Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Indy Racing League sponsors project at the College for Creative Studies
2. IndyCar Series fan designs new look for Honda safety car
3. Helio readies for "Dancing with the Stars" tour
4. A.J. Foyt Racing hires veteran engineer Colliver
5. Allemann to drive for American Spirit Racing
6. Andersen Racing teams with Allied Building Products Corp.
7. Danica show car at Motorsports Racing Car Show
1. Indy Racing League sponsors project at the College for Creative Studies: The Indy Racing League is looking to today's transportation design students for a glimpse at the future of motorsports, announcing a partnership with the Detroit-based College for Creative Studies where senior-level students will be challenged to imagine an iconic looking IndyCar Series chassis of the future.
"Last year, we introduced a very successful program with the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. called IndyCar 2011," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and the Indy Pro Series. "The results of that project, not only in terms of radical new car designs, but of overall outside-the-box thinking, were encouraging and led us to this partnership with the College for Creative Studies."
In this project, Transportation Design students will immerse themselves in the IndyCar Series culture, gaining a complete understanding of all of the facets of the racing world while engaging experts in racing, engineering and fuel technology as advisors to help them gain a more intimate view of the racing experience and the possibilities for future technology. The students will be developing a hallmark IndyCar Series car for the future that provides a preview of the overall, unique racing experience for an Indy Racing League fan of the future.
"While the performance and safety of open-wheel race cars have changed dramatically over the past 30 years, the chassis design has not," said Brian Barnhart, president, competition and operations of the Indy Racing League. "With respect to design, safety must be taken into consideration at every stage as it is the primary concern for drivers, officials, crew and fans. The only design requirement is that the cars must be open-wheel."
Students will work throughout the semester on the project, with regular input and feedback from Indy Racing League mentors, with the final concepts presented in early May. To further the students' understanding of the IndyCar Series' key brand attributes, including speed, diversity, technology, innovation and environmental awareness, the students will visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Jan. 24.
The IndyCar Series was introduced to the College for Creative Studies by officials at Honda Performance Development, and a contingent of league officials visited the school on Jan. 17.
The project also will involve students in the Advertising Design program, who will develop integrated marketing campaign concepts.
The College for Creative Studies is located in midtown Detroit's cultural center and is a recognized leader in art and design education, preparing students to enter the new, global economy where creativity shapes better communities and societies. CCS is a private, fully accredited, four-year college.
2. IndyCar Series fan designs new look for Honda safety car: Richard Clark drew inspiration from the eagle and open road in formulating his 2008 Honda Accord Coupe Safety Car design contest entry. Now the Ojai, Calif.-based artist will fly across the country to see his creation in action.
An all-star panel selected Clark's as the winning entry in the six-week contest on indycar.com. Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser Jr. and Rick Mears - who have 13 Indianapolis 500 victories between them - unanimously chose Clark's design from three finalists.
"It looks racy," said Rutherford, who drives the safety car at all IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series events. "The red, white and blue splash presents the car well."
Rutherford will unfurl the colors on the 1.5-mile, high-banked Homestead-Miami Speedway oval during the IndyCar Series' season opener March 29 after greeting Clark. The contest winner and a guest will receive a prize package that includes travel, accommodations and passes to get close to the action. The kicker is Clark's name will be placed on the Honda Accord Coupe for the entire season.
"It was kind of a free-form layout," Clark said. "Then I said let's submit it red, white and blue and show our colors. I've always been a big fan of IndyCars. The competition has been great and it inspired me to make the design as best as possible."
The hot-selling Honda Accord Coupe was redesigned for 2008 with an aggressive, sporty stance. A V-6 engine and new independent multi-link rear suspension backs it up. Inside are appointments usually found in higher-priced automobiles.
"Anytime we can reach out and get the fans more involved it's good for our business let alone something as visible as our safety car program, which is out there leading the way every race," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the sanctioning Indy Racing League. "I also think it is challenging from a graphic design standpoint to balance the important equities we want and have something that looks as if it's going fast when it's sitting still.
"I think Richard really captured that."
Visitors of Design It in the Community section of indycar.com will find templates for an IndyCar Series car, concept car, historic car, a whimsical toy series and helmet/motorcoach/firesuit/tow truck. There also are sections for 3D car and transporter designs and a chat area. Submissions are featured on the official Web site of the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series.
"Kudos to the Indy Racing League for putting forth this opportunity for people to submit designs," said Clark, who previously has contributed to Design It. "The whole Design It program online has been a great inspiration to everybody - kids and professionals alike. It's unique to any series and such a fun venue to submit designs. (The design discussion area) helps the kids see what they can do and they can ask questions. At least they can keep looking and striving to build on their talents."
3. Helio readies for "Dancing with the Stars" tour: Helio Castroneves, who won ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars", will join the show's tour in select cities beginning Jan. 18 in Indianapolis.
"I'm very happy about (the tour)," the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner said. "I never thought I'd say it but I kind of miss the dancing. It was fun. I had a great experience. The whole thing was unique."
Other stops on the tour are Jan. 19 in Nashville; Jan. 21 in Tampa, Fla.; Jan. 22 in Jacksonville, Fla.; Jan. 23 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Feb. 9 in Providence, R.I.; and Feb. 10 in Philadelphia.
"(Joining the tour) was my idea," said Castroneves, though he didn't have much difficulty convincing his professional dance partner Julianne Hough. "For me, doing that tour at those places is a way of saying thank you for voting and the support. We'll be able to dance a little bit and thank the fans because without the fans I would have not been able to win the dancing competition.
"We'll be doing the Quickstep for sure and Julianne said something about freestyle. I said, 'What? I might injure my shoulder. Trust me, we don't need to do that.' So we might do the Cha Cha Cha. We just need a few hours of rehearsal because we're not going to invent anything."
4. A.J. Foyt Racing hires veteran engineer Colliver: A.J. Foyt Racing has hired Michael Colliver as the team's chief engineer for the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda to be driven by Darren Manning.
Colliver most recently has served as a consultant to Playa Del Racing for their Indianapolis 500 effort with Jaques Lazier in 2007, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (Ryan Briscoe in 2006) and Access Motorsports (Greg Ray in 2004). Prior to starting Advantage Engineering Services in 2004, he worked at Kelley Racing from 2002-04, Treadway Racing from 1999-2002, Pat Patrick Racing in 1998 and Hemelgarn Racing from 1996-97.
Colliver, 43, earned his bio-engineering degree from Purdue University in 1988 and worked in the bio-medical field for six years designing coronary products. By the time he left medicine, he was awarded two patents for medical devices with others pending for approval.
Pursuing his dream to work in motorsports, Colliver raced Formula Fords, Continental and Mazda in the SCCA and Skip Barber Series, starting in 1991. Working on the cars as a mechanic provided him the skills needed to work full-time at Skip Barber Racing School in Lime Rock Park, Conn. in 1994. That decision to change careers eventually rewarded him with a trip to Victory Lane in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 as a crew member for Buddy Lazier.
5. Allemann to drive for American Spirit Racing: American Spirit Racing announced that it has signed 21-year-old Swiss racer Cyndie Allemann to compete in the Indy Pro Series in 2008.
Allemann, a former Swiss karting champion and Formula 3 competitor, will drive the No. 18 entry for the Jon Lewis-owned team.
"We are very excited to have Cyndie on our team," Lewis said. "She's not only a very talented driver but an extremely personable young lady. I know she will be a huge hit with the fans and I have no doubt that with her racing background, she will be a formidable competitor on the track and a strong rookie of the year candidate."
Allemann, a native of Moutier, Switzerland, has competed in some of Europe's top junior formulas, including German Formula Renault 2.0, German Formula 3 and the Formula 3 Euroseries. She recently relocated to Florida from Switzerland to be with the team during pre-season testing.
"I am really exited to race in the Indy Pro Series in 2008 with a very competitive team," Allemann said. "I really feel comfortable at team ASR and with the team owner Jon Lewis. I'm looking forward to start testing soon."
In addition to a new driver, American Spirit Racing, which operated under the Team KMA Racing banner in 2008, has revamped its operation for 2008 with the addition of several new team members, including veteran IndyCar Series owner and mechanic Paul Diatlovich. He will serve as crew chief for the team.
In addition, American Spirit Racing will pair up with Diatlovich's PDM Racing to field an entry in the 2008 Indianapolis 500.
"I am really excited about this coming season," Lewis said. "We learned a lot in 2007 and have been able to bring some of the most talented members in IndyCar racing onto our team."
The operation will be based at American Spirit Racing's headquarters in Cape Coral, Fla., until the conclusion of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and will then move into the PDM Racing shop in Indianapolis for the remainder of the season.
6. Andersen Racing teams with Allied Building Products Corp.: Allied Building Products Corp., has signed a multi-year partnership with Andersen Racing, which fields multiple entries in several development series, including the Indy Pro Series.
As part of the marketing partnership, Andersen Racing, based in Palmetto, Fla., and Allied Building Products Corp., headquartered in East Rutherford, N.J., will conduct an extensive corporate hospitality program at more than 10 races this year. Allied's logo will also appear on the team's race cars, transporters, driver and crew uniforms and equipment.
"Allied Building Products is pleased to join the professional organization at Andersen Racing," said Ron Pilla, vice president of Allied Interiors, a division of Allied Building Products. "We're looking forward to an eventful partnership that will allow us to entertain our business clients at races all over North America. This will be a new area of corporate entertainment for us, and we are looking forward to the experience."
The partnership is an expansion of a relationship Andersen Racing co-owners Dan and John Andersen have with Allied Building Products away from the track. The Andersen brothers also own a successful contracting business based in Fairfield, N.J. that operates under two nameplates: Andersen Interior Contracting, Inc. and Corporate Woodworking, Inc.
"Allied is the recognized number one company in the field of contractor service and pricing, and we are proud to have had a strong, on-going relationship with them for many years," said Dan Andersen. "The partnership of our racing organization with their nationwide network of dealers is an excellent way for Allied to entertain their customers. We believe our team can offer an enjoyable and rewarding hospitality experience at each event. We are proud to add the Allied brand name identifying Andersen Racing with this fine company."
Larry Haligas, Allied's Midwest regional manager, will work with the team's marketing manager, Ken Burris of the BMS Group, to organize the corporate race weekend activities.
"Everyone at Andersen Racing is excited to welcome Allied Building Products to the team," said Burris. "We look to build on this partnership that will allow Allied to entertain their corporate clients and partners while they enjoy the world of racing."
7. Danica show car at Motorsports Racing Car Show: Danica Patrick's No. 7 Motorola Andretti Green Racing show car will be featured in Watkins Glen International's display at the Motorsports Racing Car Show in Atlantic City, N.J., Jan. 18-20.
Representatives from the track will be on hand to provide information about the IndyCar Series race weekend at The Glen July 4-6.
The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the SpeedJam Indy 300 on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ ESPN. The 2008 Indy Pro Series season also begins on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, which features eight ovals and four road/street course doubleheader weekends, will be televised by ESPN2.