Thursday, July 31, 2008

Panasonic F1 T108 Mid-Season Assessment Review

Panasonic Toyota Racing Team at the French Grand Prix – celebrating a podium finish of their T108 driven by Jarno Trulli. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport

Panasonic F1 T108 Mid-Season Assessment Review

Toyota Motorsport releases a video review of the effort and success of the Panasonic T108 in competition in this 2008 season.

With ten of eighteen races contested, some of the projected pre-season goals have been met, but more has to be done in order to remain the leader team of the "mid-pack" teams.

This explaination of the video package from Toyota Motorsport -

Panasonic Toyota Racing - 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix Feature: MID-SEASON
[Source: Toyota Motorsport - 28-Jul-2008]

With ten Grands Prix of the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship already completed, Panasonic Toyota Racing takes a look at a successful season so far.

Jarno Trulli has been in impressive form, with a best result of third in the French Grand Prix, while new team-mate Timo Glock has adjusted quickly to the TF108 and took fourth place in Canada.

With eight Grands Prix remaining, the team is fourth in the Constructors' Championship.

Available video includes soundbites of the Panasonic Toyota Racing team on the progress of the 2008 season and general views of the first half of the 2008 Formula 1 season.

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2009 IndyCar Series Schedule - Highlighted & Announced

The IndyCar Series in DIRECTV HD today announced its 2009 schedule featuring 18 races, including two new destinations, bookend dates for the state of Florida marking changes to the season-opening and closing venues, and expanding the season-long championship by a month.

In its continuing effort to offer competitors one of the most diverse challenges in all of motorsports, the 2009 schedule features 10 oval races, three permanent road courses and five temporary circuits and includes all but one venue that hosted the IndyCar Series in 2008.

Highlighting the 2009 IndyCar Series schedule:

The season opener will be run through the streets of St. Petersburg , Fla. , on April 5.

The season-finale moves to Homestead-Miami Speedway and will be run on Oct. 11 with the speedway and series developing a championship weekend celebration, extending the IndyCar Series season a month longer than the previous two seasons.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach will be run on April 19, marking the IndyCar Series’ debut at the 35-year-old event that has hosted F1, CART and Champ Car races as its premier event.

The IndyCar Series will debut in Toronto on July 12. The Indy Toronto, which dates to 1986, will be the first of back-to-back temporary course events in Canada with Edmonton scheduled for July 26.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will shift from July to Aug. 9, allowing the series to break up what was six consecutive weeks of racing in 2008. With this date change, the Kentucky Speedway event will move one week earlier to Aug. 1.

The Raceway at Belle Isle Park and Chicagoland Speedway are exchanging weekends, with Chicagoland running on Saturday evening Aug. 29 and the temporary street event in Detroit running Sept. 6.

The Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan is shifting to Sept. 19 after running in April since 2003.

The IndyCar Series will be a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Centennial Celebration with the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race scheduled for May 24.

The IndyCar Series will return to Kansas Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile, Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway , Richmond International Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway at approximately the same time on the calendar as 2008.

“We are thrilled with the schedule we have developed for 2009,” said Terry Angstadt, the president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. “When unification was announced earlier this year, we talked about the opportunity of developing future schedules on a blank piece of paper, and with today’s announcement we have a solid foundation for developing a consistent, long-term schedule for the IndyCar Series.”

Next season’s schedule will feature four Saturday prime-time events, and unlike the previous two seasons the 2009 schedule affords a couple more in-season off-weekends for drivers and teams.

“Looking ahead to 2009, and with one season of unification under our belts, we know that the IndyCar Series continues to offer the most diverse schedule in all of motorsports,” said Brian Barnhart, president of the competition and operations division for the Indy Racing League.

“As our schedule has evolved in the past few years, the race for the IndyCar Series championship has become one that demands the ability of both drivers and teams to master a variety of venues and the challenges each one brings with the end result being a true champion.

We are also pleased to respond to our teams and offer a couple of more off-weekends during the core of the season.”
, concluded Barnhart.

The complete 2009 IndyCar Series schedule:

Date – Location - Venue Length & Type

Sunday, April 5 - Streets of St. Petersburg - 1.8-mile street course

Sunday, April 19 - Streets of Long Beach -1.968-mile street course

Sunday, April 26 - Kansas Speedway - 1.5-mile oval

Sunday, May 24 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 2.5-mile oval

Sunday, May 31 - The Milwaukee Mile - 1.0-mile oval

Saturday, June 6* - Texas Motor Speedway - 1.5-mile oval

Sunday, June 21 - Iowa Speedway - .875-mile oval

Saturday, June 27* - Richmond International Raceway - .75-mile oval

Sunday, July 5 - Watkins Glen International - 3.4-mile road course

Sunday, July 12 - Streets of Toronto - 1.721-mile street course

Sunday, July 26 - Edmonton City Centre Airport - 1.973-mile airport course

Saturday, August 1* - Kentucky Speedway - 1.5-mile oval

Sunday, August 9 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - 2.258-mile road course

Sunday, August 23 - Infineon Raceway - 2.245-mile road course

Saturday, August 29* - Chicagoland Speedway - 1.5-mile oval

Sunday, September 6 - The Raceway at Belle Isle Park - 2.906-mile street course

Saturday, September 19 - Twin Ring Motegi - 1.5-mile oval

Sunday, October 11 - Homestead-Miami Speedway - 1.5-mile oval

(*) Denotes Night race

Schedule Subject to Change

(ht: Pacific Coast Motorsports)

... notes from The EDJE

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Elation At Edmonton For CCWS/IRL Fans

The temporary race track at Edmonton City Centre Airport (from above) where the Rexall Edmonton Indy was contested. It was formerly called the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton and was a round of the Champ Car World Series. It was one of three Champ Car races added to the 2008 IndyCar Series following the merger of the two American open wheel racing series. Image Credit: Edmonton City Centre Airport

It's Elation At Edmonton For CCWS/IRL Fans

Welcome to Edmonton, Indy Racing League officials and race fans.

The IRL was treated to some fantastic crowds (estimate at over 200,000 for the time of the event) and a warm CCWS reception all during the three days that the IndyCar Series was in town to compete at the Rexall Edmonton Indy - the IRL's first ever race in Canada. This is what it will be like at all former ChampCar World Series venues next year under a truly unified series. All the best drivers and all the best teams with enough experience throughout the paddock to make the 2009 season fun and competitive.

Here is the transcript generated as an off-line live blogging effort at The EDJE. The weather is perfect, clear and in the low 80's, with winds between 10-20 mph from the SE.

After three warm-up laps the pace car pulls off and the Green Flag is waved to start the race.

Race Start for the race held in 2008. This race was held by the ChampCar World Series and was won by Justin Wilson. Wilson qualified in position six and finished the race the highest of all the T-Team Eleven driver competing in the race today. Image Credit: Rexall Edmonton Indy

Graham Rahal gets through the first couple of corners then goes off track with a broken right rear suspension. Says he was tapped by Mario Moraes started 10th but soldiered on at 22nd.

Briscoe baubles and Castroneves takes over the lead.

Will Power started 5th came into the pits while running 13th for adjustments, fuel, and tires.

Will Power retires – left front wishbone is bent. Rolled the car back to the garage to see about replacement.

LAP 11
Tracy moves up to 10th position after starting 16th. Paul Tracy is making his first start of the IRL season even though he did run at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

LAP 14
Castroneves leads Briscoe by 3.2 seconds

LAP 19
Vitor Meira slides into the corner tires in turn one – brings out a full course Yellow and pit stops.

LAP 21
In the pits, Dixon skunks Servia to take over third position.

LAP 25
Restart – The Red & White parade is disrupted when Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Buddy Rice stay out to assume the lead over Penske (Castroneves and Briscoe), and Target Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon.

LAP 28
Right Rear wishbone of Dale Coyne Racing’s Mario Moraes breaks.

LAP 29
Andretti Green Racing’s Hideki Mutoh spins and crashes badly – Full Course Yellow.

LAP 31
Buddy Rice and Tony Kanaan come in to pit – Marco stays out.
LAP 34
Restart, Paul Tracy pulls up to position 11 behind Bruno Junqueira. Helio jumps all over Andretti and passes for the lead in to turn one.

LAP 36
Paul Tracy also jumps up a few positions on the restart to position 9.

LAP 40
Marco Andretti in the pits. Castroneves, Briscoe, Dixon, Servia, and Wilson round out the top five. Weldon, Bernoldi, Tracy, Hunter-Reay, and Junqueira make up the top ten.

LAP 49
Townsend Bell hits the tire barrier; it’s a tow – Full Course Yellow

LAP 51
Field takes a pit stop – Full fill up leaves a car about 7 laps short of making it to the end on Green.

Scott Dixon skunks both Penske cars off pit lane. Tony Kanaan stays out and assumes the lead. Other that stayed out include Foyt IV, Rice, and Carpenter.

Mario Dominguez climbed up to 14th at one time in the Pacific Coast Motorsports/Visit Mexico City Dallara, but had to retire due to mechanical problems. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

LAP 52
Mario Dominguez of Pacific Coast Motorsports looses a right rear tire as a result of an improper tire change.

LAP 54
Dixon ordered behind Castroneves before restart.

LAP 55
Green, Green, Green – Kanaan leads the pack with 25 laps since his last pit stop.

LAP 56
Briscoe spins and looses places to the leaders – Ed Carpenter taps Briscoe and sends him to 17th.

AJ Foyt IV, passes Tony Kanaan for the lead. Tony spins and opens the door.

LAP 57
Briscoe in the pits, gets topped off on fuel and check for damage – can make it to the end.

LAP 60
Kanaan regains the lead on a driving miscue by AJ Foyt IV. EJ Viso punts Graham Rahal into the tires after Graham rejoins the race. Full Course Yellow

LAP 61
Dixon, Castroneves, Weldon, Tracy, and Wilson round out the top five at restart by staying out during pit open. Kanaan pitted.

LAP 64
Green Flag. Viso called in to the pits for a 15 second stop and go penalty.

LAP 65
Bernoldi spins and drops a couple of places from 12th place.

LAP 67
The top eight places will need a splash and go to complete the race if it remains Green. Ryan Briscoe riding in position 9 can make it all the way. Tracy is up to position 4 followed by Wilson, Servia, and Junqueira.

LAP 70
Servia passes Tracy for fourth. There is speculation that some of the top seven might make it to the end … laps will tell. Briscoe passed Danica Patrick to break into the top eight.

LAP 75
Wilson passes Tracy for fifth place. Twenty laps to go. Who will make it on gas to the end?

LAP 77
Marco taps tires with Danica Patrick and pushes her off of the track. Danica has a flat tire, Marco has a hurt wing and drops back to 15th. Local caution only.

LAP 80
Briscoe passes Junqueira for seventh position. The race is announced to become a timed race – to be run less than the 95 original laps.

LAP 83
Wilson assumes 3rd, Weldon drops back to 6th. Fourteen cars on the lead lap.

LAP 85
Castroneves locks his brakes and looses time behind leader Scott Dixon.

LAP 86
Junqueira passes Weldon for 6th.

LAP 87
Bruno Junqueira sputters and drops back to 11th. Briscoe up to 6th.

LAP 91
White Flag – Dixon, Weldon, Wilson, Servia, and Tracy in the top five for the last lap. Paul Tracy passes Oriol Servia for 4th place on this last lap!

Major thanks has to given to Tony George for clearing the way for Forsythe Racing to race under the Vision Racing banner with a Forsythe prepared SubWay Restruants sponsored Dallara. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

The T-Team Eleven is bolstered by the presence of Paul Tracy who raced his first ever race in a Dallara all the way to the end.

Here is how the transition team drivers fared:

Pos. Driver/Car No C/E/T S Qual Speed Laps XL LL Status Pts

3 Justin Wilson McDonald's Racing Team 02 D/H/F 6 0.000 91 0 0 Running 35

4 Paul Tracy Subway/ Vision 22 D/H/F 15 114.122 91 0 0 Running 32

5 Oriol Servia KV Racing Technology 5 D/H/F 3 116.710 91 0 0 Running 30

14 Bruno Junqueira Z-Line Designs 18 D/H/F 7 115.871 91 0 0 Running 16

15 E.J. Viso PDVSA HVM Racing 33 D/H/F 20 112.879 90 0 0 Running 15

16 Enrique Bernoldi Sangari Conquest Racing 36 D/H/F 11 114.519 90 0 0 Running 14

20 Mario Moraes Sonny's Bar-B-Q 19 D/H/F 10 115.015 85 0 0 Running 12

22 Will Power Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia 8 D/H/F 5 116.410 72 0 0 Running 12

23 Jaime Camara Sangari 34 D/H/F 26 111.229 68 0 0 Mechanical 12

24 Mario Dominguez Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing 96 D/H/F 19 112.500 51 0 0 Off Course 12

26 Graham Rahal Rexall-Oilers 06 D/H/F 8 115.573 44 0 0 Contact 10
Reference Here>>

A really good race in general - not a great race for the overall advancement in the Rookie-Of-The-Year points race due to the fact Will Power could not take advantage of a last place finish by Hideki Mutoh, the current points leader (moved from 31 to 29 points behind).

... notes from The EDJE

Friday, July 25, 2008

Transition Drivers Show Strong At Edmonton Quals.

KV Racing Technology's Oriol Servia inches his way into the third qualifying position on the grid. He nips season points leader, Scott Dixon by one ten-thousandth of a second to break up a lock on the first three positions by established team drivers over the first three places. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

Transition Drivers Show Strong At Edmonton Quals.

If the equipment equation were a little more equalized or at least half of the venues were former CART/CCWS venues we believe the drivers edge would be with the ChampCar drivers having to be folded into the IRL.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone knows that Penske and Ganassi are the class of the established teams this transition year of 2008, but if the qualifying performance put on by the former ChampCar drivers with different equipment on a track they are exclusively familiar with is any indication, this would be a different looking season in the points chase at this point.

Six of the top ten qualifying positions on the grid for the Rexall Edmonton Indy are occupied by the T-Team Ten that have run most of this season. Actually, seven of the top eleven are looking to make a mark and move up in the standings.

"This didn't come easy." - Ryan Briscoe, after taking the pole for the IndyCar Series Rexall Edmonton Indy, Friday. "I did all I could just to get in (to the final session). Going in, I wasn't so confident! It was all I could just to stay in the game. If you would have told me 15 minutes ago that I would be on pole, I would have been dreaming." Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

This excerpted and edited from –

Briscoe flies to Edmonton pole

By Tony DiZinno - - Racing series, INDYCAR – Date: 2008-07-25

Ryan Briscoe was part lucky and part good in winning last week's IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio. The same description applied to the Australian's pole-winning effort for tomorrow's Rexall Edmonton Indy, marking his second pole of the season and Team Penske's fourth consecutive overall.

A water leak nearly derailed any chance of success in the final session, which Briscoe fought into with a last-ditch lap right at the end of Q2.
Briscoe's teammate Helio Castroneves completes a Penske front row sweep. Castroneves led the day's lone practice session as the first driver to cross the timing line in under 61 seconds. At day's end, the top four were all in the one-minute bracket.
After the Penske pairing, Oriol Servia, Scott Dixon and Will Power completed the top five. Servia and Power trap series points leader Dixon in a KV Racing Technologies sandwich coming to the green flag. Servia edged Dixon for third by the slimmest of margins, one ten-thousandth of a second.

The "Fast Six" group was trimmed to five beforehand as Justin Wilson suffered upper and lower left-side suspension damage to his Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing entry. The Briton swapped ends, caught his car the first time but contacted the barriers in the turn seven complex. He starts sixth.

"I just tried to push it too hard," Wilson said. "The second time I lost it, it bit me. The impact damaged the suspension. Our car's been quick and always gaining lap times, but it's been right on a knife's edge the whole weekend."
Completing the top ten are Bruno Junqueira, Graham Rahal, Dan Wheldon, and Mario Moraes.
Junqueira and Moraes give team owner Dale Coyne two top-ten starts, but despite their speed each of the team's drivers has given the crewmembers extended hours of labor after accidents. Junqueira's Thursday shunt saw the team go to a backup car, while in the waning moments of Q2, the rapidly- improving Moraes lost control out of turn seven and walloped the wall.

Tracy was bitterly disappointed to not advance having been in the top ten in each practice. He blamed his lack of speed on carrying extra fuel and its subsequent additional weight. A late full-course caution for Marty Roth's spin left drivers scrambling during Tracy's group's session. While Tracy notched a lap quick enough to advance, he started it after the checkers, nullifying any potential gain.

Reference Here>>

Conquest Racing's Enrique Bernoldi hangs in to place eleventh on the grid making 7 of the top 11 qualifying positions owned by the drivers of the T-Team Ten. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

How the T-Team Ten (now Eleven counting Paul Tracy) Fared

SP/Car Driver Hometown Car Name Entrant Time Speed

3/5 Oriol Servia Pals, Spain KV Racing Technology KV Racing Technology 1:00.8584 116.710

5/8 R Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia KV Racing Technology 1:01.0154 116.410

6/02 R Justin Wilson Sheffield, England McDonald's Racing Team Newman Haas Lanigan Racing no time no speed

7/18 Bruno Junqueira Belo Horizonte, Brazil Z-Line Designs Dale Coyne Racing 1:01.2991 115.871

8/06 R Graham Rahal Columbus, Ohio Rexall-Oilers Newman Haas Lanigan Racing 1:01.4573 115.573

10/19 R Mario Moraes Sao Paulo, Brazil Sonny's Bar-B-Q Dale Coyne Racing 1:01.7552 115.015

11/36 R Enrique Bernoldi Curitiba, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing Conquest Racing 1:02.0227 114.519

16/22 Paul Tracy Scarborough, Ontario Subway/Vision Vision Racing 1:02.2387 114.122

20/96 R Mario Dominguez Mexico City Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:03.1359 112.500

21/33 R E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela PDVSA HVM Racing HVM Racing 1:02.9242 112.879

27/34 R Jaime Camara Goiania, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing 1:03.8572 111.229
Reference Here>>

Let's just hope these guys can hold, and even advance position in the race tomorrow. Up for grabs will be Rookie-Of-The-Year points and it looks that Will Power will have a chance to gain on points leader Hideki Mutoh of the Andretti Green Racing stables.

... notes from The EDJE

Monday, July 21, 2008

T-Team Silver Lining In The Clouds At Mid-Ohio

The pit lane at Mid-Ohio during the rain shower just before race start. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

T-Team Silver Lining In The Clouds At Mid-Ohio

Seven lead changes from seven different drivers – not a bad display in open wheel racing for a road course. Heck, we even had some of the “T-Team Ten” take a legitimate turn at leading the parade.

Ryan Briscoe leads Ryan Hunter-Reay and Buddy Rice. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

T-Team Ten race leaders included Justin Wilson (11), Mario Moraes (1), Will Power (3).

At the end, however, in Mid-Ohio it was a Penske parade with Ryan Brisco and Helio Castroneves at positions 1 and 2.

Team owner of KV Racing Technology, Kirk Kalkoven, pats driver, Will Power on the back for a good drive at Mid-Ohio. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Will Power was looking at a podium finish but got passed in the closing laps, on the track, at race speed by Scott Dixon. This left the teammates of KV Racing Technology together rounding out the top five finishers. A similar move by Justin Wilson of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing was placed on Danica Patrick of Andretti Green Racing bringing his finish position at 11 after a mid-race spin incident on a restart placed his car back in the field.

The racing trooper award of the day has to go to Mario Dominguez and the team at Pacific Coast Motorsports. An honorable mention needs to go to Jamia Camara of Conquest Racing for starting at position 25, racing clean and moving up eleven positions to finish at 14.

Mario Dominguez and Marty Roth run side-by-side at Mid-Ohio. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

This excerpted from a Pacific Coast Motorsports Press Release –

Dominguez Stays in the Race Despite a Wild Day at Mid-Ohio

By Katie Brannan - PCM Public Relations - Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lexington, OH – Thunderstorms soaked the Mid-Ohio circuit minutes before the scheduled start of the race, it delayed the green flag and wreaked havoc with race strategies.

Dominguez passed for position at the start of the Honda Indy 200 and made his first pitstop for dry tires just four laps into the event. He looked set for a strong first stint challenging for positions when he made a move to pass Ryan Briscoe, the eventual race winner. Briscoe blocked Dominguez forcing him to brake late which led to an off-track excursion and contact with the barrier. Dominguez returned to the pits for an inspection and fresh tires, and the car was deemed intact.

Several laps later, again on a charge for position and after having just set the fastest lap of the race, Dominguez suffered a rear wing failure; the rear wing detached itself from the car at 180 mph which sent Dominguez spinning into the gravel trap, causing a full course caution. The IndyCar Safety Team quickly removed Dominguez from the gravel and he was back on track headed for the pits. The PCM crew jumped into action, they replaced the rear wing and tires and refuelled the Visit Mexico City IndyCar. They proved they are some of the best in the business, as Dominguez lost just two laps through the entire incident.

Dominguez returned to the track and continued to tick off laps at pace with the leaders despite the off-track excursions earlier in the race. He finished 19th.
Reference Here>>

Visit Mexico City sponsored driver, Mario Dominguez, signs an autograph to a budding fan around the Mid-Ohio track before racetime. Image Credit: Pacific Coast Motorsports

This excerpted from Speed TV -

INDYCAR: Sunday Notebook

Written by: David Phillips - Senior writer, RACER Magazine - 07/20/2008 - 07:46 PM - Lexington, Ohio

Not surprisingly, there were two different versions of the incident involving Justin Wilson and Mario Dominguez that triggered the four-car crash eliminating Marco Andretti from the race and knocking Wilson out of contention for a possible win.

What is indisputable is that, as the field funneled around the Carousel into Turn 12 coming to a restart on Lap 43, Wilson and Dominguez made contact. Although Dominguez made it through unscathed, Wilson spun and Andretti, Darren Manning and A.J. Foyt IV collected one another in the ensuing melee.
How it started, though, is under some dispute.

“We had one backmarker who that said he was going to let me by on the restart,” said Wilson. “So when it went green, I thought he was going to let me by at the last corner and (he) just punted me around.”

Dominguez -- who was a couple of laps down after first spinning into the tire wall at the Keyhole and then taking a wild ride through the gravel trap at Turn Four when his rear wing fell off at 185 mph -- readily concedes that he agreed to let Wilson past. It’s just that he was waiting for the start/finish straightaway to do it.

“I was going to let him pass on the straightaway, he said. “Justin went on the outside and I just understeered and touched him. It was not my intention, but he left no room for me.”

Ryan Briscoe’s win made is a doubly successful weekend for Team Penske at Mid-Ohio, coming on the heels of yesterday’s ALMS LMP2 win by Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard in a Porsche RS Spyder.

Reference Here>>

Mario Moraes battles to get past Graham Rahal on the outside of the corner (just ahead of Danica Patrick) while on grooved dry tires in the early laps of the race. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

On the HE SAID/HE SAID on-track restart incident touched off by Justin Wilson, it is the opinion of The EDJE that the incident was clearly the fault of Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver, Justin Wilson. The replay from the ESPN on ABC broadcast showed clearly that Wilson chopped down on Mario Dominguez (Pacific Coast Motorsports) driving line, touched tires, and spun out causing the incident.

How the T-Team Ten Fared at Mid-Ohio:

Qual./Pos. Driver Team Time

12./4. Will Power KV +12.7569
8./ 5. Oriol Servia KV +13.4713
4./11. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan +28.8880
9./13. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne +39.7940
25./14. Jaime Camara Conquest +51.5572
14./16. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan +1 lap
16./19. Mario Dominguez Pacific Coast Motorsports +2 laps
17./22. EJ Viso HVM +5 laps
19./24. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne +24 laps
18./26. Enrique Bernoldi Conquest +77 laps

Silver linings for the T-Team Ten include KV Racing Technology’s Oriol Servia return to the top ten in season points with his 5th place finish while teammate Will Power’s 4th place improved his position in the Rookie-Of-The-Year point standings by moving within 31 points of Andretti Green Racing’s Hideki Mutoh.

… notes from The EDJE

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Panasonic Toyota Racing & The Dark Knight at Silverstone

Batmobile Facts: The Batmobile is around 10 feet at its widest point, 15 feet long and 5 feet high. It runs on unleaded fuel and weighs 2.5 tons. The vehicle has six wheels - two in the front, outfitted with sprint car race tires, and four at the back, which utilize monster truck tires. The Batmobile has no front axle. The absence of a front axle enables the Batmobile to make extremely tight turns. It can jump 4 feet to nearly 6 feet and has jumped a distance of nearly 60 feet. Image Credit: F1-Live, DPPI

Panasonic Toyota Racing joined forces with The Dark Knight at Silverstone

Thanks to a partnership between Panasonic Toyota Racing and Warner Bros. Pictures, Hollywood came to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix weekend to celebrate the release of the event movie of the summer: The Dark Knight.

The much-anticipated film, which is set to release in cinemas across the USA this weekend on July 18 and throughout the UK, July 25, is the follow up to the 2005 action hit Batman Begins.

The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who again portrays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers, Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli pictured with the Batmobile and Bat-Pod vehicles featured in Batman: The Dark Knight Image Credit: F1-Live, DPPI

To mark the release of The Dark Knight, Panasonic Toyota Racing adopted a new look at Silverstone over the British Grand Prix weekend which coincided our 4th of July weekend here in the US. The Dark Knight artwork was featured on the TF108s and the overalls of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, as well as the team's motor home.

Batman logo image overlayed on black painted "winglet" aero package element on the F1 TF108 chassis. Image Credit: XPB

On show at Silverstone were the iconic Batmobile and Bat-Pod vehicles, while some very special media events brought the excitement of The Dark Knight to life.

The Dark Knight Batmobile (rear view) in for a quick, Formula 1 style pitstop with the team of Panasonic Toyota Racing at Silverstone. Image Credit: F1-Live, DPPI

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

German GP 2008 – A Home Run For Timo

Since the season began back in March, Timo has developed a great relationship with the team, who of course work hand in hand with him to get maximum performance from the TF108. Timo won at the circuit as recently as 2006, in his first season of GP2. He has already shown everyone at Panasonic Toyota Racing the talent which saw him crowned GP2 champion in 2007 and his ability and work rate has quickly impressed his team-mates. Image Credit: Panasonic Toyota Racing

German GP 2008 – A Home Run For Timo

Please excuse the baseball reference, but the fact that Timo Glock has had a history driving in ChampCar throughout North America it just felt appropriate.

This excerpted from Wikipedia –

In 2005, Glock shifted his racing career to the United States, racing in the Champ Car World Series with Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports team.

His best finish of the year was a second place finish at the
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 28, where he was defeated by Oriol Servia.

In the closing laps of the race Glock twice managed to retain the lead over Servia by missing the track's final chicane. As the rules require drivers who blatantly gain or retain a position by driving off the racing surface to give way, Timo was asked to move over by Champ Car officials, and let Servia take the lead. Timo obliged midway through the final lap, giving him enough time to try and take the lead back, but to no avail.

Glock went on to finish 8th in the final season points standings and win Champ Car World Series Rookie of the Year honors.
Reference Here>>

This weekend, Timo returns home for the Formula 1 German Grand Prix. Timo Glock (born March 18, 1982 in Lindenfels, Germany) considers Hockenheim a home race for him, and that means not only will he be on familiar territory, he will have plenty of familiar faces to cheer him on as he looks for another points finish. “A lot of friends are coming down and a lot of people I know,” he says. “That makes it quite a special race.”

Of course, the ambition for any racing driver is to win, so it is no surprise Hockenheim is one of Timo’s favorite tracks, with a victory and third place on his last visits, as a GP2 Series driver in 2006 and 2007, adding to an expanding collection of happy memories.

“Every time I’ve been to Hockenheim I have had really good races and I’ve won a few times,” he adds. “It’s one of the best races of the year for me, not just because it’s my local track but also because I have been strong there.”

Not only is Hockenheim a home race for Timo, it is the start of the second half of his first full season as a Formula 1 racer.

So far the balance sheet says nine races and five points, but bare statistics only tell a fraction of the story. Timo has shown strong performance since the very start of the season and only bad luck denied him points on his Panasonic Toyota Racing debut in Australia.

A points finish was also looking certain in Bahrain until gearbox gremlins struck but in Canada he got the break his consistent performances deserved, capping a battling drive with fourth place.

The fight for points is fiercer than ever this season, making it tough for a young driver to regularly finish in the top eight when he must compete against a grid filled with 10 Grand Prix winners, including his experienced and brilliantly quick team-mate Jarno Trulli.

That is a formidable challenge, but one which Timo has risen to since joining the team at the beginning of the year. Formula 1 is more complex than a driver simply sitting behind the wheel and letting his talent do the talking; much more work is required to compete at the top – and that suits Timo the “terrier”.
(ht: Toyota Motorsport GmbH)

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tale Of The Tape Through 11 Sessions – No Top 10

ORIOL SERVIA In The Pits (No. 5 KV Racing Technology): Quoted after the FIRESTONE INDY 200 at Nashville Superspeedway - "It was not really a great finish for the No. 5 KV Racing Technology car. Placing 16th is not what we were hoping for, but we definitely wanted to bring the car home. We had a little misfortune with our first pit stop, a gun failure, and lost any chance we had to do anything. I am looking forward to the next round of road courses where, hopefully, we will be performing up front again." Servia is in the lead on Championship points for the season – out of the top ten, in eleventh place with seven races remaining. Image Credit: Dana Garrett - IRL (2008)

Tale Of The Tape Through 11 Sessions – No Top 10

Nashville showed the weakness of the way the merger between ChampCar and IndyCar has been handled. It’s racing but not at its best primarily because the playing field has not been leveled enough to allow ANY of the former ChampCar teams to be competitive … not even where these teams would normally shine.

It all comes down to timing, equipment transition, and the desire to have a truly competitive series. What with the series through eleven races having primarily small ovals and little variance in the level of support (few aero parts for ovals early on, equipment settings for consistent and progressive speed runs) the very best the T-Teams can muster as it relates to the points championship is 11th .

Nashville was especially disheartening. Poor qualifying and only eight drivers competing with the best showing put in by Mario Moraes (Dale Coyne Racing) at tenth (his best oval race so far), one lap down in a rain shortened race on ESPN was anything but exciting for a longtime CART/CCWS fan. The “Elite Eight” were anything but elite.

Yes, there was some pretty decent driving and risky passes by the established team drivers … but this is to be expected when nothing has changed much in seven years in terms of tracks, top teams, and equipment. The winner did not listen to the radio communications from the team pit captain and won by rain default. The ESPN broadcast announcing team thought that the reason Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) won at Nashville for the third time (yawn) was due to great pit strategy, but the truth came out making the whole affaire just another “round-and-round” IRL small oval production.

The IRL had a chance to invigorate the BRAND … but through 11 races has done little to get the maximum benefit from the situation. If I were a driver from a T-Team, I would have wished I had the mumps like EJ Viso (HVM Racing) and pulled out, or had the guts not to show up at all as did Mario Dominguez (Pacific Coast Motorsports) if it meant going around in small circles while being placed at a disadvantage as it relates to having an improvement on the increase of speed (and limited set-up options) in the existing equipment. In this first transition year, there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel (on small ovals anyway).

Honestly, small ovals can be exciting … but NOT as a steady diet. Here is hoping that the final seven races get a little better for the T-Team Ten and that they are able to creep back into the top ten in the point standings by years end. Mid-Ohio can not get here fast enough.

MARIO MORAES (No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q, 10th): Dale Coyne Racing also kept Moraes on track during the final yellow, allowing the improving rookie to leap ahead of the rest of the midfield and take 10th after his best oval race so far. Said Mario of the race, "I'm very happy with a 10th-place finish tonight. The car was great, and the team did an excellent job. I was able to improve 12 positions in the race, which shows how good we did tonight. This is my best oval finish of my career. It would have been interesting to see if the race wasn't ended early because I really think I could have passed a few more cars." Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

How the Elite Eight Fared:

Pos. Driver>Team +Time

10. Mario Moraes>Dale Coyne +1 lap

11. Will Power>KV +1 lap

12. Graham Rahal>Newman/Haas/Lanigan +1 lap

15. Bruno Junqueira>Dale Coyne +2 laps

16. Oriol Servia>KV +2 laps

18. Justin Wilson>Newman/Haas/Lanigan +28 laps

20. Enrique Bernoldi>Conquest +105 laps

21. Jaime Camara>Conquest +121 laps

T-Team Ten Point Standings Through 11 of 18 Races

Pos. Driver - - - - - - Points –Points Behind Leader

11. Oriol Servia - - - - - - 220 -200

13. Will Power - - - - - - 213 -207

16. Graham Rahal - - - - - - 201 -219

17. E.J. Viso - - - - - - - 190 -230

19. Justin Wilson - - - - - - 183 -237

20. Enrique Bernoldi - - - - - - 172 -248

21. Mario Moraes - - - - - - 160 -260

22. Bruno Junqueira - - - - - - 156 -264

24. Jaime Camara - - - - - - 98 -322

27. Mario Dominguez - - - - - - - 74 -346

... notes from The EDJE

Monday, July 7, 2008

Former ChampCar Driver Wins First IRL Race At Watkins Glen


Former ChampCar Driver Wins First IRL Race At Watkins Glen

No, it is not what one would think given a headline posted here at The EDJE. We have had a focus in our posts on the teams and drivers that have merged and transitioned into the Indy Racing League and the IndyCar Series from the ChampCar World Series season for 2008.

What with Justin Wilson of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing qualifying so high on the grid at position #2 (just being bumped from the pole in the last minute by Penske’s Ryan Briscoe) for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, and good a showing from KV Racing Technology’s Oriol Servia at position #5, one would think the headline would relate to them but, no … after competing for IRL established team Rahal Letterman Racing for the last part of 2007, and all of 2008, Ryan Hunter-Reay notches his first win.

As for the T-Team Ten (the transition teams and drivers from the CCWS) they managed to capture four of the top ten finishing positions. The big surprise came from teammates for the Dale Coyne Racing organization, with Bruno Junqueira and Mario Moraes notching in at positions #6 and #7 respectively (Graham Rahal of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing #8 and EJ Viso of HVM Racing #10 round out the places).

Bruno Junqueira - Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

This excerpted and edited from –

Newly-minted Coyne

By Dave Lewandowski -

Junqueira, driving the No. 18 Z-Line Designs entry advanced five positions to finish an IndyCar Series career-high sixth in the 60-lap race on the 3.37-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen International circuit.

The veteran open-wheel racing team owner and former driver [Dale Coyne] also put a headlock on series rookie Mario Moraes, who jumped six positions to finish a career-high seventh in the No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q car.

Both cars in the top 10 - two weeks after Junqueira's car couldn't answer the bell to start the race at Iowa Speedway because of a practice crash and eight days after both cars were eliminated from the race at Richmond International Raceway because of contact?

"Being in the top six is better than being in the wall," Coyne laughed. "It's a compliment to all the guys on the team because we had four crashes in six days (at Iowa and Richmond) and to get all the cars ready and be here and be competitive."
Junqueira ran as high as third on Lap 38.
"The No. 18 Z-Line Designs car was great all weekend long. The team did a fantastic job. I love this track as it is a great course to drive on. I can't wait to go to Mid-Ohio in two weeks."
[said Junqueira]

Mario Moraes - Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

Moraes started a season-high 13th and overtook the No. 27 car of Hideki Mutoh on Lap 55 to score the seventh place.

"On the first lap of the race I was able to overtake six cars and jump to seventh," he said. "We ran up in the top five at times, but we lost a couple spots during a pit stop, which I think kept us from a higher finish. The car was fast all weekend and the team deserves credit for that. Hopefully we can get more top-10 finishes."
[said Moraes].
Reference Here>>

Winners Podium: 1-Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2-Darren Manning, 3-Tony Kanaan. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

This excerpted and edited from Speed Channel -

Hunter-Reay Triumphs at The Glen

Written by: Jeff Olson - Senior writer, RACER Magazine 07/06/2008 - 06:03 PM

Ryan Hunter-Reay took advantage of a rare mistake by Scott Dixon to score his first IndyCar Series victory.

Dixon was in second place and poised to win at Watkins Glen International for a fourth consecutive time when he spun under caution, collecting third-place Ryan Briscoe and putting Hunter-Reay and the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Honda/Dallara in position to win.

Hunter-Reay, who narrowly missed the wreckage from Dixon’s spin, passed leader Darren Manning on the restart with nine laps remaining and went on to score Rahal Letterman Racing’s first win since Buddy Rice won at Michigan in 2004.

“For something to finally go our way is great,” Hunter-Reay said. “It didn’t land in our lap; we had to go out there and earn it. Then we just checked out at the end, which was the best. We put an exclamation on the end of that one. It was a beautiful deal.”
Hunter-Reay said he couldn’t see anything, just chose a spot and made it work.

“It was like a scene out of Days of Thunder,” Hunter-Reay said. “I couldn’t see where they were or where the opening was. I couldn’t see any cars, just a dirt cloud. I picked left, and luckily it was open. I got through there, and then I immediately thought, ‘This is the point where I get paid back for all the bad luck.’”
“This is vindication,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said. “Some guys who have driven for us in the past said this team doesn’t have the will to win. It’s all about having the right driver.”

Manning held off Tony Kanaan for second place, scoring the best finish since he joined A.J. Foyt’s team two years ago.

“We’re a small team,” Manning said. “My only teammate is A.J., and he’s a tough taskmaster. He sets a high standard. It’s extremely difficult by ourselves, but with the resources we have, we’re doing pretty well. We validated ourselves with this drive.”
The results benefited Kanaan most, moving him to within 66 points of Dixon in the standings after 10 of 17 races. The other two drivers in the championship battle, Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon, also encountered trouble, with Castroneves falling behind early because of an electrical problem and finishing 16th, and Wheldon getting clipped by Manning on the first lap and breaking his rear suspension for a 24th-place finish.

The race began cleanly but ended otherwise. Aside from Wheldon’s opening-lap problem and Castroneves’ issues with his paddle shift on the sixth lap, the first 40 laps were uneventful, with Briscoe and Vitor Meira exchanging the lead. On the 40th lap, though, Meira was run off course by E.J. Viso, sending the No. 4 Panther Racing Honda/Dallara into the tires and leaving Meira fuming.

“The IRL should do something about it,” Meira said. “He just took us out. He’s a guy who’s had a problem with every driver out there. It’s a shame.”
[a] round of stops, Manning chose to stay on track and assume the lead, having pitted just four laps before. The decision, coupled with a rash of caution flags over the final 18 laps, proved to be a wise one.

“I was quick enough to hold my own,” Manning said. “It’s just a testament to the team.”
On the next restart on the 51st lap, Hunter-Reay passed Manning heading into Turn 1. Moments later, Jaime Camara crashed, bringing out the sixth caution flag of the race.

On the restart, Hunter-Reay pulled away to a large lead and held it to the checkered flag for his first IndyCar Series and a triumphant reprieve to a promising career that, at this time last year, appeared to have stalled in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Rice also scored a solid finish, bringing the No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Honda/Dallara home fourth for his best finish of the year.

“The last two races we've had stuff falling off the car and I've screwed up,” Rice said. “We‘re just trying to wipe that stuff out, get back in the points and have a solid finish to the season.”

Marco Andretti finished fifth, Bruno Junqueira sixth and Mario Moraes seventh. Graham Rahal, Hideki Mutoh and E.J. Viso rounded out the top 10.

The IndyCar Series season resumes Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway.
Reference Here>>

Mario Dominguez moves from an IRL best ninteenth starting position to finish at an IRL best position #13 in his third IRL start. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

The final T-Team Ten Tally:


6 Bruno Junqueira 18 5.8084 01:32.1 131.661 60 D/H/F Finished

7 Mario Moraes 19 8.6248 01:32.9 130.586 60 D/H/F Finished

8 Graham Rahal 6 9.4563 01:32.6 130.962 60 D/H/F Finished

10 EJ Viso 33 10.8602 01:32.4 131.235 60 D/H/F Finished

13 Mario Dominguez 96 12.7773 01:33.1 130.258 60 D/H/F Finished

15 Will Power 8 1 lap 01:31.8 132.145 59 D/H/F Finished

18 Jaime Camara 34 9 laps 01:34.7 128.151 51 D/H/F Contact

21 Enrique Bernoldi 36 16 laps 01:34.0 129.044 44 D/H/F Contact

23 Oriol Servia 5 24.7973 01:32.0 131.824 38 D/H/F Mechanical

25 Justin Wilson 2 44 laps 01:32.1 131.758 16 D/H/F Mechanical

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Locked & Loaded - PCM Rejoins The Fray At Watkins Glen

Pacific Coast Motorsports' primary transporter parked alongside the Ventura County headquarters location getting filled with the tools for the rest of the 2008 ICS season. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) 2008

Locked & Loaded - PCM Rejoins The Fray At Watkins Glen

Mario Dominguez and the team of Pacific Coast Motorsports Racing will return to IndyCar Series action for 2008 this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

PCM last competed at Texas Motor Speedway where Dominguez started 24th and finished 21st in the 28-car field. The team remained at their Southern California, Ventura County-based headquarters throughout the month of June to prepare for the remainder of their modified season. This activity included becoming more familiar with the Dallara chassis and building a back-up car for competition.

One of two Visit Mexico City Dallara chassis in the process of being put together piece by piece to compete for the rest of the 2008 ICS season. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) 2008

This weekend’s Camping World Grand Prix will be Mario’s first time on the historic track, but the PCM team is familiar with the venue, they raced there twice in 2006 while competing in the Rolex Grand Am series, and earned two top-ten finishes. They finished eighth in the sprint race and 10th in the six-hour event.

It is interesting to note that Dominguez scored 11 of his Champ Car podiums on road or street courses.

Michael Mihalka, Data Engineer and Tyler Tadevic, Owner and PCM Team President discuss the web of communications and on-track data options at the headquarters facility before resuming the 2008 ICS season at Watkins Glen. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) 2008

Dominguez will arrive at Watkins Glen from Edmonton , Alberta , Canada on Thursday. A “transition” driver from Champ Car, Dominguez has two top-ten finishes, including a fifth Rexall Grand Prix’s at the Edmonton City Centre Airport and spent the day Wednesday promoting next month’s event.

"I am so excited to race at Watkins Glen. It is a track that I have always wanted to compete on and I always hoped I would get the opportunity.", said Mario Dominguez this week.

Mario Dominguez walking to his car in the pits, escorted by PCM Team Manager Michael Harvey at Texas Motor Speedway. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

"We’ve spent the last week strengthening our program and I’ve been training up to three hours everyday, so we are ready for our return to IndyCar action.", Mario continued.

"The last time we were on a road/street circuit we finished on the podium, which was at the Champ Car finale in Long Beach in April. Even though we’ve been racing on ovals most recently, I’ve logged hundreds of miles on my go-kart practice the road course techniques.

We are certainly hoping for and planning for a successful weekend in the Visit Mexico City car.".

So are we, here at The EDJE, Mario, so are we.

At Watkins Glen ... it is back to full strength for the "T-Team Ten"!

... notes from The EDJE