Like most American kids that grew up in the 80's I watched the Indy 500 every year and became interested in motorsports thanks to that race, but I didn't really get hooked until I started watching Formula 1 racing in the late 90's. My favorite era were those years with the great Mika Hakkinen/Michael Schumacher battles. (I was a Mika Hakkinen fan) So my fondness for Formula 1 waned once Mika retired and Schumacher started winning everything, even at the expense of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. My interest in F1 has only been lukewarm since.

Then I turned to Champ Car racing here in the US for my motorsports fix. However that was quickly extinguished once Champ Car and Indy Car merged and we were stuck with Tony George and his many foibles. (It was entertaining to watch the Hulman/George drama I'll admit.) My interest has been less than lukewarm with Indy Car lately, even without Tony George at the helm.

Over time however, the excitement I once had for motorsports has slowly gone. Maybe it has to do with my age, I don't know. But I think I will pour my efforts into my Trooper and my interests in the outdoors to add excitement to my life.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I will still post racing news when I find something interesting or noteworthy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Helio Castroneves OK after scary Indy 500 practice crash


(espn.go.com 5-13-15)
 
Helio Castroneves has been cleared and released from Indianapolis Motor Speedway's infield medical center after his car went airborne in a spectacular crash Wednesday
 
His car wiggled as it went through the first turn early in practice for the Indianapolis 500, then spun into the outer wall and started rolling backward in the short chute between the first and second turns.
 
A gust of wind caught the car and flipped it over. The car landed upside-down before rolling back over on its wheels.
 
Castroneves, a three-time 500 winner for Team Penske, climbed out of the car without assistance.
Castroneves had just warmed up with a lap at 219.183 mph and started his first hot lap of the day when the crash occurred at 12:46 p.m. ET.

"Unfortunately I still do not understand what happened," Castroneves said in a team statement. "I got loose in Turn One and spun out.

"The good news is the impact wasn't very strong and the landing was smooth as well. In all aspects, I have to say I was very lucky there was no big shunt."

Earlier in the day, IndyCar Series officials docked Castroneves eight points for violating a rule about avoidable contact in Saturday's Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Castroneves was deemed guilty of causing a first-lap accident when he tapped Scott Dixon into a spin, sweeping in several additional cars.

The penalty dropped the Brazilian from second to third in the season standings, 18 points behind his Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.

Damage to Castroneves' Chevrolet-Dallara was remarkably light, although team owner Roger Penske said the team likely will switch to a backup car. Castroneves is expected to return to the track on Thursday.

"The accident was most impressive, but the good news is I am feeling very good," Castroneves said. "This just set us back one day since it is Wednesday.

"The good news is we still have Thursday and Friday before qualifying. I'm counting on my guys, my boys, to put the car back together and go back to work."

The IndyCar Series opened up the rulebook this year to allow engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda the ability to design their own aero kits -- front and rear wings and other bodywork that fits to a standardized Dallara chassis.

The Indianapolis 500 is the first outing for the speedway version of the aero kits, following five races in which the cars were set up for road-racing venues.

The speedway aero kit uses smaller wings and emphasizes low drag for higher top speed rather than downforce for cornering grip.

"We're playing with new areas from the aerodynamic standpoint," Penske said. "Of course, going backwards at that speed, you don't know what kind of lift it had.

"But obviously, it got airborne, which we were surprised [about]," he added. "We'll take a good look at it."

Later Wednesday, Dale Coyne Racing's Pippa Mann spun her car into the wall. The English driver was checked and released from the infield medical center.

She lost control of her car coming out of the fourth turn, spun and hit the inside wall, then slid up the track and made a hard sideways hit with the attenuator in pit lane. She stayed in the cockpit for several minutes, but was able to walk away under her own power.

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http://espn.go.com/racing/indycar/story/_/id/12879796/helio-castroneves-walks-away-scary-crash-indy-500-practice

(video of Castroneves' crash)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQZ0mnJKllU

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