28 February 2010

It's Real

Rumors of the new Indycar.com are apparently true.  Head over there now, and check out the splash page.

I'd anticipate seeing something tomorrow, kicking off the 13 days until the beginning of the Izod IndyCar season.

25 February 2010

Stirring the Pot

Over at The Silent Pagoda, they've revealed the sixth chassis choice for the future of the Izod IndyCar Series.

And while Senor Hobbson provides the snark that the series so desperately leads, one must consider still another source for the future chassis of the Izod IndyCar Series: New Zealand.

In last the few years, New Zealand has given us the following:
mainstream bungee jumping, the haka, the Haast Eagle, and now....(drumroll please).....

23 February 2010

It's a Small World After All

Tony Johns at Pop Off Valve posed the question via his twitter account:
Here's a question: do fans want more Americans, or is being Anglo-Saxon good enough? (see: @JustinWilson22, @PippaMann, etc.)
And I think it's a legitimate question.  With the first day of the Barber Test, along with the first real media availability of the Izod IndyCar Series drivers, it's worth noting that only three full-time series drivers (as of right now) are from North America - Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick and Alex Tagliani.

The twitter has been buzzing about this, as Paul Tracy has railed against it a time or two today.

So, with Johns' question in mind, what do I want from the Izod IndyCar Series as it relates to its drivers?  Is a series of talented international drivers acceptable, or must more Americans remain involved in the sport in order to hold my interest?

16 February 2010

De Ferran Merges with Luczo Dragon

Despite not being able to find sponsorship for the IZOD IndyCar Series team he hoped to start, Gil de Ferran has merged his operation with Luczo Dragon Racing.

Good move for both parties, I would think.  de Ferran is able to stay involved in IndyCar racing, as the President of the merged company, while Luczo Dragon gets an experienced and successful hand in the racing operations side.

UPDATE: It's been decided.  Instead of a generic Luczo Dragon/de Ferran Motorsports team name, they shall henceforth be called "Defcon Racing."  As you were.

14 February 2010

Who Doesn't Resurface a Track in 30 Years?

I try to avoid NASCAR at all costs - unless the Daytona 500 or Brickyard 400 are on.  And even on Sunday, I stayed away from Daytona, because in all honesty, attempting to rig the car so that gigantic packs of cars are bunched together in order to create a large wreck (whether they admit it or not) doesn't necessarily appeal to me.

Anyways, at some point between flipping the channels, I noticed the red flag on the race and figured there was a wreck.  To find out that a pothole caused a two-hour delay brought a chuckle.

Seriously, with all the pomp and circumstance NASCAR heaps upon itself, how do you not pave the "crown jewel" of the sport in 30 years?

In this instance, kudos to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for actually investing in the track and area - they've resurfaced the track at least twice in the last 15 years.  Just another instance in which the reality of IndyCar is trumped by the hype of NASCAR, I suppose.

10 February 2010

Four Chassis Enter, One Chassis Leaves

Ok, Delta Wing has rolled out their 2012 concept car for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

They now join
Dallara and Swift for publicly revealing what they think the future of the IndyCar Series should look like.  Lola has rolled out a proposal, but no images thus far. 

Now, I won't debate the asthetics of the car for the most part, but I do wonder how Swift's exposed engine fairs in the event of an accident.  Seems like a lot of small parts thrown onto the track (and given the series' propensity for long caution periods already, that could increase them).

The DeltaWing appears to have been a cross between the Batmobile and one of the Austin Powers' "Johnson" jokes.  Could you not see Clint Howard referring to this in one of those movies?

With public reaction rolling in quite swiftly (here, here and here), I can't really say I prefer this car over the proposals from Dallara and Swift.  In fact, with the anti-Delta Wing reaction the car is quickly getting, it makes it easier for Brian Barnhardt to dismiss the project and focus on the other three proposals.

I continue to remain skeptical that a decision hasn't already been hinted at, with Dallara's declaration that they will build their chassis in Speedway.  Yes, I wish that all four (well, maybe three) chassis would be on the grid, but it won't happen, unfortunately.

So now we wait and see who emerges victorious from Barnhardt's Thunder Dome.

For more images, including simulations of the Delta Wing from various tracks, visit the Delta Wing web site here.

05 February 2010

Nobody Puts Indycar In A Corner

(Unless it's Dallara.  Or IndyCar does it to themselves.)

Marshall Pruett touched on it in this article on SpeedTV.com, but I'm not sure he entirely tapped into what appears to be going on within the IZOD IndyCar Series.  With Dallara's announcement that if chosen to build the 2012 IndyCar chassis, they will build in Speedway, I believe they have either put the IndyCar Series into a corner, or have had the wheels greased in advance of an announcement.

In any case, it doesn't look good from a public perception.Look at it this way: just yesterday, the IndyCar Series put out a list of qualifications and standards for the 2012 chassis.  Later in the day, and into today, multiple pictures of the Dallara chassis hit the Internet, in advance of the Delta Wing debut next Wednesday.

Dallara Gets a Jump on the Competition

By now, most of you have seen Dallara's three proposals for their future IndyCar chassis.  While I prefer the one pictured, it doesn't mean that the other two are without merit.

Number 1, at first glimpse, strikes me as an "Indycar." 

However, I can understand why some like design Number 2 - as George Phillips remarks, it resembles more of a Champ Car design.  I will disagree with OilPressure.com though, that the second design doesn't allow for more sponsorship room. 

If you look at #1, the sponsorship panels are similar to what currently exists; on #2, the sidepods are smaller, but the area just above the sidepods - the sloped part - is larger - potentially allowing for larger sponsorship paneling (though the vent could be a problem).

Honestly, I could see the Delta Wing project (scheduled to be unveiled next week), resembling Dallara design #2, in terms of the sloping sidepod.

(I'm not going to cover design #3 - I don't like it, and I can only hope it doesn't get past this stage of Dallara's proposals.)

And while the IZOD IndyCar Series has created a list of requirements for chassis manufacturers - Lola, Swift, Delta Wing and Dallara - I'd like to see the series consider multiple chassis and multiple engine manufacturers.  Yes, costs would likely rise.  But the debates between fans over chassis/engine packages would rise, and at the heart of the IndyCar Series are these debates and the engineering that goes into developing a car.

Still, if Dallara fulfills their promise to relocate to the Indianapolis area (and there's plenty of space available in Speedway, courtesy of the Speedway Redevelopment Project), in order to bring some of the cost down, I can't see a scenario in which a Dallara model is not chosen to be the future of the series.  I just hope that additional chassis are let in, as well, creating competition down the road.

02 February 2010

The Poms Unite

Dreyer and Reinbold Racing has announced that Justin Wilson and Mike Conway will be their two-driver team in 2010.  Conway drove (often off the track) for DRR in 2009, while Wilson will always be the answer to the question, "Who was the only non-Penske/Ganassi driver to win in 2009?"

According to the release, Wilson brings his Z-Line Designs sponsorship to DRR, which leaves Dale Coyne Racing without a primary sponsor for the No. 18 machine.

Last year, Tomas Scheckter drove for Coyne at Indianapolis with his Mona Vie sponsorship; I wonder if they might reunite in the No. 18 car, while Coyne looks to fill the No. 19 Boy Scout machine as well (please just give the ride to J.R. Hildebrand).

Given that they have two Englishmen driving, I think we'll refer to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as "Poms United" for the 2010 season, in tribute to the English Premier League.