Photo: IndyCar

Rahal tops IndyCar warm-up in Sonoma

Leave a comment

Non-championship contenders led the way in warm-up for today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Graham Rahal was quickest for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with a best lap of 1:16.9608, the only driver to break into the 1:16 bracket.

Behind Rahal, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot was second, with a best lap of 1:17.6641. Championship contenders completed the top five, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in third and Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden in fourth and fifth.

Of note, the remaining championship combatants Simon Pagenaud and Will Power were 16th and 19th, respectively.

The session was stopped briefly when Dixon’s teammate Max Chilton spun and stalled exiting Turn 3. However, he did not hit anything and was able to continue on, ending up 12th.

Times are below.

Follow @KyleMLavigne

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