Series news and notes 2011-01-31

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:
1. Rahal helps Ganassi team claim another Rolex 24
2. INDYCAR forms partnership with G&G Motorsports:

1. Rahal helps Ganassi team claim another Rolex 24: Graham Rahal's association with Chip Ganassi Racing already is paying dividends.

Rahal, who will drive the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing entry in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season, co-drove the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates car to victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. It came 30 years after his father, Bobby, joined Brian Remond and Bob Garretson in Victory Lane.

"Most drivers who compete in this event, and there have been thousands, will never get the opportunity to win this race," Rahal said. "And to have the chance to win it, and to have that chance at 22 with a great team, this is pretty sweet."

The 1981 sports car endurance race was Bobby Rahal's breakthrough victory in a career marked by his 1986 Indianapolis 500 title and CART championships in 1986, '87 and '92. He had 24 open-wheel racing victories and 88 podium finishes.

He watched from pit lane as the No. 01 car, co-driven by Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Joey Hand, held off the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entry by 2.46 seconds.

"I thought about (Graham winning) this whole weekend, of really how cool would that be if he was able to do it," Rahal said.

The victory gave team owner Chip Ganassi consecutive victories in the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 500 and the Rolex 24 (from February 2010).

"I don't drive the cars, I don't change the tires and I don't work on the engines," Ganassi said. "There are lots of people, lots of great competitors, who make up this team. I just get to stand up here and talk about it."

IZOD IndyCar Series stars Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon co-drove the No. 02 Daytona Prototype with Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray to the runner-up finish. The SunTrust Racing car co-driven by Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske) finished fifth overall, while the Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian car co-driven by Justin Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) was sixth. Also, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice co-drove the Action Express Racing car that finished ninth. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) teamed with 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Raphael Matos to finish 11th in the Level 5 Motorsports car.

The race was slowed 23 times for 141 laps. There weren't any major incidents, but morning fog led to 2 hours, 47 minutes (57 laps) running under caution.

Indy car winners of the Rolex 24

2011 - Graham Rahal

2006 - Scott Dixon (Finished fourth in IZOD IndyCar Series points with wins at Watkins Glen and Nashville

2006 - Dan Wheldon (Finished second in IZOD IndyCar Series points with wins at Homestead and Chicagoland)

2002 - Max Papis (Ran selected CART events with best finish of third at Long Beach and Milwaukee.

1998 - Arie Luyendyk (Finished eighth in IZOD IndyCar Series points. Won season finale at Las Vegas)

1996 - Scott Sharp (Won IZOD IndyCar Series co-championship)

1989 - John Andretti (Ran selected CART events with best finish of 12th at Laguna Seca)

1988 - Raul Boesel (Finished eighth in CART points, with best finish of fourth at Milwaukee)

1987 - Al Unser Jr. (Finished third in CART points)

1986 - Al Unser Jr. (Finished fourth in CART points, won season-finale at Miami)

1985 - A.J. Foyt (Ran selected CART events, with best finish of 20th at Miami)

1983 - A.J. Foyt (Finished 31st at Indianapolis, his only start of the season)

1982 - John Paul Jr. (Made his Indy car debut at Road America, started 8th, finished 21st)

1979 - Danny Ongais (finished sixth in CART Indy Car points; Best finish:4th at Indianapolis 500)

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2. INDYCAR forms partnership with G&G Motorsports: INDYCAR, sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights has entered into a licensing agreement with G&G Motorsports, a division of G&G Outfitters, Inc. The license grants G&G Motorsports the ability to produce branded premiums, promotional products and retail merchandise for the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"INDYCAR is very excited about the opportunity to work with G&G," said Terry Angstadt, president of INDYCAR's commercial division. "It is a well-respected organization that has proven it knows our space well while bringing a high level of expertise to the table. We're looking forward to tapping into its assets and developing programs that benefit the entire INDYCAR family."

Over the past decade, G&G has quickly become the leading promotional licensee in all of motorsports. By tapping G&G as its new promotional licensee, INDYCAR is drawing on G&G's leadership and experience within the motorsports community to provide its series, drivers, race teams and individual league sponsors with targeted activation and promotional programs that will further enhance the growing popularity of open- wheel racing in North America.

"Our Motorsports Division is poised to draw on its unparalleled expertise in the motorsports arena," says Executive Vice President, Rich Gergar. "We intend to bring an integrated approach of best marketing practices, branded merchandise solutions, dedicated account management, innovative event sponsorship, and activation plans so that INDYCAR continues its progression to become the leading household name in racing,"

-source: indycar

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS