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100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: Andretti Autosport

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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Here’s Andretti Autosport.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 championship team (2005, 2007, 2014) has endured a difficult start to the season and hope that Indy, a traditional stomping ground, can be the place where its 2016 ship gets righted with the usual five-car entry.

ENTRIES

Carlos Munoz, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, No. 27 Snapple Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay (W), No. 28 DHL Honda
Townsend Bell, No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda
Alexander Rossi (R), No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda

2016 SEASON SO FAR

Heading into May, Andretti Autosport’s quartet has largely struggled with mechanical grip and balance on their cars, and hasn’t even been the leading Honda runner.

Ryan Hunter-Reay has driven brilliantly in the opening races but outside of a podium at St. Petersburg has little to show for it. Carlos Munoz feels confident in his ability but his pace has been negatively balanced out by mistakes. Marco Andretti has been great at passing but been stuck near the back of the grid and Alexander Rossi has been clean and consistent, but similarly hamstrung as his teammates in trying to advance out of the midfield.

INDY OUTLOOK

Andretti’s hopes for all five of its bullets may rest on Honda’s engine improvements – in an ideal world, Andretti could spring a surprise on race day similar to what Ganassi and its Hondas then did in 2012.

Otherwise it could be a long month for the team that’s usually a top-five and win contender at Indy. The package may limit several of its drivers – and that’s the interesting part considering at least four of the team’s five drivers are notably strong here. Rossi remains a fascinating prospect for his first Indy 500 experience. 

RECENT RESULTS

  • 2015: 6. 27-Andretti (8), 15. 28-Hunter-Reay (16), 19. 29-de Silvestro (18), 20. 26-Munoz (11), 21. 25-Wilson (6)
  • 2014: 1. 28-Hunter-Reay (19), 3. 25-Andretti (6), 4. 34-Munoz (7), 6. 26-Busch (12), 28. 27-Hinchcliffe (2)
  • 2013: 2. 26-Munoz (2), 3. 1-Hunter-Reay (7), 4. 25-Andretti (3), 18. 5-Viso (4), 21. 27-Hinchcliffe (9)
  • 2012: 6. 27-Hinchcliffe (2), 23. 25-Beatriz (13), 24. 26-Andretti (4), 26. 17-Saavedra (24), 27. 28-Hunter-Reay (3)

*Note, with Bryan Herta Autosport running under the Andretti banner for Rossi’s entry this year, here’s its record. The team will race five years to the day, May 29, after Dan Wheldon captured the dramatic win in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500, the 95th running in 2011.

  • 2015: 16. 98-Chaves (26)
  • 2014: 20. 98-Hawksworth (13)
  • 2013: 24. 98-Tagliani (11)
  • 2012: 12. 98-Tagliani (11)

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”