Part two this week, F to J. Jason and Adrian share some great memories of races and people, but also some farewells?
F - Fontana
The California oval which provided us the most exciting and yes, probably, the most dangerous race of the season will not be back for another race next year and that's a real shame because for those of us who had the pleasure of watching the race this season from a seat other than one in an Indycar, it provided wall to wall and wheel to wheel excitement, you know, the kind of thing Indycar is built on. The 2015 event also produced a popular victor in Graham Rahal albeit not one without controversy after Rahal left his pit box with the fuel hose still attached.
G - Goodbye...?
See above, plus a number of tracks are still in the air as to whether or not they will return in 2016, under this microscope are Pocono (Sanctioning fee and attendance), Milwaukee (Needs a promoter, and attendance), and NOLA (Probably still drenched, and promoter issues) to go with Fontana who according to track president Dave Allen, hope to return... one day, (we hope so!).
H - Holmatro Safety Team
The guys who keep the drivers safe are one of the best assets the Indycar series has, they have had a year of it too. But as fans, we are grateful for their work, a Hammerdown beer or two is on the cards for them this offseason.
I - It's A New Track Record
No matter what you thought of the aero kits this year, there remains no doubt that they added to the speed spectacle. Six tracks had their current lap records broken during qualifying. The big one though remains, the Indianapolis 500 Qualifying, 21st and 22nd May 2016, will the echoes of Tom Carnegie ring out for the first time since 1996?
J - Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden entered the 2014 offseason with the label of "future talent" written on him. He now enters the 2015 offseason as the possible key to the whole driver market for next year. After wins at Barber and Toronto and strong showings elsewhere, the young American closed out the season to the sound of rumours that Ganassi and Penske are interested and may come calling in the offseason. While losing Newgarden would be a huge blow to a a CFH team that got very little out of Ed Carpenter and Luca Filippi this season, opportunities to drive for Chip and The Captain just don't come along very often. In addition to all of this, Newgarden stellar 2015 season did not go unnoticed by Honda and it's widely known that the Japanese company would like nothing better than to bring a former Indycar poster boy of theirs back to the marquee. Whatever the future holds for Josef Newgarden, 2015 will be the year that he finally went from prospect to star.