Photo: IndyCar

100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: Ed Carpenter Racing

1 Comment

MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Next up, Ed Carpenter Racing.

Perpetually good but not great at Indy, the two-time polesitters (2013, 2014) look to topple the proverbial Penske/Ganassi juggernaut this year. In each of its three all-American drivers, they have a popular first-time ‘500 winner-in-waiting.

ENTRIES 

JR Hildebrand, No. 6 Preferred Freezer Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet

2016 SEASON SO FAR

Like last year, Josef Newgarden will be looking to hope his Barber podium will kickstart the rest of his season. At eighth in the points, has been fighting most of the year as a one-car entrant, although his team will grow first by one for the GP and then by two for the ‘500. Carpenter retired from his only start of the year at Phoenix.

INDY OUTLOOK

This race means everything to this trio. Carpenter, the Butler graduate and smart businessman, has long desired an Indy 500 race win but desperately needs a result of sort after two tough ‘500s in a row. Hildebrand, 2011’s nearly man, has been super consistent with back-to-back ‘500 top-10s, not easy to do in a one-off role. Newgarden is yet to have a truly standout month of May and will be hoping this year presents that opportunity.

Not the favorites, but with a bit of tweaking on their setups, strong top-five contenders.

  • 2015 (as CFH): 8. 6-Hildebrand (10), 9. 21-Newgarden (9), 30. 20-Carpenter (12)
  • 2014: 10. 21-Hildebrand (9), 27. 20-Carpenter (1)
  • 2013: 10. 20-Carpenter (1)
  • 2012: 21. 20-Carpenter (28)

*Note – the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) team fused into what was CFH Racing last year, before the team reverted back to its original 2012-2014 name as ECR this year. The SFHR-only results are below:

  • 2014: 13. 68-Tagliani (24), 30. 67-Newgarden (8)
  • 2013: 28. 21-Newgarden (25)
  • 2012: 25. 67-Newgarden (7), 30. 39-Clauson (31)

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.