Indy 500 Sunday morning update: We finally have official updates from IMS, INDYCAR

1 Comment

UPDATE: INDYCAR senior officials Mark Miles (Hulman & Co. CEO) and Derrick Walker (INDYCAR president of competition and operations) have made an appearance in the media center.

The pair have confirmed the aerodynamic downforce levels that teams qualify with will be the ones they race with.

The series has also confirmed no points will be awarded for qualifying, when it starts.

Here is Miles’ statement:

“This morning we saw a third car get into the wall, turn backward and lift into the air. We’ve said all along we want to go faster, but we want to do so safely.

“As a precautionary measure, INDYCAR will require that the cars qualify today in the same aero setup that they will run in the Indianapolis 500 next weekend. Also, for today, boost levels will return to race conditions. Given these changes, we have elected to not award points for today’s qualifications.

“Safety for drivers and fans is the top priority for INDYCAR and we will continue to be proactive in our research and development to improve all safety aspects of our sport.”

Today’s revised schedule:
1:30 – 2 p.m. – Group 1 practice
2 – 2:30 p.m. – Group 2 practice
*Note: No guaranteed green flag time
2:45 p.m. – Group 1 in tech line
3:15 p.m. – Group 2 in tech line
3:15 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifications (all cars, one time through)
30 minutes following conclusion of qualifying – Group 2 qualifying (Pos. 31-33 and unqualified cars)
*Note: There will be no Fast Nine Shootout

MANUFACTURER STATEMENTS

Here’s a statement from Art St.Cyr, president, Honda Performance Development, regarding the changes instituted today for Indianapolis 500 qualifying:

“Even though we have every confidence in our design, we support INDYCAR in their efforts to improve safety.”

Here’s a statement from Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports:

“Chevrolet met with IndyCar this morning and the decision was made to run race-level aerodynamics and engine boost during qualifying in an effort to reduce speeds and increase downforce. We continue to review all available data from the crashes. Safety is our priority.”

11:45 a.m. ET: It’s been a chaotic morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Ed Carpenter’s crash, and we have some level of update, although not a fully official one.

First, here is the latest updated schedule, per IMS.

The updated schedule comes after a frantic morning where a series of meetings have occurred via the INDYCAR trailer between both Chevrolet and Honda officials, with INDYCAR officials, as all parties are trying to figure out the course of action from here regarding safety with the new aero kits and changes to the cars.

Per Indianapolis ABC affiliate reporter Dave Furst, also a member of the IMS Radio Network, INDYCAR has made the decision to drop the extra qualifying boost (130 kPa back instead of the 140 kPa, which increases horsepower), and also for the Chevrolet teams to take the sidepod wheel ramps off.

The wheel ramps were the new aero kit part tested by Chevrolet during the week.

Additionally, it appears teams will have to race in the aerodynamic trim they will qualify with. More here from RACER.com’s Marshall Pruett and Robin Miller.

Meanwhile, as media gathered outside the INDYCAR trailer at IMS, reporters on the ground indicated that they were told to move away from the trailer. See a tweet from Indianapolis Star reporter Curt Cavin below:

Here is the scene outside the trailer:

As both Honda and Chevrolet teams met with INDYCAR, there were some driver tweets that began to emerge. See tweets below from Honda drivers Graham Rahal, Gabby Chaves and Conor Daly:

We have also had two key interviews of note. First was IMS President J. Douglas Boles issuing an update to the PA system:

“Had this been a one off we wouldn’t be as worried as we are right now. We have had 3 of them.

“The cars have come in, hit the wall.

“What we are trying to do right now, the best we can and INDYCAR can ensure this is not going to continue to happen.

“We are letting the INDYCAR folks and engineers know how to do that.

“I’m hoping in the next 10-15 minutes we will know what we’re going to do to go forward.

“I’m staying in touch with INDYCAR guys. Fans want to see racing action. I will stay in touch. But apologize for the delay in voice.

“If we can make it safer, that is what we are trying to do.”

Here was Carpenter then, speaking to NBCSN IndyCar pit reporter Kevin Lee, this weekend working with the IMS Radio Network.

“Really immediately I’m thinking what does this mean for my chances to get in the Indianapolis 500? It didn’t feel like a hard hit. It looks bad. I was just thinking am I able to get in the race? The whole CFH team – unfortunately twice in a week – has to put together a new car. They put another new car together in 2 and a half hours. Waiting to see the schedule. At this point I’m optimistic we’ll make the next practice.

“We had a meeting. I’m not going to comment until they make a statement. All the Chevy owners. We thought what we thought would be a direction. Honda has been 2 or 3 times longer. We’re waiting to see the decision after that meeting.

“The delays aren’t hurting us at the moment.

“I’m not sure who came to who. I’m not sure who asked for a meeting. I got asked to go over there.”

Sports imitates art with Tyler Bereman’s Red Bull Imagination course

Red Bull Imagination Bereman
Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool
0 Comments

This past weekend riders took on the Red Bull Imagination, a one-of-a-kind event conceived by Tyler Bereman – an event that blended art, imagination, and sports.

In its third year, Red Bull Imagination opened to the public for the first-time, inviting fans to experience a more personal and creative side of the riders up close and personal.

As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.

“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.

MORE: Trystan Hart wins Red Bull Tennessee Knockout 

Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.

Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.

Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.

He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.

Tyler Bereman uses one of Red Bull Imagination’s unique jumps. Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.

The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.

With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.

Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.