Porsche's Scott Hargrove Makes It Two in a Row in St. Pete
Former open-wheel ladder series star Scott Hargrove of Tsawassen, B.C., Canada has made a spectacular switch to sports cars this weekend with a pair of GT victories in the 2018 season opening Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader in the streets of St. Petersburg. Hargrove won Sunday’s GT Sprint event by 0.414-seconds in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R sports car.
Third Place Finisher, Chase Elliott (No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet) Second Place Finisher, Kyle Busch (No. 18 Skittles Sweet Heat Toyota) Race Winning Team; Stewart-Haas Racing Owner, Tony Stewart, Driver Kevin Harvick and Crew Chief, Rodney Childers (No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford)
Video Highlights: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg See the highlights of the exciting Firestone GP of St. Petersburg, Florida won by Sebastien Bourdais and including the collision between Alexander Rossi and Robert Wickens Comment
Trump tax cuts allow companies to have more money to sponsor IndyCar teams
IndyCar's '18 season began today with the Firestone GP of St. Petersburg, and there is an "overall sense of solidarity, stability and an awareness of the duty each member" of the series has in cultivating its future.
The series' momentum "is tangible."
Driver Ryan Hunter-Reaysaid, "This is definitely a different landscape in open-wheel racing than we’ve seen for quite some time now. As far back as I can remember, this is the healthiest we’ve been as a series."
An at-times bizarre weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg ended with popular Uruguayan Santiago “Santi” Urrutia and Belardi Auto Racing taking full advantage of the misfortune of others to claim a clear victory in this morning’s Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires. Coupled with his runner-up finish yesterday, Urrutia now holds a handy Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire points lead in his quest to win a Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship valued at $1M to ensure entry into at least three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2019, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500.
Pierre & Brendon - the making of TV visuals Ever wonder how TV channels shoot still and moving images of F1 drivers before the F1 season starts? Enjoy Brendon Hartley & Pierre Gasly behind-the-scenes by F1, Sky Sports F1 and FOX Sports! Comment
Alexander Rossi burns up the streets of St. Petersburg
He probably would have put the car on pole Saturday if not for some bad officiating by IndyCar, but Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi turned the fastest lap in morning warm-ups ahead of today's Firestone GP of St. Petersburg, the opening race of the 2018 IndyCar season. Rossi did his time on the harder Firestone blacks while the next three fastest drivers were on the softer reds.
Rossi was accused of holding up another driver in qualifying Saturday, something the team argued with IndyCar officials for over an hour yesterday. Rossi was easily in the Fast Six and had saved a red set of Firestones for a run at pole. Instead of losing your fastest lap, you lose your two fastest laps with this penalty, which means your weekend is screwed.
It’s Race Day in St. Pete. The weather predicted for today has changed many times. Temperatures should be about 75 degrees by race time. Rain will either fall during the IndyCar warmup or right before the start of the race instead of during the race. Right now, the sun is shinning.
The results of qualifying yesterday were pretty unpredictable. The weather played a small factor as the precipitation started during the end of session 2. Then it rained lightly during the Fast 12 round. The teams did not use their rain tires but had them close at hand if there would have been a downpour.
Chevrolet's New Racing Program Manager Looks To Keep Momentum Going
Chevy's new program director Rob Buckner
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Rob Buckner’s mandate as Chevrolet’s new racing program manager for the Verizon IndyCar Series is simple, but not necessarily easy: continue the performance level that has earned the company six consecutive manufacturer titles under Chevrolet director of motorsports competition Mark Kent.
“Mark did a really nice job, he handed off a packet to me,” said Buckner, who filled a position vacant since Chris Berube was moved to another job within the company following the 2015 season. “In January, I kind of was able to pick up a lot of the stuff that he and Chris Berube had done. We just had some final things to take care of before going testing.
30th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Celebration Attracts Major Star Power
An illustrious group of motorsports legends and leaders as famous and accomplished as the iconic Inductees they will honor will join together next Tuesday, March 13, to enshrine the Class of 2018 at the 30th Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone at the Shores Resort and Spa Hotel in Daytona Beach.
Kirkwood Controls 25-Car Field to Win on USF2000 Debut
Kyle Kirkwood drove a flawless race this morning to win the Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Allied Building Products for the locally based Cape Motorsports team. Kirkwood, 19, from Jupiter, Fla., the reigning US F4 champion, qualified second behind young Mexican Jose Sierra (DEForce Racing) but took the lead at the first corner and never looked back on his way to an impressive debut victory in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
PWC announces video streaming for all 2018 races through World-Challenge.com
Toni Vilander at St. Pete
WC Vision, producer of the Pirelli World Challenge road racing series, announced that its live video streaming format in 2018 will be produced through its World-Challenge.com website.
All Pirelli World Challenge events - including GT/GTA, GTS/GTSA, TCR, TC and TCA classes - can be viewed throughout the 2018 season on the World-Challenge.com site beginning this weekend with the GT/GTA and GTS/GTSA doubleheader 50-minute sprint races in the streets of St. Petersburg.
INDYCAR's Sansum, Honda and Chevy have next-gen IndyCar engine concept almost done
UPDATEQ. How much input do you believe you're going to have when you come to the new engine formula after the V6 era is going to change up in a couple years? MARK KENT- Chevy: We've been working hand-in-hand with both IndyCar and Honda to develop the next formula. The real goal of the next formula was to make it fair for everybody if a new manufacturer came to the series.
If you're a new manufacturer coming into the series, we didn't want to allow a new manufacturer to take what we've learned for six years now and catapult past us by watching what we've done. So we've created a new formula with IndyCar that will come out here in the future, with or without a new manufacturer. It will be one that will get us back on a level starting point so it will be a fair competition on the track when we all hit the track.
Highlights: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Day 2 The Streets of St. Petersburg were full of surprises late in the day during Saturday's qualifying at the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Comment
Scott Hargrove Scores Pirelli World Challenge GT Win
Young Scott Hargrove of Tsawassen, B.C., Canada made a spectacular Pirelli World Challenge GT debut Saturday in the streets of St. Petersburg when he came from last on the starting grid to score a 3.9-second victory in the 50-minute sprint race.
Dutchman VeeKay Comes From Behind to Claim Pro Mazda Victory
Teenager Rinus VeeKay faced plenty of challenges prior to the opening round of the new Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, but he put all that behind him this afternoon as he swept to an impressive victory for Juncos Racing in the first of two races which will comprise the Pro Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Allied Building Products.
Ferrari's Toni Vilander Blisters PWC GT Qualifying Track Record
Veteran Toni Vilander of Finland made a spectacular debut in the streets of St. Petersburg Saturday morning by driving the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3 to a provisionally new Pirelli World Challenge GT qualifying track record in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Rookie Pato O’Ward was gifted an opportunity to start from the pole position for today’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season opener after fastest qualifier Aaron Telitz’s Belardi Auto Racing Dallara-Mazda was withdrawn following an incident during qualifying for Race Two this morning. The Mexican teenager took full advantage by storming into the lead at the start of the Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires and was never seriously challenged on his way to a comfortable victory for the Andretti Autosport team.
What does Barcelona tires tell us about who is fastest
It's pretty clear that Aldo Costa has produced another dominating car
Pirelli said there is around 0.7 seconds between the ultrasoft and the hypersoft F1 tires. It is understood the delta between the medium and soft is around 0.85s, the soft to supersoft around 0.4s and supersoft to ultrasoft around 0.6s.
So let's see if we can tell which car is fastest using each drivers fastest time of the day and what tire they were on. We then use the above differences between the tire type and compute the theoretical lap time the driver would have turned if he was on hyper-soft tires at the time. From this analysis the Mercedes car is about 3/4 sec. per lap faster than the Red Bull and 9/10ths sec per lap faster than the Ferrari.
The rookie story of today is Jordan King, the 24 year old driving the number 20 car for Ed Carpenter Racing. He finished 6th on the charts for the three combined practices yesterday and today. But he has the first slot for a while this morning before Scott Dixon, driving the number 9 car for Chip Ganassi, took the top spot away from King. And then King had an incident that put him off track with less than two minutes to go in the session.
AR1 spoke with King after the practice session. King had this on say about his impressive run today, "We are still making a few changes and improving the car. I am happy with the direction the team is going. A few little mistakes as you just saw. A big braking zone on cold tires. and we only had a couple of minutes in the session and I was late going out. But I am reasonably happy with the car going into qualifying. We have been testing general performance and the balance of the car that I will be happy with for the two hour race."
When asked about the alternate tires, King replied, "I put them on for about three laps yesterday but I could not get a lap in at all because of traffic. I noticed for two corners that I was half a second up but then there was traffic. There will be a learning curve for me today in qualifying."
This morning the new Chevrolet Program Manager was introduced to the media. Robert "Rob" Buckner has worked on the timing stand for KV Racing and Sebastien Bourdais in 2015 and 2016. AR1 asked Buckner what results he expected this weekend with the new aerokit. Buckner replied, "I think we are ready to go for this weekend. I know our group and technical partners have put in so much time and effort, it is hard not to be confident. Between the number of laps we have ran, the driver feedback on the drive ability of the engine package this year has been great. And I know we made some good gains during the offseason with the engine package and the torque delivery. We are ready to go."
AR1 asked if the Chevrolet teams feel good about setups for St. Pete. Buckner answered, "Because you can't test on the street courses, it is always hard for setup. I think the big thing from yesterday from the two practice sessions is the spread from first to 15th is larger. You see the drivers sliding the cars around. I don't know if so much of it is setup or the fact the drivers are so used to being really aggressive with so much downforce. They may be closer to optimal than they think. They just have to adjust the way they drive the new car."
Qualifying starts shortly. There was some precipitation at the end of the Indy Lights race that just completed. That would change up the Firestone Fast Six qualifying if rain fell during the sessions.
Can Bourdais repeat a win
in St Pete?
It is a beautiful morning in St Petersburg, Florida. The weather is going to be perfect today with temperatures in the mid 70’s with a chance of rain after qualifying time today. Rain is still in the forecast for Sunday but it has changed to only in the early morning and not at race time.
Can Josef Newgarden put a Penske extra special shock car on pole?
Group 1 1 Newgarden, Josef 20 King, Jordan 22 Pagenaud, Simon 27 Rossi, Alexander 14 Kanaan, Tony 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan 26 Veach, Zach 6 Wickens, Robert 10 Jones, Ed 60 Harvey, Jack 23 Kimball, Charlie 32 Binder, Rene
F3 is set to once again become a major step in the ladder towards F1, as a restructuring of the formula, which will now be run by Formula One, will become part of the F1 calendar from 2019 along with a new one-make chassis and engine package.
Following the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva yesterday, the FIA confirmed that the Formula 1 group of companies has been selected as the promoter for the new FIA Formula 3 Championship, which will begin next year.
Ganassi says IndyCar should remain a North American series
Chip Ganassi wants IndyCar to stay in North America
The IndyCar series is interested in introducing a couple of international races, certainly one at Mexico City, and perhaps another. That doesn’t seem to have unanimous support within the paddock, especially Chip Ganassi.
Ganassi told the IndyStar, "I’ve said this 100 times, and I’ll say it again: It works in our time zones. People want their racing, I’m sorry, they want it on Saturday or Sunday in an hour they are awake. They don’t want to see the results on their computer. It’s the same battle they faced in Korea for the Olympics. People know the results ahead of time so they don't watch it.
Why IndyCar could never use the F1 halo IndyCar champion Scott Dixon explains the key differences between the US series' windscreen cockpit protection and F1's halo, and explains why the latter could never work for IndyCar racing. Comment
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