IRL Season 6
THE SONG REMAINS THE FILARSKI INTERVIEW HOW TO KEEP IDIOTS
The soldiers have We strap Kalvin We help those who
changed, but as Filarski into a chair just can’t help
TCG and NHR go to and torture and themselves, so help
battle the old guard interrogate him us. Make sure to
must do what they extensively. Well, no, read page 7 as many
do best. Again. not really. times as needed.
October 2009, Volume 1, IRL, Issue 1 Disclaimer
We d o n o t
SMASHING FUN smash things
n o r h ave a ny
fun. But we sure
wish we did.
things just never
THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME
Despite a change in key personnel, Rick O’shea feels that it will still be a case of rinse and repeat in
Indycars for now and beyond.
The history of mankind is a history of The answer to that, in case you
haven’t been following the news at all, is a
domination. Large tracts of power are
big resounding ‘niet’. Pick a sport, any
often vested in the hands of the few who
sport, and I dare you to tell me it has a
toy with the rank and ﬁle as they see ﬁt.
level playing ﬁeld. There will always be
Entire civilizations were founded and
some better than the rest. Big dogs that
nourished on this very principle, and it
will always piss in the tall weeds and laugh
exists till date in global behemoths
at the Chihuahuas.
political and apolitical.
I never liked Chihuahuas.
Survival of the ﬁttest.
But everyone loves a winner. And so it
Simple, cold, blunt. Even cruel. Cry
is with Indycars as well. Over time, and
your lungs as hoarse as you want, but this
many a battle, two teams have come to
phenomenon, perfected by mankind over
tower over the rest. Titans in their own
millennia, is not going away any time soon. Awesome Twosome!!
right. Target Chip Ganassi and Newman Target Chip Ganassi and Newman
No sir, the only way to correct it is to crush
Haas racing have come to be synonymous Haas Racing have made their name
those in power and seize power yourself, virtually synonymous with this
with the sport, and theirs is an assembly
thereby subjugating yourself to the system championship, and it wouldn’t be
line of greatness everyone in IRL aspires to,
and becoming its pawn, a part of a vicious wrong to say that it is one of these two
the ticket to great powah. teams that will produce the champion.
And when one champion leaves,
Carpe Diem baby. The question is, who will step up to
another takes his place. Another puzzle
And if humankind is in itself so the plate?
piece falls in place.
callous, can its sports be far behind?
Flawless victory. A change in tack Hollossi’s
It’s been a revolving door at the top
In a departure from his experience
two teams, and unless you’ve been living
under a rock, you know what these changes
usual choice, Achriﬁ instead might prove
c h o s e t o p i c k t w o priceless.
are. Nonetheless, the little box at the
professionals so adept at
bottom of the page details these for you.
dealing with the media that
Yes, we can be very kind that way. No, we
their verbosity sometimes
don’t donate to charities. Or charity cases
distracts from their iﬀy
for that matter.
track record as drivers.
The revolving door at TCG Nicholas Richardson
So much has changed, and yet the and Scott Moore must have
spine remains the same. Any which way you undoubtedly been thrilled
look at it, Target Chip Ganassi and to receive the call from the
Newman Haas Racing are the undisputed Dutchman, but assume that
giants of the ﬁeld, the rest of the ﬁeld they are mere ﬁllers at your
aspiring to occupy the same shelf space as own risk. Scott Moore, when
them. The big reason these two teams have he isn’t busy mucking up qualifying and A modicum of balance
been so successful has not been the trying to get a few cheap laughs, is a racer After a time spent under‐achieving as
machinery itself but the personnel at the with surprisingly polished race craft. A bit driver, with some having tagged him as
battlefront. In Hollossi, Hytes and Andrews, hit and miss, this is his big chance. A top champion material, Karan Karayi has
TCG had a triumvirate that was, to put it team and a front‐running role is his litmus decided to swap one job for the other at his
lightly, the Holy Trinity. Nigh unbeatable at test. He can talk all right, but can he do the beloved Newman Haas Racing and ﬁll the
their best, these three kept the Indycar ﬂag walk? gaping void left by Tom Hartley’s departure
ﬂying high. Likewise for Nicholas Richardson, who from the team.
Backed up ably by Samir Achriﬁ, who had an average season with Andretti Green It is no easy feat to replace the
was as managers should be and never tried Racing and then a similar one for HVM. But legendary Briton, a superstar in his own
to hog the limelight, TCG has gone to what he failed to do on track he made up right. But pundits feel Karayi has what it
achieve sustained glory that everyone (and for oﬀ it, and the result is his being takes to do the job with great gusto. His
yes, that includes NHR) can only dream of rewarded with a drive for Target Chip time at Ferrari demonstrated his nous for
achieving. So when Achriﬁ was forced into Ganassi. This is truly the stuﬀ dreams are scouting talent and there is no reason why
disbanding the team, his choice of drivers made oﬀ, and it is time for the ebullient this should change anytime soon at NHR.
would once be put to the test. While it Aussie to do his talking on track. Many say His own exit and the ﬂight of UG Kawasie
seemed at one point that all three of his that the Newman Haas Racing team have a meant two spots were left to be ﬁlled, and
stars would be heading out the big red front better bunch of drivers, but make no Karayi wasted no time in bringing in Ryan
door, Hollossi had a change of heart that mistake. This bunch, while short on any Carter and Kevin McGuire into the team.
saw him stick around, and Achriﬁ must real accomplishments on their C.V., might Coupled up with Adam Eckert, who is set to
have been thrilled to have been able to well surprise a few people on track in the begin his third year with the team as driver,
hang on to his champion driver. Hollossi’s season ahead. the team looks a very well‐balanced unit on
experience might prove priceless. paper.
What’s new? succeed or fail and instead took the In...
First of all, Tom Hartley decided that safe paycheque of manager at NHR.
• Ryan Carter
Campos was a better sounding name Wise choice. Eckert stays on at NHR, as • Kevin McGuire
than Newman (and who can blame does AchriPi at Chip Ganassi. In what is • Nicholas Richardson
a coup, Hollossi stays on at CGR and the • Scott “Scottybear” Moore
him?) and left for GP2. Yuuji Kawasie
pined for his anime conventions and is media savvy of Nicholas Richardson
What this means
busy mingling with Pikachu and David and Scott Moore make an entry. Ryan
One of these two will keep on winning
Jundt somewhere. Scary combo, that. Carter’s savoir faire and Kevin
and everyone will keep on whining to
Karan Karayi decided he had enough of Mcguire’s all‐round ability complete
the FIA, who will reduce the cost of
not deciding whether he wanted to the lineup at Newman Haas.
Reynards only for no one to buy it. Epic.
Carter, for long acclaimed as one of the many are banking on breaking through and Yes, it is a wonderful time to be a
ﬁnest role‐players in this series, has never being the next big thing on the grid. Steady neutral, for laurels cannot be rested on.
really received his just desserts and this progress and prudent stewardship from
chance at Newman Haas Racing is a big these teams could see them grow in stature
Cream of the crop
opportunity for the charismatic American immeasurably and if historical performance
W h i c h m a k e s i t a l l t h e m o r e
to showcase his full repertoire of skills. is anything to go by, the only way is imperative for the big guns to ﬁre. A wise
Expect RC to surprise many with his on‐ forward. For a time, it seemed like Andretti sage once said that when the going gets
track ability on the way to being one of the Green might well be up there too. tough, the tough get going. I read that on
stars of the season. From a few seasons ago where there the internet, so it must be true. Regardless,
Dreyer and Reinbold have for all too was no hope on the horizon for the neutrals there is no reason why it shouldn’t be
long been mired in the muck, but in their (which precipitated changes from the FIA to business as usual for the big dogs. The
ranks existed two of the most under‐rated create a greater spectacle for the paying change in personnel should be completely
drivers on the IRL grid, namely Kevin public), things are just beginning to get seamless and it becomes hard to see a
McGuire and KR Raj. And after a tortuous more interesting as closer racing and reason why things should change anytime
time, Karayi plumped for McGuire who was multiple teams winning is becoming a soon. The best teams have some of the best
admittedly taken aback at this oﬀer but not greater reality, just like water on the moon drivers and machinery at their disposal, and
one he could refuse. Has Karayi unearthed or nerds landing hot chicks way out of their it is for them to up their game and respond
another Jundt? That is an answer only McG league (I saw the latter happen only to the advancements made by the rest of
can oﬀer. But we’d take whatever odds we yesterday. Crazy times.) the grid, stamp their authority, so to speak.
get for the American to pick up a few race Would you really bank against Luczo And drivers of the calibre of Hollossi
wins this year in the very least. Dragon or Panther Racing getting their and Eckert, both proven race winners,
breakthrough victories anytime soon? What should be licking their chops as the season
Tiers of happiness
about Conquest living up to their name and looms large. Carter, Richardson, Moore and
Traditionally, IRL has been witness to
adding to that wins tally of theirs? The McGuire all have reason to be optimistic
unspoken echelons that exist within the
performance gap at the top is being and they can use every bit of positivity they
paddock. Undisputedly, TCG and NHR are
whittled away steadily, and it has come to can get because they are going to be in for a
perched comfortably at the highest level of
the point where you can only say a driver or ﬁght this season.
these stratas, but the gap as we know it is
two from the top two teams is really a cut But that’s what you get when you paint
fast closing. Conquest, Luczo Dragon and
above the rest. a big target on your back. Can this bullet be
Panther Racing are but three teams that dodged? SF
Star Watch The
For obvious reasons, Attilla at the top is being
Hollossi kicks off the season as the whittled away steadily, and
it has come to the point
overwhelming favorite. But Adam
where you can only say a
Eckert won’t be far behind in the driver or two from the top
punters stakes after a solid showing
two teams is really a
Expect Valter Ferreira, Randall
Ruggles, Ryan Carter, Scott Moore
and Jef Beyens to be the surprise
packages, with Bobby Freese one to
keep an eye on. Is this the season
Biggs comes to the party? The
immensely promising youngster
seems set to deliver.
Catch the season on a computer
screen near you soon! SF
THE LITTLE BIG TEAM How do you explain it? They
have the moneybags lying
around, expertise that sees
everyone turn to them year
after year and only the top two
teams have more resources
than them. So what ails
Penske? Chris Mass meets
the man behind the outﬁt and
comes back wiser.
“Ah, good to see you. I thought you’d never make it!” I try to cover up for the fact that I had somehow drifted oﬀ
(again) by giving an answer that would be deep, involved, well
The tone is cheery, the smile sincere, but I sense a hint of
thought out, empathetic. Quick, I’m running out of time here...
irritation making its way through to me. Kalvin Filarski is not
best pleased by my tardiness and most of us have seen that
I wait. The Man nods his head slowly in agreement and
means business in the way he’s going about trying to
“I’m I breathe a silent, long sigh of relief. I must
whip Penske into shape after a season of mediocrity
not going to concentrate more. The man doesn’t suﬀer fools.
and chronic under‐performance.
waste my time on And why would he? After being upstaged by a 2
You can get a sense of just how hands‐on he is by
man Conquest team last season, heads had to roll.
the fact he dispensed with the welcoming committee another rebuilding
I put the question forward gingerly, all the while
entirely and came to greet me at the gate personally, season.”
getting the royal, guided factory tour.
looking dapper indeed in a white and red Penske team
“In all honesty, it was a personnel issue. Scott had grown
shirt. I have to get myself one of those...must remind myself...
weary of the Penske chassis holding him back, which wore on him
“...and that trophy over there is from our last race win in
as the season went on. Antonio and Don decided that they wanted
Indycars, which is so far back I don’t even remember it anymore.
to take race strategies into their own hands throughout the ﬁrst
How long has it been since then?”
part of the season their poor judgement in tyre selection cost us
FILARSKI KUOTED KANDIDLY ON SF MAG ON THE SEASON ON UPGRADES ON HOPING
Smashing This season is a We're gonna We’re hoping
make our break throw all the that with the
Fun? What a
for us. We're extra budget we
money we have at
daft name for either going to
the car and see would be able to
a r a c i n g charge up the
close the gap to
grid or fall what we can
magazine! TCG and NHL.
further behind. come up with.
dearly when their tyres repeatedly fell oﬀ I can’t help but notice the little blink‐and‐ “If I may correct that last note, last
down the stretch in many races. The you‐miss‐it Honda badge on the side. The year was supposed to be our building year.
breaking point was when Don and Antonio Japanese suppliers, one of my favorites, are We had a decent race package and we had a
decided they would use the soft compound often ignored and I run a hand over it, solid lead driver in Scott; a driver we
tyres at an oval superspeedway and that’s deeply happy inside. I’m no Manga‐man, expected to pick up some of the slack left by
when I ﬁred the race engineers and re‐took but I do like Honda. Kalvin observes and Ryan Carter in Don and a hot shot rookie in
control of my team. Antonio was able to goes on to explain the reason for the Antonio. We were planning to use what we
right the ship and we came close to taking synergy. had and save some money and use it to
3rd place back, but Scott wasn’t able to build a new chassis or pay for some engine
“We felt that the one thing we were
carry his weight and the weight of Don as development, but we chased our tails for the
SUPPOSED to do very well with the old
well. That’s where it all went wrong.” ﬁrst half of the season and I kept yelling at
chassis was kick ass on the road courses
the boys for making stupid decisions. I’m
The hands, they’re all over the place. and street circuits and that just never
not going to waste my time on another
Filarski is gesticulating wildly and oh‐s0 happened. But every once in a while we
rebuilding season; we're just gonna go for it
animatedly, the sign of a man deeply and would pull out a good result on the ovals so
all right here. We're gonna throw all the
passionately involved with his team. The we ﬁgured maybe there's some potential
money we have left over at the car after
frustration when he’s discussing this there, and we decided we should tweak our
paying oﬀ everything else and see what we
season past is obvious, and he has every chassis conﬁguration to try and exploit our
can come up with.”
right to be annoyed. Conquest, with their few successes. 3rd place is still our target,
Everything? The whole kitchen sink?
2‐man setup, had no business beating
Penske and yet they did so without much
Wow. That’s either incredibly brave or
ado. 3 may just be an unlucky number.
incredibly stupid. For Penske’s sake, I
“Come here, you have to see this, it’s a
hope it’s the former. I like Penske and I
sneak peek for you guys, but only because I
hope they do well. But in recent years,
like you. What magazine did you say you’re
they seem to have found an extra gear on
t r a c k , a n d i t ’ s t h e r e v e r s e g e a r
I point to the press card and say
unfortunately. I didn’t even know they
had it. Clearly, neither did Filarski.
“Rightttttt...what a daft name for a
“Yeah, it’s been a rough time. If we keep
up this streak of disappointing seasons we
“Tell me about it...it was apparently
may have to downsize our operations to
picked out by the retarded love child of
just 2 cars, and if we get to that point, we
Paris Hilton and Kevin Federline.”
will be pursuing experienced drivers who
Our laughter pinged oﬀ the walls as you know, and we’re hoping that with the
can be consistent and who will score points
Filarski led me onwards and deeper into extra budget we would be able to close the
week in and week out. We have spent quite
the factory. What was it he wanted to show gap to TCG and NHL. But for now, we’re
me? going to have to keep working to take back a bit of time scouting Ryan Croft, and we
3rd place ﬁrst.” have big hopes for him for future seasons.
Oh, sweet lord in heaven...
“Impressive, ain’t it? It’s not the Assured logic, and I can’t fault it. Unfortunately the last 2 young guns we
went with, Don and Antonio, didn’t exactly
customer Penske chassis we supply There’s a certain steeliness to his words
wow us like we had originally hoped.
everyone too. God is in the details boy. This that almost jars me for a second before I
Antonio himself did just enough to keep his
here is an oval‐spec Penske chassis designed catch myself. Penske are done mucking
job here for at least this coming season.”
in‐house by them there geniuses. I can’t let around. This here is serious stuﬀ, the
The hours just ﬂy by, and before I
you take a closer peek at it, but believe heavy artillery being rolled out for a period
of consolidation. Enough ground has been know it I am politely escorted to the car
me...it’s realllll good.”
waiting outside in bright Penske livery as
But of course, boys will be boys. And lost, and Pesnke realise there is a future to
my time here is done. I had my doubts
the sight of shiny cars to my eyes are like be built towards. The boat is about to sail
before coming here, I have to admit. This
holding a red rag to a bull. An open and they’re a bit late, but it’s better late
was Kalvin’s ﬁrst interview since forever
invitation. I inquire and search out every than never.
last nugget of information I can get, like a Speaking of which, I’m a bit late to and I doubted this would go well.
But it did. And you know what? If he
thirsty man that’s ﬁnally found the oasis of stop Filarski as he peers over my shoulder.
shows the same touch, so might Penske. SF