According to Bob Pockrass of SportingNews.com, Martin is committed to his newly-hired role as driver coach for the entire RFR organization, particularly working with young drivers like Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Reed and Trevor Bayne.
“You know me well enough to know that I’m not going to say (never),” Martin told Pockrass. “But I’ll just tell you I have no interest at this time. I have no interest in even practicing a car or testing a car at this time.”
Martin last raced as a fill-in driver for Tony Stewart last season following Stewart’s wreck in a sprint car race in early August that not only caused him to sustain numerous injuries, it also ended his season as well.
Martin said he hasn’t missed his time away from the racetrack or the sport as a whole.
“I don’t ever flip on the TV and wish I was there,” Martin said. “I am happy where I am at. It’s probably less (of an urge) than I even expected to get back into a racecar.”
An investigation into the accident deemed that Bianchi had been driving too quickly under yellow flags, and cleared the event organizers and race officials of any blame.
However, Bianchi’s family today announced via British law firm Stewarts Law that it would be challenging these claims by launching legal action against the FIA, Formula One Group and the Marussia team.
“The family of Formula One racing driver, Jules Bianchi, has today announced they plan to take legal action in England relating to the fatal head injuries Jules Bianchi sustained in a violent collision with a mobile crane at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, 2014,” a statement read.
“Stewarts Law, the country’s largest litigation-only law firm, have this week sent formal pre-action letters of claim to:
the World Governing Body of Formula One, the FIA;
Team Marussia, who Jules was driving for at the time; and
the Formula One Group of companies, who control the TV and media rights for the sport.
“The letters explain why the Bianchi family feel the actions of one or more of those parties, amongst others, may have contributed to Jules’ fatal accident and invite them to accept that errors were made in the planning, timing, organisation and conduct of the race which took place in dangerous conditions during the typhoon season in Japan.
“The recipients of the letters of claim will be expected to respond in due course, to explain their actions in connection with the race and to indicate if they dispute the claim.”
“Jules Bianchi’s death was avoidable,” Stewarts Law partner Julian Chamberlayne added. “The FIA Panel Inquiry Report into this accident made numerous recommendations to improve safety in Formula One but failed to identify where errors had been made which led to Jules’ death.
“It was surprising and distressing to the Bianchi family that the FIA panel in its conclusions, whilst noting a number of contributing factors, blamed Jules.
“The Bianchi family are determined that this legal process should require those involved to provide answers and to take responsibility for any failings. This is important if current and future drivers are to have confidence that safety in the sport will be put first.
“If this had been the case in Suzuka, Jules Bianchi would most likely still be alive and competing in the sport he loved today.”
Jules’ father, Philippe Bianchi, explained the decision to launch legal action.
“We seek justice for Jules, and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son’s crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014,” Bianchi Sr. said.
“As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules’ accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made.”
Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets in first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday as the new ultra-soft tire made its debut.
Pirelli announced over the winter that it had developed a fifth dry compound for 2016 that is bespoke for street circuits such as Monaco.
The purple-ringed tire has only featured in testing so far this year, but made its official grand prix weekend debut in a truncated first practice in Monaco.
Hamilton and Rosberg immediately put the ultra-soft tire to good use, heading out early for a flurry of quick laps that were already faster than the pole position time from 2015.
Hamilton ultimately won the battle, with his lap of 1:15.537 being enough for P1 by one-tenth of a second as Mercedes began its fightback from a double DNF in Spain.
The session was interrupted by four virtual safety car periods. Felipe Massa was responsible for the first after clouting the barrier at Ste Devote, before Esteban Gutierrez and Jolyon Palmer both stopped on track in the final 30 minutes of the running.
A final VSC was throw with five minutes remaining in the session after a drain cover broke free at Turn 1, causing Rosberg to suffer a left-rear puncture and then leaving Jenson Button’s McLaren with significant front wing damage. The session was then red flagged, bringing an early end to proceedings
Nevertheless, Mercedes eased clear at the top of the standings, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finishing as the best of the rest in third place, four-tenths of a second down on Hamilton.
Daniel Ricciardo put his newly-updated Renault power unit to good use to finish the session fourth-fastest for Red Bull, beating teammate Max Verstappen who continued his good form after his victory in Spain to end the session fifth.
Daniil Kvyat impressed for Toro Rosso to finish FP1 in sixth place, narrowly behind the man who replaced him at Red Bull. Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez ended the session seventh and eighth respectively for Force India, while Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Even though she hasn’t raced since 2003, Shirley Muldowney still has scores of fans.
And many of them, when they heard the news that she would undergo surgery today to remove her right lung due to Stage 2 lung cancer, offered prayers and well wishes on this site, as well as on social media.
Well, even though details are slim, it appears that a five-hour surgery Wednesday morning was a success for the 75-year-old, three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion and one-time AHRA champ.
Muldowney’s agent, Rob Geiger tweeted updates earlier this evening that is great news:
INDIANAPOLIS – The Mazda Road to Indy has a double dip of content this weekend with the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at the Lucas Oil Raceway short oval in Clermont, Ind., outside Indianapolis.
Both events are on Friday; the Freedom 100 airs at noon ET and local time as part of NBCSN’s Carb Day coverage. Kevin Lee, Anders Krohn and Katie Hargitt will have the call for the Freedom.
The Freedom 100 is arguably the marquee race of the year for Indy Lights, and a good springboard to the Verizon IndyCar Series – no less than 24 of the 33 starters in this year’s Indianapolis 500 field have some degree of Mazda Road to Indy experience.
That being said, the randomness of the Freedom 100 has produced a variety of winners who haven’t exactly gone on to huge things in IndyCar.
Here’s the past winners list:
2015: Jack Harvey
2014: Gabby Chaves
2013: Peter Dempsey
2012: Esteban Guerrieri
2011: Josef Newgarden
2010: Wade Cunningham
2009: Wade Cunningham
2008: Dillon Battistini
2007: Alex Lloyd
2006: Wade Cunningham
2005: Jaime Camara
2004: Thiago Medeiros
2003: Ed Carpenter
That’s three past winners in Carpenter, Newgarden and Chaves who are racing on Sunday. Harvey, Dempsey and Guerrieri have a combined zero starts; meanwhile all of Cunningham, Battistini, Camara and Medeiros had less than a season of in IndyCar.
Polesitters have been random too, with some surprises including Ethan Ringel (last year) and Ken Losch (2007) of note.
Traditionally Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has fielded strong entries at the Speedway, and that puts any of its four cars – talented sophomore RC Enerson, Pro Mazda champion Santiago Urrutia and fellow rookies Andre Negrao and Heamin Choi into contention almost from the off. Enerson, in particular, is due his first win of the year after niggling turbo issues have hampered most of his season.
Belardi Auto Racing, given its engineering strength in depth, is also a strong contender and a winner here twice previously in dramatic fashion with Chaves and Dempsey. This year they have Zach Veach, who topped the 200-mph mark during testing on Monday, and Felix Rosenqvist, who will look for a significantly better second oval start than his first at Phoenix.
Either of Enerson and Veach would make it seven winners in eight races this year. The other six thus far are, in order, Felix Serralles, Rosenqvist, Kyle Kaiser, Ed Jones, Urrutia and Dean Stoneman.
Kaiser expects to be better than both he and the Juncos Racing team were here last year. Another potential surprise is Neil Alberico, who was strong in testing despite a slight incident in the first session.
Choi, replacing Scott Anderson, is the only driver change among the 16 entered for the Freedom 100. It’s the biggest field for this race since 2012, when 18 cars started – only 11 have started each of the last three years.
Arguably the more intriguing part of the weekend from the Pro Mazda or USF2000 perspective is the launch of the new Tatuus USF-17 car, which gets unveiled Friday morning, 9 a.m., at IMS.
It’s the second new car to be unveiled at IMS in recent years, with the Dallara IL-15 Mazda having been unveiled in May 2014 ahead of its race debut for 20115.
The Pro Mazda and USF2000 races occur later in the day on Friday at IMS.
In Pro Mazda, the question is whether anyone can stop the Pato O’Ward roll of awesomeness for Team Pelfrey. The young Mexican has won five of six races to date, although teammate Aaron Telitz is a past winner at Lucas Oil Raceway in USF2000. The remaining six drivers in the field will look to end O’Ward’s run of form.
USF2000 sees its field temporarily cut in half for its lone oval race of the season, down from 27 cars entered at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend to a mere 14 cars on the 0.686-mile oval.
While Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and Pabst Racing have three cars entered apiece – Parker Thompson and Anthony Martin have propelled Cape to four straight wins this year -known oval setup ace John Walko will likely have Victor Franzoni’s car ready to go to contend.