IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-04-05

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Fisher re-joins TAG Heuer's team 2. Indy Family Foundation hosts two fundraisers 3. Pecorari impresses in first three races 1. Fisher re-joins TAG Heuer's team: IndyCar Series driver...

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Fisher re-joins TAG Heuer's team
2. Indy Family Foundation hosts two fundraisers
3. Pecorari impresses in first three races

1. Fisher re-joins TAG Heuer's team: IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher has re-joined TAG Heuer's team of brand ambassadors, which include Jeff Gordon, Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova.

Fisher will help promote the Swiss watchmaker's Formula 1 series of timepieces as well as TAG Heuer's eyewear line.

"Having pioneered the stellar start of Sarah in the Indy 500 and IndyCar Series back in 2002, we are just happy that such a great talent is back into the world's single fastest open-wheel competition," said Jean Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer president and CEO. "TAG Heuer is proud to partner with Sarah Fisher both in watches and eyewear, and provide her with prestigious and performance instruments allowing her to be even sharper on the racing track."

The 26-year-old Fisher is a three-time Most Popular Driver in the IndyCar Series and the first female driver to win an IndyCar Series pole position. She drives the No. 5 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

"I'm really excited to re-partner with TAG Heuer and grateful that they believe in me and my career," said Fisher, who first signed with TAG Heuer in 2002. "I've always strived for excellence and perfection in everything I do and promoting a luxury sports brand like TAG will be no different. TAG has brought timing to a new fraction of a second and with the high-speeds of the IndyCar Series, our partnership once again, seems natural."

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2. Indy Family Foundation hosts two fundraisers: The Indy Family Foundation will host two fundraisers in 2007 to support the Benevolent Fund of Motorsports and its mission of providing financial support to participants in the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series who have needs arising from death, injury or illness.

The Indy Foundation, a committee of the Benevolent Fund of Motorsports, was formed earlier this year to allow IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series community serve as in the social and development activities of the Fund.

Both fundraisers will take place during the month of May in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500. They include a golf tournament at the Brickyard Crossing on May 14 and a gala on March 23

"The golf outing is our largest fundraiser for the year and it keeps getting bigger every year," said Louise Hardy, president of the Benevolent Fund of Motorsports. "There will only be 144 players allowed in this year's tournament, so all interested participants need to get their entry forms in early. There will also be a lunch, awards dinner and auction, as well as many prize holes along with a putting and hole-in-one contest."

The Indy Family Foundation will host its first "Jeans & Jewels" gala event May 23 at the Conrad Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The one-of-a-kind event will be a fun, casual event with the stars of Indianapolis 500 as the honored guests.

"Guests will be decked out in their favorite jeans and all the bling they can muster," said Benevolent Fund Board Member Heather Carpenter. "The Conrad is planning a Chef's Competition, bringing together four of The Conrad's finest chefs from across the country and we're working to bring in a top-name music act."

Jewels for the event are being provided by Kirles Jewelry of Indianapolis, with a percentage of sales going to the Indy Family Foundation and The Benevolent Fund of Motorsports. During the event, guests will get to sample the elegant jewelry.

Honorary chairs for the evening are reigning IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish, Jr. and his wife, Crystal. This event is being chaired by Lauren George, with co-chairs Mari George, Laura George, and Heather Carpenter. The evening will also feature the presentation of a new award, the Caterina Dallara Award, which honors the warmth, kindness, caring, and selflessness of Caterina Dallara, daughter of Gianpaolo Dallara and recognizes the individual who has given graciously of themselves for others in the Indy Racing League.

For more information on The Benevolent Fund of Motorsports, Inc., The Indy Family Foundation (a committee of the Fund), the 4th Annual Golf Tournament, Jeans & Jewels Event, please visit www.motorsportfund.org.

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3. Pecorari impresses in first three races: While Alex Lloyd has dominated the first three rounds of Indy Pro Series competition, scoring 155 of 158 possible points in his Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, the competition behind him is intense.

Robbie Pecorari is one of two rookies in the top five in points. He ranks fifth but is within 27 points of second. The 19-year-old from Aston, Pa., finished eighth on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway and recorded seventh- and fifth-place finishes in Team KMA's Cabo Wabo Tequila entry at St. Petersburg.

"It was a very exciting weekend (at St. Petersburg)," team co-owner Jon Lewis said. "When we finished on top of the charts for the second practice session, we knew we had something here. The Team KMA crew did a great job putting a solid car underneath Robbie, and Robbie did a masterful job on track. We had a lot of people at the race this weekend and it was great to have such a strong finish."

Pecorari's experience on street courses -- he won at Toronto last year -- benefited him throughout the weekend. In Race 2, he sustained a damaged wing in the first turn of Lap 1.

"It was a pretty big hit and tore off a significant section of my left front wing end fence," Pecorari said. "But other than a little understeer in the right hand turns, the car felt very stable."

Pecorari spent most of the race battling with Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Chris Festa.

"It's so difficult to pass at St. Pete," Pecorari said. "In fact, the only place you can really pass is turn one. But you have to be patient and wait for the right time and not make a mistake."

Pecorari and the rest of the Indy Pro Series field have seven more races on road courses, but those come after the only set of back-to-back oval races on the schedule. The Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is May 25, and the Milwaukee 100 at The Milwaukee Mile is June 2.

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The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the Indy Japan 300 at 11:30 p.m. (ET) on April 20. It will by broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network with a same-day telecast at noon (ET) by ESPN. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Freedom 100 on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast as part of ESPN2's coverage of Carb Day at 4 p.m. on May 25.

-credit: irl

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS