The Autosportradio.com 2016 Show presented by Honda HPD will stream live on May 17th, 2016, live from McGilvery’s Speedway.. 3009 North High School Road, beginning at 7PM ET.
The program can be seen/heard by logging onto www.autosportradio.com and the program streamed live on YouTube will be on the home page.
When the program concludes you will find the archive available on Don Kay’s YouTube channel.
Scheduled Guests are:
Gil de Ferran
Gil de Ferran is a French-born Brazilian professional racing driver and team owner. Gil was the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car champion driving for the Penske Honda Team and the winner of the 2003 Indianapolis 500.
Inspired by the success of fellow Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi Gil began his career in kart racing in the early 1980s. He graduated to Formula Ford level in 1987 and Formula Three in 1991. Driving for Edenbridge Racing, De Ferran finished the 1991 British Formula Three season in third, only behind Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard. For the 1992 season, De Ferran moved to Paul Stewart Racing and won the title, scoring seven wins in the process.
1993 and 1994 were spent driving for Paul Stewart Racing in International Formula 3000. Gil finished fourth in the series in 1993 and then took the championship down to the wire in 1994, ultimately finishing third. In 1993, De Ferran tested for a day the Footwork Arrows Formula One team along with Dutch racer Jos Verstappen. His day was seriously compromised after he bumped his head while walking nearby the motorhome. He times also compared poorly to Verstappen’s.
At the end of 1994, de Ferran was invited to test a Cart car by Hall/VDS Racing. Despite the worries of the team’s sponsor Pennzoil that de Ferran was not famous enough name for their car, the team was sufficiently impressed to offer de Ferran a drive for 1995. With no top-line Formula One drive available de Ferran took up the offer to drive in America.
De Ferran won the rookie of the year award in 1995 by finishing 14th. He scored his first Cart win in the last race of the year at Laguna Seca Raceway.
In 1996, de Ferran was a consistent challenger but only scored one win, at Cleveland. This win was the last for veteran car owner and driver Jim Hall who retired from the sport at the end of 1996. Hall’s retirement also spelled the end of the Pennzoil Hall team. Despite rumours that he would be a driver for the new Stewart Grand Prix Formula One team, de Ferran stayed in America for 1997, joining Walker Racing.
Gil finished 1997 as runner-up to Alex Zanardi with ten top-ten finishes but failed to score a single victory. He looked on course to win the season opener at homestead but was knocked out of the lead by a lapped driver, Dennis vitolo. At the Grand Prix of Portland Gil lost out to PacWest Racing’s Mark Blundell in the closest finish in CART history.
The expected championship challenge never materialized in 1998. Unreliability, driver errors and the inferior performance of the Goodyear tires compared to the Firestone tires all combined to leave de Ferran 12th in the standings, again with no wins in the year.
In 1999 the breakthrough finally came as de Ferran beat Juan Montoya at Portland to take his first win since mid-1996 and the Walker team’s first since early-1995. However that victory would be the end of an era as Goodyear and Valvoline both left CART racing at the end of 1999. Toward the end of that season, de Ferran and Greg Moore were signed to Marlboro Team Penske to replace Al Unser, Jr. and the rotating arrangement of drivers employed after Andre Ribeiro retired. However, Moore was killed in a crash in the season finale and de Ferran’s fellow countryman Helio Castroneves joined him.
On October 28, 2000, during CART qualifying at Auto Club Speedway, de Ferran set the track record for fastest lap at 241.428 mph (388.541 km/h). As of March 2012, this stands as the fastest lap speed ever recorded at an official race meeting.
The Penske years saw de Ferran finally fulfil the promise of his earlier career with two Cart titles and an Indy 500 victory. His analytical approach earned him comparisons with Penske’s first driver, Mark Donohue. He also garnered praise for his politeness and integrity: when Penske switched to the Indy Racing League in 2002, he did not criticize the move even though it meant he could not defend his Champ Car title.
Following his Indianapolis triumph de Ferran decided to retire at the end of 2003. He won his final race, although the moment was soured by a terrifying crash during the race that left fellow Indy winner Kenny Brack seriously injured.
In 2005, he moved to the BAR-Honda Formula One team as their Sports Director. He resigned from this position in July 2007 after becoming “increasingly uncomfortable” with the team.
In January 29, 2008 Gil announced that he will return to the cockpit and field a factory-backed LMP2 class Acura ARX-01b prototype in the American Le Mans Series, under the team name de Ferran Motorsports. The team began competing around the mid-way point of the 2008 season, with de Ferran running the team and sharing driving duties with Simon Pagenaud.
Success again was immediate and de Ferran Motorsports took four front row grid positions, led six races and scored three podium finishes in just eight starts.
2009 saw another challenge when de Ferran Motorsports was chosen by Honda to develop the Acura ARX-02a for competition in the LMP1 division of the American Le Mans Series. The team scored five outright wins, seven poles, seven fastest laps and finished runners up in the ALMS LMP1 Championship.
Half way through 2009 de Ferran announced his decision to retire from the cockpit at the end of the racing season, expressing his intention to concentrate all his resources on expanding his team, making public his desire to return to IndyCar racing as a front running team owner. Prior to the start of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar season, de Ferran merged his team with Luczo Dragon Racing, a team started by Jay Penske, the son of de Ferran’s former boss Roger Penske, and Steve Luczo, a successful technology leader and racing enthusiast. The new team was named de Ferran Dragon Racing and is the realization of de Ferran’s ambition to return to IndyCar.
De Ferran Dragon Racing, with driver Raphael Matos, earned four Top Ten finishes in its debut campaign and led 15 laps during the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In 2010, IndyCar also began planning for a completely new car concept, to debut during the 2012 season. Due to his technical knowledge, motorsports experience across different series and roles, as well as the widespread respect he holds within the racing industry, de Ferran was chosen by his team owner peers to represent their interests in the development of the future IndyCar. As part of the ICONIC committee, who created the concept for the future of IndyCar Racing.
In 2011 de Ferran Dragon racing closed its doors due to lack of funding, having attempted to stay operational for the new season.
In July 2013, Autosport magazine named Gil one of the 50 greatest drivers to have never raced in Formula One.
In his first attempt at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course Conor showed that his previous experiences had taught him how to be a real racecar driver. On Saturday he showed his is a contender leading the race driving for Dale Coyne Racing. Conor finished 6th and got rave reviews from his fellow competitors.
Next up for Conor will be the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Andy Hallbery and Jeff Olson, “Lionheart – Remembering Dan Wheldon”
As the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season gets underway in his adopted hometown, news comes of a new book paying tribute to two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
Written and produced by Andy Hallbery and Jeff Olson, “Lionheart – Remembering Dan Wheldon” is a high-quality 216-page book chronicling Wheldon’s life, as told by the people who knew him best: his family, friends, teammates, crew members and fellow competitors.
“The response has been truly incredible,” said Susie Wheldon, Dan’s widow. “It shows just how many people’s lives Dan touched and is a wonderful legacy for our two boys, Sebastian and Oliver. I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everybody involved for their dedication to creating this book, and to everyone who contributed, too.”
The book covers Wheldon’s career from karting all the way to his Indianapolis 500 wins in 2005 and 2011 and his 2005 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. It is filled with stories – some funny, some touching, but all truly captivating. Featured contributions from legendary names within the Verizon IndyCar Series and beyond, including lifelong friend and teammate Dario Franchitti, Formula One champion and childhood karting rival Jenson Button, NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, and many more from across the motorsports world.
he coffee-table book will be available to pre-order soon, priced at $74.99. A portion of the proceeds benefits two charities close the British driver’s heart – the Alzheimer’s Association and the DCW Foundation, created to continue the wide-reaching charitable work Wheldon started.
In a move that emphasizes experience, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced Saturday its plans to field an entry in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil for Indy car veteran Oriol Servia.
The Catalonian driver joins the team in a partnership with Marotti Racing which will field its entry under the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports banner. The entry serves as Servia’s first race since the 2015 season finale at Sonoma Raceway.
“This year’s Indianapolis 500, the 100th Running, will be the most special in our era, maybe of all time, and I wanted to make sure I was in a team that can give me a program to contend for the win,” Servia said. “I have no doubt that together with SPM and Honda, we will at least do that.”
“We’ve competed against Oriol for several years now and have always looked for an opportunity to get him in one of our SPM entries,” said Sam Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “He is a true professional and is highly respected within the motorsports community. Interestingly enough, we shared the front row with him in 2011 and know that he can get the job done for all of our team partners.”
Marotti Racing owner Will Marotti, while new to IndyCar, is hardly new to motorsports. Marotti competed in SCCA events and has attended every Indianapolis 500 since 1969, although this year will be his first entry into the race.
“We are thankful and excited beyond measure to be able to participate in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 with a team of the quality and caliber of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports,” said Marotti.
“This is the fulfillment of a 47-year-old personal dream, and we hope just the first of many years that Marotti Racing will be in the paddock and part of the IndyCar community.”
Marotti, Schmidt, and Servia all feel optimistic about their chances heading into the month of May.
“The whole team, including James (Hinchcliffe), my teammate in 2011, and Mikhail (Aleshin), are ultimate professionals,” Servia added. “I can’t wait to start doing laps at the most special track in the world in preparation for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Servia and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Marotti Racing will take the green flag for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 29.