Focused – Katherine Legge

Katherine Legge in the DeltaWing at Road America.Talking with Katherine Legge you will realize some key qualities needed in every driver. She has a technical understanding of a race car, conducts herself in a professional yet relaxed manner and has an intent level of focus to get the absolute best out of the car, team and herself.

Mecca of Speed: This is your fourth season with the DeltaWing project. One of the most notable evolutions was from the roadster to coupe configuration. How did that change things from a driver’s perspective?

Katherine Legge: The technology that came with putting the roof on changed the weight distribution, down force levels etc. It’s safer and more aerodynamic but it does get hotter in the car.  Safety wise it’s a step in the right direction and where everybody thinks we should be. Dr. Panoz is big on safety.

Big picture is to have every technology advancement completed and ready for the road car, which is the most important aspect of this project. more

Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps

Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps is considered one of the great corners in motorsport due to it’s high speed, elevation change and corner combination. To be fast requires total commitment. This video shows the changes in the racing line and the evolution of the Formula One car from the wide beasts of the 1990s on slicks, through the grooved tire period to the current configuration.

Road America 2017 Schedule

As the 2016 season continues with strong events Road America has announced their 2017 season schedule.

May 19-21 –  SVRA Spring Vintage Weekend

June 2-4 – MotoAmerica SuperBike Doubleheader

June 9-11 – AHRMA Vintage Motorcycle Classic and the Rockerbox Motofest®

June 15-18 – heWeatherTech® Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints®

June 22-25 – Verizon INDYCAR Series and Pirelli World Challenge

July 20-23 – WeatherTech® International Challenge with Brian Redman presented by HAWK

August 3-6 – IMSA Continental Sports Car Challenge and WeatherTech® SportsCar Championship

August 25-27 – NASCAR XFINITY Series

September 15-17 – Ariens Art on Wheels Weekend featuring VSCDA Elkhart Lake Vintage

Information Feeds Growth – Conor Daly

Conor Daly in Indycar at Road AmericaAs a second generation driver Conor Daly used information and hard work to make a name for himself in Indaycar.

Mecca of Speed: Your career started with a great run in go-karts, are you still involved in karting at any level?

Conor Daly: Literally nothing, I don’t even own a go-kart. My dad sold all of our stuff. I would love to have a go-kart again. The only race I do is the RoboPong 200 in New Castle. That is an awesome race, it’s the most fun event of the season. I try to do it every year if I can.  It all just depends on who I can get to bend and get into their go-kart. more

Baby-Faced Assassin

For the record F1 types who have followed the series for longer then a few years know that Sebastian Vettel is not the true Baby-Faced Assassin. That title goes to Jacques Villeneuve who got that nick name back in the mid 1990s.

Learn your history folks and don’t recycle nicknames.

The only time a reuse is allowed is initials such as T.K. First time around was Tommy Kendall and second use for Tony Kanaan.

Never Stop Growing – Simon Pagenaud

Simon Pagenaud at Road AmericaSimon Pagenaud started climbing the open wheel ladder in Europe. In 2006 he journeyed to the United States and won the Atlantic championship. From there it has been a journey of both open wheel and sports car. Regardless of the formula Simon Pagenaud has never stopped growing as a driver.

Mecca of Speed: When you won the Atlantic championship and moved up to ChampCar what did you find to be the biggest change?

Simon Pagenaud: The biggest thing was the difference in power between an Atlantic car, or any other car I had driven in the past compared to the ChampCar. At that time, they had about 800 hp and I had never driven such a powerful car.

That was a big jump, it took me the whole season to get adjusted to it. It wasn’t the overall speed that was the problem. The chassis of the ChampCar was very similar to the Atlantic car, the overall power was the big difference. more

Racing at the Best Places – Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal Indycar at Road AmericaGraham Rahal grew up at race tracks across the U.S. that included a lot of days at the mid-west circuits.

Mecca of Speed: Welcome back to Road America you are a very busy man this week.

Graham Rahal: Yeah, it’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s cool to see everybody, a lot of people here; a good buzz is in the air.

Mecca of Speed: When you or other drivers give ideas on how to improve the Indycar series, how much does the governing body listen?

Graham Rahal: I don’t know, but I hope that they listen. We try to influence the series to go to places that are great. There are a lot of people involved in the series today and some of them have never even been here. Some probably didn’t realize the size and capacity of Road America. It’s really cool to be here and see all the fans.

I hope that we can influence the series more in the future. It’s hard; everyone has their own agenda. Mine has always been to go race at the best places and this is definitely one of the best. more

ChampCar at Road America – 2006

After a one-year absence ChampCar was back at Road America with Speedy Dan Clarke taking the field to the green flag. A 42 minute red flag took place when Katherine Legge had a rear wing fail sending her car into the wall at The Kink. She escaped without major injury but her freshly painted Ford Cares Warriors in Pink was destroyed. The all American kid A.J. Allmendinger took the win for Forsythe Racing.

The next generation of ChampCar Panoz DP01 chassis made some demonstration laps complete with donuts complements of Roberto Moreno.

Pole Position: Dan Clarke

Winning Driver: A.J. Allmendinger

Winning Team: Forsythe Racing

Winning Chassis and Engine: Lola/Ford-Cosworth

Chassis in Series: 1 (Lola)

Engines in Series: 1 (Ford-Cosworth)

Tires in Series: 1 (Firestone)

Photo credit: Scott Rohloff


ChampCar at Road America – 2004

The Champcar race at Road America not only had a surprise winner with Alex Tagliani who played strategy to take the win but the first “Tour de Road America” charity bike ride around the circuit took place. Proceeds went to the Livestrong Foundation. Over half the ChampCar drivers were apart of the event.

Unconfirmed reports include Tommy Kendall taking part in the ride. By the time he reached Turn 5 on the first lap he opted to take the runoff and call it a day.

Pole Position: Sebastien Bourdais

Fastest Lap: Bruno Junqueira

Winning Driver: Alex Tagliani

Winning Team: Johnson Controls Rocketsports Racing

Winning Chassis and Engine: Lola/Ford-Cosworth

Chassis in Series: 1 (Lola)

Engines in Series:  1 (Ford-Cosworth)

Tires in Series: 1 (Firestone)

Photo Credit: Scott Rohloff and John Vatne