S2E28 - IndyCar and MRTI News - with all the speculation and implication!
We have to jump right into all the news that happened in the past week. First, the schedule (3:12) because that’s all sorts of changing and shifting. Iowa is now a night race on July 20th, moving it back a few weeks so it’s now between Toronto and Mid Ohio in 2019. Looking earlier in the series, Detroit…still not confirmed but the Michigan DNR came back with their proposal which includes doubling the fee (and an additional 10k which is screw you money). Laguna Seca’s date change now puts two weeks between Portland and the season finale. It’s going to kill the momentum the series has in the back end. Finally – as to rumors of additional tracks we’ve heard: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen, and Circuit of the Americas. We vote yes for each one of them!
From new tracks to new teams and drivers (19:14). Everyone’s waiting on Fernando Alonso to make a decision even if McLaren says their decision isn’t “Fernando Dependent” (FALSE). Also, it’s not just Andretti Autosport that’s interested in partnering with McLaren, Rahal Letterman Lanigan is also interested. However, it’s Andretti Autosport that’s the belle of the ball. Steinbrenner with Colton Herta is interested in a spot, as is Harding Racing who wants to form a junior driver program with Andretti Autosport. We have some concerns having not seen any contracts or solid plans, it could hurt drivers as far as winning payouts are concerned, but it is intriguing. Belardi wants into the big-boy club, they’re talking about a similar partnership like the one between Micheal Shank Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsport (which just really seems like a good plan).
Onto the Mazda Road to Indy (37:50), or as we must start calling it the Road to Indy as Mazda is out of the main sponsorship at the end of this year. The stories hint that there’s going to be a new sponsor already in the works. Meanwhile, though, IndyCar laid out their five-year plan to help participants in IndyLights which includes (1) reducing costs; (2) increasing prize money; (3) changes in licensing; (4) working on increasing the test program participation; and (5) an incentive for other IndyCar teams to participate. The IndyLights has dwindled this year, so hopefully, this works.
The last piece of news we covered was the proposed licensing system (46:33). As two women who work in risk management and jobs that require a lot of documentation, without seeing any additional details there are problems up and down the proposal. Especially this loose “exception” allowance and having people with F1 and NASCAR experience get an automatic in – especially with them being different cars and tracks and speeds and disciplines. We’ll wait for more information to make a full dive into the proposal.
Our Woman of the Week is Desire Wilson (55:55). A racer from South Africa. She won the South Africa Formula Ford Championship back to back in 1975 and 1976. She then progressed onto Europe where, in 1977, she came in third in the Dutch, Belgium, and British Formula Ford. In 1980 she became the first woman to win a post-war Formula 1 race, winning a British Championship at Brands Hatch. She attempted multiple times to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, but unfortunately never made it into the race. She is, as far as we could tell, the only woman to be licensed in CART, IndyCar, and Formula 1. We’ll leave you with a quote:
I truly believe a woman, mentally, is much stronger than a man because we’re multi-taskers we have to put up with so much – I don’t want to say adversity because guys also put up with adversity – but you’ve got so much to deal with in your life. And also you’re always this underdog, so you’re always fighting. Mentally, we can be incredibly strong.