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April 2014

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Castroneves on probation for tweet

April 23rd, 2014

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Helio Castroneves has been placed on probation until the end of June for violating IndyCar’s social media policy. The Penske driver will remain under a warning until June 30 following a tweet issued from his Twitter account immediately after the race at Long Beach two weeks ago. The message read: ‘IndyCar officials continuing not punishing some drivers and giving green flag during accident’, and was accompanied by an image of an IndyCar logo with a red thumbs down icon superimposed over the top. Castroneves deleted the tweet within minutes of its appearance and issued a swift apology, claiming that it had been authored by his sister Kati without his knowledge. “I apologise for the earlier tweet degrading IndyCar series which I did not write or agree with,” he wrote. “Unfortunately [...]

Saavedra on probation for Indy 500

April 16th, 2014

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KV/AFS Racing driver Sebastian Saavedra has been fined and placed on probation for a full-course yellow infraction at last weekend’s IndyCar race at Long Beach. Officials determined that the Columbian had breached Rule 7.1.3.2.2 (failure to yield to safety vehicle and personnel). He has been fined $10,000 and will remain on probation until next month’s Indianapolis 500. Saavedra, who was classified ninth in the race, does have avenues of appeal if desired.

Irate Wilson says win was possible

April 14th, 2014

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Justin Wilson believes he could have won Sunday’s chaotic IndyCar race at Long Beach had he not been eliminated by Scott Dixon on a restart. The Dale Coyne driver was running second behind Dixon on the second-to-last restart when he moved to the outside of the Ganassi driver as the pair were approaching the right-hander at Turn 8. Dixon moved towards the wall and clattered Wilson against the barrier, putting him out of the race. Whilst Dixon was not carrying enough fuel to reach the finish without making another stop, an irate Wilson told AUTOSPORT that he could have done so comfortably. “We were good to go,” he said. “We were getting fantastic mileage under green and great mileage under yellow. We could have run flat-out from then on. “And [...]

Conway wins crazy Long Beach race

April 13th, 2014

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Ed Carpenter Racing’s decision to hire Mike Conway for IndyCar’s road and street rounds was rewarded as the Briton survived an extraordinary race to claim his second Long Beach win. Conway only took the lead when an out-of-sequence Scott Dixon abandoned his attempt to run to the flag on fumes, and then kept Will Power at bay for the final two laps to secure the win. Rookie Carlos Munoz claimed an excellent third ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud, all of whom were worthy of stories in their own right. But the afternoon appeared destined for a very different outcome before an extraordinary incident on lap 56; one triggered by a bit of impatience on the part of 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Andretti driver had been leading [...]

Bell gets KV Indy 500 seat

April 13th, 2014

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Townsend Bell will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year in a third car fielded by KV Racing Technology. The 38-year-old will drive the #6 entry alongside team regulars Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra in what will be his eighth start at Indianapolis. KV claimed the victory at Indy with Tony Kanaan last year, and Bell said that he was excited by the prospect of suiting up for the defending event winner. “In 2001, [team co-owner] Jimmy [Vasser] was my team-mate in my first Champ Car event, and in 2009 I had my best finish at Indy racing with KVRT, so coming back to the defending Indy 500 champions, is special,” he said. Bell has earned three top 10 finishes at Indy, with a best starting spot of fourth in [...]

Hunter-Reay secures surprise pole

April 12th, 2014

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Last-gasp flying laps from Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe secured an all-Andretti Autosport front row for Sunday’s Long Beach IndyCar race. With less than a minute remaining on the clock, the provisional pole was in the hands of Sebastien Bourdais, however the Frenchman had no opportunity to respond when first Hinchcliffe and then Hunter-Reay managed to go quicker. Hunter-Reay’s pole lap of 1m07.8219s represented a 0.1 second improvement on his team-mate’s time; the Canadian in turn having beaten Bourdais by just 0.07s. Josef Newgarden will start alongside Bourdais on the second row, with a stellar effort from rookie Jack Hawksworth placing the Brit fifth on the grid ahead of Simon Pagenaud. The intensity of the competition claimed some unexpected early scalps. During the 12-car run-off, Scott Dixon was bumped out [...]

Power quickest in Long Beach practice

April 12th, 2014

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Will Power emerged as the pacesetter from another close practice session on the streets of Long Beach to set the fastest time in IndyCar’s final outing before this afternoon’s qualifying session. Several drivers took turns at the top as the times continued to fall during the 45-minute session, with Power finally claiming it for good with a 1m.08.1696s. That was the fastest lap seen so far this weekend, although it was only barely enough to keep the Australian ahead of Josef Newgarden, whose own best effort fell short by just 0.022 seconds. The spicy rivalry that IndyCar needs As was the case with the second practice session yesterday, the top 19 cars were covered by less than a second. James Hinchcliffe relied on his final flying lap to jump to [...]

De Ferran expands Honda role

April 12th, 2014

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Gil de Ferran’s consultancy role at Honda Performance Development has been expanded to encompass all of HPD’s racing activities in the USA. The 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time CART champion was appointed to the role of technical consultant last year to serve as a conduit between Honda’s engineers and its teams and drivers. “Ever since the beginning of last year we’ve been discussing how we can expand things,” the Brazilian said in Long Beach. “I’m looking forward to this expanded role and having a positive impact on the company, which is very close to my heart.” De Ferran’s relationship with Honda covers not only his years as a driver, but also his stints as a team owner in IndyCar and sportscars, and three years as sporting director at Honda’s [...]

Pagenaud tops tight practice session

April 11th, 2014

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Simon Pagenaud topped the times in an extraordinarily tight second IndyCar practice session at Long Beach, where the top 19 cars were covered by less than a second. Pagenaud took his place at the top of the sheets when he posted a 1m09.1488s lap with nine minutes left on the clock. At that point he was 0.5 seconds clear of the rest of the pack, but compatriot Sebastien Bourdais came close to making the spot his own just a few minutes later. His time fell short by just 0.012s, but it was good enough to secure a French lock-out of the top two places. “The team has done a good job over the winter of helping the car on the kerbs and bumps,” Pagenaud said. “I’m really confident that we [...]

Lazier to enter Indianapolis 500

April 10th, 2014

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Buddy Lazier, winner of the 1996 Indianapolis 500, will attempt to qualify for this year’s edition of the race in a car run by his family-organised Lazier Partners Racing team. The news comes 12 months after the 46-year-old’s comeback race with the same team. On that occasion, Lazier’s plans were finalised so late that he only had minimal opportunity to practice, yet he still managed to scrape into the field before retiring early with a mechanical problem. Lazier’s father and team co-owner Bob Lazier is confident that the experience gained in 2013 will prove invaluable this time around. “It took a monumental effort in 2013 to organise the team in such a short period of time and make the race,” he said. “Now, we’ve had the entire year to organise [...]

Ex-Honda man Griffiths joins Andretti

April 8th, 2014

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Former HPD technical director Roger Griffiths has joined Andretti Autosport as the team’s director of motorsport development. The Briton led Honda’s IndyCar engine programme before suddenly resigning on the eve of the open test at Barber last month. His new role will cover all aspects of Andretti’s motorsport activities, including the IndyCar ladder, Formula E, and rallycross. “I am very excited to be joining the Andretti Autosport organisation,” Griffiths said. “I have, in the past, shared a lot of victories with the team, but now look forward to the opportunity to be able to contribute more directly to their future success and growth.” Team owner Michael Andretti highlighted the experience that Griffiths will bring to the table. “A man with his knowledge, talent and experience will be a huge addition [...]

Ganassi could add Karam for Indy 500

March 31st, 2014

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Chip Ganassi remains cautious about the likelihood of his team running a fifth entry for Indy Lights champion Sage Karam at this year’s Indianapolis 500. Karam has made two United SportsCar Championship appearances with Chip Ganassi Racing since joining the team during the off-season. Ganassi said that while he is open to the idea of running the 19-year-old at Indianapolis, nothing has been put together yet. “Not yes, not no,” Ganassi said. “We’re working on it. We have a driver that obviously deserves a shot at it. “I don’t have any issue about getting a fifth car qualified at Indy. That’s not my concern at all. “My concern is getting him out of the pits six or seven times cleanly, and getting him out of the pits in a timely [...]

Briscoe fastest in windy third practice

March 29th, 2014

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Ryan Briscoe edged out Helio Castroneves to top the timing screens in a windy third IndyCar practice session at St Petersburg. The Australian, who moved to Ganassi during the off-season, bumped Castroneves from the top spot with a 1m02.4236s lap three minutes before the session ended. There was not much in it though, with the top two separated by just 0.04s, and the top 12 covered by 0.5s. “The conditions were tough out there,” said Briscoe. “The wind is so strong, and it is blowing in different directions to yesterday. To be honest the car didn’t feel that great, but I guess everyone is struggling out there. “We made a lot of changes during the session and none of them really helped, so at the end we just went back [...]

Montoya being cautious on Indy return

March 29th, 2014

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Juan Pablo Montoya says that he is playing himself into his street course comeback slowly after finishing Friday’s IndyCar practice sessions in St Petersburg in 14th and 18th respectively. The Colombian is preparing to race on a street course for the first time since he left Formula 1 for NASCAR in 2006, and said that he had expected a low-key start to the weekend. “Obviously we wanted to be a little further up the speed charts, but we knew it was going to be a learning process,” he said. “This is my first time on this circuit so we had to guess a little bit on the set-ups. Unfortunately we unloaded [the car] pretty far off. “In the second session we picked up a big understeer. At that point we [...]

Penske president taunts Chip Ganassi

March 28th, 2014

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IndyCar’s most famous rivalry strayed off the track before the season-opener at St Petersburg as Penske and Ganassi engaged in an escalating war of words. Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske have maintained a long-standing mutual respect when speaking about each other’s teams. The flame was stoked however when Team Penske president Tim Cindric questioned the status of Ganassi’s team, and downplayed the significance of the rivalry during an interview with USA Today. “Chip has more to gain by putting himself in the same league as Roger,” Cindric said. “Roger has accomplished so much more inside and outside racing. Anytime you can compare yourself to him, it’s a positive. “He has more to gain than Roger does by comparing himself to Chip. “[Ganassi's] primary concern is how Roger is performing. Our [...]

Sato fastest in second practice

March 28th, 2014

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Takuma Sato took the honours in the second practice session for this weekend’s IndyCar season-opener at St Petersburg by edging out Graham Rahal to set the fastest time. Sato’s best lap of 1m02.5615s came near the end of his run, and was enough to keep the AJ Foyt driver ahead of fellow Honda driver Rahal by 0.05s. Third fastest Will Power was again the best of the Chevy entries with a time just 0.03s down on Rahal’s. Minor incidents prompted three brief spells under red flags; the first coming early on courtesy of a spin by new KV signing Sebastian Saavedra. That was followed later by Josef Newgarden, who was pitched into the run-off after suffering a steering problem, and the hat-trick was completed when BHA rookie Jack Hawksworth had [...]

IndyCar signs new director of aero

March 26th, 2014

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Experienced race engineer Tino Belli has joined IndyCar’s technical group in the new role of director of aerodynamic development. Belli will oversee the implementation of the aero kits being supplied by Honda and Chevrolet for the 2015 season, as well as helping to determine track-specific aero configurations, direct future regulations and support all aspects of aero development and testing. “It’s a brave, new era that IndyCar is moving into,” said Belli. “My original background in racing was aeronautical engineering so aerodynamics is my love in life. “I’ve had a fairly successful career as a race engineering and technical director, and now this is a new chapter. “It’s exciting to be involved now developing the new set of rules that will take IndyCar into the future. “I feel as though I’m [...]

RLL hit by transporter fire

March 25th, 2014

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s preparations for this weekend’s IndyCar season-opener at St Petersburg suffered a setback when the team’s transporter caught fire. According to a team statement, the fire was discovered by transporter drivers Phil Davis and Paul Sheehan in Louisville, Kentucky, roughly two hours after the transporter departed the team’s Indiana base for Florida. It is believed that the fire originated in, and was restricted to, the engineering lounge. The race cars and the bulk of the team’s racing equipment were undamaged. The transporter returned to the race shop, where equipment was transferred to another transporter that will depart today.

Franchitti to drive Indy 500 pace car

March 25th, 2014

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Dario Franchitti will drive the pace car at this year’s Indianapolis 500. The four-time IndyCar champion and three-time winner at Indy announced his medically-enforced retirement from racing during the off-season, and said that he is thrilled to still be able to participate in the event in some way. Dario Franchitti’s greatest drives “It is a tremendous honour for me to be asked to drive the pace car for the Indianapolis 500,” said Franchitti. “As a historian of motorsport and as a three-time winner of this great race, I will appreciate every minute of getting to pace the field. “Although I won’t be competing in the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’, this will be as close as one person can get to the action. I can’t wait until May in Indianapolis.” Franchitti, [...]

IndyCar exploring Brazil return

March 22nd, 2014

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IndyCar is talking to event organisers in Brasilia about a possible return to Brazil in 2015. The series will not visit South America this year after the popular street race in Sao Paolo was left off the 2014 calendar, but Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co, said that finding a way to return to Brazil is a priority. “Brazil has a real history in IndyCar racing and we would like to re-establish a championship race there as early as 2015,” he said. “We are engaged in ongoing discussions toward this goal, and hope suitable arrangements can be finalised soon.” Miles said the series is currently in negotiation with the regional government and TV Bandeirantes about a race in the national capital. “We look forward to continuing [...]