IndyCar Motegi Saturday Notebook
This is the eighth IZOD IndyCar Series event held at Twin Ring Motegi. Scott Dixon is the defending race winner and also won the Peak Performance Pole Award last year. Dixon (2009,) Danica Patrick (2008), Tony Kanaan (2007), Helio Castroneves (2006) and Dan Wheldon (2004-2005) are past winners of the event who are entered in the event.
KV Racing Technology drivers Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes have an extra set of eyes watching them during the Indy Japan 300.
Oriol Servia, who finished fourth in last year's Motegi race with Newman/Haas Racing, is serving as driver consultant for the team.
"I'm very happy to be in Japan. It's a race I always enjoyed coming to," Servia said. "I'm helping KV Racing - the team I drove for in 2008. I had a good result here last year and they thought I could help the team, especially Sato because this is a very important race for him. And I think I can help him.
"I've been in this paddock for 10 years, so hopefully there are things I can see and tell him to do as well as possible."
Honda overtake assist
Overtake assist was introduced to the series in August 2009 and will make be used for the second time at Twin Ring Motegi in the Indy Japan 300.
The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout. For the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi
15 seconds duration each use
10-second recharge period between uses
Firestone Firehawk tires
Each car receives eight sets (32 tires) of Firehawk tires.
Firestone's tire specification is unique for Twin Ring Motegi. The spec utilizes Firestone Racing's superspeedway (Texas, Kansas, Chicagoland) construction, paired with compounds that provide similar grip and wear levels to the tires used at the Indianapolis 500.
Firestone Racing engineers have determined this to be the best compromise for the 1.5-mile, egg-shaped Twin Ring Motegi track.
The rear wing flap angle is a minimum 15 degrees and the rear wing has a minimum 1-inch wicker.
There are no vertical end fence wickers or reverse wickers for Twin Ring Motegi.
Tire ramps, sidepod extensions and brake backing plates are optional.
Dan Wheldon earned his first IZOD IndyCar Series victory at Twin Ring Motegi in 2004, and returned for a Victory Circle encore in '05. He's finished in the top 10 in all seven races. Wheldon, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car, enters the race with second- and third-place finishes in the past two races in his helmet.
"We've got a lot of momentum going right now within the team from our performance at Chicago and Kentucky, and we feel like we're going to continue that this weekend in Motegi," he said. "It's a great racetrack, and outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it's probably my favorite oval track on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. The National Guard boys have been working so hard lately and we feel like we're getting closer and closer to our first trip to Victory Lane together."
Team owner/driver Sarah Fisher and primary sponsor Dollar General will partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization, for the Oct. 2 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Fisher will rebrand the yellow No. 67 car, team equipment and gear in pink for the race weekend. Dollar General will make a $25,000 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Sarah Fisher Racing and retail partners Maingate and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will collectively donate a portion of the retail sales of all Sarah Fisher Racing co-branded pink merchandise.
iRacing.com has added Twin Ring Motegi, Suzuka Circuit and Tsukuba Circuit on its global list of racing facilities available to the service's more than 20,000 subscribers. They'll be available next year.
iRacing.com is an Internet-based subscription service that provides motorsports enthusiasts and gamers with a virtual version of auto racing, including cars and tracks, organized and spontaneous racing and a social community.
A torn right biceps tendon will preclude Ricky Davis, chief mechanic of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Scott Dixon, from being one of the over-the-wall (outside right front) people for the remainder of the season. Blair Julian will move from the outside rear to the outside-front tire change, while Adam Rovazzini will move from inside rear to outside rear. Andy Snyder will serve as the inside rear tire changer.