Photo: IndyCar

INDYCAR confirms four primary manufacturer extensions

1 Comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – INDYCAR’s four primary manufacturers – engine/aero kit partners Chevrolet and Honda, tire partner Firestone and chassis partner Dallara – have all announced multiyear extensions during a press conference on Friday at this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

While none of those manufacturers would be pressed on the exact year of their extensions, multiyear is believed to mean at least through 2020 with the potential it is longer than that.

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, Dallara was announced for an extension through 2020. This meant that even if Dallara was not to be selected as the manufacturer of INDYCAR’s new 2018 universal aero kit, the base Dallara DW12 chassis would be pressed into service for three further years beyond 2017.

In the same month, INDYCAR also announced a multiyear extension with Firestone, whose prior contract ran through 2018.

Honda’s last announced contract extension was at the IndyCar media day in February 2016, which was for two years (2016-2017) with a three-year option (2018-2020). Although Honda did not confirm that portion today, the confirmation of an extension here implies a sync up with at least 2020 per that option length, and with the Dallara date confirmation in January.

Chevrolet does not comment on the length or exact dates of its extensions except to say multiyear. But their confirmation today is good news to ensure the series maintains engine competition for the forthcoming years.

Both Honda’s Art St. Cyr and Chevrolet’s Mark Kent stated for the record they would welcome a third manufacturer, although from a signing, building and developing an engine standpoint, it’s highly unlikely one would arrive before 2019.

St. Cyr, Kent, Dallara’s Stefano De Ponti, Firestone’s Lisa Boggs and INDYCAR’s Jay Frye were all present at today’s announcement in St. Petersburg.

A further analysis of the extension with quotes will follow in due course.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

Follow@KyleMLavigne