INDYCAR News And Notes - Feb. 21, 2013

Story posted - Feb 22 2013 7:22 AM

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

1. Crepe making experience helps Pagenaud relives boyhood memories
2. Indianapolis students experience STEM at KV Racing Technology shop
3. Castroneves to work with new engineer in 2013

1. Crepe making experience helps Pagenaud relives boyhood memories: As a boy in France, Simon Pagenaud looked forward to his post-race crepes about as much as anything.

On Sundays, after competing in a go-kart races, Pagenaud and his father would return to their home in Montmorillon, France, and prepare crepes.

"It was a wonderful family time," said Pagenaud of the hour or so of conversation with his parents and sister spiced with food and beverage. "I would tell them about what happened that day in the kart and we'd talk about the week. It's a moment to share together. We like to share good food and company."

On Feb. 21 at 3 Days in Paris -- a crepe specialty kiosk at City Market in downtown Indianapolis -- Pagenaud explored the art with Sam Marshall and her professional equipment.

"It's OK, but maybe needs some sauce or something," said Pagenaud after sampling his first attempt. "Sour cream would have been awesome. I've only used a pan, so I'm not used to the griddle they have here. If I want to make more crepes I might have to invest (in a griddle) I guess. They are so much more efficient."

Pagenaud, who will get his initial on-track testing of the year Feb. 27 at Sonoma Raceway in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, has a crepe named in his honor in Montmorillon (with fillings of cheese, diced tomato, ham, eggs, mushroom and onions).

"It's much better than the one I just made," he said. "It just take practice."

2. Indianapolis students experience STEM at KV Racing Technology shop: Three groups of high school students studying physics at Decatur Central High School toured KV Racing Technology's Indianapolis headquarters as part of the team's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach program.

The tours focused on the importance of STEM in the racing industry and in particular how those areas affect the performance of an IZOD IndyCar Series car.

"We were excited to have the physics students visit the KV Racing Technology race shop to learn about how science is instrumental to success in our sport," said Eric Cowdin, the team's technical director. "We were able to help educate them on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math in a fun environment that allowed them to see up-close a product that was produced through a significant use of STEM. Hopefully this experience will help motivate them to pursue a higher level of STEM education and to possibly explore related career opportunities."

Several members of KV Racing Technology -- including three of the team's engineers - spent time interacting with the students as they rotated through the different stations set up for the tour. The stations included explained aerodynamics, fuel, the gearbox, shocks, the chassis, the cockpit and the engine as well as the engineering aspect of racing. Team members encouraged students to ask questions and help with demonstrations by awarding trading cards depicting parts of the car. The student with the highest engagement level and having earned the most cards received a small prize to reward their efforts.

"I wanted to visit and work with KV Racing to try and infuse the community into our learning and classroom," said Physics teacher Amy Hayworth, a driving force behind the tours. "It is important for our students to be able to 'see' where the science is in the 'real world' and why it is important. I also wanted them to see what opportunities are available out there for students to be involved in the community and science, not necessarily a 'scientist in a lab' type idea. They were very excited with all the 'hands-on' tasks and ideas. The more they do, the more they learn."

STEM education is a key component of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar sponsorship. Sponsor members, Entergy, AREVA, Inc., and NEI are working through their support of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy national education initiative to raise the visibility of STEM education as a much-needed skill set.

3. Castroneves to work with new engineer in 2013: Two full-season entries at Team Penske for 2013 will allow technical director Ron Ruzewski to focus on the big picture.

Ruzewski, who also had been the engineer for the No. 3 Chevrolet-powered car driven by Helio Castroneves, has moved over for Jonathan Diuguid. Ruzewski will oversee the Nos. 3 and 12 entries, the latter driven by 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship runner-up Will Power.

Diuguid last season was the engineer for the No. 2 car driven by Ryan Briscoe, who earned the pole for the Indianapolis 500 and won at Sonoma Raceway in August. He directed the Feb. 19 test session at Sebring International Raceway.

"Though I have a different engineer, it's not that different because when we debrief and discuss things all the engineers and drivers are together," said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner who is seeking to corral his first series championship. "I see a great opportunity now for Ron to oversee the cars from the top and for Jonathan. He did a great job with Ryan (Briscoe) last year."

John Erickson, who worked with Diuguid on the Penske Racing American Le Mans Series team, will remain the race strategist for Castroneves.

"I think the combination during the race will be a good to get the best results for the season and get what we expect."

***

The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season opens with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 24 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be televised live at noon (ET) by the NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM and www.indycar.com. The 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season begins March 23 on the Streets of St. Petersburg. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 11 a.m. (ET) on March 24, immediately preceding the IZOD IndyCar Series race broadcast.

 
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