No. 967
October 10, 2018
 

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Tuesday
Jan132009

THE LINE

January 14, 2009

 

(Shawn Payne/IMS)
2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon received his champion's ring and got to see his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy on Tuesday, Jan. 13 in the Economaki Press Conference Room at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dixon became the first native of New Zealand to win the Indianapolis 500, and he will aim for his second victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in the 93rd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24.

(Shawn Payne/IMS)
Penske Racing announced that driver Will Power (above, center) will join the Team Penske IndyCar Series program in preparation for the 2009 racing season. Power, 27, a native of Toowoomba, Australia, will drive the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda during preseason test sessions.The balance of the year's driving responsibilities for the No. 3 car, including the IndyCar Series season-opening race at St. Petersburg on April 5, will depend on the timing and outcome of Helio Castroneves' (above, right) pending court case. "We remain hopeful that Helio's situation will have a positive outcome and the team is fully behind him," Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said. "While Helio prepares for his court case, we're excited to welcome Will Power to the team. Will has already proven that he's a terrific racer and we think he's going to be a good fit with Team Penske." Power will work closely with fellow Aussie driver Ryan Briscoe (above, left), driver of the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Power won on the streets of Long Beach in Champ Car's final race in 2008, and after joining the IndyCar Series he earned his first series pole in front of his home crowd at Surfers Paradise, Australia.

(Ron McQueeney/IRL)
Dollar General will extend its sponsorship of Sarah Fisher Racing into 2009 by serving as the primary sponsor of the No. 67 Honda-powered Dallara for four races, one each at Kansas, Indianapolis, Kentucky and Chicago, driven by IndyCar Series owner/driver Sarah Fisher. "Dollar General is excited about being a part of IndyCar racing for a second season by sponsoring Sarah Fisher in four races," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to cheering for Sarah and SFR as her team continues to grow and succeed." Dollar General sponsored SFR for two events in 2008 at Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedway, rounding out Fisher's first year as an owner of an IndyCar Series team. "It has been a pleasure to work with Dollar General, and they have quickly become a great sponsor, as well as a trusted friend to the SFR team," Fisher said. "I enjoyed racing for them last year and am thrilled that they are back for four more races. With Dollar General behind us, we are planning on a very successful season." Fisher returns to Indianapolis where she will attempt to set a women's record of eight starts in the 93-year-old race. Fisher is still the youngest and fastest female to ever qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

(K-PAX Racing)
K-PAX/3R Racing has announced they will enter the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship with three-time series Champion (2005, 2007-8) Randy Pobst and 2005 Champion Andy Pilgrim driving a pair of 2009 all-wheel drive 2.5-liter turbo Volvo S60s. The team has won the SPEED GT Drivers’ Championship the past two years with Pobst behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 and helped the German marque earn its seventh World Challenge Manufacturers’ Championship in 2007. Pilgrim steps into the cockpit of the Volvo S60 after five seasons driving a Cadillac CTS-V. Pobst starts his third season with K-PAX, searching for his third-consecutive Drivers’ Title. Together, Pobst and Pilgrim have combined for 27 poles, 77 top-three finishes and 28 wins.

(ALMS)
Wolf Henzler and Scott Sharp received their honors last weekend as First Team All-America members at the 39th annual Auto Racing Banquet in Ontario, Calif. Both were honored by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) for their 2008 accomplishments - Sharp and David Brabham in the Road Racing category, and Henzler and Jörg Bergmeister in the At-Large category. Founded in 1970, AARWBA honors the top drivers from all forms of Motorsports for their devotion toward the advancement of the sport, and this past weekend continued that tradition. Henzler (above) had this to say about the honor: "Thank you very much for this award, which I accept for myself and my co-driver, Jörg Bergmeister. Our number No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR won the GT2 Championship this (past) year in the American Le Mans Series, and I appreciate the members of AARWBA for recognizing that achievement. ... I would like to thank Porsche Motorsports for providing the best GT car in the world, Flying Lizard Motorsports for having the best crew to prepare our car and my co-driver Jörg for always keeping the car on track and in the race, while IMSA and the American Le Mans Series provided the ideal platform for car companies to show off their latest technology." In 2009, Henzler will team with Dirk Werner to race with Farnbacher Loles Racing in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR; Bergmeister will return to Flying Lizard and reunite with his 2005 GT2 co-champion teammate and American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long.

arrowup.gifALMS. If you want to get an early look at a handful of 2009 American Le Mans Series competitors, passes for the American Le Mans Series’ annual Winter Test set for January 26-28 at Sebring International Raceway will be just $10 per day. Fourteen entries representing 12 teams and eight manufacturers will be present for the Winter Test, including Acura’s two new ARX-02a prototypes for LMP1, Dyson Racing’s Mazda-powered Lola coupe in LMP2 and BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team’s BMW M3 for GT2 (Corvette Racing will not be at the test). The paddock will not be open to the public during the Winter Test, and no overnight camping will be allowed, but ten bucks is ten bucks.

arrowup.gifAudi of America. The German manufacturer announced yesterday that ESPN will debut the award-winning NFL Films documentary “Truth in 24” on Friday, March 20, in primetime, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. the night before the 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida. “Truth in 24” dramatically captures the bid by Audi’s racing program to extend its nearly decade-long dominance of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, the world’s most prestigious endurance race. Although Audi had won seven of the previous eight Le Mans races, its chances were far from certain in the 2008 race due to toughened competition. Audi launched the project to build U.S. awareness of its motorsports efforts, its technologies – especially the TDI clean diesel engines that have powered Audi’s R10 Le Mans cars at the 24 Hours and in the American Le Mans Series – and its overall brand. But Audi also insisted on letting the directors of the film develop the dramatic story line impartially in the finest tradition of NFL Films. “There was an element of uncertainty with this film from the outset,” said Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s chief marketing officer. “But we wanted to honestly depict the drama, the triumphs and the setbacks of Le Mans racing and spirit of motorsports that is woven into Audi’s DNA. To accomplish that it was essential to let the outstanding storytellers at NFL Films do their jobs without interference and with unprecedented behind-the-scenes access before, during and after the races they filmed.” NFL Films co-produced "Truth in 24" with Intersport, the Chicago-based producer of sports and entertainment programming. The film is 96 minutes long, has not been rated and is narrated by British actor Jason Statham. It debuted at the Chicago Film Festival, and it appeared at Hollywood’s AFI Fest. "Truth in 24" won the top documentary prize at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in late 2008. Audi also plans to offer "Truth in 24" in limited theatrical appearances nationwide over the next few months. To see the movie trailers, get more information and downloads on the documentary, go to

arrowup.gifVERSUS, IRL. The exclusive cable television home of the IndyCar Series®, announced its talent lineup for the 2009 race season. Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis and Robbie Buhl will serve as the in-booth announce team, while Robbie Floyd, Jack Arute and Lindy Thackston will provide trackside updates and reports during each telecast. VERSUS will air 12 races in 2009, and all race telecasts will be produced and available in HD. The IRL on VERSUS is not a winning idea, at least on the surface, but we'll see how it goes. We're big fans of Bob Jenkins around here, however, so VERSUS went a long way in establishing their credibility with us by assigning the lead role to a man of his talent. VERSUS will air races for the next 10 years beginning with the 2009 season. Each of VERSUS’ race telecasts will last a minimum of three hours and will include extended pre-race coverage. The network will also air a one-hour preview show the day before each race, which will feature qualification highlights and all of the relevant IndyCar Series stories of that weekend. Additionally, the network will feature extensive coverage of all the qualification days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the Indianapolis 500. The 2009 IndyCar Series season opens April 5 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be telecast live at 2 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season begins with a doubleheader race weekend April 4-5 at St. Petersburg.

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