Respect for Speedway: Plowman Preps for ROP

By Dave Lewandowski

INDIANAPOLIS May 2, 2014--Martin Plowman has competed in the Freedom 100 in 2009 and ’10 and driven the Indy Racing Experience two-seater and Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

So the 26-year-old Indianapolis resident has a healthy understanding of the 2.5-mile racetrack, and he has a healthy respect for it as well, which is why he’s looking forward to the Rookie Orientation Program for the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 5.

“I heard Dario (Franchitti) say that when he jumped in the car for the first time during practice that he surprised himself. Even he forgot how quick it was into Turn 1. It’s not something you take lightly,” said Plowman, who will drive the No. 41 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing.

Full-season Verizon Indy Car Series drivers Jack Hawksworth (Bryan Herta Autosport) and Mikhail Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) will join Plowman and 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam (Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing) for the three-phase program required of first-time Indianapolis 500 participants. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, who completed his refresher course on the oval April 29 in an Andretti Autosport car, also will get in more laps.

Real-time Timing & Scoring of the morning and afternoon sessions is available on www.indycar.com. The track is open for spectator viewing from the South Terrace Grandstand and Turn 2 viewing mounds.

The Speedway opens for full-scale practice May 11, with qualifications May 17-18. The race is May 25.

IndyCar Series Open Test Report – Barber Motorsports Park

LEEDS, Ala. March 18, 2014—Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply team left Barber Motorsports Park satisfied with the two-day IndyCar “Spring Training” Open Test. The No. 14 ABC Supply Honda was fourth quickest of the 22 cars attending.

“It’s been a very productive two days,” said Sato. “We’ve been unlucky in terms of the weather—it was wet in the morning so we didn’t run and the afternoon was cold so that won’t replicate for the race weekend. Nevertheless we did a lot of the test program that we wanted to do and saw how the car reacted. It was very positive performance-wise and for the feedback. It’s been a good preparation and we are ready to go to St. Petersburg.”

With temperatures in the 40s on both mornings, plus rain this morning, weather left teams with less time than originally scheduled. However the ABC Supply team made the most of the time allowed, posting a total of 96 laps around the 2.3-mile scenic course outside of Birmingham. Sato’s best lap time of 1:07.3314 came on lap 25 of the 57 laps he ran today. He improved his lap time from the first day by just over half a second. Yesterday he posted the quickest time for Honda-powered cars—1:07.8619--which was fifth overall.

Team Penske's Will Power topped the charts both days, posting a time of 1:07.0608 today which was six tenths quicker than yesterday’s time of 1:07.6492. Old faces in new places and their respective placings:  Ryan Briscoe/Chip Ganassi Racing (5th), Juan Pablo Montoya/Team Penske (9th), Tony Kanaan/Chip Ganassi Racing (11th), Sebastien Bourdais/KVSH Racing (14th), Sebastian Saavedra/KVAFS Racing (17th), Mike Conway/Ed Carpenter Racing (21st) and Oriol Servia/Rahal-Letterman Racing (22nd).  Rookie Jack Hawksworth/Bryan Herta Autosport was an impressive 12th quickest while Mikhail Aleshin/Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports was 20th.

The Verizon IndyCar Series opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 30. It will be televised live by ABC-TV starting at 3:30 p.m.

 

Martin Plowman Returns to the IndyCar Cockpit at Sebring Test

SEBRING, FL Feb 19, 2014—After a full day of testing the ABC Supply Honda IndyCar, rookie driver Martin Plowman commented,
“It was just like riding a bike.”

In context, Plowman was referring to the comfort level he felt in the cockpit after a two year, five month absence from open wheel racing. “It was a special moment pulling away from the pits for the first time,” the 26-year-old Englishman said. “Before today I was a little bit nervous about getting back up to speed, you have these self-doubts sometimes and they all disappeared by lap one. It was just like riding a bike. By the end of lap eight I was already up to speed and on the pace so it was a great boost of confidence to know that I can just jump in and get straight to work.”

Team owner A.J. Foyt flew in from Houston to meet the rookie and watch him adapt to the Dallara DW12 chassis which Plowman drove for the first time today.

“It was the first time I met Martin and I thought he worked very well today,” said Foyt, who was back at the track for the first time since having his right knee replaced in mid-December. “I thought he ran a fine test for us because we ran a lot of different things on the car and he gave good feedback. I was very happy with the way things went. I think he’ll be a great contender.”

Plowman logged 109 laps around a modified Sebring International Raceway, which is shortened to 1.67 miles for IndyCar testing. Regular No. 14 driver Takuma Sato, who had tested at the track on Monday,  was on hand to help his Indy Double teammate.

“The day went very well I thought,” Plowman said. “You can’t read much into the times here because the track is changing all the time, people are running different fuel loads, or they’re on new tires, where we were focusing on doing a lot of different experiments. We had a couple of very strong runs there at the end on used tires, which gave us confidence. More importantly, we learned a lot of things that we can take with us to my first race at the Indy Grand Prix.”

Plowman will drive the Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10th. He will drive the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda in the Indianapolis 500 on May 25th. Both races will be broadcast live by ABC-TV.

 

Format Changes Enhance Battle To Qualify for Indianapolis 500

Plan Designed To Add Excitement To Qualifying Days Will Debut This May

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, March 7, 2014) - INDYCAR announced a new qualifying format to set the 33-car starting lineup for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Qualifying will be enhanced with three sessions of time trials over two eventful days, with the goal of increasing entertainment value, fan attendance and TV viewership for the 2014 qualifying weekend on May 17-18, 2014.

"This new format includes two exciting days of on-track action, all culminating on Sunday with the Fast Nine Shootout," said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman Motorsports. "Fans get to watch their favorite drivers battle to make the field on Saturday, and then fight for a pole position on Sunday. It will be a great show for fans attending the race and watching the broadcast on ABC."

The format is as follows:

• Saturday, May 17 (11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. ET)

• The fastest 33 cars compose the starting field (but not starting positions).

• All entries are guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify.

• The fastest nine entries advance to the Fast Nine Shootout.

• Sunday, May 18 (10:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET)

• Saturday times are erased and entries 10-33 must complete another four-lap attempt to determine their starting position in order of the slowest to fastest from Saturday times.

• Fast Nine Shootout, Sunday, May 18 (2-2:45 p.m. ET)

• Each entry will receive one four-lap attempt in the order of the slowest to the fastest from Saturday times. Aggregate times will determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and top three rows.

Martin Plowman Is Set to Drive the Indy Double

WALLER, Texas Feb. 17, 2014—IndyCar rookie Martin Plowman will do the “Indy Double” this May, thus taking part in the IndyCar Series’ newest race and, two weeks later, its most historic competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 26-year-old Englishman will drive the No. 41 Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda in the Indianapolis 500 it was announced by the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team today.

The venture marks the first time that Al-Fe Heat Treating will be the primary sponsor of an Indy Car. The company began as an associate sponsor of the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team in 2011. The Ft. Wayne, Indiana-based company has continued to build its involvement in the IndyCar Series over the past three seasons; Al-Fe started as an associate sponsor of the No. 41 car in the Indy 500 and became a season long associate sponsor on the No. 14 car in the IndyCar Series.

"We, at Al-Fe Heat Treating, are very excited about being a primary sponsor with AJ Foyt Racing for IndyCar’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in our home state and before our home crowd!” said Kurt Westman, President of Al-Fe Heat Treating.   “Larry [Foyt] and I have discussed this possibility over the last season and we feel this is the perfect venue for us to step-up with the team.

"Being part of bringing Martin back to IndyCar is special and having him run both races at Indianapolis will allow us to build momentum and teamwork going into the ‘500’.  I am looking forward to meeting Martin at this Wednesday’s practice at Sebring," Westman added.