INDYCAR mandates structural upgrades to manufacturer bodywork components

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INDYCAR has confirmed both Honda and Chevrolet will make structural upgrades to certain bodywork components of their aero kits. Honda had previously announced an update for its kit. The full release from INDYCAR is below:

INDYCAR announced it has mandated structural upgrades to strengthen designated Honda and Chevrolet bodywork components in advance of this weekend’s inaugural race at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La. The modifications include the addition of components that will improve the overall strength of the bodywork for both manufacturer entries. The components have been redesigned by each manufacturer and approved by INDYCAR for implementation for the balance of this season.

“We applaud both Honda and Chevrolet for their efforts to implement these changes,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “With a quick turnaround from St. Petersburg, our partners were very diligent in making these enhancements in time for this weekend’s event. We will continue this collaboration and expect additional improvements in the future.”

The structural upgrades announced today were implemented to minimize the amount of damage to bodywork components in the event of car-to-car contact, which will benefit teams, manufacturers and Verizon IndyCar Series fans.

“INDYCAR delivers a quality racing product and we will always be proactive to implement changes that benefit our fans,” Walker continued. “These upgrades are a good first step that will make immediate improvements to the race this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park.”

The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be held April 12 at NOLA Motorsports Park and will be broadcast live on NBCSN (2:30 p.m. ET) and the IMS Radio Network, Sirius 213 and XM 209.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”