(CRC Offline Series) 2020 AT&T Champ Car World Series

@Clayton Hardy I definitely wanna get in with either my own team or someone fielding Tim Kourting as their driver. What do I need to do?
Alright, so if you're fielding your own team, first you'll need to submit driver ratings using the form linked at the bottom of the OP, then you'll have to determine sponsors linked to your team and to your driver. I'll message you to set up that part of the registration so I can walk through it since it is a new system.
I have added a table to the OP regarding several things for the series. Team financial overviews, driver information such as contracts, upgrades, and race purse trackers are available in the table, and I'll also be posting a link to that table here:

Teams are able to buy some upgrades now that'll take effect in time for Phillip Island for the season opener, but team principals must act fast since the season will be running quickly at the start to get us caught up.
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The first test of the season is in the books, with Honda topping the timing sheets on Saturday and Sunday after Mercedes led the times on Friday. While Friday was an especially warm day, reaching 75 degrees, neither Saturday or Sunday got past 61 degrees, which may have played into the strengths of the Honda teams.
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Patrick Marcelli carried the Honda banner on both Saturday and Sunday, setting lap times within a tenth of each other for the top spots. His teammate, Champ Car rookie, Esther Hoffson, was second fastest on Friday and Sunday as well, with newcoming team Eastern Atlantic Motorsports showing its strengths right out of the gate before the second test in February at Las Vegas. Escuderia Aguila, to the surprise of few, showed pace throughout the test, though their testing program was largely focused on preparations for the first street course race of the season in St. Petersburg, adding to the Honda fleet occupying the top spaces. More surprisingly, Swift Autosport also represented Honda well across all three days of the test, despite the outfit only being able to compete in the Triple Crown this year. The team competed in IndyCar from 2016 to 2018, with minimal success, however those days may be behind them with newcomer Tim Kourting showing pace to hang with the veterans and full funded squads through the test.

Mercedes looked fast in the heat on Friday, with Simona Leroux topping the first day of the test, but as the temperature dropped across the weekend, so did her results as she rounded out the very bottom of the table on Sunday. Stephanie Porter-Kelley spent Friday and Saturday in the top 10 on the leaderboards before spending most of Sunday focusing on long runs with the returning Firestone Firehawk tires. Additionally, on Sunday, another newcoming team in LM Competition put two of their cars in the top 10, with veteran Ray Taylor and rookie Mildred Moon both occupying space on the final day.

Alpine kept much of their testing program between their two teams, with both Cherokee GP and Samsung Racing Team Impulse avoiding the top of the leaderboards on all three days, while also working to avoid the bottom of the leaderboards. With only five cars powered by Alpine for the full Champ Car season, the French marque may have required both teams to work in tandem for the test to better prepare for the season long battle against the armadas being powered by Honda and Mercedes.

The oval test in Las Vegas will be here before you know it, as the beginning of February looms large. The test will be open to all eligible Indy 500 participants, meaning we're likely to see more than the 26 full time entries when that test begins!

-Brent Doyle
Auto Racing Digest
Been a while since i've done this. Let's see if I can get the formatting right...

“I’ve got to tell you, after a year off from driving it was kind of a weird feeling walking in through front gates, meeting up with Gabe (Jean-Claude Gabriel, CEO of Phantom Motors), David (Wessel), the rest of the team and getting back into a race car. It was exciting for sure, but I can’t begin to tell you how gutted I was last year when I heard the news that the Indianapolis 500 was getting cancelled. It’s mainly because I still get motion-sick whenever I try to use any “Serious” simulators and aside from doing a couple of vintage events for Gabe’s friends, I used last year to keep my fitness up and focus on sorting out my personal life…

“Anyway, this new car is pretty different from what I’ve raced before and to be honest, I didn’t like it at all on the first day. Compared to the high-downforce cars I started with, the Andromeda CC01 felt like it was slipping and sliding all over the place and it needed constant attention to keep it going in a straight line under braking. That might be down to our baseline set-up being a little off and just how damn bumpy Sebring’s full layout is, but it did scare me at times and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Funny enough, going into Day Two I kept flashing on how with the old chassis, I kind of wanted those cars to behave a little bit more like this one… I guess it shows how rusty I was at this, eh?

“The second & third days went a lot better for me as the track started to get some rubber down and you could see a real driving line form; That’s when I felt like I was getting a handle on the car and started to knock off the rust of driving competitively again. Unfortunately, it seemed that every time I was starting to find a groove and get into a rhythm, my car would have issues that cut our track time short while my teammate just kept racking up mileage… While it is frustrating, it feels like everybody else could be in the same boat as far as reliability goes, so I think the early races could end up rewarding smart driving and strategy rather than outright pace…

“Overall, I think I can pick it up again on the road & street courses throughout the year, because David took to this car and Sebring like a duck to water and the gap between the two of us on that first day was… Eye-opening, to say the least. I’m also curious how this new car takes to racing on ovals, because I’m honestly feeling more confident there. I'm also trying to get a new helmet design ready in time for the first race in Australia, so that should a fun little thing for my fans out there and it means a little bit to me.”


“Oh man, this was so much fun! I’m feeling pretty sore for sure, but man that was fun. Going into this test, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the new car aside from it being a friggin’ beast no matter how you slice it, so I kind of just kept my expectations low and let the team take care of the details at first. Getting on track, I was pretty surprised at how docile it was. I mean yeah, it’s still a race car with enough downforce to squish your body into a small stain on the seat, enough horsepower strapped to your back that it can dicey really quick every time you press the throttle and the brakes are strong enough that it can pop out your eyeballs if you aren’t careful, but at the same time everything felt predictable and I could feel the car had a lot of grip in it still.

“But this track, man… I know Sebring is supposed to be a rough & tumble place that takes pride in destroying cars, but driving around in one of these, with no power-steering and the whole car feeling like it’s going to shake apart around is… Kind of not as fun as you would think. I feel bad for (Andrew) Draco too, because I think his car got the worst of it and it just sucks to sit around waiting all of the time. I’m just glad the series doesn’t race here, because everybody would be in some serious trouble.

“At the end of the day, I ran fast enough to be in the Top Ten on the time sheets all three days of this test, I got a Top Five on Day Two, I learned a whole lot for Draco and the rest of the team we have here at Phantom Motors… I can’t complain at all. Heck, I get paid to race these cars, I know I’m lucky!”


"There are always butterflies in your stomach when you roll into the paddock of any given race track as a team for the first time, but as a whole I felt that this was a productive test for Phantom Motors. We rolled off the truck and hit the ground running, with David (Wessel) in particular looking quite impressive on the first two days. I have to question CRC's choice to test here at Sebring using the full Sportscar Course though, as I feel that this track's lengendary rough surface and impossible amount of bumps played havock with Andrew (Draco)'s car. While it's unfortunate he lost time out there, the mechanics were excellent in fixing what was wrong and getting his car back out there every time. Judging from the mechanical issues other teams had, I think the early races in the year will be a bit of a guessing game with nobody really pushing 100% in case their engines or gearboxes fail. Thankfully, the initial upgrade kit Honda Performance Development are working on should help remedy that...

"Ultimately, I think we as a team have some ground to make up before the season starts in Phillip Island, but I have a feeling that we will be able to close the gap to our competitors quickly."
Feedback is the name of the game with the pre-season testing for the Champ Car World Series season, with each team and manufacturer vying to make the most of the time to get a good start to the season when the grid heads to Phillip Island in the beginning of March. Alpine, the dominant engine of the 2018 season, may not be so dominant in 2020, if the words of Alicja Kowalkiewicz can lend any credibility. "The engine, the turbo, it doesn't respond well to low speed torque. The team spent all weekend trying to figure out if it was our setup or if something was installed wrong, but it didn't feel responsive there. It's a rough thing to learn when you aren't actually able to focus on the new car and the new systems. Hopefully we can figure something out."

-Nat Arnold
Open Wheel Weekly

Bar Harbor and the State of Maine made its on track debut as our own Keisha Fox began her 2020 Champ Car campaign in the pre-season test in Sebring, Florida. Fox, who enters Champ Car after racing in Formula Atlantic and Formula Three the past three years, spent the first day learning her new machine, a 730 horsepower car powered by Alpine, a subsidary of Renault, with a chassis made by A.A.I., a branch of Andromeda Aeronautics which currently makes spacecraft for deep space exploration. The car, compared to 2018's Indycar, has two distinct configurations, one for road courses, one for high speed ovals, no power steering, no anti-lock brakes, no traction control, and a six speed gearbox. On both her second and third days in the car, Keisha was never out of the top 10 in times, in a field including two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion, Kunimitsu Kino****a, 2016 Indycar World Champion, Stephanie Porter-Kelley, 2017 Indycar World Champion, Andrew Draco, and Cristine Espinoza, who currently stands as the most successful driver in modern Indycar history.

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"Being around the team, learning, throwing information and feedback to each other, and analyzing the data has been fun," Fox said after the test ended its last day on Sunday. "It's something both me and Alicja [Kowalkiewicz, her Cherokee GP teammate] have been doing the past few days. I had an easier time adjusting I think because I didn't have a past experience in Indycar, but we're both committed to keep improving, and I think when we get to Vegas for oval testing, it'll be a lot of fun learning that too."

The recent open test at Sebring saw the first real running of the brand new cars for the 2020 season. It also saw the first on-track appearance of Cat Devil Racing driver Camyron Jackson since an off-season car accident had him sidelined from much of his usual activities. "It feels good to actually be out there and getting behind the wheel for real" Camyron said after the conclusion of the test. "Its been a long three months getting to a point where I can do this again, especially through the cold winter months when the pain was at its worst". Jackson's pace relative to fellow Honda drivers was not quite as quick, but he said he wasn't worried about and neither was the team. "I focused primarily on acclimation and getting a feel for things. Not only am I back from an injury, but I am also having to learn a new car that is abit more physical and less rear heavy thanks to the downforce of this car. Main priority was getting miles in and effectively putting in data for the car." When asked on his impressions for the car and Honda's chances, Camyron seemed upbeat. "Just from what I am seeing here with both the boss and from Zappa as well as the new comers of EAM and Swift Autosport, I feel like it's a great time to be in a Honda. They seem like they really hit the ground running and it only helps with a guy like Marchelli as well being in our camp. I am already excited for the season" Next week Marks the first big oval test for the new car and Jackson is already itching for more seat time. "I am very much looking forward to next week already. From what I have been told about the oval kit, I can't wait to give that a try and see how it is"

The second open test for the AT&T Champ Car World Series took place at Auto Club Speedway, marking an opportunity for those entered for triple crown and Indy Only entries. This marked Camyron Jackson's second big time behind the wheel but first on the oval and his impressions were very glowing. "I had a blast out there. Was expecting lots of small groups, but was pleasantly surprised to see how willing everyone was to form big packs, which is traditionally what this sort of track produces". Throughout both sessions, Camyron found himself in multiple packs of 8-10 cars and despite two big accidents taking place, he carried on and managed to log in many laps. "Two things that stuck out to me was how easy it was to get runs exiting the corners, especially 3 & 4. Also seems like while 4 wide is possible, 3 wide seems to be the sweet spot for keeping up with the pack and holding it together" Jackson was very eager to try the oval kit last week and it seems his excitement was justified. "It far exceeded my expectations. Great fun and good racing, way better then what I was involved in previously. Again, this year's car and the way its downforce is allows for much more freedom now that it's not mostly rear dependent. Feel like the fans are in for a real treat on the ovals just going off this test"
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The recent open test at Sebring saw the first real running of the brand new cars for the 2020 season. It also saw the first on-track appearance of Cat Devil Racing driver Camyron Jackson since an off-season car accident had him sidelined from much of his usual activities. "It feels good to actually be out there and getting behind the wheel for real" Camyron said after the conclusion of the test. "Its been a long three months getting to a point where I can do this again, especially through the cold winter months when the pain was at its worst". Jackson's pace relative to fellow Honda drivers was not quite as quick, but he said he wasn't worried about and neither was the team. "I focused primarily on acclimation and getting a feel for things. Not only am I back from an injury, but I am also having to learn a new car that is abit more physical and less rear heavy thanks to the downforce of this car. Main priority was getting miles in and effectively putting in data for the car." When asked on his impressions for the car and Honda's chances, Camyron seemed upbeat. "Just from what I am seeing here with both the boss and from Zappa as well as the new comers of EAM and Swift Autosport, I feel like it's a great time to be in a Honda. They seem like they really hit the ground running and it only helps with a guy like Marchelli as well being in our camp. I am already excited for the season" Next week Marks the first big oval test for the new car and Jackson is already itching for more seat time. "I am very much looking forward to next week already. From what I have been told about the oval kit, I can't wait to give that a try and see how it is"

In a big weekend of news prior to the Open Test at Las Vegas, Cat Devil Racing made two major announcements. First, a technical alliance with new comer Eastern Atlanta Motorsports was announced, giving the team access to the equipment of the multi-time Indy 500 winners. Then in an unveiling at the track itself, the #16 GoPro Honda was shown off with the surprise announcement and appearance of former Striker Motorsports driver Diego Jaramillo for the Triple Crown. "Feels good to finally let the cat out of the bag" driver Camyron Jackson joked. "These were decisions both I and Kuni Kino****a had good discussions over and made happen in a short time. We saw an opportunity with a impressive new team to really extend our data gathering as well as took advantage of the potential that could be offered with Patrick Marchelli. And then when we saw the availability with Jaramillo, we immediately had to jump on that as he has shown how capable he is and we felt he would only strengthen our lineup for the triple-crown"
@KuniKino****a needs to verify this since she's the team owner.
Tyler Parker’s take away from the CRC Open Tests

A middiling test to be honest. Lots of data gather and lessons learned to be sure. I can’t speak for my teammates, but man we had a hell of time. First off we took some big swings at our set-up and total went the wrong way in sessions one and two. I had a dog**** car in those sessions, way too much understeer which is why we toward the back of the pack. We finally found something in the last session and were able to climb to12th, yet still had the Cherokee GP cars ahead of us, so we will need to sort that out. Overall I think we have an alright road and street package, but it will need to be sussed out further as we get closer to the season.

It felt great to be back out on the track again today, Fontana was fast. Today gave us some great data on how to run in the draft, and what we need to do to tune the motor for super speedway races. To be honest, I thought the field would string out a bit more with the low downforce package, yet we seemed to bunch up and run n groups of four to ten for most of the sessions. It felt great to top Happy Hour, I got a great draft on that lap and was able to really guide the car around where I wanted it on track. We’ll have to see how the high downforce package works on the smaller ovals, and as always Indianapolis is its own monster, but I believe Alpine and Impulse are set for a good season this year.
Indianapolis, Indiana: One of Champ Car's Japanese teams has gone all out once again for the Germain-Espinoza Trophy in May. Cat Devil Racing announced on Thursday that it would be entering the 107th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with five cars being slated to contest the race for the team. In addition to the full time entries of Kaylee Zappa, Camyron Jackson, and Kunimitsu Kino****a, the team has registered the 16 car to be driven by former Striker Motorsports ace, and four time Indycar race winner, Diego Jaramillo. The team has also registered the car number 20, but has declined to confirm the driver for that entry as of the publication of this article.

Expanding the armada coming out of Kyoto has not been the only measure the team has taken to ensure success in the upcoming season. Rumors began in the offseason that the team would be attempting to align itself with Honda satellite teams to improve Honda's chance at success against Mercedes and Alpine. After the first two tests of the season, it has emerged that the team aligned with Cat Devil Racing is a team new to the open wheel scene in Eastern Atlantic Motorsports. Eastern Atlantic, fielding cars driven by veteran Patrick Marcelli and promising rising star Esther Hoffson, seem to have seen benefits immediately in the partnership, showing pace consistently across the tests at Sebring and Fontana while Cat Devil Racing admittedly focused more of its efforts into developing telemetry collection systems for use during the season, which were signed off by the series sanctioning body, NAMRA, prior to the teams sending equipment to Australia for the start of the season. Representatives for Cat Devil Racing and Eastern Atlantic Motorsports weren't immediately available for comment for this article, though it is expected a lot more information on the partnership will come out once the season begins as teams attempt to figure out where the greatest advantages will be found.
Added two very important links to the thread OP. At the bottom, I have added Twitch and YouTube links. The Twitch link is used for live broadcasts. The YouTube channel will be the archive hub of all CRC Offline Canon activities. The first race of the season comes out today.

Full results of the weekend will be posted this evening after the race has gone live on YouTube to avoid spoilers.
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Full race report is ready and viewable in PDF format. Includes information on the free practice sessions, race results, team finance update after the race, and event details. It is attached to this post.


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Mark Duval: I'm here alongside Nicole Liechti, our fifth place finisher here in Phillip Island. It's been a long time since we've seen this group of drivers behind the wheel, and a lot of chaos. Almost had a podium so does fifth feel like the result you wanted today?

Nicole Liechti: Being honest, from the start of the weekend, it seemed like a top 5 wouldn't really be on the cards. Honda had it all understood when we unloaded, so it was a struggle, and then we had some luck fall our way, so I think a top 5 result for our first race back is a good result!

Mark Duval: A big talking point involved your teammate getting taken out of the race under yellow. Any comment on that? How much did the team tell you?

Nicole Liechti: The team told me that Kuni had crashed Jace, so I knew what had happened. I haven't seen any replay or talked to anyone about it so I don't have much to say. It doesn't sound like something normal for her, so I'd like to know what happened for sure. Eva and the guys worked hard to give us two good cars and we didn't need them damaged. We wanted to take these cars straight to Brno.

Mark Duval: A lot of emphasis on this new car, beautiful I might add, and it's ability to race with less dirty air. Having done more than just practice, was that all true? You were behind Mildred Moon for a while at the end.

Nicole Liechti: Dirty air was less of an issues than tires and fuel. At the end, tires were something I used harder than I should have, fighting with her, David, and then Cam very late. I didn't manage them well, and I couldn't put the power down as much as I wanted to at the end.

Mark Duval: Motegi in two weeks, the first oval race of the season. You excited for it?

Nicole Liechti: Yeah, of course! Motegi was great to be there last time we were there. The fans are outstanding, the area around the track is beautiful, and it's going to be a race that falls into strategy more than some others. I can't wait to get unloaded there and get back to it!

Mark Duval: There you have it! Nicole Liechti, our fifth place finisher today, looking forward already to Motegi. Back to you, guys!
A crash under caution ended Jace Clarke's day early, the rookie driver being pushed off the track and into the tire barrier by Kunimitsu Kino****a on lap 50. While his team owner is rather livid by the event, Clarke himself is simply confused by the accident that robbed him of his first race finish in Champ Car. "The race director hasn't gotten back to me on it." said Clarke as the race finished around him. "I just want to know if the message that she was getting waved around was even delivered. The furthest part of the track, near turn 6 and 7, we had issues receiving messages from pit lane. If I missed something that was passed through, then I guess that just happens some times. But I talked to Isabel [Espinoza] and she said she didn't hear anything about it either. Hopefully we get some clarification because we just lost parts of a car we were sending to Europe for Brno." When asked about if the entire chassis was a write off, he shook his head. "We lost suspension arms, which sucks because we have to have our factory back home send them over when they finish making them so we have replacements. But the chassis, the gearbox, the engine, all of that is good to go."
“I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: After a year and half off, it’s a strange feeling being a racing car driver again. For me, racing is my personal supply of oxygen and the "Silent Year" we all went through made me eventually understand just how fragile things are and how much you have to enjoy your time doing this, because at the end of the day a lot of different little things can add up and take it away from you in the blink of an eye... So on that front, I’m feeling pretty good right now.

“With that said, as far as the race weekend went it was pretty weird, with the race itself being complete insanity. The #13 Lightning Volt Honda felt really decent in first practice, then terrible in second practice, then OK again in qualifying but at the start of the race it was a complete pig and I burned up the tires trying to hustle it to go faster. Then I overshot my pit stall on the first stop and had to get pulled back a little bit, so I lost whatever track position I had and ran around in the back for a while. Then I got a feel for the car and while it wasn’t going to be a winner, I figured with our strategy we could’ve gotten a Top Ten… But then the engine gave up on me right as I was going to try and make some passes before our last stop.

“It’s a tough day for everybody on my crew at Phantom Motors and you never like to see your race end before the finish but… You know, I feel like I’m making gains with this car on the road courses. On the ovals I think we’ll be somewhere in the hunt but with how many cars went out with engine failures today, I think survival is going to be more important than speed. Lastly… I don’t know who they have running things in the control tower, but they need to get their act together, because there was a lot of random stuff and strange calls made all day and while that might fly on this road course, I don’t want to see it at Motegi on the oval in a few weeks."
“Hot Damn, that was crazy day at the office! Too much stuff to take in, too many emotions right now… Just being out here, running in this series is just a gift you know? And to bring it home in the top ten after the day we had with the car as it was… Good stuff maynard.

“Practice and qualifying was a real rollercoaster; Fast one session, nowhere the next… We were chasing the car all weekend and sometime we’d be right on the money and then lose it when the track temperature changed, or the humidity rose or fell or the friggin’ winds picked up… Hard stuff, but it’s part of the fun. The first part of the race we were waaay off on the set-up and I was just trying to hold on and not get passed, which is hard to do around here despite how narrow the track is. So then I get caught behind this rolling roadblock of a driver for like half of the race, and I’m getting really steamed just looking for a way by when my strategist gets on the radio and goes “Be patient. We’ll get’em soon enough.” Hearing that, I’m like “OK, whatever” I and sort of just run around until our stops, but eventually the crew made some changes and the car just hooked up at the end.

“I probably had the speed to make it on to the podium, but after my team mate blew up I knew I should start backing off a little to make it to the finish and then wouldn’t you know it, my boss got on the radio and says the same thing right back to me. I was also saving fuel like crazy drafting behind, I think it was the Swiss Miss? (Nicole Leichti of Black Rose Racing.) Annyway, whoever it was I was content with riding around behind them until the last lap, but then this other car flies by all of us and gets third so..."

"I got to thank my sponsors: Lightning Volt Energy, Honda, Tamiya... There are couple of others I'm forgetting because I'm bushed after this one, but they're all great and I'm glad that they're supporting me and Phantom Motors."
“For us, today encapsulates the ups and downs of motor racing quite well. On one hand, you have Andrew (Draco) in the #13 qualify well, then drop off the face of the earth and retire from an engine failure just after he had said on the radio, and I quote, “OK, I think I’m gonna try to make and make some moves now”… But then you have David (Wessel) in the other Lightning Volt Honda driving a cagey, smart race and scoring the first Top Ten of his career in Sixth after running in the back half of the field all day.

"However, as much as I would like to savor this result as a team, I'm not expecting miracles at the Twin Ring Motegi in a couple of weeks. Our speed during the tests at Las Vegas and AutoClub Speedway showed that our pace on the ovals leaves a lot to be desired and it's going to be a while longer before we can start to think about making serious develpmental upgrades to our cars, so... I suppose it will be a matter of making the best of what we have. I have confidence in Andrew though; Even though his record doesn't show it, he has the skill and experience to race well on ovals and if his car lasts and he keeps his nose clean anything could be possible. As for David, well, he's still finding his feet on the roundy-round stuff so I'm not expecting too much outside of getting the car home in one piece."
The First race of the season has concluded and it will go down as one of the more strange, unpredictable races in recent memory. One driver that has certainly both embodied and witnessed this upclose is Cat Devil Racing driver Camyron Jackson, who's first full race behind the wheel happened to be such an event. "I could tell you everything that happened, but I'm not sure it would be that simple" Joked Jackson, who qualified towards the back to start the race. Camyron slowly made his way up t
hroughout the first half of the race, ending up in the top 5 following the second caution and then to third following the second pit stop. He would even temporarily have the lead after team boss Kunimitsu Kino****a had the first of several mechanical issues. During this caution, Jackson would pit for the final time and despite starting well down the order with 25 to go, he would claw his way up to the top 10, even securing a top 5 on the last lap.
"Coming up on that big stack up with Espinosa and Glover was when it started odd for me, nearly caught me off guard and I was just lucky to not stuff it into another car." When asked on his take regarding Kino****a being allowed to get a lap back, resulting in the incident with one of the Black Rose Racing cars, Jackson seemed just as stumped as many were. "I had no idea it was happening until she went past me, really strange as I've never seen a sanctioning body do that so I'm not sure what to make of that." As for the situation with Honda's, Jackson showed some concern but still feels there is a chance. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't abit worried, after all I did say that I felt it was a good time to be in one and that was originally why I pitted under caution. However, I think we can overcome the gremlins as the season moves on. We just need to figure it out and hopefully, not repeat it at Motegi"
"Well, this was a hell of a weekend. Where to start? Practice right of the bat was interesting. It seems that we can get our cars to go fast out of the box, but struggle a little when the track starts to rubber in and have to chase the set-up. I actually thought Qualifying felt great, but the series is so competitive now if you're off by so little it can mean a lot on the time sheets. I was confident in our race pace and boy, it really showed!

“Those first ten to fifteen laps of this race are what I live for. Just me and some other drivers running hard, not trying to block but only leaving just enough room. It felt damn good running up front again, leading laps and knowing that I still have ‘It”… I’ll tell you what, those Aguilla cars were rocket-fast down the straightaways, but I could catch them in the corners if I timed it right. Unfortunately, the #13 Lightning Volt Honda wasn’t particularly fast out in clean air so when I lost the draft to the #48 car, I got swallowed up by the rest of the field and started having battles with everybody.

“Everything was kind of a blur until our first stop, because the tire wear really caught everybody off-guard because of how long you could run but the drop-off of pace was genuinely pretty crazy, so a lot of teams were kind of angling for pit strategy and theoretical stuff instead of looking and seeing what was really going on. Then the yellows came out and put a bunch of the field a lap down, myself included. I guess I got caught up in trying to keep up with the rest of the cars around me and I feel really bad about tagging… Who was it, (Patrick) Marchelli? Yeah, I pressed on it a little too hard and put myself in a spot with nowhere to go and just gave him a bit of a bump and I apologized for that before talking to you. The car was still OK after that hit, but it wasn’t nearly as good as it was at the start. Still, I had the speed to unlap myself in between all of the caution periods, but when the restart happened on lap 146 I felt like I didn’t have the car to keep up at first.

“Then somebody (Tyler Parker) tried to cut in on me for a few laps, so I took matters into my own hands and I ended up squeezing them into the wall. No regrets. For whatever reason, the car just hooked up after that and I was finding speed left and right until the last caution flag set up the dash to the finish. That was when I felt the car wasn’t there and I just had to hold on to whatever it had left for the finish. To salvage a top five from today is fine, but it bugs me knowing that if I kept my nose cleaner and didn’t rough up the car I could’ve had something more to show… Ah well, on to the next one.”
"I wish this weekend went better for everybody at Phantom Motors working on my car, but it just really wasn't in our favor.

“Practice was awful, Qualifying was just a big bowl of suck no matter how you served it up, but the race was pretty good at the start. I was running the higher line and passing cars lap after lap, but I think I burned off my tires too quickly and the speed difference between my tires and everybody else’s was insane. Then something happened on my first pitstop and there was just no throttle unless I had it pinned to the floor all the way around the track and even then it felt like the car might’s dropped a cylinder or something. I kept asking my crew chief if I should just pull it in, but he just kept telling me to “Keep going” so I kind of just shrugged it off and treated the rest of the race like a test session. Of course, the car kept going slower and slower and the more I ran out there like that, the more I started to realize that there’s really nothing you can do to make a bad car go faster. Honestly? Those last 25 laps scared the crap out of me more than any other time I’ve been in a race car at any level, just tying to not get run over by the best of the field.

“I think it’s when I got clipped by somebody (Tyler Parker) who was trying to get to pit-lane that I was like, “OK can in come NOW guys???” on the radio and they finally said yes. Rough day, rough racing in the second half of it with the yellows catching everybody out of place, but my teammate got a top 5 so I guess it all checks out. Speaking of Czechs, anybody know of good places to eat around Brno? It’s my first time going to Eastern Europe in a while and I think the list of go-to spots I got from my boss is out of date…”
"Another up-and-down day for Phantom Motors. Ce La Vie. This time Andrew (Draco) and David (Wessel) ran up in the top ten early on, but something happened to the #14 car by the time of the first stops and he never recovered. I regret leaving David out to fend for himself for as long as we did, because truthfully if we realized the extent of the internal damage his car had we would have parked him much earlier in the race. On the Flip-side of fate's coin, I felt that Andrew was fast enough to score a podium or even a win today, but he was over-driving the car a lot at times and getting tangled up into other driver's messes which kept adding up little bits of crash damage here and there. I might have to have a private word with him about that at some point...

"Thinking about it, I'm actually pretty amazed that he still had some speed in his car at the end in spite of the hits he took, so I have to tip my cap to Andromeda Aeronautics for building such a stout car. Still, he scored another Top-Five Finish for us and I know everybody at Lightning Volt was happy about that. Off to Brno in The Czech Republic in a few weeks... I'm not going to try and predict how the race is going to go, because this series is far too wide-open at the moment for predictions unless you're Escuderia Aguila and you have the best of everything money could buy..." *Grumbling could be heard under JC-G's mouth, but nothing worthy (or legal) to print here*
Man what great day that just got spoiled due to some poor driving by some competitors and some terrible luck. So at the beginning of the day we had everything working fine, about 15 laps into the race we lost radio communications from the backstretch thru the fourth turn. This really ended up hurting us at the end of the race. But before that we had Old Man Draco, must need his eye sight checked, as he drove us up into the fourth turn wall. I’ve heard he said I cut down on him, but I’ll have to disagree, we’ll remember this and payback will be coming his way. The last thing that ruined day was our missed call on the final stop we made. I thought I heard “pit with one to go”, but in actuality my crew chief was saying, “green flag go, go, go”. So, unfortunately we gave up a guaranteed 9th place finish. We will need to get back on track in Brno.
The latest generation of the Espinoza legacy has officially arrived. Isabel Espinoza, with her win at Motegi, has become the first ever seventh generation driver to win a premier motor racing event. The 21 year old Argentinian started her Champ Car career in 2018, and following the transition to Horizon management in 2019, which saw no American open wheel racing at all, she was uncertain if she'd ever reach this milestone, stating to the Claro newspaper, "Champ Car is what runs in my family's blood. After everything got cancelled last year, it put a lot into focus. I can't be reserved if I want to win. Caring what people think of me or my family no longer matters. I want to compete and win with the best. My legacy begins here." Despite winning in Motegi, and holding pole in Phillip Island, the younger Espinoza only sits second behind a surprising Nicole Liechti, by 6 points as the Champ Car season heads to the Brno Circuit to end the first month of 2020 racing.
Champ Car's resident Swiss outfit has struggled to find any semblance of consistency after showing a glimpse of promise in winter testing. Simona Leroux scored a 12th place finish in Phillip Island, and has led laps in both races in 2020, while Rachel Koivuniemi finished a career best 14th in Motegi. Consistency has been non existent, and the team's Champ Car director, 1999 Indy 500 winner Rita Liechti, has been working her team over time to figure out the possible fixes to their worries. "It's not easy. We know we have a foundation," said Liechti as the team prepared its road course cars for the short flight from Geneva to Brno. "The issue is figuring out what is going wrong. And the window for fixing it in time is shrinking. We aren't competing in Champ Car to be buoying the rear of the field. We need results."

Phillip Island and Motegi has brought validation to the smaller of the two Alpine-powered squads in the 2020 Champ Car field. Picking up where they left off in 2018, Cherokee GP is proving their decisions on driver lineup and off-season hires has been a successful one. Team owner Clayton Hardy offered his praise after both of his cars finished 8th and 9th at Motegi; "It's been a frantic month for us. We've been working on figuring out how Alpine's engine package is working, and it's coming together for us. We're optimizing our opportunities and minimizing damages and it's doing wonders. Alicja is showing her world class consistency, between her seventh at Phillip Island and her eighth place here, she's marginalizing risks, and getting us to the first upgrade window comfortably. Keisha, her growth is something I am consistently proud of. She focused on learning the best of her abilities in Phillip Island and avoided all of the mayhem around her. And her surviving her tire blowing in turn 4 and avoiding a potential disaster was phenomenal heads up work from her. We are very much full steam ahead for Brno and then starting the American portion of the calendar in St. Pete in a few weeks."

Brno is available to the public, as is the attached race report. Also going to be announcing that beginning with St. Pete, every race will be recorded the Saturday night before the date posted in the schedule, with the race being made available on YouTube the Monday after the scheduled date. St. Pete will be livestreamed this weekend on my Twitch channel with the stream starting about 9 p.m. EDT.


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After a thrilling start to the season back in Australia, Cat Devil Racing's Camyron Jackson hasn't seen anywhere near the same amount of success. THe troubles began at Motegi, where not only did he lack the pace but was then caught in a pile-up while trying to get a lap back. "The fact that it was so close only for that to happen is what stings the most" Said Jackson. "I could've at least salvaged something, but it wasn't to be sadly it wasn't to be". The trouble would continue at Brno, where Jackson was so far off pace and was lapped. "Its been frustraiting to have the same equipment as the drivers at the front yet somehow lack the pace. I could at least say Motegi was just wrong place wrong time, but I have nothing for what happened at Brno." Jackson still hopes to find some better results despite the previous two outings. "Its thankfully still early in the season so I still have time to figure it all out. Maybe St Petersburg could be the race where I am back on pace"
While it was for once a race where he didn't get lapped and wasn't near last, it was still not quite the result Camyron Jackson would've liked in yet another race where one of his teammates and fellow Honda cars showed front row pace. " I just don't know what is happening with us or me in particular. Qualifying continues to be abysmal and race pace just isn't there." Said Jackson after the race. "While the crew did manage to get it abit better towards the end and I wasn't lapped finally, it was still not enough to get any further up. For being in a championship team, I'm not seeing championship pace and its quite confounding. Still plenty of season left and 2 weeks before the next race but surely we've got to find something, especially before Indy"
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I poked around Twitch earlier tonight and saw the stream of the St. Petersburg race. I mostly saw the second half of the stream. Quite cool!
I'm doing my best to stay at neutral with the emotions, so let's go over this piecemeal:

I wasn't expecting that I'd run open wheel again, so getting two offers was a surprise for sure. Then finding out I was going to run full time was a small shock.

New Zealand started bad, then got better. Top 10 after a stall and spin is a good recovery.

I thought I could win Motegi, it's on my wish list, but fate and computer gremlins decided that wasn't happening this year. Mid field recovery, meh.

Brno is easy to explain, I got hot-headed, my brain shut off, and I threw away an amazing day. Moving on.

St. Pete is a polarizing place, maybe the passing action wasn't high, but there were plenty of battles for position, and that's all you can really ask for. I don't think I would have been able to pass Sakura, but I'll gladly take a Impulse 1-2 over doing something stupid. Was a great and complete day.

St. Pete has been on YouTube for a week now, but here it is for easy access, as is the race report. Reminder to teams that the first wave of upgrades are now available, and the benefits of those upgrades are in the table in the first post. Additionally, we are mere weeks away from the Indianapolis 500, and we still need a couple of entries to ensure that we have 33 for the race.


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Homestead is now available on demand for viewing, and the race report is attached. Also included in this post is a more detailed look at the Driver's Championship after 5 races.
The fallout from the race in Miami will be interesting, especially given the Indianapolis 500 is just over a week away.


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April 27, 2020: Following the incidents that took place during the Coca-Cola 300 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, we are able to announce that both drivers injured in the lap 18 accident have been released from local medical facilities to recuperate. Driver of car 34, Gerard Perth, has been diagnosed with a severe concussion and deep muscular bruising, and will be evaluated for a return to racing in four weeks. Driver of car 7, Jace Clarke, has been diagnosed with a severe concussion, a broken left wrist, and will be evaluated for a return to racing in six to eight weeks pending cleared x-ray results. All other drivers involved in incidents in the race were cleared by on track medical personnel.

Horizon Corporation has filed an intent to suspend the driver of car 84, Stephanie Porter-Kelley, for her direct involvement in causing accidents affecting three competitors. The intent to suspend includes disqualifying the driver's result in the race, and a three race suspension for Champ Car events only. Striker Motorsports has informed Horizon Corporation and sanctioning body NAMRA of their intent to appeal the suspension, meaning that NAMRA will now review the situation, evaluate the intent to suspend filing, and make the final determination in the case.