Tuesday, January 18, 2011

INDYCAR: Paddock Notes – January 18th Edition

Whale it’s been awhile now since I did ‘Juan O these thingy’s... As I’ll admit I’m LATE to the Party upon posting this info – as I’m thinking I’ll join others in the Blogosphere as NOT trying to be Instant-news Machines, which I think others are more aptly suited at. Nevertheless here goes a quick spin on the somewhat latest happenings in the land O Indycarz...

All Hail The New INDYCAR!
By now I’m guessing Y’all caught the hyperbolas ‘O Randy “The CandyMann” Bernard’s 2011 State Of the Union address, along with several more changes to the upcoming season ‘N beyond... Can Y’all say Boogity- Boogity- Boogity – Let’s Go Racin! As all future Ovals will now feature Two-abreast restarts...

Most disheartening to Mwah was the further reduction of ‘Cubes, i.e.; the SAD decision to further emasculate the new 2012 engines to a maximum of 2.2-liters; Hmm? Why do I keep having Flashbacks of the really B-A-D ‘80’s Small Car era... As in does anybody remember Chrysler’s Shelby GLHS? As in it Goes Like Hell Sorta – Sometimes; Oh Never Mind!

And instead of trying to reincarnate what’s already been spewed ALL over le INDYCAR – BY GUMMIT! (WE’RE ALL CAPS NOW...) Blogosphere, I’ll let James ‘The G-Mann give Yuhs the skinny instead...

State of INDYCAR Breakdown

Preliminary Numbers
By a very NON-scientific method, I’ve come up with the perceived 2011 Indy Car Series car count for the upcoming season. As I’ll count the following as Confirmed: AJ Foyt Enterprises; (1) Andretti Autosport; (3) Conquest Racing; (1) De Ferran Dragon Racing; (1) Dreyer & Reinbold; (1) FAZZT Race Team; (1) HVM Racing; (1) Panther Racing; (1) Sarah Fisher Racing; (1) Target Chip Ganassi Racing (2) + CGR Satellite Squad; (2) Team Penske (3)

These Teams are Most (likely) Definitely competing, just haven’t confirmed their Driver(s) – Team Line-ups as of yet: Conquest Racing; (+1) Dale Coyne Racing; (+2) Dreyer & Reinbold; (+1) FAZZT Race Team; (+1) KV Racing Technology; (+3) Newman Haas Racing; (+2)

And there’s possibly a few very-very LONG shots... As I’m not sure what’s up with AFS Racing – having split from its longtime association with Mikey Andretti; as I’d like to see Adam Carroll back in 2011. May be he’ll become AA’s 4th Mouseketeer? (NAH! Most likely it’ll be DannyBoy ‘SPIKE Wheldon...)

There was also previous banter ‘bout ALMS Stalwart Highcroft Racing doing a partial season with “Symone Pageonode,” (Simon Pagenaud) not to mention whether or not Sam Schmidt will move up to the BIG BOYZ? As Jay ‘FUNNYMAN Howard said they’re trying to find the money to run more than just Indy this year. And that’s NOT even mentioning the plethora of available drivers on the sideline waiting to Get-the-Call. As currently one ex-Indy Racing League Champion is unemployed, along with an ex-Champ Car Champion + many others...

Silly Season Update 2011

Hildebrand In; Wheldon Out at Panther
Pretty old news here, as Panther Racing has let 2005 Indy 500 winner & IRL Series Champion Dan Wheldon go – replacing him with rising American driver J.R. Hildebrand, the 2009 Indy Lights Champion.

And I haveda say, of the four rookie ICS Piloto’s interviewed on Trackside, (Pre-Christmas) Hildebrand sounded the most Cerebal of the bunch that included him, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal...

Ganassi Supersizes INDYCAR Operation
The Cheepster, a.k.a. Chip Ganassi, apparently doesn’t like being outdone on ANYTHING by The Captain (Roger Penske) and hence, has decided to supersize his IndyCar operation with the addition of what Kurty Cavin is callin’ The Brownsburg Bunch. As Y’all know that Cheeps’ added 2-cars to his fold for rising Yank Starz “THE GRAMINATOR” (G. Rahal) & rookie Charlie Kimball to complement his A-Team of Dario “REO Speedwagon” & Scott Dixon; look for three-fourths of this quartet to strap-on Riley-BMW Daytona Prototypes at this year’s Rolex 24 – as hopefully Graham will have better luck there then with his recently acquired ’69 FIAT 500...

HVM & Simona Stay Together; FAZZT Turning Chinese?
No Fenders Numero Uno Femme Fatale Indy Car Series driver ‘Simona-Simona will return this year with the Minnowesqe HVM Racing operation, albeit HVM Boss Keith Wiggins is optimistic of adding a teammate for Simona de Silvestro.

Simonamania, the Sequel

Meanwhile, we’re all holding our breath for the rally-rally-rally B-I-G announcement that ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) will have a rookie teammate this season... As in the leagues, Err series first Chinese driver Ho-pin Tung; who’s test with FAZZT at Sebring in November (2010) went very well, according to the team, while interestingly, Tung was actually born in the Netherlands.

And I briefly chronicled his achievements when he participated in the 2009 F1 Young Drivers test, which I’ve updated to include last year...

Ho-pin Tung; China
2003 F3 Asia Champion, (’03-Williams F1 Test Drive) 2006 ATS Formel 3 Cup Champion, 2007 BMW-Sauber F1 Test Driver, 2007-10 GP2/GP2 Asia Series Competitor, 2008 A1GP Team China, 2009 Superleague Winner, 2009-10 Renault F1 Test/Reserve Driver.