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DATE News (chronologically)
08/11/11
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IndyCar Loudon Day 1 Notebook
The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225, a 225-lap race at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. The Firestone Indy Lights will contest the New Hampshire 100, a 100-lap race at 1:15 p.m. (EDT) Sunday.

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This is the fourth IZOD IndyCar Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but the first since 1998. Past winners at New Hampshire include Bobby Rahal (1992), Nigel Mansell (1993), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Andre Ribeiro (1995), Scott Sharp (1996), Robbie Buhl (1997) and Tony Stewart (1998).

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Drivers will have 20 total pushes of the Honda overtake assist - an ECU software alteration employed by Honda Performance Development - each lasting 12 seconds during the Edmonton Indy. 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. There is an 10-second recovery period between pushes. One overtake assist push is available for the final practice session.

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Each entry for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 receives 11 sets (44 total) of Firestone Firehawk tires for the race weekend, including three sets for Thursday's practice session that must be returned that day. The Firestone Firehawk tire specification is the same as used at The Milwaukee Mile in June. Each entry received 11 sets of Firehawks for the race weekend. Firestone conducted a tire test at the speedway last September. A single stagger of approximately

0.50 of an inch is available. Stagger is measured by the diameter difference between the right rear and left rear tires, with the right rear larger by design to make a race car naturally want to turn left.

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Pippa Mann was all of 8 years old when Bobby Rahal won the inaugural Indy car race at then-New Hampshire International Speedway on July 5, 1992.

Mann, who partly celebrated her 28th birthday Aug. 11 driving on the 1.025-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval in the No. 30 National Tire and Battery car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, doesn't press the point with the team co-owner.

I know better," she said.

Rahal dominated the race that was part of his CART championship season, leading 136 of 200 laps on the flat racetrack. It was reconfigured with variable banking (2 to 7 degrees) in the turns in 1992.

"This is a track that holds great memories for me, and any time you win the inaugural event at a track you are going to remember it fondly," said Rahal, who finished in the top 10 in each of his three races at the racetrack. "The next race I won was Nazareth, which is another mile-long track, and that was kind of the nail on the coffin so to speak for our championship.

"It was a great day for us. Any time you beat the Penske team and Newman/Haas it's always very satisfying.

"I love the one-mile ovals anyway, but I think New Hampshire is a very good one. I'm really glad IndyCar is back at that track because I think it produces great racing. The racing is just so phenomenal on the one mile tracks and we saw it again this year in Milwaukee, where I thought these guys put on a great show."

Mann, who made her IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 in a Conquest Racing-prepared car, will be back on the track Aug. 13 (Friday is an off-track day) for practice and qualifying.

"I have to remember that I am a rookie, and this is only my second event as opposed to everyone else who has been racing all year," she said.

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Team Penske will make its 1,300 start in open-wheel racing and Helio Castroneves is set make his 200th career Indy car start for the team.

Penske Racing first raced at New Hampshire in Trans-Am competition when Mark Donohue drove a Camaro Z28 at the venue then known as Bryar Motorsports Park on Aug. 6, 1967. It won the 1994 Indy car race with Al Unser Jr. behind the wheel. Teammate Emerson Fittipaldi started from the pole in that race.

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the site of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner Robbie Buhl's first INDYCAR victory (Aug. 17, 1997). … Chip Ganassi Racing Teams have finished on the podium 200 times in Indy car competition with the 1-2 Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. ... James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing car, is the Firestone Tire-ific Move of the Race winner for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio via voting on www.indycar.com. He led 26 laps.

***

While Ryan Hunter-Reay waited to meet the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , he took a few laps around the track on an iRacing version of his Honda-powered Dallara not far from the interview room.

"You don't get that crazy feel of rotation in the corner that you get in the IndyCar, but that's the only difference," said Hunter-Reay, who only turned five laps before having to get up midway through his sixth lap. "It's amazing how close the track is to what it really is out there. The seams, the lines, the reference points, all that stuff."

While his lap time wasn't as fast as the real thing, the Andretti Autosport driver was sold on joining some of the other IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers who use iRacing.

"I'm sure there's a lot of stuff with setup that you can work on," he said. " I didn't have a chance to tweak the car, but it was a lot of fun."

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Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR medical director: Pippa Mann has been checked and released from the infield care center. She is cleared to drive.

PIPPA MANN (No. 30 Rahal Letterman Racing): "We worked very hard throughout the morning on making the car better and the RLL guys made some really good changes to the car that felt like they were going to help us. We found some grip and some stability and were working on gathering speed over the bumps when we had our incident. I am disappointed but I know that the whole team will work very hard to get everything where we need it to be for Saturday's qualifying!"

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The cars of #10 Franchitti, #9 Dixon and #38 Rahal recorded laps faster than the IZOD IndyCar Series' fastest recorded lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The track record is 21.719 seconds set by Richie Hearn in Aug. 1996.
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