Introducing the New Tribute Racing Website

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Hey everyone we’ve moved! Come check out our new website at TributeRacing.com The blog will continue to exist as our article archive, but all new posts will be to the new site. Thank you for sticking with us, we’ll continue working hard to bring you the best in IndyCar, Nascar, F1 and more!

– Adam and Joey

DeltaWing Announces GT race car Concept

DeltaWing Technology Group to design and build a DeltaWing® GT concept, expected to appear in 2015. Brian Willis, the newly appointed vice president, Engineering and Design, leads the project

Sebring, Fla., (March 20, 2015) – DeltaWing Technology Group, Inc. today revealed an exciting evolution of the DeltaWing Racing Cars program with its announcement that it will begin development of a DeltaWing® GT race car concept.

It will be designed to demonstrate that with far less horsepower than many of today’s best sports cars, a two-seat performance car based on the DeltaWing® architecture would deliver the same performance, yet with previously unimagined fuel economy and efficiency. Expected to appear in 2015, this new DeltaWing Racing Cars project is a major step toward a street-legal two-seat DeltaWing® sports car.

“This is an important point in the DeltaWing® project’s next phase,” said Don Panoz, DeltaWing Technology Group chairman and CEO. “We’ve been very busy leading up to this launch announcement, and we’ll remain quite busy coordinating the race car project’s many details.”

Brian Willis, DeltaWing Technologies’ newly appointed vice president, Engineering and Design, will lead this project. He also will lead a simultaneous and related project – development of two- and four-seat DeltaWing® road car prototypes for further development and real-world testing.

Willis is no stranger to Panoz and racing. His 27-year career includes stints as senior designer for Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd., director of engineering for Élan Technologies’ motorsports division, chief engineer for Panoz Motorsports, and technical director for Audi Sport Japan, winners of the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Team Goh Audi R8. Most recently, he was director of technical services for Multimatic Inc. in Canada.

This announcement does not impact the Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars team or its racing efforts with the DWC13 Coupe, which competes in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

The DeltaWing® project’s roots are in racing, but the program has remained focused on its ‘raceway to driveway’ mission and has proven the architecture’s performance, efficiency and green technology through the original DeltaWing® Roadster and the Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars DWC13 Coupe. The coupe competes with roughly half the weight and aerodynamic drag, half the horsepower, and half the fuel consumption while delivering the same performance.

The DeltaWing® design in the prototype roadster and coupe features a very narrow front track and conventional rear wheelbase. The result is a significant reduction in overall mass and weight coupled with an aerodynamic efficiency gain. The rear-engine layout and narrow track design provides a 30 percent/70 percent front-to-rear weight distribution, which allows engineers to use much smaller steering, braking, suspension, and other components up front to reduce overall mass and weight. Less mass and weight means less horsepower is needed to propel the vehicle, which in turn decreases fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Other benefits include reduced front tire and brake wear and less rolling resistance.

DeltaWing Racing

Tequila Patrón ESM Enters 12 Hours of Sebring with Honda ARX-03b Prototypes

Riviera Beach, Fla., – March 10, 2015 – Tequila Patrón ESM returns to the tried and true Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b prototypes for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Sebring International Raceway next weekend. The two-car team returns to its race-winning open cockpit prototypes for the second round of the TUDOR Championship and second race of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Tequila Patrón ESM first raced the HPD ARX-03b Honda prototypes in the 2013 season of the then American Le Mans Series (ALMS), and in preparation for the inaugural 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, which resulted  from the ALMS and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series merger. In 21 races with the ARX-03b prototypes, Tequila Patrón ESM earned two wins (Long Beach, 2013 and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 2014), four pole positions and 16 podium finishes.

Tequila Patrón ESM and HPD set an aggressive plan for the ARX-04b coupes to compete this season in both the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).  However both Tequila Patrón ESM and HPD recognize that further development of the ARX-04b is needed before the design undergoes FIA WEC homologation. The deadline for FIA homologation is 30 days before the first WEC event, scheduled for April 10-12 at Silverstone. Once the homologation is approved, development is frozen on the customer LMP2 chassis and HPD will no longer be able to modify and update the cars. As a result, HPD has opted to postpone homologation until the remaining development work is completed.

“We very much appreciate the effort that Tequila Patrón ESM has undertaken on HPD’s behalf to get the ARX-04b on track and helping to identify teething issues with our new chassis.  We are naturally disappointed that we are not yet ready for homologation, but we cannot homologate a car that is not yet meeting all of its targets,” said Steve Eriksen, HPD vice president and chief operating officer. “Unfortunately, the time needed for remaining development is at odds with Tequila Patrón ESM’s planned prototype sports car racing efforts this season.  We have made the difficult decision to change course at the 11th hour.  We look forward to continuing to support Tequila Patrón ESM in its efforts to win races and championships and fully support their revised direction.”

Tequila Patrón ESM and Honda Performance Development mutually agreed to enter the open-cockpit ARX-03b prototypes, powered by the Honda HR28TT V6 engine, in the 63rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida. The transition to the ARX-03b is timely for the Florida-based team that considers Sebring International Raceway its home track. Last year the No. 1 HPD Honda of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and David Brabham finished second at Sebring.

“Thank you to everyone at Honda, HPD, Wirth Research and Tequila Patrón ESM for their tireless efforts over the last four months,” said Scott Sharp, Tequila Patrón ESM owner and driver.  “After being with Honda for 10 years and knowing Nick Wirth, undoubtedly the ARX-04b will fulfill its expectation with some additional development. Quite simply, that will take a bit of time and we’re racing against the clock with the homologation deadline and start of the WEC season around the corner. To ensure a successful WEC season and championship run for Tequila Patrón ESM and HPD, we have decided our best opportunity to win races and the LMP2 title this season is to compete with an existing homologated chassis.”

“We have purchased two new Ligier JS P2 chassis designed by Onroak Automotive, continued Sharp. “Onroak has an established relationship with Honda and have a proven P2 chassis that will allow us to carry on with our planned WEC LMP2 campaign.  Philippe Dumas and his team have been tremendous and are prepared to work overtime to deliver us two cars to compete at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in May.”

“We’ve had a relationship with Honda since 2007, and we’re thrilled to continue our motorsports association with them,” said Ed Brown, Patrón Spirits International, president and chief executive officer, and Tequila Patrón ESM driver. “We’ve had success with our HPD ARX-03bs and are looking forward to running them again at Sebring. We’re eager to put that Honda power into the Ligier chassis later this season as well. Tequila Patrón ESM, Honda and Ligier will be a motorsports powerhouse seeking to conquer some of the most prestigious racing events. As the only American team running a full season of WEC with Honda and Ligier, we’re looking forward to winning many races and championships together.”

Tequila Patrón ESM

Honda aero kit full of performance potential

HPD Honda Aero Kit Unveil

Steve Eriksen says the introduction of aerodynamic bodywork to the Verizon IndyCar Series will usher in a new era in racing.

“It’s pretty wild, and it’s really wide open. It’s more open than Formula One,” the vice president and COO of Honda Performance Development said of the program from design and testing to manufacturing and supplying its six Verizon IndyCar Series teams. “Now you’ll have the visual differences across the cars. It’s getting back to the roots of IndyCar where you have development.”

Eriksen was joined by defending Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, who drove an Andretti Autosport car during a bulk of the on-track development, and principals from Honda Performance Development, American Honda and INDYCAR in unveiling Honda’s base road/street course and short oval aero kit during a reception in Culver City, Calif.

The program sprouted in 2012 as a platform for developments in safety, performance and efficiency, to visually differentiate the cars on the racetrack and to promote the INDYCAR brand. Liberal regulations were announced in July 2013 by INDYCAR and manufacturer on-track testing commenced in October 2014. Homologation of components was January 18.

Concepts for the aero kit were validated using the Honda simulator in Brownsburg, Ind., and components were developed by utilizing Computer-Aided Design and Computational Fluid Dynamics technology. Full-scale wind tunnel testing was utilized to confirm aerodynamic performance characteristics and create aero maps to be used during on-track testing.

“It’s a huge uphill battle because of several factors,” Eriksen said of the engineering feat. “One is you know there is so much performance potential you’re frantic to make sure you get as much of that performance potential in the constraints of the time available. If you look at the rate of gain of an aero kit versus an engine, it’s drastic for the aero kit. That’s part of the pressure you feel.

“You also meet the safety requirements set by INDYCAR. Time will tell if we have the best kit out there and we did everything we could have done, and I mean everything.

“It’s been an interesting journey to get here and we’re really pleased with the results we’ve been able to achieve and hope they’ll show up on track against our competitor as the better kit.”

Chevrolet introduced its road course/street course and short oval design Feb. 17. The March 29 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marks the inaugural competition between the manufacturers’ body kits. Engine competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series resumed in 2012.

Team testing opens March 13, and all teams will convene March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park for an official INDYCAR test.

A speedway aero kit configuration will be delivered to teams by April 1.

Competitors’ road/street and short oval packages for the Dallara IR-12 chassis will be easily differentiated by their shapes. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.

“I was enthused about it from the get-go because I could be in a position to help build what is a completely different race car than what we’ve seen in the past,” Hunter-Reay said. “The fact that one manufacturer will be distinguishable from another — that Honda will be different than Chevy — I think is a big deal. That’s how it always was when I was growing up, and it’s going to be like that again. Fans will be able to pick the two apart.”

Winglets, flaps, ramps, dive planes and flicks of Honda’s multi-layered design complement the main components in the legality boxes prescribed in INDYCAR regulations, totaling nearly 200 pieces and offering more than one million combinations to teams/drivers to extract the top performance on the diverse set of racetracks during the upcoming season.

“The Verizon IndyCar Series has such an amazing array of tracks and you really want to fine tune to each of those tracks, and this allows you to do that,” Eriksen said. “It’s really going t be a fun and interesting year to learn about the creative ways the teams can run this car.”

Dave Lewandowski – IndyCar Media

KV Racing pairs Coletti with veteran Bourdais

Stefano Coletti

A victory in the GP2 Series’ 2014 season finale at Abu Dhabi was a fitting farewell to Stefano Coletti, who rides into the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2015 with KV Racing Technology.

Coletti, who turns 26 on April 6, will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet for the team co-owned by 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series champion Jimmy Vasser and businessman Kevin Kalkhoven The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 29, and Coletti and new teammate Sebastien Bourdais will test the new aerodynamic bodywork components March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Coletti, who said his longtime goal was to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, auditioned in the No. 4 entry Feb. 10 at NOLA Motorsports Park. He also tested in a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car in December.

“It’s a great championship and the competition is very high,” he said. “When I tested with KV Racing Technology at NOLA a few weeks ago, there was a great atmosphere and the whole team really welcomed me, so I can’t wait to get to Indianapolis and start working with the No. 4 crew and getting to know everyone better.

“It’s a great opportunity to be on the same team as a driver like Sebastien Bourdais, who is very experienced, very quick and a nice person to work with. I couldn’t have asked for better for my rookie year. (I) look forward to an exciting year with the team.”

Coletti, who had eight victories (including one in 2011 GP2 Asia Series) in four seasons in the GP2 Series, finished sixth in the 2014 standings and fifth in the 2013 championship. In 2013, Coletti won the GP2 Series sprint race on the Monaco circuit to become the first Monegasque driver since Louis Chiron in 1931 to have won a race in his homeland.

Coletti will make his second appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. In 2006, he competed in two Formula BMW USA races on the road course, winning the second race after starting 10th and placing second in the other.

“We are very pleased and excited to add a driver of Stefano’s talent to KV Racing Technology,” said Vasser, who was on hand for the test days at NOLA. “Stefano has shown he can win at a very high level during his time in GP2 and we were extremely impressed with his knowledge and feedback during the test last month at NOLA. There will obviously be a learning curve, especially on ovals, but I think everyone feels that Stefano is up to the task.”

Dave Lewandowski – IndyCar Media

Kevin Harvick Dominates NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Las Vegas

Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR

Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR

 LAS VEGAS, Nev.— Kevin Harvick must have been tired of finishing second, because on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion did something about it.

Once Harvick got to the front of the field from his 18th-place starting spot in the Kobalt 400, he was untouchable.

Even with a disquieting vibration on the final green-flag run—and a left-rear tire that shredded during his celebratory burnout—Harvick had enough of a working margin to hold off runner-up Martin Truex Jr. by 1.640 seconds.

Harvick, who ran second in the season-opening Daytona 500 and in last week’s 500-miler at Atlanta, led a race-high 142 laps in winning for the first time in Las Vegas and for the 29th time in his career. In his last six races, dating to last year’s championship season, Harvick has three victories and three second-place finishes.

Ryan Newman came home third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and AJ Allmendinger. Brad Keselowski, last year’s Las Vegas race winner, rallied from a pass-through penalty for a runaway tire on pit road to finish seventh. Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano completed the top 10.

Harvick will try to extend his string of top-two finishes next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, where the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet has won four of the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

“It’s so cool to win here in Las Vegas, and to start this West Coast swing off this way is pretty awesome,” Harvick said in Victory Lane. “Just to be in front of all these fans I’ve raced in front of since about the mid-‘90s… it’s pretty special to win here.”

The only issue in doubt for the last half of the race was whether Harvick’s car would hold together in the closing laps.

“That wasn’t a comfortable last run there,” Harvick radioed to his crew after he crossed the finish line.

A few minutes later, after climbing from his car, he elaborated.

“It wasn’t right,’” Harvick said. “Luckily we were able to hang-on to it and had a good enough lead to where we could pace ourselves and be able to keep the lead, I guess.

“It got to be a handful there at the end. For whatever reason we got really, really loose the last run. Tires started vibrating and we were just kind of hanging on. Glad the race is over at that particular point for our own good.”

The victory vaulted Harvick into the lead in the series standings by nine points over Earnhardt, who has finished third, third and fourth in the first three races of the season.

Fourth in the standings after three straight top 10s to open the year, Truex was gaining on Harvick at the finish but never got close enough to make a move. Nor was Truex aware that Harvick had a potential problem.

“I noticed he was getting a lot bigger, and I asked ‘Why in the world is Harvick so slow right now?’” Truex said. “They gave me my lap times and his and I’m like, “What’s going on?’”

“I really thought he was just playing with us, taking it easy because he knew he had a big gap. They never said anything to me about him thinking he had any issues or anything else.”

Note: Pole winner Jeff Gordon started from the rear in a backup car because of an accident in the last minute of Saturday’s final practice. The four-time champion’s luck didn’t improve on Sunday. He ran into the back of Jeb Burton’s Toyota as both drivers were trying to avoid the Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson, who had blown a tire and hit the wall ahead of them. Gordon finished 18th, one lap down… Gordon was the last driver before Harvick to post six straight top-two finishes, a feat he accomplished in 1996.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Kobalt 400

  1. (18) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267, $431815.
  2. (8) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 267, $268950.
  3. (7) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267, $236980.
  4. (4) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 267, $184455.
  5. (19) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267, $162380.
  6. (22) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 267, $162703.
  7. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, $170461.
  8. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267, $156078.
  9. (6) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, $157206.
  10. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, $165853.
  11. (10) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 267, $144426.
  12. (24) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 267, $121010.
  13. (23) Brian Scott(i), Chevrolet, 267, $128068.
  14. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267, $141793.
  15. (28) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 266, $137274.
  16. (34) Regan Smith(i), Chevrolet, 266, $123160.
  17. (3) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 266, $121660.
  18. (1) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 266, $157196.
  19. (30) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 266, $101660.
  20. (25) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 265, $146796.
  21. (20) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 265, $137418.
  22. (13) David Ragan, Toyota, 265, $143651.
  23. (37) David Gilliland, Ford, 265, $123318.
  24. (29) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 265, $126380.
  25. (17) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 264, $118593.
  26. (15) Aric Almirola, Ford, 264, $134771.
  27. (21) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 264, $104710.
  28. (35) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 264, $137185.
  29. (31) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 264, $103385.
  30. (32) Michael McDowell, Ford, 264, $93610.
  31. (26) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 263, $112457.
  32. (38) Cole Whitt, Ford, 262, $94210.
  33. (12) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 262, $118724.
  34. (39) Josh Wise, Ford, 261, $91310.
  35. (42) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 261, $91085.
  36. (40) JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 260, $90845.
  37. (36) Brett Moffitt, Ford, 260, $90614.
  38. (43) Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, 258, $85290.
  39. (33) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 257, $81290.
  40. (41) Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 254, $78790.
  41. (9) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 236, $121226.
  42. (14) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 227, $69290.
  43. (27) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, Engine, 28, $65790.

Reid Spencer – NASCAR Wire Service