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101st Indianapolis 500 Preview

Just one more day to go until the 101st Indianapolis 500. Yes the biggest day in racing is coming. The Monaco Grand Prix, the Coca Cola 600 for nascar and the biggest race of the whole year, the Indianapolis 500. Of course I’m more interested in Indy over the other two. Monaco doesn’t have much racing and I don’t really need to say about nascar races lately (especially the timing is not good for me) and Indy for the last five years have always had great races.

 

Here’s how everyone is starting and a bit of fun stats if anyone is interested.

 

101st Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid

 

P1 – Scott Dixon – Chip Ganassi Racing – New Zealand

indycar-indy-500-2017-scott-dixon-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 14 (2003-2016)
Wins: 1 (’08)
Podiums: 3 (’07, ’08, ’12)
Top 5 Finishes: 6
Top 10 Finishes: 10
Poles: 3 (’08, ’15, ’17)
Fastest Laps: 1 (’06)
Laps Led: 434
Finishing Rate: 78.57%

Best Result: 1st – 2008

  • Four-time IndyCar Champion (2003, 2008, 2013, 2015)
  • 92nd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 39 wins in IndyCar
  • 2006 and 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 2000 IndyLights Champion

 

P2 – Ed Carpenter – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-carpenter-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 13 (2004-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 2 (’13, ’14)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 69
Finishing Rate: 61.54%

Best Result: 5th – 2008

  • 3 wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Freedom 100 Winner

 

P3 – Alexander Rossi – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-alexander-rossi-herta-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 1 (’16)
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’16)
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 1st – 2016

  • 100th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2008 Formula BMW World Final Champion
  • 5 races in Formula One with Manor in 2015

 

P4 – Takuma Sato – Andretti Autosport – Japan

indycar-indy-500-2017-takuma-sato-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 7 (2010-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 31
Finishing Rate: 57.14%

Best Result: 13th – 2013 and 2015

  • Podium finisher in the 2004 United States GP at Indianapolis
  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2001 Macau GP Winner
  • 2001 British F3 Champion

 

P5 – Fernando Alonso – Andretti Autosport – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-fernando-alonso-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2005 and 2006 Formula One World Champion
  • 2006 and 2007 Monaco GP winner
  • 32 wins in F1
  • 2017 Indianapolis 500 Fastest Rookie Qualifier
  • 1999 Euro Open by Nissan Champion

 

P6 – JR Hildebrand – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-j-r-hildebrand-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 11
Finishing Rate: 83.33%

Best Result: 2nd – 2011

  • 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2009 IndyLights Champion

 

P7 – Tony Kanaan – Chip Ganassi Racing – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-tony-kanaan-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 15 (2002-2016)
Wins: 1 (’13)
Podiums: 4 (’03, ’04, ’12, ’13)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 8
Poles: 1 (’05)
Fastest Laps: 3 (’03, ’05, ’07)
Laps Led: 305
Finishing Rate: 73.33%

Best Result: 1st – 2013

  • 2004 IndyCar Champion
  • 97th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 16 wins in IndyCar
  • 1997 IndyLights Champion

 

P8 – Marco Andretti – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-marco-andretti-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 11 (2006-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 4 (’06, ’08, ’10, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 7
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (’08, ’12)
Laps Led: 141
Finishing Rate: 72.72%

Best Result: 2nd – 2006

  • 2006 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2 wins in IndyCar

 

P9 – Will Power – Team Penske – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-will-power-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 5
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’10)
Laps Led: 74
Finishing Rate: 88.89%

Best Result: 2nd – 2015

  • 2014 IndyCar Champion
  • 28 wins in IndyCar

 

P10 – Ryan Hunter-Reay – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ryan-hunter-reay-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 1 (’14)
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 134
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 1st – 2014

  • 98th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2012 IndyCar Champion
  • 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 14 race wins in IndyCar

 

P11 – Ed Jones – Dale Coyne Racing – United Arab Emirates

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-jones-dale-coyne-racing-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2016 IndyLights Champion
  • 2013 European F3 Open Champion

 

P12 – Oriol Servia – Rahal Letterman Racing – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-oriol-servia-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda

Starts: 8 (2008-2009, 2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 4th – 2012

  • 1 win in ChampCar
  • 1999 IndyLights Champion

 

P13 – Mikhail Aleshin – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Russia

indycar-indy-500-2017-mikhail-aleshin-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 1
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 21st – 2014

  • 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion
  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P14 – Graham Rahal – Rahal Letterman Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-graham-rahal-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 6
Finishing Rate: 55.56%

Best Result: 3rd – 2011

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 24 Hours of Daytona Winner

 

P15 – Max Chilton – Chip Ganassi Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-max-chilton-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 15th – 2016

  • 35 starts in Formula One

 

P16 – Charlie Kimball – Chip Ganassi Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-charlie-kimball-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’15)
Laps Led: 13
Finishing Rate: 83.33% (How ironic for car #83)

Best Result: 3rd – 2015

  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2013 24 Hour of Daytona Winner

 

P17 – James Hinchcliffe – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Canada

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-hinchcliffe-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda

Starts: 5 (2011-2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 1 (’16)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 53
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 6th – 2012

  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter

 

P18 – Juan Pablo Montoya – Team Penske – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-juan-pablo-montoya-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2000, 2014-2016)
Wins: 2 (’00, ’15)
Podiums: 2
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’14)
Laps Led: 192
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 1st – 2000 and 2015

  • 84th and 99th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2007, 2008 and 2013 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Monaco Grand Prix Winner
  • 7 race wins in Formula One
  • 2 race wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup
  • 1999 ChampCar Champion
  • 1998 International F3000 Champion
  • 2017 Race of Champions Winner

 

P19 – Helio Castroneves – Team Penske – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-helio-castroneves-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 16 (2001-16)
Wins: 3 (’01, ’02, ’09)
Podiums: 6 (’01, ’02, ’03, ’07, ’09, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 13
Poles: 4 (’03, ’07, ’09, ’10)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 296
Finishing Rate: 93.75%

Best Result: 1st – 2001, 2002 and 2009

  • 85th, 86th and 93rd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2001 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 23 wins in IndyCar

 

P20 – Jay Howard – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jay-howard-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2011)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0%

Best Result: 30th in 2011

  • 2006 IndyLights Champion

 

P21 – Sage Karam – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-sage-karam-dreyer-reinbold-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2014-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 2
Finishing Rate: 33.33%

Best Result: 9th – 2014

  • 2013 IndyLights Champion
  • 2010 US F2000 National Champion

 

P22 – Josef Newgarden – Team Penske – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-josef-newgarden-team-penske-chevrolet

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 3rd – 2016

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2011 IndyLights Champion

 

P23 – Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske – France

indycar-indy-500-2017-simon-pagenaud-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 35
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 8th – 2013

  • 2016 IndyCar Champion
  • 10 wins in IndyCar
  • 2010 American Le Mans LMP1 Champion
  • 2006 ChampCar Atlantic Champion

 

P24 – Carlos Munoz – AJ Foyt Enterprises – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-carlos-munoz-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2013-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 25
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 2nd – 2013 and 2016

  • 2013 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 1 race win in IndyCar

 

P25 – Gabby Chaves – Harding Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-gabby-chaves-harding-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 2 (2015-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 16th – 2015

  • 2015 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2014 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2014 IndyLights Champion
  • 2009 Formula BMW Americas Champion

 

P26 – Conor Daly – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-conor-daly-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2013, 2015-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 22nd – 2013

  • 2012-13 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Champion
  • 2010 Star Mazda Champion

 

P27 – Jack Harvey – Michael Shank Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jack-harvey-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2015 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2012 British F3 Champion

 

P28 – Pippa Mann – Dale Coyne Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-pippa-mann-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 5 (2011, 2013-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 80%

Best Result: 18th – 2016

  • 1 race win in IndyLights

 

P29 – Spencer Pigot – Juncos Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-spencer-pigot-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 25th – 2016

  • 2015 IndyLights Champion
  • 2014 Pro Mazda Champion

 

P30 – Buddy Lazier – Lazier Partners Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-buddy-lazier

Starts: 19 (1991-92, 1995-2008, 2013-14, 2016)
Wins: 1 (1996)
Podiums: 3 (’96, ’98, ’00)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 6
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’00)
Laps Led: 70
Finishing Rate: 52.63%

Best Result: 1st – 1996

  • 80th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 IndyCar Champion

 

P31 – Sebastian Saavedra – Juncos Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-sebastian-saavedra-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2010, 2012-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 20%

Best Result: 15th – 2014

  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P32 – Zach Veach – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-zach-veach-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: –

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 6 wins in IndyLights

 

P33 – James Davison – Dale Coyne Racing – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-davison-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 50%

Best Result: 16th – 2014

  • 2 wins in IndyLights

 

I have to say Scott Dixon is the heavy favourite going into this race. It’s bad enough for everyone he’s always gone well around here (400+ laps led here in all of his starts), he will start on pole position and expect him to add to his laps led count and stay near the front the whole way. I do expect Rossi to give him a challenge, he’s been impressive yet again and he has a real possibility of making it two Indy 500 wins in two starts.

 

Alonso does have a chance to score a big result. The last guy to jump from another series into the Indy 500 was Kurt Busch and he did well with Andretti too, finishing 6th so if I was Alonso, my aim apart from winning would be to get at least a top 5 finish. Do look out for his Andretti team-mates Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Sato, they should be fast…if their reliability holds on.

 

It’s a huge surprise to see only one Team Penske car in the top 10, usually there’s three or all of them up there. They won’t be at the back for long, I am very sure of it. Especially with the caliber of talent they have in all five cars, don’t be surprised to see one of them up there challenging for the win. It should be a good race as it has been for the last 5 years. I can’t wait for the biggest race in all of motorsports. Bring on the 101st Indianapolis 500! Start your engines!

Alonso to race at Indy 500! It’s really happening!

So big news coming out of Indianapolis…or Texas…or Bahrain, wherever it may have been from but two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to race the 101st Indianapolis 500! Oh wow talk about huge news, this is massive news for IndyCar, the Indy 500, us Indy fans and well motorsports fans in general I suppose.

 

And the first thing to pop out of my mind when I heard about this….”Did Fernando remember my question to him all these years?”. Yeah so I did ask him about racing at the Indy 500 a few years ago and he actually replied back on Twitter which then became a big story on IndyCar, ESPN and whatever it may be. Check it out here -> https://kashwinner.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/the-time-i-asked-alonso-about-the-indy-500-on-twitter/

 

Alo 2

 

It’s really happening! I mean I don’t blame him, clearly McLaren’s latest F1 challenger is a step down and he’s starting to lose patience so why not try something new? After all, he’s only skipping the Monaco Grand Prix, possibly the worst race of the lot because there is ZERO racing on it (never been a fan of Monaco in all honesty). And he’s going into the BIGGEST race of the entire year where overtakes are aplenty and well anyone can win it. So a good deal there from Mr Alonso. I would have done the same thing in a heartbeat.

 

I’m really excited about the prospect of seeing Fernando Alonso in an IndyCar for the first time, in a super-speedway for the first time and on the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway….not for the first time but for him the first time driving in the opposite direction to when F1 last visited Indianapolis.

 

And he’s got a decent chance of taking his second step to complete the Triple Crown (Monaco GP, Indy 500 and 24 hours of Le Mans). He is racing for Andretti Autosport who have gone well in Indy for the past few years. Let’s not forget, they won the big race last year with a rookie driver coming in from F1 (Alexander Rossi) and Kurt Busch did alright in his attempt with them so clearly Alonso, if all goes well, has a chance to do well there.

 Alonso should do alright. He’s in the right team with maybe the best guys to learn from (Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Sato and Rossi), two guys who have jumped from F1 to IndyCar and all four guys have at one point or another found themselves in a position to win it. ūüôā

I thought last year’s 100th Indy 500 was the biggest one ever and now with this news, this might be even bigger! I can’t wait for this month of May to see how Alonso does in an IndyCar. It really is happening! ūüėÄ

IndyCar 2017 Season: Starts Today!

The 2017 IndyCar season is starting today over in St Petersburg, Florida! Those of you who don’t know, IndyCar is probably my favourite racing series anywhere in the world, followed closely by F1 and the Australian Supercars. Can’t wait to see how the 2017 season goes, but like any IndyCar racing season lately, it’ll sure to be a great one! ūüôā

 

So those of you who aren’t familiar to the series or are new to it, here’s a little guide on who’s driving for which team. Well, the full-time drivers¬†that is.

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-carlos-munoz-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet

AJ Foyt Enterprises – Chevy

#4 Conor Daly (Indiana, USA)

Age: 25

Races: 22

Wins: 0

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 72.73%

 

#14 Carlos Munoz (Bogota, Columbia)

Age: 25

Races: 53

Wins: 1

Podiums: 7

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 83.02%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-alexander-rossi-herta-andretti-autosport-honda

Andretti Autosport – Honda

#26 Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan)

Age: 40

Races: 118

Wins: 1

Podiums: 5

Poles: 5

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 63.03%

 

#27 Marco Andretti (Pennsylvania, USA)

Age: 30

Races: 183

Wins: 2

Podiums: 20

Poles: 4

Fastest Laps: 6

Finishing Rate: 79.23%

 

#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Florida, USA)

Age: 36

Races: 159

Wins: 14

Podiums: 32

Poles: 5

Fastest Laps: 7

Finishing Rate: 80.50%

 

#98 Alexander Rossi (California, USA)

Age: 25

Races: 16

Wins: 1

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 93.75%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-scott-dixon-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda

#8 Max Chilton (Surrey, UK)

Age: 25

Races: 16

Wins: 0

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 81.25%

 

#9 Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealeand)

Age: 36

Races: 232

Wins: 39

Podiums: 87

Poles: 27

Fastest Laps: 28

Finishing Rate: 85.78%

 

#10 Tony Kanaan (Salvador, Brazil)

Age: 42

Races: 234

Wins: 16

Podiums: 70

Poles: 11

Fastest Laps: 21

Finishing Rate: 84.19%

 

#83 Charlie Kimball (California, USA)

Age: 32

Races: 101

Wins: 1

Podiums: 6

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 83.17%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-sebastien-bourdais-dale-coyne-racing-honda

Dale Coyne Racing – Honda

#18 Sebastien Bourdais (Le Mans, France)

Age: 38

Races: 90

Wins: 4

Podiums: 8

Poles: 2

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 77.78%

 

#19 Ed Jones (Dubai, UAE)

Age: 22

Races: 0

Wins: 0

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 0%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-j-r-hildebrand-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevy

#20 Spencer Pigot (California, USA)

Age: 23

Races: 10

Wins: 0

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 90%

 

#21 JR Hildebrand (California, USA)

Age: 29

Races: 46

Wins: 0

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 78.26%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-graham-rahal-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda

Rahal-Letterman-Laningan Racing – Honda

#15 Graham Rahal (Ohio, USA)

Age: 28

Races: 147

Wins: 4

Podiums: 19

Poles: 2

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 82.31%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-james-hinchcliffe-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Honda

#5 James Hinchcliffe (Ontario, Canada)

Age: 30

Races: 89

Wins: 4

Podiums: 11

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 83.15%

 

#7 Mikhail Aleshin (Moscow, Russia)

Age: 29

Races: 34

Wins: 0

Podiums: 2

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 76.47%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-simon-pagenaud-team-penske-chevrolet

Team Penske – Chevy

#1 Simon Pagenaud (Poitiers, France)

Age: 32

Races: 87

Wins: 9

Podiums: 20

Poles: 9

Fastest Laps: 4

Finishing Rate: 91.95%

 

#2 Josef Newgarden (Tennessee, USA)

Age: 26

Races: 83

Wins: 3

Podiums: 10

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 8

Finishing Rate: 74.7%

 

#3 Helio Castroneves (Ribeir√£o Preto, Brazil)

Age: 41

Races: 248

Wins: 23

Podiums: 80

Poles: 44

Fastest Laps: 18

Finishing Rate: 89.11%

 

#12 Will Power (Queensland, Australia)

Age: 36

Races: 141

Wins: 27

Podiums: 49

Poles: 38

Fastest Laps: 18

Finishing Rate: 86.52%

 

I guess the big story of the season will be Josef Newgarden now being in a top team. Can he do as well as he did with a smaller team for the last few years for a bigger team now (or more like the biggest team). I’ll point out to his team-mate Pagenaud. He too shone for a smaller team in Schmidt Motorsports before moving to Penske. What happened? He struggled in the first year but became champion in the second year. So maybe we might see the same thing for Newgarden. He’s still a young guy so he’s got time on his side.

 

Ganassi moving back to Honda is the other big news and maybe this might help not just Ganassi themselves to stop the Penske steam-roller but also help Honda take the fight to Chevrolet. And so far in the first weekend, it does look like they may have an answer to them. Should be a good season to see how they fare against each other.

 

Kinda interested to see how Sato does for a big team in IndyCar for once, now with Andretti. I do like the new look AJ Foyt Enterprises, with Chevy engines and two quick youngsters to help them hopefully move up the field. I hope Hildebrand does well in his return to a full-time ride in IndyCar, I still think he’s got what it takes.

 

Bourdais could be one to watch out for this season. He’s brought along his old champ-car winning crew together at his return to DCR. I really hope for a big season for 2016 Indy 500 winner Rossi, the guy has the talent to get the job done. So go Alex and of course of Hinch because he’s awesome!

Rest In Peace Justin Wilson (1978 – 2015)

When I was writing my little tribute to the late Jules Bianchi after he had passed away from his injuries sustained at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix a little over six weeks ago, I told myself that I hope it’s the last time in a long while that I would have this sick feeling in my stomach of realizing that a great racing driver and a great person has left. Unfortunately, motorsports has and will always be a dangerous sport and another great driver and a great person has been taken away from us. And it’s another guy who I think very highly of and that of course is the late Justin Wilson. Just saying that feels weird for¬†me.

I’m still in shock as to what’s happened. For those who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of IndyCar racing and have followed the series since 2005 very closely. I don’t think I’ve missed one race since that day, be it on the TV, a live stream on the internet or delayed on YouTube. I was watching the Pocono race on Monday morning because I couldn’t stay up enough late Sunday night for the race live. It was a pretty good race, one of the better oval races I’ve seen. 6 or 7 cars wide racing? It was brilliant. Then came 21 laps to go when race leader Sage Karam crashed. Parts of his car was flying and his nosecone hit Justin Wilson’s helmet and he went straight into the crash barriers. At this point, I had no idea that he was in a coma but I knew something wasn’t right as he wasn’t moving at all.¬†And then the news came a day later that Justin Wilson had passed away. Life just isn’t fair sometimes. He was just a brilliant driver who finally had a drive with one of the top teams, albeit a part-time deal, in IndyCar and then this happens. I feel horrible for his family and friends, I can’t imagine¬†what they’re going through right now, especially his two young daughters.¬†I can only hope for the best for them at this difficult time.

I first heard of Justin when he won the F3000 championship that year (which is now GP2), beating the likes of Mark Webber and Sebastien Bourdais to the championship. Those two happen to be two of the very best around so it shows the quality JW had. It was always tough for him to fit in those cars being a very tall guy but he finally had his chance in Formula One with Minardi in 2003 and then moving to Jaguar for the second part of the year, scoring one point in Indianapolis. He never really had a proper shot to prove himself in Formula One.

He did do just that in ChampCars and more so in IndyCar. In the first year of the unification, he got a win at Detriot for Newman-Haas Racing. But the team ran into trouble financially so he joined the underdog minnows, Dale Coyne Racing. That’s when he proved how bloody good he was. He gave that little team their first ever win in 25 years at Watkins Glen. After a stint with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, he came back and got them another win in Texas. And on an oval too.

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Justin Wilson in Sonoma 2012. Picture taken by me.

I was really pissed when I heard Justin didn’t have a full-time drive in IndyCar for this season. I remember asking, why isn’t someone as talented as him and Ryan Briscoe not have full-time drivers in a top motorsports series? Sadly it’s all about the money now and guys with the talent can’t just rely on that which is very very wrong. At least both of them got a part-time racing deal and have proven themselves once again why talent > money. And just before that Pocono race, Justin scored a 2nd place finish at the last race in Mid-Ohio! For a part-time driver, that is quite brilliant. He was even leading that Pocono race right off the start and for bits of it. Andretti had been doing better ever since he showed up with two wins for Ryan Hunter-Reay. I was really hoping this would give him a full-time ride with Andretti but sadly that won’t happen.

I’ve had the privilege to watch Justin race twice, both times at Sonoma in 2012 and 2014. And once again he was his impressive self, finishing inside the top 11 for the little team Dale Coyne Racing. In between those races in 2013, he actually finished on the podium in 2nd place in Sonoma.¬†It was just exactly a year ago on this date (24 august US timing) that I last saw Justin Wilson in action at Sonoma. He stopped on track at the end of the race and gave me one of my best pictures I’ve taken of any racing car.¬†He had also walked past me before the start of the race, which was the closest I’ve got to meeting an IndyCar driver at any point. But as he was in the zone, I did not want to disturb him. Even if I had done so, I knew he’d be ok with a quick picture, that’s the kind of guy he was. And to think that exactly one year later, he would succumb to his injuries from Pocono. Life is too short sometimes and very unfair. It always seems as if the best people are taken way too soon. I said that about Dan Wheldon and Jules Bianchi and the same can be said for Justin Wilson.

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Justin Wilson in Sonoma 2014. Picture taken by me.

I will always have the biggest of respects for these racing drivers. They are true heroes, risking their lives to achieve success in motorsports be it to win a race or just to finish it. No-one can match¬†these guys and gals¬†in my view. These guys accept the danger and get on with their racing jobs, I will always have respect for every and any racing driver for that, be it someone who I’m a fan or even if it’s someone I don’t really like, I have nothing but respect for all of them. Especially the guys who drive in IndyCars, which some may say is the most dangerous of the lot because of the speeds they do especially on the ovals. These guys are true heroes to me. So to lose another one is quite hard to accept.

JW is easily one of the best drivers I’ve seen in an IndyCar. It’s a shame that he never got the opportunity in a full-time top team ride he fully deserved. If he had one, I am sure he would have been an IndyCar champion. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how he was a great person and having seen him in the flesh in Sonoma and how friendly he was to his crew and the people around him, I can attest to that. Justin, you were a great driver and an ever better person. Thanks for the memories, especially that win in Watkins Glen in 2009, Texas in 2012 and much more from your time in IndyCar and Formula One. Godspeed JW, you will be missed.

Rest in peace Justin Wilson.

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The time I asked Alonso about the Indy 500 on Twitter…

Something weird just happened yesterday. Or actually the last¬†two days or so. Let’s start the story on good ol’ Twitter.

I happened to see a friend of mine posting a question to two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso and I noticed he was going to do a Twitter Q&A bit, #askAlo, so I thought, hey why not? I should ask him something too being a big fan of the guy myself. But what? At that point, I was watching a video from another friend of mine who attended the 2015 IndyCar MAVTV 500 in Fontana (that was a brilliant race), and it hit me!

I had heard from the likes of Will Buxton from NBC asking Alonso and another F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel about possibly giving the Indianapolis 500 a try sometime in the future. Since I’m in Singapore, I can’t see their videos on the NBC Sports thing so I won’t know what was said. So might as well ask the man himself about one day racing at the Indy 500. We already know he wants to try the 24 hours of Le Mans (and he almost did race for Porsche this year), which 1/3 of the triple crown of motoracing (The 24 hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500), so what about the Indy 500?

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Now, I didn’t expect him to answer or if he’ll even read it so I just went on with things, not thinking much about it. I mean, he’s probably talked about it with the NBC guys so who knows? Guess what, Alonso did reply back!

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Ok, I don’t know if that counts as a reply as he quoted my tweet. And here’s the funny part, I still don’t know how to do that! So this two time F1 world champion seems to be open to the idea of racing in the Indy 500 sometime in the near future, how about that? As he says, “it’s attractive for any racing driver” and ask anyone else, I’m sure they’ll say the same thing. Things got a bit more weird with that particular sentence later on. I guess we can start to imagine the likes of one of the best racers in the world, Fernando Alonso in an IndyCar around IMS. That would be pretty cool. It would be nice if it did happen in the future!

Now with him replying to me, obviously I’ll get quite a bit of notifications on Twitter. I thought I’d have some fun and share that pic of Facebook just to let everyone know that Alonso might think about giving Indy 500 a try and that this bugger here asked him that question haha! As a friend of mine said, “how did you like your 15 minutes of fame?”. Obviously it wasn’t but hey, still a cool moment when someone you’re a fan of mentions you. Now things get a bit crazy.

I wake up the next day, and the first thing I see on Facebook was a post from IndyCar, talking about Alonso and Vettel possibly giving the Indy 500 a try. I’m thinking to myself “what are the odds that happen to see his tweet to my question on that”. Surely not. Then I get a notification on Facebook, a friend telling me to read that article.

http://www.indycar.com/News/2015/06/6-29-Would-Alonso-or-Vettel-compete-in-Indy-500

Right at the end, I see that quote of Alonso’s and I see my name on it too. Holy crap, my name is on an article on the IndyCar webpage! Ok, it was actually my Twitter username but still, that’s me! And me being a huge fan of IndyCar, I’m going nuts about it! And then I find out ESPN has got an article about it too!

http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/13166610/fernando-alonso-not-ruling-future-indy-500-drive

Already the first sentence caught my eye.¬†“Attractive for any driver”, where have I heard that from? Yup, this also mentioned that answer from Alonso and this time, along with two others. The bit where he spoke about Kimi Raikkonen was bloody good, my favourite bit from his whole Q&A bit. He did own Raikkonen after all and he owned him with that answer too haha.

It’s really weird to see my name¬†on a Motorsports¬†article on ESPN, IndyCar and also apparently a few Dutch sites too. I did say once that being a sports journalist would be a cool thing for someone like me, I’ve always wanted to travel around and watch these races (F1, IndyCar, Formula E, NASCAR or whatever) and maybe write on stuff about it or take photos from these races. I do like taking photos of these race cars, check out my Flickr page for pictures I’ve taken from all the races I’ve been to (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kashwinner/albums). Maybe I should have done that after all and who knows, maybe my name could appear on ESPN and IndyCar a bit more often haha! I can dream right? But hey, we might not have to dream about the likes of Alonso and Vettel in an IndyCar, that might actually happen sometime soon! How awesome would that be!

Enough of me and my 2 seconds of fame and seeing my name of motorsports article, even if it was a cool moment, how would those guys do in a race like the Indy 500? We’ve already see Nico Hulkenberg have a go at the Le Mans 24 hours and not just complete the whole race, he actually won the damn thing and he was the one driving the car to the finish line. Those LMP1 cars are probably more similar to the F1 cars so it wouldn’t be much of a change but the IndyCars, especially the oval configurations, that’s something different and might take these guys a while to get it. I mean, Juan Pablo Montoya did struggle for the first half of last season when he came back to IndyCar, look how he’s doing now. He’s leading the damn championship with a second Indy 500 win to his name!

I actually think Alonso and Vettel could fare quite well in an IndyCar. Let’s not forget the story of good ol’ Nigel Mansell. He won the F1 world championship in 1992 with Williams and brought his talents and his mustache over to America in 1993, joining the then CART series and won the 1993 CART IndyCar championship as well! He could have, and probably should have, won the Indy 500 at his first attempt if not for a bad re-start. Ok, Alonso and Vettel will probably stay in F1 and won’t get much running time on an oval for an IndyCar if they decide to go for it (and if the calendar allows them to do it) but who knows, those two are two of the very best in the world, so I’m sure they’ll cope with it fine after a few runs. Would be nice if either one of them gave it a try next year for the 100th Indianapolis 500.

And to end this bit, here’s one pic from this past March from the Malaysian Grand Prix of the man himself, Fernando Alonso, in his McLaren Honda car. If only that car was any good…

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My 2014 a repeat of my 2012?

This year is starting to feel more and more like it did in 2012. Back then, I started the year in the Army, finally had my freedom, went to Australia in March and California in August/September and in October, started my new school program. For this year, I’ve just finished my Diploma program, enjoying my “freedom” for a little while before going through a preparatory program of sorts for the Degree program (still Accounting, hopefully less theory work and more numbers work) and then start that school in September and in between July till then, I might make a visit to good ol’ North America.

And if it all works out nicely, I might attend the same three motoracing events as I did in 2012, the Australian Grand Prix, the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and the Singapore Grand Prix, three very good events as three very different circuits but all usually giving great shows. If that’s not all, I’m trying to attend another event but this is something I’ve not seen before, hopefully I’ll get to watch a live wrestling show for once. LA usually hosts WWE’s 2nd biggest show SummerSlam and it would be kind cool to check it out live for myself for once. And it’s LA, maybe I should make another visit to Disneyland, truly the happiest place on earth. Or Universal Studios. Fun fact, I’ve never actually been to Singapore’s Universal Studios yet!

There’ll be some fun times coming up for this year I hope but also I have to work hard, my next school will be really tough and this time I can’t joke around any more so for those of you who know that I’m playing certain games online, don’t be surprised to see me take a break from them. I just hope I can get into that next school and do my best. I’ll still be in Singapore and not study overseas as I’ve always hoped to do just to see what it’s like (I like to travel and see other places but unlike most people here, I’d rather go to North America and Australia than the rest of Asia). There may be a chance for me to do some studying over in London with this program (it’s done by Uni of London) so who knows?

And this is also the year I’ll be back to wearing green but just for a week, thankfully my reservist is a week after my pre-degree course. Not sure what to expect but I can survive 5 days there. And hopefully I’ll be on that plane flying high a few days after it, just like I did in 2012 when I left for California two days after my two years of National Service was completed. I have no idea what the future holds but we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully this year will be just as fun as it was two years ago and then work like crazy for the next two years and do something with my life after it.

IndyCar drivers who have tested F1 cars – Pictures

This is just for fun, pictures of IndyCar drivers who have at some point tested an F1 car sometime during their career:

Marco Andretti – Honda F1 – 2006

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This test was a reward to Marco Andretti for winning the IndyCar Rookie of the Year in 2006. Would be nice if there was still a Honda team around to give these IndyCar drivers an F1 test once in a while again. Marco has previously said that he wouldn’t think about moving to Formula One until he’s won the Indianapolis 500.

Townsend Bell – Jaguar Racing – 2003

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There was a point in time where Townsend Bell was America’s next big F1 hope after having a decent year in F3000 and testing for BAR Honda and Jaguar but nothing came out of it for the San Francisco native.

Sébastien Bourdais РArrows Grand Prix Р2002

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Like Bell before, Seb Bourdais was once touted as France’s next big Formula One driver and after winning F3000, he tested for the likes of Arrows and Renault. The move to Arrows never happened due to the issues they faced and nothing happened for him with Renault. He would end up getting that F1 chance with Toro Rosso in 2008 after winning four straight ChampCar titles but it didn’t work out for him.

Ryan Briscoe – Toyota F1 – 2004

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Ryan Briscoe was once part of the Toyota F1 young driver’s program having joined them in 2001 and testing for them since 2002 and was promoted as the third and reserve driver in 2004. When Toyota announced that they would supply engines to Jordan Grand Prix, Briscoe was given the opportunity to drive for them but he opted for Ganassi Racing in IndyCar. Eight years on, Briscoe will re-join Ganassi for the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

Mike Conway – Brawn Grand Prix – 2009

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Like Briscoe before, Mike Conway was once part of the Honda young driver program and was promoted as a test driver for Honda Grand Prix in 2007 along with his GP2 program. He was considered for the Super Aguri drive at one point but nothing came of it. He tested for Brawn GP in 2009 after his first year in IndyCar but stayed in America after that.

Scott Dixon – Williams F1 – 2004

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Having won the IndyCar championship the year before, Dixon was given a chance to test the Williams car in 2004 with a possible chance for a drive in 2005. Nothing came up for him likely due to his poor performance from the test session.

Sarah Fisher – McLaren Mercedes – 2002

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During the 2002 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, Fisher was given a chance to test the McLaren car in between the friday practice session in what was just a promotional test.

Dario Franchitti – Jaguar Racing – 2000

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Dario Franchitti actually had his first F1 test with McLaren in 1995 thanks to winning the McLaren award and waited another five years for a proper F1 test with Jaguar performing test sessions for Jaguar under his mentor Sir Jackie Stewart but he couldn’t secure a race seat with the team. His cousin Paul di Resta races for Force India F1 these days.

Bryan Herta – Minardi F1 – 2002

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Herta got a chance to test for Minardi and was even considered to replace Alex Yoong for a few races in 2002 but that role went to Anthony Davidson.

JR Hildebrand – Force India F1 – 2009

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After winning the 2009 Indy Lights championship and running a number of races for Team USA in A1GP and was given a chance to test with Force India F1 before moving back to the States.

Tony Kanaan – BAR Honda – 2005

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Tony Kanaan was given a chance to test the BAR Honda car in 2005 as a prize for winning the 2004 IndyCar championship with Honda. There was a small rumor of him moving to F1 but he had a contract with Andretti-Green till 2008 meaning that was never going to happen.

Katherine Legge – Minardi F1 – 2005

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Katherine Legge became the first female to test an F1 car since Fisher in 2002 when she was given a chance to test for Minardi in one of their last few test sessions in F1. After crashing after just two laps, she was given a second day and did alright before moving to the States to race in ChampCar.

Alex Lloyd – McLaren Mercedes – 2004

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The prize for winning the 2003 McLaren Autosport Award was a first F1 test for Alex Lloyd who tested the car with Jamie Green and Lewis Hamilton. He would move on to America with limited chances in Europe.

Will Power – Minardi F1 – 2004

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Will Power and Will Davison were both given a test with Minardi by compatriot Paul Stoddart and both guys did well before moving to A1GP and World Series by Renault. Will (Power that is), would move over to the States with not much chances for him to move up the ladder in Europe.

Graham Rahal – BMW Sauber – 2008

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This wasn’t actually a test session but a demo run in the United States with Graham Rahal getting a rare chance to drive a Formula One car even if it’s just a demo run. Still the only time Rahal has driven an F1 car in his career.

Takuma Sato – Scuderia Toro Rosso – 2008

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Many will know that Taku came from F1 to IndyCar and that he raced for the likes of Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri but many may not know is that he actually tested for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2008 in the hopes of finding his way back to F1 after Super Aguri left. Sato didn’t make his way back to the grid but would end up moving to IndyCar.

Tomas Scheckter – Jaguar Racing – 2001

IndyCarF1Test - Scheckter2

After a few years in the main European junior series, Scheckter was hired by Jaguar Racing as a test driver for the 2001 season but he was fired for an embarrassing incident even before the year ended. He moved to the States the year later.

Oriol Servia – Prost Grand Prix – 2000

IndyCarF1Test - Servia2

Servia moved to the States after winning a few F3 championships and won the 1999 Indy Lights championship. He would end up testing for the Prost Grand Prix during 2000-2001 but nothing came out of those tests and stayed in the States ever since.

Paul Tracy – Benetton F1 – 1994

IndyCarF1Test - Tracy

Paul Tracy made a quick impact in IndyCar, winning races in his first full season and finishing 3rd in his first two full season campaigns in IndyCar. He got the chance to test for F1 champions Benetton in 1994 and that was his only test in F1.

EJ Viso – Spyker F1 – 2006

Formula 1 Grand Prix, Brazil, Friday Practice

For a while, it looked as if EJ Viso would be Venezuela’s best hope in Formula One. A race winner in GP in 2006, he was given the chance to test the Spyker F1 car during the Brazilian Grand Prix. Two years later he moved to the States.

Justin Wilson – Jordan F1 – 2001

IndyCarF1Test - Wilson2

Those who follow F1 will remember that Justin Wilson drove for Minardi and Jaguar in 2003 but some may not know that he tested for Jordan F1 back in 2001. He showed his speed there and got his F1 chance but couldn’t stay due to lack of sponsorship money and moved to the States the next year.

2012: What a great year

So in less than two days time, 2012 is history and 2013 is the now. I can’t say I’m looking forward to 2013, nothing real planned apart from study, study and yeah, study! Kinda like 2011 for me, work, work and yeah, work! So just as I wasn’t looking forward to 2011, it’ll be the same story for 2013. Just wanting to reach 2014 and hopefully start a new chapter in this crazy life of mine. I got to do many things in 2012, mostly the mid part of the year, and many memorable moments as well.

Didn’t really do much for the first two months apart from checking out the Singapore Air Show for once, which was kinda cool. Not often do you get to see aviation displays so why not? And it wasn’t just displays in the exhibition hall, there was one in the skies too, which was great to see.

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The last time I went on an overseas trip was just before I started serving the Army, that being my one month stay in Canada (Vancouver and Calgary). So it was nice to have a short trip overseas away from work for once, spending a week during March in Melbourne, Australia, which was my first time back down under since 20 years ago (I was just 2 years old when I visited Sydney). Really had a good time in Melbourne, great city and got to see most of downtown Melbourne and also the Great Ocean Road. And of course, I was there for another reason, the 2012 F1 Australian Grand Prix. That was my fourth F1 event (second watching the actual race live) and the first time outside of Singapore.

Gotta say the whole event in the Albert Park circuit was great, a must go for anyone who are into cars. Lots of racing action and car displays, I think I saw about 500 cars at least on display. The good thing about the Aussie GP, you actually get to see the drivers (F1 and V8 Supercar drivers too) on the Thursday (or other days for non-F1) for the autograph sessions, and walk the pit-lane if you have a pass (which I did). Had some good seats for the race at the Schumacher stand, and Jenson Button won it, and he’s my favourite in F1 these days, so all good for me!

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For April, I didn’t do much again, but I did get to visit Genting Highlands for the first time in almost 10 years (I think), and I had my fun there, with all the rides and everything else. I had to wait an hour to do a freaking go kart race, the main thing I was looking forward to, and you need a passport to do even ride them, which wasted my time even more. The delay was due to weather, after all, we’re in the moutains, it was hazy and raining. So I had my go-kart run in the wet weather, and that was fun!

For the most part of January to July, I was still serving the Army, just counting down to the magical date, “August 1st 2012”, the day of my freedom. 2011 was a crazy year of too much work, so I slacked most of the time in 2012, doing whatever I needed to do and just wanting to get out of that horrible place I call my camp, full of idiots and only a few good people there. So yeah, August 1st came, I did my medical on the same day as my ORD date, did the usual things, and that’s the last time I’ve been there! FREEDOM!

And two days later, I’m back at Changi Airport for my second trip overseas (3 if you count Genting in Malaysia, but my second flight, which is still the most I’ve done in a year ever, 2 flights), and off I went to California, USA to stay with family there for nearly 2 months. Had an awesome time there with my awesome family, got to see Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Burbank, Santa Monica and many more. I love it there, I hope I can move to North California soon. Would love to stay at San Francisco, the weather at the Bay Area is just wonderful there.

What would you do if you’re near Los Angeles? Go to Disneyland of course! Even for the bunch of us who went there, and not kids anymore, still a great place to have some fun. I got to see an IndyCar race too for the first time over in Sonoma, and the show there was awesome. Was as good at the one in Australia for the F1 race there, which means better than Singapore. And for my first live IndyCar race, the guy who won it had to be Ryan Briscoe, the same guy who got me into watching IndyCars in the first place and will always be my favourite driver in IndyCars. That was his first win in two years, and his last win for Team Penske. At least I can say I saw it live! Wish I had more time to explore San Francisco other than checking out the obvious, the Golden Gate Bridge, hopefully I’ll be back soon!

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Back home by September, and on the second day, had to go to my new school for some rubbish orientation program. They are incredibly boring. And yes, late September in Singapore can only mean one thing, Singapore Grand Prix. Fourth straight year catching the action, second time watching the full weekend live, and for the first time, had walkabout tickets to go to every zones. Worth the money for sure, got to see a lot of good action for zones I hadn’t been to before. Good show as always, too bad I took the wrong spot for the race, view was blocked the whole time! Got to see Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Noel Gallagher’s high flying birds in action. Noel being my favourite musician of all time, that was awesome even though I didn’t get to see him for all that much because of the F1 scheduling. Still, I finally saw him live! As for the other two,¬†became fans of the other two from their shows. Sebastian Vettel won the race again, so that made it three races I watched this year, all won by drivers I’m fans of.

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From October onwards till November, study and more studying in my new school at SIM. Back to studying Accounting, it involves numbers in some ways, I like dealing with numbers, so why not? Slacked for the whole of December playing games, with school starting in January (first day back had to be on my birthday huh?). It’s been a great year, visiting some cool places, good some stuff, enjoying my time with my family in America, watching fast cars three times, and most of all, free of any stupid orders! 2012 probably has been one of my better years, 2013 will probably be the year I just concentrate on studying, no plans to go anywhere yet, so hopefully 2014 will be another enjoyable year again! Next up for me, to know how it feels like to be a 23 year old!