What is the IRL?

All about Indy Racing League (IRL)

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Providing an equal playing field.........

Postby mlittle » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:38 pm

One of the more familiar sights at any IndyCar Series event is Perkin-Elmer official Jesse Leonard, who can be seen working his way from car to car, extracting samples of 100% fuel grad ethanol from each car for testing; after getting each sample, he carefully notes the number of the vial he inserts each fuel sample in before inserting all the individual vials into a gas chromatograph for testing. Under IRL rules, all fuel samples cannot vary from the current standard by more than 0.10 percent. When asked about the testing and certification process, here's what the soft-spoken Leonard had to say...........
What we're doing is checking the fuel to make sure they don't have any additives or anything that's not supposed to be there whether they put it there or not.
(Mod's note #1...that's essentially the same standard the IOC and other sports organizations have concerning positive drug tests of athletes for steroids or other drugs....in other words, you're responsible regardless of the circumstances.)

The testing procedures take about five minutes or so and involve a fairly straight-forward process......every car is tested following each practice session, then a random group(top-3 plus three more) is checked followed qualifying and following the race. IndyCar Series rules require that the fuel used be 100% fuel-grade ethanol(98% ethanol and 2% gasoline*). Since 2007, the Indy Racing League has used 100% ethanol as fuel in the IndyCar Series, the first major international motorsports series to use a renewable fuel. The ethanol is supplied by Lifeline Foods of St. Joseph, Missouri and delivered via. tanker to Superior Solvents & Chemicals in Indianapolis, Ind., where it is stored prior to shipment to every IndyCar Series event within North America. (Mod's note #2....when the series travels to Motegi and, starting this year, to Surfers Paradise, the series will use series-certified local ethanol suppliers.) Once the fuel is delivered to each track, Leonard checks the fuel in the truck each day(due to varying levels of humidity each day at the track). As our soft-spoken fuel examiner puts it,
We take a sample from the truck each day; that's the baseline and we compare each car to the baseline so that there's nothing in the car that's not in the truck. That way, everyone's on an equal playing field.
*---both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Treasury require the ethanol to be denatured w/gasoline for differing reasons; USDA rules require the denaturing so that the ethanol can't be used for human consumption........Treasury rules require the denaturing so that the fuel can be transported across state lines; otherwise, federal law requires the ethanol to be taxed as an alcoholic substance.
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A treasury of information.......

Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:01 pm

Have you ever wanted to have your picture taken with the IndyCar Series Championship Trophy? How about see the closest finish in auto racing history, or do donuts after winning your first race?

The interactive IndyCar Fan Zone, which opens its doors to spectators at every racetrack, allows you to experience those things and more. Housed in two trailers set up perpendicular, the Fan Zone contains a treasury of information and memories.

The anatomy section of the Fan Zone dissects items such as chassis weight and what is the diameter of a Firestone Firehawk tire. Take a stroll through the last 100 years with Firestone tires to see where it all began. Stop, listen and watch the finish between Logan Gomez and Alex Lloyd at Chicagoland Speedway, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the closest in racing history. It feels just like you were there.

Did you know that the IndyCar Series travels with a safety team? The Fan Zone allows you to see and feel what keeps the drivers safe. Run your fingers across a racing suit, buckle a safety harness and see what makes up a helmet. One major innovation is the SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier, and the Fan Zone has a section to examine. Can you imagine the impact a driver would feel without it?

Safety isn't the only thing that makes the IndyCar Series the premier open-wheel racing series in North America. It's also at the forefront of technology. Did you know that an IndyCar Series driver can shift gears or the steering wheel? Learn all about how engine controls are activated and what else drivers have at their fingertips to give them an edge above the rest. Turn the weight jacker to learn how weight can be distributed from one side of the car to another in order to change the handling during the race. What adjustments would you make to take the checkered flag?

In Driver Vision, feel the thrill of victory without leaving the Fan Zone.

"This is a really cool place for kids to be able to get in and watch cars race," said Bea Robbins of Pasadena, Calif., who toured the Fan Zone with her son, Aiden.
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Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:50 am

FORT WORTH, Texas - "My compliments to the chefs," Metroport Meals on Wheels executive director Mark King said, thanking Indy Racing League hospitality chefs and Indy Racing League Ministry chaplain Bob Hills in advance for the donation.

The Indy Racing League Ministry collects food and beverages from the team and manufacturer hospitality units after each of its events, which is picked up by a local charity. Metroport Meals on Wheels was the beneficiary for the second year this weekend.

It couldn't come at a better time. With the turbulent economy, the non-profit organization has seen a notable rise in deliveries in recent months.

"We don't accept government support so it all comes from the local community and partnerships like this wonderful one with the IRL Ministry," King said. "Last year the food gift -- over 500 pounds of it -- went to provide home-delivered and senior center meals for local seniors. It was a wonderful gift.

"I wish our budget would allow our seniors to have steak dinners every week. Last year, more than 100 seniors at the Roanoke Senior Center enjoyed a steak dinner. When I say 500 pounds, it's wonderful but it's the quality of those 500 pounds that compounds the gift exponentially."

The program is nearing $1 million in food value since its inception in 2003. IRL Ministry also collects unused hotel soap and shampoo from Indy Racing League and team personnel to distribute, and began a green movement this year by collecting aluminum cans and baking/serving dishes and plastic bottles to donate to local charities for recycling.

"We're contributing by not putting things in the landfill," Indy Racing League chef Eddie Wilson said. "It's giving these programs a way to get more cash. Every little thing we can do is going to help."

That's been the outlook since the program's inception. It's also an outreach "in the communities we go to," according to Hills. "We partner in a sense with Second Harvest, which is a national organization that networks with various shelters and missions," he said. "The organizations this season are part of that network. This weekend it's Meals on Wheels. They all report to us that it's saving them thousands of dollars for the next week for the food value they're getting. They receive anything from water to beef brisket and shrimp, fruits and bread. They look forward to it every year."
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Pace Car Team Gives Guests An Interesting Ride............

Postby mlittle » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:32 am

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2010 IndyCar Pace Car Team(from L-R): Pippa Mann, Charlie Kimball, Martin Plowman, James Hinchcliffe and Stefan Wilson


-----ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Paste a handlebar mustache on Charlie Kimball, who rubs his hands together in a faux villainous manner, and it would be a creditable Snidely Whiplash impersonation. He’s ready to provide a few thrills for unsuspecting guests.

Kimball, who drives for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport, has the side job as a member of the 2010 Pace Car Team, which gives hot lap rides on Indy Racing League race weekends along with taking part in festivals and parades. Fellow Firestone Indy Lights drivers Martin Plowman, Stefan Wilson, James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann also are team members.

Sliding into the Honda Accord for a few reconnaissance laps on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit that would host the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the sixth consecutive year, Kimball surveyed the growing gathering of riders on pit lane and smiled.

“We’re going to try to not hit the wall,” he says. “That’s the biggest thing. Obviously, you have to go out full bore. The Hondas are great; very responsive. I may not think they are going to turn. The passenger may not think they are going to turn. But we’re going to make them turn.”

That was welcome news to Jim Newcomb of Tampa, Fla., who randomly wound up as a passenger in one of the IZOD IndyCar Series-logoed cars driven by Plowman. While Plowman having one hand on the wheel and the car nudging 105 mph on the frontstretch was a bit disconcerting, Newcomb enjoyed the quick tour.

“It was a different view of what these drivers go through,” Newcomb said. “I can say that I’ve been on an airport runway in a car and driven 60 miles an hour faster than the posted speed limit on the street.”

Next up is Barber Motorsports Park, which offers added thrills of undulations, as part of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race weekend April 9-11.

“It is a huge honor for me to be chosen to represent the IRL as an official Pace Car Team driver,” Plowman says. “My job description is to give guests an experience to remember. I can’t see that being a problem … as I often scare the hell out of myself. I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to connect with the fans and guests where we go and give them an insight into my world.”

Follow the Pace Car Team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pacecarteam
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Destination: Motegi

Postby mlittle » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:22 am

---By land, sea and air, the IZOD IndyCar Series is en route to Japan for the Sept. 19 Indy Japan 300. The 13,000-mile round-trip adventure for the 25 IZOD IndyCar Series entrants making the trip begins at the Indianapolis International Airport, where they unload their cars and equipment from their transporters onto metal car racks and place it a staging area on airport tarmac, where the cars and the team's equipment will be swallowed by two behemoth Nippon Cargo Air 747-400B airplanes.

The IZOD IndyCar Series' shipment isn't the heaviest (both planes can total up to 450,000 takeoff weight) that Nippon Cargo Air deals with, but is among the highest in volume. Forty-five race cars, pit and garage equipment and consumable items are meticulously packaged, arranged on a pallet and wrapped in plastic by teams for the trip.

The three Holmatro Safety Team trucks and the Honda Accord Safety Car take a separate scheduled flight, while Honda engines and Firestone tires were shipped across the Pacific Ocean on a freighter.

"It was as smooth as it could have gone," said Bill Van de Sandt, the director of operations for the Indy Racing League, who oversees the move on both sides of the journey. "All the entities involved, from the IRL officials here, to the ground crew to the teams have been working great together. It made things very easy and we finished about two hours before we had planned."

Upon arrival at Narita International Airport near Tokyo, the freight is transferred to trucks to continue the journey to Twin Ring Motegi. Manifests are checked and spot customs inspections are conducted at the track in time for team personnel to unpack Sept. 17 and begin preparations for the race weekend.

Before the champagne is uncorked in Victory Circle, packing is underway for the return trip. "It's a difficult process, but it's very well-organized," van de Sandt said. "The cooperation of the governments, the freight forwarder and the airlines works very well. It's a process that is very effective and efficient."
Last edited by mlittle on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lending Hands & Hammers to Habitat Project

Postby mlittle » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:23 pm

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Martin Plowman completed his task of the Habitat for Humanity without personal injury, which was a relief. Plowman and fellow IndyCar drivers Charlie Kimball and Dan Clarke lent hands and hammers to a Habitat for Humanity project in Indianapolis.
From the IndyCar Series Blog..........
---Three weeks ago, the lot at 2355 Wheeler St. on Indianapolis’ east side was bare. In a few weeks, Sherry McClure and her family will be the recipient of a new home being built there by the Greater Indianapolis chapter of Habitat for Humanity and sponsored by the Indiana’s racing community.

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“All year the racing industry competes against each other. It is great to see how the Indiana Motorsports Association and Habitat for Humanity are bringing the racing community together as one team to help a deserving family,” said Tom Weisenbach, Executive Director, Indiana Motorsports Association, which helps promotes motorsports business opportunities in Indiana.

Nov. 5 was the first day that the volunteers from Habitat’s Racing to Home Build were back on the job site after it had been turned over to professional contractors to complete the electrical and plumbing work. The work day got a boost of speed from Firestone Indy Lights drivers Dan Clarke, Charlie Kimball and Martin Plowman and NHRA Top Fuel drag racers Antron Brown, Larry Dixon and Cory McClenathan, who joined Weisenbach to help out with the build.

“I had the chance to meet the Sherry and her daughter when they were here earlier and they were so appreciative of what everyone is doing here,” Kimball said. “They have to put almost 400 hours in their own time themselves into the house and it’s so nice to be one piece in the really big machine that’s making a home for them. “

Clarke and Kimball joined Dixon and McClenathan to form “Indiana’s Fastest Paint Team,” which teamed with members of Indy Partnership—Central Indiana’s Economic Development Commission – to prime the interior of the home for painting.

“I’ve never done this sort of thing before, I’ve only seen it done on television,” Clarke said. “It’s good fun and it’s nice to give back and meet the family who will move in here. It’s nice to know things like this exist and I enjoyed learning about how Habitat works and how the city of Indianapolis helps facilitate the homing of families.”

Plowman and an Irish carpenter named Tristan completed the front porch of the home. The group even recruited me to help as they installed some cabinets in the kitchen. “I’m doing a lot of things for the first time, and with the help of my Irish friend Tristan we built the porch,” Plowman said. “In the offseason we have a lot of time on our hands and it’s good to give something back to the community. I can’t help as much as some of the professionals who work on the home, but I’m doing my part. And I’d have to say it was a success because I managed to do it without losing an eye or a finger. “

Though we were only there for afternoon shift, everyone’s hard work will all pay off on Dec. 8, when the McClure family will move into their new home. Weisenbach plans to be at the home dedication ceremony and hopes it is the first of many homes the racing community can build in Indianapolis in the years to come.

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Destination: Sao Paulo

Postby mlittle » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:17 pm

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---More 400,000 total pounds will be swallowed by two Atlas Air 747-400F planes for the 5,000-plus-mile ride between Indianapolis and São Paulo, Brazil – the initial logistical stage of conducting the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on May 1.

Race cars, pit equipment, tools, technical inspection materials and consumables were weighed, wrapped, stacked and set in a staging area on Good Friday at Indianapolis International Airport by INDYCAR and DB Schenker personnel in a free-form ballet of fork lifts and 18-wheelers.
On this rainy Monday, it will be loaded (seeking an even distribution of weight in the cargo bay by the loadmaster) for the flight to Viracopos-Campinas International Airport in the state of São Paulo. Firestone Firehawk tires departed via ocean cargo vessel last month.

“Logistics are an essential part of our business and DB Schenker’s global reach and international sports experience is a perfect match for our needs,” Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for INDYCAR said.

DB Schenker has been associated with the sanctioning body since 2009, providing logistics for the Honda Accord Safety Cars between North American event venues. Its role expanded last year with oversight of the event logistics for the inaugural race on the streets of São Paulo.

DB Schenker combines all transport and logistics activities of Deutsche Bahn, employing more than 91,000 people across 2,000 locations in about 130 countries.

Upon arrival late on April 26, the freight is transferred to trucks to continue the journey to the Anhembi complex in the north-central section of the largest city in South America. Manifests are checked and spot customs inspections are conducted at the track in time for team personnel to unpack the next day and begin preparations for the race weekend.

“The most difficult part is making sure the (six copies for everything) paperwork is in order for customs,” INDYCAR director of operations Bill van de Sandt said. “We’re a racing league and not a shipping company, so all we can do is get everything ready and count on DB Schenker to get us there and back.”

Before the champagne is uncorked in Victory Circle, packing is underway for the return trip. “It’s multiple processes, but it’s very well-organized,” van de Sandt said. “The cooperation of the governments, the help of DB Schenker and the airlines works very well. It’s a process that is very effective and efficient.”
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Ironman......

Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:31 am

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KV Racing's Tony Kanaan w/U.S. Ironman World Champion Chris Lieto following a trip in the IndyCar 2-seater. With Sunday's start at the Mile, the 36yo Kanaan will became the series leader in consecutive starts......

----MILWAUKEE -- Tony Kanaan gave more than a fleeting thought this winter to – at age 36 – what lie ahead for him in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Kanaan’s ride with de Ferran Dragon Racing, announced in December, dissolved because of a lack of commercial support, and following eight fully-funded seasons with Andretti Autosport he was scrambling to uncover financial backing. “I didn't know what to expect,” the 2004 series champion said.

A deal with KV Racing Technology-Lotus was finalized in the week leading into the St. Petersburg opener. “I had no expectation,” he said. “I was just happy to be part of the IndyCar Series. We started pretty well in the beginning of the year with a podium finish right in the first race, and we're sitting (fifth) in the championship. We're definitely raising the bar right now. There are a lot of things that need to be done on the team and we're growing the team slowly. “After all we went through at the end of the year, GEICO coming in at the last minute as well, I can't complain. But there are still a lot of races to go.”

The Milwaukee 225 is the next of the 17 on the season, and it will sustain Kanaan’s “ironman” status. He’ll surpass Scott Sharp (138) as the IZOD IndyCar Series leader in consecutive starts. “It makes me feel old, but it also makes me feel like I’m doing an OK job if I’m still here,” said Kanaan, who’s won twice at the Milwaukee Mile. “I guess I still deliver.”
Kanaan also should overtake Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal (145) and tie Michel Jourdain Jr. (149) this season. Jimmy Vasser, co-owner of the KV Racing Technology-Lotus team, is the all-time leader with 211. Scott Dixon is within reach with 113 consecutive starts for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
“It’s a great record to have; I don’t know if I’ll be able to beat Jimmy though,” said Kanaan, who has five top-10 finishes in seven races. “He has quite a few more. I’ll ask him if I can drive for him until I beat him.”
Kanaan was 14th on the speed chart during an afternoon practice session with a quick lap of 164.638 mph. Series points leader Will Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, topped the 26-car field with a best of 167.648 mph (21.7957 seconds). Dario Franchitti in the No. 10 Downy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing was second (167.462 mph).

A few minutes after climbing from the No. 82 GEICO KV Racing Technology-Lotus car, Kanaan climbed in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater to treat three-time Ironman triathlon champion Chris Lieto to a high-speed ride.

Kanaan, who will compete in the Ford Ironman World Championship (a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mike bike and 26.2-mile run consecutively) in Hawaii in October, and Lieto hooked up a day earlier to test their Trek bicycles on the oval. "It was crazy. For me, the most surprising thing was how fast you're going in the corners," Lieto said. "I thought there was no way the car could stay on the track with the force going in."

Lieto, the current U.S. Ironman 70.3 champion, has set more than 50 bike course records on five continents over his 14-year career. He said Kanaan, who competed in the 70.3 World Championship in November in Clearwater, Fla., will fare well.

"It will be challenging for sure, but I told him that he has an advantage because the racing is very much in the mind, and the Ironman comes down to the mental side of it," said Lieto, who trains about 500 miles on the bike alone leading up to a triathlon. "Along with the work he does for the racing, he has the mental edge and the ability to push himself through when it gets difficult. I think he'll really surprise himself and do well."
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