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IndyCar: Overheard at Watkins Glen - Bourdais to Coyne and more (5th Update) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement that Sebastien Bourdais will drive for Dale Coyne Racing again in 2017 as well as our earlier rumor that Coyne would be beefing up his engineering staff as well.. See Hot News for more details.
10/09/16 Dale Coyne has confirmed that Sebastien Bourdais is on the brink of being announced as a DCR driver in 2017, and is set to make his return to the team in the eight-car test on the Gateway oval this Thursday.
The four-time Champ Car title-winner has been linked with Coyne since late August, when his former engineer at Newman/Haas Racing, Craig Hampson, departed Andretti Autosport for Coyne's Plainfield, Ill. - based squad.
Bourdais has raced for Coyne in the past – a partial season in 2011 – before joining Dragon Racing's now defunct IndyCar team, for whom he scored three podium finishes in 2013.
HONG KONG – Nelson Piquet Jr. hopes that he can secure some one-off appearances in the Verizon IndyCar Series with KVSH Racing in 2017 to sweeten a possible deal to race for James “Sulli” Sullivan’s team in Red Bull Global Rallycross.
Season one FIA Formula E champion Piquet expressed his desire to get a seat in IndyCar to NBC Sports in July, having previously tested with Team Penske in September 2015.
The Brazilian raced the full 2014 and 2015 Red Bull GRC seasons for SH Rallycross/DRR, headed up by Sullivan, and most recently returned for a three-race stint this year from Washington, D.C. through Seattle.
AR1.com readers will know we have told you Graphene is coming and when manufacturing costs come down it will change the world. As more and more graphene gets added to EV batteries, fossil fuel burning cars will slowly become obsolete
Henrik Fisker on Tuesday launched a new car brand called Fisker, the name the Danish designer and entrepreneur used for his previous car brand, the failed Fisker Automotive.
Whereas Fisker Automotive focused on extended-range electric cars, the new Fisker will focus on pure, battery-powered electrics, making it a direct rival for Tesla.
Where Fisker hopes to stand out is battery durability and range. Early performance estimates for Fisker's battery, which the company is developing via its own subsidiary Fisker Nanotech, is a range of over 400 miles and durability that lasts the life of the car.
The sooner all diesel vehicles are off our roads the better. All fossil fuel burning cars produce pollutants that kill us, none more than diesels.
Since news broke that Volkswagen's diesel engines used cheating software to dodge emissions requirements, the automaker has been unable to sell diesel vehicles in the States. The company is still confident it can settle the scandal by the end of this year, but even if it can, the consequences will still be costly. It also looks increasingly like the automaker will never offer diesels in the U.S. again.
Rossi to stay at Andretti, Kanaan to stay at Ganassi (5th Update) UPDATE
Rossi can hear The Captain calling
This rumor is now upgraded back to 'strong' today. With today's announcement that Rossi re-signed with Andretti-Herta for 2017, and with both Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan possibly looking at 2017 as their last year in IndyCar, it is expected that Rossi will replace either Castroneves or Kanaan in 2018.
Given the fact that Rossi has had discussions with Team Penske, and probably with Ganassi, if Herta and Andretti have any hope of keeping the Rookie Of The Year and Indy 500 winner beyond 2017 the team is going to have to give him a winning car in 2017 or we suspect he will be gone. How do you say no when 'The Captain' comes calling?
Every race car driver's reflexes slow as they age, and even the greatest drivers of all time started to slow once they reached 40 years old. To still be competing at 40 is old for most sports. By that age it's time to get out and IndyCar has several drivers who are facing the inevitable, including Montoya, Castroneves, Kanaan and soon Scott Dixon (we predict 2019 or 2020 for him). That's 4-prime IndyCar seats up for grabs. With Newgarden expected to replace Montoya in 2017, it's expected Rossi's chance will come in 2018.
Helio's contract with Team Penske has expired. It is rumored that he will get a 1-year renewal for a proper 2017 'Farewell Tour' at which time, Alexander Rossi, who only signed with Andretti-Herta for next year, will be brought in to replace him in 2018 says AR1.com
Helio Castroneves doesn't buy the perception that, as a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, he has a ride with Team Penske for as long as he wants.
But the Brazilian sounds optimistic about returning to drive for Roger Penske in 2017. While much of the team's offseason buzz has centered on the future of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, Castroneves is also at the end of a contract.
"We're still having conversations and I have to say that where I'm at today, it's been incredible with Team Penske and anything I'm going to do, first I'm going to talk to Roger," Castroneves said during the Verizon IndyCar Series 2916 finale weekend at, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Raceway.
"I feel that R.P., (team president Tim) Cindric and the rest of the guys, if they didn't like me they would say right away with a straight face, which I hope they do like me. The thing is, I enjoy working with a team that gives me this equipment and I feel this marriage is still working. Even though we didn't win this championship with me, we won a championship together."
Roger Penske believes free agent Josef Newgarden would be a "great fit" for his IndyCar team and hopes to finalize his 2017 lineup, either with the 25-year-old or possibly current driver Juan Pablo Montoya returning, within the next few weeks writes Brant James of USA Today.
Penske told USA TODAY Sports before the Chase for the Sprint Cup NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday that, "I think there's been conversation going on, yes," with the three-race winner formerly of Ed Carpenter Racing. Penske noted, however, that Newgarden may not necessarily push out Montoya, a 41-year-old former series champion. Montoya won the 2015 Indianapolis 500 but slumped to ninth in points this season after pacing most of the previous campaign but finishing second to Scott Dixon.
The future of automobiles is 100% electric. There is now no question of that. So if IndyCar thinks it has to have engines relevant to street cars (how silly) then the next generation of IndyCar power had better be electric motors. Which will be horribly boring. When F1 had screaming engines and was terribly exciting, they had zero relevance to street cars. But this is the mental midget thinking of today, and Tesla has proven an electric car can smoke any internal combustion powered car. So IndyCar has no choice, based on mental midget thinking, but to switch to electric engines. Formula E on steroids
Jay Frye says the ongoing quest for a third automobile manufacturer in the Verizon IndyCar Series could lead to a change of engine specification within three to four years writes David Malsher of Motorsport.
The 2.2-liter [134 cu.in.] V6 twin-turbo engines currently specified by IndyCar were introduced along with the Dallara DW12 for the start of the 2012 season.
However there have been two sides to the argument about whether retaining that specification would increase or decrease the appeal of IndyCar to a third OEM [original equipment manufacturer] alongside Honda and Chevrolet.
Some believe that the five-year headstart by HPD and Ilmor with the current engines could intimidate potential participant OEMs from joining the series. Others, notably Chevrolet's Mark Kent, believe that a small-capacity, direct injection, turbocharged engine spec is highly relevant to all mainstream car brands and therefore makes the series more appealing.
Frye, IndyCar's president of competition and operations, told Motorsport.com: "Chevrolet and Honda are phenomenal partners and have been very active and involved in everything we've been doing to date. They're very aware of how this plan would work, and they recognize how helpful it would be to themselves and to the Verizon IndyCar Series to have another OEM involved.
"There are certain deadlines and dates we're targeting that, once they are set in stone, would allow everyone to know what is happening next. The engine formula won't change in 2017 or '18 but maybe the first opportunity for change would be 2019 or '20.
Rossi to re-sign with Andretti Autosport for 2017 (7th Update) UPDATE Andretti Autosport said in a release to USA TODAY Sports that contrary to media reports from racer.com earlier Saturday, Indianapolis 500-winner Alexander Rossi has not yet agreed to return to the team in 2017.
The 25-year-old IndyCar rookie of the year considered a return to Formula 1 after his landmark first series win "opened many doors," but began indicating in recent months his affinity for IndyCar.
Possible changes being discussed for NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017
NASCAR met with team managers from the Xfinity Series on Friday to discuss upcoming changes to the tour for 2017 writes Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com.
On the table is a test for early October at Indianapolis Motor Speedway using restrictor plates in an effort to decrease horsepower to the 400 hp range for the 2.5-mile track. NASCAR currently uses restrictor plates at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
The Chairman of Peugeot has revealed that two of the three conditions for the French automaker's return to LMP1 competition have been met, although a potential future FIA World Endurance Championship program is still some ways from being confirmed.
Speaking with Endurance-Info in an exclusive interview, PSA chief Carlos Tavares admitted that rising costs in the top prototype ranks is still the major roadblock for the green light to be given on a factory effort.
"I have given three conditions for Peugeot's possible return to endurance racing," Tavares told Endurance-Info.
IndyCar and F1 Silly Seasons gone wild (Update) UPDATE Many updates to our 2017 IndyCar and F1 Silly Season pages - check them out.
09/04/16 With Jenson Button and Felipe Massa announcing they are retiring after this year the F1 Silly Season has blown wide open as teams make room for young blood.
A similar cleansing of the old timers in IndyCar has thrown their Silly Season wide open, with Bourdais leaving KVSH for Dale Coyne, Juan Montoya likely out at Penske (replaced by Josef Newgarden) and possibly going to KVSH Racing, and two drivers still unsigned at Andretti Autosport, next year can look very different in IndyCar.
We have made significant updates to our 2017 IndyCar and F1 Silly Season pages.
Apple May Team Up With Magna Steyr For Car Project Yet another Apple Car rumor! Apple may be on the verge of striking a deal with Magna Steyr to help produce its upcoming car.
Founded in 2001 and part of the Magna International ground, Magna Steyr is an Austrian-based contract auto manufacturer which helps numerous carmakers to build vehicles.
In fact, Magna currently produces cars for the likes of BMW, Aston Martin and Volkswagen, helping to ease production bottlenecks for those firms. Soon, it will help build two models from the Jaguar Land Rover portfolio and Apple could be next.
Cook should just buy Tesla and be done with it. Make Musk head of the innovation department, because Cook has zero skill in that regard and Musk is Steve Job's alter ego
Apple, which laid off dozens of employees from its secretive car project this month, is increasingly seeking help from outside companies with expertise in vehicles.
Apple has been talking with McLaren, the automaker known for its Formula One racecars, about an investment in the company, according to two people briefed on the talks who asked to remain anonymous because the discussions were confidential.
Apple is also in talks with Lit Motors, a San Francisco start-up that has developed an electric self-balancing motorcycle, about a potential acquisition, according to three people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversations were private. Apple has already hired several former Lit Motors engineers writes Daisuke Wakabayashi and Brian X. Chen of the NY Times.
NJ/NY F1 race back in the picture? For AUTOWEEK, Christian Sylt wrote Leo Hindery "could be back in the picture" to put an East Coast Formula 1 race on the schedule. Carey said, "We are excited about the opportunity to continue to grow and expand in places like the Americas." The long-overdue race in New Jersey "could be in prime position to benefit from this."
The Hunter-Reay/DHL part of this rumor is now 'fact'. They just announced that DHL will sponsor Ryan Hunter-Reay through 2020 - a 4 year deal. Very significant.
9/18/2016 The commitment that DHL / Andretti / RHR are making to each other is extraordinary in IndyCar. It bodes well for IndyCar (DHL is #108 on Fortune 500 Global List!, involved heavily in F1, & Sports) for them to make the type of commitment this far in advance is a very strong vote of confidence in IndyCar as well as AAS and Hunter-Reay to deliver real ROI on and off the track.
9/17/2016 - According to AR1.com sources, Andretti Autosport is making a very substantial announcement Sunday - and after they do we don't think anyone in the paddock will be able to claim the long term stability of their #28 entry (other than Roger Penske who has the financial ability to buys wins) or the teams acknowledgment (or commitment) to Hunter-Reay to their recent, or future success. Announcement will be significant, and positive, for IndyCar, Andretti & Hunter-Reay. Mark C. reporting
9/17/2016 AR1 spoke with many drivers this weekend that are looking for future rides. Oriol Servia, Tristan Vautier, JR Hildebrand and Gaby Chaves have all been walking around working on a deal. There are not many rides to be had since we only have so many seats to fill. Lucille Dust reporting from Sonoma
9/17/2016 Since it is silly season, we have have more rumors to report.
Schmidt Petersen Racing will likely retain James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin for next season. Aleshin has stated that he loves the level of IndyCar competition over Formula One, where you already know who is going to win. He has twice been close to winning this season, first at Mid-Ohio, where he lead the most laps until an incident in his final pit stop cost him the victory and then at Pocono, where he won the pole but finished second. Schmidt expects Aleshin's sponsor SMP to return for the 2017 season. And whenever Schmidt has asked for an increase in the budget, they have complied.
Also overheard is that team owner Sam Schmidt may expand to a third car because Hinchcliffe's primary sponsor, Arrow, is considering funding a second car. Arrow has created a specially equipped car for Schmidt, who is a quadriplegic after a devastating testing crash in 2000 in Orlando, Florida. Arrow's technology has allowed Schmidt to drive a passenger car over 60 MPH controlled solely by his head movements. Arrow Electronics is an American Fortune 500 company that specializes in distribution and value added services relating to electronic components and computer products.
We have also heard that Schmidt has contacted Derrick Walker about purchasing his race shop in Indianapolis. When Walker "resigned" as IndyCar's President of Competition and Operations in 2015, he stated that he had unfinished business with IndyCar and desired to return to the series at the team level. Schmidt may also need Walker to help manage the team should his team expand to three cars.
If they expand to three cars, we are not sure who the potential driver would be. Maybe one of his current Indy Lights driver might move up. Lucille Dust reporting for AR1.com
Dallara also designs the hapless Haas anti-American team's car
(GMM) Rumors are swirling that Ferrari is set to collaborate with Dallara, a specialist Italian race car manufacturer.
"Contact with Dallara? Yes, there was," confirmed Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, according to La Repubblica.
"We are planning to re-launch the Emilian motor valley to be able to answer the challenge posed by the English motor valley, where in a few kilometers there are the factories of Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Renault, Force India and Manor," he said.
(GMM) It's not just 'silly season' in the F1 driver camp.
British newspapers - including the Times, Guardian and Telegraph - are all reporting that, with Liberty Media taking over and Bernie Ecclestone's existing role in doubt, the leadership of the sport could be split into two.
The two arms would be sporting and commercial, and former McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is being mentioned as a leading candidate for the sports job.
Rick Brenner not opposed to a return of IndyCar at MIS
A college football game at Brooklyn's Michigan International Speedway?
Maybe the return of the Verizon IndyCar Series to the two-mile oval in the Irish Hills?
Newly appointed MIS president Rick Brenner, a former minor league baseball executive, won't overlook any idea "that makes sense" to the speedway and the region, he said Monday in a teleconference writes Mike Brudenell, Detroit Free Press.
Carlos Slim to buy Force India team, to become Mexican team UPDATE With Guenter Steiner making statements that he is willing to race more Ferrari youngsters if asked, and with Carlos Slim rumored to be buying Force India how long before it's announced Esteban Gutierrez leaves Haas and races alongside fellow Mexican Sergio Perez for Force India...nee Team Mexico?
Carlos Slim to buy Force India?
09/08/16 (GMM) Sergio Perez is staying with Force India, amid rumors in Mexico that his backers may even buy the Silverstone based team.
It is now considered an open secret that, despite flirting with Renault, the on-form Perez is actually staying with Force India for 2017.
"The new contract is signed," sporting boss Otmar Szafnauer now confirms to Auto Motor und Sport. "He stays with us next year."
Liberty Media Looks To Acquire Controlling Interest In F1 instead of IndyCar (3rd Update)UPDATE This rumor is fact - the deal is done. See Hot News. IndyCar's loss is F1's gain.
Is Bernie starting rumors to get John Malone to cough up more money?
The sale of Formula 1 to Liberty Media Corporation is not yet guaranteed because the group still faces competition from other interested parties, Autosport understands writes Ian Parkes.
Speculation on Sunday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix suggested F1's current majority shareholder private equity company CVC Capital Partners was poised to end its 10-year involvement by selling its 35.5% stake, with a deal possible as soon as Tuesday.
But sources suggest negotiations will go on longer, not least because there remain two other potential buyers still in the running.
Visit Florida Racing Closing in on Multimatic-Riley LMP2 Deal Visit Florida Racing’s 2017 Prototype effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is likely to be with a Multimatic-Riley chassis, either as a Mazda DPi or with the LMP2-spec Gibson engine.
Multiple sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that the Troy Flis-owned team is closing in on a deal with the Canadian-American constructor for its planned single-car effort in the WeatherTech Championship next year, with the goal of securing a factory-backed effort with Mazda.
Rebellion Racing could make the switch to a different powerplant for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, as part of its planned two-car LMP1 Privateer effort with an evolution of its Rebellion R-One cars.
The Anglo-Swiss team, which has scaled back to a single AER-powered entry for the remainder of this season, has explored multiple options, including Nissan’s V6 turbo from its now-defunct GT-R LM NISMO program, according to team manager Bart Hayden.
Dale Coyne Racing to have stout engineering team in 2017
According to AR1.com sources look for Dale Coyne Racing to be a formidable team in 2017. Big things are happening behind the scenes.
Our sources say that Craig Hampson will join the team as the engineer for the Sebastien Bourdais car. One reason why rookie RC Enerson is running so well right out of the box is highly respected engineer Kyle Brannan who joined the team this year. And Michael Canon is engineering the Conor Daly car and the car has been fairly competitive considering the aerodynamic penalty the Hondas have.
Will the 'little team that could', Dale Coyne Racing, be a force to be reckoned with in 2017?
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