Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Indy Cars Next Generation?

Although still have NO idea if we'll be able to watch 'N listen to this coming weekend's Indy Lights season's twin finale; Did the previous mixed B-I-G' BOYZ & selected Lights Driver's test session at Sonoma garner the title contending trio any useful information?

Originally, I found the coverage upon the combined Indy Lights/IndyCar Drivers test at Sonoma, Thursday, August 13th to be pretty meager - having to actually visit Indycar.com's website; YIKES! As there's nothing wrong with Dave Lewandowski's writing - I just do NOT enjoy the "Tokyo fly-by-Night" graphics, not to mention the extremely difficult to navigate NON User Friendly to 'Lucy Screen Reader LACK 'O Interface for Mwah Race Control web-page!

Whew! Try saying that last sentence FAST 5-times!

But credit to Messer Lewandowski for being first with some news on the test. As the Top-3 Lights competitors Points-wise Pre-Season Finale at... Wait for I-T!  Uhm, Sonoma? NO! The Lights Boyz will still be racing two weeks after IndyCar wraps up its season at Sonoma, when will anybody S-E-E the Lights Season Finale at Laguna Seca Raceway as support races to the Pirelli World Challenge; this weekend but I digress...

Seven Lights drivers took part in the proceedings, with five making their B-I-G' CARZ debut at Sonoma, with Spencer Pigot getting the primo ride aboard Will Power's Team Penske No. 1 mount while Jack Harvey got some Seat-time behind the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda set up by Ryan Briscoe and Ed Jones drove for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

As the Bloody Brit' Harvey reportedly had to leave early Friday, (for a Lights test?) while naturally, he drove for his Lights team owner's "A Team!" With my favourite quip from Marshall Pruett's report was Sean Rayhall commenting that his Cardio was good but his arms felt like they weighed 500lbs after 63-laps aboard Charlie Kimball's #83 Ganassi Dallara-Chevrolet.

As hopefully Sean's Crowd Funding initiative panned out for this weekend's Double Header - or Robin Miller's gonna have a set 'O Cooper tyres on his hands; Hya!

Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. got a surprise invitation to drive for Team Penske aboard Juan Pablo Montoya's #2 Dallara-Chevrolet, being loaned out by KVSH Racing which initially didn't plan on participating - before giving Ryan Phinny a ride aboard le 'Hamburgular's, nee SeaBasses (Sebastain Bourdais) #11 Dallara-Chevy.

As Phinny who's a total unknown to Mwah - having snuck pass my Radar last year at Sonoma, where he capped his five race Indy Lights comeback as eventual champion Gabby Chaves team-mate at Balardi Auto Racing, Huh? Drove three races prior for Bryan Herta Autosports and has an interesting sponsor.

the 25yr old Los Angeles, CA driver is sponsored by Casamigos, an American Tequila company with one of its owners being somebody named George Clooney. Yep, thee George Clooney; Ariva-Ariva-Ariva!

While Phinny already knows KV-XP-Caladrocious' thanks to his debutant IndyCar test this past February at Sebring when he was vying for the team's second seat - which went to Monaco's Stefano Coletti instead.

As Ryan reportedly was noticed taking great glee from spinning the tyres, which Rayhall was also prone to doing - along with bangin' gears; Err slappin' Paddle shifters; Hya!

Hmm? Could Phinny's somewhat surprising tryout be geared toward a future drive in Indy Cars? Especially if the series goes to Mexico City next year - which would tie-in nicely with his sponsor, eh?

CouldPhinny and Casamigos be in Indy Cars in 2015?

Piquet, Jr. was reportedly brought in to give Pigot a little friendly competition and see how the 22yr old Californian faired against some top flight talent, albeit he's done exceedingly well vs. another ex-Formula 1 driver; Carlin's rookie Max Chilton this season.

Lastly, Mathew Brabham, the other Lights driver to have previously tested an IndyCar, and sadly is currently sitting on the sidelines, chauffeured Justin B-I-G' UNIT Wilson's #25 Dallara-Honda before giving way to Marco Andretti during the afternoon session.

Jack Harvey leads the points table at 301, a slim six points ahead of rookie Spencer Pigot, (295) with fellow rookie Ed Jones a further 12-markers back, (283) with 62-points maximum on offer for the remaining two races - if I've done my math correctly?

As the entire Mazda Road To Indy (MRTI) trio of Open Wheel Racing categories, i.e.; USF2000, Pro-Mazda and Indy Lights will serve as support races Saturday & Sunday to the Headliner Pirelli World Challenge series, also hosting its season finale at Laguna Seca September 11-13.

While as I've already belabored the point. Have NO idea if Y'all may or may not be able to tune into the MRTI events via Indycar.com's website this weekend? So if anybody knows, please shoot me an answer via the Comments section below...

As inquiring Minds wanna know; Chirp-Chirp, Bueller? Who'll win the '15 Lights title, and more importantly, how many of these talented Drivers will graduate to Indy Cars in the future...