No. 983
February 13, 2018
 

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Horizon


Tuesday
May202008

Horizon #446

May 21, 2008

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(Leigh Spargur/IMS)
The Borg-Warner Trophy - the most coveted piece of hardware in all of motorsport - and the scoring pylon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

arrowup.gifThe Indy 500. A.J. Foyt IV ( No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone), Buddy Lazier (No. 91 Hemelgarn Johnson D/H/F) and Marty Roth (No. 25 Roth Racing D/H/F) squeezed into the field for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 last Sunday. Roth, a Toronto native, was “on the bubble” for the final eight minutes as Roger Yasukawa, a five-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, made an unsuccessful qualifying attempt – his second of the day, and Mario Dominguez crashed after completing the first of four necessary laps at the same time the gun sounded to end the session. In the end, Roth held the 33rd spot in the starting lineup, while Foyt was 31st and Lazier 32nd. Foyt later survived a crash during practice when a piece flew off his car. Although he was uninjured, the car would not have been repaired in time for another qualifying effort had that become necessary. Lazier earned a $50,000 bonus from Firestone for being the final driver to qualify for the 500-Mile Race. This will be Lazier's 16th Indianapolis 500. This will be his first start from the Last Row. Previously, his lowest starting position was 28th in 2004. The Indy 500 field is set with four past winners and 11 rookies. There are four former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field: Buddy Lazier (1996), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Buddy Rice (2004) and Dan Wheldon (2005). Between them they have five victories. The record for most former winners in the field is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is zero in 1912. The oldest driver is Marty Roth, 49. The youngest qualifier is Graham Rahal, 19. Troy Ruttman became the youngest Indianapolis 500 winner when he won the 1952 race at age 22. Ruttman started the 1952 race from the seventh position. Marco Andretti will start the 2008 Indianapolis 500 from the seventh position. Marco Andretti is 21. Eleven rookies have qualified for the Indianapolis 500, the most since 13 in 1997. This year’s rookies are Hideki Mutoh, Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, Alex Lloyd, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Oriol Servia, E.J. Viso, Mario Moraes, Enrique Bernoldi and Jaime Camara. Mutoh is the fastest rookie at 223.887 mph. If a driver is going to win the Indianapolis 500, he or she will most likely do it in either their third or fourth start, based on past results. Thirteen drivers won for the first time in their third start, and 13 drivers won for the first time in their fourth start. The 2008 Indianapolis 500 will be Danica Patrick's fourth Indianapolis 500. Drivers have one final opportunity to practice on May 23 - "Carb Day" - before the race next Sunday on May 25.

The starting grid for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:
 
1. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 226.366
2. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 226.110
3. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 226.080
4. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 225.733
5. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 225.197
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 224.794
7. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 224.417
8. (4T) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 224.346
9. (27) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 223.887
10. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 223.835
11. (12) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Honda, 223.496
12. (99) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Honda, 222.539
13. (06) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 222.531
14. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 222.430
15. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara-Honda, 222.330
16. (02) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 222.267
17. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 222.101
18. (22) Davey Hamilton, Dallara-Honda, 222.017
19. (16) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 221.788
20. (17T) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 221.579
21. (24) John Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 221.550
22. (67) Sarah Fisher, Dallara-Honda, 221.246
23. (8) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 221.136
24. (41) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Honda, 221.103
25. (5) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 220.767
26. (33) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 220.356
27. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 220.305
28. (19) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 219.716
29. (36) Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara-Honda, 219.422
30. (34) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Honda, 219.345
31. (2) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 219.184
32. (91) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Honda, 219.015
33. (25) Marty Roth, Dallara-Honda, 218.965

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(Shawn Payne/IRL)
Buddy Lazier get a jubilant hug from his wife, Kara, after making it into his 16th Indianapolis 500 field.

arrowup.gifPenske Racing, Porsche, Michelin. Roger Penske made the winning call just 30 minutes into the 2-hour 45-minute Utah Grand Prix by pitting the race leading No. 7 Penske DHL Porsche RS Spyder, which put pole winner Timo Bernhard and co-driver Romain Dumas out of sequence with the rest of the field and needing only one green flag pit stop to the finish while the other leaders would need two stops. “We know that we can always trust Roger and the team 100 percent on all of the strategies,” said Dumas. It was the second victory of the season and eighth in the last fourteen races for Bernhard and Dumas. The No. 6 Penske DHL Porsche RS Spyder of Patrick Long and Sascha Maassen finished second. Corvette Racing completed what amounted to an open-test for their Le Mans effort by winning GT1 with Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6R finishing ahead of teammates Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the No. 4 Corvette Racing entry. Flying Lizard Motorsports won GT2 with Jörg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler (No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) up. The pair had a one-lap cushion over the rest of the GT2 field. For a complete race report, see below.

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(Copyright © 2008, John Thawley ~ Creative Communications Group All rights reserved)
Publisher's Note: The No. 7 Penske DHL Porsche RS Spyder driven by Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas leads its team car, the No. 6 Penske DHL Porsche RS Spyder of Patrick Long/Sascha Maassen to a 1-2 finish in the ALMS Utah Grand Prix. Click here to see a gallery of images from last Sunday's race by ace photographer John Thawley. We've also included a race report by John Dagys from Trackbytes.com, a new feature of our ALMS coverage. Thanks again to John T. for allowing us to share his images with our readers. - PMD  

Penske Porsche - Back to Their Winning Ways 
Utah Grand Prix Race Report
by John Dagys / Trackbytes.com

Penske Racing and Porsche were back to their winning ways Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park, as Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas claimed the overall victory in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by The Grand and Little America Hotels, the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series season. The dynamic duo led a Penske 1-2 result and a LMP2 sweep of the top six positions overall in the event-filled race.

Dumas led the 24 laps around the 3.048-mile outer loop course, taking over the top spot after Simon Pagenaud pitted his de Ferran Motorsports Acura for a late stop. The No. 7 Porsche RS Spyder then opened up to a healthy lead over the team car of Patrick Long and Sascha Maassen, taking the checkered flag by over 22 seconds.

“When I got in there was little more than one hour to go, so I knew I had to be careful in my stint so I had to be careful,” Dumas said. “So I knew to keep a good gap and not get caught if there was a safety car. This was better for me, a nice clear run to the end, not like the street races for me.”

It was Bernhard and Dumas’ third class win this season and second overall triumph after upsetting the Audis at the season-opening Twelve Hours of Sebring. Bernhard, who started the car from pole, felt the race fell into their hands after clever pit strategy called by team owner Roger Penske.

arrowup.gifTommy Archer, Woodhouse Performance, Dodge. Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., started his No. 13 Foametix/Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper from the pole and went on to win the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT last Sunday in Tooele, Utah. Archer won by 1.148-seconds, averaging 93.284 mph. It was the first win for the Woodhouse Performance team. Brandon Davis (No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang), of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Andy Pilgrim (No. 8 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V), of Boca Raton, Fla., completed the podium. “It’s a small team, and its nice for Bob [Woodhouse] and his team that have worked so hard for so many years to get a win for them,” Archer said. After three races, After three of 10 races, Davis leads the championship with 310 points, followed by Randy Pobst (Porsche 911 GT3) with 305 and Andy Pilgrim with 290. The SCCA SPEED GT Manufacturers Championship Presented by RACER Magazine has Ford in the lead with 21 points, followed by Porsche (19), Cadillac (17), Dodge (13) and Chevrolet (1). The Utah race will be broadcast on SPEED Wednesday, May 28 at 1 p.m. (EDT), 11 a.m. locally.

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(Mark Weber/SCCA)
Tommy Archer leads Brandon Davis last Sunday in the SPEED World Challenge GT race last Sunday in Tooele, Utah.

arrowup.gifJason Siani, Mazda. Jason Saini (No. 74 MAZDASPEED/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6), of Fort Worth, Texas, led every lap to capture his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship win last Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park. Pierre Kleinubing (No. 43 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX), of Coconut Creek, Fla., and Kuno Wittmer (No. 44 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX ), of Montreal, Quebec, completed the top three finishers. Saini started from the pole and beat Kleinubing to the checkered flag by 1.402-seconds, averaging 86.366 mph in the 20-lap, 60.96-mile race. Saini became the first rookie winner in SCCA SPEED Touring Car competition since John Angelone won the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2005. “It was a struggle the first two races,” Saini added. “I’ve been wondering when the results were going to come. The team pulled everything together, did a lot of work on the car from VIR where we were off quite a bit. The only change we made to the car was right before the race, other than that it was right as it rolled off the truck. Everything was done at the shop, so big congratulations for TriPoint and the team and everyone there. They nailed it. It’s just been a quick progression to the series that I’ve always wanted to drive in. Mazda’s given me that opportunity.” Wittmer now leads the SPEED Touring Car Championship by 12 points over Kleinubing, 317 to 305. Peter Cunningham is third, with 269 points, followed by Charles Espenlaub (262 points) and Seth Thomas (248 points). Acura continues to lead the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER Magazine, 26 to 17 over Mazda. This race will be broadcast on SPEED, Wednesday, May 28 at noon (EDT), 10 a.m. locally. The series next heads to Lime Rock Park next weekend for a Memorial Day doubleheader, racing Saturday and Monday.

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(Mark Weber/SCCA)
Jason Siani en route to his first career SPEED Touring Car win.

arrowup.gifRobert Huffmaster, Mazda. Robert Huffmaster (No. 27 Team MER/Huffmaster Co. MX-5), of Clarkston, Mich., went quick in the rain at Mosport International Raceway and captured his first SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup win. Polesitter Eric Foss (No. 28 Team MER/Autobarn Mazda/Brooke Co. MX-5), of Fort Worth, Texas, finished second and Brett Smrz (No. 6 Alara/Smrz Racing MX-5), of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, completed the podium for Round Two of the series, part of Victoria Day Speedfest. “I was starting third, so I was on the inside, and I didn’t want to be that guy that goes into Turn One and takes people out, so I tried to back off early, but it was not enough,” Huffmaster said. “I got all crossed up and starting sliding. I slid right off the track and got about halfway through the gravel, but I didn’t want to get stuck there, so I got back in the throttle. I got back to the edge of the gravel and back on the track, but by that point almost the whole field was by.” Despite having minimal rain racing experience to draw from, Huffmaster charged through the field, catching then leader Foss on lap eight and pulling out an astonishing 33.316-second lead by the time the checkered flag flew on lap 21. “After Turn One I thought my goal was to get a top-10 and salvage some points out of this, but as the laps when by I kept closing in on people and passing people. I can’t explain what happened really, it just happened. I’ve had one race in the rain and that was at the Runoffs last year [where he won the SCCA Touring 3 Championship]. It rained in the first half and dried out the second half. I still don’t like it, but I’m happy with the results.”

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(SCCA)
Robert "The Rain Meister" Hoffmaster spanked the Mazda MX-5 Cup field at Mosport. Kudos go out to one of our local boys!

arrowup.gifIndy on TV. Here's the rundown on Indy-related television broadcasts this weekend: Final Indianapolis 500 practice (Miller Lite Carb Day), the Firestone Freedom 100 and the Pit Stop Challenge will be broadcast live from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (ET) Friday, May 23 on ESPN2. Expanded Race Day coverage kicks off at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday, May 25 on ESPN2, leading into the ESPN on ABC telecast at noon. “Ready to Race: The 92nd Indianapolis 500,” will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 24 on ESPN2. Also on May 24, ESPN2 will air highlights of the IPL 500 Festival Parade at 5 p.m. ESPN Classic presents a “SportsCentury” profile of four-time winner Al Unser at 1 p.m. (ET) on May 24, followed by three 500-Mile Race classics. The 1987 Indianapolis 500 airs at 2 p.m. as Unser wins his fourth Indy 500. The 1991 race airs at 4 p.m. with Rick Mears joining the exclusive four-winner club, winning from the pole. The day concludes with the 2005 Indianapolis 500 airing at 6 p.m., with Dan Wheldon passing Danica Patrick in the race’s closing laps to take the victory. ESPN Classic also will replay the 92nd Indianapolis 500 at 9 a.m. (ET) May 26.

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(Grand-Am)
The Ryan Dalziel/Henri Zogaib (No. 2 SAMAX BMW Riley) gave SAMAX its first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 victory in Saturday's RumBum.com 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was the first Rolex Series Daytona Prototype victory for the team after three runner-up finishes. The Marc Goosens/Jim Matthews No. 91 Riley-Matthews Pontiac Riley finished second, and Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas finished third in their No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley. The GT race came down to the final lap. Sylvain Tremblay had been leading the class in the No. 70 SpeedSource Castrol Mazda RX-8, but went off course through the Corkscrew, allowing two cars to go by. Paul Edwards took the checkered flag in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, 1.131 seconds ahead of the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 of Spencer Pumpelly and Tim George Jr. That was the second victory of the season for Kelly Collins and Edwards, and the fourth consecutive GT triumph for Pontiac.

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(TAG Heuer)
Whoa! 27-year-old Sarah Fisher glammed-up? Yeah, Baby! This PR photo that went along with Tag Heuer's "Avant Garde" Eyewear press release caught us totally off-guard. As Tag Heuer says: "TAG Heuer Eyewear is proud to continue support for IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher, the first female owner/driver in IndyCar Series history. Fisher, a TAG Heuer brand ambassador since 2002, brings together sport and glamour while promoting TAG Heuer’s cutting-edge chronographs and timekeeping technology – as well as the motorsport-inspired TAG Heuer “Avant Garde” Eyewear worn internationally by racecar drivers." “Sarah Fisher has the determination to move mountains,” said Guillaume Pottecher, president of TAG Heuer Eyewear. “She stands out from the crowd, just like TAG Heuer Eyewear. We wish her great luck this weekend, and we are behind her all the way.” We are too...

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifHumpy Wheeler. The Patron Saint of race promoters around the world is hanging up his spurs. Humpy Wheeler announced his retirement as president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway today (May 21), ending a 33-year career as NASCAR's (and racing’s) top promoter. The 69-year-old Wheeler will officially call it a career after Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, but he plans to write a book and host a television show for his next act. We tip our hats to the greatest promoter the sport has ever seen and look forward to seeing and hearing from him in the near future.

arrowup.gifTorque.TV. Racing enthusiasts can watch three hours of historic motorsport programming beginning May 21, 2008 on . Coverage includes the "Goodwood Festival of Speed" and "The Goodwood Revival" with footage produced by Gemini Pictures.

arrowup.gifNBC News, IMS. In what will be the first time that a live, national network newscast has originated from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” will be broadcast live Friday, May 23 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. An admitted car freak (he drives a Mustang GT) and racing enthusiast, Williams will anchor the award-winning newscast from 6:30-7 p.m. (ET) with famous IMS landmarks in the background, including the iconic front straightaway, Bombardier Learjet Pagoda and “Yard of Bricks.”

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(IMS)
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will celebrate 100 years of worldwide leadership in motorsports entertainment through its Centennial Era from 2009-2011, which will feature many special events, a new, retro corporate logo and redevelopment of the area surrounding the Racing Capital of the World. Plans for the Centennial Era celebration were revealed by IMS Chief Executive Officer Tony George and IMS President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood during an event May 22 at Allison Mansion of Marian College in Indianapolis. IMS is honoring the 100th anniversaries of the opening of the venerable racetrack, in 1909, and of the inaugural Indianapolis 500, in 1911, through the Centennial Era celebration. Indiana businessmen Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank H. Wheeler pooled their resources to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 as an automobile testing ground to support Indiana's growing automotive industry. The focus of the facility soon turned to racing, with Ray Harroun winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1911. "No other motorsports facility in the world has the rich history and tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said IMS Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George. "The Centennial Era celebration will pay homage to the heroes and events of our storied past while anticipating an even more glorious future."