Today’s IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. Beatriz returns to DRR at Chicagoland
2. Oval qualifying altered beginning at Chicagoland
1. Beatriz returns to DRR at Chicagoland: Competing in her first half-marathon last weekend in Rio de Janeiro presented Ana Beatriz with a new challenge and a different perspective in dealing with traffic. It’ll translate in some form to a crowded racetrack this weekend.
Beatriz will make her third IZOD IndyCar Series start of the season, driving the No. 24 Dad’s Root Beer car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
The inclusion of Beatriz in the 29-car lineup for the Aug. 28 race marks the second time this season that a series-record five females will compete in the same event. Sarah Fisher (Sarah Fisher Racing), Simona de Silvestro (Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing), Danica Patrick (Andretti Autosport) and Milka Duno (Dale Coyne Racing) also are entered.
Beatriz, a two-time oval race winner in Firestone Indy Lights, competed in a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car for the season-opening Sao Paulo Indy 300 in her native Brazil (advanced nine positions to finish 13th) and in the Indianapolis 500 (finished 21st).
“Ana really showed us her talent when we ran her back in March and May,” team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said. “We look forward to running her as she competes at Chicagoland Speedway.
In two Firestone Indy Lights races at the 1.5-mile racetrack, Beatriz was runner-up in 2008.
“During the past three months, my agents, Andre Ribeiro, Augusto Cesario, and I, have been working on establishing a full-season program for 2011,” Beatriz said. “In order to stay fit, I have been karting and I have added a new challenge to my calendar like the Rio de Janeiro Half Marathon.
“I hope my past experience at Chicago pays off with a good finish. I am very excited to be back with the Dreyer & Reinbold team. I wish to thank Dennis Reinbold, Robbie Buhl and Larry Curry for their confidence in me.”
2. Oval qualifying altered beginning at Chicagoland:The Indy Racing League has revised its qualifications procedure for the four IZOD IndyCar Series oval events to close the 2010 season in response to accommodating expanded entrant lists.
The second sentence of Rule 8.2(F)(1) is amended and reads as “A qualifications attempt is the total of two consecutively timed laps.” The remainder of the oval qualifying rules remains unchanged.
Previously, the average speed of four timed laps was used to set the starting grid.
The average speed of two consecutively timed laps, following two warm-up laps on the 1.5-mile racetracks, will be implemented Aug. 27 (1 p.m. local time) at Chicagoland Speedway in the run for the PEAK Performance Pole Award.
A season-high 29 cars (outside of the traditional 33 for the Indianapolis 500) are entered for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 on Aug. 27-28 at Chicagoland Speedway. Races at Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 4), Twin Ring Motegi (Sept. 19) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 2) follow. An average of 26 cars was entered in the three oval events this season outside of the Indy 500.
“The number of cars we’re having at our events – 27 cars at Mid-Ohio and 29 at Chicagoland and maybe Homestead-Miami – and the length of time it takes to qualify these cars when you’re conducting two-day shows, it becomes a non-productive use of track time,” Indy Racing League president of competition and racing operations Brian Barnhart said.
“By going to an average of two timed laps instead of four, it reduces our qualifying time by 33 percent. We’re rather make sure the drivers are getting ample track time in practice conditions with all cars on track at the same time to be better-prepared for the race.”
The four-lap qualifying procedure was instituted for the 2008 season.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 28 with the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 7 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 212. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Chicagoland 100 on Aug. 28 at Chicagoland Speedway.