Andretti Autoport Fields Three Cars For The Indy Lights Test

Andretti Autosport Sheild
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT TO FIELD THREE AT SEVENTH ANNUAL CHRIS GRIFFIS MEMORIAL OPEN TEST
Honoring Chris Griffis, Andretti Autosport Takes to the Road Course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for This Weekend’s Mazda Road to Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test
INDIANAPOLIS (October 20, 2017) – Three drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Andretti Autosport’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Dallara IL-15 cars this weekend for the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test.
With over 40 drivers representing 12 countries in 2016’s test, Australian Anthony Martin, 2017 Pro Mazda Championship runner-up and 2016 USF2000 Championship winner, will join Colton Herta and Ryan Norman at the test, piloting Andretti Autosport’s Indy Lights machines around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.Debuting in 2011, the test honors Chris Griffis, a longtime member of the motorsports community who led the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/ Curb-Agajanian Indy Lights organization before passing unexpectedly in September 2011.

The two-day event will feature all three tiers of the Mazda Road to Indy on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course Circuit Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22. This year’s test will have live timing available through IndyCar.com, IndyLights.com and the RoadtoIndyTV app.

Colton Herta 
“I think the test is going to be interesting. Hopefully, the weather plays out nicely. You can switch up pretty quickly from cold to hot this time of year, and we hope to have weather on our side. Indy was a place where, I think, we struggled for race pace, so I’m looking forward to getting back and seeing what we can do. I’m super excited to get the testing going. I think we just need to get the balance right – that’s the main thing. Hopefully, we can get the balance sorted out and more to my liking. We had great qualifying pace at Indy, we qualified P2 there for the second race of the weekend, but want to work on long run pace.”

Anthony Martin
“The time has finally come to jump into an Indy Lights car. I am so excited to be testing at Indianapolis with Andretti Autosport, and I am looking forward to working in a professional environment with everyone, eager and ready to learn more. The Mazda Road to Indy program has given me the opportunity to move forward and advance my motorsport career, having goals when I first came to America in 2015 to do the best I could in USF2000. I turned that into a championship win in 2016, earning a scholarship from Mazda to move up the ladder to Pro Mazda. I can’t wait for what my future holds in this new challenge!”

Ryan Norman 
“I can’t wait to get back into the car at the Chris Griffis Memorial this weekend. I absolutely love Indianapolis Motor Speedway and we showed good speed in the races this past year. I’m looking forward to building off that experience, and working with Andretti Autosport toward a successful test.”

Editor’s Note: Andretti Autosport planned to complete a four-car test, however due to illness, Dalton Kellett will not participate in the Chris Griffiths Memorial Test this weekend.
About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport boasts a wide racing portfolio rooted in tradition and designed for success. Together with Andretti Formula E and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IndyCar Series and Indy Lights, along with entries in the FIA Formula E Championship and Global Rallycross. The company boasts four IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012), two Indy Lights titles (2008, 2009), one Pro Mazda championship (2013) and one USF2000 championship (2010) and has captured victory five times at the famed Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (2005, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2017). Additionally, the team holds two X Games Gold Medals and three Global Rallycross championship (2015, 2016, 2017).

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Announces Their 2018 Driver Lineup

James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team in a multi-year extension, and the 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year’s teammate will be countryman and friend Robert Wickens, a native of Guelph. The duo marks the first all-Canadian lineup in North American open-wheel racing since 2004 (Champ Car; Forsythe Racing: Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier).

“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond, but I am also really looking forward to being teammates with one of my oldest friends,” the 30-year-old Hinchcliffe commented. “Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths, me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars, but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team. I think 2018 is going to be a great year for the SPM organization, from having Robbie here to the team’s new partnership with Honda and the 2018 aero kit; I just can’t wait to get back on track and bring some good results home for the Arrow Electronics crew.”

The Season 23 Dancing with the Stars runner-up has thus far captured five wins (St. Pete, Sao Paulo, Iowa 2013; New Orleans 2015; Long Beach 2017), 14 podium finishes and one pole position (Indianapolis 500, 2016) in his six full seasons of IndyCar competition. Hinchcliffe has led 691 laps to date.

With two Formula Championships under his belt (Formula BMW USA, 2006; Formula Renault 3.5, 2011) as well as a season as a Formula One test driver (Marussia Virgin Racing), Wickens will make his return to open-wheel racing following six seasons of competing in Europe for Mercedes Benz in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM). During his time in sports cars, the 28-year-old clinched six wins, five pole positions and 15 podium finishes.

“This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me,” Wickens noted. “I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as teammates, it’s crazy to think about. I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM; those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about!”

“We’re all very pleased to have Robert on board, and not just because he’s another Canadian,” added SPM co-owner and fellow Canadian, Ric Peterson. “He’s obviously someone who has been on our radar for some time now, and we’re excited about this new chapter in the SPM organization. We’ve been building a lot of momentum within the team and hope this latest addition will be a great next step as we move forward. I’m also really proud that we’ll be able to represent ‘Team Canada’ and be able to showcase two great Canadian athletes.”

#TeamCanada will be available to media tomorrow, October 19 at Goodwood Kartways (5200 Concession 2 Road, Whitchurch-Stouffville) from 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a media vs. drivers karting race immediately following. (Please RSVP your attendance to SPM Press Officer Veronica Knowlton.) A free, public meet and greet with the IndyCar drivers will then take place from 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

You can keep up with the latest news from SPM and its 2018 lineup via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram at @SPMindycar, @Hinchtown and @RobertWickens.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Donny Schatz Makes One Last Pit Stop Through PA And NY This Weekend

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Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and the TSR Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team venture back to Central Pennsylvania and New York this weekend for three races in three nights with the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series.

The tripleheader begins Saturday with the Nittany Showdown at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway and will be followed by a pair of races in New York that were postponed earlier in the season. Sunday’s Empire State Challenge at Weedsport Speedway was interrupted by Mother Nature on May 21 during heat-race action, and Monday’s “Big R Outlaw Shootout” at Ransomville Speedway was originally scheduled forJuly 23.

Schatz, the reigning and eight-time WoO champion, will continue his quest for a ninth WoO championship Saturday coming off his third consecutive podium finish and sixth in his last seven races last Saturday at Fulton (N.Y.) Speedway. He leads all drivers with 18 WoO A-Feature wins this season and is looking to become the only driver in the 40-year history of the Outlaws to win 20 or more A-Features in five consecutive seasons.

The driver of the TSR No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J will be making his eighth career appearance at Port Royal Saturday night. He made his debut at “The Speed Palace” in the fall of 2001 and made three consecutive late-season appearances after that first race. He won his fourth start at the track in September 2004, two days before he claimed his second career Williams Grove National Open. After a 10-year absence at the track by the Outlaws, Schatz led them back to the half-mile, dirt oval in the fall of 2014 and finished second behind Ryan Smith. In each of the past two seasons, Schatz has scored third-place finishes.

Schatz returns to Weedsport Sunday with a two-race winning streak at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval following wins in May 2015 and 2016. He has 14 career WoO A-Feature wins in the state of New York and Weedsport is one of four tracks in the state where he’s won multiple races.

Monday, he’ll be looking to make Ransomville the sixth track in New York where he concludes the night in victory lane. The Fargo, North Dakota driver first circled the half-mile, dirt oval during his rookie season in 1997 and returns hoping to make it the 82nd different track where he’s won a WoO A-Feature during his 21 seasons with “The Greatest Show on Dirt.”

With nine races remaining in the 2017 WoO season, Schatz and his TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti continue focusing on winning races and ultimately their fourth consecutive WoO championship. Consistency has been a key to their success as evidenced by their series-best 60 top-five and 68 top-10 finishes in 79 races.

RACE NOTES

Saturday at Port Royal Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 2 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. More details are available by calling (717) 527-2303, or by visiting portroyalspeedway.com.

For Sunday’s Empire State Challenge at Weedsport, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. and grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. More details are available by calling (315) 834-3067 or by visiting weedsportspeedway.com.

Monday at Ransomville, the pit gates open at 1 p.m. and grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. More details are available by calling (716) 791-3602 or by visitingransomvillespeedway.com.

Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live video is available on a pay-per-view basis for both Saturday night’s and Sunday night’s races, and free audio coverage is available for all three nights as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series races on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.comwww.textronoffroad.com,  www.arcticcat.com and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com.

Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing or on Twitter and Instagram @TonyStewart_Rcg.

Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.

Textron Off Road: Facebook atwww.facebook.com/TextronOffRoad/ or on Twitter and Instagram @TextronOffRoad

Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/arcticcat.snow/ or on Twitter and Instagram @ArcticCat_atv @ArcticCat_Snow

Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.

Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/FordPerformance or on Twitter and Instagram @FordPerformance.

Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J:
 

One of the best parts about being a competitor with the World of Outlaws is the volume of races. This weekend, you get three races in three nights at three tracks. How tough is that on you and your team?

“It’s really just something we are conditioned to. Racing is what we do and we want to do it as often as possible. The only thing that’s different is that we typically don’t have three-race weekends this late in the season. The hard part is really on the guys who work on these cars. There is travel and regular maintenance and that’s where having an experienced team like I have with Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti is a big positive for us. They’ve been doing this for years and it’s about planning and preparation and then making the right calls at the track. We’ve got a big track to start at Port, and then head to a smaller track in Weedsport. Then we close it out at Ransomville, where we haven’t been in a long time. You have to work together each step of the way. You just try to build on each part. The goal is to unload and have a fast car right out of the box at Port and just keep getting it better and better.”

You mentioned Port Royal and, following the race last season, you talked about the improvements the track continued to make and how much you enjoyed racing there. What specifically stood out as far as improvements go? 

“It’s just a little bit of everything there. You can feel it when you get there. You can see how they’ve invested back into the track and continue to do so. It reminds me of Eldora in that way and it just continues to get better. I know Steve O’Neal and the fair board members there take a lot of pride in their facility. From what it was like when we first went there early in my career to how it is now is incredible. We are in the entertainment business and you can tell they are committed to that. They have continued to work on the racing surface. It’s been fast, wide, smooth and made for some great racing the last three times we’ve been there. I’m really looking forward to getting back there this weekend and having another chance to race there.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Donny Schatz Finished Third At Fulton Speedway

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Date: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017

Series: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series

Location: Fulton (N.Y.) Speedway

Winner: David Gravel of CJB Motorsports

TSR Results: Started 8th, Finished 3rd/Running, completed 25 of 25 laps

TSR Points: Donny Schatz – (1st with 10,532 points, 158 ahead of second-place Brad Sweet)

 

Tony Stewart-Curb/Agajanian Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz and the Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance-backed team continued their run of podium finishes with the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series Saturday night at Fulton (N.Y.) Speedway. The eight-time and reigning WoO champion finished third in the 25-lap A-Feature at the 3/8-mile, dirt oval, finishing on the podium for the third consecutive race and the sixth time in his last seven races.

“We battled the best we could,” Schatz said. “That’s what you have to do to win a championship. These Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance guys have been doing a great job all season. We’ll turn our attention to next weekend, when we have three nights of racing.”

Schatz led the traveling Sprint-car stars back to New York for the Outlaws program at Fulton, which was part of NAPA Super DIRT Week. He entered the race with an advantage of 148 points in the 2017 WoO Championship standings over Brad Sweet and only 10 nights of racing remaining in the season.

The driver of the TSR No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J was the 27th of 28 to make a qualifying lap. His lap of 13.472 seconds ranked eighth overall and landed the North Dakota driver the third starting position in heat two. He chased front-row starters David Gravel and Shane Stewart at the start of the eight-lap heat race. While Gravel took command of the race, Schatz tried everything he could to overtake Stewart, but ultimately he finished third. The result transferred Schatz directly into the 25-lap A-Feature. He started the 79th WoO A-Feature of season outside of row four and he quickly jumped into sixth. He passed Stewart for fifth on lap four and then was part of a terrific duel with Jac Haudenschild over the next five laps. Schatz reached third on lap nine and restarted in that position after leader Daryn Pittman made contact with Clyde Knipp and brought out a caution. Schatz followed Gravel and Jason Johnson back to green and the trio pulled away from the rest of the field. Another restart on lap 14 bunched the field, but Gravel continued leading until he took the white flag. A caution during the final lap extended the race, giving Schatz and Johnson one more opportunity. On the ensuing green-white-checkered finish, neither driver could make a run at Gravel, who won for the 17th time in 2017.
With the finish, Schatz added 10 points to his advantage over Sweet in the championship standings, and he continues to lead the series in wins with 18, top-fives with 60 and top-10s with 68.

Up Next:

The Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb team returns to Pennsylvania and New York this weekend for three races beginning Saturday night at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway. Schatz will make his eighth appearance at the half-mile dirt oval where he won the Outlaws’ 2004 race at “The Speed Palace.” Schatz has finished on the podium the past three seasons at Port Royal, coming home second in 2014 and third the last two seasons. Sunday and Monday, it’s back to New York to make up races that were postponed by Mother Nature earlier this season. Schatz returns to Weedsport SpeedwaySunday winner of the past two races at the track and, Monday night, he’ll make his first appearance at Ransomville Speedway since his rookie season in 1997.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Season 4: Pre-Season Report

News Highlights
  • Announcing MS&AD Andretti — the rebranded MS Amlin Andretti Formula E team
  • Antonio Felix da Costa returns with MS&AD and Andretti Formula E for Season Four
Announcing MS&AD Andretti – the re-branded MS Amlin Formula E team
MS Amlin is delighted to unveil the new livery and lead name sponsor as MS&AD Andretti

MS Amlin, the specialist global (re)insurer, today announces a new name and new livery for its Formula E team – the newly-named MS&AD Andretti.

Demonstrating continued support for this cutting-edge, global series, sponsorship is transferring to the parent brand MS&AD. Japanese insurance giant, MS&AD is one of the world’s 10 biggest non-life insurers.

Fans were given a sneak-preview of the livery at the New York race in July. The unique, iridescent finish revives the stunning, and frequently copied, metallics of Amlin’s Season One livery.

Now that one of Japan’s oldest companies is lining up on the grid, Japanese fans, a top three audience for Formula E, at last have a team to follow.

Adrian Britten, MS Amlin’s Director of Brand, said: 
“We hold the risks for people, businesses and communities around the world and mitigating the impact of extreme weather is very important to our clients and our business.  Through Formula E we help present the world with a compelling case for switching to alternative fuel sources for our transport needs.” 

Michael Andretti, Team Owner of MS&AD Andretti, commented: 
“We are delighted that such an esteemed company as MS&AD is actively engaging in this exciting race series.  Our sponsors are a key partner in Andretti Autosport and we are look forward to bringing the exciting new race series to a wider audience, not least in Japan.”

Antonio Felix da Costa returns to the rebranded MS&AD Andretti for Season Four
da Costa will be joined by Alexander Sims and Tom Blomqvist for the upcoming Formula E test in Valencia

Season Four of the exciting FIA Formula E Championship kicks off in Hong Kong on December 2, 2017, but all ten teams take to the track Monday in a pre-season test at the “Circuit de la Comunitat Valencia Ricardo Tormo” in Valencia, Spain. The Andretti Formula E team will test their Season Four car on the 3km national circuit layout during sessions Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

The No. 28 MS&AD Andretti car will once again be piloted by Portuguese driver Antonio Félix da Costa in Season Four. da Costa, a Formula E veteran entering his fourth season in the series, has 11 top-10s and a win at the 2015 Buenos Aires ePrix on his impressive Formula E resume.

Behind the wheel of the No. 27 MS&AD Andretti all-electric racing machine during the test will be a pair of talented BMW Works drivers from Great Britain, Alexander Sims and Tom Blomqvist.

Season Four of Formula E will feature 14 races in 11 different countries, including first-time visits to Chile, Brazil and Switzerland.

Antonio Felix da Costa commented:
“I’m very happy to be back with the MS&AD Andretti Team for Season Four. We have had good testing days and I believe we have made some much-needed steps forward. Besides that, I believe with another small push from BMW and our partners, I believe we have the strength to fight for good results. I can’t wait for Hong Kong.”  

Roger Griffiths, Co-Team Principal, Andretti Formula E, said:
“We are very fortunate to not only be testing two very capable drivers in Valencia but three top-level talents. Antonio has been in Formula E since the very start which makes him one of the most experienced drivers in the field and a huge asset to our team. Alexander had an important role as reserve and test driver in Season Three and is excited for a chance to show what he can do in Valencia. All three drivers are proven race winners in either Formula E or other race series and that is incredibly valuable. The whole team is looking forward to a productive week of testing for MS&AD Andretti.”  

For more information please contact the Media team: ·
Andretti Formula E, Phil Zielinski
+1 317 373 9549 | phil.zielinski@andrettiautosport.com
MS Amlin, Glenys Dawson
+44 (0)207 746 3577 | glenys.dawson@msamlin.comFTI Consulting (London office)Kit Dunford:
+44 (0)20 3727 1143 | kit.dunford@fticonsulting.comMS Amlin and Formula E: 
The MS Amlin Andretti driving team sponsorship was originally created to help increase consumer adoption of alternative fuel sources for transport solutions by making them more compelling and exciting through Formula E.  MS Amlin, and its parent company Japanese insurance powerhouse MS&AD, recognise that climate change challenges the traditional insurance model, as it makes future events less predictable. The global insurer believes the impact of climate change will increase as populations migrate to urban areas in coastal zones and river plains that are threatened by flooding. As coastal cities thrive and riverside economies continue to develop, wealth increases which leads to higher-value assets and results in bigger losses when weather-related events occur.

About MS Amlin:
MS Amlin is a leading insurer and reinsurer, part of the global top-10 insurance group MS&AD, with operations in the Lloyd’s, UK, Continental European and Bermudian markets. With a 300-year record and more than 2,400 people in 26 locations worldwide, we deliver continuity for businesses facing the most complex and demanding risks. Our role places us at the forefront of the Property & Casualty, Marine & Aviation and Reinsurance markets.   We are experts in underwriting, with both technical capability and deep knowledge of the areas we insure. Our claims service aims to set the industry reference point for quality, with efficient, fair and timely claims management.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Introducing Walkinshaw Andretti United, A New Force in Supercars

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Reigning Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport have announced today that the multi-championship racing team will enter the Australia Supercars Championship with Walkinshaw Racing and United Autosports.

The new partnership, Walkinshaw Andretti United, spans across three continents to combine a trio of icons in motorsport, creating a new racing enterprise, and will begin competition under the new banner in 2018.

Michael Andretti, CEO and Chairman, Andretti Autosport: 
“I’m very excited to announce our new partnership with Walkinshaw Racing and United Autosports. I have always set a goal for Andretti Autosport to diversify and succeed across multiple platforms, and this opportunity is a natural next step for the team as we continue to expand globally. Together with Walkinshaw Racing and United Autosports, we now have three iconic organizations working together. We are determined to succeed, and I have full confidence that this new venture, Walkinshaw Andretti United, will become a leading Supercars team.” 

Ryan Walkinshaw, Chairman, Walkinshaw Racing: 
“To be able to partner with both Andretti Autosport and United Autosports is an honor. We’ve looked from a far at what both have to offer the team moving forward, which is why everyone should be so excited. Fundamentally, we are doing it differently. This combination of international expertise is a pivotal step in accelerating our development, getting us where we need to be. We’ve been looking for partners who can add value to this team, both on and off the track, so to be able to find that so resoundingly is the most pleasing element.

“It’s not only an alliance of technical expertise, but commercial prowess. Their experience, knowledge and record, both on and off the race-track, gives us, our current partners, and any future partners, access to global networks and talent pools. Today is the beginning of a new era. We are still firmly focused on the job at hand for 2017, but eagerly looking forward to 2018.”

Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports: 
“I’m delighted United Autosports have joined forces with Walkinshaw Racing and Andretti Autosport. It is bringing together three iconic names in motorsport across three continents – Europe, Australia and America, where we can share our experience and resources to make each team stronger.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Andretti Formula E Completes Successful Pre-Season Test

MS&AD Andretti Formula E completes successful pre-season test in Valencia

Formula E couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful location for pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. All three test days saw sunny weather and great opportunities for the newly-branded MS&AD Andretti team to test their new ATEC-003 Formula E car.

Testing kicked-off on Monday with veteran Antonio Felix da Costa behind the wheel of the No. 28 MS&AD Andretti car and test-driver Alexander Sims piloting the No. 27 entry. Both drivers got to work immediately, excited to test the updates made to the Andretti Formula E entries.

Fellow BMW Works driver Tom Blomqvist joined the action on Tuesday, getting a chance at driving the car for the first time with other drivers on track. He impressed in his official Formula E debut, finding himself in the top 10 of Tuesday’s afternoon session, coming in 10th on the time-sheet.

After a break on Wednesday to work on the cars and conduct pre-season media activities, Blomqvist and da Costa completed testing activities on Thursday, taking advantage of the final opportunity to run the cars before the season opener in Hong Kong.

The FIA Formula E championship will begin the season with Rounds 1&2 in Hong Kong on December 2 and 3. Follow along all season long on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @MSADAndrettiFE.

 

“Testing has just finished here in Valencia. We are fairly pleased with the way things have gone and we got through all the items on our test list. We learned an awful lot this week but we still have a lot of work to do before Round 1 in Hong Kong. It was an exciting time for the team, unveiling the new brand of the MS&AD Andretti Formula E team. The new livery has attracted a lot of attention and I think it’s going to look incredibly dynamic when it’s out on the race track. We ran with three different drivers in the cars and they all did a good job for us. For Tom and Alex, it was the first opportunity for them to run with the rest of the Formula E field. I think they learned a lot from it and certainly we’ve got a lot of good data to look at it. There’s still some work to do but I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. Next stop is Hong Kong and I’m excited to be back in Asia, close to the home of our new title sponsor, MS&AD Insurance. It’s an exciting time but it’s going to be a busy couple of months for the team as well.”
Co-Team Principal Roger Griffiths
“We have been doing a lot of laps, testing many new things in the car. We have some new engineers in the background as well that are bringing fresh ideas to the car. We used the test to bring it all together and to evaluate changes so we can be in the best shape possible for the season opener in Hong Kong. We gathered a lot of useful information that will be valuable at the races. I am looking forward to the new season.”
MS&AD Andretti driver Antonio Felix da Costa
“It was my first proper experience in Formula E, of driving the car and testing with other cars on track. It was intriguing, many of the guys here have vast experience in Formula E so I had a lot of things to learn but I am happy with the test and learned a lot. It is, in a way, quite different to the racing I have experienced before but I find it very interesting and appealing, so I enjoyed it. “
MS&AD Andretti driver Tom Blomqvist

 

“Formula E has several unique things that are different to any other racing series. That goes from energy management, even down to the way the tires perform because they are really different to the standard slick tires you normally have. Initially we were just doing flat out runs, so it was quite familiar like in Formula 3 or GT cars. The biggest challenge was when we were doing the race runs, trying to apply the energy management to an ideal situation.”
MS&AD Andretti driver Alexander Sims

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Donny Schatz Is In A New York State Of Mind

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For the past eight years, the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series has made a late-season stop in New York in conjunction with NAPA Super DIRT Week. For Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s (TSR) Donny Schatz and the TSR Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team, the timing has been just right.

Schatz, the driver of the TSR No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J, has finished first or second in six of the eight October starts in the Empire State including four consecutive wins. The eight-time and reigning WoO champion will look to move that number to five in a row Saturday night when the Outlaws return to Fulton Speedway, where last October Schatz led the final 23 laps of the 30-lap A-Feature.
The TSR team will be making their third trip to New York in 2017, but are still looking to complete their first night of competition. In May, they traveled to Weedsport Speedway, but persistent rain washed out the program during heat race action. The second venture into New York in July at Ransomville Speedway was also forced to be rescheduled when rainy weather continued throughout the night. The good news is following Saturday’s race at Fulton the Outlaws will return to make up both the Weedsport and Ransomville races next weekend.

Following last weekend’s runner-up finish in the 55th annual Williams Grove National Open at the historic half-mile, dirt oval, Schatz will tackle the 3/8-mile dirt oval where he first came out victorious in July 2006. The win was his fifth career victory in New York and 45th WoO A-Feature of his career during his initial championship season with the Outlaws. Last October, he raced past Danny Deitrich on lap eight and raced away to secure his second triumph at Fulton and 228th of his WoO career. Saturday, he’ll be looking to earn his 15th career WoO A-Feature in New York and 248th overall.

In his 10th season driving for TSR, Schatz is chasing his ninth WoO title. With 10 races remaining, he holds a 114-point advantage over Brad Sweet. In each of his previous three championship seasons, Schatz has been victorious in New York at least once. In 2014, he was triumphant at Rolling Wheels Raceway in October and during his epic 31-win 2015 campaign, he won at Weedsport in May, at Lebanon Valley in July and Rolling Wheels in October. Last year, he was a winner at Weedsport in May and Fulton in October.

Schatz and his TSR crew of Rick Warner, Steve Swenson and Brad Mariscotti have been consistent throughout the 2017 WoO campaign winning a series-best 18 races and finishing in the top-10 67 times in 74 races. The results have been similar for Schatz during in his previous five starts at Fulton. In his debut in 2005, he charged from 18th to finish sixth. His two victories in 2006 and 2016 sandwiched finishes of ninth (in 2010) and second (in 2014).

RACE NOTES

Saturday at Fulton Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 4 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. More details are available by calling at (315) 593-6531, or by visiting fultonspeedway.com.

Race fans unable to attend Saturday’s race can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series races on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.comwww.textronoffroad.com,  www.arcticcat.com and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com.

Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing or on Twitter and Instagram @TonyStewart_Rcg.
Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.

Textron Off Road: Facebook atwww.facebook.com/TextronOffRoad/ or on Twitter and Instagram @TextronOffRoad

Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/arcticcat.snow/ or on Twitter and Instagram @ArcticCat_atv @ArcticCat_Snow

Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.

Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/FordPerformance or on Twitter and Instagram @FordPerformance

Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J:
 

The season is down to only 10 races and it’s time for your annual October trip to New York this weekend. Looking back at your previous results indicate you and your TSR team have been successful late in the season. What’s been the key to being able to finish strong?

 

“The biggest thing at this point in the year is that you know time is running out on the season. Your opportunities to race are getting numbered. We start each season knowing we have almost 90 nights to go out and do what we love. You get to October and you can count on your hands the number of races left. We’ve been fortunate to be in the thick of the championship battle for most of the past 10 seasons and it’s kept all of us motivated to win as often as we can late in the year. That’s a reflection of (car owner) Tony (Stewart) and this Textron Off Road/Arctic Cat/Ford Performance team. The guys have worked hard all season going back to last December when the preparation was going into the year.  Rick (Warner), Scuba (Steve Swenson) and Brad (Mariscotti) do an incredible job and they want to win more than any group that I’ve ever been around. That usually shows when we come to New York late in the year. We set pretty high expectations and that starts with winning races. We only have 10 more chances left and I know we are going to do everything we can to be in a position to try to get as many as we can.”

 

When the Outlaws schedule started to include an October date around Super DIRT Week in 2009, you had a really good run of finishes at Rolling Wheels. Last year, they moved the event to Fulton and you continued your winning ways. What’s the biggest difference between the two tracks? 

 

“They are two completely different tracks. I loved racing at Rolling Wheels. It was one of the biggest tracks we raced on with the Outlaws during my 21 years out here. We had some great nights of racing there and always seemed to unload and be fast. The surface made for some great racing where you had a lot of speed, but also had to be able to maneuverer through the corners. It’s a fun place and hopefully, we’ll get to go back there. Fulton on the other hand is more of a traditional short track. Good banking in the corners and a place where you can get some momentum as well. The TSR guys have a good package for it too and hopefully, we’ll be able to put ourselves in a good position late in the night there on Saturday.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Tony Kanaan Joins AJ Foyt Racing for 2018

Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, of Miami, Fla., will join AJ Foyt Racing to drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series team officials announced today.

The pairing of a modern legend with a classic one is a first for AJ Foyt Racing which has never hired an existing Indy 500 champion for a full season drive other than A.J. Foyt, who owned the team when he won his third and fourth Indianapolis 500s.“

We’ve talked to Tony for the last couple of years and I’m just glad we were able to put something together because I know he wants to win as bad as we do,” Foyt said. “I think he still has two or three good years in him. He’s always been a hard charger and I like somebody who wants to charge hard.”

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Kanaan, who won the Indy 500 in 2013 and the Verizon IndyCar Series title in 2004, is enthused about the upcoming season with his new team.“

I just thought it was a great opportunity for me to build something where we can make history, and for me that’s what racing’s all about,” said Kanaan, who signed a multi-year contract to drive for Foyt. “Yes it is about the wins, but it’s also about the people, the people that you’re associated with. We’re going to make some history.”

AJ Foyt Racing’s marketing partner ABC Supply Co., Inc., whose contract with the team was up for renewal next year, has extended their contract with the team so it is now a multi-year deal.

“We’re big fans of Tony and are excited to have him on our team,” said Keith Rozolis, the CEO and president of ABC Supply, which is America’s largest wholesale distributor of exterior building products. “We are looking forward to next season.”

Coincidentally, 2018 will be season number 14 for ABC Supply as the team’s primary sponsor; the association is the longest-running one between team and sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Kanaan, who plans to spend most of his time in Indianapolis during the racing season, recognizes the challenges that lay ahead for him. “My biggest challenge will be getting to know everybody and really make everybody work for one goal which is go win the race. But at the same time, over the weekend we need to remember why we’re there, why we’re sacrificing everything we have to be there, and have some fun. That’s really important as well. And I can tell you when you’re not winning, you’re not having fun, so we’ve got to win.”

Having celebrated his 20th season in IndyCar competition in 2017, the 42-year-old Brazilian brings a wealth of experience to the cockpit which is what Team President Larry Foyt was looking for, especially with the debut of the universal aero kit next season.

“I’m thrilled to have Tony Kanaan joining the team,” Larry Foyt said. “We have known he would be a great fit for our team and our sponsors, and I’m glad the deal came together. Tony wants to win, and we want to win. I know he and I will be pushing each other to get the best results we can. With the new aero kit, I feel Tony’s experience in many different iterations of Indy cars will be a great asset as we prepare and test for the upcoming season.”

With the hire of Kanaan, Foyt was able to engage Technical Director Eric Cowdin, whose resume includes stints with Chip Ganassi Racing, KV Racing Technology, Team Penske and Andretti-Green Racing. Cowdin has been teamed with Kanaan during the significant achievements in the Brazilian’s racing career including his Indy 500 victory, 2004 IndyCar title and 15 of his 17 victories. He will also serve as the race engineer of the No. 14 car.

“I would like to thank A.J. and Larry for the opportunity to join the team,” said Cowdin, who earned his degrees in aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (B.S. in 1991) and Virginia Tech (Masters in 1993). “I’m looking forward to continuing my long relationship with TK and reuniting with the folks at Chevy. We have a big challenge ahead of us with the new universal aero kit and I can’t wait to get started.”

For the first time since 1966, the No. 14 car will be operated out of a location other than Texas as it will move to Foyt’s Indianapolis race shop. The No. 4 car will now be based in the Waller, Texas race shop. There has been no decision made on the driver of the No. 4 car.

Kanaan, who has expressed his desire to drive for Indy’s first four-time champion in the past, concluded by saying, “As a driver, you want to be on a team that works around you, that will build the stuff around you and for you, but also, if I can have a person like A.J. to help me, even at this point of my career, it’s awesome. He’s a legend in many ways in my book.

Ever the jokester, he added, “I’m 42 and I keep hearing that I’m getting old, but I know a guy who retired when he was 58! That gives me a lot of hope.”

TIL NEXT IME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Helio Joins Team Penske’s IMSA Entry In 2018

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske today announced that longtime winning INDYCAR driver Helio Castroneves will join the team’s new Acura Team Penske program that will begin racing in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Castroneves will join previously-announced drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in racing one of two Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entries next season. Acura Team Penske’s final full-time and endurance drivers will be announced at a later date.

Castroneves will officially return to sport car competition, joining fellow Team Penske drivers Montoya and Simon Pagenaud, at this weekend’s 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta driving an ORECA-07.  The team will make its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at IMSA’s 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 race at Daytona in January. 

In addition to his sport car duties, Castroneves is expected to continue to compete for Team Penske in next May’s Indianapolis 500 as the popular Brazilian driver continues his quest to become a four-time winner of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“Helio has been a valuable member of Team Penske for almost 20 years and we are looking forward to sharing more success together,” said Roger Penske. “Competitors like Helio, Rick Mears and Mark Donohue are what have made Team Penske what it is today. This represents a new challenge for him and I know he is excited about the opportunity. Having established winning drivers like Helio and Juan, teaming up with young and talented racers that know the series like Dane Cameron, will help give our new sports car program a solid foundation as we head into the 2018 season.”

Castroneves will transition to the Team Penske sports car program after 18 successful seasons with the organization’s Verizon IndyCar Series team. Castroneves finished fourth in this year’s Championship standings, marking the 14th time in his career that he has finished inside the top-five in the season-ending rankings. Over the course of his 20-year INDYCAR career, Castroneves has produced 30 wins and 50 pole positions, including one win and three poles won in 2017.

Considered one of the all-time greats in INDYCAR history, Castroneves has earned more wins than any other driver in the history of Team Penske’s championship open-wheel racing program. He’s produced three victories in the Indianapolis 500, two of which came back-to-back in his first two starts at Indy in 2001 and 2002. He last won at Indianapolis in 2009 and he’s come remarkably close to earning a record-tying fourth Indy 500 win, finishing second two times over the last four seasons.

In addition to his remarkable INDYCAR success, Castroneves has also made five starts for Team Penske in sports car competition as he produced two poles, three podium finishes and a class victory in the 2008 Petit Le Mans event.

“I’ve been fortunate to achieve a lot of my personal goals with Team Penske over the years,” said Castroneves, who is also the longest-tenured driver in team history. “Helping Roger, the team and everyone with Acura start this program and build it from the ground up will be another big challenge and a great opportunity in my career. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together in INDYCAR and now I am focused on helping to develop the ARX-05 to try and win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the IMSA championship in 2018 with Acura.

“I’m also excited to get a chance to race again for Team Penske at the Indianapolis 500. That race is near and dear to my heart and trying to become the fourth four-time winner is something I really want to accomplish in my career.  We’ve come so close the last few years and with this team, I know we will have a great opportunity to try and make some history.”

The Acura ARX-05 [Acura Racing eXperimental, generation 5] is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes to be fielded by the company dating back to 1991, just five years after the 1986 launch of the Acura brand.  Based on the very successful ORECA 07 chassis, the new ARX-05 prototype features Acura-specific bodywork and utilizes the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.  

The multi-year program will be administered by Honda Performance Development, the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America.

About Team Penske
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 470 major race wins, over 530 pole positions and 30 National Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. In its storied history, the team has also earned 16 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske. For more information about Team Penske, please visit www.teampenske.com.

 TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!