News stories from May 2019

Test Department News

28 May 2019

Following the recent upgrades to Test Cell 4, which included upgrading the test bed control system to REO eTS, expanding the number of instrumentation channels and changing the AC dyno drive cabinet to a UNICO unit, we have just finished commissioning our latest upgrades to Test Cell 7.  The upgrades to Test Cell 7 included replacing the dyno with an APICOM F3V600 eddy current dyno (600kW, 1200Nm, 12000rpm), upgrading the combustion air control system to a bespoke Ilmor control system, replacing the test bed control system with REO eTS and increasing the number of instrumentation channels to include:

• 77 analogue inputs (expandable to 205)
• 29 PRT inputs (expandable to 125)
• 24 K-Type inputs (expandable to 152)
• 12 Digital Inputs
• ASAP Channels up to 200
• CAN interface (up to 100Hz)
• MEXA 7170D Emissions Analyser support

We will shortly begin work on upgrading Test Cell 6 to the same specification as Test Cell 7, with the addition of an Oswald 211kW AC dyno in tandem with the APICOM F3V600 eddy current dyno and a HBM T12HP 2kN torque flange providing the following capabilities: 811kW & 1647Nm absorption, 200kW & 441Nm motoring, max speed 12000rpm (AC Dyno Max Speed = 15000rpm

Pagenaud Basks In Milk, Glow Of Perfect May In Indy

27 May 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Simon Pagenaud completed his May mission with the biggest win of his racing life, capturing the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in a duel for the ages and extending Team Penske’s dominance in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Pagenaud edged Alexander Rossi by 0.2086 of a second following a thrilling clash over the final 14 laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that had the crowd at the world’s largest single-day sporting event on its feet and screaming with excitement. It was the seventh-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history.
“It's amazing. It's another dream come true, and the biggest dream of my life come true,” said Pagenaud, the 35-year-old native of Montmorillon, France. “It's hard to fathom, really. It's really hard to process it right now, but I'm just filled with a lot of joy.”
Pagenaud and Rossi swapped the lead five times in the closing laps, the last when Pagenaud roared his yellow No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet outside of and past Rossi’s No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda heading into Turn 3 on the 199th of 200 laps around the famous 2.5-mile oval.
From there, Pagenaud wasn’t to be denied in collecting his first Indy 500 triumph and 13th career NTT IndyCar Series victory. On the heels of his win May 11 in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course, Pagenaud became the first driver to win more than one NTT IndyCar Series race this season and second Team Penske pilot to win both IMS races in the same year – following Will Power in 2018.
“I drove really spirited today, but it's just incredible,” Pagenaud said. “I can't take all the credit because I think it showed I had the best car out there.
“The car was just on rails; the yellows came out perfectly. The stars are aligned. … It’s pretty amazing.”
Pagenaud, the 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion, also pushed to 18 the number of Indianapolis 500 wins for team owner Roger Penske. It’s a total 13 more than the next nearest owner.
Pagenaud becomes the fifth driver born in France to win the Indianapolis 500 and first since former Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran in 2003.
“Simon wasn't going to be beat today,” Penske said. “He raced clean, and that's what I have to say about Rossi also. The two of them for the laps that they ran side by side was as good of racing as you've ever seen here.”
With double race points available Sunday, Pagenaud also vaulted into the series championship lead by a single point over teammate Josef Newgarden.
Rossi, the 2016 Indy 500 winner as a rookie, overcame two lengthy pit stops for refueling issues, charging back from mid-pack to contend for the win. The Andretti Autosport driver was in first place on the final race restart on Lap 187, following an incident involving six cars that included an 18-minute red-flag stoppage, but Pagenaud bolted ahead by the time they’d reached the iconic yard of bricks at the start/finish line to complete the lap.
The duo exchanged the lead twice on Lap 189 before Rossi swept back in front on Lap 198 heading into Turn 1. On the ensuing lap, Pagenaud made a similar outside pass, this time going into Turn 3, to take the lead for good. Rossi attempted several overtakes over the last one-plus laps but was thwarted each time. Still, his second-place finish marked the Californian’s fourth top-seven Indy 500 result in as many tries.
“We were flat in that final lap coming to the flag – we just didn’t have enough,” Rossi said. “You can’t take anything away from the (No.) 22 guys. They were on pole, they led a lot of laps, did a good job and had a fast race car.
“I think the NAPA car was superior if you look at what we were able to do in traffic. I don’t think anyone else was doing that. It’s really disappointing. I thought there was a period of time there where we were going to get the win.”
Takuma Sato, the 2017 Indy 500 winner, recovered from pit-stop issues of his own, going down a lap early before recovering to finish third in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. It was just his second top-10 finish in his 10th Indianapolis 500.
“My race, (at) one stage it looked really tough,” Sato said. “We got some little issues after the first pit stop, so we had to come back.
“I think it's still great result to the team, especially considering we were a lap down in 31st. I think it was great.”
Newgarden placed fourth in the No. 2 Shell V-Power Nitro Plus Team Penske Chevrolet, his fifth top-four finish in six races this season. Power finished fifth in his effort to become the first back-to-back Indianapolis 500 winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.
Santino Ferrucci was the highest-finishing rookie, taking seventh place in the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.
The race featured 29 lead changes among 10 drivers. Pagenaud led 116 laps – the most in the race since Dario Franchitti led 155 laps in his 2010 win – in becoming the first Indy 500 pole sitter to go on and win since Castroneves in 2009.
There were five caution periods for 29 laps, including the Lap 178 incident involving Sebastien Bourdais, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist, Charlie Kimball and Zach Veach. It began when the cars of Bourdais and Rahal made contact in Turn 3, with the others collected in the aftermath. All the drivers were checked and released from the IU Health Emergency Medical Center at the track, though Veach will undergo further examination for soreness in his right knee. The race was red-flagged for 18 minutes to allow the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team and track workers to clean the debris.
Crewman Chris Minot was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further evaluation of a leg injury after he was struck in a pit-lane incident involving his driver, Jordan King, in the No. 42 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda.
The NTT IndyCar Series returns to action May 31-June 2 with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, the only doubleheader weekend on the 2019 schedule. The races airs live on NBC at 3 p.m. ET both Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.

Pagenaud Drives Home 18th Indy 500 Pole For Team Penske

26 May 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Simon Pagenaud delivered Team Penske its record 18th pole position in Indianapolis 500 history with a scintillating four-lap qualifying run late Sunday afternoon to take NTT P1 Award honors in the Fast Nine Shootout.
The driver of the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet completed his attempt on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at an average speed of 229.992 mph to collect the 11th pole position of his 10-year Indy car career but first in the Indy 500. Pagenaud, who won the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course on May 11, also became the first Frenchman to win the Indianapolis 500 pole in a century – since Rene Thomas in 1919. 
Pagenaud will lead the closest field in Indianapolis 500 history to the green flag. The time separating Pagenaud’s qualifying attempt and that of slowest qualifier Pippa Mann over the four laps is 1.8932 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 2.1509 seconds in 2014.
Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, a three-time Indy 500 pole sitter, qualified second in the No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet at 229.889 mph. Carpenter’s run was only 0.07 of a second slower than that of Pagenaud over the 10 miles.
Spencer Pigot, the fastest qualifier in Saturday’s first day of Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend, ran third best Sunday at 229.826 mph in the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. Along with Ed Jones qualifying fourth on Sunday, it gave the Indianapolis-based team three of the top four starters for the May 26 race.
Rookie Colton Herta repeated his stellar effort from Saturday, running fifth again on Sunday at 229.086 mph in the No. 88 GESS Capstone Honda for Harding Steinbrenner Racing. Will Power, the 2018 Indy 500 winner, rounded out the second row by qualifying sixth in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet (228.645 mph).
Sebastien Bourdais qualified seventh in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda (228.621 mph), ahead of NTT IndyCar Series points leader Josef Newgarden in the No. 2 Shell V-Power Nitro Plus Team Penske Chevrolet (228.396 mph) and 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi in the No. 27 napa auto parts Honda (228.247 mph).
Rain early in the day delayed the start of the Fast Nine Shootout nearly three hours from its scheduled start. It wiped out completely a scheduled morning practice for the fast nine drivers, forcing them to qualify without any prior track time Sunday.

Rain Artist Pagenaud Paints Winning Indycar GP Picture

25 May 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – As chaos erupted around him in the pits – crew members hugging and high-fiving, people coming at him from all directions to offer congratulations – the man who called Saturday’s rainy, come-from-behind strategy remained as calm as he had been throughout it.

Not surprising, really. Kyle Moyer has called a few of these before.
Moyer decided to forego track position for rain tires by asking Simon Pagenaud to pit from the lead under caution with 22 laps remaining in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The decision dropped Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet back to sixth place, but Pagenaud used the newfound grip and his skill at racing in the rain to pass five drivers – including Scott Dixon for the lead on the final lap – to win the sixth annual NTT IndyCar Series event on the IMS road course for a third time.
As the crew celebrated, Moyer, Pagenaud’s strategist and Team Penske’s general manager, stood on the pit wall, headset still on, quietly talking to Pagenaud and others on the team’s radio channels.
Once he finished the radio congratulations, Moyer, a veteran of more than 30 years with five Indy car teams, turned to praising his driver.
“You see things like that every so often, but it’s nice to be on this side of it, for sure,” Moyer said. “That’s a guy who can win a championship for you and also can win any race for you.”
In the wet, though, Pagenaud is more than a winner. He's an artist.
“I honestly always hope for rain because I love to drive in the rain,” Pagenaud said. “It’s such a fun exercise. You have to balance the car with your feet and your hands and play with it, dance with it. That’s where driving really comes out. On a dry track, it’s very much repetitive. In the wet, it’s more like what I grew up on – dirt racing.”
As the sky couldn’t decide whether it wanted to rain or not during the waning laps, Pagenaud was at his wet-surface best, shining bright in his day-glo yellow car despite the dreary conditions. On the restart with 17 laps remaining, Pagenaud trailed Dixon, Jack Harvey, Spencer Pigot, Matheus Leist and Ed Jones. Seven laps after the restart, Pagenaud had tracked down Leist, then in third place, with a move around the outside in Turn 1.
“My car was very, very good under braking,” Pagenaud said. “I could really experiment with that and fake some moves on people. By doing that, they were thrown off their game, and I would gain time in corners and get them on the exit.”
Five laps after overtaking Leist, Pagenaud chased down Harvey, passing him for second place – again in Turn 1 – with six laps remaining.
“I saw this yellow dart suddenly just like arrive straight at the apex,” Harvey said, “and thought, ‘Man, that was pretty brave,’ and ‘thank God his car is so bright.’ Clearly, Simon had a very quick car today.”
Pagenaud and his yellow dart weren’t finished. Dixon was several seconds ahead, but Pagenaud was rapidly gaining ground while Dixon was struggling to control the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. On the penultimate lap, Pagenaud approached Dixon in Turn 7, raced alongside through Turn 8, then emerged with the lead as the cars exited Turn 9.
Just as Moyer had planned, rain or otherwise.
“Simon's a good driver in the rain, but the car was fantastic from the start of the race to the end,” Moyer said. “We were actually planning on the rain and hoping for the rain, but then at the same time we were probably one of the fastest cars in the dry, too.”
Dixon, who led 39 of the race’s 85 laps, knew Pagenaud was closing quickly but was powerless to prevent the pass.
“I just couldn’t turn,” Dixon said. “I was almost helpless to stop the car to get it to rotate. … I had fantastic traction, but I couldn’t get the car to turn.”
As the mayhem in the No. 22 pit began to subside, John Menard, the longtime former Indy car team owner and current sponsorship partner with Team Penske, reveled in what he just witnessed with his home improvement store’s logo on the side of the winning car for the second time in four years at the race.
“That was all Simon with a good strategy and a really good car,” Menard said. “Wow! The rain and everything played out just right. We thought we were in trouble there at one point, but it all worked out. … Simon is good. Really good.”
Good enough, indeed. The 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion and native of Montmorillon, France, further entrenched his reputation as the rain king with a memorable drive he credits to his upbringing that included extensive wet testing in sports cars.
“Quite frankly, in France it rains all the time, especially where I’m from,” the 34-year-old Pagenaud said. “I’ve done a lot of laps in the rain in my career, and always loved it. The first few laps I did in the rain (as a young driver), I crashed a lot, but I was fast. I just had to figure out how to dial it back a little bit. It’s working.

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