The month of May cannot come soon enough!
The month of May cannot come soon enough!
For those that have never been to Barber.
The place is a giant park. The virtual tour doesn't show it, but the paddock area behind the main straight it tiered into 3-4 levels.
I've been hearing rumors of the Indy 500 fielding less than 33 cars. Any truth?
Chevy and Honda say they can supply up to 14 each (28) plus spares. Lotus has 5 right now, supposed to be 6 by Indy. That makes 34. Cars aren't the problem. There's supposed to be 60 of the new Dallaras in the field. It's motors that's the issue here.
Maybe they'll allow DP01's in the Indy field but not score them for points... ;)
It's been tossed around but they don't want the old car going 228 and the new car going 220.
Although IMO it's too bad the new car is questionable on speed at IMS to the point that the old (Dallara) cars would not only be viable but likely faster. I would've like for them to have been grandfathered (at least with upgrades) to be allowed at Indy. At least that way they still had some future instead of being destined for the scrap heap.
Unlike most of the IMS brass I have no problem with Indy having a different set of rules over the rest of the series. Grandfathered cars... one off chassis... one off engines... I'm fine with. Just don't let any car that doesn't meet Indycar series rules be able to collect points.
If Penske thinks he can use the rulebook to make a Penske Special and run away with the Indy 500... fine... But he'd do it at the expense of points towards the championship.
Of course you do run the risk of someone showing up with a better car than the Dallara... Heh... And it's probably a fairly likely risk too.
If they get in a pinch, why not allow the "old" cars to qually 2nd weekend?
Your right. I was having flashbacks to the "old" days...Back when we had enough cars to need four days of time trials.
Andretti does 218 with a tow at IMS test with new car.
He says 216 was his best speed by himself.
Will Phillips says the cars will be over 220MPH for qualifying.
Barring some major change to the car/engine I'm going to predict 218 if conditions are good and the week of practice is not interrupted too much (if at all) by weather ... and I'm really leaning towards 217 something.
I think they are going to be hard pressed to find 2MPH let alone 4MPH to get Phillips' prediction of over 220.
I would agree. There's a lot of drag to overcome.
Another little nugget:
SPEAKING OF LOTUS
John Judd Jr. took exception this paragraph in this week’s (Robin Miller)commentary (on SPEED.com) on the Barber race:
"Not only is the Lotus/Judd engine strapped for cash and shy on horsepower (by an estimated 50 compared to Honda and Chevrolet), it’s a rarity right now because there are only five of them for their five drivers.’’
"What you have reported is un-true, we are not strapped for cash. There is no evidence that the Lotus engine is 50 HP down on Honda and Chevy. It would not have been possible for Lotus cars to maintain position or overtake other cars in the races were that to be the case.
"And there are more than five engines in circulation. Spare engines were available throughout the weekend at St. Pete and Barber. I would be grateful if you would retract these false statements.’’
I'm calling :bs: cause:
"Of the nine teams that took part in the (Indy) test, five had Chevrolet engines and four had Hondas. The series' third engine manufacturer, Lotus, skipped the test because it hasn't built an adequate inventory of engines.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Lotus' absence was not a major cause for concern.
"Lotus has told us they are six to eight weeks behind," he said. "We're going to give them every opportunity to succeed. They're working hard."
The new car will have been used in four road/street course events before Indy, but the 500 will be its oval-track debut." - Courtesy of Kurt Cavin at the Indy Star.
Which is it gonna be folks? Also, the same Star article mentioned that the engines used in the Indy test were going to be used at Long Beach, so nobody wanted to stress them too hard. I find it a little :censored: disturbing that the series wanted them to test at Indy and they can't get a little relief on the engine policy. I'm going to look into this, stay tuned...
Because it came up earlier here's the engine rule explained:
"The engine issues that befell Simona de Silvestro and Alex Tagliani during the St. Pete race warranted a bulletin from INDYCAR clarifying its engine change rules. De Silvestro encountered an engine failure in the race—it wasn’t catastrophic, but did prevent her from finishing the race.
Per rule 15.6.1, she wasn’t penalized because the failure happened in the race. After the race, Lotus found a worrisome trend in the engine data from Tagliani’s car and called for an engine change.
Tagliani’s Team Barracuda BHA team was assessed a 10-spot grid penalty because the change, although rooted in a problem that manifested itself in the race, did not prevent him from crossing the finish line.
INDYCAR’s bulletin made it clear that finishing the race eliminates the use of Rule 15.6.1 to escape the 10-spot penalty (and before the 1850-mile usage minimum has been hit).
Tagliani dropped out on Lap 1 at Barber with an engine-related problem, but it’s likely he’ll avoid a penalty. His Barber issue was attributed to a rather simple fuel pump drive failure, which, according to Rule 15.4.2, is eligible for repair and re-use. Provided it’s fixed and put back in the car for Long Beach, Tag will start wherever he qualifies."
Here's the answer on the engines for the Indy test from RM...
The idea is to make each engine last 1,850 miles between changes to reduce
costs but it's silly to think anybody is going to run a bunch of laps with
and I think the engines are scarce until May
Also, AGR blew one and almost blew another at the Sonoma test.
I was going to post some more of my thoughts on the engine change rule but Marshall Pruett has beat me to it (pardon the poem):
Forgetting its F1 origins for a moment, why am I not shocked that a roundtable...dominated by engine manufacturers...agrees to an engine rule that penalizes the drivers and teams, rather than the makers of the engines? I genuinely laugh every time I think about how this probably went down:
INDYCAR: “OK, group, how do we want to handle things when your engines blow up before they reach the minimum mileage we’ve stated? Penalizing you guys would be too obvious, so let’s say we stick it to the drivers by, I don’t know, say…10 grid positions?”
MANUFACTURERS: “BRILLIANT! We couldn’t have come up with a better plan if we’d tried!”
INDYCAR: “Well that was surprisingly easy. Next!”
This rule and penalty needs rethought immediately IMHO. It's penalizing drivers, sponsors, and fans.
Agree. It may have to wait until the supply overcomes the demand, though. I understand the spirit of the rule, but it's not working that way in real life.
If the engines were mature and reliable then the rule could make some sense to keep a lid on costs as well as keep teams from running qualifying engines, always racing on a fresh engine, etc.... But as it is teams are being penalized for the engines' growing pains and worse- the engine manufacturers aren't really penalized at all.
On top of that.... If you blow an engine in a race it's no penalty but if you blow it in testing it's a penalty? Yet, the chassis and engines need testing because they are new.
Somebody missed the boat on the implementation of this rule IMHO. The idea might be good but the timing of it and actual implementation is bad.
It's something they cabbaged off of F1. If we were dealing with in house engines, etc, etc, etc. It might make a bit of sense. Needs to change ASAP.
Chevrolet to change all 11 of its IndyCar Series engines
LOS ANGELES -- As James Hinchcliffe landed here today, he learned of Chevrolet’s decision to change all 11 of its Izod IndyCar Series engines for this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
It was his engine that put the changes in motion. In testing Monday at Infineon Raceway, Hinchcliffe’s Andretti Autosport machine quit on him.
Now, all the Chevrolet teams will be in a predicament heading to Sunday’s race. An IndyCar rule new for this season says that engine changes before the mileage minimums -- 1,850 miles -- have expired causes the driver to start 10 positions farther back than he qualifies.
That means that no Chevrolet will start higher than 11th Sunday.
“It’s probably better for me,” Hinchcliffe said, smiling. “It’s obviously something that (Chevrolet officials) feel has to be done. I guess we’ll all deal with it. It’s going to make for some interesting strategies.”
Chevrolet’s program includes Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, Andretti drivers Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, KV Racing Technology’s Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and EJ Viso, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Ed Carpenter and Panther Racing’s JR Hildebrand.
Chevrolet-powered drivers won both poles and both races to start the season. This will be the third event.
Practice on the Long Beach streets begins Friday with qualifying Saturday.
That is most interesting! I'm sure Honda won't follow suit, but way to put pressure on the series!
Add 3 more Lotus cars with possibly Legge as the 14th car to get a 10 spot penalty.
Should make for one hell of a race then!