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Indy Lights Open Testing Notes 1-14-15

Posted on 1/14  • 

The same eight drivers and five teams took to the Palm Beach International Raceway Road Course for a second day of official Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire testing.

For most of the day, it looked like the fierce battle we saw Spencer Pigot and Scott Hargrove wage in 2014 Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire championship would spill over into the Indy Lights season. But in the last half hour, it was Pigot's teammate at Juncos Racing, Kyle Kaiser who "won" testing with a time of 1:05.269.

Here are the combined results from today:

Driver -- Laps Completed -- Best Lap Time
Kyle Kaiser -- 72 -- 1:05.269
Scott Hargrove -- 75 -- 1:05.504
Spencer Pigot -- 47 -- 1:05.636
Jack Harvey -- 52 -- 1:05.928
Shelby Blackstock -- 86 -- 1:05.928
Felix Serralles -- 64 -- 1:05.980
RC Enerson -- 78 -- 1:06.068
Ethan Ringel -- 89 -- 1:06.364

New Mazda-Powered Indy Lights Dallara IL-15 Shines During Initial Test in Florida

Posted on 1/14  • 

If the drivers' comments following the first test of the new Mazda MZR-R-powered Dallara IL-15 are anything to go by, this year's Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season is likely to be a barn-burner. A total of eight drivers representing five teams took part in the two-day test at the 2.034-mile Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla., and all were ecstatic about the pace, consistency and reliability of the new car which will make its race debut on the streets of St. Petersburg on March 28/29.

At the conclusion of the first day the top four drivers and teams were separated by a hair over two tenths of a second. The top two drivers from last year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires were the initial pacesetters, with second-place finisher Scott Hargrove, from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, driving for Enzo Potolicchio's impressive 8Star Motorsports team, edging out series champion Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing) by a scant 0.0643s. Hargrove's best time on the opening day after completing 46 trouble-free laps was 1:06.8606.

Felix Serralles, from Ponce, Puerto Rico, making his return to the U.S. scene after competing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship the past few years, also was right in the mix for the 2014 Indy Lights championship-winning team, Belardi Auto Racing, at 1:06.9886, followed by RC Enerson, from New Port Richey, Fla., who has joined Schmidt Peterson Motorsports after finishing second in last year's Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, at 1:07.0624.

The teams had much to do sorting out the attractive new Dallara IL-15 chassis, the turbocharged 2.0-liter Mazda MZR-R engine and the latest specification Cooper tires. Only 8Star Motorsports and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had any prior experience with the car - at an entrant test day at Palm Beach last month - so progress was rapid and consistent.

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Indy Car drivers test local track - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social (Jan 15, 2015 11:48)
Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing added, "Coming in 10 years after an event that was so big in the city's history, to be able to put on our show and show New Orleans and Louisiana what IndyCar racing is all about. Obviously the track, they put a lot into it. Its going to be a lot of fun; it's already a lot of fun to drive, and I cant wait to get back here in April."

Auto Club Speedway promotes executive Dave Allen to president - LA Times (Dec 16, 2014 08:38)
The track, initially called California Speedway, was built in the late 1990s by racing mogul Roger Penske. Allen joined Penske at the track in 1999 and became senior director of sales and marketing in 2002. Allen was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing in 2006, and two years later he helped Zucker secure the Auto Club deal that led to the track's current name.

Pit Pass: Mikhail Aleshin's IndyCar return unlikely (Nov 26, 2014 12:47)
Sam Schmidt, a co-owner of Indianapolis-based Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, told The Star this week that Mikhail Aleshin's financial contributions to the race team are not only behind, they're frozen. "There's a clear road block in terms of the transfer of money," Schmidt said. "We can't seem to get any." The U.S. government placed sanctions on SMP Bank, along with other Russian institutions connected to Putin, beginning last spring amid tensions in Ukraine.

IndyCar crew on hand for first Ambrose test - Speedcafe (Nov 20, 2014 10:34)
A five-strong crew of Team Penske IndyCar mechanics will be on hand at Lakeside for Marcos Ambrose’s first V8 Supercars drive in nine years. The IndyCar mechanics have been at Dick Johnson Racing’s headquarters this week completing the preparation of Ambrose’s brand-new Ford Falcon V8 Supercar. As Friday’s Lakeside hit-out is classified as a ‘ride day’, the imports will largely play the role of observers before Ambrose’s first full-fledged test at Queensland Raceway on Sunday. The Americans have been flown to Australia to provide the backbone of Ambrose’s NRMA Sydney 500 pit crew while the IndyCar Series enjoys its long off-season. DJR will field a full crew and extra pit boom for Ambrose in Sydney, rather than sharing with single-car squad Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, but is yet to confirm a race engineer for the entry. ... “They (the IndyCar mechanics) have already been a big help this week,” added Story. “They’re experienced guys that we’ve been able to throw in the deep end straight away.

Racing legend's wife takes ride on wild side - Sport - NZ Herald News (Nov 17, 2014 20:10)
Speaking from their United States home in Indianapolis, Dixon's wife of six years says that on the road he finds gaps no one else can see. "He's so good at judging the pace of other cars and has such good timing. While other people are braking and being hesitant he just cruises through the traffic almost effortlessly," said Emma. "I'd have to say that he's a good driver but sometimes he sits right up someone's bum like he's drafting [slipstreaming] or something. He's got great reaction but the others don't."

Sam Schmidt auditions for Crash Test Dummies | Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nov 3, 2014 10:31)
Sam Schmidt, the Indycar auto racing team owner who makes his home in Las Vegas, navigated the paddock at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Halloween in the guise of a crash test dummy.

Latest Stories - Zanardi ticks off another milestone in Ironman Triathlon (Oct 16, 2014 15:14)
Alex Zanardi has mastered his latest big challenge. On Saturday, the former IndyCar and F1 star turned BMW works GT driver successfully contested his first long-distance triathlon in Hawaii. The 47-year-old Italian completed the overall distance of 140.5 miles in a time of 9h47m14s. He was 272nd overall among the 2,187 athletes – fewer than a dozen of whom were competing with physical handicaps like Zanardi, who lost both his legs in a Champ Car accident in 2001.

An IndyCar Champion Who Stays Sharp by Driving Go-Karts - NYTimes.com (Sep 8, 2014 15:14)
Q. Do any of your brothers race? A. They all raced. But my youngest brother is a stand-up comedian. Next oldest from me was break dancer and now choreographs those types of shows. My oldest brother is quite strange. He’s an accountant.

Sports Media Watch – IndyCar Finale Down, But Season Hits 3-Year High on NBCSN (Sep 3, 2014 20:37)
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ALEXANDER: Fontana's corporate marketing suffered on holiday weekend: (Sep 1, 2014 22:00)
"We lost our entire corporate backing," track president Gillian Zucker said. "... I mean, corporate sales are a huge part of sports marketing, any sport you look at. It's not just the suites. It's hospitality. People end up sitting in the grandstand after having gone to a (hospitality) tent or heard part of a meeting or a presentation. A lot of companies support team building that they do at sporting events, or (use tickets as) prizes for sales people, so there's a pretty healthy corporate market out there that sporting events rely on. And so to do it on a weekend like this and have it completely eliminated, it makes it difficult."