Unofficial Indianapolis 500 starting grid and IndyCar points


Not only was this weekend qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, but with the new format came a new points system that could see a maximum of 42 points achieved if a driver qualified fastest on both Saturday (33 points) and Sunday (9 points). And Indianapolis 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter has done just that.

Obviously, those that broke into the Fast Nine shootout took home the bulk of the qualifying points.

Six others – James Hinchcliffe (38), Helio Castroneves (37), Will Power (36), Carlos Munoz (35), Marco Andretti (34) and Simon Pagenaud (31) – took home more than 30 points on qualifying weekend, the net equivalent of at least a fifth-place finish in a normal race.

Here’s a breakdown of where every driver qualified Saturday, Sunday and their points totals.

Car Sat. Order (Pts) Sun. Order (Pts) Total Pts
20 Carpenter 1 (33) 1 (9) 42
34 Munoz 2 (32) 7 (3) 35
3 Castroneves 3 (31) 4 (6) 37
27 Hinchcliffe 4 (30) 2 (8) 38
12 Power 5 (29) 3 (7) 36
25 Andretti 6 (28) 6 (4) 32
77 Pagenaud 7 (27) 5 (5) 31
67 Newgarden 8 (26) 8 (2) 28
21 Hildebrand 9 (25) 9 (1) 26
26 Busch 10 (24) 12 24
28 Hunter-Reay 11 (23) 19 23
98 Hawksworth 12 (22) 13 22
2 Montoya 13 (21) 10 21
19 Wilson 14 (20) 14 20
9 Dixon 15 (19) 11 19
7 Aleshin 16 (18) 15 18
8 Briscoe 17 (17) 30 17
14 Sato 18 (16) 23 16
83 Kimball 19 (15) 26 15
15 Rahal 20 (14) 20 14
22 Karam 21 (13) 31 13
6 Bell 22 (12) 25 12
10 Kanaan 23 (11) 16 11
11 Bourdais 24 (10) 17 10
63 Mann 25 (9) 22 9
17 Saavedra 26 (8) 32 8
5 Villeneuve 27 (7) 27 7
33 Davison 28 (6) 28 6
16 Servia 29 (5) 18 5
18 Huertas 30 (4) 21 4
68 Tagliani 31 (3) 24 3
41 Plowman 32 (2) 29 2
91 Lazier 33 (1) 33 1

Which means that, unofficially, the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings looks like this coming out of qualifying:

1.  Will Power, 185
2.  Simon Pagenaud, 175
3.  Ryan Hunter-Reay, 171
4.  Helio Castroneves, 139
5.  Marco Andretti, 121
6.  Scott Dixon, 121
7.  Justin Wilson, 107
8.  Josef Newgarden, 99
9.  Ryan Briscoe, 97
10. Carlos Munoz, 96
11. James Hinchcliffe, 94
12. Mike Conway, 93
13. Tony Kanaan, 93
14. Jack Hawksworth, 93
15. Juan Pablo Montoya, 91
16. Sebastien Bourdais, 91
17. Takuma Sato, 91
18. Charlie Kimball, 82
19. Mikhail Aleshin, 77
20. Sebastian Saavedra, 71
21. Graham Rahal, 69
22. Carlos Huertas, 67
23. Oriol Servia, 60
24. Ed Carpenter, 42
25. JR Hildebrand, 26
26. Kurt Busch, 24
27. Martin Plowman, 14
28. Sage Karam, 13
29. Townsend Bell, 12
30. Pippa Mann, 9
31. Franck Montagny, 8
32. Jacques Villeneuve, 7
33. James Davison, 6
34. Alex Tagliani, 3
35. Buddy Lazier, 1

And now, the starting grid for the 98th Indianapolis 500, after Saturday’s, Sunday’s Group 1 and Fast Nine qualifying:

20-Ed Carpenter, 231.067
27-James Hinchcliffe, 230.839
12-Will Power, 230.697

3-Helio Castroneves, 230.649
77-Simon Pagenaud, 230.614
25-Marco Andretti, 230.544

34-Carlos Munoz, 230.146
67-Josef Newgarden, 229.893
21-JR Hildebrand, 228.726

2-Juan Pablo Montoya, 231.007
9-Scott Dixon, 230.928
26-Kurt Busch, 230.782

98-Jack Hawksworth, 230.506
19-Justin Wilson, 230.256
7-Mikhail Aleshin, 230.049

10-Tony Kanaan, 229.922
11-Sebastien Bourdais, 229.847
16-Oriol Servia, 229.752

28-Ryan Hunter-Reay, 229.719
15-Graham Rahal, 229.628
18-Carlos Huertas, 229.251

63-Pippa Mann, 229.223
14-Takuma Sato, 229.201
68-Alex Tagliani, 229.148

6-Townsend Bell, 229.009
83-Charlie Kimball, 228.953
5-Jacques Villeneuve, 228.949

ROW 10
33-James Davison, 228.865
41-Martin Plowman, 228.814
8-Ryan Briscoe, 228.713

ROW 11
22-Sage Karam, 228.436
17-Sebastian Saavedra, 228.088
91-Buddy Lazier, 227.920

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Cooper Tires named presenting sponsor for Mazda Road to Indy

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Cooper Tires has been named the presenting sponsor for the Mazda Road to Indy, in full.

See the release, below:

As the Official Tire of all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – Cooper Tires plays a key role in developing the next generation of open-wheel talent beyond providing high quality, dependable performance tires. Today, Cooper Tires increases its support by becoming the presenting sponsor of the highly acclaimed driver development ladder which will now be known as the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

“It is really an understatement to say that Cooper Tires is a great partner of our three series,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Chris Pantani, Director of Event Marketing and Motorsports for Cooper Tires, and his team are always looking for ways to improve our platform, be it from a competition standpoint to marketing and activation and driver development. Cooper and Mazda have a long relationship which extends outside of Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 to other series. It is fitting and appropriate that we now even more so acknowledge their efforts and partnership as the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.”

Cooper Tires has a formidable presence at every event on the racing calendar from its marketing activation unit, which also introduces fans to drivers via hosted Q&A sessions, to the funds distributed in Cooper Tires Pole Award presentations across the three series – funding that will increase in 2017 – to the popular Road to Indy TV App Powered by Cooper Tires, which provides live streaming, Timing and Scoring and more. Most recently, Cooper Tires was a track sponsor for the Toronto rounds featuring doubleheader races for all three series in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The MRTI Hashtag Program launched by Cooper Tires in 2014 and expanded to include full support from Mazda Motorsports in 2015, encourages and rewards drivers and teams who utilize the #MRTI and #TeamCooperTire hashtags in their social messaging on Twitter and Instagram. The contest periods feature unique challenges which allow drivers to win race tires along with other prizes such as merchandise from Mazda and race/hospitality tickets that they can give away to their fans. The hashtags also provide fans with an easy way to follow drivers in the series.

“Our level of commitment to the premier open-wheel development series is more than just as a sponsor; it is a commitment as a partner,” stated Pantani. “The Mazda Road to Indy, now presented by Cooper Tires, is integral to the development of young drivers aspiring to become IndyCar drivers. Extending its commitment to provide proven race tires on the track, Cooper Tires develops young driver’s needs on and off the track. This is where the #MRTI excels above all other series. Cooper Tire is proud to partner with Andersen Promotions and Mazda to make excellence happen.”

Cooper Tires in also a key partner in the scholarships that allow a driver to progress to the next step on the ladder. In 2016, more than $2.3 million in season-ending prizes and awards are on offer.

“This is great news for the Mazda Road to Indy,” said John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations. “It means a lot to have Cooper Tires alongside us in the entire program. We share similar goals and are committed to building and improving the best open-wheel ladder in the world, and this serves as another sign of continued stability and growth.”

The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be in full swing this week at Mid-Ohio with seven races comprising the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, the Royal Purple Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio and the Allied Building Products USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Cooper Tires will be rolling out collectible driver “baseball” cards which will be given away free to fans.

Nürburgring: Hosting German GP must be ‘economically justifiable’

NUERBURG, GERMANY - JULY 07:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Mark Webber of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing lead the field early in the German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring on July 7, 2013 in Nuerburg, Germany.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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The Nürburgring remains keen to play host to Formula 1 again in the future, but says that holding the German Grand Prix must be “economically justifiable”.

The German Grand Prix returns this weekend at Hockenheim after a one-year absence from the calendar when talks to hold the race at the Nürburgring in 2015 broke down.

The two tracks have alternated hosting the race since 2008, the deal ensuring that neither made a loss for two consecutive years.

F1 last visited the Nürburgring in 2013 when Sebastian Vettel claimed his first German Grand Prix win for Red Bull.

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said last December that he doubted the Nürburgring would host the race in 2017 due to the track’s financial uncertainty.

Although the Nürburgring does want to welcome F1 again in the future, it will only do so relying a deal is financially viable.

“Our position remains unchanged and we would like to organize the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring again,” a spokesperson from the track told NBC Sports.

“However, the business environment has to be economically justifiable.

“We will not afford Formula One at all costs.”

The Nürburgring played host to the FIA World Endurance Championship last weekend, welcoming a bumper crowd of 58,000 on race day.

An announcement was made mid-race confirming the date for the 2017 6 Hours of Nürburgring as July 16.

However, Montreal is due to host its first Formula E race the same weekend, with a number of the series’ drivers also racing in the WEC.

“The date has been requested by FIA WEC, we have confirmed this date and we agreed to the request of FIA WEC to release the date on Sunday,” the spokesperson said.

“From our point of view this date is 100 per cent fixed.”

CJ Wilson Racing, Chicago Blackhawks charities partner at Road America

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CJ Wilson Racing and the Chicago Blackhawks charities have come together for a partnership going into the next round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season at Road America.

A release from CJWR explaining said partnership is below:

The CJ Wilson Automotive Group and CJ Wilson Racing today announced a partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks, who will become the primary sponsor of the race team’s #35 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Road America. The car will compete in the colors of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities.

Livery design by Andy Blackmore Design
Livery design by Andy Blackmore Design

The partnership will officially launch at the United Center on Wednesday, August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m in advance of Saturday’s race. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car, meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard, and have their picture taken. Attendees can make a voluntary donation to Chicago Blackhawks Charities and one family from Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation will be invited to the race itself as the special guests of CJ Wilson Racing.

CJ-Wilson-BMW-KTM-blackhawks-2EditAutomotive Group and race team President, CJ Wilson, is excited about this unique partnership. “This is the first real opportunity for our team to partner with one of the ‘big four’ professional sports and create some crossover with professional racing.”

The two-time MLB All-Star went on to explain that “from a competitive standpoint we look forward to every race. We have taken a significant step up, moving from the ST level to GS and we are continuing to take further steps away from the track to expand our reach and our influence. Having the car available to Blackhawks fans at the United Center is really neat and is one of the elements of this partnership that has really excited us. Being able to show off these amazing machines in a non-traditional setting really shows people the commitment we have as an organization and hopefully gives them a better understanding of just how accessible our sport is.”

“It is great to be able to include the race team into our long-standing community-based charitable work and our ongoing efforts to give back to local Chicagoland initiatives,” added Eric Vates, Vice President of CJ Wilson Mazda. “It is exciting for the CJ Wilson Automotive Group to have the opportunity to incorporate our race team with one of our premier partners, the Chicago Blackhawks,” added Vates.

Fans can meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard and get up close to the CJ Wilson Racing Chicago Blackhawks Charities Porsche at the United Center on Wednesday August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Lot C (located on Warren Blvd. between Damen Ave. and Wood St.). The seventh round of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will take place at Road America, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 6, at 11:35 a.m.

Pirelli confirms Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GP tire selections

xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 15, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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The last two Grands Prix of the season will feature the widest range of dry weather compound tires, Pirelli has announced on Tuesday.

Its three hardest compounds – the soft, medium and hard tires – will be utilized for the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 13.

Two weeks later in Abu Dhabi for the season finale, however, Pirelli will go to the three softest – the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft tires.

These two races will follow on from the North American double in Austin and Mexico City, where Pirelli will go down the middle with the supersoft, soft and medium compounds.

The soft/medium/hard selections were used at Barcelona and Silverstone and will be used at Sepang and Suzuka.

Meanwhile the other ultrasoft/supersoft/soft races are Monaco, Montreal, Austria and the upcoming Singapore GP.

Pirelli’s season-long breakdown is linked here.