Penske pared back, Ganassi got leaner, Rahal redoubled and Foyt became even less relevant. Perhaps the greatest concern – apart from the second rate schedule – is the car count for 2018.
After yet another IndyCar title thanks to Josef Newgarden’s pivotal piloting, Penske’s crew will consist of only three cars for the first time since 2014. At 42 the ever popular Helio Castro-Neves finally has been put out to pasture, where presumably he can climb all the fences he wishes. The formidable trio of Pags, Power and Newkid will carry the Cap’n’s colors in the upcoming campaign, easily remaining the odds on favorites nearly every weekend.
Millions of mostly legal voters turned out across the U.S. on Tuesday, exercising their sacred right to have a say in the nation’s direction. They decisively chose Trump, and in so doing made pollsters, pundits and pantywaists everywhere look beyond foolish. Meanwhile, IndyCar’s silly season continued unabated, with business as usual in the IndyCar paddock.
Daly Employment Report: In at least their third wise selection of the last couple weeks, A.J. Foyt Racing elected to fill the second ABC Supply seat with Hoosier Conor Daly. Barring deportation, the underdog American will be paired with Colombian Carlos “OK” Munoz in what should be a definite improvement over the past several years. Seems to be a nationwide trend.
This season’s silly season seems strangely familiar.
Ganassi Goes Honda, Again: In the most significant manufacturer move of the off season, Chip announced his IndyCar outfit’s returning to Honda. Of course the team’s utilized Japanese power plants before and there’s very little loyalty among louts. At least now we know which Chip’ll turn up.
Return of Kanaan: In a non-change announcement, CGR also said the aged Indy 500 winner Tony “the proboscis” Kanaan will be back in the 10 NTT Data car next year. Expect another win-less campaign from the driver now more suited to coaching rather than driving.
In With The New: Eight drivers tested at Sebring this week, including the Penske Powerhouse tetrarchy of Power, Helio, Montoya and newcomer Pagenaud. The other veteran was SeBass, but new faces drew our attention. 2014 IndyCar winner Carlos Huertas and Venezuelan Rodolfo “Speedy” Gonzalez – who’s twenty eight and an unknown quantity – tested Dale Coyne’s cars. Huertas drove for Dollar Dale in his rookie campaign while Gonzalez hasn’t driven an IndyCar for anyone, coming from the failed F1 team Marussia’s test program.
Photo from hoyvenezuela.info
Gonzo almost certainly brings some petro cash to the table from his basket case socialist paradise of a homeland where toilet paper is eternally in short supply. Ryan Phinny from LA tested KV’s second car and seems a perfect fit for fellow Californian Vasser while Swiss Miss Simona de Silvestro is rumored to be close to Andretti’s fourth seat. Sorry Conor, Zach and JWil – the few remaining seats in the series could be taken.
Good News First: There were no race cancellations announced by either IndyCar or any third world countries this week, nor did the series or any of its teams close up shop or declare bankruptcy. The series did head south, however.
Photo from indycar.com
Testing Obsolescence at NOLA: Fourteen drivers tested at the NOLA road course this week south of New Orleans, Louisiana. Alongside SeBass KV ran newcomer Stefano Coletti from Monaco, a fresh foreign face whose first ever IndyCar experience was in December at Sebring with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport. The aero kits aren’t out yet (see below), so testing was in some ways a waste. On the positive side, the swampy addition to the schedule is getting glowing reviews from drivers. Juan Pablo Montoya’s one word take was “Wow!”
Photo from indycar.com
Blast From the Last: In a surprise appearance, sedate Englishman and starter of fifty IndyCar races James Jakes tested SPM’s second car at NOLA. Continue reading →