You won’t Believe how Much IndyCar has to Pony Up Over the Cancellation of Boston Grand Prix
The Verizon IndyCar Series’ Grand Prix of Boston was set to be a pretty sweet race with a 2.2-mile temporary street course carved out of the city for the Labor Day race. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled altogether after relationships between race promoters and the City of Boston fell apart. The president of the Grand Prix of Boston group blamed it on the cities “endless, unrealistic demands,” while the city pointed its finger right back, saying the group was unorganized and wasn’t willing to put in the work to make the race happen.
There’s still a lot of speculation flying around, with some wondering just what happened to the $2,086,798 earned in ticket sales from more than 4,000 people who bought tickets to the race. Various reports are indicating that organizers had just $400,000 for refunds after the event was cancelled, while ESPN reports that the Grand Prix filed for bankruptcy with just $10,909 in the bank, a pair of show cars worth $50,000 combined, and 120 concrete barriers to its name. If you do the math, that means that there is $1,625,889 that was spent outside of refunding tickets, building show cars, and purchasing concrete barriers. So now, here I am asking: Where did that $1.625 million go?
A settlement that took place last week for $1.67 million means that IndyCar has to pay out $925,000 to help cover the refunds of tickets that were guaranteed to be refunded should the race fall through. It’s a large part of the bill, but it doesn’t come close to fixing the whole mess.
Keep reading to learn more about the situation.
Alexander Rossi Takes Checkered Flag In 100th Indy 500
History was made in the Brickyard over the weekend when American Alexander Rossi won the 100th staging of the iconic Indianapolis 500 oval race. Rossi took the checkered flag in dramatic fashion after a huge gamble on fuel strategy propelled the 24-year-old to a historic win in his first-ever run at the Indy 500.
Basically, an American making his debut at the Indy 500 won the 100th race of the legendary race. Sounds pretty historic, doesn’t it?
Rossi is the first driver in 15 years to win the race on his debut. Brazilian Helio Castroneves, an IndyCar veteran, was the last rookie to accomplish the same feat when he won the Indy 500 in 2001.
Making Rossi’s victory more improbable was the fact that at one point in the race, he was dead last in 33rd position. But a risky fuel strategy turned up aces for the IndyCar neophyte when he stopped for gas with 36 laps left in the race despite the expected mileage of a full tank of gas around the track being 32 laps. Somehow, Rossi managed to pull it off, crossing the finish line with his car literally running on fumes before coming to a complete halt short of pit road as he was completing his victory lap.
The rookie summed up the feelings of everyone watching the race when he proclaimed that he had “no idea how we pulled that off.” It’s a fitting statement to make when the race was dominated by IndyCar stalwarts at various stretches, including the aforementioned Castrovenes, polesitter James Hinchcliffe, and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Even Rossi’s teammate, Carlos Munoz, had his moments but he ultimately had to settle for second place when he was forced to make a dash-and-go pit stop with four laps left in the race.
Josef Newgarden came in at third place and was followed Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
The next round of IndyCar racing kicks off this weekend in Motor City with the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, and leading the pack will be top bowtie-brass Mark Reuss at the helm of a Corvette Z06. Reuss has had earlier experience as an honorary pace driver, taking up the responsibility previously at the 2013 Dual in Detroit in a 2014 Stingray. He’s also a self-professed lover of motorsports.
“I’m thrilled to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car at this year’s Grand Prix,” Reuss said in a press release. “Growing up here and having the opportunity to help bring this great event to racing fans in Detroit has been very exciting, and the privilege of driving the pace car makes it even more special for me."
Reuss’ official title may be executive vice president of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, but that doesn’t mean he’s just some suit-and-tie stiff – additional items on Reuss’ resume include certification as an industry pool test driver on the North Course of the infamous Nurburgring race track in Germany. Back in 2001, he also created and led GM’s Performance Division, taking responsibility for the firm’s racing vehicles, plus production versions of Chevy’s SS models and the Cadillac V-Series.
The races will take place May 30th and 31st as the only doubleheader for the 2015 IndyCar season.
Continue reading for the full story.
IndyCar will expand to include a new race in Boston for the 2016 season, the series’ governing body announced earlier this month. The first ever Indy race to be contested in the area will take place on September 4th (Labor Day weekend) on a 2.25-mile temporary street course consisting of 11 turns. It will be staged at least until 2020. The Grand Prix of Boston will thus become the fifth IndyCar event on a street course, joining those in St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Detroit and Toronto.
"The level of enthusiasm we have received from the Boston community has been phenomenal and we look forward to showcasing the Verizon IndyCar Series on Labor Day weekend in 2016," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co, the parent company of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The temporary street course will feature "at least six passing spots," according to IndyCar president Derrick walker, as well as parallel pit lanes and a section that runs under a hotel complex, two unique features for an Indy track.
The Grand Prix of Boston is the fourth race confirmed for the 2016 IndyCar Series season as of May 2015. The other three are the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The full schedule is expected to include at least 16 venues.
Continue reading to learn more about the Grand Prix Of Boston.
Juan Pablo Montoya drove his Team Penske Chevrolet to victory Sunday in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Colombian scored his second Indy 500 win 15 years after winning the event as a rookie, setting a record for longest period of time between two Indy wins.
Sunday’s race also extended Roger Penske’s number of wins as a team owner to a whopping 16, a record that won’t be challenged anytime soon, given the next-best team has won the Indy 500 only five times. This was Penske’s first success at Indianapolis since 2009. Penske also joined Chip Ganassi as the only owners to win the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year.
Montoya had put on quite a show to win the race, recovering from the back of the grid. The Colombian started 15th but fell back to 30th place after his car’s rear wing was damaged during a caution period. With 15 laps to go after the final restart, Montoya had already engaged in a three-car thriller with teammate Will Power and Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon. The 39-year-old climbed into the lead with three laps left and took the checkered flag ahead of Power, reigning IndyCar Series champion, and Charlie Kimball. Pole sitter Scott Dixon, who led the race for 84 laps, finished fourth.
"This is what IndyCar is all about, awesome racing all the way down to the wire. I don’t even know what to say. This is too good. I had a good feeling all day. The car under me was awesome," said Montoya at the end of the race.
Continue reading for the full results.
Today’s race cars are simply amazing. If you need proof of that, just check out a terrifying crash that Helio Castroneves suffered during practice for the Indianapolis 500. Entering the first turn of his first full practice lap at speed, Castroneves lost control of his car, and as the car hit the wall and spun backward, it was lifted into the air where the car did a spectacular backflip, landed on its rear wheels and roll bar, then skidded down the track.
At about the 0:06 mark of the video, we get a good look at the belly of this Chevrolet-powered race car, including the channels underneath the car’s body flowing up toward the rear of the car. When the cars gets turned around, these channels meant to give the car downforce act like a wing in reverse and sent the car catapulting into the air. Castroneves fought to correct the car, but once it spun, there was nothing he could do since there are no aero safety measures in place on these cars. In NASCAR for example, there are flaps that pop up on the roof and hood that minimize lift when the car gets spun around to reduce the car from going airborne.
There is no word how fast Castroneves was traveling at the time of the accident, but he had recorded a fast lap of 227.514 mph earlier in the week. Fortunately, Castroneves wasn’t injured in the crash and has been cleared to race in next weekend’s Indy 500.
The 2015 IndyCar season is set to commence on March 29th with an array of driver, schedule, and rules changes, but that’s not unusual, as driver swaps and new regulations occur with each championship. However, 2015 marks the beginning of a new era for the IndyCar Series, in which manufacturers provide their customer teams with complete aerodynamic packages in addition to engines. In short, IndyCar allowed both Chevrolet and Honda to create their very own aero kits to replace the Dallara’s standard DW12 package used in 2014. Chevrolet is the first of the two to unveil its shell and introduce us to IndyCar’s new aerodynamics.
The new bodywork is significantly different than Dallara’s, and, in some aspects, it resembles the current Formula One designs. Chevy’s new aero kit will be used by six out of 12 teams throughout the 2015, including CFH Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, KV Racing Technology, Lazier Parners Racing and Team Penske. In all, 15 cars will race their way to victory using Chevrolet bodies and engines this season. And given Chevy starts the season as the defending champion, the drivers are expecting to receive the best packages.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Chevrolet IndyCar Aero Package.
The Chevrolet Corvette has a storied history of lapping the Indianapolis 500 that dates all the way back to 1978. In fact, the Corvette leads all cars with a total of 11 appearances as the pacesetter for the famous race, including five straight years from2004 through 2008.
Now with the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray hitting showrooms soon, it was only a matter of time before Indy asked Chevy to allow the `Vette to pace the race again. Well, apparently that timeframe was much shorter than we originally thought. According to Road and Track, the Stingray will be the pace car for the 2013 running of the Indy 500. In fact, they even caught the model testing with camo covering the “Official Pace Car” logo on the rocker panels.
The reports aren’t officially confirmed yet, but the sources are rather reliable and the spy shots the R and T dug up are pretty convincing. What’s more, this will likely bring an “Official Pace Car” package to the 2014 Corvette Stingray lineup.
We’ll keep an eye out for confirmation and bring you more information as soon as possible.
*Image Note: The above image is of the Corvette Stingray, not the “Official Pace Car.”
Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary is our kind of guy. Not to say that we’d decline a chance to meet the President of the US, Barack Obama - in the White House no less - but we appreciate a true petrol head when we see one.
Apparently, Clary, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics in swimming, decided that he’d rather spend a day of his life jumping at a chance to ride a stock car than to shake hands with the Commander-In-Chief.
The date for Clary’s White House invite was September 14 when the White House would be holding a special event for US Olympic athletes. The date, however, posed a scheduling conflict for Clary, who decided that getting to test drive some stock cars and attending the MAVTV 500 IndyCar event in Fontana, California the next day was higher on his bucket list than meeting the leader of the free world.
Clary has made no bones about his passion for motorsports, having already gone on record to say that he wants to become a full-fledged race car driver once his swimming career comes to an end.
Here’s to hoping the White House understands this snub. After all, this is still America, right?
Remember the days when car racing was “Car Racing.” The rules were loosely written and even looser followed, and it was considered more entertainment than sport. Those were the good old days, when the purpose was to build a car faster than the others and hire a driver that can keep the thing on the tarmac. Those days all went away in the 1980s, as all of the major professional racing circuits – NASCAR, Indy, F1, NHRA – turned these entertainment spectacles into damn sporting events.
While we love our sports – I for one am obsessed with NFL football – the turning of driving a car fast into a sport led to the injection of fairness and parity. This led to restrictor plates, horsepower limits, and barred modifications. It even led to drivers starting to whine and boo-hoo about a little paint scraping… Well, if you are ready to see some racing in its truest form, take a look-see at the Global RallyCross Championship.
Sure, it piggybacks along with the aforementioned whiny racing “sports,” but it couldn’t be much farther from these sports in terms of real life competitive racing. The rules are few, the paint trading is a plenty, and there is no one crying foul when a fellow driver pulls a pit maneuver on your car’s tail end. He just pops it back in gear and thinks “why didn’t I see that guy there,” then gets ‘em back.
To boot, there are freaking bike-style ramps and barricades in the middle of the track to leap over or drive around. There are even shortcuts on each track. Granted the shortcuts are typically more difficult to drive through, but they are there. The only rules regarding the engine is the fitment of an intake restrictor and that the engine block must meet the manufacturer’s specification. This means you can bolt on as many ponies as you like, just don’t modify the block. Ah, you’ve got to love it.
Check out the above video to catch a glimpse of the awesomeness that is GRC!
The 2013 model year will be a pretty big year for Corvette: it will mark the car’s 60th anniversary and the final year of production for the current generation. Next to these important events, a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will be serving as a Pace Car for the 96th Indianapolis 500. On May 27, 2012, the ZR1 will lead the starting field at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the 23rd time a Chevrolet has paced "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and the 11th time a Corvette is serving as the Pace Car.
The Corvette ZR1 is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 engine that delivers a total of 638 HP. With a total weight of 3,353 lbs, the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and can hit a top speed of 205 mph. The ZR1 lapped the Nurburgring track in 7:19.63.
"Corvette embodies pure performance, so the ZR1 is a perfect car to pace the most prestigious auto race in the world," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "Chevrolet is a great partner of the Speedway, and we share in the excitement of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the iconic Corvette brand. It’s even more meaningful to see a Chevrolet pacing the field at Indy since Chevy has returned as an engine supplier for the IZOD IndyCar Series for the first time since 2005."
UPDATE 05/10/2012: Chevrolet has unveiled a cool video showing off the new Corvette ZR1 Pace Car as it does some laps around Indianapolis. Enjoy!
UPDATE 05/24/2012: Chevrolet has unveiled a new video featuring Ryan Briscoe behind the wheel of the Corvette ZR1 Pace Car around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Enjoy!
Okay, so it may not exactly be appropriate to pick the best crash of the year, but considering many will be ringing in the new year in a drunken stupor, we think it best to remind everyone of the consequences of drinking and driving. Most of the drivers in the crashes we are featuring were not under the influence when these crashes occurred, but if these guys can get into a massive accident when they’re sober, chances are a drunk YOU will suffer consequences that are much worse.
This year actually brought out the worst in many drivers, some of which instigated accidents with multiple supercars, a vehicular dip into the Atlantic Ocean, and high speed rough and tumbles. Unfortunately, not all of these drivers survived these horrific crashes, which only drives home the point that we have to be extremely careful when operating our motor vehicles.
Remember to have a SAFE and fun New Year.
Hit the jump for the list of the most famous crashes of 2011.
Since 1911 when the first race was held, the Indianapolis 500 has been an event dominated by men. For the first few decades this was a given, considering women were not allowed to participate. It wasn’t until 1971 that a female reporter was even allowed in the pit crew and a female racer was unheard of until 1977 when Janet Guthrie qualified for the event. Female participation has come a little ways since then with eight women successfully qualifying and as it turns out, the most popular Indy 500 drivers as ranked by Google are actually women.
Brazilian racing driver, Ana Beatriz, comes in ranked at number four with 110,000 hits in one month, followed by Swiss race car driver, Simona de Silvestro with 165,000 hits. American auto racing driver, Danica Patrick, surprisingly falls in second place with 246,000, while Venezuelan race car driver, Milka Duno heads the pack by a long shot of 550,000 hits per month.
So even though the record for most victories is still tied up by three men (A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears have each won four), women are joining in on the fun. Once they catch up with the 66 year head start given to the men, maybe they’ll earn a few records of their own. They are definitely on their way.
Until then, Drivers, Start Your Engines!
TAG Heuer is putting their watch-making expertise to work by creating a special edition chronograph to celebrate a very important time in history. This year marks the 100th anniversary of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and in order to celebrate it in style, TAG Heuer has created a special edition TAG Heuer Limited Edition Indy 500 Centennial Chronograph which will be presented to the winner of the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 29, 2011. This chronograph will be produced in a run of 1,000 units, each priced at $1650.
This special chronograph will feature a gray stylized dial patterned after the famed "Yard of Bricks" start/finish line of the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a printed "INDY 500" logo inside the counter at 6 o’’clock. Its distinctive case back marks the 100 year anniversary of the great race. The watch’s dial is inspired by a racecar’s dashboard: a small second at 3 o’clock, a chronograph minutes counter with double hands at 9 o’clock, and a 1/10th of second counter at 6 o’clock. The date window, which is positioned at 12 o’clock, is flanked by hand-applied indexes, as well as luminescent hands and markers for optimum readability.
You know those times when you are in an argument with your wife or girlfriend and all of a sudden she brings up something that happened three years ago inevitably causing her to win the argument over the sheer insanity that is her memory? Well, that is nothing compared to the memory of up and coming Indy car driver, Simona De Silvestri. Born in Switzerland, this beautiful 21 year old racer is coming into her own as a professional race car driver. She won 4 races in the 2009 season and led in points most of the way. In this YouTube video, De Silvestri’s memory is tested as she traces the Barber Motorsports Park while blindfolded. Not only was she able to trace the entire track perfectly- twice-, but she was also able to narrate each and every turn as she was doing it including which gears she would need to shift to. Impressive, huh? We thought so too and with this special skill and the driving skills she has shown, we’re pretty sure De Silvestro is headed in the right direction for a victorious racing career. Make sure you check her out as she makes her first appearance at the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 2010.
All Camaro lovers as well as Indianapolis 500 entusiasts, listen up! Chevrolet has decided to build and sell a 2010 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica Limited Edition. This limited edition replica will have all of the features found on the regular production Camaro SS with an RS appearance package as well as some special features from the pace car that will be driven by Robin Roberts during this year’s Indianapolis 500.
“We set out to build a collectible vehicle that will appeal to the die-hard Camaro and Indianapolis 500 fan,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Chevrolet Marketing. “We believe we’ve done just that with the 2010 Chevy Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Limited Edition.”
Only 200 replicas will be made and sold for an MSRP of $$41,950 in about 187 selected dealers. This figure is surprisingly low in comparison to the number of replicas produced in 1969 (3,675), 1982 (6,000), and 1993 (633).
Chevy’s decision to produce a replica for the 2010 Camaro Pace car comes as a shock to us considering only a year ago they stated they would not be producing it claiming they needed to keep limited edition replicas “special”. Instead, they had decided to produce a Bumblebee Camaro replica. We are indeed happy to hear they will be producing it even though it will be limited to only 200 cars.
Follow the jump to check out the specs for the 2010 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replica and the official press release.
People say that the good you’ve done will some day come back at you and it sure does, sooner or later. A highly conclusive proof of this fact is the ride on the Indy 500 track that participants of Motorcycle at the Miracle Ride had.
The lap on the famous track came as a reward for helping out the children in Riley’s Childrens Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana and the guys surely enjoyed every second of it. Just look at them go as they enter the straight line!