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Overheard at Indy Toronto - FridayUPDATE Honda is expected to soon announce its third team, pairing with Ganassi Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing. Andretti Autosport appears headed for Chevrolet, which if true confirms our rumor from Toronto below.
07/08/11 It was a beautiful day here in Toronto, Ontario Canada where the IndyCar series is gathered for their silver anniversary - the 25th year racing on the streets around Exhibition Place.....We hear that Firestone will start testing of the new IndyCar in August with no change to their tires, but will make design changes if warranted.......As for the rumored NASCAR Nationwide Montreal race going away, we hear it is all politics to scare the government into thinking they won't be back........Still no date set for the start of testing for the 2012 IndyCar, but we hear mid to late August. We are still hearing that the Honda engine will be the first one tested. We also hear that Chevy will soon announce their second team (Team Penske already announced as their anchor team) and although nothing has been announced or rumored, our gut tells us it will be Andretti Autosports. And speaking of engines, we hear Cosworth has had serious talks with Fiat, which could mean the engine would be badged a Fiat, Alfa Romeo, or perhaps a Dodge......Spotted ex-CART team manager Steve Horne in the paddock and he tells AR1.com that he is not actively looking to land a job with a team or the IndyCar Series itself, but he's willing to listen to offers. "I like what I see happening in this series says Horne, who enjoys sailing as a stress buster. Later we spotted Horne in the KV Racing Pit Box with KV Racing headphones on. Hmm..........
Still hearing that Danica Patrick is all but signed, sealed and delivered to NASCAR next year.....Chatted briefly with Ryan Hunter-Reay who is helping to try and make the rumored Ft. Lauderdale, Florida race a reality. "We are still on track," said Hunter-Reay. "It will be a nice course running along A1A then turn toward the Intercoastal Waterway, run parallel to the waterway before turning back toward A1A and the beach......One reason KV Racing has made a step forward this year is the hiring of Ex-Penske man Tom Wurtz as Team Manager. We hear he's very good with race logistics........Ryan Briscoe is in the PPG sponsored Penske car this weekend and his teammate Helio Castroneves is in the bright yellow Penske Trucking car. Paul Tracy is in the Make A Wish Foundation car no. 8. Spotted ex-Champ Car driver Katherine Legge wandering the paddock with her manager still looking to land a ride......Teams tell us they are still concerned about the cost of the new body kits ($70K per car per kit) and some think that if the manufacturers want to run their body kits for brand identity starting at Indy then they should give them to the teams for free.....And perhaps the biggest, and best rumor the day is word that NBC is aggressively pursuing the 2013 TV deal to televise all the IndyCar races, including the Indy 500. With Versus being rebranded as NBC Sports and moved to a lower tier package on cable, look for as many as 50% of the races on NBC and 50% on NBC Sports with good cross-promotion between the two. Mark C. reporting from Toronto.
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