Carlin Racing announced today in a press release that Conor Daly will pilot the No. 59 Chevrolet for Carlin Racing in Saturday’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway (coverage begins at 8pm ET on NBCSN).
Daly replaces Max Chilton, who will sit out the four remaining oval races on this season’s schedule. Chilton will continue to compete for Carlin in all five remaining road/street course races.
“I want to thank everyone at Carlin and Gallagher for the opportunity to get back in a race car at Texas,” Daly said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Carlin back in 2011 as I started my European racing journey and to now drive for them in the NTT IndyCar Series is pretty special. I look forward to being able to contribute to the team as best I can.”
Texas will mark the second IndyCar start for Daly this season. He finished 10th for Andretti Autosport in last month’s Indianapolis 500.
Carlin has not yet announced who will replace Chilton at Iowa, Pocono and Gateway.
Chilton did not cite an exact reason for stepping away from ovals, but noted INDYCAR’s planned 2020 introduction of a new aero screen for all cars.
“I’m excited and pleased by the outstanding proactive work being done by INDYCAR around driver safety and the innovation of the solution developed in partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies that has created a new aero screen,” he said. “The innovative solution will be the most advanced single-seater driver head protection in the world and will be introduced in 2020.
“My focus remains on getting the best possible results for the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin crew, and I will be helping the team and Conor in any way I can to that end.”
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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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