Indianapolis 500

Indy 500 entry list released Tuesday with 33 cars, 32 drivers

8 Comments

The 97th Indianapolis 500 entry list was officially released Tuesday, in a departure from previous years when it has been announced in April. There may be revisions for the field to hit the 33-car number for the race.

Prior to the release, there were 32 confirmed car/driver combinations: the 25 drivers who have raced in all four IndyCar events this year, and previously announced part-time/one-off entries for AJ Allmendinger (Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (Chip Ganassi Racing), Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport), Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Racing), Michel Jourdain Jr. (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Townsend Bell (Panther Racing).

The only new arrival to the list was a second Ed Carpenter Racing entry, with no driver listed.

Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion who had been linked to a third Schmidt car, was not listed. Expected or anticipated announcements for several other rumored drivers – Bryan Clauson, the Lazier brothers (Buddy and Jaques), Jay Howard and/or Katherine Legge – have also failed to materialize at this point.

In total, the list includes three former 500 winners (three-timers Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, and 2008 champion Scott Dixon), and four 500 rookies (AJ Allmendinger, Carlos Munoz, Conor Daly and Tristan Vautier).

The entry list breakdown by team and engine manufacturer is below. All 33 cars also have a “T” car, a spare, listed.

Entry Car Driver             Team                C/E/T 

1.     1    Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti               D/C/F 
2.     2    AJ Allmendinger (R)  Penske                 D/C/F
3.     3    Helio Castroneves (W)Penske                 D/C/F
4.     4    JR Hildebrand        Panther                D/C/F
5.     5    EJ Viso              Venezuela/Andretti/HVM D/C/F 
6.     6    Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon                 D/C/F 
7.     7    Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon                 D/C/F 
8.     8    Ryan Briscoe         NTT Chip Ganassi       D/H/F
9.     9    Scott Dixon (W)      Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
10.    10   Dario Franchitti (W) Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
11.    11   Tony Kanaan          KV                     D/C/F 
12.    12   Will Power           Penske                 D/C/F
13.    14   Takuma Sato          Foyt                   D/H/F
14.    15   Graham Rahal         RLL                    D/H/F
15.    16   James Jakes          RLL                    D/H/F
16.    17   Michel Jourdain Jr.RLL                   D/H/F 
17.    18   Ana Beatriz          Coyne                  D/H/F 
18.    19   Justin Wilson        Coyne                  D/H/F
19.    20   Ed Carpenter         Carpenter              D/C/F
20.    21   Josef Newgarden      Fisher Hartman         D/H/F 
21.    22   Oriol Servia         Panther DRR            D/C/F 
22.    25   Marco Andretti       Andretti               D/C/F
23.    26   Carlos Munoz (R)     Andretti               D/C/F
24.    27   James Hinchcliffe    Andretti               D/C/F
25.    40   TBA                  Carpenter              D/C/F
26.    41   Conor Daly (R)       Foyt                   D/H/F
27.    55   Tristan Vautier (R)  Schmidt Peterson       D/H/F 
28.    60   Townsend Bell        Panther                D/C/F
29.    77   Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Hamilton       D/H/F
30.    78   Simona de Silvestro  KV                     D/C/F 
31.    83   Charlie Kimball      Novo Nordisk Ganassi   D/H/F
32.    98   Alex Tagliani      Barracuda/BHA          D/H/F 
33.   TBA   Pippa Mann           Coyne                  D/H/F

Touring car legend Yvan Muller to leave WTCC after 2016

STRASBOURG, FRANCE - OCTOBER 04:   Yvan Muller of France attends the FIA pre event press conference at rally headquarters after the Shakedown of the WRC France on October 04, 2012 in Strasbourg , France.  (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Touring car racing legend and four-time world champion Yvan Muller will leave the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at the end of the 2016 season.

Muller made his name in the British Touring Car Championship before making the switch across to WTCC in 2006 with Seat.

The Frenchman claimed his first world title in 2008 before enjoying further successes in 2010, 2011 and 2013, the latter three championships won while behind the wheel of a Chevrolet.

Muller joined Citroen following its arrival in WTCC for the 2014 season, but has been unable to add to his haul of championship as teammate Jose Maria Lopez romped to three straight crowns.

With Citroen set to leave WTCC at the end of the year, Muller has decided that the time is right to follow suit and call time on a stint in the series that has seen him score 47 wins, 119 podium finishes and over 2,600 points.

“I am not sure that age is the main factor when it comes to ending a career. It’s more a matter of desire and motivation,” Muller said.

“With all the testing, the simulator sessions, the physical training and the travel to the race venues, a season of professional motor racing requires a level of personal commitment that I am no longer prepared to put in.

“At the same time, I am at a time of my life where I want to do something else and I am happy to be able to make that decision after eleven seasons of FIA WTCC.

“I’ve had some great experiences over my career. These three seasons with Citroën Racing have been particularly special, even though I never managed to be world champion with this team. But I will always be proud of having helped to build our racing programme and develop the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC. I have also met some great people who are passionate about their job and have a fierce competitive spirit.

“Driving has been part of my daily life for so long that I can’t see myself stopping racing entirely. But I am going to spend more time with my family and developing my team, Yvan Muller Racing. Before that, though, I am going to put everything I’ve got into meeting the team’s goals.”

Lopez is also set to leave WTCC at the end of the year, having agreed a deal to race for Citroen sub-brand DS in Formula E for the all-electric series’ third season.

The 2016 WTCC season closes on November 25 at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Report: Sam Schmidt to receive America’s first driver’s license for semi-autonomous car

2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 29, 2016
© INDYCAR
Leave a comment

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt is set to receive America’s first driver’s license for a semi-autonomous vehicle, according to a report from Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Schmidt sustained a spinal cord injury in a testing accident at Walt Disney World Speedway ahead of the 2000 IRL season, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

Schmidt went on to establish Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with programs in IndyCar and Indy Lights, both of which he still heads up.

Schmidt has previously completed laps behind the wheel of a modified 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray at Indianapolis in 2014 and in Long Beach last year, dubbed the ‘SAM project’ – semi-autonomous motorcar – developed with Arrow Electronics.

Schmidt controls the car using a breathing tube for acceleration and braking, and steers using his head movements that are picked up by infrared cameras.

Now, the SAM project is set to hit the road, with Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will grant Schmidt the first road license for a semi-autonomous car in the country.

The report says that Arrow has worked closely with the Nevada DMV to update regulations so that Schmidt is able to drive on state roads.

“Nevada is leading the nation in promoting autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies that can bring mobility and independence to people with physical disabilities, including our wounded warriors,” officials from the Nevada DMV said.

Robert Kubica scores podium finish on Renault Sport Trophy debut at Spa

16 KUBICA Robert (POL) HAMON Christophe (FRA) RENAULT RS 01 Team Duqueine action during the 2016 Renault Sport series  at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, September  23 to 25  - Photo Eric Vargiolu / DPPI
© Renault Sport
1 Comment

Robert Kubica enjoyed a successful debut in the Renault Sport Trophy at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, finishing third alongside Christophe Hamon.

Former BMW and Renault Formula 1 driver Kubica announced last week that he would be entering the race weekend at Spa after accepting an invitation from the French manufacturer.

Kubica spent five seasons racing in F1 and won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix for BMW before having his stint in the series cut short after a rally crash ahead of the 2011 season.

Severe injuries sustained to his right arm and hand meant left Kubica spending a lengthy spell in rehabilitation before making his return to motorsport in the World Rally Championship.

The Pole made his final WRC appearance in January at the Monte Carlo Rally before making his circuit racing return in the 12 Hours of Mugello with Mercedes.

Kubica enjoyed his first qualifying session since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday ahead of the Renault Sport Trophy weekend, finishing third.

After seeing Hamon complete the first 10 laps of the race and suffer contact, Kubica completed the final 17 behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.01 car.

A late charge saw Kubica rise from P6 with 10 minutes remaining to cross the line third, six seconds behind race winners Raoul Owens and Fredrik Blomstedt.

Curiously, Kubica’s last F1 podium finish also came at Spa in 2010, finishing third for Renault behind Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber.

Kubica will return to Spa on Sunday for the sprint race, where he will race in the Pro class.

Alonso talks book plan, Pokemon Go and dream F1 line-up in Twitter Q&A

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda arrives at the circuit and signs autographs for fans  during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 2, 2016 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fernando Alonso took some time out on Thursday night to interact with his fans via a Twitter Q&A, covering a wide variety of topics.

Alonso had done a handful of ‘#AskAlo’ sessions on Twitter in the last year or so, giving his 2.42 million followers a chance to pose questions to the two-time Formula 1 world champion.

Among the topics up for debate were his dream F1 line-up – Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz Jr. – if he ran a team, his plans for a book in the future and whether or not he plays Pokemon Go (like McLaren teammate Jenson Button, he doesn’t).

Here’s a selection of Alonso’s answers.