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April 2014

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iRacing TV

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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.

IndyCar doubles points for 500-milers

March 21st, 2014

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IndyCar has doubled the points awarded for its 500-mile races and dropped the practice of applying grid penalties for engine changes as part of a broad overhaul for 2014. Under the new system, which will take effect from next weekend’s season-opener at St Petersburg, a win worth 50 points at a regular event will pay 100 points at the Indianapolis 500, Pocono and Fontana, with all other positions also worth double. Setting the fastest time on the opening day of qualifying for the Indy 500 will pay 33 points, with nine bonus points on offer for the winner of the Fast Nine Shootout. “Adding more weight to the 500-mile events rewards teams and drivers that continually rise to the occasion at key times of the year,” said IndyCar president of [...]

IndyCar announces safety upgrades

March 19th, 2014

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IndyCar has confirmed a new round of safety updates for its DW12 chassis, with an emphasis on improved driver protection in side impacts. New carbon fibre panels will be added to the exterior and interior of the cockpit to supplement the Xylon anti-intrusion panels that were introduced on the previous generation car six years ago. According to the series, the update will increase the chassis’ side impact integrity by 60 per cent. In addition, a carbon fibre reinforcement ring is being added to increase the structural integrity of the cockpit opening, and the headrests have been modified to reduced the helmet buffeting affect on road and street courses. Other changes include a switch from carbon to an engineered plastic foam for the panels located outside the drivers’ thighs, and the [...]

Power edges Wilson in Barber test

March 19th, 2014

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Will Power remained on top in the second and final day of IndyCar testing at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday. While running time was again shortened by mist and cold conditions, Power still managed to complete 62 laps with a best effort of 1m07.0608s, improving his day one benchmark by 0.6s. “Hopefully we found a happy place,” said the Penske driver. “Obviously the temperature will be a lot different [when we race here], and I think that brings out imbalances in the car. “It was so cold today and there was so much grip that I think it was hard to get good reads on changes. It’s going to be really tight.” Justin Wilson took the honour of being fastest with the new twin-turbo Honda engine, the Brit falling just [...]

Gary Bettenhausen dies aged 72

March 17th, 2014

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Gary Bettenhausen, a 25-time Indianapolis 500 participant and a member of one of US single-seater racing’s prominent families, has died in Indiana at the age of 72. Bettenhausen, son of 1940s and ’50s racing great Tony, was a regular at the 500 between 1968 and ’94, qualifying for the race on all but five occasions. He never managed to win, although he made a place for himself in the event’s history books by becoming one of the small club of drivers to have set the fastest qualifying time for the race without starting from pole. In Bettenhausen’s case, it happened in 1991, 30 years to the day after his father was killed at the same track. His 224.468mph effort was better than Rick Mears’ 224.113mph pole time, but came 24 [...]

Hunter-Reay says Honda fears allayed

March 14th, 2014

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Ryan Hunter-Reay admits he had concerns about his Andretti Autosport team’s off-season switch from Chevrolet to Honda power for the upoming IndyCar season. But he says that he is now optimistic about the Japanese manufacturer’s efforts to master its twin-turbo unit. Honda will join rival Chevrolet in using a twin-turbo layout for its V6 unit after having raced a single-turbo configuration for the past two years. Although the change was mandated by IndyCar, Honda’s plans to switch to a twin-turbo for 2014 had been in the works for some time. Hunter-Reay, who won the 2012 championship with Chevrolet power, believes Honda has some lost ground to make up, but says that it is bridging the gap. “Sure,” said Hunter-Reay when asked about possible concerns about Honda. “There’s a lot of [...]

Verizon named IndyCar’s title sponsor

March 14th, 2014

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Telecommunications company Verizon has stepped up to become the new title sponsor of the IndyCar Series, filling the vacancy created by predecessor IZOD’s departure last year. Under the multi-year deal, the series will be officially known as the Verizon IndyCar Series. Verizon will also continue to sponsor the pole award. “Verizon is the perfect partner for us to showcase the high level of innovation and technology that is inherent in our sport,” said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co, the parent of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “IndyCar will provide a large audience of tech-savvy consumers who are eager for the latest technology to further enhance their experience. “Verizon’s commitment to IndyCar demonstrates its belief in the direction of our sport and further corroborates our long-term goals.” The new [...]

Tagliani gets Fisher Indy 500 seat

March 13th, 2014

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Alex Tagliani will drive a second Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing entry at the Indianapolis 500, with the potential for additional IndyCar rounds to be added to the Canadian’s programme later. Tagliani has been out of a full-time IndyCar seat since stepping down from his Bryan Herta Autosport drive midway through last season. He was picked up by Ganassi to sub for the injured Dario Franchitti at the end of the year, but was overlooked in favour of Tony Kanaan to replace the Scot on a permanent basis. SFHR co-owner Sarah Fisher said that she hoped to be able to add additional races to Tagliani’s schedule as the team continues to work towards its ambition of running two cars full-time. “It has always been our goal at SFHR to hire talent [...]

Third Rahal car unlikely for Indy 500

March 8th, 2014

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IndyCar outfit Rahal Letterman Lanigan is unlikely to run a third car at this year’s Indianapolis 500. The team failed to get its third entry for Michel Jourdain Jr into the field at last year’s race, with the Mexican veteran (pictured) the sole entry bumped from the 2013 field. Driver Graham Rahal said that the lessons learned from the experience meant that the team is likely to focus its efforts on its two main cars this time around. “I would think that [two cars are] going to be it for now, but you ought to ask dad [team co-owner Bobby Rahal] and see what his plans are,” Rahal said. “We as a team learned last year that running three isn’t the wisest thing. But you never know. Our focus is [...]

IndyCar wants Indy speed record beaten

March 7th, 2014

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IndyCar has set a target of seeing Arie Luyendyk’s 18-year-old track record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway fall by 2016. Luyendyk’s 237.498mph lap speed and 236.986mph four-lap average have remained the benchmark since 1996, but Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co, said that he hopes to see that speed beaten by the 100th edition of the famed race. “We are working on the objective of setting the new track record by the 100th running of the race,” Miles said. “We do believe that’s something we can do while increasing the safety of the drivers, and it’s something that can be done gradually between now and 2016. “We believe that’s a really important storyline about IndyCar racing, particularly at IMS.” A return to the speeds of the mid-1990s [...]

Indy 500 qualifying overhauled

March 7th, 2014

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IndyCar has overhauled the qualifying procedure for the Indianapolis 500 in the hope of creating more fan appeal and increasing TV viewership. Under the new format, qualifying will take place across three sessions over two days, culminating in a Fast Nine shootout for pole on Sunday, May 18. Saturday will be used to determine the 33 cars that will compose the starting grid, although not the grid order itself. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to make the field, with the fastest nine entries advancing directly to the shootout. For the remaining cars, Saturday’s times are erased for the Sunday session, and each entry will make one four-lap run to determine the starting positions between grid spots 10 and 33. The order for qualifying attempts will [...]

Hawksworth lands 2014 Herta drive

March 5th, 2014

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Jack Hawksworth will step up to IndyCar this year after agreeing a deal to race for Bryan Herta Autosport. The 23-year-old tested for the Honda-powered team at Sebring in February having driven for Dale Coyne Racing at the same track in December (pictured). Hawksworth, who took three wins on his way to fourth in the Indy Lights standings last year, is optimistic about the prospects for his rookie season. “We had a great first test in Sebring that has given us a solid foundation on which to build our campaign,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent and potential in the No.98 team. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it, and look forward to an exciting year ahead. I can’t wait to get to work.” Three drivers [...]

Servia gets part-time Rahal seat

March 5th, 2014

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Oriol Servia has joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan to drive a limited schedule in the team’s second car for the 2014 IndyCar season. The Spaniard has been without a full-time drive since Dreyer & Reinbold Racing withdrew from the 2013 season after the Indianapolis 500, although he shared the Panther Racing seat with Ryan Briscoe during the second half of the year. His RLL deal will put him on the grid for Long Beach, Barber, and the two races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with additional races to be added if sponsorship can be secured. Graham Rahal will contest the full season in the sister car. “Continuity is a very important part of success in any racing team,” said Servia, who raced with RLL at the 2009 Indy 500. “By my [...]

Grenier to work with KV

March 4th, 2014

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KV Racing Technology has entered into a formal association with former Indy Lights racer Mikael Grenier, although there is no short-term guarantee of any seat time for the Canadian. According to a team statement, the 21-year-old with ‘attend team meetings at selected races and, if circumstances permit test, with the possibility of a more extensive relationship developing in the future’. “This is a great opportunity and I plan on taking full advantage, learning as much as I can,” said Grenier, who made his IndyCar test debut with KV at Sebring last November. “My goal is to race in the IndyCar Series, and hopefully this opportunity will help me achieve that.” KVRT general manager Steve Moore said that Grenier had endeared himself to the team through his performances in testing. “Mikael [...]

Kurt Busch to contest Indy 500

March 4th, 2014

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Kurt Busch will contest the 2014 Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport, becoming the first NASCAR star in recent years to race in IndyCar. The 2004 Cup champion’s Indy bid has been on the cards since he tested for Michael Andretti’s team last May. Busch is attempting a ‘double’ by participating in the 600-mile Cup round at Charlotte on the night of the Indy 500. “This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” said Busch. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throw-back, I guess. “I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. “It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. “While NASCAR is my home, I [...]

IndyCar now on right track – drivers

March 3rd, 2014

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Leading IndyCar drivers believe the changes made over the past two years have put the series on the road towards recovering its former glory. The series suffered a huge drop in TV figures and race attendances in the wake of the damaging CART/Indy Racing League split in the 1990s. While the standard of racing has taken a huge leap since reunification in 2008, and even more so following the arrival of the DW12 chassis in ’12, it continues to struggle to attract fans back into the fold. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves identified the appointment of Derrick Walker as head of IndyCar’s competition department mid-way through last year as a major step towards improving communication between the drivers and the series, and called upon his colleagues to do more. [...]

RLL vows to fight Panther lawsuit

February 28th, 2014

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan has vowed to “vigorously fight” the lawsuit issued last week by IndyCar rival Panther Racing over the reallocation of the National Guard sponsorship. RLL was one of four defendants named in the lawsuit, which was initiated a few weeks after Panther’s protest over the awarding of the National Guard deal to Bobby Rahal’s team from 2014 was denied by the US Government Accountability Office. “RLL believes it is unfortunate and disappointing that Panther has filed a lawsuit making serious allegations against the National Guard’s decision process,” read the statement. “RLL also believes that Panther’s lawsuit has no merit as a matter of fact and law. “RLL’s lawyers will vigorously defend RLL so it can focus on what matters most – representing the courageous men and woman of [...]

Cosworth eyes IndyCar return

February 27th, 2014

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Cosworth has thrown its hat into the ring as a potential third engine manufacturer for IndyCar. Recently-installed CEO Hal Reisiger has told AUTOSPORT that he wants to restore motorsport as a central focus of Cosworth’s operations. And one of the key components of that plan is competing against incumbent IndyCar engine suppliers Honda and Chevrolet. “I’ve restructured the organisation and refined the strategy to put a greater emphasis on motorsport,” he said. “If you look at the recent changes to our board, adding [motorsport marketing guru] Zak Brown and [former Williams F1 CEO] Adam Parr as two examples, we are positioning ourselves to expand our motorsport presence. “We’ve always been very strong when it comes to being engineering-centric, but I want to enhance the commercial end of the business from [...]

Villeneuve: new era prompted return

February 27th, 2014

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Jacques Villeneuve says that the recent leaps made by IndyCar were a major factor in his decision to make a single-seater comeback in this year’s Indy 500. The Canadian, who won at Indy for Team Green in 1995, has not raced a single-seater since splitting with Sauber mid-way through the 2006 Formula 1 season. Over the years that followed he expressed little interest in returning to IndyCar, but admitted on Wednesday that recent standard of racing in the series helped change his mind. “I guess [the change of heart] started when they started going back to road racing, going back to a mix of tracks, going back to the IndyCar that I knew, basically,” said Villeneuve, who will drive a third Schmidt Peterson Motorsport entry. “Then came this new car, [...]

Villeneuve to return to Indy 500

February 26th, 2014

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Jacques Villeneuve will return to the Indianapolis 500 this year, 19 years after he won the race. The 42-year-old will drive a third Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry in what will be his first single-seater race since he left Formula 1 after the 2006 German Grand Prix. “I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in several of the world’s top racing series, and nothing excites me more than entering the IndyCar Series at its current level of competitiveness,” Villeneuve said. “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has proven itself able to compete with the largest of teams, and I am excited to get to work with [team co-owner] Sam [Schmidt] and the team and start preparing for May.” The 1997 F1 world champion and 1995 CART title-winner has made sporadic appearances in NASCAR and sportscars [...]

Kanaan: no stress to match Franchitti

February 25th, 2014

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Tony Kanaan insists he is under no illusions about the expectations associated with replacing Dario Franchitti in Ganassi’s storied #10 entry. Kanaan was initially signed by the team to drive its #8 entry alongside Charlie Kimball, but was promoted onto Ganassi’s front line alongside Scott Dixon after Franchitti was forced to retire upon medical advice. When asked by AUTOSPORT about the pressure of inheriting the torch from a driver as successful as Franchitti, Kanaan said that both he and the team have set the bar high. Opinion: Franchitti has matched his heroes “The expectations are the highest possible, not just from me but from my boss and everybody else,” said the Indy 500 winner. “The team [and] the results speak for themselves, and it’s almost like you can’t avoid it [...]