Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Season Predictions Using The 'More Front Wing' Format

Takuma Sato has a lot to prove in this break out season for the former F1 stand out. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Season Predictions Using The 'More Front Wing' Format

It is common for those who follow the American open wheel racing scene to make predictions just before a season starts and the silly season becomes officially over.

More Front Wing, an IndyCar news and views website, had the simplest approach to this prediction issue and it serves as a good template and baseline upon what to expect for the 2013 season.

This year is the second, or sophomore, full year the new chassis that was tested by the late Dan Wheldon, and is numerically attached to his memory through the Dallara designation of DW12, will be used to contest the IZOD IndyCar Series season championship. The fact that the series ran a shortened season left the teams with a lot of time to work toward their strategy on how they will choose to compete and win with the familiarization of the turbo-powered and more robust DW12.2.

Will Ryan Hunter-Reay repeat in 2013 for Andretti Autosport? Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012) 

The original frame delivered one of the most competitive seasons in about 20 years ... so, many wonder, now that the standardization of the push-to-pass, which was introduced to the new engine-chassis package last July on the streets of Toronto, if this type of close competitive performance be expected for 2013?

After reading many predictions as to how the 2013 season will play out with the first race of the season - Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg - to be run this weekend, March 22-24, through the streets of St. Petersburg, here are the predictions from The EDJE to get things started.

More Front Wing had the simplest approach to this prediction issue and it serves as a good template and baseline upon what to expect for the 2013 season. 

2013 IICS season predictions using the More Front Wing format:

Five different teams were represented in victory lane last season. Will that number be higher or lower this year?

Lower - investments by established teams in their subtle ways of development will show themselves in the DW12 sophomore year - so sophomore developments will rule the day.

Who will surprise everyone by winning a race?

Two drivers top my list ... well maybe three - 

Simona de Silvestro is poised to make a statement with her stable team and engine set-up this year - KV Racing Technology / Chevy. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

1) Simona de Silvestro who has won in a strong open wheel field before in the Atlantic series race at Long Beach - good on the streets. 

Takuma Sato at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach last year when he was driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan in a one car team. Sato will be moving to the team that fields the car that appears here tracking right behind him ... AJ Foyt Enterprises. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

2) Takuma Sato - if AJ can finally deliver on the promise of good equipment.

James Jakes after he he went off-roading at Sonoma's turns 9 and 10 in the IndyCar configuration. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

3) James Jakes - he is with a team - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing - that can really challenge the establishment three of Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti ... and Jakes really is a winner.

Who will have a disappointing season?

Takuma Sato - for the same reasons that he can be a surprise ... AJ Foyt prepared equipment.

Who will win the Indianapolis 500?

Graham Rahal between set-up laps at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach while racing for Chip Ganassi. New team, new stablemate in James Jakes, and same old boss ... Bobby Rahal. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012) 

Graham Rahal - the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing crew knows how to win this thing and is hungry to drive like they stole it. Graham has the experience and I believe they will have the set-ups come race day.

Who will be the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series champion?

Will Power starts this year being the odds on favorite to win it all and his speeds at the final test at Barber Motorsports Park stand as the marker. He was fastest by 1/4 of a second and nearly 1/2 mph at the end of four sessions. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012) 

Will Power - 'Nuff said.

Here is the NBCSN schedule for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:

Saturday, March 23: IndyCar Qualifying at 2:30 p.m.


Sunday, March 24: Indy Lights: Streets St. Petersburg at 11 a.m.


Sunday, March 24: Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at Noon - ET

Broadband: also

Radio: IMS Network and SiriusXM Radio

Tuesday, March 26: Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Re-Air at Midnight

... notes from The EDJE


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lefty’s Reading Challenge Merges Motor Culture & Learning Skills For A Win

Kyle Larson, 20-year-old Yonese - fourth generation Japanese - is a California native.  He is not going to miss college at this time of his life but last week, he was back to school to present cash prizes to schools who complete Auto Club Speedway's youth initiative known as Lefty’s Reading Challenge. Image Credit: Albert Wong

Lefty’s Reading Challenge Merges Motor Culture & Learning Skills For A Win

More than 110,000 elementary school students from San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties are on track to read over 700,000 books during Lefty’s Reading Challenge for a chance to win thousands of dollars for their school libraries.  The challenge, named after Auto Club Speedway mascot Lefty, is part of Auto Club Speedway’s Youth initiative.

 Oakmont Elementary Schools with enrollment up to 600 students won a cash prize of $2,000. Here Kyle Larson presents the cash prizes and membership cards to students who completed Lefty’s Reading Challenge. Image Credit: Albert Wong

All students who successfully complete the challenge receive a Certificate of Completion and free admission for themselves and their parent or guardian to NASCAR Qualifying Day on Friday, March 22 and the NASCAR Royal Purple 300 on Saturday, March 23.  In addition, each student receives a free membership card to Lefty’s Kids Club which provides great benefits such as free admission to NASCAR and INDYCAR races at Auto Club Speedway and much more!

Ted Porter Elementary School with enrollment of 601+ students won a cash prize of $3,000. Here Kyle Larson presents the cash prizes and membership cards to students who completed Lefty’s Reading Challenge. Image Credit: Albert Wong

Kyle Larson will be racing on Saturday, March 23 in the NASCAR Nationwide Royal Purple 300.

Larson winning record in racing's minor leagues is turning heads throughout the sport.  He is one of the hottest prospects in American motor racing with his eye toward joining NASCAR's best driver.

Larson made over 500 Outlaw Sprint Kart starts in eight years, collecting a total of 27 championships, 129 A-main wins and four Rookie of the Year awards.

After making his first start in a midget car at 13 years old, Larson became the youngest driver to participate, and win, in a dirt Sprint Car in the state of California in 2007 at the age of 14.That same year, continuing his streak of young successes, Larson became the first driver under the age of 16 to compete in a World of Outlaws Sprint Car.

*2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion in his first full season of stock car competition

*Collected three top-10’s, including a runner-up finish;led 91 laps in four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts

*One of two drivers to sweep USAC 4-Crown Nationals, Winning in Silver Crown, Sprint Cars and Midgets in one night

*Finished second in his Daytona International Speedway debut in the ARCA Racing Series in February 2013
(ht: Albert Wong)

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Drivers Announced For 'Revved Up To Race' 37th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

Kate del Castillo at the post race press conference for the 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race for charity. Returning again this year with Ms. del Castillo will be SPEED Channel's Rutledge Wood, and 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race winner and comedian/car collector Adam Carolla. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

Drivers Announced For 'Revved Up To Race' 37th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race

The red carpet and race cars are ready as Toyota announced today the participants from film, television, music, sports and the military who will compete for checkered flag glory in the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. The 37th annual charity race will take place April 20 on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, Calif., as part of the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The field of racers will navigate the new 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race vehicles through high speed turns to benefit “Racing for Kids,” a national fundraising program supporting children’s hospitals throughout the United States. This year’s field of popular celebrity racers includes:
· Cristian Castro (@CristianCastro): Grammy Award-nominated and best-selling Mexican pop singer. Famous from a young age, one of his best known albums is “Mi Vida Sin Tu Amor,” with four singles in the top ten of Billboard's Hot Latin tracks. In April, he will release a new album “Primera Fila,” celebrating 20 years as a singer.
· Kate del Castillo (@katedelcastillo): Mexico’s most acclaimed actress, best known for her starring role in long-running mini-series “La Reina del Sur.” Other credits include “Under the Same Moon,” “Trade” and a guest appearance on the Showtime series “Weeds.” 

· Brett Davern (@BDavv): Actor who stars as Jake Rosati in MTV's hit series “Awkward.” Other credits include the film, “Beautiful Ohio” and appearances in “Cold Case,” “CSI: Miami,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Medium.”

· Jenna Elfman (@JennaElfman): Actress known for her quirky role on the TV series “Dharma & Greg,” which earned her a Golden Globe Award. She now stars as the first lady in the family comedy “1600 Penn.” Film credits include “Friends with Benefits” and “Keeping the Faith.”

· Jessica Hardy (@swimhardy): A multiple world record-holder in swimming and a 2012 Olympic medalist. A Long Beach, Calif. native, she also does motivational speaking and served as an ambassador for the United States Olympic Committee Team For Tomorrow.

· Jesse Metcalfe (@JesseMetcalfe): Actor best known for his role as a teen gardener on “Desperate Housewives” and who currently stars in the TNT continuation of “Dallas,” based on the 1978 series of the same name. Film credits include “John Tucker Must Die” and “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.”

· Dakota Meyer (@Dakota_Meyer): Former U.S. Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his 2009 actions in Afghanistan. He wrote, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, fundraises with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the Hiring Our Heroes program.

· Jackson Rathbone (@JacksonRathbone): Actor best known for playing Jasper Hale in the hit “Twilight” movie series. Other film credits include “The Last Airbender.”

· Michelle Rodriguez (@MRodOfficial): Film actress best known for her tough girl physical roles, including starring in the record-breaking sci-fi film “Avatar,” the successful “Fast & Furious” franchise, the 2012 hit “Resident Evil: Retribution” and as a tough LAPD cop in TV’s “Lost.”

· Jeremy Sisto (@JeremySisto): Actor best known for playing Billy Chenowith on the series “Six Feet Under.” He also played Detective Cyrus Lupo on “Law & Order” and currently stars in the series “Suburgatory.”

· Mark Steines (@MarkSteines): Emmy award-winning journalist and host of the Hallmark Channel’s new how-to show, “Home & Family.” He spent more than 17 years on “Entertainment Tonight,” establishing himself as a trusted and charismatic figure in entertainment news. 

· Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes): Emmy award-winning comedian, writer and actress who ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. She has hosted her own late night talk show, “The Wanda Sykes Show” and has appeared on TV shows including, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and films such as “Evan Almighty.” 

· Michael Trucco (@MichaelTrucco): Actor best known for playing Samuel Anders on SyFy's acclaimed series "Battlestar Galactica" and Justin Patrick on the USA Network series “Fairly Legal.” Other credits include appearances on “Revenge,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “One Tree Hill.”

· Rutledge Wood (@RutledgeWood): Auto racing analyst on Fox Sports/SPEED and co-host of “Top Gear USA.”

Pro drivers competing against the stars for the title include motocross champion and MTV’s “Nitro Circus” star Andy Bell (@AndyBell), 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race winner and comedian Adam Carolla (@AdamCarolla), Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary (@TylerClary) and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) driver Melanie Troxel (@MelanieTroxel).

“This talented and inspiring celebrity group will not only help Toyota share the story of this long-running charity event, but they also will feel the rush behind the wheel on the famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach track,” said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. “The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race thrills both the participants and the crowds while giving back to kids in our communities through donations to Children's Hospital of Orange County and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.”

Rounding out the field is Glenn Faber, partner and general manager of Los Angeles area Keyes Toyota, as well as two charity auction winners: Dave Pasant, a retired insurance executive, and Carter Lay (@CarterLay), philanthropist and LAY'S® chips heir.

The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race is one of the longest-running, corporate sponsored events of its kind. Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization, on behalf of this race and its participants. In addition to Toyota’s contributions, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 16th annual “People Pole Award.” Sponsored by People magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on April 19. 

To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, visit

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Champion Driver John Paul Jr. Now Drives Home A Cure

Van Nuys played host to Kevin Cogan (L) and John Paul Jr. (R) and a crowd of well wishers as they discussed increasing the awareness of Huntington's disease. Image Credit: Tom Stahler (2013)

Champion Driver John Paul Jr. Now Drives Home A Cure 

The following post, written by Tom Stahler, details a "where are they now" encounter with a motor culture icon this last weekend, a weekend that had many a Porsche owner and fan visit Southern California for literature, restoration/race-team open houses, and specialized Porsche commemorations using the LAX based 30th annual LA Lit and Toy Show as the excuse.

-- BEGIN --

The hardware earned throughout a career that spanned 19 years. Image Credit: Tom Stahler (2013) 

Many race fans around the globe remember John Paul Jr.  He was the youngest ever Champion in the IMSA GT series, Won at the 24 Hours at Daytona, scored a podium finish at the 24 Hours of LeMans, Led the Indianapolis 500, and won races in both CART and the IRL -- but then in 2001 he vanished, almost without a trace ...

John Paul Jr. would discover that his skills were rapidly deteriorating.  “My crew kept radioing to me that I was braking too early and decelerating into the corners.” said John Jr.  “I was always a late braker..”  John Paul Jr. didn’t notice how erratic his driving had become.  Sadly, as it would turn out, he would be diagnosed with the debilitating genetic disease, Huntington’s.

This would lead to his stepping out of the driver’s seat -- forever.  Like so many before him in the passionate world of big-time racing, the vortex of his career closed and the sport marched on with a new set of heroes.  But this hero has re-emerged to come forward with a message that he hopes will help many others.

John Paul Jr. (L) shares a moment with Vintage Motorsports magazine's Tom Stahler and John Morton at HD awareness event. Image Credit: Tom Stahler (2013)

On Saturday March 2, John Woerheide, a long-time friend and racer, gathered a number of notable race drivers, including IMSA legend John Morton, Indy star Kevin Cogan, collectors and friends of the embattled former racer to unveil the JLP-HD1 Porsche 935 -- encompassing all the great 935s that John Paul Jr. notably drove with so much success in IMSA.  The car will be campaigned throughout the year to raise awareness of the rare disease -- related to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

The awareness platform of JLP-HD1 Porsche 935 twin turbo to be driven throughout the year at selected racing events [Ctrl-click to launch VIDEO]. Image Credit: Tom Stahler (2013)

Similar to Parkinson’s, Huntington’s effects the brain and motor skills.  John Paul Jr. would step out of the racing seat and begin a new race -- one to fight for quality of life and find a cure for the degenerative condition.

Dr William Yang, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at David Geffen School of Medicine, and head of the Yang Research Group at UCLA explained, “Huntington’s Disease is genetic and is present in 1/10,000 people.  if you have the gene, you have a fifty-fifty chance you will be effected.  The disease causes the degeneration of cells in certain areas of the brain leading to uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties and emotional disturbances.”

UCLA research Scientist Dyna Shirasaki has dedicated many hours and written many papers to finding the cause of the disease and reports, “We have isolated the gene and the protien that causes the disease.  We hope that though treatment of the cause that we will be able to develop treatments that will not only help with Huntington’s, but positively contribute to the treatment of Alheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

Heads ... no longer in the game. Collectors and friends of the John Paul Jr. gathered in Van Nuys to raise awareness to Huntington’s disease. Image Credit: Tom Stahler (2013) 

Since HD is not as well-known as Alzheimer’s (AD) or Parkinson’s (PD), funding and research have lagged behind. However, while they are all different diseases, they share some pathological similarities. As a result, it is hoped that breakthroughs in the treatment of one disease may shed light on the others.

The JLP-HD1 that will promote John Paul Jr.’s cause is built on a chassis that attempted the 12 hours of Sebring six times, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona three times and the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen twice, but never finished on the podium.

While it may never achieve the collectability status of the cars John Paul Jr. previously drove, it hopefully will help underscore the reality that it is the people who made previous victories possible, and it will again be the people who make the difference in the battle against HD that lies ahead.  As for John Paul Jr., he continues to make history as he competes against the toughest opponent he has ever faced: Huntington’s disease.

The car will make its competitive debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 13-17, and during the year will be driven by a host of celebrity drivers including Brian Redman, John Andretti, Elliot Forbes-Robinson and racer/instructor Jim Pace.

-- ENDS --

This life is finite with infinite paths that can be taken. John Paul Jr. stands as an example of always braking late, at keeping the peddle down, and making the most out of the road ahead, no matter where the path leads.

Please follow champion driver John Paul Jr. on this path creating awareness and a finding cure for Huntington's Disease at

 ... notes from The EDJE

Monday, March 4, 2013

Long Beach Motorsports Walk Of Fame Honors Paul Tracy And Adrian Fernandez With Medallions

Long Beach Motorsports Walk Of Fame's temporary wall of fame display. All honorees starting with the first year to present - 2006-2012 are on display. This event acts as the first official event of the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach extended event weekend (slideshow). Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012) 

Long Beach Motorsports Walk Of Fame Honors Paul Tracy And Adrian Fernandez With Medallions

Two of the most popular drivers to ever turn a wheel at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long BeachPaul Tracy and Adrian Fernandez – will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk Of Fame on Thursday, April 18.

The public is invited to the free, 8th annual, induction ceremony which will be held at 11 a.m. on South Pine Avenue in front of the Convention Center, along the route of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

View slideshow: Long Beach Motorsports Walk Of Fame honors Paul Tracy and Adrian Fernandez with medallions

Paul Tracy and Adrian Fernandez have made legendary contributions to the field of motorsports, and they have truly earned their place on the Motorsports Walk of Fame” said Mayor Bob Foster, who will be presenting medallions to the honorees. “Paul Tracy has four wins here at Long Beach, and Adrian Fernandez is one of the sport’s greatest international ambassadors.

Tracy notched his first open-wheel race victory here at Long Beach in 1990 when he won the Firestone Indy Lights support race. Three years later, he won the 1993 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, then went on to take the checkered flag three more times, in 2000, 2003 and 2004, tying him with Mario Andretti for second in all-time Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach wins behind Al Unser Jr.’s six.

During his illustrious career, the talented Canadian scored 31 race victories and 25 pole positions in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Champ Car series and, in 1993, won seven races en route to the Champ Car series championship.

Fernandez, one of the most popular athletes ever to hail from Mexico, made his open-wheel debut here in 1993 and, in 11 appearances, had a career best-finish second place (2003) at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Fernandez’ career resume includes 11 open-wheel race victories in both the Champ Car and IZOD IndyCar ranks, including three victories in 2004.

He has continued that open-wheel racing success into the sports car racing ranks. In 2009, Fernandez teamed with Luis Diaz to win the LMP2 Class in the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series race at Long Beach, the duo going on to win seven more races and the ALMS LMP2-class championship.

There couldn’t be two more deserving individuals to be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “Paul has to rank as one of the true masters of the Long Beach circuit and Adrian was not only successful on the track but also was highly responsible for the significant increase in the number of Hispanic fans who now attend our event.

The Walk of Fame medallions include renditions of the racers' cars and their major achievements in motorsports.

For more information, visit

... notes from The EDJE


Seven Questions With IZOD IndyCar Series' Graham Rahal

TwitPic uploaded by Graham Rahal after he saw the RLLR 2013 DW12 in its Midas livery for the first time. Image Credit: Graham Rahal (2013)

Seven Questions With IZOD IndyCar Series' Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal is entering his sixth year competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS) after beginning his top-level open wheel driving career in the ChampCar World Series in 2007 where he finished 5th in the points, his best top level end-of-year position, driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

This year will mark the first time Graham will be racing for a team owned by his father, open wheel racing champion and sports car championship winning team owenr Bobby Rahal, in an open wheel racing series since the Star Mazda Series (now rebadged as the Pro Mazda Series in the Mazda Road To INDY ladder series) in 2005. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) team effort will have Brit, James Jakes, join Graham and form a two car effort for 2013, and this will mark the first time RLLR has fielded a multi-car full season team in the IICS since 2007.

Graham Rahal sat down to give a preseason interview with IndyCar Advocate in advance of a Graham Rahal Foundation charity event scheduled to be held March 9th at the Dallara Indycar Factory in Indianapolis, Indiana.

VIDEO of our out lap at Sebring to kick-off 2013 IndyCar testing. Check out the GoPro camera on G's helmet (Ctrl-click image to launch video). Image and Video Credit: RLLR

This excerpted and edited from the IndyCar Advocate -

This isn't your first time racing with your dad, but a lot of fans are definitely looking forward to seeing how your father-son duo does over the rigors of the season. In your opinion, what are the biggest benefits to being a part of his team?

GR: The biggest benefit is the commitment and the at ease feeling that I have from within right now. This group is top notch, they want to win, the commitment is superb, and I think we are going to have a great few years together.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was extremely fast last season, grabbing a couple of podiums and narrowly missing out on winning the Indy 500. With bringing veteran engineer Eddie Jones on the offseason, what are the main goals to improve upon last year?

GR: Eddie is certainly a great addition to our team. I love Eddie's mentality and his work ethic. His approach to our team and the sport is exactly what you like to see with an engineer, cool calm and collected while always searching for every advantage possible. Eddie mixed with my engineer Gerry [Hughes] will be a great combination. Certainly excited to have him with James.

You've got a new teammate this year in James Jakes. How much have you hung out with him before this season, and what do you look for in a teammate?

GR: James is a great guy. He and I have really clicked, something I can't say I've had much in the past. It's nice we share a lot of the same interests, and I think that will help us both on and off the track. I am excited to have him with us, and I think people will see a whole different James with this team than what they have before!

This is your 6th year in IndyCar since the merger. Mentally, how is your preparation and attitude going into the season compared to previous years?

GR: I think I am much more at ease this year. I feel quietly confident that this team can surprise some people. I have always been someone that was concerned with what was going on when I wasn't watching, but here I know everything that is happening is happening so we can win. There are zero doubts in my mind we have put together a great group of people here at RLLR.

Aside from the obvious answer of Indianapolis, is there another race on this year's schedule you have circled in red you're really looking forward to this year?

GR: I am looking forward to Houston, St. Pete of course, Mid Ohio and really everywhere we go. Every track presents a different challenge and that's what I love about indycar racing! 


If you're anywhere around Indianapolis, you'll want to be at the Dallara Facility in Speedway on Saturday, March 9. That's the day the Graham Rahal Foundation will be hosting a big charity event at the facility, along with Indy Cars and Coffee. Graham himself took the time to answer a few questions about the event and his charity.

Tell us about the big charity event at Dallara coming up on March 9?

GR: Our event on March 9th is going to be great. I attend a local group called Cars and Coffee in Indianapolis on Saturdays. They’re a large group of car and racing fans with big hearts. They were invited to tour the Dallara Indycar Factory and decided to turn the tour into an event to benefit my foundation, The Graham Rahal Foundation. The event will be from 11-5 on March 9th with tours of the Dallara facility, two seater rides, iRacing simulators, an autograph session and more.

With the Graham Rahal Foundation involved, this might be a good time to tell fans a bit more about just what it does. Who does your foundation seek to help, and was there a reason your specially chose those causes?

GR: The Graham Rahal Foundation was started in 2009 after my boss, Paul Newman, passed away. Paul was such a huge advocate for giving back to others and I wanted to continue that even after his passing. He inspired me to be a better person and to never take life for granted. GRF raises money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Paul’s foundation, SeriousFun Networks. Donations at the event will be taken to help us raise money for GRF, which will allow us to give back to these two amazing groups. Through various events, we have raised over $200,000 and helped many children in need. It’s a great thing to be part of.

For more information, follow the Graham Rahal Foundation on Twitter, and also remember to follow Indy Cars and Coffee.  Thanks to Graham for his time, and see you for a great cause on March 9!
[Reference Here]

... notes from The EDJE


Friday, March 1, 2013

March Madness Begins For Mazda Motorsports

Circuit of the Americas features a 251 feet (77 m) observation tower designed by Miró Rivera Architects and built by Patriot Erectors as a landmark for the venue. All racers have come away impressed, after their first laps, with the Circuit of The Americas, a 3.4-mile facility built to host Formula One and other major events. Image Credit: Grand Am
Circuit of the Americas features a 251 feet (77 m) observation tower designed by Miró Rivera Architects and built by Patriot Erectors as a landmark for the venue. All racers have come away impressed, after their first laps, with the Circuit of The Americas, a 3.4-mile facility built to host Formula One and other major events. Image Credit: Grand Am
GRAND-AM Road Racing teams got their first look at America’s newest motorsports venue on Thursday with unofficial testing for Saturday’s GRAND-AM of The Americas presented by GAINSCO and TOTAL.
They came away impressed with the Circuit of The Americas, a 3.4-mile facility built to host Formula One and other major events.
- See more at:

March Madness Begins For Mazda Motorsports

With 15 races run in seven supported series taking place at three different race tracks located in two different states in only one month, Mazda is ramping up the 2013 professional racing season with their usual hectic month of March.

Starting with races on March 1st in Austin, Texas, before going on to overseeing two busy weekends in Florida, at Mazda Motorsports racing is not just a single series, but the majority of all sports car and open wheel road-racing classes in North America.  2013 highlights on the professional level will include:

There has never been a four-door diesel sedan in the Grand-Am series, until now: The blunt, bewinged grille of the Mazda6GX has blown right through that wall. It's said that racing improves the breed, but usually the breed has gone on sale when the racing begins. One of the unusual aspects of the Mazda6 GX, on the other hand, is that while the diesel won't go on sale to the public until later this year, it will already have tasted racing blood by the end of the day. Caption & Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey/autoblog (2013)

GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series (GRAND-AM)

The GRAND-AM Championship will be the first professional series other than Formula 1 to headline at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The SpeedSource Engineering team will have a pair of totally new technology SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel powered Mazda6s competing in the new for 2013 GX class on Saturday, March 2nd. Twitter Hashtag - #COTAGA

The MAZDASPEED3 and MX-5s compete in the ST class of the Grand Am Continental Tire Challenge. Image Credit: MAZDASPEED

GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC)

Supporting GRAND-AM in Austin will be the fiercely competitive ‘Conti’ (for Continental Tires) series. At least a half dozen Mazdas from Freedom Autosport, i-Moto Racing, and CJ Wilson Racing will be challenging for the ST Class win in Austin. Twitter Hashtag - #COTAGA

Dyson Racing is celebrating its thirtieth year in professional sports car racing this year. It is fitting that long-time Dyson Racing driver, Butch Leitzinger, will be joining Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the #16 Thetford/Norcold entry for the sixty-first annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring on March 16th. Caption & Image Credit: Dyson Racing

American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS)

With its race starting in Florida, the final American Le Mans Series (as ALMS becomes merged with Grand Am Series) season will kick-off with the 61st Mobil-1 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 16th. Dyson Racing will be returning to the series with their Mazda MZR-R-powered Lola. This is the same car that scored the ALMS LMP1 class win at the 2012 Sebring race.

The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup season got it’s unofficial start Feb.11, 2013 at Sebring International Raceway, with a number of teams and drivers gathered at the series’ official test session for two days on Monday and Tuesday. Caption & Image Credit Weber Photo via MX-5 Cup

SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup (MX-5 Cup)

The seventh season of MX-5 Cup competition will begin at Sebring. Joining the MX-5 Cup Championship for the second year will be a MAZDASPEED Challenge class for racers from the Skip Barber Racing School.

The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will debut in 2013 as a new series, replacing the Star Mazda Championship which ceased operation in 2012 after 22 years. The series is sanctioned by INDYCAR and owned and operated by Andersen Promotions. It is the second official step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system with the series' champion awarded a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to Firestone Indy Lights competition the following year. Caption & Image Credit: Pro Mazda

Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires (Pro Mazda)

The Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Championship takes off where the Star Mazda Championship ended in 2012, as the linchpin in the Mazda Road to Indy (MRTI). The rotary-powered Pro Mazda racers will complete a double-header at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on March 1st/2nd before heading to the streets of St. Petersburg on March 23rd/24th. Twitter Hashtag - #COTAGA

Drivers today have a clearly defined ladder system as they aspire to reach the top echelons of the sport and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda represents the first official step on the Mazda Road to Indy. Caption & Image Credit: USF2000

Cooper Tires USF2000 National Championship Powered By Mazda (USF2000)

The USF2000 Championship kicks off their season at Sebring on March 14th/15th, before joining up with the other MRTI series in St. Petersburg.  

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda was developed to support the American Le Mans series, one of the premier prototype and GT endurance racing series in the world. The series features global race car constructors Élan Motorsport Technologies and West Race Cars and offers racers from around the world the opportunity to compete at historic venues like Sebring International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Caption & Image Credit: Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda
Cooper Tires IMSA Prototype Lites Powered By Mazda (IMSA Lites)

The IMSA Lites Championship kicks off their season at Sebring on March 14th/15th with a double-header.
(ht: MAZDA Motorsports)

... notes from The EDJE