From Indycar as I reported this morning:
Indycar’sset in sand 2020 schedule changed again Wednesday. First, the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America moved to July 10-12 and is now a double header. Then the return to Richmond was cancelled.
The NTT Indycar Series is still expecting to open June 6 at Texas motor Speedway June 6. No fans will attend the first race of the season.
Road America is the third double header weekend on the revised schedule, joining Iowa and Laguna Seca in presenting two races on the same weekend. The Wisconsin switch was made in an effort to make fan attendance a greater possibility.
Richmond had hosted Indycar races from 2001-2009 and was looking forward to the series’ return.
Are we done with changes to the race lineup? I don’t think so. here is the schedule as of this morning, May 21.
June 6 Texas Motor Speedway
July 4- Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
July 11 Road America
July 12 Road America
July 17 Iowa
July 18 Iowa
August 9 Mid Ohio
August 15-16 Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
August 23 Indianapolis 500
August 30 Gateway
September 13 Portland
September 19 Laguna Seca
September 20 Laguna Seca
October 3 Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
October 25 St. Petersburg
Portland may move since fans would not be allowed to attend on the September 13 date. There is a gap in October, but I think one of the October weekends is being held in reserve in case the Indianapolis 500 needs to move again.
July has five races in 15 days. August has four consecutive weekends. If this schedule holds, it will be a busy time for teams and fans. I just want to get the season started. Back tomorrow to talk about the 1970 500.
The ever changing NTT Indycar Series calendar may be about to take another twist. there is heavy speculation that the REV Group Grand prix, originally scheduled for the weekend of June 20-22, will now take place July 10-12, the original date of the now postponed Toronto event.
The switch will mean two consecutive double headers, one on a road course and one on an oval. Iowa is the week following the new Road America date.
If Richmond takes place as scheduled, Indycar will run six races on four successive weekends. After a two week break, the series has four straight weekenddates in August.
I have a feeling this will not be the last schedule change. I will have more, including the revised schedule, when the new Road America date is confirmed.
ESPN2 will help keep the traditional biggest day in motorsports alive Sunday with five encore presentations. Two previous Grand Prix of Monaco will begin the day. later in the afternoon the network will re-air three past Indianapolis 500s.
6 am 2018 Monaco Grand Prix
8:30 am 2019 Grand Prix of Monaco
These races are two of the better Monaco races of late. In 2018 Daniel Riccardo held off Sebastian Vettel. Riccardo battled engine and gearbox issues throughout.
In 2019 Lewis Hamilton beat Vettel by 2.6 seconds, close by f1 standards.
Plus you get to see Monaco for 4 hours. i love the setting for the race, although the racing isn’t always great. It’s one of the most iconic, classic venues for a race.
3 pm 2006 Indianapolis 500 Great duel at the end between Marco Andretti and Sam Hornish, Jr. The winner wasn’t decide until the cars reached the finish line.
5 pm 2011 Indianapolis 500 The 100th anniversary 500 featured probably the wildest finish ever. The J. R. Hildebrand seemed to have the race wrapped up crashed out of turn 4. Winner Dan Wheldon led less than a mile in what turned out to be a bittersweet victory.
7 pm 2014 Indianapolis 500 Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves stage a tremendous battle for the victory. Hunter-Reay’s pass in the grass was an incredible move.
Overlapping ESPN’s replays will be NBC’s replay of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 from 2pm-6pm. The race features commentary from winner Simon Pagenaud and runner-up Alexander Rossi. A pre -race segment hosted by Mike Tirico features interviews with the two drivers.
These shows aren’t the same as being at the track on Sunday, but they are the best we have until now. Race day is hopefully just a little more than three months away. DVRs will be pretty busy this weekend.
Photo: Alberto Ascari at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1952. It was Ferrari’s only appearance in the 500 mile Race. Ascari crashed on lap 40 and finished 31st.
Today was supposed to be the first day of Qualifying for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. We are, however, three months away from that. It’s been a surprisingly busy news week. Here are some thoughts.
Yesterday afternoon’s cancellation announcement was not a shock. I was just wondering when it would come. The government has banned gatherings of 25,000 or more until August 31. Will Indycar add another doubleheader or just have one less race? It’s getting late to add another venue. Green Savoree is looking for a date later in the year to reschedule.
As with all things of this sort, I’m taking a wait and see attitude. Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed that ferrari is looking at Indycar for 2022 if F1 lowers their budget cap. The Scuderia wants to keep its employees, and Indycar is way to do that. I have questions.
With Indycar still planning to go to a hybrid system, will Ferrari become the third OEM? Will Ferrari be happy using a Dallara chassis or are they willing to become a second chassis? If they do become the third engine supplier, they won’t be able to form a technical alliance with an established team. Will that put them at a big disadvantage?
A decision is still a long way off. It would be exciting to have a team with such international prestige join the series. We will just have to wait.
One thing that caught my attention in the Conor Daly car unveiling yesterday was the car number. I didn’t recall seeing number 47 often. Some research confirmed my suspicions. The number 47 has appeared in just 12 500 mile races.
Its first appearance was 1929 when Ernie Triplett drove a Dusenberg powered by a Miller engine. The car started 20th and finished 26th. It completed 48 laps and retired with a broken rod. The number wasn’t on a starting car again until 1933 when 1924 co-winner L. L. Corum drove the number 47 Rigling Studebaker to a 12th place finish. That would be the number’s highest finish.
The most recent start to date for the 47 was 1984 when future two time winner Emerson Fittipaldi drove the March Cosworth machine. It was Fittipaldi’s rookie year. He started 23rd and finished 32nd, retiring after 37 laps with oil pressure issues.
Overall, cars carrying this number have not had a lot of success. This year could be the 47’s best finish.
Tomorrow I will watch the NASCAR race. It will be the first one I have watched in more than 10 years. I’m watching to see how their COVID-19 protocols work. Will the empty stands give it the feel of the iRaces? What other things might Indycar learn that can be applied to the opener at Texas.
It will be nice just to have some live racing to watch, no matter what it is.
It’s nice to have some good news to talk about on what was supposed to be Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ed Carpenter Racing unveiled Conor Daly’s car for the 104th running of Greatest Spectacle in Racing, now scheduled for August 23.
The livery is a tribute to the Bell X-1 aircraft in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. The car’s number, 47, pays tribute to that date. 1947 is also the year the U. S. Air Force was founded by the National Security Act of 1947.
“It’s incredible to once again drive an iconic livery at the Indy 500. The U.S. Air Force does an unbelievable job paying respect to the history of the fighter jet and honoring the accomplishments of those who have served and are currently serving,” stated Daly. “This is such an exciting car, there’s so much that went into both the design and the number 47 that we’ll be representing. I can’t wait to drive the Indy car version of Glamorous Glennis and hopefully make Chuck Yeager himself proud!”
Daly drives for Ed Carpenter Racing in the number 20 car for road and street course races. The 20 car carries a different Air Force livery in those races. Daly began a partnership with the U. S. Air Force three years ago. In the 2019 500 he drove an Air Force sponsored car for Andretti Autosport, finishing a career best 10th.
The full press release from ECR: