IPS: IRL: Indy Racing League News & Notes 2005-08-08

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Aug. 8, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Kanaan takes special interest in Camara 2. Title sponsor with great message 3. Hornish looking for 50 4. Rahal to drive classic Formula One machine at Infineon 1....


Today's IRL headlines
1. Kanaan takes special interest in Camara
2. Title sponsor with great message
3. Hornish looking for 50
4. Rahal to drive classic Formula One machine at Infineon

1. Kanaan takes special interest in Camara: Reigning IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan will make mental notes of the telemetry and lines from the Sam Schmidt Motorsports pit area at Kentucky Speedway while discretely watching Jaime Camara click off lap after lap in preparation for the Aug. 13 Bluegrass 100.

After the practice session, he'll confer with the Menards Infiniti Pro Series rookie, offering suggestions from his years of experience and what he just witnessed on the 1.5-mile speedway. It's the least he can do -- what he truly wants to do -- for a fellow Brazilian attempting to reach the pinnacle of North American open-wheel racing.

The scene will be a reprise as Camara -- a two-time winner and three-time pole winner already this season -- adapts to the challenging ovals on the circuit in the No. 1 CELG-Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Kanaan has sat on the pit wall during practice sessions at Milwaukee and Nashville -- sometimes with the arms of his green Team 7-Eleven firesuit wrapped around his waist as he waits for the next IndyCar Series session.

The situation also is reminiscent of 10-plus years ago during Kanaan's lean early years while competing in various formulas in Italy. Fellow Brazilians Aryton Senna and Rubens Barrichello took an interest, encouraged him and offered advice about professional motorsports and life. Almost a decade since moving to North America to compete first in Indy Lights, Kanaan is a supplemental mentor to the Sam Schmidt Motorsports group.

"I got to know Jaime a little bit better this year," said Kanaan, who will compete in the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 14. "He's a young kid and I think he has talent. He asked me for a little bit of help, and I got a lot of help in my career. We're definitely getting to know each other a lot more."

The friendship has developed into a management relationship, with Camara being represented by Kanaan Racing. Daily workouts in Miami, where they both reside, are an off-shoot of their shared interests and profession.

"I've been weight lifting for about five years, so I can show Tony some things to improve strength and stamina," said Camara, who turns 25 on Nov. 5. "He has been showing me the cardio things that are part of triathlons that he does. I enjoy spending time with him."

Especially at the track. During a caution period for a track inspection during practice at the tight 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway in July, Kanaan leaned into the cockpit to talk with Camara. A few laps later, he moved to the top of the speed chart.

"(Tony) was telling me to change my line a little, and work with my line, to do different lines," said Camara, who is second in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series standings. "He asked me to see which line is better, because I was asking my engineer what line was best. He told me, 'Go up, go down, and you'll see. That's up to you.' We were having a little understeer in the beginning and then we were working that out. Speed came with that."

The next lesson is scheduled for Aug. 12.


2. Title sponsor with great message: The AMBER Alert Portal Indy^Ù 300 presented by GPS Industries might not flow off the tongue, but it nonetheless has an important message.

The IndyCar Series event Aug. 14 at Kentucky Speedway will help bring attention to and expand the state's AMBER Alert system that is used to notify the public about missing and abducted children. The AMBER Alert Portal Consortium is a public-private partnership that provides states new technology that expands the alert system to make it more effective by expanding messages from television, radio and electronic highway signs to include cell phones, e-mail, pagers, Personal Digital Assistants, computer desktops and lottery terminals.

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher will officially activate the AMBER Alert Portal before the race. Fletcher also will serve as the race grand marshal and give drivers the command to start their engines.

"As a father and grandfather, I understand how important it is to keep our children safe," Fletcher said in a statement. "I look forward to serving as grand marshal of the AMBER Alert Portal 300 race at the Kentucky Speedway and the opportunity it gives us to raise public awareness about the new AMBER Alert Portal system."

Kentucky will be the seventh state to go live with the AMBER Alert Portal, which enables the quick communication of detailed data -- including physical descriptions, photographs and biographical information -- by law-enforcement agencies. It will be the first time a major sporting event has had a cause-related title sponsor.

At the track, parents will be able to create a free digital identification for their children. The electronic child IDs will include a digital photograph of the child and list their name, age, height, weight and other data.

"When you can take an event like this, not only regionally, but nationally, and promote the protection of children, it's really great," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Cassis said. "The cause is right on. There is no greater cause."


3. Hornish looking for 50: Two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. has led laps in a series-record 49 races heading into the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 14. In his career, Hornish has led a series-record 2,443 laps.

Some highlights:

First race led (seventh career start): Aug. 27, 2000 at Kentucky Speedway. Led 38 laps and finished ninth.

First victory (ninth career start): March 18, 2001 at Phoenix International Raceway. Led 140 laps after starting ninth.

25th race led (45th career start): July 19, 2003 at Nashville Superspeedway. Led four laps and finished 11th.

Last race led (79th career start): July 31, 2005 at Michigan International Speedway. Led six laps and finished fifth.

Laps led high: 181 of 200 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 17, 2003, when he finished first.


4. Rahal to drive classic Formula One machine at Infineon: Bobby Rahal, winner of the 1986 Indianapolis 500 and co-owner of Rahal Letterman racing, will spearhead a strong contingent of drivers and classic Formula One race cars at the Moly Shield Oil Historic Grand Prix, which will run as a support event during the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix weekend at Infineon Raceway, Aug. 26-28.

More than 30 authentic Formula One race cars (1966-1983) are expected to compete in the Moly Shield Oil Historic Grand Prix. Qualifying will take place on Aug. 26, with the 10-lap race set to take the green flag on Aug. 27.

Included in the field will be five world championship drivers' cars: Jackie Stewart's 1971-72 Tyrrell; James Hunt's 1976 McLaren; Niki Lauda's 1977 Ferrari; Mario Andretti's 1978 Lotus; and Alan Jones' 1980 Williams.

Rahal, who fields drivers Vitor Meira, Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice in the IndyCar Series, will pilot a 1974 Brabham BT-44 during the event. The Brabham that Rahal will drive is owned by Phil Reilly, co-director of the Historic Grand Prix.

"This will be a big deal for us, because it's with a major-league event like the IRL," Reilly said. "This is our home track; probably about 60-70 percent of the cars you will see are from Northern California. It will be like a trip back in history for the fans."

This will be the first event with the IRL for the Historic Grand Prix, which is based in Corte Madera (North Bay) and has been around for five years. The Historic Grand Prix will also race with the IRL at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) in September.


The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 Presented by GPS Industries at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 14 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Bluegrass 100 on Aug. 13 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 18.


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Bobby Rahal , Tony Kanaan , Jackie Stewart , Sam Schmidt , Mario Andretti , Niki Lauda , Alan Jones , Buddy Rice , Jaime Camara , Phil Reilly , James Hunt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Williams