IndyCars - The off-season: Series news and comment until the March 2014 kick-off


#188

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It’s OUT!..Mazda Road to Indy TV does Portland…

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The final race weekend for the MRTI was covered by MRTI-TV and we have it here.

Host Tony Laporta starts out the show by asking a few drivers what they will be doing in the off-season. Then he follows that up with a contest between himself and Pro Mazda Vice-Champion Parker Thompson in an episode of “Tony vs. Driver”

Tony then re-caps the racing at Portland, followed up by an episode of “False Grid True Talk” featuring Sting Ray Robb, Rasmus Lindh, Aaron Telitz, Parker Thompson, Dakota Dickerson and Braden Eves.

Rob Howden, the “Voice” of the Mazda Road to Indy, comes in last with his “insider” stuff, but this week it’s less info and more questions.

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#189

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Katie Hargitt gets you “Up to Speed” on the IndyCar season finale at Sonoma, this weekend…

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In this, part 1 of a 2-parter, Katies speaks about the championship hunt for teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden for Team Penske - two of the only four drivers who have a mathematical shot at the title. The guys are a long shot and they are tied for 3rd place, with 511 points, chasing Alexander Rossi for Andretti with 569 points and Scott Dixon for Chip Ganassi with 598 points.

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Of course, this is IndyCar and there is an old saying involving chickens, counting and hatching.

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#190

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The passing of a legend in racing…

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We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the passing of one of motorsports’ great men, as Dr. Don Panoz has died at the age of 83.

Panoz had his hand in so many forms of racing and in so many ways that it would take far too long to catalog them all. He was a chassis builder, a series founder and a team owner, and so much more. Principally involved deeply with SportsCars, we remember Dr. Don for his stewardship of Van Diemen and Elan and G-Force - all companies that built outstanding and successful open-wheel cars that competed for years.

Perhaps his greatest achievement in open wheel was the Panoz DP01, built by Elan - the last great Champ Car chassis before that series folded. IndyCar driver Will Power took one to a WIN in its series debut. To this day a test drive in one of them is on every driver’s bucket list.

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Dr. Don Panoz

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Here, 2007 Champ Car Champion Sebastien Bourdais speaks of the DP01 at Road America:

"I think my sweetest moment in a race car was probably in the Panoz DP01 Champ Car at Road America in 2007. It was magical! You dream of driving a car that is perfectly balanced and for me that was the moment, to the point that the car was so embarrassingly quick I had to fake a problem inside the car to make sure they weren’t going to throw a yellow flag at us and let the field close up to us. The car was so strong that day and responded to whatever I wanted it to do…

“That car was really strong on all the road courses. It was close to making 6000 pounds of downforce and was the right tire combination for the right downforce, and on that given day it had just the right balance. It was one of these very rare moments when the car was just perfect. You just put the cherry on the cake and took a picture.”

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Sebastien at Road America in the Panoz DP01 with Cosworth power.

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Panoz leaves behind his wife of 63 years Nancy and his kids Danny, Chris; Donna, Dena, Lisa and Andrea, along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and a world full of associates, fans and friends. Thanks, Dr. Don.

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#191

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"Spigot" keeps his job for 2019…

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Announced this week, Spencer Pigot has had a contract renewed for 2019 and will again be the full-season driver in the # 21 Chevrolet IndyCar for Ed Carpenter Racing. Pigot - one of the winningest drivers ever in the Mazda Road to Indy - started at ECR in 2017 as the guy who would drive the # 20 Chevy on the road and street courses, while boss Ed Carpenter would drive it on the ovals. In 2018 Spencer was elevated to the position of full-time driver in the team’s other car, the # 21, and he will do that job again in 2019.

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Spencer Pigot

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The team has also announced that Ed Carpenter will continue to drive the # 20 on all the season ovals in 2019 and will need a road and street course specialist to carry on when Ed is not in the car. That duty fell to English rookie Jordan King this season and Carpenter is quite happy with Jordan’s work, and is trying to secure King for that same duty in 2019. No confirmation yet, however.

Ed Carpenter (left) and Jordan King

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Ed Carpenter is one who is known to believe in continuity and the worth of experience gained. That is how he was able to help to lift Josef Newgarden into a champion. That belief bodes well for both Pigot and King.

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#192

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It’s a little late, but Katie Hargitt gets you “Up to Speed” on the Grand Prix of Sonoma, part 2…

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Finally released today was the “part 2” to Katie’s part 1 we posted in post # 163. This one speaks of Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon - the two most-likely contenders for the IndyCar title of 2018:

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#193

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The Chris Griffis Memorial Test is upon us, this weekend…

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Every year at this time the Road to Indy ladder system holds the Chris Griffis Memorial Test to allow teams from USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights to begin the process of picking who will drive their cars in the season to come.

The great two-day event on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will reunite some drivers with their team from the just-completed season and introduce a whole new flock of drivers to teams they have never driven for before, and also introduce new teams to the grid - all to see who fits well with whom for 2019.

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And in that vein, we can already name one of those new drivers, as Juncos Racing has just announced that Australian ace Cameron Shields will come to Indianapolis to drive a Juncos Racing PM-18 Pro Mazda car in the Test.

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The 17-year-old currently competes in three disciplines: Australian Formula 3, CAMS Payce Australian F4 and Australian Formula Ford, where he has recorded 14 WINS and 42 podiums, 6 pole positions and 15 Fastest Laps over 57 races.

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There will be a lot of other announcements as we get close to the Test, on Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned!

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#194

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Takuma Sato has a ride for 2019…

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Another Silly-Season piece has been nailed down, as announced this week the 41-year-old Tokyo native will have a 2nd season in a row driving the # 30 Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Takuma actually drove for RLL in 2012, as well, giving them 2 podiums that season, so this will be his 3rd year with the team.

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Takuma Sato

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Taku just two weeks ago gave RLL their first and only WIN for the team in 2018, in Portland. Said he of the contract renewal news, “I am really pleased to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2019. Bobby, David [Letterman] and Mike [Lanigan] have done a fantastic job at putting together a great team and environment around me. I believe that Graham and I have everything we need to be consistent race winners and compete for the IndyCar championship. I could not be happier.”

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Takuma will once again be teamed with Graham Rahal, who is also returning for 2019, and there is ALSO a possibility of the 3rd car being added to the team. Team owner Bobby Rahal has been working on making that happen and he says he is CLOSE to making an announcement:

“Things are still going in the right direction there,” he said. “We’re confident something good will happen with a third car and there’s real interest from people who want to be part of our team.”

Graham (left) and Bobby Rahal

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While Sato is a very popular star of the series in the States, it is when he visits Japan that the extent of his celebrity is evident. He is treated like a rock star in his home country, as the most accomplished Japanese driver in the world and the ONLY Japanese WINNER of the Indy 500.

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#196

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More news from the Chris Griffis Memorial Test…

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…and this is BIG news, as 2018 Pro Mazda Vice-Champion Parker Thompson will come this weekend to Indianapolis to test at the Chris Griffis for Team Pelfrey in an Indy Lights car
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The 20-year-old Canadian is one of the Road to Indy’s most popular and most accomplished drivers, with multiple WINS in F1600, USF2000 and Pro Mazda. He has been with Canadian open-wheel powerhouse team Exclusive Autosport for the last 2 seasons as their anchorman, but EA’s president Michael Duncalfe has NOT yet announced any desire to run in the Lights and Thompson belongs in the Lights in 2019. He’s more than ready.

Listening to both Parker and Gary Neal - Pelfrey’s Team Manager - it almost sounds like their plans for 2019 are nearly finalized:

Said Parker, “I have been dreaming about the chance to get behind the wheel of an Indy Lights car since I started my car racing career. This is definitely one I am proud to check off the bucket list! I have been in touch with Gary Neal and Dale Pelfrey for quite some time now, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of their organization at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test. Team Pelfrey is a household name throughout open-wheel racing in North America, and I look forward to adding their championship winning pedigree to my resume. It’s an honor to be chosen to lead the team at Chris Griffis Memorial Test as they look to build a 2019 Championship campaign.”

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Thompson sits in a Pelfrey IL-15 Lights car

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And Gary Neal, “I am happy to announce that Parker Thompson will be driving the #2 Team Pelfrey Indy Lights machine at the upcoming Chris Griffis test. I have followed Parker’s progress through the Mazda Road to Indy over the last few years and I am looking forward to seeing him make the next step with Team Pelfrey. We will work hard together, both at the test and beyond, with the goal of contending for the 2019 Indy Lights Championship.”

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Parker certainly has the talent to contend in the Lights and we sincerely hope this will be his pathway. Good luck, Parker!

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#197

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Six more Chris Griffis confirmations…

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David Martinez of DEForce Racing has announced his driver line-up for the Chris Griffis Memorial Test, to be held this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. DEForce operates in both the USF2000 series and in Pro Mazda and will bring three drivers for each series to the Indy road course for the Test.

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For USF2000 DEForce will field American driver Ryan Bjerke, Brazilian driver Francisco Porto and British driver James Raven. Of the three only James has some previous experience with USF2000 and it was with DEForce, where he drove all 3 races at Mid-Ohio in 2018. Kiko Porta drove in US F4 for DEForce in 2018. Ryan is a product of F1600.

Left to right, James Raven, Ryan Bjerke and Francisco “Kiko” Porta"

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For Pro Mazda DEForce is bringing in their 2018 USF2000 pilot Kory Enders, Mexican Moises de la Vara, who drove the full season in USF2000 in 2017 for DEForce and 5 races in Pro Mazda for the team in 2018, and Canadian driver Antoine Comeau, who is making a name in SportsCars, where he races Radicals…and WINS.

Left to right, Kory Enders, Moises de la Vara and Antoine Comeau

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Antoine Comeau in his Radical SR3 at Autobahn Country Club - for the WIN.

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More announcements to come…Stay tuned!

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#198

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It’s going to happen, by George!..

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And we literally mean by George, as young George Steinbrenner IV of the New York Yankee Steinbrenner family, is bringing his 2018 Indy Lights driver, Colton Herta, and Colton’s championship-winning teammate, Patricio O’Ward, to a new partnership with Mike Harding to form Harding Streinbrenner Racing for 2019.

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Left to right, 2018 Indy Lights Vice-Champion Colton Herta, George Steinbrenner IV, Mike Harding and 2018 Indy Lights Champion Pato O’Ward - aka Harding Streinbrenner Racing, 2019:

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Between them, O’Ward and Herta got 13 WINS in Indy Lights in 2018 on their ways to 1st and 2nd in the points, driving for Andretti Autosport (O’Ward - 9 WINS) and Andretti Steinbrenner (Herta - 4 WINS), and that is going to make them one of the most anticipated teams for excitement in 2019. They BOTH have a lot to learn but they both have also shown an ability to be quick studies.

Harding Racing is a Chevrolet team and has fielded Gabby Chaves - a former Indy Lights Champion himself - for most of 2018, with additional drives by Conor Daly, at times, all in search of the speed that the fledgling team has been lacking. By the time the series got to the finale at Sonoma this deal for 2019 was already a done deal and the two Lights guys were put in Harding cars as a preview of what may happen in 2019. The news was good, as O’Ward started the race P5 and finished the race P9 in his IndyCar debut - both benchmarks for Harding Racing.

Gabby Chaves (left) and Conor Daly

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Chaves has a contract to drive for Harding in 2019 and that will obviously have to be bought out, unless the team runs Gabby in a 3rd car and that just ain’t likely.

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#199

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The Ten are down to The Six…

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At Road America in early September the Team USA Scholarship judges hosted a shoot-out for the six remaining of ten initial 2018 American nominees for the Team USA Scholarship, with the opportunity for two of them to represent the United States at the great Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy events later this fall in England. Each candidate was assigned a Lucas Oil School of Racing Ray GR-RSC race car and one brand-new set of Cooper tires for the duration of the shootout. The Six were tested both on and off the track, including a fitness assessment conducted by Jim Leo of renowned, Indianapolis-based PitFit Training.

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The six finalists still in the hunt for the coveted two spots are:

Dario Cangialosi, 18, Chester, N.J., from the F1600 Championship Series

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Jake Craig, 20, Mission Viejo, Calif., from Toyo Tires F1600 Ontario (Canada)

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Braden Eves, 19, New Albany, Ohio, from the F4 U.S. Championship

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Nicky Hays, 16, Huntington Beach, Calif., from SCCA Formula F

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Colin Mullan, 16, Danville, Calif., from IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge

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Tyler O’Connor, 21, New Hartford, Conn., from the F1600 Championship Series

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The list of alums from the Team USA Scholarship reads like a who’s who of racing and includes - but is not limited to - 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, current Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Josef Newgarden, Charlie Kimball, Spencer Pigot and Conor Daly, as well as sports car champions Dane Cameron, Connor De Phillippi, Joey Hand, Trent Hindman, Andy Lally and Bryan Sellers. USF2000 Champions Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood were also Team USA guys. Jimmy Vasser, JR Hildebrand, Niel Alberico, Matthew Brabham, Aaron Telitz, Felix Serrralles, Joel Miller, Bryan Herta.…the list goes on and on…

There’s one more benefit to being named to the Scholarship. The two scholarship WINNERS are automatically entered in the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, this December, to compete for a $200,000 prize to be applied to a full season of USF2000 in 2019.

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We await the decision of the stellar Road America judges who are making this pick.

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#200

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George Steinbrenner IV holds a presser with his two new IndyCar drivers…

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With the formation of Harding Steinbrenner Racing this week (see post # 172) the new young team owner held a press conference with his two Indy Lights drivers turned IndyCar drivers, Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward:

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Harding Steinbrenner has already benefited from an influx of engineering talent and some exclusive parts - like shock absorbers - from the Andretti Autosport camp, last weekend at Sonoma, and the cars were clearly reaping that benefit compared to previous efforts, this last season. Going forward, some key Andretti personnel will be joining Harding Steinbrenner for 2019, but NOT to the detriment of Andretti’s Indy Lights team, which is intending to once again field 4 cars in 2019 or the Andretti Autosport 4-car IndyCar effort, which will also remain.

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#201

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Rumor du jour…and it sure ain’t much of a secret…

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For a couple of years now Chip Ganassi Racing has had their eye on Formula 3 phenom and Indy Lights race WINNER Felix Rosenqvist, after two very successful and impressive tests with the team, but Felix has always been diverted by other racing. At the moment he drives for Mahindra in Formula E where he also WINS, there.

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Felix Rosenqvist

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The worst-kept secret of the Silly Season seems to be that the Swede will finally get into a CGR IndyCar in 2019, replacing Ed Jones in the # 10 car and teaming with 2018 Champion Scott Dixon. What isn’t yet known is whether or not he will be giving up totally on Formula E. Mahindra loves Rosenqvist and wants him to drive as many races for them as the IndyCar schedule will allow, which will be almost half the season.

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It’s always good to be in demand. Soon, this will all be buttoned down. Stay tuned.

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#202

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Carlin is probably increasing the car count in 2019…

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…and NOT just in IndyCars, but also in Indy Lights. Team boss Trevor Carlin first came to the US as an Indy Lights team owner in 2015 and took the Driver’s title in 2017, with Ed Jones driving. For 2018 Carlin concentrated fully on their IndyCar program and dropped the Lights program. At the same time Schmidt Peterson also bowed out of the Lights and that 6-car loss between them was evident on the grid, this year, with only 7 full-time entries in the series.
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Trevor Carlin

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Carlin is now saying that he wants to reignite the Carlin Lights team in 2019, with at least 2 entries, but he is ALSO looking at expanding the Carlin IndyCar team to 3 entries! He is already getting inquiries from a number of drivers to take such a ride spot but he is looking most at Ed Jones, his Indy Lights Champion, as the young native of Dubai is likely losing his ride with Chip Ganassi Racing (see post above). Very likely to return to Carlin for 2019 are Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton, but nothing is signed, yet.

left to right - Ed Jones, Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton - Carlin’s squad for 2019?

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Ed Jones, Max Chilton, Matheus Leist and Zachary Claman DeMelo all have Carlin to thank for their being in IndyCars, to a great extent, thanks to the Indy Lights rides he gave them. Let’s hope some other Lights drivers will be thanking Trevor at the end of 2019.

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#203

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The Chris Griffis Memorial Test starts tomorrow at Indianapolis…

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…as over Saturday and Sunday all three series that make up the Road to Indy ladder system - USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights - will hold 3 test sessions each per day on the Indy road course, testing the drivers who want to drive in 2019 and testing the teams who want to attract the best drivers - everyone making their case as to why they should be competing and with whom, next season.

We have an entry list as of today, though walk-ons can happen at any time. Note that these are NOT the full fields that will start the season in March, but just the guys who wanted to participate in this test. Here are the drivers and the series and team they are testing for: [R] denotes rookie in that series; number is car #; home town is listed

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Indy Lights
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2 - Parker Thompson [R], Red Deer, Alb., Canada - Team Pelfrey

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4 - Lucas Kohl [R], Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil - Belardi Auto Racing

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5 - David Malukas [R], Chicago, IL - Belardi Auto Racing

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6 - Victor Franzoni, Sao Paulo, Brazil - Belardi Auto Racing

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7 - Heamin Choi, Busan, Korea - Juncos Racing

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21 - Rinus VeeKay [R], Hoofddorp, Netherlands - Juncos Racing

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27 - Oliver Askew [R], Melbourne, FL - Andretti Autosport

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48 - Ryan Norman, Aurora, OH - Andretti Autosport

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98 - Robert Megennis [R], New York, NY - Andretti Autosport

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Notable:

  • Rinus VeeKay is the 2018 Pro Mazda Champion and will be using his $790,000 Mazda scholarship to compete in 2019 - probably for Juncos Racing, the team he drove for to the title, but not necessarily.

  • Norman, Choi and Franzoni are returning veteran Lights drivers. Everyone else in the group drove in Pro Mazda in 2018.

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#204

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The Chris Griffis Memorial Test starts tomorrow at Indianapolis…(part 2)…

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Pro Mazda
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1 - Rasmus Lindh [R], Gothenburg, Sweden - Juncos Racing

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12 - Moises de la Vara, Guadalajara, Mexico - DEForce Racing

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19 - Darren Keane [R], Deerfield Beach, FL - RP Motorsport Racing

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27 - Mathias Soler-Obel [R], Bogota, Colombia - RP Motorsport Racing

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62 - Danial Frost [R], Singapore - Juncos Racing

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73 - Cameron Shields [R], Toowoomba, Australia - Juncos Racing

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78 - Kyle Dupell [R], Portland, OR - BN Racing

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79 - Julian Van der Watt [R], Pretoria, South Africa - BN Racing

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91 - Nikita Lastochkin, Moscow, Russia - Exclusive Autosport

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Notable:

  • Nikita Lastochkin is the veteran here. Moises de la Vara had 5 starts in Pro Mazda in 2018 and Mathias Soler-Obel had 3 starts. Everyone else is either up from USF2000 or new to the Road to Indy.

  • Darren Keane will run for RP Motorsport Racing on the Saturday, the 22nd, only.

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continued…

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#205

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The Chris Griffis Memorial Test starts tomorrow at Indianapolis…(part 3)…

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USF2000
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2 - Darren Keane, Deerfield Beach, FL - Cape Motorsports

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3 - Tyler O’Connor [R], New Hartford, CT - Cape Motorsports

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5 - Christian Bogle [R], Covington, LA - Jay Howard Driver Development

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6 - Zach Holden, Indianapolis, IN - Jay Howard Driver Development

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8 - Colin Kaminsky, Joliet, IL - Cape Motorsports

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11 - Ryan Bjerke [R], Warsaw, IN - DEForce Racing

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12 - Francisco Porto [R], Sao Paulo, Brazil - DEForce Racing

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19 - Alex Baron, Narbonne, France - Legacy Autosport

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21 - Yuven Sundaramoorthy ® Oconomowoc, WI Pabst Racing

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22 - Hunter McElrea, Gold Coast, Australia - Pabst Racing

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24 - Logan Cusson [R], Port Hope, Ont., Canada - Pabst Racing

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27 - James Raven [R] Portsmouth, England - DEForce Racing

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35 - Andre Castro [R], New York, NY - Legacy Autosport

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40 - Jack William Miller [R], Indianapolis, IN - Miller Vinatieri Motorsports

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Notable:

  • Most of these kids are true rookies but a few guys here are somewhat experienced to highly experienced, with English/French driver Alexandre Baron being the most experienced and possibly the best driver in this group. If Alex can get a full season, he is already a title contender before they start.

  • Darren Keane is also testing a Pro Mazda car on the 22nd for RP Motorsport Racing

  • Colin Kaminsky will only be testing on Sunday, the 23rd.

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The weather for both days is going to be sketchy, at best, but that should not stop the test, unless the rains are gully-washers. We will report on any add-ons or walk-ups, as they happen.

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#206

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Saturday at Indianapolis - The Chris Griffis Memorial Test is one day done…

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…and the speedy guys are floating to the top, and in all three series - USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights - the TOP TIMES of the day are all unofficially new track records. The weather aided that, as the track temperature was low and the rains held off, allowing for maximum downforce and engine power out of all cars. After three tests in each series we have a TOP SIX for each for the day. Let’s see who did what:

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Here was the order of speed for the Indy Lights TOP SIX, with all 3 sessions COMBINED: [R} denotes rookie; driver’s best session is in ( )

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1 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:14.9283 seconds for a speed of 117.184mph (3)

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2 - Oliver Askew [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:15.0060s for a speed of 117.063mph (3)

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3 - Victor Franzoni, Belardi Auto Racing - time of 01:15.0306s for a speed of 117.024rmph (3)

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4 - Rinus VeeKay [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:15.1075s for a speed of 116.904mph (3)

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5 - Rob Megennis [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 001:15.3602s for a speed of 116.512mph (2)

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6 - Parker Thompson [R], Team Pelfrey - time of 001:16.1505s for a speed of 115.303mph (1)

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Notable:

  • The TOP FOUR all bested the existing track record and qualifying record.

  • Ryan Norman is understandably the fastest guy here, as he is a 2018 race WINNER and had his best performances at the end of the season.

  • Victor Franzoni topped both Session 1 and Session 2 but his times were later eclipsed in T-3 by Norman and Oliver Askew, the 2017 USF2000 Champion.

  • Also testing today were David Malukas & Lucas Kohl for Belardi Racing and Heamin Choi for Juncos Racing. Malukas was the only guy to find a wall and he did it in the 2nd session. The damage is repairable, but it kept him out of the 3rd session, as the team affected repairs.

Ryan Norman (left) and David Malukas

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#207

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Saturday at Indianapolis - The Chris Griffis Memorial Test is one day done…(part 2)…

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Here was the order of speed for the Pro Mazda TOP SIX, with all 3 sessions COMBINED: [R} denotes rookie; driver’s best session is in ( )

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1 - Darren Keane [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 01:19.2971s for a speed of 110.728mph (3)

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2 - Danial Frost [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:19.4012s for a speed of 110.583mph (3)

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3 - Rasmus Lindh [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:19.4338s for a speed of 110.537mph (2)

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4 - Julian Van der Watt [R], BN Racing - time of 01:19.4905s for a speed of 110.458mph (2)

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5 - Cameron Shields [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:20.0128s for a speed of 109.737mph (3)

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6 - Mathias Soler-Obel [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 01:20.0175s for a speed of 109.731mph (2)

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Notable:

  • Keane’s T-3 session time is unofficially fractionally faster than Oliver Askew’s qualifying track record

  • Rasmus Lindh topped the T-2 session and Singapoor’s Danial Frost topped the T-1 session.

  • Also on track today was Kyle Dupell for BN Racing, Nikita Lastochkin for Exclusive Autosport, Moises de la Vara for DEForce Racing and IndyCar driver Jack Harvey, who was shaking down a new Tatuus PM-18 chassis for Pabst Racing.

Darren Keane (left) and Jack Harvey

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#208

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Saturday at Indianapolis - The Chris Griffis Memorial Test is one day done…(part 3)…

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Here was the order of speed for the USF2000 TOP SIX, with all 3 sessions COMBINED: [R} denotes rookie; driver’s best session is in ( )

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1 - Hunter McElrea [R], Pabst Racing - time of 01:24.5411s for a speed of 103.860mph (3)

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2 - Darren Keane, Cape Motorsports - time of 01:24.7051s for a speed of 103.658mph (3)

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3 - James Raven, DCEForce Racing - time of 01:25.0667s for a speed of 103.218mph (3)

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4 - Alex Baron, Legacy Autosport - time of 01:25.0697s for a speed of 103.214mph (2)

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5 - Andre Castro [R], Legacy Autosport - time of 01:25.3411s for a speed of 102.886mph (2)

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6 - Zach Holden, Jay Howard Driver Development - time of 01:25.3688s for a speed of 102.853mph (2)

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Notable:

  • American-born and New Zealand-raised Hunter McElrea is currently leading the Australian Formula Ford championship, with 2 races to go. Those cars are the “wingless wonders” of racing - no wings or slicks - which make Hunter’s great showing in the Tatuus USF-17 car, besting Oliver Askew’s 2017 track record, even more impressive.

  • Hunter was P2 in the T-1 session and topped both T-2 and T-3. Darren Keane Topped T-1 for Cape Motorsports in USF2000 and topped the day in Pro Mazda for RP Motorsport Racing - hugely impressive for the teen from Florida.

  • Alex Baron and Andre Castro help to launch new team Legacy Autosport with great showings. Castro hasn’t been in a race car for 18 months, so he is knocking the rust off impressively.

  • Local guy Zach Holden is also helping IndyCar driver Jay Howard’s USF2000 team launch impressively.

  • Also on track today were Yuven Sundaramoorthy & Logan Cusson for Pabst Racing, Tyler O’Connor for Cape Motorsports, Francisco Porto & Ryan Bjerk for DEForce Racing, Christian Bogle for Jay Howard Driver Development and Jack William Miller for Miller Vinatieri Motorsports.

Hunter McElrea

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Sunday, all 3 series will do 3 more tests, rain or shine, and it is right now looking like no rain and temperatures from the morning mid-50s to the afternoon mid-70s - almost ideal for fast running!

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