IndyCar News

I Am Excited About The Future Of The Team

Simon Pagenaud says that he is excited about the future prospects for the Meyer Shank Racing team in the NTT IndyCar Series having made his race debut at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding on the streets of St Petersburg on Sunday.

Speaking to Paddock Eye on Wednesday night, Pagenaud said that the team work well together but that unfortunately they didn’t have the pace of Team Penske or Ganassi at the front however, he is excited about the future.

As for the next race at Texas Motor Speedway. the XPEL 375, Pagenaud said that they ran well here last season with Jack Harvey and that hopefully, that translates to this season.

A number of teams will run at Texas Motor Speedway next week ahead of the first oval race of the season, however, the Frenchman said that the team won’t attend the test because they used the test days up with Helio Castroneves getting up to speed ahead of his full-time return to the NTT IndyCar Series.

Pagenaud also confirmed that the investment that team owners Mike Shank and Jim Meyer show how serious and hungry they are to succeed and that for him it is a long-term project.

In terms of reuniting with Helio Castroneves as his team-mate having worked with him at Team Penske, he said that they are both successful in their respective careers and that means that there are no egos.

Pagenaud also confirmed to Paddock Eye that he is great on the technical side of things and that Helio is great on the commercial side so this means that they complement each other.

Pagenaud has gone from a Chevrolet-powered to Honda power and he said that there are huge differences when it comes to the steering wheel in the MSR car compared to the Penske Chevrolet.

Pagenaud confirmed that he worked extremely closely with his race engineer, Garrett Mothersead.

When it comes to his expectations for the season, Pagenaud said that he doesn’t necessarily have any specific targets for this season but that he just wants to help the team improve and grow.

Photograph courtesy of Chris Jones
IndyCar News

Castroneves Likeness To Be Revealed On The Borg-Warner Trophy Tomorrow

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves’ likeness will be unveiled on the Borg-Warner trophy on Thursday during a ceremony at the Indiana statehouse.

The ceremony will be streamed live.

Castroneves has returned to full-time NTT IndyCar Series competition with Meyer Shank Racing where he has teamed up with his former Penske team-mate Simon Pagenau.


Mazepin Banned From Competing In Silverstone

The Haas F1 Team’s Nikita Mazepin has been banned from competing in the 2022 British Grand Prix after Motorsport UK announced on Wednesday that all Russian and Belarusian licence holders are to be banned from competing on UK soil.

The news comes despite the FIA confirming on Tuesday that Nikita Mazepin can create in Formula One under a neutral flag should the Haas F1 Team retain him.

IndyCar News

Lundgaard Heads To TMS

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard, driver of the No.30 Shield Cleansers Honda is at Texas Motor Speedway for his first oval test ahead of the XPEL 375 later this month.

Lundgaard had a solid first race as a full-time NTT IndyCar Series driver last weekend in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding finishing 11th.

IndyCar News

Three Cars In The Top Ten In St Pete For Ganassi Including A Podium

The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding showed us all one thing and that is despite a tricky start to the weekend in terms of pace, you can never count out Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ganassi managed to have three of their four cars finish inside the top ten in Sunday’s 100 lap race on the streets of St Petersburg.

In the opening practice session for the race on Friday, Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Honda was the fastest of Ganassi’s four cars in 15th place.

Defending series champion, Alex Palou in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda was 17th while six-time champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda was 19th.

Jimmie Johnson ended the opening session in 24th place in his No.48 Carvana American Legion Honda.

In the second practice session on Saturday morning there was a bit of an improvement from the team with Alex Palou ending the session in seventh place.

Marcus Ericsson improved to 13th while Scott Dixon was 20th. Jimmie Johnson was 26th.

In qualifying for Sunday’s race, Scott Dixon was the leading Ganassi car in seventh place while Marcus Ericsson was eighth. Alex Palou started the race from tenth while Jimmie Johnson started the race from 26th.

In the race itself, it was Alex Palou who made the most progress over the 100 lap race as he came from tenth, making up eight positions to finish on the podium just behind race winner Scott McLaughlin.

Scott Dixon used a three-stop strategy to finish the race in seventh place just ahead of Marcus Ericsson in eighth with the pair finishing where they started.

The Iceman led a number of laps through pit cycles but came home with a solid top ten finish.

Jimmie Johnson finished the race in 23rd place one lap down but felt he made plenty of progress compared to last season and heads to Texas Motor Speedway later this month full of confidence, telling Paddock Eye over the weekend in St Pete that he sees no reason why he can’t challenge to be in the top-15 or even the top ten in the race.

This consistent results are why Chip Ganassi Racing can never be ruled out.

IndyCar News

A Solid Start To His Andretti Tenure For Grosjean

Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean in the No.28 DHL Honda had a solid start to his first season with the team in the NTT IndyCar Series at the 2022 season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding on Sunday.

The French-Swiss driver, who has made the step up to a full-time seat in the NTT IndyCar Series having joined Andretti from Dale Coyne Racing over the off-season following an impressive partial rookie season in 2021 started the 100 lap race from fifth place and that is where he finished the event.

Grosjean came home just behind his Andretti Autosport team-mate, Colton Herta in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda and just ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay in the No.21 SONAX Chevrolet.

Speaking following the race on Sunday, Grosjean said:

“The first race of the season is done and we came away with a double top five – fourth for Colton (Herta) and fifth for myself. We lacked a bit of something today but we are going to work hard to come back next race. The next street course is Long Beach so we should be good there. I am looking forward to going testing in Texas now.”

Motorsport News

Kimiläinen Joins Puma

Finland’s Emma Kimiläinen who has taken two victories in the W Series has signed to join the Puma team for the 2022 season.

The announcement came after Puma Motorsport confirmed that they have extended their contract with W Series.

Speaking about the news, Catherine Bond Muir CEO of W Series said:

“I am delighted that Puma will continue to support W Series’ mission in 2022. Our brands are perfectly aligned – W Series aims to change the face of motorsport and increase opportunities in our industry for girls and women all around the world, while Puma is committed to celebrating females who inspire others, as shown by their support of W Series since our inaugural season. All of W Series’ drivers are inspirational and none more so than Emma Kimiläinen, who has competed against and beaten the world’s best drivers throughout her career and continues to do so whilst juggling her life as a businesswoman and a mother.

“Like us, Puma is determined to do all it can to help our drivers showcase their talent on motor racing’s greatest stage, and W Series’ drivers will once again be equipped with racewear tailored to their exact specifications, enabling them to feel comfortable in the car and perform at their best.

Emma Kimiläinen said:

I am very proud to be racing for the Puma W Series Team this year. With their She Moves Us campaign, our brand and values fit together perfectly and, being a professional athlete at the top level and a mother, I hope to inspire girls and women chasing their dreams in sports. It’s amazing to be recognised by Puma and the fact that they believe in my talent even though I’m a 32-year-old mum speaks volumes. Together we can show the world that, irrespective of your age or gender, you can always pursue your dreams.

“After finishing fifth in the inaugural W Series season and third last year, I’m aiming to continue my progress and win the title in 2022. The first half of last season was difficult, but I know what I need to succeed this year and I’m certain that the Puma team will provide that and enable me to launch a strong bid for the title – nothing less will do.

“Pre-season has been good so far with lots of snowmobiling at home in Finland and I’ve been training really hard. I’m looking forward to pre-season testing in Spain this week – we are a tight family in W Series so it will be lovely to see some old faces and greet some new ones.”

James Clark, Head of Sports Marketing Motorsport and Operations with Puma said:

It is fantastic to join forces with W Series and our own Puma W Series Team again this year, and I would like to thank the entire W Series team for embracing our vision. W Series has become one of the key pillars of our women’s campaign, She Moves Us, which celebrates females who move culture and sports forward and inspire women around the world. Passion for motorsport is in Puma’s DNA and we are excited to watch W Series grow worldwide. Through the She Moves Us campaign, we will provide comprehensive support and endeavour to drive women in motorsport forward, celebrating the success of the Puma W Series Team and the series as a whole.”

Marathon Everett, Senior Brand Strategist Women’s Performance Puma said:

We are excited to have Emma Kimiläinen join the Puma family as she is the embodiment of She Moves Us – excelling as an elite athlete in a male dominated sport while being a full-time mother. Emma’s winning attitude on and off track will inspire the next generation of women in motorsport.”

IndyCar News

Record Numbers Both At And Away From St Pete

The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding was on Sunday not only had record attendance on race day of 140,000 but it also drew in the biggest viewership of any season-opening INDYCAR race for eleven years.

The GPSP averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.429 million viewers on NBC and Peacock, making it not only the most-watched INDYCAR season opener in 11 years (St. Pete, 2011, 1.840 million, ABC), but also the most-watched non-Indy 500 INDYCAR race in 11 years.

Sunday’s GPSP was up 53% compared to the 2021 INDYCAR season opener at Barber (932,000 viewers; April 18) and up 15% vs. last year’s St. Pete race (1.246 million; April 25), both on NBC.

Bolstered by streaming on Peacock, the race delivered an Average Minute Audience (AMA) of 23,800 viewers, the largest streaming audience on record for an INDYCAR race, excluding the Indy 500. The AMA also includes streaming on and the NBC Sports app via authentication.

Viewership for the race peaked with a TV-only audience of 1.509 million viewers and averaged a household rating of 0.89. TAD is based on data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

The next race on the schedule is the XPEL 375 at Texas Moor Speedway, the first oval event of the season on March 20, live on NBC and Peacock.

IndyCar News

Ganassi Selected As Honoree At The Amelia

Legendary NTT IndyCar Series team owner Chip Ganassi has been selected as honoree for The Amelia award winning car show which takes place from March 3-6.

As Honoree, a select fleet of Ganassi’s legendary race cars will be featured as part of the show. The collection features champion cars that have special meaning to the 14-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion team owner, including a 2010 Daytona 500 winning Chevrolet Impala, a Dallara IndyCar which won the 2010 Indianapolis 500, and a 2022 Cadillac DPi, which recently competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Also in attendance will be one of the four Ford GTs that were part of the Ganassi fleet that raced during the 2016–2019 seasons in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship & the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chassis 007 earned four victories over the course of the program: in 2017, Rolex 24 at Daytona and Road America; in 2018, Watkins Glen and Lime Rock.

Speaking about the news, Ganassi commented saying:

To be selected as the Honoree at The Amelia this year, it certainly ranks among the highpoints of my career. “I’m truly honored to be respected by my peers in this way and join the likes of so many legends I’ve long admired. I’ve been fortunate enough to make this a career and I still feel that I have as much passion for the sport as I did 40 years ago, qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie.”

IndyCar News

We Really Showed The Progress We Made

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay in the No.21 SONAX Chevrolet says that the Team’s performance in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix presented by RP Funding on the streets of St Petersburg shows the progress the team made over the off-season.

VeeKay started the race from fourth place and came home in sixth.

Taking to Twitter following the race he said: