Zanardi Update: More Surgery; Top Gun Waits for 2021

Photo: Alex Zanardi at Belle Isle

Former Indycar champion Alex Zanardi underwent a 2 1/2 hour brain surgery yesterday. The operation  was anticipated by his medical team. Zanardi suffered facial and neurological trauma in a hand bike crash during a race in Italy June 20. He remains in a medically induced coma.

The doctors say he  is stable metabolically and from a cardio-respiratory standpoint, but his neurological condition is described as “grave.”

Zanardi was expected to awake from the coma this week. I believe another update will come today.

Top Gun, Enerson Will Wait Until Next Year

Top Gun Racing has tabled their debut in the NTT Indycar Series until 2021. The team owned by Gary trout and Bill Throckmorton, planned to field a car for R C Enerson in the 2020 Indianapolis 500.  Top Gun participated in the Indycar  irace at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway early this spring.

The team will use the postponed entry to acquire assets to start next year. The announcement removes one possible entry from the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 August 23.

Enerson, Top Gun Racing Look to Join Indycar; Entering iRacing Challenge

The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly changed the way things happen. In a reverse twist, Top Gun Racing and R C Enerson will attempt to qualify for the Indycar iRacing Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Qualifying for Saturday’s 175 mile race is today. The team does not have one of the guaranteed spots.

Top Gun Racing hopes to use the virtual race effort to solidify their plans to join the NTT Indycar Series when the 2020 racing season actually starts. The team principals are Gary Trout and Bill Throckmorton with support from Hagerty Insurance. The car will carry number 99.

Enerson is a capable driver and will help the team. They have not come to to terms with an engine supplier. The team will operate out of a shop in Brownsburg, Indiana.

It’s nice to see that a new team is in the works in these uncertain times. It will be nicer when we can actually start the season.

I’ll be back later with some thoughts on fans attending races this year.



A Walk on the Track

Last night I had the opportunity to walk the Barber track with Indycarnation. TSO’s Steve Wittich led the tour. As a bonus, driver R C Enerson provided insights on how to drive the track. It was quite an educational hour.

Some things I learned:

The different tires used by support series all interact differently with Indycar’s Firestone tires. Pirelli has the most adverse effect on the Indycar tires.

Drivers can feel the cracks and patches on the track surface sometimes.

The car’s air is disturbed less when a competitor is more than 10 car lengths ahead. The drivers still feel a tow, however.

Turn 5 is the best and ususally only passing zone on this track.

Missing the entry to one turn can cause a driver to not get the next few turns wrong as well.

Some photos:

R C Enerson (L) and Steve Wittich lead the track walk

Rumble strips in turn 1
Turn 3 
Approach to turn 5
Arachnaphobic drivers may struggle through this part of the track
Looking for a good spot to see the action
Start zone