IRL: Indy Racing League news and notes 2004-11-11

Indy Racing League News and Notes Nov. 11, 2004 Today's IRL headlines 1. Carpentier Joins Red Bull Cheever Racing 2. IRL Race At Infineon Raceway To Include "Carousel" 1. Carpentier Joins Red Bull Cheever Racing: Patrick Carpentier will...

Indy Racing League News and Notes
Nov. 11, 2004

Today's IRL headlines
1. Carpentier Joins Red Bull Cheever Racing
2. IRL Race At Infineon Raceway To Include "Carousel"

1. Carpentier Joins Red Bull Cheever Racing: Patrick Carpentier will compete in the IRL IndyCar Series in 2005 after signing with Red Bull Cheever Racing on Nov. 11.

"I love ovals and I've been wanting to do it for a few years," Carpentier said. "I've never done the Indy 500. For me, it's going to be a new experience, but I'm really looking forward to it. I love oval racing, so it's fantastic. It's a great opportunity for me. I love to drive those cars, the race cars, and I love ovals. I was watching the IRL on TV, sitting at the edge of my seat. They've had some great races this year."

Carpentier will join IndyCar Series veteran Alex Barron at Red Bull Cheever Racing. Barron finished 12th in IndyCar Series points driving for the team in 2004.

"Our driver lineup for 2005 is outstanding," said managing director Max Jones. "Both drivers are veterans with years of success under their belts in both oval and road course racing. Their combined knowledge is a breeding ground for a championship winning year."

Red Bull Cheever Racing also announced a partnership with Toyota Motor Sales, USA to use the Toyota engine for the IndyCar Series beginning in 2005.

"We have one mission at this team, to win races," team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "This partnership with Toyota is vital to achieving our goals to win races and the championship."

Red Bull Cheever Racing will field the No. 51 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone for Barron and the No. 83 Toyota-powered Dallara for Carpentier.

"I think (Patrick) is at a perfect point in his career, both from an age point of view and experience he's had," Cheever said. "I cannot say that I have spent a lot of time with Patrick, but he seems to be extremely motivated. Something that you can always judge, a driver's motivation, is by looking if they're in good physical shape or not. He seems to be in incredibly good shape. He has done very well. He's a professional. We expect him to deliver results. I'm sure he will do that. I put him on very much of an equal par with Alex Barron, who I have a lot of respect for. He's put a lot of work into this team. I think between the two of them, they will do a very good job working with each other."

The announcement ends Red Bull Cheever Racing's partnership with General Motors, which generated Red Bull Cheever Racing's best championship results in 2004, and best Indianapolis 500 results in 1998, 2003 and 2004.

"We are proud of our history with General Motors," Cheever said. "They powered Cheever Racing to our 1998 Indy 500 win and many other great moments. While we have both chosen to pursue different plans, I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors."

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2. IRL Race At Infineon Raceway To Include "Carousel": Dario Franchitti became the first IndyCar Series driver to test the Infineon Raceway road course during a one-day compatibility test on Nov. 11.

The test, which IRL officials used to evaluate the facility, confirmed that the track's inaugural race will incorporate Turns 4-6 of the road course, including the sweeping, 200-degree Carousel.

Track and IRL officials had originally planned to use a modified 10-turn, 1.77-mile version of the road course for the event, but decided to include the Carousel, one of Infineon Raceway's signature turns, to provide the best possible race for the fans. With the addition of the Carousel, the IRL will utilize a 12-turn, 2.2-mile circuit. The distance of the race has not yet been determined.

Infineon Raceway will host the first permanent road course race in the 10 year history of the IndyCar Series on Aug. 28, 2005.

The use of the Carousel should offer fans an additional area for great racing and passing on the road course. The circuit will also include modified versions of Turns 9 and 11.

"It is very exciting to see the plans for this event take shape," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. "Our fans in Northern California are in for one of the best shows in motor racing."

Work is currently under way on track enhancements around the course in preparation for the event. Grading will be completed at Turns 2 and 3 to provide more run-off, and k-wall and tire packs will be placed around the course. Paving and smoothing will also be completed in some run-off areas.

The inaugural event will be the first major open-wheel event at Infineon Raceway in 35 years, and will also feature the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù. The IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series will return for an Open Test at Infineon Raceway on April 12-13.

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The IRL IndyCar Series opens its 10th season of competition with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network The 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season also opens on March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Alex Barron , Max Jones