‘Thinking outside the box’ paid off in India – Mallya


Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said the team’s bold tactics helped it score its first double points finish since the British Grand Prix last weekend.

“We wanted to do well at our home Grand Prix,” Mallya told the official F1 website. “We scored points at the first two races here and we wanted to score points again – if possible with both cars.”

“We knew that the car had a good race pace, even though we didn’t qualify brilliantly, and the only way to assure ourselves of points was to have a very aggressive strategy.

“So we took both the extremes: Paul came in on the first lap and Adrian stayed out as long as he could and pushed the soft tyres also quite well until the end. Yes, it was risky in some respects, but it turned out well for us.

Mallya added he had encouraged his team to “think outside the box” when it came to strategy.

The result has raised the team’s hopes of finishing ahead of Sauber, who are 23 points behind them.

“I don’t want to talk about Sauber,” said Mallya. “We gained six points on them at the weekend – they were obviously hoping to gain six points or more on us, but fortunately it worked in our favour.”

“I don’t know what happened to Nico [Hulkenberg] and why he retired, but he was going well until that point. But be that as it may, yes, we will continue to think out of the box, we will continue to score points and we will continue to make baby steps. This will be our strategy for the remaining three races.”

IndyCar: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports expands mentoring program for tech school students

Photos: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
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IndyCar team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that it is extending and widening a unique sponsorship and mentoring program that began last season with students from Lincoln Technical Institute.

The program began last year, with students from several Lincoln Tech branches attending select IndyCar events for an entire weekend.

The students, primarily from auto and diesel training programs, got an insiders experience with the team, taking part in team meetings, watching team workers prepare and service the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda of driver James Hinchcliffe, sat on pit boxes during practices, qualifying and, of course races.

The overall experience was to get students more interested and involved in potential careers in the IndyCar field.

“We said at the beginning of last season that we knew our students would benefit and learn from the professionalism and drive of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team,” Lincoln Tech President and CEO Scott Shaw said. “But the experience they received working with the entire pit crew team and in particular crew member Cole Jagger – a Lincoln Tech graduate himself – went beyond even our own expectations.

“We were grateful for the time they spent mentoring our students, and we are thrilled to once again be part of the racing legacy of team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson.”

Lincoln Tech will once again serve as an associate sponsor on Hinchcliffe’s car for the entire 2018 IndyCar season. In addition, it is expanding its Mentor Program to select students to attend a minimum of nine IndyCar races from six last season.

Students are selected based upon their grade point average, attendance, conduct and overall commitment to becoming outstanding automotive technicians. An interest in IndyCar and a desire to work in the industry is also considered.

One student that took part last season, Tyler Crist of Lincoln Tech’s Denver campus, joined the team at the IndyCar race in Long Beach last April, watching as Hinchcliffe won the event.

“It was the best weekend of my life,” Crist said after the event. “It reminded me of why I joined this field in the first place and to never give up on my dreams.”

Jagger will oversee the expanded mentoring program this season. For Jagger, being involved especially hits home, as he is a graduate of Lincoln Tech’s Indianapolis campus.

“I totally enjoyed working with the Lincoln Tech students that participated in the Mentor Program last year and look forward to meeting this year’s group,” Jagger said. “Being a Lincoln Tech grad, I hope the students realize that if you have a passion for cars, a career in racing is something that’s not out of reach. If I can be an example for them to follow, that makes it even more rewarding.”

In addition to the at-track activities of the mentoring program, several Lincoln Tech branches across the country will utilize CNC computerized machining and manufacturing tools to assist in creating car parts for SPM.

“Through this unique partnership, we’re able to hopefully find the next class of talent that could one day be part of our organization,” SPM president Jon Flack said. “We’re looking forward to another year of the mentorship program and having their students be ‘boots on the ground’ gaining real-life experience with our team.”

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