Photo from indycar.com
Hinch’s Comeback: After four months off convalescing outside of the car, lucky to be alive Canadian funnyman James Hinchcliffe returns to his SPM machine this week for testing at Road America in Wisconsin. The Mayor of something or other nearly lost his life due to a “dagger through the bottom of the seat” in his crash at IMS in May, losing copious amounts of blood and undergoing multiple surgeries. After the trying ordeal Hinch is thankful he’ll be back behind the wheel of his car. We’re glad the crazy Canuck’s back, too and hopeful he avoids further surgery for at least a few months.
Photo from usatoday.com
Newgarden Stays in Troubled Marriage: For at least another season, Josef Newgarden will stay put at CFH Racing after agreeing to a one year contract extension. The young American had a terrific season scoring two wins and a pole and making himself the series’ most desired young specialist. It’s no secret he’s interested in joining one of the league’s dominant teams – Penske or Ganassi – though it seems next year there simply isn’t any room at the four car powerhouses. CFH underwent a merger last year and the strain between the two halves has showed. Newkid was among those who tested at Road America last week. It’s unclear who he played doctor with, if anyone.
Photo from indycar.com
Road America Testing: Last Tuesday ten drivers tested at Road America Racecourse, some for the first time. The team test at “Speedville” included “IndyCar’s Three Stooges” Tony Kanaan, Will Power and Juan Montoya along with Graham Rahal, series champ Scott Dixon and others. Although the schedule for 2016 still hasn’t been announced, RA’s return is apparently a given. A second round of testing at the scenic rural road course is set for this week. The track’s been absent from the schedule for nearly a decade, back when it was a Champ Car race during IndyCar’s separated Siamese twins period.
Photo from fanshare.com
Foyt’s Latest Brush with the Beyond: On Tuesday the legendary A.J. Foyt again had his knee replaced, capping off a tough year. It’s his third knee now by our count, as his second knee replacement in 2012 developed a severe staph infection. Having undergone numerous surgeries and procedures lately including a triple bypass last year, we wish the ornery octogenarian a speedy recovery to good health and look forward to seeing him at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
What’s Old is New: The “Visor Cam” was unveiled for some reason during last week’s off season testing at RA. It’s not exactly new technology, although it hasn’t been seen lately in IndyCar. It provides an interesting perspective showing how much a driver’s head is buffeted around in an open cockpit race car and the inherent visibility challenges, among others. JoNew gets a bit wide around five minutes in as it seems his turn was somewhat less than surgical.