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IndyCar Series From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2007) IndyCar Series IndyCar Series logo Category Open-wheel cars Country or region United States Canada Japan Inaugural season 1996 Drivers 29 Teams 15 Constructors Dallara Engine suppliers Honda Tyre suppliers Firestone Drivers' champion Scott Dixon Teams' champion Chip Ganassi Racing Official website IndyCar.com Current season The IndyCar Series  is the premier level of American open wheel racing. The championship, founded by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George, began in 1996 as a competitor to CART. Citing CART's increasing reliance on expensive machinery and overseas drivers, George aimed to create a lower-cost alternative. In 2008, the IndyCar Series merged with the Champ Car World Series, ending a 30-year period in which American open wheel racing was split into at least two major groups. The series is sanctioned by the Indy Racing League. Contents [hide] 1 Overview 2 Television 3 Car History and Current Specifications 3.1 Chassis 3.2 Fuel 3.2.1 Methanol 3.2.2 Ethanol 3.3 Engines 3.4 Specifications 3.5 Future IndyCar Formula 4 IndyCar Series teams & drivers 5 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series seasons 6 See also 7 References  Overview Due to the legal settlement with CART, the IRL was unable to utilize the name IndyCar until the beginning of the 2003 season. From 1996, the premier series was simply referred to as the USAC's Indy Racing League, with no genre designation. From 1998, the series garnered its first title sponsor, and was advertised as the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. The contract was not renewed after the second year. In 2000, the series sold its naming rights to Internet search engine Northern Light for five seasons, and the series was named the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. After only two seasons, however, the sponsorship agreement ended when Northern Light reevaluated its business plan and ended all sponsorships. After being the Firestone Indy Racing League for the 2002 season, the IndyCar Series name was officially adopted beginning in 2003, as the series was now legally entitled to use it. In 2006, IndyCar forged an alliance with Simmons-Abramson Marketing (headed by Gene Simmons of the heavy metal band Kiss), promising to be "actively engaged 227's Indianapolis Motor Speedway- http://www.hoops227.com/utube_indianapolis_motor_speedway_race_car_results.html
http://www.hoops227.com/you_tube_indianapolis_motor_speedway_radio_network.html in the league's marketing, event, public relations, sponsorship, merchandising and branding efforts -- from its IndyCar Series to the venerable Indianapolis 500". Simmons also co-authored the new IndyCar theme song, "I Am Indy".  For the 2008 season, DIRECTV became the Premiere Official Sponsor of the IndyCar Series.   Television Since the series inception, IndyCar series events have been broadcast on several networks, including ABC, CBS, ESPN, FOX, FSN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and TNN. However, beginning in the 2009 season, Versus will begin televising the races for the next 10 years, televising at least 13 races per season. ABC will continue to broadcast the Indianapolis 500 until 2012, as well as four additional races. Versus will also begin airing one hour pre-race shows the day before the race.  In the UK the IndyCar Series races have all their broadcasts on the Sky Sports family of networks. The viewing figures of the IndyCar races in the UK outnumber that of the NASCAR races which are also broadcast on Sky Sports. The Indycar Series also has highlights of all the races on the five British terrestrial channel and Five US. The broadcasts on five are usually on after midnight but they still pull in some impressive figures for five of 20,000 viewers when they usually get 5,000 for that slot. Overall every single IndyCar race is watched by roughly 100,000 people in the UK including all the showings and highlights.  Car History and Current Specifications The IndyCar Series is not an open formula, but neither is it a one-make or "spec" series. Instead, chassis and engine manufacturers apply to the league to supply cars for three-year cycles. Currently, Dallara provides the chassis to almost all teams, while Honda is the sole engine provider.  Chassis In the series' first season (1996), 1992 to 1995 model year CART chassis built by Lola and Reynard were used. The current Indycar came into being in 1997. Tony George specified new technical rules for less expensive cars and production-based engines. The move effectively outlawed the CART chassis and turbocharged engines that had been the mainstay of the Indianapolis 500 since the late 1960s. Vitor Meira's 2006 Dallara preparing for practice.Starting with the 2003 season, the series rules were changed to require chassis manufacturers to be approved by the league before they could build cars. Prior to that, any interested party could build a car, provided it met the rules and was made available to customers at the league mandated price. In total, four manufacturers have built IndyCar chassis: Dallara began producing Indycars for the 1997 season. The Dallara and G Force chassis were relatively evenly matched over their first few seasons, but eventually the Dallara began to win more races. This caused more teams to switch to the Dallara, further increasing their success. Currently, all full time teams now use the Dallara chassis. Dallara was also tabbed to build the Firestone Indy Lights machines. Dallara has won eight of the twelve Indy 500 races they have entered. After the withdrawal of factory support from Panoz, they are the only supplier of new chassis. A 1997-spec G-Force IRL car. This car was repainted for promotional purposes in 2008. A Panoz GF09 driven at Indianapolis by Jaques Lazier in 2007The G Force chassis was introduced in 1997, and won the 1997 and 2000 Indy 500 races. In 2002, Élan Motorsport Technologies bought G Force, and the chassis was re-named "Panoz G Force", and then shortened to "Panoz" in 2005. In 2003 a new model was introduced, and it won the Indy 500 in 2003-2004, and finished second in 2005. It fell out of favor starting in 2005, and by 2006 only one finished in the top ten at Indy. Little factory support was given to IndyCar teams after that point, as Panoz concentrated on their DP01 chassis for the rival Champ Car World Series. By 2008, only one Panoz saw track time, an aborted second weekend effort at Indy, that resulted in Phil Giebler being injured in a practice crash. Given the age of the cars, and three-year cycles, it is unlikely that any further efforts will be seen with these chassis. Riley & Scott produced IndyCar chassis from 1997-2000. Their initial effort, the Mark V, was introduced late in the 1997 season, severely limiting its potential market. It also proved to be uncompetitive. After Riley & Scott was purchased by Reynard, an all-new model, the Mark VII, was introduced for the 2000 season. It won in Phoenix, the second race of the season (driven by Buddy Lazier), but was off the pace at Indy and was quickly dropped by its teams. Falcon Cars was founded by Michael Kranefuss and Ken Anderson in 2002 as the third approved chassis supplier for the 2003 season. One rolling chassis was completed and shown, but it was never fitted with a working engine and never ran. No orders were ever filled. Superficially, IndyCar machines closely resemble those of other open-wheeled formula racing cars, with front and rear wings and prominent airboxes. Originally, the cars were unique, being designed specifically for oval racing; for example, the oil and cooling systems were asymmetrical to account for the pull of liquids to the right side of the cars. The current generation chassis however, are designed to accommodate the added requirements of road racing. Indy Racing League officials have confirmed that the series will continue to use the current batch of Dallara chassis through 2010. Due to the quirks of the unification efforts of 2008, the ChampCar World Series spec Panoz DP01, with a Cosworth engine, was run in an IndyCar Series points event in the 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Fuel  Methanol At its inception, the IRL used methanol racing fuel, which had been the defacto standard in American open wheel racing since the 1964 Indianapolis 500 Eddie Sachs - Dave MacDonald crash. Methanol had long provided a safer alternative to gasoline. It had a higher flash point, was easily extinguishable with water, and burned invisible. With the IRL's introduction of night races in 1997, the burning of methanol fuel was visible for the first time, seen with a light blue haze. With this in mind, in an effort to make it more visible in case of fire during daylight hours, additional mixtures were placed in the fuel. As a safety feature, the methanol would burn with a color.  Ethanol In 2005, driver Paul Dana brought the sponsorship of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) to his IndyCar team. EPIC is a consortium of ethanol producers that advocate the increased use of ethanol. EPIC were anxious to address public concerns of that era that ethanol use led to engine damage and poor performance when used in street cars. As a marketing effort, it was believed that sponsoring an IndyCar could be used as a tool to promote education and awareness of ethanol use, and to curb the spread of erroenous information. Dana was killed in a crash in 2006, but the IRL had already begun a transition to ethanol. For the 2006 season the fuel was a 90%/10% mixture of methanol and ethanol. Starting in 2007, the league advertised "100% Fuel Grade Ethanol," the first competetive series to utilize renewable fuel. The mixture was actually of 98% ethanol and 2% gasoline, provided by Lifeline Foods of Saint Joseph, Missouri. The additives satisfies the U.S. government's demand that the alcohol be unfit for human consumption, and adds visible color in case of fire. To compensate for the loss of power due to the use of ethanol, the displacement was increased back to 3.5L. Since ethanol gets better fuel mileage than methanol, the fuel tanks in the car were decreased. Compared to methanol, human contact with the current ICS fuel is much less harsh, and the fumes much less irritating. The fumes are often compared with the sweet smell of apple cider or apple cobbler. Unlike methanol, ethanol is not caustic and does not cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with the skin. It also is less polluting when spilled compared to methanol.  Engines The initial 1996 IRL season, as well as the first two races of the 1996-97 season, featured engines with specifications left over from the rival CART series competition. Those chassis/engine combinations were essentially the same rules utilized by teams which participated in the 1995 Indianapolis 500, which was sanctioned by USAC. The Menard-Buick V6 engine used in 1996, however, was an updated powerplant from the 1995 version. Ford-Cosworth reluctantly provided support to teams wishing to run their older-spec engines in the IRL, a major point of contention for CART management, to whom Ford-Cosworth was an official engine supplier. Starting in 1997, IRL cars were powered by 4.0 L V8, methanol burning, production-based, normally-aspirated engines, produced by Oldsmobile (under the Aurora label) and Nissan (badged as Infiniti). Per IRL rules, the motors sold for no more than $80,000, and were rev-limited to 10,500 rpm. They produced around 700 hp (520 kW). The engine formula was changed with the 2000-2004 formula. The displacement was dropped from 4.0L to 3.5L, and the requirement for the block to be production-based was dropped. This formula was used through 2003. In 2004, in the wake of several crashes including the fatal crash of Tony Renna and the severe crash of Kenny Bräck, the displacement was further reduced to 3.0L to curb top speeds. Infiniti's engines, though reliable, were significantly down on power compared to the Auroras in 1997, leading many of the teams that had initially opted for the Infiniti to switch. By the end of the 1998 season, only a handful of low-budget teams were using the Infiniti. However, early in the 1999 season, Cheever Racing, a well-funded team, was brought on to develop the engine with team owner Eddie Cheever expanding the team to two cars and bringing on his brother Ross Cheever as a test driver. By 2000 the engine had improved markedly and Cheever captured the marque's first win at Pikes Peak International Raceway. However, despite the improved success, few teams made the switch to the Infiniti and the company left the series after the 2002 season to focus on powering the league's new Infiniti Pro Series (now Firestone Indy Lights). As part of General Motors' discontinuance of the Oldsmobile name, the Olds motor was rebadged as the Chevrolet starting with the 2002 season. However, the effort could not compete with the Toyota and Honda programs starting in 2003. In August, 2003, Chevrolet announced its "Gen IV" motor, a rebadged Cosworth motor. At the time, Cosworth was owned by Ford. On November 4 2004, Chevrolet stated that it would be ending its IRL engine program effective with the end of the 2005 season, citing costs that exceeded value, according to then-GM Racing Director Doug Duchardt, "The investment did not meet our objectives." In 2003, Toyota came to the IRL from the rival CART series. Toyota won their first race in Miami, as well as the Indianapolis 500 and the series title. However, Toyota had just one podium in the last seven races of 2004, and only Penske Racing fielded competitive Toyota-powered cars in 2005. In November 2005, Toyota company officials announced the company's withdrawal from American open-wheel racing and the immediate discontinuation of its IRL program, coinciding with its entrance into NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series in 2004, and its discontinuation of its ISMA program. It is doubtful that Infiniti, Chevrolet, or Toyota will ever race in the series again. Honda also came to the IRL in 2003, and by 2005 was clearly the dominant engine manufacturer. Starting in 2006, they became the only engine manufacturer in the IndyCar Series, and will continue in that capacity until 2010. The Honda engine is designed and produced by Ilmor Engineering Ltd, which is part owned by Roger Penske. A 2008-spec Honda Indy V8Since the IndyCar Series has only one engine manufacturer, that manufacturer concentrates on minimizing engine failure and minimizing costs instead of defeating rivals. The engines have proven themselves to be quite durable -- there have been no catastrophic engine failures at Indy for the past 2 years, which also lowers the number of crashes. Most of the engines, including those used for the Indy 500, are used for multiple races and are intended to last 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) between rebuilds. The Honda motors are only available via lease arrangement from Honda, which costs approximately $US 2.9 million per season per car. Honda techs travel with the series, as well as attending all IRL team testing sessions. Virtually all teams like the current arrangement. IndyCar Series engines are rev-limited to 10,300 rpm and produce approximately 650 hp. The valve train is a dual overhead camshaft configuration with four valves per cylinder. The crankshaft is made of alloy steel, with five main bearing caps. The pistons are forged aluminum alloy, while the connecting rods are machined alloy steel. The electronic engine management system is supplied by Motorola, firing a CDI ignition system. The engine lubrication is a dry sump type, cooled by a single water pump.  Specifications Engine Displacement: 3.5 L (213 in³) DOHC V8 Gearbox: 6 Speed paddle shift gearbox Weight: 1,525 lb (691.7 kg) on ovals; 1,600 lb (725.7 kg) on road courses Power Output: 650 hp (485 kW) Fuel: 100% Ethanol Fuel Capacity: 22 U.S. gallons (83 liters) Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection Aspiration: Naturally aspirated Length: 192 in (4.88 m) minimum Width: 78.5 in (1.99 m) (outside wheel rims); 74 in (1.88 m) minimum (measured at the hub centerline) Wheelbase: 120 in (3.05 m) Steering: Manual, rack and pinion Speed: Around 385 km/h (240 MPH)  Future IndyCar Formula New IndyCar chassis and engines are expected in 2011, but may be delayed until 2012. Dallara will be the sole chassis supplier and Firestone will continue supplying tires. An engine manufacturer summit took place in Indianapolis on June 24, 2008. The goal of the meeting was to set standards for the 2011 IndyCar Series engine package and encourage more manufacturers to produce engines for the series. Auto manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Ford, Ferrari, GM, Honda, Mazda, and Volkswagen were represented at the meeting, alongside engine suppliers AER, Cosworth, Cummins, Ilmor, John Judd, Speedway and Zytek Engines. A second manufacturer's meeting took place on September 17, 2008 and a third meeting was held in Germany in December, 2008. Audi, Fiat Powertrain Technologies, Honda, Porsche, and Volkswagen all continue to show interest in potentially supplying engines to the series and have agreed on the following specifications: 4-stroke engines with reciprocating pistons Engine capacity not to exceed 2.0 liters Dual-overhead cam shaft with 4 valves per cylinder Single turbo charger systems will be permitted Direct injection systems will be permitted Continue the league's leadership position with the use of alternative fuels Engine life between rebuilds of 3,750 miles (6000 km) Five-year sealed engine homologation process that will define areas with possible annual updates Cost containment engine lease ceiling that is applicable to all participants The new formula may allow for a mix of 4-cylinder inline and V6 engines while using an equivalency formula. The league favors turbo-charged engines to allow higher HP on the road and street courses and lower HP on the high-banked ovals to make the racing on those surfaces less drag-limited. Further announcements on specifications and manufacturers are expected in the next several months.  IndyCar Series teams & drivers Main article: List of IndyCar Series teams In 2009, at least 21 cars will be fielded by 13 different teams. The 2009 entry list comprises: Driver Number Sponsor Team Scott Dixon 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dario Franchitti 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Helio Castroneves 3 Marlboro Team Penske Ryan Briscoe 6 Marlboro Team Penske Danica Patrick 7 Boost Mobile Andretti Green Racing Tony Kanaan 11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Marco Andretti 26 Venom Energy Andretti Green Racing Hideki Mutoh 27 Formula Dream Andretti Green Racing Mario Moraes 5 Votorantim Group KV Racing Technology Graham Rahal 02 McDonald's Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Robert Doornbos 06 Hole in the Wall Camps Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Dan Wheldon 4 National Guard Panther Racing Vitor Meira 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Enterprises Ed Carpenter 20 Menards Vision Racing Ryan Hunter-Reay 21 William Rast/Izod Vision Racing Milka Duno 23 Citgo Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Mike Conway 24 Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing E. J. Viso 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Justin Wilson 18 Z-Line Designs Dale Coyne Racing Raphael Matos 2 U.S. Marines/U.S. Air Force Luczo Dragon Racing Stanton Barrett 98 TBA Team 3G Teams that participate part time include: Driver Number Sponsor Team Alex Lloyd 99 HER Energy Drink Chip Ganassi Racing with Sam Schmidt Motorsports Will Power 12 Verizon Wireless Team Penske Oriol Servia 17 DAFCA Rahal Letterman Racing Townsend Bell 8 Herbalife KV Racing Technology Paul Tracy 15 Geico KV Racing Technology Scott Sharp 16 Patrón Panther Racing A.J. Foyt IV 41 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Enterprises John Andretti 43 Window World Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with Richard Petty Motorsports Davey Hamilton 44 Hewlett Packard Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with Kingdom Racing Roger Yasukawa TBA TBA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Nelson Philippe 00 EcoDrivingUSA HVM Racing Tomas Scheckter 19 Mona Vie Dale Coyne Racing Alex Tagliani 34 Rexall Edmonton Indy Conquest Racing Bruno Junqueira 36 All Sport Conquest Racing Sarah Fisher 67 Dollar General Sarah Fisher Racing Buddy Lazier 91 N/A Hemelgarn Racing  Indy Racing League IndyCar Series seasons Following the merger of CART/Champ Car into the Indy Racing League in 2008, the IRL acquired all intellectual property and historic records. For all other previous national champions from 1902-2007, see: American Open Wheel National Champions Season Champion Rookie of the Year Most Popular Driver Driver Team Chassis Engine 1996 Scott Sharp & Buzz Calkins* A.J. Foyt Enterprises Bradley Motorsports Lola Reynard Ford-Cosworth Ford-Cosworth not awarded not awarded 1996-97 Tony Stewart Team Menard G-Force Oldsmobile Jim Guthrie Arie Luyendyk 1998 Kenny Bräck A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara Oldsmobile Robby Unser Arie Luyendyk 1999 Greg Ray Team Menard Dallara Oldsmobile Scott Harrington Scott Goodyear 2000 Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing Dallara Oldsmobile Airton Daré Al Unser, Jr. 2001 Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Oldsmobile Felipe Giaffone Sarah Fisher 2002 Sam Hornish, Jr. Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet Laurent Rédon Sarah Fisher 2003 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Toyota Dan Wheldon Sarah Fisher 2004 Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda Kosuke Matsuura Sam Hornish, Jr. 2005 Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda Danica Patrick Danica Patrick 2006 Sam Hornish, Jr.* Penske Racing Dallara Honda Marco Andretti Danica Patrick 2007 Dario Franchitti Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda Ryan Hunter-Reay Danica Patrick 2008 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda Hideki Mutoh not awarded 2009 Dallara Honda 1996: Scott Sharp and Buzz Calkins tied in the final standings, and were declared co-champions. Calkins had one win, as opposed to Sharp being winless, but no tiebreakers were in place. 2006: Sam Hornish, Jr. and Dan Wheldon tied in the final standings for first place. Hornish clinched the championship based on tiebreaker of most victories during the season. 2008: The IRL had fans vote on various best performances from the season in lieu of awarding a "Most Popular Driver" award this year.  See also Wikimedia Commons has media related to: IndyCar Series 2009 IndyCar Series season List of IndyCar teams List of American Championship Car winners IRL drivers Indianapolis 500 Firestone Indy Lights ABC Sports Indy Racing (video game)  References ^ IndyCar Series Hoping New Excitement Will Attract Title Sponsor, sportsbusinessdaily.com, May 23, 2008 ^ Indy Racing and Northern Light end partnership, Motorsport.com, January 7, 2002 ^ Indy Racing League Forms Innovative Marketing.., Gene Simmons.com, January 10, 2006 ^ Direct Carrier, IndyCar.com, April 3, 3008 ^ IRL Adds TNN to Its Family As All '98 Races On Broadcast TV Sports Business Daily, December, 4 1997 ^ Indy Racing League Announces Multi-Year Media Partnerships With ABC and Versus Versus, Aug. 7, 2008 ^ a b IRL Aurora V8, Autoworld.com, March 29, 2001 ^ IRL Engine Specifications Announced for 2000-2004 Seasons, Motorsport.com, November 17, 1998 ^ Chevy revs for 2002 IRL season SAE Tech Briefs, March 2002 ^ Machinedesign.com "Leveling the playing field" Retrieved April 13, 2003 ^ Honda's Indy Car Engine Evolves Yet Again racing.Honda.com, June 21, 2007 ^ IndyCar Series Technical Update Press Conference, IndyCar.com, February, 22, 2007 ^ Speedtv.com, June 27, 2008 ^ Indystar.com, June 28, 2008 ^ indycar.com February 3, 2009 Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IndyCar_Series" Categories: Indianapolis 500 | Indy Racing League | Racing formulas | Formula racing series | Auto racing series in the United States | 1996 introductions