCar


The IZOD IndyCar ICONIC Committee earlier this week, received a presentation previewing Swift's concept #70. The #70 is the latest evolution open-wheel car concept and incorporates aspects of the six previously launched concepts Swift has designed over the past nine months.

Swift Engineering's Design Concept #70 placed into a Long Beach Grand Prix track background. Image Credit: Swift Engineering via Racer

“Our latest concept evolves elements from our previous concepts and from the direct feedback we have received from the series, teams and fans,” said Casper van der Schoot, Swift's Program Director in an interview published in Racer. “I would like to thank the fans who have provided great feedback to us through our Facebook page and in particular Erik Berkman and Dave Marek from Honda for sharing with us their data and modeling for their next generation V6 powerplant as well as their chassis styling concept that weighed heavily in our design.”

The main thing that Swift was able to design in and keep in the #70 was a nose-to-tail racing safety and competition design concept known as "The Mushroom Buster" explained in the breakthrough design first introduced with Design Concept #66 above.

The 70 has increased signage real estate, as demanded by the teams,” said Mark Page, Swift's Chief Scientist to Racer. “We enlarged the car's bodywork and angled the surfaces so that they present the best view to the fans. We also have a new 'Mushroom Buster; design. This promotes passing by busting the 'mushroom cloud' of dead air behind the racecar. Our number 70 model was run through extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics on our new Cray supercomputers. The Cray has increased our capability 50-fold, and we now know our car will have significantly less drag than the current car.”

“The monocoque is larger than the current spec,” stated Chris Norris, Swift's chief designer in the same Racer interview. “It is designed to accommodate driver size from Danica [Patrick] to Justin [Wilson] with added padding beneath and behind the driver. In addition we have added anti-wheel lock blades dubbed, ‘Satan's teeth' aft of the front wheels, attached to the front of the sidepods. Also an anti-lift approach to the design of the front wings and sidepods will dramatically reduce the likelihood of the car getting airborne.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series is reviewing the Swift and four other manufacturer's value propositions and is expected to make its decision for the next generation IndyCar for 2012 by June 30, 2010.
[Reference Here]

Well, Dallara won the contract and the incorporation of the mushroom busting design in the DW12 is very evident, more so than with a road/street course aerodynamic set up. Maybe as this author had done with the quote used by Alex Tagliani for this article, Dallara should place at the bottom of each rear wing assembly (ht: Swift Engineering) ... do ya' think?

This year, the "tow" will be the story of the 96th INDY500 race and it will be because of moving the dirty air vortex up and away from the track surface - Mushroom Busting - which will allow cars to be more stable and gain an advantage on the track if used properly.

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

INDY500 DW12 #poleday And #bumpday Weekend Trials


Ryan Briscoe, No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet, will lead the 33-car field to the green flag for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. With a four-lap average speed of 226.484 MPH and a time of 2:38.9514, Briscoe captured his career-first pole position for the Indy 500 and the 17th for Team Penske by the closest margin in the history of the race. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

INDY500 DW12 #poleday And #bumpday Weekend Trials

What is a racing series without its unplanned moments of friction? Short answer? ... not interesting at all and this last weekend in the IZOD IndyCar Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) had its share of unplanned moments of friction.

During 2011 and many of the previous years at IMS during the qualifications process known as Pole Day and the following day known as Bump Day (new media Twitter communications hashtags #poleday and #bumpday), the unplanned friction centered around Series Management and Team relations. This year, the weekend was spiced up with the addition of integrating the nuances of a new racing platform formula that has the choice of three turbo-charged 2.2L engine power-plants - Chevrolet | Honda | Lotus .


One of the biggest concerns, in fact, centered itself around the perceived lack of competitiveness and power developed by the Lotus engine. The cracks of this controversy began to show themselves amongst the four teams (HVM Racing/Dreyer & Reinblod Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport/Dragon Racing) and five drivers that had run the first three races of the season with mild moments of success. This mild success was not the result of having inexperienced and unsuccessful drivers piloting the new DW12 Dallara chassis with the Lotus engine (HVM's Simona de Silvestro - P3 in Atlantic Championship 2009 - DRR's Oriol Servia - P4 2011/11 top-10 finishes, BHA's Alex Tagliani - P11/6 top-10 finishes/2 poles, DR's Sebastien Bourdais - P1 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and DR's Katherine Legge - P3 in Atlantic Championship standings 2005  - the most winning driver being four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais).

Before the traditional activities that surround the month of May at IMS in the lead up to the INDY500, two teams (Dreyer & Reinblod Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport) lobbied series management and won release from their obligation to use the Lotus engine in their DW12's, in fact one team, Bryan Herta Autosport did not travel to the fourth race of the season at Sao Paulo, Brazil to prepare for the transition to the Honda engine. After Sao Paulo, Dreyer & Reinbold racing negotiated an alliance with Panther Racing to be supplied and supported with a Chevrolet engine which had them change their logo for the rest of the season to reflect the alliance.

During the first chance at getting practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lotus had trouble delivering engines for Dragon Racing (while Dragon Racing launched a lawsuit to seek about 4.6 million dollars in damages due to the breach in their contract). The team missed out on six practice sessions and sought permission from the series to change to a different engine supplier. With permission granted, Dragon Racing was able to get Sebastien Bourdais and Kathrien Legge through Rookie Orientation on Thursday with Chevrolet engines.

In the meantime, in order to save some face, Lotus put their support behind a one-time team effort, Fan Force Racing to place 47 year-old Lotus driver/ambassador and former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi on the track to qualify along side of the one remaining team of HVM Racing and Simona de Silvestro.

During the activities over the week-end to fill the traditional 33 places allowed for the INDY500 field, many speculated that their may not actually be 33 cars that could qualify for the field. If this were to happen, it would be the first time since 1947 and result in an embarrassment to the new formula of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Other unplanned moments of friction came primarily through the process known as Bump Day. After the field of 33 cars is filled with qualifying runs, anyone who wishes to challenge to get into the field could present a car and post a time faster than the slowest qualified car and "Bump" the slowest car out of the field ... hence Bump Day.


Briscoe bested fellow Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 driver, James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team Go.Daddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, by .0023 of a second. Hinchcliffe’s qualifying run was 2:38.9537/226.481 mph. The difference is the equivalent of 9.168 inches. Here, James Hinchcliffe displays the gloves he wore for his inspired run - these driving gloves were worn by fellow Canadian and legendary IndyCar driver, Greg Moore. Image Credit: @hinchtown via Twitter

This on-site experience excerpted and edited from AP -

In The Pits: Drama _ of course! _ in IndyCar again
By: JENNA FRYER

One can't help but wonder, though, if there's been too much back-room politicking going on since Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened its gates May 10 to begin preparations for Sunday's race. Almost every day since has had some sort of controversy - many bordering on comical - and rumors have run rampant about everything from an alleged owner-led charge to oust CEO Randy Bernard and IndyCar supposedly blocking two teams from fielding cars on Sunday's bump-less Bump Day.

Then came the long list of penalties announced Sunday night, about 30 minutes after practice had concluded for a four-day off period.

IndyCar found 18 different infractions among 13 teams in pre-qualifying inspection, and track historian Donald Davidson believes the numbers were a one-day record for the series, though fines have never been consistently announced.

Few teams were immune and the entire front row was docked a total of $70,000 for five penalties split between pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe of Penske Racing, and Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Briscoe, in Charlotte on Monday to promote the Indy 500, wasn't sure his Penske team had actually violated the brake rule that brought a $15,000 fine. Penske team president Tim Cindric confirmed on Twitter that Will Power's car indeed had unapproved brake pads, but claimed the team never would have sent Briscoe out with the same pads once Power's had been flagged.

Either way, Briscoe believed IndyCar - behind new race director Beaux Barfield and vice president of technology Will Phillips - had taken a huge step in levying so many fines.

"It's surprising because we haven't seen much of that in the past," Briscoe said. "But I think we are seeing a new guy in charge of the rules now, and maybe in the past, some things have been let past, and I think it's good that teams are being penalized for not abiding by the rules 100 percent. Rules are there to be followed, rules are made to be enforced and they should be."

That strong stance from the sanctioning body likely came as a shock to team owners - and it came during yet another stretch of off-track drama.
----
It left only two Lotus-powered cars in the field, and they've been so far off the pace that many are openly wondering if they should even be allowed in the race. It didn't help that 47-year-old former Formula One driver Jean Alesi, who has never before raced an oval, said he felt "unsafe" in the car and was "concerned" for his fellow competitors because it is so slow.

Rubens Barrichello, who spent 19 years in F1 before moving to IndyCar this season, believes Alesi is handicapped by his Lotus engine.

"It's been very unfortunate that the Lotus power is not up to the speed," Barrichello said. "If we do end up racing with that 10- or 15-mile (speed) difference, it could be a problem for both of the (Lotus drivers). I hope just that he has a safe race."

IndyCar needs Alesi and Simona de Silvestro in the race to avoid not having a full 33-car field for the first time since 1947, but it's possible that the two cars will be black-flagged for failing to maintain a reasonable speed.

There was disappointment Sunday when no team owner threw together a last-minute entry to try to bump one of the Lotus cars out of the field. Both Jay Howard and Pippa Mann indicated they were close to putting together deals, but couldn't get Chevrolet or Honda to give them an engine. That led to rumors it was IndyCar who halted the engines to protect Lotus - an allegation series officials vehemently denied.

Let's not forget the TurboGate saga, either, with Chevrolet losing two appeals trying to prevent Honda from using a new compressor cover on its turbocharger. The defeat has supposedly left powerhouse owner Roger Penske so infuriated he's refusing to speak to Bernard, but yet it's Penske who has a driver on the pole and two more starting on the second row.

Penske, who at least publicly has preached a message of unity and support of IndyCar leaders, goes into the 500 perfect on the season with five poles and four victories. Honda, meanwhile, had only one driver qualify inside the top 10.

So from the outside, it sure looks like a mess for IndyCar. But Bernard is fond of claiming "all press is good press," and if drama gets fans to tune into Sunday's race, then maybe IndyCar knows exactly what it is doing.

[Reference Here]


Here is how the field is set for the 98th running of the INDY500:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                      Speed

 1.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske DW12-Chevy             226.484
 2.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti DW12-Chevy           226.481
 3.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti DW12-Chevy           226.240

 4.  Marco Andretti       Andretti DW12-Chevy           225.456
 5.  Will Power           Penske DW12-Chevy             225.422
 6.  Helio Castroneves    Penske DW12-Chevy             225.172

 7.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher DW12-Honda             224.037
 8.  Tony Kanaan          KV DW12-Chevy                 224.751
 9.  EJ Viso              KV DW12-Chevy                 224.422

10.  Rubens Barrichello   KV DW12-Chevy                 224.264
11.  Alex Tagliani        Herta DW12-Honda              224.000
12.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.959

13.  Ana Beatriz          Andretti/Conquest DW12-Chevy  223.920
14.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.868
15.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.684

16.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.582
17.  James Jakes          Dale Coyne DW12-Honda         223.482
18.  JR Hildebrand        Panther DW12-Chevy            223.422

19.  Takuma Sato          Rahal DW12-Honda              223.392
20.  Townsend Bell        Schmidt DW12-Honda            223.134
21.  Justin Wilson        Dale Coyne DW12-Honda         222.929

22.  Michel Jourdain Jr   Rahal DW12-Honda              222.893
23.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt DW12-Honda            222.891
24.  Sebastian Saavedra   AFS/Andretti DW12-Chevy       222.811

25.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon DW12-Chevy             223.760
26.  Wade Cunningham      Foyt DW12-Honda               223.258
27.  Oriol Servia         Panther/DRR DW12-Chevy        222.393

28.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter DW12-Chevy          222.324
29.  Mike Conway          Foyt DW12-Honda               222.319
30.  Katherine Legge      Dragon DW12-Chevy             221.624

31.  Bryan Clauson        Fisher DW12-Chevy             214.455
32.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM DW12-Lotus                214.393
33.  Jean Alesi           Fan Force DW12-Lotus          210.094
(ht: autosport)

Please be aware that the rule book has a provision that if cars do not maintain an adequate speed for safety reasons, they will be Black Flagged and removed from racing on the track. This rule is known as the 105% Rule.

@TheEDJE TWEETS from Bump Day:

If officials were to enforce the 105% rule 33rd qualifier today would need 215.1598mph avg or better, Clausen in at AVG: 214.455 #indycar #indy500

de Silvestro HVM Racing - 214.393 | Alesi Fan Force United - 210.094 Mak Field | 105% rule, 215.1598mph avg not in play on #bumpday #indycar #lotus #chevy #honda

AS for the former Lotus drivers - Bryan Herta Autosport benefited the best from the change by having Alex Tagliani qualify at P11.

Another @TheEDJE TWEET:

@BourdaisOnTrack safely in at P25 - 223.760 #bumpday would have been good enough for P15 on #poleday #indycar #indy500

... notes from The EDJE



** Article first seen as INDY500 DW12 #poleday And #bumpday Weekend Trials at Technorati **

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dragon Racing Set To Abandon Lotus For Indy500 - Developing On Twitter

Sebastien Bourdais takes the True Car sponsored #6 of Katherine Legge outfitted with the new Chevrolet turbo engine (and Logo) out for a spin during rookie orientation day at IMS. Image Credit: James Black via Twitter  

Dragon Racing Set To Abandon Lotus For Indy500 - Developing On Twitter

The concept of a group of truly competitive cars in a third engine offering (dubbed here as the "Lotus Legion") seems to be disappearing ... and fast. It was only a month ago when it appeared that Lotus/Judd could not supply enough engines for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the run-up to the INDY500.

Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing decided to stablize their sponsorship and racing efforts for the season by jumping to the other engine manufacturers - BHA with Chevy and DRR with a joint agreement with Panther Racing and Honda.


Over the last couple of days during practice at IMS, Dragon Racing, with their drivers ... four-time CCWS champion Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge,  began to seek an alternative to being saddled with the lack of power, lack of engines, and the potential of shaky sponsorship wrapped up with the choice of the Lotus/Judd engine effort.

IndyCar Garage @IndyCarGarage
Per Cavin, Dragon has a 2nd Chevy engine ... would appear that Legge and Bourdais (assuming everything goes well) should be in the race

Lotus probably began to see the writing on the wall early on because they brought their driving/brand embassador, noted Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi, over from Europe to add an additional car to the frey along with primary Lotus partner, HVM Racing.

Colin Z. @WxTurtle
So assuming Alesi/Simona end up finding 211-212, we'll have same speed diff from 1-33 as '06. Not good, but not a 30 mph gap. #indycar

Additional Tweet thoughts on the plight of the Lotus/Judd effort for the INDY500:

Andy Miller @TheSpeedgeek
@PopOffValve If Lotuses are that slow in Race, they'll get black flagged before they get lapped a 2nd time. Done and done. No issue.

Paul Hensby @Paul11F1
@tonydizinno Its sad that Simona is stuck with Lotus. She (& Alesi) are far better than their times suggest. HVM should ditch Lotus #Indycar

True Car Dragon Racing driver, Katherine Legge, fields questions as to the future of Chevy-power being in the DW12's of Dragon Racing. Image Credit: IMS Radio via Twitter

This excerpted and edited from from INDYSTAR.com -

Indy 500: Dragon Racing finally hits the track at IMS

Written by Curt Cavin 9:12 AM CT, May. 17, 2012

Dragon Racing has finally made its season debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The No. 6 car driven by Sebastien Bourdais turned its first lap shortly after 8 a.m. this morning. Bourdais turned 21 laps in the first hour, a fastest lap of 205.116 mph.

The team has been mired in a legal dispute with Lotus, but it is transitioning to Chevrolet, the engine that powered today's laps.

Dragon also plans to field Katherine Legge in her Rookie Orientation Program effort. Bourdais drove her car.

As of 9 a.m., IndyCar had not released a statement saying Dragon had been permitted to switch engine manufacturers.

Permission is required by series rules.

Bourdais is taking a refresher course since he hasn't competed at IMS since the 2005 Indianapolis 500. That was his only 500. Legge is a true rookie at IMS, and her only oval-track race came in the 2006 Champ Car World Series season. She finished sixth at the race in Milwaukee.
[Reference Here]

Oriol Servia sits in his Panther Dreyer & Reinblod Honda-powered DW12 waiting for his turn to get out on the 2.5 mile rectangle shaped oval of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Lotus/Judd engine relationship is a long way back in the rear-view mirror. Image Credit: Panther DRR via Twitter 

This just in:

Dustin Long @dustinlong
#IndyCar approves engine change for Dragon Racing. Sebastian Bourdais & Katherine Legge will switch from Lotus to Chevrolet power.



Maybe the 2012 effort by Lotus and its original four-team partnership known here (at "... notes from The EDJE"/"Motorsports Unplugged") as the "Lotus Legion" needs to be changed to "Lotus Lesion"!

... notes from The EDJE



** Article first published as Dragon Racing Set To Abandon Lotus For Indy500 - Developing On Twitter on Technorati **

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Patrick Dempsey Feels He Is Finally Ready For The Big Stage

Dempsy Racing's new second car getting ready for its debut in the ALMS LMp2 Class (work order on screen). This Lola/Judd-powered B12-80 will join the field entering the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón six-hour race event this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: John Dagys via Twitter (2012) 


Patrick Dempsey Feels He Is Finally Ready For The Big Stage

As with any good acting gig, an effort worth taking a part in takes preparation. Patrick Dempsey has been in preparation for this role all of his life ... the role of exotic race car team owner, car owner, and driver in the American Le Mans Series, North America's premier sports car racing series.

Dempsey is set to make his long-awaited debut in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón six-hour race event this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The successful Hollywood film and television star ... and Dempsey Racing co-owner (with seven year business partner/driver, Joe Foster), is confirmed in the lineup for the team’s Lola-Judd prototype – part of the LMP2 field at the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón.


The decision to enter the Mazda Raceway round comes after preparing to become a competent sports car driver for four years in the Grand Am series and most recently, a successful shakedown and initial three-day test of the prototype Lola-Judd on Michelin tires at Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City.

“It is nothing short of an awe-inspiring experience in every respect,” said Dempsey, who will be racing a prototype sports car for the first time. “It feels familiar but so much more intense - the braking, the acceleration, cornering and power, it is all on a much more dynamic level than the GT cars I have driven. It’s an amazing machine and it is incredible to even have the opportunity to race in a car like this at this level, and what better track to start with than Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This race will really be a continuation of our learning and testing process only this time in front of a bigger crowd. We should be able to accomplish much more development and familiarization during an endurance race.”

As lead driver and owner of Dempsey Racing, Patrick Dempsey enters the ALMS with a two car/two Class team. Dempsey is coming off of his fourth full season of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT class competition in the No. 40 VISIT FLORIDA/ModSpace/Construct Corps/Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT. Image Credit: Dempsey Racing

He is expected to share driving duties with his team co-owner Joe Foster and former ALMS Drayson Racing driver, Jonny Cocker. The addition of Cocker (Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion - 2005, British GT Championship - 2004) to the Dempsey Racing effort brings along a wealth of Lola car driving experience that Foster and Dempsy will benefit from. This will be much welcomed because it was only this March, Dempsey and Foster announced Dempsey Racing’s move into the LMP2 Class for a partial ALMS season in 2012. The team’s plans call for a full championship run in 2013 with the goal of an entry to the Le Mans 24 Hours in the near future, as well.

Dempsey Racing is a team effort in rare company by entering cars in two of the ALMS's four classes. Henri Richard, Duncan Ende and Ryan Lewis will drive the team’s #25 PC car – an ORECA FLM09 also on Michelin tires. Two other teams have cars in multiple ALMS classes: Muscle Milk Pickett Racing (P1 and PC) and Lotus Alex Job Racing (GT and GT Challenge)

The American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 12, from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.

This weekend, we almost can hear Patrick Dempsey say (under his breath/paraphrased) the famous quote from the movie, Sunset Blvd. ... a street not too far from where Dempsey resides - "Alright, Exotic Automobile Racing World, I'm ready for my close-up."

Dempsy Racing's #25 LMPC open-cockpit (left) and #27 LMP2 closed-cockpit cars in after Thursday's promoter Test ... all in one piece each! Image Credit: Dempsey Racing ‏ @GoDempseyRacing

Promoter Test Day UPDATE:

Patrick Dempsey, making his LMP2 debut in Dempsey Racing's new Lola B12/80 Judd. The actor/racer spun and high-sighted his Lola at the Corkscrew, which brought out one of two red flags.

Prior to Dempsey's minor incident, co-driver Jonny Cocker, making his return to the cockpit of a Lola-Judd, posted the fifth quickest time overall and third best in LMP2 with a time of 1:19.698.

Dempsey Racing's LMPC class open-cockpit ORECA FLM09 driven by Henri Richard, Duncan Ende, and Ryan Lewis ended up 11th out of thirty-four cars overall and 5th in class out of eight cars entered. Ryan Lewis is credited with the #25's best lap at 1:20.952.

Qualifications UPDATE (from a "Tweet"):

Jonny Cocker ‏ @jonny_cocker - P3 in class in Quali.. Not bad considering the car is only 2 weeks old! Well done @GoDempseyRacing Lots of work to do but we'll get there!!

This from ALMS.com - The Dempsey squad qualified third in class in its ALMS P2 debut. Jonny Cocker set a lap of 1:17.494 (103.967 mph) in the Lola-Judd he drives with Hollywood star and team co-owner Patrick Dempsey and team co-principal Joe Foster.

Reminder: The American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 12, from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.


... notes from The EDJE


** Article first published as Patrick Dempsey Feels He Is Finally Ready For The Big Stage on Technorati **

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mazda Road to Indy Holds Second Annual Oval Clinic

Bobby Rahal is currently talking to @Shelbilly @ZachVeach @SageKaram88 & @TMacRacing at #MazdaRoadtoIndy clinic! Image Credit: Andretti Autosport @FollowAndretti


Mazda Road to Indy Holds Second Annual Oval Clinic

This first Friday in the month of May events around the Indianapolis 500, the drivers involved in the MAZDA Road To Indy traveled to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the second annual MAZDA Road to Indy Oval Clinic, joining their fellow competitors in all three MAZDA ladder system series - the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights.

Hosted by INDYCAR’s Director of Grassroots Initiatives Jason Penix and led by multiple driving champion and USF2000 driving coach Gerardo Bonilla, the clinic covers all aspects of oval racing with the intricacies supported by video footage exhibits.

Oval veterans participating in this year's panel of experts included Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team owner / former Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, INDYCAR President of Competition Beaux Barfield, Performance Advisor / spokesman Johnny Unser, IZOD IndyCar Series driver / team owner Ed Carpenter, and former Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year / Elite Engines owner Steve Knapp. The participants receive training on the basics of oval racing, best practices of oval testing, working with spotters, how to prepare themselves physically for an oval race, safety, and how to approach oval event practice, qualifying and race day.

The drivers from all three open-wheel disciplines will have the opportunity to put these lessons to practice the very next day during a test at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway on Saturday, May 5. These young competitors, many of whom will be turning their first laps on an oval course, will have a combined five hours of testing on the short 0.686-mile track.

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear drivers will be in serious preparation for the popular “Night Before the 500 races″ to be held on May 26 – 2012 Round 5 for both USF2000 competition (the only oval event on the series calendar) and Star Mazda Championship.



At the end of the month of May, all of these future Indianapolis 500 competitors will be honored at the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy Victory Celebration on May 27 at Sensu Restaurant and Nightclub in downtown Indianapolis.

Podium finishers of the Firestone Freedom 100 (Firestone Indy Lights race run at IMS) and "Night Before the 500 races" at Lucas Oil Raceway (USF2000/Star Mazda) will be recognized for their accomplishments at the event that follows the 96th Indianapolis 500. Roger Bailey, former executive director of Firestone Indy Lights, will be the guest of honor.

“The Victory Celebration will cap the exciting Month of May for the Mazda Road to Indy program, which includes the races and events surrounding the Indianapolis 500,” said Tony George Jr., director of Firestone Indy Lights. “It also allows everyone to congratulate Roger and reflect on his 50-plus-year career in motorsports.”

A painting of 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, which motorsports artist Bill Patterson will produce during the event, will be auctioned – along with several prints - at the conclusion of the event.

... notes from The EDJE


** Article first published as Mazda Road to Indy Holds Second Annual Oval Clinic on Technorati **