IndyCar

Last updated
INDYCAR, LLC
INDYCAR logo.png
SportAuto Racing
Category Open-wheel cars
JurisdictionFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Founded1994 [1]
Affiliation ACCUS-FIA
Affiliation date1996
Headquarters Indianapolis, IN
President Jay Frye
Official website
indycar.com

INDYCAR, LLC, is an American-based auto racing sanctioning body for Indy car racing and other disciplines of open wheel car racing. The organization sanctions four racing series: the premier IndyCar Series [2] with its centerpiece the Indianapolis 500, and developmental series Indy Lights, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship and the U.S. F2000 National Championship, which are all a part of The Road To Indy. IndyCar is recognized as a member organization of the FIA through ACCUS.

Auto racing motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition

Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of automobiles for competition.

A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance over an organization or political entity. The most formal is a government, a body whose sole responsibility and authority is to make binding decisions in a given geopolitical system by establishing laws. Other types of governing include an organization, a socio-political group, or another, informal group of people.

American open-wheel car racing Category of professional-level automobile racing in North America

American open-wheel car racing, also known as Indy car racing, is a category of professional-level automobile racing in the United States and North America. As of 2019, the top-level American open-wheel racing championship is sanctioned by IndyCar.

Contents

The sanctioning body was formed in 1994 under the name Indy Racing League by Hulman & Company, which also owned the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex, and began competition in 1996. The trademark name INDYCAR was officially adopted on January 1, 2011. The sport of open-wheel car racing itself, also historically referred to as Championship Car racing or Indy racing, traces its roots to as early as 1905. It is the fourth major sanctioning body to govern the sport of Indy car racing, following AAA, USAC, and Champ Car.

Hulman & Company

Hulman & Company is an American private, family-owned, company founded in 1850 by Francis T. Hulman as a wholesale foods supplier of groceries, tobacco, and liquor, headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana. Throughout the early half of the 20th century, Hulman & Co. became nationally known for its Clabber Girl baking powder which it began producing in 1899. In 1945, the company purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in what many thought was an unusual investment for a company with a rich history in the food and beverage industry and owned the speedway until it's sale to Roger Penske in 2019.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motorsport track in the Indianapolis, IN, USA

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an automobile racing circuit located in Speedway, Indiana, in the United States. It is the home of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, and formerly the home of the United States Grand Prix. It is located on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road, approximately six miles (10 km) west of Downtown Indianapolis.

1996 Indy Racing League sports season

The 1996 Indy Racing League, the first in the history of the league, consisted of only three races, as the season concluded in May with the 80th Indianapolis 500. Walt Disney World Speedway was completed in time to host the first race of the season, and the first ever event of the IRL, and Phoenix International Raceway switched alliances from CART to IRL and hosted the second event of the season. At the conclusion of the three-race schedule, Scott Sharp and Buzz Calkins ended up tied for first place in the season championship. With no tiebreaker rule in place, the two drivers were declared co-champions.

Today, IndyCar is owned by Roger Penske via Penske Entertainment Corp a subsidiary of Penske Corporation. Penske purchased the IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Hulman & Co. in November 2019. [3]

Roger Penske American businessman and entrepreneur

Roger Searle Penske is an American businessman and entrepreneur involved in professional auto racing and formerly a professional auto racing driver himself. He is most famous for his ownership of Team Penske, DJR Team Penske, the Penske Corporation, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, and other automotive-related businesses.

Penske Corporation

Penske Corporation is an American diversified transportation services company based in Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan. Roger Penske is chairman of the privately held company, and Rob Kurnick is president.

Indycar

IndyCar Series

The League's premier series debuted in 1996 under the name Indy Racing League. The series adopted the name Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2003. With Verizon as corporate sponsor from 2014 through 2018, the series has been known as the Verizon IndyCar Series. On January 15, 2019, it was announced that NTT Corporation (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) would become the title sponsor and the series will become the NTT IndyCar Series.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Japanese telecommunication company

The Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, commonly known as NTT, is a Japanese telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Ranked 55th in Fortune Global 500, NTT is the fourth largest telecommunications company in the world in terms of revenue, as well as the third largest publicly traded company in Japan after Toyota and MUFG, as of September 2018.

The series initially raced exclusively on oval tracks, as the series was founded partly in response to the increasing prominence of road and street courses on the CART schedule. In 2005, the series abandoned its unofficial ovals-only stance, and added three road–street course events. [4] By 2009, the series had a roughly 50/50 split of ovals and road/street courses. Presently, the series currently runs one-third of its schedule on ovals and the rest on road and street circuits.

Oval track racing Form of auto racing where competitors duel on an oval shaped track

Oval track racing is a form of closed-circuit automobile racing that is contested on an oval-shaped track. An oval track differs from a road course in that the layout resembles an oval with turns in only one direction, and the direction of traffic is almost universally counter-clockwise. Oval tracks are dedicated motorsport circuits, used predominantly in the United States. They often have banked turns and some, despite the name, are not precisely oval, and the shape of the track can vary.

Road racing Form of motorsport racing on tracks that contain both right and left turns

Road racing is a form of motorsport racing held on a paved road surfaces. The races can be held either on a closed circuit or on a street circuit utilizing temporarily closed public roads. Originally, road races were held almost entirely on public roads however, public safety concerns eventually led to most races being held on purpose built racing circuits.

Street circuit motorsport track composed of public roads of a city

A street circuit is a motorsport racing circuit composed of temporarily closed-off public roads of a city, town or village, used in motor races. Facilities such as the paddock, pit boxes, fences and grandstands are usually placed temporarily and removed soon after the race is over but in modern times the pits, race control and main grandstands are sometimes permanently constructed in the area. Since the track surface is originally planned for normal speeds, race drivers often find street circuits bumpy and lacking grip. Run-off areas may be non-existent, which makes driving mistakes more expensive than in purpose-built circuits with wider run-off areas. Racing on a street circuit is also called "legal street racing".

Indy Lights

Indy Lights is the development series for the IndyCar series. [5] The Indy Lights concept traces its roots back the USAC Mini Indy Series of the late 1970, and the CART ARS/Indy Lights series that began in 1986. The current Indy Lights series debuted in 2002 under the name Infiniti Pro Series. After the 2008 open wheel unification, the Indy Lights name returned. The Indy Lights typically run as support races to IndyCar Series races, but occasionally has run stand-alone races, or as a support race of other events. The series is now promoted by Andersen Promotions.

Indy Pro 2000

The Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented is an open-wheel racecar driver development series in North America. Competitors use spec cars built by Tatuus. The original series, using first-generation tube-frame cars started in the early 1990s. The second-gen, high-tech, carbon-fiber car was released in 2004. From 2017, the series has used spec Tatuus PM-18s. The series has historically included road courses, street courses, and ovals. The series' primary sponsors is Cooper Tire and the cars, while purpose built for the track with carbon fiber monocoques, are powered by 275 horsepower Mazda-prepared 2 liter MZR-PM18A engines. The series' stated goal is "to develop new race driving talent." In 2010, the series became a part of The Road to Indy. In 2013 the series' promotion was taken over by Andersen Promotions. In 2019, following the departure of Mazda as an official sponsor, the series was rebranded as Indy Pro 2000 from its previous Pro Mazda name.

U.S. F2000

USF2000 is a series the organisation started sanctioning in 2010. Originally started in 1991 and folded in 2006, it was restarted in 2010 as part of the "Road to Indy" ladder series promoted by Andersen Promotions. The series utilizes tube frame Formula Ford chassis fitted with larger Mazda MZR four cylinder engines and wings and slicks and was originally based on the Formula Continental rules formula.

History

IndyCar name

The term "Indy Car" began as a nickname for the cars that competed in USAC's "Championship" division of open-wheel auto racing in the United States, deriving from the sport's most popular competition, the Indianapolis 500. The division's link with Indianapolis soon resulted in the term supplanting the official descriptor, "champ car," in common use and promotions.

The term continued to be used by USAC's replacement as the dominant governing body for open-wheel racing, Championship Auto Racing Teams, which called its main series the "CART PPG Indy Car World Series" despite the body not sanctioning the 500. In 1992, during an attempt by CART to broaden their board membership, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway registered the camel case trademark IndyCar with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and licensed it to CART as their new tradename.

In 1996, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George launched a new national championship racing series, the USAC sanctioned Indy Racing League. This resulted in a legal battle over the IndyCar trademark: In March 1996, CART filed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an effort to protect their license to the IndyCar mark after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had attempted to terminate it. [6] In April, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway filed a separate lawsuit against CART to prevent them from further use of the mark.

Eventually a settlement was reached in which CART agreed to give up the use of the IndyCar mark following the 1996 season and the IRL agreeing not to use the name before the end of the 2002 season. [7] CART returned to branding as simply CART for 1997, and resurrected the term "champ car" to describe their vehicles.

Following a six-year hiatus, the Indy Racing League announced it would rename their premier series the IndyCar Series for the 2003 racing season; CART followed suit by renaming their main series the Champ Car World Series.

Post-unification, a heavy emphasis has been placed on deemphasizing the legal entity name and its initials and replacing it with the IndyCar name. This became official on January 1, 2011, as Indy Racing League LLC adopted as its trade name INDYCAR. On November 1, 2013, the company's legal name was changed to INDYCAR LLC. [8]

Split with CART

The dispute between CART and the IRL centered on the Indianapolis 500, long considered the flagship race of the sport. From 1980 until 1995, the Indy 500 continued to be sanctioned by USAC while being run predominantly with drivers from CART and counting toward CART's standings. George felt that his opinions on the direction of the sport, while CART owners felt George used his influence over USAC to have a disproportionate impact on the general operation of the sport.

After a number of attempts at a compromise board failed, IMS formed the Indy Racing League in 1994, with the series being slated to begin racing in 1996. CART had primarily sanctioned Indy car racing since 1979, when the organization broke away from USAC. George blueprinted the IRL as a lower-cost open-wheel alternative to CART, which he viewed had become technology-driven and dominated by a few wealthy multi-car teams. The IRL was designed only to run on oval tracks to promote American drivers from the midget and sprint car ranks to graduate to Indycars the way that of Indy racing A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, and the Unsers had in the 1960s.

Starting with the first IRL season, the league proclaimed that 25 of the 33 spots in the Indy 500 starting grid for cars from full-time IRL teams. [9] In 1996, CART retaliated by scheduling what was supposed to become its new showcase event, the U.S. 500, at Michigan International Speedway on Memorial Day, the traditional date for the Indy 500. The inaugural U.S. 500 was an unmitigated disaster when there was a massive crash coming to the green flag. Although CART continued to run the race until 1999, it never drew fan interest like the Indy 500. Although modified in 1999, the initial Indy 500 policy toward CART had already become less significant when the IRL came out with their own chassis specifications in 1997 and CART spec chassis were no longer legal.

The new 1997 technical rules featured less expensive chassis and "production-based" engines that were purchased rather than leased, but most importantly, were technically incompatible with CART specifications. The IRL's early seasons consisted of sparse schedules and inexperienced teams, with the degradation in quality especially apparent during the Indianapolis 500, which saw a dramatic decline in prestige.

The IRL began to draw top teams from CART starting in 2002, contributing to the latter's bankruptcy, re-branding as Champ Car in 2003, [10] and ultimate demise and absorption by the IRL in 2008.

After absorbing Champ Car, the IndyCar Series became similar in many ways to the CART series from which it separated and its related European open-wheel formula counterparts: former prominent CART teams such as Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske are frequent race winners, there is a strong contingent of foreign-born drivers, the cars are increasingly electronic and aero dependent and the schedule includes more road and street courses than oval tracks.

Unification with Champ Car

On January 23, 2008, Tony George offered Champ Car management a proposal that included free cars and engine leases to Champ Car teams willing to run the entire 2008 IndyCar Series schedule in exchange for adding Champ Car's dates at Long Beach, Toronto, Edmonton, and Australia to the IndyCar Series schedule, effectively reuniting American open-wheel car racing. [11] The offer was initially made in November 2007. [11] On February 10, 2008, Tony George, along with IRL representatives Terry Angstadt and Brian Barnhart, plus former Honda executive Robert Clarke, traveled to Japan to discuss moving the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. [12] Moving that race, or postponing it, would be required in order to accommodate the Long Beach Grand Prix, which was scheduled for the same weekend. [12] Optimism following the meeting was high. [13]

In February 2008, Indy Racing League founder and CEO Tony George and owners of the Champ Car World Series completed an agreement to unify the sport for 2008. [14] The result was that the Champ Car World Series was suspended except for the Long Beach Grand Prix. Many of the former Champ Car teams moved to the IndyCar Series using equipment provided by the League.

Randy Bernard was announced as the new IRL CEO in February 2010. [15] In 2011, the sanctioning body dropped the Indy Racing League name, becoming IndyCar to reflect the merged series. The new Dallara DW12 racecar was introduced for the 2012 season. IndyCar collaborated with DreamWorks Animation to launch comedy film Turbo in 2013. Bernard was fired in October 2012, and replaced by Mark Miles.

Driver safety

Driver safety has also been a major point of concern, with a number of drivers seriously injured, particularly in the early years of the series. There have been five fatal crashes in the history of the series. Compared to road racing venues, the lack of run-offs on oval tracks, coupled with higher speeds due to the long straights and banked turns, means that there is far less margin for error. Car design was attributed as a leading cause of early injuries, and the series made improvements to chassis design to address those safety concerns. Following a series of spectacular high-profile accidents in 2003, including American racing legend Mario Andretti and former champion Kenny Bräck, as well as the death of Tony Renna in testing at Indianapolis, the IRL made additional changes to reduce speeds and increase safety.

IndyCar was the first racing series to adopt the SAFER soft wall safety system, which debuted at the Indianapolis 500 and has now been installed at almost all major oval racing circuits. The SAFER system research and design was supported and funded in large part by the Hulman-George family and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.[ citation needed ]

Fatalities

See also

Related Research Articles

Champ Car Defunct North American open wheel auto racing organization

Champ Car was the trade name for Open Wheel Racing Series Inc., a sanctioning body for American open-wheel car racing that operated from 2004 to 2008. It was the successor to Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), which sanctioned the PPG Indy Car World Series from 1979 until dissolving after the 2003 season.

United States Auto Club Auto racing sanctioning body in the United States

The United States Auto Club (USAC) is one of the sanctioning bodies of auto racing in the United States. From 1956 to 1979, USAC sanctioned the United States National Championship, and from 1956 to 1997 the organization sanctioned the Indianapolis 500. Today, USAC serves as the sanctioning body for a number of racing series, including the Silver Crown Series, National Sprint Cars, National Midgets, Speed2 Midget Series, .25 Midget Series, Stadium Super Trucks, TORC: The Off-Road Championship, and Pirelli World Challenge.

Tony George American auto racing executive

Anton Hulman "Tony" George is the chairman and former President and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hulman & Company, serving from 1989 to 2009. He was also formerly on the Board of Directors of both entities. He founded the Indy Racing League and co-owned Vision Racing.

Alex Barron (racing driver) American racing driver

Alex Barron is an American race car driver. He began racing CART FedEx World Series Championship cars in 1998 and made his first Indy Racing League Northern Lights Series start in 2001.

Indy Lights American automobile racing series

Indy Lights is an American developmental automobile racing series sanctioned by IndyCar, currently known as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires for sponsorship reasons. Indy Lights is the highest step on the Road to Indy, a program of racing series leading up to the IndyCar Series. The Indy Lights series has been promoted by Anderson Promotions since 2014, which also manages the Road to Indy program.

Indy Japan 300

The Indy Japan 300 presented by Bridgestone was an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series race held at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan. The 2008 race marked the historic first ever win for a woman driver in American open wheel racing when Danica Patrick of Andretti-Green Racing took the checkered flag.

1993 PPG Indy Car World Series sports season

The 1993 PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 15th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART under the name "IndyCar". The season consisted of 16 races. Nigel Mansell was the national champion as well as the Rookie of the Year. The 1993 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Emerson Fittipaldi won the Indy 500, his second career victory in that event.

1984 CART PPG Indy Car World Series sports season

The 1984 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season, the sixth in the CART era of U.S. open-wheel racing, consisted of 16 races, beginning in Long Beach, California on March 31 and concluding in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 10. The PPG Indy Car World Series Drivers' Champion was Mario Andretti and the Indianapolis 500 winner was Rick Mears. Rookie of the Year was Roberto Guerrero. The 68th Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by the USAC, but counted in the CART points standings.

1990 CART PPG Indy Car World Series

The 1990 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 12th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 16 races, and one non-points exhibition event. Al Unser Jr. was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was Eddie Cheever. The 1990 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Arie Luyendyk won the Indy 500, his first-ever victory in championship-level competition, and the fastest 500 until the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

The 1982 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season, the fourth in the CART era of U.S. open-wheel racing, consisted of 11 races, beginning in Avondale, Arizona on March 28 and concluding at the same location on November 6. The PPG Indy Car World Series Drivers' Champion was Rick Mears. Rookie of the Year was Bobby Rahal.

The 1983 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 5th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 13 races. Al Unser, Sr. was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was Teo Fabi. The 1983 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but an arrangement was made such that it counted towards the CART points championship. Tom Sneva won the Indy 500, after three previous runner-up finishes.

The 1985 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 7th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 15 races. Al Unser, Sr. was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was Arie Luyendyk. The 1985 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Danny Sullivan won the Indy 500, in dramatic fashion, a race that became known as the "Spin and Win."

1989 CART PPG Indy Car World Series

The 1989 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 11th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 15 races, and one non-points exhibition event. Emerson Fittipaldi was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was Bernard Jourdain. Fittipaldi became the second driver after Mario Andretti to win the Formula One World Championship and the CART championship.

1992 PPG Indy Car World Series

The 1992 PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 14th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 16 races. Bobby Rahal was the national champion, his third career CART title. Stefan Johansson was named the Rookie of the Year. The 1992 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Al Unser, Jr. won the Indy 500 in the closest finish in the history of that event.

1991 CART PPG Indy Car World Series

The 1991 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 13th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 17 races, and one non-points exhibition event. Michael Andretti was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was his younger brother Jeff Andretti.

MAVTV 500

The MAVTV 500 was an IndyCar Series race held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The event represented a continuous lineage of open wheel oval racing in the Southern California-area that dates back to 1970. Since 2012, the event had been sponsored by MAVTV, a motorsports cable channel owned by Lucas Oil.

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