The IndyCar season is still more than two months away (season opener March 11 at St. Petersburg), but 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly are already racing.
They’re not chasing a checkered flag, but there is a potential $1 million prize on the line for the two drivers.
And instead of racing in Indianapolis, they’ll be found going from New York to Iceland of all places as they take part in tonight’s 30th season debut of “The Amazing Race.”
Rossi and Daly are one of 11 teams taking part in the CBS show (8 p.m. ET). With the show’s taping taking part last fall, after the 2017 IndyCar season had concluded, they’re sworn to secrecy as to how their joint effort eventually plays out in the “Race.”
If they continue to advance through the field, more clues will be released on Daly and Rossi’s progress with each subsequent show. And if that happens, they’re hoping to add more fans for both themselves and the sport.
“There are probably people who watch ‘The Amazing Race’ that have never seen an INDYCAR race,” Daly said in a media release. “I think we’ll probably open ourselves up to a different fan base.”
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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