Story posted - Jan 09 2013 6:04 PM

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:

1. Homologation serves as INDYCAR's engine check system
2. Rahal to be inducted to SCCA Hall of Fame
3. INDYCAR participants shine at Roar Before Rolex 24 test
4. KeyBank recognizes Fan Force United as Community Leader
5. Dallara facility hosts Family Fun Day
6. Racing For Kids visit in Milwaukee
7. Of note

1. Homologation serves as INDYCAR's engine check system: IZOD IndyCar Series engine development director Trevor Knowles will visit Honda Performance Development in California and Ilmor Engineering (Chevrolet's partner) in the UK over the next 10 days to oversee the second year of engine homologation.

Homologation? The etymology is Greek; "homologate" is derived from homologeo (to agree). Basically, it's granting approval or confirming the meeting of standards, and - as it refers to the series - the sealing of mandated components for the 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engines.

The parts and complementary technical drawings (listed below) will be used as references - a check system for engine manufacturer competition - during spot checking of engine teardowns. The homologation deadline is nine weeks before the IZOD IndyCar Series' season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24.

"The standard parts as determined under the engine technical regulations established before the 2012 season are still in there," Knowles said. "With direct-injection (as well as E85 fuel) being new for 2012, the fuel system can be changed on a yearly basis in light of what they find out in the first couple of years of competition and then it goes onto a two-year cycle. The fuel system, which is everything wetted by the fuel from the tank where the fuel meets the air (injectors, fuel pumps, fuel rails), can be revised and re-homologated."

Also, the connecting rod (crankshaft to piston) and exhaust system can be re-homologated on a yearly basis. Changes are usually made to increase reliability.

Manufacturers have mandated specifications, but there are open areas that they'll continue to pursue. According to the engine technical regulations, manufacturers also can request changes to engine components and McLaren software alterations if a certain part is breaking; there is an operation that they could eliminate to reduce costs, or they have to change suppliers that would lead to changes in how the component is made. Information would be shared with INDYCAR and the other manufacturers.

Engine competition returned to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 after a six-year absence. Honda had been the sole supplier in the intervening years. Chevrolet earned the 2012 manufacturer title and powered Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport to the driver championship.

Development based on data and on-track testing was ongoing during autumn of the off-season. Three Chevrolet teams are scheduled to kick off the new year of on-track testing Jan. 14 at Sebring International Raceway. The fuel system remains homologated until the next window unless it relates to reliability.

"If it's a reliability issue, the manufacturer can use our procedure, which is submit request and description with why and what," Knowles said. "We circulate it, get feedback and then provide an answer or ask for more information. The reliability/durability fixes granted this past season, copies of that will go into box and be homologated Jan. 18."

Additionally, at the discretion of INDYCAR, a manufacturer whose engines are statistically 4 percent deficient in power may make improvements at mid-season or the end of the season to put it 2 percent below the best engine. The deficit was 2½ percent in 2012. Alterations will be introduced only on new engines being sent to the track.

Manufacturers must present data to support their case, which is reviewed along with relevant data collected by the sanctioning body's engine support engineers. Manufacturers provide which components they seek to modify, along with projected gains and their scheduled introduction. There are two windows: mid-season and end of season.

"There was a general feeling that 2 percent was too close and it would make it too easy for someone that was slightly down on power to make a change to overtake the other," Knowles said. "The gap is bigger before it can trigger any performance boost."

The engine rules are stable through the 2016 IZOD IndyCar Series season, with any corrections or modifications decided by INDYCAR after consultation with its engine committee.

Components to be held in secure storage:
• Left and right cylinder heads complete with one cylinder's valves, cam followers, cam bearings and camshafts. These are to be fitted using light springs, not the production valve springs, to allow valve lift vs. camshaft angle to be measured.
• Cylinder block including sump
• Plenum upper and lower
• Compressor inlet and outlet air ducts
• An example of each different design of fuel injector - indirect and direct

Hard copies of drawings to be held in secure storage:
• Piston sleeve
• Connecting rod
• Crankshaft
• Inlet and exhaust manifold faces on cylinder heads.
• Inlet and Exhaust camshaft blank
• Rockers
• Inlet and Exhaust valve lift profiles
• Inlet manifold
• Throttle body and butterfly
• Fuel rails - Indirect and direct
• Engine loom(s)
• Interface loom

2. Rahal to be inducted to SCCA Hall of Fame: IZOD IndyCar Series team co-owner and 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Rahal is among five road racing principals who will be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame on March 2.

Joining Rahal in being honored are Skip Barber, Bill Noble, Carroll Shelby and Andy Porterfield. The SCCA National Hall of Fame was created in 2004 to preserve, protect and record the history and accomplishments of the Sports Car Club of America by acknowledging those members who have made a significant impact on its development.

Rahal was 22-years-old when he was awarded the President's Cup following his 1975 Formula B (soon to be renamed Formula Atlantic) National Championship. Using club racing as a springboard, Rahal went on to drive IMSA and in the SCCA Trans-Am Series. He won CART championships in 1986, 1987 and 1992, as well as the Rookie of the Year award in 1982.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in November signed 2005 SCCA National Champion Graham Rahal (son of the Bobby) to drive in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

3. INDYCAR participants shine at Roar Before Rolex 24 test: Michael Shank Racing turned some heads again over the weekend in the "Roar Before the Rolex 24" at Daytona International Speedway.

The twin Daytona Prototypes, which will have co-drivers from the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights in the 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month, were first- and third-quickest through three days of testing on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn course.

Michael Valiante turned in the fastest lap in the No. 6 entry, in which he'll join Gustavo Yacaman, Jorge Goncalves and Chris Cumming behind the wheel for the race. The defending race champion No. 60 Michael Shank Racing car was third-quick over the weekend, with Justin Wilson joining AJ Allmendinger, John Pew and Marcos Ambrose at the test.

"I'm very proud of this driver lineup and I think we have another good opportunity to do well - with both of these cars," team owner Michael Shank said. "We'll just focus on the same things that were successful for us last year. I want to win every year. To repeat would be an oddity because I think it would be very difficult to do but we have very strong cars."

The No. 42 Team Sahlen's entry, co-driven by IZOD IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Simon Pagenaud and Bruno Junqueira, had the second-fastest overall time.

Teams were faced with a variety of weather conditions, which four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti said helped teams better prepare for the endurance race.

"I do expect it to be warmer when we come back for the race itself," said Franchitti, who will co-rive the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Daytona Prototype with Scott Dixon, Jamie McMurray and Joey Hand. "It's always good to get some running in the rain. All different conditions help because it just gives you more experience of the conditions you could experience in the 24 hours."

The No. 02 entry was fifth overall, while the companion car with Charlie Kimball among the team members was fourth. It was the first seat time in a Daytona Prototype for Kimball, who drives the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

"This has really been a great experience. Chip has put together a great group of individuals from three different series and I'm learning a lot from all of them," Kimball said. "I've gotten quite a bit of time in the car and I've had to get used to a lot of things; like getting use to a roof, driving at a new track and even driving at night. I haven't driven at night since my go-karting days. I'm really looking forward to being a part of and contributing to the Rolex 24 At Daytona."

4. KeyBank recognizes Fan Force United as Community Leader: Fan Force United may have completed its first year in Firestone Indy Lights, but its impact has already been felt in and around the racing community.

The team has been awarded the $3,000 KeyBank Community Leader Award given to the Firestone Indy Lights driver or team that best displays community outreach.

The team was associated with several charitable causes throughout the season. Emerson Newton-John ran the No. 42 Pink and Blue For Two car for two races in support of the cancer awareness campaign centered around promoting awareness of breast and prostate cancer. Also featured on its cars throughout the season was Noah's Rainbow, a non-profit organization supporting children and families faced with life threatening illnesses in memory of Noah Paul Yamilkoski.

"It really is an honor for us," said team co-owner Chris Williams. "We try hard to engage the community and reach out to them as our fans. We didn't do it for any awards but more for giving back to community. We thank KeyBank for their support of the series and this award."

Other charitable associations included the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, Megan's Mega Weekend fundraiser, the Rich Lentz Family Cancer Benefit, Team Jeremiah and a tribute to the life of Michael Roman, an aspiring race car driver.

5. Dallara facility hosts Family Fun Day: The Dallara facility on Main Street in Speedway, Ind., will host a free "Family Fun Day" from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 12 in conjunction with the inauguration festivities of Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence.

The event will include food and music, and children can enjoy face-painting, a bounce house and coloring while Indiana University basketball fans can watch the Minnesota game in the Dallara theater while munching on popcorn. Pence and the next lieutenant governor, Sue Ellspermann, will be on hand.

6. Racing For Kids visit in Milwaukee: Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, along with team owner Michael Andretti and Mazda Road to Indy drivers Zach Veach and Shelby Blackstock, will represent Racing For Kids at a visit with patients Jan. 16 at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

The visit is a day after Andretti hosts a screening of "Super Speedway" at the Majestic Cinema in Brookfield, Wis.

7. Of note: Ilmor Engineering senior designer Tony Sime, who -- along with his team in the UK -- developed the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 that secured the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series manufacturer championship, was nominated for the World Motorsport Symposium Race Engine Designer of the Year award. Roger Griffiths, Honda Performance Development's technical director, and Allen Miller, HPD's performance development project leader, received the award this week for the engine that won the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship. … Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced that Deltran Battery Tender, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency battery chargers, has become an Official Team Partner. ... ... KV Racing Technology driver Simona de Silvestro and Team Penske's Helio Castroneves will greet attendees of the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 25 in Detroit. ... Phil LePan, who was the Player's/Forsythe Racing Tea, manager during Paul Tracy's 2003 CART championship season and most recently team manager for Dale Coyne Racing, died. A memorial service will be held in Feb. 16 in Toronto.

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