Category Archives: News

INDYCAR

NEW GARDEN TAKES A BIG TEXAS VICTORY

Newgarden came seemingly from nowhere to win the latest electrifying NTT IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 2019 championship leader fended off Alexander Rossi in a thrilling duel over the final 10 laps to capture the DXC Technology 600. Newgarden, in the No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Team Penske Chevrolet, won by 0.8164 of a second to collect his 13th career win, third this season and first on a superspeedway.

“Feels awesome to win here,” Newgarden said. “I knew we’d get it done here at some point. We’ve had fast cars (but) it never has materialized. Tonight, it happened.”

DXC TECHNOLOGY 600: Official race results

Starting seventh in the 22-car field, Newgarden didn’t lead until Lap 190 of the 248-lap event on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval. A lightning-quick final pit stop on Lap 198, accompanied by lightning-fast laps before and after the stop, put the 28-year-old Tennessean in position to retake the lead on the 202nd lap, and he never surrendered it.

“This win was down to the team,” Newgarden said. “I knew once we pitted and basically got back to where we were before the pit stop on the green-flag sequence, we had such a fuel advantage on everybody. If we could get to the lead, I could crank out super-quick laps and jump everybody. That’s what we did.

Rossi, driving the No. 27 GESS/Capstone Honda, ran second behind Newgarden for the final restart on Lap 236. Time and again in the closing laps, Rossi pulled alongside as the duo launched into Turn 1, but each time Newgarden kept the low line and held off the Andretti Autosport driver.

“I think we had a good car, could obviously get a good run on him off of (Turns) 3 and 4,” Rossi said. “Lane 2 (the outside line) was really never there for me. We could get halfway around the outside (but) would have to bail out.

“Ultimately, then it became about trying to beat him for the (start/finish) line. But we took out a lot of the tire life going in Lane 2 there, so we just didn’t have the rear tires there at the end to stay close to him. I didn’t see him up front all day. All of a sudden, he appears in P1, so obviously they’re doing a good job. He had a fast car once he got in front.”

Graham Rahal finished third, rookie Santino Ferrucci fourth and Ryan Hunter-Reay fifth. It marked the first time Americans swept the top five spots in an Indy car race since 2001 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, when Al Unser Jr., Mark Dismore, Sam Hornish Jr., Eddie Cheever and Robbie Buhl finished first through fifth.

Saturday’s race was the 31st for the NTT IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway, which has become home to some of the most exciting finishes in history since the track opened in 1997. This year’s event was no exception.

The race ran caution-free for more than the first half, until Zach Veach brushed the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2 on Lap 135. The No. 26 Gainbridge Honda did a 360-degree spin but Veach kept it off the wall and came to a stop in Turn 3 with only slight suspension damage and a flat tire.

The second caution occurred when James Hinchcliffe slid wide into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier on Lap 219. The final yellow waved when the cars of Scott Dixon and rookie Colton Herta touched while battling for third place in Turn 3 on Lap 229, sending both into the SAFER Barrier. All drivers were unhurt from the incidents.

The caution for the Dixon-Herta incident set up the shootout to the finish between Newgarden and Rossi.

“I knew he was going to be difficult to beat,” Newgarden said of Rossi. “He had a great car. He drove me clean, he drove me hard.

“I think we had enough power there from Chevy. Our car was handling well enough out front (that) we could get the job done, pretty much stay on the throttle as much as we needed to just to stay ahead of him.”

With the win, Newgarden extended his lead in the standings to 25 points over Rossi and 48 over Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, who finished sixth on Saturday.

Pole sitter Takuma Sato led the first 60 laps of the race until making his first pit stop in the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda. But the car slid into the pit stall and made contact with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing front tire changer Chris Welch. Sato was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for hitting a crewman. Welch was evaluated and released from the track’s infield care center.

FORMULA 1

FERRARI HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN CAN THEY HANDLE IT?

It had taken a third of a season, but Ferrari finally came to the party last night as a resurgent Sebastian Vettel seized his first pole position in 17 grands prix.

After three months of crushing dominance by Mercedes, the four-time world champion took full advantage of his car’s superiority here on Montreal’s long straights to edge out Lewis Hamilton and set up an absorbing duel between the pair in today’s race.

Not since Hockenheim last season has he started at the front, and this belated recovery of form at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he claimed a dominant victory last year, clearly filled him with relief.

“I’m full of adrenalin,” Vettel said, having wrested pole by 24 hundredths of a second. “Lewis is b—– good in qualifying, he’s a tough nut to crack. It was one of those laps when I truly felt the grip. Mercedes will be very quick over the race distance, but we will try everything. But just this once, the car felt better and better. It kept shouting, ‘Keep going.’ I wish I could go out and do it again.”

INDYCAR

TAKUMA SATO TAKES POLE IN TEXAS

Takuma Sato achieved a racing dream by winning the NTT P1 Award in DXC Technology 600 qualifying.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver circled Texas Motor Speedway at an average speed of 220.250 mph for two laps Friday evening in the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda. The 42-year-old veteran of nearly two decades competing in Formula One and the NTT IndyCar Series said winning the pole position at one of INDYCAR’s famous tracks made the accomplishment more special.

“Here in Texas, it’s kind of dreaming about it to be on pole,” Sato said. “I’ve been saying that to the guys, that this is one of the iconic tracks in the NTT IndyCar Series – high banking, very fast passing. … To be on pole is great.”

DXC TECHNOLOGY 600: Qualifying results

The pole was the ninth of Sato’s 10-year NTT IndyCar series career, second this season and first at Texas Motor Speedway. He’ll lead the 22-car field to the green flag in Saturday’s 248-lap race under the lights.

“Certainly the team gave us unbelievable speed in the car,” Sato said. “Just a phenomenal feeling to go that fast through the corners. In fact, I was keeping on the lower side of the range. The car is working extremely well.”

Scott Dixon, the defending Texas race winner and reigning series champion, will start alongside Sato on the front row. Dixon was second fastest in qualifying with two-lap average of 220.162 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Dixon fell short of winning the pole by less than 0.02 of a second over the three-mile run.

Takuma Sato passing zach Veach Texas Speedway. Photo: Chris Owens

“Don’t feel like we did too much wrong in that qual run,” said Dixon, a three-time winner at TMS. “(I) got a little bit loose in (Turns) 1 and 2 on the second lap; definitely scrubbed some speed. I think that could have been enough. We were actually bottoming in (Turns) 3 and 4 as well. Always a few things you can clean up, (but) great starting position for us.”

Honda-powered cars locked up the top four spots in qualifying. Sebastien Bourdais was third in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda (219.746 mph), his best qualifying effort in six tries at TMS. Ryan Hunter-Reay was fourth in the No. 28 DHL Honda (219.537 mph).

“I actually turned the fastest lap in qualifying on Lap 1 (220.443 mph),” Bourdais said. “I maybe pushed it a little far that lap, so we had a dropoff on Lap 2. I’m just really happy for the guys, they did a really good job.”

Simon Pagenaud led the Chevrolet brigade in qualifying. The pole sitter and winner of the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge two weeks ago was fifth fastest Friday at 219.355 mph in the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet. Spencer Pigot was sixth in the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy (219.099 mph).

F1Weekly podcast #791

THE HOST IS BEGINNING TO CRACK UNDER THE 2019 F1 STRAIN AND NASIR CONTINUES TO HAVE NOTHING BUT PRAISE FOR LCH AND THE AMG MERCEDES.
WE HAVE A FRESH NEW EPISODE OF “PEGLER’S PERSPECTIVE” SOME THOUGHTS ON THE MCLAREN INDIANAPOLIS MELTDOWN!

McLaren miss is one of the biggest failures in Indy 500 history. Roger Penske missed the show with Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1995, a year after dominating the race. Reigning CART champion Bobby Rahal missed it in 1993, and two-time Indy winner Rodger Ward never got up to speed to make the 1965 field.

“Rodger Ward @ Indianapolis, 1965, the 2X Indy 500 winner failed to qualify for the 1965 Indy 500, Ward’s worst finish in the Indy 500 ..

Gil de Ferran, the competition director for McLaren and a former Indy 500 winner, was gutted and apologized about a dozen times for the team’s failure. He also turned to Alonso and directly apologized to the driver during a news conference some two hours after they had been eliminated from the field.

“We didn’t give you a car that was fast enough. You drove like the champion you are. We couldn’t have asked anything more from you. I am sorry, man. You are an amazing driver,” de Ferran said. “We didn’t underestimate the challenge. We knew this was going to be a tremendously hard challenge. I’ve seen some incredible people not make the race so we certainly were very aware of how difficult this was going to be.”

Kaiser bumped Alonso by .02 mph in the “Last Row Shootout” to set the 33-driver field.

Play Podcast: 06-04-19f1weekly791.mp3

SONOMA SPEED FESTIVAL

SONOMA SPEED FESTIVAL DRAWS LEGENDARY RACECARS AND IMPRESSIVE ATTENDANCE TO SONOMA RACEWAY FOR INAUGURAL EVENT

Sonoma, Calif. (June 3, 2019) – The Sonoma Speed Festival hosted its inaugural event at Sonoma Raceway from May 31st to June 2nd, 2019 at Sonoma Raceway. The event highlighted over 300 of the world’s most iconic street and historic racing cars on track, alongside special demonstration runs from Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and others. Thousands of enthusiasts attended through the course of the event.
Guests enjoyed unprecedented access to a selection of the world’s most historic and valuable racing cars both on and off the track, with highlights including three Ferrari 250 GTOs, four ex-John Wyer Gulf Racing vehicles including two Ford GT40s and two Porsche 917Ks, the Lotus Type 77 driven by Mario Andretti, a rare one-of-ten McLaren F1 GTR Longtail and much more. Demonstration runs from Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport throughout the race weekend in the 2016 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 W07/04 Formula 1 car, driven by team test and simulator driver Esteban Gutierrez, yielded a fastest lap time of 1:15.430 on the “full-course” configuration, the fastest lap ever recorded on the circuit.
Off the track, event highlights included the gourmet Sip & Savor Pavilion, featuring exceptional wines from a wide variety of high-end California wineries and distilleries. This was coupled with the Food Park, offering guests unique chef demonstrations and distinctive delicacies. The Radwood display featured a curated selection of automotive icons from the 1980s and 1990s, including the Porsche 959, Audi Quattro, Skyline GT-R R33 and more.

The Driver’s Lounge Presented by Gooding and Co. offered race competitors and VIP guests a luxurious relaxation area with an exclusive view of the track. BringATrailer.com hosted a special Alumni Gathering at the event on Saturday, June 1 for over 75 distinctive collector vehicles previously bought or sold on its website.

“The inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival was a great success,” said Ryan R. Turri, General Manager of the Sonoma Speed Festival. “We’ve exceeded our expectations in almost every way, and we’re thrilled with the experience we were able to provide for our guests and participants. We’d like to send a huge thank you to all that attended this year’s event.”

Learn more about the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival on the event website and follow the action on Facebook and Instagram.

BAJA 500

ANDY MCMILLIN BLASTS HIS WAY INTO RECORD BOOKS WITH BAJA 500 WIN

Andy McMillin is celebrating his second big race victory of the year after winning the 51st edition of the SCORE Baja 500. McMillin started first on the grid due to his San Felipe 250 victory earlier in the year and he steered his Chevy Trophy Truck to another win in Mexico. The third Baja 500 triumph of McMillin’s excellent offroad career further underlines his legendary status in the sport.

McMillin arrived in the Baja Californian peninsula last week in a confident mood, thanks to securing his latest San Felipe 250 win in April. Next on his list of targets was to make it a hat-trick of Baja 500 wins by adding to his victories at the race in 2010 and 2017.

First place on the grid gave McMillin plenty of open road to aim at as he sped off the line on Saturday to complete the 487-mile (784km) route. Nine hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds later he was back at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada. None of his competitors had been able to pass McMillin and the chequered flag was his to claim.

“We did it again! Overall winners of the SCORE Baja 500! It’s a huge effort from our whole team, the pit crews, the chase teams, my family. It’s a huge effort by all of us to try to win these races.” – Andy McMillin

Finishing runner-up to Andy McMillin at the 2019 SCORE Baja 500 was his cousin Luke. Bryce Menzies battled from an 11th place start to bring his Ford Trophy Truck home in third place, but an hour time penalty for pitting on the pavement saw him later classified as the sixth placed Trophy Truck.

Winning the first two races of this year’s series puts Andy McMillin clear at the top of the SCORE International Offroad Racing points table. He’ll be back in Ensenada in September to try and make it three wins in a row at the inaugural SCORE Baja 400.