Juan-Pablo-Montoya-IndyCar-Penske-22

IndyCar announced today that it will live stream all Verizon IndyCar Series practice activity for the remainder of the 2014 season on IndyCar.com, the official website of the sanctioning body. The package also will include the IMS Radio Network broadcast, anchored by legendary motorsports announcer Paul Page, and real-time Timing & Scoring.

Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and race activity is televised on NBCSN, and will continue to be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets.

“We’re thankful to our partners at NBCSN for allowing us to stream Verizon IndyCar Series practice on IndyCar.com,” Hulman Motorsports CMO C.J. O’Donnell said. “INDYCAR fans across the globe are unbelievably passionate about our sport and we’re happy to be able to provide them with additional live coverage from our events.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series practice live stream can be viewed at RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Practice sessions for this weekend’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers are Friday, June 27, from 11-11:45 a.m. and 2:55-3:40 p.m. (ET).

The NBC Sports Live Extra stream of Verizon IndyCar Series qualifications and races can be viewed at stream.nbcsports.com/indy or by downloading the NBC Sports Live Extra app (only in the United States).

NBCSN will telecast the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader at 3 p.m. (ET) both Saturday, June 28, and Sunday, June 29. Qualifications for Race 1 will be aired at 2 p.m. (ET) June 28, preceding the race telecast.

Source: IndyCar PR

Photo: Chris Owens, IndyCar Media

June 26, 2014 IndyCar

Mike-Conway-Long-Beach-IndyCar

When Verizon IndyCar Series team owner Ed Carpenter announced he was driving in the only oval races in 2014, some people thought it was a brilliant idea and others scoffed at the plan.

Carpenter brought in a proven winner in British racer Mike Conway to pilot the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in the 12 street and road circuit races for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Carpenter’s plan may have thrown out any idea of winning the driver’s point championship but it made sense to the series’ only owner/driver if he wanted his ECR squad to be a contender at each of the 2014 races.

“I had improved quite a bit on the street and road courses but I wanted our team to be in contention every race and I couldn’t do that with myself on the roads,” said Carpenter, the most recent IndyCar Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway June 7. “I wanted this team to grow and be competitive every time out.”

As Carpenter’s ECR/Fuzzy’s Chevy contingent enters the halfway point of the 2014 Verizon tour this weekend at the Shell & Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, the Butler University marketing graduate has proven his off-season decision was genius.

With Conway’s comeback win at Long Beach and Carpenter’s impressive Texas victory, the little one-car, two-driver team has taken on the big boys such as teams from Penske, Ganassi and Andretti and scored sensational results already.

“And we won the pole again at the Indy 500 too,” added Carpenter, whose two ovals appearances might have been two victories at Indy and Texas with the right breaks.

Now, can ECR keep up the momentum as the IndyCar Series heads into Houston for the doubleheader events near the famed Astrodome and Reliant Stadium this weekend?

“Mike has been very competitive at the street races with the Fuzzy’s Chevy so far,” said Carpenter, who returns to the cockpit of the No. 20 machine the next two weeks at Pocono and Iowa. “We were running third at St. Pete and had a problem; we won at Long Beach and we had a fast car at Detroit. So I think we can be right in the hunt for the Houston races too.”

Following his two devastating crashes at Indy (2010 and 2012), Conway made the decision to walk away from oval racing and stick to the street and road circuits. That plan fit perfectly into Carpenter’s team strategy as Ed, who came through the USAC oval ranks, concentrated on the oval tracks this year.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better situation at Ed’s team,” said Conway, a three-time IndyCar Series race winner. “Ed wanted to race the ovals and I wanted to compete on the road courses. We felt this combination could be very competitive throughout the 2014 season.”

Well, the Verizon IndyCar tour has already found out how competitive this dynamic duo can be with ten races remaining in the 2014 campaign.

“We are working extremely hard right now to win more races in 2014,” said Carpenter, who recently tested at Iowa, Milwaukee and Pocono following his Texas win. “I’m very proud of our team and the people we have put together at ECR. Led by general manager Tim Broyles, our team’s plan is to continue to give the Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka and Chevrolet folks a reason to smile this year. We believe we can win again.”

And Conway, Carpenter and the ECR squad are prepared to be in the thick of things in each of the 90-lap Houston events this Saturday and Sunday. Both races begin at 2:40 p.m. CDT and will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

“Right now we have won the last race in the series and we want to keep the No. 20 car in a similar position in Houston,” said Carpenter.

Source: Ed Carpenter Racing
Photo: IndyCar Media

June 26, 2014 IndyCar

DAKAR 2014: ARGENTINA-BOLIVIA-CHILE

Good news for the Monster Energy X-raid Team and bad news for its opponents: the pairing that won the 2014 Dakar – Catalan Nani Roma and his French co-driver Michel Périn – also will contest the 2015 and 2016 editions of the prestigious event for the team based in Trebur, Germany, as the long-term cooperation will be continued for – at least – another two years. This means that the team now can fully focus on the title-defence campaign, with Roma and Périn being heavily involved in the testing and the preparations for the coming Dakar.

Joan ‘Nani’ Roma began his Dakar career on the motorbike and won the event’s motorbike ranking in 2004 to switch to four wheels, afterwards. In 2009, the Catalan joined the team from Trebur and contested the 2010 Dakar together with Périn. In the following year he raced a Nissan but returned to X-raid, after the Dakar. In 2014, he celebrated his next major success: 10 years after his first Dakar triumph, the 42-year old wins the Dakar once again – at the wheel of a MINI ALL4 Racing. Now he is one of just three drivers who succeeded in winning the Dakar on two and four wheels. In addition to pursuing his motor-racing career, Roma also is involved in charity activities: his foundation ‘La Fundación Nani Roma’ takes care of the rehabilitation of handicapped people by sports. A few weeks ago, he was decorated for these activities by the Danish embassy in Spain.

Michel Périn is – without any doubt – one of the best navigators in today’s off-road rally sport. He is well known for his extensive and painstaking preparations for a rally and – in particular – of the road book. The Frenchman already has got four Dakar triumphs under his belt – and numerous other rally wins. Just like Roma, he also joined X-raid in 2009 – and remained a member of the German team since then. He contested the 2010 Dakar together with Roma and in the following year, the Dakar debut appearance of the MINI ALL4 Racing, he was teamed-up with his compatriot Guerlain Chicherit. In 2012 he and Roma were reunited and in 2014, they won the Dakar.

“I’m really delighted about the fact that we will keep on cooperating with Nani and Michel, in the coming two years,” said Monster Energy X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt. “They delivered in fantastic style in this year’s Dakar, in January. But the pairing is not only extremely competitive in the rallies. At the same time, they also massively support the team when it comes to enhancing the MINI ALL4 Racing. With the Toyotas and the Peugeots in the field, the coming Dakar certainly will be anything but easy but with our experience, we should have good chances, nevertheless.”
“The past months were unique,” says Nani Roma. “The Dakar with my first win on four wheels and afterwards, all the public interest – not only in Spain but all over the world. By extending our deal we made a vital step on the way to the 2015 Dakar Rally. I’m delighted with continuing the cooperation with the Monster Energy X-raid Team. The past Dakars demonstrated that beating the MINI is anything but easy.“

“I have been racing for the X-raid Team for five years now and am looking forward to the next two years of this partnership,” says Michel Périn. “In January, Nani and I finally succeeded in winning the Dakar, thus giving the Monster Energy X-raid Team their third consecutive Dakar win. Nonetheless, the coming Dakars won’t be easier. But due to our long-term cooperation we know each other very well. Now we can continue our joint efforts for the coming two years to hopefully be as successful as we were in the past.”

June 25, 2014 Dakar Rally

JOHNNY CECOTTO JR SE IMPUSO DE PUNTA A PUNTA EN LA CARRERA CORTA DE AUSTRIA

Johnny Cecotto Jr. from Venezuela won his second race of the GP2 season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. We have his comments after the great win here in Racing5 Rock!

Q: Johnny another win this season, and what a win this was! How was it from the car?

Johnny Cecotto: First of all, it’s fantastic to win again. We scored some good points. We had a fantastic pace since the beginning with the pole on Friday. We were very unlucky yesterday because we had a spark plug issue so the engine was running between 7 and 8 cylinder. That cost us the podium for sure. But we had a good starting position today: from third, we had a mega start, leading into the first corner which was very important. And then started a very long and very hard race. I think it was one of the most difficult GP2 sprint race to win because with this track where the tyre degradation is so low, where you have long straights were overtaking is quite easy. You could stay in the slipstream for a long time. People were catching me and not only they were catching, but it was always a new guy. First Rossi pushed hard at the beginning and I had to as well. Then, it was Marciello in the middle part of the race and I had to push to keep him behind. Then he finished his tyres. And then, when I thought I could relax a bit, my engineer told me that Coletti was catching us almost a second a lap, I could not believe that I had to push again… Stefano came quite close and 3 or 4 laps to the end, it was quite hard. In the last two laps I saw that he was also at the end of his tyres. So, I could control the last two laps, but it was a very, very long race inside of the car (Laughs).

Q: We heard how overjoyed you were at the chequered flag over the radio…

Johnny: Yeah, it was a fantastic race. The pace was so good overall this weekend. The engineers and mechanics did such a good job. We were a bit unlucky with race 1, but at least we could get this win today and good points, and we are consistently in good points for the championship. I think we caught some good points on Jolyon and we stayed close to Nasr. It’s looking good. We have to keep up the good work.

Q: We’re going to Silverstone in two weeks. What will be your goal?

Johnny: I love Silverstone. It’s quite a similar layout of this track because it also has quite a lot of quick corners. So, I think we will have a good car. We have ten days of very hard work to get prepared and then we just have to try and do the best we can again. I hope to be in the top 3 again from the start of the weekend.

June 22, 2014 GP2 Series

Jump onboard with Ken Roczen as he battles James Stewart, Ryan Dungey and other top riders for the win in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. This round was in Thunder Valley. Roczen is currently the leader of the standings in Pro Motocross after two wins. Enjoy!

June 20, 2014 Motocross

Last March, Guerlain Chicherit attempted a world distance record jump with a car in Tignes, France. He wanted to beat Tanner Foust’s record, set in 2011 but ended up crashing very hard after reaching the launching platform at too much speed. In this GoPro video, Guerlain gives us context on his jump, we are able to see his practice jumps and finally, and with a lot of detail, we get to see his wreck in the world record attempt. 12 minutes long, but must see for gearheads.

June 20, 2014 Action Sports

Carlos-Muñoz-Indy-500-IndyCar

Carlos Muñoz burst on the scene with a runner-up finish in his first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2013. The 22-year-old Verizon IndyCar Series rookie from Colombia has continued on the fast track in the first half of the season.

Muñoz is sixth in the championship and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings through eight races. Muñoz’s four top-10 finishes have been punctuated by third place at Long Beach, where he advanced eight positions relative to his qualifying. Sixth for Dual 2 at Belle Isle on June 1 is his best qualifying effort.

Catching up with Muñoz, 22, a Miami resident, heading into the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers:

Q: How would you assess your overall performance in the first half of the season?

CARLOS MUÑOZ: It’s been an OK year apart from the mistakes I’ve made at Barber (bouncing off tire barrier) and Texas (spin on pit lane). I’m improving a lot on road and street courses and proving a lot. In Detroit we were really fast but the strategy just wasn’t the correct one (finished seventh and eighth). Next is Houston, which will be really tough with the doubleheader. My goal was to start improving a lot right from the start and that’s why we put all the testing in this part of the year because we knew in the beginning it would be tough for me.

My goal is to stay there in the championship and win the rookie award, and my main goal is to learn as much as I can this year and a make it a big year next year.

Q: What, if anything, has been a surprise in your first full season?

CARLOS MUÑOZ: The car, mainly. You can have the perfect car and then make little changes and have a bad car in the next session. In IndyCar, you have to have everything together to be in the (Firestone) Fast Six for qualifying – the good car, the good lap, the good temperatures. Everything is sensitive and you have to have everything in the right moment to get the most out of it.

Q: What have been a few keys you’ve learned about IndyCar racing so far this season?

CARLOS MUÑOZ: Indy Lights is a great school for drivers because it gives you the basis for the racing and the ovals. It’s hard to race on ovals because you have to be aware of the others around you all the time, the strategy, tire management — all this counts. Each race I have learned a lot. I feel like I did during my first Indy Lights year. I learned step by step and toward the end of the season I won and the second year I challenged for the championship. Next year is the big year.

Q: There are distinct personalities at Andretti Autosport with Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe. How do you feel you’ve fit in?

CARLOS MUÑOZ: We work as a team, which is the mentality (team owner) Michael (Andretti) wants. We have a great relationship and work well together. A lot of drivers will say that, but in this case it’s true. The first day I stepped into the team, whether it was in Indy Lights or this year in IndyCar, I felt welcome.

 

Source: IndyCar PR

Photo: IndyCar Media

June 17, 2014 IndyCar

Treluyer Lotterer Fassler Audi Le Mans

In front of nearly 300,000 spectators, Audi continued its unique string of victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In the 82nd running of the world’s most important endurance race, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer and Lucas di Grassi/Marc Gené/Tom Kristensen  made for a one-two Audi victory. 

It marked the 13th Le Mans success for the brand with the four rings in only 16 runs – and may have been the most valuable one to date, as Audi Sport Team Joest prevailed against massive competition by Le Mans returnee Porsche and Toyota in an extremely tough race that was completely open for a long time. The decision in favour of the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars was only made in the final phase.

“We’ve seen many exciting races and celebrated great victories at Le Mans but this success has a very special significance,” said Professor Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, following the triumphant finish by the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars. “We didn’t enter this race as favourites and in Porsche and Toyota had two very strong rivals. That we managed to win Le Mans again this time in spite of this is a fantastic achievement by the whole Audi squad. We’re tremendously happy and my thanks go to all who have made this success possible.”

“The new Le Mans regulations place an even greater focus on the efficiency of the race cars at Le Mans than before,” said Professor Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, who as Board Member for Technical Development is responsible for the motorsport program of AUDI AG. “In the TDI, the world’s most efficient drive technology has prevailed at Le Mans yet again. At the same time, with our successful first use of the laser light, we continued our string of technological pioneering achievements at Le Mans. I’d like to thank everybody who has worked extremely hard for this success, above all of course the Audi Sport squad.”

For Audi, the Le Mans 24 Hours was billed as ‘Welcome Challenges’ – and there were plenty of them in the 82nd running of the famous endurance race for the brand with the four rings. Following a serious accident of Loïc Duval in Wednesday’s free practice, Audi Sport Team Joest had to prepare the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro in record time again from scratch and to replace Loïc Duval with Marc Gené. That this team was on course for victory on Sunday morning says everything about the feat performed by the mechanics. However, in the end, the change of an injector and a turbocharger narrowly prevented this fairy tale from coming true. With a gap of three laps Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gené and Tom Kristensen took second place.

Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer took the lead for the first time on Sunday morning, shortly after 5 a.m., after having put consistent pressure throughout the night on the Toyota that had been leading for a long time. As the turbocharger had to be changed on their R18 as well, car #2 temporarily dropped to third place before moving back to the front in a remarkable recovery during which André Lotterer also set the fastest race lap of 3m 22.567s.

In the hectic first hours, the fascinating Le Mans prototypes of Audi, Porsche and Toyota were fighting captivating duels on the Le Mans high-speed circuit that kept the spectators in awe. The fans experienced one of the most gripping races in Le Mans history until noon on Sunday. The decision in favour of Audi was only made in the penultimate hour.

“It was a race of the kind you can only experience at Le Mans,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “There were many incidents and none of the top cars made it across the distance without any problems. The decisive factors were that our Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars were able to drive consistently fast for 24 hours, our drivers made no mistakes and our squad responded properly and quickly to the issues that occurred. In Porsche and Toyota we had two really strong rivals who, as expected, did not make life easy for us. I always believed that, in spite of the particularly difficult prerequisites for us this year, we’d be able to succeed and that we’ve got the most efficient race car. That we succeeded again makes me feel proud. ‘Thanks’ also from me to the whole squad, but to our Management Board and our Group as well that make it possible for us to demonstrate ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ at Le Mans year after year. But I also express my respect for the performance delivered by Porsche on their return to Le Mans.”

For Audi, this marked the 13th victory in the ‘24 Heures,’ the eighth one with TDI Power and the third one with a hybrid race car. The team of Reinhold Joest celebrated its 15th success in the world’s most important endurance race. Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, after 2011 and 2012, achieved their third Le Mans triumph.

Stephane Peterhansel MINI

“I want to thank Stéphane,” said team manager Sven Quandt. “He is a fantastic driver and a great person. We have written many chapters in the history books with him. We won the first Dakar Rally with the MINI ALL4 Racing. And he has been one of the key people in making the X-raid team and the MINI ALL4 Racing grown. We have now decided to part ways by mutual consent. Our team is well structured and organised. We are very much looking forward to the next Dakar Rally and all the other challenges which lie ahead. I see a bright future for our team. We all wish Stéphane the best for his new challenge.”

The Monster Energy X-raid team and Peterhansel look back on a very successful partnership. After the Dakar Rally of 2009, the Frenchman became part of the team and drove a BMW X3 CC in the following years. In the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2011, he won the first race in the history of the MINI ALL4 Racing and in 2012 and 2013 Peterhansel won the Dakar Rally twice. The contract would have still included Dakar 2015 but, after some trusting conversations, team and driver have decided to release him already by the end of May 2014, in order to leave the frenchman the opportunity for a new challenge. His contract was dissolved amicably by mutual consent. Since, Peterhansel has signed with the Peugeot Factory team.

“After five years of successfully working together and two Dakar victories in total, I want to take on a new challenge,” explains Stéphane Peterhansel. “I very much thank Sven Quandt and all the employees of X-raid for the successful years in which I had the opportunity to drive the MINI.”

Photo: Monster Energy X-Raid Team

June 16, 2014 Dakar Rally

Stephane Peterhansel Peugeot Red Bull

Stéphane Peterhansel confirmed his participation in the 2015 Dakar Rally with Team Peugeot-Total on Sunday, June 15 in somewhat unusual fashion. As he awaits his opportunity to tackle the most punishing cross-country competitions in the world aboard the 2008 DKR, the Dakar record-holder took to the cockpit of a rather different type of Peugeot racing car to hurtle down… the slopes of the Parc de Saint-Cloud, near Paris, alongside new team-mate Cyril Despres!

If this grand entrance was very clearly intended as a light-hearted bit of fun, then the recruitment of Stéphane Peterhansel to a driver line-up that already included Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres leaves nobody in any doubt as to just how seriously Peugeot, Red Bull and Total are treating their new Dakar challenge. Indeed, the French driver is a true living legend in the world of cross-country rallying. Having tallied six triumphs in the motorcycle category and five in cars, he is the indisputable record-holder on the notoriously gruelling event. His talent – showcased on innumerable occasions – and his experience are vital assets for Team Peugeot-Total, which has now completed its ‘Dream Team’.

For Peterhansel – partnered, as ever, by loyal co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret – returning to the Dakar fray with this commando team is both a logical and obvious step: “I honestly feel very proud to be joining this team. When I began competing on motorbikes, I remember seeing Peugeot also participating on the Dakar and every evening back at camp, I would hang out with the guys from the team. It was almost unbelievable for me to be able to chat to Ari Vatanen! It is therefore entirely natural for me now to join the same team that inspired my dreams. In fact, I had been waiting for this kind of adventure to come along. For several years, I had been thinking how wonderful it would be if a company like Peugeot – which has achieved so much success on the Dakar – returned to cross-country rallying, and when the call came, I really didn’t take very much persuading…”

Far from finding himself seduced by nostalgia, however, the multiple champion was impressed most of all by the qualities of what is already a winning team: “I kept a close eye on the return of the Peugeot, Red Bull and Total triumvirate at Pikes Peak – not to mention the outstanding success that was achieved there. When we entered into discussions, the team’s motivation, commitment and technical resources were immediately evident. There is a tremendous level of engineering expertise here, and the working environment is first-class. We share the same fighting spirit and the same hunger for victory.”

At the heart of the team, Peterhansel very soon encountered several familiar faces – including that of Cyril Despres. Both former motorcyclists, the two men know each other well and wasted little time in proving as much by hurtling down the ‘slippery’ slopes of the Parc de Saint-Cloud together! “Beginning this collaboration with a race like that was unexpected to say the least,” quipped Stéphane. “It was really off-the-wall and I enjoyed it a lot. In some respects, it was a kind of baptism into the great family of Red Bull athletes. It was an honour, and it also brought back some old memories for me as when I was young, I was French Downhill Skateboarding Champion!”

For team-mate Cyril – a new convert from bikes to cars – it represented the opportunity for an initial insight into the secrets of driving such a four-wheeled racing beast, and he is looking forward to more… “Throughout my career, Stéphane has always been there to lend me a hand or offer me advice, so to now find him at my side for my debut as a car racing driver is just fantastic news!” enthused the five-time Dakar motorcycling winner.

Another well-known member of the team for Peterhansel is Carlos Sainz. Since 2006, the two men have repeatedly disputed victory at the wheel of different machinery – and now they are teammates! It is a prospect that does not faze the Team Peugeot-Total new boy: “I was a fan of Carlos for a long time back when he was competing in WRC and after that, he impressed me by successfully transferring his talents over to cross-country competition. Now, I feel very proud to be in the same team as him. I am well aware that Carlos will be a fierce rival, but I’ve always had team-mates of a high calibre and who have previously triumphed on the Dakar, so it really doesn’t concern me!” The Spaniard is similarly enthusiastic about the new partnership: “Stéphane’s an extremely positive addition. He knows the Dakar like the back of his hand, and he will be able to teach both the team and myself a great deal. Of course, his arrival puts me under a bit more pressure, but that will only serve to inspire me to strive for new heights alongside my co-driver Lucas Cruz, with whom I won the event in 2010.”

With Sainz, Despres and Peterhansel on the driving force, Peugeot, Red Bull and Total have the ideal line-up. Peugeot Sport Director, Bruno Famin, is delighted: “It is incredible to have signed these three legendary drivers who have achieved so much success over the years! It is an extraordinary team, and the three of them complement each other perfectly. I hope we will be able to give Carlos and Stéphane a car that allows them to fight for victory from the very first attempt in 2015, whilst Cyril will necessarily face an initial learning curve. Stéphane’s arrival helps us to further reinforce the depth of experience inside the team and its development capabilities. This uniquely talented trio will provide everybody with a great boost to build a formidable car.”

If we add to the four triumphs notched up by Peugeot on the Dakar, Sainz’s 2010 success, the five trophies collected by Despres and Peterhansel’s unrivalled record of 11 wins, the French manufacturer will take on the next Dakar Rally fortified by the combined knowledge gleaned from no fewer than 21 victories on the event! It is a list that the team intends adding to very quickly…

 

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

June 16, 2014 Dakar Rally

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