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Road To Indy AMA (Ask Me Anything) - Rob Howden

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  • #31
    Any chance the Freedom 100 returns in 2022?
    "Paff has been closer to the mark than anyone will give him credit for."

    Richard Kimble 11/18/2010

    "Paff is far more right than any of you will EVER give him credit for.

    As non politically correct and un IndyCar friendly as it is, it's the truth. "

    SeeuInMay 12/29/2010

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    • #32
      Which of these jumps do you think is the toughest?

      Karting to F2000
      F2000 to Indy Pro
      Indy Pro to Indy Lights

      Anecdotally, it always looked to me like the Indy Pro to Indy Lights jump was the toughest. I remember Matthew Brabham coming up and he was a rock star in F2000 and Star Mazda. He hit Indy Lights and suddenly was not a rock star anymore. Kirkwood while is still in competition for the title was not the uber-dominant win every time out like he was in the lower ranks.

      Do you see any more stand-alone races for Road to Indy in the near future? If so, IRP has always struck me as should be a natural to host an "offseason" (not in May) Indycar race on the road course, but the track was neglected for years. Now that the NHRA are supposed to be putting money into the road course to bring it up to par, do you ever see that as an option?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Myopia View Post
        Who were the drivers of the IndyCar 2 seater at NJMP?
        I believe that Gabby Chaves and Juan Piedrahita were the two drivers piloting the 2-seater this past weekend.
        Respectfully,

        Rob Howden
        IndyCar Radio Network
        www.roadtoindyinsider.com
        Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Announcer
        Twitter: @robhowden / @RTI_Insider
        Instagram: @robhowdenracing

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Chris Paff View Post
          Any chance the Freedom 100 returns in 2022?
          I think the chances of seeing return of the Freedom 100 in 2022 are extremely low, if not non-existent.

          The Indy 500 is only race on the IMS oval now, and I have a feeling that RP wants it that way.
          Respectfully,

          Rob Howden
          IndyCar Radio Network
          www.roadtoindyinsider.com
          Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Announcer
          Twitter: @robhowden / @RTI_Insider
          Instagram: @robhowdenracing

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Privateer View Post

            Karting to F2000
            F2000 to Indy Pro
            Indy Pro to Indy Lights

            Anecdotally, it always looked to me like the Indy Pro to Indy Lights jump was the toughest. I remember Matthew Brabham coming up and he was a rock star in F2000 and Star Mazda. He hit Indy Lights and suddenly was not a rock star anymore. Kirkwood while is still in competition for the title was not the uber-dominant win every time out like he was in the lower ranks.
            I am not familiar enough with teams and crews in the RTI ranks. How much does the “quality” of a team contribute to driver results at the different levels? Are some teams getting a significant performance difference with engineering, set-up, strategy and any equipment and parts?

            Thanks
            Last edited by goner; 09-01-2021, 07:07 AM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Privateer View Post
              Which of these jumps do you think is the toughest?

              Karting to F2000
              F2000 to Indy Pro
              Indy Pro to Indy Lights

              Anecdotally, it always looked to me like the Indy Pro to Indy Lights jump was the toughest. I remember Matthew Brabham coming up and he was a rock star in F2000 and Star Mazda. He hit Indy Lights and suddenly was not a rock star anymore. Kirkwood while is still in competition for the title was not the uber-dominant win every time out like he was in the lower ranks.

              Do you see any more stand-alone races for Road to Indy in the near future? If so, IRP has always struck me as should be a natural to host an "offseason" (not in May) Indycar race on the road course, but the track was neglected for years. Now that the NHRA are supposed to be putting money into the road course to bring it up to par, do you ever see that as an option?
              In talking with veterans who came through the full ladder, like Rinus VeeKay, Oliver Askew, Kyle Kirkwood, and Robert Megennis, the consensus is that the jump from karts to cars is very big, as you're learning a completely new racing dynamic. That said, the graduation from Indy Pro 2000 to Indy Lights was the biggest.

              The car is completely different, going from the Tatuus to the Dallara. Remember, USF2000 and IP2K have the same tub. The difference is just more of everything. The guys say that the Dallara is much harder and extremely different to drive, with more aero etc. HP is almost double from the IP2K (250hp vs 450hp + 50 hp P2P). The power delivery via the turbo is a big differentiator as well. In Indy Lights, some corners that are easy flat in Indy Pro are lifts and take a lot of commitment. You also have the additional adjustment 'tools' in the Indy Lights car which take some learning to use. Add in learning how to manage the Push-To-Pass option, and its a massive jump.

              Thanks for the question.
              Respectfully,

              Rob Howden
              IndyCar Radio Network
              www.roadtoindyinsider.com
              Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Announcer
              Twitter: @robhowden / @RTI_Insider
              Instagram: @robhowdenracing

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by goner View Post

                I am not familiar enough with teams and crews in the RTI ranks. How much does the “quality” of a team contribute to driver results at the different levels? Are some teams getting a significant performance difference with engineering, set-up, strategy and any equipment and parts?

                Thanks
                Just like the drivers, mechanics and engineers often work their way up the ranks to IndyCar. That said, even though our cars are spec in nature, a team's engineer plays a significant role in the overall performance of the car, and thereby, the driver's results. Like any racing, the quality of mechanics and their work play a role in avoiding any mechanical failures, so good, experienced mechanics are extremely valuable.

                So to answer your final question, yes, significant performance differences in engineering, set-up, strategy and any equipment and parts are key elements to success on the RTI.
                Respectfully,

                Rob Howden
                IndyCar Radio Network
                www.roadtoindyinsider.com
                Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Announcer
                Twitter: @robhowden / @RTI_Insider
                Instagram: @robhowdenracing

                Comment


                • #38
                  Thanks, I appreciate your answering my question and explaining the development of the players on the teams.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Great insights Rob.

                    I know a few club racers with national level talent - yet put them in kart and they are lost. In all fairness, they did not start racing in kart, rather went back to get some more practice and seat time and it is just foreign, yet there are others that are just as good car racers and good karters.

                    Any insights on why?
                    And don't forget the heat!

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Openracer View Post
                      Great insights Rob.

                      I know a few club racers with national level talent - yet put them in kart and they are lost. In all fairness, they did not start racing in kart, rather went back to get some more practice and seat time and it is just foreign, yet there are others that are just as good car racers and good karters.

                      Any insights on why?
                      The bottom line to this question and reality is that karts and cars are radically different, dynamically. A modern day racing kart is under-powered and over-tired, meaning that the driver can mash the throttle at well. They are stuck to the ground, which as a result provides a much different driving experience while also requiring a radically different approach. While smoothness still pays off, you need to charge a corner to force the chassis to flex and do its job. The frame tubing is the suspension, as is the solid rear axle, which you can change to different thickness and stiffness to alter the 'suspension rates'. You need to push the chassis to take a set and lift the inside rear wheel to free up the entire platform so it can rotate. A car, on the the other hand, is much slower in terms of setting up a corner and transitioning through the different periods of corner entry, apex, and exit, particularly in terms of suspension travel and evolving grip.

                      In karting, young drivers can learn racecraft and experienced racers can enjoy affordable seat time to stay fit and focused. But, the move from karts to cars is a tough one. You simply cannot drive a car like a kart, and that's why some young graduates struggle to come to grips with what a car actually wants to go fast.

                      One last thing - in terms of some karters struggled to be fast in cars. Moving from a 125cc shifter to anything below an Indy Pro 2000 car is a STEP DOWN. A shifter is a physical and demanding ride that requires laser focus, ridiculously fast reflexes. Moving from a 125cc shifter to a racing school car, F1600, F4, or USF2000 is a tougher transition because everything is so much slower. I can tell stories of title and race-winning shifter kart drivers struggling in a F2000, but then winning immediately in the old Star Mazda (Pro Mazda) car. The Pro Formula Mazda, when it was on Goodyears, was like driver an modern-day shifterkart.
                      Respectfully,

                      Rob Howden
                      IndyCar Radio Network
                      www.roadtoindyinsider.com
                      Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Announcer
                      Twitter: @robhowden / @RTI_Insider
                      Instagram: @robhowdenracing

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Hi Rob!

                        The past couple of weeks we've heard a couple of drivers being dropped (quit?) from Juncos' junior programs. Is this due to lack of performance either by the driver or team or is it that Juncos needs the extra hands to help with his Indycar comeback? Maybe a bit of both? Thanks!

                        Hitokiri
                        "The only good horsepower is usable horsepower.."

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Belated congratulations to the Indy Force USF2000 team for their first win in the NJ race 2. A good drive from Myles Rowe and a happy day for Rod Reid.

                          👍🏽 👍🏽

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Hitokiri View Post
                            Hi Rob!

                            The past couple of weeks we've heard a couple of drivers being dropped (quit?) from Juncos' junior programs. Is this due to lack of performance either by the driver or team or is it that Juncos needs the extra hands to help with his Indycar comeback? Maybe a bit of both? Thanks!

                            Hitokiri
                            I'm not in a position to answer those questions, as I don't have enough inside knowledge on each specific situation.
                            Respectfully,

                            Rob Howden
                            IndyCar Radio Network
                            www.roadtoindyinsider.com
                            Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Announcer
                            Twitter: @robhowden / @RTI_Insider
                            Instagram: @robhowdenracing

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Thanks
                              "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
                              ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


                              Brian's Wish

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