Kirkwood Leads Final Test

Photo from @FollowAndretti

Kyle Kirkwood led the fourth test session at The Thermal Club this afternoon. Kirkwood finished second, third, and first in the three sessions he ran. His team needed to change a clutch yesterday afternoon, and Kirkwood missed the second round. Kirkwood’s time of 1:38.8279 was the third fastest overall for the two days.

Kirkwood spoke about his excitement to be with Andretti this season.

“My entire goal last year was to take a car that everyone knows
is usually mid pack or towards the back and put it up front.
That was always a goal of mine. That was exciting for me.
It’s also exciting to be in a fast car and be fast in a fast car.
There’s benefits to both. I’m just as excited as I was last
year, to be honest. I’m definitely leaving this place in a happier spot than most
of the events last year.”

The Spring Training event at The Thermal Club seems to have been a big hit with the drivers, but they expressed doubts about holding a race there. Kirkwood thinks it would be a lot like Barber, with few passing opportunities..

Results:

Ericsson Leads Session 3

Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing led the third Spring Training session as lap timnes continue to improve. 13 drivers had times in the 1:38 range. Yesterday’s leader, Colton Herta, was 14th. Kyle Kirkwood, who missed the second round yesterday afternoon, was third fastest nthis morning. Kirkwood was second quick Thursday morning.

The session ended about 90 seconds early when Felix Rosenqvist suffered his third off road of the two days of practice.

Results:

The final test session begins at 4:30 PM eastern.

Testing Continues- Can Herta Be Caught?

Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

Today’s schedule at Thermal Club:

  • Test 3: Friday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
  • Test 4: Friday, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. PT

Timing and scoring on Indycar.com

Marshall Pruett will also post some video on YouTube

I will have a wrapup tonight and session results throughout the day.

Some news broke last night regarding the Indianapolis 500. If you missed it , here is the link:

    Double Points Get the Checkered Flag

    Double Points Get the Checkered Flag

    Call it Irony, if you will. I just finished watching Hallelujah! the Leonard Cohen documentary, on Netflix. I turn to social media and find another reason to shout Hqllelujah!

    Indycar informed the team owners that double points will not be awarded at the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. Qualifying points for the fast twelve are still in effect. Well, one step at a time.

    Double points were first awarded in 2014, at the 500 and the other 500 mile races at Pocono and Fontana. In 2015 double points went to the winner of the 500 and the season finale. In 202 the last race of the year went back to single points.

    Oddly double points for winning the 500 never helped a driver to the championship. The extra points, despised by many and scorned by others, hurt those who had a bad Memorial Day weekend more than they helped the 500 winner finish atop the standings. The gaps in points made it difficult for a driver to get back in the hunt.

    With double points in effect, the largest gap from first to 33rd was 110 points. Starting in 2023, the largest gap will be 60 points, a more reasonable deficit to come back from with 11 races remaining.

    I am glad to see the extra points go. Now let’s work on throwing a yellow flag when it needs to be thrown, regardless of pit situations, and keep the red flag hidden except for safety and rain.

    Herta Sweeps Day 1 as Times Drop in Session 2

    Colton Herta posted the fast time in the afternoon session of Indycar’s open test in California. His teammate Kyle Kirkwood, second in the morning round, did not participate in the second session. The team was replacing the clutch on the 27 Auto Nation Honda.

    13 cars cracked the 100 second mark.

    The results:

    Tomorrow’s schedule is similar to today’s. Session 3 begins at noon Eastern time.

    Herta Quickest in Session 1

    Photo from @FollowAndretti

    Colton Herta led an Andretti 1-2 in the opening test session of 2023 at The Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California. Kyle Kirkwood was second in his Andretti Autosport debut Herta had the only lap under one minute,forty seconds.

    From photos and videos I have seen, the track looks beautiful and the mountain backdrop provides a spectacular setting.

    The results:

    Session 2 began at 4:30 Eastern time and runs until 7:30.

    2023 Begins- Thermal Club Open Test

    The NTT Indycar Series begins its 2023 season with a two day open test at the Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California. All teams will have 11 hours of test time on the 2.9 mile, 17 turn track beginning at noon Eastern today.. There is talk of having a race here someday, but a lot work will be needed to bring the track up to race quality.

    The schedule:

    Session start times:  All times Pacific

    • Test 1: Thursday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
    • Test 2: Thursday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. PT 

    • Test 3: Friday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
    • Test 4: Friday, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. PT

    Live streaming is not available, but timing and scoring will be on the Indycar app.

    Carpenter Liveries Unveiled

    (PALM SPRINGS, Calif.) February 1, 2023 – Ed Carpenter Racing (“ECR”) announced today that the team’s 2023 lineup will be fully supported by new digital marketplace BITNILE.COM. The team’s two full-time entries, the No. 20 of Conor Daly and the No. 21 of Rinus VeeKay, in addition to ovals-only No. 33 of Ed Carpenter, will each compete throughout the upcoming season as BITNILE.COM Chevrolets. BITNILE.COM, an immersive digital marketplace, which is set to launch and “go live” one month from today, on March 1, 2023.

    The new BITNILE.COM liveries feature metallic gold on the front of each car with an innovative transition in color to represent the evolution of digital marketplaces. All three cars carry a cohesive look with Daly’s base color of blue, VeeKay’s featuring white and Carpenter’s car primarily black. The BITNILE.COM branding and metallic gold will carry across all trackside uniforms and equipment.

    “The launch of our new next-generation marketplace is scheduled for March 1 to coincide with the start of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season,” stated Milton “Todd” Ault, III, BITNILE.COM’s Executive Chairman. “We believe that the demographics of the INDYCAR fan base fit perfectly the intended target of BITNILE.COM, which has led us to become the one of the biggest team partners in the series and branding all three ECR cars this season.”

    The 12th season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition for ECR features an identical driver lineup for the fourth consecutive year. Daly, from Noblesville, Ind., will race the No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet for the entirety of the 2023 season. The 31-year-old will reach his 100th NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach and this year’s Indianapolis 500 will be his 10th. 

    VeeKay is the longest-tenured full-time driver in ECR’s history and will compete behind the wheel of the No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet for a fourth year. The 22-year-old Dutchman, who has been with ECR since his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut, will make his 50th start at Barber Motorsports Park in April. 

    Carpenter remains the only active owner/driver in INDYCAR, as he races in the five oval events in the No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet.  The Indianapolis native will compete in his 20th Indianapolis 500 this May and make his 200th NTT INDYCAR SERIES start at the second Iowa Speedway race in July.
    ECR team owner Carpenter stated, 

    “We are excited to confirm BITNILE.COM as our team partner and unveil our new paint schemes.” Carpenter continued, “Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay are both very talented drivers who bring a wealth of experience to our team. As for the No. 33 BITNILE.COM entry, I am excited to be back behind the wheel for the oval races, which will include my 20th Indianapolis 500.”


    Team President Tim Broyles is confident the talent of the drivers, coupled with ECR’s continual preparation since the end of last season, will give the team a competitive edge.

    “The entire team has worked tirelessly in the offseason to make sure our cars are at the forefront of performance. The new BITNILE.COM designs will make them stand out on the track,” said Broyles.

    The new Nos. 20 and 21 will be on track for the first time tomorrow as Daly and VeeKay participate in the Thermal Club Open Test. The full-field test spans two days and will take place at The Thermal Club, a private, world-class facility located just outside Palm Springs, California. The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins March 5 in the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Carpenter will join Daly and VeeKay at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2 for his first race of the season.
    CONOR DALY, No. 20 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
    RINUS VEEKAY, No. 21 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
    ED CARPENTER, No. 33 BITNILE.COM Chevrolet
    About BITNILE.COMBITNILE.COM, Inc. plans to launch its next-generation digital marketplace on March 1, 2023, offering real and virtual experiences and products. The platform, which will readily accept Bitcoin, is being developed to enable users to access the metaverse via the web browser allowing usage on any device including mobile, tablets, PC’s and virtual reality headsets. The BITNILE.COM metaverse experience is expected to not only include eCommerce, but is being built to include social, immersive video games, games of skill and chance, and more. The company is a subsidiary of Ault Alliance, Inc. (www.Ault.com). For more information and to register for the upcoming marketplace launch, please visit www.BITNILE.com.
    About Ed Carpenter RacingEd Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting eight wins across each type of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR is led by IndyCar’s only team owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, three-time pole winner for the Indianapolis 500 (2013, 2014 and 2018). The 2023 season will see the team continue to compete with two full-time entries: the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet with Conor Daly behind the wheel and the No. 21 BitNile Chevrolet, driven by Rinus VeeKay. Carpenter will round out the team’s three-car effort on the ovals, campaigning the No. 33 Chevrolet. More information may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.

    Indyc Debuts New Medical Unit

    From Indycar:
    INDYCAR To Feature New Medical Unit
    during 2023 Season
     
     State-of-the-Art Facility To Debut at Open Test at The Thermal Club
    INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023) – INDYCAR, with longtime partner IU Health, is rolling into its new season with a new mobile medical facility. The INDYCAR Medical Unit will make its debut at the year’s first Open Test, held Thursday-Friday, Feb. 2-3 at The Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California. The transporter with double slide outs will provide an environment for consistent and accessible care during each NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone event.
    Previously, INDYCAR’s medical team utilized a combination of a mobile trailer and the facilities available at the venues that host events. With the substantially upgraded mobile unit, the sanctioning body can better serve its growing paddock.
    “INDYCAR medical has always been the industry standard of care and service in motorsports,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “The investment into the INDYCAR Medical Unit is an important step in continuing that expectation and assuring that all personnel will receive excellent care.”
    Among the features of the INDYCAR Medical Unit:
    Four functional areas, one with two hospital beds Equipment needed to care for patients with urgent or emergent needs, including a portable X-ray machine, a resuscitation cart and assorted orthopedic care supplies Workspace for the doctors and nurses who travel with the sport Meeting areas for patient consultation and emergency updatesVideo feeds to enable the staff to monitor the on-track actionThe INDYCAR Medical Unit will be available during the hours the garages are open, and INDYCAR will work with local officials to determine the most strategic location for the unit at each venue.
    “The INDYCAR Medical Unit is a product of continued collaboration of INDYCAR and IU Health and is an important addition to our continued effort to enhance care for competitors, others who work in the sport and their families,” INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Julia Vaizer said.
    “The unit will be available to drivers, allowing us to evaluate them in the most efficient yet effective manner to develop next steps. We also will provide that level of care for all members of the paddock.
    INDYCAR’s season begins March 3-5 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. Coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season debut, Sunday, March 5, will be available beginning at noon ET on NBC with a simulstream available on Peacock.
    Peacock also will provide coverage of the INDY NXT season opener that same day beginning at 9:55 a.m. ET. The INDYCAR Radio Network will provide coverage of both races, with audio available on the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.Note: Media interested in a tour of the new INDYCAR Medical Unit during the Open Test Feb. 2-3 at The Thermal Club should contact Suzi Elliott at selliott@brickyard.com for availability and times.