Archives for Dragon Speed

DragonSpeed Dialled In for Second Indy 500 Run

22 August 2020 – The DragonSpeed team today completed preparations for its sophomore tilt at the Indianapolis 500, after its late call-up just two weeks ago. The championship-winning sportscar outfit will take the green flag for the 104th edition of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ at 2:15pm this Sunday, 23 August, with live coverage on NBC starting at 1:00pm EDT.

Having missed the first two days of practice, DragonSpeed focussed on developing its race set-up during qualifying, as reflected in the team’s 33rd qualifying spot on the starting grid. Britain’s Ben Hanley put in a four-lap average of 220.946 mph on his first run followed by a second effort of 222.917 mph later in the day, evidence of further aerodynamic and chassis improvements.

The late afternoon practice session on Sunday saw the entire field reverting to race boost and concentrating on evaluating their cars’ handling in traffic, along with fuel consumption and tire wear. DragonSpeed continued to evaluate set-up options over the course of 84 laps, demonstrating solid pace in traffic and recording a best lap of 217.640 mph.

Friday’s traditional Carb Day final pre-race practice saw Hanley slightly better his Sunday pace on the way to racking up 104 laps – second highest of the 33 runners – as the DragonSpeed crew continued to tune the car for race conditions and also took advantage of the practice pit stop segment at the end of the session.

DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said, “We’re happy with the progress we’ve made in the last week. It’s a different place in August than in May, and a different car with the Aeroscreen as well, which has meant a near total reset in our set-up. Today was encouraging. The car was very driveable in traffic and we could hang with some cars we didn’t expect. Now we simply want to go the distance and get the best result we can, which would be just reward for our incredible crew and their fantastic efforts preparing and dialling in the car, and for Ben’s cool and skill behind the wheel.”

Driver Ben Hanley said, ”It’s been a positive week in the end. Looking ahead to the race, it’ll be all about keeping things simple, avoiding mistakes, running our own race, fine tuning the car along the way, and seeing where that puts us towards the finish. We’re obviously still learning a lot each time on track and Sunday will be no exception. We had decent pace at times today and were more comfortable running in traffic, but the conditions were still very tricky and we expect the same for the race, so it won’t be easy out there.”

DragonSpeed’s iridescent red, white, and metallic blue number 81 Chevrolet-powered Dallara IR18 will carry sponsorship from Flex-Box, Chevrolet Accessories, 10Star Solutions, Rembrandt Charms, Toledo Building Services, Endeavor Business Media’s Electronic Design and Machine Design magazines, and Motul.

DragonSpeed Adding Speed and Sponsors for Indy 500 Qualifying

15 August 2020 – DragonSpeed, whose rookie run to make the starting grid was one of the stories of Indianapolis 500 qualifying in 2019, yesterday completed its first day of practice for the 104th running of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’. British driver Ben Hanley’s Chevrolet-powered Dallara set a best lap speed of 222.086 mph, last among the 33 runners as the team found its feet after effectively missing the first two days of practice.

The late confirmation of the team’s participation last week, a repeat of the driveshaft problem that ended the team’s 2019 race, and the need for Hanley to complete his ‘refresher’ laps before joining regular practice combined to restrict Ben to a handful of laps on Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday’s final pre-qualifying runs lived up to their traditional ‘Fast Friday’ billing, with a boost increase for the 2.2-litre V6 turbo engines adding up to 50 extra horsepower, but DragonSpeed’s priorities lay elsewhere.

DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said, “The lost track time was a shame, but knowing that we are in the show allows us to focus on finding our baseline race set-up instead of qualifying. With Tom Brown joining Paul Thomas on the stand, we’re taking the same methodical, calm approach as last year, but emphasising different things. We’re grateful to the NTT Indycar Series, Roger Penske, Chevrolet, Firestone, and our sponsors for their help in getting us here, and look forward to playing our part in delivering a great show.”

35-year-old sportscar racing standout Hanley, who impressed at Indy last year with his cool head and technical acumen, ended the day seven miles per hour faster than his Thursday best before drawing 21st spot for Saturday’s qualifying session.

Hanley said, “We spent our first proper day on track on developing a solid basic set-up for the race. We worked though a lot of options, but the tricky conditions made it harder to read the effect of various changes over the course of the day. All the same, we were able to identify a few issues we think we can improve for qualifying and the race.”

The team’s number 81 machine sports a striking new livery and new sponsors for the 500, including Chevrolet Accessories, DragonSpeed IMSA LMP2 partner Flex-Box, Toledo Building Services, and Endeavor Business Media’s Electronic Design and Machine Design titles, plus continuing support from 10Star Solutions, Rembrandt Charms, and Motul.

DragonSpeed and Hanley On Track for St Pete IndyCar Opener

13 January 2020 – The 10Star DragonSpeed team is gearing up for the season-opening round of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on 13-15 March, confirming that Ben Hanley – who maintains his rookie status, having run three IndyCar races with the team last season – will pilot its Chevy-powered Dallara chassis around the streets of the Gulf Coast city.
The 34-year-old Hanley said, “I can’t wait to get back in the number 81 machine for another crack at St Pete. After the thrash required just to make it to the track last season, we’re coming back in a much more settled situation. I don’t know if we can repeat the combination of luck and timing that put us 12th on the grid in 2019, but we will be much better prepared this time around and should be stronger throughout the weekend.”
DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said, “The continuity represented by having Ben in the car at St Pete is a real boost, and for the fifth year in a row he remains the lead driver across all of our programs. That said, the realities of life as a young IndyCar team might see us running other drivers at the same level as Ben, perhaps with more IndyCar experience, during the year. But committing to Ben as the test and race driver for the launch of our 2020 effort is clearly the best way to get our season off to a strong start.”
Julian added, “We haven’t had the head start of some teams in testing the new IndyCar Aeroscreen and are pushing hard to get it in time to maximise the limited track testing allowed to us as a part-time entrant, while making some time in between for data analysis and shaker rig testing.”
DragonSpeed’s next event is the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance classic on 25-26 January, where the Indianapolis-based squad will defend its 2019 LMP2 class victory after setting the fastest time at the official pre-race test.

DragonSpeed Indy 500 Team Storylines

DragonSpeed Indy 500 Team Storylines 19 May 2019 – Having earned a row nine starting position for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in yesterday’s dramatic qualifying, debutant team DragonSpeed and rookie driver Ben Hanley are looking forward to the coming week’s preparations for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” on and off track. With interest…

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DragonSpeed to Focus on 2020 IndyCar Plans Over WEC Return

SOURCE: DRAGON SPEED PR 18 May 2019 – DragonSpeed, the international sportscar team which has won endurance races in IMSA, ELMS, and FIA WEC competition this year, will focus its energies on expanding its current schedule of selected NTT IndyCar Series events in 2020. DragonSpeed Team Principal Elton Julian said, “The Le Mans 24 Hours next…

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Solid First Steps for Hanley and DragonSpeed in IndyCar Debut

12 March 2019 – Globetrotting sportscar racing team DragonSpeed launched its 2019 NTT IndyCar Series program with a solid finish in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg. On his IndyCar debut and first single-seater race since 2010, British driver Ben Hanley claimed 18th place with a steady run, rewarding three weeks of intense effort by the DragonSpeed crew since taking delivery of its Dallara IR18-Chevrolet machine.
 
After each of its three practice sessions were cut short by technical issues, the 2019 Rolex 24 LMP2 class winners’ luck turned in qualifying. The team’s eagerness to try out the softer red-sidewalled Firestone tires allowed Hanley to set a fast time on his first flying lap before the session was interrupted by the first of two red flags, securing a surprise 12th starting slot on the 24-car grid.
 
The race was less dramatic, with Hanley running as high as eighth and 12th at various stages; leading entries from the Foyt, Coyne, and Carpenter teams before his first pit stop; and reeling off a notably consistent series of laps in the mid-1m03s range during his final stint. The result also netted 12 championship points for the Elton Julian-led squad.
 
“It’s been a really positive weekend,” said Ben Hanley. “We knew we were jumping in at the deep end, so simply finishing is an achievement in itself. Our longest run before the race was just eight laps, so we learned a lot more about the car today and tried out some aspects of IndyCar racing that are totally new to us, like the push-to-pass. I have to thank Elton for turning this dream into a reality, the crew’s fantastic race prep and pit stops, and the engineers who made the car more competitive each time out.”
 
“Today was a vital first step which gives us a solid basis for further improvement,” said Elton Julian. “Running the full distance let us get a feel for how an IndyCar race unfolds and even experiment a bit with strategies and settings. Despite the car only running for the first time last Monday and our problems in practice, we not only finished but hauled ourselves to within a second of the midfield pace over the course of the weekend. I’m super proud of Ben and the team, and grateful to the IndyCar paddock for the welcome and support they’ve given us – we’re honored to be part of this great show.”
 
After contesting next weekend’s 1000 Miles of Sebring round of the FIA World Endurance Championship with its regular LMP1 and LMP2 entries, DragonSpeed’s next IndyCar outing will be at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park on 4-6 April. The Indianapolis 500, Road America, and Mid-Ohio will complete the team’s IndyCar 2019 pilot program as it seeks backing for a full season in 2020.

DragonSpeed Back to US with IndyCar Series Program

17 December 2018 – American endurance racing team DragonSpeed will return to US competition in 2019. Its rookie IndyCar Series season will cover five races, highlighted by the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in May. The 2017 European Le Mans Series champions will also be in action Stateside with their regular LMP1 and LMP2 machinery at the IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona season-opener in January and the Sebring 1000 Miles round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in March, as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
For its IndyCar Series debut, DragonSpeed has secured Chevrolet power for a new Dallara chassis to be driven by Ben Hanley. The 33-year-old Briton enters his fourth season with the team, having built a name as one of the world’s leading sportscar pilots. The new combination will make its track debut at the official pre-season test at the Circuit of the Americas on 12-13 February.
The remainder of DragonSpeed’s IndyCar Series schedule will include St Petersburg, Barber, Road America, and Mid-Ohio with the goal of accommodating its WEC commitments and exposing the team to a variety of tracks in readiness for its target of a full season in 2020.
Team principal Elton Julian said, “IndyCar is enjoying a major upswing thanks to the quality of the racing produced by the current regulations. The fans see it, the teams see it, the manufacturers and sponsors see it, and I think NBC saw it when they decided to take on the television coverage. With so much interest from new entrants, we’re also grateful for IndyCar’s support of our bid to join the series and to Chevy for making room for us in their engine program.”
“For the team, it’s a matter of our growing experience catching up to our ambitions. The last few seasons of endurance racing have given us an intensive platform for developing our preparation, race engineering, pit stop, and strategy skills. We also have strong open-wheel credentials up and down the team, and Ben’s pace and exceptional detail feel for set-up and tires should be a great asset.”
“None of this is to underplay the difficulty of the challenge ahead, because IndyCar is the toughest series we’ve ever contested, with the world’s biggest race as its centerpiece. On the other hand, we didn’t go from club racing a decade ago to a Pirelli World Challenge title in 2015 to prototypes at Le Mans without climbing a few mountains, and I take a lot of confidence from the talent and spirit of the people we’ve put together for the next summit.”
Source: Team PR
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