Archives for Andretti Autosport PR

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana Qualifying Reports

Qualifying Report, Verizon IndyCar Series, Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

The Verizon IndyCar Series closed the book on Day Two at NOLA Motorsports Park as qualifying was cut short due to inclement weather. Teammates Carlos Munoz and Simona de Silvestro saw a full group one qualifying session while Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s group two went to Red Flag conditions mid-way through the session. The starting grid for tomorrow’s 75-lap race will be determined by entrant points placing Hunter-Reay in seventh, Andretti 10th and Munoz and de Silvestro in 14th and 18th, respectively. The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is expected to go green at 3:30 p.m. ET with live broadcast beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. If you can’t make it to the television, listen along with the broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, on SiriusXM (XM Ch. 209, Sirius Ch. 213) and www.IndyCar.com.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY
NO. 28 DHL HONDA

“I think we are heading in a right direction… disappointed we didn’t get to finish qualifying in the rain because I think the DHL car was pretty quick — we were second in our group (when the session was called for rain). I think with another shot at it, we could have had a shot at the pole. We’ll see. Tomorrow will be interesting with the weather as well.”

MARCO ANDRETTI
NO. 27 MERCHANT FIRST / SNAPPLE HONDA
“I thought we were better than 10th in the wet, I just can only go as quick as the spray ahead of me because I couldn’t see. I start 10th on points, and would have been 10th based on what little running we did do — so it was a toss up either way. We’ll work hard tomorrow and make something happen from there.”

CARLOS MUNOZ
NO. 26 ANDRETTITV / CINSAY HONDA
“Today was really a shame. We were looking okay after today’s practice when we were P6… I think in the rain, after the first qualifying, I was feeling really good, really strong for the qualifying in the wet. Tomorrow we start 14th so we’ll see what happens.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
NO. 25 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HONDA
“Today was pretty disappointing – I think the whole day hasn’t been great. We’ll have a long race tomorrow, but hopefully we can make things happen during the race. I think we’re going to work a lot on the race setup and myself and we should be good for the race.”

Pro Mazda Qualifying Report: Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

* Mazda Road to Indy rookie clinched the pole position for Race One’s starting lineup as the only Mazda with a speed reaching 104 mph
* 20-year-old racer currently holds the Pro Mazda race lap record of 1:33.7313 (Winterfest, 2015)
“Today’s qualifying went really well. The Andretti Autosport team did a good job; we captured pole and I think everyone’s happy about that. Unfortunately we didn’t get to race today because of bad weather, but we’ll still be good for tomorrow. We’re starting on the front row which is a great advantage for us. A big thank you to the guys and hopefully tomorrow will be another good day.”

DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC.
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

* Canadian will roll off of the starting grid for Race One from the 11th position
* This evening’s 30-minute race was canceled due to weather conditions with a revised schedule to be announced for Sunday

“It’s really unfortunate that we didn’t get to run today; there was too much rain, bad weather conditions – there were concerns of lightning – so we weren’t able to get on track. Given our qualifying didn’t go as well as planned – we’re starting P11 for Race One – I was really looking forward to getting on track and making some moves and making up some positions. We’ll see what tomorrow brings – hopefully better weather and we can get the K-Line Insulators USA Mazda back on track.”

Indy Grand Prix Of Louisiana, Practice Report

Practice Report, Verizon IndyCar Series, Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

Weekend festivities began today for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana with the Verizon IndyCar Series taking their first official practice laps around the 13-turn, 2.74-mile circuit. While the sun was shining over the morning’s practice session, the afternoon session saw a slight delay as storm clouds rolled through the bayou. All four Andretti drivers ended the second practice session inside the top 12 with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the second position. Series sophomore Carlos Munoz led the way for the team in the day’s overall practice times. The quartet will return to the track for practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow, with live qualifying broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. ET.

CARLOS MUNOZ
NO. 26 ANDRETTITV / CINSAY HONDA

“Our day on track was a bit shortened because of the weather conditions, and the first session had a lot of red flags, so we didn’t get as much green time as we would have liked. For sure we are already more competitive than we were in St. Petersburg. In the second session, when the track was trying up, the people who go the most laps out of it of course were quickest in the end. Anyways, we have to focus on tomorrow. Tomorrow the weather also look really inconsistent – a chance of rain again – so we’ll see what happens.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY
NO. 28 DHL HONDA

“It was an incomplete day for us with the DHL Honda. In the first session we never really got going in our changes. We were trying some big experiments with some of the aero package that didn’t end up panning out for us, so we ended up going fastest in our first outing – which was unfortunate. But we were able to get a little track time at the end of the day and I think we have a potential direction for tomorrow.”

MARCO ANDRETTI
NO. 27 MERCHANT FIRST / SNAPPLE HONDA

“With the delays, the second session was extended a bit and we ended up running out of fuel when the track was under the best conditions… We just never really got the clean laps we needed to gauge things and get quick times. We were on a good lap when (James) Jakes spun in front of me – I was on a lap for a quick time right there. We’ll pull together and hope for more tomorrow.”
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
NO. 25 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HONDA

“This afternoon’s session was much better, definitely. It was a little short, but I think we improved a lot from the first session. We still have some work to do, but looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow.”
Pro Mazda Practice Report: Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

* Malaysian racer held on to the top spot for both practice sessions on the 2.74-mile permanent road course
* Will qualify alongside teammate Kellett tomorrow at 10:40 a.m. CT with live commentary available on the Road to Indy TV app (Apple & Android)
“It was a good day today – we topped every practice. Looking very positive for qualifying and the races. We’ve got good pace, and the Andretti Autosport team did a good job, so we’ll just keep our heads down and keep working on it and move forward. Let’s see what we get for qualifying – hopefully pole position – and the races will come afterward.”

DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC.
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

* Fourth-year Queen’s University engineering student came away fifth quickest over today’s two practice sessions at the Avondale, LA track
* Looking to improve on his top-seven finishes for tomorrow’s Race One which will go green at 5:40 p.m. CT
“Wrapping up the second day here at NOLA Motorsports Park – I think we had some positive results. The car is definitely there (in terms of setup) and we just need to put everything together for qualifying. It’s exciting to get back to racing tomorrow; we definitely saw some good competition here at Winterfest, so I’m really looking forward to qualifying and Race One.”

Pro Mazda Preview: Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana


INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA PREVIEW

DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC.
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

  • Series sophomore captured two top-seven finishes during the first round of the 2015 Winterfest Championship at the Avondale, LA circuit
  • Began the 2015 season with two P7 finishes at the season opener on the Streets of St. Petersburg two weeks ago

“After strong runs in both of the races in St. Pete, I’m really looking forward to getting back in the No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park. In both Winterfest and testing, we had a really strong car here, so it’s good to have that development behind us, pushing us into the weekend. The main focus for this event is going to be on improving qualifying performance so I can get us a stronger starting position. This will allow me to battle at the front of the field, and in doing so, the goal is to get stronger finishes and start collecting good points at this early stage in the championship.”



 

WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

20-year-old captured one win and three podium finishes at the 2.75-mile circuit at the Winterfest Championship earlier this year

Series rookie also holds one pole position at NOLA Motorsports Park (Winterfest, 2015)

“I’m really looking forward to NOLA. The team and I are ready to produce some good results, and I think we have a good chance this weekend.”

SWISS RACER BACK FOR INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA

De Silvestro to Pilot the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda in New Orleans

INDIANAPOLIS (April 7, 2015) – Following last week’s announcement that Simona de Silvestro would become Andretti Autosport’s fifth entry for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500, the team confirmed today the Swiss racer will be back with the four-time IndyCar champions for the second round of Verizon IndyCar Series competition this weekend in New Orleans. The 26-year-old will once again pilot the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda for the inaugural event to be held at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, LA.

“It’s great to get another shot in the car and improve on everything we learned in St. Petersburg,” de Silvestro commented. “I’m really looking forward to being able to work with everyone again and hopefully have a better race! I’m really thankful for all that Michael (Andretti) and everyone at Andretti Autosport have been doing to make all of this happen.”

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg served as de Silvestro’s comeback to the Verizon IndyCar Series after a year away to pursue her Formula One dreams. The 2010 IndyCar Rookie of the Year came away fifth fastest in the final practice session, rolled off the starting grid from the 11th position and arrived at the twin checkers for a P18 finish.

“Simona obviously didn’t have the greatest outcome in St. Pete, but she was always up there fighting to get ahead,” said Michael Andretti, president, chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport. “She proved herself both on and off the track. The great thing about Simona is that she keeps her head down and continues to push – she fights hard. We’re happy to be able to bring her back for another round before the Indy 500.”

In support of the local community, de Silvestro will be carrying Ochsner Health System’s branding on her No. 25 machine, along with the Racing for Kids badge. The racing veteran will join Racing for Kids to visit young patients at Ochsner Hospital for Children on Thursday, leading up to the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

The Andretti Autosport quartet will take to the 2.75-mile track in the Jefferson Parish area this weekend for the inaugural event – the first race visit to a new permanent circuit in five years. The broadcast will go live on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, April 12. You can also follow the team’s Twitter for a behind-the-scenes look at @FollowAndretti

 

 

TE CONNECTIVITY BACKS SIMONA DE SILVESTRO AT THE 99TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500

DE SILVESTRO IS THE FIRST FEMALE DRIVER CONFIRMED TO QUALIFY; CAR NO. 29 IS THE FIFTH ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT INDY 500 ENTRY

PHILADELPHIA (April 2, 2015) – Global technology company TE Connectivity has expanded its relationship with Andretti Autosport to field an entry at the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 for Simona de Silvestro. The only female driver currently confirmed to qualify for the 500-mile race, the 26-year-old will take the wheel of the No. 29 TE Connectivity Honda.

The Swiss-born driver unveiled her Indy 500 livery today at The Franklin Institute, located in the heart of Philadelphia, where she joined TE Connectivity representatives to discuss STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives in racing with local junior high and high school students.

“TE Connectivity’s connectivity and sensor technologies are in every Andretti Autosport Indy car and meet the high performance standards and extreme conditions that Andretti Autosport requires,” said Amy Shah, chief marketing officer, TE Connectivity. “We’re proud to be associated with Andretti Autosport and Simona de Silvestro, two groundbreaking leaders in motorsports. We believe the No. 29 TE Connectivity car incorporates a potent blend of advanced engineering, one of the world’s most exciting female drivers and deep autosport history that will be exciting to watch at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May.”

With 66 career IndyCar starts, de Silvestro, the former F1 test driver becomes Andretti’s fifth entry for its 2015 Indy 500 efforts, joining teammates 2014 Indianapolis 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2013 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Carlos Muñoz and veteran racers Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson.

“I’m so excited to be representing TE Connectivity at this year’s Indy 500,” said de Silvestro. “It’s really great that they’re partnering with me in my efforts during the Indy 500, and with their advance technologies in my Honda Indy car, I will for sure have one of the best opportunities to win during the Month of May. I’m really looking forward to racing the No. 29 TE Connectivity car for the 99th Running of the Indy 500.”

In March, TE Connectivity was introduced as the Official Connectivity and Sensor Solutions Sponsor to reigning Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport. TE’s high-performance technologies including connectors, sensors and cables are in every Andretti Autosport Indy car and are trusted technology solutions in motorsport throughout the world.

“Simona did a great job for us in St. Pete and we are excited to add her as a fifth Andretti entry for the Indy 500,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “We could not have found a better partner than TE Connectivity to be the primary sponsor of the No. 29. While their experience in racing is longstanding with their connector and sensor solutions, they are new to the sponsorship team and show great passion for the sport. I look forward to a successful future with TE Connectivity as part of the Andretti family.”

de Silvestro recently competed at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg behind the wheel of the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda and will transition to the No. 29 beginning with the Series’ first oval test featuring the new aero kits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 3. Official Indy 500 practice kicks off May 11 and leads to Pole Day May 17. The 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 goes green at 12 p.m. ET on May 24 with live broadcast on ABC.

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ABOUT ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport boasts a wide racing portfolio rooted in tradition and designed for success. Together with Andretti Formula E and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda Championship, along with entries in the FIA Formula E Championship and Global Rallycross. The company boasts four IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012), two Indy Lights titles (2008, 2009), one Pro Mazda championship (2013) and one USF2000 championship (2010) and has captured victory at the famed Indianapolis 500 three times (2005, 2007, 2014). To share in the Andretti story, please visit online at AndrettiAutosport.comand or AndrettiTV.com and follow along on Twitter via @FollowAndretti and @AndrettiFE.
ABOUT TE CONNECTIVITY
TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $14 billion global technology leader. Our connectivity and sensor solutions are essential in today’s increasingly connected world. We collaborate with engineers to transform their concepts into creations – redefining what’s possible using intelligent, efficient and high-performing TE products and solutions proven in harsh environments. Our 80,000 people, including 7,500 design engineers, partner with customers in over 150 countries across a wide range of industries. We believe EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS – www.TE.com.

MRTI: Grand Prix of St. Pete Race Two Report

GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETE, RACE TWO REPORT

          
MATT BRABHAM
NO. 83 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA
  • 21-year-old captured a top-10 finish in seventh place on the 1.8-mile circuit

“A better race than yesterday. We definitely had speed and made some good improvements to the car over the weekend. I just wish we kind of started where we finished with that kind of pace. Qualifying hurt us a lot for those two races… I think I got third-fastest race lap today, so good job to the Andretti Autosport boys. Everyone there has done such a good job working over this weekend, and it’s just a shame I couldn’t get in the car earlier and get some more test days before we got here. But, other than that, I’m very happy. I wish we could have won both races and have the best possible outcome leading into Long Beach so I could actually have a little bit more leverage in trying to gain some sponsorship into that round. We’ll see how it goes and hopefully I’m in the next race.”


SHELBY BLACKSTOCK
NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA

  • Nashville native came to the twin checkers in the 11th position after starting from the 12th grid position

“Unfortunately this weekend was extremely rough for our crew. We’ve tested well, did well in the off-season… this weekend we’ve been on the back foot. We just had a really hard weekend and we’ll go back, look at the drawing board and hopefully come back to Long Beach with a better car. Thanks to my Starstruck Andretti Autosport team for all their hard work.”


DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC. ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

  • Captured his second top-10 finish of the weekend coming home in the seventh position after starting P13 on the temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.

“In terms of results, Race Two was pretty much a mirror image of Race One yesterday just going from P13 to P7; there was a lot more excitement today, though. On the first lap, I was able to keep my wits about me and make a couple of passes and get through all the carnage in Turn 4. Other than that, I just kept my head down and was able to maintain pace and keep the cars following behind me. Overall, considering where we started and how qualifying went, I’d say it was a good result. I’m really looking forward to the next race in Nola with the No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA team.”


WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

  • Rolled off the grid for Race Two from the sixth position but was caught up in an incident in front of him on Lap 1 which forced his early retirement

“Race Two wasn’t the best… I did’t really have any choice. Going into Turn 4, two cars collided in front of me, and I didn’t have anywhere to go. So our Race Two was just a disaster – we didn’t even have a chance to have a go at it; it’s been a disappointing weekend. The team did what we could, we all worked hard and it didn’t pay out for us. We’ll just forget about this weekend and regroup for Nola and Barber – which we know we’re strong at – and get some valuable points from there.”

MRTI: Grand Prix of St. Pete Race One Report

GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETE, RACE ONE REPORT

          

 


SHELBY BLACKSTOCK
NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA

  • Series rookie was caught in an incident on Lap 1 of Race One forcing him to pit for repairs
  • Came to the checkered flag in P10 and will start tomorrow’s 70-minute race from the 12th position

“Today… let’s just say was the worst day of my Mazda Road to Indy career. We started qualifying and I made a mistake, spun and had some rear damage. Luckily we got the car going, but because we caused the red flag, I lost my fastest lap time which put us to the back of the grid. On the (race) start we went with a different, new setup — the car was feeling good, but unfortunately there was an incident on track and I couldn’t get out of the way in time and clipped the right rear, knocking out the rear tow. The rest of the was was survival trying not to hit any walls because the car was close to not driveable. Hopefully tomorrow we can get the Starstruck car back together in one piece and get a good setup on it, go and get a better position than we did today. I want to thank my team for all their hard work. This weekend has been — you could call it a hell week – but hopefully we have a better day tomorrow.


MATT BRABHAM
NO. 83 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

  • Third-generation racer made contact on track resulting in a drive-thru penalty and was also forced to pit to replace his front wing
  • No. 83 team decided to bring the 21-year-old in for fresh Cooper Tires and resulted in the fastest lap of Race One and a starting position of sixth for Race Two

“Not the best of races. I didn’t quite get the start I wanted, then on the restart due to the crash, we picked up a couple of positions and it was looking alright there. It was my mistake — I didn’t really out-brake myself, but I didn’t realize the closing speed on the car in front and I ended up just running into the back of them in Turn 1. Sorry about that; it was my fault. Rightfully so I got a drive-thru penalty so that ruined my race, but as I said it was my fault. Sorry to the guys, the team has been working great and hard all weekend; I was hoping to get some results for them. We managed to get some positives out of it with the fastest lap. We came in, put new tires on and manages to get the fastest lap and get some points on that side. Hopefully it improves our position for tomorrow on the starting grid.”


DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC. ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

  • Finished Race One on the streets of St. Pete from the seventh position after starting from 13th
  • Queen’s University student will start tomorrow’s Race Two from the 13th position

“The first race went really well considering that we started 13th coming out of qualifying. I was able to make it up to seventh and it was a very exciting race. St. Pete always brings some really good racing for the season opener. I have to thank the Andretti Autosport guys for giving me a great car; I was able to make the passes I needed to make up some spots. Really looking forward to tomorrow, hopefully we start a little bit further up on the grid, and hopefully you’ll be seeing the K-Line Insulators No. 28 doing the same thing tomorrow.”


WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

  • Started Race One from the ninth position and made contact with the tire barrier in Turn 4 resulting in an early retirement
  • Racer/engineering student will roll off the grid from the seventh position

“Race Two was a bit disappointing. We had a problem with (overheating) brakes, and of course problems with the brakes means an issue with the whole corner. The braking efficiency of the car wasn’t so good in turns. I couldn’t slow the car down enough so that I could roll the speed in the corners — resulting in problems around the whole track really. That didn’t turn out so well for us until one of the turns, Turn 4, where basically (the brakes) just failed and it hurt us (resulting in contact with the tire barrier). Disappointing that we couldn’t pick up any points today and hopefully we’ll do better for tomorrow’s race.”

 

GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETE, QUALIFYING REPORT


RYAN HUNTER-REAY
NO. 28 DHL HONDA

  • Advanced from the first round of qualifying to lock in an eighth-place start fortomorrow’s 110-lap race
  • Recorded a second-place finish on the streets of St. Pete in 2014
  • Will record his 170th career IndyCar start when the green flag drops in St. Pete

“In many ways we rebounded today from yesterday’s practice, but it was a disappointing qualifying run. From the first laps, I didn’t really feel we had the balance and the grip level to contend for the Verizon P1 Pole Award, so we need to go back and find some more grip. We’re just a little shy on overall grip at the moment, and hopefully tomorrow we can put it together for warm up and get this DHL Honda up front. It’s a bit of a frustrating day here because we’ve been in the Firestone Fast Six here in the past. We’ll look to regroup for tomorrow.”


SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
NO. 25 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HONDA

  • Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marks the 26-year-old’s return to IndyCar since the season finale in 2013
  • Swiss racer holds a career best finish of fourth (2011) on the 1.8-mile circuit and will take the 11th grid position tomorrow
  • Will be the only female in the Verizon IndyCar Series field at the season opener

“Yeah 11th is okay for sure. I would have liked to be a little bit more up front, but being back here in IndyCar, it’s definitely been a busy week. We just tested a little bit at the beginning of the week, and just getting to work with everybody here at Andretti Autosport has been great. I think to qualify where we are, it’s okay for the race. Hopefully we can improve tomorrow.”

On the biggest thing she’s noticed since her return to IndyCar:
“Well, definitely the aero kit; it changes the car quite a bit. I think that’s the biggest thing. You have to change a little bit how you’re driving and even kind of understand what the car needs to be fast. I think we’re all learning that, and hopefully we’ll make even more improvements tomorrow.”


MARCO ANDRETTI
NO. 27 SNAPPLE HONDA

  • 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete will start the American’s 10th season of competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series
  • Has an IndyCar career best finish of third on the streets of St. Pete (2013), will start tomorrow’s race from 12th
  • Moves to the No. 27 car for the 2015 season; the car number change also comes with a new engineer (Nathan O’Rourke), pit strategist (George Klotz) and pit crew

“We’re not even close. I thought our potential was a little better than that. We’ve been struggling with understeer — can’t get the car to turn — which for outright pace, is not good, but maybe for the race that’s a good situation to try and look after the (Firestone) reds.”


CARLOS MUÑOZ
NO. 26 ANDRETTITV/CINSAY HONDA

  • 23-year-old’s best start on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg is from the pole position (Indy Lights, 2013), he will start 14th tomorrow
  • 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year returns for his second full season of Verizon IndyCar Series competition in the No. 26 car, a switch from the No. 34 during 2014
  • The 2015 season marks the Colombian’s fourth year with Andretti Autosport

“It was okay. I’m just a little bit frustrated – I could have gone into the next phase. Everyone’s really close here, so you really have to set up every piece (of the car) together (to get it right). It’s a shame, but tomorrow’s a long race, so we’ll see what happens.”

Grand Prix Of St. Pete Practice Report

GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETE, PRACTICE REPORT

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.”


SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
NO. 25 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HONDA

“First session went okay. 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 MUÑOZ
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.”


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 Three tomorrow, and then on to quals. Looking to move the Snapple car up the charts.”

 

 

 

GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETE, PRACTICE REPORT

          


MATT BRABHAM
NO. 83 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

– Came away P5 in the IL15’s first official practice session of the 2015 Indy Lights Championship
– Ran 17 laps in the morning session with a best time of 01:07:9134 

“It was a day of ups and downs really. This morning was okay – it was only my second day in the car, so to get out there and come away P5 was okay. Obviously I want to be P1, and we’re still working towards that. We made quite a lot of setup changes from the first session to the second session, it’s just unfortunate that the second session got rained off and canceled. We didn’t get to try those changes but we’ll go into qualifying and see how it goes tomorrow. Having a lot of fun so far – it’s good to be back in St. Pete.”


SHELBY BLACKSTOCK
NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA


– Nashville native finished Practice One in P10, officially marking the start of his Indy Lights rookie campaign
– Today completed 18 laps with a best time of 01:08.5328

“Today wasn’t the day we really wanted. The first session, we needed a couple of setup changes and we weren’t exactly where we thought we would be. We did make some setup changes for Practice Two, but unfortunately there was some precipitation coming out of the upper atmosphere (haha). The session ended up getting called, but we still have a lot to look forward to tomorrow. I want to thank the Starstruck Andretti Autosport guys for giving me a good car that I think has a great chance to get us a nice qualifying position tomorrow.”

WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

– Pro Mazda Championship rookie ran a total of 23 laps today coming away third quickest overall
– The Malaysian racer set a fastest lap of 01:12:9013 

“It’s great to be in St. Pete today; it was my first time driving on a street course. Everything here is great – the fans are really cool, it’s a really good atmosphere… I’m sure it will be even better on Sunday. So far so good. Practice Two was a bit wet, so we didn’t really get to run much. Practice One was good – just getting my head around the track. We’re really looking forward to qualifying tomorrow so it’s all been good.”


DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC. ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

– The 21-year-old finished today’s rainy afternoon practice session third quickest and 11th over the two sessions
– Series sophomore’s best time over 28 laps was 01:13.8046

“It was good to get on track at St. Pete for the season opener here. The track is great as always. Sadly there was a little bit of rain this afternoon, but we still managed to get a little bit of time on track before the rain came down too hard. We ended up P3 in the second session, so we’re really looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying.”

 

MRTI: Grand Prix of St. Pete Preview

GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETE PREVIEW

          


SHELBY BLACKSTOCK
NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA


– Season opener marks the 25-year-old’s race debut in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Championship – becoming the second driver to complete the Mazda Road to Indy with Andretti Autosport
– Holds two podium finishes on the 1.8-mile circuit (Pro Mazda, 2013)


“Going into the unknown in this year’s St. Petersburg race… I’m very excited to get the weekend going, but since no one has really been around each other during testing, I don’t think anyone knows what to expect going into the weekend. The Starstruck Andretti Autosport team has had some good off-season testing, and I’m ready to start the season but there are still a lot of unknowns on the horizon. I want to thank Andretti Autosport and all my supporters for all their hard work and belief in this season!”


MATT BRABHAM
NO. 83 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

– Two-time winner on the downtown St. Petersburg, FL temporary street course (Pro Mazda, 2013)
– Third-generation racer begins his second season in the Indy Lights Championship after capturing fourth in standings during his rookie year with one win, four podium and 10 top-five finishes

“The race in St. Petersburg is certainly one of my favorite events every year. I love the spring break atmosphere around the event. We have had some great success there and have won races with Andretti Autosport at this race in the past. I’m looking forward to getting out on track, getting up to speed quickly in the new Indy Lights car and I’m sure we will bring home some good results.”


WEIRON TAN
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

– Malaysian racer officially begins his first season of North American open-wheel racing for the weekend’s doubleheader
– Captured second place in the 2015 Winterfest Championship with two wins, three second-place finishes and one pole position

“It’s been a month now since Winterfest and I’m ready to get back in the car for St. Pete! Feeling good and positive – so are the Andretti Autosport boys. We are looking forward to a great weekend!”


DALTON KELLETT
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC. ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA

– Canadian begins his second season of Pro Mazda Championship competition and first with Andretti Autosport
– Secured third place in the Winterfest Championship with one podium and three top-seven finishes

“I can’t wait for the season opener in St. Pete. It’s an amazing track and a great city for the venue; the fans and the atmosphere at this event are great! I’m looking forward to keeping up the momentum we gathered in Winterfest. The K-Line Insulators USA car will look great in the Florida sun!”

 

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