Image from media.gm.com
Aero Kit Anti-Climax: Chevrolet introduced depictions of their road and short oval aero kits at Media Day on Tuesday, grabbing the headlines and beating Honda to the punch. Reaction has been predictably mixed, and a better idea will emerge when we see both manufacturers’ efforts in action in March. The do-dads, flicks or “winglets on stalks” of the new kits created some buzz and according to racer.com the aero changes will reduce down force by almost a thousand pounds. Concerning though is the continued boxy, closed wheel direction IndyCar chassis are headed. It’s an open wheel series and needs to remain that way. It isn’t NASCAR, thank goodness.
Image from Indy Race Reviewer
Schedule Stretching: In easily the best news from Media Day, Phoenix International Raceway returns as a possible destination on the IndyCar series schedule. Adding tracks such as Phoenix and Michigan back to the schedule should be priorities for IndyCar, as disappearing ovals aren’t beneficial to the sport. Mark Miles’ vision of a twenty race season – starting as early as February – is encouraging, although where his international races may take the series remains an issue. Illustrating his sometimes tenuous grip on reality, Miles called the 2014 season “a fantastic year.” Slightly more critical, we gave it a grade of B.
Image from Indy Race Reviewer
Possible Contractions: Curt Cavin asserted there’ll be twenty four full time entries again this year, while we remain rather skeptical. He assumes a fourth car at Andretti, a second from KV, two from Coyne and Sage Karam’s one race deal with TCGR being extended. That’s a lot of assuming. With combined teams such as CFHR, he also noted it’ll be difficult to reach the traditional field of thirty three cars again in May. We’re not arguing that point. IRR contends Karam’s deal at Ganassi is far from certain and the same goes for Andretti’s supposed fourth car. If either KV or Coyne fail to come through with their expected rides, car contraction will be another blow to the series.
Photo from owenracing.com
Fast Fresh Face: Pro Mazda racer and 2014 USF2000 Indy winner Will “The Thrill” Owen inexplicably granted IRR an exclusive interview on Media Day. Speaking with the nineteen year old Coloradan turned out to be an enjoyable and enlightening experience. The impressive young American driver is racing in Winterfest at NOLA this week and finished on the podium with a third in Thursday’s race. We predict big things in Will’s future.
Photo from indystar.com
Mardi Gras Mixer: Tennessee’s Josef Newgarden and crazy Canuck James Hinchcliffe helped spread IndyCar awareness at Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans last weekend. Yeah, that was their excuse. By all accounts they had a good time and fortunately managed to escape the shady city unharmed. The drivers were accompanied by a street legal IndyCar with a special livery for the parade. New Orleans a.k.a. the “Big Sleazy” isn’t our favorite southern city by a mile – though the architecture is splendid – but what a paint job on the show car.