Edmonton Notebook - Saturday Several Firestone Indy Lights competitors are paying tribute to Formula 2 driver Henry Surtees with a memorial decal on their cars.
The idea was sparked by British drivers Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann, who knew the driver, the son of former Formula 1 champion John Surtees. The younger Surtees was fatally injured in a racing accident in England on July 19.
"Although we never raced against each other, we met in several occasions when I was doing the Porsche Cup races back in England last year," Mann said. "Henry and his dad bought a bunch of my karting gear when I moved up to open-wheel (racing). We knew each other, and I can say that he was a genuine nice person and it was just a really bad weekend for motorsports around the world, not only when you lose someone as talented as Henry, but also such a nice person".
Plowman's family distributed the decals to all driver and will take a shirt and poster - carrying the same memorial decal and signed by the Grand Prix of Edmonton field - back to England and deliver it to the Surtees family.
"The first time I met Henry was actually the first time that he sat in a go-kart," Plowman said. "I was at an opening of a brand new track in England and they invited one driver from every class to do some demonstration laps, and I was there demonstrating the 60cc class. He was there taking his first laps on a go-kart. After that he was like a familiar face on the paddock. He was truly a nice guy. When I got the news I was devastated… It was a very bad day for the sport. It's just a tragedy and this weekend we'll race for him and I wish his family all the best".
Team Moore Racing may be based in Pittsboro, Ind., but the team is definitely one of the home teams at the Grand Prix of Edmonton.
The team, which is co-owned by Calgary native Tom Wood is sporting several Canadian sponsors this weekend on its No. 2 X-treme Coil Drilling car driven by Andrew Prendeville.
Sabre Well Servicing Inc., Bonnybrook Steel Fabricators, WMCZ Lawyers and Mediators, Peters & Co Limited, and BlackSun have joined the team for the race weekend.
"Tom Wood and I are very excited about the race in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. And equally excited about having the new sponsors on board for this event" said team co-owner Mark Moore. "The entire team and our driver, Andrew Prendeville, look forward to an exciting Grand Prix of Edmonton."
Both RLR/Andersen Racing cars are sporting the logo of Best Friends Animal Society at Edmonton as a salute to the not-for-profit animal welfare group, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this month.
The donated signage draws attention to Best Friends' quarter century of service to the welfare of abused, abandoned animals at its 3,700-acre sanctuary in southwestern Utah, and for its on-going work across the United States.
Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets program includes national campaigns in key American cities to address the problems of saving pit bull dogs, speaking out against puppy mills, addressing the problem of cat overpopulation and striving that one day there will be no more homeless pets.
The No. 20 William Rast/Lilly Vision Racing IndyCar Series car of Ed Carpenter, the #21 People*s Liberation Vision Racing Firestone Indy Lights car of James Davison and the #28 LeBleu/Bryan Herta Autosport car of Daniel Herrington are carrying a decal with get well wishes for Vision crew member Chris "Beaker"Sheffer, who is hospitalized at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis.
Luczo Dragon Racing has shuffled its pit crew after a pair of crew members had family emergencies will preclude them from participating. Team manager John Comminskey will serve as the inside rear tire changer in place of Tim White, while Bill White a shop-based crew member from Andretti Green Racing, is filling in as fueler in place Rick Campbell.