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St. Petersburg Qualifying Groups

Group 1
#22 Simon Pagenaud
#14 Takuma Sato
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
#15 Graham Rahal
#83 Charlie Kimball
#10 Tony Kanaan
#4 Stefano Coletti (R)
#20 Luca Filippi
#67 Josef Newgarden
#41 Jack Hawksworth
#25 Simona DeSilvestro
#19 Francesco Dracone (R)

Group 2

Group 2
#1 Will Power
#3 Helio Castroneves
#2 Juan Pablo Montoya
#9 Scott Dixon
#11 Sebastien Bourdais
#26 Carlos Munoz
#8 Sage Karam (R)
#27 Marco Andretti
#5 James Hinchcliffe
#7 James Jakes
#18 Carlos Huertas
#98 Gabby Chaves (R)


Carlin Teammates Jones, Chilton Lead the Way with New Indy Lights Dallara IL-15

All Three Levels of the Mazda Road to Indy See Action on the St. Petersburg Streets

St. Petersburg, Fla. (March 27) – Ed Jones and Max Chilton led the way for European powerhouse open-wheel team Carlin as the Dallara IL-15 and turbocharged 2.0-liter Mazda MZR-R engines made their official track debut today with a pair of practice sessions for this weekend’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season-opening Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Peninsula Pipeline.

Jones was fastest in this morning’s opening practice session with a time of 1:07.1401 (average speed 96.515 mph), which was already faster than the existing race lap record of 1:07.2141 set by Sebastian Saavedra in 2009. A heavy rain shower precluded any activity in the scheduled afternoon session, so Jones’ morning time remained as the fastest.

“The car is great to drive, especially through some of the fast corners,” said Jones. “It’s been a great experience. Carlin has done a very good job with the setup of the car. Obviously, it was a guessing game this morning, since we haven’t been to this track before and so many of the other teams have. And it’s been a matter of building myself up; I struggled a bit at the beginning of the session but it got better and better. I’m really looking forward to the dry weather and finally racing the car.”

Carlin teammate Max Chilton, who raced for the past two years in Formula 1 and is helping the team with its initial foray to North America – with eyes fixed firmly on the Verizon IndyCar Series in the future – set the second fastest time at 1:07.4733.

“It’s a very good stepping stone into IndyCar and I hope I’ll get to drive an Indy car one day,” said Chilton. “It’s been a successful, albeit short day for us, as I was P1 for much of the session until Ed pipped me at the end. We’ve been at the top of the charts at most of the tests. The hard work starts tomorrow by getting a good qualifying position for the race, since it’s not particularly easy to overtake on a street circuit. I think either of us can go for the win but I’m going to try my hardest to get that.”

Fellow series newcomers Scott Hargrove, from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and his Florida-based 8Star Motorsports team, turned the third fastest time at 1:07.5363, followed by Colombian Juan Piedrahita, who has joined defending champion team Belardi Auto Racing for his sophomore Indy Lights season and Matthew Brabham, with Andretti Autosport. Brabham, who became the first driver to win consecutive MAZDASPEED scholarships after winning the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2012 and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2013, finished fourth in his rookie season of Indy Lights in 2014.

“The Dallara IL-15 really is a fantastic car to drive,” said Hargrove. “It was a great start to the weekend to finish P3 this morning. The 8Star car was phenomenal right out of the gate. For me to be P3 not having tested since January is a great start. I’ve raced in St. Pete for four years now and each year it gets bigger and better.”

The Indy Lights cars will return to the track for qualifying tomorrow morning, March 28, at 9:30 am ET. The green flag for the first of two races will fly at 2:25 pm.

French Pair Buret and Latorre Fastest in Pro Mazda
French rookie drivers Timothe Buret and Florian Latorre topped the timing charts today during practice for the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will comprise the first two rounds of the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Buret, 19, from Montpellier, France, was fastest in this morning’s opening practice session with a time of 1:12.6605 (89.182 mph) on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn downtown street circuit, driving for defending champion team Juncos Racing. Californian Neil Alberico (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing), who finished third in the 2014 title-chase, was just 0.1339s slower, followed by Malaysian Weiron Tan (Andretti Autosport) and Canadian Garett Grist (Juncos Racing).

This afternoon’s second half-hour session was held on a damp track, so times were slightly slower. Latorre, who won last year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, as well as a MAZDASPEED scholarship to graduate into Pro Mazda, led the way with a 1:13.6933 lap in a second Cape Motorsports entry, followed by Englishman Raoul Owens (JDC MotorSports) and Canadian Dalton Kellett (Andretti Autosport).

Qualifying for the first of two Pro Mazda races will take place tomorrow morning at 8:45 am ET, followed by the first race at 1:30 pm ET.

Jake Eidson Heads the USF2000 Time Charts for Pabst Racing
Americans Jake Eidson and Aaron Telitz led the way after two practice sessions for the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will constitute the opening two rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Eidson, 19, who splits his time between Littleton, Colo., and Destin, Fla., was fastest in both sessions for Pabst Racing, turning a best lap of 1:14.9865 (86.416 mph) in the afternoon session which was interrupted by a rain shower.

Aaron Telitz, from Birchwood, Wis., was just over a tenth of a second slower for St. Petersburg-based Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

USF2000 cars will begin the track activities tomorrow (Saturday, March 28) with a half-hour qualifying session starting at 8:00 am. The first race will start a little later in the morning at 10:15.

Power Leads Opening Day of Practice at St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 27, 2015) – Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power kicked off the “aero era” by recording the quickest lap time in today’s initial practice session for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Power’s lap of 1 minute, 1.4709 seconds in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet breezed past the 2014 Verizon P1 Award-winning lap of 1:01.8668 produced by Takuma Sato on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit.

Power was among five drivers, including Team Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya (1:01.6996) and Helio Castroneves (1:01.7000), to better last year’s pole time, even without the Firestone Firehawk alternate tires that they’ll be allowed to use in the three rounds of Saturday qualifications.

As a steady rain fell through the afternoon, no drivers turned laps in the companion session. Another practice session is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday preceding qualifications for the 110-lap race Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

Last year at St. Petersburg, James Hinchcliffe’s lap of 1:02.9326 topped the first session.

“It was pretty straightforward for us. I think it’s just understanding last year’s mechanical balance of the car with the new aero stuff and just going through basic changes to see what they do,” said Power, who won the season-opening race in March 2014 and earned the St. Petersburg pole four straight years from 2010-13.

“The kits produce massive downforce, low drag and the cars are absolutely glued to the track. Obviously, as we go along in the year we are going to learn more and more about what we need to push for wins.”

Scott Dixon (1:01.7777) and Sebastien Bourdais (1:01.8439) also were quicker around the circuit than the 2014 pole time using the Chevrolet aero/engine package. Second-year driver Jack Hawksworth (1:01.8713) was quickest of the 12 Honda drivers.

Bourdais’ track record of 1:00.928 (106.710 mph) set in qualifying for the inaugural Indy car race in 2003 could come under assault.

Both manufacturers developed aerodynamic bodywork platforms for street/road course and short ovals along with a speedway package under INDYCAR regulations. The Chevrolet and Honda aero kits also look distinctly different.

There are multiple combinations of components that crews can utilize to tailor the package to suit drivers and a particular racetrack to optimize performance. They’ve had two weeks of on-track testing available to decipher the characteristics of the road/street and short oval package. The speedway aero kits are scheduled to be delivered to teams April 1 and make their competitive debut at the Indianapolis 500.

“There’s a noticeable speed increase from last year and that’s from downforce without a lot of drag penalty,” said CFH Racing driver Josef Newgarden, who was 10th on the time chart. “They’re very efficient packages and Chevrolet and Honda have spent millions of dollars into making the best aerodynamic pieces that they can.

“Everything on the car is lot more refined and it’s just faster. That’s the big difference in plain terms.”

Added 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay: “Racing, first of all, is all about innovation and development and that’s what we have with the aero kits. The engine manufacturers have been tasked to put on as much downforce as efficiently as possible, and what you see is a complete transformation of this Indy car where Chevy has its own look and brand and Honda has its own look and brand and stamp on the car.

“The performance is up, track records will be broken this year, and they look like you need to wear protective gloves around them, so they look awesome. They look like they should, which is incredibly fast and somewhat scary.”

Wilson joins Andretti Autosport for Indy races

Andretti Autosport announced that Indy car veteran Justin Wilson will drive for the team in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Wilson, a seven-time race winner in 11 Indy car seasons, will drive the No. 25 Honda. Andretti Autosport is the reigning Indy 500 champion with Hunter-Reay.

“I know that the team has everything in place to do well and I’m really confident about what the group is capable of this year,” said Wilson.

Added team owner Michael Andretti, “Having Justin on the team has been something we’ve been looking at for quite some time, so we’re excited to finally make it happen.”

Celebs have speedy experience
Mario Andretti quickly zipped around the 1.8-mile, 14-turn St. Petersburg street circuit much to the delight of his passengers Thursday in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater. Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Major Wright and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, “SI Now” host Maggie Gray and Anthony Sullivan, a/k/a the OxiClean spokesperson, were among the riders.

“My heartrate is above 200 right now. It’s a thrill to have a legend, Mario Andretti, give me a ride,” said Sullivan, who eagerly posed with the Bucs players for photos after his ride. “The most surprising thing to me was the speed, the poise, the control entering some of those turns. I thought, ‘When is he going to brake?’ It’s a whole new appreciation for driving at that level.”

Of note

Team Penske announced that the Hitachi Group has extended its team sponsorship through the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Helio Castroneves will drive the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet in nine races this season, including the season opener at St. Petersburg. Hitachi also will be an associate sponsor on the three other Team Penske cars. … Mazda Road to Indy drivers Zach Veach, Neil Alberico and Spencer Pigot visited patients at nearby All Children’s Hospital on Thursday. It’s an annual event coordinated by Racing For Kids, which also donated televisions and video game equipment to the hospital. … Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires driver Michael Johnson of JDC Motorsports remained at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg under ICU observation with fractures to the hip and pelvis, following a crash in the opening practice session this morning.


WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet): “It’s awesome to be at an event where times actually count. Obviously not today, but tomorrow and Sunday. Good testing, and obviously, Team Penske has definitely made ground over the winter over the other teams. I think it’s going to be a pretty interesting four-way battle amongst the team and Scott Dixon is right in there as well. I expect those five to be the championship contenders.” (Comparing the performance of the car at St. Pete from last year to today): “I think it’s just (about) understanding last year’s mechanical balance of the car with the new aero stuff and just going through basic changes to see what they do. It was pretty straightforward for us. I think we rolled off pretty good with all four cars.” (Which is contributing more to Chevrolet’s dominance, the engine or the aero kit?): “I think it’s both. I think they’re better with the engine and the aero right now. It’s hard to say which is more. I think they did a very good job with the aero kit, Chevy did.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet): “It’s a long offseason for us, but to be honest with you, the last couple months have been pretty busy for us doing a lot of testing and preparation for this. It’s fun for me, second year back and I feel a lot better than last year. I think we have gained a lot over the winter with the car and I think it made a lot of difference.” (On comparing how his car performed here last year and today): “Last year was a tough year for us at the beginning. We knew that. Normally I’m really good at remembering everything about every track and last year I think this was such a blur for me. I was so overwhelmed with everything that I didn’t really pay too much attention to details. But I felt really good straight away (this year) that all of the work we did over the winter with the car made me really, really happy. I’m really comfortable with the car.” (Did all four Team Penske drivers try different things today?) “Each engineer knows what their driver wants and it seems each one is doing his own thing. We have the data there, we have all the information. If somebody makes a change that works, we all know about it. We all drive so different. It’s not so much the driving, it’s the feeling that we want out of the car is so different. You look at us driving, it looks pretty similar but what we want the feel to be is very different. To get that feel, we achieve it in very different ways.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): “Pretty happy with the first day on the Penske Truck Rental Chevy. We were fast out of the box and we also made some improvements through first practice. For us, we’ve been getting up to speed as a group and so far everything is going pretty smoothly. I’m really looking forward to qualifying tomorrow to see what we can do.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “There was some promise in our early speed; the DHL Honda was up at the top of the time charts there for the first couple of runs, but as the session went on we just didn’t get the most out of the car. We need to do some changes to react to the balance that we now have. On our new tire runs we had yellow flags in the corner so I had to slow down. I think at best we could have been P9, P8. A lot of the front runners ran three sets of tires instead of the two sets that we ran. Hopefully with our changes we can move forward tomorrow.” (On aero kits): “Racing, first of all, is all about innovation and development and that’s what we have with the aero kits. The engine manufacturers have been tasked to put on as much downforce as efficiently as possible, and what you’ve see is a complete transformation of this Indy car where Chevy has its own look and brand and Honda has its own look and brand and stamp on the car. The performance is up, the speeds – the track records will be broken this year, and they look like you need to wear protective gloves around them, so they look awesome. They look like they should, which is incredibly fast and somewhat scary.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “We struggled today with brake issues, so we only had one real run there at the end of the first session. We think we have a direction on where we need to go but a lot of work to do in Practice 3 tomorrow, and then on to quals. Looking to move the Snapple car up the charts.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda): “First session went OK. I think as a team we are not quite where we want to be, but we are going to work really hard. For me, it was good to be back in the car; it felt okay out there, just looking at a few changes and hopefully we’ll do another leap forward. It’s great to be back here in St. Pete.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): “We’re back in St. Petersburg. The second session was rained out, so our day didn’t go as planned. We have a bit of work to do. The first session tomorrow is for 45 minutes and then qualifying, so we’ll see how it goes. The important thing is qualifying, so now we are thinking and working towards that.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chevrolet): “Things weren’t too bad with the Target car. Generally the car felt pretty good. We had a lot of understeer and missed a bit on the aero setup but we’ll continue to get there. It’s not like we’re seconds off the pace. I didn’t really get a chance to put a good lap together either and there was a lot of traffic to deal with. I was glad we got some running in before the rain so all in all a good start to the weekend for us. I can’t wait to get the season started here in St. Petersburg.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet): “It’s unfortunate that we had to battle with some electrical issues during that first practice session and then weren’t able to get out for the second session with the rain. We had some things we really wanted to work on and with the issues first thing out, we just weren’t able to get any full runs in. We’ll get back out there tomorrow and work through a few things and then be ready to go for qualifying.”

SAGE KARAM (No. 8 GE LED Chevrolet): “Although we only got to run one session today due to rain, I feel we got a good foundation under the GE LED car for tomorrow. The goal was to just get comfortable back in the car today and not make any mistakes. We weren’t working on outright speed today. We wanted to get some good laps in, get some good data to go off of, and some more experience under my belt. This is a learning process and we’ll start looking to improve on speed tomorrow when the weather cooperates a bit more.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet): “The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew is pretty happy with today. We have some improvements to make to the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet but overall it was a good start. There are probably three to four spots on the track where I need to be better coupled with the car being better, but there are a few spots where I feel really strong. So if we can just keep those strengths and fix those areas that need to be improved I think we’ll be on par.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet): “It was a good, solid starting day for the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet team. I was really disappointed to see the rain come because we still have some more things to try in hopes of picking up more speed, but we will have to go to work tomorrow. I’m excited about the speed in the car and I think we can challenge for the win, for sure.”

STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “It was great to get out on the St. Petersburg track with all the other drivers. It was only practice and not a racing situation, but it was competitive and gave me an opportunity to learn the track and work on some things. It was a lot of fun. We know what we need to do to make the No. 4 KV Racing Technology car better, but unfortunately, because of the weather we didn’t get out for the afternoon session. The weather report is good for tomorrow, so we will make some changes for the morning practice and hopefully that will give me a really good car for my first Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying session.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “We had a pretty good day in the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH machine. We thought we had learned a lot of things at the Sebring test earlier this week, but they didn’t quite carry over. So, we back pedaled quickly and went back to a more conventional street course setup that we know better. I didn’t manage to do the perfect lap, but it put us back in a position that we are familiar with, in the top-five. We obviously couldn’t make any progress in the afternoon session due to the rain. But looking forward to tomorrow, hopefully we will put it all together and have a good qualifying for the first race of the year.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “We would have liked to have gotten back on track for the second session to see if we could improve, but it didn’t make sense to run in the rain because the weather the rest of the weekend looks good so there was nothing to be gained. I thought the car was decent in the first session, but we have a little work to do to make some improvements. We are in the thick of it, but we need to find a little more speed to leap us up to the next group of guys. I feel okay about the day though. If we find ourselves a couple of tweaks, we can shuffle ourselves up the grid. There is more work to be done Saturday and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

Mazda Road to Indy App Launches at Season-Opener

PALMETTO, Fla. – On the verge of the 2015 INDYCAR season-opening races on the streets of St. Petersburg this week, Mazda Road to Indy TV today rolled out the “Official App” for the three series comprising the ladder system to the Verizon IndyCar Series – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Available as a free download at the App Store (iPhones) and Google Play (Android) for mobile phones and tablets, the Mazda Road to Indy App (listed under Road To Indy TV) will feature “one stop shopping” for fans with live timing, live track feed commentary from Rob Howden – voice of the Mazda Road to Indy (@RobHowden), social media, on-board videos, photos, episodes of RoadToIndy.TV – which takes viewers behind-the-scenes and will unveil a new programming format in 2015 – and more including an interactive race schedule which sends notifications when a race is starting.

“We are thrilled to unveil the Mazda Road to Indy app and give fans a new type of access to our series,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “It is a great complement to the Cooper Tires Hashtag Campaign [#TeamCooperTire and #MRTI] which helps our drivers tell their story, while connecting to and rewarding fans. Our goal is to assist our teams and drivers in gaining as much exposure as possible as they make their way up the ladder, and the new App and RoadToIndy.TV shows are great ways to showcase the talent in our series.”

The app was created by the Road to Indy TV team with JP Manterola, Creative Director, heading the project. Along with its current features, the app will continue to be developed with Cooper Tires throughout the season with additional features such as driver highlights and team profiles.

“Our goal was to give fans unlimited free access to follow the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Manterola. “It was a logical step to develop a Mobile App for easy access to our series no matter where you are located. Before you had to do everything from your laptop on different tabs. Now, it’s simple. You click a button on your mobile phone and have all the information you want to support your favorite drivers, teams and the series itself.”

All three ladder series will be in action this weekend at St. Petersburg with double-header rounds in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series on March 28/29.

New Indy Lights Car Debut Highlights Mazda Road to Indy Openers at St. Petersburg

PALMETTO, Fla. – The future stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series will display their talents this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., as all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder will commence their 2015 seasons. The race weekend also will mark the debut of the exciting new Dallara IL-15, powered by a 450 HP, 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine, heralding the dawn of a new era for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

The Mazda Road to Indy is unique in the world of auto racing, offering scholarships at every stage to assist talented drivers in their progression from karting and the grassroots of the sport through the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires as they aspire to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

Competitors in all three series will contest a pair of races on the challenging 1.8-mile, downtown street circuit. As part of the learning experience, drivers will benefit from a Mazda Road to Indy “Summit” on Thursday before the start of on-track activities, which will include a media training seminar hosted by veteran broadcaster Bob Varsha.

Englishman Harvey Leads Strong Field into a New Era of Indy Lights
As the final step on the ladder toward the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in North America, Indy Lights can trace its roots back to 1986 and the launch of what was originally called the American Racing Series. Former series champions Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan, Cristiano da Matta and Scott Dixon have all gone on to win IndyCar titles, and three of the past four champions – Josef Newgarden (2011), Sage Karam (2013) and Gabby Chaves (2014) – have their sights set firmly on emulating that feat as they take to the grid for this weekend’s IndyCar season-opener.

The Mazda-powered new Dallara IL-15 has drawn excellent reviews during its development process and off-season testing, and has attracted a high-quality entry from around the world for its official race debut at the Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Peninsula Pipeline. The weekend will comprise a 40-minute “sprint” race starting at 2:25 pm ET on Saturday, March 28, and a 60-minute “feature” for which the green flag will fly at 11:45 am on Sunday, March 29.

Englishman Jack Harvey will start as one of the preseason favorites after finishing tied on points with last year’s champion, Chaves, in his rookie campaign in North America. Harvey only lost the title on a count-back of second-place finishes. The former British Formula 3 champion will remain with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian which has won four of the last five Indy Lights crowns.

Opposition will stem from multiple sources, including series veteran Matthew Brabham, the winner of consecutive USF2000 and Pro Mazda championship crowns in 2012 and 2013, with Andretti Autosport, and Briton Max Chilton, who has raced in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship the past two years and is looking to assist European open-wheel powerhouse team Carlin in its preparations for a future assault on the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Carlin teammate and 2013 European F3 Open champion Ed Jones also has shone in preseason testing, as have 2014 Pro Mazda champion Spencer Pigot, from Orlando, Fla., Juncos Racing teammate Kyle Kaiser and 2013 USF2000 champion Scott Hargrove, who finished a close second to Pigot in the 2014 Pro Mazda title-chase and has joined accomplished sports car team 8Star Motorsports. Potential front-runners also include 18-year-old RC Enerson (Schmidt Peterson), from nearby New Port Richey, Fla., who took second in the 2014 USF2000 championship, winning a series-high five races, including one in St. Petersburg, USF2000 and Pro Mazda veteran Shelby Blackstock (Andretti Autosport) and Puerto Rico’s Felix Serralles, who has returned to North America after a successful foray in Europe to join defending champion team Belardi Auto Racing.

In addition to live timing and commentary on the series website – – the race will be carried live on the IMS Radio Network to Sirius XM Satellite Radio,, and the INDYCAR app from Verizon. Practice and qualifying will also be streamed on the INDYCAR YouTube channel and The race will air on NBCSN on Sunday, April 5 at 4:30 pm ET. Behind-the-scenes action on all three series can be found at RoadToIndy.TV.

Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Peninsula Pipeline Entry List
Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida – March 27-29 – Rounds 1/2 As of March 20, 2015
1.8-mile 14-turn street circuit

Track Records:
Qualifying – J.K. Vernay 1:06.3497 = 97.664 mph March 27, 2010
Race – Sebastian Saavedra 1:07.2141 = 96.408 mph April 5, 2009

No. Driver Hometown Residence Team Entry
1. 4 Felix Serralles (R) Ponce, Puerto Rico Atlanta, GA Belardi Auto Racing TBA
2. 5 Juan Piedrahita Bogota, Colombia Indianapolis, IN Belardi Auto Racing Petrosur/Marca Colombia/Coldeportes/FCAD
3. 7 RC Enerson (R) New Port Richey, FL New Port Richey, FL Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Lucas Oil/Curb Records w/Curb-Agajanian
4. 8 Scott Hargrove (R) Vancouver, BC, Canada Surrey, BC, Canada 8Star Motorsports BC Pit Crew
5. 11 Ed Jones (R) Dubai, UAE Dubai, UAE Carlin Toys for Boys Miami/United Rivers
6. 12 Spencer Pigot (R) Orlando, FL Indianapolis, IN Juncos Racing Mazda/Doug Mockett & Company/Rising Star Racing/The Stutz/BAD/OMP
7. 14 Max Chilton (R) Reigate, Surrey, England Reigate, Surrey, England Carlin BlippAR
8. 18 Kyle Kaiser (R) Santa Clara, CA Santa Clara, CA Juncos Racing InterVision/NetApp/Juniper Networks
9. 42 Jack Harvey Lincoln, England Lincoln, England Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Racing Steps Foundation/Curb Records w/Curb-Agajanian
10. 51 Shelby Blackstock (R) Nashville, TN Cornelius, NC Andretti Autosport Starstruck
11. 71 Ethan Ringel (R) Mineola, NY Orlando, FL Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian
12. 77 Scott Anderson Fort Collins, CO Fort Collins, CO Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Anderson Podiatry Centers/Laser Therapy, w/Curb-Agajanian Surgery and Neuropathy/Curb Records
13. 83 Matthew Brabham Boca Raton, FL Indianapolis, IN Andretti Autosport Mazda

Local Teams Highlight Pro Mazda Field
An impressive mix of accomplished veterans and impressive rookies characterize a strong 18-car entry for this weekend’s pair of Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires races which will comprise the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Local race fans will have plenty of favorites from which to choose, with two of the more prominent teams, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and Team Pelfrey, based within a few miles of the downtown street circuit.

St. Petersburg-based Cape Motorsports, run by brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape, will field three cars for Californian Neil Alberico, who recorded four podium finishes en route to third place in the championship standings during his rookie campaign in 2014; Frenchman Florian Latorre, who is stepping up to Pro Mazda after winning last year’s USF2000 championship and claiming a MAZDASPEED Driver Development Scholarship; and Canadian Daniel Burkett, who dominated the 2014 Atlantic Championship Series in addition to earning several top-five finishes in USF2000.

Team Pelfrey will make the short trip from its base in Palmetto with a pair of cars for Mexico’s Patricio “Pato” O’Ward and Uruguay’s Santiago “Santi” Urrutia. O’Ward is the youngest driver in the field at age 15 but impressed last year by winning a round of the French F4 Championship during a partial campaign, then proving fastest of all in a Mazda Road to Indy test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Other potent protagonists will include Juncos Racing, Andretti Autosport and JDC MotorSports. The lineup for last year’s championship-winning team, Juncos Racing, will include 2014 race winners Garett Grist, from Grimsby, Ont., Canada and Jose Gutierrez, from Monterrey, Mexico, as well as promising rookies Will Owen, from Castle Rock, Colo., a USF2000 race winner last year, and Frenchman Timothé Buret. The Andretti Autosport challenge will stem from Malaysian Weiron Tan, who recently won two Cooper Tires Winterfest preseason races, and Canadian Dalton Kellett, while JDC’s stable will include Kyle Connery, from Vero Beach, Fla., Englishman Raoul Owens and the inspirational Michael Johnson, 22, from Flint, Mich., who drives a car equipped with hand controls after being paralyzed following a motorcycle racing accident at age 12.

The first of two races for the Allied Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will start at 1:30 pm ET on Saturday. The green flag for Race Two will fly at 9:50 am on Sunday, March 29. Live timing and commentary for all sessions will be available at

Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Entry List
Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida – March 27-29 – Rounds 1/2 As of March 24, 2015
1.8-mile 14-turn street circuit
Track Records:
Qualifying – Conor Daly 1:10.352 = 92.108 mph March 27, 2010
Race – Jack Hawksworth 1:11.439 = 90.707 mph March 24, 2012
No. Driver Hometown Residence Team Sponsors
1. 2 Daniel Burkett (R) Winnipeg, Man., Canada Winnipeg, Man., Canada Cape Motorsports w/WTR Granite Financial Group Inc.
2. 3 Neil Alberico Los Gatos, CA Redlands, CA Cape Motorsports w/WTR Rising Star Racing/Mobe
3. 5 Garett Grist Grimsby, Ont., Canada Grimsby, Ont., Canada Juncos Racing Lander Property Management
4. 6 Timothé Buret (R) Montpellier, France Indianapolis, IN Juncos Racing Broadsign/TRAXX.FM/Driving Koncept
5. 7 Jose Gutierrez Monterrey, Mexico Monterrey, Mexico Juncos Racing Prisma
6. 10 Florian Latorre (R) Libourne, France Auriolles, France Cape Motorsports w/WTR du Sud-Ouest/ COGNY/LATORRE Menuiserie/VISEZ/K1
7. 13 Bobby Eberle* Chicago, IL Houston, TX World Speed Motorsports
8. 14 Alessandro Latif (R) London, England London, England World Speed Motorsports Corthay
9. 19 Raoul Owens (R) Pembrey, England Boston, MA JDC MotorSports Brightspark Ventures
10. 22 Weiron Tan (R) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Houston, TX Andretti Autosport Weiron Tan Andretti Autosport
11. 23 Will Owen (R) Plano, TX Castle Rock, CO Juncos Racing AMR
12. 26 Parker Nicklin (R) Las Vegas, NV Indianapolis, IN JDC MotorSports Just Let It Ring/Nicklin Property Management/ OMG Media Solutions
13. 28 Dalton Kellett Toronto, Ont., Canada Indianapolis, IN Andretti Autosport K-Line Insulators USA, Inc.
14. 37 Jay Horak Wausau, WI Mesa, AZ M1 Racing AutoEnginuity
15. 54 Michael Johnson Flint, MI Flint, MI JDC MotorSports Universal Coating Inc./BraunAbility
16. 81 Santiago Urrutia (R) Miguelete, Uruguay Miguelete, Uruguay Team Pelfrey Ancap/BSE/Antel/Corporacion de Maquinaria/AgroLavalle/Fadisol
17. 82 Pato O’Ward (R) Monterrey, Mexico San Antonio, TX Team Pelfrey Octane Energy Drink
18. 91 Kyle Connery Stuart, FL Vero Beach, FL JDC MotorSports Hi-Tide Boat Lifts/Connery Concrete
*Expert Class
R = Series Rookie

Representatives from 10 Nations and Six States Among Global USF2000 Entry
The international appeal of the Mazda Road to Indy is exemplified by the entry list for the first two races of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season as drivers from six different states and no fewer than 10 nationalities will battle for honors at the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Picking the likely winners is no easy task, although leading contenders will surely include a pair of talented young Americans, Jake Eidson and Aaron Telitz, along with Frenchman Nico Jamin and Brazilian Victor Franzoni.

Jamin, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of countryman Florian Latorre by winning a MAZDASPEED Scholarship and an opportunity to graduate to Pro Mazda in 2016, has already laid out his credentials by winning the recent five-race Cooper Tires USF2000 Winterfest. The 19-year-old from Rouen, France, is hoping to buck the trend and become the first driver in the five-year history of the Winterfest also to take top honors in the “regular season” championship. His team, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, is seeking to extend its remarkable streak of four consecutive championships with Petri Suvanto (2011), Matthew Brabham (2012), Scott Hargrove (2013) and Florian Latorre (2014).

Jamin will be joined at the St. Petersburg-based team by Wisconsin native Telitz, who claimed USF2000 Rookie of the Year honors in 2014.

Eidson, who finished third in USF2000 points during his rookie season, and Franzoni also enjoyed success at the Winterfest. Eidson, from Littleton, Colo., won twice for Pabst Racing and only lost the title due to an obscure mechanical failure in the final race, while Franzoni, who placed fifth in the 2014 title-chase, also notched two wins for Afterburner Autosport.

Other young chargers include Jordan Lloyd, who hails from the same small town in Queensland, Australia, as defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power, and countryman Anthony Martin, who will both drive for the team run by veteran IndyCar crew chief/team manager John Cummiskey. Another youngster from Western Australia, Luke Gabin, who will celebrate his 20th birthday on Friday, will carry the distinctive Soul Red MAZDASPEED scholarship livery on his Team Pelfrey Van Diemen-Mazda as a result of winning last year’s Skip Barber Racing Championship Shootout.

Gabin is joined at the Palmetto, Fla.-based Team Pelfrey by Norwegian Ayla Agren, who displayed her speed by winning last year’s F1600 Championship Series, Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin and Mechanicsburg, Pa.’s Garth Rickards. All three have graduated together with Team Pelfrey into USF2000, while the fourth member of that F1600 team, Arizona’s Augie Lerch, also graduates into USF2000 with another Palmetto-based team, JAY Motorsports.

Karting standout Parker Thompson (JDC MotorSports), from Red Deer, Alb., Canada – a protégé of 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice – and the youngest driver in the field, second-year racer and Naples resident Keyvan Andres Soori, from Cologne, Germany, who only celebrated his 15th birthday a couple of weeks ago, also will be worth watching.

The first of two races at the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place at 10:15 am ET on Saturday, March 27, with Race Two at 8:55 am on Sunday, March 29. Live timing and commentary for all sessions will be available at

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Entry List
Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida – March 27-29 – Rounds 1/2 As of March 8, 2015
1.8-mile 14-turn street circuit
Track Records:
Qualifying – Spencer Pigot 1:13.284 = 88.423 mph March 23, 2012
Race – Matthew Brabham 1:13.064 = 88.689 mph March 24, 2012
No. Driver Hometown Residence Team Sponsors
1. 2 Nico Jamin Rouen, France Coconut Creek, FL Cape Motorsports w/WTR Synova Automotive Eco-Plastics
2. 3 Aaron Telitz Rice Lake, WI Birchwood, WI Cape Motorsports w/WTR Rice Lake Weighing Systems
3. 5 Keyvan Andres Soori Cologne, Germany Miami, FL ArmsUp Motorsports TBA
4. 6 Max Hanratty (R) Hartland, WI Milwaukee, WI ArmsUp Motorsports Juniper Networks/SynerComm Inc.
5. 12 Augie Lerch (R) Tucson, AZ Tucson, AZ JAY Motorsports Shashi/PJ’s Performance/Hi Speed Customs and Rods
6. 16 James Dayson Vancouver, BC, Canada Vancouver, BC, Canada ArmsUp Motorsports Dayhu Group of Companies/AXIUM Capital/Elite Performance
7. 17 Victor Franzoni Sao Paulo, Brazil Sao Paulo, Brazil Afterburner Autosport Novac Sports/XYZ Talents/E-QUAL
8. 22 Jake Eidson Memphis, TN Destin, FL Pabst Racing OMP/Bell Helmets/1st Bank/SafeisFast/Team USA Scholarship
9. 23 Yufeng Luo (R) Beijing, China Los Angeles, CA Pabst Racing TBA
10. 33 Anthony Martin (R) Kalgoorlie, Australia Indianapolis, IN John Cummiskey Racing Burgess BLA
11. 61 Andrew List Rogers, MN Rogers, MN D2D Motorsports D2D Motorsports
12. 79 Santiago Lozano Bogota, Colombia Miami, FL M2 Autosport TBA
13. 80 Parker Thompson (R) Red Deer, Alb., Canada Red Deer, Alb., Canada JDC MotorSports Bell Helmets/OMP/Parker Thompson: Drive to Stay Alive
14. 81 Ayla Agren (R) Oslo, Norway St. Petersburg, FL Team Pelfrey Energima/BVR/Alt I Asfalt/Salming Hockey/ KNA/CoForce/WSF
15. 82 Luke Gabin (R) Perth, Australia Indianapolis, IN Team Pelfrey MAZDASPEED/Skip Barber/Mandurah Panel and Paint/Colbyson
16. 83 Garth Rickards (R) Mechanicsburg, PA Mechanicsburg, PA Team Pelfrey Rahal Automotive Group
17. 84 Nikita Lastochkin (R) Moscow, Russia Los Angeles, CA Team Pelfrey Russkaya Mekhanika
18. 94 Jordan Lloyd (R) Toowoomba, Australia Toowoomba, Australia John Cummiskey Racing TBA
R = Series Rookie

#INDYRIVALS Fantasy Challenge Kicks Off 2015 Season

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Tuesday, March 24, 2015) – Fantasy racing has returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series with today’s launch of the #INDYRIVALS Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone. INDYCAR’s newest fantasy game allows fans to become Team Manager by fielding a four-driver lineup for each Verizon IndyCar Series race with a stockpile of prizes on the line each week as the stars of the series go wheel-to-wheel for race wins.

The rewards are substantial, highlighted by the ultimate grand prize – a VIP experience at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2016 – and supplemented by weekly prize contributions from Firestone, Verizon, Sunoco and others.

“The #INDYRIVALS Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone is a great way to further engage our fans and get them even closer to the Verizon IndyCar Series action,” said C.J. O’Donnell, CMO of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Our partners at Firestone, Verizon and Sunoco have provided a great prize package for each week and we felt the grand prize of a VIP experience at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is a great reward for our season champion. I know a lot of us at INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are already planning which drivers to pick for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.”

Fans score points by selecting the fastest four-driver roster for each of the 16 races, but they’ll have to manage the salary cap as they balance their lineup between Indianapolis 500 winners, Verizon IndyCar Series champions and young up-and-coming INDYCAR stars.

Participants also can create their own league in which they can compete among friends, family and an expert panel of INDYCAR insiders and celebrities.

Prizes available in the #INDYRIVALS Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone include replica Firestone Firehawk INDY racing tires and Verizon Vehicle – the next generation of vehicle information technology that delivers the most versatile, comprehensive service that equips drivers with real-time diagnostic updates and live assistance at the press of a button. Other prizes include autographed Firestone Racing hats, opportunities to host a guest blog on, INDYCAR Nation Champion memberships and Verizon IndyCar Series official merchandise.

Sign up today, and learn more, at and make your selections for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will be broadcast live onMarch 29 on ABC at 3 p.m. ET and via the IMS Radio Network, Sirius 213 and XM 209.

FAST FACTS – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

FAST FACTS – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Track: 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit (clockwise)

Race distance: 110 laps / 198 miles

Entry List:  Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 15 seconds each

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, three sets alternate

Twitter: @GPSTPETE, @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #IndyCar

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2014 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car) 

2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Takuma Sato (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing car) … 1 minute, 01.8668 seconds (104.738 mph) in Firestone Fast Six

Qualifying lap record: Sebastien Bourdais on Feb. 22, 2003 (1:00.928; 106.710 mph)

ABC race broadcast: Sunday, March 29 (3 p.m. ET)

Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ESPN on ABC broadcasts for the second consecutive year alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Video Streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel . Qualifying for races telecast by ABC will also be available via live streaming.

Radio broadcasts: Paul Page is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network, Sirius 213, XM 209,,  and on the INDYCAR 15 app.

Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying is broadcast on Sirius 213, XM 209, and the INDYCAR 15 app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions plus Indy Lights practice and qualifying are on,, and the INDYCAR 15 app.

At-track schedule (all times local): 

Friday, March 27 (Promoter Day) 

12:30-1:45 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice) 

4:15-5:30 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice)

Saturday, March 28

12:30-1:15 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice) 

4:15 p.m. (Three rounds of qualifications)

Sunday, March 29

12-12:30 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up) 

3 p.m. ABC on air

3:37 p.m. Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg green flag

Race Notes:

* The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marks the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars will be differentiated by their shape on the street course as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and speedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.

* Aero kit competition complements the fourth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the Manufacturer Champion.

* Five drivers will make their first start at St. Petersburg – Stefano Coletti, Sage Karam, Gabby Chaves, Luca Filippi and Francesco Dracone. The first three are Sunoco Rookie of the Year award candidates. Filippi has competed in eight Verizon IndyCar Series races and makes his debut with CFH Racing. Chaves was the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, while Karam, who be the youngest driver to start an Indy car for Chip Ganassi Racing, won the 2013 title. Dracone competed in two races in 2010.

* Will Power, who had earned consecutive poles at St. Petersburg in 2010-13, won the 2014 season opener at St. Petersburg after qualifying fourth. He went on to win his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Power also won the race in 2010. Team Penske has won the pole position in five out of the last eight Grand Prix of St. Petersburg races.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 234th consecutive race, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 175 consecutive starts.

* Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, is tied with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 35. He has three runner-up finishes at St. Petersburg but has not won.

* Helio Castroneves, who has won the race in  2006, 2007 and 2012, has been the Verizon IndyCar Series championship runner-up the past two seasons. Castroneves finished third at St. Petersburg in 2014.

* Simona de Silvestro, who made 65 starts over four Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, returns to the series in an Andretti Autosport Honda after a year absence to pursue a Formula One career. 

* There were a record-tying 11 different winners in the 18 races of 2014, and equally tight competition is projected for the 2015 season.

* With six victories in 11 races at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Team Penske is the winningest team in the history of the Verizon IndyCar Series. Three different Team Penske drivers have visited Victory Lane at St. Petersburg. Helio Castroneves has won three times at the venue (2006, 2007, 2012, more than any other driver), while Will Power has two St. Pete wins to his credit (2010 and last season). Ryan Briscoe opened the 2009 season with a victory for Team Penske. Chip Ganassi Racing has won four of the last 10 Verizon IndyCar Series openers (Homestead: 2006, 2007, 2008; St. Pete: 2011).

The 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the 12th Indy car race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Paul Tracy won the inaugural race on Feb. 23, 2003, under CART sanction. Sebastien Bourdais, entered in this year’s race, started from the pole. On March 21, Bourdais co-drove to the overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring. He is a St. Petersburg resident. 

Pre-Race Quotes:

Will Power (No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet, defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race winner): “I’m really excited to get the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series started and represent the sport as the champion throughout the year. Even though I was able to break through last year and win my first title, I am preparing to go into this season just as hungry as I was before I became a champion. The drive to win multiple championships is just as strong as the drive to win one. To do that, it’s important to get off to a good start at St. Pete. Winning there last year in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet was critical to the championship push. Now that I’m in the No. 1 Verizon Chevy for 2015, we need to put the new number in Victory Lane as well.” (About debut of aero kit competition): “As we are starting to understand the new Chevrolet aero kits, it’s clear that they have done a proper job in the design and development of them. The kits produce massive downforce, low drag and the cars are absolutely glued to the track. Obviously, as we go along in the year we are going to learn more and more about what we need to push for wins. That is where having a new, fourth car with Simon Pagenaud will be key. His ability to communicate what a car is doing and what it needs is really impressive. He’s going to add a lot to Team Penske and I look forward to racing as his teammate for quite a while.”

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet): “The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season was one of a lot of adjustments for me getting re-introduced to these cars again after 13 seasons away from the series. The race at St. Pete was a bit of a struggle for me last year, especially since I had never been on the ‘red’ Firestone tires until the race started, and it took some adjusting. Toward the end of the year, though, we were really competitive, leading laps and running at the front of the field. With that year under my belt I really think we can get the season started strong at St. Pete. The No. 2 Verizon Chevy has been solid in our preseason testing and with a couple more days on track before we get to St. Pete we should be able to dial it in even more.”

Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet): “While we would all have loved to race in Brazil this year, there is something cool about keeping the tradition of opening the Verizon IndyCar Series season in St. Pete. This is a track that has been very good to Team Penske, and to me personally. Even though we are introducing new aero kits to the series this year, I think you will see Team Penske and Chevrolet at the front of the field when the laps are winding down in the race. I have been encouraged with the speed in the No. 3 Hitachi Chevy during our testing over the last couple of weeks. Team Penske is always strong in qualifying at St. Pete as well. If we can get a good starting spot I believe we can keep the car up front all day and challenge for the win. A fourth win at St. Pete would be awesome. And then, who knows, maybe a fourth win in another race later on in the season at Indianapolis.”

Stefano Coletti (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “I am really excited to start the championship and the challenge of learning all the new tracks. I have done a few tests now with KV Racing Technology and gathered some valuable data, which I’m looking forward to being able to use this weekend at St. Petersburg. I have been able to watch some past races, so I have an idea of what the track will be like and especially what to expect in Turn 1, which looks extremely tight. Having such an experienced teammate as (Sebastien) Bourdais has been really helpful and we work well together, so I am looking forward to having a great first season to my Indy car career.”

James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda): “St. Pete is like the first day of school, providing that you like school, that is. I love going there. The race is awesome, the track is fun and it’s a place that I’ve always run well at. It’s been nice getting back in the cars to go testing but I think the whole Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team just wants to get back to racing and see what we can do in the Arrow car. It can’t come soon enough.”

James Jakes (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I’m very excited about starting the season in St. Pete this weekend, and really looking forward to driving the No. 7 MediaTech SPM Honda around there. We’ve had a busy few weeks leading up to the race and hopefully everything we’ve learned will benefit us for the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener. We’re looking to start the season strong so that we have a good baseline for 2015.”

Sage Karam (No. 8 GE LED Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I can’t tell you how excited I am to get the season started. When I signed as a development driver with the team last year, I was able to get in and help out the IMSA team, but now it’s time to get the INDYCAR season started. St. Pete is a track I’ve had success on before in the ladder series and I’m ready to go. We’ve been testing a lot the past few months and I’ve really been trying hard to absorb everything I’ve learned from my teammates and our driver coach Dario Franchitti. I can’t wait to get the GE LED car out for practice and start working on the car with my team and my engineer Eric Cowdin. It’s a dream come true to be racing for Chip and this team and I’m going to be ready to go.”

Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “St. Petersburg is one of the best places to kick off the season. It’s around spring break time, they do a fantastic job of getting the community in and obviously the party atmosphere there too with different things going on during the day. All the different classes of cars that race there and all the variety of things to do in St. Pete make it pretty fantastic for a lot of people. I live in Indianapolis and we finally get to have some sun and get hang out in some warm weather. The track itself is always fantastic racing with big braking zones going into Turn 1. It’s also very wide, great for starts, restarts and overtaking throughout the race. I think it’s definitely been some great racing over the years and this year I expect the same. I haven’t won there either, so I need to work on that one. I’ve had three or four podiums but have never won.”

Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It’s been a lot of fun getting to know the new Chevy aero kits over the last month, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m ready to get back on track for the season opener in St. Petersburg this weekend. I’m loving my new colors representing NTT DATA this season and it’s been a seamless transition working with my new lead engineer Todd Malloy. I think everyone at NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing is just excited to get out there to start the new season and really see what these new cars can do.” 

Sebastien Bourdais (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Chevrolet): “I am looking forward to the start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. We have had a long time off and it will be good to be back racing in the No. 11 Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet car. We have had some good tests during the offseason and collected some valuable data, but you never know how you stack up until you are on the track when it counts. I wish we would have had more time with the new aero kits, but it is the same for everyone.” (About racing in his adopted hometown of St. Petersburg): “St. Petersburg is my home race, but unfortunately, other than a pole in my first race (2003), I haven’t really had the success I would have liked. We had a good race going last year and I think we were in a position to finish in the top four or five, but things just didn’t go our way. I don’t feel any additional pressure to do well in St. Petersburg…but it’s nice to be able to sleep in my own bed and have friends and family at the track.”

Takuma Sato (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “I just naturally feel good about St. Pete. In 2013, the tire’s characteristic was quite different from the previous year but we were able to find a good balance very quickly and that was why we were quick. Last year, it was a tricky condition from damp track to drying for every segment of qualifying but I was able to commit every timed lap, so it was a quite special moment when we got the pole. Hopefully we can repeat another front-row start.”

Graham Rahal (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “I’m excited to race again in St. Petersburg. For me, St. Pete has always been one of the best tracks, one of the best places we go all year, a place that I just love. Because of the fact that I got my first win and my first pole there, it has always had a sweet spot in my heart. The town has always embraced the racing and I’ve enjoyed that. More than anything, I’m ready to just get this season going. It’s such a long offseason that I feel like we’re kind of behind. The team has been doing such a great job and I’m just thrilled to get this thing going. I think it’s going to be a great year. I’m excited and ready to go. St. Pete is going to be interesting because it will be our first hard run with the new aero kits. The car seems to be handling everything pretty well. Durability seems to be pretty good. At the end of the day, I think everybody is ready to get to St. Pete. Honda is ready to perform and I think we can lead the charge for them and hopefully do a great job. It’s going to be tough, tricky to see how this all plays out. We’re going to have to be very cautious of contact and make sure that we are staying clean and sharp. All in all, I’m really excited to get going.”

Luca Filippi (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): “We are all very excited for St. Pete. It will be my first race with CFH Racing and I really can’t wait to get there. Obviously, it’s been a long winter for everyone, but it’s good that we had an opportunity to test the car with the old package and the new aero kit. I think Chevy has done a great job and we are really looking forward to seeing where we are. I think we are going to be competitive and the entire team is really excited about it.”

Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): “To say that I’m ready to get to St. Pete would be a huge understatement. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve ready to go with my new No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevy team. Making the move to Team Penske has been everything I thought it would be. The resources available to us are second to none, but I also feel that both (engineer) Ben (Bretzman) and I can contribute a lot to the team as well. We’ve already been quite busy with testing over the last few weeks, trying to really hone in on the new Chevrolet aero kit. Chevy did an amazing job with it and we will continue to improve as the season goes along. I have to say, though, that it is really an honor to have Team Penske start a fourth team for me, something that has never been done in team history. That gives me a lot of confidence to go out and do my job, which is to win races and compete for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship.”

Simona de Silvestro (No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda): “I’m really looking forward to St. Pete. It’s a place I’ve always done pretty well, and I really enjoy the track, the atmosphere. It’s the first race of the season, so it’s always really exciting, and especially for me, I’m going there after a year away from INDYCAR… It’s going to be great; especially with Andretti Autosport – it’s going to be a new challenge but I can’t wait to start the season with them. Hopefully we’ll get a good result, and I think we’ll do that.”

Carlos Muñoz (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): “These three days of testing (at Sebring International Raceway) are only going to help us going into St. Petersburg. We have a little more work to do, but I think we are going to be right there when we arrive to St. Pete. I’m really looking forward to this weekend; this is the start of my second Verizon IndyCar Series season and I like the St. Pete track a lot. I have been fast in the past there, and last year I did quite a good job qualifying (seventh). There are a lot of cars running today in Sebring, so we are going to have a good reference for the race weekend ahead.”

Marco Andretti (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “I can’t wait to be back in race conditions this weekend. As always, St. Pete will be a great setting to start the season and I’m excited to see where things ultimately shake out with the new aero kits.” 

Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda): “It’s a new era in INDYCAR with the introduction of the aero kits and I’m really looking forward to the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. We’re still developing the new package and will be for quite some time, but the DHL team is focused on the challenge ahead. We’ve been on the St. Pete podium too many times in the past without a win, now we have our sights set on a victory and starting the 2015 season the best way possible.”

Jack Hawksworth (No. 41 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “The (St. Pete) track is a lot of fun and pretty technical, especially the middle sector. It’s a track I have won at twice in Pro Mazda and in Indy Lights so it has always been good to me. Couple that with the great weather and it’s certainly one of my favorite events. I also lived in St. Pete during my first year in the States, so I know the city quite well and really enjoy going back there. It’s a great place to kick off the season.”

Josef Newgarden (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet): “I am really excited to get to St. Pete with the whole team. We’ve had a great winter getting to know one another. It’s been a really good marriage between two fantastic groups (Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing). Chevy seems to have brought us a great package with their new aero kit. It’s been fun developing that and working with Luca (Filippi) to try to figure out what we need to win races. I feel that CFH Racing is as prepared as we can be rolling into the first round of the season. We’re obviously looking to start it off right and score good points. I think starting off on a high note and taking care of the equipment is the priority. Hopefully that will snowball into more success throughout the entire year.”

Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “After a long offseason and some productive test days these past few weeks, I think we’re all more than ready to take the green flag on Sunday. The entire Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has been working really hard over the winter in preparation of the new Team Chevy aero kits. Now that we’ve had on-track time, it’s about soaking up as much as we can to make small gains here and there that add up to big results. We’ll be looking to have the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car on the podium this weekend to get the momentum going. I can’t wait to see how things shake out once we’re in a real race setting at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg; I think the fans are in for a treat this season.”

Gabby Chaves (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda): “We have been making progress every time we get on track and I expect nothing less heading into the race weekend. It is an incredible opportunity that I have here and I will do all I can to get the results we want and deserve. It will be a steep learning curve for me as a rookie but I have a great team around me that will help me with that process. I have complete confidence in them to get us to our true potential.”

ESPN Player Expands INDYCAR’s International Live, On-Demand Coverage

  • All 16 races, including the Indianapolis 500, will be broadcast live on ESPN’s online streaming service for fans across Europe, the Middle East and Africa
  • All qualifying sessions, race highlights and Indy Lights races available on-demand

ESPN Player will bring fans across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (excluding the UK, France, Italy and South Africa) live and on-demand coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series season as a new channel on the digital subscription service.

The eagerly-anticipated first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series will be held on March 29in St. Petersburg, Fla. The race schedule includes challenging, technical road and street courses, short ovals and superspeedways that are sure to provide another gripping campaign of competitive racing. The showpiece event on the race calendar, the world renowned Indianapolis 500, is also part of the package available for racing fans across the EMEA region. The full race schedule can be found here.

Last year, Will Power of Team Penske earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship in a memorable season which featured a record-equaling 11 different race winners. French driver Simon Pagenaud, Brazilian Helio Castroneves and New Zealander Scott Dixon are amongst the pack who will hope to challenge Power again this year. Other drivers include former F1 stars Juan Pablo Montoya, Sebastien Bourdais and Takuma Sato. The champion of the Verizon IndyCar Series has been decided by the outcome of the final race for the past nine seasons – viewers can expect it to be just as tight this year. ESPN Player users can enjoy comprehensive coverage of all 16 races.

Charly Classen, vice president and general manager, ESPN – Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “The Verizon IndyCar Series is a fantastic addition to the portfolio of sports content available to fans across the region. ESPN Player embodies our ethos of serving sports fans anytime, anywhere by providing extensive coverage live and on-demand, on multiple devices. 2015 will be a great year of sport as we look to deliver fans more content than ever before on ESPN Player.”

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said: “ESPN Player is a positive step forward to both the digital and international distribution of Verizon IndyCar Series events. The increase in both live and on-demand coverage will be valuable in showcasing the INDYCAR brand and the excitement of our on-track product to fans across the world.”

Subscribers will also be able to take advantage of ESPN Player’s on-demand service to watch all the qualifying action before tuning in to watch the resulting race live. There will also be on-demand coverage of Indy Lights, the developmental racing series which has been known to play host to exciting talent staking a claim to make the step up to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Fans can also catch up on all previous races with comprehensive highlight packages available on demand.

The channel is one of several new additions to the ESPN Player platform, which is now offering sports fans across the EMEA region more content than ever before. ESPN Player is available on Mac, PC, iPad, LG and Samsung Smart TVs, with high quality streaming on all devices.

Packages include an INDYCAR race pass, INDYCAR Month pass and INDYCAR Season pass. For all pricing and other information please visit

About ESPN Player

ESPN Player , ESPN’s broadband platform in Europe, provides sports fans with live and on-demand sports action from the US and Europe online. It joins ESPN’s growing digital portfolio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which includes the online and mobile websites, ESPNFC, and the UK-focused sports portal

ESPN Player features more than 3,000 live events and thousands of hours of live and on-demand sport, including but not limited to:

  • US College Football:  Hundreds of games from the university gridiron of the US, including regular season, Bowl Games and College Football Playoff;
  • US College Basketball:  Hundreds of games from the hard courts of the USA’s top universities, including the regular season, Championship Week and March Madness
  • US College Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Volleyball and more
  • X Games
  • World Series of Poker

Now featuring the following new channels:

  • Verizon IndyCar Series
  • British Touring Car Championship
  • Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC)
  • BAMMA (British Association of Mixed Martial Arts)

ESPN Player is available on Mac, PC, iPad, LG and Samsung Smart TVs, with high quality streaming on all devices. With so many dedicated feeds users can watch two different feeds simultaneously using two devices.  Subscriptions to ESPN Player are available in various lengths, dependent on the channel.



Verizon IndyCar Series Headlines:

1. INDYCAR increases teams’ Leaders Circle payout to $1.25 million for 2015
2. Dixon would join elite company with 12 Hours of Sebring victory
3. Allison Transmissions marks centennial with CFH Racing at IMS

4. Castrol EDGE returns as Bryan Herta Autosport associate sponsor
5. Of note:

  • Local company supports Andretti
  • Karam, Kimball to attend IMS Night with Indiana Pacers
  • Ganassi adds Global Rallycross team

1. INDYCAR increases teams’ Leaders Circle payout to $1.25 million for 2015: INDYCAR announced today an increase of $250,000 to its Leaders Circle program, which raises the total annual payment for eligible Verizon IndyCar Series entrants to $1.25 million.

A total of 21 entrants are entered in the Leaders Circle program for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“INDYCAR is invested in the continued support of its teams,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “The Leaders Circle program rewards INDYCAR teams for full-season participation and helps each of them with an additional source of funding. The program is also an asset to our promoters as it guarantees over 20 cars at each Verizon IndyCar Series event. As INDYCAR continues to grow we’re excited about opportunities like this that are beneficial to the teams that compete in our series.”

The Leaders Circle program was established in 2002 to provide incentives to teams that participate full time in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Each Leaders Circle member is assured a minimum of $1.25 million if the entrant successfully qualifies for all of the 16 Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2015, including the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Twenty-one entrants were selected based on final 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series final entrant points.

All Leaders Circle entrants will continue to compete for bonuses that will now be paid to the top-12 finishers – an increase of two positions compared to 2014 – at each Verizon IndyCar Series race aside from the Indianapolis 500. Non-Leaders Circle entrants also will compete for payouts awarded to the top-three finishers in each race excluding the Indianapolis 500.

The Verizon IndyCar Series driver champion and championship entrant again will share a $1 million bonus, with second through 10th in the standings sharing bonuses totaling $320,000. The recipient of the Verizon IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award will receive a $50,000 bonus.

Contingency awards will continue to be presented at all Verizon IndyCar Series events. Read the full story.

2. Dixon would join elite company with 12 Hours of Sebring victory: Three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon can join an elite group of competitors by driving to victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring this weekend.

Dixon co-drove the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Prototype with Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray to the overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. Only eight times have drivers won at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway in the same year.

Indy car racing luminaries A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Lloyd Ruby are on that list.

This weekend, Dixon will join full-season drivers Scott Pruett and Joey Hand in the No. 01 entry.

“Sebring is one of those iconic motor races in the world and I think we’ll have a good chance,” said Dixon, who also won the 24-hour race in 2006. “I’m looking forward to working with Scott and Joey again.”

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ entry won the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring with drivers Marino Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.

Also in the Prototype class, Sebastien Bourdais returns to co-drive the No. 5 Action Express Racing and Justin Wilson will co-drive the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian entry. Both are former overall winners of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Simon Pagenaud, who earned a podium finish in the 24-hour race in January, returns to co-drive the No. 4 GT Le Mans class entry for Corvette Racing.

For more on drivers participating in the endurance race, visit

3. Allison Transmissions marks centennial with CFH Racing at IMS: Allison Transmissions will celebrate its centennial in part by being an associate sponsor on the No. 20 CFH Racing car driven by Luca Filippi in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and by Ed Carpenter in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 24.

Allison traces its corporate lineage to the founding of the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co. on Sept. 14, 1915.

As a co-founder of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and part-owner of several racing teams, James A. Allison established a precision machine shop and experimental firm on Main Street in Speedway called the Allison Experimental Co. to support his racing endeavors. As a race team owner, Allison won the 1919 Indianapolis with driver Howdy Wilcox.

“We’re honored that Allison Transmission chose to celebrate their centennial with CFH Racing,” said Carpenter, a team co-owner. “In addition to producing world-class products, they are great neighbors and supporters of the community.”

4. Castrol EDGE returns as Bryan Herta Autosport associate sponsor: Bryan Herta Autosport announced that Castrol EDGE has extended its associate partnership with the team for the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“We are very pleased to continue our association with the Castrol EDGE brand, which includes promotion of Castrol EDGE to customers in our great new car dealer network,” team owner Bryan Herta said. “With Castrol’s support, 2015 is shaping up to be our best yet.”

Gabby Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, will drive the No. 98 Honda in the 16-race season.

“Castrol EDGE is our most advanced motor oil, providing superior motor oil strength for engines that work harder due to higher engine pressures, helping vehicles to maximize performance, ” said Dan Hanson, Castrol’s OEM workshops director. “Our partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport gives us a tremendous platform to showcase that performance and to connect with IndyCar fans.”

Click here to read more about the partnership.

5. Of note:
Local company supports Andretti: Indianapolis-based Delivra has joined Andretti Autosport as its official provider of email marketing. … Karam, Kimball to attend IMS Night with Indiana Pacers: Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam will sign autographs and participate in activities March 21 as Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts IMS Night with the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The first 4,000 attendees will receive a co-branded Pacers/Wing & Wheel window flag, distributed by the 500 Festival Princesses. … Ganassi adds Global Rallycross team: Chip Ganassi Racing is expanding into Global Rallycross with two entries.

INDYCAR News And Notes – March 17, 2015

Verizon IndyCar Series Headlines:

1) Bestwick back with ABC in 2015
2) Teams continue development next week
3) Of note:
* Pappas joins KV Racing Technology/KVSH
* Team Penske finalist for Sports Team of the Year
* Andretti Autosport partners with global tech company

1. Bestwick back with ABC in 2015: Ticking off the multitude of storylines associated with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Allen Bestwick might have lobbied for a larger broadcast window on ABC.

Bestwick enters his second year as the chief announcer, with former Indy car drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. returning as analysts. Jon Beekhuis, Dr. Jerry Punch and Rick DeBruhl will be the pit reporters.

ABC will telecast the season opener March 29 (3 p.m. ET) along with four other races and both days of Indianapolis 500 qualifications.

An introduction and explanation of the new aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda – how they work, to what benefit on the street circuit and how teams adapt — will be among the elements that the network team will convey to the TV audience.

“How does it impact the overall race? Who’s going to win and why? Does one have a half-inch over the other on a particular course or particular configuration?” said Bestwick, who along with Goodyear took in the Promoter Test on March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park.

“The bottom line is still to tell the story of the race, and that’s why we have all the excellent cameramen, all the excellent audio people and the reporters. Those are more tools to deliver that home.”

Bestwick said he felt at home last year in the booth.

“My first year was exactly what I thought it would be, which is good racing with good people,” he said. “Obviously, I wasn’t a stranger to a lot of the people involved nor was I a stranger to watching the competition so it turned out to be what I thought it would be.

“Probably the one that surprised me the most was Indianapolis because I got such a build-up from various people about how different it’s going to be and how overwhelming it’s going to be. What I found was I had been to the Speedway and broadcast so many races before that I actually felt right at home. The same booth, the same parking space and the TV trucks in the same place. I found it strikingly familiar and comfortable and the race was everything I thought it would be.

“It was a great day and great competition and I’m looking forward to season two.”

2. Teams continue development next week: Simona de Silvestro will test the Honda aero package for the first time next week at Sebring International Raceway in an Andretti Autosport-prepared car in preparation for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

De Silvestro, 26, was catching up with new teammates Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz and the crews at the March 16-17 Promoter Test at Barber Motorsports Park.

In 2013, de Silvestro qualified a career-best third on the St. Petersburg street circuit in her first race with KV Racing Technology. Fourth place in the 2011 opener on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn course had been her career-best finish until she posted a second place in 2013 in Houston 1.

In 2014, she pursued Formula One aspirations. In 65 Verizon IndyCar Series races over four seasons, de Silvestro recorded three top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.

Multiple teams will test March 23-25:

Sebring International Raceway short course — James Hinchcliffe and James Jakes of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports; Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power of Team Penske; Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi of CFH Racing; Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Racing; Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing; Stefano Coletti of KV Racing Technology.

NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La. — Carlos Huertas and Francesco Dracone of Dale Coyne Racing; Gabby Chaves of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian; Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Sage Karam and Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.

Texas Motor Speedway — Andretti Autosport for a Honda speedway aero package development test.

Promoter Day sessions totaling 2 hours, 30 minutes on the afternoon of March 27 will precede a 45-minute practice March 28 before the three rounds of qualifications for the 110-lap race March 29 (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

3. Of note:
Pappas joins KV Racing Technology/KVSH: Veteran engineer Bill Pappas, most recently with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, has joined KV Racing Technology/KVSH Racing to serve as technical consultant for the Nos. 4 (rookie Stefano Coletti) and 11 (four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais). … Team Penske finalist for Sports Team of the Year: Team Penske is a finalist in the Sports Team of the Year category for the eighth Sports Business Awards. Nominees are recognized for excellence and outstanding achievement in sports business. Team Penske earned the Verizon IndyCar Series entrant and driver (Will Power) championship in 2014. … Andretti Autosport partners with global tech company: Andretti Autosport announced connectivity and sensor solutions leader TE Connectivity as a new commercial partner.

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