VICS: INDYCAR News and Notes – Oct. 5, 2015

1. Ganassi Sound Garage a Mashup of Music, Motorsports and Millennials
2. Bourdais Helps Petit Le Mans Team to Class Win, Championship
3. Texas Motor Speedway Returning to Schedule for 20th Year
4. Bidding Closes Tonight on Latest Wilson Fund Auction Items
5. USF2000 Scholarship Shootout Field Expands Internationally

1. Ganassi Sound Garage a Mashup of Music, Motorsports and Millennials: It wasn’t until the inaugural Ganassi Sound Garage in September 2014 that Sage Karam unveiled talents such as walking on his hands and line dancing.

And the Verizon IndyCar Series driver let everybody in attendance know he drives considerably faster on the racetrack than his stock car teammates.

More, undoubtedly, will be learned about the 20-year-old native of Nazareth, Pa., during the second Ganassi Sound Garage featuring Big Machine Label Group’s recording artist A Thousand Horses in concert tonight at the team’s Concord, N.C., facility.

Watch it live at 8 p.m. ET on www.IndyCar.com and www.GanassiSoundGarage.com.

The program is intended to introduce the team’s millennial drivers – Karam, Sebastian Saavedra (Verizon IndyCar Series), Dylan Kwasniewski (NASCAR Xfinity Series), Kyle Larson (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) and Brennan Poole (NASCAR Xfinity Series) – to young social media influencers with the goal of creating race fans.

“When the two worlds of racing and music come together, it’s awesome,” said Karam. “A lot of people our age come out and get involved and they see racing. It’s attention for both worlds.”

Last year, 200 individuals who live within 100 miles of the team’s race shop were invited to the event to encourage user-generated content. This year, more than 600 millennials are expected. Each of the drivers’ race cars will be on display, along with displays of team sponsors and Chevrolet.

“The return of Ganassi Sound Garage has been met with tremendous support and I’m happy to say this year’s edition will be bigger and better than its debut,” said Steve Lauletta, president of Chip Ganassi Racing. “With A Thousand Horses headlining, we plan to deliver another unique social media experience focused on attracting millennials and exposing them to our sport, drivers and team.”

2. Bourdais Helps Petit Le Mans Team to Class Win, Championship: Verizon IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais was part of the winning Prototype class team at the weather-shortened Petit Le Mans on Oct. 3 at Road Atlanta, which also clinched the 2015 title for the No. 5 Action Express Racing car in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Bourdais teamed with former Indy car driver Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa to finish third overall in the endurance race shortened more than two hours from its scheduled 10 hours due to heavy rain and treacherous driving conditions. A pair of GT Le Mans class cars – the Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing BMW Z4 of John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Jens Klingmann – finished first and second overall.

Townsend Bell, NBCSN analyst on Verizon IndyCar Series telecasts and a nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter, wrapped up the GT Daytona class championship with co-driver Bill Sweedler in their Ferrari 458. Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon finished second in the Prototype class race and fourth overall with co-drivers Joey Hand and Scott Pruett, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

3. Texas Motor Speedway Returning to Schedule for 20th Year: Texas Motor Speedway, which has hosted the Verizon IndyCar Series every year since the track opened in 1997, announced Oct. 3 that the Firestone 600 will be contested on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval on June 11, 2016.

Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing won “America’s Original Nighttime Indy car Race” this past June – one of three victories on the way to earning his fourth Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Helio Castroneves has the most Verizon IndyCar Series wins at the racetrack with four – among the eight victories for Team Penske.

Texas Motor Speedway season tickets go on sale Nov. 2. Individual tickets for the Firestone 600 weekend go on sale Feb. 12. For more information, contact the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

4. Bidding Closes Tonight on Latest Wilson Fund Auction Items: Bidding on the third wave of items in the Wilson Children’s Fund eBay auction ends tonight. Among the rare items available are a VIP experience to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race hosted by Team Penske, an NFL game-used football signed by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and firesuits worn by Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Graham Rahal.

Proceeds from the auction benefit the family of Justin Wilson, who died Aug. 24 from a head injury sustained in a race the day before. Among the items currently up for auction is a firesuit Wilson wore when he won the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car endurance race.

To view and bid on items, visit http://stores.ebay.com/Celebrity-Charity-Auctions/Justin-Wilson-Memorial. New items are added weekly to the auction, which continues throughOct. 26.

Additionally, a limited edition reproduction of 50 signed and numbered prints of noted artist Bill Patterson’s original work depicting Wilson’s final Indy car victory at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012 are available at http://billpatterson.com/justin-wilson-memorial-print , with $100 of each print sold contributed to the fund.

Tribute T-shirts and decals are available at http://shop.ims.com/indycar, with proceeds also directed to the fund.

Contributions may be made directly to the fund http://justinwilson.co.uk/donate or by mail to: Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o Forum Credit Union, PO Box 50738, Indianapolis, IN 46250-0738.

5. USF2000 Scholarship Shootout Field Expands Internationally: The winners of F1600 championships in England, New Zealand and Scotland will join the group of young drivers eligible to contest the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship Shootout in 2016.

The shootout, announced in August, will bring the champions of North American and international series together for the first time to compete for a $200,000 Mazda scholarship to join the first step of the MRTI ladder system, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, in 2017.

The initial group of series champions announced included ROTAX MAX Challenge, Skip Barber Race Series, the F2000 and F1600 Championship Series, Pacific F2000, Formula Car Challenge, SCCA Runoffs (F1600 and FC), the Team USA Scholarship, Australian Formula Ford Championship and BRSCC F1600 in England.