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2014 Standings
After Toronto
Driver Standings

Driver Standings
1 Helio Castroneves 533
2 Will Power 520
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 464
4 Simon Pagenaud 462
5 Juan Pablo Montoya 428
6 Scott Dixon 387
7 Carlos Munoz (R) 384
8 Tony Kanaan 380
9 Marco Andretti 375
10 Sebastien Bourdais 358
11 Ryan Briscoe 344
12 James Hinchcliffe 330
13 Charlie Kimball 317
14 Justin Wilson 311
15 Mikhail Aleshin 298
16 Josef Newgarden 288
17 Jack Hawksworth (R) 287
18 Graham Rahal 266
19 Carlos Huertas (R) 265
20 Takuma Sato 234
21 Sebastian Saavedra 229
22 Mike Conway 218
23 Ed Carpenter 168
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch (R) 80
26 JR Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam (R) 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison (R) 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman (R) 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8

Rookie of the Year
1 Carlos Munoz 384
2 Mikhail Aleshin 298
3 Jack Hawksworth 287
4 Carlos Huertas 265
5 Kurt Busch 80
6 Sage Karam 57
7 James Davison 34
8 Martin Plowman 18

Wins
T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 3
T2 Will Power 2
T2 Simon Pagenaud 2
T2 Mike Conway 2
T5 Helio Castroneves 1
T5 Carlos Huertas 1
T5 Ed Carpenter 1
T5 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T5 Sebastien Bourdais 1

Podium Finishes
T1 Will Power 6
T1 Helio Castroneves 6
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5
4 Tony Kanaan 4
T5 Carlos Munoz 3
T5 Juan Pablo Montoya 3
T7 Marco Andretti 2
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Mike Conway 2
T10 Carlos Huertas 1
T10 Scott Dixon 1
T10 Josef Newgarden 1
T10 Graham Rahal 1
T10 Charlie Kimball 1
T10 Ed Carpenter 1
T10 Jack Hawksworth 1
T10 Mikhail Aleshin 1
T10 Sebastien Bourdais 1
Manufacturer Standings:
1 Chevrolet 2056
2 Honda 1042

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 353
2 Tony Kanaan 326
3 Helio Castroneves 241
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 167
5 Ed Carpenter 116
6 Juan Pablo Montoya 74
7 Takuma Sato 67
8 Sebastien Bourdais 60
9 Simon Pagenaud 59
10 James Hinchcliffe 56
11 Scott Dixon 44
12 Jack Hawksworth 32
13 Justin Wilson 25
14 Marco Andretti 22
T15 Mike Conway 15
T15 Josef Newgarden 15
17 Sebastian Saavedra 14
18 Graham Rahal 10
T19 Oriol Servia 7
T19 Carlos Huertas 7
21 Ryan Briscoe 5
22 Mikhail Aleshin 4
23 Alex Tagliani 3

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 3 Team Penske 533
2 12 Team Penske 520
3 28 Andretti Autosport 464
4 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports 462
5 2 Penske Motorsports 428
6 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 387
7 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 386
8 34 Andretti Autosport/HVM 384
9 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 380
10 25 Andretti Autosport 375
11 11 KVSH Racing 358
12 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 344
13 27 Andretti Autosport 330
14 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 317
15 19 Dale Coyne Racing 311
16 7 Schmidt PetersonMotorsports 298
17 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 288
18 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 287
19 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 266
20 18 Dale Coyne Racing 265
21 14 A.J. Foyt Racing 234
22 17 KV/AFS Racing 229
23 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 134
24 26 Andretti Autosport 88
25 21 Ed Carpenter Racing 66
26 22 Dreyer and Reinbold 57
27 33 KV Racing Technology 34
28 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 29
29 68 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 28
30 6 KV Racing Technology 22
31 63 Dale Coyne Racing 21
32 41 A.J. Foyt Racing 18
33 91 Lazier Partners Racing 11

Finishing Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.38
T2 Kurt Busch 6.00
T2 Will Power 6.00
4 Simon Pagenaud 6.92
5 Sage Karam 9.00
6 Scott Dixon 9.61
7 J.R. Hildebrand 10.00
8 Tony Kanaan 10.23
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.38
T10 Juan Pablo Montoya 11.15
T10 Sebastien Bourdais 11.15
12 Ryan Briscoe 11.38
13 Justin Wilson 11.92
14 Carlos Munoz 12.00
15 James Hinchcliffe 12.46
16 Oriol Servia 12.5
17 Marco Andretti 12.69
18 Ed Carpenter 12.75
19 Alex Tagliani 13.0
20 Charlie Kimball 13.23
21 Takuma Sato 13.46
22 Mikhail Aleshin 13.61
23 Jacques Villeneuve 14.0
24 Mike Conway 14.66
25 Graham Rahal 15.0
26 James Davison 16.0
27 Carlos Huertas 16.07
28 Josef Newgarden 16.92
29 Sebastian Saavedra 17.0
30 Jack Hawksworth 17.16
31 Luca Filippi 18.50
32 Martin Plowman 20.5
33 Franck Montagny 22.0
34 Pippa Mann 24.0
35 Townsend Bell 25.0
36 Buddy Lazier 32.0


Pole Positions
T1 Takuma Sato 2
T1 Will Power 2
T1 Helio Castroneves 2
T4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
T4 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T4 Ed Carpenter 1
T4 Simon Pagenaud 1
T4 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T4 Scott Dixon 1
T4 Sebastien Bourdais 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5
T2 Helio Castroneves 4
T2 Will Power 4
T3 James Hinchcliffe 3
T3 Scott Dixon 3
T3 Jack Hawksworth 3
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Josef Newgarden 2
T7 Tony Kanaan 2
T7 Sebastien Bourdais 2
T11 Takuma Sato 1
T11 Marco Andretti 1
T11 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T11 Mike Conway 1
T11 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T11 Ryan Briscoe 1
T11 Luca Filippi 1

Qualifying Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.53
2 James Hinchcliffe 6.90
3 Ed Carpenter 7.00
4 Luca Filippi 7.66
5 Simon Pagenaud 7.69
6 Will Power 7.76
7 Scott Dixon 8.84
8 J.R. Hildebrand 9.00
9 Sebastien Bourdais 9.76
10 Carlos Munoz 10.3
11 Tony Kanaan 10.53
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.61
13 Juan Pablo Montoya 10.84
14 Takuma Sato 11.69
15 Kurt Busch 12.0
16 Marco Andretti 12.61
T17 Josef Newgarden 12.92
T17 Ryan Briscoe 12.92
19 Justin Wilson 13.0
20 Jack Hawksworth 14.5
21 Mike Conway 14.66
22 Mikhail Aleshin 14.84
23 Graham Rahal 15.38
24 Sebastian Saavedra 16.53
25 Charlie Kimball 17.15
26 Carlos Huertas 17.84
27 Franck Montagny 21.0
28 Pippa Mann 22.0
29 Alex Tagliani 24.0
30 Martin Plowman 24.5
31 Townsend Bell 25.0
32 Jacques Villeneuve 27.0
33 James Davison 28.0
34 Sage Karam 31.0
35 Buddy Lazier 33.0
Trying to make sense out of Audi and IndyCar

by Brian Carroccio
Sunday, April 28, 2013

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I suppose, anything is possible. After all, an A.J. Foyt owned car was driven to victory lane on a street course, last week.

Still, the thought of executives at a board meeting in Ingolstadt, Bavaria giddy over the prospect of competing in the Iowa Corn 250? While I'm as intrigued as anyone about the possibility of the legendary racing marque Audi coming to IndyCar, I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this one.

Of course, this rumor came to light about two weeks ago, when Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi's head of technical development was discussing the possibilities for the legendary racing marque going forward. Durheimer mentioned the set-to-debut 2014 United SportsCar Racing series and the proposed American DTM Series as possibilities for the legendary Four Rings to go racing in the coming years.

And Durheimer didn't stop there.

"Another opportunity can be IndyCars, that I also think is still very popular,” he said. “The Indy 500 is an outstanding race. That's about all I can see right now."

Interesting.

Now, there are thousands of directions one can go with this, as Durheimer's comments probably left more questions than answers. Still, let's begin with what we do know.

Clearly, Audi wants to have a motor sports presence in North America, something they have stated on the record numerous times. Clearly, given the company's enormous success the logical place to presume they would compete is sports cars. While numerous examples of Audi's success can be given, the marque has won 11 of the last 13 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Of course, many will point out the Daytona Prototype class rules and specifications for next year's merged United SportsCar Racing have yet to be determined. Thus, any speculation about Audi's interest without knowing the regulations is difficult.

What seems fairly certain is Audi wants no part of Formula One. Despite the company being continually linked with a move to F1, Audi has repeatedly and firmly denied such rumors. In May of 2011, then head of Audi Motorsport Wolfgang Ulrich said "There's a very good reason we're not in F1. There's no relevance to the road." Ulrich went on to note that sports cars were much more relevant. Further, given Porsche's more recent comments about F1 racing becoming too focused on tire performance, one has to imagine little has changed. And that is not even bringing the astronomical costs of F1 into the equation.

Still, if F1 makes no sense, IndyCar would seem to make even less. For one, the IndyCar product suffers from incredibly little exposure even in its home base of North America. Durheimer, of course, wondered aloud if IndyCar was still popular, which makes me wonder: has he seen the television ratings?

Now, the Indianapolis 500 would entice a lot of manufacturers, Audi included, but what else?

Remember, the current IndyCar philosophy regarding rules and engine leases runs completely counter to the way Audi has traditionally conducted its racing endeavors. Audi, of course, has long been known as an innovative, cutting-edge company, a spirit they take to the race track. Currently, IndyCar's business model with regard to engine manufacturers places cost-containment as paramount to innovation. The series controls the price of lease agreements, and forces the manufacturers to adhere to very specific guidelines regarding said agreements (the recently departed Lotus withstanding).

Audi, on the other hand, usually competes as a factory team. And what direct relevance does a modern IndyCar have to a road car? Chevy and Honda clearly derive exposure from competing in the series. However, their current participation seems more branding and advertising than technical and engineering oriented. Could you picture Audi supplying a back marker IndyCar team because they had to fulfill certain contractual obligations? Me neither.

In short, I can't see any obvious draw for Audi, other than maybe displaying their proficiency in formula racing.

Now, I've tried to look for something beneath the surface that may be driving Audi's interest. For example, could Audi be badging the old Lotus/Judd engine?  Clearly, that's not happening.

But what about some sort of change within the company? For example, Honda in the early 2000s couldn't say enough bad things about the Indy Racing League. They referred to it as a low-tech, amateurish series. However, as CART began to deteriorate, Honda changed their tune, and began supplying the series in 2003. Is there a change within Audi that would possibly make IndyCar more appealing?

Maybe.

Last fall, Audi commissioned the building of a $1.3 billion plant in San Jose Chiapa, Puebla, Mexico set to open in 2016. The plant will produce an estimated 150,00 units annually, and 9,800 direct and indirect jobs, building the next generation Audi Q5 SUVs. The Puebla location was chosen over potential American sites such as Chattanooga, TN. Mexico's more favorable export laws and the debt crisis in Washington, D.C. were cited as a few of the reasons why.

Now, don't misinterpret Audi's intent. They seek a North American site, with access to the USA market. Sure, the United States is still reeling from the financial crisis of a few years ago. Still, Audi's sights are firmly set on the American market. The Puebla plant gives them a corridor to America, while also allowing them to export under more favorable terms than if they were located in say, Chattanooga. But to be clear, Audi is still interested in the American market, and why wouldn't they be.

It's IndyCar I'm not so sure about.

Of course, we'd all like to imagine IndyCar strategically aligning itself behind the scenes with a behemoth manufacturer such as Audi. We'd love to imagine IndyCar attempting to partner with an Audi in an attempt to parallel the company's North American expansion. And considering 21.2 million people live in Mexico City and the surrounding metropolis, we'd probably love to believe IndyCar sees some potential to revive the event that was so successful with CART/Champ Car in conjunction with Audi building a plant in nearby San Jose Chiapa, Puebla.

We'd like to, but can we?

If you remember, when news broke that Audi was considering IndyCar, it was from all indications, news to IndyCar.  When learning of Audi's interest Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus noted that he would "reach out to them."  In fact, SPEED.com's Marshall Pruett reported that Belskus reached out to Audi AG and Audi of America Monday, April 15th, the day after the story was run on numerous publications.  Yes, that tells me Belskus probably heard about Audi coming to IndyCar the same way the rest of us did: reading it online.

In short, I seriously doubt there is anything of consequence here. I doubt that IndyCar has been wooing a global manufacturer with a global brand synonymous with innovation and excellence to join the series. I doubt IndyCar has connected the dots between Champ Car's successful event in Mexico City and Audi's intent to build a plant in nearby San Jose Chiapa, Puebla. I have little doubt Carlos Slim and Bernie Ecclestone have.

Believe me, I want to believe Audi is on its way to IndyCar. I want to believe we will say the Four Rings competing with the Chevy bow tie and Honda "H." I want to believe Audi's interest in IndyCar is an indication the series is working behind the scenes to build its global brand in conjunction with globally recognized partners.

Unfortunately, this desire to believe, is all I really have to offer.

Brian Carroccio

Brian Carroccio lives in Rockville, MD, and has been an IndyCar Columnist for AutoRacing1.com since August of 2012. He is a huge fan of the Washington Redskins and Manchester United.  Email Brian at
bricarr2@aol.com and follow him on twitter @BrianC_AR1.

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

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