IndyCar Testing

IndyCar: Montoya angry with Carpenter following late Iowa crash (VIDEO)


Juan Pablo Montoya was as jovial as can be after winning at Pocono Raceway. A week later at Iowa Speedway, he was the exact opposite after being forced into an accident with 19 laps remaining in Saturday’s Iowa Corn Indy 300.

Montoya had recovered from losing a rear wing endplate early in the race to run amongst the Top 10 late. But as he attempted to make an inside move on Ed Carpenter in Turn 3 for position, Carpenter appeared to move down.

That caused Montoya to go below the yellow line, then slide up the race track and into the wall to end his night.

Before going in for his ride to the infield care center, Montoya and Carpenter traded gestures as the latter ran by under caution. Montoya stretched out his arms as if to say ‘What the heck?’ and Carpenter raised his right hand from the cockpit as if to say ‘What did I do?’

“I got inside of him and he just – he was running high and all of a sudden, he decides to run low,” a frustrated Montoya told NBCSN (see the interview clip above).

“He’d been running every lap on the top…They all love preaching ‘safe racing’ and everything, but when you’re gonna pass them, they’re just [d-bags], you know?”

When informed that INDYCAR chose to take no action against Carpenter, Montoya vowed that “[he’ll] take some action later.”

Perhaps sensing a confrontation in his near future, Carpenter tried to strike a conciliatory tone after going on to finish fifth.

“I feel bad,” said Carpenter, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ sole owner/driver. “I certainly wasn’t trying to take him out. I knew he had been working me inside. I was struggling, I was just gonna try the low side that time. I didn’t know he was that far in there.

“Lee [Bentham], my spotter, was trying to tell me he was there, but was too late – I had already started coming down. So, my apologies. I definitely wouldn’t appreciate that if I was on the end of it. At the same time, it wasn’t intentional.

“I have a lot of respect for Juan, so hopefully we can talk about it without me getting my butt kicked.”

Montoya was credited with a 16th-place finish.

Lotus prepared for close fight with Force India for P5

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 26:  Romain Grosjean of France and Lotus drives during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on September 26, 2015 in Suzuka.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Lotus technical director Nick Chester believes that the team faces a close fight with Force India for fifth place in the constructors’ championship that will rage on until the end of the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Lotus currently ranks sixth in the teams’ standings, 17 points behind Force India in fifth with five races remaining this year.

Finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship would not only secure some much-needed additional prize money for Lotus, but it would also secure it a place on the F1 Strategy Group for 2016 when it is poised to become Renault F1 Team.

Reflecting on last weekend’s race in Japan, Chester said he was pleased with the double-points finished achieved by Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, and believes that the team can catch up in the coming weeks if Force India hits trouble.

“[Japan] was very rewarding and also very important for us in our fight for fifth place in the constructors’ championship,” Chester said. “We closed up a little bit more on Force India and of course there is a bit more to do.

“They had a good race in Monza when both our cars got knocked out but effectively we’re one good race away where they have a bad one and we can catch up. It will be tight all the way until the end of the season.

Looking ahead to the upcoming Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Chester spoke of the challenge posed to both the teams and the drivers by the tight and twisting circuit around the site of the old winter Olympic park.

“We know that the surface is very smooth and last year we struggled generating temperature with the tires, partly through the smooth surface and partly through what was a conservative tire allocation,” Chester said.

“Pirelli’s softer allocation for this year along with the more weathered track surface and our better knowledge of the circuit should mean we fare far better in this regard. In terms of its needs, we know that it’s a track that is quite power and traction-sensitive.

“The layout presents a lot of slow speed corners and long straights. Braking down into turn 13 is very severe and you come out of the kink before you brake so it is a difficult corner to get right. Overall, the whole track is quite technical, so it certainly a challenging one for the drivers.”

Status targets 2016 GP2 title after GP3 exit

2015 GP2 Series Round 8.
Autodromo di Monza, Italy.
Sunday 6 September 2015.
Marlon Stockinger (PHL, Status Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
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Status Grand Prix has set its sights on winning the 2016 GP2 Series championship following its decision to close down its GP3 team at the end of the current season.

Earlier this week, GP3 issued a statement confirming its team roster for the next three seasons that featured new entries from DAMS and Virtuosi Racing.

However, both Carlin and Status did not appear on the list, signalling that both had opted to leave GP3 at the end of 2015.

Status first entered GP3 back in 2010, but only set up a GP2 team in 2015 after taking over the old Caterham Racing operation.

This will now become the main focus for the Irish outfit, though, as explained by team boss Teddy Yip Jr. earlier this week.

“Status Grand Prix has not renewed entry into the GP3 Series from 2016 onwards in order to maximize focus on our GP2 campaign,” Yip said.

“Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series, we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.

“We are very proud to have given opportunities and achieved success with drivers such as Robert Wickens, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims and our current GP2 race winner, Richie Stanaway.

“We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016.”

Both GP2 and GP3 return from a one-month break next weekend in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.