Series news and notes 2012-02-23

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IndyCar Series press release

Today's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:
1. Engine homologation: Cross-reference portal
2. Starr to be Grand Marshall at Barber
3. Get your tee times for inaugural golf tournament
4. Ed Carpenter Racing fills out race operations team
5. Velocity's "Mazda Motorsports Hour" to feature Mazda Road to Indy
6. Of note

Alex Tagliani
Alex Tagliani

Photo by: Bryan Herta Autosport

1. Engine homologation: Cross-reference portal: Trevor Knowles and Darren Crouser hold the keys of the three manufacturers supplying the 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engines for 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series competition. Well, actually they'll be applying seals to crates at Honda Performance Development, Ilmor Engineering and Engine Developments Ltd. to fulfill the INDYCAR homologation requirement.

Homologation? The etymology is Greek; "homologate" is derived from homologeo (to agree). Basically, it's granting approval or confirming the meeting of standards, and - as it refers to the series - the sealing of mandated components.

The parts and complementary technical drawings (listed below) will be used as references - a check system as engine manufacturer competition returns to the IZOD IndyCar Series for the first time since 2005 - during spot checking of engine teardowns (1,800 miles for 2012).

The homologation deadline is a month before the IZOD IndyCar Series' season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25. Practice commences two days earlier.

"Trevor and Darren will take pictures, measurements and weights and seal a series of parts into a homologation crate and leave that with the manufacturers so we can go back at any point in the future and compare any part with those pieces that have been homologated," INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips explained.

Knowles, INDYCAR's director of engine development, will step through the homologation process at Ilmor Engineering (Chevrolet's partner) and Engine Developments Ltd. (Lotus' partner) at their manufacturing facilities in England. Crouser, an INDYCAR engine support engineer, will visit HPD in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Knowles noted that while Ilmor's inspection will take place at its Northamptonshire headquarters, it will ship the crate to its facility in Plymouth, Mich., where teardowns will be administered.

Manufacturers have mandated specifications, but there are open areas that they'll continue to pursue. According to the engine regulations, manufacturers also can request changes to engine components and McLaren software alterations if a certain part is breaking, there is an operation that they could eliminate to make it less expensive or they have to change suppliers that would lead to changes in how it's made. Information would be shared with INDYCAR and the other manufacturers.

On June 18 and again at the end of the year, manufacturers whose engines are statistically more than 2.5 percent deficient in power may, at the discretion of INDYCAR, make improvements to be homologated. Alterations are allowed to make up 2 percent of shortcomings, and they will be introduced on only new engines being sent to the track.

"The engine manufacturers homologate at a certain date and have to have all their engines in that certain spec for the first race," Phillips added. "Their lead time is way bigger so they've had to commit to certain bits and pieces awhile back."

The engine rules will be stable through the 2016 IZOD IndyCar Series season, with any corrections or modifications decided by INDYCAR after consultation with the engine committee.

Components to be held in secure storage:

• Left and right cylinder heads complete with one cylinder's valves, cam followers, cam bearings and camshafts. These are to be fitted using light springs, not the production valve springs, to allow valve lift vs. camshaft angle to be measured.

• Cylinder block including sump

• Plenum upper and lower

• Compressor inlet and outlet air ducts

• An example of each different design of fuel injector - indirect and direct

Hard copies of drawings to be held in secure storage:

• Piston sleeve

• Connecting rod

• Crankshaft

• Inlet and exhaust manifold faces on cylinder heads.

• Inlet and Exhaust camshaft blank

• Rockers

• Inlet and Exhaust valve lift profiles

• Inlet manifold

• Throttle body and butterfly

• Fuel rails - Indirect and direct

• Engine loom(s)

• Interface loom

2. Starr to be Grand Marshall at Barber: Pro Football Hall of Famer and Alabama native Bart Starr will be the grand marshal of the third Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Among Starr's engagements throughout the race weekend, he'll give the command to start the Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus engines and wave the green flag for the 90-lap race on the challenging 2.38-mile road course.

"Bart is a great ambassador for our city and we are excited to have him be part of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy weekend," said Rick Humphrey, Vice President of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of Barber Motorsports Park.

Starr, a 17th-round pick out of the University of Alabama in the 1956 NFL draft, led the Green Bay Packers to an unprecedented five NFL titles and two Super Bowl championships (earning MVP honors in Super Bowl I and II). He received the NFL's Man of the Year Award in 1969, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

He has an NFL-sanctioned Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast award named in his honor, which is presented annually to an outstanding current player. He and his wife, Cherry, are co-founders of the Rawhide Boys Ranch in Wisconsin that provides an effective training programs for at-risk, court-referred young men.

IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights practice commences March 30. For more info and to check out ticket packages, visit www.barbermotorsports.com.

3. Get your tee times for inaugural golf tournament: The inaugural IZOD INDYCAR Golf invitational will be held at the Vinoy Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 22, with financial support earmarked for the Dan Wheldon Family Trust, the Bayfront Baby Place and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and other celebrities will be paired with entrants in foursomes. The event, which precedes the IZOD IndyCar Series' season-opening Honda Grand Prix of Str. Petersburg, also features food and beverages, awards and prizes.

For more information about how to sign up, contact Troy Hanson at 310-497-2469 or by email at troyh@worldmedia-la.com.

4. Ed Carpenter Racing fills out race operations team: Ed Carpenter Racing, which is entering its initial IZOD IndyCar Series season, has added mechanics and engineering personnel to the Indianapolis-based team.

Carpenter, who will be the driver of the Chevrolet-powered No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car in addition to a team co-owner, announced the team's formation in November. Michael Cannon was announced as the lead engineer.

"We are extremely excited with the quality of our Fuzzy's racing team," Carpenter said. "Our staff brings a large amount of IndyCar experience and background."

Tim Broyles, with more than 20 years of Indy car racing experience, has been named team manager. Bret Schmitt, who worked closely with Carpenter for five years, has been named chief mechanic. Mechanics added are Jimmie Johnson, Albert Gray, Steve Krock, Paul Hicks and Jeremy Burtner.

Additional engineering department hires include Matt Barnes (Andretti Autosport, Penske Racing and Rahal Letterman Racing), Brent Harvey (longtime team member at Panther Racing), Ed Delporte (18-year Indy car engineer) and Joe Howard (Andretti Autosport).

5. Velocity's "Mazda Motorsports Hour" to feature Mazda Road to Indy: The Mazda Road to Indy will be featured as part of the "Mazda Motorsports Hour" which will debut in April on Discovery's Velocity network.

The 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda schedules will be televised on a taped-delayed basis by the network, which will air 24 episodes through November.

"Hardcore fans know that some of the most intense action can be found in the Playboy MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, but if you weren't at the race, you are left to take our word for it," said Jim Jordan, Alternative Marketing Manager, Mazda North America. "Now thanks to a partnership with Velocity, fans can enjoy the action on a regular basis from their living room."

Content of the show will be a variety of Mazda-centric series, with an emphasis on either Star Mazda, USF2000 or the Playboy MX-5 Cup.

Award-winning broadcaster Rick Benjamin will host the "Mazda Motorsports Hour," joined by 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year James Hinchcliffe as analyst for the Star Mazda and USF2000 race events. Benjamin's Carolina Production Group will produce and distribute the "Mazda Motorsports Hour."

"It's an honor for our company to be selected once again to produce and place coverage of the Playboy MX-5 Cup, Star Mazda and USF2000 championships," Benjamin said. "Our partnership with Velocity gives us a tremendous platform to showcase the incredible talents of young drivers and veterans alike who are taking full advantage of Mazda's ladder system."

6. Of note: Michael Andretti will be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 21. He counts seven Indy car victories on the streets of Toronto among his 42 CART/Champ Car wins in his 20-year racing career. ... A.J. Foyt, who is recovering at home from a staph infection he contracted following knee surgery last month, received encouraging news from his physicians that he should be cleared to attend the race weekend in St. Petersburg. ... ABC will be on the air with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 12:30 p.m. (ET). ... Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud will participate in the second Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Media Karting Competition on Feb. 28 at Andersen RacePark in Florida. ... Ryan Hunter-Reay is featured in the March edition of Gold Coast Magazine…Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing recently came to an agreement with 15-year-old Henrik Furuseth to compete in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. Furuseth will compete in the National Class after impressing his new team in a test that took place last September.

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Series INDYCAR
Tags carpenter, chevrolet, homologation, honda, izod, lotus