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IndyCar Tag

IndyCar Lights Up Sonoma

The 10th GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma took place at our home track of Sonoma Raceway last weekend, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon securing his first win at the venue since 2007, following a chaotic climax to the race. As life gets back to normal here in beautiful Wine Country, the IndyCar Series season marches on to its conclusion on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway. We wish the best of luck to all drivers.


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IndyCar at Sonoma — the Simraceway Performance Driving Center Way

Indycar Collage 1There’s no better seat in the house than inside turn 1 at Sonoma Raceway when the green flag drops for the IZOD IndyCar series. As the drivers jostle side-by-side up the hill to the always eventful turn 2, the smell of fuel and scraping under trays & sounds of higher powered V6 Turbos is something you can’t get through a TV screen—and that’s exactly what guests of Simraceway Performance Driving Center’s IndyCar VIP Party got to experience last week as the IndyCar series raced the penultimate round of the 2014 season. And what a race it was, possibly the best ever in the many seasons the IndyCars have been coming here, culminating with the drama of a pass with 2 laps to go to crown Scott Dixon the winner!


From champagne to canapés, and sports cars to skyjumpers, there was always plenty going on during the day. Whether you were coming in fresh from the Audi sportcar experience’s polo match and seeing the spectacle of high speed formula cars for the first time, or one of the F3 series championship competitors reliving your own moments out on the 2.5 mile roller coaster that is Sonoma Raceway.


A pre-race chat hosted by Simraceway chief instructor Nico Rondet and program manager/professional auto racing podcaster Paul Charsley covering IndyCar rules, facts, strategies and track talk prepared new and old fans. There was also Simraceway simulators on hand to give everyone a feel for what it’s like to be out on the big track as well the full gamut of Simraceway and Audi sportscar experience’s fleet of performance and race cars to get up close and personal too. But for sure the most popular “seat” was on your tippy toes and against the fence as the IndyCar warriors thundered by lap after lap.


PDC Rules the Track!

There was a distinctly Simraceway flavor to the weekend’s racing with uber-talented PDC alumni Dane Cameron (TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, GTD class) and Gabby Chaves (Indy Lights Championship) both securing significant victories. The wins leave Cameron tied for the lead in the Drivers’ Championship and hands Chaves his first ever Indy Lights title. Congratulations to them!


If that wasn’t enough, the weekend also saw an impressive second-in-class (behind Cameron) for Jeff Westphal and a P3 for Greg Liefooghe (Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, ST class), both from the PDC’s world-class pool of instructors.


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Simraceway Pro Driver Dario Franchitti Retires from Racing

Four-time IndyCar champion and triple winner of the Indianapolis 500, Dario Franchitti announced yesterday that he would be retiring from professional motorsport due to medical concerns resulting from his crash in Houston. As someone we’ve worked with closely over the last few years, that news provokes a range of emotions.



As racing fans, we share in the sadness that will be felt across the entire sport–we took immense pleasure from his continued successes and even had the privilege of sharing in some of his biggest victories.


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However, having also been lucky enough to get to know the man behind the legend, we’re thankful that Dario is taking a route that will keep him out of harm’s way in the future.


Franchitti Reflects on an Amazing Win

As you may have seen in Dario Franchitti’s post-qualifying interview with Simraceway, he was a little concerned about the pace of the team after only making 16th place on the grid for this year’s Indy 500. It looked like he would have an uphill battle on his hands before the race, but the team–and the guys at Honda–had been working hard behind the scenes.

They brought some developments to the engine just in time and, by the time race day came around, the car felt quicker, enabling Dario to produce consistently fast laps as he closed on the front runners and, ultimately, took the checkered flag. Read on to discover how Dario himself saw things unfold in our exclusive post-race video!


Simraceway–Three in a Row at the Indy 500?

With the world-famous Indianapolis 500 only a few days away, our good friend Dario Franchitti is deep in preparation for the monumental event. So whilst Dario gets himself geared up to try and make it three-in-a-row for Simraceway, we’ve decided to take a look back at the last two Indy 500 races that ended so triumphantly for our drivers.


2010: Dario at the Double

Franchitti’s 2010 win, the second time he’d taken top spot at the prestigious race, saw Wheldon finishing in 2nd place, completing a fantastic one-two result for our pro drivers.

Dario had qualified an impressive 3rd on the grid. For him it was all about consistency, staying with the leaders, and taking the lead when the time was right. Dan, meanwhile, had a very different time of it. He qualified down in 18th position but, during the course of an eventful race, was able to climb an amazing 16 places with consistent quick laps and smart overtaking moves. Very different approaches then but, in the end, the two good friends were only separated by one place.


An Unconventional ‘Road to Indy’

“I’m never going to give up. Racing is my life.”

These are words that I have heard from many kids (even from ‘kids’ in their twenties) at the local kart track, but I recently had the chance to speak to a young man who really means them–and continues to prove it every day by chasing his dream, despite the difficult hand he was dealt at a young age.