One of the goals and challenges for the Verizon IndyCar Series in its offseason is to keep its drivers in some sort of national consciousness once the offseason hits after the season finale.
This occurred well last year with James Hinchcliffe on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” after partnering with Sharna Burgess. The likable “Team Stop and Go” finished runner-up to Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.
Meanwhile in another racing-to-pop culture connection, one-time Indianapolis 500 starter and Indy Lights veteran Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of INDYCAR Race Steward and two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, has been named the new “bachelor” for ABC’s series of the same name.
Now it appears, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet by CBS or INDYCAR, that a pair of IndyCar rising stars, good friends, roommates and popular Americans in Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly will be part of the 30th and next season of CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” the popular adventure competition show.
A few posts that circulated on Twitter on Sunday revealed Rossi and Daly as anticipated new contestants. You can see those below, including from one of Rossi’s top fans, Sarah Connors.
Daly made his competition show debut in NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” this year after a trio of drivers – Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden – did so in 2016. He switched to A.J. Foyt Enterprises this year after racing in 2016 with Dale Coyne Racing.
Interestingly, Daly posted a cryptic tweet after the season that he’d be taking a break from social media, but he didn’t give a reason why.
Rossi won the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and has found a home in IndyCar with Andretti Autosport and NAPA Auto Parts over the last two seasons, coming home to America after his long pursuit of Formula 1 that saw him make five Grands Prix starts in 2015.
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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