2018 IndyCar news/misc. stuff

Kiante

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Pretty surprising move here. Means Daly or Esteban, probably both, won't have a drive this year as the only seat left looks to be the second DCR entry.

ED CARPENTER RACING COMPLETES NO. 20 DRIVER LINEUP WITH THE ADDITION OF JORDAN KING
http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/ed-carpenter-racing-completes-no-20-driver-lineup-addition-jordan-king/
Damn Mark Blundell is quite the heavy with his management role, holy crap I never realized how big he is in the UK now. Judging by the partners with MB Partners, some money had to come along with the deal.

Estaban, Conor, and Carlos are really getting the raw deal.
 

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Damn Mark Blundell is quite the heavy with his management role, holy crap I never realized how big he is in the UK now. Judging by the partners with MB Partners, some money had to come along with the deal.

Estaban, Conor, and Carlos are really getting the raw deal.
King looks like an excellent addition compared to this signing...don't think this guy was on anyone's radar. Not much to his resume. New team's gonna need some funded drivers to get up off the ground, I suppose. But...wow.

Austrian Rene Binder joins Juncos Racing for partial Verizon IndyCar season
http://www.juncosracing.com/austrian-rene-binder-joins-juncos-racing-for-partial-verizon-indycar-season/
 

Kiante

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King looks like an excellent addition compared to this signing...don't think this guy was on anyone's radar. Not much to his resume. New team's gonna need some funded drivers to get up off the ground, I suppose. But...wow.
Think about this, there is an article that Rossi talked to King about making the switch to IndyCar. Not only that, but Mike Conway also came from the Blundell stable of drivers represented by his marketing agency. Pretty interesting, but I'm sure Blundell mentioned the success of Conway and Ed is hoping to see the same thing from King.

Conway was an absolute boss on the road courses.

Article:http://www.racer.com/indycar/item/146573-rossi-encouraged-king-to-make-indycar-switch
 
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FLRacingFan

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Think about this, there is an article that Rossi talked to King about making the switch to IndyCar. Not only that, but Mike Conway also came from the Blundell stable of drivers represented by his marketing agency. Pretty interesting, but I'm sure Blundell mentioned the success of Conway and Ed is hoping to see the same thing from King.

Conway was an absolute boss on the road courses.

Article:http://www.racer.com/indycar/item/146573-rossi-encouraged-king-to-make-indycar-switch
The more I think about the King signing the more it makes sense. I think he has the ability to become a pretty good IndyCar road course specialist, although it's also good to hear he wants to hit up the ovals at some point too and become a full-time driver.
 

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Man... I'm happy for ZCD, but damn just too many good drivers on the sidelines atm.

Santi really needs a push, holy sh!t dude.
I'm wondering who his one remaining option was, hopefully it wasn't Coyne or ECR. Maybe a second Harding car...he said he should know this month so we'll see. He's too good to have to do Lights again.
 

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I'm wondering who his one remaining option was, hopefully it wasn't Coyne or ECR. Maybe a second Harding car...he said he should know this month so we'll see. He's too good to have to do Lights again.

Looking at Dixon, Bourdais, Kaanan, and Sato... How much longer will they be involved in the series? Those guys are really going to be trump cards in the decision making.

No doubt, I would hate Santi to be stuck in Lights for a third year. Maybe Harding, I just remember Juncos is filled.
 

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IndyCar seeks $10M-15M yearly from next title sponsor

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2018/01/15/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/IndyCar.aspx

IndyCar is asking for a rights fee of $10 million to $15 million annually from potential title sponsors, according to sources, an increase from what IndyCar reportedly receives from lame-duck partner Verizon.

Sources said IndyCar is seeking that range in rights fees, and hopes to secure a commensurate amount for at-track and media activation, which could push the deal’s total value to $20 million to $30 million annually if successful.

Verizon’s title sponsorship deal with the open-wheel series expires after this season. The telecommunications company confirmed that it won’t be returning to the role, but will stay in the sport via its relationship with Team Penske. Verizon’s series title sponsorship, which started in 2014, has been valued as worth $10 million annually, split between $5 million on rights and $5 million on activation.

IndyCar has seen solid viewership gains since that time, and revived attendance around the Indianapolis 500, and is leveraging that to ask for more money. IndyCar increased its average viewership 20 percent from the end of the 2013 season to the end of the 2017 season, from an average of 950,000 viewers to 1.14 million.

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, declined comment about IndyCar’s asking price but said the series’ growth will make the title sponsorship an attractive asset.

Also immersed in media rights talks, Miles said he expects by the end of the month to have a good idea of who will be IndyCar’s next media partner in the U.S. Like the title sponsorship deal, its media rights, which are split between ABC and NBC Sports Group, expire after 2018. Miles has spoken of a desire to figure out media rights first, so that the new partner can help IndyCar pitch the open title sponsorship to brands that may want media exposure to go along with at-track assets.

“I think we’ve got a great story to describe the progress that IndyCar has made in the last few years and the growth of our fan metrics,” Miles said last week. “[But] we need to conclude at least our U.S. media deals before it’s realistic to think we’re going to finalize any kind of conversation on title [sponsor].”

Miles said IndyCar’s executives and business development team are “casting a wide net,” taking calls from agencies with clients potentially interested in the title sponsorship, plus reaching out to brands directly. He expects that the search will mainly focus on companies based in the U.S.

While IndyCar will be challenged to find a replacement with a brand pedigree as venerable as Verizon’s, some in the paddock have felt that the telco wasn’t activating enough and instead focused more on its deals with the NFL and NBA. The title sponsor before Verizon was clothing company Izod, which spent a reported $6 million annually on rights fees to sponsor the series from 2010 to 2013.

Other title sponsors in motorsports include Monster Energy, which pays about $20 million annually to name NASCAR’s premier series; Mello Yello, which pays about $5 million annually to title the NHRA; and ABB, which announced last week that it is title sponsoring Formula E in a deal valued at around $15 million annually over seven years.
 

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I love Pietro, but he needs to go to Lights to prove himself. That FR 3.5 title is great, but damn that field was weak. Also, it goes to show just how expensive F2 is. To see a Fittapaldi and with Colton Herta, man that would be awesome to see.
 

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I love Pietro, but he needs to go to Lights to prove himself. That FR 3.5 title is great, but damn that field was weak. Also, it goes to show just how expensive F2 is. To see a Fittapaldi and with Colton Herta, man that would be awesome to see.
I was surprised to learn he had Telmex backing. Honestly had no clue.

Yeah that field was weaker, but he reportedly did really well in his LMP1 test and has a pretty good resume overall...didn't know he was a Limited Late Model champion at Hickory either. A Lights campaign and maybe a handful of IndyCar races would be a good slate. If Binder can get something part-time Fittipaldi should be able to as well.
 

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I was surprised to learn he had Telmex backing. Honestly had no clue.

Yeah that field was weaker, but he reportedly did really well in his LMP1 test and has a pretty good resume overall...didn't know he was a Limited Late Model champion at Hickory either. A Lights campaign and maybe a handful of IndyCar races would be a good slate. If Binder can get something part-time Fittipaldi should be able to as well.
Just like his grandfather and uncle, he will probably be a damn good master of all trades type of driver. Christian and Emerson were the same way with their ability to be fast in anything.

I'm keeping an eye on his younger brother, Enzo, as well. Look like the Fittipaldi name will be around again for some time.

BTW Telmex? Slim is backing him? That should be an easier entrance into IndyCar for him IMHO.
 

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Josef is a great speaker.

245 at IMS? That hasn't been done in years. I remember Townsend Bell had the highest top speed at 241 on Fast Friday or one of the qualifying days a few years ago. It'd be pretty amazing if they reached 245 again.
Man, I'm not sure who is going to pay that much. The ratings have to be at NASCAR level to get there, I really want Verizon to stick around.

Maybe, a Pharmacy company or a private contractor? I'm not sure who will foot that bill... I think Hitachi would be the next best fit IMHO.
I think they can get in between there somewhere; they're better off from when the Verizon deal started but the NASCAR/Monster deal probably messed with the market a little. Depends on whether or not you believe that NASCAR opted more for promotion and fit than money though.
 

Doc Austin

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Yeah, but remember how bad the last Alfa Indycar program was? I don't think any of the Honda or Chevy teams (who currently have competitive equipment)
would change and risk running a boat anchor.
 

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Yeah, but remember how bad the last Alfa Indycar program was? I don't think any of the Honda or Chevy teams (who currently have competitive equipment)
would change and risk running a boat anchor.
Yeah, when was that between 89 and 91 or 92?

We will see, I hope they fare better than Lotus. Good lord, what a **** engine that was. They wasted a season of Seabass in his prime with the horrid engine...
 

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Its all about pushing the Alfa brand in the US. That's all, its all for marketing.
Pretty much. They've done some exploring with IMSA and IndyCar since their US push started again. Nothing materialized the first time around but I suppose they're still looking. The last I read was that since Sonoma, IndyCar has met with six different manufacturers and none of them American. Alfa fits that bill, and it is weird that FCA still have almost no racing presence in America. But, with the F1 Sauber partnership I wonder if they would want to spend on both, and if Marchionne is still just toying with F1 leadership.

Yeah, but remember how bad the last Alfa Indycar program was? I don't think any of the Honda or Chevy teams (who currently have competitive equipment)
would change and risk running a boat anchor.
Someone who isn't the main guy for either would jump, and then some. Even Andretti are looking like they're not as well favored by Honda anymore after flirting with Chevy, as they chose CGR and SPM to do the UAK testing last year instead.
 

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I remember that Michael Shank had an Indycar chassis ready to go and the only company that would supply him was Lotus. We all remember how bad that motor was. I'm pretty sure we don't want to end up with a situation like that again. Shank ended up walking away and we only just barely scraped 33 cars together.

Like, as if we can afford to turn away people who want to race.

Remember some time in the late 80s that Ferrari was upset with F1 because they could not get their way about something. They actually built a Ferrari Indycar and talked to Truesports about running it. In the end it disappeared because Ferrari got their way, but that was not the first time they had threatened to quit F1. With Ferrari threatening to drop out of F1 again, the Alfa Indycar project sure looks like just another empty threat.
 

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Here is the Ferrari Indycar story: https://jalopnik.com/the-inconclusive-story-of-how-ferrari-nearly-quit-f1-fo-1781964011

With Ferrari currently talking about leaving F1, the Alfa thing could be no more than just another bluff.

I would not get too excited about another manufacturer coming in anyway. Indycar has Honda and Chevy balanced pretty nicely, so why mess with that? Also, with all the cars having identical bodywork, any new manufacturer isn't even going to look any different. I don't see the point of risking the competitive balance when there is no way to tell who is running what except for reading the logos.
 

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I remember that Michael Shank had an Indycar chassis ready to go and the only company that would supply him was Lotus. We all remember how bad that motor was. I'm pretty sure we don't want to end up with a situation like that again. Shank ended up walking away and we only just barely scraped 33 cars together.

Like, as if we can afford to turn away people who want to race.

Remember some time in the late 80s that Ferrari was upset with F1 because they could not get their way about something. They actually built a Ferrari Indycar and talked to Truesports about running it. In the end it disappeared because Ferrari got their way, but that was not the first time they had threatened to quit F1. With Ferrari threatening to drop out of F1 again, the
Here is the Ferrari Indycar story: https://jalopnik.com/the-inconclusive-story-of-how-ferrari-nearly-quit-f1-fo-1781964011

With Ferrari currently talking about leaving F1, the Alfa thing could be no more than just another bluff.

I would not get too excited about another manufacturer coming in anyway. Indycar has Honda and Chevy balanced pretty nicely, so why mess with that? Also, with all the cars having identical bodywork, any new manufacturer isn't even going to look any different. I don't see the point of risking the competitive balance when there is no way to tell who is running what except for reading the logos.
Alfa Indycar project sure looks like just another empty threat.
I am pretty positive that any future engine program will be much more sophisticated than the Lotus program, which, IIRC, wasn't much more than Lotus giving some money to Judd to badge the engines. Anything going forward will probably be an in-house deal like HPD. And a large part of why the 500 field barely cracks 33 anymore is because Chevy and Honda can only afford to support so many engine leases, and we've even gotten to that point for the rest of the season as well. Carlin wanted Honda power but after Shank linked up with them they reached their max of 13 non-Indy entrants, and Carlin had to turn to Chevy. Another engine supplier will allow the field to expand again. And a major reason why they weren't getting interest from manufacturers before is because the spend to develop aero kits was far beyond whatever value was gotten out of it (basically none), and any incoming supplier would be able to focus solely on engines and activation at a much lower cost. A powerplant is always going to be more marketable in open wheel racing than some aero flaps and winglets anyways.
 

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DeClamelo is still the frontrunner for the seat, but it seems like Pietro Fittapaldi is under some consideration as well after positive reception after his Lights and IndyCar test. Interesting, let him have a season in Light to shake him down more. He has plenty of talent, but everyone needs to see him against better competition.

https://www.motorsport.com/indycar/news/fittipaldi-says-coyne-indycar-test-went-really-really-well-999400/
Sounds like Dale will have to run at least two guys in that car now...sounds like ZCD, Pietro, and a generic open wheel dude foreign to IndyCar and Indy Lights. Hell, that could be anyone. No Hawksworth though, which is unfortunate.

https://www.motorsport.com/indycar/news/coyne-well-have-to-run-two-drivers-in-second-indycar-999450/
 
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