April 2019 News
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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INDY 500 - New Name & Engine
Manufacturer

Apr 1 - In a surprise announcement today from IMS
president Doug Boles, Ford Motor company will begin
supplying engines to the NTT IndyCar Series.  Currently
Chevrolet and Honda supply engines to the series.

Ford also will become one of the title sponsors of the Indy
500, which will now be called "The Ford Ecoboost 500
presented by Gainbridge."

To celebrate this new manufacturer entrant into the series,
Ford will supply Ford Fusions as the pace car for the 2019
Indy 500.  Ford last supplied the pace car in 1994 with their
235 hp Mustang Cobra convertible.  April Fools!
The Ford Fusion is powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost
engine with 240 hp.
The REAL NEWS
Apr 1 - The 2019 pace car will be a Corvette Grand Sport!  
Actually, the car above is from a 2013 Nascar race.
This is the first time since 2007 that matching car models are serving as both the pace car and festival car.

The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car features:

• Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat
• Full Length Racing Blade Silver Dual Stripes.
• LT1 6.2-liter V-8 DI aluminum engine with 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
• 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission.
• Dry-sump oil system.
• Performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control.
• Brembo® carbon ceramic brakes.
• Grand Sport aluminum wheels: 19-inch front and 20-inch rear.
• Carbon Flash painted Carbon Fiber Ground Effects Package.
• Competition Sport Bucket Seats.
• Performance Data Recorder.
• Accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
• Skid pad Cornering ability of 1.2 gees.
The Last Hoosier Hundred

Apr 3 - The 63rd Hoosier Hundred race at the Indiana
State Fairgrounds will be it's last.

This dirt sprint car race used to attract IndyCar drivers
during earlier years.  Indianapolis 500 Champions Bob
Swiekert, Jimmy Bryan, Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt,
Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti and Al Unser are former
winners of this race.

The fairgrounds have decided to get rid of the 1-mile dirt
oval track and replace it with an indoor crushed limestone
track for horse harness racing practice.

Tickets for the final running of the Hoosier Hundred are
available through Ticketmaster.com. Reserved seats for
adults are $25.  Infield tickets are $15 for adults and $5
for children ages 11 and under.

If I remember correctly, this race was called the Foyt 100
for a number of years.
New Liveries at Barber

Apr 5 - New sponsors have resulted in
new liveries for a couple of IndyCar
drivers.

Gess International have thrown their
support behind
Colton Herta and
Harding Steinbrenner Racing.

Gess is an energy service company that
offers solutions in the field of “green”
energy and energy efficiency for the
private sector, budgetary organizations,
and business.


One Cure is sponsoring
Graham Rahal
and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

One Cure's mission is to improve the
prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of
cancer in pet animals, translating our
research and knowledge to also benefit
people with cancer.

These cars make their first racing
appearance this weekend at Barber
Motorsports Park.

View all car liveries at:
2019 IndyCar Teams and Drivers
Grand Prix of Alabama

Apr 7 - IndyCar teams and drivers were flumoxed this
weekend during practice as cars spun and lap times were
down from last year.  The softer red tires were proving
slower than the blacks!

As the teams hustled to try and adjust the cars, several
reasons were offered for this anomoly.  Could it be the
different type of rubber that was layed down by the
Lamborghini Super Trofeo series that ran before the
IndyCars?  Perhaps the Firestone Tires were old.  In any
case, Firestone presented all teams with new tires on
Saturday, though they said the tires in use were all made
in 2018.

I'm surprised that none of the three open-wheel series in
the "Road to Indy" are racing at Barber this weekend,
even though they have no races in April.  Instead, the
SCCA's F3 Americas Championship cars are racing.

Other support series this weekend:
*  IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA
*  Lamborghini Super Trofeo
*  Global MX-5 Cup

Both Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing cars will be starting
the IndyCar race from the front row with
Takuma Sato
on pole.
Support Series at Barber Motorsports Park
THE HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX

A slow start almost caused collisions further back in the
grid -
Ed Jones dove to the inside to avoid trouble perhaps,
but then gunned it  and passed most everyone from the
back before the starting line, so he received a drive-through
penalty.

By lap 11,
Alexander Rossi had moved up to 5th from 8th.

By lap 14,
Josef Newgarden had moved up to 13th from
16th.  
Colton Herta’s car wasn't running right and he fell
back through the field

Sato had 3 or 4 seconds over
Graham Rahal, but he got a
slow 11-second pit stop.  Then Rahal pitted and he too had
a long stop.  Dixon pitted too, but Sato was able to stay
ahead of him on the track.  Rahal ended up back in 16th.  

Most teams planned on a 3-top strategy, and but Sebastien
Bourdais was trying for 2.  By lap 23,  he was leading.

On lap 27,
Will Power’s tires were shot and he spun doing
a 360 off track into the grass and sheer fortune stopped him
from going into the gravel track.  He went in for a pit stop.  
His car kept eating up his tires and he would pit 4 times.  
Somehow, he still managed to finish 10th.

On lap 29, Bourdais had to pit and Sato once more took
over the lead.

Herta was having car trouble.  He pulled into the pits and
they pushed the car behind the wall so they could try and
fix it.

The leaders at the half-way point of the race were Sato,
Bourdais, Dixon,
James Hinchcliffe and Alexander
Rossi
.

On lap 55, a yellow caution period happened.  Rahal's car
had rolled to a stop on the track.  The day had started out
looking good for him, but now his race was over.  And as
Max Chilton was beginning to enter the pits, Tony
Kanaan
, who was in front of him, suddenly darted into
the pits as well.  Chilton went off track and flew into the
tire barrier head first.  Apparently he was ok.

Scott Dixon beat Bourdais out of the pits and took over
2nd place behind Sato.

Newgarden made a pass on
Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Sato had led most of the laps and with 6 laps to go, he
overshot a corner and flew through the grass, knocking off
a diffuser element from the car.  It bounded back onto
course and he kept going!  

With 3 laps to go, Newgarden was able to force his way
past Rossi to take over 4th.  That is where he would finish.  
He has won this race 3 times.

Dixon finished 2nd here for the 6th time!  He has yet to
win this race.

Power ran out of gas on the last lap.

Sato won and
David Letterman, part owner of the team,
was there to give him a hug, along with all of his team
mates.  This was Letterman's first visit to the Barber
Motorsports Park.

Rookie
Marcus Ericsson started 20th and finished 7th,
making him the big mover of the day.  The Swede races
for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
I'd rather celebrate by hoisting a cold brew.
I also like the old days when the winner
got a kiss from a beautiful movie star.
McLaren reveals Alonso's Indy 500 car, sporting a similar livery to the Formula 1 team.
Apr 9 - The McLaren team, including Fernando Alonso and Johnny Rutherford,
were at Texas Motor Speedway today testing out their new car.
A New Andretti Will Race at IMS in May

Apr 12 - Jarett Andretti, son of 12-time Indianapolis 500
starting driver
John Andretti, will compete for Andretti
Autosport in the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race on May 24.

Andretti will be the seventh member of his family to race
at IMS.

Jarett has been racing sprint cars and competing with
Andretti Autosport in the team’s Pirelli GT4 America
effort where he pilots a McLaren 570S GT4.

Next week he will test an Indy Lights car at Kentucky
Speedway, another oval with low banking.  Joining him
will be new teammates
Oliver Askew and Robert
Megennis
.
Jarett with dad John Andretti
Rahal Ripped Off at Long Beach?

April 14 - Graham Rahal acknowledged that he blocked
Scott Dixon on the last lap of Sunday’s Grand Prix of
Long Beach.

But Rahal disagreed with IndyCar Race Control’s post
race penalty that reversed the way they crossed the finish
line and cost him a first podium finish of the season.

“Did I block? Yes, I blocked; you’re allowed to block in
this series,” Rahal said after Dixon was moved up to third
place. “You’re allowed to make a move, (and) I made a
move. That’s allowed, I mean, that’s allowed. I didn’t go
back to the left; there’s a lane to the left. He had (push-
to-pass remaining), I didn’t. If he wanted to go (left), he
could go. But, I don’t know, we’ll discuss it with the
officials.”

Rahal, who had exhausted all of his push-to-pass horse
power boosts and was finishing on worn tires, fended off
two close calls with Dixon in the final stretch. Rahal locked
up his tires heading into Turn 8, the puffs of smoke giving
the hard-charging Dixon an opportunity to pass on the last
of 85 laps around the twisting street circuit.

Twice, Rahal and Dixon moved inside to the right. Dixon’s
car was unable to gain the position and had to back off
after the front of his car made light contact with the rear
of Rahal’s car.
Graham Rahal beating Scott Dixon to Finish Line for 3rd-place