(Photo courtesy V8Supercars.com.Au)

Former CART championship and Indy 500 winning owner Steve Horne putting the ‘Super’ in V8 Supercars

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After accomplishing pretty much what he wanted when he came to America first as a team manager and then a team owner – including an Indianapolis 500 win (1986, with Bobby Rahal behind the wheel), two CART championships and five Indy Lights titles – Steve Horne decided to return to his native New Zealand two years ago.

But Horne isn’t the retiring type. Nor is he part of a “Where Are They Now?” question.

If anything, Horne is as busy as he’s ever been, both running his own team as well as serving as chairman of the V8 Supercars Commission in New Zealand and Australia, according to a story on Stuff.com.nz.

Horne has helped reenergize the V8 series with a number of changes, most notably its new super sprint format, as part of his role of overseeing rules, regulations and formats.

The super sprint format includes two 100 kilometer races on the same day, plus 10-minute qualifying sessions, and then a 200 kilometer main event the following day.

Horne still keeps his hand somewhat in racing in America, serving as manager for driver and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

But back in New Zealand, Horne is has approached his involvement in V8 Supercars in much the same fashion as when he first came to the U.S. to become involved with the now-defunct CART series.

“It has given me another perspective and I am enjoying it,” Horne told Stuff.com.nz. “I can also look at things from a competitor’s viewpoint about the issues they face.

“Racing is a tough business on the track and off it. Hopefully I can bring a level viewpoint to it.”

With the V8 series expected to grow and become even more popular – Roger Penske is reportedly interested in fielding a team next year, perhaps with current NASCAR driver Marcus Ambrose behind the wheel – Horne is certainly enjoying his new challenge.

“I am impressed by the quality of the teams and the quality of the drivers,” he said. “It is a parity formula which is designed to give everyone equal opportunity.

“I think it has a great future. It’s well-recognized in Australia (and) has an excellent television and media package. It is really, really popular in New Zealand and it’s great racing.”

Also check out Horne’s recent Q&A interview on V8Supercars.com.AU, as well as the video below that gives a great retrospective on Horne’s career in CART and Indy Lights.

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Behind the scenes of IndyCar with Will Power’s brother, Damien (VIDEO)

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Damien Power thinks his brother, Will, is a horrible person.

“You can’t choose your family,” the comedian dead pans in an episode of his “Behind The Scenes of IndyCar with Damien Power.”

That’s one of the droll exchanges between Power and driver James Hinchcliffe in the first episode of the weekly web series produced by IndyCar, which premiered September 26. That’s above.

The second episode, featuring Helio Castroneves debuted last week and shows the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner comparing his gelled hair to the comedian’s. In it, Castroneves also (sort of) shares his opinion on IndyCar’s newly introduced rule on drivers not saying anything detrimental to the sport, Rule 9.3.8.

Check out the second video below.

Report: No Mexico, 16 races expected on 2016 IndyCar schedule

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IndyCar chairman Mark Miles doesn’t expect the 2016 Verizon IndyCar season to begin in Mexico in February next year, according to a report by USA Today.

Though Miles said the Mexico race was “unlikely,” he believes the final schedule will 16 races at 15 venues over the course of seven months.

Miles said the series is waiting for a “highly, highly likely” event to be approved by a board around Oct. 13, going on to say it wasn’t Pocono Raceway.

“If we had to, we probably could put this out, in theory, sooner, but we want to go through the formality and respect the process of a formal approval from one of the promoters,” Miles said.

Miles said the Mexico City race has been put on hold due to concerns for proper promotion for the event, which would be the series’ first outside the United States since racing in Brazil in 2013.

“The process they needed to go through to get everything lined up has not really left a lot of time to be confident that everything can be done to properly promote the first race,” Miles told USA Today. “So I think the conversation is very much about ‘17. We just kind of ran out of time for ‘16.”

This is what is know about the 2016 IndyCar schedule so far.

Either the track, IndyCar, or an IndyCar support series (Pirelli World Challenge) have announced these dates for 2016:

March 13: St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 17: Long Beach, Calif.
April 24: Birmingham, Ala.
May 14: Indianapolis, In. (Indy GP)
May 29: Indianapolis, In. (100th Indy 500)
June 4-5: Detroit, Mich.
June 11: Fort Worth, Texas
June 26: Elkhart Lake, Wis.
July 31: Lexington, Ohio
Sept. 4: Boston, Mass.
Sept. 18: Sonoma, Calif.

These dates are not formal but are highly likely for 2016, per media reports:

April 2: Phoenix, AZ
July 17: Toronto, Ontario

These tracks have been rumored, but are yet to announce the status of IndyCar races for 2016:

Iowa Speedway
Pocono Raceway
The Milwaukee Mile
Gateway International Raceway