Back by popular demand... well one person liked it! Jason and Adrian look back at some of the key moments, places, happenings, events, drivers and a whole lot of irrelevancy through the medium of A to Z. A new batch out every week as we count down to the new season in ummm a while.
A - Aero Kits
A little later than planned, at the request of the manufacturers, the big on track development of aero kits finally arrived in 2015. They did not get off to the most auspicious of starts, debris cautions galore at St Petersburg. But one thing for sure, track records fell all over the place. They sure made an Indycar damned fast!
B - Brazil... or not
Much talk was made during the 2014 off season that Mark Miles was looking to expand Indycar's schedule to include races overseas and naturally, one of the first mentioned was a return to Brazil, even as soon as to open the 2015 season. Although deals and a date were put in place, by January the towel was thrown in and the proposed race in the nation's capital of Brasilia was scrubbed from the calendar, dealing a blow to Miles' expansion plans. Although publicly, Indycar officials have remained committed to more international races, the focus now seems to have shifted toward adding new American races like Boston and returning to old stomping grounds like Road America and Phoenix as part of an expanded 2016 schedule.
C - Close but no Castroneves
Quick, answer this one. In his first 16 seasons driving for Team Penske, how many of those seasons did Helio Castroneves fail to win a race?...... go on.... do you have it?..... The answer is one and it was the ill fated 2011 season. If it hadn't been for that season, 2015 would hands down rank as the worst season of Helio's career since joining the Captain in 2000. While team mates Juan Montoya and Will Power chased race wins and a legitimate shot at the championship, Castroneves almost became the forgotten man at Penske if not for the year that Simon Pagenaud had. One has to wonder if Castroneves will ever bag that elusive championship that would rubber stamp a remarkable career. Right now, all we can say is the same thing we say every year at this time and that's, maybe next year.
D - DW12
Sadly we lost another driver again this year through what was almost entirely a freak accident but given the amount of huge shunts that we saw in 2015, it could have been much worse if not for the sturdy and reliable Dallara built DW12. The Dallara designers cannot be praised highly enough for just how safe they have made the current Indycar chassis and if you don't believe me, just ask Ryan Briscoe after the massive accident he had at Fontana this year.
E - Extended Offseason
It was long last year, guess what! It's long again, the season finished in 2014 on 30th August and we did not have the cars back on track until 27th March this year. It did not go down too well with fans, teams, drivers, sponsors, you get the idea... So what do we have to look forward to this year? The season finished on 30th August, and the next confirmed race is... St Petersburg... 11th March. So yeah, shorter. There are murmurings about the possibility of a race in Mexico City, possibly in February. Confirm it any time you like guys!
That is Part One done and dusted, back again next week.